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Geology of the seismogenic subduction thrust interface

Fagereng, Ake ORCID: 2011. Geology of the seismogenic subduction thrust interface. Geological Society, London, Special Publications 359 (1) , pp. 55-76. 10.1144/SP359.4

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A microseismically active layer of underthrust sediments is commonly inferred along subduction thrust interfaces. The exhumed Chrystalls Beach Complex, in the Otago Schist, New Zealand, may be analogous to an actively deforming underthrust rock assemblage. The complex contains asymmetric competent lenses of sandstone, chert and basalt enclosed in a cleaved mudstone matrix. Continuous fabrics such as folds, boudins and asymmetric phacoids formed by distributed cataclasis and dissolution–precipitation creep. Discontinuous deformation is evident in an extensive fault-fracture mesh involving mutually cross-cutting subvertical extension veins and subhorizontal slickenfibre shear surfaces. The Hikurangi margin provides an example of along-strike variations in seismic style, possibly related to heterogeneous fluid-pressure state and interface geology. In both the ancient and active subduction-related shear zone, fluid-pressure state appears to be a critical control on frictional failure, which primarily occurs on weak, fluid-overpressured discontinuities. Continuous, aseismic deformation occurs where other mineral deformation mechanisms, such as dissolution–precipitation creep, are preferred. The geometry and composition of the underthrust rock assemblage appear to be first-order controls on megathrust fluid-pressure distribution, bulk rheology and dominant deformation mechanism, and thus may be significant controls on megathrust seismic style.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Publisher: Geological Society of London
ISSN: 0305-8719
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 08:58

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