About this Research Topic
Extensional systems are characterized by complex and dynamic environments. The interplay between tectonic deformation, fault evolution, surface processes and climate controls basin architecture and sedimentary infill. Assessing the links and interactions between these factors permits an improved understanding of basin evolution and subsequent sediment distribution, with implications including resource exploration and natural hazard assessment.
Researchers have been studying the evolution of extensional systems through increasingly sophisticated methods, advancing the detail of insights into the interactions and feedback between tectonics, faulting, and surface processes. Recent attention has gone to the detailed evolution of normal faults, focussing on structural inheritance, multiple extension phases and reactivation, as well as the effect of deformation on sedimentation patterns by means of 3D seismic interpretation and analogue and numerical tectonic modelling techniques. Other studies aim to understand the development and propagation of faults in space and time through detailed earthquake analysis as well as tectonostratigraphic and geomorphological fieldwork (terrestrial and marine), with important implications for earthquake hazard assessment. Furthermore, it has been shown that climatic and surface processes do not only influence sedimentary environments but may also affect tectonics and fault evolution through sedimentary loading and thermal blanketing. However, these topics remain poorly understood. Since extensional tectonic systems are a crucial part of the Earth’s plate tectonic framework, harbouring vast natural resources, as well as sedimentary archives containing crucial information on past global change, and, given that significant populations live in close proximity to such environments and their related hazards, an improved understanding of these processes is of great importance for society.
To further our knowledge of the multifaceted, dynamic evolution observed within extensional settings, this Research Topic aims to bring together original research contributions that investigate the relationships between, and interactions of, extensional tectonics, surface processes and climate, at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. We welcome approaches including remote-sensing analysis, geophysical methods and sedimentological, structural or geomorphological terrestrial or marine fieldwork from around the globe. Analogue and numerical modelling studies are also encouraged.
Keywords: Rifting, Fault Evolution, Surface processes, Tectonics, Deformation
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