Regional flow perturbation folding within an exhumation channel: A case study from the Cycladic Blueschists

P. Xypolias, G. I. Alsop

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Kilometre-scale cylindrical folds and associated parasitic folds that trend at small angles to the transport lineation are analysed along a 100-km-long transport-normal segment of the Cycladic Blueschists in an attempt to reconstruct the 3D structural architecture within an exhumation channel. Reversals in the polarity of both fold vergence and the hinge/lineation obliquity occur in a flow-normal direction, defining transport-parallel culmination and depression surfaces that root downwards onto an underlying detachment. Fold patterns generated around culmination and depression surfaces support models of flow-perturbation folding where folds initiate at small angles or sub-parallel to transport in response to wrench-dominated differential shearing. Successive culmination and depression surfaces are separated from one another by along strike distances of ∼20 km, although atypical fold geometries developed in the flanks of major culmination and depressions follow their own patterns, revealing that smaller perturbations occur within the larger scheme. Major culminations are interpreted to reflect regions of surging flow marked by increased velocity during exhumation, whilst the opposite is true for depressions. This behaviour implies that on a regional scale, differential shear varies laterally in an irregular-sinusoidal manner defining areas of relative high and relative low displacement within the exhumation channel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-155
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Structural Geology
Early online date17 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

Bibliographical note

Critical reviews by B. Sullivan and an anonymous reviewer as well as editorial remarks by B. Dunne were helpful in reorganizing and clarifying important aspects of this manuscript and are gratefully acknowledged.


  • cylindrical folds
  • flow perturbation
  • ductile deformation
  • high-pressure rocks
  • cyclades


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