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https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2020-23
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2020-23
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  09 Mar 2020

09 Mar 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal SE.

Influence of inherited structural domains and their particular strain distributions on the Roer Valley Graben evolution from inversion to extension

Jef Deckers1, Bernd Rombaut1, Koen Van Noten2, and Kris Vanneste2 Jef Deckers et al.
  • 1VITO, Flemish Institute for Technological Research, Boeretang 200, BE-2400 Mol, Belgium
  • 2Seismology-Gravimetry, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Ringlaan 3, BE-1180 Brussels, Belgium

Abstract. After their first development in the middle Mesozoic, the overall NW-SE striking border fault systems of the Roer Valley Graben were reactivated as reverse faults under Late Cretaceous compression (inversion) and reactivated again as normal faults under Cenozoic extension. In Flanders (northern Belgium), a new geological model was created for the western border fault system of the Roer Valley Graben. After carefully evaluating the new geological model, this study shows the presence of two structural domains in this fault system with distinctly different strain distributions during both Late Cretaceous compression and Cenozoic extension. A southern domain is characterized by narrow (< 3 km) localized faulting, while the northern is characterized by wide (> 10 km) distributed faulting. The total normal and reverse throw in the two domains was estimated to be similar during both tectonic phases. The repeated similarities in strain distribution during both compression and extension stresses the importance of inherited structural domains on the inversion/rifting kinematics besides more obvious factors such as stress directions. The faults in both domains strike NW-SE, but the change in geometry between them takes place across the oblique WNW-ESE striking Grote Brogel fault. Also in other parts of the Roer Valley Graben, WNW-ESE striking faults are associated with major geometrical changes (left-stepping patterns) in its border fault system. This study thereby demonstrates the presence of different long-lived structural domains in the Roer Valley Graben, each having their particular strain distributions that are related to the presence of non-colinear faults.

Jef Deckers et al.

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Jef Deckers et al.

Jef Deckers et al.

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Short summary
This study shows the presence of two structural domains in the western border fault system of the Roer Valley Graben. These domains, dominated by NW-SE striking faults, displayed distinctly different strain distributions during both Late Cretaceous compression and Cenozoic extension. The southern domain is characterized by narrow, localized faulting, while the northern domain is characterized by wide, distributed faulting. The non-colinear WNW-ESE Grote Brogel fault links both domains.
This study shows the presence of two structural domains in the western border fault system of...
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