Structure formation in the rift zones and in the tranvers offset of the spreading axes: Results of physical modeling
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The paper presents the results of experimental modeling of the specific features in the structure formation within the rift zones and also within lateral displacements of the spreading axes such as transform faults and nontransform displacements. The experiments were conducted on materials consisting of liquid and solid hydrocarbons; the similarity conditions were taken into account.
The parameters, which were varied in the experiments, included (1) the thickness of the model lithosphere in the rift zone, the thickness of the lithosphere in the zone of the nontransform displacement, and the thickness of the ambient lithosphere; (2) the value of displacement between the rift segments; and (3) the spreading rate. The modeling revealed the specific features in the structure formation and segmentation of the spreading axes in case of the orthogonal and oblique extension of the model lithosphere; also, the critical values of the lateral displacement of the spreading axes, which cause changes in the pattern of the structure formation within zones of transverse displacements, were estimated.
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