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Damage and permeability around faults : implications for mineralization

Sheldon, HA and Micklethwaite, S 2007 , 'Damage and permeability around faults : implications for mineralization' , Geology, vol. 35, no. 10 , pp. 903-906 , doi:

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Mineral deposits are commonly hosted by small-displacement structures around jogs in
major faults, but they are rarely hosted by the major fault itself. This relationship may be
explained by time-dependent fracturing and healing in and around major faults and associated
permeability evolution. A damage mechanics formulation is used here to explore the
spatial-temporal evolution of damage in and around a fault following a fault-slip event. We
show that regions of increased damage rate correspond to the location of mineral deposits and
that these areas correspond to areas of aftershocks predicted by stress-transfer modeling. The
fault itself enters a healing regime following the slip event; hence, it is expected to become less
permeable than the fracture network outside the fault. Our results support the hypothesis that
mineralization occurs in a fracture network associated with aftershocks; this may be due to
the higher time-integrated permeability of the fracture network relative to the main fault.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Sheldon, HA and Micklethwaite, S
Keywords: fault, aftershocks, fluid, mineralization, permeability, damage
Journal or Publication Title: Geology
ISSN: 0091-7613
DOI / ID Number:
Additional Information:

© 2007 The Geological Society of America.

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