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Structural controls on the hydrogeology of the Costa Rica subduction thrust NW of the Osa Peninisula

AutorBangs, Nathan L.; McIntosh, Kirk D.; Silver, Eli A.; Kluesner, Jared W.; Ranero, César R.
Fecha de publicación13-dic-2013
EditorAmerican Geophysical Union
CitaciónAGU Fall Meeting: T51I-01 (2013)
ResumenThree-dimensional seismic reflection data from the Costa Rica margin NW of the Osa peninsula have enabled us to map the subduction megathrust from the trench to ~12 km subseafloor beneath the shelf. The subduction thrust has a large, abrupt downdip transition in seismic reflection amplitude from very high to low amplitude 6 km subseafloor beneath the upper slope. This transition broadly corresponds with an increase in concentration of microseismic earthquakes potentially due to a significant increase in plate coupling (Bangs et al., 2012, AGU Fall Meeting, T13A-2587), thus linking seismic reflection amplitude to fluid content and mechanical coupling along the fault. A detailed look at the overriding plate reflectivity shows numerous high-amplitude, continuous seismic reflections through the upper plate, many of which are clearly reversed-polarity from the seafloor reflection and are thus likely active fluid conduits through the overriding margin wedge, the slope cover sediment, and the seafloor. Broadly, the structural grain of the margin wedge trends E-W and dips landward across the lower slope and onto the shelf, presumably due to stress imparted by subducting ridges. However, directly above the abrupt high-to-low plate-boundary reflection amplitude transition, structures within the overlying margin wedge reverse dip, steepen, and change strike to an ESE direction. Within this zone we interpret a set of parallel reflections with small offsets and reverse-polarity as high-angle reverse faults that act as fluid conduits leading directly into shallow fluid migration systems described by Bangs et al., 2012 (AGU Fall Meeting, T13A-2587) and Kluesner et al. [this meeting]. The coincidence between the plate-boundary reflection amplitude patterns and the change in structure implies that the fluid migration pathways that drain the plate interface are locally disrupted by overriding plate structure in two possible ways: 1) by focusing up dip fluid migration along the plate interface into a thinner but richer fluid zone along the subduction thrust, or 2) by creating a more direct, nearly vertical route along high-angle reverse faults through the overlying margin wedge to the seafloor (possibly shortened by a factor of two) and draining deeper portions of the plate-boundary more efficiently
DescripciónAmerican Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, 9-13 December 2013, San Francisco
Versión del editorhttp://fallmeeting.agu.org/2013/
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