A Window into the World of Klippen

In this video we see how friction at the base of moving thrust sheets can influence the way an orogenic wedge develops. Combined with erosion we create a landscape of windows and klippen, even without significant topographic relief.

 

klippe window

                               A klippe and a window. (Image from http://www.wikipedia.org)

Glass beads (used for sandblasting) create weak plane where the rock layers move past each other – also called a decollement horizons. These decollements activate due to the high friction at the base of the model provided by a sheet of 150 grit sandpaper. Slip or movement in the decollements forms high-displacement, nearly flat thrusts, which fold due to subsequent footwall deformation resulting from erosion of the wedge.

page1-776px-Decollement_in_a_compressional_setting.pdf

(Image: http://www.wikipedia.org)

This model is patterned after the work of Jacques Malavieille and colleagues at Géosciences Montpellier, Université of Montpellier II.

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