To better define the morphotectonic elements and tectonic development of the Mid-Rivera-Transform Discordance, multibeam bathymetric, seafloor backscatter, multichannel seismic reflection and total field marine magnetic data were collected along the entire Rivera Transform west of 107°W during the BART and FAMEX campaigns of the N.O. L’Atalante conducted in 2002. These data show that, although the transform tectonized zone of the Rivera Transform west of 107°30′W is a single continuous morphologic basin, this basin consists of two distinct morphotectonic domains: an eastern domain which morphologically is a deep rhombochasm within which organized seafloor spreading has occurred, and a western ‘leaky transform’ domain. These new data, in conjunction with the results of previous studies, support the idea that the Rivera-Pacific Euler pole is migrating southward towards the eastern half of the Rivera Transform, and further indicate a recent (<0.14 Ma), and most likely ongoing, clockwise reorganization of the principle transform displacement zones of the Rivera Transform west of 108°W. We propose that the Mid-Rivera-Transform Discordance owes its origin to this eastward progressing, clockwise reorganization of the transform segments that is occurring in response to recent changes in Rivera-Pacific relative plate motion.
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