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Deformation in fault zones is commonly characterized by grain-scale microfracturing, with microcrack density typically increasing toward the middle of the zone. The cracks can form under a wide variety of conditions and need to be used with great caution in making tectonic interpretations, particularly in areas with a complex history of fault reactivation. Microcracks may be intragranular (contained within single grains) or intergranular (with a length of several grain diameters). Intragranular cracks formed under dominantly plastic deformation conditions are crystallographically controlled and may not be directly related to regional stresses. Intragranular cracks formed during initial fracturing under cataclastic conditions...

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