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  • 1
    ISSN: 1365-3121
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Geosciences
    Notes: Field data on Cenozoic faults and the McMurdo dyke arrays in the Reeves Glacier–Mawson Glacier area, Victoria Land, Antarctica, allow us to support noncoaxial transtensional tectonics along the N–S-trending western shoulder of the Ross Sea. Dyke injection within a crustal-scale right-lateral strike-slip shear zone is testified by magma filled, tension gash-like arrangements within some master fault zones, and by the left-stepping arrangements of dykes in the intrafault zones. The noncoaxiality of deformation is shown by the re-activation of many dyke walls as right-lateral strike-slip faults. This suggests an increase in the strike-slip component over time along the western shoulder of the Ross Sea. Our data support the relevance of transtensional to strike-slip tectonics for triggering melting and controlling the geometry and modes of magma emplacement.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
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    In:  Geological Society Special Publication 210: 1-14.
    Publication Date: 2003-01-01
    Description: Intraplate strike-slip deformation belts are typically steeply-dipping structures that develop in both oceanic and continental lithosphere where they form some of the largest and most spectacular discontinuities found on Earth. In both modern and ancient continental settings, intraplate strike slip deformation belts are of major importance in accommodating horizontal displacements where they additionally form very persistent zones of weakness that substantially influence the rheological behaviour of the lithosphere over very long time periods (up to 1 Ga or more). These deformation zones provide a fundamental geometric, kinematic and dynamic link between the more rigid plate-dominated tectonics of the oceans and the non-rigid, complex behaviour of the continents. During convergence, they help to transfer major displacements deep into the plate interiors. During divergence, they act as transfer zones that segment rifts, passive continental margins and, ultimately, oceanic spreading ridges. Such belts are also of great economic importance, controlling the location of many destructive earthquakes, offshore and onshore hydrocarbon deposits and metalliferous ore deposits. In the oceans, intraplate strike-slip movements are relatively minor along transform-related fracture zones, but there are an increasing number of documented examples that may reflect spatial and temporal variations in spreading rate along individual active ridge segments.
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2003-01-01
    Description: The West Antarctic Rift System is one of the largest areas of crustal extension in the world. Current interpretations on its driving mechanisms mostly rely on the occurrence of one or more mantle plumes, active during the Cenozoic or the Mesozoic. Recent studies of structural-chronological relationships between emplacement of plutons, dyke swarms, and volcanic edifices since middle Eocene in northern Victoria Land imply that magma emplacement is guided by strike-slip fault systems that dissect the western rift shoulder in Victoria Land. These studies led to a critical re-examination of the arguments used to support plume models. In Victoria Land, the linear geometry of the uplift and the relative chronology of uplift and extension are inconsistent with the traditional concepts of lithospheric evolution above a mantle plume. The geochemical signature of the mafic rocks is equivocal, because both OIB and HIMU features cannot be exclusively interpreted in terms of plume activity. From a thermal point of view, magma production rates are low compared with the core part of plume-related provinces. Additionally, the hot mantle below the West Antarctic Rift System is not documented as deep as expected for mantle plumes and the shape of thermal anomaly is related to lithospheric geometry, being linear rather than having circular symmetry. The lack of any decisive evidence for plume activity is contrasted by evidence that large-scale tectonic features guide magma emplacement: the Cenozoic fault systems reactivated inherited Palaeozoic tectonic discontinuities and their activity is dynamically linked to the Southern Ocean Fracture Zones. As an alternative to both active, plume-driven rifting and passive rifting, we propose that lithospheric strike-slip deformation could have promoted transtension-related decompression melting of a subplate mantle already decompressed and veined during the late Cretaceous amagmatic extensional rift phase. Magma ascent and emplacement occurred along the main strike-slip fault systems and along the transtensional fault arrays departing from the master faults.
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2015-12-02
    Description: Different remote sensing technologies, including photogrammetry and LIDAR (light detection and ranging), allow collecting three-dimensional (3D) data sets that can be used to create 3D digital representations of outcrop surfaces, called digital outcrop models (DOM). The main advantages of photogrammetry over LIDAR are represented by the very simple and lightweight field equipment (a digital camera), and by the arbitrary spatial resolution, that can be increased simply getting closer to the outcrop or by using a different lens. The quality of photogrammetric data sets obtained with structure from motion (SFM) techniques has shown a tremendous improvement over the past few years, and this is becoming one of the more effective ways to collect DOM data sets. The Vajont Gorge (Belluno Dolomites, Italy) provides spectacular outcrops of jurassic limestones (Vajont Limestone Formation) in which mesozoic faults and fracture corridors are continuously exposed. Some of these faults acted as conduits for fluids, resulting in structurally controlled dolomitization. A 3D DOM study, based on a photogrammetric SFM data set, was carried out, aimed at enabling interdisciplinary characterization and reconstruction of coupled brittle deformation and fluid flow processes. For this study we used a DOM (730 m x 360 m x 270 m) consisting of continuous triangulated surfaces representing the outcrop, textured with high-resolution images. Interpretation and modeling performed on this data set include (1) georeferencing of structural measurements and sampling stations; (2) tracing of stratigraphic boundaries, structural surfaces, and dolomitization fronts (ground-truthed); (3) correlation and extrapolation of realistic 3D surfaces from these traces; and (4) development of a 3D geological model at the scale of the Vajont Gorge, including stratigraphy, faults, dolomitization fronts, and volumetric meshes suitable for the statistical analysis of structural, diagenetic, and geochemical parameters. The DOM study highlighted the close relationship between faults and dolostone geobodies, demonstrating that dolomitization was guided by fluid infiltration along Mesozoic normal faults. In order to explore the uncertainty associated with the 3D model of irregularly shaped dolostone bodies, three different 3D dolostone geobody realizations have been modeled, providing a minimum, intermediate, and maximum estimate of the dolostone/limestone volumetric facies ratio, while honoring the field constraints.
    Electronic ISSN: 1553-040X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2015-10-28
    Description: Classical frictional fault reactivation models indicate that slip along misoriented fault planes is not possible under most conditions. Nevertheless, active or exhumed low-angle normal faults have been described in many settings worldwide. This discrepancy is addressed by contrasting models: (1) those proposing that low-angle normal faults result from postkinematic passive rotation of former high-angle extensional faults; and (2) those proposing that specific conditions can promote slip along misoriented fault planes. This paper describes the Tellaro detachment, a mid–late Miocene low-angle normal fault that was responsible for ~500 m of tectonic vertical thinning in the carbonate-dominated Triassic to Lower Miocene succession of the Northern Apennines, Italy. By integrating structural, petrographic, isotopic, and fluid inclusion data, we show that: (1) the main kinematic activity of the Tellaro detachment occurred between ~8 and 4 km depths and peak temperature ~190 °C; (2) dilational breccias, tens of cubic meters in volume, are frequently associated with major low-angle fault segments; (3) slip along misoriented planes was favored by elevated fluid pressures and low differential stress; and (4) the fault system was characterized by transient permeability pulses and overpressure buildups, associated with multiple fracturing and cementation events that caused the downward migration of master slip surfaces. Results presented in this study show that: (1) in a fluid-active regime, continental crustal thinning can occur for shallow values of fault dip; (2) low-angle normal faults have a great influence on fluid circulation within the upper crust; and (3) episodic permeability enhancement and destruction in detachment faults can promote overpressure buildups, triggering deformation episodes.
    Print ISSN: 0016-7606
    Electronic ISSN: 1943-2674
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2015-02-24
    Description: The Jabal Qusaybah anticline is located at the western end of the Salakh Arch, a major salient in the foothills of the Oman Mountains. We performed a structural and petrographical-geochemical study of vein sets and fault zones associated with the development of this anticline. Our data illustrate a complex deformation pattern both in space and time, characterized by the unusual presence of widespread NE-SW left-lateral strike-slip fault zones trending oblique to the E-W fold axial strike, and of abundant and well developed N-S fold-perpendicular extensional fault zones associated with axial bulging and dilation, well developed in the central region of the anticlinal crest. We propose a three-stage evolution for the Jabal Qusaybah anticline, starting with pre-folding jointing in the foreland of the late Cretaceous Oman Mountains, and followed by development of extensional faulting in Campanian times. Positive inversion of the Qusaybah Fault, possibly in Miocene times, caused development of a layer-parallel shortening fabric and amplification the Jabal Qusaybah Anticline, in concomitance with the activity of NE-SW left-lateral strike-slip fault zones that triggered N-S, fold-perpendicular extensional faulting, particularly in the axial bump of the anticline. The final evolutionary stage was characterized by further amplification of the axial bump and related N-S extensional fracturing and by uplift and exhumation. To explain the complex non cylindrical fault-fold interactions in the study anticline, we tentatively propose that they were triggered by near foredeep-parallel tapering of the sedimentary/tectonic overburden of the Ara evaporites.
    Print ISSN: 0278-7407
    Electronic ISSN: 1944-9194
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Wiley on behalf of American Geophysical Union (AGU).
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2014-04-19
    Description: Seismic slip episodically occurring along shallow creeping faults in poorly lithified sediments represents an unsolved paradox, largely due to our poor understanding of the mechanics governing creeping faults and the lack of documented geological evidence showing how coseismic rupturing overprints creep in near-surface conditions. Here we describe the signature of seismic ruptures propagating along shallow creeping faults affecting unconsolidated forearc sediments. Field observations of deformation band–dominated fault zones show widespread foliated cataclasites in fault cores, locally overprinted by sharp slip surfaces decorated by thin (0.5–1.5 cm) black gouge layers (herein, black gouge). Compared to foliated cataclasites, black gouges have much lower grain size, porosity, and permeability. Moreover, they are characterized by distinct mineralogical assemblages compatible with high temperatures (180–200 °C) due to frictional heating during seismic slip. Foliated cataclasites were also produced by laboratory experiments performed on host sediments at subseismic slip rates (≤0.1 m/s), displaying high residual friction (µ f = 0.65) and strain-hardening behavior. Black gouges were produced during experiments performed at seismic (1 m/s) slip rates, displaying low residual friction (µ f = 0.3) due to dynamic weakening. Our results show that black gouges represent a potential diagnostic marker for seismic faulting in shallow creeping faults. These findings can help understanding the time-space partitioning between aseismic and seismic behavior of faults at shallow crustal levels.
    Print ISSN: 0091-7613
    Electronic ISSN: 1943-2682
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: 〈span〉In this work, we report the results of a multidisciplinary study describing the structural architecture and diagenetic evolution of the Rocca di Neto extensional fault zone developed in poorly lithified sandstones of the Crotone Basin, Southern Italy. The studied fault zone has an estimated displacement of ∼90 m and consists of: (1) a low-deformation zone with subsidiary faults and widely spaced deformation bands; (2) an ∼10-m-wide damage zone, characterized by a dense network of conjugate deformation bands; (3) an ∼3-m-wide mixed zone produced by tectonic mixing of sediments with different grain size; (4) an ∼1-m-wide fault core with bedding transposed into foliation and ultra-comminute black gouge layers. Microstructural investigations indicate that particulate flow was the dominant early-stage deformation mechanism, while cataclasis became predominant after porosity loss, shallow burial, and selective calcite cementation. The combination of tectonic compaction and preferential cementation led to a strain-hardening behavior inducing the formation of “inclined conjugate deformation band sets” inside the damage zone, caused by the kinematic stress field associated with fault activity. Conversely, conjugate deformation band sets with a vertical bisector formed outside the damage zone in response to the regional extensional stress field. Stable isotope analysis helped in constraining the diagenetic environment of deformation, which is characterized by mixed marine-meteoric signature for cements hosted inside the damage zone, while it progressively becomes more meteoric moving outside the fault zone. This evidence supports the outward propagation of fault-related deformation structures in the footwall damage zone.〈/span〉
    Print ISSN: 0016-7606
    Electronic ISSN: 1943-2674
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2013-05-03
    Description: Iron-oxide coloration and deposits in sandstone are significant indicators of the mobility of solutes (Fe 2+ and O 2 ) in groundwater, mainly controlled by host-rock porosity and permeability. We describe the occurrence and geometry of different types of iron-oxide deposits developed within the vadose zone along faults affecting poorly lithified, quartz-dominated, heterolithic sands in the Paraíba Basin, NE Brazil. The development of highly permeable damage zones (10 0 –10 2 Darcy) and low-permeability fault-core–mixed zones (10 –3 –10 1 Darcy) promotes the physical mixing of Fe 2+ -rich waters and oxygenated groundwater. This arrangement favors iron-oxide precipitation as meter-scale sand impregnations, centimeter- to decimeter-scale concretions, and well-cemented decimeter- to meter-thick mineral masses. The formation of hydraulically isolated compartments along hard-linked strike-slip faults promotes: (1) the development of Liesegang bands in a reaction zone dominated by pore-water molecular diffusion of O 2 into Fe 2+ -rich stagnant water, and (2) the precipitation of iron-oxide impregnations and concretions in the fault-core–mixed zone boundaries, likely by O 2 diffusion in flowing Fe 2+ -rich waters. Late-stage fault reactivation provides preferential pathways for the circulation of gravity-driven reducing fluids, resulting in localized dissolution of iron and bleaching along fractures and iron remobilization. These relationships reveal the roles of tectonic activity and near-surface sandstone diagenesis in determining preferential hydraulic pathways for the physicochemical interaction between oxygenated groundwater and iron-rich fluids. Structural setting, fault-zone architecture, and related grain-size–permeability structures determine the dominant mode of solution interaction, leading to the formation of iron-oxide Liesegang bands where O 2 diffuses into stagnant Fe 2+ -rich water, and concretions when diffusion is complemented by Fe 2+ advective flow.
    Print ISSN: 0016-7606
    Electronic ISSN: 1943-2674
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2018
    Description: 〈span〉〈div〉Abstract〈/div〉Reconstructing the paleofluid evolution in mature fault zones, which typically have complex structural architectures, is a challenging task because reactivation of pre-existing deformation structures and dissolution-reprecipitation processes are very abundant. Understanding why specific structural elements are preferentially mineralized and what are the factors leading to rapid fluid migration and accumulation, bears geological and economic implications, especially in seismically active fault zones. We studied the Compione Fault on the Tyrrhenian Sea side of the Northern Apennines orogenic wedge, Italy, which is a segment of the 30-km-long Northern Lunigiana high-angle extensional fault system still active today. The Compione Fault propagated from the metamorphic basement and accumulated about 1.5 km of displacement. We used structural, petrographic, isotopic, microthermometric, compositional, and organic matter analyses to constrain fluid and host rock properties during fault zone evolution. This approach allowed us to quantify the thermal anomaly in the fault zone and to infer the processes responsible for such a disequilibrium. Specifically, we show that in the fault process zone ahead of the upper fault tip, which is twice as wide as the damage zone, seismic pumping caused suprahydrostatic fluid pressures and that local dilation promoted the nucleation of a highly permeable mesh of conjugate extensional shear fractures hosting calc-silicate mineralization. The thermal difference between hydrothermal minerals in the conjugate fracture mesh and the host rock is 60–90 °C. The mineralizing fluids were deeply sourced from metamorphic reactions. Propagation of the upper fault tip caused process zone folding and incorporation into the fault damage zones. As the upper fault tip breached through shallower structural levels, it favored mixing between deep and meteoric fluids.〈/span〉
    Print ISSN: 0016-7606
    Electronic ISSN: 1943-2674
    Topics: Geosciences
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