Abstract

Recently acquired seismic-reflection and SeaMARC II (side-scan and swath bathymetry) profiles near Timor show that the Banda Arc–Australia collision zone has a tectonic framework similar to that of a typical oceanic subduction system. Deformation is occurring, at present, most intensely at the foot of the inner slope of the Timor Trough. This deformation front is discontinuously advancing southward as new thrust slices develop within the subducted Australian margin strata. In contrast, present deformation is apparently negligible in the Savu Basin, the complex fore-arc basin north of Timor. A possible significant exception is a postulated right-lateral, northeast-trending fault zone offsetting the outer-arc high between Savu and Roti. Although back-arc thrusting has been documented north of the volcanic arc, this component of convergence is minor compared with the scale of ongoing deformation in the Timor Trough. The detailed nature of these surveys has also led to the recognition of along-strike variations in deformation in the Timor Trough and in the Savu Basin. These variations may be related to the variable degree of involvement of the Australian continental margin along the arc.

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