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Journal Articles Tectonics Year : 1997

Numerical modeling of trishear fault propagation folding


In contrast to kink band migration modeling methods, trishear numerical models produce fault propagation folds with smooth profiles and rounded hinges. Modeled fold hinges tighten and converge downward, within a triangular zone of distributed deformation which is focused on the fault tip. Such features have been reported from field studies and are also seen in analogue models of compressional deformation. However, apart from its initial application to Laramide folds, little quantitative work has been undertaken on trishear fault propagation folding in other settings. In addition, no study has been undertaken into the growth strata which might be associated with such structures. This paper uses an equivalent velocity description of the geometric model of trishear, together with models of erosion and sedimentation, to investigate trishear fault propagation folding of both pregrowth and growth strata. The trishear model is generalized to include a variety of fault propagation to slip ratios and fault propagation from a flat decollement. The models show continuous rotation of the forelimb with the characteristic development of cumulative wedges within growth strata. When total slip on a structure is high, the model predicts overturned pregrowth and growth strata. During the initial stages of deformation, beds in the forelimb thicken but later thin when they become steep or overturned. The effect of variations in fault propagation to slip ratios on two‐dimensional finite strain in the models is assessed by the use of initially circular strain markers. High fault propagation to slip (p/s) ratios lead to narrow zones of high finite strain, while lower p/s ratios lead to more ductile deformation and broader zones of high strain. In all cases, hanging wall anticlines and footwall synclines originate as early ductile folds which are later cut by the propagating fault. Modeled structures are compared with natural examples.

Dates and versions

hal-02407885 , version 1 (12-12-2019)



Stuart Hardy, Mary Ford. Numerical modeling of trishear fault propagation folding. Tectonics, 1997, 16 (5), pp.841-854. ⟨10.1029/97TC01171⟩. ⟨hal-02407885⟩


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