Structure and flow properties of syn-rift border faults: The interplaybetween fault damage and fault-related chemical alteration (Dombjerg Fault, Wollaston Forland, NE Greenland)
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Structurally controlled, syn-rift, clastic depocentres are of economic interest as hydrocarbon reservoirs; understanding the structure of their bounding faults is of great relevance, e.g. in the assessment of fault-controlled hydrocarbon retention potential. Here we investigate the structure of the Dombjerg Fault Zone (Wollaston Forland, NE Greenland), a syn-rift border fault that juxtaposes syn-rift deep-water hanging-wall clastics against a footwall of crystalline basement. A series of discrete fault strands characterize the central fault zone, where discrete slip surfaces, fault rock assemblages and extreme fracturing are common. A chemical alteration zone (CAZ) of fault-related calcite cementation envelops the fault and places strong controls on the style of deformation, particularly in the hanging-wall. The hanging-wall damage zone includes faults, joints, veins and, outside the CAZ, disaggregation deformation bands. Footwall deformation includes faults, joints and veins. Our observations suggest that the CAZ formed during early-stage fault slip and imparted a mechanical control on later fault-related deformation. This study thus gives new insights to the structure of an exposed basin-bounding fault and highlights a spatiotemporal interplay between fault damage and chemical alteration, the latter of which is often underreported in fault studies. To better elucidate the structure, evolution and flow properties of faults (outcrop or subsurface), both fault damage and fault-related chemical alteration must be considered.
CitationJournal of Structural Geology 2016, 92:99-115
Copyright 2016 The Authors
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