Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Fault kinematic analysis

By
Published:
January 01, 2017

Abstract:

Fault-segment boundaries initiate, evolve and die as a result of the propagation, interaction and linkage of normal faults during crustal extension. However, little is known about the distribution, evolution and controls on the development of relay ramps, which are the key structures developed at synthetic segment boundaries. In this study, we use a series of scaled physical models (wet clay) to investigate the distribution and evolution of fault-segment boundaries within an evolving normal-fault population during orthogonal extension. From the models, we can establish a simple geometrical classification for segment boundaries, analyse their spatial and temporal evolution, and identify key factors that influence their variability.

Development of overlapping fault tips is a prerequisite for fault growth via segment linkage. Synthetic segment boundaries are the most common segment boundary type developed in the models. The proportion of synthetic segment boundaries in the total fault population increases with increasing strain, whereas conjugate (antithetic) segment boundaries are very rare. Hanging-wall-breached relay ramps are the most common type (>70%) of breached-segment boundary, followed by footwall-breached relay ramps (<25%). Transfer faults are uncommon in our models. The type of breached segment boundary that develops cannot be predicted based on fault overlap to fault spacing aspect ratio alone. Instead, we show that fault linkage occurs in a range of styles across a wide range of fault overlap to fault spacing ratios (1:1–7:1). Furthermore, we show that fault spacing is constrained by stress-reduction shadows at the time of fault nucleation, whereas fault overlap changes during fault growth and interaction. Our study thus shows that scaled physical models are a powerful tool to assess the style, distribution and controls on the evolution of synthetic segment boundaries developing in rifts. Predictions from these models must now be assessed with data from natural examples exposed in the field or imaged in the subsurface.

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

The Geometry and Growth of Normal Faults

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

GeoRef

References

Related

Citing Books via

A comprehensive resource of eBooks for researchers in the Earth Sciences

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal