Conditions Extrêmes et Matériaux : Haute Température et Irradiation

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Kristijan Rajič, Hugues Raimbour, Vincent Famin, Benjamin Moris-Muttoni, Donald Fisher, Kristin Morell, Aurélien Canizares, 'Exhuming an accretionary prism: A case study of the Kodiak accretionary complex, Alaska, USA', Tectonics (2023) doi:10.1029/2023tc007754

We have carried a structural study across Kodiak accretionary complex in Alaska, U.S.A, in order to describe its thermal structure and decipher the processes of exhumation. The accretionary complex consists of a stack of tectonic mélanges and coherent units. Mélanges are characterized by simple shear deformation with a pervasive network of top-to-the-trench shear zones, whereas coherent units are affected principally by horizontal shortening, except for spatially limited outcrops in the Kodiak Central Belt. Peak temperatures estimated using Raman spectroscopy of carbonaceous material range from 220 to 400℃ through most of the complex. These temperatures coincide with estimates from metamorphic parageneses and are interpreted as temperatures of deformation achieved under a high gradient due to contemporaneous ridge subduction. The highest temperatures are recorded in the central part of the complex, pointing to a dome-like structure. Lower temperatures (⁓120℃) are recorded along the southeastern border of the complex, in slope sediments unconformably overlying accreted units. Based on the combination of structural and thermal data, we conclude that the rocks constituting the Kodiak complex experienced at least two stages of burial and then exhumation, with vertical motions reaching up to ⁓13 km from the Paleocene to the present. Given the pervasive horizontal shortening within the wedge, exhumation resulted from prism thickening contemporaneous with surficial erosion. Recorded subsidence episodes may be local phenomena associated with thrusting or large-scale processes associated with basal erosion. The rates of vertical motion range from 0.2 to 1.3 mm/yr, comparable with estimates in modern margins.