Abstract

A remarkable set of west-northwest-trending left-lateral strike-slip faults intersects the Cascadia subduction zone. Three of these faults have been mapped off northern and central Oregon by using seismic reflection, SeaMARC- 1A sidescan sonar, and SeaBeam bathymetry. These faults are highly oblique to the north-south structural grain of the active accretionary wedge. One of them has 6 km of horizontal slip; the average slip rate is 7-10 mm/yr. The faults cut the subducting Juan de Fuca plate, and can be traced into the North American plate. Folds that deform late Pleistocene and Holocene sediments on the upper continental slope and shelf strike north-northwest to west-northwest. Some of the west-northwest-trending folds are associated with the throughgoing strike-slip faults, whereas other northwest-trending folds are approximately normal to the plate convergence direction. Many of these folds are mapped across the shelf, and several active shelf synclines project toward Oregon's coastal bays, where marsh subsidence events are inferred to be the result of great subduction-zone earthquakes. These subsidence events may actually record the growth of local synclines, possibly as second-ary effects of slip on the megathrust. We postulate that shortening of the forearc region by clockwise tectonic rotation, associated with movement of the left-lateral faults and folding of the upper plate, may accommodate a significant amount of plate convergence.

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