pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 116, Issue 4–5, pp 931–942 | Cite as

Development of faults as zones of deformation bands and as slip surfaces in sandstone

  • Atilla Aydin
  • Arvid M. Johnson


Three forms of fault are recognized in Entrada and Navajo Sandstones in the San Rafael Desert, southeastern Utah; deformation bands, zones of deformation bands, and slip surfaces. Small faults occur asdeformation bands, about one millimeter thick, in which pores collapse and sand grains fracture, and along which there are shear displacements on the order of a few millimeters or centimeters. Two or more deformation bands adjacent to each other, which share the same average strike and dip, form azone of deformation bands. A zone becomes thicker by addition of new bands, side by side. Displacement across a zone is the sum of displacements on each individual band. The thickest zones are about 0.5 m and total displacement across a thick zone rarely exceeds 30 cm. Finally,slip surfaces, which are through-going surfaces of discontinuity in displacement, form at either edge of zones of highly concentrated deformation bands. In contrast with individual deformation bands and zones of deformation bands, slip surfaces accommodate large displacements, on the order of several meters in the San Rafael Desert.

The sequence of development is from individual deformation bands, to zones, to slip surfaces, and each type of faulting apparently is controlled by somewhat different processes. The formation of zones apparently involves strain hardening, whereas the formation of slip surfaces probably involves strain softening of crushed sandstone.

Key words

Fault structures Deformation bands Entrada and Navajo Sandstones 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Atilla Aydin
    • 1
  • Arvid M. Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeologyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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