The University of Arizona

Coupled effects of impact and orogeny: Is the marine Lockne crater, Sweden, pristine?

T. KENKMANN, F. KIEBACH, M. ROSENAU, U. RASCHKE, A. PIGOWSKE, K. MITTELHAUS, D. EUE

Abstract


Our current understanding of marine-impact cratering processes is partly inferred from the geological structure of the Lockne crater. We present results of a mapping campaign and structural data indicating that this crater is not pristine. In the western part of the crater, pre-impact, impact, and post-impact rocks are incorporated in Caledonian thrust slices and are subjected to folding and faulting. A nappe outlier in the central crater depression is a relic of the Caledonian nappe cover that reached a thickness of more than 5 km. The overthrusted crater is gently deformed. Strike of strata and trend of fold axes deviate from standard Caledonian directions (northeast-southwest). Radially oriented crater depressions, which were previously regarded as marine resurge gullies formed when resurging seawater erosively cut through the crater brim, are interpreted to be open synclines in which resurge deposits were better preserved. The presence of the impact structure influenced orogenesis due to morphological and lithological anomalies of the crater: i) a raised crater brim zone acted as an obstacle during nappe propagation, (ii) the occurrence of a central crater depression caused downward sagging of nappes, and (iii) the lack of an appropriate detachment horizon (alum shale) within the crater led to an enhanced mechanical coupling and internal deformation of the nappe and the overthrusted foreland. Preliminary results of 3-Danalogue experiments suggest that a circular high-friction zone representing the crater locally hinders nappe propagation and initiates a circumferentially striking ramp fault that delineates the crater. Crustal shortening is also partitioned into the crater basement and decreases laterally outward. Deformation of the foreland affected the geometry of the detachment and could be associated with the activation of a deeper detachment horizon beneath the crater. Strain gradients both vertically and horizontally result in non-plane strain deformation in the vicinity of the crater. The strain tensors in the hanging and foot walls may deviate up to 90° from each other and rotated by up to 45° with respect to the standard regional orientation. The observed deflection of strata and fold axes within the Lockne crater area as revealed by field mapping is in agreement with the pattern of strain partitioning shown in the analogue models.

Keywords


marine impact;Lockne;Caledonian orogeny;analogue modeling

Full Text:

PDF