Journal article

Enhanced intraplate seismicity along continental margins: Some causes and consequences

Mike Sandiford, David Lundbek Egholm



In Australia, much of the seismic activity is restricted to zones up to several hundred kilometres wide inboard of continental margins at high angle to the trend in maximum horizontal compression (SHmax). Intriguingly, along the margin-side of one such zone, a near optimally oriented, crustal-scale structure - the Darling Fault - has no recorded historical seismicity. To explain these enigmatic features we explore how the compositional and thermal structuring of continental passive margins may lead to variations in mechanical response to imposed forcing using forward modelling. We show how lateral heat flow across such margins can produce increases in Moho temperatures by several 10s of degr..

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Awarded by ARC Discovery

Funding Acknowledgements

This work has been supported by ARC Discovery grants DP0558705 and DP556133. Mark Leonard is thanked for providing access to the Geoscience Australia database. We thank Dan Clark for discussion and comments concerning the role of continental margin seismicity, and Taras Gerya and Mark Zoback for their reviews. An insightful discussion with Ed Sobel highlighted the potential link to continental ribbon formation.