Mechanical and geological controls on the long-term evolution of normal faults
Olive, Jean-Arthur L.
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis investigates the long-term evolution of rift-bounding normal faults in extensional environments. My main objective is to develop a theoretical framework that explains the controls on maximum fault offset in terms of a few key mechanical and geological controls. In Chapter 2, I propose that flexural rotation of the active fault plane enables faults to evolve along a path of minimal energy, thereby enhancing their life span. In Chapter 3, I show that surface processes can increase the life span of continental faults by reducing the energy cost of topography build-up. In Chapter 4, I focus on lithospheric bending induced by fault growth. I demonstrate that numerical models that treat the lithosphere as a visco-plastic solid properly predict fault evolution only when the rate-dependent viscous flexural wavelength of the lithosphere is accommodated within the numerical domain. In Chapter 5, I investigate the growth of normal faults in relation to a depth-variable rate of magma emplacement. These models predict both faulting styles and crustal architecture at slow mid-ocean ridges. Finally, in Chapter 6 I use a newly developed 3-D numerical model to establish a relation between along-axis fault continuity and spatial heterogeneities in lithospheric thickness at a ridge segment.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution February 2015
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Roland, Emily C. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2012-02)Oceanic transform faults that accommodate strain at mid-ocean ridge offsets represent a unique environment for studying fault mechanics. Here, I use seismic observations and models to explore how fault structure affects ...
Trehu, Anne M. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1982-02)In this thesis, seismic waves generated by sources ranging from 2.7 kg shots of TNT to magnitude 5 earthquakes are studied in order to determine the seismic activity and crustal structure of the Orozco transform fault. ...
The evolution of lithospheric deformation and crustal structure from continental margins to oceanic spreading centers Behn, Mark D. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2002-06)This thesis investigates the evolution of lithospheric deformation and crustal structure from continental margins to mid-ocean ridges. The first part (Ch. 2) examines the style of segmentation along the U.S. East Coast ...