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Book Chapter

Myths about normal faulting

By
D. A. Ferrill
D. A. Ferrill
Department of Earth, Material, and Planetary Sciences, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166, USA
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A. P. Morris
A. P. Morris
Department of Earth, Material, and Planetary Sciences, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166, USA
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R. N. McGinnis
R. N. McGinnis
Department of Earth, Material, and Planetary Sciences, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166, USA
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K. J. Smart
K. J. Smart
Department of Earth, Material, and Planetary Sciences, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2017

Abstract:

Analyses of normal faults in mechanically layered strata reveal that material properties of rock layers strongly influence fault nucleation points, fault extent (trace length), failure mode (shear v. hybrid), fault geometry (e.g. refraction through mechanical layers), displacement gradient (and potential for fault tip folding), displacement partitioning (e.g. synthetic dip, synthetic faulting, fault core displacement), fault core and damage zone width, and fault zone deformation processes. These detailed investigations are progressively dispelling some common myths about normal faulting held by industry geologists, for example: (i) that faults tend to be linear in dip profile; (ii) that imbricate normal faults initiate due to sliding on low-angle detachments; (iii) that friction causes fault-related folds (so-called normal drag); (iv) that self-similar fault zone widening is a direct function of fault displacement; and (v) that faults are not dilational features and/or important sources of permeability.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

The Geometry and Growth of Normal Faults

C. Childs
C. Childs
University College Dublin, Ireland
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R. E. Holdsworth
R. E. Holdsworth
University of Durham, UK
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C. A.-L. Jackson
C. A.-L. Jackson
Imperial College, UK
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T. Manzocchi
T. Manzocchi
University College Dublin, Ireland
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J. J. Walsh
J. J. Walsh
University College Dublin, Ireland
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G. Yielding
G. Yielding
Badley Geoscience Ltd, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
439
ISBN electronic:
9781862399716
Publication date:
January 01, 2017

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