Abstract

Previous calculations for the maximum possible length of overthrust blocks under various conditions have not taken into account the full state of stress of the overthrust block. We show the significance of this omission in this paper and correct for it by taking an elasticity solution for the stress state. Calculations are presented for various pore pressures, block thicknesses, cohesive strengths, and slope angles which show that the maximum theoretical length of an overthrust block is significantly less than previously supposed. However, it is still possible to explain the long overthrusts observed in nature if the pore-pressure ratio and angle of slope are large enough.

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