Eocene mafic crust with high seismic velocities underlies much of the Oregon and Washington forearc and acts as a backstop for accretion of marine sedimentary rocks from the obliquely subducting Juan de Fuca slab. Arc-parallel migration of relatively strong blocks of this terrane, known as Siletzia, focuses upper crustal deformation along block boundaries, which are potential sources of earthquakes. In a three-dimensional velocity model of coastal Washington, we have combined surface geology, well data, and travel times from earthquakes and controlled source seismic experiments to resolve the major boundaries of the Siletz terrane with the adjacent accreted sedimentary prism and volcanic arc. In southern Washington and northern Oregon the Siletz terrane appears to be a thick block (???20 km) that extends west of the coastline and makes a high-angle contact with the offshore accreted sedimentary prism. On its east flank the high-velocity Siletz terrane boundary coincides with an en echelon zone of seismicity in the arc. In northern Washington the western edge of Siletzia makes a lower-angled, fault-bound contact with the accretionary prism. In addition, alternating, east-west trending uplifts and downwarps of the Siletz terrane centered on the antiformal Olympic Mountains may reflect focusing of north-south compression in the northern part of the Siletz terrane. This compressional strain may result from northward transport and clockwise rotation of the Siletz terrane into the relatively fixed Canadian Coast Mountains restraining bend along the coast.
Additional publication details
Three-dimensional velocity structure of Siletzia and other accreted terranes in the Cascadia forearc of Washington