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https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-202
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-202
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  16 Jan 2020

16 Jan 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal SE.

The role of pre-existing jointing on damage zone evolution and faulting style of thin competent layers in mechanically stratified sequences: a case study from the Limestone Coal Formation at Spireslack Surface Coal Mine

Billy J. Andrews, Zoe K. Shipton, Richard Lord, and Lucy McKay Billy J. Andrews et al.
  • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G11XJ, Scotland

Abstract. Fault and fracture networks play an important role in sub-surface fluid flow and can act to enhance, retard or compartmentalise groundwater flow. In multi-layered sequences, the internal structure and growth of faults is not only controlled by fault throw, but also the mechanical properties of lithologies cut by the fault. This paper uses geological fieldwork, combined with fault and fracture mapping, to investigate the internal structure and fault development of the mechanically stratified Limestone Coal Formation and surrounding lithologies exposed at Spireslack Surface Coal Mine. We find that the development of fault rock, and complexity of a fault zone is dependent on: a) whether a fault is self-juxtaposed or cuts multiple lithologies; b) the presence and behaviour of shale, which can lead to significant bed-rotation and the formation of fault-core lenses; and c) whether pre-existing weakness (e.g. joints) are present at the time of faulting. Pre-existing joint networks in the McDonald Limestone, and cleats in the McDonald Coal, influenced both fault growth and fluid flow within these lithologies.

Billy J. Andrews et al.

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Billy J. Andrews et al.

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