Mechanical decoupling and basal duplex formation observed in sandbox experiments with application to the Western Mediterranean Ridge accretionary complex.

Kukowski, Nina, Lallemand, S., Malavieille, J., Gutscher, Marc-André and Reston, Timothy J. (2002) Mechanical decoupling and basal duplex formation observed in sandbox experiments with application to the Western Mediterranean Ridge accretionary complex. Marine Geology, 186 . pp. 29-42. DOI 10.1016/S0025-3227(02)00171-8.

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Abstract

Sandbox experiments of accretionary wedges were performed incorporating a thin weak layer of micro glass beads. The impact of heterogeneous sedimentary input on wedge mechanics, evolution and mass transfer was investigated. We report the first experimentally documented growth of basal duplexes. These occurred for high basal friction conditions, with restricted output of the lower section. The upper and lower sections were completely decoupled due to the intervening layer of glass beads, with frontal accretion occurring in the upper section simultaneously with basal duplex formation and underplating of subsequent generations of duplexes. IMERSE multichannel seismic reflection data from the Western Mediterranean Ridge (WMR) image Tertiary clastics beneath a thick section of Messinian evaporites. The base of the evaporites is identified as the primary décollement for deformation in the frontal part of the accretionary complex. Constriction of the channel of subducting Tertiary sediments, as well as internal deformation observed as arcward-dipping reflectors argue for basal underplating and/or two different active décollements. We propose an evolution of the WMR in accordance with the sandbox experimental results. A weak mid-level detachment (base of evaporites) combined with a strong basal detachment produce mechanical decoupling and basal accretion of toeward-verging duplexes.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: accretionary wedges, basal accretion, deformation, mass transfer, analogue modelling, Western Mediterranean Ridge
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/S0025-3227(02)00171-8
ISSN: 0025-3227
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:25
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2017 10:29
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/3150

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