Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Dorsey M.T., Rockwell T.K., Girty G.H., Ostermeijer G.A., Browning J., Mitchell T.M. Fletcher J.M. (2021)

Evidence of hydrothermal fluid circulation driving elemental mass redistribution in an active fault zone

Revista : Journal of Structural Geology
Volumen : 144
Número : 104269
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Important fault zone processes can be discerned from the characterization of fracture damage and chemical transformations associated with active seismic sources. To characterize the 2010 M7.2?El Mayor-Cucapah rupture zone, continuous samples of fault core and 23 samples of damaged rock were collected perpendicular to strike of the Borrego fault. Samples were analyzed for clay mineralogy, bulk geochemistry, and bulk and grain density from which porosities and volumetric strains were derived. Prior to the Borrego fault forming, the tonalitic protolith, containing chlorite, epidote, and titanite, was subjected to temperatures of ?330–340?°C during deuteric alteration. Rocks within the damage zone are partially pulverized and contain abundant cataclastic seams. Porosity and volumetric strain peak in zones 1.5?m–10.5?m from the core. Within these zones, losses in Ca and P mass, increases in Mg and Na mass, along with the conservation of Fe and Si mass are consistent with oxidizing acidic conditions at < 200?°C. Gains in LOI are attributed to increases in clay content. The above data support a model of Mg- and Na-rich oxidizing fluid circulation within the damage zone of the Borrego fault.