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Paleo-deviatoric stress magnitudes from calcite twins and related structural permeability evolution in minor faults: Example from the toarcian shale of the French Causses Basin, Aveyron, France

Journal title : Tectonophysics
Volume : 429
Issue : 1-2
Pagination : 79-97
Publication date : 01/01/2007

Document type > *Article de revue

Keywords > calcite, fault


Authors > CABRERA Justo, CONSTANTIN Joël, LAURENT Philippe, VERGELY Pierre

Publication Date > 01/01/2007


The relationship between deformation and so-called fluid paleotransfers in minor faults has been analysed in an argillaceous formation located in the Causses Basin in France. The fluid paleotransfers are related to the fault activity to a large extent. We attempt to estimate the intensity of paleo-deviatoric stress magnitudes under which the fault activity may have occurred and consequently, the change in the structural fault permeability. The paleo-deviatoric stress magnitudes were calculated with the inverse method of Etchecopar applied to calcite twinning. The measured crystals are contained within the core zone of minor faults and this study is based on a previous complete microtectonic and microstructural analysis of the faults. In this paper, analysis of calcite twinning has been applied for the first time to vein fillings associated small faults in a context of relatively weak deformation, a condition ensured by the tectonic and structural analysis. Calculation and discussion of the paleo-deviatoric stress tensors in relation to the evolution of the structural fault permeability and to the hydraulic behaviour of the faults are the aim of this paper. The analysed faults, created and active during the same tectonic event, were permeable under a (σ1-σ3) mean value of 40-50 MPa. On the other hand, the reactivation of faults during a second tectonic event implies mean (σ1-σ3) value higher than 40-50 MPa, especially for the faults that are poorly oriented with respect to the principal tectonic stress directions. The core zone of these faults remained sealed and impermeable or became permeable by development of microcracks inside the pre-existing fillings.


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