Seismic structure of the north-central Chilean convergent margin: Subduction erosion of a paleomagmatic arc.

Contreras-Reyes, Eduardo, Becerra, Juan, Kopp, Heidrun , Reichert, Christian and Díaz-Naveas, Juan (2014) Seismic structure of the north-central Chilean convergent margin: Subduction erosion of a paleomagmatic arc. Open Access Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (5). pp. 1523-1529. DOI 10.1002/2013GL058729.

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We study the erosive convergent margin of north-central Chile (at similar to 31 degrees S) by using high-resolution bathymetric, wide-angle refraction, and multichannel seismic reflection data to derive a detailed tomographic 2-D velocity-depth model. In the overriding plate, our velocity model shows that the lowermost crustal velocities beneath the upper continental slope are 6.0-6.5km/s, which are interpreted as the continental basement composed by characteristic metamorphic and igneous rocks of the Coastal Cordillera. Beneath the lower and middle continental slope, however, the presence of a zone of reduced velocities (3.5-5.0km/s) is interpreted as the outermost fore arc composed of volcanic rocks hydrofractured as a result of frontal and basal erosion. At the landward edge of the outermost fore arc, the bathymetric and seismic data provide evidence for the presence of a prominent trenchward dipping normal scarp (similar to 1km offset), which overlies a strong lateral velocity contrast from similar to 5.0 to similar to 6.0km/s. This pronounced velocity contrast propagates deep into the continental crust, and it resembles a major normal listric fault. We interpret this seismic discontinuity as the volcanic-continental basement contact of the submerged Coastal Cordillera characterized by a gravitational collapse of the outermost fore arc. Subduction erosion has, most likely, caused large-scale crustal thinning and long-term subsidence of the outermost fore arc.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000333578800025
Keywords: subduction; Chile; subduction erosion; gravitational collapse; hydrofracturing
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: AGU (American Geophysical Union), Wiley
Projects: FONDECYT
Date Deposited: 30 May 2014 09:31
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2017 08:41

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