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Recent horizontal stress directions in basement rocks of southern Sweden deduced from open microcracks
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Solid Earth Geology.
2014 (English)In: Journal of Structural Geology, ISSN 0191-8141, Vol. 65, 33-43 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The strike direction of open intragranular microcracks in quartz and feldspar host grains was determined using optical transmission and reflection microscopy on eight oriented samples taken in two study areas in Precambrian basement rocks of southern and south-central Sweden. For an area of about 160 km(2) (SW of Vastervik) and two sample locations (W of Uppsala), the vast majority of open microcracks displays a strong preferred NW-SE strike direction. According to the common assumptions that natural cracks in crystalline rocks are predominantly extensional (mode I), and that open cracks belong to the latest microcrack generation, these strike directions should reflect the (sub-) recent main horizontal stress direction (sigma H) of the recent tectonic stress field. This conclusion is supported by corresponding directions known from in situ stress measurements and focal plane solutions in the vicinity of the study areas. It is remarkable that even in samples taken close (i.e. a few hundred metres) to recently active large scale faults the orientation of microcracks does not deviate from this common direction. This may point to slip on already softened faults, very local stress reorientations (e.g. m-scale) or that local stress relief was accomplished by other processes at microscale, e.g. mechanical twinning in favourably oriented feldspar crystals, or slip on grain boundaries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 65, 33-43 p.
Keyword [en]
Microcracks, Stress directions, Precambrian, Sweden
National Category
Research subject
Earth Science with specialization in Mineral Chemistry, Petrology and Tectonics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-228948DOI: 10.1016/j.jsg.2014.03.006ISI: 000337778800003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-228948DiVA: diva2:736899
Available from: 2014-08-11 Created: 2014-07-24 Last updated: 2015-01-08Bibliographically approved

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Krumbholz, Michael
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