Fluid pathways within shallow-generated damage zones of strike-slip faults – evidence of map-scale faulting in a continental environment, SW Permo-Mesozoic cover of the Late Palaeozoic Holy Cross Mountains Fold Belt, Poland

Barbara Rybak-Ostrowska, Andrzej Konon, Vratislav Hurai, Maciej Bojanowski, Agnieszka Konon, Michał Wyglądała


The damage zones of exhumed strike-slip faults dissecting Jurassic carbonates in the south-western part of the Late Palaeozoic Holy Cross Mountains Fold Belt reveal second-order faults and fractures infilled with syntectonic calcite. The subsequent development of a structural pattern of microscopic fault-related structures and calcite infillings reflects the activity of strike-slip faults that began in the Late Cretaceous (Late Maastrichtian) and lasted until the early Miocene (Langhian). The fabric of the syntectonic veins provides insights into the evolution of the permeable fault-related structures that were the main pathways for fluid flow during fault activity. Microstructural study of calcite veins coupled with stable isotope and fluid inclusion data indicates that calcite precipitated primarily in a rock-buffered system related to strike-slip fault movement, and secondarily in a partly open system related to the local activity of the releasing Chmielnik stepover or the uplift of the area. The presence of meteoric fluids descending from the surface into damage zones suggest that the strike-slip faulting might have taken place in a nonmarine, continental environment.


Strike-slip faulting; Fluid pathways; Continental environment; Chmielnik releasing stepover; Permo-Mesozoic cover; Holy Cross Mountains Fold Belt

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