The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Scaling of fault displacements from the Badajoz-Cordoba shear zone, SW Spain

Jackson, Paul and Sanderson, David J. (1992) Scaling of fault displacements from the Badajoz-Cordoba shear zone, SW Spain Tectonophysics, 210, (3-4), pp. 179-190. (doi:10.1016/0040-1951(92)90321-V).

Record type: Article


Faulting occurs over a large range of scale, parts of which are sampled by various techniques (e.g., microscopy, outcrop measurement, mapping, seismic reflection and other forms of remote sensing). Use of a single technique to measure displacement or strain will not sample faults at all scales and hence will give a biased estimate. In order to assess this bias, a knowledge of the distribution over all scales is needed.

Many samples of fault displacement appear to follow a power-law distribution, with departures which can be attributed to sampling effects. The number of faults with a displacement u is given by N(u) = Cu?D. The power-law distribution of displacement is consistent with similar distributions of other fault parameters and earthquake magnitudes. When sampling along a line (e.g., a bedding trace on a map or section), a self-similar fault population would have D = 1, whereas self-affine geometries yield D? 1. Displacement and extension are dominated by small faults when D > 1 and by large faults when D < 1. When sampling over areas or volumes these critical values are 2 and 3, respectively.

A set of strike-slip faults from the Badajoz-Córdoba Shear Zone, Spain, were sampled at two different scales using 1:50000 maps and outcrop measurements. Displacement ranges over 6 orders of magnitude. These and other fault populations typically have D ranging from 0.6 to 1.5.

The power-law relationship may be integrated to yield estimates of the displacement (or extension) for faults which lie beyond the resolution of the sampling system. For example, a knowledge of D allows the extension measured on a map or seismic section to be “corrected” for faults whose displacement is below the resolution of the survey. Based on an overall estimate of D = 0.9 for the Badajoz-Córdoba data, only some 40% of the extension would be recorded by map-scale faults. A corrected extension of 41% along the shear zone is estimated; which if typical for the entire 300 km zone represents some 87 km of along-strike extension. Thus, work suggests that significant displacement occurs on faults which are too small to be interpreted from conventional seismic profiles and geological maps.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 15 September 1992


Local EPrints ID: 76044
ISSN: 0040-1951
PURE UUID: 56cee124-eefb-4cd5-8bd6-ed95b10b902c
ORCID for David J. Sanderson: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Mar 2010
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 23:41

Export record


Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.