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Dietrich Roeder:

American and Tethyan Fold-Thrust Belts

2009. VII, 168 pages, 123 figures, 18x25cm, 650 g
Language: English

(Beiträge zur regionalen Geologie der Erde, Band 31)

ISBN 978-3-443-11032-1, bound, price: 84.00 €

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Keywords

natural resourcestectonicdeep waterearthNaturschätzetektonischTiefseeErde

Contents

Synopsis top ↑

Orogenic belts and their shallow-soled fringes, the fold-thrust belts, are globally distributed in up to 20,000 km long mountain chains along the edges of the continents. Their locations, their geological origin in a mobile Earth, and their natural resources have drawn attention from the time of the Spanish and Portuguese global explorers to modernage geologists such as Emile Argand, Rein van Bemmelen, Albert Bally. Walter Bucher, Peter Coney, Augusto Gansser, A.M. Spencer, Hans Stille, Eduard Suess, and many others. Petroleum explorers have also accumulated and interpreted data from fold-thrust belts, but their collections have largely remained unpublished.

The present book represents a modern account of onshore fold-thrust belts and their tectonics. The new accounts are based on data processed during petroleum exploration in the Andes, the North-American Cordillera, the Mediterranean, and in the South-Asian countries. Exploration of the planet's vast deep-water fold belts has begun in earnest, but it is not yet part of the present synthesis. The author is a petroleum geologist, a professor, and an illustrator, but he has not yet summarized and published his geological views developed during 50 years of petroleum exploration on five continents.

The book is of interest to all geologists, resources engineers, technical consultants, and of course to the academic readership from all fields of the geosciences.

Review: Oryktologika NEA - News on Minerals vol. 24 no. 140, March-April 2009 top ↑

Mountains generally are understood to be larger than hills, but the term has no standardized geological meaning. Very rarely do mountains occur individually. In most cases, they are found in elongated ranges or chains. When a series of such ranges linked together, constitute a mountain belt. The American and Tethyan Fold-Thrust Belts are very typical examples of Geotectonic Belts. The word Tethys is pre-pelasgian and means “narrow sea”. Fold-Thrust-Belt (FTB) is the “tree” in a “wood” called orogenesis, a Greek word meaning genesis or birth of a mountain.The author of this book –though the topic is vast and inexhaustible - using plentity of diagrams , cross sections in actual areas makes his writing accessible to Earth Scientists. The book has an excellent organization with 13 chapters introducing step-by-step the reader to the formation and the significance of FTB in mineral and especially in petroleum exploration. Terms such as sutures zones , megasutures ,forces of orogeny, plate tectonics, mantle cooling , supercontinents, global orogenic systems, lithosphere, plate-margin belts, back-arc spreading, ophiolite emplacement , arc-trench gap, accretionary wedge, thrust , internide and externide units, magmatic arcs and others, all related with Plate Tectonics , are defined and make reading understandable and help to answer the question if the economic feasibility of ore and energy mineral resources exploration in FTB is predictable. There is a golden rule in Geology saying that despite the use of advanced technology, mathematical models etc in Geology , a good observation in the field is still the main tool of the geologist. There is no doubt that only a broad-minded Earth scientist with extensive experience in field work in various parts in the world would offer such a book. The plentity of sketches ,diagrams and cross sections along with extensive bibliography make this book not only a reference book to historical evolution of orogenesis but also a contribution in solving vital problems related with the formation and economic importance of the FTB in Global geotectonic system on the Earth. Earth is a dynamic system and as all things flow, reading and understanding the content of this book you, an earth scientist prepares him/herself for the next thoughts in evolution of FTB and Plate tectonics.

Oryktologika NEA - News on Minerals vol. 24 no. 140, March-April 2009

Analyse d'ouvrage: Géochronique n°111, 2009 top ↑

Dietrich Roeder est un excellent géologue alpin, célèbre pour la qualité inégalée de ses coupes équilibrées calligraphiées en noir et blanc, au style à la fois souple et rigoureux. Dietrich a acquis son expertise et développé son raient au cours d'une carrière de 50 ans dans la plupart des chaînes plissées des Amériques ou celles issues de la Téthys, d'abord comme enseignant, puis en collaboration et avec le soutien de l'exploration pétrolière. Il nous offre aujourd'hui un ouvrage remarquable, l'oeuvre d'une vie dédiée à la géologie.

Cet ouvrage de 168 pages, très bien illustré et agrèabie à iire, couvre un sujet très vaste, allant de l'échelle lithosphérique ou crustale (subduction, détachements de slab, orogènes), à celle du bassin et des foothills (contreforts montagneux), voire même de la structure individuelle et du prospect (zones triangles et duplex).

Les principaux styles structuraux sont ainsi représentés, tant pour les zones externes que les zones internes, ainsi que pour lei réactivations (inversion négative). La part belle est toutefois donnée à la tectonique de couverture, privilégiant les hypothèses d'isopacité des séries anté-orogéniques et des très longs décollements plats. Ce style cordillérain est de fait validé dans les Rocheuses canadiennes pour les séries paléozoïques, mais s'accorde mal aux chaînes téthysiennes qui sont d'ordinaire dominées par l'héritage structural et l'inversion des anciens blocs basculés jurassiques. Les processus d'inversion positive sont de fait les grands absents de cet ouvrage, ce qui est dommage lorsqu'on sait leur importance pour l'évaluation des risques et le calendrier des systèmes pétroliers. A noter aussi de grands absents dans la bibliographie, qui reste focalisée sur les travaux des grands anciens, ei Oui I L puiceliune ei par là forcément partiale. Curieusement, de nombreux auteurs ne sont cités que par leur résumé à la dernière conférence du Petroleum Club organisé à Londres en mai dernier par la Geological Society, alors qu'il eût été plus judicieux de citer aussi des articles postérieurs à 1990 et publiés dans des revues.

Bien qu'il soit dédié à l'ensemble de la communauté des géosciences, cet ouvrage intéressera surtout les lecteurs spécialisés, car même s'il reste très pédagogique et est subdivisé en plusieurs chapitres, chacun dédié à un mot clé important pour la compréhension des styles structuraux des chaînes plissées, sa lecture nécessite déjà un bon niveau de connaissances.

F. ROURE

Géochronique n°111, 2009, p. 43

Review: Zentralblatt Geo. Pal Teil II 2009 Heft 3/4 top ↑

A synthesis of data from many parts of the planet and further interregional comparisons are the best ways to obtain a comprehensive vision of the geological evolution. On the basis of his own field work in various places, including the North Lehrbücher, zusammenf. Darstellungen, Bibliographien 581 American Cordillera, the Andes, the Alps, the Himalayas, etc. and a careful revision of a huge number of literature sources, ROEDER has composed a general review of knowledge on the tectonics of fold-thrust belts, which are impressive scars on the Earth's surface. His fascinating book is concise, but very comprehensive. It touches a lot of aspects of the structure and the evolution of this type of active zones, whichare clarified in 13 chapters. The book starts with the general state of knowledge on the fold-thrust belts and principles of their study. These belts are further described in the terms of plate tectonics. Subduction on continental margins is an essential process of their formation. The Cordillera-styled tectonics and orogen growth enable the fold-thrust belt evolution. ROEDER recognizes rift-fill/syn-rift, passive-margin, foredeep, and successor basins and oceanic accretionary wedge as the main depositional systems of orogens. The author extracts the best from the geosyncline terminology and also mentions such a “new” tool as sequence stratigraphy. Internides and externides are further considered. It is stated that fold-thrust belts belong to externides. Very interesting passages concern the stockwerk tectonics of East Greenland. Four styles of the fold-thrust belts are described in this book. They are the Dahlstromian style, the Biotian style, the style of basement upthrusts, and the slate-belt style. Their recognition seems to be intuitional, but well-describing the true diversity of the discussed tectonic belts. The author’s definition of the term “structural style” (p. 73) is very appropriate. Although this term has a very wide use, a particular definition is very necessary, especially for beginners in science. It is assumed that a mixture of externide and internide styles is possible, and structures with such a mixture are called the Mesonides. A representative example is a discordant thrust fault. A special chapter gives a synopsis of structural details of the externide fold-thrust belts, including flexures and duplexes. The author of this book is absolutely right, when emphasizes on an outstanding importance of major strikeslip displacements in the evolution of fold-thrust belts. The same was reported by RUBAN (2007), although the latter also concluded that some lateral displacement systems were of global extent and, thus, superposed orogenic structures.

Fig. 108 (p. 124) indicates that left-lateral displacements are preserved in the Hercynian chains of eastern North America and Western Europe. This is a true, but perhaps it would be necessary to add that sinistral motions followed even more impressive dextral motions in the same region (see review in RUBAN 2007). A collage of tectonic sketch maps depicting strike-slip structures in the fold-thrust belts (Figs. 105-108, pp. 122-124) is a powerful evidence of an efficacy furtherinterregional comparisons. Well, even in such a particular case, ROEDER did a great deal. A significance of gravitational forces in the evolution of the fold-thrust belts is also stressed and deserves to be discussed in the special chapter. The book ends with some notes on petroleum exploration. Although little or moderate in size, new oilfields remain to be discovered in the world fold-thrust belts. However, drilling within the latters encounters pitfalls, particularly because of an inadequate interpretation of complicated geological structure.

ROEDER is a really talented writer. In some other publications, structural geological explanations are often too obvious and too discouraging. Fortunately, this is a not a true in the reviewing book, where lengthy and unnecessary physical explana582 Paläontologie allgem. tions and redundant theoretical examples are avoided and replaced with simple remarks and examples from the real fold-thrust belts. The author’s writing is very personal and stimulating. Meantime, ROEDER reviews the problems comprehensively and a logical order of explanations stretches throughout the book. In other words, his personal style is feeling, but it does not coordinate the book. The latter is richly-illustrated. Figures are very numerous and very detailed. Their uniform style strengthens the author’s explanations and permits the readers to attempt some intriguing comparisons themselves. Similarly-drawn cross sections of the foldthrust belts (e.g., Fig. 83, p. 93 and Fig. 97, p. 109) underline the common patterns of the latters. The subject index, although it is extended, requires to be justified. Some important terms like “geosyncline” are omitted, whereas only one page is referred to “Moho”.

ROEDER has written an outstanding book. It joins the best traditions of structural geological analysis (most probably, rooted into the European tectonic schools of thoughts) with the newest achievements of geology. Undoubtedly, it should stay on a shelf of every geologist, if even he is not a structural geologist. This is an outstanding review of the fold-thrust belts tectonics, which shares all features of the classic never-outdating geological literature. Besides trained scholars, it will also be appreciated by students. The reviewer, who judges this book as one of his favourites, is waiting impatiently for a publication of another volume by ROEDERannounced in the preface of the current edition. Both books, i.e., reviewing and forthcoming, are together a quintessence of the author’s career, which, however, does not mean its decline pointed by the author himself. Further books from ROEDER will be very welcomed by the broad geoscience community! References RUBAN, D. A. (2007): The southwestern margin of Baltica in the Paleozoic-early Mesozoic: Its global context and North American analogue. – Natura Nascosta, 35: 24–35; Monfalcone, Italy.

D. A. RUBAN

Zentralblatt Geo. Pal Teil II 2009 Heft 3/4

Bespr.: der Aufschluss Januar/Februar 2010 Ausg. 1 top ↑

Der Autor legt ein mit 123 schwarz-grau-weißen, detaillierten Abbildungen versehenes Buch zu Falten- und Überschiebungsgürteln vor. Diese wurden in den letzten Jahren intensiv, auch hinsichtlich ihrer Kohlenwasserstoff-Höffigkeit untersucht. Vor allem geophysikalische Methoden erlaubten die Entschlüsselung auch des tieferen Untergrundes und damit des internen Aufbaus der Strukturen. Inzwischen ist Literatur zum Thema weit gestreut. Das Buch präsentiert nun in einer umfassenden Zusammenschau die generellen geowissenschaftlichen Zusammenhänge zwischen Subduktionsprozessen, Bildung von Orogenen, Beckenentwicklung in Orogenen und der Bildung von Falten- und Überschiebungsgürteln in strukturell unterschiedlichen plattentektonischen Szenarien. Beispiele stammen aus allen Teilen der Erde und werden im Fokus der unterschiedlichen Konzepte und Modelle ihrer Bildungsbedingungen beleuchtet. Die Abbildungen, zumeist als Profilschnitte angelegt, verdeutlichen eindrucksvoll die unterschiedlichen tektonischen Strukturen und Stile.

Ein wissenschaftlich anspruchsvolles, zwar teureres Buch, prall gefüllt mit Informationen, die in ihrer Kombination mit den zahlreichen Beispielen eine umfassende und anregende Zusammenschau und Reflektion des Themas garantieren.

Dorothee MERTMANN, Halle (Saale)

der Aufschluss Januar/Februar 2010 Ausg. 1, S. 26

Review: The Leading Edge, September 2010 top ↑

This rather compact volume, 13 chapters in 145 pages, is crammed with information and figures (123) on foldthrust belts, generally referred to as FTB. FTBs are defined as “shallow belts of compression along the edges of the planetary mountain belts (orogens) and convergent plate margins.” They are of obvious economic interest and many global features are illustrated and discussed. While the Cordilleran system is the benchmark structural element and is of primary focus, the Tethyan and Variscan and other systems are also treated in some detail. A summary of this volume is best given by the author: “Fold-thrust belts, the chief topic of the present book, are externide units of orogenic belts.” Externides (a pre-plate tectonic term) are “composed only of foredeep fill and passivemargin series. In an extended sense, accretionary wedges at trench inner walls should be, but rarely are, termed externides of oceanic forelands.” The author further states: “The book is meant to review everything needed for compiling and maintaining data about global fold-thrust belts.” The reader will have to decide to what extent this goal was accomplished. However, the author in Chapter 2 (Orogenic belts, fold-thrust belts, global tectonics) presents an interesting discussion on the history and origin of many of the terms and ideas that are presented and discussed in this volume. There are few current tectonic texts that refer to 1906 and 1912 publications.

This book is essentially a discussion of orogenic belts (defined as being at least 20,000 km long and 100–1000 km wide) and their interaction with global tectonics (Chapter 2) and how they relate to sediments (Chapter 3), structural styles (Chapter 7), multiple tectonic events (Chapter 10), extensional and strike-slip tectonics (Chapter 11), and gravity-driven fold-thrust belts (Chapter 12). I looked forward to the last chapter (13, Fold-thrust belts and petroleum exploration) as a summary of what had been gleaned from the previous material and hoped that we would have been presented with the kernels of wisdom from this volume especially because the author is well versed in this subject. Disappointingly, it largely summarized well known material about petroleum geology and philosophized about the petroleum industry.

In an effort to be concise, the writing becomes a bit compressed and requires frequent references to a geologic dictionary. A complete glossary would be helpful. While there are 17 pages of references, there are a few cited sources that are not included. This volume is copiously illustrated; however, none are in color. This would have helped the presentation, but I assume that the economics of printing ruled them out. What comes through loud and clear is an illustration of just how complicated the interaction between the tectonic plates and intervening sediments is. This volume is not for beginners but would serve as a good text for a graduate-level structural geology seminar.

I would recommend this book to an interpreter of deep seismic soundings. A large portion of the illustrated cross sections are obtained from deep seismic profiles, well, and earthquake seismicity data and this could become an exercise in circular interpretation. However, it would serve as a good volume for anyone interested in the complexity of the interaction between plates and the intervening sediments.

Patrick Taylor, Davidsonville, Maryland, USA

The Leading Edge September 2010, p. 1155-1156

Table of Contents top ↑

1 Introduction 1
1.1 Fold-thrust belts, definition, significance 1
1.2 Books about FTB 1
1.3 Inventories of FTB data 2
1.4 Cross sections 3
1.5 About the present book 3
1.6 Acknowledgments 5
2 Orogenic belts, fold-thrust belts, global tectonics 6
2.1 Diagnosis 6
2.2 Subduction: word and concept 6
2.3 Orogeny is linked to subduction 7
2.4 Early views of plate-margin belts 8
2.5 Some terms defi ned 10
2.6 Mathematics in Geological Inventories 11
2.7 Mantle cooling, supercontinents, global orogenic systems 12
2.8 Lithosphere 13
2.9 Plate tectonics, precision, and imprecision 14
2.10 Forces of orogeny, defi ned verbally 16
2.11 Sutures and Megasutures 18
3 Cordilleran tectonics 20
3.1 Four Cordilleran plate settings 20
3.2 Back-arc spreading and Cordilleran ophiolite emplacement 21
3.3 Cordilleran tectonics: building a complex model 22
3.4 Arc-trench gap, accretionary wedge, synthetic FTB 22
3.5 Cordilleran response to two ranges of slab dips 24
3.6 Cordillera: a cradle of Coulomb wedges 25
3.7 Cordilleran main-thrust tectonics 26
3.8 Two documented examples 28
4 Basins, sediments, geosynclines 31
4.1 Basin types in orogens 31
4.2 Using stratigraphic data for building cross sections 36
4.3 Geodynamics of sedimentary basins 36
4.4 Collision orogens and their sedimentary basins 42
4.5 Extremely thin crystalline thrust sheets 43
4.6 Internide and externide units 44
4.7 Contact between Internides and Externides 44
5 Internides: location, dimensions, composition 46
5.1 Different plate tectonic settings 46
5.2 Arc magmatism and magmatic arcs 46
5.3 Accreted, exotic, docked terranes, collages 47
5.4 Ophiolite belts and oceanic lithosphere 48
5.5 Ophiolite emplacement and ophiolitic melanges 50
5.6 Metamorphism: concepts and methods 51
5.7 Central-Alpine PT path 52
5.8 Diaphthoresis or retrograde metamorphism 53
5.9 Structural styles of metamorphic terranes 54
5.10 Eclogites and high-pressure tectonics 54
5.11 Stockwerk Tectonics in East Greenland 57
5.12 Low end of the P/T field: the hydrocarbon kitchens 59
6 Externide fold-thrust belt 61
6.1 Diagnosis: a moving and thickening wedge 61
6.2 Wedge dynamics 62
6.3 Wedge thickening 65
6.4 Plastic flow and style zonation 67
6.5 Stratigraphic location of the wedge sole 68
6.6 Wedge growth 68
6.7 Size and Spacing of sledrunner thrust sheets 69
6.8 Thin wedges and Disturbed Belts 69
6.9 Tectonic setting of FTB wedges 71
7 Four structural styles of Fold-Thrust Belts 73
7.1 Styles in rock, in concept, in illustration 73
7.2 Dahlstromian style 74
7.3 Impact of the work by Shell, Dahlstrom and Suppe 79
7.4 About tectonic and graphic styles 80
7.5 Biotian style: detached coherent buckle folds 80
7.6 Runaway fold belts, incomplete support 81
7.7 Biotian fold belts: seismicity and geological aspects 85
7.8 Style of basement upthrusts (basement-cored folds) 86
7.9 Slate-belt style 90
7.10 Sites of slate-belt tectonics 92
7.11 Dealing graphically with basement upthrusts 93
7.12 Dealing graphically with bed-parallel detachments 94
8 Style mixtures 95
8.1 Mesonides: a transitional belt 95
8.2 Style mixtures and remnant bodies 95
8.3 Discordant thrust faults are significant style mixtures 97
9 Selected details of externide FTB 100
9.1 Uniformity and Diversity 100
9.2 Foreland fl exure, practical approximations 100
9.3 Strike ends of FTB and their style changes 101
9.4 Strain rates and style changes 103
9.5 Foothills and orogenic fronts 104
9.6 Shallow thrust fronts 104
9.7 Deep detached folds 104
9.8 Blind front with backthrust, triangle zone 105
9.9 Duplexes 109
10 Retrocharriage, steep zones, rotation zones 111
10.1 Location and wedge dynamics 111
10.2 Fan-shaped steep zone: transported internide assemblage 113
10.3 Kinked steep zone: post-collisional wedge compression 114
10.4 An FTB cross section, inventory-style 114
11 Further aspects of orogenic belts 118
11.1 Orogenic belts and extensional tectonics 118
11.2 Orogenic belts and strike-slip tectonics 121
11.3 Orogenic plateaus 125
11.4 Oceanic orogenic belts 125
11.5 Gravity-driven fold-thrust belts 126
12 Gravity Spreading and Gravity Collapse Revisited 128
12.1 A change of mind 128
12.2 Composite detached wedges 129
12.3 South-Tibetan Extensional Detachment 131
12.4 Central Brooks Range: site of a decayed polyphase Moho root 133
12.5 Gravity spreading above Moho roots: many uncharted sites 135
13 Fold-thrust belts and petroleum exploration 137
13.1 Merits of industry, surveys, academia 137
13.2 Present state of petroleum exploration 137
13.3 Global resources of petroleum in fold-thrust belts 139
13.4 Commercial petroleum deposits: geological checklist 139
13.5 Drilling in fold-thrust belts: successes and failures 141
References 146

NULL top ↑

This volume presents a modern account of onshore fold-thrust belts and their tectonics and structure. The new accounts are based on hithertho unpublished data processed during petroleum exploration in the Andes, the North-American Cordillera, the Mediterranean, and in the South-Asian countries.