A tectonic model for the Tertiary evolution of strike–slip faults and rift basins in SE Asia

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This unit is limited to the southeastern part of the trench, where it is approximately 30 cm thick. Unit F: gravel, sand, and silt with carbonaceous clay. The gravel clasts are mainly subangular to rounded, and most consist of quartz, sandstone, and shale.

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The unit contains graded beds of 10—50 cm in thickness. A lenticular layer of sand 20 cm thick occurs between layers of gravel. The total thickness of this unit exceeds 1. The grain size of sediment in this trench ranges from clay to coarse gravel. The stratigraphic relationships between unit F and overlying units indicate that the top of unit F is an erosional surface Fig. The sediments in unit F are poorly sorted. Clasts in gravel layers are subangular to rounded, and the unit contains a lenticular layer of sand and graded beds.

The clasts are randomly oriented, with some elongate gravel clasts oriented with their long axes at a high angle to bedding. The sedimentary structures indicate that unit F was deposited by a gravity flow e. The sediments of units A—E are poorly sorted, and the mixed sand, silt, and gravel of these units was possibly deposited from a sandy gravity flow.

Earth and Planetary Sciences

The sediments in this trench are laterally continuous, and no faults are observed. The trench-log stratigraphy in Ban Don Fai trench No. Having established the stratigraphy of the Ban Don Fai trench No. The 14 C method of dating is often applied in archaeology and geology, but the method is only accurate for samples younger than 45, years Roberts et al.

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For paleoearthquakes investigations in Thailand, AMS radiocarbon dating is commonly used for determining the age of sediments in a trench. For example, Pailoplee et al. In the present study, three carbonaceous clay samples were collected from unit F in the Ban Don Fai trench No. The dating results are shown in Table 3. OSL dating is based on detecting the amount of luminescence and the radiation rate per year for the radioactive isotope Vafiadou et al. The method is widely used in dating geological sediments such as aeolian quartz-rich sediments, marine sands, and colluvial materials Murray and Olley, Samples were dried, and the water content analyzed.

Each sample was sieved using a 0. Grains between 0. Ferromagnetic fragments in the samples were separated from quartz using an isodynamic magnetic separator. X-ray diffraction analysis XRD was used to ensure no feldspar remained in the samples; if feldspar was detected, we treated the samples again with hydrofluoric acid until all feldspar had been removed.

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We applied a single-aliquot regenerative dose SAR protocol in order to measure a paleodose for all samples. The paleodoses are summarized in Table 4. For the annual dose, the concentrations of U, Th, and K were analyzed using gamma spectrometry at Chulalongkorn University. The annual dose was computed using the concentration of K, U, and Th in the standard table described by Bell The results of annual doses and OSL dating are summarized in Table 4.

The OSL ages indicate that the sediments were deposited during the past years. Three AMS radiocarbon dates indicate that the sediments in the lowest unit were deposited from about to years BP, and these dates are consistent with the OSL ages for sediments in unit F. Thus, the OSL method is useful for estimating the age of deposition of the quartz-rich sample.

This result is encouraging in terms of the future use of OSL dating. The Thoen Fault, along the southeastern margin of the Lampang Basin, has been regarded as an active fault Fenton et al. Morley et al. The SL indices from the southeastern margin of the basin indicate steeper slopes near the mountain front, and most of the Vf and Smf values from the Ban Mai, Ban Don Fai, and Sop Prap segments are quite low 0.

The geomorphic characteristics of the Thoen Fault are similar to those of the Lo River Fault in northern Vietnam, where values of Vf 0. The Thoen Fault is well defined by geomorphology, and is evident as sharp lineaments on aerial photographs and satellite images Fig. A series of triangular facets on the NW-facing escarpment Fig. A geological survey performed at the Mae Than mine Morley et al. These normal faults form a right-stepping relay ramp in the eastern part of the mine area Fig.

The syncline and anticline have been interpreted to represent shortening associated with a left-lateral component of oblique slip on the boundary fault at a restraining right-stepping transfer zone Morley et al. Our remote-sensing data, however, suggest that the morphotectonic landforms in the Lampang Basin were caused only by dip-slip normal fault movements, as explained above and as indicated by seismological analysis.


For example, Bott et al. Geological map of the Mae Than mine, showing a syncline and anticline near the fault tip of the Mae Than fault segment modified from Morley et al. The location of the Mae Than fault segment is shown in Fig. A sequence of alluvial gravels and lacustrine clays is cut by a NE-SW-striking normal fault along Highway 11 from Lampang to Phrae at 28 km from Lampang. This offset is exposed on the western side of the main escarpment along the Ban Mai segment.

The total vertical displacement is 1. The timing of the faulting is interpreted to be Late Quaternary Fenton et al. The relationship between this fault and the Thoen Fault remains unknown, although its location and orientation suggest that it is a synthetic fault i. Geomorphological features and geomorphic indices in the study area indicate active normal faulting. However, the sediments in the trench at Ban Don Fai show no clear-cut evidence of recent fault movement.

At Ban Don Fai trench No.

The lack of evidence in the trench for recent fault movement indicates that the fault is located below the depth of the trench; i. In the case that the trench did not intercept the fault trace, the most recent movement on the fault may be younger than the oldest sediments in the trench; however, the location of the trench was decided based on a careful analysis of aerial photographs, and based on the distribution of morphotectonic landforms observed in the field.

Thus, it is possible that the most recent movement on the Ban Don Fai fault segment occurred more than years ago. Based on TL dating of sediments at trench sites Pailoplee et al.

However, the TL method of dating involves uncertainties. Fluvial sediments are usually deposited episodically by water flowing in the river channel. They probably receive limited exposure to light, and as a consequence, they are likely to retain a large inherited TL signal McCalpin et al. Alluvial sediments are rapidly deposited by gravity flows, which may also result in a large inherited TL signal.

Thus, TL dates for fluvial and alluvial sediments may systematically result in overestimating the ages of deposition Forman, ; McCalpin et al. For this reason, the TL dating method is unsuitable for determining the deposition ages of fluvial and alluvial sediments in the Lampang Basin. Morphotectonic landforms caused by normal faulting in the Lampang Basin are well represented by fault scarps, triangular facets, wine-glass canyons, and linear mountain fronts.

A Tectonic Model For The Tertiary Evolution Of Strikeslip Faults And Rift Basins In Se Asia 2002

On the other hand, morphotectonic landforms that would indicate strike-slip faulting are not found. Along the fault at the southeastern margin of the Lampang Basin, the stream length gradient index SL index , as measured near the mountain front, records steeper slopes which possibly relate to normal faulting. Low Vf values reflect deep V-shaped valleys, and low Smf values are associated with active tectonic zones. Together, these geomorphic indices suggest an area of weakly active tectonism characterized by dip-slip normal fault movement. Although the geomorphological features and geomorphic indices in the study area are consistent with active normal faulting, the sediments exposed in the trench at Ban Don Fai provide no clear-cut evidence of recent fault movement.

Accordingly, we conclude that the most recent fault movement along the Ban Don Fai segment of the Thoen Fault occurred more than years ago.

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