Remnant blocks of marble from the Moretti-Harrah dimension-stone quarry provide excellent exposure of meter-scale sheath folds. Tubular structures with elliptical cross-sections (4 ???Ryz ??? 5) are the most common expression of the folds. The tubes are elongate subparallel to stretching lineation and are defined by centimeter-scale layers of schist. Eccentrically nested elliptical patterns and opposing asymmetry of folds ('S' and 'Z') are consistent with the sheath-fold interpretation. Sheath folds are locally numerous in the Moretti-Harrah quarry but are not widely distributed in the Sylacauga Marble Group; reconnaissance in neighboring quarries provided no additional observations. The presence of sheath folds in part of the Talladega slate belt indicates a local history of plastic, non-coaxial deformation. Such a history of deformation is substantiated by petrographic study of an extracted hinge from the Moretti-Harrah quarry. The sheath folds are modeled as due to passive amplification of initial structures during simple shear, using both analytic geometry and graphic simulation. As indicated by these models, relatively large shear strains (y ??? 9) and longitudinal initial structures are required. The shear strain presumably relates to NW-directed displacement of overlying crystalline rocks during late Paleozoic orogeny. ?? 1993.
Additional publication details
Structural analysis of sheath folds in the Sylacauga Marble Group, Talladega slate belt, southern Appalachians