Picture of UK Houses of Parliament

Leading national thinking on politics, government & public policy through Open Access research

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the School of Government & Public Policy, based within the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Research here is 1st in Scotland for research intensity and spans a wide range of domains. The Department of Politics demonstrates expertise in understanding parties, elections and public opinion, with additional emphases on political economy, institutions and international relations. This international angle is reflected in the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC) which conducts comparative research on public policy. Meanwhile, the Centre for Energy Policy provides independent expertise on energy, working across multidisciplinary groups to shape policy for a low carbon economy.

Explore the Open Access research of the School of Government & Public Policy. Or explore all of Strathclyde's Open Access research...

Scale-dependent influence of pre-existing basement shear zones on rift faulting : a case study from NE Brazil

Kirkpatrick, James and Bezerra, Hilario and Shipton, Zoe and do Nascimento, Aderson and Pytharouli, Stella and Lunn, Rebecca and Soden, Aisling (2013) Scale-dependent influence of pre-existing basement shear zones on rift faulting : a case study from NE Brazil. Journal of the Geological Society, 170 (2). 237 –247. ISSN 0016-7649

[img] PDF

Download (2MB)


    Rifting of continental crust initiates faults that are commonly influenced by pre-existing structures. We document newly identified faults cutting Precambrian units in the interior of the NE Brazilian margin to assess the effects of structural inheritance on both rift geometry and fault architecture. Stratigraphic and structural data indicate that the faults were active in the main phase of rifting of Gondwana. The influence of pre-existing structures on the Mesozoic rift faulting is scale dependent. Regionally, the faults trend parallel to subvertical, crustal-scale Brasiliano (c. 750–540 Ma) shear zones. Mylonitic foliations and broadly distributed low strain in the lower crust indicated by shear-wave splitting controlled the overall orientation and kinematics of the rift faults. However, outcrop observations of the faults show that at scales up to hundreds of metres, mylonitic foliations have little influence on fault architectures. Faults cross-cut shear zones and do not commonly utilize foliation planes as shear fractures. Instead, slip zones and fractures have a range of orientations that form acute angles to the local foliation orientation. This observation explains the range of focal mechanisms associated with seismicity that coincides with ancient shear zones in intra-continental areas.