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Rift zone-parallel extension during segmented fault growth: application to the evolution of the NE Atlantic

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posted on 2018-04-10, 11:01 authored by Alodie Bubeck, Richard J. Walker, Jonathan Imber, Robert E. Holdsworth, Christopher J. MacLeod, David A. Holwell
The mechanical interaction of propagating normal faults is known to influence the linkage geometry of firstorder faults, and the development of second-order faults and fractures, which transfer displacement within relay zones. Here we use natural examples of growth faults from two active volcanic rift zones (Koa‘e, island of Hawai‘i, and Krafla, northern Iceland) to illustrate the importance of horizontalplane extension (heave) gradients, and associated vertical axis rotations, in evolving continental rift systems. Secondorder extension and extensional-shear faults within the relay zones variably resolve components of regional extension, and components of extension and/or shortening parallel to the rift zone, to accommodate the inherently three-dimensional (3- D) strains associated with relay zone development and rotation. Such a configuration involves volume increase, which is accommodated at the surface by open fractures; in the subsurface this may be accommodated by veins or dikes oriented obliquely and normal to the rift axis. To consider the scalability of the effects of relay zone rotations, we compare the geometry and kinematics of fault and fracture sets in the Koa‘e and Krafla rift zones with data from exhumed contemporaneous fault and dike systems developed within a > 5×104 km2 relay system that developed during formation of the NE Atlantic margins. Based on the findings presented here we propose a new conceptual model for the evolution of segmented continental rift basins on the NE Atlantic margins.

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Citation

Solid Earth and Discussions, 2017, 8, pp. 1161–1180

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/School of Geography, Geology and the Environment

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Solid Earth and Discussions

Publisher

European Geosciences Union

issn

1869-9510

eissn

1869-9529

Acceptance date

2017-10-17

Copyright date

2017

Available date

2018-04-10

Publisher version

https://www.solid-earth.net/8/1161/2017/

Language

en

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