We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Prof Ken McCaffrey

Mercuri, Marco, McCaffrey, Ken J.W., Smeraglia, Luca, Mazzanti, Paolo, Collettini, Cristiano & Carminati, Eugenio (2020). Complex geometry and kinematics of subsidiary faults within a carbonate-hosted relay ramp. Journal of Structural Geology 130: 103915.

Author(s) from Durham


Minor fault geometry and kinematics within relay ramps is strongly related to the stress field perturbations that can be produced when two major fault segments overlap and interact. Here we integrate classical fieldwork and interpretation of a virtual outcrop to investigate the geometry and kinematics of subsidiary faults within a relay ramp along the Tre Monti normal fault in the Central Apennines. Although the Tre Monti fault strikes parallel to the regional extension (NE-SW) it shows predominant dip-slip kinematics, suggesting a NW-SE oriented extension acting at sub-regional scale (1–10 km). Conversely, the slickenlines collected on the front segment of the relay ramp highlight right-lateral kinematics. The subsidiary faults in the relay ramp show a complex geometry (variable attitudes) and slickenlines describe multiple kinematics (left-lateral, dip-slip, right-lateral), independently of their orientation. Our fault slip analysis indicates that a local stress field retrieved from the kinematic inversion of the slickenlines collected on the front segment, and likely promoted by the interaction between the overlapping fault segments that bound the relay zone, can explain most of the geometry and kinematics of the subsidiary faults. Further complexity is added by the temporal interaction with both the regional and sub-regional stress fields.