A Caltech Library Service

Active deformation and shallow structure of the Wagner, Consag, and Delfín Basins, northern Gulf of California, Mexico

Persaud, Patricia and Stock, Joann M. and Steckler, Michael S. and Martín-Barajas, Arturo and Diebold, John B. and González-Fernández, Antonio and Mountain, Gregory S. (2003) Active deformation and shallow structure of the Wagner, Consag, and Delfín Basins, northern Gulf of California, Mexico. Journal of Geophysical Research B, 108 (B7). Art. No. 2355. ISSN 0148-0227. doi:10.1029/2002JB001937.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Oblique rifting began synchronously along the length of the Gulf of California at 6 Ma, yet there is no evidence for the existence of oceanic crust or a spreading transform fault system in the northern Gulf. Instead, multichannel seismic data show a broad shallow depression, ∼70 × 200 km, marked by active distributed deformation and six ∼10-km-wide segmented basins lacking well-defined transform faults. We present detailed images of faulting and magmatism based on the high resolution and quality of these data. The northern Gulf crust contains a dense (up to 18 faults in 5 km) complex network of mainly oblique-normal faults, with small offsets, dips of 60–80° and strikes of N-N30°E. Faults with seafloor offsets of tens of meters bound the Lower and two Upper Delfín Basins. These subparallel basins developed along splays from a transtensional zone at the NW end of the Ballenas Transform Fault. Twelve volcanic knolls were identified and are associated with the strands or horsetails from this zone. A structural connection between the two Upper Delfín Basins is evident in the switching of the center of extension along axis. Sonobuoy refraction data suggest that the basement consists of mixed igneous sedimentary material, atypical of mid-ocean ridges. On the basis of the near-surface manifestations of active faulting and magmatism, seafloor spreading will likely first occur in the Lower Delfín Basin. We suggest the transition to seafloor spreading is delayed by the lack of strain-partitioned and focused deformation as a consequence of shear in a broad zone beneath a thick sediment cover.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Persaud, Patricia0000-0003-3462-7023
Stock, Joann M.0000-0003-4816-7865
Additional Information:© 2003 American Geophysical Union. Article first published online: 31 Jul 2003. Manuscript Accepted: 25 Nov 2002. Manuscript Revised: 3 Oct 2002. Manuscript Received: 20 Apr 2002. We thank the captain and the crew of the B/O Francisco de Ulloa, as well as Peter Buhl, Sergio Paz, Jose Luis Garcia Puga, and Erich Scholz for making the data collection process successful. We are extremely grateful to Joyce Alsop for her invaluable help and support in processing the seismic data. We thank Julie Nazareth for reviewing early drafts of this manuscript and Uri ten Brink along with two anonymous reviewers for providing thorough reviews of the submitted manuscript, though we remain solely responsible for the ideas contained herein. This research was supported by US National Science Foundation grants OCE-9730790 to Caltech and OCE-9730569 to LDEO, and by CONACYT grant 26669-T to CICESE. We thank PEMEX Exploración y Producción for the permit to use the well data from the northern Gulf of California. Contribution 8863, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory contribution 6385.
Group:Seismological Laboratory, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
CONACYT grant26669-T
Subject Keywords: northern Gulf of California; oblique rifting; reflection seismic data; distributed deformation; sonobuoy refraction data
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences8863
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory6385
Issue or Number:B7
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140522-093031612
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Persaud, P., J. M. Stock, M. S. Steckler, A. Martín-Barajas, J. B. Diebold, A. González-Fernández, and G. S. Mountain (2003), Active deformation and shallow structure of the Wagner, Consag, and Delfín Basins, northern Gulf of California, Mexico, J. Geophys. Res., 108, 2355, doi:10.1029/2002JB001937, B7.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:45882
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:27 May 2014 18:19
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 17:17

Repository Staff Only: item control page