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Besides remnants of Hercynian deformations in the Peloritani nappe and of pre-Oligocene Alpine structures in the Troiani nappe, most compressive structures observed in the Sicilian accretionary wedge result from the late Cenozoic (Tortonian to Present) continental subduction of the Apulia (Iblei) block, and are thus synchronous with distensive structures related to the opening of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Syntectonic deposits fill southward-migrating foredeeps in a sequential fashion, and the dating of these deposits helps to constrain the timing of deformation. Similarly, Plio-Quaternary sediments, eroded from the accreted units, rest on top of the allochthon in either compressive piggy-back depressions or extensional...
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Paleomagnetic and structural data from intermediate to mafic composition lava flows and related dikes in all major blocks of the late Miocene Hamblin-Cleopatra Volcano, which was structurally dismembered during the development of the Lake Mead Fault System (LMFS), provide limits on the magnitude and sense of tilting and vertical axis rotation of crust during extension of this part of the Basin and Range province. Sinistral separation along the fault system dissected the volcano into three major blocks. The eastern, Cleopatra Lobe of the volcano is structurally the most intact section of the volcano. Normal and reverse polarity data from paleomagnetic sites collected along traverses in the Cleopatra Lobe yield an...
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A reservoir that appears to lack faults at one scale of resolution or at one sampling density may nevertheless contain faults that are below the resolution of the observations. The area-depth relationship from a balanced cross-section is shown to contain the necessary information for predicting the sub-resolution fault heave. Existing area-depth theory is extended to include growth units, allowing structural length and thickness changes to be separated from the depositional changes. The technique is validated with a numerical model of a growth full graben and a sand-box model of a half graben; then field tested in the Gilbertown graben, a growth structure within the regional peripheral fault trend along the northern...
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Remnant blocks of marble from the Moretti-Harrah dimension-stone quarry provide excellent exposure of meter-scale sheath folds. Tubular structures with elliptical cross-sections (4 ???Ryz ??? 5) are the most common expression of the folds. The tubes are elongate subparallel to stretching lineation and are defined by centimeter-scale layers of schist. Eccentrically nested elliptical patterns and opposing asymmetry of folds ('S' and 'Z') are consistent with the sheath-fold interpretation. Sheath folds are locally numerous in the Moretti-Harrah quarry but are not widely distributed in the Sylacauga Marble Group; reconnaissance in neighboring quarries provided no additional observations. The presence of sheath folds...
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Creep in the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) drillhole is localized to two foliated gouges, the central deforming zone (CDZ) and southwest deforming zone (SDZ). The gouges consist of porphyroclasts of serpentinite and sedimentary rock dispersed in a foliated matrix of Mg-smectite clays that formed as a result of shearing-enhanced reactions between the serpentinite and quartzofeldspathic rocks. The CDZ takes up most of the creep and exhibits differences in mineralogy and texture from the SDZ that are attributable to its higher shearing rate. In addition, a ∼0.2-m-wide sector of the CDZ at its northeastern margin (NE-CDZ) is identical to the SDZ and may represent a gradient in creep rate across the...
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The range-front normal faults of the Lost River and Lemhi Ranges, and the Beaverhead and Tendoy Mountains in east-central Idaho and southwestern Montana have well-preserved fault scarps on Quaternary deposits along much of their lengths. Fault-scarp morphology, the age of deposits displaced by the faults, and the morphology of the range fronts provide a basis for dividing the faults into segments that are typically 20-25 km long. Four characteristics are recognized that help to identify segment boundaries: (1) major en echelon offsets or pronounced gaps in the continuity of fault scarps; (2) distinct, persistent, along-strike changes in fault-scarp morphology that indicate different ages of faulting; (3) major salients...
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The Pinto shear zone is one of several Late Cretaceous shear zones within the eastern fringe of the Mesozoic magmatic arc of the southwest Cordilleran orogen that developed synchronous with continued plate convergence and backarc shortening. We demonstrate an extensional origin for the shear zone by describing the shear-zone geometry and kinematics, hanging wall deformation style, progressive changes in deformation temperature, and differences in hanging wall and footwall thermal histories. Deformation is constrained between ???74 and 68 Ma by 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology of the exhumed footwall, including multi-diffusion domain modeling of K-feldspar. We discount the interpretations, applied in other areas of the...
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New Zealand's Alpine Fault (AF) ruptures quasi-periodically in large-magnitude earthquakes. Paleoseismological evidence suggests that about half of all recognized AF earthquakes terminated at the boundary between the Central and South Westland sections of the fault. There, fault geometry and the polarity of uplift change. The South Westland AF exhibits oblique-normal fault motion on a structure oriented 052°/82°SE that, for at least 35 km along strike, contains saponite-rich principal slip zone gouges. New hydrothermal friction experiments reveal that the saponite fault gouge is frictionally weak, exhibiting friction coefficients between μ = 0.12 and μ = 0.16 for a range of temperatures (T = 25–210 °C) and effective...
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Coal is a nearly impermeable rock type for which the production of fluids requires the presence of open fractures. Basin-wide controls on the fractured coal reservoirs of the Black Warrior foreland basin are demonstrated by the variability of maximum production rates from coalbed methane wells. Reservoir behavior depends on distance from the thrust front. Far from the thrust front, normal faults are barriers to fluid migration and compartmentalize the reservoirs. Close to the thrust front, rates are enhanced along some normal faults, and a new trend is developed. The two trends have the geometry of conjugate strike-slip faults with the same ??1 direction as the Appalachian fold-thrust belt and are inferred to be...
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Displacement-length data from faults, joints, veins, igneous dikes, shear deformation bands, and compaction bands define two groups. The first group, having a power-law scaling relation with a slope of n = 1 and therefore a linear dependence of maximum displacement and discontinuity length (Dmax = ??L), comprises faults and shear (non-compactional or non-dilational) deformation bands. These shearing-mode structures, having shearing strains that predominate over volumetric strains across them, grow under conditions of constant driving stress, with the magnitude of near-tip stress on the same order as the rock's yield strength in shear. The second group, having a power-law scaling relation with a slope of n = 0.5...
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Transient strength changes are observed in fault gouge materials when the velocity of shearing is varied. A transient stress peak is produced when the strain rate in the gouge is suddenly increased, whereas a transient stress drop results from a sudden change to a slower strain rate. We have studied the mechanism responsible for these observations by performing frictional sliding experiments on sawcut granite samples filled with a layer of several different fault gouge types. Changes in pore volume and strength were monitored as the sliding velocity alternated between fast and slow rates. Pore volume increased at the faster strain rate, indicating a dilation of the gouge layer, whereas volume decreased at the slower...
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The Wasatch fault zone (WFZ) forms the eastern boundary of the Basin and Range province and is the longest continuous, active normal fault (343 km) in the United States. It underlies an urban corridor of 1.6 million people (80% of Utah's population) representing the largest earthquake risk in the interior of the western United States. We have used paleoseismological data to identify 10 discrete segments of the WFZ. Five are active, medial segments with Holocene slip rates of 1-2 mm a-1, recurrence intervals of 2000-4000 years and average lengths of about 50 km. Five are less active, distal segments with mostly pre-Holocene surface ruptures, late Quaternary slip rates of <0.5 mm a-1 recurrence intervals of ???10,000...
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We have conducted dynamic rupture propagation experiments to establish the relations between in-source stress drop, fracture energy and the resulting particle velocity during slip of an unconfined 2 m long laboratory fault at normal stresses between 4 and 8 MPa. To produce high fracture energy in the source we use a rough fault that has a large slip weakening distance. An artifact of the high fracture energy is that the nucleation zone is large such that precursory slip reduces fault strength over a large fraction of the total fault length prior to dynamic rupture, making the initial stress non-uniform. Shear stress, particle velocity, fault slip and acceleration were recorded coseismically at multiple locations...
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The pattern of lattice preferred orientation (texture) in deformed rocks is an expression of the strain path and the acting deformation mechanisms. A first indication about the strain path is given by the symmetry of pole figures: coaxial deformation produces orthorhombic pole figures, while non-coaxial deformation yields monoclinic or triclinic pole figures. More quantitative information about the strain history can be obtained by comparing natural textures with experimental ones and with theoretical models. For this comparison, a representation in the sensitive three-dimensional orientation distribution space is extremely important and efforts are made to explain this concept. We have been investigating differences...
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The Garrison camp comprises four structurally distinct orogenic gold deposits that formed in different host lithologies during progressive deformation. Detailed field mapping, drill core logging, and geochronological constraints suggest that the 2678 ± 2 Ma Garrison granitic stock played a fundamental rheological role in the location of the four deposits. Initial local shear movement occurred along the southwestern margin of the stock leading to the development of the NW-trending sinistral NE-side-up Buffonta shear zone, which hosts the Buffonta deposit. Subsequently, a transtensional zone formed between the NE-trending sinistral Porcupine-Destor and Munro deformation zones, which host the 903 and Jonpol deposits,...
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The Mesozoic accretionary wedge of south-central Alaska is cut by an array of faults including dextral and sinistral strike-slip faults, synthetic and antithetic thrust faults, and synthetic and antithetic normal faults. The three fault sets are characterized by quartz ± calcite ± chlorite ± prehnite slickensides, and are all relatively late, i.e. all truncate ductile fabrics of the host rocks. Cross-cutting relationships suggest that the thrust fault sets predate the late normal and strike-slip fault sets. Together, the normal and strike-slip fault system exhibits orthorhombic symmetry. Thrust faulting shortened the wedge subhorizontally perpendicular to strike, and then normal and strike-slip faulting extended...
Maximum displacement (D) and trace length (L) data for a population of 97 normal faults from the Canyonlands Grabens region of SE Utah are presented. Values of L range from 100 to 6500 m, and of D from 1.5?155 m. The data exhibit a scatter between D and L of about half an order-of-magnitude. This is comparable to that exhibited in other published single population datasets. This magnitude of scatter cannot be attributed either to measurement errors or to variation in mechanical properties. We propose that a scatter of this magnitude can be explained by a general model for fault growth by segment linkage, whereby large incremental increases of length attained as fault segments link temporarily exceed incremental...
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In this essay, we explore a central problem of structural geology today, and in the foreseeable future, which is the determination of constitutive laws governing rock deformation to produce geologic structures. Although laboratory experiments provide much needed data and insights about constitutive laws, these experiments cannot cover the range of conditions and compositions relevant to the formation of geologic structures. We advocate that structural geologists address this limitation by interpreting natural experiments, documented with field and microstructural data, using continuum mechanical models that enable the deduction of constitutive laws. To put this procedure into a historical context, we review the...
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A transect through west-central Norway illustrates the changing geometry and kinematics of collision in the hinterland of the central Scandinavian Caledonides. A depth section through the crust is exposed on Fosen Peninsula, comprising three tectonic units separated by two shear zones. The lowest unit, exposed in the Roan window, is a modestly deformed, Caledonian granulite complex framed by a subhorizontal de??collement, with NW-SE oriented lineations and kinematic indicators showing top-to-the-northwest transport. The middle unit, the Vestranden gneiss complex, contains relict granulites, but was penetratively deformed at amphibolite facies to produce an orogen-parallel family of structures during translation...
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Magnesium-rich clayey gouge similar to that comprising the two actively creeping strands of the San Andreas Fault in drill core from the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) has been identified in a nearby outcrop of serpentinite within the fault zone at Nelson Creek. Each occurrence of the gouge consists of porphyroclasts of serpentinite and sedimentary rocks dispersed in a fine-grained, foliated matrix of Mg-rich smectitic clays. The clay minerals in all three gouges are interpreted to be the product of fluid-assisted, shear-enhanced reactions between quartzofeldspathic wall rocks and serpentinite that was tectonically entrained in the fault from a source in the Coast Range Ophiolite. We infer that the...


map background search result map search result map Comparative mineral chemistry and textures of SAFOD fault gouge and damage-zone rocks Comparative mineral chemistry and textures of SAFOD fault gouge and damage-zone rocks