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Crustal models of the Ouachita thrust belt, central Texas



Crustal models of the Ouachita thrust belt, central Texas



Abstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America 28(7): 414



In central Texas, a sharp gravity gradient is present which increases from west to east at a rate which exceeds 1 milligal per mile. The location of this anomaly coincides with the buried Ouachita Mountains. Crustal models constructed perpendicular to the gradient show that the steep gravity gradient is created by a combination of two factors: dense rocks in the core of the buried Ouachita Mountains in close proximity to relatively low-density basin fill, and the location of the buried mountain range near the continental margin. The Fort Worth Basin and other foreland features to the west of the fold belt contain sediments which are low in density when compared with the hard carbonates and metamorphic rocks in the interior of the foldbelt, therefore creating a sharp change in density within a short lateral distance. Models also indicate that the continental crust thins toward the Gulf of Mexico, and that transitional crust having a density between typical continental and oceanic crust is present immediately to the east and southeast of the Ouachita chain. The Llano Uplift is also seen as a complex assemblage of many distinct plutons of various densities.

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