The influence of grain size and grain size distribution on methods for estimating paleostresses from twinning in carbonates Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examines the relative differential stresses around a minor thrust fault within the Mountain City window, Tennessee, U.S.A. The fault zone developed within dolomite rocks and deformation took place by twinning, fracturing, pressure solution and the development of fine-grained deformation zones. Grain-size reduction is observed from undeformed wall rock to the center of the fault zone, and occurred by dynamic recrystallization. Methods to determine paleostresses in naturally deformed rocks from twinning assume a single, coaxial, strain-inducing event. The recrystallization within the center of the fault zone removed the effects of earlier deformation, so that the twinning more closely reflects a single, coaxial deformation event late in the fault history. Two methods were used to estimate the relative differential stresses across the fault zone and the results show opposite trends towards the center of the fault zone. The different results may be partially explained by the influence of grain size, as only one of these methods considers the influence of grain size. In addition, the grainsize data from this fault zone demonstrate that the tendency for a grain-size class to be twinned depends on the grain size distribution. The grain size distribution may result in grain-to-grain stress concentrations that induce twinning. Thus, grain size distribution should also be considered to achieve more accurate estimates of paleostresses. 1994.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Structural Geology

author list (cited authors)

  • Newman, J.

citation count

  • 50

complete list of authors

  • Newman, Julie

publication date

  • January 1994