Geo-Marine Letters

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 1–11 | Cite as

Tectonic control over topography and channel sedimentation across the forearc slope of the southern Kurile Trench

  • Taqumi TuZinoEmail author
  • Atsushi Noda


A high-resolution seismic survey covering more than 2,000 km2 has revealed the processes responsible for the slope morphology and channel sedimentation across the forearc slope-basin of the Kurile Arc–NE Japan Arc collision zone, offshore from Tokachi (Hokkaido, Japan). The dominant slope contours parallel the trench but, in the middle and lower reaches of the southern slope, contours are convex-shaped with an offshore trend. This sector of the slope is traversed diagonally by the Hiroo submarine channel. The offshore-trending convex contours and the channel course have developed through the interplay of tectonic and sedimentary processes, including the development of anticlines, anticline-induced lobe sedimentation and channel avulsion. In its upper reaches, the channel is restricted by a topographic low associated with NNW–SSE-trending anticlines which developed within the upper and middle slope sectors during late Miocene uplift. The uplift timing and trend of these anticlines indicate that they resulted from collision, the channel sedimentology and slope morphology of the middle and lower slopes having been influenced by Pliocene uplift of NE–SW-trending anticlines. The trends of these anticlines parallel those of the Kurile Trench. The Pliocene and early Pleistocene strata of the middle and lower slopes consist of ponded lobe sediments deposited along the palaeo-Hiroo submarine channel on the landward side of the anticlines. As a lobe pile accumulated, the channel thalweg shifted to the north of the stack, allowing the channel to bypass the topographic high formed by the growing stack. Thick levee deposits built up along the channel course during the late Pleistocene and Holocene. These levees, along with the Pliocene and early Pleistocene lobes, are reflected in the present-day sigmoid-shaped, convex offshore-trending contours. Thus, the interplay of subduction- and collision-related anticlines, tectonic-related channel ponding, and avulsion has contributed to the slope morphology of the southern Kurile Trench.


Continental Slope Late Miocene Seismic Profile Marine Isotope Stage Active Margin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The seismic data reported here were obtained during the research cruises GH02–GH04 aboard the R/V Hakurei Maru No. 2, within the framework of the Japanese national program ‘Marine Geological Study of Continental Shelves of the Collisional Area Between Hokkaido and the Kurile Island Arc’ and supported by the Geological Survey of Japan (AIST). The authors are grateful to captains Takahashi and Futami, their crews and onboard scientists for help and fruitful discussion during the cruises. The manuscript has greatly benefited from helpful reviews by R. M. Carter, M.T. Delafontaine and an anonymous referee.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geological Survey of JapanAISTTsukubaJapan

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