University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Scott Polar Research Institute - Physical Sciences Seminar >  Subaerial salt extrusions in Iran as analogues of ice sheets, streams & glaciers

Subaerial salt extrusions in Iran as analogues of ice sheets, streams & glaciers

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Poul Christoffersen.

Image caption: view across the northern namakier at Kuh-e-namak (Dashti), Iran Zagros. Salt is > 500 my old.

Ice (H20) and salt (halite, NaCl) form by different processes in mutually exclusive environments but share many physical properties and resemble each other in hand specimens and en-masse. Layyers of salt have to be buried by kilometres of other rocks over millions of years before they rise to the surface in piercing structures (diapirs) many of which extrude flows that simulate glaciers. Seismic profiles have revealed 1000s such salt sheets in over 35 basins worldwide in the last 25 years. As most of these are submarine the focus here will be on subaerial rivers of salt (namakiers) exposed in the deserts of Iran. Glaciers and namakiers will be compared and contrasted. Clear grain shape fabrics map streamlines that help understand how folds develop inside namakiers. Namakiers surge like glaciers but within 20 minutes of their TOP surfaces being wet by rain that cannot reach the basal contact.

This talk is part of the Scott Polar Research Institute - Physical Sciences Seminar series.

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