The Dihedral Angle and Intersection Processes of a Conjugate Strike-Slip Fault System in the Tarim Basin, NW China

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The authors thank the Tarim Oil Company for data support and project research. We are grateful to Zhang Lijuan, Li Guohui, Ma Debo and Luo Haoyu for their help. Comments provided by editors and reviewers of the manuscript are much appreciated and were very helpful in improving the paper. This study has been partly supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41472103).

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    Recent studies, focused on dihedral angles and intersection processes, have increased understandings of conjugate fault mechanisms. We present new 3-D seismic data and microstructural core analysis in a case study of a large conjugate strike-slip fault system from the intracratonic Tarim Basin, NW China. Within our study area, "X" type NE and NW trending faults occur within Cambrian-Ordovician carbonates. The dihedral angles of these conjugate faults have narrow ranges, 19° to 62° in the Cambrian and 26° to 51° in the Ordovician, and their modes are 42° and 44° respectively. These data are significantly different from the ~60° predicted by the Coulomb fracture criterion. It is concluded that: (1) The dihedral angles of the conjugate faults were not controlled by confining pressure, which was low and associated with shallow burial; (2) As dihedral angles were not controlled by pressure they can be used to determine the shortening direction during faulting; (3) Sequential slip may have played an important role in forming conjugate fault intersections; (4) The conjugate fault system of the Tarim basin initiated as rhombic joints; these subsequently developed into sequentially active "X" type conjugate faults; followed by preferential development of the NW-trending faults; then reactivation of the NE trending faults. This intact rhombic conjugate fault system presents new insights into mechanisms of dihedral angle development, with particular relevance to intracratonic basins.

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WU Guanghui, YUAN Yajuan, HUANG Shaoying, Thomas Matthew Vandyk, XIAO Yang, CAI Quan, LUO Bingxu.2018. The Dihedral Angle and Intersection Processes of a Conjugate Strike-Slip Fault System in the Tarim Basin, NW China[J]. Acta Geologica Sinica(),92(1):74-88

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  • Received:January 01,2017
  • Revised:August 10,2017
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  • Online: February 09,2018
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