Traditional fracture analysis emphasizes the statistics of fracture orientations at individual stations. A new method, the azimuth versus traverse distance plot (AVTD), is proposed, whereby map patterns and fracture domain boundaries receive much greater emphasis. The method can be applied to any area where outcrop is nearly continuous and map data can be represented by strike alone. Ideal features for the method are nearly vertical joint sets which can be plotted on the proposed AVTD diagrams and contoured with concentration factor statistics somewhat analogous to those used for equal-area plots. Examples of AVTD plots are given for jointing in the southern Beartooth Mountains, Wyoming, illustrating ways in which generally overlooked joint set patterns may be identified and ways in which joint domain boundaries may be integrated in geologic mapping using the plots. The examples show the utility of the method in assigning relative ages to fracture domains, in relating the domain distributions to other structures, and in testing for tectonic heredity of older fractures by upward propagation through an unconformity.

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