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      Thrusts control the thermal maturity of accreted sediments

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      Solid Earth
      Copernicus GmbH

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          Abstract

          Abstract. Thermal maturity assessments of hydrocarbon-generation potential and thermal history rarely consider how upper-plate structures developing during subduction influence the trajectories of accreted sediments. Our thermomechanical models of subduction support that thrusts evolving under variable sedimentation rates and décollement strengths fundamentally influence the trajectory, temperature, and thermal maturity of accreting sediments. This is notably true for the frontal thrust, which pervasively partitions sediments along a low- and a high-maturity path. Our findings imply that interpretations of the distribution of thermal maturity cannot be detached from accounts of the length and frequency of thrusts and their controlling factors. Our approach takes these factors into consideration and provides a robust uncertainty estimate of maximum exposure temperatures as a function of vitrinite reflectance and burial depth. As a result, our models reduce former inconsistencies between predicted and factual thermal maturity distributions in accretionary wedges.

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          Most cited references67

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          Geologically current plate motions

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            Dynamics of orogenic wedges and the uplift of high-pressure metamorphic rocks

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              A model for the motion of the Philippine Sea Plate consistent with NUVEL-1 and geological data

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                Author and article information

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                Journal
                Solid Earth
                Solid Earth
                Copernicus GmbH
                1869-9529
                2024
                January 08 2024
                : 15
                : 1
                : 1-21
                Article
                10.5194/se-15-1-2024
                06a8f399-1d94-4192-8403-901cd15e97bf
                © 2024

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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