Factors affecting fluid flow in strike-slip fault systems: coupled deformation and fluid flow modelling with application to the western Mount Isa Inlier, Australia

Arianne Ford, T.G. Blenkinsop, J.G. Mclellan

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    8 Citations (Web of Science)

    Abstract

    Deformation and focused fluid flow within a mineralized system are critical in the genesis of hydrothermal ore deposits. Dilation and integrated fluid flux due to coupled deformation and fluid flow in simple strike–slip fault geometries were examined using finite difference analysis in three dimensions. A series of generic fault bend and fault jog geometries consistent with those seen in the western Mount Isa Inlier were modelled in order to understand how fault geometry parameters influence the dilation and integrated fluid flux. Fault dip, fault width, bend ⁄ jog angle, and length were varied, and a cross-cutting fault and contrasting rock types were included. The results demonstrate that low fault dips, the presence of contrasts in rock type, and wide faults produce highest dilation and integrated fluid flux values. Increasing fault bend lengths and angles increases dilation and integrated fluid flux, but increasing fault jog length or angle has the opposite effect. There is minimal difference between the outputs from the releasing and restraining fault bend and jog geometries. Model characteristics producing greater fluid flows and ⁄ or gradients can be used in a predictive capacity in order to focus exploration on regions with more favorable fault geometries, provided that the mineralized rocks had Mohr–Coulomb rheologies similarto the ones used in the models.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2-23
    JournalGeofluids
    Volume9
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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