We use wet-clay analogue models to investigate how pre-existing discontinuities (i.e. structures inherited from previous tectonic phases) affect the evolution of a normal fault at the Earth’s surface. To this end we first perform a series of three reference experiments driven by a 45° dipping master fault unaffected by pre-existing discontinuities to generate a mechanically isotropic learning set of models. We then replicate the xperiment six times introducing a 60°-dipping precut in the clay cake, each time with a different attitude and orientation with respect to an initially-blind, 45°-dipping, master normal fault. In all experiments the precut intersects the vertical projection of the master fault halfway between the center and the right-hand lateral tip. All other conditions are identical for all seven models. By comparing the results obtained from the mechanically isotropic experiments with results from experiments with precuts we find that the surface evolution of the normal fault varies depending on the precut orientation. In most cases the parameters of newly-forming faults are strongly influenced. The largest influence is exerted by synthetic and antithetic discontinuities trending respectively at 30° and 45° from the strike of the master fault, whereas a synthetic discontinuity at 60° and an antithetic discontinuity at 30° show moderate influence. Little influence is exerted by a synthetic discontinuity at 45° and an antithetic discontinuity at 60° from the strike of the master fault. We provide a ranking chart to assess fault-to-discontinuity interactions with respect to essential surface fault descriptors, such as segmentation, vertical-displacement profile, maximum displacement, and length, often used as proxies to infer fault properties at depth. Considering a single descriptor, the amount of deviation induced by different precuts varies from case to case in a rather unpredictable fashion. Multiple observables should be taken into consideration when analyzing normal faults evolving next to pre-existing discontinuities.

The effects of pre-existing discontinuities on the surface expression of normal faults: insights from wet-clay analogue modeling

BONINI, Lorenzo;
2016

Abstract

We use wet-clay analogue models to investigate how pre-existing discontinuities (i.e. structures inherited from previous tectonic phases) affect the evolution of a normal fault at the Earth’s surface. To this end we first perform a series of three reference experiments driven by a 45° dipping master fault unaffected by pre-existing discontinuities to generate a mechanically isotropic learning set of models. We then replicate the xperiment six times introducing a 60°-dipping precut in the clay cake, each time with a different attitude and orientation with respect to an initially-blind, 45°-dipping, master normal fault. In all experiments the precut intersects the vertical projection of the master fault halfway between the center and the right-hand lateral tip. All other conditions are identical for all seven models. By comparing the results obtained from the mechanically isotropic experiments with results from experiments with precuts we find that the surface evolution of the normal fault varies depending on the precut orientation. In most cases the parameters of newly-forming faults are strongly influenced. The largest influence is exerted by synthetic and antithetic discontinuities trending respectively at 30° and 45° from the strike of the master fault, whereas a synthetic discontinuity at 60° and an antithetic discontinuity at 30° show moderate influence. Little influence is exerted by a synthetic discontinuity at 45° and an antithetic discontinuity at 60° from the strike of the master fault. We provide a ranking chart to assess fault-to-discontinuity interactions with respect to essential surface fault descriptors, such as segmentation, vertical-displacement profile, maximum displacement, and length, often used as proxies to infer fault properties at depth. Considering a single descriptor, the amount of deviation induced by different precuts varies from case to case in a rather unpredictable fashion. Multiple observables should be taken into consideration when analyzing normal faults evolving next to pre-existing discontinuities.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040195115006782
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
14_Bonini et al., 2016 Tectonophysics.pdf

embargo fino al 12/12/2017

Tipologia: Bozza finale post-referaggio (post-print)
Licenza: Digital Rights Management non definito
Dimensione 4.28 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
4.28 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
1-s2.0-S0040195115006782-main.pdf

non disponibili

Tipologia: Documento in Versione Editoriale
Licenza: Digital Rights Management non definito
Dimensione 3.12 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
3.12 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2849816
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 23
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 20
social impact