The late Pleistocene tectonic history of the northern Peru convergent margin can be retraced using data collected during deep-sea dives of the submersible Nautile combined with a recent Hydrosweep survey conducted off Peru at lat 5°-6°S by the R/V Sonne. During the past 400 ka, a broad rollover fold formed in the middle slope area, in association with a major seaward-dipping detachment fault. A catastrophic debris avalanche occurred as the result of oversteepening of the landward flank of the rollover fold. The gravity failure of the slope, previously recognized by SeaBeam mapping, occurred at 13.8 ±2.7 ka and produced a destructive tsunami.

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