Geological Society Special Publication vol:370 pages:169-186
Geological-Society-London Conference on Advances in Carbonate Exploration and Reservoir Analysis location:London, ENGLAND date:Nov 2010
The Cretaceous Apulia Platform, exposed in the Murge area (southern Italy), suffered
intense (palaeo)karstification. This study focuses on the controlling factors of karstification with
emphasis on fracturing. Mechanical stratigraphy was used to calculate the fracture density
within different sedimentary sequences. Several mechanical units were defined and a characteristic
relationship was found between unit thicknesses and fracture density, that is, fracture density
increases if layer thickness decreases. In some of the quarries studied, sedimentary cycles are
clearly present that are also reflected in the fracture density logs. The degree of karstification
within a mechanical unit is proportional to the mean fracture spacing. Based on fracture orientation
data extracted from LIDAR scans, different orientation clusters were observed between fractures
that are karstified and fractures that are not karstified, post-dating karstification. The clusters of karstified
fractures are related to the compression of the southern Apennines. The fractures became
dissolution enlarged during the Pleistocene uplift caused by bulging of the Apulia Platform.
This main karstification phase occurred prior to Late-Pleistocene deposition and before the formation
of orthogonal fracture sets.