Title: The complexity of 3D stress-state changes during compressional tectonic inversion at the onset of orogeny
Authors: Van Noten, Koen
Van Baelen, Hervé
Sintubin, Manuel # ×
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Geological Society Publishing House
Series Title: Geological Society Special Publication vol:367 pages:51-69
Conference: Anderson Conference: Stress controls on faulting, fracturing and igneous intrusion in the Earth's crust location:Glasgow date:6-8 September 2010
Abstract: Compressional tectonic inversions are classically represented in 2D brittle failure mode
(BFM) plots that illustrate the change in differential stress (s1 2s3) versus the pore-fluid pressure
during orogenic shortening. In these BFM plots, the tectonic switch between extension and compression
occurs at a differential stress state of zero. However, mostly anisotropic conditions are
present in the Earth’s crust, making isotropic stress conditions highly questionable. In this
study, theoretical 3D stress-state reconstructions are proposed to illustrate the complexity of triaxial
stress transitions during compressional inversion of Andersonian stress regimes. These reconstructions
are based on successive late burial and early tectonic quartz veins which reflect early
Variscan tectonic inversion in the Rhenohercynian foreland fold-and-thrust belt (High-Ardenne
Slate Belt, Belgium, Germany). This theoretical exercise predicts that, no matter the geometry
of the basin or the orientation of shortening, a transitional ‘wrench’ tectonic regime should
always occur between extension and compression. To date, this intermediate regime has never
been observed in structures in a shortened basin affected by tectonic inversion. Our study
implies that stress transitions are therefore more complex than classically represented in 2D.
Ideally, a transitional ‘wrench’ regime should be implemented in BFM plots at the switch
between the extensional and compressional regimes.
ISSN: 0305-8719
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division of Geology
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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