Flow Processes in Faults and Shear Zones
Faults and their deeper level equivalents, shear zones, are localized regions of intense deformation within the Earth. They are recognized at all scales from micro to plate boundary, and are important examples of the nature of heterogeneous deformation in natural rocks. Faults and shear zones are significant as they profoundly influence the location, architecture and evolution of a broad range of geological phenomenao The topography and bathymetry of the Earth’s surface is marked by mountain belts and sedimentary basins that are controlled by faults and shear zoneso In addition, faults and shear zones control fluid migration and transport including hydrothermal and hydrocarbon systems. Once faults and shear zones are established, they are often long-lived features prone to multiple reactivation over very large time-scales. This collection of papers addresses lithospheric deformation and the rheology of shear zones, together with processes of partitioning and the unravelling of fault and shear zone histories.
Shear deformation of pelitic rocks in a large-scale natural fault
Published:January 01, 2004
Emilio Casciello, M. Cesarano, J. W. Cosgrove, 2004. "Shear deformation of pelitic rocks in a large-scale natural fault", Flow Processes in Faults and Shear Zones, G. I. Alsop, R. E. Holdsworth, K. J. W. McCaffrey, M. Hand
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Experimental tests on simulated clay gouges and data from shear zones developed in pelitic media at convergent plate margins provide contrasting evidence regarding the hydraulic characteristics and, in consequence, the frictional properties of sheared clays. The natural shear zone analysed in this work indicates that shear strain can induce mineralogical changes in smectite-bearing sediments that imply loss of water from the smectite minerals and their replacement with anhydrous illite minerals. The extreme localization of the illitization process and its geometric characteristics allow us to argue that the reaction is initiated by stress concentration along the shear zone and, once...