Forearc basin stratigraphy is expected to record a detailed history of the deformation and growth pattern of an accretionary wedge. However, the relationship between syntectonic basin sedimentation and growth of a wedge remains poorly understood, including how deformation of the wedge modifies the basin stratigraphy and how syntectonic sedimentation influences deformation of the wedge. This study reproduced accretionary wedges with and without syntectonic sedimentation by analog sandbox experiments. The results show that basin stratigraphy varied with changes of the growth pattern of the accretionary wedge. In the case that wedge growth was dominated by frontal accretion phase, the depositional area migrated trenchward. In contrast, underthrusting phase caused the sediment layers to be tilted landward and the depocenter to migrate landward. A prolonged underthrusting can result in combining a retrowedge basin with a wedge top basin and yield a wide area of accommodation space. The occurrence of two types of basin stratigraphy (trenchward and landward migration of the depocenter) reflects the two different types of deformation (frontal accretion phase and underthrusting phase), and these differences possibly depend on a contrast in strength of the basal shear resistance between the inner and outer parts of the wedge due to temporal and spatial variations of sedimentation on the wedge. A change in the magnitude of normal stress acting on the wedge base likely influenced the mode of deformation of the wedge. These results suggest that forearc basin stratigraphy is influenced by the growth pattern of accretionary wedges, which is itself affected by syntectonic sedimentation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology