Inverse trishear modeling of bedding dip data using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods

David O.S. Oakley, Donald M. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We present a method for fitting trishear models to surface profile data, by restoring bedding dip data and inverting for model parameters using a Markov chain Monte Carlo method. Trishear is a widely-used kinematic model for fault-propagation folds. It lacks an analytic solution, but a variety of data inversion techniques can be used to fit trishear models to data. Where the geometry of an entire folded bed is known, models can be tested by restoring the bed to its pre-folding orientation. When data include bedding attitudes, however, previous approaches have relied on computationally-intensive forward modeling. This paper presents an equation for the rate of change of dip in the trishear zone, which can be used to restore dips directly to their pre-folding values. The resulting error can be used to calculate a probability for each model, which allows solution by Markov chain Monte Carlo methods and inversion of datasets that combine dips and contact locations. These methods are tested using synthetic and real datasets. Results are used to approximate multimodal probability density functions and to estimate uncertainty in model parameters. The relative value of dips and contacts in constraining parameters and the effects of uncertainty in the data are investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-172
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Structural Geology
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology


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