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Tectonic signatures on active margins

  • Author(s): Hogarth, Leah Jolynn
  • et al.
Abstract

High-resolution Compressed High-Intensity Radar Pulse (CHIRP) surveys offshore of La Jolla in southern California and the Eel River in northern California provide the opportunity to investigate the role of tectonics in the formation of stratigraphic architecture and margin morphology. Both study sites are characterized by shore-parallel tectonic deformation, which is largely observed in the structure of the prominent angular unconformity interpreted as the transgressive surface. Based on stratal geometry and acoustic character, we identify three sedimentary sequences offshore of La Jolla: an acoustically laminated estuarine unit deposited during early transgression, an infilling or "healing-phase" unit formed during the transgression, and an upper transparent unit. The estuarine unit is confined to the canyon edges in what may have been embayments during the last sea-level rise. The healing-phase unit appears to infill rough areas on the transgressive surface that may be related to relict fault structures. The upper transparent unit is largely controlled by long-wavelength tectonic deformation due to the Rose Canyon Fault. This unit is also characterized by a mid-shelf (4̃0 m water depth) thickness high, which is likely a result of hydrodynamic forces and sediment grain size. On the Eel margin, we observe three distinct facies : a seaward-thinning unit truncated by the transgressive surface, a healing-phase unit confined to the edges of a broad structural high, and a highly laminated upper unit. The seaward-thinning wedge of sediment below the transgressive surface is marked by a number of channels that we interpret as distributary channels based on their morphology. Regional divergence of the sequence boundary and transgressive surface with up to 8̃ m of sediment preserved across the interfluves suggests the formation of subaerial accommodation during the lowstand. The healing- phase, much like that in southern California, appears to infill rough areas in the transgressive surface. Reflectors within the laminated upper unit exhibit divergence towards the Eel River Syncline, which suggests that deposition in the syncline is syntectonic. The transgressive surface is offset across the Eureka Anticline indicating deformation has occurred since 1̃0 ka. The relief observed along the transgressive surface is consistent with deformation rates measured onshore

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