Shortened salt-withdrawal minibasins and associated salt welds are exposed in the Mesozoic strata of the Northern Calcareous Alps fold-and-thrust belt (Austria). Geological mapping and sequential restoration of a balanced cross section have indicated that these salt and salt-related structures developed during the postrift stage of the Neo-Tethys continental margin by evacuation and inflation/deflation of uppermost Permian to lowermost Triassic salt. Middle to Late Triassic minibasins were formed by down-building and downslope translation, flanked by megaflaps and salt walls. Salt and salt structures were rejuvenated by salt-wall fall and formation of bowl minibasins as a response to Penninic rifting since Rhaetian times. Complex structural styles, including younger-on-older contacts, tight folds, and kilometer-scale fully overturned panels resulted from the shortening of early salt structures upon the onset of Jurassic regional convergence. Salt tectonics can reconcile the stratigraphic development and internal structure of the long-debated Northern Calcareous Alps. Our work also provides a new line of research for understanding other fold-and-thrust belts developed from the Neo-Tethys continental margin (i.e., the Carpathian Mountains, the Southern Alps in Europe, the Dinaric Alps) and sets guidelines for other salt-influenced fold belts.
Structural styles in fold-and-thrust belts involving early salt structures: The Northern Calcareous Alps (Austria)
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Pablo Granado, Eduard Roca, Philipp Strauss, Klaus Pelz, Josep Anton Muñoz; Structural styles in fold-and-thrust belts involving early salt structures: The Northern Calcareous Alps (Austria). Geology doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/G45281.1
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