Morphology and topology of dolostone lithons in the regional Carboneras Fault Zone, Southern Spain

Onyedika A. Igbokwe, Mathias Mueller, Giovanni Bertotti, Jithender J. Timothy, Obinna Abah, Adrian Immenhauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Dolostones in a Neogene strike-slip fault zone are described. Two main types of structural features are recognised: (i) Background deformation in the form of a network of bedding-perpendicular and hybrid conjugate fractures, barren fractures and bedding-parallel stylolites. (ii) Fault-related features include breccias and cataclasites. Orthorhombic rock lithons are generated from the intersection of fracture sets with bedding and/or joints. Lithon size and morphology change across the dolostone fault block gradually producing a tetragonal or isometric shape. The lithons are 1–2 cm in dimension (only ~ 20% outside this range) and have an average cross-sectional aspect ratio of 1.6, irrespective of size or structural position. Topology is analysed using nodes and branches, ranging from isolated (I- node and I-I branch) to connected (Y- and X-nodes, and I-C to C-C branches) respectively. The quantitative description of the geometrical and topological analysis of the dolostone lithons suggest that they become more connected and interact within the dolostone fault blocks. Assessing the change in topology and lithons connectivity have important implications for subsurface reservoirs and aquifers hosted in dolostone-fault zones.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104073
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Structural Geology
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Background deformation
  • Carboneras Fault Zone
  • Dolostone
  • Fracture network connectivity
  • Lithons
  • Topology

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