Sample records for rivera-cocos subduction zone

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Revisiting the physical characterisitics of the subduction interplate seismogenic zones (United States)

    Heuret, Arnauld; Lallemand, Serge; Funiciello, Francesca; Piromallo, Claudia


    Based on the Centennial earthquake catalog, the revised 1964-2007 EHB hypocenters catalog and the 1976-2007 CMT Harvard catalog, we have extracted the hypocenters, nodal planes and seismic moments of worldwide subduction earthquakes for the 1900-2007 period. For the 1976-2007 period, we combine 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 to estimate the cumulated seismic moment only. The selection criteria for 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 (depth > 70 km, positive slips, and at least one nodal plane gets dip 8). We assume that the seismogenic zone coincides with the distribution of 5.5 laws obtained for example by Ruff and Kanamori (1980) in light of a more complete, detailed, accurate and uniform description of the subduction interplate seismogenic zone. Since subduction earthquakes result from stress accumulation along the interplate and stress depends on plates kinematics, subduction zone geometry, thermal state and seismic coupling, we aim to isolate some correlations between parameters. The statistical analysis reveals that: 1- vs, the subduction velocity is the first order controlling parameter of seismogenic zone variability, both in term of geometry and seismic behaviour; 2- steep dip, large vertical extent and narrow horizontal extent of the seismogenic zone are associated to fast subductions, and cold slabs, the opposite holding for slow subductions and warm slabs; the seismogenic zone usually ends in the fore-arc mantle rather than at the upper plate Moho depth; 3- seismic rate () variability is coherent with the geometry of the seismogenic zone:  increases with the dip and with the vertical extent of the seismogenic zone, and it fits with vs and with the subducting

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Numerical Modelling of Subduction Zones: a New Beginning (United States)

    Ficini, Eleonora; Dal Zilio, Luca; Doglioni, Carlo; Gerya, Taras V.


    Subduction zones are one of the most studied although still controversial geodynamic process. Is it a passive or an active mechanism in the frame of plate tectonics? How subduction initiates? What controls the differences among the slabs and related orogens and accretionary wedges? The geometry and kinematics at plate boundaries point to a "westerly" polarized flow of plates, which implies a relative opposed flow of the underlying Earth's mantle, being the decoupling located at about 100-200 km depth in the low-velocity zone or LVZ (Doglioni and Panza, 2015 and references therein). This flow is the simplest explanation for determining the asymmetric pattern of subduction zones; in fact "westerly" directed slabs are steeper and deeper with respect to the "easterly or northeasterly" directed ones, that are less steep and shallower, and two end members of orogens associated to the downgoing slabs can be distinguished in terms of topography, type of rocks, magmatism, backarc spreading or not, foredeep subsidence rate, etc.. The classic asymmetry comparing the western Pacific slabs and orogens (low topography and backarc spreading in the upper plate) and the eastern Pacific subduction zones (high topography and deep rocks involved in the upper plate) cannot be ascribed to the age of the subducting lithosphere. In fact, the same asymmetry can be recognized all over the world regardless the type and age of the subducting lithosphere, being rather controlled by the geographic polarity of the subduction. All plate boundaries move "west". Present numerical modelling set of subduction zones is based on the idea that a subducting slab is primarily controlled by its negative buoyancy. However, there are several counterarguments against this assumption, which is not able to explain the global asymmetric aforementioned signatures. Moreover, petrological reconstructions of the lithospheric and underlying mantle composition, point for a much smaller negative buoyancy than predicted

  9. 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

  10. Assessing the Seismic Potential Hazard of the Makran Subduction Zone (United States)

    Frohling, E.; Szeliga, W. M.; Melbourne, T. I.; Abolghasem, A.; Lodi, S. H.


    Long quiescent subduction zones like the Makran, Sunda, and Cascadia, which have long recurrence intervals for large (> Mw 8) earthquakes, often have poorly known seismic histories and are particularly vulnerable and often ill-prepared. The Makran subduction zone has not been studied extensively, but the 1945 Mw 8.1 earthquake and subsequent tsunami, as well as more recent mid magnitude, intermediate depth (50-100 km) seismicity, demonstrates the active seismic nature of the region. Recent increases in regional GPS and seismic monitoring now permit the modeling of strain accumulations and seismic potential of the Makran subduction zone. Subduction zone seismicity indicates that the eastern half of the Makran is presently more active than the western half. It has been hypothesized that the relative quiescence of the western half is due to aseismic behavior. However, based on GPS evidence, the entire subduction zone generally appears to be coupled and has been accumulating stress that could be released in another > 8.0 Mw earthquake. To assess the degree of coupling, we utilize existing GPS data to create a fault coupling model for the Makran using a preliminary 2-D fault geometry derived from ISC hypocenters. Our 2-D modeling is done using the backslip approach and defines the parameters in our coupling model; we forego the generation of a 3-D model due to the low spatial density of available GPS data. We compare the use of both NUVEL-1A plate motions and modern Arabian plate motions derived from GPS station velocities in Oman to drive subduction for our fault coupling model. To avoid non-physical inversion results, we impose second order smoothing to eliminate steep strain gradients. The fit of the modeled inter-seismic deformation vectors are assessed against the observed strain from the GPS data. Initial observations indicate that the entire subduction zone is currently locked and accumulating strain, with no identifiable gaps in the interseismic locking

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Controls on Earthquake Rupture and Triggering Mechanisms in Subduction Zones (United States)


    of stressing rate variations in space and time from seismicity data can be used in tectonic settings besides subduction zones and has other...2004), Pre- and post- seismic slow slip on the plate boundary off Sanriku, NE Japan associated with three interplate earthquakes as estimated from...observed deformation transients in various tectonic environments. We find that stressing rate transients increase the background seismicity rate without

  15. 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.

  16. Unraveling topography around subduction zones from laboratory models (United States)

    Husson, Laurent; Guillaume, Benjamin; Funiciello, Francesca; Faccenna, Claudio; Royden, Leigh H.


    The relief around subduction zones results from the interplay of dynamic processes that may locally exceed the (iso)static contributions. The viscous dissipation of the energy in and around subduction zones is capable of generating kilometer scale vertical ground movements. In order to evaluate dynamic topography in a self-consistent subduction system, we carried out a set of laboratory experiments, wherein the lithosphere and mantle are simulated by means of Newtonian viscous materials, namely silicone putty and glucose syrup. Models are kept in their most simple form and are made of negative buoyancy plates, of variable width and thickness, freely plunging into the syrup. The surface of the model and the top of the slab are scanned in three dimensions. A forebulge systematically emerges from the bending of the viscous plate, adjacent to the trench. With a large wavelength, dynamic pressure offsets the foreside and backside of the slab by ~ 500 m on average. The suction, that accompanies the vertical descent of the slab depresses the surface on both sides. At a distance equal to the half-width of the slab, the topographic depression amounts to ~ 500 m on average and becomes negligible at a distance that equals the width of the slab. In order to explore the impact of slab rollback on the topography, the trailing edge of the plates is alternatively fixed to (fixed mode) and freed from (free mode) the end wall of the tank. Both the pressure and suction components of the topography are ~ 30% lower in the free mode, indicating that slab rollback fosters the dynamic subsidence of upper plates. Our models are compatible with first order observations of the topography around the East Scotia, Tonga, Kermadec and Banda subduction zones, which exhibit anomalous depths of nearly 1 km as compared to adjacent sea floor of comparable age.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Water and the Oxidation State of Subduction Zone Magmas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kelley, K.; Cottrell, E


    Mantle oxygen fugacity exerts a primary control on mass exchange between Earth's surface and interior at subduction zones, but the major factors controlling mantle oxygen fugacity (such as volatiles and phase assemblages) and how tectonic cycles drive its secular evolution are still debated. We present integrated measurements of redox-sensitive ratios of oxidized iron to total iron (Fe{sup 3+}/{Sigma}Fe), determined with Fe K-edge micro-x-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy, and pre-eruptive magmatic H{sub 2}O contents of a global sampling of primitive undegassed basaltic glasses and melt inclusions covering a range of plate tectonic settings. Magmatic Fe{sup 3+}/{Sigma}Fe ratios increase toward subduction zones (at ridges, 0.13 to 0.17; at back arcs, 0.15 to 0.19; and at arcs, 0.18 to 0.32) and correlate linearly with H{sub 2}O content and element tracers of slab-derived fluids. These observations indicate a direct link between mass transfer from the subducted plate and oxidation of the mantle wedge.

  20. Hafnium at subduction zones: isotopic budget of input and output fluxes; L'hafnium dans les zones de subduction: bilan isotopique des flux entrant et sortant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marini, J.Ch


    Subduction zones are the primary regions of mass exchanges between continental crust and mantle of Earth through sediment subduction toward the earth's mantle and by supply of mantellic magmas to volcanic arcs. We analyze these mass exchanges using Hafnium and Neodymium isotopes. At the Izu-Mariana subduction zone, subducting sediments have Hf and Nd isotopes equivalent to Pacific seawater. Altered oceanic crust has Hf and Nd isotopic compositions equivalent to the isotopic budget of unaltered Pacific oceanic crust. At Luzon and Java subduction zones, arc lavas present Hf isotopic ratios highly radiogenic in comparison to their Nd isotopic ratios. Such compositions of the Luzon and Java arc lavas are controlled by a contamination of their sources by the subducted oceanic sediments. (author)

  1. 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

  2. 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)

  3. Geodynamic Modeling of the Subduction Zone around the Japanese Islands (United States)

    Honda, S.


    In this review, which focuses on our research, we describe the development of the thermomechanical modeling of subduction zones, paying special attention to those around the Japanese Islands. Without a sufficient amount of data and observations, models tended to be conceptual and general. However, the increasing power of computational tools has resulted in simple analytical and numerical models becoming more realistic, by incorporating the mantle flow around the subducting slab. The accumulation of observations and data has made it possible to construct regional models to understand the detail of the subduction processes. Recent advancements in the study of the seismic tomography and geology around the Japanese Islands has enabled new aspects of modeling the mantle processes. A good correlation between the seismic velocity anomalies and the finger-like distribution of volcanoes in northeast Japan has been recognized and small-scale convection (SSC) in the mantle wedge has been proposed to explain such a feature. The spatial and temporal evolution of the distribution of past volcanoes may reflect the characteristics of the flow in the mantle wedge, and points to the possibility of the flip-flopping of the finger-like pattern of the volcano distribution and the migration of volcanic activity from the back-arc side to the trench side. These observations are found to be qualitatively consistent with the results of the SSC model. We have also investigated the expected seismic anisotropy in the presence of SSC. The fast direction of the P-wave anisotropy generally shows the trench-normal direction with a reduced magnitude compared to the case without SSC. An analysis of full 3D seismic anisotropy is necessary to confirm the existence and nature of SSC. The 3D mantle flow around the subduction zone of plate-size scale has been modeled. It was found that the trench-parallel flow in the sub-slab mantle around the northern edge of the Pacific plate at the junction between

  4. Large earthquake processes in the northern Vanuatu subduction zone (United States)

    Cleveland, K. Michael; Ammon, Charles J.; Lay, Thorne


    The northern Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides) subduction zone (11°S to 14°S) has experienced large shallow thrust earthquakes with Mw > 7 in 1966 (MS 7.9, 7.3), 1980 (Mw 7.5, 7.7), 1997 (Mw 7.7), 2009 (Mw 7.7, 7.8, 7.4), and 2013 (Mw 8.0). We analyze seismic data from the latter four earthquake sequences to quantify the rupture processes of these large earthquakes. The 7 October 2009 earthquakes occurred in close spatial proximity over about 1 h in the same region as the July 1980 doublet. Both sequences activated widespread seismicity along the northern Vanuatu subduction zone. The focal mechanisms indicate interplate thrusting, but there are differences in waveforms that establish that the events are not exact repeats. With an epicenter near the 1980 and 2009 events, the 1997 earthquake appears to have been a shallow intraslab rupture below the megathrust, with strong southward directivity favoring a steeply dipping plane. Some triggered interplate thrusting events occurred as part of this sequence. The 1966 doublet ruptured north of the 1980 and 2009 events and also produced widespread aftershock activity. The 2013 earthquake rupture propagated southward from the northern corner of the trench with shallow slip that generated a substantial tsunami. The repeated occurrence of large earthquake doublets along the northern Vanuatu subduction zone is remarkable considering the doublets likely involved overlapping, yet different combinations of asperities. The frequent occurrence of large doublet events and rapid aftershock expansion in this region indicate the presence of small, irregularly spaced asperities along the plate interface.

  5. Background seismicity rate at subduction zones linked to slab-bending-related hydration (United States)

    Nishikawa, Tomoaki; Ide, Satoshi


    Tectonic properties strongly control variations in seismicity among subduction zones. In particular, fluid distribution in subduction zones influences earthquake occurrence, and it varies among subduction zones due to variations in fluid sources such as hydrated oceanic plates. However, the relationship between variations in fluid distribution and variations in seismicity among subduction zones is unclear. Here we divide Earth's subduction zones into 111 regions and estimate background seismicity rates using the epidemic type aftershock sequence model. We demonstrate that background seismicity rate correlates to the amount of bending of the incoming oceanic plate, which in turn is related to the hydration of oceanic plates via slab-bending-related faults. Regions with large bending may have high-seismicity rates because a strongly hydrated oceanic plate causes high pore fluid pressure and reduces the strength of the plate interface. We suggest that variations in fluid distribution can also cause variations in seismicity in subduction zones.

  6. Detection of earthquake swarms in subduction zones around Japan (United States)

    Nishikawa, T.; Ide, S.


    Earthquake swarms in subduction zones are likely to be related with slow slip events (SSEs) and locking on the plate interface. In the Boso-Oki region in central Japan, swarms repeatedly occur accompanying SSEs (e.g, Hirose et al., 2012). It is pointed out that ruptures of great earthquakes tend to terminate in regions with recurring swarm activity because of reduced and heterogeneous locking there (Holtkamp and Brudzinsiki, 2014). Given these observations, we may be able to infer aseismic slips and spatial variations in locking on the plate interface by investigating swarm activity in subduction zones. It is known that swarms do not follow Omori's law and have much higher seismicity rates than predicted by the ETAS model (e.g., Llenos et al., 2009). Here, we devised a statistical method to detect unexpectedly frequent earthquakes using the space-time ETAS model (Zhuang et al., 2002). We applied this method to subduction zones around Japan (Tohoku, Ibaraki-Boso-oki, Hokkaido, Izu, Tonankai, Nankai, and Kyushu) and detected swarms in JMA catalog (M ≥ 3) from 2001 to 2010. We detected recurring swarm activities as expected in the Boso-Oki region and also in the Ibaraki-Oki region (see Figures), where intensive foreshock activity was found by Maeda and Hirose (2011). In Tohoku, regions with intensive foreshock activity also appear to roughly correspond to regions with recurring swarm activity. Given that both foreshocks and swarms are triggered by SSEs (e.g., Bouchon et al., 2013), these results suggest that the regions with foreshock activity and swarm activity such as the Ibaraki-Oki region are characterized by extensive occurrences of SSEs just like the Boso-Oki region. Besides Ibaraki-Oki and Boso-Oki, we detected many swarms in Tohoku, Hokkaido, Izu, and Kyushu. On the other hand, swarms are rare in the rupture areas of the 1944 Tonankai and 1946 Nankai earthquakes. These variations in swarm activity may reflect variations in SSE activity among subduction zones

  7. 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.

  8. Subduction zone forearc serpentinites as incubators for deep microbial life (United States)

    Plümper, Oliver; King, Helen E.; Geisler, Thorsten; Liu, Yang; Pabst, Sonja; Savov, Ivan P.; Rost, Detlef; Zack, Thomas


    Serpentinization-fueled systems in the cool, hydrated forearc mantle of subduction zones may provide an environment that supports deep chemolithoautotrophic life. Here, we examine serpentinite clasts expelled from mud volcanoes above the Izu-Bonin-Mariana subduction zone forearc (Pacific Ocean) that contain complex organic matter and nanosized Ni-Fe alloys. Using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry and Raman spectroscopy, we determined that the organic matter consists of a mixture of aliphatic and aromatic compounds and functional groups such as amides. Although an abiotic or subduction slab-derived fluid origin cannot be excluded, the similarities between the molecular signatures identified in the clasts and those of bacteria-derived biopolymers from other serpentinizing systems hint at the possibility of deep microbial life within the forearc. To test this hypothesis, we coupled the currently known temperature limit for life, 122 °C, with a heat conduction model that predicts a potential depth limit for life within the forearc at ˜10,000 m below the seafloor. This is deeper than the 122 °C isotherm in known oceanic serpentinizing regions and an order of magnitude deeper than the downhole temperature at the serpentinized Atlantis Massif oceanic core complex, Mid-Atlantic Ridge. We suggest that the organic-rich serpentinites may be indicators for microbial life deep within or below the mud volcano. Thus, the hydrated forearc mantle may represent one of Earth’s largest hidden microbial ecosystems. These types of protected ecosystems may have allowed the deep biosphere to thrive, despite violent phases during Earth’s history such as the late heavy bombardment and global mass extinctions.

  9. Subduction zone forearc serpentinites as incubators for deep microbial life. (United States)

    Plümper, Oliver; King, Helen E; Geisler, Thorsten; Liu, Yang; Pabst, Sonja; Savov, Ivan P; Rost, Detlef; Zack, Thomas


    Serpentinization-fueled systems in the cool, hydrated forearc mantle of subduction zones may provide an environment that supports deep chemolithoautotrophic life. Here, we examine serpentinite clasts expelled from mud volcanoes above the Izu-Bonin-Mariana subduction zone forearc (Pacific Ocean) that contain complex organic matter and nanosized Ni-Fe alloys. Using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry and Raman spectroscopy, we determined that the organic matter consists of a mixture of aliphatic and aromatic compounds and functional groups such as amides. Although an abiotic or subduction slab-derived fluid origin cannot be excluded, the similarities between the molecular signatures identified in the clasts and those of bacteria-derived biopolymers from other serpentinizing systems hint at the possibility of deep microbial life within the forearc. To test this hypothesis, we coupled the currently known temperature limit for life, 122 °C, with a heat conduction model that predicts a potential depth limit for life within the forearc at ∼10,000 m below the seafloor. This is deeper than the 122 °C isotherm in known oceanic serpentinizing regions and an order of magnitude deeper than the downhole temperature at the serpentinized Atlantis Massif oceanic core complex, Mid-Atlantic Ridge. We suggest that the organic-rich serpentinites may be indicators for microbial life deep within or below the mud volcano. Thus, the hydrated forearc mantle may represent one of Earth's largest hidden microbial ecosystems. These types of protected ecosystems may have allowed the deep biosphere to thrive, despite violent phases during Earth's history such as the late heavy bombardment and global mass extinctions.

  10. Isotopic Characteristics of Thermal Fluids from Mexican Subduction Zone (United States)

    Taran, Y.; Inguaggiato, S.


    Chemical (major and trace elements) and isotopic (H,O,N,C,He) composition of waters and gases from thermal springs and geothermal wells of Mexican subduction zone have been measured. Three main geochemical profiles have been realized: (1) along the frontal Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB) zone through high- temperature Acoculco, Los Humeros, Los Azufres and La Primavera hydrothermal systems, Colima and Ceboruco volcanoes; (2) along the for-arc region of Pacific coast (12 groups of hot springs); (3) across the zone, from Pacific coast to TMVB, through the Jalisco Block. Fluids from El Chichon volcano in Chiapanecan arc system and Tacana volcano from the Central America Volcanic Arc have also been sampled. The frontal zone of TMVB is characterized by high 3He/4He ratios, from 7.2Ra in Ceboruco fumaroles to 7.6Ra in gases from Acoculco and Los Humeros calderas (Ra is atmospheric value of 1.4x10-6). These values are significantly higher than those published earlier in 80-s (up to 6.8Ra). Gases from coastal springs are low in 3He, usually < 1Ra with a minimum value of 0.2Ra in the northernmost submarine Punta Mita hot springs and a maximum value of 2.4Ra in La Tuna springs at the southern board of the Colima graben. An important feature of the TMVB thermal fluids is the absence of excess nitrogen in gases and, as a consequence, close to zero d15N values. In contrast, some coastal for-arc gases and gases from the Jalisco Block have high N2/Ar ratios and d15N up to +5 permil. Isotopic composition of carbon of CO2 along TMVB is close to typical "magmatic" values from -3 permil to -5 permil, but d13C of methane varies significantly indicating multiple sources of CH4 in geothermal fluids and a partial temperature control. High 3He/4He ratios and pure atmospheric nitrogen may indicate a low contribution of subducted sediments into the TMVB magmas and magmatic fluids. In contrast, El Chichon and Tacana fluids show some excess nitrogen (N2/Ar up to 500) and variable d15N, but

  11. Seismogenic zone structure along the Middle America subduction zone, Costa Rica (United States)

    Deshon, Heather Rene

    Most large (MW > 7.0) underthrusting earthquakes nucleate along a shallow region of unstable frictional stability on or near the subducting plate interface termed the seismogenic zone. The studies presented here investigate along-strike spatial and temporal variability in microseismicity and seismic velocity and provide spatial constraints on the updip and downdip limits of microseismicity within the Middle America subduction offshore western Costa Rica. All chapters utilize data recorded by the Costa Rica Seismogenic Zone Experiment (CRSEIZE), a collaborative seismic and geodetic study undertaken from September 1999--June 2001 to better understand subduction zone behavior near the Osa and Nicoya Peninsulas, Costa Rica. Chapter 1 serves as a broad introduction to the thesis while Chapter 2 provides an overview of Costa Rica seismicity, the CRSEIZE experiment setup, data processing, and data quality. Chapter 3 discusses simultaneous inversion for 1D P- and S-wave velocity models, station corrections, and hypocenter parameters for both the Nicoya and Osa experiments and presents a refined location for the continental Moho in northern Costa Rica. Chapter 4 presents absolute and relative relocations of ˜300 aftershocks of the 1999 Quepos, Costa Rica, underthrusting earthquake and analyzes seismogenic zone structure offshore central Costa Rica during a period of increased seismicity rate. Subduction of highly disrupted seafloor north of the Osa Peninsula has established a set of conditions that presently limit the seismogenic zone to be between 10--35 km below sea level, 30--95 km from the trench axis. Chapter 5 presents high resolution earthquake locations and P-wave and P-wave/S-wave 3D velocity models for the locked Nicoya Peninsula segment of the Middle America subduction zone calculated using an iterative, damped least squares local tomography method. In the southern Nicoya Peninsula, microseismicity along the plate interface extends from 12--26 km depth, 73

  12. 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

  13. Quantifying potential tsunami hazard in the Puysegur subduction zone, south of New Zealand (United States)

    Hayes, G.P.; Furlong, K.P.


    Studies of subduction zone seismogenesis and tsunami potential, particularly of large subduction zones, have recently seen a resurgence after the great 2004 earthquake and tsunami offshore of Sumatra, yet these global studies have generally neglected the tsunami potential of small subduction zones such as the Puysegur subduction zone, south of New Zealand. Here, we study one such relatively small subduction zone by analysing the historical seismicity over the entire plate boundary region south of New Zealand, using these data to determine the seismic moment deficit of the subduction zone over the past ~100 yr. Our calculations indicate unreleased moment equivalent to a magnitude Mw 8.3 earthquake, suggesting this subduction zone has the potential to host a great, tsunamigenic event. We model this tsunami hazard and find that a tsunami caused by a great earthquake on the Puysegur subduction zone would pose threats to the coasts of southern and western South Island, New Zealand, Tasmania and southeastern Australia, nearly 2000 km distant. No claim to original US government works Geophysical Journal International ?? 2010 RAS.

  14. Does subduction zone magmatism produce average continental crust (United States)

    Ellam, R. M.; Hawkesworth, C. J.


    The question of whether present day subduction zone magmatism produces material of average continental crust composition, which perhaps most would agree is andesitic, is addressed. It was argued that modern andesitic to dacitic rocks in Andean-type settings are produced by plagioclase fractionation of mantle derived basalts, leaving a complementary residue with low Rb/Sr and a positive Eu anomaly. This residue must be removed, for example by delamination, if the average crust produced in these settings is andesitic. The author argued against this, pointing out the absence of evidence for such a signature in the mantle. Either the average crust is not andesitic, a conclusion the author was not entirely comfortable with, or other crust forming processes must be sought. One possibility is that during the Archean, direct slab melting of basaltic or eclogitic oceanic crust produced felsic melts, which together with about 65 percent mafic material, yielded an average crust of andesitic composition.

  15. Spatiotemporal evolution of dehydration reactions in subduction zones (Invited) (United States)

    Padron-Navarta, J.


    Large-scale deep water cycling takes place through subduction zones in the Earth, making our planet unique in the solar system. This idiosyncrasy is the result of a precise but unknown balance between in-gassing and out-gassing fluxes of volatiles. Water is incorporated into hydrous minerals during seafloor alteration of the oceanic lithosphere. The cycling of volatiles is triggered by dehydration of these minerals that release fluids from the subducting slab to the mantle wedge and eventually to the crust or to the deep mantle. Whereas the loci of such reactions are reasonably well established, the mechanisms of fluid migration during dehydration reactions are still barely known. One of the challenges is that dehydration reactions are dynamic features evolving in time and space. Experimental data on low-temperature dehydration reactions (i.e. gypsum) and numerical models applied to middle-crust conditions point to a complex spatiotemporal evolution of the dehydration process. The extrapolation of these inferences to subduction settings has not yet been explored but it is essential to understand the dynamism of these settings. Here I propose an alternative approach to tackle this problem through the textural study of high-pressure terrains that experienced dehydration reactions. Spatiotemporal evolution of dehydration reactions should be recorded during mineral nucleation and growth through variations in time and space of the reaction rate. Insights on the fluid migration mechanism could be inferred therefore by noting changes in the texture of prograde assemblages. The dehydration of antigorite in serpentinite is a perfect candidate to test this approach as it releases a significant amount of fluid and produces a concomitant porosity. Unusual alternation of equilibrium and disequilibrium textures observed in Cerro del Almirez (Betic Cordillera, S Spain)[1, 2] attest for a complex fluid migration pattern for one of the most relevant reactions in subduction zones

  16. 3D Numerical modelling of topography development associated with curved subduction zones (United States)

    Munch, Jessica; Ueda, Kosuke; Burg, Jean-Pierre; May, Dave; Gerya, Taras


    Curved subduction zones, also called oroclines, are geological features found in various places on Earth. They occur in diverse geodynamic settings: 1) single slab subduction in oceanic domain (e.g. Sandwich trench in the Southern Atlantic); 2) single slab subduction in continental domain, (e.g. Gibraltar-Alboran orocline in the Western Mediterranean) 3); multi-slab subduction (e.g. Caribbean orocline in the South-East of the Gulf of Mexico). These systems present various curvatures, lengths (few hundreds to thousands of km) and ages (less than 35 Ma for Gibraltar Alboran orocline, up to 100 Ma for the Caribbean). Recent studies suggested that the formation of curved subduction systems depends on slab properties (age, length, etc) and may be linked with processes such as retreating subduction and delamination. Plume induced subduction initiation has been proposed for the Caribbean. All of these processes involve deep mechanisms such as mantle and slab dynamics. However, subduction zones always generate topography (trenches, uplifts, etc), which is likely to be influenced by surface processes. Hence, surface processes may also influence the evolution of subduction zones. We focus on different kinds of subduction systems initiated by plume-lithosphere interactions (single slab subduction/multi-slab subduction) and scrutinize their surface expression. We use numerical modeling to examine large-scale subduction initiation and three-dimensional slab retreat. We perform two kinds of simulations: 1) large scale subduction initiation with the 3D-thermomechanical code I3ELVIS (Gerya and Yuen, 2007) in an oceanic domain and 2) large scale subduction initiation in oceanic domain using I3ELVIS coupled with a robust new surface processes model (SPM). One to several retreating slabs form in the absence of surface processes, when the conditions for subduction initiation are reached (c.f. Gerya et al., 2015), and ridges occur in the middle of the extensional domain opened by slab

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Episodic tremor and slip in Northern Sumatra subduction zone (United States)

    Sianipar, Dimas; Subakti, Hendri


    The first reported observation of non-volcanic tremor in Sunda Arc in Sumbawa, Indonesia open a possibility of discovery of episodic tremor and slip (ETS) from out of Pacific Rim. Non-volcanic tremor gives some important information about dynamic of plate boundaries. The characteristics of these tremors are visually as non-impulsive, high frequency, long-duration and low-amplitude signals. Tectonic tremor occurred in a transition part of brittle-ductile of a fault and frequently associated with the shearing mechanism of slow slip. Tectonic tremor is a seismic case that also very interested, because it shows strong sensitivity to stress changes. Deep non-volcanic tremor is usually associated with episodic slow-slip events. Tectonic tremor is found in close association with geodetically observed slow-slip events (SSE) in subduction zones. One research found that there is possibility of SSE occurrence on Banyak Islands, North Sumatra revealed from coral observation. The SSE occurred on the Banyak Islands portion of the megathrust at 30-55 km depth, within the downdip transition zone. We do a systematic search of episodic tremor and its possible relationship with slow-slip phenomena in Northern Sumatra subduction zone. The spectrogram analysis is done to analyze the potential tremor signals. We use three component broadband seismic stations with 20, 25, and 50 sampling per second (BH* and SH* channels). We apply a butterworth 5 Hz highpass filter to separate the signal as local tremor and teleseismic/regional earthquakes. Before computing spectrogram to avoid high-frequency artifacts to remote triggering, we apply a 0.5 Hz filter. We also convert the binary seismic data into sound waves to make sure that these events meet the tectonic tremor criterion. We successfully examine 3 seismic stations with good recording i.e. GSI, SNSI and KCSI. We find there are many evidences of high frequency episodic tremor like signals. This include an analysis of potential triggered

  20. The link between great earthquakes and the subduction of oceanic fracture zones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. D. Müller


    Full Text Available Giant subduction earthquakes are known to occur in areas not previously identified as prone to high seismic risk. This highlights the need to better identify subduction zone segments potentially dominated by relatively long (up to 1000 yr and more recurrence times of giant earthquakes. We construct a model for the geometry of subduction coupling zones and combine it with global geophysical data sets to demonstrate that the occurrence of great (magnitude ≥ 8 subduction earthquakes is strongly biased towards regions associated with intersections of oceanic fracture zones and subduction zones. We use a computational recommendation technology, a type of information filtering system technique widely used in searching, sorting, classifying, and filtering very large, statistically skewed data sets on the Internet, to demonstrate a robust association and rule out a random effect. Fracture zone–subduction zone intersection regions, representing only 25% of the global subduction coupling zone, are linked with 13 of the 15 largest (magnitude Mw ≥ 8.6 and half of the 50 largest (magnitude Mw ≥ 8.4 earthquakes. In contrast, subducting volcanic ridges and chains are only biased towards smaller earthquakes (magnitude < 8. The associations captured by our statistical analysis can be conceptually related to physical differences between subducting fracture zones and volcanic chains/ridges. Fracture zones are characterised by laterally continuous, uplifted ridges that represent normal ocean crust with a high degree of structural integrity, causing strong, persistent coupling in the subduction interface. Smaller volcanic ridges and chains have a relatively fragile heterogeneous internal structure and are separated from the underlying ocean crust by a detachment interface, resulting in weak coupling and relatively small earthquakes, providing a conceptual basis for the observed dichotomy.

  1. 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.

  2. Constraints on Subduction Zone Processes from Low Frequency Earthquakes (United States)

    Bostock, M. G.


    The discovery of tectonic tremor and constituent low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs) offers seismologists new opportunities to study both deformational processes and structure within the subduction zone forearc. This assertion is especially true for northern Cascadia where i) regular seismicity is sparse, and ii) a relatively transparent overriding plate inflicts minimal distortion upon direct P and S wave arrivals from LFEs. Despite low signal-to-noise ratios, LFEs are highly repetitive and signal can be enhanced through construction of stacked templates. Studies in both Cascadia and Nankai reveal an association between LFE hypocenters and a high Vp/Vs, low-velocity zone (LVZ) that is inferred to represent overpressured upper oceanic crust. Scattered signals within Vancouver Island templates, interpreted to originate at boundaries of the LVZ, place LFEs within the LVZ and suggest that this structure may define a distributed (several km) zone of deformation. A recent analysis of LFE magnitudes indicates that LFEs exhibit scaling relations distinct from both regular earthquakes and longer period (10's of seconds to days) phenomena associated with slow slip. Regular earthquakes generally obey a scaling of moment proportional to duration cubed consistent with self similarity, whereas long period slow slip phenomena exhibit a linear scaling between moment and duration that can be accommodated through constant slip or constant stress drop models. In contrast, LFE durations are nearly constant suggesting that moment is governed by slip alone and that asperity size remains approximately constant. The implied dimensions (~1 km2), the persistance of LFEs in time and their stationarity in space point to structural heterogeneity, perhaps related to pockets of upper oceanic crust impervious to hydrothermal circulation, as a fundamental control.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Trading Time with Space - Development of subduction zone parameter database for a maximum magnitude correlation assessment (United States)

    Schaefer, Andreas; Wenzel, Friedemann


    Subduction zones are generally the sources of the earthquakes with the highest magnitudes. Not only in Japan or Chile, but also in Pakistan, the Solomon Islands or for the Lesser Antilles, subduction zones pose a significant hazard for the people. To understand the behavior of subduction zones, especially to identify their capabilities to produce maximum magnitude earthquakes, various physical models have been developed leading to a large number of various datasets, e.g. from geodesy, geomagnetics, structural geology, etc. There have been various studies to utilize this data for the compilation of a subduction zone parameters database, but mostly concentrating on only the major zones. Here, we compile the largest dataset of subduction zone parameters both in parameter diversity but also in the number of considered subduction zones. In total, more than 70 individual sources have been assessed and the aforementioned parametric data have been combined with seismological data and many more sources have been compiled leading to more than 60 individual parameters. Not all parameters have been resolved for each zone, since the data completeness depends on the data availability and quality for each source. In addition, the 3D down-dip geometry of a majority of the subduction zones has been resolved using historical earthquake hypocenter data and centroid moment tensors where available and additionally compared and verified with results from previous studies. With such a database, a statistical study has been undertaken to identify not only correlations between those parameters to estimate a parametric driven way to identify potentials for maximum possible magnitudes, but also to identify similarities between the sources themselves. This identification of similarities leads to a classification system for subduction zones. Here, it could be expected if two sources share enough common characteristics, other characteristics of interest may be similar as well. This concept

  6. Lithium Isotopic Fractionation in Subduction Zones: Clues From Clays (United States)

    Williams, L. B.; Hervig, R. L.


    Lithium isotope ratios show such large variations in nature (>30 per mil), that many areas of geosciences are exploring the usefulness of this system in explaining the evolution of particular rocks. Here we show how the lithium isotope ratios change during the transformation of smectite clay minerals to illite during burial metamorphism. Such a transition may be a common feature in the shallow regions of subduction zones and may ultimately affect the Li isotope compositions of fluids contributing to arc magmatism. Lithium is a ubiquitous trace element in natural formation waters that, like B, shows large isotopic fractionation especially during interactions with clay minerals. Lithium is adsorbed in the interlayer region of expandable clay minerals but is easily exchanged. Lithium is also incorporated into the octahedral sites. The substitutions of Li in two crystallographic sites of clay minerals may complicate interpretations of bulk Li-isotope ratios. We suggest that the magnitude of the isotopic fractionation of Li between fluid and clay is different in the interlayer sites of clay minerals than in the octahedral sites of clay minerals. Examination of Li contents and isotope variations in experimental reactions of smectite to illite (300C, 100MPa) shows changes with structural re-arrangement of the clay layers. The Li-isotope trend declines (from ~+6 to -13 per mil, expressed as ratios of 7/6) throughout R1-ordering of the mixed-layered illite smectite (I/S). However, the equilibrium end products of the reaction have R3-ordering and show a heavier isotope ratio (~0 per mil). This observation is very similar to the trends we observed for B-isotopes, where the interlayer B initially overprinted the tetrahedral-layer B isotope composition, but as the interlayer sites were collapsed during illitization, the equilibrium isotope composition was approached. The significant Li and B isotopic changes that occur during ordering of I/S coincides with the temperatures

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Earthquake faulting in subduction zones: insights from fault rocks in accretionary prisms (United States)

    Ujiie, Kohtaro; Kimura, Gaku


    Subduction earthquakes on plate-boundary megathrusts accommodate most of the global seismic moment release, frequently resulting in devastating damage by ground shaking and tsunamis. As many earthquakes occur in deep-sea regions, the dynamics of earthquake faulting in subduction zones is poorly understood. However, the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE) and fault rock studies in accretionary prisms exhumed from source depths of subduction earthquakes have greatly improved our understanding of earthquake faulting in subduction zones. Here, we review key advances that have been made over the last decade in the studies of fault rocks and in laboratory experiments using fault zone materials, with a particular focus on the Nankai Trough subduction zone and its on-land analog, the Shimanto accretionary complex in Japan. New insights into earthquake faulting in subduction zones are summarized in terms of the following: (1) the occurrence of seismic slip along velocity-strengthening materials both at shallow and deep depths; (2) dynamic weakening of faults by melt lubrication and fluidization, and possible factors controlling coseismic deformation mechanisms; (3) fluid-rock interactions and mineralogical and geochemical changes during earthquakes; and (4) geological and experimental aspects of slow earthquakes.

  10. 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.

  11. Fluid migration in the subduction zone: a coupled fluid flow approach (United States)

    Wang, Hongliang; Huismans, Ritske; Rondenay, Stéphane


    Subduction zone are the main entry point of water into earth's mantle and play an important role in the global water cycle. The progressive release of water by metamorphic dehydration induce important physical-chemical process in the subduction zone, such as hydrous melting, hydration and weakening of the mantle wedge, creation of pore fluid pressures that may weaken the subduction interface and induce earthquakes. Most previous studies on the role of fluids in subduction zones assume vertical migration or migration according to the dynamic pressure in the solid matrix without considering the pore fluid pressure effect on the deformation of the solid matrix. Here we investigate this interaction by explicitly modeling two-phase coupled poro-plastic flow during subduction. In this approach, the fluid migrates by compaction and decompaction of the solid matrix and affects the subduction dynamics through pore fluid pressure dependent frictional-plastic yield. Our preliminary results indicate that: 1) the rate of fluid migration depends strongly on the permeability and the bulk viscosity of the solid matrix, 2) fluid transfer occurs preferentially along the slab and then propagates into the mantle wedge by viscous compaction driven fluid flow, 3) fluid transport from the surface to depth is a prerequisite for producing high fluid pore pressures and associated hydration induced weakening of the subduction zone interface.

  12. Permeability-porosity relationships of subduction zone sediments (United States)

    Gamage, K.; Screaton, E.; Bekins, B.; Aiello, I.


    Permeability-porosity relationships for sediments from the northern Barbados, Costa Rica, Nankai, and Peru subduction zones were examined based on sediment type, grain size distribution, and general mechanical and chemical compaction history. Greater correlation was observed between permeability and porosity in siliciclastic sediments, diatom oozes, and nannofossil chalks than in nannofossil oozes. For siliciclastic sediments, grouping of sediments by percentage of clay-sized material yields relationships that are generally consistent with results from other marine settings and suggests decreasing permeability as percentage of clay-sized material increases. Correction of measured porosities for smectite content improved the correlation of permeability-porosity relationships for siliciclastic sediments and diatom oozes. The relationship between permeability and porosity for diatom oozes is very similar to the relationship in siliciclastic sediments, and permeabilities of both sediment types are related to the amount of clay-size particles. In contrast, nannofossil oozes have higher permeability values by 1.5 orders of magnitude than siliciclastic sediments of the same porosity and show poor correlation between permeability and porosity. More indurated calcareous sediments, nannofossil chalks, overlap siliciclastic permeabilities at the lower end of their measured permeability range, suggesting similar consolidation patterns at depth. Thus, the lack of correlation between permeability and porosity for nannofossil oozes is likely related to variations in mechanical and chemical compaction at shallow depths. This study provides the foundation for a much-needed global database with fundamental properties that relate to permeability in marine settings. Further progress in delineating controls on permeability requires additional carefully documented permeability measurements on well-characterized samples. ?? 2010 Elsevier B.V.

  13. Field-Based Evidence for Devolatilization in Subduction Zones: Implications for Arc Magmatism (United States)

    Bebout, Gray E.


    Metamorphic rocks on Santa Catalina Island, California, afford examination of fluid-related processes at depths of 15 to 45 kilometers in an Early Cretaceous subduction zone. A combination of field, stable isotope, and volatile content data for the Catalina Schist indicates kilometer-scale transport of large amounts of water-rich fluid with uniform oxygen and hydrogen isotope compositions. The fluids were liberated in devolatilizing, relatively low-temperature (400^circ to 600^circC) parts of the subduction zone, primarily by chlorite-breakdown reactions. An evaluation of pertinent phase equilibria indicates that chlorite in mafic and sedimentary rocks and melange may stabilize a large volatile component to great depths (perhaps >100 kilometers), depending on the thermal structure of the subduction zone. This evidence for deep volatile subduction and large-scale flow of slab-derived, water-rich fluids lends credence to models that invoke fluid addition to sites of arc magma genesis.

  14. 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

  15. Preseismic, Postseismic and Slow Faulting in Subduction Zones (United States)

    Melbourne, T. I.; Webb, F. H.; Miller, M. M.


    The last several years have witnessed a broad reappraisal of our understanding of the energy budgets of subduction zones. Due primarily to the deployment of continuous geodetic instrumentation along convergent margins worldwide, we now recognize that fault rupture commonly occurs over rates ranging from kilometers per second to millimeters per day. Along with transient postseismic slip, both isolated and episodic slow slip events have now been recorded along convergent margins offshore Japan, Alaska, Mexico, Cascadia and Peru, and thus would appear to constitute a fundamental mode of strain release only observable through geodetic methods. In many instances, postseismic creep along the deeper plate interface is triggered by seismogenic rupture up-dip. Continuous GPS measurements from three earthquakes in México (Mw=8.0,1995), Peru (Mw=8.4,2001) and Japan (Mw=7.7, 1994) show that deep postseismic creep was triggered by local Coulomb stress increases of the order of one half bar produced by their mainshock ruptures. For these three events, afterslip along their primary coseismic asperities is significantly less important than triggered deep creep. Deeper slow faulting does not have to be triggered by adjacent seismogenic rupture. In Cascadia, eight episodic slow slip events since 1991 have been recognized to have an astonishingly regular 14.5-month onset period, the most recent of which began in February of 2002. For these events, time dependent inversion of GPS data map the propagation of creep fronts and show they released moment with magnitudes in excess of Mw=6.5. If they occur throughout the Cascadia interseismic period, then cumulatively they rival the moment release of the infrequent Mw=9.0 megathrust events. Most recently, an 18-hour precursor to an Mw=7.6 aftershock of the 2001 Mw=8.4 Peru earthquake was detected at Arequipa, Peru. This precursor appears as a ~3 cm departure from a continuous time series broken only by the coseismic displacements of the

  16. Slab1.0: A three-dimensional model of global subduction zone geometries (United States)

    Hayes, G.P.; Wald, D.J.; Johnson, R.L.


    We describe and present a new model of global subduction zone geometries, called Slab1.0. An extension of previous efforts to constrain the two-dimensional non-planar geometry of subduction zones around the focus of large earthquakes, Slab1.0 describes the detailed, non-planar, three-dimensional geometry of approximately 85% of subduction zones worldwide. While the model focuses on the detailed form of each slab from their trenches through the seismogenic zone, where it combines data sets from active source and passive seismology, it also continues to the limits of their seismic extent in the upper-mid mantle, providing a uniform approach to the definition of the entire seismically active slab geometry. Examples are shown for two well-constrained global locations; models for many other regions are available and can be freely downloaded in several formats from our new Slab1.0 website, d9ARbS. We describe improvements in our two-dimensional geometry constraint inversion, including the use of average active source seismic data profiles in the shallow trench regions where data are otherwise lacking, derived from the interpolation between other active source seismic data along-strike in the same subduction zone. We include several analyses of the uncertainty and robustness of our three-dimensional interpolation methods. In addition, we use the filtered, subduction-related earthquake data sets compiled to build Slab1.0 in a reassessment of previous analyses of the deep limit of the thrust interface seismogenic zone for all subduction zones included in our global model thus far, concluding that the width of these seismogenic zones is on average 30% larger than previous studies have suggested. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  17. The proportionality between relative plate velocity and seismicity in subduction zones (United States)

    Ide, S.


    Seismic activity differs among subduction zones due to various factors such as relative plate velocity, temperature, stress, and subducting materials. Relative plate velocity has a direct control on tectonic deformation and an overall correlation with seismicity has been suggested, as a global average or for large regions. Here I show a positive correlation between relative plate velocity and seismicity by estimating the background seismicity rate for 117 sections of subduction zones worldwide using the epidemic type aftershock sequence (ETAS) model. The background rate is stably estimated even for the period following M9-class earthquakes in Chile and Japan. A prominent proportional relationship is evident in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Given that M9-class earthquakes occur independently of one another, the lack of M9 earthquakes in the southwestern Pacific Ocean over the last century is difficult to explain by chance. On the other hand, some subduction zones have extremely low background seismicity, and have experienced very large earthquakes. Slow earthquakes have been discovered in many of these quiet zones. Thus, this proportionality relation may be useful in assessing the seismic risk in subduction zones worldwide between two apparently confusing end members: 'active and moderate' and 'quiet and extreme'.

  18. Evolution of passive continental margins and initiation of subduction zones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cloetingh, S.A.P.L.


    The initiation of subduction is a key element in plate tectonic schemes for the evolution of the Earth's lithosphere. Nevertheless, up to present, the underlying mechanism has not been very well understood (e.g. Dickinson and Seely, 1979; Hager, 1980; Kanamori, 1980). The insight into the

  19. Evolution of passive continental margins and initiation of subduction zones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cloetingh, Sierd


    The initiation of subduction is a key element in plate tectonic schemes for the evolution of the Earth's lithosphere. Nevertheless, up to present, the underlying mechanism has not been very well understood (e.g. Dickinson and Seely, 1979; Hager, 1980; Kanamori, 1980). The insight into the initiation

  20. Evolution of passive continental margins and initiation of subduction zones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cloetingh, S.A.P.L.


    The initiation of subduction is a key element in plate tectonic schemes for the evolution of the Earth's lithosphere. Nevertheless, up to present, the underlying mechanism has not been very well understood (e.g. Dickinson and Seely, 1979; Hager, 1980; Kanamori, 1980). The insight into the initiation

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Revisiting the subduction zone carbon cycle: What goes down, mostly comes up (United States)

    Kelemen, Peter; Manning, Craig


    As we reported (PNAS 2015), carbon fluxes in subduction zones can be better constrained by including new estimates of carbon concentration in subducting mantle peridotites, consideration of carbonate solubility in aqueous fluid along subduction geotherms, and diapirism of carbon-bearing metasediments. Whereas previous studies concluded that about half the subducting carbon is returned to the convecting mantle, we find it is likely that relatively little carbon is recycled. If so, input from subduction zones into the overlying plate is larger than output from arc volcanoes plus diffuse venting, and substantial quantities of carbon are stored in the mantle lithosphere and crust. Also, if the subduction zone carbon cycle is nearly closed on time scales of 5-10 Ma, then the carbon content of the mantle lithosphere + crust + ocean + atmosphere must be increasing. This is consistent with inferences from noble gas data and crustal carbon inventories (review in Hayes & Waldbauer PTRSL 2006). Carbon in diamonds, which may have been recycled into the convecting mantle, is a small fraction of the global carbon inventory. Increasing NaCl and decreasing pH and fO2 in aqueous fluids all increase carbon solubility at HP to UHP conditions, strengthening the prediction of wt% solubility (Manning & Kelemen, Fall AGU 2015), while hydrous carbonatite formed on high T subduction geotherms (Poli, Nat Geosci 2015) has still higher concentrations. Fractures heal rapidly at UHP conditions, so fluid transport is mainly via porous flow, with increasing downstream solubility and porosity due to heating in the subducting plate and base of the mantle wedge. Depending on flow and reaction rates vs diffusivity (Damkohler number), this could yield diffuse or channelized flow. High, increasing solubilities and reaction rates, with slow diffusion, can produce diffuse, pervasive porous flow (e.g., Hoefner & Fogler, AIChEJ 1988; Spiegelman et al, JGR 2001) and efficient recycling of carbon.

  4. Boron as a tracer for material transfer in subduction zones (United States)

    Rosner, Martin Siegfried


    Late Miocene to Quaternary volcanic rocks from the frontal arc to the back-arc region of the Central Volcanic Zone in the Andes show a wide range of delta 11B values (+4 to -7 ‰) and boron concentrations (6 to 60 ppm). Positive delta 11B values of samples from the volcanic front indicate involvement of a 11B-enriched slab component, most likely derived from altered oceanic crust, despite the thick Andean continental lithosphere, and rule out a pure crust-mantle origin for these lavas. The delta 11B values and B concentrations in the lavas decrease systematically with increasing depth of the Wadati-Benioff Zone. This across-arc variation in delta 11B values and decreasing B/Nb ratios from the arc to the back-arc samples are attributed to the combined effects of B-isotope fractionation during progressive dehydration in the slab and a steady decrease in slab-fluid flux towards the back arc, coupled with a relatively constant degree of crustal contamination as indicated by similar Sr, Nd and Pb isotope ratios in all samples. Modelling of fluid-mineral B-isotope fractionation as a function of temperature fits the across-arc variation in delta 11B and we conclude that the B-isotope composition of arc volcanics is dominated by changing delta 11B composition of B-rich slab-fluids during progressive dehydration. Crustal contamination becomes more important towards the back-arc due to the decrease in slab-derived fluid flux. Because of this isotope fractionation effect, high delta 11B signatures in volcanic arcs need not necessarily reflect differences in the initial composition of the subducting slab. Three-component mixing calculations for slab-derived fluid, the mantle wedge and the continental crust based on B, Sr and Nd isotope data indicate that the slab-fluid component dominates the B composition of the fertile mantle and that the primary arc magmas were contaminated by an average addition of 15 to 30 % crustal material. Spät-miozäne bis quartäre Vulkanite der

  5. 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.

  6. A viscoplastic shear-zone model for episodic slow slip events in oceanic subduction zones (United States)

    Yin, A.; Meng, L.


    Episodic slow slip events occur widely along oceanic subduction zones at the brittle-ductile transition depths ( 20-50 km). Although efforts have been devoted to unravel their mechanical origins, it remains unclear about the physical controls on the wide range of their recurrence intervals and slip durations. In this study we present a simple mechanical model that attempts to account for the observed temporal evolution of slow slip events. In our model we assume that slow slip events occur in a viscoplastic shear zone (i.e., Bingham material), which has an upper static and a lower dynamic plastic yield strength. We further assume that the hanging wall deformation is approximated as an elastic spring. We envision the shear zone to be initially locked during forward/landward motion but is subsequently unlocked when the elastic and gravity-induced stress exceeds the static yield strength of the shear zone. This leads to backward/trenchward motion damped by viscous shear-zone deformation. As the elastic spring progressively loosens, the hanging wall velocity evolves with time and the viscous shear stress eventually reaches the dynamic yield strength. This is followed by the termination of the trenchward motion when the elastic stress is balanced by the dynamic yield strength of the shear zone and the gravity. In order to account for the zig-saw slip-history pattern of typical repeated slow slip events, we assume that the shear zone progressively strengthens after each slow slip cycle, possibly caused by dilatancy as commonly assumed or by progressive fault healing through solution-transport mechanisms. We quantify our conceptual model by obtaining simple analytical solutions. Our model results suggest that the duration of the landward motion increases with the down-dip length and the static yield strength of the shear zone, but decreases with the ambient loading velocity and the elastic modulus of the hanging wall. The duration of the backward/trenchward motion depends

  7. Assessment of flexural analysis applied to the Sumatra–Java subduction zone

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    R T Ratheesh Kumar; Tanmay K Maji; Rajesh R Nair


    Indian Ocean subduction zone is one of the most active plate margins of the globe as evident from its vast record of great magnitude earthquake and tsunami events.We use Bouguer admittance (Morlet isostatic response function)in Sumatra –Java subduction zones comprising both the subduction and over-riding plates to determine the lithospheric mechanical strength variations. We determine effective elastic thickness () for five oceanic windows (size 990 × 990 km2) by analyzing the admittance using Bouguer gravity and bathymetry data. The results show bimodal values > 20 km for Sumatra and 20 –40 km for Java.The lower bimodal values obtained for Sumatra appears to correlate well with the zones of historical seismicity.This is in sharp contrast with Java subduction zone,which shows higher values (20 –40 km)and apparently associated with low magnitude earthquakes.We suggest a strong and wide interseismic coupling for Sumatra between the subducting and over-riding plates,and deeper mantle contributing to low strength,shallow focus –high magnitude seismicity and vice versa for Java,leading to their seismogenic zonation.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Geochemical evidence for formation of the Bay of Islands ophiolite above a subduction zone (United States)

    Elthon, Don


    The existence of a substantial tantalum depletion in Bay of Islands (BOI) magmas is reported. These depletions, together with that of niobium shown by Jenner et al., is characteristic of magmas erupted above subduction zones but not at midocean ridges. This indicates that the BOI is not a good analog for lithosphere formed at midocean ridges.

  12. Tsunamigenic potential of Mediterranean fault systems and active subduction zones (United States)

    Petricca, Patrizio; Babeyko, Andrey


    Since the North East Atlantic and Mediterranean Tsunami Warning System (NEAMTWS) is under development by the European scientific community, it becomes necessary to define guidelines for the characterization of the numerous parameters must be taken into account in a fair assessment of the risk. Definition of possible tectonic sources and evaluation of their potential is one of the principal issues. In this study we systematically evaluate tsunamigenic potential of up-to-now known real fault systems and active subduction interfaces in the NEAMTWS region. The task is accomplished by means of numerical modeling of tsunami generation and propagation. We have simulated all possible uniform-slip ruptures populating fault and subduction interfaces with magnitudes ranging from 6.5 up to expected Mmax. A total of 15810 individual ruptures were processed. For each rupture, a tsunami propagation scenario was computed in linear shallow-water approximation on 1-arc minute bathymetric grid (Gebco_08) implying normal reflection boundary conditions. Maximum wave heights at coastal positions (totally - 23236 points of interest) were recorded for four hours of simulation and then classified according to currently adopted warning level thresholds. The resulting dataset allowed us to classify the sources in terms of their tsunamigenic potential as well as to estimate their minimum tsunamigenic magnitude. Our analysis shows that almost every source in the Mediterranean Sea is capable to produce local tsunami at the advisory level (i.e., wave height > 20 cm) starting from magnitude values of Mw=6.6. In respect to the watch level (wave height > 50 cm), the picture is less homogeneous: crustal sources in south-west Mediterranean as well as East-Hellenic arc need larger magnitudes (around Mw=7.0) to trigger watch levels even at the nearby coasts. In the context of the regional warning (i.e., source-to-coast distance > 100 km) faults also behave more heterogeneously in respect to the minimum

  13. Carbon dioxide released from subduction zones by fluid-mediated reactions (United States)

    Ague, Jay J.; Nicolescu, Stefan


    The balance between the subduction of carbonate mineral-bearing rocks into Earth's mantle and the return of CO2 to the atmosphere by volcanic and metamorphic degassing is critical to the carbon cycle. Carbon is thought to be released from subducted rocks mostly by simple devolatilization reactions. However, these reactions will also retain large amounts of carbon within the subducting slab and have difficulty in accounting for the mass of CO2 emitted from volcanic arcs. Carbon release may therefore occur via fluid-induced dissolution of calcium carbonate. Here we use carbonate δ18O and δ13C systematics, combined with analyses of rock and fluid inclusion mineralogy and geochemistry, to investigate the alteration of the exhumed Eocene Cycladic subduction complex on the Syros and Tinos islands, Greece. We find that in marble rocks adjacent to two fluid conduits that were active during subduction, the abundance of calcium carbonate drastically decreases approaching the conduits, whereas silicate minerals increase. Up to 60-90% of the CO2 was released from the rocks--far greater than expected via simple devolatilization reactions. The δ18O of the carbonate minerals is 5-10 lighter than is typical for metamorphosed carbonate rocks, implying that isotopically light oxygen was transported by fluid infiltration from the surroundings. We suggest that fluid-mediated carbonate mineral removal, accompanied by silicate mineral precipitation, provides a mechanism for the release of enormous amounts of CO2 from subduction zones.

  14. Streak Tectonics associated with the Irregular Slab Topography at Subduction Zones (United States)

    Eguchi, T.


    We demonstrate the physical features of streak tectonics (or abrasion tectonics) associated with the irregular surface topography, such as local convex rise or seamount(s), on the downgoing slab at subduction zones. Marine surveys such as sophisticated multichannel seismic experiments have revealed the detailed vertical structure of the overriding lithosphere as well as the upper-most part of downgoing slab at the fore-arc zone from the trench axis through the inclined plate interface zone at a depth of 10 - 15km. As previously, some researchers (e.g., Eguchi, 1979, 1996; Hilde, 1983; Suzan, 2010) demonstrated the influence of the surface irregular topography of the slab on the occurrence regime of greater interplate seismic events with the low-angle underthrusting slip. However, the earlier studies didn't incorporate any effects due to the spherical buckling of oceanic lithosphere with the age-dependent elastic thickness at subduction zones. In the case of a subduction zone where the slab age has gradually been decreasing or increasing, the spherical buckling of elastic shell (e.g., Eguchi, 2012) suggests that the interplate mechanical coupling strength varies with time and space. Next, we argue some tectonic features of strain-rate dependent deformation at areas surrounding an isolated-seamount on the downgoing slab, such as the quasi-static fluid lubrication, boundary lubrication or plastic deformation. We then discuss how to represent mathematically the streak process during a larger interplate seismic event at the non-uniform plate interface zone.

  15. Segmentation of Makran Subduction Zone and its consequences on tsunami hazard estimations (United States)

    Mokhtari, M.


    In a plate tectonic setting like that of the Makran Accretionary Complex of Oman Sea, a fairly high earthquake activity would be expected, as in many of the other major Accretionary complexes/subduction zones around the world. But this region which is located between the Zendan-Minab Fault System and Oranch Fault Zone shows relatively low seismicity in comparison with the surrounding region. Better documented tsunami events in the Makran subduction zones are 3, including two events of seismic origin, and one of unknown origin. The latest event is the major earthquake generated tsunami of 1945 in eastern Makran that ruptured approximately one-fifth the length of the subduction zone. It is important to note that, the epicenter of this event is also close to the Sonne Fault which has created segments on the Makran Subduction Zone. The crossing points between Makran Subduction Zone and these oblique fault zones can be a location for occurrence of major earthquake activities. However, more studies are required for further clarification. In contrast to the east, the plate boundary in western Makran has no clear record of historically as well as instrumental great events. The large changes in seismicity between eastern and western Makran suggest segmentation of the subduction zone. This is being supported by Kukowski et al., (2000) where they introduce a new boundary coinciding very well with the Sonne strike-slip fault. As mentioned the western part is characterized by the absence of events. East of the Sonne fault and west of long 64°E is the only region with a clustering of events within the submarine and southernmost onshore part of the Accretionary Wedge, also including the Mw 8.1 event of 1945 (Byrne et al., 1992). Most events in the wedge appear to be pure-thrust earthquakes and are interpreted as plate boundary events (Quittmeyer and Kafka, 1984; Byrne et al., 1992). The earthquake of August 12, 1963, a few tens of kilometers east of the Sonne fault, had a large

  16. Three-Dimensional Thermal Model of the Costa Rica-Nicaragua Subduction Zone (United States)

    Rosas, Juan Carlos; Currie, Claire A.; He, Jiangheng


    The thermal structure of a subduction zone controls many key processes, including subducting plate metamorphism and dehydration, the megathrust earthquake seismogenic zone and volcanic arc magmatism. Here, we present the first three-dimensional (3D), steady-state kinematic-dynamic thermal model for the Costa Rica-Nicaragua subduction zone. The model consists of the subducting Cocos plate, the overriding Caribbean Plate, and a viscous mantle wedge in which flow is driven by interactions with the downgoing slab. The Cocos plate geometry includes along-strike variations in slab dip, which induce along-strike flow in the mantle wedge. Along-strike flow occurs primarily below Costa Rica, with a maximum magnitude of 4 cm/year (~40 % of the convergence rate) for a mantle with a dislocation creep rheology; an isoviscous mantle has lower velocities. Along-margin flow causes temperatures variations of up to 80 °C in the subducting slab and mantle wedge at the volcanic arc and backarc. The 3D effects do not strongly alter the shallow (<35 km) thermal structure of the subduction zone. The models predict that the megathrust seismogenic zone width decreases from ~100 km below Costa Rica to just a few kilometers below Nicaragua; the narrow width in the north is due to hydrothermal cooling of the oceanic plate. These results are in good agreement with previous 2D models and with the rupture area of recent earthquakes. In the models, along-strike mantle flow is induced only by variations in slab dip, with flow directed toward the south where the dip angle is smallest. In contrast, geochemical and seismic observations suggest a northward flow of 6-19 cm/year. We do not observe this in our models, suggesting that northward flow may be driven by additional factors, such as slab rollback or proximity to a slab edge (slab window). Such high velocities may significantly affect the thermal structure, especially at the southern end of the subduction zone. In this area, 3D models that

  17. Subduction processes off chile (SPOC) - results from The amphibious wide-angle seismic experiment across The chilean subduction zone (United States)

    Lueth, S.; Spoc Resaerch Group


    One component of the onshore-offshore, active-passive seismic experiment SPOC (Krawczyk et al., Stiller et al., this vol.) was a 2-D wide-angle seismic experiment covering the Chilean subduction zone from the Nazca Plate to the Magmatic Arc in the main cordillera. Three W-E-profiles of 52 stations each and up to 240 km long were deployed between 36° and 39° S. These profiles recorded chemical shots at their ends and, in order to extend the onshore profiles, the airgun pulses from RV SONNE cruising simultaneously on offshore profiles. On the southernmost of the three profiles OBHs/OBSs were deployed offshore, thus providing continuous wide-angle seismic data from the Nazca Plate to the South-American continent. Data examples, correlations, and velocity models along the three transects will be presented. The Moho of the subducted oceanic crust can be constrained by PmP-reflections down to 45 km depth under the coastal cordillera. The P-wave velocity field of the crust of the upper plate is characterized by gradually increasing P-wave velocities from East to West. Low seismic velocities (Vp ~6.5 km/s below 10 km depth) are observed at the eastern margin of the investigated area.

  18. Upper-mantle seismic discontinuities and the thermal structure of subduction zones (United States)

    Vidale, J.E.; Benz, H.M.


    The precise depths at which seismic velocities change abruptly in the upper mantle are revealed by the analysis of data from hundreds of seismometers across the western United States. The boundary near 410 km depth is locally elevated, that near 660 km depressed. The depths of these boundaries, which mark phase transitions, provide an in situ thermometer in subduction zones: the observed temperature contrasts require at least moderate thickening of the subducting slab near 660 km depth. In addition, a reflector near 210 km depth may mark the bottom of the aesthenosphere.

  19. Seismic evidence for flow in the hydrated mantle wedge of the Ryukyu subduction zone (United States)

    Nagaya, Takayoshi; Walker, Andrew M.; Wookey, James; Wallis, Simon R.; Ishii, Kazuhiko; Kendall, J.-Michael


    It is widely accepted that water-rich serpentinite domains are commonly present in the mantle above shallow subducting slabs and play key roles in controlling the geochemical cycling and physical properties of subduction zones. Thermal and petrological models show the dominant serpentine mineral is antigorite. However, there is no good consensus on the amount, distribution and alignment of this mineral. Seismic velocities are commonly used to identify antigorite-rich domains, but antigorite is highly-anisotropic and depending on the seismic ray path, its properties can be very difficult to distinguish from non-hydrated olivine-rich mantle. Here, we utilize this anisotropy and show how an analysis of seismic anisotropy that incorporates measured ray path geometries in the Ryukyu arc can constrain the distribution, orientation and amount of antigorite. We find more than 54% of the wedge must consist of antigorite and the alignment must change from vertically aligned to parallel to the slab. This orientation change suggests convective flow in the hydrated forearc mantle. Shear wave splitting analysis in other subduction zones indicates large-scale serpentinization and forearc mantle convection are likely to be more widespread than generally recognized. The view that the forearc mantle of cold subduction zones is dry needs to be reassessed.

  20. Controls on continental strain partitioning above an oblique subduction zone, Northern Andes (United States)

    Schütt, Jorina M.; Whipp, David M., Jr.


    Strain partitioning is a common process at obliquely convergent plate margins dividing oblique convergence into margin-normal slip on the plate-bounding fault and horizontal shearing on a strike-slip system parallel to the subduction margin. In subduction zones, strain partitioning in the upper continental plate is mainly controlled by the shear forces acting on the plate interface and the strength of the continental crust. The plate interface forces are influenced by the subducting plate dip angle and the obliquity angle between the normal to the plate margin and the convergence velocity vector, and the crustal strength of the continent is strongly affected by the presence or absence of a volcanic arc, with the presence of the volcanic arcs being common at steep subduction zones. Along the ˜7000 km western margin of South America the convergence obliquity, subduction dip angles and presence of a volcanic arc all vary, but strain partitioning is only observed along parts of it. This raises the questions, to what extent do subduction zone characteristics control strain partitioning in the overriding continental plate, and which factors have the largest influence? We address these questions using lithospheric-scale 3D numerical geodynamic experiments to investigate the influence of subduction dip angle, convergence obliquity, and weaknesses in the crust owing to the volcanic arc on strain partitioning behavior. We base the model design on the Northern Volcanic Zone of the Andes (5° N - 2° S), characterized by steep subduction (˜ 35°), a convergence obliquity between 31° -45° and extensive arc volcanism, and where strain partitioning is observed. The numerical modelling software (DOUAR) solves the Stokes flow and heat transfer equations for a viscous-plastic creeping flow to calculate velocity fields, thermal evolution, rock uplift and strain rates in a 1600 km x 1600 km box with depth 160 km. Subduction geometry and material properties are based on a

  1. Space geodetic studies of crustal deformation in subduction zones: The Central Andes and Costa Rica (United States)

    Norabuena, Edmundo O.

    Subduction zones are regions that account for most of the total energy released by large earthquakes around the world. Two of these regions, the Costa Rica Margin and the southern Peru Margin, historically prone to devastating earthquakes with severe social and economic impact, are the focus of my dissertation. I use GPS derived velocity fields estimated from time series of coordinates of campaign stations deployed between 1994 and 2001 over the Costa Rica and Peru subduction zones to infer fault geometry and slip distribution on the plate boundary, and study the corresponding seismogenic zones. Regions of locking are associated with asperities that may break at the end of the corresponding earthquake cycle; their area extent may signify amount of energy to be released. I also show that fore-arc motion in Costa Rica, as well as postseismic relaxation, are factors that contribute to or alter the observed velocity fields and must be taken into account.

  2. Geodetic and seismic signatures of episodic tremor and slip in the northern Cascadia subduction zone (United States)

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


    Slip events with an average duration of about 10 days and effective total slip displacements of severalc entimetres have been detected on the deeper (25 to 45 km) part of the northern Cascadia subduction zone interface by observing transient surface deformation on a network of continuously recording Global Positioning System (GPS) sites. The slip events occur down-dip from the currently locked, seismogenic portion of the subduction zone, 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 tremors, similar to those reported in the forearc region of southern Japan. Although the processes which generate this phenomenon of episodic tremor and slip (ETS) are not well understood, it is possible that the ETS zone may constrain the landward extent of megathrust rupture, and conceivable that an ETS event could precede the next great thrust earthquake.

  3. Source Parameters of Large Magnitude Subduction Zone Earthquakes Along Oaxaca, Mexico (United States)

    Fannon, M. L.; Bilek, S. L.


    Subduction zones are host to temporally and spatially varying seismogenic activity including, megathrust earthquakes, slow slip events (SSE), nonvolcanic tremor (NVT), and ultra-slow velocity layers (USL). We explore these variations by determining source parameters for large earthquakes (M > 5.5) along the Oaxaca segment of the Mexico subduction zone, an area encompasses the wide range of activity noted above. We use waveform data for 36 earthquakes that occurred between January 1, 1990 to June 1, 2014, obtained from the IRIS DMC, generate synthetic Green's functions for the available stations, and deconvolve these from the ­­­observed records to determine a source time function for each event. From these source time functions, we measured rupture durations and scaled these by the cube root to calculate the normalized duration for each event. Within our dataset, four events located updip from the SSE, USL, and NVT areas have longer rupture durations than the other events in this analysis. Two of these four events, along with one other event, are located within the SSE and NVT areas. The results in this study show that large earthquakes just updip from SSE and NVT have slower rupture characteristics than other events along the subduction zone not adjacent to SSE, USL, and NVT zones. Based on our results, we suggest a transitional zone for the seismic behavior rather than a distinct change at a particular depth. This study will help aid in understanding seismogenic behavior that occurs along subduction zones and the rupture characteristics of earthquakes near areas of slow slip processes.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. An Examination of Seismicity Linking the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu Subduction Zones (United States)

    Neely, J. S.; Furlong, K. P.


    The Solomon Islands-Vanuatu composite subduction zone represents a tectonically complex region along the Pacific-Australia plate boundary in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Here the Australia plate subducts under the Pacific plate in two segments: the South Solomon Trench and the Vanuatu Trench. The two subducting sections are offset by a 200 km long, transform fault - the San Cristobal Trough (SCT) - which acts as a Subduction-Transform Edge Propagator (STEP) fault. The subducting segments have experienced much more frequent and larger seismic events than the STEP fault. The northern Vanuatu trench hosted a M8.0 earthquake in 2013. In 2014, at the juncture of the western terminus of the SCT and the southern South Solomon Trench, two earthquakes (M7.4 and M7.6) occurred with disparate mechanisms (dominantly thrust and strike-slip respectively), which we interpret to indicate the tearing of the Australia plate as its northern section subducts and southern section translates along the SCT. During the 2013-2014 timeframe, little seismic activity occurred along the STEP fault. However, in May 2015, three M6.8-6.9 strike-slip events occurred in rapid succession as the STEP fault ruptured east to west. These recent events share similarities with a 1993 strike-slip STEP sequence on the SCT. Analysis of the 1993 and 2015 STEP earthquake sequences provides constraints on the plate boundary geometry of this major transform fault. Preliminary research suggests that plate motion along the STEP fault is partitioned between larger east-west oriented strike-slip events and smaller north-south thrust earthquakes. Additionally, the differences in seismic activity between the subducting slabs and the STEP fault can provide insights into how stress is transferred along the plate boundary and the mechanisms by which that stress is released.

  7. Tracking Silica in the Earth's Subduction Zone and Upper Mantle (United States)

    Chen, T.; Wang, X.; Zou, Y.; Gwanmesia, G. D.; Liebermann, R. C.; Li, B.


    The X-discontinuity (~300 km) in the upper mantle has been revealed under some continental or oceanic region by a number of seismic studies, at which depth the P and S wave velocities increase by about 2%. One possible cause for this discontinuity is the coesite-stishovite phase transition. In this study, we conducted ultrasonic interferometry measurements on polycrystalline coesite and stishovite up to 12.6 GPa at ambient temperature and 14GPa 1073K, respectively. While the P wave velocities of coesite continuously increase with pressure, the S wave velocities exhibit a monotonic decrease to the peak pressure of the current experiment followed by a reversible recovery upon release of pressure. As a result, within the pressure range of 8-12 GPa (corresponding to ~250-350 km depths), the velocity contrasts between coesite and stishovite reach as high as ~38% for P wave and 48%-50% for S wave together with impedance contrasts of 71-69% and ~78% for P and S waves, respectively, the highest among all known phase transitions in mantle minerals. With such extreme contrasts, the coesite-stishovite phase transition in the MORB composition with 4-10wt% of SiO2 is sufficient to generate velocity and impedance contrasts comparable to those reported for the X-discontinuity. The current data, together with the seismic X-discontinuity, may provide a geophysical approach to track the ancient subducted oceanic slabs, and place constraints on the amount of silica in the upper mantle.

  8. Active Crustal Faults in the Forearc Region, Guerrero Sector of the Mexican Subduction Zone (United States)

    Gaidzik, Krzysztof; Ramírez-Herrera, Maria Teresa; Kostoglodov, Vladimir


    This work explores the characteristics and the seismogenic potential of crustal faults on the overriding plate in an area of high seismic hazard associated with the occurrence of subduction earthquakes and shallow earthquakes of the overriding plate. We present the results of geomorphic, structural, and fault kinematic analyses conducted on the convergent margin between the Cocos plate and the forearc region of the overriding North American plate, within the Guerrero sector of the Mexican subduction zone. We aim to determine the active tectonic processes in the forearc region of the subduction zone, using the river network pattern, topography, and structural data. We suggest that in the studied forearc region, both strike-slip and normal crustal faults sub-parallel to the subduction zone show evidence of activity. The left-lateral offsets of the main stream courses of the largest river basins, GPS measurements, and obliquity of plate convergence along the Cocos subduction zone in the Guerrero sector suggest the activity of sub-latitudinal left-lateral strike-slip faults. Notably, the regional left-lateral strike-slip fault that offsets the Papagayo River near the town of La Venta named "La Venta Fault" shows evidence of recent activity, corroborated also by GPS measurements (4-5 mm/year of sinistral motion). Assuming that during a probable earthquake the whole mapped length of this fault would rupture, it would produce an event of maximum moment magnitude Mw = 7.7. Even though only a few focal mechanism solutions indicate a stress regime relevant for reactivation of these strike-slip structures, we hypothesize that these faults are active and suggest two probable explanations: (1) these faults are characterized by long recurrence period, i.e., beyond the instrumental record, or (2) they experience slow slip events and/or associated fault creep. The analysis of focal mechanism solutions of small magnitude earthquakes in the upper plate, for the period between 1995

  9. Heat flow distribution and thermal structure of the Nankai subduction zone off the Kii Peninsula (United States)

    Hamamoto, Hideki; Yamano, Makoto; Goto, Shusaku; Kinoshita, Masataka; Fujino, Keiko; Wang, Kelin


    Detailed heat flow surveys were carried out in the central part of the Nankai Trough southeast of the Kii Peninsula (off Kumano) for investigation of the thermal structure of the subducting plate interface. At stations in the Kumano Trough (forearc basin) and its vicinity, long-term monitoring of temperature profiles in surface sediments was conducted because bottom water temperature variations (BTV) significantly disturb subbottom sediment temperatures. Heat flow values were successfully determined at seven stations by removing the influence of BTV from temperature records for 300 to 400 days. The surface heat flow data were combined with estimates from depths of methane hydrate bottom simulating reflectors to construct a heat flow profile across the subduction zone. Heat flow decreases from 90-110 mW/m2 on the floor of the Nankai Trough to 50-60 mW/m2 at around 30 km from the deformation front, while it is rather uniform, 40-60 mW/m2, in the Kumano Trough. The values measured on the Nankai Trough floor are concordant with the value estimated from the age of the subducting Philippine Sea plate, about 20 m.y., taking into account the effect of sedimentation. The obtained heat flow profile was used to constrain thermal models of the subduction zone. The subsurface thermal structure was calculated using a two-dimensional, steady state model, in which the frictional heating along the plate interface and the radioactive heat production are treated as unknown parameters. Comparison of the calculated surface heat flow in the Kumano Trough with the observed data indicates that the effective coefficient of friction is small, about 0.1 or less, and thus the shear stress on the plate interface is very low in this subduction zone.

  10. 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.

  11. 3D receiver function Kirchhoff depth migration image of Cascadia subduction slab weak zone (United States)

    Cheng, C.; Allen, R. M.; Bodin, T.; Tauzin, B.


    We have developed a highly computational efficient algorithm of applying 3D Kirchhoff depth migration to telesismic receiver function data. Combine primary PS arrival with later multiple arrivals we are able to reveal a better knowledge about the earth discontinuity structure (transmission and reflection). This method is highly useful compare with traditional CCP method when dipping structure is met during the imaging process, such as subduction slab. We apply our method to the reginal Cascadia subduction zone receiver function data and get a high resolution 3D migration image, for both primary and multiples. The image showed us a clear slab weak zone (slab hole) in the upper plate boundary under Northern California and the whole Oregon. Compare with previous 2D receiver function image from 2D array(CAFE and CASC93), the position of the weak zone shows interesting conherency. This weak zone is also conherent with local seismicity missing and heat rising, which lead us to think about and compare with the ocean plate stucture and the hydralic fluid process during the formation and migration of the subduction slab.

  12. Thermal structure and intermediate-depth seismicity in the Tohoku-Hokkaido subduction zones

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Keken, P.E. [Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI (United States). Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences; Kita, S.; Nakajima, J. [Tohoku Univ., Sendai (Japan). Research Center for Prediction of Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions


    The cause of intermediate-depth (>40 km) seismicity in subduction zones is not well understood. The viability of proposed mechanisms, which include dehydration embrittlement, shear instabilities and the presence of fluids in general, depends significantly on local conditions, including pressure, temperature and composition. The wellinstrumented and well-studied subduction zone below Northern Japan (Tohoku and Hokkaido) provides an excellent testing ground to study the conditions under which intermediate-depth seismicity occurs. This study combines new finite element models that predict the dynamics and thermal structure of the Japan subduction system with a high-precision hypocenter data base. The upper plane of seismicity is principally contained in the crustal portion of the subducting slab and appears to thin and deepen within the crust at depths >80 km. The disappearance of seismicity overlaps in most of the region with the predicted phase change of blueschist to hydrous eclogite, which forms a major dehydration front in the crust. The correlation between the thermally predicted blueschist-out boundary and the disappearance of seismicity breaks down in the transition from the northern Japan to Kurile arc below western Hokkaido. Adjusted models that take into account the seismically imaged modified upper mantle structure in this region fail to adequately recover the correlation that is seen below Tohoku and eastern Hokkaido. We conclude that the thermal structure below Western Hokkaido is significantly affected by timedependent, 3-D dynamics of the slab. This study generally supports the role of fluids in the generation of intermediate-depth seismicity. (orig.)

  13. Three-dimensional thermal structure of subduction zones. Effects of obliquity and curvature

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bengtson, A.K.; Van Keken, P.E. [Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI (United States). Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences


    Quantifying the precise thermal structure of subduction zones is essential for understanding the nature of metamorphic dehydration reactions, arc volcanism, and intermediate depth seismicity. High resolution twodimensional (2-D) models have shown that the rheology of the mantle wedge plays a critical role and establishes strong temperature gradients in the slab. The influence of threedimensional (3-D) subduction zone geometry on thermal structure is however not yet well characterized. A common assumption for 2-D models is that the cross-section is taken normal to the strike of the trench with a corresponding velocity reduction in the case of oblique subduction, rather than taken parallel to velocity. A comparison between a full 3-D Cartesian model with oblique subduction and selected 2-D cross-sections demonstrates that the trench-normal crosssection provides a better reproduction of the slab thermal structure than the velocity-parallel cross-section. An exception is found in the case of a strongly curved trench, such as in the Marianas, where strong 3-D flow in the mantle wedge is generated. In this case it is shown that the full 3-D model should be evaluated for an accurate prediction of the slab thermal structure. The models demonstrate that the use of a dynamic slab and wedge, separated by a kinematic boundary, yields good results for describing slab velocities in 3-D. (orig.)

  14. Three-dimensional thermal structure of subduction zones: effects of obliquity and curvature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. K. Bengtson


    Full Text Available Quantifying the precise thermal structure of subduction zones is essential for understanding the nature of metamorphic dehydration reactions, arc volcanism, and intermediate depth seismicity. High resolution two-dimensional (2-D models have shown that the rheology of the mantle wedge plays a critical role and establishes strong temperature gradients in the slab. The influence of three-dimensional (3-D subduction zone geometry on thermal structure is however not yet well characterized. A common assumption for 2-D models is that the cross-section is taken normal to the strike of the trench with a corresponding velocity reduction in the case of oblique subduction, rather than taken parallel to velocity. A comparison between a full 3-D Cartesian model with oblique subduction and selected 2-D cross-sections demonstrates that the trench-normal cross-section provides a better reproduction of the slab thermal structure than the velocity-parallel cross-section. An exception is found in the case of a strongly curved trench, such as in the Marianas, where strong 3-D flow in the mantle wedge is generated. In this case it is shown that the full 3-D model should be evaluated for an accurate prediction of the slab thermal structure. The models demonstrate that the use of a dynamic slab and wedge, separated by a kinematic boundary, yields good results for describing slab velocities in 3-D.

  15. 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.

  16. Interplate coupling at oblique subduction zones: influence on upper plate erosion. (United States)

    Malatesta, Cristina; Gerya, Taras; Crispini, Laura; Federico, Laura; Scambelluri, Marco; Capponi, Giovanni


    In active subduction zones, when the converging plates cannot slip freely past each other, "plate coupling" occurs. The moving subducting slab and therefore the coupling/decoupling relationship between plates control both short- and long-term deformation of the upper plate. Short-term deformation is dominantly elastic, occurs at human timescales and can be directly associated with earthquakes. Long-term deformation is cumulative, permanent and prevails at the geological timescale (Hoffman-Rothe et al., 2006, Springer Berlin Heidelberg). Here we used 3D numerical simulations to test oblique subduction zones and to investigate: 1) how long-term deformation and coupling relationship vary along the trench-axis; 2) how this relationship influences erosion and down-drag of upper plate material. Our models are based on thermo-mechanical equations solved with finite differences method and marker-in-cell techniques combined with a multigrid approach (Gerya, 2010, Cambridge Univ. Press). The reference model simulates an intraoceanic subduction close to the continental margin (Malatesta et al., 2013, Nature Communications, 4:2456 DOI:10.1038/ncomms3456). The oceanic crust is layered with a 5-km-thick layer of gabbro overlain by a 3-km-thick layer of basalt. The ocean floor is covered by 1-km-thick sediments. Plates move with a total velocity of 3.15 cm/yr; the oblique convergence is obtained using velocity vectors that form an angle of 45° with the initial starting point of subduction (weak zone in the lithosphere). After initiation of plate convergence, part of sediments on top of the incoming plate enters the subduction zone and is buried; another part is suddenly transferred along strike at shallow depths and along the subducting slab according to the direction of the along-trench velocity component of subduction. The lateral migration of sediment causes the evolution of the trench along its strike from sediment-poor to sediment-rich. As soon as subduction starts, where

  17. Rapid conversion of an oceanic spreading center to a subduction zone inferred from high-precision geochronology. (United States)

    Keenan, Timothy E; Encarnación, John; Buchwaldt, Robert; Fernandez, Dan; Mattinson, James; Rasoazanamparany, Christine; Luetkemeyer, P Benjamin


    Where and how subduction zones initiate is a fundamental tectonic problem, yet there are few well-constrained geologic tests that address the tectonic settings and dynamics of the process. Numerical modeling has shown that oceanic spreading centers are some of the weakest parts of the plate tectonic system [Gurnis M, Hall C, Lavier L (2004) Geochem Geophys Geosys 5:Q07001], but previous studies have not favored them for subduction initiation because of the positive buoyancy of young lithosphere. Instead, other weak zones, such as fracture zones, have been invoked. Because these models differ in terms of the ages of crust that are juxtaposed at the site of subduction initiation, they can be tested by dating the protoliths of metamorphosed oceanic crust that is formed by underthrusting at the beginning of subduction and comparing that age with the age of the overlying lithosphere and the timing of subduction initiation itself. In the western Philippines, we find that oceanic crust was less than ∼1 My old when it was underthrust and metamorphosed at the onset of subduction in Palawan, Philippines, implying forced subduction initiation at a spreading center. This result shows that young and positively buoyant, but weak, lithosphere was the preferred site for subduction nucleation despite the proximity of other potential weak zones with older, denser lithosphere and that plate motion rapidly changed from divergence to convergence.

  18. Rapid conversion of an oceanic spreading center to a subduction zone inferred from high-precision geochronology (United States)

    Keenan, Timothy E.; Encarnación, John; Buchwaldt, Robert; Fernandez, Dan; Mattinson, James; Rasoazanamparany, Christine; Luetkemeyer, P. Benjamin


    Where and how subduction zones initiate is a fundamental tectonic problem, yet there are few well-constrained geologic tests that address the tectonic settings and dynamics of the process. Numerical modeling has shown that oceanic spreading centers are some of the weakest parts of the plate tectonic system [Gurnis M, Hall C, Lavier L (2004) Geochem Geophys Geosys 5:Q07001], but previous studies have not favored them for subduction initiation because of the positive buoyancy of young lithosphere. Instead, other weak zones, such as fracture zones, have been invoked. Because these models differ in terms of the ages of crust that are juxtaposed at the site of subduction initiation, they can be tested by dating the protoliths of metamorphosed oceanic crust that is formed by underthrusting at the beginning of subduction and comparing that age with the age of the overlying lithosphere and the timing of subduction initiation itself. In the western Philippines, we find that oceanic crust was less than ˜1 My old when it was underthrust and metamorphosed at the onset of subduction in Palawan, Philippines, implying forced subduction initiation at a spreading center. This result shows that young and positively buoyant, but weak, lithosphere was the preferred site for subduction nucleation despite the proximity of other potential weak zones with older, denser lithosphere and that plate motion rapidly changed from divergence to convergence.

  19. Electromagnetic Precursors Leading to Triangulation of Future Earthquakes and Imaging of the Subduction Zone (United States)

    Heraud, J. A.; Centa, V. A.; Bleier, T.


    During several sessions in past AGU meetings, reports on the progress of analysis of magnetometer data have been given, as our research moved from a one dimensional geometry, to two and finally to a three dimensional image. In the first case, we learned how to extract one coordinate, azimuth information, on the occurrence of an earthquake based on the processing of mono-polar pulses received at a single station. A two dimensional geometry was implemented through triangulation and we showed the use of this technique to find out where a future epicenter would occur. Recently, we have obtained compelling evidence that the pressure points leading to the determination of future epicenters originate at a plane, inclined with the same angle as the subduction zone, a three-dimensional position of the future hypocenter. Hence, an image of the subduction zone or interface between the Nazca plate and the continental plate in the northern area of Lima, Peru, has been obtained, corresponding to the subduction zone obtained by traditional seismic methods. Our work with magnetometers deployed along part of the Peruvian coast since 2009, has shown that it is possible to measure, with significant precision, the azimuth of electromagnetic pulses propagating from stress points in the earth's crust due to the subduction of tectonic plates, as to be able to determine precisely the origin of the pulses. The occurrence of earthquakes approximately 11 to 18 days after the appearance of the first pulses and the recognition of grouping of such pulses, has allowed us to determine accurately the direction and the timing of future seismic events. Magnetometers, donated by Quakefinder and Telefonica del Peru were then strategically installed in different locations in Peru with the purpose of achieving triangulation. During two years since 2013, about a dozen earthquakes have been associated with future seismic activity in a pre or post occurrence way. Our presentation will be based on animated

  20. Water, oceanic fracture zones and the lubrication of subducting plate boundaries—insights from seismicity (United States)

    Schlaphorst, David; Kendall, J.-Michael; Collier, Jenny S.; Verdon, James P.; Blundy, Jon; Baptie, Brian; Latchman, Joan L.; Massin, Frederic; Bouin, Marie-Paule


    We investigate the relationship between subduction processes and related seismicity for the Lesser Antilles Arc using the Gutenberg-Richter law. This power law describes the earthquake-magnitude distribution, with the gradient of the cumulative magnitude distribution being commonly known as the b-value. The Lesser Antilles Arc was chosen because of its along-strike variability in sediment subduction and the transition from subduction to strike-slip movement towards its northern and southern ends. The data are derived from the seismicity catalogues from the Seismic Research Centre of The University of the West Indies and the Observatoires Volcanologiques et Sismologiques of the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris and consist of subcrustal events primarily from the slab interface. The b-value is found using a Kolmogorov-Smirnov test for a maximum-likelihood straight line-fitting routine. We investigate spatial variations in b-values using a grid-search with circular cells as well as an along-arc projection. Tests with different algorithms and the two independent earthquake cataloges provide confidence in the robustness of our results. We observe a strong spatial variability of the b-value that cannot be explained by the uncertainties. Rather than obtaining a simple north-south b-value distribution suggestive of the dominant control on earthquake triggering being water released from the sedimentary cover on the incoming American Plates, or a b-value distribution that correlates with on the obliquity of subduction, we obtain a series of discrete, high b-value `bull's-eyes' along strike. These bull's-eyes, which indicate stress release through a higher fraction of small earthquakes, coincide with the locations of known incoming oceanic fracture zones on the American Plates. We interpret the results in terms of water being delivered to the Lesser Antilles subduction zone in the vicinity of fracture zones providing lubrication and thus changing the character of the

  1. 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.

  2. Comparison of earthquake source parameters and interseismic plate coupling variations in global subduction zones (Invited) (United States)

    Bilek, S. L.; Moyer, P. A.; Stankova-Pursley, J.


    Geodetically determined interseismic coupling variations have been found in subduction zones worldwide. These coupling variations have been linked to heterogeneities in interplate fault frictional conditions. These connections to fault friction imply that observed coupling variations are also important in influencing details in earthquake rupture behavior. Because of the wealth of newly available geodetic models along many subduction zones, it is now possible to examine detailed variations in coupling and compare to seismicity characteristics. Here we use a large catalog of earthquake source time functions and slip models for moderate to large magnitude earthquakes to explore these connections, comparing earthquake source parameters with available models of geodetic coupling along segments of the Japan, Kurile, Kamchatka, Peru, Chile, and Alaska subduction zones. In addition, we use published geodetic results along the Costa Rica margin to compare with source parameters of small magnitude earthquakes recorded with an onshore-offshore network of seismometers. For the moderate to large magnitude earthquakes, preliminary results suggest a complex relationship between earthquake parameters and estimates of strongly and weakly coupled segments of the plate interface. For example, along the Kamchatka subduction zone, these earthquakes occur primarily along the transition between strong and weak coupling, with significant heterogeneity in the pattern of moment scaled duration with respect to the coupling estimates. The longest scaled duration event in this catalog occurred in a region of strong coupling. Earthquakes along the transition between strong and weakly coupled exhibited the most complexity in the source time functions. Use of small magnitude (0.5 Osa Peninsula relative to the Nicoya Peninsula, mimicking the along-strike variations in calculated interplate coupling.

  3. 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.

  4. Numerical modeling of mantle wedge processes and exhumation of UHP mantle in subduction zones (United States)

    Gorczyk, W.; Gerya, T. V.; Guillot, S.; Connolly, J. A.; Yuen, D.


    The upwelling of subduction generated partially molten rocks is potentially a mechanism for the exhumation of UHP rocks through the mantle wedge. We investigated this processes using a 2-D coupled petrological- thermomechanical model that incorporates slab dehydration and water transport as well as partial melting of mantle and crustal rocks. This approach allows us to study the dynamics of mantle wedge processes including evolution of partially molten plumes and their interaction with surrounding dry mantle. To study the internal structure of the plumes we used ultra-high resolution numerical simulations with 10 billion active markers to detail the internal structure of natural plumes originating from the slab. The plumes consist of partially molten hydrated peridotite, dry solid mantle and subducted oceanic crust, which may comprise up to 12 volume % of the plume. As the plumes grow and mature these materials mix chaotically resulting in attenuation and duplication of the original layering on scales of 1-1000 m. Comparison of numerical results with geological observations from the Horoman ultramafic complex in Japan suggests that mixing and differentiation processes related to development of partially molten plumes above slabs may be responsible for strongly layered lithologically mixed (marble cake) structure of asthenospheric mantle wedges. The recent discovery of garnet bearing peridotites in the subduction zone of the Great Antilles in Hispaniola has raised questions about the process that leads to their exhumation. To evaluate whether upwelling plumes are a plausible exhumation mechanism we investigated the dynamics of subduction of slow spreading ridges. The results show that subduction of strongly serpentinized oceanic plate causes strong dehydration of the slab and leads to a rheological weakening of the interface between subducting and overriding plate. This weakening triggers trench retreat and massive asthenospheric upwelling into the gap between the

  5. 15 Years Of Ecuadorian-French Research Along The Ecuadorian Subduction Zone (United States)

    Charvis, P.


    The Ecuadorian segment of the Nazca/South America subduction zone is an outstanding laboratory to study the seismic cycle. Central Ecuador where the Carnegie ridge enters the subduction marks a transition between a highly coupled segment that hosted one of the largest seismic sequence during the 20thcentury and a ~1200-km long weakly coupled segment encompassing southern Ecuador and northern Peru. A shallow dipping subduction interface and a short trench-coast line distance ranging from 45 to 80 km, together with La Plata Island located only 33 km from the trench axis, allow to document subduction processes in the near field with an exceptional resolution. Since 2000, a close cooperation between the Institute of Geophysics (Quito), INOCAR (Oceanographic Institute of the Ecuadorian Navy) with French groups allowed us to conduct up to 6 marine geophysics cruises to survey the convergent margin and jointly develop dense GPS and seismological networks. This fruitful collaboration now takes place in the framework of an International Joint Laboratory "Earthquakes and Volcanoes in the Northern Andes" (LMI SVAN), which eases coordinating research projects and exchanges of Ecuadorian and French scientists and students. This long-term investigation has already provided a unique view on the structure of the margin, which exhibits a highly variable subduction channel along strike. It allowed us to evidence the contrast between creeping and coupled segments of subduction at various scale, and the existence of large continental slivers whose motion accommodates the obliquity of the Nazca/South America convergence. Finally, we could evidence the first Slow Slip Events (SSE) that oppositely to most SSE documented so far, are accompanied with intense micro-seismicity. The recent support of the French National Research Agency and the Ecuadorian Agency for Sciences and Technology (Senescyt) will enable us to integrate the already obtained results, in an attempt to develop an

  6. The 1945 Balochistan earthquake and probabilistic tsunami hazard assessment for the Makran subduction zone (United States)

    Höchner, Andreas; Babeyko, Andrey; Zamora, Natalia


    Iran and Pakistan are countries quite frequently affected by destructive earthquakes. For instance, the magnitude 6.6 Bam earthquake in 2003 in Iran with about 30'000 casualties, or the magnitude 7.6 Kashmir earthquake 2005 in Pakistan with about 80'000 casualties. Both events took place inland, but in terms of magnitude, even significantly larger events can be expected to happen offshore, at the Makran subduction zone. This small subduction zone is seismically rather quiescent, but a tsunami caused by a thrust event in 1945 (Balochistan earthquake) led to about 4000 casualties. Nowadays, the coastal regions are more densely populated and vulnerable to similar events. Additionally, some recent publications raise the question of the possiblity of rare but huge magnitude 9 events at the Makran subduction zone. We first model the historic Balochistan event and its effect in terms of coastal wave heights, and then generate various synthetic earthquake and tsunami catalogs including the possibility of large events in order to asses the tsunami hazard at the affected coastal regions. Finally, we show how an effective tsunami early warning could be achieved by the use of an array of high-precision real-time GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) receivers along the coast.

  7. The spatial distribution of earthquake stress rotations following large subduction zone earthquakes (United States)

    Hardebeck, Jeanne L.


    Rotations of the principal stress axes due to great subduction zone earthquakes have been used to infer low differential stress and near-complete stress drop. The spatial distribution of coseismic and postseismic stress rotation as a function of depth and along-strike distance is explored for three recent M ≥ 8.8 subduction megathrust earthquakes. In the down-dip direction, the largest coseismic stress rotations are found just above the Moho depth of the overriding plate. This zone has been identified as hosting large patches of large slip in great earthquakes, based on the lack of high-frequency radiated energy. The large continuous slip patches may facilitate near-complete stress drop. There is seismological evidence for high fluid pressures in the subducted slab around the Moho depth of the overriding plate, suggesting low differential stress levels in this zone due to high fluid pressure, also facilitating stress rotations. The coseismic stress rotations have similar along-strike extent as the mainshock rupture. Postseismic stress rotations tend to occur in the same locations as the coseismic stress rotations, probably due to the very low remaining differential stress following the near-complete coseismic stress drop. The spatial complexity of the observed stress changes suggests that an analytical solution for finding the differential stress from the coseismic stress rotation may be overly simplistic, and that modeling of the full spatial distribution of the mainshock static stress changes is necessary.

  8. Initiation of GPS-Acoustics Measurements on the Continental Slope of the Cascadia Subduction Zone (United States)

    Chadwell, C. D.


    Land-based GPS measurements suggest the megathrust is locked offshore along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. However, land-based data alone lack geometric resolution to constrain the how the slip is distributed. GPS-Acoustic measurements can provide these constraints, but using traditional GPS-Acoustic approaches employing a ship is costly. Wave Gliders, a wave- and solar-powered, remotely-piloted sea surface platform, provide a low cost method for collecting GPS-A data. We have adapted GPS-Acoustic technology to the Wave Glider. In July 2016, the GPS-A Wave Glider was launched on month-long mission to two sites on the continental slope of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. One site is approximately 45 NM offshore central Oregon and the other approximately 50 NM offshore central Washington State. We will report on initial results of the GPS-A data collection and operational experiences of the mission. Wave Glider based GPS-A measurement have the potential to significantly increase the number and frequency of measurements of strain accumulation in Cascadia Subduction Zone and elsewhere.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Reducing risk where tectonic plates collide—U.S. Geological Survey subduction zone science plan (United States)

    Gomberg, Joan S.; Ludwig, Kristin A.; Bekins, Barbara; Brocher, Thomas M.; Brock, John C.; Brothers, Daniel; Chaytor, Jason D.; Frankel, Arthur; Geist, Eric L.; Haney, Matt; Hickman, Stephen H.; Leith, William S.; Roeloffs, Evelyn A.; Schulz, William H.; Sisson, Thomas W.; Wallace, Kristi; Watt, Janet; Wein, Anne


    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information and tools to build resilience in communities exposed to subduction zone earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and volcanic eruptions. Improving the application of USGS science to successfully reduce risk from these events relies on whole community efforts, with continuing partnerships among scientists and stakeholders, including researchers from universities, other government labs and private industry, land-use planners, engineers, policy-makers, emergency managers and responders, business owners, insurance providers, the media, and the general public.Motivated by recent technological advances and increased awareness of our growing vulnerability to subduction-zone hazards, the USGS is uniquely positioned to take a major step forward in the science it conducts and products it provides, building on its tradition of using long-term monitoring and research to develop effective products for hazard mitigation. This science plan provides a blueprint both for prioritizing USGS science activities and for delineating USGS interests and potential participation in subduction zone science supported by its partners.The activities in this plan address many USGS stakeholder needs:High-fidelity tools and user-tailored information that facilitate increasingly more targeted, neighborhood-scale decisions to mitigate risks more cost-effectively and ensure post-event operability. Such tools may include maps, tables, and simulated earthquake ground-motion records conveying shaking intensity and frequency. These facilitate the prioritization of retrofitting of vulnerable infrastructure;Information to guide local land-use and response planning to minimize development in likely hazardous zones (for example, databases, maps, and scenario documents to guide evacuation route planning in communities near volcanoes, along coastlines vulnerable to tsunamis, and built on landslide-prone terrain);New tools

  13. 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

  14. Thermal Structure of the Cascadia Subduction Zone on the Washington Margin (AT26-04, EM122) (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — We propose to conduct a comprehensive study of the thermal environment of the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) within the NSF GeoPRISM Corridor off the Washington...

  15. Mantle constraints on the plate tectonic evolution of the Tonga-Kermadec-Hikurangi subduction zone and the South Fiji Basin region

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W.P.; Spakman, W.


    The Tonga–Kermadec–Hikurangi subduction zone is a major plate boundary in the Southwest Pacific region, where the Pacific plate subducts westward underneath the Australian plate. Considerable controversy exists regarding the Cenozoic evolution of this subduction zone, its connection with

  16. 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

  17. Two decades of spatiotemporal variations in subduction zone coupling offshore Japan (United States)

    Loveless, John P.; Meade, Brendan J.


    Spatial patterns of interplate coupling on global subduction zones can be used to guide seismic hazard assessment, but estimates of coupling are often constrained using a limited temporal range of geodetic data. Here we analyze ∼19 years of geodetic observations from the GEONET network to assess time-dependent variations in the spatial distribution of coupling on the subduction zones offshore Japan. We divide the position time series into five, ∼3.75-year epochs each decomposed into best-fit velocity, annual periodic signals, coseismic offsets, and postseismic effects following seven major earthquakes. Nominally interseismic velocities are interpreted in terms of a combination of tectonic block motions and earthquake cycle activity. The duration of the inferred postseismic activity covaries with the linear velocity. To address this trade-off, we assume that the nominally interseismic velocity at each station varies minimally from epoch to epoch. This approach is distinct from prior time-series analysis across the earthquake cycle in that position data are not detrended using preseismic velocity, which inherently assumes that interseismic processes are spatially stable through time, but rather the best-fit velocity at each station may vary between epochs. These velocities reveal significant consistency since 1996 in the spatial distribution of coupling on the Nankai subduction zone, with variation limited primarily to the Tokai and Bungo Channel regions, where long-term slow slip events have occurred, and persistently coupled regions coincident with areas that slipped during historic great earthquakes. On the Sagami subduction zone south of Tokyo, we also estimate relatively stable coupling through time. On the Japan-Kuril Trench, we image significant coupling variations owing to effects of the 1994 MW = 7.7 Sanriku-oki, 2003 MW = 8.2 Tokachi-oki, and 2011 MW = 9.0 Tohoku-oki earthquakes. In particular, strong coupling becomes more spatially extensive following

  18. Slab2 - Providing updated subduction zone geometries and modeling tools to the community (United States)

    Hayes, G. P.; Hearne, M. G.; Portner, D. E.; Borjas, C.; Moore, G.; Flamme, H.


    The U.S. Geological Survey database of global subduction zone geometries (Slab1.0) combines a variety of geophysical data sets (earthquake hypocenters, moment tensors, active source seismic survey images of the shallow subduction zone, bathymetry, trench locations, and sediment thickness information) to image the shape of subducting slabs in three dimensions, at approximately 85% of the world's convergent margins. The database is used extensively for a variety of purposes, from earthquake source imaging, to magnetotelluric modeling. Gaps in Slab1.0 exist where input data are sparse and/or where slabs are geometrically complex (and difficult to image with an automated approach). Slab1.0 also does not include information on the uncertainty in the modeled geometrical parameters, or the input data used to image them, and provides no means to reproduce the models it described. Currently underway, Slab2 will update and replace Slab1.0 by: (1) extending modeled slab geometries to all global subduction zones; (2) incorporating regional data sets that may describe slab geometry in finer detail than do previously used teleseismic data; (3) providing information on the uncertainties in each modeled slab surface; (4) modifying our modeling approach to a fully-three dimensional data interpolation, rather than following the 2-D to 3-D steps of Slab1.0; (5) migrating the slab modeling code base to a more universally distributable language, Python; and (6) providing the code base and input data we use to create our models, such that the community can both reproduce the slab geometries, and add their own data sets to ours to further improve upon those models in the future. In this presentation we describe our vision for Slab2, and the first results of this modeling process.

  19. An International Coastline Collaboratory to Broaden Scientific Impacts of a Subduction Zone Observatory (United States)

    Bodin, P.


    A global Subduction Zone Observatory (SZO) presents an exciting opportunity to broaden involvement in scientific research and to ensure multidisciplinary impact. Most subduction zones feature dynamic interactions of the seafloor, the coastline, and the onshore environments also being perturbed by global climate change. Tectonic deformation, physical environment changes (temperature and chemistry), and resulting ecological shifts (intertidal population redistribution, etc.) are all basic observables for important scientific investigation. Yet even simple baseline studies like repeated transects of intertidal biological communities are rare. A coordinated program of such studies would document the local variability across time and spatial scales, permit comparisons with other subducting coastlines, and extend the reach and importance of other SZO studies. One goal is to document the patterns, and separate the component causes of, coastal uplift and subsidence and ecological response to a subduction zone earthquake using a database of pre-event biological and surveying observations. Observations would be directed by local scientists using students and trained volunteers as observers, under the auspices of local educational entities and using standardized sampling and reporting methods. The observations would be added to the global, Internet-accessible, database for use by the entire scientific community. Data acquisition and analysis supports the educational missions of local schools and universities, forming the basis for educational programs. All local programs would be coordinated by an international panel convened by the SZO. The facility would include a web-hosted lecture series and an annual web conference to aid organization and collaboration. Small grants could support more needy areas. This SZO collaboratory advances not only scientific literacy, but also multinational collaboration and scholarship, and (most importantly) produces important scientific results.

  20. The January 25th, 2014 Kebumen earthquake: A normal faulting in subduction zone of Southern Java (United States)

    Serhalawan, Yopi Ruben; Sianipar, Dimas; Suardi, Iman


    Normal faulting mechanism of earthquake in subduction zone is quite interested to study further. We investigated the Kebumen, January 25, 2014 earthquake sequences by retrieving focal mechanisms using full moment tensor inversion. We used BMKG seismic data from stations in the vicinity of Central Java region for these inversions. Then we correlated the static coulomb stress change by the mainshock to the aftershocks. We found that mainshock is a normal faulting earthquake with nodal plane 1; strike 283, dip 22 and rake -100; nodal plane 2 with strike 113, dip 68 and rake -86. Using distribution analysis of high precision aftershocks after relocated; we considered that the reliable fault plane was nodal plane 1 with strike trending SE-NW. The focal mechanisms provide an estimate of the local stress field in the Wadati-Beniof Zone of Southern Java subduction zone. There is also conclution stating that the mainshock may trigger the aftershocks mainly in three zones, i.e. in continental crustal, upper mantle and on the oceanic slab. This is visually showed that the high quality aftershocks located in positive zones of static coulomb stress change.

  1. 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.

  2. Early Earth melt production in a subduction zone, a petrological model (United States)

    Magni, V.; Bouilhol, P.; Van Hunen, J.; Moyen, J.


    A large part of the Archean continental crust is made of a composite rock assemblage dominated by granitoids belonging to the TTG series (tonalite-trondhejmeite-granodiorite). The modus operandi of this sodic granitoids still disputed. If the modern processes leading to continental crust formation at convergent margins are well constrained, the extrapolation to early Earth conditions is hazardous, because the composition of Earth's early crust can be achieved through several processes. However, an 'arc' signature seems to be present in TTGs, suggesting a formation of continental crust in subduction zone settings. Moreover, they show strong similarities with modern adakites, which are thought to be formed by melting of the oceanic subducting crust. We present the results of a study where numerical models of subduction are integrated with a thermodynamic database. Our goal is to investigate under which conditions slab melting can be achieved if at all. We particularly focus our attention on the fate of water, since it is a component that is essential to the formation of TTG series, independently of the petrogenetical scenario preferred. The amount and composition of water bearing fluids in a subduction zone is controlled by slab devolatilization, and influence both the melting regime and the melt composition. Our reference model of an early Earth regime, with a high mantle potential temperature, show that the slab dehydrates early, ending up being composed of a dry eclogites. Importantly, our models show that dehydration melting is not achieved in the slab crust; yet, water-present melting of the 'dry' eclogites can be achieved if a dehydration reaction occurs in the deeper portion of the slab, fuelling the melting reaction with water. Moreover, the dehydration reactions that occurred within the slab are able to metasomatize the overlying mantle wedge, forming hydrated peridotites, that becomes a melt source when dragged down by corner-flow. Our results show the

  3. Searching for slow-slip events at the Sumatran subduction zone (United States)

    Feng, L.; Hill, E.; Qiu, Q.; Elosegui, P.; Banerjee, P.; Hermawan, I.; Lubis, A.; Barbot, S.; Sieh, K.


    Slow-slip events were first discovered on the deeper Cascadia subduction interface about a decade ago. Since then, slow-slip events have been observed at various subduction environments including Cascadia, Nankai, Alaska, New Zealand, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Conspicuously absent from this list, however, is the Sumatran subduction zone, along which no slow-slip events have yet been discovered. As one of the most active subduction zones currently in the world, the Sumatran subduction zone has experienced a series of great earthquakes over the last decade, along with numerous moderate and smaller earthquakes. We conducted a systematic search for transient aseismic slip in time series from the Sumatran GPS Array (SuGAr) between 2002 and 2012. We reprocessed the time series using GIPSY 6.2, and included the most up-to-date atmosphere and ocean models in processing to reduce day-to-day scatter of the raw time series. The raw data are dominated signals from coseismic and postseismic deformation. In order to search for much smaller transient signals, on the order of a few millimeters, we estimated and removed long-term background rates simultaneously with a large number of earthquake parameters, thus generating daily residuals. After our careful inspection of the daily residuals, we concluded that no episodic slip events have been recorded. Regarding non-episodic slip events, one station (BSAT) recorded a rate change in a few months immediately after the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake. Some other nearby stations that were installed later recorded a portion of this change. However, there were no other independent observations to confirm if this signal was indeed slow-slip. Except this suspicious signal, no other positive evidence could provide support for the occurrence of slow-slip events in Sumatra. This may indicate that slow-slip events have not occurred on the Sunda megathrust over the last decade, but may also highlight the limitation of the SuGAr network to detect

  4. Seismic evidence for deep fluid circulation in the overriding plate of subduction zones (United States)

    Tauzin, B.; Reynard, B.; Bodin, T.; Perrillat, J. P.; Debayle, E.


    In subduction zones, non-volcanic tremors are associated with fluid circulations (Obara, 2002). Their sources are often located on the interplate boundary (Rogers and Dragert, 2003; Shelly et al, 2006; La Rocca, 2009), consistent with fluids released by the dehydration of subducted plates (Hacker et al., 2003). Reports of tremors in the overriding continental crust of several subduction zones in the world (Kao et al., 2005; Payero et al., 2008; Ide, 2012) suggest fluid circulation at shallower depths but potential fluid paths are poorly documented. Here we obtained seismic observations from receiver functions that evidence the close association between the shallow tremor zone, electrical conductivity, and tectonic features of the Cascadia overriding plate. A seismic discontinuity near 15 km depth in the crust of the overriding North American plate is attributed to the Conrad discontinuity. This interface is segmented, and its interruption is spatially correlated with conductive regions and shallow swarms of seismicity and non-volcanic tremors. These observations suggest that shallow fluid circulation, tremors and seismicity are controlled by fault zones limiting blocks of accreted terranes in the overriding plate (Brudzinski and Allen, 2007). These zones constitute fluid "escape" routes that may contribute unloading fluid pressure on the megathrust. Obara, K. (2002). Science, 296, 1679-1681. Rogers, G., & Dragert, H. (2003). Science, 300, 1942-1943. Shelly, D. R., et al. (2006). Nature, 442, 188-191. La Rocca, M., et al. (2009). Science, 323, 620-623. Kao, H., et al. (2005). Nature, 436, 841-844. Payero, J. S., et al. (2008). Geophysical Research Letters, 35. Ide, S. (2012). Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 117. Brudzinski, M. R., & Allen, R. M. (2007). Geology, 35, 907-910.

  5. Three Dimensional Simulations of Strong Motions for Great Earthquakes on the Cascadia Subduction Zone (United States)

    Delorey, A. A.; Frankel, A. D.; Stephenson, W. J.; Liu, P.


    Using a finite-fault rupture model, we ran a finite difference code to simulate a variety of Mw 8 and larger events on the Cascadia subduction zone using a 3D regional velocity model and two different 3D velocity models for the Seattle basin. Our results reveal the magnitude and duration of shaking that should be expected in the built environment for a megathrust event with a rupture length less than the entire length of the subduction zone. In the next step we will consider events that rupture the entire length of the subduction zone, similar in scope to the 1700 event, and compare our results to those considered for the national seismic hazard maps. In order to make predictions on the strength and duration of shaking in Cascadia due to a large megathrust event, we developed a kinematic fault rupture model based on a k-2 decay in final slip spectrum that has a scale-dependent rise time. This produces a ω-2 decay in the radiated displacement spectrum above the corner frequency, which is then modified by rupture directivity. In order to produce a k-2 decay in the final slip spectrum, we modeled the final slip as the sum of asperities with various wave numbers produced by calculating normal modes for a membrane, then shifting the phase of the standing waves to randomize the pattern. In this way, slip naturally decays towards the edges of the rupture without having to use a taper, we can produce a final slip model with any spectrum we choose, and each wave number can be assigned a unique rise time. The slip on each individual asperity initiates in time according to its closest distance to the hypocenter and the rupture velocity. The Cascadia subduction zone off the coast of northwestern United States and southwestern Canada is capable of producing megathrust earthquakes with magnitudes up to Mw 9.0 for margin-wide events and magnitudes greater than Mw 8.0 if only part of the subduction zone ruptures. The average recurrence interval for margin-wide megathrust

  6. A recent phase of accretion along the southern Costa Rican subduction zone (United States)

    Bangs, Nathan L.; McIntosh, Kirk D.; Silver, Eli A.; Kluesner, Jared W.; Ranero, César R.


    In 2011 we acquired a 3D seismic reflection volume across the Costa Rica margin NW of the Osa Peninsula to investigate the complex structure and the development of the seismogenic zone within the Costa Rican subduction zone in the vicinity of recent International Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) drilling. In contrast to previous interpretations, these newly acquired seismic images show that the margin wedge is composed of a layered fabric that is consistent with clastic sediments, similar to materials recovered from IODP drilling, that have been thrust and thickened into thrust-bounded folded sequences. These structures are consistent with a balanced sequence that has been frontally accreted in the context of an accretionary model. We interpret these sequences as sediment originally deposited on the subducting crust in a trench basin created by the southward migration of the Cocos-Nazca-Caribbean triple junction, and accreted during recent margin subduction that also accelerated with passage of the triple junction. The margin is composed of relatively rapidly accreted sediment that was added to the margin during a phase of accretion within the last ∼5 Ma that was probably preceded throughout the Neogene by periods of non-accretion or erosion.

  7. Deep postseismic viscoelastic relaxation excited by an intraslab normal fault earthquake in the Chile subduction zone (United States)

    Bie, Lidong; Ryder, Isabelle; Métois, Marianne


    The 2005 Mw 7.8 Tarapaca earthquake was the result of normal faulting on a west-dipping plane at a depth of 90 km within the subducting slab down-dip of the North Chilean gap that partially ruptured in the 2014 M 8.2 Iquique earthquake. We use Envisat observations of nearly four years of postseismic deformation following the earthquake, together with some survey GPS measurements, to investigate the viscoelastic relaxation response of the surrounding upper mantle to the coseismic stress. We constrain the rheological structure by testing various 3D models, taking into account the vertical and lateral heterogeneities in viscosity that one would expect in a subduction zone environment. A viscosity of 4-8 × 1018 Pa s for the continental mantle asthenosphere fits both InSAR line-of-sight (LOS) and GPS horizontal displacements reasonably well. In order to test whether the Tarapaca earthquake and associated postseismic relaxation could have triggered the 2014 Iquique sequence, we computed the Coulomb stress change induced by the co- and postseismic deformation following the Tarapaca earthquake on the megathrust interface and nodal planes of its M 6.7 foreshock. These static stress calculations show that the Tarapaca earthquake may have an indirect influence on the Iquique earthquake, via loading of the M 6.7 preshock positively. We demonstrate the feasibility of using deep intraslab earthquakes to constrain subduction zone rheology. Continuing geodetic observation following the 2014 Iquique earthquake may further validate the rheological parameters obtained here.

  8. Accessory minerals and subduction zone metasomatism: a geochemical comparison of two mélanges (Washington and California, U.S.A.) (United States)

    Sorensen, Sorena S.; Grossman, Jeffrey N.


    The ability of a subducted slab or subducted sediment to contribute many incompatible trace elements to arc source regions may depend on the stabilities of accessory minerals within these rocks, which can only be studied indirectly. In contrast, the role of accessory minerals in lower-T and -P metasomatic processes within paleo-subduction zones can be studied directly in subduction-zone metamorphic terranes.

  9. Metastability of Subducted Slabs in the Mantle Transition Zone: A Collaborative Geodynamic, Petrologic, and Seismological Approach (United States)

    Garber, J. M.; Billen, M. I.; Duncan, M. S.; Roy, C.; Ibourichene, A. S.; Olugboji, T.; Celine, C.; Rodríguez-González, J.; Grand, S. P.; Madrigal, P.; Sandiford, D.; Valencia-Cardona, J. J.


    Subducted slabs exhibit a range of geometries in the mantle transition zone. Studies of this phenomenon suggest that olivine and/or pyroxene metastability may profoundly alter the slab density profile, leading to slab flattening (e.g., King et al., 2015) and potentially yielding a resolvable seismological signature (e.g., Kawakatsu and Yoshioka, 2011; Yoshioka et al., 2015). Such metastability may also be critical for deep earthquake generation. Geodynamic modelling of this process is typically done with a simplified petrologic model of the downgoing slab, whereas petrologic studies of phase assemblages in subducted slabs typically impose an idealized geodynamic model with an unrealistic thermal structure. Connecting these two approaches should lead to a better understanding of the consequences of metastable assemblages on subducting slabs. Here, we present a new methodology that combines geodynamic, seismic and petrologic approaches to assess the impact of mineral metastability on dynamic subduction models, developed in a collaborative effort begun at the 2016 NSF CIDER summer program in Santa Barbara, CA. We use two parallel approaches to extrapolate equilibrium rock properties to metastable regions and impose these data on extracted time-slices from robust thermo-mechanical geodynamic models, allowing us to quantify the density and buoyancy changes in the slab that result from considering metastable phase assemblages. Our preliminary results suggest that metastable assemblages can yield a 10-30% density decrease over the subducted slab relative to an equilibrium reference model. We then generate a seismic velocity profile of the slab, and compute waveforms based on the 2D finite-difference method (e.g., Vidale & Helmberger, 1987) to determine whether metastable phases could reasonably be detected by different seismic approaches. Continuing analyses will be aimed at coupling the evolution of geodynamic models with phase metastability to model the feedback between

  10. Effect of hydrothermal circulation on slab dehydration for the subduction zone of Costa Rica and Nicaragua (United States)

    Rosas, Juan Carlos; Currie, Claire A.; Harris, Robert N.; He, Jiangheng


    Dehydration of subducting oceanic plates is associated with mantle wedge melting, arc volcanism, intraslab earthquakes through dehydration embrittlement, and the flux of water into the mantle. In this study, we present two-dimensional thermal models of the Costa Rica-Nicaragua subduction zone to investigate dehydration reactions within the subducting Cocos plate. Seismic and geochemical observations indicate that the mantle wedge below Nicaragua is more hydrated than that below Costa Rica. These trends have been hypothesized to be due to a variation in either the thermal state or the hydration state of the subducting slab. Despite only small variations in plate age along strike, heat flow measurements near the deformation front reveal significantly lower heat flow offshore Nicaragua than offshore Costa Rica. These measurements are interpreted to reflect an along-strike change in the efficiency of hydrothermal circulation in the oceanic crust. We parameterize thermal models in terms of efficient and inefficient hydrothermal circulation and explore their impact on slab temperature in the context of dehydration models. Relative to models without fluid flow, efficient hydrothermal circulation reduces slab temperature by as much at 60 °C to depths of ∼75 km and increases the predicted depth of eclogitization by ∼15 km. Inefficient hydrothermal circulation has a commensurately smaller influence on slab temperatures and the depth of eclogitization. For both regions, the change in eclogitization depth better fits the observed intraslab crustal seismicity, but there is not a strong contrast in the slab thermal structure or location of the main dehydration reactions. Consistent with other studies, these results suggest that observed along-strike differences in mantle wedge hydration may be better explained by a northwestward increase in the hydration state of the Cocos plate before it is subducted.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Detection of Very Low Frequency Earthquakes in the Mexican Subduction Zone (United States)

    Maury, J.; Ide, S.; Cruz-Atienza, V. M.; Kostoglodov, V.; Perez-Campos, X.


    Tremors have already been detected in three different areas (Jalisco, Guerrero and Oaxaca) of the Mexican subduction zone but their moment tensor is difficult to estimate. However, Very Low Frequency (VLF) earthquakes have been shown to occur at the subduction interface in Guerrero, Mexico at the same time as tremors and their focal mechanisms have been calculated. We try to detect VLF events using the same method in Jalisco and in Oaxaca. With this aim we detect tremors using an envelope correlation method in Oaxaca and use a previously determined tremor catalog in Jalisco [Idehara et al., 2014]. Using the method of Ide and Yabe [2014], we stack waveforms, in the VLF band, at the time of occurrence of tremors. Finally, the stacked waveforms are inverted to better estimate the depth of these events and their moment tensor. This analysis is carried out for different time periods between 2005 and 2015, depending on the deployment of temporary network along the Mexican coast. In addition, permanent broadband stations of the Servicio Sismológico Nacional (Mexico) are used. The tremors detected in Oaxaca area are located farther west than previously known probably because of the more eastern location of stations. Our results show the spatial distribution of moment tensor along the Mexican subduction zone. The VLF sources are located at or close to the plate interface in Oaxaca and Jalisco as is observed in Guerrero. These events have magnitudes of about 3 and very low-angle to low-angle thrust mechanisms in agreement with the varying geometry of the subduction interface. The slip directions of VLF earthquakes are also consistent with the plates convergence vectors. In addition, some clear VLF signals are detected without any stacking using correlation methods. These individual detections confirm the results of our statistical analysis.

  14. Seismicity and shallow slab geometry in the central Vanuatu subduction zone (United States)

    Baillard, Christian; Crawford, Wayne C.; Ballu, Valérie; Régnier, Marc; Pelletier, Bernard; Garaebiti, Esline


    The Vanuatu arc in the southwest Pacific Ocean is one of the world's most seismically active regions, with almost 39 magnitude 7+ earthquakes in the past 43 years. Convergence rates are around 90-120 mm/yr along most of the arc, but drop to 25-43 mm/yr in the central section, probably due to the subduction of the d'Entrecasteaux ridge. We characterize the slab geometry and tectonic state in this central section by analyzing data from a 10 month deployment of 30 seismometers over this section. We located more than 30,000 events (all less than magnitude 5.5), constructed an improved 1-D velocity model, calculated focal mechanisms and cluster geometries, and determined the 3-D geometry of the interplate seismogenic zone. The seismogenic zone has a shallow bulge in front of the d'Entrecasteaux ridge, which could be explained by the ridge's buoyancy contributing to the uplift of the fore-arc islands. The seismogenic zone extends to ~45 km depth, significantly below the 26-27 km depth of the fore-arc Moho, indicating that the upper mantle wedge is not significantly serpentinized, which is consistent with the relatively high thermal parameter of the subducting plate. The maximum width of the seismogenic zone is 80 km, indicating an upper earthquake magnitude limit of Mw 7.85 ± 0.4, assuming standard rupture zone aspect ratios. The data also reveal a double seismic zone, 20 to 30 km below the seismogenic zone, which is presumably caused by flexure of the downgoing plate.

  15. Defining the worst case scenario for the Makran Subduction Zone: the 1008 AD tsunami (United States)

    Hoffmann, Goesta


    The Makran Subduction Zone is located within the Arabian Sea (Northern Indian Ocean) and marks the boundary between the Arabian and the Eurasian plate. The sinistral strike-slip Sonne fault separates the subduction zone in an eastern and western segment. The convergence rate is about 40 mm/yr and slightly faster in the east than in the west. The seismicity is low in general and the few documented seismic events are concentrated in the eastern segment. No seismic activity is known from the western segment in historic times. The hazard potential is enigmatic as the only documented and recorded tsunamigenic earthquake (MW 8.1) within the subduction zone occurred in Nov 1945. However, thermal modelling suggests a wide potential seismogenic zone, apparently capable of generating very significant (>MW 8.5) tsunamigenic earthquakes. Furthermore, submarine slumping is another tsunami trigger which has to be taken into account. We used the modelling results as a hypothesis and mapped extreme wave event deposits along the coastline of Oman, bordering the Arabian Sea. We were able to document extensive boulder fields along rocky parts of the coastline. These boulders are decorated with marine sessile organism such as e.g oysters or barnacles testifying for an intertidal setting of the boulder prior to dislocation. The organism remains were used for radiocarbon dating assuming that the death of the organism was related to the relocation of the boulder. Storm-induced boulder movement is possible as the coastline is subject to infrequent tropical cyclone impact. However, boulder movement was not observed during the strongest storm on record in 2007. The dating exercise revealed a cluster of dates around 1000 AD, coinciding with a potential earthquake event known from a historic Persian text dating to the year 1008 AD. Archaeological evidence, mainly pottery artefacts found along the sea shore near the capital area Muscat/Oman also indicate a catastrophic event which may be

  16. Relationships between Slow Slip and Earthquakes at the Brittle-Ductile Transition of Subduction Zones (United States)

    Brudzinski, M. R.; Colella, H.; Skoumal, R.; Cabral-Cano, E.; Arciniega-Ceballos, A.; Graham, S. E.; DeMets, C.; Sit, S. M.; Holtkamp, S. G.


    Following the discovery of episodic tremor and slip, one of the key questions raised is whether the phenomena can be a harbinger of megathrust earthquakes. Several recent large subduction earthquakes have provided an opportunity to investigate this question. The March 20, 2012 Mw 7.4 Ometepec earthquake in southern Mexico represents one such opportunity as it occurred in an area with a joint seismic and geodetic network in the source region that can examine whether patterns in the episodic tremor and slip were related to the earthquake. GPS data indicate that a 5-month-long slow slip episode (SSE) migrated toward and reached the vicinity of the mainshock source zone a few weeks before the earthquake. With multi-station waveform matching of templates constructed from visible aftershock signals, we find an increase in seismic activity during the SSE. The fault patches represented by these templates fill in the gap between the earthquake epicenter and the primary SSE. Analysis of other seismic swarms in Oaxaca near the down-dip end of the seismogenic zone with multi-station template matching also shows an increase in seismicity during SSEs. This evidence adds to a growing number of published accounts that indicate slow slip, whether geodetically or seismically inferred, is becoming a more commonly observed pre-earthquake signature. We use RSQSim earthquake simulations to model these scenarios using a subduction interface with a shallow seismogenic zone, deep SSE zone, and a microseismicity zone in between. Simulations where the microseismicity zone is assigned varying effective normal stresses and slip speeds over small distances generate cases in which microseismicity primarily occurs when a SSE migrates up-dip to the point enough stress is transferred to nucleate an earthquake on elements with a higher effective normal stress. Together these observations support the notion that SSE can trigger traditional earthquakes, not just tremor and low-frequency earthquakes.

  17. Full waveform modelling using the VERCE platform - application to aftershock seismicity in the Chile subduction zone (United States)

    Garth, Thomas; Rietbrock, Andreas; Hicks, Steve; Fuenzalida Velasco, Amaya; Casarotti, Emanuele; Spinuso, Alessandro


    The VERCE platform is an online portal that allows full waveform simulations to be run for any region where a suitable velocity model exists. We use this facility to simulate the waveforms from aftershock earthquakes from the 2014 Pisagua earthquake, and 2010 Maule earthquake that occurred at the subduction zone mega thrust in Northern and Central Chile respectively. Simulations are performed using focal mechanisms from both global earthquake catalogues, and regional earthquake catalogues. The VERCE platform supports specFEM Cartesian, and simulations are run using meshes produced by CUBIT. The full waveform modelling techniques supported on the VERCE platform are used to test the validity of a number of subduction zone velocity models from the Chilean subduction zone. For the Maule earthquake we use a 2D and 3D travel time tomography model of the rupture area (Hicks et al. 2011; 2014). For the Pisagua earthquake we test a 2D/3D composite velocity model based on tomographic studies of the region (e.g. Husen et al. 2000, Contreyes-Reyes et al. 2012) and slab1.0 (Hayes et al. 2012). Focal mechanisms from the cGMT catalogue and local focal mechanisms calculated using ISOLA (e.g. Agurto et al. 2012) are used in the simulations. The waveforms produced are directly compared to waveforms recorded on the temporary deployment for the Maule earthquake aftershocks, and waveforms recorded on the IPOC network for the Pisagua earthquake aftershocks. This work demonstrates how the VERCE platform allows waveforms from the full 3D simulations to be easily produced, allowing us to quantify the validity of both the velocity model and the source mechanisms. These simulations therefore provide an independent test of the velocity models produced synthetically and by travel time tomography studies. Initial results show that the waveform is reasonably well reproduced in the 0.05 - 0.25 frequency band using a refined 3D travel time tomography, and locally calculated focal mechanisms.

  18. Storage of fluids and melts at subduction zones detectable by seismic tomography (United States)

    Luehr, B. G.; Koulakov, I.; Rabbel, W.; Brotopuspito, K. S.; Surono, S.


    During the last decades investigations at active continental margins discovered the link between the subduction of fluid saturated oceanic plates and the process of ascent of these fluids and partial melts forming a magmatic system that leads to volcanism at the earth surface. For this purpose the geophysical structure of the mantle and crustal range above the down going slap has been imaged. Information is required about the slap, the ascent paths, as well as the reservoires of fluids and partial melts in the mantle and the crust up to the volcanoes at the surface. Statistically the distance between the volcanoes of volcanic arcs down to their Wadati Benioff zone results of approximately 100 kilometers in mean value. Surprisingly, this depth range shows pronounced seismicity at most of all subduction zones. Additionally, mineralogical laboratory investigations have shown that dehydration of the diving plate has a maximum at temperature and pressure conditions we find at around 100 km depth. The ascent of the fluids and the appearance of partial melts as well as the distribution of these materials in the crust can be resolved by seismic tomographic methods using records of local natural seismicity. With these methods these areas are corresponding to lowered seismic velocities, high Vp/Vs ratios, as well as increased attenuation of seismic shear waves. The anomalies and their time dependence are controlled by the fluids. The seismic velocity anomalies detected so far are within a range of a few per cent to more than 30% reduction. But, to explore plate boundaries large and complex amphibious experiments are required, in which active and passive seismic investigations should be combined to achieve best results. The seismic station distribution should cover an area from before the trench up to far behind the volcanic chain, to provide under favorable conditions information down to 150 km depth. Findings of different subduction zones will be compared and discussed.

  19. Fifteen Years of Slow Slip and Tremor Observations at the Northern Costa Rica Subduction Zone (United States)

    Schwartz, S. Y.; Dixon, T. H.; Protti, M.; González, V. M.


    Coordinated long-term geophysical observations at the northern Costa Rica seismogenic zone, facilitated by NSF's MARGINS program, have greatly expanded our understanding of its megathrust behavior. Here we review fifteen years of seismic, geodetic, ocean bottom fluid flow and pressure sensor data collected on or near the Nicoya Peninsula, above the shallow thrust interface that document a variety of slow slip behaviors. These include relatively deep (~30-40 km), large slow slip events that occur about every 2 years, smaller events that locate at more intermediate depth (10-15 km) and occur more frequently (~1 per year), and very shallow events at the toe of the margin wedge that produce no discernible GPS signal on land but are detected on seafloor pressure sensors. Most of these slow slip events at the toe are accompanied by seismic tremor. Short-term, GPS only observations might have detected a few of these slow slip events; however, the longer more diverse instrument deployment was necessary to reveal their greater complexity. This demonstrates the need for a sustained, multi-instrument deployment and off-shore instrumentation at several different subduction zones, like that proposed for the Subduction Zone Observatory (SZO), to significantly advance our understanding of slow slip at convergent boundaries. Similar instrumentation to what exists in Nicoya is presently being established in the Osa-Burica region of southern Costa Rica to capture earthquake cycle deformation there. These two installations can provide a good nucleus for a larger circum-Pacific SZO effort.

  20. Frictional properties of sediments entering the Costa Rica subduction zone offshore the Osa Peninsula: implications for fault slip in shallow subduction zones (United States)

    Namiki, Yuka; Tsutsumi, Akito; Ujiie, Kohtaro; Kameda, Jun


    We examined the frictional properties of sediments on the Cocos plate offshore the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, and explored variations in the intrinsic frictional properties of the sediment inputs to the Costa Rica subduction zone. Sediment samples were collected at Site U1381A during the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 334, and include hemipelagic clay to silty clay material (Unit I) and pelagic silicic to calcareous ooze (Unit II). The frictional properties of the samples were tested at a normal stress of 5 MPa under water-saturated conditions and with slip velocities ranging from 0.0028 to 2.8 mm/s for up to 340 mm of displacement. The experimental results reveal that the steady-state friction coefficient values of clay to silty clay samples are as low as ~0.2, whereas those of silicic to calcareous ooze samples are as high as 0.6 to 0.8. The clay to silty clay samples show a positive dependence of friction on velocity for all tested slip velocities. In contrast, the silicic to calcareous ooze samples show a negative dependence of friction on velocity at velocities of 0.0028 to 0.28 mm/s and either neutral or positive dependence at velocities higher than 0.28 mm/s. Given the low frictional coefficient values observed for the clay to silty clay samples of Unit I, the décollement at the Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project transect offshore the Osa Peninsula likely initiates in Unit I and is initially very weak. In addition, the velocity-strengthening behavior of the clay to silty clay suggests that faults in the very shallow portion of the Costa Rica subduction zone are stable and thus behave as creeping segments. In contrast, the velocity-weakening behavior of the silicic to calcareous ooze favors unstable slip along faults. The shallow seismicity occurred at a depth as shallow as ~9 km along the Costa Rica margin offshore the Osa Peninsula (Mw 6.4, June 2002), indicating that materials characterized by velocity-weakening behavior constitute the fault

  1. Deeper Subduction Zone Melting Explains Enrichment of Upper Mantle and Resolves Dehydration Paradox (United States)

    Dixon, Jacqueline; Bindeman, Ilya; Kingsley, Richard


    We present new volatile and stable isotope data on oceanic basaltic glasses with a range of enriched compositions. Basalt compositions studied here can be modeled by mixing between depleted mantle and various enriched (EM) and prevalent (PREMA) mantle components. We develop a multi-stage metasomatic and melting model for the origin of the enriched components, extending the subduction factory concept to involve melting of different components at different depths, down to the mantle transition zone (660 km), with slab temperature a key variable. EM components are heterogeneous, ranging from wet and heavy (Arctic Ridges) to dry and light (East Pacific Rise), and are derived from the subducted slab at depths of 150 to 250 km by addition of paradox," refering to the following conundrum. The enriched "prevalent mantle" (PREMA) end-member in mid-oceanic ridge and ocean island basalts requires involvement of a mostly dehydrated slab component to explain trace element ratios and radiogenic isotopic compositions, but a fully hydrated slab component to explain stable isotope compositions. In our model, thermal parameters of slabs control the timing and composition of subduction-derived components. This includes deep release of fluids from subcrustal hydrous phases that may rehydrate previously dehydrated slab, resolving the paradox.

  2. 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.

  3. Sweet Spot Tremor Triggered by Intraslab Earthquakes in the Nankai Subduction Zone (United States)

    Aiken, C.; Obara, K.; Peng, Z.; Chao, K.; Maeda, T.


    Deep tectonic tremor has been observed at several major plate-bounding faults around the Pacific Rim. Tremor­ in these regions can be triggered by small stresses arising from solid earth tides as well as passing seismic waves of large, distant earthquakes. While large, distant earthquakes are capable of repeatedly triggering tremor in the same region (i.e., a sweet spot), it is less understood how intraslab earthquakes interact with sweet spot tremor areas. We conduct a systematic survey of tremor triggered in the Nankai subduction zone by intraslab earthquakes to better understand what governs fault slip along the Eurasian-Philippine Sea Plate boundary. We examine 3 tremor sweet spots in the Nankai subduction zone: Shikoku West, Kii North, and Tokai. In each region, we select earthquakes from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) catalog that occur from mid-2009 to mid-2014 with magnitude (M) greater than 2, that occur within the down-going Philippine Sea Plate, and within a 300 km epicentral distance of the sweet spot region. Using these selection criteria, we obtain ~1,200 earthquakes in each region. We examine a tremor catalog immediately before and after these local events as well as visually inspect filtered waveforms from short-period Hi-net seismic stations surrounding the sweet spot areas to identify additional tremor signals. From our initial analysis, we have identified 18 clear cases of increased tremor activity immediately following intraslab earthquakes in Shikoku West, most of which occur down-dip of the Shikoku West sweet spot. In comparison, we have identified only 5 triggering earthquakes in Kii North, and our investigation at Tokai is still ongoing. Our results so far are in agreement with triggering susceptibility being dependent upon background activity rates, as has been suggested for remote triggering of microearthquakes in geothermal regions by large, distant earthquakes as well as for remotely triggered tremor in the Nankai subduction zone

  4. Geodetic, teleseismic, and strong motion constraints on slip from recent southern Peru subduction zone earthquakes


    Pritchard, M. E.; Norabuena, E. O.; Jillings, C.; Boroschek, R.; Comte, D.; Simons, M.; T. H. Dixon; Rosen, P. A.


    We use seismic and geodetic data both jointly and separately to constrain coseismic slip from the 12 November 1996 M_w 7.7 and 23 June 2001 M_w 8.5 southern Peru subduction zone earthquakes, as well as two large aftershocks following the 2001 earthquake on 26 June and 7 July 2001. We use all available data in our inversions: GPS, interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) from the ERS-1, ERS-2, JERS, and RADARSAT-1 satellites, and seismic data from teleseismic and strong motion stations...

  5. Interseismic coupling and seismic potential along the Central Andes subduction zone


    Chlieh, Mohamed; Perfettini, Hugo; Tavera, Hernando; Avouac, Jean-Philippe; Remy, Dominique; Nocquet, Jean-Mathieu; Rolandone, Frédérique; Bondoux, Francis; Gabalda, Germinal; Bonvalot, Sylvain


    We use about two decades of geodetic measurements to characterize interseismic strain build up along the Central Andes subduction zone from Lima, Peru, to Antofagasta, Chile. These measurements are modeled assuming a 3-plate model (Nazca, Andean sliver and South America Craton) and spatially varying interseismic coupling (ISC) on the Nazca megathrust interface. We also determine slip models of the 1996 M(w) = 7.7 Nazca, the 2001 M(w) = 8.4 Arequipa, the 2007 M(w) = 8.0 Pisco and the M(w) = 7....

  6. A real-time cabled observatory on the Cascadia subduction zone (United States)

    Vidale, J. E.; Delaney, J. R.; Toomey, D. R.; Bodin, P.; Roland, E. C.; Wilcock, W. S. D.; Houston, H.; Schmidt, D. A.; Allen, R. M.


    Subduction zones are replete with mystery and rife with hazard. Along most of the Pacific Northwest margin, the traditional methods of monitoring offshore geophysical activity use onshore sensors or involve conducting infrequent oceanographic expeditions. This results in a limited capacity for detecting and monitoring subduction processes offshore. We propose that the next step in geophysical observations of Cascadia should include real-time data delivered by a seafloor cable with seismic, geodetic, and pressure-sensing instruments. Along the Cascadia subduction zone, we need to monitor deformation, earthquakes, and fluid fluxes on short time scales. High-quality long-term time series are needed to establish baseline observations and evaluate secular changes in the subduction environment. Currently we lack a basic knowledge of the plate convergence rate, direction and its variations along strike and of how convergence is accommodated across the plate boundary. We also would like to seek cycles of microseismicity, how far locking extends up-dip, and the transient processes (i.e., fluid pulsing, tremor, and slow slip) that occur near the trench. For reducing risk to society, real-time monitoring has great benefit for immediate and accurate assessment through earthquake early warning systems. Specifically, the improvement to early warning would be in assessing the location, geometry, and progression of ongoing faulting and obtaining an accurate tsunami warning, as well as simply speeding up the early warning. It would also be valuable to detect strain transients and map the locked portion of the megathrust, and detect changes in locking over the earthquake cycle. Development of the US portion of a real-time cabled seismic and geodetic observatory should build upon the Ocean Observatories Initiative's cabled array, which was recently completed and is currently delivering continuous seismic and pressure data from the seafloor. Its implementation would require

  7. Coseismic and interseismic displacements at a subduction zone - a parameter study using finite-element modelling (United States)

    Li, Tao; Hampel, Andrea


    Tide-gauge and geodetic measurements of coseismic and interseismic displacements in the forearc of subduction zones showed that the coastal region undergoes uplift during the interseismic phase and subsidence during the coseismic phase, while opposite vertical movements are observed in the neighbouring regions (e.g., Savage & Thatcher 1992; Hyndman & Wang 1995). Horizontal displacements during the interseismic phase are typically directed landward, whereas the forearc moves seaward during the earthquake (e.g., Klotz et al. 1999). Here we use two-dimensional finite-element modelling to evaluate how the friction coefficient along the plate interface, the length and the position of the downdip end of the locked zone affect the coseismic and interseismic displacements. Our model consists of a deformable, rheologically stratified upper plate and an undeformable oceanic plate, which rotates at a prescribed angular velocity (cf. Cailleau & Oncken, 2008). The frictional plate interface is divided - from the trench to the base of the continental lithosphere - into a seismogenic zone, a transition zone and a landward free slip zone. During an initial phase, the seismogenic zone is locked, which leads to the accumulation of elastic strain in the forearc. During the subsequent coseismic phase, the strain is released and causes sudden slip of several meters on the plate interface. During the next interseismic phase, the seismogenic zone is locked again. Our model results show patterns of vertical and horizontal displacements that are in general agreement with geodetically observed patterns. A sensitivity analysis reveals that the magnitude of the vertical displacements is strongly influenced by the friction coefficients of the seismogenic zone and the transition zone. The location of the zones of maximum interseismic uplift and coseismic subsidence in the coastal regions depends on the length and position of the locked zone. Preliminary results from three-dimensional models

  8. Imaging the Seismic Cycle in the Central Andean Subduction Zone from Geodetic Observations (United States)

    Ortega-Culaciati, F.; Becerra-Carreño, V. C.; Socquet, A.; Jara, J.; Carrizo, D.; Norabuena, E. O.; Simons, M.; Vigny, C.; Bataille, K. D.; Moreno, M.; Baez, J. C.; Comte, D.; Contreras-Reyes, E.; Delorme, A.; Genrich, J. F.; Klein, E.; Ortega, I.; Valderas, M. C.


    We aim to quantify spatial and temporal evolution of fault slip behavior during all stages of the seismic cycle in subduction megathrusts, with the eventual goal of improving our understanding of the mechanical behavior of the subduction system and its implications for earthquake and tsunami hazards. In this work, we analyze the portion of the Nazca-SouthAmerican plates subduction zone affected by the 1868 southern Peru and 1877 northern Chile mega-earthquakes. The 1868 and 1878 events defined a seismic gap that did not experience a large earthquake for over 124 years. Only recently, the 1995 Mw 8.1 Antofagasta, 2001 Mw 8.4 Arequipa, 2007 Mw 7.7 Tocopilla, and 2014 Mw 8.2 Pisagua earthquakes released only a small fraction of the potential slip budget, thereby raising concerns about continued seismic and tsunami hazard. We use over a decade of observations from continuous and campaign GPS networks to analyze inter-seismic strain accumulation, as well as co-seimic deformation associated to the more recent earthquakes in the in the Central Andean region. We obtain inferences of slip (and back-slip) behavior using a consistent and robust inversion framework that accounts for the spatial variability of the constraint provided by the observations on slip across the subduction megathrust. We present an updated inter-seismic coupling model and estimates of pre-, co- and post- seismic slip behavior associated with the most recent 2014 Mw 8.2 Pisagua earthquake. We analyze our results, along with published information on the recent and historical large earthquakes, to characterize the regions of the megathrust that tend to behave aseismically, and those that are capable to accumulate a slip budget (ultimately leading to the generation of large earthquakes), to what extent such regions may overlap, and discuss the potential for large earthquakes in the region.

  9. Spatial and temporal patterns of nonvolcanic tremor along the southern Cascadia subduction zone (United States)

    Boyarko, Devin C.; Brudzinski, Michael R.


    Episodic tremor and slip (ETS), the spatial and temporal correlation of slow slip events monitored via GPS surface displacements and nonvolcanic tremor (NVT) monitored via seismic signals, is a newly discovered mode of deformation thought to be occurring downdip from the seismogenic zone along several subduction zone megathrusts. To provide overall constraints on the distribution and migration behavior of NVT in southern Cascadia, we apply a semiautomated location algorithm to seismic data available during the EarthScope Transportable Array deployment to detect the most prominent pulses of NVT and invert analyst-refined relative arrival times for source locations. In the processing, we also detect distinct and isolated bursts of energy within the tremor similar to observations of low-frequency earthquakes in southwest Japan. We investigate in detail eight NVT episodes between November 2005 and August 2007 with source locations extending over a 650 km along-strike region from northern California to northern Oregon. We find complex tremor migration patterns with periods of steady migration (4-10 km/d), halting, and frequent along-strike jumps (30-400 km) in activity. The initiation and termination points of laterally continuous tremor activity appear to be repeatable features between NVT episodes which support the hypothesis of segmentation within the ETS zone. The overall distribution of NVT epicenters occur within a narrow band primarily confined by the surface projections of the 30 and 40 km contours of the subducting plate interface. We find as much as 50 km spatial offset from the updip edge of the tremor source zone to the downdip edge of the thermally and geodetically defined transition zone, which may inhibit ETS from triggering earthquakes further updip. Intriguingly, NVT activity is spatially anticorrelated with local seismicity, suggesting the two processes are mutually exclusive. We propose that the transition in frictional behavior coupled with high pore

  10. Seismicity and structure of Nazca Plate subduction zone in southern Peru (United States)

    Lim, H.; Kim, Y.; Clayton, R. W.


    We image the Nazca plate subduction zone system by detecting and (re)locating intra-slab earthquakes in southern Peru. Dense seismic arrays (PeruSE, 2013) were deployed along four lines to target geophysical characterization of the subduction system in the transition zone between flat and normal dipping segments of the Nazca plate (2-15°S). The arc volcanism is absent near the flat slab segment, and currently, the correlation between the location of the active volcanic front and corresponding slab depth is neither clear nor consistent between previously published models from seismicity. We detect 620 local earthquakes from August 2008 to February 2013 by manually picking 6559 and 4145 arrival times for P- and S-phases, respectively. We observe that the S-phase data is helpful to reduce the trade-off between origin time and depth of deeper earthquakes (>100 km). Earthquake locations are relocated to constrain the Nazca slab-mantle interface in the slab-dip transition zone using 7322 measurements of differential times of nearby earthquake pairs by waveform cross-correlation. We also employ the double-difference tomography (Zhang and Thurber, 2003) to further improve earthquake source locations and the spatial resolution of the velocity structure simultaneously. The relocated hypocenters clearly delineate the dipping Wadati-Benioff zone in the slab-dip transition zone between the shallow- (25°) to-flat dipping slab segment in the north and the normal (40°) dipping segment in the south. The intermediate-depth seismicity in the flat slab region stops at a depth of ~100 km and a horizontal distance of ~400 km from the trench. We find a significant slab-dip difference (up to 10°) between our relocated seismicity and previously published slab models along the profile region sampling the normal-dip slab at depth (>100 km).

  11. 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

  12. Earthquake swarm activity in the Oaxaca segment of Middle American Subduction Zone (United States)

    Brudzinski, M. R.; Cabral, E.; Arciniega-Ceballos, A.


    An outstanding question in geophysics is the degree to which the newly discovered family of slow fault slip behaviors is related to more traditional earthquakes, especially since theoretical predictions indicate slip in the deeper transitional zone promotes failure in the shallower seismogenic zone. The Oaxacan segment of the Middle American Subduction zone is a natural region to pursue detailed studies of the spectrum of fault slip due to the unusually shallow subduction angle and short trench-to-coast distances that bring broad portions of the seismogenic and transitional zones of the plate interface inland. A deployment of broadband seismometers in this region has improved the network coverage to ~70 km station spacing since 2006, providing new opportunities to investigate smaller seismic phenomena. While characterization of tectonic tremor has been a prominent focus of this deployment, the improved network has also revealed productive earthquake swarms, whose sustained periods of similar magnitude earthquakes are also thought to be driven by slow slip. We identify a particularly productive earthquake swarm in July 2006 (~600 similar earthquakes detected), which occurred during a week-long episode of tectonic tremor and geodetically detected slow slip. Using a multi-station "template matching" waveform cross correlation technique, we have been able to detect and locate swarm earthquakes several orders of magnitude smaller than that of traditional processing, particularly during periods of increased background activity, because the detector is finely tuned to events with similar hypocentral location and focal mechanism. When we scan for repeats of the event families detected in the July 2006 sequence throughout the 6+ years since, we find these families were also activated during several other slow slip episodes, which indicates a link between slow slip in the transition zone and earthquakes at the downdip end of the seismogenic portion of the megathrust.

  13. 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

  14. Source Mechanisms of Destructive Tsunamigenic Earthquakes occurred along the Major Subduction Zones (United States)

    Yolsal-Çevikbilen, Seda; Taymaz, Tuncay; Ulutaş, Ergin


    Subduction zones, where an oceanic plate is subducted down into the mantle by tectonic forces, are potential tsunami locations. Many big, destructive and tsunamigenic earthquakes (Mw > 7.5) and high amplitude tsunami waves are observed along the major subduction zones particularly near Indonesia, Japan, Kuril and Aleutan Islands, Gulf of Alaska, Southern America. Not all earthquakes are tsunamigenic; in order to generate a tsunami, the earthquake must occur under or near the ocean, be large, and create significant vertical movements of the seafloor. It is also known that tsunamigenic earthquakes release their energy over a couple of minutes, have long source time functions and slow-smooth ruptures. In this study, we performed point-source inversions by using teleseismic long-period P- and SH- and broad-band P-waveforms recorded by the Federation of Digital Seismograph Networks (FDSN) and the Global Digital Seismograph Network (GDSN) stations. We obtained source mechanism parameters and finite-fault slip distributions of recent destructive ten earthquakes (Mw ≥ 7.5) by comparing the shapes and amplitudes of long period P- and SH-waveforms, recorded in the distance range of 30° - 90°, with synthetic waveforms. We further obtained finite-fault rupture histories of those earthquakes to determine the faulting area (fault length and width), maximum displacement, rupture duration and stress drop. We applied a new back-projection method that uses teleseismic P-waveforms to integrate the direct P-phase with reflected phases from structural discontinuities near the source, and customized it to estimate the spatio-temporal distribution of the seismic energy release of earthquakes. Inversion results exhibit that recent tsunamigenic earthquakes show dominantly thrust faulting mechanisms with small amount of strike-slip components. Their focal depths are also relatively shallow (h < 40 km). As an example, the September 16, 2015 Illapel (Chile) earthquake (Mw: 8.3; h: 26 km

  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. Massive barite deposits in the convergent margin off Peru: Implications for fluid circulation within subduction zones (United States)

    Aquilina, L.; Dia, A. N.; Boulègue, J.; Bourgois, J.; Fouillac, A. M.


    The convergent margin of Peru, characterized by an extensional tectonic regime and the lack of a well-developed accretionary prism, has been investigated by a deep-sea submersible during the Nautiperc cruise (March-April, 1991). This allowed the collection of fluid samples, soft sediments, and barite concretions in the vicinity of biological communities associated with fluid steps. Major and trace element contents as well as strontium, oxygen, hydrogen, and sulfur isotopic compositions have been measured on fluid and/or solid samples to constrain the nature and origin of fluid circulating in this extensional tectonic context. Chemical variations with respect to bottom seawater composition have been recorded in the fluid samples and suggest the presence of a nonlocal component in the fluid expelled at the seafloor. The major variations correspond to elevations of the Cl, Na, and the Ba contents as well as the 87Sr /86Sr ratios. This is interpreted as the expulsion of a radiogenic, continent-related (basinal brine and/or meteoric water) fluid. Massive barite concretions have been collected at the seafloor in two areas of major fluid venting. The radiogenic signature (strontium isotopic composition) of the barite concretions implies that they are related to the nonlocal deep fluid component identified in the fluid samples. Furthermore, it is shown that these barite deposits testify to a hot, short, and intensive fluid circulation event. Compared to subduction zones that exhibit venting fluid with a strong oceanic water signature, the nature and origin of venting fluid along the subduction zone of Peru are different. The extensional tectonic regime of the Peru continental margin, locally associated with a dense E-W trending fault network, is an agent which may help to drain continent-related fluid as deep as the subduction scarp at the trench-slope boundary.

  17. Slow slip events and seismic tremor at circum-Pacific subduction zones (United States)

    Schwartz, Susan Y.; Rokosky, Juliana M.


    It has been known for a long time that slip accompanying earthquakes accounts for only a fraction of plate tectonic displacements. However, only recently has a fuller spectrum of strain release processes, including normal, slow, and silent earthquakes (or slow slip events) and continuous and episodic slip, been observed and generated by numerical simulations of the earthquake cycle. Despite a profusion of observations and modeling studies the physical mechanism of slow slip events remains elusive. The concurrence of seismic tremor with slow slip episodes in Cascadia and southwestern Japan provides insight into the process of slow slip. A perceived similarity between subduction zone and volcanic tremor has led to suggestions that slow slip involves fluid migration on or near the plate interface. Alternatively, evidence is accumulating to support the notion that tremor results from shear failure during slow slip. Global observations of the location, spatial extent, magnitude, duration, slip rate, and periodicity of these aseismic slip transients indicate significant variation that may be exploited to better understand their generation. Most slow slip events occur just downdip of the seismogenic zone, consistent with rate- and state-dependent frictional modeling that requires unstable to stable transitional properties for slow slip generation. At a few convergent margins the occurrence of slow slip events within the seismogenic zone makes it highly likely that transitions in frictional properties exist there and are the loci of slow slip nucleation. Slow slip events perturb the surrounding stress field and may either increase or relieve stress on a fault, bringing it closer to or farther from earthquake failure, respectively. This paper presents a review of slow slip events and related seismic tremor observed at plate boundaries worldwide, with a focus on circum-Pacific subduction zones. Trends in global observations of slow slip events suggest that (1) slow slip is a

  18. Aftereffects of Subduction-Zone Earthquakes: Potential Tsunami Hazards along the Japan Sea Coast. (United States)

    Minoura, Koji; Sugawara, Daisuke; Yamanoi, Tohru; Yamada, Tsutomu


    The 2011 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake is a typical subduction-zone earthquake and is the 4th largest earthquake after the beginning of instrumental observation of earthquakes in the 19th century. In fact, the 2011 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake displaced the northeast Japan island arc horizontally and vertically. The displacement largely changed the tectonic situation of the arc from compressive to tensile. The 9th century in Japan was a period of natural hazards caused by frequent large-scale earthquakes. The aseismic tsunamis that inflicted damage on the Japan Sea coast in the 11th century were related to the occurrence of massive earthquakes that represented the final stage of a period of high seismic activity. Anti-compressive tectonics triggered by the subduction-zone earthquakes induced gravitational instability, which resulted in the generation of tsunamis caused by slope failing at the arc-back-arc boundary. The crustal displacement after the 2011 earthquake infers an increased risk of unexpected local tsunami flooding in the Japan Sea coastal areas.

  19. Existing Instrumentation and Scientific Drivers for a Subduction Zone Observatory in Latin America (United States)

    Frassetto, A.; Woodward, R.; Detrick, R. S.


    The subduction zones along the western shore of the Americas provide numerous societally relevant scientific questions that have yet to be fully explored and would make an excellent target for a comprehensive, integrated Subduction Zone Observatory (SZO). Further, recent discussions in Latin America indicate that there are a large number of existing stations that could serve as a backbone for an SZO. Such preexisting geophysical infrastructure commonly plays a vital role in new science initiatives, from small PI-led experiments to the establishment of the USArray Transportable Array, Reference Network, Cascadia Amphibious Array, and the redeployment of EarthScope Transportable Array stations to Alaska. Creating an SZO along the western coast of the Americas could strongly leverage the portfolio of existing seismic and geodetic stations across regions of interest. In this presentation, we will discuss the concept and experience of leveraging existing infrastructure in major new observational programs, outline the state of geophysical networks in the Americas (emphasizing current seismic networks but also looking back on historical temporary deployments), and provide an overview of potential scientific targets in the Americas that encompass a sampling of recently produced research results and datasets. Additionally, we will reflect on strategies for establishing meaningful collaborations across Latin America, an aspect that will be critical to the international partnerships, and associated capacity building, needed for a successful SZO initiative.

  20. On the duration of seismic motion incident onto the Valley of Mexico for subduction zone earthquakes (United States)

    Shapiro, Nikolai M.; Olsen, Kim B.; Singh, K.


    We have used finite difference simulations in 2-D models of the lithosphere to estimate the duration of long-period (>2 s) ground motion incident onto the Valley of Mexico for subduction zone earthquakes. Our simulations suggest that two heterogeneous structures extend the duration of the ground motion between the subduction zone and Mexico City by more than 1 min: (1) the Mexican Volcanic Belt and (2) two low-velocity layers in the coastal region; the accretionary prism and the water layer. The duration generated by a crustal model including these structures is similar to that for earthquake records observed in between the coast and Mexico City. In the Valley of Mexico, our models including only regional-scale heterogeneity reproduce approximately one half of the observed duration. The results suggest that both the regional- and the local-scale low-velocity structures must be taken into account in order to explain the observed extended signal duration in the Valley of Mexico.

  1. 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.

  2. Geodetic, teleseismic, and strong motion constraints on slip from recent southern Peru subduction zone earthquakes (United States)

    Pritchard, M. E.; Norabuena, E. O.; Ji, C.; Boroschek, R.; Comte, D.; Simons, M.; Dixon, T. H.; Rosen, P. A.


    We use seismic and geodetic data both jointly and separately to constrain coseismic slip from the 12 November 1996 Mw 7.7 and 23 June 2001 Mw 8.5 southern Peru subduction zone earthquakes, as well as two large aftershocks following the 2001 earthquake on 26 June and 7 July 2001. We use all available data in our inversions: GPS, interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) from the ERS-1, ERS-2, JERS, and RADARSAT-1 satellites, and seismic data from teleseismic and strong motion stations. Our two-dimensional slip models derived from only teleseismic body waves from South American subduction zone earthquakes with Mw > 7.5 do not reliably predict available geodetic data. In particular, we find significant differences in the distribution of slip for the 2001 earthquake from models that use only seismic (teleseismic and two strong motion stations) or geodetic (InSAR and GPS) data. The differences might be related to postseismic deformation or, more likely, the different sensitivities of the teleseismic and geodetic data to coseismic rupture properties. The earthquakes studied here follow the pattern of earthquake directivity along the coast of western South America, north of 5°S, earthquakes rupture to the north; south of about 12°S, directivity is southerly; and in between, earthquakes are bilateral. The predicted deformation at the Arequipa GPS station from the seismic-only slip model for the 7 July 2001 aftershock is not consistent with significant preseismic motion.

  3. 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.

  4. Diapir versus along-channel ascent of crustal material during plate convergence: Constrained by the thermal structure of subduction zones (United States)

    Liu, Ming-Qi; Li, Zhong-Hai; Yang, Shao-Hua


    Subduction channel processes are crucial for understanding the material and energy exchange between the Earth's crust and mantle. Crustal rocks can be subducted to mantle depths, interact with the mantle wedge, and then exhume to the crustal depth again, which is generally considered as the mechanism for the formation of ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic rocks in nature. In addition, the crustal rocks generally undergo dehydration and melting at subarc depths, giving rise to fluids that metasomatize and weaken the overlying mantle wedge. There are generally two ways for the material ascent from subarc depths: one is along subduction channels; the other is through the mantle wedge by diapir. In order to study the conditions and dynamics of these contrasting material ascent modes, systematic petrological-thermo-mechanical numerical models are constructed with variable thicknesses of the overriding and subducting continental plates, ages of the subducting oceanic plate, as well as the plate convergence rates. The model results suggest that the thermal structures of subduction zones control the thermal condition and fluid/melt activity at the slab-mantle interface in subcontinental subduction channels, which further strongly affect the material transportation and ascent mode. The thick overriding continental plate and the low-angle subduction style induced by young subducting oceanic plate both contribute to the formation of relatively cold subduction channels with strong overriding mantle wedge, where the along-channel exhumation occurs exclusively to result in the exhumation of HP-UHP metamorphic rocks. In contrast, the thin overriding lithosphere and the steep subduction style induced by old subducting oceanic plate are the favorable conditions for hot subduction channels, which lead to significant hydration and metasomatism, melting and weakening of the overriding mantle wedge and thus cause the ascent of mantle wedge-derived melts by diapir through the mantle wedge

  5. The River Network, Active Tectonics and the Mexican Subduction Zone, Southwest Mexico (United States)

    Gaidzik, K.; Ramirez-Herrera, M. T.; Kostoglodov, V.; Basili, R.


    Rivers, their profiles and network reflect the integration of multiple processes and forces that are part of the fundamental controls on the relief structure of mountain belts. The motivation of this study is to understand active tectonic processes in the forearc region of subduction zones, by distinguishing evidence of active deformation using the river network and topography. To this end, morphotectonic and structural studies have been conducted on fifteen drainage basins on the mountain front, parallel to the Mexican subduction zone, where the Cocos plate underthrusts the North American plate. The southwest - northeast Cocos plate subduction stress regime initiated ca. 20 MA. NE-SW to NNE-SSW normal faults as well as sub-latitudinal to NW-SE strike-slip faults (both dextral and sinistral) constitute the majority of mesofaults recorded in the field within the studied drainage basins. Occasionally dextral N-S strike-slip faults also occur. The stress tensor reconstruction suggests two main evolution stages of these faults: 1) the older is dominated by a NW-SE to WNW-ESE extensional regime and 2) the younger is a transcurrent regime, with NNE-SSW σ1 axis. The drainage pattern is strongly controlled by tectonic features, whereas lithology is only a subordinate factor, with only one exception (Petatlán river). Generally, major rivers flow from north to south mainly through NE-SW and NNE-SSW normal faults, and/or sub-longitudinal dextral (also locally sinistral) strike-slip faults. In the central and eastern part of the studied area, rivers also follow NW-SE structures, which are generally normal or sinistral strike-slip faults (rarely reverse). In most cases, local deflections of the river main courses are related to sub-latitudinal strike-slip faults, both dextral and sinistral. Within the current stress field related to the active Cocos subduction, both normal and strike-slip fault sets could be reactivated. Our analysis suggests that strike-slip faults, mainly

  6. Role of iron content on serpentinite dehydration depth in subduction zones: Experiments and thermodynamic modeling (United States)

    Merkulova, Margarita; Muñoz, Manuel; Vidal, Olivier; Brunet, Fabrice


    A series of dehydration experiments in the piston-cylinder apparatus was carried out at 2 GPa and 550-850 °C on a natural antigorite sample mixed with 5 wt.% of magnetite. Chemical analyses of experimental products show a progressive decrease of the Mg# in antigorite and clinopyroxene between 550 and 675 °C, whereas the Mg# of olivine increases. The observed behavior of Mg# signifies Fe-Mg exchange between coexisting minerals. At higher temperatures, between 700 and 850 °C, compositions remain stable for all minerals in experimental assemblages. Thermodynamic parameters of the ferrous antigorite end-member were refined with the use of Holland and Powell (1998) data set and added to the antigorite solid solution. Good agreement between theoretical calculations performed for the studied bulk composition and experimental results confirms extrapolated thermodynamic data for Fe-antigorite. Constrained parameters allowed to calculate phase relationships for various serpentinite compositions. First, we assessed the effect of bulk iron content, from 0 to 10 wt.% FeO, on the stability field of antigorite. The results show significant decrease of the antigorite thermal stability with increasing bulk Fe content. Second, we demonstrated the influence of bulk iron content on dehydration reactions in subduction zones along typical thermal gradients. Dehydration observed in pure MSH (MgO-SiO2-H2O) systems comprised of antigorite appears as a univariant reaction, which happens at 710 °C/3.7 GPa and 640 °C/6 GPa in "hot" and "cold" subduction, respectively. In contrast, more complex in composition Fe-bearing serpentinites show spread dehydration profiles through divariant reactions from ~ 300 °C/0.8 GPa to 700 °C/3.6 GPa and from 450 °C/4 GPa to 650 °C/7.4 GPa for "hot" and "cold" thermal gradients respectively. A comparison between depths of "water-release events" and "earthquake occurrence" in the South Chile slab ("hot" subduction) highlights a clear correlation between

  7. Fractal analysis of the spatial distribution of earthquakes along the Hellenic Subduction Zone (United States)

    Papadakis, Giorgos; Vallianatos, Filippos; Sammonds, Peter


    The Hellenic Subduction Zone (HSZ) is the most seismically active region in Europe. Many destructive earthquakes have taken place along the HSZ in the past. The evolution of such active regions is expressed through seismicity and is characterized by complex phenomenology. The understanding of the tectonic evolution process and the physical state of subducting regimes is crucial in earthquake prediction. In recent years, there is a growing interest concerning an approach to seismicity based on the science of complex systems (Papadakis et al., 2013; Vallianatos et al., 2012). In this study we calculate the fractal dimension of the spatial distribution of earthquakes along the HSZ and we aim to understand the significance of the obtained values to the tectonic and geodynamic evolution of this area. We use the external seismic sources provided by Papaioannou and Papazachos (2000) to create a dataset regarding the subduction zone. According to the aforementioned authors, we define five seismic zones. Then, we structure an earthquake dataset which is based on the updated and extended earthquake catalogue for Greece and the adjacent areas by Makropoulos et al. (2012), covering the period 1976-2009. The fractal dimension of the spatial distribution of earthquakes is calculated for each seismic zone and for the HSZ as a unified system using the box-counting method (Turcotte, 1997; Robertson et al., 1995; Caneva and Smirnov, 2004). Moreover, the variation of the fractal dimension is demonstrated in different time windows. These spatiotemporal variations could be used as an additional index to inform us about the physical state of each seismic zone. As a precursor in earthquake forecasting, the use of the fractal dimension appears to be a very interesting future work. Acknowledgements Giorgos Papadakis wish to acknowledge the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (IKY). References Caneva, A., Smirnov, V., 2004. Using the fractal dimension of earthquake distributions and the

  8. Evolving seismogenic plate boundary megathrust and mega-splay faults in subduction zone (Invited) (United States)

    Kimura, G.; Hamahashi, M.; Fukuchi, R.; Yamaguchi, A.; Kameda, J.; Kitamura, Y.; Hashimoto, Y.; Hamada, Y.; Saito, S.; Kawasaki, R.


    Understanding the fault mechanism and its relationship to the sesimo-tsunamigenesis is a key of the scientific targets of subduction zone and therefore NantroSEIZE project of IODP and future new drilling project of International Ocean Discovery Program keeps focusing on that. Mega-splay fault branched from plate boundary megathrust in subduction zone is located around the border between outer and inner wedges and is considered to cause great earthquake and tsunami such as 1960 Alaska earthquake, 1944 and 1946 Nankai-Tonankai earthquakes, and 2004 Sumatra earthquakes. Seismic reflection studies for the mega-splay fault in 2D and 3D in the Nankai forearc present the reflector with negative or positive polarities with various amplitudes and suggest complicated petrophysical properties and condition of the fault and its surroundings. The Nankai mega-splay fault at a depth of ~5km is going to be drilled and cored by NantroSEIZE experiments and is expected for great progress of understanding of the fault mechanics. Before drilling the really targeted seismogenic fault, we are conducting many exercises of geophysical and geological observations. The core-log-seismic integrated exercise for the exhumed mega-splay fault by drilling was operated for the Nobeoka thrust in the Shimanto Belt, Kyushu, Japan. The Nobeoka thrust was once buried in the depth >~10km and suffered maximum temperature >~300 dgree C. As the core recovery is ~99%, perfect correlation between the core and logging data is possible. Thickness of the fault zone is >200 m with a ~50 cm thick central fault core dividing the phyllitic hanging wall and the footwall of broken-melange like cataclasite. A-few-meter-thick discrete damage zones with fault cores are recognized by difference in physical properties and visual deformation textures at several horizons in the fault zone. Host rocks for those damaged zones are completely lithified cataclasites with abundant mineral veins, which record the older and deeper

  9. Over Decades to Centuries, Interseismic Coupling and Deformation Rates along Subduction Zones Are Not Steady (United States)

    Meltzner, A. J.


    It has long been assumed that once the postseismic phase of the earthquake cycle is complete, years to decades after a large earthquake, deformation and strain accumulation during the interseismic phase of the seismic cycle are uniform. Although postseismic transients have been widely documented and result from a variety of processes, they are commonly observed to decay to a "background" deformation rate. The belief was that, subsequently, this "background" interseismic strain rate (or pattern of interseismic deformation) remained steady over most of the seismic cycle [Savage and Thatcher, 1992, JGR]. More recently, researchers discovered processes and phenomena previously unappreciated along subduction zones, including slow slip events at a range of timescales, abrupt changes in the width of the locked region, and changes over time in plate coupling. Yet our understanding of the range of behavior during the interseismic period along a subduction zone is generally limited by the brevity of modern geodetic networks, which may be at most two or three decades old. Taking advantage of high-resolution paleogeodetic data from coral microatolls in Sumatra, I show that it is the rule, not the exception, that interseismic rates vary over the course of a seismic cycle, and from one seismic cycle to the next. Although interseismic vertical deformation rates (uplift or subsidence) may be linear for decades to a century, the rate at any site may shift abruptly to a new rate and remain fixed at the new rate for decades more. The coupling pattern before one great earthquake may be dramatically different from the pattern leading up to a similar, co-located earthquake. Some sections of a megathrust may be nearly uncoupled for a century or more, yet appear fully coupled at other times and sustain large displacements during an ensuing earthquake. In general, the coral records suggest that our observations and understanding of fault behavior between earthquakes are still far from

  10. Comparing the Gibraltar and Calabrian subduction zones (central western Mediterranean) based on seismic tomography (United States)

    Argnani, Andrea; Battista Cimini, Giovanni; Frugoni, Francesco; Monna, Stephen; Montuori, Caterina


    The Central Western Mediterranean (CWM) was shaped by a complex tectonic and geodynamic evolution. Deep seismicity and tomographic studies point to the existence, under the Alboran and Tyrrhenian Seas, of lithospheric slabs extending down to the bottom of the mantle transition zone, at 660 km depth. Two narrow arcs correspond to the two slabs, the Gibraltar and Calabrian Arcs (e.g., Monna et al., 2013; Montuori et al., 2007). Similarities in the tectonic and mantle structure of the two areas have been explained by a common subduction and roll-back mechanism for the opening of the CWM, in which the two arcs are symmetrical end products. In spite of this unifying model, a wide amount of literature from different disciplines shows that many aspects of the two areas are still controversial. We present a new 3-D tomographic model at mantle scale for the Calabrian Arc and compare it with a recently published 3-D tomographic model for the Gibraltar Arc by Monna et al (2013). The two models are based on non-linear inversion of teleseismic phase arrivals, and have scale and parametrization that allow for a direct comparison. Unlike previous studies the tomographic models here presented include Ocean Bottom Seismometer broadband data, which improved the resolution of the mantle structures in the marine areas surrounding the arcs. We focus on key features of the two models that constrain reconstructions of the geodynamic evolution of the CWM (e.g., Monna et al., 2015). At Tortonian time the opening of the Tyrrhenian basin was in its initial stage, and the Calabrian arc formed subsequently; on the contrary, the Gibraltar arc was almost completely defined. We hypothesize that the complexity of the continental margin approaching the subduction zone played a key role during the final stages of the arc formation. References Monna, S., G. B. Cimini, C. Montuori, L. Matias, W. H. Geissler, and P. Favali (2013), New insights from seismic tomography on the complex geodynamic evolution

  11. Estimation of peak ground accelerations for Mexican subduction zone earthquakes using neural networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia, Silvia R; Romo, Miguel P; Mayoral, Juan M [Instituto de Ingenieria, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico D.F. (Mexico)


    An extensive analysis of the strong ground motion Mexican data base was conducted using Soft Computing (SC) techniques. A Neural Network NN is used to estimate both orthogonal components of the horizontal (PGAh) and vertical (PGAv) peak ground accelerations measured at rock sites during Mexican subduction zone earthquakes. The work discusses the development, training, and testing of this neural model. Attenuation phenomenon was characterized in terms of magnitude, epicentral distance and focal depth. Neural approximators were used instead of traditional regression techniques due to their flexibility to deal with uncertainty and noise. NN predictions follow closely measured responses exhibiting forecasting capabilities better than those of most established attenuation relations for the Mexican subduction zone. Assessment of the NN, was also applied to subduction zones in Japan and North America. For the database used in this paper the NN and the-better-fitted- regression approach residuals are compared. [Spanish] Un analisis exhaustivo de la base de datos mexicana de sismos fuertes se llevo a cabo utilizando tecnicas de computo aproximado, SC (soft computing). En particular, una red neuronal, NN, es utilizada para estimar ambos componentes ortogonales de la maxima aceleracion horizontal del terreno, PGAh, y la vertical, PGAv, medidas en sitios en roca durante terremotos generados en la zona de subduccion de la Republica Mexicana. El trabajo discute el desarrollo, entrenamiento, y prueba de este modelo neuronal. El fenomeno de atenuacion fue caracterizado en terminos de la magnitud, la distancia epicentral y la profundidad focal. Aproximaciones neuronales fueron utilizadas en lugar de tecnicas de regresion tradicionales por su flexibilidad para tratar con incertidumbre y ruido en los datos. La NN sigue de cerca la respuesta medida exhibiendo capacidades predictivas mejores que las mostradas por muchas de las relaciones de atenuacion establecidas para la zona de

  12. 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.


    Refinements to GPS analyses in which we factor geodetic time series to better estimate both reference frames and transient deformation resolve 35 slow slip events (SSE) located throughout the Cascadia subduction zone from 1997 through early 2007. Timing of transient onset is determined with wavelet-transformation of the geodetic time series. 30 continuous GPS stations are included in this study up through 2005, and over 70 stations for the 2007 event. Events are analyzed that range from northern California to southwestern British Columbia, with station density generally increasing towards the north. The improved analyses better resolves the largest creep and also identifies many smaller events. At 48.5N latitude, the 14-month average recurrence interval still applies, four events after first recognition. Elsewhere, such periodicity is not observed. Along central Vancouver Island to the north (49N), a host of smaller events distinct from the 14-month periodicity occur with no obvious periodicity. Sporadic smaller events also appear throughout the subduction zone to the south, including some within the region of the 14-month periodicity of larger events. In southern Washington State, some of the largest transient displacements are observed, but lack any obvious periodicity in their recurrence. Along central Oregon, an 18-month recurrence is evident, while in northern California (Yreka) the 11-month periodicity continues through 2005. To invert GPS offsets of the 12 best-recorded events for slip, we use a cross-validation scheme to derive optimal smoothing of non-negative thrust faulting along a plate interface divided into 40 along strike and 24 down-dip subfaults. Those events have equivalent moment magnitudes ranging from 6.3 (smallest resolvable with GPS) to 6.8, and typically 2-3 cm of slip. The largest spatial extent of all events resolved to date is just under 350 km along strike, with a maximum observed duration of seven weeks across the network; the majority

  13. Slow-slip events hiding in low-coupled areas of the Chilean subduction zone ? (United States)

    Métois, Marianne; Vigny, Christophe; Socquet, Anne


    The recent expansion of dense GPS networks over plate boundaries allows for remarkably precise mapping of interseismic coupling along active faults. The coupling coefficient is linked to the ratio between slipping velocity on the fault during the interseismic period and the long-term plates velocity. The coupling coefficient is a phenomenological parameter representing the kinematic state of the system, but a physical quantitative description of that parameter is needed for seismic hazard assessment. In other words, which amount of coupling or decoupling is needed to allow for earthquake to nucleate, propagate or stop, would be of great help to build rupture scenarios. Here, we investigate the link between coupling and present-day seismicity over the Chilean subduction zone. We combine recent GPS data acquired over the 2000 km long margin (38-18°S) with older data acquired at continental scale to get a nearly continuous picture of the interseismic coupling variations on the interface. We identify at least six zones where the coupling decreases dramatically, dividing individual highly coupled segments. These low-coupled areas often behave as barriers to past megathrust ruptures and experience high rates of seismicity during the interseismic period, including swarm-like sequences. We suggest that in these regions, the subduction interface is a patchwork of small velocity-weakening patches surrounded by velocity-strengthening material that would slide during the interseimic period. This relationship is consistent with observations over other subduction zones, notably in Ecuador where shallow aseismic transients have been observed near low coupled swarm-prone areas (Vallée et al. 2013). However for now, no transient event has been recorded yet all over the Chilean megathrust, preventing clear identification of creeping portions of the interface. Here, we test the hypothesis supposing that, similar to the Ecuador 2010 swarm episode, significant slow-slip events

  14. Polarization analysis of non-volcanic tremor at Guerrero subduction zone (Mexico) (United States)

    Palo, M.; Capuano, P.


    Since its first observation occurred about ten years ago in Japan, non-volcanis tremor (NVT) has been observed in many areas worldwide. NVT is generally associated with fluid movements in the lithosphere and, together with the slow-slip events, are considered a key factor to understand the stress state and stress transfer in tectonic frameworks, especially in subduction zones. Here, we analyze the polarization properties of the NVTs recorded at Guerrero subduction segment of the Cocos plate (Mexico). The Guerrero subduction segment represents a very important case study for its seismic gap. Indeed, there is an absence of large earthquakes in this part of the subducting plate for the last hundred years, and this segment is expected to be able to originate an earthquake of magnitude 8. NVT at Guerrero is a long-duration, low-amplitude, nonimpulsive seismic radiation with most energy concentrated in the frequency range 1-8 Hz. These events have been located at a depth of 20-50 km mainly in correspondence of the tip of the mantle wedge [Payero et al., 2008; Kostoglodov et al., 2010]. Data-set is composed of one year (2006) long continuous seismic recordings of five three-component broad-band stations belonging to the seismic network installed during MASE experiment (available on IRIS website). We apply the Kanasewich algorithm to the continuous seismic recordings. This algorithm performs the diagonalization of the covariance matrix constructed using the three ground motion components and provides three parameters describing the polarization properties: the azimuth and dip angles constrain the direction of oscillation in a Cartesian reference frame, whereas the rectilinearity indicates if the oscillation is circular, elliptical or linear. We find that the NVT events can be detected looking at the time pattern of the polarization parameters. In detail, during NVT the dispersion of all the parameters decreases, the dip angle focuses on high values (indicating shallow

  15. 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..

  16. 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.

  17. Moon Connection with MEGA and Giant Earthquakes in Subduction Zones during One Solar Cycle (United States)

    Hagen, M. T.; Azevedo, A. T.


    We investigated in this paper the possible influences of the moon on earthquakes during one Solar cycle. The Earth - Moon gravitational force produces a variation in the perigee force that may trigger seismological events. The oscillation force creates a wave that is generated by the moon rotation around the earth, which takes a month. The wave complete a cycle after 13- 14 months in average and the period is roughly 5400 hours as calculated. The major moon phases which are New and Full Moon is when the perigee force is stronger. The Solar Wind charges the Moon during the New phases. The plasmasphere charges the satellite during the Full Moon. Both create the Spring Tides what affects mostly the subduction zones connected with the Mega and Giant events in Pacific areas. Moon - Earth connections are resilient in locations with convergent tectonic plates. Inserted:

  18. Characteristics and interactions between non-volcanic tremor and related slow earthquakes in the Nankai subduction zone, southwest Japan (United States)

    Obara, Kazushige


    Non-volcanic tremor and related slow earthquakes in subduction zones are one of the most significant and exciting geophysical discoveries of the 21st century. In Japan, some types of slow earthquakes associated with subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate have been detected by dense seismic and geodetic observation networks equipped with continuous data-recording systems. At the deepest part of the transition between the Nankai megathrust seismogenic zone and the deep stable sliding zone, short-term slow slip events (SSE) occur on the plate interface with durations of days, accompanied by tremor and deep very-low-frequency (VLF) earthquakes resulting from interplate shear stick-slip motions. Along-strike source regions of tremor are divided into segments where these three coupling phenomena (tremor, short-term SSEs, and deep VLF earthquakes) occur at regular recurrence intervals, with durations of 2-6 months. On the updip side of the tremor zone, long-term SSEs with durations of years occur at intervals of 5-10 yrs and trigger tremor at the downdip part of the source region of long-term slip. Near the Nankai trough, shallow VLF earthquakes occur in the accretionary prism. At the eastern edge of the subducting Philippine Sea Plate, short-term SSEs recur every 6 yrs, associated with active earthquake swarms. Some of these slow earthquakes have been detected in other subduction zones; however, the properties of each constituent member of slow earthquakes are different in each subduction zone. Slow earthquakes represent transient shear slip around the seismogenic portion of major interplate megathrust faults; therefore, monitoring the relationship between slow earthquakes and interplate megathrust earthquakes is important for intermediate- and long-term predictions of the next major earthquake.

  19. Quantifying potential earthquake and tsunami hazard in the Lesser Antilles subduction zone of the Caribbean region (United States)

    Hayes, Gavin P.; McNamara, Daniel E.; Seidman, Lily; Roger, Jean


    In this study, we quantify the seismic and tsunami hazard in the Lesser Antilles subduction zone, focusing on the plate interface offshore of Guadeloupe. We compare potential strain accumulated via GPS-derived plate motions to strain release due to earthquakes that have occurred over the past 110 yr, and compute the resulting moment deficit. Our results suggest that enough strain is currently stored in the seismogenic zone of the Lesser Antilles subduction arc in the region of Guadeloupe to cause a large and damaging earthquake of magnitude Mw ˜ 8.2 ± 0.4. We model several scenario earthquakes over this magnitude range, using a variety of earthquake magnitudes and rupture areas, and utilizing the USGS ShakeMap and PAGER software packages. Strong ground shaking during the earthquake will likely cause loss of life and damage estimated to be in the range of several tens to several hundreds of fatalities and hundreds of millions to potentially billions of U.S. dollars of damage. In addition, such an event could produce a significant tsunami. Modelled tsunamis resulting from these scenario earthquakes predict meter-scale wave amplitudes even for events at the lower end of our magnitude range (M 7.8), and heights of over 3 m in several locations with our favoured scenario (M 8.0, partially locked interface from 15-45 km depth). In all scenarios, only short lead-times (on the order of tens of minutes) would be possible in the Caribbean before the arrival of damaging waves.

  20. Quantifying potential earthquake and tsunami hazard in the Lesser Antilles subduction zone of the Caribbean region (United States)

    Hayes, Gavin P.; McNamara, Daniel E.; Seidman, Lily; Roger, Jean


    In this study, we quantify the seismic and tsunami hazard in the Lesser Antilles subduction zone, focusing on the plate interface offshore of Guadeloupe. We compare potential strain accumulated via GPS-derived plate motions to strain release due to earthquakes that have occurred over the past 110 yr, and compute the resulting moment deficit. Our results suggest that enough strain is currently stored in the seismogenic zone of the Lesser Antilles subduction arc in the region of Guadeloupe to cause a large and damaging earthquake of magnitude Mw ∼ 8.2 ± 0.4. We model several scenario earthquakes over this magnitude range, using a variety of earthquake magnitudes and rupture areas, and utilizing the USGS ShakeMap and PAGER software packages. Strong ground shaking during the earthquake will likely cause loss of life and damage estimated to be in the range of several tens to several hundreds of fatalities and hundreds of millions to potentially billions of U.S. dollars of damage. In addition, such an event could produce a significant tsunami. Modelled tsunamis resulting from these scenario earthquakes predict meter-scale wave amplitudes even for events at the lower end of our magnitude range (M 7.8), and heights of over 3 m in several locations with our favoured scenario (M 8.0, partially locked interface from 15–45 km depth). In all scenarios, only short lead-times (on the order of tens of minutes) would be possible in the Caribbean before the arrival of damaging waves.

  1. GPS constraints on 34 slow slip events within the Cascadia subduction zone, 1997-2005 (United States)

    Szeliga, W.; Melbourne, T.; Santillan, M.; Miller, M.


    Refinements to GPS analyses in which we factor geodetic time series to better estimate both reference frames and transient deformation resolve 34 slow slip events located throughout the Cascadia subduction zone from 1997 through 2005. Timing of transient onset is determined with wavelet transformation of geodetic time series. Thirty continuous stations are included in this study, ranging from northern California to southwestern British Columbia. Our improvements in analysis better resolve the largest creep events and also identify many smaller events. At 48.5°N latitude, a 14-month average recurrence interval has been observed over eight events since 1997. Farther north along Vancouver Island a host of smaller events with a distinct 14-month periodicity also occurs. In southern Washington State, some of the largest transient displacements are observed but lack any obvious periodicity in their recurrence. Along central Oregon, an 18-month recurrence is evident, while in northern California an 11-month periodicity continues through 2005. We invert GPS offsets of the 12 best recorded events for thrust slip along the plate interface using a cross-validation scheme to derive optimal smoothing parameters. These 12 events have equivalent moment magnitudes between 6.3 and 6.8 and have 2-3 cm of slip. Unlike other subduction zones, no long-duration events are observed, and cumulative surface deformation is consistently less than 0.6 cm. The many newly resolved smaller transient events in Cascadia show that slow slip events occur frequently with GPS best capturing only the largest events. It is likely that slow slip events occur more frequently at levels not detectable with GPS.

  2. The effect of compliant prisms on subduction zone earthquakes and tsunamis (United States)

    Lotto, Gabriel C.; Dunham, Eric M.; Jeppson, Tamara N.; Tobin, Harold J.


    Earthquakes generate tsunamis by coseismically deforming the seafloor, and that deformation is largely controlled by the shallow rupture process. Therefore, in order to better understand how earthquakes generate tsunamis, one must consider the material structure and frictional properties of the shallowest part of the subduction zone, where ruptures often encounter compliant sedimentary prisms. Compliant prisms have been associated with enhanced shallow slip, seafloor deformation, and tsunami heights, particularly in the context of tsunami earthquakes. To rigorously quantify the role compliant prisms play in generating tsunamis, we perform a series of numerical simulations that directly couple dynamic rupture on a dipping thrust fault to the elastodynamic response of the Earth and the acoustic response of the ocean. Gravity is included in our simulations in the context of a linearized Eulerian description of the ocean, which allows us to model tsunami generation and propagation, including dispersion and related nonhydrostatic effects. Our simulations span a three-dimensional parameter space of prism size, prism compliance, and sub-prism friction - specifically, the rate-and-state parameter b - a that determines velocity-weakening or velocity-strengthening behavior. We find that compliant prisms generally slow rupture velocity and, for larger prisms, generate tsunamis more efficiently than subduction zones without prisms. In most but not all cases, larger, more compliant prisms cause greater amounts of shallow slip and larger tsunamis. Furthermore, shallow friction is also quite important in determining overall slip; increasing sub-prism b - a enhances slip everywhere along the fault. Counterintuitively, we find that in simulations with large prisms and velocity-strengthening friction at the base of the prism, increasing prism compliance reduces rather than enhances shallow slip and tsunami wave height.

  3. Serpent: Magnetic signatures of serpentinized mantle and mesoscale oceanic variability along the Alaska/Aleutian subduction zone (United States)

    Purucker, Michael; Serpent Team


    NASA recently solicited suborbital missions as a part of its new Earth Venture program element. These missions are designed as complete PI-led investigations to conduct innovative, integrated, hypothesis or scientific question driven approaches to pressing questions in Earth System science. The missions should require sustained observations (5 years) and significant resources (team led by Raytheon's Photon Research Associates, propose to carry out a suborbital magnetic survey of the Aleutian subduction zone using NASA's Global Hawk to test the magnetic serpentinite hypothesis. This hypothesis states that dewatering of the descending slab within subduction zones produces an observable static magnetic signature through the formation of serpentinite in the overriding mantle. This signature may serve as a predictor of the location of large megathrust earthquakes and their associated tsunamis. Magnetic field measurements from 20 km (sub-orbital) altitude are essential to the testing of this hypothesis; analysis shows orbital and/or near-surface measurements are not likely to provide sufficient sensitivity and uniform calibration to confirm or reject the hypothesis, nor to consistently map its presence around the world. Static and dynamic magnetic signatures from the motion of seawater in the earth's magnetic field have the potential to confound an evaluation of the magnetic serpentinite hypothesis. Through a combination of modeling and exact repeat surveys over the subduction zone, spaced weeks to as much as six months apart, we can study the magnetic signature of the motion that characterizes the mesoscale oceanic circulation in order to develop the best possible corrections for lithospheric imaging, and elucidating the intrinsic and unique oceanic information content in the magnetic fields for the first time ever. The role of water in subduction zones, and in the overlying ocean, can be traced by sustained suborbital observations of the magnetic field. At critical

  4. Frictional behaviour of megathrust fault gouges under in-situ subduction zone conditions (Utrecht Studies in Earth Sciences 033)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    den Hartog, S.A.M.


    Subduction zone megathrusts generate the largest earthquakes and tsunamis known. Understanding and modelling “seismogenesis” on such faults requires an understanding of the frictional processes that control nucleation and propagation of seismic slip. However, experimental data on the frictional beha

  5. Interseismic coupling and seismic potential along the Central Andes subduction zone (United States)

    Chlieh, Mohamed; Perfettini, Hugo; Tavera, Hernando; Avouac, Jean-Philippe; Remy, Dominique; Nocquet, Jean-Mathieu; Rolandone, FréDéRique; Bondoux, Francis; Gabalda, Germinal; Bonvalot, Sylvain


    We use about two decades of geodetic measurements to characterize interseismic strain build up along the Central Andes subduction zone from Lima, Peru, to Antofagasta, Chile. These measurements are modeled assuming a 3-plate model (Nazca, Andean sliver and South America Craton) and spatially varying interseismic coupling (ISC) on the Nazca megathrust interface. We also determine slip models of the 1996 Mw = 7.7 Nazca, the 2001 Mw = 8.4 Arequipa, the 2007 Mw = 8.0 Pisco and the Mw = 7.7 Tocopilla earthquakes. We find that the data require a highly heterogeneous ISC pattern and that, overall, areas with large seismic slip coincide with areas which remain locked in the interseismic period (with high ISC). Offshore Lima where the ISC is high, a Mw˜8.6-8.8 earthquake occurred in 1746. This area ruptured again in a sequence of four Mw˜8.0 earthquakes in 1940, 1966, 1974 and 2007 but these events released only a small fraction of the elastic strain which has built up since 1746 so that enough elastic strain might be available there to generate a Mw > 8.5 earthquake. The region where the Nazca ridge subducts appears to be mostly creeping aseismically in the interseismic period (low ISC) and seems to act as a permanent barrier as no large earthquake ruptured through it in the last 500 years. In southern Peru, ISC is relatively high and the deficit of moment accumulated since the Mw˜8.8 earthquake of 1868 is equivalent to a magnitude Mw˜8.4 earthquake. Two asperities separated by a subtle aseismic creeping patch are revealed there. This aseismic patch may arrest some rupture as happened during the 2001 Arequipa earthquake, but the larger earthquakes of 1604 and 1868 were able to rupture through it. In northern Chile, ISC is very high and the rupture of the 2007 Tocopilla earthquake has released only 4% of the elastic strain that has accumulated since 1877. The deficit of moment which has accumulated there is equivalent to a magnitude Mw˜8.7 earthquake. This study thus

  6. The Seismogenic Coupling Zone in Central Chile - Amphibious Experiments SPOC (Subduction Processes Off Chile) (United States)

    Krawczyk, C. M.; Stiller, M.; Mechie, J.; Lueth, S.; Wigger, P.; Oncken, O.; Reichert, C.; Bataille, K.


    Nearly all interplate megathrust earthquakes occur in the seismogenic coupling zone between converging plates. In the area of the 1960 Chile earthquake (Mw = 9.5), we aim at a quantitative understanding of the seismicity and its relation to processes operating at depth and at the surface. As a first step, the offshore experiment SPOC with RV SONNE was combined with an onshore-offshore, active-passive seismic experiment between 36\\deg and 39\\deg S, crossing the rupture area of the 1960 Chile earthquake. The campaign comprised: (1) a 2-D wide-angle component recording chemical shots and airgun pulses along three consecutive E-W onshore profiles; (2) a seismic reflection experiment in the onshore-offshore transition; and (3) a 3-D component which recorded both active and passive sources. Offshore, the upper plate is split into many segments with pronounced forearc basins and a narrow accretionary wedge. A thick subduction channel seems to cause a non-frontally accreting subduction mode. Along the westernmost part of the southernmost E-W refraction seismic line, the profile spread of the active reflection seismic survey at 38\\deg 15' S was 54 km long, and also recorded the airgun shots of the marine profile with the first 18 km of its spread. Different mainly eastward dipping reflection bands are observed. Between 5-25 km depth the internal structure of the Palaeozoic accretionary wedge is described. Reflections between 16-42 km correlate with Wadati-Benioff seismicity and are interpreted as imaging the top of the downgoing plate. In the central part of the profile a break in reflectivity located below the axis of the coastal cordillera more or less coincides with the intersection between the oceanic plate and the continental Moho. This break in reflectivity also approximately correlates with the downdip end of the seismogenic plate interface as defined by geodetic modelling. These new seismic data provide the geometry of the subduction zone in the area, and hence

  7. Low-Stress Upper Plate Near Subduction Zones and Implications for Temporal Changes in Loading Forces (United States)

    Wang, K.; Hu, Y.; Yoshida, K.


    Subduction megathrusts are weak, often with effective friction coefficients as low as 0.03. Consequently, differential stress (S1 - S3) in the nearby upper plate is low. Compression due to plate coupling and tension due to gravity are in a subtle balance that can be tipped by small perturbations. For example, the 2011 M=9 Tohoku-oki earthquake, which has a rupture-zone-average stress drop of only a few MPa, switched offshore margin-normal stress from compression to tension and affected seismicity pattern and stress directions of various parts of the land area. The low differential stress is also reflected in spatial variations of stresses, such as with changes in topography. In the Andes, crustal earthquake focal mechanisms change from thrust-faulting in low-elevation areas to normal-faulting in high-elevation areas. Given the lack of evidence for a pervasively weak crust, the low differential stress may indicate that in general the crust near subduction zones is not critically stressed. If so, crustal earthquakes do not represent pervasive failure but only local failure due to stress, material, and fluid pressure heterogeneity. If distributed permanent deformation that creates topography is not the norm, it either happens in brief episodes or took place in the past. The outer wedge may enter a compressively or extensionally critical state due to coseismic strengthening or weakening, respectively, of the shallow megathrust in largest interplate earthquakes. Temporal changes in loading forces must occur also at much larger temporal and spatial scales in response to changes in the nature of the subducting plate and other tectonic conditions. We propose that submarine wedges and high topography in the upper plate attain their geometry in geologically brief episodes of high differential stress. They normally stay in a low-stress stable state, but their geometry often reflects high-stress episodes of critical states in the past. In other words, rocks have a sustained

  8. 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

  9. Formulation and Application of a Physically-Based Rupture Probability Model for Large Earthquakes on Subduction Zones: A Case Study of Earthquakes on Nazca Plate (United States)

    Mahdyiar, M.; Galgana, G.; Shen-Tu, B.; Klein, E.; Pontbriand, C. W.


    Most time dependent rupture probability (TDRP) models are basically designed for a single-mode rupture, i.e. a single characteristic earthquake on a fault. However, most subduction zones rupture in complex patterns that create overlapping earthquakes of different magnitudes. Additionally, the limited historic earthquake data does not provide sufficient information to estimate reliable mean recurrence intervals for earthquakes. This makes it difficult to identify a single characteristic earthquake for TDRP analysis. Physical models based on geodetic data have been successfully used to obtain information on the state of coupling and slip deficit rates for subduction zones. Coupling information provides valuable insight into the complexity of subduction zone rupture processes. In this study we present a TDRP model that is formulated based on subduction zone slip deficit rate distribution. A subduction zone is represented by an integrated network of cells. Each cell ruptures multiple times from numerous earthquakes that have overlapping rupture areas. The rate of rupture for each cell is calculated using a moment balance concept that is calibrated based on historic earthquake data. The information in conjunction with estimates of coseismic slip from past earthquakes is used to formulate time dependent rupture probability models for cells. Earthquakes on the subduction zone and their rupture probabilities are calculated by integrating different combinations of cells. The resulting rupture probability estimates are fully consistent with the state of coupling of the subduction zone and the regional and local earthquake history as the model takes into account the impact of all large (M>7.5) earthquakes on the subduction zone. The granular rupture model as developed in this study allows estimating rupture probabilities for large earthquakes other than just a single characteristic magnitude earthquake. This provides a general framework for formulating physically

  10. Subduction zone in Java Island using primary wave tomography from Jacobian relocation method based on ak135 velocity model (United States)

    Listyaningrum, Risca; Muhlis, Faid; Soesilo, Joko; Palupi, Indriati Retno


    The subduction zone occurs in Java Island analyzed based on data of tectonic earthquake. Earthquake data used is P wave velocity accessed from the ISC website from 1900-2013 years located along the Java Island. ISC is an organization that provides a variety of data tectonic earthquakes around the world, but the data used is the data before relocation. Relocation needs to reposition the hypocenter, so it can result a new position based on geological model. The relocation is using Jacobian's matrix and AK135 velocity model of P wave in each depth. The tomography process using FMTOMO software from result of new hypocenter represent the subsurface condition at a depth of 0-700 km. The result of hypocenter relocation is shifted horizontally to the southeast while vertically relatively shallow. The results obtained from the tomographic analysis of north-south section show the response of the velocity wave where high value shown in blue color as subduction zone and low value shown red color under volcanic as the partial melting. Tomographic 3D visualization displayed by Voxler software shows the different subduction in Java Island. Result of 3D analysis indicate that the subduction in West Java until Central Java relatively sloping than subduction in East Java.

  11. Regional variations in the nature of the incoming plate and its implication to the subduction zone (United States)

    Fujie, Gou; Kodaira, Shuichi; Obana, Koichiro; Kaiho, Yuka; Sato, Takeshi; Yamamoto, Yojiro; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Miura, Seiichi; Yamada, Tomoaki


    The megathrust earthquakes like the 2011 Tohoku earthquake are caused by the interaction between the overlying plate and the subducting oceanic plate, indicating that the properties of the subducing oceanic plate, such as their geometry, thermal state, lithology, and water content, have a potential to controll the megathrust earthquakes. Of these properties, water content (degree of hydration) is highly influential because water transported by the incoming plate lowers the temperature of the subduction zone, promotes forearc metamorphism. Moreover, the presence of water and hydrated materials like serpentine can affect interplate seismic coupling on the plate interface. Accordingly, the regional variations in the degree of the hydration within the incoming plate might have strong influences on the regional variations in the interplate earthquakes. To reveal the regional variations in the nature of the incoming oceanic plate and its evolution owing to bending-related faulting near the trench axis, we conducted extensive controlled-source seismic surveys in the trench-outer rise region off northeastern Japan arc. We confirmed the systematic changes in seismic velocities owing to the bending-realated faulting, suggesting the water content within the incoming oceanic plate increases toward the trench accompanied by the development of bending-related fractures. In addition, we found along-trench variations in the seismic structure of the incoming oceanic plate; lower seismic velocities and higher Vp/Vs ration around the ancient fracture zones associated with ridge propagation. This observation suggests that the ancient scar on the oceanic plate influences along-trench variations in the current water amount transported by the oceanic plate. If we extend the ancient fracture zone toward the forearc region, it corresponds to an area of weak interplate coupling, characterized by low Vp and high Vp/Vs ratio around the depth of the plate interface. Our observations suggest

  12. A Bayesian Approach for Apparent Inter-plate Coupling in the Central Andes Subduction Zone (United States)

    Ortega Culaciati, F. H.; Simons, M.; Genrich, J. F.; Galetzka, J.; Comte, D.; Glass, B.; Leiva, C.; Gonzalez, G.; Norabuena, E. O.


    We aim to characterize the extent of apparent plate coupling on the subduction zone megathrust with the eventual goal of understanding spatial variations of fault zone rheology, inferring relationships between apparent coupling and the rupture zone of big earthquakes, as well as the implications for earthquake and tsunami hazard. Unlike previous studies, we approach the problem from a Bayesian perspective, allowing us to completely characterize the model parameter space by searching a posteriori estimates of the range of allowable models instead of seeking a single optimum model. Two important features of the Bayesian approach are the possibility to easily implement any kind of physically plausible a priori information and to perform the inversion without regularization, other than that imposed by the way in which we parameterize the forward model. Adopting a simple kinematic back-slip model and a 3D geometry of the inter-plate contact zone, we can estimate the probability of apparent coupling (Pc) along the plate interface that is consistent with a priori information (e.g., approximate rake of back-slip) and available geodetic measurements. More generally, the Bayesian approach adopted here is applicable to any region and eventually would allow one to evaluate the spatial relationship between various inferred distributions of fault behavior (e.g., seismic rupture, postseismic creep, and apparent interseismic coupling) in a quantifiable manner. We apply this methodology to evaluate the state of apparent inter-seismic coupling in the Chilean-Peruvian subduction margin (12 S - 25 S). As observational constraints, we use previously published horizontal velocities from campaign GPS [Kendrick et al., 2001, 2006] as well as 3 component velocities from a recently established continuous GPS network in the region (CAnTO). We compare results from both joint and independent use of these data sets. We obtain patch like features for Pc with higher values located above 60 km

  13. Provenance mixing in an intraoceanic subduction zone: Tonga Trench-Louisville Ridge collision zone, southwest Pacific (United States)

    Cawood, Peter A.


    Dredging on the lower slope of the Tonga forearc, at the intersection between the Louisville Ridge hotspot chain and the trench, yielded both Late Tertiary volcaniclastic sediments and Late Cretaceous slightly tuffaceous pelagic sediments. Petrography and phase chemistry of volcanic debris of Tertiary age samples indicates derivation from a low-K tholeiitic arc: volcanic glass has a low K 2O content and shows an Fe enrichment trend; plagioclase grains are high in An and low in Or components; pyroxene grains (calcic clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene and pigeonite) have low TiO 2 contents and show an Fe enrichment trend; alkali feldspar and biotite are absent. The composition of the Tertiary samples is similar to other Tonga forearc sediments and is consistent with their derivation from the adjacent magmatic arc. The character and composition of volcanogenic debris in Cretaceous age samples indicates derivation from an intraplate alkali igneous source: plagioclase compositions show an increasing Or component with increasing Ab; alkali feldspar is a rare additional component of these samples; calcic clinopyroxene has high TiO 2 contents and is titanaugite; amphibole is also rich in TiO 2 and is kaersutite; minor volcanic glass is rich in alkalis. Samples were dredged from the seaward slope of a small terrace on the lower trench slope. A planar reflector, located 2.6 km below the terrace is marked by an abrupt jump in seismic velocity and is interpreted as the top of an essentially undamaged Late Cretaceous guyot of the Louisville chain that was subducted at the Tonga trench about 0.5 Ma. This guyot is the likely source of the Late Cretaceous, intraplate igneous detritus collected at the dredge site. Some dredge samples yielded a mixed volcanic arc/intraplate provenance and/or Late Tertiary/Late Cretaceous ages. This probably represents the mixing of the Cretaceous seamount and Tertiary magmatic arc sources during post-collision slumping of the wedge of lower slope material

  14. Constraints on Pore Pressure in Subduction Zones From Geotechnical Tests and Physical Properties Data (United States)

    Saffer, D. M.; McKiernan, A. W.


    At subduction zones, as incoming sediments are either offscraped or underthrust at the trench, elevated pore pressures result from the combination of rapid loading and low permeability. Pore pressure within underthrust sediment is especially important for the mechanical strength of the plate boundary fault system, because the main décollement localizes immediately above this sediment, and at many subduction zones steps downward into it. Because the underthrust sediment undergoes progressive uniaxial (vertical) strain, quantitative estimates of in situ pore pressure can be obtained by several methods, including: (1) maximum past burial stress ( Pv'}) from laboratory consolidation tests on core samples, and (2) observed compaction trends in boreholes. These methods allow a detailed view of pore pressure and its variability down-section, providing insight into dewatering processes and the evolution of shear strength relevant to early development of the décollement. Geotechnical tests also provide independent measurement of the coefficient of consolidation ( Cv), compressibility ( mv), and permeability (k) of sediment samples, which can be used to parameterize forward models of pressure generation. Here, I discuss pore pressure estimates derived from (1) consolidation tests on core samples, and (2) observed porosity profiles, along transects where ODP drilling has sampled sediment at the Nankai, N. Barbados, and Costa Rican subduction zones. At all three margins, the two independent methods yield consistent results, and indicate development of significant overpressures that increase systematically with distance from the trench. The values are in good agreement with direct measurements in 2 instrumented boreholes at Barbados, maximum and minimum bounds from the known loading rate, and results of 2-D numerical models of fluid flow. Inferred pressures document nearly undrained conditions at the base of the section (excess pressures equal to the load emplaced by

  15. Comparing slip behavior and hydromechanical properties of fault systems in the Nankai subduction zone (United States)

    Ikari, M.; Saffer, D. M.; Marone, C.; Knuth, M. W.


    At subduction zones, the plate boundary system includes several active faults, including the master décollement and splay faults that branch from it and cut the overriding margin wedge. The partitioning of strain accumulation and slip on these structures may provide important information about the mechanical behavior of the plate boundary, and for earthquake rupture and tsunamigenesis. We conducted laboratory experiments to measure the frictional and hydrologic properties of fault and wall rock from three distinct fault zone systems sampled during IODP Expedition 316 and ODP Leg 190 to the Nankai Trough offshore Japan. These fault zones are: (1) a major out-of-sequence thrust fault that terminates ~25 km landward of the trench and extends for >120 km along-strike, termed the “megasplay”; (2) the frontal thrust, comprising a region of diffuse thrust faulting near the trench; and (3) the décollement zone sampled 2 km from the trench. We observe predominantly low friction (µ ≤ 0.46), and low permeability (k ≤ 7.00x10-19 m2) consistent with the clay-rich composition of the samples. Samples from the décollement zone are both consistently weaker (µ ≤ 0.30) and less permeable than those from the megasplay area and the frontal thrust system. Fault zone material from the megasplay is both significantly weaker and less permeable than the surrounding wall rocks, a pattern not observed in the frontal thrust and décollement. All samples exhibit velocity-strengthening frictional behavior over most of the experimental conditions we explored, consistent with aseismic slip at shallow depths. Slip stability does not vary between fault zone and wall rock in any of the three settings. A previously observed minimum in the friction rate parameter a-b at sliding velocities of ~1-3 µm/s (~0.1-0.3 m/d) for samples from the megasplay fault zone is also observed for both the frontal thrust and décollement, and our data suggests that this phenomenon may be controlled

  16. Separation of supercritical slab-fluids to form aqueous fluid and melt components in subduction zone magmatism (United States)

    Kawamoto, Tatsuhiko; Kanzaki, Masami; Mibe, Kenji; Ono, Shigeaki


    Subduction-zone magmatism is triggered by the addition of H2O-rich slab-derived components: aqueous fluid, hydrous partial melts, or supercritical fluids from the subducting slab. Geochemical analyses of island arc basalts suggest two slab-derived signatures of a melt and a fluid. These two liquids unite to a supercritical fluid under pressure and temperature conditions beyond a critical endpoint. We ascertain critical endpoints between aqueous fluids and sediment or high-Mg andesite (HMA) melts located, respectively, at 83-km and 92-km depths by using an in situ observation technique. These depths are within the mantle wedge underlying volcanic fronts, which are formed 90 to 200 km above subducting slabs. These data suggest that sediment-derived supercritical fluids, which are fed to the mantle wedge from the subducting slab, react with mantle peridotite to form HMA supercritical fluids. Such HMA supercritical fluids separate into aqueous fluids and HMA melts at 92 km depth during ascent. The aqueous fluids are fluxed into the asthenospheric mantle to form arc basalts, which are locally associated with HMAs in hot subduction zones. The separated HMA melts retain their composition in limited equilibrium with the surrounding mantle. Alternatively, they equilibrate with the surrounding mantle and change the major element chemistry to basaltic composition. However, trace element signatures of sediment-derived supercritical fluids remain more in the melt-derived magma than in the fluid-induced magma, which inherits only fluid-mobile elements from the sediment-derived supercritical fluids. Separation of slab-derived supercritical fluids into melts and aqueous fluids can elucidate the two slab-derived components observed in subduction zone magma chemistry. PMID:23112158

  17. Separation of supercritical slab-fluids to form aqueous fluid and melt components in subduction zone magmatism. (United States)

    Kawamoto, Tatsuhiko; Kanzaki, Masami; Mibe, Kenji; Matsukage, Kyoko N; Ono, Shigeaki


    Subduction-zone magmatism is triggered by the addition of H(2)O-rich slab-derived components: aqueous fluid, hydrous partial melts, or supercritical fluids from the subducting slab. Geochemical analyses of island arc basalts suggest two slab-derived signatures of a melt and a fluid. These two liquids unite to a supercritical fluid under pressure and temperature conditions beyond a critical endpoint. We ascertain critical endpoints between aqueous fluids and sediment or high-Mg andesite (HMA) melts located, respectively, at 83-km and 92-km depths by using an in situ observation technique. These depths are within the mantle wedge underlying volcanic fronts, which are formed 90 to 200 km above subducting slabs. These data suggest that sediment-derived supercritical fluids, which are fed to the mantle wedge from the subducting slab, react with mantle peridotite to form HMA supercritical fluids. Such HMA supercritical fluids separate into aqueous fluids and HMA melts at 92 km depth during ascent. The aqueous fluids are fluxed into the asthenospheric mantle to form arc basalts, which are locally associated with HMAs in hot subduction zones. The separated HMA melts retain their composition in limited equilibrium with the surrounding mantle. Alternatively, they equilibrate with the surrounding mantle and change the major element chemistry to basaltic composition. However, trace element signatures of sediment-derived supercritical fluids remain more in the melt-derived magma than in the fluid-induced magma, which inherits only fluid-mobile elements from the sediment-derived supercritical fluids. Separation of slab-derived supercritical fluids into melts and aqueous fluids can elucidate the two slab-derived components observed in subduction zone magma chemistry.

  18. 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

  19. 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.


    /or addition of an isotopically-light slab-derived agent. Based on our findings and previous models of arc redox conditions, we propose a three-stage process to explain the Fe isotope composition of IAL: (i) prior melt depletion lowers Fe3+/ΣFe (Fe3+ over total Fe) in the residues, leaving refractory, δ57Fe-light and possibly reduced mantle wedge protoliths beneath arcs. The oxygen fugacity (fO2) of these refractory protoliths may be up to -2 log10 units reduced relative to the fayalite-magnetite-quartz synthetic oxygen buffer (ΔFMQ); (ii) oxidised, slab-derived fluids, Fe-poor but possibly rich in sulphate (i.e., S6+), trigger melting of depleted protoliths with minimal effect on δ57Fe. Melts derived from this fluid-modified wedge source have high Fe3+/ΣFe, oxidised by the reduction of S6+, but importantly retain the light δ57Fe from their mantle wedge source; (iii) after melt liberation from the mantle wedge, arc magmas initially become progressively oxidised and isotopically heavier in Fe through fractional crystallisation of ferromagnesian silicates. In summary, reduction consequent to Fe3+-rich melt extraction and subsequent oxidation, likely by S6+-rich fluids, results in a "redox yo-yo" in IAL sources. Fractional crystallisation will further oxidise and elevate δ57Fe in erupting IAL. Iron isotope signatures in IAL record a complex magmatic history with no simple relation between δ57Fe and calculated fO2 in erupted lavas. Records of higher fO2 in subduction zones compared to MORB sources are inherited from the subduction component.

  20. Fluid flow and water-rock interaction across the active Nankai Trough subduction zone forearc revealed by boron isotope geochemistry (United States)

    Hüpers, Andre; Kasemann, Simone A.; Kopf, Achim J.; Meixner, Anette; Toki, Tomohiro; Shinjo, Ryuichi; Wheat, C. Geoffrey; You, Chen-Feng


    Compositional changes, dehydration reactions and fluid flow in subducted sediments influence seismogenesis and arc magmatism in subduction zones. To identify fluid flow and water-rock interaction processes in the western Nankai Trough subduction zone (SW Japan) we analyzed boron concentration and boron isotope composition (δ11B) of pore fluids sampled across the subduction zone forearc from depths of up to ∼922 m below seafloor during four Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expeditions. The major structural regimes that were sampled by coring include: (1) sedimentary inputs, (2) the frontal thrust zone, (3) the megasplay fault zone, and (4) the forearc basin. From mass balance consideration we find that consumption of boron (B) by ash alteration and desorption of B from the solid phase, mediated by organic matter degradation, produces a net decrease in B concentrations with depth down to ∼120 μM and variable δ11B values in the range of ∼+20‰ and +49‰. Interstitial water in sediments on the incoming oceanic plate are influenced by more efficient mobilization of exchangeable B from the solid phase due to higher temperatures and alteration of the oceanic crust that acts as a sink for 10B. At the tip of the megasplay fault zone, elevated B concentration and B isotopic composition suggest that underthrust coarse-grained slope sediments provide a pathway for fluids out of the upper (balance considerations suggest a shallower fluid source depth compared to pore fluids sampled previously near the décollement zone along the central portion of the Nankai margin.

  1. Subduction Processes Off Chile (SPOC): Imaging of the seismogenic coupling zone (United States)

    Stiller, M.; Krawczyk, C. M.; Mechie, J.; Lüth, S.; Spoc Research Group


    The multi-disciplinary offshore project SPOC (Subduction Processes Off Chile), located between 36° and 39°S, was complemented by an onshore extension consisting of different active and passive seismic experiments, with the seismogenic coupling zone at 20-40 km depth as the major target (see Krawczyk et al., Lüth et al., this volume). Here, we report the results from a near-vertical seismic reflection land component which, in addition to the larger-scale 2D/3D wide-angle land experiments, was designed as a pilot reflection study to image the subduction zone between the South American and the Nazca Plate with high resolution. Three receiver spread set-ups (180 geophone groups along 18 km length each) recording ten explosive shots within the 54 km long active spread as well as two far-offset shots in the Pacific Ocean and two far-offset shots E of the spread, resulted in an 87 km long E-W trending 2D CDP reflection line. This line is complemented offshore by a wide-angle section constructed from the airgun pulses shot in prolongation of the land profile. The combined CDP-section images the offshore-onshore transition zone along ~38.2°S, extending from 18 km W of the coast to the Longitudinal Valley in the E, down to a depth of more than 60 km and crossing the rupture area of the Chile 1960 earthquake with magnitude 9.5. The depth-migrated seismic image shows several (at least three) strong ~20° E-dipping reflection bands at different crustal levels. The deepest of these bands coincides with the top of the downgoing plate as defined by the Wadati-Benioff seismicity and as confirmed by the velocity structure derived from the simultaneous wide-angle profiling. Two other horizontal reflection bands at ~8 and ~15 km depth can also be correlated with modelled moderate wide-angle velocity steps in the continental plate. These bands are interpreted to describe the internal structure of the Palaeozoic accretionary wedge in the region. In the central part of the profile, a

  2. 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

  3. Structure and Local Seismicity From the Incoming Nazca Plate in the Southern Chile Subduction Zone (United States)

    Scherwath, M.; Grevemeyer, I.; Flueh, E.; Contreras-Reyes, E.; Tilmann, F.; Kaul, N.; Weinrebe, W.


    Lithospheric deformation near the Chile Triple Junction is under investigation in the TIPTEQ (from The Incoming Plate to mega-Thrust EarthQuake processes) project. During R/V Sonne cruise SO181 (December 2004 to February 2005) various geophysical and geological data sets along several large transects across differently aged subducting oceanic lithosphere were acquired. TIPTEQ aims at studying the influence of the incoming plate on the seismogenic zone in the area of the 1960 great Chile earthquake (Mw=9.5), in particular the effects of the thermal regime (i.e., age).We compare structure and local seismicity on two of these transects, one where the incoming oceanic Nazca Plate was formed 6.5 Ma ago, the other 14.5 Ma in age at the trench, thus both of different thermal states. New magnetic data show that the older lithosphere was generated at a spreading rate of 40 mm/a compared to 25 mm/a for the younger one, yet the current convergence of both sections with the South American Plate is about the same (~80 mm/a). Bathymetric and vertical incidence seismic data show smooth and thicker sediments at the older transect whereas the rugged basement of the younger line is less covered, though the sedimentary thickness at the trench is ~2 km in both locations. The crust of the older transect is slightly thicker, shows a clear outer rise, and subducts at a slightly steeper angle than the younger line. On the latter, where the outer rise bulge has not yet been developed, the outer rise seismicity rate is higher and more concentrated in the crust. The local seismicity in the older region is less frequent and occurs predominantly in the upper mantle (see also Tilmann et al., this conference).

  4. The South Sandwich "Forgotten" Subduction Zone and Tsunami Hazard in the South Atlantic (United States)

    Okal, E. A.; Hartnady, C. J. H.; Synolakis, C. E.


    While no large interplate thrust earthquakes are know at the "forgotten" South Sandwich subduction zone, historical catalogues include a number of events with reported magnitudes 7 or more. A detailed seismological study of the largest event (27 June 1929; M (G&R) = 8.3) is presented. The earthquake relocates 80 km North of the Northwestern corner of the arc and its mechanism, inverted using the PDFM method, features normal faulting on a steeply dipping fault plane (phi, delta, lambda = 71, 70, 272 deg. respectively). The seismic moment of 1.7*10**28 dyn*cm supports Gutenberg and Richter's estimate, and is 28 times the largest shallow CMT in the region. This event is interpreted as representing a lateral tear in the South Atlantic plate, comparable to similar earthquakes in Samoa and Loyalty, deemed "STEP faults" by Gover and Wortel [2005]. Hydrodynamic simulations were performed using the MOST method [Titov and Synolakis, 1997]. Computed deep-water tsunami amplitudes of 30cm and 20cm were found off the coast of Brazil and along the Gulf of Guinea (Ivory Coast, Ghana) respectively. The 1929 moment was assigned to the geometries of other know earthquakes in the region, namely outer-rise normal faulting events at the center of the arc and its southern extremity, and an interplate thrust fault at the Southern corner, where the youngest lithosphere is subducted. Tsunami hydrodynamic simulation of these scenarios revealed strong focusing of tsunami wave energy by the SAR, the SWIOR and the Agulhas Rise, in Ghana, Southern Mozambique and certain parts of the coast of South Africa. This study documents the potential tsunami hazard to South Atlantic shorelines from earthquakes in this region, principally normal faulting events.

  5. Role of Fault Dilatancy in Subduction Zone Aseismic Deformation Transients and Thrust Earthquakes (United States)

    Liu, Y.; Rubin, A. M.; Rice, J. R.; Segall, P.


    -dipping subduction fault model using recently reported hydrothermal gabbro gouge friction data [He et al., Tectonophys., 2006, 2007]. The along-dip elevated p is constrained by seismological observations and by thermal and petrological models for the northern Cascadia margin (p near-lithostatic around stability transition and lower in the seismogenic zone). Similarly, aseismic transients can exist for a much broader range of W / h★, making it plausible to produce transients with total slips of a few centimeters and recurrence periods of a couple years while using lab values for L of 10s of microns in the low σ× zone. Inclusion of dilatancy also reduces the speed and spatial extent of coseismic rupture. For a fixed T = 1 and ɛ / β = 0.2 MPa, rupture stops ~ 50 km up-dip of the lower stability transition and causes nearly no coseismic slip at the trench. The depth of complete interseismic locking also varies with parameters E and T in the seismogenic zone. This suggests that a subduction fault extending well down-dip of the limit of seismogenesis could be frictionally unstable (a-b<0) but undergo no seismic slip due to effective dilatancy stabilization. This has implications for the relative depths of slow slip events and thrust earthquakes and for the total slip budget in an earthquake cycle.

  6. Observations of large earthquakes in the Mexican subduction zone over 110 years (United States)

    Hjörleifsdóttir, Vala; Krishna Singh, Shri; Martínez-Peláez, Liliana; Garza-Girón, Ricardo; Lund, Björn; Ji, Chen


    Fault slip during an earthquake is observed to be highly heterogeneous, with areas of large slip interspersed with areas of smaller or even no slip. The cause of the heterogeneity is debated. One hypothesis is that the frictional properties on the fault are heterogeneous. The parts of the rupture surface that have large slip during earthquakes are coupled more strongly, whereas the areas in between and around creep continuously or episodically. The continuously or episodically creeping areas can partly release strain energy through aseismic slip during the interseismic period, resulting in relatively lower prestress than on the coupled areas. This would lead to subsequent earthquakes having large slip in the same place, or persistent asperities. A second hypothesis is that in the absence of creeping sections, the prestress is governed mainly by the accumulative stress change associated with previous earthquakes. Assuming homogeneous frictional properties on the fault, a larger prestress results in larger slip, i.e. the next earthquake may have large slip where there was little or no slip in the previous earthquake, which translates to non-persistent asperities. The study of earthquake cycles are hampered by short time period for which high quality, broadband seismological and accelerographic records, needed for detailed studies of slip distributions, are available. The earthquake cycle in the Mexican subduction zone is relatively short, with about 30 years between large events in many places. We are therefore entering a period for which we have good records for two subsequent events occurring in the same segment of the subduction zone. In this study we compare seismograms recorded either at the Wiechert seismograph or on a modern broadband seismometer located in Uppsala, Sweden for subsequent earthquakes in the Mexican subduction zone rupturing the same patch. The Wiechert seismograph is unique in the sense that it recorded continuously for more than 80 years

  7. Tomographic Results From the Nicaragua Subduction Zone: Evidence for a Slab Tear (United States)

    Dinc, A. N.; Thorwart, M.; Rabbel, W.; Flueh, E.


    The Nicaragua convergent margin shows different structures than Costa Rica such as a steeper slab, northward shift in the volcanic front and different geochemical traces in the volcanoes. It is also known as the wettest subduction zone in the world. To have a better understanding of the geometry of the slab and structural changes in the incoming and the overriding plate, local earthquake tomography was performed using 860 local earthquakes recorded by an amphibious network. After iterative simultenous inversion of Vp, Vp/Vs and hypocenters, the cold and dense slab is identified as a high velocity dipping structure anomaly with an angle of approx. 70 deg between depth of 20 - 150 km. Upper parts (0 - 20 km) of the incoming plate (between the trench and coast) and margin wedge show strong low velocity anomalies, which can be explained by eroded thick sediments and serpentinized oceanic crust and mantle due to high amount of fluid infiltration down to several km depths along bend-faults. The slowest mantle velocities are found directly beneath the volcanoes indicating a zone of partial melting extending to 100 - 150 km depth. The most striking observation is the alignment of hypocenters. The Wadati-Benioff zone dips with an angle of approx. 35 deg down to 70 km depth and steepens abruptly to approx. 70 deg below 70 km. An abrupt shift of seismicity towards the trench is observed near the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua possibly indicating a slab break. This abrupt change is also recognizable in the velocity anomalies laterally correlated with the jump of the volcanic chain towards the trench between Maderas volcano in Nicaragua and Orosi volcano in Costa Rica.

  8. Subduction zone locking, strain partitioning, intraplate deformation and their implications to Seismic Hazards in South America (United States)

    Galgana, G. A.; Mahdyiar, M.; Shen-Tu, B.; Pontbriand, C. W.; Klein, E.; Wang, F.; Shabestari, K.; Yang, W.


    We analyze active crustal deformation in South America (SA) using published GPS observations and historic seismicity along the Nazca Trench and the active Ecuador-Colombia-Venezuela Plate boundary Zone. GPS-constrained kinematisc models that incorporate block and continuum techniques are used to assess patterns of regional tectonic deformation and its implications to seismic potential. We determine interplate coupling distributions, fault slip-rates, and intraplate crustal strain rates in combination with historic earthquakes within 40 seismic zones crust to provide moment rate constraints. Along the Nazca subduction zone, we resolve a series of highly coupled patches, interpreted as high-friction producing "asperities" beneath the coasts of Ecuador, Peru and Chile. These include areas responsible for the 2010 Mw 8.8 Maule Earthquake and the 2014 Mw 8.2 Iquique Earthquake. Predicted tectonic block motions and fault slip rates reveal that the northern part of South America deforms rapidly, with crustal fault slip rates as much as ~20 mm/a. Fault slip and locking patterns reveal that the Oca Ancón-Pilar-Boconó fault system plays a key role in absorbing most of the complex eastward and southward convergence patterns in northeastern Colombia and Venezuela, while the near-parallel system of faults in eastern Colombia and Ecuador absorb part of the transpressional motion due to the ~55 mm/a Nazca-SA plate convergence. These kinematic models, in combination with historic seismicity rates, provide moment deficit rates that reveal regions with high seismic potential, such as coastal Ecuador, Bucaramanga, Arica and Antofagasta. We eventually use the combined information from moment rates and fault coupling patterns to further constrain stochastic seismic hazard models of the region by implementing realistic trench rupture scenarios (see Mahdyiar et al., this volume).

  9. Upper plate deformation and seismic barrier in front of Nazca subduction zone : the Chololo Fault System and active tectonics along the Coastal Cordillera, southern Peru


    Audin, Laurence; Lacan, P.; Tavera, H.; Bondoux, Francis


    The South America plate boundary is one of the most active subduction zone. The recent Mw=8.4 Arequipa 2001 earthquake ruptured the subduction plane toward the south over 400 km and stopped abruptly on the Ilo Peninsula. In this exact region, the subduction seismic crisis induced the reactivation of continental fault systems in the coastal area. We studied the main reactivated fault system that trends perpendicular to the trench by detailed mapping of fault related-geomorphic features. Also, ...

  10. Constraints from fluid inclusions in mantle minerals on the composition of subduction-zone fluids (United States)

    Schiano, P.; Provost, A.; Cluzel, N.


    -carbonates. Step-heating experiments were performed using a heating stage placed under the Raman microscope to estimate the initial composition of the trapped fluid. At 930°C, the final homogenization temperature of the associated melt inclusions, the fluid inclusions are homogeneous and composed of H2O, H2S and CO2. Salinities in the H2O-NaCl system calculated using freezing point depression relationship indicate that total salt of less than 10 wt% NaCl-equivalent is dissolved in the aqueous fluids. Trace-element data for Cl-bearing H2O-rich fluid inclusions are obtained using LA-ICPMS at Clermont-Ferrand. Comparison with compositions of the associated silicate melt inclusions allows determination of fluid/melt partition coefficients Dfluid/melt for the slab-released phases. The resultant coefficients are compared with experimentally determined Dfluid/melt, discussed in terms of recycling rates of key elements in subduction zones, and considered for the generation of trace element patterns typical for calc-alkaline magmas. [1] Schiano et al. (1995) Nature 377, 595-600 ; [2] Eiler et al. (2007) G3 8(9) doi :10.1029/2006GC001503

  11. 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.

  12. Plate kinematics, slab shape and back-arc stress: A comparison between laboratory models and current subduction zones (United States)

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


    A combination of statistical studies on present-day subduction zones and three-dimensional (3D) laboratory models is performed with the aim to clarify the way that plate kinematics control the geometry of the slab and the overriding plate deformation in subduction zones. In 3D laboratory models, the analogue of a two layer linearly viscous lithosphere-upper mantle system is achieved by means of silicon putty glucose syrup tank experiment. The subducting and overriding plate velocities are systematically changed by exploring the variability field of natural plate kinematics. Both statistical and modelling approaches recognize the importance of overriding plate motion on subduction process behavior: (1) trenches migrate at a rate close to the overriding plate motion, but always move slower than the overriding plates. The mechanism at work is a direct consequence of "slab anchoring" opposed by both lithosphere and mantle viscous resistance and is responsible for overriding plate deformation and slab geometry variability. (2) An overriding plate shortens when the overriding plate moves toward the trench and conditions that are favourable for overriding plate extension are created when the overriding plate moves away from the trench. (3) Shallow and steep dips are found if the overriding plate moves toward and away from the trench, respectively.

  13. Boron desorption and fractionation in Subduction Zone Fore Arcs: Implications for the sources and transport of deep fluids (United States)

    Saffer, Demian M.; Kopf, Achim J.


    At many subduction zones, pore water geochemical anomalies at seafloor seeps and in shallow boreholes indicate fluid flow and chemical transport from depths of several kilometers. Identifying the source regions for these fluids is essential toward quantifying flow pathways and volatile fluxes through fore arcs, and in understanding their connection to the loci of excess pore pressure at depth. Here we develop a model to track the coupled effects of boron desorption, smectite dehydration, and progressive consolidation within sediment at the top of the subducting slab, where such deep fluid signals likely originate. Our analysis demonstrates that the relative timing of heating and consolidation is a dominant control on pore water composition. For cold slabs, pore water freshening is maximized because dehydration releases bound water into low porosity sediment, whereas boron concentrations and isotopic signatures are modest because desorption is strongly sensitive to temperature and is only partially complete. For warmer slabs, freshening is smaller, because dehydration occurs earlier and into larger porosities, but the boron signatures are larger. The former scenario is typical of nonaccretionary margins where insulating sediment on the subducting plate is commonly thin. This result provides a quantitative explanation for the global observation that signatures of deeply sourced fluids are generally strongest at nonaccretionary margins. Application of our multitracer approach to the Costa Rica, N. Japan, N. Barbados, and Mediterranean Ridge subduction zones illustrates that desorption and dehydration are viable explanations for observed geochemical signals, and suggest updip fluid migration from these source regions over tens of km.

  14. Upper plate deformation and seismic barrier in front of Nazca subduction zone: The Chololo Fault System and active tectonics along the Coastal Cordillera, southern Peru (United States)

    Audin, Laurence; Lacan, Pierre; Tavera, Hernando; Bondoux, Francis


    The South America plate boundary is one of the most active subduction zone. The recent Mw = 8.4 Arequipa 2001 earthquake ruptured the subduction plane toward the south over 400 km and stopped abruptly on the Ilo Peninsula. In this exact region, the subduction seismic crisis induced the reactivation of continental fault systems in the coastal area. We studied the main reactivated fault system that trends perpendicular to the trench by detailed mapping of fault related-geomorphic features. Also, at a longer time scale, a recurrent Quaternary transtensive tectonic activity of the CFS is expressed by offset river gullies and alluvial fans. The presence of such extensional fault systems trending orthogonal to the trench along the Coastal Cordillera in southern Peru is interpreted to reflect a strong coupling between the two plates. In this particular case, stress transfer to the upper plate, at least along the coastal fringe, appears to have induced crustal seismic events that were initiated mainly during and after the 2001 earthquake. The seafloor roughness of the subducting plate is usually thought to be a cause of segmentation along subduction zones. However, after comparing and discussing the role of inherited structures within the upper plate to the subduction zone segmentation in southern Peru, we suggest that the continental structure itself may exert some feedback control on the segmentation of the subduction zone and thus participate to define the rupture pattern of major subduction earthquakes along the southern Peru continental margin.

  15. A Web-Based Environment for Modeling Deformation at Subduction Zones (United States)

    Foutz, L. J.; Williams, C. A.; McCaffrey, R.; Spooner, D. L.


    Subduction zones compose a large percentage of the plate boundaries on earth, and are capable of producing the largest and most devastating earthquakes. One of the critical problems for these regions is the determination of the portions of the plate boundary along which stress is accumulating and earthquakes are likely to initiate. Surface geodetic data, in conjunction with a suitable forward model, can help to constrain these stress accumulation patterns. We have developed a web-based tool that attempts to provide a complete environment for such problems. Our modeling environment allows users to select geodetic data for a particular region from our database, filtered by user-specified criteria. It is also possible to contribute data to the database. Two types of forward models are available: an enhanced elastic half-space dislocation (EHSD) model or a finite elastic plate (FP) model, both with user-specified elastic properties. After selecting a fault geometry, an appropriate finite element mesh is used to generate Green's functions for use in an inversion. Parameters controlling an inversion are then specified, including the option to determine the rotation poles of blocks that rotate with respect to the overriding plate. Once the inversion has been performed, we provide visualization facilities for viewing the results, or the user can simply download the desired results. We provide an overview of the modeling environment and demonstrate its use.

  16. Understanding Stress and Strain Accumulation at Subduction Zones Using a Web-Based Modeling Environment (United States)

    Foutz, L. J.; Williams, C. A.; McCaffrey, R.; Spooner, D. L.


    Surface geodetic data can provide significant insights into the patterns of stress and strain accumulation at subduction zones. There are presently two primary limitations on studies utilizing this data. The first is the relative difficulty of obtaining suitable data to be used in an investigation. The second is the limited number of forward models available for evaluating the data. We attempt to address both of these limitations by providing a web-based modeling environment that provides a database of available surface geodetic data as well as a selection of at least two forward models. Our modeling environment allows users to select geodetic data for a particular region from our database, filtered by user-specified criteria. It is also possible to contribute data to the database. Two types of forward models are available: an enhanced elastic half-space dislocation (EHSD) model or a finite elastic plate (FP) model, both with user-specified elastic properties. After selecting a fault geometry, an appropriate finite element mesh is used to generate Green's functions for use in an inversion. Parameters controlling an inversion are then specified, including the option to determine the rotation poles of blocks that rotate with respect to the overriding plate. Once the inversion has been performed, we provide visualization facilities for viewing the results, or the user can simply download the desired results. We provide an overview of the modeling environment and provide a demonstration using Cascadia as an example.

  17. Incremental Slip Along Dilatant Faults in Ancient Fluid-Rich Subduction Zones (United States)

    Remitti, F.; Fagereng, A.; Sibson, R. H.; Vannucchi, P.; Bettelli, G.


    At a variety of depths in subduction zones a proportion of relative plate motion is accommodated by episodic tremor and slow slip events. These events are accompanied by distinct low frequency seismic signals and/or high levels of micro-seismic activity. Based on theoretical studies and seismic attributes of the source region, fluids overpressured to near-lithostatic values seem likely to be involved in the mechanism behind episodic tremor. Ancient crust surrounding paleoseismic zones, especially if rich in overpressured fluids, should contain widespread relics of this kind of activity. Here we present microstructural observations from two ancient subduction thrust analogues where brittle deformation was accommodated by repeating micro-movements along dilatant faults. The first example is a mélange formed during Triassic-Jurassic tectonic accretion of ocean floor sediments now exposed in the Chrystalls Beach Complex, South Island, NZ. The mélange comprises competent sandstone and chert lenses set in a cleaved mudstone matrix deformed in a continuous-discontinuous style under subgreenschist conditions. Deformation is characterized by a pervasive anastomosing fault-fracture mesh of multiple shearing surfaces, subparallel to cleavage and coated with incrementally developed quartz-calcite slickenfibres. Microstructural observations reveal that slickenfibres grew by 'crack-seal' increments of 10-100 μm. Incremental slip transfer was constant over a single slickenfiber and accommodated by opening of extension fractures that link en echelon slip surfaces. The characteristic spacing of inclusion bands indicates relatively constant growth increments, possibly occurring into regular size cracks. Increments of non-constant growth and, instead, fractures significantly wider than 100 μm, are represented by local veins of euhedral quartz and carbonate. Similar structures are present in the shallow part of an ancient plate interface, now exposed in the Northern Apennines of

  18. Automatic picking and earthquake relocation for the Antilles subduction zone (1972-2013) (United States)

    Massin, F.; Amorèse, D.; Bengoubou-Valerius, M.; Bernard, M.


    Locations for earthquake recorded in the Antilles subduction zone are processed separately by regional observatories and ISC. There is no earthquake location catalog available compiling all available first arrival data. We aim to produce a best complete earthquake catalog by merging all available first arrival data for better constrains on earthquake locations. ISC provides the first arrival data of 29243 earthquakes (magnitude range from 1.4 to 6.4) recorded by PRSN (Porto Rico), SRC (British West Indies), and form FUNVISIS (Venezuela). IPGP provided the first arrival data of 68718 earthquakes (magnitude from 0.1 to 7.5) recorded by OVSG (Guadeloupe, 53226 earthquakes since 1981) and by OVSM (Martinique, 29931 earthquakes since 1972). IPGP also provides the accelerometer waveform data of the GIS-RAP network in the Antilles. The final catalog contains 84979 earthquakes between 1972 and 2013, 24528 of which we compiled additional data. We achieved automatic picking using the Component Energy Correlation Method. The CECM provide high precision phase detection, a realistic estimation of picking error and realistic weights that can be used with manual pick weights. The CECM add an average of 3 P-waves and 2 S-waves arrivals to 3846 earthquakes recoded by the GIS-RAP network since 2002. Cluster analysis, earthquake local tomography and relative locations are to be applied in order to image active faulting and migration of seismicity. This will help to understand seismic coupling in the seismogenic zone as well as triggering mechanisms of intermediate depth seismicity like fluid migration beneath the volcanic arc.

  19. Tidal sensitivity of tectonic tremors in Nankai and Cascadia subduction zones (United States)

    Yabe, Suguru; Tanaka, Yoshiyuki; Houston, Heidi; Ide, Satoshi


    Tectonic tremors in subduction zones, which result from slip at the deep plate interface, are known to exhibit a 12.4 h periodicity in their activity, due to tidal influence. Because tidal stress can be calculated quantitatively, the response of the plate interface can yield quantitative information about its frictional property. The relation between tremor rate and tidal stress is investigated, and an exponential relation is widely confirmed, as observed by previous studies. This study particularly focuses on spatial variations of tidal sensitivity, which are compared with spatial variations of tremor duration and amplitude. The sensitivity is quantitatively defined by the exponent of the exponential relation, which can be related to the parameter aσ, or (a - b)σ in the rate-and-state friction law, where σ is effective normal stress. On the shallower tremor zone, short-duration and large-amplitude tremors occur followed by more sensitive tremors. Meanwhile, deeper tremors with longer duration and smaller amplitude show lower sensitivity, although along-strike variation also exists. Typical and maximum sensitivities estimated here imply values for aσ or (a - b)σ of about 3 and 1 kPa, respectively. These correlations are consistent with a model in which the plate interface consists of a velocity-strengthening background with embedded velocity-weakening regions. The frictional heterogeneity may be statistically characterized by cluster size and density of the velocity-weakening regions and controls the overall slip behavior. The observed depth dependency of tremor duration, amplitude, and sensitivity implies that frictional heterogeneity is controlled by physical quantities varying with depth, such as temperature or fluid amount.

  20. Relation of ongoing deformation rates to the subduction zone process in southern Alaska (United States)

    Sauber, Jeanne; McClusky, Simon; King, Robert


    The rate and orientation of ongoing strain associated with subduction of the Pacific plate and the accretion of the Yakutat terrane to southern Alaska has been estimated at 13 sites from Global Positioning System measurements made in June 1993 and 1995. Along the Gulf of Alaska coast near Cape Yakataga, the average rate of deformation, relative to Fairbanks, was ≈38 mm/yr at N32°W. Further inland, above the region where the dip of the downgoing Pacific plate changes from about 10° to >30°, the deformation rate was ≈12mm/yr at N26°W. In the Sourdough/Paxson area, the deformation rate drops to 2-5 mm/yr and suggests a low short-term deformation rate across the Denali fault. Elastic straining of the overriding plate due to back-slip on a main thrust zone with an average dip of about 10° can account for the overall rate and distribution of short-term compressional strain across south central Alaska. Above the transitional region between unstable and stable sliding we suggest that strain associated with ≈15 mm/yr of right-lateral strike-slip occurs also. If the strain accumulated since the two 1899 earthquakes (both MW=8.1) from the offshore Pamplona fault zone to south of the Border Ranges fault (down-dip width ≈100 km) was seismically released on a single fault it would correspond to a M=8.1 earthquake.

  1. Slow Slip History for the MEXICO Subduction Zone: 2005 Through 2011 (United States)

    Graham, Shannon; DeMets, Charles; Cabral-Cano, Enrique; Kostoglodov, Vladimir; Rousset, Baptiste; Walpersdorf, Andrea; Cotte, Nathalie; Lasserre, Cécile; McCaffrey, Robert; Salazar-Tlaczani, Luis


    To further our understanding of the seismically hazardous Mexico subduction zone, we estimate the first time-dependent slip distributions and Coulomb failure stress changes for the six major slow slip events (SSEs) that occurred below Mexico between late 2005 and mid-2011. Slip dist ributions are the first to be estimated from all continuous GPS data in central and southern Mexico, which better resolves slow slip in space and time than was previously possible in this region. Below Oaxaca, slip during previously un-modeled SSEs in 2008/9 and 2010/11 extended farther to the west than previous SSEs. This constitutes the first evidence that slow slip accounts for deep slip within a previously noted gap between the Oaxaca and Guerrero SSE source regions. The slip that we estimate for the two SSEs that originated below Guerrero between 2005 and 2011 agrees with slip estimated in previous, mostly static-offset SSE modeling studies; however, we show that both SSEs migrated eastward toward the Oaxaca SSE source region. In accord with previous work, we find that slow slip below Guerrero intrudes up-dip into the potentially seismogenic region, presumably accounting for some of the missing slip within the well-described Guerrero seismic gap. In contrast, slow slip below Oaxaca between 2005 and 2011 occurred mostly down-dip from the seismogenic regions defined by the rupture zones of large thrust earthquakes in 1968 and 1978 and released all of the slip deficit that accumulated in the down-dip region during this period.

  2. Slab stress field in the Hellenic subduction zone as inferred from intermediate depth earthquakes (United States)

    Rontogianni, S.; Konstantinou, K.; Melis, N. S.; Evangelidis, C.


    In this study we investigate the stress regime of the subducting slab beneath the Hellenic Arc aiming to answer two fundamental questions; a) How does the slab deformation vary horizontally and vertically along this large curvature arc? b) Which are the mechanisms inferred from global observations that can explain this deformation and have not been identified previously due to dataset limitations. The data are selected from various seismic networks, global and local seismic catalogues and the newly established Hellenic broadband seismic network ( An updated view of the geometry of the Hellenic Wadati-Benioff zone (WBZ) is gained by the spatial distribution of intermediate depth earthquakes (40 km≤ depth ≤ 180km). Stress tensor inversion is performed on 100 fault plane solutions of intermediate depth earthquakes after quality control has been applied. The stress field parameters are determined along the arc for several depth ranges. The slab is divided into four subsets, each containing enough focal mechanisms for stress inversion to be performed successfully. The Peloponnese segment shows for depths 50-80 km σ1 almost normal to the slab and σ3 steeper than the slab dip that might indicate suction force-the component of the slab pull force that is unbalanced by the subduction resistance. The Kithira-Western Crete segment shows for depths 50-100 km a biaxial deviatoric compression or a state of confined compression with the σ1 along strike. The stress regime in this section of the slab might be related to its complex shape and geometry (width, curvature) reflecting changes in the slab dip between the Peloponnese-Kithira strait and the Crete region as has also been identified by teleseimic receiver functions. The third segment below Crete shows σ1 along strike and σ3 almost subvertical to slab direction. The stress field for the forth segment below Karpathos and Rhodos has been divided into two depth ranges. The shallow subset (50

  3. Frequency-dependent moment release of very low frequency earthquakes in the Cascadia subduction zone (United States)

    Takeo, A.; Houston, H.


    Episodic tremor and slip (ETS) has been observed in Cascadia subduction zone at two different time scales: tremor at a high-frequency range of 2-8 Hz and slow slip events at a geodetic time-scale of days-months. The intermediate time scale is needed to understand the source spectrum of slow earthquakes. Ghosh et al. (2014, IRIS abs) recently reported the presence of very low frequency earthquakes (VLFEs) in Cascadia. In southwest Japan, VLFEs are usually observed at a period range around 20-50 s, and coincide with tremors (e.g., Ito et al. 2007). In this study, we analyzed VLFEs in and around the Olympic Peninsula to confirm their presence and estimate their moment release. We first detected VLFE events by using broadband seismograms with a band-pass filter of 20-50 s. The preliminary result shows that there are at least 16 VLFE events with moment magnitudes of 3.2-3.7 during the M6.8 2010 ETS. The focal mechanisms are consistent with the thrust earthquakes at the subducting plate interface. To detect signals of VLFEs below noise level, we further stacked long-period waveforms at the peak timings of tremor amplitudes for tremors within a 10-15 km radius by using tremor catalogs in 2006-2010, and estimated the focal mechanisms for each tremor source region as done in southwest Japan (Takeo et al. 2010 GRL). As a result, VLFEs could be detected for almost the entire tremor source region at a period range of 20-50 s with average moment magnitudes in each 5-min tremor window of 2.4-2.8. Although the region is limited, we could also detect VLFEs at a period range of 50-100 s with average moment magnitudes of 3.0-3.2. The moment release at 50-100 s is 4-8 times larger than that at 20-50 s, roughly consistent with an omega-squared spectral model. Further study including tremor, slow slip events and characteristic activities, such as rapid tremor reversal and tremor streaks, will reveal the source spectrum of slow earthquakes in a broader time scale from 0.1 s to days.

  4. IODP Expedition 322 Drills Two Sites to Document Inputs to The Nankai Trough Subduction Zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu’suke Kubo


    Full Text Available Ocean Drilling Program were to sample and log the incoming sedimentary strata and uppermost igneous basement of the Shikoku Basin, seaward of the Nankai Trough (southwestern Japan. Characterization of these subduction inputs is one piece of the overall science plan for the Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment. Before we can assess how various material properties evolve down the dip of the plate interface, and potentially change the fault’s behavior from stable sliding to seismogenic slip, we must determine the initial pre-subduction conditions. Two sites were drilled seaward of the trench to demonstrate how facies characterand sedimentation rates responded to bathymetric architecture. Site C0011 is located on the northwest flank of a prominent basement high (Kashinosaki Knoll, and Site C0012 is located near the crest of the seamount. Even though significant gaps remain in the coring record, and attempts to recover wireline logs at Site C0012 failed, correlations can be made between stratigraphic units at the two sites.Sedimentation rates slowed down throughout the condensed section above the basement high, but the seafloor relief was never high enough during the basin’s evolution to prevent the accumulation of sandy turbidites near the crest of the seamount. We discovered a new stratigraphic unit, the middle Shikoku Basin facies, which is typified by late Miocene volcaniclastic turbidites. The sediment-basalt contact was recovered intact at Site C0012, giving a minimumbasement age of 18.9 Ma. Samples of interstitial water show a familiar freshening trend with depth at Site C0011, but chlorinity values at Site C0012 increase above the values for seawater toward the basement contact. The geochemical trends at Site C0012 are probably a response to hydration reactions in the volcaniclastic sediment and diffusional exchange with seawater-like fluid in the upper igneous basement. These data are important because they finallyestablish an

  5. Recent gravity monitoring of ETS transient deformation in the northern Cascadia Subduction Zone (United States)

    Henton, J. A.; Dragert, H.; Lambert, A.; Nykolaishen, L.; Liard, J.; Courtier, N.


    High-precision gravity observations are sensitive to vertical motion of the observation site as well as mass redistribution and can be used to investigate the physical processes involved in Episodic Tremor and Slip (ETS). For the 2011 ETS event in the northern portion of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, absolute gravity (AG) observations and continuous gravity monitoring with an earth tide (ET) gravimeter were carried out at the Pacific Geoscience Centre (PGC) in order to augment the GPS and borehole strainmeter (BSM) data used in constraining models of slip on the subduction plate interface. Unfortunately, the surface displacements and strains for the August 2011 slow slip event were significantly less for southern Vancouver Island than those recorded for previous events making this particular ETS episode less than ideal for the search for attendant gravity signals. Nonetheless, preliminary AG results for the 2011 ETS event show a subtle (≤ 1μGal) negative transient gravity signal but its origin is not clear. This residual gravity change, after accounting for the gravity offset predicted from the observed height change, may reflect a migration of fluids and/or a change in mean density. No significant vertical change is observed in the GPS data. Based on previous events, this is expected since PGC lies close to the hinge-line for vertical deformation for regional ETS. We attempt to improve the resolution of the GPS results by including results from NRCan's PPP software in our analyses. Data from the 3 co-located BSM's operated by the Plate Boundary Observatory show discrepancies that indicate interfering signals of likely non-tectonic origin. Preliminary data from the ET gravimeter appear to be dominated by non-linear instrumental drift that is often observed at the outset of continuous operation at a new location. To improve the resolution of the gravity signal, future monitoring of ETS events will be supplemented at PGC by continuous gravity measurements with a

  6. Is localised dehydration and vein generation the tremor-generating mechanism in subduction zones? (United States)

    Fagereng, Ake; Meneghini, Francesca; Diener, Johann; Harris, Chris


    The phenomena of tectonic, non-volcanic, tremor was first discovered at the down-dip end of the seismogenic zone in Japan early this millennium. Now this low amplitude, low frequency, noise-like seismic signal has been observed at and/or below the deep limit of interseismic coupling along most well-instrumented subduction thrust interfaces. Data and models from these examples suggest a link between tremor and areas of elevated fluid pressure, or at least fluid presence. Tremor locations appear to also correlate with margin-specific locations of metamorphic fluid release, determined by composition and thermal structure. We therefore hypothesise that: (i) tremor on the deep subduction thrust interface is related to localised fluid release; and (ii) accretionary complex rocks exhumed from appropriate pressure - temperature conditions should include a record of this process, and allow a test for the hypothesis. Hydrothermal veins are a record of mineral precipitation at non-equilibrium conditions, commonly caused by fracture, fluid influx, and precipitation of dissolved minerals from this fluid. Quartz veins are ubiquitous in several accretionary complexes, including the Chrystalls Beach Complex, New Zealand, and the Kuiseb Schist of the Namibian Damara Belt. In both locations, representing temperatures of deformation of < 300 and < 600 °C respectively, there are networks of foliation-parallel and oblique veins, which developed incrementally and record a combination of shear and dilation. Required to have formed at differential stresses less than four times the tensile strength, and at fluid pressures exceeding the least compressive stress, these veins are consistent with tremorgenic conditions of low effective stress and mixed-mode deformation kinematically in agreement with shear on the plate interface. We have analysed the oxygen isotope composition of syntectonic quartz veins in both Chrystalls Beach Complex and Kuiseb Schist accretionary complexes, to unravel the

  7. Geodetic Constraints From The Volcanic Arc Of The Andaman - Nicobar Subduction Zone (United States)

    Earnest, A.; Krishnan, R.; Mayandi, S.; Sringeri, S. T.; Jade, S.


    We report first ever GPS derived surface deformation rates in the Barren and Narcondum volcanic islands east of Andaman-Nicobar archipelago which lies in the Bay of Bengal, a zone that generates frequent earthquakes, and coincides with the eastern plate boundary of India. The tectonics of this region is predominantly driven by the subduction of the Indian plate under the Burma plate. Andaman sea region hosts few volcanoes which lies on the inner arc extending between Sumatra and Myanmar with the sub-aerial expressions at Barren and Narcondum Islands. Barren Island, about 135 km ENE of Port Blair, is presently active with frequent eruptive histories whereas Narcondum is believed to be dormant. We initiated precise geodetic campaign mode measurements at Barren Island between 2007 to 2012 and one year (2011-2012) continuous measurements at Narcondum island. Preliminary results from this study forms a unique data set, being the first geodetic estimate from the volcanic arc of this subducting margin. Our analysis indicates horizontal convergence of the Barren benchmark to south-westward (SW) direction towards the Andaman accretionary fore-arc wedge where as the Narcondum benchmark recorded northeast (NE) motion. West of the Andaman fore-arc there is NE oriented subduction of the Indian plate which is moving at the rate of ~5 cm/yr. Convergence rates for the Indian plate from the Nuvel 1A model also show oblique convergence towards N23°E at 5.4 cm/yr. GPS derived inter seismic motion of Andaman islands prior to 2004 Sumatra earthquake is ~4.5 cm/yr NE. The marginal sea basin east of Barren Island at the Andaman spreading ridge has a NNW orienting opening of the sea-floor at 3.6 cm/yr. However the recent post seismic measurements of Andaman islands indicate rotation of displacement vectors from SW to NNE during 2005 to 2012. In this tectonic backdrop, the estimated rate of displacement of the volcanic islands probably represents a composite signal of tectonic as well as

  8. 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

  9. Fast rates of subduction erosion along the Costa Rica Pacific margin: Implications for nonsteady rates of crustal recycling at subduction zones (United States)

    Vannucchi, P.; Ranero, C.R.; Galeotti, S.; Straub, S.M.; Scholl, D. W.; McDougall-Ried, K.


    At least since the middle Miocene (???16 Ma), subduction erosion has been the dominant process controlling the tectonic evolution of the Pacific margin of Costa Rica. Ocean Drilling Program Site 1042 recovered 16.5 Ma nearshore sediment at ???3.9 km depth, ???7 km landward of the trench axis. The overlying Miocene to Quaternary sediment contains benthic foraminifera documenting margin subsidence from upper bathyal (???200 m) to abyssal (???2000 m) depth. The rate of subsidence was low during the early to middle Miocene but increased sharply in the late Miocene-early Pliocene (5-6.5 Ma) and at the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary (2.4 Ma). Foraminifera data, bedding dip, and the geometry of slope sediment indicate that tilting of the forearc occurred coincident with the onset of rapid late Miocene subsidence. Seismic images show that normal faulting is widespread across the continental slope; however, extension by faulting only accounts for a minor amount of the post-6.5 Ma subsidence. Basal tectonic erosion is invoked to explain the subsidence. The short-term rate of removal of rock from the forearc is about 107-123 km3 Myr-1 km-1. Mass removal is a nonsteady state process affecting the chemical balance of the arc: the ocean sediment input, with the short-term erosion rate, is a factor of 10 smaller than the eroded mass input. The low 10Be concentration in the volcanic arc of Costa Rica could be explained by dilution with eroded material. The late Miocene onset of rapid subsidence is coeval with the arrival of the Cocos Ridge at the subduction zone. The underthrusting of thick and thermally younger ocean crust decreased the subduction angle of the slab along a large segment of the margin and changed the dynamic equilibrium of the margin taper. This process may have induced the increase in the rate of subduction erosion and thus the recycling of crustal material to the mantle. Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.

  10. An investigation of deformation and fluid flow at subduction zones using newly developed instrumentation and finite element modeling (United States)

    Labonte, Alison Louise

    Detecting seafloor deformation events in the offshore convergent margin environment is of particular importance considering the significant seismic hazard at subduction zones. Efforts to gain insight into the earthquake cycle have been made at the Cascadia and Costa Rica subduction margins through recent expansions of onshore GPS and seismic networks. While these studies have given scientists the ability to quantify and locate slip events in the seismogenic zone, there is little technology available for adequately measuring offshore aseismic slip. This dissertation introduces an improved flow meter for detecting seismic and aseismic deformation in submarine environments. The value of such hydrologic measurements for quantifying the geodetics at offshore margins is verified through a finite element modeling (FEM) study in which the character of deformation in the shallow subduction zone is determined from previously recorded hydrologic events at the Costa Rica Pacific margin. Accurately sensing aseismic events is one key to determining the stress state in subduction zones as these slow-slip events act to load or unload the seismogenic zone during the interseismic period. One method for detecting seismic and aseismic strain events is to monitor the hydrogeologic response to strain events using fluid flow meters. Previous instrumentation, the Chemical Aqueous Transport (CAT) meter which measures flow rates through the sediment-water interface, can detect transient events at very low flowrates, down to 0.0001 m/yr. The CAT meter performs well in low flow rate environments and can capture gradual changes in flow rate, as might be expected during ultra slow slip events. However, it cannot accurately quantify high flow rates through fractures and conduits, nor does it have the temporal resolution and accuracy required for detecting transient flow events associated with rapid deformation. The Optical Tracer Injection System (OTIS) developed for this purpose is an

  11. 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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Vannucchi, P.; Ujiie, K.; Stroncik, N.; IODP Exp. 334 Scientific Party; Yatheesh, V.

    version: Sci. Drill.: 15; 2013; 23-30 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 Paola Vannucchi1, Kohtaro Ujiie2, Nicole Stroncik3..., N. and IODP Expedition 334 Scientific Party, 2013. 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. Scientific Drilling, vol. 15, 23...

  12. 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

  13. Mineralogy and fluid content of sediments entering the Costa Rica subduction zone - Results from Site U1414, IODP Expedition 344 (United States)

    Charpentier, D.; Buatier, M.; Kutterolf, S.; Straub, S. M.; Nascimento, D.; Millan, C.


    Subduction zones are characterized by the largest thrust earthquakes, as quantified by both rupture area and seismic moment release. Offshore Costa Rica, the oceanic Cocos Plate subducts under the Caribbean plate forming the southern end of the Middle America trench. A high convergence rate and almost complete subduction of incoming sediments make the Costa Rica convergent margin an extremely dynamic environment. The Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project (CRISP) is designed to understand the processes that control nucleation and seismic rupture of large earthquakes at erosional subduction zones. Site U1414 of IODP Exp.344 was drilled to investigate the material from the incoming Cocos Plate. A key parameter of incoming plate is fluid content and release because it impacts deformation within the subduction complex. The deposition, compaction and diagenesis of sedimentary rocks control the distribution of fluids, fluid pressures and fluid flow patterns within subduction zones. We therefore decided to characterize sediment composition and quantify the different types of water at Site U1414. Mineralogical investigations were performed using optical and electronic microscope observations, X Ray Diffraction (on bulk and clay fractions), Cation Exchange Capacity measurements, carbon analyses (to determine carbonate contents), and sequenced extractions in NaOH (to quantify the biogenic opal content). Fluid characteristics were approached by thermal gravimetric analyses. The entire sedimentary sequence was recovered at Site U1414 and can be divided into three major sedimentary units. The first one is a hemipelagic silty clay to clay with a gradual increase of calcareous nannofossils. The dominant mineral is smectite associated in the clay fractions with kaolinite and zeolites. Small amounts of biogenic opal have been analyzed. Other minerals like quartz, feldspar and calcite are also present. The second unit is composed of nannofossil-rich calcareous ooze. The proportion of

  14. Prograde and retrograde metamorphic processes in high-pressure subduction zone serpentinites from East Thessaly, Greece (United States)

    Koutsovitis, Petros


    The East Thessaly region, Central Greece, includes metaophiolitic mélange formations which extend from the eastern foothills of Mt. Olympus and Ossa, throughout the Agia basin, Mt. Mavrovouni (Sklithro region), South Pelion and reaching up to northeast Othris (regions of Aerino and Velestino). They appear in the form of dispersed and deformed thrust sheets having been variably emplaced onto Mesozoic platform series rocks of the Pelagonian tectonostratigraphic zone[1]. These formations consist mainly of serpentinites, as well as metasediments, metagabbros, metadolerites, rodingites, ophicalcites, talc-schists and chromitites. Based upon petrographic observations, mineral chemistry data and XRD patterns, the subduction zone-related serpentinites from the regions of Potamia, Anavra, Aetolofos and Kalochori-Chasanbali (Agia basin), as well as from the regions of Aerino and Velestino, are characterized by the progressive transformation of lizardite to antigorite and are distinguished into two groups. The first group includes serpentinites from the metaophiolitic formations of Potamia, Anavra, Aerino and Velestino, which are marked by destibillization of lizardite to antigorite, mostly along the grain boundaries of the lizardite mesh textured relics. The presence of lizardite and antigorite in almost equal amounts indicates medium-temperature blueschist facies metamorphic conditions (˜340-370 ° C; P≈10-11 kbar)[2,3,4]. The second serpentinite group appears in the regions of Aetolofos and Kalochori, characterized by the predominance of antigorite, the minor occurrence of lizardite and the complete replacement of spinel by Cr-magnetite. The absence of metamorphic olivine suggests that these serpentinites were most likely formed at slightly higher temperature and pressure conditions compared to the first serpentinite group, corresponding to medium or high temperature blueschist facies metamorphism (˜360-380 ° C; P≈12 kbar)[2,3,4]. These metamorphic conditions are

  15. Coastal evidence for Holocene subduction-zone earthquakes and tsunamis in central Chile (United States)

    Dure, Tina; Cisternas, Marco; Horton, Benjamin; Ely, Lisa; Nelson, Alan R.; Wesson, Robert L.; Pilarczyk, Jessica


    The ∼500-year historical record of seismicity along the central Chile coast (30–34°S) is characterized by a series of ∼M 8.0–8.5 earthquakes followed by low tsunamis (tsunami (>10 m), but the frequency of such large events is unknown. We extend the seismic history of central Chile through a study of a lowland stratigraphic sequence along the metropolitan coast north of Valparaíso (33°S). At this site, higher relative sea level during the mid Holocene created a tidal marsh and the accommodation space necessary for sediment that preserves earthquake and tsunami evidence. Within this 2600-yr-long sequence, we traced six laterally continuous sand beds probably deposited by high tsunamis. Plant remains that underlie the sand beds were radiocarbon dated to 6200, 5600, 5000, 4400, 3800, and 3700 cal yr BP. Sediment properties and diatom assemblages of the sand beds—for example, anomalous marine planktonic diatoms and upward fining of silt-sized diatom valves—point to a marine sediment source and high-energy deposition. Grain-size analysis shows a strong similarity between inferred tsunami deposits and modern coastal sediment. Upward fining sequences characteristic of suspension deposition are present in five of the six sand beds. Despite the lack of significant lithologic changes between the sedimentary units under- and overlying tsunami deposits, we infer that the increase in freshwater siliceous microfossils in overlying units records coseismic uplift concurrent with the deposition of five of the sand beds. During our mid-Holocene window of evidence preservation, the mean recurrence interval of earthquakes and tsunamis is ∼500 years. Our findings imply that the frequency of historical earthquakes in central Chile is not representative of the greatest earthquakes and tsunamis that the central Chilean subduction zone has produced.

  16. Tsunami impact to Washington and northern Oregon from segment ruptures on the southern Cascadia subduction zone (United States)

    Priest, George R.; Zhang, Yinglong; Witter, Robert C.; Wang, Kelin; Goldfinger, Chris; Stimely, Laura


    This paper explores the size and arrival of tsunamis in Oregon and Washington from the most likely partial ruptures of the Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) in order to determine (1) how quickly tsunami height declines away from sources, (2) evacuation time before significant inundation, and (3) extent of felt shaking that would trigger evacuation. According to interpretations of offshore turbidite deposits, the most frequent partial ruptures are of the southern CSZ. Combined recurrence of ruptures extending ~490 km from Cape Mendocino, California, to Waldport, Oregon (segment C) and ~320 km from Cape Mendocino to Cape Blanco, Oregon (segment D), is ~530 years. This recurrence is similar to frequency of full-margin ruptures on the CSZ inferred from paleoseismic data and to frequency of the largest distant tsunami sources threatening Washington and Oregon, ~Mw 9.2 earthquakes from the Gulf of Alaska. Simulated segment C and D ruptures produce relatively low-amplitude tsunamis north of source areas, even for extreme (20 m) peak slip on segment C. More than ~70 km north of segments C and D, the first tsunami arrival at the 10-m water depth has an amplitude of <1.9 m. The largest waves are trapped edge waves with amplitude ≤4.2 m that arrive ≥2 h after the earthquake. MM V–VI shaking could trigger evacuation of educated populaces as far north as Newport, Oregon for segment D events and Grays Harbor, Washington for segment C events. The NOAA and local warning systems will be the only warning at greater distances from sources.

  17. Rare earth elements as indicators of hydrothermal processes within the East Scotia subduction zone system (United States)

    Cole, Catherine S.; James, Rachael H.; Connelly, Douglas P.; Hathorne, Ed C.


    The East Scotia subduction zone, located in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean, hosts a number of hydrothermal sites in both back-arc and island-arc settings. High temperature (>348 °C) 'black smoker' vents have been sampled at three locations along segments E2 and E9 of the East Scotia back-arc spreading ridge, as well as 'white smoker' (Mg = 0 mmol/kg) is markedly different, with pH ranging from andesite-hosted, providing an ideal opportunity for investigating the geochemical controls on rare earth element (REE) behaviour. Endmember hydrothermal fluids from E2 and E9 have total REE concentrations ranging from 7.3 to 123 nmol/kg, and chondrite-normalised distribution patterns are either light REE-enriched (LaCN/YbCN = 12.8-30.0) with a positive europium anomaly (EuCN/Eu∗CN = 3.45-59.5), or mid REE-enriched (LaCN/NdCN = 0.61) with a negative Eu anomaly (EuCN/Eu∗CN = 0.59). By contrast, fluids from the Kemp Caldera have almost flat REE patterns (LaCN/YbCN = 2.1-2.2; EuCN/Eu∗CN = 1.2-2.2). We demonstrate that the REE geochemistry of fluids from the East Scotia back-arc spreading ridge is variably influenced by ion exchange with host minerals, phase separation, competitive complexation with ligands, and anhydrite deposition, whereas fluids from the Kemp submarine volcano are also affected by the injection of magmatic volatiles which enhances the solubility of all the REEs. We also show that the REE patterns of anhydrite deposits from Kemp differ from those of the present-day fluids, potentially providing critical information about the nature of hydrothermal activity in the past, where access to hydrothermal fluids is precluded.

  18. Geologic Evidence of Earthquakes and Tsunamis in the Mexican Subduction zone - Guerrero (United States)

    Ramirez-Herrera, M.; Lagos, M.; Hutchinson, I.; Ruiz-Fernández, A.; Machain, M.; Caballero, M.; Rangel, V.; Nava, H.; Corona, N.; Bautista, F.; Kostoglodov, V.; Goguitchaichrili, A.; Morales, J.; Quintana, P.


    A study of large historic and prehistoric earthquakes and their tsunamis using a multiproxy approach (geomorphic features, sediment deposits, microfossils, sediment geochemistry and more recently the use of magnetic properties) has provided valuable information in the assessment of earthquake and tsunami record. The Pacific coast of Mexico is located over the active subduction zone (~1000 km) that has experienced numerous large magnitude earthquakes in historical time (Mw>7.5), and more than 50 documented tsunamis since 1732. Geomorphic and stratigraphic studies through test pits at 13 sites on the Guerrero coast reveal distinct stratigraphic changes with depth, indicating clear rapid change in depositional environments over time. Microfossil ecology (diatoms and foraminifera), sediment geochemistry (concentration increment in elements such as Sr, Ba, Ca, P, Si, K), stratigraphy, sediment magnetic properties (magnetic susceptibility anisotropy for the first time applied in tsunami deposits identification) and other proxies are indicative of sudden changes in land level and tsunami deposits. Buried evidence of liquefaction confirms the occurrence of a large earthquake at Barra de Potosi and Ixtapa, Guerrero. Preliminary 210Pb analysis suggests a sedimentation rate of ca. 0.1±0.01 cm/year and an estimated minimum age of ~ 100 years (maximum age at ca. 450 years?) for the most recent earthquake. At least three large events can be recognized by sharp contacts and sand layers in the sedimentary record. Ongoing C14, OSL and 210Pb dating will constrain the timing of these events. Deposits from three marine inwash events (tsunamis) dating from the past 4600 years have been identified on the Guerrero coast. A near-surface sand bed with a sharp basal contact overlying soil at sites near Ixtapa and Barra de Potosi most probably marks the tsunami following the 1985 Mw 8.2 earthquake. Interviews with Barra de Potosi fishermen and locals corroborate that these sites were

  19. Construction of semi-dynamic model of subduction zone with given plate kinematics in 3D sphere (United States)

    Morishige, M.; Honda, S.; Tackley, P. J.


    We present a semi-dynamic subduction zone model in a three-dimensional spherical shell. In this model, velocity is imposed on the top surface and in a small three-dimensional region around the shallow plate boundary while below this region, the slab is able to subduct under its own weight. Surface plate velocities are given by Euler's theorem of rigid plate rotation on a sphere. The velocity imposed in the region around the plate boundary is determined so that mass conservation inside the region is satisfied. A kinematic trench migration can be easily incorporated in this model. As an application of this model, mantle flow around slab edges is considered, and we find that the effect of Earth curvature is small by comparing our model with a similar one in a rectangular box, at least for the parameters used in this study. As a second application of the model, mantle flow around a plate junction is studied, and we find the existence of mantle return flow perpendicular to the plate boundary. Since this model can naturally incorporate the spherical geometry and plate movement on the sphere, it is useful for studying a specific subduction zone where the plate kinematics is well constrained.

  20. Subduction Zone Redox and the Deep Earth Cycles of Sulfur and Chalcophile Elements (United States)

    Canil, D.


    Subduction at convergent plate margins is a return flux to the mantle of rocks influenced by weathering, hydrothermal activity, atmospheric exchange, or bio-mineralization in the exosphere. The latter exogenic processes modify the long-term abundance and behaviour of certain elements in the deeper earth that can be traced over time in the chemistry of mantle-derived magmas. The redox budget of subduction is controlled by the flux of oxidized versus reduced forms of Fe, S, H, or C, and impacts the long-term evolution of oxygen on the planet, critical for life in the exosphere. In particular, the sulfur cycle is specifically tied to the evolution of oxygen on Earth's surface over time and critical to biogeochemical cycles on the surface. The behaviour of sulfur in the exogenic system is well-studied and fairly well understood using sedimentary records. An originally sulfidic ocean on Earth gave way with time and oxygenation to one that is sulfate dominated over the last two billion years. In contrast, far less is known of the deep earth cycle of S, and more so its history. The record of the endogenic cycle can only be monitored via what comes out of the mantle (magmas and their gases), or what goes down via subduction (hydrothermally-altered or weathered subducted lithosphere). Interest in the endogenic cycle of S is not new but several outstanding conundrums remain for sulfur in arc magmas that point to the importance of the subduction process. A hitherto ignored component of the paradox of the sulfur cycle is the sedimentary veneer that sits atop the subducted oceanic basalt crust. Compilations show only 0.12 wt% S in altered ocean basalt crust, but up to 10 times that amount in oceanic sediments, tied to their Fe content (in pyrite). These abundances may seem trivial, but the behaviour of this small amount of S in subduction is not fully appreciated and its oxidation potential in the arc mantle is enormous. The conversion of subducted sulfide to sulfate is a 8

  1. Earthquake precise locations catalog for the Lesser Antilles subduction zone (1972-2013) (United States)

    Massin, Frederick; Amorese, Daniel; Beauducel, Francois; Bengoubou-Valérius, Mendy; Bernard, Marie-Lise; Bertil, Didier


    Locations for earthquake recorded in the Lesser Antilles subduction zone are processed separately by regional observatories, NEIC and ISC. There is no earthquake location catalog available compiling all available phase arrival data. We propose a new best complete earthquake catalog by merging all available phase arrival data for better constrains on earthquake locations. ISC provides the phase arrival data of 29243 earthquakes (magnitude range from 1.4 to 6.4) recorded by PRSN (Porto Rico), SRC (British West Indies), and from FUNVISIS (Venezuela). We add phases data from IPGP observatories for 68718 earthquakes from magnitudes 0.1 to 7.5 (OVSG, Guadeloupe, recorded 53226 earthquakes since 1981, and OVSM, Martinique, recorded 29931 earthquakes since 1972). IPGP also provides the accelerometer waveform data of the GIS-RAP network. We achieved automatic picking on the GIS-RAP data using the Component Energy Correlation Method. The CECM provides high precision phase detection, a realistic estimation of picking error and realistic weights that can be used with manual pick weights. The CECM add an average of 3 P-waves and 2 S-waves arrivals to 3846 earthquakes recorded by the GIS-RAP network since 2002. The final catalog contains 84979 earthquakes between 1972 and 2013, 24528 of which we compiled additional data. We achieve earthquake location using NonLinLoc, regional P and S waves data and a set of one dimensional velocity models. We produce improved locations for 22974 earthquakes (better residuals, on equal or larger arrival dataset) and improved duration magnitudes for 6258 earthquakes (using duration data and improved locations). A subset of best constrained 15626 hypocenters (with more than 8 phases and an average RMS of 0.48±0.77s) could be used for structural analysis and earthquake local tomography. Relative locations are to be applied in order to image active faulting. We aim to understand coupling in the seismogenic zone as well as triggering mechanisms of

  2. Repeatability of high-speed migration of tremor along the Nankai subduction zone, Japan (United States)

    Kato, A.; Tsuruoka, H.; Nakagawa, S.; Hirata, N.


    Tectonic tremors have been considered to be a swarm or superimposed pulses of low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs). To systematically analyze the high-speed migration of tremor [e.g., Shelly et al., 2007], we here focus on an intensive cluster hosting many low-frequency earthquakes located at the western part of Shikoku Island. We relocated ~770 hypocenters of LFEs identified by the JMA, which took place from Jan. 2008 to Dec. 2013, applying double differential relocation algorithm [e.g., Waldhauser and Ellsworth, 2000] to arrival times picked by the JMA and those obtained by waveform cross correlation measurements. The epicentral distributions show a clear alignment parallel to the subduction of the Philippine Sea plate, as like a slip-parallel streaking. Then, we applied a matched-filter technique to continuous seismograms recorded near the source region using relocated template LFEs during 6 years (between Jan. 2008 and Dec. 2013). We newly detected about 60 times the number of template events, which is fairly larger than ones obtained by conventional envelope cross correlation method. Interestingly, we identified many repeated sequences of tremor migrations along the slip-parallel streaking (~350 sequences). Front of each or stacked migration of tremors can be modeled by a parabolic envelope, indicating a diffusion process. The diffusivity of parabolic envelope is estimated to be around 105 m2/s, which is categorized as high-speed migration feature (~100 km/hour). Most of the rapid migrations took place during occurrences of short-term slow slip events (SSEs), and seems to be triggered by ocean and solid Earth tides. The most plausible explanation of the high-speed propagation is a diffusion process of stress pulse concentrated within a cluster of strong brittle patches on the ductile shear zone [Ando et al., 2012]. The viscosity of the ductile shear zone within the streaking is at least one order magnitude smaller than that of the slow-speed migration. This

  3. GPS constraints on 34 slow slip events within the Cascadia subduction zone since 1997 (United States)

    Melbourne, T. I.; Santillan, M. V.; Szeliga, W.; Miller, M.


    Improvements to analysis techniques of GPS measurements from the Cascadia subduction zone show that 34 discernible slow slip events (SSE) have occurred along the megathrust since 1997. The primary improvement in resolution stems from a simultaneous factoring of time series into basis functions that include known non- tectonic signals, and applied to the network stabilization step of processing in the Gipsy-Oasis software. This new estimation technique reduces the network `jitter' by roughly a third, as quantified with an RMS scatter of deviation from the applied model. From a transient detection standpoint, the new processing lowers the SSE detection threshold of Cascadia GPS installations to an equivalent moment magnitude of roughly 6.4, depending on local surface instrument density. Slow slip event offsets from the largest 12 events, detected on six or more instruments, are inverted for slip. Their resolution is discussed in the context of resolution tests, the stability of moment magnitude estimations, and maximum stress drop as a function of Laplacian smoothing. The slip distributions reveal a wide variety of slip behavior among the different events. At the latitude of the northern Washington State and southwestern British Columbia, the 14-month average recurrence interval still holds true, 4 events after first recognition. Most but not all of these 14-month events are confined to northern WA/southern BC and measure equivalent moment magnitudes of 6.7 and 2-3 cm of slip; February 2003 is the notable exception. Several smaller out-of-sequence events are also detected in this region. Along northern Vancouver Island, a 14-month periodicity is also observed, six months out of phase with it southern counterpart, while central Vancouver Island shows smaller events with no obvious periodicity. The 14-month periodicity also breaks down in southwestern Washington State, where smaller transient displacements are seen without any obvious periodicity in their recurrence

  4. Seismogenic Coupling at Convergent Margins - Geophysical Observations from the South American Subduction Zone and the Alpine Rock Record (United States)

    Oncken, O.


    Convergent continental margins are the Earth's principal locus of important earthquake hazards with nearly all interplate megathrust earthquakes (M>8) in the seismogenic coupling zone between the converging plates. Despite the key importance of this zone, the processes that shape it are poorly understood. This is underscored by a number of novel observations attributed to processes in the interface zone that are attracting increasing attention: silent slip events, non-volcanic tremors, afterslip, locked patches embedded in a creeping environment, etc. We here compare the rock record from a field study with recent results from two major geophysical experiments (ANCORP and TIPTEQ) that have imaged the South Chilean subduction zone at the site of the largest historically recorded earthquake (Valdivia, 1969; Mw = 9.5) and the plate boundary in Northern Chile, where a major seismic event is expected in the near future (Iquique segment). The reflection seismic data exhibit well defined changes of reflectivity and Vp/Vs ratio along the plate interface that can be correlated with different parts of the coupling zone as well as with changes during the seismic cycle. Observations suggest an important role of the hydraulic system. The rock record from the exhumed Early Tertiary seismogenic coupling zone of the European Alps provides indications for the mechanisms and processes responsible for the geophysical images. Fabric formation and metamorphism in a largely preserved subduction channel chiefly record the deformation conditions of the pre-collisional setting along the plate interface. We identify an unstable slip domain from pseudotachylytes occurring in the temperature range between 200-300°C. This zone coincides with a domain of intense veining in the subduction mélange with mineral growth into open cavities, indicating fast, possibly seismic, rupture. Evidence for transient near-lithostatic fluid pressure as well as brittle fractures competing with mylonitic shear

  5. Characterization of geometry, properties and coupling of the Alaska subduction zone by means of reflection images and traveltime tomography (United States)

    Kuehn, Harold; Nedimović, Mladen; Shillington, Donna; Li, Jiyao; Bécel, Anne; Delescluse, Matthias


    In 2011, the Alaska Langseth Experiment to Understand the megaThrust (ALEUT) program acquired a total length of ~3700 km of deep penetrating multi-channel seismic (MCS) reflection lines as well as two coincident 350 km-long profiles of wide-angle ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) refraction data south west of Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska. The investigated region of the Alaska Subduction Zone encompasses segments that have ruptured in megathrust earthquakes in the past, and segments, that are suspected to be less coupled, and therefore have a lower probability for great earthquakes to occur. Kodiak asperity ruptured during the Good Friday earthquake of 1964 (M9.2), Semidi Segment ruptured last time in a great earthquake in 1938 (M8.3), and Shumagin Gap has not been ruptured by a major earthquake for at least 150 years and is considered to slip freely. The coupling degree of imaged section of the plate interface appears to at places vary strongly over a remarkably short distance of just tens of kilometers. We present new seismic reflection images that resulted from analyzing profiles crossing the northeastern half of the study area, from the middle of the Semidi Segment to the southwestern tip of the Kodiak Asperity. We also discuss the methodology used to analyze the collected controlled source seismic data and the results obtained. Processing steps for MCS data include amplitude compensation for spherical spreading, noise removal with the LIFT method, surface consistent amplitude balancing, multiple attenuation with both SRME method and radon transformation, predictive deconvolution and Kirchhoff time migration. The formed reflection images complete the picture on the subducting plate geometry in the study area as a whole and allow us to make an attempt to estimate both the downdip limit of the seismogenic zone and the lateral variations in subduction coupling by means of evaluating the seismic reflection signature of the interplate interface. Reflection images

  6. Density structure and geometry of the Costa Rican subduction zone from 3-D gravity modeling and local earthquake data (United States)

    Lücke, O. H.; Arroyo, I. G.


    The eastern part of the oceanic Cocos Plate presents a heterogeneous crustal structure due to diverse origins and ages as well as plate-hot spot interactions which originated the Cocos Ridge, a structure that converges with the Caribbean Plate in southeastern Costa Rica. The complex structure of the oceanic plate directly influences the dynamics and geometry of the subduction zone along the Middle American Trench. In this paper an integrated interpretation of the slab geometry in Costa Rica is presented based on 3-D density modeling of combined satellite and surface gravity data, constrained by available geophysical and geological data and seismological information obtained from local networks. The results show the continuation of steep subduction geometry from the Nicaraguan margin into northwestern Costa Rica, followed by a moderate dipping slab under the Central Cordillera toward the end of the Central American Volcanic Arc. Contrary to commonly assumed, to the southeast end of the volcanic arc, our preferred model shows a steep, coherent slab that extends up to the landward projection of the Panama Fracture Zone. Overall, a gradual change in the depth of the intraplate seismicity is observed, reaching 220 km in the northwestern part, and becoming progressively shallower toward the southeast, where it reaches a maximum depth of 75 km. The changes in the terminal depth of the observed seismicity correlate with the increased density in the modeled slab. The absence of intermediate depth (> 75 km) intraplate seismicity in the southeastern section and the higher densities for the subducted slab in this area, support a model in which dehydration reactions in the subducted slab cease at a shallower depth, originating an anhydrous and thus aseismic slab.

  7. Influence of dehydration on the electrical conductivity of epidote and implications for high-conductivity anomalies in subduction zones (United States)

    Hu, Haiying; Dai, Lidong; Li, Heping; Hui, Keshi; Sun, Wenqing


    The anomalously high electrical conductivities ( 0.1 to 1 S/m) in deep mantle wedge regions extensively detected by magnetotelluric studies are often associated with the presence of fluids released from the progressive dehydration of subducting slabs. Epidote minerals are the Ca-Al-rich hydrous silicates with huge stability fields exceeding those of amphibole (>70-80 km) in subducting oceanic crust, and they may therefore be transported to greater depth than amphibole and release water to the mantle wedge. In this study, the electrical conductivities of epidote were measured at 0.5-1.5 GPa and 573-1273 K by using a Solartron-1260 Impedance/Gain-Phase Analyzer in a YJ-3000t multianvil pressure within the frequency range of 0.1-106 Hz. The results demonstrate that the influence of pressure on electrical conductivity of epidote is relatively small compared to that of temperature. The dehydration reaction of epidote is observed through the variation of electrical conductivity around 1073 K, and electrical conductivity reaches up to 1 S/m at 1273 K, which can be attributed to aqueous fluid released from epidote dehydration. After sample dehydration, electrical conductivity noticeably decreases by as much as nearly a log unit compared with that before dehydration, presumably due to a combination of the presence of coexisting mineral phases and aqueous fluid derived from the residual epidote. Taking into account the petrological and geothermal structures of subduction zones, it is suggested that the aqueous fluid produced by epidote dehydration could be responsible for the anomalously high conductivities in deep mantle wedges at depths of 70-120 km, particularly in hot subduction zones.

  8. Fault and fluid systems in supra-subduction zones: The Troodos ophiolite (United States)

    Quandt, Dennis; Micheuz, Peter; Kurz, Walter; Krenn, Kurt


    The Troodos massif on the island of Cyprus represents a well-preserved and complete supra-subduction zone (SSZ) ophiolite. It includes an extrusive sequence that is subdivided into Upper (UPL) and Lower Pillow Lavas (LPL). These volcanic rocks contain mineralized fractures (veins) and vesicles that record fluid availability probably related to slab dehydration and deformation subsequent to a period of subduction initiation in the framework of a SSZ setting. Here, we present electron microprobe element mappings and cathodoluminescence studies of vein minerals as well as analyses of fluid inclusions entrapped in zeolite, calcite and quartz from veins and vesicles of the Pillow Lavas of the Troodos ophiolite. Two different zeolite type assemblages, interpreted as alteration products of compositional varying volcanic glasses, occur: (1) Na-zeolites analcime and natrolite from the UPL that require lower formation temperatures, higher Na/Ca ratios and pH values than (2) Ca-zeolites heulandite and mordenite from the LPL which indicate temporal or spatial varying fluid compositions and conditions. Calcite represents a late stage phase in incompletely sealed blocky type (1) assemblage and in syntaxial quartz veins. Additionally, calcite occurs as major phase in syntaxial and blocky veins of UPL and LPL. These syntaxial quartz and calcite veins are assumed to be related to tectonic extension. Chalcedony is associated with quartz and occurs in typical veins and vesicles of the LPL. In addition, the presence of neptunian dykes in veins suggests that seawater penetrated fractures throughout the extrusive sequence. Thus, circulation in an open system via advective transport is favored while diffusion in a closed system is a subordinate, local and late stage phenomenon. Calcite veins and quartz vesicles contain primary, partly re-equilibrated two phase (liquid, vapor) fluid inclusions. The chemical system of all studied inclusions in both host minerals is restricted to aqueous

  9. H2O-fluid-saturated melting of subducted continental crust facilitates exhumation of ultrahigh-pressure rocks in continental subduction zones (United States)

    Labrousse, L.; Duretz, T.; Gerya, T.


    We present two-dimensional numerical models of plate subduction and collision inspired by the Scandinavian Caledonian orogeny to investigate the possible impact of continental crust partial melting on the exhumation of ultra-high pressure metamorphic rocks. Three possible reactions were tested: low temperature solidus representing H2O-fluid-saturated partial melting, and two end-member reaction curves for dehydration melting. Thermo-mechanical effects of partial melting were implemented as (1) a viscosity decrease as a determined rheologically critical melt percentage was reached (here 0.1), (2) a change in effective heat capacity and adiabatic heating/cooling accounting for a latent heat term in the heat equation. Among the 3 tested reactions, only H2O-fluid-saturated partial melting drastically modifies the collision dynamics from the non-melting reference model holding all other parameters constant. A substantially low general viscosity truncation (here 1017 Pa s) is needed to properly resolve the effect of partial melting on deep collision processes. Low temperature melting indeed induces the development of a low viscosity buoyant plume prior to slab detachment, where migmatites exhume from UHP conditions at rates and with pressure-temperature paths similar to the natural values acknowledged for the Norwegian Caledonides. High temperature melting has no drastic influence on early collision dynamics. While positive buoyancy remains the first order driver for the exhumation of buried continental rocks, exhumation initiates in these cases with eduction subsequent to slab detachment. Melting and formation of a migmatite plume can later occur along decompression path while continental crust undergoes thermal reequilibration at temperatures above 900 °C. Some of the partially molten material can also relaminate in the overriding plate rather than exhume within the collision zone. Even if minor in terms of amount of magma produced, H2O-fluid-saturated partial melting

  10. Modeling the role of back-arc spreading in controlling 3-D circulation and temperature patterns in subduction zones (United States)

    Kincaid, C.


    Subduction of oceanic lithosphere provides a dominant driving force for mantle dynamics and plate tectonics, and strongly modulates the thermal evolution of the mantle. Magma generation in arc environments is related to slab temperatures, slab dehydration/wedge hydration processes and circulation patterns in the mantle wedge. A series of laboratory experiments is used to model three-dimensional aspects of flow in subduction zones, and the consequent temperature variations in the slab and overlying mantle wedge. The experiments utilize a tank of glucose syrup to simulate the mantle and a Phenolic plate to represent subducting oceanic lithosphere. Different modes of plate sinking are produced using hydraulic pistons. The effects of longitudinal, rollback and slab-steepening components of slab motions are considered, along with different thicknesses of the over-riding lithosphere. Models look specifically at how distinct modes of back-arc spreading alter subduction zone temperatures and flow in the mantle wedge. Results show remarkably different temperature and circulation patterns when spreading is produced by rollback of the trench-slab-arc relative to a stationary overriding back-arc plate versus spreading due to motion of the overriding plate away from a fixed trench location. For rollback-induced spreading, flow trajectories in the wedge are shallow (e.g., limited upwelling), both the sub-arc and back-arc regions are supplied by material flowing around the receding slab. Flow lines in the sub-arc wedge are strongly trench-parallel. In these cases, strong lateral variations in slab surface temperature (SST) are recorded (hot at plate center, cool at plate edge). When the trench is fixed in space and spreading is produced by motion of the overriding plate, strong vertical flow velocities are recorded in the wedge, both the shallow sub-arc and back-arc regions are supplied by flow from under the overriding plate producing strong vertical shear. In these cases SSTs

  11. Spontaneous Nucleation of Subduction Zones in the Western Pacific During Middle Eocene Time: Evidence From the IBM Forearc Ophiolite (United States)

    Stern, R. J.


    Subduction zones nucleate in two fundamentally different ways. Induced nucleation is a response to continuing plate convergence following a collision event and requires the lithosphere to fail under compression; no change in plate motion is expected. Spontaneous nucleation of a subduction zone (SNSZ) manifests failure of old lithosphere due to gravitation instability. SNSZ doesn't require plate convergence to occur but major changes in plate motion are expected. SNSZ is possible where old oceanic lithosphere is unusually dense (old continental margins) or weak (along fracture zones). The western edge of the Pacific plate spontaneously reorganized as a convergent margin during Middle Eocene time ( ~50-42 Ma) and is the best known example of SNSZ. The unusual nature of this episode is preserved in the Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) forearc, where pillow basalts, dyke complexes, gabbro, and harzburgitic mantle define an in situ ophiolite. The IBM forearc ophiolite requires that SNSZ was accompanied by a strongly magmatic episode of seafloor spreading. Spreading so close to the present trench requires asthenospheric upwelling where strong mantle downwelling now occurs. Abundant boninite, formed by melting harzburgite, in IBM forearc sections further demonstrates the unique nature of the IBM subduction initiation event. IBM SNSZ spans the period from beginning of magmatic construction of the IBM `forearc ophiolite' about 50 Ma to the change in Pacific Plate motion at 43 Ma marking the start of true subduction. Events during this stage are very poorly understood but can only be explained by subsidence of part of the lithosphere to a depth such that asthenosphere flowed over it. Stern and Bloomer (1992 BGSA 104, 1621-1636) argue that this occurred along a zone of weakness associated with a N-S fracture zone but this has been criticized on the basis of paleomagnetic models requiring ~90 o CW rotation of the Philippine Sea Plate (PSP) since 43Ma. The youngest parts of the

  12. Mantle convection, tectonics and the evolution of the Tethyan subduction zone (United States)

    Jolivet, Laurent; Sternai, Pietro; Menant, Armel; Faccenna, Claudio; Becker, Thorsten; Burov, Evguenii


    side of Africa from the Jurassic until the collision in the Oligocene, and even afterward when Arabia formed by opening of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. This also suggests a dominant role of an underlying flow at large scale, dragging and mechanically eroding plates and breaking them into fragments, then passively carried. Only during a short period of the Late Cretaceous did the situation change drastically with the obduction event giving the large ophiolitic nappes observed from Oman to Turkey. This obduction event has never been really explained. It has been shown to be coeval with faster plate velocities and more active formation of oceanic crust globally, which in turn suggests a link with deep mantle convection. We discuss this succession of events and propose to relate them with the basal drag induced by convective mantle flow below the African continental lithosphere. We discuss the effects of convection on crustal deformation at different scales from deep convection related to plumes and subduction zones to more local mantle flow due to slab retreat and tearing.

  13. Turbidite event history--Methods and implications for Holocene paleoseismicity of the Cascadia subduction zone (United States)

    Goldfinger, Chris; Nelson, C. Hans; Morey, Ann E.; Johnson, Joel E.; Patton, Jason R.; Karabanov, Eugene; Gutierrez-Pastor, Julia; Eriksson, Andrew T.; Gracia, Eulalia; Dunhill, Gita; Enkin, Randolph J.; Dallimore, Audrey; Vallier, Tracy; Kayen, Robert; Kayen, Robert


    Turbidite systems along the continental margin of Cascadia Basin from Vancouver Island, Canada, to Cape Mendocino, California, United States, have been investigated with swath bathymetry; newly collected and archive piston, gravity, kasten, and box cores; and accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dates. The purpose of this study is to test the applicability of the Holocene turbidite record as a paleoseismic record for the Cascadia subduction zone. The Cascadia Basin is an ideal place to develop a turbidite paleoseismologic method and to record paleoearthquakes because (1) a single subduction-zone fault underlies the Cascadia submarine-canyon systems; (2) multiple tributary canyons and a variety of turbidite systems and sedimentary sources exist to use in tests of synchronous turbidite triggering; (3) the Cascadia trench is completely sediment filled, allowing channel systems to trend seaward across the abyssal plain, rather than merging in the trench; (4) the continental shelf is wide, favoring disconnection of Holocene river systems from their largely Pleistocene canyons; and (5) excellent stratigraphic datums, including the Mazama ash and distinguishable sedimentological and faunal changes near the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary, are present for correlating events and anchoring the temporal framework. Multiple tributaries to Cascadia Channel with 50- to 150-km spacing, and a wide variety of other turbidite systems with different sedimentary sources contain 13 post-Mazama-ash and 19 Holocene turbidites. Likely correlative sequences are found in Cascadia Channel, Juan de Fuca Channel off Washington, and Hydrate Ridge slope basin and Astoria Fan off northern and central Oregon. A probable correlative sequence of turbidites is also found in cores on Rogue Apron off southern Oregon. The Hydrate Ridge and Rogue Apron cores also include 12-22 interspersed thinner turbidite beds respectively. We use 14C dates, relative-dating tests at channel confluences, and

  14. Foreshock Patterns Preceding Great Earthquakes in the Subduction Zone of Chile (United States)

    Papadopoulos, G. A.; Minadakis, G.


    Foreshock activity is considered as one of the most promising precursory changes for the main shock prediction in the short term. Averaging over several foreshock sequences has shown that foreshocks are characterized by distinct 3D patterns: their epicenters move towards the main shock epicenter, event count accelerates, and b-value drops. However, these space-time-size patterns were verified so far only in a very few individual cases mainly due to inadequate seismicity catalogue data. We have investigated 3D foreshock patterns before the M w 8.8 Maule in 27 February 2010, M w 8.1 Iquique in 1 April 2014, and M w 8.4 Illapel in 16 September 2015 great earthquakes in the Chile subduction zone. To avoid biased results, no a priori spatiotemporal definitions of foreshocks were inserted. The procedure was based on pattern recognition from statistically significant seismicity changes in the three domains. The pattern recognition in one domain was independent of the pattern recognition in another domain. We found and verified with two independent catalogue data sets (CSN, IPOC) that within a critical area of ca. 65 km from the main shock epicenter, the 2014 event was preceded by distinct foreshock 3D patterns. A nearly weak foreshock stage (20 January-14 March 2014) was followed by a main-strong stage (15 March-1 April 2014) highly significant in all domains, although foreshock activity slightly decreased in about the last 5 days. Seismic moment release also accelerated in the last stage due to the occurrence of a cluster of very strong foreshock events. Foreshock activity very likely occurred in the hanging-wall fault domain on the South American Plate overriding Nazca Plate. The 2014 foreshock activity was quite similar to the one preceding the 6 Apr. 2009 L' Aquila (Italy) M w 6.3 earthquake associated with normal faulting. Using the 2014 earthquake as a reference event, we observed that similar foreshock 3D patterns preceded the 2010 and 2015 earthquakes within

  15. Permeability control on transient slip weakening during gypsum dehydration: Implications for earthquakes in subduction zones (United States)

    Leclère, Henri; Faulkner, Daniel; Wheeler, John; Mariani, Elisabetta


    A conflict has emerged from recent laboratory experiments regarding the question of whether or not dehydration reactions can promote unstable slip in subduction zones leading to earthquakes. Although reactions produce mechanical weakening due to pore-fluid pressure increase, this weakening has been associated with both stable and unstable slip. Here, new results monitoring strength, permeability, pore-fluid pressure, reaction progress and microstructural evolution during dehydration reactions are presented to identify the conditions necessary for mechanical instability. Triaxial experiments are conducted using gypsum and a direct shear sample assembly with constant normal stress that allows the measurement of permeability during sliding. Tests are conducted with temperature ramp from 70 to 150 °C and with different effective confining pressures (50, 100 and 150 MPa) and velocities (0.1 and 0.4 μm s-1). Results show that gypsum dehydration to bassanite induces transient stable-slip weakening that is controlled by pore-fluid pressure and permeability evolution. At the onset of dehydration, the low permeability promoted by pore compaction induces pore-fluid pressure build-up and stable slip weakening. The increase of bassanite content during the reaction shows clear evidence of dehydration related with the development of R1 Riedel shears and P foliation planes where bassanite is preferentially localized along these structures. The continued production of bassanite, which is stronger than gypsum, provides a supporting framework for newly formed pores, thus resulting in permeability increase, pore-fluid pressure drop and fault strength increase. After dehydration reaction, deformation is characterized by unstable slip on the fully dehydrated reaction product, controlled by the transition from velocity-strengthening to velocity-weakening behaviour of bassanite at temperature above ∼140 °C and the localization of deformation along narrow Y-shear planes. This study

  16. Superconducting Gravity Effects of Earthquake at Cascadia Subduction Zone on Vancouver Island, Canada (United States)

    Kim, Jeong Woo; Neumeyer, Juergen; Kao, Ricky; Kabirzadeh, Hojjat; Henton, Joseph; Dragert, Herb; Lambert, Anthony


    Superconducting gravimeter (SG) iGrav #01 was deployed at NRCan's Pacific Geoscience Centre (PGC) on Vancouver Island near Sidney in British Columbia, Canada, in July 2012. The PGC is situated in the forearc of the northern Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) and is equipped with FG-5 and A-10 absolute gravimeters, a borehole strainmeter, and a GPS network. In this area, a transient surface deformation accompanied by tremor-like seismic signals has been documented with a recurrence interval of 13 to 16 months. This phenomenon, named Episodic Tremor and Slip (ETS), has been interpreted to be associated with slow slip events (silent earthquakes) in the deeper (25-45 km) part of the CSZ. These slip events have been detected by transient horizontal displacements. The SG is not sensitive to horizontal displacements but it has the largest sensitivity in vertical direction. For detecting of ETS, the continuous SG recordings at the PGC site were reduced for the Earth and ocean tides, polar motion, atmospheric pressure and soil moisture, and, then were band-pass filtered and analyzed in the time and frequency domains and compared with the GPS-detected ETS. Furthermore, we present the gravity effect of the Haida Gwaii earthquake, which occurred near the plate boundary between the Pacific and North America plates (52.788N, 132.101W, 136 km south of Masset, Canada, on October 28th 2012 at 03:04:09 GMT with a magnitude 7.8 at a depth of 14 km). During the observation, a large co-seismic gravity change of -2.6 microGal was recorded at the onset of the Haida Gwaii earthquake. In addition, a significant decrease of gravity was observed from the 15 days prior to the earthquake, and the decrease lasted for 11 days after the earthquake. The analysis of other earthquakes, e.g. the southwestern Alaska earthquake (55.28N, 134.87W, January 5th 2013 with a magnitude 7.5) is also presented.

  17. Subduction zone mantle enrichment by fluids and Zr-Hf-depleted crustal melts as indicated by backarc basalts of the Southern Volcanic Zone, Argentina (United States)

    Holm, Paul M.; Søager, Nina; Alfastsen, Mads; Bertotto, Gustavo W.


    We aim to identify the components metasomatizing the mantle above the subducting Nazca plate under part of the Andean Southern Volcanic Zone (SVZ). We present new major and ICP-MS trace element and Sr, Nd and high-precision Pb isotope analyses of primitive olivine-phyric alkali basalts from the Northern Segment Volcanic Field, part of the Payenia province in the backarc of the Transitional SVZ. One new 40Ar-39Ar age determination confirms the Late Pleistocene age of this most northerly part of the province. All analysed rocks have typical subduction zone type incompatible element enrichment, and the rocks of the Northern Segment, together with the neighbouring Nevado Volcanic Field, have isotopic compositions intermediate between adjacent Transitional SVZ arc rocks and southern Payenia OIB-type basaltic rocks. Modelling the Ba-Th-Sm variation we demonstrate that fluids as well as 1-2% melts of upper continental crust (UCC) enriched their mantle sources, and La-Nb-Sm variations additionally indicate that the pre-metasomatic sources ranged from strongly depleted to undepleted mantle. Low Eu/Eu* and Sr/Nd also show evidence for a UCC component in the source. The contribution of Chile Trench sediments to the magmas seems insignificant. The Zr/Sm and Hf/Sm ratios are relatively low in many of the Northern Segment rocks, ranging down to 17 and 0.45, respectively, which, together with relatively high Th/U, is argued to indicate that the metasomatizing crustal melts were derived by partial melting of subducted UCC that had residual zircon, in contrast to the UCC melts added to Transitional SVZ arc magmas. Mixing between depleted and undepleted mantle, enriched by UCC and fluids, is suggested by Sr, Nd and Pb isotopes of the Northern Segment and Nevado magmas. The metasomatized undepleted mantle south of the Northern Segment is suggested to be part of upwelling OIB-type mantle, whereas the pre-metasomatically depleted mantle also can be found as a component in some arc

  18. Distribution of stress state in the Nankai subduction zone, southwest Japan and a comparison with Japan Trench (United States)

    Lin, Weiren; Byrne, Timothy B.; Kinoshita, Masataka; McNeill, Lisa C.; Chang, Chandong; Lewis, Jonathan C.; Yamamoto, Yuzuru; Saffer, Demian M.; Casey Moore, J.; Wu, Hung-Yu; Tsuji, Takeshi; Yamada, Yasuhiro; Conin, Marianne; Saito, Saneatsu; Ito, Takatoshi; Tobin, Harold J.; Kimura, Gaku; Kanagawa, Kyuichi; Ashi, Juichiro; Underwood, Michael B.; Kanamatsu, Toshiya


    To better understand the distribution of three dimensional stress states in the Nankai subduction zone, southwest Japan, we review various stress-related investigations carried out in the first and second stage expeditions of the Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE) by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) and compile the stress data. Overall, the maximum principal stress σ1 in the shallower levels ( 1 km below seafloor or in underlying accretionary prism) with σ1 becoming horizontal is also suggested at all deeper drilling sites. We also make a comparison of the stress state in the hanging wall of the frontal plate-interface between Site C0006 in the Nankai and Site C0019 in the Japan Trench subduction zone drilled after the 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake. In the Japan Trench, a comparison between stress state before and after the 2011 mega-earthquake shows that the stress changed from compression before the earthquake to extension after the earthquake. As a result of the comparison between the Nankai Trough and Japan Trench, a similar current stress state with trench parallel extension was recognized at both C0006 and C0019 sites. Hypothetically, this may indicate that in Nankai Trough it is still in an early stage of the interseismic cycle of a great earthquake which occurs on the décollement and propagates to the toe (around site C0006).

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. GPS-derived coupling estimates for the Central America subduction zone and volcanic arc faults: El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua (United States)

    Correa-Mora, F.; DeMets, C.; Alvarado, D.; Turner, H. L.; Mattioli, G.; Hernandez, D.; Pullinger, C.; Rodriguez, M.; Tenorio, C.


    We invert GPS velocities from 32 sites in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua to estimate the rate of long-term forearc motion and distributions of interseismic coupling across the Middle America subduction zone offshore from these countries and faults in the Salvadoran and Nicaraguan volcanic arcs. A 3-D finite element model is used to approximate the geometries of the subduction interface and strike-slip faults in the volcanic arc and determine the elastic response to coupling across these faults. The GPS velocities are best fit by a model in which the forearc moves 14-16 mmyr-1 and has coupling of 85-100 per cent across faults in the volcanic arc, in agreement with the high level of historic and recent earthquake activity in the volcanic arc. Our velocity inversion indicates that coupling across the potentially seismogenic areas of the subduction interface is remarkably weak, averaging no more than 3 per cent of the plate convergence rate and with only two poorly resolved patches where coupling might be higher along the 550-km-long segment we modelled. Our geodetic evidence for weak subduction coupling disagrees with a seismically derived coupling estimate of 60 +/- 10 per cent from a published analysis of earthquake damage back to 1690, but agrees with three other seismologic studies that infer weak subduction coupling from 20th century earthquakes. Most large historical earthquakes offshore from El Salvador and western Nicaragua may therefore have been intraslab normal faulting events similar to the Mw 7.3 1982 and Mw 7.7 2001 earthquakes offshore from El Salvador. Alternatively, the degree of coupling might vary with time. The evidence for weak coupling indirectly supports a recently published hypothesis that much of the Middle American forearc is escaping to the west or northwest away from the Cocos Ridge collision zone in Costa Rica. Such a hypothesis is particularly attractive for El Salvador, where there is little or no convergence obliquity to drive the

  2. A Bayesian approach for Inter-seismic Inter-plate Coupling Probabilities for the Central Andes Subduction Zone (United States)

    Ortega Culaciati, F. H.; Simons, M.


    We aim to characterize the apparent extent of plate coupling on subduction zone megathrusts with the eventual goal of understanding spatial variations of fault zone rheology. In this study we approach the problem from a Bayesian perspective, where we ask not for a single optimum model, but rather for a posteriori estimates of the range of allowable models, exploiting the full potential of Bayesian methods to completely characterize the model parameter space. Adopting a simple kinematic back-slip model and a 3D geometry of the inter-plate contact zone, we use the Bayesian approach to provide the inter-seismic inter-plate coupling probabilities that are consistent with physically plausible a-priori information and available geodetic measurements. We highlight the importance of using the vertical component of the velocity field to properly constrain the downdip limit of the coupled zone, and also we show how the chosen parameterization of the model plays an important role along with the a-priori, and a-posteriori information on the model parameters. We apply this methodology in the Chilean-Peruvian subduction zone (12S - 24S) with the desire to understand the state of inter-seismic coupling on that margin. We obtain patch like features for the probability of 100% apparent inter-seismic coupling with higher values located between 15km and 60km depth. The larger of these features are located in the regions associated with the rupture process of the 2001 (Mw 8.4) Arequipa and the 2007 (Mw 8.0) Pisco Earthquakes, both occurred after the time period where the measurements take place; and the region identified as the Arica bend seismic gap, which has not experienced a large earthquake since 1877.

  3. Intra-Panthalassa Ocean subduction zones revealed by fossil arcs and mantle structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meer, D.G. van der; Torsvik, T.H.; Spakman, W.; Hinsbergen, D.J.J. van; Amaru, M.L.


    The vast Panthalassa Ocean once surrounded the supercontinent Pangaea. Subduction has since consumed most of the oceanic plates that formed the ocean floor, so classic plate reconstructions based on magnetic anomalies can be used only to constrain the ocean’s history since the Cretaceous period, and

  4. Intra-Panthalassa Ocean subduction zones revealed by fossil arcs and mantle structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meer, D.G. van der; Torsvik, T.H.; Spakman, W.; Hinsbergen, D.J.J. van; Amaru, M.L.


    The vast Panthalassa Ocean once surrounded the supercontinent Pangaea. Subduction has since consumed most of the oceanic plates that formed the ocean floor, so classic plate reconstructions based on magnetic anomalies can be used only to constrain the ocean’s history since the Cretaceous period, and

  5. Evolution of seismic signals and slip patterns along subduction zones: insights from a friction lab scale experiment

    CERN Document Server

    Voisin, Christophe; Larose, Eric; Renard, François


    Continuous GPS and broadband seismic monitoring have revealed a variety of disparate slip patterns especially in shallow dipping subduction zones, among which regular earthquakes, slow slip events and silent quakes1,2. Slow slip events are sometimes accompanied by Non Volcanic Tremors (NVT), which origin remains unclear3, either related to fluid migration or to friction. The present understanding of the whole menagerie of slip patterns is based upon numerical simulations imposing ad hoc values of the rate and state parameters a and b4-6 derived from the temperature dependence of a and b of a wet granite gouge7. Here we investigate the influence of the cumulative slip on the frictional and acoustic patterns of a lab scale subduction zone. Shallow loud earthquakes (stick-slip events), medium depth slow, deeper silent quakes (smooth sliding oscillations) and deepest steady-state creep (continuous sliding) are reproduced by the ageing of contact interface with cumulative displacement8. The Acoustic Emission evolv...

  6. In situ Raman study of dissolved CaCO3 minerals under subduction zone conditions (United States)

    Facq, S.; Daniel, I.; Sverjensky, D. A.


    The fate and the characteristics of the Earth's deep carbon reservoirs are still not well understood [1]. The connection between the surficial and the deep-Earth carbon cycles occurs at subduction zones where carbon is transported into the mantle and where hydrous silicates and carbonate minerals break down releasing H2O and C-species in fluids associated with mantle metasomatism and the generation of arc volcanism [2]. In order to obtain mass balance between recycling and burial in the deep mantle, the study of the dissolution of CaCO3 minerals in equilibrium with aqueous fluids under mantle conditions is crucial. We report a novel integrated experimental and theoretical study of the equilibration of CaCO3 minerals with aqueous solutions (pure water or NaCl solutions) at high pressures and temperatures (0.5 to 8 GPa and 250 to 500 °C). The fluid speciation was studied using in situ Raman spectroscopy coupled to an externally heated membrane type DAC equipped with 500 μm pure synthetic diamond anvils. In a typical experiment, the aqueous fluid and a calcite crystal [3] were loaded in a rhenium gasket. The pressure was determined from the calibrated shift of the carbonate υ1 symmetric stretching mode of aragonite and the temperature measured with a K-type thermocouple. Raman spectra were recorded using a Labram HR800 Raman spectrometer (Horiba Jobin-Yvon) coupled to a Spectra Physics Ar+ laser. At equilibrium with an aragonite crystal, the Raman data show that bicarbonate is the most abundant species in low-pressure fluids (below 4 GPa) whereas carbonate becomes progressively dominant at higher pressure. After correction from their Raman cross-sections [4], the relative amounts of dissolved carbonate and bicarbonate were estimated from the areas of the Raman bands of the carbonate and bicarbonate ions (υ1 and υ5 symmetric stretching modes, respectively). The presence of sodium chloride influences the speciation by extending the pressure field where the

  7. Foreshock patterns preceding large earthquakes in the subduction zone of Chile (United States)

    Minadakis, George; Papadopoulos, Gerassimos A.


    Some of the largest earthquakes in the globe occur in the subduction zone of Chile. Therefore, it is of particular interest to investigate foreshock patterns preceding such earthquakes. Foreshocks in Chile were recognized as early as 1960. In fact, the giant (Mw9.5) earthquake of 22 May 1960, which was the largest ever instrumentally recorded, was preceded by 45 foreshocks in a time period of 33h before the mainshock, while 250 aftershocks were recorded in a 33h time period after the mainshock. Four foreshocks were bigger than magnitude 7.0, including a magnitude 7.9 on May 21 that caused severe damage in the Concepcion area. More recently, Brodsky and Lay (2014) and Bedford et al. (2015) reported on foreshock activity before the 1 April 2014 large earthquake (Mw8.2). However, 3-D foreshock patterns in space, time and size were not studied in depth so far. Since such studies require for good seismic catalogues to be available, we have investigated 3-D foreshock patterns only before the recent, very large mainshocks occurring on 27 February 2010 (Mw 8.8), 1 April 2014 (Mw8.2) and 16 September 2015 (Mw8.4). Although our analysis does not depend on a priori definition of short-term foreshocks, our interest focuses in the short-term time frame, that is in the last 5-6 months before the mainshock. The analysis of the 2014 event showed an excellent foreshock sequence consisting by an early-weak foreshock stage lasting for about 1.8 months and by a main-strong precursory foreshock stage that was evolved in the last 18 days before the mainshock. During the strong foreshock period the seismicity concentrated around the mainshock epicenter in a critical area of about 65 km mainly along the trench domain to the south of the mainshock epicenter. At the same time, the activity rate increased dramatically, the b-value dropped and the mean magnitude increased significantly, while the level of seismic energy released also increased. In view of these highly significant seismicity

  8. Magma-derived CO2 emissions in the Tengchong volcanic field, SE Tibet: Implications for deep carbon cycle at intra-continent subduction zone (United States)

    Zhang, Maoliang; Guo, Zhengfu; Sano, Yuji; Zhang, Lihong; Sun, Yutao; Cheng, Zhihui; Yang, Tsanyao Frank


    Active volcanoes at oceanic subduction zone have long been regard as important pathways for deep carbon degassed from Earth's interior, whereas those at continental subduction zone remain poorly constrained. Large-scale active volcanoes, together with significant modern hydrothermal activities, are widely distributed in the Tengchong volcanic field (TVF) on convergent boundary between the Indian and Eurasian plates. They provide an important opportunity for studying deep carbon cycle at the ongoing intra-continent subduction zone. Soil microseepage survey based on accumulation chamber method reveals an average soil CO2 flux of ca. 280 g m-2 d-1 in wet season for the Rehai geothermal park (RGP). Combined with average soil CO2 flux in dry season (ca. 875 g m-2 d-1), total soil CO2 output of the RGP and adjacent region (ca. 3 km2) would be about 6.30 × 105 t a-1. Additionally, we conclude that total flux of outgassing CO2 from the TVF would range in (4.48-7.05) × 106 t a-1, if CO2 fluxes from hot springs and soil in literature are taken into account. Both hot spring and soil gases from the TVF exhibit enrichment in CO2 (>85%) and remarkable contribution from mantle components, as indicated by their elevated 3He/4He ratios (1.85-5.30 RA) and δ13C-CO2 values (-9.00‰ to -2.07‰). He-C isotope coupling model suggests involvement of recycled organic metasediments and limestones from subducted Indian continental lithosphere in formation of the enriched mantle wedge (EMW), which has been recognized as source region of the TVF parental magmas. Contamination by crustal limestone is the first-order control on variations in He-CO2 systematics of volatiles released by the EMW-derived melts. Depleted mantle and recycled crustal materials from subducted Indian continental lithosphere contribute about 45-85% of the total carbon inventory, while the rest carbon (about 15-55%) is accounted by limestones in continental crust. As indicated by origin and evolution of the TVF

  9. 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...

  10. Ins and outs of a complex subduction zone: C cycling along the Sunda margin, Indonesia (United States)

    House, B. M.; Bebout, G. E.; Hilton, D. R.


    Subduction of C in marine sediments and altered oceanic crust is the main mechanism for reintroducing C into the deep earth and removing it from communication with the ocean and atmosphere. However, detailed studies of individual margins - which are necessary to understanding global C cycling - are sparse. The thick, C-rich sediment column along the Sunda margin, Indonesia makes understanding this margin crucial for constructing global C cycling budgets. Furthermore it is an ideal location to compare cycling of organic and carbonate C due to the abrupt transition from carbonate-dominated sediments in the SE to sediments rich in organic C from the Nicobar Fan in the NW. To quantify and characterize C available for subduction, we analyzed samples from DSDP 211, 260, 261, and ODP 765, all outboard of the trench, as well as piston and gravity cores of locally-sourced terrigenous trench fill. We created a 3-D model of overall sediment thickness and the thicknesses of geochemically distinct sedimentary units using archived and published seismic profiles to infer unit thicknesses at and along the 2500 km trench. This model vastly improves estimates of the C available for subduction and also reveals that the Christmas Island Seamount Province serves as a barrier to turbidite flow, dividing the regions of the trench dominated by organic and inorganic C input. Incorporating best estimates for the depth of the decollement indicates that the terrigenous trench fill, with up to 1.5 wt % organic C, is entirely accreted as is the thick section of carbonate-rich turbidites that dominate the southeastern portion of the margin (DSDP 261/ODP 765). Organic C accounts for most of the C bypassing the accretionary complex NW of the Christmas Island Seamount Province, and C inputs to the trench are lower there than to the SE where carbonate units near the base of the sediment column are the dominant C source. Release of C from altered oceanic crust - a C reservoir up to 10 times greater

  11. Garnet cannibalism provides clues to extensive hydration of lower crustal fragments in a subduction channel (Sesia Zone, Northwestern Alps) (United States)

    Giuntoli, Francesco; Lanari, Pierre; Engi, Martin


    The extent to which granulites are transformed to eclogites is thought to impose critical limits on the subduction of continental lower crust. Although it is seldom possible to document such densification processes in detail, the transformation is believed to depend on fluid access and deformation. Remarkably complex garnet porphyroblasts are widespread in eclogite facies micaschists in central parts of the Sesia Zone (Western Italian Alps). They occur in polydeformed samples in assemblages involving phengite+quartz+rutile ±paragonite, Na-amphibole, Na-pyroxene, chloritoid. Detailed study of textural and compositional types reveals a rich inventory of growth and partial resorption zones in garnet. These reflect several stages of the polycyclic metamorphic evolution. A most critical observation is that the relict garnet cores indicate growth at 900 °C and 0.9 GPa. This part of the Eclogitic Micaschist Complex thus derived from granulite facies metapelites of Permian age. These dry rocks must have been extensively hydrated during Cretaceous subduction, and garnet records the conditions of these processes. Garnet from micaschist containing rutile, epidote, paragonite and phengite were investigated in detail. Two types of garnet crystals are found in many thin sections: mm-size porphyroclasts and smaller atoll garnets, some 100 µm in diameter. X-ray maps of the porphyroclasts show complex zoning in garnet: a late Paleozoic HT-LP porphyroclastic core is overgrown by several layers of HP-LT Alpine garnet, these show evidence of growth at the expense of earlier garnet generations. Textures indicate 1-2 stages of resorption, with garnet cores that were fractured and then sealed by garnet veins, rimmed by multiple Alpine overgrowth rims with lobate edges. Garnet rim 1 forms peninsula and embayment structures at the expense of the core. Rim 2 surrounds rim 1, both internally and externally, and seems to have grown mainly at the expense of the core. Rim 3 grew mainly at

  12. Long-term and Short-term Vertical Deformation Rates across the Forearc in the Central Mexican Subduction Zone (United States)

    Ramirez-Herrera, M. T.; Gaidzik, K.; Forman, S. L.; Kostoglodov, V.; Burgmann, R.


    Spatial scales of the earthquake cycle, from rapid deformation associated with earthquake rupture to slow deformation associated with interseismic and transient slow-slip behavior, span from fractions of a meter to thousands of kilometers (plate boundaries). Similarly, temporal scales range from seconds during an earthquake rupture to thousands of years of strain accumulation between earthquakes. The complexity of the multiple physical processes operating over this vast range of scales and the limited coverage of observations leads most scientists to focus on a narrow space-time window to isolate just one or a few process. We discuss here preliminary results on the vertical crustal deformation associated with both slow and rapid crustal deformation along a profile across the forearc region of the central Mexican subduction zone on the Guerrero sector, where the Cocos plate underthrusts the North American plate. This sector of the subduction zone is characterized by a particular slab geometry (with zones of rapid bending-unbending of the slab), irregular distributed seismicity, exceptionally large slow slip events (SSE) and non-volcanic tremors (NVT). We used the river network and geomorphic features of the Papagayo River to assess Quaternary crustal deformation. The Papagayo drainage network is strongly controlled by Late Cenozoic tectonic, Holocene and recent earthquake cycle processes. This is particularly true for the southern section of the drainage basin; from the dam in La Venta to the river mouth, where W-E structures commonly offset the course of the main river. River terraces occur along the course of the river at different elevations. We measured the height of a series of terraces and obtained OSL ages on quartz extracts to determine long-term rates of deformation. Finally, we discuss associations of the topography and river characteristics with the Cocos slab geometry, slow earthquakes, crustal deformation, and interseismic deformation.

  13. Intermediate-depth Fracturing of Oceanic Lithosphere in Subduction Zones: Memories from Exhumed High-Pressure Ophiolites (United States)

    Angiboust, Samuel; Oncken, Onno; Agard, Philippe


    Understanding processes acting along the subduction interface is crucial to assess lithospheric scale coupling between tectonic plates and mechanisms causing intermediate-depth seismicity. Despite a wealth of geophysical studies aimed at better characterizing/localizing this seismicity, we still critically lack constrains on processes triggering fracturing in regions (40-100km depths; T > 400°C) where deformation is expected to be achieved by plastic flow. We herein attempt to bridge this gap by providing a review of available evidence from brittle deformation patterns in exhumed High Pressure (HP) ophiolites, together with some new, critical observations. Field examples from various ophiolitic terranes (New-Caledonia, W. Alps, Tian Shan…) indicate that brittle deformation under HP conditions generally implies vein filling and precipitation of HP minerals, probably under very high pore fluid pressure conditions. Coalescence of such vein networks could explain some of the seismic events recorded along the fluid-rich subduction interface region. By contrast, HP pseudotachylites (though reported in only few localities so far) are apparently restricted to somehow deeper slab regions where fluid-deficient conditions are prevalent (Corsica, Zambia, Voltri?). The recent discovery of eclogite breccias, found as m-sized dismembered fragments within an eclogite-facies shear zone from the Monviso area (W. Alps), provides a new opportunity to study the genesis of intermediate-depth earthquakes. We herein argue that these eclogite breccias constitute unique remnants from an ancient fault zone associated with intraslab, intermediate-depth seismicity at ca. 80 km depth. The breccia is internally made of 1-10 cm-sized rotated fragments of eclogite mylonite cemented by an eclogite-facies matrix attesting of fracturing and fault sealing under lawsonite-eclogite facies conditions (550°C, 2.5 GPa) during subduction of the Tethyan seafloor. Textural observations and polyphased

  14. 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

  15. Lateral Variations of Interplate Coupling along the Mexican Subduction Interface: Relationships with Long-Term Morphology and Fault Zone Mechanical Properties (United States)

    Rousset, Baptiste; Lasserre, Cécile; Cubas, Nadaya; Graham, Shannon; Radiguet, Mathilde; DeMets, Charles; Socquet, Anne; Campillo, Michel; Kostoglodov, Vladimir; Cabral-Cano, Enrique; Cotte, Nathalie; Walpersdorf, Andrea


    Although patterns of interseismic strain accumulation above subduction zones are now routinely characterised using geodetic measurements, their physical origin, persistency through time, and relationships to seismic hazard and long-term deformation are still debated. Here, we use GPS and morphological observations from southern Mexico to explore potential mechanical links between variations in inter-SSE (in between slow slip events) coupling along the Mexico subduction zone and the long-term topography of the coastal regions from Guerrero to Oaxaca. Inter-SSE coupling solutions for two different geometries of the subduction interface are derived from an inversion of continuous GPS time series corrected from slow slip events. They reveal strong along-strike variations in the shallow coupling (i.e. at depths down to 25 km), with high-coupling zones (coupling >0.7) alternating with low-coupling zones (coupling 0.7) and transitions to uncoupled, steady slip at a relatively uniform ˜ 175-km inland from the trench. Along-strike variations in the coast-to-trench distances are strongly correlated with the GPS-derived forearc coupling variations. To explore a mechanical explanation for this correlation, we apply Coulomb wedge theory, constrained by local topographic, bathymetric, and subducting-slab slopes. Critical state areas, i.e. areas where the inner subduction wedge deforms, are spatially correlated with transitions at shallow depth between uncoupled and coupled areas of the subduction interface. Two end-member models are considered to explain the correlation between coast-to-trench distances and along-strike variations in the inter-SSE coupling. The first postulates that the inter-SSE elastic strain is partitioned between slip along the subduction interface and homogeneous plastic permanent deformation of the upper plate. In the second, permanent plastic deformation is postulated to depend on frictional transitions along the subduction plate interface. Based on the

  16. Lateral Variations of Interplate Coupling along the Mexican Subduction Interface: Relationships with Long-Term Morphology and Fault Zone Mechanical Properties (United States)

    Rousset, Baptiste; Lasserre, Cécile; Cubas, Nadaya; Graham, Shannon; Radiguet, Mathilde; DeMets, Charles; Socquet, Anne; Campillo, Michel; Kostoglodov, Vladimir; Cabral-Cano, Enrique; Cotte, Nathalie; Walpersdorf, Andrea


    Although patterns of interseismic strain accumulation above subduction zones are now routinely characterised using geodetic measurements, their physical origin, persistency through time, and relationships to seismic hazard and long-term deformation are still debated. Here, we use GPS and morphological observations from southern Mexico to explore potential mechanical links between variations in inter-SSE (in between slow slip events) coupling along the Mexico subduction zone and the long-term topography of the coastal regions from Guerrero to Oaxaca. Inter-SSE coupling solutions for two different geometries of the subduction interface are derived from an inversion of continuous GPS time series corrected from slow slip events. They reveal strong along-strike variations in the shallow coupling (i.e. at depths down to 25 km), with high-coupling zones (coupling >0.7) alternating with low-coupling zones (coupling 0.7) and transitions to uncoupled, steady slip at a relatively uniform ˜ 175-km inland from the trench. Along-strike variations in the coast-to-trench distances are strongly correlated with the GPS-derived forearc coupling variations. To explore a mechanical explanation for this correlation, we apply Coulomb wedge theory, constrained by local topographic, bathymetric, and subducting-slab slopes. Critical state areas, i.e. areas where the inner subduction wedge deforms, are spatially correlated with transitions at shallow depth between uncoupled and coupled areas of the subduction interface. Two end-member models are considered to explain the correlation between coast-to-trench distances and along-strike variations in the inter-SSE coupling. The first postulates that the inter-SSE elastic strain is partitioned between slip along the subduction interface and homogeneous plastic permanent deformation of the upper plate. In the second, permanent plastic deformation is postulated to depend on frictional transitions along the subduction plate interface. Based on the

  17. Long-term slow slip events along the Nankai trough subduction zone after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan (United States)

    Ozawa, Shinzaburo


    The global navigation satellite system (GNSS) network in Japan has detected transient crustal deformation in regions along the Nankai trough subduction zone in southwest Japan from approximately 2013, after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. Using the GNSS data, we estimated the spatiotemporal evolution of long-term aseismic slip along the Nankai trough. The result indicates that aseismic slip has occurred on the plate interface in the Bungo, northern Miyazaki, and southern Miyazaki regions, southwest Japan. The estimated time evolution between October 2013 and April 2015 shows the simultaneous occurrence of northern and southern Miyazaki slow slips with different durations followed by a Bungo slow slip in 2014. A southern Miyazaki slow slip occurred from approximately July 2015, which was followed by a northern Miyazaki slow slip and a Bungo slow slip in 2016. The 2016 Bungo slow slip occurred in a shallow area that did not slip at the time of the 2014 Bungo slow slip. The two different rupture processes from 2013 to 2015 and from 2015 to 2016 may be an important clue toward understanding subduction tectonics in southwest Japan. These interplate slow slip events are changing the stress state in favor of the occurrence of Nankai and Hyuga-nada earthquakes together with Tokai and Kii channel slow slips, which have been occurring since approximately 2013 and 2014, respectively.[Figure not available: see fulltext.

  18. 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.

  19. Three-dimensional velocity structure of the outer fore arc of the Colombia-Ecuador subduction zone and implications for the 1958 megathrust earthquake rupture zone (United States)

    García Cano, Lina Constanza; Galve, Audrey; Charvis, Philippe; Marcaillou, Boris


    In 2005, an onshore, offshore 3-D refraction and wide-angle reflection seismic experiment was conducted along the convergent margin at the border between Colombia and Ecuador, over the rupture zone of the 1958, Mw 7.6 subduction earthquake. A well-defined Vp velocity model of the plate boundary and upper and lower plates was constructed, down to 25 km depth, using first arrival traveltimes inversion. The model reveals a several kilometers thick, low-velocity zone in the upper plate, located immediately above the interplate contact. This low-velocity zone might be related to alteration and fracturing of the mafic and ultramafic rocks, which composed the upper plate in this area by fluids released by the lower plate with possible contributions from sediment underplating. Near the toe of the margin, the model shows a low-velocity gradient in the outer wedge, which is interpreted as highly faulted and fractured rocks. This low-velocity/low-gradient region appears to limit the oceanward extension of the rupture zones of the 1958 and 1979 earthquakes, possibly because coseismic deformation and uplift of the outer margin wedge dissipates most of the seismic energy.

  20. Reaction-induced grain boundary cracking and anisotropic fluid flow during prograde devolatilization reactions within subduction zones (United States)

    Okamoto, Atsushi; Shimizu, Hiroyuki; Fukuda, Jun-ichi; Muto, Jun; Okudaira, Takamoto


    Devolatilization reactions during prograde metamorphism are a key control on the fluid distribution within subduction zones. Garnets in Mn-rich quartz schist within the Sanbagawa metamorphic belt of Japan are characterized by skeletal structures containing abundant quartz inclusions. Each quartz inclusion was angular-shaped, and showed random crystallographic orientations, suggesting that these quartz inclusions were trapped via grain boundary cracking during garnet growth. Such skeletal garnet within the quartz schist formed related to decarbonation reactions with a positive total volume change (Δ V t > 0), whereas the euhedral garnet within the pelitic schists formed as a result of dehydration reaction with negative Δ V t values. Coupled hydrological-chemical-mechanical processes during metamorphic devolatilization reactions were investigated by a distinct element method (DEM) numerical simulation on a foliated rock that contained reactive minerals and non-reactive matrix minerals. Negative Δ V t reactions cause a decrease in fluid pressure and do not produce fractures within the matrix. In contrast, a fluid pressure increase by positive Δ V t reactions results in hydrofracturing of the matrix. This fracturing preferentially occurs along grain boundaries and causes episodic fluid pulses associated with the development of the fracture network. The precipitation of garnet within grain boundary fractures could explain the formation of the skeletal garnet. Our DEM model also suggests a strong influence of reaction-induced fracturing on anisotropic fluid flow, meaning that dominant fluid flow directions could easily change in response to changes in stress configuration and the magnitude of differential stress during prograde metamorphism within a subduction zone.

  1. Convergent margin structure and tectonics of the Java subduction zone (105°E-122°E) (United States)

    Kopp, H.; Barckhausen, U.; Djajadihardja, Y.; Engels, M.; Flueh, E. R.; Hindle, D. A.; Lueschen, E.; Mueller, C.; Planert, L.; Reichert, C. J.; Shulgin, A. A.; Wittwer, A.


    The Java margin is the site of oceanic subduction of the Indo-Australian plate underneath the Indonesian archipelago. Data from a suite of geophysical experiments conducted between 1997-2006 using RV SONNE as platform include seismic and seismological studies, potential field measurements and high-resolution seafloor bathymetry mapping. Tomographic inversions provide an image of the ongoing deformation of the forearc and the deep subsurface. We investigate the role of various key mechanisms that shape the first-order features characterizing the present margin architecture. Our results show a high variability in subduction zone processes along the Java margin, ranging from accretionary subduction to erosive processes to zero-budget mass transfer. These variations are closely linked to changes in character of the incoming plate. Off Western Java (105°E -109°E), near-full accretion of the trench sediment fill is associated with a well-developed accretionary prism fronting a 4 km deep forearc basin. The Central Java segment (109°E -115°E) experiences the collision of an oceanic plateau dotted with numerous seamounts, causing large-scale uplift of the forearc, coupled with erosion of the frontal prism and correlated mass wasting processes. Intense deformation of the forearc basin results from thrusting and compressional forces. In the neighbouring segment farther to the east (115°E-119°E), the lack of significant sediment input to the trench supports the notion that recycling of upper plate material in the forearc sustains the massive outer high observed here adjacent to a mature forearc basin. The incoming oceanic plate of the Argo Abyssal plain is devoid of a sediment drape and the original spreading fabric overprinted by bending-related faulting near the trench shape its morphology. The transition zone from the Java margin to the Banda Arc (119°E-122°E) experiences the early stages of continent-island arc collision associated with the convergence of the

  2. Partitioning of halogens between mantle minerals and aqueous fluids: implications for the fluid flow regime in subduction zones (United States)

    Bernini, Diego; Wiedenbeck, Michael; Dolejš, David; Keppler, Hans


    We have performed phase equilibrium experiments in the system forsterite-enstatite-pyrope-H2O with MgCl2 or MgF2 at 1,100 °C and 2.6 GPa to constrain the solubility of halogens in the peridotite mineral assemblage and the fluid-mineral partition coefficients. The chlorine solubility in forsterite, enstatite and in pyrope is very low, 2.1-3.9 and 4.0-11.4 ppm, respectively, and it is independent of the fluid salinity (0.3-30 wt% Cl), suggesting that some intrinsic saturation limit in the crystal is reached already at very low chlorine concentrations. Chlorine is therefore exceedingly incompatible in upper-mantle minerals. The fluorine solubility is 170-336 ppm in enstatite and 510-1,110 ppm in pyrope, again independent of fluid salinity. Forsterite dissolves 1,750-1,900 ppm up to a fluid salinity of 1.6 wt% F. At higher fluorine contents in the system, forsterite is replaced by the minerals of the humite group. The lower solubility of chlorine by three orders of magnitude when compared to fluorine is consistent with increasing lattice strain. Fluid-mineral partition coefficients are 100-102 for fluorine and 103-105 for chlorine. Since the latter values are orders of magnitude higher than those for hydroxyl partitioning, fluid flow from the subducting slab through the mantle wedge will lead to an efficient sequestration of H2O into the nominally anhydrous minerals in the wedge, whereas chlorine becomes enriched in the residual fluid. Simple mass balance calculations reveal that rock-fluid ratios of up to >3,000 are required to produce the elevated Cl/H2O ratios observed in some primitive arc magmas. Accordingly, fluid flow from the subducted slab into the zone of melting in the mantle wedge does not only occur rapidly in narrow channels, but at least in some subduction zones, fluid pervasively infiltrates the mantle peridotite and interacts with a large volume of the mantle wedge. Together with the Cl/H2O ratios of primitive arc magmas, our data therefore constrain

  3. Partitioning of Trace Elements Between Hydrous Minerals and Aqueous Fluids : a Contribution to the Chemical Budget of Subduction Zones (United States)

    Daniel, I.; Koga, K. T.; Reynard, B.; Petitgirard, S.; Chollet, M.; Simionovici, A.


    Subduction zones are powerful chemical engines where the downgoing lithosphere reacts with asthenospheric mantle and produces magmas. Understanding this deep recycling system is a scientific challenge requiring multiple approaches. Among those, it appears that we lack basic information on the composition of the fluid that begins the process of material transfer in subduction zones. Indeed, no pristine fluid sample has yet been collected from this particular environment. Albeit challenging, the alternative would be experimental study of fluids under the appropriate conditions. Consequently, we developed an experimental protocol to measure the concentration of aqueous fluids equilibrated with minerals up to pressures (P) of 5 GPa, at least and temperatures (T) of 550 C. This includes syntheses at high-P and -T conditions, and determination of the fluid composition. Syntheses were performed in a large volume belt-type press at the conditions, 2-5 GPa and ca. 550 C. Oxides or minerals were loaded with water in a gold capsule sealed afterwards. Presence of free fluid during experiments could be confirmed by direct observation of fluid release from the sealed capsule upon puncturing. The composition in trace elements of the fluids that were equilibrated at high-P and -T with minerals was reconstructed from that of the precipitates deposited at the surface of minerals after evaporation of the capsule. The precipitates were dissolved and analyzed by a leaching technique detailed in Koga et al. (2005). Two hydrous minerals of prime interest for subductions were sofar investigated: the high-pressure variety of serpentine, antigorite, and talc. The partitioning coefficients of a series of trace-elements will be presented, as well as their evolution as a function of pressure. Consequences for the composition of the fluids released during the dehydration of hydrous metamorphic minerals will be drawn. Those measurements are unlikely to be feasible at pressures in excess of 5 GPa

  4. ­Intense Microseismicity Associated with a SSE at La Plata Island in the Central Subduction Zone of Ecuador (United States)

    Segovia, M.; Font, Y.; Regnier, M. M.; Charvis, P.; Nocquet, J. M.; Galve, A.; Hello, Y.; Ogé, A.; Jarrin, P.; Ruiz, M. C.


    No large historical earthquakes affected the central subduction zone in Ecuador. Instead, this region around La Plata Island experienced periodic seismic swarms as those in 1998, 2002, 2005 and 2010. During the 2010 swarm, a permanent GPS at La Plata Is. detected a 4-5 days long slow slip event (SSE) with a magnitude 6-6.3 Mw. It was accompanied by an intense microseismicity located downdip of the locked patch centered in the island (Vallée et al., 2013). An onshore-offshore seismic network consisting of 7 BB and 5 OBS deployed in this area recorded the background seismicity during 2 years starting in Nov. 2011. In mid-Jan. 2013, the network recorded an increase in the seismicity around the island (~1000 eqs. from which ~400 were well localized). At the same time La Plata GPS showed a trenchward displacement during 3-4 days. The seismicity lasted ~6 days and possibly started ~0.5 day before the onset of the motion. It started south of the island and it propagated bilaterally northeastward and southwestward. It was organized in 3 lines almost parallel to the tectonic lineations in the subducting oceanic crust observed west of the trench. These lines may mark topographic highs in the plunging plate related to inherited and/or extrados-type fault due to the bending during the subduction, which are acting as seismic asperities. The earthquakes were located in the vicinity of the interface in the lower third of the locked zone, whereas, before the SSE, the seismicity was mostly deeper inland along the plate interface but also along crustal faults. The magnitudes ranged from 2-4.5 (Ml) lower than those of the background seismicity during our experiment (4.7 Ml). This SSE likely occurred at shallow depth (10-15 km) along the megathrust fault. It triggered seismicity in areas that were quiet in the period immediately before. A bilateral migration and a possible control by the topography of the plunging plate are observed.

  5. Insights into Shallow Anisotropic Structure in the Forearc Hikurangi Subduction Zone, New Zealand via Splitting of Teleseisms (United States)

    Karalliyadda, S.; Savage, M. K.


    We use a recent transect that consists of 10 broadband stations across the northeast of Wellington region to explore the anisotropic structure of the forearc of the Hikurangi subduction zone in the southern North Island (NI), New Zealand from shear-wave splitting of SKS, ScS and teleseismic S phases. These measurements are then integrated with the previous splitting measurements in northwest of the transect. Splitting parameters from teleseismic S-phases revealed an abrupt lateral variation in the anisotropic structure. The general trend of splitting agrees well with the previous studies around this area, with NE-SW trench-parallel fast direction (φ). The range of delay times ( 0.5 - 3.0 s) and slightly varying SKS φ across the southeast of NI suggest a laterally varying anisotropic structure. As inferred by splitting variations from long period (>7 s) phases across the profile, the upper-plate Wairarapa fault and basin area appear to be characterized by a distinct anisotropic structure that is possibly localized at crustal depths. The sharp change in delay time (δt) around this fault zone divides the region in to two distinct domains of eastern and western sides. The average δt on the eastern side (2.05 × 0.45 s) is ~0.6 s higher than that measured in the western side (1.44 × 0.24 s) of the Wairarapa fault. This change takes place between two stations that are separated by ~3 km. Clear frequency dependent splitting from ScS and teleseismic S-phases suggests that the anisotropic structure is either stratified or governed by more complex anisotropy. Multilayer models are unable to explain the observations adequately, suggesting a more complex structure. We think that this complex structure is governed in part by the laterally-varying crustal contribution of anisotropy and this lateral variation is likely associated with the multilayer anisotropy to form a more complex structure. We suggest that the subduction structure is dominated by the mantle flow in the

  6. The relationship between subduction zone redox budget and arc magma fertility (United States)

    Evans, K.-A.; Tomkins, A.-G.


    A number of lines of evidence point to a causal link between oxidised slab-derived fluids, oxidised sub-arc mantle, and the formation of economic concentrations of metals such as Cu and Au that require oxidised magmas. However, trace element evidence from some trace element and isotope data suggests that sub-arc mantle is no more oxidised than mantle elsewhere. A simple analytical model is applied to constrain the evolution of sub-arc mantle oxidation state as a function of redox-budget fluxes from the subducting slab. Influential variables include the solubility of Fe 3+ and SO 42 - in slab-derived fluids, the geometry of the infiltration of slab-derived fluids in sub-arc mantle, the coupling between slab-derived and arc-output redox budgets, and the concentration of redox-buffering elements such as Fe and S in the sub-arc mantle. Plausible Archean and Proterozoic redox budget fluxes would not have created oxidised sub-arc mantle without input from ferric iron or sulphate dissolved in non-aqueous fluids such as silicate melts. Aqueous-borne Phanerozoic redox budget fluxes, on the other hand, which are dominated by the sulphate component, could have increased sub-arc fO 2 by up to three log 10 units. The results are generally consistent with the proposed elevated fO 2 for sub-arc mantle, but no resolution was found for the apparent contradiction between high proposed fO 2 values derived from iron-based oxybarometry and the lower values inferred from trace element and isotope evidence. Increases in sub-arc mantle fO 2 are favoured by focussed fluid infiltration and magma generation, weak coupling between slab and arc-output redox budgets, and restricted redox-buffering in the sub-arc mantle. Fertile arc segments for ore deposits associated with oxidised magmas require fluid chemistry and pressure-temperature gradients that enhance Fe 3+ and SO 42 - solubility in aqueous and silica-rich fluids, tectonic stress regimes that favour focussed transfer of components into

  7. The Relationships of Upper Plate Ridge-Trench-Trench and Ridge-Trench-Transform Triple Junction Evolution to Arc Lengthening, Subduction Zone initiation and Ophiolitic Forearc Obduction (United States)

    Casey, J.; Dewey, J. F.


    The principal enigma of large obducted ophiolite slabs is that they clearly must have been generated by some form of organized sea-floor spreading/plate-accretion, such as may be envisioned for the oceanic ridges, yet the volcanics commonly have arc affinity (Miyashiro) with boninites (high-temperature/low-pressure, high Mg and Si andesites), which are suggestive of a forearc origin. PT conditions under which boninites and metamorphic soles form and observations of modern forearc systems lead us to the conclusion that ophiolite formation is associated with overriding plate spreading centers that intersect the trench to form ridge-trench-trench of ridge-trench-tranform triple junctions. The spreading centers extend and lengthen the forearc parallel to the trench and by definition are in supra-subduction zone (SSZ) settings. Many ophiolites likewise have complexly-deformed associated mafic-ultramafic assemblages that suggest fracture zone/transform along their frontal edges, which in turn has led to models involving the nucleation of subduction zones on fracture zones or transpressional transforms. Hitherto, arc-related sea-floor-spreading has been considered to be either pre-arc (fore-arc boninites) or post-arc (classic Karig-style back arc basins that trench-parallel split arcs). Syn-arc boninites and forearc oceanic spreading centers that involve a stable ridge/trench/trench triple or a ridge-trench-transform triple junction, the ridge being between the two upper plates, are consistent with large slab ophiolite formation in an obduction-ready settting. The direction of subduction must be oblique with a different sense in the two subduction zones and the oblique subduction cannot be partitioned into trench orthogonal and parallel strike-slip components. As the ridge spreads, new oceanic lithosphere is created within the forearc, the arc and fore-arc lengthen significantly, and a syn-arc ophiolite forearc complex is generated by this mechanism. The ophiolite ages

  8. Phlogopite and K-amphibole in the upper mantle: Implication for magma genesis in subduction zones

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sudo, Akira; Tatsumi, Yoshiyuki (Kyoto Univ. (Japan))


    High-pressure phase relations have been examined for phlogopite + diopside with and without enstatite under vapor absent conditions in the pressure range of 5 to 13 GPa and in the temperature range of 1,000 to 1,300C. Phlogopite in these systems can be stable up to 6-7 GPa and decomposes through pressure-dependent reactions to crystallize phases including potassic amphibole. The experimental results suggest that phlogopite, which is one of main hydrous phases in the downdragged hydrated peridotite at the base of mantle wedge, plays an important role in the formation of magmas at the backarc side of a volcanic arc. The existence of potassic amphibole at higher pressure regions may imply the involvement of subduction component in magma generation in the region far away from the trench axis.

  9. 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

  10. 3D velocity structure of the outer forearc of the Colombia-Ecuador subduction zone; implications for the 1958 megathrust earthquake rupture zone (United States)

    Galve, A.; Charvis, P.; Garcia Cano, L.; Marcaillou, B.


    In 2005, we conducted an onshore-offshore 3D refraction and wide-angle reflection seismic experiment over the rupture zone of the 1958 subduction earthquake that occurred near the border between Colombia and Ecuador. This earthquake was part of a sequence of 3 large ruptures (1942, Mw=7.8; 1958, Mw=7.7; 1979, Mw=8.2), which successively broke from south to north the segments of the megathrust that had been ruptured in 1906 by a single, very large magnitude (8.8) earthquake. Using first arrival traveltime inversion, we constructed a well-defined Vp velocity model of the plate boundary and of the upper and lower plates, down to 25 km depth. The model reveals a 5-km thick, low velocity zone in the upper plate, located immediately above the interplate contact. Because similar low-velocity zones are commonly observed along margins made of oceanic or island-arc accreted terranes, we suggest that the low-velocity zone might result from the alteration and hydration of mafic and ultramafic rocks in the upper plate basement, rather than from hydrofracturing alone. Sediments underplated beneath the inner wedge might contribute to the low-velocity zone but it is unlikely that they are several kilometers thick. Nevertheless, fluids expelled by the compaction and dehydration of those underplated sediments possibly favor the alteration of the overlying rocks. The low-velocity zone is spatially coincident with the 1958 rupture area. Near the toe of the margin, the model shows a low velocity gradient in the outer wedge that we interpret as a zone of highly faulted and fractured rocks or of poorly consolidated sediments. This low velocity/low gradient region forms the oceanward limit of the rupture zones of both the 1958 and the 1979 earthquakes. We suggest that the two earthquake ruptures were arrested by the low velocity zone because its low rigidity contributed to dissipate most of the seismic energy and of the coseismic strain/stress. This might be the reason why the 1958

  11. Transition Zone of the Cascadia Subduction Fault: Insights from Seismic Imaging of Slow Earthquakes (United States)

    Ghosh, A.


    Transition zone lies between the updip locked and downdip freely slipping zone, and presumably marks the downdip extent of rupture during large megathrust earthquakes. Tectonic behavior of the transition zone and its possible implications on the occurrence of destructive megathurst earthquakes, however, remain poorly understood mainly due to lack of seismic events in this zone. Slow earthquakes, marked by seismically observed tremor and geodetically observed slow slip, occur in the transition zone offering a unique window to this zone, and allow us to study the dynamics of this enigmatic part of the fault. I developed a novel multi beam-backprojection (MBBP) algorithm to image slow earthquakes with high resolution using small-aperture seismic arrays. Application of MBBP technique on slow earthquakes in Cascadia indicates that the majority of the tremor is located near the plate interface [Ghosh et al., JGR, 2012]. Spatiotemporal distribution of tremor is fairly complex, and strikingly different over different time scales. Transition zone appears to be characterized by several patches with dimension of tens of kilometers. The patches behave like asperities, and possibly represent more seismic part of the fault embedded within a relatively aseismic background. Tremor asperities are spatially stable and marked by prolific tremor activity. These tremor asperities seem to control evolution of slow earthquakes and likely represent rheological and/or frictional heterogeneity on the fault plane. In addition, structural features on the fault plane of the transition zone seem to play an important role in shaping the characteristics of the seismic energy radiated from here. Dynamically evolving state-of-stress during slow earthquakes and its interaction with the fault structures possibly govern near-continuous rapid streaking of tremor [Ghosh et al., G-cubed, 2010] and diverse nature of tremor propagations observed over different time scales. Overall, slow quakes are giving

  12. The influence of Ryukyu subduction on magma genesis in the Northern Taiwan Volcanic Zone and Middle Okinawa Trough - Evidence from boron isotopes (United States)

    Pi, Ju-Lien; You, Chen-Feng; Wang, Kuo-Lung


    Boron (B) is an excellent geochemical tracer for investigating crustal recycling processes at convergent margins, due to its high fluid mobility under high P-T conditions, distinct elemental abundances and isotopic compositions in the mantle wedge and subducting slabs. The Northern Taiwan Volcanic Zone (NTVZ), wherein the nature of magma genesis has long been a topic of debate, is located at the rear side of the Okinawa Trough (OT), an atypical back-arc rift in the Ryukyu subduction system. In this study, B and B isotopes (δ11B) were measured in 19 volcanic rocks collected from the NTVZ and the middle Okinawa Trough (MOT) to assess the influence of the Ryukyu subduction system on magma genesis. The B concentrations in the MOT and NTVZ volcanic rocks are 5.8 to 13.6 mg/L and 2.2 to 48.6 mg/L, respectively. The large B abundances variation in the NTVZ was caused mainly by variable degrees of partial melting. The Nb/B and δ11B in the MOT have small ranges of 0.5 to 0.6 and - 2.7‰ to 0.2‰, respectively, whereas they range widely from 0.4 to 2.5 and from - 8.6‰ to 2.4‰, respectively in the NTVZ. These Nb/B values suggest that the magma contains a smaller subduction component than that normally observed in arcs, although this component is still more substantial than in a typical back-arc setting. The δ11B results indicate insignificant influence of the subducting Philippine Sea Plate at 2.6 Ma, but it becomes more substantial later in the NTVZ. The mixing proportions of sediment derived fluids in onshore volcanoes in the NTVZ imply a rather heterogeneous mantle wedge near the plate boundary, most likely due to either a heterogeneous source of slab derived fluids or more complicated mantle flow. A substantial B flux from the subducting slab in the incipient back-arc rifting in the MOT and NTVZ may reflect characteristics of a cold, steep and fast subducting slab, which may be capable of carrying volatiles efficiently into greater depth in subduction zones. The

  13. Along-Strike Electrical Conductivity Variations in the Incoming Plate and Shallow Forearc of the Cascadia Subduction Zone (United States)

    Key, K.; Bedrosian, P.; Egbert, G. D.; Livelybrooks, D.; Parris, B. A.; Schultz, A.


    The Magnetotelluric Observations of Cascadia using a Huge Array (MOCHA) experiment was carried out to study the nature of the seismogenic locked zone and the down-dip transition zone where episodic tremor and slip (ETS) originates. This amphibious magnetotelluric (MT) data set consists of 8 offshore and 15 onshore profiles crossing from just seaward of the trench to the western front of the Cascades, with a north-south extent spanning from central Oregon to central Washington. The 71 offshore stations and the 75 onshore stations (red triangles in the image below) fit into the broader context of the more sparsely sampled EarthScope MT transportable array (black triangles) and other previous and pending MT surveys (other symbols). These data allows us to image variations in electrical conductivity along distinct segments of the Cascadia subduction zone defined by ETS recurrence intervals. Since bulk conductivity in this setting depends primarily on porosity, fluid content and temperature, the conductivity images created from the MOCHA data offer unique insights on fluid processes in the crust and mantle, and how the distribution of fluid along the plate interface relates to observed variations in ETS behavior. This abstract explores the across- and along-strike variations in the incoming plate and the shallow offshore forearc. In particular we examine how conductivity variations, and the inferred fluid content and porosity variations, are related to tectonic segmentation, seismicity and deformation patterns, and arc magma variations along-strike. Porosity inferred in the forearc crust can be interpreted in conjunction with active and passive seismic imaging results and may provide new insights on the origin of recently observed extremely high heat flow values. A companion abstract (Parris et al.) examines the deeper conductivity structure of the locked and ETS zones along the plate interface in order to identify correlations between ETS occurrence rates and inferred

  14. Subduction and accretion of sedimentary rocks in the Yakutat collision zone, St. Elias orogen, Gulf of Alaska (United States)

    Van Avendonk, Harm J. A.; Gulick, Sean P. S.; Christeson, Gail L.; Worthington, Lindsay L.; Pavlis, Terry L.; Ridgway, Kenneth D.


    The collision of the Yakutat Block with the continental margin of North America in the Gulf of Alaska has intensified exhumation and erosion in the Chugach-St. Elias orogen over the last few million years. The resultant sediment flux and deposition of the glaciomarine Yakataga Formation on the continental shelf has filled a deep sedimentary basin offshore, where the Pamplona fold-thrust belt first deforms these strata. It is presently unclear whether the older sedimentary rocks of the Poul Creek and Kulthieth Formations are also accreted in the Pamplona Zone, or whether they are underthrusting the margin. In this paper we use marine seismic and well logging data to show that in the offshore Yakataga strata, porosity loss and lateral compaction can account for half of the convergence between the Yakutat Block and North America over the last 2 Myr. A lateral seismic velocity gradient in these syn-orogenic strata suggests that this layer-parallel shortening starts approximately 100 km outboard of the deformation front. Beneath the fold-and-thrust belt, where the seismic velocity is as high as 4.7 km/s, we image a large low-velocity zone (2.0-2.5 km/s) at 5 km depth. The dramatic decrease in seismic velocity with depth coincides with the boundary between the Yakataga and Poul Creek Formations in well data. Fine-grained and organic-rich Poul Creek strata possibly accommodate slip, such that older sedimentary rocks are entrained with the subducting Yakutat Block. Alternatively, the imaged low-velocity zone may have formed by increased fluid pressures in the hanging wall. In that case the décollement would lie beneath this low-velocity zone, possibly within the coal-bearing layers of the older and deeper Kulthieth Formation.

  15. A Mini-Megathrust Event in an Incipient Subduction Zone: The 2012 Mw 7.8 Haida Gwaii Earthquake Sequence (United States)

    Farahbod, A.; Kao, H.; Shan, S.


    The 2012 Haida Gwaii earthquake (Mw 7.8) is the largest event recorded by modern seismograph networks in Canada. The source region is associated with a complicated tectonic system that constitutes the boundary between the North America and Pacific plates. In addition to the strike-slip Queen Charlotte Fault located immediately offshore west of the Haida Gwaii island, the oblique convergence between the two plates also create an incipient subduction zone that is confirmed by previous seismic velocity studies. In this study, we systematically examine the seismic waveforms of the Haida Gwaii earthquake sequence as recorded by the Canadian National Seismograph Network (CNSN) stations. Because of the sparse station density in the source region, precise determination of earthquake hypocenters is challenging. We add the information of back-azimuth and incident angle, both are derived from the cross-correlation of 3-component waveforms, into the locating process to better constrain the distribution of aftershocks. For the first 24 hours, we are able to locate 264 aftershock events whereas the routine location catalogue gives only 106 events. The corresponding b-value is 0.56 with a magnitude of completeness of 2.3. The main shock shows low-angle thrust focal mechanism with the slip consistent in the direction of relative convergence. The distribution of aftershocks forms two major clusters. One is directly updip from the main rupture zone but within the subducting Pacific plate. Focal mechanisms of events with Mw >= 4.5 in this cluster are mostly normal-faulting, probably in response to plate bending. The other cluster is located within the overriding crust of the North America plate. These events show a mixture of normal and strike-slip faulting. Few aftershocks occurred on the main rupture zone, but were all too small for moment-tensor inversion. Most events within the down-going slab beneath the plate interface show downdip extensional mechanisms. We have not observed

  16. Origin and serpentinization of ultramafic rocks of Manipur Ophiolite Complex in the Indo-Myanmar subduction zone, Northeast India (United States)

    Ningthoujam, P. S.; Dubey, C. S.; Guillot, S.; Fagion, A.-S.; Shukla, D. P.


    The Manipur Ophiolite Complex (MOC) is part of the Manipur-Nagaland ophiolite belt (MNOB). The belt is exposed in the eastern margin of the Indo-Myanmar Ranges (IMRs), which formed by the collision between the India and Myanmar continental plates. Several contrasting views were put forward concerning the origin of the MNOB. The complex represents a dismembered ophiolite sequence with serpentinite as the largest litho-unit formed. Petrography and Raman spectroscopy of the serpentinite suggest that they are serpentinized ultramafic cumulate and peridotite. The serpentinization may have occurred at a condition of low pressure and low temperature metamorphism. Geochemical signatures of the rocks and spinel grains revealed that the protolith be an abyssal peridotite, derived from a less depleted fertile mantle melt at a MORB setting after low degree (10-15%) partial melting. The study concluded that the serpentinite may have been created at a slow-spreading ridge, rather than a supra-subduction-zone setting. These rocks were later obducted and incorporated into the IMR of Indo-Myanmar suture zone.

  17. New data on the period of existence of the continental margin subduction zone in the Middle Urals (United States)

    Smirnov, V. N.; Ivanov, K. S.; Shokalsky, S. P.


    U-Pb (SIMS) dating of zircons from granite of the Petrokamensk gabbro-granitoid complex, marking termination of the Devonian island-arc magmatism in the Verkhisetsk-Tura Zone of the Middle Urals, gave an age of 386 ± 3 Ma. Zircons from the West Verkhisetsk granitoids, the formation of which corresponds to the beginning stage of magmatism of the continental margin in the region, yielded ages of 386.6 ± 4.1 and 381.8 ± 6.0 Ma. This suggests that the change in the regime of the island-arc geodynamic mode to an active continental margin took place at the boundary of the Middle and Late Devonian. The upper boundary of existence of the continental margin subduction zone is determined by the closure of the Ural paleo-ocean and the beginning of continental collision processes, which resulted in accumulation of flysch in the Ural foreland trough from the second half of the Bashkirian Stage.

  18. Seismic heating signatures in the Japan Trench subduction plate-boundary fault zone: evidence from a preliminary rock magnetic `geothermometer' (United States)

    Yang, Tao; Dekkers, Mark J.; Zhang, Bo


    Frictional heating during earthquake rupture reveals important information on earthquake mechanisms and energy dissipation. The amount of annealing varies widely and is, as yet, poorly constrained. Here we use magnetic susceptibility versus temperature measurements during cycling to increasingly elevated temperatures to constrain the maximum temperature a slip zone has experienced. The case study comprises sheared clay cored from the Japan Trench subduction plate-boundary fault zone (décollement), which accommodated the large slip of the 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku-oki earthquake. The décollement was cored during the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 343, the Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST). Heating signatures with estimated maximum temperatures ranging from ˜300 to over 500 °C are determined close to the multiple slip surfaces within the décollement. Since it is impossible to tie a specific slip surface to a certain earthquake, thermal evidence for the cumulative effect of several earthquakes is unveiled. This as yet preliminary rock magnetic `geothermometer' would be a useful tool to detect seismic heating along faults that experienced medium temperature rise, a range which is difficult to assess with other approaches.

  19. Three-dimensional P wave attenuation and velocity upper mantle tomography of the southern Apennines-Calabrian Arc subduction zone (United States)

    Monna, Stephen; Dahm, Torsten


    We propose a 3-D crust-upper mantle seismic attenuation (QP) model of the southern Apennines-Calabrian Arc subduction zone together with a 3-D velocity (VP) model. The QP model is calculated from relative t* using the spectral ratio method and the VP from traveltime data. The final data set used for the inversion of the VP model consists of 2400 traveltime arrivals recorded by 34 short-period stations that are part of the Italian National Seismic Network, and for the QP model, 2178 Pn phases recorded by a subset of 32 stations. Traveltimes and waveforms come from 272 intermediate-depth Calabrian slab events. This 3-D model of attenuation, together with the 3-D velocity model, improves our knowledge of the slab/mantle wedge structure and can be a starting point in determining the physical state of the asthenosphere (i.e., its temperature, the presence of melt and/or fluids) and its relation to volcanism found in the study area. Main features of the QP and VP models show that the mantle wedge/slab, in particular, the area of highest attenuation, is located in a volume underlying the Marsili Basin. The existence and shape of this main low-QP (and low-VP) anomaly points to slab dehydration and fluid/material flow, a process that may explain the strong geochemical affinities between the subduction-related magmas from Stromboli and Vesuvius. Other interesting features in the models are strong lateral variations in QP and VP that are put in relation with known important tectonic structures and volcanic centers in the area.

  20. Deciphering the Alpine Deformation History of a Potential Fossil Subduction Interface in the Depth of the Seismogenic Zone (Central Alps) (United States)

    Ioannidi, Paraskevi Io; Oncken, Onno; Angiboust, Samuel; Agard, Philippe


    We use here a potential fossil subduction interface preserved in the Central Alps (N. Italy) as a proxy to study and understand the variety of deformation patterns taking place at the transition between unstable and conditionally stable regimes in present-day subduction interfaces. Foliated cataclasites and mylonites occur discontinuously at the base of the overriding plate within the first tens of meters above the contact with the underlying ultramafics. These brittle and plastic features are crosscut by metamorphic veins which are later sheared during pressure solution creep and quartz dynamic recrystallization. We herein question the possibility to interpret the succession recorded by these microstructures as one piece of evidence for alternating transient slip events. Microprobe results point to different episodes of phengite and garnet recrystallization of the inherited upper plate minerals. Quartz inclusions within garnets help determine the pressure conditions under which the new generations formed. Field observations, microfabrics and mapping revealed a wide range of deformation patterns in each locality studied, exposing segments corresponding to a depth range of 15-35 km (250°-450°C). A combination of these P-T estimates and a comparison to the results of thermodynamic modelling can independently validate the depth to which these rocks were buried. EBSD analysis on recrystallized quartz grains reveal lower differential stresses than those expected from the Byerlee law. Rb/Sr and 40Ar/39Ar deformation ages are being acquired from rocks of the interface to shed light on the time during which the individual shear zones were active.

  1. Sensitivity of Tsunami Waves and Coastal Inundation/Runup to Seabed Displacement Models: Application to the Cascadia Subduction zone (United States)

    Jalali Farahani, R.; Fitzenz, D. D.; Nyst, M.


    Major components of tsunami hazard modeling include earthquake source characterization, seabed displacement, wave propagation, and coastal inundation/run-up. Accurate modeling of these components is essential to identify the disaster risk exposures effectively, which would be crucial for insurance industry as well as policy makers to have tsunami resistant design of structures and evacuation planning (FEMA, 2008). In this study, the sensitivity and variability of tsunami coastal inundation due to Cascadia megathrust subduction earthquake are studied by considering the different approaches for seabed displacement model. The first approach is the analytical expressions that were proposed by Okada (1985, 1992) for the surface displacements and strains of rectangular sources. The second approach was introduced by Meade (2006) who introduced analytical solutions for calculating displacements, strains, and stresses on triangular sources. In this study, the seabed displacement using triangular representation of geometrically complex fault surfaces is compared with the Okada rectangular representations for the Cascadia subduction zone. In the triangular dislocation algorithm, the displacement is calculated using superposition of two angular dislocations for each of the three triangle legs. The triangular elements could give a better and gap-free representation of the fault surfaces. In addition, the rectangular representation gives large unphysical vertical displacement along the shallow-depth fault edge that generates unrealistic short-wavelength waves. To study the impact of these two different algorithms on the final tsunami inundation, the initial tsunami wave as well as wave propagation and the coastal inundation are simulated. To model the propagation of tsunami waves and coastal inundation, 2D shallow water equations are modeled using the seabed displacement as the initial condition for the numerical model. Tsunami numerical simulation has been performed on high

  2. Coupling on the northern Cascadia subduction zone from geodetic measurements and physics-based models (United States)

    Bruhat, Lucile; Segall, Paul


    Kinematic inversions of GPS and tide gauge/leveling data display an unresolved "gap" between the downdip limit of the locked megathrust and the top of the episodic tremor and slip (ETS) zone in northern Cascadia. This work combines physics-based models of slow-slip events with both mean ETS displacements and decadal-averaged deformation rates to explain the gap and determine how interseismic stress accumulates on the megathrust. While physics-based predictions match the average ETS displacements, they significantly misfit long-term rates, implying faster slip rates within both the gap and the ETS region. Heterogeneous Green's functions or velocity-strengthening friction within the gap cannot explain the decadal rates. The observed uplift rates require steeper gradients in slip rate at the base of the locked zone. We invert for the smallest possible shear stress rate on the creeping megathrust below a locked zone that satisfactorily fits the data. A nonzero shear stress rate within the ETS zone, reaching -2.5 kPa/yr at a depth of 25-30 km, is required. Finally, of all the models that adequately fit both horizontal and vertical data, only those with deep locking depths, around 21 km, significantly improve the fit to the uplift rates.

  3. Mapping the rheology of the Central Chile subduction zone with aftershocks (United States)

    Frank, William B.; Poli, Piero; Perfettini, Hugo


    The postseismic deformation following a large (Mw >7) earthquake is expressed both seismically and aseismically. Recent studies have appealed to a model that suggests that the aseismic slip on the plate interface following the mainshock can be the driving factor in aftershock sequences, reproducing both the geodetic (afterslip) and seismic (aftershocks) observables of postseismic deformation. Exploiting this model, we demonstrate how a dense catalog of aftershocks following the 2015 Mw 8.3 Illapel earthquake in Central Chile can constrain the frictional and rheological properties of the creeping regions of the subduction interface. We first expand the aftershock catalog via a 19 month continuous matched-filter search and highlight the log-time expansion of seismicity following the mainshock, suggestive of afterslip as the main driver of aftershock activity. We then show how the time history of aftershocks can constrain the temporal evolution of afterslip. Finally, we use our dense aftershock catalog to estimate the rate and state rheological parameter (a - b)σ as a function of depth and demonstrate that this low value is compatible either with a nearly velocity-neutral friction (a≈b) in the regions of the megathrust that host afterslip, or an elevated pore fluid pressure (low effective normal stress σ) along the plate interface. Our results present the first snapshot of rheology in depth together with the evolution of the tectonic stressing rate along a plate boundary. The framework described here can be generalized to any tectonic context and provides a novel way to constrain the frictional properties and loading conditions of active faults.

  4. The polyphased tectonic evolution of the Anegada Passage in the northern Lesser Antilles subduction zone (United States)

    Laurencin, M.; Marcaillou, B.; Graindorge, D.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Lallemand, S.; Laigle, M.; Lebrun, J.-F.


    The influence of the highly oblique plate convergence at the northern Lesser Antilles onto the margin strain partitioning and deformation pattern, although frequently invoked, has never been clearly imaged. The Anegada Passage is a set of basins and deep valleys, regularly related to the southern boundary of the Puerto Rico-Virgin Islands (PRVI) microplate. Despite the publications of various tectonic models mostly based on bathymetric data, the tectonic origin and deformation of this Passage remains unconstrained in the absence of deep structure imaging. During cruises Antithesis 1 and 3 (2013-2016), we recorded the first deep multichannel seismic images and new multibeam data in the northern Lesser Antilles margin segment in order to shed a new light on the structure and tectonic pattern of the Anegada Passage. We image the northeastern extent of the Anegada Passage, from the Sombrero Basin to the Lesser Antilles margin front. Our results reveal that this northeastern segment is an EW trending left-stepping en échelon strike-slip system that consists of the Sombrero and Malliwana pull-apart basins, the Malliwana and Anguilla left-lateral faults, and the NE-SW compressional restraining bend at the Malliwana Hill. Reviewing the structure of the Anegada Passage, from the south of Puerto Rico to the Lesser Antilles margin front, reveals a polyphased tectonic history. The Anegada Passage is formed by a NW-SE extension, possibly related to the rotation or escape of PRVI block due to collision of the Bahamas Bank. Currently, it is deformed by an active WNW-ESE strike-slip deformation associated to the shear component of the strain partitioning resulting from the subduction obliquity.

  5. Historic and ancient tsunamis uncovered on the Jalisco-Colima Pacific coast, the Mexican subduction zone (United States)

    Ramírez-Herrera, María Teresa; Bógalo, María Felicidad; Černý, Jan; Goguitchaichvili, Avto; Corona, Néstor; Machain, María Luisa; Edwards, Arturo Carranza; Sosa, Susana


    Research on extreme wave events such as tsunamis using the geological record in areas of infrequent and or small magnitude earthquakes can aid in extending the long-term history and recurrence intervals of large events. This information is valuable for risk management and community preparedness in coastal areas. Here we investigate tsunami deposits on the Jalisco coast of Mexico that overlies the subducting Rivera Plate under the North American plate, an area due for a large thrust earthquake and potential tsunami. Here, we apply a full battery of rock-magnetic analyses that also include a detailed AMS study and other typically applied proxies in tsunami deposits research. We present evidence to demonstrate that anomalous sand units with sharp basal contacts at La Manzanilla, Tenacatita Bay, and El Tecuán shore sites on the Jalisco coast may be the products of tsunamis generated by known historical (Ms 8.2 earthquake of 3 June 1932) and other earlier tsunamigenic earthquakes. A sandy unit with a sharp basal contact, flame structures at the base, rip-up clasts at La Manzanilla, and four sand units with sharp basal contact overlying buried soils at El Tecuán, together with other proxies, such as magnetic properties and others, suggest tsunami deposits. 210Pb dating of sediments slightly above the upper sand layer indicate an age A.D. 1935 ± 11 at El Tecuán. Historical accounts of tsunami inundation at both sites provide further evidence that this is most probably the result of the 3 June 1932 tsunami. Hence this study may provide the first evidence of a tsunami triggered by this earthquake and also of three probable predecessors. Further evidence of at least three earlier tsunamis that occurred since the fifteenth century is also evident in the stratigraphy. These events may correspond to events listed in historical archives, namely the 1563, 1816, and/or the 1818 events.

  6. Stratigraphic and microfossil evidence for a 4500-year history of Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes and tsunamis at Yaquina River estuary, Oregon, USA (United States)

    Graehl, Nicholas A; Kelsey, Harvey M.; Witter, Robert C.; Hemphill-Haley, Eileen; Engelhart, Simon E.


    The Sallys Bend swamp and marsh area on the central Oregon coast onshore of the Cascadia subduction zone contains a sequence of buried coastal wetland soils that extends back ∼4500 yr B.P. The upper 10 of the 12 soils are represented in multiple cores. Each soil is abruptly overlain by a sandy deposit and then, in most cases, by greater than 10 cm of mud. For eight of the 10 buried soils, times of soil burial are constrained through radiocarbon ages on fine, delicate detritus from the top of the buried soil; for two of the buried soils, diatom and foraminifera data constrain paleoenvironment at the time of soil burial.We infer that each buried soil represents a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake because the soils are laterally extensive and abruptly overlain by sandy deposits and mud. Preservation of coseismically buried soils occurred from 4500 yr ago until ∼500–600 yr ago, after which preservation was compromised by cessation of gradual relative sea-level rise, which in turn precluded drowning of marsh soils during instances of coseismic subsidence. Based on grain-size and microfossil data, sandy deposits overlying buried soils accumulated immediately after a subduction zone earthquake, during tsunami incursion into Sallys Bend. The possibility that the sandy deposits were sourced directly from landslides triggered upstream in the Yaquina River basin by seismic shaking was discounted based on sedimentologic, microfossil, and depositional site characteristics of the sandy deposits, which were inconsistent with a fluvial origin. Biostratigraphic analyses of sediment above two buried soils—in the case of two earthquakes, one occurring shortly after 1541–1708 cal. yr B.P. and the other occurring shortly after 3227–3444 cal. yr B.P.—provide estimates that coseismic subsidence was a minimum of 0.4 m. The average recurrence interval of subduction zone earthquakes is 420–580 yr, based on an ∼3750–4050-yr-long record and seven to nine interearthquake

  7. Image of the seismogenic coupling zone in Central Chile: The amphibious experiment SPOC (Subduction Processes Off Chile) (United States)

    Krawczyk, C. M.; Stiller, M.; Lüth, S.; Mechie, J.; Spoc Research Group


    Nearly all interplate megathrust earthquakes occur in the seismogenic coupling zone between converging plates. In the area of the 1960 Chile earthquake (Mw = 9.5), we aim at a quantitative understanding of the seismicity and its relation to processes operating at depth and at the surface. As a first step, the offshore experiment SPOC with RV SONNE was combined with an onshore-offshore, active-passive seismic experiment between 36° and 39° S, crossing the rupture area of the 1960 Chile earthquake. The campaign comprised: (1) a 2-D wide-angle component recording chemical shots and airgun pulses along three consecutive E-W onshore profiles; (2) a seismic reflection experiment in the onshore-offshore transition; and (3) a 3-D component which recorded both active and passive sources. Offshore, the upper plate is split into many segments with pronounced forearc basins and narrow accretionary wedges. A thick subduction channel seems to cause a non-accretionary subduction mode. Covering onshore the westernmost part of a long E-W refraction seismic line (one amongst three), the profile spread of the reflection seismic survey at 38° 15`S was 54 km long, with three set-ups of 18 km length each, and extended from the coast to the east. Furthermore, the offshore-onshore transition zone is imaged by a wide-angle section resulting from the registration of the airgun shots of the marine profile with the first 18 km of the spread of the NVR survey. Different mainly eastward dipping reflection bands are observed between 5-25 km depth. These bands are interpreted to describe the internal structure of the Palaeozoic accretionary wedge in the region. The reflections between 25-45 km depth correlate with Wadati-Benioff seismicity and are suggested to image the top of the downgoing plate. Below the coast, the plate dips with c. 15° below the continent. In the central part of the profile, a break in reflectivity located below the axis of the coastal cordillera more or less coincides

  8. Three-dimensional elastic wave speeds in the northern Chile subduction zone: variations in hydration in the supraslab mantle (United States)

    Comte, Diana; Carrizo, Daniel; Roecker, Steven; Ortega-Culaciati, Francisco; Peyrat, Sophie


    We use seismic tomography to investigate the state of the supraslab mantle beneath northern Chile, a part of the Nazca-South America Plate boundary known for frequent megathrust earthquakes and active volcanism. We performed a joint inversion of arrival times from earthquake generated body waves and phase delay times from ambient noise generated surface waves recorded by a combined 360 seismic stations deployed in northern Chile at various times over several decades. Our preferred model shows an increase in Vp/Vs by as much as 3 per cent from the subducting slab into the supraslab mantle throughout northern Chile. Combined with low values of both Vp and Vs at depths between 40 and 80 km, we attribute this increase in Vp/Vs to the serpentinization of the supraslab mantle in this depth range. The region of high Vp/Vs extends to 80-120 km depth within the supraslab mantle, but Vp and Vs both increase to normal to high values. This combination, along with the greater abundance of ambient seismicity and higher temperatures at these depths, suggest that conversion from basalt to eclogite in the slab accelerates and that the fluids expelled into the supraslab mantle contribute to partial melt. The corresponding maximum melt fraction is estimated to be about 1 per cent. Both the volume of the region affected by hydration and size of the wave speed contrasts are significantly larger north of ˜21°S. This latitude also delimits large coastal scarps and the eruption of ignimbrites in the north. Ambient seismicity is more abundant north of 21°S, and the seismic zone south of this latitude is offset to the east. The high Vp/Vs region in the north may extend along the slab interface to depths as shallow as 20 km, where it corresponds to a region of reduced seismic coupling and overlaps the rupture zone of the recent 2014 M8.2 Pisagua earthquake. A potential cause of these contrasts is enhanced hydration of the subducting oceanic lithosphere related to a string of seamounts

  9. 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

  10. Subduction Zone Geometry and Pre-seismic Tectonic Constraints From the Andaman Micro- plate Region. (United States)

    Earnest, A.; Freymueller, J. T.; Rajendran, K.; C. P, R.


    The 2004 Sumatra-Andaman mega-thrust rupture broke along the narrow fore-arc sliver boundary of the Indo- Burmese collision. Earlier events of 1679 (M~7.5), 1941 (M 7.7), 1881 (M~7.9) and 2002 (Mw 7.3) generated spatially restricted ruptures along this margin. Spatio-temporal analysis of the pre-seismic earthquakes showed dense seismicity in the back-arc region but negligible activity towards the trench. The hypocentral distribution highlights the shallow subduction at the northern segment, which becomes steeper and deeper to the south. The pre-earthquake stress distribution, inferred from the P and T-axes of earthquake faulting mechanisms, represents the compressional fore-arc and extensional back-arc stress regimes. Shallow NNE-SSW under- thrusting and NNW-SSE opening up of the marginal sea basin stresses were observed and this trend changes to NE-SW to N-S at intermediate depths. We collected three epochs of campaign mode GPS data along the arc from May 2002 to September 2004. These observations show nearly pure convergence along the Andaman trench prior to the earthquake. During this period the GPS sites moved westward relative to India at ~5.5 mm/yr, consistent with the earlier results. Along arc GPS velocity vectors suggest that the Andaman trench is part of a purely slip partitioned boundary, with the strike- slip component of the India-Sunda relative plate motion being taken up on the transform fault in the Andaman Sea or on the West Andaman Fault, and the convergent component on the Andaman trench. Although near normal convergence was observed, it sampled only a fraction of a possible full Andaman microplate convergence velocity, because elastic deformation from the locked shallow megathrust caused displacements toward the overriding plate, that is, away from India. Based on the Indian plate velocity and Andaman spreading rates, this component amounts to ~85% of the pre-seismic convergence. These geodetic velocities represent the present day geologic

  11. Implications of estimated magmatic additions and recycling losses at the subduction zones of accretionary (non-collisional) and collisional (suturing) orogens (United States)

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


    Arc magmatism at subduction zones (SZs) most voluminously supplies juvenile igneous material to build rafts of continental and intra-oceanic or island arc (CIA) crust. Return or recycling of accumulated CIA material to the mantle is also most vigorous at SZs. Recycling is effected by the processes of sediment subduction, subduction erosion, and detachment and sinking of deeply underthrust sectors of CIA crust. Long-term (>10-20 Ma) rates of additions and losses can be estimated from observational data gathered where oceanic crust underruns modern, long-running (Cenozoic to mid-Mesozoic) ocean-margin subduction zones (OMSZs, e.g. Aleutian and South America SZs). Long-term rates can also be observationally assessed at Mesozoic and older crust-suturing subduction zone (CSSZs) where thick bodies of CIA crust collided in tectonic contact (e.g. Wopmay and Appalachian orogens, India and SE Asia). At modern OMSZs arc magmatic additions at intra-oceanic arcs and at continental margins are globally estimated at c. 1.5 AU and c. 1.0 AU, respectively (1 AU, or Armstrong Unit,= 1 km3 a-1 of solid material). During collisional suturing at fossil CSSZs, global arc magmatic addition is estimated at 0.2 AU. This assessment presumes that in the past the global length of crustal collision zones averaged c. 6000 km, which is one-half that under way since the early Tertiary. The average long-term rate of arc magmatic additions extracted from modern OMSZs and older CSSZs is thus evaluated at 2.7 AU. Crustal recycling at Mesozoic and younger OMSZs is assessed at c. 60 km3 Ma-1 km-1 (c. 60% by subduction erosion). The corresponding global recycling rate is c. 2.5 AU. At CSSZs of Mesozoic, Palaeozoic and Proterozoic age, the combined upper and lower plate losses of CIA crust via subduction erosion, sediment subduction, and lower plate crustal detachment and sinking are assessed far less securely at c. 115 km3 Ma-1 km-1. At a global length of 6000 km, recycling at CSSZs is accordingly c. 0

  12. A double seismic zone in the subducting Juan Fernandez Ridge of the Nazca Plate (32°S), central Chile (United States)

    Marot, M.; Monfret, T.; Pardo, M.; Ranalli, G.; Nolet, G.


    The region of central Chile offers a unique opportunity to study the links between the subducting Juan Fernandez Ridge, the flat slab, the double seismic zone (DSZ), and the absence of modern volcanism. Here we report the presence and characteristics of the first observed DSZ within the intermediate-depth Nazca slab using two temporary seismic catalogs (Ovalle 1999 and Chile Argentina Seismological Measurement Experiment). The lower plane of seismicity (LP) is located 20-25 km below the upper plane, begins at 50 km depth, and merges with the lower plane at 120 km depth, where the slab becomes horizontal. Focal mechanism analysis and stress tensor calculations indicate that the slab's state of stress is dominantly controlled by plate convergence and overriding crust thickness: Above 60-70 km depth, the slab is in horizontal compression, and below, it is in horizontal extension, parallel to plate convergence, which can be accounted for by vertical loading of the overriding lithosphere. Focal mechanisms below 60-70 km depth are strongly correlated with offshore outer rise bend faults, suggesting the reactivation of preexisting faults below this depth. The large interplane distances for all Nazca DSZs can be related to the slab's unusually cold thermal structure with respect to its age. Since LPs globally seem to mimic mantle mineral dehydration paths, we suggest that fluid migration and dehydration embrittlement provide the mechanism necessary to weaken the rock and that the stress field determines the direction of rupture.

  13. S wave attenuation structure on the western side of the Nankai subduction zone: Implications for fluid distribution and dynamics (United States)

    Takahashi, Tsutomu; Obana, Koichiro; Yamamoto, Yojiro; Nakanishi, Ayako; Kodaira, Shuichi; Kaneda, Yoshiyuki


    We estimated the S wave attenuation structure in southwestern Japan and the western Nankai Trough by analyzing maximum S wave amplitudes at 4-8, 8-16, and 16-32 Hz with a correction term for apparent amplitude attenuation due to multiple forward scattering. Because the estimated attenuation (Q-1) in our tomographic study was much larger than Q-1 due to wide-angle scattering, our estimated Q-1 was composed mainly of intrinsic attenuation. High-attenuation areas (Q-1 > 1/300 at 4-8 Hz) were imaged beneath Quaternary volcanoes and south off Shikoku. Low (Philippine Sea Plate. This correspondence implies that these high and moderate Q-1 reflect fluid in the subducting slab. By applying a theoretical model of attenuation in water-saturated porous random media, we examined wave-induced fluid flow induced by lower frequency (related with triggering of nonvolcanic tremor by surface waves. Even though Q-1 structure in this study cannot fully explain the tremor triggering by wave-induced fluid flow, large uncertainties of Q-1 in tremor zone suggest that high resolution imaging of Q-1 and random inhomogeneities would give some constraints for the spatial variation of permeability and other medium properties.

  14. Sources characteristics and Afterslip of Great Earthquakes in the Western Sunda Subduction Zone (United States)

    Chlieh, M.; Avouac, J.; Sieh, K.; Natawidjaja, D. H.


    We determine coseismic and the first-month postseismic deformation associated with the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake of December 26, 2004 from near-field Global Positioning System (GPS) surveys in northwestern Sumatra and along the Nicobar-Andaman islands, continuous and campaign GPS measurements from Thailand and Malaysia, and in-situ and remotely sensed observations of the vertical motion of coral reefs. The coseismic model shows that the Sunda subduction megathrust ruptured over a distance of about 1500 km and a width of less than 150 km, releasing a total moment of 6.7-7.0 1022 Nm, equivalent to a magnitude Mw~9.15. The latitudinal distribution of released moment in our model has three distinct peaks around 4°N, 7° and 9°N, which compares well to the latitudinal variations seen in the seismic inversion and of the analysis of radiated T-waves. Our coseismic model is also consistent with interpretation of normal modes and with the amplitude of very long period surface waves. The tsunami predicted from this model fits relatively well the altimetric measurements made by the JASON and TOPEX satellites. Neither slow nor delayed slip is needed to explain the normal modes and the tsunami wave. The near-field geodetic data that encompass both coseismic deformation and up to 40 days of postseismic deformation require that slip must have continued on the plate interface after the 500s long seismic rupture releasing a moment equivalent to 2.5 1022 Nm (Mw~8.8). The Mw8.6 Nias-Simeulue earthquake of March 28, 2005, ruptured the southern adjacent segment of the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake. This event occurred within an array of continuous GPS stations and produced measurable vertical displacement of the fringing coral reefs above the fault rupture. Source models obtained from the joint inversion of various combinations of the teleseismic body waves and geodetic data indicate a relatively slow average rupture velocity of 1.5 to 2.5km/s and long average rise time of up to 20s

  15. High Holocene coastal uplift gives insight into the seismic behavior at the Arica Bend (Peru-Chile subduction zone) (United States)

    Madella, Andrea; Delunel, Romain; Szidat, Sönke; Schlunegger, Fritz


    KEYWORDS: northern Chile, coastal uplift, plate coupling, seismic cycle The Peru-Chile subduction zone offshore of the Arica Bend (18.3° S) is characterized by a seaward-concave geometry, which represents a very uncommon tectonic setting. Several published estimates of plate coupling suggest that the locking degree in the curved segment may be significantly lower than to the north and south of it, however, the lack of historical slip events hinders a full understanding of the seismic behavior in this particular portion of plate interface. We have mapped a terrace located at 35 m a.s.l. ca. 3 km onshore from the mouth of the Lluta river, which debouches immediately to the north of Arica. The sedimentology of the terrace has been described and three wood fragments embedded therein have been collected for radiocarbon dating. In addition, we compared the long stream profile of the Lluta river with its modeled steady-state profile, aiming to detect any possible tectonic perturbation along the trunk stream. Results show that the dated terrace consists of a thin storm deposit embedded within fluvial delta conglomerates, which have been most likely deposited near sea-level at ~10 ka. We thus infer that the coast of the Arica Bend, although characterized by long-term quiescence, has undergone remarkable uplift (~5 mm/y) throughout the Holocene. The vertical displacement has been inferred at roughly 175 km from the trench, which corresponds to the landward termination of the locked zone. Considering this structural position and the long-term absence of coseismic events in this trench segment, we propose that the inferred uplift signal might be related to interseismic flexural buckling, which does not result in permanent crustal deformation. Contrariwise, in the adjacent coastal regions north and south of the Arica Bend, repeated seismic cycles have resulted in long-term permanent crustal deformation, as observable in the uplifted Coastal Cordillera.

  16. A Global Review of Slow Slip Events and Seismic Tremor at Circum-Pacific Subduction Zones (United States)

    Schwartz, S. Y.; Rokosky, J. M.


    It has been known for a long time that slip accompanying earthquakes accounts for only a fraction of plate tectonic displacements. However, only recently has a fuller spectrum of strain release processes, including normal, slow and silent earthquakes (or slow slip events), and continuous and episodic creep, been observed and generated by numerical simulations of the earthquake cycle. Despite a profusion of observations and modeling studies, the physical mechanism of slow slip events (SSEs) remains elusive. The concurrence of seismic tremor, similar to signals observed at volcanoes, with slow slip episodes in Cascadia and southwestern Japan suggests that SSEs may be related to fluid migration on or near the plate interface. We compare the location, spatial extent, magnitude, duration, slip rate, recurrence behavior and associated tremor and seismicity of aseismic slip transients worldwide to better understand their generation and earthquake hazard implications. We find that slow slip events occur at either the down-dip edge of the seismogenic zone, or at complementary locations to strongly locked patches or co-seismic asperities within the seismogenic zone. Nucleation of SSEs at frictional transitions is supported by rate- and state-dependent frictional modeling. We find a global scaling relationship between SSE duration and equivalent moment magnitude that implies a constant rate of slow slip propagation, consistent with the small range in observed SSE migration rates. Afterslip following moderate to large earthquakes suggests a relationship between slow slip and higher velocity rupture (earthquakes). We assess if such a cause-and-effect relationship exists between interseismic SSEs and earthquake activity. We find that although isolated episodes of interseismic slow slip can be related to nearby earthquake activity, a consistent triggering pattern has yet to emerge and further study is clearly warranted.

  17. Seafloor Geodetic Monitoring of the Central Andean Subduction Zone: The Geosea Array (United States)

    Kopp, H.; Lange, D.; Contreras Reyes, E.; Behrmann, J. H.; McGuire, J. J.; Flueh, E. R.


    Seafloor geodesy has been identified as one of the central tools in marine geosciences to monitor seafloor deformation at high resolution. To quantify strain accumulation and assess the resultant hazard potential we urgently need systems to resolve seafloor crustal deformation. The GeoSEA (Geodetic Earthquake Observatory on the Seafloor) array consists of a seafloor transponder network comprising a total of 35 units and a wave glider acting as a surface unit (GeoSURF) to ensure satellite correspondence, data transfer and monitor system health. For horizontal direct path measurements, the system utilizes acoustic ranging techniques with a ranging precision better than 15 mm and long term stability over 2 km distance. Vertical motion is obtained from pressure gauges. Integrated inclinometers monitor station settlement in two horizontal directions. Travel time between instruments and the local water sound velocity will be recorded autonomously subsea without system or human intervention for up to 3.5 years. Data from the autonomous network on the seafloor can be retrieved via the integrated high-speed acoustic telemetry link without recovering the seafloor units. In late 2015 GeoSEA will be installed on the Iquique segment of the South America - Nazca convergent plate boundary to monitor crustal deformation. The Iquique seismic gap experienced the 2014 Mw 8.1 Pisagua earthquake, which apparently occurred within a local locking minimum. It is thus crucial to better resolve resolve strain in the forearc between the mainland and the trench in order to improve our understanding of forearc deformation required for hazard assessment. Mobile autonomous seafloor arrays for continuous measurement of active seafloor deformation in hazard zones have the potential to lead to transformative discoveries of plate boundary/fault zone tectonic processes and address a novel element of marine geophysical research.

  18. Seafloor Geodesy usi­ng Wave Gliders to study Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards at Subduction Zones (United States)

    Sathiakumar, S.; Barbot, S.; Hill, E.; Peng, D.; Zerucha, J.; Suhaimee, S.; Chia, G.; Salamena, G. G.; Syahailatua, A.


    Land-based GNSS networks are now in place to monitor most subduction zones of the world. These provide valuable information about the amount of­ geodetic strain accumulated in the region, which in turn gives insight into the seismic potential. However, it is usually impossible to resolve activity on the megathrust near the trench using land-based GNSS data alone, given typical signal-to-noise ratios. Ship-based seafloor geodesy is being used today to fill this observation gap. However, surveys using ships are very expensive, tedious and impractical due to the large areas to be covered. Instead of discrete missions using ships, continuous monitoring of the seafloor using autonomous marine robots would aid in understanding the tectonic setting of the seafloor better at a potentially lower cost, as well as help in designing better warning systems. Thus, we are developing seafloor geodesy capabilities using Wave Gliders, a new class of wave-propelled, persistent marine autonomous vehicle using a combination of acoustic and GNSS technologies. We use GNSS/INS to position the platform, and acoustic ranging to locate the seafloor. The GNSS/INS system to be integrated with the Wave Gliders has stringent requirements of low power, light weight, and high accuracy. All these factors are equally important due to limited power and space in the Wave Gliders and the need for highly accurate and precise measurements. With this hardware setup, a limiting factor is the accuracy of measurement of the sound velocity in the water column. We plan to obtain precise positioning of seafloor by exploring a measurement setup that minimizes uncertainties in sound velocity. This will be achieved by making fine-resolution measurements of the two-way travel time of the acoustic waves underwater using the Wave Gliders, and performing statistical signal processing on this data to obtain more reliable sound velocity measurement. This enhanced seafloor geodetic technique using Wave Gliders should

  19. Source Mechanisms and Stress Fields of the 15-16 June 2013 Crete Earthquake Sequence Along Hellenic Subduction Zone (United States)

    Görgün, Ethem


    15 June 2013 M w 6.1 off-shore southern Crete earthquake and its aftershock sequence along Hellenic Subduction Zone are examined. Centroid moment tensors (CMTs) for 40 earthquakes with moment magnitudes ( M w) between 3.5 and 6.1 are determined by applying a waveform inversion method. The mainshock is shallow focus thrust event with a minor strike-slip component at a depth of 20 km. The seismic moment ( M o) of the mainshock is estimated as 2.07 × 1018 Nm, and rupture duration of the mainshock is 4 s. The focal mechanisms of aftershocks are mainly thrust faulting with a strike-slip component. The geometry of the moment tensors ( M w ≥ 3.5) reveals a thrust faulting regime with N-S trending direction of P axis in the entire activated region. According to high-resolution CMT solutions of the off-shore southern Crete earthquake sequence, one main cluster consisting of 40 events is revealed. The aftershock activity in the observation period between 15 June and 15 July 2013 extends from N to S and NW to SE directions. Seismic cross sections indicate a complex pattern of the hypocenter distribution with the activation of two segments. The subduction interface is clearly revealed with high-resolution hypocenter source relocation and moment tensor solution. The best-constrained focal depths indicate that the aftershock sequence is mainly confined in the upper plate (depth < 30 km) and is ranging from about 5-28 km depth. A stress tensor inversion of focal mechanism data is performed to obtain a more precise picture of the off-shore southern Crete stress field. The stress tensor inversion results indicate a predominant thrust stress regime with a NE-SW-oriented maximum horizontal compressive stress ( S H). According to variance of the stress tensor inversion, to first order, the southern Crete region is characterized by a homogeneous interplate stress field. We also investigate the Coulomb stress change associated with the mainshock to evaluate any significant

  20. Cascades of InSAR in the Cascades - outlook for the use of InSAR and space-based imaging catalogues in a Subduction Zone Observatory (United States)

    Lohman, R. B.


    Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) has long demonstrated its utility to studies of subduction zone earthquakes, crustal events and volcanic processes, particularly in regions with very good temporal data coverage (e.g., Japan), or arid regions where the timescale of surface change is long compared to the repeat time of the available SAR imagery (e.g., portions of South America). Recently launched and future SAR missions with open data access will increase the temporal sampling rates further over many areas of the globe, resulting in a new ability to lower the detection threshold for earthquakes and, potentially, interseismic motion and transients associated with subduction zone settings. Here we describe some of the anticipated detection abilities for events ranging from earthquakes and slow slip along the subduction zone interface up to landslides, and examine the variations in land use around the circum-Pacific and how that and its changes over time will affect the use of InSAR. We will show the results of an effort to combine Landsat and other optical imagery with SAR data catalogues in the Pacific Northwest to improve the characterization of ground deformation signals, including the identification of "spurious" signals that are not related to true ground deformation. We also describe prospects for working with other communities that are interested in variations in soil moisture and vegetation structure over the same terrain.

  1. The nexus of soil radon and hydrogen dynamics and seismicity of the northern flank of the Kuril-Kamchatka subduction zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. P. Malysheva


    Full Text Available The comparison of kinematics and dynamic parameters of radon and molecular hydrogen concentration in subsoil air on the stations network at the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky geodynamic proving ground with seismicity of the northern flank of the Kuril-Kamchatka subduction zone was fulfilled in the period from July till August 2004. On the basis of correlation analysis of the regional seismicity and variations of radon flux density calculated using the data of gas-discharge counters of STS-6 type and SSNTDs it was shown that the radon mass transfer abnormal variations are conditioned by both regional seismicity in total and the subduction zone of proving ground. The azimuths of «geodeformation waves» coming to the registration points are calculated during clearly expressed anomaly beginnings, which coincide with directions to earthquake epicenters taking place at the same time. The geochemical anomalies recorded are presumptively deformative by nature and can be conditioned by processes of «quasi-viscous» flow of the lithosphere during rearrangement of tectonic stress fields of the subduction zone. The short-term (predicted time ? <14 days precursor of the earthquakes swarm was revealed in hydrogen dynamics on August, 4-5 (four earthquakes had M?5.3 and epicentral distance about 130 km from the Paratunka base station.

  2. 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.

  3. Geometry and thermal structure of the Menderes Massif Core Complex (Western Turkey), implications for thermal evolution of Hellenic subduction zone (United States)

    Roche, Vincent; Jolivet, Laurent; Guillou-Frottier, Laurent; Tuduri, Johann; Bouchot, Vincent; Beccaletto, Laurent; Lahfid, Abdeltif


    The eastern Mediterranean region is one of the most promising geothermal areas, with more than 250 geothermal fields discovered in Turkey (Parlaktuna, 2013), in a region of active tectonics and volcanism. Although the potential of these deep geothermal resources has not been systematically investigated yet, the geothermal activity of the western Turkey area is the most recent signature of the high heat flow (120-140 mW/m²; Aydin, 2005, from Teczan, 1995). Based on Turkish data, 2084 MWt are being utilized for direct applications and most of the energy originates from the Menderes Massif (Baba et al., 2015). This large-scale thermal anomaly at the surface is correlated to a long wavelength east-west increase of surface heat flow that could reflect the thermal state of Aegean subduction zone at depth. In order to better understand and characterize the possible connections between large-scale mantle dynamics and surface processes in space and time, we study the structure and thermal evolution of the Menderes Massif. Both the acceleration of the Aegean extension in the Middle Miocene and the recent escape of Anatolia have been proposed to result from several slab tearing events, the first one being located below western Turkey and the Eastern Aegean Sea. These events have triggered the formation of metamorphic complexes with contrasted exhumation P-T paths. While the extension in the Aegean domain is well-characterized with high-temperature domes in the center and east, the succession of several metamorphic events in the Menderes Massif and their significance in terms of geodynamics is still debated. Hence, the exhumation history is key to understanding the temporal and spatial distribution of the thermal signature of the Hellenic slab and its tearing/detachment. The Menderes Massif displays a large variety of metamorphic facies, from the Barrovian type metamorphism in the Eocene (the Main Menderes Metamorphism) to the coeval (?) HP-LT metamorphism on the southernmost

  4. Are rupture zone limits of great subduction earthquakes controlled by upper plate structures? Evidence from multichannel seismic reflection data acquired across the northern Ecuador-southwest Colombia margin (United States)

    Collot, Jean-Yves; Marcaillou, Boris; Sage, FrançOise; Michaud, FrançOis; Agudelo, William; Charvis, Philippe; Graindorge, David; Gutscher, Marc-André; Spence, George


    Subduction of the Nazca plate beneath the Ecuador-Colombia margin has produced four megathrust earthquakes 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. Multichannel seismic reflection and bathymetric data acquired during the SISTEUR cruise show evidence that the margin wedge is segmented by transverse crustal faults that potentially correlate with the limits of the earthquake coseismic slip zones. The Paleogene-Neogene Jama Quininde and Esmeraldas crustal faults define a ˜200-km-long margin crustal block that coincides with the 1942 earthquake rupture zone. Subduction of the buoyant Carnegie Ridge is inferred to partially lock the plate interface along central Ecuador. However, coseismic slip during the 1942 and 1906 earthquakes may have terminated against the subducted northern flank of the ridge. We report on a newly identified Manglares crustal fault that cuts transversally through the margin wedge and correlates with the limit between the 1958 and 1979 rupture zones. During the earthquake cycle the fault is associated with high-stress concentration on the plate interface. An outer basement high, which bounds the margin seaward of the 1958 rupture zone, may act as a deformable buttress to seaward propagation of coseismic slip along a megathrust splay fault. Coseismic uplift of the basement high is interpreted as the cause for the 1958 tsunami. We propose a model of weak transverse faults which reduce coupling between adjacent margin segments, together with a splay fault and an asperity along the plate interface as controlling the seismogenic rupture of the 1958 earthquake.

  5. 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

  6. Upper Limit for Rheological Strength of Crust in Continental Subduction Zone:Constraints Imposed by Laboratory Experiments

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhou Yongsheng; Zhong Dalai; He Changrong


    The transitional pressure of quartz-coesite under the differential stress and highly-strained conditions is far from the pressure of the stable field under the static pressure. Therefore, the effect of the differential stress should be considered when the depth of petrogenesis is estimated about ultrahigh pressure metamorphic (UHPM) rocks. The rheological strength of typical ultrahigh pressure rocks in continental subduction zone was derived from the results of the laboratory experiments. The results indicate the following three points. (1) The rheological strength of gabbro, similar to that of eclogite, is smaller than that of clinopyroxenite on the same condition. (2) The calculated strength of rocks (gabbro, eclogite and clinopyroxenite) related to UHPM decreases by nearly one order of magnitude with the temperature rising by 100 ℃ in the range between 600 and 900 ℃. The calculated strength is far greater than the faulting strength of rocks at 600 ℃, and is in several hundred to more than one thousand mega-pascals at 700-800 ℃, which suggests that those rocks are located in the brittle deformation region at 600 ℃, but are in the semi-brittle to plastic deformation region at 700-800 ℃. Obviously, the 700 ℃ is a brittle-plastic transition boundary. (3) The calculated rheological strength in the localized deformation zone on a higher strain rate condition (1.6×10-12 s-l) is 2-5 times more than that in the distributed deformation zone on a lower strain rate condition (1.6×10-14 s-1). The average rheological stress (1 600 MPa) at the strain rate of 10-12 s-1 stands for the ultimate differential stress of UHPM rocks in the semi-brittle flow field, and the average rheological stress (550-950 MPa) at the strain rate of l0-14 -10-13 s-l stands for the ultimate differential stress of UHPM rocks in the plastic flow field, suggesting that the depth for the formation of UHPM rocks is more than 20-60 km below the depth estimated under static pressure condition

  7. Migration Episode of Shallow Low-frequency Tremor at the Nankai Trough Subduction Zone: Seismological Evidence for Episodic Slow Slip Event Occurring at the Shallow Transition Zone (United States)

    Yamashita, Y.; Yakiwara, H.; Shimizu, H.; Uchida, K.; Hirano, S.; Miyamachi, H.; Umakoshi, K.; Nakamoto, M.; Fukui, M.; Kamizono, M.; Kanehara, H.; Yamada, T.; Shinohara, M.; Obara, K.


    To understand the shallow part of plate interface between megathrust seismogenic zone and trench axis is very important for development of huge earthquake rupture and generation of tsunami. Monitoring of offshore seismicity near the Nankai trough by temporal ocean bottom seismographic observation in 2013 revealed that low-frequency tremor occurred associated with shallow very-low-frequency earthquakes (VLFEs) in the shallow part of plate interface. The shallow tremor episode lasted for approximately 1 month, which is almost consistent with the shallow VLFE activity observed from land broad-band seismic stations [Asano, 2014]. The horizontal location of shallow tremor estimate by envelope correlation method [Obara, 2002] shows a belt-like distribution along trench strike with narrow width than the deep tremor. The most remarkable feature of the shallow tremor activity is migration. There are two migration modes including diffusive slower migration and rapid tremor reversal (RTR), which are very similar to the deep tremor as a part of the ETS. This strongly indicates a possibility of the occurrence of episodic slow slip event in the shallow transition zone. That is to say, the migration of shallow tremor is supposed to be caused by migrating rupture front of SSE. In addition, the migration was detouring around the subducted Kyushu-Palau ridge. This suggests that the occurrence of tremor is sensitive to change in the shape of plate interface and seeks to propagate along almost the same depth range, in other word, a specified temperature and pressure condition. The narrow width distribution of shallow tremor also indicates that the shallow tremor is strongly related to dehydration process of a specified mineral under a narrow limited range of temperature and pressure condition compared to the deep tremor.

  8. Vp model at the junction of Taiwan Orogeny and the western-most Ryukyu Subduction Zone from the integration of Ocean Bottom Seismometer Networks and onland seismic data (United States)

    Chin, S. J.; Lin, J. Y.; Kuochen, H.; Wang, S. Y.; Liang, C. W.


    In Taiwan, since all the seismic stations located in the onland area, previous studies about velocity model of this region should only have high resolution for the onland part and could not provide sufficient constrains for the marine domain. However, most earthquakes with magnitude larger than 7 occur in the eastern offshore Taiwan area, suggesting the presence of high-activity tectonic processes. A better understanding of geological structures in the area must provide important information about the tectonic environments. In this study, we constructed a Vp model by combining earthquake travel times determined from inland stations and 5 temporal Ocean Bottom Seismometer (OBS) arrays, which had been deployed in different time periods from 2008 to 2012, and relocated earthquakes in a decade (2006-2015) provided by Central Weather Bureau (CWB), Taiwan. As a result of a better coverage of seismic ray-paths in eastern flank of the island, this model provides sufficient resolution for the junction area of the Taiwan orogeny and the western-most Ryukyu subduction system. The most notable feature in the model is a low velocity zone underlying along the northwestward subducted Philippine Sea Plate (PSP) extending along 122oE, which could be the product of the subducted forearc basement. The relocated earthquakes sit on the top of the low velocity zone, suggesting its active deformation. It is worth noted that, along the subducted PSP, the relocated earthquake hypocenters present a double Benioff zone east of 122oE, and merged together, getting a relatively larger dipping angle toward the west. This change of seismic pattern was not reported previously and may provide important index for the tectonic evolution. However, further studies will be needed to get more understanding.

  9. Experimental elaboration of faulting induced by fluid-releasing mineral reactions in subduction zones (United States)

    Green, H.; Zhang, J.; Jung, H.; Dobrzinetskaya, L.


    Dehydration embrittlement has been cited repeatedly as a potential mechanism for triggering earthquakes at depths where unassisted brittle failure is impossible due to the normal-stress-dependence of friction. We are investigating two different aspects of this problem in the laboratory: (i) dehydration of antigorite under stress where the ΔV of reaction varies from strongly positive to distinctly negative; (ii) deformation of eclogite in which the nominally anhydrous minerals contain small amounts of dissolved H_2O that can lead to faulting induced by very small amounts of melting stimulated by exsolution of H_2O. (i) Antigorite has the largest stability field of the serpentines and is often cited as potentially being the source of most or all mantle earthquakes to a depth of over 200 km. However, like other low-pressure hydrous phases, the net volume change accompanying antigorite dehydration varies from strongly positive at low P to negative at P > ˜2-2.5 GPa. Fracture mechanics theory predicts that dehydration should not induce shear failure if ΔV<0. To test the effect of ΔV on faulting, we have deformed an extensively-serpentinized peridotite at P = 1-6 GPa. We conducted constant strain rate experiments in a Griggs-type apparatus at P = 1.0 - 3.4 GPa and rapid-pumping experiments in a Walker-type multianvil apparatus, culminating in pressures as high as 6 GPa. Independent of the sign of ΔV, specimens subjected to stress during dehydration yielded extremely thin zones of reaction products with shear offset across them. Some were clearly faults whereas others could be precursors to faulting. Fluid released at grain boundaries between antigorite and relict olivine locally produced Mode I cracks &fluid inclusions. (ii) Deformation of "wet" eclogite at 3 GPa and temperatures between the wet and dry solidi induced exsolution of H_2O and formation of very small amounts (<1%) of melt, leading to faulting. At lower temperature the rock was extremely strong but

  10. Thermal Evolution of Juvenile Subduction Zones ' New Constraints from Lu-Hf Geochronology on HP oceanic rocks (Halilbaǧi, Central Anatolia) (United States)

    Pourteau, Amaury; Scherer, Erik; Schmidt, Alexander; Bast, Rebecca


    The thermal structure of subduction zones plays a key role on mechanical and chemical processes taking place along the slab-mantle interface. Until now, changes through time of this thermal structure have been explored mostly by the means of numerical simulations. However, both "warm" (i.e., epidote-bearing), and "cold" (i.e., lawsonite-bearing) HP oceanic rocks have been reported in some fossil subduction complexes exposed at the Earth's surface (e.g., Franciscan Complex, California; Rio San Juan Complex, Hispañola; Halilbağı Unit, Central Anatolia). These a-priori "incompatible" rocks witness different thermal stages of ancient subduction zones and their study might provide complementary constraints to numerical models. To decipher the meaning of these contrasting metamorphic rocks in the Halilbağı Unit, we are carrying out Lu-Hf geochronology on garnet (grt) and lws from a variety of HP oceanic rocks, as well as the metamorphic sole of the overlying ophiolite. We selected five samples that are representative of the variety of metamorphic evolutions (i.e. peak conditions and P-T paths) encountered in this area. Preliminary analyses yielded 110 Ma (grt-hbl isochron) for a sub-ophiolitic grt amphibolite; 92 Ma (grt-omp) for an eclogite with prograde and retrograde ep; 90 Ma (grt-omp) for an eclogitic metabasite with prograde ep and retrograde ep+lws; 87 Ma (grt-gln) for a lws eclogite with prograde ep; and 86 Ma (grt-gln) for a blueschist with prograde and retrograde lws. These ages are mainly two-point isochrons. Further-refined data will be presented at the EGU General Assembly 2015, in Vienna. The consistent younging trend from "warm" to "cold" metamorphic rocks revealed by these first-order results points to metamorphic-sole formation during the initiation of intra-oceanic subduction at ~110 Ma, and subsequent cooling of the slab-mantle interface between 92 and 86 Ma. Therefore, the contrasting metamorphic evolutions encountered in the Halilbağı Unit

  11. Long-Term Seismic Quiescences and Great Earthquakes in and Around the Japan Subduction Zone Between 1975 and 2012 (United States)

    Katsumata, Kei


    An earthquake catalog created by the International Seismological Center (ISC) was analyzed, including 3898 earthquakes located in and around Japan between January 1964 and June 2012 shallower than 60 km with the body wave magnitude of 5.0 or larger. Clustered events such as earthquake swarms and aftershocks were removed from the ISC catalog by using a stochastic declustering method based on Epidemic-Type Aftershock Sequence (ETAS) model. A detailed analysis of the earthquake catalog using a simple scanning technique (ZMAP) shows that the long-term seismic quiescences lasting more than 9 years were recognized ten times along the subduction zone in and around Japan. The three seismic quiescences among them were followed by three great earthquakes: the 1994 Hokkaido-toho-oki earthquake (M w 8.3), the 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake (M w 8.3), and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake (M w 9.0). The remaining seven seismic quiescences were followed by no earthquake with the seismic moment M 0 ≥ 3.0 × 1021 Nm (M w 8.25), which are candidates of the false alarm. The 2006 Kurile Islands earthquake (M w 8.3) was not preceded by the significant seismic quiescence, which is a case of the surprise occurrence. As a result, when limited to earthquakes with the seismic moment of M 0 ≥ 3.0 × 1021 Nm, four earthquakes occurred between 1976 and 2012 in and around Japan, and three of them were preceded by the long-term seismic quiescence lasting more than 9 years.

  12. Late Quaternary uplift rate inferred from marine terraces, Muroto Peninsula, southwest Japan: Forearc deformation in an oblique subduction zone (United States)

    Matsu'ura, Tabito


    Tectonic uplift rates across the Muroto Peninsula, in the southwest Japan forearc (the overriding plate in the southwest Japan oblique subduction zone), were estimated by mapping the elevations of the inner edges of marine terrace surfaces. The uplift rates inferred from marine terraces M1 and M2, which were correlated by tephrochronology with marine isotope stages (MIS) 5e and 5c, respectively, include some vertical offset by local faults but generally decrease northwestward from 1.2-1.6 m ky- 1 on Cape Muroto to 0.3-0.7 m ky- 1 in the Kochi Plain. The vertical deformation of the Muroto Peninsula since MIS 5e and 5c was interpreted as a combination of regional uplift and folding related to the arc-normal offshore Muroto-Misaki fault. A regional uplift rate of 0.46 m ky- 1 was estimated from terraces on the Muroto Peninsula, and the residual deformation of these terraces was attributed to fault-related folding. A mass-balance calculation yielded a shortening rate of 0.71-0.77 m ky- 1 for the Muroto Peninsula, with the Muroto-Misaki fault accounting for 0.60-0.71 m ky- 1, but these rates may be overestimated by as much as 10% given variations of several meters in the elevation difference between the buried shoreline angles and terrace inner edges in the study area. A thrust fault model with flat (5-10° dip) and ramp (60° dip) components is proposed to explain the shortening rate and uplift rate of the Muroto-Misaki fault since MIS 5e. Bedrock deformation also indicates that the northern extension of this fault corresponds to the older Muroto Flexure.

  13. Long-Term Seismic Quiescences and Great Earthquakes in and Around the Japan Subduction Zone Between 1975 and 2012 (United States)

    Katsumata, Kei


    An earthquake catalog created by the International Seismological Center (ISC) was analyzed, including 3898 earthquakes located in and around Japan between January 1964 and June 2012 shallower than 60 km with the body wave magnitude of 5.0 or larger. Clustered events such as earthquake swarms and aftershocks were removed from the ISC catalog by using a stochastic declustering method based on Epidemic-Type Aftershock Sequence (ETAS) model. A detailed analysis of the earthquake catalog using a simple scanning technique (ZMAP) shows that the long-term seismic quiescences lasting more than 9 years were recognized ten times along the subduction zone in and around Japan. The three seismic quiescences among them were followed by three great earthquakes: the 1994 Hokkaido-toho-oki earthquake ( M w 8.3), the 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake ( M w 8.3), and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake ( M w 9.0). The remaining seven seismic quiescences were followed by no earthquake with the seismic moment M 0 ≥ 3.0 × 1021 Nm ( M w 8.25), which are candidates of the false alarm. The 2006 Kurile Islands earthquake ( M w 8.3) was not preceded by the significant seismic quiescence, which is a case of the surprise occurrence. As a result, when limited to earthquakes with the seismic moment of M 0 ≥ 3.0 × 1021 Nm, four earthquakes occurred between 1976 and 2012 in and around Japan, and three of them were preceded by the long-term seismic quiescence lasting more than 9 years.

  14. Historical Nautical Charts and Hydrographic Surveys as Recorders of Vertical Displacement Above Shallow Portions of Subduction Zones (United States)

    Wesson, R. L.


    Islands and coastlines above megathrusts in shallow subduction zones commonly show patterns of uplift and subsidence accompanying great earthquakes consistent with predictions from elastic dislocation theory for large displacements on the megathrust. Shallow faulting in the upper plate commonly modifies the details of the pattern, but does not overwhelm the pattern resulting from displacement on the megathrust. During large or great earthquakes the most trenchward locations have shown uplifts of several meters. Examples (with approximate uplifts) include Isla Santa Maria ( 3 meters), Chile, 1835; Isla Guafo (4 meters) and Isla Guambino (6 meters), Chile, 1960; Montague Island (10 meters) and Middleton Island (4 meters), Alaska, 1964; and Nias Island (2 meters), off Sumatra, 2004-5. In favorable circumstances, these uplifts and the resulting changes in coastal morphology are recorded on historical nautical charts and hydrographic surveys. These observations can potentially supplement geologic and geodetic observations of sea level to extend and fill gaps in the record of vertical motions. The uplifts of Montague and Middleton Islands, Alaska, are clearly resolved in the soundings of hydrographic surveys carried out before and after the 1964 earthquake and are of the same order as those determined from other means. The uplift of Isla Santa Maria, Chile, famously described by Captain Robert Fitz-Roy of the HMS Beagle, is also reflected in the coastal morphology shown on the nautical chart prepared by the crew of the Beagle in 1835. Comparison of the 1835 chart with subsequent charts and aerial images suggests that the uplift at the time of the earthquake may have been largely reversed in the subsequent 173 years. This interpretation would be consistent with the average uplift rates over the last several thousand years determined by Bookhagen and others, and with the notion that a cycle of uplift during earthquakes and submergence during strain accumulation in the

  15. A morphologic proxy for debris flow erosion with application to the earthquake deformation cycle, Cascadia Subduction Zone, USA (United States)

    Penserini, Brian D.; Roering, Joshua J.; Streig, Ashley


    In unglaciated steeplands, valley reaches dominated by debris flow scour and incision set landscape form as they often account for > 80% of valley network length and relief. While hillslope and fluvial process models have frequently been combined with digital topography to develop morphologic proxies for erosion rate and drainage divide migration, debris-flow-dominated networks, despite their ubiquity, have not been exploited for this purpose. Here, we applied an empirical function that describes how slope-area data systematically deviate from so-called fluvial power-law behavior at small drainage areas. Using airborne LiDAR data for 83 small ( 1 km2) catchments in the western Oregon Coast Range, we quantified variation in model parameters and observed that the curvature of the power-law scaling deviation varies with catchment-averaged erosion rate estimated from cosmogenic nuclides in stream sediments. Given consistent climate and lithology across our study area and assuming steady erosion, we used this calibrated denudation-morphology relationship to map spatial patterns of long-term uplift for our study catchments. By combining our predicted pattern of long-term uplift rate with paleoseismic and geodetic (tide gauge, GPS, and leveling) data, we estimated the spatial distribution of coseismic subsidence experienced during megathrust earthquakes along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Our estimates of coseismic subsidence near the coast (0.4 to 0.7 m for earthquake recurrence intervals of 300 to 500 years) agree with field measurements from numerous stratigraphic studies. Our results also demonstrate that coseismic subsidence decreases inland to negligible values > 25 km from the coast, reflecting the diminishing influence of the earthquake deformation cycle on vertical changes of the interior coastal ranges. More generally, our results demonstrate that debris flow valley networks serve as highly localized, yet broadly distributed indicators of erosion (and rock


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Pararas-Carayannis


    Full Text Available Although large earthquakes along the Makran Subduction Zone are infrequent, the potential for the generation of destructive tsunamis in the Northern Arabian Sea cannot be overlooked. It is quite possible that historical tsunamis in this region have not been properly reported or documented. Such past tsunamis must have affected Southern Pakistan, India, Iran, Oman, the Maldives and other countries bordering the Indian Ocean.The best known of the historical tsunamis in the region is the one generated by the great earthquake of November 28, 1945 off Pakistan's Makran Coast (Balochistan in the Northern Arabian Sea. The destructive tsunami killed more than 4,000 people in Southern Pakistan but also caused great loss of life and devastation along the coasts of Western India, Iran, Oman and possibly elsewhere.The seismotectonics of the Makran subduction zone, historical earthquakes in the region, the recent earthquake of October 8, 2005 in Northern Pakistan, and the great tsunamigenic earthquakes of December 26, 2004 and March 28, 2005, are indicative of the active tectonic collision process that is taking place along the entire southern and southeastern boundary of the Eurasian plate as it collides with the Indian plate and adjacent microplates. Tectonic stress transference to other, stress loaded tectonic regions could trigger tsunamigenic earthquakes in the Northern Arabian Sea in the future.The northward movement and subduction of the Oman oceanic lithosphere beneath the Iranian micro-plate at a very shallow angle and at the high rate is responsible for active orogenesis and uplift that has created a belt of highly folded and densely faulted coastal mountain ridges along the coastal region of Makran, in both the Balochistan and Sindh provinces. The same tectonic collision process has created offshore thrust faults. As in the past, large destructive tsunamigenic earthquakes can occur along major faults in the east Makran region, near Karachi, as

  17. Alteration and dehydration of subducting oceanic crust within subduction zones: implications for décollement step-down and plate-boundary seismogenesis (United States)

    Kameda, Jun; Inoue, Sayako; Tanikawa, Wataru; Yamaguchi, Asuka; Hamada, Yohei; Hashimoto, Yoshitaka; Kimura, Gaku


    The alteration and dehydration of predominantly basaltic subducting oceanic crustal material are thought to be important controls on the mechanical and hydrological properties of the seismogenic plate interface below accretionary prisms. This study focuses on pillow basalts exposed in an ancient accretionary complex within the Shimanto Belt of southwest Japan and provides new quantitative data that provide insight into clay mineral reactions and the associated dehydration of underthrust basalts. Whole-rock and clay-fraction X-ray diffraction analyses indicate that the progressive conversion of saponite to chlorite proceeds under an almost constant bulk-rock mineral assemblage. These clay mineral reactions may persist to deep crustal levels ( 320 °C), possibly contributing to the bulk dehydration of the basalt and supplying fluid to plate-boundary fault systems. This dehydration can also cause fluid pressurization at certain horizons within hydrous basalt sequences, eventually leading to fracturing and subsequent underplating of upper basement rock into the overriding accretionary prism. This dehydration-induced breakage of the basalt can explain variations in the thickness of accreted basalt fragments within accretionary prisms as well as the reported geochemical compositions of mineralized veins associated with exposed basalts in onland locations. This fracturing of intact basalt can also nucleate seismic rupturing that would subsequently propagate along seismogenic plate interfaces.[Figure not available: see fulltext.

  18. Ground Shaking and Earthquake Engineering Aspects of the M 8.8 Chile Earthquake of 2010 - Applications to Cascadia and Other Subduction Zones (Invited) (United States)

    Cassidy, J. F.; Boroschek, R.; Ventura, C.; Huffman, S.


    The M 8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake of February 27, 2010 was the fifth largest earthquake ever recorded by seismographs and provides a rare opportunity to compare strong shaking observations with earthquake rupture and damage patterns. This subduction earthquake was caused by up to 13 m of eastward slip of the Nazca plate beneath the South American plate. The rupture zone extended nearly 600 km along the Chile coast and covered the most populated region of the country - extending from south of Concepcion to just south of Valpraiso (near the latitude of Santiago). As this is the type of earthquake that is expected along the Cascadia subduction zone of western Canada and the U.S., and given that modern building codes and construction styles in Chile and Cascadia are very similar, the Canadian Association of Earthquake Engineers sent a team of 10 engineers and a seismologist to the earthquake zone to learn from this earthquake. In this presentation we focus on sites where strong ground shaking was recorded (the data available to date range from about 0.1g to 0.66g). The recorded waveforms showed strong shaking for up to 2-3 minutes, with two distinct bursts of energy that may correspond to two large asperities that ruptured. At many locations, particularly along the coast, the recorded shaking levels exceeded code values, especially at longer periods (~ 1 second and longer). There was significant damage to older hospitals and schools. Twenty-five hospitals were severely damaged (17 collapsed, 8 repairable) and in the Maule region, 45% of the hospital beds were lost. More than 2500 schools were damaged and more than 780,000 students were affected. Of about 12,000 bridges in Chile, only 40 were damaged, 20 severely (many of these were newer overpasses). Modern high-rise buildings, in general, did very well. Of the 10,000 3-storey or higher buildings constructed since 1985, only 4 collapsed, and 50-150 were badly damaged. This clearly demonstrates the importance of modern

  19. Source characteristics of moderate size events using empirical Green funclions: an application to some Guerrero (Mexico subduction zone earthquakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. K. Singh


    Full Text Available The records of an aftershock (M ~ 4 of a moderate size event (M = 5.9 which occurred along the subduction zone of Guerrero (Mexico, are used as empirical Green functions (EGF to determine the source characteristics of the mainshock and of its smaller size (M = 5.5 foreshock. The data consist of accelerograms recorded by the Guerrero Accelerograph Array, a high dynamic range strong motion array. The three events appear to be located close to each other at distances much smaller than the source to receiver distances. The fault mechanism of the mainshock is computed by non-linear inversion of P polarity readings and S wave polarizations determined at two near source stations. The foreshock and aftershock fault mechanisms are similar to that of the mainshock as inferred from long period data and shear wave polarization analysis. The maximum likelihood solution is well constrained, indicating a typical shallow dipping thrust fault mechanism, with the P-axis approximately oriented in a SSW direction. The source time functions (STFs of the mainshock and foreshock events are determined using a new method of deconvolution of the EGF records at three strong motion sites. In this method the STF of the large event is approximated by a superposition of pseudo triangular pulses whose parameters are determined by a non-linear inversion in frequency domain. The source time function of the mainshock shows the presence of two separate pulses, which can be related to multiple rupture episodes. The relative location of mainshock sub-events is done by using plots of isochrones computed from measurementes of the time delay between pulses on the STF records at each station. The first sub-event is located no more than 2.5-3 km away from the other along the fault strike. The STF retrieved from foreshock records shows single pulse waveforms. The computed STFs are used to estimate seismic moments, source radii and stress release of the events assuming a circular fault

  20. Slab Geometry and Deformation in the Northern Nazca Subduction Zone Inferred From The Relocation and Focal mechanisms of Intermediate-Depth Earthquakes (United States)

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


    In the northern Nazca subduction zone, the Nazca plate is subducting to the east beneath the South American Plate. At ~5.6ºN, the subducting plate has a 240-km east-west offset associated with a slab tear, called the Caldas tear, that separates the northern and southern segments. Our study seeks to better define the slab geometry and deformation in the southern segment, which has a high rate of intermediate-depth earthquakes (50-300 km) between 3.6ºN and 5.2ºN in the Cauca cluster. From Jan 2010 to Mar 2014, 228 intermediate-depth earthquakes in the Cauca cluster with local magnitude Ml 2.5-4.7 were recorded by 65 seismic stations of the Colombian National Seismic Network. We review and, if necessary, adjust the catalog P and S wave arrival picks. We use the travel times to relocate the earthquakes using a double difference relocation method. For earthquakes with Ml ≥3.8, we also use waveform modeling to compute moment tensors . The distribution of earthquake relocations shows an ~15-km-thick slab dipping to the SE. The dip angle increases from 20º at the northern edge of the cluster to 38º at the southern edge. Two concentrated groups of earthquakes extend ~40 km vertically above the general downdip trend, with a 20 km quiet gap between them at ~100 km depth. The earthquakes in the general downdip seismic zone have downdip compressional axes, while earthquakes close to the quiet gap and in the concentrated groups have an oblique component. The general decrease in slab dip angle to the north may be caused by mantle flow through the Caldas tear. The seismicity gap in the slab may be associated with an active deformation zone and the concentrated groups of earthquakes with oblique focal mechanisms could be due to a slab fold.

  1. He and N isotopes in thermal springs of the Mexican Pacific coast: subducting slab, continental crust and mantle contributions to fluids of a forearc zone. (United States)

    Taran, Yuri; Inguaggiato, Salvatore; Varley, Nicholas; Ramirez Guzman, Alejandro


    Two oceanic plates are subducting beneath the continent along the Mexican Pacific coast: Cocos Plate south of Colima graben (~19°N) and a young Rivera Plate to the north of Colima graben. The trench is situated ~ 70 km from the shore line which is very close comparing with other continental margins. There are 26 groups of thermal springs between 16°N and 21°N, in a 30 km-wide zone along the coast. The temperature and salinity ranges are 40-90°C and 100-20,000 ppm, respectively. The springs are mainly of a low salinity ( 400, δ15N = +4.6‰, almost no CH4 ( 300, δ15N = +5‰ and 3He/4He = 0.4Ra. A number of hot and warm springs associated with Puerto Vallarta graben are characterized by high 3He/4He up to 4.5Ra, elevated N2/Ar and δ15N. The last group, Punta Mita hot springs (20° 46'N), are submarine vents, 10 m deep. Their gas has elevated CH4 content, high N2/Ar and 3He/4He = 0.4Ra. The results are discussed in several aspects: (1) Why this low heat flow zone is characterized by so high hydrothermal activity? (2) Does the elevated 3He/4He within Michoacan-Colima profile relate to the slab detachment associated with the contact between Cocos and Rivera plates? (3) Do high N2/Ar and δ15N above the Rivera Plate subduction indicate the forearc degassing of the accreted organic-rich oceanic sediments? (4) How to estimate the total flux of volatiles released in a forearc zone from the subducting slab?

  2. Magma Generation and Transport in Subduction Zones: Numerical Simulations of Chemical, Thermal and Mechanical Coupling During Magma Ascent by Porous Flow (United States)

    Arcay, D.; Gerya, T.; Tackley, P.


    Most subduction zones are characterized by significant magmatic activity responsible for building trench-parallel volcanic arcs above descending slabs. High magma production rates observed within the arcs result from infiltration of water-rich fluids released by slab dehydration. The released water triggers hydrous melting of hot mantle wedges located above the cold slabs. However, the process of magma transport from the melt generation region located above the hydrated slab surface at 100-300 km depth to the magma extraction zone at the volcanic arc surface, and its influence on mantle wedge deformation, are not well known. In particular, during basaltic liquid ascent through the mantle wedge, decreasing pressure and temperature changes are likely to induce significant compositional variations, especially in terms of dissolved water content. Relationships between melt transport and mantle wedge deformation are also not clearly understood. We present a numerical model of magma generation and transport in subduction zones, that simulates chemical, thermal, and mechanical interactions between fluids and solid rocks along the magma ascent pathway. Magma migration is modelled by a porous flow across a constant permeability matrix, while the solid downward current associated with subduction in the mantle wedge, is included. The heat advected by the percolating liquid phase as well as latent heat effect associated with melting will be included. Water exchanges between the molten rock and the solid matrix are computed as a function of pressure, temperature, and solubilities laws in melt. We will first present benchmark results to validate the porous flow modelling as well as the ernery equation resolution for a two- phase flow. The aqueous and magmatic fluid repartition within the mantle wedge will then be presented. Magma productivity rates, varying along the magma ascent path way, will be discussed as a function of magma viscosity.

  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. First-principles prediction of fast migration channels of potassium ions in KAlSi3O8 hollandite: Implications for high conductivity anomalies in subduction zones (United States)

    He, Yu; Sun, Yang; Lu, Xia; Gao, Jian; Li, Hong; Li, Heping


    Materials sharing the hollandite structure were widely reported as fast ionic conductors. However, the ionic conductivity of KAlSi3O8 hollandite (K-hollandite), which can be formed during the subduction process, has not been investigated so far. Here first-principles calculations are used to investigate the potassium ion (K+) transport properties in K-hollandite. The calculated K+ migration barrier energy is 0.44 eV at a pressure of 10 GPa, an energy quite small to block the K+ migration in K-hollandite channels. The calculated ionic conductivity of K-hollandite is highly anisotropic and depends on its concentration of K+ vacancies. About 6% K+ vacancies in K-hollandite can lead to a higher conductivity compared to the conductivity of hydrated wadsleyite and ringwoodite in the mantle. K+ vacancies being commonly found in many K-hollandite samples with maximum vacancies over 30%, the formation of K-hollandite during subduction of continental or alkali-rich oceanic crust can contribute to the high conductivity anomalies observed in subduction zones.

  5. The 2012 August 27 Mw7.3 El Salvador earthquake: expression of weak coupling on the Middle America subduction zone (United States)

    Geirsson, Halldor; LaFemina, Peter C.; DeMets, Charles; Hernandez, Douglas Antonio; Mattioli, Glen S.; Rogers, Robert; Rodriguez, Manuel; Marroquin, Griselda; Tenorio, Virginia


    Subduction zones exhibit variable degrees of interseismic coupling as resolved by inversions of geodetic data and analyses of seismic energy release. The degree to which a plate boundary fault is coupled can have profound effects on its seismogenic behaviour. Here we use GPS measurements to estimate co- and post-seismic deformation from the 2012 August 27, Mw7.3 megathrust earthquake offshore El Salvador, which was a tsunami earthquake. Inversions of estimated coseismic displacements are in agreement with published seismically derived source models, which indicate shallow (El Salvador-Nicaragua segment of the Central American margin and may be a characteristic of margins hosting tsunami earthquakes.

  6. Melting Phase Relation of Nominally Anhydrous, Carbonated Pelite at Sub-arc Depths and Cycling of Sedimentary Carbon in Subduction Zones (United States)

    Tsuno, K.; Dasgupta, R.


    An important mass transfer process for subduction zone magmatism is the cycling of C-O-H volatiles from subducting slab to arc volcanoes. However, CO2 is known to remain stable in subducting lithologies in the form crystalline carbonates. Mass balance of chemical tracers between slab input and arc output1 and stable isotopic compositions of arc fluids2, on the other hand, suggest that subducting sediments contribute to arc volcanism and arc-flux of CO2 derives primarily from subducting sediments. Therefore, it is important to explore the possible link between sediment contributions to arc volcanism and CO2 release from subducting sediments to mantle wedge. We have investigated, using an end-loaded piston cylinder device, melting relation of a carbonate-bearing, nominally anhydrous pelagic sediment composition at a single pressure of 3 GPa and at temperatures of 900-1350 °C. The starting material (HPLC1) has ~5 wt.% CO2 and corresponds (in H2O-free basis) to a mixture of 10 wt.% pelagic carbonate unit and 90 wt.% overlying hemipelagic mud unit that enter the Central American trench3. The subsolidus assemblage at 900 °C consists of garnet+cpx+K-feldspar+coesite+rutile+ankeritess, whereas just above the solidus (900-1000 °C), carbonatitic melt appears and ankeritess disappears (1000-1100 °C). The appearance of CO2-bearing silicate melt at 1100 °C coincides with the disappearance of K-feldspar and rutile, and the melt coexists with garnet+cpx+coesite/quartz from 1100 to 1300 °C. The liquidus is located >1350 °C, and the sole liquidus phase is quartz. Silicate melt composition evolves systematically from 1100 to 1350 °C with a decrease in SiO2 (65.7 to 59.1 wt.%), Al2O3 (13.5 to 12.4 wt.%), K2O (~5.5 to 2.1 wt.%), and CO2 (~8.5 to 5.2 wt.%), whereas MgO, FeO*, and CaO contents of the melt increase from 0.4 to 2.6 wt.%, 1.5 to 6.7 wt.%, and 2.4 to 8.7 wt.%, respectively. The Na2O content increases from 2.3 to 3.6 wt.% between 1100 and 1200 °C and decreases to 2

  7. Coupled Petrological and Geodynamic Models of Mantle Flow in Subduction Zones; the Importance of Chlorite in the Emergence of a Low-Viscosity Channel (United States)

    Smith, P. M.; Baker, L. J.; Asimow, P. D.; Gurnis, M. C.


    Seismic velocity and attenuation studies have shown that 5-20 km thick low velocity layers exist above seismically fast slabs and are associated with broad zones of high attenuation in many subduction zones. These observations are generally interpreted as formation of hydrous phases by dehydration of the slab, although the impact of water in nominally anhydrous minerals (NAM) on seismic wave propagation is largely unknown. Recent petrological experiments on hydrous peridotite at subduction zone conditions suggest that chlorite will be stable adjacent to the subducting slab in sufficient quantities to be a significant water sink. We use a scheme that couples a petrological model (pHMELTS) with a 2-D thermal and variable viscosity flow model (ConMan) to model energy and mass transfer within a subduction zone. By varying input parameters including the convergence rate and slab dip we have developed models for cases in the Costa-Rica and Izu- Bonin-Marianas arc systems and are able to predict major and trace element compositions of primary melts, as well as geophysical observables, such as the topography and geoid. We find that the emergence of a slab- adjacent low-viscosity channel (LVC) is a natural consequence of the thermal and chemical controls on mantle dynamics and feedback between them. In our earlier models, as the LVC is dragged downwards by the subducting slab, hornblende breaks down at about 2.5 GPa and other hydrous phases such as serpentine are secondary in importance to the NAM water reservoir. The spatial limit of the LVC is the water-saturated solidus of the hydrated peridotite; the LVC thickens as the peridotite is progressively depleted by melting and the solidus migrates into the warmer wedge, despite water replenishment at depth. pHMELTS is a hybrid of the pMELTS model of Ghiorso and co-workers and includes amphiboles, serpentines and micas. Chlorite was lacking but we have recently rectified this omission. Following De Capitani and co- workers, we

  8. Magmatic and metasomatic imprints in a long-lasting subduction zone: Evidence from zircon in rodingite and serpentinite of Kochi, SW Japan (United States)

    Hu, Chao-Nan; Santosh, M.; Yang, Qiong-Yan; Kim, S. W.; Nakagawa, M.; Maruyama, S.


    Southwest Japan, as an active convergent margin, is one of the world's natural laboratories to investigate magmatic and metasomatic processes associated with a long-lived subduction zone. Rocks that carry the imprints of mantle metasomatism in this region include serpentinite, jadeitite, omphacitite, albitite, and rodingite. Here we investigate rodingites, serpentinites and pyroxenites from the accretionary complex of Kochi in the Shikoku island from within the Kurosegawa serpentinite mélange. We present petrology, zircon U-Pb geochronology, rare earth element (REE) geochemistry and Lu-Hf isotope data which indicate multiple pulses of magmatism and metasomatism. The zircon grains in these rocks yield major age peaks at 485 Ma and 469 Ma, marking the timing of formation of the protoliths. The wide range of minor age peaks including those at 152 Ma and 104 Ma suggest continuous fluid- and melt-induced mantle metasomatism in an active subduction zone from Cambrian to Paleogene associated with subduction of the Pacific plate. Our data suggest that the serpentinite-rodingite association might belong to various stages of subduction with the 450 Ma marking the initial phase. This is also close to the serpentinite zircon age of ca. 490 Ma. The REE patterns of zircons in all the rocks analyzed in this study show a distinct negative Eu-anomaly, particularly in the case of hydrothermal zircons. However, few zircons show only a slight negative Eu-anomaly suggesting that they might have crystallised from melts with high H2O content generated by partial melting of mantle wedge during the interaction of fluids released by the downgoing slab and the overlying sediments. Although the εHf(t) values of zircons in our samples show wide variation from - 9 to 18, most zircon grains that are younger than 485 Ma are typically characterised by positive εHf(t) values (ranging from 2 to18). This feature indicates that the zircon grains crystallised during serpentinisation and

  9. Shallow structure and its formation process of an active flexure in the forearc basin of the central Nankai subduction zone (United States)

    Ashi, J.; Ikehara, K.; Omura, A.; Ojima, T.; Murayama, M.


    ENE-WSW trending active faults, named Enshu fault system, are developed in the forearc basins of the eastern and central Nankai subduction zone. Three parallel faults developed in the Enshu forearc basin of the eastern Nankai have right lateral slip on the basis of dextral displacement of the canyon axis. Moreover, bathymetry data and side-scan sonar imageries indicate relative uplift of the northern region and the multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection profiles show northward dipping fault planes. In the central Nankai subuduction zone, an ENE-WSW trending step is distributed at the northern part of the Kumano forearc basin and is regarded as the western extension of the Enshu fault system. Although MCS records show deformations including an anticlinal fold beneath the bathymetric step, they have less resolution to identify deformation of basin sequence just below the seafloor. In contrast, deformation seems to reach to the seafloor on a profile by SBP mounted on a mother ship. Investigation of shallow deformation structures is significant for understanding of recent tectonic activity. We carried out deep towed SBP survey by ROV NSS (Navigable Sampling System) during Hakuho-maru KH-11-9 cruise. High resolution mapping of shallow structures was successfully conducted by a chirp SBP system of EdgeTech DW-106. ROV NSS also has capability to take a long core with a pinpoint accuracy around complex topographic region. The Kumano forearc basin is topographically divided into the northern part at a water depth of 2038 m and the other major region at a depth of 2042 m by the ENE-WSW linear step. Three deep towed SBP lines intersected this topographical step and revealed the following structures. This step is composed of 100 m wide gentle slope with an inclination of about 8 degrees. An anticlinal axis is located beneath the upper edge of this slope. Sedimentary layers continue at this slope region without any abut/termination and rapidly increase their thickness toward the

  10. Seismic structure of the Costa Rican subduction system from active-source onshore-offshore seismic data and imaging plate boundary processes at the Cascadia subduction zone offshore Washington (United States)

    Everson, Erik D.

    The goal of this thesis is to use seismic methods, either wide-angle refraction or multi-channel seismic (MCS) reflection, to characterize the physical processes occurring at the subduction zones occurring offshore Costa Rica and Cascadia. The first two chapters use wide-angle refraction data to characterize lithospheric structure and velocities, based on the modeling of wide-angle refractions and reflections from the crust, Moho and upper mantle. They also use MCS data to characterize the uppermost structure that wide-angle refraction data alone cannot provide. The first chapter uses both wide-angle refraction and MCS data to address the hypothesis that bending-related normal faulting, clearly imaged in the MCS data, provides a pathway for seawater to percolate down into the uppermost mantle and serpentinize it. This process causes a reduction in the seismic p-wave velocity in the upper mantle, which can be detected by wide-angle refraction analysis. We found the upper 1-2 km of the mantle has reduced velocities of 7.5 - 7.6 km/s in the area of pervasive normal faulting within the CNS-2 segment, and regular upper mantle velocities of 8.0 - 8.2 km/s in the CNS-1 segment, which lacks pervasive normal faulting. Our results suggest a link between bending-related large-offset normal faults seen in bathymetric and MCS reflection data in subduction trenches and serpentinization of the upper mantle. The second chapter uses both wide-angle refraction and MCS data like the first chapter but addresses the hypothesis that juvenile continental crust is created at some volcanic arcs. We addressed this hypothesis by creating a lithospheric velocity and structural model for the Central American subduction system through Costa Rica. This model allows us to estimate the seismic velocity, structure, infer bulk composition (from seismic velocities), and estimate a magmatic flux rate for the volcanic arc. We found a total crustal thickness of ~44 km and mid-to-lower-crustal velocities

  11. IODP Expedition 319, NanTroSEIZE Stage 2: First IODP Riser Drilling Operations and Observatory Installation Towards Understanding Subduction Zone Seismogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean Toczko


    Full Text Available The Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE is a major drilling project designed to investigate fault mechanics and the seismogenic behavior of subduction zone plate boundaries. Expedition 319 is the first riser drilling operation within scientific ocean drilling. Operations included riser drilling at Site C0009 in the forearc basin above the plate boundary fault, non-riser drilling at Site C0010 across the shallow part of the megasplay faultsystem—which may slip during plate boundary earthquakes—and initial drilling at Site C0011 (incoming oceanic plate for Expedition 322. At Site C0009, new methods were tested, including analysis of drill mud cuttings and gas, and in situ measurements of stress, pore pressure, and permeability. These results, in conjunction with earlier drilling, will provide a the history of forearc basin development (including links to growth of the megasplay fault system and modern prism, b the first in situ hydrological measurements of the plate boundary hanging wall, and c integration of in situ stress measurements (orientation and magnitude across the forearc and with depth. A vertical seismic profile (VSP experiment provides improved constraints on the deeper structure of the subduction zone. At Site C0010, logging-while-drilling measurements indicate significantchanges in fault zone and hanging wall properties over short (<5 km along-strike distances, suggesting different burial and/or uplift history. The first borehole observatory instruments were installed at Site C0010 to monitor pressure and temperature within the megasplay fault zone, and methods of deployment of more complex observatoryinstruments were tested for future operations.

  12. Accretion and Subduction of Oceanic Lithosphere: 2D and 3D Seismic Studies of Off-Axis Magma Lenses at East Pacific Rise 9°37-40'N Area and Downgoing Juan de Fuca Plate at Cascadia Subduction Zone (United States)

    Han, Shuoshuo

    Two thirds of the Earth's lithosphere is covered by the ocean. The oceanic lithosphere is formed at mid-ocean ridges, evolves and interacts with the overlying ocean for millions of years, and is eventually consumed at subduction zones. In this thesis, I use 2D and 3D multichannel seismic (MCS) data to investigate the accretionary and hydrothermal process on the ridge flank of the fast-spreading East Pacific Rise (EPR) at 9°37-40'N and the structure of the downgoing Juan de Fuca plate at the Cascadia subduction zone offshore Oregon and Washington. Using 3D multichannel seismic (MCS) data, I image a series of off-axis magma lenses (OAML) in the middle or lower crust, 2-10 km from the ridge axis at EPR 9°37-40'N. The large OAMLs are associated with Moho travel time anomalies and local volcanic edifices above them, indicating off-axis magmatism contributes to crustal accretion though both intrusion and eruption (Chapter 1). To assess the effect of OAMLs on the upper crustal structure, I conduct 2-D travel time tomography on downward continued MCS data along two across-axis lines above a prominent OAML in our study area. I find higher upper crustal velocity in a region ~ 2 km wide above this OAML compared with the surrounding crust. I attribute these local anomalies to enhanced precipitation of alteration minerals in the pore space of upper crust associated with high-temperature off-axis hydrothermal circulation driven by the OAML (Chapter 2). At Cascadia, a young and hot end-member of the global subduction system, the state of hydration of the downgoing Juan de Fuca (JdF) plate is important to a number of subduction processes, yet is poorly known. As local zones of higher porosity and permeability, faults constitute primary conduits for seawater to enter the crust and potentially uppermost mantle. From pre-stack time migrated MCS images, I observe pervasive faulting in the sediment section up to 200 km from the deformation front. Yet faults with large throw and

  13. Variation of b and p values from aftershocks sequences along the Mexican subduction zone and their relation to plate characteristics (United States)

    Ávila-Barrientos, L.; Zúñiga, F. R.; Rodríguez-Pérez, Q.; Guzmán-Speziale, M.


    Aftershock sequences along the Mexican subduction margin (between coordinates 110ºW and 91ºW) were analyzed by means of the p value from the Omori-Utsu relation and the b value from the Gutenberg-Richter relation. We focused on recent medium to large (Mw > 5.6) events considered susceptible of generating aftershock sequences suitable for analysis. The main goal was to try to find a possible correlation between aftershock parameters and plate characteristics, such as displacement rate, age and segmentation. The subduction regime of Mexico is one of the most active regions of the world with a high frequency of occurrence of medium to large events and plate characteristics change along the subduction margin. Previous studies have observed differences in seismic source characteristics at the subduction regime, which may indicate a difference in rheology and possible segmentation. The results of the analysis of the aftershock sequences indicate a slight tendency for p values to decrease from west to east with increasing of plate age although a statistical significance is undermined by the small number of aftershocks in the sequences, a particular feature distinctive of the region as compared to other world subduction regimes. The b values show an opposite, increasing trend towards the east even though the statistical significance is not enough to warrant the validation of such a trend. A linear regression between both parameters provides additional support for the inverse relation. Moreover, we calculated the seismic coupling coefficient, showing a direct relation with the p and b values. While we cannot undoubtedly confirm the hypothesis that aftershock generation depends on certain tectonic characteristics (age, thickness, temperature), our results do not reject it thus encouraging further study into this question.

  14. Investigating Coseismic vs. Interseismic Uplift of Marine Terraces at the Southern Terminus of the Cascadia Subduction Zone: Cape Mendocino to Punta Gorda, Petrolia, CA (United States)

    Crawford, B.; Vermeer, J.; Hemphill-Haley, M. A.; Michalak, M.


    The Cascadia subduction zone of the Pacific Northwest terminates in the south at the Mendocino Triple Junction, a region of elevated seismic activity. Here, tectonically driven uplift is likely responsible for the formation of Holocene-aged marine terraces. In 1992, a M 7.1 thrust mainshock and two ~M 6.5 aftershocks occurred offshore of Cape Mendocino, resulting in 1.4 meters of uplift, measured from stranded intertidal species on uplifted wave-cut platforms. However, it is unknown whether these marine terraces formed due solely to large episodic coseismic uplift caused by moderately large to large magnitude earthquakes, orwhether interseismic deformation plays a role in their formation. Moreover, detailed mapping of these terraces has not been done since Merits (1996). For this study, we map a suite of four terraces and bedrock wave cut platforms between Cape Mendocino and Punta Gorda on the northern California coast near the town of Petrolia. By mapping both exposed and buried Holocene marine terraces we aim to discern the pattern of deformation causing their uplift, and determine whether uplift is related solely to episodic coseismic events, or both coseismic and interseismic deformation. Detailed mapping of the extent and elevation of both exposed and buried terraces is achieved by using real time kinematic (RTK) GPS surveying on base maps compiled using the 2009-2011 California Coastal Conservancy LIDAR. Preliminary results indicate formation predominantly from coseismic uplift in moderate magnitude subduction earthquakes. This work offers insight into understanding the upper plate crustal response to seismic events and interseismic periods in tectonically complex areas like the southern end of the Cascadia Subduction zone.

  15. Earthquake mechanics and deformation in the Tonga-Kermadec subduction zone from fault plane orientations of intermediate- and deep-focus earthquakes (United States)

    Warren, Linda M.; Hughes, Amanda N.; Silver, Paul G.


    We make use of rupture directivity to analyze 82 deep earthquakes (≥100 km depth) in the Tonga-Kermadec subduction zone. Identifying the fault planes for 25 of them, we are able to place new constraints on both the physical mechanism of intermediate- and deep-focus earthquakes and deformation within the subducting slab. We find that half of deep earthquakes with MW ≥ 6 have detectable directivity. We compare the obtained fault orientations with those expected for the reactivation of outer-rise normal faults and with those expected for the creation of new faults in response to the ambient stress field. Earthquakes >300 km depth match the patterns expected for the creation of a new system of faults: we observe both subhorizontal and subvertical fault planes consistent with a downdip-compressional stress field. Slip along these faults causes the slab to thicken. Rupture propagation shows no systematic directional pattern. In contrast, at intermediate depths (100-300 km), all ruptures propagate subhorizontally and all identified fault planes, whether in the upper or lower region of the double seismic zone, are subhorizontal. Rupture propagation tends to be directed away from the top surface of the slab. After accounting for the angle of subduction, the subhorizontal fault plane orientation is inconsistent with the orientation of outer-rise normal faults, allowing us to rule out mechanisms that require the reactivation of these large surface faults. Subhorizontal faults are consistent with only one of the two failure planes expected from the slab stress field, suggesting that isobaric rupture processes or preexisting slab structures may also influence the fault plane orientation. If all deformation takes place on these subhorizontal faults, it would cause the slab to thin. Assuming the slab is incompressible, this implies that the slab is also lengthening and suggests that slab pull rather than unbending is the primary force controlling slab seismicity at

  16. Geochemistry of tholeiitic to alkaline lavas from the east of Lake Van (Turkey): Implications for a late Cretaceous mature supra-subduction zone environment (United States)

    Özdemir, Yavuz


    Arc-related rocks of the Yüksekova Complex extend from Kahramanmaraş to Hakkari throughout the Southeast Anatolia representing the remnants of the Southern Branch of Neotethys. The volcanic members of this zone from the eastern parts of Lake Van suggest three different types of rock chemistry; tholeiitic (type I), calc-alkaline (type II) and alkaline (type III). Tholeiitic and calc-alkaline members suggest a subduction-related environment with their HFS and LIL element distributions. RE and trace element systematics and modelings indicate that i) the intermediate and the felsic calc-alkaline rocks are the result of fractional crystallization from a basic endmember, ii) alkaline members have originated from enriched mantle source relative to the tholeiitic and calc-alkaline lavas. Overall data from Yüksekova Complex suggest a mature supra-subduction zone environment within the southern Neotethyan Ocean during Upper Cretaceous time. The existence of Lutetian OIB like asthenospheric lavas at the upper parts of the ophiolitic assemblage in the eastern parts of Lake Van proposes the end of the normal ophiolite formation and the possible continuation of the magmatism with OIB like lavas during Middle Eocene.

  17. An exploratory study for rapid estimation of critical source parameters of great subduction-zone earthquakes in Mexico

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    Singh, S. K; Perez-Campos, X, Iglesias, A; Pacheco, J. F [Instituto de Geofisica, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico D.F. (Mexico)


    The rapid and reliable estimation of moment magnitude M{sub w}, location, and size of rupture area, and radiated energy E{sub s} of great Mexican subduction zone earthquakes is critical for a quick assessment of tsunami and/or damage potential of the event and for issuing an early tsunami alert. To accomplish this goal, the Mexican broadband seismic network needs to be supplemented by permanent GPS stations along the Pacific coast, spaced about 65 km apart or less. The data from the GPS network must be transmitted to a central location and processed in near-real time to track the position of the stations. Assuming that this can be implemented, we develop a procedure for near-real time estimation of the critical source parameters. We demonstrate the viability of the procedure by processing near-source GPS data and regional seismograms for the earthquakes of Colima-Jalisco in 1995 (M{sub w}=8.0) and Sumatra-Andaman in 2004 (M{sub w}=9.0-9.3). The procedure yields estimates of M{sub w} and E{sub s} in excellent agreement with those reported from earlier solutions. In the case of the Colima-Jalisco earthquake, the estimated location and size of rupture area agree with that mapped from aftershock locations. Presently, there are 13 permanent GPS stations along the Pacific coast of Mexico with an average spacing of {approx}200 km which operate in an autonomous mode. It is urgent to increase the number of stations to {>=}28 thus decreasing the spacing of stations to {<=}65 km. Data must be transmitted in near-real time to a central station to track the position of the stations, preferably every second. [Spanish] Para una estimacion oportuna del potencial de dano y tsunami asociado a los grandes temblores de subduccion en Mexico, resulta critica la determinacion rapida y confiable de parametros sismologicos como lo son la magnitud de momento (M{sub w}), la energia sismica radiada (E{sub s}) y la localizacion y el tamano de la ruptura. Para alcanzar este objetivo, la red

  18. Teaching Marine Geoscience at Sea: Integrated Ocean Drilling Program's School of Rock Explores Cascadia Subduction Zone - Cores, Logs, and ACORKs (United States)

    Reagan, M.; Collins, J.; Ludwig, K. A.; Slough, S.; Delaney, M. L.; Hovan, S. A.; Expedition 328 Scientists


    For twelve days this past September, seventeen formal and informal educators from the US, UK, and France joined six instructors and a small science party on the scientific drillship JOIDES Resolution for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP)’s Cascadia ACORK Expedition. The educators were part of the annual “School of Rock (SOR)” education program. SOR is coordinated by the U.S. Implementing Organization (USIO) of IODP and is designed to engage participants in seagoing Earth systems research and education workshops onboard the JOIDES Resolution and on shore at the Gulf Coast Core Repository in Texas. The scientific objective of the Cascadia ACORK expedition was to install a new permanent hydrologic observatory at ODP Site 889 to provide long-term monitoring of the pressure at the frontal part of the Cascadia accretionary prism. This year’s SOR workshop focused on how cores, logs, and ACORKs shed light on the hydrology and geology of the Cascadia subduction zone in the Northeast Pacific. In addition to observing the deployment of the ACORK, the SOR participants conducted daily hands-on analyses of archived sediment and hard-rock cores with scientists and technicians who specialize in IODP research using the lab facilities on the ship. Throughout the expedition, participants engaged in different activities and lessons designed to explore the deep biosphere, methane hydrates, paleoceanography, sedimentology, biostratigraphy, seafloor spreading, and drilling technology. The workshop also provided participants with “C3” time; time to communicate their experience using the successful website and other tools, make connections to their prior knowledge and expertise, and to be creative in developing and planning new education and outreach activities based on their new knowledge and research. As part of participating in the expedition, participants committed to further developing and testing their education and outreach products after

  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. Mass Flux of Continental Material at Cenozoic Subduction Zones--New Global and Trench-sector Calculations Using New Geological and Geophysical Observations (United States)

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


    INTRODUCTION: A decade ago, then available geophysical and geological data implied that more than 65 percent of ocean floor sediment entering most subduction zones (SZ) accompanied the oceanic crust to the mantle (= sediment subduction or SS). The underthrusting slab also eroded the margin's crustal framework and conveyed this material to the mantle (= subduction erosion or SE). Globally, the mass of continental material recycled to the mantle was estimated at 1.3-1.8 km3 / yr (SS. = 0.7 km3 + SE = 0.6-1.1 km3). SEDIMENT SUBDUCTION: New and enhanced seismic reflection data, new drilling observations, and reevaluation of older information stress that the efficacy of SS is higher than earlier assessed. In detail, it appears that 100 percent SS occurs at non-accreting margins (19,000 km), at least 80 percent at accreting margins (16,000 km) where small to moderate size accretionary prisms (width=5-40 km) are forming, and 40-45 percent where larger prisms are accumulating (8,000 km). At Cenozoic SZs (~43,000 km), it is now estimated that the long-term (i.e., >10 Myr) rate of SS is at least 1.0 km3 / yr (solid volume). SUBDUCTION EROSION: New and reassessed seismic, drilling, submersible, coastal mapping and arc-retreat observations suggest a higher long-term rate of SE than formerly estimated at 30 km3 / Myr / km of trench. We now estimate that, except perhaps where large accretionary bodies are forming, the long-term rate of forearc erosion averages at least 40 km3 / Myr (range = 28-62), which corresponds to a global recycling rate of 1.4 km3 / yr. The matching average rate of landward truncation of the submerged forearc is 2.5 km / Myr (range = 1.8-4.2). SUMMARY: The late Cenozoic rate at which continental crust is recycled at SZs is currently estimated at 2.4 km3 / yr (ss=1+ se=1.4) +/- 25 percent, which is basically that now approximated for arc magmatic additions. It can thus be inferred that at Cenozoic SZs rates of crustal addition and recycling have been in

  1. Upper Cretaceous to Holocene magmatism and evidence for transient Miocene shallowing of the Andean subduction zone under the northern Neuquén Basin (United States)

    Kay, Suzanne M.; Burns, W. Matthew; Copeland, Peter; Mancilla, Oscar


    Evidence for a Miocene period of transient shallow subduction under the Neuquén Basin in the Andean backarc, and an intermittent Upper Cretaceous to Holocene frontal arc with a relatively stable magma source and arc-to-trench geometry comes from new 40Ar/39Ar, major- and trace-element, and Sr, Pb, and Nd isotopic data on magmatic rocks from a transect at ∼36°–38°S. Older frontal arc magmas include early Paleogene volcanic rocks erupted after a strong Upper Cretaceous contractional deformation and mid-Eocene lavas erupted from arc centers displaced slightly to the east. Following a gap of some 15 m.y., ca. 26–20 Ma mafic to acidic arc-like magmas erupted in the extensional Cura Mallín intra-arc basin, and alkali olivine basalts with intraplate signatures erupted across the backarc. A major change followed as ca. 20–15 Ma basaltic andesite–dacitic magmas with weak arc signatures and 11.7 Ma Cerro Negro andesites with stronger arc signatures erupted in the near to middle backarc. They were followed by ca. 7.2–4.8 Ma high-K basaltic to dacitic hornblende-bearing magmas with arc-like high field strength element depletion that erupted in the Sierra de Chachahuén, some 500 km east of the trench. The chemistry of these Miocene rocks along with the regional deformational pattern support a transient period of shallow subduction that began at ca. 20 Ma and climaxed near 5 Ma. The subsequent widespread eruption of Pliocene to Pleistocene alkaline magmas with an intraplate chemistry in the Payenia large igneous province signaled a thickening mantle wedge above a steepening subduction zone. A pattern of decreasingly arc-like Pliocene to Holocene backarc lavas in the Tromen region culminated with the eruption of a 0.175 ± 0.025 Ma mafic andesite. The northwest-trending Cortaderas lineament, which generally marks the southern limit of Neogene backarc magmatism, is considered to mark the southern boundary of the transient shallow subduction zone.

  2. 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.

  3. Representing anisotropic subduction zones with isotropic velocity models: A characterization of the problem and some steps on a possible path forward (United States)

    Bezada, M. J.; Faccenda, M.; Toomey, D. R.


    Despite the widely known fact that mantle flow in and around subduction zones produces the development of considerable seismic anisotropy, most P-wave tomography efforts still rely on the assumption of isotropy. In this study, we explore the potential effects of erroneous assumption on tomographic images and explore an alternative approach. We conduct a series of synthetic tomography tests based on a geodynamic simulation of subduction and rollback. The simulation results provide a self-consistent distribution of isotropic (thermal) anomalies and seismic anisotropy which we use to calculate synthetic delay times for a number of realistic and hypothetical event distributions. We find that anisotropy-induced artifacts are abundant and significant for teleseismic, local and mixed event distributions. The occurrence of artifacts is not reduced, and indeed can be exacerbated, by increasing richness in ray-path azimuths and incidence angles. The artifacts that we observe are, in all cases, important enough to significantly impact the interpretation of the images. We test an approach based on prescribing the anisotropy field as an a priori constraint and find that even coarse approximations to the true anisotropy field produce useful results. Using approximate anisotropy, fields can result in reduced RMS misfit to the travel time delays and reduced abundance and severity of imaging artifacts. We propose that the use of anisotropy fields derived from geodynamic modeling and constrained by seismic observables may constitute a viable alternative to isotropic tomography that does not require the inversion for anisotropy parameters in each node of the model.

  4. Small repeating earthquake activity, interplate quasi-static slip, and interplate coupling in the Hyuga-nada, southwestern Japan subduction zone (United States)

    Yamashita, Yusuke; Shimizu, Hiroshi; Goto, Kazuhiko


    Small repeating earthquake (RE) analysis is a useful method for estimating interplate quasi-static slip, which is a good indicator of interplate coupling. We detected 170 continual-type interplate RE groups and then estimated the spatial variation in quasi-static slip in the Hyuga-nada over the past 17 years. The RE activity in this region has different characteristics compared with that in the northeast Japan subduction zone, presumably reflecting differences in the subduction properties. Our results revealed that interplate coupling spatially changes along the trench-axis and dip-direction—a phenomenon that cannot be resolved by land-based Global Positioning System (GPS) analysis. By comparing seismicity, the low-slip-rate areas correspond with the location of hypocenters and asperities for large- and moderate-sized interplate earthquakes, suggesting strong interplate coupling at these sites. These results indicate that the slip rate distribution estimated from RE activity is reliable and useful for assessing the potential of future large earthquakes.

  5. 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.

  6. Effect of glacial-interglacial sea-level changes on the displacement and stress field in the forearc and along the plate interface of subduction zones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Li


    Full Text Available Combined seismological, space-geodetic and numerical studies have shown that the seismicity at subduction zones may be modulated by tides and glacier fluctuations on timescales of 1–100 a, because these changes in loads on Earth's surface are able to alter the stress field in the upper plate and along the plate interface. Here we use a two-dimensional finite-element model of a subduction zone to investigate how glacial-interglacial sea-level changes affect the forearc region and the plate interface. The model results show that a sea-level fall by 125 m over 100 ka causes up to 0.7 m of vertical displacement, with the maximum uplift occurring between the trench and the coast. The uplift signal induced by the sea-level fall decreases to zero ~20 km landward of the coastline. A subsequent sea-level rise by 125 m over 20 ka causes subsidence, which is again most pronounced in the submarine part of the forearc. The sea-level changes cause horizontal displacements of up to 0.12 m, which are directed seaward during sea-level fall and landward during sea-level rise. With respect to the stress field, the sea-level changes lead to variations in the vertical stress and the shear stress of up to 1.23 MPa and 0.4 MPa, respectively. The shear stress variations are highest beneath the coast, i.e. in the area where the sea-level changes cause the strongest flexure. The resulting Coulomb stress changes on the plate interface are of the order of 0.2–0.5 MPa and indicate that earthquakes are promoted during sea-level fall and delayed during sea-level rise. Our findings imply that eustatic sea-level changes during glacial-interglacial periods may have induced displacements and stress changes that were large enough to affect the seismic cycle of subduction thrusts.

  7. Structural and thermal control of seismic activity and megathrust rupture dynamics in subduction zones: Lessons from the Mw 9.0, 2011 Tohoku earthquake (United States)

    Satriano, Claudio; Dionicio, Viviana; Miyake, Hiroe; Uchida, Naoki; Vilotte, Jean-Pierre; Bernard, Pascal


    The 2011 Tohoku megathrust earthquake ruptured a vast region of the northeast Japan Trench subduction zone in a way that had not been enough anticipated by earthquake and tsunami risk scenarios. We analyzed the Tohoku rupture combining high-frequency back-projection analysis with low frequency kinematic inversion of the co-seismic slip. Results support the to-day well-accepted broadband characteristics of this earthquake. Most of the seismic moment is released during the first 100 s, with large co-seismic slip (up to 55 m) offshore Miyagi in a compact region on the landward side of the trench. Coherent high-frequency radiation areas and relatively low co-seismic slip are a distinctive signature of the slab-mantle interface. The broadband characteristics of the Tohoku rupture are interpreted, integrating the seismic activity and structure information on the NE Japan forearc region, as a signature of along-dip segmentation and segment interactions, that result from thermal structure, plate geometry, material composition and fracture heterogeneities along the plate boundary interface. Deep mantle corner flow and low dehydration rates along the cold subduction slab interface lead to an extended seismogenic slab-mantle interface, with strong bi-material contrast controlling larger propagation distance in the downdip preferred rupture direction. Off Miyagi, plate bending below the mantle wedge, ∼142.3°E at ∼25 km depth, is associated with the eastern limit of the deep M7-8-class thrust-earthquakes, and of the strongest coherent high-frequency generation areas. The region of the slab-crust interface between the mantle wedge limit, ∼142.7°E at ∼20 km depth, and a trenchward plate bending, ∼143.2°E at ∼15 km, acted as an effective barrier resisting for many centuries to stress-loading gradient induced by deep stable sliding and large earthquakes along the slab-mantle interface. The 2011 Tohoku earthquake, whose hypocenter is located on the east side of the

  8. Multi-stage origin of the Coast Range ophiolite, California: Implications for the life cycle of supra-subduction zone ophiolites (United States)

    Shervais, J.W.; Kimbrough, D.L.; Renne, P.; Hanan, B.B.; Murchey, B.; Snow, C.A.; Zoglman, Schuman M.M.; Beaman, J.


    The Coast Range ophiolite of California is one of the most extensive ophiolite terranes in North America, extending over 700 km from the northernmost Sacramento Valley to the southern Transverse Ranges in central California. This ophiolite, and other ophiolite remnants with similar mid-Jurassic ages, represent a major but short-lived episode of oceanic crust formation that affected much of western North America. The history of this ophiolite is important for models of the tectonic evolution of western North America during the Mesozoic, and a range of conflicting interpretations have arisen. Current petrologic, geochemical, stratigraphic, and radiometric age data all favor the interpretation that the Coast Range ophiolite formed to a large extent by rapid extension in the forearc region of a nascent subduction zone. Closer inspection of these data, however, along with detailed studies of field relationships at several locales, show that formation of the ophiolite was more complex, and requires several stages of formation. Our work shows that exposures of the Coast Range ophiolite preserve evidence for four stages of magmatic development. The first three stages represent formation of the ophiolite above a nascent subduction zone. Rocks associated with the first stage include ophiolite layered gabbros, a sheeted complex, and volcanic rocks vith arc tholeiitic or (roore rarely) low-K calc-alkaline affinities. The second stage is characterized by intrusive wehrlite-clinopyroxenite complexes, intrusive gabbros, Cr-rich diorites, and volcanic rocks with high-Ca boninitic or tholeiitic ankaramite affinities. The third stage includes diorite and quartz diorite plutons, felsic dike and sill complexes, and calc-alkaline volcanic rocks. The first three stages of ophiolite formation were terminated by the intrusion of mid-ocean ridge basalt dikes, and the eruption of mid-ocean ridge basalt or ocean-island basalt volcanic suites. We interpret this final magmatic event (MORB

  9. Long-term Ocean Bottom Monitoring for Shallow Slow Earthquakes in the Hyuga-nada, Nankai Subduction Zone (United States)

    Yamashita, Y.; Shinohara, M.; Yamada, T.; Nakahigashi, K.; Shiobara, H.; Mochizuki, K.; Maeda, T.; Obara, K.


    The Hyuga-nada region, nearby the western end of the Nankai Trough in Japan, is one of the most active areas of shallow slow earthquakes in the world. Recently, ocean-bottom observation of offshore seismicity near the trench succeeded in detecting shallow tremor. The observed traces contained a complete episode lasting for one month exhibiting similar migration property of deep tremor [Yamashita et al., 2015]. This activity was associated with shallow very-low-frequency earthquake (VLFE) activity documented by land-based broadband seismic network. The coincidence between tremor and VLFE activities and similarity of their migration pattern show strong resemblance with the episodic tremor and slip episodes; this similarity suggests that the tremor activity in the shallow plate boundary may also be coupled with VLFE and short-term slow slip events in this area. It is important clarifying the seismicity including slow earthquakes to understand the slip behavior at a shallow plate boundary, and to improve assessments of the possibility of tsunamigenic megathrust earthquake that is anticipated to occur at the Nankai Trough. Motivated by these issues, we started long-term ocean-bottom monitoring in this area from May 2014 using 3 broadband and 7 short-period seismometers. In January 2015, we replaced the instruments and obtained the first data which includes minor shallow tremor and VLFE activity on June 1-3, 2014. Preliminary results of data processing show that the shallow tremor activity occurred at the northwestern part of the 2013 activity. The location corresponds the point where the tremors stopped migrating to further north direction and turned sharply eastward in the 2013 activity. On the other hand, clear tremor migration was not found in the 2014 activity. This local activity may imply that regional/small-scale heterogeneous structures such as a subducting sea mount affect the activity pattern. During the 2014 observation, many ordinary earthquakes also

  10. State of stress and crustal fluid migration related to west-dipping structures in the slab-forearc system in the northern Chilean subduction zone (United States)

    Salazar, P.; Kummerow, J.; Wigger, P.; Shapiro, S.; Asch, G.


    Previous studies in the forearc of the northern Chilean subduction zone have identified important tectonic features in the upper crust. As a result of these works, the West Fissure Fault System (WFFS) has recently been imaged using microseismic events. The WFFS is the westward-dipping, sharp lower boundary of the northern Chilean forearc and is geometrically opposed to subduction of the Nazca plate. The present article builds on this previous work and is novel in that it characterizes this structure's stress distribution using focal mechanisms and stress tensor analysis. The results of the stress tensor analysis show that the state of stress in the WFFS is related to its strike-slip tectonic context and likely represents a manifestation of local forces associated with the highest areas in the Andes. Two seismic clusters have also been identified; these clusters may be associated with a blind branch of the WFFS. We studied these clusters in order to determine their sources and possible connection with fluid migration across the upper plate. We observed that the two clusters differ from one another in some regards. The central cluster has characteristics consistent with an earthquake swarm with two clearly identifiable phases. Conversely, the SW cluster has a clear main shock associated with it, and it can be separated into two subclusters (A and A΄). In contrast, similarities among the two clusters suggest that the clusters may have a common origin. The b-values for both clusters are characteristic of tectonic plate boundaries. The spatial spreading, which is approximately confined to one plane, reflects progressive growth of the main fracture underlying the swarm and subcluster A. We also find that earthquakes themselves trigger aftershocks near the borders of their rupture areas. In addition, the spatio-temporal migration of hypocentres, as well as their spatial correlation with areas that are interpreted to be fluid migration zones, suggest that there is a close

  11. Fast Identification of Near-Trench Earthquakes Along the Mexican Subduction Zone Based on Characteristics of Ground Motion in Mexico City (United States)

    Perez-Campos, X.; Singh, S. K.; Arroyo, D.; Rodríguez, Q.; Iglesias, A.


    The disastrous 1985 Michoacan earthquake gave rise to a seismic alert system for Mexico City which became operational in 1991. Initially limited to earthquakes along the Guerrero coast, the system now has a much wider coverage. Also, the 2004 Sumatra earthquake exposed the need for a tsunami early warning along the Mexican subduction zone. A fast identification of near-trench earthquakes along this zone may be useful in issuing a reliable early tsunami alert. The confusion caused by low PGA for the magnitude of an earthquake, leading to "missed" seismic alert, would be averted if its near-trench origin can be quickly established. It may also help reveal the spatial extent and degree of seismic coupling on the near-trench portion of the plate interface. This would lead to a better understanding of tsunami potential and seismic hazard along the Mexican subduction zone. We explore three methods for quick detection of near-trench earthquakes, testing them on recordings of 65 earthquakes at station CU in Mexico City (4.8 ≤Mw≤8.0; 270≤R≤615 km). The first method is based on the ratio of total to high-frequency energy, ER (Shapiro et al., 1998). The second method is based on parameter Sa*(6) which is the pseudo-acceleration response spectrum with 5% damping, Sa, at 6 s normalized by the PGA. The third parameter is the PGA residual, RESN, at CU, with respect to a newly-derived ground motion prediction equation at CU for coastal shallow-dipping thrust earthquakes following a bayesian approach. Since the near-trench earthquakes are relatively deficient in high-frequency radiation, we expect ER and Sa*(6) to be relatively large and RESN to be negative for such events. Tests on CU recordings show that if ER ≥ 100 and/or Sa*(6) ≥ 0.70, then the earthquake is near trench; for these events RESN ≤ 0. Such an event has greater tsunami potential. Few misidentifications and missed events are most probably a consequence of poor location, although unusual depth and source

  12. Brucite as an important phase of the shallow mantle wedge: Evidence from the Shiraga unit of the Sanbagawa subduction zone, SW Japan (United States)

    Kawahara, Hirokazu; Endo, Shunsuke; Wallis, Simon R.; Nagaya, Takayoshi; Mori, Hiroshi; Asahara, Yoshihiro


    Large parts of the shallow mantle wedge are thought to be hydrated due to release of fluids from the subducting slab and serpentinization of the overlying mantle rocks. If serpentinization proceeds under low SiO2 activity, brucite can be a major phase in the low-temperature (< 450 °C) part of the serpentinized mantle wedge, but only very few natural examples have been documented. A combined petrological, geochemical, and geological study shows that brucite is widely distributed in the wedge mantle-derived Shiraga metaserpentinite body in the Sanbagawa metamorphic belt of SW Japan. Thermodynamic modeling combined with bulk rock composition and point counting indicates that the original fully hydrated shallow parts of the Sanbagawa mantle wedge contained ~ 10-15 vol.% brucite before the onset of exhumation of the Shiraga body and before peak metamorphic conditions. A distinct zone of brucite-free essentially monomineralic antigorite serpentinite occurs limited to a 100-m-thick marginal zone of the body. This indicates a limited degree of Si-metasomatism by slab-derived fluids in the shallow mantle wedge. The presence of brucite may strongly affect the H2O budget and mechanical properties of serpentinite; these should be taken into consideration when examining the behavior of the shallow mantle wedge.

  13. The implications of revised Quaternary palaeoshoreline chronologies for the rates of active extension and uplift in the upper plate of subduction zones (United States)

    Roberts, G. P.; Meschis, M.; Houghton, S.; Underwood, C.; Briant, R. M.


    fault are due to interaction between “regional” uplift and subsidence associated with the local active normal faulting. We discuss (a) how our synchronous correlation technique should trigger a re-appraisal of palaeoshoreline chronologies worldwide, and (b) the implications for the tectonics and seismic hazard of Calabria, suggesting that perturbations in the uplift-rate field are a key criterion to map the locations of active faults, their deformation rates, and hence seismic hazard above subduction zones.

  14. Fluid Source-based Modeling of Melt Initiation within the Subduction Zone Mantle Wedge: Implications for Geochemical Trends in Arc Lavas (United States)

    Hebert, L. B.; Asimow, P. D.; Antoshechkina, P. M.


    The GyPSM-S (Geodynamic and Petrological Synthesis Model for Subduction) scheme couples a petrological model (pHMELTS) with a 2D thermal and variable viscosity flow model (ConMan), to describe and compare fundamental processes occurring within subduction zones. Here we supplement basic GyPSM-S models with a more sophisticated treatment of trace element partitioning in the fluid phase and of melt transport regimes to investigate the influences of slab fluid source lithology and fluid transport mechanisms on melt geochemistry, the implications of mantle source depletion related to fluid fluxing, and potential melt migration processes. Changing model parameters indicate that slab age and slab dip are the primary controls on slab-adjacent low-viscosity channel (LVC) shape and thickness, due to changes in the fluid release patterns. Slab age and convergence velocity, which contribute to the slab thermal structure, are significant for the locations of dehydration reactions within the different lithological layers of the slab. The fluid source lithology determines the fluid flux and the fluid-mobile trace element input to the wedge. This study focuses on two cases that represent extremes within our model set, an old slab with a low rate of convergence and and a relatively young slab with a higher rate of convergence. Results are compared to actual geochemical datasets for the Izu-Bonin intra-oceanic subduction system and the Central Costa Rican part of the Central American arc. We find that there is a progression of geochemical characteristics described in studies of cross-arc and along-arc lavas that can be duplicated assuming (i) limited fluid-rock interaction within the mantle wedge and (ii) that melt migration preserves the spatial distinction among melts initiated in different areas of the wedge. Specifically, volcanic front lavas have significant contributions from shallower slab fluid sources, and rear-arc lavas have significant contributions from deeper slab fluid

  15. Physical property and Textural transition across the Unconformity and Major Seismic Reflectors in the Upper plate of the Costa Rica Subduction zone offshore Osa Peninsula (United States)

    Hamahashi, M.; Screaton, E.; Tanikawa, W.; Hashimoto, Y.; Martin, K. M.; Saito, S.; Kimura, G.


    At the Costa Rica subduction zone offshore Osa Peninsula, the Cocos plate and Cocos Ridge subduct under the Caribbean plate along the Middle America Trench, creating active seismicity. In this region, the Caribbean plate is characterized by a well-consolidated, high velocity framework material beneath the slope sediments, but the nature of the upper plate material is yet unknown. During Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 334 and 344, the unconformity between the slope sediments (Unit 1) and upper plate material (Units 2 and 3) consisting of lithic sedimentary units was penetrated at mid-slope Site 1380. In the current study, to characterize the compaction behavior of the upper plate material, we investigate the physical properties, texture and composition of the sediments at Site 1380 by conducting microstructural observations, resistivity measurements, particle size analyses, X-ray fluorescence and X-ray diffraction analyses. The microstructures of sediments observed through the microscope tend to develop dense and cohesive textures in low porosity sediments, and particle size changes across several unconformities. In particular, the small particle-sized lithic fragments compose larger bodies and form cohesive structures. The cross correlation between measured particle size and shipboard porosity show negative correlation especially at Unit 2, indicating that larger sized particles form smaller or fewer pores. From the results of XRF and XRD analyses, we found that Al, K, Ti tend to concentrate in the higher porosity sediments of Unit 1, whereas Si, Ca, P, Mg, Na, and Mn concentrate in the lower porosity sediments of Unit 2 and 3. The higher concentration in Mg, Na, Mn, Si may be due to minerals such as chlorite, serpentine, amphibole, and sodium manganese. The crossplots between porosity and element concentration show negative correlations in Mg, Na, and Mn with porosity, suggesting that the minerals rich in these elements may relate with the

  16. Detailed seismic velocity of the incoming subducting sediments in the 2004 great Sumatra earthquake rupture zone from full waveform inversion of long offset seismic data (United States)

    Qin, Yanfang; Singh, Satish C.


    The nature of incoming sediments defines the locking mechani