We use a high-resolution 3-D seismic survey to map a population of recent normal faults within the Kumano Basin of the Nankai subduction zone, in order to quantify patterns of strain and stress state over the last 0.44 Myr. We identify distinct fault populations that define three phases of extension. Phases 1 and 2 comprise NW-SE striking faults located along the western basin edge and in the northwestern portion of the study area, respectively. The NE-SW striking faults of phase 3 comprise the largest population, and extend ~20 km landward from the basin's seaward edge. Phase 2 faults typically terminate within a few reflectors of the seafloor, whereas most phase 3 faults form seafloor scarps. Inversion of the fault populations documents NE-SW extension during phases 1 and 2 and NW-SE extension during phase 3, consistent with both core-scale structures and horizontal stress orientations observed at Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) boreholes. Slip on phase 3 faults accommodates strain of up to ~1-2%, concentrated near the basin's seaward edge. Inversion for a best-fit stress tensor yields a subvertical σ1 and subhorizontal σ2 and σ3 for all faulting phases. We find that during phase 3 in most portions of the basin, σ2 = σ3 (SHmax = Shmin), reflecting widely varying fault strikes. This contrasts with distinct S Hmax and Shmin magnitudes inferred from IODP borehole data; these observations may be reconciled if the orientation of maximum horizontal stress fluctuates due to variation of subduction parallel compression through the seismic cycle.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology