Structural evolution of the Achnashellach Culmination, southern Moine Thrust Belt: testing the duplex model
Published:January 01, 2007
R. W. H. Butler, S. J. Matthews, R. K. Morgan, 2007. "Structural evolution of the Achnashellach Culmination, southern Moine Thrust Belt: testing the duplex model", Deformation of the Continental Crust: The Legacy of Mike Coward, A. C. Ries, R. W. H. Butler, R. H. Graham
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The Achnashellach Culmination is one of the major structures of the Moine Thrust Belt. As with other culminations in the belt, it is formed by a stack of imbricate thrusts. Up to 1 km of Torridon Group sediments, together with a further 200–250 m of Cambrian strata, are repeated up to 10 times, but with ramp-on-ramp thrust geometries. Thus structural thickening was chiefly achieved by thick thrust sheets with individually and aggregated displacements that are substantially lower than elsewhere in the thrust belt. The culmination is limited on its flanks by lateral ramps that climb section out of Torridon Group and up into Cambrian strata. To the north the imbricate thrusts may be deduced to branch onto the major Kinlochewe Thrust. To the south the imbricates are represented only by stacked Durness Limestone. The northward-climbing lateral ramp coincides with a major Precambrian structure, the Loch Maree Fault, which controls the thickness of Torridonian strata preserved beneath the sub-Cambrian unconformity, a rare example of basement influence on thrust system geometry within the Moine Thrust Belt. The imbricates of the Achnashellach Culmination show back-steepening and have bulged up the overriding Kishorn and Kinlochewe thrust sheets. However, these structurally higher level tectonic units slice across imbricate structures in their footwalls. Elsewhere high-level thrusts are folded by some parts of underlying imbricates. Collectively these relationships are not compatible with classical duplex models. They are explained better by models of quasi-synchronous slip on imbricate thrusts. Discordant relationships beneath major thrust sheets, including those that cut down stratigraphic section in the transport direction, can be explained by such models without necessitating low-angle extensional faulting within the thrust belt.
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Deformation of the Continental Crust: The Legacy of Mike Coward
This Special Publication, in memory and celebration of the work of Professor Mike Coward, is about the deformation of the continental lithosphere. The collected papers discuss geometry, structural principles, processes and problems in a wide range of tectonic settings and thereby reflect the breadth of Coward's interests. They encompass the evolution of Precambrian basement gneiss terrains, the geometry and evolution of thrust systems, basement involvement and structural inheritance in basins, syn-orogenic extension, salt tectonics, the implication of structural evolution on hydrocarbon prospectivity and structural controls on mineralization. Examples are drawn from the Lewisian and Moine Thrust Belt of NW Scotland, the Italian Apennines, NW Himalayas, the Cyclades, Oman, Zagros Mountains, Colombian Cordillera, Carpathians, North Sea, offshore Brazil, regional studies of the Irumide Belt (central Africa), Taurus Mountains (Turkey), greater South America, and from the Witwatersrand Basin of South Africa and the Antler Orogeny of SW USA.