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Dobras Falhas e

Montanhas
Dobras e Empurrões
• Enormes cadeias de montanhas se
formam quando placas convergem.

• Rochas Contorcidas mostram a força


da tectônica de placas.
Limites de Placas Convergentes
e Dobramento

Colisão Oceano-Oceano Colisão Continente-


Continente
Island Arc: Japan, Belt:Alps, Himalayans,
Aleutians, Cent. Am. Appalachians
Evidência de Compressão Lateral

• Camadas inicialmente horizontais são


dobradas, quebradas e deslocadas.

• Muitas rochas dobradas são colocadas


lado a lado ou uma sobre as outras.
Arenito Dobrado

Source: Martin Bond/Science Photo Library/Photo Researchers, Inc.


Estudando Falhas e Dobras
• O ramo da geologia que estuda a
deformação crustal é chamada Geologia
Estrutural.

• Estruturas Geologicas.
Stress
Unidade são Pressão: Força/Área

Três tipos de stress


a) Compressão causa dobras
e) Tensão causa afinamento
f) Cisalhamento causa falhas
Compression, Tension,
and Shearing Stress

Convergente Divergente Transformante


Tipos de deformação

• Deformação Elastica

• Feições Rúpteis

• Deformação Plástica
Relação
entre
Stress e
Strain
Baixa
Temperatura e
Pressão e
Sudden Stress
Alta Temp ou
Pressão
Fatores afetando a deformação de
rochas

• Intensidade do stress aplicado


• Calor –Temperatura da rocha
• Quantidade do tempo de Stress aplicado
• Composição da Rocha
Interpretando Rochas Deformadas

• Mais penetrativo em rochas sedimentares

• Importância da deformação
– Indica o passado do movimento das placas
– Indica antigos eventos geológicos
– Localização de recursos naturais
• O MAIS IMPORTANTE
• Mapeamento
• : Orientação das rochas: direção e mergulho
Strike and Dip
Dobras

• Dobras definição: Bends em camadas de rochas


• Tipos: sinclinais e anticlinais
Sinclinal (dobrada para baixo) Parte mais
interna são rochas mais jovens
Anticlinal (Dobrada para cima) Parte mais
interna dado por rochas mais antigas
Partes de uma dobras (flacos, Plano axial, eixo)

Nota: Anticlinais e sinclinais são estruturas em


rochas e não superfícies da paisagem
Rochas Dobradas

Source: Breck P. Kent

Anticlinais e Sinclinais
Older
Overturned
Area
Younger

Lucky we have ways of


recognizing right side up
What are they?
Source: Tom Bean

Younger Older
Rochas dobradas antes da erosão
Após Erosão
Topography may be opposite of Structure
Anticline Before/After Erosion

Notice center rock oldest


Topography may be opposite of Structure
Syncline Before/After Erosion

Notice center rock youngest


Simetria de Dobras

a) Dobras Abertas ou Simétricas


b) Dobras Assimétricas
c) Dobras Inclinadas
d) Dobras Recumbentes
e) Dobras Reclinadas
Not a good drawing, axial plane should be horizontal
Plunging Folds

Up
End Down
End

Nose of anticline points direction of plunge, syncline nose in opposite direction


Caimento de Dobras

Source: GEOPIC©, Earth Satellite Corporation


Interpretando Dobras
• Determine if center rocks are older or
younger than flanks: fossils, right side up
clues (graded bedding and mudcracks)
• Are limbs parallel or “Nosed”?
• Determine limb dips from measurements,
stream V’s. Strike and Dip
• Use nose rules for anticlines and synclines
Again: Strike and Dip
3-D: Domos e Bacias
Fraturas

Fraturas
- Juntas: fraturas SEM movimento
relativo
- Falhas: fraturas com movimento
relativo
Joints: Fractures – with no movement

Source: Martin G. Miller/Visuals Unlimited


Tipos de Falhas – Falhas de
deslizamento (Dip-slip faults)
1) Termos: Hanging wall (capa) and
footwall (lapa)
2) Falha Normal
(a) Grabens
(b) Horsts
3) Falha Reversa
a) Baixo ângulo chamadas de empurrão
( Thrust faults)
4) Falhas Obliquas
Dip-Slip
Faults
Normal Fault: Hanging Wall Down

Hanging wall overhangs


the fault plane

Key
Bed
Source: John S. Shelton
Normal Fault
(Hanging Wall
down)
Reverse Fault
(chamada de “Thrust Fault” SE for de baixo ângulo)
(Hanging wall Up)

Younger
Evidências de falhas

b) Deslocamento visivel de rochas


c) Rochas Pulverizadas e “Slickensides”
c) Camadas-chaves cortadas por falhas
reaparecem em qualquer lugar
http://pangea.stanford.edu/~laurent/english/research/Slickensides.gif

Fracture Zones and Slickensides


• Falhas transcorrentes
Srike-slip faults
1) Exemplo: San Andreas Transform fault
3) Paisagem Distintiva (vales lineares,
cadeias de lagos, saltos topográficos)
4) Rocha fresca pulverizada
San
Andreas
Fault

Source: Georg Gerster/Wingstock/Comstock


Movimentos Horizontal ao longo
Strike-Slip Fault
Oblique Slip

Also seen in Transform Faults such as San Andreas


• Strike-slip faults
2) Exemplo: Falhas transformantes de Mid-
Ocean Ridge
3) Pequeno recobrimento da cadeia
4) Falha de San Andreas é também uma
cadeia de recobrimento, mas numa
escala diferente
Falhas & Placas Tectônicas

Divergence
Convergence

Transform
• Falha Normal : mid-ocean ridges e rift
continental rifts são a mesma coisa.

• Margens Divergentes
– Superfície da rochas é empurrada
– Lapa das falhas é puxada para baixo
Formação de Horst e Graben
Horst and Graben Formation
Graben na
Islândia

Source: Simon Fraser/Science Photo Library/Photo Researchers, Inc.


• Falhas Reversa e de empurrão : Limites
de placas convergentes

• Capa é jogada para cima.


Lewis Thrust Fault
Lewis Thrust Fault (cont'd)
Lewis Thrust Fault (cont'd)

Source: Breck P. Kent

PreCambrian Limestone over


Cretaceous Shales
Placas tectônicas e falhas

• c) Strike-slip faults: Limites


Transformantes
San
Andreas
Fault
Tipos e processos de construção
de Montanhas (Orogênese)

1. Montanhas de Vulcões
2. Montanhas dobras e
empurradas (Fold-and-thrust)
3. Montanhas de blocos
falhados
4. Montanhas soerguidas
Tipos de Montanhas

• 2. Fold-and-thrust
– Formadas por colisão Continente-
Continente
Appalachian
Mountain
System
Modelo para evolução dos
Appalaches
Supercontinent breaks up, rifts apart.

Another
Rift

Another rift starts moving Africa west. The ocean floor breaks
and one side subducts, starting a new island arc.
The ocean floor breaks again, new subduction adds volcanics to an existing microcontinent

Net westward movement pushes the ridge, subduction zone and fragment into N.America
Rifting restarts to the East
Arc and subduction zone collide w/ N.Am., westward subduction starts

The continents collide


Rifting Restarts
Montanhas Colisionais
(The Grand Tetons in Wyoming)

Source: Peter French/DRK Photo


Montanhas em Rifts

• Rift Valleys, Mid Ocean Ridges

• Provincia Basin and Range???


• Blocos de falhas normais como no
Este da Africa
• Margens Divergentes?
Origem da Basin and Range
Southwestern North America
Montanhas soerguidas

b) Encurvamento suave sem muita


deformação
c) Material do manto ascendentes
d) Distante dos limites das placas
e) Adirondack Mountains: soerguimento de
rochas profundas do PreCambriano.
The Adirondack Mountains
of Northern New York

Source: Clyde H. Smith/Allstock/Tony Stone Images


Tectônica de Placas
Construção de
Montanhas
• Orogênese – O processo que
coletivamente produz um cinturão
montanhoso
• Inclue dobramento, falhas de empurrões,
metamorfismo e atividade ígnea
• Crescimento de Montanhas têm ocorrido
em um passado recente da Terra
• Cadeia Alpine-Himalayan
Earth’s major mountain belts
Crescimento de Montanhas em
margens convergentes
• Placas tectônicas definem o modelo para
orogêneses

• Zonas de subducção ativas


– Arcos Vulcânicos são exemplificados pelas Ilhas
Aleutian Islands e o Arco Andino da America do
Sul
Mountain Belts & Continental Crust
Cinturões Orogênicos – Grupos de
cadeias de Montanhas
– Tamanho e distância – 1000’s km x 100’s
km
Mountain Belts & Continental Crust
Age – younger-higher, older-lower, cores of
continents are Cratons, N.America/ Greenland =
Precambrian Shield
Rock type – sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic
Mountain Belts
• Mountain Belts-
– Folding & Faulting – Fold and Thrust Belts
Cinturões Orogênicos

– Metamorfismo e plutonismo
(migmatitos)
– Falhamento Normal Faulting
– Espessamento de Rochas e densidade
– Atividade Tectônica
Mountain Belts
Mountain Belts
Evolução
• Mountain Belt evolution – 3 stages
(Accumulation, Orogenic, Uplift & Block
Faulting)
– Accumulation stage – accumulation of thick
sequences of sedimentary or volcanic rock along
passive and active continental margins
– Orogenic stage – intense deformation, & intrusion
of plutons (gravitational collapse & spreading),
Wilson cycle of repeating events
– Uplift & block-faulting stage – isostatic adjustment,
development of fault-block mountain ranges,
lithospheric delamination
Mountain Belts
• Mountain Belt evolution
– Estágio Orogênico
Mountain Belts
• Mountain Belt evolution
– Uplift & block-faulting stage
Mountain Belts
• Mountain Belt evolution
– Uplift & block-faulting stage
Mountain Belts
• Mountain Belt evolution
– Uplift & block-faulting stage
Mountain Belts
- Acresção de terrenos
Tectonostratigraficos
- (terranos suspeitos )
WHAT IS OROGENY?
Processo de construção de
montanhas
Deformação
Dobramento e falhas de empurrão
Metamorfismo
Intrusões : batólitos etc
Atividade Vulcânica
Mauna Loa in
Background

Kilaeua is
Behind Mauna
Loa

Mauna Kea

Shield volcano
Hot Spot
Basalt
Kilaeua
Newest ground in
The world

Asthenosphere coming
To the surface
Composite Volcano
Mt Rainier

Compressive forces
Subduction zones
Andesitic composition
Guagua Pichincha, Ecuador
Quito in foreground
Composite volcanoes explosive
Normal fault

Footwall moves
Up relative to
Hanging wall

FOOTWALL

HANGING WALL

Tension forces
Tilted fault-block range: Sierra Nevada from east,
Steep side of block fault; Ansel Adams photo
Tilted Fault-block
Sierra Nevada from west
Side, low angle

Yosemite valley the result


Of glaciation on low-angle
relief
Wasatch Range
From Salt Lake City

Typically fault-
Block system
Grand Tetons: Another fault-block system
Alternating normal faults lead to a characteristic pattern called a
Horst and Graben system. An area under tension will often have
Multiple mountain ranges as a result.
Horst and Graben
Landscapes (paisagem)

Figure 12.14
Basin and range province: tilted fault-block mountains in Nevada.
The results of a horst and graben system. Nevada is under tension
Because of rising magma which is unzipping the system, all the way
From Baja California

Sierra Nevada and Wasatch Ranges part of this system


REVERSE FAULTS: Hanging wall moves up relative to footwall
Result of compression: plates colliding
Two types: low-angle or thrust faults, and high-angle reverse faults

Individual layers can move 100’s of kilometers


Alps are a great example
Thrust faults main cause
Of folded mountains
Appalachian Mountains of the US
Atlas Mountains, Northern Africa
Classic folded terrain: well-developed anticline
ZAGROS MTS
PERSIAN GULF

Alternating
Anticlines and
Synclines
High-angle reverse faults
Forms “Sawtooth Mtns”

Flatirons classic example

Sawtooth effect result of


Differential erosion
SAWTOOTH RANGE,
IDAHO

Alice Lake

White Cloud peak


COMPLEX MOUNTAINS

Tend to have a little of


Everything: volcanoes,
Folds, thrust faults, normal
faults

ALPS

HIMALAYAS
ANDES:

Classic example
ANDES: CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF GENERIC MTNS
A) Compression causes expansion
South American Plate
B) Layered rock formed
C) Thrust-faulting
D) Igneous intrusions: Plutons
E) Underplating
F) Regional metamorphism
Na
zc
a
Pl
ate
ANATOMY OF AN OROGENGIC BELT
• Tipo Andino
• Montanhas crescem ao longo de margens
continentais
• Estágios de desenvolviment
• Margem passiva
– Margem Continental faz parte da mesma
placa adjacente a crosta oceânica
– Deposição de sedimentos ao longo da
plataforma continental e produzindo uma
espessa cunha de sedimentos de água rasa
• Andean-type mountain building
• Estágios de desenvolvimento – Margem
continental ativa
– Forma em zonas de Subducção
– Inicio de processos de Deformação
– Convergência do bloco continental block e a
subducção da placa oceânica leva a deformação e
metamorfismo da margem continental
– Desenvolimento de Arco Vulcânico Continental
– Formação de Prisma Acrescionáio
• Acumulção caótica de rochas sedimentares e
metamorficas com ocasional pedaços de
crosta oceânica
• Composto de duas zonas aparentemente
paralelas
• Segmento marinho
• Consiste de sedimentos dobrados, falhados e
metamorfisados e fluxo vulcânico
– Arco Vulcânico
• Desenvolve sobre o Bloco continental
• Consiste de grandes corpos intrusivos
misturados juntos com rochas metamórficas
de alta temperatura
– Sierra Nevada batholith é um exemplo de um
resto de arco vulcânico continental
• Colisão Continental
• Duas placas litosféricas, ambas compostas de
crosta continental
• Os Himalaias são as montanhas mais jovens
formadas pela colisão da India com a
Eurasia à 45 Ma.
• Continental collisions
• Os Appalaches formados entre 250 à 300
Ma resulta na colisão da América do
Norte, Europa, e Africa.
• Orogenêse aqui é complexa incluindo
subducção, atividade ígnea, colisão de
blocos continentais, dobramento e
soerguimento da crosta
• Acresção Continental e cresciemento de
montanhas
• Terceiro mecanismo de orogênese
• Pequenos fragmentos crustais colidem e
junta-se com a margem continental
• Responsável por regiões montanhosas na
borda do Pacífico
• Blocos crustais Acrescidos são chamados
TERRENOS
Colisão Continente-continente

Colisão inicia­se ~20 milhões de anos
Himalayas são levantados a razões de 1cm/year
Movie
Exact estimates of material present in the orogen

Le Pichon et al., 1993
ESTIMATES OF MISSING CONTINENTAL MATERIAL
Topography and erosional levels are taken into consideration:
erosion
Dewey et al. (1986) ca 1,2 x 10 km 4 2

India Present continental Tarim


crust

Le Pichon et al (1993)
Linear shortening between 1850 - 2600 km
Surface loss during the past 45 myr from 57 to 62 x 105 km2
Rate of surface loss: ≈ 1,1 x 10 km2 x 10-6yr
Arial deficit in sections ≈ 33 - 52 x 105 km2 (max)
18 - 30 x 105 km2 (min)
(Depends on estimates of original surface elevation)
WHAT IS THE EXPLANATIONS FOR THE DEFICIT?
1) LATERAL TRANSPORT OF MATERIAL
The lateral extrusion model
For SE Asia

Tapponnier et al., 1982, 1986
Fournier
Jolivet et al.
2) VERTICAL TRANSPORT OF MATERIAL
(SUBDUCTION / EDUCTION)
LATE- TO POST-OROGENIC TECTONIC PROCESSES

THE PRESENT DEFORMATION PATTERN HAS A STRONG CORRELATION WITH


TOPOGRAPHY, AND CANNOT BE EXPLAINED ONLY FROM THE PLATE-MOTIONS
AND AMBIENT FORCES AFFECTING THE REGION
collision

subduction
STABLE EURASIA NORTH 
AMERICA 
PLATE

OK

N. CHINA

PACIFIC 
S. CHINA PLATE

PHSP

INDIA

AF
AUSTRALIA
Syn- to Regional
post-orogenic extension
extension

Jolivet et al, 1999


Movimentos Verticais da crosta
• Ajustamento Isostático

• Crosta menos densa flutua sobre rochas


deformadas e densas do manto
• Conceito de crosta suspensa em balanço
graviatacional é chamado de isostasia
O principio da of isostasia
Mountain building away from
plate margins

• Example: the American West,


extending from the Front Range of the
southern Rocky Mountains across the
Colorado Plateau and through the
Basin and Range province
• Espessamento Crustal sugere que a diferença de
elevação onde as cadeias de montanhas se
encontra deve ser o resultado do fluxo do manto
• Manto quente provoca o soerguimento da
cadeia e como resultado gera-se platôs e
bacias.
• Colorado Plateau and the Basin and Range
province
Cadeias de Montanhas geradas a
distância da margens de placas
• Soerguimento associado com a Província
Basin and Range province iniciou a 50 Ma e
permanece até hoje.
• Nem todos os geológos que estudam na
região concordam com o modelo.
• Outra hipotese sugere que os terrenos da
América do Norte produz o soerguimento
visto no oeste americano
Terrenos

• Regiões da Terra
Geologicamente distintos,
cada qual se comporta
como um bloco crustal
coerente
Convergent Margins: Oceanic-Continental
Andes Mountains

• 10 Ma
– Foreland basin connected to Atlantic along thin seaway
• Infilling of foreland basin led to formation of Amazon River from
seaway
Margens Convergentes:
Modelos ideais

Two Types Modes of Interaction


A. Subduction Type 1. Island arc-oceanic
Subduction involves
2. Oceanic- continental
only one land mass
B. Collision Type 3. Island arc- continental
Subduction involves collision 4. Continental- continental
of two land masses
• Hinterland
– Overriding continent
• Foreland
– Continent being
overridden
• Suture Zone
– Area of severe
deformation and
metamorphism
– The subducting
lithosphere detaches,
due to continental
buoyancy
Historia de uma Bacia Foreland

Pode esta sequência pode ser descrita como transgressiva
 or regressiva?
Various
stages of Andean
margins
orogenic
maturity
along strike

Foreland
flexure Suture(s)
Common
internal
structure
of orogenic Hinterland orogenic plateau

belts (in
space and time) Foreland
basin
Schematic view of stages in a classical Wilson cycle
5) Remnant stage
Continental collision, suture zones, deform­
ation and metamorphism, mountain building
Extensional collapse, faulting and collapse
basins
4) Terminal stage
Near closure of ocean, mature arcs and
back­arc, accreationary wedges, HP­LT
metamorphic complexes
(Mediterranean See area)

3) Vaning stage: Intra­oceanic subduction
and island arcs transition to Andean margins. 
(SE Asia and Western Passific)

2) Mature stage Passive margins with large
shelf­areas (Atlantic Ocean)

1) Embryonic to Young stage.
Rifts to small ocean basin with sea­floor 
spreading. (East African rift and Red Sea)
Late ­ to post­orogenic tectonic processes and 
exhumation mechanisms (ROCKS APPROACHING THE SURFACE) 

• EROSION (MINOR ON A REGIONAL SCALE)

• THRUST STACKING + EXTENSION AND/OR EROSION
(IMPORTANT FOR BRINGING HP AND UHP ROCKS NEXT TO EACH OTHER?

3) VERTICAL CO­AXIAL SHORTENING/HORISONTAL
STRETCHING
  (IMPORTANT FOR MID AND LOWER CRUST AFTER EXHUMATION TO AMPHIBOLITE FACIES)
11) HINTERLAND EXTENSION FORLAND SHORTENING
(IMPORTANT AT AN EARLY STAGE OF COLLISION)

13) WHOLE­SALE EXTENSION BY PLATE­DIVERGENCE
and/or TRANS­TENSION  (IMPORTANT)
Map showing major earthquake fault plane solutions and the topography in the Himalayan-Tibetan
Region. Notice the strong correlation betwen altitude and contractional earthquakes. Notice also the
Dominant NW-SE of the principal tension axes as shown by the normal fault.plane solutions.

Normal Reverse Strike-slip


fault-plane fault-plane fault-plane
solution solution solution (from: Molnar and Lyon­Caen)
Horizontal projections of principal stress axes directions derived from fault-plane
solutions (pink-reverse, blue-normal, green-strike-slip) in the previous figure.

(Molnar and Lyon­Caen)
BODY FORCE FROM
TOPOGRAPHY ON
AMBIENT FORCE THE SURFACE
FROM PLATE MOTION AND ON LITHSPHERE
Crust
Conductive
geotherm
Lithospheric mantle

Adiabatic
geotherm

Vertical stretching/lithospheric thickening

Convective removal
of thermal boundary layer THE THERMAL EFFECT
OF REMOVAL OF THICK
MANTLE LITHOSPHERE

re-equilibration
Higher geotherm leads to and extension
partial melting in the lithosphere
Horizontal stretching/lithospheric thinning

Partial melting in astenosphere during decompression

Modified from: England & Platt, 1994


From late to post orogenic tectonics in
continental collision zones to rifts

The end of a Wilson cycle does not mark the end of the tectonic
activity in a mountainbelt. In many orogenic belts high-grade
rocks formed by the crustal-thickening during collision get
quickly exhumed.

In many instances the exhumation processes are too fast to be


accounted for by erosion alone. We have to resort to tectonic
processes to explain the exhumation.

The geology and seismic ativity in several modern orogenic belts


have an intimate relationship between shortening and extension.
Some definitions:
Exhumation ­­> rocks approaching the surface.
Uplift            ­­> rise of the earth´s surface with respect to
    reference level
Subsidence   ­­> lowering of the earth´s surface with respect to
    reference level

Extension gives some easily recognizable features:

11) Thermal:          Narrowing of isotherms; steep geotherm
12) Structural:       Normal faults and detachments
13) Metamorphic:  Metamorphic hiatus exision across structural 
         features
4) Sedimentary:   Creation of accomodation space for sediments  
An orogenic crust will, however, not go on thickening forever 
and the topographic elevation will reach a threshold value that 
depends on the rate of convergence, the strength and density 
structure of the orogenic lithsophere. 
Plateau height h ≈ 3.5 km for a convergence rate of ca 5 cm/year

If convergence continues at this rate the plateau will rise to the threshold value, 
and then grow in width (spread laterally as indicated by pink boxes).
For the avereage height (h) to increase, we either have to 
•  increase the rate of convergence, 
•  increase the strength of the rocks 
•  introduce a vertical force lifting the rocks higher, 
   by reducing their average density so that they will float higher. 
Increased topography will enhance the rate of 
exhumation within the thickened crust by:
EROSIONAL PROCESSES
• Increased topography will increase the precipitation, hence
increase the rate of erosion
• Increased topography will increase the slope instability, hence
enhance landsliding and mass transport

TECTONIC PROCESSES
• Extensonal and strike­slip faulting to transport material away 
from toptgraphically elevated areas
Mechanism resulting in extensional exhumation:
3) Underplating and extension (critical taper)

5) Slab­breakoff and orogenic collapse

7) Diapiric rise along density contrasts

9) Subduction roll­back

11)Plate divergence (including transtension)
Some good actualistic examples:

Himalaya ­ Tibet plateau Region
Mediterranean Region
­­>Agean Sea
­­>Italy ­ Corsica section
­­>Alboran Sea (Spain ­ Morocco)
EXTENSION AT THE 
SAME TIME AS 
CONVERGENCE,

SUBDUCTION ROLL­BACK

EXTENSION CHASES AFTER
CONTRACTION

EASTWARD MIGRATION OF
THE EXTENSION AND 
COMPRESSION SINCE THE
EARLY TERTIARY

From Jolivet et al. 2004


From Jolivet et al. 2004
Late-to post Orogenic collapse
Formação de um arco de ilhas
Vulcânico
The origin and evolution of
• There is acontinental crust
lack of agreement among
geologists as to the origin and evolution of
continents
• Early evolution of the continents model
• One proposal is that continental crust
formed early in Earth’s history
The origin and evolution of
continental crust
• Early evolution of the continents model
• Total volume of continental crust has not
changed appreciably since its origin
• Gradual evolution of the continents model
• Continents have grown larger through
geologic time by the gradual accretion of
material derived from the upper mantle
The origin and evolution of
• Gradual continental crust model
evolution of the continents
• Earliest continental rocks came into existence
at a few isolated island arcs
• Evidence supporting the gradual evolution of
the continents comes from research in
regions of plate subduction, such as Japan
and the western flanks of the Americas
Continents and Orogeny
• To a certain extent, the distinction between
craton and mobile belt is arbitrary, and
relates only to the age since the last
deformation event. It is nevertheless useful
because once a mobile belt is stabilized, it
can preserve details of geologic history for
Note this triple­
very long times. junction here

167
Continents and Orogeny
• The rocks making up orogenic belts are a
combination of juvenile materials (continental
arcs have a major mantle-derived component of
new crust) and reworked rocks from older
terranes (either by deformation in situ or by
erosion and redeposition). One can think of major
continental provinces in terms of the age of
deformation, rather than the age of the rocks as
such (though this will often be the same). Since
not all the material in a new mobile belt is new,
young mobile belts can be seen to truncate and
incorporate parts of older mobile belts.Here it is again

168
Continents and Orogeny
• Orogenic belts can be thousands of kilometers
wide (examples: Himalaya-Tibet-Altyn Tagh
system; North American cordillera), which shows
that the simple plate tectonic axiom of rigid plates
with sharply defined boundaries is not that useful
in describing continental dynamics.
– Really, rigid plate dynamics applies best to oceanic
lithosphere only.

• Why do continents deform in a distributed


fashion over wide zones? Because 169
Rheology at Plate Scale
• It is possible to find clear
examples where
obviously weak
mechanical properties of
crust contribute directly
to distributed
deformation, as in this
picture of the Zagros
fold-and-thrust belt,
which is full of salt (the
dark spots are where the
salt layers have risen as
• This requires
buoyant, usfluid
effectively to go into continuum
mechanics,
blobs which
called diapirs or describes how materials 170
The origin and evolution of
continental crust

• Explanations describing the origin and


evolution of the continents are highly
speculative
Modern Mountain Ranges

Major Mountain Belts


N. American Cordillera (A)
Appalachians (B)
Caledonian Belt (C)
Andes (D)
Urals (E)
Himalaya (F)
Alps (G)
Tasman Belt (H).
http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/10k.html
Relevant Stages in the Plate
Tectonic Cycle

Stage A: Stable craton


Stage B: Rifting
Stage D: Passive Margin
Stage F: Island Arc Collision
Stage H: Continental Collision

J.T. Wilson: 1960’s

- Devised this simple ideal model for


categorizing plate movement.

- Also developed concept of “hot


spots”, which helped resolve an
apparently conflicting phenomenon to
plate tectonics.

Most of the following is adapted from LS Fichter’s


Geol 230 course at JMU.
Divergent Margins- Rifting

• Convection cell development beneath continental crust


results in thermal doming and crustal foundering.
• Axial rift graben forms, with horst terraces to either side.

Graben
Horst
Normal Fault
Divergent Margins- Rifting

• Sedimentary Record:
– Records a transgressive sequence
A) Thick siliciclastic sediment accumulations from alluvial fans
B) Quartz sand and shales from transitional environments (beach,
estuaries, lagoons)
C) Carbonates develop as the continental margin moves away from the
heat source and tectonic stability is established.

Sediment deposition records increasingly higher sea levels.


Q: In this case, is sea level transgression due to eustasy or due to
regional causes??
Divergent Margins- Rifting

• Passive versus Active Margin


– Passive: No tectonic activity
• Example: East Coast, US (mountain building ended 250 mya)
– Active: Tectonic activity (rifting, convergence, transform)
• Example: West Coast, US
Divergent Margins- Rifting
• Modern Example: Gulf of Aden, Red Sea
• movie
Guiding Questions

• What is the Wilson Cycle?


• How are passive and active margins differentiated?
• What environments of deposition does rifting produce?
• Does a rift sedimentary sequence indicate transgressing or
regressing sea level?
• What are the two major types of convergent boundaries?
• What are the four ways that lithospheric plates may interact at a
convergent boundary?
• What are examples of:
– An island arc-oceanic crust type boundary?
– An oceanic crust- continental boundary?
– A continent-continent boundary?
• What is a foreland basin, and how does it form?
Convergent Margins:
Ideal Models

Two Types Modes of Interaction


A. Subduction Type 1. Island arc-oceanic
Subduction involves
2. Oceanic- continental
only one land mass
B. Collision Type 3. Island arc- continental
Subduction involves collision 4. Continental- continental
of two land masses
Convergent Margins: Island Arc- Oceanic Type

• Tectonic Components of a
Volcanic Arc System
– Backarc
– Forearc
• Zone of active
subduction
– Ocean Basin
• Normal Ocean floor= 5km
• Trench=6-7km
• Fractional (partial) melting
at 120km
• Results in formation of
volcanic front
• Approximate angle of
subduction ~25 degrees
Convergent Margins: Island Arc- Oceanic Type

Sedimentary Processes
• Melange: A mixture of
metamorphosed sediments
scraped from a subducting
plate
• Immature lithic rich
sediments shed from the
volcanic highlands into the
forearc and backarc troughs
• Sedimentary Basin:
– FOREARC BASIN

• Sedimentary Review:
– Lithic?
– Immature??
– Short or Long system?
Convergent Margins: Island Arc- Oceanic Type

• Modern Example:
– Japan

Eurasian Plate

Pacific Plate

Phillipine Plate

Marianas Trench:
36,000 feet below sea level

Barujari Volcano,August 1994,Lombok Island,Indonesia
Convergent Margins:
Ideal Models

Two Types Modes of Interaction


A. Subduction Type 1. Island arc-oceanic
Subduction involves
2. Oceanic- continental
only one land mass
B. Collision Type 3. Island arc- continental
Subduction involves collision 4. Continental- continental
of two land masses
Convergent Margins: Oceanic-Continental

• The previous example involved


convergence of two slabs of
oceanic crust.
• This example involves
convergence of oceanic with
continental crust.
Convergent Margins: Oceanic-Continental
Mountain Building Processes
• Igneous Core
– Plutons result from partial
melting of subducted
lithosphere
– Volcanoes form, elevate
crust
• Fold and Thrust Belt
– Compressional forces
result in rocks that are
folded and thrust over top
of one another.
• Metamorphic Belt
– Rocks on either side of
core are deformed by
core’s heat and other
processes
Processos de Construção de Cadeia de
Montanhas
• Accretionary Wedge
– Marine sediments that are
pulled into the subduction
trench by the downgoing
plate. Includes melange.
• Forearc Basin
– Describes the basin that
forms at the leading edge
of subduction.
• Foreland Basin
– Forms inland of the
developing mountain
range, as a result of
overburden from the fold
and thrust belt.
– Process is called
Lithospheric Flexure.
• Sedimentos de uma
Bacia Foreland
– Molassa
• Derivada do cinturrão
de dobras e empurrões
– Flysch
• Filitos, turbiditos
– Inundação rápida
– Acumula Turbiditos
Deformation Processes

• Syncline
– Rocks folded concave up
– Vertices at bottom
• Anticline
– Rocks folded concave down
– Vertices at top
– “A” makes an anticline
Deformation Processes

• Folds and faulting


– Increase folding
– Develop overturned fold
– In an overturned fold, one
limb is greater than 90
degrees from horizontal.
– Overturned fold can break
– Thrusting of overlying strata
results.
Deformation Processes
• Dip
– Angle that the bed forms
with the horizontal plane
• Strike
– Compass direction that lies
at right angles to the dip
– Always horizontal
– Regional strike
• Overall trend of fold axes
Convergent Margins: Oceanic-Continental

• Modern Example: Andes


Mountains in South America
• Longest continuous mountain chain
in the world
• Subduction began during the
Mesozoic (~200 mya)
• Mountain belt moving progressively
inland

Pachapaqui mining area in Peru