Transfer Zones and Transfer Faults in Salt Tectonics
Fort, Xavier1, J.-P. Brun2, F. Chauvel3 (1) Norsk Hydro, Rennes, France (2) University of Rennes 1, France (3) University of Rennes 1, now at ExxonMobil
The term “transfer zone/fault” describes a broad category of structures that accommodate lateral variations of deformation and strain. They occur at all scales in all types of tectonic processes.
In salt tectonic environments, a number of transfer-type structures can be identified and are here illustrated by laboratory experiments and comparison with natural examples in both extension and compression. Experiments show that two main types of causes can be invoked: i) either related to deformation heterogeneities within the sedimentary cover above salt or ii) due to lateral flow variations of the salt layer that are themselves due to lateral variations of sedimentary loading, salt thickness variations, inherited basement topography… The main types of transfer structures range from real localized transfer faults to distributed zones of faulting and block rotation.
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