One of the most interesting questions about continental transforms and major strike-slip faults is how these structures accomplish the large displacements that are observed on them. To determine the mechanisms that allow these displacements to occur, geoscientists have developed mechanical models to investigate the processes that lead to a localization or delocalization of strain during strike-slip faulting. As is the case in other tectonic settings (e.g. Section 7.6.1), competition among these processes, and whether they result in a net weakening or a net strengthening of the lithosphere, ultimately controls the large-scale patterns of the deformation.

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