Numerical models of salt diapir formation by down-building: the role of sedimentation rate, viscosity contrast, initial amplitude and wavelength
2011 (English)In: Geophysical Journal International, ISSN 0956-540X, E-ISSN 1365-246X, Vol. 186, no 2, 390-400 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Formation of salt diapirs has been described to be due to upbuilding (i. e. Rayleigh-Taylor like instability of salt diapirs piercing through a denser sedimentary overburden) or syndepositional down-building process (i. e. the top of the salt diapir remains at the surface all the time). Here we systematically analyse this second end-member mechanism by numerical modelling. Four parameters are varied: sedimentation rate nu(sed), salt viscosity eta(salt), amplitude delta of the initial perturbation of the sedimentation layer and thewavenumber k of this perturbation. The shape of the resulting salt diapirs strongly depends on these parameters. Small diapirs with subvertical side walls are found for small values of nu(sed) and eta(salt) or large values of delta, whereas taller diapirs with pronounced narrow stems build for larges values of nu(sed) and eta(salt) or small values of delta. Two domains are identified in the four-parameter space, which separates successful down-building models from non-successful models. By applying a simple channel flow law, the domain boundary can be described by the non-dimensional law nu(sedcrit)' = C(1)1/2 delta(0)'rho(sed)'k'(2/)k'(2) + C2, where rho(sed)' is the sediment density scaled by the density contrast Delta rho between sediment and salt, the wavelength is scaled by the salt layer thickness h(salt), and velocity is scaled by eta(salt)/(h(salt)(2)Delta rho g), where eta(salt) is the salt viscosity and g is the gravitational acceleration. From the numerical models, the constants C(1) and C(2) are determined as 0.0283 and 0.1171, respectively.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 186, no 2, 390-400 p.
Numerical solutions, Sedimentary basin processes, Diapir and diapirism, Mechanics, theory, and modelling
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-156604DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05058.xISI: 000292742700002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-156604DiVA: diva2:432812