Analog modeling of one-way gravitational spreading of hot orogens - A case study from the Svecofennian orogen, Fennoscandian Shield
2015 (English)In: Precambrian Research, ISSN 0301-9268, E-ISSN 1872-7433, Vol. 268, 135-152 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Geodynamic models offer insight into deformation styles of syn- and post-collisional extensional processes. Such models often ignore the effect of lateral viscosity contrast between accreted terranes and inherited tectonic boundaries. This paper presents a set of crustal-scale analog experiments of one-way post-collisional gravitational spreading testing the effect of crustal heterogeneity by using two mechanically contrasting blocks, pre-existing cuts with varying dips, and three layers with contrasting rheologies. Two blocks represent strong, mature, and weak, juvenile crustal parts. Both blocks have three horizontal crustal layers: brittle upper, weak partially molten middle and dry strong lower layer. Cuts represent pre-existing crustal-scale shear zones and tectonic boundaries. The experiments indicated that tectonic boundaries may facilitate exhumation and increase extensional strain, when the boundaries dip opposite to the flow direction. The tectonic boundaries may also split and divide the crust into separate blocks with independent deformation signatures: shortening, elongation or rotation. The tectonic boundaries rotated along vertical axes toward the flow direction. The modeling results suggest that in areas with inherited tectonic boundaries and compositional differences the amount of extension is unevenly distributed between the different parts during the widespread unilateral gravitational spreading and that the flow has different effects on the contrasting crustal units, in both lateral and vertical directions. To validate the modeling, the results are compared to geophysical and geological data from the Paleo-proterozoic Svecofennian orogen in the Fennoscandian Shield. The comparison suggests that the orogen underwent 50% extension and was thinned by maximum of 20% via westward gravitational spreading. This spreading rotated the crustal-scale blocks, shear zones and tectonic contacts. It also brought exhumed, high grade middle crustal blocks into contact with subsided, low grade, upper crustal blocks. We suggest that results of the analog models can be used as proxies in both ancient and modern hot accreted orogens, which have undergone post-convergence continental mid-crustal weakening and have comprised of juxtaposed terranes with varying rheological compositions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 268, 135-152 p.
Analog model, Post-collisional extension, Gravitational spreading, Svecofennian orogen, Crustal flow, Middle crust
Research subject Earth Science with specialization in Mineral Chemistry, Petrology and Tectonics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-265695DOI: 10.1016/j.precamres.2015.07.011ISI: 000362148300008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-265695DiVA: diva2:866700
FunderSwedish Research Council