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The propagation of strike-slip faults using 3D seismic data

Wild, Christopher 2015. The propagation of strike-slip faults using 3D seismic data. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The application of 3D seismic data to the study of fault evolution has greatly increased our understanding of how normal and thrust faults propagate. Specifically, by combining displacement distribution plots and a thorough analysis of the fault geometry, we can determine: linkage history, restrictions to fault growth, and blind versus emergent propagation. However, these methods have never been applied to strike-slip faults in seismic data due to the difficulty in imaging kinematic indicators or piercing points that quantify displacement. This thesis presents a novel technique that allows for the rapid identification of kinematic indicators in two 3D seismic datasets from the Levant Basin, Eastern Mediterranean, which enables the displacement distribution of strike-slip faults to be analysed beyond what has been accomplished by traditional field-based studies. The high quality of the data also enables the detailed investigation into the 3D geometry of strike-slip faults to be used in conjunction with the displacement data to better understand the upward vertical propagation history. Results indicate that high displacement faults show distinctly different geometries from low displacement faults, and that strain rate and propagation mode may be integral in controlling geometry type. Furthermore, the geometry of the naturally occurring examples presented here, shows distinct differences from analogue studies, and suggests future work should be applied to understanding what controls these discrepancies. The displacement distribution also allowed insight into fault network relationships at the regional scale, in addition to individual faults. In particular, the 3D geometry of conjugate intersections, branching intersections, and tip structures was explored. The results yielded very complex and confounding structural relationships, which suggest that deformation is rarely as simple as 2D interpretations show, and thus may have significant consequences to precious resource extraction.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2016 04:41

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