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Normal faulting in chalk: tectonic stresses vs. compaction-related polygonal faulting.

C. Hibsch, J. Cartwright, D.M. Hansen, P. Gaviglio, G. André’, M. Cushing, P. Bracq, P. Juigne, P. Benoit & J. Allouc.

VAN RENSBERGEN, P., HILLIS, R.R., MALTMAN, A.J. & MORLEY, C.K. (eds) - Subsurface Sediment Mobilization. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 210, 291-308.

Document type > *Article de revue

Keywords > earthquakes, rift/fault

Research Unit > IRSN/DEI/SARG/BERSSIN

Authors > CUSHING Edward

Publication Date > 15/12/2003

Summary

This paper documents normal fault sets observed in chalks exposed in widely separated localities in the UK and France. These faults are characterized by having a wide range of strikes at any one locality, are developed entirely within the chalk succession and do not seem to interconnect to deeper or shallower structures. These structures may result from two different mechanisms: (1) complex polyphase deformational histories involving contrasting stress states; or (2) a single deformational phase in which the faults develop to accommodate compactional strains. Evidence is presented from microstructural and petrographic data to support the latter interpretation. In particular, the association of calcite and marcasite mineralizations with fracture surfaces and fault zones and textural observations relating flint occurrence to early fault formation point towards fault propagation at a very early stage of burial and compaction of the chalky sediments. An analogy is drawn between these outcrop-scale structures and polygonal fault systems at a larger scale recognized from seismic observations of chalk sequences deposited at passive continental margins. The origin of these structures may be related to syneresis at an early stage of deformation followed by pressure solution phenomena that may reactivate this early-inherited polygonal fault pattem until the present W .


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