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Book Chapter

Importance of pre-existing fault size for the evolution of an inverted fault system

By
Cathal Reilly
Cathal Reilly
1
GNS Science, PO Box 30368, Lower Hutt 5040, New Zealand
2
Fault Analysis Group, School of Geological Sciences, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
3
Present address: Midland Valley, Floor 9, 2 West Regent Street, Glasgow G2 1RW, UK
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Andrew Nicol
Andrew Nicol
1
GNS Science, PO Box 30368, Lower Hutt 5040, New Zealand
2
Fault Analysis Group, School of Geological Sciences, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
4
Present address: Department of Geological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand
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John Walsh
John Walsh
2
Fault Analysis Group, School of Geological Sciences, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
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Published:
January 01, 2017

Abstract:

Fault inversion has been documented in many basins worldwide, yet the details of how the initial extensional faults impact on the geometry and growth of the reactivated contractional system is often poorly resolved by the available data. Two-dimensional (2D) and 3D seismic reflection, and well data have been used to chart the evolution of inverted faults from the Taranaki Basin, offshore New Zealand. Sedimentary rocks up to 8 km thick record Late Cretaceous–Paleocene normal faults inverted during Miocene and younger shortening. The displacement and length of early normal faults is a key determinant for the reactivation and size of the subsequent reverse faults. All normal faults with maximum vertical displacements ≥600 m and lengths ≥9 km were inverted along their entire length, while smaller faults were not inverted. The proportion of the total basin-wide strain accommodated on each fault is comparable between deformational episodes. The hierarchy of reverse fault lengths was established rapidly, with longer faults accruing a greater proportion of the total strain from an early stage of shortening. The reverse fault system is dominated by inverted normal faults, which accrue displacement at the expense of smaller faults, and utilize the largest crustal-scale elements of the pre-existing system. The size of pre-existing heterogeneities is an important control for the magnitude and spatial extent of elevated stresses during contraction, which, in turn, control the dimensions, locations and displacements of subsequent fault growth.

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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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