Abstract

"Primary shears with oblique-slip displacement can only arise by failure after a rotation of two of the three principal axes of stress from an expected vertical and horizontal position relative to the earth's crust, and are either normal-wrench or thrust-wrench hybrids. As a consequence of a full 90 degrees clockwise or anticlockwise rotation, the changes in pitch of striations on slickensided faultplanes belonging to both categories are stereographically represented by two small circle courses which are <90 degrees -phi apart from the normal-wrench association, and <180 degrees -phi apart for the thrust-wrench one: <phi being the angle of internal friction. Using these assumptions to analyse the distribution of oblique-slip shears exposed in the south-western part of the Midland valley of Scotland, it appears probable that two unrelated sets of commonly occurring normal-dextral shears are of primary origin, for the inferred azimuthal orientations of the principal axes of stress are remarkably close to those estimated for other, more orthodox tectonic features found elsewhere in the Midland valley and appropriately absent in the south-west."

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