We study the deep structure of the continental wedge along the south-central Chilean convergent margin based on a joint interpretation of wide-angle reflection and refraction seismic phases acquired between the southern part of the Maule 2010 (36°S) and the northern part of the Valdivia 1960 (41°S) earthquake rupture areas. When combined with results of previous seismic studies, our results provide new insights into the deep structure (to 15–20 km) of the overriding, continental South American plate. We observe a latitudinal variation of P wave velocity, interpreted in terms of the distribution of Permo-Triassic metamorphic complex near the coast, and deep reflectors at the base of these metamorphic units. A change in the observed deep structural style near 38°S suggests a segmentation in the interplate frictional properties between the Maule and Valdivia earthquakes rupture zones. This regional change in the continental wedge structure indicates a spatial correlation between the coseismic ruptures of large earthquakes (e.g., the 1960 and 2010 megathrust earthquakes) and the rheology/lithology along the interplate boundary.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus
- Geoquímica y petrología
- Ciencias planetarias y de la Tierra (miscelánea)
- Ciencias planetarias y espacial