Progressive deformation of a Coulomb thrust wedge: the eastern Fuegian Andes Thrust–Fold Belt
Pablo J. Torres Carbonell, Luis V. Dimieri, Eduardo B. Olivero, 2011. "Progressive deformation of a Coulomb thrust wedge: the eastern Fuegian Andes Thrust–Fold Belt", Kinematic Evolution and Structural Styles of Fold-and-Thrust Belts, J. Poblet, R. J. Lisle
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Time-calibrated balanced-cross sections of the eastern Fuegian Thrust–Fold Belt reveal many complex pro- and retro-vergent structures, rooted at the base of Cretaceous and within Paleocene rocks. These structures involve the unconformity-bounded syntectonic sequences of the Austral foreland basin, and accommodate a minimum shortening of c. 41.8 km. The complex kinematics of the thrust–fold belt are recorded by: (1) propagation of the basal décollement into the foreland, and forward-directed thrusting during the Ypresian; (2) out-of-sequence thrusting in the Lutetian; (3) subsidence and sedimentation from the Late Lutetian to the Oligocene; (4) backthrusting during the Oligocene; and (5) a renewed stage of forward-directed thrusting between the latest Oligocene and the Early Miocene, probably related to accretion below the sole fault in the hinterland. This thrust sequence is interpreted as the result of critical Coulomb wedge behaviour during the first stage of thrust–fold belt expansion, with accretion of new material that led to a taper decrease. The subsequent period of internal deformation corresponds to a subcritical stage, during which backthrusting accommodates significant shortening (c. 15%). After growth and taper increase, the last period of forward thrusting at the wedge's front marks the inception of a new critical stage.
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Fold-and-thrust belts occur worldwide, have formed in all eras of geological time, and are widely recognized as the most common mode in which the crust accommodates shortening. Much current research on the structure of fold-and-thrust belts is focused on structural studies of regions or individual structures and on the geometry and evolution of these regions employing kinematic, mechanical and experimental modelling. In keeping with the main trends of current research, this title is devoted to the kinematic evolution and structural styles of a number of fold-and-thrust belts formed from Palaeozoic to Recent times. The papers included in this book cover a broad range of different topics, from modelling approaches to predict internal deformation of single structures, 3D reconstructions to decipher the structural evolution of groups of structures, palaeomagnetic studies of portions of fold-and-thrust belts, geometrical and kinematical aspects of Coulomb thrust wedges and structural analyses of fold-and-thrust belts to unravel their sequence of deformations.