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Abstract

Stepovers are fundamental features along strike-slip faults of various lengths. Two types of stepover between strike-slip faults are considered in this paper: (1) along-strike stepovers that are due to en echelon arrangement of faults in map view, and (2) down-dip stepovers that are due to en echelon arrangement of faults in cross section. Along-strike stepovers produce pull-apart basins und push-up ranges depending on the sense of stepover. Down-dip stepovers of both senses may produce strike-slip faults in orientations different from the initial major strike-slip faults that are arranged en echelon. Some possible mechanisms that produce stepovers and control the sense of stepover are (1) bending of initially straight faults. (2) faulting within a weak zone oriented slightly off a local failure plane. (3) segmentation of faults to accommodate curved fault traces. (4) horizontal slip across pre-existing extensional fractures or dip-slip faults that have steps. (5) a change of physical parameters such as elastic moduli and pore pressure, and (6) stress field resulting from fault interaction.

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