Controls on the geometry and evolution of thin-skinned fold-thrust belts, and applications to the Makran accretionary prism and Indo-Burman Ranges
Geophysical Journal International
Oxford University Press
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Ball, T., Penney, C., Neufeld, J., & Copley, A. (2019). Controls on the geometry and evolution of thin-skinned fold-thrust belts, and applications to the Makran accretionary prism and Indo-Burman Ranges. Geophysical Journal International https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggz139
The formation of fold-thrust belts at convergent margins is a dynamic process. Accretion of weak sediments to the front of the overriding plate results in crustal thickening and continued flexural subsidence of the underthrusting plate. Fold-thrust belts are often treated as a Coulomb wedge having self-similar geometries with a critical taper, and either a rigid or isostatically compensated base. In this paper we build upon this work by developing a new dynamic model to investigate both the role of the thickness and material properties of the incoming sediment, and the flexure in the underthrusting plate in controlling the behaviour and evolution of fold-thrust belts. Our analysis shows that the evolution of fold-thrust belts can be dominated by either gravitational spreading or vertical thickening, depending on the relative importance of sediment flux, material properties and flexure. We apply our model to the Makran accretionary prism and the Indo-Burman Ranges, and show that for the Makran flexure must be considered in order to explain the dip of the sediment-basement interface from seismic reflection profiles. In the Indo-Burman Ranges, we show that incoming sediment thickness has a first-order control on the variations in the characteristics of the topography from north to south of the Shillong Plateau.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggz139
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/290664