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Strain localisation in mechanically Layered Rocks, insights from numerical modelling

Author(s): L. Le Pourhiet | B. Huet | P. Agard | L. Labrousse | L. Jolivet | K. Yao

Journal: Solid Earth Discussions
ISSN 1869-9537

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 1165;
Date: 2012;
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Small scale deformation in stratified rocks displays a large diversity of micro-structures, from the microscopic scale to the scale of orogens. We have designed a series of fully dynamic numerical simulations aimed at assessing which parameters control this structural diversity and which underlying mechanisms lead to strain localisation. The influence of stratification orientation on the occurrence and mode of strain localisation is tested by varying the initial dip of inherited layering versus the large scale imposed simple shear. The detailed study of the models indicates that (1) the results are length-scale independent, (2) the new shear zones are always compatible with the kinematics imposed at the boundary (3) micro-structures formed encompass the full diversity of micro-structures observed in the field and chiefly depend on the direction of the initial anisotropy versus shear direction, (4) depending on the orientation of the anisotropy, the layers may deform along subtractive or additive shear bands, (5) the deformation in anisotropic media results in non-lithostatic pressure values that are on the order of the deviatoric stress in the strong layers and (6) the introduction of brittle rheology is necessary to form localised shear bands in the ductile regime.
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