Journal of Earth Science

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 468–478 | Cite as

Geological Factors for the Formation of Xi’an Ground Fractures

  • Jianbing Peng
  • Wei Qu
  • Jun Ren
  • Qin Zhang
  • Feiyong Wang


Xi’an ground fractures are the most typical ground fractures in China. Fourteen fractures have nearly divided the historical city into several distinct sections. These fractures are parallel and distributed in NEE direction at the same interval, with all features exhibiting a down dropping southerly block which extends to connect with the underlying fault. The activities of fractures are primarily expressed as normal faults. The faulted strata are well defined and dislocation displacement increases with depth. Thus, fractures have the characteristics of syn-sedimentary faults, which constitute the hanging wall of the Lintong-Chang’an fault branch system. Crustal thinning caused by the uplifting of upper mantle provides a power source for extension and stretching along the fracture surface of the upper crust, which results in a series of extensional faults and the suitable conditions for forming massive ground fractures. The movement of tectonic blocks influences the normal dip-slipping tension of Lintong-Chang’an fault branches, and produces a series of secondary tectonic fractures adjacent to surface, which constitute the prototype of ground fractures. The recent regional tensile stress produced by modern mainland deformation, also profoundly influences the current activity of Xi’an ground fractures.

Key words

Xi’an ground fracture tectonic property basin structure continental dynamics 


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This study was supported by the National Key Basic Research Project of China (No. 2014CB744703), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41790445, 41731066, 41674001, 41202189, 41274004, 41274005), the Natural Science Basic Research Plan of Shaanxi Province, China (No. 2016JM4005), the Special Fund for Basic Scientific Research of Central Universities (Nos. CHD300102268204, CHD2014G1261050, CHD2014G3263014), and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2013M530412). The final publication is available at Springer via

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Copyright information

© China University of Geosciences and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Geology Engineering and GeomaticsChang’an UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Western China’s Mineral Resources and Geological Engineering, Ministry of EducationChang’an UniversityXi’anChina
  3. 3.Seismological Bureau of Shaanxi ProvinceXi’anChina

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