Andersonian wrench faulting in a regional stress field during the 2010–2011 Canterbury, New Zealand, earthquake sequence
R. H. Sibson, F. C. Ghisetti, R. A. Crookbain, 2012. "Andersonian wrench faulting in a regional stress field during the 2010–2011 Canterbury, New Zealand, earthquake sequence", Faulting, Fracturing and Igneous Intrusion in the Earth’s Crust, D. Healy, R. W. H. Butler, Z. K. Shipton, R. H. Sibson
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The initial Mw7.1 Darfield earthquake sequence was centred west of Christchurch City in the South Island of New Zealand but aftershocks, including a highly destructive Mw6.3 event, eventually extended eastwards across the city to the coast. The mainshock gave rise to right-lateral strike-slip of up to 5 m along the segmented rupture trace of a subvertical fault trending 085±5° across the Canterbury Plains for c. 30 km, in agreement with teleseismic focal mechanisms. Near-field data however suggest that the mainshock was composite, initiating with reverse-slip north of the surface rupture. Stress determinations for the central South Island show maximum compressive stress σ1 to be horizontal and oriented 115±5°. The principal dextral rupture therefore lies at c. 30° to regional σ1, the classic ‘Andersonian’ orientation for a low-displacement wrench fault. An aftershock lineament trending c. 145° possibly represents a conjugate left-lateral strike-slip structure. This stress field is also consistent with predominantly reverse-slip reactivation of NNE–NE faults along the Southern Alps range front. The main strike-slip fault appears to have a low cumulative displacement and may represent either a fairly newly formed fault in the regional stress field, or an existing subvertical fault that happens to be optimally oriented for frictional reactivation.
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Faulting, Fracturing and Igneous Intrusion in the Earth’s Crust
Geologists have long grappled with understanding the mechanical origins of rock deformation. Stress regimes control the nucleation, growth and reactivation of faults and fractures; induce seismic activity; affect the transport of magma; and modulate structural permeability, thereby influencing the redistribution of hydrothermal and hydrocarbon fluids. Experimentalists endeavour to recreate deformation structures observed in nature under controlled stress conditions. Earth scientists studying earthquakes will attempt to monitor or deduce stress changes in the Earth as it actively deforms. All are building upon the pioneering research and concepts of Ernest Masson Anderson, dating back to the start of the twentieth century. This volume celebrates Anderson’s legacy, with 14 original research papers that examine faulting and seismic hazard; structural inheritance; the role of local and regional stress fields; low angle faults and the role of pore fluids; supplemented by reviews of Andersonian approaches and a reprint of his classic paper of 1905.