A geologic window into a subduction megathrust

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Abstract

Megathrust faults marking the subduction of oceanic plates are fundamental features of plate tectonics. In addition, these faults have significant societal relevance since friction along them can generate devastating earthquakes. One of the most important tasks in solid Earth sciences is to understand the mechanical and thermal processes that controlthe behavior of these fault zones. Geophysical studies of earthquakes address key issues of fault mechanics [National Research Council, 2003], and critical information can also be recovered from the geological record through structural and petrologic studies in areas where paleosubduction megathrusts have been exposed at the surface.

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