Seamount and Ridge Subduction at the Java Margin, Indonesia: Effects on Structural Geology and Seismogenesis.

Xia, Yueyang , Kopp, Heidrun , Klaeschen, Dirk , Geersen, Jacob , Ma, Bo and Schnabel, Michael (2023) Seamount and Ridge Subduction at the Java Margin, Indonesia: Effects on Structural Geology and Seismogenesis. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 128 (9). e2022JB026272. DOI 10.1029/2022jb026272.

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Abstract

The Java ‐ Lesser Sunda margin, which features multi‐scale subducting oceanic basement relief, is classified as neutral (Lombok and Sumbawa) to erosional (Central Java to Bali) in comparison to its accretionary counterpart offshore Sumatra. However, a comprehensive analysis of how plate boundary and upper plate structure across the neutral to erosional transition are modulated by the subduction of oceanic basement relief is lacking to date. To shed light on the tectonic parameters that push the margin into the neutral or erosional domain, we combine multi‐channel reflection seismic images derived through a grid‐based P‐wave velocity inversion, and multibeam bathymetric maps. The data document how different scales of subducting topography modify seafloor morphology, upper plate structure, and décollement position. Large‐scale subducting features cause a landward shift of the deformation front, shortening of the accretionary wedge, and seafloor steepening at the relief's trailing edge. Small‐scale subducting ridges primarily impact the frontal prism resulting in over‐steepening at the trench and localized slope failure. Ahead of subducting relief, deformation of the accretionary wedge encompasses enhanced compression and a reduction in seafloor slope but appears independent of the size of the relief. Ridge and seamount subduction induce frontal erosion and basal erosion offshore Lombok and Bali, respectively. Our P‐wave velocity models indicate that the rigidity of the upper plate's base along the eastern Sunda margin is significantly lower than the worldwide trend. We conclude that this favors the genesis of tsunami earthquakes that have occurred on the Java margin.

Plain Language Summary

The convergence of the tectonic plates drives a wide variety of geological processes along the plate margins, including the formation of the forearc accretionary wedge, volcanic activities, and megathrust earthquakes. Over the past 40 years, marine research shows that different sizes of oceanic reliefs (seamounts and ridges) are widely distributed over the seafloor, approaching the trench, and eventually subducted underneath the overriding plate. An accurate observation of the subducted reliefs and their tectonic impact on the overriding plate depends on different observation approaches, data processing methods, and the evolutionary history of the forearc. In the Java margin, the oceanic seafloor features massive seamounts with different scales and shapes, and the bathymetry of the overriding plate is highly disturbed. This provides us with the best opportunity of studying the rugged seafloor's seismogenic and geological impacts. By using state‐of‐the‐art seismic imaging techniques, we image the subsurface structures, obtain the forearc velocity, identify the seamounts, and discuss the seamounts' effect on structural deformation and megathrust earthquake occurrence. Distinctively, the marine forearc gets shortened and thickened significantly by seamount subduction. Structural images sharply illustrate different deformation patterns and stress regimes at the seamount's different flanks and reveal the possible process of subduction erosion.

Key Points

Upper plate deformation scales with variable subducting relief, as observed along the Java Trench in seismic sections and bathymetry
Subduction of seafloor topography induces progression from an accretion‐dominated domain toward a phase of subduction erosion
The overall low rigidity of the upper plate's base may contribute to the Java margin earthquake's tsunami‐genesis

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: BMBF: 03G0190A ; BMBF: 03G0190B
Keywords: seamount subduction, subduction erosion, Convergent plate margin, multi-channel seismic, depth migration imaging
Research affiliation: Kiel University
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Main POF Topic: PT3: Restless Earth
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: AGU (American Geophysical Union), Wiley
Related URLs:
Projects: SINDBAD
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2023 13:53
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2024 15:51
URI: https://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/59695

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