Title

Sandbox Modeling of Continent-Continent Type Collisions with Underlying Basement Structures

Presenter Information

Mark Dunseith

Department

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Major

Geology and Geophysics

Research Advisor

Hogan, John Patrick

Advisor's Department

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Funding Source

Geological Sciences and Engineering

Abstract

When continents collide, the earth’s crust shortens and thickens by thrust faulting in a mountain building event. We investigated the effect of preexisting basement structures (old faults) on development of thrust faults in the cover rocks during collision using a “sandbox” with clear sides and a movable wall. Alternating beds of colored sand representing sedimentary cover rocks were layered over rigid wood blocks representing igneous/metamorphic basement rocks. The wooden blocks included 30° cuts to emulate preexisting basement faults. The moveable wall was used to horizontally shorten the model and imitate continent-continent collision. Reactivation of basement faults initiated faults in the cover that localized the strain in the growing wedge. The angles and spacing of pre-existing basement structures were seen to directly control thrust fault propagation in the “cover rocks” as well as the wedge thickness (i.e., height of the mountain range) of the system as it was compressed.

Biography

Mark Dunseith is from Moberly, Missouri. He began attending Missouri S&T in the fall of 2004. He will graduate in May 2009 with his BS in Geology and Geophysics. He plans to begin working as soon as possible after graduation and is looking forward to a career with a lot of travel opportunities.

Research Category

Sciences

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Location

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Presentation Date

08 Apr 2009, 9:00 am - 11:45 am

Comments

Joint project with Gina Callaway

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Apr 8th, 9:00 AM Apr 8th, 11:45 AM

Sandbox Modeling of Continent-Continent Type Collisions with Underlying Basement Structures

Upper Atrium/Hallway

When continents collide, the earth’s crust shortens and thickens by thrust faulting in a mountain building event. We investigated the effect of preexisting basement structures (old faults) on development of thrust faults in the cover rocks during collision using a “sandbox” with clear sides and a movable wall. Alternating beds of colored sand representing sedimentary cover rocks were layered over rigid wood blocks representing igneous/metamorphic basement rocks. The wooden blocks included 30° cuts to emulate preexisting basement faults. The moveable wall was used to horizontally shorten the model and imitate continent-continent collision. Reactivation of basement faults initiated faults in the cover that localized the strain in the growing wedge. The angles and spacing of pre-existing basement structures were seen to directly control thrust fault propagation in the “cover rocks” as well as the wedge thickness (i.e., height of the mountain range) of the system as it was compressed.