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Rock Structure and Fault

Activity
chapter 9

What is structural geology


The study of the forms of the Earths crust
and the processes which have shaped it
analysis of displacement and changes in
shape of rock bodies (strain)
reconstruct stress that produced strain

Structural Deformation
Rocks deform when
stresses placed upon
them exceed the rock
strength
Brittle deformation
(e.g. fractures)
ductile deformation
(e.g. folds)

Driving Forces
Plate tectonics plate convergence and ridge
spreading
Deep burial of sediments
Forceful intrusion of magma into the crust
Meteorite impacts

Evidence of Crustal
Deformation

Folding of strata
Faulting of strata
Tilting of strata
Joints and fractures

Evidence of Crustal
Deformation

Folding of strata
Faulting of strata
Tilting of strata
Joints and fractures

Evidence of Crustal
Deformation

Folding of strata
Faulting of strata
Tilting of strata
Joints and fractures

Evidence of Crustal
Deformation

Folding of strata
Faulting of strata
Tilting of strata
Joints and fractures

Applications of structural
geology

subsurface exploration for oil and gas


mining exploration
geotechnical investigations
groundwater and environmental site
assessment

Geological structures

Geologic bed contacts


Primary sedimentary structures
Primary igneous structures
Secondary structures

Fundamental Structures
Three fundamental types of geologic
structures:
bed contacts
primary structures - produced during
deposition
or emplacement of rock body
secondary structures - produced by
deformation
and other process after rock is emplaced

Bed Contacts
Boundaries which separate one rock
unit from another
two types:
1. Normal conformable contacts
2. Unconformable contacts
(unconformities)

Conformable Bed Contacts


Horizontal contact between rock units
with no break in deposition or
erosional gaps
no significant gaps in geologic time
Book Cliffs,
central Utah

Unconformable Contacts
Erosion surfaces representing a
significant break in deposition (and
geologic time)

angular unconformity
disconformity
non-conformity

Angular Unconformity
Bedding contact which discordantly cuts
across older strata
discordance means strata are at an angle to
each other
commonly contact is erosion surface

Formation of an angular
unconformity

Disconformity

Erosional gap between rock units


without angular discordance
example: fluvial channel cutting into
underlying sequence of horizontally
bedded deposits

Nonconformity
Sedimentary strata overlying igneous or
metamorphic rocks across a sharp contact
example: Precambrian-Paleozoic contact in Ontario
represents a erosional hiatus of about 500 ma

Grand Canyon, USA

Structural Relations
The structural relations between bed
contacts are important in
determining:

1. presence of tectonic deformation/uplift


and;
2. relative ages of rock units
principle of original horizontality
principle of cross-cutting
principle of inclusion

Principle of Original
Horizontality
Sedimentary rocks are deposited as essentially
horizontal layers
exception is cross-bedding (e.g. delta foresets)
dipping sedimentary strata implies tectonic uplift and
tilting or folding of strata

Principle of Cross-cutting
Igneous intrusions and faults are
younger than the rocks that they
cross-cut

Mafic dike cutting across older sandstones

Cross-cutting Relations
Often several cross-cutting
relationships are present
how many events in this outcrop?

Principle of Inclusion
Fragments of a rock included within a
host rock are always older than the
host

Fundamental Structures
Three fundamental types of
structures:
bed contacts
primary structures
secondary structures

Primary Sedimentary
Structures
Structures acquired during deposition of
sedimentary rock unit

Stratification - horizontal bedding is most


common structure in sedimentary rocks

Primary Sedimentary
Structures
Cross-bedding - inclined stratification
recording migration of sand ripples or
dunes

Primary Sedimentary
Structures
Ripples - undulating bedforms produced by
unidirectional or oscillating (wave) currents

Ripple
marks

Primary Sedimentary
Structures
Graded bedding - progressive decrease in
grain size upward in bed
indicator of upwards direction in deposit
common feature of turbidites

Primary Sedimentary
Structures
Mud cracks - cracks produced by
dessication of clays/silts during
subaerial exposure

Primary Sedimentary
Structures
Sole marks - erosional grooves and marks
formed by scouring of bed by unidirectional
flows
good indicators of current flow direction

Primary Sedimentary Structures


Fossils preserved remains of organisms, casts or
moulds
good strain indicators
determine strain from change in shape of fossil
relative change in length of lines/angle between
lines

Primary Igneous Structures


Flow stratification
layering in volcanic rocks produced by
emplacement of successive lava
sheets
stratification of ash (tephra) layers

Primary Igneous Structures


Flow stratification
layering in volcanic rocks produced by
emplacement of successive lava
sheets
stratification of ash (tephra) layers

Primary Igneous Structures


Pillow lavas - record extrusion and
quenching of lava on sea floor

Importance of Primary
Structures
1. Paleocurrents - determine paleoflow directions
2. Origin mode of deposition, environments
3. Way-up - useful indicators of the direction of
younger beds in stratigraphic sequence
4. Dating - allow relative ages of rocks to be
determined based on position, cross-cutting
relations and inclusions
5. Strain indicators - deformation of primary
structures allows estimates of rock strain

Secondary Structures
Secondary structures - deformation
structures
produced by tectonic forces and other
stresses in crust
Principle types:

fractures/joints
faults/shear zones
folds
cleavage/foliation/lineation

Fractures and Joints


Fractures surfaces along which rocks
have broken and lost cohesion
Joints - fractures with little or no
displacement parallel to failure
surface
indicate brittle deformation of rock

Fractures and Joints

Faults
Faults - fracture surfaces with appreciable
displacement of strata
single fault plane
fault zone - set of associated shear fractures
shear zone - zone of ductile shearing

Shear Zones
Shear zone - zone of deformed rocks that are more
highly strained than surrounding rocks
common in mid- to lower levels of crust
shear deformation can be brittle or ductile

Fault Terminology
Hanging wall block- fault block toward which
the fault dips
Footwall block - fault block on underside of
fault
Fault plane fault surface

Fault Slip
Slip is the fault displacement described
by:
direction of slip
sense of slip
magnitude of slip

Fault Types
Dip-slip faults - slip is parallel to the
fault dip direction
normal
reverse
thrust

Fault Types
Normal fault - footwall block dispaced
up

Fault Types
Reverse (thrust) fault - footwall block
displaced down

Fault Types
Strike-slip fault slip is horizontal,
parallel with strike of the fault plane
right-handed (dextral)
left-handed (sinistral)

Fault Types
Oblique slip Combination of dip- and
strike-slip motion

dextral-normal
dextral-reverse
sinistral-normal
sinistral-reverse

Faults
What type of faults are shown here?

Faults
What type of faults are shown here?

Faults
What type of faults are shown here?

Faults
What type of faults are shown here?

Folds
Folds warping of strata produced by
compressive deformation
range in scale from microscopic features
to regional-scale domes and basins
indicators of compression and shortening

Fold Terminology
Hinge (Axial) plane - imaginary plane bisecting fold
limbs
Hinge line - trace of axial plane on fold crest
Plunge - angle of dip of hinge line

horizontal fold axis

plunging
fold axis

Fold Terminology
Anticline - convex in direction of
youngest beds
Syncline - convex in direction of oldest
beds
Antiform - convex upward fold
(stratigraphy unknown)
Synform - concave upward fold

Anticline / Antiform?

Syncline
Synform?

Fold Terminology
Synformal Anticline - overturned anticline
Antiformal Syncline - overturned syncline

Fold Terminology
Monocline - step-like bend in strata

Foliation and Cleavage


Foliation - parallel alignment of planar fabric elements within a
rock
Cleavage - tendency of rock to break along planar surface
cleavage is a type of foliation
resemble fractures but are not physical discontinuities

Foliation and Cleavage


Foliation - parallel alignment of planar fabric elements within a
rock
Cleavage - tendency of rock to break along planar surface
cleavage is a type of foliation
resemble fractures but are not physical discontinuities

Lineations
Lineation - sub-parallel to parallel alignment of
elongate linear fabric elements in a rock body
e.g. slickenlines and grooves on fault plane surface

Structural analysis
Involves three steps
1. Descriptive or geometric analysis
2. Kinematic analysis
3. Dynamic analysis

Geometrical analysis
Measurement of the 3-dimentional
orientation and geometry of geological
structures
simplified into:
lines
planes

lines or linear geological


structures
liniation
any linear feature observed in a rock or
on a rock surface
any imaginary line such as a fold axis

Orientation of linear
structures
LINES
Trend azimuth direction measured clockwise
from north 360
Plunge angle of inclination of line measured from
the horizontal (0 - 90)

Examples of linear
structures
Primary flute casts, grooves, glacial striae
Secondary slickenlines, mineral lineations

Glacial striations on bedrock

sole marks

Examples of linear
structures
Primary flute casts, grooves, glacial striae
Secondary slickenlines, mineral lineations

Grooves on fault plane

Slickenlines on fault surface

Orientation of Linear
Structures
linear structures on an other planar
surface:
pitch angle
angle from horizontal measured within
the plane
Striations
on a fault
plane

Pitch
angle

Planar Geological Structures

bedding planes and contacts


foliation
joint surfaces
fault planes
fold limbs
fold axial planes (imaginary surface)

Examples of Planar
Structures
Bedding planes most common
primary depositional surface

erosional surface

inclined bedding plane

Examples of Planar
Structures
Foliation cleavage planes produced by
metamorphism
common in slates and phyllites

foliated phyllite

Examples of Planar
Structures
Joint planes planar fracture
surfaces caused by brittle failure

Examples of Planar
Structures
Fold axial plane - imaginary plane
bisecting limbs of fold

Orientation of Planar
Structures
The attitude of a plane can be
established from any two lines
contained in the plane, provided they
are not parallel

Orientation of Planar
Structures
Strike azimuth direction of a
horizontal line in a plane
Dip angle of inclination of line measured
from the horizontal (0 - 90)

Orientation of Planar
Structures
Appearent dip
dip measured along
a line other than
90 to strike
apparent dip will
always be less than
the true dip angle

Measurement of orientation
Strike (plane)
Trend (line)
azimuth orientation measured with a compass

Measurement of orientation
Strike (plane)
Trend (line)
azimuth orientation
measured with a compass
Dip (plane)
Plunge (line)
inclination measured using
an inclinometer

Measurement of Strike
Direction
Right hand rule???
When your thumb (on your right hand)
is pointing in the direction of strike
your fingers are pointing in the
direction of dip!!

Measure of Dip Angle


The angle between the horizontal and
the line or plane

Structural Data
Symbols represent different structural
data
Symbols are placed on the map:
in the exact field orientation
where the data is measured

Standard Structural
Symboles

Exercises

geological maps
structure contour and structure maps
three-point problems
cross sections
sterionets

Geological Maps
distribution of rock types and
contacts
symbols on map represent structures
(strike and dip, fold axes, faults etc.)
map and structure symbols allow you to
infer subsurface structures

Outcrop patterns
Outcrop patterns controlled by
attitude (strike and dip) of beds and
topographic relief

V Rule
Beds dipping downstream V
downstream
Beds dipping upstream V upstream

Vertical beds cut straight


Vertical oriented beds cut in a straight
line regardless of topography!!

Horizontal beds
layers always at the same altitude
do NOT dip in any direction
layered cake

Outcrop Patterns
Which direction are the beds dipping?

Outcrop Patterns
Which direction are the beds dipping?

Outcrop Patterns
Which direction are the beds dipping?

Outcrop Patterns
Which direction are the beds dipping?

Block models
Relations between outcrop patterns and
subsurface structures

map view on bottom cross sections in blocks on top

Bryce 3-D modeling blocks

Structural Contour Maps


Map showing the relief of a subsurface
geological surface
top or bottom of bedding planes, faults
or folded surface
constructed from borehole data

Structure Contour Maps


Structure contour lines are lines of equal elevation
show elevation relative to horizontal datum
values are often negative since subsurface
elevations are commonly below sea level

Datum Surface
Datum is a horizontal reference
surface
regional stratigraphic surface

Constructing Structural
Contours
Points of equal elevation along a bed contact
intersection of contact with topo contour
draw structure contours through points of equal
elevation

Planar surfaces
Uniformly dipping plane contours are
parallel

folded planar surfaces


Contours have variable spacing

Rules of Contouring
1) contours cannot cross or bi-furcate
2) contours cannot end in the middle of the
map, except at a fault or other
discontinuity
3) same contour interval must be used across
the map and elevations must be labelled
4) elevation is specified relative to datum
(e.g. m above sea level)

Determining Dip
Dip direction and angle can be determined from structure
conour maps
measure horizontal separation X and find difference in Z
tan = Z/X, = tan 1 (Z/X)
e.g. = tan 1 (10m/100m), = 6

Three-point problem
A minimum of three points are required
to uniquely define the orientation of a
plane

Three-point problem
Find min and max
values
Draw line between
these and divide
distance into intervals
Connect points of
equal elevation
Two points in a plane
at the same elevation
lie in the line of strike

Three-point problem
Find min and max
values
Draw line between
these and divide
distance into intervals
Connect points of
equal elevation
Two points in a plane
at the same elevation
lie in the line of strike

Isochore Map
Drill hole logs giving the thicknesses in the drilled (often
vertical) direction
Apparent thickness true thickness = perpendicular to
bedding

Isopach Map
Map showing true thickness measured
perpendicular to bedding

Cross-sections
Cross-section is a 2-D slice
through stratigraphy
construct perpendicular to dip
= true dip
constructed at any other
direction = apparent dip

Engineering properties of
faulted or folded rock
shear strength
loose materials
compressive materials
permeable materials

hydrology of fault zones


water in fault zones common due to
fractured rock
fault zone may be either an aquifer or an
aquiclude
crushed to gravel
crushed to clay

hydrology of fault zones


water in fault zones common due to
fractured rock
fault zone may be either an aquifer or an
aquiclude
crushed to gravel
crushed to clay

Problems due to water in


fault zones
leakage of waste water under a landfill
leakage of water under a dam
sudden collapse and inflow of water into a
tunnel
hydrothermal alteration of rocks to clay
minerals along faults variable physical,
mechanical and hydrological properties
soluble rocks - cavities

Activity of faults?
Risk for further movement
active fault has moved in the last 100 000 to
35 000 years
dormant fault no recorded movement in
recent history

Indicators of fault
movement

fault scarps
stream displacement
sag ponds lineaments
vegetation displacement

Risk potential depends upon:


1. duration of the quake
2. intensity of the quake
3. recurrence of the quake

Potential triggers

stess > stength


water in a reservoir added weight and
lubrication
storage of fluids in old mines
blasting
surface excavation
ground water mined from aquifers
extraction of oil and gas from aquifers

Case studies
Auburn Dam wide slender arch dam on the
American River, upstream of Sacramento,
California
Fig. 9.31
pre investigations

detailed mapping
8 km trenches
2 km exploratory tunnels
30 km borings

Auburn Dam
geology

metamorphic competent amphybolite


metasediments
included vertical weak zones and lenses of chlorite schist,
talc schist and talcose serpentinites up to 30 m wide,
aligned with foliation
series of sub parallel mineralized reverse faults with strike
transverse to the dam axis dipping 40 to 55 degrees into
the abutment
two of the longest faults are tangential to the dam, close or
under the dm on the left abutment
no active faults in the area
the area was supposed to be low seismicity

Auburn Dam
foundation construction
earthquake occurred 5.7
regional fault study
reassessment
32 km trenches
more borings
surface excavations

aim to establish the time relationship of


the faults

Auburn Dam
Concluded that the faults wee formed in
another tectonic setting than the present
(compressional rather that extensional
stress field)
A review of the dam will it withstand
vibrations from a 6.5 magnitude quake on a
fault < 8 km from the dam??
Off set design recommended to withstand 25
mm to 900 mm
NO DAM built due to discussions on safety!

Baldwin Hill reservoir failed


1963
1 principle embankment, 47 m
high, and 5 smaller
embankments
excavated hollow in between at
the top of a mountain range

Baldwin Hill reservoir failed


1963
geology

friable deposits of the Pliocene Pico Formation, massive beds


of clayey, sandy siltstone
Pleistocene Ingewood Formation. interbedded layers of sand,
silt, and clay, with some thin linestone beds; some of the
sand and silt beds are unconsolidated and erodable
Both formations contain calcareous and limonitic concretions
bedding dips slightly 5 to 7 degrees, striking roughly parallel
to the Inglewood fault
major active fault, Inglewood, passes just 150 m west of the
reservoir
the fault is a right lateral strike slip with a vertical
component
fault acts as a subsurface dam for a major oil field in the
hills

Baldwin
Excavation phase

7 minor faults wee mapped


mostly normal faults
3 to 100 mm silty gouge
largest fault had a total displacement of
more than 8 m

Baldwin
Design
rock foundation lined with

asphalt and
gravel drain layer
covered with compacted clay
covered with asphalt

Baldwin
Construction phase 1947-51
fault 1 caused problems
slide initiated revealing that the fault
passed beneath the inlet/outlet tower
the tower was relocated 48 ft

Baldwin
after completion

liner cracked along the trace of the fault


emptied in 1957
cracks repaired
cracks were also observed in the surrounding area
of the reservoir
the cracks dipped steeply
trend NS parallel to the faults
some exhibited small sinkholes indicative of
extensional strain
offset dip slip

Baldwin
nearby oil fields oil was being extracted
resulted in subsidence due to collapse of the aquifer
subsidence of 2.7 m between 1917 and 1962

Baldwin
Failure 1971
emptied completely in 4 hours
seepage along the fault had enlarged to a
pipe
then to a tunnel and
then the collapse of the roof
a canyon eroded completely through the
all of the reservoir

Baldwin
Failure 1971
Why??
cracks in the floor extended across the entire
reservoir along the trace of the fault
50 mm displacement
open voids along the fault
movement along the fault had fractured the lining
rupture of the asphalt membrane
water eroded cavities into the foundation rock