Gently dipping normal faults identified with Space Shuttle radar topography data in central Sulawesi, Indonesia, and some implications for fault mechanics

Earth and Planetary Science Letters
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Abstract

Space-shuttle radar topography data from central Sulawesi, Indonesia, reveal two corrugated, domal landforms, covering hundreds to thousands of square kilometers, that are bounded to the north by an abrupt transition to typical hilly to mountainous topography. These domal landforms are readily interpreted as metamorphic core complexes, an interpretation consistent with a single previous field study, and the abrupt northward transition in topographic style is interpreted as marking the trace of two extensional detachment faults that are active or were recently active. Fault dip, as determined by the slope of exhumed fault footwalls, ranges from 4° to 18°. Application of critical-taper theory to fault dip and hanging-wall surface slope, and to similar data from several other active or recently active core complexes, suggests a theoretical limit of three degrees for detachment-fault dip. This result appears to conflict with the dearth of seismological evidence for slip on faults dipping less than ~ 30°. The convex-upward form of the gently dipping fault footwalls, however, allows for greater fault dip at depths of earthquake initiation and dominant energy release. Thus, there may be no conflict between seismological and mapping studies for this class of faults.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Gently dipping normal faults identified with Space Shuttle radar topography data in central Sulawesi, Indonesia, and some implications for fault mechanics
Series title Earth and Planetary Science Letters
DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2011.06.028
Volume 308
Issue 3-4
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Description 10 p.
First page 267
Last page 276
Country Indonesia
Other Geospatial Sulawesi
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