Localisation of normal faults in multilayer sequences

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Title: Localisation of normal faults in multilayer sequences
Authors: Schöpfer, Martin P. J.
Childs, Conrad
Walsh, John J.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/3025
Date: May-2006
Abstract: Existing conceptual growth models for faults in layered sequences suggest that faults first localise in strong, and brittle, layers and are later linked in weak, and ductile, layers. We use the Discrete Element Method (DEM) for modelling the growth of a normal fault in a brittle/ductile multilayer sequence. The modelling reveals that faults in brittle/ductile sequences at low confining pressure and high strength contrast localise first as Mode I fractures in the brittle layers. Low amplitude monoclinal folding prior to failure is accommodated by ductile flow in the weak layers. The initially vertically segmented fault arrays are later linked via shallow dipping faults in the weak layers. Faults localise, therefore, as geometrically and kinematically coherent arrays of fault segments in which abandoned fault tips or splays are a product of the strain localisation process and do not necessarily indicate linkage of initially isolated faults. The modelling suggests that fault tip lines in layered sequences are more advanced in the strong layers compared to weak layers, where the difference in propagation distance is most likely related to strength and/or ductility contrast. Layer dependent variations in fault propagation rates generate fringed rather than smooth fault tip lines in multilayers.
Funding Details: Not applicable
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright (published version): 2006 Elsevier Ltd.
Keywords: Fault growthDiscrete element methodFault refractionFault tip lineMohr circlesStress and strain paths
Subject LCSH: Faults (Geology)
Geological modeling
Strains and stresses
DOI: 10.1016/j.jsg.2006.02.003
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Earth Sciences Research Collection

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