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A sequence of sedimentary rocks about 4 km thick was bent, stretched and uplifted during the growth of three igneous domes in the southern Henry Mountains. Mount Holmes, Mount Ellsworth and Mount Hillers are all about 12 km in diameter, but the amplitudes of their domes are about 1.2, 1.85 and 3.0 km, respectively. These mountains record successive stages in the inflation of near-surface diorite intrusions that are probably laccolithic in origin. The host rocks deformed along networks of outcrop-scale faults, or deformation bands, marked by crushed grains, consolidation of the porous sandstone and small displacements of sedimentary beds. Zones of deformation bands oriented parallel to the beds and formation contacts subdivided the overburden into thin mechanical layers that slipped over one another during doming. Measurements of outcrop-scale fault populations at the three mountains reveal a network of faults that strikes at high angles to sedimentary beds which themselves strike tangentially about the domes. These faults have normal and reverse components of slip that accommodated bending and stretching strains within the strata. An early stage of this deformation is displayed at Mount Holmes, where states of stress computed from three fault samples correlate with the theoretical distribution of stresses resulting from bending of thin, circular, elastic plates. Field observations and analysis of frictional driving stresses acting on horizontal planes above an opening-mode dislocation, as well as the paleostress analysis of faulting, indicate that bedding-plane slip and layer flexure were important components of the early deformation. As the amplitude of doming increased, radial and circumferential stretching of the strata and rotation of the older faults in the steepening limbs of the domes increased the complexity of the fault patterns. Steeply-dipping, map-scale faults with dip-slip displacements indicate a late-stage jostling of major blocks over the central magma chamber. Radial dikes pierced the dome and accommodated some of the circumferential stretching. ?? 1990.
Additional Publication Details
Flexure and faulting of sedimentary host rocks during growth of igneous domes, Henry Mountains, Utah