Some consequences of mechanical stratification in basin-scale numerical models of passive-margin salt tectonics
Markus Albertz, Steven J. Ings, 2012. "Some consequences of mechanical stratification in basin-scale numerical models of passive-margin salt tectonics", Salt Tectonics, Sediments and Prospectivity, G. I. Alsop, S. G. Archer, A. J. Hartley, N. T. Grant, R. Hodgkinson
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Two-dimensional plane-strain numerical experiments illustrate the effects of variable evaporite viscosity and embedded frictional-plastic sediment layers on the style of salt flow and associated deformation of the sedimentary overburden. Evaporite viscosity exerts a first-order control on the salt flow rate and the style of overburden deformation. Nearly complete evacuation of low-viscosity salt occurs beneath expulsion basins, whereas significant salt is trapped when viscosity is high. Embedded frictional-plastic sediment layers with yield strength partition salt flow and develop transient contractional structures (folds, thrust faults and folded faults) in a seaward salt-squeeze flow regime. Multiple internal sediment layers reduce the seaward salt flow during sediment aggradation, leaving more salt behind to be remobilized during subsequent progradation. This produces more seaward extensive allochthonous salt sheets. If there is a density difference between the embedded layers and the surrounding salt, then the embedded layers fractionate during deformation and either float to the surface or sink to the bottom, creating a thick zone of pure halite. Such a process of ‘buoyancy fractionation’ may partially explain the apparent paradox of layered salt in autochthonous salt basins and pure halite in allochthonous salt sheets.
Animated gif files of the model results are available at http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18500.
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In this timely volume, geoscientists from both industry and academia present a contemporary view of salt at a global scale. The studies examine the influence of salt on synkinematic sedimentation, its role in basin evolution and tectonics, and ultimately in hydrocarbon prospectivity. Recent improvements in seismic reflection, acquisition and processing techniques have led to significant advances in the understanding of salt and sediment interactions, both along the flanks of vertical or overturned salt margins, and in subsalt plays such as offshore Brazil. The book is broadly separated into five major themes covering a variety of geographical and process-linked topics. These are: halokinetic sequence stratigraphy, salt in passive margin settings, Central European salt basins, deformation within and adjacent to salt, and salt in contractional settings and salt glaciers.