TS
Tectonics and Structural Geology

Must read papers

TS Must-Read – Sylvester (1988) Strike-slip faults

TS Must-Read – Sylvester (1988) Strike-slip faults

Strike-slip faults by Arthur Sylvester (1988) is a must-read paper for anyone, and more so for those who want to understand the mechanisms of strike-slip faulting. Although it mostly refers to the San Andreas fault, the most studied strike-slip fault at the time (and possibly to date), the contribution is a comprehensive review of the state of the art about strike-slip faults in general. Sylvester ...[Read More]

TS Must-read – Dewey (1988) Extensional collapse of orogens

TS Must-read – Dewey (1988) Extensional collapse of orogens

After building orogens with Dewey and Bird (1970) and extending them during building with Platt (1986), Dewey (1988) explores the lifetime of orogens in their last breath: their extensional collapse. Simple considerations on how to form a normally-thick continental crust (30-40 km) from a thickened continental domain (50-60 km) indicate that erosion of the topography alone is far from being suffic ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Molnar and Lyon-Caen (1988): Some simple physical aspects of the support, structure and evolution of mountain belts

TS Must-Read – Molnar and Lyon-Caen (1988): Some simple physical aspects of the support, structure and evolution of mountain belts

In 1988 Peter Molnar and Hélène Lyon-Caen published their “Must-Read” paper on the support, structure and evolution of mountain belts. It is an article that touches on some core issues of plate tectonics by looking at two types of forces that resist mountain building, using key observations from Asian and American mountain chains. They name the first force “mechanical strength”, and to approximate ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Platt (1986): Dynamics of orogenic wedges and the uplift of high-pressure metamorphic rocks

TS Must-Read – Platt (1986): Dynamics of orogenic wedges and the uplift of high-pressure metamorphic rocks

Orogens are the locus of intense deformation and metamorphism, mainly caused by convergent tectonics and burial. Yet, deeply buried rocks – metamorphosed at high pressure (HP) – are customarily met at the surface, even in “recent” systems such as the Alps. The long-standing question is naturally “how are these rocks brought back to the surface?” At the time John Platt wrote his manuscr ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Armijo et al. (1986) Quaternary extension in southern Tibet: field observations and tectonic implications

TS Must-Read – Armijo et al. (1986) Quaternary extension in southern Tibet: field observations and tectonic implications

This contribution is a very detailed field report of the Sino-French expedition in eastern Tibet that took place in 1980-1982. Armijo and coauthors accurately analyse the different tectonic styles present in the north and south of the Yarlung-Zangbo Suture Zone, frequently defined as the “chord” joining the eastern and western syntaxes of the Himalayan orogen (Fig. 1). North of the chord, strike-s ...[Read More]

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]