Journal article

Mode of crustal extension determined by rheological layering

C Wijns, R Weinberg, K Gessner, L Moresi

EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS | ELSEVIER | Published : 2005

Abstract

The results of numerical modelling show that the mechanical stratification of the crust provides the fundamental control on fault spacing and, ultimately, the mode of extension. Macroscopic pre-existing structures and weaknesses are often thought to govern the behaviour of continental crust under extension, and many prior studies have focussed on the effect of heterogeneities in triggering faulting and exhumation of lower crustal material. The role played by such features is in fact subordinate to that exerted by the rheological contrast from upper to lower crust. In our numerical model, the temperature gradient dictates the transition from a strong, brittle, upper crust to a weaker, ductile..

View full abstract

University of Melbourne Researchers