Fracture propagation in the crust under post-critical conditions (rapid propagation), and possibly in some instances even under sub-critical conditions (slow propagation) can produce fracture-branching in a single continuous process. Later local or regional stresses result in displacements along the fractures and secondary faulting develops. This concept can explain various secondary features like conditions of branching, branching-angle and shallow secondary faults. The splaying of the Hope Fault in New Zealand is primarily a result of early fracture bifurcation and later minor displacements.
ASJC Scopus subject areas