Sample records for intra-continental subduction beneath

  1. Tracing Lithospheric Structure Using Flexural Rigidity in South America: Implications for Intra-Continental Deformation and Subduction Geometry. (United States)

    Perez-Gussinye, M.; Lowry, A. R.; Watts, A. B.; Phipps Morgan, J.


    The effective elastic thickness of the lithosphere, Te, is a proxy for its flexural rigidity, which primarily depends on thermal gradient and composition. As such Te maps reflect lithospheric structure. We present here a new Te map of South America generated using a compilation of satellite and terrestrial gravity data and a multitapered Bouguer coherence technique. Our Te map reflects the terrane structure of the continent, and correlates well with other published proxies for lithospheric structure: areas with high Te have, in general, high mantle shear wave velocity and low heat flow. Te is high (> 70 km) within the old, stable cratonic nuclei (> ~ 1.5 Ga old); lower Te occurs in areas repeatedly reactivated as major sutures, rift zones and at sites of hotspot magmatism. These areas concentrate most of the intracontinental seismicity and have high heat flow and low seismic velocity, implying that intra-continental deformation repeatedly focuses within thin, hot and hence weak lithosphere and that cratonic interiors are strong enough to inhibit tectonism. Along the Andean chain, Te illuminates interactions between the subducting slab and the pre-existing terrane structure. In the forearc, conductive cooling of the upper plate by the subducting slab primarily controls the rigidity, so that Te is largest (~ 40 km) where the oceanic plate is oldest and coldest (~ 20° S). In the central Andes, Te is relatively low (~ 20 km) along the volcanic chain and the Altiplano and Puna plateaus. We interpret these low Te values to reflect a shallow (70-100 km), hot and possible water-saturated asthenosphere that may extend to the western limit of the Eastern cordillera. Finally, regions of flat slab, located to the North and South of the plateaus, are characterized by high Te. Based on published tomographic results which indicate that the upper plate in the Chile flat slab segment is cratonic, we suggest that the lithospheric structure of the upper plate may influence the

  2. Imaging of subducted lithosphere beneath South America

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engdahl, E.R.; Hilst, R.D. van der; Berrocal, J.


    Tomographic images are produced for the deep structure of the Andean subduction zone beneath western South America. The data used in the imaging are the delay times of P, pP and pwP phases from relocated teleseismic earthquakes in the region. Regionally, structural features larger than about 150 km

  3. Buckling instabilities of subducted lithosphere beneath the transition zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ribe, N.M.; Stutzmann, E.; Ren, Y.; Hilst, R.D. van der


    A sheet of viscous fluid poured onto a surface buckles periodically to generate a pile of regular folds. Recent tomographic images beneath subduction zones, together with quantitative fluid mechanical scaling laws, suggest that a similar instability can occur when slabs of subducted oceanic

  4. Subduction beneath Eurasia in connection with the Mesozoic Tethys

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spakman, W.


    In this paper we present new results concerning the existence and subduction of Meso-Tethyan oceanic lithosphere in the upper mantle beneath Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle-East. The results arise from a large scale body wave tomographic analysis of the upper mantle in this region. It is sh

  5. Can slabs melt beneath forearcs in hot subduction zones? (United States)

    Ribeiro, J.; Maury, R.; Gregoire, M.


    At subduction zones, thermal modeling predict that the shallow part of the downgoing oceanic crust (test the hypothesis that adakites are pristine slab melts. We find that adakites from Baja California and Philippines formed by two distinct petrogenetic scenarios. In Baja California, hydrous mantle melts mixed/mingled with high-pressure (HP) adakite-type, slab melts within a lower crustal (~30 km depth) magma storage region before stalling into the upper arc crust (~7-15 km depth). In contrast, in the Philippines, primitive mantle melts stalled and crystallized within lower and upper crustal magma storage regions to produce silica-rich melts with an adakitic signature. Thereby, slab melting is not required to produce an adakitic geochemical fingerprint in hot subduction zones. However, our results also suggest that the downgoing crust potentially melted beneath Baja California.

  6. Tomographically-imaged subducted slabs and magmatic history of Caribbean and Pacific subduction beneath Colombia (United States)

    Bernal-Olaya, R.; Mann, P.; Vargas, C. A.; Koulakov, I.


    We define the length and geometry of eastward and southeastward-subducting slabs beneath northwestern South America in Colombia using ~100,000 earthquake events recorded by the Colombian National Seismic Network from 1993 to 2012. Methods include: hypocenter relocation, compilation of focal mechanisms, and P and S wave tomographic calculations performed using LOTOS and Seisan. The margins of Colombia include four distinct subduction zones based on slab dip: 1) in northern Colombia, 12-16-km-thick oceanic crust subducts at a modern GPS rate of 20 mm/yr in a direction of 110 degrees at a shallow angle of 8 degrees; as a result of its low dip, Pliocene-Pleistocene volcanic rocks are present 400 km from the frontal thrust; magmatic arc migration to the east records 800 km of subduction since 58 Ma ago (Paleocene) with shallow subduction of the Caribbean oceanic plateau starting ~24-33 Ma (Miocene); at depths of 90-150 km, the slab exhibits a negative velocity anomaly we associate with pervasive fracturing; 2) in the central Colombia-Panama area, we define an area of 30-km-thick crust of the Panama arc colliding/subducting at a modern 30/mm in a direction of 95 degrees; the length of this slab shows subduction/collision initiated after 20 Ma (Middle Miocene); we call this feature the Panama indenter since it has produced a V-shaped indentation of the Colombian margin and responsible for widespread crustal deformation and topographic uplift in Colombia; an incipient subduction area is forming near the Panama border with intermediate earthquakes at an eastward dip of 70 degrees to depths of ~150 km; this zone is not visible on tomographic images; 3) a 250-km-wide zone of Miocene oceanic crust of the Nazca plate flanking the Panama indenter subducts at a rate of 25 mm/yr in a direction of 55 degrees and at a normal dip of 40 degrees; the length of this slab suggests subduction began at ~5 Ma; 4) the Caldas tear defines a major dip change to the south where a 35 degrees

  7. Constraining the hydration of the subducting Nazca plate beneath Northern Chile using subduction zone guided waves (United States)

    Garth, Tom; Rietbrock, Andreas


    Guided wave dispersion is observed from earthquakes at 180-280 km depth recorded at stations in the fore-arc of Northern Chile, where the 44 Ma Nazca plate subducts beneath South America. Characteristic P-wave dispersion is observed at several stations in the Chilean fore-arc with high frequency energy (>5 Hz) arriving up to 3 s after low frequency (first motion dispersion observed at multiple stations, or the extended P-wave coda observed in arrivals from intermediate depth events within the Nazca plate. These signals can however be accurately accounted for if dipping low velocity fault zones are included within the subducting lithospheric mantle. A grid search over possible LVL and faults zone parameters (width, velocity contrast and separation distance) was carried out to constrain the best fitting model parameters. Our results imply that fault zone structures of 0.5-1.0 km thickness, and 5-10 km spacing, consistent with observations at the outer rise are present within the subducted slab at intermediate depths. We propose that these low velocity fault zone structures represent the hydrated structure within the lithospheric mantle. They may be formed initially by normal faults at the outer rise, which act as a pathway for fluids to penetrate the deeper slab due to the bending and unbending stresses within the subducting plate. Our observations suggest that the lithospheric mantle is 5-15% serpentinised, and therefore may transport approximately 13-42 Tg/Myr of water per meter of arc. The guided wave observations also suggest that a thin LVL (∼1 km thick) interpreted as un-eclogitised subducted oceanic crust persists to depths of at least 220 km. Comparison of the inferred seismic velocities with those predicted for various MORB assemblages suggest that this thin LVL may be accounted for by low velocity lawsonite-bearing assemblages, suggesting that some mineral-bound water within the oceanic crust may be transported well beyond the volcanic arc. While older

  8. Subducted slabs beneath the eastern Indonesia-Tonga region: insights from tomography (United States)

    Hall, Robert; Spakman, Wim


    Tomographic images of mantle structure beneath the region north and northeast of Australia show a number of anomalously fast regions. These are interpreted using a recent plate tectonic reconstruction in terms of current and former subduction systems. Several strong anomalies are related to current subduction. The inferred slab lengths and positions are consistent with Neogene subduction beneath the New Britain and Halmahera arcs, and at the Tonga and the New Hebrides trenches where there has been rapid rollback of subduction hinges since about 10 Ma. There are several deeper flat-lying anomalies which are not related to present subduction and we interpret them as former subduction zones overridden by Australia since 25 Ma. Beneath the Bird's Head and Arafura Sea is an anomaly interpreted to be due to north-dipping subduction beneath the Philippines-Halmahera arc between 45 and 25 Ma. A very large anomaly extending from the Papuan peninsula to the New Hebrides, and from the Solomon Islands to the east Australian margin, is interpreted to be the remnant of south-dipping subduction beneath the Melanesian arc between 45 and 25 Ma. This interpretation implies that a flat-lying slab can survive for many tens of millions of years at the bottom of the upper mantle. In the lower mantle there is a huge anomaly beneath the Gulf of Carpentaria and east Papua New Guinea. This is located above the position where the tectonic model interprets a change in polarity of subduction from north-dipping to south-dipping between 45 and 25 Ma. We suggest this deep anomaly may be a slab subducted beneath eastern Australian during the Cretaceous, or subducted north of Australia during the Cenozoic before 45 Ma. The tomography also supports the tectonic interpretation which suggests little Neogene subduction beneath western New Guinea since no slab is imaged south of the New Guinea trench. However, one subduction zone in the tectonic model and many others, that associated with the Trobriand

  9. The Impact of the Subduction Modeling Beneath Calabria on Seismic Hazard (United States)

    Morasca, P.; Johnson, W. J.; Del Giudice, T.; Poggi, P.; Traverso, C.; Parker, E. J.


    The aim of this work is to better understand the influence of subduction beneath Calabria on seismic hazard, as very little is known about present-day kinematics and the seismogenic potential of the slab interface in the Calabrian Arc region. This evaluation is significant because, depending on stress conditions, subduction zones can vary from being fully coupled to almost entirely decoupled with important consequences in the seismic hazard assessment. Although the debate is still open about the current kinematics of the plates and microplates lying in the region and the degree of coupling of Ionian lithosphere beneath Calabria, GPS data suggest that this subduction is locked in its interface sector. Also the lack of instrumentally recorded thrust earthquakes suggests this zone is locked. The current seismotectonic model developed for the Italian National territory is simplified in this area and does not reflect the possibility of locked subduction beneath the Calabria that could produce infrequent, but very large earthquakes associated with the subduction interface. Because of this we have conducted an independent seismic source analysis to take into account the influence of subduction as part of a regional seismic hazard analysis. Our final model includes two separate provinces for the subduction beneath the Calabria: inslab and interface. From a geometrical point of view the interface province is modeled with a depth between 20-50 km and a dip of 20°, while the inslab one dips 70° between 50 -100 km. Following recent interpretations we take into account that the interface subduction is possibly locked and, in such a case, large events could occur as characteristic earthquakes. The results of the PSHA analysis show that the subduction beneath the Calabrian region has an influence in the total hazard for this region, especially for long return periods. Regional seismotectonic models for this region should account for subduction.

  10. Subduction or delamination beneath the Apennines? Evidence from regional tomography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koulakov, I.; Jakovlev, A.; Zabelina, I.; Roure, F.; Cloetingh, S.; El Khrepy, S.; Al-Arifi, N.


    In this study we present a new regional tomography model of the upper mantle beneath Italy and the surrounding area derived from the inversion of travel times of P and S waves from the updated International Seismological Centre (ISC) catalogue. Beneath Italy, we identify a high-velocity anomaly whic

  11. Slab detachment of subducted Indo-Australian plate beneath Sunda arc, Indonesia

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Bhaskar Kundu; V K Gahalaut


    Necking, tearing, slab detachment and subsequently slab loss complicate the subduction zone processes and slab architecture. Based on evidences which include patterns of seismicity, seismic tomography and geochemistry of arc volcanoes, we have identified a horizontal slab tear in the subducted Indo-Australian slab beneath the Sunda arc. It strongly reflects on trench migration, and causes along-strike variations in vertical motion and geochemically distinct subduction-related arc magmatism. We also propose a model for the geodynamic evolution of slab detachment.

  12. Tectonic implications of tomographic images of subducted lithosphere beneath northwestern South America

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hilst, R.D. van der; Mann, P.


    We used seismic tomography to investigate the complex structure of the upper mantle below northwestern South America. Images of slab structure not delineated by previous seismicity studies help us to refine existing tectonic models of subducted Caribbean-Pacific lithosphere beneath the study area. B

  13. Dynamics of Caribbean and Nazca Plate Subduction Beneath Colombia from Receiver Function Analysis (United States)

    Porter, R. C.; Warren, L. M.


    The tectonics of northwestern South America are controlled by the complex interactions of the South American, Nazca, and Caribbean plates. In order to better understand subduction within the region, we utilize data recorded by the Colombian National Seismic Network to calculate P-to-S receiver functions at a range of frequencies across the nation of Colombia. Where the station spacing was dense enough, receiver functions were stacked using the Common Conversion Point (CCP) method in order to better image lateral changes in crustal and upper mantle structure. Along the Pacific margin of Colombia, where the Nazca plate is subducting beneath South America, the subducting slab dips too steeply to image it with receiver functions. However, layering and strong negative arrivals are observed in the crust above the subducting slab where active volcanoes are present. The presence of these arrivals is possibly indicative of slab dehydration and the presence of partial melt within the crust. In northeastern Colombia, the Caribbean plate is subducting beneath South America at an oblique angle. Along the direction of convergence, the slab extends ~500 km inland with a relatively shallow dip before steepening. Preliminary receiver function images from this region show a shallowly-dipping negative arrival, interpreted as the top of the slab. This arrival is underlain by a positive conversion, interpreted as the down-going oceanic Moho. As the dip of the seismicity associated with the subducting slab steepens, these arrivals are no longer observed within the receiver function stacks. These cross sections of the Caribbean plate subduction are consistent with the idea that phase changes within the downgoing oceanic crust and mantle are controlling the slab buoyancy and, as a result, the angle of subduction. As the receiver functions are refined and further combined with local earthquake locations, we will better be able to understand the location of earthquakes within the subducting

  14. Evidence for a large-scale remnant of subducted lithosphere beneath Fiji. (United States)

    Chen, W P; Brudzinski, M R


    We combine spatial variations of P- and S-wave speeds, 1000 fault plane solutions, and 6600 well-determined hypocenters to investigate the nature of subducted lithosphere and deep earthquakes beneath the Tonga back-arc. We show that perplexing patterns in seismicity and fault plane solutions can be accounted for by the juxtaposition of a steep-dipping Wadati-Benioff zone and a subhorizontal remnant of slab that is no longer attached to the actively subducting lithosphere. The detached slab may be from a previous episode of subduction along the fossil Vitiaz trench about 5 to 8 million years ago. The juxtaposition of slabs retains a large amount of subducted material in the transition zone of the mantle. Such a configuration, if common in the past, would allow the preservation of a primordial component in the lower mantle.

  15. Ridge Subduction Beneath the Americas: Synthesis and New Research on Anomalous Tectonism and Magmatism (United States)

    Thorkelson, D. J.; Madsen, J. K.; Breitsprecher, K.; Groome, W. G.; Sluggett, C.


    The west coast of the Americas has been repeatedly affected by ridge-trench interactions from Mesozoic to Recent time. Beneath North America, subduction of the Kula-Farallon, Kula-Resurrection and Farallon- Resurrection spreading ridges resulted in anomalous and time-transgressive forearc to backarc magmatism and related tectonism from the Late Cretaceous to the Eocene. Following consumption and redistribution of the Kula and Resurrection plates, the Neogene Farallon-Pacific ridge system intersected the North American trench in two locations - western Canada and northwestern Mexico / southwestern United States - causing pronounced magmatic and tectonic effects that continue to the present. Beneath Central America, divergent subduction of the Nazca and Cocos plates led to development of a slab window, with a present location beneath Panama and a probable pre-Pliocene position beneath Columbia or Ecuador. Patagonia has been the site of localized ridge subduction from the Eocene to the Recent, with the Phoenix-Farallon ridge subducting from the Eocene to the early Miocene, and the Nazca-Antarctic ridge from the Miocene to the present. Antarctica experienced diverging Antarctic-Phoenix plate subduction from the Eocene to the Pliocene. In all cases, normal arc magmatism was interrupted or eliminated by anomalous igneous activity ranging in signature from adakitic to intraplate. Our current research involves geochemical, tectonic, and thermal modeling of slab window environments. A new geochemical analysis on the effects of Miocene to Recent subduction of the northern segment of the Farallon (Juan de Fuca)-Pacific ridge is underway. A symmetrical arc-intraplate-arc geochemical pattern is evident in a transect from the northern Cascade Arc, through the volcanic fields of British Columbia, Yukon and eastern Alaska, and into the Aleutian Arc. This pattern can be explained by Neogene displacement of the arc-metasomatized mantle wedge caused by upwelling oceanic

  16. Subduction system and flat slab beneath the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia (United States)

    Chiarabba, Claudio; De Gori, Pasquale; Faccenna, Claudio; Speranza, Fabio; Seccia, Danilo; Dionicio, Viviana; Prieto, Germán. A.


    Seismicity at the northern terminus of the Nazca subduction is diffused over a wide area containing the puzzling seismic feature known as the Bucaramanga nest. We relocate about 5000 earthquakes recorded by the Colombian national seismic network and produce the first 3-D velocity model of the area to define the geometry of the lithosphere subducting below the Colombian Andes. We found lateral velocity heterogeneities and an abrupt offset of the Wadati-Benioff zone at 5°N indicating that the Nazca plate is segmented by an E-W slab tear, that separates a steeper Nazca segment to the south from a flat subduction to the north. The flat Nazca slab extends eastward for about 400 km, before dip increases to ˜50° beneath the Eastern Cordillera, where it yields the Bucaramanga nest. We explain this puzzling locus of intermediate-depth seismicity located beneath the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia as due to a massive dehydration and eclogitization of a thickened oceanic crust. We relate the flat subducting geometry to the entrance at the trench at ca. 10 Ma of a thick - buoyant oceanic crust, likely a volcanic ridge, producing a high coupling with the overriding plate. Sub-horizontal plate subduction is consistent with the abrupt disappearance of volcanism in the Andes of South America at latitudes > 5°N.

  17. Geometry of the Subducting Nazca Plate Beneath Colombia From Relocation of Intermediate-Depth Earthquakes (United States)

    Chang, Y.; Warren, L. M.; Prieto, G. A.; Grigsby, I.


    In subduction zones, earthquakes help distinguish the location of the downgoing slab to hundreds of kilometers depth. However, beneath northwestern South America, the distribution of large intermediate-depth earthquakes in the Global CMT catalog has gaps along the subduction zone, so the position of the subducting Nazca plate is uncertain. In addition, the earthquake focal mechanisms, which range from along-strike compression to down-dip extension, vary over short distances, suggesting that the subducting slab may have a complicated morphology. To clarify the geometry of the subducting Nazca plate beneath Colombia, we relocate regional seismicity recorded by the Colombian National Seismic Network (RSNC). Our data set contains 1231 earthquakes with catalog locations from 0°N-6°N and 72°W-81°W at depths of 0-200 km and magnitudes from M2.5-6.5 that occurred between 1/2010-2/2013. Catalog hypocenters show an ~20 km thick slab subducting to the east, as well as vertical columns extending up from the slab. The shape, thickness, and position of the slab and other features can be refined by using differential travel times to relocate the earthquakes relative to each other. We verify and adjust the network P and S wave picks and pick arrivals at additional or temporary stations, and these arrival times are used to relocate the earthquakes. The hypocenters of the relocated earthquakes are used to generate 3D contours of the subducting plate and visualize bends and folds in the slab.

  18. Upper Mantle Flow Beneath the Subducted Nazca Plate: Slab Contortions and Flattening (Invited) (United States)

    Russo, R. M.


    The form of asthenospheric flow beneath subducted lithospheric slabs can be discerned using splitting of shear waves emanating from earthquakes in the slabs themselves. However, the subducted Nazca plate’s abrupt changes in morphology from a planar slab dipping 30° ENE beneath the central Andes to large areas of flat-lying slab beneath Peru, to the north, and Argentina, to the south, are a potential complication to the sub-slab mantle flow. S waves from earthquakes in the Nazca slab reveal details of the upper mantle flow field below and in the vicinity of the slab. Nazca slab earthquakes large enough to be well recorded (M > 5.4, typically), and deep enough to separate S from pS and sS (30-40 km or more), are suitable for such study, and, for events between 1990 and 2010, recording stations are mostly well-distributed azimuthally about the source event. The S waves were recorded at seismic stations at teleseismic distances from the events, and were corrected for known sub-station seismic anisotropy. Thus, the shear wave splitting engendered during their passage through the asthenospheric upper mantle beneath the slab was isolated, and asthenospheric deformation fabrics resulting from plastic flow beneath the slab mapped in some detail. Shear wave splitting fast directions and upper mantle flow beneath the Nazca plate are most often trench-parallel, consistent with trench-parallel upper mantle flow beneath the slab. Fast splitting polarizations at high angle to the strike of the slab occur in the transition regions from flat to normally dipping slab. Upper mantle flow beneath the slab in these regions appears to be channeled by the slab contortion. Upper mantle flow oceanward of the Nazca slab also appears to change abruptly from trends at a high angle to the Peru-Chile trench to trench-parallel as the top of the Nazca slab attains a depth of around 75 km. Trench-parallel sub-slab flow appears to develop once the asthenosphere beneath the Nazca plate is affected

  19. Collapse of the northern Jalisco continental slope:Subduction erosion, forearc slivering, or subduction beneath the Tres Marias escarpment? (United States)

    Bandy, W. L.; Mortera-Gutierrez, C. A.; Ortiz-Zamora, G.; Ortega-Ramirez, J.; Galindo Dominguez, R. E.; Ponce-Núñez, F.; Pérez-Calderón, D.; Rufino-Contreras, I.; Valle-Hernández, S.; Pérez-González, E.


    The Jalisco subduction zone exhibits several interesting characteristics. Among these is that convergence between the Rivera and North American plate is highly oblique, especially north of 20N, the obliquity progressively increasing to the NW. By analogy to other better studied subduction zones, this distribution of forces should produce a NW-SE extension in the overriding plate, especially north of 20N. This has led to the proposal that the trench perpendicular Bahia de Banderas is an expression of this extension [Kostoglodov and Bandy, JGR, vol. 100, 1995]. To further investigate this proposal, multibeam bathymetric data and seafloor backscatter images, seismic reflection sub-bottom profiles and marine magnetic data were collected during the MORTIC08 campaign of the B.O. EL PUMA in March 2009. The bathymetric data provides for 100% coverage (20 to 200 meter spacing of the actual measured depth value depending on the water depth) of the continental slope and trench areas north of 20N. These data indicate that a marked change occurs in the morphology of the continental slope at 20N. To the north the slope consists of a broad, fairly flat plain lying between a steep lower inner trench slope to the west and a steep, concave seaward, escarpment to the east. In contrast, to the south the continental slope exhibits a more gradual deepening until the steep lower inner trench slope. A prominent submarine canyon deeply incises the continental slope between these two morphotectonic domains. This canyon appears to represent the boundary between two NW-SE diverging forearc blocks or slivers, consistent with the presence of oblique convergence. In contrast, the broad, fairly flat plain is better explained by subsidence induced by subduction erosion (i.e. erosion of the base of the overriding plate underneath the continental slope area). The shoaling of the trench axis northward towards the Puerto Vallarta Graben and subsequent deepening may be related to subduction of the

  20. Mapping the subducted Nazca plate in the lower mantle beneath South America (United States)

    Contenti, S. M.; Gu, Y. J.; Okeler, A.


    Recent improvements in data coverage have enabled high-resolution imaging of the morphology of subduction zones and mantle plumes. In this study, we migrate the SS precursors from over 5000 seismograms to obtain a detailed map of mid- and upper-mantle reflectors beneath the northern portion of the South American subduction zone, where the oceanic Nazca plate is descending below the South American plate. In addition to an elevated 410 and depressed 660 (as expected for a subduction zone), strong mid-mantle reflectors at 800-1100 km depth are also apparent. The amplitudes of these steeply dipping reflectors are comparable to that of the 660-kilometer discontinuity. This anomaly outlines a high-velocity (therefore presumably cold) region present in recent finite-frequency based mantle velocity models, suggesting the extension of slab material into the lower mantle. The strength of the reflection is interpreted to be caused by a relatively sharp velocity change, likely due to a strong temperature gradient in combination with mineral phase transitions, the presence of water, or other chemical heterogeneities. Significant mass and heat exchange is therefore expected between the upper- and lower-mantle beneath the study region.

  1. A Geodynamical Perspective on the Subduction of Cocos and Rivera plates beneath Mexico and Central America (United States)

    Constantin Manea, Vlad; Manea, Marina; Ferrari, Luca


    The Middle America subduction zone (MASZ) is one of the world most complex convergent margins as it involves the subduction of the Rivera and Cocos young oceanic plates beneath the North American and Caribbean plates and is bounded by the Gulf of California rift and the Panama slab window. Characterized by contorted and unusual slab geometry, irregularly distributed seismicity and volcanism, exceptionally large slow slip events (SSE) and non-volcanic tremors (NVT), this subduction system represents a great natural laboratory for better understanding geodynamic processes at a fundamental level. Based on a solid observational foundation, and incorporating the latest experimental results into a coherent geodynamical framework, we shed light on the main processes controlling the subduction system evolution in this region. The tectonics, volcanism, slab geometry and segmentation along the margin are reviewed from a geodynamical perspective. We proposed and discussed a series of evolutionary scenarios for the Mexican and Central American subduction zones, providing a coherent starting base for future geodynamical modeling studies tailored to this active margin. We discuss comparatively the recently discovered SSEs and NVTs along the MASZ, and try to differentiate among the proposed mechanisms responsible for these observations. Finally we discuss the recent seismic anisotropy observations in a geodynamic context, offering an integrated view of mantle flow pattern along the entire active margin. Although the MASZ as a whole may be considered a fairly complicated region with many unusual features and sometimes controversial interpretations, its complexity and unusual characteristics can improve our knowledge about the linkage between deep and surface processes associated with subduction zone dynamics.

  2. Topographies of seismic velocity discontinuities and penetrations of subducting slabs beneath the Sea of Okhotsk

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    The existence of discontinuities, the topographies of the 410 km and 660 km discontinuities, and the penetrations of subducting slabs near the 660 km discontinuities beneath the Sea of Okhotsk were studied using Nth root slant stack and digital records from networks in Germany and the western United States. Results show the obvious evidence for reflected and refractive phases associated with the 410 km and 660 km discontinuities. There may be discontinuities at other depths such as 150 km, 220 km and 520 km. The 410 km discontinuity is elevated and the 660 km discontinuity is depressed respectively, consistent with the expected thermal signature of the phase transitions. The subducting slab has penetrated into the lower mantle in the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, while it is stagnant on the 660 km discontinuity in the southern part.

  3. Decoupling of Pacific subduction zone guided waves beneath central Japan: Evidence for thin slab (United States)

    Padhy, Simanchal; Furumura, Takashi; Maeda, Takuto


    The fine-scale seismic structure of the northeast Japan subduction zone is studied based on waveform analyses of moderate-sized (M4.5-6), deep-focus earthquakes (h >350 km) and the finite difference method (FDM) simulation of high-frequency (up to 8 Hz) wave propagation. Strong regional S wave attenuation anomalies for specific source-receiver paths connecting the cluster of events occurring in central part of the Sea of Japan recorded at fore arc stations in northern and central Japanese Islands (Honshu) are used to model the deeper structure of the subducting Pacific Plate, where recent teleseismic tomography has shown evidence for a possible slab tear westward beneath the Sea of Japan. The character of the observed anomalous S wave attenuation and the following high-frequency coda can be captured with the two-dimensional (2-D) FDM simulation of seismic waves in heterogeneous plate model, incorporating the thinning of the plate at depth, which is also compared with other possible causes of dramatic attenuation of high-frequency S wave due to low-Q or much weaker heterogeneities in the slab. The results of simulation clearly demonstrate that the dramatic loss of high-frequency S wavefield from the plate into the surrounding mantle occurred due to the variation in the plate geometry (i.e., thinning of the plate) at depth near the source rather than due to variation in physical properties, such as due to the lowered-Q and weaker heterogeneities in the plate. The presence of such a thin zone defocuses the high-frequency slab-guided S wave energy from the subducting plate into the surrounding mantle and acts as a geometric antiwaveguide. Based on the sequence of simulation results obtained, we propose thinning of Pacific Plate at depth subducting beneath northeastern Japan, localized to central part of Honshu, in agreement with the observations.

  4. Upper boundary of the Pacific plate subducting beneath Hokkaido, Japan, estimated from ScSp phase


    Osada, Kinue; Yoshizawa, Kazunori; YOMOGIDA, Kiyoshi


    Three-dimensional geometry of the upper boundary of the Pacific plate subducting beneath Hokkaido, Japan, was obtained using the ScSp phase: the phase converted from ScS (S wave reflected at the core-mantle boundary) to P wave at the plate boundary. Taking the advantage of a dense seismic network, "Hi-net", recently deployed across the Japanese islands, we applied several seismic array analyses to the recorded waveform data for a large nearby deep earthquake, in order to enhance very weak ScS...

  5. Imaging fluid-related subduction processes beneath Central Java (Indonesia) using seismic attenuation tomography (United States)

    Bohm, Mirjam; Haberland, Christian; Asch, Günter


    We use local earthquake data observed by the amphibious, temporary seismic MERAMEX array to derive spatial variations of seismic attenuation (Qp) in the crust and upper mantle beneath Central Java. The path-averaged attenuation values (t∗) of a high quality subset of 84 local earthquakes were calculated by a spectral inversion technique. These 1929 t∗-values inverted by a least-squares tomographic inversion yield the 3D distribution of the specific attenuation (Qp). Analysis of the model resolution matrix and synthetic recovery tests were used to investigate the confidence of the Qp-model. We notice a prominent zone of increased attenuation beneath and north of the modern volcanic arc at depths down to 15 km. Most of this anomaly seems to be related to the Eocene-Miocene Kendeng Basin (mainly in the eastern part of the study area). Enhanced attenuation is also found in the upper crust in the direct vicinity of recent volcanoes pointing towards zones of partial melts, presence of fluids and increased temperatures in the middle to upper crust. The middle and lower crust seems not to be associated with strong heating and the presence of melts throughout the arc. Enhanced attenuation above the subducting slab beneath the marine forearc seems to be due to the presence of fluids.

  6. Seismic Structure Related to the Philippine Sea Plate Subduction beneath the Nansei-Shoto (Ryukyu) Trench (United States)

    Nishizawa, A.; Kaneda, K.; Oikawa, M.; Horiuchi, D.; Fujioka, Y.; Okada, C.


    The Philippine Sea plate (PHS) subduction develops a trench-arc-backarc system at the Nansei-Shoto island arc, southwest of Japan. Its backarc basin, the Okinawa Trough, is the only area around Japan where rifting has been observed at present. In the north of the Nansei-Shoto island arc, the PHS with large bathymetric highs (e.g. the Amami Plateau and the Daito Ridge) subducts approximately perpendicularly to the trench axis. In the southwest, the PHS obliquely subducts with linear seafloor topographies such as the Okinawa-Luzon fracture zone and the Gagua Ridge. We conducted multichannel seismic reflection and wide-angle seismic surveys to obtain inhomogeneous crustal structures related to such complex features of the plate subduction. The seismic lines that we shot across the Nansei-Shoto arc, consisted of two lines in the north and five lines in the southwest. We also shot two along-arc lines in the island arc and forearc areas in the southwest. Since we could not constrain the crustal structure deeper than 10 km precisely by a tomographic inversion of first arrival traveltimes, we carried out two-dimensional forward modeling using several reflection signals from the inner crust and Moho discontinuity. As a result, a middle crust with P wave velocity (Vp) of 5.9-6.5 km/s was detected between an upper and lower crust beneath the arc for all the seismic lines. However, the inner crustal structure largely differs depending on the survey lines. Distribution of low Vp forearc accretionary wedge also varies regionally along the trench axis. High Vp of 4-5 km/s within 2 km below the seafloor and Vp larger than 6 km/s just on the subducting plate boundary characterize the forearc at 125-127 E in the southwest region, which corresponds distinctive high free-air gravity anomaly. We could also obtain clear seismic images of the subducting bathymetric highs in the north and the Okinawa-Luzon fracture zone in the southwest.

  7. Preliminary results of characteristic seismic anisotropy beneath Sunda-Banda subduction-collision zone (United States)

    Wiyono, Samsul H.; Nugraha, Andri Dian


    Determining of seismic anisotropy allowed us for understanding the deformation processes that occured in the past and present. In this study, we performed shear wave splitting to characterize seismic anisotropy beneath Sunda-Banda subduction-collision zone. For about 1,610 XKS waveforms from INATEWS-BMKG networks have been analyzed. From its measurements showed that fast polarization direction is consistent with trench-perpendicular orientation but several stations presented different orientation. We also compared between fast polarization direction with absolute plate motion in the no net rotation and hotspot frame. Its result showed that both absolute plate motion frame had strong correlation with fast polarization direction. Strong correlation between the fast polarization direction and the absolute plate motion can be interpreted as the possibility of dominant anisotropy is in the asthenosphere..

  8. Preliminary results of characteristic seismic anisotropy beneath Sunda-Banda subduction-collision zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiyono, Samsul H., E-mail: [Study Program of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Earth Sciences and Technology, Institute of Technology Bandung, Bandung 40132 (Indonesia); Indonesia’s Agency for Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics, Jakarta 10610 (Indonesia); Nugraha, Andri Dian, E-mail: [Indonesia’s Agency for Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics, Jakarta 10610 (Indonesia); Global Geophysics Research Group, Faculty of Mining and Petroleum Engineering, Institute of Technology Bandung, Bandung 40132, Indonesia, Phone: +62-22 2534137 (Indonesia)


    Determining of seismic anisotropy allowed us for understanding the deformation processes that occured in the past and present. In this study, we performed shear wave splitting to characterize seismic anisotropy beneath Sunda-Banda subduction-collision zone. For about 1,610 XKS waveforms from INATEWS-BMKG networks have been analyzed. From its measurements showed that fast polarization direction is consistent with trench-perpendicular orientation but several stations presented different orientation. We also compared between fast polarization direction with absolute plate motion in the no net rotation and hotspot frame. Its result showed that both absolute plate motion frame had strong correlation with fast polarization direction. Strong correlation between the fast polarization direction and the absolute plate motion can be interpreted as the possibility of dominant anisotropy is in the asthenosphere.

  9. Pathway from subducting slab to surface for melt and fluids beneath Mount Rainier (United States)

    McGary, R. Shane; Evans, Rob L.; Wannamaker, Philip E.; Elsenbeck, Jimmy; Rondenay, Stéphane


    Convergent margin volcanism originates with partial melting, primarily of the upper mantle, into which the subducting slab descends. Melting of this material can occur in one of two ways. The flow induced in the mantle by the slab can result in upwelling and melting through adiabatic decompression. Alternatively, fluids released from the descending slab through dehydration reactions can migrate into the hot mantle wedge, inducing melting by lowering the solidus temperature. The two mechanisms are not mutually exclusive. In either case, the buoyant melts make their way towards the surface to reside in the crust or to be extruded as lava. Here we use magnetotelluric data collected across the central state of Washington, USA, to image the complete pathway for the fluid-melt phase. By incorporating constraints from a collocated seismic study into the magnetotelluric inversion process, we obtain superior constraints on the fluids and melt in a subduction setting. Specifically, we are able to identify and connect fluid release at or near the top of the slab, migration of fluids into the overlying mantle wedge, melting in the wedge, and transport of the melt/fluid phase to a reservoir in the crust beneath Mt Rainier.

  10. High-resolution image of the geometry and thickness of the subducting Nazca lithosphere beneath northern Chile (United States)

    Sodoudi, F.; Yuan, X.; Asch, G.; Kind, R.


    Results obtained from S and P receiver functions produced a clear image of the top and bottom of the subducting Nazca lithosphere beneath northern Chile. Using data from the teleseismic events recorded at 15 permanent Integrated Plate Boundary Observatory Chile (IPOC) stations, we obtained new constraints on the geometry and thickness of the descending Nazca lithosphere. We observed the subducted crust of the Nazca plate at depths ranging from 50 km beneath the Coastal Cordillera down to 110 km beneath the Western Cordillera. We found significant along-strike variations in the geometry of the Nazca plate beneath northern Chile. On closer inspection, it appears that the oceanic Nazca plate is divided into two distinct segments as it descends beneath the continental South American plate. The transition from the relatively steeper (˜23°) and deeper slab to the north of 21°S to the flatter southern segment (˜19°) is shown reasonably clearly by our data. This feature could well be associated with variations in the curvature of the plate margin and the geometry of the Chile trench, which is mainly curved to the north of 21°S. We have also mapped the continental Moho of the South American plate at depths ranging between 60 and 70 km to the east of the Longitudinal Valley. Beneath the Coastal Cordillera, this boundary becomes invisible, probably due to the serpentinization of the forearc mantle wedge that reduces the velocity in the uppermost mantle. The base of the subducted Nazca plate was clearly identified as a sharp boundary in the results obtained from the P and S receiver functions. The thickness of the subducted oceanic Nazca plate, which has an age of ˜50 My, is estimated to be ˜50 km. Although this thickness is consistent with that predicted by thermal gradients, the explanation of the sharpness of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary may require another mechanism such as hydration or melting.

  11. Seismological Features of the Subducting Slab Beneath the Kii Peninsula, Central Japan, Revealed by Receiver Functions (United States)

    Shiomi, K.; Park, J.


    We report seismological evidence that the subducting Philippine Sea slab (PHS) beneath the Kii Peninsula, central Japan, can be divided into three segments. Offshore the Kii Peninsula, the "Tonankai" and "Nankai" fault segments suffer mega-thrust earthquakes that repeat every 100 to 150 years. The structure of the young, thin, contorted PHS is important to the seismo-tectonics in this region. We apply the receiver function (RF) analysis to 26 Hi-net short-period and 4 F-net broad-band seismographic stations. In the case that dipping velocity discontinuities and/or anisotropic media exist beneath seismometer, both radial RFs and transverse RFs contain useful information to estimate underground structure. For isotropic media with a dipping-slab interface, back- azimuthal variation in RFs depends largely on three parameters, the downdip azimuth, dip angle and the depth of the interface. We stack both radial and transverse RFs with allowance a time-shift caused by the dipping interface, searching for optimal parameters based on the grid-search technique at each station. At some stations located near the eastern coastline of the Kii Peninsula, the dip angle of the interface inferred from RF stacking is much steeper than that estimated by the local seismicity. This discrepancy arises from the interference of two slab-converted phases, suggesting a layer atop the slab. In these cases we refine the stack to distinguish two slab phases and estimate three parameters of each dipping interface separately. Two interfaces with the same dip direction and low dip angle are estimated at these stations, with depth difference near 6 km. Thus, the shallower interface may be related to the layer within the oceanic crust and the deeper one is the slab Moho. These double-layered interfaces are detected only at stations located up-dip of a belt-like distribution of non- volcanic low-frequency tremor. Comparing the interface dips estimated in this study with the direction of slab motion

  12. High resolution image of the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary of the subducting Nazca plate beneath northern Chile (United States)

    Sodoudi, F.; Yuan, X.; Asch, G.; Kind, R.


    Results obtained from S and P receiver functions produced a clear image of the top and bottom of the subducting Nazca lithosphere beneath northern Chile. Using data from the teleseismic events recorded at 15 permanent IPOC (Integrated Plate boundary Observatory Chile) stations, we were able to obtain new constraints on the shape and thickness of the descending Nazca lithosphere. We observed the subducted crust of the Nazca plate at depths ranging from 40 km beneath the Coastal Cordillera down to 110 km beneath the Western Cordillera. We found significant along-strike variations in the geometry of the Nazca plate beneath northern Chile. On closer inspection, it appears that the oceanic Nazca plate is divided into two distinct segments as it descends beneath the continental South American plate. The transition from the relatively steeper and deeper slab to the north of 21° S to the flatter southern segment is shown reasonably clearly by our data. This feature could well be associated with variations in the curvature of the plate margin and the geometry of the Chile trench, which is mainly curved to the north of 21° S. We have also mapped the continental Moho of the South American plate at depths ranging between 60-70 km to the east of the Longitudinal Valley. Beneath the Coastal Cordillera, this boundary becomes invisible, probably due to the serpentinization of the forearc mantle wedge. The Lithosphere-Astheonsphere Boundary (LAB) of the subducted Nazca plate was clearly identified as a sharp boundary in the results obtained from the P and S receiver functions. The LAB lies at a depth of 80 km beneath the coastal area and dips from a depth of 100 km beneath the Coastal Cordillera to about 150 km underneath the Western Cordillera. High frequency PRF data enabled us to make confident estimates of the top and bottom of the Nazca lithosphere, which results in a lithospheric thickness of 57-60 km. In relation to the age of the Nazca plate, which is assumed to be ~ 50

  13. Tomographic evidence for a subducted seamount beneath the Gulf of Nicoya, Costa Rica: The cause of the 1990 Mw = 7.0 Gulf of Nicoya earthquake (United States)

    Husen, S.; Kissling, E.; Quintero, R.


    Tomographic images constrain the existence of a subducted seamount beneath the Gulf of Nicoya, Costa Rica. The subducted seamount is found at a depth of 30 km within the rupture area of the March 25, 1990, Mw = 7.0 Gulf of Nicoya earthquake. The Gulf of Nicoya earthquake was a typical thrust-type subduction earthquake and occurred on a shallow dipping thrust fault parallel or along the boundary between the subducting Cocos plate and the overriding plate. Precise relocation of the mainshock and its aftershocks in a 3-D P-wave velocity model shows that the area of the mainshock rupture is coincident with the imaged subducted seamount. Most of the aftershocks are relocated within or close to the inferred subducted seamount above the subducting oceanic plate. We interpret the subducted seamount as an asperity whose rupture caused the 1990 Gulf of Nicoya earthquake.

  14. Investigation of mantle kinematics beneath the Hellenic-subduction zone with teleseismic direct shear waves (United States)

    Confal, Judith M.; Eken, Tuna; Tilmann, Frederik; Yolsal-Çevikbilen, Seda; Çubuk-Sabuncu, Yeşim; Saygin, Erdinc; Taymaz, Tuncay


    The subduction and roll-back of the African plate beneath the Eurasian plate along the arcuate Hellenic trench is the dominant geodynamic process in the Aegean and western Anatolia. Mantle flow and lithospheric kinematics in this region can potentially be understood better by mapping seismic anisotropy. This study uses direct shear-wave splitting measurements based on the Reference Station Technique in the southern Aegean Sea to reveal seismic anisotropy in the mantle. The technique overcomes possible contamination from source-side anisotropy on direct S-wave signals recorded at a station pair by maximizing the correlation between the seismic traces at reference and target stations after correcting the reference stations for known receiver-side anisotropy and the target stations for arbitrary splitting parameters probed via a grid search. We obtained splitting parameters at 35 stations with good-quality S-wave signals extracted from 81 teleseismic events. Employing direct S-waves enabled more stable and reliable splitting measurements than previously possible, based on sparse SKS data at temporary stations, with one to five events for local SKS studies, compared with an average of 12 events for each station in this study. The fast polarization directions mostly show NNE-SSW orientation with splitting time delays between 1.15 s and 1.62 s. Two stations in the west close to the Hellenic Trench and one in the east show N-S oriented fast polarizations. In the back-arc region three stations exhibit NE-SW orientation. The overall fast polarization variations tend to be similar to those obtained from previous SKS splitting studies in the region but indicate a more consistent pattern, most likely due to the usage of a larger number of individual observations in direct S-wave derived splitting measurements. Splitting analysis on direct shear waves typically resulted in larger split time delays compared to previous studies, possibly because S-waves travel along a longer path

  15. Are diamond-bearing Cretaceous kimberlites related to low-angle subduction beneath western North America? (United States)

    Currie, Claire A.; Beaumont, Christopher


    Diamond-bearing Cretaceous kimberlites of western North America were emplaced 1000-1500 km inboard of the Farallon plate subduction margin and overlap with the development of the Western Interior Seaway, shut-down of the Sierra Nevada arc, and the Laramide orogeny. These events are consistent with a decrease in subduction angle along much of the margin, which placed the subducted Farallon plate in close proximity to the continental interior at the time of kimberlite magmatism. Our numerical models demonstrate that low-angle subduction can result from high plate convergence velocities and enhanced westward motion of North America. Further, rapid subduction allows hydrous minerals to remain stable within the cool interior of the subducting plate to more than 1200 km from the trench. Destabilization of these minerals provides a fluid source that can infiltrate the overlying material, potentially triggering partial melting and kimberlite/lamproite magmatism.

  16. Tectonics and melting in intra-continental settings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gorczyk, Weronika; Vogt, Katharina


    Most of the geodynamic theories of deformation aswell asmetamorphismandmelting of continental lithosphere are concentrated on plate boundaries and are dominated by the effects of subduction upon deformation of the margins of continental lithospheric blocks. However, it is becoming increasingly

  17. Tectonics and melting in intra-continental settings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gorczyk, Weronika; Vogt, Katharina|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/370618947


    Most of the geodynamic theories of deformation aswell asmetamorphismandmelting of continental lithosphere are concentrated on plate boundaries and are dominated by the effects of subduction upon deformation of the margins of continental lithospheric blocks. However, it is becoming increasingly appar

  18. Tectonics and melting in intra-continental settings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gorczyk, Weronika; Vogt, Katharina


    Most of the geodynamic theories of deformation aswell asmetamorphismandmelting of continental lithosphere are concentrated on plate boundaries and are dominated by the effects of subduction upon deformation of the margins of continental lithospheric blocks. However, it is becoming increasingly appar

  19. Dynamics and Upper Mantle Structure Beneath the Northwestern Andes: Subduction Segments, Moho Depth, and Possible Relationships to Mantle Flow (United States)

    Monsalve, G.; Yarce, J.; Becker, T. W.; Porritt, R. W.; Cardona, A.; Poveda, E.; Posada, G. A.


    The northwestern South American plate shows a complex tectonic setting whose causes and relationship to mantle structure are still debated. We combine different techniques to elucidate some of the links between slabs and surface deformation in Colombia. Crustal structure beneath the Northern Andes was inferred from receiver functions where we find thicknesses of nearly 60 km beneath the plateau of the Eastern Cordillera and underneath the southern volcanic area of the Central Cordillera. We infer that such crustal thickening resulted from shortening, magmatic addition, and accretion-subduction. Analyses of relative teleseismic travel time delays and estimates of residual surface topography based on our new crustal model suggest that there are at least two subduction segments underneath the area. The Caribbean slab lies at a low angle beneath northernmost Colombia and steepens beneath the Eastern Cordillera. Such steepening is indicated by negative travel time relative residuals in the area of the Bucaramanga Nest, implying a cold anomaly in the upper mantle, and by positive residual topography just off the east of this area, perhaps generated by slab-associated return flow. Results for the western Andes and the Pacific coastal plains are consistent with "normal" subduction of the Nazca plate: travel time relative residuals there are predominantly positive, and the residual topography shows an W-E gradient, going from positive at the Pacific coastline to negative at the Magdalena Valley, which separates the eastern cordillera from the rest of the Colombian Andean system. Azimuthal analysis of relative travel time residuals further suggests the presence of seismically slow materials beneath the central part of the Eastern Cordillera. Azimuthal anisotropy from SKS splitting in that region indicates that seismically fast orientations do not follow plate convergence, different from what we find for the western Colombian Andes and the Caribbean and Pacific coastal plains

  20. Complex morphology of subducted lithosphere in the mantle beneath the Tonga trench

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hilst, R.D. van der


    At the Tonga trench, old Pacific sea floor subducts at a rapid rate below the Indo-Australia plate, generating most of the world's deep earthquakes and producing a deep slab of former oceanic lithosphere.

  1. Electrical conductivity beneath the Bolivian Orocline and its relation to subduction processes at the South American continental margin (United States)

    Brasse, Heinrich; Eydam, Diane


    A long-period magnetotelluric data set was obtained during 2002 and 2004 in the central Andes to study the deep electrical conductivity structure in the region of the Bolivian Orocline between latitudes 17°S and 19°S. The profile extends from the Coastal Cordillera in northernmost Chile, crosses the volcanic arc and the Altiplano high plateau in central Bolivia, and ends in the Eastern Cordillera. Two-dimensional inversion revealed several well-defined conductivity anomalies: in upper crustal levels the conductive sedimentary basins of the central Altiplano and the resistive Arequipa block beneath the western Altiplano are imaged. Earlier seismological and magnetotelluric investigations on the southern Altiplano inferred a large, highly conductive (partially molten) body in the mid to deep crust. It was assumed that this structure would be underlying the entire plateau, but this is not the case according to the new models. Instead, the most prominent feature in the new investigation area is a high-conductivity zone at upper mantle depths below the high plateau, which may be interpreted as an image of partial melts and fluids triggered by water supply from the subducting Nazca slab. This conductor would be in accordance with the standard subduction scenario; it is, however, laterally offset by almost 100 km from the volcanic arc. In contrast, the deep crust and upper mantle beneath the arc is moderately resistive. Both observations may hint at an emerging shift of the magmatic/fluid system in the central Andes.

  2. Multiple plates subducting beneath Colombia, as illuminated by seismicity and velocity from the joint inversion of seismic and gravity data (United States)

    Syracuse, Ellen M.; Maceira, Monica; Prieto, Germán A.; Zhang, Haijiang; Ammon, Charles J.


    Subduction beneath the northernmost Andes in Colombia is complex. Based on seismicity distributions, multiple segments of slab appear to be subducting, and arc volcanism ceases north of 5° N. Here, we illuminate the subduction system through hypocentral relocations and Vp and Vs models resulting from the joint inversion of local body wave arrivals, surface wave dispersion measurements, and gravity data. The simultaneous use of multiple data types takes advantage of the differing sensitivities of each data type, resulting in velocity models that have improved resolution at both shallower and deeper depths than would result from traditional travel time tomography alone. The relocated earthquake dataset and velocity model clearly indicate a tear in the Nazca slab at 5° N, corresponding to a 250-km shift in slab seismicity and the termination of arc volcanism. North of this tear, the slab is flat, and it comprises slabs of two sources: the Nazca and Caribbean plates. The Bucaramanga nest, a small region of among the most intense intermediate-depth seismicity globally, is associated with the boundary between these two plates and possibly with a zone of melting or elevated water content, based on reduced Vp and increased Vp/Vs. We also use relocated seismicity to identify two new faults in the South American plate, one related to plate convergence and one highlighted by induced seismicity.

  3. Thermal structure, coupling and metamorphism in the Mexican subduction zone beneath Guerrero (United States)

    Manea, V. C.; Manea, M.; Kostoglodov, V.; Currie, C. A.; Sewell, G.


    Temperature is one of the most important factors that controls the extent and location of the seismogenic coupled and transition, partially coupled segments of the subduction interplate fault. The width of the coupled fault inferred from the continuous GPS observations for the steady interseismic period and the transient width of the last slow aseismic slip event (Mw~ 7.5) that occurred in the Guerrero subduction zone in 2001-2002 extends up to 180-220 km from the trench. Previous thermal models do not consider this extremely wide coupled interface in Guerrero subduction zone that is characterized by shallow subhorizontal plate contact. In this study, a finite element model is applied to examine the temperature constraints on the width of the coupled area. The numerical scheme solves a system of 2-D Stokes equation and 2-D steady-state heat transfer equations. The updip limit of the coupling zone is taken between 100 and 150 °C, while the downdip limit is accepted at 450 °C as the transition from partial coupling to stable sliding. From the entire coupled zone, the seismogenic zone extends only up to ~82 km from the trench (inferred from the rupture width of large subduction thrust earthquakes), corresponding to the 250 °C isotherm. Only a small amount of frictional heating is needed to fit the intersection of the 450 °C isotherm and the subducting plate surface at 180-205 km from the trench. The calculated geotherms in the subducting slab and the phase diagram for MORB are used to estimate the metamorphic sequences within the oceanic subducting crust. A certain correlation exists between the metamorphic sequences and the variation of the coupling along the interplate fault.

  4. Are diamond-bearing Cretaceous kimberlites related to shallow-angle subduction beneath western North America? (United States)

    Currie, C. A.; Beaumont, C.


    The origin of deep-seated magmatism (in particular, kimberlites and lamproites) within continental plate interiors remains enigmatic in the context of plate tectonic theory. One hypothesis proposes a relationship between kimberlite occurrence and lithospheric subduction, such that a subducting plate releases fluids below a continental craton, triggering melting of the deep lithosphere and magmatism (Sharp, 1974; McCandless, 1999). This study provides a quantitative evaluation of this hypothesis, focusing on the Late Cretaceous- Eocene (105-50 Ma) kimberlites and lamproites of western North America. These magmas were emplaced along a corridor of Archean and Proterozoic lithosphere, 1000-1500 km inboard of the plate margin separating the subducting Farallon Plate and continental North America Plate. Kimberlite-lamproite magmatism coincides with tectonic events, including the Laramide orogeny, shut-down of the Sierra Nevada arc, and eastward migration of volcanism, that are commonly attributed to a change in Farallon Plate geometry to a shallow-angle trajectory (trench, where they may break down and release fluids that infiltrate the overlying craton lithosphere. This is supported by geochemical studies that indicate metasomatism of the Colorado Plateau and Wyoming craton mantle lithosphere by an aqueous fluid and/or silicate melt with a subduction signature. Through Cretaceous shallow-angle subduction, the Farallon Plate was in a position to mechanically and chemically interact with North American craton lithosphere at the time of kimberlite-lamproite magmatism, making the subduction hypothesis a viable mechanism for the genesis of these magmas. REFERENCES: McCandless, T.E., Proceedings of the 7th International Kimberlite Conference, v.2, pp.545-549, 1999; Sharp, W.E., Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., v.21, pp.351-354, 1974.

  5. Seismic evidence for tearing in the subducting Indian slab beneath the Andaman arc (United States)

    Kumar, Prakash; Srijayanthi, G.; Ravi Kumar, M.


    Segmentation of a subduction zone through tearing is envisaged as an inevitable consequence of the differential rate of slab rollback along the strike of convergent plate boundaries. It is a key feature that controls plate tectonics and seismogenesis in a subduction setting. Globally, lithospheric tears are mostly recognized by seismic tomography and seismicity trends. However, such an intriguing feature has never been imaged with high resolution. Here we present seismological evidence for tearing of the Indian oceanic plate at shallow depths along the Andaman arc. Our image of the subducted plate using the shear-wave receiver function technique reveals three distinct plate segments. The middle lithospheric chunk has an abrupt offset of ~20 km relative to the northern and southern segments along the entire stretch of Andaman-Nicobar Islands. We interpret that this abrupt offset in the base of the lithosphere is caused by the tearing of the subducted oceanic plate. For the plate age of ~80 to 60 Myr, the lithospheric thickness varies from ~40 to 70 km.

  6. The interplay between subduction and lateral extrusion : A case study for the European Eastern Alps based on analogue models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Gelder, I. E.; Willingshofer, E.; Sokoutis, D.; Cloetingh, S. A.P.L.


    A series of analogue experiments simulating intra-continental subduction contemporaneous with lateral extrusion of the upper plate are performed to study the interference between these two processes at crustal levels and in the lithospheric mantle. The models demonstrate that intra-continental

  7. High-resolution Imaging of the Philippine Sea Plate subducting beneath Central Japan (United States)

    Padhy, S.; Furumura, T.


    Thermal models predict that the oceanic crust of the young (PHP) is more prone to melting. Deriving a high-resolution image of the PHP, including slab melting and other features of the subduction zone, is a key to understand the basics of earthquake occurrence and origin of magma in complex subduction zone like central Japan, where both the PHP and Pacific (PAC) Plates subduct. To this purpose, we analyzed high-resolution waveforms of moderate sized (M 4-6), intermediate-to-deep (>150 km) PAC earthquakes occurring in central Japan and conducted numerical simulation to derive a fine-scale PHP model, which is not constrained in earlier studies. Observations show spindle-shaped seismograms with strong converted phases and extended coda with very slow decay from a group of PAC events occurring in northern part of central Japan and recorded by high-sensitivity seismograph network (Hi-net) stations in the region. We investigate the mechanism of propagation of these anomalous waveforms using the finite difference method (FDM) simulation of wave propagation through the subduction zone. We examine the effects on waveform changes of major subduction zone features, such as the melting of oceanic crust in PHP, serpentinized mantle wedge, hydrated layer on the PAC due to slab dehydration, and anomaly in upper mantle between the PAC and PHP. Simulation results show that the waveform anomaly is primarily explained by strong scattering and absorption of high-frequency energy by the low-velocity anomalous mantle structure, with a strong coda excitation yielding spindle-shaped waveforms. The data are secondarily explained by melting of PHP in the basaltic crust. The location of the mantle anomaly is tightly constrained by the observation and evidence of PAC thinning in the region; these localized low-velocity structures aid in ascending the slab-derived fluids around the slab thinning. We expect that the results of this study will enhance our present understanding on the mechanism

  8. Modeling of slow slip events and their interaction with large earthquakes along the subduction interfaces beneath Guerrero and Oaxaca, Mexico (United States)

    Shibazaki, B.; Cotton, F.; Matsuzawa, T.


    Recent high-resolution geodetic observations have revealed the occurrence of slow slip events (SSEs) along the Mexican subduction zone. In the Guerrero gap, large SSEs of around Mw 7.5 repeat every 3-4 years (Lowry et al., 2001; Kostoglodov et al., 2003; Radiguet et al., 2012). The 2006 Guerrero slow slip was analyzed in detail (Radiguet et al., 2011): the average velocity of propagation was 0.8 km/day, and the maximum slip velocity was 1.0E-8 m/s. On the other hand, in the Oaxaca region, SSEs of Mw 7.0-7.3 repeat every 1-2 years and last for 3 months (Brudzinski et al., 2007; Correa-Mora et al., 2008). These SSEs in the Mexican subduction zone are categorized as long-term (long-duration) SSEs; however, their recurrence interval is relatively short. It is important to investigate how SSEs in Mexico can be reproduced using a theoretical model and determine the difference in friction law parameters when compared to SSEs in other subduction zones. An Mw 7.4 subduction earthquake occurred beneath the Oaxaca-Guerrero border on March 20, 2012. The 2012 SSE coincided with this thrust earthquake (Graham et al., 2012). SSEs in Mexico can trigger large earthquakes because their magnitudes are close to that of earthquakes. The interaction between SSEs and large earthquakes is an important problem, which needs to be investigated. We model SSEs and large earthquakes along the subduction interfaces beneath Guerrero and Oaxaca. To reproduce SSEs, we use a rate- and state-dependent friction law with a small cut-off velocity for the evolution effect based on the model proposed by Shibazaki and Shimamoto (2007). We also consider the 3D plate interface, which dips at a very shallow angle at a horizontal distance of 50-150 km from the trench. We set the unstable zone from a depth of 10 to 20 km. By referring to analytical results, we set a Guerrero SSE zone, which extends to the shallow Guerrero gap. Because the maximum slip velocity is around 1.0E-8 m/s, we set the cut-off velocity


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. V. Mints


    Full Text Available The article presents new data on the deep crustal structure, origin and evolution of the Bryansk-Kursk-Voronezh orogen in the south-eastern segment of the East European craton; it is composed of the Paleoproterozoic formations and areas of reworked Archean crust. The purpose of this paper is the development and improvement of ideas on intra-continental orogens. The deep structure of the orogen is presented by the 3D model based on results of geological mapping of the Precambrian basement and interpretations of geophysical fields and seismic images of the crust along geotraverse 1-EB and profile DOBRE. It is established that the orogen originated with riftogenic extension of the crust at 2.6–2.5 Ga, that was repeated at 2.2–2.1 Ga, and formation of wide depressions that were efficiently filled in with volcanosedimentary layers including BIF, which accumulation was followed by high-temperature up to granulite facies metamorphism. Suprasubduction magmatism took place at 2.10–2.08 Ga and resulted in formation of the Lipetsk-Losevka volcano-plutonic complex. The active margin was completely formed at about 2.05 Ga. The short duration of subduction-related magmatic activity and the lack of relics of the oceanic lithosphere suggest short-term and spatially limited developing of the oceanic structure. The tectonothermal activity of collisional and postcollision stages was expressed in emplacement of alkaline ultramafic (2.1–2.0 Ga and gabbro-syenite (1.8–1.7 Ga complexes. It is difficult or impossible to explain specific features of the structure and evolution of the orogen in framework of the model of the Cordilleras type  accretionary orogen. Mafic-ultramafic magmatism and indications of intensive heating of the crust suggest a special role of plume type processes that provided for influx of mantle heat and juvenile mantle derived matter. 

  10. The thermal influence of the subducting slab beneath South America from 410 and 660 km discontinuity observations (United States)

    Collier, J. D.; Helffrich, G. R.


    Regional seismic network data from deep South American earthquakes to western United States and western European seismic arrays is slant stacked to detect weak near-source interactions with upper mantle discontinuities. These observations are complemented by an analysis of earlier work by Sacks & Snoke (1977) who observed S to P conversions from deep events to stations in South America, and similar observations from 1994-95 events using the BANJO and SEDA networks. Observations of the depth of the 410km discontinuity are made beneath central South America in the vicinity of the aseismic region of the subducting Nazca Plate. These results image the 410km discontinuity over a lateral extent of up to 850km perpendicular to the slab and over a distance of 2700km along the length of the slab. Away from the subducting slab the discontinuity is mainly seen near its global average depth, whilst inside the slab there is evidence for its elevation by up to around 60km but with significant scatter in the data. These results are consistent with the presence of a continuous slab through the aseismic region with a thermal anomaly of 900°C at 350km depth. This value is in good agreement with simple thermal models though our data are too sparse to accurately constrain them. Sparse observations of the 660km discontinuity agree with tomographic models suggesting penetration of the lower mantle by the slab in the north but stagnation at the base of the transition zone in the south. The geographical distribution of the data, however, does not allow us to rule out the possibility of slab stagnation at the base of the transition zone in the north. These observations, together with the presence of deep earthquakes, require more complicated thermal models than previously used to explain them, possibly including changes in slab dip and age with depth.

  11. The Characteristics of Intra-continental Deformation and Hydrocarbon Distribution Controlled by the Himalayan Tectonic Movements in China (United States)

    JIA, Chengzao

    Based on previous studies and the latest insights from recent petroleum exploration programs, we propose that the characteristics of intra-continental deformation and its distribution, caused by the Himalayan tectonic movements, are controlled by basement framework formed by a collage of microcratons and lithotectonic terranes and dynamic factors such as the Indian/Eurasia collision and subduction of the Pacific plate. The evolution of Himalayan tectonic movements can be resolved by three principal dynamic mechanisms: (1) the uplift of Tibetan Plateau, (2) the coupling of orogenic belts and basins surrounding the Tibetan Plateau, and (3) extensional tectonics in eastern China. The tectonic framework and deformation that resulted from the Himalayan tectonic movements are mainly embodied in four tectonic domains: (1) the uplifted regions of the Tibetan Plateau, (2) the basin-and-range coupling of peripheral Tibetan Plateau, (3) stable regions, and (4) regions of active rifting along the western circum-Pacific margin. Sedimentary basins formed during the Himalayan tectonic movements, can be assorted into three categories: (1) rift basins due to extensional tectonics in east China, such as Bohai Bay Basin and Songliao Basin; (2) basins in central China, controlled by eastward compression of the Tibetan Plateau, which are characteristic of thrusting of basin margin and uplift-denudation in basins; (3) basins in west China such as the Tarim, Junggar and Qaidam Basins, which are associated with north-directed compression and exhibit thrust movements and flexural subsidence along basin margins. Their structural style is that of basin-and-range type. We conclude that Himalayan tectonic movements may have controlled the late hydrocarbon accumulation in China.

  12. Crustal architecture beneath Madurai Block, southern India deduced from magnetotelluric studies: Implications for subduction-accretion tectonics associated with Gondwana assembly (United States)

    Naganjaneyulu, K.; Santosh, M.


    The Madurai Block in southern India is considered to represent the eroded roots of an arc-accretionary complex that developed during the subduction-collision tectonics associated with the closure of the Mozambique Ocean and final suturing of the crustal fragments within the Gondwana supercontinent in the Late Neoproterozoic-Cambrian. Here we present a magnetotelluric (MT) model covering the main collisional suture (Palghat-Cauvery Suture Zone) in the north into the central part of the Madurai Block in the south comprising data from 11 stations. Together with a synthesis of the available seismic reflection data along a N-S transect further south within the Madurai Block, we evaluate the crustal architecture and its implications on the tectonic development of this region. According to our model, the predominantly south dipping seismic reflectors beneath the Madurai Block define a prominent south-dipping lithological layering with northward vergence resembling a thrust sequence. We interpret these stacked layers as imbricate structures or mega duplexes developed during subduction-accretion tectonics. The layered nature and stacking of contrasting velocity domains as imaged from the seismic profile, and the presence of thick (>20 km) low resistivity layers 'floating' within high resistivity domains as seen from MT model, suggest the subduction of a moderately thick oceanic crust. We identify several low resistivity domains beneath the Madurai Block from the MT model which probably represent eclogitised remnants of oceanic lithosphere. Their metamorphosed and exhumed equivalents in association with ultrahigh-temperature metamorphic orogens have been identified from surface geological studies. Both seismic reflections and MT model confirm a southward subduction polarity with a progressive accretion history during the northward migration of the trench prior to the final collisional assembly of the crustal blocks along the Palghat-Cauvery Suture Zone, the trace of the

  13. Seismic attenuation structure associated with episodic tremor and slip zone beneath Shikoku and the Kii peninsula, southwestern Japan, in the Nankai subduction zone (United States)

    Kita, Saeko; Matsubara, Makoto


    The three-dimensional seismic attenuation structure (frequency-independent Q) beneath southwestern Japan was analyzed using t* estimated by applying the S coda wave spectral ratio method to the waveform data from a dense permanent seismic network. The seismic attenuation (Qp-1) structure is clearly imaged for the region beneath Shikoku, the Kii peninsula, and eastern Kyushu at depths down to approximately 50 km. At depths of 5 to 35 km, the seismic attenuation structure changes at the Median tectonic line and other geological boundaries beneath Shikoku and the southwestern Kii peninsula. High-Qp zones within the lower crust of the overlying plate are found just above the slip regions at the centers of the long-term slow-slip events (SSEs) beneath the Bungo and Kii channels and central Shikoku. Beneath central Shikoku, within the overlying plate, a high-Qp zone bounded by low-Qp zones is located from the land surface to the plate interface of the subducting plate. The high-Qp zone and low-Qp zones correspond to high-Vp and low-Vp zones of previous study, respectively. The boundaries of the high- and low-Qp zones are consistent with the segment boundaries of tremors (segment boundaries of short-term SSEs). These results indicated that the locations of the long- and short-term SSEs could be limited by the inhomogeneous distribution of the materials and/or condition of the overlying plate, which is formed due to geological and geographical process. The heterogeneity of materials and/or condition within the fore-arc crust possibly makes an effect on inhomogeneous rheological strength distribution on the interface.

  14. Slow and delayed deformation and uplift of the outermost subduction prism following ETS and seismogenic slip events beneath Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica (United States)

    Davis, Earl E.; Villinger, Heinrich; Sun, Tianhaozhe


    Two ODP CORK (Ocean Drilling Program circulation obviation retrofit kit) borehole hydrologic observatory sites deployed in 2002 at the toe of the subduction prism off Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica were visited in December 2013. The five years of seafloor and formation fluid pressure data collected since the previous visit include clear signals associated with an episodic tremor and slip (ETS) event off the coast of Nicoya Peninsula in 2009, and a Mw 7.6 subduction thrust earthquake beneath the Peninsula in 2012. Formation pressure anomalies associated with the ETS event are similar to ones observed following ETS events observed previously here, as well as ones following very low frequency earthquake swarms within the Nankai accretionary prism off southwestern Japan. Positive and negative impulsive transients in the hanging wall and foot wall of the subduction thrust, respectively, suggest contractional and dilatational strain generated by local slip propagating up the thrust fault beneath the outermost prism. In the case of the 2009 event, the transients occurred roughly two weeks after the initiation of slip observed at GPS sites along the adjacent coast. At the same time, a decrease in seafloor pressure at the prism site relative to the subducting plate was observed, indicating concurrent uplift of the prism of 1.2 cm. Other events at the prism toe following ETS events closer to the coast are seen in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. The time between the initiation of ETS slip constrained by GPS and the onset of the prism toe transients suggest up-dip “rupture” propagation along the seaward part of the subduction thrust at rates of a few km/day. In the case of the 2009 event, the slip at the prism toe (c. 11 cm), estimated from the 1.2 cm uplift and the local dip on the decollement (6°), is roughly a factor of 5 greater than the slip further landward estimated from GPS data by Dixon et al. (in press). In other cases, slip at the toe is less or unresolvable

  15. Mantle enrichment by volatiles as the Nazca plate subducts beneath the Payenia backarc of the Southern Volcanic Zone, Argentina

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brandt, Frederik Ejvang

    , minerals, fluid and melt inclusions from the Payenia backarc province of the Andean Southern Volcanic Zone. Major emphasis has been on olivine hosted melt inclusions. The study gives evidence for the role of fluids in the metasomatism of the backarc mantle, and outlines the trend of the variation...... of the metasomatism in Payenia, which is also characterized by a variation in oxidation state and other geochemical parameters of the melt inclusions, and is moreover related to mantle lithological variations. The mantle metasomatism by melts of subducted crust and fluid-borne enrichment is quantitatively modelled...

  16. High-Resolution Seismicity Image of the Shallow Part of the Subduction Zone Beneath Mejillones in Northern Chile (United States)

    Kummerow, Jörn; Bloch, Wasja; Salazar, Pablo; Wigger, Peter; Asch, Günter; Shapiro, Serge A.


    We analyze slab-related seismicity which has been recorded by a recently (June 2013) installed local seismic monitoring system on the Mejillones peninsula in the forearc region of Northern Chile. The monitoring system consists of 20 seismic stations and is complemented by components of the permanent IPOC (Integrated Plate Boundary Obervatory Chile) seismic network, providing a singular on-shore possibility to study in detail the relatively shallow seismicity of the subducting Nazca slab. To date, about thousand local seismic events have been identified. Precise earthquake relocation involving a local 2.5D velocity model and improved arrival time picks from an iterative cross-correlation based technique allows to trace sharply the slab interface between 25km and 40km depth. Furthermore, we observe distinct and continuous seismic activity on a near-vertical structure which transects the subducting oceanic crust from 40km to 50km depth. Location, orientation and size of this plane correspond to the rupture fault of the MW6.8 Michilla intraslab earthquake which occurred weeks after the MW7.7 Tocopilla earthquake of November 2007. We discuss here particularly the results from cluster analysis and the spatio-temporal signatures of the recorded seismicity.

  17. Three-dimensional numerical modelling of static and transient Coulomb stress changes on intra-continental dip-slip faults


    Meike Bagge


    Earthquakes on intra-continental faults pose substantial seismic hazard to populated areas. The interaction of faults is an important mechanism of earthquake triggering and can be investigated by the calculation of Coulomb stress changes. Using three-dimensional finite-element models, co- and postseismic stress changes and the effect of viscoelastic relaxation on dip-slip faults are investigated. The models include elastic and viscoelastic layers, gravity, ongoing regional deformation as well...

  18. Lateral structural change of the subducting Pacific plate beneath Japan inferred from high-frequency body wave analysis (United States)

    Padhy, S.; Furumura, T.; Maeda, T.


    We studied the detailed lateral structure of the subducting Pacific plate near Honshu by analyzing waveforms from deep earthquakes recorded at fore-arc Hi-net dense high-gain network and F-net broadband stations in Japan. Such waveforms explain the low-frequency precursors followed by high-frequency energies due to the multiple scattering and diffractions of seismic waves in the stochastic waveguide of the Pacific slab (Furumura and Kennett, 2005). However, recent analysis shows that for some particular source-receiver paths, the waveforms exhibit loss of high frequency energy in P-coda, loss of low-frequency precursor and presence of P-to-P or P-to-S converted phases in P-coda for deep earthquakes occurring in the subeducting Pacific plate. Such complexities in the observed waveforms indicate sudden lateral change in the wave guiding properties of the subducting slab, such as expected to be caused by the thinning or tearing the slab in deeper part. To explain the observations, we employ two-dimensional finite-difference method (FDM) simulations of complete high-frequency P-SV wave propagation taking thinning of the Pacific slab into account. We expect that the observed guided wave energy must decouple from waveguide where the slab is deformed or thin. Low frequency energy leaks out of the slab and travels to the receivers along paths in the low velocity and low-Q mantle surrounding the slab, while high frequency signal of shorter wavelength can travel through thin plate. The results of this study, along with the evidence for weak velocity anomaly as inferred from seismic tomography (Obayashi et al., 2009) and observations of slab tear in the Pacific plate (Kennett and Furumura, 2010), we expect a local velocity anomaly or thinning in the oceanic lithosphere along the junction between Izu-Bonin and Honshu arc. It is necessary to examine these effects further with a 3D FDM simulation for different slab geometries and source depths.

  19. Early Jurassic calc-alkaline magmatism in northeast China: Magmatic response to subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate beneath the Eurasian continent (United States)

    Wang, Feng; Xu, Yi-Gang; Xu, Wen-Liang; Yang, Lei; Wu, Wei; Sun, Chen-Yang


    The subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate played an important role in the regional evolution of the eastern margin of the Eurasian continent, but the timing and extent of this event remain ambiguous. To address these issues, we examine the geochronology and geochemistry of Early Jurassic intrusive rocks in eastern Jilin Province, NE China. The Early Jurassic gabbro-diorites, diorites, granodiorites, and monzogranites are found to have been emplaced at 183-185 Ma and are characterized by enrichment in large ion lithophile elements and depletion in high field strength elements, similar to calc-alkaline arc-type igneous rocks. The Early Jurassic gabbroic and dioritic rocks have εHf(t) values of +2.1 to +10.1 and Hf single-stage (TDM1) model ages of 430-774 Ma, whereas the monzogranites have εHf(t) values of +6.7 to +8.9 and Hf single-stage (TDM1) ages of 597-718 Ma. The gabbro-diorites, diorites, and granodiorites described in this study are genetically linked and they represent the products of the fractional crystallization of a common mafic magma that was in turn derived from the partial melting of a mantle source that was metasomatized by subduction-related fluids. In contrast, the Early Jurassic monzogranites were generated by partial melting of a depleted lower crustal block that was probably accreted during the Neoproterozoic. More importantly, the Early Jurassic calc-alkaline igneous rocks in the east part of NE China form a NE-trending belt that is oriented perpendicular to the direction of Paleo-Pacific Plate movement at that time. West of this belt, contemporaneous bimodal igneous rocks occur in the Lesser Xing'an-Zhangguangcai Ranges. This magmatic configuration is best explained by continental arc magmatism along the continental margin and extensional magmatism in a back-arc setting, in each case triggered by the initial subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate beneath Eurasia in the Early Jurassic.

  20. Subduction-related cryptic metasomatism in fore-arc to nascent fore-arc Neoproterozoic mantle peridotites beneath the Eastern Desert of Egypt: mineral chemical and geochemical evidences (United States)

    Hamdy, Mohamed; Salam Abu El-Ela, Abdel; Hassan, Adel; Kill, Youngwoo; Gamal El Dien, Hamed


    Mantle spinel peridotites beneath the Arabian Nubian Shield (ANS) in the Eastern Desert (ED) of Egypt were formed in arc stage in different tectonic setting. Thus they might subject to exchange with the crustal material derived from recycling subducting oceanic lithosphere. This caused metasomatism enriching the rocks in incompatible elements and forming non-residual minerals. Herein, we present mineral chemical and geochemical data of four ophiolitic mantle slice serpentinized peridotites (W. Mubarak, G. El-Maiyit, W. Um El Saneyat and W. Atalla) widely distributed in the ED. These rocks are highly serpentinized, except some samples from W. Mubarak and Um El-Saneyat, which contain primary olivine (Fo# = 90-92 mol %) and orthopyroxene (En# = 86-92 mol %) relics. They have harzburgite composition. Based on the Cr# and Mg# of the unaltered spinel cores, all rocks formed in oceanic mantle wedge in the fore-arc setting, except those from W. Atalla formed in nascent fore-arc. This implies that the polarity of the subduction during the arc stage was from the west to the east. These rocks are restites formed after partial melting between 16.58 in W. Atalla to 24 % in G-El Maiyit. Melt extraction occurred under oxidizing conditions in peridotites from W. Mubarak and W. Atalla and under reducing conditions in peridotites from G. El-Maiyit and Um El-Saneyat. Cryptic metasomatism in the studied mantle slice peridotites is evident. This includes enrichment in incompatible elements in minerals and whole rocks if compared with the primitive mantle (PM) composition and the trend of the depletion in melt. In opx the Mg# doesn't correlate with TiO2, CaO, MnO, NiO and Cr2O3concentrations. In addition, in serpentinites from W. Mubarak and W. Atalla, the TiO2spinel is positively correlated with the TiO2 whole-rock, proposing enrichment by the infiltration of Ti-rich melts, while in G. El- Maiyit and Um El-Saneyat serpentinites they are negatively correlated pointing to the reaction

  1. Lateral Variation in Seismic Anisotropy Beneath Western Tibet Likely Controlled by the Shape of Subducting Indian Lithosphere (United States)

    Levin, V. L.; Shakhnovich, M.; Janiszewski, H. A.; Roecker, S. W.


    it fast shear wave polarization is ~65°NE, significantly different from the nearly N-S India-Eurasia convergence direction and the nearly east-west "flow" suggested by crustal deformation observations. The area of strong anisotropy appears to be bounded by the Indus-Tsangpo Suture in the south, but cuts across the Bangdong-Nujiang Suture in the north. Flanking the region of strong anisotropy are two areas where individual splitting observations are scattered in direction and have smaller (<0.5 s) delays, and where group inversions yield <2.5% of anisotropy in a 100 km model layer, and nearly E-W fast axis orientation. A very significant finding in our study is the short (10s of km) lateral scale over which changes in apparent anisotropic properties take place. Unlike latitudinal changes in anisotropy reported previously along N-S profiles in eastern and central Tibet, those we document cut across the strike of the main tectonic units (e.g., the Lhasa Block). The dominant period in most of our data is ~10 s, and the corresponding first Fresnel zone is over 100 km wide at depths in excess of 100 km. Therefore lateral changes in apparent anisotropic parameters over distances < 100 km likely originate directly beneath the ~75 km thick crust of the Tibetan plateau. We speculate that these variations reflect the shape of the down-going Indian lithosphere.

  2. Stress drops for intermediate-depth intraslab earthquakes beneath Hokkaido, northern Japan: Differences between the subducting oceanic crust and mantle events (United States)

    Kita, Saeko; Katsumata, Kei


    Spatial variations in the stress drop for 1726 intermediate-depth intraslab earthquakes were examined in the subducting Pacific plate beneath Hokkaido, using precisely relocated hypocenters, the corner frequencies of events, and detailed determined geometry of the upper interface of the Pacific plate. The results show that median stress drop for intraslab earthquakes generally increases with an increase in depth from ˜10 to 157 Mpa at depths of 70-300 km. More specifically, median stress drops for events in the oceanic crust decrease (9.9-6.8 MPa) at depths of 70-120 km and increase (6.8-17 MPa) at depths of 120-170 km, whereas median stress drop for events in the oceanic mantle decrease (21.6-14.0 MPa) at depths of 70-170 km, where the geometry of the Pacific plate is well determined. The increase in stress drop with depth in the oceanic crust at depths of 120-170 km, for which several studies have shown an increase in velocity, can be explained by an increase in the velocity and a decrease in the water content due to the phase boundary with dehydration in the oceanic crust. Stress drops for events in the oceanic mantle were larger than those for events in the oceanic crust at depths of 70-120 km. Differences in both the rigidity of the rock types and in the rupture mechanisms for events between the oceanic crust and mantle could be causes for the stress drop differences within a slab.

  3. The Cryogenian intra-continental rifting of Rodinia: Evidence from the Laurentian margin in eastern North America (United States)

    McClellan, Elizabeth; Gazel, Esteban


    The geologic history of the eastern North American (Laurentian) margin encompasses two complete Wilson cycles that brought about the assembly and subsequent disaggregation of two supercontinents, Rodinia and Pangea. In the southern and central Appalachian region, basement rocks were affected by two episodes of crustal extension separated by > 100 m.y.; a Cryogenian phase spanning the interval 765-700 Ma and an Ediacaran event at ~ 565 Ma. During the Cryogenian phase, the Mesoproterozoic continental crust was intruded by numerous A-type felsic plutons and extensional mafic dikes. At ~ 760-750 Ma a bimodal volcanic sequence erupted onto the uplifted and eroded basement. This sequence, known as the Mount Rogers Formation (MRF), comprises a bimodal basalt-rhyolite lower section and an upper section of dominantly peralkaline rhyolitic sheets. Here, we provide new geochemical evidence from the well-preserved volcanic rocks of the Cryogenian lower MRF, with the goal of elucidating the process that induced the initial stage of the break-up of Rodinia and how this affected the evolution of the eastern Laurentian margin. The geochemical compositions of the Cryogenian lavas are remarkably similar to modern continental intra-plate settings (e.g., East African Rift, Yellowstone-Snake River Plain). Geochemical, geophysical and tectonic evidence suggests that the common denominator controlling the melting processes in these settings is deep mantle plume activity. Thus, evidence from the MRF suggests that the initial phase of extension of the Laurentian margin at ~ 760-750 Ma was possibly triggered by mantle plume activity. It is possible that lithospheric weakness caused by a mantle plume that impacted Rodinia triggered the regional extension and produced the intra-continental rifting that preceded the breakup of the Laurentian margin.

  4. Generation of ascending flows in the Big Mantle Wedge (BMW) beneath northeast Asia induced by retreat and stagnation of subducted slab (United States)

    Kameyama, Masanori; Nishioka, Ryoko


    We conducted two-dimensional numerical experiments of mantle convection with imposed kinematic motions of cold slabs, in order to study the mechanism for the generation of ascending flows in the “Big Mantle Wedge” (BMW), which has been recently proposed in order to relate the stagnant Pacific slab with the intraplate volcanism in northeast Asia. Our calculations demonstrated that the BMW is expanded oceanward in response to the retreating motion of trench and slab, which strongly affects the flows in the region. In particular, the subducting and retreating motion of slab induces a local but strong circulation near the oceanward end (or a hinge) of the stagnant slab in the BMW. Our findings suggest that ascending flows in the BMW can be triggered most easily near the hinge of the stagnant slab, which is in good agreement with the occurrence of several active intraplate volcanoes above the stagnant Pacific slab.

  5. New evidence about the subduction of the Copiapó ridge beneath South America, and its connection with the Chilean-Pampean flat slab, tracked by satellite GOCE and EGM2008 models (United States)

    Álvarez, Orlando; Gimenez, Mario; Folguera, Andres; Spagnotto, Silvana; Bustos, Emilce; Baez, Walter; Braitenberg, Carla


    Satellite-only gravity measurements and those integrated with terrestrial observations provide global gravity field models of unprecedented precision and spatial resolution, allowing the analysis of the lithospheric structure. We used the model EGM2008 (Earth Gravitational Model) to calculate the gravity anomaly and the vertical gravity gradient in the South Central Andes region, correcting these quantities by the topographic effect. Both quantities show a spatial relationship between the projected subduction of the Copiapó aseismic ridge (located at about 27°-30° S), its potential deformational effects in the overriding plate, and the Ojos del Salado-San Buenaventura volcanic lineament. This volcanic lineament constitutes a projection of the volcanic arc toward the retroarc zone, whose origin and development were not clearly understood. The analysis of the gravity anomalies, at the extrapolated zone of the Copiapó ridge beneath the continent, shows a change in the general NNE-trend of the Andean structures to an ENE-direction coincident with the area of the Ojos del Salado-San Buenaventura volcanic lineament. This anomalous pattern over the upper plate is interpreted to be linked with the subduction of the Copiapó ridge. We explore the relation between deformational effects and volcanism at the northern Chilean-Pampean flat slab and the collision of the Copiapó ridge, on the basis of the Moho geometry and elastic thicknesses calculated from the new satellite GOCE data. Neotectonic deformations interpreted in previous works associated with volcanic eruptions along the Ojos del Salado-San Buenaventura volcanic lineament is interpreted as caused by crustal doming, imprinted by the subduction of the Copiapó ridge, evidenced by crustal thickening at the sites of ridge inception along the trench. Finally, we propose that the Copiapó ridge could have controlled the northern edge of the Chilean-Pampean flat slab, due to higher buoyancy, similarly to the control

  6. Geochemistry of the Santa Fé Batholith and Buriticá Tonalite in NW Colombia - Evidence of subduction initiation beneath the Colombian Caribbean Plateau (United States)

    Weber, M.; Gómez-Tapias, J.; Cardona, A.; Duarte, E.; Pardo-Trujillo, A.; Valencia, V. A.


    Plateau related rocks accreted to the Caribbean plate margins provide insights into the understanding of the intra-oceanic evolution of the Caribbean plate and its interaction with the continental margins of the Americas. Petrologic, geochemical and isotope (Sr and Nd) data were obtained in rocks from the Santa Fé Gabbro-Tonalite and Buriticá Tonalite in the Western Cordillera of Colombia. Field relations and whole rock-mineral geochemistry combined with juvenile isotope signatures of the different rocks present in the area, suggest that initial melts, represented by the Buriticá Tonalite, formed due to asthenospheric upwelling at ˜100 Ma, which intrude the Colombian-Caribbean Oceanic Plateau (CCOP) basalts, and subsequent migration of the Caribbean plate towards the northeast resulted in subduction initiation and the formation of the Santa Fé tonalitic units at ˜90 Ma on the CCOP. The relation of the Santa Fé Batholith with other units from the Caribbean, such as Aruba and the Buga Batholiths suggests the existence of an immature arc constructed on the Caribbean Plateau, which partially accreted onto a continental margin of South American in pre-Eocene times, or migrated to the present day position in the Lesser Antilles.

  7. Impingement of Deep Mantle-Derived Upwelling Beneath Northern, Subducted Extension of the East Pacific Rise and Palinspastically Restored Cenozoic Mafic Magmatism in Western North America (United States)

    Rowley, D. B.; Moucha, R.; Forte, A. M.; Mitrovica, J. X.; Simmons, N. A.; Grand, S. P.


    Reconstruction of the retrodicted whole mantle flow, based on presently imaged distribution of variations in seismic velocity and its correlation to density (Simmons et al. 2009), over the past 30 Ma, in the North American fixed frame of reference, reveals that the northern, now subducted, extension of the East Pacific Rise is coincident with mantle buoyancy arising from near the core-mantle boundary and extending to the base of the lithosphere (Moucha et al. 2009 GRL, in press). Divergence of the reconstructed flow near the surface is independent of the surface plate(s) and results in predicted geological manifestations distinct from those predicted by traditional plate driven models of flow. Most particularly the retrodicted flow-related dynamic topography results in progressive west to east sweep of surface uplift, that is now centered on the Colorado Plateau (Moucha et al. 2008, 2009 GRL, in press). In addition, and the primary focus of the current study is the relationship between this retrodicted mantle-wide flow and the history of magmatism within the western U.S. and adjacent Mexico. There is a close spatial correlation between the impingement of upwelling with palinspastic restored western North America (McQuarrie and Wernicke, 2005) and onset and distribution of magmatism, particularly of mafic compositions as revealed in the Navdat ( database. Although often attributed to effects of opening of a slab window (Snyder and Dickinson, 1979, McQuarrie and Oskins, 2008) associated with continued plate-driven separation, this model predicts active mantle flow induced upwelling and divergence resulting in mantle melting that sweeps across east-northeast across southern Basin and Range to the Rio Grande Rift with time and as seen in the distribution of magmatism in this region.

  8. Early Cambrian granitoids of North Gondwana margin in the transition from a convergent setting to intra-continental rifting (Ossa-Morena Zone, SW Iberia) (United States)

    Sánchez-García, T.; Pereira, M. F.; Bellido, F.; Chichorro, M.; Silva, J. B.; Valverde-Vaquero, P.; Pin, Ch.; Solá, A. R.


    Two distinct Cambrian magmatic pulses are recognized in the Ossa-Morena Zone (SW Iberia): an early rift-(ER) and a main rift-related event. This Cambrian magmatism is related to intra-continental rifting of North Gondwana that is thought to have culminated in the opening of the Rheic Ocean in Lower Ordovician times. New data of whole-rock geochemistry (19 samples), Sm-Nd-Sr isotopes (4 samples) and ID-TIMS U-Pb zircon geochronology (1 sample) of the Early Cambrian ER plutonic rocks of the Ossa-Morena Zone are presented in this contribution. The ER granitoids (Barreiros, Barquete, Calera, Salvatierra de los Barros and Tablada granitoid Massifs) are mostly peraluminous granites. The Sm-Nd isotopic data show moderate negative ɛNdt values ranging from -3.5 to +0.1 and TDM ages greatly in excess of emplacement ages. Most ER granitoids are crustal melts. However, a subset of samples shows a transitional anorogenic alkaline tendency, together with more primitive isotopic signatures, documenting the participation of lower crust or mantle-derived sources and suggesting a local transient advanced stage of rifting. The Barreiros granitoid is intrusive into the Ediacaran basement of the Ossa-Morena Zone (Série Negra succession) and has yielded a crystallization age of 524.7 ± 0.8 Ma consistent with other ages of ER magmatic pulse. This age: (1) constrains the age of the metamorphism developed in the Ediacaran back-arc basins before the intrusion of granites and (2) defines the time of the transition from the Ediacaran convergent setting to the Lower Cambrian intra-continental rifting in North Gondwana.

  9. Evolution of a Subduction Zone (United States)

    Noack, Lena; Van Hoolst, Tim; Dehant, Veronique


    The purpose of this study is to understand how Earth's surface might have evolved with time and to examine in a more general way the initiation and continuance of subduction zones and the possible formation of continents on an Earth-like planet. Plate tectonics and continents seem to influence the likelihood of a planet to harbour life, and both are strongly influenced by the planetary interior (e.g. mantle temperature and rheology) and surface conditions (e.g. stabilizing effect of continents, atmospheric temperature), but may also depend on the biosphere. Employing the Fortran convection code CHIC (developed at the Royal Observatory of Belgium), we simulate a subduction zone with a pre-defined weak zone (between oceanic and continental crust) and a fixed plate velocity for the subducting oceanic plate (Quinquis et al. in preparation). In our study we first investigate the main factors that influence the subduction process. We simulate the subduction of an oceanic plate beneath a continental plate (Noack et al., 2013). The crust is separated into an upper crust and a lower crust. We apply mixed Newtonian/non-Newtonian rheology and vary the parameters that are most likely to influence the subduction of the ocanic plate, as for example density of the crust/mantle, surface temperature, plate velocity and subduction angle. The second part of our study concentrates on the long-term evolution of a subduction zone. Even though we model only the upper mantle (until a depth of 670km), the subducted crust is allowed to flow into the lower mantle, where it is no longer subject to our investigation. This way we can model the subduction zone over long time spans, for which we assume a continuous inflow of the oceanic plate into the investigated domain. We include variations in mantle temperatures (via secular cooling and decay of radioactive heat sources) and dehydration of silicates (leading to stiffening of the material). We investigate how the mantle environment influences

  10. Subduction of fore-arc crust beneath an intra-oceanic arc: The high-P Cuaba mafic gneisess and amphibolites of the Rio San Juan Complex, Dominican Republic (United States)

    Escuder-Viruete, Javier; Castillo-Carrión, Mercedes


    The Rio San Juan metamorphic complex (RSJC) exposes a segment of a high-P accretionary prism, built during Late Cretaceous subduction below the intra-oceanic Caribbean island-arc. In this paper we present new detailed maps, tectonostratigraphy, large-scale structure, mineral chemistry, in situ trace element composition of clinopyroxene (Cpx), and bulk rock geochemical data for representative garnet-free peridotites and mafic metaigneous rocks of the Cuaba and Helechal tectonometamorphic units of the southern RSJC. The Cuaba subcomplex is composed of upper foliated amphibolites and lower garnet amphibolites, retrograded (coronitic) eclogites, and heterogeneous metagabbros metamorphosed to upper amphibolite and eclogite-facies conditions. The lenticular bodies of associated peridotites are Cpx-poor harzburgites. The underlying Helechal subcomplex is composed of Cpx-poor harzburgites, Cpx-rich harzbugites, lherzolites and rare dunites. The presented data allow us to argue that the Cuaba subcomplex: (a) represents tectonically deformed and metamorphosed crust of the Caribbean island-arc, (b) contains fragments of its supra-subduction zone mantle, and (c) includes different geochemical groups of mafic protoliths generated by varying melting degrees of diverse mantle sources. These geochemical groups include mid-Ti tholeiites (N-MORB), normal IAT and calc-alkaline rocks, low-Ti IAT, metacumulates of boninitic affinity, and HREE-depleted IAT, that collectively record a multi-stage magmatic evolution for the Caribbean island-arc, prior to the Late Cretaceous high-P metamorphism. Further, these mafic protoliths present comparable geochemical features to mafic igneous rocks of the Puerca Gorda Schists, Cacheal and Puerto Plata complexes, all of them related to the Caribbean island-arc. These relations suggest that the southern RSJC complex represents part of the subducted fore-arc of the Caribbean island-arc, which experienced initial subduction, underplating below the arc

  11. Three-dimensional numerical modeling of thermal regime and slab dehydration beneath Kanto and Tohoku, Japan (United States)

    Ji, Yingfeng; Yoshioka, Shoichi; Manea, Vlad Constantin; Manea, Marina; Matsumoto, Takumi


    Although the thermal regime of the interface between two overlapping subducting plates, such as those beneath Kanto, Japan, is thought to play an important role in affecting the distribution of interplate and intraslab earthquakes, the estimation of the thermal regime remains challenging to date. We constructed a three-dimensional (3-D) thermal convection model to simulate the subduction of the Pacific plate along the Japan Trench and Izu-Bonin Trench, including the subduction of the Philippine Sea beneath Kanto and investigated the slab thermal regime and slab water contents in this complex tectonic setting. Based on the subduction parameters tested in generic models with two flat oceanic plates, a faster or thicker plate subducting in a more trench-normal direction produces a colder slab thermal regime. The interplate temperature of the cold anomaly beneath offshore Kanto was approximately 300°C colder than that beneath offshore Tohoku at a same depth of 40 km and approximately 600°C colder at a depth of 70 km. The convergence between the two subducting plates produces an asymmetric thermal structure in the slab contact zone beneath Kanto, which is characterized by clustered seismicity in the colder southwestern half. The thermo-dehydration state of the mid-ocean ridge basalt near the upper surface of the subducted Pacific plate controls the interplate seismicity beneath the Kanto-Tohoku region according to the spatial concurrence of the thermo-dehydration and seismicity along the megathrust fault zone of the subducted Pacific plate.

  12. 3-D numerical modeling of plume-induced subduction initiation (United States)

    Baes, Marzieh; Gerya, taras; Sobolev, Stephan


    Investigation of mechanisms involved in formation of a new subduction zone can help us to better understand plate tectonics. Despite numerous previous studies, it is still unclear how and where an old oceanic plate starts to subduct beneath the other plate. One of the proposed scenarios for nucleation of subduction is plume-induced subduction initiation, which was investigated in detail, using 2-D models, by Ueda et al. (2008). Recently. Gerya et al. (2015), using 3D numerical models, proposed that plume-lithosphere interaction in the Archean led to the subduction initiation and onset of plate tectonic. In this study, we aim to pursue work of Ueda et al. (2008) by incorporation of 3-D thermo-mechanical models to investigate conditions leading to oceanic subduction initiation as a result of thermal-chemical mantle plume-lithosphere interaction in the modern earth. Results of our experiments show four different deformation regimes in response to plume-lithosphere interaction, that are a) self-sustaining subduction initiation where subduction becomes self-sustained, b) freezing subduction initiation where subduction stops at shallow depths, c) slab break-off where subducting circular slab breaks off soon after formation and d) plume underplating where plume does not pass through the lithosphere but spreads beneath it (failed subduction initiation). These different regimes depend on several parameters such as plume's size, composition and temperature, lithospheric brittle/plastic strength, age of the oceanic lithosphere and presence/absence of lithospheric heterogeneities. Results show that subduction initiates and becomes self-sustained when lithosphere is older than 10 Myr and non-dimensional ratio of the plume buoyancy force and lithospheric strength above the plume is higher than 2.

  13. New interpretation of the deep mantle structure beneath eastern China (United States)

    Ma, Pengfei; Liu, Shaofeng; Lin, Chengfa; Yao, Xiang


    Recent study of high resolution seismic tomography presents a large mass of high velocity abnormality beneath eastern China near the phase change depth, expanding more than 1600km-wide in East-west cross-section across the North China plate. This structure high is generally believed to be the subducted slab of Pacific plate beneath the Eurasia continent, while its origin and dynamic effect on the Cenozoic tectonic evolution of eastern China remain to be controversial. We developed a subduction-driven geodynamic mantle convection model that honors a set of global plate reconstruction data since 230Ma to help understand the formation and evolution of mantle structure beneath eastern China. The assimilation of plate kinematics, continuous evolving plate margin, asymmetric subduction zone, and paleo seafloor age data enables the spatial and temporal consistency between the geologic data and the mantle convection model, and guarantees the conservation of the buoyancy flux across the lithosphere and subducted slabs. Our model achieved a first order approximation between predictions and the observed data. Interestingly, the model suggests that the slab material stagnated above discontinuity didn't form until 15Ma, much later than previous expected, and the fast abnormality in the mid-mantle further west in the tomographic image is interpreted to be the remnants of the Mesozoic Izanagi subduction. Moreover, detailed analysis suggests that the accelerated subduction of Philippine Sea plate beneath Eurasia plate along the Ryukyu Trench and Nankai Trough since 15Ma may largely contribute to extending feature above 670km discontinuity. The long distance expansion of the slab material in the East-west direction may be an illusion caused by the approximate spatial perpendicularity between the cross-section and the subduction direction of the Philippine Sea plate. Our model emphasizes the necessity of the re-examination on the geophysical observation and its tectonic and

  14. Slab melting beneath the Cascades Arc driven by dehydration of altered oceanic peridotite (United States)

    Walowski, Kristina J; Wallace, Paul J.; Hauri, E.H.; Wada, I.; Clynne, Michael A.


    Water is returned to Earth’s interior at subduction zones. However, the processes and pathways by which water leaves the subducting plate and causes melting beneath volcanic arcs are complex; the source of the water—subducting sediment, altered oceanic crust, or hydrated mantle in the downgoing plate—is debated; and the role of slab temperature is unclear. Here we analyse the hydrogen-isotope and trace-element signature of melt inclusions in ash samples from the Cascade Arc, where young, hot lithosphere subducts. Comparing these data with published analyses, we find that fluids in the Cascade magmas are sourced from deeper parts of the subducting slab—hydrated mantle peridotite in the slab interior—compared with fluids in magmas from the Marianas Arc, where older, colder lithosphere subducts. We use geodynamic modelling to show that, in the hotter subduction zone, the upper crust of the subducting slab rapidly dehydrates at shallow depths. With continued subduction, fluids released from the deeper plate interior migrate into the dehydrated parts, causing those to melt. These melts in turn migrate into the overlying mantle wedge, where they trigger further melting. Our results provide a physical model to explain melting of the subducted plate and mass transfer from the slab to the mantle beneath arcs where relatively young oceanic lithosphere is subducted.

  15. The return of sialic material to the mantle indicated by terrigeneous material subducted at convergent margins (United States)

    von, Huene R.; Scholl, D. W.


    At convergent margins where oceanic crust is subducted beneath continental or island-arc crust, sediment on the igneous oceanic crust divides into an accreted and a subducted fraction. Although the subducted fraction is larger, it is obscured in many seismic reflection records because of its depth and the effects of the overlying complex structure. Volumes of accreted and underthrust sediment were quantified at individual margins and global estimates were made of the terrigeneous debris subducted. Also included were debris from subduction erosion. The estimated volume of terrigeneous material subducted beneath continental and island-arc crust is sufficiently large to significantly affect processes along the plate boundary. The possible volume reaching the mantle could have considerable affect on mantle evolution. ?? 1993.

  16. Effect of aseismic ridge subduction on slab geometry and overriding plate deformation: Insights from analogue modeling


    Martinod, Joseph; Guillaume, Benjamin; Espurt, Nicolas; Faccenna, Claudio; Funiciello, Francesca; Regard, Vincent


    International audience; We present analogue models simulating the subduction of a buoyant ridge beneath an advancing overriding plate whose velocity is imposed by lateral boundary conditions. We analyze the 3D geometry of the slab, the deformation and topography of the overriding plate. Ridge subduction diminishes the dip of the slab, eventually leading to the appearance of a horizontal slab segment. This result contrasts with that obtained in free subduction experiments, in which ridge subdu...

  17. Dynamics of Intra-Continental Convergence Between the Western Tarim Basin and Central Tien Shan Constrained by Centroid Moment Tensors of Regional Earthquakes (United States)

    Huang, Guo-chin Dino; Roecker, Steven W.; Levin, Vadim; Wang, Haitao; Li, Zhihai


    Among the outstanding tectonic questions regarding the convergence between the Tien Shan and Tarim basin in northwestern China are the manner in which deformation is accommodated within their lithospheres, and the extent that the Tarim lithosphere underthrusts the Tien Shan. In particular, the amount and type of deformation within the Tarim basin is poorly understood. It is also uncertain if the convergence between the Tarim and the Tien Shan takes place mainly along a discrete boundary, or if the Tarim lithosphere simply indents into the Kazach shield, forming the Tien Shan through crustal thickening accommodated by a distributed series of thrust faults. In this study we use hypocenters from published earthquake catalogs and waveforms recorded by regional seismic networks to determine earthquake source parameters through regional centroid moment tensor inversion. The entire dataset consists of 160 earthquakes that occurred between 1969 and 2009 and with moment magnitudes between 3.5 and 7 distributed throughout the central Tien Shan and northwestern Tarim Basin. The estimated focal depths of these earthquakes range from the near-surface to about 44 km. Focal mechanisms throughout much of the Tien Shan indicate active deformation accommodated by thrust faults from at least the upper crust to 30 km depth. South of the Tien Shan, the Jia-shi earthquake sequence within the Tarim basin suggests that both crustal shortening and localized flexure are part of a complicated process involving rotational convergence. Inside the Tarim basin, two earthquakes with thrust faulting mechanisms near the crust-mantle boundary beneath the Bachu uplift imply a brittle rheology of the lower crust. High-angle thrust events occur broadly across the Tien Shan, suggesting that the Tarim lithosphere as a whole is strong and indents into the Kazach shield to create the mountain range.

  18. Observations at convergent margins concerning sediment subduction, subduction erosion, and the growth of continental crust (United States)

    Von Huene, R.; Scholl, D. W.


    At ocean margins where two plates converge, the oceanic plate sinks or is subducted beneath an upper one topped by a layer of terrestrial crust. This crust is constructed of continental or island arc material. The subduction process either builds juvenile masses of terrestrial crust through arc volcanism or new areas of crust through the piling up of accretionary masses (prisms) of sedimentary deposits and fragments of thicker crustal bodies scraped off the subducting lower plate. At convergent margins, terrestrial material can also bypass the accretionary prism as a result of sediment subduction, and terrestrial matter can be removed from the upper plate by processes of subduction erosion. Sediment subduction occurs where sediment remains attached to the subducting oceanic plate and underthrusts the seaward position of the upper plate's resistive buttress (backstop) of consolidated sediment and rock. Sediment subduction occurs at two types of convergent margins: type 1 margins where accretionary prisms form and type 2 margins where little net accretion takes place. At type 2 margins (???19,000 km in global length), effectively all incoming sediment is subducted beneath the massif of basement or framework rocks forming the landward trench slope. At accreting or type 1 margins, sediment subduction begins at the seaward position of an active buttress of consolidated accretionary material that accumulated in front of a starting or core buttress of framework rocks. Where small-to-mediumsized prisms have formed (???16,300 km), approximately 20% of the incoming sediment is skimmed off a detachment surface or decollement and frontally accreted to the active buttress. The remaining 80% subducts beneath the buttress and may either underplate older parts of the frontal body or bypass the prism entirely and underthrust the leading edge of the margin's rock framework. At margins bordered by large prisms (???8,200 km), roughly 70% of the incoming trench floor section is

  19. Mantle discontinuities beneath Izu-Bonin and the implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    臧绍先; 周元泽; 蒋志勇


    The SdP, pdP and sdP phases are picked up with the Nth root slant stack method from the digital waveform data recorded by the networks and arrays in USA, Germany and Switzerland for the earthquakes occurring beneath Izu-Bonin and Japan Sea. The mantle discontinuities and the effects of subducting slab on the 660 km and 410 km discontinuities are studied. It is found that there are mantle discontinuities existing at the depths of 170, 220, 300, 410, 660, 850 and 1150 km. Beneath Izu-Bonin, the 410 km discontinuity is elevated, while the 660 km discontinuity is depressed; for both discontinuities, there are regionalized differences. Beneath Japan Sea, however, there is no depth variation of the 410 km discontinuity, and the 660 km discontinuity is depressed without obvious effect of the subducting slab.

  20. Surface deformation resulting from subduction and slab detachment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buiter, S.J.H.


    Convergence of lithospheric plates is accommodated at active margins by one plate moving beneath the other into the Earth's mantle. Changes in this subduction process may cause variations in the topography of the Earth's surface near a convergent plate margin. The focus of this thesis lies on

  1. Electrical structure beneath the Hangai Dome, Mongolia, from magnetotelluric data (United States)

    Comeau, Matthew; Käufl, Johannes; Becken, Michael; Kuvshinov, Alexey; Demberel, Sodnomsambuu; Sukhbaatar, Usnikh; Batmagnai, Erdenechimeg; Tserendug, Shoovdor; Nasan, Ochir


    The Hangai Dome in west-central Mongolia is an unusual high-elevation intra-continental plateau located far from tectonic plate boundaries and characterized by dispersed, low-volume, basaltic volcanism. This region is an ideal natural laboratory for studying intra-continental orogenic and magmatic processes resulting from crust-mantle interactions. The processes responsible for developing the Hangai Dome remain unexplained, due in part to a lack of high resolution geophysical data over the area. Here we present newly acquired broadband (0.008 - 3,000 s) magnetotelluric (MT) data from a large-scale ( 200 x 450 km) and high resolution (site spacing > 5 km) survey across the Hangai Dome. A total of 125 sites were collected and include full MT sites and telluric-only sites where inter-station transfer functions were computed. The MT data are used to generate an electrical resistivity model of the crust and upper mantle below the Hangai Dome. The model shows that the lower crust ( 30 - 50 km; below the brittle-ductile transition zone) beneath the Hangai Dome contains anomalous discrete pockets of low-resistivity ( 30 ohm-m) material that indicate the presence of local accumulations of fluids and/or low-percent partial melts. These anomalous regions appear to be spatially associated with the surface expressions of past volcanism, hydrothermal activity, and an increase in heat flow. They also correlate with observed crustal low-density and low-velocity anomalies. However they are in contrast to some geochemical and petrological studies which show long-lived crustal melt storage is impossible below the Hangai due to limited crustal assimilation and crustal contamination, arguing for a single parent-source at mantle depths. The upper mantle ( 6%) at this location. The results are consistent with modern geochemical and geophysical data, which show a thin lithosphere below the Hangai region. Furthermore the results agree with geodynamic models that require a low-heat flux

  2. Introduction to the structures and processes of subduction zones (United States)

    Zheng, Yong-Fei; Zhao, Zi-Fu


    Subduction zones have been the focus of many studies since the advent of plate tectonics in 1960s. Workings within subduction zones beneath volcanic arcs have been of particular interest because they prime the source of arc magmas. The results from magmatic products have been used to decipher the structures and processes of subduction zones. In doing so, many progresses have been made on modern oceanic subduction zones, but less progresses on ancient oceanic subduction zones. On the other hand, continental subduction zones have been studied since findings of coesite in metamorphic rocks of supracrustal origin in 1980s. It turns out that high-pressure to ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic rocks in collisional orogens provide a direct target to investigate the tectonism of subduction zones, whereas oceanic and continental arc volcanic rocks in accretionary orogens provide an indirect target to investigate the geochemistry of subduction zones. Nevertheless, metamorphic dehydration and partial melting at high-pressure to ultrahigh-pressure conditions are tectonically applicable to subduction zone processes at forearc to subarc depths, and crustal metasomatism is the physicochemical mechanism for geochemical transfer from the slab to the mantle in subduction channels. Taken together, these provide us with an excellent opportunity to find how the metamorphic, metasomatic and magmatic products are a function of the structures and processes in both oceanic and continental subduction zones. Because of the change in the thermal structures of subduction zones, different styles of metamorphism, metasomatism and magmatism are produced at convergent plate margins. In addition, juvenile and ancient crustal rocks have often suffered reworking in episodes independent of either accretionary or collisional orogeny, leading to continental rifting metamorphism and thus rifting orogeny for mountain building in intracontinental settings. This brings complexity to distinguish the syn-subduction

  3. Dynamics and Preservation Potential of Subduction Complexes in Continental Sutures: A Case Study from the Sedimentary-Marix Mélange of the Indus-Yarlung Suture Zone in Southern Tibet (United States)

    Metcalf, K.; Kapp, P. A.; Orme, D. A.


    Intra-continental sutures are the geologic record of ancient subduction zones. Subduction complexes are a useful record of ancient continental collisions because they preserve sediments and/or blocks from units which have since eroded and are the first point of contact during collision. The India-Asia collision is one of the most-studied collisional orogens, but how much of the original subduction complex is preserved and what we can determine about the dynamics of the ancient subduction zone along the southern margin of Asia is poorly understood. Compared to other subduction complexes around the world, the complex preserved in the Indus Yarlung Suture Zone (IYSZ) of southern Tibet is anomalous. Blueschist facies metamorphism, a prominent mineral assemblage along intra-continental suture zones, is common in the northwest Himalaya, but not found along the central segment of the IYSZ. Most of the subduction complex is greenschist facies, inconsistent with the geotherm for a subduction zone. We present a metamorphic history for the greenschist facies rocks to reconcile this contradiction. A deep forearc basin (~5-8 km) developed during the Cretaceous, requiring an accretionary subduction zone, a topographic or structural outer forearc high behind which to trap sediment, and/or basal subduction erosion. The preserved subduction complex is almost entirely tectonic sedimentary-matrix mélange with minor outcrops of overlying turbidites. We present evidence from detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology of sandstones that indicate along-strike variability in the provenance of the sedimentary-matrix mélange. For example, both lower and upper plate material are present near the town of Ngamring, while regions along-strike to the west contain little to no upper plate material. The blocks in the sedimentary-matrix mélange are well-mixed throughout kilometers of exposed width. Sandstone blocks of Tethyan affinity, which could have entered the trench only at the onset of collision

  4. Fluid migration in continental subduction: The Northern Apennines case study (United States)

    Agostinetti, Nicola Piana; Bianchi, Irene; Amato, Alessandro; Chiarabba, Claudio


    Subduction zones are the place in the world where fluids are transported from the foredeep to the mantle and back-to-the-surface in the back-arc. The subduction of an oceanic plate implies the transportation of the oceanic crust to depth and its methamorphization. Oceanic sediments release water in the (relatively) shallower part of the subduction zone, while dehydration of the subducted basaltic crust allows fluid circulation at larger depths. While the water budget in oceanic subduction has been deeply investigated, less attention has been given to the fluids implied in the subduction of a continental margin (i.e. in continental subduction). In this study, we use teleseismic receiver function (RF) analysis to image the process of water migration at depth, from the subducting plate to the mantle wedge, under the Northern Apennines (NAP, Italy). Harmonic decomposition of the RF data-set is used to constrain both isotropic and anisotropic structures. Isotropic structures highlight the subduction of the Adriatic lower crust under the NAP orogens, from 35-40 km to 65 km depth, as a dipping low S-velocity layer. Anisotropic structures indicate the presence of a broad anisotropic zone (anisotropy as high as 7%). This zone develops in the subducted Adriatic lower crust and mantle wedge, between 45 and 65 km depth, directly beneath the orogens and the more recent back-arc extensional basin. The anisotropy is related to the metamorphism of the Adriatic lower crust (gabbro to blueschists) and its consequent eclogitization (blueschists to eclogite). The second metamorphic phase releases water directly in the mantle wedge, hydrating the back-arc upper mantle. The fluid migration process imaged in this study below the northern Apennines could be a proxy for understanding other regions of ongoing continental subduction.

  5. Subduction of fracture zones (United States)

    Constantin Manea, Vlad; Gerya, Taras; Manea, Marina; Zhu, Guizhi; Leeman, William


    Since Wilson proposed in 1965 the existence of a new class of faults on the ocean floor, namely transform faults, the geodynamic effects and importance of fracture zone subduction is still little studied. It is known that oceanic plates are characterized by numerous fracture zones, and some of them have the potential to transport into subduction zones large volumes of water-rich serpentinite, providing a fertile water source for magma generated in subduction-related arc volcanoes. In most previous geodynamic studies, subducting plates are considered to be homogeneous, and there is no clear indication how the subduction of a fracture zone influences the melting pattern in the mantle wedge and the slab-derived fluids distribution in the subarc mantle. Here we show that subduction of serpentinized fracture zones plays a significant role in distribution of melt and fluids in the mantle wedge above the slab. Using high-resolution tree-dimensional coupled petrological-termomechanical simulations of subduction, we show that fluids, including melts and water, vary dramatically in the region where a serpentinized fracture zone enters into subduction. Our models show that substantial hydration and partial melting tend to concentrate where fracture zones are being subducted, creating favorable conditions for partially molten hydrous plumes to develop. These results are consistent with the along-arc variability in magma source compositions and processes in several regions, as the Aleutian Arc, the Cascades, the Southern Mexican Volcanic Arc, and the Andean Southern Volcanic Zone.

  6. Effects of Two Subducting Slabs on the Temperature Distribution Along the Subduction Faults in the Kanto Region, Japan (United States)

    Wada, I.; He, J.


    In this study, we investigate the thermal effects of subduction of two oceanic plates in the Kanto region of Japan, using a 3-D numerical thermal model. The Kanto region lies in the forearc of a subduction system, where the Pacific (PAC) plate and the Philippine Sea (PHS) plate subduct beneath the North American (NA) plate. In a typical subduction setting with one subducting slab, the motion of the slab drives solid-state mantle flow in the overlying mantle wedge, and the flow brings in hot mantle from the backarc towards the forearc. In the Kanto region, however, the presence of the PHS plate between the overlying NA plate and the subducting PAC plate prevents a typical mantle flow pattern. We developed a 3-D thermal model for the Kanto region to simulate the pattern of mantle wedge flow and to quantify its effect on the thermal structure. The model incorporates realistic slab geometries that were delineated from seismological studies. Mantle wedge flow between the PHS slab and the overlying NA plate is expected to be subdued due to the small space and the relatively slow subduction of the PHS slab. We simplify the model by incorporating the results of a 2-D thermal modeling for the subduction of the PHS slab as part of boundary conditions in the 3-D model to approximate the effect of the subdued mantle wedge flow and the subduction of the PHS slab. We use geophysical observations as constraints for the 3-D thermal model and estimate the temperature distributions along the subduction plate interfaces. The model predicts a particularly cold condition in the central part of the Kanto region where the PAC and PHS slabs are in contact with one another, consistent with the observed deeper extent of seismicity along the subduction faults compared to the neighboring regions.

  7. Thickness of the subducting Nazca lithosphere in northern Chile as seen by S receiver functions (United States)

    Sodoudi, Forough; Asch, Günter; Kind, Rainer; Oncken, Onno; Vilotte, Jean-Pierre; Barrientos, Sergio; Salazar Reinoso, Pablo


    Installation of observatories in northern Chile started in 2006 in a close cooperation of the Universidad de Chile (Santiago), the Universidad Catolica del Norte (Antofagasta), the IPGP (Paris), and the GFZ Potsdam. Currently we operate 15 modern seismological stations equipped with STS-2 broadband seismometers. One GEOFON station operated since 2001 completes our dataset in northern Chile. We combined here two methods (P and S receiver function) to have the best vertical as well as horizontal coverage of the area and map the geometry of the subducting Nazca plate. Our high resolution results image the penetration of the Moho of the subducting Nazca plate at depths ranging from 35 km beneath the Coastal Cordillera to an average depth of 80 km beneath the Longitudinal Valley and about 100 km beneath the Precordillera. We found a significant variation in the dip of the subducting Nazca plate obtained from stations located in the northern part (over latitude of 21 deg. South) compared to those located below this latitude. The shape of the Nazca plate shows a shallow dip beneath the southern part and becomes steeper and deeper beneath the northern part of the area, which is coherent with the intermediate seismicity. On the basis of our P and S receiver functions, the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary of the subducting Nazca plate is at 80 km depth beneath the Coastal Cordillera and dips to a depth of about 120 km beneath the Longitudinal Valley. It becomes 150 km underneath the Precordillera.

  8. The role of viscoelasticity in subducting plates (United States)

    Farrington, R. J.; Moresi, L.-N.; Capitanio, F. A.


    of tectonic plates into Earth's mantle occurs when one plate bends beneath another at convergent plate boundaries. The characteristic time of deformation at these convergent boundaries approximates the Maxwell relaxation time for olivine at lithospheric temperatures and pressures, it is therefore by definition a viscoelastic process. While this is widely acknowledged, the large-scale features of subduction can, and have been, successfully reproduced assuming the plate deforms by a viscous mechanism alone. However, the energy rates and stress profile within convergent margins are influenced by viscoelastic deformation. In this study, viscoelastic stresses have been systematically introduced into numerical models of free subduction, using both the viscosity and shear modulus to control the Maxwell relaxation time. The introduction of an elastic deformation mechanism into subduction models produces deviations in both the stress profile and energy rates within the subduction hinge when compared to viscous only models. These variations result in an apparent viscosity that is variable throughout the length of the plate, decreasing upon approach and increasing upon leaving the hinge. At realistic Earth parameters, we show that viscoelastic stresses have a minor effect on morphology yet are less dissipative at depth and result in an energy transfer between the energy stored during bending and the energy released during unbending. We conclude that elasticity is important during both bending and unbending within the slab hinge with the resulting stress loading and energy profile indicating that slabs maintain larger deformation rates at smaller stresses during bending and retain their strength during unbending at depth.

  9. Slab mantle dehydrates beneath Kamchatka—Yet recycles water into the deep mantle (United States)

    Konrad-Schmolke, Matthias; Halama, Ralf; Manea, Vlad C.


    The subduction of hydrated slab mantle is the most important and yet weakly constrained factor in the quantification of the Earth's deep geologic water cycle. The most critical unknowns are the initial hydration state and the dehydration behavior of the subducted oceanic mantle. Here we present a combined thermomechanical, thermodynamic, and geochemical model of the Kamchatka subduction zone that indicates significant dehydration of subducted slab mantle beneath Kamchatka. Evidence for the subduction of hydrated oceanic mantle comes from across-arc trends of boron concentrations and isotopic compositions in arc volcanic rocks. Our thermodynamic-geochemical models successfully predict the complex geochemical patterns and the spatial distribution of arc volcanoes in Kamchatka assuming the subduction of hydrated oceanic mantle. Our results show that water content and dehydration behavior of the slab mantle beneath Kamchatka can be directly linked to compositional features in arc volcanic rocks. Depending on hydration depth of the slab mantle, our models yield water recycling rates between 1.1 × 103 and 7.4 × 103 Tg/Ma/km corresponding to values between 0.75 × 106 and 5.2 × 106 Tg/Ma for the entire Kamchatkan subduction zone. These values are up to one order of magnitude lower than previous estimates for Kamchatka, but clearly show that subducted hydrated slab mantle significantly contributes to the water budget in the Kamchatkan subduction zone.

  10. Shear Wave Splitting Observations Beneath Uturuncu Volcano, Bolivia (United States)

    Sims, N. E.; Christensen, D. H.; Moore-Driskell, M. M.


    Anisotropy in the upper mantle is often associated with mantle flow direction through the lattice preferred orientation of anisotropic minerals such as olivine in the upper mantle material. The flow of the mantle around subduction zones can be particularly complex, and thus difficult to explain. Because of its relationship to anisotropy, analysis of shear wave splitting measurements can help to answer questions regarding the upper mantle flow that surrounds subducting slabs. Here we present SK(K)S shear wave splitting measurements from a temporary broadband network (PLUTONS) of 33 stations deployed from April 2009 to October 2012 on the Altiplano plateau around Uturuncu volcano in Bolivia. The stations are spaced 10-20 km apart, providing a high spatial resolution of the region of the mantle directly below Uturuncu volcano. Despite the lack of numerous splitting results to analyze, preliminary measurements indicate a relatively consistent pattern of fast-polarization directions in a NW-SE orientation of about N80ºW. We think that it is likely that these observations come from anisotropy in the mantle wedge above the subducting Nazca plate indicating a direction of flow in the mantle wedge that is sub-parallel to the subduction direction of the Nazca plate. Although W-E flow beneath the subducting Nazca plate cannot be completely ruled out, these results appear to be consistent with the simple model of two-dimensional corner flow in the mantle wedge and slab-entrained mantle flow beneath the slab.

  11. Subduction Stability: Lithospheric Strength and Roll-back (United States)

    Patel, P. I.; Lavier, L.; Grand, S.


    In exploring the issue of subduction zone stability, we ran a series of simulations representing subduction systems consisting of simple 2D representations of oceanic lithosphere subducting beneath continental lithosphere. Our modelling software utilizes temperature dependent visco-elasto-plastic rheologies as well as a few proxies for significant chemical processes such as ecologitization and hydration. With externally imposed convergence rates, these models evolve from a contrived subduction initiation state to "normal-looking" subduction within approximately 10 million years. The simulations are then allowed to continue to evolve for up to 30 million more years. From our early results, we note that while most systems start with similar subduction geometries, they may deviate from each other over time. Notably, subduction initiated at "cooler" (and therefore stronger) junctures tend to form very stable subduction zones which maintain normal-looking geometries throughout the life of the simulation. However, subduction initiated at warmer margins tend to result in slab rollback relatively quickly. Systems with junctures of intermediate temperature also tend to subduct stably for a substantial amount of time, yet they too eventually result in rollback as the subducting slab entrains and removes some of the cooler lithosphere near the juncture, allowing hotter asthenospheric material into the contact region between the plates. The hot, low-viscosity material sharply reduces the fluid-dynamically derived suction force that partially supports the stable subduction geometry, facilitating the retreat of the subducting slab as well as the rifting of the over-riding slab. These simulations incorporate a variety of approximations and assumptions which may not reflect the actual conditions within the Earth. However, they do offer a chance to observe how a system that at least appears geometrically similar to observed Earth systems may behave when subjected to varying

  12. Seismic probing of continental subduction zones (United States)

    Zhao, Liang; Xu, Xiaobing; Malusà, Marco G.


    High-resolution images of Earth's interior provide pivotal information for the understanding of a range of geodynamic processes, including continental subduction and exhumation of ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic rocks. Here we present a synthesis of available global seismic observations on continental subduction zones, and selected examples of seismic probing from the European Alps, the Himalaya-Tibet and the Qinling-Dabie orogenic belts. Our synthesis and examples show that slabs recognized beneath exhumed continental UHP terranes generally have shallow dip angles (100 km. Slabs underlined by a clear high velocity anomaly from Earth's surface to the mantle are generally Cenozoic in age. Some of these slabs are continuous, whereas other continental subduction zones are located above discontinuous high velocity anomalies possibly suggesting slab breakoff. The density of seismic stations and the quality of recordings are of primary importance to get high-resolution images of the upper mantle to be used as a starting point to provide reliable geodynamic interpretations. In some cases, areas previously indicated as possible site of slab breakoff, such as the European Alps, have been later proven to be located above a continuous slab by using higher quality travel time data from denser seismic arrays. Discriminating between oceanic and continental slabs can be challenging, but valuable information can be provided by combining teleseismic tomography and receiver function analysis. The upper mantle beneath most continental UHP terranes generally shows complex seismic anisotropy patterns that are potentially preserved even in pre-Cenozoic subduction zones. These patterns can be used to provide information on continental slabs that are no longer highlighted by a clear high-velocity anomaly.

  13. Mantle structure beneath the western edge of the Colorado Plateau (United States)

    Sine, C.R.; Wilson, D.; Gao, W.; Grand, S.P.; Aster, R.; Ni, J.; Baldridge, W.S.


    Teleseismic traveltime data are inverted for mantle Vp and Vs variations beneath a 1400 km long line of broadband seismometers extending from eastern New Mexico to western Utah. The model spans 600 km beneath the moho with resolution of ???50 km. Inversions show a sharp, large-magnitude velocity contrast across the Colorado Plateau-Great Basin transition extending ???200 km below the crust. Also imaged is a fast anomaly 300 to 600 km beneath the NW portion of the array. Very slow velocities beneath the Great Basin imply partial melting and/or anomalously wet mantle. We propose that the sharp contrast in mantle velocities across the western edge of the Plateau corresponds to differential lithospheric modification, during and following Farallon subduction, across a boundary defining the western extent of unmodified Proterozoic mantle lithosphere. The deep fast anomaly corresponds to thickened Farallon plate or detached continental lithosphere at transition zone depths. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

  14. Seismic Anisotropy due to Crust and Uppermost Mantle Deformation Beneath Southern Peru and Bolivia: Constraints from Receiver Functions (United States)

    Bar, N.; Long, M. D.; Wagner, L. S.; Beck, S. L.; Tavera, H.


    Subduction systems play a key role in plate tectonics, but the deformation of the crust and uppermost mantle during subduction and orogenesis in continental subduction systems remains poorly understood. Observations of seismic anisotropy can provide important constraints on dynamic processes in the crust and uppermost mantle in subduction systems. The subduction zone beneath Peru and Bolivia, where the Nazca plate subducts beneath South America, represents a particularly interesting location to study subduction-related deformation, given the complex slab morphology and the along-strike transition from flat to normally dipping subduction. In particular, understanding the structure and deformation of the crust and mantle will yield insight into the relationship between the flat slab and the overriding continental lithosphere. In this study we constrain seismic anisotropy within and above the subducting slab (including the mantle wedge and the overriding plate) beneath southern Peru and Bolivia using transverse component receiver functions. Because anisotropic receiver function analysis can constrain the depth distribution of anisotropy, this analysis is complementary to previous studies of shear wave splitting in this region. We examine data from two dense lines of seismometers from the PULSE and CAUGHT deployments in Peru and Bolivia, each anchored by a long-running permanent station. The northern line overlies the Peru flat slab, while the southern line overlies the normally dipping slab beneath Bolivia. Beneath Peru, our investigation of anisotropic structure along the flat slab will help test the recently suggested hypothesis of a slab tear; beneath Bolivia, we aim to characterize the pattern of flow in the mantle wedge as well as the nature of deformation in the lower crust of the overriding plate.

  15. Tomography reveals buoyant asthenosphere accumulating beneath the Juan de Fuca plate (United States)

    Hawley, William B.; Allen, Richard M.; Richards, Mark A.


    The boundary between Earth’s strong lithospheric plates and the underlying mantle asthenosphere corresponds to an abrupt seismic velocity decrease and electrical conductivity increase with depth, perhaps indicating a thin, weak layer that may strongly influence plate motion dynamics. The behavior of such a layer at subduction zones remains unexplored. We present a tomographic model, derived from on- and offshore seismic experiments, that reveals a strong low-velocity feature beneath the subducting Juan de Fuca slab along the entire Cascadia subduction zone. Through simple geodynamic arguments, we propose that this low-velocity feature is the accumulation of material from a thin, weak, buoyant layer present beneath the entire oceanic lithosphere. The presence of this feature could have major implications for our understanding of the asthenosphere and subduction zone dynamics.

  16. Slab melting and magma formation beneath the southern Cascade arc (United States)

    Walowski, K. J.; Wallace, P. J.; Clynne, M. A.; Rasmussen, D. J.; Weis, D.


    The processes that drive magma formation beneath the Cascade arc and other warm-slab subduction zones have been debated because young oceanic crust is predicted to largely dehydrate beneath the forearc during subduction. In addition, geochemical variability along strike in the Cascades has led to contrasting interpretations about the role of volatiles in magma generation. Here, we focus on the Lassen segment of the Cascade arc, where previous work has demonstrated across-arc geochemical variations related to subduction enrichment, and H-isotope data suggest that H2O in basaltic magmas is derived from the final breakdown of chlorite in the mantle portion of the slab. We use naturally glassy, olivine-hosted melt inclusions (MI) from the tephra deposits of eight primitive (MgO > 7 wt%) basaltic cinder cones to quantify the pre-eruptive volatile contents of mantle-derived melts in this region. The melt inclusions have B concentrations and isotope ratios that are similar to mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB), suggesting extensive dehydration of the downgoing plate prior to reaching sub-arc depths and little input of slab-derived B into the mantle wedge. However, correlations of volatile and trace element ratios (H2O/Ce, Cl/Nb, Sr/Nd) in the melt inclusions demonstrate that geochemical variability is the result of variable addition of a hydrous subduction component to the mantle wedge. Furthermore, correlations between subduction component tracers and radiogenic isotope ratios show that the subduction component has less radiogenic Sr and Pb than the Lassen sub-arc mantle, which can be explained by melting of subducted Gorda MORB beneath the arc. Agreement between pMELTS melting models and melt inclusion volatile, major, and trace element data suggests that hydrous slab melt addition to the mantle wedge can produce the range in primitive compositions erupted in the Lassen region. Our results provide further evidence that chlorite-derived fluids from the mantle portion of the

  17. Slab melting and magma generation beneath the southern Cascade Arc (United States)

    Walowski, K. J.; Wallace, P. J.; Clynne, M. A.


    Magma formation in subduction zones is interpreted to be caused by flux melting of the mantle wedge by fluids derived from dehydration of the downgoing oceanic lithosphere. In the Cascade Arc and other hot-slab subduction zones, however, most dehydration reactions occur beneath the forearc, necessitating a closer investigation of magma generation processes in this setting. Recent work combining 2-D steady state thermal models and the hydrogen isotope composition of olivine-hosted melt inclusions from the Lassen segment of the Cascades (Walowski et al., 2014; in review) has shown that partial melting of the subducted basaltic crust may be a key part of the subduction component in hot arcs. In this model, fluids from the slab interior (hydrated upper mantle) rise through the slab and cause flux-melting of the already dehydrated MORB volcanics in the upper oceanic crust. In the Shasta and Lassen segments of the southern Cascades, support for this interpretation comes from primitive magmas that have MORB-like Sr isotope compositions that correlate with subduction component tracers (H2O/Ce, Sr/P) (Grove et al. 2002, Borg et al. 2002). In addition, mass balance calculations of the composition of subduction components show ratios of trace elements to H2O that are at the high end of the global arc array (Ruscitto et al. 2012), consistent with the role of a slab-derived melt. Melting of the subducted basaltic crust should contribute a hydrous dacitic or rhyolitic melt (e.g. Jego and Dasgupta, 2013) to the mantle wedge rather than an H2O-rich aqueous fluid. We are using pHMELTS and pMELTS to model the reaction of hydrous slab melts with mantle peridotite as the melts rise through the inverted thermal gradient in the mantle wedge. The results of the modeling will be useful for understanding magma generation processes in arcs that are associated with subduction of relatively young oceanic lithosphere.

  18. The Cascadia Subduction Zone: two contrasting models of lithospheric structure (United States)

    Romanyuk, T.V.; Blakely, R.; Mooney, W.D.


    The Pacific margin of North America is one of the most complicated regions in the world in terms of its structure and present day geodynamic regime. The aim of this work is to develop a better understanding of lithospheric structure of the Pacific Northwest, in particular the Cascadia subduction zone of Southwest Canada and Northwest USA. The goal is to compare and contrast the lithospheric density structure along two profiles across the subduction zone and to interpet the differences in terms of active processes. The subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate beneath North America changes markedly along the length of the subduction zone, notably in the angle of subduction, distribution of earthquakes and volcanism, goelogic and seismic structure of the upper plate, and regional horizontal stress. To investigate these characteristics, we conducted detailed density modeling of the crust and mantle along two transects across the Cascadia subduction zone. One crosses Vancouver Island and the Canadian margin, the other crosses the margin of central Oregon.

  19. Subduction Zone Science - Examples of Seismic Images of the Central Andes and Subducting Nazca Slab (United States)

    Beck, S. L.; Zandt, G.; Scire, A. C.; Ward, K. M.; Portner, D. E.; Bishop, B.; Ryan, J. C.; Wagner, L. S.; Long, M. D.


    Subduction has shaped large regions of the Earth and constitute over 55,000 km of convergent plate margin today. The subducting slabs descend from the surface into the lower mantle and impacts earthquake occurrence, surface uplift, arc volcanism and mantle convection as well as many other processes. The subduction of the Nazca plate beneath the South America plate is one example and constitutes the largest present day ocean-continent convergent margin system and has built the Andes, one of the largest actively growing mountain ranges on Earth. This active margin is characterized by along-strike variations in arc magmatism, upper crustal shortening, crustal thickness, and slab geometry that make it an ideal region to study the relationship between the subducting slab, the mantle wedge, and the overriding plate. After 20 years of portable seismic deployments in the Central Andes seismologists have combined data sets and used multiple techniques to generate seismic images spanning ~3000 km of the South American subduction zone to ~800 km depth with unprecedented resolution. For example, using teleseismic P- waves we have imaged the Nazca slab penetrating through the mantle transition zone (MTZ) and into the uppermost lower mantle. Our tomographic images show that there is significant along-strike variation in the morphology of the Nazca slab in the upper mantle, MTZ, and the lower mantle, including possible tears, folding, and internal deformation. Receiver function studies and surface wave tomography have revealed major changes in lithospheric properties in the Andes. Improved seismic images allow us to more completely evaluate tectonic processes in the formation and uplift of the Andes including: (1) overthickened continental crust driven by crustal shortening, (2) changes in slab dip and coupling with the overlying plate (3) localized lithospheric foundering, and (4) large-scale mantle and crustal melting leading to magmatic addition and/or crustal flow. Although

  20. Trench-parallel flow beneath the nazca plate from seismic anisotropy. (United States)

    Russo, R M; Silver, P G


    Shear-wave splitting of S and SKS phases reveals the anisotropy and strain field of the mantle beneath the subducting Nazca plate, Cocos plate, and the Caribbean region. These observations can be used to test models of mantle flow. Two-dimensional entrained mantle flow beneath the subducting Nazca slab is not consistent with the data. Rather, there is evidence for horizontal trench-parallel flow in the mantle beneath the Nazca plate along much of the Andean subduction zone. Trench-parallel flow is attributale utable to retrograde motion of the slab, the decoupling of the slab and underlying mantle, and a partial barrier to flow at depth, resulting in lateral mantle flow beneath the slab. Such flow facilitates the transfer of material from the shrinking mantle reservoir beneath the Pacific basin to the growing mantle reservoir beneath the Atlantic basin. Trenchparallel flow may explain the eastward motions of the Caribbean and Scotia sea plates, the anomalously shallow bathymetry of the eastern Nazca plate, the long-wavelength geoid high over western South America, and it may contribute to the high elevation and intense deformation of the central Andes.

  1. Nonvolcanic tremors in the Mexican subduction zone (United States)

    Payero, J. S.; Kostoglodov, V.; Mikumo, T.; Perez-Campos, X.; Iglesias, A.; Clayton, R.


    Nonvolcanic low frequency tremors (NVT) have been discovered and studied recently in Japan and Cascadia subduction zones and deep beneath the San Andreas Fault. The tremors activity is increasing during so-called silent earthquakes (SQ) in Japan and Cascadia. NVT clusters also migrate following the propagation of the SQ. The origin of the NVT is still unclear. The studies of NVT and SQ in different subduction zones are required to understand the cause for these phenomena. We discovered a number of NVT from daily spectrograms of continuous broad band records at seismic stations of Servicio Seismológico Nacional (SSN) an MASE project. The analyzed data cover a period of 2001-2004 (SSN) when in 2002 a large SQ has occurred in the Guerrero- Oaxaca region, and a steady-state interseismic epoch of 2005 and a new large SQ in 2006 (MASE). NVT occurred in the central part of the Mexican subduction zone (Guerrero) at approximately 200 km from the coast. We can not accurately localize the tremors because of sparse station coverage in 2001-2004. The MASE data of 2005-2006 show that NVT records in Mexico are very similar to those obtained in Cascadia subduction zone. The tremors duration is of 10-60 min, and they appear to travel at S-wave velocities. More than 100 strong NVT were recorded by most of the MASE stations with the epicenters clustered in the narrow band of ~40x150 km to the south of Iguala city and parallel to the coast line. NVT depths are poorly constrained but seem to be less than 40 km deep. We noticed a some increase of NVT activity during the 2001-2002 and 2006 SQs compared with an NVT activity for the "SQ quiet" period of 2003-2004 nevertheless. A lack of NVT for the period of 2-3 months after the SQ is apparent in 2002 and 2006.

  2. Geodynamics of the northern Andes: Subductions and intracontinental deformation (Colombia) (United States)

    Taboada, Alfredo; Rivera, Luis A.; Fuenzalida, AndréS.; Cisternas, Armando; Philip, Hervé; Bijwaard, Harmen; Olaya, José; Rivera, Clara


    New regional seismological data acquired in Colombia during 1993 to 1996 and tectonic field data from the Eastern Cordillera (EC) permit a reexamination of the complex geodynamics of northwestern South America. The effect of the accretion of the Baudó-Panama oceanic arc, which began 12 Myr ago, is highlighted in connection with mountain building in the EC. The Istmina and Ibagué faults in the south and the Santa Marta-Bucaramanga fault to the northeast limit an E-SE moving continental wedge. Progressive indentation of the wedge is absorbed along reverse faults located in the foothills of the Cordilleras (northward of 5°N) and transpressive deformation in the Santander Massif. Crustal seismicity in Colombia is accurately correlated with active faults showing neotectonic morphological evidences. Intermediate seismicity allows to identify a N-NE trending subduction segment beneath the EC, which plunges toward the E-SE. This subduction is interpreted as a remnant of the paleo-Caribbean plateau (PCP) as suggested by geological and tomographic profiles. The PCP shows a low-angle subduction northward of 5.2°N and is limited southward by a major E-W transpressive shear zone. Normal oceanic subduction of the Nazca plate (NP) ends abruptly at the southern limit of the Baudó Range. Northward, the NP subducts beneath the Chocó block, overlapping the southern part of the PCP. Cenozoic shortening in the EC estimated from a balanced section is ˜120 km. Stress analysis of fault slip data in the EC (northward of 4°N), indicates an ˜E-SE orientation of σ1 in agreement with the PCP subduction direction. Northward, near Bucaramanga, two stress solutions were observed: (1) a late Andean N80°E compression and (2) an early Andean NW-SE compression.

  3. Mantle flow and deformation of subducting slab at the junction of Tohoku-Kurile arc (United States)

    Morishige, M.; Honda, S.


    Geophysical studies of the plate junction reveal possible evidence of the presence of 3D mantle flow and deformation of subducting slabs. The junction of the Tohoku-Kurile is one of the best studied junctions in the world. The Pacific plate subducts under the North American plate in a direction almost perpendicular to Japan trench, while it subducts obliquely along the Kurile arc. Analysis of seismic anisotropy in this region shows the trench-normal fast polarization direction of S-wave splitting in the back arc even where the oblique subduction occurs. The angle of subduction varies along the strike of the trench, that is, it is smallest near the plate junction and becomes large beneath Kurile arc. There is also an important distinction in the slab behavior. The slab beneath Tohoku stagnates in the transition zone, whereas the slab beneath the Kurile arc penetrates into the lower mantle. In this presentation, we show the dynamic effects of the junction using a numerical model of mantle convection with a realistic curved shape of the trench in spherical geometry. The model is set so that it becomes similar to the geometry of the surface plate boundary in the Tohoku-Kurile arc. In order to enable one-sided subduction, the velocities are imposed both on the surface and in the small 3D boundary region around the trench. We obtain 3D flow in the mantle wedge which is consistent with the observation of seismic anisotropy including the oblique subduction zone. The flow and hence the fast polarization direction in the subslab mantle is almost 2D. We also find that the angle of subduction varies along-strike, which agrees with the observations. This variation can be explained by a torque balance acting on subducting slabs in the case of oblique subduction. This along-arc variation of the angle of subduction partly contributes to the different behavior of slab stagnation in the Tohoku-Kurile arc. Our results show that the shape of the trench is an important factor which

  4. Inside the Subduction Factory (United States)

    Eiler, John

    Subduction zones helped nucleate and grow the continents, they fertilize and lubricate the earth's interior, they are the site of most subaerial volcanism and many major earthquakes, and they yield a large fraction of the earth's precious metals. They are obvious targets for study—almost anything you learn is likely to impact important problems—yet arriving at a general understanding is notoriously difficult: Each subduction zone is distinct, differing in some important aspect from other subduction zones; fundamental aspects of their mechanics and igneous processes differ from those in other, relatively well-understood parts of the earth; and there are few direct samples of some of their most important metamorphic and metasomatic processes. As a result, even first-order features of subduction zones have generated conflict and apparent paradox. A central question about convergent margins, for instance—how vigorous magmatism can occur where plates sink and the mantle cools—has a host of mutually inconsistent answers: Early suggestions that magmatism resulted from melting subducted crust have been emphatically disproved and recently just as emphatically revived; the idea that melting is fluxed by fluid released from subducted crust is widely held but cannot explain the temperatures and volatile contents of many arc magmas; generations of kinematic and dynamic models have told us the mantle sinks at convergent margins, yet strong evidence suggests that melting there is often driven by upwelling. In contrast, our understanding ofwhy volcanoes appear at ocean ridges and "hotspots"—although still presenting their own chestnuts—are fundamentally solved problems.

  5. Effect of aseismic ridge subduction on slab geometry and overriding plate deformation: Insights from analogue modeling (United States)

    Martinod, Joseph; Guillaume, Benjamin; Espurt, Nicolas; Faccenna, Claudio; Funiciello, Francesca; Regard, Vincent


    We present analogue models simulating the subduction of a buoyant ridge oriented perpendicularly or obliquely with respect to the trench, beneath an advancing overriding plate. The convergence velocity is imposed by lateral boundary conditions in this experimental set. We analyze the three-dimensional geometry of the slab, the deformation and topography of the overriding plate. Experiments suggest that ridge subduction diminishes the dip of the slab, eventually leading to the appearance of a horizontal slab segment in case boundary conditions impose a rapid convergence. This result contrasts with that obtained in free subduction experiments, in which ridge subduction diminishes the convergence velocity which, in turn, increases the dip of the slab beneath the ridge. The slab dip decrease is accompanied by the indentation of the overriding plate by the ridge, resulting in arc curvature. Experiments suggest that indentation is larger for small convergence velocity and large slab dip. Ridge subduction also uplifts the overriding plate. Uplift first occurs close to the trench (~ fore-arc area) and is accompanied by the flexural subsidence of the overriding plate behind the uplifted area (~ back-arc subsidence). The uplifted area migrates within the overriding plate interiors following the appearance of a horizontal slab segment. These results are compared with natural examples of ridge subduction in the circum-Pacific area. They explain why ridge subduction may have contrasted effects on the overriding plate dynamics depending on the global conditions that constrain the converging system.

  6. Curie depth vs. flat subduction in Central Mexico (United States)

    Manea, Marina; Constantin Manea, Vlad


    Forearcs located above active subduction zones are generally characterized by low heat flow values, and this is considered a consequence of the subduction of cold slabs beneath continental plates. In the case of Central Mexico, the geometry of the subducting Cocos plate is quite unusual, the slab runs flat for several hundreds of kilometers before plunging into the asthenosphere. This particular geometry has a strong influence on the temperature distribution of the overriding plate where very low heatflow values are recorded (15-30 mW/m2). In this paper we use the aeromagnetic map of Mexico in order to infer the maximum depth of magnetic source, regarded as Curie depth and corresponding to a temperature of 575-600C°. Our spectral analysis revealed the existence of a deep magnetic source (30-40 km). We compare these results with the thermal structure associated with flat slab subduction in the area. We obtained a good agreement between the two estimates and we conclude that flat slab subduction in Central Mexico controls the maximum depth of magnetic sources in the overriding plate.

  7. Subducting an old subduction zone sideways provides insights into what controls plate coupling (United States)

    Reyners, Martin; Eberhart-Phillips, Donna; Bannister, Stephen


    The Hikurangi Plateau has had two episodes of subduction beneath New Zealand - firstly at ca. 100 Ma during north-south convergence with Gondwana, and currently during east-west convergence between the Pacific and Australian plates. As a result of this ninety-degree change in convergence direction, an old subduction zone is now being subducted sideways, and the tectonic history of the subducted plate varies dramatically along the strike of the Hikurangi Margin. Here we identify the location of the underplated Hikurangi Plateau along the shallow part of the Hikurangi Margin, using results from both relocated seismicity and seismic tomography. Next we decipher the tectonic history of the plateau along strike, particularly in terms of the hydration state of the plateau, and the nature of any sedimentary rock units capping the plateau. We then use this information to understand plate coupling at two scales: on the large scale, the southward transition from typical subduction in the North Island to continental collision in the South Island; and at a smaller scale, the strong lateral change from a high deficit in slip rate at the plate interface in the southern North Island to a low deficit in slip rate in the northeastern North Island. We find that the southward transition from subduction to continental collision is controlled by the plateau being more dehydrated to the south, as a result of being more deeply subducted at the Gondwana margin. The southward transition from localized slip at the plate interface to distributed upper plate deformation with no active plate interface occurs in Cook Strait and is relatively sharp. The high deficit in slip rate at the plate interface in the southern North Island is likely due to a relatively smooth plate interface from sedimentary rocks capping the Hikurangi Plateau, an impermeable terrane in the overlying plate, and the hydrated plateau acting in concert to produce an interseismically sealed plate interface. Further northeast

  8. Subduction-driven recycling of continental margin lithosphere. (United States)

    Levander, A; Bezada, M J; Niu, F; Humphreys, E D; Palomeras, I; Thurner, S M; Masy, J; Schmitz, M; Gallart, J; Carbonell, R; Miller, M S


    Whereas subduction recycling of oceanic lithosphere is one of the central themes of plate tectonics, the recycling of continental lithosphere appears to be far more complicated and less well understood. Delamination and convective downwelling are two widely recognized processes invoked to explain the removal of lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts. Here we relate oceanic plate subduction to removal of adjacent continental lithosphere in certain plate tectonic settings. We have developed teleseismic body wave images from dense broadband seismic experiments that show higher than expected volumes of anomalously fast mantle associated with the subducted Atlantic slab under northeastern South America and the Alboran slab beneath the Gibraltar arc region; the anomalies are under, and are aligned with, the continental margins at depths greater than 200 kilometres. Rayleigh wave analysis finds that the lithospheric mantle under the continental margins is significantly thinner than expected, and that thin lithosphere extends from the orogens adjacent to the subduction zones inland to the edges of nearby cratonic cores. Taking these data together, here we describe a process that can lead to the loss of continental lithosphere adjacent to a subduction zone. Subducting oceanic plates can viscously entrain and remove the bottom of the continental thermal boundary layer lithosphere from adjacent continental margins. This drives surface tectonics and pre-conditions the margins for further deformation by creating topography along the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. This can lead to development of secondary downwellings under the continental interior, probably under both South America and the Gibraltar arc, and to delamination of the entire lithospheric mantle, as around the Gibraltar arc. This process reconciles numerous, sometimes mutually exclusive, geodynamic models proposed to explain the complex oceanic-continental tectonics of these subduction zones.

  9. The elastic properties of the lithosphere beneath Scotian basin (United States)

    Zheng, Ying; Arkani-Hamed, Jafar


    To assess the possibility that the North Atlantic Ocean may subduct at Scotian basin east of Canada, we investigate the present compensation state of this deep basin. A Fourier domain analysis of the bathymetry, depth to basement and observed gravity anomalies over the oceanic area east of Nova Scotia indicates that the basin is not isostatically compensated. Moreover, the analysis emphasizes that in addition to the sediments, density perturbations exist beneath the basin. The load produced by the sediments and these density perturbations must have been supported by the lithosphere. We simulate the flexure of the lithosphere under this load by that of a thin elastic plate overlying an inviscid interior. It is shown that a plate with a uniform rigidity does not adequately represent the lithosphere beneath the basin as well as the oceanic lithosphere far from the basin, rather the rigidity of the lithosphere directly beneath the basin is about one to two orders of magnitude smaller than elsewhere. We relate this weakening to the thermal blanketing effects of the thick sediments and the fact that the lithosphere has a temperature-dependent rheology. We suggest that this weak zone would have a controlling effect on the reactivation of normal faults at the hinge zone of the basin, that were formed during the break-up of Africa and North America and were locked in the early stages after the break-up. The weak zone would facilitate reactivation of the faults if tensional stresses were produced by possible reorientation of the spreading direction of the North Atlantic Ocean in the future. The reactivation of the faults would create a free boundary condition at the hinge zone, allowing further bending of the lithosphere beneath the basin and juxtaposition of this lithosphere to the mantle beneath the continent. This may provide a favorable situation for initiation of slow subduction due to subsequent compressional forces.

  10. Intra oceanic subduction systems

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    R.D.Larter; P.T.Leat; Dr.JohnCobbing


    The book is the result of a joint meeting ofthe Tectonic Studies Group, the Marine Studies Group and the Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group hosted by the Geological Society of London in September 2001. It is 382 pages in length and consists of sixteen articles, most of which describe a different example of intra oceanic subduction. All the contributions to this volume are clearly presented and have benefitted from peer review and careful editing.

  11. The 2014 Mw6.2 Eketahuna earthquake, Hikurangi subduction zone - normal faulting in the subducted Pacific Plate crust (United States)

    Abercrombie, R. E.; Bannister, S. C.; Francois-Holden, C.; Hamling, I. J.; Ristau, J. P.


    The 2014 January 20th M6.2 Eketahuna earthquake occurred in the subducted crust of the Pacific plate at the Hikurangi subduction zone, beneath North Island, New Zealand. Moment tensor analysis together with aftershock relocations show that this event was an oblique-normal faulting intraplate event, with hypocentre depth ca.30 km, and with rupture on a northwest-dipping fault extending through the subducted crust up to the subduction megathrust at ca.18-20 km depth. More than 3500 aftershocks were subsequently recorded by the New Zealand GeoNet network, with only minor migration of the aftershocks away from the inferred mainshock rupture, and with very few aftershocks within +/- 1 km of the subduction megathrust. The megathrust in this particular region is inferred to be interseismically locked with no seismic or aseismic slip, although slow slip is occurring ca.15-30 km down-dip (Wallace et al, 2013). Similar oblique-normal faulting events have previously occurred along the Hikurangi subduction margin, including in 1985 (ML5.7) and 1990 (Mw6.2). Earlier earthquakes in 1942 (Mw6.8) and 1921 (Mw6.8) are also inferred to have occurred at a similar depth within the subducted crust. The 1990 earthquake sequence occurred ~40 km along-strike from the 2014 Eketahuna event, and involved a Mw6.2 oblique-normal faulting event in the subducted crust, which was quickly followed by a Mw6.4 event in the overlying crust, with both thrust and dextral strike-slip components, possibly responding to deeper aseismic slip. Deeper earthquakes of similar type at other subduction margins are thought to be high stress drop. We calculate the stress drops of the mainshock and larger aftershocks, using a direct wave, empirical Green's function (EGF) approach that includes measurement uncertainties and objective criteria for assessing the quality of each spectral ratio (Abercrombie, 2013). We compare the results to those for earthquakes in other tectonic regions of New Zealand, calculated using

  12. Subduction of Fracture Zones control mantle melting and geochemical signature above slabs (United States)

    Constantin Manea, Vlad; Leeman, William; Gerya, Taras; Manea, Marina; Zhu, Guizhi


    The geochemistry of arc volcanics proximal to oceanic fracture zones (FZs) is consistent with higher than normal fluid inputs to arc magma sources. Here, enrichment of boron (B/Zr) in volcanic arc lavas is used to evaluate relative along-strike inputs of slab-derived fluids in the Aleutian, Andean, Cascades, and Trans-Mexican arcs. Significant B/Zr spikes coincide with subduction of prominent FZs in the relatively cool Aleutian and Andean subduction zones, but not in the relatively warm Cascadia and Mexican subduction zones, suggesting that FZ subduction locally enhances fluid introduction beneath volcanic arcs, and retention of fluids to sub-arc depths diminishes with subduction zone thermal gradient. Geodynamic treatments of lateral inhomogeneities in subducting plates have not previously considered how FZs may influence the melt and fluid distribution above the slab. Using high-resolution three-dimensional coupled petrological-thermomechanical numerical simulations of subduction, we show that fluids, including melts and water, concentrate in areas where fracture zones are subducted, resulting in along-arc variability in magma source compositions and processes.

  13. Internal deformation of the subducted Nazca slab inferred from seismic anisotropy (United States)

    Eakin, Caroline M.; Long, Maureen D.; Scire, Alissa; Beck, Susan L.; Wagner, Lara S.; Zandt, George; Tavera, Hernando


    Within oceanic lithosphere a fossilized fabric is often preserved originating from the time of plate formation. Such fabric is thought to form at the mid-ocean ridge when olivine crystals align with the direction of plate spreading. It is unclear, however, whether this fossil fabric is preserved within slabs during subduction or overprinted by subduction-induced deformation. The alignment of olivine crystals, such as within fossil fabrics, can generate anisotropy that is sensed by passing seismic waves. Seismic anisotropy is therefore a useful tool for investigating the dynamics of subduction zones, but it has so far proved difficult to observe the anisotropic properties of the subducted slab itself. Here we analyse seismic anisotropy in the subducted Nazca slab beneath Peru and find that the fast direction of seismic wave propagation aligns with the contours of the slab. We use numerical modelling to simulate the olivine fabric created at the mid-ocean ridge, but find it is inconsistent with our observations of seismic anisotropy in the subducted Nazca slab. Instead we find that an orientation of the olivine crystal fast axes aligned parallel to the strike of the slab provides the best fit, consistent with along-strike extension induced by flattening of the slab during subduction (A. Kumar et al., manuscript in preparation). We conclude that the fossil fabric has been overprinted during subduction and that the Nazca slab must therefore be sufficiently weak to undergo internal deformation.

  14. Extending Alaska's plate boundary: tectonic tremor generated by Yakutat subduction (United States)

    Wech, Aaron G.


    The tectonics of the eastern end of the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone are complicated by the inclusion of the Yakutat microplate, which is colliding into and subducting beneath continental North America at near-Pacific-plate rates. The interaction among these plates at depth is not well understood, and further east, even less is known about the plate boundary or the source of Wrangell volcanism. The drop-off in Wadati-Benioff zone (WBZ) seismicity could signal the end of the plate boundary, the start of aseismic subduction, or a tear in the downgoing plate. Further compounding the issue is the possible presence of the Wrangell slab, which is faintly outlined by an anemic, eastward-dipping WBZ beneath the Wrangell volcanoes. In this study, I performed a search for tectonic tremor to map slow, plate-boundary slip in south-central Alaska. I identified ∼11,000 tremor epicenters, which continue 85 km east of the inferred Pacific plate edge marked by WBZ seismicity. The tremor zone coincides with the edges of the downgoing Yakutat terrane, and tremors transition from periodic to continuous behavior as they near the aseismic Wrangell slab. I interpret tremor to mark slow, semicontinuous slip occurring at the interface between the Yakutat and North America plates. The slow slip region lengthens the megathrust interface beyond the WBZ and may provide evidence for a connection between the Yakutat slab and the aseismic Wrangell slab.

  15. 3-D thermo-mechanical modeling of plume-induced subduction initiation (United States)

    Baes, M.; Gerya, T.; Sobolev, S. V.


    Here, we study the 3-D subduction initiation process induced by the interaction between a hot thermo-chemical mantle plume and oceanic lithosphere using thermo-mechanical viscoplastic finite difference marker-in-cell models. Our numerical modeling results show that self-sustaining subduction is induced by plume-lithosphere interaction when the plume is sufficiently buoyant, the oceanic lithosphere is sufficiently old and the plate is weak enough to allow the buoyant plume to pass through it. Subduction initiation occurs following penetration of the lithosphere by the hot plume and the downward displacement of broken, nearly circular segments of lithosphere (proto-slabs) as a result of partially molten plume rocks overriding the proto-slabs. Our experiments show four different deformation regimes in response to plume-lithosphere interaction: a) self-sustaining subduction initiation, in which subduction becomes self-sustaining; b) frozen subduction initiation, in which subduction stops at shallow depths; c) slab break-off, in which the subducting circular slab breaks off soon after formation; and d) plume underplating, in which the plume does not pass through the lithosphere and instead spreads beneath it (i.e., failed subduction initiation). These regimes depend on several parameters, such as the size, composition, and temperature of the plume, the brittle/plastic strength and age of the oceanic lithosphere, and the presence/absence of lithospheric heterogeneities. The results show that subduction initiates and becomes self-sustaining when the lithosphere is older than 10 Myr and the non-dimensional ratio of the plume buoyancy force and lithospheric strength above the plume is higher than approximately 2. The outcomes of our numerical experiments are applicable for subduction initiation in the modern and Precambrian Earth and for the origin of plume-related corona structures on Venus.

  16. Subduction-zone cycling of nitrogen in serpentinized mantle rocks (United States)

    Halama, R.; Bebout, G. E.; John, T.; Scambelluri, M.


    Nitrogen (N) has shown great potential as a geochemical tracer of volatiles recycling, in part because of large differences in the N isotope composition of the various Earth reservoirs. The subduction flux of N in serpentinized oceanic mantle could be as important as N input flux in oceanic crust and even sediment because, although its N concentrations are lower, its volume is potentially far greater than that of the crust/sediment. However, recycling of oceanic mantle rocks is still poorly constrained for the N cycle, and N isotope data for subduction-related ultramafic rocks are scarce [1]. The primary goal of this study is to characterize the subduction flux of N in subducting altered oceanic mantle by documenting concentrations and isotopic compositions of N in mantle rocks that reflect different stages of the metamorphic subduction zone cycle. The results are crucial to assess the composition of N recycled into the mantle, to determine the extent to which N can be retained in subducted mantle rocks to depths approaching those beneath arcs, and to balance N subduction-zone inputs with outputs in arc volcanic gases. Moreover, information has been gained regarding the redistribution and isotope fractionation of N via ultramafic dehydration and metamorphic fluid-rock interaction. The samples analyzed in this study are ultramafic rocks from shallow oceanic environments to increasing P-T conditions up to depths of ~70 km. Three distinct metamorphic grades, reflecting seafloor fluid uptake, water release due to brucite breakdown and the final antigorite breakdown, were investigated: 1. Pre-subduction serpentinized mantle peridotite from non-subducted ophiolite sequences from the Northern Apennines, Italy (Monte Nero). 2. Eclogite-facies antigorite serpentinites from the Ligurian Alps, Italy (Erro Tobbio). 3. Eclogite-facies chlorite harzburgites derived from dehydration of serpentinites from the Betic Cordillera, Spain (Cerro de Almirez). The pre-subduction

  17. Subduction initiation and Obduction: insights from analog models (United States)

    Agard, P.; Zuo, X.; Funiciello, F.; Bellahsen, N.; Faccenna, C.; Savva, D.


    Subduction initiation and obduction are two poorly constrained geodynamic processes which are interrelated in a number of natural settings. Subduction initiation can be viewed as the result of a regional-scale change in plate convergence partitioning between the set of existing subduction (and collision or obduction) zones worldwide. Intraoceanic subduction initiation may also ultimately lead to obduction of dense oceanic "ophiolites" atop light continental plates. A classic example is the short-lived Peri-Arabic obduction, which took place along thousands of km almost synchronously (within ~5-10 myr), from Turkey to Oman, while the subduction zone beneath Eurasia became temporarily jammed. We herein present analog models designed to study both processes and more specifically (1) subduction initiation through the partitioning of deformation between two convergent zones (a preexisting and a potential one) and, as a consequence, (2) the possible development of obduction, which has so far never been modeled. These models explore the mechanisms of subduction initiation and obduction and test various triggering hypotheses (i.e., plate acceleration, slab crossing the 660 km discontinuity, ridge subduction; Agard et al., 2007). The experimental setup comprises an upper mantle modelled as a low-viscosity transparent Newtonian glucose syrup filling a rigid Plexiglas tank and high-viscosity silicone plates. Convergence is simulated by pushing on a piston at one end of the model with plate tectonics like velocities (1-10 cm/yr) onto (i) a continental margin, (ii) a weakness zone with variable resistance and dip (W), (iii) an oceanic plate - with or without a spreading ridge, (iv) a subduction zone (S) dipping away from the piston and (v) an upper active continental margin, below which the oceanic plate is being subducted at the start of the experiment (as for the Oman case). Several configurations were tested over thirty-five parametric experiments. Special emphasis was

  18. Numerical modeling of fracture zone subduction and related volcanism in Southern Mexico (United States)

    Constantin Manea, Vlad; Gerya, Taras; Manea, Marina


    Oceanic fracture zones are recognized as areas where parts of the oceanic lithosphere can be partially serpentinized. Therefore, when subducting, these fracture zones have the potential to carry significant amounts of fluids which are released at certain depths, depending on the slab dynamics. In the case of Southern Mexico, the Cocos plate hosts a large oceanic fracture zone named Tehuantepec FZ, currently subducting. Onshore a large stratovolcano, called El Chichon, intersects the prolongation of Tehuantepec FZ where the slab depth beneath is more than 200 km, an unusual depth for a subduction related volcanic arc. In this study we investigate numerically the influence of a serpentinized fracture zone rheology on the depth where hydrous instabilities (cold-plumes) are formed. Our preliminary results show that the subduction of serpentinized oceanic lithosphere plays an important depth control for the hydrous cold-plume formation, which is probable responsible for the unusual volcanism location in Southern Mexico.

  19. Fluid Release and the Deformation of Subducting Crust (United States)

    Maunder, Benjamin; van Hunen, Jeroen; Magni, Valentina; Bouilhol, Pierre


    It is known that slab dehydration is crucial in subduction dynamics and for the formation of arc-magmatism. Previous studies of this process have constrained this intake and subsequent release of fluids into the mantle wedge by considering the stability hydrous phases within the slab. Other, more dynamical effects of this hydration state and partial melting have also been suggested, such as the possibility of "cold plumes", crustal delamination, and subduction channel return flow. These processes have been inferred to play a role in the generation of continental crust over time through accumulation and melting beneath the overriding plate. Water content and melt fraction have a strong control on the rheology of the system. Therefore we investigate the effect of these parameters on the dynamics of a subducting slab, with the aim to establish the physical bounds on the delamination process. To do this we use a coupled geodynamical-petrological model that tracks dehydration and melting reactions in order to factor in the rheological effect of metamorphism and magmatism on slab and mantle wedge dynamics. We focus primarily on the strength of the subducting crust and the possibility of delamination. We then extend this investigation by considering whether early earth crust formation could have been the result of such a processes by looking at a hypothetical Archean setting.

  20. Relationship Between Subduction Erosion, Seamount Subduction, Fluid Venting and Mound Formation on the Slope of the Costa Rican Continental Margin (United States)

    Petersen, C.; Klaucke, I.; Weinrebe, W.


    The oceanic crust off central Costa Rica northwest of the Cocos Ridge is dominated by chains of seamounts rising 1-2 km above the seafloor with diameters of up to 20 km. The subduction of these seamounts leads to strong indentations, scars and slides on the continental margin. A smoother segment of about 80 km width is located offshore Nicoya peninsula. The segment ends at a fracture zone which marks the transition of oceanic crust created at the Cocos-Nazca spreading center (CNS) and at the East Pacific Rise (EPR). Offshore Nicaragua the incoming EPR crust is dominated by bending related faults. To investigate the relationship between subduction erosion, fluid venting and mound formation, multibeam bathymetry and high-resolution deep-tow sidescan sonar and sediment echosounder data were acquired during R/V Sonne cruises SO163 and SO173 (2002/2003). The deep-tow system consisted of a dual-frequency 75/410 kHz sidescan sonar and a 2-12 kHz chirp sub-bottom profiler. The connection of the observed seafloor features to deeper subduction related processes is obtained by analysis of multi-channel streamer (MCS) data acquired during cruises SO81 (1992) and BGR99 (1999). Data examples and interpretations for different settings along the margin are presented. Near the Fisher seamount the large Nicoya slump failed over the flank of a huge subducted seamount. The sidescan and echosounder data permit a detailed characterization of fault patterns and fluid escape structures around the headwall of the slump. Where the fracture zone separating CNS and EPR crust subducts, the Hongo mound field was mapped in detail. Several mounds of up to 100 m height are located in line with a scar possibly created by a subducting ridge of the fracture zone. MCS data image a topographic high on the subducting oceanic crust beneath the mound field which lead to uplift and possibly enabled ascent of fluids from the subducting plate. The combined analysis of geoacoustic and seismic MCS data

  1. Reaction-induced rheological weakening enables oceanic plate subduction (United States)

    Hirauchi, Ken-Ichi; Fukushima, Kumi; Kido, Masanori; Muto, Jun; Okamoto, Atsushi


    Earth is the only terrestrial planet in our solar system where an oceanic plate subducts beneath an overriding plate. Although the initiation of plate subduction requires extremely weak boundaries between strong plates, the way in which oceanic mantle rheologically weakens remains unknown. Here we show that shear-enhanced hydration reactions contribute to the generation and maintenance of weak mantle shear zones at mid-lithospheric depths. High-pressure friction experiments on peridotite gouge reveal that in the presence of hydrothermal water, increasing strain and reactions lead to an order-of-magnitude reduction in strength. The rate of deformation is controlled by pressure-solution-accommodated frictional sliding on weak hydrous phyllosilicate (talc), providing a mechanism for the `cutoff' of the high peak strength at the brittle-plastic transition. Our findings suggest that infiltration of seawater into transform faults with long lengths and low slip rates is an important controlling factor on the initiation of plate tectonics on terrestrial planets.

  2. Buoyant subduction on Venus: Implications for subduction around coronae (United States)

    Burt, J. D.; Head, J. W.


    Potentially low lithospheric densities, caused by high Venus surface and perhaps mantle temperatures, could inhibit the development of negative buoyancy-driven subduction and a global system of plate tectonics/crustal recycling on that planet. No evidence for a global plate tectonic system was found so far, however, specific features strongly resembling terrestrial subduction zones in planform and topographic cross-section were described, including trenches around large coronae and chasmata in eastern Aphrodite Terra. The cause for the absence, or an altered expression, of plate tectonics on Venus remains to be found. Slab buoyancy may play a role in this difference, with higher lithospheric temperatures and a tendency toward positive buoyancy acting to oppose the descent of slabs and favoring under thrusting instead. The effect of slab buoyancy on subduction was explored and the conditions which would lead to under thrusting versus those allowing the formation of trenches and self-perpetuating subduction were defined. Applying a finite element code to assess the effects of buoyant forces on slabs subducting into a viscous mantle, it was found that mantle flow induced by horizontal motion of the convergent lithosphere greatly influences subduction angle, while buoyancy forces produce a lesser effect. Induced mantle flow tends to decrease subduction angle to near an under thrusting position when the subducting lithosphere converges on a stationary overriding lithosphere. When the overriding lithosphere is in motion, as in the case of an expanding corona, subduction angles are expected to increase. An initial stage involved estimating the changes in slab buoyancy due to slab healing and pressurization over the course of subduction. Modeling a slab, descending at a fixed angle and heated by conduction, radioactivity, and the heat released in phase changes, slab material density changes due to changing temperature, phase, and pressure were derived.

  3. Seismic imaging of a mid-lithospheric discontinuity beneath Ontong Java Plateau (United States)

    Tharimena, Saikiran; Rychert, Catherine A.; Harmon, Nicholas


    Ontong Java Plateau (OJP) is a huge, completely submerged volcanic edifice that is hypothesized to have formed during large plume melting events ∼90 and 120 My ago. It is currently resisting subduction into the North Solomon trench. The size and buoyancy of the plateau along with its history of plume melting and current interaction with a subduction zone are all similar to the characteristics and hypothesized mechanisms of continent formation. However, the plateau is remote, and enigmatic, and its proto-continent potential is debated. We use SS precursors to image seismic discontinuity structure beneath Ontong Java Plateau. We image a velocity increase with depth at 28 ± 4 km consistent with the Moho. In addition, we image velocity decreases at 80 ± 5 km and 282 ± 7 km depth. Discontinuities at 60-100 km depth are frequently observed both beneath the oceans and the continents. However, the discontinuity at 282 km is anomalous in comparison to surrounding oceanic regions; in the context of previous results it may suggest a thick viscous root beneath OJP. If such a root exists, then the discontinuity at 80 km bears some similarity to the mid-lithospheric discontinuities (MLDs) observed beneath continents. One possibility is that plume melting events, similar to that which formed OJP, may cause discontinuities in the MLD depth range. Plume-plate interaction could be a mechanism for MLD formation in some continents in the Archean prior to the onset of subduction.

  4. Depth variations of P-wave azimuthal anisotropy beneath Mainland China. (United States)

    Wei, Wei; Zhao, Dapeng; Xu, Jiandong; Zhou, Bengang; Shi, Yaolin


    A high-resolution model of P-wave anisotropic tomography beneath Mainland China and surrounding regions is determined using a large number of arrival-time data recorded by the China seismic network, the International Seismological Centre (ISC) and temporary seismic arrays deployed on the Tibetan Plateau. Our results provide important new insights into the subducted Indian plate and mantle dynamics in East Asia. Our tomographic images show that the northern limit of the subducting Indian plate has reached the Jinsha River suture in eastern Tibet. A striking variation of P-wave azimuthal anisotropy is revealed in the Indian lithosphere: the fast velocity direction (FVD) is NE-SW beneath the Indian continent, whereas the FVD is arc parallel beneath the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau, which may reflect re-orientation of minerals due to lithospheric extension, in response to the India-Eurasia collision. There are multiple anisotropic layers with variable FVDs in some parts of the Tibetan Plateau, which may be the cause of the dominant null splitting measurements in these regions. A circular pattern of FVDs is revealed around the Philippine Sea slab beneath SE China, which reflects asthenospheric strain caused by toroidal mantle flow around the edge of the subducting slab.

  5. The role of the Hikurangi Plateau in the dynamics of the Hikurangi Subduction Margin (United States)

    Willis, David; Moresi, Louis; Betts, Peter; Ailleres, Laurent


    The collision of the Hikurangi Plateau with the Hikurangi Subduction Zone coincides with a change from extension to shortening in the overriding Australian Plate. The 15km thick oceanic Hikurangi Plateau is juxtaposed with Chatham Rise at the southern edge of the subduction margin, possibly extending an unknown distance beneath the Chatham Rise. We explore the influence of the Hikurangi Plateau and its size on subduction dynamics using a series of 3D visco-elastic Underworld models with free slip boundary conditions. The models rely on negative slab buoyancy to drive subduction, with the buoyant oceanic plateau altering the dynamics. The models are benchmarked against New Zealand GPS velocities, paleomagnetic rotations, and fault zones. Both the overriding and subducting plates have undergone significant rotation since 23Ma with ~90° clockwise rotation of the overriding plate relative to the subducting plate. Distinctive fault zones have also been created with the Marlborough Fault Zone facilitating escape tectonics around the Chatham Rise; the North Island Dextral Fault Belt allowing lateral movement between the fore and back-arcs; extension in Taupo Volcanic Zone assisting back-arc extension; and active N-S extension in the Chatham Rise adjacent to the Hikurangi Plateau. In a model without an oceanic plateau, the subduction zone undergoes roll-back along its entire margin. Extension occurs along the overriding plate adjacent to subduction, with shortening limited to the collision of the Chatham Rise. Rotation rates adjacent to the Chatham Rise are extremely high, and decrease rapidly northward and there is no rotation of the subducting plate. When an oceanic plateau is included in the model, shortening occurs at the southern margin of the subduction zone as subduction shallows with the entry of the bouyant plateau. Rotation starts in the subducting plate as the plateau enters the subduction zone. This rotation is attributed to a decrease in slab pull southward

  6. Determinism beneath Quantum Mechanics

    CERN Document Server

    Hooft, G


    Contrary to common belief, it is not difficult to construct deterministic models where stochastic behavior is correctly described by quantum mechanical amplitudes, in precise accordance with the Copenhagen-Bohr-Bohm doctrine. What is difficult however is to obtain a Hamiltonian that is bounded from below, and whose ground state is a vacuum that exhibits complicated vacuum fluctuations, as in the real world. Beneath Quantum Mechanics, there may be a deterministic theory with (local) information loss. This may lead to a sufficiently complex vacuum state, and to an apparent non-locality in the relation between the deterministic ("ontological") states and the quantum states, of the kind needed to explain away the Bell inequalities. Theories of this kind would not only be appealing from a philosophical point of view, but may also be essential for understanding causality at Planckian distance scales.

  7. Repeating deep tremors on the plate interface beneath Kyushu, southwest Japan (United States)

    Yabe, Suguru; Ide, Satoshi


    In the subduction zone south of Kyushu Island, at the western extension of the Nankai subduction zone, southwest Japan, the age of the oceanic crust increases toward the south across the subducting Kyushu-Palau ridge. While tremor activity is very high in Nankai, tectonic tremors have only recently been discovered in Kyushu. In this study, we examined tremors beneath Kyushu using an improved version of the envelope correlation method. In doing so, we distinguished tremors from normal earthquakes and background noise using the criteria of source duration and the spectrum ratio between low and high frequencies. Accurate measurement of S- P times, using cross-correlation between vertical and horizontal seismograms, constrains the tremor depth precisely. Tremor activity is low and within a small region in southern Kyushu, where thick crust of the Kyushu-Palau ridge is being subducted, at depths between 35 and 45 km (i.e., shallower than intra-slab earthquakes by about 20 km), which is consistent with the location of the plate interface within uncertainties proposed in previous studies. Establishing precise depth estimates for tectonic tremors beneath Kyushu, which results from shear slip along the plate interface, is useful in defining the plate interface within the Nankai subduction zone.

  8. Mantle Structure Beneath Central South America (United States)

    Vandecar, J. C.; Silver, P. G.; James, D. E.; Assumpcao, M.; Schimmel, M.; Zandt, G.


    Making use of 60 digital broadband seismic stations that have operated across central South America in recent years, we have undertaken an inversion for the upper- and uppermost lower-mantle P- and S-wave velocity structures beneath the region. We have combined data from four portable PASSCAL-type experiments as well as the 3 GTSN permanent stations (LPAZ, BDFB and CPUP) and 1 Geoscope station (SPB) located in the region. The portable data were deployed at various times between 1992 and 1999 and include: 28 sites from the Brazilian Lithosphere Seismic Project (BLSP: Carnegie Institution of Washington and Universidade de Sao Paulo), 16 sites from the Broadband ANdean JOint experiment (BANJO: Carnegie Institution of Washington and University of Arizona), 8 sites from the Seismic Exploration of the Deep Altiplano project (SEDA: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) and 4 sites from the University of Brasilia. The P- and S-wave relative delay times are independently obtained via a multi-channel cross correlation of band-passed waveforms for each teleseismic event. These data are then inverted using an iterative, robust, non-linear scheme which parameterizes the 3-D velocity variations as splines under tension constrained at over 120,000 nodes across South America between latitudes of 15 and 30 degrees South. Amongst other features, we robustly image the high-velocity subducting Nazca plate penetrating into the lower mantle and the high-velocity root of the ~3.2 Gyr old Sao Francisco Craton extending to depths of 200-300 km. We will discuss the consistency between our tomographic models and predictions of dynamic mantle models based on plate tectonic reconstructions of subduction.

  9. 2012 Haida Gwaii Quake: Insight Into Cascadia's Subduction Extent (United States)

    Szeliga, Walter


    The limits of Cascadia were first defined to contain nearly the entire margin of the Pacific Northwest, from Cape Mendocino through the Alaska Panhandle [Schuchert, 1910; Schuchert and Barrell, 1914]. Since that time, the boundary of Cascadia has shrunk to become essentially synonymous with the region where the Juan de Fuca plate subducts beneath the North American plate. As a consequence, seismic hazard assessments in the Pacific Northwest have conventionally focused on the potential for large megathrust earthquakes along the interface of the Juan de Fuca and North American plates.

  10. Subduction of the Nazca Ridge and the Inca Plateau: Insights into the formation of ore deposits in Peru [rapid communication (United States)

    Rosenbaum, Gideon; Giles, David; Saxon, Mark; Betts, Peter G.; Weinberg, Roberto F.; Duboz, Cecile


    A large number of ore deposits that formed in the Peruvian Andes during the Miocene (15-5 Ma) are related to the subduction of the Nazca plate beneath the South American plate. Here we show that the spatial and temporal distribution of these deposits correspond with the arrival of relatively buoyant topographic anomalies, namely the Nazca Ridge in central Peru and the now-consumed Inca Plateau in northern Peru, at the subduction zone. Plate reconstruction shows a rapid metallogenic response to the arrival of the topographic anomalies at the subduction trench. This is indicated by clusters of ore deposits situated within the proximity of the laterally migrating zones of ridge subduction. It is accordingly suggested that tectonic changes associated with impingement of the aseismic ridge into the subduction zone may trigger the formation of ore deposits in metallogenically fertile suprasubduction environments.

  11. Subduction of fracture zones controls mantle melting and geochemical signature above slabs. (United States)

    Manea, Vlad C; Leeman, William P; Gerya, Taras; Manea, Marina; Zhu, Guizhi


    For some volcanic arcs, the geochemistry of volcanic rocks erupting above subducted oceanic fracture zones is consistent with higher than normal fluid inputs to arc magma sources. Here we use enrichment of boron (B/Zr) in volcanic arc lavas as a proxy to evaluate relative along-strike inputs of slab-derived fluids in the Aleutian, Andean, Cascades and Trans-Mexican arcs. Significant B/Zr spikes coincide with subduction of prominent fracture zones in the relatively cool Aleutian and Andean subduction zones where fracture zone subduction locally enhances fluid introduction beneath volcanic arcs. Geodynamic models of subduction have not previously considered how fracture zones may influence the melt and fluid distribution above slabs. Using high-resolution three-dimensional coupled petrological-thermomechanical numerical simulations of subduction, we show that enhanced production of slab-derived fluids and mantle wedge melts concentrate in areas where fracture zones are subducted, resulting in significant along-arc variability in magma source compositions and processes.

  12. Neogene kinematic history of Nazca-Antarctic-Phoenix slab windows beneath Patagonia and the Antarctic Peninsula (United States)

    Breitsprecher, Katrin; Thorkelson, Derek J.


    The Patagonian slab window is a subsurface tectonic feature resulting from subduction of the Nazca-Antarctic spreading-ridge system (Chile Rise) beneath southern South America. The geometry of the slab window had not been rigorously defined, in part because of the complex nature of the history of ridge subduction in the southeast Pacific region, which includes four interrelated spreading-ridge systems since 20 Ma: first, the Nazca-Phoenix ridge beneath South America, then simultaneous subduction of the Nazca-Antarctic and the northern Phoenix-Antarctic spreading-ridge systems beneath South America, and the southern Phoenix-Antarctic spreading-ridge system beneath Antarctica. Spreading-ridge paleo-geographies and rotation poles for all relevant plate pairs (Nazca, Phoenix, Antarctic, South America) are available from 20 Ma onward, and form the mathematical basis of our kinematic reconstruction of the geometry of the Patagonia and Antarctic slab windows through Neogene time. At approximately 18 Ma, the Nazca-Phoenix-Antarctic oceanic (ridge-ridge-ridge) triple junction enters the South American trench; we recognize this condition as an unstable quadruple junction. Heat flow at this junction and for some distance beneath the forearc would be considerably higher than is generally recognized in cases of ridge subduction. From 16 Ma onward, the geometry of the Patagonia slab window developed from the subduction of the trailing arms of the former oceanic triple junction. The majority of the slab window's areal extent and geometry is controlled by the highly oblique (near-parallel) subduction angle of the Nazca-Antarctic ridge system, and by the high contrast in relative convergence rates between these two plates relative to South America. The very slow convergence rate of the Antarctic slab is manifested by the shallow levels achieved by the slab edge (< 45 km); thus no point on the Antarctic slab is sufficiently deep to generate "normal" mantle-derived arc-type magmas

  13. Modification of Thickened Orogenic Crust by a Subducting Ridge: Disruption of the Andean Lower Crust of Southern Peru by the Subducting Aseismic Nazca Ridge (United States)

    Bishop, B.; Beck, S. L.; Zandt, G.; Wagner, L. S.; Long, M. D.; Tavera, H.


    The subduction of oceanic plateaus or aseismic ridges represent significant perturbations to the long term development of subduction systems and associated orogenies, the consequences of which are variable and determined by the physical characteristics of both the overriding and subducting plates. Flat subduction of the ~18 km oceanic crust of the aseismic Nazca Ridge under the 50 km to 65 km continental crust of the Peruvian Andes provides an opportunity to investigate these consequences. Through analysis of 2233 teleseismic P-wave receiver functions from 55 broadband seismometers deployed in southern Peru for the PULSE, CAUGHT and PeruSE seismic experiments we have identified the South American continental Moho and subducted Nazca oceanic Moho to a higher degree of detail than previously possible in the region.We find that the continental Moho beneath the Western and Eastern Cordilleras of the Peruvian Andes is at a depth >60 km to the north and south of the subducted Nazca Ridge but at 500 km from the trench.

  14. Understanding seismic heterogeneities in the lower mantle beneath the Americas from seismic tomography and plate tectonic history

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ren, Y.; Stutzmann, E.; Hilst, R.D. van der; Besse, J.


    We combine results from seismic tomography and plate motion history to investigate slabs of subducted lithosphere in the lower mantle beneath the Americas. Using broadband waveform cross correlation, we measured 37,000 differential P and S traveltimes, 2000 PcP-P and ScS-S times along a wide corrido

  15. Understanding seismic heterogeneities in the lower mantle beneath the Americas from seismic tomography and plate tectonic history

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ren, Y.; Stutzmann, E.; Hilst, R.D. van der; Besse, J.


    We combine results from seismic tomography and plate motion history to investigate slabs of subducted lithosphere in the lower mantle beneath the Americas. Using broadband waveform cross correlation, we measured 37,000 differential P and S traveltimes, 2000 PcP-P and ScS-S times along a wide corrido

  16. Anelastic properties beneath the Niigata-Kobe Tectonic Zone, Japan (United States)

    Nakajima, Junichi; Matsuzawa, Toru


    We estimate the three-dimensional (3D) P-wave attenuation structure beneath the Niigata-Kobe Tectonic Zone (NKTZ), central Japan, using high-quality waveform data from a large number of stations. The obtained results confirm the segmentation of the NKTZ into three regions, as suggested by 3D seismic velocity models, and reveal characteristic structures related to surface deformation, shallow subduction of the Philippine Sea slab, and magmatism. The lower crust beneath the NKTZ west of the Itoigawa-Shizuoka Tectonic Line (ISTL) is overall characterized by distinct high attenuation, whereas the upper crust shows marked high attenuation to the east of the ISTL. Differences in the depths of anelastically weakened parts of the crust probably result in a first-order spatial variation in surface deformation, forming wide (width of 100 km) and narrow (width of 25-40 km) deformation zones on the western and eastern sides of the ISTL, respectively. Many M ≥ 6.5 earthquakes occur in the upper crust where seismic attenuation in the underlying lower crust varies sharply, suggesting that spatial variations in rates of anelastic deformation in the lower crust result in stress concentration in the overlying brittle crust. We interpret a moderate- to low-attenuation zone located in the lower crust at the northeast of Biwa Lake to reflect low-temperature conditions that are developed locally as a result of shallow subduction of the cold Philippine Sea slab.

  17. Imaging Transition Zone Thickness Beneath South America from SS Precursors (United States)

    Schmerr, N.; Garnero, E.


    We image detailed upper mantle discontinuity structure beneath a number of geologically active regions, including the South American subduction zone, the Scotia plate subduction zone, and several volcanic hotspots (e.g., the Galapagos Islands), in a region ~10,000 km by 10,000 km wide, spanning 70° S to 20° N and 20° W to 110° W. Precursors to the seismic phase SS are analyzed, which form as a result of underside reflections off seismic discontinuities beneath the midpoint of the SS path and are highly sensitive to discontinuity depth and sharpness. Our SS dataset consists of over 15,000 high-quality transverse component broadband displacement seismograms collected from the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), the Canadian National Seismic Network (CNSN), as well as data from EarthScope seismic stations, and from the Canadian Northwest Experiment (CANOE) temporary broadband array deployment. This dataset densely samples several regions in our study area and significantly improves the sampling for this area compared to previous precursor studies. Data with common central SS bouncepoints are stacked to enhance precursory phases. Solution discontinuity structure depends on a number of factors, including dominant seismic period, crustal correction, signal-to-noise ratio threshold, and tomography model used for mantle heterogeneity correction. We exclude precursor data predicted to interfere with other seismic phases, such as topside reflections (e.g., s670sS), which have been demonstrated to contaminate final stacks. Solution transition zone thickness is at least 20 km thicker than global average estimates of 242 km along the northwestern portion of the South American subduction complex (Peru, Ecuador, and Columbia); this thickening extends 1000-1500 km to the east beneath the continent, but does not appear to continue south of -20° latitude along the convergent margin. A minimum of 10 km of thickening is imaged to the west of the Scotia

  18. Subduction History and the Evolution of Earth's Lower Mantle (United States)

    Bull, Abigail; Shephard, Grace; Torsvik, Trond


    Understanding the complex structure, dynamics and evolution of the deep mantle is a fundamental goal in solid Earth geophysics. Close to the core-mantle boundary, seismic images reveal a mantle characterised by (1) higher than average shear wave speeds beneath Asia and encircling the Pacific, consistent with sub ducting lithosphere beneath regions of ancient subduction, and (2) large regions of anomalously low seismic wavespeeds beneath Africa and the Central Pacific. The anomalously slow areas are often referred to as Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs) due to the reduced velocity of seismic waves passing through them. The origin, composition and long-term evolution of the LLSVPs remain enigmatic. Geochemical inferences of multiple chemical reservoirs at depth, strong seismic contrasts, increased density, and an anticorrelation of shear wave velocity to bulk sound velocity in the anomalous regions imply that heterogeneities in both temperature and composition may be required to explain the seismic observations. Consequently, heterogeneous mantle models place the anomalies into the context of thermochemical piles, characterised by an anomalous component whose intrinsic density is a few percent higher relative to that of the surrounding mantle. Several hypotheses have arisen to explain the LLSVPs in the context of large-scale mantle convection. One end member scenario suggests that the LLSVPs are relatively mobile features over short timescales and thus are strongly affected by supercontinent cycles and Earth's plate motion history. In this scenario, the African LLSVP formed as a result of return flow in the mantle due to circum-Pangean subduction (~240 Ma), contrasting a much older Pacific LLSVP, which may be linked to the Rodinia supercontinent and is implied to have remained largely unchanged since Rodinian breakup (~750-700 Ma). This propounds that Earth's plate motion history plays a controlling role in LLSVP development, suggesting that the location

  19. Detailed 3-D S-wave velocity beneath the High Lava Plains, Oregon, from 2-plane-wave Rayleigh wave inversions (United States)

    Wagner, L. S.; Forsyth, D. W.; Fouch, M. J.; James, D. E.


    The High Lava Plains (HLP) of eastern Oregon represent an unusual track of bimodal volcanism extending from the southeastern-most corner of the state to its current position beneath the Newberry Volcano on the eastern margin of the Cascades. The silicic volcanism is time progressive along this track, beginning some 15 Ma near the Owyhee plateau and then trending to the north east. The timing and location of the start of the HLP coincides with that of the initial volcanism associated with the Yellowstone/Snake River Plain track (YSRP). While the YSRP has often been interpreted as the classic intra-continental hot spot track, the HLP, which trends almost normal to absolute plate motion, is harder to explain. This study uses the 100+ stations associated with the HLP seismic deployment together with another ~100 Earthscope Transportable Array stations (TA) to perform a high resolution inversion for Rayleigh wave phase velocities using the 2-plane-wave methodology of Forsyth and Li (2004). Because of the comparatively small grid spacing of this study, we are able to discern much finer scale structures than studies looking at the entire western U.S. with only TA stations. Preliminary results indicate very low velocities across the study area, especially at upper mantle depths. Especially low velocities are seen beneath the Owyhee plateau and along both the HLP and YSRP tracks. Final details about the exact geometries of these features will help constrain possible scenarios for the formation of the HLP volcanic sequence.

  20. Metallogeny of subduction zones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sorokhtin N. O.


    Full Text Available The paper deals with the multistage mechanism of the Earth's crust enrichment in ore elements in underthrust zones. The processes of metamorphism and the formation of hydrothermal solutions at pulling of the watered oceanic lithospheric plate into the subduction zone have been described. Some physical and chemical transformation regularities of structural-material complexes in these areas and mechanisms of the formation of ore deposits have been discussed. Spatio-temporal patterns of the localization of a number of endogenetic and exogenetic deposits have been described using metallogeny of the Ural and the Verkhoyansk-Kolyma Fold Belts as an example. It has been shown that in nature there are several effective mechanisms of the enrichment of the crust in ore minerals. One of them is the process of pulling into subduction zone of metalliferous sediments and ferromanganese crusts as well as seabed nodules, their metamorphic transformation, partial melting and transition of ore components into magmatic melts and mineralized fluids. In the future this leads to the release of ore material by magmas and hydrothermal solutions into the folded formations of island-arc and Andean types and the formation of igneous, metasomatic and hydrothermal deposits. Another, yet no less powerful natural mechanism of a conveyor enrichment of the crust in ore elements is the process of destruction and sedimentation of mineral deposits formed in the folded areas as well as the formation of placers and their transfer to the marginal parts of the continent. Later, during the collision of active and passive margins of two lithospheric plates, such as the collision of the Kolyma Massif with the eastern part of the Siberian craton in the middle of the Mesozoic there was a thrusting of a younger lithospheric plate over a more ancient one. As a result, the sedimentary sequences of the passive margin of the Siberian plate were submerged and partially melted by the basic magmas

  1. SAHKE geophysical transect reveals crustal and subduction zone structure at the southern Hikurangi margin, New Zealand (United States)

    Henrys, S.; Wech, A.; Sutherland, R.; Stern, T.; Savage, M.; Sato, H.; Mochizuki, K.; Iwasaki, T.; Okaya, D.; Seward, A.; Tozer, B.; Townend, J.; Kurashimo, E.; Iidaka, T.; Ishiyama, T.


    The Seismic Array Hikurangi Experiment (SAHKE) investigated the structure of the forearc and subduction plate boundary beneath the southern North Island along a 350 km transect. Tomographic inversion of first-arrival travel times was used to derive a well-resolved 15-20 km deep P wave image of the crust. The refracted phases and migrated reflection events image subducting slab geometry and crustal structure. In the west, Australian Plate Moho depth decreases westward across the Taranaki Fault system from 35 to ˜28-30 km. In the east, subducted Pacific Plate oceanic crust is recognized to have a positive velocity gradient, but becomes less distinct beneath the Tararua Ranges, where the interface increases in dip at about 15 km depth from 15°. This bend in the subducted plate is associated with vertical clusters in seismicity, splay fault branching, and low-velocity high-attenuation material that we interpret to be an underplated subduction sedimentary channel. We infer that a step down in the decollément transfers slip on the plate interface at the top of a subduction channel to the oceanic crust and drives local uplift of the Tararua Ranges. Reflections from the Wairarapa Fault show that it is listric and soles into the top of underplated sediments, which in turn abut the Moho of the overriding plate at ˜32 km depth, near the downdip end of the strongly locked zone. The change in dip of the Hikurangi subduction interface is spatially correlated with the transition from geodetically determined locked to unlocked areas of the plate interface.

  2. Along-strike variation in subducting plate velocity induced by along-strike variation in overriding plate structure: Insights from 3D numerical models (United States)

    Rodríguez-González, Juan; Billen, Magali I.; Negredo, Ana M.; Montesi, Laurent G. J.


    Subduction dynamics can be understood as the result of the balance between driving and resisting forces. Previous work has traditionally regarded gravitational slab pull and viscous mantle drag as the main driving and resistive forces for plate motion respectively. However, this paradigm fails to explain many of the observations in subduction zones. For example, subducting plate velocity varies significantly along-strike in many subduction zones and this variation is not correlated to the age of subducting lithosphere. Here we present three-dimensional and time-dependent numerical models of subduction. We show that along-strike variations of the overriding plate thermal structure can lead to along-strike variations in subducting plate velocity. In turn, velocity variations lead to significant migration of the Euler pole over time. Our results show that the subducting plate is slower beneath the colder portion of the overriding plate due to two related mechanisms. First, the mantle wedge beneath the colder portion of the overriding plate is more viscous, which increases mantle drag. Second, where the mantle wedge is more viscous, hydrodynamic suction increases, leading to a lower slab dip. Both factors contribute to decreasing subducting plate velocity in the region; therefore, if the overriding plate is not uniform, the resulting velocity varies significantly along-strike, which causes the Euler pole to migrate closer to the subducting plate. We present a new mechanism to explain observations of subducting plate velocity in the Cocos and Nazca plates. These results shed new light on the balance of forces that control subduction dynamics and prove that future studies should take into consideration the three-dimensional structure of the overriding plate.

  3. Structural and hydrologic controls of subduction zone seismogenic behavior along the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica (United States)

    Audet, P.; Schwartz, S. Y.


    Subduction zone thrust faults exhibit variations in rupture behavior that include potentially great (M>8) earthquakes and slow propagating (M~7) slip. The factors controlling transitions in frictional properties are loosely constrained and include variations in temperature, lithologies and pore-fluid pressures. Along the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, the seismogenic zone is characterized by strong heterogeneity in mechanical properties and a lateral change in the origin of the subducting plate. We use observations of scattered teleseismic waves to examine structural properties (compressional to shear velocity ratio, or Vp/Vs) of the subduction zone elements beneath the Nicoya Peninsula and report two findings: 1) evidence for inferred high pore fluid pressures within the subducting oceanic crust, in agreement with results globally and 2) contrasts from lower to higher forearc and oceanic Vp/Vs ratios from northwest to southeast that correlate with changes in interseismic locking, seismogenic behavior and the origin of the subducting plate. We interpret these results as representing differences in permeability and thus fluid overpressures in the oceanic crust. We suggest that enhanced permeability of the East Pacific Rise (EPR) crust being subducted beneath the northwest portion of the Nicoya Peninsula results in lower pore-fluid pressure, higher effective stress and strength compared with the Cocos Nazca Spreading Center (CNS) crust, subducted beneath the southeastern Nicoya Peninsula. The higher pore-fluid pressure within the CNS crust is consistent with the lower coupling and large slow slip events observed in this region. We posit that the elevated fluid pressures here are periodically released allowing fluids to migrate into the upper plate reducing its velocities. Changes in hydrologic properties resulting from differences in the structural integrity of the subducting oceanic crust appear to control the seismogenic segmentation along the Nicoya Peninsula. (a

  4. Three-dimensional Thermal Model of the Mexican Subduction Zone (United States)

    Rosas, J. C.; Pimentel, F. D. C.; Currie, C. A.; He, J.; Harris, R. N.


    Along the Mexican section of the Middle America Trench (MAT), the Cocos plate subducts beneath the North American plate. The most important feature of this subduction zone is the flat-slab section below central Mexico, extending approximately 250 km landward from the trench at a depth of 50 km. Further west, the dip changes to 45-50º. This particular geometry has several unique consequences, such as a volcanic arc that is not aligned with the trench and very shallow slab seismicity. For the mantle wedge, the abrupt change in slab geometry could lead to a three-dimensional (3D) mantle wedge flow that departs from the classical 2D subduction-driven corner flow. Evidence of 3D flow in the region comes from seismic anisotropy studies, which show that olivine fast-direction axes have a component that is parallel to the MAT. In other subduction zones, such as Costa Rica-Nicaragua and Japan, 3D flow has been observed to increase temperatures by >50º C relative to corner flow models.For this study, we have created the first 3D finite-element model of the Mexican subduction zone in order to analyze its thermal structure. Our objective is to assess the effects of 3D mantle flow and hydrothermal circulation (HC) in the subducting slab. In this region, low surface heat flow values near the trench indicate that HC may remove heat from the oceanic plate. Our model incorporates the effect of HC through conductivity proxies in the subducting crust and a 2D oceanic geotherm that includes the age variations of the Cocos plate along the MAT. For an isoviscous mantle, our model shows that the slab dip variations induce a flow that departs from 2D corner flow near the transition between the flat-slab and normal-dipping sections. The mantle flows in eastward direction toward the flat slab, and its orientation is consistent with seismic anisotropy studies. The maximum along-margin flow rate is nearly 2 cm/yr, which is >30% of the convergence rate. Temperatures at the location of this

  5. Influence of paired subduction zones: insight into Central Mediterranean tectonics (United States)

    Miller, Meghan Samantha; Moresi, Louis; Faccenna, Claudio; Funiciello, Francesca


    The Hellenic and Calabrian slabs are subducting the last remnant of the Ionian oceanic lithosphere into the deep mantle beneath the Central Mediterranean. Seismic tomography studies have provided clear images of the present day morphology of the subducted lithosphere [1]. Tectonic studies have shown that the Calabrian slab has rolled back into its current geometry with episodes of back-arc spreading that have now ceased [2]. Conversely, GPS observations along with tectonic reconstructions show that the Hellenic slab is currently rolling back and appears to have accelerated in the past ~15 My [3], which has resulted in the only region of backarc spreading still active in the Mediterranean. Observations of seismic anisotropy from SKS splitting [4] indicate toroidal flow patterns at the edges of the subducted slabs, which lead to interpretations of mantle convection and flow. Rollback in a confined setting has allowed the two slabs to become a plate-tectonic pushmi-pullyu [5]. The evolution of each slab is necessarily dependent on the other as they are both subducting the same lithosphere in opposite directions and are sufficiently close together that their induced mantle flow patterns must interact strongly. Although this seems to be an oddity in the classical picture of plate tectonics, we note that rollback-dominated subduction is more likely to be important in the highly-confined setting of a closing ocean where the oceanic lithosphere is not always able to develop into a freely-moving plate. Under such conditions, back-to-back pairings of subducting slabs are potentially more common. To investigate this setting, we present preliminary numerical models of paired subduction zones that we have developed using Underworld. We include variations in the strength and buoyancy of the surrounding (over-riding) plates and account for the presence of continentally-derived basement in the Adriatic sea. The geodynamic models allow for exploration into the timing, mechanics

  6. Subduction of the Tehuantepec oceanic fracture zone and the relationship with a seismic gap in southern Mexico (United States)

    Constantin Manea, Vlad; Manea, Marina; Taras, Gerya; Valenzuela, Raul W.


    It is accepted that key constraints on the size and recurrence time of large subduction earthquakes originate from the degree of locking between the subducting and overriding plates. Since the interseismic locking degree is influenced by the rheological properties of crustal and mantle rocks, any variations along strike will result in significant changes in seismic behavior due to a change in frictional stability. Additionally, recent seismic studies show that the subduction of hydrothermally altered oceanic fracture zones induces strong pore-fluid pressure variations that control the degree of interseismic locking. The Mexico Subduction Zone (MSZ) is characterized by major along-strike changes in subduction geometry, as well as important structural variations of the incoming oceanic plate. One of the main tectonic features of the Cocos plate is the Tehuantepec fracture zone (FZ) that is currently subducting beneath southern Mexico. The analysis of seismicity revealed that the area around where Tehuantepec fracture zone is currently subducting is conspicuously quiet and considered a seismic gap. Here, no significant quake (Ms ≥ 7.0) has occurred in more than 100 years, and the origin of Tehuantepec Seismic Gap (TSG) has not been elucidated yet. Based on the dimensions of the Tehuantepec gap (125 km length and 80 km width), an earthquake of Mw = 8.0 may be possible. This study aims to shed some light on the relationship between the TSG with the subduction of Tehuantepec oceanic fracture zone. Previous studies show that the uppermost oceanic lithosphere beneath the Tehuantepec FZ is partially serpentinized due to seawater infiltrations along faults. Using high-resolution three-dimensional coupled petrological-thermomechanical numerical simulations specifically tailored for the subduction of the Tehuantepec FZ at MSZ we show that the weakened serpentinized fracture zone is partially scraped out in the forearc region because of its low strength and positive buoyancy

  7. Relations between plate kinematics, slab geometry and overriding plate deformation in subduction zones: insights from statistical observations and laboratory modelling (United States)

    Heuret, A.; Funiciello, F.; Faccenna, C.; Lallemand, S.


    3-D laboratory models have been performed in order to investigate the way plates kinematics (subducting and overriding plate absolute motions and the resulting plate convergence rate) influences the geometry of the slab and the overriding plate deformation in subduction zones. In the experiments a viscous plate of silicone (subducting plate) is pushed beneath another plate, which is itself pushed toward or pulled away from the trench (overriding plate), and sinks into a viscous layer of glucose syrup (upper mantle). The subducting and overriding plate velocities explored the variability field of natural subduction plates kinematics. The overriding plate motion exerts a primary role in the control of slab geometries and overriding plate deformation rates. The experiments have revealed two different subduction behaviours: (Style I) the overriding plate moves toward the trench and shortens at high rates, the slab is flat and deflected when reaching the bottom of the box in a forward direction; (Style II) the overriding plates moves away from the trench and shortens at low rates the slab is steep and deflected on the box bottom in a backward direction. To a lesser extent, increasing subducting plate motion is associated to increasing slab dips and overriding plate shortening. Slab geometry and overriding plate deformation are less sensitive to the overall plate convergence rate. These laboratory models behaviours are consistent with statistical analysis performed on natural subduction zones, and enlighten the first order control exerted by the overriding plate absolute motion, on the geometry adopted by the slab and the way the overriding plate deforms.

  8. Mesozoic subduction-accretion zone in northeastern South China Sea inferred from geophysical interpretations

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    A segment of Mesozoic subduction-accretion zone was inferred across the northeastern South China Sea at approximately NE45° orientation. Basic evidence includes the following: A belt of peek gross horizontal Bouguer gravity gradient (PGHGBA) is comparable in size and intensity to that of the Manila subduction-accretion zone. A belt of high positive magnetic anomalies appears to the north and sub-parallel to the PGHGBA, representing the volcanic arc associated to the subduction zone. The PGHGBA crosses obliquely both Cenozoic structures and present seafloor topography, indicating a pre-Cenozoic age. The segment is offset left-laterally by NW-running strike-slip faults, in concord with the Mesozoic stress field of South China. In addition, the existence of the subduction zone is supported by wide-angle seismic data obtained in different years by different institutions. At approximate localities, a north-dipping ramp of Moho surface is indicated by records of ocean-bottom seismometers, and a strong reflector about 8 km beneath the Moho reflector is indicated by both OBS and long-cable seismic records. The identification of a segment of Mesozoic subduction zone in NE South China Sea fills nicely the gap of the Great Late Mesozoic Circum SE Asia Subduction-acrretion Zone, which extended from Sumatra, Java, SE Kalimantan to N Palawan, and from Taiwan, Ryukyu to SW Japan.

  9. Three-dimensional numerical modeling of temperature and mantle flow fields associated with subduction of the Philippine Sea plate, southwest Japan (United States)

    Ji, Yingfeng; Yoshioka, Shoichi; Matsumoto, Takumi


    We investigated temperature and mantle flow distributions associated with subduction of the Philippine Sea (PHS) plate beneath southwest Japan, by constructing a three-dimensional parallelepiped model incorporating a past clockwise rotation, the bathymetry of the Philippine Sea plate, and distribution of the subducting velocity within its slab. The geometry of the subducting plate was inferred from contemporary seismic studies and was used as a slab guide integrated with historical plate rotation into the 3-D simulation. Using the model, we estimated a realistic and high-resolution temperature field on the subduction plate interface, which was constrained by a large number of heat flow data, and attempted to clarify its relationship with occurrences of megathrust earthquakes, long-term slow slip events (L-SSEs), and nonvolcanic low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs). Results showed that the oblique subduction coupled with the 3-D geometry of subducting PHS plate was a key factor affecting the interplate and intraplate temperature distributions, leading to a cold anomaly in the plate interface beneath western Shikoku, the Bungo Channel, and the Kii Peninsula. Temperatures in the slab core in these regions at a depth near the continental Moho were nearly 200°C lower than that in eastern Shikoku, indicating a high thermal lateral heterogeneity within the subducting plate. The geothermal control of the LFEs beneath western Shikoku was estimated to be within a range from 400 to 700°C, and the interplate temperature for the L-SSEs with a slip larger than 15 cm beneath the Bungo Channel was estimated to be approximately 350-500°C. A large horizontal temperature gradient of 2.5 ~ °C/km was present where the LFEs occurred repeatedly. The steep temperature change was likely to be related to the metamorphic phase transformation from lawsonite or blueschist to amphibolite of hydrous minerals of the mid-ocean ridge basalt of the subducting PHS plate.

  10. Thermal regime along the Antilles subduction zone: Influence of the oceanic lithosphere materials subducted in the oceanic crust (United States)

    Biari, Youssef; Marcaillou, Boris; Klingelhoefer, Frauke; Francis, Lucazeau; Fréderique, Rolandone; Arnauld, Heuret; Thibaud, Pichot; Hélène, Bouquerel


    Heat-flow measurements acquired during the Antithesis Cruise in the Northern Lesser Antilles reveal an atypical heat-flow trend, from the trench to the margin forearc, where the subducting crust consists of exhumed and serpentinized mantle rocks (see Marcaillou et al. same session). We investigate the thermal structure of the Lesser Antilles subduction zone along two transects perpendicular to the margin located off Antigua and Martinique Islands. We perform 2-D steady-state finite elements thermal modelling constrained by newly-recorded and existing data: heat flow measurements, deep multichannel reflection and wide angle seismic data as well as earthquake hypocenters location at depth. Along the Martinique profile, the heat-flow decreases from the trench (45 mW.m-2) to minimum in the outer fore-arc (30 mW.m-2) and increases to a plateau (50 mW.m-2) toward the back-arc area. These trend and values are typical for the subduction of a steep 80-MYr old oceanic plate beneath an oceanic margin. As a result, the 150°-350°C temperature range along the interplate contact, commonly associated to the thermally-defined seismogenic zone, is estimated to be located between 200 - 350km from the trench. In contrast, along the Antigua profile, the heat-flow shows an atypical "flat" trend at 40 ± 15 mW.m-2 from the trench to the inner forearc. Purely conductive thermal models fail at fitting both the measured values and the flat trend. We propose that the subducting crust made of serpentinized exhumed mantle rock strongly affecting the heat-flow at the surface and the margin thermal structure. The geothermal gradient in the 5-km-thick serpentinized layer is expected to be low compared to "normal" oceanic crust because of cold water percolation and peridotite alteration. Moreover, from 50km depth, serpentine dehydration reactions provide significant amounts of hot water expelled toward the upper plate, generated heat beneath the forearc. As a result, in our preferred model: 1/ A

  11. The CAFE Experiment: A Joint Seismic and MT Investigation of the Cascadia Subduction System (United States)


    In this thesis we present results from inversion of data using dense arrays of collocated seismic and magnetotelluric stations located in the Cascadia...melt phase is present above this transition. The serpentinized wedge and continental Moho are also imaged. The magnetotelluric image further...56 3. Magnetotellurics ……………………………………………..……….…..….67 Magnetotelluric imaging of the Cascadia subduction system beneath central

  12. Magnetotelluric imaging of a fossil paleozoic intraoceanic subduction zone in western Junggar, NW China (United States)

    Xu, Yixian; Yang, Bo; Zhang, Sheng; Liu, Ying; Zhu, Lupei; Huang, Rong; Chen, Chao; Li, Yongtao; Luo, Yinhe


    The fate of subducted oceanic slabs can provide important clues to plate reconstruction through Earth history. Since oceanic slabs in continental collision zones are typically not well preserved, ancient subduction zones have rarely been imaged by geophysical techniques. Here we present an exception from the Darbut belt in the Junggar accretionary collage in the southern Altaids of Asia. We deployed a 182 km long magnetotelluric (MT) profile including 60 broadband sounding sites across the belt. Quality off-diagonal impedances were inverted by a three-dimensional scheme to image resistivities beneath the profile. The resistivity model along with MT impedance phase ellipses and induction vectors were tested and interpreted in detail. Combining geological and geophysical observations, mineral physical experiment, and geodynamic modeling results, the MT transect suggests a fossil intraoceanic subduction zone during the Late Paleozoic in the western Junggar that has been well preserved due to lack of significant subsequent tecto-thermal events.

  13. Major disruption of D'' beneath Alaska: D'' Beneath Alaska

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sun, Daoyuan [Laboratory of Seismology and Physics of Earth' s Interior, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei Anhui China; National Geophysics Observatory at Mengcheng, Anhui China; Helmberger, Don [Seismological Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Caltech, Pasadena California USA; Miller, Meghan S. [Department of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles California USA; Jackson, Jennifer M. [Seismological Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Caltech, Pasadena California USA


    D'' represents one of the most dramatic thermal and compositional layers within our planet. In particular, global tomographic models display relatively fast patches at the base of the mantle along the circum-Pacific which are generally attributed to slab debris. Such distinct patches interact with the bridgmanite (Br) to post-bridgmanite (PBr) phase boundary to generate particularly strong heterogeneity at their edges. Most seismic observations for the D'' come from the lower mantle S wave triplication (Scd). Here we exploit the USArray waveform data to examine one of these sharp transitions in structure beneath Alaska. From west to east beneath Alaska, we observed three different characteristics in D'': (1) the western region with a strong Scd, requiring a sharp δVs = 2.5% increase; (2) the middle region with no clear Scd phases, indicating a lack of D'' (or thin Br-PBr layer); and (3) the eastern region with strong Scd phase, requiring a gradient increase in δVs. To explain such strong lateral variation in the velocity structure, chemical variations must be involved. We suggest that the western region represents relatively normal mantle. In contrast, the eastern region is influenced by a relic slab that has subducted down to the lowermost mantle. In the middle region, we infer an upwelling structure that disrupts the Br-PBr phase boundary. Such an interpretation is based upon a distinct pattern of travel time delays, waveform distortions, and amplitude patterns that reveal a circular-shaped anomaly about 5° across which can be modeled synthetically as a plume-like structure rising about 400 km high with a shear velocity reduction of ~5%, similar to geodynamic modeling predictions of upwellings.

  14. Pn anisotropic tomography and mantle dynamics beneath China (United States)

    Zhou, Zhigang; Lei, Jianshe


    We present a new high-resolution Pn anisotropic tomographic model of the uppermost mantle beneath China inferred from 52,061 Pn arrival-time data manually picked from seismograms recorded at provincial seismic stations in China and temporary stations in Tibet and the Tienshan orogenic belt. Significant features well correlated with surface geology are revealed and provide new insights into the deep dynamics beneath China. Prominent high Pn velocities are visible under the stable cratonic blocks (e.g., the Tarim, Junngar, and Sichuan basins, and the Ordos block), whereas remarkable low Pn velocities are observed in the tectonically active areas (e.g., Pamir, the Tienshan orogenic belt, central Tibet and the Qilian fold belt). A distinct N-S trending low Pn velocity zone around 86°E is revealed under the rift running from the Himalayan block through the Lhasa block to the Qiangtang block, which indicates the hot material upwelling due to the breaking-off of the subducting Indian slab. Two N-S trending low Pn velocity belts with an approximate N-S Pn fast direction along the faults around the Chuan-Dian diamond block suggest that these faults may serve as channels of mantle flow from Tibet. The fast Pn direction changes from N-S in the north across 27°N to E-W in the south, which may reflect different types of mantle deformation. The anisotropy in the south could be caused by the asthenospheric flow resulted from the eastward subduction of the Indian plate down to the mantle transition zone beneath the Burma arc. Across the Talas-Fergana fault in the Tienshan orogenic belt, an obvious difference in velocity and anisotropy is revealed. To the west, high Pn velocities and an arc-shaped fast Pn direction are observed, implying the Indo-Asian collision, whereas to the east low Pn velocities and a range-parallel Pn fast direction are imaged, reflecting the northward underthrusting of the Tarim lithosphere and the southward underthrusting of the Kazakh lithosphere. In

  15. Big mantle wedge, anisotropy, slabs and earthquakes beneath the Japan Sea (United States)

    Zhao, Dapeng


    The Japan Sea is a part of the western Pacific trench-arc-backarc system and has a complex bathymetry and intense seismic activities in the crust and upper mantle. Local seismic tomography revealed strong lateral heterogeneities in the crust and uppermost mantle beneath the eastern margin of the Japan Sea, which was determined using P and S wave arrival times of suboceanic earthquakes relocated precisely with sP depth phases. Ambient-noise tomography revealed a thin crust and a thin lithosphere beneath the Japan Sea and significant low-velocity (low-V) anomalies in the shallow mantle beneath the western and eastern margins of the Japan Sea. Observations with ocean-bottom seismometers and electromagnetometers revealed low-V and high-conductivity anomalies at depths of 200-300 km in the big mantle wedge (BMW) above the subducting Pacific slab, and the anomalies are connected with the low-V zone in the normal mantle wedge beneath NE Japan, suggesting that both shallow and deep slab dehydrations occur and contribute to the arc and back-arc magmatism. The Pacific slab has a simple geometry beneath the Japan Sea, and earthquakes occur actively in the slab down to a depth of ∼600 km beneath the NE Asian margin. Teleseismic P and S wave tomography has revealed that the Philippine Sea plate has subducted aseismically down to the mantle transition zone (MTZ, 410-660 km) depths beneath the southern Japan Sea and the Tsushima Strait, and a slab window is revealed within the aseismic Philippine Sea slab. Seismic anisotropy tomography revealed a NW-SE fast-velocity direction in the BMW, which reflects corner flows induced by the fast deep subduction of the Pacific slab. Large deep earthquakes (M > 7.0; depth > 500 km) occur frequently beneath the Japan Sea western margin, which may be related to the formation of the Changbai and Ulleung intraplate volcanoes. A metastable olivine wedge is revealed within the cold core of the Pacific slab at the MTZ depth, which may be related

  16. Crust and subduction zone structure of Southwestern Mexico (United States)

    Suhardja, Sandy Kurniawan; Grand, Stephen P.; Wilson, David; Guzman-Speziale, Marco; Gomez-Gonzalez, Juan Martin; Dominguez-Reyes, Tonatiuh; Ni, James


    Southwestern Mexico is a region of complex active tectonics with subduction of the young Rivera and Cocos plates to the south and widespread magmatism and rifting in the continental interior. Here we use receiver function analysis on data recorded by a 50 station temporary deployment of seismometers known as the MARS (MApping the Rivera Subduction zone) array to investigate crustal structure as well as the nature of the subduction interface near the coast. The array was deployed in the Mexican states of Jalisco, Colima, and Michoacan. Crustal thickness varies from 20 km near the coast to 42 km in the continental interior. The Rivera plate has steeper dip than the Cocos plate and is also deeper along the coast than previous estimates have shown. Inland, there is not a correlation between the thickness of the crust and topography indicating that the high topography in northern Jalisco and Michoacan is likely supported by buoyant mantle. High crustal Vp/Vs ratios (greater than 1.82) are found beneath the trenchward edge of magmatism including below the Central Jalisco Volcanic Lineament and the Michoacan-Guanajuato Volcanic Field implying a new arc is forming closer to the trench than the Trans Mexican Volcanic Belt. Elsewhere in the region, crustal Vp/Vs ratios are normal. The subducting Rivera and Cocos plates are marked by a dipping shear wave low-velocity layer. We estimate the thickness of the low-velocity layer to be 3 to 4 km with an unusually high Vp/Vs ratio of 2.0 to 2.1 and a drop in S velocity of 25%. We postulate that the low-velocity zone is the upper oceanic crust with high pore pressures. The low-velocity zone ends from 45 to 50 km depth and likely marks the basalt to eclogite transition.

  17. Complex Subduction Imaged by Diffractional Tomography of USArray Receiver Functions (United States)

    Zhou, Y.


    Subduction of a large oceanic plate beneath a continental plate is a complex process. In the Western United States, fragmentation of the Farallon slab has been reported in recent tomographic models. In this study, we measure finite-frequency travel times of P410s and P660s receiver functions recorded at USArray Transportable Array (TA) stations for teleseismic events occurred between 2015 and 2011. We calculate the finite-frequency sensitivities of receiver functions to depth perturbations of the 410-km and 660-km discontinuities to obtain high resolution mantle transition zone models based on diffractional tomography. The high-resolution discontinuity models reveal several interesting anomalies associated with complex subduction of the Farallon plate. In particular, we observe a linear feature in both the 410-km and 660-km discontinuity models. This mantle transition zone anomaly is roughly located in the western Snake River Plain and aligns with a major slab gap imaged in an earlier finite-frequency S-wave velocity model. We show that non-stationary upwellings generated by eastward propagation of a slab tearing event, together with a westward motion of the North American plate at a rate of about 1 to 1.5 centimeters per year (comparable to the half spreading rate of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge) in the past 16 million years can explain the age-progressive Snake River Plain / Yellowstone volcanic track. The slab to the west of the anomaly shows a near vertical subduction, it is heavily fragmented and the 410-km and 660-km discontinuity topography indicates that the southern fragment north of the Mendocino triple junction has subducted down to the mantle transition zone.

  18. A slow slip event along the northern Ecuadorian subduction zone (United States)

    Nocquet, J.; Mothes, P. A.; Vallee, M.; Regnier, M.


    Rapid subduction of the Nazca plate beneath the Ecuador-Colombia margin (~58 mm/yr) has produced one of the largest megathrust earthquake sequence during the last century. The 500-km-long rupture zone of the 1906 (Mw = 8.8) event was partially reactivated by three thrust events; in 1942 (Mw = 7.8), 1958 (Mw = 7.7), and 1979 (Mw = 8.2), whose rupture zones abut one another. New continuously-recording GPS stations installed along the Ecuadorian coast, together with campaign sites observed since 1994 indicate that the current velocities results from the superimposition of a NNE motion the crustal North Andean Block occurring at ~8 mm/yr in Ecuador and the elastic deformation involved by partial locking of the subduction interface. We first estimate the long-term kinematics of the North Andean block in a joint inversion including GPS data, earthquake slip vectors and quaternary slip rates on major faults. The inversion provides a Euler pole located at long. -107.8°E, lat. 36.2°N, 0.091°/Ma and indicates little internal deformation of the North Andean Block (wrms=1.3 mm/yr). Residual velocities with respect to the North Andean Block are then modeled in terms of elastic locking along the subduction interface. Models indicate that the subduction interface is partially locked (50%) up to a depth of 40 km. Finally, we report a transient event that occurred in early 2008 near the Ecuador-Colombia border. The magnitude of the trenchward displacement is 13 mm, with uplift of similar magnitude. While the total duration of the slip event is 5 months, the horizontal time series clearly shows two sub-phases of slip with approximatively similar magnitud of displacement and duration, separated by 6 weeks. Modelling indicates that the slip occurs at 40 km depth, immediately below downdip extension of the locked zone.

  19. Subduction & orogeny: Introduction to the special volume (United States)

    Rolland, Y.; Bosch, D.; Guillot, S.; de Sigoyer, J.; Martinod, J.; Agard, P.; Yamato, P.


    Subduction processes play a major role in plate tectonics and the subsequent geological evolution of Earth. This special issue focuses on ongoing research in subduction dynamics to a large extent (oceanic subduction, continental subduction, obduction…) for both past and active subduction zones and into mountain building processes and the early evolution of orogens. It puts together various approaches combining geophysics (imaging of subduction zones), petrology/geochemistry (metamorphic analysis of HP-UHP rocks, fluid geochemistry and magmatic signal, geochronology), seismology and geodesy (present-day evolution of subduction zones, active tectonics), structural geology (structure and evolution of mountain belts), and numerical modelling to provide a full spectrum of tools that can be used to constrain the nature and evolution of subduction processes and orogeny. Studies presented in this special issue range from the long-term (orogenic cycle) to short-term (seismic cycle).

  20. P and S wave attenuation tomography of the Japan subduction zone (United States)

    Wang, Zewei; Zhao, Dapeng; Liu, Xin; Chen, Chuanxu; Li, Xibing


    We determine the first high-resolution P and S wave attenuation (Q) tomography beneath the entire Japan Islands using a large number of high-quality t∗ data collected from P and S wave velocity spectra of 4222 local shallow and intermediate-depth earthquakes. The suboceanic earthquakes used in this study are relocated precisely using sP depth phases. Significant landward dipping high-Q zones are revealed clearly, which reflect the subducting Pacific slab beneath Hokkaido and Tohoku, and the subducting Philippine Sea (PHS) slab beneath SW Japan. Prominent low-Q zones are visible in the crust and mantle wedge beneath the active arc volcanoes in Hokkaido, Tohoku, and Kyushu, which reflect source zones of arc magmatism caused by fluids from the slab dehydration and corner flow in the mantle wedge. Our results also show that nonvolcanic low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs) in SW Japan mainly occur in the transition zone between a narrow low-Q belt and its adjacent high-Q zones right above the flat segment of the PHS slab. This feature suggests that the nonvolcanic LFEs are caused by not only fluid-affected slab interface but also specific conditions such as high pore pressure which is influenced by the overriding plate.

  1. Processes and consequences of deep subduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rubie, David C.; Hilst, R.D. van der


    Subduction of slabs of oceanic lithosphere into the deep mantle involves a wide range of geophysical and geochemical processes and is of major importance for the physical and chemical evolution of the Earth. For example, subduction and subduction-related volcanism are major processes through

  2. Structure of the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere System Beneath the Juan de Fuca Plate: Results of Body Wave Imaging Using Cascadia Initiative Data (United States)

    Byrnes, J. S.; Toomey, D. R.; Hooft, E. E. E.


    The plate-scale deployment of ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) as part of the Cascadia Initiative (CI) of NSF provides a unique opportunity to study the structure and dynamics of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system beneath an entire oceanic plate, from its birth at a spreading center to its subduction beneath a continent. Here we present tomographic images of the seismic structure of oceanic upper mantle beneath the Juan de Fuca (JdF) and Gorda plates derived from body wave delay times. The results constrain structural anomalies beneath the JdF and Gorda spreading centers, the Blanco and Mendocino transform faults, near ridge hotspots such as Axial Seamount, and the upper mantle structure beneath the subducting oceanic lithosphere. We measured delay times of teleseismic P and S wave phases for the first two years of the CI. Our tomographic analysis assumes both isotropic and anisotropic starting models and accounts for finite-frequency effects and three-dimensional ray bending. Preliminary results indicate that the upper mantle structure beneath the JdF spreading center is asymmetric, with lower shear wave velocities beneath the Pacific plate (also the direction of ridge migration). On a regional scale, regions of lower seismic velocities beneath the JdF and Gorda spreading centers correlate with shallower ridge depths. Beneath the southern Gorda plate a low velocity anomaly is detected, which is absent to the north; this anomaly is bounded to the south by the Mendocino transform. Ongoing work includes analysis of the third year of CI data, which will improve resolution of structure and allow better definition of anomalies in the vicinity of the Blanco transform. In addition, we will combine ocean and continental data to obtain images of the Cascadia subduction zone.

  3. Deep vs. shallow expressions of continental cratons: Can cratonic roots be destroyed by subduction? (United States)

    Perry-Houts, J.; Calo, M.; Eddy, C. L.; Guerri, M.; Holt, A.; Hopper, E.; Tesoniero, A.; Romanowicz, B. A.; Becker, T. W.; Wagner, L. S.


    Cratons are parts of continents that have remained tectonically quiescent over billion-year timescales. Although cratonic lithosphere has the stabilizing properties of chemical buoyancy and high viscosity, it can still be destroyed. The best known example of a missing cratonic root is beneath the eastern North China Craton (NCC). Despite strong evidence for the past existence of a craton in northern China, high heat flow, Mesozoic basin formation, extensive seismicity, and the lack of a fast seismic root imply that the deep cratonic lithosphere is missing. The mechanism for the lithospheric root loss is a source of much debate. Many mechanisms have been proposed, among them: shearing of the lithospheric root by asthenospheric flow induced by the Indo-Eurasian collision; ponding of the Pacific slab in the transition zone acting as a source of fluids that enable hydrous weakening; and thermal erosion due to the corner-flow upwelling of hot, deep material. It is generally agreed that the influence of subduction is key, both from the temporal coincidence of subduction with increased tectonomagmatic activity on the craton and from the spatial correlation of lithospheric loss adjacent to the Pacific trench. We investigate how cratons extend to depth through comparison between seismic signatures of the cratonic lithosphere in the upper mantle and surficial evidence of cratonic boundaries. We examine global and regional tomography, as well as receiver-function constraints on lithospheric thickness in the NCC. We define craton boundaries at the surface through analyses on crust and lithospheric mantle ages and kimberlite locations. We aim to identify regions where the fast cratonic root has been lost or altered beneath Archean and Proterozoic crust and in particular place constraints on the extent of the remaining cratonic root beneath North China. Given the common emphasis on the role of subduction as a driving force for the root loss beneath the eastern NCC, we focus on

  4. Subduction-derived solute-rich fluid contributions to lavas of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (United States)

    LaGatta, A.; Goldstein, S. L.; Langmuir, C. H.; Martin, A.; Carrasco-Nunez, G.; Cai, Y.


    . Trace element systematics (e.g. Nb/Ta) reveal at least two mantle sources beneath the central and eastern TMVB, a trace element-depleted depleted mantle wedge beneath the stratovolcanoes, and a relatively enriched wedge represented by the alkali basalts. Nb/Ta ratios correlate with fluid mobile element ratios and suggest there is a causal relation between mantle depletion and subduction-fluxing of the stratovolcano feeders. This suggests that the source of the alkali basalts represents the 'non-subduction component' contributing to the lavas, presumably a fertile mantle endmember beneath the arc in the present-day.

  5. Upper mantle structure beneath the Alpine orogen from high-resolution teleseismic tomography (United States)

    Lippitsch, Regina; Kissling, Edi; Ansorge, JöRg


    To understand the evolution of the Alpine orogen, knowledge of the actual structure of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system is important. We perform high-resolution teleseismic tomography with manually picked P wave arrival times from seismograms recorded in the greater Alpine region. The resulting data set consists of 4199 relative P wave arrivals and 499 absolute P wave arrivals from 76 teleseismic events, corrected for the contribution of the Alpine crust to the travel times. The three-dimensional (3-D) crustal model established from controlled-source seismology data for that purpose represents the large-scale Alpine crustal structure. Absolute P wave arrival times are used to compute an initial reference model for the inversion. Tests with synthetic data document that the combination of nonlinear inversion, high-quality teleseismic data, and usage of an a priori 3-D crustal model allows a reliable resolution of cells at 50 km × 50 km × 30 km. Hence structures as small as two cells can be resolved in the upper mantle. Our tomographic images illuminate the structure of the uppermost mantle to depth of 400 km. Along strike of the Alps, the inversion reveals a high-velocity structure that dips toward the SE beneath the Adriatic microplate in the western and central Alps. In the eastern Alps we observe a northeastward dipping feature, subducting beneath the European plate. We interpret this feature in the western and central Alps as subducted, mainly continental European lower lithosphere. For the east, we propose that parts of the Vardar oceanic basin were subducted toward the NE, forcing continental Adriatic lower lithosphere to subduct northeastward beneath the European plate.

  6. Building a Subduction Zone Observatory (United States)

    Gomberg, Joan S.; Bodin, Paul; Bourgeois, Jody; Cashman, Susan; Cowan, Darrel; Creager, Kenneth C.; Crowell, Brendan; Duvall, Alison; Frankel, Arthur; Gonzalez, Frank; Houston, Heidi; Johnson, Paul; Kelsey, Harvey; Miller, Una; Roland, Emily C.; Schmidt, David; Staisch, Lydia; Vidale, John; Wilcock, William; Wirth, Erin


    Subduction zones contain many of Earth’s most remarkable geologic structures, from the deepest oceanic trenches to glacier-covered mountains and steaming volcanoes. These environments formed through spectacular events: Nature’s largest earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions are born here.

  7. Flat vs. Normal subduction, Central Chile: insights from regional seismic tomography and rock type modeling (United States)

    Marot, Marianne; Monfret, Tony; Gerbault, Muriel; Nolet, Guust; Ranalli, Giorgio; Pardo, Mario


    The Central Chilean subduction zone (27-35°S) is host to a multitude of unexplained phenomena, all likely linked to one another. Here, the 35 Ma oceanic Nazca plate is subducting beneath South America with a well developed, highly seismic flat slab, very well correlated with the subducting Juan Fernandez seamount Ridge (JFR) track, and also with the absence of volcanism at the surface. The upper plate, currently under compression, is composed of a series of accreted terranes of various origins and ages. Although no general consensus on the formation of this flat slab has been yet achieved, there may have been influence of overthickened oceanic crust, delayed eclogitization and consequent fluid retain within the slab, and slab suction due to the high convergence rate with the thick Rio de Plata craton. Therefore, the main questions we address are: Does the slab dehydrate along the flat subducting segment? If so, how hydrated is the slab, at what depth does slab dehydration occur, where are the fluids transported to, and where are they stored? Is magmatism still active beneath the now inactive arc? Are accreted terranes and suture zones important attributes of this subduction zone? Do they possess their own mantle entities? To answer these questions, we analyzed recorded local seismicity and performed regional 3D seismic tomography for Vp and Vs. Combining seismic tomography with 2D instantaneous thermo-mechanical modeling for the regions of flat and normal subduction, we predict rock compositions for these two regions based on published mineral and rock elastic properties. Here, we present a comparison between the normal subduction zone to the south, reflecting typical and expected features, and the flat slab region to the north, exhibiting heterogeneities. Our results agree with other studies for a dry and cold continental mantle above the flat slab. We distinguish the Cuyania terrane with overthickened crust and/or abnormal mantle beneath it. We notice that the

  8. Tectonic tremor and slow slip along the northwestern section of the Mexico subduction zone (United States)

    Brudzinski, Michael R.; Schlanser, Kristen M.; Kelly, Nicholas J.; DeMets, Charles; Grand, Stephen P.; Márquez-Azúa, Bertha; Cabral-Cano, Enrique


    The southwestern coast of Mexico is marked by active subduction of the Rivera and Cocos plates, producing megathrust earthquakes that tend to recur every 50-100 yr. Herein, we use seismic and GPS data from this region to investigate the potential relationship between earthquakes, tectonic (non-volcanic) tremor, and transient slip along the westernmost 200 km of the Mexico subduction zone. Visual examination of seismograms and spectrograms throughout the 18-month-long MARS seismic experiment reveals clear evidence for frequent small episodes of tremor along the Rivera and Cocos subduction zones beneath the states of Jalisco, Colima, and Michoacán. Using a semi-automated process that identifies prominent energy bursts in envelope waveforms of this new data, analyst-refined relative arrival times are inverted for source locations using a 1-D velocity model. The resulting northwest-southeast trending linear band of tremor is located downdip from the rupture zones of the 1995 Mw 8.0 Colima-Jalisco and 2003 Mw 7.2 Tecoman subduction-thrust earthquakes and just below the regions of afterslip triggered by these earthquakes. Despite the close proximity between tremor and megathrust events, there is no evidence that the time since the last great earthquake influences the spatial or temporal pattern of tremor. A well-defined gap in the tremor beneath the western Colima Graben appears to mark a separation along the subducted Rivera-Cocos plate boundary. From the position time series of 19 continuous GPS sites in western Mexico, we present the first evidence that slow slip events occur on the Rivera plate subduction interface. Unlike the widely-recorded, large-amplitude, slow slip events on the nearly horizontal Cocos plate subduction interface below southern Mexico, slow slip events below western Mexico have small amplitudes and are recorded at relatively few, mostly coastal stations. The smaller slow slip beneath western Mexico may be due to the steeper dip, causing a

  9. Imaging Canary Island hotspot material beneath the lithosphere of Morocco and southern Spain (United States)

    Miller, Meghan S.; O'Driscoll, Leland J.; Butcher, Amber J.; Thomas, Christine


    The westernmost Mediterranean has developed into its present day tectonic configuration as a result of complex interactions between late stage subduction of the Neo-Tethys Ocean, continental collision of Africa and Eurasia, and the Canary Island mantle plume. This study utilizes S receiver functions (SRFs) from over 360 broadband seismic stations to seismically image the lithosphere and uppermost mantle from southern Spain through Morocco and the Canary Islands. The lithospheric thickness ranges from ∼65 km beneath the Atlas Mountains and the active volcanic islands to over ∼210 km beneath the cratonic lithosphere in southern Morocco. The common conversion point (CCP) volume of the SRFs indicates that thinned lithosphere extends from beneath the Canary Islands offshore southwestern Morocco, to beneath the continental lithosphere of the Atlas Mountains, and then thickens abruptly at the West African craton. Beneath thin lithosphere between the Canary hot spot and southern Spain, including below the Atlas Mountains and the Alboran Sea, there are distinct pockets of low velocity material, as inferred from high amplitude positive, sub-lithospheric conversions in the SRFs. These regions of low seismic velocity at the base of the lithosphere extend beneath the areas of Pliocene-Quaternary magmatism, which has been linked to a Canary hotspot source via geochemical signatures. However, we find that this volume of low velocity material is discontinuous along strike and occurs only in areas of recent volcanism and where asthenospheric mantle flow is identified with shear wave splitting analyses. We propose that the low velocity structure beneath the lithosphere is material flowing sub-horizontally northeastwards beneath Morocco from the tilted Canary Island plume, and the small, localized volcanoes are the result of small-scale upwellings from this material.

  10. Segmentation of the Nazca and South American plates along the Ecuador subduction zone from wide angle seismic profiles (United States)

    Gailler, Audrey; Charvis, Philippe; Flueh, Ernst R.


    We describe the deep structure of the south Colombian-northern Ecuador convergent margin using travel time inversion of wide-angle seismic data recently collected offshore. The margin appears segmented into three contrasting zones. In the North Zone, affected by four great subduction earthquakes during the 20th century, normal oceanic crust subducts beneath the oceanic Cretaceous substratum of the margin underlined by seismic velocities as high as 6.0-6.5 km/s. In the Central Zone the subducting oceanic crust is over-thickened beneath the Carnegie Ridge. A steeper slope and a well-developed, high velocity, Cretaceous oceanic basement characterizes the margin wedge. This area coincides with a gap in significant subduction earthquake activity. In the South Zone, the subducting oceanic crust is normal. The fore-arc is characterized by large sedimentary basins suggesting significant subsidence. Velocities in the margin wedge are significantly lower and denote a different nature or a higher degree of fracturing. Even if the distance between the three profiles exceeds 150 km, the structural segmentation obtained along the Ecuadorian margin correlates well with the distribution of seismic activity and the neotectonic zonation.

  11. The Role of Serpentinization and Deserpentinization In Bending and Unbending A Subducting Slab (United States)

    Phipps Morgan, J.; Ruepke, L.; Ranero, C.

    There is increasing speculation that the mantle of the downgoing oceanic plate at a subduction zone may be extensively serpentinized, and that the deserpentinization of the downgoing slab is related to both intermediate depth earthquakes (cf. Seno and Yamamaka, AGU Mon. 96, 1996; Peacock, Geology, 2001) and arc magmatism. Here I propose that the serpentinization and deserpentinization of the downgoing slab may play a significant role in plate subduction itself, as a driving force for the bending and unbending of a subducting slab, in addition to its previously suggested role as a `lubricant' for the plate boundary. Mantle serpentinization involves an increase of >20% in volume from pure harzbur- gite to pure serpentinite. Assume that deep lithospheric faulting at the outer rise (see Ranero et al., this session) often provides pathways for seawater to hydrate the up- permost 30-50 km beneath the Moho, as consistent with (poorly known) seismic rupture planes and the spatial distribution of intermediate-depth slab seismicity. Plates >20Mainagewillhaveatleast 30kmofsuitablycold(Green II, EOS, 2001). Furthermore, serpentinization-linked slab-bending significantly eases the mechanical work needed to subduct a plate, providing a possible resolution to the apparent paradox (Conrad and Hager, JGR, 1999) that the bending and unbending of the downgoing plate could consume even more energy than that available from the negative buoyancy of subducting lithosphere. 2

  12. Imaging the megathrust zone and Yakutat/Pacific plate interface in the Alaska subduction zone (United States)

    Kim, Y.; Abers, G. A.; Li, J.; Christensen, D. H.; Rondenay, S.


    We image the subducted slab underneath a 450 km long transect of the Alaska subduction zone. Dense stations in southern Alaska are set up to investigate (1) the geometry and velocity structure of the downgoing plate and their relationship to slab seismicity, and (2) the interplate coupled zone where the great 1964 earthquake (magnitude 9.3) exhibited the largest amount of rupture. The joint teleseismic migration of two array datasets based on teleseismic receiver functions (RFs) reveals a prominent, shallow-dipping low-velocity layer at ~25-30 km depth in southern Alaska. Modeling of RF amplitudes suggests the existence of a thin (3-5 km) low-velocity layer (shear wave velocity of ~2.0-2.5 km/s) that is ~20-40% slower than underlying oceanic crustal velocities, and is sandwiched between the subducted slab and the overriding North America plate. The observed low-velocity megathrust layer (with P-to-S velocity ratio of 1.9-2.3) may be due to a thick sediment input from the trench in combination with elevated pore fluid pressure in the channel. The subducted crust below the low-velocity channel has gabbroic velocities with a thickness of ~15 km. Both velocities and thickness of the low-velocity channel abruptly increase downdip in central Alaska, which agrees with previously published results. Our image also includes an unusually thick low-velocity crust subducting with a ~20 degree dip down to 130 km depth at approximately 200 km inland beneath central Alaska. The unusual nature of this subducted segment has been suggested to be due to the subduction of the Yakutat terrane. We also show a clear image of the Yakutat and Pacific plate subduction beneath the Kenai Peninsula, and the along-strike boundary between them at megathrust depths. Our imaged western edge of the Yakutat terrane, at 25-30 km depth in the central Kenai along the megathrust, aligns with the western end of a geodetically locked patch with high slip deficit, and coincides with the boundary of

  13. Imaging megathrust zone and Yakutat/Pacific plate interface in Alaska subduction zone (United States)

    Kim, Y.; Abers, G. A.; Li, J.; Christensen, D. H.; Calkins, J. A.


    We image the subducted slab underneath a 450 km long transect of the Alaska subduction zone. Dense stations in southern Alaska are set up to investigate (1) the geometry and velocity structure of the downgoing plate and their relation to slab seismicity, and (2) the interplate coupled zone where the great 1964 (magnitude 9.3) had greatest rupture. The joint teleseismic migration of two array datasets (MOOS, Multidisciplinary Observations of Onshore Subduction, and BEAAR, Broadband Experiment Across the Alaska Range) based on teleseismic receiver functions (RFs) using the MOOS data reveal a shallow-dipping prominent low-velocity layer at ~25-30 km depth in southern Alaska. Modeling of these RF amplitudes shows a thin (plate. The observed low-velocity megathrust layer (with P-to-S velocity ratio (Vp/Vs) exceeding 2.0) may be due to a thick sediment input from the trench in combination of elevated pore fluid pressure in the channel. The subducted crust below the low-velocity channel has gabbroic velocities with a thickness of 11-12 km. Both velocities and thickness of the low-velocity channel abruptly increase as the slab bends in central Alaska, which agrees with previously published RF results. Our image also includes an unusually thick low-velocity crust subducting with a ~20 degree dip down to 130 km depth at approximately 200 km inland beneath central Alaska. The unusual nature of this subducted segment has been suggested to be due to the subduction of the Yakutat terrane. We also show a clear image of the Yakutat and Pacific plate subduction beneath the Kenai Peninsula, and the along-strike boundary between them at megathrust depths. Our imaged western edge of the Yakutat terrane, at 25-30 km depth in the central Kenai along the megathrust, aligns with the western end of the geodetically locked patch with high slip deficit, and coincides with the boundary of aftershock events from the 1964 earthquake. It seems plausible that this sharp change in the nature of

  14. a New Animation of Subduction Processes for Undergraduates (United States)

    Stern, R. J.; Lieu, W. K.; Mantey, A.; Ward, A.; Todd, F.; Farrar, E.; Sean, M.; Windler, J.


    The subduction of oceanic lithosphere beneath convergent plate margins is a fundamental plate tectonic concept and an important Earth process. It is responsible for some of Earth's most dangerous natural hazards including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions but also produced the continental crust and important mineral deposits. A range of geoscientific efforts including NSF MARGINS and GeoPRISMS initiatives have advanced our understanding of subduction zone processes. In spite the importance of subduction zones and our advancing understanding of how these function, there are few animations that clearly explain the subduction process to non-expert audiences. This deficiency reflects the disparate expertises between geoscientists who know the science but have weak animation skills and digital artists and animators who have strong skills in showing objects in motion but are not experts in natural processes like plate tectonics. This transdisciplinary gap can and should be bridged. With a small grant from NSF (DUE-1444954) we set about to generate a realistic subduction zone animation aimed at the university undergraduate audience by first working within our university to rough out a draft animation and then contract a professional to use this to construct the final version. UTD Geosciences faculty (Stern) and graduate student (Lieu) teamed up with faculty from UTD School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC)(Farrar, Fechter, and McComber) to identify and recruit talented ATEC undergraduate students (Mantey, Ward) to work on the project. Geoscientists assembled a storyboard and met weekly with ATEC undergraduates to generate a first draft of the animation, which guided development of an accompanying narrative. The draft animation with voice-over was then handed off to professional animator Windler (Archistration CG) to generate the final animation. We plan to show both the student-generated draft version and the final animation during our presentation

  15. Seismic evidence for a chemically distinct thermochemical reservoir in Earth's deep mantle beneath Hawaii (United States)

    Zhao, Chunpeng; Garnero, Edward J.; McNamara, Allen K.; Schmerr, Nicholas; Carlson, Richard W.


    Nearly antipodal continent-sized zones of reduced seismic shear wave velocities exist at the base of Earth's mantle, one beneath the Pacific Ocean, the other beneath the South Atlantic Ocean and Africa. Geophysicists have attributed the low velocity zones to elevated temperatures associated with large-scale mantle convection processes, specifically, hot mantle upwelling in response to cooler subduction-related downwelling currents. Hypotheses have included superplumes, isochemical heterogeneity, and stable as well as metastable basal thermochemical piles. Here we analyze waveform broadening and travel times of S waves from 11 deep focus earthquakes in the southwest Pacific recorded in North America, resulting in 8500 seismograms studied that sample the deep mantle beneath the Pacific. Waveform broadening is referenced to a mean S-wave shape constructed for each event, to define a relative "misfit". Large misfits are consistent with multipathing that can broaden wave pulses. Misfits of deep mantle sampling S-waves infer that the structure in the northeast part of the low velocity province beneath the Pacific has a sharp side as well as a sloping sharp top to the feature. This sharp boundary morphology is consistent with geodynamic predictions for a stable thermochemical reservoir. The peak of the imaged pile is below Hawaii, supporting the hypothesis of a whole mantle plume beneath the hotspot.

  16. Subduction Controls of Hf and Nd Isotopes in Lavas of the Aleutian Island Arc

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yogodzinski, Gene; Vervoort, Jeffery; Brown, Shaun Tyler; Gerseny, Megan


    trench east of the Amlia Fracture Zone, which is being subducting beneath the arc at Seguam Island. Mixing trends between mantle wedge and sediment end members become flatter in Hf-Nd isotope space at locations further west along the arc, indicating that the sediment end member in the west has either higher Nd/Hf or is more radiogenic in Hf compared to Nd. This pattern is interpreted to reflect an increase in pelagic clay relative to the terrigenous subducted sedimentary component westward along the arc. Results of this study imply that Hf does not behave as a conservative element in the Aleutian subduction system, as has been proposed for some other arcs.

  17. Rheological evolution of subducting slabs (United States)

    Hirth, G.


    The mechanical behavior of subducting lithosphere depends on both the rheological evolution of the slab and how the slab is modified prior to subduction. Geophysical data demonstrate that the combination of thermal evolution and deformation lead to alteration of the slab at both mid-ocean ridges and the outer rise of subduction zones. In addition, the locations of earthquakes in these locations are generally consistent with both extrapolation of laboratory data that constrain the depth to the brittle-plastic transition, and deformation mechanisms inferred from microstructural analysis of mantle rocks recovered from the oceanic lithosphere. However, the frictional properties of both mantle aggregates and their alteration products suggest that linking the location of lithospheric earthquakes to regions that become hydrothermally altered is not straightforward. Furthermore, the inferred link between the location of intermediate-depth seismicity and the conditions of dehydration reactions is challenged by laboratory studies on dehydration embrittlement. In this presentation, I will introduce these apparent discrepancies; provide some possible resolutions for them based on scaling of laboratory data and discuss the implications for how an integrated understanding of slab rheology informs our understanding of the mechanical and geochemical evolution of the slab.

  18. Mantle plumes in the vicinity of subduction zones (United States)

    Mériaux, C. A.; Mériaux, A.-S.; Schellart, W. P.; Duarte, J. C.; Duarte, S. S.; Chen, Z.


    We present three-dimensional deep-mantle laboratory models of a compositional plume within the vicinity of a buoyancy-driven subducting plate with a fixed trailing edge. We modelled front plumes (in the mantle wedge), rear plumes (beneath the subducting plate) and side plumes with slab/plume systems of buoyancy flux ratio spanning a range from 2 to 100 that overlaps the ratios in nature of 0.2-100. This study shows that 1) rising side and front plumes can be dragged over thousands of kilometres into the mantle wedge, 2) flattening of rear plumes in the trench-normal direction can be initiated 700 km away from the trench, and a plume material layer of lesser density and viscosity can ultimately almost entirely underlay a retreating slab after slab/plume impact, 3) while side and rear plumes are not tilted until they reach ∼600 km depth, front plumes can be tilted at increasing depths as their plume buoyancy is lessened, and rise at a slower rate when subjected to a slab-induced downwelling, 4) rear plumes whose buoyancy flux is close to that of a slab, can retard subduction until the slab is 600 km long, and 5) slab-plume interaction can lead to a diversity of spatial plume material distributions into the mantle wedge. We discuss natural slab/plume systems of the Cascadia/Bowie-Cobb, and Nazca/San Felix-Juan Fernandez systems on the basis of our experiments and each geodynamic context and assess the influence of slab downwelling at depths for the starting plumes of Java, Coral Sea and East Solomon. Overall, this study shows how slab/plume interactions can result in a variety of geological, geophysical and geochemical signatures.

  19. P wave azimuthal and radial anisotropy of the Hokkaido subduction zone (United States)

    Niu, Xiongwei; Zhao, Dapeng; Li, Jiabiao; Ruan, Aiguo


    We present the first three-dimensional P wave radial anisotropy tomography of the Hokkaido subduction zone, as well as P wave azimuthal anisotropy and S wave tomography, which are determined by inverting 298,430 P wave and 233,934 S wave arrival times from 14,245 local earthquakes recorded by 344 seismic stations. Our results reveal significant velocity heterogeneity, seismic anisotropy, and upwelling flows beneath the study region. In the mantle wedge, prominent low-velocity (low-V) anomalies exhibit trench-normal fast-velocity directions (FVDs) and a negative radial anisotropy (i.e., vertical velocity > horizontal velocity), which may reflect upwelling mantle flows. Fan-shaped FVDs are found at depths of 65-90 km, and a detailed 3-D mantle flow pattern is revealed, which may be caused by a combination of oblique subduction of the Pacific plate and collision of the Kuril arc with the Honshu arc beneath southern Hokkaido. The radial anisotropy changes at ~100 km depth, which may reflect variations in temperature and fluid conditions there. The subducting Pacific slab exhibits a positive radial anisotropy (i.e., horizontal velocity > vertical velocity), which may reflect the original fossil anisotropy when the Pacific plate formed at the mid-ocean ridge.

  20. Peculiar seismotectonic characteristics of Nazca's subducted slab, in the Andean region: Why do they exist? (United States)

    Berrocal, J.; Fernandes, C.


    The peculiar morphology of Wadati-Benioff Zone (WBZ) beneath Andean region presents controversial seismotectonic characteristics of the subducting Nazca plate beneath South American plate: WBZ with an almost flat behaviour under Central-Northern Peru region, and beneath Central Chile region, intercalated with steeply portion of the slab; the almost completely aseismic portion between 300 and 500 km of depth; the existence of deep earthquakes in South American and their controversial focal mechanism. There are several hypotheses trying to explain a suitable origin for those deep earthquakes that occur in depths between 500 and almost 700 km, where the occurrence of brittle failure is improbable to exist due to the presence of high temperature and pressure conditions at those depths. We propose in this work - based mainly in the spatial distribution of relocated hypocentres, and in the joint interpretation with recent published results related to seismotectonic aspects of Andean region - a top-to- northwest shear of the portion of Nazca subducting plate between 24°S and 01°S, in such an amount that its deepest corresponding extremes, at around 600 km of depth, seem to be presently, under latitudes between 29°S and 06°S, respectively. The proposed northwestern displacement of South American plate may be provoking that shear process of Nazca slab, which should be larger at shallower depths of the slab, and limited to those latitudes below the Andean region. The NW displacement of Nazca slab could explain the existence of flat subduction beneath Central-Northern Peru region as a consequence of a probable northwards migration of the buoyant Nazca ridge after subduction under South American plate in around 15°S. Similar explanation could be used for the flat WBZ beneath Central Chile and the Juan Fernandez ridge. This hypothesis permits to infer for some very deep South American earthquakes shear, planar mechanisms at high pressure, some times as almost horizontal

  1. Metastable olivine wedge beneath northeast China and its applications (United States)

    Jiang, G.; Zhao, D.; Zhang, G.


    When the Pacific slab subducted into the mantle transition zone, there might exist a metastable olivine wedge (MOW) inside the slab due to the phase transition. Lots of researchers have adopted such various methods to detect the characteristics of this MOW as the forward modeling of travel times, shear wave amplitude patterns, teleseismic P wave coda, receiver function imaging, thermodynamic simulation and so on. Almost all results could be more or less affected by the source, the receiver and/or the velocity model passed through by the seismic rays. In this study, we have used 21 deep earthquakes, greater than 400 km and locating beneath northeast China, to study the velocity within the MOW. For more precisions, we have done further modifications in two ways based on our previous studies. (1) Double-difference location method is used to relocate all events with an error of 1-2 km with the data recorded by stations both at northeast China and at Japan. All relocated events locate in a zone about 30 km away from the upper boundary of Pacific slab. (2) Double residual travel times, generated by an event-pair at a common station at only Japan, are used to constrain the velocity anomaly rather than the residuals themselves. As a result, we have found that an ultra-lower velocity zone (ULVZ), averagely -7% relative to the iasp91 model, exists within the subducted Pacific slab around the deep earthquakes, which might be represented as the metastable olivine wedge. Because of the lower-velocity corresponding to the lower-density, the MOW would provide upward buoyancy forces which might prevent the slab from free subduction into the mantle transition zone. This feed-back mechanism of MOW to the slab is called ';parachute-effect', which is characterized by other researchers. In addition, the existence of the ULVZ or the MOW in the slab may supply a possible mechanism for triggering deep earthquakes, called ';phase transformation faulting', which was already proposed few

  2. Transdimensional imaging of random velocity inhomogeneities in Nankai subduction zone (United States)

    Takahashi, T.; Obana, K.; Yamamoto, Y.; Kaiho, Y.; Nakanishi, A.; Kodaira, S.; Kaneda, Y.


    The Nankai trough in southwestern Japan is a convergent margin where the Philippine Sea plate is subducting beneath the Eurasian plate. We have conducted five seismic observations with ocean bottom seismograms (OBSs) from 2008 to 2012 to elucidate detailed seismic structures and its relations with fault segments of large earthquakes. These observations covered the entire area of the Nankai trough, but quantity and quality of data are not spatially uniform because of different observing lengths and various noises. Waveform data of OBSs suggests variously-sized anomalies of random velocity inhomogeneity (i.e., scattering strength) in this subduction zone. To clarify details of random inhomogeneity structures, we conducted a transdimensional imaging of random inhomogeneities by means of the reversible jump Markov Chain Monte Carlo (rjMCMC) without assuming smooth spatial distributions of unknown parameters. We applied the rjMCMC for the inversion of peak delay times of S-wave envelopes at 4-8, 8-16, and 16-32 Hz, where the peak delay time is defined as the time lag from the S-wave onset to its maximal amplitude arrival. This delay time mainly reflects the accumulated multiple forward scattering effect due to random inhomogeneities. We assumed the von Karman type power spectral density function (PSDF) for random velocity fluctuation, and estimated two parameters related with the PSDF at large wavenumber. Study area is partitioned by discrete Voronoi cells of which number and spatial sizes are variable. Estimated random inhomogeneities show clear lateral variations along the Nankai trough. The strongest inhomogeneity on the Nankai trough was found near the subducted Kyushu-Palau ridge that is located at the western margin of the fault segments. We also find a horizontal variation of inhomogeneity along the non-volcanic tremor zone. Relatively strong inhomogeneities in this tremor zone were imaged beneath west Shikoku and Kii-Peninsula. These anomalies were not clearly

  3. Potential methane reservoirs beneath Antarctica. (United States)

    Wadham, J L; Arndt, S; Tulaczyk, S; Stibal, M; Tranter, M; Telling, J; Lis, G P; Lawson, E; Ridgwell, A; Dubnick, A; Sharp, M J; Anesio, A M; Butler, C E H


    Once thought to be devoid of life, the ice-covered parts of Antarctica are now known to be a reservoir of metabolically active microbial cells and organic carbon. The potential for methanogenic archaea to support the degradation of organic carbon to methane beneath the ice, however, has not yet been evaluated. Large sedimentary basins containing marine sequences up to 14 kilometres thick and an estimated 21,000 petagrams (1 Pg equals 10(15) g) of organic carbon are buried beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet. No data exist for rates of methanogenesis in sub-Antarctic marine sediments. Here we present experimental data from other subglacial environments that demonstrate the potential for overridden organic matter beneath glacial systems to produce methane. We also numerically simulate the accumulation of methane in Antarctic sedimentary basins using an established one-dimensional hydrate model and show that pressure/temperature conditions favour methane hydrate formation down to sediment depths of about 300 metres in West Antarctica and 700 metres in East Antarctica. Our results demonstrate the potential for methane hydrate accumulation in Antarctic sedimentary basins, where the total inventory depends on rates of organic carbon degradation and conditions at the ice-sheet bed. We calculate that the sub-Antarctic hydrate inventory could be of the same order of magnitude as that of recent estimates made for Arctic permafrost. Our findings suggest that the Antarctic Ice Sheet may be a neglected but important component of the global methane budget, with the potential to act as a positive feedback on climate warming during ice-sheet wastage.

  4. Three-dimensional electrical resistivity image of the South-Central Chilean subduction zone (United States)

    Kapinos, Gerhard; Montahaei, Mansoureh; Meqbel, Naser; Brasse, Heinrich


    Based on isotropic 3-D inversion, we re-interpret long-period magnetotelluric data collected across the geotectonic structures of the South-Central Chilean continental margin at latitudes 38°-41°S and summarize results of long-period magnetotelluric (MT) investigations performed between 2000 and 2005. The new 3-D conductivity image of the South-Central Chilean subduction zone basically confirms former 2-D inversion models along three profiles and complete the previous results. The models show good electrical conductors in the tip of the continental crustal beneath the Pacific Ocean, the frequently observed forearc conductor at mid-crustal levels, a highly-conductive zone at similar levels slightly offset from the volcanic arc and a - not well-resolved - conductor in the Argentinian backarc. The subducted Nazca Plate generally appears as a resistive but discontinuous feature. Unlike before, we are now able to resolve upper crustal conductors (interpreted as magma reservoirs) beneath active Lonquimay, Villarrica, and Llaima volcanoes which were obscured in 2-D inversion. Data fit is rather satisfactory but not perfect; we attribute this to large-scale crustal anisotropy particularly beneath the Coastal Cordillera, which we cannot include into our solution for the time being.

  5. Crustal structure beneath Eastern Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reiche, Sönke; Thybo, H.; Kaip, G.


    is recorded by 350 Reftek Texan receivers for 10 equidistant shot points along the profile. We use forward ray tracing modelling to construct a two-dimensional velocity model from the observed travel times. These results show the first images of the subsurface velocity structure beneath the Greenland ice...... these mountain belts is needed for assessing the isostatic balance of the crust and to gain insight into possible links between crustal composition, rifting history and present-day topography of the North Atlantic Region. However, the acquisition of geophysical data onshore Greenland is logistically complicated...

  6. Terrane Stations: intra-oceanic subduction assembled western North America (United States)

    Sigloch, K.; Mihalynuk, M. G.


    nucleated, and assembled with exotic fragments - hence our designation of intra-oceanic trenches as "terrane stations". The archipelago was gradually overridden by North America on its westward journey away from Pangaea. Episodes of crustal accretion and Cordilleran mountain building (Sevier, Canadian Rocky Mountains, Laramide) occurred when the continental margin collided with various parts of the archipelago. Into this accretion sequence, we can fit today's interior Alaska, the Franciscan subduction complex, the Intermontane and Insular superterranes of British Columbia, and terranes of the Pacific Northwest, such as Siletzia. Geodynamically, our scenario is simpler than previous models in that it is consistent with purely vertical slab sinking. Sinking rates can be quantified from slab and plate geometries, and range between 9 and 12 mm/yr. References: S. P. Grand, Mantle shear structure beneath the Americas and surrounding oceans, Journal of Geophysical Research 99, 11,591-11,621 (1994). K. Sigloch, N. McQuarrie, G. Nolet, Two-stage subduction history under North America inferred from multiple-frequency tomography, Nature Geoscience 1, 458-462 (2008).

  7. P-wave anisotropy, mantle wedge flow and olivine fabrics beneath Japan (United States)

    Liu, Xin; Zhao, Dapeng


    We present a new 3-D anisotropic P-wave velocity (Vp) model for the crust and upper mantle of the Japan subduction zone obtained by inverting a large number of high-quality P-wave traveltime data of local earthquakes and teleseismic events. By assuming orthorhombic anisotropy with a vertical symmetry axis existing in the modeling space, isotropic Vp tomography and 3-D Vp azimuthal and radial anisotropies are determined simultaneously. According to a simple flow field and the obtained Vp anisotropic tomography, we estimate the distribution of olivine fabrics in the mantle wedge. Our results show that the forearc mantle wedge above the subducting Pacific slab beneath NE Japan exhibits an azimuthal anisotropy with trench-parallel fast velocity directions (FVDs) and Vhf > Vv > Vhs (here Vv is Vp in the vertical direction, Vhf and Vhs are P-wave velocities in the fast and slow directions in the horizontal plane), where B-type olivine fabric with vertical trench-parallel flow may dominate. Such an anisotropic feature is not obvious in the forearc mantle wedge above the Philippine Sea (PHS) slab under SW Japan, probably due to higher temperatures and more fluids there associated with the young and warm PHS slab subduction. Trench-normal FVDs and Vhf > Vv > Vhs are generally revealed in the mantle wedge beneath the arc and backarc in Japan, where E-type olivine fabric with FVD-parallel horizontal flow may dominate. Beneath western Honshu, however, the mantle wedge exhibits an anisotropy of Vv > Vhf > Vhs and so C-type olivine fabric may dominate, suggesting that the water content is the highest there, because both the PHS and Pacific slabs exist there and their dehydration reactions release abundant fluids to the overlying mantle wedge.

  8. Stress in the contorted Nazca Plate beneath southern Peru from local earthquakes (United States)

    Schneider, John F.; Sacks, I. Selwyn


    We study earthquake focal mechanisms in a region of highly contorted subducting lithosphere to identify dominant sources of stress in the subduction process. We observe a stress pattern in the contorted Nazca plate beneath southern Peru from an analysis of hypocentral trend and focal mechanisms of intermediate-depth earthquakes. Expanding on previous studies, we examine the hypocentral trend using 1673 of 2178 well-located local events from the nine-station Arequipa network. The dip of the plate beneath southern Peru averages 25°-30° from 25- to 100-km depth. Below this depth there is an 80- to 100-km-wide contortion between a zone of increasing dip (convex) to the southeast and a flat lying (concave) zone to the northwest. Using more than 6000 P wave first motions of events deeper than 50 km, we derive stress orientations from a moving average of composite focal mechanisms across a 200 by 350 km region including the contortion. The in-plate distribution of tension (T) and compression (P) axes reveals a coherent stress pattern. The trend is most clear beneath south-central Peru (NW section) and below 100- km depth in southernmost Peru (SE section). Both T and P axes tend to be dominantly in plate, especially below 100-km depth. T axes orient toward the contortion in a fan-shaped trend, which suggests that the deepest part of the seismic zone, within the convex SE section, is sinking and pulling the more buoyant NW section. We conclude that from 50- to 200-km depth, slab-pull forces are dominant in the observed stress. Our results suggest that a significant amount of plate extension occurs in this region of intermediate-depth subduction.

  9. Effective elastic thickness variations along the Andean margin and their relationship to subduction geometry (United States)

    PéRez-Gussinyé, M.; Lowry, A. R.; Phipps Morgan, J.; Tassara, A.


    We present a new map of the spatial variations in effective elastic thickness, Te, along the Andes estimated using Bouguer coherence. The Te variations reflect interactions between subducting slab and preexisting terrane structure. In the forearc, conductive cooling of the continent by the subducting slab exerts primary control on rigidity, resulting in Te that is highest (˜40 km) where the oceanic lithosphere is oldest and coldest (˜20°S). In the central Andes, Te is relatively low (˜20 km) along the volcanic chain and the Altiplano and Puna plateaus. We interpret this weakening to reflect a high geothermal gradient maintained by advective magmatic processes, a shallow and hot asthenosphere, and a very weak lower crust throughout this region. East of the plateaus, high Te delineates underthrusting of the Brazilian shield. Finally, north and south of the plateaus, flat subduction areas are characterized by high Te, high shear wave velocity, thick thermal lithosphere, and low heat flow, indicating that continental lithosphere there is thicker, colder, and stronger. On the basis of these relationships we suggest that variations in slab dip along the margin relate to variations in structure of the continental lithosphere. In particular, we propose that upper plate structure influences the width and viscosity of the asthenospheric wedge, which control the suction moment responsible for the subduction angle at depths ≥70-100 km. For example, when oceanic lithosphere subducts beneath thin continental lithosphere, the low-viscosity asthenosphere allows the slab to detach from the continent and sink into the mantle at normal angles. However, when oceanic lithosphere subducts close or beneath thick and strong continental lithosphere, the asthenospheric wedge narrows and corner flow drags high-viscosity mantle from the base of the thick (>150 km), cold continent into the wedge. Suction forces increase with both narrowing of the wedge and its increasing viscosity. We

  10. Crustal growth in subduction zones (United States)

    Vogt, Katharina; Castro, Antonio; Gerya, Taras


    There is a broad interest in understanding the physical principles leading to arc magmatisim at active continental margins and different mechanisms have been proposed to account for the composition and evolution of the continental crust. It is widely accepted that water released from the subducting plate lowers the melting temperature of the overlying mantle allowing for "flux melting" of the hydrated mantle. However, relamination of subducted crustal material to the base of the continental crust has been recently suggested to account for the growth and composition of the continental crust. We use petrological-thermo-mechanical models of active subduction zones to demonstrate that subduction of crustal material to sublithospheric depth may result in the formation of a tectonic rock mélange composed of basalt, sediment and hydrated /serpentinized mantle. This rock mélange may evolve into a partially molten diapir at asthenospheric depth and rise through the mantle because of its intrinsic buoyancy prior to emplacement at crustal levels (relamination). This process can be episodic and long-lived, forming successive diapirs that represent multiple magma pulses. Recent laboratory experiments of Castro et al. (2013) have demonstrated that reactions between these crustal components (i.e. basalt and sediment) produce andesitic melt typical for rocks of the continental crust. However, melt derived from a composite diapir will inherit the geochemical characteristics of its source and show distinct temporal variations of radiogenic isotopes based on the proportions of basalt and sediment in the source (Vogt et al., 2013). Hence, partial melting of a composite diapir is expected to produce melt with a constant major element composition, but substantial changes in terms of radiogenic isotopes. However, crustal growth at active continental margins may also involve accretionary processes by which new material is added to the continental crust. Oceanic plateaus and other

  11. A geophysical potential field study to image the Makran subduction zone in SE of Iran (United States)

    Abedi, Maysam; Bahroudi, Abbas


    The Makran subduction wedge as one of the largest subduction complexes has been forming due to the Arabian oceanic lithosphere subducting beneath the Lut and the Afghan rigid block microplates. To better visualize the subducting oceanic crust in this region, a geophysical model of magnetic susceptibility from an airborne magnetic survey (line spacing about 7.5 km) over the Makran zone located at southeast of Iran is created to image various structural units in Iran plate. The constructed geophysical model from the 3D inverse modeling of the airborne magnetic data indicates a thin subducting slab to the north of the Makran structural zone. It is demonstrated that the thickness of sedimentary units varies approximately at an interval of 7.5-11 km from north to south of this zone in the Iranian plate, meanwhile the curie depth is also estimated approximately < 26 km. It is also shown the Jazmurian depression zone adjacent to the north of the Makran indicates high intensity magnetic anomalies due to being underlain by an ophiolite oceanic basement, while such intensity reduces over the Makran. The directional derivatives of the magnetic field data have subtle changes in the Makran, but strongly increase in the Jazmurian by enhancing and separating different structural boundaries in this region. In addition, the density variations of the subsurface geological layers were determined by 3D inversion of the ground-based gravity data over the whole study area, where the constructed density model was in good agreement with the magnetic one. According to the outputs of the magnetic susceptibility and the density contrast, the Arabian plate subducts to the north under the Eurasia with a very low dip angle in the Makran structural zone.

  12. A new view into the Cascadia subduction zone and volcanic arc: Implications for earthquake hazards along the Washington margin (United States)

    Parsons, T.; Trehu, A.M.; Luetgert, J.H.; Miller, K.; Kilbride, F.; Wells, R.E.; Fisher, M.A.; Flueh, E.; ten Brink, U.S.; Christensen, N.I.


    In light of suggestions that the Cascadia subduction margin may pose a significant seismic hazard for the highly populated Pacific Northwest region of the United States, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Research Center for Marine Geosciences (GEOMAR), and university collaborators collected and interpreted a 530-km-long wide-angle onshore-offshore seismic transect across the subduction zone and volcanic arc to study the major structures that contribute to seismogenic deformation. We observed (1) an increase in the dip of the Juan de Fuca slab from 2??-7?? to 12?? where it encounters a 20-km-thick block of the Siletz terrane or other accreted oceanic crust, (2) a distinct transition from Siletz crust into Cascade arc crust that coincides with the Mount St. Helens seismic zone, supporting the idea that the mafic Siletz block focuses seismic deformation at its edges, and (3) a crustal root (35-45 km deep) beneath the Cascade Range, with thinner crust (30-35 km) east of the volcanic arc beneath the Columbia Plateau flood basalt province. From the measured crustal structure and subduction geometry, we identify two zones that may concentrate future seismic activity: (1) a broad (because of the shallow dip), possibly locked part of the interplate contact that extends from ???25 km depth beneath the coastline to perhaps as far west as the deformation front ???120 km offshore and (2) a crustal zone at the eastern boundary between the Siletz terrane and the Cascade Range.

  13. Detailed seismotectonic analysis of Sumatra subduction zone revealed by high precision earthquake location (United States)

    Sagala, Ricardo Alfencius; Harjadi, P. J. Prih; Heryandoko, Nova; Sianipar, Dimas


    Sumatra was one of the most high seismicity regions in Indonesia. The subduction of Indo-Australian plate beneath Eurasian plate in western Sumatra contributes for many significant earthquakes that occur in this area. These earthquake events can be used to analyze the seismotectonic of Sumatra subduction zone and its system. In this study we use teleseismic double-difference method to obtain more high precision earthquake distribution in Sumatra subduction zone. We use a 3D nested regional-global velocity model. We use a combination of data from both of ISC (International Seismological Center) and BMKG (Agency for Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics, Indonesia). We successfully relocate about 6886 earthquakes that occur on period of 1981-2015. We consider that this new location is more precise than the regular bulletin. The relocation results show greatly reduced of RMS residual of travel time. Using this data, we can construct a new seismotectonic map of Sumatra. A well-built geometry of subduction slab, faults and volcano arc can be obtained from the new bulletin. It is also showed that at a depth of 140-170 km, there is many events occur as moderate-to-deep earthquakes, and we consider about the relation of the slab's events with volcanic arc and inland fault system. A reliable slab model is also built from regression equation using new relocated data. We also analyze the spatial-temporal of seismotectonic using b-value mapping that inspected in detail horizontally and vertically cross-section.

  14. Imaging Lithospheric-scale Structure Beneath Northern Altiplano in Southern Peru and Northern Bolivia (United States)

    Kumar, A.; Wagner, L. S.; Beck, S. L.; Zandt, G.; Long, M. D.


    The northern Altiplano plateau of southern Peru and northern Bolivia is one of the highest topographic features on the Earth, flanked by Western and Eastern Cordillera along its margin. It has strongly influenced the local and far field lithospheric deformation since the early Miocene (Masek et al., 1994). Previous studies have emphasized the importance of both the crust and upper mantle in the evolution of Altiplano plateau (McQuarrie et al., 2005). Early tomographic and receiver function studies, south of 16° S, show significant variations in the crust and upper mantle properties in both perpendicular and along strike direction of the Altiplano plateau (Dorbath et. al., 1993; Myers et al., 1998; Beck and Zandt, 2002). In order to investigate the nature of subsurface lithospheric structure below the northern Altiplano, between 15-18° S, we have determined three-dimensional seismic tomography models for Vp and Vs using P and S-wave travel time data from two recently deployed local seismic networks of CAUGHT and PULSE. We also used data from 8 stations from the PERUSE network (PERU Subduction Experiment). Our preliminary tomographic models show a complex variation in the upper mantle velocity structure with depth, northwest and southeast of lake Titicaca. We see the following trend, at ~85 km depth, northwest of lake Titicaca: low Vp and Vs beneath the Western Cordillera, high Vs beneath the Altiplano and low Vp and Vs beneath the Eastern Cordillera. This low velocity anomaly, beneath Eastern Cordillera, seems to coincide with Kimsachata, a Holocene volcano in southern Peru. At depth greater than ~85 km: we find high velocity anomaly beneath the Western Cordillera and low Vs beneath the Altiplano. This high velocity anomaly, beneath Western Cordillera, coincides with the well-located Wadati-Benioff zone seismicity and perhaps represents the subducting Nazca slab. On the southeast of lake Titicaca, in northern Bolivia, we see a consistently high velocity anomaly

  15. Horizontal subduction zones, convergence velocity and the building of the Andes

    CERN Document Server

    Martinod, Joseph; Roperch, Pierrick; Guillaume, Benjamin; Espurt, Nicolas; 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.09.010


    We discuss the relationships between Andean shortening, plate velocities at the trench, and slab geometry beneath South America. Although some correlation exists between the convergence velocity and the westward motion of South America on the one hand, and the shortening of the continental plate on the other hand, plate kinematics neither gives a satisfactory explanation to the Andean segmentation in general, nor explains the development of the Bolivian orocline in Paleogene times. We discuss the Cenozoic history of horizontal slab segments below South America, arguing that they result from the subduction of oceanic plateaus whose effect is to switch the buoyancy of the young subducting plate to positive. We argue that the existence of horizontal slab segments, below the Central Andes during Eocene-Oligocene times, and below Peru and North-Central Chile since Pliocene, resulted (1) in the shortening of the continental plate interiors at a large distance from the trench, (2) in stronger interplate coupling and...

  16. Tectonic and petrologic evolution of the Western Mediterranean: the double polarity subduction model (United States)

    Melchiorre, Massimiliano; Vergés, Jaume; Fernàndez, Manel; Torné, Montserrat; Casciello, Emilio


    The geochemical composition of the mantle beneath the Mediterranean area is extremely heterogeneous. This feature results in volcanic products whose geochemical features in some cases do not correspond to the geodynamic environment in which they are sampled and that is observed at present day. The subduction-related models that have been developed during the last decades to explain the evolution of the Western Mediterranean are mainly based on geologic and seismologic evidences, as well as petrography and age of exhumation of the metamorphic units that compose the inner parts of the different arcs. Except few cases, most of these models are poorly constrained from a petrologic point of view. Usually the volcanic activity that affected the Mediterranean area since Oligocene has been only used as a corollary, and not as a key constrain. This choice is strictly related to the great geochemical variability of the volcanic products erupted in the Western Mediterranean, due to events of long-term recycling affecting the mantle beneath the Mediterranean since the Variscan Orogeny, together with depletion episodes due to partial melting. We consider an evolutionary scenario for the Western Mediterranean based on a double polarity subduction model according to which two opposite slabs separated by a transform fault of the original Jurassic rift operated beneath the Western and Central Mediterranean. Our aim has been to reconstruct the evolution of the Western Mediterranean since the Oligocene considering the volcanic activity that affected this area since ~30 Ma and supporting the double polarity subduction model with the petrology of the erupted rocks.

  17. Trans-Alaska Crustal Transect and continental evolution involving subduction underplating and synchronous foreland thrusting (United States)

    Fuis, G.S.; Moore, T.E.; Plafker, G.; Brocher, T.M.; Fisher, M.A.; Mooney, W.D.; Nokleberg, W.J.; Page, R.A.; Beaudoin, B.C.; Christensen, N.I.; Levander, A.R.; Lutter, W.J.; Saltus, R.W.; Ruppert, N.A.


    We investigate the crustal structure and tectonic evolution of the North American continent in Alaska, where the continent has grown through magmatism, accretion, and tectonic underplating. In the 1980s and early 1990s, we conducted a geological and geophysical investigation, known as the Trans-Alaska Crustal Transect (TACT), along a 1350-km-long corridor from the Aleutian Trench to the Arctic coast. The most distinctive crustal structures and the deepest Moho along the transect are located near the Pacific and Arctic margins. Near the Pacific margin, we infer a stack of tectonically underplated oceanic layers interpreted as remnants of the extinct Kula (or Resurrection) plate. Continental Moho just north of this underplated stack is more than 55 km deep. Near the Arctic margin, the Brooks Range is underlain by large-scale duplex structures that overlie a tectonic wedge of North Slope crust and mantle. There, the Moho has been depressed to nearly 50 km depth. In contrast, the Moho of central Alaska is on average 32 km deep. In the Paleogene, tectonic underplating of Kula (or Resurrection) plate fragments overlapped in time with duplexing in the Brooks Range. Possible tectonic models linking these two regions include flat-slab subduction and an orogenic-float model. In the Neogene, the tectonics of the accreting Yakutat terrane have differed across a newly interpreted tear in the subducting Pacific oceanic lithosphere. East of the tear, Pacific oceanic lithosphere subducts steeply and alone beneath the Wrangell volcanoes, because the overlying Yakutat terrane has been left behind as underplated rocks beneath the rising St. Elias Range, in the coastal region. West of the tear, the Yakutat terrane and Pacific oceanic lithosphere subduct together at a gentle angle, and this thickened package inhibits volcanism. ?? 2008 The Geological Society of America.

  18. Conjecture with water and rheological control for subducting slab in the mantle transition zone

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Fumiko Tajima; Masaki Yoshida; Eiji Ohtani


    Seismic observations have shown structural variation near the base of the mantle transition zone (MTZ) where subducted cold slabs, as visualized with high seismic speed anomalies (HSSAs), flatten to form stagnant slabs or sink further into the lower mantle. The different slab behaviors were also accompanied by variation of the“660 km”discontinuity depths and low viscosity layers (LVLs) beneath the MTZ that are suggested by geoid inversion studies. We address that deep water transport by subducted slabs and dehydration from hydrous slabs could affect the physical properties of mantle minerals and govern slab dynamics. A systematic series of three-dimensional numerical simulation has been conducted to examine the effects of viscosity reduction or contrast between slab materials on slab behaviors near the base of the MTZ. We found that the viscosity reduction of subducted crustal material leads to a sepa-ration of crustal material from the slab main body and its transient stagnation in the MTZ. The once trapped crustal materials in the MTZ eventually sink into the lower mantle within 20e30 My from the start of the plate subduction. The results suggest crustal material recycle in the whole mantle that is consistent with evidence from mantle geochemistry as opposed to a two-layer mantle convection model. Because of the smaller capacity of water content in lower mantle minerals than in MTZ minerals, dehydration should occur at the phase transformation depth, w660 km. The variation of the disconti-nuity depths and highly localized low seismic speed anomaly (LSSA) zones observed from seismic P waveforms in a relatively high frequency band (w1 Hz) support the hypothesis of dehydration from hydrous slabs at the phase boundary. The LSSAs which correspond to dehydration induced fluids are likely to be very local, given very small hydrogen (Hþ) diffusivity associated with subducted slabs. The image of such local LSSA zones embedded in HSSAs may not be necessarily captured

  19. Conjecture with water and rheological control for subducting slab in the mantle transition zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fumiko Tajima


    Full Text Available Seismic observations have shown structural variation near the base of the mantle transition zone (MTZ where subducted cold slabs, as visualized with high seismic speed anomalies (HSSAs, flatten to form stagnant slabs or sink further into the lower mantle. The different slab behaviors were also accompanied by variation of the “660 km” discontinuity depths and low viscosity layers (LVLs beneath the MTZ that are suggested by geoid inversion studies. We address that deep water transport by subducted slabs and dehydration from hydrous slabs could affect the physical properties of mantle minerals and govern slab dynamics. A systematic series of three-dimensional numerical simulation has been conducted to examine the effects of viscosity reduction or contrast between slab materials on slab behaviors near the base of the MTZ. We found that the viscosity reduction of subducted crustal material leads to a separation of crustal material from the slab main body and its transient stagnation in the MTZ. The once trapped crustal materials in the MTZ eventually sink into the lower mantle within 20–30 My from the start of the plate subduction. The results suggest crustal material recycle in the whole mantle that is consistent with evidence from mantle geochemistry as opposed to a two-layer mantle convection model. Because of the smaller capacity of water content in lower mantle minerals than in MTZ minerals, dehydration should occur at the phase transformation depth, ∼660 km. The variation of the discontinuity depths and highly localized low seismic speed anomaly (LSSA zones observed from seismic P waveforms in a relatively high frequency band (∼1 Hz support the hypothesis of dehydration from hydrous slabs at the phase boundary. The LSSAs which correspond to dehydration induced fluids are likely to be very local, given very small hydrogen (H+ diffusivity associated with subducted slabs. The image of such local LSSA zones embedded in HSSAs may not

  20. Origin and dynamics of depositionary subduction margins (United States)

    Vannucchi, Paola; Morgan, Jason P.; Silver, Eli; Kluesner, Jared


    Here we propose a new framework for forearc evolution that focuses on the potential feedbacks between subduction tectonics, sedimentation, and geomorphology that take place during an extreme event of subduction erosion. These feedbacks can lead to the creation of a “depositionary forearc,” a forearc structure that extends the traditional division of forearcs into accretionary or erosive subduction margins by demonstrating a mode of rapid basin accretion during an erosive event at a subduction margin. A depositionary mode of forearc evolution occurs when terrigenous sediments are deposited directly on the forearc while it is being removed from below by subduction erosion. In the most extreme case, an entire forearc can be removed by a single subduction erosion event followed by depositionary replacement without involving transfer of sediments from the incoming plate. We need to further recognize that subduction forearcs are often shaped by interactions between slow, long-term processes, and sudden extreme events reflecting the sudden influences of large-scale morphological variations in the incoming plate. Both types of processes contribute to the large-scale architecture of the forearc, with extreme events associated with a replacive depositionary mode that rapidly creates sections of a typical forearc margin. The persistent upward diversion of the megathrust is likely to affect its geometry, frictional nature, and hydrogeology. Therefore, the stresses along the fault and individual earthquake rupture characteristics are also expected to be more variable in these erosive systems than in systems with long-lived megathrust surfaces.

  1. Origin and dynamics of depositionary subduction margins (United States)

    Vannucchi, Paola; Morgan, Jason P.; Silver, Eli A.; Kluesner, Jared W.


    Here we propose a new framework for forearc evolution that focuses on the potential feedbacks between subduction tectonics, sedimentation, and geomorphology that take place during an extreme event of subduction erosion. These feedbacks can lead to the creation of a "depositionary forearc," a forearc structure that extends the traditional division of forearcs into accretionary or erosive subduction margins by demonstrating a mode of rapid basin accretion during an erosive event at a subduction margin. A depositionary mode of forearc evolution occurs when terrigenous sediments are deposited directly on the forearc while it is being removed from below by subduction erosion. In the most extreme case, an entire forearc can be removed by a single subduction erosion event followed by depositionary replacement without involving transfer of sediments from the incoming plate. We need to further recognize that subduction forearcs are often shaped by interactions between slow, long-term processes, and sudden extreme events reflecting the sudden influences of large-scale morphological variations in the incoming plate. Both types of processes contribute to the large-scale architecture of the forearc, with extreme events associated with a replacive depositionary mode that rapidly creates sections of a typical forearc margin. The persistent upward diversion of the megathrust is likely to affect its geometry, frictional nature, and hydrogeology. Therefore, the stresses along the fault and individual earthquake rupture characteristics are also expected to be more variable in these erosive systems than in systems with long-lived megathrust surfaces.

  2. Lithospheric Subduction on Earth and Venus? (United States)

    Sandwell, D. T.; Garcia, E.; Stegman, D. R.; Schubert, G.


    There are three mechanisms by which terrestrial planets can shed excess heat: conduction across a surface thermal boundary layer; advection of heat through volcanic pipes; and mobile plates/subduction. On the Earth about 30% is released by conduction and 70% by subduction. The dominant mode of heat transport on Venus is largely unknown. Plate flexure models rule out significant heat loss by conduction and the resurfacing from active volcanism is in discordance with a surface age of 600 Ma. There are 9000 km of trenches on Venus that may have been subduction sites but they do not appear active today and are only 25% of the length of the subduction zones on the Earth. Turcotte and others have proposed an episodic recycling model that has short bursts ( 150 Ma) of plate tectonic activity followed by long periods ( 450 Ma) of stagnant lid convection. This talk will review the arguments for and against subduction zones on Venus and discuss possible new satellite observations that could help resolve the subduction issue. Figure Caption. (a) Global mosaic of Magellan SAR imagery. (b) Zoom of area along the Artemis trench, which has similar topography and fracture patterns as the Aleutian subduction zone on Earth. Trench and outer rise lines were digitized from the matching topography image (not shown). The Magellan SAR imagery and topography, displayed on Google Earth, can be downloaded at

  3. Regionalized difference of the 660 km discontinuity beneath Izu-Bonin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    周元泽; 蒋志勇; 臧绍先


    Digital waveform data recorded by the vertical component short period stations at the American networks of SCSN, NCSN and PNSN and three components broadband stations at the Germany and Swiss networks and arrays of GRFN, GRSN and SDSNet for the events between 1981 and 2000 under Izu-Bonin are used as data sets. The N-th root slant stack method was used to pick up the SdP phase converted at the velocity interface beneath source and the regionalized difference of the 660 km discontinuity beneath Izu-Bonin is studied. It is found that while the dip angles of the subducting slab and the maximal depths of sources increase gradually from 35(N to 26(N, the 660 km discontinuity appears regionalized differences. The discontinuity exists at 660 km while there is no effect from subducting slab, but it is depressed to the depth of 720 km while there are obvious effects. The dispersion of converted points is still an unsolved problem which maybe result from the complex structure of the discontinuity, converted phases which were misjudged, or the assumption of one dimensional spherical earth model.

  4. The ADN project : an integrated seismic monitoring of the northern Ecuadorian subduction (United States)

    Nocquet, Jean-Mathieu; Yepes, Hugo; Vallee, Martin; Mothes, Patricia; Regnier, Marc; Segovia, Monica; Font, Yvonne; Vaca, Sandro; Bethoux, Nicole; Ramos, Cristina


    The subduction of the Nazca plate beneath South America has caused one of the largest megathrust earthquake sequence during the XXth century with three M>7.7 earthquakes that followed the great 1906 (Mw = 8.8) event. Better understanding the processes leading to the occurrence of large subduction earthquakes requires to monitor the ground motion over a large range of frequencies. We present a new network (ADN) developed under a collaboration between the IRD-GeoAzur (Nice, France) and the IG-EPN (Quito, Ecuador). Each station of the ADN network includes a GPS recording at 5 Hz, an accelerometer and a broadband seismometer. CGPS data will quantify the secular deformation induced by elastic locking along the subduction interface, enabling a detailed modelling of the coupling distribution. CGPS will be used to monitor any transient deformation induced by Episodic Slip Event along the subduction, together with broadband seismometers that can detect any tremors or seismic signatures that may accompany them. In case of any significant earthquake, 5 Hz GPS and accelerometer will provide near field data for earthquake source detailed study. Finally, the broadband seismometers will be used for study of the microseismicity and structure of the subduction zone. The network includes 9 stations, operating since 2008 and covering the coastal area from latitude 1.5°S to the Colombian border. In this poster, we will present preliminary assessment of the data, first hypocenters location, magnitude and focal mechanism determination, as well as results about an episodic slip event detected in winter 2008.

  5. Shallow seismicity patterns in the northwestern section of the Mexico Subduction Zone (United States)

    Abbott, Elizabeth R.; Brudzinski, Michael R.


    This study characterizes subduction related seismicity with local deployments along the northwestern section of the Mexico Subduction Zone where 4 portions of the plate interface have ruptured in 1973, 1985, 1995, and 2003. It has been proposed that the subducted boundary between the Cocos and Rivera plates occurs beneath this region, as indicated by inland volcanic activity, a gap in tectonic tremor, and the Manzanillo Trough and Colima Graben, which are depressions thought to be associated with the splitting of the two plates after subduction. Data from 50 broadband stations that comprised the MARS seismic array, deployed from January 2006 to June 2007, were processed with the software program Antelope and its generalized source location algorithm, genloc, to detect and locate earthquakes within the network. Slab surface depth contours from the resulting catalog indicate a change in subduction trajectory between the Rivera and Cocos plates. The earthquake locations are spatially anti-correlated with tectonic tremor, supporting the idea that they represent different types of fault slip. Hypocentral patterns also reveal areas of more intense seismic activity (clusters) that appear to be associated with the 2003 and 1973 megathrust rupture regions. Seismicity concentrated inland of the 2003 rupture is consistent with slip on a shallowly dipping trajectory for the Rivera plate interface as opposed to crustal faulting in the overriding North American plate. A prominent cluster of seismicity within the suspected 1973 rupture zone appears to be a commonly active portion of the megathrust as it has been active during three previous deployments. We support these interpretations by determining focal mechanisms and detailed relocations of the largest events within the 1973 and inland 2003 clusters, which indicate primarily thrust mechanisms near the plate interface.

  6. Seismic imaging of a megathrust splay fault in the North Chilean subduction zone (Central Andes) (United States)

    Storch, Ina; Buske, Stefan; Schmelzbach, Cedric; Wigger, Peter


    Prominent trench-parallel fault systems in the arc and fore-arc of the Chilean subduction zone can be traced for several thousand kilometers in north-south direction. These fault systems possibly crosscut the entire crust above the subduction megathrust and are expected to have a close relationship to transient processes of the subduction earthquake cycles. With the motivation to image and characterize the structural inventory and the processes that occur in the vicinity of these large-scale fault zones, we re-processed the ANCORP'96 controlled-source seismic data set to provide images of the faults at depth and to allow linking geological information at the surface to subsurface structures. The correlation of the imaging results with observed hypocenter locations around these fault systems reveals the origin and the nature of the seismicity bound to these fault systems. Active and passive seismic data together yield a picture of a megathrust splay fault beneath the Longitudinal Valley at mid-crustal level, which can be observed from the top of the subduction plate interface and which seems to be connected to the Precordilleran Fault System (PFS) known at the surface. This result supports a previously proposed tectonic model where a megathrust splay fault defines the Western Altiplano as a crustal-scale fault-bend-fold. Furthermore, we clearly imaged two branches of the Uyuni-Kenayani Fault (UKF) in a depth range between 0 and 20 km. In summary, imaging of these faults is important for a profound understanding of the tectonic evaluation and characterization of the subduction zone environment, for which the results of this study provide a reliable basis.

  7. Abrupt strike-slip fault to subduction transition: The Alpine Fault-Puysegur Trench connection, New Zealand (United States)

    Lebrun, Jean-FréDéRic; Lamarche, Geoffroy; Collot, Jean-Yves; Delteil, Jean


    Swath bathymetry and other geophysical data collected over the Fiordland Margin, southwest of New Zealand are used to investigate the mechanism of transform-subduction transition between the Alpine Fault and the Puysegur Trench, two segments of the Pacific-Australian plate boundary. In this region the Cenozoic Southeast Tasman Basin, which obliquely underthrusts Fiordland at the Puysegur Trench, is separated from the Cretaceous Tasman Basin by the Resolution Ridge System, a major lithospheric discontinuity of the downgoing plate. Interpretation of seafloor morphology shows that the Alpine Fault extends offshore along the Fiordland coast and splits into West and East Branches. The West Branch cuts obliquely across the margin and connects sharply to the Puysegur subduction front at the northeastern tip of the Resolution Ridge System. Earthquake and seismic reflection data indicate that the West Branch is genetically controlled by downgoing plate structures associated with the Resolution Ridge System. Hence the West Branch is interpreted as the surface trace of the plate boundary segment extending between the Alpine Fault and the Puysegur Trench. We conclude that the development of the strike-slip segment of the plate boundary and its sharp transition to the Puysegur subduction are controlled by inherited structures of the Australian plate. Furthermore, according to geophysical data presented here, a tearing of the downgoing plate can be interpreted beneath the West Branch. A review of geophysical data along the region of the Alpine Fault-Hikurangi Trough, northeast New Zealand, shows a progressive transform-subduction transition that is accommodated by motion partitioning between the subduction interface and strike-slip faults. This transition is accounted for by an interplate coupling that progressively increases toward the Alpine Fault in relation with a gradual thickening of the downgoing crust. The comparison between the Fiordland and the Hikurangi strike-slip-subduction


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monsalve J Hugo


    Full Text Available A geometric model for the subduction of the Nazca plate beneath the South American plate in southwestern of Colombia is proposed based on the relocation of hypocenters of local and distant
    earthquakes. By means of the simultaneous inversion of teleseismic P and SH body waves, the depths of the 15 events with Mw ≥ 5.8 were constrained, and the hypocenters of the 250 earthquakes recorded
    between 1990 and 2005 by the International Seismological Centre (ISC and U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC were constrained and relocated. A model is proposed
    for the hypocentral sections taking into account the trench along of the Earth and Colombia-Ecuador.
    Three different possible shapes of subduction of the Nazca plate in the Colombia-Ecuador trench were obtained: The first configuration, in the Cali A segment, the dip angle changes from17º to 45º down to a maximum depth of 100km; the second configuration, in the Popayán B and Nariño C segments, the dip angle holds approximately constant at 30º down to a maximum depth of 200 km; and the third configuration, in the Quito D segment, the dip angle changes of 9º to 50º to a maximum depth 220 km. The maximum depth of seismicity along the Colombia-Ecuador trench shows two increases, the first between latitudes 4.5ºN-5ºN and the second between the latitudes 1ºS-2ºS, which suggest that the presence of the Malpelo and Carnegie Ridges may generate a differential blockage at the Pacific Colombia-Ecuador basin.

  9. Dynamics of intraoceanic subduction initiation: 2D thermomechanical modeling (United States)

    Zhou, X.; Gerya, T.; LI, Z.; Stern, R. J.


    Intraoceanic subduction initiation occurs in previous weak zones which could be transform faults or old fracture zones, and concurrents with the change of plate motions. It is an important process to understand the beginning of plate tectonics. However, the dynamic process during (after) subduction initiation remain obscure. The process of suducting slabs move from down to downdip is also not revealed clearly. In order to obtain better understanding of the transitional process of subducting slab motion, we use finite difference and marker-in-cell methods to establish a series of self-sustainable subduction initiation models and explore many visco-plastic parameters to qualify the dynamical process of subduction initiation. The following parameters are systematic tested: (1) the age of the subducting slab; (2) friction coefficient of the mantle material; (3) the mantle potential temperature; (4) the age of the overriding slab. We find out the critical age of the oceanic lithosphere which can produce subduction initiation. And the age of subducting slab plays important roles during subduction initiation. The young subducting slab induces fast trench retreat and then trench begin to advance. For the old subducting slab, it induces relative slower trench retreat and then stop moving. The age of overriding slabs impacts coupling with the subducting slab. The friction coefficient of lithosphere also impacts the backarc spreading and subduction velocity. Stronger subducted plate gives lower subduction velocity and faster trench retreat velocity. The mantle potential temperature changes the critical age of subducted slabs.

  10. Tectonic and magmatic controls on the location of post-subduction monogenetic volcanoes in Baja California, Mexico, revealed through spatial analysis of eruptive vents (United States)

    Germa, Aurélie; Connor, Laura J.; Cañon-Tapia, Edgardo; Le Corvec, Nicolas


    Post-subduction (12.5 Ma to less than 1 Ma) monogenetic volcanism on the Baja California peninsula, Mexico, formed one of the densest intra-continental areas of eruptive vents on Earth. It includes about 900 vents within an area ˜700 km long (N-S) and 70 to 150 km wide (W-E). This study shows that post-subduction volcanic activity was distributed along this arc and that modes exist in the volcano distribution, indicating that productivity of the magma source region was not uniform along the length of the arc. Vent clustering, vent alignments, and cone elongations were measured within eight monogenetic volcanic fields located along the peninsula. Results indicate that on a regional scale, vent clustering varies from north to south with denser spatial clustering in the north on the order of 1.9 × 10-1 vents/km2 to less dense clustering in the south on the order of 7.8 × 10-2 vents/km2. San Quintin, San Carlos, Jaraguay, and Santa Clara are spatially distinct volcanic fields with higher eruptive vent densities suggesting the existence of individual melt columns that may have persisted over time. In contrast, the San Borja, Vizcaino, San Ignacio, and La Purisima vent fields show lower degrees of vent clustering and no obvious spatial gaps between fields, thus indicating an area of more distributed volcanism. Insight into the lithospheric stress field can be gained from vent alignments and vent elongation measurements. Within the fields located along the extinct, subduction-related volcanic arc, elongation patterns of cinder cones and fissure-fed spatter cones, vent clusters, and vent alignments trend NW-SE and N-S. Within the Santa Clara field, located more to the west within the forearc, elongation patterns of the same volcanic features trend NE-SW. These patterns suggest that magmatism was more focused in the forearc and in the northern part of Baja California than in its southern region. Within the extinct arc, magma ascent created volcano alignments and elongate

  11. Receiver Function Analysis of the Lithospheric Structure Beneath the Western Great Plains (United States)

    Thurner, S.; Zhai, Y.; Levander, A.


    The lithosphere in the western Great Plain region of the Southwestern U.S. has been subject to tectonic deformation from the Proterozoic to present day. Proterozoic island arc terranes accreted onto the North American continent between 1.8 and 1.1 Ga, forming the original continent, and there is evidence for Proterozoic continental extension which formed basement penetrating faults between 1.5 and .6 Ga . This was followed by the uplift of the Ancestral Rockies and, most recently, the subduction of the Farallon plate beneath North America. Extension has occurred throughout the Basin and Range and formed the Rio Grand Rift (RGR). However, the relative impact that large scale tectonic forces, regional asthenospheric upwelling, and preexisting structural weaknesses have on the extension of the RGR is still undetermined. This study seeks to better understand the current tectonic system east of the Colorado Plateau beneath the RGR and western Great Plains. We use teleseismic receiver functions to investigate the nature of extension in the RGR as well as its connection to the small-scale convection thought to be occurring beneath the Colorado Plateau-RGR-Great Plains region. Our receiver function images were generated from 85 earthquake events recorded at 187 USArray Transportable Array seismic stations located throughout the western Great Plains (Latitude: 28-48, Longitude: -105-100). Previous studies have indicated crustal thickness between 39 km and 50 km beneath the Great Plains and as thin as 35 km beneath the RGR (Wilson, 2005). Tomography results have shown high velocity anomalies on both sides of the RGR, extending to 600 km depth beneath the western Great Plains, and a low velocity anomaly directly beneath the RGR (Gok et. al, 2003, Wilson et. al, 2005, Gao et. al, Song and Helmberger, 2007). The western Great Plains high velocity anomaly has been interpreted to be part of the downwelling portion of an edge driven convection system induced by a lateral

  12. A numerical reference model for themomechanical subduction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quinquis, Matthieu; Chemia, Zurab; Tosi, Nicola;


    Building an advanced numerical model of subduction requires choosing values for various geometrical parameters and material properties, among others, the initial lithosphere thicknesses, representative lithological types and their mechanical and thermal properties, rheologies, initial temperature...

  13. Orthopyroxene refertilization in subduction environment. (United States)

    Melchiorre, Massimiliano; Dantas, Celine; Faccini, Barbara; Bonadiman, Costanza; Coltorti, Massimo; Gregoire, Michel


    One of the most fascinating and controversial debate in Earth Science concerns the chemical and mineralogical modifications affecting the mantle during melts/fluids percolation. Particularly in subduction settings it is important to well constrain the role and extent of silica enrichment related to subducted slab dehydratation or melting. This topic is addressed in the present study where a new suite of mantle xenoliths from Estancia Sol de Mayo (ESM, Patagonia) are investigated and compared with other xenolith occurrences nearby. ESM peridotites are mainly represented by spinel-bearing protogranular harzburgites and dunites, with minor lherzolites and one wehrlite. They are avoid of modal metasomatic features, such as spongy cpx, reaction rims around spinel and/or orthopyroxene, glassy patches, as well as of any hydrous minerals. The most interesting petrographic features is one dunitic sample cut by a vein of orthopyroxene (secondary orthopyroxenes, opx2). These are texturally and chemically different from those belonging to the typical protogranular peridotites (primary opx, opx1). Opx1 have mg# (MgO/MgO+FeO, at%) between 88.02 and 92.76 and Al2O3 content varying between 1.37 and 2.97 wt% while opx2 in the vein presents a more restricted range of mg# values at about 90 (89.99-90.88) with a significantly higher Al2O3 content (3.02-3.52 wt%). Similar opx veins were also found in two other Patagonian localities, Cerro Fraile (CF) and Gobernador Gregores (GG), together with orthopyroxenites and wehrlites. A comparison between the two generation of opxs from these localities show two clearly separated Al2O3 enrichment trends, which cannot be explained by a simple partial melting process: one at almost constant mg# with Al2O3 values varying from 1.33 and 4.20 wt% and the other reaching 5.03%wt of Al2O3 but with mg# varying from 86.89 to 67.37 (including the pyroxenites). Textural and chemical features suggest that the latter trend may be accounted for a

  14. Lithospheric expression of cenozoic subduction, mesozoic rifting and the Precambrian Shield in Venezuela (United States)

    Masy, Jeniffer; Niu, Fenglin; Levander, Alan; Schmitz, Michael


    We have combined surface wave tomography with Ps and Sp receiver-function images based on common-conversion-point (CCP) stacking to study the upper mantle velocity structure, particularly the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB), beneath eastern and central Venezuela. Rayleigh phase velocities in the frequency range of 0.01-0.05 Hz (20-100 s in period) were measured using the two-plane-wave method and finite-frequency kernels, and then inverted on a 0.5° × 0.5° grid. The phase velocity dispersion data at grid points were inverted for 1D shear velocity profiles using initial crust-mantle velocity models constructed from previous studies. The 3D velocity model and receiver-function images were interpreted jointly to determine the depth of the LAB and other upper mantle features. The tomographic images revealed two high velocity anomalies extending to more than ∼200 km depth. One corresponds to the top of the subducting Atlantic plate beneath the Serrania del Interior. The other anomaly is a highly localized feature beneath the Maturin Basin. The LAB depth varies significantly in the study region: It is located at ∼110 km depth beneath the Guayana Shield, and reaches ∼130 km at the northern edge of the Maturin Basin, which might be related to the downward flexural bending due to thrust loading of the Caribbean plate and pull from the subducting Atlantic plate. Immediately to the west, the lithosphere is thin (∼50-60 km) along the NE-SW trending Espino Graben from the Cariaco basin to the Orinoco River at the northern edge of the craton. The LAB in this region is the top of a pronounced low velocity zone. Westward, the lithosphere deepens to ∼80 km depth beneath the Barinas Apure Basin, and to ∼90 km beneath the Neogene Merida Andes and Maracaibo block. Both upper mantle velocity structure and lithosphere thickness correlate well with surface geology and are consistent with northern South American tectonics.

  15. Compression-extension transition of continental crust in a subduction zone: A parametric numerical modeling study with implications on Mesozoic-Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the Cathaysia Block (United States)

    Chan, Lung Sang; Gao, Jian-Feng


    The Cathaysia Block is located in southeastern part of South China, which situates in the west Pacific subduction zone. It is thought to have undergone a compression-extension transition of the continental crust during Mesozoic-Cenozoic during the subduction of Pacific Plate beneath Eurasia-Pacific Plate, resulting in extensive magmatism, extensional basins and reactivation of fault systems. Although some mechanisms such as the trench roll-back have been generally proposed for the compression-extension transition, the timing and progress of the transition under a convergence setting remain ambiguous due to lack of suitable geological records and overprinting by later tectonic events. In this study, a numerical thermo-dynamical program was employed to evaluate how variable slab angles, thermal gradients of the lithospheres and convergence velocities would give rise to the change of crustal stress in a convergent subduction zone. Model results show that higher slab dip angle, lower convergence velocity and higher lithospheric thermal gradient facilitate the subduction process. The modeling results reveal the continental crust stress is dominated by horizontal compression during the early stage of the subduction, which could revert to a horizontal extension in the back-arc region, combing with the roll-back of the subducting slab and development of mantle upwelling. The parameters facilitating the subduction process also favor the compression-extension transition in the upper plate of the subduction zone. Such results corroborate the geology of the Cathaysia Block: the initiation of the extensional regime in the Cathaysia Block occurring was probably triggered by roll-back of the slowly subducting slab. PMID:28182640

  16. Seismic evidence for slab graveyards atop the Core Mantle Boundary beneath the Indian Ocean Geoid Low (United States)

    Padma Rao, B.; Ravi Kumar, M.


    The Indian Ocean Geoid Low (IOGL) that spans a vast areal extent south of the Indian subcontinent is a spectacular feature on the Earth, whose origin still remains ambiguous. In this study, we investigate the seismic character of the lower mantle below this geoid low utilizing the travel time and amplitude residuals of high quality S and ScS phases from 207 earthquakes recorded at 276 stations in the epicentral distance range of 36°-90°. For comparison, we also perform a similar exercise for a region of geoid high in the vicinity. Results reveal large variations in the ScS travel times indicating that the lowermost mantle beneath the IOGL region is heterogeneous. The ScS-S differential travel times are ∼3 s slower than those predicted by the IASP91 model, primarily due to velocity increase in the lowermost mantle beneath the IOGL region and ∼2 s higher than the IASP91 beneath the geoid high region, due to velocity decrease in the lowermost mantle. The largest negative residuals from manual method (-7.72 s) are concentrated below the IOGL. Iterative matching of differential travel time residuals reveals that the maximum positive and negative residuals can be explained in terms of a reduction in shear velocity of 0.9% and an increase of 1.6% respectively in a ∼1000 km thick layer above the Core Mantle Boundary. Further, the ScS/S amplitude residuals beneath the IOGL are positive, implying high impedance contrast at the Core Mantle Boundary, owing to the presence of high velocity material. We attribute these high velocities to the presence of dehydrated high density slab graveyards atop the Core Mantle Boundary beneath the Indian Ocean. Release of water at the mid-to-upper mantle depths due to the dehydration of subducted slabs causing a reduction in density and velocity of the ambient mantle, could be responsible for the geoid low.

  17. Lithospheric structure beneath the High Lava Plains, Oregon, imaged by scattered teleseismic waves (United States)

    Chen, Chin-Wu; James, David E.; Fouch, Matthew J.; Wagner, Lara S.


    We compute high-resolution seismic images from scattered wavefield to detect discontinuities beneath the High Lava Plains (HLP), using data recorded at a dense broadband array. Our images of the HLP and surrounding regions reveal (1) a prominent Moho discontinuity with varying depth, with thinnest crust of 35 km beneath the volcanic track, and thickened crust of ˜45 km beneath the Owyhee Plateau (OP); (2) distinct intracrustal velocity reversals beneath regions of pre-2.0 Ma volcanism and within the OP; and (3) intermittent negative velocity discontinuities in the uppermost mantle beneath regions of Holocene volcanism and volcanic centers near Steens Mountain and Newberry volcano. These features exhibit remarkable similarity with those seen in the surface wave tomography and Ps receiver functions. We fail to find evidence for a ubiquitous regional lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB). In concert with petrological constraints on the equilibration depths of primitive basaltic melts, our results suggest that the present-day HLP mantle lithosphere is thin or absent, perhaps a consequence of episodes of extensive mantle inflow, lithospheric extension, and possibly melting induced by rapid slab rollback and trench retreat. It remains possible, however, that strong E-W seismic anisotropy reported across this region may reduce the effective S-wave velocity contrast to render the LAB less detectable. In contrast, the Owyhee Plateau exhibits a clear LAB, consistent with it being a block of older preexisting lithosphere. Our images demonstrate the complexity of mantle dynamics in the Cascadian back-arc and the close casual link between subduction-related processes and the origin of HLP volcanism.

  18. Outer rise seismicity of the subducting Nazca Plate: Plate stress distribution, fault orientation and plate hydration (United States)

    Barama, Louisa

    Subduction of the Nazca plate beneath the South American plate drives frequent and sometimes large magnitude earthquakes. During the past 40 years, significant numbers of outer rise earthquakes have occurred in the offshore regions of Colombia and Chile. In this study, we investigate the distribution of stress due to lithospheric bending and the extent of faults within the subducting plate. To calculate more accurate epicenters and to constrain which earthquakes occurred within the outer rise, we use hypocentroidal decomposition to relocate earthquakes with Global Centroid Moment Tensor (GCMT) solutions occurring after 1976 offshore Colombia and Chile. We determine centroid depths of outer rise earthquakes by inverting teleseismic P-, SH-, and SV- waveforms for earthquakes occurring from 1993 to 2014 with Mw ≥ 5.5. In order to further constrain the results of the waveform inversion, we estimate depths by comparing earthquake duration, amplitude, and arrival times for select stations with waveforms with good signal to noise ratios. Our results indicate that tensional earthquakes occur at depths down to 13 km and 24 km depth beneath the surface in the Colombia and Chile regions, respectively. Since faulting within the outer rise can make the plate susceptible to hydration and mantle serpentinization, we therefore infer the extent of possible hydration of the Nazca plate to extend no deeper than the extent of tensional outer rise earthquakes.

  19. Subduction-to-Strike-Slip-Transition in the Southeastern Caribbean Imaged Using Deeply-Penetrating Seismic Reflection Lines and Tomography (United States)

    Alvarez, T.; Vargas, C. A.; Mann, P.; Latchman, J.


    The subduction-to-strike-slip transition (SSST) zone of the southeastern Caribbean is one of thirty identified locations where active subduction and strike-slip tectonic styles transition along strongly curved and seismogenic plate boundaries. This SSST zone provides a field laboratory for understanding how sedimentary basins, faults, basement areas and subducted slabs change from an area of dominantly westward-directed subduction beneath the Lesser Antilles arc to an area of dominantly east-west strike-slip faulting along northern South America. We use two geophysical data types to image the lithosphere and study the relationships between lithospheric scale deformation and basin scale response to the transitional tectonic configuration. Interpretation of deeply-penetrating seismic reflection lines recorded down to 16 seconds two-way time, or depths of about 18 km, is combined with tomographic slices of the upper mantle and lower crust which were constructed using the coda method on ~ 700 earthquakes in the depth range of 70-250 km. Results from the tomographic study are compared with nine seismogenic zones in the southeast Caribbean SSST zone which are defined based on the depth, and focal mechanism of earthquake events. These zones include: (1) the Paria slab tear region; (2) Caribbean/South American strike-slip zone; (3) Hinge area separating continental margin in Trinidad from Tobago forearc basin; (4) Central Range -strike-slip fault zone, onshore Trinidad; (5) Underthrust zone of South American beneath southern onshore and offshore eastern Trinidad, including the prolific hydrocarbon-bearing Columbus Basin; (6) Venezuela foreland and fold-thrust belt; (7) flexural bulge area of oceanic crust located east of Barbados accretionary prism (BAP); (8) Subducted slab beneath the stabilized and supracomplex zones of the BAP; (9) Inner accretionary prism of the BAP. Primary controls on the seismogenic character of each curving tectonic belt include the strike of the

  20. Mantle transition zone thickness in the Central South-American Subduction Zone (United States)

    Braunmiller, Jochen; van der Lee, Suzan; Doermann, Lindsey

    We used receiver functions to determine lateral variations in mantle transition zone thickness and sharpness of the 410- and 660-km discontinuities in the presence of subducting lithosphere. The mantle beneath the central Andes of South America provides an ideal study site owing to its long-lived subduction history and the availability of broadband seismic data from the dense BANJO/SEDA temporary networks and the permanent station LPAZ. For LPAZ, we analyzed 26 earthquakes between 1993-2003 and stacked the depth-migrated receiver functions. For temporary stations operating for only about one year (1994-1995), station stacks were not robust. We thus stacked receiver functions for close-by stations forming five groups that span the subduction zone from west to east, each containing 12 to 25 events. We found signal significant at the 2σ level for several station groups from P to S conversions that originate near 520- and 850-900 km depth, but most prominently from the 410- and 660-km discontinuities. For the latter, the P to S converted signal is clear in stacks for western groups and LPAZ, lack of coherent signal for two eastern groups is possibly due to incoherent stacking and does not necessitate the absence of converted energy. The thickness of the mantle transition zone increases progressively from a near-normal 255 km at the Pacific coast to about 295 km beneath station LPAZ in the Eastern Cordillera. Beneath LPAZ, the 410-km discontinuity appears elevated by nearly 40 km, thus thickening the transition zone. We compared signal amplitudes from receiver function stacks calculated at different low-pass frequencies to study frequency dependence and possibly associated discontinuity sharpness of the P to S converted signals. We found that both the 410- and 660-km discontinuities exhibit amplitude increase with decreasing frequency. Synthetic receiver function calculations for discontinuity topography mimicking observed topography show that the observed steep

  1. Lithosphere/Asthenosphere Structure beneath the Mendocino Triple Junction from the Analysis of Surface Wave, Ambient Noise, and Receiver Functions (United States)

    Liu, K.; Zhai, Y.; Levander, A.; Porritt, R. W.; Allen, R. M.; Schmandt, B.; Humphreys, E.; O'Driscoll, L.


    We have developed a 3-D shear velocity model using finite-frequency Rayleigh wave phase velocity dispersion, PdS receiver functions, and ambient noise tomography to better understand the complex lithosphere/asthenosphere structures in the Mendocino Triple Junction (MTJ) region. Using approximately 100 events (July 2007-December 2008) recorded by the stations of the Flexible Array Mendocino Experiment (FAME), the USArray Transportable Array (TA) network, and the Berkeley Digital Seismograph network, we have obtained the phase velocities (20-100s) from the finite-frequency Rayleigh wave tomography, which agrees well with the ambient noise tomography results (7-40 s, Porritt & Allen, 2010) in the overlapping period range. We subsequently inverted for a 3-D Vs model on a 0.25°x0.25° grid from the combined dispersion datasets, constrained by interface depths from the PdS receiver functions (Zhai & Levander, 2010). The resulting crustal and upper mantle Vs model (~150 km) reveals strong lateral heterogeneity in the subduction and transform regimes of the Mendocino Triple Junction region where the Gorda, Pacific, and North American plates intersect. The subducting Gorda slab is well-imaged as an eastward-dipping high-velocity anomaly to ~100 km depth. At the same depth to the east we observe a large-scale low velocity zone, which is the mantle wedge beneath the North American Plate. The southern edge of the Gorda plate (SEDGE) is imaged at 80-100 km depth and is in excellent agreement with measurements made from PdS receiver functions, body-wave tomography (Schmandt & Humphreys, 2010; Obrebski et al., 2010), and active source studies. At depths greater than 80 km, we interpret low velocities under the Cascadia subduction zone as the asthenosphere below the Gorda plate, in agreement with measured LAB depths from RFs. South of the SEDGE shallow strong low-velocities appear beneath the transform region, which we interpret as the asthenosphere in the slab-gap region left by

  2. Shear wave reflectivity imaging of the Nazca-South America subduction zone: Stagnant slab in the mantle transition zone? (United States)

    Contenti, Sean; Gu, Yu Jeffrey; Ökeler, Ahmet; Sacchi, Mauricio D.


    In this study we utilize over 5000 SS waveforms to investigate the high-resolution mantle reflectivity structure down to 1200 km beneath the South American convergent margin. Our results indicate that the dynamics of the Nazca subduction are more complex than previously suggested. The 410- and 660-km seismic discontinuities beneath the Pacific Ocean and Amazonian Shield exhibit limited lateral depth variations, but their depths vary substantially in the vicinity of the subducting Nazca plate. The reflection amplitude of the 410-km discontinuity is greatly diminished in a ˜1300-km wide region in the back-arc of the subducting plate, which is likely associated with a compositional heterogeneity on top of the upper mantle transition zone. The underlying 660-km discontinuity is strongly depressed, showing localized depth and amplitude variations both within and to the east of the Wadati-Benioff zone. The width of this anomalous zone (˜1000 km) far exceeds that of the high-velocity slab structure and suggesting significant slab deformation within the transition zone. The shape of the 660-km discontinuity and the presence of lower mantle reflectivity imply both stagnation and penetration are possible as the descending Nazca slab impinges upon the base of the upper mantle.

  3. Incorporation of island-arc rocks into a Caribbean subduction channel: Geochemical constraints from eclogite boulders and greenschist rocks, Guajira region, Colombia (United States)

    Weber, M.; Cardona, A.; Altenberger, U.; Garcia-Casco, A.; Valencia, V.; Tobón, M.; Zapata, S.


    Characterization of the protoliths of a subduction-accretion complex can provide major insights into the dynamics of the subduction channel. Geochemistry of eclogites found as boulders in a Tertiary conglomerate from the Guajira Peninsula, Colombia, indicate that these rocks are mainly metamorphosed basalts. A negative Nb-anomaly and flat to enriched REE patterns suggest that the eclogite protoliths evolved in a subduction related tectonic setting, with island arc affinities. The geochemical characteristics are similar to low-grade greenschists from the nearby Etpana Formation, which is interpreted as part of a Cretaceous intra-oceanic arc. This further supports evidence that the deposition and metamorphism of these units record the ongoing Late Cretaceous continental subduction of the South American margin beneath the advancing Caribbean arc. This gave way to an arc-continent collision between the Caribbean and the South American plates. Arc-rocks were incorporated into the subduction channel and the accretionary wedge, either though influx of tectonically eroded arc material (subduction erosion) or incorporation into the accretionary wedge during arc-continent collision.

  4. Subduction to the lower mantle – a comparison between geodynamic and tomographic models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Steinberger


    Full Text Available It is generally believed that subduction of lithospheric slabs is a major contribution to thermal heterogeneity in Earth's entire mantle and provides a main driving force for mantle flow. Mantle structure can, on the one hand, be inferred from plate tectonic models of subduction history and geodynamic models of mantle flow. On the other hand, seismic tomography models provide important information on mantle heterogeneity. Yet, the two kinds of models are only similar on the largest (1000s of km scales and are quite different in their detailed structure. Here, we provide a quantitative assessment how good a fit can be currently achieved with a simple viscous flow geodynamic model. The discrepancy between geodynamic and tomography models can indicate where further model refinement could possibly yield an improved fit. Our geodynamical model is based on 300 Myr of subduction history inferred from a global plate reconstruction. Density anomalies are inserted into the upper mantle beneath subduction zones, and flow and advection of these anomalies is calculated with a spherical harmonic code for a radial viscosity structure constrained by mineral physics and surface observations. Model viscosities in the upper mantle beneath the lithosphere are ~1020 Pas, and viscosity increases to ~1023 Pas in the lower mantle above D". Comparison with tomography models is assessed in terms of correlation, both overall and as a function of depth and spherical harmonic degree. We find that, compared to previous geodynamic and tomography models, correlation is improved significantly, presumably because of improvements in both plate reconstructions and mantle flow computation. However, high correlation is still limited to lowest spherical harmonic degrees. An important ingredient to achieve high correlation – in particular at spherical harmonic degree two – is a basal chemical layer. Subduction shapes this layer into two rather stable hot but

  5. Subduction to the lower mantle – a comparison between geodynamic and tomographic models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. W. Becker


    Full Text Available It is generally believed that subduction of lithospheric slabs is a major contribution to thermal heterogeneity in Earth's entire mantle and provides a main driving force for mantle flow. Mantle structure can, on the one hand, be inferred from plate tectonic models of subduction history and geodynamic models of mantle flow. On the other hand, seismic tomography models provide important information on mantle heterogeneity. Yet, the two kinds of models are only similar on the largest (1000 s of km scales and are quite different in their detailed structure. Here, we provide a quantitative assessment how good a fit can be currently achieved with a simple viscous flow geodynamic model. The discrepancy between geodynamic and tomography models can indicate where further model refinement could possibly yield an improved fit. Our geodynamical model is based on 300 Myr of subduction history inferred from a global plate reconstruction. Density anomalies are inserted into the upper mantle beneath subduction zones, and flow and advection of these anomalies is calculated with a spherical harmonic code for a radial viscosity structure constrained by mineral physics and surface observations. Model viscosities in the upper mantle beneath the lithosphere are ~1020 Pas, and viscosity increases to ~1023 Pas in the lower mantle above D". Comparison with tomography models is assessed in terms of correlation, both overall and as a function of depth and spherical harmonic degree. We find that, compared to previous geodynamic and tomography models, correlation is improved, presumably because of advances in both plate reconstructions and mantle flow computations. However, high correlation is still limited to lowest spherical harmonic degrees. An important ingredient to achieve high correlation – in particular at spherical harmonic degree two – is a basal chemical layer. Subduction shapes this layer into two rather stable hot but chemically dense "piles

  6. Attenuation structure beneath the volcanic front in northeastern Japan from broad-band seismograms (United States)

    Takanami, Tetsuo; Selwyn Sacks, I.; Hasegawa, Akira


    Anelastic structure in the asthenosphere beneath the volcanic front in northeastern Japan arc is estimated by using the spectral amplitude ratio data of P and S waves from about 100 events which occurred in the subducting Pacific slab below Japan. These earthquakes occurred within a 90 km radius centered about the station Sawauchi (SWU), with focal depths ranging from 60 to 200 km. Waveforms were recorded by the Carnegie broad-band three-component seismograph and were corrected for instrument responses, crustal reverberations, corner frequencies, and superimposed noise. Ray paths and travel times of P and S waves are calculated using a three-dimensional velocity model [Zhao, D., Hasegawa, A., Horiuchi, S., 1992. J. Geophys. Res. 97, 19909-19928]. We find a low- Q region ( QS˜70) extending down to 55 km depth from the lower crust beneath the volcanic front. Using Q-temperature laboratory results [Sato, H., Sacks, I.S., Murase, T., Muncill, G., Fukushima, H., 1989. J. Geophys. Res. 94, 10647-10661], this implies a temperature of about 130°C higher than the eastern forearc region and about 30°C higher than the western backarc region, in good agreement with the tomographic results of Zhao et al. [Zhao, D., Hasegawa, A., Horiuchi, S., 1992. J. Geophys. Res. 97, 19909-19928]. This suggests that low velocities in the crust and uppermost mantle beneath SWU may be explained by a subsolidus temperature increase without partial melting.

  7. Preliminary result of P-wave speed tomography beneath North Sumatera region (United States)

    Jatnika, Jajat; Nugraha, Andri Dian; Wandono


    The structure of P-wave speed beneath the North Sumatra region was determined using P-wave arrival times compiled by MCGA from time periods of January 2009 to December 2012 combining with PASSCAL data for February to May 1995. In total, there are 2,246 local earthquake events with 10,666 P-wave phases from 63 stations seismic around the study area. Ray tracing to estimate travel time from source to receiver in this study by applying pseudo-bending method while the damped LSQR method was used for the tomographic inversion. Based on assessment of ray coverage, earthquakes and stations distribution, horizontal grid nodes was set up of 30×30 km2 for inside the study area and 80×80 km2 for outside the study area. The tomographic inversion results show low Vp anomaly beneath Toba caldera complex region and around the Sumatra Fault Zones (SFZ). These features are consistent with previous study. The low Vp anomaly beneath Toba caldera complex are observed around Mt. Pusuk Bukit at depths of 5 km down to 100 km. The interpretation is these anomalies may be associated with ascending hot materials from subduction processes at depths of 80 km down to 100 km. The obtained Vp structure from local tomography will give valuable information to enhance understanding of tectonic and volcanic in this study area.

  8. Preliminary result of P-wave speed tomography beneath North Sumatera region

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    Jatnika, Jajat [Earth Science Study Program, Institute of Technology Bandung (Indonesia); Indonesian Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency (MCGA), Jakarta (Indonesia); Nugraha, Andri Dian, E-mail: [Global Geophysical Research Group, Faculty of Mining and Petroleum Engineering, Insitute of Technology Bandung (Indonesia); Wandono [Indonesian Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency (MCGA), Jakarta (Indonesia)


    The structure of P-wave speed beneath the North Sumatra region was determined using P-wave arrival times compiled by MCGA from time periods of January 2009 to December 2012 combining with PASSCAL data for February to May 1995. In total, there are 2,246 local earthquake events with 10,666 P-wave phases from 63 stations seismic around the study area. Ray tracing to estimate travel time from source to receiver in this study by applying pseudo-bending method while the damped LSQR method was used for the tomographic inversion. Based on assessment of ray coverage, earthquakes and stations distribution, horizontal grid nodes was set up of 30×30 km2 for inside the study area and 80×80 km2 for outside the study area. The tomographic inversion results show low Vp anomaly beneath Toba caldera complex region and around the Sumatra Fault Zones (SFZ). These features are consistent with previous study. The low Vp anomaly beneath Toba caldera complex are observed around Mt. Pusuk Bukit at depths of 5 km down to 100 km. The interpretation is these anomalies may be associated with ascending hot materials from subduction processes at depths of 80 km down to 100 km. The obtained Vp structure from local tomography will give valuable information to enhance understanding of tectonic and volcanic in this study area.

  9. The Interdependence of Plate Coupling Processes, Subduction Rate, and Asthenospheric Pressure Drop across Subducting Slabs (United States)

    Royden, L.; Holt, A.; Becker, T. W.


    One advantage of analytical models, in which analytic expressions are used for the various components of the subduction system, is the efficient exploration of parameter space and identification of the physical mechanisms controlling a wide breadth of slab kinematics. We show that, despite subtle differences in how plate interfaces and boundary conditions are implemented, results for single subduction from a 3-D semi-analytical model for subduction FAST (Royden & Husson, 2006; Jagoutz et al., 2015) and from the numerical finite-element model CitcomCU (Moresi & Gurnis, 1996, Zhong et al., 2006) are in excellent agreement when plate coupling (via shear stress on the plate interface) takes place in the FAST without the development of topographic relief at the plate boundary. Results from the two models are consistent across a variety of geometries, with fixed upper plate, fixed lower plate, and stress-free plate ends. When the analytical model is modified to include the development of topography above the subduction boundary, subduction rates are greatly increased, indicating a strong sensitivity of subduction to the mode of plate coupling. Rates of subduction also correlate strongly with the asthenospheric pressure drop across the subducting slab, which drives toroidal flow of the asthenosphere around the slab. When the lower plate is fixed, subduction is relatively slow and the pressure drop from below to above the slab is large, inhibiting subduction and slab roll-back. When the upper plate is fixed and when the plate ends are stress-free, subduction rates are approximately 50% faster and the corresponding asthenospheric pressure drop from below to above the slab is small, facilitating rapid subduction. This qualitative correlation between plate coupling processes, asthenospheric pressure drop, and rates of subduction can be extended to systems with more than one subduction zone (Holt et al., 2015 AGU Fall Abstract). Jagoutz, O., Royden, L., Holt, A. & Becker, T. W

  10. A Review on Forearc Ophiolite Obduction, Adakite-Like Generation, and Slab Window Development at the Chile Triple Junction Area: Uniformitarian Framework for Spreading-Ridge Subduction (United States)

    Bourgois, Jacques; Lagabrielle, Yves; Martin, Hervé; Dyment, Jérôme; Frutos, Jose; Cisternas, Maria Eugenia


    This paper aggregates the main basic data acquired along the Chile Triple Junction (CTJ) area (45°-48°S), where an active spreading center is presently subducting beneath the Andean continental margin. Updated sea-floor kinematics associated with a comprehensive review of geologic, geochemical, and geophysical data provide new constraints on the geodynamics of this puzzling area. We discuss: (1) the emplacement mode for the Pleistocene Taitao Ridge and the Pliocene Taitao Peninsula ophiolite bodies. (2) The occurrence of these ophiolitic complexes in association with five adakite-like plutonic and volcanic centers of similar ages at the same restricted locations. (3) The inferences from the co-occurrence of these sub-coeval rocks originating from the same subducting oceanic lithosphere evolving through drastically different temperature-pressure ( P- T) path: low-grade greenschist facies overprint and amphibolite-eclogite transition, respectively. (4) The evidences that document ridge-jump events and associated microplate individualization during subduction of the SCR1 and SCR-1 segments: the Chonos and Cabo Elena microplates, respectively. The ridge-jump process associated with the occurrence of several closely spaced transform faults entering subduction is controlling slab fragmentation, ophiolite emplacement, and adakite-like production and location in the CTJ area. Kinematic inconsistencies in the development of the Patagonia slab window document an 11- km westward jump for the SCR-1 spreading segment at ~6.5-to-6.8 Ma. The SCR-1 spreading center is relocated beneath the North Patagonia Icefield (NPI). We argue that the deep-seated difference in the dynamically sustained origin of the high reliefs of the North and South Patagonia Icefield (NPI and SPI) is asthenospheric convection and slab melting, respectively. The Chile Triple Junction area provides the basic constraints to define the basic signatures for spreading-ridge subduction beneath an Andean

  11. A Review on Forearc Ophiolite Obduction, Adakite-Like Generation, and Slab Window Development at the Chile Triple Junction Area: Uniformitarian Framework for Spreading-Ridge Subduction (United States)

    Bourgois, Jacques; Lagabrielle, Yves; Martin, Hervé; Dyment, Jérôme; Frutos, Jose; Cisternas, Maria Eugenia


    This paper aggregates the main basic data acquired along the Chile Triple Junction (CTJ) area (45°-48°S), where an active spreading center is presently subducting beneath the Andean continental margin. Updated sea-floor kinematics associated with a comprehensive review of geologic, geochemical, and geophysical data provide new constraints on the geodynamics of this puzzling area. We discuss: (1) the emplacement mode for the Pleistocene Taitao Ridge and the Pliocene Taitao Peninsula ophiolite bodies. (2) The occurrence of these ophiolitic complexes in association with five adakite-like plutonic and volcanic centers of similar ages at the same restricted locations. (3) The inferences from the co-occurrence of these sub-coeval rocks originating from the same subducting oceanic lithosphere evolving through drastically different temperature-pressure (P-T) path: low-grade greenschist facies overprint and amphibolite-eclogite transition, respectively. (4) The evidences that document ridge-jump events and associated microplate individualization during subduction of the SCR1 and SCR-1 segments: the Chonos and Cabo Elena microplates, respectively. The ridge-jump process associated with the occurrence of several closely spaced transform faults entering subduction is controlling slab fragmentation, ophiolite emplacement, and adakite-like production and location in the CTJ area. Kinematic inconsistencies in the development of the Patagonia slab window document an 11- km westward jump for the SCR-1 spreading segment at ~6.5-to-6.8 Ma. The SCR-1 spreading center is relocated beneath the North Patagonia Icefield (NPI). We argue that the deep-seated difference in the dynamically sustained origin of the high reliefs of the North and South Patagonia Icefield (NPI and SPI) is asthenospheric convection and slab melting, respectively. The Chile Triple Junction area provides the basic constraints to define the basic signatures for spreading-ridge subduction beneath an Andean

  12. Subduction obliquity as a prime indicator for geotherm in subduction zone (United States)

    Plunder, Alexis; Thieulot, Cédric; van Hinsbergen, Douwe


    The geotherm of a subduction zone is thought to vary as a function of subduction rate and the age of the subducting lithosphere. Along a single subduction zone the rate of subduction can strongly vary due to changes in the angle between the trench and the plate convergence vector, namely the subduction obliquity. This phenomenon is observed all around the Pacific (i.e., Marianna, South America, Aleutian…). However due to observed differences in subducting lithosphere age or lateral convergence rate in nature, the quantification of temperature variation due to obliquity is not obvious. In order to investigate this effect, 3D generic numerical models were carried out using the finite element code ELEFANT. We designed a simplified setup to avoid interaction with other parameters. An ocean/ocean subduction setting was chosen and the domain is represented by a 800 × 300 × 200 km Cartesian box. The trench geometry is prescribed by means of a simple arc-tangent function. Velocity of the subducting lithosphere is prescribed using the analytical solution for corner flow and only the energy conservation equation is solved in the domain. Results are analysed after steady state is reached. First results show that the effect of the trench curvature on the geotherm with respect to the convergence direction is not negligible. A small obliquity yields isotherms which are very slightly deflected upwards where the obliquity is maximum. With an angle of ˜30°, the isotherms are deflected upwards of about 10 kilometres. Strong obliquity (i.e., angles from 60° to almost 90°) reveal extreme effects of the position of the isotherms. Further model will include other parameter as the dip of the slab and convergence rate to highlight their relative influence on the geotherm of subduction zone.

  13. Rheological Heterogeneity Along the Deep Subduction Interface: Insights from Exhumed HP Metamorphic Rocks Exposed on Syros Island, Greece (United States)

    Kotowski, A. J.; Behr, W. M.; Stockli, D. F.; Ashley, K. T.


    Rheological properties of subduction interface shear zones control several aspects of subduction zone dynamics, including shear tractions along the plate interface, rates and amounts of exhumation, and depths and styles of seismicity. We document the rheological properties of a deep subduction interface using exhumed eclogite and blueschist-facies rocks from Syros Island, Greece. These rocks were subducted to ~60 km depth during the Eocene, were exhumed part way along the top of the subducting slab, and were then exhumed to upper-crustal levels beneath Miocene detachment faults. Localization of strain during exhumation allowed prograde fabrics to be preserved. The PT conditions (400-550°C, 12-16kb) of these fabrics are comparable to conditions of episodic tremor and slow slip (ETS) observed in some modern subduction zones, including Cascadia. Two types of prograde fabrics were distinguished after analyzing macro-scale distributions of strain and microphysical mechanisms of creep in metamafic rocks. Type 1 fabrics contain eclogite pods boudinaged within a blueschist matrix. The eclogites show brittle deformation with cross-cutting veins containing high-pressure minerals. Deformation in matrix blueschists is accommodated by rigid rotation of amphibole and diffusion creep in plagioclase. Type 2 fabrics contain blueschists and eclogites that are isoclinally folded at similar wavelengths, thus are approximately isoviscous. Deformation is again accommodated by diffusion creep in blueschists, but by dislocation creep of omphacite in eclogites. These deformation types characterizing boudin-matrix and isoviscous rheologies of blueschist-eclogite assemblages appear to reflect varying amounts of finite strain, but work is in progress to determine whether they also record different PT conditions. The transition from Type 1 to 2 fabrics represents a significant change in bulk viscosity and seismic anisotropy, and may correspond to a transition from ETS-type behavior

  14. Tethyan and Indian subduction viewed from the Himalayan high- to ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic rocks (United States)

    Guillot, S.; Mahéo, G.; de Sigoyer, J.; Hattori, K. H.; Pêcher, A.


    The Himalayan range is one of the best documented continent-collisional belts and provides a natural laboratory for studying subduction processes. High-pressure and ultrahigh-pressure rocks with origins in a variety of protoliths occur in various settings: accretionary wedge, oceanic subduction zone, subducted continental margin and continental collisional zone. Ages and locations of these high-pressure and ultrahigh-pressure rocks along the Himalayan belt allow us to evaluate the evolution of this major convergent zone. (1) Cretaceous (80-100 Ma) blueschists and possibly amphibolites in the Indus Tsangpo Suture zone represent an accretionary wedge developed during the northward subduction of the Tethys Ocean beneath the Asian margin. Their exhumation occurred during the subduction of the Tethys prior to the collision between the Indian and Asian continents. (2) Eclogitic rocks with unknown age are reported at one location in the Indus Tsangpo Suture zone, east of the Nanga Parbat syntaxis. They may represent subducted Tethyan oceanic lithosphere. (3) Ultrahigh-pressure rocks on both sides of the western syntaxis (Kaghan and Tso Morari massifs) formed during the early stage of subduction/exhumation of the Indian northern margin at the time of the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. (4) Granulitized eclogites in the Lesser Himalaya Sequence in southern Tibet formed during the Paleogene underthrusting of the Indian margin beneath southern Tibet, and were exhumed in the Miocene. These metamorphic rocks provide important constraints on the geometry and evolution of the India-Asia convergent zone during the closure of the Tethys Ocean. The timing of the ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism in the Tso Morari massif indicates that the initial contact between the Indian and Asian continents likely occurred in the western syntaxis at 57 ± 1 Ma. West of the western syntaxis, the Higher Himalayan Crystallines were thinned. Rocks equivalent to the Lesser Himalayan Sequence are present

  15. Mantle transition zone shear velocity gradients beneath USArray (United States)

    Schmandt, Brandon


    Broadband P-to-s scattering isolated by teleseismic receiver function analysis is used to investigate shear velocity (VS) gradients in the mantle transition zone beneath USArray. Receiver functions from 2244 stations were filtered in multiple frequency bands and migrated to depth through P and S tomography models. The depth-migrated receiver functions were stacked along their local 410 and 660 km discontinuity depths to reduce stack incoherence and more accurately recover the frequency-dependent amplitudes of P410s and P660s. The stacked waveforms were inverted for one-dimensional VS between 320 and 840 km depth. First, a gradient-based inversion was used to find a least-squares solution and a subsequent Monte Carlo search about that solution constrained the range of VS profiles that provide an acceptable fit to the receiver function stacks. Relative to standard references models, all the acceptable models have diminished VS gradients surrounding the 410, a local VS gradient maximum at 490-500 km depth, and an enhanced VS gradient above the 660. The total 410 VS increase of 6.3% is greater than in reference models, and it occurs over a thickness of 20 km. However, 60% of this VS increase occurs over only 6 km. The 20 km total thickness of the 410 and diminished VS gradients surrounding the 410 are potential indications of high water content in the regional transition zone. An enhanced VS gradient overlying the 660 likely results from remnants of subduction lingering at the base of the transition zone. Cool temperatures from slabs subducted since the late Cretaceous and longer-term accumulation of former ocean crust both may contribute to the high gradient above the 660. The shallow depth of the 520 km discontinuity, 490-500 km, implies that the regional mean temperature in the transition zone is 110-160 K cooler than the global mean. A concentrated Vs gradient maximum centered near 660 km depth and a low VS gradient below 675 km confirms that the ringwoodite to

  16. Proterozoic subduction and terrane amalgamation in the southwestern Grenville province, Canada: Evidence from ultrapotassic to shoshonitic plutonism (United States)

    Corriveau, Louise


    A late Grenvillian (1089-1076 Ma) subduction regime followed by terrane amalgamation is postulated as the paleoenvironment of a 400-km-long belt of potassium-rich alkaline and shoshonitic plutons in the Central metasedimentary belt of the southwestern Grenville province, Canada. Emplacement of the plutons postdates the regional metamorphism in the country rock, but predates major shear zones that form a structural boundary for the plutonic belt. The extent, timing, and magmatic affinities of the suite delineate the Gatineau domain within the current Mont-Laurier terrane of Quebec and are compelling evidence for the allochthonous nature of the Elzevir terrane and its extension eastward to Rideau Lake in Ontario and northward into the Gatineau domain. The belt trends northeast, the emplacement ages are younger to the southeast, and the magmatic affinities are those of island-arc ultrapotassic to shoshonitic rocks. This is interpreted to reflect the existence of a southeast-dipping, northeast-trending subduction zone beneath the combined Elzevir-Gatineau terrane between 1089 and 1076 Ma. Subsequent to subduction, amalgamation of the Elzevir terrane to the other terranes formed the Central metasedimentary belt, which then accreted and collided with the allochthonous polycyclic belt. These events provide evidence that the Ottawan orogeny commenced at ca. 1090 Ma in the Central metasedimentary belt. A modern analogue of this plutonism and its tectonic setting may have been the magmatism and arc-continent collision and subduction setting of the Sunda are, Indonesia.

  17. Progressive enrichment of arc magmas caused by the subduction of seamounts under Nishinoshima volcano, Izu-Bonin Arc, Japan (United States)

    Sano, Takashi; Shirao, Motomaro; Tani, Kenichiro; Tsutsumi, Yukiyasu; Kiyokawa, Shoichi; Fujii, Toshitsugu


    The chemical composition of intraplate seamounts is distinct from normal seafloor material, meaning that the subduction of seamounts at a convergent margin can cause a change in the chemistry of the mantle wedge and associated arc magmas. Nishinoshima, a volcanic island in the Izu-Bonin Arc of Japan, has been erupting continuously over the past 2 years, providing an ideal opportunity to examine the effect of seamount subduction on the chemistry of arc magmas. Our research is based on the whole-rock geochemistry and the chemistry of minerals within lavas and air-fall scoria from Nishinoshima that were erupted before 1702, in 1973-1974, and in 2014. The mineral phases within the analyzed samples crystallized under hydrous conditions (H2O = 3-4 wt.%) at temperatures of 970 °C-990 °C in a shallow (3-6 km depth) magma chamber. Trace element data indicate that the recently erupted Nishinoshima volcanics are much less depleted in the high field strength elements (Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf) than other volcanics within the Izu-Bonin Arc. In addition, the level of enrichment in the Nishinoshima magmas has increased in recent years, probably due to the addition of material from HIMU-enriched (i.e., high Nb/Zr and Ta/Hf) seamounts on the Pacific Plate, which is being subducted westwards beneath the Philippine Sea Plate. This suggests that the chemistry of scoria from Nishinoshima volcano records the progressive addition of components derived from subducted seamounts.

  18. Subduction-controlled mantle flow and seismic anisotropy in South America (United States)

    Hu, Jiashun; Faccenda, Manuele; Liu, Lijun


    Seismic anisotropy records both the past and present deformation inside the solid Earth. In the mantle, seismic anisotropy is mainly attributed to the lattice preferred orientation (LPO) of mineral fabrics, caused by the shear deformation due to mantle flow. However, contributions from different tectonic processes remain debated, and a single geodynamic model that simultaneously explains the observed mantle structures and various seismic anisotropy measurements is still lacking. Here, we present a model for the Cenozoic subduction history in South America using a geodynamic simulation constrained by both past plate reconstructions and present mantle seismic structures. With a recently developed software package DRexS, we further predict azimuthal seismic anisotropy at different depths and generate synthetic shear wave splitting (SWS) measurements using the resulting mantle flow. Our results provide a good match to both depth-dependent surface wave anisotropy and various land-based SWS records. We find that the dominant control on seismic anisotropy in South America comes from subduction-induced mantle flow, where anisotropy below the subducting Nazca Plate aligns with plate-motion-induced Couette flow and that below the overriding South American Plate follows slab-induced Poiseuille flow. This large-scale mantle flow can be diverted by secondary slabs, such as that below the Antilles subduction zone. In contrast, the contribution to SWS from fossil continental anisotropy and from the effects due to mantle flow modulation by lithosphere thickness variation are minor. Upper-mantle fast seismic anomalies beneath the southern Atlantic margin should have close-to-neutral buoyancy in order to satisfy the observed seismic anisotropy.

  19. A Subduction Source for the Great Lisbon Earthquake and Tsunami of 1755 ? (United States)

    Baptista, M. A.; Miranda, J. M.; Gutscher, M. A.


    The great Lisbon earthquake of 1 November 1755 (felt as far away as Hamburg, the Azores and Cape Verde Islands) has the largest documented felt area of any shallow earthquake and an estimated magnitude of 8.5 - 9.0. The associated tsunami ravaged the coast of SW Portugal and the Gulf of Cadiz, with run-up heights reported to have reached 5 - 15 m. The tsunami was recorded as far as the Lesser Antilles and SW England. While several source regions offshore SW Portugal have been proposed (e.g. - Horseshoe Abyssal plain, Gorringe Bank, Marques de Pombal), no single source has been able to account for the great seismic moment and the tsunami amplitude and travel-time observations. A recent marine seismic survey together with tomographic data provide compelling evidence for an active east dipping subduction zone beneath the Gibraltar Arc. We have performed tsunami wave form modeling to test the hypothesis of a subduction related "interplate" event as the source of the 1755 earthquake. A shallow east dipping fault plane with dimensions of 180 km (N-S) x 210 km (E-W) is tested with a co-seismic slip of 20 m. For convergence rates of 1 - 2 cm/yr an event of this magnitude could recur every 1000 - 2000 years. This corresponds well to the chronology of turbidites emplaced in the adjacent Horseshoe Abyssal plain. Hydrodynamic tsunami modeling using a single shallow dipping subduction source provides a good fit to historically reported amplitudes and arrival times from stations in the Gulf of Cadiz, Madeira and Porto Santo. However, amplitudes are low and arrival times too long for stations on the west coast of Portugal. A subduction source for this earthquake implies a second simultaneous source area closer to the margin compatible with the tsunami observations along the western Iberian coast.

  20. Influence of Forearc Structure on the Extent of Great Subduction Zone Earthquakes (United States)

    McGuire, J. J.; Llenos, A.


    Structural features associated with forearc basins appear to strongly influence the rupture processes of large subduction zone earthquakes. Recent studies demonstrated that a significant percentage of the global seismic moment release on subduction zone thrust faults is concentrated beneath the gravity lows resulting from forearc basins. To better determine the nature of this correlation and examine its effect on rupture directivity and termination, we estimated the rupture areas of a set of Mw 7.5-8.7 earthquakes that occurred in circum-Pacific subduction zones. We compare synthetic and observed seismograms by measuring frequency- dependent amplitude and arrival time differences of the first orbit Rayleigh waves. At low frequencies, the amplitude anomalies primarily result from the spatial and temporal extent of the rupture. We then invert the amplitude and arrival time measurements to estimate the second moments of the slip distribution which describe the rupture length, width, duration and propagation velocity of each earthquake. Comparing the rupture areas to the trench-parallel gravity anomaly (TPGA, Song and Simons 2003) above each rupture, we find that in 12 of the 14 events considered in this study the TPGA increases between the centroid and the limits of the rupture. Thus, local increases in TPGA appear to be related to the physical conditions along the plate interface that favor rupture termination. Owing to the inherently long time scales required for forearc basin formation, the correlation between the TPGA field and rupture termination regions indicates that long-lived material heterogeneity rather than short time-scale stress heterogeneities are responsible for arresting most great subduction zone ruptures.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Pararas-Carayannis


    Full Text Available Peru is in a region of considerable geologic and seismic complexity. Thrust faulting along the boundary where the Nazca plate subducts beneath the South American continent has created three distinct seismic zones. The angle of subduction of the Nazca oceanic plate beneath the South American plate is not uniform along the entire segment of the Peru-Chile Trench. Furthermore, subduction is affected by buoyancy forces of the bounding oceanic ridges and fractures - such as the Mendana Fracture Zone (MFZ to the North and the Nazca Ridge to the South. This narrow zone is characterized by shallow earthquakes that can generate destructive tsunamis of varied intensities. The present study examines the significance of Nazca Ridge’s oblique subduction and migration to the seismicity of Central/Southern Peru and to tsunami generation. The large tsunamigenic earthquake of 23 June 2001 is presented as a case study. This event generated a destructive, local tsunami that struck Peru’s southern coasts with waves ranging from 3 to 4.6 meters (10-15 feet and inland inundation that ranged from 1 to 3 km. In order to understand the near and far-field tsunamigenic efficiency of events along Central/Southern Peru and the significance of Nazca Ridge’s oblique subduction, the present study examines further the geologic structure of the region and this quake’s moment tensor analysis, energy release, fault rupture and the spatial distribution of aftershocks. Tsunami source mechanism characteristics for this event are presented, as inferred from seismic intensities, energy releases, fault plane solutions and the use of empirical relationships. The study concludes that the segment of subduction and faulting paralleling the Peru-Chile Trench from about 150 to 180 South, as well as the obliquity of convergent tectonic plate collision in this region, may be the reason for shorter rupture lengths of major earthquakes and the generation of only local destructive tsunamis.

  2. Spatial and Temporal Variability in the Circulation and Thermal Evolution of the Mantle in Subduction Zones: Insights From 3-D Laboratory Experiments. (United States)

    Kincaid, C.; Griffiths, R. W.


    The subduction of oceanic lithosphere plays a key role in plate tectonics, the thermal evolution of the mantle and recycling processes between Earth's interior and surface. The majority of subduction models are two-dimensional (2-D), assuming limited variability in the direction parallel to the trench. Observationally based models increasingly appeal to three-dimensional (3-D) flow associated with trench migration and the sinking of oceanic plates with a translational component of motion (rollback). We report results from laboratory experiments that reveal fundamental differences in 3-D mantle circulation and temperature structure in response to subduction with and without a rollback component. In our experiments the upper mantle is simulated with glucose syrup and the subducting plate is represented with a Phenolic sheet that is forced to sink into the glucose along prescribed trajectories. An array of 40 thermisters embedded within the plate is used to monitor slab surface temperatures (SSTs). We vary the relative magnitude of downdip and translational components of slab motion and also consider cases where the plate steepens with time. Another parameter is the initial thickness of the thermal boundary layer (TBL) beneath the overriding plate. Without rollback motion, flow in the mantle wedge is sluggish, there is no mass flux around the plate, and plate edges heat up faster than plate centers. Rollback subduction drives flow around and beneath the sinking plate, velocities increase within the mantle wedge and are focussed towards the center of the plate and the surface of the plate heats more along the centerline. In addition to lateral variability in flow and mantle temperatures, results highlight temporal variability in SSTs and 3-D mantle flow trajectories associated with the initiation of subduction and variations between periods of predominantly downdip versus rollback sinking.

  3. Predicting the Isotopic Composition of Subduction-Filtered Subducted Oceanic Crust and Sediment (United States)

    White, W. M.


    The chemical and isotopic character of mantle plumes, which produce oceanic island volcanoes, are widely thought to reflect the presence of recycled oceanic crust and sediment. Isotopic systematics suggest the “cycle time” for this process is 1 Ga or longer, but it should be possible to use a simple mass balance approach to discern how the presently operating subduction zone filter affects the ratios of radioactive parent to radiogenic daughter isotopes. Simple uniformitarian assumptions can then be used to predict the present isotopic composition of anciently subducted lithosphere. Our underlying assumption in deciphering the subduction zone filter is that the flux of an element into the deep mantle is simply equal to the flux of element into the subduction zone less the flux of that element into subduction zone magmas. The former is readily calculated from published data. The latter can be calculated by estimating parental magma compositions, arc accretion rates, and the assumption that arc magma compositions differ from MORB only because of material derived from subducting crust and sediment. Using this approach for 8 intra-oceanic subduction zones, we find 73% of Th and Pb, 79% of U, 80% of Rb and Sr, 93% of Nd and 98% of Sm survive the subduction zone filter. The subduction zone filter systematically increases Sm/Nd ratios in all subduction zones, but the effect is small, with a weighted mean increase of 1.5%. The effect of subduction is to decrease the Sm/Nd of the mantle, but only slightly. The effect of subduction is to increase the Rb/Sr of the mantle, but the subduction zone filter does not have a systematic effect on Rb/Sr ratios: it significantly increases in Rb/Sr in 3 subduction zones and significantly decreases it in one; the weighted mean shows no significant change. The effect of the subduction zone filter on U/Pb is also not systematic. U/Pb ratios in the mantle fluxes are bimodal, with values equal to or lower than the bulk Earth value in 4

  4. Anisotropy in the lowermost mantle beneath the Indian Ocean Geoid Low from ScS splitting measurements (United States)

    Padma Rao, B.; Ravi Kumar, M.; Singh, Arun


    The Indian Ocean Geoid Low (IOGL) to the south of Indian subcontinent is the world's largest geoid anomaly. In this study, we investigate the seismic anisotropy of the lowermost mantle beneath the IOGL by analyzing splitting of high-quality ScS phases corrected for source and receiver side upper mantle anisotropy. Results reveal significant anisotropy (˜1.01%) in the D'' layer. The observed fast axis polarization azimuths in the ray coordinate system indicate a TTI (transverse isotropy with a tilted axis of symmetry) style of anisotropy. Lattice Preferred Orientation (LPO) deformation of the palaeo-subducted slabs experiencing high shear strain is a plausible explanation for the observed anisotropy beneath the IOGL.

  5. Subduction Initiation by Extrusion Tectonics? Evidence From the Palawan Ophiolite, Philippines (United States)

    Encarnacion, J.; Fernandez, D.; Mattinson, J.


    There are few well-constrained geologic examples that can provide insight to the conditions under which subduction initiated. The Palawan ophiolite preserves evidence bearing on the initiation of subduction that can be linked with tectonic events in the surrounding areas. We report a ~34 Ma crystallization age for the Palawan ophiolite obtained by zircon U-Pb dating on plagiogranite. Previous hornblende and white mica Ar-40/Ar-39 dates from the high T and P metamorphic sole are indistinguishable from the crystallization age of the ophiolite. New major and trace element geochemical data from pillow basalts and mafic dikes from five separate areas of the ophiolite all indicate a predominantly N-MORB-like source for the ophiolite, although some trace element ratios are transitional to IAT (e.g., Hf/Ta and Th/Hf). Differentiation trends on plots of MgO vs. TiO2 and MgO vs. Al2O3 deviate from MORB trends and are more akin to trends for the Mariana and Lau backarc basins. The available evidence suggests that the ophiolite formed in latest Eocene-earliest Oligocene time in a "mature" backarc basin that opened within Early Cretaceous oceanic lithosphere (now preserved beneath the ophiolite). The concordance between the times of ophiolite and high T-P sole formation indicate that the ophiolite was detached at, or close to, the spreading axis. The transition from spreading to convergence requires that far-field compressional stresses were applied to the area of the ridge axis. Previous work has shown that this zone of convergence evolved into a subduction zone that spawned the Cagayan arc-Sulu Sea backarc system. This implies that the presence of the old, dense Early Cretaceous oceanic lithosphere was insufficient for subduction to begin and that external forces were required to initiate subduction. The new data, combined with recent thermochronologic data from the Red River Shear zone indicating shearing beginning at ~33 Ma and seafloor spreading of the South China Sea at

  6. Time-Dependent Flexural Deformation Beneath the Emperor Seamounts (United States)

    Wessel, P.; Watts, A. B.; Kim, S. S.


    The Hawaii-Emperor seamount chain stretches over 6000 km from the Big Island of Hawaii to the subduction cusp off Kamchatka and represents a near-continuous record of hotspot volcanism since the Late Cretaceous. The load of these seamounts and islands has caused the underlying lithosphere to deform, developing a flexural flanking moat that is now largely filled with volcanoclastic sediments. Because the age differences between the seafloor and the seamounts vary by an order of magnitude or more along the chain, the Hawaii-Emperor chain and surrounding area is considered a natural laboratory for lithospheric flexure and has been studied extensively in order to infer the rheology of the oceanic lithosphere. While most investigations have focused on the Hawaiian Islands and proximal seamounts (where data sets are more complete, including seismic reflection and refraction, swath bathymetry and even mapping and dating of drowned reef terraces), far fewer studies have examined the flexural deformation beneath the remote Emperor chain. Preliminary analysis of satellite altimetry data shows the flexural moats to be associated with very large negative gravity anomalies relative to the magnitudes of the positive anomalies over the loads, suggesting considerable viscous or viscoelastic relaxation since the loads were emplaced 50-80 Myr ago. In our study, we will attempt to model the Emperor seamount chain load as a superposition of individual elliptical Gaussian seamounts with separate loading histories. We use Optimal Robust Separation (ORS) techniques to extract the seamount load from the regional background bathymetry and partition the residual load into a set of individual volcanoes. The crustal age grid and available seamount dates are used to construct a temporal loading model and evaluate the flexural response of the lithosphere beneath the Emperor seamounts. We explore a variety of rheological models and loading scenarios that are compatible with the inferred load

  7. Searching for structure in the mid-mantle: Observations of converted phases beneath Iceland and Europe (United States)

    Jenkins, J.; Deuss, A. F.; Cottaar, S.


    Until recently, most of the lower mantle was considered to be well-mixed with strong heterogeneity restricted to the lowermost several hundred kilometers above the core-mantle boundary, also known as the D'' layer. However, several recent studies have started to hint at a potential change in earth structure at mid-mantle depths, with evidence from both seismic tomography (Fukao and Obayashi 2013, French and Romanowichz, 2015) and global viscosity structure (Rudolph et al., 2015). We present the first continental-wide search for mid-mantle P to S wave converted phases and find most observations come from approximately 1000 km depth beneath Iceland and Western Europe. Conversions are identified using a data set of 50,000 high quality receiver functions which are systematically searched for robust signals from the mid-mantle. Potential P to s conversions are analysed in terms of slowness to determine whether they are true observations from depth or simply surface multiples arriving at similar times. We find broad regions with robust signals from approximately 1000 km depth in several locations; beneath Iceland and across Western Europe, beneath Ireland, Scotland, Eifel and south towards NW Italy and Spain. Similar observations have previously been observed mainly in subduction zone settings, and have been hypothesised to be caused by down-going oceanic crustal material. Here we present observations which correlate with slow seismic velocities in recent tomographic models (Rickers et al., (2013); French and Romanowicz, (2015)). These low velocities appear to be a channel deviating from the broad mantle plume beneath Iceland at mid-mantle depths. We hypothesise that the mid-mantle seismic signals we observe are caused by either a phase transition occurring locally in a specific composition or by small-scale chemical heterogeneities swept along with upwelling material and ponding around 1000 km.

  8. Two-dimensional Numerical Modeling Research on Continent Subduction Dynamics

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Zhimin; XU Bei; ZHOU Yaoqi; XU Hehua; HUANG Shaoying


    Continent subduction is one of the hot research problems in geoscience. New models presented here have been set up and two-dimensional numerical modeling research on the possibility of continental subduction has been made with the finite element software, ANSYS, based on documentary evidence and reasonable assumptions that the subduction of oceanic crust has occurred, the subduction of continental crust can take place and the process can be simplified to a discontinuous plane strain theory model. The modeling results show that it is completely possible for continental crust to be subducted to a depth of 120 km under certain circumstances and conditions. At the same time, the simulations of continental subduction under a single dynamical factor have also been made, including the pull force of the subducted oceanic lithosphere, the drag force connected with mantle convection and the push force of the mid-ocean ridge. These experiments show that the drag force connected with mantle convection is critical for continent subduction.

  9. Bi-directional subduction of the South Tianshan Ocean during the Late Silurian: Magmatic records from both the southern Central Tianshan Block and northern Tarim Craton (United States)

    Wang, Meng; Zhang, Jinjiang; Zhang, Bo; Liu, Kai; Ge, Maohui


    The subduction polarity of the South Tianshan Ocean (STO) is a matter of debate, primarily in that the Paleozoic structures of Tianshan orogenic belt have been strongly overprinted by the Cenozoic intra-continental deformation. Indentifying the arc-related magmatic rocks may provide a convincible clue for understanding the closure process of the STO. In this study, whole-rock geochemistry, zircon U-Pb dating and Hf isotope were presented on the andesite and monzonite from the Bayanbulak area of the southern Central Tianshan Block (CTB) and on the quartz diorite from the Ouxidaban area of the northern Tarim Craton. Geochemically, all the samples are Na-rich, enriched in light rare earth elements and large ion lithophile elements (Rb, Ba, U, K and Pb), and depleted in high strength field elements (Nb, Ta and Ti), like most arc-type igneous rocks. The Bayanbulak andesite samples display high MgO, Fe2O3T, TiO2 and Mg# values, and positive εHf(t) values, indicating magma source from the wedge mantle. But the existence of xenocrystic zircons implies that continental crust material were involved during magma ascend, suggesting a continental arc setting for the Bayanbulak andesite. The Bayanbulak monzonite and the Ouxidaban quartz diorite samples display relatively higher SiO2 contents, and lower MgO, Fe2O3T and TiO2 concentrations, indicating crustal sources. But the Mg# values of the Bayanbulak monzonite and the Ouxidaban quartz diorite are 48.76-51.85 and 50.31-53.73, and the εHf(t) values are -2.5 to 8.7 and -1.7 to 4.1, indicating that their magma sources were also mixed by mantle-derived components. LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb dating results reveal that the Bayanbulak andesite, the Bayanbulak monzonite and the Ouxidaban quartz diorite were formed at 423, 424 Ma, and 421 Ma, respectively. The age and geochemical data indicate that both the southern CTB and northern Tarim Craton were active continental margins during the Late Silurian, favoring a bi-directional subduction

  10. Layering of the lithospheric mantle beneath the Siberian Craton: Modeling using thermobarometry of mantle xenolith and xenocrysts (United States)

    Ashchepkov, I. V.; Vladykin, N. N.; Ntaflos, T.; Kostrovitsky, S. I.; Prokopiev, S. A.; Downes, H.; Smelov, A. P.; Agashev, A. M.; Logvinova, A. M.; Kuligin, S. S.; Tychkov, N. S.; Salikhov, R. F.; Stegnitsky, Yu. B.; Alymova, N. V.; Vavilov, M. A.; Minin, V. A.; Babushkina, S. A.; Ovchinnikov, Yu. I.; Karpenko, M. A.; Tolstov, A. V.; Shmarov, G. P.


    Single-grain thermobarometric studies of xenocrysts were used to compile local SCLM transects through the major regions of kimberlite magmatism in Siberia and longer transects through the subcontinental mantle lithosphere (SCLM) beneath the Siberian craton. The mantle structure was obtained using P-Fe#, Ca in garnets, oxygen fugacity values fO2 and calculated temperatures T°C. The most detail transect obtained for the Daldyn field on the Udachnaya-Zarnitsa reveals layering showing an inclination of > 35° to Udachnaya. Mantle layering beneath the Alakit field determined from the Krasnopresnenskaya-Sytykanskaya transect shows a moderate inclination from N to S. The inflection near Yubileinaya-Aykhal is also supported by the extreme depletion in peridotites with low-Fe sub-Ca garnets. Beneath the Malo-Botuobinsky field the sharply layered mantle section starts from 5.5 GPa and reveals step-like P-Fe#Ol trends for garnets and ilmenites. The deeper part of SCLM in this field was originally highly depleted but has been regenerated by percolation of protokimberlites and hybrid melts especially beneath Internationalnaya pipe. The three global transects reveal flat layering in granite-greenstone terranes and fluctuations in the granulite-orthogneiss Daldyn collision terranes. The mantle layering beneath the Daldyn - Alakite region may have been created by marginal accretion. Most of southern fields including the Malo-Botuobinsky field reveal flat layering. The primary subduction layering is smoothed beneath the Alakit field. Lower Jurassic kimberlites from the Kharamai-Anabar kimberlite fields reveal a small decrease of the thickness of the SCLM and heating of its base. The Jurassic Kuoyka field shows an uneven base of the SCLM inclined from west to east. SCLM sequences sampled at this time started mainly from depths of 130 km, but some pipes still showed mantle roots to 250 km. The garnet series demonstrates an inclined straight line pyroxenite P-Fe# trend due to

  11. Subduction and exhumation of continental crust: insights from laboratory models (United States)

    Bialas, Robert W.; Funiciello, Francesca; Faccenna, Claudio


    When slivers of continental crust and sediment overlying oceanic lithosphere enter a subduction zone, they may be scraped off at shallow levels, subducted to depths of up to 100-200 km and then exhumed as high pressure (HP) and ultra-high pressure (UHP) rocks, or subducted and recycled in the mantle. To investigate the factors that influence the behaviour of subducting slivers of continental material, we use 3-D dynamically consistent laboratory models. A laboratory analogue of a slab-upper mantle system is set up with two linearly viscous layers of silicone putty and glucose syrup in a tank. A sliver of continental material, also composed of silicone putty, overlies the subducting lithosphere, separated by a syrup detachment. The density of the sliver, viscosity of the detachment, geometry of the subducting system (attached plate versus free ridge) and dimensions of the sliver are varied in 34 experiments. By varying the density of the sliver and viscosity of the detachment, we can reproduce a range of sliver behaviour, including subduction, subduction and exhumation from various depths and offscraping. Sliver subduction and exhumation requires sufficient sliver buoyancy and a detachment that is strong enough to hold the sliver during initial subduction, but weak enough to allow adequate sliver displacement or detachment for exhumation. Changes to the system geometry alter the slab dip, subduction velocity, pattern of mantle flow and amount of rollback. Shallower slab dips with more trench rollback produce a mantle flow pattern that aids exhumation. Steeper slab dips allow more buoyancy force to be directed in the up-dip direction of the plane of the plate, and aide exhumation of subducted slivers. Slower subduction can also aide exhumation, but if slab dip is too steep or subduction too slow, the sliver will subduct to only shallow levels and not exhume. Smaller slivers are most easily subducted and exhumed and influenced by the mantle flow.

  12. Complex structure of the lithospheric slab beneath the Banda arc, eastern Indonesia depicted by a seismic tomographic model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Widiyantoro


    Full Text Available Seismic tomography with a non-linear approach has been successfully applied to image the P-wave velocity structure beneath the Banda arc in detail. Nearly one million compressional phases including the surfacereflected depth phases pP and pwP from events within the Indonesian region have been used. The depth phases have been incorporated in order to improve the sampling of the uppermantle structure, particularly below the Banda Sea in the back-arc regions. For the model parameterization, we have combined a highresolution regional inversion with a low-resolution global inversion to allow detailed images of slab structures within the study region and to minimize the mapping of distant aspherical mantle structure into the volume under study. In this paper, we focus our discussion on the upper mantle and transition zone structure beneath the curved Banda arc. The tomographic images confirm previous observations of the twisting of the slab in the upper mantle, forming a spoon-shaped structure beneath the Banda arc. A slab lying flat on the 660 km discontinuity beneath the Banda Sea is also well imaged. Further interpretations of the resulting tomograms and seismicity data support the scenario of the Banda arc subduction rollback.

  13. A new tomographic image on the Philippine Sea Slab beneath Tokyo - Implication to seismic hazard in the Tokyo metropolitan region - (United States)

    Hirata, N.; Sakai, S.; Nakagawa, S.; Ishikawa, M.; Sato, H.; Kasahara, K.; Kimura, H.; Honda, R.


    In central Japan, the Philippine Sea plate (PSP) subducts beneath the Tokyo metropolitan region. Devastating M8-class earthquakes occurred on the upper surface of the Philippine Sea plate (SPS), examples of which are the Genroku earthquake of 1703 (magnitude M=8.0) and the Kanto earthquake of 1923 (M=7.9), which had 105,000 fatalities. A M7 or greater (M7+) earthquake in this region at present has high potential to produce devastating loss of life and property with even greater global economic repercussions although it is smaller than the megathrust type M8-class earthquakes. This great earthquake is evaluated to occur with a probability of 70 % in 30 years by the Earthquake Research Committee of Japan. The M7+ earthquakes may occur either on the upper surface or intra slab of PSP. The Central Disaster Management Council of Japan estimates the next great M7+ earthquake will cause 11,000 fatalities and 112 trillion yen (1 trillion US$) economic loss at worst case if it occur beneath northern Tokyo bay with M7.3. However, the estimate is based on a source fault model by conventional studies about the PSP geometry. To evaluate seismic hazard due to the great quake we need to clarify the geometry of PSP and also the Pacific palate (PAP) that subducs beneath PSP. We identify those plates with use of seismic tomography and available deep seismic reflection profiling and borehole data in southern Kanto area. We deployed about 300 seismic stations in the greater Tokyo urban region under the Special Project for Earthquake Disaster Mitigation in Tokyo Metropolitan Area. We obtain clear P- and S- wave velocity (Vp and Vs) tomograms which show a clear image of PSP and PAP. A depth to the top of PSP, 20 to 30 kilometer beneath northern part of Tokyo bay, is about 10 km shallower than previous estimates based on the distribution of seismicity (Ishida, 1992). This shallower plate geometry changes estimations of strong ground motion for seismic hazards analysis within the Tokyo

  14. New insight into the Upper Mantle Structure Beneath the Pacific Ocean Using PP and SS Precursors (United States)

    Gurrola, H.; Rogers, K. D.


    The passing of the EarthScope Transportable array has provided a dense data set that enabled beam forming of SS and PP data that resultes in improved frequency content to as much a 1 Hz in the imaging of upper mantle structure. This combined with the application of simultaneous iterative deconvolution has resulted in images to as much as 4 Hz. The processing however results in structure being averaged over regions of 60 to 100 km in radius. This is becomes a powerful new tool to image the upper mantle beneath Oceanic regions where locating stations is expensive and difficult. This presentation will summarize work from a number of regions as to new observations of the upper mantle beneath the Pacific and Arctic Oceans. Images from a region of the Pacific Ocean furthest from hot spots or subduction zones (we will refer to this as the 'reference region'). show considerable layering in the upper mantle. The 410 km discontinuity is always imaged using these tools and appears to be a very sharp boundary. It does usually appear as an isolated positive phase. There appears to be a LAB at ~100 km as expected but there is a strong negative phase at ~ 200 km with a positive phase 15 km deeper. This is best explained as a lens of partial melt as expected for this depth based on the geothermal gradient. If so this should be a low friction point and so we would expect it to accommodate plate motion. Imaging of the Aleutian subduction zone does show the 100 km deep LAB as it descends but this 200 km deep horizon appears as a week descending positive anomaly without the shallower negative pulse. In addition to the 410, 100 and 200 km discontinuities there are a number of paired anomalies, between the 200 and 400 km depths, with a negative pulse 15 to 20 km shallower then the positive pulse. We do not believe these are side lobes or we would see side lobes on the 100 km and 410 km discontinuities. We believe these to be the result of friction induced partial melt along zones of

  15. Conflicting Geophysical and Geochemical Indicators of Mantle Temperature Beneath Tibet (United States)

    Klemperer, S. L.


    In Tibet a small number of earthquakes occurs at 75-100 km depth, spanning the Moho, reaching >350 km and >550 km north of the Himalayan front in south-eastern Tibet and western Tibet respectively. 'Earthquake thermometry' implies these deep earthquakes occur in anhydrous lower lithosphere, either anorthitic or ultramafic, at 0.1RA (~1% mantle fluid) are conventionally taken to imply an unequivocal mantle component. Time-averaged upward flow rates calculated from measured 3He/4He ratios (R) and [4He] range from ~1-15 cm/a, implying transport times of 0.5-7 Ma through a 70-km thick crust. Discussion of 3He in Tibet in the western literature has been dominated by a single paper (Hoke et al., EPSL, 2000) that reported modest mantle helium (0.110% mantle fluids are reported 120 km and 150 km south of the northern limit of deep earthquakes in southeastern and western Tibet respectively. These hot springs apparently sampled mantle with T>800°C south of the locations where earthquake thermometry implies Moho temperatures India, Nepal and Pakistan, even though the 800°C isotherm is substantially shallower there than beneath southern Tibet? More plausibly the mantle helium is derived from an Asian mantle wedge above the region of deep earthquakes, in which case underthrusting Indian lithosphere is not intact, but breaks into an upper layer forming the lower crust of the Tibetan Plateau, and a lower seismogenic layer that is subducted more deeply into the mantle. Based on the geothermal springs, an Asian mantle wedge extended south of the Indus Tsangpo suture in SE Tibet and to the Karakoram fault in W Tibet until the latest Miocene, or even more recently.

  16. Oman metamorphic sole formation reveals early subduction dynamics (United States)

    Soret, Mathieu; Agard, Philippe; Dubacq, Benoît; Plunder, Alexis; Ildefonse, Benoît; Yamato, Philippe; Prigent, Cécile


    Metamorphic soles correspond to m to ~500m thick tectonic slices welded beneath most of the large-scale ophiolites. They typically show a steep inverted metamorphic structure where the pressure and temperature conditions of crystallization increase upward (from 500±100°C at 0.5±0.2 GPa to 800±100°C at 1.0±0.2 GPa), with isograds subparallel to the contact with the overlying ophiolitic peridotite. The proportion of mafic rocks in metamorphic soles also increases from the bottom (meta-sediments rich) to the top (approaching the ophiolite peridotites). These soles are interpreted as the result of heat transfer from the incipient mantle wedge toward the nascent slab (associated with large-scale fluid transfer and possible shear heating) during the first My of intra-oceanic subduction (as indicated by radiometric ages). Metamorphic soles provide therefore major constraints on early subduction dynamics (i.e., thermal structure, fluid migration and rheology along the nascent slab interface). We present a detailed structural and petrological study of the metamorphic sole from 4 major cross-sections along the Oman ophiolite. We show precise pressure-temperature estimates obtained by pseudosection modelling and EBSD measurements performed on both the garnet-bearing and garnet-free high-grade sole. Results allow quantification of the micro-scale deformation and highlight differences in pressure-temperature-deformation conditions between the 4 different locations, showing that the inverted metamorphic gradient through the sole is not continuous in all locations. Based on these new constraints, we suggest a new tectonic-petrological model for the formation of metamorphic soles below ophiolites. This model involves the stacking of several homogeneous slivers of oceanic crust leading to the present-day structure of the sole. In this view, these thrusts are the result of rheological contrasts between the sole and the peridotite as the plate interface progressively cools down

  17. Flat-slab subduction, whole crustal faulting, and geohazards in Alaska: Targets for Earthscope (United States)

    Gulick, S. P.; Pavlis, T. L.; Bruhn, R. L.; Christeson, G. L.; Freymueller, J. T.; Hansen, R. A.; Koons, P. O.; Pavlis, G. L.; Roeske, S.; Reece, R.; van Avendonk, H. J.; Worthington, L. L.


    Crustal structure and evolution illuminated by the Continental Dynamics ST. Elias Erosion and tectonics Project (STEEP) highlights some fundamental questions about active tectonics processes in Alaska including: 1) what are the controls on far field deformation and lithospheric stabilization, 2) do strike slip faults extend through the entire crust and upper mantle and how does this influence mantle flow, and 3) how does the transition from “normal” subduction of the Pacific along the Aleutians to flat slab subduction of the Yakutat Terrane beneath southeast and central Alaska to translation of the Yakutat Terrane past North American in eastern Alaska affect geohazard assessment for the north Pacific? Active and passive seismic studies and geologic fieldwork focusing on the Yakutat Terrane show that the Terrane ranges from 15-35 km thick and is underthrusting the North American plate from the St. Elias Mountains to the Alaska Range (~500 km). Deformation of the upper plate occurs within the offshore Pamplona Zone fold and thrust belt, and onshore throughout the Robinson Mountains. Deformation patterns, structural evolution, and the sedimentary products of orogenesis are fundamentally influenced by feedbacks with glacial erosion. The Yakutat megathrust extends beneath Prince William Sound such that the 1964 Mw 9.2 great earthquake epicenter was on this plate boundary and jumped to the adjacent Aleutian megathrust coseismically; this event illuminates the potential for transitional tectonic systems to enhance geohazards. The northern, southern, and eastern limits of the Yakutat microplate are strike-slip faults that, where imaged, appear to cut the entire crustal section and may allow for crustal extrusion towards the Bering Sea. Yakutat Terrane effects on mantle flow, however, have been suggested to cross these crustal features to allow for far-field deformation in the Yukon, Brooks Range, and Amerasia Basin. From the STEEP results it is clear that the Yakutat

  18. Subduction zones seen by GOCE gravity gradients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Švarc, Mario; Herceg, Matija; Cammarano, Fabio

    In this study, the GOCE (Gravity field and steady state Ocean Circulation Explorer) gradiometry data were used to study geologic structures and mass variations within the lithosphere in areas of known subduction zones. The advantage of gravity gradiometry over other gravity methods is that gradie......In this study, the GOCE (Gravity field and steady state Ocean Circulation Explorer) gradiometry data were used to study geologic structures and mass variations within the lithosphere in areas of known subduction zones. The advantage of gravity gradiometry over other gravity methods...... is that gradients are extremely sensitive to localized density contrasts within regional geological settings, which makes it ideally suited for detecting subduction zones. Second order gravity gradients of disturbing potential were extracted from global geopotential model, the fifth release GOCE model ‘EGM_TIM_RL05......’. In order to remove the signal which mainly corresponds to the gravity signal of the lower mantle, long wavelength part of the gravity signal was removed up to degree and order 60. Because the areas with notable topography differences coincide with subduction zones, topography correction was also performed...

  19. Subduction and volatile recycling in Earth's mantle (United States)

    King, S. D.; Ita, J. J.; Staudigel, H.


    The subduction of water and other volatiles into the mantle from oceanic sediments and altered oceanic crust is the major source of volatile recycling in the mantle. Until now, the geotherms that have been used to estimate the amount of volatiles that are recycled at subduction zones have been produced using the hypothesis that the slab is rigid and undergoes no internal deformation. On the other hand, most fluid dynamical mantle flow calculations assume that the slab has no greater strength than the surrounding mantle. Both of these views are inconsistent with laboratory work on the deformation of mantle minerals at high pressures. We consider the effects of the strength of the slab using two-dimensional calculations of a slab-like thermal downwelling with an endothermic phase change. Because the rheology and composition of subducting slabs are uncertain, we consider a range of Clapeyron slopes which bound current laboratory estimates of the spinel to perovskite plus magnesiowustite phase transition and simple temperature-dependent rheologies based on an Arrhenius law diffusion mechanism. In uniform viscosity convection models, subducted material piles up above the phase change until the pile becomes gravitationally unstable and sinks into the lower mantle (the avalanche). Strong slabs moderate the 'catastrophic' effects of the instabilities seen in many constant-viscosity convection calculations; however, even in the strongest slabs we consider, there is some retardation of the slab descent due to the presence of the phase change.

  20. A numerical reference model for themomechanical subduction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quinquis, Matthieu; Chemia, Zurab; Tosi, Nicola


    . Our reference model represents ocean-ocean convergence and describes initial geometries and lithological stratification for a three-layered subducting slab and overriding plate along with their respective flow laws and chemical composition. It also includes kinematic and thermal boundary conditions...

  1. 25 years of continental deep subduction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHENG YongFei


    @@ This year marks the 25th anniversary of the discovery of coesite in metamorphic rocks of supracrustal origin.This initiated a revolution of the plate tectonics theory due to intensive studies of ultrahigh pressure metamorphism and continental deep subduction.The occurrence of coesite was first reported in 1984 by two French scientists,C.Chopin and D.C.Smith,respectively.

  2. Subduction zone and crustal dynamics of western Washington; a tectonic model for earthquake hazards evaluation (United States)

    Stanley, Dal; Villaseñor, Antonio; Benz, Harley


    The Cascadia subduction zone is extremely complex in the western Washington region, involving local deformation of the subducting Juan de Fuca plate and complicated block structures in the crust. It has been postulated that the Cascadia subduction zone could be the source for a large thrust earthquake, possibly as large as M9.0. Large intraplate earthquakes from within the subducting Juan de Fuca plate beneath the Puget Sound region have accounted for most of the energy release in this century and future such large earthquakes are expected. Added to these possible hazards is clear evidence for strong crustal deformation events in the Puget Sound region near faults such as the Seattle fault, which passes through the southern Seattle metropolitan area. In order to understand the nature of these individual earthquake sources and their possible interrelationship, we have conducted an extensive seismotectonic study of the region. We have employed P-wave velocity models developed using local earthquake tomography as a key tool in this research. Other information utilized includes geological, paleoseismic, gravity, magnetic, magnetotelluric, deformation, seismicity, focal mechanism and geodetic data. Neotectonic concepts were tested and augmented through use of anelastic (creep) deformation models based on thin-plate, finite-element techniques developed by Peter Bird, UCLA. These programs model anelastic strain rate, stress, and velocity fields for given rheological parameters, variable crust and lithosphere thicknesses, heat flow, and elevation. Known faults in western Washington and the main Cascadia subduction thrust were incorporated in the modeling process. Significant results from the velocity models include delineation of a previously studied arch in the subducting Juan de Fuca plate. The axis of the arch is oriented in the direction of current subduction and asymmetrically deformed due to the effects of a northern buttress mapped in the velocity models. This

  3. Detailed crustal thickness variations beneath the Illinois Basin area: Implications for crustal evolution of the midcontinent (United States)

    Yang, Xiaotao; Pavlis, Gary L.; Hamburger, Michael W.; Marshak, Stephen; Gilbert, Hersh; Rupp, John; Larson, Timothy H.; Chen, Chen; Carpenter, N. Seth


    We present high-resolution imaging results of crustal and upper mantle velocity discontinuities across the Illinois Basin area using both common conversion point stacking and plane wave migration methods applied to P wave receiver functions from the EarthScope Ozark, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky experiment. The images reveal unusually thick crust (up to 62 km) throughout the central and southeastern Illinois Basin area. A significant Moho gradient underlies the NW trending Ste. Genevieve Fault Zone, which delineates the boundary between the Illinois Basin and Ozark Dome. Relatively thinner crust (convergent margin tectonics around 1.55-1.35 Ga; (3) by Late Precambrian magmatic underplating at the base of older crust, associated with the creation of the Eastern Granite-Rhyolite Province around 1.3 Ga; and (4) through crustal "relamination" during an episode of Proterozoic flat-slab subduction beneath the Illinois Basin, possibly associated with the Grenville Orogeny.

  4. Dynamics of intraoceanic subduction initiation : 1. Oceanic detachment fault inversion and the formation of supra-subduction zone ophiolites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maffione, Marco; Thieulot, Cedric; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J.J.; Morris, Antony; Plümper, Oliver; Spakman, Wim


    Subduction initiation is a critical link in the plate tectonic cycle. Intraoceanic subduction zones can form along transform faults and fracture zones, but how subduction nucleates parallel to mid-ocean ridges, as in e.g., the Neotethys Ocean during the Jurassic, remains a matter of debate. In recen

  5. Dynamics of intraoceanic subduction initiation : 1. Oceanic detachment fault inversion and the formation of supra-subduction zone ophiolites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maffione, Marco; Thieulot, Cedric|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/270177493; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J.J.; Morris, Antony; Plümper, Oliver|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/37155960X; Spakman, Wim|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/074103164

    Subduction initiation is a critical link in the plate tectonic cycle. Intraoceanic subduction zones can form along transform faults and fracture zones, but how subduction nucleates parallel to mid-ocean ridges, as in e.g., the Neotethys Ocean during the Jurassic, remains a matter of debate. In

  6. Links between fluid circulation, temperature, and metamorphism in subducting slabs (United States)

    Spinelli, G.A.; Wang, K.


    The location and timing of metamorphic reactions in subducting lithosph??re are influenced by thermal effects of fluid circulation in the ocean crust aquifer. Fluid circulation in subducting crust extracts heat from the Nankai subduction zone, causing the crust to pass through cooler metamorphic faci??s than if no fluid circulation occurs. This fluid circulation shifts the basalt-to-eclogite transition and the associated slab dehydration 14 km deeper (35 km farther landward) than would be predicted with no fluid flow. For most subduction zones, hydrothermal cooling of the subducting slab will delay eclogitization relative to estimates made without considering fluid circulation. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  7. High-resolution lithospheric structure beneath Mainland China from ambient noise and earthquake surface-wave tomography (United States)

    Bao, X.; Song, X.; Li, J.


    We present a new high-resolution shear-velocity model of the lithosphere (down to about 160 km) beneath China using Rayleigh-wave tomography. We combined ambient noise and earthquake data recorded at 1316 seismic stations, the largest number used for the region to date. More than 700,000 dispersion curves were measured to generate group and phase velocity maps at periods of 10-140s. The resolution of our model is significantly improved over previous models with about 1-2°in eastern China and 2-3°in western China. We also derived models of the study region for crustal thickness and averaged S velocities for upper and mid-lower crust and uppermost mantle. These models reveal important lithospheric features beneath China and provide a fundamental data set for understanding continental dynamics and evolution. Different geological units show distinct features in the Moho depth, lithospheric thickness, and shear velocity. In particular, the North China Craton (NCC) lithosphere shows strong east-west structural variations with thin and low-velocity lithosphere in eastern NCC and thick and high-velocity lithosphere beneath western NCC and the lithosphere of the Ordos Block seems to have undergone strong erosion. The results support the progressive destruction of the NCC lithosphere from east to west at least partly caused by the thermal-chemical erosion of the cratonic lithosphere from the asthenosphere. Another pronounced feature of our model is the strong lateral variations of the mantle lithosphere beneath the Tibetan Plateau (TP). The Indian lithosphere beneath the TP shows variable northward advancement with nearly flat subduction in western and eastern TP and steep subduction in central TP with evidence for the tearing of Indian lithosphere beneath central TP, which may be important for the riftings at the surface in Himalayas and southern TP. The low-velocity zone in northern TP shows strong correlation with the region of the mid-Miocene to Quaternary potassic

  8. Analog Modeling of Continental Lithosphere Subduction (United States)

    Willingshofer, E.; Sokoutis, D.; Luth, S.; Beekman, F.; Cloetingh, S.


    Lithospheric-scale analog modeling sheds light on the consequences of decoupling within the continental lithosphere and along plate interfaces during continental collision. The model results provide valuable information in terms of strain localization, deformation of the subducting slab and the evolution and architecture of the overlying mountain belt and its topography. A weak layer has been implemented in three-layer models to simulate decoupling along the plate interface and at different levels of the lithosphere (brittle-ductile transition, entire lower crust, crust-mantle boundary). Additionally, varying the strength of the mantle lithosphere of both the upper as well as the lower plate regulated the degree of plate coupling. Plate boundaries were orthogonal to the convergence direction. All models emphasize that strong decoupling at the plate interface is a pre-requisite for the subduction of continental lithosphere. In addition, deformation of the subducting slab was found to be sensitive to the strength contrast between the subduction zone and the mantle lithosphere of the downgoing as well as the upper plate. As such, a low strength contrast between the plate interface and the lower plate leads to deformation of the subducting slab by thickening and the development of a shallow slab. Conversely, when the strength contrast is high, deep slabs evolve which undergo relatively less deformation. Furthermore, the level of decoupling in the downgoing plate governs how much continental crust is subducted together with the mantle lithosphere. Shallow decoupling, at the brittle-ductile transition, results in subduction of the lower crust whereas small amounts of lower crust are subducted when decoupling occurs at the level of the Moho. Weak plate coupling and a weak lower crust of the lower plate steer the evolution of mountain belts such that deformation propagates outward, in the direction of the incoming plate, by successive imbrication of upper crustal thrust

  9. Developing the plate tectonics from oceanic subduction to continental collision

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHENG YongFei; YE Kai; ZHANG LiFei


    The studies of continental deep subduction and ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism have not only promoted the development of solid earth science in China,but also provided an excellent opportunity to advance the plate tectonics theory.In view of the nature of subducted crust,two types of subduction and collision have been respectively recognized in nature.On one hand,the crustal subduction occurs due to underflow of either oceanic crust (Pacific type) or continental crust (Alpine type).On the other hand,the continental collision proceeds by arc-continent collision (Himalaya-Tibet type) or continent-continent collision (Dabie-Sulu type).The key issues in the future study of continental dynamics are the chemical changes and differential exhumation in continental deep subduction zones,and the temporal-spatial transition from oceanic subduction to continental subduction.

  10. Alaska Megathrust 2: Imaging the megathrust zone and Yakutat/Pacific plate interface in the Alaska subduction zone (United States)

    Kim, YoungHee; Abers, Geoffrey A.; Li, Jiyao; Christensen, Douglas; Calkins, Josh; Rondenay, Stéphane


    We image the slab underneath a 450 km long transect of the Alaska subduction zone to investigate (1) the geometry and velocity structure of the downgoing plate and their relationship to slab seismicity and (2) the interplate coupled zone where the great 1964 earthquake (Mw 9.2) exhibited the largest amount of rupture. The joint teleseismic migration of two array data sets based on receiver functions (RFs) reveals a prominent, shallow-dipping low-velocity layer at ~25-30 km depth in southern Alaska. Modeling of RF amplitudes suggests the existence of a thin layer (Vs of ~2.1-2.6 km/s) that is ~20-40% slower than underlying oceanic crustal velocities, and is sandwiched between the subducted slab and the overriding plate. The observed megathrust layer (with Vp/Vs of 1.9-2.3) may be due to a thick sediment input from the trench in combination with elevated pore fluid pressure in the channel. Our image also includes an unusually thick low-velocity crust subducting with a ~20° dip down to 130 km depth at ~200 km inland beneath central Alaska. The unusual nature of this subducted segment results from the subduction of the Yakutat terrane crust. Our imaged western edge of the Yakutat terrane aligns with the western end of a geodetically locked patch with high slip deficit, and coincides with the boundary of aftershock events from the 1964 earthquake. It appears that this sharp change in the nature of the downgoing plate could control the slip distribution of great earthquakes on this plate interface.

  11. Crustal Structure of the Caribbean-South American Diffuse Plate Boundary: Subduction Zone Migration and Polarity Reversal Along BOLIVAR Profile 64W (United States)

    Clark, S. A.; Levander, A.; Magnani, M.; Zelt, C. A.; Sawyer, D. S.; Ave Lallemant, H. G.


    The BOLIVAR (Broadband Ocean-Land Investigation of Venezuela and the Antilles arc Region) project is an NSF funded, collaborative seismic experiment in the southeast Caribbean region. The purpose of the project is to understand the diffuse plate boundary created by the oblique collision between the Caribbean and South American plates. Profile 64W of the BOLIVAR experiment, a 450 km-long, N-S transect onshore and offshore Venezuela located at ~64°W longitude, images the deep crustal structures formed by this collision. The active source components of profile 64W include 300 km of MCS reflection data, 33 coincident OBSs, and 344 land seismic stations which recorded 7500 offshore airgun shots and 2 explosive land shots. Results from the reflection and refraction seismic data along 64W show complex crustal structure across the entire span of the diffuse plate boundary. The onshore portion of 64W crosses the fold and thrust belt of the Serrania del Interior, which formed at ~16 Ma by collision of the Caribbean forearc with the northern South American passive margin. Underlying the Serrania del Interior is a south-vergent, remnant Lesser Antillean subduction zone. As this Lesser Antilles subduction impinged on continental crust, it caused a polarity reversal and jump offshore to the north. Convergence was initially localized in the closure and inversion of the Grenada Basin. However, subduction could not develop because of the ~20-km-thick crust of the Aves Ridge; instead, north-vergent subduction initiated further to the north, where ~12-km-thick Caribbean oceanic crust of the Venezuela Basin began to subduct beneath the Aves Ridge in the Pliocene (~4 Ma) and appears to continue subducting today. Between the remnant subduction zone and the modern one, the El Pilar and Coche dextral strike-slip faults accommodate most of the transform motion of the plate boundary. From the Serrania del Interior to the Aves Ridge, ~260 km of accreted orogenic float comprises the diffuse

  12. The role of harzburgite layers in the morphology of subducting plates and the behavior of oceanic crustal layers (United States)

    Yoshida, Masaki


    viscosity contrast between the harzburgite layer and the underlying mantle are larger, the volumes of crustal and harzburgite materials trapped in the mantle transition zone (MTZ) are also larger, although almost all of the materials penetrate into the lower mantle. These materials are trapped in the MTZ for over tens of millions of years. The bending of crustal layers numerically observed in the present study is consistent with seismological evidence that there is a piece of subducted oceanic crust in the uppermost lower mantle beneath the subducting slab under the Mariana trench [Niu et al., 2003, JGR]. The results of the present study suggest that when the viscosity increase at the boundary of the upper and lower mantle is larger than 60-100, a seismically observed stagnant slab is reproduced. This result is consistent with the previous independent geodynamic studies. For instance, a 2D geodynamic model with lateral viscosity variations suggested that it would need to be substantially greater than 30, say, around 100, to explain the positive geoid anomaly in the subduction zones where the subducting slab reaches the boundary between the upper and lower mantle such as that of the western Pacific [Tosi et al., 2009, GJI]. References: [1] Tajima, F. Yoshida, M. and Ohtani, E., Conjecture with water and rheological control for subducting slab in the mantle transition zone, Geoscience Frontiers, doi:10.1016/j.gsf.2013.12.005, 2014. [2] Yoshida, M. The role of harzburgite layers in the morphology of subducting plates and the behavior of oceanic crustal layers, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40(20), 5387-5392, doi:10.1002/2013GL057578, 2013. [3] Yoshida, M. and Tajima, F., On the possibility of a folded crustal layer stored in the hydrous mantle transition zone, Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 219, 34-48, doi:10.1016/j.pepi.2013.03.004, 2013.

  13. Signature of slab fragmentation beneath Anatolia from full-waveform tomography (United States)

    Govers, Rob; Fichtner, Andreas


    When oceanic basins close after a long period of convergence and subduction, continental collision and mountain building is a common consequence. Slab segmentation is expected to have been relatively common just prior to closure of other oceans in the geological past, and may explain some of the complexity that geologists have documented in the Tibetan plateau also. We focus on the eastern Mediterranean basin, which is the last remainder of a once hemispherical neo-Tethys ocean that has nearly disappeared due to convergence of the India and Africa/Arabia plates with the Eurasia plate. We present new results of full-waveform tomography that allow us to image both the crust and upper mantle in great detail. We show that a major discontinuity exists between western Anatolia lithosphere and the region to the east of it. Also, the correlation of geological features and the crustal velocities is substantially stronger in the west than in the east. We interpret these observations as the imprint in the overriding plate of fragmentation of the neo-Tethys slab below it. This north-dipping slab may have fragmented following the Eocene (about 35 million years ago) arrival of a continental promontory (Central Anatolian Core Complex) at the subduction contact. From the Eocene through the Miocene, slab roll-back ensued in the Aegean and west Anatolia, while the Cyprus-Bitlis slab subducted horizontally beneath central and east Anatolia. Following collision of Arabia (about 16 million years ago), the Cyprus-Bitlis slab steepened, exposing the crust of central and east Anatolia to high temperature, and resulting in the velocity structure that we image today. Slab fragmentation thus was a major driver of the evolution of the overriding plate as collision unfolded.

  14. Tomographic imaging of the Nazca slab and surrounding mantle in the mantle transition zone beneath the Central Andes (United States)

    Scire, A. C.; Biryol, C. B.; Zandt, G.; Beck, S. L.; Wagner, L. S.; Long, M. D.; Minaya, E.; Tavera, H.


    anomaly is observed in the sub-slab mantle in the MTZ at the northern end of our study region near 10°S. Since both hot thermal anomalies and anomalous hydration of the MTZ would result in decreased seismic velocities, it is not possible to distinguish between these two causes from seismic velocity anomalies alone. Our images of the MTZ beneath the central Andes indicate that the MTZ is not homogeneous and there is along-strike variation in both the structure of the subducting slab and in the sub-slab mantle.

  15. Subduction of European continental crust to 70 km depth imaged in the Western Alps (United States)

    Paul, Anne; Zhao, Liang; Guillot, Stéphane; Solarino, Stefano


    The first conclusive evidence in support of the burial (and exhumation) of continental crust to depths larger than 90 km was provided by the discovery of coesite-bearing metamorphic rocks in the Dora Maira massif of the Western Alps (Chopin, 1984). Since then, even though similar outcrops of exhumed HP/UHP rocks have been recognized in a number of collisional belts, direct seismic evidences for subduction of continental crust in the mantle of the upper plate remain rare. In the Western Alps, the greatest depth ever recorded for the European Moho is 55 km by wide-angle seismic reflection (ECORS-CROP DSS Group, 1989). In an effort to image the European Moho at greater depth, and unravel the very complex lithospheric structure of the W-Alps, we have installed the CIFALPS temporary seismic array across the Southwestern Alps for 14 months (2012-2013). The almost linear array runs from the Rhône valley (France) to the Po plain (Italy) across the Dora Maira massif where exhumed HP/UHP metamorphic rocks of continental origin were first discovered. We used the receiver function processing technique that enhances P-to-S converted waves at velocity boundaries beneath the array. The receiver function records were migrated to depth using 4 different 1-D velocity models to account for the strongest structural changes along the profile. They were then stacked using the classical common-conversion point technique. Beneath the Southeast basin and the external zones, the obtained seismic section displays a clear converted phase on the European Moho, dipping gently to the ENE from ~35 km at the western end of the profile, to ~40 km beneath the Frontal Penninic thrust (FPT). The Moho dip then noticeably increases beneath the internal zones, while the amplitude of the converted phase weakens. The weak European Moho signal may be traced to 70-75 km depth beneath the eastern Dora Maira massif and the westernmost Po plain. At shallower level (20-40 km), we observe a set of strong

  16. The temporal evolution of a subducting plate in the lower mantle (United States)

    Loiselet, C.; Grujic, D.; Braun, J.; Fullsack, P.; Thieulot, C.; Yamato, P.


    It is now widely accepted that some subducting slabs may cross the lower/upper mantle boundary to ground below the 660 km discontinuity. Indeed, geophysical data underline long and narrow traces of fast materials, associated with subducting slabs, from the upper mantle transition zone to mid-mantle depths that are visible beneath North and South America and southern Asia (Li et al, 2008). Furthermore, seismic tomography data (Van der Hilst et al., 1997; Karason and van der Hilst, 2000, 2001) show a large variety of slab geometries and of mantle flow patterns around subducting plate boundaries (e.g. the slab geometry in the lower mantle in the Tonga subduction zone). However, seismic tomography does not elucidate the temporal evolution of the slab behaviour and geometry during its descent through the upper and lower mantle. In this work, we therefore propose to study the deformation of a thin plate (slab) falling in a viscous fluid (mantle) by means of both analogue and numerical modelling. The combination of both analogue and numerical experiments provides important insights into the shape and attitude evolution of subducting slabs. Models bring information into the controls exerted by the rheology of the slab and the mantle and other physical parameters such as the density contrast between the slab and the surrounding mantle, on the rate at which this deformation takes place. We show that in function of a viscosity ratios between the plate and the surrounding fluid, the plate will acquire a characteristic shape. For the isoviscous case, the plate shape tends toward a bubble with long tails: a "jellyfish" form. The time necessary for the plate to acquire this shape is a function of the viscosity and density contrast between the slab and the mantle. To complete our approach, we have developed a semi-analytical model based on the solution of the Hadamar-Rybinski equations for the problem of a dense, yet isoviscous and thus deforming sphere. This model helps to better

  17. Postseismic deformation after Maule earthquake and the mechanical properties of the asthenosphere and subduction interface (United States)

    Klein, Emilie; Fleitout, Luce; Vigny, Christophe


    The interseismic and postseismic deformations preceding and following the large subduction earthquake of Maule (Chile, Mw8.8, 2010) have been closely monitored with GPS from 70 km up to 2000 km away from the trench. Post-seismic deformations exhibit a behavior generally similar to that already observed after the Aceh and Tohoku-Oki earthquakes: vertical uplift is observed on the oceanward side of the volcanic arc. A moderate large scale subsidence is associated with sizeable horizontal deformation in the far-field (500-2000km from the trench). In addition, near-field data (70-200km from the trench) feature a rather complex deformation pattern. A 3D FE code (Zebulon Zset) is used to relate these deformations to the mechanical properties of the mantle and of the subduction interface. The mesh features a spherical shell-portion from the core-mantle boundary to the Earth's surface, extending over more than 60 degrees in latitude and longitude. The overridding and subducting plates are elastic, and the asthenosphere is viscoelastic. We test the presence and shape of two low viscosity areas in the mantle : a low viscosity wedge (LVW) above the subducting plate extending beneath the volcanic arc, and a narrow low viscosity channel (LVCh) along the lower part of the subduction interface, and potentially deeper. All the viscoelastic regions feature a Burgers rheology and we invert for their mechanical properties and geometrical characteristics. Our best fitting models present, (i) an asthenosphere extending down to 270km, with a 'long-term' viscosity of the order of 3.1018Pa.s; (ii) a LVCh along the plate interface extending from depths of 50 to 150 km with viscosities slightly below 1018 Pa.s; (iii) a LVW restricted to the base of the lithosphere below the volcanic arc, with viscosities of a few 1018 Pa.s. Increased horizontal velocities are due to relaxation in both the asthenosphere and the LVCh. A deep channel is necessary to produce enough uplift in the middle

  18. Constraints From the Rock Record, and Complementary Speculation, on Subduction and the Evolution of the Mantle (United States)

    Kelemen, P.


    process igneous or metamorphic enriches ridge and ophiolite peridotites in Pb relative to U and Th (Godard et al Eos 05). Sequestration of such a low U/Pb and Th/Pb component could help explain global Pb isotope systematics. (c) Some residual peridotites recirculate in the mantle washing machine, emerging as depleted peridotites on the seafloor with little igneous crust. (3) What is the fate of partial melts of subducted basaltic eclogite, when they react with mantle peridotite above subduction zones and beneath ocean islands? Variable time scales, permeability and melt viscosity suggest three possible scenarios: (a) much eclogite melt is trapped within a carapace of pyroxenite, and hydrofracture extracts this melt; (b) eclogite melt reacts to form solid pyroxenite, which then re-melts (Sobolev et al Nature 04); (c) eclogite melt reacts to form pyroxene-rich peridotite plus modified melt in equilibrium with olivine (Kelemen et al EPSL 98).

  19. Process Based Explanations for Correlations Between the Structural and Seismic Segmentation of the Cascadia Subduction Wedge (United States)

    Fuller, C. W.; Brandon, M. T.; Willett, S. D.


    between coseismic slip and basins given the universal applicability of basin forming processes. Our models also show that the segmentation with respect to the CR structural high depends on variations in the viscous rheology of the wedge and in the effective flexural rigidity of the subducting plate. Uplift of the CR is due to viscous weakening of the landward region of the wedge, and the style of uplift depends on the viscosity and distribution of ductile material within the wedge. For example, the Olympic Mountains are the highest and deepest exhumed portion of the CR partially due to the viscously weaker felsic rocks comprising the core of the Olympics compared to stronger basaltic CRT underlying much of the remaining CR. The subducting plate beneath the Olympics also has a higher effective flexural rigidity than the rest of the Olympics due to the bend in the subducting plate as the trench trend turns from N to NNW. The increased rigidity provides less flexurally created accommodation space for accreted material leading to an earlier emergence of the CR in the Olympics. The wedge is also segmented with respect to upper plate seismicity in that minor seismic activity is observed most everywhere except within the core of the Olympic Mountains where the CRT has been removed. We hypothesize that the weaker viscous strength of the wedge within the core of the Olympics allows for the deformation to accumulate ductilely and aseismically, while the greater viscous strength of segments dominated by the CRT allows for more brittle and seismogenic deformation.

  20. Subduction zones seen by GOCE gravity gradients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Švarc, Mario; Herceg, Matija; Cammarano, Fabio

    and used as starting point for analysis based on image processing. On obtained maps, locations of known subduction zones were represented with characteristic elongated patterns and cross-sections. Cross sections of well-known subduction zones were used as input patterns for pattern recognition method....... Few pattern recognition methods were tested on all 6 gravity gradient tensor components represented as global scale maps with resolution of 100km (corresponds to the resolution of the GOCE satellite data). By adjusting pattern recognition methods’ features and optimizing various input patterns......, the best method was applied. That is a combination of methods based on SURF (Speeded Up Robust Features) and MSER (Maximally Stable Extremal Regions) algorithms provided in MATLAB’s Computer Vision System Toolbox. Based on 6 gravity gradient components, the global gradient anomaly maps were produced...

  1. Subduction zone earthquakes and stress in slabs (United States)

    Vassiliou, M. S.; Hager, B. H.


    Simple viscous fluid models of subducting slabs are used to explain observations of the distribution of earthquakes as a function of depth and the orientation of stress axes of deep (greater than 300 km) and intermediate (70-300 km) earthquakes. Results suggest the following features in the distribution of earthquakes with depth: (1) an exponential decrease from shallow depths down to 250 to 300 km, (2) a minimum near 250 to 300 km, and (3) a deep peak below 300 km. Many shallow subducting slabs show only the first characteristic, while deeper extending regions tend to show all three features, with the deep peak varying in position and intensity. These data, combined with the results on the stress orientations of various-depth earthquakes, are consistent with the existence of a barrier of some sort at 670-km depth and a uniform viscosity mantle above this barrier.

  2. Mantle flow geometry from ridge to trench beneath the Gorda-Juan de Fuca plate system (United States)

    Martin-Short, Robert; Allen, Richard M.; Bastow, Ian D.; Totten, Eoghan; Richards, Mark A.


    Tectonic plates are underlain by a low-viscosity mantle layer, the asthenosphere. Asthenospheric flow may be induced by the overriding plate or by deeper mantle convection. Shear strain due to this flow can be inferred using the directional dependence of seismic wave speeds--seismic anisotropy. However, isolation of asthenospheric signals is challenging; most seismometers are located on continents, whose complex structure influences the seismic waves en route to the surface. The Cascadia Initiative, an offshore seismometer deployment in the US Pacific Northwest, offers the opportunity to analyse seismic data recorded on simpler oceanic lithosphere. Here we use measurements of seismic anisotropy across the Juan de Fuca and Gorda plates to reconstruct patterns of asthenospheric mantle shear flow from the Juan de Fuca mid-ocean ridge to the Cascadia subduction zone trench. We find that the direction of fastest seismic wave motion rotates with increasing distance from the mid-ocean ridge to become aligned with the direction of motion of the Juan de Fuca Plate, implying that this plate influences mantle flow. In contrast, asthenospheric mantle flow beneath the Gorda Plate does not align with Gorda Plate motion and instead aligns with the neighbouring Pacific Plate motion. These results show that asthenospheric flow beneath the small, slow-moving Gorda Plate is controlled largely by advection due to the much larger, faster-moving Pacific Plate.

  3. Seismic evidence for a cold serpentinized mantle wedge beneath Mount St Helens. (United States)

    Hansen, S M; Schmandt, B; Levander, A; Kiser, E; Vidale, J E; Abers, G A; Creager, K C


    Mount St Helens is the most active volcano within the Cascade arc; however, its location is unusual because it lies 50 km west of the main axis of arc volcanism. Subduction zone thermal models indicate that the down-going slab is decoupled from the overriding mantle wedge beneath the forearc, resulting in a cold mantle wedge that is unlikely to generate melt. Consequently, the forearc location of Mount St Helens raises questions regarding the extent of the cold mantle wedge and the source region of melts that are responsible for volcanism. Here using, high-resolution active-source seismic data, we show that Mount St Helens sits atop a sharp lateral boundary in Moho reflectivity. Weak-to-absent PmP reflections to the west are attributed to serpentinite in the mantle-wedge, which requires a cold hydrated mantle wedge beneath Mount St Helens (<∼700 °C). These results suggest that the melt source region lies east towards Mount Adams.

  4. Sulphide-sulphate stability and melting in subducted sediment and its role in arc mantle redox and chalcophile cycling in space and time (United States)

    Canil, Dante; Fellows, Steven A.


    The redox budget during subduction is tied to the evolution of oxygen and biogeochemical cycles on Earth's surface over time. The sulphide-sulphate couple in subducted crust has significant potential for redox and control on extraction of chalcophile metals from the arc mantle. We derive oxygen buffers for sulphide-sulphate stability ('SSO buffers') using mineral assemblages in subducted crust within the eclogite facies, and examine their disposition relative to the fO2 in the arc mantle along various P-T trajectories for subduction. The fO2 required for sulphide stability in subducted crust passing beneath an arc is shifted by variations in the bulk Ca/(Ca + Mg + Fe) of the subducting crust alone. Hotter slabs and more Fe-rich sediments stabilize sulphide and favour chalcophile sequestration deep into the mantle, whereas colder slabs and calcic sediment will stabilize anhydrite, in some cases at depths of melt generation in the arc mantle (<130 km). The released sulphate on melting potentially increases the fO2 of the arc mantle. We performed melting experiments on three subducted sediment compositions varying in bulk Ca/(Ca + Mg + Fe) from 0.3 to 0.6 at 2.5 GPa and 900-1100 °C to confirm how anhydrite stability can change by orders of magnitude the S, Cu, As, Zn, Mo, Pb, and Sb contents of sediment melts, and their subsequent liberation to the arc mantle. Using Cu/Sc as a proxy for the behaviour of S, the effect of variable subducted sediment composition on sulphide-sulphate stability and release of chalcophiles to the arc mantle is recognizable in volcanic suites from several subduction zones in space and time. The fO2 of the SSO buffers in subducted sediment relative to the arc mantle may have changed with time by shifts in the nature of pelagic sedimentation in the oceans over earth history. Oxidation of arc mantle and the proliferation of porphyry Cu deposits may be latter-day advents in earth history partly due to the rise of planktic calcifiers in the

  5. Lithospheric composition and structure beneath the northern margin of the Qinling orogenic belt--On deep-seated xenoliths in Minggang region of Henan Province

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LU; Fengxiang; WANG; Chunyang; ZHENG; Jianping


    Swarms of mafic-intermediate volcaniclastic bodies occur in the Minggang region of Henan Province, a tectonic boundary between the North Qinling and the North China Block, and emplaced at (178.31±3.77) Ma. These volcanic rocks are subalkaline basaltic andesites and contain abundance of lower crust and mantle xenoliths. Thus this area is an ideal place to reveal the lithospheric composition and structure beneath the northern margin of the Qinling orogenic belt. Geochemical data indicate that these mafic granulites, eclogites and metagabbros have trace elemental and Pb isotopic characteristics very similar to those rocks from the South Qinling Block, representing the lower part of lower crust of the South Qinling which subducted beneath the North China Block. Talcic peridotites represent the overlying mantle wedge materials of the North China Block, which underwent the metasomatism of the acidic melt/fluid released from the underlying lower crust of the South Qinling Block. Deep tectonic model proposed in this paper is that after the Late Paleozoic South Qinling lithosphere subducted northward and decoupled, the upper part of the lithosphere emplaced under the North Qinling and the lower part continuously subducted northward under the North China Block. In Early Mesozoic, the North Qinling Block obducted northward and the North China Block inserted into the Qinling orogenic belt in a crocodile-mouth shape.

  6. Along-strike structure of the Costa Rican convergent margin from seismic a refraction/reflection survey: Evidence for underplating beneath the inner forearc (United States)

    St. Clair, J.; Holbrook, W. S.; Van Avendonk, H. J. A.; Lizarralde, D.


    The convergent margin offshore Costa Rica shows evidence of subsidence due to subduction erosion along the outer forearc and relatively high rates of uplift (˜3-6 mm/yr) along the coast. Recently erupted arc lavas exhibit a low 10Be signal, suggesting that although nearly the entire package of incoming sediments enters the subduction zone, very little of that material is carried directly with the downgoing Cocos plate to the magma generating depths of the mantle wedge. One mechanism that would explain both the low 10Be and the coastal uplift is the underplating of sediments, tectonically eroded material, and seamounts beneath the inner forearc. We present results of a 320 km long, trench-parallel seismic reflection and refraction study of the Costa Rican forearc. The primary observations are (1) margin perpendicular faulting of the basement, (2) thickening of the Cocos plate to the northwest, and (3) two weak bands of reflections in the multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection image with travel times similar to the top of the subducting Cocos plate. The modeled depths to these reflections are consistent with an ˜40 km long, 1-3 km thick region of underplated material ˜15 km beneath some of the highest observed coastal uplift rates in Costa Rica.

  7. The Ocean Boundary Layer beneath Hurricane Frances (United States)

    Dasaro, E. A.; Sanford, T. B.; Terrill, E.; Price, J.


    The upper ocean beneath the peak winds of Hurricane Frances (57 m/s) was measured using several varieties of air-deployed floats as part of CBLAST. A multilayer structure was observed as the boundary layer deepened from 20m to 120m in about 12 hours. Bubbles generated by breaking waves create a 10m thick surface layer with a density anomaly, due to the bubbles, of about 1 kg/m3. This acts to lubricate the near surface layer. A turbulent boundary layer extends beneath this to about 40 m depth. This is characterized by large turbulent eddies spanning the boundary layer. A stratified boundary layer grows beneath this reaching 120m depth. This is characterized by a gradient Richardson number of 1/4, which is maintained by strong inertial currents generated by the hurricane, and smaller turbulent eddies driven by the shear instead of the wind and waves. There is little evidence of mixing beneath this layer. Heat budgets reveal the boundary layer to be nearly one dimensional through much of the deepening, with horizontal and vertical heat advection becoming important only after the storm had passed. Turbulent kinetic energy measurements support the idea of reduced surface drag at high wind speeds. The PWP model correctly predicts the degree of mixed layer deepening if the surface drag is reduced at high wind speed. Overall, the greatest uncertainty in understanding the ocean boundary layer at these extreme wind speeds is a characterization of the near- surface processes which govern the air-sea fluxes and surface wave properties.

  8. Deflection rheoevolution of lithosphere under subduction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    韩玉英; 王维襄


    Along the continental margin, the tectonic system consisting of trench, island arc, back arc basin and outer rise is often known as a convergent transitional belt between the oceanic lithosphere and the continental litho-sphere. The occurrence, development and activity of trench and outer rise bear closely on the underthrusting process of the oceanic lithosphere. A generalized analytical theory of deflection rheoevolution of lithosphere under subduction is established, and solutions with universal significance have been obtained.

  9. Determination of Nazca slab geometry and state of stress beneath the southern Peru and northern Bolivia (United States)

    Kumar, A.; Wagner, L. S.; Beck, S. L.; Young, B. E.; Zandt, G.; Long, M. D.; Tavera, H.; Minaya, E.


    Subduction of the Nazca plate in the north central Andes beneath southern Peru and northern Bolivia is of prime importance because of the role it plays in the evolution of topographic features since the late Eocene (~40 Ma). Previous studies based on slab event locations constrained only with teleseismic data defined a broad area of flat slab subduction in central and southern Peru, which transitions to a normally dipping slab beneath the northernmost Altiplano Plateau. We present earthquake locations and focal mechanisms using data from two temporary arrays: the network of 50 broadband seismic stations that were part of the NSF-Continental Dynamics-funded project 'CAUGHT' (Central Andean Uplift and the Geodynamics of High Topography) and the 40 station NSF- Geophysics funded 'PULSE' array (PerU Lithosphere and Slab Experiment). Our earthquake locations provide new information about the geometry of subducting Nazca slab between 13°S to 18°S. A significant clustering of intermediate depth earthquakes at ~15.5°S and 18°S suggests strong and localized release of tectonic stress in the slab perhaps due to bending and unbending. There are not enough intra-slab events at depth greater than 100 km to constrain the flat slab width north of 14°S. Our analyses indicate that the flat slab is at least 10 to 12 km shallower than the previous estimates (e.g. Cahill and Isacks, 1992; Ramos, 2009). Focal mechanisms and stress axis orientation of slab events at ~15.5°S indicate down-dip extension, where the dip changes from subhorizontal to steeply dipping slab. The continuity in the trend of stress suggests that the slab is deformed but not torn where it transitions from flat to steeply dipping. Data from local slab events will eventually be incorporated into a local tomographic body wave inversion to better constrain the velocity structure of the mantle lithosphere and asthenosphere below the Altiplano. This in turn will provide the valuable information on the process

  10. Regional differences in subduction ground motions

    CERN Document Server

    Beauval, Céline; Abrahamson, N; Theodulidis, N; Delavaud, E; Rodriguez, L; Scherbaum, F; Haendel, A


    A few ground-motion prediction models have been published in the last years, for predicting ground motions produced by interface and intraslab earthquakes. When one must carry out a probabilistic seismic hazard analysis in a region including a subduction zone, GMPEs must be selected to feed a logic tree. In the present study, the aim is to identify which models provide the best fit to the dataset M6+, global or local models. The subduction regions considered are Japan, Taiwan, Central and South America, and Greece. Most of the data comes from the database built to develop the new BCHydro subduction global GMPE (Abrahamson et al., submitted). We show that this model is among best-fitting models in all cases, followed closely by Zhao et al. (2006), whereas the local Lin and Lee (2008) is well predicting the data in Taiwan and also in Greece. The Scherbaum et al. (2009) LLH method prove to be efficient in providing one number quantifying the overall fit, but additional analysis on the between-event and within-ev...

  11. Earth Sphericity Effects on Subduction Morphology (United States)

    Morra, G.; Chatelain, P.; Tackley, P.; Koumoutsakos, P.


    We present here the first application in Geodynamics of a Multipole accelerated Boundary Element Method (FMM- BEM) for Stokes Flow. The approach offers the advantage of a reduced number of computational elements and linear scaling with the problem size. We show that this numerical mehod can be fruitfully applied to the simulation of several geodynamic systems at the planetary scale in spheical coordinates and we suggest a general appraoch for modeling combined mantle convection and plate tectonics. The potentialities of the approach are shown investigating the effect played by Earth sphericity on the subduction of a very wide oceanic lithosphere , comparing the morphology of the subducted lithosphere in a spherical and in flat setting. The results show a striking difference between the two models: while the slab on a "flat Earth" shows slight undulation, the same subducting plate on a spherical Earth-like setting presents a distinct folding below the trench far from the edges, with wavelength of (1000km-2000km) as Pacific trenches.

  12. Volcanism and Subduction: The Kamchatka Region (United States)

    Eichelberger, John; Gordeev, Evgenii; Izbekov, Pavel; Kasahara, Minoru; Lees, Jonathan

    The Kamchatka Peninsula and contiguous North Pacific Rim is among the most active regions in the world. Kamchatka itself contains 29 active volcanoes, 4 now in a state of semi-continuous eruption, and I has experienced 14 magnitude 7 or greater earthquakes since accurate recording began in 1962. At its heart is the uniquely acute subduction cusp where the Kamchatka and Aleutian Arcs and Emperor Seamount Chain meet. Volcanism and Subduction covers coupled magmatism and tectonics in this spectacular region, where the torn North Pacific slab dives into hot mantle. Senior Russian and American authors grapple with the dynamics of the cusp with perspectives from the west and east of it, respectively, while careful tephrostratigraphy yields a remarkably precise record of behavior of storied volcanoes such as Kliuchevskoi and Shiveluch. Towards the south, Japanese researchers elucidate subduction earthquake processes with unprecedented geodetic resolution. Looking eastward, new insights on caldera formation, monitoring, and magma ascent are presented for the Aleutians. This is one of the first books of its kind printed in the English language. Students and scientists beginning research in the region will find in this book a useful context and introduction to the region's scientific leaders. Others who wish to apply lessons learned in the North Pacific to their areas of interest will find the volume a valuable reference.

  13. Receiver function structures beneath the deep large faults in the northeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau (United States)

    Shen, Xuzhang; Zhou, Yuanze; Zhang, YuanSheng; Mei, Xiuping; Guo, Xiao; Liu, Xuzhou; Qin, Manzhong; Wei, Congxin; Li, Cuiqin


    Using the teleseismic P- and S-wave receiver functions of the dense linear temporary seismic array, the crust and uppermost mantle structures beneath the deep large faults in the northeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau were imaged. The images of the first converted wave and the multiples indicated that the North Fault Zone of West Qinling (NWQ) Mountain and Diebu-Lueyang (DBL) faults cut the Mohorovicic (Moho) Discontinuity and cause an obvious difference feature for the Moho in the two sides of the faults. The higher Vp/Vs ratio and lower velocity layer is found beneath the west portion of the array near the Tibetan Plateau, which implies a lower crust channel flow coming from the Tibetan Plateau. The weak Moho and higher Vp/Vs ratio beneath the eastern portion of the array near the Ordos suggest the upwelling of the hot mantle material. The results also indicate an obvious deformation in the upper crust with the lower Vp/Vs ratio beneath the middle of the array. Such upper crust deformation is closely related to the topography of the surface; therefore, we deduce that the deformation of the brittle upper crust is accompanied by the formation of the local topography during the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau, which is also the primary reason for the active seismicity in the study region. The deformation of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) can also be associated with the formation of the diapir caused by the upwelling hot materials in the upper mantle due to the uprising of the thrusting plate caused by the subduction of the India Plate. The existence of the lower crust channel flow, the crust shortening, and the mantle diapir in the local region simultaneously implies that the elevation and formation of the Tibetan Plateau cannot be explained with a single model. The higher resolution results for the crust and the mantle, especially beneath the block boundary region, are necessary to construct the completed geodynamic model to understand the formation

  14. Structural and stratigraphic controls on the origin and tectonic history of a subducted continental margin, Oman (United States)

    Warren, C. J.; Miller, J. McL.


    Eclogites and blueschists exposed in Saih Hatat, Oman, record the subduction and exhumation of continental crustal material beneath the Cretaceous Semail Ophiolite during ophiolite obduction. The eclogite-bearing lower plate, originally part of Oman's distal continental margin, is exposed in two tectonic windows through the less metamorphosed upper plate by a previously mapped low angle, high strain, décollement structure. A major tectonic break, currently poorly exposed, records the juxtaposition of the highest pressure eclogites and garnet blueschists against lower pressure epidote-blueschists. The subsequent exhumation of the entire lower plate to mid crustal levels is marked by a pervasive shearing event associated with a regional greenschist facies overprint. The décollement truncates structures and the metamorphic field gradient in the lower plate, but does not significantly truncate structures or stratigraphy in the upper plate. It is not responsible for the exhumation of the high pressure rocks to mid-crustal levels. Most of the displacement across this structure was accommodated during continuing convergence after the subduction system had ceased to be active, and post ophiolite emplacement onto the platform carbonate sequences. A revised tectonic model is presented which accounts for the structural, geochronological and metamorphic observations.

  15. P wave anisotropic tomography of the Nankai subduction zone in Southwest Japan (United States)

    Wang, Jian; Zhao, Dapeng


    The active subduction of the young Philippine Sea (PHS) plate and the old Pacific plate has resulted in significant seismic heterogeneity and anisotropy in Southwest (SW) Japan. In this work we determined a detailed 3-D P wave anisotropic tomography of the crust and upper mantle beneath SW Japan using ˜540,000 P wave arrival times from 5,249 local earthquakes recorded by 1095 stations. The PHS slab is imaged clearly as a high-velocity (high-V) anomaly which exhibits considerable lateral variations. Significant low-velocity (low-V) anomalies are revealed above and below the PHS slab. The low-V anomalies above the PHS slab may reflect the upwelling flow in the mantle wedge and the PHS slab dehydration, and they form the source zone of the arc volcanoes in SW Japan. The low-V zones under the PHS slab may reflect the upwelling flow in the big mantle wedge above the Pacific slab. The anisotropy in the crust and upper mantle is complex. In Kyushu, the P wave fast velocity direction (FVD) is generally trench-normal in the mantle wedge under the back-arc, which is consistent with the corner flow driven by the PHS slab subduction. The FVD is trench-parallel in the subducting PHS slab under Kyushu. We think that the intraslab seismicity is a potential indicator to the slab anisotropy. That is, the PHS slab with seismicity has kept its original fossil anisotropy formed at the mid-ocean ridge, while the aseismic PHS slab has reproduced the anisotropy according to its current deformation.

  16. From transpressional to transtensional tectonics in Northern Central America controlled by Cocos - Caribbean subduction coupling change (United States)

    Alonso-Henar, Jorge; Alvarez-Gomez, José Antonio; Jesús Martinez-Diaz, José


    The Central American Volcanic Arc (CAVA) is located at the western margin of the Caribbean plate, over the Chortís Block, spanning from Guatemala to Costa Rica. The CAVA is associated to the subduction of the Cocos plate under the Caribbean plate at the Middle America Trench. Our study is focused in the Salvadorian CAVA segment, which is tectonically characterized by the presence of the El Salvador Fault Zone (ESFZ), part of the western boundary of a major block forming the Caribbean plate (the Chortis Block). The structural evolution of the western boundary of the Chortis Block, particularly in the CAVA crossing El Salvador remains unknown. We have done a kinematic analysis from seismic and fault slip data and combined our results with a review of regional previous studies. This approach allowed us to constrain the tectonic evolution and the forces that control the deformation in northern Central America. Along the active volcanic arc we identified active transtensional deformation. On the other hand, we have identified two deformation phases in the back arc region: A first one of transpressional wrenching close to simple shearing (Miocene); and a second one characterized by almost E-W extension. Our results reveal a change from transpressional to transtensional shearing coeval with a migration of the volcanism towards the trench in Late Miocene times. This strain change could be related with a coupled to decoupled transition on the Cocos - Caribbean subduction interface, which could be related to a slab roll-back of the Cocos Plate beneath the Chortis Block. The combination of different degrees of coupling on the subduction interface, together with a constant relative eastward drift of the Caribbean Plate, control the deformation style along the western boundary of the Chortis Block.

  17. Subduction and collision processes in the Central Andes constrained by converted seismic phases. (United States)

    Yuan, X; Sobolev, S V; Kind, R; Oncken, O; Bock, G; Asch, G; Schurr, B; Graeber, F; Rudloff, A; Hanka, W; Wylegalla, K; Tibi, R; Haberland, C; Rietbrock, A; Giese, P; Wigger, P; Röwer, P; Zandt, G; Beck, S; Wallace, T; Pardo, M; Comte, D

    The Central Andes are the Earth's highest mountain belt formed by ocean-continent collision. Most of this uplift is thought to have occurred in the past 20 Myr, owing mainly to thickening of the continental crust, dominated by tectonic shortening. Here we use P-to-S (compressional-to-shear) converted teleseismic waves observed on several temporary networks in the Central Andes to image the deep structure associated with these tectonic processes. We find that the Moho (the Mohorovicić discontinuity--generally thought to separate crust from mantle) ranges from a depth of 75 km under the Altiplano plateau to 50 km beneath the 4-km-high Puna plateau. This relatively thin crust below such a high-elevation region indicates that thinning of the lithospheric mantle may have contributed to the uplift of the Puna plateau. We have also imaged the subducted crust of the Nazca oceanic plate down to 120 km depth, where it becomes invisible to converted teleseismic waves, probably owing to completion of the gabbro-eclogite transformation; this is direct evidence for the presence of kinetically delayed metamorphic reactions in subducting plates. Most of the intermediate-depth seismicity in the subducting plate stops at 120 km depth as well, suggesting a relation with this transformation. We see an intracrustal low-velocity zone, 10-20 km thick, below the entire Altiplano and Puna plateaux, which we interpret as a zone of continuing metamorphism and partial melting that decouples upper-crustal imbrication from lower-crustal thickening.

  18. Carbonation of subduction-zone serpentinite (high-pressure ophicarbonate; Ligurian Western Alps) and implications for the deep carbon cycling (United States)

    Scambelluri, Marco; Bebout, Gray E.; Belmonte, Donato; Gilio, Mattia; Campomenosi, Nicola; Collins, Nathan; Crispini, Laura


    Much of the long-term carbon cycle in solid earth occurs in subduction zones, where processes of devolatilization, partial melting of carbonated rocks, and dissolution of carbonate minerals lead to the return of CO2 to the atmosphere via volcanic degassing. Release of COH fluids from hydrous and carbonate minerals influences C recycling and magmatism at subduction zones. Contradictory interpretations exist regarding the retention/storage of C in subducting plates and in the forearc to subarc mantle. Several lines of evidence indicate mobility of C, of uncertain magnitude, in forearcs. A poorly constrained fraction of the 40-115 Mt/yr of C initially subducted is released into fluids (by decarbonation and/or carbonate dissolution) and 18-43 Mt/yr is returned at arc volcanoes. Current estimates suggest the amount of C released into subduction fluids is greater than that degassed at arc volcanoes: the imbalance could reflect C subduction into the deeper mantle, beyond subarc regions, or storage of C in forearc/subarc reservoirs. We examine the fate of C in plate-interface ultramafic rocks, and by analogy serpentinized mantle wedge, via study of fluid-rock evolution of marble and variably carbonated serpentinite in the Ligurian Alps. Based on petrography, major and trace element concentrations, and carbonate C and O isotope compositions, we demonstrate that serpentinite dehydration at 2-2.5 GPa, 550 °C released aqueous fluids triggering breakdown of dolomite in nearby marbles, thus releasing C into fluids. Carbonate + olivine veins document flow of COH fluids and that the interaction of these COH fluids with serpentinite led to the formation of high-P carbonated ultramafic-rock domains (high-P ophicarbonates). We estimate that this could result in the retention of ∼0.5-2.0 Mt C/yr in such rocks along subduction interfaces. As another means of C storage, 1 to 3 km-thick layers of serpentinized forearc mantle wedge containing 50 modal % dolomite could sequester 1.62 to

  19. New and Evolving Seismic Images of the Central Andes and Subducting Nazca Slab: 20 Years of Portable Seismology Results (United States)

    Beck, S. L.


    Beno Gutenberg first identified a seismic low velocity zone in the upper mantle that we now refer to as the asthenosphere that is still the focus of many studies in active tectonic regions. The upper-most mantle is very heterogeneous and occupies the depth range where much of the tectonic action occurs especially in subduction zones and convergent margins. The central South American convergent margin is the result of the subduction of the Nazca Plate beneath the South American Plate and includes the Andes, one of the largest actively growing mountain ranges on Earth. The South American subduction zone has two regions of "flat" subduction in Peru and central Chile and Argentina separated by a segment of "normal" subduction and an active magmatic arc. The central Andean plateau has an average elevation of 3-4 km and some of the thickest crust on Earth with deformation reaching ~800 km inland. This active margin is characterized by along-strike variations in magmatism, upper crustal shortening, crustal thickness, and slab geometry that make it an ideal region to study the relationship between the subducting slab, the mantle wedge, and the overriding plate. After 20 years of portable seismic deployments in the Central Andes seismologists have generated unprecedented seismic images spanning ~3000 km of the Andean lithosphere, the subducting Nazca slab, and the surrounding mantle. Seismic travel-time, ambient noise and earthquake surface-wave tomography, receiver function imaging, and joint receiver function - surface wave dispersion inversions have produced along strike images of the Central Andes from the surface to a depth of ~700 km. These new images were made possible by PI-driven portable broadband seismic deployments and data sharing by many international groups. I will highlight images of along-strike variations in crustal properties and thickness, mantle lithospheric structure, and slab geometry. These seismic images allow us to more completely evaluate the role

  20. Reconciling evidence for Tethyan intra-oceanic subduction and a two-stage collision between India and Eurasia (United States)

    Gibbons, Ana D.; Zahirovic, Sabin; Dietmar Müller, R.; Whittaker, Joanne M.; Yatheesh, Vadakkeyakath


    We present a plate tectonic model for the India-Eurasia collision that includes a time-dependent network of evolving plate boundaries with synthetic plates constructed for now-subducted Tethyan ocean floor, including back-arc basins that formed on the southern Eurasian margin. Southern Eurasia and Southeast Asia are riddled with dismembered oceanic arcs indicating long-lived intra-oceanic subduction. This intra-oceanic subduction may have extended further west into the India-Eurasia convergence zone in the NeoTethys, which was consumed during Greater India's northward trajectory towards Eurasia from the Early Cretaceous. Fragments of obducted oceanic crust within the Himalayan Yarlung-Tsangpo Suture Zone, between India and Eurasia, cluster around two age groups, the Late Jurassic and mid Cretaceous (Barremian-Aptian). The adakitic, boninitic and MORB-affinities of the various ophiolites along strike suggest that there was at least one generation of intra-oceanic subduction, whose plate boundary configuration remains uncertain, though it is best preserved in the Kohistan-Ladakh Arc. Paleomagnetic and magmatic characterisation studies from the ophiolites suggest that the intra-oceanic arc was as far south as the equator during the Early Cretaceous before subduction resumed further north beneath the southern Eurasian margin (Lhasa terrane) to consume the back-arc basin. During ~80-65 Ma, a hiatus in subduction-related magmatism along the southern Lhasa terrane may indicate the approach of the back-arc spreading centre towards the active Andean-style margin. We incorporate these observations into a regional, self-consistent plate tectonic model for the dispersal of East Gondwana, simultaneously considering geophysical data and seafloor spreading histories from abyssal plains offshore West Australia and East Antarctica, including Jurassic seafloor age data from offshore NW Australia that limits northern Greater India to a maximum of ~1000 km. This Greater India collided

  1. Seismic velocity variations beneath central Mongolia: Evidence for upper mantle plumes? (United States)

    Zhang, Fengxue; Wu, Qingju; Grand, Stephen P.; Li, Yonghua; Gao, Mengtan; Demberel, Sodnomsambuu; Ulziibat, Munkhuu; Sukhbaatar, Usnikh


    Central Mongolia is marked by wide spread recent volcanism as well as significant topographic relief even though it is far from any plate tectonic boundaries. The cause of the recent magmatism and topography remains uncertain partially because little is known of the underlying mantle seismic structure due to the lack of seismic instrumentation in the region. From August 2011 through August 2013, 69 broadband seismic stations were deployed in central Mongolia. Teleseismic traveltime residuals were measured using waveform correlation and were inverted to image upper mantle P and S velocity variations. Significant lateral variations in seismic velocity are imaged in the deep upper mantle (100 to 800 km depth). Most significant are two continuous slow anomalies from the deep upper mantle to near the surface. One slow feature has been imaged previously and may be a zone of deep upwelling bringing warm mantle to beneath the Hangay Dome resulting in uplift and magmatism including the active Khanuy Gol and Middle Gobi volcanoes. The second, deep low velocity anomaly is seen in the east from 800 to 150 km depth. The anomaly ends beneath the Gobi Desert that is found to have fast shallow mantle indicating a relatively thick lithosphere. We interpret the second deep slow anomaly as a mantle upwelling that is deflected by the thick Gobi Desert lithosphere to surrounding regions such as the Hentay Mountains to the north. The upwellings are a means of feeding warmer than normal asthenospheric mantle over a widely distributed region beneath Mongolia resulting in distributed volcanic activity and uplift. There is no indication that the upwellings are rooted in the deep lower mantle i.e. classic plumes. We speculate the upwellings may be related to deep subduction of the Pacific and Indian plates and are thus plumes anchored in the upper mantle.

  2. Magnesium Isotopic Composition of Subducting Marine Sediments (United States)

    Hu, Y.; Teng, F. Z.; Plank, T. A.; Huang, K. J.


    Subducted marine sediments have recently been called upon to explain the heterogeneous Mg isotopic composition (δ26Mg, ‰) found in mantle wehrlites (-0.39 to +0.09 [1]) in the context of a homogeneous mantle (-0.25 ± 0.07 [2]). However, no systematic measurements of δ26Mg on marine sediments are currently available to provide direct support to this model. To characterize the Mg inputs to global subduction zones, we measured δ26Mg data for a total of 90 marine sediments collected from 12 drill sites outboard of the world's major subduction zones. These sediments span a 1.73‰ range in δ26Mg. The detritus-dominated sediments have δ26Mg (-0.59 to +0.53) comparable to those of weathered materials on continents (e.g. -0.52 to +0.92 [3]), while the calcareous oozes yield δ26Mg (as light as -1.20) more similar to the seawater value (-0.83 [4]). The negative correlation between δ26Mg and CaO/Al2O3 in these sediments indicates the primary control of mineralogy over the Mg isotopic distribution among different sediment types, as carbonates are enriched in light Mg isotopes (-5.10 to -0.40 [5]) whereas clay-rich weathering residues generally have heavier δ26Mg (e.g. up to +0.65 in saprolite [6]). In addition, chemical weathering and grain-size sorting drive sediments to a heavier δ26Mg, as indicated by the broad positive trends between δ26Mg with CIA (Chemical Index of Alteration [7]) and Al2O3/SiO2, respectively. Collectively, the arc systems sampled in this study represent ~30% of global arc length and the extrapolated global Mg flux of subducting marine sediments accounts for ~9% of the yearly Mg riverine input with a flux-weighted average δ26Mg at -0.26. Subduction of these heterogeneous sediments may not cause significant mantle heterogeneity on a global scale, but the highly variable Mg fluxes and δ26Mg of sediments delivered to different trenches are capable of producing local mantle variations. Volcanic rocks sourced from these mantle domains are thus

  3. Subduction of oceanic plate irregularities and seismicity distribution along the Mexican Subduction Zone (United States)

    Manea, Marina; Constantin Manea, Vlad; Gerya, Taras; Wong, Raul-Valenzuela; Radulian, Mircea


    It is known that oceanic plates morphology is not a simple one, but rather complicated by a series of irregularities as seamounts, fracture zones and mid-ocean ridges. These features present on the oceanic floor form part of the fabric of oceanic crust, and once formed they move together with the oceanic plates until eventually enter a subduction zone. Offshore Mexico the oceanic Cocos plate seafloor is littered with relatively small but numerous seamounts and seamount chains, and also large fracture zones. In this study we investigate the relationship between these oceanic irregularities located in the vicinity of the trench in Mexico and the distribution of subduction seismicity, including the rupture history of large subduction zone earthquakes. Since the interseismic locking degree is influenced by the rheological properties of crustal and mantle rocks, any variations along strike will result in significant changes in seismic behavior due to a change in frictional stability. Our preliminary study shows a direct relationship between the presence of seamounts chains on the incoming oceanic plate and the subduction seismicity distribution. We also found a clear relationship between the subduction of the Tehuantepec fracture zone (TFZ) and the low seismic activity in the region where this fracture zone intersects the trench. This region is also long term conspicuously quiet and considered a seismic gap where no significant large earthquake has occurred in more than 100 years. Using high-resolution three-dimensional coupled petrological-thermomechanical numerical simulations specifically tailored for the subduction of the Cocos plate in the region of TFZ we show that the weakened serpentinized fracture zone is partially scraped out in the forearc region because of its low strength and positive buoyancy. The presence of serpentinite in the fore arc apparently lowers the degree of interseismic locking, producing a seismic gap in southern Mexico.

  4. Mantle Subduction and Uplift of Intracontinental Mountains: A Case Study from the Chinese Tianshan Mountains within Eurasia. (United States)

    Li, Jinyi; Zhang, Jin; Zhao, Xixi; Jiang, Mei; Li, Yaping; Zhu, Zhixin; Feng, Qianwen; Wang, Lijia; Sun, Guihua; Liu, Jianfeng; Yang, Tiannan


    The driving mechanism that is responsible for the uplift of intracontinental mountains has puzzled geologists for decades. This study addresses this issue by using receiver function images across the Chinese Tianshan Mountains and available data from both deep seismic profiles and surface structural deformation. The near-surface structural deformation shows that the Tianshan crust experienced strong shortening during the Cenozoic. The receiver function image across the Tianshan Mountains reveals that the lithosphere of the Junggar Basin to the north became uncoupled along the Moho, and the mantle below the Moho subducted southwards beneath the northern part of the Tianshan Mountains, thereby thickening the overlying crust. Similar deep structures, however, are not observed under the Tarim Basin and the adjacent southern Tianshan Mountains. This difference in the deep structures correlates with geomorphological features in the region. Thus, a new model of mantle subduction, herein termed M-type subduction, is proposed for the mountain-building processes in intracontinental compressional settings. The available geomorphological, geological and seismic data in the literatures show that this model is probably suitable for other high, linear mountains within the continent.

  5. Multichannel Seismic Imaging of the Rivera Plate Subduction at the Seismogenic Jalisco Block Area (Western Mexican Margin) (United States)

    Bartolome, Rafael; Górriz, Estefanía; Dañobeitia, Juanjo; Cordoba, Diego; Martí, David; Cameselle, Alejandra L.; Núñez-Cornú, Francisco; Bandy, William L.; Mortera-Gutiérrez, Carlos A.; Nuñez, Diana; Castellón, Arturo; Alonso, Jose Luis


    During the TSUJAL marine geophysical survey, conducted in February and March 2014, Spanish, Mexican and British scientists and technicians explored the western margin of Mexico, considered one of the most active seismic zones in America. This work aims to characterize the internal structure of the subduction zone of the Rivera plate beneath the North American plate in the offshore part of the Jalisco Block, to link the geodynamic and the recent tectonic deformation occurring there with the possible generation of tsunamis and earthquakes. For this purpose, it has been carried out acquisition, processing and geological interpretation of a multichannel seismic reflection profile running perpendicular to the margin. Crustal images show an oceanic domain, dominated by subduction-accretion along the lower slope of the margin with a subparallel sediment thickness of up to 1.6 s two-way travel time (approx. 2 km) in the Middle American Trench. Further, from these data the region appears to be prone to giant earthquake production. The top of the oceanic crust (intraplate reflector) is very well imaged. It is almost continuous along the profile with a gentle dip (continental crust presents a well-developed accretionary prism consisting of highly deformed sediments with prominent slumping towards the trench that may be the result of past tsunamis. Also, a bottom simulating reflector (BSR) is identified in the first half a second (twtt) of the section. High amplitude reflections at around 7-8 s twtt clearly image a discontinuous Moho, defining a very gentle dipping subduction plane.

  6. Intermediate-depth seismicity in northern Colombia and western Venezuela and its relationship to Caribbean plate subduction (United States)

    Malavé, Gustavo; SuáRez, Gerardo


    The recent intermediate-depth seismicity in northern Colombia and western Venezuela was analyzed to understand its origin and its presumed relationship to a subducted lithospheric slab in northwestern South America. The area included in this study is located to the north and east of the Bucaramanga nest, which is a particular region beneath Bucaramanga, northern Colombia, that presents a high concentration of intermediate-depth earthquakes. To the north of the nest, the seismicity of the area is sparse, and most of the events are of low magnitude (mb≤5.l). Thus only 23 earthquakes were large enough to be investigated using teleseismic data. The focal parameters of the two largest events (mb≥5.4) were obtained from the formal inversion of long-period body waves recorded at teleseismic distances. The focal mechanisms of 10 more events were determined from first-motion data. In total, the focal mechanisms of 12 events were determined from both the inversion of P and S H waveforms and the polarities of first arrivals. For the smaller earthquakes, the focal depths were calculated by measuring the observed pP-P interval, time and comparing it to the theoretical travel time tables. The isodepth curves reflect a slab striking in a NNE-SSW direction and dipping approximately at 25°-32° to the southeast. This observation is corroborated by the direction and plunge of the T axes of the focal mechanisms, which are generally parallel to the gradient of the slab defined by the spatial distribution of hypocenters. These results indicate that the intermediate-depth earthquakes in western Venezuela and northern Colombia are apparently related to the presence of a continuous lithospheric slab subducted near the northern coast of Colombia. The two largest earthquakes, located at a significant distance from the Bucaramanga nest, present similar fault plane solutions. Moreover, they also agree with those of the two largest earthquakes reported inside the nest. This similarity

  7. Geodetic And Seismic Signatures of Episodic Tremor And Slip Beneath Vancouver Island, British Columbia. (United States)

    Dragert, H.; Rogers, G.; Wang, K.


    Slip events with an average duration of about 10 days and effective total slip displacements of several centimetres have been detected on the deeper (25 to 45 km) part of the northern Cascadia subduction zone plate interface by a network of continuously recording Global Positioning System (GPS) sites. The slip events occur down-dip from the currently locked, seismogenic portion of the plate interface, and, for the geographic region around Victoria, British Columbia, repeat at 13 to 16 month intervals. These episodes of slip are accompanied by distinct, low frequency, non-earthquake tremors, similar to those reported in the forearc region of southern Japan, prompting the naming of this phenomenon as Episodic Tremor and Slip (ETS). The tremor-like seismic signals have now been identified beneath most of Vancouver Island. For northern Vancouver Island, where plate convergence is at a much slower rate, return periods of about 14 months were also observed for significant (duration exceeding 7 days) tremor sequences, but about 6 months out of phase with southern Vancouver Island. Slip associated with northern island tremors has not been resolved clearly enough to allow modeling because of sparse GPS coverage, but 3 to 4 mm surface displacements coincident with the most recent tremors were observed at two newer GPS stations located on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. The total amount of tremor activity, and by inference slip activity, appears to be the same in northern and southern Vancouver Island and therefore independent of plate convergence rate. ETS activity is observed to migrate along the strike of the subduction zone at speeds of 5 to 15 km/day and this migration does not appear to be impeded by the Nootka Fault Zone that marks the change in subduction rates. It is strongly suspected that the youth of the subducting plate and the release of fluids from slab dehydration are key factors contributing to the episodic, semi-brittle behaviour of the ETS zone. It

  8. Mantle enrichment by volatiles as the Nazca plate subducts beneath the Payenia backarc of the Sourthern Volcanic Zone, Argentina

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brandt, Frederik Ejvang

    , minerals, fluid and melt inclusions from the Payenia backarc province of the Andean Southern Volcanic Zone. Major emphasis has been on olivine hosted melt inclusions. The study gives evidence for the role of fluids in the metasomatism of the backarc mantle, and outlines the trend of the variation...

  9. Analysis of groundwater flow beneath ice sheets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boulton, G. S.; Zatsepin, S.; Maillot, B. [Univ. of Edinburgh (United Kingdom). Dept. of Geology and Geophysics


    The large-scale pattern of subglacial groundwater flow beneath European ice sheets was analysed in a previous report. It was based on a two-dimensional flowline model. In this report, the analysis is extended to three dimensions by exploring the interactions between groundwater and tunnel flow. A theory is developed which suggests that the large-scale geometry of the hydraulic system beneath an ice sheet is a coupled, self-organising system. In this system the pressure distribution along tunnels is a function of discharge derived from basal meltwater delivered to tunnels by groundwater flow, and the pressure along tunnels itself sets the base pressure which determines the geometry of catchments and flow towards the tunnel. The large-scale geometry of tunnel distribution is a product of the pattern of basal meltwater production and the transmissive properties of the bed. The tunnel discharge from the ice margin of the glacier, its seasonal fluctuation and the sedimentary characteristics of eskers are largely determined by the discharge of surface meltwater which penetrates to the bed in the terminal zone. The theory explains many of the characteristics of esker systems and can account for tunnel valleys. It is concluded that the large-scale hydraulic regime beneath ice sheets is largely a consequence of groundwater/tunnel flow interactions and that it is essential similar to non-glacial hydraulic regimes. Experimental data from an Icelandic glacier, which demonstrates measured relationships between subglacial tunnel flow and groundwater flow during the transition from summer to winter seasons for a modern glacier, and which support the general conclusions of the theory is summarised in an appendix.

  10. Segmented Coastal Uplift Along an Erosional Subduction Margin, Northern Hikurangi Fore Arc, North Island, New Zealand (United States)

    Marshall, J. S.; Litchfield, N. J.; Berryman, K. R.; Clark, K.; Cochran, U. A.


    The Hikurangi subduction margin along North Island, New Zealand accommodates oblique convergence of the Pacific plate westward beneath the Australian plate at 45 mm/yr. Along the southern margin, frontal accretion and pronounced forearc uplift occur inboard of the subducting Hikurangi plateau. In the north, subduction erosion and segmented uplift occur inboard of subducting seamounts along the plateau flank. Prior workers have established a robust foundation for coastal terrace studies along the northern Hikurangi margin (e.g., Berryman et al., 1989; Ota et al., 1992; Berryman, 1993; Wilson et al., 2006, 2007; Clark et al., 2010; Litchfield et al, 2007, 2010). New field observations presented here provide additional constraints on terrace uplift along this erosional subduction margin. Along Raukumara Peninsula (north of Poverty Bay), multiple Holocene to late Pleistocene marine and fluvial terraces occur at varying elevations, recording differential uplift across six coastal segments from Gisborne to East Cape (Ota et al., 1992; Wilson et al., 2007). In this study, two to three late Pleistocene terraces were observed on rocky headlands within the first segment (Gisborne to Whangara) at elevations of 80-185 m above msl. Preliminary correlation with OIS 5a-e sea level high stands (80-125 ka) indicates net uplift at 1.2-1.5 m/ky. Uplifted Holocene wavecut platforms occur in steps along the seaward edge of these terraces, consistent with coseismic uplift. At Makorori Point, an uplifted bench occurs along the modern seacliff at 2.3 m above the cliff base. A fossil gastropod shell from paleo-beach gravels on the platform inner edge yielded a calibrated radiocarbon age of 1680 ×110 ybp. At Turihaua Point, a ≥1 m thick deposit of Holocene beach sands overlies an uplifted wavecut platform at ≥1.5 m above mean sea level. Carbonate-cemented beachrock at the base of the sand deposit yields a calibrated radiocarbon age of 2990 ×70 ybp. At Mahia Peninsula (between Poverty

  11. Taking the pulse of the Ecuador subduction zone near a locked patch (United States)

    Segovia, M.; Font, Y.; Regnier, M. M.; Charvis, P.; Galve, A.; Hello, Y. M.; Jarrín, P.; Oge, A.; Pazmiño, A.; Ruiz, M. C.


    In Central Ecuador the Nazca Plate, with a major topographic feature, the Carnegie Ridge, is subducting beneath the North Andean Margin at a rate of about 5 cm/yr along a ~N80°E direction. Intense seismic swarms have been regularly observed in 1977, 1998, 2002, and 2005 but no large megathrust earthquake is known in this segment of the margin, south of the rupture zone of the great 1906 Mag 8.8 Ecuador-Colombia earthquake. In 2010, a week-long slow slip event (SSE) was documented beneath La Plata Island, located 40 km east of the trench, at about 8 km depth within a locked patch of the subduction interface. The equivalent moment magnitude (Mw) released during this SSE was in the range of 6.0-6.3. This event unleashed an intense microseismic activity along the plate interface located beneath La Plata Island. The focal mechanisms and the space-time occurrence of these earthquakes suggest that the stress perturbations related to the slow slip event trigger the seismicity (Vallée et al., 2013). This study suggests a posteriori that recurrent seismic swarms, like the 2005 sequence may have been triggered by large-magnitude slow slip events with equivalent magnitude up to 7.5. In order to better observe this microseismic activity associated with SSE we deployed a temporary seismic network (OSISEC for Observación SISmica en ECuador) for a 2 years period (from November 2011 to October 2013). Six broadband land seismometers equipped with Trillium compact sensors and 5 Ocean Bottom Seismometers (3 components Guralp CMG-40T and 1 High-Tech Inc. wideband hydrophone) complement the 3 permanent seismological stations of the national seismic network with an average distance between stations of about 25 km. Automatic and manual analyses of continuous data of the first year yielded 2800 earthquake locations. Hypocentral determinations were computed with the complete network including readings from OBS data. Specific velocity models for the OBS stations were derived from vertical

  12. Cratonic lithospheric mantle: Is anything subducted?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    William L. Griffin; Suzanne Y. O'ReiUy


    @@ If the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) formed through the repeated underthrusting of oceanic slabs, peridotitic SCLM should resemble oceanic peridotites, and mafic rocks (eclogites, s.l.) should be distributed throughout the SCLM. However, cratonic peridotites (both exposed massifs and xenoliths) differ markedly from oceanic and ophiolitic peridotites in their Fe-Cr-Al relationships and abundances of trace elements (Li and B) diagnostic of subduction. "Typical"cratonic peridotites have experienced extensive metaso matism; modelling of their refractory protoliths indicates high-degree melting at high P, perhaps a uniquely Archean process.

  13. Imaging of the subducted Kyushu-Palau Ridge in the Hyuga-nada region, western Nankai Trough subduction zone (United States)

    Yamamoto, Yojiro; Obana, Koichiro; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Nakanishi, Ayako; Kodaira, Shuichi; Kaneda, Yoshiyuki


    We performed 3D seismic tomography of the Hyuga-nada region, western Nankai subduction zone, to investigate the relationship of the subducted part of Kyushu-Palau Ridge (KPR) to coseismic rupture propagation, seismicity, and shallow very low frequency earthquakes. Combining active-source and passive-source data recorded both onshore and offshore, we imaged the deep slab from near the trough axis to the coastal area. Our results show the subducted KPR as a low-velocity belt oriented NW-SE extending down the plate boundary to around 30 km depth. At this depth, we suggest that the subducted KPR detaches from the slab and becomes underplated on the overriding continental plate. As the coseismic slip areas of past large earthquakes do not extend into the subducted KPR, we suggest that it may inhibit rupture propagation. The interior of the subducted KPR shows active intraslab seismicity with a wide depth distribution. Shallow very low frequency earthquakes are continuously active above the location of the subducted KPR, whereas they are intermittent to the northeast of the subducted KPR. Thus, the subducted KPR appears to be an important factor in coseismic rupture propagation and seismic phenomena in this region.

  14. Redox-variability and controls in subduction zones from an iron-isotope perspective (United States)

    Nebel, O.; Sossi, P. A.; Bénard, A.; Wille, M.; Vroon, P. Z.; Arculus, R. J.


    An ongoing controversy in mantle geochemistry concerns the oxidation state of the sources of island arc lavas (IAL). Three key factors control oxidation-reduction (redox) of IAL sources: (i) metasomatism of the mantle wedge by fluids and/or melts, liberated from the underlying subducted slab; (ii) the oxidation state of the wedge prior to melting and metasomatism; and (iii) the loss of melt from IAL sources. Subsequently, magmatic differentiation by fractional crystallisation, possible crustal contamination and degassing of melts en route to and at the surface can further modify the redox states of IAL. The remote nature of sub-arc processes and the complex interplay between them render direct investigations difficult. However, a possible gauge for redox-controlled, high-temperature pre-eruptive differentiation conditions is variations in stable Fe isotope compositions (expressed here as δ57Fe) in erupting IAL because Fe isotopes can preserve a record of sub-surface mass transfer reactions involving the major element Fe. Here we report Fe isotope compositions of bulk IAL along the active Banda arc, Indonesia, which is well known for a prominent subducted sediment input. In conjunction with other arc rocks, δ57Fe in erupted Banda IAL indicates that fractional crystallisation and possibly crustal contamination primarily control their Fe isotope signatures. When corrected for fractional crystallisation and filtered for contamination, arc magmas that had variable sediment melt contributions in their sources show no resolvable co-variation of δ57Fe with radiogenic isotope tracers. This indicates that crustal recycling in the form of subducted sediment does not alter the Fe isotope character of arc lavas, in agreement with mass balance estimates. Primitive sources of IAL, however, are clearly isotopically lighter than those sourced beneath mid-ocean ridges, indicating either preferential Fe3+-depletion in the mantle wedge by prior, δ57Fe-heavy melt extraction, and

  15. Microbial life beneath a high arctic glacier. (United States)

    Skidmore, M L; Foght, J M; Sharp, M J


    The debris-rich basal ice layers of a high Arctic glacier were shown to contain metabolically diverse microbes that could be cultured oligotrophically at low temperatures (0.3 to 4 degrees C). These organisms included aerobic chemoheterotrophs and anaerobic nitrate reducers, sulfate reducers, and methanogens. Colonies purified from subglacial samples at 4 degrees C appeared to be predominantly psychrophilic. Aerobic chemoheterotrophs were metabolically active in unfrozen basal sediments when they were cultured at 0.3 degrees C in the dark (to simulate nearly in situ conditions), producing (14)CO(2) from radiolabeled sodium acetate with minimal organic amendment (> or =38 microM C). In contrast, no activity was observed when samples were cultured at subfreezing temperatures (glacier provides a viable habitat for life and that microbes may be widespread where the basal ice is temperate and water is present at the base of the glacier and where organic carbon from glacially overridden soils is present. Our observations raise the possibility that in situ microbial production of CO(2) and CH(4) beneath ice masses (e.g., the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets) is an important factor in carbon cycling during glacial periods. Moreover, this terrestrial environment may provide a model for viable habitats for life on Mars, since similar conditions may exist or may have existed in the basal sediments beneath the Martian north polar ice cap.

  16. Mantle Flow associated with the Peruvian Flat Slab and Subducting Nazca Ridge as inferred from Seismic Anisotropy (United States)

    Eakin, C. M.; Long, M. D.; Wagner, L. S.; Beck, S. L.; Tavera, H.; Condori, C.


    The Peruvian flat slab is the largest region of flat slab subduction in the world today and therefore represents an excellent location to study the dynamics and evolution of shallow subduction. We aim to provide insight on current open questions on the topic such as what is the response of the mantle to flat slabs? What is the degree of coupling between a flat slab and the upper plate? What role does slab buoyancy and the subduction of thickened oceanic crust play, such as for the Nazca Ridge? We address these questions by investigating seismic anisotropy across the region using stations belonging to PULSE (PerU Lithosphere and Slab Experiment). We analyze shear wave splitting using a variety of different phases (e.g. local S, SKS, sSKS, and PKS), and also investigate anisotropy observed from the transverse component of receiver functions. We find that mantle flow is modified by flat subduction both below and above the slab. Laterally and along strike there are also sharp boundaries in the anisotropic structure, revealed in both the local S and *KS splitting, that correlate with the present day location of the Nazca Ridge. We infer that the thin mantle layer above the flat slab has been primarily deformed by the southwards migration of the Nazca Ridge across the flat slab region, with trench-parallel deformation trailing the ridge and heterogenous deformation directly in front of it. This supra-slab mantle heterogeneity to the south of the ridge appears to result in a large region of null *KS splitting despite indications that the sub-slab mantle below is anisotropic. Our results are consistent with trench normal flow in the mantle beneath the flat slab and that the slab dip exerts a control on the orientation of mantle flow.

  17. Origin of co-existing basalts, high-Mg andesites, and adakites in the SW Japan hot subduction system (United States)

    Kimura, J.; Kunikiyo, T.; Osaka, I.; Shimoshioiri, Y.; Katakuse, M.; Kakubuchi, S.; Nagao, T.; Furuyama, K.; Kamei, A.; Nakajima, J.; Stern, R. J.; Gill, J. B.


    In response to subduction of the young, hot Shikoku Basin of the Philippine Sea Plate (PSP) slab, arc magmas have been active throughout the late Cenozoic (high-Mg andesites (HMAs), and adakitic andesites and dacites. The OIB-type basalts preceded the arc-type magmas. Therefore, the transition from OIB- to arc-types was related to opening of the Japan of Sea back-arc basin and subsequent re-initiation of PSP subduction. However, both the origin and tectonic implications of this magmatism are debated. Consequently, we analyzed the bulk rock geochemistry of 340 lava samples from seven Quaternary volcanoes and investigated their sources and melting conditions using a geochemical mass balance model, Arc Basalt Simulator version 4 (ABS4). Comparison to basement granitoids precludes adakite genesis in the lower crust. Instead, the ABS4 model suggests that the adakites are mostly slab melts plus minor interaction with mantle wedge peridotite (PERID). Increasing involvement of PERID during slab melt-fluxed mantle melting explains fairly well the geochemical variations of the shoshonites, mildly alkalic to sub-alkalic basalts, and HMAs. We propose that the generation of various magma types in the late Cenozoic SW Japan arc originated simply by "slab melt-fluxed mantle melting" with large variations in melting conditions including depth, temperature, degree of melting, and flux fractions. Such volcanism has been continuous from 13 Ma (Setouchi HMA) to the present, so that the hot subduction system, involving subduction of the Shikoku Basin spreading ridge, should be continuous since 13 Ma beneath the SW Japan arc. Our results further suggest that this atypically hot system generated diverse primary arc magmas from various degrees of flux melting even though the slab source components and sub-arc mantle are fairly homogeneous.

  18. Multichannel Seismic Imaging of the Rivera Plate Subduction at the Seismogenic Jalisco Block Area (Western Mexican Margin) (United States)

    Bartolome, R.; Gorriz, E.; Danobeitia, J.; Barba, D. C., Sr.; Martí, D.; L Cameselle, A.; Nuñez-Cornu, F. J.; Bandy, W. L.; Mortera, C.; Nunez, D.; Alonso, J. L.; Castellon, A.; Prada, M.


    During the TSUJAL marine geophysical survey, conducted in February and March 2014 Spanish, Mexican and British scientists and technicians explored the western margin of Mexico, considered one of the most active seismic zones in America. This work aims to characterize the internal structure of the subduction zone of the Rivera plate beneath the North American plate in the offshore part of the Jalisco Block, to link the geodynamic and the recent tectonic deformation occurring there with the possible generation of tsunamis and earthquakes. For this purpose, it has been carried out acquisition, processing and geological interpretation of a multichannel seismic reflection profile running perpendicular to the margin. Crustal images show an oceanic domain, dominated by subduction-accretion along the lower slope of the margin with a subparallel sediment thickness of up to 1.6 s two way travel time (approx. 2 km) in the Middle American Trench. Further, from these data the region appears to be prone to giant earthquake production. The top of the oceanic crust (intraplate reflector) is very well imaged. It is almost continuous along the profile with a gentle dip (<10°); however, it is disrupted by normal faulting resulting from the bending of the plate during subduction. The continental crust presents a well-developed accretionary prism consisting of highly deformed sediments with prominent slumping towards the trench that may be the result of past tsunamis. Also, a Bottom Simulating Reflector (BSR) is identified in the first half a second (twtt) of the section. High amplitude reflections at around 7-8 s twtt clearly image a discontinuous Moho, defining a very gentle dipping subduction plane.

  19. Multichannel Seismic Imaging of the Rivera Plate Subduction at the Seismogenic Jalisco Block Area (Western Mexican Margin) (United States)

    Bartolome, Rafael; Górriz, Estefanía; Dañobeitia, Juanjo; Cordoba, Diego; Martí, David; Cameselle, Alejandra L.; Núñez-Cornú, Francisco; Bandy, William L.; Mortera-Gutiérrez, Carlos A.; Nuñez, Diana; Castellón, Arturo; Alonso, Jose Luis


    During the TSUJAL marine geophysical survey, conducted in February and March 2014, Spanish, Mexican and British scientists and technicians explored the western margin of Mexico, considered one of the most active seismic zones in America. This work aims to characterize the internal structure of the subduction zone of the Rivera plate beneath the North American plate in the offshore part of the Jalisco Block, to link the geodynamic and the recent tectonic deformation occurring there with the possible generation of tsunamis and earthquakes. For this purpose, it has been carried out acquisition, processing and geological interpretation of a multichannel seismic reflection profile running perpendicular to the margin. Crustal images show an oceanic domain, dominated by subduction-accretion along the lower slope of the margin with a subparallel sediment thickness of up to 1.6 s two-way travel time (approx. 2 km) in the Middle American Trench. Further, from these data the region appears to be prone to giant earthquake production. The top of the oceanic crust (intraplate reflector) is very well imaged. It is almost continuous along the profile with a gentle dip (<10°); however, it is disrupted by normal faulting resulting from the bending of the plate during subduction. The continental crust presents a well-developed accretionary prism consisting of highly deformed sediments with prominent slumping towards the trench that may be the result of past tsunamis. Also, a bottom simulating reflector (BSR) is identified in the first half a second (twtt) of the section. High amplitude reflections at around 7-8 s twtt clearly image a discontinuous Moho, defining a very gentle dipping subduction plane.

  20. Stochastic modelling of a large subduction interface earthquake in Wellington, New Zealand (United States)

    Francois-Holden, C.; Zhao, J.


    The Wellington region, home of New Zealand's capital city, is cut by a number of major right-lateral strike slip faults, and is underlain by the currently locked west-dipping subduction interface between the down going Pacific Plate, and the over-riding Australian Plate. A potential cause of significant earthquake loss in the Wellington region is a large magnitude (perhaps 8+) "subduction earthquake" on the Australia-Pacific plate interface, which lies ~23 km beneath Wellington City. "It's Our Fault" is a project involving a comprehensive study of Wellington's earthquake risk. Its objective is to position Wellington city to become more resilient, through an encompassing study of the likelihood of large earthquakes, and the effects and impacts of these earthquakes on humans and the built environment. As part of the "It's Our Fault" project, we are working on estimating ground motions from potential large plate boundary earthquakes. We present the latest results on ground motion simulations in terms of response spectra and acceleration time histories. First we characterise the potential interface rupture area based on previous geodetically-derived estimates interface of slip deficit. Then, we entertain a suitable range of source parameters, including various rupture areas, moment magnitudes, stress drops, slip distributions and rupture propagation directions. Our comprehensive study also includes simulations from historical large world subduction events translated into the New Zealand subduction context, such as the 2003 M8.3 Tokachi-Oki Japan earthquake and the M8.8 2010 Chili earthquake. To model synthetic seismograms and the corresponding response spectra we employed the EXSIM code developed by Atkinson et al. (2009), with a regional attenuation model based on the 3D attenuation model for the lower North-Island which has been developed by Eberhart-Phillips et al. (2005). The resulting rupture scenarios all produce long duration shaking, and peak ground

  1. Three-dimensional magnetotelluric imaging of Cascadia subduction zone from an amphibious array (United States)

    Yang, B.; Egbert, G. D.; Key, K.; Bedrosian, P.; Livelybrooks, D.; Schultz, A.


    We present results from three-dimensional inversion of an amphibious magnetotelluric (MT) array consisting of 71 offshore and 75 onshore sites in the central part of Cascadia, to image down-dip and along strike variations of electrical conductivity, and constrain the 3D distribution of fluids and melt in the subduction zone. A larger scale array consisting of EarthScope transportable-array data and several 2D legacy profiles (e.g. EMSLAB, CAFE-MT, SWORMT) which covers WA, OR, northern CA and northern NV has been inverted separately, to provide a broader view of the subduction zone. Inverting these datasets including seafloor data, and involving strong coast effects presents many challenges, especially for the nominal TE mode impedances which have very anomalous phases in both land and seafloor sites. We find that including realistic bathymetry and conductive seafloor sediments significantly stabilizes the inversion, and that a two stage inversion strategy, first emphasizing fit to the more challenging TE data, improved overall data fits. We have also constrained the geometry of the (assumed resistive) subducting plates by extracting morphological parameters (e.g. upper boundary and thickness) from seismological models (McCrory et al 2012, Schmandt and Humphreys 2010). These constraints improve recovery and resolution of subduction related conductivity features. With the strategies mentioned above, we improved overall data fits, resulting in a model which reveals (for the first time) a conductive oceanic asthenosphere, extending under the North America plate. The most striking model features are conductive zones along the plate interface, including a continuous stripe of high conductivity just inboard of the coast, extending from the northern limits of our model in Washington state, to north-central Oregon. High conductivities also occur in patches near the tip of the mantle wedge, at depths appropriate for eclogitization, and at greater depth beneath the arc, in

  2. Imaging magma plumbing beneath Askja volcano, Iceland (United States)

    Greenfield, Tim; White, Robert S.


    Volcanoes during repose periods are not commonly monitored by dense instrumentation networks and so activity during periods of unrest is difficult to put in context. We have operated a dense seismic network of 3-component, broadband instruments around Askja, a large central volcano in the Northern Volcanic Zone, Iceland, since 2006. Askja last erupted in 1961, with a relatively small basaltic lava flow. Since 1975 the central caldera has been subsiding and there has been no indication of volcanic activity. Despite this, Askja has been one of the more seismically active volcanoes in Iceland. The majority of these events are due to an extensive geothermal area within the caldera and tectonically induced earthquakes to the northeast which are not related to the magma plumbing system. More intriguing are the less numerous deeper earthquakes at 12-24km depth, situated in three distinct areas within the volcanic system. These earthquakes often show a frequency content which is lower than the shallower activity, but they still show strong P and S wave arrivals indicative of brittle failure, despite their location being well below the brittle-ductile boundary, which, in Askja is ~7km bsl. These earthquakes indicate the presence of melt moving or degassing at depth while the volcano is not inflating, as only high strain rates or increased pore fluid pressures would cause brittle fracture in what is normally an aseismic region in the ductile zone. The lower frequency content must be the result of a slower source time function as earthquakes which are both high frequency and low frequency come from the same cluster, thereby discounting a highly attenuating lower crust. To image the plumbing system beneath Askja, local and regional earthquakes have been used as sources to solve for the velocity structure beneath the volcano. Travel-time tables were created using a finite difference technique and the residuals were used to solve simultaneously for both the earthquake locations

  3. The Run-Up of Subduction Zones (United States)

    Riquelme, S.; Bravo, F. J.; Fuentes, M.; Matias, M.; Medina, M.


    Large earthquakes in subduction zones are liable to produce tsunamis that can cause destruction and fatalities. The Run-up is a geophysical parameter that quantifies damage and if critical facilities or population are exposed to. Here we use the coupling for certain subduction regions measured by different techniques (Potency and GPS observations) to define areas where large earthquakes can occur. Taking the slab 1.0 from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), we can define the geometry of the area including its tsunamigenic potential. By using stochastic earthquakes sources for each area with its maximum tsunamigenic potential, we calculate the numerical and analytical run-up for each case. Then, we perform a statistical analysis and calculate the envelope for both methods. Furthermore, we build an index of risk using: the closest slope to the shore in a piecewise linear approach (last slopecriteria) and the outputsfrom tsunami modeling. Results show that there are areas prone to produce higher run-up than others based on the size of the earthquake, geometrical constraints of the source, tectonic setting and the coast last slope. Based on these results, there are zones that have low risk index which can define escape routes or secure coastal areas for tsunami early warning, urban and planning purposes when detailed data is available.

  4. Earthquake nucleation in weak subducted carbonates (United States)

    Kurzawski, Robert M.; Stipp, Michael; Niemeijer, André R.; Spiers, Christopher J.; Behrmann, Jan H.


    Ocean-floor carbonate- and clay-rich sediments form major inputs to subduction zones, especially at low-latitude convergent plate margins. Therefore, knowledge of their frictional behaviour is fundamental for understanding plate-boundary earthquakes. Here we report results of mechanical tests performed on simulated fault gouges prepared from ocean-floor carbonates and clays, cored during IODP drilling offshore Costa Rica. Clay-rich gouges show internal friction coefficients (that is, the slope of linearized shear stress versus normal stress data) of μint = 0.44 - 0.56, irrespective of temperature and pore-fluid pressure (Pf). By contrast, μint for the carbonate gouge strongly depends on temperature and pore-fluid pressure, with μint decreasing dramatically from 0.84 at room temperature and Pf = 20 MPa to 0.27 at T = 140 °C and Pf = 120 MPa. This effect provides a fundamental mechanism of shear localization and earthquake generation in subduction zones, and makes carbonates likely nucleation sites for plate-boundary earthquakes. Our results imply that rupture nucleation is prompted by a combination of temperature-controlled frictional instability and temperature- and pore-pressure-dependent weakening of calcareous fault gouges.

  5. Kinematic Subduction Rate of Labrador Sea Water (United States)

    Courtois, P.; Garcia, Y.; Hu, X.; Myers, P. G.


    The Labrador Sea (LS) is one of few places where the atmosphere has a direct impact on the deep ocean. During strong winters, the heat loss at the surface of Labrador Sea preconditions the cooling process, disrupts the stratified water column, producing a uniformly denser water mass. This process is called deep convection and is characterized by the production of Labrador Sea Water(LSW), which in turn contributes, from a larger scale, to the lower limb of the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC). Due to higher anthropogenic activities, resulting in a warmer environment, freshwater input (e.g. Greenland runoff, sea­ice melting, etc.) in the LS has increased in the past decades. This has a strong impact on the ocean ventilation as it restratifies the water column and prevents the convection process.The mixed layer at the surface of the ocean is often considered as an interface between the atmosphere and the deep ocean. In the LS, the depth of the mixed layer (MLD) is greatly affected by the seasonal cycle, the freshwater input, and local processes such as the deep convection. A way to study the ventilation process in the LS is to use a kinematic approach to calculate the subduction rate, which is the vertical transport of a water mass from the mixed layer into the permanent thermocline.In this study, we present our results on the subduction rate for a different range of LSW, using the Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO) numerical model.

  6. Diffraction image of subduction of the Hikurangi Plateau along the SAHKE transect, lower North Island, New Zealand (United States)

    Mochizuki, K.; Henrys, S. A.; Yamada, T.; Sutherland, R.; Shinohara, M.; Iwasaki, T.; Sato, H.


    As part of the Seismic Array HiKurangi Experiment (SAHKE) project, we acquired wide-angle reflection / refraction seismic data using ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs) along a transect across the southern North Island of New Zealand, where the Hikurangi Plateau, an early Cretaceous large igneous province, subducts westward beneath Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. The SAHKE project was designed to investigate the physical parameters controlling locking at the plate interface beneath the southern North Island and characterize slip processes in a major segment of the Hikurangi system. We deployed 16 OBSs with 5 km spacing off the east coast. Airgun sources were shot at every 100 m along an onshore-offshore transect. Although data from OBSs at shallow depths (~100 m) contain large amplitude ambient noise, first arrivals from the airgun sources can be traced up to over 100 km offset on record sections of most OBSs. We applied first-arrival travel-time inversion in order to obtain P-wave velocity structure along the 80 km-long OBS profile. Starting with a simple stratified velocity model including subduction structure, we iteratively revise the initial model utilizing constraints from the first arrival picks. The velocity structure to ~25 km depth is well resolved, with the down going slab marked by a velocity gradient from 5 km/s to 7.5 km/s. In order to visually compare the velocity structure and the geometries of reflection interfaces in depth, we calculated a diffraction migration image section for the OBS array. First, we calculated P-wave travel times from each shot or each OBS to grid points of 100 m interval within the 2D model space using our derived velocity structure. The diffraction imaging condition is the summed source and receiver travel times of P-wave at every grid point. Here we have used 16 (OBSs) times 800 (shots) travel time tables. Seismic traces have been deconvolved with filters designed to transform the source signatures to the 15 Hz

  7. Viscous Dissipation and Criticality of Subducting Slabs (United States)

    Riedel, Mike; Karato, Shun; Yuen, Dave


    Rheology of subducting lithosphere appears to be complicated. In the shallow part, deformation is largely accomodated by brittle failure, whereas at greater depth, at higher confining pressures, ductile creep is expected to control slab strength. The amount of viscous dissipation ΔQ during subduction at greater depth, as constrained by experimental rock mechanics, can be estimated on the basis of a simple bending moment equation [1,2] 2ɛ˙0(z) ∫ +h/2 2 M (z) = h ṡ -h/2 4μ(y,z)y dy , (1) for a complex multi-phase rheology in the mantle transition zone, including the effects of a metastable phase transition as well as the pressure, temperature, grain-size and stress dependency of the relevant creep mechanisms; μ is here the effective viscosity and ɛ˙0(z) is a (reference) strain rate. Numerical analysis shows that the maximum bending moment, Mcrit, that can be sustained by a slab is of the order of 1019 Nm per m according to Mcrit˜=σp ∗h2/4, where σp is the Peierl's stress limit of slab materials and h is the slab thickness. Near Mcrit, the amount of viscous dissipation grows strongly as a consequence of a lattice instability of mantle minerals (dislocation glide in olivine), suggesting that thermo-mechanical instabilities become prone to occur at places where a critical shear-heating rate is exceeded, see figure. This implies that the lithosphere behaves in such cases like a perfectly plastic solid [3]. Recently available detailed data related to deep seismicity [4,5] seems to provide support to our conclusion. It shows, e.g., that thermal shear instabilities, and not transformational faulting, is likely the dominating mechanism for deep-focus earthquakes at the bottom of the transition zone, in accordance with this suggested "deep criticality" model. These new findings are therefore briefly outlined and possible implications are discussed. References [1] Riedel, M. R., Karato, S., Yuen, D. A. Criticality of Subducting Slabs. University of Minnesota

  8. The Sulfur Cycle at Subduction Zones (United States)

    de Moor, M. J.; Fischer, T. P.; Sharp, Z. D.


    We present sulfur (S) isotope data for magmatic gases emitted along the Central American (CA) Arc (oxidizing conditions ΔQFM ~+ 1.5) and at the East African Rift (reduced conditions ΔQFM ~0). The results are interpreted through mass balance calculations to characterize the S cycle through subduction zones with implications for the redox conditions of arc magmas. Voluminous gas emissions from Masaya, an open vent basaltic volcano in Nicaragua, represent >20% of the SO2 flux from the CA arc [1]. Samples from the Masaya plume have S isotope compositions of + 4.8 × 0.4 ‰ [2]. Degassing fractionation modeling and assessment of differentiation processes in this oxidized volcano suggest that this value is close to that of the source composition. High T gas samples from other CA volcanoes (Momotombo, Cerro Negro, Poas, Turrialba) range from + 3 ‰ (Cerro Negro) to + 7 ‰ (Poas; [3]). The high δ34S values are attributed to recycling of subducted oxidized sulfur (sulfate ~ + 20 ‰) through the CA arc. The δ34S values of the more reduced samples from East African Rift volcanoes, Erta Ale - 0.5 × 0.6 ‰ [3] and Oldoinyo Lengai -0.7 ‰ to + 1.2 ‰) are far lower and are probably sourced directly from ambient mantle. The subduction of oxidized material at arcs presents a likely explanation for the oxidized nature of arc magmas relative to magmas from spreading centers. We observe no distinguishable change in melt fO2 with S degassing and attribute these differences to tectonic setting. Monte Carlo modeling suggests that subducted crust (sediments, altered oceanic crust, and serpentinized lithospheric mantle) delivers ~7.7 × 2.2 x 1010 mols of S with δ34S of -1.5 × 2.3‰ per year into the subduction zone. The total S output from the arc is estimated to be 3.4 × 1.1 x 1010 mols/yr with a δ34S value similar to that of Masaya gas (+5 × 0.5 ‰). Considering δ34S values for ambient upper mantle (0 ‰ [4]) and slab-derived fluids (+14 ‰ [5]) allows calculation

  9. Seamount, ridge, and transform subduction in southern Central America (United States)

    Morell, Kristin D.


    Understanding the factors that control subduction zone processes is a first-order goal in the study of convergent margins. In southern Central America, a growing body of research reveals strong links between the character of the subducting slab and the mechanics of important processes that include subduction erosion, fluid flow, deformation, and seismogenesis. In this paper, I evaluate the role that seamount, ridge, and transform subduction have in the development of upper plate deformation and volcanism by summarizing previous work across a >500 km long region of Central America where each of these three scenarios are present along strike. The data show that the subduction of short-wavelength bathymetry (e.g., seamounts and faults on the seafloor) produces short-wavelength deformation that persists for relatively short timescales (104-105 years), whereas the subduction of longer-wavelength bathymetry (e.g., the aseismic Cocos Ridge) results in longer-wavelength deformation that endures over a longer time scale (106 years). The timing and distribution of upper plate deformation are consistent with subhorizontal Cocos Ridge subduction driving upper plate deformation, and the increased crustal thickness (>20 km) of the subducting Cocos Ridge is likely one of the most important factors in the production of upper plate contraction and crustal thickening. The data illustrate a fundamental connection between lower plate properties and upper plate deformation and highlight the profound influence that bathymetry and crustal thickness have in the localization and kinematics of upper plate strain and volcanism in Middle America.

  10. Global correlation of lower mantle structure and past subduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Domeier, M.; Doubrovine, Pavel V.; Torsvik, Trond H.; Spakman, W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/074103164; Bull, A.L.


    Advances in global seismic tomography have increasingly motivated identification of subducted lithosphere in Earth's deep mantle, creating novel opportunities to link plate tectonics and mantle evolution. Chief among those is the quest for a robust subduction reference frame, wherein the mantle asse

  11. The subduction dichotomy of strong plates and weak slabs (United States)

    Petersen, Robert I.; Stegman, Dave R.; Tackley, Paul J.


    A key element of plate tectonics on Earth is that the lithosphere is subducting into the mantle. Subduction results from forces that bend and pull the lithosphere into the interior of the Earth. Once subducted, lithospheric slabs are further modified by dynamic forces in the mantle, and their sinking is inhibited by the increase in viscosity of the lower mantle. These forces are resisted by the material strength of the lithosphere. Using geodynamic models, we investigate several subduction models, wherein we control material strength by setting a maximum viscosity for the surface plates and the subducted slabs independently. We find that models characterized by a dichotomy of lithosphere strengths produce a spectrum of results that are comparable to interpretations of observations of subduction on Earth. These models have strong lithospheric plates at the surface, which promotes Earth-like single-sided subduction. At the same time, these models have weakened lithospheric subducted slabs which can more easily bend to either lie flat or fold into a slab pile atop the lower mantle, reproducing the spectrum of slab morphologies that have been interpreted from images of seismic tomography.

  12. Noble gases recycled into the mantle through cold subduction zones (United States)

    Smye, Andrew J.; Jackson, Colin R. M.; Konrad-Schmolke, Matthias; Hesse, Marc A.; Parman, Steve W.; Shuster, David L.; Ballentine, Chris J.


    Subduction of hydrous and carbonated oceanic lithosphere replenishes the mantle volatile inventory. Substantial uncertainties exist on the magnitudes of the recycled volatile fluxes and it is unclear whether Earth surface reservoirs are undergoing net-loss or net-gain of H2O and CO2. Here, we use noble gases as tracers for deep volatile cycling. Specifically, we construct and apply a kinetic model to estimate the effect of subduction zone metamorphism on the elemental composition of noble gases in amphibole - a common constituent of altered oceanic crust. We show that progressive dehydration of the slab leads to the extraction of noble gases, linking noble gas recycling to H2O. Noble gases are strongly fractionated within hot subduction zones, whereas minimal fractionation occurs along colder subduction geotherms. In the context of our modelling, this implies that the mantle heavy noble gas inventory is dominated by the injection of noble gases through cold subduction zones. For cold subduction zones, we estimate a present-day bulk recycling efficiency, past the depth of amphibole breakdown, of 5-35% and 60-80% for 36Ar and H2O bound within oceanic crust, respectively. Given that hotter subduction dominates over geologic history, this result highlights the importance of cooler subduction zones in regassing the mantle and in affecting the modern volatile budget of Earth's interior.

  13. Using glacial morphology to constrain the impact of the Chile active spreading ridge subduction in Central Patagonia (United States)

    Scalabrino, B.; Ritz, J. F.; Lagabrielle, Y.


    The Central Patagonian Cordillera is a unique laboratory to study interaction between oceanic and continental lithospheres during the subduction of an active spreading ridge beneath a continent. The subduction of the South Chile spreading Ridge, which separates the Nazca plate from the Antarctic plate, started ca. 15-14 Ma at the southern tip of Patagonia (55°S latitude). The northwards migration of the Chile Triple Junction induces the subduction of several segments especially around 46°S latitude. There, three segments subducted at ca. 6, 3 and 0.3 Ma, leading to the formation of a large asthenospheric slab-window beneath Central Patagonia. Contemporaneously, the Central Patagonia reliefs are undergoing major glacial events since at least 7 Ma. These events are evidenced to the east of the Central Patagonian morphotectonic front within perched relict surfaces. Inset in these perched glacial surfaces are found mid-Pleistocene glacial valleys, as the Lake General Carrera-Buenos Aires amphitheatre (LGCBA), which formed between 1.1 Ma and 16 ka. We used the relationships between the glacial valleys and the volcanism associated with the asthenospheric slab-window to better constraints the structural evolution of the Patagonian Cordillera related to the subduction of the Chili active spreading Ridge. The present work focused within two well-preserved perched flat surfaces named Meseta del Lago Buenos Aires and Meseta del Cerro Galera: (i) The meseta del Lago Buenos Aires defines a plateau made of interbedded units of tills and lavas dated between 12 Ma and 3 Ma. The top surface of the meseta, ˜2000 meters high is dated at 3 Ma, and is shaped by four NE-SW trending glacial lobes characterized with kettles, lineations and moraines. The glacial valleys are beheaded westwards and define perched valleys 200 to 400 meters higher than the western Cordillera. This suggests recent vertical movement along N160 extensive/transtensive corridor located between the morphotectonic

  14. Petrogenesis of Middle-Late Triassic volcanic rocks from the Gangdese belt, southern Lhasa terrane: Implications for early subduction of Neo-Tethyan oceanic lithosphere (United States)

    Wang, Chao; Ding, Lin; Zhang, Li-Yun; Kapp, Paul; Pullen, Alex; Yue, Ya-Hui


    The Gangdese belt is dominantly composed of igneous rocks that formed during the northward subduction of Neo-Tethyan oceanic lithosphere beneath the Lhasa terrane and has played a crucial role in understanding the pre-collisional evolution of southern Tibet. This paper presents new geochronological and geochemical (whole-rock major and trace element and Sr-Nd and zircon Hf isotope) data for recently identified volcanic rocks exposed in Changguo area, southernmost part of the Lhasa terrane. Zircon U-Pb dating from six samples yields consistent ages of 237.1 ± 1.1 Ma to 211.7 ± 1.5 Ma for magma emplacement through volcanic eruption, showing the Middle-Late Triassic magmatic activity in the southernmost Gangdese Belt. The Changguo volcanic rocks are mainly composed of basaltic and andesitic rocks and exhibit LILE enrichment and HFSE depletion. They also exhibit relatively uniform Nd-Hf isotopic compositions (εNd(t) = + 5.20 to + 7.74 and εHf(t)zircon = + 10.2 to + 15.9). The basaltic magmas were likely sourced from partial melting of sub-arc mantle wedge that was metasomatized by not only the aqueous fluid derived from subducting altered oceanic crust but also hydrous melt derived from subducting seafloor sediments, and subsequently experienced fractional crystallization and juvenile crustal contamination during ascent. The andesitic magmas were generated by partial melting of mafic-ultramafic metasomes through melt/fluid-peridotite reaction at slab-mantle interface. Taking into account the temporal and spatial distribution of the Early Mesozoic magmatic rocks and regional detrital zircon data, we further propose that the northward subduction of Neo-Tethyan oceanic lithosphere beneath the Lhasa terrane commenced by Middle Triassic.

  15. Crustal structure beneath two seismic stations in the Sunda-Banda arc transition zone derived from receiver function analysis

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    Syuhada, E-mail: [Graduate Research on Earthquake and Active Tectonics (GREAT), Bandung Institute of Technology, Jalan Ganesha 10, Bandung 40132 (Indonesia); Research Centre for Physics - Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Kompleks Puspiptek Serpong, Tangsel 15314, Banten Indonesia (Indonesia); Hananto, Nugroho D.; Handayani, Lina [Research Centre for Geotechnology - Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Jl. Sangkuriang (Kompleks LIPI) Bandung 40135 (Indonesia); Puspito, Nanang T; Yudistira, Tedi [Faculty of Mining and Petroleum Engineering ITB, Jalan Ganesha 10, Bandung 40132 (Indonesia); Anggono, Titi [Research Centre for Physics - Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Kompleks Puspiptek Serpong, Tangsel 15314, Banten Indonesia (Indonesia)


    We analyzed receiver functions to estimate the crustal thickness and velocity structure beneath two stations of Geofon (GE) network in the Sunda-Banda arc transition zone. The stations are located in two different tectonic regimes: Sumbawa Island (station PLAI) and Timor Island (station SOEI) representing the oceanic and continental characters, respectively. We analyzed teleseismic events of 80 earthquakes to calculate the receiver functions using the time-domain iterative deconvolution technique. We employed 2D grid search (H-κ) algorithm based on the Moho interaction phases to estimate crustal thickness and Vp/Vs ratio. We also derived the S-wave velocity variation with depth beneath both stations by inverting the receiver functions. We obtained that beneath station PLAI the crustal thickness is about 27.8 km with Vp/Vs ratio 2.01. As station SOEI is covered by very thick low-velocity sediment causing unstable solution for the inversion, we modified the initial velocity model by adding the sediment thickness estimated using high frequency content of receiver functions in H-κ stacking process. We obtained the crustal thickness is about 37 km with VP/Vs ratio 2.2 beneath station SOEI. We suggest that the high Vp/Vs in station PLAI may indicate the presence of fluid ascending from the subducted plate to the volcanic arc, whereas the high Vp/Vs in station SOEI could be due to the presence of sediment and rich mafic composition in the upper crust and possibly related to the serpentinization process in the lower crust. We also suggest that the difference in velocity models and crustal thicknesses between stations PLAI and SOEI are consistent with their contrasting tectonic environments.

  16. Crustal structure beneath two seismic stations in the Sunda-Banda arc transition zone derived from receiver function analysis (United States)

    Syuhada, Hananto, Nugroho D.; Puspito, Nanang T.; Anggono, Titi; Handayani, Lina; Yudistira, Tedi


    We analyzed receiver functions to estimate the crustal thickness and velocity structure beneath two stations of Geofon (GE) network in the Sunda-Banda arc transition zone. The stations are located in two different tectonic regimes: Sumbawa Island (station PLAI) and Timor Island (station SOEI) representing the oceanic and continental characters, respectively. We analyzed teleseismic events of 80 earthquakes to calculate the receiver functions using the time-domain iterative deconvolution technique. We employed 2D grid search (H-κ) algorithm based on the Moho interaction phases to estimate crustal thickness and Vp/Vs ratio. We also derived the S-wave velocity variation with depth beneath both stations by inverting the receiver functions. We obtained that beneath station PLAI the crustal thickness is about 27.8 km with Vp/Vs ratio 2.01. As station SOEI is covered by very thick low-velocity sediment causing unstable solution for the inversion, we modified the initial velocity model by adding the sediment thickness estimated using high frequency content of receiver functions in H-κ stacking process. We obtained the crustal thickness is about 37 km with VP/Vs ratio 2.2 beneath station SOEI. We suggest that the high Vp/Vs in station PLAI may indicate the presence of fluid ascending from the subducted plate to the volcanic arc, whereas the high Vp/Vs in station SOEI could be due to the presence of sediment and rich mafic composition in the upper crust and possibly related to the serpentinization process in the lower crust. We also suggest that the difference in velocity models and crustal thicknesses between stations PLAI and SOEI are consistent with their contrasting tectonic environments.

  17. Depth-varying azimuthal anisotropy in the Tohoku subduction channel (United States)

    Liu, Xin; Zhao, Dapeng


    We determine a detailed 3-D model of azimuthal anisotropy tomography of the Tohoku subduction zone from the Japan Trench outer-rise to the back-arc near the Japan Sea coast, using a large number of high-quality P and S wave arrival-time data of local earthquakes recorded by the dense seismic network on the Japan Islands. Depth-varying seismic azimuthal anisotropy is revealed in the Tohoku subduction channel. The shallow portion of the Tohoku megathrust zone (plate mainly exhibits trench-parallel FVDs, except for the top portion of the subducting Pacific slab where visible trench-normal FVDs are revealed. A qualitative tectonic model is proposed to interpret such anisotropic features, suggesting transposition of earlier fabrics in the oceanic lithosphere into subduction-induced new structures in the subduction channel.

  18. Global correlation of lower mantle structure and past subduction (United States)

    Domeier, Mathew; Doubrovine, Pavel V.; Torsvik, Trond H.; Spakman, Wim; Bull, Abigail L.


    Advances in global seismic tomography have increasingly motivated identification of subducted lithosphere in Earth's deep mantle, creating novel opportunities to link plate tectonics and mantle evolution. Chief among those is the quest for a robust subduction reference frame, wherein the mantle assemblage of subducted lithosphere is used to reconstruct past surface tectonics in an absolute framework anchored in the deep Earth. However, the associations heretofore drawn between lower mantle structure and past subduction have been qualitative and conflicting, so the very assumption of a correlation has yet to be quantitatively corroborated. Here we show that a significant, time-depth progressive correlation can be drawn between reconstructed subduction zones of the last 130 Myr and positive S wave velocity anomalies at 600-2300 km depth, but that further correlation between greater times and depths is not presently demonstrable. This correlation suggests that lower mantle slab sinking rates average between 1.1 and 1.9 cm yr-1.

  19. Neotectonic fault detection and lithosphere structure beneath SW of High Atlas (Morocco) (United States)

    Timoulali, Youssef; Radi, Said; Azguet, Roumaissae; Bachaoui, Mostapha


    subduction zone marking the limit between SW of High Atlas and the western Meseta. A second high velocity body, dipping north beneath the Hercynian Tichka Massif is detected. This positive velocity anomaly can be interpreted as an old subduction zone marking the limit between Meseta Domain and West African Craton. The occurrence of tholeiitic and alkaline magmatism respectively in the Essaouira basin zone and in the Hercynian Ticka Massif zone leads us to conclude that remains of subduction exist in these zones. The negative lithospheric anomalies are interpreted as heat or hot asthenospheric material upwelling from depth crossing the main crustal structures in SW High Atlas. The negative lithospheric anomalies are interpreted as hot asthenospheric material or heat coming from depth to replace the detached crust. Based on our analysis of local P wave velocities and profiles, the crustal thickness beneath SW of High Atlas region varies from 30 km to 45 km in central and western part.

  20. Inside the subduction factory: Modeling fluid mobile element enrichment in the mantle wedge above a subduction zone (United States)

    Shervais, John W.; Jean, Marlon M.


    Enrichment of the mantle wedge above subduction zones with fluid mobile elements is thought to represent a fundamental process in the origin of arc magmas. This "subduction factory" is typically modeled as a mass balance of inputs (from the subducted slab) and outputs (arc volcanics). We present here a new method to model fluid mobile elements, based on the composition of peridotites associated with supra-subduction ophiolites, which form by melt extraction and fluid enrichment in the mantle wedge above nascent subduction zones. The Coast Range ophiolite (CRO), California, is a Jurassic supra-subduction zone ophiolite that preserves mantle lithologies formed in response to hydrous melting. We use high-precision laser ablation ICP-MS analyses of relic pyroxenes from these peridotites to document fluid-mobile element (FME) concentrations, along with a suite of non-fluid mobile elements that includes rare earth and high-field strength elements. In the CRO, fluid-mobile elements are enriched by factors of up to 100× DMM, whereas fluid immobile elements are progressively depleted by melt extraction. The high concentrations of fluid mobile elements in supra-subduction peridotite pyroxene can be attributed to a flux of aqueous fluid or fluid-rich melt phase derived from the subducting slab. To model this enrichment, we derive a new algorithm that calculates the concentration of fluid mobile elements added to the source: C=[C/[[D/(D-PF)]∗[1-(PF/D)

  1. Geothermal structure of the eastern Black Sea basin and the eastern Pontides orogenic belt: Implications for subduction polarity of Tethys oceanic lithosphere

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    Nafiz Maden


    Full Text Available The numerical results of thermal modeling studies indicate that the lithosphere is cold and strong beneath the Black Sea basin. The thermal lithospheric thickness increases southward from the eastern Pontides orogenic belt (49.4 km to Black Sea basin (152.2 km. The Moho temperature increases from 367 °C in the trench to 978 °C in the arc region. The heat flow values for the Moho surface change between 16.4 mW m−2 in the Black Sea basin and 56.9 mW m−2 in the eastern Pontides orogenic belt. Along the southern Black Sea coast, the trench region has a relatively low geothermal potential with respect to the arc and back-arc region. The numerical studies support the existence of southward subduction beneath the Pontides during the late Mesozoic–Cenozoic.

  2. Active convection beneath ridges: a new spin (United States)

    Katz, R. F.


    The role of buoyancy-driven, "active" upwelling beneath mid-ocean ridges has been long debated [1,2,3], with the naysayers holding sway in recent years. Recent work on tomographic imaging of the sub-ridge mantle has revealed patterns in velocity variation that seem inconsistent with what we expect of passive upwelling and melting [4]. The irregular distribution, asymmetry, and off-axis locations of slow regions in tomographic results are suggestive of time-dependent convective flow. Using 2D numerical simulations of internally consistent mantle and magmatic flow plus melting/freezing [5,6], I investigate the parametric subspace in which active convection is expected to occur. For low mantle viscosities, interesting symmetry-breaking behavior is predicted. References: [1] Rabinowicz, et al., EPSL, 1984; [2] Buck & Su, GRL, 1989; [3] Scott & Stevenson, JGR, 1989; [4] Toomey et al., Nature, 2007; [5] McKenzie, J.Pet., 1984; [6] Katz, J.Pet., 2008;

  3. Shallow Moho with aseismic upper crust and deep Moho with seismic lower crust beneath the Japanese Islands obtained by seismic tomography using data from dense seismic network (United States)

    Matsubara, Makoto; Obara, Kazushige


    P-wave seismic velocity is well known to be up to 7.0 km/s and over 7.5 km/s in the lower crust and in the mantle, respectively. A large velocity gradient is the definition of the Moho discontinuity between the crust and mantle. In this paper, we investigates the configuration of Moho discontinuity defined as an isovelocity plane with large velocity gradient derived from our fine-scale three-dimensional seismic velocity structure beneath Japanese Islands using data obtained by dense seismic network with the tomographic method (Matsubara and Obara, 2011). Japanese Islands are mainly on the Eurasian and North American plates. The Philippine Sea and Pacific plates are subducting beneath these continental plates. We focus on the Moho discontinuity at the continental side. We calculate the P-wave velocity gradients between the vertical grid nodes since the grid inversion as our tomographic method does not produce velocity discontinuity. The largest velocity gradient is 0.078 (km/s)/km at velocities of 7.2 and 7.3 km/s. We define the iso-velocity plane of 7.2 km/s as the Moho discontinuity. We discuss the Moho discontinuity above the upper boundary of the subducting oceanic plates with consideration of configuration of plate boundaries of prior studies (Shiomi et al., 2008; Kita et al., 2010; Hirata et al, 2012) since the Moho depth derived from the iso-velocity plane denotes the oceanic Moho at the contact zones of the overriding continental plates and the subducting oceanic plates. The Moho discontinuity shallower than 30 km depth is distributed within the tension region like northern Kyushu and coastal line of the Pacific Ocean in the northeastern Japan and the tension region at the Cretaceous as the northeastern Kanto district. These regions have low seismicity within the upper crust. Positive Bouguer anomaly beneath the northeastern Kanto district indicates the ductile material with large density in lower crust at the shallower portion and the aseismic upper crust

  4. Philippine Sea Plate inception, evolution, and consumption with special emphasis on the early stages of Izu-Bonin-Mariana subduction (United States)

    Lallemand, Serge


    We compiled the most relevant data acquired throughout the Philippine Sea Plate (PSP) from the early expeditions to the most recent. We also analyzed the various explanatory models in light of this updated dataset. The following main conclusions are discussed in this study. (1) The Izanagi slab detachment beneath the East Asia margin around 60-55 Ma likely triggered the Oki-Daito plume occurrence, Mesozoic proto-PSP splitting, shortening and then failure across the paleo-transform boundary between the proto-PSP and the Pacific Plate, Izu-Bonin-Mariana subduction initiation and ultimately PSP inception. (2) The initial splitting phase of the composite proto-PSP under the plume influence at ˜54-48 Ma led to the formation of the long-lived West Philippine Basin and short-lived oceanic basins, part of whose crust has been ambiguously called "fore-arc basalts" (FABs). (3) Shortening across the paleo-transform boundary evolved into thrusting within the Pacific Plate at ˜52-50 Ma, allowing it to subduct beneath the newly formed PSP, which was composed of an alternance of thick Mesozoic terranes and thin oceanic lithosphere. (4) The first magmas rising from the shallow mantle corner, after being hydrated by the subducting Pacific crust beneath the young oceanic crust near the upper plate spreading centers at ˜49-48 Ma were boninites. Both the so-called FABs and the boninites formed at a significant distance from the incipient trench, not in a fore-arc position as previously claimed. The magmas erupted for 15 m.y. in some places, probably near the intersections between back-arc spreading centers and the arc. (5) As the Pacific crust reached greater depths and the oceanic basins cooled and thickened at ˜44-45 Ma, the composition of the lavas evolved into high-Mg andesites and then arc tholeiites and calc-alkaline andesites. (6) Tectonic erosion processes removed about 150-200 km of frontal margin during the Neogene, consuming most or all of the Pacific ophiolite

  5. Neo-Alpine orogeny: a case study for micro-ocean micro-plate subduction and collision (United States)

    Kissling, E.; Lippitsch, R.; Regenauer-Lieb, K.; Schmid, S.


    In the tectonically complex Alpine region, three different plates (European, Adriatic, and Ligurian) amalgamated when the orogen formed. Knowledge of the actual structure of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system is of great importance for understanding the evolution of this orogen and the interactions between the three lithospheric blocks. In order to illuminate the structure of the uppermost mantle high-resolution teleseismic tomography was performed. At the temporary TRANSALP array, waveforms from teleseismic earthquakes were recorded and by including wave forms registered at permanent regional stations throughout the Alpine region, a high-quality data set of 4200 manually picked P-arrivals from 22 teleseismic events with even azimuthal distribution was compiled. In a previous study, a 3D crustal model was established based on controlled-source seismology data representing the large-scale shallow Alpine structure, which clearly reflects the effects of the Africa-Europe plate collision by crustal indentations. Tests with synthetic data document that the combination of (1) non-linear inversion, (2) high-quality teleseismic data, and (3) usage of an a priori 3D crustal model in assessing incoming teleseismic wave front distortion, does allow for reliably resolving structures of about 60 km minimal length with a velocity variation in the order of +/- 1% in the upper mantle. Tomographic results clearly reveal two separate lithospheric slabs beneath the Alpine orogen. In the western and central Alps, the slab is partly attached to the European lithosphere and dips steeply toward SSW. From beneath the Tauern window on eastward beneath the Eastern Alps (EA), the second slab is attached to the Adriatic lithosphere and gently dips toward NE. Results of numerical dynamic modelling of internal lithosphere structure and slab geometries suggest, that subduction of European oceanic lithosphere continued in the west, while early transpression-collision occurred in the Eastern

  6. Mapping Yakutat Subduction with Tectonic Tremor (United States)

    Wech, A.


    Subduction of the Yakutat microplate (YAK) in south-central Alaska may be responsible for regional high topography, large slip during the 1964 earthquake, and the anomalous gap in arc volcanism, but the exact geodynamics and its relationship with the underlying Pacific Plate (PP) are not fully understood. Refraction data support distinct subducting layers, and both GPS and body wave tomography suggest the YAK extends from the Cook Inlet volcanoes in the west to the Wrangell volcanic field in the east. Earthquakes, however, are limited to normal faulting within the PP with an abrupt eastern boundary 80 km west of the inferred YAK edge, and more recent active source seismic data suggest subduction of one homogenous thickened oceanic plateau. Here, I perform a search for tectonic tremor to investigate the role of tremor and slow slip in the system. I scan continuous waveforms from 2007-2015 using all available data from permanent and campaign seismic stations in south-central Alaska. Using envelope cross-correlation, I detect and locate ~9,000 tectonic tremor epicenters, providing a map of the transition zone downdip of the 1964 earthquake. Tremor epicenters occur downdip of discrete slow slip events, and tremor rates do not correlate temporally with slow slip behavior. Depth resolution is poor, but horizontal locations are well constrained and spatially correlate with the velocity images of the YAK. Likewise, tremor extends 80 km further east than intraslab seismicity. Tremor swarms occur intermittently and manifest as ambient tremor. I interpret tremor to mark slow, semi-continuous slip occurring at the boundary between the YAK and North American plates, whose interface continues beyond the eastern edge of the PP. In this model, the YAK is welded to the underlying PP in the west, but extends past the eastern terminus of the PP. This geometry explains the correlation between tremor and the YAK, the discrepancy between deep seismicity and tremor, and the paucity of

  7. Converted phases from sharp 1000 km depth mid-mantle heterogeneity beneath Western Europe (United States)

    Jenkins, J.; Deuss, A.; Cottaar, S.


    Until recently, most of the lower mantle was generally considered to be well-mixed with strong heterogeneity restricted to the lowermost several hundred kilometres above the core-mantle boundary, known as the D″ layer. However several recent studies have started to hint at a potential change in Earth's structure at mid-mantle depths beneath the transition zone. Here we present a continental-wide search of Europe and the North Atlantic for mid-mantle P-to-s wave converted phases. Our data set consists of close to 50,000 high quality receiver functions. These are combined in slowness and depth stacks to identify seismic discontinuities in the range of 800-1400 km depth to determine at which depths and in which tectonic settings these features exist. Receiver functions are computed in different frequency bands to resolve the sharpness of the observed discontinuities. We find most seismic velocity jumps are observed between 975-1050 km depth, localised beneath western Europe and Iceland. The shear wave velocity jumps are roughly 1-2.5% velocity increase with depth occurring over less than 8 km in width. The most robust observations are coincident with areas of active upwelling (under Iceland) and an elongate lateral low velocity anomaly imaged in recent tomographic models which has been interpreted as diverted plume material at depth. The lack of any suggested phase change in a normal pyrolitic mantle composition at around 1000 km depth indicates the presence of regional chemical heterogeneity within the mid-mantle, potentially caused by diverted plume material. We hypothesise that our observations represent either a phase change within chemically distinct plume material itself, or are caused by small scale chemical heterogeneities entrained within the upwelling plume, either in the form of recycled basaltic material or deep sourced chemically distinct material from LLSVPs. Our observations, which cannot be directly linked to an area of either active or ancient

  8. Tectonics and geology of spreading ridge subduction at the Chile Triple Junction: a synthesis of results from Leg 141 of the Ocean Drilling Program (United States)

    Behrmann, J.H.; Lewis, S.D.; Cande, S.C.


    An active oceanic spreading ridge is being subducted beneath the South American continent at the Chile Triple Junction. This process has played a major part in the evolution of most of the continental margins that border the Pacific Ocean basin. A combination of high resolution swath bathymetric maps, seismic reflection profiles and drillhole and core data from five sites drilled during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 141 provide important data that define the tectonic, structural and stratigraphic effects of this modern example of spreading ridge subduction. A change from subduction accretion to subduction erosion occurs along-strike of the South American forearc. This change is prominently expressed by normal faulting, forearc subsidence, oversteepening of topographic slopes and intensive sedimentary mass wasting, overprinted on older signatures of sediment accretion, overthrusting and uplift processes in the forearc. Data from drill sites north of the triple junction (Sites 859-861) show that after an important phase of forearc building in the early to late Pliocene, subduction accretion had ceased in the late Pliocene. Since that time sediment on the downgoing oceanic Nazca plate has been subducted. Site 863 was drilled into the forearc in the immediate vicinity of the triple junction above the subducted spreading ridge axis. Here, thick and intensely folded and faulted trench slope sediments of Pleistocene age are currently involved in the frontal deformation of the forearc. Early faults with thrust and reverse kinematics are overprinted by later normal faults. The Chile Triple Junction is also the site of apparent ophiolite emplacement into the South American forearc. Drilling at Site 862 on the Taitao Ridge revealed an offshore volcanic sequence of Plio-Pleistocene age associated with the Taitao Fracture Zone, adjacent to exposures of the Pliocene-aged Taitao ophiolite onshore. Despite the large-scale loss of material from the forearc at the triple junction

  9. SKS splitting beneath Capital area of China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHANG Li-jun; WANG Chun-yong; DING Zhi-feng


    Based on the polarization analysis of teleseismic SKS waveform data recorded at 49 seismic stations in Capital Area Seismograph Network, the SKS fast-wave direction and the delay time between the fast and slow shear waves at each station were determined by using the grid searching method of minimum transverse energy and the stacking analysis method, and then we acquired the image of upper mantle anisotropy in Capital area. In the study area, the fast-wave polarization direction is basically WNW-ESE, and the delay time falls into the interval from 0.56 s to 1.56 s. The results imply that the upper mantle anisotropy in Capital area is mainly caused by the subduetion of the Pacific plate to Eurasian plate. The subduction has resulted in the asthenospheric material deformation in Capital area, and made the alignment of upper mantle peridotite lattice parallel to the deformation direction. And the collision between the Indian and Eurasian plates made the crest of western China thickening and uplifting and material eastwards extruding, and then caused the upper mantle flow eastwards, and made the upper mantle deformation direction parallel to the fast-wave direction. The deformation model of the crust and upper mantle is possibly vertically coherent deformation by comparing the fast-wave polarization direction with the direction of lithospheric extension and the GPS velocity direction.

  10. Seismic structure beneath the Gulf of California: a contribution from group velocity measurements (United States)

    Di Luccio, F.; Persaud, P.; Clayton, R. W.


    Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion measurements from local and regional earthquakes are used to interpret the lithospheric structure in the Gulf of California region. We compute group velocity maps for Rayleigh waves from 10 to 150 s using earthquakes recorded by broad-band stations of the Network of Autonomously Recording Seismographs in Baja California and Mexico mainland, UNM in Mexico, BOR, DPP and GOR in southern California and TUC in Arizona. The study area is gridded in 120 longitude cells by 180 latitude cells, with an equal spacing of 10 × 10 km. Assuming that each gridpoint is laterally homogeneous, for each period the tomographic maps are inverted to produce a 3-D lithospheric shear wave velocity model for the region. Near the Gulf of California rift axis, we found three prominent low shear wave velocity regions, which are associated with mantle upwelling near the Cerro Prieto volcanic field, the Ballenas Transform Fault and the East Pacific Rise. Upwelling of the mantle at lithospheric and asthenospheric depths characterizes most of the Gulf. This more detailed finding is new when compared to previous surface wave studies in the region. A low-velocity zone in northcentral Baja at ˜28ºN which extends east-south-eastwards is interpreted as an asthenospheric window. In addition, we also identify a well-defined high-velocity zone in the upper mantle beneath central-western Baja California, which correlates with the previously interpreted location of the stalled Guadalupe and Magdalena microplates. We interpret locations of the fossil slab and slab window in light of the distribution of unique post-subduction volcanic rocks in the Gulf of California and Baja California. We also observe a high-velocity anomaly at 50-km depth extending down to ˜130 km near the southwestern Baja coastline and beneath Baja, which may represent another remnant of the Farallon slab.

  11. Upper mantle anisotropy beneath Peru from SKS splitting: Constraints on flat slab dynamics and interaction with the Nazca Ridge (United States)

    Eakin, Caroline M.; Long, Maureen D.; Wagner, Lara S.; Beck, Susan L.; Tavera, Hernando


    The Peruvian flat slab is by far the largest region of flat subduction in the world today, but aspects of its structure and dynamics remain poorly understood. In particular, questions remain over whether the relatively narrow Nazca Ridge subducting beneath southern Peru provides dynamic support for the flat slab or it is just a passive feature. We investigate the dynamics and interaction of the Nazca Ridge and the flat slab system by studying upper mantle seismic anisotropy across southern Peru. We analyze shear wave splitting of SKS, sSKS, and PKS phases at 49 stations distributed across the area, primarily from the PerU Lithosphere and Slab Experiment (PULSE). We observe distinct spatial variations in anisotropic structure along strike, most notably a sharp transition from coherent splitting in the north to pervasive null (non-split) arrivals in the south, with the transition coinciding with the northern limit of the Nazca Ridge. For both anisotropic domains there is evidence for complex and multi-layered anisotropy. To the north of the ridge our *KS splitting measurements likely reflect trench-normal mantle flow beneath the flat slab. This signal is then modified by shallower anisotropic layers, most likely in the supra-slab mantle, but also potentially from within the slab. To the south the sub-slab mantle is similarly anisotropic, with a trench-oblique fast direction, but widespread nulls appear to reflect dramatic heterogeneity in anisotropic structure above the flat slab. Overall the regional anisotropic structure, and thus the pattern of deformation, appears to be closely tied to the location of the Nazca Ridge, which further suggests that the ridge plays a key role in the mantle dynamics of the Peruvian flat slab system.

  12. Slip mode segmentation of the megathrust beneath Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica (United States)

    Voss, Nick; Malservisi, Rocco; Liu, Zhen; Dixon, Timothy H.; Protti, Marino; Gonzales, Victor; Schwartz, Susan; Jiang, Yan


    The Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, overlies a section of a subduction megathrust close to the Middle America Trench. This location allows terrestrial geodetic monitoring of the surface deformation above the seismogenic zone, a region that is often underwater in many subduction zones. A continuous Global Positioning System network has operated in the Nicoya peninsula of northern Costa Rica since 2002 observing a number of deep and shallow slow slip events (SSEs) with a recurrence interval of ~21 months. On September 5th 2012, a Mw 7.6 nucleated just underneath the geodetic network. We explore the relationship between these recurrent SSEs and the large earthquake. We find that SSE recurrence interval appears constant before and after the earthquake. Using a modified version of the Extended Network Inversion Filter [e.g. McGuire and Segall, 2003] (ENIF) to identify time dependent characteristics of SSEs before and after the 2012 Nicoya earthquake, we find that slip starts updip prior to the earthquake in the shallow, 15 km depth, section of the subduction zone and then migrates to a deep patch beneath the Nicoya gulf. Following the earthquake, high slip rates initiate down dip (40 km depth) and remain downdip, a change from observations of SSEs prior to the earthquake. In this study, we also analyze the temporal and spatial evolution of the surface deformation at different temporal scales (from hours to years) after the earthquake to infer the aseismic slip due to postsiesmic response on the fault interface. We compare the portion of postseismic displacement interpreted as afterslip with our previous analysis of SSE. Our results show that the main rupture was followed by significant early afterslip for the first 3 hours after the main event followed by regular afterslip decaying exponentially. During the first few months, the afterslip has most likely filled gaps left by the coseismic rupture (in particular updip). We also show that afterslip seems to be bounded by

  13. Subducted oceanic relief locks the shallow megathrust in central Ecuador (United States)

    Collot, Jean-Yves; Sanclemente, Eddy; Nocquet, Jean-Mathieu; Leprêtre, Angélique; Ribodetti, Alessandra; Jarrin, Paul; Chlieh, Mohamed; Graindorge, David; Charvis, Philippe


    Whether subducted oceanic reliefs such as seamounts promote seismic rupture or aseismic slip remains controversial. Here we use swath bathymetry, prestack depth-migrated multichannel seismic reflection lines, and wide-angle seismic data collected across the central Ecuador subduction segment to reveal a broad 55 km × 50 km, 1.5-2.0 km high, low height-to-width ratio, multipeaked, sediment-bare, shallow subducted oceanic relief. Owing to La Plata Island and the coastline being located, respectively, 35 km and 50-60 km from the trench, GPS measurements allow us to demonstrate that the subducted oceanic relief spatially correlates to a shallow, 80 km × 55 km locked interplate asperity within a dominantly creeping subduction segment. The oceanic relief geometrical anomaly together with its highly jagged topography, the absence of a subduction channel, and a stiff erosive oceanic margin are found to be long-term geological characteristics associated with the shallow locking of the megathrust. Although the size and level of locking observed at the subducted relief scale could produce an Mw >7+ event, no large earthquakes are known to have happened for several centuries. On the contrary, frequent slow slip events have been recorded since 2010 within the locked patch, and regular seismic swarms have occurred in this area during the last 40 years. These transient processes, together with the rough subducted oceanic topography, suggest that interplate friction might actually be heterogeneous within the locked patch. Additionally, we find that the subducted relief undergoes internal shearing and produces a permanent flexural bulge of the margin, which uplifted La Plata Island.

  14. Relamination of mafic subducting crust throughout Earth's history (United States)

    Maunder, Ben; van Hunen, Jeroen; Magni, Valentina; Bouilhol, Pierre


    Earth has likely cooled by several hundred degrees over its history, which has probably affected subduction dynamics and associated magmatism. Today, the process of compositional buoyancy driven upwelling, and subsequent underplating, of subducted materials (commonly referred to as ;relamination;) is thought to play a role in the formation of continental crust. Given that Archean continental crust formation is best explained by the involvement of mafic material, we investigate the feasibility of mafic crust relamination under a wide range of conditions applicable to modern and early Earth subduction zones, to assess if such a process might have been viable in an early Earth setting. Our numerical parametric study illustrates that the hotter, thicker-crust conditions of the early Earth favour the upward relamination of mafic subducting crust. The amount of relaminating subducting crust is observed to vary significantly, with subduction convergence rate having the strongest control on the volume of relaminated material. Indeed, removal of the entire mafic crust from the subducting slab is possible for slow subduction (∼2 cm/yr) under Archean conditions. We also observe great variability in the depth at which this separation occurs (80-120 km), with events corresponding to shallower detachment being more voluminous, and that relaminating material has to remain metastably buoyant until this separation depth, which is supported by geological, geophysical and geodynamical observations. Furthermore, this relamination behaviour is commonly episodic with a typical repeat time of approximately 10 Myrs, similar to timescales of episodicity observed in the Archean rock record. We demonstrate that this relamination process can result in the heating of considerable quantities of mafic material (to temperatures in excess of 900 °C), which is then emplaced below the over-riding lithosphere. As such, our results have implications for Archean subduction zone magmatism, for

  15. IODP Expedition 334: An Investigation of the Sedimentary Record, Fluid Flow and State of Stress on Top of the Seismogenic Zone of an Erosive Subduction Margin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Vannucchi


    Full Text Available The Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project (CRISP is an experiment to understand the processes that control nucleation and seismic rupture of large earthquakes at erosional subduction zones. Integrated Ocean Drililng Program (IODP Expedition 334 by R/V JOIDES Resolution is the first step toward deep drilling through the aseismic and seismicplate boundary at the Costa Rica subduction zone offshore the Osa Peninsula where the Cocos Ridge is subducting beneath the Caribbean plate. Drilling operations included logging while drilling (LWD at two slope sites (Sites U1378 and U1379 and coring at three slope sites (Sites U1378–1380and at one site on the Cocos plate (Site U1381. For the first time the lithology, stratigraphy, and age of the slope and incoming sediments as well as the petrology of the subducting Cocos Ridge have been characterized at this margin.The slope sites recorded a high sediment accumulation rate of 160–1035m m.y.-1 possibly caused by on-land uplift triggered by the subduction of the Cocos Ridge. The geochemical data as well as the in situ temperature data obtained at the slope sites suggest that fluids are transported from greater depths. The geochemical profiles at Site U1381 reflect diffusional communication of a fluid with seawater-likechemistry and the igneous basement of the Cocos plate (Solomon et al., 2011; Vannucchi et al., 2012a. The present-day in situ stress orientation determined by borehole breakouts at Site U1378 in the middle slope and Site U1379 in the upper slope shows a marked change in stress state within ~12 km along the CRISP transect; that maycorrespond to a change from compression (middle slope to extension (upper slope.

  16. Nazca-South America Subduction Zone Reflectivity from P'P' Precursors (United States)

    Gu, Y. J.; Schultz, R.


    Much of what is known about mantle owes to the interpretation of its reflectivity structure. On the global scale mantle stratifications have been attributed to mineralogical phase changes of olivine; two widely observed examples are the 410 and 660 km discontinuities. Among the various seismological tools, results from longer-period SS/PP precursors and high frequency receiver functions are routinely compared to increase the confidence of the recovered mantle stratifications. The former are lower frequency approaches with complex Fresnel zones, while constraints on receiver distribution hinder analysis in oceanic regions for the latter. P'P' precursors are a promising high frequency alternative, capable of resolving small-scale structures (resolution of ~5 km vertically, 200 km laterally) in the mantle, owing to its short-period nature (~1Hz), shallow angle of incidence and nearly symmetric Fresnel zone. However, P'P' precursors are known for several complications: phase triplication (PKiKPPKiKP, PKIKPPKIKP, PKPPKPab and PKPPKPbc) and the maximum-phase Fresnel zones result in strong scattering and asymmetric arrivals. Much of these concerns are alleviated through revamped processing techniques involving stacking, deconvolution, Radon transform and migration. We utilize P'P' precursors to constrain the mantle structure and layering beneath the Nazca-South America subduction zone. Our migration profiles reveal both olivine (e.g., 410, 520, 660) and garnet related transitions in the mantle, with constraints on the sharpness of these transitions. Observations of a depressed 660 are attributed to thermal variations, showing the spatial extent of the impinging Nazca slab. Prominent 520 arrivals near subducted slab material suggest this transition is sharpened to a thickness resonant with P'P' (~10km). The possibility of chemical heterogeneity is evidenced near the top of the mantle transition zone through complicated 410 amplitudes. The existence, depth, sharpness and

  17. Episodic slow slip events in a non-planar subduction fault model for northern Cascadia (United States)

    Li, D.; Liu, Y.; Matsuzawa, T.; Shibazaki, B.


    Episodic tremor and slow slip (ETS) events have been detected along the Cascadia margin, as well as many other subduction zones, by increasingly dense seismic and geodetic networks over the past decade. In northern Cascadia, ETS events arise on the thrust fault interface of 30~50 km depth, coincident with metamorphic dehydration of the subducting oceanic slab around temperatures of 350. Previous numerical simulations (e.g., Liu and Rice 2007) suggested that near-lithostatic pore pressure in the rate-state friction stability transition zone could give rise to slow slip events (SSE) down-dip of the seismogenic zone, which provides a plausible physical mechanism for these phenomena. Here we present a 3-D numerical simulation of inter-seismic SSEs based on the rate- and state- friction law, incorporating a non-planar, realistic northern Cascadia slab geometry compiled by McCrory et al. (2012) using triangular dislocation elements. Preliminary results show that the width and pore pressure level of the transition zone can remarkably affect the recurrence of SSEs. With effective normal stress of ~1-2 MPa and characteristic slip distance of ~1.4 mm, inter-seismic SSEs can arise about every year. The duration of each event is about 2~3 weeks, with the propagating speed along strike in the range of km/day. Furthermore, the slab bending beneath southern Vancouver Island and northern Washington State appears to accelerate the along-strike propagation of SSEs. Our next step is to constrain the rate-state frictional properties using geodetic inversion of SSE slip and inter-SSE plate coupling from the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) GPS measurements. Incorporating the realistic fault geometry into a physics model constrained by geodetic data will enable us to transition from a conceptual towards a quantitative and predictive understanding of SSEs mechanism.

  18. Surface water subduction during a downwelling event in a semienclosed bay (United States)

    Barton, E. D.; Torres, R.; Figueiras, F. G.; Gilcoto, M.; Largier, J.


    The Ría de Vigo is a bay strongly influenced by upwelling-downwelling cycles along the adjacent coast of NW Iberia. Moored and ship-board observations during September 2006 showed that subduction, initially associated with an estuarine circulation, strengthened when a strong downwelling circulation, resulting from northward wind over the coastal ocean, was generated in the outer Ría causing ambient waters to be advected outward in the lower layer. Incoming surface waters confined the estuarine circulation to the shallow interior and displaced isopleths downward through the water column at ˜10 m d-1. As the estuarine circulation retreated inward, strong flow convergence developed between middle and inner ria in the layer above 15 m, while divergence developed beneath. The convergence increased through the period of downwelling-favorable wind at a rate consistent with the observed isopleth displacement velocities. The coefficient of turbulent diffusion Kt, from a microstructure profiler, indicated that mixing was strong in the estuarine circulation and subsequently in the downwelling zone, where localized instabilities and temperature-salinity inversions were observed. During the downwelling, concentrations of phytoplankton, including potentially harmful species, increased, especially in the middle and inner ria, as a result of inward advection, subduction, and the ability of the dinoflagellates to maintain their position in the water column by swimming. In the course of the 5 day event, the water mass of all but the innermost Ría was flushed completely and replaced by waters originating in the coastally trapped poleward flow along the Atlantic coastline.

  19. Complex geometry of the subducted Pacific slab inferred from receiver function (United States)

    Zhang, Ruiqing; Wu, Qingju; Zhang, Guangcheng


    In recent years, slab tear has received considerable attention and been reported in many arc-arc junctures in Pacific plate subdution zones. From 2009 to 2011, we deployed two portable experiments equipped with CMG-3ESPC seismometers and the recorders of REFTEK-130B in NE China. The two linear seismic arrays were designed nearly parallel, and each of them containing about 60 seismic stations extended about 1200 km from west to east spanning all surface geological terrains of NE China. The south one was firstly set up and continually operated over two year, while the north deployment worked only about one year. By using the teleseismic data collected by these two arrays, we calculate the P receiver functions to map topographic variation of the upper mantle discontinuities. Our sampled region is located where the juncture between the subducting Kuril and Japan slabs reaches the 660-km discontinuity. Distinct variation of the 660-km discontinuity is mapped beneath the regions. A deeper-than-normal 660 km discontinuity is observed locally in the southeastern part of our sampled region. The depression of the 660 km discontinuity may be resulted from an oceanic lithospheric slab deflected in the mantle transition zone, in good agreement with the result of earlier tomographic and other seismic studies in this region. The northeastern portion of our sampled region, however, does not show clearly the deflection of the slab. The variation of the tomography of the 660-km discontinuity in our sampled regions may indicate a complex geometry of the subducted Pacific slab.

  20. A record of spontaneous subduction initiation in the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arculus, Richard J.; Ishizuka, Osamu; Bogus, Kara A.; Gurnis, Michael; Hickey-Vargas, Rosemary; Aljahdali, Mohammed H.; Bandini-Maeder, Alexandre N.; Barth, Andrew P.; Brandl, Philipp A.; Drab, Laureen; Do Monte Guerra, Rodrigo; Hamada, Morihisa; Jiang, Fuqing; Kanayama, Kyoko; Kender, Sev; Kusano, Yuki; Li, He; Loudin, Lorne C.; Maffione, Marco; Marsaglia, Kathleen M.; McCarthy, Anders; Meffre, Sebastién; Morris, Antony; Neuhaus, Martin; Savov, Ivan P.; Sena, Clara; Tepley, Frank J.; Van Der Land, Cees; Yogodzinski, Gene M.; Zhang, Zhaohui


    The initiation of tectonic plate subduction into the mantle is poorly understood. If subduction is induced by the push of a distant mid-ocean ridge or subducted slab pull, we expect compression and uplift of the overriding plate. In contrast, spontaneous subduction initiation, driven by subsidence o

  1. Continent-scale strike-slip on a low-angle fault beneath New Zealand's Southern Alps: Implications for crustal thickening in oblique collision zones (United States)

    Lamb, Simon; Smith, Euan; Stern, Tim; Warren-Smith, Emily


    New Zealand's Southern Alps lie adjacent to the continent-scale dextral strike-slip Alpine Fault, on the boundary between the Pacific and Australian plates. We show with a simple 2-D model of crustal balancing that the observed crustal root and erosion (expressed as equivalent crustal shortening) is up to twice that predicted by the orthogonal plate convergence since ˜11 Ma, and even since ˜23 Ma when the Alpine Fault formed. We consider two explanations for this, involving a strong component of motion along the length of the plate-boundary zone. Geophysical data indicate that the Alpine Fault has a listric geometry, flattening at mid crustal levels, and has accommodated sideways underthrusting of Australian plate crust beneath Pacific plate crust. The geometry of the crustal root, together with plate reconstructions, requires the underthrust crust to be the hyperextended part of an asymmetric rift system which formed over 500 km farther south during the Eocene—the narrow remnant part today forms the western margin of the Campbell Plateau. At ˜10 Ma, the hyperextended margin underwent shallow subduction in the Puysegur subduction zone, and then was dragged over 300 km along the length of the Southern Alps beneath a low-angle (plate boundary zone, providing a mechanism for clockwise rotation of the Hikurangi margin.

  2. Crustal and Upper Mantle Density Structure Beneath the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Surrounding Areas Derived from EGM2008 Geoid Anomalies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Honglei Li


    Full Text Available As the most active plateau on the Earth, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (TP has a complex crust–mantle structure. Knowledge of the distribution of such a structure provides information for understanding the underlying geodynamic processes. We obtain a three-dimensional model of the density of the crust and the upper mantle beneath the TP and surrounding areas from height anomalies using the Earth Gravitational Model 2008 (EGM2008. We refine the estimated density in the model iteratively using an initial density contrast model. We confirm that the EGM2008 products can be used to constrain the crust–mantle density structures. Our major findings are: (1 At a depth of 300–400 km, high-D(ensity anomalies terminate around the Jinsha River Suture (JRS in the central TP, which suggests that the Indian Plate has reached across the Bangong Nujiang Suture (BNS and almost reaches the JRS. (2 On the eastern TP, low-D(ensity anomalies at a depth of 0–300 km and with high-D anomalies at 400–670 km further verified the current eastward subduction of the Indian Plate. The ongoing subduction process provides force that results in frequent earthquakes and volcanoes. (3 At a depth of 600 km, low-D anomalies inside the TP illustrate the presence of hot weak material beneath it, which contribute to the inward thrusting of external material.

  3. Mohorovicic discontinuity depth analysis beneath North Patagonian Massif (United States)

    Gómez Dacal, M. L.; Tocho, C.; Aragón, E.


    The North Patagonian Massif is a 100000 km2, sub-rectangular plateau that stands out 500 to 700 m higher in altitude than the surrounding topography. The creation of this plateau took place during the Oligocene through a sudden uplift without noticeable internal deformation. This quite different mechanical response between the massif and the surrounding back arc, the short time in which this process took place and a regional negative Bouguer anomaly in the massif area, raise the question about the isostatic compensation state of the previously mentioned massif. In the present work, a comparison between different results about the depth of the Mohorovicic discontinuity beneath the North Patagonian Massif and a later analysis is made. It has the objective to analyze the crustal thickness in the area to contribute in the determination of the isostatic balance and the better understanding of the Cenozoic evolution of the mentioned area. The comparison is made between four models; two of these were created with seismic information (Feng et al., 2006 and Bassin et al., 2000), another model with gravity information (Barzaghi et al., 2011) and the last one with a combination of both techniques (Tassara y Etchaurren, 2011). The latter was the result of the adaptation to the work area of a three-dimensional density model made with some additional information, mainly seismic, that constrain the surfaces. The work of restriction and adaptation of this model, the later analysis and comparison with the other three models and the combination of both seismic models to cover the lack of resolution in some areas, is presented here. According the different models, the crustal thickness of the study zone would be between 36 and 45 Km. and thicker than the surrounding areas. These results talk us about a crust thicker than normal and that could behave as a rigid and independent block. Moreover, it can be observed that there are noticeable differences between gravimetric and seismic

  4. Turbulence beneath finite amplitude water waves

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beya, J.F. [Universidad de Valparaiso, Escuela de Ingenieria Civil Oceanica, Facultad de Ingenieria, Valparaiso (Chile); The University of New South Wales, Water Research Laboratory, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sydney, NSW (Australia); Peirson, W.L. [The University of New South Wales, Water Research Laboratory, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sydney, NSW (Australia); Banner, M.L. [The University of New South Wales, School of Mathematics and Statistics, Sydney, NSW (Australia)


    Babanin and Haus (J Phys Oceanogr 39:2675-2679, 2009) recently presented evidence of near-surface turbulence generated below steep non-breaking deep-water waves. They proposed a threshold wave parameter a {sup 2}{omega}/{nu} = 3,000 for the spontaneous occurrence of turbulence beneath surface waves. This is in contrast to conventional understanding that irrotational wave theories provide a good approximation of non-wind-forced wave behaviour as validated by classical experiments. Many laboratory wave experiments were carried out in the early 1960s (e.g. Wiegel 1964). In those experiments, no evidence of turbulence was reported, and steep waves behaved as predicted by the high-order irrotational wave theories within the accuracy of the theories and experimental techniques at the time. This contribution describes flow visualisation experiments for steep non-breaking waves using conventional dye techniques in the wave boundary layer extending above the wave trough level. The measurements showed no evidence of turbulent mixing up to a value of a {sup 2}{omega}/{nu} = 7,000 at which breaking commenced in these experiments. These present findings are in accord with the conventional understandings of wave behaviour. (orig.)

  5. Channelization of plumes beneath ice shelves

    KAUST Repository

    Dallaston, M. C.


    © 2015 Cambridge University Press. We study a simplified model of ice-ocean interaction beneath a floating ice shelf, and investigate the possibility for channels to form in the ice shelf base due to spatial variations in conditions at the grounding line. The model combines an extensional thin-film description of viscous ice flow in the shelf, with melting at its base driven by a turbulent ocean plume. Small transverse perturbations to the one-dimensional steady state are considered, driven either by ice thickness or subglacial discharge variations across the grounding line. Either forcing leads to the growth of channels downstream, with melting driven by locally enhanced ocean velocities, and thus heat transfer. Narrow channels are smoothed out due to turbulent mixing in the ocean plume, leading to a preferred wavelength for channel growth. In the absence of perturbations at the grounding line, linear stability analysis suggests that the one-dimensional state is stable to initial perturbations, chiefly due to the background ice advection.

  6. [Guided bone regeneration beneath titanium foils]. (United States)

    Otto, Katharina; Schopper, Christian; Ewers, Rolf; Lambrecht, J Thomas


    The aim of this study was to examine the clinical and histological bony healing process beneath titanium foils used for guided tissue regeneration as well as of the Frios Algipore graft which was applied with autologous bone. 66 sinus floor elevations were carried out and examined over a period of three years and eight months. A success rate of 64% was recorded with foil incorporation. Complications occurred in form of primary and secondary disturbances in the healing process caused by exposure of the foil. 12 of the 66 foils had to be removed early. In all but one case, the augmented bone material was macroscopically well integrated despite the loss of the foil. Primary stability of the inserted dental implants into the ossified augmented site after operations of the sinus maxillaris was reached in all cases with absence of post-operative complications, and in 94% when there was postoperative exposure of the membrane. Histologically, a thin layer of connective tissue poor in cells but rich in collagen fibers appeared underneath the titanium foil. This was followed by newly-formed bony tissue transforming into osseous lamella parallel to the membrane underneath the new periost. In 65 out of 66 cases a sufficient amount of stable bone was built up locally suggesting good bio-compatibility and barrier function. Further, the foil also provided mechanical rest and supporting function for the space underneath. However, the occurrence of healing complications in 36% of the cases showed a need to improve on the titanium foils.

  7. Transient thermal regimes in the Sierra Nevada and Baja California extinct outer arcs following the cessation of Farallon subduction (United States)

    Erkan, Kamil; Blackwell, David


    the cessation of the subduction. We suggest that the significant lateral heat transfer from the Basin and Range in the Sierra Nevada (and from the Gulf of California spreading center in the Peninsular block since ˜5 Ma) may be the main driving mechanism of the postsubduction volcanism/magmatism along the extinct volcanic arc and the recent tilted uplift of the Sierra Nevada block. The low lithospheric temperatures in Sierra Nevada region may also explain the observation of the high seismic velocities in the mantle beneath the southern Sierra Nevada where the downwelling of the mantle lithosphere proposed.

  8. Mechanical behaviour of the Oman metamorphic sole: rheology of amphibolites at lower crustal conditions during subduction initiation (United States)

    Soret, Mathieu; Agard, Philippe; Ildefonse, Benoît; Dubacq, Benoît; Prigent, Cécile; Yamato, Philippe


    Amphibolites are commonly found in the middle to lower continental crust and along oceanic transform faults and detachments. Amphibolites are also the main component of metamorphic soles beneath highly strained peridotites at the base of large-scale ophiolites as exemplified in Oman. Metamorphic soles are crustal slivers stripped from the slab during early subduction and underplated below the upper plate (future ophiolite) mantle when the subduction interface is still young and warm (i.e. during the first million years -My- of intra-oceanic subduction). Understanding the rheological behaviour of amphibolitic rocks is therefore of major interest to model and quantify deformation and strain localisation in varied geodynamical environments. This contribution focuses on the deformation mechanisms of amphibole through a microstructural and petrological study of garnet-bearing and garnet-free clinopyroxene-bearing amphibolites, using EBSD analysis. The first aim is to test the influence of progres- sive changes in PT conditions during deformation and of the appearance/disappearance of anhydrous minerals (plagioclase, clinopyroxene and garnet) on the mechanical behaviour of mafic amphibolites. The second aim is to track deformation mechanisms during early subduction, through the study of these metamorphosed oceanic rocks, commonly 10-100 m thick, which range from high- to low-grade away from the contact with the peridotites (i.e. from 800 ± 100˚C - 0.9 ± 0.2 GPa to 500 ± 100˚C - 0.5 ± 0.1 GPa) and are essentially mafic at the top). Our study points out the existence of two major steps of deformation in the high-temperature amphibolite slices of the metamorphic soles during the early subdduction dynamics. These two steps witness important mechanical coupling and progressive strain localization at plate interface under cooling and hydrated conditions after subduction initiation. During the accretion of the first slice of metamorphic sole at 850 ± 50˚C (the garnet

  9. Dehydration-driven topotaxy in subduction zones (United States)

    Padrón-Navarta, José Alberto; Tommasi, Andréa; Garrido, Carlos J.


    Mineral replacement reactions play a fundamental role in the chemistry and the strength of the lithosphere. When externally or internally derived fluids are present, interface-coupled dissolution-precipitation is the driving mechanism for such reactions [1]. One of the microstructural features of this process is a 3D arrangement of crystallographic axes across internal interfaces (topotaxy) between reactant and product phases. Dehydration reactions are a special case of mineral replacement reaction that generates a transient fluid-filled porosity. Among others, the dehydration serpentinite is of special relevance in subduction zones because of the amount of fluids involved (potentially up to 13 wt.%). Two topotatic relationships between olivine and antigorite (the serpentine mineral stable at high temperature and pressure) have been reported in partially hydrated mantle wedge xenoliths [2]. Therefore, if precursor antigorite serpentine has a strong crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) its dehydration might result in prograde peridotite with a strong inherited CPO. However for predicting the importance of topotactic reactions for seismic anisotropy of subduction zones we also need to consider the crystallization orthopyroxene + chlorite in the prograde reaction and, more importantly, the fact that this dehydration reaction produces a transient porosity of ca. 20 % vol. that results in local fluctuations of strain during compaction and fluid migration. We address this issue by a microstructural comparison between the CPO developed in olivine, orthopyroxene and chlorite during high-pressure antigorite dehydration in piston cylinder experiments (at 750ºC and 20 kbar and 1000ºC and 30 kbar, 168 h) and that recorded in natural samples (Cerro del Almirez, Betic Cordillera, Spain). Experimentally developed CPOs are strong. Prograde minerals show a significant inheritance of the former antigorite foliation. Topotactic relations are dominated by (001)atg//(100)ol

  10. GPS constraints on 35+ slow slip events within the Cascadia subduction zone, 1997- February, 2007 (United States)

    Melbourne, T.; Santillan, M.; Szeliga, W.; Miller, M.


    last less than one month and show typically half the spatial extent. Unlike other subduction zones like the Middle America Trench, no longer-duration Cascadia events are observed, nor cumulative deformation greater than 0.6 cm. The frequency, size and style of the many newly resolved smaller transient deformation events show they occur frequently here, that GPS captures only the largest events, and that smaller SSE's routinely occur at much greater occurrence rate at levels not detectable with GPS. Moreover, the location of the slow slip events, and the general pattern of deformation, suggest that the characteristics of seismogenic locking beneath Cascadia remains enigmatic.

  11. Imaging the Juan de Fuca subduction plate using 3D Kirchoff Prestack Depth Migration (United States)

    Cheng, C.; Bodin, T.; Allen, R. M.; Tauzin, B.


    We propose a new Receiver Function migration method to image the subducting plate in the western US that utilizes the US array and regional network data. While the well-developed CCP (common conversion point) poststack migration is commonly used for such imaging; our method applies a 3D prestack depth migration approach. The traditional CCP and post-stack depth mapping approaches implement the ray tracing and moveout correction for the incoming teleseismic plane wave based on a 1D earth reference model and the assumption of horizontal discontinuities. Although this works well in mapping the reflection position of relatively flat discontinuities (such as the Moho or the LAB), CCP is known to give poor results in the presence of lateral volumetric velocity variations and dipping layers. Instead of making the flat layer assumption and 1D moveout correction, seismic rays are traced in a 3D tomographic model with the Fast Marching Method. With travel time information stored, our Kirchoff migration is done where the amplitude of the receiver function at a given time is distributed over all possible conversion points (i.e. along a semi-elipse) on the output migrated depth section. The migrated reflectors will appear where the semicircles constructively interfere, whereas destructive interference will cancel out noise. Synthetic tests show that in the case of a horizontal discontinuity, the prestack Kirchoff migration gives similar results to CCP, but without spurious multiples as this energy is stacked destructively and cancels out. For 45 degree and 60 degree dipping discontinuities, it also performs better in terms of imaging at the right boundary and dip angle. This is especially useful in the Western US case, beneath which the Juan de Fuca plate subducted to ~450km with a dipping angle that may exceed 50 degree. While the traditional CCP method will underestimate the dipping angle, our proposed imaging method will provide an accurate 3D subducting plate image without

  12. Apparent stress, fault maturity and seismic hazard for normal-fault earthquakes at subduction zones (United States)

    Choy, G.L.; Kirby, S.H.


    The behavior of apparent stress for normal-fault earthquakes at subduction zones is derived by examining the apparent stress (?? a = ??Es/Mo, where E s is radiated energy and Mo is seismic moment) of all globally distributed shallow (depth, ?? 1 MPa) are also generally intraslab, but occur where the lithosphere has just begun subduction beneath the overriding plate. They usually occur in cold slabs near trenches where the direction of plate motion across the trench is oblique to the trench axis, or where there are local contortions or geometrical complexities of the plate boundary. Lower ??a (tectonic regime suggests that the level of ?? a is related to fault maturity. Lower stress drops are needed to rupture mature faults such as those found at plate interfaces that have been smoothed by large cumulative displacements (from hundreds to thousands of kilometres). In contrast, immature faults, such as those on which intraslab-normal-fault earthquakes generally occur, are found in cold and intact lithosphere in which total fault displacement has been much less (from hundreds of metres to a few kilometres). Also, faults on which high ??a oceanic strike-slip earthquakes occur are predominantly intraplate or at evolving ends of transforms. At subduction zones, earthquakes occurring on immature faults are likely to be more hazardous as they tend to generate higher amounts of radiated energy per unit of moment than earthquakes occurring on mature faults. We have identified earthquake pairs in which an interplate-thrust and an intraslab-normal earthquake occurred remarkably close in space and time. The intraslab-normal member of each pair radiated anomalously high amounts of energy compared to its thrust-fault counterpart. These intraslab earthquakes probably ruptured intact slab mantle and are dramatic examples in which Mc (an energy magnitude) is shown to be a far better estimate of the potential for earthquake damage than Mw. This discovery may help explain why loss of

  13. Consideration of optimum site distribution for detecting seafloor crustal deformation at the Nankai subduction zone (United States)

    Watanabe, T.; Tadokoro, K.; Sugimoto, S.; Okuda, T.; Miyata, K.; Kuno, M.


    The Philippine Sea plate subducts beneath the southwest Japan from the Nankai Trough with a rate of about 4-6 cm/yr, where great interplate earthquakes have repeatedly occurred every 100-150 years. To clarify the mechanism of earthquake occurrence at such subduction zones, we require the geodetic data obtained from not only onshore area but also offshore area. However it is difficult to estimate the strength of interplate coupling in offshore areas, due to the poverty of those data. For this issue, we have conducted seafloor geodetic observation using GPS/Acoustic techniques around the Nankai Trough since 2004. In this system, we estimate the position of a surveying vessel by Kinematic GPS analysis and measure the distance between the vessel and the benchmark on the seafloor by Acoustic measurements. Next, we determine the location of the benchmark and detected crustal movement on the seafloor. In the Kumano Basin, we have two seafloor benchmarks, which are located about 60 and 80 km away from the deformation front of the Nankai Trough. The observations from 2005 to 2008 have illustrated that those benchmarks are moving at rates of about 5-6 cm/yr toward west-northwest with velocity uncertainties of about 2 cm/yr relative to the Amurian plate. In this study, in order to estimate infer coupling at the Nankai Trough, we calculated surface deformations accompanied with subduction of the Philippine Sea plate in an elastic half-space and compared them with on- and offshore GPS velocities. Then, we checked the effect of seafloor geodetic observation on slip resolution on the plate interface. Moreover, we investigated optimum seafloor site distribution at the Nankai Trough using numerical simulation, because we require more seafloor sites to understand spatial variation of the slip and strain accumulation on the plate interface. We conclude that seafloor geodetic observation data provide good constraints for the estimation of slips at the shallower part of the plate

  14. Effects of the metamorphic changes on the subducting processes (United States)

    Bousquet, R.; de Capitani, C.; Arcay, D.


    During the subduction-collision processes, the Earth's crust is squeezed, thickened and uplifted. Therefore rocks will be exposed to changing temperature, pressures and stress regimes and they may undergo metamorphism or partial melting. Meanwhile less attention has been paid to other important aspects of the metamorphic processes. The formation of different kind of rocks (amphibolites, eclogites, granulites) can lead to dramatic changes in petrophysical properties. When reacting rocks expand and contract, the volume changes will set up in the surrounding material. Modeling several cases of subduction for different types of rocks (granites, sediments, mafic and ultramafic rocks), we explore implications 1) on the dynamic of the subduction. Hence computing changes of physical properties of rocks as well quantity of released fluids by dynamic modeling of metamorphic reactions, we will show that some subductions are more propitious to exhume (U)HP rocks and thus to obstruct the subduction dynamic the while others are more propitious to produce heavier rocks and self-sustained subduction. 2) on the localization of earthquakes into the subducting slab. As shown by several authors, intermediate-depth earthquakes mainly occur where hydrous minerals are predicted to be present, implying a causal link between dehydration reactions and seismicity. We investigate petrophysical changes related to dehydration and their implications for generating an earthquake? 3) on the dynamic of the mantle wedge. In many subductions, the upper plate thinning seems to be controlled by the dehydration reactions. We test influence of bulk composition of the lithosphere to estimate the back-arc dynamic. Preliminary results suggest that the appearance of amphiboles within the lithosphere favors local convection and formation of back-arc basin. We conclude that changes associated with metamorphism as an alternative to changes attributed solely to compositional differences.

  15. Subduction of oceanic asthenosphere: A critical appraisal in central Alaska (United States)

    Song, Teh-Ru Alex; Kawakatsu, Hitoshi


    Song and Kawakatsu (2012) have shown that the sub-slab fast splitting pattern observed in most subduction zones can be a direct consequence of subduction of the oceanic asthenosphere that has strong radial anisotropy. This model not only explains the non-intuitive trench-parallel splitting pattern in most of subduction zones, but also predicts the trench-normal behavior (fast polarization direction sub-parallel to the absolute plate motion of the incoming plate) observed in several shallow subduction zones. The general validity of such a scenario is crucial to fundamental understandings of the development of mantle anisotropy in sub-lithosphere or/and sub-slab conditions, the nature and formation of oceanic asthenosphere as well as the flow pattern and mass transport near subduction zones. To validate this scenario, we examine SKS splitting patterns observed across the fore-arc in central Alaska. Here the fast splitting direction varies from plate motion sub-parallel near the trench to mostly trench-parallel beyond the 100 km slab-isodepth contour, while being strongly variable in between. After taking into account the rotation of anisotropy symmetry in the oceanic asthenosphere with respect to the local plate motion obliquity and down-dip variations in the slab dip, we reproduce a general 90-degree switch in fast splitting direction as well as the back azimuth dependent splitting pattern across the entire fore-arc. The current validation further augments the idea that, apart from anisotropy in the mantle wedge and the subducting slab, subduction of the oceanic asthenosphere is likely to be the dominant source of seismic anisotropy in central Alaska and potentially in many subduction zones. Furthermore, this result also provides alternative views to models of seismic anisotropy in the mantle wedge and on the length scale in which the 3D mantle flow may be important.

  16. Trench curvature and deformation of the subducting lithosphere (United States)

    Schettino, Antonio; Tassi, Luca


    The subduction of oceanic lithosphere is generally accompanied by downdip and lateral deformation. The downdip component of strain is associated with external forces that are applied to the slab during its sinking, namely the gravitational force and the mantle resistance to penetration. Here, we present theoretical arguments showing that a tectonic plate is also subject to a predictable amount of lateral deformation as a consequence of its bending along an arcuate trench zone, independently from the long-term physical processes that have determined the actual curvature of the subduction zone. In particular, we show that the state of lateral strain and the lateral strain rate of a subducting slab depend from geometric and kinematic parameters, such as trench curvature, dip function and subduction velocity. We also demonstrate that the relationship between the state of lateral strain in a subducting slab and the geometry of bending at the corresponding active margin implies a small component of lateral shortening at shallow depths, and may include large extensional lateral deformation at intermediate depths, whereas a state of lateral mechanical equilibrium can only represent a localized exception. Our formulation overcomes the flaws of the classic 'ping-pong ball' model for the bending of the lithosphere at subduction zones, which lead to severe discrepancies with the observed geometry and style of deformation of the modern subducting slabs. A study of the geometry and seismicity of eight modern subduction zones is performed, to assess the validity of the theoretical relationship between trench curvature, slab dip function, and lateral strain rate. The strain pattern within the eight present-day slabs, which is reconstructed through an analysis of Harvard CMT solutions, shows that tectonic plates cannot be considered as flexible-inextensible spherical caps, whereas the lateral intraslab deformation which is accommodated through seismic slip can be explained in terms

  17. Low electrical resistivity associated with plunging of the Nazca flat slab beneath Argentina. (United States)

    Booker, John R; Favetto, Alicia; Pomposiello, M Cristina


    Beneath much of the Andes, oceanic lithosphere descends eastward into the mantle at an angle of about 30 degrees (ref. 1). A partially molten region is thought to form in a wedge between this descending slab and the overlying continental lithosphere as volatiles given off by the slab lower the melting temperature of mantle material. This wedge is the ultimate source for magma erupted at the active volcanoes that characterize the Andean margin. But between 28 degrees and 33 degrees S the subducted Nazca plate appears to be anomalously buoyant, as it levels out at about 100 km depth and extends nearly horizontally under the continent. Above this 'flat slab', volcanic activity in the main Andean Cordillera terminated about 9 million years ago as the flattening slab presumably squeezed out the mantle wedge. But it is unknown where slab volatiles go once this happens, and why the flat slab finally rolls over to descend steeply into the mantle 600 km further eastward. Here we present results from a magnetotelluric profile in central Argentina, from which we infer enhanced electrical conductivity along the eastern side of the plunging slab, indicative of the presence of partial melt. This conductivity structure may imply that partial melting occurs to at least 250 km and perhaps to more than 400 km depth, or that melt is supplied from the 410 km discontinuity, consistent with the transition-zone 'water-filter' model of Bercovici and Karato.

  18. Imaging the Juan de Fuca plate beneath southern Oregon using teleseismic P wave residuals (United States)

    Harris, R.A.; Iyer, H.M.; Dawson, P.B.


    Images the Juan de Fuca plate in southern Oregon using seismic tomography. P wave travel time residuals from a 366-km-long seismic array operated in southern Oregon in 1982 are inverted. The southeast striking array extended from the Coast ranges to the Modoc Plateau and crossed the High Cascades at Crater Lake, Oregon. Three features under the array were imaged: one high-velocity zone and two low-velocity zones. The high-velocity zone is 3-4% faster than the surrounding upper mantle. It dips steeply at 65?? to the east beneath the Cascade Range and extends down to at least 200 km. It is proposed that this high-velocity feature is subducted Juan de Fuca plate. Two low-velocity zones were also imaged, both of which are 3-4% slower than the surrounding earth structure. The southeastern low-velocity zone may be caused by partially molten crust underlying the Crater Lake volcano region. -from Authors

  19. Detectability of temporal changes in fine structures near the inner core boundary beneath the eastern hemisphere (United States)

    Yu, Wen-che


    The inner core boundary (ICB), where melting and solidification of the core occur, plays a crucial role in the dynamics of the Earth's interior. To probe temporal changes near the ICB beneath the eastern hemisphere, I analyze differential times of PKiKP (dt(PKiKP)), double differential times of PKiKP-PKPdf, and PKiKP coda waves from repeating earthquakes in the Southwest Pacific subduction zones. Most PKiKP differential times are within ±30 ms, comparable to inherent travel time uncertainties due to inter-event separations, and suggest no systematic changes as a function of calendar time. Double differential times measured between PKiKP codas and PKiKP main phases show promising temporal changes, with absolute values of time shifts of >50 ms for some observations. However, there are discrepancies among results from different seismographs in the same calendar time window. Negligible changes in PKiKP times, combined with changes in PKiKP coda wave times on 5 year timescales, favor a smooth inner core boundary with fine-scale structures present in the upper inner core. Differential times of PKiKP can be interpreted in the context of either melting based on translational convection, or growth based on thermochemical mantle-inner core coupling. Small dt(PKiKP) values with inherent uncertainties do not have sufficient resolution to distinguish the resultant longitudinal (melting) and latitudinal (growth) dependencies predicted on the basis of the two models on 5 year timescales.

  20. Seismic evidence for a possible deep crustal hot zone beneath Southwest Washington (United States)

    Flinders, Ashton; Shen, Yang


    Crustal pathways connecting deep sources of melt and the active volcanoes they supply are poorly understood. Beneath Mounts St. Helens, Adams, and Rainier these pathways connect subduction-induced ascending melts to shallow magma reservoirs. Petrogenetic modeling predicts that when these melts are emplaced as a succession of sills into the lower crust they generate deep crustal hot zones. While these zones are increasingly recognized as a primary site for silicic differentiation at a range of volcanic settings globally, imaging them remains challenging. Near Mount Rainier, ascending melt has previously been imaged ~28 km northwest of the volcano, while to the south, the volcano lies on the margin of a broad conductive region in the deep crust. Using 3D full-waveform tomography, we reveal an expansive low-velocity zone, which we interpret as a possible hot zone, linking ascending melts and shallow reservoirs. This hot zone may supply evolved magmas to Mounts St. Helens and Adams, and possibly Rainier, and could contain approximately twice the melt volume as the total eruptive products of all three volcanoes combined. Hot zones like this may be the primary reservoirs for arc volcanism, influencing compositional variations and spatial-segmentation along the entire 1100 km-long Cascades Arc.

  1. Seismic evidence for a possible deep crustal hot zone beneath Southwest Washington. (United States)

    Flinders, Ashton F; Shen, Yang


    Crustal pathways connecting deep sources of melt and the active volcanoes they supply are poorly understood. Beneath Mounts St. Helens, Adams, and Rainier these pathways connect subduction-induced ascending melts to shallow magma reservoirs. Petrogenetic modeling predicts that when these melts are emplaced as a succession of sills into the lower crust they generate deep crustal hot zones. While these zones are increasingly recognized as a primary site for silicic differentiation at a range of volcanic settings globally, imaging them remains challenging. Near Mount Rainier, ascending melt has previously been imaged ~28 km northwest of the volcano, while to the south, the volcano lies on the margin of a broad conductive region in the deep crust. Using 3D full-waveform tomography, we reveal an expansive low-velocity zone, which we interpret as a possible hot zone, linking ascending melts and shallow reservoirs. This hot zone may supply evolved magmas to Mounts St. Helens and Adams, and possibly Rainier, and could contain approximately twice the melt volume as the total eruptive products of all three volcanoes combined. Hot zones like this may be the primary reservoirs for arc volcanism, influencing compositional variations and spatial-segmentation along the entire 1100 km-long Cascades Arc.

  2. Seismic evidence for the depression of the D″ discontinuity beneath the Caribbean: Implication for slab heating from the Earth's core (United States)

    Ko, Justin Yen-Ting; Hung, Shu-Huei; Kuo, Ban-Yuan; Zhao, Li


    The lowermost 100-300 km of the Earth's mantle commonly regarded as the thermal boundary layer (TBL) of mantle circulation is characterized by its complex physical properties. Beneath the Caribbean this so-called D″ layer features relatively high velocities and abrupt impedance increase at the top (designated as the D″ discontinuity). These seismic characteristics have been attributed to the accumulation of ancient subducted slab material and the phase transition in the major lower mantle mineral of pervoskite. Geodynamic models predict that the blanketing cold slabs may trap enough heat from core to be buoyantly destabilized, and eventually broken apart and entrained into the bottom of the convection cell. Here we explore the D″ structure with unprecedented resolution through modeling traveltimes, amplitudes, and waveform shapes from the USArray. We find an east-to-west asymmetrical undulation of the D″ discontinuity with a V-shaped depression of ∼70-160 km over a lateral distance of 600 km beneath northern South America. The shear velocity perturbations vary in the same trend showing the most pronounced reduction of ∼3-4% below the thinnest D″ layer in close proximity to an intermittently undetected discontinuity. The strong correlation between the D″ topography and velocity variations indicates the phase transition boundary has been perturbed or even disrupted by the large lateral temperature gradient of slab material which has been reheated from the core over extended periods of time.

  3. Shear-wave splitting and mantle anisotropy in the southern South American subduction zone (United States)

    MacDougall, J. G.; Fischer, K. M.; Anderson, M. L.


    The goal of this study is to constrain mantle flow above and below the subducting Nazca plate at latitudes of 30°-41° S. In this segment of the South American subduction zone, slab dip varies dramatically, including a region of flat slab subduction in the north and greater dip angles (~30°) in the south, where the segment ends at a slab gap associated with Chile Ridge. We measured shear-wave splitting in over 200 S arrivals from local earthquakes at permanent stations PLCA (USGS/GTSN) and PEL (Geoscope) and 14 stations of the 2000-2002 CHARGE (Chile Argentina Geophysical Experiment) PASSCAL array. We also made splitting measurements in 17 SKS and SKKS phases recorded by PLCA and permanent station TRQA (IRIS/GSN). Splitting parameters for a sub-set of local S, SKS and SKKS phases were determined using a range of filters from 0.05-0.2 to 0.05-2, and were generally stable as a function of frequency; frequency-dependence was observed in a small number of cases, and will be investigated further. The results reported below correspond to a 0.05-2 Hz bandpass filter. Local S splitting times range from 0.1-0.9 seconds, and for back-arc stations, splitting times correlate with path length in the mantle wedge. These results indicate that wedge anisotropy is a dominant factor in the observed splitting, although shallower anisotropy also appears to be present. Splitting fast polarizations at back-arc stations show a coherent variation with latitude. Fast polarizations vary from NE at 40°-41°S, to N (roughly slab-strike parallel) at 35°-36°S, to NE-ESE at 30°-33°S, curving as the slab flattens where the Juan Fernandez Ridge is subducting beneath the South American lithosphere. For SKS and SKKS phases at PLCA (in the western back-arc at 41°S), fast directions are predominantly ENE-ESE and splitting times range from 1.0-2.3 s. At TRQA (much farther to the east and at 38°S), teleseismic fast polarizations are E-SE and splitting times vary from 0.8-2.4 s. At PLCA, because

  4. Subduction to Continental Delamination: Insights From Laboratory Experiments (United States)

    Gogus, O. H.; Corbi, F.; Faccenna, C.; Pysklywec, R. N.


    The evolution of the lithosphere through subduction-collision and delamination and its surface/crustal response (topography/deformation) is investigated in this work. We present a series of lithosphere scale two dimensional (2-D) and three dimensional (3-D) laboratory experiments to better understand such processes. In these experiments, an idealized viscously deforming crust-mantle lithosphere-mantle system is configured with silicone putty (representing lithospheric mantle and upper crust) and glucose syrup (representing the upper mantle and lower crust). The initial focus was to investigate the physical development of delamination versus continental subduction without plate convergence. Experiments show that the delamination or continental subduction is strongly dependent on the density of the crust (both crust and mantle lithosphere subducts when crust has a higher density, instead of delamination), while in the investigated range, the viscosity of the weak layer does not have much influence on the process. In all the experiments, the topography is asymmetric with subsidence above the delaminating hinge due to the dynamic vertical pulling driven by the delaminating slab, and uplift above the delaminated region due to the buoyancy of asthenosphere. Our investigation on the oceanic subduction with a convergence rate of ~ 3cm/year plate velocity suggests that subduction -collision - delamination is well defined and at the end, the delaminating crust from the lithosphere is overthrusted on top of the overriding plate. Our results provide integrated insights on the Alpine-Himalayan type orogenies, in particular the neotectonic evolution of Eastern Anatolian plateau.

  5. Geomorphic evidence for recent uplift of the Fitzcarrald Arch (Peru): A response to the Nazca Ridge subduction (United States)

    Regard, V.; Lagnous, R.; Espurt, N.; Darrozes, J.; Baby, P.; Roddaz, M.; Calderon, Y.; Hermoza, W.


    The 400 000 km 2-wide Fitzcarrald Arch constitutes a wide topographic high of the Amazon Basin against the central Andes. In order to constrain its formation mechanisms and in particular to test its relationships to the Nazca ridge subduction, a quantitative geomorphology analysis of the Arch is performed using hypsometric integrals, elongation and azimuths of 7th- and 5th-order catchments. They all express a trend from high maturity to low maturity from NW towards SE. This maturity gradient coupled with the local drainage direction demonstrate that the Fitzcarrald Arch is not a 'classical' alluvial fan, since its apex is located 100 km east to the Subandean Thrust Front and the corresponding sedimentary pile is lacking. Nor is the Arch the superficial expression of an inherited transfer zone, because its geomorphic shape is radial and it does not diverge from a symmetry axis; moreover, such a reactivated structure is not found at depth on seismic profiles. In addition, our data show that underlying geomorphic control on catchment initiation and development has progressed from NW to SE, which in combination with the observation of crustal doming by Espurt et al. [Espurt, N., Baby, P., Brusset, S., Roddaz, M., Hermoza, W., Regard, V., Antoine, P.O., Salas-Gismondi, R., Bolaños, R., 2007. How does the Nazca Ridge subduction influence the modern Amazonian foreland basin? Geology 35, 515-518.] suggests that this relief is caused by the eastward sliding of the buoyant Nazca ridge beneath the South American lithosphere.

  6. Examining Stress Changes Due to Subducting Topography and Variable Rheology in the Middle America Trench at Nicoya Gulf, Costa Rica (United States)

    Elliott, C. E.; Bilek, S. L.; Lithgow-Bertelloni, C.


    Offshore of the Nicoya Gulf at the Middle America Trench, the Cocos Plate is subducting beneath the Caribbean plate at about 84 mm per year. A line of seamounts are entering the trench in this region, causing dramatic deformation of the seafloor landward of the thrust. It has been suggested that these seamounts are being subducted, causing coastal uplift and seismicity. The March 25, 1990 Mw 7.0 Nicoya Gulf earthquake is thought to have occurred as one of these seamounts ruptured. How do these seamounts affect the rupture process? Are they behaving as patches of increased or decreased friction along the seismic interface? How does the subducting topography change the stress field after an earthquake? Can triggered events be explained by static stress changes, or does the rheology down dip from the seismogenic zone influence subsequent events in the region? Using a three dimensional model with patches of variable friction to simulate the seamounts as asperities, we compare the location of aftershocks to the stress changes associated with increased and decreased friction. We compare this to a model of Coulomb static stress change, which displays lobes of static stress increase and decrease due to slip on the fault plane, and the distribution of aftershocks within these lobes. To examine the stress changes associated with a set of delayed inland triggered events, we also vary the rheology of our model, using a linear elastic half space for the seismogenic zone, and viscous creep along the lower, aseismic portion of the fault below 40 kilometers. These models allow us to examine the spatial and temporal relationship of seismicity associated with stress changes due to variable friction and rheology. Our results indicate that stresses increase away from the fault with time if viscous creep is included in the model. These stress increases roughly correspond to inland areas of noted increase in seismicity, suggesting that creep along the down dip, aseismic portion of the

  7. The South Tibetan Tadpole Zone: Ongoing density sorting at the Moho beneath the Indus-Tsangpo suture zone (and beneath volcanic arcs?) (United States)

    Kelemen, Peter; Hacker, Bradley


    Some Himalayan cross-sections show Indian crust thrust beneath Tibetan crust, with no intervening mantle wedge (e.g., Powell & Conaghan 73), others indicate thickening of both crustal sections, juxtaposed along a steep suture (e.g., Dewey & Burke 73), and many combine features of both end-members (e.g., Argand 24). To understand crustal scale structure and related phenomena, we focus on data from an area in southern Tibet at 28-30°N, 84-91°E. 21st century observations in this area show a horizontal Moho at ca 80 km depth, extending from thickened Indian crust, across a region where Tibetan crust is interpreted to overlie Indian crust, into thickened Tibetan crust (Zhao et al 01; Monsalve et al 08; Wittlinger et al 09; Nabelek et al 09; Kind et al 02; Schulte-Pelkum et al 05; Shi et al 15). About half the subducted Indian crustal volume is present, whereas the other half is missing (Replumaz et al 10). Vp/Vs indicates the alpha-beta quartz transition is at ca 50 km depth (Sheehan et al 13). Miocene lavas include primitive andesites probably formed by interaction of crustal material with mantle peridotite at > 1000°C (Turner et al 93; Williams et al 01, 04; Chung et al 05). Thermobarometry of xenoliths in a 12.7 Ma dike records ~ 1100°C at 2.2-2.6 GPa and 920°C at 1.7 GPa (Chan et al 09). Biotite-rich pyroxenites among the xenoliths, similar to those in central Tibet (Hacker et al 00) and the Pamirs (Hacker et al 05), may form via reaction of hot crustal lithologies and mantle peridotite (e.g., Sekine & Wyllie 82, 83). These data, taken together, indicate Miocene to present day temperatures exceeding 800°C from ca 50 km depth to the Moho, unlike thermal models with a hot mid-crust and cold Moho (McKenzie & Priestley 08, Craig et al 12, Wang et al 13; Nabelek & Nabelek 14), and despite the observation of numerous, near-Moho earthquakes (Chen & Molnar 83; Chen & Yang 04; Monsalve et al 06; Priestley et al 08; Craig et al 12) interpreted by many as brittle failure

  8. Remote Oil Spill Detection and Monitoring Beneath Sea Ice (United States)

    Polak, Adam; Marshall, Stephen; Ren, Jinchang; Hwang, Byongjun (Phil); Hagan, Bernard; Stothard, David J. M.


    The spillage of oil in Polar Regions is particularly serious due to the threat to the environment and the difficulties in detecting and tracking the full extent of the oil seepage beneath the sea ice. Development of fast and reliable sensing techniques is highly desirable. In this paper hyperspectral imaging combined with signal processing and classification techniques are proposed as a potential tool to detect the presence of oil beneath the sea ice. A small sample, lab based experiment, serving as a proof of concept, resulted in the successful identification of oil presence beneath the thin ice layer as opposed to the other sample with ice only. The paper demonstrates the results of this experiment that granted a financial support to execute full feasibility study of this technology for oil spill detection beneath the sea ice.

  9. Geometric and oceanographic controls on melting beneath Pine Island Glacier

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    De Rydt, J; Holland, P. R; Dutrieux, P; Jenkins, A


    .... As a result, a large ocean cavity has formed behind the ridge, strongly controlling the ocean circulation beneath the ice shelf and modulating the ocean water properties that cause ice melting...

  10. Mantle flow influence on the evolution of subduction systems. (United States)

    Chertova, Maria; Spakman, Wim; Steinberger, Bernhard


    Evolution of the subducting slab has been widely investigated in the past two decades be means of numerical and laboratory modeling, including analysis of the factors controlling its behavior. However, until present, relatively little attention has been paid to the influence of the mantle flow. While for large subduction zones, due to the high slab buoyancy force, this effect might be small, mantle flow might be a primary factor controlling the evolution of a regional subduction zone. Here we investigate the impact of prescribed mantle flow on the evolution of both generic and real-Earth subduction models by means of 3D thermo-mechanical numerical modeling. The generic setup consists of a laterally symmetric subduction model using a 3000×2000×1000 km modeling domain with a lateral slab width varying from 500 to 1500 km. Non-linear rheology is implemented including diffusion, dislocation creep and a viscosity-limiter. To satisfy mass conservation, while implementing mantle inflow on some side boundaries, we keep other sides open (Chertova et al. 2012). To test the mantle flow influence on the dynamics of real-Earth subduction zone we adopt the numerical model from Chertova et al. (2014) for the evolution of the western Mediterranean subduction since 35 Ma. First, this model was tested with the arbitrary mantle flow prescribed on one of the four side boundaries or for the combination of two boundaries. In the last set of experiments, for side boundary conditions we use time-dependent estimates of actual mantle flow in the region based on Steinberger (2015) given for every 1 My. We demonstrate that for the western-Mediterranean subduction, the surrounding mantle flow is of second-order compared to slab buoyancy in controlling the dynamics of the subducting slab. Introducing mantle flow on the side boundaries might, however, improve the fit between the modeled and real slab imaged by tomography, although this may also trade-off with varying rheological parameters of

  11. Foundering lithosphere imaged beneath the southern Sierra Nevada, California, USA. (United States)

    Boyd, Oliver S; Jones, Craig H; Sheehan, Anne F


    Seismic tomography reveals garnet-rich crust and mantle lithosphere descending into the upper mantle beneath the southeastern Sierra Nevada. The descending lithosphere consists of two layers: an iron-rich eclogite above a magnesium-rich garnet peridotite. These results place descending eclogite above and east of high P wave speed material previously imaged beneath the southern Great Valley, suggesting a previously unsuspected coherence in the lithospheric removal process.

  12. Subduction of the South Chile active spreading ridge: A 17 Ma to 3 Ma magmatic record in central Patagonia (western edge of Meseta del Lago Buenos Aires, Argentina) (United States)

    Boutonnet, E.; Arnaud, N.; Guivel, C.; Lagabrielle, Y.; Scalabrino, B.; Espinoza, F.


    The Chile Triple Junction is a natural laboratory to study the interactions between magmatism and tectonics during the subduction of an active spreading ridge beneath a continent. The MLBA plateau (Meseta del Lago Buenos Aires) is one of the Neogene alkali basaltic plateaus located in the back-arc region of the Andean Cordillera at the latitude of the current Chile Triple Junction. The genesis of MLBA can be related with successive opening of slabs windows beneath Patagonia: within the subducting Nazca Plate itself and between the Nazca and Antarctic plates. Detailed 40Ar/ 39Ar dating and geochemical analysis of bimodal magmatism from the western flank of the MLBA show major changes in the back-arc magmatism which occurred between 14.5 Ma and 12.5 Ma with the transition from calc-alkaline lavas (Cerro Plomo) to alkaline lavas (MLBA) in relation with slab window opening. In a second step, at 4-3 Ma, alkaline felsic intrusions were emplaced in the western flank of the MLBA coevally with the MLBA basalts with which they are genetically related. These late OIB-like alkaline to transitional basalts were generated by partial melting of the subslab asthenosphere of the subducting Nazca plate during the opening of the South Chile spreading ridge-related slab window. These basalts differentiated with small amounts of assimilation in shallow magma chambers emplaced along transtensional to extensional zones. The close association of bimodal magmatism with extensional tectonic features in the western MLBA is a strong support to the model of Patagonian collapse event proposed to have taken place between 5 and 3 Ma as a consequence of the presence of the asthenospheric window (SCR-1 segment of South Chile Ridge) below the MLBA area.

  13. The transition from strike slip to oblique subduction in southeastern Alaska from seismological studies (United States)

    Doser, Diane I.; Lomas, Rodolfo


    Body waveform modeling of 11 moderate to large earthquakes within southeastern Alaska has been incorporated with earthquake relocations and the results of previous seismicity studies to examine the transition from strike-slip to oblique subduction in southeastern Alaska. In the Sitka region of extreme southeastern Alaska, earthquakes indicate seismic slip is parallel to the direction of motion between North America and the Pacific plate. As the plate margin begins to bend to the west near Cross Sound and encounters the southeastern edge of the Yakutat Block, partitioning of seismic slip is evident both onshore and offshore. Although the largest earthquakes (magnitude>6.0) in this region have slip parallel to plate motion, most moderate sized events have slip vectors rotated clockwise from plate motion. Offshore, the 1973 Cross Sound sequence indicates that the southern end of the Transition zone is seismogenic, with the Pacific plate being thrust beneath the Yakutat block, while onshore, strike-slip faulting has occurred along the Fairweather, Border Ranges and Denali faults. In the St. Elias region, thrust faulting is occurring along and above the plate interface. Moderate sized events in the St. Elias show a mix of slip vector orientations. In the Pamplona zone slip vectors of offshore earthquakes and deformation directions determined onshore from GPS studies show a counter-clockwise rotation relative to plate motion, suggesting that a change in strain field occurs just west of the St. Elias region.

  14. Seamount subduction and related deformation and seismicity of the continental slope off Manzanillo, Mexico, as evidenced by multibeam data (United States)

    Bandy, W. L.; Castillo Maldonado, M.; Mortera-Gutierrez, C. A.


    The west coast of Mexico presents a complex pattern of deformation related to the convergence and subduction of the Rivera plate beneath the Jalisco Block/North American plate. Previous single beam bathymetric data have evidenced a large bathymetric high at 104.6218oW, 18.7123oN, in the continental slope region off Manzanillo, Mexico. One school of thought held that this high was the offshore extension of the onshore Manzanillo horst, although the two features are offset in a right-lateral sense. Alternatively, given the presence of a large positive magnetic anomaly near the bathymetric high, the high could also be caused by the collision and subsequent subduction of a large seamount. Given that the offset between the two structures was the main evidence for proposing the existence of a forearc sliver in the offshore area of the Jalisco margin, resolving the nature of this bathymetric high is quite important in our attempts to understand the plate kinematics and tectonics of this region. Thus, to better define the deformation pattern associated with the bathymetric high, multibeam bathymetric data (obtained using the Kongsberg EM300 multibeam system), subbottom profiles (obtained using the Kongsberg TOPAS18 system), and total field magnetic data (obtained using the Geometrics G877 marine proton precession magnetometer) were collected in the continental slope region between Manzanillo, Colima, and Chamela, Jalisco, during several cruises of UNAM´s research vessel the B.O. EL PUMA. The morphology and structural deformation patterns obtained in this study indicate very clearly that a large seamount is in the process of subducting beneath the continental slope off Manzanillo. The results also indicate that not only has the seamount uplifted the slope but has resulted in slumping of the area of the slope landward of the seamount. Given these results the proposal of the existence of an independent forearc sliver in the offshore area of the southern Jalisco block needs

  15. The Slip History and Source Statistics of Major Slow Slip Events along the Cascadia Subduction Zone from 1998 to 2008 (United States)

    Gao, H.; Schmidt, D. A.


    We estimate the time dependent slip distribution of 16 prominent slow slip events along the northern half of the Cascadia subduction zone from 1998 to 2008. We process continuous GPS data from the PBO, PANGA and WCDA networks from the past decade using GAMIT/GLOBK processing package. Transient surface displacements are interpreted as slip on the plate interface using the Extended Network Inversion Filter. Of these 16 events, 10 events are centered north of Puget Sound, 4 events are resolved around the Columbia River and 1 event is located near Cape Blanco. The February 2003 event is complex, extending from Portland to southern Vancouver Island. Other smaller events beneath Northern Vancouver Island, Oregon and Northern California are not well resolved because of the limited station coverage. We identify two characteristic segments based on the along-strike extent of individual transient slip events in northern Washington. One segment is centered around Port Angeles. Another segment is between the Columbia River and the southern end of Puget Sound. The propagation direction of slow slip events is variable from one event to the next. The maximum cumulative slip for these 16 events is ~ 27 cm, which is centered beneath Port Angeles. This indicates that the strain release by transient slip is not uniform along-strike. In northwestern Washington where cumulative slip is a maximum, the subduction zone bends along-strike and dip of the plate is lower compared to the north and south. We hypothesize that the geometry of the slab plays an important role for focusing transient strain release at this location along the subduction zone. We explore the relationship of source parameters of slow slip using our catalogue of 16 events. The estimated moment magnitude ranges between 6.1 and 6.7. The average stress drop of 0.06-0.1 MPa is nearly two orders of magnitude smaller than that found for normal earthquakes (1-10 MPa). Standard earthquakes follow a scaling relationship where

  16. Deep-crustal magma reservoirs beneath the Nicaraguan volcanic arc, revealed by 2-D and semi 3-D inversion of magnetotelluric data (United States)

    Brasse, Heinrich; Schäfer, Anja; Díaz, Daniel; Alvarado, Guillermo E.; Muñoz, Angélica; Mütschard, Lutz


    A long-period magnetotelluric (MT) experiment was conducted in early 2009 in western Nicaragua to study the electrical resistivity and thus fluid/melt distribution at the Central American continental margin where the Cocos plate subducts beneath the Caribbean plate. Strike analysis yields a preference direction perpendicular to the profile, with moderate deviation from two-dimensionality, however. Two-dimensional modeling maps the sediments of the Nicaraguan Depression and a high-conductivity zone in the mid-crust, slightly offset from the arc. Further conductors are modeled in the backarc. However, these features are probably artifacts when a 2-D program is applied to data which show moderate 3-D characteristics. 3-D inversion clarifies the situation, and the major remaining conductive structure is now quasi directly beneath the volcanic chain and interpreted as a deep-seated magma deposit. Conductivity in the backarc is also relatively high and may either be caused by still existing partial melts beneath the Paleocene to Miocene volcanic arcs or by related metallic deposits in the aureoles of hydrothermal alteration.

  17. Subduction zone decoupling/retreat modeling explains south Tibet (Xigaze) and other supra-subduction zone ophiolites and their UHP mineral phases (United States)

    Butler, Jared P.; Beaumont, Christopher


    The plate tectonic setting in which proto-ophiolite 'oceanic' lithosphere is created remains controversial with a number of environments suggested. Recent opinions tend to coalesce around supra-subduction zone (SSZ) forearc extension, with a popular conceptual model in which the proto-ophiolite forms during foundering of oceanic lithosphere at the time of spontaneous or induced onset of subduction. This mechanism is favored in intra-oceanic settings where the subducting lithosphere is old and the upper plate is young and thin. We investigate an alternative mechanism; namely, decoupling of the subducting oceanic lithosphere in the forearc of an active continental margin, followed by subduction zone (trench) retreat and creation of a forearc oceanic rift basin, containing proto-ophiolite lithosphere, between the continental margin and the retreating subduction zone. A template of 2D numerical model experiments examines the trade-off between strength of viscous coupling in the lithospheric subduction channel and net slab pull of the subducting lithosphere. Three tectonic styles are observed: 1) C, continuous subduction without forearc decoupling; 2) R, forearc decoupling followed by rapid subduction zone retreat; 3) B, breakoff of subducting lithosphere followed by re-initiation of subduction and in some cases, forearc decoupling (B-R). In one case (BA-B-R; where BA denotes backarc) subduction zone retreat follows backarc rifting. Subduction zone decoupling is analyzed using frictional-plastic yield theory and the Stefan solution for the separation of plates containing a viscous fluid. The numerical model results are used to explain the formation of Xigaze group ophiolites, southern Tibet, which formed in the Lhasa terrane forearc, likely following earlier subduction and not necessarily during subduction initiation. Either there was normal coupled subduction before subduction zone decoupling, or precursor slab breakoff, subduction re-initiation and then decoupling

  18. Seismic velocity structure in the shallower part of the subducting Pacific lithosphere around the Japan Trench axial region (United States)

    Azuma, R.; Hino, R.; Ito, Y.; Yamamoto, Y.; Suzuki, K.


    We have revealed that the Vp of the oceanic crust and upper mantle of the Pacific lithosphere is significantly reduced near the axial part of the Japan Trench, from airgun-OBS seismic experiments made at the outer rise and the inner trench regions of the trench (Azuma et al., 2009). From the spatial correlation between the Vp reduction and the development of the horst- graven structure, it is suggested that the Vp reduction is possibly caused by the fracturing and water infiltration accompanying the lithospheric bending. However, in order to thoroughly understand the mechanism of the structural change, we must clarify the Vs structure of the subducting oceanic lithosphere. This study uses two different datasets. One is the data obtained by the seismic experiments described by Azuma et al. (2009). We analyzed converted S waves from the airgun source recorded on the horizontal components of OBS by a 2D ray tracing method (Zelt and Smith, 1992) and determined the Vp/Vs ratio in the Pacific lithosphere before it subducts. Another is the earthquake arrival time data. We observed inter- and intra-plate earthquakes beneath the inner trench slope by an OBS array deployed at the outer rise region and analyzed the P and S wave travel times by using a 3D ray tracing method (Zhao et al., 1992). The latter is the first attempt of estimation of seismic velocity of the slab mantle around trench axis. The results of seismic experiments show that the Vp/Vs ratio of the oceanic crustal layer 2, of the layer 3, and of the uppermost mantle at the outer rise are 2.08-2.11, 1.84-1.87 and 1.71-1.72, respectively. In comparison with the ratio of a normal oceanic lithosphere (Shinohara et al., 2008), Vp/Vs of the layer 2 at the outer rise significantly increases whereas the Vp/Vs does not show significant change either in the layer 3 or in the upper mantle. The travel time analysis of the earthquake data shows that the Vp/Vs ratio of the slab mantle beneath the trench is 1.73-1.74, which

  19. Role of the subduction filter in mantle recycling (United States)

    Kimura, J. I.; Skora, S. E.; Gill, J.; Van Keken, P. E.


    Subduction modifies the descending basaltic and sedimentary oceanic crust and generates felsic arc materials and continental crust. Studies of element mass balances in the subduction zone therefore reveal the evolution of the Earth's two major geochemical reservoirs: the continent crust and mantle. We use the Arc Basalt Simulator ver.4 (ABS4) to model the geochemical mass balance during dehydration by prograde metamorphism and melting of the slab followed by subsequent flux melting of the wedge mantle caused by the addition of slab-derived liquids. The geochemistry of high-Mg andesite or adakite formed in a hot subduction zone is akin to the present-day bulk continental crust and to the Archean (>2 Ga) Tonalite-Trondjhemite-Granodiorite composition. Therefore, the residual slab and the metasomatized mantle wedge at hot subduction zones should be the most plausible sources for materials recycled back into the deep mantle. Model calculations of isotopic growth in the residual slab and mantle formed in hot subduction zones reproduce fairly well the EM1-FOZO-HIMU isotope arrays found in ocean island basalts (OIBs) of deep mantle plume origin, although FOZO with high 3He/4He is not generated by this slab recycling process. The recycled materials are bulk igneous ocean crust for HIMU and metasomatized mantle wedge peridotite for EM1. In contrast, the EM2-FOZO array can be generated in a cold subduction zone with igneous oceanic crust for FOZO and sediment for EM2 sources. Necessary residence time are ~2 Ga to form HIMU-FOZO-EM1 and ~1 Ga to form EM2-FOZO. The subducted oceanic crust (forming HIMU) and mantle wedge peridotite (forming EM1) may have travelled in the mantle together. They then melted together in an upwelling mantle plume to form the EM1-FOZO-HIMU isotopic variations found frequently in OIBs. In contrast, the less frequent EM2-FOZO array suggests a separate source and recycling path. These recycling ages are consistent with the change in the mantle potential

  20. Geological effects of aseismic ridges or seamount chains subduction on the supra-subduction zone%无震脊或海山链俯冲对超俯冲带处的地质效应

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    鄢全树; 石学法


    There distributed numerous aseismic ridges and seamount chains in global seafloor .Of them , some remarkable ridges close to subduction zones exist in Pacific Ocean ,Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean . In addition to Barracuda and Tiburon ridges (close to the Lesser Antilles arc) originating from transform fault ,the genesis of most intra-plate aseismic ridges and seamount chains is related to mantle geodynamics (different from plate tectonics) .At plate convergent margins ,these aseismic ridges and seamount chains , together with normal oceanic crust formed in spreading mid-oceanic ridges ,have been or are subducted be-neath continental arc or intra-oceanic arc .The geological effects (e .g ,structure ,morphology ,earthquake and magmatism ) of the subduction of aseismic ridges and seamount chains on supra-subduction zones (SSZ) are obviously different from those of normal oceanic crust .The subduction of aseismic ridges and seamount chains often cause locally abnormal elevations of upper plate ,enhancing subduction-induced ero-sion ,landward displacement of trench ,and the enhancement of intensity of earthquakes .Meanwhile , w hen aseismic ridges and seamount chains are subducted ,they not only affect mantle geochemistry due to its entrained enriched geochemical characteristics ,but play a significant role on geochemistry of arc and back-arc lavas and the formation of hydrothermal deposits on the SSZ setting .Finally ,this paper point out possible research areas related to the subduction of aseimic ridges and seamount chains in China as follow s , such as possible effects of subduction of the Huangyandao seamount chain on Luzon arc ,effects of subduc-tion of several aseismic ridges in the Indian Ocean on local areas of Tibetan Plateau ,and effects of subduc-tion of the Cocos ridge on the Costa Rica seismogenesis (targeted area of IODP leg 344) ,and some aseis-mic ridges (close to the Subduction zone) dispersed in west Pacific ,etc .%全球海底分布着众多的

  1. Highly oxidising fluids generated during serpentinite breakdown in subduction zones. (United States)

    Debret, B; Sverjensky, D A


    Subduction zones facilitate chemical exchanges between Earth's deep interior and volcanism that affects habitability of the surface environment. Lavas erupted at subduction zones are oxidized and release volatile species. These features may reflect a modification of the oxidation state of the sub-arc mantle by hydrous, oxidizing sulfate and/or carbonate-bearing fluids derived from subducting slabs. But the reason that the fluids are oxidizing has been unclear. Here we use theoretical chemical mass transfer calculations to predict the redox state of fluids generated during serpentinite dehydration. Specifically, the breakdown of antigorite to olivine, enstatite, and chlorite generates fluids with high oxygen fugacities, close to the hematite-magnetite buffer, that can contain significant amounts of sulfate. The migration of these fluids from the slab to the mantle wedge could therefore provide the oxidized source for the genesis of primary arc magmas that release gases to the atmosphere during volcanism. Our results also show that the evolution of oxygen fugacity in serpentinite during subduction is sensitive to the amount of sulfides and potentially metal alloys in bulk rock, possibly producing redox heterogeneities in subducting slabs.

  2. Structural controls on fluid escape from the subduction interface (United States)

    Reynard, Bruno; Tauzin, Benoit; Bodin, Thomas; Perrillat, Jean-Philippe; Debayle, Eric


    Seismic activity and non-volcanic tremors are often associated with fluid circulation resulting from the dehydration of subducting plates. Tremors in the overriding continental crust of several subduction zones suggest fluid circulation at shallower depths, but potential fluid pathways are still poorly documented. Fluids are also released at different depths in hot and cold subduction zones, which may result in different schemes of fluid escape. We document potential fluid pathways in Cascadia, one of the hottest subduction zone, using receiver function analysis. We provide evidence for a seismic discontinuity near 15 km depth in the crust of the overriding North American plate. This interface is segmented, and its interruptions are spatially correlated with conductive regions of the forearc and shallow swarms of seismicity and non-volcanic tremors. The comparison of seismological and electrical conductivity profiles suggests that fluid escape is controlled by fault zones between blocks of accreted terranes in the overriding plate. These zones constitute fluid escape routes that may influence the seismic cycle by releasing fluid pressure from the megathrust. Results on Cascadia are compared to fluid escape routes suggested by former geophysical observations in NE Japan, one of the coldest subduction zones. Links between fluid escape, permeability and fluid-rock reactions at or above the plate interface are discussed.

  3. Plume head - trench interaction: impact on subduction dynamics (United States)

    Betts, P. G.; Moresi, L. N.; Mason, W. G.; Willis, D.


    The geologic record provides numerous examples where plumes and their associated buoyancy swell have disrupted convergent plate margins. These interactions have produced a variety of responses in the overriding plate including transient episodes of arc amagmatism, transient episodes of crustal shortening followed by plume-related magmatism in the overriding plate. The latter observation implies the plume must have transitioned from the subducting plate to the overriding plate. We present several 3D Underworld numerical models of plume heads of variable dimension and buoyancy interacting with a subduction trench. The models indicate that plume heads impact enormously on trench geometry. Arcuate trenches are created as the trench retreats around the edges of the plume head, whereas trench advance occurs in front of the plume resulting in transient crustal shortening in the overriding plate. Stalling of subduction when the plume head impacts the trench causes slab windowing. The size of the slab window is dependent on the size and buoyancy of the plume. The creation of the slab window provides a potential conduit for plume migration to the overriding plate. Alternatively, the plume head may be transferred to the overriding plate as subduction is re-established behind the plume. Models with "strong" slabs, characterized by high yield strengths, display different behavior. Plume-heads are entrained in the slab and are subducted without the development of a slab window.

  4. Trench dynamics: Effects of dynamically migrating trench on subducting slab morphology and characteristics of subduction zones systems (United States)

    Yoshida, Masaki


    Understanding the mechanisms of trench migration (retreat or advance) is crucial to characterizing the driving forces of Earth's tectonics plates, the origins of subducting slab morphologies in the deep mantle, and identifying the characteristics of subduction zones systems, which are among the fundamental issues of solid Earth science. A series of numerical simulations of mantle convection, focusing on plate subduction in a three-dimensional (3-D) regional spherical shell coordinate system, was performed to examine subduction zone characteristics, including geodynamic relationships among trench migration, back-arc stress, and slab morphology. The results show that a subducting slab tends to deflect around the base of the mantle transition zone and form a sub-horizontal slab because its front edge (its 'toe') is subject to resistance from the highly viscous lower mantle. As the sub-horizontal slab starts to penetrate into the lower mantle from its 'heel,' the toe of the slab is drawn into the lower mantle. The results for models with dynamically migrating trenches suggest that trench retreat is the dynamically self-consistent phenomenon in trench migration. The reason for this is that the strong lateral mantle flow that is generated as a sequence of events leading from corner flow at the subduction initiation to return flow of the formation of a sub-horizontal slab in the shallower part of mantle wedge produces the retreat of the subducting slab. In fact, a 'mantle suction force,' which is generated in the mantle wedge to fill space left by the retreating subducting plate, is enhanced by the subsequent trench retreat. Even when upwelling flow with significant positive buoyancy originates just above a mantle phase boundary at a depth of 410 km (as inferred from independent seismic tomographic, geodynamic, geochemical, and mineral physics), reaches the base of the overriding plate, and the overriding plate is slightly thinned, lithospheric stress tends to be

  5. Constraints from fluid inclusions in mantle minerals on the composition of subduction-zone fluids (United States)

    Schiano, P.; Provost, A.; Cluzel, N.


    Slab-derived fluids are thought to enrich the mantle wedge in water and trace elements, and this metasomatized mantle region becomes the source of island arc basalts. Much of the evidence for this model has been derived indirectly through the study of the composition of the end-products, the lavas, and there have only been a few direct studies of the metasomatism of the mantle rocks from these regions. Therefore important aspects of the model have remained somewhat hypothetical. In particular, there are different viewpoints on the nature of subduction fluids, their trace element compositions and their pathways in the slab and overlying mantle. The whole debate is also hampered by the limited memory that high-pressure metamorphic rocks preserve of their subduction history, due to retrograde overprinting during exhumation, and by uncertainties in reproducing the conditions of subduction during experiments. Here we identify trapped pristine samples of the fluid phase percolating through the mantle wedge beneath island arcs, by examining fluid inclusions trapped within spinel-harzburgite xenoliths in an arc-front volcano (Batan island, Luzon arc). The xenoliths correspond to previously metasomatized mantle fragments incorporated in the lavas during ascent. Cl-bearing H2O-rich fluid inclusions occur within both primary (ol, opx) and late metasomatic minerals (e.g., cpx, phlogopite, amphibole). They were formed by the addition of aqueous fluids or by separation of aqueous fluids from H2O-saturated melt inclusions, as suggested by the occurrence of composite inclusions consisting of silicate glass and H2O (liq+vap). The associated silicate melt inclusions were previously shown to display silica-rich compositions that are consistent with slab-derived melts [1] or melts of metasomatized mantle peridotites [2]. In situ Raman spectroscopy reveals that at room temperature, the fluid inclusions are composed mainly of H2O, H2S and HS- and contain also sulphur (S6) and Mg

  6. Extreme localized exhumation at syntaxes initiated by subduction geometry (United States)

    Bendick, Rebecca; Ehlers, Todd A.


    Some of the highest and most localized rates of lithospheric deformation in the world are observed at the transition between adjacent plate boundary subduction segments. The initiating perturbation of this deformation has long been attributed to vigorous erosional processes as observed at Nanga Parbat and Namche Barwa in the Himalaya and at Mount St. Elias in Alaska. However, an erosion-dominated mechanism ignores the 3-D geometry of curved subducting plates. Here we present an alternative explanation for rapid exhumation at these locations based on the 3-D thermomechanical evolution of collisions between plates with nonplanar geometries. Comparison of model predictions with existing data reproduces the defining characteristics of these mountains and offers an explanation for their spatial correlation with arc termini. These results demonstrate a "bottom-up" tectonic rather than "top-down" erosional initiation of feedbacks between erosion and tectonic deformation; hence, the importance of 3-D subduction geometry.

  7. Subduction and recycling of nitrogen along the Central American margin. (United States)

    Fischer, Tobias P; Hilton, David R; Zimmer, Mindy M; Shaw, Alison M; Sharp, Zachary D; Walker, James A


    We report N and He isotopic and relative abundance characteristics of volatiles emitted from two segments of the Central American volcanic arc. In Guatemala, delta15N values are positive (i.e., greater than air) and N2/He ratios are high (up to 25,000). In contrast, Costa Rican N2/He ratios are low (maximum 1483) and delta15N values are negative (minimum -3.0 per mil). The results identify shallow hemipelagic sediments, subducted into the Guatemalan mantle, as the transport medium for the heavy N. Mass balance arguments indicate that the subducted N is efficiently cycled to the atmosphere by arc volcanism. Therefore, the subduction zone acts as a "barrier" to input of sedimentary N to the deeper mantle.

  8. Interferometric imaging of the underside of a subducting crust (United States)

    Poliannikov, Oleg V.; Rondenay, Stéphane; Chen, Ling


    Seismic interferometry provides tools for redatuming physical data to a new source location. Turning a source, located close to a structure of interest, into a virtual receiver has the potential benefit of improving the quality of imaging by increasing the effective aperture and mitigating the effect of velocity uncertainty in the overburden. Here, we consider the problem of estimating the Green's function between two earthquakes located inside a subducting slab using earthquake data recorded at the surface. Our primary focus is to obtain an accurate time-image of the subducting interface. We propose a novel two-step kinematically correct redatuming procedure that first redatums the data from earthquakes below the subducting interface to the surface via classical interferometry, and then utilizes source-receiver wavefield interferometry to redatum virtual surface seismic data to the location of a particular earthquake event.

  9. High-resolution seismic attenuation structures beneath Hokkaido corner, northeastern Japan (United States)

    Kita, S.; Nakajima, J.; Okada, T.; Hasegawa, A.; Katsumata, K.; Asano, Y.; Uchida, N.


    10-30 km, respectively. 3. Results Inhomogeneous seismic attenuation structure is clearly imaged for the area above the subducting Pacific slab at depths down to ~80 km. For the fore-arc side of the eastern and western Hokkaido Island, high-Qp zones are generally imaged at depths of 10 to 80 km in the crust and mantle wedge above the Pacific slab. On the other hand, low-Qp zones are clearly imaged in the mantle wedge beneath the back-arc area, which are distributed from deeper portions and reach the Moho beneath the volcanic front. Locations of these low-Qp zones correspond to the low-V zone by Zhao et al. [2012]. These results suggest that the upper head of the mantle wedge flow is detected beneath Hokkaido by the present seismic attenuation inversions. In the Hokkaido corner, the obtained Qp image generally has a similar anomalous structure to the seismic structure by Kita et al. [2012]; A broad low-Qp zone is located at depths of 0-60 km to the west of the Hidaka main thrust. The location of the low-Qp zone almost corresponds to that of the low-V zone in the collision zone found by Kita et al. [2012]. The fault planes of the 1970 M7.1 and 1982 M6.7 earthquakes are located at the eastern and western edges of the low-Qp zone, respectively. These results suggest that the occurrence of these anomalously deep inland earthquakes in this region is related with hydrous minerals or fluids.

  10. Geochemical features of the mantle source beneath Irazú and Turrialba volcanoes, Costa Rica (United States)

    Rizzo, A. L.; Di Piazza, A.; Alvarado-Induni, G.; Carapezza, M. L.; de Moor, M. J.; Martinez, M.


    Irazú and Turrialba are active arc volcanoes located at the southeastern terminus of the Central American Volcanic Arc (CAVA). These volcanoes have been considered in literature as "twin volcanoes" or as a linked volcanic system. Effectively their proximity may lead to the assumption that they share a common plumbing system, but geochemical data on rocks and fluids reveal a more complicated framework. In this study, we analyzed the rock chemistry of a selected suite of eruptive products emitted in the last 50ka from Irazú volcano, including products from the 1963-1965 eruption. We also analyzed He-Ne-Ar isotopes in fluid inclusions hosted in olivines and pyroxenes hand-picked from these products, and we compared our results with those available for Irazú and the neighboring Turrialba. Rock samples from Irazú are basalts to andesites with MgO content ranging between 3 and 8 wt%, with a variability that follows typical trends of fractional crystallization. The pattern of trace elements is subduction-related with an OIB-like component, testified by an unusual enrichment (e.g., K, REE; e.g., Benjamin et al., 2007 and references therein), associated with the subduction of the Galapagos seamounts. In addition, Turrialba volcano shows the presence of andesites with adakite-like affinity (Di Piazza et al., 2015) which is not observed in rocks from Irazú . The 3He/4He ratio measured in olivine crystals from Irazú varies from 7.1 to 7.5 Ra, overlapping the measurements performed in surface gases (7.2 Ra; Fischer et al., 2002). This range is also comprised in the measurements carried out in gases and rocks from Turrialba (7.0-8.1 Ra; Di Piazza et al., 2015), which showed the presence of a MORB- and OIB-like component at the mantle source. Based on these evidences, we propose that the mantle beneath Irazú reflects an intermediate composition respect to the extreme components recognized at Turrialba. Irazú shows more typical arc-like geochemical signatures, whereas

  11. Prominent reflector beneath around the segmentation boundary between Tonankai-Nankai earthquake area (United States)

    Nakanishi, A.; Shimomura, N.; Fujie, G.; Kodaira, S.; Obana, K.; Takahashi, T.; Yamamoto, Y.; Yamashita, M.; Takahashi, N.; Kaneda, Y.; Mochizuki, K.; Kato, A.; Iidaka, T.; Kurashimo, E.; Shinohara, M.; Takeda, T.; Shiomi, K.


    In the Nankai Trough subduction seismogenic zone, the Nankai and Tonankai earthquakes had often occurred simultaneously, and caused a great event. In most cases, first break of such large events of Nankai Trough usually begins from southwest off the Kii Peninsula so far. The idea of split Philippine Sea plate between the Kii Peninsula and the Shikoku Island, which explains seismicity, tectonic background, receiver function image and historical plate motion, was previously suggested. Moreover, between the Kii Peninsula and the Shikoku Island, there is a gap of deep low-frequency events observed in the belt-like zone along the strike of the subducting Philippine Sea plate. In 2010 and 2011, we conducted the large-scale high-resolution wide-angle and reflection (MCS) seismic study, and long-term observation from off Shikoku and Kii Peninsula. Marine active source seismic data have been acquired along grid two-dimensional profiles having the total length of ~800km/year. A three-dimensional seismic tomography using active and passive seismic data observed both land and ocean bottom stations have been also performed. From those data, we found a possible prominent reflector imaged in the offshore side in the Kii channel at the depth of ~18km. The velocity just beneath the reflector cannot be determined due to the lack of ray paths. Based of the amplitude information, we interpret the reflector as the forearc Moho based on the velocity gap (from ~6.4km/s to ~7.4km/s). However, the reflector is shallower than the forearc Moho of other area along the Nankai Trough. Similar reflectors are recognized along other seismic profiles around the Kii channel. In this presentation, we will show the result of structure analysis to understand the peculiar structure including the prominent reflector around the Kii channel. Relation between the structure and the existence of the segmentation of the Nankai megathrust earthquake or seismic gap of the deep low-frequency events will be also

  12. Crustal Deformation in the Southwestern Gulf of Mexico: Underthrusting of the Gulf of Mexico beneath Tehuantepec (United States)

    Suarez, Gerardo; Aguilar, Sergio


    1959 Jaltipan earthquake. This seismic activity suggests the basement of the Gulf of Mexico is being underthrust beneath the continent. Similar mechanisms of crust deformation are found in the Andes and in Panama, for example. This horizontal force oriented southwest-northeast is probably due to the subduction of an aseismic ridge in the Mexican subduction zone to the south. This seismicity is important not only from a tectonic point of view but also from a seismic hazard approach. Some of the most important oil production and refining facilities of Mexico are located in this region.

  13. Physical characteristics of subduction-type seismogenic zones revisited (United States)

    Heuret, A.; Lallemand, S.; Piromallo, C.; Funiciello, F.


    Based on both the Centennial earthquake catalog, the revised 1964-2007 EHB hypocenters and the 1976-2007 CMT Harvard catalog, we have extracted the hypocenters, nodal planes and seismic moments of worldwide subduction earthquakes for the period 1900-2007. For the period 1976-2007, we use the focal solutions provided by Harvard and the revised hypocenters from Engdahl et al. (1998). Older events are extracted from the Centennial catalogue (Engdahl and Villasenor, 2002) and they are used for the estimate of the cumulated seismic moment only. The criteria used to select the subduction earthquakes are similar to those used by Mc Caffrey (1994), i.e., we test if the focal mechanisms are consistent with 1/ shallow thrust events (positive slips, at least one nodal plane get dip 70 km), and, 2/ the plate interface local geometry and orientation (one nodal plane is oriented toward the volcanic arc, the azimut of this nodal plane is ± 45° with respect to the trench one, its dip is ± 20° with respect to the slab one and the epicenter is located seaward of the volcanic arc). Our study concerns segments of subduction zones that fit with estimated paleoruptures associated with major events (M > 8). We assume that the seismogenic zone coincides with the distribution of 5.5 laws obtained for example by Kanamori (1986) in light of a more complete, more detailed, more accurate and more uniform description of the subduction interplate seismogenic zone. Since the subduction earthquakes result from stress accumulation along the interplate and that stress depends on plates kinematics, subduction zone geometry, thermal state and seismic coupling, we aim to isolate some correlations between parameters.

  14. Fluid activity during exhumation of deep-subducted continental plate

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHENG Yongfei


    It is well known that a great deal of fluid was released during subduction of oceanic crust, resulting in arc magmatism, quartz veining and metamorphic mineralization of syn-subduction. In contrast, the process of continental subduction is characterized by the relative lack of fluid and thus no arc magmatism has been found so far. During exhumation of deep-subducted continental crust, nevertheless,significant amounts of aqueous fluid became available from the decomposition of hydrous minerals, the decrepitation of primary fluid inclusions, and the exsolution of structural hydroxyls. This kind of metamorphic fluid has recently attracted widespread interests and thus been one of the most important targets in deciphering the geological processes concerning metamorphism, magmatism and mineralization in collisional orogens. A large number of studies involving stable isotopes, fluid inclusions and petrological phase relationships have been accomplished in past a few years with respect to the mobility and amount of metamorphic fluid in UHP metamorphic rocks from the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt.The results demonstrate that the fluid activity during the exhumation of deep-subducted continental crust has the following effects: (1) amphibolite-facies retrogression due to pervasive fluid flow; (2) formation of HP quartz veins within eclogites due to channelized fluid flow; and (3) partial melting of overlying crustal rocks due to focused fluid flow, producing syn-exhumation magmatism within the orogenic belt.In particular, the aqueous fluid released by decompression exsolution of hydroxyl from UHP minerals is characterized by low salinity and is capable of resulting in pervasive and channellized flow. Therefore, the intensive study of fluid activity during exhumation of UHP metamorphic rocks can not only provide insight into geodynamic processes that occurred in continental collisional belts, but also shed light on understanding of crust-mantle recycling and relevant magmatism in

  15. A double seismic zone in the Nazca flat slab beneath central Chile (29°-34°S) (United States)

    Marot, Marianne; Monfret, Tony; Pardo, Mario; Ranalli, Giorgio


    The Nazca plate subducts beneath central Chile and western Argentina (29°-34°S) with a dip angle ~27° from the trench until ~100 km depth. North of 32oS the slab becomes sub-horizontal at this depth and continues sub-horizontally for approximately 250 km eastward before resuming sinking with dip angle ~25°. The location and extent of this "Pampean" flat subduction is very well correlated, seismically and tectonically on the continent, with the continuing subduction of the Juan Fernandez Ridge (JFR). We use the recorded seismicity from three local temporary networks, OVA99 (1999-2000), CHARSME (2002-2003) and CHASE (2005-2006) to characterize the earthquake distribution within the slab in this area. Around 7000 earthquakes were located with magnitude ranging between 1.6 and 5.7, and around 1500 focal mechanisms were calculated. A double seismic zone (or DBZ) is present in the dipping part of the slab landward from the trench. The lower seismic zone of this Pampean DBZ begins at ~50 km depth and extends to 100-120 km depth, where it merges with the upper seismic zone. The separation between the two zones is ~30 km at the shallowest depth. The lower seismic zone shows higher seismic activity relative to the upper zone. Both zones show a similar magnitude distribution, with predominantly tensional focal mechanisms. The Pampean DBZ is best observed within the subducting JFR, which is marked by a dense and thick seismic activity. This seismicity drops substantially outside the JFR ridge limits, making the Pampean DBZ more difficult to detect. Focal mechanisms for earthquakes delineating the DBZ (50-100 km depth) show a strong tendency of the focal planes to strike NS, parallel to the trench axis, suggesting that intermediate-depth earthquakes in the subducting Nazca plate occur on pre-existing reactivated outer rise faults. The separation distance between the two seismic zones cannot be explained by plate age models which predict a much smaller separation distance

  16. Tomographic images of subducted oceans matched to the accretionary records of orogens - Case study of North America and relevance to Central Asia (United States)

    Sigloch, Karin; Mihalynuk, Mitchell G.; Hosseini, Kasra


    Accretionary orogens are the surface record of subduction on the 100-million-year timescale; they aggregate buoyant crustal welts that resisted subduction. The other record of subduction is found in the deep subsurface: oceanic lithosphere preserved in the mantle that records ocean basin closure between successive generations of arcs. Seismic tomography maps out these crumpled paleo-oceans down to the core-mantle boundary, where slab accumulates. One such accumulation of enormous scale is under Eastern Asia, recording the assembly of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB). Deep CAOB slab has hardly been explored because tomographic image resolution in the lowermost mantle is limited, but this is rapidly improving. We present new images of the CAOB slabs from our P-wave tomography that includes core-diffracted waves as a technical novelty. The previous slab blur sharpens into the type of elongated geometries expected to trace paleo-trench lines. Since the North American Cordillera is younger than the CAOB (mostly 10,000 km long. North America converged on the two microcontinents by westward subduction of two intervening basins (which we name Mezcalera and Angayucham oceans), culminating in diachronous suturing between ~150 Ma and ~50 Ma. Hence geophysical subsurface evidence negates the widely accepted "Andean-style" model of Farallon-beneath-continent subduction since at least 180 Ma, and supports a Jura-Cretaceous paleogeography closer to today's Southwestern Pacific, or to the Paleozoic CAOB. Though advocated since the 1970's by a minority of geologists, this scenario had not gained wide acceptance due to a record obscured by overprinting, margin-parallel translation, and oroclinal bending. The new subsurface evidence provides specific indications where to seek the decisive Mezcalera-Angayucham suture. The suture is evident in a trail of collapsed Jura-Cretaceous basin relics that run the length of the Cordillera. Reference: Sigloch, K., & Mihalynuk, M. G. (2013

  17. Did growth of high Andes slow down Nazca plate subduction? (United States)

    Quinteros, J.; Sobolev, S. V.


    The convergence velocity rate of the Nazca and South-American plate and its variations during the last 100 My are quite well-known from the global plate reconstructions. The key observation is that the rate of Nazca plate subduction has decreased by about 2 times during last 20 Myr and particularly since 10 Ma. During the same time the Central Andes have grown to its present 3-4 km height. Based on the thin-shell model, coupled with mantle convection, it was suggested that slowing down of Nazca plate resulted from the additional load exerted by the Andes. However, the thin-shell model, that integrates stresses and velocities vertically and therefore has no vertical resolution, is not an optimal tool to model a subduction zone. More appropriate would be modeling it with full thermomechanical formulation and self-consistent subduction. We performed a set of experiments to estimate the influence that an orogen like the Andes could have on an ongoing subduction. We used an enhanced 2D version of the SLIM-3D code suitable to simulate the evolution of a subducting slab in a self-consistent manner (gravity driven) at vertical crossections through upper mantle, transition zone and shallower lower mantle. The model utilizes non-linear temperature- and stress-dependant visco-elasto-plastic rheology and phase transitions at 410 and 660 km depth. We started from a reference case with a similar configuration as both Nazca and South-America plates. After some Mys of slow kinematicaly imposed subduction, to develop a coherent thermo-mechanical state, subduction was totally dynamic. On the other cases, the crust was slowly thickened artificially during 10 My to generate the Andean topography. Although our first results show no substantial changes on the velocity pattern of the subduction, we, however, consider this result as preliminary. At the meeting we plan to report completed and verified modeling results and discuss other possible cases of the late Cenozoic slowing down of

  18. Lithological and age structure of the lower crust beneath the northern edge of the North China Craton: Xenolith evidence (United States)

    Wei, Ying; Zheng, Jianping; Su, Yuping; Ma, Qiang; Griffin, William L.


    Deep-seated xenoliths in volcanic rocks offer direct glimpses into the nature and evolution of the lower continental crust. In this contribution, new data on the U-Pb ages and Hf isotopes of zircons in six felsic granulite xenoliths and one pyroxenite xenolith from the Hannuoba Cenozoic basalts, combined with published data from mafic to felsic xenoliths, are used to constrain the lithological and age structure of the lower crust beneath the northern edge of the North China Craton. Two newly-reported felsic granulites contain Precambrian zircons with positive (+ 7.5-+ 10.6) and negative εHf values (- 10.1 to - 3.7) corresponding to upper intercept ages of 2449 ± 62 Ma and 1880 ± 54 Ma, respectively, indicating crustal accretion in the late Archean and reworking in Paleoproterozoic time. Zircons in another four felsic xenoliths give Phanerozoic ages from 142 Ma to 73 Ma and zircons from one pyroxenite xenolith give a concordant age of 158 Ma. The zircon εHf values of these four felsic xenoliths range between - 23.3 and - 19.1, reflecting re-melting of the pre-existing lower crust. Integration of geothermobarometric, and geochronological data on the Hannuoba xenoliths with seismic refraction studies shows that the lower crust beneath the northern edge of the North China Craton is temporally and compositionally zoned: the upper lower crust (24-33 km) consists dominantly of Archean (~ 2.5 Ga with minor 2.7 Ga) felsic granulites with subordinate felsic granulites that reworked at 140-120 Ma; both Precambrian and late Mesozoic mafic granulites are important constituents of the middle lower crust (33-38 km); major late Mesozoic (140-120 Ma) and less Cenozoic (45-47 Ma) granulites and pyroxenites are presented in the lowermost crust (38-42 km). The zoned architecture of the lower crust beneath Hannuoba suggests a complex evolution beneath the northern margin of the craton, including late Neoarchean (~ 2.5 Ga) accretion and subsequent episodic accretion and/or reworking

  19. P, S velocity and VP/VS ratio beneath the Toba caldera complex (Northern Sumatra) from local earthquake tomography (United States)

    Koulakov, Ivan; Yudistira, Tedi; Luehr, Birger-G.; Wandono


    In this paper, we investigate the crustal and uppermost mantle structure beneath Toba caldera, which is known as the location of one of the largest Cenozoic eruptions on Earth. The most recent event occurred 74000 yr BP, and had a significant global impact on climate and the biosphere. In this study, we revise data on local seismicity in the Toba area recorded by a temporary PASSCAL network in 1995. We applied the newest version of the LOTOS-07 algorithm, which includes absolute source location, optimization of the starting 1-D velocity model, and iterative tomographic inversion for 3-D seismic P, S (or the VP/VS ratio) and source parameters. Special attention is paid to verification of the obtained results. Beneath the Toba caldera and other volcanoes of the arc, we observe relatively moderate (for volcanic areas) negative P- and S-velocity anomalies that reach 18 per cent in the uppermost layer, 10-12 per cent in the lower crust and about 7 per cent in the uppermost mantle. Much stronger contrasts are observed for the VP/VS ratio that is a possible indicator of dominant effect of melting in origin of seismic anomalies. At a depth of 5 km beneath active volcanoes, we observe small patterns (7-15 km size) with a high VP/VS ratio that might be an image of actual magmatic chambers filled with partially molten material feeding the volcanoes. In the mantle wedge, we observe a vertical anomaly with low P and S velocities and a high VP/VS ratio that link the cluster of events at 120-140 km depth with Toba caldera. This may be an image of ascending fluids and melts released from the subducted slab due to phase transitions. However, taking into account poor vertical resolution, these results should be interpreted with prudence. Although the results show clear signatures that are quite typical for volcanic areas (low velocity and high VP/VS ratio beneath volcanoes), we do not observe any specific features in seismic structure that could characterize Toba as a super volcano.

  20. Upper mantle discontinuity beneath the SW-Iberia peninsula: A multidisciplinary view. (United States)

    Palomeras, Imma; de Lis Mancilla, Flor; Ayarza, Puy; Afonso, Juan Carlos; Diaz, Jordi; Morales, Jose; Carbonell, Ramon; Topoiberia Working Group


    Evidence for an upper mantle discontinuity located between 60 and 70 km depth have been provided by different seismic data sets acquired in the Southern Iberian peninsula. First indications of such a discontinuity were obtained by the very long offsets seismic refraction shot gathers acquired within the DSS ILIHA project in the early 90's. Clear seismic events recoded by the dense wide-angle seismic reflection shot gathers of the IBERSEIS experiment (2003) provided further constraints on the depth of the discontinuity and first-order estimates of its physical properties beneath the Ossa Morena Zone. Furthermore, the normal incidence Vibroseis deep seismic reflection images of the ALCUDIA transect (2007) extends this structure to the northeast beneath the Central Iberian Zone. This transect images deep laterally discontinuous reflections at upper mantle travel times (19 s) that roughly correspond to depths within the range of 60-70 km. Receiver function studies of the passive seismic recordings acquired by the IBERARRAY (TOPOIBERIA projects) provides additional support for the existence of this upper mantle structure and suggests that this is a relatively large scale regional feature. Two major scenarios need to be addressed when discussing the origin and nature of this deep structure. One is the tectonic scenario in which the structure maybe be related to a major tectonic event such as an old subduction process and therefore represent an ancient slab. A second hypothesis, would relate this feature to a phase change in the mantle. This latter assumption requires this feature ought to be a broader scale boundary which could be identified by different seismic techniques. Reflectivity modeling carried out over the IBERSEIS wide angle reflection data concludes that the observed phase is consistent with an heterogeneous gradient zone located at, approximately, 61-72 km depth. A layered structure with alternating velocities within ranges 8.1 to 8.3 km/s is necessary in

  1. Composition and evolution of lithosphere beneath the Carpathian Pannonian Region: a review (United States)

    Szabó, C.; Falus, Gy.; Zajacz, Z.; Kovács, I.; Bali, E.


    , however, and is more common than phlogopite. Most metasomatized peridotites show chemical and (sometimes) textural evidence for re-equilibration between metasomatic and non-metasomatic phases. However, amphiboles in pyroxenites are sometimes enriched in K, Fe and LREE. The presence of partially crystallized melt pockets (related to amphiboles and clinopyroxenes) in both peridotites and pyroxenites is an indication of decompression melting and, rarely, incipient partial melting triggered by migrating hydrous melts or fluids. Metasomatic contaminants may be ascribed to contemporaneous subduction beneath the Carpathian-Pannonian Region between the Eocene and Miocene. Sulfide inclusions are more abundant in protogranular and porphyroclastic xenoliths relative to equigranular types. In mantle lithologies, sulfide bleb compositions vary between pentlandite and pyrrhotite correlating with the chemistry and texture of the host xenoliths. While sulfides in peridotites are relatively rich in Ni, those in clinopyroxene-rich xenoliths are notably Fe-rich.

  2. Anisotropy in the lowermost mantle beneath the circum-Pacific: observations and modelling (United States)

    Walpole, J.; Wookey, J. M.; Nowacki, A.; Walker, A.; Kendall, J. M.; Masters, G.; Forte, A. M.


    The lowermost 300 km of mantle (D'') acts as the lower boundary layer to mantle convection. Numerous observations find that this layer is anisotropic, unlike the bulk of the lower mantle above, which is isotropic