Do faults trigger folding in the lithosphere ? - IRD - Institut de recherche pour le développement Access content directly
Journal Articles Geophysical Research Letters Year : 1999

Do faults trigger folding in the lithosphere ?

Muriel Gerbault
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 860616
Evgenii E.B. Burov
Alexei A.N.B. Poliakov
  • Function : Author


Large-scale periodic undulations within the oceanic and continental lithospheres revealed by a number of observations, are often treated as compressive instabilities, i.e. lithospheric buckling or folding. These undulations are normally associated with intensive faulting, which raises questions on the role of faulting in the folding process, and even on the possibility of folding in highly faulted media. In this study, we demonstrate that folding can "survive" faulting and that both processes may develop concurrently, so that faulting may serve as a mechanism of folding in the brittle domain. We support this hypothesis by direct numerical modeling. The results are compared with the data on three most prominent and well-known cases of the oceanic and continental folding-like deformation ("Indian Ocean" type, "Western Gobi (central Asia)" type and "Central Australian" type). We demonstrate that under reasonable tectonic stresses, folds can develop from faults cutting through the brittle parts of the lithosphere. The predicted wavelengths and nite growth rates are in agreement with the observations. We also show that within a continental lithosphere with thermotectonic age greater than 400 My, either a bi-harmonic mode (two superimposed wavelengths, crustal and mantle one) or a coupled mode (mono-layer deformation) of inelastic folding can develop, depending on the strength and thickness of the lower crust.
Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
fig3.pdf (15.17 Ko) Télécharger le fichier
fig1.pdf (1.56 Mo) Télécharger le fichier
fig2_new.pdf (880.9 Ko) Télécharger le fichier
TEXT.pdf (142.89 Ko) Télécharger le fichier
Origin : Files produced by the author(s)
Origin : Files produced by the author(s)
Origin : Files produced by the author(s)
Origin : Files produced by the author(s)

Dates and versions

ird-00388016 , version 1 (26-05-2009)


  • HAL Id : ird-00388016 , version 1


Muriel Gerbault, Evgenii E.B. Burov, Alexei A.N.B. Poliakov, Daignières Marc. Do faults trigger folding in the lithosphere ?. Geophysical Research Letters, 1999, 26 (2), pp.271-274. ⟨ird-00388016⟩
287 View
734 Download


Gmail Facebook Twitter LinkedIn More