Modelling of fold & thrust belts and petroleum systems
Published:April 14, 2020
2020. "Modelling of fold & thrust belts and petroleum systems", Fold and Thrust Belts: Structural Style, Evolution and Exploration, J. A. Hammerstein, R. Di Cuia, M. A. Cottam, G. Zamora, R. W. H. Butler
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In 1888, inspired by fieldwork in what has become known as the Moine Thrust Belt, NW Scotland, Henry Cadell conducted a pioneering series of analogue deformation experiments to investigate the structural evolution of fold–thrust belts. Some experiments showed that imbricate thrusts build up thrust wedges of variable form, without requiring precursor folding. Others demonstrated a variety of fold–thrust structures and how heterogeneities in basement can localize thrust structures. These experiments are described here and used to draw lessons on how analogue deformation experiments are used to inform the interpretation of fold–thrust structures. Early adopters used Cadell's results as guides to structural styles when constructing cross-sections in thrust belts. His models and the host of others created since serve to illustrate part of the range of structural geometries in thrust belts. However, as with much subsequent work, Cadell's use of a deformation apparatus, with a fixed basal slip surface, biases perceptions of fold–thrust belts to be necessarily ‘thin-skinned’ (experimental design bias) and can simply reinforce established interpretations of natural systems (confirmation bias). So analogue deformation experiments may be unreliable guides to the deterministic interpretations of specific fold–thrust structures in the sub surface of the real world.
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Fold and Thrust Belts: Structural Style, Evolution and Exploration
CONTAINS OPEN ACCESS
The outer parts of collision mountain belts are commonly represented by fold and thrust belts. Major advances in understanding these tectonic settings have arisen from regional studies that integrate diverse geological information in quests to find and produce hydrocarbons. Drilling has provided tests of subsurface forecasts, challenging interpretation strategies and structural models. This volume contains 19 papers that illustrate a diversity of methods and approaches together with case studies from Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. Collectively they show that appreciating diversity is key for developing better interpretations of complex geological structures in the subsurface – endeavours that span applications beyond the development of hydrocarbons.