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Abstract

Salt-mining in Northwestern Europe has afforded significant data on the structure of salt domes. Salt is a relatively plastic rock under pressure, and may “erupt” in a manner analogous to igneous magmas. Highly deformed, clearly traceable key beds in the salt domes of Europe, and progressive changes from slight flowage at the salt outcrops to typical intrusive relations where the salt is deeply buried, afford basis for the conclusion that the European domes are purely tectonic in origin. The cap rock represents the residue of less soluble material in the upthrust salt as solution attacks the rising dome in the zone of active ground-water circulation. The salt domes of Europe are mostly without associated oil deposits, a feature probably due to pre-Eocene erosion which permitted escape of oil from older source beds.

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