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Fault reactivation in the central Indian Ocean and the rheology of oceanic lithosphere

Fault reactivation in the central Indian Ocean and the rheology of oceanic lithosphere
Fault reactivation in the central Indian Ocean and the rheology of oceanic lithosphere
The intraplate deformation in the central Indian Ocean basin is a well-known example of a deviation from an axiom of plate tectonics: that of rigid plates with deformation concentrated at plate boundaries. Here we present multichannel seismic reflection profiles which show that high-angle reverse faults in the sediments of the central Indian Ocean extend through the crust and possibly into the uppermost mantle. The dip of these faults, which we believe result from the reactivation of pre-existing faults formed at the spreading centre, is ˜40° in the basement, which is consistent with the distribution and focal mechanisms of earthquakes on faults now forming at spreading centres. This style of deformation, coupled with the observation of large earthquakes in the mantle lithosphere, indicates that brittle failure of the oceanic lithosphere may nucleate in the vicinity of the brittle/ductile transition and propagate through the crust.
0028-0836
855-858
Bull, Jonathan M.
974037fd-544b-458f-98cc-ce8eca89e3c8
Scrutton, Roger A.
390958b5-26fb-4588-bb56-b77b080fd568
Bull, Jonathan M.
974037fd-544b-458f-98cc-ce8eca89e3c8
Scrutton, Roger A.
390958b5-26fb-4588-bb56-b77b080fd568

Bull, Jonathan M. and Scrutton, Roger A. (1990) Fault reactivation in the central Indian Ocean and the rheology of oceanic lithosphere. Nature, 344, 855-858. (doi:10.1038/344855a0).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The intraplate deformation in the central Indian Ocean basin is a well-known example of a deviation from an axiom of plate tectonics: that of rigid plates with deformation concentrated at plate boundaries. Here we present multichannel seismic reflection profiles which show that high-angle reverse faults in the sediments of the central Indian Ocean extend through the crust and possibly into the uppermost mantle. The dip of these faults, which we believe result from the reactivation of pre-existing faults formed at the spreading centre, is ˜40° in the basement, which is consistent with the distribution and focal mechanisms of earthquakes on faults now forming at spreading centres. This style of deformation, coupled with the observation of large earthquakes in the mantle lithosphere, indicates that brittle failure of the oceanic lithosphere may nucleate in the vicinity of the brittle/ductile transition and propagate through the crust.

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Published date: 26 April 1990
Organisations: Geology & Geophysics

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Local EPrints ID: 346547
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/346547
ISSN: 0028-0836
PURE UUID: ff01c685-0767-4157-98ca-81410190abdd

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Date deposited: 02 Jan 2013 10:56
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:03

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