Interaction between the folded structures of the Western Papua New Guinea Highlands: an example of how surface observations can assist in subsurface understanding
Published:April 14, 2020
Reinaldo Ollarves, Siyuan Zhao, Fleur Gilby, 2020. "Interaction between the folded structures of the Western Papua New Guinea Highlands: an example of how surface observations can assist in subsurface understanding", 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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We defined the folding sequence of the fold–thrust belt of the Western Papua New Guinea Highlands by analysing the surface expression of the structures and the response of the drainage system to the active fold–thrust belt. The interaction between structures is typically assessed by examining the syn-kinematic strata preserved; however, in our study area, this is problematic as these strata are poorly imaged on seismic lines. This study found common morphological features that allowed grouping and mapping of three different structural settings: group I, basement-involved tectonics; group II, thin-skinned anticlines which sole near the Koi–Iangi Sandstone; and group III, thin-skinned folds associated with the intra-Ieru Formation detachment. Fold Front Sinuosity analysis supports the idea that the fold–thrust belt propagates from the NW to the SE. Considering the detailed morphotectonics and drainage analyses, we interpret that the group II folds developed as out-of-sequence thrusting and folding, associated with buttressing against the group I larger structures.
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Fold and Thrust Belts: Structural Style, Evolution and Exploration
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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.