Vergence and facing patterns in large-scale sheath folds

Geoffrey Ian Alsop, RE Holdsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The careful geometric analysis of minor structural detail elucidates the relationships and evolution of associated large-scale curvilinear hinge geometries, developed during WNW-directed Caledonian thrusting exposed in Neoproterozoic Moine psammites of the Moine Nappe. Reversals in the polarity of structural facing associated with minor folding, mark the position of major sheath folds which parallel transport. Upwardly convex sheaths (closing in the direction of thrust transport) cored by older gneissose basement inliers are termed culminations, whilst those opening in the transport direction (and cored by Moine psammites) are termed depressions. Sheath folds are bisected by transport parallel and foliation normal (culmination/depression) surfaces which separate not only the reversals in facing, but also delineate zones of minor fold hinge obliquity into clockwise and anticlockwise domains relative to the transport direction. The sense of obliquity of minor Z and S folds is thus dependent on position with respect to the surfaces of culmination and depression and not the fold axial surfaces. Surfaces of culmination and depression may be superimposed on original overturned antiformal and synformal folds to produce a variety of dome (culmination on antiform), saddle (depression on antiform), inverted saddle (culmination on synform) and basin (depression on synform) configurations. The curvilinear hinges of minor folds may also be asymmetrical about the transport direction and within the plane of the regional foliation to define patterns of Sold hinge-line vergence. Classical concepts of fold limb vergence may thus relate to larger antiformal and synformal hinges, whilst the fold hinge-line vergence defines major curvilinear hinges associated with culminations and depressions. Major sheath folds may therefore be interpreted in terms of both minor fold hinge-line and limb vergence, coupled with fold axis obliquity and reversals in the polarity of structural facing. The ability to recognise consistent and reliable structural relationships between facing and hinge obliquity at small scales indicates that the regional deformation process forms a linked and coherent system through several orders of magnitude. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1335-1349
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Structural Geology
Volume21
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1999

Keywords

  • STRUCTURAL-ANALYSIS
  • PROGRESSIVE DEFORMATION
  • NORTHWESTERN SCOTLAND
  • SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS
  • NORWEGIAN CALEDONIDES
  • NORTHERN SCOTLAND
  • LINEAR STRUCTURES
  • AXES OBLIQUE
  • MOINE NAPPE
  • THRUST ZONE

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