Report

Splay Fault Branching Along the Nankai Subduction Zone

Science  16 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5584, pp. 1157-1160
DOI: 10.1126/science.1074111

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Abstract

Seismic reflection profiles reveal steeply landward–dipping splay faults in the rupture area of the magnitude (M) 8.1 Tonankai earthquake in the Nankai subduction zone. These splay faults branch upward from the plate-boundary interface (that is, the subduction zone) at a depth of ∼10 kilometers, ∼50 to 55 kilometers landward of the trough axis, breaking through the upper crustal plate. Slip on the active splay fault may be an important mechanism that accommodates the elastic strain caused by relative plate motion.

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