Kinematics of throughgoing fractures in jointed rocks

Martin D. Finn, Michael R. Gross, Yehuda Eyal, Grenville Draper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Throughgoing fractures play a major role in subsurface fluid flow yet the kinematics of their formation, which directly impact rock flow properties, are often difficult to establish. We investigate throughgoing fractures in the Monterey Formation of California that developed by the coalescence of pre-existing joints. At Lompoc Landing, throughgoing fractures fall into three main groups: linked, linked with aperture, and breccia zones. The segmented nature of their walls provides numerous piercing points to firmly establish the sense of displacement. Analysis of displacement vectors derived from piercing points demonstrates that the NW-SE trending throughgoing fractures, often interpreted as strike-slip faults, are in fact extensional structures in origin. We suggest that this method may be applied to throughgoing fractures that form by the same mechanism in other geologic settings. Establishing kinematics of throughgoing fractures will lead to a better understanding of their contribution to subsurface fluid flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-166
Number of pages16
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 4 Dec 2003


  • Breccia zones
  • Joints
  • Kinematics
  • Monterey Formation
  • Throughgoing fractures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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