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Deformation of the continental lithosphere: Insights from brittle-ductile models

By
Jean-Pierre Brun
Jean-Pierre Brun
Géosciences Rennes UMR 6118 CNRS/Rennes 1 University, 35042 Rennes Cedex, France
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Published:
January 01, 2002

Abstract

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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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Deformation Mechanisms, Rheology and Tectonics: Current Status and Future Perspectives

S. de Meer
S. de Meer
Utrecht University, The Netherlands
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M. R. Drury
M. R. Drury
Utrecht University, The Netherlands
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J. H. P. de Bresser
J. H. P. de Bresser
Utrecht University, The Netherlands
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G. M. Pennock
G. M. Pennock
Utrecht University, The Netherlands
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Geological Society of London
Volume
200
ISBN electronic:
9781862396081
Publication date:
January 01, 2002

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