Evolution of structures and fabrics in the Barbados Accretionary Prism. Insights from leg 110 of the Ocean Drilling Program

BEHRMANN, JH and BROWN, K and MOORE, JC and MASCLE, A and Taylor, Elliott and ALVAREZ, F and ANDREIEFF, P and BARNES, R and BECK, C and BLANC, G and CLARK, M and DOLAN, J and FISHER, A and GIESKES, J and HOUNSLOW, M and MCLELLAN, P and MORAN, K and OGAWA, Y and SAKAI, T and SCHOONMAKER, J and VROLIJK, P and WILKENS, R and WILLIAMS, C (1988) Evolution of structures and fabrics in the Barbados Accretionary Prism. Insights from leg 110 of the Ocean Drilling Program. Journal of Structural Geology, 10 (6). pp. 577-591. ISSN 0191-8141

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Detailed analysis of ODP Leg 110 cores provides evidence for a complex structural evolution of the frontal thrust system in the northern Barbados Accretionary Prism. Initial east-directed in-sequence thrusts are biostratigraphically documented, and are overprinted towards the west by out-of-sequence overthrusts, largescale folds and penetrative deformation of the accreted rocks. This structural progression is interpreted to reflect the need for secondary shape adjustments of the accretionary prism in order to maintain a critical taper. At present the basal décollement is located within Lower Miocene strata. Accreted Eocene sediments suggest either fossil frontal off-scraping at a lower stratigraphic level or duplex formation and underplating. The present localization of the basal detachment is provoked by a zone of initial high porosity in the Lower Miocene radiolarian-rich mudstones. Shearing is accompanied by partial porosity breakdown in a 30–40 m wide zone of intense scaly fabrics and stratal disruption that constitutes the Atlantic-Caribbean plate boundary at present. Large displacements are taken up by a relatively narrow zone of contact strain. Initially the preferred orientation of clay minerals (incipient scaly fabrics) may be a flattening fabric, but with progressive rotational flow the scaly planes may act as discrete microshears and provide small-scale flow partitioning. Alternatively, scaly fabrics may be interpreted as brittle microshears. Mud-filled veins are present in the accreted rocks as well as at the oceanic reference site east of the deformation front. Carbonate-filled veins are restricted to the accreted rocks. This indicates persistence of high fluid pressures, but a fundamental change in the type of fluid-rock interaction during frontal accretion tectonics.

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Journal of Structural Geology
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06 Apr 2022 13:15
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18 Sep 2023 02:03