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Book Chapter

Timing, growth and structure of a reactivated basin-bounding fault

By
Robert P. Worthington
Robert P. Worthington
Fault Analysis Group, School of Earth Sciences, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, IrelandPresent address: Statoil, Sandsliveien 90, 5254 Bergen, Norway
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John J. Walsh
John J. Walsh
Fault Analysis Group, School of Earth Sciences, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, IrelandIrish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG), University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
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Published:
January 01, 2017

Abstract:

Until recently, there have been relatively few natural examples of basement fault reactivation, demonstrating convincing hard-linkage to underlying structure and a well-constrained three-dimensional (3D) geometry and timing of reactivation. Applying various quantitative techniques to high quality 3D seismic data, we describe the Cenozoic structure and growth of a reactivated Mesozoic normal fault in the NW Porcupine Basin, west of Ireland. We demonstrate a previously unrecognized period of Mid–Late Eocene extensional reactivation with a tectonic, rather than the previously suggested compactional, origin. East–west extensional reactivation of a north–south- to NE–SW-trending basement fault led to the development of a highly segmented and systematically stepping fault array in the Cenozoic cover. A clear relationship between the displacement of hanging-wall antithetic faults and displacement along the main synthetic system is attributed to the antithetics primarily accommodating strain associated with a hanging-wall rollover anticline. Our study shows that displacement analysis provides an excellent basis for defining the kinematics of basement fault reactivation, and the importance of fault segmentation and twisting during the upwards propagation of reactivated faults. Fault timing corresponds to a period of rapid differential subsidence, the magnitude of which is too large to be attributable solely to extensional reactivation of basement faults.

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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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