On the reactivation of extensional fault systems

M. A. Etheridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


In terranes that have undergone substantial extension, 3 sets of faults dominate: a) shallow-to-steep-dipping, commonly rotational normal faults; b) a really extensive, shallow-dipping, normal detachment faults; and c) steep-dipping transfer faults that strike at high angles to the normal faults. These fault systems may extend through a large fraction of the crust. Reactivation of these fault systems will depend primarily on the relative strengths of the faults (shear zones) and their host rock, and their orientation in the prevailing stress field. It is concluded that reactivation is generally mechanically favoured, but that it will probably only take place when the fault-shear zones are in near-ideal orientations. Consideration of the tectonic setting of extended terranes and of the limited number of well described examples suggests that reverse (thrust) reactivation of the normal and detachment faults and wrench reactivation of transfer faults are the most likely styles. Examples of these styles are described from the Bass Strait Basins of SE Australia.-from Author

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-194
Number of pages16
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number1539
Publication statusPublished - 1986


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