New Insights Into Crustal Deformation of the Indonesia–Australia–New Guinea Collision Zone From a Broad-Scale Kinematic Model

Siyuan Zhao*, Simon McClusky, Phil R. Cummins, Meghan S. Miller, Hendro Nugroho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Indonesia-Australia-New Guinea collision zone comprises a complex system of tectonic blocks whose relative motion accommodates convergence of the Sunda Block, Pacific, Australian, and Philippine Sea plates. Previous studies have considered either the western or eastern ends of this system, in eastern Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, respectively. However, these studies had limited ability to characterize either the kinematics of the central part of the system or transitions in tectonic regime across it. In this study, we perform a simultaneous inversion of 492 earthquake slip vectors and 267 GPS velocities to quantify the block movement spanning the Sunda-Banda Arc, Western New Guinea, and Papua New Guinea. Our best-fitting kinematic block model comprises 23 elastic blocks, for which we estimate the rotation rates and block boundary slip rates. We show how the Cenderawasih Bay sphenochasm was likely formed by a combination of both rotations (2.82 ± 0.11°/Myr anticlockwise) of the Bird's Head Block and southwest-directed convergence (39.9 ± 1.7 mm/yr) along the Lowlands fault. Our estimated relative slip vectors across the New Guinea Fold-and-Thrust Belt indicate a transition in the tectonic regime of the block boundary from predominately thrust faulting at its western segment, with a convergence rate up to 19.5 ± 0.6 mm/yr, to predominately sinistral motion in the center segment with slip rate ∼7 mm/yr, and returning to thrust in the eastern segment with a convergence rate up to 9.0 ± 0.5 mm/yr, implying the combined effect of multiple driving mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022JB024810
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume128
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

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