Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2021-17
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2021-17

  25 Feb 2021

25 Feb 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal SE.

Contribution of gravity gliding in salt-bearing rift basins – A new experimental setup for simulating salt tectonics under the influence of sub-salt extension and tilting

Michael Warsitzka1, Prokop Závada1, Fabian Jähne-Klingberg2, and Piotr Krzywiec3 Michael Warsitzka et al.
  • 1Institute of Geophysics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Boční II/1401, 14131 Praha, Czech Republic
  • 2Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Stilleweg 2, 30655 Hannover, Germany
  • 3Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw, Poland

Abstract. Basin-scale salt flow and the evolution of salt structures in rift basin is mainly driven by sub- and supra-salt faulting and sedimentary loading. Crustal extension is often accompanied and followed by thermal subsidence leading to tilting of the graben flanks, which might induce an additional basinward directed driver for salt tectonics. We designed a new experimental analog apparatus capable of integrating the processes of sub-salt graben extension and tilting of the flanks, such that the overlapping effects on the deformation of a viscous substratum and the brittle overburden can be simulated. The presented experimental study was performed to demonstrate the main functionality of the experimental procedure and setup demonstrating the main differences in structural evolution between conditions of pure extension, pure tilting and extension combined with tilting. Digital image correlation of top view stereoscopic images was applied to reveal the 3D displacement and strain patterns. Results of these experiments suggest that in salt basins affected by sub-salt extension and flank inclination, the salt flow and downward movement of overburden affects the entire flanks of the basin. Supra-salt extension occurring close to the graben centre is overprinted by the downward movement, i.e. amount of extension is reduced or extensional faults zones are shortened. At the basin margins, thin-skinned extensional fault developed, which resemble fault zones observed on basin flanks offset from the central graben zone.

Michael Warsitzka et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on se-2021-17', Gaël Lymer, 26 Mar 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Michael Warsitzka, 25 May 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on se-2021-17', Frank Zwaan, 28 Mar 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Michael Warsitzka, 25 May 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on se-2021-17', Oriol Ferrer, 13 Apr 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Michael Warsitzka, 25 May 2021

Michael Warsitzka et al.

Michael Warsitzka et al.

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Short summary
A new analog 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 by reduced extension and later by shortening in the graben centre. These outcomes improve the reconstruction of salt-related structures in rift basins.