The Crotone-Spartivento Basin is a fore-arc basin located on the Ionian side of the Calabria region and was generated as a result of the Calabrian Arc kinematics since Serravallian. Due to a large presence of geohazard-related seabed features, such as slide scars, canyon headscarps and gravity-flow deposits that seriously endanger coastal infrastructures and human settlements, this area represents a natural laboratory for marine geohazard assessment. Two submerged, prominent lobate-shaped geomorphological highs, the so-called Crotone and Punta Stilo Swells, are recognized in the Crotone-Spartivento Basin. Their development is inferred to be linked to Arc evolution and is considered responsible for repeated gravity sliding and canyon incisions. An integrated geological and geophysical approach consisting of seismic, well, sub-bottom and high-resolution multi-beam data revealed that the origin of the Crotone Swell, which is associated with gravitational collapses, was promoted by the NW-trending strike slip shear zones, while the development of the Punta Stilo Swell seems to be the consequence of compressional tectonics during the upper Messinian. Such compressional phase is inferred to have controlled the accumulation of Plio-Pleistocene deposits, which seems to have driven the distribution of the modern physiographic domains. The marked steepness of the slope resulted from compressional tectonics also let the area prone to the development of slope instability and canyon incisions. These predisposing factors combined with glacio-eustatic sea level changes, rapid regional uplift over 1 Ma and manifestations of overpressure fluids are considered the main constraints for the observed slope instability and canyon development. These features may represent important hazards for coastal population and infrastructures and for this reason they would require attentive investigation and regular monitoring.


A better understanding of geological processes driving marine geohazard-related geomorphic features such as failures, canyon headscarps and mega-mass transport deposits is an important issue that require particular attention for the safeguard of coastal population and infrastructures.

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