EXPERIMENTAL SYNTHESIS OF SOFT-SEDIMENTARY FEATURES AND CLASTIC DIKES
We were able to differentiate between linear clastic dikes, which are only one trunk with little or no splitting from the main trunk and branching dikes, which are multiple branches of dikes splitting from one main trunk. We recreated this environment by layering saturated sand below and on top of dry kaolinite clay, and slowly adding load force pressure up to 730 kg/cm2. While this showed evidence of air bubbles escaping to the surface from the top layer of sand, clastic dikes did not form. Additional tests involved striking the surface of the layered, saturated sand and kaolinite clay with a rock hammer at about 700 kg/cm2. This showed air bubbles escaping the softer sediments, and the clay filling the vacant trail left by air bubbles. The bottom layer of sand was then pulled up through the clay and out the top layer of sand, creating an extrusion-type clastic dike.
Boundary conditions of the box influenced the type of clastic dike formation. For example, linear dikes aggregated near the box edge due to higher confining stress and branching dikes were dominant in the middle of the box due to lower confining stress. Laboratory experiments produced features similar to those observed in the field and highlighted the importance of sediment saturation and bubble transport of sediments to cause extrusion clastic dikes.