The Bunce Fault and Strain Partitioning in the Northern Lesser Antilles

Abstract : Strain partitioning related to oblique plate convergence has long been debated in Northern Lesser Antilles. Geophysical data acquired during the ANTITHESIS cruises highlight that the sinistral strike‐slip Bunce Fault develops along the vertical, long, and linear discontinuity between the sedimentary wedge and a more rigid backstop. The narrowness of the 20‐ to 30‐km‐wide accretionary wedge and its continuity over ~850 km is remarkable. The Bunce Fault extends as far south as 18.5°N where it anastomoses within the accretionary prism where the sharp increase in convergence obliquity possibly acts as a mechanical threshold. Surface traces related to subducting seamounts suggest that 80% of the lateral component of the convergent motion is taken up by internal deformation within the accretionary prism and by the Bunce Fault. The absence of crustal‐scale, long‐term tectonic system south of the Anegada Passage casts doubt upon the degree of strain partitioning in the Northern Lesser Antilles.
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M. Laurencin, B. Marcaillou, D. Graindorge, Jean-Frederic Lebrun, F. Klingelhoefer, et al.. The Bunce Fault and Strain Partitioning in the Northern Lesser Antilles. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2019, 46 (16), pp.9573-9582. ⟨10.1029/2019GL083490⟩. ⟨hal-02318584⟩

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