Tectonics at the intersection of the East Pacific Rise with Tamayo Transform fault

D. G. Gallo, W. S.F. Kidd, P. J. Fox, J. A. Karson, K. Macdonald, K. Crane, P. Choukroune, M. Seguret, R. Moody, K. Kastens

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20 Scopus citations


During the Fall of 1979, a manned submersible program, utilizing DSRV ALVIN, was carried out at the intersection of the East Pacific Rise (EPR) with the Tamayo Transform boundary. A total of seven dives were completed in the vicinity of the EPR/Tamayo intersection depression and documented the geologic relationships that characterize the juxtaposition of these types of plate boundaries. The young volcanic terrain of the EPR axis can be traced into and across the Tamayo Transform valley but becomes buried by sedimentary talus that is being shed from sediment scarps along the unstable sediment slope that defines the north side of the intersection depression. Within 4 km of the transform boundary, the dominant trend (000°) of the fissures and faults that disrupt the rise-generated volcanics is markedly oblique to the regional direction of sea floor spreading (120°). Since no evidence was found to suggest that these structures accommodate significant amounts of strike-slip displacement, they are taken to reflect a distortion of the EPR extensional tectonic regime by a transform generated shear couple. The floor of the Tamayo Transform valley in this area is inundated by mass-wasted sediment, and the principal transform displacement zone is characterized at the surface by a narrow (<1.5 km) interval of fault scarps in sediment that trends parallel with the transform valley. Extrapolated to the west, this zone links with zones of transform deformation investigated during earlier submersible studies (CYAMEX and Pastouret, 1981). Evidence of low-level hydrothermal discharge was seen at one locality on the EPR axis and at another 8 km west of the axis at the edge of the zone of transform deformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-185
Number of pages27
JournalMarine Geophysical Researches
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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