Post-subduction margin structures along Boyd Strait, Antarctic Peninsula

first_imgThe Pacific margin of the Antarctic Peninsula to the southwest of the Hero Fracture Zone (HFZ) is a former subducting margin which became inactive following the arrival of ridge crest segments of the Antarctic – Phoenix ridge at the margin during the Tertiary. In contrast, the part of the margin to the northeast of the HFZ remains active. Tertiary convergence was approximately perpendicular to the margin and ongoing motion is thought to have the same orientation. A new seismic reflection profile running along Boyd Strait, just northeast of the landward projection of the HFZ, shows major structural components similar to those typically observed along the margin to the southwest of the HFZ. In order of increasing proximity to the margin, these components are: the inner shelf, the shelf basin, the mid-shelf basement high (MSBH), and the outer shelf. The continuation of the post-subduction margin structures to the active margin suggests that the boundary between crust with passive and active margins characteristics is not sharply defined. Our postulated scenario for tectonic evolution along Boyd Strait is that: (1) before the arrival of the last ridge crest segment to the southwest of the HFZ, the inner shelf and the shelf basin were part of a Cretaceous-Tertiary arc and forearc area, (2) after the arrival, thermal effects resulting from interaction of the ridge crest with the margin just southwest of the HFZ lead to the formation of the MSBH to the northeast, but MSBH uplift in Boyd Strait did not prevent concurrent cross-shelf sediment transport contributing to development of an extensive outer shelf on the seaward flank of the MSBH, (3) Recent extension in Bransfield Strait, a marginal basin to the northeast of the landward projection of the HFZ, has caused about 10 kin of seaward deflection in the strike of the part of the MSBH to the northeast of the projection of the HFZ.last_img

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