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Regional-scale lateral variation and linkage in ductile thrust architecture : the Oykel Transverse Zone, and mullions, in the Moine Nappe, NW Scotland

By A.G. Leslie, M. Krabbendam, G.S. Kimbell and R.A. Strachan

Abstract

Sharp lateral changes in structural geometry of ductile thrust stacks are not widely reported. A regional-scale lateral culmination wall forms the southern boundary of the Cassley Culmination in Moine rocks in the Caledonides of Sutherland, Northern Scotland. This culmination wall is part of the Oykel Transverse Zone (OTZ), a kilometre-scale shear zone characterized by constrictional finite strain fabrics aligned sub-parallel to the regional WNW-directed thrust transport direction. Main phase folds and fabrics in the transverse zone hanging wall are folded by main phase folds and fabrics in the footwall, thus recording foreland-propagating ductile deformation. South of the Cassley Culmination, shortening occurred uniformly, without development of discrete subsidiary thrusts; distributed deformation (fold development) alternated with localized thrusting within the culmination. The classic ESE-plunging mullions at Oykel Bridge are an integral part of the OTZ and were generated by constriction aligned sub-parallel to the transport direction. Constriction is attributed to differential, transtensional movement across the OTZ during culmination development. Subsequent formation of the underlying Assynt Culmination further accentuated upward-bulging of the Cassley Culmination, amplifying the lateral change across the transverse zone. The OTZ aligns with a pronounced gravity gradient on the south-western side of the Lairg gravity low. Interpretive modelling relates this gradient to a buried basement ramp that possibly controlled the location of the transverse zone

Topics: Earth Sciences
Publisher: Geological Society of London
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1144/SP335.17
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:10075

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