Structure and geodynamics of the post-collision zone between the Nazca–Antarctic spreading center and South America

Maksymowicz, Andrei, Contreras-Reyes, Eduardo, Grevemeyer, Ingo and Flueh, Ernst R. (2012) Structure and geodynamics of the post-collision zone between the Nazca–Antarctic spreading center and South America Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 345/348 . pp. 27-37. DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.06.023.

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The Chile Triple Junction (CTJ) is the place where the Chile Ridge (Nazca–Antarctic spreading center) is subducting beneath the continental South American plate. Sediment accretion is active to the south of the CTJ in the area where the northward migrating Chile Ridge has collided with the continent since 14 Ma. At the CTJ, tectonic erosion of the overriding plate narrows and steepens the continental slope. We present here a detailed tomographic image of the upper lithospheric Antarctic–South America subduction zone where the Chile Ridge collided with the continent 3–6 Ma off Golfo de Penas. Results reveal that a large portion of trench sediment has been scraped off and frontally accreted to the forearc forming a 70–80 km wide accretionary prism. The velocity–depth model shows a discontinuity at 30–40 km landward of the deformation front, which is interpreted as the contact between the frontal (poorly consolidated sedimentary unit) and middle (more compacted sedimentary unit) accretionary prism. The formation of this discontinuity could be related to a short term episode of reduced trench sedimentation. In addition, we model the shape of the continental slope using a Newtonian fluid rheology to study the convergence rate at which the accretionary prism was formed. Results are consistent with an accretionary prism formed after the collision of the Chile Ridge under slow convergence rate similar to those observed at present between Antarctic and South America (∼2.0 cm/a). Based on the kinematics of the Chile Ridge subduction during the last 13 Ma, we propose that the accretionary prism off Golfo de Penas was formed recently (∼5 Ma) after the collision of the Chile Ridge with South America.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Accretionary prism; Patagonia; Antarctic plate; subduction; erosion; Chile Triple Junction
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.06.023
ISSN: 0012-821X
Projects: FONDECYT, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2012 11:01
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 12:39

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