A critical analysis of the geometric properties of oceanic fracture zones leads to the conclusion that their identification with ridge-ridge transform faults is an oversimplification. Models are presented, and examples are given, of processes (asymmetric spreading and differential spreading) which can alter the ridge-fracture zone pattern and extend active shear within lithospheric plates. These processes have a number of interesting tectonic consequences and could offer an explanation for, among other things, belts of intra-plate seismic activity and reversal of slip directions along a strike-slip fault.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/0025-3227(74)90041-3
Journal Marine Geology
Ranalli, G. (1974). Tectonic role of oceanic fracture zones. Marine Geology, 17(1). doi:10.1016/0025-3227(74)90041-3