Spatiotemporal history of fault–fluid interaction in the Hurricane fault, western USA

Jace M. Koger, Dennis L. Newell
2020 Solid Earth  
Abstract. The Hurricane fault is a ∼250 km long, west-dipping, segmented normal fault zone located along the transition between the Colorado Plateau and the Basin and Range tectonic provinces in the western USA. Extensive evidence of fault–fluid interaction includes calcite mineralization and veining. Calcite vein carbon (δ13CVPDB) and oxygen (δ18OVPDB) stable isotope ratios range from −4.5 ‰ to 3.8 ‰ and from −22.1 ‰ to −1.1 ‰, respectively. Fluid inclusion microthermometry constrains
more » ... constrains paleofluid temperatures and salinities from 45 to 160 ∘C and from 1.4 wt % to 11.0 wt % as NaCl, respectively. These data suggest mixing between two primary fluid sources, including infiltrating meteoric water (70±10 ∘C, ∼1.5 wt % NaCl, δ18OVSMOW ∼-10 ‰) and sedimentary brine (100±25 ∘C, ∼11 wt % NaCl, δ18OVSMOW ∼ 5 ‰). Interpreted carbon sources include crustal- or magmatic-derived CO2, carbonate bedrock, and hydrocarbons. Uranium–thorium (U–Th) dates from five calcite vein samples indicate punctuated fluid flow and fracture healing at 539±10.8 (1σ), 287.9±5.8, 86.2±1.7, and 86.0±0.2 ka in the upper 500 m of the crust. Collectively, data predominantly from the footwall damage zone imply that the Hurricane fault imparts a strong influence on the regional flow of crustal fluids and that the formation of veins in the shallow parts of the fault damage zone has important implications for the evolution of fault strength and permeability.
doi:10.5194/se-11-1969-2020 fatcat:i2e6movslnawnmccuhy54sl4qm