Thrust fault systems, Surface deformation
Deformed fluvial terraces preserved over active thrust-related folds record the kinematics of folding as fault slip accumulates on the underlying thrust. In the Mackenzie Basin of southern New Zealand, the kinematics revealed by folded fluvial terraces along the active Ostler and Irishman Creek fault zones are inconsistent with traditional models for thrust-related folding in which spatially uniform rock uplift typically occurs over planar fault ramps. Instead, warped and tilted terraces in the Mackenzie are characterized by broad, continuous backlimbs and abrupt forelimbs and suggest folding through progressive limb rotation. By relating this pattern of surface deformation to the underlying thrust with a newly developed, simple geometric and kinematic model, we interpret both faults as listric thrusts rooted at depth into gently dipping planar fault ramps. Constraints on the model from detailed topographic surveying of deformed terraces, ground-penetrating radar over active fault scarps, and luminescence dating of terrace surfaces suggest slip rates for the Ostler and Irishman Creek faults of ~1.1– 1.7 mm/yr and~0.5–0.7 mm/yr, respectively. The predicted depth of listric faulting for the Ostler fault (0.70 +0.1-0.2 km) and the Irishman Creek fault (1.3+0.1-0.5 km) generally agrees with geophysical estimates of basin depth in the Mackenzie and suggests control of preexisting basin architecture on the geometry of active thrusting. Despite the potential effects of changes in fault curvature and hanging wall internal deformation, the methodology presented here provides a simple tool for approximating the kinematics of surface deformation associated with slip along listric, or curviplanar, thrust faults.
Journal of Geophysical Research
Required Publisher's Statement
Published by the Journal of Geophysical Research, DOI: 10.1029/2006JB004291
Amos, Colin; Burbank, Douglas W.; Nobes, David C.; and Read, Stuart A. L., "Geomorphic Constraints on Listric Thrust Faulting: Implications for Active Deformation in the Mackenzie Basin, South Island, New Zealand" (2007). Geology Faculty Publications. 98.
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