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Analogue experiments were used to investigate pluton emplacement during transpression in a layered crust. Models consisted of (1) a silicone gum-PbO suspension as analogue magma, (2) a silicone gum-Pb suspension as a basal ductile layer, and (3) an overlying sand pack representing brittle crust. The models were transpressed at 3 mm/hr causing the extrusion of the analogue magma from a progressively closing slot, and its emplacement into the ductile layer. The thicknesses of the layers were critical in controlling the shapes of intrusions and the structures that developed in the brittle overburden. Thicker sand packs led to flattened, symmetrical laccolith-shaped intrusions and the nucleation of one oblique thrust in the sand pack above the extremity of the intrusion. Thinner sand packs led to thicker, asymmetrical laccolith-like intrusions with uplift of the overburden on an oblique thrust, and the formation of a shallow graben in the extrados of a bending fold. Reducing the thickness of the basal ductile layer resulted in a larger number of shear zones in the sand pack, and structural geometries approaching those produced in experiments involving only a brittle analogue crust and no ductile layer. Shear zones in the sand pack were localised by intrusions, and also played a key role in displacing analogue brittle crust to make space for intrusions. The results suggest that tectonic forces may play an important role in displacing blocks of crust during pluton emplacement in transpressional belts. They also suggest that pluton shapes, and the geometries and kinematics of emplacement-related shear zones and faults, may depend on the depth of emplacement. In nature, depending on the structural level exposed in the map plane, faults and shear zones that helped make space for emplacement may not appear to be spatially associated with the pluton.

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