A crustal thrust system in an intracratonic tectonic environment

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An intracratonic thrust belt, developed during the early Carboniferous in central Australia, deformed the Amadeus Basin and its basement, the Arunta Block. This belt is characterized by a marked structural asymmetry (vergence) and by the deposition of a thick molasse basin on the foreland. A review of existing field data shows that décollement tectonics produced folding, thrusting, faulting and back-faulting of the sedimentary sequence. Thin-skinned tectonics extend into the basement to produce recumbent folds and têtes plongeantes of nappe structures rooted in steeply dipping mylonite zones of greenschist to amphibolite grade. Minimum horizontal shortening displacements are 50-100 km resulting in a 50-70% contraction of the upper part of the basement. The structures and shortening are best explained by a crustal duplex, characterized by a crustal-scale thrust system, i.e. a sole thrust and imbricate faults, responsible for an isostatic bending of the underthrust slab. The observed Bouguer anomaly profiles support this crustal model. The dynamic evolution of this thrust belt on the scale of the crust is of thin-skin type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-700
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Structural Geology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1985

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