Extensional Tectonics Working Group /
Triassic-Jurassic Working Group at Rutgers

 
 
 

Contents

Personnel>>

Overview>>

Structural Geology and Stratigraphy of Rift Basins>>
Geometry and Evolution of Rift-Related Structures>>
Forward Modeling of Rift Basin Evolution and Filling>>
Rift Basin Inversion>>
Biostratigraphy and Cyclostratigraphy of the Newark Basin>>
Dissolutional Collapse Features in the Blomidon Formation, Fundy Basin>>

Fracture Populations>>
Geometry and Scaling Relationships of Populations of Normal Faults and Associated Fractures>>
Experimental Modeling of Fault Systems and Deformation>>
Fracture Networks in the Newark Basin and Their Influence on Hydrogeology and Modern Drainage Networks>>
 
[Rutgers Geology Home Page>>] [Rutgers University Home Page>>]
Personnel

Coordinators: Roy W. Schlische, Martha Oliver Withjack

Current Members: Gail M. Ashley, Mark Baum, William Bradfield, Erik Burtis, Jennifer Elder Brady, Amber Granger, Dennis V. Kent, Peter A. Rona, Roy W. Schlische, Robert E. Sheridan, Martha Oliver Withjack

Colleagues: Rolf V. Ackermann (Beicip, Inc.), Mark H. Anders (L-DEO), Roger Buck (L-DEO), Amy Clifton (Nordic Volcanologic Institute), Anupma Gupta (L-DEO), Greg Herman (N.J. Geological Survey), Don Monteverde (N.J. Geological Survey), Paul E. Olsen (L-DEO), David J. Reynolds (ExxonMobil Corp.), Christopher H. Scholz (L-DEO), Malin Somby (ExxonMobil U.K.), Michael J. Szajna, Richard Volkert (N.J. Geological Survey).

Recent Members: Rolf V. Ackermann, Amy Clifton, Seth D. Fankhauser, Martin D. Finn, Gregory D. Herman, Brian D. Jones, Douglas L. Musser, Stefan Muszala, Kevin D. Orabone, Holly Peterson, Jaeson Pieretti, Peter Thibodeau, Michael Viersma, Jamie Whitlock, and Scott S. Young.

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Overview

Our research generally falls under the heading of extensional tectonics. In the sections below, we provide a brief overview of our current and recent research projects and present a list of publications (journal articles, meeting abstracts, and theses) that have resulted from this research. In nearly all cases, the abstracts of these publications are a hyperlink away. Figures and photos for many journal articles are also now available. Reprints of many journal articles can be requested by e-mailing the senior author.

Articles and abstracts of research support by NSF grant 9706199 are indicated by the symbol [NSF97]

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Structural Geology and Stratigraphy of Rift Basins

Rift basins are a fundamental manifestation of continental extension, are prime repositories for sediment accumulation, and account for significant accumulations of hydrocarbons. Furthermore, the lacustrine systems contained within rift basins can provide a sensitive record of climate change. Over the last 15 years, we have been exploring the structure and stratigraphy of the Triassic-Jurassic rift system of eastern North America. This rift system formed during the initial stages of the breakup of the supercontinent of Pangea. Outcrop studies, seismic reflection profiles, and drill and core holes provide 3-D data on the structure and stratigraphy of these basins. Milankovitch-period lacustrine cycles offer extremely fine temporal control for calibrating the stratigraphic and paleontologic record, including the end-Triassic mass extinction event.

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Geometry and Evolution of Rift-Related Structures

Rift basins are simply normal-fault bounded sedimentary basins. Thus, an appreciation of normal fault systems and associated structures is crucial to understanding the anatomy and evolution of rift basins. Our work has concentrated on the following: (1) characterizing the architecture of the Triassic-Jurassic rift system in eastern North America; (2) examining the role of preexisting structures on rift basin geometry; (3) developing criteria for recognizing syndepositional versus postdepositional structures; (4) exploring the effect of fault growth and segmentation on rift basin evolution; (5) classifying and describing the suite of folds related to normal faults; and (6) understanding the tectonic evolution of eastern North America.

PUBLICATIONS:
Books
1989: Tectonic, Depositional, and Paleoecological History of Early Mesozoic Rift Basins, Eastern North America, edited by P.E. Olsen, R.W. Schlische, and P.J.W. Gore: International Geological Congress Field Trip T-351, Washington, D. C., American Geophysical Union, 174 p. [Table of Contents>>]
Articles
2003: Progress in understanding the structural geology, basin evolution, and tectonic history of the eastern North American rift system by Roy W. Schlische, in LeTourneau, P.M., and Olsen, P.E., eds., The Great Rift Valleys of Pangea in Eastern North America--Volume 1--Tectonics, Structure, and Volcanism: New York, Columbia University Press, p. 21-64. [PDF file>>] [NSF97]
2003: Introduction to tectonics and structural geology of supercontinent breakup by Martha Oliver Withjack and Roy W. Schlische, in LeTourneau, P.M., and Olsen, P.E., eds., The Great Rift Valleys of Pangea in Eastern North America--Volume 1--Tectonics, Structure, and Volcanism: New York, Columbia University Press, p. 7-10. [PDF file>>] [NSF97]
2002: Rift-basin structure and its influence on sedimentary systems, by Martha Oliver Withjack, Roy W. Schlische, and Paul E. Olsen, in Robin Renaut and Gail M. Ashley, eds., Sedimentation in Continental Rifts: SEPM Special Publication 73, p. 57-81. [PDF file>>] [NSF97]
2000: Rift basin architecture and evolution by Roy W. Schlische and Martha Oliver Withjack IN Climatic, Biotic, and Tectonic Pole-to-Pole Coring Transect of Triassic-Jurassic Pangea edited by P.E. Olsen and D.V. Kent, International Continental Drilling Program, in press. [Website of article>>]
2000: Basin evolution by Roy W. Schlische, Martha Oliver Withjack, Jamie A. Austin, David E. Brown, Juan Contreras, Elizabeth Gierlowski-Kordesch, Lubamir F. Jansa, MaryAnn L. Malinconico, Joseph P. Smoot, and Robert P. Wintsch, R.P., IN Climatic, Biotic, and Tectonic Pole-to-Pole Coring Transect of Triassic-Jurassic Pangea edited by P.E. Olsen and D.V. Kent, International Continental Drilling Program. [Website of article>>]
2000: Implications of a comparison of the stratigraphy and depositional environments of the Argana (Morocco) and Fundy (Nova Scotia, Canada) Permian-Jurassic basins by Paul E. Olsen, Dennis V. Kent, Sarah J. Fowell, Roy W. Schlische, Martha Oliver Withjack, and Peter M. LeTourneau IN in Oujidi, M., and Et-Touhami, M., eds., Le Permien et le Trias du Maroc, Actes de la Premièr Réunion su Groupe Marocain du Permien et du Trias: Oujda, Hilal Impression, p. 165-183. [PDF file>>]
1995: Geometry and origin of fault-related folds in extensional settings by Roy W. Schlische: AAPG Bulletin, v. 79, p. 1661-1678. [PDF file>>]
1995: Kinematic significance of sediment-filled fissures in the North Mountain Basalt, Fundy rift basin, Nova Scotia, Canada by Roy W. Schlische and Rolf V. Ackermann: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 17, p. 987-996. [PDF file>>]
1994: Rifting in eastern North America by Roy W. Schlische: Virginia Explorer, v. 10, p. 20-23. [Figures>>]
1994: Overlapping faults, intrabasin highs, and the growth of normal faults by Mark H. Anders and Roy W. Schlische: Journal of Geology, v. 102, p. 165-179. [PDF file>>]
1993: Anatomy and evolution of the Triassic-Jurassic continental rift system, eastern North America by Roy W. Schlische: Tectonics, v. 12, p. 1026-1042.[PDF file>>]
1992: Structural and stratigraphic development of the Newark extensional basin, eastern North America; Implications for the growth of the basin and its bounding structures by Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 104, p. 1246-1263.[PDF file>>]
1990: Transtensional arm of the early Mesozoic Fundy rift basin: Penecontemporaneous faulting and sedimentation by Paul E. Olsen and Roy W. Schlische: Geology, v. 18, p. 695-698. [PDF file>>]
1988: Structural evolution of the Newark basin by Roy W. Schlische and Paul E. Olsen, IN Geology of the Central Newark Basin edited by J.M. Husch and M.J. Hozik: Fifth Annual Meeting of the Geological Association of New Jersey, Proceedings and Field Guide, p. 43-65.
1984: Synthetic seismic-reflection profiles of rift-related structures, by Martha Withjack and D.J. Drickman Pollock, AAPG Bulletin, v. 68, p. 1160-1178. [PDF file>>]
Abstracts
2001: Structural styles of rift basins, by Martha Oliver Withjack and Roy W. Schlische: AAPG Annual Meeting Abstract, v. 10, in press. [Abstract>>]
2001: A Tale of Two Margins: A Comparison of the Passive Margins of the Southeastern United States and Norway, by Martha Oliver Withjack and Malin I. Somby: AAPG Annual Meeting Abstract, v. 10, in press. [Abstract>>]
1997: Styles of faulting in continental rift basins by Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 29, p. A-239. [Abstract>>]
1997: Field investigations of structural and stratigraphic expressions of Mesozoic rifting on the New Brunswick campuses of Rutgers University by Roy W. Schlische, Timothy J. Reilly, Rolf V. Ackermann, and Gail M. Ashley: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 29, p. A-24. [Abstract>>]
1996: Progress in understanding the structure and tectonic evolution of the eastern North American rift system by Roy W. Schlische: Aspects of Triassic-Jurassic Rift Basin Geoscience, State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Natural Resources Center, Miscellaneous Reports 1, p. 41-42. [Abstract>>]
1994: Tectonostratigraphic significance of Newark basin core and outcrop data by Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 26, n. 7, p. A-336. [Abstract>>][Newark Basin Coring Project]
1994: Folds in rift basins by Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 26, n. 3, p. 71. [Abstract>>]
1993: Stratigraphy and structure of the Hopewell fault block, Newark basin, NJ: Climatic and structural controls on sedimentation by Brian D. Jones and Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 25, p. 27. [Abstract>>]
1993: Kinematic significance of sediment-filled fissures in the North Mountain Basalt, Fundy basin, Nova Scotia, Canada by Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 25, p. 76. [Abstract>>]
1992: Basin filling, subsidence, and thermal history of the Norfolk rift basin, mid-Atlantic margin by Douglas L. Musser, Robert E. Sheridan, and Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 24, p. 65. [Abstract>>]
1992: Tectonostratigraphic development of Mesozoic rift basins and the evolution of eastern North America by Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 24, p. 73. [Abstract>>]
1992: Rift basin evolution and the growth of normal faults by Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 24, p. A158. [Abstract>>]
1992: A new view of folding in early Mesozoic rift basins by Roy W. Schlische and David J. Reynolds: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 24, p. 73. [Abstract>>]
1991: Anatomy of a rift system: Triassic-Jurassic basins of eastern North America by Roy W. Schlische and Paul E. Olsen: AAPG Bulletin, v. 75, p. 667. [Abstract>>]
1991: Preliminary analysis of Newark basin drilling project cores: Implications for basin tectonics by Roy W. Schlische, Paul E. Olsen, Bruce Cornet, and ShayMaria M. Silvestri: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 23, p. A251. [Abstract>>][Newark Basin Coring Project Website>>]
1990: Timing of faulting and sedimentation in early Mesozoic rift basins, eastern North America by Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 22, p. 68. [Abstract>>]
1990: Tectonic development of the Newark rift basin: Implications for the growth and evolution of half-graben and their boundary faults by Roy W. Schlische and Paul E. Olsen: Eos--American Geophysical Union Transactions, v. 71 p. 1606. [Abstract>>]
1989: Comparative studies of continental rift systems by David J. Reynolds and Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 21, p. 61. [Abstract>>]
1988: A model for the structural evolution of the Newark basin by Roy W. Schlische and Paul E. Olsen: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 20, p. 68. [Abstract>>]
1987: Paired half-graben, crestal collapse graben--examples from the early Mesozoic of eastern North America by Paul E. Olsen and Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 19, p. 794. [Abstract>>]
1987: Comparison of growth structures in dip-slip vs. strike-slip dominated rifts: eastern North America by Roy W. Schlische and Paul E. Olsen: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 19, p. 883. [Abstract>>]
Theses
1994: Structure and Stratigraphy of the Hopewell Fault Block, Newark Basin, New Jersey and Pennsylvania by Brian Donovan Jones: Unpublished M.S. Thesis, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. [Abstract>>]
1993: Structure, Stratigraphy, and Evolution of the Norfolk Rift Basin by Douglas Leith Musser: Unpublished M.S. Thesis, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. [Abstract>>]
1990: Aspects of the Structural and Stratigraphic Evolution of Early Mesozoic Rift Basins of Eastern North America by Roy Walter Schlische: Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University, New York City, NY. [Abstract>>]

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Forward Modeling of Rift Basin Evolution and Filling

Many continental rift basins display very similar stratigraphic packages, which we call tripartite stratigraphy. The basal unit is a fluvial deposit, which passes relatively abruptly into a generally deep-water lacustrine unit, which in turn is gradually replaced by shallow-water lacustrine and fluvial deposits. In the following articles and abstracts, we argue that this fundamental stratigraphic architecture is the result of the infilling of a growing basin, which in turn is a natural consequence of accumulation of displacement on the basin-bounding fault systems.
 

PUBLICATIONS:
Articles
2002: Rift-basin structure and its influence on sedimentary systems, by Martha Oliver Withjack, Roy W. Schlische, and Paul E. Olsen, in Robin Renaut and Gail M. Ashley, eds., Sedimentation in Continental Rifts: SEPM Special Publication 73, p. 57-81. [PDF file>>] [NSF97]
2000: Basin evolution by Roy W. Schlische, Martha Oliver Withjack, Jamie A. Austin, David E. Brown, Juan Contreras, Elizabeth Gierlowski-Kordesch,Lubamir F. Jansa, MaryAnn L. Malinconico, Joseph P. Smoot, and Robert P. Wintsch, R.P., IN Climatic, Biotic, and Tectonic Pole-to-Pole Coring Transect of Triassic-Jurassic Pangea edited by P.E. Olsen and D.V. Kent, International Continental Drilling Program, in press. [Website of Article>>]
1996: Stratigraphic effects and tectonic implications of the growth of normal faults and extensional basins by Roy W. Schlische and Mark H. Anders IN Reconstructing the Structural History of Basin and Range Extension Using Sedimentology and Stratigraphy edited by K.K. Beratan: Geological Society of America Special Paper 303, p. 183-203. [PDF file>>]
1991: Half-graben basin filling models: New constraints on continental extensional basin development by Roy W. Schlische: Basin Research, v. 3, p. 123-141. [PDF file>>]
1990: Quantitative filling model for continental extensional basins with applications to early Mesozoic rifts of eastern North America by Roy W. Schlische and Paul E. Olsen: Journal of Geology, v. 98, p. 135-155. [PDF file>>]
1988: Unraveling the rules of rifts by Paul E. Olsen and Roy W. Schlische: Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory [Yearbook] 1988, p. 26-31. [Abstract>>]
Abstracts
1993: Stratigraphic effects and tectonic implications of the growth of normal faults and extensional basins by Roy W. Schlische and Mark H. Anders: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 25, n. 5, p. 143. [Abstract>>]
1990: Stratigraphic constraints on models of half-graben evolution by Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 22, p. A273. [Abstract>>]
1988: Unraveling the rules of rift basins by Paul E. Olsen and Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 20, p. A123. [Abstract>>]
1988: Quantitative stratigraphic models of rifts based on orbitally induced lake cycles by Paul E. Olsen and Roy W. Schlische: AAPG Bulletin, v. 72, p. 231-232. [Abstract>>]
1988: Quantitative rift basin evolution: Application of extensional basin filling model to early Mesozoic rifts, E. North America by Paul E. Olsen and Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 20, p. 59. [Abstract>>]
Thesis
1991: Rift Basin Filling Models Using Variable Sediment-Supply Rates by Peter Thibodeau: Unpublished Independent Study Project, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.

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Rift Basin Inversion

It has long been recognized that the rift basins of eastern North America contain a wide variety of post-rift compressional structures. Recent work has demonstrated that these structures are more widespread and involve greater amounts of shortening than previously known. Furthermore, many of these features involve reutilization of structures that were active during Triassic-Jurassic rifting, and hence they are referred to as inversion structures. Some of the best examples of inversion structures are present in the Fundy basin. The papers and abstracts listed below summarize our recent work on rift basin inversion and postrift shortening. One of the most important conclusions of our research is that the initiation of inversion was diachronous along the margins of the central North Atlantic. We hypothesize that inversion resulted from ridge push and/or continental resistance to drift during the initial stages of seafloor spreading. Future work, funded by the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society, will utlize scaled clay models to investigate the geometry of inversion structures that develop during oblique extension followed by oblique shortening.
 

PUBLICATIONS:
Articles
2003: Relative timing of CAMP, rifting, continental breakup, and inversion: tectonic significance, by Roy W. Schlische, Martha Oliver Withjack, and P.E. Olsen , in Hames, W.E., McHone, G.C., Renne, P.R., and Ruppel, C., eds., The Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, American Geophysical Union Monograph, in press. [PDF file>>]
1998: Diachronous rifting, drifting, and inversion on the passive margin of eastern North America: An analogue for other passive margins by Martha O. Withjack, Roy W. Schlische, and Paul E. Olsen: AAPG Bulletin, v. 82, p. 817-835. [PDF file>>]
1995: Tectonic evolution of the Fundy basin, Canada: Evidence of extension and shortening during passive-margin development by Martha O. Withjack, Paul E. Olsen, and Roy W. Schlische: Tectonics, v. 14, p. 390-405.[Abstract & Figures>>][Reprints Available]

     
Abstracts
2001: Rifting, drifting, magmatic activity, and basin inversion on the passive margin of eastern North America by Martha Oliver Withjack, Roy W. Schlische, and Paul E. Olsen: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 33, p. A-157. [Abstract>>]
2001: A Comparison of Inversion Structures in Passive-Margin Settings, by Jennifer A. Elder Brady and Mark S. Baum: AAPG Annual Meeting Abstract., v. 10. [Abstract>>]
1999: Relative timing of eastern North America magmatism, rifting, drifting, and inversion by Martha Oliver Withjack, Roy W. Schlische, and Paul E. Olsen: EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, in press. [Abstract>>]
1997: Relationships among rifting, inversion, and Early Jurassic-age eastern North American magmatism by Roy W. Schlische, Martha O. Withjack, and Paul E. Olsen: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 29, p. 77. [Abstract>>]
1995: Rift basin inversion around the margins of the North Atlantic Ocean: Chronology, causes, and consequences by Roy W. Schlische and Rolf V. Ackermann: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 27, p. 80. [Abstract>>]
1992: Inversion as an integral part of rifting: An outcrop perspective from the Fundy basin, eastern North America by Paul E. Olsen, Martha O. Withjack, and Roy W. Schlische: Eos--American Geophysical Union Transactions, v. 73, n. 43, p. 562. [Abstract>>]
Theses
2002: 3-D Geometry of Inversion Structures in the Mesozoic Fundy Rift Basin, Maritime Canada by Mark S. Baum: Unpublished Masters Thesis, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. [Abstract>>]

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Biostratigraphy and Cyclostratigraphy of the Newark Basin

Lacustrine strata in the Newark and other rift basins display a pervasive cyclicity in sediment fabrics, colors, and fossils on a variety of scales. This cyclicity, the result of climatically driven fluctuations in lake level that were produced by variations in the Earth's orbit (Milankovitch theory), is best demonstrated in the Newark basin, where virtually the entire stratigraphic section has been recovered in continuous core (Newark Basin Coring Project website>>). The papers and abstracts listed below describe this cyclicity and how it can be used as a natural metronome to constrain sediment accumulation rates as well as rates of biological change, the most notable of which is the mass extinction at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. This extinction event is dramatically revealed in marked changes in assemblages of tetrapod footprints preserved in the transgressive and regressive portions of the lake-level cycles.

PUBLICATIONS:
Articles
2000: Extracting tectonic information from cores in rift basins IN Climatic, Biotic, and Tectonic Pole-to-Pole Coring Transect of Triassic-Jurassic Pangea edited by P.E. Olsen and D.V. Kent, International Continental Drilling Program, in press. [Website of Article>>]
1996: High-resolution stratigraphy of the Newark rift basin (early Mesozoic, eastern North America) by Paul E. Olsen, Dennis V. Kent, Bruce Cornet, William K. Witte, and Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 108, p. 40-77. [PDF File>>]

1996: 580 ky duration of the Early Jurassic flood basalt event in eastern North America estimated using Milankovitch cyclostratigraphy by Paul E. Olsen, Roy W. Schlische, and Michael S. Fedosh, IN The Continental Jurassic edited by M. Morales: Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin 60, p. 11-22. [Abstract & Figures>>] [Reprints Available]
1996: A new occurrence of the ichnogenus Brachychirotherium: implications for the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction event by Michael J. Szajna and ShayMaria M. Silvestri IN The Continental Jurassic edited by M. Morales: New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin No. 4. [Abstract>>]
1993: Biostratigraphy of vertebrate footprints in the Late Triassic section of the Newark basin, Pennsylvania: reassessmant of stratigraphic ranges by ShayMaria M. Silvestri and Michael J. Szajna IN The Nonmarine Triassic edited by S.G. Lucas and M. Morales: New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin No. 3, p. 439-445. [Abstract>>][Reprints Available]
Abstracts
2000: Facies Analysis of lake cycles in Newark basin cores: A review by ShayMaria M. Silvestri: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 32. [Abstract>>]
1997: Cycle correlation, thickening trends, and facies changes of paleolake highstands across the Newark basin, NJ and PA by ShayMaria M. Silvestri: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 29, n. 1, p. 80. [Abstract>>]
1996: Ichnite record of terrestrial tetrapod abundance and diversity through a critical period in Earth history, Jacksonwald syncline, Newark basin, Pennsylvania by ShayMaria M. Silvestri: Aspects of Triassic-Jurassic Rift Basin Geoscience, State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Natural Resources Center, Miscellaneous Reports 1, p. 43. [Abstract>>]
1994: Facies analysis of Newark basin cores and outcrops by ShayMaria M. Silvestri: Geological Society America Abstracts with Programs, v. 26, p. A-402. [Abstract>>]
1992: Analysis of Newark basin drill cores and outcrop sections: Tectonic and climatic controls on lacustrine facies architecture by ShayMaria M. Silvestri and Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 24, p. 76. [Abstract>>]
1991: Analysis of deformed tetrapod footprints from the Jacksonwald syncline of the Newark basin: Implications for the Triassic-Jurassic extinctions by ShayMaria M. Silvestri, Roy W. Schlische, and Paul E. Olsen: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 23, p. 127. [Abstract>>]
1989: Ichnostratigraphy of the Jacksonwald syncline: the last 7 million years of the Triassic by ShayMaria M. Silvestri and Paul E. Olsen: Geological Society America Abstracts with Programs, v. 21, n. 2, p. 66. [Abstract>>]
1988: Uniquely preserved trackway of the reptile ichnotaxon Rhynchosauroides hyperbates BAIRD from the Late Triassic of Arcola, Pennsylvania, associated forms, and significance to Carnian-Norian extinction by ShayMaria M. Silvestri and Paul E. Olsen: Geological Society America Abstracts with Programs, v. 20, n. 1, p. 70. [Abstract>>]
Thesis
1999: Facies and Biostratigraphy of the Triassic-Jurassic Passaic Formation of the Newark Rift Basin, New Jersey and Pennsylvania by ShayMaria Michaeli Silvestri: Ph.D. dissertation, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (in progress).

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Dissolutional Collapse Features in the Blomidon Formation, Fundy Basin

The Fundy basin of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada, contains a suite of arid sedimentary facies including dune sands and sand-patch fabric. Our work has shown that the Late Triassic to earliest Jurassic-age Blomidon Formation once contained fairly thick sections of evaporites. Dissolution of these evaporites has resulted in a suite of diagnostic collapse structures of regional extent. These dissolutional collapse structures may be mistaken for structures related to seismic shaking. 

PUBLICATIONS:
Article
1995: Synsedimentary collapse of portions of the lower Blomidon Formation, Fundy rift basin, Nova Scotia by Rolf V. Ackermann, Roy W. Schlische, and Paul E. Olsen: Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 32, p. 1965-1976. [PDF file>>]
Abstracts
1995: Evaporite dissolution and associated collapse features of the Fundy basin: Paleoenvironmental implications by Rolf V. Ackermann, Roy W. Schlische, and Paul E. Olsen: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 27, p. 25. [Abstract>>]
1993: Triassic buried interstratal karst, Fundy basin, Canada by Rolf V. Ackermann, Roy W. Schlische, and Paul E. Olsen: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 25, p. A69. [Abstract>>]

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Fracture Populations

In the last ten years, there has been considerable interest in studying fracture populations, particularly in unraveling their scaling relationships. This work is extremely important because: (1) scaling relationships provide first-order constraints on how faults grow (or evolve) through time; (2) if it can be shown that a fault population follows a power-law distribution, then one can use this information to estimate the number of faults present below the sampling resolution; (3) fault-size distributions can be used to calculate fault-related strain; (4) the spatial distribution and density of fractures is extremely relevant to studying aspects of fluid flow through rocks and their influence on geomorphology. The following sections outline our research on this important topic.

[The adjacent photo shows an oblique view of a bedding surface cut by a large number of normal faults. Coins (quarters) are used for scale. The exposed bedding surface is located in the Solite Quarry of the Danville rift basin.]

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Geometry and Scaling Relationships of Populations of Normal Faults and Associated Fractures
 

In 1994, we discovered an exceptional population of very small faults from the Dan River/Danville basin, North Carolina and Virginia. These tectonic faults are perhaps the smallest mesoscopic normal faults studied to date. Our work thus far has focused on (1) the displacement geometry, (2) length-displacement scaling relation, (3) the size distribution of the fault population, (4) the spatial distribution of the faults, and (5) fracture partitioning (different failure modes in interbedded lithologies). The exceptional exposure of these faults coupled with the ability to study these faults in three dimensions provides an unprecedented opportunity to study the geometry and processes of faulting.

In recent years, we have also been investigating the population of faults and fissures on the Reykjanes Peninsula of Iceland, an area of oblique rifting. In areas where faults cut lava flows of different ages, we may be able to unravel aspects of the temporal evolution of fault systems.

PUBLICATIONS:
Articles
2003: A Lagerstaette of rift-related tectonic structures from the Solite Quarry, Dan River/Danville rift basin by Rolf V. Ackermann, Roy W. Schlische, Lina C. Patino, and Lois A. Johnson, in LeTourneau, P.M., and Olsen, P.E., eds., The Great Rift Valleys of Pangea in Eastern North America--Volume 1--Tectonics, Structure, and Volcanism: New York, Columbia University Press, p. 118-133. [PDF file>>] [NSF97]
1997: Anticlustering of smaller faults around larger normal faults by Rolf V. Ackermann and Roy W. Schlische: Geology, v. 25, p. 1127-1130. [PDF file>>] [NSF97]
1996: Geometry and scaling relations of a population of very small rift-related normal faults by Roy W. Schlische, Scott S. Young, Rolf V. Ackermann, and Anupma Gupta: Geology, v. 23, p. 683-686. [PDF file>>]
Abstracts
2000: Normal fault populations and scaling laws: An overview by Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 31, in press. [Abstract>>][NSF97]
1999: Spatial distribution of fractures in the Reykjanes fissure swarm; Comparison with scaled experimental models by Amy E. Clifton: Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting. [Abstract>>] [NSF97]
1998: Fracture population systematics of an oblique rift zone: Field mapping and air-photo analysis of the Reykjanes fissure swarm, Iceland by Amy E. Clifton and Roy W. Schlische: EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union. [Abstract>>][NSF97]
1996: Deformation within the Solite Quarry, Danville basin: Small normal faults, fracture partitioning and the spatial-temporal evolution of normal fault systems by Rolf V. Ackermann, Roy W. Schlische, Lina C. Patino, Lois A. Johnson, and Scott S. Young: Aspects of Triassic-Jurassic Rift Basin Geoscience, State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Natural Resources Center, Miscellaneous Reports 1, p. 1-2. [Abstract>>]
1996: Fracture partitioning in the Cow Branch Formation, Danville rift basin: Influence of mechanical stratigraphy on Mohr-Coulomb failure by Rolf V. Ackermann, Lois A. Johnson, Lina C. Patino, and Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 28, no. 3, p. 33. [Abstract>>]
1995: Anti-clustering of microfaults around larger normal faults: Differential strain accommodation in the Danville basin by Rolf V. Ackermann, Roy W. Schlische, and Scott S. Young: Eos--American Geophysical Union Transactions, v. 76, n. 46 (supplement), p. F574. [Abstract>>]
1995: Geometry and scaling relations of a population of rift-related normal faults by Roy W. Schlische, Scott S. Young, and Rolf V. Ackermann: Eos--American Geophysical Union Transactions, v. 76, n. 46 (supplement), p. F574. [Abstract>>]
1995: Micro-normal fault populations in Mesozoic rift basins: Length-displacement scaling relations by Scott S. Young, Roy W. Schlische, and Rolf V. Ackermann: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 27, p. 94. [Abstract>>]
Theses
2002: Thickness-Displacement Scaling Relationships for Faults in Triassic Mudstones of the Newark basin by Holly Peterson: Senior Thesis, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ [Abstract>>]
2000: Laboratory and Field Studies of Oblique Rifting by Amy E. Clifton: Ph.D. Dissertation, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. [Abstract>>] [NSF97]
1999: The Tectonic Geomorphology of the Molvik Graben, Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland by Jamie Whitlock: George H. Cook Senior Honors Thesis, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.
1997: Spatial Distribution of Rift-Related Fractures: Field Observations, Experimental Modeling, and Influence on Drainage Networks by Rolf Vincent Ackermann: Ph.D. Dissertation, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 136 pp. [Abstract]
1995: Micro-Normal Fault Populations in the Solite Quarry of the Dan River/Danville Basin: Length-Displacement Scaling Relations by Scott S. Young: Unpublished Senior Honors thesis, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. [Abstract]

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Experimental Modeling of Fault Systems and Deformation

Natural fault populations represent the end stage of a presumably multistage evolutionary sequence. Aspects of that evolution can only be inferred. To get around this problem, we are using scaled physical models to study the temporal evolution of fault systems for distributed and basement-involved extension, shortening, and oblique deformation. The photo at left shows part of a clay model of distributed orthogonal extension. The bright and dark features are normal faults dipping toward and away from the light source. The field of view is approximately 35 cm across.  The articles listed below provide more information about our current experimental modeling efforts. Also listed are articles resulting from Dr. Withjack's 20+ years of experimental modeling research.

 

PUBLICATIONS:
Articles
2003: Fracture populations on the Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland: Comparisons with experimental clay models of oblique rifting, by Amy E. Clifton and Roy W. Schlische, Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 108, No. B2, 10.1029/2001JB000635. [PDF file>>]
2002: An experimental study of the secondary deformation produced by oblique-slip normal faulting, by Roy W. Schlische, Martha Oliver Withjack, and Gloria Eisenstadt: AAPG Bulletin, v. 86, p. 885-906. [PDF file>>][NSF97]
2001: Nucleation, growth and linkage of faults in oblique rift zones: results from experimental clay models, by Amy E. Clifton and Roy W. Schlische: Geology, v. 29, p. 455-458. [PDF file>>] [NSF97]
2001: The geometric and statistical evolution of normal fault systems: an experimental study of the effects of mechanical layer thickness on scaling laws, by Rolf V. Ackermann, Martha Oliver Withjack, and Roy W. Schlische: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 23, p. 1803-1819. [PDF file>>] [NSF97]
2000: Influence of rift obliquity on fault-population systematics: results of clay modeling experiments, by Amy E. Clifton, Roy W. Schlische, Martha Oliver Withjack, and Rolf V. Ackermann: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 22, p. 1491-1509. [PDF file>>] [NSF97]
2000: Active normal faulting beneath a salt layer -- an experimental study of deformation in the cover sequence, by Martha Oliver Withjack and J. Sybil Callaway:  AAPG Bulletin, v. 84, p. 627-651. [PDF file>>]
1995: Normal faults and their hanging-wall deformation--an experimental study, by Martha Oliver Withjack, Quati Islam, and Paul LaPointe: AAPG Bulletin, v. 79, p. 1-18. [PDF file>>]
1995: Estimating inversion--results from clay-model studies, by Gloria Eisenstadt and Martha Oliver Withjack, in Basin Inversion: Geological Society of London, Special Publication 88, p. 119-136. 
1993: Prediction of normal-fault geometries--A sensitivity analysis, by Martha Oliver Withjack and Eric T. Peterson: AAPG Bulletin, v. 77, p. 1860-1873. [PDF file>>]
1990: Experimental models of extensional forced folds, by Martha Oliver Withjack, Jon Olson, and Eric Peterson:  AAPG Bulletin, v. 74, p. 1038-1054. 
1986: Deformation produced by oblique rifting, by Martha Withjack and William Jamison:  Tectonophysics, v. 12, p. 99-124.
1982: Fault patterns associated with domes--an experimental and analytical study, by Martha Withjack and C. Scheiner:  AAPG Bulletin, v. 66, p. 302-316. [PDF file>>]
Abstacts
2001: Styles of secondary faulting and folding associated with oblique deformation, by Roy W. Schlische and Martha Oliver Withjack: AAPG Annual Meeting Abstract, v. 10, in press. [Abstract>>]
2000: The role of scaled experimental models in studies of fault scaling and system behavior by Rolf V. Ackermann: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 31, in press. [Abstract>>]
1999: Uh-oh! n<1: Dynamic length-displacement scaling by Rolf V. Ackermann and Roy W. Schlische: EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, Spring Meeting. [Abstract>>][NSF97]
1999: Nucleation, growth, and linkage of faults in oblique rift zones: Results of scaled clay models by Amy E. Clifton, Roy W. Schlische, Martha Oliver Withjack,and Rolf V. Ackermann: EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, Spring Meeting. [Abstract>>][NSF97]
1999: An experimental study of the secondary fault patterns produced by oblique-slip normal faulting by Roy W. Schlische, Martha Oliver Withjack, and Gloria Eisenstadt: EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, Spring Meeting. [Abstract>>][NSF97]
1999: Oblique-slip normal faulting: Comparisons of the secondary deformation associated with experimental models and geological examples by Martha Oliver Withjack, Gloria Eisenstadt, and Roy W. Schlische: EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, Spring Meeting. [Abstract>>] [NSF97]
1999: Using scaled physical models to study the deformation pattern produced by basement-involved oblique extension by Roy W. Schlische, Martha Oliver Withjack, and Gloria Eisenstadt: AAPG Annual Meeting Abstract. [Abstract>>][NSF97]
1999: Interpretation of oblique compressional structures: Comparison of field examples and physical models by Sarah E. Tindall, Gloria Eisenstadt, Martha Oliver Withjack, and Roy W. Schlische: AAPG Annual Meeting Abstract. [Abstract>>]
1998: Using scaled physical models of oblique extension to study the temporal evolution of segmented fault systems by Amy E. Clifton, Roy W. Schlische, Martha Oliver Withjack, and Rolf V. Ackermann: EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, v. 79, n. 45 (supplement), p. F648-649. [Abstract>>][NSF97]
1997: Systematics of an evolving population of normal faults in scaled physical models by Rolf V. Ackermann, Roy W. Schlische, and Martha Oliver Withjack: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 29, p. A-198. [Abstract>>][NSF97]
1997: Using scaled physical models of oblique deformation to analyze the spatial and temporal evolution of fault systems by Amy E. Clifton and Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 29, p. A-258. [Abstract>>][NSF97]
Theses
2002: 3D Geometry of Normal Fault Populations in Experimental Clay Models by Amber Granger, George H. Cook Senior Honors Thesis, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.
2000: Laboratory and Field Studies of Oblique Rifting by Amy E. Clifton: Ph.D. Dissertation, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. [Abstract>>] [NSF97]
1997: Variations in Strain Accommodated by Faults in a Scaled Physical Model by Michael Viersma: Independent Study Project, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.

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Fracture Networks in the Newark Basin and Their Influence on Hydrogeology and Modern Drainage Networks

Fractures are the most common geologic structure in the Earth's upper crust, and play an extremely important role in hydrogeology, petroleum geology, environmental geology, and geomorphology. The abstracts and theses below describe our ongoing research on fractures networks in the Newark basin.

PUBLICATIONS:
Articles
1998: Anisotropic behavior of compressional waves in fractured mudstones, Newark basin, New Jersey: applications to groundwater by Stefan Muszala, Robert E. Sheridan, and Roy W. Schlische: Northeastern Geology [Abstract>>]
1996: Digital mapping of fractures in bedrock aquifers: A GIS geological framework for interpreting movement of ground-water contaminants by Gregory C. Herman: New Jersey Geological Survey Research Study Results, 32 p.
Abstracts
1997: First-order structural controls on modern drainage networks within the Newark rift basin, New Jersey by Rolf V. Ackermann, Michele A. Seidl, and Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 29, n. 1, p. 25 [Abstract>>]
1994: Response of a bedrock-influenced river to sustained elevated discharge: Anthropogenic induced change by Rolf V. Ackermann, Gail M. Ashley, and Roy W. Schlische: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 26, n. 7, p. A-234. [Abstract>>]
1994: Channel response to sustained elevated discharge: East Branch Perkiomen Creek, Bedminster, PA by Rolf V. Ackermann and Gail M. Ashley: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 26, n. 3, p. 1. [Abstract>>]
Theses
1997: Fracture Patterns in Newark Basin Bedrock and Their Relationship to Groundwater Flow by Kevin D. Orabone: M.S. thesis, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.
1996: Fracture occurrence correlations between core data and borehole televiewer data of the Somerset Core, Newark extensional basin, eastern North America: Newark Basin Coring Project by Martin D. Finn: Unpublished Independent Study Project, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. [Abstract>>]
1996: Seismic Refraction Study of a Portion of the Newark Basin, Rutgers University, Busch Campus, Piscataway, New Jersey by Stefan Muszala: Unpublished Senior Honors Thesis, Rutgers University, New Brunwick, NJ. [Abstract>>]
1994: Effects of Sustained Elevated Discharges from Intrabasin Flow Diversion on the Fluvial Geomorphology of East Branch Perkiomen Creek, Bedminster, Pennsylvania by Rolf Vincent Ackermann: Unpublished M.S. Thesis, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. [Abstract>>]

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index.htm -- Revised: 14 June 2004