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    The implications of revised Quaternary palaeoshoreline chronologies for the rates of active extension and uplift in the upper plate of subduction zones

    Roberts, Gerald P. and Meschis, M. and Houghton, S. and Underwood, Charlie J. and Briant, Rebecca M. (2013) The implications of revised Quaternary palaeoshoreline chronologies for the rates of active extension and uplift in the upper plate of subduction zones. Quaternary Science Reviews 78 , pp. 169-187. ISSN 0277-3791.

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    We demonstrate a synchronous correlation technique to determine the chronology of Quaternary palaeoshorelines to test proposed relationships between tectonics, climate and sea-level change. The elevations of marine palaeoshorelines in Calabria around the active Vibo normal fault have been measured from TIN DEM 10 m data and fieldwork and correlated with global sea-level curves. A synchronous correlation method and new U/Th dates are used to ascertain how the slip-rate on the fault relates to uplift rates across the region. Regional uplift, possibly associated with subduction along the Calabrian trench or due to the cumulative effect of closely-spaced active normal faults, is rapid enough to uplift even the hangingwall of the Vibo normal fault; the actual value for the rate of background uplift can only be ascertained once the rate of slip on the Vibo fault is subtracted. Synchronous correlation of multiple palaeoshorelines sampled along 29 elevation profiles with global sea-levels shows that the resultant uplift rate (background uplift minus local hangingwall subsidence) is constant through time from 0 to 340 ka, and not fluctuating by a factor of 4 as previously suggested. The uplift rate increases from 0.4 mm/yr at the centre of the hangingwall of the fault to 1.75 mm/yr in the hangingwall in the vicinity of the fault tip. Palaeoshorelines can be traced from the hangingwall to the footwall around the fault tip and hence correlated across the fault. The throw-rate on the fault averaged over 340 ka decreases from a maximum at the centre of the fault (1 mm/yr) to zero at the tip. This gradient in throw-rate explains the spatial variation in resultant uplift rates along the fault. We interpret the 1.75 mm/yr resultant uplift rate at and beyond the fault tip as the signature of a regional uplift, presumably related to subduction, although we cannot exclude the possibility that other local faults influence this uplift; the lower uplift rates in the hangingwall of the fault are due to interaction between “regional” uplift and subsidence associated with the local active normal faulting. We discuss (a) how our synchronous correlation technique should trigger a re-appraisal of palaeoshoreline chronologies worldwide, and (b) the implications for the tectonics and seismic hazard of Calabria, suggesting that perturbations in the uplift-rate field are a key criterion to map the locations of active faults, their deformation rates, and hence seismic hazard above subduction zones.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Palaeoshorelines, Quaternary sea-level, Tectonics, Active faults
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2013 11:59
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:07


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