Deformation of the continental lithosphere: Insights from brittle-ductile models
Jean-Pierre Brun, 2002. "Deformation of the continental lithosphere: Insights from brittle-ductile models", Deformation Mechanisms, Rheology and Tectonics: Current Status and Future Perspectives, S. de Meer, M. R. Drury, J. H. P. de Bresser, G. M. Pennock
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2D deformation experiments on multilayer models of a brittle-ductile lithosphere are reviewed. The experimental method consists of simulating simplified strength profiles which incorporate brittle (frictional) and ductile (viscous) rheologies with gravity forces. A selection of models built with sand and silicone putties to represent brittle and ductile lithosphere layers, respectively, is used to illustrate the effects of variations in strength profiles on deformation patterns. Models of extension first consider lithosphere necking and the development of narrow rifts, with application to continental rifts and passive margins, and, second, lithosphere spreading with application to the development of wide rifts and core complexes. Models of compression compare sandbox-type and brittle-ductile multilayer-type experiments. Results are applied to mountain belt formation and, in particular, to the Pyrenees and the western Alps. Both extensional and compressional experiments demonstrate that the presence/absence of a sub-Moho brittle mantle and the coupling/decoupling between brittle and ductile layers play a dominant role on localized versus distributed deformation, at lithosphere scale.
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The motion and deformation of rocks are processes of fundamental importance in shaping the Earth, from outer crustal layers to the deep mantle. Reconstructions of the evolution of the Earth therefore require detailed knowledge of the geometry of deformation structures and their relative timing, of the motions leading to deformation structures and of the mechanisms governing these motions. This volume contains a collection of 22 papers on field, experimental and theoretical studies that add to our knowledge of these processes. They are a mixture of review papers oh selected topics in the field of structural geology and tectonics and papers on current issues and new techniques and are grouped into four themes:
The effect of fluids on deformation
The interpretation of microstructures and textures
Deformation mechanisms and rheology of crust and upper mantle minerals
Crust and lithosphere tectonics
The volume will appeal to researchers in the fields of structural geology and tectonophysics, both in academia and industry.