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Strain pattern within and around denser blocks sinking within Newtonian salt structures
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Solid Earth Geology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Solid Earth Geology.
2011 (English)In: Journal of Structural Geology, ISSN 0191-8141, Vol. 33, no 2, 145-153 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Blocks of dense material, such as anhydrite, entrained in salt structures have been proposed to sink through their host material. Here, we present the results of numerical models that analyse strain patterns within and around initially horizontal anhydrite blocks (viscosity 10(21) Pa s) sinking through Newtonian salt with a viscosity of 10(17) Pa s. In addition, the influence of the block aspect ratio (thickness to width ratio; AR) is analysed. The model results show that the blocks are folded and marginally sheared to approach streamlined shapes. The effectiveness of this process is a function of the block AR and influences the sinking velocity of the blocks significantly. Final sinking velocities are in the range of ca. 1.7 -3.1 mm/a. Around the block in the salt, an array of folds and shear zones develops during block descent, the structure of which is principally the same independent of the block AR. However, the size and development of the structures is a function of the block size. Monitoring of strain magnitudes demonstrates that the salt is subject to extremely high strains with successively changing stress regimes, resulting in closely-spaced zones of high adjacent to low strain. In comparison to the anhydrite blocks, strain magnitudes in the salt are up to one order of magnitude higher.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 33, no 2, 145-153 p.
Keyword [en]
Salt, Anhydrite, Deformation, Rheology, Gorleben
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-148598DOI: 10.1016/j.jsg.2010.11.007ISI: 000287055600008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-148598DiVA: diva2:402520
Available from: 2011-03-08 Created: 2011-03-08 Last updated: 2011-04-27Bibliographically approved

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