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"Virtual shear box" experiments of stress and slip cycling within a subduction interface mélange

Webber, Sam, Ellis, Susan and Fagereng, Ake ORCID: 2018. "Virtual shear box" experiments of stress and slip cycling within a subduction interface mélange. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 488 , pp. 27-35. 10.1016/j.epsl.2018.01.035

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What role does the progressive geometric evolution of subduction-related mélange shear zones play in the development of strain transients? We use a “virtual shear box” experiment, based on outcrop-scale observations from an ancient exhumed subduction interface – the Chrystalls Beach Complex (CBC), New Zealand – to constrain numerical models of slip processes within a meters-thick shear zone. The CBC is dominated by large, competent clasts surrounded by interconnected weak matrix. Under constant slip velocity boundary conditions, models of the CBC produce stress cycling behavior, accompanied by mixed brittle-viscous deformation. This occurs as a consequence of the reorganization of competent clasts, and the progressive development and breakdown of stress bridges as clasts mutually obstruct one another. Under constant shear stress boundary conditions, the models show periods of relative inactivity punctuated by aseismic episodic slip at rapid rates (meters per year). Such a process may contribute to the development of strain transients such as slow slip.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0012-821X
Funders: Marsden
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 March 2018
Date of Acceptance: 30 January 2018
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 22:48

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