Analyzing structural variations along strike in a deep-water thrust belt

Yukitsugu Totake, Rob W. H. Butler, Clare E. Bond, Aznan Aziz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


We characterize a deep-water fold-thrust arrays imaged by a high-resolution 3D seismic dataset in the offshore NW Borneo, Malaysia, to understand the kinematics behind spatial arrangement of structural variations throughout the fold-thrust system. The seismic volume used covers two sub-parallel fold trains associated with a series of fore-thrusts and back-thrusts. We measured fault heave, shortening value, fold geometries (forelimb dip, interlimb angle and crest depth) along strike in individual fold trains. Heave plot on strike projection allows to identify individual thrust segments showing semi-elliptical to triangular to bimodal patterns, and linkages of these segments. The linkage sites are marked by local minima in cumulative heave. These local heave minima are compensated by additional structures, such as small imbricate thrusts and tight folds indicated by large forelimb dip and small interlimb angle. Complementary profiles of the shortening amount for the two fold trains result in smoother gradient of total shortening across the structures. We interpret this reflects kinematic interaction between two fold-thrust trains. This type of along-strike variation analysis provides comprehensive understanding of a fold-thrust system and may provide an interpretative strategy for inferring the presence of complex multiple faults in less well-imaged parts of seismic volumes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-229
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Structural Geology
Early online date14 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

This study is based on part of PhD research funded by INPEX CORPORATION at University of Aberdeen. We acknowledge Petronas for the release of beautiful images of 3D seismic data along with borehole information. We thank Schlumberger for the academic use of Petrel software. We are truly thankful to Nancye Dawers, Haakon Fossen, Roy Gabrielsen and Steve Laubach for their invaluable and constructive comments that considerably improved the manuscript.


  • Fold thrust belt
  • Displacement analysis
  • Fault linkage
  • Strain localization
  • Deep water
  • Malaysia


Dive into the research topics of 'Analyzing structural variations along strike in a deep-water thrust belt'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this