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Structural Anatomy of Fold and Thrust Belts. By: Karenth Dworsky, Julia Mulhern, Danielle Lehle, Heather Judd. Moine thrust, Scotland, Intro/Vocabulary Review. Berg, 2011. Zagros Mountains,

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Structural Anatomy of Fold and Thrust Belts

By: Karenth Dworsky, Julia Mulhern, Danielle Lehle, Heather Judd

Moine thrust, Scotland,


Intro/Vocabulary Review

Berg, 2011

Zagros Mountains,

thrust sheet-defined as “a volume of rock bound below by a thrust fault” (Boyer and Elliot, 1982)

classes of folding

1) Detached Folding - caused by compression above a bedding-plane decollement

2) Fault-propagation Folding - caused by compression in front of a fault tip during fault propagation.

3) Fault-bend Folding- caused by bending of a fault-block as it rides over a non-planar fault surface

Classes of Folding:

(Berg, 2011)


Detached Folds

(Burg, 2011)


Mississippi Fan Fold Belt

(Rowan et al. 2004)


Fault Propagation Folding

Lost River Range, Idaho

(Suppe and Medwedeff, 1990)


Fault Propagation Folding:

Niger Delta Fold Belt

(Rown et al. 2004)


Fault Propagation Folding:

Fault Break-through

(Suppe and Medwedeff, 1990)


Fault Propagation Folds in the Field

(Suppe and Medwedeff, 1990)


Fault Propagation Folds in Seismic

(Suppe and Medwedeff, 1990)


Fault Bend Folding

R. W. Allmendinger, 2008


Thrust Ramp Geometry

Oblique Ramp

Frontal Ramp

Lateral Ramp


of Transport

(Cook, 2009)


Growth of a

Fault-Bend Fold

Eohimalayan Fold and Thrust Belt, NW Himalaya, India

(Suppe, 1983)


Internal Deformation

Classic FBF

Suppe, 2004


Pine Mountain, Appalachian

Earth Structure 2nd ed., 2004



Imbricate System- thrusts that occur in conjunction with one another to create a series of thrusts sheets of similar shape and size that onlap each other.

(Boyer and Elliot, 1982)

(Mitra, 1986)



(Averbauch and Mansy, 1998)

(Burg, 2011)


Moine Duplex System

(Elliot and Johnson, 1980)


Thin Skin vs. Thick Skin Deformation

  • Thin skinned deformation-crustal shortening involving only sedimentary cover due to basal decollement
  • Thick skinned deformation-crustal shortening involving basement rocks. Horizontal and vertical thickening

(Burg, 2011)


Types of Thrust Belts

EarthStructure, 2nd ed., 2004


Global Examples of Fold Belts

subduction zones the andes
Subduction Zones: The Andes

continent continent collision the himalayas
Continent-Continent Collision:The Himalayas


Satellite View of the Himalayas

salt detached buckle folds zagros
Salt Detached Buckle Folds:Zagros

cross section of zagros
Cross Section of Zagros

(Sarkarinejad, 2008)

alberta montana thrust sheet duplex system with fault bend folding
Alberta-Montana Thrust Sheet:Duplex System with Fault Bend Folding


Sevier Fold Belt

EarthStructure, 2nd ed., 2004



Averbuch, O., and Mansy, J. L., 1998, The ‘Basse-Normandie’ duplex (Boulonnais, N France): evidence for an out-of-sequence thrusting overprint:

Journal of Structural Geology, v. 20, no. 1, p. 33-42.

Boyer, S. E., and Elliott, D., 1982, Thrust systems: AAPG Bulletin-American Association of Petroleum Geologists, v. 66, no. 9, p. 1196-1229.

Burg, Jean Pierre. 2011. Thrust System Presentation, Universitat Zurich, Switzerland

Butler, Rob. 2012. The Moine Thrust Belt: An introduction to important sites.

Cook, B.S. and Thomas, W., 2009, Superposed lateral ramps in the Pell City thrust sheet, Appalachian thrust belt, Alabama: Journal of Structural

Geology, v. 31, no. 9, p. 941-949.

Dahlstrom, C.D.A., 1970, Structural geology in the eastern margin of the Canadian Rocky mountains. Canad. Petrol. Geol. Bull. 18:332-406.

de Vera, J., J. Gines, M. Oehlers, K. McClay, and J. Doski., 2009, Structure of the Zagros fold and thrust belt in the Kurdistan Region, northern Iraq.

Trabajos de Geología, Universidad de Oviedo, 29, p. 213-217. Web. <>.

Medwedeff, D. A., 1989, Growth of fault bend folding at southeast Lost Hills, San Joaquin Valley, California: Aapg Bulletin-American Association of

Petroleum Geologists, v. 73, no. 1, p. 54-67.

Mitra, S., 1990, Fault - propagation folds: Geometry, kinematic evolution, and hydrocarbon traps: AAPG

Bulletin- American Association of Petroleum Geologists, v. 74, no. 6, p. 921-945.

Sarkarinejad, K., Azizi, A. Slip partitioning and inclined dextral transpression along the Zagros Thrust System, 2008, Journal of Structural Geology,

v 30, no. 1, p 116-136, ISSN 0191-8141, 10.1016/j.jsg.2007.10.001. (

Shaw, J. H. and J. Suppe, 1996, "Earthquake hazards of active blind-thrust faults under the central Los Angeles Basin, California." Journal of

Geophysical Research 101 (B4): 8623-8642.

Shaw, J. H., 1998, "Cracking Los Angeles." Nature 394(6691): 320-321.

Suppe, J., 1983, Geometry and kinematics of fault-bend folding: American Journal of Science, v. 283, no. 7, p. 684-721.

Suppe, J., and Medwedeff, D. A., 1990, Geometry and kinematics of fault- propagation folding Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae, v. 83, no. 3, p.


Suppe, J., Connors, C., and Zhang, Y., 2004, Shear fault-bend folding, in K. R. McClay, ed., Thrust tectonics and hydrocarbon systems: AAPG

Memoir 82, p. 303-323.

Earth Structures, 2nd ed., 2004, W.W. Norton & Co., New York.

Yeats, R.S., T. Nakata, A. Farah, M. Fort, M.A. Mirza, M.R. Pandey, and R.S. Stein. 1992, The Himalayan Frontal Fault System., Annales

Tectonicae, v 6, p. 85-98. Web. < et al Annales Tectonicae