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The effects of initial wedge taper on area-balancing restoration of a fold-thrust belt

The effects of initial wedge taper on area-balancing restoration of a fold-thrust belt
The effects of initial wedge taper on area-balancing restoration of a fold-thrust belt
The conventional area-balancing method uses a single regional slope, commonly parallel to basal detachment and generally horizontal, to restore a deformed geological section to an initial rectangular shape. However, most fold-thrust belts exhibit a wedge or trapezium (i.e., a quadrilateral with at least one pair of parallel sides) shape in cross section with stratigraphic sequence thinning into the basin. Two new, simple, quantitative solutions are developed to restore a thrust belt with more realistic geometries, which assume that the initial shape is a trapezium. This allows exploration of the function of initial wedge taper (represented by surface slope and basal dip) in controlling shortening estimate using area balancing. The new methods are tested against sandbox models and natural examples of fold-thrust belts using a range of input parameters to evaluate the uncertainties in shortening calculation. We find the results are very sensitive to both initial surface slope and initial basal slope. This study highlights the significance of initial wedge taper in determining shortening across a fold-thrust belt, with accurate shortening estimates requiring independent constraint of this important geometry. Previous studies that used area balancing to predict depth to detachment and/or to estimate shortening without considering the effects of initial wedge taper may need reevaluation.
0149-1423
21-41
Yang, Xiaodong
0c44aab1-3c52-4e2a-925e-565a34967c57
Sanderson, David J.
5653bc11-b905-4985-8c16-c655b2170ba9
Mcneill, Lisa C.
1fe6a1e0-ca1a-4b6f-8469-309d0f9de0cf
Peel, Frank J.
ccbb86f8-56a0-4b59-b664-e772a9c4015f
Yang, Xiaodong
0c44aab1-3c52-4e2a-925e-565a34967c57
Sanderson, David J.
5653bc11-b905-4985-8c16-c655b2170ba9
Mcneill, Lisa C.
1fe6a1e0-ca1a-4b6f-8469-309d0f9de0cf
Peel, Frank J.
ccbb86f8-56a0-4b59-b664-e772a9c4015f

Yang, Xiaodong, Sanderson, David J., Mcneill, Lisa C. and Peel, Frank J. (2022) The effects of initial wedge taper on area-balancing restoration of a fold-thrust belt. AAPG Bulletin, 106 (1), 21-41. (doi:10.1306/04212118218).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The conventional area-balancing method uses a single regional slope, commonly parallel to basal detachment and generally horizontal, to restore a deformed geological section to an initial rectangular shape. However, most fold-thrust belts exhibit a wedge or trapezium (i.e., a quadrilateral with at least one pair of parallel sides) shape in cross section with stratigraphic sequence thinning into the basin. Two new, simple, quantitative solutions are developed to restore a thrust belt with more realistic geometries, which assume that the initial shape is a trapezium. This allows exploration of the function of initial wedge taper (represented by surface slope and basal dip) in controlling shortening estimate using area balancing. The new methods are tested against sandbox models and natural examples of fold-thrust belts using a range of input parameters to evaluate the uncertainties in shortening calculation. We find the results are very sensitive to both initial surface slope and initial basal slope. This study highlights the significance of initial wedge taper in determining shortening across a fold-thrust belt, with accurate shortening estimates requiring independent constraint of this important geometry. Previous studies that used area balancing to predict depth to detachment and/or to estimate shortening without considering the effects of initial wedge taper may need reevaluation.

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The effects of initial wedge taper on area-balancing restoration - Accepted Manuscript
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e-pub ahead of print date: 1 January 2022

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 454417
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/454417
ISSN: 0149-1423
PURE UUID: b86ebb37-73e4-46f2-b294-fc7561b4abdc
ORCID for David J. Sanderson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2144-3527
ORCID for Lisa C. Mcneill: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8689-5882

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Date deposited: 09 Feb 2022 17:33
Last modified: 10 Feb 2022 02:39

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Contributors

Author: Xiaodong Yang
Author: Lisa C. Mcneill ORCID iD
Author: Frank J. Peel

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