Granado, P., & Ruh, J. B. (2019). Numerical modelling of inversion tectonics in fold-and-thrust belts. Tectonophysics, 763, 14–29.


This work presents numerical experiments of inversion of rift basins and consequent sub-thrust imbrication in tectonic wedges. Half-graben basins initially develop and then are covered with a post-rift sequence bearing a décollement-prone horizon (i.e., the upper décollement). A total of twelve models of tectonic inversion have been conducted varying (i) the strength of inherited extensional fault arrays and (ii) applying different fluid pressure ratios (i.e., strength) within syn-rift strata. Combinations of those were simulated using different internal angles of friction for the inherited faults, different strengths for the syn-rift infill and for the upper décollement. Results show that changes in relative strength between inherited faults, syn-rift deposits and the upper crustal décollement leads to important variations in structural styles. Weak faults systematically favour the compressional reactivation of inherited extensional faults. Weak syn-rift sediments favour hanging wall by-pass structures instead of fault reactivation and less internal deformation of the syn-rift deposits. Weak upper décollements supports the accretion of basement in a hinterland antiformal stack, decoupling of basement and cover, and forward tectonic transport of rift basins. Strong upper crustal décollements favours basement and cover coupling, can lead to fault reactivation in the absence of weak faults and syn-rift sediments, however combinations of weak faults and strong upper décollement shows fault reactivation, weak syn-rift sediments and strong upper décollement form hanging wall by-pass structures. Modelling results are compared to natural case studies.

Reference article

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