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Authors: Bonini, L.* 
Basili, R.* 
Toscani, G.* 
Burrato, P.* 
Seno, S.* 
Valensise, G.* 
Title: The role of pre-existing discontinuities in the development of extensional faults: an analog modeling perspective
Issue Date: 2015
Series/Report no.: /74 (2015)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jsg.2015.03.004
Keywords: Extension
Normal faults
Pre-existing fault
Analogue modeling
Accommodation space
Blind fault
Active tectonics
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.01. Earthquake geology and paleoseismology 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.09. Structural geology 
04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.01. Earthquake faults: properties and evolution 
Abstract: Several mountainous regions are currently affected by syn- or post-orogenic active extension. We investigate how a newly-formed normal fault interacts with structures inherited from a previous contractional phase. To this end, we use analog models that adopt an innovative technique for performing a precut that mimics such inherited structures into a clay layer; this clay layer is laid on top of a master fault simulated by two rigid blocks sliding along an inclined plane. We carry out six experiments with variously oriented precuts and compare the results with those obtained in a reference isotropic experiment. All other conditions are identical for all seven realizations. Fault evolution is monitored by taking closely-spaced snapshots analyzed through the Digital Image Correlation method. We find that the upward propagation of the normal fault can be either accelerated or decelerated depending on the presence of a precut and its orientation. Such precuts can also promote or inhibit the formation of bending-moment faults. These interactions between master fault and precut also affect the shape of the fault-related syncline-anticline pair.
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