2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 217-2
Presentation Time: 9:15 AM


BALL, Stephen M.1, CONNORS, Christopher D.2, LEVY, Simon3 and STOUGH, Joshua3, (1)Department of Geology, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA 24450, (2)Department of Geology, Washington and Lee University, 204 West Washington Street, Lexington, VA 24450, (3)Department of Computer Science, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA 24450

Kinematic modeling allows for accurate and efficient representation of fault-related fold behavior; however, without a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to simplify model interaction, there is limited applicability for the average user. We present a GUI for a program we have written for kinematic forward modeling of fault-bend folding that permits users to update fault structures, define layers, and outline initial slip via cursor drags, toolbar menus, and editable arrays. The program supports growth strata, imbricate modeling, and mixed sections of contraction and extension within the same model. Users can import a seismic line or other raster image and register the image in the model space; additionally, surface contacts and structural attitudes can be displayed in the line of section. Because the kinematic modeling is intended to simulate geologic behavior observed in real-world folding environments, the program will alert the user when input parameters are physically implausible. Deformation can be reviewed at any time step between the initial state and the final deformed state. Numerous display options with simple menu choices permit analysis of axial surfaces, bedding-parallel extension, strain ellipses, relative and fixed particle paths, and instantaneous velocity vectors for any point within the model layers in order to understand the overall folding kinematics and strain in the section. Upon completion, satisfactory models may be exported as PDF files that include each time step for convenient distribution and presentation of a specific model’s progressive kinematic behavior. By packaging the functionality of our forward fault-bend fold kinematic code into a user friendly graphical interface, we believe any user interested in modeling structures that have experienced fault-bend folding may do so with ease. This will aid both the structural geologist interested in fault-related fold development, as well as any geologist interested in creating balanced cross sections.