Okino, K., and Y. Kato

Geomorphological study on a clastic accretionary prism: The Nankai Trough

The Island Arc, 4, 182-198, 1995.


The Nankai Trough, off southwest Japan, is one of the best sites for the study of geomorphic characteristics of a clastic accretionary prism, A recent multibeam survey over the central and eastern parts of the Nankai accretionary prism has revealed a large variation of the topography along the trough axis. Analysis of the bathymetric data suggests the existence of prism deformational features of different scales, such as depressions, embayment structures and cusps. These structures are the results of slope instability caused by basement relief of subducted oceanic plate. Unstable slopes recover by new accretion and development of a low angle thrust. Small-scale deformation due to the subduction of a small isolated seamount is then adjusted to the regional trend. By contras, a 30 km indentation of the wedge observed in the eastern part of the Nankai Trough, the Tenryu Cusp, has seemed to retain its geometry. The subducted Philippine Sea plate has deformed greatly near the eastern end of the Nankai Trough, because of the collision between the Izu-Ogasawara (Bonin) arc and central Japan, Therefore, the indentation may be the result of the continuous subduction of a basement high, such as the Zenisu Ridge, which has been formed under north-south compression due to the arc-arc collision.

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