Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
James P. Evans
The geometry and mineralization features of small left-lateral strike-slip faults and associated fractures in Lake Edison Granodiorite of the central Sierra Nevada, California, were examined in order to model the three-dimensional structure of strike-slip faults. These faults, which are reactivated joints, were also examined to determine fault sizes, starting joint size, and evidence for fluid flow.
The associated secondary fractures are usually found in the dilational quadrants of fault-tip regions. The longest fault-segment trace is 32.14 m; the longest joint trace is 22 m. The joint population length (l) is represented by a power-law distribution (l-n) and it is l-1.22. The fault-segment distributions are l-0.23~0.79, and the compiled fault-segment distribution is l-1.18. The data on fracture and fault spacing, along with the joint power-law distribution, will aid in the simulation and analysis of fault evolution.
The splay-fracture traced in the faults are linear at depth and the average splay-fracture angle is 39° ± 13°. The dihedral angle of the splay plane and fault plane ranges from 20° to 65°. There is a high concentration of splay fractures near the fault. As distance increases perpendicular form the fault, the splay-fracture spacing increases and splay-fracture frequency decreases. The splay tracelength distributions have a high short tracelength concentration with a rapid decrease of long tracelengths. The maximum tracelength of multiple splay-fracture groups is restricted by their distance orthogonal to the fault trace. The three-dimensional relationship between the splay-fracture plane and fault plane can be inferred from these data.
When present, mineralized quartz appears largely as lenses and few as single continuous veins along the faults. No consistent pattern exists between fault displacement and the locations and dimensions of quartz cavities. There is no visible damage zone near the fault termination or around the faults. Microstructures in the fault zone consist of cataclasites and patchy gouges, and zones of dynamically recrystallized fault walls. The three-dimensional geometry, along with quartz cavity distribution and thin section analysis, has led to the conclusion that fluid migrates vertically among the faults and fractures.
Lim, Siang Joo, "Small Strike-Slip Faults in Granitic Rock: Implications for Three-Dimensional Models" (1998). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 5624.