Contrasting slip zone mineralogy of major thrusts in ancient subduction complexes: examples from the Pasagshak Point Thrust in Alaska and the Nobeoka Thrust in Japan
Abstract:Two well-studied Cretaceous-Tertiary accretionary complexes, the Kodiak complex in Alaska and the Shimanto complex in Japan, were formed by subduction of a relatively young oceanic plate, and have similar lithologies characterized by thick terrigenous sediments with rare pelagic sediments. However, the occurrences of fault rock types and fluid-rock interaction patterns along major thrust zone differ significantly, instead of similar background temperatures (~250°C). In this presentation we compare two representative fault zones showing contrasting mineralogy and water-rock interaction patterns.
Ultrafine-grained black fault rocks (BFRs) comprise the principal slip zone of the Pasagshak Point Thrust of the Kodiak accretionary complex. The geochemistry of the BFRs is characterized by Li and Sr enrichment, Rb and Cs depletion, and a low 87Sr/86Sr ratio. These geochemical signatures are explained by fluid-rock interactions at >350°C, which result in preferential removal of Rb and Cs and formation of plagioclase under the presence of fluids with high Li and Sr concentrations and low 87Sr/86Sr ratios.
In contrast to the Pasagshak Point Thrust, the fault core of the Nobeoka Thrust in the Shimanto accretionary complex is mineralogically characterized by breakdown of plagioclase and enrichment in clay and carbonate minerals. Values of illite crystallinity expressed as a full width at half maximum of the illite (001) peak in clay-fraction XRD increase within fault zones, showing the absence of significant temperature rise.
Temperatures of fault plane during fluid-rock interaction may affect the difference in mineralogical characters of the two fault zones. Further mineralogical and geochemical investigations are necessary to explore the nature of fluids and its role in faulting along seismogenic subduction plate boundaries.