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Special issue - Faults and fractures in rocks

Geological Magazine Special Issue on 

Faults and fractures in rocks: mechanics, occurrence, dating, stress history and fluid flow 

Guest Editors

  • Olivier Lacombe, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France ( 
  • Stefano Tavani, Università Federico II, Napoli, Italy ( 
  • Juliette Lamarche, Aix-Marseille University, Aix-en-Provence, France ( 
  • Fabrizio Balsamo, Università di Parma, Parma, Italy ( 
  • Fabrizio Agosta, Università degli Studi della Basilicata, Potenza, Italy ( 

Submission timeline

April 15th, 2021 to December 1st, 2021 

Objectives of the Special Issue

Fractures and faults are common tectonic features within shallowly deformed rocks. They form at all stages of rock history, from early diagenesis/burial to major deformation events. Fracture networks play a fundamental role in fluid migration, hence are keys in resource exploration and waste repositories studies. Understanding the parameters that control fracture complexity in rocks will lead to new tools for reconstructing crustal-scale processes such as fluid flow and fluid-rock interactions, paleostress evolution and earthquake tectonics. However, the understanding of dynamic feedbacks between fluid flow, permeability rise/fall, chemical reactions and rock failure remains a challenge. Fluid sources, fluid flow and fluid-rock interactions vary spatially and temporally as a function of basin and reservoir structural evolution, altering the physical/mechanical properties of fractures and host rocks. Recent improvements of absolute dating techniques have allowed for major progress in constraining the rate of development and lifetime of individual fractures/faults and fracture sets, as well as the timing and rate of fluid flow in fractured rocks. 

This Special Issue aims at bringing together scientists working in the field, in the lab, and on simulations to foster discussion towards improving our understanding of
(1) the mechanics, occurrence, timing and stress history of fractures and faults in upper crustal rocks, and
(2) the reciprocal interactions between fracture networks and subsurface fluid flow. We welcome contributions from all fields, including structural geology, mechanics, isotope geochemistry, hydrogeology and modelling that aim at comprehending the development of fault and fracture systems in time and space and their co-evolution with fluid flow in a variety of geological settings.