A challenge to the concept of slip-lines in extrusion tectonics

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Wide-open V-shaped conjugate strike-slip faults in Asia are typically related to extrusion tectonics. However, the tectonic model based on the slip-line theory of plasticity has some critical problems associated with it. The conjugate sets of slip-lines in plane deformation, according to the theory of plasticity should be normal to each another but, in reality, the angles between the conjugate strike-slip faults, which are regarded as slip-lines in extrusion tectonics in the eastern Mediterranean, Tibet-middle Asia, China and the Indochina Peninsular regions, are always more than 90° (on average ∼110°) in the direction of contraction. Another problem is that the slip-line theory fails to explain how, in some cases, e.g., in the Anatolian area in the eastern Mediterranean, the extrusion rate is much higher than the indent rate. The two major problems are easy to solve in terms of the Maximum-Effective-Moment (MEM) Criterion that predicts that orientations of the shear zones are theoretically at an angle of 54.7° and practically at angles of 55°±10° with the σ 1 - or contractional direction. The orientations of the strike-slip faults that accommodate extrusion tectonics are, therefore, fundamentally controlled by the MEM Criterion. When extrusion is along the MEM-orientations, the extruding rate is normally higher than the indenting rate. © 2011, China University of Geosciences (Beijing) and Peking University. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.




Zheng, Y., Wang, E., Zhang, J., & Wang, T. (2011). A challenge to the concept of slip-lines in extrusion tectonics. Geoscience Frontiers, 2(1), 23–34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gsf.2010.11.006

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