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# Construct a Fold Cross-Section

## Using the Arc (Busk) Method

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of
Wisconsin - Green Bay
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## How the Arc (Busk) Method Works

This method approximates folds as a series of circular arcs. This
method was published by H.G. Busk in 1929, so it is sometimes
called the Busk Method.
1. Given the two
dips shown, how
do we
approximate the
fold as circular
arcs? We cannot
assume the
measurements
are on the same
bed - they almost
certainly are not.
2. The problem is
to find concentric
circles tangent to
the two dip
measurements.
are always
perpendicular to
the tangent
hits the circle.
4. Therefore, we
construct
perpendiculars to
each dip, and the

intersection of
the two
perpendiculars is
the center of the
desired arcs.

## We find the centers of curvature between adjacent dip

measurements and construct the arcs for each. The arcs are
bounded by the perpendiculars for each pair of dip
measurements.

A Common Problem
1. It's quite
common in this
method for
perpendiculars to
dip
measurements to
intersect far off
the diagram.
2. Locate the
bisector of the
angle between
the
perpendiculars.
One way is to
construct lines
parallel to each
side the same
distance in, so
that the lines
intersect. Then
bisect that angle.
3. From each dip
datum, draw a
line perpendicular
to the bisector
and extend it to
the opposite side.
This locates the
other end of the

arc.
4. Construct the
dips on opposite
sides of the
sector. Dips along
any one side of
the sector are all
equal and
parallel.
5. If you extend
the dips in to the
bisector, the arcs
must lie within
the yellow
triangles.
6. Sketch the
arcs. They will
approximately
bisect the center
line of each
triangle. A good
visual
approximation is
sufficient.
7. The completed
arcs.
8. Data from
can be carried
across (tick marks
in red) by
measuring
distances relative
plotted arcs .

The earth will not fall out of orbit if the arcs in a sector like that
shown above are approximate. What matters most is the end
points of the arc, because they determine relative stratigraphic

position from one side to the other. Within the sector, between
the dip datum points, there is no data, and the arc is only an
approximation to the true (and unknown) exact shape of the fold.
If the dips are exactly equal, then the perpendiculars will be
parallel, and the center will be at infinity. No problem - the "arcs"
become straight lines.

Example
In the example at
left, dip data are
shown. We want
to construct a
cross-section that
satisfies the data.
The stratigraphic
units are colored
here but will not
be colored for
most of the
remaining
diagrams. It is
often
better not to
consider
stratigraphy until
after the crosssection is drawn.

## We first find the

center for
concentric circles
tangent to dips 1
and 2.
All the circles
tangent to dip 1
have their centers
on a line
perpendicular to
dip 1. All the
circles tangent to
dip 2 have their
centers on a line
perpendicular to
dip 2
Therefore, the
intersection C12
is the center of
concentric circles
tangent both to
dip 1 and to dip 2.

Using C12 as a
center, draw arcs
tangent to dips 1
and 2 as shown.
Draw the arcs
only between the
two
perpendiculars.

## Now locate center

C23, the center of
concentric circles
tangent to dips 2
and 3. You
line perpendicular
to dip 2, so you
only need to draw
a line
perpendicular to
dip 3.
Note that, as
often happens,
the center is off
the diagram.
Draw the arcs
tangent to dips 2
and 3. Again,
draw them only
between the two
perpendiculars.
We can now
exchange
information with
sector 1-2.
Extend the arc
from dip 1 into
sector 2-3, using
C23 as a center
(lower red arc).
Extend the arc
from dip 3 into
sector 1-2, using
C12 as a center
(upper red arc).
In general, as we
complete the
cross-section, we
will extend data
from one sector
to the next like

this.
We can now
construct center
C34 by drawing a
perpendicular to
have the
perpendicular to
dip 3.
We extend the
arcs from sector
2-3 into sector 34 as shown.
Note that the arc
that starts at dip
2 passes very
close to dip 4. We
don't need an arc
through every
dip, even though
we may use that
dip to construct a
center of
curvature. So we
won't bother
drawing an arc for
dip 4.

Construct center
C45 by drawing a
perpendicular to
have the
perpendicular to
dip 4.
Extend the arcs
from sector 3-4
into sector 4-5 as
shown.
Note that the arc
that starts at dip
1 passes very
close to dip 5.
Again, we need
not bother
drawing an arc for
dip 4.

Note that center C45 lies very near dip measurement 4. This is
purely coincidental and has no significance.
Sector 4-5 presents a problem. The arc from dip 2 passes just
about through C45, and the arc from dip 3 passes on the opposite
side of C45 than does the arc from dip 1. When concentric folds
have tight curvature, something has to give in the middle. If an
arc passes on the wrong side of the center of curvature, do not
draw it.

Construct center
C56 by drawing a
perpendicular to
have the
perpendicular to
dip 5.
Note that the
intersection is
now beneath the
surface. This is no
problem. It means
the fold is now
concave
downward (an
anticline)

## Construct the arc

tangent to dip 6
as shown. Since
this point is
stratigraphically
lower than all the
other datum
points, we
continue the arc
back through all
the other sectors
as well (shown in
red).

Construct arcs to
connect with all
the previouslyconstructed arcs
as shown in red.

Sectors 6-7, 7-8, 9-9 and 9-10 are handled the same way, so the
remaining illustrations simply show the results for each sector.

Sector 6-7
completed

Sector 7-8
completed.

Sector 8-9
completed. Since
point 9 falls
between two
arcs, there is no
real need to
construct another
arc for it, at least
for now.
Note that centers
C67, C78 and C89
are all close
together. This
simply means the
fold has fairly
uniform curvature
over that interval.

Sector 9-10
completed. Since
point 10 falls very
close to an
arc, there is no
real need to
construct another
arc for it.

## Tying the Diagram to Reality

It is virtually certain when you draw a cross section using strictly
geometric methods that the contacts will not match exactly with
their predicted positions. There are many reasons why not:

## Folds do not have ideal geometrical shapes.

Here we have
indicated the
stratigraphy. It is
virtually certain
when you draw a
cross section
using strictly
geometric
methods that the
contacts will not
match exactly
with their
predicted
positions.
What we need to
do now is redraw
the folds so the
cross-section
matches both the
dips and the
stratigraphy.
Here all the
construction has
been removed
and the arcs are
subdued.
Most of the time
you can modify
the fold shapes
by hand to match
the stratigraphy
without too much
trouble. Modified
contacts are in
black.

## Do not get distracted by your dip symbols or stratigraphic colors.

The only requirement is that the stratigraphy and dips match on
the surface. Be prepared to modify the colors and depart from the
dips below the surface if it's called for. Compare the two diagrams
above to see that this was actually done.