HAL will be down for maintenance from Friday, June 10 at 4pm through Monday, June 13 at 9am. More information
Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Preservation of contrasting geothermal gradients across the Caribbean-North America plate boundary (Motagua Fault, Guatemala)

Abstract : Strike-slip plate boundaries juxtapose crustal blocks that may have different geodynamic origins and therefore different thermal structures. Thermo-kinematic modeling of this type of strike-slip plate boundary predicts an asymmetric signature in the low-temperature thermochronologic record across the fault. Age-elevation profiles of zircon (U-Th)/He ages across the Motagua Fault, a 500 km long segment of the transform boundary between the North American and Caribbean plates, document a sharp cooling age discontinuity across the fault. This discontinuity could be interpreted as a difference in denudation history on each side of the fault. However, a low-relief Miocene erosional surface extends across the fault; this surface has been uplifted and incised and provides a geomorphic argument against differential denudation across the fault. By integrating magmatic, volcanic, and heat flow data, age-elevation profiles, and thermo-kinematic modeling, we propose that large horizontal displacement along the Motagua Fault has offset a persistent geothermal asymmetry across the fault and explains both the age discontinuities and the age-elevation patterns. This study illustrates how thermochronology can be used to detect large strike-slip displacements and more generally opens new perspectives in understanding the impact of nonuniform thermal structures on thermochronologic results.
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [87 references]  Display  Hide  Download

Contributor : Adminhal Univbrestbu Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Sunday, March 23, 2014 - 7:00:05 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, January 15, 2022 - 3:48:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, April 7, 2017 - 12:50:45 AM


Publisher files allowed on an open archive




Thibaud Simon-Labric, Gilles Brocard, Christian Teyssier, Peter A. van der Beek, Maria Giuditta Fellin, et al.. Preservation of contrasting geothermal gradients across the Caribbean-North America plate boundary (Motagua Fault, Guatemala). Tectonics, American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2013, 32, pp.993-1010. ⟨10.1002/tect.20060⟩. ⟨insu-00864297⟩



Record views


Files downloads