The 3D fault and vein architecture of strike-slip releasing- and restraining bends: evidence from volcanic-centre-related mineral deposits
Published:January 01, 2007
B. R. Berger, 2007. "The 3D fault and vein architecture of strike-slip releasing- and restraining bends: evidence from volcanic-centre-related mineral deposits", Tectonics of Strike-Slip Restraining and Releasing Bends, W. D. Cunningham, P. Mann
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High-temperature, volcanic-centre-related hydrothermal systems involve large fluid-flow volumes and are observed to have high discharge rates in the order of 100–400 kg/s. The flows and discharge occur predominantly on networks of critically stressed fractures. The coupling of hydrothermal fluid flow with deformation produces the volumes of veins found in epithermal mineral deposits. Owing to this coupling, veins provide information on the fault–fracture architecture in existence at the time of mineralization. They therefore provide information on the nature of deformation within fault zones, and the relations between different fault sets. The Virginia City and Goldfield mining districts, Nevada, were localized in zones of strike-slip transtension in an Early to Mid-Miocene volcanic belt along the western margin of North America. The Camp Douglas mining area occurs within the same belt, but is localized in a zone of strike-slip transpression. The vein systems in these districts record the spatial evolution of strike-slip extensional and contractional stepovers, as well as geometry of faulting in and adjacent to points along strike-slip faults where displacement has been interrupted and transferred into releasing and restraining stepovers.
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Tectonics of Strike-Slip Restraining and Releasing Bends
Restraining and releasing bends are common, but enigmatic features of strike-slip fault systems occurring in all crustal environments and at regional to microscopic scales of observation. Regional-scale restraining bends are sites of mountain building, transpressional deformation and basement exhumation, whereas releasing bends are sites of topographic subsidence, transtensional deformation, basin sedimentation and possible volcanism and economic mineralization. Because restraining and releasing bends often occur as singular self-contained domains of complex deformation, they are appealing natural laboratories for Earth scientists to study fault processes, earthquake seismology, active faulting and sedimentation, fault and fluid-flow relationships, links between tectonics and topography, tectonic and erosional controls on exhumation, and tectonic geomorphology.
This volume addresses the tectonic complexity and diversity of strike-slip restraining and releasing bends with 18 contributions divided into four thematic sections: (1) a topical review of fault bends and their global distribution; (2) bends, sedimentary basins and earthquake hazards; (3) restraining bends, transpressional deformation and basement controls on development; (4) releasing bends, transtensional deformation and fluid flow.