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Allochthonous salt in the sub-Alpine fold–thrust belt of Haute Provence, France

By
Rod Graham
Rod Graham
Hess Corporation, Adelphi Building, 1–11 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6AG, UKBureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geology, University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA
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Martin Jackson
Martin Jackson
Present Address: 125 Thame Road, Warborough, Oxon OX10 7DS, UK
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Robin Pilcher
Robin Pilcher
Hess Corporation: 1501 McKinney Street, Houston TX 77010, USA
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Bill Kilsdonk
Bill Kilsdonk
Hess Corporation: 1501 McKinney Street, Houston TX 77010, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2012

Abstract

In the sub-Alpine chains of Haut Provence, SE France, a very well-exposed Mesozoic sequence showing rapid thickness and facies changes associated with Jurassic and Cretaceous extension on the margin of the Ligurian Tethys has been deformed by ‘Alpine’ compression which occurred from the Late Cretaceous to the Pliocene. Although the geology has been very well known for decades, aspects of the structure remain enigmatic and cannot be explained by either Mesozoic extension or Alpine shortening alone. We infer that some deformation resulted from salt tectonics. A completely overturned, highly condensed Jurassic section near Barles village resembles the elevated roof of a Triassic salt body in a deep-marine basin. This carapace became overturned as a flap in the Middle Jurassic when salt broke out at the seafloor and overran the inverted flap as an allochthonous extrusion, comparable to those in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico or Angola. Later, Alpine compression exploited the weakness of the salt sheet as the Digne Thrust moved over the inverted flap. Although the flap is in the footwall of the thrust, evidence of soft-sediment deformation and other anomalous structures within the flap suggest that it did not originate as an overturned footwall syncline.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Salt Tectonics, Sediments and Prospectivity

G. I. Alsop
G. I. Alsop
University of Aberdeen, UK
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S. G. Archer
S. G. Archer
University of Aberdeen, UK
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A. J. Hartley
A. J. Hartley
University of Aberdeen, UK
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N. T. Grant
N. T. Grant
ConocoPhillips UK Ltd, Aberdeen, UK
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R. Hodgkinson
R. Hodgkinson
Bowleven plc, Edinburgh, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
363
ISBN electronic:
9781862396111
Publication date:
January 01, 2012

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