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Effects of oceanic ridge subduction on accretionary wedges: Experimental modeling and marine observations

Abstract : Sandbox modeling is used to study the deformation of accretionary wedges caused by the subduction of oceanic ridges. The first experiment incorporates a massive ridge within a sand wedge. The wedge thickens and shortens when the forward propagation of the basal decollement ceases. The wedge thickening results in taper change, reactivation of preexisting thrusts, and retreat of the frontal part of the sand wedge. Similar mechanisms may have affected some margins that have undergone ridge subduction such as the Tonga margin after the subduction of the oblique Louisville oceanic ridge. The second experiment shows the effects of an active basement thrust slice as it enters a subduction zone. This process may have happened in the eastern Nankai accretionary wedge. Initially, the wedge in this experiment behaved similarly to that of the first experiment. Rapidly the topographic slope changed, the wedge thickened above the basement slice generating a slope break in the topography; a deeper propagating accretionary wedge again characterized by a small taper developed. These results, when compared with observations made in the Eastern Nankai Trench, are in agreement with the past subduction of a basement thrust slice in this area.
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Serge E. Lallemand, Jacques Malavieille. Effects of oceanic ridge subduction on accretionary wedges: Experimental modeling and marine observations. Tectonics, American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2010, 11 (6), pp.1301-1313. ⟨10.1029/92TC00637⟩. ⟨hal-01261549⟩

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