Abstract

In this paper, we provide the first structural map of Les Saintes archipelago (Guadeloupe, Lesser Antilles). The finite strain pattern displays four families of fault systems characterized by their statistical structural orientations: N000-N020, N050-N070, N090-N110 and N130-N140 trending fault systems. Our onshore results thus underline a fault network much more complex than the one depicted by the previous offshore geophysical investigations around Les Saintes archipelago, which show only N120-N150 trending system. According to the available K-Ar dating of the volcanic rocks and the relative chronology of the faults defined in the field, we determine the deformation history in Les Saintes islands since the last 3 Ma. The four highlighted trending fault systems are already active since the Pliocene and are consistent with the present-day extensional tectonics in the Guadeloupe archipelago compatible with the reactivation of inherited structures at the active arc scale. We interpret the tectonic evolution of Les Saintes islands as the result of interplay between subduction of aseismic ridges (Tiburon and Barracuda ridges) and oblique convergence. Furthermore, we recognized an exhumed geothermal paleo-system in Terre-de-Haut island which is a good analogue of the present-day active Bouillante geothermal system. Its duration is estimated at 400 k.y. during the Pliocene.

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