Conventional and near-bottom geophysical surveys mapped shallow deformational structures and sediment accumulation patterns along part of the actively shearing continental margin of Sonora, including the intersection with a Guaymas Basin spreading center. The principal strike-slip faults occupy a zone 1-2 km (0.6-1.2 mi) wide along the lower slope, with a ridge of tightly folded sediments raised by uplift of sheared basement at the abrupt boundary between continental and oceanic crust. This transform ridge and a continental rise on its seaward slope grows as the fault zone ages away from the spreading-center intersection, shoaling at a net rate of 500 m/m.y. (1,600 ft/m.y.) despite erosion of its crest. A clathrate horizon in the upper 80 m (260 ft) of sediment is inferred from bottom-simulating reflectors in the rise and lower slope, hydrocarbon seeps occur at 1,600 m (1 mi) below sea level along the crest of the transform ridge, and patchy gas accumulation and seepage are recognized on a young marginal plateau.

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