Statistical analysis of structures commonly used to determine palaeoslopes from within mass transport deposits

Mérolyn Camila Naves de Lima Rodrigues* (Corresponding Author), Barbara Trzaskos, G. Ian Alsop, Fernando Farias Vesely, Thammy Ellin Mottin, Danielle Cristine Buzatto Schemiko

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Mass transport deposits (MTDs) contain deformation structures often that are used to determine the kinematics of palaeo-mass flows and hence the orientation of the original slope or gradient upon which the mass flow developed. When integrated with stratigraphic data, the azimuth of the palaeoslope can help elucidate the depositional evolution and palaeogeography of a region. However, most studies have defined palaeoslopes from well-exposed MTDs, which raises some questions regarding the validity of establishing palaeoslope definition where MTDs are poorly exposed. We examine MTDs of the Itararé Group (Paraná Basin), in southern Brazil, that are only partially exposed, but widely distributed both vertically and horizontally. Datasets and transport direction (palaeoflow) obtained from different structures, variable methods and multiple stratigraphic levels and geographic localities were statistically evaluated to verify the robustness of the methodology. This allow the orientation of local palaeoslope to be established for different time intervals, even from disconnected outcrops. Faults and folds, that are the main structures used to define palaeoslopes, display the greatest potential to accurately determine palaeoflow in the examined MTDs. The use of other structures such as asymmetric boudins, quarter structures and injectites, helped to clarify flow kinematics. The integration of palaeoflow data with palaeocurrent data from associated deposits give additional support for determining the orientation of the palaeoslope.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104421
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Structural Geology
Early online date22 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

This contribution is part of PhD research performed by the first author in the Postgraduate Program in Geology at UFPR with scholarship provided by Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) Foundation. The study was funded by Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq, grant 461650/2014–2, PQ 302842/2017-9 and PQ 306780/2019-4). We are grateful to the Editor Prof. Joao Hippertt and the reviewer Dr. Kei Ogata for careful reading and valuable suggestions and comments that improved the manuscript.


  • Mass-transport deposits
  • Syn-sedimentary deformation
  • Original palaeoslope
  • Itararé group
  • Paraná basin


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