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Chapter 7:

DEFORMATION
Modification of Rocks by
Folding and Fracturing
About Deformation
• Deformation mainly occurs near plate
boundaries.
• Field observations of deformation show
us how to reconstruct geologic history.
• Deformation includes faulting of rigid
rocks and folding of rocks that can be
bent.
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Tectonics vs. Structural Geology
• Both are concerned with the reconstruction of the
motions that shape the outer layers of earth

• Tectonic events at all scales produce deformation


structures

• When structural features integrated over a large


area, the motions will help to infer the past tectonic
motions

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1. Mapping geologic structure

● Outcrop – basic source of geologic information in the


field 5
1. Mapping geologic structure

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1. Mapping geologic structure

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1. Determining orientation of units
Azimuth or bearing is used to measure direction

Azimuth is the angle measured Bearing in terms of quadrant.


clockwise due north. Azimuth N65°E means from North 65°
325° is same as bearing N35°W. towards East. It is same as
S65°W. 8
1. Mapping geologic structure

● Measuring strike and dip

● strike is the compass


direction of a rock layer as it
intersects a horizontal surface

● dip is the amount of tilting of


the layer and is measured at
right angles to strike
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1. Mapping geologic structure

Dip direction is the direction of maximum slope. Amount is < 90°. 10


Mapping
geologic
structure

BRUNTON COMPASS
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1. Mapping geologic structure

● Geologic maps
● geologic maps represent the
rock formations exposed at Earth’s
surface. 2-D representation.

● a common scale (ratio of distance


in the map to true distance on
surface) for geologic maps is
1:24,000
- 1 inch on map = 24,000 inch (2000
ft = 0.6 km) on the surface 12
1. Mapping geologic structure

● Geologic cross sections

– diagrams showing the


features that would be visible
if vertical slices were made
through part of the crust

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This diagram uses Strike and Dip of repeating rock units on a
geologic map to draw a cross section and infer the underlying
fold.
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2. How rocks deform ?

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2. How rocks deform ?

● Rock behavior in Earth’s crust

● depths affect brittle v. ductile

● rock type affects way rocks


deform

● rate of deformation is a factor


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3. Basic deformation
structures-
FAULTS
Fault: a surface across
which rock formations have
been displaced relative to
one another. It can be mm
to hundreds of km in scale.

The net slip of a fault is


the magnitude and
direction (trend/plunge)
of relative displacement
on the fault plane
between two previously
contiguous points.
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3. Basic deformation structures- FAULTS
Depending on the net slip:
● Types of faults
● dip-slip – normal, reverse, and
thrust faults (due to up-down
movement).

● strike-slip – right- and left-lateral


faults (due to horizontal movement)

● oblique-slip (combination of the


above two) 20
4. Basic Deformation Structures

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Strike-Slip Faults

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Thrust Faults

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Fault Systems

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3. Basic deformation structures-
FOLDS
● Types of folds
● symmetrical folds —
anticlines and synclines
● asymmetrical folds
● overturned and recumbent
folds
● plunging folds 27
3. Basic deformation structures
3. Basic deformation structures

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Plunging folds

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Recumbent Fold: recumbent folds are
overturned to the point of being horizontal

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3. Basic deformation structures

● Circular structures

● dome

● basin

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Dome or basin?

Dome! 34
Fold Geometry
 Some large folds yield a circular outcrop pattern.
 A dome is a fold with the appearance of an overturned bowl.
 A basin is a fold shaped like an upright bowl.

 Both are circular landforms, but are quite different.


A dome exposes older rocks in the center.
A basin exposes younger rocks in the center.

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3. Basic deformation structures

● Other features

● joints – fracture/crack along which


there is no movement

● fault breccia – brittle material

● mylonite – recrystallization of new


minerals in form of bands or streaks
due to movement along fault plane
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joints

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fault
breccia

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mylonite

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Mylonite formed in a shear zone under metamorphic recrystallization
4. Styles of continental deformation

● Tensional tectonics

● Compressive tectonics

● Shearing tectonics

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Alpine-Himalayan orogeny

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Nanga Parbat Himalayan-Tibetan
Orogenic System
Namche Barwa

Geographically, the Himalayan range lies between its eastern and western
syntaxis as represented by the Namche Barwa (7756 m, in SE Tibet) and
Nanga Parbat (8125 m, in Pakistan) peaks. Tibet plateau >5,000 m
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• Collision occurred around 50 Ma ago
• Thrusting began around 30-25 Ma ago
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Alpine-Himalayan orogeny

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Himalayan Geology

Figure source: Pierre Dèzes

Main Central Thrust (MCT)

Main Boundary Thrust (MBT)

Himalayan Frontal Fault (HFF)

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Thought questions for this chapter

1. In what sense is a geologic map a scientific model of


the surface geology? Is it fair to say that geologic cross
sections in combination with a geologic map describe a
scientific model of 3-dimensional geologic structure?

2. Why is it correct to say that “large-scale geologic


structures should be represented on small-scale
geologic maps”?

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Thought questions for this chapter
3. A continental margin has a thick layer of sediments
overlying metamorphic basement rocks. It collides with
another continental mass, and the compressive forces
deform it into a fold and thrust belt. During the
deformation, which of the following geologic formations
would be likely to behave as brittle materials and which
as ductile materials?

(a) sedimentary formations in the upper few km


(b) metamorphic basement rocks at 5 to 15 km depth
(c) lower crustal rocks below 20 km

4. In which of these rocks would you expect earthquakes?


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Key terms and concepts

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Key terms and concepts
Normal fault
Shearing force
Strike
Strike-slip fault
Tensional force
Thrust fault

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