Late Holocene episodic displacement on fault scarps related to interstratal dissolution of evaporites (Teruel Neogene Graben, NE Spain)

F. Gutiérrez, D. Carbonel, J. Guerrero, J. P. McCalpin, R. Linares, C. Roqué, M. Zarroca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Mio-Pliocene formations of the Turolian type section (Teruel Graben, Spain) have sagged due to dissolution of the underlying Triassic evaporites generating a 1.7 km long monocline and accompanying synform with 130 m of structural relief. The crest of the monocline is affected by a graben that counterbalances the shortening caused by passive bending in the adjacent syncline. This graben is controlled by a master synthetic fault and a swarm of antithetic and synthetic faults with a conspicuous geomorphic expression. After acquiring Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) profiles, three trenches were excavated in depressions associated with uphill-facing fault scarps. To our knowledge, these are the first trenches excavated across faults caused by deep-seated dissolution of evaporites. The geometrical relationships observed in two trenches indicate late Holocene episodic displacement (as many as 3 events). Some of the parameters estimated for the investigated faults are clearly different from those expectable for tectonic faults in this intraplate area. They include high apparent vertical slip rates (0.6-1 mm/yr), low average recurrence of faulting events (1.2-2 ka) and very high displacement per event values (>65 cm) for surface ruptures less then 200 m long. Our findings suggest that considering evaporite collapse faults as creeping structures is not a reliable criterion to differentiate between tectonic faults (seismogenic) and dissolution-induced gravitational faults (nonseismogenic). © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-19
JournalJournal of Structural Geology
Volume34
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Aspect ratio
  • Evaporite collapse
  • Karstification
  • Monocline
  • Nontectonic faults

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