Viscous theory of angular folding by flexural flow

Smythe, D.K. (1971) Viscous theory of angular folding by flexural flow. Tectonophysics, 12(5), pp. 415-430. (doi: 10.1016/0040-1951(71)90042-4)

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A continuous variation in fold style from chevron to very rounded profiles can be generated in an infinite viscous multilayer, initially gently buckled, under different conditions of applied stress. A wellfoliated medium, considered in two dimensions only, is assumed to deform by flexural flow to give similar folds. At rest it has a single overall Newtonian viscosity; under differential stress this viscosity at any point is proportional to the compressive stress normal to the shear planes at that point. For the upright symmetrical folds considered, the results show that angular folds develop when the ratio of horizontal to vertical stress components is large, whereas rounded profiles result when this ratio approaches unity. Thus fold styles, together with depth of burial estimates from the degree of metamorphism, can be used to estimate horizontal stress magnitudes, for instance in an orogenic belt. The time duration for the formation of a given fold can also be deduced if the overall viscosity can be estimated.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smythe, Professor David
Authors: Smythe, D.K.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Tectonophysics
ISSN (Online):1879-3266

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