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Type: Journal article
Title: Balancing deformation in NW Borneo: Quantifying plate-scale vs. gravitational tectonics in a delta and deepwater fold-thrust belt system
Author: King, R.
Backe, G.
Morley, C.
Hillis, R.
Tingay, M.
Citation: Marine and Petroleum Geology, 2010; 27(1):238-246
Publisher: Elsevier Sci Ltd
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 0264-8172
Statement of
Rosalind C. King, Guillaume Backe, Christopher K. Morley, Richard R. Hillis and Mark R.P. Tingay
Abstract: Recent GPS measurements demonstrate that NW Borneo undergoes 4-6 mm of plate-scale shortening a year, which is not accommodated by plate-scale structures. The only geological structure in NW Borneo described to accommodate on-going shortening is the Baram Delta System located on the outer shelf to basin floor. Delta toe fold-thrust belts are commonly thought to be caused by margin-normal compressional stresses generated by margin-parallel upslope gravitational extension. The Baram Delta System is divided into three neotectonic provinces: 1) an inactive onshore and inner shelf region of inversion superimposed on an older extensional deltaic province, 2) an outer shelf region of present-day deltaic extension, and; 3) a compressional delta toe. However, it is uncertain whether compression in the delta toe area is purely driven by gravity (i.e. shortening is less than upslope extension) or if there is a component of regional shortening involved, which can only be demonstrated if shortening is greater than upslope extension. In order to quantify the balance between the shortening related to the upslope gravitational extension and the shortening related to the regional geodynamic framework in the Baram Delta System, we have used a geomechanical code based on the Finite Element Method and conservation of mass and momentum, Dynel 2D. This enabled us to reconstruct the tectonic evolution of the delta and to demonstrate for the first time that the total shortening observed in the delta toe does not balance against the active extension in the delta top; with the system exhibiting >1.8% shortening overall (or ∼2.0 km). This additional shortening is therefore attributed to plate-scale shortening across NW Borneo produced by far-field compression. Using a convergence rate of 4 mm y-1, demonstrated by GPS measurements, the delta toe has accommodated far-field compression only in the last 0.5 My. Crown Copyright © 2009.
Rights: Crown Copyright 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2009.07.008
Grant ID: ARC
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Australian School of Petroleum publications

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