Structural analysis of three extensional detachment faults with data from the 2000 Space-Shuttle Radar Topography Mission
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The Space-Shuttle Radar Topography Mission provided geologists with a detailed digital elevation model of most of Earth’s land surface. This new database is used here for structural analysis of grooved surfaces interpreted to be the exhumed footwalls of three active or recently active extensional detachment faults. Exhumed fault footwalls, each with an areal extent of one hundred to several hundred square kilometers, make up much of Dayman dome in eastern Papua New Guinea, the western Gurla Mandhata massif in the central Himalaya, and the northern Tokorondo Mountains in central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Footwall curvature in profile varies from planar to slightly convex upward at Gurla Mandhata to strongly convex upward at northwestern Dayman dome. Fault curvature decreases away from the trace of the bounding detachment fault in western Dayman dome and in the Tokorondo massif, suggesting footwall flattening (reduction in curvature) following exhumation. Grooves of highly variable wavelength and amplitude reveal extension direction, although structural processes of groove genesis may be diverse.
Manuscript received 20 May 2009; accepted 17 Jan. 2010