Growth-strata geometry in fault-propagation folds: a case study from the Gafsa basin, southern Tunisian Atlas
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The structural and sedimentological study of fault-propagation folds in Southern Tunisia highlights a special geometry of the growth strata (strata deposited simultaneously with the formation or growth of a fold). This distinct geometry is visible in the uppermost growth-strata beds and consists of one flank with unconformity as opposed to the other flank with perfect conformity. This geometry can be explained by the mechanism of fault-propagation folding, with asymmetrical flank dips and hinge migration kinematics. This kinematics was originally predicted by the fault-propagation fold model, which facilitates the study of this special geometry in a narrow domain of sedimentation-to-shortening ratios. A plot projection provides a generalisation of the results of all types of fault-propagation folds by revealing the expected geometry of the growth strata. This study constitutes one of the most complete examples of kinematic model validation on a field scale.