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Title: Crustal Structure of the Northern Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand: Variable Accretion and Overthrusting Plate Strength Influenced by Rough Subduction
Abstract

Exploring the structure of convergent margins is key to understanding megathrust slip behavior and tsunami generation. We present new wide‐angle and marine multichannel seismic data that constrain the crustal structure and accretion dynamics of the northern Hikurangi margin. The top of the basement of the Hikurangi Plateau is overlain by a rough, 2–3 km thick layer of volcanic cover withP‐wave velocities (VP) between 3 and 5 km/s. This volcanic cover contributes significantly to seismic reflectivity beneath the shallow subduction plate boundary. The frontal prism structure varies along‐strike from ∼25 km wide with imbricate thrust faults where accretion of trench sediments is undisrupted, to narrower (∼14 km) with slumps and branching, irregular thrust fault geometries, which may reflect lower sediment supply or past seamount collisions. A large thrust fault network in the inner prism with a seismically fast hanging wall indicates a mechanical boundary between a seismically faster deforming backstop and the seismically slower frontal prism. Near the coastline,VPincreases between 2.8 and 4 km/s at 2–8 km depth and is 0.5–1.7 km/s slower than the southern Hikurangi margin. Low seismic wavespeeds and low vertical velocity gradients in the inner prism support the hypothesis that a weak overthrusting plate contributes to historic tsunami‐earthquakes and long duration seismic ground motion.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10361475
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume:
126
Issue:
5
ISSN:
2169-9313
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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