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EPS171 Lab 3 Stereonets

Purpose The purpose of this lab is to learn how to plot 3D geometric information using stereonets, and then to apply this method to a number of common problems in structural geology. Introduction A stereonet is a useful tool for presenting 3D geometric information in a 2D format. It allows us to represent planes (like bedding, or fault surfaces) and lines (like slickensides, metamorphic fabrics, or lineations) in a standard format so that everyone can understand the information being presented. Once we have our lines and planes plotted, we can also use the stereonet to measure useful geometric relationships. A lower hemisphere projection is most commonly used in structural geology use, so the stereonet represents the bottom half of a sphere flattened onto a piece of paper. On the stereonet, we want to represent planes and lines as their intersections with the hemisphere. A plane going through the center of the sphere will intersect with the hemisphere along a curved line. A line going through the center of the sphere will intersect with the hemisphere at a point. We therefore represent planes and lines as lines and points, respectively.

Exercise 1: Learning how to plot lines, planes, and poles to planes


Plotting Lines Lay a piece of tracing paper over your stereonet, draw in the outer circle, and mark and label the four corners (N, E, S, W, or 0, 90, 180, 270). How to plot lines: Mark the point on the perimeter of the circle that represents your trend direction. Rotate the tracing paper so that mark is on the N-S line. Count down from the perimeter the degrees of the plunge along the N-S line, and mark it with a point. Rotate North on your tracing paper back to North on your stereonet. Done! Plot the following line for practice, and label it 1: Trend: N40E Plunge: 26 Plotting Planes How to plot planes: Mark the point on the perimeter of the circle that represents the strike direction. Rotate the tracing paper so that mark is on the N-S line. Count the dip angle inward along the E-W axis (in this case, 70). Draw in the N-S great arc that crosses the E-W axis at the dip angle you counted. Rotate North back to North. Done!

Plot the following plane for practice, and label it 2: Strike: N20W 70 NE How to plot poles to planes: Line up the great arc on your sheet with the one you traced it over. Count 90 along the E-W axis, and mark the point. Do this for the plane above, and also mark it 2. How to plot rake: Rake is the angle between the strike of the plane and the linear feature on the plane. For example, on the plane above, lets imagine we have a feature with a rake of 46 NW. You would plot it by lining up the great arc on your tracing paper with the one you traced it from. Along the great arc, count 46 from the NW side, and plot a point.

Exercise 2: Geologic Applications


A. Determining bedding from fossil orientations You walk up to the outcrop pictured at right, and wish to measure the strike and dip of bedding. However, due to the density of fossils, bedding is unclear. Since you know that belemnites are deposited roughly in layers, you measure the trend and plunge of three of the belemnites in order to approximate the orientation of bedding:

Trend a. b. c. N 25 W N 82 W N 18 E

Plunge 42 36 28

What is the best fit orientation of bedding?

B. Faults and slickensides Plot the orientation of a slickenside that has a rake of 38 NE on a fault plane that has an orientation of N42E 33NW. What is the trend and plunge of the slickensides?

C. Apparent dip You walk up to a field outcrop, and want to measure the strike and dip of bedding, but no bedding planes are exposed. However, you can see the trace of bedding (as an apparent dip, or rake) exposed on two joint faces. On joint face 1 (orientation: N44E, 90), the apparent dip is 26 SW, and on joint face 2 (orientation: N 56 W, 30 NE), the apparent dip is 28 SE. What is the true strike and dip of bedding? (Hint: The rake lines will lie on the bedding plane)

D. Angles between fracture sets On the backlimb of the Sheep Mountain anticline in Wyoming, there are three dominant fracture sets: Set 1: N 70 W 85 NE Set 2: N 65 W 60 SW Set 3: N 60 E 60 NW

(from Bellahsen, et al., 2006) What is the angle between Sets 1 and 2? _______ 2 and 3? _______ 1 and 3? _______ (Hintplot the planes, plot the poles to the planes, then align the poles along a great circle, and along the circle, count the degrees between the two poles.)

Exercise 3: Planes, Poles, and Fold Axes using StereoWin software


(The application is on your hard disk in eps171_2009/lab3.) The following strike and dip measurements were collected in the field over an anticlinal fold: A: B: C: D: E: F: G: H: I: N 36 W 84 SW N 32 W 73 SW N 25 W 59 SW N 4 W 40 SW N 14 E 32 NW N 64 E 23 NW N 66 W 43 NE N 58 W 60 NE N 46 W 77 NE

A. Fold axis determination from bedding orientations diagram Plot the planes listed above. Input data as azimuth and dip, using the right hand rule. (start application; under FILE select NEW; select planes; enter data; save data to your disk; under PLOT select GREAT CIRCLE): What appears to be the best-fit trend and plunge for the fold? __________________ B. Fold axis determination from poles diagram Plot the poles to these planes on the same Stereonet plot. (Under OPERATIONS select POLES; under PLOT select SCATTER press NO to Erase existing plot first?). Fit a great circle to your poles to determine the fold axis. (Under PLOT select CYLINDRICAL BEST FIT - press NO to Erase existing plot first?). What is the trend & plunge of the best-fit fold axis? ___________________

What are you assuming about the fold? List at least two causes of why the data collected might deviate from this prediction.

Save and print your plot. When you print it, label the fold axis.

Exercise 4: Contouring using StereoWin software


A number of strike and dip measurements were made over a single fold limb. Find the average orientation of the fold limb by contouring the poles to the planes and finding the best fit orientation. 1. Close and re-open the program. Load the bedding measurements (lab3/Lab3_Ex4.txt) 2. Plot the planes and their poles on a single stereogram. Look at the planes and estimate the average strike and dip. ____________________ 3. Under SYMBOLS select CONTOUR PARAMETERS and make the following selections: Contour Interval = 2; Significance Level =1 4. Contour the poles using the Kamb Method (under PLOT, select KAMB CONTOUR press NO to Erase existing plot first?). Plot the mean vector of the poles (under PLOT select PLOT MEAN VECTOR).
What is the trend & plunge of the mean vector? ___________________

What is the orientation of the best-fit bedding plane? ___________________ (under PLOT select PICK GREAT CIRCLE and select the pole) SAVE and PRINT your plot and label the mean vector.

Exercise 5: Kettleman Hills


Goal: To define the structure of Kettleman North Dome using the satellite image and stereonet analysis. This is Landsat satellite image of the northern termination of Kettleman Hills North Dome. This structure is part of a system of actively deforming anticlines and synclines that lie at the western margin of the San Joaquin basin in southern California. Active seismicity and discernable changes in the elevation of the folds indicate that these structures continue to grow. Additionally these structures serve as an excellent structural and lithologic hydrocarbon trap and have been producing petroleum for over 100 years.

1) Based upon the strike and dip data and the contact topography relations (flatirons, etc), what kind of structure is this? ________________________________

2) What direction is the fold axis plunging (e.g., E, SE)? ________________________

3) On the map, measure the strike and dip values on each of the limbs (3 on the western limb & ~9 on the eastern limb).

East limb:

West limb:

4) Using the StereoWin software, calculate the average dip of each limb. The average strike and dip of the western limb is The average strike and dip of the eastern limb is _____________________ _____________________

5) In the space provided below the map, draw and label an approximate stereonet representation of your average limb strike and dip.

6) Using the strikes and dips you measured (NOT the averages) and the StereoWin software, calculate the trend and plunge of the fold axis. The trend and plunge of Kettleman North Dome is _____________________

7) Draw the fold axis on the Kettleman Hills image using the appropriate symbol for a plunging fold.

To Turn in: Your lab, tracing papers, and print-outs from exercises 3-5.