Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Tectonostratigraphy and processes of frontal accretion with horst-graben subduction at the Japan Trench

Frederick M. Chester
Frederick M. Chester
Department of Geology & Geophysics, Center for Tectonophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
J. Casey Moore
J. Casey Moore
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California–Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California 95064, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
Publication history
02 April 201808 June 2018


Recent seismic reflection data across the Japan Trench show that frontal accretion involves offscraping sediments on top of horsts and scooping-up sediment from grabens. However, seismic profiling does not illuminate the structure within the accretionary prism, and thus the processes of accretion and prism growth are unknown. Key data from scientific drilling at Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Site C0019 that penetrated the prism in the region of large displacement during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake support a model in which frontal accretion occurs by imbricate thrusting, folding, and stacking of thrust sheets that are composed of semicoherent-sediment strata. Using palinspastic restoration techniques, we conclude that out-of-sequence thrusting and duplex development during the underthrusting of horsts can form and displace hanging-wall ramps along the plate-boundary detachment, which helps to explain the formation of some unexpected tectonostratigraphic relations at C0019, such as the emplacement of a thick section of the youngest sediments at the base of the accretionary prism, and numerous juxtapositions of different-age sediments within the basal plate-boundary fault zone.

You do not currently have access to this article.
Don't already have an account? Register

Figures & Tables


GSA Special Papers

Geology and Tectonics of Subduction Zones: A Tribute to Gaku Kimura

Geological Society of America
ISBN electronic:




A comprehensive resource of eBooks for researchers in the Earth Sciences

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal