Trench-parallel stretching and folding of forearc basins and lateral migration of the accretionary wedge in the southern Ryukyus: A case of strain partition caused by oblique convergence

Serge Lallemand, Char Shine Liu, Stéphane Dominguez, Philippe Schnürle, Jacques Malavieille, J. Angelier, B. Deffontaines, M. Fournier, J. Y. Collot, S. K. Hsu, S. Y. Liu, J. P. Le Formal, J. C. Sibuet, N. Thareau, C. Y. Lu, F. Wang

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Abstract

Detailed seafloor mapping in the area east of Taiwan revealed trench-parallel stretching and folding of the Ryukyu forearc and lateral motion of the accretionary wedge under oblique convergence. East of 122°40'E, a steep accretionary wedge is elongated in an E-W direction. A major transcurrent right-lateral strike-slip fault accommodates the strain partitioning caused by an oblique convergence of 40°. A spectacular out-of-sequence thrust may be related to the subduction of a structural high lying in the axis of the N-S trending Gagua Ridge. This asperity is likely responsible for the uplift of the accretionary wedge and forearc basement and may have augmented strain partitioning by increasing the coupling between the two plates. West of 122°40'E, the low-taper accretionary wedge is sheared in a direction subparallel to the convergence vector with respect to the Ryukyu Arc. The bayonet shape of the southern Ryukyu Arc slope partly results from the recent (re)opening of the southern Okinawa Trough at a rate of about 2 to 4 cm/yr. Right-lateral shearing of the sedimentary forearc with respect to the nonlinear Ryukyu backstop generates trench-parallel extension in the forearc sediment sequence at dilational jogs and trench-parallel folding at compressive jogs. The Hoping Basin lies above a diffuse trench/trench/fault (TTF) or TFF unstable triple junction moving toward the south along a N-S transform zone which accommodates the southward drift of the Ryukyu Arc with respect to Eurasia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-247
Number of pages17
JournalTectonics
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1999

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