Structure and kinematics of the Suzume fault, Okitsu melange, Shimanto accretionary complex, Japan
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The Okitsu mÃÂ©lange in the Shimanto accretionary complex, the onshore extension of the modern Nankai accretionary prism, consists of a kilometer-size duplex of oceanic basalt and trench-fill sedimentary rocks, and is thought to represent rocks underplated to the prism along the subduction plate-boundary at seismogenic depth. An internal, horsebounding thrust of the duplex, referred to as the Suzume fault, juxtaposes basalt in the hanging wall and sedimentary rocks in the footwall. Structure and fabric of the fault was characterized at the mesoscale to investigate the processes and structural evolution along a plate-boundary dÃÂ©collement. The fault zone in the hanging wall consists of decimeterthick ultracataclasite bounded by a several m thick zone of fractured basalt, and likely records 2+ km displacement along the thrust. The footwall consists of decimeter-thick ultracataclasite bounded by a 20-m-thick zone of ductile shear in flattened sedimentary host rock, and likely records 30+ km of displacement. The asymmetric structure across the Suzume fault, as well as inferred displacement fields and timing relations, are consistent with a tectonic model in which the footwall records early ductile, compactive deformation of poorly consolidated sediments during underthrusting at the prism toe region, followed by extremely localized cataclasis at the underplating depth. In contrast, the hanging wall is deformed by intense cataclasis, and only during underplating. Deformation style and strain state in the footwall of the Suzume fault is qualitatively similar to the modern Costa Rica underthrust section at the toe region. Similarity in the structure and fabric of the hanging wall between the Suzume fault and modern dÃÂ©collement zones sampled through scientific drilling suggests that intense cataclasis under horizontal contraction likely is a common feature for the hanging wall of the dÃÂ©collement zone throughout the toe to underplating regions. Structures in the Suzume fault that are not in common with the modern dÃÂ©collements imply progressive consolidation during underthrusting from the toe to underplating depths may be responsible for the localization of shear in the footwall. At several kilometers depth, displacement along the plate boundary is likely accommodated within an extremely narrow zone as recorded in the ultracataclasite of the Suzume fault.
Kanaya, Takamasa (2006). Structure and kinematics of the Suzume fault, Okitsu melange, Shimanto accretionary complex, Japan. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from