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Transpression between two warm mafic plates: The Queen Charlotte Fault revisited Public Deposited

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  • The Queen Charlotte Fault is a transpressive transform plate boundary between the Pacific and North American plates offshore western Canada. Previous models for the accommodation of transpression include internal deformation of both plates adjacent to the plate boundary or oblique subduction of the oceanic plate; the latter has been the preferred model. Both plates are warm and mafic and have similar mechanical structures. New multichannel seismic reflection data show a near-vertical Queen Charlotte Fault down to the first water bottom multiple, significant subsidence east of the Queen Charlotte Fault, a large melange where the fault is in a compressive left step, and faulting which involves oceanic basement. Gravity modeling of profiles indicates that the Pacific plate is flexed downward adjacent to the Queen Charlotte Fault. Upward flexure of North America along with crust thickened relative to crust in the adjacent basin creates topography known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. Combined with other regional studies, these observations suggest that the plate boundary is a vertical strike-slip fault and that transpression is taken up within each plate.
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  • Rohr, K., M. Scheidhauer, and A. Trehu (2000), Transpression between two warm mafic plates: The Queen Charlotte Fault revisited, J. Geophys. Res., 105(B4), 8147-8172.
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