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Dr David Boutelier

Senior Lecturer

School of Environmental and Life Sciences

Career Summary

Biography

David is a structural geologist interested in the mechanics of plate tectonics. His work investigates the three-dimensional and thermo-mechanical aspects of various plate tectonic processes including subduction, collision and continental break-up. David uses and develops scaled models of tectonic processes in the laboratory to test hypotheses derived and constrained by geological and geophysical data. 

Research Expertise
Analogue and numerical modelling of Tectonics

Teaching Expertise
1. Structural and Field Geology
2. Geodynamics

Qualifications

  • PHD Geoscience, University of Nicc-Sophia Antipolis - France
  • Master of Science - Geoscience, University of Montpellier II - France

Keywords

  • Analogue modelling
  • Geodynamics
  • Structural geology
  • Tectonics

Languages

  • English (Fluent)
  • French (Fluent)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
040402 Geodynamics 25
040312 Structural Geology 25
040313 Tectonics 50

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Senior Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Australia
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Chapter (3 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Schrank C, Karrech A, Boutelier DA, Regenauer-Lieb K, 'Ductile deformation of single inclusions in simple shear with a finite-strain hyperelastoviscoplastic rheology', Ductile Shear Zones: From Micro- to Macro-scales, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ 46-58 (2016) [B1]
DOI 10.1002/9781118844953.ch4
2011 Boutelier D, Chemenda A, 'Physical modeling of arc-continent collision: A review of 2d, 3d, purely mechanical and thermo-mechanical experimental models', 445-473 (2011)
DOI 10.1007/978-3-540-88558-0_16
Citations Scopus - 12
2011 Brown D, Ryan PD, Afonso JC, Boutelier D, Burg JP, Byrne T, et al., 'Arc-continent collision: The making of an orogen', 477-493 (2011)
DOI 10.1007/978-3-540-88558-0_17
Citations Scopus - 25

Journal article (30 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Kavanagh JL, Rogers BD, Boutelier D, Cruden AR, 'Controls on sill and dyke-sill hybrid geometry and propagation in the crust: The role of fracture toughness', Tectonophysics, 698 109-120 (2017) [C1]

© 2017 The Authors Analogue experiments using gelatine were carried out to investigate the role of the mechanical properties of rock layers and their bonded interfaces on the for... [more]

© 2017 The Authors Analogue experiments using gelatine were carried out to investigate the role of the mechanical properties of rock layers and their bonded interfaces on the formation and propagation of magma-filled fractures in the crust. Water was injected at controlled flux through the base of a clear-Perspex tank into superposed and variably bonded layers of solidified gelatine. Experimental dykes and sills were formed, as well as dyke-sill hybrid structures where the ascending dyke crosses the interface between layers but also intrudes it to form a sill. Stress evolution in the gelatine was visualised using polarised light as the intrusions grew, and its evolving strain was measured using digital image correlation (DIC). During the formation of dyke-sill hybrids there are notable decreases in stress and strain near the dyke as sills form, which is attributed to a pressure decrease within the intrusive network. Additional fluid is extracted from the open dykes to help grow the sills, causing the dyke protrusion in the overlying layer to be almost completely drained. Scaling laws and the geometry of the propagating sill suggest sill growth into the interface was toughness-dominated rather than viscosity-dominated. We define K Ic * as the fracture toughness of the interface between layers relative to the lower gelatine layer K IcInt ¿/¿K IcG . Our results show that K Ic * influences the type of intrusion formed (dyke, sill or hybrid), and the magnitude of K IcInt impacted the growth rate of the sills. K IcInt was determined during setup of the experiment by controlling the temperature of the upper layer T m when it was poured into place, with T m ¿ < ¿24¿°C resulting in an interface with relatively low fracture toughness that is favourable for sill or dyke-sill hybrid formation. The experiments help to explain the dominance of dykes and sills in the rock record, compared to intermediate hybrid structures.

DOI 10.1016/j.tecto.2016.12.027
2017 Venkataramani D, Musgrave R, Boutelier DP, Hack A, Collins W, 'Revised potential field model of the Gilmore Fault Zone', Exploration Geophysics, (2017)
Co-authors Bill Collins
2017 Schrank C, Karrech A, Boutelier DA, Regenauer-Lieb K, 'A comparative study of Maxwell viscoelasticity at large strains and rotations', GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL, 211 252-262 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/gji/ggx297
2016 Boutelier DP, Cruden AR, 'Slab breakoff: insights from 3D thermo-mechanical analogue modelling experiments', Tectonophysics, 694 197-213 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.tecto.2016.10.020
2016 Boutelier D, Cruden A, Saumur B, 'Density and visco-elasticity of Natrosol 250 HH solutions: Determining their suitability for experimental tectonics', Journal of Structural Geology, 86 153-165 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.jsg.2016.03.001
Citations Scopus - 2
2016 Maravelis AG, Boutelier DP, Catuneanu O, St Seymour K, Zelilidis A, 'A review of tectonics and sedimentation in a forearc setting: Hellenic Thrace Basin, North Aegean Sea and Northern Greece', Tectonophysics, 674 1-19 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.tecto.2016.02.003
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 2
2016 Boutelier DP, 'TecPIV - A MATLAB-based application for PIV-analysis of experimental tectonics', Computers & Geosciences, 89 186-199 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.cageo.2016.02.002
2016 Rudolf M, Boutelier DP, Rosenau M, Schreurs G, Oncken O, 'Rheological benchmark of silicone oils used for analog modeling of short- and long-term lithospheric deformation', Tectonophysics, 684 12-22 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.tecto.2015.11.028
Citations Scopus - 1
2015 Saumur BM, Cruden A, Boutelier DP, 'Sulfide Liquid Entrainment by Silicate Magma: Implications for the Dynamics and Petrogenesis of Magmatic Sulfide Deposits', Journal of Petrology, 56 2473-2490 (2015) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/petrology/egv080
Citations Scopus - 2
2015 Kavanagh JL, Boutelier D, Cruden AR, 'The mechanics of sill inception, propagation and growth: Experimental evidence for rapid reduction in magmatic overpressure', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 421 117-128 (2015) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.03.038
Citations Scopus - 19
2014 Boutelier D, Oncken O, Cruden AR, 'Trench-parallel shortening in the forearc caused by subduction along a seaward-concave plate boundary: Insights from analogue modelling experiments', Tectonophysics, 611 192-203 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.tecto.2013.11.028
Citations Scopus - 4
2014 Duarte J, Rosas F, Terrinha P, Schellart W, Boutelier DP, Gutscher M-A, Ribeiro A, 'Are subduction zones invading the Atlantic? Evidence from the southwest Iberia margin: REPLY', Geology (Boulder), 42 e329 (2014) [C3]
DOI 10.1130/G35420Y.1
Citations Scopus - 2
2013 Duarte JC, Rosas FM, Terrinha P, Schellart WP, Boutelier D, Gutscher MA, Ribeiro A, 'Are subduction zones invading the atlantic? Evidence from the southwest iberia margin', Geology, 41 839-842 (2013) [C1]

Subduction initiation at passive margins plays a central role in the plate tectonics theory. However, the process by which a passive margin becomes active is not well understood. ... [more]

Subduction initiation at passive margins plays a central role in the plate tectonics theory. However, the process by which a passive margin becomes active is not well understood. In this paper we use the southwest Iberia margin (SIM) in the Atlantic Ocean to study the process of passive margin reactivation. Currently there are two tectonic mechanisms operating in the SIM: migration of the Gibraltar Arc and Africa-Eurasia convergence. Based on a new tectonic map, we propose that a new subduction zone is forming at the SIM as a result of both propagation of compressive stresses from the Gibraltar Arc and stresses related to the large-scale Africa-Eurasia convergence. The Gibraltar Arc and the SIM appear to be connected and have the potential to develop into a new eastern Atlantic subduction system. Our work suggests that the formation of new subduction zones in Atlantic-type oceans may not require the spontaneous foundering of its passive margins. Instead, subduction can be seen as an invasive process that propagates from ocean to ocean. © 2013 Geological Society of America.

DOI 10.1130/G34100.1
Citations Scopus - 40
2013 Boutelier D, Cruden A, 'Slab rollback rate and trench curvature controlled by arc deformation', Geology, 41 911-914 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1130/G34338.1
Citations Scopus - 10
2012 Oncken O, Boutelier D, Dresen G, Schemmann K, 'Strain accumulation controls failure of a plate boundary zone: Linking deformation of the Central Andes and lithosphere mechanics', Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 13 (2012) [C1]
DOI 10.1029/2012GC004280
Citations Scopus - 8
2012 Riller U, Cruden AR, Boutelier D, Schrank CE, 'The causes of sinuous crustal-scale deformation patterns in hot orogens: Evidence from scaled analogue experiments and the southern Central Andes', Journal of Structural Geology, 37 65-74 (2012) [C1]

The cause of upper-crustal segmentation into rhomb-shaped, shear zone-bound domains associated with contractional sedimentary basins in hot, wide orogens is not well understood. H... [more]

The cause of upper-crustal segmentation into rhomb-shaped, shear zone-bound domains associated with contractional sedimentary basins in hot, wide orogens is not well understood. Here we use scaled multilayered analogue experiments to investigate the role of an orogen-parallel crustal-strength gradient on the formation of such structures. We show that the aspect ratio and size of domains, the sinuous character and abundance of transpressional shear zones vary with the integrated mechanical strength of crust. Upper-crustal deformation patterns and the degree of strain localization in the experiments are controlled by the ratio between the brittle and ductile strength in the model crust as well as gradients in tectonic and buoyancy forces. The experimental results match the first-order kinematic and structural characteristics of the southern Central Andes and provide insight on the dynamics of underlying deformation patterns in hot, wide orogens. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI 10.1016/j.jsg.2012.02.002
Citations Scopus - 14
2012 Boutelier D, Oncken O, Cruden A, 'Fore-arc deformation at the transition between collision and subduction: Insights from 3-D thermomechanical laboratory experiments', Tectonics, 31 (2012) [C1]
DOI 10.1029/2011TC003060
Citations Scopus - 11
2011 Boutelier D, Oncken O, '3-D thermo-mechanical laboratory modeling of plate-tectonics: Modeling scheme, technique and first experiments', Solid Earth, 2 35-51 (2011) [C1]

We present an experimental apparatus for 3-D thermo-mechanical analogue modeling of plate tectonic processes such as oceanic and continental subductions, arccontinent or continent... [more]

We present an experimental apparatus for 3-D thermo-mechanical analogue modeling of plate tectonic processes such as oceanic and continental subductions, arccontinent or continental collisions. The model lithosphere, made of temperature-sensitive elasto-plastic analogue materials with strain softening, is submitted to a constant temperature gradient causing a strength reduction with depth in each layer. The surface temperature is imposed using infrared emitters, which allows maintaining an unobstructed view of the model surface and the use of a high resolution optical strain monitoring technique (Particle Imaging Velocimetry). Subduction experiments illustrate how the stress conditions on the interplate zone can be estimated using a force sensor attached to the back of the upper plate and adjusted via the density and strength of the subducting lithosphere or the lubrication of the plate boundary. The first experimental results reveal the potential of the experimental set-up to investigate the three-dimensional solid-mechanics interactions of lithospheric plates in multiple natural situations. © Author(s) 2011.

DOI 10.5194/se-2-35-2011
Citations Scopus - 13
2010 Riller U, Boutelier D, Schrank C, Cruden AR, 'Role of kilometer-scale weak circular heterogeneities on upper crustal deformation patterns: Evidence from scaled analogue modeling and the Sudbury Basin, Canada', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 297 587-597 (2010) [C1]

The Sudbury Basin is a non-cylindrical fold basin occupying the central portion of the Sudbury Impact Structure. The impact structure lends itself excellently to explore the struc... [more]

The Sudbury Basin is a non-cylindrical fold basin occupying the central portion of the Sudbury Impact Structure. The impact structure lends itself excellently to explore the structural evolution of continental crust containing a circular region of long-term weakness. In a series of scaled analogue experiments various model crustal configurations were shortened horizontally at a constant rate. In mechanically weakened crust, model basins formed that mimic several first-order structural characteristics of the Sudbury Basin: (1) asymmetric, non-cylindrical folding of the Basin, (2) structures indicating concentric shortening around lateral basin termini and (3) the presence of a zone of strain concentration near the hinge zones of model basins. Geometrically and kinematically this zone corresponds to the South Range Shear Zone of the Sudbury Basin. According to our experiments, this shear zone is a direct mechanical consequence of basin formation, rather than the result of thrusting following folding. Overall, the models highlight the structurally anomalous character of the Sudbury Basin within the Paleoproterozoic Eastern Penokean Orogen. In particular, our models suggest that the Basin formed by pure shear thickening of crust, whereas transpressive deformation prevailed elsewhere in the orogen. The model basin is deformed by thickening and non-cylindrical synformal buckling, while conjugate transpressive shear zones propagated away from its lateral tips. This is consistent with pure shear deformation of a weak circular inclusion in a strong matrix. The models suggest that the Sudbury Basin formed as a consequence of long-term weakening of the upper crust by meteorite impact. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.07.009
Citations Scopus - 13
2010 Boutelier DA, Oncken O, 'Role of the plate margin curvature in the plateau buildup: Consequences for the central Andes', Journal of Geophysical Research, 115 (2010) [C1]
DOI 10.1029/2009JB006296
Citations Scopus - 12
2008 Boutelier DA, Chemenda AI, 'Exhumation of UHP/LT rocks due to the local reduction of the interplate pressure: Thermo-mechanical physical modelling', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 271 226-232 (2008) [C1]

Spatial distribution of UHP/LT terrains suggests that their exhumation is essentially a three-dimensional process that occurs only locally in specific sites along mountain belts. ... [more]

Spatial distribution of UHP/LT terrains suggests that their exhumation is essentially a three-dimensional process that occurs only locally in specific sites along mountain belts. On the other hand, the continental subduction resulting in the formation of UHP/LT rocks takes place along the whole belt. The previously performed by the authors 2-D thermo-mechanical laboratory modelling of continental subduction has shown that exhumation of deeply subducted continental crust is possible only when the effective interplate pressure p n is lower than the lithostatic pressure (low compression subduction regime). At the same time, this modelling showed that for the deeply subducted continental crust to be preserved at low temperature at great depth, the continental subduction should be accompanied by the subduction of the fore-arc block or the arc plate. The latter process occurs only when p n is high (high compression regime). To reconcile both processes we suggest that within the background of a generally high compression regime the interplate pressure can be locally reduced in some specific situations which would then allow the local exhumation of UHP/LT material. Using physical modelling technique we investigate one of such situations that occurs when the frontal part of the overriding plate undergoes (subduction induced or not) extension parallel to the plate boundary with activation or formation of a strike-slip transform fault oblique to the plate boundary (to the interplate zone). The displacement along this fault results in a local reduction of the interplate pressure at the intersection of the fault with the interplate zone. This pressure reduction permits the rise of the deeply subducted low-density continental crust and sediments submitted to UHP/LT conditions under buoyancy force. A 10¿km-thick slice of crust detaches at ~ 150¿km-depth and moves up along the interplate zone with a starting rate of ca. 3¿cm/yr. The ascent rate reduces when the unit reaches crustal depth. The deformation of this unit is small when it first detaches and starts rising, but increases when reaching the base of the overriding plate. The exhuming material is sheared and stretched in a narrow passage at ~ 70¿km-depth. Therefore in real conditions the deformation is mainly recorded when the unit is submitted to HP and not UHP conditions. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2008.04.011
Citations Scopus - 15
2008 Schrank CE, Boutelier DA, Cruden AR, 'The analogue shear zone: From rheology to associated geometry', Journal of Structural Geology, 30 177-193 (2008) [C1]

The geometry of ductile strain localization phenomena is related to the rheology of the deformed rocks. Both qualitative and quantitative rheological properties of natural rocks h... [more]

The geometry of ductile strain localization phenomena is related to the rheology of the deformed rocks. Both qualitative and quantitative rheological properties of natural rocks have been estimated from finite field structures such as folds and shear zones. We apply physical modelling to investigate the relationship between rheology and the temporal evolution of the width and transversal strain distribution in shear zones, both of which have been used previously as rheological proxies. Geologically relevant materials with well-characterized rheological properties (Newtonian, strain hardening, strain softening, Mohr-Coulomb) are deformed in a shear box and observed with Particle Imaging Velocimetry (PIV). It is shown that the width and strain distribution histories in model shear zones display characteristic finite responses related to material properties as predicted by previous studies. Application of the results to natural shear zones in the field is discussed. An investigation of the impact of 3D boundary conditions in the experiments demonstrates that quantitative methods for estimating rheology from finite natural structures must take these into account carefully. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI 10.1016/j.jsg.2007.11.002
Citations Scopus - 22
2008 Boutelier D, Schrank C, Cruden A, 'Power-law viscous materials for analogue experiments: New data on the rheology of highly-filled silicone polymers', Journal of Structural Geology, 30 341-353 (2008) [C1]

The selection of appropriate analogue materials is a central consideration in the design of realistic physical models. We investigate the rheology of highly-filled silicone polyme... [more]

The selection of appropriate analogue materials is a central consideration in the design of realistic physical models. We investigate the rheology of highly-filled silicone polymers in order to find materials with a power-law strain-rate softening rheology suitable for modelling rock deformation by dislocation creep and report the rheological properties of the materials as functions of the filler content. The mixtures exhibit strain-rate softening behaviour but with increasing amounts of filler become strain-dependent. For the strain-independent viscous materials, flow laws are presented while for strain-dependent materials the relative importance of strain and strain rate softening/hardening is reported. If the stress or strain rate is above a threshold value some highly-filled silicone polymers may be considered linear visco-elastic (strain independent) and power-law strain-rate softening. The power-law exponent can be raised from 1 to ~3 by using mixtures of high-viscosity silicone and plasticine. However, the need for high shear strain rates to obtain the power-law rheology imposes some restrictions on the usage of such materials for geodynamic modelling. Two simple shear experiments are presented that use Newtonian and power-law strain-rate softening materials. The results demonstrate how materials with power-law rheology result in better strain localization in analogue experiments. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI 10.1016/j.jsg.2007.10.009
Citations Scopus - 27
2008 Faure M, Mézème EB, Cocherie A, Rossi P, Chemenda A, Boutelier D, 'Devonian geodynamic evolution the Variscan Belt, insights from the French Massif Central and Massif Armoricain', Tectonics, 27 (2008) [C1]
DOI 10.1029/2007TC002115
Citations Scopus - 51
2008 Boutelier DA, Cruden AR, 'Impact of regional mantle flow on subducting plate geometry and interplate stress: Insights from physical modelling', Geophysical Journal International, 174 719-732 (2008) [C1]

Physical models of subduction investigate the impact of regional mantle flow on the structure of the subducted slab and deformation of the downgoing and overriding plates. The ini... [more]

Physical models of subduction investigate the impact of regional mantle flow on the structure of the subducted slab and deformation of the downgoing and overriding plates. The initial mantle flow direction beneath the overriding plate can be horizontal or vertical, depending on its location with respect to the asthenospheric flow field. Imposed mantle flow produces either over or underpressure on the lower surface of the slab depending on the initial mantle flow pattern (horizontal or vertical, respectively). Overpressure promotes shallow dip subduction while underpressure tends to steepen the slab. Horizontal mantle flow with rates of 1-10 cm yr -1 provides sufficient overpressure on a dense subducting lithosphere to obtain a subduction angle of ~60°, while the same lithospheric slab sinks vertically when no flow is imposed. Vertical drag force (due to downward mantle flow) exerted on a slab can result in steep subduction if the slab is neutrally buoyant but fails to produce steep subduction of buoyant oceanic lithosphere. The strain regime in the overriding plate due to the asthenospheric drag force depends largely on slab geometry. When the slab dip is steeper than the interplate zone, the drag force produces negative additional normal stress on the interplate zone and tensile horizontal stress in the overriding plate. When the slab dip is shallower than the interplate zone, an additional positive normal stress is produced on the interplate zone and the overriding plate experiences additional horizontal compressive stress. However, the impact of the mantle drag force on interplate pressure is small compared to the influence of the slab pull force since these stress variations can only be observed when the slab is dense and interplate pressure is low. © 2008 The Author Journal compilation © 2008 RAS.

DOI 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2008.03826.x
Citations Scopus - 24
2006 Schreurs G, Buiter SJH, Boutelier D, Corti G, Costa E, Cruden AR, et al., 'Analogue benchmarks of shortening and extension experiments', Geological Society Special Publication, 253 1-27 (2006)

We report a direct comparison of scaled analogue experiments to test the reproducibility of model results among ten different experimental modelling laboratories. We present resul... [more]

We report a direct comparison of scaled analogue experiments to test the reproducibility of model results among ten different experimental modelling laboratories. We present results for two experiments: a brittle thrust wedge experiment and a brittle-viscous extension experiment. The experimental set-up, the model construction technique, the viscous material and the base and wall properties were prescribed. However, each laboratory used its own frictional analogue material and experimental apparatus. Comparison of results for the shortening experiment highlights large differences in model evolution that may have resulted from (1) differences in boundary conditions (indenter or basal-pull models), (2) differences in model widths, (3) location of observation (for example, sidewall versus centre of model), (4) material properties, (5) base and sidewall frictional properties, and (6) differences in set-up technique of individual experimenters. Six laboratories carried out the shortening experiment with a mobile wall. The overall evolution of their models is broadly similar, with the development of a thrust wedge characterized by forward thrust propagation and by back thrusting. However, significant variations are observed in spacing between thrusts, their dip angles, number of forward thrusts and back thrusts, and surface slopes. The structural evolution of the brittle-viscous extension experiments is similar to a high degree. Faulting initiates in the brittle layers above the viscous layer in close vicinity to the basal velocity discontinuity. Measurements of fault dip angles and fault spacing vary among laboratories. Comparison of experimental results indicates an encouraging overall agreement in model evolution, but also highlights important variations in the geometry and evolution of the resulting structures that may be induced by differences in modelling materials, model dimensions, experimental set-ups and observation location. © The Geological Society of London 2006.

DOI 10.1144/GSL.SP.2006.253.01.01
Citations Scopus - 80
2005 Lallemand S, Heuret A, Boutelier D, 'On the relationships between slab dip, back-arc stress, upper plate absolute motion, and crustal nature in subduction zones', Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 6 (2005)

Statistical analysis of modern oceanic subduction zone parameters, such as the age of a downgoing plate or the absolute plate motions, is performed in order to investigate which p... [more]

Statistical analysis of modern oceanic subduction zone parameters, such as the age of a downgoing plate or the absolute plate motions, is performed in order to investigate which parameter controls the dip of a slab and, conversely, what the influence of slab geometry is on upper plate behavior. For that purpose, parameters have been determined from global databases along 159 transects from all subduction zones that are not perturbed by nearby collision or ridge/plateau/seamount subduction. On the basis of tomographic images, slabs that penetrate through, or lie on, the 670 km discontinuity are also identified. The results of the statistical analysis are as follows: (1) Back-arc stress correlates with slab dip, i.e., back-arc spreading is observed for deep dips (deeper than 125 km) larger than 50°, whereas back-arc shortening occurs only for deep dips less than 30°. (2) Slab dip correlates with absolute motion of the overriding plate. The correlation is even better when the slab lies on, or even more penetrates through, the 670 km discontinuity. (3) Slabs dip more steeply, by about 20° on average, beneath oceanic overriding plates than beneath continental ones. (4) Slabs dip more steeply on average by about 10° near edges. (5) Slab dip does not correlate with the magnitude of slab pull, the age of subducting lithosphere at the trench, the thermal regime of the subducting lithosphere, the convergence rate, or the subduction polarity (east versus west). The present study provides evidence that the upper plate absolute motion plays an important role on slab dip, as well as on upper plate strain. Retreating overriding plates are often oceanic ones and thus may partially explain the steeper slab dips beneath oceanic upper plates. One can infer that low slab dips correlate well with compression in continental advancing upper plates, whereas steep dips are often associated with extension in oceanic retreating upper plates. Excess weight of old slabs is often counterbalanced by other forces, probably asthenospheric in origin, such as lateral mantle flow near slab edges or anchor forces, to determine slab dip. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.

DOI 10.1029/2005GC000917
Citations Scopus - 226
2004 Boutelier D, Chemenda A, Jorand C, 'Continental subduction and exhumation of high-pressure rocks: Insights from thermo-mechanical laboratory modelling', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 222 209-216 (2004)

Thermo-mechanical physical modelling of continental subduction is performed to investigate the exhumation of deeply subducted continental crust. The model consists of two lithosph... [more]

Thermo-mechanical physical modelling of continental subduction is performed to investigate the exhumation of deeply subducted continental crust. The model consists of two lithospheric plates made of new temperature sensitive analogue materials. The lithosphere is underlain by liquid asthenosphere. The continental lithosphere contains three layers: the weak sedimentary layer, the crust made of a stronger material, and of a still stronger lithospheric mantle. The whole model is subjected to a constant vertical thermal gradient, causing the strength reduction with depth in each lithospheric layer. Subduction is driven by both push force and pull force. During subduction, the subducting lithosphere is heating and the strength of its layers reduces. The weakening continental crust reaches maximal depth of about 120 km and cannot subduct deeper because its frontal part starts to flow up. The subducted crust undergoes complex deformation, including indicated upward ductile flow of the most deeply subducted portions and localised failure of the subducted upper crust at about 50-km depth. This failure results in the formation of the first crustal slice which rises up between the plates under the buoyancy force. This process is accompanied by the delamination of the crustal and mantle layers of the subducting lithosphere. The delamination front propagates upwards into the interplate zone resulting in the formation of two other crustal slices that also rise up between the plates. Average equivalent exhumation rate of the crustal material during delamination is about 1 cm/year. The crust-asthenosphere boundary near the interplate zone is uplifted. The subducted mantle layer then breaks off, removing the pull force and thereby stopping the delamination and increasing horizontal compression of the lithosphere. The latter produces shortening of the formed orogen and the growth of relief. The modelling reveals an interesting burial/exhumation evolution of the sedimentary cover. During initial stages of continental subduction the sediments of the continental margin are dragged to the overriding plate base and are partially accreted at the deep part of the interplate zone (at 60-70 km-depth). These sediments remain there until the beginning of delamination during which the pressure between the subducted crust and the overriding plate increases. This results in squeezing the underplated sediments out. Part of them is extruded upwards along the interplate zone to about 30-km depth at an equivalent rate of 5-10 cm/year. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2004.02.013
Citations Scopus - 48
2003 Boutelier D, Chemenda A, Burg JP, 'Subduction versus accretion of intra-oceanic volcanic arcs: Insight from thermo-mechanical analogue experiments', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 212 31-45 (2003)

We perform thermo-mechanical laboratory experiments designed to explore the behaviour of the volcanic arc during intra-oceanic arc-continent collision following oceanic subduction... [more]

We perform thermo-mechanical laboratory experiments designed to explore the behaviour of the volcanic arc during intra-oceanic arc-continent collision following oceanic subduction and subsequent back-arc opening. The overriding oceanic lithosphere is made of two layers representing the oceanic crust and the lithospheric mantle. This lithosphere carries a volcanic arc and is thinned and weakened beneath both the arc and the back-arc basin. The subducting plate contains three parts: one-layer oceanic and two-layer (crust and mantle) continental lithosphere with a continental margin between them. When the continental margin reaches the trench and starts subducting, the overriding plate undergoes growing horizontal compression and finally fails in the vicinity of the back-arc spreading centre, which is the weakest part of this plate. The failure can result in subduction of the whole arc plate comprised between the trench and the back-arc spreading centre. During subduction of the arc plate, the mantle part of this plate subducts completely, while the behaviour of the arc crust depends on its thickness and strength, which is a function of composition and temperature. We tested four cases with different arc crust thicknesses and composition (rheology), with total lithosphere thickness in the arc being constant. Three types of tectonic evolution have been obtained: complete arc subduction, complete arc accretion, and partial arc subduction/accretion. The result is largely controlled by the crustal thickness of the arc. A thin arc (thickness equivalent to ~16 km in nature) made of the same strong material as the oceanic crust subducts completely without leaving any trace at the surface. On the contrary, a thick arc (equivalent to ~26 km in nature) made of the same material is scraped off and accreted to the overriding plate. The lower crust of such an arc is hotter, therefore its strength at 'Moho' depth and coupling between crust and mantle are small. In addition, the thick arc has a high isostatic relief and hence a greater mechanical resistance to subduction. Therefore, the arc is scraped off. If the arc is made of a weaker 'continental-like' material or contains a weak layer/low friction interface, it is completely or partially scraped off even if it is small. When there is no back-arc opening before collision (no thin and weak lithosphere in the rear of the arc), the overriding plate fails in the arc area, which may result in a complete fore-arc block subduction, with the volcanic arc remaining at the surface. The obtained models are compared with mountain belts with nearly no trace of arc activity (Oman), with accreted arc (Kohistan), and with small remnants of subducted arc (southern Tibet). © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI 10.1016/S0012-821X(03)00239-5
Citations Scopus - 82
2002 Boutelier D, Chemenda A, Jorand C, 'Continental subduction and exhumation of HP rocks: first experience of physical thermomechanical modelling', Journal of the Virtual Explorer, 07 (2002)
DOI 10.3809/jvirtex.2002.00039
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Conference (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Venkataramani D, Musgrave R, Boutelier DP, Collins W, Hack A, 'Understanding the 3D structure of the Gilmore Fault Zone through geophysical modelling: implications for Lachlan tectonic reconstructions' (2016)
Co-authors Bill Collins
2016 Bell M, Hack A, Boutelier DP, Collins W, Phillips G, 'The geodynamic significance of the Gilmore fault zone, Lachlan orogen: structural characteristics, kinematic history and timing' (2016)
Co-authors Bill Collins
2016 Rudolf M, Boutelier DP, Rosenau M, Oncken O, 'Viscoelastic silicone oils in analog modeling - a rheological benchmark' (2016)
2016 Venkataramani D, Musgrave R, Boutelier DP, Collins W, Hack A, 'Understanding the 3D structure of the Gilmore Fault Zone through geophysical modelling: implications for Lachlan tectonic reconstructions' (2016)
Co-authors Bill Collins
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 2
Total funding $68,300

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20161 grants / $26,400

East Riverina Project$26,400

Funding body: NSW Department of Primary Industries

Funding body NSW Department of Primary Industries
Project Team Doctor Alistair Hack, Doctor David Boutelier
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1600784
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - State
Category 2OPS
UON Y

20141 grants / $41,900

Finite Strain with large rotations: A new hybrid numerical/experimental approach$41,900

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Professor Klaus Regenauer-Lieb, Dr Christoph Schrank, Associate Professor Ali Karrech, Doctor David Boutelier
Scheme Discovery Projects
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2016
GNo G1401200
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed1
Current1

Total current UON EFTSL

Masters0.13

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2015 Masters Geodynamic Significance of the Gilmore Fault Zone, Lachlan Orogen: Structural and Kinematic History M Philosophy (Geology), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2017 Masters Subsurface Modelling of the Gilmore Fault Zone: Implications for Lachlan Tectonic Reconstructions M Philosophy (Geology), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
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Research Collaborations

The map is a representation of a researchers co-authorship with collaborators across the globe. The map displays the number of publications against a country, where there is at least one co-author based in that country. Data is sourced from the University of Newcastle research publication management system (NURO) and may not fully represent the authors complete body of work.

Country Count of Publications
Australia 19
Germany 13
Canada 10
France 9
Switzerland 4
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News

Volcanoes widget

New volcanic eruption trigger discovered

May 20, 2015

Scientists have made an important step towards understanding how volcanic eruptions happen, after identifying a previously unrecognised potential trigger.

Dr David Boutelier

Position

Senior Lecturer
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science

Contact Details

Email david.boutelier@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4985 4491
Link UoN Blogs

Office

Room G106
Building Earth Science.
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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