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Tectonic structure, evolution, and the nature of oceanic core complexes and their detachment fault zones (13°20′N and 13°30′N, Mid Atlantic Ridge)

Tectonic structure, evolution, and the nature of oceanic core complexes and their detachment fault zones (13°20′N and 13°30′N, Mid Atlantic Ridge)
Tectonic structure, evolution, and the nature of oceanic core complexes and their detachment fault zones (13°20′N and 13°30′N, Mid Atlantic Ridge)

Microbathymetry data, in situ observations, and sampling along the 13°20′N and 13°20′N oceanic core complexes (OCCs) reveal mechanisms of detachment fault denudation at the seafloor, links between tectonic extension and mass wasting, and expose the nature of corrugations, ubiquitous at OCCs. In the initial stages of detachment faulting and high-angle fault, scarps show extensive mass wasting that reduces their slope. Flexural rotation further lowers scarp slope, hinders mass wasting, resulting in morphologically complex chaotic terrain between the breakaway and the denuded corrugated surface. Extension and drag along the fault plane uplifts a wedge of hangingwall material (apron). The detachment surface emerges along a continuous moat that sheds rocks and covers it with unconsolidated rubble, while local slumping emplaces rubble ridges overlying corrugations. The detachment fault zone is a set of anostomosed slip planes, elongated in the along-extension direction. Slip planes bind fault rock bodies defining the corrugations observed in microbathymetry and sonar. Fault planes with extension-parallel stria are exposed along corrugation flanks, where the rubble cover is shed. Detachment fault rocks are primarily basalt fault breccia at 13°20′N OCC, and gabbro and peridotite at 13°30′N, demonstrating that brittle strain localization in shallow lithosphere form corrugations, regardless of lithologies in the detachment zone. Finally, faulting and volcanism dismember the 13°30′N OCC, with widespread present and past hydrothermal activity (Semenov fields), while the Irinovskoe hydrothermal field at the 13°20′N core complex suggests a magmatic source within the footwall. These results confirm the ubiquitous relationship between hydrothermal activity and oceanic detachment formation and evolution.

faulting, hydrothermal field, mass wasting, mid-ocean ridge, oceanic core complex, oceanic detachment fault
1525-2027
1451-1482
Escartín, J.
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Mével, C.
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Petersen, S.
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Bonnemains, D.
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Cannat, M.
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Andreani, M.
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Augustin, N.
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Bezos, A.
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Chavagnac, V.
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Choi, Y.
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Godard, M.
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Haaga, K.
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Hamelin, C.
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Ildefonse, B.
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Jamieson, J.
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John, B.
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Leleu, T.
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MacLeod, C.J.
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Massot-Campos, M.
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Nomikou, P.
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Olive, J.A.
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Paquet, M.
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Rommevaux, C.
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Rothenbeck, M.
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Steinfuhrer, A.
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Tominaga, M.
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Triebe, L.
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Campos, R.
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Gracias, N.
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Garcia, R.
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Escartín, J.
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Mével, C.
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Petersen, S.
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Bonnemains, D.
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Cannat, M.
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Andreani, M.
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Augustin, N.
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Bezos, A.
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Chavagnac, V.
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Choi, Y.
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Godard, M.
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Haaga, K.
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Hamelin, C.
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Ildefonse, B.
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Jamieson, J.
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John, B.
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Leleu, T.
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MacLeod, C.J.
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Massot-Campos, M.
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Nomikou, P.
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Olive, J.A.
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Paquet, M.
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Rommevaux, C.
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Rothenbeck, M.
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Steinfuhrer, A.
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Tominaga, M.
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Triebe, L.
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Campos, R.
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Gracias, N.
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Garcia, R.
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Escartín, J., Mével, C., Petersen, S., Bonnemains, D., Cannat, M., Andreani, M., Augustin, N., Bezos, A., Chavagnac, V., Choi, Y., Godard, M., Haaga, K., Hamelin, C., Ildefonse, B., Jamieson, J., John, B., Leleu, T., MacLeod, C.J., Massot-Campos, M., Nomikou, P., Olive, J.A., Paquet, M., Rommevaux, C., Rothenbeck, M., Steinfuhrer, A., Tominaga, M., Triebe, L., Campos, R., Gracias, N. and Garcia, R. (2017) Tectonic structure, evolution, and the nature of oceanic core complexes and their detachment fault zones (13°20′N and 13°30′N, Mid Atlantic Ridge). Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 18 (4), 1451-1482. (doi:10.1002/2016GC006775).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Microbathymetry data, in situ observations, and sampling along the 13°20′N and 13°20′N oceanic core complexes (OCCs) reveal mechanisms of detachment fault denudation at the seafloor, links between tectonic extension and mass wasting, and expose the nature of corrugations, ubiquitous at OCCs. In the initial stages of detachment faulting and high-angle fault, scarps show extensive mass wasting that reduces their slope. Flexural rotation further lowers scarp slope, hinders mass wasting, resulting in morphologically complex chaotic terrain between the breakaway and the denuded corrugated surface. Extension and drag along the fault plane uplifts a wedge of hangingwall material (apron). The detachment surface emerges along a continuous moat that sheds rocks and covers it with unconsolidated rubble, while local slumping emplaces rubble ridges overlying corrugations. The detachment fault zone is a set of anostomosed slip planes, elongated in the along-extension direction. Slip planes bind fault rock bodies defining the corrugations observed in microbathymetry and sonar. Fault planes with extension-parallel stria are exposed along corrugation flanks, where the rubble cover is shed. Detachment fault rocks are primarily basalt fault breccia at 13°20′N OCC, and gabbro and peridotite at 13°30′N, demonstrating that brittle strain localization in shallow lithosphere form corrugations, regardless of lithologies in the detachment zone. Finally, faulting and volcanism dismember the 13°30′N OCC, with widespread present and past hydrothermal activity (Semenov fields), while the Irinovskoe hydrothermal field at the 13°20′N core complex suggests a magmatic source within the footwall. These results confirm the ubiquitous relationship between hydrothermal activity and oceanic detachment formation and evolution.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 17 February 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 February 2017
Published date: 1 April 2017
Keywords: faulting, hydrothermal field, mass wasting, mid-ocean ridge, oceanic core complex, oceanic detachment fault

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 443959
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/443959
ISSN: 1525-2027
PURE UUID: 2543389b-6911-4c6d-a292-abceb00867a2
ORCID for M. Massot-Campos: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1202-0362
ORCID for R. Campos: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1202-0362

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 18 Sep 2020 16:30
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:38

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Contributors

Author: J. Escartín
Author: C. Mével
Author: S. Petersen
Author: D. Bonnemains
Author: M. Cannat
Author: M. Andreani
Author: N. Augustin
Author: A. Bezos
Author: V. Chavagnac
Author: Y. Choi
Author: M. Godard
Author: K. Haaga
Author: C. Hamelin
Author: B. Ildefonse
Author: J. Jamieson
Author: B. John
Author: T. Leleu
Author: C.J. MacLeod
Author: P. Nomikou
Author: J.A. Olive
Author: M. Paquet
Author: C. Rommevaux
Author: M. Rothenbeck
Author: A. Steinfuhrer
Author: M. Tominaga
Author: L. Triebe
Author: R. Campos ORCID iD
Author: N. Gracias
Author: R. Garcia

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