Crustal structure of the Kermadec arc from MANGO seismic refraction profiles

TitleCrustal structure of the Kermadec arc from MANGO seismic refraction profiles
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBassett D., Kopp H., Sutherland R., Henrys S., Watts A.B, Timm C., Scherwath M., Grevemeyer I., de Ronde C.EJ
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth
Date Published2016/10
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2169-9313
Accession NumberWOS:000388441800030
Keywordsbeneath new-zealand; current plate motions; fore-arc; havre trough; hikurangi plateau; north-island; pacific-ocean; south fiji basin; subduction; sw; velocity structure; zone

Three active-source seismic refraction profiles are integrated with morphological and potential field data to place the first regional constraints on the structure of the Kermadec subduction zone. These observations are used to test contrasting tectonic models for an along-strike transition in margin structure previously known as the 32 degrees S boundary. We use residual bathymetry to constrain the geometry of this boundary and propose the name Central Kermadec Discontinuity (CKD). North of the CKD, the buried Tonga Ridge occupies the fore-arc with V-P 6.5-7.3 km s(-1) and residual free-air gravity anomalies constrain its latitudinal extent (north of 30.5 degrees S), width (110 +/- 20 km), and strike (similar to 005 degrees south of 25 degrees S). South of the CKD the fore-arc is structurally homogeneous downdip with V-P 5.7-7.3 km s(-1). In the Havre Trough back-arc, crustal thickness south of the CKD is 8-9 km, which is up to 4 km thinner than the northern Havre Trough and at least 1 km thinner than the southern Havre Trough. We suggest that the Eocene arc did not extend along the current length of the Tonga-Kermadec trench. The Eocene arc was originally connected to the Three Kings Ridge, and the CKD was likely formed during separation and easterly translation of an Eocene arc substrate during the early Oligocene. We suggest that the first-order crustal thickness variations along the Kermadec arc were inherited from before the Neogene and reflect Mesozoic crustal structure, the Cenozoic evolution of the Tonga-Kermadec-Hikurangi margin and along-strike variations in the duration of arc volcanism.

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