Marine forearc extension in the Hikurangi margin: New insights from high-resolution 3D seismic data.

Böttner, Christoph , Gross, Felix, Geersen, Jacob , Crutchley, Gareth, Mountjoy, Joshu and Krastel, Sebastian (2018) Marine forearc extension in the Hikurangi margin: New insights from high-resolution 3D seismic data. Open Access Tectonics, 37 (5). pp. 1472-1491. DOI 10.1029/2017TC004906.

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Supplementary data:


Upper‐plate normal faults are a widespread structural element in erosive plate margins. Increasing coverage of marine geophysical data has proven that similar features also exist in accretionary margins where horizontal compression usually results in folding and thrust‐faulting. There is a general lack of understanding of the role and importance of normal faulting for the structural and tectonic evolution of accretionary margins. Here, we use high‐resolution 2D and 3D seismic reflection data and derived seismic attributes to map and analyze upper‐plate normal faulting in the marine forearc of the accretionary Hikurangi margin, New Zealand. We document extension of the marine forearc over a wide area along the upper continental slope. The seismically imaged normal faults show low vertical displacements, high dip angles, a preference for landward dip and often en echelon patterns. We evaluate different processes, which may cause the observed extension, including (1) stress change during the earthquake cycle, (2) regional or local uplift and decoupling of shallow strata from compression at depth, as well as (3) rotation of crustal blocks and resulting differential stresses at the block boundaries. The results suggest that normal faults play an important role in the structural and tectonic evolution of accretionary margins, including the northern Hikurangi forearc.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: Access to the bathymetric and seismic data is through NIWA marine data repository (
Keywords: 3D seismic attributes, normal faults, subduction zone, Hikurangi margin, forearc extension, marine seismics
Research affiliation: Kiel University
Kiel University > Kiel Marine Science
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2017TC004906
ISSN: 0278-7407
Related URLs:
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 03 May 2018 11:35
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 23:33

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