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

Ford, A., Blenkinsop, T.G., and McLellan, J.D. (2009) Factors affecting fluid flow in strike–slip fault systems: coupled deformation and fluid flow modelling with application to the western Mount Isa Inlier, Australia. Geofluids, 9 (1). pp. 2-23.

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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 similar to the ones used in the models.

Item ID: 9878
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: deformation; FLAC3D; fluid flow; Mount Isa; numerical modelling; strike–slip faults
ISSN: 1468-8123
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2010 01:37
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040312 Structural Geology @ 75%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040307 Ore Deposit Petrology @ 25%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840102 Copper Ore Exploration @ 30%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 70%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 1
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