Faulting typically results in heterogenous localization of strain accommodating deformation over a wide range of scales: Large-scale, subsurface deformation is typically identified by the interpretation of geophysical data. In addition, sub-seismic small- to medium-scale fractures, studied in samples from wells or outcrops, also play a significant role in accommodating a significant proportion of the total strain. Perturbation deformation caused by faults at all scales cause segmentation into compartments and/or fault linkage resulting in fracture networks that may act as conduits or as a seal for any kind of fluid.
These aspects require an analysis of location, orientation and length distribution of fault and fracture systems with a variety of methods (e.g. geophysical surveys, outcrops, well studies, field studies, numerical and analogue modelling) for determining: (a) the magnitude of deformation, (b) the temporal strain accumulation, and (c) the processes that control them under varying kinematic and mechanical constraints.
To address these topics, this session aims to discuss the (1) long- and short-term growth of fault systems at all scales, (2) the influence of pre-existing structures on the later evolution of fault zones, and (3) the impact of fault development (i.e. opening and sealing of structures) on porosity, fluid flow or other parameters of interest also for applied studies. Both natural data examples and lab studies from various disciplines may help to unravel or even predict the relationship of deformation structures at different scale lengths and during progressive deformation.