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  1. Abstract

    The Indo‐Burma subduction zone is a highly oblique subduction system where the Indian plate is converging with the Eurasian plate. How strain is partitioned between the Indo‐Burma interface and upper plate Kabaw Fault, and whether the megathrust is a locked and active zone of convergence that can generate great earthquakes are ongoing debates. Here, we use data from a total of 68 Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) stations, including newly installed stations across the Kabaw Fault and compute an updated horizontal and vertical GNSS velocity field. We correct vertical rates for fluctuating seasonal signals by accounting for the elastic response of monsoon water on the crust. We model the geodetic data by inverting for 11,000 planar and non‐planar megathrust fault geometries and two geologically viable structural interpretations of the Kabaw Fault that we construct from field geological data, considering a basin‐scale wedge‐fault and a crustal‐scale reverse fault. We demonstrate that the Indo‐Burma megathrust is locked, converging at a rate ofmm/yr, and capable of hosting >8.2Mwmegathrust events. We also show that the Kabaw Fault is locked and accommodating strike‐slip motion at a rate ofmm/yr and converging at a rate ofmm/yr. Our interpretation of the geological, geophysical, and geodetic datasets indicates the Kabaw Fault is a crustal‐scale structure that actively absorbs a portion of the convergence previously ascribed to the Indo‐Burma megathrust. This reveals a previously unrecognized seismic hazard associated with the Kabaw Fault and slightly reduces the estimated hazard posed by megathrust earthquakes in the region.

     
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  2. Abstract

    The Bengal Basin preserves the erosional signals of coupled tectonic‐climatic change during late Cenozoic development of the Himalayan orogen, yet regional correlation and interpretation of these signals remains incomplete. We present a new geologic map of fluvial‐deltaic deposits of the Indo‐Burman Ranges (IBR), five detrital zircon fission track analyses, and twelve high‐n detrital zircon U‐Pb age distributions (dzUPb) from the Barail (late Eocene–early Miocene), Surma (early–late Miocene), and Tipam (late Miocene–Pliocene) Groups of the ancestral Brahmaputra delta. We use dzUPb statistical tests to correlate the IBR units with equivalent age strata throughout the Bengal Basin. An influx of trans‐Himalayan sediment and the first appearance of ∼50 Ma grains of the Gangdese batholith in the lower Surma Group (∼18–15 Ma) records the early Miocene arrival of the ancestral Brahmaputra delta to the Bengal Basin. Contributions from Himalayan sources systematically decrease up section through the late Miocene as the contribution of Trans‐Himalayan Arc sources increases. The Miocene (∼18–8 Ma) deposition of the Surma Group records upstream expansion of the ancestral Brahmaputra River into southeastern Tibet. Late Miocene (<8 Ma) progradation of the fluvial part of the delta (Tipam Group) routed trans‐Himalayan sediment over the shelf edge to the Nicobar Fan. We propose that Miocene progradation of the ancestral Brahmaputra delta reflects increasing rates of erosion and sea level fall during intensification of the South Asian Monsoon after the Miocene Climate Optimum, contemporaneous with a pulse of tectonic uplift of the Himalayan hinterland and Tibet.

     
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  3. Abstract The Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) seismic network began development in 2008. There are a total of 71 seismic stations consisting of 26 borehole stations and 45 surface stations currently installed. The three-component data from the TMD seismic network have been widely used in previous seismological studies. In a recent analysis, we have found that sensor orientation as reported in the site metadata is sometimes significantly incorrect, especially for borehole stations. In this study, we analyze P-wave polarization data from regional and teleseismic earthquakes recorded in the network to estimate the true instrument orientation relative to geographic north and compare that to station metadata. Of the 45 surface stations, we found that at present, ~ 82% are well oriented (i.e., aligned within 0–15° of true north). However, 8 sites have sensors misoriented by more than 15°, and some stations had a temporal change in sensor orientation during an upgrade to the seismic system with replacement of the sensor. We also evaluated sensor orientations for 26 TMD borehole seismic stations, from 2018 to the 2022. For many of the borehole stations, the actual sensor orientation differs significantly from the TMD metadata, especially at short-period stations. Many of those stations have sensor misorientations approaching 180°, due to errors in the ambient noise analysis calibration techniques used during installation. We have also investigated how this sensor misorientation affects previous seismic studies, such as regional moment tensor inversion of earthquakes sources and receiver function stacking. We have found that the large deviations in sensor orientation can result in erroneous results and/or large measurement errors. A cause of the orientation error for borehole sites could be a combination of strong background surface ambient seismic noise coupled with an incorrect reference instrument response. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  4. Abstract The plate tectonic cycle produces chemically distinct mid-ocean ridge basalts and arc volcanics, with the latter enriched in elements such as Ba, Rb, Th, Sr and Pb and depleted in Nb owing to the water-rich flux from the subducted slab. Basalts from back-arc basins, with intermediate compositions, show that such a slab flux can be transported behind the volcanic front of the arc and incorporated into mantle flow. Hence it is puzzling why melts of subduction-modified mantle have rarely been recognized in mid-ocean ridge basalts. Here we report the first mid-ocean ridge basalt samples with distinct arc signatures, akin to back-arc basin basalts, from the Arctic Gakkel Ridge. A new high precision dataset for 576 Gakkel samples suggests a pervasive subduction influence in this region. This influence can also be identified in Atlantic and Indian mid-ocean ridge basalts but is nearly absent in Pacific mid-ocean ridge basalts. Such a hemispheric-scale upper mantle heterogeneity reflects subduction modification of the asthenospheric mantle which is incorporated into mantle flow, and whose geographical distribution is controlled dominantly by a “subduction shield” that has surrounded the Pacific Ocean for 180 Myr. Simple modeling suggests that a slab flux equivalent to ~13% of the output at arcs is incorporated into the convecting upper mantle. 
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