International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 372 combined two research topics, slow slip events (SSEs) on subduction faults (IODP Proposal 781A-Full) and actively deforming gas hydrate-bearing landslides (IODP Proposal 841-APL). Our study area on the Hikurangi margin, east of the coast of New Zealand, provided unique locations for addressing both research topics.SSEs at subduction zones are an enigmatic form of creeping fault behavior. They typically occur on subduction zones at depths beyond the capabilities of ocean floor drilling. However, at the northern Hikurangi subduction margin they are among the best-documented and shallowest on Earth. Here, SSEs may extend close to the trench, where clastic and pelagic sediments about 1.0-1.5 km thick overlie the subducting, seamount-studded Hikurangi Plateau. Geodetic data show that these SSEs recur about every 2 years and are associated with measurable seafloor displacement. The northern Hikurangi subduction margin thus provides an excellent setting to use IODP capabilities to discern the mechanisms behind slow slip fault behaviour.
|Number of pages
|Integrated Ocean Drilling Program: Preliminary Reports
|Published - 31 Mar 2018
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