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High-resolution record of tectonic and sedimentary processes in growth strata

Abstract : Growth strata are used to determine the kinematics of synsedimentary structures such as faults. Classical methods of analysis such as thickness versus throw plot consider that the available space created by fault slip in the hanging wall of faults is instantaneously filled up by sediments. This has lead many previous works to identify a cyclic activity for growth faults. Here we perform a careful analysis of the variation of strata thicknesses on each side of a very well documented normal growth fault in the Niger delta. We show that these thickness variations are induced by the alternation of sedimentary processes during continuous fault slip. Suspended-load processes induce either uniform or slightly variable thickness of a large majority of mudstone layers. Bedload processes result in a preferential thickening of sand layers in the hanging wall. These high quality data thus provide strong grounds for doubting the polycyclic growth diagnosed for some faults at the scale of sedimentary cycles and supports the notion that fault displacement rates can be very well behaved. Our study emphasizes the important conclusion that stable fault growth, and related displacement rates, can appear to be punctuated when viewed at the scale of sedimentary cycles. It follows that care should be taken when attempting to derive displacement rates on temporal scales equivalent to those of alternating sedimentological cycles.
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Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 2:36:50 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:16:48 AM

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Pochat Stéphane, Sébastien Castelltort, Gaël Choblet, Jean van den Driessche. High-resolution record of tectonic and sedimentary processes in growth strata. Marine and Petroleum Geology, Elsevier, 2009, 26 (8), pp.1350-1364. ⟨10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2009.06.001⟩. ⟨insu-00425203⟩

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