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Models of orogenic processes

January 01, 2006


The influence of pre-existing thrusts on the development of later normal faults was investigated using scaled laboratory analogue models. Experiments consisted of a phase of shortening followed by extension at variable angles of obliquity (a) to the shortening direction. Results suggest that the angle a has a major influence on the surface fault pattern and on the interaction between shortening-related structures and later extensional structures. Three different modes of interactions were identified depending upon the extension kinematics. (1) For orthogonal extension = 0°), shortening-related fold and thrust structures strongly influence the development of normal faults: graben structures nucleate within anticlines and the normal faults reactívate thrusts at depth (branching at depth mode of interaction). (2) For highly oblique extension > 45°), shortening-related structures exert no influence on normal faults as extension-related steeply-dipping faults (characterized by an oblique component of movement) displace early thrusts (no interaction mode). (3) For intermediate obliquity angles (a = 15°, 30°), an intermediate mode ofinter-action characterizes the experiments, where the no interaction and branching at depth modes coexist in different regions of models. Modelling results can be used to infer regional extension directions as is shown for the Northern Appenines (Italy).

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Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Analogue and Numerical Modelling of Crustal-Scale Processes

S. J. H. Buiter
S. J. H. Buiter
Geological Survey of Norway, Trondheim, Norway
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G. Schreurs
G. Schreurs
University of Bern, Switzerland
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Geological Society of London
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Publication date:
January 01, 2006




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