TS
Tectonics and Structural Geology

Must read papers

TS Must-Read – Lister and Snoke (1984) S-C Mylonites

TS Must-Read – Lister and Snoke (1984) S-C Mylonites

Following the impact of the global plate kinematics revolution, researchers in the 70s and 80s made significant efforts to compare records of deformed rocks in outcrops to large-scale deformation and kinematics. By publishing “S-C Mylonites” 1984, Gordon A. Lister and Arthur W. Snoke gave a step forward for the TS community. The paper contributed to transitioning from a strain-dominated framework ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Davis et al. (1983) Mechanics of Fold-and-Thrust Belts and Accretionary Wedges

TS Must-Read – Davis et al. (1983) Mechanics of Fold-and-Thrust Belts and Accretionary Wedges

The establishment of plate tectonics in the 1960s triggered a reappraisal of the development of mountain belts and facilitated the physics-based understanding of mountain building processes. Many models for mountain building were, however, mostly conceptual, and there was no appropriate theory that described the first-order mechanics of mountain belts. In 1983, this gap was – at least partially – ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Tapponnier et al. (1982) Propagating extrusion tectonics in Asia: New insights from simple experiments with plasticine

TS Must-Read – Tapponnier et al. (1982) Propagating extrusion tectonics in Asia: New insights from simple experiments with plasticine

In “Propagating extrusion tectonics in Asia: New insights from simple experiments with plasticine”,  Tapponnier and co-authors (1982) describe one of the most famous analogue experiments in the history of Earth Sciences. The experiment was performed in the laboratories of Rennes (France), at the beginning of the ‘80s. The article aims to shed light onto the large-scale effects caused by the India- ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Boyer & Elliot (1982) Thrust systems

TS Must-Read – Boyer & Elliot (1982) Thrust systems

The now-classic paper of Boyer & Elliott (1982) presented a novel and general geometric framework to study thrust systems. The framework describes thrust surfaces by lines of contact between thrusts, or branch lines, and lines of thrust termination, or tip lines, and examines how they join into imbricate fans or duplexes. The framework allows accurate and succinct descriptions of the geometry ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Ramsay (1980) Shear zone geometry: a review

TS Must-Read – Ramsay (1980) Shear zone geometry: a review

Ramsay’s 1980 important contribution is a practical and theoretical handbook about shear zones, where the reader can find a detailed classification of shear zones, their description, and mathematical explanation. A definition of the concept of shear zones opens the article, followed by the shear zones classification into three types, namely brittle (e.g., Fig. 1a), brittle-ductile (e.g., Fig ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Brace and Kohlstedt (1980) Limits on Lithospheric Stress Imposed by Laboratory Experiments

TS Must-Read – Brace and Kohlstedt (1980) Limits on Lithospheric Stress Imposed by Laboratory Experiments

In 1980 Brace and Kohlstedt published a short paper that constrains the strength of continental lithosphere by extrapolating laboratory measurements of rock strength to geological conditions. Their approach follows earlier work by Goetze and Evans (1979) and relies on two key considerations. First, the brittle strength is given by the frictional strength of rocks following Byerlee’s law (Bye ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Mckenzie (1978) On the development of Sedimentary basins

TS Must-Read – Mckenzie (1978) On the development of Sedimentary basins

Continental extension strongly affects the topography of continents by shaping elongated rift valleys, referred to as rift basins in the geological record. A strong implication of the formation of these basins is a two-step subsidence history: an initial rapid subsidence during extension, and a second, slower subsidence once active extension has ceased. Although this observation was made already l ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Sibson (1977) Fault Rocks and Fault Mechanism

TS Must-Read – Sibson (1977) Fault Rocks and Fault Mechanism

The paper “Fault Rocks and Fault Mechanisms” by R. H. Sibson (1977), was one of the first studies that established major connections between the rocks that form in faults, and their conditions and mechanics during formation at crustal scale. Concretely, Sibson (1977) established: 1.) links among the textures and lithologies that develop along fault zones (fault rocks), 2.) the rheological and crus ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Riba (1976) Syntectonic unconformities of the Alto Cardener, Spanish Pyrenees: a genetic interpretation

TS Must-Read – Riba (1976) Syntectonic unconformities of the Alto Cardener, Spanish Pyrenees: a genetic interpretation

In 1976 Oriol Riba published his paper on “Syntectonic unconformities of the Alto Cardener, Spanish Pyrenees: a genetic interpretation”, and despite appearing as a niche topic at first glance, it was voted as one of the papers in our Must-Read series. A major reason for that is that the paper presents a general model for syntectonic unconformities  – an unconformity which illustrates both se ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Dewey and Bird (1970) Mountain belts and the new global tectonics

TS Must-Read – Dewey and Bird (1970) Mountain belts and the new global tectonics

Long after the first attempts made by Wegener (1915)⁠, the theory of plate tectonics was progressively accepted by the Earth sciences community in the thrilling ‘60s thanks to observations from mid-ocean ridges (see TS-must-read blogpost of September 2, 2020; Dietz, 1961; Heezen and Tharp, 1965, Hess, 1962; Vine and Matthews, 1963)⁠. The question is then, what goes on at convergent boundaries, whe ...[Read More]