Displacement and interaction of normal fault segments branched at depth: Implications for fault growth and potential earthquake rupture size - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Structural Geology Year : 2008

Displacement and interaction of normal fault segments branched at depth: Implications for fault growth and potential earthquake rupture size

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Abstract

We present field data from segmented normal faults having particular displacement and overlapping geometries that may be related to down-dip branching of the fault segments. Based on a 3-D numerical modeling study of computed displacement and stress fields around different geometries of down-dip branched normal fault segments, we show that the bends of fault surfaces that coalesce at depth exert a significant influence on (I) the displacement distribution on the fault segment branches and (2) the quasi-static stress fields around the relay zones. The asymmetry in the displacement profiles and low fault interaction at relay zones modeled are consistent with the fault segment geometries observed in field data. As an application, we model the geometry and interaction of the Vallo di Diano normal fault which is segmented at the Earth's surface and which produced an earthquake of magnitude 6.4 along a single fault surface at depth. Numerical modeling of the segmented fault produces an asymmetric displacement profile and low shear stress at the relay zone consistent with the profile and fault interaction inferred from the held. We conclude that asymmetry of the displacement profile and large overlap/separation ratio of the unlinked relay zone can be indicators of the presence of a continuous fault surface underneath. These geometrical attributes are therefore important to consider in the probabilistic analysis of seismic hazard along segmented normal faults.

Dates and versions

hal-00411161 , version 1 (26-08-2009)

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Roger Soliva, A. Benedicto, R. A. Schultz, L. Maerten, L. Micarelli. Displacement and interaction of normal fault segments branched at depth: Implications for fault growth and potential earthquake rupture size. Journal of Structural Geology, 2008, 30 (10), pp.1288-1299. ⟨10.1016/j.jsg.2008.07.005⟩. ⟨hal-00411161⟩
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