Contraction, strike slip, and extension displacements along the Hikurangi margin northeast of the North Island of New Zealand coincide with large lateral gradients in material properties. We use a finite- difference code utilizing elastic and elastic-plastic rheologies to build large- scale, three-dimensional numerical models which investigate the influence of material properties on velocity partitioning within oblique subduction zones. Rheological variation in the oblique models is constrained by seismic velocity and attenuation information available for the Hikurangi margin. We compare the effect of weakly versus strongly coupled subduction interfaces on the development of extension and the partitioning of velocity components for orthogonal and oblique convergence and include the effect of ponded sediments beneath the Raukumara Peninsula. Extension and velocity partitioning occur if the subduction interface is weak, but neither develops if the subduction interface is strong. The simple mechanical model incorporating rheological variation based on seismic observations produces kinematics that closely match those published from the Hikurangi margin. These include extension within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, uplift over ponded sediments, and dextral contraction to the south.
Upton, Phaedra; Koons, Peter O.; and Eberhart-Phillips, Donna, "Extension and Partitioning in an Oblique Subduction Zone, New Zealand: Constraints from Three-Dimensional Numerical Modeling" (2003). Earth Science Faculty Scholarship. 35.
Upton, P, Koons, PO, and Eberhart-Phillips, D, 2003, Extension and Partitioning in an Oblique Subduction Zone, New Zealand: Constraints from Three-Dimensional Numerical Modeling: Tectonics, v. 22, p. 1068. To view the published open abstract, go to http://dx.doi.org and enter the DOI.
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