Clifton, A.E., Kattenhorn, S.A. (2006)


Structural architecture of a highly oblique divergent plate boundary segment.

Tectonophysics 419, 27-40.

The Reykjanes Peninsula in southwest Iceland is a highly oblique spreading segment of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge oriented about 30° from the direction of absolute plate motion. We present a complete and spatially accurate map of fractures for the Reykjanes Peninsula with a level of detail previously unattained. Our map reveals a variability in the pattern of normal, oblique- and strike-slip faults and open fractures which reflects both temporal and spatial strain partitioning within the plate boundary zone. Fracture density varies across the length and width of the peninsula, with density maxima at the ends and at the northern margin of the zone of volcanic activity. Fractures with similar strike cluster into distinct structural domains which can be related to patterns of faulting predicted for oblique extension and to their spatial distribution with respect to volcanic fissure swarms. Additional structural complexity on the Reykjanes Peninsula can be reconciled with magmatic periodicity and associated temporal strain partitioning implied by GPS data, as well as locally perturbed stress fields. Individual faults show variable slip histories, indicating that they may be active during both magmatic and amagmatic periods associated with different strain fields.

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