Paleoseismology of the Mt. Narryer Fault Zone, West Central Western Australia: a Multi-Segment Intraplate Fault System

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Beau B Whitney1, Dan Clark2 and James Hengesh1, (1)University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, Australia, (2)Geoscience Australia, Earthquake Hazards, Canberra, Australia
The Western Australia shear zone (WASZ) is a 2000 km long fault system within the intraplate region of Australia. A paleoseismological study of faults and fault-related folds comprising the Mount Narryer fault zone (MNfz) in the southern WASZ reveals a late Quaternary history of repeated morphogenic earthquake occurrence that has profoundly influenced the planform and course of the Murchison, Roderick, and Sanford Rivers. Folding in the near surface sediments is the predominant style of surface expression of reactivated basement faults which is consistent with other neotectonic structures throughout the Western Australia shear zone. CRN and OSL estimates of exposure and burial ages of fault-related folds and fold derived colluvium provide constraint on Late Quaternary slip rates on the underlying faults of ~0.05 - 0.1 mm/a. In the case of the Roderick River fault scarp, 2-3m high tectonic risers separating inset terraces where the Murchison River crosses the scarp are consistent with multiple late Quaternary seismic events on the order of magnitude Mw 7.1-7.3. Mid-Pleistocene ages of tectonically deformed strata in the MNfz are consistent with the timing of collision between the Australian extended margin and Savu-Rote ridge 0.2-1.8 Ma.