Pore Fluid Pressure and State of Stress Above the Plate Interface from Observations in a 3 Kilometer Deep Borehole: IODP Site C0002, Nankai Trough Subduction Zone

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 1:55 PM
Harold J Tobin, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI, United States, Demian M Saffer, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States, Takehiro Hirose, JAMSTEC Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Kanagawa, Japan, David A. Castillo, Insight Geomechanics, Perth, Australia, Hiroko Kitajima, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX, United States and Hiroki Sone, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
During IODP Expedition 348 from October 2013 to January 2014, Site C0002 was drilled to more than 3000 meters’ depth into the inner accretionary wedge at the Nankai Trough, setting a new depth record for scientific ocean drilling. It is the first hole to access the deep interior of an active convergent margin. Site C0002 is part of the NanTroSEIZE project off the Kii-Kumano region of Japan, designed to shed light on plate boundary fault zone processes near the up-dip edge of seismogenic locking and slip. The zone from 865 – 3056 meters below the sea floor was sampled via logging-while-drilling measurements, continuous sampling of drill cuttings, and limited coring. This interval was composed of lithified middle to late Miocene hemipelagic sediments and turbidites that are markedly deformed and dip steeply. P-wave speeds from sonic logs increase with depth to ~ 1600 meters, but are constant to slightly decreasing with depth from 1600 to 3050 meters. We hypothesize that this change in trend indicates the onset of elevated pore fluid pressure, but structural and lithologic factors may also play a role. We explore several methods for quantitative estimation of sonic-derived fluid pressure conditions in the inner wedge. A borehole leak-off test (LOT) and a series of borehole pressurization and injection tests were also performed, which we synthesize to estimate the least principal stress, or Shmin. Furthermore, downhole pressure while drilling (PWD) measurements recorded during borehole packoff events provide information on the maximum principal stress, SHmax. Taken together, the LOT and PWD observations suggest that the inner wedge at ~ 2000 meters depth is currently in a strike-slip stress regime, despite its position as the hanging wall of a main plate boundary thrust. This may be a transitional stress regime between shallow normal and deep thrust, controlled by depth-dependent magnitude of the tectonic convergence-related principal stress. Our results document for the first time the stress conditions and material properties in the deep interior of the upper plate to the shallow seismogenic zone.