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Tectonics of the Neuchâtel Jura Mountains: insights from mapping and forward modelling

  • Rime, Valentin Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Sommaruga, Anna Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Schori, Marc Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Mosar, Jon Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
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  • Swiss Journal of Geosciences. - 2019, vol. 112, no. 2, p. 563–578
English This study focuses on a geological section in the Jura Mountains across the villages of Travers, La Brévine in Switzerland, and Morteau in France. Field mapping was conducted to complement and densify existing data. A kinematically and geometrically consistent forward model has been developed to understand and interpret the observed surface structures. The proposed solution features a low-angle thrust fault with a multiple ramp-flat or staircase trajectory on which several hinterland-verging thrusts nucleate. The main décollement level is located in the Triassic evaporites of the Keuper and Muschelkalk Groups. Our model implies secondary detachments in the Opalinus Clay and the Cretaceous layers leading to repetitions in the Mesozoic cover rocks over large distances. This in turn explains the high topographic position of exposed sediments. The proposed solution is an alternative to models showing overthickening of Triassic evaporites associated with a single detachment level. Along the investigated profile, the Jura Mountains accommodate a shortening of 8.5 km. The kinematic forward model suggests an oscillating sequence of thrusting, rather than a simple, in sequence, forward propagation succession of thrusts.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Département de Géosciences
  • English
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