Listric versus planar normal fault geometry: an example from the Eisenstadt-Sopron Basin (E Austria)
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- Spahić, D., Exner, U., Behm, M. et al. Int J Earth Sci (Geol Rundsch) (2011) 100: 1685. doi:10.1007/s00531-010-0583-5
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In a gravel pit at the eastern margin of the Eisenstadt-Sopron Basin, a satellite of Vienna Basin (Austria), Neogene sediments are exposed in the hanging wall of a major normal fault. The anticlinal structure and associated conjugated secondary normal faults were previously interpreted as a rollover anticline above a listric normal fault. The spatial orientation and distribution of sedimentary horizons and crosscutting faults were mapped in detail on a laser scan of the outcrop wall. Subsequently, in order to assess the 3D distribution and geometry of this fault system, a series of parallel ground penetrating radar (GPR) profiles were recorded behind the outcrop wall. Both outcrop and GPR data were compiled in a 3D structural model, providing the basis for a kinematic reconstruction of the fault plane using balanced cross-section techniques. However, the kinematic reconstruction results in a geologically meaningless normal fault cutting down- and up-section. Additionally, no evidence for a weak layer serving as ductile detachment horizon (i.e. salt or clay horizon) can be identified in stratigraphic profiles. Instead, the observed deflection of stratigraphic horizons may be caused by a displacement gradient along a planar master fault, with a maximum displacement in the fault centre, decreasing towards the fault tips. Accordingly, the observed deflection of markers in the hanging wall—and in a nearby location in the footwall of the normal fault—is interpreted as large-scale fault drag along a planar fault that records a displacement gradient, instead of a rollover anticline related to a listric fault.