1887
Volume 4 Number 1
  • E-ISSN: 1365-2117

Abstract

Abstract

Interpretation of seismic reflection data have led to a new model of the development of the Queen Charlotte Basin. New multi‐channel data collected in 1988 and an extensive network of unpublished older single‐ and multi‐channel profiles from industry image a complex network of sub‐basins. Structural styles vary along the axis of the basin from broadly spaced mainly N‐trending sub‐basins in Queen Charlotte Sound, to closely spaced NW‐trending sub‐basins in Hecate Strait, to an E‐W belt of sub‐basins in Dixon Entrance. Transtensional tectonics dominated in the Miocene and transpression dominated in the Pliocene except in Queen Charlotte Sound. The data we present prove that the origin of the basin is extensional and its most recent deformation is compressive.

Evidence for the strike‐slip origin of tectonism includes along‐axis variations in structures, simultaneous extension and compression in adjacent sub‐basins, lack of correlations across faults, and mixed normal and reverse faults within structures. We infer that the Pacific‐North America plate boundary has been west of the Queen Charlotte Islands since the Miocene when relative plate motions have been dominantly strike‐slip. The formation and development of the Queen Charlotte Basin is the result of distributed shear; by which a small percentage of the plate motion has been taken up in a network of faults across the continental margin. As this region of crust deforms it interacts with neighbouring rigid crust resulting in extension dominating in the south of the basin and compression in the north. Continental crust adjacent to some transform plate boundaries can be sheared over a wide region; the network of basins in southwestern California is a good analogue for the Queen Charlotte Basin.

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2007-11-06
2020-10-22
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