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Deformation in transcurrent and extensional environments with widely spaced weak zones

Choi, Eun-seo and Gurnis, Michael (2003) Deformation in transcurrent and extensional environments with widely spaced weak zones. Geophysical Research Letters, 30 (2). Art. No. 1076. ISSN 0094-8276.

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Previous mechanical models of the western U.S. have concluded that plate boundary forces cannot generate far-field deformation. Such models have ignored preexisting large-scale lithospheric strength variations, an assumption that appears to be inconsistent with seismically determined variations in lithospheric structure. We have formulated a three-dimensional viscous flow model with imposed plate motions, but include lateral zones of low viscosity. These models show that strain rates are concentrated in weak zones with adjacent blocks experiencing little deformation. Deformation can extend far inboard of plate boundaries, contrary to the result of previous studies with rheologically homogeneous plates, and apparently compatible with the variation is seismic velocity and GPS determined deformations in western U.S. These results suggest that plate boundary forces cannot be neglected in the deformation of the western U.S., including the Cenozoic extension of the Basin and Range Province.

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Additional Information:© 2003 American Geophysical Union. Published 25 January 2003. This is contribution 8885 of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Caltech. This work has been supported by NSF Grant EAR-0107137. We thank M. Simons, N. McQuarrie and L. Lavier for helpful comments on an earlier version of the paper.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences8885
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121128-095841486
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Official Citation:Choi, E. and M. Gurnis (2003), Deformation in transcurrent and extensional environments with widely spaced weak zones, Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(2), 1076, doi:10.1029/2002GL016129.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35697
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:28 Nov 2012 21:43
Last Modified:11 Jun 2015 12:59

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