We examined the distribution of fault rock and damage zone structures in sandstone and shale along the Moab fault, a basin-scale normal fault with nearly 1 km (0.62 mi) of throw, in southeast Utah. We find that fault rock and damage zone structures vary along strike and dip. Variations are related to changes in fault geometry, faulted slip, lithology, and the mechanism of faulting. In sandstone, we differentiated two structural assemblages: (1) deformation bands, zones of deformation bands, and polished slip surfaces and (2) joints, sheared joints, and breccia. These structural assemblages result from the deformation band-based mechanism and the joint-based mechanism, respectively. Along the Moab fault, where both types of structures are present, joint-based deformation is always younger. Where shale is juxtaposed against the fault, a third faulting mechanism, smearing of shale by ductile deformation and associated shale fault rocks, occurs. Based on the knowledge of these three mechanisms, we projected the distribution of their structural products in three dimensions along idealized fault surfaces and evaluated the potential effect on fluid and hydrocarbon flow. We contend that these mechanisms could be used to facilitate predictions of fault and damage zone structures and their permeability from limited data sets. Copyright ?? 2005 by The American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
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Distribution and nature of fault architecture in a layered sandstone and shale sequence: An example from the Moab fault, Utah