Reactivated strike-slip faults from north Cornwall, UK

Kim, Young-Seog and Andrews, Jim R. (2001) Reactivated strike-slip faults from north Cornwall, UK Tectonophysics, 340, (3-4), pp. 173-194. (doi:10.1016/S0040-1951(01)00146-9).


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Several strike–slip faults at Crackington Haven, UK show evidence of right-lateral movement with tip cracks and dilatational jogs, which have been reactivated by left-lateral strike–slip movement. Evidence for reactivation includes two slickenside striae on a single fault surface, two groups of tip cracks with different orientations and very low displacement gradients or negative (left-lateral) displacements at fault tips.

Evidence for the relative age of the two strike–slip movements is (1) the first formed tip cracks associated with right-lateral slip are deformed, whereas the tip cracks formed during left-lateral slip show no deformation; (2) some of the tip cracks associated with right-lateral movement show left-lateral reactivation; and (3) left-lateral displacement is commonly recorded at the tips of dominantly right-lateral faults.

The orientation of the tip cracks to the main fault is 30–70° clockwise for right-lateral slip, and 20–40° counter-clockwise for left-lateral slip. The structure formed by this process of strike–slip reactivation is termed a “tree structure” because it is similar to a tree with branches. The angular difference between these two groups of tip cracks could be interpreted as due to different stress distribution (e.g., transtensional/transpressional, near-field or far-field stress), different fracture modes or fractures utilizing pre-existing planes of weakness.

Most of the d–x profiles have similar patterns, which show low or negative displacement at the segment fault tips. Although the d–x profiles are complicated by fault segments and reactivation, they provide clear evidence for reactivation. Profiles that experienced two opposite slip movements show various shapes depending on the amount of displacement and the slip sequence. For a larger slip followed by a smaller slip with opposite sense, the profile would be expected to record very low or reverse displacement at fault tips due to late-stage tip propagation. Whereas for a smaller slip followed by larger slip with opposite sense, the d–x profile would be flatter with no reverse displacement at the tips. Reactivation also decreases the ratio of dmax/L since for an original right-lateral fault, left lateral reactivation will reduce the net displacement (dmax) along a fault and increase the fault length (L).

Finally we compare Crackington Haven faults with these in the Atacama system of northern Chile. The Salar Grande Fault (SGF) formed as a left-lateral fault with large displacement in its central region. Later right-lateral reactivation is preserved at the fault tips and at the smaller sub-parallel Cerro Chuculay Fault. These faults resemble those seen at Crackington Haven

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/S0040-1951(01)00146-9
ISSNs: 0040-1951 (print)
Keywords: strike–slip faults, crackington haven, atacama system
ePrint ID: 52981
Date :
Date Event
October 2001Published
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2008
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 17:51
Further Information:Google Scholar

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