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USGS - science for a changing world

F Gutierrez

The salt valleys over the axis of the salt-cored anticlines in the Paradox fold and fault belt (Canyonlands, Utah and Colorado) are created by subsidence of the anticline crests. Traditionally, the collapse of the anticlinal crests was attributed to dissolution of the salt walls (diapirs) forming the anticline cores. Recent studies based on scaled physical models and field observations propose that the salt valleys are a result of regional extension and that salt dissolution had only a minor influence in the development of the axial depressions. This paper presents several arguments and lines of evidence that refute the tectonic model and support the salt dissolution subsidence interpretation. The development of...
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