Title

Speed Limit for Oceanic Transform Faults

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1989

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1130/0091-7613(1989)017%3C0420:SLFOTF%3E2.3.CO;2

Abstract

Oceanic transform faults with slip rates greater than ∼145 km/m.y. do not currently exist along the East Pacific Rise where sea-floor spreading rates range from 145 to 160 km/m.y. Instead, offsets of the the very fast spreading East Pacific Rise are accommodated by microplates, propogating rifts, or overlapping spreading centers. This suggests that there might be a speed limit above which transform faults do not exist. A physical reason for a speed limit is not known, but it might be related to unstable stress fields near the rifts tips, causing them to episodically propagate and prevent a transform fault from being formed. The spreading rates quoted are from our new (0-0.73 Ma) relative-motion model for the Pacific and Nazca plates.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

No

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Geology, v. 17, issue 5, p. 420-422

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