Numerical modelling of rise and fall of a dense layer in salt diapirs
2008 (English)In: Geophysical Journal International, ISSN 0956-540X, E-ISSN 1365-246X, Vol. 172, no 2, 798-816 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Numerical models are used to study the entrainment of a dense anhydrite layer by a diapir. The anhydrite layer is initially horizontally embedded within a viscous salt layer. The diapir is down-built by aggradation of non-Newtonian sediments (n = 4, constant temperature) placed on the top of the salt layer. Several parameters (sedimentation rate, salt viscosity, perturbation width and stratigraphic position of the anhydrite layer) are studied systematically to understand their role in governing the entrainment of the anhydrite layer. High sedimentation rates during the early stages of the diapir evolution bury the initial perturbation and, thus, no diapir forms. The anhydrite layer sinks within the buried salt layer. For the same sedimentation rate, increasing viscosity of the salt layer decreases the rise rate of the diapir and reduces the amount (volume) of the anhydrite layer transported into the diapir. Model results show that viscous salt is capable of carrying separate blocks of the anhydrite layer to relatively higher stratigraphic levels. Varying the width of the initial perturbation (in our calculations 400-800 m), from which a diapir triggers, shows that wider diapirs can more easily entrain an embedded anhydrite layer than the narrower diapirs. The anhydrite layer is entrained as long as rise rate of the diapir exceeds the descent rate of the denser anhydrite layer. We conclude that the four parameters mentioned above govern the ability of a salt diapir to entrain an embedded dense layer. However, the model results show that the entrained blocks inevitably sink back if the rise rate of the diapir is less than the rate of descent of the anhydrite layer or the diapir is permanently covered by a stiff overburden in case of high sedimentation rates.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 172, no 2, 798-816 p.
numerical solutions, geomechanics, sedimentary basin processes, dynamics : gravity and tectonics, diapir and diapirism, mechanics, theory, and modelling
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-97535DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03661.xISI: 000252433400024OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-97535DiVA: diva2:172521