Determining the rock properties that permit or impede the growth of compaction bands in sedimentary sequences is a critical problem of importance to studies of strain localization and characterization of subsurface geologic reservoirs. We determine the porosity and average grain size of a sequence of stratigraphic layers of Navajo Sandstone that are then used in a critical state model to infer plastic yield envelopes for the layers. Pure compaction bands are formed in layers having the largest average grain sizes (0.42–0.45 mm) and porosities (28%), and correspondingly the smallest values of critical pressure (-22 MPa) in the sequence. The results suggest that compaction bands formed in these layers after burial to -1.5 km depth in association with thrust faulting beneath the nearby East Kaibab monocline, and that hardening of the yield caps accompanied compactional deformation of the layers.
Additional publication details
Porosity and grain size controls on compaction band formation in Jurassic Navajo Sandstone