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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2018-45
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 03 Jul 2018

Research article | 03 Jul 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE). A final paper in SE is not foreseen.

To what degree the geometry and kinematics of accretionary wedges in analogue experiments is dependent on material properties

Ziran Jiang1, Bin Deng1, Caiwei Fan2, Yu He1, Dong Lai1, Shugen Liu1, Xinjian Wang1, and Luba Jansa3 Ziran Jiang et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation/Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu, China, 610059
  • 2CNOOC Ltd.-Zhanjiang, Zhanjiang , 524057
  • 3Earth Science Department, Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S. Canada

Abstract. Cohesion and friction coefficients are fundamental parameters of granular materials used in analogue experiments. Thus, to test the physical characteristics and mechanical behaviour of the materials used in the experiments will help to better understand into what degree the results of experiments of geological processes depend on the material properties. Our test suggests significant differences between quartz sand and glass bead, in particular the shape factors (~1.55 of quartz sand to ~1.35 glass bead, angular to rounded) and grain sorting (moderately to well sorted). The glass beads show much better grain sorting and smaller shape factors than the quartz sand. Also they have smaller friction coefficient (~0.5 to ~0.6) and cohesion (20–30Ma to 70–100Ma), no matter of the grain size in our tested samples. The quartz sand shows much smaller friction coefficient (~0.6 to ~0.65), and smaller cohesion (~70Pa to ~100Pa) than that of smaller grain size sand. We have conducted four sets of analogue experiments with three repeats at the minimum. Our models show that material properties have important influence on the geometry and kinematics of the accretionary wedge. Although the difference in geometries are small, models with larger grain size develop wedges with higher wedge height, larger taper, shorter wedge length and less number of faults under the same amount of bulk shortening. In particular, models with basal detachment (even with 1mm thickness), show significant difference in geometry and kinematics with that of quartz sand. We thus argue that the geometry and kinematics of the wedge appear to be significantly influenced by relative brittle and ductile strengths, and, to a lesser degree by the layering anisotropy. The basal detachment (even of tiny thickness) determines the first-order control on the location and development of accretionary wedge, in a contrast to the physical properties of brittle materials.

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Ziran Jiang et al.
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Based on ring-shear test and analogue experiment, we show that material properties have important influence on the geometry and kinematics of the accretionary wedge, of which the geometry and kinematics appear to be significantly influenced by relative brittle and ductile strengths, and, to a lesser degree by the layering anisotropy. We also show the repeat experiments.
Based on ring-shear test and analogue experiment, we show that material properties have...
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