Articles | Volume 10, issue 5
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
The Geodynamic World Builder: a solution for complex initial conditions in numerical modeling
Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Arie van den Berg
Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Centre of Earth Evolution and Dynamics (CEED), University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
No articles found.
Rene Gassmöller, Juliane Dannberg, Wolfgang Bangerth, Elbridge Gerry Puckett, and Cedric Thieulot
Numerical models that use simulated particles are a powerful tool for investigating flow in the interior of the Earth, but the accuracy of these models is not fully understood. We here present two new benchmarks, that allow to measure the model accuracy. We then document that better accuracy matters for applications like convection beneath an oceanic plate. Our benchmarks and methods are freely available to help the community develop better models.
Iris van Zelst, Cedric Thieulot, and Timothy J. Craig
Solid Earth, 14, 683–707,Short summary
A common simplification in subduction zone models is the use of constant thermal parameters, while experiments have shown that they vary with temperature. We test various formulations of temperature-dependent thermal parameters and show that they change the thermal structure of the subducting slab. We recommend that modelling studies of the thermal structure of subduction zones take the temperature dependence of thermal parameters into account, especially when providing insights into seismicity.
Barend Cornelis Root, Josef Sebera, Wolfgang Szwillus, Cedric Thieulot, Zdeněk Martinec, and Javier Fullea
Solid Earth, 13, 849–873,Short summary
Several alternative gravity modelling techniques and associated numerical codes with their own advantages and limitations are available for the solid Earth community. With upcoming state-of-the-art lithosphere density models and accurate global gravity field data sets, it is vital to understand the differences of the various approaches. In this paper, we discuss the four widely used techniques: spherical harmonics, tesseroid integration, triangle integration, and hexahedral integration.
Iris van Zelst, Fabio Crameri, Adina E. Pusok, Anne Glerum, Juliane Dannberg, and Cedric Thieulot
Solid Earth, 13, 583–637,Short summary
Geodynamic modelling provides a powerful tool to investigate processes in the Earth’s crust, mantle, and core that are not directly observable. In this review, we present a comprehensive yet concise overview of the modelling process with an emphasis on best practices. We also highlight synergies with related fields, such as seismology and geology. Hence, this review is the perfect starting point for anyone wishing to (re)gain a solid understanding of geodynamic modelling as a whole.
Cedric Thieulot and Wolfgang Bangerth
Solid Earth, 13, 229–249,Short summary
One of the main numerical methods to solve the mass, momentum, and energy conservation equations in geodynamics is the finite-element method. Four main types of elements have been used in the past decades in hundreds of publications. For the first time we compare results obtained with these four elements on a series of geodynamical benchmarks and applications and draw conclusions as to which are the best ones and which are to be preferably avoided.
Melchior Schuh-Senlis, Cedric Thieulot, Paul Cupillard, and Guillaume Caumon
Solid Earth, 11, 1909–1930,Short summary
This paper presents a numerical method for restoring models of the subsurface to a previous state in their deformation history, acting as a numerical time machine for geological structures. The method relies on the assumption that rock layers can be modeled as highly viscous fluids. It shows promising results on simple setups, including models with faults and non-flat topography. While issues still remain, this could open a way to add more physics to reverse time structural modeling.
Solid Earth, 9, 1169–1177,Short summary
I present the GHOST (Geoscientific Hollow Sphere Tessellation) software which allows for the fast generation of computational meshes in hollow sphere geometries counting up to a hundred million cells. Each mesh is composed of concentric spherical shells made of quadrilaterals or triangles. I focus here on three commonly used meshes used in the geodynamics/geophysics community and further benchmark the gravity and gravitational potential procedures in the simple case of a constant density.
Alexis Plunder, Cédric Thieulot, and Douwe J. J. van Hinsbergen
Solid Earth, 9, 759–776,Short summary
The thermal state of the Earth's crust determines how it reacts to tectonic forces and to fluid flow responsible for ore formation. We hypothesize that the angle between plate motion and convergent boundaries determines the thermal regime of subduction zones (where a plate goes under another one). Computer models and a geological reconstruction of Turkey were used to validate this hypothesis. This research was done to validate a hypothesis made on the basis of nonquantitative field data.
Anne Glerum, Cedric Thieulot, Menno Fraters, Constantijn Blom, and Wim Spakman
Solid Earth, 9, 267–294,Short summary
A nonlinear viscoplastic rheology is implemented and benchmarked in the ASPECT software, allowing for the modeling of lithospheric deformation. We showcase the new functionality with a four-dimensional model of thermomechanically coupled subduction.
Solid Earth, 8, 1181–1191,Short summary
I present a new family of analytical flow solutions to the incompressible Stokes equation in a spherical shell. The velocity is tangential to both inner and outer boundaries, the viscosity is radial, and the solution has been designed so that the expressions for velocity, pressure, and body force are simple to implement in (geodynamics) codes. This forms the basis of a numerical benchmark for convection codes, and I have implemented it in two finite-element codes.
B. Hillebrand, C. Thieulot, T. Geenen, A. P. van den Berg, and W. Spakman
Solid Earth, 5, 1087–1098,Short summary
Our paper demonstrates that the level set method is a viable method for material tracking in multi-material flow models. The different benchmarks illustate several advantages that the level set method provides over tracer-based methods. We therefore conclude that the level set method is well suited for geodynamical modeling.
Solid Earth Discuss.,
Revised manuscript has not been submitted
Related subject area
Subject area: Tectonic plate interactions, magma genesis, and lithosphere deformation at all scales | Editorial team: Structural geology and tectonics, paleoseismology, rock physics, experimental deformation | Discipline: TectonicsMelt-enhanced strain localization and phase mixing in a large-scale mantle shear zone (Ronda peridotite, Spain)Selective inversion of rift basins in lithospheric-scale analogue experimentsNetworks of geometrically coherent faults accommodate Alpine tectonic inversion offshore SW IberiaThe link between Somalian Plate rotation and the East African Rift System: an analogue modelling studyInversion of extensional basins parallel and oblique to their boundaries: inferences from analogue models and field observations from the Dolomites Indenter, European eastern Southern AlpsMagnetic fabric analyses of basin inversion: a sandbox modelling approachThe influence of crustal strength on rift geometry and development – insights from 3D numerical modellingConstruction of the Ukrainian Carpathian wedge from low-temperature thermochronology and tectono-stratigraphic analysisAnalogue modelling of basin inversion: a review and future perspectivesInsights into the interaction of a shale with CO2Tectonostratigraphic evolution of the Slyne BasinControl of crustal strength, tectonic inheritance, and stretching/ shortening rates on crustal deformation and basin reactivation: insights from laboratory modelsLate Cretaceous–early Palaeogene inversion-related tectonic structures at the northeastern margin of the Bohemian Massif (southwestern Poland and northern Czechia)The analysis of slip tendency of major tectonic faults in GermanyEarthquake ruptures and topography of the Chilean margin controlled by plate interface deformationLate Quaternary faulting in the southern Matese (Italy): implications for earthquake potential and slip rate variability in the southern ApenninesRare earth elements associated with carbonatite–alkaline complexes in western Rajasthan, India: exploration targeting at regional scaleStructural complexities and tectonic barriers controlling recent seismic activity in the Pollino area (Calabria–Lucania, southern Italy) – constraints from stress inversion and 3D fault model buildingThe Mid Atlantic Appalachian Orogen Traverse: a comparison of virtual and on-location field-based capstone experiencesChronology of thrust propagation from an updated tectono-sedimentary framework of the Miocene molasse (western Alps)Orogenic lithosphere and slabs in the greater Alpine area – interpretations based on teleseismic P-wave tomographyGround-penetrating radar signature of Quaternary faulting: a study from the Mt. Pollino region, southern Apennines, ItalyU–Pb dating of middle Eocene–Pliocene multiple tectonic pulses in the Alpine forelandDetrital zircon provenance record of the Zagros mountain building from the Neotethys obduction to the Arabia–Eurasia collision, NW Zagros fold–thrust belt, Kurdistan region of IraqThe Subhercynian Basin: an example of an intraplate foreland basin due to a broken plateLate to post-Variscan basement segmentation and differential exhumation along the SW Bohemian Massif, central EuropeHolocene surface-rupturing earthquakes on the Dinaric Fault System, western SloveniaContribution of gravity gliding in salt-bearing rift basins – a new experimental setup for simulating salt tectonics under the influence of sub-salt extension and tiltingThick- and thin-skinned basin inversion in the Danish Central Graben, North Sea – the role of deep evaporites and basement kinematicsComplex rift patterns, a result of interacting crustal and mantle weaknesses, or multiphase rifting? Insights from analogue modelsInteractions of plutons and detachments: a comparison of Aegean and Tyrrhenian granitoidsInsights from elastic thermobarometry into exhumation of high-pressure metamorphic rocks from Syros, GreeceStress rotation – impact and interaction of rock stiffness and faultsLate Cretaceous to Paleogene exhumation in central Europe – localized inversion vs. large-scale domal upliftKinematics and extent of the Piemont–Liguria Basin – implications for subduction processes in the AlpsEffects of basal drag on subduction dynamics from 2D numerical modelsHydrocarbon accumulation in basins with multiple phases of extension and inversion: examples from the Western Desert (Egypt) and the western Black SeaLong-wavelength late-Miocene thrusting in the north Alpine foreland: implications for late orogenic processesA reconstruction of Iberia accounting for Western Tethys–North Atlantic kinematics since the late-Permian–TriassicThe enigmatic curvature of Central Iberia and its puzzling kinematicsControl of 3-D tectonic inheritance on fold-and-thrust belts: insights from 3-D numerical models and application to the Helvetic nappe systemPlio-Quaternary tectonic evolution of the southern margin of the Alboran Basin (Western Mediterranean)Surface deformation relating to the 2018 Lake Muir earthquake sequence, southwest Western Australia: new insight into stable continental region earthquakesSeismic reflection data reveal the 3D structure of the newly discovered Exmouth Dyke Swarm, offshore NW AustraliaCenozoic deformation in the Tauern Window (Eastern Alps) constrained by in situ Th-Pb dating of fissure monaziteUncertainties in break-up markers along the Iberia–Newfoundland margins illustrated by new seismic dataTectonic inheritance controls nappe detachment, transport and stacking in the Helvetic nappe system, Switzerland: insights from thermomechanical simulationsCan subduction initiation at a transform fault be spontaneous?From mapped faults to fault-length earthquake magnitude (FLEM): a test on Italy with methodological implicationsLithosphere tearing along STEP faults and synkinematic formation of lherzolite and wehrlite in the shallow subcontinental mantle
Sören Tholen, Jolien Linckens, and Gernold Zulauf
Solid Earth, 14, 1123–1154,Short summary
Intense phase mixing with homogeneously distributed secondary phases and irregular grain boundaries and shapes indicates that metasomatism formed the microstructures predominant in the shear zone of the NW Ronda peridotite. Amphibole presence, olivine crystal orientations, and the consistency to the Beni Bousera peridotite (Morocco) point to OH-bearing metasomatism by small fractions of evolved melts. Results confirm a strong link between reactions and localized deformation in the upper mantle.
Anindita Samsu, Weronika Gorczyk, Timothy Chris Schmid, Peter Graham Betts, Alexander Ramsay Cruden, Eleanor Morton, and Fatemeh Amirpoorsaeed
Solid Earth, 14, 909–936,Short summary
When a continent is pulled apart, it breaks and forms a series of depressions called rift basins. These basins lie above weakened crust that is then subject to intense deformation during subsequent tectonic compression. Our analogue experiments show that when a system of basins is squeezed in a direction perpendicular to the main trend of the basins, some basins rise up to form mountains while others do not.
Tiago M. Alves
Alpine tectonic inversion is reviewed for SW Iberia, known for its historical earthquakes and tsunamis. High-quality 2D seismic data image 26 faults mapped to a depth exceeding 10 km. Normal faults accommodated important vertical uplift and shortening. They are 100–250 km long and may generate earthquakes with Mw > 8.0. Regions of Late Mesozoic magmatism comprise thickened, harder crust, forming lateral buttresses to compression, promoting the development of fold-and-thrust belts.
Frank Zwaan and Guido Schreurs
Solid Earth, 14, 823–845,Short summary
The East African Rift System (EARS) is a major plate tectonic feature splitting the African continent apart. Understanding the tectonic processes involved is of great importance for societal and economic reasons (natural hazards, resources). Laboratory experiments allow us to simulate these large-scale processes, highlighting the links between rotational plate motion and the overall development of the EARS. These insights are relevant when studying other rift systems around the globe as well.
Anna-Katharina Sieberer, Ernst Willingshofer, Thomas Klotz, Hugo Ortner, and Hannah Pomella
Solid Earth, 14, 647–681,Short summary
Through analogue models and field observations, we investigate how inherited platform–basin geometries control strain localisation, style, and orientation of reactivated and new structures during inversion. Our study shows that the style of evolving thrusts and their changes along-strike are controlled by pre-existing rheological discontinuities. The results of this study are relevant for understanding inversion structures in general and for the European eastern Southern Alps in particular.
Thorben Schöfisch, Hemin Koyi, and Bjarne Almqvist
Solid Earth, 14, 447–461,Short summary
A magnetic fabric analysis provides information about the reorientation of magnetic grains and is applied to three sandbox models that simulate different stages of basin inversion. The analysed magnetic fabrics reflect the different developed structures and provide insights into the different deformed stages of basin inversion. It is a first attempt of applying magnetic fabric analyses to basin inversion sandbox models but shows the possibility of applying it to such models.
Thomas B. Phillips, John B. Naliboff, Ken J. W. McCaffrey, Sophie Pan, Jeroen van Hunen, and Malte Froemchen
Solid Earth, 14, 369–388,Short summary
Continental crust comprises bodies of varying strength, formed through numerous tectonic events. When subject to extension, these areas produce distinct rift and fault systems. We use 3D models to examine how rifts form above
weakareas of crust. We find that faults become more developed in weak areas. Faults are initially stopped at the boundaries with stronger areas before eventually breaking through. We relate our model observations to rift systems globally.
Marion Roger, Arjan de Leeuw, Peter van der Beek, Laurent Husson, Edward R. Sobel, Johannes Glodny, and Matthias Bernet
Solid Earth, 14, 153–179,Short summary
We study the construction of the Ukrainian Carpathians with LT thermochronology (AFT, AHe, and ZHe) and stratigraphic analysis. QTQt thermal models are combined with burial diagrams to retrieve the timing and magnitude of sedimentary burial, tectonic burial, and subsequent exhumation of the wedge's nappes from 34 to ∼12 Ma. Out-of-sequence thrusting and sediment recycling during wedge building are also identified. This elucidates the evolution of a typical wedge in a roll-back subduction zone.
Frank Zwaan, Guido Schreurs, Susanne J. H. Buiter, Oriol Ferrer, Riccardo Reitano, Michael Rudolf, and Ernst Willingshofer
Solid Earth, 13, 1859–1905,Short summary
When a sedimentary basin is subjected to compressional tectonic forces after its formation, it may be inverted. A thorough understanding of such
basin inversionis of great importance for scientific, societal, and economic reasons, and analogue tectonic models form a key part of our efforts to study these processes. We review the advances in the field of basin inversion modelling, showing how the modelling results can be applied, and we identify promising venues for future research.
Eleni Stavropoulou and Lyesse Laloui
Solid Earth, 13, 1823–1841,Short summary
Shales are identified as suitable caprock formations for geolocigal CO2 storage thanks to their low permeability. Here, small-sized shale samples are studied under field-representative conditions with X-ray tomography. The geochemical impact of CO2 on calcite-rich zones is for the first time visualised, the role of pre-existing micro-fissures in the CO2 invasion trapping in the matererial is highlighted, and the initiation of micro-cracks when in contact with anhydrous CO2 is demonstrated.
Conor M. O'Sullivan, Conrad J. Childs, Muhammad M. Saqab, John J. Walsh, and Patrick M. Shannon
Solid Earth, 13, 1649–1671,Short summary
The Slyne Basin is a sedimentary basin located offshore north-western Ireland. It formed through a long and complex evolution involving distinct periods of extension. The basin is subdivided into smaller basins, separated by deep structures related to the ancient Caledonian mountain-building event. These deep structures influence the shape of the basin as it evolves in a relatively unique way, where early faults follow these deep structures, but later faults do not.
Benjamin Guillaume, Guido M. Gianni, Jean-Jacques Kermarrec, and Khaled Bock
Solid Earth, 13, 1393–1414,Short summary
Under tectonic forces, the upper part of the crust can break along different types of faults, depending on the orientation of the applied stresses. Using scaled analogue models, we show that the relative magnitude of compressional and extensional forces as well as the presence of inherited structures resulting from previous stages of deformation control the location and type of faults. Our results gives insights into the tectonic evolution of areas showing complex patterns of deformation.
Andrzej Głuszyński and Paweł Aleksandrowski
Solid Earth, 13, 1219–1242,Short summary
Old seismic data recently reprocessed with modern software allowed us to study at depth the Late Cretaceous tectonic structures in the Permo-Mesozoic rock sequences in the Sudetes. The structures formed in response to Iberia collision with continental Europe. The NE–SW compression undulated the crystalline basement top and produced folds, faults and joints in the sedimentary cover. Our results are of importance for regional geology and in prospecting for deep thermal waters.
Luisa Röckel, Steffen Ahlers, Birgit Müller, Karsten Reiter, Oliver Heidbach, Andreas Henk, Tobias Hergert, and Frank Schilling
Solid Earth, 13, 1087–1105,Short summary
Reactivation of tectonic faults can lead to earthquakes and jeopardize underground operations. The reactivation potential is linked to fault properties and the tectonic stress field. We create 3D geometries for major faults in Germany and use stress data from a 3D geomechanical–numerical model to calculate their reactivation potential and compare it to seismic events. The reactivation potential in general is highest for NNE–SSW- and NW–SE-striking faults and strongly depends on the fault dip.
Nadaya Cubas, Philippe Agard, and Roxane Tissandier
Solid Earth, 13, 779–792,Short summary
Earthquake extent prediction is limited by our poor understanding of slip deficit patterns. From a mechanical analysis applied along the Chilean margin, we show that earthquakes are bounded by extensive plate interface deformation. This deformation promotes stress build-up, leading to earthquake nucleation; earthquakes then propagate along smoothed fault planes and are stopped by heterogeneously distributed deformation. Slip deficit patterns reflect the spatial distribution of this deformation.
Paolo Boncio, Eugenio Auciello, Vincenzo Amato, Pietro Aucelli, Paola Petrosino, Anna C. Tangari, and Brian R. Jicha
Solid Earth, 13, 553–582,Short summary
We studied the Gioia Sannitica normal fault (GF) within the southern Matese fault system (SMF) in southern Apennines (Italy). It is a fault with a long slip history that has experienced recent reactivation or acceleration. Present activity has resulted in late Quaternary fault scarps and Holocene surface faulting. The maximum slip rate is ~ 0.5 mm/yr. Activation of the 11.5 km GF or the entire 30 km SMF can produce up to M 6.2 or M 6.8 earthquakes, respectively.
Malcolm Aranha, Alok Porwal, Manikandan Sundaralingam, Ignacio González-Álvarez, Amber Markan, and Karunakar Rao
Solid Earth, 13, 497–518,Short summary
Rare earth elements (REEs) are considered critical mineral resources for future industrial growth due to their short supply and rising demand. This study applied an artificial-intelligence-based technique to target potential REE-deposit hosting areas in western Rajasthan, India. Uncertainties associated with the prospective targets were also estimated to aid decision-making. The presented workflow can be applied to similar regions elsewhere to locate potential zones of REE mineralisation.
Daniele Cirillo, Cristina Totaro, Giusy Lavecchia, Barbara Orecchio, Rita de Nardis, Debora Presti, Federica Ferrarini, Simone Bello, and Francesco Brozzetti
Solid Earth, 13, 205–228,Short summary
The Pollino region is a highly seismic area of Italy. Increasing the geological knowledge on areas like this contributes to reducing risk and saving lives. We reconstruct the 3D model of the faults which generated the 2010–2014 seismicity integrating geological and seismological data. Appropriate relationships based on the dimensions of the activated faults suggest that they did not fully discharge their seismic potential and could release further significant earthquakes in the near future.
Steven Whitmeyer, Lynn Fichter, Anita Marshall, and Hannah Liddle
Solid Earth, 12, 2803–2820,Short summary
Field trips in the Stratigraphy, Structure, Tectonics (SST) course transitioned to a virtual format in Fall 2020, due to the COVID pandemic. Virtual field experiences (VFEs) were developed in web Google Earth and were evaluated in comparison with on-location field trips via an online survey. Students recognized the value of VFEs for revisiting outcrops and noted improved accessibility for students with disabilities. Potential benefits of hybrid field experiences were also indicated.
Amir Kalifi, Philippe Hervé Leloup, Philippe Sorrel, Albert Galy, François Demory, Vincenzo Spina, Bastien Huet, Frédéric Quillévéré, Frédéric Ricciardi, Daniel Michoux, Kilian Lecacheur, Romain Grime, Bernard Pittet, and Jean-Loup Rubino
Solid Earth, 12, 2735–2771,Short summary
Molasse deposits, deposited and deformed at the western Alpine front during the Miocene (23 to 5.6 Ma), record the chronology of that deformation. We combine the first precise chronostratigraphy (precision of ∼0.5 Ma) of the Miocene molasse, the reappraisal of the regional structure, and the analysis of growth deformation structures in order to document three tectonic phases and the precise chronology of thrust westward propagation during the second one involving the Belledonne basal thrust.
Mark R. Handy, Stefan M. Schmid, Marcel Paffrath, Wolfgang Friederich, and the AlpArray Working Group
Solid Earth, 12, 2633–2669,Short summary
New images from the multi-national AlpArray experiment illuminate the Alps from below. They indicate thick European mantle descending beneath the Alps and forming blobs that are mostly detached from the Alps above. In contrast, the Adriatic mantle in the Alps is much thinner. This difference helps explain the rugged mountains and the abundance of subducted and exhumed units at the core of the Alps. The blobs are stretched remnants of old ocean and its margins that reach down to at least 410 km.
Maurizio Ercoli, Daniele Cirillo, Cristina Pauselli, Harry M. Jol, and Francesco Brozzetti
Solid Earth, 12, 2573–2596,Short summary
Past strong earthquakes can produce topographic deformations, often
memorizedin Quaternary sediments, which are typically studied by paleoseismologists through trenching. Using a ground-penetrating radar (GPR), we unveiled possible buried Quaternary faulting in the Mt. Pollino seismic gap region (southern Italy). We aim to contribute to seismic hazard assessment of an area potentially prone to destructive events as well as promote our workflow in similar contexts around the world.
Luca Smeraglia, Nathan Looser, Olivier Fabbri, Flavien Choulet, Marcel Guillong, and Stefano M. Bernasconi
Solid Earth, 12, 2539–2551,Short summary
In this paper, we dated fault movements at geological timescales which uplifted the sedimentary successions of the Jura Mountains from below the sea level up to Earth's surface. To do so, we applied the novel technique of U–Pb geochronology on calcite mineralizations that precipitated on fault surfaces during times of tectonic activity. Our results document a time frame of the tectonic evolution of the Jura Mountains and provide new insight into the broad geological history of the Western Alps.
Renas I. Koshnaw, Fritz Schlunegger, and Daniel F. Stockli
Solid Earth, 12, 2479–2501,Short summary
As continental plates collide, mountain belts grow. This study investigated the provenance of rocks from the northwestern segment of the Zagros mountain belt to unravel the convergence history of the Arabian and Eurasian plates. Provenance data synthesis and field relationships suggest that the Zagros Mountains developed as a result of the oceanic crust emplacement on the Arabian continental plate, followed by the Arabia–Eurasia collision and later uplift of the broader region.
David Hindle and Jonas Kley
Solid Earth, 12, 2425–2438,Short summary
Central western Europe underwent a strange episode of lithospheric deformation, resulting in a chain of small mountains that run almost west–east across the continent and that formed in the middle of a tectonic plate, not at its edges as is usually expected. Associated with these mountains, in particular the Harz in central Germany, are marine basins contemporaneous with the mountain growth. We explain how those basins came to be as a result of the mountains bending the adjacent plate.
Andreas Eberts, Hamed Fazlikhani, Wolfgang Bauer, Harald Stollhofen, Helga de Wall, and Gerald Gabriel
Solid Earth, 12, 2277–2301,Short summary
We combine gravity anomaly and topographic data with observations from thermochronology, metamorphic grades, and the granite inventory to detect patterns of basement block segmentation and differential exhumation along the southwestern Bohemian Massif. Based on our analyses, we introduce a previously unknown tectonic structure termed Cham Fault, which, together with the Pfahl and Danube shear zones, is responsible for the exposure of different crustal levels during late to post-Variscan times.
Christoph Grützner, Simone Aschenbrenner, Petra Jamšek Rupnik, Klaus Reicherter, Nour Saifelislam, Blaž Vičič, Marko Vrabec, Julian Welte, and Kamil Ustaszewski
Solid Earth, 12, 2211–2234,Short summary
Several large strike-slip faults in western Slovenia are known to be active, but most of them have not produced strong earthquakes in historical times. In this study we use geomorphology, near-surface geophysics, and fault excavations to show that two of these faults had surface-rupturing earthquakes during the Holocene. Instrumental and historical seismicity data do not capture the strongest events in this area.
Michael Warsitzka, Prokop Závada, Fabian Jähne-Klingberg, and Piotr Krzywiec
Solid Earth, 12, 1987–2020,Short summary
A new analogue modelling approach was used to simulate the influence of tectonic extension and tilting of the basin floor on salt tectonics in rift basins. Our results show that downward salt flow and gravity gliding takes place if the flanks of the rift basin are tilted. Thus, extension occurs at the basin margins, which is compensated for by reduced extension and later by shortening in the graben centre. These outcomes improve the reconstruction of salt-related structures in rift basins.
Torsten Hundebøl Hansen, Ole Rønø Clausen, and Katrine Juul Andresen
Solid Earth, 12, 1719–1747,Short summary
We have analysed the role of deep salt layers during tectonic shortening of a group of sedimentary basins buried below the North Sea. Due to the ability of salt to flow over geological timescales, the salt layers are much weaker than the surrounding rocks during tectonic deformation. Therefore, complex structures formed mainly where salt was present in our study area. Our results align with findings from other basins and experiments, underlining the importance of salt tectonics.
Frank Zwaan, Pauline Chenin, Duncan Erratt, Gianreto Manatschal, and Guido Schreurs
Solid Earth, 12, 1473–1495,Short summary
We used laboratory experiments to simulate the early evolution of rift systems, and the influence of structural weaknesses left over from previous tectonic events that can localize new deformation. We find that the orientation and type of such weaknesses can induce complex structures with different orientations during a single phase of rifting, instead of requiring multiple rifting phases. These findings provide a strong incentive to reassess the tectonic history of various natural examples.
Laurent Jolivet, Laurent Arbaret, Laetitia Le Pourhiet, Florent Cheval-Garabédian, Vincent Roche, Aurélien Rabillard, and Loïc Labrousse
Solid Earth, 12, 1357–1388,Short summary
Although viscosity of the crust largely exceeds that of magmas, we show, based on the Aegean and Tyrrhenian Miocene syn-kinematic plutons, how the intrusion of granites in extensional contexts is controlled by crustal deformation, from magmatic stage to cold mylonites. We show that a simple numerical setup with partial melting in the lower crust in an extensional context leads to the formation of metamorphic core complexes and low-angle detachments reproducing the observed evolution of plutons.
Miguel Cisneros, Jaime D. Barnes, Whitney M. Behr, Alissa J. Kotowski, Daniel F. Stockli, and Konstantinos Soukis
Solid Earth, 12, 1335–1355,Short summary
Constraining the conditions at which rocks form is crucial for understanding geologic processes. For years, the conditions under which rocks from Syros, Greece, formed have remained enigmatic; yet these rocks are fundamental for understanding processes occurring at the interface between colliding tectonic plates (subduction zones). Here, we constrain conditions under which these rocks formed and show they were transported to the surface adjacent to the down-going (subducting) tectonic plate.
Solid Earth, 12, 1287–1307,Short summary
The influence and interaction of elastic material properties (Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio), density and low-friction faults on the resulting far-field stress pattern in the Earth's crust is tested with generic models. A Young's modulus contrast can lead to a significant stress rotation. Discontinuities with low friction in homogeneous models change the stress pattern only slightly, away from the fault. In addition, active discontinuities are able to compensate stress rotation.
Hilmar von Eynatten, Jonas Kley, István Dunkl, Veit-Enno Hoffmann, and Annemarie Simon
Solid Earth, 12, 935–958,
Eline Le Breton, Sascha Brune, Kamil Ustaszewski, Sabin Zahirovic, Maria Seton, and R. Dietmar Müller
Solid Earth, 12, 885–913,Short summary
The former Piemont–Liguria Ocean, which separated Europe from Africa–Adria in the Jurassic, opened as an arm of the central Atlantic. Using plate reconstructions and geodynamic modeling, we show that the ocean reached only 250 km width between Europe and Adria. Moreover, at least 65 % of the lithosphere subducted into the mantle and/or incorporated into the Alps during convergence in Cretaceous and Cenozoic times comprised highly thinned continental crust, while only 35 % was truly oceanic.
Lior Suchoy, Saskia Goes, Benjamin Maunder, Fanny Garel, and Rhodri Davies
Solid Earth, 12, 79–93,Short summary
We use 2D numerical models to highlight the role of basal drag in subduction force balance. We show that basal drag can significantly affect velocities and evolution in our simulations and suggest an explanation as to why there are no trends in plate velocities with age in the Cenozoic subduction record (which we extracted from recent reconstruction using GPlates). The insights into the role of basal drag will help set up global models of plate dynamics or specific regional subduction models.
William Bosworth and Gábor Tari
Solid Earth, 12, 59–77,Short summary
Many of the world's hydrocarbon resources are found in rifted sedimentary basins. Some rifts experience multiple phases of extension and inversion. This results in complicated oil and gas generation, migration, and entrapment histories. We present examples of basins in the Western Desert of Egypt and the western Black Sea that were inverted multiple times, sometimes separated by additional phases of extension. We then discuss how these complex deformation histories impact exploration campaigns.
Samuel Mock, Christoph von Hagke, Fritz Schlunegger, István Dunkl, and Marco Herwegh
Solid Earth, 11, 1823–1847,Short summary
Based on thermochronological data, we infer thrusting along-strike the northern rim of the Central Alps between 12–4 Ma. While the lithology influences the pattern of thrusting at the local scale, we observe that thrusting in the foreland is a long-wavelength feature occurring between Lake Geneva and Salzburg. This coincides with the geometry and dynamics of the attached lithospheric slab at depth. Thus, thrusting in the foreland is at least partly linked to changes in slab dynamics.
Paul Angrand, Frédéric Mouthereau, Emmanuel Masini, and Riccardo Asti
Solid Earth, 11, 1313–1332,Short summary
We study the Iberian plate motion, from the late Permian to middle Cretaceous. During this time interval, two oceanic systems opened. Geological evidence shows that the Iberian domain preserved the propagation of these two rift systems well. We use geological evidence and pre-existing kinematic models to propose a coherent kinematic model of Iberia that considers both the Neotethyan and Atlantic evolutions. Our model shows that the Europe–Iberia plate boundary was made of two rift systems.
Daniel Pastor-Galán, Gabriel Gutiérrez-Alonso, and Arlo B. Weil
Solid Earth, 11, 1247–1273,Short summary
Pangea was assembled during Devonian to early Permian times and resulted in a large-scale and winding orogeny that today transects Europe, northwestern Africa, and eastern North America. This orogen is characterized by an
Sshape corrugated geometry in Iberia. This paper presents the advances and milestones in our understanding of the geometry and kinematics of the Central Iberian curve from the last decade with particular attention paid to structural and paleomagnetic studies.
Richard Spitz, Arthur Bauville, Jean-Luc Epard, Boris J. P. Kaus, Anton A. Popov, and Stefan M. Schmalholz
Solid Earth, 11, 999–1026,Short summary
We apply three-dimensional (3D) thermo-mechanical numerical simulations of the shortening of the upper crustal region of a passive margin in order to investigate the control of 3D laterally variable inherited structures on fold-and-thrust belt evolution and associated nappe formation. The model is applied to the Helvetic nappe system of the Swiss Alps. Our results show a 3D reconstruction of the first-order tectonic evolution showing the fundamental importance of inherited geological structures.
Manfred Lafosse, Elia d'Acremont, Alain Rabaute, Ferran Estrada, Martin Jollivet-Castelot, Juan Tomas Vazquez, Jesus Galindo-Zaldivar, Gemma Ercilla, Belen Alonso, Jeroen Smit, Abdellah Ammar, and Christian Gorini
Solid Earth, 11, 741–765,Short summary
The Alboran Sea is one of the most active region of the Mediterranean Sea. There, the basin architecture records the effect of the Africa–Eurasia plates convergence. We evidence a Pliocene transpression and a more recent Pleistocene tectonic reorganization. We propose that main driving force of the deformation is the Africa–Eurasia convergence, rather than other geodynamical processes. It highlights the evolution and the geometry of the present-day Africa–Eurasia plate boundary.
Dan J. Clark, Sarah Brennand, Gregory Brenn, Matthew C. Garthwaite, Jesse Dimech, Trevor I. Allen, and Sean Standen
Solid Earth, 11, 691–717,Short summary
A magnitude 5.3 reverse-faulting earthquake in September 2018 near Lake Muir in southwest Western Australia was followed after 2 months by a collocated magnitude 5.2 strike-slip event. The first event produced a ~ 5 km long and up to 0.5 m high west-facing surface rupture, and the second triggered event deformed but did not rupture the surface. The earthquake sequence was the ninth to have produced surface rupture in Australia. None of these show evidence for prior Quaternary surface rupture.
Craig Magee and Christopher Aiden-Lee Jackson
Solid Earth, 11, 579–606,Short summary
Injection of vertical sheets of magma (dyke swarms) controls tectonic and volcanic processes on Earth and other planets. Yet we know little of the 3D structure of dyke swarms. We use seismic reflection data, which provides ultrasound-like images of Earth's subsurface, to study a dyke swarm in 3D for the first time. We show that (1) dyke injection occurred in the Late Jurassic, (2) our data support previous models of dyke shape, and (3) seismic data provides a new way to view and study dykes.
Emmanuelle Ricchi, Christian A. Bergemann, Edwin Gnos, Alfons Berger, Daniela Rubatto, Martin J. Whitehouse, and Franz Walter
Solid Earth, 11, 437–467,Short summary
This study investigates Cenozoic deformation during cooling and exhumation of the Tauern metamorphic and structural dome, Eastern Alps, through Th–Pb dating of fissure monazite-(Ce). Fissure (or hydrothermal) monazite-(Ce) typically crystallizes in a temperature range of 400–200 °C. Three major episodes of monazite growth occurred at approximately 21, 17, and 12 Ma, corroborating previous crystallization and cooling ages.
Annabel Causer, Lucía Pérez-Díaz, Jürgen Adam, and Graeme Eagles
Solid Earth, 11, 397–417,Short summary
Here we discuss the validity of so-called “break-up” markers along the Newfoundland margin, challenging their perceived suitability for plate kinematic reconstructions of the southern North Atlantic. We do this on the basis of newly available seismic transects across the Southern Newfoundland Basin. Our new data contradicts current interpretations of the extent of oceanic lithosphere and illustrates the need for a differently constraining the plate kinematics of the Iberian plate pre M0 times.
Dániel Kiss, Thibault Duretz, and Stefan Markus Schmalholz
Solid Earth, 11, 287–305,Short summary
In this paper, we investigate the physical mechanisms of tectonic nappe formation by high-resolution numerical modeling. Tectonic nappes are key structural features of many mountain chains which are packets of rocks displaced, sometimes even up to 100 km, from their original position. However, the physical mechanisms involved are not fully understood. We solve numerical equations of fluid and solid dynamics to improve our knowledge. The results are compared with data from the Helvetic Alps.
Diane Arcay, Serge Lallemand, Sarah Abecassis, and Fanny Garel
Solid Earth, 11, 37–62,Short summary
We propose a new exploration of the concept of
spontaneouslithospheric collapse at a transform fault (TF) by performing a large study of conditions allowing instability of the thicker plate using 2-D thermomechanical simulations. Spontaneous subduction is modelled only if extreme mechanical conditions are assumed. We conclude that spontaneous collapse of the thick older plate at a TF evolving into mature subduction is an unlikely process of subduction initiation at modern Earth conditions.
Fabio Trippetta, Patrizio Petricca, Andrea Billi, Cristiano Collettini, Marco Cuffaro, Anna Maria Lombardi, Davide Scrocca, Giancarlo Ventura, Andrea Morgante, and Carlo Doglioni
Solid Earth, 10, 1555–1579,Short summary
Considering all mapped faults in Italy, empirical scaling laws between fault dimensions and earthquake magnitude are used at the national scale. Results are compared with earthquake catalogues. The consistency between our results and the catalogues gives credibility to the method. Some large differences between the two datasets suggest the validation of this experiment elsewhere.
Károly Hidas, Carlos J. Garrido, Guillermo Booth-Rea, Claudio Marchesi, Jean-Louis Bodinier, Jean-Marie Dautria, Amina Louni-Hacini, and Abla Azzouni-Sekkal
Solid Earth, 10, 1099–1121,Short summary
Subduction-transform edge propagator (STEP) faults are the locus of continual lithospheric tearing at the edges of subducted slabs, resulting in sharp changes in the lithospheric thickness and triggering lateral and/or near-vertical mantle flow. Here, we study upper mantle rocks recovered from a STEP fault context by < 4 Ma alkali volcanism. We reconstruct how the microstructure developed during deformation and coupled melt–rock interaction, which are promoted by lithospheric tearing at depth.
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Three-dimensional numerical modelling of geodynamic processes may benefit strongly from using realistic 3-D starting models that approximate, e.g. natural subduction settings in the geological past or at present. To this end, we developed the Geodynamic World Builder (GWB), which enables relatively straightforward parameterization of complex 3-D geometric structures associated with geodynamic processes. The GWB is an open-source community code designed to easily interface with geodynamic codes.
Three-dimensional numerical modelling of geodynamic processes may benefit strongly from using...