Original paper

A thermomechanical analogue experiment in inversion tectonics

Dietl, Carlo; Saha, Baishali; Kraus, Rita K.; Haenssler, Thedda; Mertineit, Michael


Athermomechanical experiment was performed to model the formation of salt domes in an extensional basin and their subsequent deformation during compression in a developing fold-thrust belt. The model was built - from bottom to top - from (a) three different silicone putties - to model a ductile lower crust, (b) PDMS - as salt analogue and (c) sand - to simulate the brittle upper crust. Three PDMS diapirs rose during the extensional stage of the experiment along three ca. I mm wide tension gashes and extruded on the model's surface. The overall tectonic style of the fold-thrust belt which developed during compression was thick-skinned in nature and involved the entire "crustal" stack from the brittle sand layer down to the ductile silicone putty layers. The main compressionalstrain was localized within the siliconeputty layers and the PDMS diapirs, which both were intensely folded.