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Journal Articles Tectonics Year : 2017

Deepwater fold-and-thrust belt along New Caledonia's western margin: relation to post-obduction vertical motions

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Abstract

Classically, deepwater fold-and-thrust belts are classified in two main types, depending if they result from near- or far-field stresses and the understanding of their driving and triggering mechanism is poorly known. We present a geophysical dataset off the western margin of New Caledonia (SW Pacific) that reveals deformed structures of a deepwater fold-and-thrust belt that we interpret as a near-field gravity-driven system, which is not located at a rifted passive margin. The main factor triggering deformation is inferred to be oversteepening of the margin slope by post-obduction isostatic rebound. Onshore erosion of abnormally-dense obducted material, combined with sediment loading in the adjacent basin, has induced vertical motions that have caused oversteepening of the margin. Detailed morpho-bathymetric, seismic stratigraphic and structural analysis reveals that the fold-and-thrust belt extends 200 km along the margin, and 50 km into the New Caledonia Trough. Deformation is rooted at depths greater than 5 km beneath the seafloor, affects an area of 3500 km2, and involves a sediment volume of approximately 13 000 km3. This deformed belt is organized into an imbricate fan system of faults, and one out-of-sequence thrust fault affects the seabed. The thrust faults are deeply rooted in the basin along a low-angle floor thrust and connected to New Caledonia Island along a major detachment. This study not only provides a better knowledge of the New Caledonia margin, but also provides new insight into the mechanisms that trigger deepwater fold-and-thrust belts.
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Dates and versions

insu-01614136 , version 1 (24-10-2017)

Identifiers

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J. Collot, M. Patriat, S. Etienne, P. Rouillard, F. Soetaert, et al.. Deepwater fold-and-thrust belt along New Caledonia's western margin: relation to post-obduction vertical motions. Tectonics, 2017, 36, pp.2108-2122. ⟨10.1002/2017TC004542⟩. ⟨insu-01614136⟩
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