4 years ago

Impact of an interbedded viscous décollement on the structural and kinematic coupling in fold-and-thrust belts: Insights from analogue modeling

Fold-and-thrust belts (FTBs) can be segmented both across and along strike because of various factors including tectonic and stratigraphic inheritance. In this study, we investigated along/across-strike structural interactions in a FTB propagating toward a foreland which displays contrasted lithological sequences. A set of analogue models was performed in a compressional box where a single viscous level of varying width was interbedded within a frictional series. The tectonic interaction between the viscous and the frictional provinces was tested both along and across strike. Results indicate that a frictional province influences the along-strike tectonic evolution of an adjacent viscous province. This influence decreases when the width of the viscous province increases. The frictional provinces control the taper, structural style, obliquity of the structures' trend and kinematics of the shallow deformation front of the viscous province. Results evidence how far a frictional province can impact the deformation of an adjacent viscous province. For frictional-viscous wedges, it appears that the critical taper theory, which is generally applied in 2-D, should be likely considered in terms of 3-D. Moreover, the kinematics of the deep deformation front shows mutual influences between the adjacent viscous and frictional provinces. Experimental results are compared to natural examples in the Kuqa Basin (Southern Tian Shan, China) and the Salt Range (Pakistan), and give an insight to a better understanding of the dynamics of fold-and-thrust belts bearing a viscous décollement, such as salt.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0040195117304444

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