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The Formation of Step Structures on Slickensided Shear Surfaces

N. C. Gay
The Journal of Geology
Vol. 78, No. 5 (Sep., 1970), pp. 523-532
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30061389
Page Count: 13
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The Formation of Step Structures on Slickensided Shear Surfaces
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Abstract

This paper describes experimental work and microscopic observations on the formation of accretion steps on slickenside surfaces. The majority of the accretion steps observed were incongruous in attitude, that is, these steps had their risers opposing the movement of the overriding block. A mechanism is proposed for the formation of accretion steps whereby the steps are bounded by two sets of tension cracks, one parallel to the maximum compressive stress and the other perpendicular to the shear plane. On parting of the shear plane, these steps are plucked out of the host rock and adhere to the opposite side of the shear plane. It is suggested that after a large amount of shearing the shape of the steps may be modified so that they have a congruous attitude.

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