TS
Tectonics and Structural Geology

The Must-read team

TS Must-read” working group (Adriana Guatame-García, Akinbobola Akintomide, Arnab Roy, Benoît Petri, David Fernández-Blanco, Gianluca Frasca, Gino de Gelder, Marta Marchegiano, Silvia Crosetto, and Utsav Mannu)

TS Must-Read – Cowie (1998) A healing-reloading feedback control on the growth rate of seismogenic faults

TS Must-Read – Cowie (1998) A healing-reloading feedback control on the growth rate of seismogenic faults

This study provides a simple numerical model of fault rupture that describes the development of fault systems from the initial nucleation of numerous small faults to the localisation of deformation into few major faults. The model presented is based on two main considerations: first, earthquakes cause stress changes that can either advance or delay failure on neighbouring faults. Second, for failu ...[Read More]

TS Must Read paper – Foreland Basin Systems, DeCelles & Giles (1996)

TS Must Read paper – Foreland Basin Systems, DeCelles & Giles (1996)

Foreland Basin Systems, by DeCelles and Giles (1996), expands the concept of foreland basin into the more comprehensive and integrative concept of foreland basin systems. Foreland basin systems can be defined, as per this TS must-read paper, as compressional regions where various tectonic forces lead to flexural responses of a variable wavelength, which may in turn lead to up to four areas with po ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Caine et al., 1996 Fault zone architecture and permeability structure

TS Must-Read – Caine et al., 1996 Fault zone architecture and permeability structure

Caine et. al. (1996) is a cornerstone paper which describes, compares and quantifies brittle fault zones and their permeability (fluid flow) properties from observations. Doing so, the paper initiates the accumulation of information on the permeability of brittle fault zones described previously (Randolph and Johnson 1989; Scholz 2019; Byerlee 1993). The study begins by defining fault zones as com ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Cowie and Scholz (1992) – Physical explanation for the displacement-length relationship of faults using a post-yield fracture mechanics model

TS Must-Read – Cowie and Scholz (1992) – Physical explanation for the displacement-length relationship of faults using a post-yield fracture mechanics model

The Must-Read paper by Cowie and Scholz (1992) uses theory from fracture mechanics to explain fault growth and fault displacement profiles. The article initially points out the weaknesses in previous work, specifically highlighting how the abrupt termination of displacement profiles at fault tips would imply an infinite stress in the surrounding material. The paper then introduces a physical model ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Fossen and Tikoff (1993): The deformation matrix for simultaneous simple shearing, pure shearing and volume change, and its application to transpression-transtension tectonics

TS Must-Read – Fossen and Tikoff (1993): The deformation matrix for simultaneous simple shearing, pure shearing and volume change, and its application to transpression-transtension tectonics

With their milestone article in Journal of Structural Geology (Fossen and Tikoff, 1993)⁠ and its companion article in Tectonophysics (Tikoff and Fossen, 1993)⁠, the authors marked a step forward for the quantification of strain in the deep crust. These articles popularized a new approach, the deformation matrix. An easy solution to quantify strain in finite geological systems is to find continuous ...[Read More]

TS Must-read – Buck (1991): Modes of continental lithospheric extension

TS Must-read – Buck (1991): Modes of continental lithospheric extension

Buck (1991) aims at solving the  intense ‘70s and ‘80s tectonic debate concerning the way extension is accommodated in continental regions (see our previous blog posts here and here). His article explores the physical conditions that can lead to the three end-member modes of lithospheric extension in continents: core complex mode, wide rift mode and narrow rift mode. The three extensional modes th ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Molnar & England (1990): Late Cenozoic uplift of mountain ranges and global climate change: chicken or egg?

TS Must-Read – Molnar & England (1990): Late Cenozoic uplift of mountain ranges and global climate change: chicken or egg?

The idea that the Pleistocene glaciation was caused by a late Cenozoic rise of mountain ranges had been developed since the mid 19th century. Although this original idea did not hold, new arguments for a relation between a late Cenozoic uplift of mountains and global cooling were presented from the 1970s onward. These arguments focused on how increased surface elevations would affect the albedo, t ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – England and Molnar (1990) Surface uplift, uplift of rocks, and exhumation of rocks

TS Must-Read – England and Molnar (1990) Surface uplift, uplift of rocks, and exhumation of rocks

With this paper, England and Molnar (1990) shed light on the recurrent confusion in the uses of terms ‘uplift’ and ‘exhumation’. The main focus is to clarify the difference between surface uplift, uplift of rocks, and exhumation by explaining the differences and the relations between these processes (Fig. 1). The manuscript also illustrates how other processes, such as changes in climate, can be m ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Dahlen (1990) Critical Taper Model Of Fold-and-thrust Belts And Accretionary Wedges

TS Must-Read – Dahlen (1990) Critical Taper Model Of Fold-and-thrust Belts And Accretionary Wedges

Dahlen 1990‘s paper presents a synthesis of all theoretical work on accretionary wedges that had begun more than a decade earlier, with the fold and thrust belts research of Elliott (1976), Chapple (1978), and model by Davis et al., (1983). Dahlen expanded previous views with a more sophisticated treatment of pore-fluid pressure using volume-averaged Stokes-equations for both solids and flui ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Lister and Davis (1989) The origin of metamorphic core complexes and detachment faults formed during Tertiary continental extension in the northern Colorado River region, USA

TS Must-Read – Lister and Davis (1989) The origin of metamorphic core complexes and detachment faults formed during Tertiary continental extension in the northern Colorado River region, USA

Lister and Davis (1989) is a seminal article for core complexes and detachment faults, cited well over a thousand times. The authors describe geometry and kinematics of core complexes, cropping out in the USA, which result from lithosphere extension. The paper carefully describes the main detachment fault separating lower plate from upper extending plate and discusses the role of granitoid intrusi ...[Read More]