Along the Costa Rican subduction zone offshore the Nicoya peninsula, an offset in the updip limit of seismicity coincides with a transition between subduction of warm crust generated at the Cocos-Nazca Spreading Center and cool crust formed at the East Pacific Rise. We evaluate whether the observed difference in thermal state of incoming crust would result in significant differences in sediment dehydration reaction progress along strike, thought to be a control on the updip limit of seismicity. We combine thermal models with models of dehydration reaction kinetics for opal and smectite to estimate the distribution of diagenetic fluid sources. The modeled distribution of diagenetic fluid sources mimics the pattern of the updip limit of seismicity; seismicity begins ∼15-20 km landward of most of the smectite-to-illite transition. This suggests that the location of the updip limit of seismicity may be influenced by the dissipation of fluid overpressures landward of smectite-to-illite dehydration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)