Influence of the Amlia fracture zone on the evolution of the Aleutian Terrace forearc basin, central Aleutian subduction zone

By: , and 



During Pliocene to Quaternary time, the central Aleutian forearc basin evolved in response to a combination of tectonic and climatic factors. Initially, along-trench transport of sediment and accretion of a frontal prism created the accommodation space to allow forearc basin deposition. Transport of sufficient sediment to overtop the bathymetrically high Amlia fracture zone and reach the central Aleutian arc began with glaciation of continental Alaska in the Pliocene. As the obliquely subducting Amlia fracture zone swept along the central Aleutian arc, it further affected the structural evolution of the forearc basins. The subduction of the Amlia fracture zone resulted in basin inversion and loss of accommodation space east of the migrating fracture zone. Conversely, west of Amlia fracture zone, accommodation space increased arcward of a large outer-arc high that formed, in part, by a thickening of arc basement. This difference in deformation is interpreted to be the result of a variation in interplate coupling across the Amlia fracture zone that was facilitated by increasing subduction obliquity, a change in orientation of the subducting Amlia fracture zone, and late Quaternary intensification of glaciation. The change in coupling is manifested by a possible tear in the subducting slab along the Amlia fracture zone. Differences in coupling across the Amlia fracture zone have important implications for the location of maximum slip during future great earthquakes. In addition, shaking during a great earthquake could trigger large mass failures of the summit platform, as evidenced by the presence of thick mass transport deposits of primarily Quaternary age that are found in the forearc basin west of the Amlia fracture zone.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Influence of the Amlia fracture zone on the evolution of the Aleutian Terrace forearc basin, central Aleutian subduction zone
Series title Geosphere
DOI 10.1130/GES00815.1
Volume 8
Issue 6
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Geological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 20 p.
First page 1254
Last page 1273
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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