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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2007-12-19
    Description: Exceptional examples of restraining and releasing bend structures along major strike-slip fault zones are found in the California continental Borderland. Erosion in the deep sea is diminished, thereby preserving the morphology of active oblique fault deformation. Long-lived deposition of turbidites and other marine sediments preserve a high-resolution geological record of fault zone deformation and regional tectonic evolution. Two large restraining bends with varied structural styles are compared to derive a typical morphology of Borderland restraining bends. A 60-km-long, 15{degrees} left bend in the dextral San Clemente Fault creates two primary deformation zones. The southeastern uplift involves soft' turbidite sediments and is expressed as a broad asymmetrical ridge with right-stepping en echelon anticlines and local pull-apart basins at minor releasing stepovers along the fault. The northwest uplift involves more rigid sedimentary and possibly igneous or metamorphic basement rocks creating a steep-sided, narrow and more symmetrical pop-up. The restraining bend terminates in a releasing stepover basin at the NW end, but curves gently into a transtensional releasing bend to the SE. Seismic stratigraphy indicates that the uplift and transpression along this bend occurred within Quaternary times. The 80-km-long, 3040{degrees} left bend in the San Diego TroughCatalina fault zone creates a large pop-up structure that emerges to form Santa Catalina Island. This ridge of igneous and metamorphic basement rocks has steep flanks and a classic rhomboid' shape. For both major restraining bends, and most others in the Borderland, the uplift is asymmetrical, with the principal displacement zone lying along one flank of the pop-up. Faults within the pop-up structure are very steep dipping and subvertical for the principal displacement zone. In most cases, a Miocene basin has been structurally inverted by the transpression. Development of major restraining bends offshore of southern California appears to result from reactivation of major transform faults associated with Mid-Miocene oblique rifting during the evolution of the PacificNorth America plate boundary. Seismicity offshore of southern California demonstrates that deformation along these major strike-slip fault systems continues today.
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2013-08-09
    Description: The temporal coincidence between rapid late Pleistocene sea-level rise and large-scale slope failures is widely documented. Nevertheless, the physical mechanisms that link these phenomena are poorly understood, particularly along nonglaciated margins. Here we investigate the causal relationships between rapid sea-level rise, flexural stress loading, and increased seismicity rates along passive margins. We find that Coulomb failure stress across fault systems of passive continental margins may have increased more than 1 MPa during rapid late Pleistocene–early Holocene sea-level rise, an amount sufficient to trigger fault reactivation and rupture. These results suggest that sea-level–modulated seismicity may have contributed to a number of poorly understood but widely observed phenomena, including (1) increased frequency of large-scale submarine landslides during rapid, late Pleistocene sea-level rise; (2) emplacement of coarse-grained mass transport deposits on deep-sea fans during the early stages of marine transgression; and (3) the unroofing and release of methane gas sequestered in continental slope sediments.
    Print ISSN: 0091-7613
    Electronic ISSN: 1943-2682
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2013-03-30
    Description: The empirical probability of submarine mass failure is quantified from a sequence of dated mass-transport deposits. Several different techniques are described to estimate the parameters for a suite of candidate probability models. The techniques, previously developed for analyzing paleoseismic data, include maximum likelihood and Type II (Bayesian) maximum likelihood methods derived from renewal process theory and Monte Carlo methods. The estimated mean return time from these methods, unlike estimates from a simple arithmetic mean of the center age dates and standard likelihood methods, includes the effects of age-dating uncertainty and of open time intervals before the first and after the last event. The likelihood techniques are evaluated using Akaike’s Information Criterion (AIC) and Akaike’s Bayesian Information Criterion (ABIC) to select the optimal model. The techniques are applied to mass transport deposits recorded in two Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) drill sites located in the Ursa Basin, northern Gulf of Mexico. Dates of the deposits were constrained by regional bio- and magnetostratigraphy from a previous study. Results of the analysis indicate that submarine mass failures in this location occur primarily according to a Poisson process in which failures are independent and return times follow an exponential distribution. However, some of the model results suggest that submarine mass failures may occur quasiperiodically at one of the sites (U1324). The suite of techniques described in this study provides quantitative probability estimates of submarine mass failure occurrence, for any number of deposits and age uncertainty distributions.
    Electronic ISSN: 1553-040X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 4
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