Geomorphic Processes of the Texas Panhandle




Baumgardner, Jr., Robert W.

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Joints are fractures in a rock that exhibit no detectable displacement between one face of the fracture and the other. Previous work on the origin of joints has determined different mechanisms to explain fracturing. Some researchers have explained joints in terms of their relationship to tectonic deformation and major structural elements (Harris and others, 1960; Price, 1966; Stearns and Friedman, 1972). Others have shown that joints may develop independently from tectonic deformation and that joints may form in sedimentary rocks early in their history (Parker, 1942; Hodgson, 1961; Price, 1966; Cook and Johnson, 1970). Price (1974) investigated the development of joints and stress systems in undeformed sediments during the accumulation of a sedimentary series, its downwarping and subsequent uplift, and accompanying de-watering of the sediments. Joints can also result from unloading due to erosion (Chapman, 1958). The formation of joints in sedimentary rocks is dependent on three factors (Hobbs, 1967): (1) physical properties of both the fractured rock bed and the surrounding rock beds; (2) thickness of the rock bed; and (3) degree of tectonic deformation of the beds.


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