Knowledge of the paleo-stress distribution is crucial to understand the fracture set up and orientations during the tectonic evolution of a basin, and thus the corresponding fluid flow patterns in a reservoir. This study aims to predict the main stress orientations and evolution during the growth of a fold by using the limit analysis method. Fourteen different steps have been integrated as 2D cross sections from an early stage to an evolved stage of a schematic and balanced propagation fold. The stress evolution was followed during the time and burial of syn tectonic layers localized in front of the thrust. Numerical simulations were used to predict the occurrence and orientation of deformation bands, i.e., compaction and shear bands, by following the kinematic of a fault-propagation fold. The case study of the Sant-Corneli-Boixols anticline was selected, located in the South Central Pyrenees in the Tremp basin, to constrain the dimension of the starting models (or prototypes) used in our numerical simulations. The predictions of the numerical simulations were compared to field observations of an early occurrence of both pure compaction- and shear-enhanced compaction bands in the syn-tectonic Aren formation located in front of the fold, which are subjected to early layer parallel shortening during the burial history. Stress magnitude and stress ratio variations define the type of deformation band produced. Our results show that the band occurrence depends on the yield envelope of the host material and that a small yield envelope is required for these shallow depths, which can only be explained by the heterogeneity of the host rock facies. In our case, the heterogeneity can be explained by a significant contribution of carbonate bioclasts in the calcarenite rock, which change the mechanical behavior of the whole rock.
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