ABSTRACT

A normal-fault network from Milne Point, Alaska, is investigated focusing on characterizing geometry, displacement, strain, and different fault interactions. The network, constrained from three-dimensional seismic reflection data, comprises two generations of faults: Cenozoic north-northeast–trending faults and Jurassic west-northwest–trending faults, which highly compartmentalize Upper Triassic to Lower Cretaceous reservoirs. The west-northwest–trending faults are influenced by a similarly oriented underlying structural grain. This influence is characterized by increases in throw on several faults, strain localization, reorientation of faults and an increase in linkage maturity.

Reconstructing fault plane geometries and mapping spatial variations in throw identified key characteristic features in their interactions and reactivation of pre-existing structures. Faults are divided into isolated, abutting, and splaying faults. Isolated faults exhibit a range of displacement profiles depending on the degree of restriction at fault tips. Fault splays accommodate step-like decreases in throw along larger main faults with a throw maximum at the intersection with the main fault. Throw profiles of abutting faults are divided into two groups: early stage abutting faults with throw minima at both the isolated and abutting tips, and developed abutting faults with throw maxima near the abutting tip.

Developed abutting faults accumulate throw after initial abutment, locally reactivating and transferring throw onto the pre-existing fault. Two abutting faults can link kinematically by reactivating a segment of the pre-existing fault forming a trailing fault. The motion sense of the trailing fault can be synthetic or antithetic to the reactivated pre-existing fault, producing increases or decreases in the throw of the pre-existing fault, respectively.

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