Abstract

We describe a study of the E–W-trending South Wagad Fault (SWF) complex at the eastern part of the Kachchh Rift Basin (KRB) in Western India. This basin was filled during Late Cretaceous time, and is presently undergoing tectonic inversion. During the late stage of the inversion cycle, all the principal rift faults were reactivated as transpressional strike-slip faults. The SWF complex shows wrench geometry of an anastomosing en échelon fault, where contractional and extensional segments and offsets alternate along the Principal Deformation Zone (PDZ). Geometric analysis of different segments of the SWF shows that several conjugate faults, which are a combination of R synthetic and R’ antithetic, propagate at a short distance along the PDZ and interact, generating significant fault slip partitioning. Surface morphology of the fault zone revealed three deformation zones: a 500 m to 1 km wide single fault zone; a 5–6 km wide double fault zone; and a c. 500 m wide diffuse fault zone. The single fault zone is represented by a higher stress accumulation which is located close to the epicentre of the 2001 Bhuj earthquake of Mw 7.7. The double fault zone represents moderate stress at releasing bends bounded by two fault branches. The diffuse fault zone represents a low-stress zone where several fault branches join together. Our findings are well corroborated with the available geological and seismological data.

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