Analysis of the growth of strike-slip faults using effective medium theory

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Increases in the dimensions of strike-slip faults including fault length, thickness of fault rock and the surrounding damage zone collectively provide quantitative definition of fault growth and are commonly measured in terms of the maximum fault slip. The field observations indicate that a common mechanism for fault growth in the brittle upper crust is fault lengthening by linkage and coalescence of neighboring fault segments or strands, and fault rock-zone widening into highly fractured inner damage zone via cataclastic deformation. The most important underlying mechanical reason in both cases is prior weakening of the rocks surrounding a fault's core and between ... continued below

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Aydin, A. & Berryman, J.G. October 15, 2009.

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Increases in the dimensions of strike-slip faults including fault length, thickness of fault rock and the surrounding damage zone collectively provide quantitative definition of fault growth and are commonly measured in terms of the maximum fault slip. The field observations indicate that a common mechanism for fault growth in the brittle upper crust is fault lengthening by linkage and coalescence of neighboring fault segments or strands, and fault rock-zone widening into highly fractured inner damage zone via cataclastic deformation. The most important underlying mechanical reason in both cases is prior weakening of the rocks surrounding a fault's core and between neighboring fault segments by faulting-related fractures. In this paper, using field observations together with effective medium models, we analyze the reduction in the effective elastic properties of rock in terms of density of the fault-related brittle fractures and fracture intersection angles controlled primarily by the splay angles. Fracture densities or equivalent fracture spacing values corresponding to the vanishing Young's, shear, and quasi-pure shear moduli were obtained by extrapolation from the calculated range of these parameters. The fracture densities or the equivalent spacing values obtained using this method compare well with the field data measured along scan lines across the faults in the study area. These findings should be helpful for a better understanding of the fracture density/spacing distribution around faults and the transition from discrete fracturing to cataclastic deformation associated with fault growth and the related instabilities.

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  • Journal Name: Journal of Structural Geology; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 2009

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  • Report No.: LBNL-3014E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.jsg.2009.11.007 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 982838
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1014758

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • October 15, 2009

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  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Oct. 17, 2017, 5:59 p.m.

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Aydin, A. & Berryman, J.G. Analysis of the growth of strike-slip faults using effective medium theory, article, October 15, 2009; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1014758/: accessed September 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.