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A range of fault slip styles on progressively misoriented planes during flexural-slip folding, Cape Fold Belt, South Africa

Fagereng, Ake and Byrnes, Gregory 2015. A range of fault slip styles on progressively misoriented planes during flexural-slip folding, Cape Fold Belt, South Africa. Journal of Structural Geology 70 , pp. 156-169. 10.1016/j.jsg.2014.12.001

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Flexural slip folds are distinctive of mixed continuous-discontinuous deformation in the upper crust, as folding is accommodated by continuous bending of layers and localized, discontinuous slip along layer interfaces. The mechanism of localized, layer-parallel slip and the stress and fluid pressure conditions at which flexural slip occurs are therefore distinctive of shear localization during distributed deformation. In the Prince Albert Formation mudstone sequence of the Karoo Basin, the foreland basin to the Cape Fold Belt, folds are well developed and associated with incrementally developed bedding-parallel quartz veins with slickenfibers oriented perpendicular to fold hinge lines, locally cross-cutting axial planar cleavage, and showing hanging wall motion toward the fold hinge. Bedding-parallel slickenfiber-coated veins dip at angles from 18° to 83°, implying that late increments of bedding-parallel shear occurred along unfavorably oriented planes. The local presence of tensile veins, in mutually cross-cutting relationship with bedding-parallel, slickenfiber-coated veins, indicate local fluid pressures in excess of the least compressive stress. Slickenfiber vein microstructures include a range of quartz morphologies, dominantly blocky to elongate-blocky, but in places euhedral to subhedral; the veins are commonly laminated, with layers of quartz separated by bedding-parallel slip surfaces characterized by a quartz-phyllosilicate cataclasite. Crack-seal bands imply incremental slickenfiber growth, in increments from tens of micrometers to a few millimeters, in some places, whereas other vein layers lack evidence for incremental growth and likely formed in single slip events. Single slip events, however, also involved quartz growth into open space, and are inferred to have formed by stick-slip faulting. Overall, therefore, flexural slip in this location involved bedding-parallel faulting, along progressively misoriented weak planes, with a range of slip increments.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0191-8141
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 5 December 2014
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2019 06:37

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