Maltman, Alex; Vannucchi, Paola (2004): Insights from the Ocean Drilling Program on shear and fluid-flow at the mega-faults between actively converging plates. Geological Society of London, London, United Kingdom, In: Alsop, G. I. (editor), Holdsworth, R. E. (editor), McCaffrey, K. J. W. (editor), Hand, M. (editor), Flow processes in faults and shear zones, 224, 127-140, georefid:2005-058190

The mega-faults between actively converging plates have recently been penetrated by the Ocean Drilling Program at three plate margins: Barbados, Costa Rica and Nankai. Cores, downhole instrumentation and detailed seismic imagery provide data which may be helpful in interpreting ancient examples of shear zones. The mega-faults, developed in poorly lithified sediments, separate major lithospheric plates yet are merely tens of metres in thickness. They respond to ongoing strain by intensifying inwards rather than propagating outward splays and can grow thinner because of continuing compaction. Surprisingly, lithological influence on the localization of fault propagation seems slight, but lithology determines the deformation style within the faults. The resulting structures show asymmetric distributions within the zones but, in these flat-lying structures, tend to show a downward increase in strain. Upper margins are typically gradational whereas lower boundaries can be strikingly abrupt. The fluid-transport behaviours are complex. In some situations the horizontal flux is very diffuse but centred around the fault. Some faults can efficiently channelize fluids--for distances of tens of kilometres--while at the same curbing flow across them. The fluid transport is clearly episodic and heterogeneous. Fingers of pressured fluid migrate within the fault zone, in patterns that constantly change through time.
West: -86.1109 East: 134.5800 North: 32.2100 South: 9.3916
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