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Sample records for subducted african lithosphere

  1. Double subduction of continental lithosphere, a key to form wide plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Replumaz, Anne; Funiciello, Francesca; Reitano, Riccardo; Faccenna, Claudio; Balon, Marie

    2016-04-01

    The mechanisms involved in the creation of the high and wide topography, like the Tibetan Plateau, are still controversial. In particular, the behaviour of the indian and asian lower continental lithosphere during the collision is a matter of debate, either thickening, densifying and delaminating, or keeping its rigidity and subducting. But since several decades seismicity, seismic profiles and global tomography highlight the lithospheric structure of the Tibetan Plateau, and make the hypotheses sustaining the models more precise. In particular, in the western syntaxis, it is now clear that the indian lithosphere subducts northward beneath the Hindu Kush down to the transition zone, while the asian one subducts southward beneath Pamir (e.g. Negredo et al., 2007; Kufner et al., 2015). Such double subduction of continental lithospheres with opposite vergence has also been inferred in the early collision time. Cenozoic volcanic rocks between 50 and 30 Ma in the Qiangtang block have been interpreted as related to an asian subduction beneath Qiangtang at that time (De Celles et al., 2011; Guillot and Replumaz, 2013). We present here analogue experiments silicone/honey to explore the subduction of continental lithosphere, using a piston as analogue of far field forces. We explore the parameters that control the subductions dynamics of the 2 continental lithospheres and the thickening of the plates at the surface, and compare with the Tibetan Plateau evolution. We show that a continental lithosphere is able to subduct in a collision context, even lighter than the mantle, if the plate is rigid enough. In that case the horizontal force due to the collision context, modelled by the piston push transmitted by the indenter, is the driving force, not the slab pull which is negative. It is not a subduction driving by the weight of the slab, but a subduction induced by the collision, that we could call "collisional subduction".

  2. Using open sidewalls for modelling self-consistent lithosphere subduction dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chertova, M.V.; Geenen, T.; van den Berg, A.; Spakman, W.

    2012-01-01

    Subduction modelling in regional model domains, in 2-D or 3-D, is commonly performed using closed (impermeable) vertical boundaries. Here we investigate the merits of using open boundaries for 2-D modelling of lithosphere subduction. Our experiments are focused on using open and closed (free

  3. Detachments of the subducted Indian continental lithosphere based on 3D finite-frequency tomographic images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, X.; Tian, X.; Wang, M.

    2017-12-01

    Indian plate collided with Eurasian plate at 60 Ma and there are about 3000 km crustal shortening since the continental-continental collision. At least one third of the total amount of crustal shortening between Indian and Eurasian plates could not be accounted by thickened Tibetan crust and surface erosion. It will need a combination of possible transfer of lower crust to the mantle by eclogitization and lateral extrusion. Based on the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary images beneath the Tibetan plateau, there is also at least the same amount deficit for lithospheric mantle subducted into upper/lower mantle or lateral extrusion with the crust. We have to recover a detailed Indian continental lithosphere image beneath the plateau in order to explain this deficit of mass budget. Combining the new teleseismic body waves recorded by SANDWICH passive seismic array with waveforms from several previous temporary seismic arrays, we carried out finite-frequency tomographic inversions to image three-dimensional velocity structures beneath southern and central Tibetan plateau to examine the possible image of subducted Indian lithosphere in the Tibetan upper mantle. We have recovered a continuous high velocity body in upper mantle and piece-wised high velocity anomalies in the mantle transition zone. Based on their geometry and relative locations, we interpreted these high velocity anomalies as the subducted and detached Indian lithosphere at different episodes of the plateau evolution. Detachments of the subducted Indian lithosphere should have a crucial impact on the volcanism activities and uplift history of the plateau.

  4. Amount of Asian lithospheric mantle subducted during the India/Asia collision

    OpenAIRE

    Replumaz, A.; Guillot, S.; Villaseñor, Antonio; Negredo, A. M.

    2013-01-01

    Body wave seismic tomography is a successful technique for mapping lithospheric material sinking into the mantle. Focusing on the India/Asia collision zone, we postulate the existence of several Asian continental slabs, based on seismic global tomography. We observe a lower mantle positive anomaly between 1100 and 900 km depths, that we interpret as the signature of a past subduction process of Asian lithosphere, based on the anomaly position relative to positive anomalies related to Indian c...

  5. Buckling instabilities of subducted lithosphere beneath the transition zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

    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

  6. Shallow and buoyant lithospheric subduction : causes and implications from thermo-chemical numerical modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hunen, Jeroen van

    2001-01-01

    Where two lithospheric plates converge on the Earth, one of them disappears into the mantle. The dominant driving mechanism for plate motion is regarded to be `slab pull': the subducted plate, the slab, exerts a pulling force on the attached plate at the surface. However, what has been puzzling

  7. Geochemical evidence for the melting of subducting oceanic lithosphere at plate edges

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    Yogodzinski, G. M.; Lees, J. M.; Churikova, T. G.; Dorendorf, F.; Wöerner, G.; Volynets, O. N.

    2001-01-01

    Most island-arc magmatism appears to result from the lowering of the melting point of peridotite within the wedge of mantle above subducting slabs owing to the introduction of fluids from the dehydration of subducting oceanic crust. Volcanic rocks interpreted to contain a component of melt (not just a fluid) from the subducting slab itself are uncommon, but possible examples have been recognized in the Aleutian islands, Baja California, Patagonia and elsewhere. The geochemically distinctive rocks from these areas, termed `adakites', are often associated with subducting plates that are young and warm, and therefore thought to be more prone to melting. But the subducting lithosphere in some adakite locations (such as the Aleutian islands) appears to be too old and hence too cold to melt. This implies either that our interpretation of adakite geochemistry is incorrect, or that our understanding of the tectonic context of adakites is incomplete. Here we present geochemical data from the Kamchatka peninsula and the Aleutian islands that reaffirms the slab-melt interpretation of adakites, but in the tectonic context of the exposure to mantle flow around the edge of a torn subducting plate. We conclude that adakites are likely to form whenever the edge of a subducting plate is warmed or ablated by mantle flow. The use of adakites as tracers for such plate geometry may improve our understanding of magma genesis and thermal structure in a variety of subduction-zone environments.

  8. Using open sidewalls for modelling self-consistent lithosphere subduction dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. V. Chertova

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Subduction modelling in regional model domains, in 2-D or 3-D, is commonly performed using closed (impermeable vertical boundaries. Here we investigate the merits of using open boundaries for 2-D modelling of lithosphere subduction. Our experiments are focused on using open and closed (free slip sidewalls while comparing results for two model aspect ratios of 3:1 and 6:1. Slab buoyancy driven subduction with open boundaries and free plates immediately develops into strong rollback with high trench retreat velocities and predominantly laminar asthenospheric flow. In contrast, free-slip sidewalls prove highly restrictive on subduction rollback evolution, unless the lithosphere plates are allowed to move away from the sidewalls. This initiates return flows pushing both plates toward the subduction zone speeding up subduction. Increasing the aspect ratio to 6:1 does not change the overall flow pattern when using open sidewalls but only the flow magnitude. In contrast, for free-slip boundaries, the slab evolution does change with respect to the 3:1 aspect ratio model and slab evolution does not resemble the evolution obtained with open boundaries using 6:1 aspect ratio. For models with open side boundaries, we could develop a flow-speed scaling based on energy dissipation arguments to convert between flow fields of different model aspect ratios. We have also investigated incorporating the effect of far-field generated lithosphere stress in our open boundary models. By applying realistic normal stress conditions to the strong part of the overriding plate at the sidewalls, we can transfer intraplate stress to influence subduction dynamics varying from slab roll-back, stationary subduction, to advancing subduction. The relative independence of the flow field on model aspect ratio allows for a smaller modelling domain. Open boundaries allow for subduction to evolve freely and avoid the adverse effects (e.g. forced return flows of free-slip boundaries. We

  9. Tomographic imaging of subducted lithosphere below northwest Pacific island arcs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Der Hilst, R.; Engdahl, R.; Spakman, W.; Nolet, G.

    1991-01-01

    The seismic tomography problem does not have a unique solution, and published tomographic images have been equivocal with regard to the deep structure of subducting slabs. An improved tomographic method, using a more realistic background Earth model and surf ace-reflected as well as direct seismic phases, shows that slabs beneath the Japan and Izu Bonin island arcs are deflected at the boundary between upper and lower mantle, whereas those beneath the northern Kuril and Mariana arcs sink into the lower mantle.

  10. The effects of subduction termination on the continental lithosphere: Linking volcanism, deformation, surface uplift, and slab tearing in central Anatolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delph, Jonathan R.; Abgarmi, Bijan; Ward, Kevin M.; Beck, Susan L.; Arda Ozacar, A.; Zandt, George; Sandvol, Eric; Turkelli, Niyazi; Kalafat, Dogan

    2017-04-01

    The lithospheric evolution of Anatolia is largely defined by processes associated with the terminal stages of subduction along its southern margin. Central Anatolia represents the transition from the subduction of oceanic lithosphere at the Aegean trench in the west to the Arabian - Eurasian continental collision in the east. In the overriding plate, this complicated transition is contemporaneous with uplift along the southern margin of central Anatolia (2 km in 6 Myr), voluminous felsic-intermediate ignimbrite eruptions (>1000 km3), extension, and tectonic deformation reflected by abundant low-magnitude seismic activity. The addition of 72 seismic stations as part of the Continental Dynamics - Central Anatolian Tectonics project, along with development of a new approach to the joint inversion of receiver functions and dispersion data, enables us obtain a high-resolution 3D shear wave velocity model of central Anatolia down to 150 km. This new velocity model has important implications for the complex interactions between the downgoing, segmenting African lithosphere and the overriding Anatolian Plate. These results reveal that the lithosphere of central Anatolia and the northern Arabian Plate is thin (4.5 km/s), indicating the presence of the Cyprean slab beneath central Anatolia. Thus, uplift of the Central Taurus Mountains may be due to slab rebound after the detachment of the oceanic portion of the Cyprean slab beneath Anatolia rather than the presence of shallow asthenospheric material. These fast velocities extend to the northern margin of the Central Taurus Mountains, giving way to a NE-SW trend of very slow upper mantle shear wave velocities (interpreted to be shallow, warm asthenosphere in which melt is present. The combination of a shallow asthenosphere and lithospheric-scale weaknesses associated with relict tectonic structures formed during the assembly of Anatolia are responsible for the spatial distribution of volcanism in the Central Anatolian

  11. Finding the last 200Ma of subducted lithosphere in tomography and incorporating it into plate reconstructions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suppe, J.; Wu, J.; Chen, Y. W.

    2016-12-01

    Precise plate-tectonic reconstruction of the Earth has been constrained largely by the seafloor magnetic-anomaly record of the present oceans formed during the dispersal of the last supercontinent since 200Ma. The corresponding world that was lost to subduction has been only sketchily known. We have developed methodologies to map in 3D these subducted slabs of lithosphere in seismic tomography and unfold them to the Earth surface, constraining their initial size, shapes and locations. Slab edges are commonly formed at times of plate reorganization (for example bottom edges typically record initiation of subduction) such that unfolded slabs fit together at times of reorganization, as we illustrate for the Nazca slab at 80Ma and the western Pacific slabs between Kamchatka and New Zealand at 50Ma. Mapping to date suggests that a relatively complete and decipherable record of lithosphere subducted over the last 200Ma may exist in the mantle today, providing a storehouse for new discoveries. We briefly illustrate our procedure for obtaining slab-constrained plate-tectonic models from tomography with our recent study of the Philippine Sea plate, whose motions and tectonic history have been the least known of the major plates because it has been isolated from the global plate and hotspot circuit by trenches. We mapped and unfolded 28 subducted slabs in the mantle under East Asia and Australia/Oceania to depths of 1200km, with a subducted area of 25% of present-day global oceanic lithosphere, and incorporated them as constraints into a new globally-consistent plate reconstruction of the Philippine Sea and surrounding East Asia, leading to a number of new insights, including: [1] discovery of a major (8000 km x 2500 km) set of vanished oceans that we call the East Asia Sea that existed between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, now represented by flat slabs in the lower mantle under present-day Philippine Sea, eastern Sundaland and northern Australia and [2] the Philippine Sea

  12. New seismic observation on the lithosphere and slab subduction beneath the Indo-Myanmar block: Implications for continent oblique subduction and transition to oceanic slab subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, M.; He, Y.; Zheng, T.; Mon, C. T.; Thant, M.; Hou, G.; Ai, Y.; Chen, Q. F.; Sein, K.

    2017-12-01

    The Indo-Myanmar block locates to the southern and southeastern of the Eastern Himalayan Syntax (EHS) and marks a torsional boundary of the collision between the Indian and Eurasian plates. There are two fundamental questions concerned on the tectonics of Indo-Myanmar block since the Cenozoic time. One is whether and how the oblique subduction is active in the deep; the other is where and how the transition from oceanic subduction and continental subduction operates. However, the two problems are still under heated debate mainly because the image of deep structure beneath this region is still blurring. Since June, 2016, we have executed the China-Myanmar Geophysical Survey in the Myanmar Orogen (CMGSMO) and deployed the first portable seismic array in Myanmar in cooperation with Myanmar Geosciences Society (MGS). This array contains 70 stations with a dense-deployed main profile across the Indo-Myanmar Range, Central Basin and Shan State Plateau along latitude of 22° and a 2-D network covering the Indo-Myanmar Range and the western part of the Central Basin. Based on the seismic data collected by the new array, we conducted the studies on the lithospheric structure using the routine surface wave tomography and receiver function CCP stacking. The preliminary results of surface wave tomography displayed a remarkable high seismic velocity fabric in the uppermost of mantle beneath the Indo-Myanmar Range and Central Basin, which was interpreted as the subducted slab eastward. Particularly, we found a low velocity bulk within the high-velocity slab, which was likely to be a slab window due to the slab tearing. The preliminary results of receiver function CCP stacking showed the obvious variations of the lithospheric structures from the Indo-Myanmar Range to the Central Basin and Shan State Plateau. The lithospheric structure beneath the Indo-Myanmar Range is more complex than that beneath the Central Basin and Shan State Plateau. Our resultant high-resolution images

  13. Lithospheric Expressions of the Precambrian Shield, Mesozoic Rifting, and Cenozoic Subduction and Mountain Building in Venezuela

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levander, A.; Masy, J.; Niu, F.

    2013-05-01

    The Caribbean (CAR)-South American (SA) plate boundary in Venezuela is a broad zone of faulting and diffuse deformation. GPS measurements show the CAR moving approximately 2 cm/yr relative to SA, parallel to the strike slip fault system in the east, with more oblique convergence in the west (Weber et al., 2001) causing the southern edge of the Caribbean to subduct beneath northwestern South America. The west is further complicated by the motion of the triangular Maracaibo block, which is escaping northeastward relative to SA along the Bocono and Santa Marta Faults. In central and eastern Venezuela, plate motion is accommodated by transpression and transtension along the right lateral San Sebastian- El Pilar strike-slip fault system. The strike-slip system marks the northern edge of coastal thrust belts and their associated foreland basins. The Archean-Proterozoic Guayana Shield, part of the Amazonian Craton, underlies southeastern and south-central Venezuela. We used the 87 station Venezuela-U.S. BOLIVAR array (Levander et al., 2006) to investigate lithospheric structure in northern South America. We combined finite-frequency Rayleigh wave tomography with Ps and Sp receiver functions to determine lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) depth. We measured Rayleigh phase velocities from 45 earthquakes in the period band 20-100s. The phase velocities were inverted for 1D shear velocity structure on a 0.5 by 0.5 degree grid. Crustal thickness for the starting model was determined from active seismic experiments and receiver function analysis. The resulting 3D shear velocity model was then used to determine the depth of the LAB, and to CCP stack Ps and Sp receiver functions from ~45 earthquakes. The receiver functions were calculated in several frequency bands using iterative deconvolution and inverse filtering. Lithospheric thickness varies by more a factor of 2.5 across Venezuela. We can divide the lithosphere into several distinct provinces, with LAB depth

  14. The Two Subduction Zones of the Southern Caribbean: Lithosphere Tearing and Continental Margin Recycling in the East, Flat Slab Subduction and Laramide-Style Uplifts in the West

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levander, A.; Bezada, M. J.; Niu, F.; Schmitz, M.

    2015-12-01

    The southern Caribbean plate boundary is a complex strike-slip fault system bounded by oppositely vergent subduction zones, the Antilles subduction zone in the east, and a currently locked Caribbean-South American subduction zone in the west (Bilham and Mencin, 2013). Finite-frequency teleseismic P-wave tomography images both the Atlanic (ATL) and the Caribbean (CAR) plates subducting steeply in opposite directions to transition zone depths under northern South America. Ps receiver functions show a depressed 660 discontinuity and thickened transition zone associated with each subducting plate. In the east the oceanic (ATL) part of the South American (SA) plate subducts westward beneath the CAR, initiating the El Pilar-San Sebastian strike slip system, a subduction-transform edge propagator (STEP) fault (Govers and Wortel, 2005). The point at which the ATL tears away from SA as it descends into the mantle is evidenced by the Paria cluster seismicity at depths of 60-110 km (Russo et al, 1993). Body wave tomography and lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) thickness determined from Sp and Ps receiver functions and Rayleigh waves suggest that the descending ATL also viscously removes the bottom third to half of the SA continental margin lithospheric mantle as it descends. This has left thinned continental lithosphere under northern SA in the wake of the eastward migrating Antilles subduction zone. The thinned lithosphere occupies ~70% of the length of the El Pilar-San Sebastian fault system, from ~64oW to ~69oW, and extends inland several hundred kilometers. In northwestern SA the CAR subducts east-southeast at low angle under northern Colombia and western Venezuela. The subducting CAR is at least 200 km wide, extending from northernmost Colombia as far south as the Bucaramanga nest seismicity. The CAR descends steeply under Lake Maracaibo and the Merida Andes. This flat slab is associated with three Neogene basement cored, Laramide-style uplifts: the Santa Marta

  15. Southward Ejection of Subcontinental Lithosphere and large-scale Asthenospheric Enrichment beneath central Chile resulting from Flat Subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacques, G.; Hoernle, K.; Schaefer, B. F.; Hauff, F.; Gill, J.; Holm, P. M.; Bindeman, I. N.; Folguera, A.; Lara, L.; Ramos, V. A.

    2015-12-01

    Flat subduction is a common process in subduction zones, causing crustal shortening and thickening and possibly subduction erosion. These processes can lead to the contamination of asthenospheric melts either by lithospheric assimilation (e.g. MASH) or by subduction erosion of lithosphere into the asthenospheric source. We present new major and trace element and Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf-O-Os isotope data for a transect of Quaternary volcanic rocks across the Northern Southern Volcanic Front (NSVZ) of Chile at ~33.5°S, just south of the area of flat subduction, extending from the volcanic front (VF) to the rear arc (RA). The newly discovered calc-alkaline to alkaline RA rocks are more mafic (MgO~4-9wt.%) than the VF rocks (MgO~2.0-4.5wt.%). Both groups have overlapping Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic compositions that are more enriched than lavas from further south in the SVZ with two RA trachybasalts displaying extreme 87Sr/86Sr (0.710), eNd (-6) and eHf (-9). The RA samples, however, have less radiogenic Pb isotopic compositions with the two extreme RA trachybasalt samples having the least radiogenic Pb. The 207Pb/204Pb vs. Nd/Pb, Ce/Pb and Nb/U form good inverse linear correlations extending from subducted sediments to a mantle-like component. Mesozoic/Paleozoic crust and Grenvillian Argentinian lower crust do not fall on or along an extension of these arrays. The ol, plag and groundmassd18O (normalized to melt) of samples covering the full range in Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf isotopic composition lie within the mantle range (5.5-5.9). High Os abundances (~330ppt) in radiogenic Os (187Os/188Os=0.18) samples are not consistent with derivation from a mantle plume or continental crust. eNd and eHf increase to the south along the VF, e.g. eHf ranges from -9 to +10, forming an excellent linear correlation (r2=0.99), indicating that the enriched component is present in the source for >1000km to at least ~43°S. We propose that flattening of the Pampean slab 1) triggered subduction erosion of enriched

  16. Rayleigh and S wave tomography constraints on subduction termination and lithospheric foundering in central California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Chengxin; Schmandt, Brandon; Hansen, Steven M.; Dougherty, Sara L.; Clayton, Robert W.; Farrell, Jamie; Lin, Fan-Chi

    2018-01-01

    The crust and upper mantle structure of central California have been modified by subduction termination, growth of the San Andreas plate boundary fault system, and small-scale upper mantle convection since the early Miocene. Here we investigate the contributions of these processes to the creation of the Isabella Anomaly, which is a high seismic velocity volume in the upper mantle. There are two types of hypotheses for its origin. One is that it is the foundered mafic lower crust and mantle lithosphere of the southern Sierra Nevada batholith. The alternative suggests that it is a fossil slab connected to the Monterey microplate. A dense broadband seismic transect was deployed from the coast to the western Sierra Nevada to fill in the least sampled areas above the Isabella Anomaly, and regional-scale Rayleigh and S wave tomography are used to evaluate the two hypotheses. New shear velocity (Vs) tomography images a high-velocity anomaly beneath coastal California that is sub-horizontal at depths of ∼40–80 km. East of the San Andreas Fault a continuous extension of the high-velocity anomaly dips east and is located beneath the Sierra Nevada at ∼150–200 km depth. The western position of the Isabella Anomaly in the uppermost mantle is inconsistent with earlier interpretations that the Isabella Anomaly is connected to actively foundering foothills lower crust. Based on the new Vs images, we interpret that the Isabella Anomaly is not the dense destabilized root of the Sierra Nevada, but rather a remnant of Miocene subduction termination that is translating north beneath the central San Andreas Fault. Our results support the occurrence of localized lithospheric foundering beneath the high elevation eastern Sierra Nevada, where we find a lower crustal low Vs layer consistent with a small amount of partial melt. The high elevations relative to crust thickness and lower crustal low Vs zone are consistent with geological inferences that lithospheric foundering drove

  17. Rayleigh and S wave tomography constraints on subduction termination and lithospheric foundering in central California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Chengxin; Schmandt, Brandon; Hansen, Steven M.; Dougherty, Sara L.; Clayton, Robert W.; Farrell, Jamie; Lin, Fan-Chi

    2018-04-01

    The crust and upper mantle structure of central California have been modified by subduction termination, growth of the San Andreas plate boundary fault system, and small-scale upper mantle convection since the early Miocene. Here we investigate the contributions of these processes to the creation of the Isabella Anomaly, which is a high seismic velocity volume in the upper mantle. There are two types of hypotheses for its origin. One is that it is the foundered mafic lower crust and mantle lithosphere of the southern Sierra Nevada batholith. The alternative suggests that it is a fossil slab connected to the Monterey microplate. A dense broadband seismic transect was deployed from the coast to the western Sierra Nevada to fill in the least sampled areas above the Isabella Anomaly, and regional-scale Rayleigh and S wave tomography are used to evaluate the two hypotheses. New shear velocity (Vs) tomography images a high-velocity anomaly beneath coastal California that is sub-horizontal at depths of ∼40-80 km. East of the San Andreas Fault a continuous extension of the high-velocity anomaly dips east and is located beneath the Sierra Nevada at ∼150-200 km depth. The western position of the Isabella Anomaly in the uppermost mantle is inconsistent with earlier interpretations that the Isabella Anomaly is connected to actively foundering foothills lower crust. Based on the new Vs images, we interpret that the Isabella Anomaly is not the dense destabilized root of the Sierra Nevada, but rather a remnant of Miocene subduction termination that is translating north beneath the central San Andreas Fault. Our results support the occurrence of localized lithospheric foundering beneath the high elevation eastern Sierra Nevada, where we find a lower crustal low Vs layer consistent with a small amount of partial melt. The high elevations relative to crust thickness and lower crustal low Vs zone are consistent with geological inferences that lithospheric foundering drove uplift

  18. Out-of-plane reflections - are they evidence for deep subducted lithosphere?

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    Schumacher, Lina; Thomas, Christine

    2015-04-01

    Subduction zones form dominant tectonic features on the Earth and have complex three-dimensional structures. Tomographic inversions for P- and S-wave seismic velocities in the Earth's mantle give impressive images of slabs descending into the deep Earth. However, direct observations of deep slabs are scarce but necessary to make statements concerning physical parameters, structural differences within the slab and its behavior with depth. The main objective of this study is to investigate the geometry, physical parameters and structural differences of subducted lithosphere by investigating seismic P-wave arrivals that reflect off the base of the slab using seismic array techniques. The great circle paths of the source-receiver combinations used do not intersect the slab and serve as reference. We focus on the North pacific region by using earthquakes from Japan, the Philippines and the Hindukush recorded at North American networks (e.g. USArray, Alaska and Canada). The data cover a period from 2000-2012 with a minimum magnitude of 5.6 Mw and depths below 100 km. We are looking for reflections from the slab region that would arrive at the stations with deviating backazimuths. Information on slowness, backazimuth and travel time of the observed out-of-plane arrivals is used to backtrace the wave to its scattering location and to map seismic heterogeneities associated with subduction zones. The reflection points give an idea for the 3D structures within the mantle. Assuming only single scattering in the backtracing algorithm, most out-of-plane signals have to travel as P*P and only a few as S*P phases, due to their timing. Taking into account the radiation pattern of each event in direction of the great circle path and towards the calculated reflection point, it is possible to compare the polarities of the out-of-plane signals with P and/or PP. Furthermore, we analyze the out-of-plane waveforms in the beam trace of the observed slowness and backazimuth by cross

  19. 3D Numerical Examination of Continental Mantle Lithosphere Response to Lower Crust Eclogitization and Nearby Slab Subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janbakhsh, P.; Pysklywec, R.

    2017-12-01

    2D numerical modeling techniques have made great contribution to understanding geodynamic processes involved in crustal and lithospheric scale deformations for the past 20 years. The aim of this presentation is to expand the scope covered by previous researchers to 3 dimensions to address out-of-plane intrusion and extrusion of mantle material in and out of model space, and toroidal mantle wedge flows. In addition, 3D velocity boundary conditions can create more realistic models to replicate real case scenarios. 3D numerical experiments that will be presented are designed to investigate the density and viscosity effects of lower crustal eclogitization on the decoupling process of continental mantle lithosphere from the crust and its delamination. In addition, these models examine near-field effects of a subducting ocean lithosphere and a lithospheric scale fault zone on the evolution of the processes. The model solutions and predictions will also be compared against the Anatolian geology where subduction of Aegean and Arabian slabs, and the northern boundary with the North Anatolian Fault Zone are considered as two main contributing factors to anomalous crustal uplift, missing mantle lithosphere, and anomalous surface heat flux.

  20. Subduction initiation, recycling of Alboran lower crust, and intracrustal emplacement of subcontinental lithospheric mantle in the Westernmost Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varas-Reus, María Isabel; Garrido, Carlos J.; Bosch, Delphine; Marchesi, Claudio; Hidas, Károly; Booth-Rea, Guillermo; Acosta-Vigil, Antonio

    2015-04-01

    Unraveling the tectonic settings and processes involved in the annihilation of subcontinental mantle lithosphere is of paramount importance for our understanding of the endurance of continents through Earth history. Unlike ophiolites -- their oceanic mantle lithosphere counterparts -- the mechanisms of emplacement of the subcontinental mantle lithosphere in orogens is still poorly known. The emplacement of subcontinental lithospheric mantle peridotites is often attributed to extension in rifted passive margins or continental backarc basins, accretionary processes in subduction zones, or some combination of these processes. One of the most prominent features of the westernmost Mediterranean Alpine orogenic arcs is the presence of the largest outcrops worldwide of diamond facies, subcontinental mantle peridotite massifs; unveiling the mechanisms of emplacement of these massifs may provide important clues on processes involved in the destruction of continents. The western Mediterranean underwent a complex Alpine evolution of subduction initiation, slab fragmentation, and rollback within a context of slow convergence of Africa and Europe In the westernmost Mediterranean, the alpine orogeny ends in the Gibraltar tight arc, which is bounded by the Betic, Rif and Tell belts that surround the Alboran and Algero-Balearic basins. The internal units of these belts are mostly constituted of an allochthonous lithospheric domain that collided and overthrusted Mesozoic and Tertiary sedimentary rocks of the Mesozoic-Paleogene, South Iberian and Maghrebian rifted continental paleomargins. Subcontinental lithospheric peridotite massifs are intercalated between polymetamorphic internal units of the Betic (Ronda, Ojen and Carratraca massifs), Rif (Beni Bousera), and Tell belts. In the Betic chain, the internal zones of the allochthonous Alboran domain include, from bottom to top, polymetamorphic rock of the Alpujarride and Malaguide complexes. The Ronda peridotite massif -- the

  1. Upper mantle beneath foothills of the western Himalaya: subducted lithospheric slab or a keel of the Indian shield?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinnik, L.; Singh, A.; Kiselev, S.; Kumar, M. Ravi

    2007-12-01

    The fate of the mantle lithosphere of the Indian Plate in the India-Eurasia collision zone is not well understood. Tomographic studies reveal high P velocity in the uppermost mantle to the south of the western Himalaya, and these high velocities are sometimes interpreted as an image of subducting Indian lithosphere. We suggest that these high velocities are unrelated to the ongoing subduction but correspond to a near-horizontal mantle keel of the Indian shield. In the south of the Indian shield upper-mantle velocities are anomalously low, and relatively high velocities may signify a recovery of the normal shield structure in the north. Our analysis is based on the recordings of seismograph station NIL in the foothills of the western Himalaya. The T component of the P receiver functions is weak relative to the Q component, which is indicative of a subhorizontally layered structure. Joint inversion of the P and S receiver functions favours high uppermost mantle velocities, typical of the lithosphere of Archean cratons. The arrival of the Ps converted phase from 410 km discontinuity at NIL is 2.2 s earlier than in IASP91 global model. This can be an effect of remnants of Tethys subduction in the mantle transition zone and of high velocities in the keel of the Indian shield. Joint inversion of SKS particle motions and P receiver functions reveals a change in the fast direction of seismic azimuthal anisotropy from 60° at 80-160 km depths to 150° at 160-220 km. The fast direction in the lower layer is parallel to the trend of the Himalaya. The change of deformation regimes at a depth of 160 km suggests that this is the base of the lithosphere of the Indian shield. A similar boundary was found with similar techniques in central Europe and the Tien Shan region, but the base of the lithosphere in these regions is relatively shallow, in agreement with the higher upper-mantle temperatures. The ongoing continental collision is expressed in crustal structure: the crust

  2. Intermediate-Depth Subduction Earthquakes Recorded by Pseudotachylyte in Dry Eclogite-Facies Oceanic Lithosphere from the Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scambelluri, M.; Pennacchioni, G.; Gilio, M.; Bestmann, M.

    2016-12-01

    While geophysical studies and laboratory experiments provide much information on subduction earthquakes, field studies identifying the rock types for earthquake development and the deep seismogenic environments are still scarce. To date, fluid overpressure and volume decrease during hydrous mineral breakdown the widely favoured trigger of subduction earthquakes in serpentinized lithospheric mantle and hydrated low-velocity layers atop slabs. Here we document up to 40 cm-thick pseudotachylyte (PST) in Alpine oceanic gabbro and peridotite (2-2.5 GPa-550-620°C), the analogue of a modern cold subducting oceanic lithosphere. These rocks mostly remained unaltered dry systems; only very minor domains (<1%) record partial hydration and static eclogitic metamorphism. Meta-peridotite shows high-pressure olivine + antigorite (garnet + zoisite + chlorite after mantle plagioclase); meta-gabbro develops omphacite + zoisite + talc + chloritoid + garnet. Abundant syn-eclogitic pseudotachylyte cut the dry gabbro-peridotite and the eclogitized domains. In meta-peridotite, PST shows olivine, orthopyroxene, spinel microliths and clasts of high-pressure olivine + antigorite and garnet + zoisite + chlorite aggregates. In metagabbro, microfaults in damage zones near PST cut brecciated igneous pyroxene cemented by omphacite. In unaltered gabbro, glassy PST contains micron-scale garnet replacing plagioclase microliths during, or soon after, PST cooling. In the host rock, garnet coronas between igneous olivine and plagioclase only occur near PST and between closely spaced PST veins. Absence of garnet away from PST indicates that garnet growth was triggered by mineral seeds and by heat released by PST. The above evidence shows that pseudotachylyte formed at eclogite-facies conditions. In such setting, strong, dry, metastable gabbro-peridotite concentrate stress to generate large intermediate depth subduction earthquakes without much involvement of free fluid.

  3. Complex Morphology of Subducted Lithosphere in the Mantle below the Molucca Collision Zone from Non-linear Seismic Tomography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Widiyantoro

    2003-05-01

    Full Text Available Results of seismic studies presented in previous publications depict two opposing subducted oceanic lithospheric slabs under the Molucca region. This unique structure is related to the arc-arc collision between the Halmahera and Sangihe arcs. Recently, we have revisited the complex subduction zone structure by employing a non-linear tomographic imaging technique in which 3-D ray tracing has been implemented. We have used P- as well as S-wave arrival times from carefully reprocessed global data set. The results provide some improvements in the positioning of wave-speed anomalies. Consistent with earlier results, the new P-wave model depicts the two opposing subducted slabs of the Molucca Sea plate. The intriguing new observation is that the westward dipping slab appears to penetrate into the lower mantle by taking the form of folded slab. We envisage that the folding behavior may have been caused by the shift of the whole subduction system in the Molucca region toward the Eurasian continent due to the westward thrust of the Pacific plate combined with the large left-lateral movement of the Sorong fault. The inversion of travel-time residuals of direct S phases strongly confirms the new observation.

  4. Fertile lithospheric mantle beneath the northwestern North China and its implication for the subduction of the Paleo-Asian Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, H. K.; Zheng, J.; Su, Y. P.; Xiong, Q.; Pan, S. K.

    2017-12-01

    The nature of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) beneath the western North China Craton (NCC) is poorly known, which hinders understanding the cratonic response to the southward subduction of the Paleo-Asian Ocean. Mineral chemical data of spinel lherzolite xenoliths from newly discovered Cenozoic Langshan basalts in the northwestern part of the craton have been integrated with data from other localities across the western NCC, to put constrains on the SCLM nature and to explore the reworking processes involved. Compositions of mineral cores (i.e., Mg# in olivine = 88 91) and P-T estimates ( 1.2 GPa, 950 oC) suggest the Langshan xenoliths/xenocrysts represent fragments of the uppermost SCLM and experienced ancient continental crust, and 2) the sharp decrease in lithospheric thickness from the inner part to the northern margin of the western NCC, the SCLM beneath the northwestern part should have been strongly rejuvenated or replaced by fertile and non-cratonic mantle. Combined with other geological evidence on the northwestern margin, the mantle replacement and metasomatism were likely triggered by southward subduction of the Paleo-Asian Ocean.

  5. Continental lithospheric subduction and intermediate-depth seismicity: Constraints from S-wave velocity structures in the Pamir and Hindu Kush

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Chen, Yun; Yuan, Xiaohui; Schurr, Bernd; Mechie, James; Oimahmadov, Ilhomjon; Fu, Bihong

    2018-01-01

    The Pamir has experienced more intense deformation and shortening than Tibet, although it has a similar history of terrane accretion. Subduction as a primary way to accommodate lithospheric shortening beneath the Pamir has induced the intermediate-depth seismicity, which is rare in Tibet. Here we construct a 3D S-wave velocity model of the lithosphere beneath the Pamir by surface wave tomography using data of the TIPAGE (Tien Shan-Pamir Geodynamic program) and other seismic networks in the area. We imaged a large-scale low velocity anomaly in the crust at 20-50 km depth in the Pamir overlain by a high velocity anomaly at a depth shallower than 15 km. The high velocity anomalies colocate with exposed gneiss domes, which may imply a similar history of crustal deformation, partial melting and exhumation in the hinterland, as has occurred in the Himalaya/Tibet system. At mantle depths, where the intermediate-depth earthquakes are located, a low velocity zone is clearly observed extending to about 180 km and 150 km depth in the Hindu Kush and eastern Pamir, respectively. Moreover, the geometry of the low-velocity anomaly suggests that lower crustal material has been pulled down into the mantle by the subducting Asian and Indian lithospheric mantle beneath the Pamir and Hindu Kush, respectively. Metamorphic processes in the subducting lower crust may cause the intermediate-depth seismicity down to 150-180 km depth beneath the Pamir and Hindu Kush. We inverted focal mechanisms in the seismic zone for the stress field. Differences in the stress field between the upper and lower parts of the Indian slab imply that subduction and detachment of the Indian lithosphere might cause intense seismicity associated with the thermal shear instability in the deep Hindu Kush.

  6. Numerical modelling of lithospheric flexure in front of subduction zones in Japan and its role to initiate melt extraction from the LVZ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bessat, A.; Pilet, S.; Duretz, T.; Schmalholz, S. M.

    2017-12-01

    Petit-spot volcanoes were found fifteen years ago by Japanese researchers at the top of the subducting plate in Japan (Hirano 2006). This discovery is of great significance as it highlights the importance of tectonic processes for the initiation of intraplate volcanism. The location of these small lava flows is unusual and seems to be related to the plate flexure, which may facilitate the extraction of low degree melts from the base of the lithosphere, a hypothesis previously suggested to explain changes in electric and seismic properties at 70-90 km depth, i.e. within the low velocity zone (LVS) (Sifré 2014). A critical question is related to the process associated with the extraction of this low degree melts from the LVZ. First models suggested that extension associated to plate bending allows large cracks to propagate across the lithosphere and could promote the extraction of low degree melts at the base of the lithosphere (Hirano 2006 & Yamamoto 2014). However, the study of petit-spot mantle xenoliths from Japan (Pilet 2016) has demonstrated that low degree melts are not directly extracted to the surface but percolate, interact and metasomatize the oceanic lithosphere. In order to understand the melt extraction process in the region of plate bending, we performed 2D thermo-mechanical simulations of Japanese-type subduction. The numerical model considers viscoelastoplastic deformation. This allows the quantification of state of the stress, strain rates, and viscosities which will control the percolation of melt initially stocked at the base of the lithosphere. Initial results show that plate flexure changes the distribution of the deformation mechanism in the flexure zone, between 40 km to 80 km depth. A change of the dominant deformation mechanism from diffusion creep to dislocation creep and from there to Peierls creep was observed about 200 to 300 km from the trench. These changes are linked to the augmentation of the stresses in the flexure zone. At the

  7. Geothermal structure of the eastern Black Sea basin and the eastern Pontides orogenic belt: Implications for subduction polarity of Tethys oceanic lithosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nafiz Maden

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The numerical results of thermal modeling studies indicate that the lithosphere is cold and strong beneath the Black Sea basin. The thermal lithospheric thickness increases southward from the eastern Pontides orogenic belt (49.4 km to Black Sea basin (152.2 km. The Moho temperature increases from 367 °C in the trench to 978 °C in the arc region. The heat flow values for the Moho surface change between 16.4 mW m−2 in the Black Sea basin and 56.9 mW m−2 in the eastern Pontides orogenic belt. Along the southern Black Sea coast, the trench region has a relatively low geothermal potential with respect to the arc and back-arc region. The numerical studies support the existence of southward subduction beneath the Pontides during the late Mesozoic–Cenozoic.

  8. Melt Origin Across a Rifted Continental Margin: A Case for Subduction-related Metasomatic Agents in the Lithospheric Source of Alkaline Basalt, Northwest Ross Sea, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panter, K. S.; Castillo, P.; Krans, S. R.; Deering, C. D.; McIntosh, W. C.; Valley, J. W.; Kitajima, K.; Kyle, P. R.; Hart, S. R.; Blusztajn, J.

    2017-12-01

    Alkaline magmatism within the West Antarctic rift system in the NW Ross Sea (NWRS) includes a chain of shield volcanoes extending 260 km along the coast, numerous seamounts located on the continental shelf and hundreds more within the oceanic Adare Basin. Dating and geochemistry confirm that the seamounts are Pliocene‒Pleistocene in age and petrogenetically akin to the mostly Miocene volcanism on the continent as well as to a much broader region of alkaline volcanism that altogether encompasses areas of West Antarctica, Zealandia and Australia. All of these regions were contiguous prior to Gondwana breakup at 100 Ma, suggesting that the magmatism is interrelated. Mafic alkaline magmas (> 6 wt.% MgO) erupted across the transition from continent to ocean in the NWRS show a remarkable systematic increase in Si-undersaturation, P2O5, Sr, Zr, Nb and light rare earth element (LREE) concentrations, LREE/HREE and Nb/Y ratios. Radiogenic isotopes also vary with Nd and Pb ratios increasing and Sr ratios decreasing ocean-ward. The variations are not explained by crustal contamination or by changes in degree of mantle partial melting but are likely a function of the thickness and age of mantle lithosphere. The isotopic signature of the most Si-undersaturated and incompatible element enriched basalts best represent the composition of the sub-lithospheric source with low 87Sr/86Sr (≤ 0.7030) and δ18Oolivine (≤ 5.0 ‰), high 143Nd/144Nd ( 0.5130) and 206Pb/204Pb (≥ 20) ratios. The isotopic `endmember' is derived from recycled material and was transferred to the lithospheric mantle by small degree melts to form amphibole-rich metasomes. Later melting of the metasomes produced silica-undersaturated liquids that reacted with the surrounding peridotite. This reaction occurred to a greater extent as the melt traversed through thicker and older lithosphere continent-ward. Ancient or more recent ( 550‒100 Ma) subduction along the margin of Gondwana supplied the recycled

  9. Magnitude of long-term non-lithostatic pressure variations in lithospheric processes: insight from thermo-mechanical subduction/collision models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerya, Taras

    2014-05-01

    On the one hand, the principle of lithostatic pressure is habitually used in metamorphic geology to calculate paleo-depths of metamorphism from mineralogical pressure estimates given by geobarometry. On the other hand, it is obvious that this lithostatic (hydrostatic) pressure principle should only be valid for an ideal case of negligible deviatoric stresses during the long-term development of the entire tectono-metamorphic system - the situation, which newer comes to existence in natural lithospheric processes. The question is therefore not "Do non-lithostatic pressure variations exist?" but " What is the magnitude of long-term non-lithostatic pressure variations in various lithospheric processes, which can be recorded by mineral equilibria of respective metamorphic rocks?". The later question is, in particular, relevant for various types of high-pressure (HP) and ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) rocks, which are often produced in convergent plate boundary settings (e.g., Hacker and Gerya, 2013). This question, can, in particular, be answered with the use of thermo-mechanical models of subduction/collision processes employing realistic P-T-stress-dependent visco-elasto-brittle/plastic rheology of rocks. These models suggest that magnitudes of pressure deviations from lithostatic values can range >50% underpressure to >100% overpressure, mainly in the regions of bending of rheologically strong mantle lithosphere (Burg and Gerya, 2005; Li et al., 2010). In particular, strong undepresures along normal faults forming within outer rise regions of subducting plates can be responsible for downward water suction and deep hydration of oceanic slabs (Faccenda et al., 2009). Weaker HP and UHP rocks of subduction/collision channels are typically subjected to lesser non-lithostatic pressure variations with characteristic magnitudes ranging within 10-20% from the lithostatic values (Burg and Gerya, 2005; Li et al., 2010). The strength of subducted crustal rocks and the degree of

  10. Lithosphere structure and subsidence evolution of the conjugate S-African and Argentine margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dressel, Ingo; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Cacace, Mauro; Götze, Hans-Jürgen; Franke, Dieter

    2016-04-01

    The bathymetric evolution of the South Atlantic passive continental margins is a matter of debate. Though it is commonly accepted that passive margins experience thermal subsidence as a result of lithospheric cooling as well as load induced subsidence in response to sediment deposition it is disputed if the South Atlantic passive margins were affected by additional processes affecting the subsidence history after continental breakup. We present a subsidence analysis along the SW African margin and offshore Argentina and restore paleobathymetries to assess the subsidence evolution of the margin. These results are discussed with respect to mechanisms behind margin evolution. Therefore, we use available information about the lithosphere-scale present-day structural configuration of these margins as a starting point for the subsidence analysis. A multi 1D backward modelling method is applied to separate individual subsidence components such as the thermal- as well as the load induced subsidence and to restore paleobathymetries for the conjugate margins. The comparison of the restored paleobathymetries shows that the conjugate margins evolve differently: Continuous subsidence is obtained offshore Argentina whereas the subsidence history of the SW African margin is interrupted by phases of uplift. This differing results for both margins correlate also with different structural configurations of the subcrustal mantle. In the light of these results we discuss possible implications for uplift mechanisms.

  11. Alpine Serpentinite Geochemistry As Key To Define Timing Of Oceanic Lithosphere Accretion To The Subduction Plate Interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilio, M.; Scambelluri, M.; Agostini, S.; Godard, M.; Pettke, D. T.; Angiboust, S.

    2016-12-01

    Isotopic (Pb, Sr and B) and trace element (B, Be, As, Sb, U, Th) signatures of serpentinites are useful geochemical tools to assess element exchange and fluid-rock interactions in subduction zone settings. They help to unravel geological history and tectonic evolution of subduction serpentinites and associated meta-oceanic crust. Sedimentary-derived fluid influx within HP plate interface environments strongly enriches serpentinites in As, Sb, B, U and Th and resets their B, Sr and Pb isotopic compositions. This HP metasomatic signature is preserved during exhumation and/or released at higher PT through de-serpentinization, fueling partial melting in the sub-arc mantle and recycling such fingerprint into arc magmas. This study focuses on the subduction recrystallization, geochemical diversity and fluid-rock interaction recorded by high- to ultra-high pressure (HP, UHP) Alpine serpentinites from the subducted oceanic plate (Cignana Unit, Zermatt-Saas Complex, Monviso and Lanzo Ultramafic Massifs). The As and Sb compositions of the HP-UHP Alpine ophiolitic rocks reveal the interaction between serpentinite and crust-derived fluids during their emplacement along the plate interface. This enables to define a hypothetical architecture of the Alpine subduction interface, considering large ultramafic slices. In this scenario, the Lanzo peridotite and serpentinite retain an As-Sb composition comparable to DM and PM: i.e. they experienced little exchange with sediment-derived fluids. Lanzo thus belonged to sections of the subducting plate, afar from the plate interface. Serpentinites from the Lago di Cignana Unit and Monviso and Voltri are richer in As and Sb, showing moderate to strong interaction with sediment- and crust-derived fluids during subduction (i.e. they behaved as open systems). These serpentinite slices accreted at the plate interface and exchanged with slab-derived fluids at different depths during Alpine subduction: Voltri accreted at shallower conditions (50

  12. Seismicity of Romania: fractal properties of earthquake space, time and energy distributions and their correlation with segmentation of subducted lithosphere and Vrancea seismic source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Popescu, E.; Ardeleanu, L.; Bazacliu, O.; Popa, M.; Radulian, M.; Rizescu, M.

    2002-01-01

    now (first two stages) refer to the determination of the fractal properties of the time and space distributions for the Vrancea subcrustal earthquakes. The application of the variation coefficient method in time domain outlines the existence of different types of generation models in the two segments delimited on depth in the Vrancea subcrustal region: crack-like events (M D ≤ 3.6) which are more clustered in the upper segment of the subducted lithosphere; asperity-like events (M D > 3.6) which on the contrary are more clustered in the lower segment of the subducted lithosphere. Application of fractal statistics leads us to the following conclusions: Time fractal dimension, D t , of the Vrancea subcrustal earthquakes varies in a relative small interval, D t with in the range [0.81 - 0.92]; these values indicate a clustering tendency in all analyzed cases; Data set is well approximated by a fractal model for a time domain τ with in the range [2 to 2 7 days]; in the same time interval, deviations from the linearity are also noticed, indicating a superposition of the scale invariance behavior (fractal properties) with a Poisson distribution (random). As concerns the space clustering properties of the Vrancea subcrustal events, our purpose is to test the hypothesis of segmentation on depth of the subducted lithosphere. Our work emphasized consequently the existence of two maxima in the depth-earthquake distribution: a) 60 ≤ h ≤110 km; b)110 < h ≤ 220 km. The space clustering analysis showed also that: 1. In the case of the upper segment, the fractal dimension of the epicenter distribution decreases in time from 1.83 to 1.71; 2. In the case of the lower segment, the fractal dimension of the epicenter distribution has a tendency of increase in time from 1.65 to 1.91; 3. In the case of the whole subducted slab, there is a trend of increase in time from 1.65 to 1.91. In conclusion, the analysis of the clustering properties in time and space in the case of Vrancea

  13. The lithosphere of the East African Rift and Plateau (Afar-Ethiopia-Turkana) : insights from Integrated 3-D density modelling

    OpenAIRE

    Woldetinsae, Girma

    2005-01-01

    The area encompassing the Eastern branch of the East African Rift System (EARS: Afar-Ethiopia-Turkana) and associated plateaux is an ideal region to investigate extension and magmatism associated with rupturing continental lithosphere. Ethiopia covers an important part of the EARS. It contains the major section of the ca. 5000 km Afro-Arabian rift and includes the transition between the Arabo-Nubian-Shield and the Mozambique Belt. A compilation of over 45000 onshore and offshore gravity stati...

  14. Imaging rifting at the lithospheric scale in the northern East African Rift using S-to-P receiver functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavayssiere, A.; Rychert, C.; Harmon, N.; Keir, D.; Hammond, J. O. S.; Kendall, J. M.; Leroy, S. D.; Doubre, C.

    2017-12-01

    The lithosphere is modified during rifting by a combination of mechanical stretching, heating and potentially partial melt. We image the crust and upper mantle discontinuity structure beneath the northern East African Rift System (EARS), a unique tectonically active continental rift exposing along strike the transition from continental rifting in the Main Ethiopian rift (MER) to incipient seafloor spreading in Afar and the Red Sea. S-to-P receiver functions from 182 stations across the northern EARS were generated from 3688 high quality waveforms using a multitaper technique and then migrated to depth using a regional velocity model. Waveform modelling of data stacked in large conversion point bins confirms the depth and strength of imaged discontinuities. We image the Moho at 29.6±4.7 km depth beneath the Ethiopian plateaux with a variability in depth that is possibly due to lower crustal intrusions. The crust is 27.3±3.9 km thick in the MER and thinner in northern Afar, 17.5±0.7 km. The model requires a 3±1.2% reduction in shear velocity with increasing depth at 68.5±1.5 km beneath the Ethiopian plateaux, consistent with the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB). We do not resolve a LAB beneath Afar and the MER. This is likely associated with partial melt near the base of the lithosphere, reducing the velocity contrast between the melt-intruded lithosphere and the partially molten asthenosphere. We identify a 4.5±0.7% increase in velocity with depth at 91±3 km beneath the MER. This change in velocity is consistent with the onset of melting found by previous receiver functions and petrology studies. Our results provide independent constraints on the depth of melt production in the asthenosphere and suggest melt percolation through the base of the lithosphere beneath the northernmost East African rift.

  15. Modification of an ancient subcontinental lithospheric mantle by continental subduction: Insight from the Maowu garnet peridotites in the Dabie UHP belt, eastern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yi; Su, Bin; Chu, Zhuyin

    2017-05-01

    Orogenic mantle-derived peridotites commonly originate from the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) and thus provide a key target to investigate the modification of the SCLM by a subducting slab. The Maowu ultramafic rocks from the Dabie ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic belt have formerly been debated as representing cumulates or mantle-derived peridotites. Detailed petrological and geochemical data presented in this study provide new constraints on the origin and formation of the peridotites involving melt depletion in the ancient SCLM and deep crustal metasomatism. The Maowu garnet dunites have refractory bulk compositions characterized by high Mg# (91.9-92.0) and Ni (2537-2892 ppm) values and low Al2O3 (0.26-0.76 wt.%), CaO (0.05-0.32 wt.%), TiO2 (China craton. Many garnet orthopyroxenite veins crosscutting the Maowu dunites preserve abundant metasomatic textures and show variable enrichment in incompatible elements. Mineral and whole-rock chemistry indicate that these veins represent metasomatic products between the wall dunites and silica-rich hydrous melts under UHP conditions. The veins show large variations in platinum-group element (PGE) signatures and Re-Os isotopes. The garnet-poor orthopyroxenite veins are characterized by low Al2O3 ( 6 wt.%) and S (99-306 ppm) contents and show melt-like PGE patterns and high 187Os/188Os ratios (up to 0.36910). These features, combined with the occurrence of interstitial sulfides in the garnet-rich orthopyroxenite veins, suggest that crust-derived sulfur-saturated silicate melts may have significantly modified the PGE signature and destroyed the Re-Os systematics of the SCLM. However, when the crust-derived silicate melts became sulfur-depleted, such melts would not significantly modify the PGE patterns, radiogenic Os-isotope compositions or the Re-depletion model ages of the SCLM. Consequently, deep crust-mantle interactions in continental subduction zones could induce high degrees of Os isotopic

  16. Stacking and metamorphism of continuous segments of subducted lithosphere in a high-pressure wedge: The example of Alpine Corsica (France)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitale Brovarone, Alberto; Beyssac, Olivier; Malavieille, Jacques; Molli, Giancarlo; Beltrando, Marco; Compagnoni, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    homogeneous in metamorphism, laterally continuous and have characteristic lithostratigraphic features. This study also suggests a direct link between the pre-orogenic extensional setting and the present-day compressional structure of Alpine Corsica, indicating that large sections of subducted lithosphere were subducted and exhumed as coherent domains. These features provide important insight on the mechanism of stacking and exhumation of HP rocks, and make Alpine Corsica a unique reference for mountain-building processes in Tethyan-type orogens.

  17. Tracing the HIMU component within Pan-African lithosphere beneath northeast Africa: Evidence from Late Cretaceous Natash alkaline volcanics, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abu El-Rus, M. A.; Chazot, G.; Vannucci, R.; Paquette, J.-L.

    2018-02-01

    A large late Cretaceous ( 90 Ma) volcanic field (the Natash volcanic province) crops out in southeast Egypt at the northwestern boundary of the Arabian-Nubian shield. The lavas are mainly of alkaline affinity and exhibit a continuous compositional range from alkali olivine basalt (AOB) to trachyte and rhyolite. All basaltic lavas in the province record various extents of fractional crystallization of olivine, clinopyroxene, plagioclase and spinel. The basaltic lavas show variations in Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf isotopic ratios [(87Sr/86Sr)i = 0.7030-0.70286; (143Nd/144Nd)i = 0.512653-0.512761; (206Pb/204Pb)i = 19.28-19.94; (177Hf-176Hf)i = 0.28274-0.28285], that correlate markedly with the major and trace element ratios and abundances. Assimilation of crustal material cannot explain these correlations, and we invoke instead melting of a multicomponent mantle source. We infer the existence of High-μ (HIMU), Enriched mantle type-I (EM-I) and Depleted mantle (DM) domains in the melting source, with a predominant contribution from the HIMU-type. We suggests further that the basaltic lavas originate from low degrees of partial melting (F negative K-anomalies in the primitive mantle-normalized patterns of the fractionation-corrected melts. The presence of amphibole within the lithosphere is a strong evidence that the lithospheric mantle underwent metasomatic enrichment prior to melting in Late Cretaceous. This metasomatic event affected on the Pb isotopic compositions of the Natash volcanics by adding Th and U to the melting source. Time-integrated calculations to remove the decoupling between 206Pb and 207Pb isotopes that most probably resulted from the metasomatic event indicate a tentative link between the metasomatism occurring in the Pan-African lithospheric mantle and the formation of juvenile crust during the Pan-African Orogeny. A two stage evolution model is therefore proposed for volcanism in the Natash area: fluxing of the lithosphere by hydrous fluids during Pan-African

  18. Electrical structure of the lithosphere across the Western Paraná suture zone: the role of a Neoproterozoic-Cambrian subduction in generating the Paraná Magmatic Province

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dragone, G. N.; Bologna, M.; Gimenez, M. E.; Alvarez, O.; Lince Klinger, F. G.; Correa-Otto, S.; Ussami, N.

    2017-12-01

    The Paraná Magmatic Province (PMP) together with the Etendeka Province (EP) in Africa is one of the Earth's largest igneous provinces originated prior to the Western Gondwanaland break-up and the inception of the South Atlantic Ocean in the Lower Cretaceous. Geochemical data of PMP-EP basalts collected since late 1980's indicate the origin of PMP-EP by melting of a heterogeneous and enriched subcontinental lithospheric mantle with fast rate of eruption (borders of the PMP, the Western Paraná suture zone (WPS in Fig. 1). We discuss the electrical properties of the lithosphere along three MT profiles across the WPS. MT-A profile (Padilha et al., 2015, JGR) extends from Rio Apa craton towards the center of PMP (high-TiO2 basalts). Profile MT-B extends from Tebicuary craton towards the center of PMP (low-TiO2) and profile MT-C extends from Rio de la Plata craton towards the southern PMP (low- and high-TiO2). All profiles show a resistive ( 104 ohm m) and thick (> 150 km) lithosphere in the cratonic areas whereas the electrical lithosphere is thinner (<100 km) with alternating high and low resistivities within PMP. Vertically elongated and high electrical conductivity anomalies ( 10 ohm m) centered at 40 km depth occur along the -30 mGal contour line in the three profiles, and are interpreted as the location of the suture and former subduction zone. We will discuss the correlation between geochemical and petrological characteristics of basalts and the electrical properties of the lithospheric mantle underneath.

  19. Unraveling African plate structure from elevation, geoid and geology data: implications for the impact of mantle flow and sediment transfers on lithospheric deformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajolet, Flora; Robert, Alexandra; Chardon, Dominique; Rouby, Delphine

    2017-04-01

    The aim of our project is to simulate the long-wavelength, flexural isostatic response of the African plate to sediment transfers due to Meso-Cenozoic erosion - deposition processes in order to extract the residual topography driven by mantle dynamics. The first step of our project consists in computing crustal and lithospheric thickness maps of the African plate considering its main geological components (cratons, mobile belts, basins, rifts and passive margins of various ages and strengths). In order to consider these heterogeneities, we compute a 2D distribution of crustal densities and thermal parameters from geological data and use it as an input of our modeling. We combine elevation and geoid anomaly data using a thermal analysis, following the method of Fullea et al. (2007) in order to map crustal and lithospheric thicknesses. In this approach, we assume local isostasy and consider a four-layer model made of crust and lithospheric mantle plus seawater and asthenosphere. In addition, we compare our results with crustal and lithospheric thickness datasets compiled from bibliography and existing global models. The obtained crustal thicknesses range from 28 to 42km, with the thickest crust confined to the northern part of the West African Craton, the Kaapvaal craton, and the Congo cuvette. The crust in the East African Rift appears unrealistically thick (40-45 km) as it is not isotatically compensated, highlighting the dynamic effect of the African superswell. The thinnest crust (28-34km) follows a central East-West trend coinciding with Cretaceous rifts and the Cameroon volcanic line. The lithosphere reaches 220 km beneath the Congo craton, but remains globally thin (ca. 120-180 km) compared to tomographic models and considering the age of most geological provinces. As for the crust, the thinnest lithosphere is located in areas of Cretaceous-Jurassic rifting, suggesting that the lithosphere did not thermally recover from Mesozoic rifting. A new elastic

  20. Late Miocene extensional systems in northern Tunisia and their relation with SE directed delamination of the African subcontinental mantle lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth-Rea, Guillermo; Gaidi, Seif; Melki, Fetheddine; Pérez-Peña, Vicente; Marzougui, Wissem; Azañón, Jose Miguel; Galve, Jorge Pedro

    2017-04-01

    Recent work has proposed the delamination of the subcontinental mantle lithosphere under northern Tunisia during the late Miocene. This process is required to explain the present location of the Tunisian segment of the African slab, imaged by seismic tomography, hanging under the Gulf of Gabes to the south of Tunisia. Thus, having retreated towards the SE several hundred km from its original position under the Tellian-Atlas nappe contact that crops out along the north of Tunisia. However, no tectonic structures have been described which could be related to this mechanism of lithospheric mantle peeling. Here we describe for the first time extensional fault systems in northern Tunisia that strongly thinned the Tellian nappes, exhuming rocks from the Tunisian Atlas in the core of folded extensional detachments. Two normal fault systems with sub-orthogonal extensional transport occur. These were active during the late Miocene associated to the extrusion of 13 Ma granodiorite and 9 Ma rhyodacite in the footwall of the Nefza detachment. We have differentiated an extensional system formed by low-angle normal faults with NE- and SW-directed transport cutting through the Early to Middle Miocene Tellian nappen stack and a later system of low and high-angle normal faults that cuts down into the underlying Tunisian Atlas units with SE-directed transport, which root in the Nefza detachment. Both normal fault systems have been later folded and cut by thrusts during Plio-Quaternary NW-SE directed compression. These findings change the interpretation of the tectonic evolution of Tunisia that has always been framed in a transpressive to compressive setting, manifesting the extensional effects of Late Miocene lithospheric mantle delamination under northern Tunisia.

  1. The continental lithosphere

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Artemieva, Irina

    2009-01-01

    The goal of the present study is to extract non-thermal signal from seismic tomography models in order to distinguish compositional variations in the continental lithosphere and to examine if geochemical and petrologic constraints on global-scale compositional variations in the mantle...... are consistent with modern geophysical data. In the lithospheric mantle of the continents, seismic velocity variations of a non-thermal origin (calculated from global Vs seismic tomography data [Grand S.P., 2002. Mantle shear-wave tomography and the fate of subducted slabs. Philosophical Transactions...... and evolution of Precambrian lithosphere: A global study. Journal of Geophysical Research 106, 16387–16414.] show strong correlation with tectono-thermal ages and with regional variations in lithospheric thickness constrained by surface heat flow data and seismic velocities. In agreement with xenolith data...

  2. A numerical reference model for themomechanical subduction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quinquis, Matthieu; Chemia, Zurab; Tosi, Nicola

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Petrogenesis of the Pulang porphyry complex, southwestern China: Implications for porphyry copper metallogenesis and subduction of the Paleo-Tethys Oceanic lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Peng; Dong, Guo-Chen; Zhao, Guo-Chun; Han, Yi-Gui; Li, Yong-Ping

    2018-04-01

    The Pulang complex is located in the southern segment of the Yidun Arc in the Sanjiang Tethys belt, southwestern China. It is composed of quartz diorite, quartz monzonite and granodiorite porphyries, and hosts the super-large Pulang deposit. This study presents new U-Pb geochronological, major-trace elemental and Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic data to constrain the petrogenesis of the Pulang complex and to evaluate its significances for porphyric mineralization and tectonic evolution of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean. The zircon U-Pb dating yields ages ranging from 208 Ma to 214 Ma. Geochemically, the Pulang complex has high Sr and MgO contents, and high Sr/Y and La/Yb ratios, but low Yb and Y contents, displaying adakitic affinities. However, it has moderate Sr/Y and La/Yb ratios, and high Rb contents (32 to 202 ppm). The Pulang samples plot into the transitional field between adakites and normal arc rocks, differing from typical adakites. It is attributed to the assimilation of 10-15% crustal components. The zircon εHf(t) (-4.6 to -2.5), whole-rock (87Sr/86Sr)i (0.7052 to 0.7102), εNd(t) (-0.62 to 2.12) values and adakitic affinities suggest that the Pulang complex was derived from a basaltic slab-melt source and reacted with peridotite during ascending through an enriched asthenospheric mantle wedge. The basaltic slab-melts likely resulted from the westward subduction of the Ganzi-Litang oceanic plate (a branch of the Paleo-Tethys). As far as the metallogenesis concerned, three factors in mineralization are proposed in this paper. The country rock, quartz diorite porphyry, has higher Cu contents than the mantle (average 30 ppm), suggesting that ore-forming magma was derived from a Cu-enriched source, which is a crucial contribution to the late mineralization to form the super-large Pulang deposit. In addition, the barren quartz diorite, granodiorite, and ore-bearing quartz monzonite porphyries are all characterized by high oxygen fugacity, which is another important factor for the

  4. Imaging Canary Island hotspot material beneath the lithosphere of Morocco and southern Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. Lithospheric structure of northwest Africa: Insights into the tectonic history and influence of mantle flow on large-scale deformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Meghan S.; Becker, Thorsten

    2014-05-01

    Northwest Africa is affected by late stage convergence of Africa with Eurasia, the Canary Island hotspot, and bounded by the Proterozoic-age West African craton. We present seismological evidence from receiver functions and shear-wave splitting along with geodynamic modeling to show how the interactions of these tectonic features resulted in dramatic deformation of the lithosphere. We interpret seismic discontinuities from the receiver functions and find evidence for localized, near vertical-offset deformation of both crust-mantle and lithosphere-asthenosphere interfaces at the flanks of the High Atlas. These offsets coincide with the locations of Jurassic-aged normal faults that have been reactivated during the Cenozoic, further suggesting that inherited, lithospheric-scale zones of weakness were involved in the formation of the Atlas. Another significant step in lithospheric thickness is inferred within the Middle Atlas. Its location corresponds to the source of regional Quaternary alkali volcanism, where the influx of melt induced by the shallow asthenosphere appears restricted to a lithospheric-scale fault on the northern side of the mountain belt. Inferred stretching axes from shear-wave splitting are aligned with the topographic grain in the High Atlas, suggesting along-strike asthenospheric shearing in a mantle channel guided by the lithospheric topography. Isostatic modeling based on our improved lithospheric constraints indicates that lithospheric thinning alone does not explain the anomalous Atlas topography. Instead, an mantle upwelling induced by a hot asthenospheric anomaly appears required, likely guided by the West African craton and perhaps sucked northward by subducted lithosphere beneath the Alboran. This dynamic support scenario for the Atlas also suggests that the timing of uplift is contemporaneous with the recent volcanismin the Middle Atlas.

  6. Influence of lateral slab edge distance on plate velocity, trench velocity, and subduction partitioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W. P.; Stegman, D. R.; Farrington, R. J.; Moresi, L.

    2011-01-01

    Subduction of oceanic lithosphere occurs through both trenchward subducting plate motion and trench retreat. We investigate how subducting plate velocity, trench velocity and the partitioning of these two velocity components vary for individual subduction zone segments as a function of proximity to

  7. The lithosphere-asthenosphere: Italy and surroundings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Panza, G.F.; Aoudia, A.; Pontevivo, A.; Chimera, G.; Raykova, R.

    2003-02-01

    The velocity-depth distribution of the lithosphere-asthenosphere in the Italian region and surroundings is imaged, with a lateral resolution of about 100 km, by surface wave velocity tomography and non-linear inversion. Maps of the Moho depth, of the thickness of the lithosphere and of the shear-wave velocities, down to depths of 200 km and more, are constructed. A mantle wedge, identified in the uppermost mantle along the Apennines and the Calabrian Arc, underlies the principal recent volcanoes, and partial melting can be relevant in this part of the uppermost mantle. In Calabria a lithospheric doubling is seen, in connection with the subduction of the Ionian lithosphere. The asthenosphere is shallow in the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea. High velocity bodies, cutting the asthenosphere, outline the Adria-lonian subduction in the Tyrrhenian Sea and the deep-reaching lithospheric root in the Western Alps. Less deep lithospheric roots are seen in the Central Apennines. The lithosphere-asthenosphere properties delineate a differentiation between the northern and the southern sectors of the Adriatic Sea, likely attesting the fragmentation of Adria. (author)

  8. The lithosphere-asthenosphere Italy and surroundings

    CERN Document Server

    Panza, G F; Chimera, G; Pontevivo, A; Raykova, R

    2003-01-01

    The velocity-depth distribution of the lithosphere-asthenosphere in the Italian region and surroundings is imaged, with a lateral resolution of about 100 km, by surface wave velocity tomography and non-linear inversion. Maps of the Moho depth, of the thickness of the lithosphere and of the shear-wave velocities, down to depths of 200 km and more, are constructed. A mantle wedge, identified in the uppermost mantle along the Apennines and the Calabrian Arc, underlies the principal recent volcanoes, and partial melting can be relevant in this part of the uppermost mantle. In Calabria a lithospheric doubling is seen, in connection with the subduction of the Ionian lithosphere. The asthenosphere is shallow in the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea. High velocity bodies, cutting the asthenosphere, outline the Adria-lonian subduction in the Tyrrhenian Sea and the deep-reaching lithospheric root in the Western Alps. Less deep lithospheric roots are seen in the Central Apennines. The lithosphere-asthenosphere properties delineat...

  9. PdS and SdP Receiver Functions Image of the Lithosphere underneath the Southern African Regions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soliman, Mohammad Youssof Ahmad; Thybo, Hans; Levander, A

    2009-01-01

    to 350 km depth by Jordan (1975), has to be revealed in more detail, and a better understanding should yield new insight into the origin of Earth’s early continents. We have reassessed the data from the Kaapvaal seismic experiment for lithosphere structure by application of PdS receiver functions...... these preliminary results, we are continuing the experiments by calculation of theoretical receiver functions for a range of models, and are assessing the combined integrated PdS and SdP receiver function response in combination with teleseismic tomography to provide an integrated high resolution model....

  10. Subduction Drive of Plate Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, W. B.

    2003-12-01

    Don Anderson emphasizes that plate tectonics is self-organizing and is driven by subduction, which rights the density inversion generated as oceanic lithosphere forms by cooling of asthenosphere from the top. The following synthesis owes much to many discussions with him. Hinge rollback is the key to kinematics, and, like the rest of actual plate behavior, is incompatible with bottom-up convection drive. Subduction hinges (which are under, not in front of, thin leading parts of arcs and overriding plates) roll back into subducting plates. The Pacific shrinks because bounding hinges roll back into it. Colliding arcs, increasing arc curvatures, back-arc spreading, and advance of small arcs into large plates also require rollback. Forearcs of overriding plates commonly bear basins which preclude shortening of thin plate fronts throughout periods recorded by basin strata (100 Ma for Cretaceous and Paleogene California). This requires subequal rates of advance and rollback, and control of both by subduction. Convergence rate is equal to rates of rollback and advance in many systems but is greater in others. Plate-related circulation probably is closed above 650 km. Despite the popularity of concepts of plumes from, and subduction into, lower mantle, there is no convincing evidence for, and much evidence against, penetration of the 650 in either direction. That barrier not only has a crossing-inhibiting negative Clapeyron slope but also is a compositional boundary between fractionated (not "primitive"), sluggish lower mantle and fertile, mobile upper mantle. Slabs sink more steeply than they dip. Slabs older than about 60 Ma when their subduction began sink to, and lie down on and depress, the 650-km discontinuity, and are overpassed, whereas younger slabs become neutrally buoyant in mid-upper mantle, into which they are mixed as they too are overpassed. Broadside-sinking old slabs push all upper mantle, from base of oceanic lithosphere down to the 650, back under

  11. Lithospheric processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baldridge, W. [and others

    2000-12-01

    The authors used geophysical, geochemical, and numerical modeling to study selected problems related to Earth's lithosphere. We interpreted seismic waves to better characterize the thickness and properties of the crust and lithosphere. In the southwestern US and Tien Shari, crust of high elevation is dynamically supported above buoyant mantle. In California, mineral fabric in the mantle correlate with regional strain history. Although plumes of buoyant mantle may explain surface deformation and magmatism, our geochemical work does not support this mechanism for Iberia. Generation and ascent of magmas remains puzzling. Our work in Hawaii constrains the residence of magma beneath Hualalai to be a few hundred to about 1000 years. In the crust, heat drives fluid and mass transport. Numerical modeling yielded robust and accurate predictions of these processes. This work is important fundamental science, and applies to mitigation of volcanic and earthquake hazards, Test Ban Treaties, nuclear waste storage, environmental remediation, and hydrothermal energy.

  12. Lithospheric processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baldridge, W.S.

    2000-01-01

    The authors used geophysical, geochemical, and numerical modeling to study selected problems related to Earth's lithosphere. We interpreted seismic waves to better characterize the thickness and properties of the crust and lithosphere. In the southwestern US and Tien Shari, crust of high elevation is dynamically supported above buoyant mantle. In California, mineral fabric in the mantle correlate with regional strain history. Although plumes of buoyant mantle may explain surface deformation and magmatism, our geochemical work does not support this mechanism for Iberia. Generation and ascent of magmas remains puzzling. Our work in Hawaii constrains the residence of magma beneath Hualalai to be a few hundred to about 1000 years. In the crust, heat drives fluid and mass transport. Numerical modeling yielded robust and accurate predictions of these processes. This work is important fundamental science, and applies to mitigation of volcanic and earthquake hazards, Test Ban Treaties, nuclear waste storage, environmental remediation, and hydrothermal energy

  13. Craton Heterogeneity in the South American Lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, S.; Van der Lee, S.; Assumpcao, M.; Feng, M.; Franca, G. S.

    2012-04-01

    We investigate structure of the lithosphere beneath South America using receiver functions, surface wave dispersion analysis, and seismic tomography. The data used include recordings from 20 temporary broadband seismic stations deployed across eastern Brazil (BLSP02) and from the Chile Ridge Subduction Project seismic array in southern Chile (CRSP). By jointly inverting Moho point constraints, Rayleigh wave group velocities, and regional S and Rayleigh wave forms we obtain a continuous map of Moho depth. The new tomographic Moho map suggests that Moho depth and Moho relief vary slightly with age within the Precambrian crust. Whether or not a correlation between crustal thickness and geologic age can be derived from the pre-interpolation point constraints depends strongly on the selected subset of receiver functions. This implies that using only pre-interpolation point constraints (receiver functions) inadequately samples the spatial variation in geologic age. We also invert for S velocity structure and estimate the depth of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) in Precambrian South America. The new model reveals a relatively thin lithosphere throughout most of Precambrian South America (< 140 km). Comparing LAB depth with lithospheric age shows they are overall positively correlated, whereby the thickest lithosphere occurs in the relatively small Saõ Francisco craton (200 km). However, within the larger Amazonian craton the younger lithosphere is thicker, indicating that locally even larger cratons are not protected from erosion or reworking of the lithosphere.

  14. Seismicity and lithospheric structure of Central Mozambique: implications for the southward propagation of the East African Rift System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, J. F. B. D.; Domingues, A.

    2017-12-01

    footprint of such earthquake clusters may be an indication of the size of future microplates; alternatively, the interaction between astenospheric flow and lithospheric heterogeneities may favor one of the competing branches to succeed in reaching the SW Indian Ridge to form a triple junction, while the other two wither.

  15. Probing the Cypriot Lithosphere: Insights from Broadband Seismology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogden, C. S.; Bastow, I. D.; Pilidou, S.; Dimitriadis, I.; Iosif, P.; Constantinou, C.; Kounoudis, R.

    2017-12-01

    Cyprus, an island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, is an ideal study locale for understanding both the final stages of subduction, and the internal structure of so-called `ophiolites' - rare, on-land exposures of oceanic crust. The Troodos ophiolite offers an excellent opportunity to interrogate a complete ophiolite sequence from mantle rocks to pillow lavas. However, determining its internal architecture, and that of the subducting African plate deep below it, cannot be easily achieved using traditional field geology. To address this issue, we have built a new network of five broadband seismograph stations across the island. These, along with existing permanent stations, record both local and teleseismic earthquakes that we are now using to image Cyprus' crust and mantle seismic structure. Receiver functions are time series, computed from three-component seismograms, which contain information about lithospheric seismic discontinuities. When a P-wave strikes a velocity discontinuity such as the Moho, energy is converted to S-waves (direct Ps phase). The widely-used H-K Stacking technique utilises this arrival, and subsequent crustal reverberations (PpPs and PsPs+PpSs), to calculate crustal thickness (H) and bulk-crustal Vp/Vs ratio (K). Central to the method is the assumption that the Moho produces the largest amplitude conversions, after the direct P-arrival, which is valid where the Moho is sharp. Where the Moho is gradational or upper crustal discontinuities are present, the Moho signals are weakened and masked by shallow crustal conversions, potentially rendering the H-K stacking method unreliable. Using a combination of synthetic and observed seismograms, we explore Cyprus' crustal structure and, specifically, the reliability of the H-K method in constraining it. Data quality is excellent across the island, but the receiver function Ps phase amplitude is low, and crustal reverberations are almost non-existent. Therefore, a simple, abrupt wavespeed jump at the

  16. 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...

  17. History and evolution of Subduction in the Precambrium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, R.; Gerya, T.

    2013-12-01

    Plate tectonics is a global self-organising process driven by negative buoyancy at thermal boundary layers. Phanerozoic plate tectonics with its typical subduction and orogeny is relatively well understood and can be traced back in the geological records of the continents. Interpretations of geological, petrological and geochemical observations from Proterozoic and Archean orogenic belts however (e.g. Brown, 2006), suggest a different tectonic regime in the Precambrian. Due to higher radioactive heat production the Precambrian lithosphere shows lower internal strength and is strongly weakened by percolating melts. The fundamental difference between Precambrian and Phanerozoic subduction is therefore the upper-mantle temperature, which determines the strength of the upper mantle (Brun, 2002) and the further subduction history. 3D petrological-thermomechanical numerical modelling experiments of oceanic subduction at an active plate at different upper-mantle temperatures show these different subduction regimes. For upper-mantle temperatures 250 K above the present day value no subduction occurs any more. The whole lithosphere starts to delaminate and drip-off. But the subduction style is not only a function of upper-mantle temperature but also strongly depends on the thickness of the subducting plate. If thinner present day oceanic plates are used in the Precambrian models, no shallow underplating is observed but steep subduction can be found up to an upper-mantle temperature of 200 K above present day values. Increasing oceanic plate thickness introduces a transition from steep to flat subduction at lower temperatures of around 150 K. Thicker oceanic plates in the Precambrium also agree with results from earlier studies, e.g. Abbott (1994). References: Abbott, D., Drury, R., Smith, W.H.F., 1994. Flat to steep transition in subduction style. Geology 22, 937-940. Brown, M., 2006. Duality of thermal regimes is the distinctive characteristic of plate tectonics since the

  18. Numerical simulations of the mantle lithosphere delamination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morency, C.; Doin, M.-P.

    2004-03-01

    overriding lithosphere of subduction zones.

  19. Metallogeny of subduction zones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sorokhtin N. O.

    2017-03-01

    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

  20. The Lithosphere in Italy: Structure and Seismicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brandmayr, Enrico; Blagoeva Raykova, Reneta; Zuri, Marco; Romanelli, Fabio; Doglioni, Carlo; Panza, Giuliano Francesco

    2010-07-01

    We propose a structural model for the lithosphere-asthenosphere system for the Italic region by means of the S-wave velocity (V S ) distribution with depth. To obtain the velocity structure the following methods are used in the sequence: frequency-time analysis (FTAN); 2D tomography (plotted on a grid 1 o x 1 o ); non-linear inversion; smoothing optimization method. The 3D V S structure (and its uncertainties) of the study region is assembled as a juxtaposition of the selected representative cellular models. The distribution of seismicity and heat flow is used as an independent constraint for the definition of the crustal and lithospheric thickness. The moment tensor inversion of recent damaging earthquakes which occurred in the Italic region is performed through a powerful non-linear technique and it is related to the different rheologic-mechanic properties of the crust and uppermost mantle. The obtained picture of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system for the Italic region confirms a mantle extremely vertically stratified and laterally strongly heterogeneous. The lateral variability in the mantle is interpreted in terms of subduction zones, slab dehydration, inherited mantle chemical anisotropies, asthenospheric upwellings, and so on. The western Alps and the Dinarides have slabs with low dip, whereas the Apennines show a steeper subduction. No evidence for any type of mantle plume is observed. The asymmetric expansion of the Tyrrhenian Sea, which may be interpreted as related to a relative eastward mantle flow with respect to the overlying lithosphere, is confirmed. (author)

  1. Carbonate metasomatism and CO2 lithosphere-asthenosphere degassing beneath the western Mediterranean: An integrated model arising from petrological and geophysical data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frezzotti, Maria Luce; Peccerillo, Angelo; Panza, Giuliano

    2009-03-01

    We present an integrated petrological, geochemical, and geophysical model that offers an explanation for the present-day anomalously high non-volcanic deep (mantle derived) CO 2 emission in the Tyrrhenian region. We investigate how decarbonation or melting of carbonate-rich lithologies from a subducted lithosphere may affect the efficiency of carbon release in the lithosphere-asthenosphere system. We propose that melting of sediments and/or continental crust of the subducted Adriatic-Ionian (African) lithosphere at pressure greater than 4 GPa (130 km) may represent an efficient mean for carbon cycling into the upper mantle and into the exosphere in the Western Mediterranean area. Melting of carbonated lithologies, induced by the progressive rise of mantle temperatures behind the eastward retreating Adriatic-Ionian subducting plate, generates low fractions of carbonate-rich (hydrous-silicate) melts. Due to their low density and viscosity, such melts can migrate upward through the mantle, forming a carbonated partially molten CO 2 -rich mantle recorded by tomographic images in the depth range from 130 to 60 km. Upwelling in the mantle of carbonate-rich melts to depths less than 60 - 70 km, induces massive outgassing of CO 2 . Buoyancy forces, probably favored by fluid overpressures, are able to allow migration of CO 2 from the mantle to the surface, through deep lithospheric faults, and its accumulation beneath the Moho and within the lower crust. The present model may also explain CO 2 enrichment of the Etna active volcano. Deep CO 2 cycling is tentatively quantified in terms of conservative carbon mantle flux in the investigated area. (author)

  2. Subduction zone guided waves in Northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garth, Thomas; Rietbrock, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Guided wave dispersion is observed in subduction zones as high frequency energy is retained and delayed by low velocity structure in the subducting slab, while lower frequency energy is able to travel at the faster velocities associated with the surrounding mantle material. As subduction zone guided waves spend longer interacting with the low velocity structure of the slab than any other seismic phase, they have a unique capability to resolve these low velocity structures. In Northern Chile, guided wave arrivals are clearly observed on two stations in the Chilean fore-arc on permanent stations of the IPOC network. High frequency (> 5 Hz) P-wave arrivals are delayed by approximately 2 seconds compared to the low frequency (young subducting lithosphere also has the potential to carry much larger amounts of water to the mantle than has previously been appreciated.

  3. Using natural laboratories and modeling to decipher lithospheric rheology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobolev, Stephan

    2013-04-01

    Rheology is obviously important for geodynamic modeling but at the same time rheological parameters appear to be least constrained. Laboratory experiments give rather large ranges of rheological parameters and their scaling to nature is not entirely clear. Therefore finding rheological proxies in nature is very important. One way to do that is finding appropriate values of rheological parameter by fitting models to the lithospheric structure in the highly deformed regions where lithospheric structure and geologic evolution is well constrained. Here I will present two examples of such studies at plate boundaries. One case is the Dead Sea Transform (DST) that comprises a boundary between African and Arabian plates. During the last 15- 20 Myr more than 100 km of left lateral transform displacement has been accumulated on the DST and about 10 km thick Dead Sea Basin (DSB) was formed in the central part of the DST. Lithospheric structure and geological evolution of DST and DSB is rather well constrained by a number of interdisciplinary projects including DESERT and DESIRE projects leaded by the GFZ Potsdam. Detailed observations reveal apparently contradictory picture. From one hand widespread igneous activity, especially in the last 5 Myr, thin (60-80 km) lithosphere constrained from seismic data and absence of seismicity below the Moho, seem to be quite natural for this tectonically active plate boundary. However, surface heat flow of less than 50-60mW/m2 and deep seismicity in the lower crust ( deeper than 20 km) reported for this region are apparently inconsistent with the tectonic settings specific for an active continental plate boundary and with the crustal structure of the DSB. To address these inconsistencies which comprise what I call the "DST heat-flow paradox", a 3D numerical thermo-mechanical model was developed operating with non-linear elasto-visco-plastic rheology of the lithosphere. Results of the numerical experiments show that the entire set of

  4. Constraining the hydration of the subducting Nazca plate beneath Northern Chile using subduction zone guided waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garth, Tom; Rietbrock, Andreas

    2017-09-01

    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 (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 subducting slabs may carry more water per metre of arc, approximately one third of the oceanic material subducted globally is of a similar age to the Nazca plate. This suggests that subducting oceanic

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. W. Becker

    2012-11-01

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

  6. Some consequences of the subduction of young slabs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    England, P.; Wortel, R.

    The negative buoyancy force exerted by a subducting oceanic slab depends on its descent velocity, and strongly on its age. For lithosphere close to thermal equilibrium, this force dominates by a large margin the resisting forces arising from friction on the plate boundary and compositional buoyancy.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cloetingh, Sierd

    1982-01-01

    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cloetingh, S.A.P.L.

    1982-01-01

    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

  9. Where does subduction initiate and die? Insights from global convection models with continental drift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulvrova, Martina; Williams, Simon; Coltice, Nicolas; Tackley, Paul

    2017-04-01

    Plate tectonics is a prominent feature on Earth. Together with the underlying convecting mantle, plates form a self-organized system. In order to understand the dynamics of the coupled system, subduction of the lithospheric plates plays the key role since it links the exterior with the interior of the planet. In this work we study subduction initiation and death with respect to the position of the continental rafts. Using thermo-mechanical numerical calculations we investigate global convection models featuring self-consistent plate tectonics and continental drifting employing a pseudo-plastic rheology and testing the effect of a free surface. We consider uncompressible mantle convection in Boussinesq approximation that is basaly and internaly heated. Our calculations indicate that the presence of the continents alterns stress distribution within a certain distance from the margins. Intra-oceanic subudction initiation is favorable during super-continent cycles while the initiation at passive continental margin prevails when continents are dispersed. The location of subduction initiation is additionally controlled by the lithospheric strength. Very weak lithosphere results in domination of intra-oceanic subduction initiation. The subduction zones die more easily in the vicinity of the continent due to the strong rheological contrast between the oceanic and continental lithosphere. In order to compare our findings with subduction positions through time recorded on Earth, we analyse subduction birth in global plate reconstruction back to 410 My.

  10. Earthquake source parameters along the Hellenic subduction zone and numerical simulations of historical tsunamis in the Eastern Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yolsal-Çevikbilen, Seda; Taymaz, Tuncay

    2012-04-01

    We studied source mechanism parameters and slip distributions of earthquakes with Mw ≥ 5.0 occurred during 2000-2008 along the Hellenic subduction zone by using teleseismic P- and SH-waveform inversion methods. In addition, the major and well-known earthquake-induced Eastern Mediterranean tsunamis (e.g., 365, 1222, 1303, 1481, 1494, 1822 and 1948) were numerically simulated and several hypothetical tsunami scenarios were proposed to demonstrate the characteristics of tsunami waves, propagations and effects of coastal topography. The analogy of current plate boundaries, earthquake source mechanisms, various earthquake moment tensor catalogues and several empirical self-similarity equations, valid for global or local scales, were used to assume conceivable source parameters which constitute the initial and boundary conditions in simulations. Teleseismic inversion results showed that earthquakes along the Hellenic subduction zone can be classified into three major categories: [1] focal mechanisms of the earthquakes exhibiting E-W extension within the overriding Aegean plate; [2] earthquakes related to the African-Aegean convergence; and [3] focal mechanisms of earthquakes lying within the subducting African plate. Normal faulting mechanisms with left-lateral strike slip components were observed at the eastern part of the Hellenic subduction zone, and we suggest that they were probably concerned with the overriding Aegean plate. However, earthquakes involved in the convergence between the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean lithospheres indicated thrust faulting mechanisms with strike slip components, and they had shallow focal depths (h < 45 km). Deeper earthquakes mainly occurred in the subducting African plate, and they presented dominantly strike slip faulting mechanisms. Slip distributions on fault planes showed both complex and simple rupture propagations with respect to the variation of source mechanism and faulting geometry. We calculated low stress drop

  11. Craton stability and continental lithosphere dynamics during plume-plate interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, H.; Van Hunen, J.; Pearson, D.

    2013-12-01

    Survival of thick cratonic roots in a vigorously convecting mantle system for billions of years has long been studied by the geodynamical community. A high cratonic root strength is generally considered to be the most important factor. We first perform and discuss new numerical models to investigate craton stability in both Newtonian and non-Newtonian rheology in the stagnant lid regime. The results show that only a modest compositional rheological factor of Δη=10 with non-Newtonian rheology is required for the survival of cratonic roots in a stagnant lid regime. A larger rheological factor (100 or more) is needed to maintain similar craton longevity in a Newtonian rheology environment. Furthermore, chemical buoyancy plays an important role on craton stability and its evolution, but could only work with suitable compositional rheology. During their long lifespan, cratons experienced a suite of dynamic, tectonothermal events, such as nearby subduction and mantle plume activity. Cratonic nuclei are embedded in shorter-lived, more vulnerable continental areas of different thickness, composition and rheology, which would influence the lithosphere dynamic when tectonothermal events happen nearby. South Africa provides a very good example to investigate such dynamic processes as it hosts several cratons and there are many episodic thermal events since the Mesozoic as indicated by a spectrum of magmatic activity. We numerically investigate such an integrated system using the topographic evolution of cratons and surrounding lithosphere as a diagnostic observable. The post-70Ma thinning of pericratonic lithosphere by ~50km around Kaapvaal craton (Mather et al., 2011) is also investigated through our numerical models. The results show that the pericratonic lithosphere cools and grows faster than cratons do, but is also more likely to be effected by episodic thermal events. This leads to surface topography change that is significantly larger around the craton than within

  12. A major Early Miocene thermal pulse due to subduction segmentation and rollback in the western Mediterranean region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spakman, W.; Van Hinsbergen, D. J.; Vissers, R.

    2012-12-01

    Geological studies have shown that Eo-Oligocene subduction related high-pressure, low-temperature metasediments and peridotites of the Alboran region (Spain, Morocco) and the Kabylides (Algeria) experienced a major Early Miocene (~21 Ma) thermal pulse requiring asthenospheric temperatures at ~60 km depth. Despite earlier propositions, the cause of this thermal pulse is still controversial while also the paleogeographic origin of the Alboran and Kabylides units is debated. Here, we relate the thermal pulse to segmentation of the West Alpine-Tethyan slab under the SE Iberian margin (Baleares-Sardinia). We restore the Alboran rocks farther east than previously assumed, to close to the Balearic Islands, adjacent to Sardinia. We identify three major lithosphere faults, the NW-SE trending North Balearic Transform Zone (NBTZ) and the ~W-E trending Emile Baudot and North African transforms that accommodated the Miocene subduction evolution of slab segmentation, rollback, and migration of Alboran and Kabylides rocks to their current positions. The heat pulse occurred S-SE of the Baleares where slab segmentation along the NBTZ triggered radially outgrowing S-SW rollback opening a slab window that facilitated local ascent of asthenosphere below the rapidly extending Alboran-Kabylides accretionary prism. Subsequent slab rollback carried the Kabylides and Alboran domains to their present positions. Our new reconstruction is in line with tomographically imaged mantle structure and focuses attention on the crucial role of evolving subduction segmentation driving HT-metamorphism and subsequent extension, fragmentation, and dispersion of geological terrains.

  13. A record of spontaneous subduction initiation in the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arculus, Richard J.; Ishizuka, Osamu; Bogus, Kara A.; Gurnis, Michael; Hickey-Vargas, Rosemary; Aljahdali, Mohammed H.; Bandini-Maeder, Alexandre N.; Barth, Andrew P.; Brandl, Philipp A.; Drab, Laureen; Do Monte Guerra, Rodrigo; Hamada, Morihisa; Jiang, Fuqing; Kanayama, Kyoko; Kender, Sev; Kusano, Yuki; Li, He; Loudin, Lorne C.; Maffione, Marco; Marsaglia, Kathleen M.; McCarthy, Anders; Meffre, Sebastién; Morris, Antony; Neuhaus, Martin; Savov, Ivan P.; Sena, Clara; Tepley, Frank J., III; van der Land, Cees; Yogodzinski, Gene M.; Zhang, Zhaohui

    2015-09-01

    The initiation of tectonic plate subduction into the mantle is poorly understood. If subduction is induced by the push of a distant mid-ocean ridge or subducted slab pull, we expect compression and uplift of the overriding plate. In contrast, spontaneous subduction initiation, driven by subsidence of dense lithosphere along faults adjacent to buoyant lithosphere, would result in extension and magmatism. The rock record of subduction initiation is typically obscured by younger deposits, so evaluating these possibilities has proved elusive. Here we analyse the geochemical characteristics of igneous basement rocks and overlying sediments, sampled from the Amami Sankaku Basin in the northwest Philippine Sea. The uppermost basement rocks are areally widespread and supplied via dykes. They are similar in composition and age--as constrained by the biostratigraphy of the overlying sediments--to the 52-48-million-year-old basalts in the adjacent Izu-Bonin-Mariana fore-arc. The geochemical characteristics of the basement lavas indicate that a component of subducted lithosphere was involved in their genesis, and the lavas were derived from mantle source rocks that were more melt-depleted than those tapped at mid-ocean ridges. We propose that the basement lavas formed during the inception of Izu-Bonin-Mariana subduction in a mode consistent with the spontaneous initiation of subduction.

  14. Amphibious Shear Velocity Structure of the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janiszewski, H. A.; Gaherty, J. B.; Abers, G. A.; Gao, H.

    2017-12-01

    The amphibious Cascadia Initiative crosses the coastline of the Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) deploying seismometers from the Juan de Fuca ridge offshore to beyond the volcanic arc onshore. This allows unprecedented seismic imaging of the CSZ, enabling examination of both the evolution of the Juan de Fuca plate prior to and during subduction as well as the along strike variability of the subduction system. Here we present new results from an amphibious shear velocity model for the crust and upper mantle across the Cascadia subduction zone. The primary data used in this inversion are surface-wave phase velocities derived from ambient-noise Rayleigh-wave data in the 10 - 20 s period band, and teleseismic earthquake Rayleigh wave phase velocities in the 20 - 160 s period band. Phase velocity maps from these data reflect major tectonic structures including the transition from oceanic to continental lithosphere, Juan de Fuca lithosphere that is faster than observations in the Pacific for oceanic crust of its age, slow velocities associated with the accretionary prism, the front of the fast subducting slab, and the Cascades volcanic arc which is associated with slower velocities in the south than in the north. Crustal structures are constrained by receiver functions in the offshore forearc and onshore regions, and by active source constraints on the Juan de Fuca plate prior to subduction. The shear-wave velocities are interpreted in their relationships to temperature, presence of melt or hydrous alteration, and compositional variation of the CSZ.

  15. Metamorphic Perspectives of Subduction Zone Volatiles Cycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebout, G. E.

    2008-12-01

    Field study of HP/UHP metamorphic rocks provides "ground-truthing" for experimental and theoretical petrologic studies estimating extents of deep volatiles subduction, and provides information regarding devolatilization and deep subduction-zone fluid flow that can be used to reconcile estimates of subduction inputs and arc volcanic outputs for volatiles such as H2O, N, and C. Considerable attention has been paid to H2O subduction in various bulk compositions, and, based on calculated phase assemblages, it is thought that a large fraction of the initially structurally bound H2O is subducted to, and beyond, subarc regions in most modern subduction zones (Hacker, 2008, G-cubed). Field studies of HP/UHP mafic and sedimentary rocks demonstrate the impressive retention of volatiles (and fluid-mobile elements) to depths approaching those beneath arcs. At the slab-mantle interface, high-variance lithologies containing hydrous phases such as mica, amphibole, talc, and chlorite could further stabilize H2O to great depth. Trench hydration in sub-crustal parts of oceanic lithosphere could profoundly increase subduction inputs of particularly H2O, and massive flux of H2O-rich fluids from these regions into the slab-mantle interface could lead to extensive metasomatism. Consideration of sedimentary N concentrations and δ15N at ODP Site 1039 (Li and Bebout, 2005, JGR), together with estimates of the N concentration of subducting altered oceanic crust (AOC), indicates that ~42% of the N subducting beneath Nicaragua is returned in the corresponding volcanic arc (Elkins et al., 2006, GCA). Study of N in HP/UHP sedimentary and basaltic rocks indicates that much of the N initially subducted in these lithologies would be retained to depths approaching 100 km and thus available for addition to arcs. The more altered upper part of subducting oceanic crust most likely to contribute to arcs has sediment-like δ15NAir (0 to +10 per mil; Li et al., 2007, GCA), and study of HP/UHP eclogites

  16. Lithospheric Contributions to Arc Magmatism: Isotope Variations Along Strike in Volcanoes of Honshu, Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kersting; Arculus; Gust

    1996-06-07

    Major chemical exchange between the crust and mantle occurs in subduction zone environments, profoundly affecting the chemical evolution of Earth. The relative contributions of the subducting slab, mantle wedge, and arc lithosphere to the generation of island arc magmas, and ultimately new continental crust, are controversial. Isotopic data for lavas from a transect of volcanoes in a single arc segment of northern Honshu, Japan, have distinct variations coincident with changes in crustal lithology. These data imply that the relatively thin crustal lithosphere is an active geochemical filter for all traversing magmas and is responsible for significant modification of primary mantle melts.

  17. Noble gases recycled into the mantle through cold subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smye, Andrew J.; Jackson, Colin R. M.; Konrad-Schmolke, Matthias; Hesse, Marc A.; Parman, Steve W.; Shuster, David L.; Ballentine, Chris J.

    2017-08-01

    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.

  18. Seismic Constraints on the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary Beneath the Izu-Bonin Area: Implications for the Oceanic Lithospheric Thinning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Qinghui; Wei, Rongqiang; Zhou, Yuanze; Gao, Yajian; Li, Wenlan

    2018-01-01

    The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) is the seismic discontinuity with negative velocity contrasts in the upper mantle. Seismic detections on the LAB are of great significance in understanding the plate tectonics, mantle convection and lithospheric evolution. In this paper, we study the LAB in the Izu-Bonin subduction zone using four deep earthquakes recorded by the permanent and temporary seismic networks of the USArray. The LAB is clearly revealed with sP precursors (sdP) through the linear slant stacking. As illustrated by reflected points of the identified sdP phases, the depth of LAB beneath the Izu-Bonin Arc (IBA) is about 65 km with a range of 60-68 km. The identified sdP phases with opposite polarities relative to sP phases have the average relative amplitude of 0.21, which means a 3.7% velocity drop and implies partial melting in the asthenosphere. On the basis of the crustal age data, the lithosphere beneath the IBA is located at the 1100 °C isotherm calculated with the GDH1 model. Compared to tectonically stable areas, such as the West Philippine Basin (WPB) and Parece Vela Basin (PVB) in the Philippine Sea, the lithosphere beneath the Izu-Bonin area shows the obvious lithospheric thinning. According to the geodynamic and petrological studies, the oceanic lithospheric thinning phenomenon can be attributed to the strong erosion of the small-scale convection in the mantle wedge enriched in volatiles and melts.

  19. Sandbox Simulations of the Evolution of a Subduction Wedge following Subduction Initiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandon, M. T.; Ma, K. F.; DeWolf, W.

    2012-12-01

    Subduction wedges at accreting subduction zones are bounded by a landward dipping pro-shear zone (= subduction thrust) and a seaward-dipping retro-shear zone in the overriding plate. For the Cascadia subduction zone, the surface trace of the retro-shear zone corresponds to the east side of the Coast Ranges of Oregon and Washington and the Insular Mountains of Vancouver Island. This coastal high or forearc high shows clear evidence of long-term uplift and erosion along its entire length, indicating that it is an active part of the Cascadia subduction wedge. The question addressed here is what controls the location of the retro-shear zone? In the popular double-sided wedge model of Willet et al (Geology 1993), the retro-shear zone remains pinned to the S point, which is interpreted to represent where the upper-plate Moho intersects the subduction zone. For this interpretation, the relatively strong mantle is considered to operate as a flat backstop. That model, however. is somewhat artificial in that the two plates collide in a symmetric fashion with equal crustal thicknesses on both sides. Using sandbox experiments, we explore a more realistic configuration where the upper and lower plate are separated by a gentle dipping (10 degree) pro-shear zone, to simulate the initial asymmetric geometry of the subduction thrust immediately after initiation of subduction. The entire lithosphere must fail along some plane for subduction to begin and this failure plane must dip in the direction of subduction. Thus, the initial geometry of the overriding plate is better approximated as a tapered wedge than as a layer of uniform thickness, as represented in the Willett et al models. We demonstrate this model using time-lapse movies of a sand wedge above a mylar subducting plate. We use particle image velocimetry (PIV) to show the evolution of strain and structure within the overriding plate. Material accreted to the tapered end of the overriding plate drives deformation and causes

  20. Ancient Continental Lithosphere Dislocated Beneath Ocean Basins Along the Mid-Lithosphere Discontinuity: A Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhensheng; Kusky, Timothy M.; Capitanio, Fabio A.

    2017-09-01

    The documented occurrence of ancient continental cratonic roots beneath several oceanic basins remains poorly explained by the plate tectonic paradigm. These roots are found beneath some ocean-continent boundaries, on the trailing sides of some continents, extending for hundreds of kilometers or farther into oceanic basins. We postulate that these cratonic roots were left behind during plate motion, by differential shearing along the seismically imaged mid-lithosphere discontinuity (MLD), and then emplaced beneath the ocean-continent boundary. Here we use numerical models of cratons with realistic crustal rheologies drifting at observed plate velocities to support the idea that the mid-lithosphere weak layer fostered the decoupling and offset of the African continent's buoyant cratonic root, which was left behind during Meso-Cenozoic continental drift and emplaced beneath the Atlantic Ocean. We show that in some cratonic areas, the MLD plays a similar role as the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary for accommodating lateral plate tectonic displacements.

  1. Seismic imaging of lithospheric discontinuities and continental evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bostock, M. G.

    1999-09-01

    Discontinuities in physical properties within the continental lithosphere reflect a range of processes that have contributed to craton stabilization and evolution. A survey of recent seismological studies concerning lithospheric discontinuities is made in an attempt to document their essential characteristics. Results from long-period seismology are inconsistent with the presence of continuous, laterally invariant, isotropic boundaries within the upper mantle at the global scale. At regional scales, two well-defined interfaces termed H (˜60 km depth) and L (˜200 km depth) of continental affinity are identified, with the latter boundary generally exhibiting an anisotropic character. Long-range refraction profiles are frequently characterized by subcontinental mantle that exhibits a complex stratification within the top 200 km. The shallow layering of this package can behave as an imperfect waveguide giving rise to the so-called teleseismic Pn phase, while the L-discontinuity may define its lower base as the culmination of a low velocity zone. High-resolution, seismic reflection profiling provides sufficient detail in a number of cases to document the merging of mantle interfaces into lower continental crust below former collisional sutures and magmatic arcs, thus unambiguously identifying some lithospheric discontinuities with thrust faults and subducted oceanic lithosphere. Collectively, these and other seismic observations point to a continental lithosphere whose internal structure is dominated by a laterally variable, subhorizontal layering. This stratigraphy appears to be more pronounced at shallower lithospheric levels, includes dense, anisotropic layers of order 10 km in thickness, and exhibits horizontal correlation lengths comparable to the lateral dimensions of overlying crustal blocks. A model of craton evolution which relies on shallow subduction as a principal agent of craton stabilization is shown to be broadly compatible with these characteristics.

  2. Diamond Growth in the Subduction Factory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bureau, H.; Frost, D. J.; Bolfan-Casanova, N.; Leroy, C.; Estève, I.

    2014-12-01

    Natural diamonds are fabulous probes of the deep Earth Interior. They are the evidence of the deep storage of volatile elements, carbon at first, but also hydrogen and chlorine trapped as hydrous fluids in inclusions. The study of diamond growth processes in the lithosphere and mantle helps for our understanding of volatile elements cycling between deep reservoirs. We know now that inclusion-bearing diamonds similar to diamonds found in nature (i.e. polycrystalline, fibrous and coated diamonds) can grow in hydrous fluids or melts (Bureau et al., GCA 77, 202-214, 2012). Therefore, we propose that the best environment to promote such diamonds is the subduction factory, where highly hydrous fluids or melts are present. When oceanic plates are subducted in the lithosphere, they carry an oceanic crust soaked with seawater. While the slabs are traveling en route to the mantle, dehydration processes generate saline fluids highly concentrated in NaCl. In the present study we have experimentally shown that diamonds can grow from the saline fluids (up to 30 g/l NaCl in water) generated in subducted slabs. We have performed multi-anvil press experiments at 6-7 GPa and from 1300 to 1400°C during 6:00 hours to 30:00 hours. We observed large areas of new diamond grown in epitaxy on pure diamond seeds in salty hydrous carbonated melts, forming coated gems. The new rims are containing multi-component primary inclusions. Detailed characterizations of the diamonds and their inclusions have been performed and will be presented. These experimental results suggest that multi-component salty fluids of supercritical nature migrate with the slabs, down to the deep mantle. Such fluids may insure the first stage of the deep Earth's volatiles cycling (C, H, halogen elements) en route to the transition zone and the lower mantle. We suggest that the subduction factory may also be a diamond factory.

  3. Heterogeneous coupling along Makran subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarifi, Z.; Raeesi, M.

    2010-12-01

    The Makran subduction zone, located in the southeast of Iran and southern Pakistan, extends for almost 900 km along the Eurasian-Arabian plate boundary. The seismic activities in the eastern and western Makran exhibit very different patterns. The eastern Makran characterized by infrequent large earthquakes and low level of seismicity. The only large instrumentally recorded earthquake in the eastern Makran, the 27 Nov. 1945 (Mw=8.1) earthquake, was followed by tsunami waves with the maximum run-up height of 13 m and disastrous effects in Pakistan, India, Iran and Oman. The western Makran, however, is apparently quiescent without strong evidence on occurrence of large earthquakes in historical times, which makes it difficult to ascertain whether the slab subducts aseismically or experiences large earthquakes separated by long periods exceeding the historical records. We used seismicity and Trench Parallel Free air and Bouguer Anomalies (TPGA and TPBA) to study the variation in coupling in the slab interface. Using a 3D mechanical Finite Element (FE) model, we show how heterogeneous coupling can influence the rate of deformation in the overriding lithosphere and the state of stress in the outer rise, overriding, and subducting plates within the shortest expected cycle of earthquake. We test the results of FE model against the observed focal mechanism of earthquakes and available GPS measurements in Makran subduction zone.

  4. Geochemistry of subduction zone serpentinites: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deschamps, Fabien; Godard, Marguerite; Guillot, Stéphane; Hattori, Kéiko

    2013-09-01

    Over the last decades, numerous studies have emphasized the role of serpentinites in the subduction zone geodynamics. Their presence and role in subduction environments are recognized through geophysical, geochemical and field observations of modern and ancient subduction zones and large amounts of geochemical database of serpentinites have been created. Here, we present a review of the geochemistry of serpentinites, based on the compilation of ~ 900 geochemical data of abyssal, mantle wedge and exhumed serpentinites after subduction. The aim was to better understand the geochemical evolution of these rocks during their subduction as well as their impact in the global geochemical cycle. When studying serpentinites, it is essential to determine their protoliths and their geological history before serpentinization. The geochemical data of serpentinites shows little mobility of compatible and rare earth elements (REE) at the scale of hand-specimen during their serpentinization. Thus, REE abundance can be used to identify the protolith for serpentinites, as well as magmatic processes such as melt/rock interactions before serpentinization. In the case of subducted serpentinites, the interpretation of trace element data is difficult due to the enrichments of light REE, independent of the nature of the protolith. We propose that enrichments are probably not related to serpentinization itself, but mostly due to (sedimentary-derived) fluid/rock interactions within the subduction channel after the serpentinization. It is also possible that the enrichment reflects the geochemical signature of the mantle protolith itself which could derive from the less refractory continental lithosphere exhumed at the ocean-continent transition. Additionally, during the last ten years, numerous analyses have been carried out, notably using in situ approaches, to better constrain the behavior of fluid-mobile elements (FME; e.g. B, Li, Cl, As, Sb, U, Th, Sr) incorporated in serpentine phases

  5. Late Miocene Pacific plate kinematic change explained with coupled global models of mantle and lithosphere dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stotz, Ingo Leonardo; Iaffaldano, Giampiero; Davies, DR

    2017-01-01

    and the consequent subduction polarity reversal. The uncertainties associated with the timing of this event, however, make it difficult to quantitatively demonstrate a dynamical association. Here, we first reconstruct the Pacific plate's absolute motion since the mid-Miocene (15 Ma), at high-temporal resolution....../lithosphere system to test hypotheses on the dynamics driving this change. These indicate that the arrival of the OJP at the Melanesian arc, between 10 and 5 Ma, followed by a subduction polarity reversal that marked the initiation of subduction of the Australian plate underneath the Pacific realm, were the key...... drivers of this kinematic change....

  6. Tearing, segmentation, and backstepping of subduction in the Aegean: New insights from seismicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocchini, G. M.; Brüstle, A.; Becker, D.; Meier, T.; van Keken, P. E.; Ruscic, M.; Papadopoulos, G. A.; Rische, M.; Friederich, W.

    2018-06-01

    This study revisits subduction processes at the Hellenic Subduction Zone (HSZ) including tearing, segmentation, and backstepping, by refining the geometry of the Nubian slab down to 150-180 km depth using well-located hypocentres from global and local seismicity catalogues. At the western termination of the HSZ, the Kefalonia Transform Fault marks the transition between oceanic and continental lithosphere subducting to the south and to the north of it, respectively. A discontinuity is suggested to exist between the two slabs at shallow depths. The Kefalonia Transform Fault is interpreted as an active Subduction-Transform-Edge-Propagator-fault formed as consequence of faster trench retreat induced by the subduction of oceanic lithosphere to the south of it. A model reconstructing the evolution of the subduction system in the area of Peloponnese since 34 Ma, involving the backstepping of the subduction to the back-side of Adria, provides seismological evidence that supports the single-slab model for the HSZ and suggests the correlation between the downdip limit of the seismicity to the amount of subducted oceanic lithosphere. In the area of Rhodes, earthquake hypocentres indicate the presence of a NW dipping subducting slab that rules out the presence of a NE-SW striking Subduction-Transform-Edge-Propagator-fault in the Pliny-Strabo trenches region. Earthquake hypocentres also allow refining the slab tear beneath southwestern Anatolia down to 150-180 km depth. Furthermore, the distribution of microseismicity shows a first-order slab segmentation in the region between Crete and Karpathos, with a less steep and laterally wider slab segment to the west and a steeper and narrower slab segment to the east. Thermal models indicate the presence of a colder slab beneath the southeastern Aegean that leads to deepening of the intermediate-depth seismicity. Slab segmentation affects the upper plate deformation that is stronger above the eastern slab segment and the seismicity

  7. Earth's lithospheric magnetic field determined to spherical harmonic degree 90 from CHAMP satellite measurements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maus, S.; Rother, M.; Hemant, K.

    2006-01-01

    of the lithospheric field down to an altitude of about 50 km at lower latitudes, with reduced accuracy in the polar regions. Crustal features come out significantly sharper than in previous models. In particular, bands of magnetic anomalies along subduction zones become visible by satellite for the first time....

  8. Updated Reference Model for Heat Generation in the Lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wipperfurth, S. A.; Sramek, O.; Roskovec, B.; Mantovani, F.; McDonough, W. F.

    2017-12-01

    Models integrating geophysics and geochemistry allow for characterization of the Earth's heat budget and geochemical evolution. Global lithospheric geophysical models are now constrained by surface and body wave data and are classified into several unique tectonic types. Global lithospheric geochemical models have evolved from petrological characterization of layers to a combination of petrologic and seismic constraints. Because of these advances regarding our knowledge of the lithosphere, it is necessary to create an updated chemical and physical reference model. We are developing a global lithospheric reference model based on LITHO1.0 (segmented into 1°lon x 1°lat x 9-layers) and seismological-geochemical relationships. Uncertainty assignments and correlations are assessed for its physical attributes, including layer thickness, Vp and Vs, and density. This approach yields uncertainties for the masses of the crust and lithospheric mantle. Heat producing element abundances (HPE: U, Th, and K) are ascribed to each volume element. These chemical attributes are based upon the composition of subducting sediment (sediment layers), composition of surface rocks (upper crust), a combination of petrologic and seismic correlations (middle and lower crust), and a compilation of xenolith data (lithospheric mantle). The HPE abundances are correlated within each voxel, but not vertically between layers. Efforts to provide correlation of abundances horizontally between each voxel are discussed. These models are used further to critically evaluate the bulk lithosphere heat production in the continents and the oceans. Cross-checks between our model and results from: 1) heat flux (Artemieva, 2006; Davies, 2013; Cammarano and Guerri, 2017), 2) gravity (Reguzzoni and Sampietro, 2015), and 3) geochemical and petrological models (Rudnick and Gao, 2014; Hacker et al. 2015) are performed.

  9. The Role of a Weak Layer at the Base of an Oceanic Plate on Subduction Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carluccio, R.; Moresi, L. N.; Kaus, B. J. P.

    2017-12-01

    Plate tectonics relies on the concept of an effectively rigid lithospheric lid moving over a weaker asthenosphere. In this model, the lithosphere asthenosphere boundary (LAB) is a first-order discontinuity that accommodates differential motion between tectonic plates and the underlying mantle. Recent seismic studies have revealed the existence of a low velocity and high electrical conductivity layer at the base of subducting tectonic plates. This thin layer has been interpreted as being weak and slightly buoyant and it has the potential to influence the dynamics of subducting plates. However, geodynamically, the role of a weak layer at the base of the lithosphere remains poorly studied, especially at subduction zones. Here, we use numerical models to investigate the first-order effects of a weak buoyant layer at the LAB on subduction dynamics. We employ both 2-D and 3-D models in which the slab and the mantle are either linear viscous or have a more realistic temperature-dependent, visco-elastic-plastic rheology and we vary the properties of the layer at the base of the oceanic lithosphere. Our results show that the presence of a weak layer affects the dynamics of plates, primarily by increasing the subduction speed and also influences the morphology of subducting slab. For moderate viscosity contrasts (1000), it can also change the morphology of the subduction itself and for thinner and more buoyant layers, the overall effect is reduced. The overall impact of this effects may depend on the effective contrast between the properties of the slab and the weak layer + mantle systems, and so, by the layer characteristics modelled such as its viscosity, density, thickness and rheology. In this study, we show and summarise this impact consistently with the recent seismological constraints and observations, for example, a pile-up of weak material in the bending zone of the subducting plate.

  10. Dynamics of interplate domain in subduction zones: influence of rheological parameters and subducting plate age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Arcay

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The properties of the subduction interplate domain are likely to affect not only the seismogenic potential of the subduction area but also the overall subduction process, as it influences its viability. Numerical simulations are performed to model the long-term equilibrium state of the subduction interplate when the diving lithosphere interacts with both the overriding plate and the surrounding convective mantle. The thermomechanical model combines a non-Newtonian viscous rheology and a pseudo-brittle rheology. Rock strength here depends on depth, temperature and stress, for both oceanic crust and mantle rocks. I study the evolution through time of, on one hand, the brittle-ductile transition (BDT depth, zBDT, and, on the other hand, of the kinematic decoupling depth, zdec, simulated along the subduction interplate. The results show that both a high friction and a low ductile strength at the asthenospheric wedge tip shallow zBDT. The influence of the weak material activation energy is of second order but not negligible. zBDT becomes dependent on the ductile strength increase with depth (activation volume if the BDT occurs at the interplate decoupling depth. Regarding the interplate decoupling depth, it is shallowed (1 significantly if mantle viscosity at asthenospheric wedge tip is low, (2 if the difference in mantle and interplate activation energy is weak, and (3 if the activation volume is increased. Very low friction coefficients and/or low asthenospheric viscosities promote zBDT = zdec. I then present how the subducting lithosphere age affects the brittle-ductile transition depth and the kinematic decoupling depth in this model. Simulations show that a rheological model in which the respective activation energies of mantle and interplate material are too close hinders the mechanical decoupling at the down-dip extent of the interplate

  11. The extending lithosphere (Arthur Holmes Medal Lecture)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brun, Jean-Pierre

    2017-04-01

    Extension of the lithosphere gives birth to a wide range of structures, with characteristic widths between 10 and 1000 km, which includes continental rifts, passive margins, oceanic rifts, core complexes, or back-arc basins. Because the rheology of rocks strongly depends on temperature, this variety of extensional structures falls in two broad categories of extending lithospheres according to the initial Moho temperature TM. "Cold extending systems", with TM 750°C and crustal-dominated strength, lead, depending on strain rate, to either wide rifts or metamorphic core complexes. A much less quoted product of extension is the exhumation of high-pressure (HP ) metamorphic rocks occurring in domains of back-arc extension driven by slab rollback (e.g. Aegean; Appennines-Calabrian) or when the subduction upper plate undergoes extension for plate kinematics reasons (e.g. Norwegian Caledonides; Papua New Guinea). In these tectonic environments, well-documented pressure-temperature-time (P - T - t) paths of HP rocks show a two-stage retrogression path whose the first part corresponds to an isothermal large pressure drop ΔP proportional to the maximum pressure Pmax recorded by the rocks. This linear relation between ΔP and Pmax, which likely results from a stress switch between compression and extension at the onset of exhumation, is in fact observed in all HP metamorphism provinces worldwide, suggesting that the exhumation of HP rocks in extension is a general process rather than an uncommon case. In summary, the modes and products of extension are so diverse that, taken all together, they constitute a very versatile natural laboratory to decipher the rheological complexities of the continental lithosphere and their mechanical implications.

  12. Finite-frequency Rayleigh wave tomography of the western Mediterranean: Mapping its lithospheric structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palomeras, I.; Thurner, S.; Levander, A.; Liu, K.; Villasenor, A.; Carbonell, R.; Harnafi, M.

    2014-01-01

    We present a 3-D shear wave velocity model for the crust and upper mantle of the western Mediterranean from Rayleigh wave tomography. We analyzed the fundamental mode in the 20-167 s period band (6.0-50.0 mHz) from earthquakes recorded by a number of temporary and permanent seismograph arrays. Using the two-plane wave method, we obtained phase velocity dispersion curves that were inverted for an isotropic Vs model that extends from the southern Iberian Massif, across the Gibraltar Arc and the Atlas mountains to the Saharan Craton. The area of the western Mediterranean that we have studied has been the site of complex subduction, slab rollback, and simultaneous compression and extension during African-European convergence since the Oligocene. The shear velocity model shows high velocities beneath the Rif from 65 km depth and beneath the Granada Basin from ˜70 km depth that extend beneath the Alboran Domain to more than 250 km depth, which we interpret as a near-vertical slab dangling from beneath the western Alboran Sea. The slab appears to be attached to the crust beneath the Rif and possibly beneath the Granada Basin and Sierra Nevada where low shear velocities (3.8 km/s) are mapped to >55 km depth. The attached slab is pulling down the Gibraltar Arc crust, thickening it, and removing the continental margin lithospheric mantle beneath both Iberia and Morocco as it descends into the deeper mantle. Thin lithosphere is indicated by very low upper mantle velocities beneath the Alboran Sea, above and east of the dangling slab and beneath the Cenozoic volcanics.

  13. Mercury's Lithospheric Magnetization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, C.; Phillips, R. J.; Philpott, L. C.; Al Asad, M.; Plattner, A.; Mast, S.; Kinczyk, M. J.; Prockter, L. M.

    2017-12-01

    Magnetic field data obtained by the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft have been used to demonstrate the presence of lithospheric magnetization on Mercury. Larger amplitude fields resulting from the core dynamo and the strongly time-varying magnetospheric current systems are first estimated and subtracted from the magnetic field data to isolate lithospheric signals with wavelengths less than 500 km. These signals (hereafter referred to as data) are only observed at spacecraft altitudes less than 120 km, and are typically a few to 10 nT in amplitude. We present and compare equivalent source dipole magnetization models for latitudes 35°N to 75°N obtained from two distinct approaches to constrain the distribution and origin of lithospheric magnetization. First, models that fit either the data or the surface field predicted from a regional spherical harmonic representation of the data (see Plattner & Johnson abstract) and that minimize the root mean square (RMS) value of the magnetization are derived. Second, models in which the spatial distribution of magnetization required to fit the data is minimized are derived using the approach of Parker (1991). As seen previously, the largest amplitudes of lithospheric magnetization are concentrated around the Caloris basin. With this exception, across the northern hemisphere there are no overall correlations of magnetization with surface geology, although higher magnetizations are found in regions with darker surfaces. Similarly, there is no systematic correlation of magnetization signatures with crater materials, although there are specific instances of craters with interiors or ejecta that have magnetizations distinct from the surrounding region. For the latter case, we observe no correlation of the occurrence of these signatures with crater degradation state (a proxy for age). At the lowest spacecraft altitudes (source depths less than O(10 km) are unlikely in most regions

  14. A comparison of seismicity in world's subduction zones: Implication by the difference of b-values

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishikawa, T.; Ide, S.

    2013-12-01

    Since the pioneering study of Uyeda and Kanamori (1979), it has been thought that world's subduction zones can be classified into two types: Chile and Mariana types. Ruff and Kanamori (1980) suggested that the maximum earthquake size within each subduction zone correlates with convergence rate and age of subducting lithosphere. Subduction zones with younger lithosphere and larger convergence rates are associated with great earthquakes (Chile), while subduction zones with older lithosphere and smaller convergence rates have low seismicity (Mariana). However, these correlations are obscured after the 2004 Sumatra earthquake and the 2009 Tohoku earthquake. Furthermore, McCaffrey (2008) pointed out that the history of observation is much shorter than the recurrence times of very large earthquakes, suggesting a possibility that any subduction zone may produce earthquakes larger than magnitude 9. In the present study, we compare world's subduction zones in terms of b-values in the Gutenberg-Richer relation. We divided world's subduction zones into 146 regions, each of which is bordered by a trench section of about 500 km and extends for 200 km from the trench section in the direction of relative plate motion. In each region, earthquakes equal to or larger than M4.5 occurring during 1988-2009 were extracted from ISC catalog. We find a positive correlation between b-values and ages of subducting lithosphere, which is one of the two important variables discussed in Ruff and Kanamori (1980). Subduction zones with younger lithosphere are associated with high b-values and vice versa, while we cannot find a correlation between b-values and convergence rates. We used the ages determined by Müller et al. (2008) and convergence rate calculated using PB2002 (Bird, 2003) for convergence rate. We also found a negative correlation between b-values and the estimates of seismic coupling, which is defined as the ratio of the observed seismic moment release rate to the rate calculated

  15. Are diamond-bearing Cretaceous kimberlites related to shallow-angle subduction beneath western North America?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currie, C. A.; Beaumont, C.

    2009-05-01

    The origin of deep-seated magmatism (in particular, kimberlites and lamproites) within continental plate interiors remains enigmatic in the context of plate tectonic theory. One hypothesis proposes a relationship between kimberlite occurrence and lithospheric subduction, such that a subducting plate releases fluids below a continental craton, triggering melting of the deep lithosphere and magmatism (Sharp, 1974; McCandless, 1999). This study provides a quantitative evaluation of this hypothesis, focusing on the Late Cretaceous- Eocene (105-50 Ma) kimberlites and lamproites of western North America. These magmas were emplaced along a corridor of Archean and Proterozoic lithosphere, 1000-1500 km inboard of the plate margin separating the subducting Farallon Plate and continental North America Plate. Kimberlite-lamproite magmatism coincides with tectonic events, including the Laramide orogeny, shut-down of the Sierra Nevada arc, and eastward migration of volcanism, that are commonly attributed to a change in Farallon Plate geometry to a shallow-angle trajectory (subduction that places the Farallon Plate beneath the western edge of the cratonic interior of North America. This geometry is consistent with the observed continental dynamic subsidence that lead to the development of the Western Interior Seaway. The models also show that the subducting plate has a cool thermal structure, and subducted hydrous minerals (serpentine, phengite and phlogopite) remain stable to more than 1200 km from the trench, where they may break down and release fluids that infiltrate the overlying craton lithosphere. This is supported by geochemical studies that indicate metasomatism of the Colorado Plateau and Wyoming craton mantle lithosphere by an aqueous fluid and/or silicate melt with a subduction signature. Through Cretaceous shallow-angle subduction, the Farallon Plate was in a position to mechanically and chemically interact with North American craton lithosphere at the time of

  16. A New Model of Lithosphere Deformation Beneath the Okinawa Trough Based on Gravity Data

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Lihong; JIANG Xiaodian; ZHANG Weigang

    2002-01-01

    The Ryukyu trench-arc system can be divided into two types according to its subduction model. The normal sub-duction in the northern part of the Philippine Sea plate creates a hinge sedimentary wedge with large deformation at the col-lision front, while the oblique subduction in the southern part gives rise to a smaller accretion with small deformation thanthat in the northern part. The mechanisms that cause the distinction between these two types have been analysed and calcu-lated by using gravity data based on the lithosphere rheology and the stress state of the lithosphere in the subduction bound-ary. The two types of subduction model are associated with the internal extension in the southern Okinawa Trough and thesmall extension in the northern part. The difference of the stress state between the two types of subduction model is alsomanifested in other tectonic features, such as topography, volcanic activity and crust movement. Modeling bathymetric andgravity data from this area suggests that the oblique subduction of low angle, together with smooth geometry of the overlyingplate crust, results in small stress released on the south of the trench by the subduction plate. The intraplate faults in thesouthern Okinawa Trough behind the trench stand in surplus intensive stress. On the other hand, the normal subduction ofhigh angle, together with strong undulation geometry of the overlying crust, results in more intensive stress released in thenorthern Ryukyu Trench than that in the south. The intraplate faults in the northern Okinawa Trough behind the northernRyukyu Trench stand in small stress.

  17. Reconstructing the paleogeography and subduction geodynamics of Greater India: how to apply Ockham's Razor?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hinsbergen, D. J. J.; Li, S.; Lippert, P. C.; Huang, W.; Advokaat, E. L.; Spakman, W.

    2017-12-01

    Key in understanding the geodynamics governing subduction and orogeny is reconstructing the paleogeography of `Greater India', the Indian plate lithosphere that subducted since Tibetan Himalayan continental crustal collision with Asia. Here, we discuss how the principle of Ockham's Razor, favoring the simplest scenario as the most likely, may apply to three perspectives on Greater India's paleogeography. We follow recent constraints suggesting a 58 Ma initial collision and update the kinematic restoration of intra-Asian shortening with a recently proposed Indochina extrusion model that reconciles long-debated large and small estimates of Indochina extrusion. The reconstruction is tested against Tibetan paleomagnetic rotation data, and against seismic tomographic constraints on paleo-subduction zone locations. The resulting restoration shows 1000-1200 km of post-collisional intra-Asian shortening, leaving a 2600-3400 km wide Greater India. Ockham's Razor from a paleogeographic, sediment provenance perspective would prefer a fully continental Greater India, although these sediments may also source from the Paleocene-Eocene west Indian orogen unrelated to the India-Asia collision. Ockham's Razor applied from a kinematic, paleomagnetic perspective, prefers major Cretaceous extension and `Greater India Basin' opening within Greater India, but data uncertainty may speculatively allow for minimal extension. Finally, from a geodynamic perspective, assuming a fully continental Greater India would require that the highest subduction rates recorded in the Phanerozoic would have been driven by a subduction of a lithosphere-crust assemblage more buoyant than the mantle, which seems physically improbable. Ockhams Razor thereby isolates the Greater India Basin hypothesis as the only scenario sustainable from all perspectives. Finally, we infer that the old pre-collisional lithosphere rapidly entered the lower mantle sustaining high subduction rates, whilst post

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

    A series of analogue experiments simulating intra-continental subduction contemporaneous with lateral extrusion of the upper plate are performed to study the interference between these two processes at crustal levels and in the lithospheric mantle. The models demonstrate that intra-continental subduction and coeval lateral extrusion of the upper plate are compatible processes leading to similar deformation structures within the extruding region as compared to the classical setup, lithosphere-scale indentation. Strong coupling across the subduction boundary allows for the transfer of stresses to the upper plate, where strain regimes are characterized by crustal thickening near a confined margin and dominated by lateral displacement of material near a weak lateral confinement. The strain regimes propagate laterally during ongoing convergence creating an area of overlap characterized by transpression. When subduction is oblique to the convergence direction, the upper plate is less deformed and as a consequence the amount of lateral extrusion decreases. In addition, strain is partitioned along the oblique plate boundary resulting in less subduction in expense of right lateral displacement close to the weak lateral confinement. Both oblique and orthogonal subduction models have a strong resemblance to lateral extrusion tectonics of the Eastern Alps (Europe), where subduction of the adjacent Adriatic plate beneath the Eastern Alps is debated. Our results imply that subduction of Adria is a valid mechanisms to induce extrusion-type deformation within the Eastern Alps lithosphere. Furthermore, our findings suggest that the Oligocene to Late Miocene structural evolution of the Eastern Alps reflects a phase of oblique subduction followed by a later stage of orthogonal subduction conform a Miocene shift in the plate motion of Adria. Oblique subduction also provides a viable mechanism to explain the rapid decrease in slab length of the Adriatic plate beneath the Eastern Alps

  19. Kinematics of Late Cretaceous subduction initiation in the Neo-Tethys Ocean reconstructed from ophiolites of Turkey, Cyprus, and Syria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maffione, Marco; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.; de Gelder, Giovanni I. N. O.; van der Goes, Freek C.; Morris, Antony

    2017-05-01

    Formation of new subduction zones represents one of the cornerstones of plate tectonics, yet both the kinematics and geodynamics governing this process remain enigmatic. A major subduction initiation event occurred in the Late Cretaceous, within the Neo-Tethys Ocean between Gondwana and Eurasia. Suprasubduction zone ophiolites (i.e., emerged fragments of ancient oceanic lithosphere formed at suprasubduction spreading centers) were generated during this subduction event and are today distributed in the eastern Mediterranean region along three E-W trending ophiolitic belts. Several models have been proposed to explain the formation of these ophiolites and the evolution of the associated intra-Neo-Tethyan subduction zone. Here we present new paleospreading directions from six Upper Cretaceous ophiolites of Turkey, Cyprus, and Syria, calculated by using new and published paleomagnetic data from sheeted dyke complexes. Our results show that NNE-SSW subduction zones were formed within the Neo-Tethys during the Late Cretaceous, which we propose were part of a major step-shaped subduction system composed of NNE-SSW and WNW-ESE segments. We infer that this subduction system developed within old (Triassic?) lithosphere, along fracture zones and perpendicular weakness zones, since the Neo-Tethyan spreading ridge formed during Gondwana fragmentation would have already been subducted at the Pontides subduction zone by the Late Cretaceous. Our new results provide an alternative kinematic model of Cretaceous Neo-Tethyan subduction initiation and call for future research on the mechanisms of subduction inception within old (and cold) lithosphere and the formation of metamorphic soles below suprasubduction zone ophiolites in the absence of nearby spreading ridges.

  20. The role of frictional strength on plate coupling at the subduction interface

    KAUST Repository

    Tan, Eh; Lavier, Luc L.; Van Avendonk, Harm J. A.; Heuret, Arnauld

    2012-01-01

    and serpentinized mantle (friction angle 1 to 15, or static friction coefficient 0.017 to 0.27) to control the amount of frictional coupling between the plates. With plastic strain weakening in the lithosphere, our numerical models can attain stable subduction

  1. The dynamics of double slab subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    We use numerical models to investigate the dynamics of two interacting slabs with parallel trenches. Cases considered are: a single slab reference, outward dipping slabs (out-dip), inward dipping slabs (in-dip) and slabs dipping in the same direction (same-dip). Where trenches converge over time (same-dip and out-dip systems), large positive dynamic pressures in the asthenosphere are generated beneath the middle plate and large trench-normal extensional forces are transmitted through the middle plate. This results in slabs that dip away from the middle plate at depth, independent of trench geometry. The single slab, the front slab in the same-dip case and both out-dip slabs undergo trench retreat and exhibit stable subduction. However, slabs within the other double subduction systems tend to completely overturn at the base of the upper mantle, and exhibit either trench advance (rear slab in same-dip), or near-stationary trenches (in-dip). For all slabs, the net slab-normal dynamic pressure at 330 km depth is nearly equal to the slab-normal force induced by slab buoyancy. For double subduction, the net outward force on the slabs due to dynamic pressure from the asthenosphere is effectively counterbalanced by the net extensional force transmitted through the middle plate. Thus, dynamic pressure at depth, interplate coupling and lithospheric stresses are closely linked and their effects cannot be isolated. Our results provide insights into both the temporal evolution of double slab systems on Earth and, more generally, how the various components of subduction systems, from mantle flow/pressure to interplate coupling, are dynamically linked.

  2. Samovar: a thermomechanical code for modeling of geodynamic processes in the lithosphere-application to basin evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elesin, Y; Gerya, T; Artemieva, Irina

    2010-01-01

    We present a new 2D finite difference code, Samovar, for high-resolution numerical modeling of complex geodynamic processes. Examples are collision of lithospheric plates (including mountain building and subduction) and lithosphere extension (including formation of sedimentary basins, regions...... of extended crust, and rift zones). The code models deformation of the lithosphere with viscoelastoplastic rheology, including erosion/sedimentation processes and formation of shear zones in areas of high stresses. It also models steady-state and transient conductive and advective thermal processes including...... partial melting and magma transport in the lithosphere. The thermal and mechanical parts of the code are tested for a series of physical problems with analytical solutions. We apply the code to geodynamic modeling by examining numerically the processes of lithosphere extension and basin formation...

  3. Synthetic Analysis of the Effective Elastic Thickness of the Lithosphere in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Z.; Li, C.

    2017-12-01

    Effective elastic thickness (Te) represents the response of the lithosphere to a long-term (larger than 105 years) geological loading and reflects the deformation mechanism of plate and its thermodynamic state. Temperature and composition of the lithosphere, coupling between crust and lithospheric mantle, and lithospheric structures affect Te. Regional geology in China is quite complex, influenced by the subduction of the Pacific and Philippine Sea plates in the east and the collision of the Eurasia plate with the India-Australia plate in the southwest. Te can help understand the evolution and strength of the lithospheres in different areas and tectonic units. Here we apply the multitaper coherence method to estimate Te in China using the topography (ETOPO1) and Bouguer gravity anomalies (WGM2012) , at different window sizes (600km*600km, 800km*800km, 1000km*1000km) and moving steps. The lateral variation of Te in China coincides well with the geology. The old stable cratons or basins always correspond to larger Te, whereas the oceanic lithosphere or active orogen blocks tend to get smaller Te. We further correlate Te to curie-point depths (Zb) and heat flow to understand how temperature influences the strength of the lithosphere. Despite of a complex correlation between Te and Zb, good positive correlations are found in the North China Block, Tarim Basin, and Lower Yangtze, showing strong influence of temperature on lithospheric strength. Conversely, the Tibetan Plateau, Upper and Middle Yangtze, and East China Sea Basin even show negative correlation, suggesting that lithospheric structures and compositions play more important roles than temperature in these blocks. We also find that earthquakes tend to occur preferably in a certain range of Te. Deeper earthquakes are more likely to occur where the lithosphere is stronger with larger Te. Crust with a larger Te may also have a deeper ductile-brittle boundary, along which deep large earthquakes tend to cluster.

  4. In situ rheology of the oceanic lithosphere along the Hawaiian ridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pleus, A.; Ito, G.; Wessel, P.; Frazer, L. N.

    2017-12-01

    Much of our quantitative understanding of lithospheric rheology is based on rock deformation experiments carried out in the laboratory. The accuracy of the relationships between stress and lithosphere deformation, however, are subject to large extrapolations, given that laboratory strain rates (10-7 s-1) are much greater than geologic rates (10-15 to 10-12 s-1). In situ deformation experiments provide independent constraints and are therefore needed to improve our understanding of natural rheology. Zhong and Watts [2013] presented such a study around the main Hawaiian Islands and concluded that the lithosphere flexure requires a much weaker rheology than predicted by laboratory experiments. We build upon this study by investigating flexure around the older volcanoes of the Hawaiian ridge. The ridge is composed of a diversity of volcano sizes that loaded seafloor of nearly constant age (85+/-8 Ma); this fortunate situation allows for an analysis of flexural responses to large variations in applied loads at nearly constant age-dependent lithosphere thermal structure. Our dataset includes new marine gravity and multi-beam bathymetry data collected onboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute's R/V Falkor. These data, along with forward models of lithospheric flexure, are used to obtain a joint posterior probability density function for model parameters that control the lithosphere's flexural response to a given load. These parameters include the frictional coefficient constraining brittle failure in the shallow lithosphere, the activation energy for the low-temperature plasticity regime, and the geothermal gradient of the Hawaiian lithosphere. The resulting in situ rheological parameters may be used to verify or update those derived in the lab. Attaining accurate lithospheric rheological properties is important to our knowledge, not only of the evolution of the Hawaiian lithosphere, but also of other solid-earth geophysical problems, such as oceanic earthquakes, subduction

  5. Investigating the 3-D Subduction Initiation Processes at Transform Faults and Passive Margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, H.; Leng, W.

    2017-12-01

    Studying the processes of subduction initiation is a key for understanding the Wilson cycle and improving the theory of plate tectonics. Previous studies investigated subduction initiation with geological synthesis and geodynamic modeling methods, discovering that subduction intends to initiate at the transform faults close to oceanic arcs, and that its evolutionary processes and surface volcanic expressions are controlled by plate strength. However, these studies are mainly conducted with 2-D models, which cannot deal with lateral heterogeneities of crustal thickness and strength along the plate interfaces. Here we extend the 2-D model to a 3-D parallel subduction model with high computational efficiency. With the new model, we study the dynamic controlling factors, morphology evolutionary processes and surface expressions for subduction initiation with lateral heterogeneities of material properties along transform faults and passive margins. We find that lateral lithospheric heterogeneities control the starting point of the subduction initiation along the newly formed trenches and the propagation speed for the trench formation. New subduction tends to firstly initiate at the property changing point along the transform faults or passive margins. Such finds may be applied to explain the formation process of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) subduction zone in the western Pacific and the Scotia subduction zone at the south end of the South America. Our results enhance our understanding for the formation of new trenches and help to provide geodynamic modeling explanations for the observed remnant slabs in the upper mantle and the surface volcanic expressions.

  6. The lithosphere-asthenosphere system in the Calabrian Arc and surrounding seas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Panza, G F [Department of Earth Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste (Italy); [Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, SAND Group, Trieste (Italy)]. E-mail: panza@dst.univ.trieste.it; Pontevivo, A [Department of Earth Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste (Italy)

    2002-10-01

    Through the non-linear inversion of Surface-Wave Tomography data, using as a priori constraints seismic data from literature, it has been possible to define a fairly detailed structural model of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system (thickness, S-wave and P-wave velocities of the crust and of the upper mantle layers) in the Calabrian Arc region (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea, Calabria and the Northern-Western part of the Ionian Sea). The main features identified by our study are: (1) a very shallow (less then 10 km deep) crust-mantle transition in the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea and very low S-wave velocities just below a very thin lid in correspondence of the submarine volcanic bodies in the study area; (2) a shallow and very low S-wave velocity layer in the mantle in the areas of Aeolian islands, of Vesuvius, Ischia and Phlegraean Fields, representing their shallow-mantle magma source; (3) a thickened continental crust and lithospheric doubling in Calabria; (4) a crust about 25 km thick and a mantle velocity profile versus depth consistent with the presence of a continental rifled, now thermally relaxed, lithosphere in the investigated part of the Ionian Sea; (5) the subduction of the Ionian lithosphere towards NW below the Tyrrhenian Basin; (6) the subduction of the Adriatic lithosphere underneath the Vesuvius and Phlegraean Fields. (author)

  7. Intra-continental subduction and contemporaneous lateral extrusion of the upper plate: insights into Alps-Adria interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gelder, Inge; Willingshofer, Ernst; Sokoutis, Dimitrios; Cloetingh, Sierd

    2017-04-01

    A series of physical analogue experiments were performed to simulate intra-continental subduction contemporaneous with lateral extrusion of the upper plate to study the interferences between these two processes at crustal levels and in the lithospheric mantle. The lithospheric-scale models are specifically designed to represent the collision of the Adriatic microplate with the Eastern Alps, simulated by an intra-continental weak zone to initiate subduction and a weak confined margin perpendicular to the direction of convergence in order to allow for extrusion of the lithosphere. The weak confined margin is the analog for the opening of the Pannonian back-arc basin adjacent to the Eastern Alps with the direction of extension perpendicular to the strike of the orogen. The models show that intra-continental subduction and coeval lateral extrusion of the upper plate are compatible processes. The obtained deformation structures within the extruding region are similar compared to the classical setup where lateral extrusion is provoked by lithosphere-scale indentation. In the models a strong coupling across the subduction boundary allows for the transfer of abundant stresses to the upper plate, leading to laterally varying strain regimes that are characterized by crustal thickening near a confined margin and dominated by lateral displacement of material near a weak lateral confinement. During ongoing convergence the strain regimes propagate laterally, thereby creating an area of overlap characterized by transpression. In models with oblique subduction, with respect to the convergence direction, less deformation of the upper plate is observed and as a consequence the amount of lateral extrusion decreases. Additionally, strain is partitioned along the oblique plate boundary leading to less subduction in expense of right lateral displacement close to the weak lateral confinement. Both oblique and orthogonal subduction models have a strong resemblance to lateral extrusion

  8. Subduction of a buoyant plateau at the Manila Trench: Tomographic evidence and geodynamic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Jianke; Zhao, Dapeng; Dong, Dongdong

    2016-02-01

    We determined P-wave tomographic images by inverting a large number of arrival-time data from 2749 local earthquakes and 1462 teleseismic events, which are used to depict the three-dimensional morphology of the subducted Eurasian Plate along the northern segment of the Manila Trench. Dramatic changes in the dip angle of the subducted Eurasian Plate are revealed from the north to the south, being consistent with the partial subduction of a buoyant plateau beneath the Luzon Arc. Slab tears may exist along the edges of the buoyant plateau within the subducted plate induced by the plateau subduction, and the subducted lithosphere may be absent at depths greater than 250 km at ˜19°N and ˜21°N. The subducted buoyant plateau is possibly oriented toward NW-SE, and the subducted plate at ˜21°N is slightly steeper than that at ˜19°N. These results may explain why the western and eastern volcanic chains in the Luzon Arc are separated by ˜50 km at ˜18°N, whereas they converge into a single volcanic chain northward, which may be related to the oblique subduction along the Manila Trench caused by the northwestern movement of the Philippine Sea Plate. A low-velocity zone is revealed at depths of 20-200 km beneath the Manila Accretionary Prism at ˜22°N, suggesting that the subduction along the Manila Trench may stop there and the collision develops northward. The Taiwan Orogeny may originate directly from the subduction of the buoyant plateau, because the initial time of the Taiwan Orogeny is coincident with that of the buoyant plateau subduction.

  9. Beginning the Modern Regime of Subduction Tectonics in Neoproterozoic time: Inferences from Ophiolites of the Arabian-Nubian Shield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, R.

    2003-04-01

    It is now clear that the motive force for plate tectonics is provided by the sinking of dense lithosphere in subduction zones. Correspondingly, the modern tectonic regime is more aptly called ``subduction tectonics" than plate tectonics, which only describes the way Earth's thermal boundary layer adjusts to subduction. The absence of subduction tectonics on Mars and Venus implies that special circumstances are required for subduction to occur on a silicate planet. This begs the question: When did Earth's oceanic lithosphere cool sufficiently for subduction to began? This must be inferred from indirect lines of evidence; the focus here is on the temporal distribution of ophiolites. Well-preserved ophiolites with ``supra-subduction zone" (SSZ) affinities are increasingly regarded as forming when subduction initiates as a result of lithospheric collapse (± a nudge to get it started), and the formation of ophiolitic lithosphere in evolving forearcs favors their emplacement and preservation. The question now is what percentage of ophiolites with ``supra-subduction zone" (SSZ) chemical signatures formed in forearcs during subduction initiation events? Most of the large, well-preserved ophiolites (e.g., Oman, Cyprus, California, Newfoundland) may have this origin. If so, the distribution in space and time of such ophiolites can be used to identify ``subduction initiation" events, which are important events in the evolution of plate tectonics. Such events first occurred at the end of the Archean (˜2.5Ga) and again in the Paleoproterozoic (˜1.8 Ga), but ophiolites become uncommon after this. Well-preserved ophiolites become abundant in Neoproterozoic time, at about 800±50 Ma. Ophiolites of this age are common and well-preserved in the Arabian-Nubian Shield (ANS) of Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Saudi Arabia. ANS ophiolites mostly contain spinels with high Cr#, indicating SSZ affinities. Limited trace element data on pillowed lavas supports this interpretation

  10. Subduction and Plate Edge Tectonics in the Southern Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levander, A.; Schmitz, M.; Niu, F.; Bezada, M. J.; Miller, M. S.; Masy, J.; Ave Lallemant, H. G.; Pindell, J. L.; Bolivar Working Group

    2013-05-01

    The southern Caribbean plate boundary consists of a subduction zone at at either end of a complex strike-slip fault system: In the east at the Lesser Antilles subduction zone, the Atlantic part of the South American plate subducts beneath the Caribbean. In the north and west in the Colombia basin, the Caribbean subducts under South America. In a manner of speaking, the two plates subduct beneath each other. Finite-frequency teleseismic P-wave tomography confirms this, imaging the Atlantic and the Caribbean plates subducting steeply in opposite directions to transition zone depths under northern South America (Bezada et al, 2010). The two subduction zones are connected by the El Pilar-San Sebastian strike-slip fault system, a San Andreas scale system that has been cut off at the Bocono fault, the southeastern boundary fault of the Maracaibo block. A variety of seismic probes identify subduction features at either end of the system (Niu et al, 2007; Clark et al., 2008; Miller et al. 2009; Growdon et al., 2009; Huang et al., 2010; Masy et al, 2011). The El Pilar system forms at the southeastern corner of the Antilles subduction zone with the Atlantic plate tearing from South America. The deforming plate edges control mountain building and basin formation at the eastern end of the strike-slip system. Tearing the Atlantic plate from the rest of South America appears to cause further lithospheric instability continentward. In northwestern South America the Caribbean plate very likely also tears, as its southernmost element subducts at shallow angles under northernmost Colombia but then rapidly descends to the transition zone under Lake Maracaibo (Bezada et al., 2010). We believe that the flat slab controls the tectonics of the Neogene Merida Andes, Perija, and Santa Marta ranges. The nonsubducting part of the Caribbean plate also underthrusts northern Venezuela to about the width of the coastal mountains (Miller et al., 2009). We infer that the edge of the underthrust

  11. Peeling back the lithosphere: Controlling parameters, surface expressions and the future directions in delamination modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Göğüş, Oğuz H.; Ueda, Kosuke

    2018-06-01

    Geodynamical models investigate the rheological and physical properties of the lithosphere that peels back (delaminates) from the upper-middle crust. Meanwhile, model predictions are used to relate to a set of observations in the geological context to the test the validity of delamination. Here, we review numerical and analogue models of delamination from these perspectives and provide a number of first-order topics which future modeling studies may address. Models suggest that the presence of the weak lower crust that resides between the strong mantle lithosphere (at least 100 times more viscous/stronger) and the strong upper crust is necessary to develop delamination. Lower crustal weakening may be induced by melt infiltration, shear heating or it naturally occurs through the jelly sandwich type strength profile of the continental lithosphere. The negative buoyancy of the lithosphere required to facilitate the delamination is induced by the pre-existing ocean subduction and/or the lower crustal eclogitization. Surface expression of the peeling back lithosphere has a distinct transient and migratory imprint on the crust, resulting in rapid surface uplift/subsidence, magmatism, heating and shortening/extension. New generation of geodynamical experiments can explain how different types of melting (e.g hydrated, dry melting) occurs with delamination. Reformation of the lithosphere after removal, three dimensional aspects, and the termination of the process are key investigation areas for future research. The robust model predictions, as with other geodynamic modeling studies should be reconciled with observations.

  12. Trace element behavior during serpentinization/de-serpentinization of an eclogitized oceanic lithosphere: A LA-ICPMS study of the Lanzo ultramafic massif (Western Alps)

    OpenAIRE

    DEBRET, Baptiste; ANDREANI, Muriel; GODARD, Marguerite; NICOLLET, Christian; SCHWARTZ, Stéphane; LAFAY, Romain

    2013-01-01

    Serpentinites are one of the major components of the oceanic lithosphere and are stable in the slab and the mantle wedge up to 100-150 km depth in subduction zones. During oceanic mantle hydration and alteration, they trap trace and fluid mobile (FME: B, Li, As, Sb, Rb, Ba, Cs, Sr, U and Pb) elements that participate to elemental transfer occurring between the dehydrating slab and the mantle wedge in subduction context. The Lanzo massif is an eclogitized oceanic lithosphere that preserved its...

  13. The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary beneath the Korean Peninsula from S receiver functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, S. H.; Rhie, J.

    2017-12-01

    The shallow lithosphere in the Eastern Asia at the east of the North-South Gravity Lineament is well published. The reactivation of the upper asthenosphere induced by the subducting plates is regarded as a dominant source of the lithosphere thinning. Additionally, assemblage of various tectonic blocks resulted in complex variation of the lithosphere thickness in the Eastern Asia. Because, the Korean Peninsula located at the margin of the Erasian Plate in close vicinity to the trench of subducting oceanic plate, significant reactivation of the upper asthenosphere is expected. For the study of the tectonic history surrounding the Korean Peninsula, we determined the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) beneath the Korean Peninsula using common conversion point stacking method with S receiver functions. The depth of the LAB beneath the Korean Peninsula ranges from 60 km to 100 km and confirmed to be shallower than that expected for Cambrian blocks as previous global studies. The depth of the LAB is getting shallower to the south, 95 km at the north and 60 km at the south. And rapid change of the LAB depth is observed between 36°N and 37°N. The depth change of the LAB getting shallower to the south implies that the source of the lithosphere thinning is a hot mantle upwelling induced by the northward subduction of the oceanic plates since Mesozoic. Unfortunately, existing tectonic models can hardly explain the different LAB depth in the north and in the south as well as the rapid change of the LAB depth.

  14. Interaction between two subducting plates under Tokyo and its possible effects on seismic hazards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Francis; Okaya, David; Sato, Hiroshi; Hirata, Naoshi

    2007-09-01

    Underneath metropolitan Tokyo the Philippine Sea plate (PHS) subducts to the north on top of the westward subducting Pacific plate (PAC). New, relatively high-resolution tomography images the PHS as a well-defined subduction zone under western Kanto Plain. As PAC shoals under eastern Kanto, the PHS lithosphere is being thrusted into an increasingly tighter space of the PAC-Eurasian mantle wedge. As a result, zones of enhanced seismicity appear under eastern Kanto at the top of PHS, internal to PHS and also at its contact with PAC. These zones are located at depths greater than the causative fault of the disastrous 1923 Great Tokyo ``megathrust'' earthquake, in the vicinity of several well-located historical, damaging (M6 and M7) earthquakes. Thus a rather unique interaction between subducting plates under Tokyo may account for additional seismic hazards in metropolitan Tokyo.

  15. The electrical lithosphere in Archean cratons: examples from Southern Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khoza, D. T.; Jones, A. G.; Muller, M. R.; Webb, S. J.

    2011-12-01

    The southern African tectonic fabric is made up of a number Archean cratons flanked by Proterozoic and younger mobile belts, all with distinctly different but related geological evolutions. The cratonic margins and some intra-cratonic domain boundaries have played major roles in the tectonics of Africa by focusing ascending magmas and localising cycles of extension and rifting. Of these cratons the southern extent of the Congo craton is one of the least-constrained tectonic boundaries in the African tectonic architecture and knowledge of its geometry and in particular the LAB beneath is crucial for understanding geological process of formation and deformation prevailing in the Archean and later. In this work, which forms a component of the hugely successful Southern African MagnetoTelluric Experiment (SAMTEX), we present the lithospheric electrical resistivity image of the southern boundary of the enigmatic Congo craton and the Neoproterozoic Damara-Ghanzi-Chobe (DGC) orogenic belt on its flanks. Magnetotelluric data were collected along profiles crossing all three of these tectonic blocks. The two dimensional resistivity models resulting from inverting the distortion-corrected responses along the profiles all indicate significant lateral variations in the crust and upper mantle structure along and across strike from the younger DGC orogen to the older adjacent craton. The are significant lithospheric thickness variations from each terrane. The The Moho depth in the DGC is mapped at 40 km by active seismic methods, and is also well constrained by S-wave receiver function models. The Damara belt lithosphere, although generally more conductive and significantly thinner (approximately 150 km) than the adjacent Congo and Kalahari cratons, exhibits upper crustal resistive features interpreted to be caused by igneous intrusions emplaced during the Gondwanan Pan-African magmatic event. The thinned lithosphere is consistent with a 50 mW.m-2 steady-state conductive

  16. Imaging subducted slabs using seismic arrays in the Western Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentham, H. L.; Rost, S.

    2010-12-01

    In recent years array seismology has been used extensively to image the small scale structure of the Earth. Such structure likely represents chemical heterogeneity and is therefore essential in our understanding of mantle convection and the composition of the Earth’s deep interior. As subduction is the main source of (re)introducing slab material into the Earth, it is of particular interest to track these heterogeneities. Resolving details of the composition and deformation of subducted lithosphere can help provide constraints on the subduction process, the composition of the mantle and mantle convection. This study uses seismic array techniques to map seismic heterogeneities associated with western Pacfic subduction zones, where a variety of slab geometries have been previously observed. Seismic energy arriving prior to the PP arrival was analysed at Eielson Array (ILAR), Alaska. More than 200 earthquakes were selected with Mw ≥ 6 and with epicentral distances of 90-110deg, giving a good coverage of the PP precursor (P*P) wavefield. Initial findings indicate that the observed P*P arrive out of plane and are likely a result of scattering. These scatterers are linked to the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Philippine Sea in the Izu-Bonin and Mariana subduction zones. To enable efficient processing of large datasets, a robust automatic coherent (but unpredicted) arrival detector algorithm has been developed to select suitable precursors. Slowness and backazimuth were calculated for each precursor and were used in conjunction with P*P arrival times to back-raytrace the energy from the array to the scatterer location. Processing of the full dataset will help refine models regarding slab deformation as they descend into the mantle as well as unveiling the depth of their descent.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. The potential influence of subduction zone polarity on overriding plate deformation, trench migration and slab dip angle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W. P.

    2007-01-01

    A geodynamic model exists, the westward lithospheric drift model, in which the variety of overriding plate deformation, trench migration and slab dip angles is explained by the polarity of subduction zones. The model predicts overriding plate extension, a fixed trench and a steep slab dip for

  19. Geochemistry of serpentinites in subduction zones: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deschamps, Fabien; Godard, Marguerite; Guillot, Stéphane; Hattori, Kéiko

    2013-04-01

    Over the last decades, numerous studies have emphasized the role of serpentinites in the subduction zones geodynamics. Their presence and effective role in this environment is acknowledged notably by geophysical, geochemical and field observations of (paleo-) subduction zones. In this context, with the increasing amount of studies concerning serpentinites in subduction environments, a huge geochemical database was created. Here, we present a review of the geochemistry of serpentinites, based on the compilation of ~ 900 geochemical analyses of abyssal, mantle wedge and subducted serpentinites. The aim was to better understand the geochemical evolution of these rocks during their subduction history as well as their impact in the global geochemical cycle. When studying serpentinites, it is often a challenge to determine the nature of the protolith and their geological history before serpentinisation. The present-day (increasing) geochemical database for serpentinites indicates little to no mobility of incompatible elements at the scale of the hand-sample in most serpentinized peridotites. Thus, Rare Earth Elements (REE) distribution can be used to identify the initial protolith for abyssal and mantle wedge serpentinites, as well as magmatic processes such as melt/rock interactions taking place before serpentinisation. In the case of subducted serpentinites, the interpretation of trace element data is more difficult due to secondary enrichments independent of the nature of the protolith, notably in (L)REE. We propose that these enrichments reflect complex interactions probably not related to serpentinisation itself, but mostly to fluid/rock or sediment/rock interactions within the subduction channel, as well as intrinsic feature of the mantle protolith which could derive from the continental lithosphere exhumed at the ocean-continent transition. Additionally, during the last ten years, numerous studies have been carried out, notably using in situ approaches, to better

  20. Subduction and volcanism in the Iberia-North Africa collision zone from tomographic images of the upper mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villaseñor, Antonio; Chevrot, Sébastien; Harnafi, Mimoun; Gallart, Josep; Pazos, Antonio; Serrano, Inmaculada; Córdoba, Diego; Pulgar, Javier A.; Ibarra, Pedro

    2015-11-01

    New tomographic images of the upper mantle beneath the westernmost Mediterranean suggest that the evolution of the region experienced two subduction-related episodes. First subduction of oceanic and/or extended continental lithosphere, now located mainly beneath the Betics at depths greater than 400 km, took place on a NW-SE oriented subduction zone. This was followed by a slab-tear process that initiated in the east and propagated to the west, leading to westward slab rollback and possibly lower crustal delamination. The current position of the slab tear is located approximately at 4°W, and to the west of this location the subducted lithosphere is still attached to the surface along the Gibraltar Arc. Our new P-wave velocity model is able to image the attached subducted lithosphere as a narrow high-velocity body extending to shallow depths, coinciding with the region of maximum curvature of the Gibraltar Arc, the occurrence of intermediate-depth earthquakes, and anomalously thick crust. This thick crust has a large influence in the measured teleseismic travel time residuals and therefore in the obtained P-wave tomographic model. We show that removing the effects of the thick crust significantly improves the shallow images of the slab and therefore the interpretations based on the seismic structure.

  1. Lithosphere erosion atop mantle plumes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrusta, R.; Arcay, D.; Tommasi, A.

    2012-12-01

    Mantle plumes are traditionally proposed to play an important role in lithosphere erosion. Seismic images beneath Hawaii and Cape Verde show a lithosphere-asthenosphere-boundary (LAB) up to 50 km shallower than the surroundings. However, numerical models show that unless the plate is stationary the thermo-mechanical erosion of the lithosphere does not exceed 30 km. We use 2D petrological-thermo-mechanical numerical models based on a finite-difference method on a staggered grid and marker in cell method to study the role of partial melting on the plume-lithosphere interaction. A homogeneous peridotite composition with a Newtonian temperature- and pressure-dependent viscosity is used to simulate both the plate and the convective mantle. A constant velocity, ranging from 5 to 12.5 cm/yr, is imposed at the top of the plate. Plumes are created by imposing a thermal anomaly of 150 to 350 K on a 50 km wide domain at the base of the model (700 km depth); the plate right above the thermal anomaly is 40 Myr old. Partial melting is modeled using batch-melting solidus and liquidus in anhydrous conditions. We model the progressive depletion of peridotite and its effect on partial melting by assuming that the melting degree only strictly increases through time. Melt is accumulated until a porosity threshold is reached and the melt in excess is then extracted. The rheology of the partially molten peridotite is determined using viscous constitutive relationship based on a contiguity model, which enables to take into account the effects of grain-scale melt distribution. Above a threshold of 1%, melt is instantaneously extracted. The density varies as a function of partial melting degree and extraction. Besides, we analyze the kinematics of the plume as it impacts a moving plate, the dynamics of time-dependent small-scale convection (SSC) instabilities developing in the low-viscosity layer formed by spreading of hot plume material at the lithosphere base, and the resulting thermal

  2. The role of frictional strength on plate coupling at the subduction interface

    KAUST Repository

    Tan, Eh

    2012-10-01

    At a subduction zone the amount of friction between the incoming plate and the forearc is an important factor in controlling the dip angle of subduction and the structure of the forearc. In this paper, we investigate the role of the frictional strength of sediments and of the serpentinized peridotite on the evolution of convergent margins. In numerical models, we vary thickness of a serpentinized layer in the mantle wedge (15 to 25km) and the frictional strength of both the sediments and serpentinized mantle (friction angle 1 to 15, or static friction coefficient 0.017 to 0.27) to control the amount of frictional coupling between the plates. With plastic strain weakening in the lithosphere, our numerical models can attain stable subduction geometry over millions of years. We find that the frictional strength of the sediments and serpentinized peridotite exerts the largest control on the dip angle of the subduction interface at seismogenic depths. In the case of low sediment and serpentinite friction, the subduction interface has a shallow dip, while the subduction zone develops an accretionary prism, a broad forearc high, a deep forearc basin, and a shallow trench. In the high friction case, the subduction interface is steep, the trench is deeper, and the accretionary prism, forearc high and basin are all absent. The resultant free-air gravity and topographic signature of these subduction zone models are consistent with observations. We believe that the low-friction model produces a geometry and forearc structure similar to that of accretionary margins. Conversely, models with high friction angles in sediments and serpentinite develop characteristics of an erosional convergent margin. We find that the strength of the subduction interface is critical in controlling the amount of coupling at the seismogenic zone and perhaps ultimately the size of the largest earthquakes at subduction zones. © 2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

  3. Modelling guided waves in the Alaskan-Aleutian subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulson, Sophie; Garth, Thomas; Reitbrock, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    . The velocity structure of this relatively young subducting plate is compared to the velocity structure resolved in the older oceanic lithosphere subducted beneath Northern Japan. We also use guided wave observations to investigate the thickness and low velocity structure of the subducting Yakutat terrain. Additionally we discuss the dependence of the inferred slab geometry on the earthquake catalogues that are used.

  4. Subduction on Venus and Implications for Volatile Cycling, Early Earth and Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smrekar, S. E.; Davaille, A.; Mueller, N. T.; Dyar, M. D.; Helbert, J.; Barnes, H.

    2017-12-01

    Plate tectonics plays a key role in long-term climate evolution by cycling volatiles between the interior, surface and atmosphere. Subduction is a critical process. It is the first step in transitioning between a stagnant and a mobile lid, a means for conveying volatiles into the mantle, and a mechanism for creating felsic crust. Laboratory experiments using realistic rheology illuminate the deformation produced by plume-induced subduction (Davaille abstract). Characteristics include internal rifting and volcanism, external rift branches, with a partial arc of subduction creating a trench on the margins of the plume head, and an exterior flexural bulge with small strain extension perpendicular to the trench. These characteristics, along with a consistent gravity signature, occur at the two largest coronae (quasi-circular volcano-tectonic features) on Venus (Davaille et al. Nature Geos. 2017). This interpretation resolves a long-standing debate about the dual plume and subduction characteristics of these features. Numerous coronae also show signs of plume-induced subduction. At Astkhik Planum, subduction appears to have migrated beyond the margins of Selu Corona to create a 1600 km-long, linear subduction zone, along Vaidilute Rupes. The fractures that define Selu Corona merge with the trench to the north and a rift zone to the east, consistent with plume-induced subduction migrating outward from the corona. The lithosphere and crust are much thinner here than in other potential subduction zones. Subduction appears to have generated massive volcanism which could explain the 400 m elevation of the plateau. Within the plateau there are low-viscosity flow sets nearly 1000 km that may be associated with near infrared low emissivity in VIRTIS data. Unusual lava compositions might be indicative of recycling of CO2 or other volatiles into the lithosphere. Little evidence exists to illustrate how plate tectonics initiated on Earth, but Venus' high surface temperature makes

  5. Post-collisional magmatism in the central East African Orogen: The Maevarano Suite of north Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodenough, K.M.; Thomas, Ronald J.; De Waele, B.; Key, R.M.; Schofield, D.I.; Bauer, W.; Tucker, R.D.; Rafahatelo, J.-M.; Rabarimanana, M.; Ralison, A.V.; Randriamananjara, T.

    2010-01-01

    Late tectonic, post-collisional granite suites are a feature of many parts of the Late Neoproterozoic to Cambrian East African Orogen (EAO), where they are generally attributed to late extensional collapse of the orogen, accompanied by high heat flow and asthenospheric uprise. The Maevarano Suite comprises voluminous plutons which were emplaced in some of the tectonostratigraphic terranes of northern Madagascar, in the central part of the EAO, following collision and assembly during a major orogeny at ca. 550 Ma. The suite comprises three main magmatic phases: a minor early phase of foliated gabbros, quartz diorites, and granodiorites; a main phase of large batholiths of porphyritic granitoids and charnockites; and a late phase of small-scale plutons and sheets of monzonite, syenite, leucogranite and microgranite. The main phase intrusions tend to be massive, but with variably foliated margins. New U-Pb SHRIMP zircon data show that the whole suite was emplaced between ca. 537 and 522 Ma. Geochemically, all the rocks of the suite are enriched in the LILE, especially K, and the LREE, but are relatively depleted in Nb, Ta and the HREE. These characteristics are typical of post-collisional granitoids in the EAO and many other orogenic belts. It is proposed that the Maevarano Suite magmas were derived by melting of sub-continental lithospheric mantle that had been enriched in the LILE during earlier subduction events. The melting occurred during lithospheric delamination, which was associated with extensional collapse of the East African Orogen. ?? 2009 Natural Environment Research Council.

  6. Plume-stagnant slab-lithosphere interactions: Origin of the late Cenozoic intra-plate basalts on the East Eurasia margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Jun-Ichi; Sakuyama, Tetsuya; Miyazaki, Takashi; Vaglarov, Bogdan S.; Fukao, Yoshio; Stern, Robert J.

    2018-02-01

    Intra-plate basalts of 35-0 Ma in East Eurasia formed in a broad backarc region above the stagnant Pacific Plate slab in the mantle transition zone. These basalts show regional-scale variations in Nd-Hf isotopes. The basalts with the most radiogenic Nd-Hf center on the Shandong Peninsula with intermediate Nd-Hf at Hainan and Datong. The least radiogenic basalts occur in the perimeters underlain by the thick continental lithosphere. Shandong basalts possess isotopic signatures of the young igneous oceanic crust of the subducted Pacific Plate. Hainan and Datong basalts have isotopic signatures of recycled subduction materials with billions of years of storage in the mantle. The perimeter basalts have isotopic signatures similar to pyroxenite xenoliths from the subcontinental lithospheric mantle beneath East Eurasia. Hainan basalts exhibit the highest mantle potential temperature (Tp), while the Shandong basalts have the lowest Tp. We infer that a deep high-Tp plume interacted with the subducted Pacific Plate slab in the mantle transition zone to form a local low-Tp plume by entraining colder igneous oceanic lithosphere. We infer that the subducted Izanagi Plate slab, once a part of the Pacific Plate mosaic, broke off from the Pacific Plate slab at 35 Ma to sink into the lower mantle. The sinking Izanagi slab triggered the plume that interacted with the stagnant Pacific slab and caused subcontinental lithospheric melting. This coincided with formation of the western Pacific backarc marginal basins due to Pacific Plate slab rollback and stagnation.

  7. Carbonation by fluid-rock interactions at high-pressure conditions: Implications for carbon cycling in subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccoli, Francesca; Vitale Brovarone, Alberto; Beyssac, Olivier; Martinez, Isabelle; Ague, Jay J.; Chaduteau, Carine

    2016-07-01

    Carbonate-bearing lithologies are the main carbon carrier into subduction zones. Their evolution during metamorphism largely controls the fate of carbon, regulating its fluxes between shallow and deep reservoirs. Recent estimates predict that almost all subducted carbon is transferred into the crust and lithospheric mantle during subduction metamorphism via decarbonation and dissolution reactions at high-pressure conditions. Here we report the occurrence of eclogite-facies marbles associated with metasomatic systems in Alpine Corsica (France). The occurrence of these marbles along major fluid-conduits as well as textural, geochemical and isotopic data indicating fluid-mineral reactions are compelling evidence for the precipitation of these carbonate-rich assemblages from carbonic fluids during metamorphism. The discovery of metasomatic marbles brings new insights into the fate of carbonic fluids formed in subducting slabs. We infer that rock carbonation can occur at high-pressure conditions by either vein-injection or chemical replacement mechanisms. This indicates that carbonic fluids produced by decarbonation reactions and carbonate dissolution may not be directly transferred to the mantle wedge, but can interact with slab and mantle-forming rocks. Rock-carbonation by fluid-rock interactions may have an important impact on the residence time of carbon and oxygen in subduction zones and lithospheric mantle reservoirs as well as carbonate isotopic signatures in subduction zones. Furthermore, carbonation may modulate the emission of CO2 at volcanic arcs over geological time scales.

  8. Lithospheric thermal-rheological structure of the Ordos Basin and its geodynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, J.; Huang, F.; He, L.; Wu, Q.

    2015-12-01

    The study on the destruction of the North China Craton has always been one of the hottest issues in earth sciences.Both mechanism and spatial variation are debated fiercely, still unclear.However, geothermal research on the subject is relatively few. Ordos Basin, located in the west of the North China Craton, is a typical intraplate. Based on two-dimensional thermal modeling along a profile across Ordos Basin from east to west, obtained the lithospheric thermal structure and rheology. Mantle heat flow in different regions of Ordos Basin is from 21.2 to 24.5 mW/m2. In the east mantle heat flow is higher while heat flow in western region is relatively low. But mantle heat flow is smooth and low overall, showing a stable thermal background. Ratio of crustal and mantle heat flow is between 1.51 and 1.84, indicating that thermal contribution from shallow crust is lower than that from the mantle. Rheological characteristics along the profile are almost showed as "jelly sandwich" model and stable continental lithosphere structure,which is represent by a weak crust portion but a strong lithospheric mantle portion in vertical strength profile. Based on above , both thermal structure and lithospheric rheology of Ordos Basin illustrate that tectonic dynamics environment in the west of North China Craton is relatively stable. By the study on lithospheric thermal structure, we focus on the disparity in thickness between the thermal lithosphere and seismic lithosphere.The difference in western Ordos Basin is about 140km, which decreases gradually from Fenwei graben in the eastern Ordos Basin to the Bohai Bay Basin.That is to say the difference decreases gradually from the west to the east of North China Craton.The simulation results imply that viscosity of the asthenosphere under North China Craton also decreases gradually from west to east, confirming that dehydration of the Pacific subduction is likely to have great effect on the North China Craton.

  9. Lithospheric thickness jumps at the S-Atlantic continental margins from satellite gravity data and modelled isostatic anomalies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahraki, Meysam; Schmeling, Harro; Haas, Peter

    2018-01-01

    Isostatic equilibrium is a good approximation for passive continental margins. In these regions, geoid anomalies are proportional to the local dipole moment of density-depth distributions, which can be used to constrain the amount of oceanic to continental lithospheric thickening (lithospheric jumps). We consider a five- or three-layer 1D model for the oceanic and continental lithosphere, respectively, composed of water, a sediment layer (both for the oceanic case), the crust, the mantle lithosphere and the asthenosphere. The mantle lithosphere is defined by a mantle density, which is a function of temperature and composition, due to melt depletion. In addition, a depth-dependent sediment density associated with compaction and ocean floor variation is adopted. We analyzed satellite derived geoid data and, after filtering, extracted typical averaged profiles across the Western and Eastern passive margins of the South Atlantic. They show geoid jumps of 8.1 m and 7.0 m for the Argentinian and African sides, respectively. Together with topography data and an averaged crustal density at the conjugate margins these jumps are interpreted as isostatic geoid anomalies and yield best-fitting crustal and lithospheric thicknesses. In a grid search approach five parameters are systematically varied, namely the thicknesses of the sediment layer, the oceanic and continental crusts and the oceanic and the continental mantle lithosphere. The set of successful models reveals a clear asymmetry between the South Africa and Argentine lithospheres by 15 km. Preferred models predict a sediment layer at the Argentine margin of 3-6 km and at the South Africa margin of 1-2.5 km. Moreover, we derived a linear relationship between, oceanic lithosphere, sediment thickness and lithospheric jumps at the South Atlantic margins. It suggests that the continental lithospheres on the western and eastern South Atlantic are thicker by 45-70 and 60-80 km than the oceanic lithospheres, respectively.

  10. The Pan-African Kekem gabbro-norite (West-Cameroon), U-Pb zircon age, geochemistry and Sr-Nd isotopes: Geodynamical implication for the evolution of the Central African fold belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwékam, Maurice; Affaton, Pascal; Bruguier, Olivier; Liégeois, Jean-Paul; Hartmann, Gerald; Njonfang, Emmanuel

    2013-08-01

    The Kekem shoshonitic gabbro-norite association is part of the high-K calc-alkaline (HKCA) post-collisional magmatism, a major feature of the Pan-African Belt in Cameroon. LA-ICP-MS U-Pb zircon analyses provide an age of 576 ± 4 Ma for the Kekem complex. This age is interpreted as dating the emplacement of the massif during the waning stage of the Pan-African orogeny. The latter is related to dextral movements along the Central Cameroon Shear Zone (CCSZ). The REE patterns display enriched LREE (LaN/YbN = 14.2-23.5) while HREE present a nearly flat profile (DyN/YbN = 1.3-1.7), and the La/Sm and Sm/Yb ratios led to propose that the Kekem gabbro-norites have been derived from the partial melting of a garnet-spinel lherzolite mantle source. The negative Nb-Ta and Ti anomalies and the positive Pb anomalies indicate that this mantle source was modified by contribution of a subduction-related material. The low Ce/Pb (2.6-10.4) and Th/Yb ratios associated to high Ba/La ratios, indicate that source enrichment could be related to slab derived fluids. As a whole, the Kekem geochemical features suggest that primary gabbro-noritic magmas derived from a subduction-modified mantle source (metasomatised lithospheric mantle). Moderately high 86Sr/87Sr initial ratios (0.7068-0.7082), low ɛNd (-5 to -9) and old Nd TDM model ages (1.6-1.8 Ga) are interpreted to result from contamination of Neoproterozoic mantle by the Paleoproterozoic crust. The ca. 576 Ma movements along the CCSZ are related to a Neoproterozoic metacratonization of the northern margin of the Congo craton during the Pan-African orogeny. This metacratonization led to vertical planar lithospheric delamination along lithospheric transcurrent faults, asthenospheric uprise and partial melting of the Paleoproterozoic lithospheric mantle.

  11. Satellite gravity gradient views help reveal the Antarctic lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraccioli, F.; Ebbing, J.; Pappa, F.; Kern, M.; Forsberg, R.

    2017-12-01

    Here we present and analyse satellite gravity gradient signatures derived from GOCE and superimpose these on tectonic and bedrock topography elements, as well as seismically-derived estimates of crustal thickness for the Antarctic continent. The GIU satellite gravity component images the contrast between the thinner crust and lithosphere underlying the West Antarctic Rift System and the Weddell Sea Rift System and the thicker lithosphere of East Antarctica. The new images also suggest that more distributed wide-mode lithospheric and crustal extension affects both the Ross Sea Embayment and the less well known Ross Ice Shelf segment of the rift system. However, this pattern is less clear towards the Bellingshousen Embayment, indicating that the rift system narrows towards the southern edge of the Antarctic Peninsula. In East Antarctica, the satellite gravity data provides new views into the Archean to Mesoproterozoic Terre Adelie Craton, and clearly shows the contrast wrt to the crust and lithosphere underlying both the Wilkes Subglacial Basin to the east and the Sabrina Subglacial Basin to the west. This finding augments recent interpretations of aeromagnetic and airborne gravity data over the region, suggesting that the Mawson Continent is a composite lithospheric-scale entity, which was affected by several Paleoproterozoic and Mesoproterozoic orogenic events. Thick crust is imaged beneath the Transantarctic Mountains, the Terre Adelie Craton, the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains and also Eastern Dronning Maud Land, in particular beneath the recently proposed region of the Tonian Oceanic Arc Superterrane. The GIA and GIU components help delineate the edges of several of these lithospheric provinces. One of the most prominent lithospheric-scale features discovered in East Antarctica from satellite gravity gradient imaging is the Trans East Antarctic Shear Zone that separates the Gamburtsev Province from the Eastern Dronning Maud Land Province and appears to form the

  12. Implications for metal and volatile cycles from the pH of subduction zone fluids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galvez, Matthieu E.; Connolly, James A. D.; Manning, Craig E.

    2016-11-01

    The chemistry of aqueous fluids controls the transport and exchange—the cycles—of metals and volatile elements on Earth. Subduction zones, where oceanic plates sink into the Earth’s interior, are the most important geodynamic setting for this fluid-mediated chemical exchange. Characterizing the ionic speciation and pH of fluids equilibrated with rocks at subduction zone conditions has long been a major challenge in Earth science. Here we report thermodynamic predictions of fluid-rock equilibria that tie together models of the thermal structure, mineralogy and fluid speciation of subduction zones. We find that the pH of fluids in subducted crustal lithologies is confined to a mildly alkaline range, modulated by rock volatile and chlorine contents. Cold subduction typical of the Phanerozoic eon favours the preservation of oxidized carbon in subducting slabs. In contrast, the pH of mantle wedge fluids is very sensitive to minor variations in rock composition. These variations may be caused by intramantle differentiation, or by infiltration of fluids enriched in alkali components extracted from the subducted crust. The sensitivity of pH to soluble elements in low abundance in the host rocks, such as carbon, alkali metals and halogens, illustrates a feedback between the chemistry of the Earth’s atmosphere-ocean system and the speciation of subduction zone fluids via the composition of the seawater-altered oceanic lithosphere. Our findings provide a perspective on the controlling reactions that have coupled metal and volatile cycles in subduction zones for more than 3 billion years7.

  13. Preliminary three-dimensional model of mantle convection with deformable, mobile continental lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Masaki

    2010-06-01

    Characteristic tectonic structures such as young orogenic belts and suture zones in a continent are expected to be mechanically weaker than the stable part of the continental lithosphere with the cratonic root (or cratonic lithosphere) and yield lateral viscosity variations in the continental lithosphere. In the present-day Earth's lithosphere, the pre-existing, mechanically weak zones emerge as a diffuse plate boundary. However, the dynamic role of a weak (low-viscosity) continental margin (WCM) in the stability of continental lithosphere has not been understood in terms of geophysics. Here, a new numerical simulation model of mantle convection with a compositionally and rheologically heterogeneous, deformable, mobile continental lithosphere is presented for the first time by using three-dimensional regional spherical-shell geometry. A compositionally buoyant and highly viscous continental assemblage with pre-existing WCMs, analogous to the past supercontinent, is modeled and imposed on well-developed mantle convection whose vigor of convection, internal heating rate, and rheological parameters are appropriate for the Earth's mantle. The visco-plastic oceanic lithosphere and the associated subduction of oceanic plates are incorporated. The time integration of the advection of continental materials with zero chemical diffusion is performed by a tracer particle method. The time evolution of mantle convection after setting the model supercontinent is followed over 800 Myr. Earth-like continental drift is successfully reproduced, and the characteristic thermal interaction between the mantle and the continent/supercontinent is observed in my new numerical model. Results reveal that the WCM protects the cratonic lithosphere from being stretched by the convecting mantle and may play a significant role in the stability of the cratonic lithosphere during the geological timescale because it acts as a buffer that prevents the cratonic lithosphere from undergoing global

  14. Subduction in the Southern Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levander, A.; Schmitz, M.; Bezada, M.; Masy, J.; Niu, F.; Pindell, J.

    2012-04-01

    The southern Caribbean is bounded at either end by subduction zones: In the east at the Lesser Antilles subduction zone the Atlantic part of the South American plate subducts beneath the Caribbean. In the north and west under the Southern Caribbean Deformed Belt accretionary prism, the Caribbean subducts under South America. In a manner of speaking, the two plates subduct beneath each other. Finite-frequency teleseismic P-wave tomography confirms this, imaging the Atlantic and the Caribbean subducting steeply in opposite directions to transition zone depths under northern South America (Bezada et al, 2010). The two subduction zones are connected by the El Pilar-San Sebastian strike-slip fault system, a San Andreas scale system. A variety of seismic probes identify where the two plates tear as they begin to subduct (Niu et al, 2007; Clark et al., 2008; Miller et al. 2009; Masy et al, 2009). The El Pilar system forms at the southeastern corner of the Antilles subduction zone by the Atlantic tearing from South America. The deforming plate edges control mountain building and basin formation at the eastern end of the strike-slip system. In northwestern South America the Caribbean plate tears, its southernmost element subducting at shallow angles under northernmost Colombia and then rapidly descending to transition zone depths under Lake Maracaibo (Bezada et al., 2010). We believe that the flat slab produces the Merida Andes, the Perija, and the Santa Marta ranges. The southern edge of the nonsubducting Caribbean plate underthrusts northern Venezuela to about the width of the coastal mountains (Miller et al., 2009). We infer that the underthrust Caribbean plate supports the coastal mountains, and controls continuing deformation.

  15. A geophysical potential field study to image the Makran subduction zone in SE of Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abedi, Maysam; Bahroudi, Abbas

    2016-10-01

    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 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.

  16. Fossil intermediate-depth earthquakes in subducting slabs linked to differential stress release

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scambelluri, Marco; Pennacchioni, Giorgio; Gilio, Mattia; Bestmann, Michel; Plümper, Oliver; Nestola, Fabrizio

    2017-12-01

    The cause of intermediate-depth (50-300 km) seismicity in subduction zones is uncertain. It is typically attributed either to rock embrittlement associated with fluid pressurization, or to thermal runaway instabilities. Here we document glassy pseudotachylyte fault rocks—the products of frictional melting during coseismic faulting—in the Lanzo Massif ophiolite in the Italian Western Alps. These pseudotachylytes formed at subduction-zone depths of 60-70 km in poorly hydrated to dry oceanic gabbro and mantle peridotite. This rock suite is a fossil analogue to an oceanic lithospheric mantle that undergoes present-day subduction. The pseudotachylytes locally preserve high-pressure minerals that indicate an intermediate-depth seismic environment. These pseudotachylytes are important because they are hosted in a near-anhydrous lithosphere free of coeval ductile deformation, which excludes an origin by dehydration embrittlement or thermal runaway processes. Instead, our observations indicate that seismicity in cold subducting slabs can be explained by the release of differential stresses accumulated in strong dry metastable rocks.

  17. Using thermal and compositional modeling to assess the role of water in Alaskan flat slab subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, S. E.; Porter, R. C.; Hoisch, T. D.

    2017-12-01

    Although plate tectonic theory is well established in the geosciences, the mechanisms and details of various plate-tectonics related phenomena are not always well understood. In some ( 10%) convergent plate boundaries, subduction of downgoing oceanic plates is characterized by low angle geometries and is termed "flat slab subduction." The mechanism(s) driving this form of subduction are not well understood. The goal of this study is to explore the role that water plays in these flat slab subduction settings. This is important for a better understanding of the behavior of these systems and for assessing volcanic hazards associated with subduction and slab rollback. In southern Alaska, the Pacific Plate is subducting beneath the North American plate at a shallow angle. This low-angle subduction within the region is often attributed to the subduction of the Yakutat block, a terrane accreting to the south-central coast of Alaska. This flat slab region is bounded by the Aleution arc to the west and the strike-slip Queen Charlotte fault to the east. Temperature and compositional models for a 500-km transect across this subduction zone in Alaska were run for ten million years (the length of time that flat slab subduction has been ongoing in Alaska) and allow for interpretation of present-day conditions at depth. This allows for an evaluation of two hypotheses regarding the role of water in flat-slab regions: (1) slab hydration and dehydration help control slab buoyancy which influences whether flat slab subduction will be maintained or ended. (2) slab hydration/dehydration of the overlying lithosphere impacts deformation within the upper plate as water encourages plate deformation. Preliminary results from thermal modeling using Thermod8 show that cooling of the mantle to 500 °C is predicted down to 100 km depth at 10 million years after the onset of low-angle subduction (representing present-day). Results from compositional modeling in Perple_X show the maximum amount

  18. Contrast of lithospheric dynamics across the southern and eastern margins of the Tibetan Plateau: a numerical study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yujun; Fan, Taoyuan; Wu, Zhonghai

    2018-05-01

    Both of the southern and eastern margins of the Tibetan Plateau are bounded by the cratonic blocks (Indian plate and Sichuan basin). However, there are many differences in tectonic deformation, lithospheric structure and surface heat flow between these two margins. What dynamics cause these differences? With the constraints of the lithospheric structure and surface heat flow across the southern and eastern margins of Tibetan Plateau, we constructed 2-D thermal-mechanical finite-element models to investigate the dynamics across these two margins. The results show that the delamination of mantle lithosphere beneath the Lhasa terrane in Oligocene and the rheological contrast between the Indian and Tibetan crust are the two main factors that control the subduction of the Indian plate. The dynamics across the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau are different from the southern margin. During the lateral expansion of the Tibetan Plateau, pure shear thickening is the main deformation characteristic for the Songpan-Ganzi lithosphere. This thickening results in the reduction of geothermal gradient and surface heat flow. From this study, it can be seen that the delamination of the mantle lithosphere and the rheological contrast between the Tibetan Plateau and its bounding blocks are the two main factors that control the lithospheric deformation and surface heat flow.

  19. Flexural modeling of the elastic lithosphere at an ocean trench: A parameter sensitivity analysis using analytical solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras-Reyes, Eduardo; Garay, Jeremías

    2018-01-01

    The outer rise is a topographic bulge seaward of the trench at a subduction zone that is caused by bending and flexure of the oceanic lithosphere as subduction commences. The classic model of the flexure of oceanic lithosphere w (x) is a hydrostatic restoring force acting upon an elastic plate at the trench axis. The governing parameters are elastic thickness Te, shear force V0, and bending moment M0. V0 and M0 are unknown variables that are typically replaced by other quantities such as the height of the fore-bulge, wb, and the half-width of the fore-bulge, (xb - xo). However, this method is difficult to implement with the presence of excessive topographic noise around the bulge of the outer rise. Here, we present an alternative method to the classic model, in which lithospheric flexure w (x) is a function of the flexure at the trench axis w0, the initial dip angle of subduction β0, and the elastic thickness Te. In this investigation, we apply a sensitivity analysis to both methods in order to determine the impact of the differing parameters on the solution, w (x). The parametric sensitivity analysis suggests that stable solutions for the alternative approach requires relatively low β0 values (rise bulge. The alternative method is a more suitable approach, assuming that accurate geometric information at the trench axis (i.e., w0 and β0) is available.

  20. Subduction-like fluids in the genesis of Mt. Etna magmas: evidence from boron isotopes and fluid mobile elements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonarini, Sonia; Armienti, Pietro; D'Orazio, Massimo; Innocenti, Fabrizio

    2001-11-01

    New whole-rock B, Sr, Nd isotope ratios and 87Sr/ 86Sr on clinopyroxenes have been collected to study the enrichment of fluid mobile elements (FMEs) observed in Mt. Etna volcanics. Etna volcano, one of the most active in the world, is located in an extremely complex tectonic context at the boundary between colliding African and European plates. The analytical work focuses on current (1974-1998) and historic (1851-1971) eruptive activity, including some key prehistoric lavas, in order to interpret the secular shift of its geochemical signature to more alkaline compositions. Boron is used as a tool to unravel the role of fluids in the genesis of magmas, revealing far-reaching consequences, beyond the case study of Mt. Etna. Small variations are observed in δ 11B (-3.5 to -8.0‰), 87Sr/ 86Sr (0.70323-0.70370), and 143Nd/ 144Nd (0.51293-0.51287). Moreover, temporal evolution to higher δ 11B and 87Sr/ 86Sr, and to lower 143Nd/ 144Nd, is observed in the current activity, defining a regular trend. Sr isotopic equilibrium between whole-rock and clinopyroxene pairs indicates the successive introduction of three distinct magma types into the Etna plumbing system over time; these are characterized by differing degrees of FME enrichment. In addition, certain lavas exhibit evidence for country rock assimilation, magma-fluid interaction, or magma mixing in the shallow feeding system; at times these processes apparently lowered magmatic δ 11B and/or induced Sr isotopic disequilibrium between whole rock and clinopyroxene. The regular increase of δ 11B values is correlated with Nb/FME and 87Sr/ 86Sr ratios; these correlations are consistent with simple mixing between the mantle source and aqueous fluids derived from nearby Ionian slab. The best fit of Mt. Etna data is obtained using an enriched-MORB mantle source and a fluid phase with δ 11B of about -2‰ and 87Sr/ 86Sr of 0.708. We argue that the slab window generated by differential roll-back of subducting Ionian

  1. Lithospheric electrical structure of the middle Lhasa terrane in the south Tibetan plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Hongda; Jin, Sheng; Wei, Wenbo; Gao, Rui; Ye, Gaofeng; Zhang, Letian; Yin, Yaotian; Lu, Zhanwu

    2018-04-01

    The Lhasa terrane in southern Tibetan plateau is a huge tectono-magmatic belt and an important metallogenic belt. Its formation evolution process and mineralization are affected by the subduction of oceanic plate and subsequent continental collision. However, the evolution of Lhasa terrane has been a subject of much debate for a long time. The Lithospheric structure records the deep processes of the subduction of oceanic plate and continental collision. The magnetotelluric (MT) method can probe the sub-surface electrical conductivity, newly dense broadband and long period magnetotelluric data were collected along a south-north trending profile that across the Lhasa terrane at 88°-89°E. Dimensionality analyses demonstrated that the MT data can be interpreted using two-dimensional approaches, and the regional strike direction was determined as N110°E.Based on data analysis results, a two-dimensional (2-D) resistivity model of crust and upper mantle was derived from inversion of the transverse electric mode, transverse magnetic mode and vertical magnetic field data. Inversion model shows a large north-dipping resistor that extended from the upper crust to upper mantle beneath the Himalaya and the south of Lhasa Terrane, which may represent the subducting Indian continental lithosphere. The 31°N may be an important boundary in the Lhasa Terrane, the south performs a prominent high-conductivity anomaly from the lower crust to upper mantle which indicates the existence of asthenosphere upwelling, while the north performs a higher resistivity and may have a reworking ancient basement. The formation of the ore deposits in the study area may be related to the upwelling of the mantle material triggered by slab tearing and/or breaking off of the Indian lithosphere, and the mantle material input also contributed the total thickness of the present-day Tibetan crust. The results provide helpful constrains to understand the mechanism of the continent-continent collision and

  2. Seismic evidence of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary beneath Izu-Bonin area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, H.; Gao, Y.; Zhou, Y.

    2016-12-01

    The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB), separating the rigid lithosphere and the ductile asthenosphere layers, is the seismic discontinuity with the negative velocity contrast of the Earth's interior [Fischer et al., 2010]. The LAB has been also termed the Gutenberg (G) discontinuity that defines the top of the low velocity zone in the upper mantle [Gutenberg, 1959; Revenaugh and Jordan, 1991]. The seismic velocity, viscosity, resistivity and other physical parameters change rapidly with the depths across the boundary [Eaton et al., 2009]. Seismic detections on the LAB in subduction zone regions are of great help to understand the interactions between the lithosphere and asthenosphere layers and the geodynamic processes related with the slab subductions. In this study, the vertical broadband waveforms are collected from three deep earthquake events occurring from 2000 to 2014 with the focal depths of 400 600 km beneath the Izu-Bonin area. The waveform data is processed with the linear slant stack method [Zang and Zhou, 2002] to obtain the vespagrams in the relative travel-time to slowness domain and the stacked waveforms. The sP precursors reflected on the LAB (sLABP), which have the negative polarities with the amplitude ratios of 0.17 0.21 relative to the sP phases, are successfully extracted. Based on the one-dimensional modified velocity model (IASP91-IB), we obtain the distributions for six reflected points of the sLABP phases near the source region. Our results reveal that the LAB depths range between 58 and 65 km beneath the Izu-Bonin Arc, with the average depth of 62 km and the small topography of 7 km. Compared with the results of the tectonic stable areas in Philippine Sea [Kawakatsu et al., 2009; Kumar and Kawakatsu, 2011], the oceanic lithosphere beneath the Izu-Bonin Arc shows the obvious thinning phenomena. We infer that the lithospheric thinning is closely related with the partial melting, which is caused by the volatiles continuously released

  3. The Lithosphere-asthenosphere Boundary beneath the South Island of New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, J.; Fischer, K. M.; Savage, M. K.

    2017-12-01

    Lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) properties beneath the South Island of New Zealand have been imaged by Sp receiver function common-conversion point stacking. In this transpressional boundary between the Australian and Pacific plates, dextral offset on the Alpine fault and convergence have occurred for the past 20 My, with the Alpine fault now bounded by Australian plate subduction to the south and Pacific plate subduction to the north. This study takes advantage of the long-duration and high-density seismometer networks deployed on or near the South Island, especially 29 broadband stations of the New Zealand permanent seismic network (GeoNet). We obtained 24,980 individual receiver functions by extended-time multi-taper deconvolution, mapping to three-dimensional space using a Fresnel zone approximation. Pervasive strong positive Sp phases are observed in the LAB depth range indicated by surface wave tomography (Ball et al., 2015) and geochemical studies. These phases are interpreted as conversions from a velocity decrease across the LAB. In the central South Island, the LAB is observed to be deeper and broader to the west of the Alpine fault. The deeper LAB to the west of the Alpine fault is consistent with oceanic lithosphere attached to the Australian plate that was partially subducted while also translating parallel to the Alpine fault (e.g. Sutherland, 2000). However, models in which the Pacific lithosphere has been underthrust to the west past the Alpine fault cannot be ruled out. Further north, a zone of thin lithosphere with a strong and vertically localized LAB velocity gradient occurs to the west of the fault, juxtaposed against a region of anomalously weak LAB conversions to the east of the fault. This structure, similar to results of Sp imaging beneath the central segment of the San Andreas fault (Ford et al., 2014), also suggests that lithospheric blocks with contrasting LAB properties meet beneath the Alpine fault. The observed variations in

  4. Paleomagnetism and tectonic evolution of the Pan-African Damara Belt, southern Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    McWilliams, M. O.; KröNer, A.

    1981-06-01

    Paleomagnetic results are reported from the Nosib, Otavi, and Mulden groups of the Damara Supergroup, a late Precambrian shelf sequence on the southern margin of the Congo craton in Namibia. Three magnetizations were isolated in the Nosib group samples. In order of decreasing blocking temperature they are NQ1 (n = 6 sites, λ = 28°N, ϕ = 323°E, α95 = 15°), NQ2 (n = 7 sites, λ = 51°S, ϕ = 213°E, α95 = 12°), and NQ3 (n = 13 samples, λ = 09°N, ϕ = 295°E, α95 = 13°). Overall precision of all three magnetizations upon tectonic correction suggests that they predate Pan-African (650-450 Ma) folding. Two magnetizations were isolated in the Otavi group samples, above the Nosib in stratigraphic sequence. The DC1 component of possible prefolding age (n = 4 sites, λ = 52°S, ϕ = 186°E, α95 = 35°) has been over-printed by the DC2 magnetization (n = 10 sites, λ = 55°S, ϕ = 044°E, α95 = 15°) of probable postfolding age. A single magnetization of probable pre-folding age was isolated in the overlying Mulden Group samples (n = 6 sites, λ = 12°S, ϕ = 090°E, α95 = 16°). Together with previously published paleomagnetic data from Africa, the new data showed that no great relative movements have occurred between the Congo and Kalahari cratons during the interval of Pan-African tectonism in the Damara belt (McElhinny and McWilliams, 1977). Continental collision preceded by large relative displacements and closure of a wide ocean (e.g., a Himalayan analog) is effectively ruled out for the Damara belt. We develop an alternative model consistent with the available paleomagnetic and geologic data, which invokes rifting, heating, and stretching of the lithosphere underneath the Damara belt, followed by delamination of the subcrustal lithosphere. Hot asthenospheric material rises to take the place of the detached and sinking lithospheric base, inducing subduction and interstacking of continental crust. The much thickened continental crust is partially melted

  5. Sub-Moho Reflectors, Mantle Faults and Lithospheric Rheology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, L. D.

    2013-12-01

    One of the most unexpected and dramatic observations from the early years of deep reflection profiling of the continents using multichannel CMP techniques was the existing of prominent reflections from the upper mantle. The first of these, the Flannan thrust/fault/feature, was traced by marine profiling of the continental margin offshore Britain by the BIRPS program, which soon found them to be but one of several clear sub-crustal discontinuities in that area. Subsequently, similar mantle reflectors have been observed in many areas around the world, most commonly beneath Precambrian cratonic areas. Many, but not all, of these mantle reflections appear to arise from near the overlying Moho or within the lower crust before dipping well into the mantle. Others occur as subhorizontal events at various depths with the mantle, with one suite seeming to cluster at a depth of about 75 km. The dipping events have been variously interpreted as mantle roots of crustal normal faults or the deep extension of crustal thrust faults. The most common interpretation, however, is that these dipping events are the relicts of ancient subduction zones, the stumps of now detached Benioff zones long since reclaimed by the deeper mantle. In addition to the BIRPS reflectors, the best known examples include those beneath Fennoscandia in northern Europe, the Abitibi-Grenville of eastern Canada, and the Slave Province of northwestern Canada (e.g. on the SNORCLE profile). The most recently reported example is from beneath the Sichuan Basin of central China. The preservation of these coherent, and relatively delicate appearing, features beneath older continental crust and presumably within equally old (of not older) mantle lithosphere, has profound implications for the history and rheology of the lithosphere in these areas. If they represent, as widely believe, some form of faulting with the lithosphere, they provide corollary constraints on the nature of faulting in both the lower crust and

  6. Geodynamic inversion to constrain the non-linear rheology of the lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumann, T. S.; Kaus, Boris J. P.

    2015-08-01

    , we first perform a geodynamic inversion of a synthetic forward model of intraoceanic subduction with known parameters. This requires solving an inverse problem with 14-16 parameters, depending on whether temperature is assumed to be known or not. With the help of a massively parallel direct-search combined with a Markov Chain Monte Carlo method, solving the inverse problem becomes feasible. Results show that the rheological parameters and particularly the effective viscosity structure of the lithosphere can be reconstructed in a probabilistic sense. This also holds, with somewhat larger uncertainties, for the case where the temperature distribution is parametrized. Finally, we apply the method to a cross-section of the India-Asia collision system. In this case, the number of parameters is larger, which requires solving around 1.9 × 106 forward models. The resulting models fit the data within their respective uncertainty bounds, and show that the Indian mantle lithosphere must have a high viscosity. Results for the Tibetan plateau are less clear, and both models with a weak Asian mantle lithosphere and with a weak Asian lower crust fit the data nearly equally well.

  7. Rifting Thick Lithosphere - Canning Basin, Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czarnota, Karol; White, Nicky

    2016-04-01

    The subsidence histories and architecture of most, but not all, rift basins are elegantly explained by extension of ~120 km thick lithosphere followed by thermal re-thickening of the lithospheric mantle to its pre-rift thickness. Although this well-established model underpins most basin analysis, it is unclear whether the model explains the subsidence of rift basins developed over substantially thick lithosphere (as imaged by seismic tomography beneath substantial portions of the continents). The Canning Basin of Western Australia is an example where a rift basin putatively overlies lithosphere ≥180 km thick, imaged using shear wave tomography. Subsidence modelling in this study shows that the entire subsidence history of the account for the observed subsidence, at standard crustal densities, the lithospheric mantle is required to be depleted in density by 50-70 kg m-3, which is in line with estimates derived from modelling rare-earth element concentrations of the ~20 Ma lamproites and global isostatic considerations. Together, these results suggest that thick lithosphere thinned to > 120 km is thermally stable and is not accompanied by post-rift thermal subsidence driven by thermal re-thickening of the lithospheric mantle. Our results show that variations in lithospheric thickness place a fundamental control on basin architecture. The discrepancy between estimates of lithospheric thickness derived from subsidence data for the western Canning Basin and those derived from shear wave tomography suggests that the latter technique currently is limited in its ability to resolve lithospheric thickness variations at horizontal half-wavelength scales of <300 km.

  8. Earth's evolving subcontinental lithospheric mantle: inferences from LIP continental flood basalt geochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenough, John D.; McDivitt, Jordan A.

    2018-04-01

    Archean and Proterozoic subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SLM) is compared using 83 similarly incompatible element ratios (SIER; minimally affected by % melting or differentiation, e.g., Rb/Ba, Nb/Pb, Ti/Y) for >3700 basalts from ten continental flood basalt (CFB) provinces representing nine large igneous provinces (LIPs). Nine transition metals (TM; Fe, Mn, Sc, V, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn) in 102 primitive basalts (Mg# = 0.69-0.72) from nine provinces yield additional SLM information. An iterative evaluation of SIER values indicates that, regardless of age, CFB transecting Archean lithosphere are enriched in Rb, K, Pb, Th and heavy REE(?); whereas P, Ti, Nb, Ta and light REE(?) are higher in Proterozoic-and-younger SLM sources. This suggests efficient transfer of alkali metals and Pb to the continental lithosphere perhaps in association with melting of subducted ocean floor to form Archean tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite terranes. Titanium, Nb and Ta were not efficiently transferred, perhaps due to the stabilization of oxide phases (e.g., rutile or ilmenite) in down-going Archean slabs. CFB transecting Archean lithosphere have EM1-like SIER that are more extreme than seen in oceanic island basalts (OIB) suggesting an Archean SLM origin for OIB-enriched mantle 1 (EM1). In contrast, OIB high U/Pb (HIMU) sources have more extreme SIER than seen in CFB provinces. HIMU may represent subduction-processed ocean floor recycled directly to the convecting mantle, but to avoid convective homogenization and produce its unique Pb isotopic signature may require long-term isolation and incubation in SLM. Based on all TM, CFB transecting Proterozoic lithosphere are distinct from those cutting Archean lithosphere. There is a tendency for lower Sc, Cr, Ni and Cu, and higher Zn, in the sources for Archean-cutting CFB and EM1 OIB, than Proterozoic-cutting CFB and HIMU OIB. All CFB have SiO2 (pressure proxy)-Nb/Y (% melting proxy) relationships supporting low pressure, high % melting

  9. Spatial variations of effective elastic thickness of the Lithosphere in the Southeast Asia regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Xiaobin; Kirby, Jon; Yu, Chuanhai; Swain, Chris; Zhao, Junfeng

    2016-04-01

    Burma block also has a strong lithosphere. To the west of the Indochina Block, there is a significant nearly NS-trending weak zone (Te Malay Peninsula, where lies the suture zones and the Thai-Malay Tin Granite Belt due to convergence and post-collisional magmatism of the Indochina and the Sibumasu blocks. The result shows that the northern Australia is of very high strength with Te > 70 km. The ongoing subduction systems, such as the Sumatra and Java subduction systems show moderate to high Te values. The results also show that the negative gravity anomaly caused by slender thick sediment could affect the Te results derived from Spectral method, and should be corrected during data preparation.

  10. Structure of the Cascadia Subduction Zone Imaged Using Surface Wave Tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaeffer, A. J.; Audet, P.

    2017-12-01

    Studies of the complete structure of the Cascadia subduction zone from the ridge to the arc have historically been limited by the lack of offshore ocean bottom seismograph (OBS) infrastructure. On land, numerous dense seismic deployments have illuminated detailed structures and dynamics associated with the interaction between the subducting oceanic plate and the overriding continental plate, including cycling of fluids, serpentinization of the overlying forearc mantle wedge, and the location of the upper surface of the Juan de Fuca plate as it subducts beneath the Pacific Northwest. In the last half-decade, the Cascadia Initiative (CI), along with Neptune (ONC) and several other OBS initiatives, have instrumented both the continental shelf and abyssal plains off shore of the Cascadia subduction zone, facilitating the construction of a complete picture of the subduction zone from ridge to trench and volcanic arc. In this study, we present a preliminary azimuthally anisotropic surface-wave phase-velocity based model of the complete system, capturing both the young, unaltered Juan de Fuca plate from the ridge, to its alteration as it enters the subduction zone, in addition to the overlying continent. This model is constructed from a combination of ambient noise cross-correlations and teleseismic two station interferometry, and combines together concurrently running offshore OBS and onshore stations. We furthermore perform a number of representative 1D depth inversions for shear velocity to categorize the pristine oceanic, subducted oceanic, and continental crust and lithospheric structure. In the future the dispersion dataset will be jointly inverted with receiver functions to constrain a 3D shear-velocity model of the complete region.

  11. Dry Juan de Fuca slab revealed by quantification of water entering Cascadia subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canales, J. P.; Carbotte, S. M.; Nedimovic, M. R.; Carton, H. D.

    2017-12-01

    Water is carried by subducting slabs as a pore fluid and in structurally bound minerals, yet no comprehensive quantification of water content and how it is stored and distributed at depth within incoming plates exists for any segment of the global subduction system. Here we use controlled-source seismic data collected in 2012 as part of the Ridge-to-Trench seismic experiment to quantify the amount of pore and structurally bound water in the Juan de Fuca plate entering the Cascadia subduction zone. We use wide-angle OBS seismic data along a 400-km-long margin-parallel profile 10-15 km seaward from the Cascadia deformation front to obtain P-wave tomography models of the sediments, crust, and uppermost mantle, and effective medium theory combined with a stochastic description of crustal properties (e.g., temperature, alteration assemblages, porosity, pore aspect ratio), to analyze the pore fluid and structurally bound water reservoirs in the sediments, crust and lithospheric mantle, and their variations along the Cascadia margin. Our results demonstrate that the Juan de Fuca lower crust and mantle are much drier than at any other subducting plate, with most of the water stored in the sediments and upper crust. Previously documented, variable but limited bend faulting along the margin, which correlates with degree of plate locking, limits slab access to water, and a warm thermal structure resulting from a thick sediment cover and young plate age prevents significant serpentinization of the mantle. Our results have important implications for a number of subduction processes at Cascadia, such as: (1) the dryness of the lower crust and mantle indicates that fluids that facilitate episodic tremor and slip must be sourced from the subducted upper crust; (2) decompression rather than hydrous melting must dominate arc magmatism in northern-central Cascadia; and (3) dry subducted lower crust and mantle can explain the low levels of intermediate-depth seismicity in the Juan de

  12. The effect of a realistic thermal diffusivity on numerical model of a subducting slab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maierova, P.; Steinle-Neumann, G.; Cadek, O.

    2010-12-01

    A number of numerical studies of subducting slab assume simplified (constant or only depth-dependent) models of thermal conductivity. The available mineral physics data indicate, however, that thermal diffusivity is strongly temperature- and pressure-dependent and may also vary among different mantle materials. In the present study, we examine the influence of realistic thermal properties of mantle materials on the thermal state of the upper mantle and the dynamics of subducting slabs. On the basis of the data published in mineral physics literature we compile analytical relationships that approximate the pressure and temperature dependence of thermal diffusivity for major mineral phases of the mantle (olivine, wadsleyite, ringwoodite, garnet, clinopyroxenes, stishovite and perovskite). We propose a simplified composition of mineral assemblages predominating in the subducting slab and the surrounding mantle (pyrolite, mid-ocean ridge basalt, harzburgite) and we estimate their thermal diffusivity using the Hashin-Shtrikman bounds. The resulting complex formula for the diffusivity of each aggregate is then approximated by a simpler analytical relationship that is used in our numerical model as an input parameter. For the numerical modeling we use the Elmer software (open source finite element software for multiphysical problems, see http://www.csc.fi/english/pages/elmer). We set up a 2D Cartesian thermo-mechanical steady-state model of a subducting slab. The model is partly kinematic as the flow is driven by a boundary condition on velocity that is prescribed on the top of the subducting lithospheric plate. Reology of the material is non-linear and is coupled with the thermal equation. Using the realistic relationship for thermal diffusivity of mantle materials, we compute the thermal and flow fields for different input velocity and age of the subducting plate and we compare the results against the models assuming a constant thermal diffusivity. The importance of the

  13. a New Animation of Subduction Processes for Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Dehydration-driven topotaxy in subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padrón-Navarta, José Alberto; Tommasi, Andréa; Garrido, Carlos J.

    2014-05-01

    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

  15. Dynamics of subduction, accretion, exhumation and slab roll-back: Mediterranean scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirel, C.; Brun, J.; Burov, E. B.; Wortel, M. J.; Lebedev, S.

    2010-12-01

    A dynamic orogen reveals various tectonic processes brought about by subduction: accretion of oceanic and continental crust, exhumation of UHP-HP rocks, and often, back-arc extension. In the Mediterranean, orogeny is strongly affected by slab retreat, as in the Aegean and Tyrrhenian Seas. In order to examine the different dynamic processes in a self-consistent manner, we perform a parametric study using the fully coupled thermo-mechanical numerical code PARAFLAM. The experiments reproduce a subduction zone in a slab pull mode, with accretion of one (the Tyrrhenian case) and two continental blocks (the Aegean case) that undergo, in sequence, thrusting, burial and exhumation. The modeling shows that despite differences in structure between the two cases, the deformation mechanisms are fundamentally similar and can be described as follows. The accretion of a continental block at the trench beneath the suture zone begins with its burial to UHP-HP conditions and thrusting. Then the continental block is delaminated from its subducting lithosphere. During the subduction-accretion process, the angle of the subducting slab increases due to the buoyancy of the continental block. When the oceanic subduction resumes, the angle of the slab decreases to reach a steady-state position. The Aegean and Tyrrhenian scenarios diverge at this stage, due naturally to the differences of their accretion history. When continental accretion is followed by oceanic subduction only, the continental block that has been accreted and detached stays at close to the trench and does not undergo further deformation, despite the continuing rollback. The extensional deformation is located further within the overriding plate, resulting in continental breakup and the development of an oceanic basin, as in the Tyrrhenian domain. When the continental accretion is followed first by oceanic subduction and then by accretion of another continental block, however, the evolution of the subduction zone is

  16. Diapir versus along-channel ascent of crustal material during plate convergence: constrained by the thermal structure of subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, M. Q.; Li, Z. H.

    2017-12-01

    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. The crustal rocks 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 channel; 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. Thick overriding continental plate and 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, thin overriding lithosphere and 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. This may corresponds to the origination of continental arc volcanism from mafic to ultramafic metasomatites in the bottom of the mantle wedge. In addition, the plate

  17. Lithium inputs to subduction zones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouman, C.; Elliott, T.R.; Vroon, P.Z.

    2004-01-01

    We have studied the sedimentary and basaltic inputs of lithium to subduction zones. Various sediments from DSDP and ODP drill cores in front of the Mariana, South Sandwich, Banda, East Sunda and Lesser Antilles island arcs have been analysed and show highly variable Li contents and δ

  18. A numerical model of mantle convection with deformable, mobile continental lithosphere within three-dimensional spherical geometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, M.

    2010-12-01

    A new numerical simulation model of mantle convection with a compositionally and rheologically heterogeneous, deformable, mobile continental lithosphere is presented for the first time by using three-dimensional regional spherical-shell geometry (Yoshida, 2010, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett.). The numerical results revealed that one of major factor that realizes the supercontinental breakup and subsequent continental drift is a pre-existing, weak (low-viscosity) continental margin (WCM) in the supercontinent. Characteristic tectonic structures such as young orogenic belts and suture zones in a continent are expected to be mechanically weaker than the stable part of the continental lithosphere with the cratonic root (or cratonic lithosphere) and yield lateral viscosity variations in the continental lithosphere. In the present-day Earth's lithosphere, the pre-existing, mechanically weak zones emerge as a diffuse plate boundary. However, the dynamic role of the WCM in the stability of continental lithosphere has not been understood in terms of geophysics. In my numerical model, a compositionally buoyant and highly viscous continental assemblage with pre-existing WCMs, analogous to the past supercontinent, is modeled and imposed on well-developed mantle convection whose vigor of convection, internal heating rate, and rheological parameters are appropriate for the Earth's mantle. The visco-plastic oceanic lithosphere and the associated subduction of oceanic plates are incorporated. The time integration of the advection of continental materials with zero chemical diffusion is performed by a tracer particle method. The time evolution of mantle convection after setting the model supercontinent is followed over 800 Myr. Earth-like continental drift is successfully reproduced, and the characteristic thermal interaction between the mantle and the continent/supercontinent is observed in my new numerical model. Results reveal that the WCM protects the cratonic lithosphere from being

  19. Subducted slabs and lateral viscosity variations: effects on the long-wavelength geoid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tosi, Nicola; Čadek, Ondřej; Martinec, Zdeněk

    2009-11-01

    The characteristic broad local maxima exhibited by the long-wavelength geoid over subduction zones are investigated with a numerical model of mantle flow. In a spherical axisymmetric geometry, a synthetic model of buoyancy driven subduction is used to test the effects on the geoid caused by the depth of penetration of the lithosphere into the mantle, by the viscosity stratification and by lateral viscosity variations (LVV) in the lithosphere, upper and lower mantle. The presence of anomalous slab density in the lower mantle guarantees geoid amplitudes comparable with the observations, favouring the picture of slabs that penetrate the transition zone and sink into the deep mantle. The viscosity of the lower mantle controls the long-wavelength geoid to the first order, ensuring a clear positive signal when it is at least 30-times greater than the upper-mantle viscosity. The presence of LVV in the lithosphere, in the form of weak plate margins, helps to increase the contribution of the surface topography, causing a pronounced reduction of the geoid. Localized LVV associated with the cold slab play a secondary role if they are in the upper mantle. On the other hand, highly viscous slabs in the lower mantle exert a large influence on the geoid. They cause its amplitude to increase dramatically, way beyond the values typically observed over subduction zones. Long-wavelength flow becomes less vigorous as the slab viscosity increases. Deformation in the upper mantle becomes more localized and power is transferred to short wavelengths, causing the long-wavelength surface topography to diminish and the total geoid to increase. Slabs may be then weakened in the lower mantle or retain their high viscosity while other mechanisms act to lower the geoid. It is shown that a phase change from perovskite to post-perovskite above the core-mantle boundary can cause the geoid to reduce significantly, thereby helping to reconcile models and observations.

  20. Multiple-frequency tomography of the upper mantle beneath the African/Iberian collision zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnin, Mickaël; Nolet, Guust; Villaseñor, Antonio; Gallart, Josep; Thomas, Christine

    2014-09-01

    During the Cenozoic, the geodynamics of the western Mediterranean domain has been characterized by a complex history of subduction of Mesozoic oceanic lithosphere. The final stage of these processes is proposed to have led to the development of the Calabria and Gibraltar arcs, whose formation is still under debate. In this study, we take advantage of the dense broad-band station networks now available in the Alborán Sea region, to develop a high-resolution 3-D tomographic P velocity model of the upper mantle beneath the African/Iberian collision zone that will better constraint the past dynamics of this zone. The model is based on 13200 teleseismic arrival times recorded between 2008 and 2012 at 279 stations for which cross-correlation delays are measured with a new technique in different frequency bands centred between 0.03 and 1.0 Hz, and for the first time interpreted using multiple frequency tomography. Our model shows, beneath the Alborán Sea, a strong (4 per cent) fast vertically dipping anomaly observed to at least 650 km depth. The arched shape of this anomaly, and its extent at depth, are coherent with a lithospheric slab, thus favouring the hypothesis of a westward consumption of the Ligurian ocean slab by roll-back during Cenozoic. In addition to this fast anomaly in the deep upper mantle, high intensity slow anomalies are widespread in the lithosphere and asthenosphere beneath Morocco and southern Spain. These anomalies are correlated at the surface with the position of the Rif and Atlas orogens and with Cenozoic volcanic fields. We thus confirm the presence, beneath Morocco, of an anomalous (hot?) upper mantle, but without clear indication for a lateral spreading of the Canary plume to the east.

  1. Tomography of the upper mantle beneath the African/Iberian collision zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mickael, B.; Nolet, G.; Villasenor, A.; Josep, G.; Thomas, C.

    2013-12-01

    During Cenozoic, geodynamics of the western Mediterranean domain has been characterized by a complex history of subduction of Mesozoic oceanic lithosphere. The final stage of these processes is proposed to have led to the development of the Calabria and Gibraltar arcs, whose formation is still under debate. In this study we take advantage of the dense broadband-station networks now available in Alborán Sea region, to develop a high-resolution 3D tomographic P velocity model of the upper mantle beneath the African/Iberian collision zone that will bring new constraints on the past dynamics of this zone. The model is based on 13200 teleseismic arrival times recorded between 2008 and 2012 at 279 stations for which cross-correlation delays are measured with a new technique in different frequency bands centered between 0.03 and 1.0 Hz, and interpreted using multiple frequency tomography. Our model shows, beneath Alborán Sea, a strong (~ 4%) fast vertically dipping anomaly observed to at least 650 km depth. The arched shape of this anomaly and its extent at depth are coherent with a lithospheric slab, thus favoring the hypothesis of a westward consumption of the Ligurian ocean slab by roll-back during Cenozoic. In addition to this fast anomaly in the deep upper-mantle, several high intensity slow anomalies are widely observed in the lithosphere and asthenosphere beneath Morocco and southern Spain. These anomalies are correlated at surface with the position of the orogens (Rif and Atlas) and with Cenozoic volcanic fields. We thus confirm the presence, beneath Morocco, of an anomalous (hot) upper mantle, with piece of evidence for a lateral connection with the Canary volcanic islands, likely indicating a lateral spreading of the Canary plume to the east.

  2. Lithospheric architecture of the South-Western Alps revealed by multiparameter teleseismic full-waveform inversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beller, S.; Monteiller, V.; Operto, S.; Nolet, G.; Paul, A.; Zhao, L.

    2018-02-01

    The Western Alps, although being intensively investigated, remains elusive when it comes to determining its lithospheric structure. New inferences on the latter are important for the understanding of processes and mechanisms of orogeny needed to unravel the dynamic evolution of the Alps. This situation led to the deployment of the CIFALPS temporary experiment, conducted to address the lack of seismological data amenable to high-resolution seismic imaging of the crust and the upper mantle. We perform a 3-D isotropic full-waveform inversion (FWI) of nine teleseismic events recorded by the CIFALPS experiment to infer 3-D models of both density and P- and S-wave velocities of the Alpine lithosphere. Here, by FWI is meant the inversion of the full seismograms including phase and amplitude effects within a time window following the first arrival up to a frequency of 0.2 Hz. We show that the application of the FWI at the lithospheric scale is able to generate images of the lithosphere with unprecedented resolution and can furnish a reliable density model of the upper lithosphere. In the shallowest part of the crust, we retrieve the shape of the fast/dense Ivrea body anomaly and detect the low velocities of the Po and SE France sedimentary basins. The geometry of the Ivrea body as revealed by our density model is consistent with the Bouguer anomaly. A sharp Moho transition is followed from the external part (30 km depth) to the internal part of the Alps (70-80 km depth), giving clear evidence of a continental subduction event during the formation of the Alpine Belt. A low-velocity zone in the lower lithosphere of the S-wave velocity model supports the hypothesis of a slab detachment in the western part of the Alps that is followed by asthenospheric upwelling. The application of FWI to teleseismic data helps to fill the gap of resolution between traditional imaging techniques, and enables integrated interpretations of both upper and lower lithospheric structures.

  3. Impact of lithospheric rheology on surface topography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, K.; Becker, T. W.

    2017-12-01

    The expression of mantle flow such as due to a buoyant plume as surface topography is a classical problem, yet the role of rheological complexities could benefit from further exploration. Here, we investigate the topographic expressions of mantle flow by means of numerical and analytical approaches. In numerical modeling, both conventional, free-slip and more realistic, stress-free boundary conditions are applied. For purely viscous rheology, a high viscosity lithosphere will lead to slight overestimates of topography for certain settings, which can be understood by effectively modified boundary conditions. Under stress-free conditions, numerical and analytical results show that the magnitude of dynamic topography decreases with increasing lithosphere thickness (L) and viscosity (ηL), as L-1 and ηL-3. The wavelength of dynamic topography increases linearly with L and (ηL/ ηM) 1/3. We also explore the time-dependent interactions of a rising plume with the lithosphere. For a layered lithosphere with a decoupling weak lower crust embedded between stronger upper crust and lithospheric mantle, dynamic topography increases with a thinner and weaker lower crust. The dynamic topography saturates when the decoupling viscosity is 3-4 orders lower than the viscosity of upper crust and lithospheric mantle. We further explore the role of visco-elastic and visco-elasto-plastic rheologies.

  4. S-Wave's Velocities of the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere System in the Caribbean Region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonzalez, O'Leary; Alvarez, Jose Leonardo; Moreno, Bladimir; Panza, Giuliano F.

    2010-06-01

    An overview of the S-wave velocity (Vs) structural model of the Caribbean is presented with a resolution of 2 o x2 o . As a result of the frequency time analysis (FTAN) of more than 400 trajectories epicenter-stations in this region, new tomographic maps of Rayleigh waves group velocity dispersion at periods ranging from 10 s to 40 s have been determined. For each 2 o x2 o cell, group velocity dispersion curves were determined and extended to 150 s adding data from a larger scale tomographic study (Vdovin et al., 1999). Using, as independent a priori information, the available geological and geophysical data of the region, each dispersion curve has been mapped, by non-linear inversion, into a set of Vs vs. depth models in the depth range from 0 km to 300 km. Due to the non-uniqueness of the solutions for each cell a Local Smoothness Optimization (LSO) has been applied to the whole region to identify a tridimensional model of Vs vs. depth in cells of 2 o x2 o , thus satisfying the Occam razor concept. Through these models some main features of the lithosphere and asthenosphere are evidenced, such as: the west directed subduction zone of the eastern Caribbean region with a clear mantle wedge between the Caribbean lithosphere and the subducted slab; the complex and asymmetric behavior of the crustal and lithospheric thickness in the Cayman ridge; the diffused presence of oceanic crust in the region; the presence of continental type crust in the South America, Central America and North America plates, as well as the bottom of the upper asthenosphere that gets shallower going from west to east. (author)

  5. The viscosity of Earth's lower mantle inferred from sinking speed of subducted lithosphere

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Čížková, H.; van den Berg, A.P.; Spakman, W.; Matyska, C.

    2012-01-01

    The viscosity of the mantle is indispensable for predicting Earth's mechanical behavior at scales ranging from deep mantle material flow to local stress accumulation in earthquakes zones. But, mantle viscosity is not well determined. For the lower mantle, particularly, only few constraints result

  6. Reconciling the shadow of a subduction signature with rift geochemistry and tectonic environment in Eastern Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeMasurier, Wesley E.; Choi, Sung Hi; Hart, Stanley R.; Mukasa, Sam; Rogers, Nick

    2016-09-01

    Basalt-trachyte volcanoes in the Marie Byrd Land (MBL) Cenozoic province lie along the Amundsen Sea coast on the north flank of the West Antarctic rift. Basalts here are characterized by OIB-like geochemistry, restricted ranges of 87Sr/86Sr (0.702535-0.703284) and 143Nd/144Nd (0.512839-0.513008) and a wide range of 206Pb/204Pb (19.357-20.934). Basalts at three MBL volcanoes display two anomalies compared with the above and with all other basalts in West Antarctica. They include 143Nd/144Nd (0.512778-0.512789) values at Mt. Takahe and Mt. Siple that are 2σ lower than other West Antarctic basalts, and Ba/Nb, Ba/La, and Ba/Th values at Mt. Murphy and Mt. Takahe that are 3-8 times higher than normal OIB. Isotope and trace element data do not support crustal and lithospheric mantle contamination, or the presence of residual mantle amphibole or phlogopite as explanations of these anomalies. The apparent coincidence of these anomalies with the site of a pre-Cenozoic convergence zone along the Gondwanaland margin suggests a subduction influence. Major episodes of subduction and granitic plutonism took place in MBL during the Devonian, Permian, and Late Cretaceous. Relicts in the source region, of components from these subducted slabs, provide a credible explanation for the uncoupling of Ba from other large ion lithophile elements (LILE), for its erratic distribution, and for the anomalously low 143Nd/144Nd at Mt. Takahe. The last episode of subduction ended 85 Ma, and was followed by continental break-up, rifting and lithospheric attenuation that produced the West Antarctic rift as we know it today. Thus, the enigmatic geochemical signatures in these three volcanoes seem to have been preserved roughly 61-85 m.y. after subduction ended. New calculations of source melting depth and a new determination of lithospheric thickness suggest that the source of the anomalies resides in a fossil mélange diapir that rose from the Cretaceous subducting slab, became attached to the

  7. Trench Advance By the Subduction of Buoyant Features - Application to the Izu-Bonin-Marianas Arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goes, S. D. B.; Fourel, L.; Morra, G.

    2014-12-01

    Most subduction trenches retreat, not only today but throughout the Cenozoic. However, a few trenches clearly advance during part of the evolution, including Izu-Bonin Marianas (IBM) and Kermadec. Trench retreat is well understood as a basic consequence of slab pull, but it is debated what causes trench advance. The IBM trench underwent a complex evolution: right after its initiation, it rotated clockwise, leading to very fast retreat in the north and slow retreat in the south. But since 10-15 Ma, IBM trench motions have switched to advance at the southern end, and since 5 Ma also the northern end is advancing. Based on 2-D subduction models, it has been proposed proposed that the change in age of the subducting plate at the IBM trench (from 40-70 m.y. at the initiation of the trench 45 m.y. ago to 100-140 m.y. lithosphere subducting at the trench today) and its effect on plate strength could explain the transition from trench retreat to trench advance, and that the age gradient (younger in the north and older in the south) could explain the rotation of the trench. However, with new 3-D coupled fluid-solid subduction model where we can include such lateral age gradients, we find that this does not yield the observed behaviour. Instead, we propose an alternative mechanism, involving the subduction of the buoyant Caroline Island Ridge at the southern edge of the Mariana trench and show that it can explain both trench motion history and the current morphology of the IBM slab as imaged by seismic tomography.

  8. Teleseismic P-wave tomography of the Sunda-Banda Arc subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, C. W.; Miller, M. S.; Widiyantoro, S.; Supendi, P.; O'Driscoll, L.; Roosmawati, N.; Porritt, R.

    2017-12-01

    The Sunda-Banda Arc is the site of multiple ongoing tectonic deformation processes and is perhaps the best example of the transition from subduction of oceanic lithosphere to an active arc-continent collision. Investigating the mantle structure that has resulted from the collision of continental Australia, as well as the concurrent phenomena of continental subduction, slab-rollback, lithospheric tearing, and subduction polarity reversal is possible through seismic tomography. While both regional scale and global tomographic models have previously been constructed to study the tectonics this region, here we use 250 seismic stations that span the length of this convergent margin to invert for P-wave velocity perturbations in the upper mantle. We combine data from a temporary deployment of 30 broadband instruments as part of the NSF-funded Banda Arc Project, along with data from permanent broadband stations maintained by the Meteorological, Climatological, and Geophysical Agency of Indonesia (BMKG) to image mantle structure, in particular the subducted Indo-Australian plate. The BMKG dataset spans 2009-2017 and includes >200 broadband seismometers. The Banda Arc array (network YS) adds coverage and resolution to southeastern Indonesia and Timor-Leste, where few permanent seismometers are located but the Australian continent-Banda Arc collision is most advanced. The preliminary model was computed using 50,000 teleseismic P-wave travel-time residuals and 3D finite frequency sensitivity kernels. Results from the inversion of the combined dataset are presented as well as resolution tests to assess the quality of the model. The velocity model shows an arcuate Sunda-Banda slab with morphological changes along strike that correlate with the tectonic collision. The model also features the double-sided Molucca Sea slab and regions of high velocity below the bottom of the transition zone. The resolution added by the targeted USC deployment is clear when comparing models that

  9. Mantle hydration and Cl-rich fluids in the subduction forearc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynard, Bruno

    2016-12-01

    In the forearc region, aqueous fluids are released from the subducting slab at a rate depending on its thermal state. Escaping fluids tend to rise vertically unless they meet permeability barriers such as the deformed plate interface or the Moho of the overriding plate. Channeling of fluids along the plate interface and Moho may result in fluid overpressure in the oceanic crust, precipitation of quartz from fluids, and low Poisson ratio areas associated with tremors. Above the subducting plate, the forearc mantle wedge is the place of intense reactions between dehydration fluids from the subducting slab and ultramafic rocks leading to extensive serpentinization. The plate interface is mechanically decoupled, most likely in relation to serpentinization, thereby isolating the forearc mantle wedge from convection as a cold, potentially serpentinized and buoyant, body. Geophysical studies are unique probes to the interactions between fluids and rocks in the forearc mantle, and experimental constrains on rock properties allow inferring fluid migration and fluid-rock reactions from geophysical data. Seismic velocities reveal a high degree of serpentinization of the forearc mantle in hot subduction zones, and little serpentinization in the coldest subduction zones because the warmer the subduction zone, the higher the amount of water released by dehydration of hydrothermally altered oceanic lithosphere. Interpretation of seismic data from petrophysical constrain is limited by complex effects due to anisotropy that needs to be assessed both in the analysis and interpretation of seismic data. Electrical conductivity increases with increasing fluid content and temperature of the subduction. However, the forearc mantle of Northern Cascadia, the hottest subduction zone where extensive serpentinization was first demonstrated, shows only modest electrical conductivity. Electrical conductivity may vary not only with the thermal state of the subduction zone, but also with time for

  10. Late Miocene Pacific plate kinematic change explained with coupled global models of mantle and lithosphere dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stotz, I. L.; Iaffaldano, G.; Davies, D. R.

    2017-07-01

    The timing and magnitude of a Pacific plate motion change within the past 10 Ma remains enigmatic, due to the noise associated with finite-rotation data. Nonetheless, it has been hypothesized that this change was driven by the arrival of the Ontong Java Plateau (OJP) at the Melanesian arc and the consequent subduction polarity reversal. The uncertainties associated with the timing of this event, however, make it difficult to quantitatively demonstrate a dynamical association. Here, we first reconstruct the Pacific plate's absolute motion since the mid-Miocene (15 Ma), at high-temporal resolution, building on previous efforts to mitigate the impact of finite-rotation data noise. We find that the largest change in Pacific plate-motion direction occurred between 10 and 5 Ma, with the plate rotating clockwise. We subsequently develop and use coupled global numerical models of the mantle/lithosphere system to test hypotheses on the dynamics driving this change. These indicate that the arrival of the OJP at the Melanesian arc, between 10 and 5 Ma, followed by a subduction polarity reversal that marked the initiation of subduction of the Australian plate underneath the Pacific realm, were the key drivers of this kinematic change.

  11. Permeability Barrier Generation in the Martian Lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schools, Joe; Montési, Laurent

    2015-11-01

    Permeability barriers develop when a magma produced in the interior of a planet rises into the cooler lithosphere and crystallizes more rapidly than the lithosphere can deform (Sparks and Parmentier, 1991). Crystallization products may then clog the porous network in which melt is propagating, reducing the permeability to almost zero, i.e., forming a permeability barrier. Subsequent melts cannot cross the barrier. Permeability barriers have been useful to explain variations in crustal thickness at mid-ocean ridges on Earth (Magde et al., 1997; Hebert and Montési, 2011; Montési et al., 2011). We explore here under what conditions permeability barriers may form on Mars.We use the MELTS thermodynamic calculator (Ghiorso and Sack, 1995; Ghiorso et al., 2002; Asimow et al., 2004) in conjunction with estimated Martian mantle compositions (Morgan and Anders, 1979; Wänke and Dreibus, 1994; Lodders and Fegley, 1997; Sanloup et al., 1999; Taylor 2013) to model the formation of permeability barriers in the lithosphere of Mars. In order to represent potential past and present conditions of Mars, we vary the lithospheric thickness, mantle potential temperature (heat flux), oxygen fugacity, and water content.Our results show that permeability layers can develop in the thermal boundary layer of the simulated Martian lithosphere if the mantle potential temperature is higher than ~1500°C. The various Martian mantle compositions yield barriers in the same locations, under matching variable conditions. There is no significant difference in barrier location over the range of accepted Martian oxygen fugacity values. Water content is the most significant influence on barrier development as it reduces the temperature of crystallization, allowing melt to rise further into the lithosphere. Our lower temperature and thicker lithosphere model runs, which are likely the most similar to modern Mars, show no permeability barrier generation. Losing the possibility of having a permeability

  12. Geothermics of the Apenninic subduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Zito

    1997-06-01

    Full Text Available The subduction of the Adriatic microplate is analysed from a geothermal point of view. In particular four main geodynamic units are distinguished: foreland, foredeep and slab, accretionary prism, and back-arc basin. Each of them is examined from a geothermal point of view and the related open question are discussed. The most relevant results are the determination of the undisturbed geothermal gradient in the aquifer of the foreland; the discovery of a « hot » accretionary prism; and a new model of instantaneous extension of the back-arc basins. The main conclusion is that geothermal data are consistent with a westward dipping subduction that migrated eastward producing a sequence of several episodes at the surface.

  13. Building and Modification of the Continental Lithosphere: the History of the Contiguous U.S. as told by MLDs and LABs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopper, E.; Fischer, K. M.

    2016-12-01

    The lithosphere preserves a record of past and present tectonic processes in its internal structures and its boundary with the underlying asthenosphere. We use common conversion point stacked Sp converted waves recorded by EarthScope's Transportable Array, as well as other available permanent and temporary broadband stations, to image such structures in the lithospheric mantle of the contiguous U.S. In the tectonically youngest western U.S., a shallow, sharp velocity gradient at the base of the lithosphere suggests a boundary defined by ponded melt. The lithosphere thickens with age of volcanism, implying the lithosphere is a melt-mitigated, conductively cooling thermal boundary layer. Beneath older, colder lithosphere where melt fractions are likely much lower, the velocity gradient at the base of such a layer should be a more diffuse, primarily thermal boundary. This is consistent with observations in the eastern U.S. where the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) is locally sharp and shallower only in areas of inferred enhanced upwelling - such as ancient hot spot tracks and areas of inferred delamination. In the cratonic interior, the LAB is even more gradual in depth, and is transparent to Sp waves with dominant periods of 10 s. Although seismic imaging only provides a snapshot of the lithosphere as it is today, preserved internal structures extend the utility of this imaging back into deep geological time. Ancient accretion within the cratonic lithospheric mantle is preserved as dipping structures associated with relict subducted slabs from Paleoproterozoic continental accretion, suggesting that lateral accretion was integral to the cratonic mantle root formation process. Metasomatism, melt migration and ponding below a carbonated peridotite solidus explain a sub-horizontal mid-lithospheric discontinuity (MLD) commonly observed at 70-100 km depth. This type of MLD is strongest in Mesoproterozoic and older lithosphere, suggesting that it formed more

  14. A rapid method to map the crustal and lithospheric thickness using elevation, geoid anomaly and thermal analysis. Application to the Gibraltar Arc System, Atlas Mountains and adjacent zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fullea, J.; Fernàndez, M.; Zeyen, H.; Vergés, J.

    2007-02-01

    We present a method based on the combination of elevation and geoid anomaly data together with thermal field to map crustal and lithospheric thickness. The main assumptions are local isostasy and a four-layered model composed of crust, lithospheric mantle, sea water and the asthenosphere. We consider a linear density gradient for the crust and a temperature dependent density for the lithospheric mantle. We perform sensitivity tests to evaluate the effect of the variation of the model parameters and the influence of RMS error of elevation and geoid anomaly databases. The application of this method to the Gibraltar Arc System, Atlas Mountains and adjacent zones reveals the presence of a lithospheric thinning zone, SW-NE oriented. This zone affects the High and Middle Atlas and extends from the Canary Islands to the eastern Alboran Basin and is probably linked with a similarly trending zone of thick lithosphere constituting the western Betics, eastern Rif, Rharb Basin, and Gulf of Cadiz. A number of different, even mutually opposite, geodynamic models have been proposed to explain the origin and evolution of the study area. Our results suggest that a plausible slab-retreating model should incorporate tear and asymmetric roll-back of the subducting slab to fit the present-day observed lithosphere geometry. In this context, the lithospheric thinning would be caused by lateral asthenospheric flow. An alternative mechanism responsible for lithospheric thinning is the presence of a hot magmatic reservoir derived from a deep ancient plume centred in the Canary Island, and extending as far as Central Europe.

  15. Extreme Hf-Os Isotope Compositions in Hawaiian Peridotite Xenoliths: Evidence for an Ancient Recycled Lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bizimis, M.; Lassiter, J. C.; Salters, V. J.; Sen, G.; Griselin, M.

    2004-12-01

    ) melt depletion event recorded by both the low 187Os/186Os and high 176Hf/177Hf ratios in the SLC peridotites can be explained with two different scenarios. First, the SLC peridotites may represent ancient depleted lithosphere that survived subduction, remained "rafting" in the upper mantle and is now sampled beneath Oahu. However, the lack of such unradiogenic Os isotopes in both MORBs and abyssal peridotites suggests that such peridotites are rare in the upper mantle and makes their exclusive presence under Oahu a rather fortuitous coincidence. Alternatively, the SLC peridotites may represent ancient depleted recycled lithosphere brought up by the Hawaiian plume. A recycled oceanic crust origin has been previously invoked for the Koolau shield lavas. It is then conceivable that fragments of the lithospheric portion of that subducted package have remained coupled with the oceanic crust and are being brought up by the plume from the deep, but because they were previously depleted, these peridotites contribute minimally, if at all, to Hawaiian volcanism. The presence of microdiamonds and majoritic garnets in some SLC pyroxenites also corroborates a deep origin. In this case, the SLC peridotites represent the first-ever direct evidence that subducted material actually makes it back on the surface, essentially closing the subduction cycle.

  16. Highly CO2-supersaturated melts in the Pannonian lithospheric mantle - A transient carbon reservoir?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Créon, Laura; Rouchon, Virgile; Youssef, Souhail; Rosenberg, Elisabeth; Delpech, Guillaume; Szabó, Csaba; Remusat, Laurent; Mostefaoui, Smail; Asimow, Paul D.; Antoshechkina, Paula M.; Ghiorso, Mark S.; Boller, Elodie; Guyot, François

    2017-08-01

    Subduction of carbonated crust is widely believed to generate a flux of carbon into the base of the continental lithospheric mantle, which in turn is the likely source of widespread volcanic and non-volcanic CO2 degassing in active tectonic intracontinental settings such as rifts, continental margin arcs and back-arc domains. However, the magnitude of the carbon flux through the lithosphere and the budget of stored carbon held within the lithospheric reservoir are both poorly known. We provide new constraints on the CO2 budget of the lithospheric mantle below the Pannonian Basin (Central Europe) through the study of a suite of xenoliths from the Bakony-Balaton Highland Volcanic Field. Trails of secondary fluid inclusions, silicate melt inclusions, networks of melt veins, and melt pockets with large and abundant vesicles provide numerous lines of evidence that mantle metasomatism affected the lithosphere beneath this region. We obtain a quantitative estimate of the CO2 budget of the mantle below the Pannonian Basin using a combination of innovative analytical and modeling approaches: (1) synchrotron X-ray microtomography, (2) NanoSIMS, Raman spectroscopy and microthermometry, and (3) thermodynamic models (Rhyolite-MELTS). The three-dimensional volumes reconstructed from synchrotron X-ray microtomography allow us to quantify the proportions of all petrographic phases in the samples and to visualize their textural relationships. The concentration of CO2 in glass veins and pockets ranges from 0.27 to 0.96 wt.%, higher than in typical arc magmas (0-0.25 wt.% CO2), whereas the H2O concentration ranges from 0.54 to 4.25 wt.%, on the low end for estimated primitive arc magmas (1.9-6.3 wt.% H2O). Trapping pressures for vesicles were determined by comparing CO2 concentrations in glass to CO2 saturation as a function of pressure in silicate melts, suggesting pressures between 0.69 to 1.78 GPa. These values are generally higher than trapping pressures for fluid inclusions

  17. Water Content in the SW USA Mantle Lithosphere: FTIR Analysis of Dish Hill and Kilbourne Hole Pyroxenites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibler, Robert; Peslier, Anne H.; Schaffer, Lillian Aurora; Brandon, Alan D.

    2014-01-01

    Kilbourne Hole (NM, USA) and Dish Hill (CA, USA) mantle xenoliths sample continental mantle in two different tectonic settings. Kilbourne Hole (KH) is located in the Rio Grande rift. Dish Hill (DH) is located in the southern Mojave province, an area potentially affected by subduction of the Farallon plate beneath North America. FTIR analyses were obtained on well characterized pyroxenite, dunite and wehrlite xenoliths, thought to represent crystallized melts at mantle depths. PUM normalized REE patterns of the KH bulk-rocks are slightly LREE enriched and consistent with those of liquids generated by 6% melting of a spinel peridotite source. Pyroxenite pyroxenes have no detectable water but one DH wehrlite, which bulk-rock is LREE enriched, has 4 ppm H2O in orthopyroxene and 2 Ga. The Farallon subduction appears to have enriched in water the southwestern United States lithospheric mantle further east than DH, beneath the Colorado plateau.

  18. Structure of the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary Onshore and Offshore the California Continental Margin from Three-Dimensional Seismic Anisotropy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, C. D.; Escobar, L., Sr.; Rathnayaka, S.; Weeraratne, D. S.; Kohler, M. D.

    2016-12-01

    The California continental margin, a major transform plate boundary in continental North America, is the locus of complex tectonic stress fields that are important in interpreting both remnant and ongoing deformational strain. Ancient subduction of the East Pacific Rise spreading center, the rotation and translation of tectonic blocks and inception of the San Andreas fault all contribute to the dynamic stress fields located both onshore and offshore southern California. Data obtained by the ALBACORE (Asthenospheric and Lithospheric Broadband Architecture from the California Offshore Region Experiment) and the CISN (California Integrated Seismic Network) seismic array are analyzed for azimuthal anisotropy of Rayleigh waves from 80 teleseismic events at periods 16 - 78 s. Here we invert Rayleigh wave data for shear wave velocity structure and three-dimensional seismic anisotropy in the thee regions designated within the continental margin including the continent, seafloor and California Borderlands. Preliminary results show that seismic anisotropy is resolved in multiple layers and can be used to determine the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) in offshore and continental regions. The oldest seafloor in our study at age 25-35 Ma indicates that the anisotropic transition across the LAB occurs at 73 km +/- 25 km with the lithospheric fast direction oriented WNW-ESE, consistent with current Pacific plate motion direction. The continent region west of the San Andreas indicates similar WNW-ESE anisotropy and LAB depth. Regions east of the San Andreas fault indicate NW-SE anisotropy transitioning to a N-S alignment at 80 km depth north of the Garlock fault. The youngest seafloor (15 - 25 Ma) and outer Borderlands indicate a more complex three layer fabric where shallow lithospheric NE-SW fast directions are perpendicular with ancient Farallon subduction arc, a mid-layer with E-W fast directions are perpendicular to remnant fossil fabric, and the deepest layer

  19. Geochemistry of subduction zone serpentinites: A review

    OpenAIRE

    DESCHAMPS, Fabien; GODARD, Marguerite; GUILLOT, Stéphane; HATTORI, Kéiko

    2013-01-01

    Over the last decades, numerous studies have emphasized the role of serpentinites in the subduction zone geodynamics. Their presence and role in subduction environments are recognized through geophysical, geochemical and field observations of modern and ancient subduction zones and large amounts of geochemical database of serpentinites have been created. Here, we present a review of the geochemistry of serpentinites, based on the compilation of ~ 900 geochemical data of abyssal, mantle wedge ...

  20. Global thermal models of the lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cammarano, F.; Guerri, M.

    2017-12-01

    Unraveling the thermal structure of the outermost shell of our planet is key for understanding its evolution. We obtain temperatures from interpretation of global shear-velocity (VS) models. Long-wavelength thermal structure is well determined by seismic models and only slightly affected by compositional effects and uncertainties in mineral-physics properties. Absolute temperatures and gradients with depth, however, are not well constrained. Adding constraints from petrology, heat-flow observations and thermal evolution of oceanic lithosphere help to better estimate absolute temperatures in the top part of the lithosphere. We produce global thermal models of the lithosphere at different spatial resolution, up to spherical-harmonics degree 24, and provide estimated standard deviations. We provide purely seismic thermal (TS) model and hybrid models where temperatures are corrected with steady-state conductive geotherms on continents and cooling model temperatures on oceanic regions. All relevant physical properties, with the exception of thermal conductivity, are based on a self-consistent thermodynamical modelling approach. Our global thermal models also include density and compressional-wave velocities (VP) as obtained either assuming no lateral variations in composition or a simple reference 3-D compositional structure, which takes into account a chemically depleted continental lithosphere. We found that seismically-derived temperatures in continental lithosphere fit well, overall, with continental geotherms, but a large variation in radiogenic heat is required to reconcile them with heat flow (long wavelength) observations. Oceanic shallow lithosphere below mid-oceanic ridges and young oceans is colder than expected, confirming the possible presence of a dehydration boundary around 80 km depth already suggested in previous studies. The global thermal models should serve as the basis to move at a smaller spatial scale, where additional thermo-chemical variations

  1. Nature of the basement of the East Anatolian plateau: Implications for the lithospheric foundering processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Topuz, G.; Candan, O.; Zack, T.; Yılmaz, A.

    2017-12-01

    The East Anatolian Plateau (Turkey) is characterized by (1) an extensive volcanic-sedimentary cover of Neogene to Quaternary age, (2) crustal thicknesses of 42-50 km, and (3) an extremely thinned lithospheric mantle. Its basement beneath the young cover is thought to consist of oceanic accretionary complexes of Late Cretaceous to Oligocene age. The attenuated state of the lithospheric mantle and the causes of the young volcanism are accounted for by slab steepening and subsequent break-off. We present field geological, petrological and geochronological data on three basement inliers (Taşlıçay, Akdağ and Ilıca) in the region. These areas are made up of amphibolite- to granulite-facies rocks, comprising marble, amphibolite, metapelite, quartzite and metagranite. The granulite-facies domain is equilibrated at 0.7 GPa and 800 ˚C at 83 ± 2 Ma (2σ). The metamorphic rocks are intruded by subduction-related coeval gabbroic, quartz monzonitic to tonalitic rocks. Both the metamorphic rocks and the intrusions are tectonically overlain by ophiolitic rocks. All these crystalline rocks are unconformably overlain by lower Maastrichtien clastic rocks and reefal limestone, suggesting that the exhumation at the earth's surface and juxtaposition with ophiolitic rocks occurred by early Maastrichtien. U-Pb dating on igneous zircon from metagranite yielded a protolith age of 445 ± 10 Ma (2σ). The detrital zircons from a metaquartzite point to Neoproterozoic to Early Paleozoic provenance. All these data favor a more or less continuous continental substrate to the allochthonous ophiolitic rocks beneath the young volcanic-sedimentary cover. The metamorphism and coeval magmatism can be regarded as the middle- to lower-crustal root of the Late Cretaceous magmatic arc that developed due to northward subduction along the Bitlis-Zagros suture. The presence of a continental basement beneath the young cover requires that the loss of the lithospheric mantle from beneath the East

  2. Teleseismic P and S wave attenuation constraints on temperature and melt of the upper mantle in the Alaska Subduction Zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto Castaneda, R. A.; Abers, G. A.; Eilon, Z.; Christensen, D. H.

    2017-12-01

    Recent broadband deployments in Alaska provide an excellent opportunity to advance our understanding of the Alaska-Aleutians subduction system, with implications for subduction processes worldwide. Seismic attenuation, measured from teleseismic body waves, provides a strong constraint on thermal structure as well as an indirect indication of ground shaking expected from large intermediate-depth earthquakes. We measure P and S wave attenuation from pairwise amplitude and phase spectral ratios for teleseisms recorded at 204 Transportable Array, Alaska Regional, and Alaska Volcano Observatory, SALMON (Southern Alaska Lithosphere & Mantle Observation Network) and WVLF (Wrangell Volcanics & subducting Lithosphere Fate) stations in central Alaska. The spectral ratios are inverted in a least squares sense for differential t* (path-averaged attenuation operator) and travel time anomalies at every station. Our preliminary results indicate a zone of low attenuation across the forearc and strong attenuation beneath arc and backarc in the Cook Inlet-Kenai region where the Aleutian-Yakutat slab subducts, similar to other subduction zones. This attenuation differential is observed in both the volcanic Cook Inlet segment and amagmatic Denali segments of the Aleutian subduction zone. By comparison, preliminary results for the Wrangell-St. Elias region past the eastern edge of the Aleutian slab show strong attenuation beneath the Wrangell Volcanic Field, as well as much further south than in the Cook Inlet-Kenai region. This pattern of attenuation seems to indicate a short slab fragment in the east of the subduction zone, though the picture is complex. Results also suggest the slab may focus or transmit energy with minimal attenuation, adding to the complexity. To image the critical transition between the Alaska-Aleutian slab and the region to its east, we plan to incorporate new broadband data from the WVLF array, an ongoing deployment of 37 PASSCAL instruments installed in 2016

  3. Three-Dimensional Rheological Structure of North China Craton Determined by Integration of Multiple observations: Controlling Role for Lithospheric Rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, X.; Shan, B.; Li, Y.

    2017-12-01

    The North China Craton (NCC) has undergone significant lithospheric rejuvenation in late Mesozoic and Cenozoic, one feature of which is the widespread extension and rifting. The extension is distinct between the two parts of NCC: widespread rifting in the eastern NCC and localized narrow rifting in the west. The mechanism being responsible for this difference is uncertain and highly debated. Since lithospheric deformation can be regarded as the response of lithosphere to various dynamic actions, the rheological properties of lithosphere must have a fundamental influence on its tectonics and deformation behavior. In this study, we investigated the 3D thermal and rheological structure of NCC by developing a model integrating several geophysical observables (such as surface heatflow, regional elevation, gravity and geoid anomalies, and seismic tomography models). The results exhibit obvious lateral variation in rheological structure between the eastern and western NCC. The overall lithospheric strength is higher in the western NCC than in the east. Despite of such difference in rheology, both parts of NCC are characterized by mantle dominated strength regime, which facilitates the development of narrow rifting. Using ancient heatflow derived from mantle xenoliths studies, and taking the subduction-related dehydration reactions during Mesozoic into account, we constructed the thermal and rheological structure of NCC in Ordovician, early Cretaceous and early Cenozoic. Combining the evidence from numerical simulations, we proposed an evolution path of the rifting in NCC. The lithosphere of NCC in Ordovician was characterized by a normal craton features: low geotherm, high strength and mantle dominated regime. During Jurassic and Cretaceous, the mantle lithosphere in the eastern NCC was hydrated by fluid released by the suduction of the Pacific plate, resulting in weakening of the lithosphere and a transition from mantle dominated to crust dominated regime, which

  4. Mid-ocean ridge serpentinite in the Puerto Rico Trench: Accretion, alteration, and subduction of Cretaceous seafloor in the Atlantic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, F.; Marschall, H.; Bowring, S. A.; Horning, G.

    2016-12-01

    Serpentinite is believed to be one of the main carriers of water and fluid mobile elements into subduction zones, but direct evidence for serpentinite subduction has been elusive. The Antilles island arc is one of only two subduction zones worldwide that recycles slow-spreading oceanic lithosphere where descending serpentinite is both exposed by faulting and directly accessible on the seafloor. Here we examined serpentinized peridotites dredged from the North Wall of the Puerto Rico Trench (NWPRT) to assess their formation and alteration history and discuss geological ramifications resulting from their emplacement and subduction. Lithospheric accretion and serpentinization occurred, as indicated by U-Pb geochronology of hydrothermally altered zircon, at the Cretaceous Mid-Atlantic Ridge (CMAR). In addition to lizardite-rich serpentinites with pseudomorphic textures after olivine and pyroxene typical for static serpentinization at slow spreading mid-ocean ridges, recovered samples include non-pseudomorphic antigorite-rich serpentinites that are otherwise typically associated with peridotite at convergent plate boundaries. Antigorite-serpentinites have considerably lower Fe(III)/Fetot and lower magnetic susceptibilities than lizardite-serpentinites with comparable Fetot contents. Rare earth element (REE) contents of lizardite-serpentinites decrease linearly with increasing Fe(III)/Fetot of whole rock samples, suggesting that oxidation during seafloor weathering of serpentinite releases REEs to seawater. Serpentinized peridotites recorded multifaceted igneous and high- to low-temperature hydrothermal processes that involved extensive chemical, physical, and mineralogical modifications of their peridotite precursors with strong implications for our understanding of the accretion, alteration, and subduction of slow-spreading oceanic lithosphere.

  5. The lithospheric mantle below southern West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sand, Karina Krarup; Waight, Tod Earle; Pearson, D. Graham

    2009-01-01

    Geothermobarometry of primarily garnet lherzolitic xenoliths from several localities in southern West Greenland is applied to address the diamond potential, pressure and temperature distribution and the stratigraphy of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle ~600 Ma ago. The samples are from kimbe...... into the reworked Archean North of the Naqssugtoqidian deformation front....

  6. The continental lithosphere: a geochemical perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hawkesworth, C.J.; Person, G.; Turner, S.P.; Calsteren, P. Van; Gallagher, K.

    1993-01-01

    The lithosphere is the cool strong outler layer of the Earth that is effectively a boundary layer to the convecting interior. The evidence from mantle xenoliths and continental basalts is that the lower continental crust and uppermost mantle are different beneath Archaen and proterozoic areas. Mantle xenoliths from Archaen terrains, principally the Kaapvaal craton in southern Africa, are significantly depleted in Fe and other major elements which are concentrated in basalts. Nd and Os isotope data on inclusions in diamonds and peridoties respectively, indicate that such mantle is as old as the overlying Archaen crust. Since it appears to have been coupled to the overlying crust, and to have been isolated from the homogenising effects of convection for long periods of time, it is inferred to be within the continental lithosphere. The mantle lithosphere beneath Proterozoic and younger areas is less depleted in major elements, and so it is more fertile, less buoyant, and therefore thinner, than the Archaen mantle lithosphere. (author). 136 refs, 14 figs

  7. Antarctic Lithosphere Studies: Progress, Problems and Promise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalziel, I. W. D.; Wilson, T. J.

    2017-12-01

    In the sixty years since the International Geophysical Year, studies of the Antarctic lithosphere have progressed from basic geological observations and sparse geophysical measurements to continental-scale datasets of radiometric dates, ice thickness, bedrock topography and characteristics, seismic imaging and potential fields. These have been augmented by data from increasingly dense broadband seismic and geodetic networks. The Antarctic lithosphere is known to have been an integral part, indeed a "keystone" of the Pangea ( 250-185Ma) and Gondwanaland ( 540-180 Ma) supercontinents. It is widely believed to have been part of hypothetical earlier supercontinents Rodinia ( 1.0-0.75 Ga) and Columbia (Nuna) ( 2.0-1.5 Ga). Despite the paucity of exposure in East Antarctica, the new potential field datasets have emboldened workers to extrapolate Precambrian geological provinces and structures from neighboring continents into Antarctica. Hence models of the configuration of Columbia and its evolution into Rodinia and Gondwana have been proposed, and rift-flank uplift superimposed on a Proterozoic orogenic root has been hypothesized to explain the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains. Mesozoic-Cenozoic rifting has imparted a strong imprint on the West Antarctic lithosphere. Seismic tomographic evidence reveals lateral variation in lithospheric thickness, with the thinnest zones within the West Antarctic rift system and underlying the Amundsen Sea Embayment. Upper mantle low velocity zones are extensive, with a deeper mantle velocity anomaly underlying Marie Byrd Land marking a possible mantle plume. Misfits between crustal motions measured by GPS and GIA model predictions can, in part, be linked with the changes in lithosphere thickness and mantle rheology. Unusually high uplift rates measured by GPS in the Amundsen region can be interpreted as the response of regions with thin lithosphere and weak mantle to late Holocene ice mass loss. Horizontal displacements across the TAM

  8. How weak is the subduction zone interface?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duarte, João C.; Schellart, Wouter P.; Cruden, Alexander R.

    2015-01-01

    Several lines of evidence suggest that subduction zones are weak and that the unique availability of water on Earth is a critical factor in the weakening process. We have evaluated the strength of subduction zone interfaces using two approaches: (i) from empirical relationships between shear stress

  9. Estimating lithospheric properties at Atla Regio, Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Roger J.

    1994-01-01

    Magellan spehrical harmonic gravity and topography models are used to estimate lithospheric properties at Alta Regio, Venus, a proposed hotspot with dynamic support from mantle plume(s). Global spherical harmonic and local representations of the gravity field share common properties in the Atla region interms of their spectral behavior over a wavelength band from approximately 2100 to approximately 700 km. The estimated free-air admittance spectrum displays a rather featureless long-wavelength portion followed by a sharp rise at wavelengths shorter than about 1000 km. This sharp rise requires significant flexural support of short-wavelength structures. The Bouguer coherence also displays a sharp drop in this wavelength band, indicating a finite flexural rigidity of the lithosphere. A simple model for lithospheric loading from above and below is introduced (D. W. Forsyth, 1985) with four parameters: f, the ratio of bottom loading to top loading; z(sub m), crustal thickness; z(sub l) depth to bottom loading source; and T(sub e) elastic lithosphere thickness. A dual-mode compensation model is introduced in which the shorter wavelengths (lambda approximately less than 1000 km) might be explained best by a predominance of top loading by the large shield volcanoes Maat Mons, Ozza Mons, and Sapas Mons, and the longer wavelengths (lambda approximately greater than 1500 km) might be explained best by a deep depth of compensation, possibly representing bottom loading by a dynamic source. A Monte Carlo inversion technique is introduced to thoroughly search out the four-space of the model parameters and to examine parameter correlation in the solutions. Venus either is a considerabe deficient in heat sources relative to Earth, or the thermal lithosphere is overthickened in response to an earlier episode of significant heat loss from the planet.

  10. Neogene subduction beneath Java, Indonesia: Slab tearing and changes in magmatism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cottam, Michael; Hall, Robert; Cross, Lanu; Clements, Benjamin; Spakman, Wim

    2010-05-01

    Java is a Neogene calc-alkaline volcanic island arc formed by the northwards subduction of the Indo-Australian Plate beneath Sundaland, the continental core of SE Asia. The island has a complex history of volcanism and displays unusual subduction characteristics. These characteristics are consistent with the subduction of a hole in the down going slab that was formed by the arrival of a buoyant oceanic plateau at the trench. Subduction beneath Java began in the Eocene. However, the position and character of the calc-alkaline arc has changed over time. An older Paleogene arc ceased activity in the Early Miocene. Volcanic activity resumed in the Late Miocene producing a younger arc to the north of the older arc, and continues to the present day. An episode of Late Miocene thrusting at about 7 Ma is observed throughout Java and appears to be linked to northward movement of the arc. Arc rocks display typical calc-alkaline characteristics and reflect melting of the mantle wedge and subducted sediments associated with high fluid fluxes. Between West Java and Bali the present arc-trench gap is unusually wide at about 300 km. Seismicity identifies subducted Indian Ocean lithosphere that dips north at about 20° between the trench and the arc and then dips more steeply at about 60-70° from 100 to 600 km depth. In East Java there is gap in seismicity between about 250 and 500 km. Seismic tomography shows that this gap is not an aseismic section of the subduction zone but a hole in the slab. East Java is also unusual in the presence of K-rich volcanoes, now inactive, to the north of the calc-alkaline volcanoes of the active arc. In contrast to the calc-alkaline volcanism of the main arc, these K-rich melts imply lower fluid fluxes and a different mantle source. We suggest that all these observations can be explained by the tearing of the subducting slab when a buoyant oceanic plateau arrived at the trench south of East Java at about 8 Ma. With the slab unable to subduct

  11. Formation of ridges in a stable lithosphere in mantle convection models with a viscoplastic rheology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozel, A; Golabek, G J; Näf, R; Tackley, P J

    2015-06-28

    Numerical simulations of mantle convection with a viscoplastic rheology usually display mobile, episodic or stagnant lid regimes. In this study, we report a new convective regime in which a ridge can form without destabilizing the surrounding lithosphere or forming subduction zones. Using simulations in 2-D spherical annulus geometry, we show that a depth-dependent yield stress is sufficient to reach this ridge only regime. This regime occurs when the friction coefficient is close to the critical value between mobile lid and stagnant lid regimes. Maps of convective regime as a function of the parameters friction coefficients and depth dependence of viscosity are provided for both basal heating and mixed heating situations. The ridge only regime appears for both pure basal heating and mixed heating mode. For basal heating, this regime can occur for all vertical viscosity contrasts, while for mixed heating, a highly viscous deep mantle is required.

  12. Asthenospheric and lithospheric sources for Mesozoic dolerites from Liberia (Africa): Trace element and isotopic evidence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dupuy, C.; Marsh, J.

    1988-01-01

    Combined elemental, and Sr and Nd isotopic data are presented for Mesozoic dolerite dikes of Liberia (Africa) which are related to the initial stage of opening of the Atlantic Ocean. The large scatter of both trace element and isotopic data allows the identification of five groups of dolerites which cannot be related to each other by simple processes of mineral fractionation from a common source. On the contrary, the observed chemical and isotopic variation within some dolerites (Groups I and II) may result either from variable degrees of melting of an isotopically heterogeneous source or mixing between enriched and depleted oceanic type mantle. For the other dolerites (Groups III-V) mixing with a third mantle source with more radiogenic Sr and with element ratios characteristic of subduction environments is suggested. This third source is probably the subcontinental lithospheric mantle. Finally, no significant modification by interaction with continental crust is apparent in most of the analyzed samples. (orig.)

  13. Solubility of Aragonite in Subduction Water-Rich Fluids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel, I.; Facq, S.; Petitgirard, S.; Cardon, H.; Sverjensky, D. A.

    2017-12-01

    Carbonate dissolution in subduction zone fluids is critical to the carbon budget in subduction zones. Depending on the solubility of carbonate minerals in aqueous fluids, the subducting lithosphere may be either strongly depleted and the mantle metasomatized if the solubility is high, as recently suggested by natural samples or transport carbon deeper into the Earth's mantle if the solubility is low enough [1, 2]. Dissolution of carbonate minerals strongly depends on pressure and temperature as well as on the chemistry of the fluid, leading to a highly variable speciation of aqueous carbon. Thanks to recent advances in theoretical aqueous geochemistry [3, 4], combined experimental and theoretical efforts now allow the investigation of speciation and solubility of carbonate minerals in aqueous fluids at PT conditions higher than previously feasible [4, 5]. In this study, we present new in situ X-ray fluorescence measurements of aragonite dissolution up to 5 GPa and 500°C and the subsequent thermodynamic model of aragonite solubility in aqueous fluids thanks to the Deep Earth Water model. The amount of dissolved aragonite in the fluid was calculated from challenging and unprecedented measurements of the Ca fluorescence K-lines at low-energy. Experiments were performed at the ESRF, beamline ID27 using a dedicated design of an externally-heated diamond anvil cell and an incident high-flux and highly focused monochromatic X-Ray beam at 20 keV. The results show a spectacularly high solubility of aragonite at HP-HT in water, further enhanced in presence of NaCl and silica in the solution. [1] Frezzotti, M. L. et al. (2011) doi:10.1038/ngeo1246. [2] Ague, J. J. and Nicolescu, S. (2014) doi:10.1038/ngeo2143. [3] Pan, D. et al. (2013) doi: 10.1073/pnas.1221581110. [4] Sverjensky, D. A et al. (2014) doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2013.12.019. [5] Facq, S. et al. (2014) doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2014.01.030.

  14. Testing the effects of basic numerical implementations of water migration on models of subduction dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinquis, M. E. T.; Buiter, S. J. H.

    2014-06-01

    Subduction of oceanic lithosphere brings water into the Earth's upper mantle. Previous numerical studies have shown how slab dehydration and mantle hydration can impact the dynamics of a subduction system by allowing a more vigorous mantle flow and promoting localisation of deformation in the lithosphere and mantle. The depths at which dehydration reactions occur in the hydrated portions of the slab are well constrained in these models by thermodynamic calculations. However, computational models use different numerical schemes to simulate the migration of free water. We aim to show the influence of the numerical scheme of free water migration on the dynamics of the upper mantle and more specifically the mantle wedge. We investigate the following three simple migration schemes with a finite-element model: (1) element-wise vertical migration of free water, occurring independent of the flow of the solid phase; (2) an imposed vertical free water velocity; and (3) a Darcy velocity, where the free water velocity is a function of the pressure gradient caused by the difference in density between water and the surrounding rocks. In addition, the flow of the solid material field also moves the free water in the imposed vertical velocity and Darcy schemes. We first test the influence of the water migration scheme using a simple model that simulates the sinking of a cold, hydrated cylinder into a dry, warm mantle. We find that the free water migration scheme has only a limited impact on the water distribution after 1 Myr in these models. We next investigate slab dehydration and mantle hydration with a thermomechanical subduction model that includes brittle behaviour and viscous water-dependent creep flow laws. Our models demonstrate that the bound water distribution is not greatly influenced by the water migration scheme whereas the free water distribution is. We find that a bound water-dependent creep flow law results in a broader area of hydration in the mantle wedge, which

  15. Testing the effects of the numerical implementation of water migration on models of subduction dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinquis, M. E. T.; Buiter, S. J. H.

    2013-10-01

    Subduction of oceanic lithosphere brings water into Earth's upper mantle. Previous numerical studies have shown how slab dehydration and mantle hydration can impact the dynamics of a subduction system by allowing a more vigorous mantle flow and promoting localisation of deformation in lithosphere and mantle. The depths at which dehydration reactions occur in the hydrated portions of the slab are well constrained in these models by thermodynamic calculations. However, the mechanism by which free water migrates in the mantle is incompletely known. Therefore, models use different numerical schemes to model the migration of free water. We aim to show the influence of the numerical scheme of free water migration on the dynamics of the upper mantle and more specifically the mantle wedge. We investigate the following three migration schemes with a finite-element model: (1) element-wise vertical migration of free water, occurring independent of the material flow; (2) an imposed vertical free water velocity; and (3) a Darcy velocity, where the free water velocity is calculated as a function of the pressure gradient between water and the surrounding rocks. In addition, the material flow field also moves the free water in the imposed vertical velocity and Darcy schemes. We first test the influence of the water migration scheme using a simple Stokes flow model that simulates the sinking of a cold hydrated cylinder into a hot dry mantle. We find that the free water migration scheme has only a limited impact on the water distribution after 1 Myr in these models. We next investigate slab dehydration and mantle hydration with a thermomechanical subduction model that includes brittle behaviour and viscous water-dependent creep flow laws. Our models show how the bound water distribution is not greatly influenced by the water migration scheme whereas the free water distribution is. We find that a water-dependent creep flow law results in a broader area of hydration in the mantle

  16. The thermal effects of steady-state slab-driven mantle flow above a subducting plate: the Cascadia subduction zone and backarc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currie, C. A.; Wang, K.; Hyndman, Roy D.; He, Jiangheng

    2004-06-01

    At subduction zones, geophysical and geochemical observations indicate that the arc and backarc regions are hot, in spite of the cooling effects of a subducting plate. At the well-studied Cascadia subduction zone, high mantle temperatures persist for over 500 km into the backarc, with little lateral variation. These high temperatures are even more surprising due to the juxtaposition of the hot Cascadia backarc against the thick, cold North America craton lithosphere. Given that local heat sources appear to be negligible, mantle flow is required to transport heat into the wedge and backarc. We have examined the thermal effects of mantle flow induced by traction along the top of the subducting plate. Through systematic tests of the backarc model boundary, we have shown that the model thermal structure of the wedge is primarily determined by the assumed temperatures along this boundary. To get high temperatures in the wedge, it is necessary for flow to mine heat from depth, either by using a temperature-dependent rheology, or by introducing a deep cold boundary through a thick adjacent lithosphere, consistent with the presence of a craton. Regardless of the thermal conditions along the backarc boundary, flow within an isoviscous wedge is too slow to transport a significant amount of heat into the wedge corner. With a more realistic stress- and temperature-dependent wedge rheology, flow is focused into the wedge corner, resulting in rapid flow upward toward the corner and enhanced temperatures below the arc, compatible with temperatures required for arc magma generation. However, this strong flow focusing produces a nearly stagnant region further landward in the shallow backarc mantle, where model temperatures and heat flow are much lower than observed. Observations of high backarc temperatures, particularly in areas that have not undergone recent extension, provide an important constraint on wedge dynamics. None of the models of simple traction-driven flow were able

  17. Driving Forces of Plate Tectonics and Evolution of the Oceanic Lithosphere and Asthenosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsyth, D. W.

    2017-12-01

    As plate tectonics became established as an excellent kinematic description of the relative motions of different blocks of the Earth's lithosphere, many investigators also began exploring the forces involved in driving the plate motions. Because the plates move at nearly constant velocities over long periods of time and inertial terms are unimportant, driving forces must always be balanced by resisting forces in a way that regulates the velocities. Forsyth and Uyeda (1975) incorporated the balancing of torques on the individual plates to help constrain the relative importance of the driving and resisting forces, as parameterized in a way based on prior model investigations of individual parts of the convecting system. We found that the primary driving force was sinking of subducting lithosphere at trenches, balanced largely by viscous resisting forces in the sub-asthenospheric mantle; that viscous drag beneath the oceanic plates was negligible; and that mid-ocean ridges provided a relatively small push. One of the early questions was whether there was buoyant upwelling on a large scale beneath mid-ocean ridges as part of a whole mantle convection system with subduction of the plates representing the downwelling limb. If so, then it would be likely that the plates were just riding on top of large convection cells. Seismic tomography has demonstrated that, on average, there are no deep roots beneath mid-ocean ridges, so that active, buoyant upwelling from the deep mantle does not exist beneath spreading centers. However, more recent tomographic studies have found asymmetry of the shear velocity structure beneath ridges in some areas, pointing to a smaller scale of active convection in the shallow mantle perhaps induced by melt retention buoyancy or the local effects of ridge/hotspot interaction.

  18. Slab Geometry and Segmentation on Seismogenic Subduction Zone; Insight from gravity gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saraswati, A. T.; Mazzotti, S.; Cattin, R.; Cadio, C.

    2017-12-01

    Slab geometry is a key parameter to improve seismic hazard assessment in subduction zones. In many cases, information about structures beneath subduction are obtained from geophysical dedicated studies, including geodetic and seismic measurements. However, due to the lack of global information, both geometry and segmentation in seismogenic zone of many subductions remain badly-constrained. Here we propose an alternative approach based on satellite gravity observations. The GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) mission enables to probe Earth deep mass structures from gravity gradients, which are more sensitive to spatial structure geometry and directional properties than classical gravitational data. Gravity gradients forward modeling of modeled slab is performed by using horizontal and vertical gravity gradient components to better determine slab geophysical model rather than vertical gradient only. Using polyhedron method, topography correction on gravity gradient signal is undertaken to enhance the anomaly signal of lithospheric structures. Afterward, we compare residual gravity gradients with the calculated signals associated with slab geometry. In this preliminary study, straightforward models are used to better understand the characteristic of gravity gradient signals due to deep mass sources. We pay a special attention to the delineation of slab borders and dip angle variations.

  19. The influence of tectonic inheritance on crustal extension style following failed subduction of continental crust: applications to metamorphic core complexes in Papua New Guinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biemiller, J.; Ellis, S. M.; Little, T.; Mizera, M.; Wallace, L. M.; Lavier, L.

    2017-12-01

    The structural, mechanical and geometric evolution of rifted continental crust depends on the lithospheric conditions in the region prior to the onset of extension. In areas where tectonic activity preceded rift initiation, structural and physical properties of the previous tectonic regime may be inherited by the rift and influence its development. Many continental rifts form and exhume metamorphic core complexes (MCCs), coherent exposures of deep crustal rocks which typically surface as arched or domed structures. MCCs are exhumed in regions where the faulted upper crust is displaced laterally from upwelling ductile material along a weak detachment fault. Some MCCs form during extensional inversion of a subduction thrust following failed subduction of continental crust, but the degree to which lithospheric conditions inherited from the preceding subduction phase control the extensional style in these systems remains unclear. For example, the Dayman Dome in Southeastern Papua New Guinea exposes prehnite-pumpellyite to greenschist facies rocks in a smooth 3 km-high dome exhumed with at least 24 km of slip along one main detachment normal fault, the Mai'iu Fault, which dips 21° at the surface. The extension driving this exhumation is associated with the cessation of northward subduction of Australian continental crust beneath the oceanic lithosphere of the Woodlark Plate. We use geodynamic models to explore the effect of pre-existing crustal structures inherited from the preceding subduction phase on the style of rifting. We show that different geometries and strengths of inherited subduction shear zones predict three distinct modes of subsequent rift development: 1) symmetric rifting by newly formed high-angle normal faults; 2) asymmetric rifting along a weak low-angle detachment fault extending from the surface to the brittle-ductile transition; and 3) extension along a rolling-hinge structure which exhumes deep crustal rocks in coherent rounded exposures. We

  20. 3-D subduction dynamics in the western Pacific: Mantle pressure, plate kinematics, and dynamic topography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, A. F.; Royden, L.; Becker, T. W.; Faccenna, C.

    2017-12-01

    While it is well established that the slab pull of negatively buoyant oceanic plates is the primary driving force of plate tectonics, the dynamic "details" of subduction have proved difficult to pin down. We use the Philippine Sea Plate region of the western Pacific as a site to explore links between kinematic observables (e.g. topography and plate motions) and the dynamics of the subduction system (e.g. mantle flow, mantle pressure). To first order, the Philippine Sea Plate can be considered to be the central plate of a double slab system containing two slabs that dip in the same direction, to the west. This subduction configuration presents the opportunity to explore subduction dynamics in a setting where two closely spaced slabs interact via subduction-induced mantle flow and stresses transmitted through the intervening plate. We use a 3-D numerical approach (e.g. Holt et al., 2017), augmented by semi-analytical models (e.g. Jagoutz et al., 2017), to develop relationships between dynamic processes and kinematic properties, including plate velocities, lithospheric stress state, slab dip angles, and topography. When combined with subduction zone observables, this allows us to isolate the first order dynamic processes that are in operation in the Philippine Sea Plate region. Our results suggest that positive pressure build-up occurs in the asthenosphere between the two slabs (Izu-Bonin-Mariana and Ryukyu-Nankai), and that this is responsible for producing much of the observed kinematic variability in the region, including the steep dip of the Pacific slab at the Izu-Bonin-Mariana trench, as compared to the flat dip of the Pacific slab north of Japan. We then extend our understanding of the role of asthenospheric pressure to examine the forces responsible for the plate kinematics and dynamic topography of the entire Western Pacific subduction margin(s). References:Holt, A. F., Royden, L. H., Becker, T. W., 2017. Geophys. J. Int., 209, 250-265Jagoutz, O., Royden, L

  1. Continental Subduction: Mass Fluxes and Interactions with the Wider Earth System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuthbert, S. J.

    2011-12-01

    Substantial parts of ultra-high pressure (UHP) terrains probably represent subducted passive continental margins (PCM). This contribution reviews and synthesises research on processes operating in such systems and their implication for the wider Earth system. PCM sediments are large repositories of volatiles including hydrates, nitrogen species, carbonates and hydrocarbons. Sediments and upper/ mid-crustal basement are rich in incompatible elements and are fertile for melting. Lower crust may be more mafic and refractory. Juvenile rift-related mafic rocks also have the potential to generate substantial volumes of granitoid melts, especially if they have been hydrated. Exposed UHP terrains demonstrate the return of continental crust from mantle depths, show evidence for substantial fluxes of aqueous fluid, anatexis and, in entrained orogenic peridotites, metasomatism of mantle rocks by crust- derived C-O-H fluids. However, substantial bodies of continental material may never return to the surface as coherent masses of rock, but remain sequestered in the mantle where they melt or become entrained in the deeper mantle circulation. Hence during subduction, PCM's become partitioned by a range of mechanisms. Mechanical partitioning strips away weaker sediment and middle/upper crust, which circulate back up the subduction channel, while denser, stronger transitional pro-crust and lower crust may "stall" near the base of the lithosphere or be irreversibly subducted to join the global mantle circulation. Under certain conditions sediment and upper crustal basement may reach depths for UHPM. Further partitioning takes place by anatexis, which either aids stripping and exhumation of the more melt-prone rock-masses through mechanical softening, or separates melt from residuum so that melt escapes and is accreted to the upper plate leading to "undercrusting", late-orogenic magmatism and further refinement of the crust. Melt that traverses sections of mantle will interact with

  2. The thermochemical, two-phase dynamics of subduction zones: results from new, fully coupled models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees Jones, D. W.; Katz, R. F.; May, D.; Tian, M.; Rudge, J. F.

    2017-12-01

    Subduction zones are responsible for most of Earth's subaerial volcanism. However, previous geodynamic modelling of subduction zones has largely neglected magmatism. We previously showed that magmatism has a significant thermal impact, by advecting sensible heat into the lithosphere beneath arc volcanos [1]. Inclusion of this effect helps reconcile subduction zone models with petrological and heat flow observations. Many important questions remain, including how magma-mantle dynamics of subduction zones affects the position of arc volcanos and the character of their lavas. In this presentation, we employ a fully coupled, thermochemical, two-phase flow theory to investigate the dynamics of subduction zones. We present the first results from our new software (SubFUSc), which solves the coupled equations governing conservation of mass, momentum, energy and chemical species. The presence and migration of partial melts affect permeability and mantle viscosity (both directly and through their thermal impact); these, in turn, feed back on the magma-mantle flow. Thus our fully coupled modelling improves upon previous two-phase models that decoupled the governing equations and fixed the thermal structure [2]. To capture phase change, we use a novel, simplified model of the mantle melting in the presence of volatile species. As in the natural system, volatiles are associated with low-degree melting at temperatures beneath the anhydrous solidus; dehydration reactions in the slab supply volatiles into the wedge, triggering silicic melting. We simulate the migration of melts under buoyancy forces and dynamic pressure gradients. We thereby demonstrate the dynamical controls on the pattern of subduction-zone volcanism (particularly its location, magnitude, and chemical composition). We build on our previous study of the thermal consequences of magma genesis and segregation. We address the question of what controls the location of arc volcanoes themselves [3]. [1] Rees Jones, D. W

  3. Lithospheric flexure beneath the Freyja Montes Foredeep, Venus: Constraints on lithospheric thermal gradient and heat flow

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Solomon, S.C.; Head, J.W.

    1990-01-01

    Analysis of Venera 15 and 16 radar images and topographic data from the Freyja Montes region on Venus suggest that this mountain belt formed as a result of a sequence of underthrusts of the lithosphere of the North Polar Plains beneath the highlands of Ishtar Terra. The Freyja Montes deformation zone consists, south to north, of a linear orogenic belt, an adjacent plateau, a steep scarp separating the plateau from the North Polar Plains, a linear depression at the base of the scarp, and an outer rise. The topographic profile of the depression and outer rise are remarkably similar to that of a foreland deep and rise formed by the flexure of the underthrusting plate beneath a terrestrial mountain range. The authors test the lithospheric flexure hypothesis and they estimate the effective thickness T e of the elastic lithosphere of the underthrusting portion of the North Polar Plains by fitting individual topographic profiles to deflection curves for a broken elastic plate. The theoretical curves fit the observed topographic profiles to within measurement error for values of flexural rigidity D in the range (0.8-3) x 10 22 N m, equivalent to T e in the range 11-18 km. Under the assumption that the base of the mechanical lithosphere is limited by the creep strength of olivine, the mean lithospheric thermal gradient is 14-23 K/km. That the inferred thermal gradient is similar to the value expected for the global mean gradient on the basis of scaling from Earth provides support for the hypothesis that simple conduction dominates lithospheric heat transport on Venus relative to lithospheric recycling and volcanism

  4. Seismic tomographic constraints on plate-tectonic reconstructions of Nazca subduction under South America since late Cretaceous (˜80 Ma)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Y. W.; Wu, J.; Suppe, J.

    2017-12-01

    Global seismic tomography has provided new and increasingly higher resolution constraints on subducted lithospheric remnants in terms of their position, depth, and volumes. In this study we aim to link tomographic slab anomalies in the mantle under South America to Andean geology using methods to unfold (i.e. structurally restore) slabs back to earth surface and input them to globally consistent plate reconstructions (Wu et al., 2016). The Andean margin of South America has long been interpreted as a classic example of a continuous subduction system since early Jurassic or later. However, significant gaps in Andean plate tectonic reconstructions exist due to missing or incomplete geology from extensive Nazca-South America plate convergence (i.e. >5000 km since 80 Ma). We mapped and unfolded the Nazca slab from global seismic tomography to produce a quantitative plate reconstruction of the Andes back to the late Cretaceous 80 Ma. Our plate model predicts the latest phase of Nazca subduction began in the late Cretaceous subduction after a 100 to 80 Ma plate reorganization, which is supported by Andean geology that indicates a margin-wide compressional event at the mid-late Cretaceous (Tunik et al., 2010). Our Andean plate tectonic reconstructions predict the Andean margin experienced periods of strike-slip/transtensional and even divergent plate tectonics between 80 to 55 Ma. This prediction is roughly consistent with the arc magmatism from northern Chile between 20 to 36°S that resumed at 80 Ma after a magmatic gap. Our model indicates the Andean margin only became fully convergent after 55 Ma. We provide additional constraints on pre-subduction Nazca plate paleogeography by extracting P-wave velocity perturbations within our mapped slab surfaces following Wu et al. (2016). We identified localized slow anomalies within our mapped Nazca slab that apparently show the size and position of the subducted Nazca ridge, Carnegie ridge and the hypothesized Inca plateau

  5. Does the "mantle" helium signature provide useful information about lithospheric architecture of Tibet/Himalaya?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klemperer, S. L.; Liu, T.; Hilton, D. R.; Karlstrom, K. E.; Crossey, L. J.; Zhao, P.

    2015-12-01

    Measurements of 3He/4He > 0.1*Ra (where Ra = 3He/4He in Earth's atmosphere) in geothermal fluids are conventionally taken to represent derivation from a mantle source. 3He/4He values 0.1*Ra may still be argued to result from mantle-derived 3He previously stored in the crust. However, our growing regional database of widely spaced observations of 3He/4He > 0.1*Ra, from the Karakoram Fault in the west to the Sangri-Cona rift and Yalaxiangbo Dome in the east, and from south of the Yarlung-Zangbo suture (YZS) to north of the Banggong-Nujiang suture, makes such special pleading increasingly implausible. The observation of 3He/4He > 0.1*Ra at the YZS and even within the Tethyan Himalaya south of the YZS cannot represent melting of Indian mantle close to the Moho unless existing thermal models are grossly in error. The source of 3He close to the YZS is likely either asthenosphere accessed by faults and shear zones that cut through subducting Indian lithospheric mantle; or incipient melt of Asian lithospheric mantle at the Moho north of the northern edge of underthrust India (the "mantle suture") which must therefore lie close to the YZS. Thus far we have barely tapped the rich potential that helium-isotope data offer for understanding transit of mantle volatiles through some of Earth's thickest (and ductilely flowing) crust.

  6. Helium as a tracer for fluids released from Juan de Fuca lithosphere beneath the Cascadia forearc

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCrory, Patricia A.; Constantz, James E.; Hunt, Andrew G.; Blair, James Luke

    2016-01-01

    The ratio between helium isotopes (3He/4He) provides an excellent geochemical tracer for investigating the sources of fluids sampled at the Earth's surface. 3He/4He values observed in 25 mineral springs and wells above the Cascadia forearc document a significant component of mantle-derived helium above Juan de Fuca lithosphere, as well as variability in 3He enrichment across the forearc. Sample sites arcward of the forearc mantle corner (FMC) generally yield significantly higher ratios (1.2-4.0 RA) than those seaward of the corner (0.03-0.7 RA). The highest ratios in the Cascadia forearc coincide with slab depths (40-45 km) where metamorphic dehydration of young oceanic lithosphere is expected to release significant fluid and where tectonic tremor occurs, whereas little fluid is expected to be released from the slab depths (25-30 km) beneath sites seaward of the corner.Tremor (considered a marker for high fluid pressure) and high RA values in the forearc are spatially correlated. The Cascadia tremor band is centered on its FMC, and we tentatively postulate that hydrated forearc mantle beneath Cascadia deflects a significant portion of slab-derived fluids updip along the subduction interface, to vent in the vicinity of its corner. Furthermore, high RA values within the tremor band just arcward of the FMC, suggest that the innermost mantle wedge is relatively permeable.Conceptual models require: (1) a deep fluid source as a medium to transport primordial 3He; (2) conduits through the lithosphere which serve to speed fluid ascent to the surface before significant dilution from radiogenic 4He can occur; and (3) near lithostatic fluid pressure to keep conduits open. Our spatial correlation between high RA values and tectonic tremor provides independent evidence that tremor is associated with deep fluids, and it further suggests that high pore pressures associated with tremor may serve to keep fractures open for 3He migration through ductile upper mantle and lower crust.

  7. Thermal classification of lithospheric discontinuities beneath USArray

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Steven M.; Dueker, Ken; Schmandt, Brandon

    2015-12-01

    Broadband seismic data from the United States were processed into Ps and Sp receiver function image volumes for the purpose of constraining negative velocity gradients (NVG) at depths between the Moho and 200 km. Moho depth picks from the two independent datasets are in good agreement, however, large discrepancies in NVG picks occur and are attributed to free-surface multiples which obscure deep NVG arrivals in the Ps data. From the Sp data, shallow NVG are found west of the Rockies and in the central US while deep and sporadic NVG are observed beneath the Great Plains and northern Rockies. To aid the interpretation of the observed NVG arrivals, the mantle thermal field is estimated by mapping surface wave tomography velocities to temperature assuming an anelastic olivine model. The distribution of temperature versus NVG depth is bi-modal and displays two distinct thermal populations that are interpreted to represent both the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) and mid-lithosphere discontinuities (MLD). LAB arrivals occur in the western US at 60-85 km and 1200-1400 °C depth suggesting that they manifest partial melt near the base of the thermal plate. MLD arrivals primarily occur at 70-110 km depth and 700-900 °C and we hypothesize that these arrivals are caused by a low-velocity metasomatic layer containing phlogopite resulting from magma crystallization products that accumulate within long-lived thick lithosphere.

  8. What major faults look like, and why this matters for lithospheric dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagereng, Ake

    2016-04-01

    Earthquakes involve seconds to minutes of frictional sliding on a discontinuity, likely of sub-cm thickness, within a damage zone. Earthquakes are separated by an interseismic period of hundreds to thousands of years, during which a number of healing and weakening processes occur within the fault zone. The next earthquake occurs as shear stress exceeds frictional resistance, on the same or a different discontinuity as the previous event, embedded within the fault damage zone. After incremental damage and healing in multiple earthquake cycles, the fault zone rock assemblage evolves to a structure and composition distinctly different from the host rock(s). This presentation presents field geology evidence from a range of settings, to discuss the interplay between the earthquake cycle, long-term deformation, and lithospheric rheology. Classic fault zone models are based on continental transforms, which generally form discrete faults in the upper crust, and wide, anastomosing shear zones in the lower crust. In oceanic crust, transforms are considered frictionally weak, and appear to exploit dyke margins and joint surfaces, but also locally cross-cut these structures in anastomosing networks. In the oceanic lower crust and upper mantle, serpentinisation significantly alters fault structure. In old continental crust, previous deformation events leave a heterogeneous geology affecting active faulting. For example, the amagmatic, southern East African Rift has long been thought to exploit weak Proterozoic 'mobile belts'. However, detailed look at the Bilila-Mtakataka border fault in Malawi indicates that this fault locally exploits weak foliation in existing deformed zones, but also locally forms a new set of anastomosing fault surfaces cross-cutting existing weak foliation. In exhumed lower crust, the Antarctic Maud Belt provides an example of multiple phases of plastic deformation, where the second event is only visible in localised shear zones, likely inherited from the

  9. Imaging Lithospheric-scale Structure Beneath Northern Altiplano in Southern Peru and Northern Bolivia

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. Continental lithospheric evolution: Constraints from the geochemistry of felsic volcanic rocks in the Dharwar Craton, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manikyamba, C.; Ganguly, Sohini; Saha, Abhishek; Santosh, M.; Rajanikanta Singh, M.; Subba Rao, D. V.

    2014-12-01

    Felsic magmatism associated with ocean-ocean and ocean-continent subduction processes provide important evidence for distinct episodes of crust-generation and continental lithospheric evolution. Rhyolites constitute an integral component of the tholeiitic to calc-alkaline basalt-andesite-dacite-rhyolite (BADR) association and contribute to crustal growth processes at convergent plate margins. The evolution of the Dharwar Craton of southern peninsular India during Meso- to Neoarchean times was marked by extensive development of greenstone belts. These granite-greenstone terranes have distinct volcano-sedimentary associations consistent with their geodynamic setting. The present study deals with geochemistry of rhyolites from the Chitradurga-Shimoga greenstone belts of western (WDC) and the Gadwal-Kadiri greenstone belts of eastern (EDC) sectors of Dharwar Craton to compare and evaluate their petrogenesis and geodynamic setting and their control on the continental lithospheric evolution of the Dharwar Craton. At a similar range of SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3, the rhyolites of WDC are more potassic, whereas the EDC rhyolites are more sodic and less magnesian with slight increase in TiO2. Minor increase in MgO content of WDC rhyolites reflects their ferromagnesian trace elements which are comparatively lower in the rhyolites of EDC. The relative enrichment in LILE (K, Rb) and depletion in HFSE (Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf) marked by negative Nb-Ta, Zr-Hf and Ti anomalies endorse the convergent margin processes for the generation of rhyolites of both the sectors of Dharwar Craton. The high silica potassic rhyolites of Shimoga and Chitradurga greenstone belts of WDC showing prominent negative Eu and Ti anomalies, flat HREE patterns correspond to Type 3 rhyolites and clearly point towards their generation and emplacement in an active continental margin environment. The geochemical characteristics of Gadwal and Kadiri rhyolites from eastern Dharwar Craton marked by aluminous compositions with

  11. Fossil plume head beneath the Arabian lithosphere?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Mordechai; Hofmann, Albrecht W.

    1992-12-01

    Phanerozoic alkali basalts from Israel, which have erupted over the past 200 Ma, have isotopic compositions similar to PREMA ("prevalent mantle") with narrow ranges of initial ɛ Nd(T) = +3.9-+5.9; 87Sr/ 86Sr(T)= 0.70292-0.70334; 206Pb/ 204Pb(T)= 18.88-19.99; 207Pb/ 204Pb(T)= 15.58-15.70; and 208Pb/ 204Pb(T)= 38.42-39.57. Their Nb/U(43 ± 9) and Ce/Pb(26 ± 6) ratios are identical to those of normal oceanic basalts, demonstrating that the basalts are essentially free of crustal contamination. Overall, the basalts are chemically and isotopically indistinguishable from many ordinary plume basalts, but no plume track can be identified. We propose that these and other, similar, magmas from the Arabian plate originated from a "fossilized" head of a mantle plume, which was unable to penetrate the continental lithosphere and was therefore trapped and stored beneath it. The plume head was emplaced some time between the late Proterozoic crust formation and the initiation of the Phanerozoic magmatic cycles. Basalts from rift environments in other continental localities show similar geochemistry to that of the Arabian basalts and their sources may also represent fossil plume heads trapped below the continents. We suggest that plume heads are, in general, characterized by the PREMA isotopic mantle signature, because the original plume sources (which may have HIMU or EM-type composition) have been diluted by overlying mantle material, which has been entrained by the plume heads during ascent. On the Arabian plate, rifting and thinning of the lithosphere caused partial melting of the stored plume, which led to periodic volcanism. In the late Cenozoic, the lithosphere broke up and the Red Sea opened. N-MORB tholeiites are now erupting in the central trough of the Red Sea, where the lithosphere has moved apart and the fossil plume has been exhausted, whereas E-MORBs are erupting in the northern and southern troughs, still tapping the plume reservoir. Fossil plumes, which are

  12. Numerical modeling of the deformations associated with large subduction earthquakes through the seismic cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleitout, L.; Trubienko, O.; Garaud, J.; Vigny, C.; Cailletaud, G.; Simons, W. J.; Satirapod, C.; Shestakov, N.

    2012-12-01

    A 3D finite element code (Zebulon-Zset) is used to model deformations through the seismic cycle in the areas surrounding the last three large subduction earthquakes: Sumatra, Japan and Chile. The mesh featuring a broad spherical shell portion with a viscoelastic asthenosphere is refined close to the subduction zones. The model is constrained by 6 years of postseismic data in Sumatra area and over a year of data for Japan and Chile plus preseismic data in the three areas. The coseismic displacements on the subduction plane are inverted from the coseismic displacements using the finite element program and provide the initial stresses. The predicted horizontal postseismic displacements depend upon the thicknesses of the elastic plate and of the low viscosity asthenosphere. Non-dimensionalized by the coseismic displacements, they present an almost uniform value between 500km and 1500km from the trench for elastic plates 80km thick. The time evolution of the velocities is function of the creep law (Maxwell, Burger or power-law creep). Moreover, the forward models predict a sizable far-field subsidence, also with a spatial distribution which varies with the geometry of the asthenosphere and lithosphere. Slip on the subduction interface does not induce such a subsidence. The observed horizontal velocities, divided by the coseismic displacement, present a similar pattern as function of time and distance from trench for the three areas, indicative of similar lithospheric and asthenospheric thicknesses and asthenospheric viscosity. This pattern cannot be fitted with power-law creep in the asthenosphere but indicates a lithosphere 60 to 90km thick and an asthenosphere of thickness of the order of 100km with a burger rheology represented by a Kelvin-Voigt element with a viscosity of 3.1018Pas and μKelvin=μelastic/3. A second Kelvin-Voigt element with very limited amplitude may explain some characteristics of the short time-scale signal. The postseismic subsidence is

  13. Full-waveform seismic tomography of the Vrancea, Romania, subduction region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Julie; Morelli, Andrea

    2017-12-01

    The Vrancea region is one of the few locations of deep seismicity in Europe. Seismic tomography has been able to map lithospheric downwelling, but has not been able yet to clearly discriminate between competing geodynamic interpretations of the geological and geophysical evidence available. We study the seismic structure of the Vrancea subduction zone, using adjoint-based, full-waveform tomography to map the 3D vP and vS structure in detail. We use the database that was built during the CALIXTO (Carpathian Arc Lithosphere X-Tomography) temporary experiment, restricted to the broadband sensors and local intermediate-depth events. We fit waveforms with a cross-correlation misfit criterion in separate time windows around the expected P and S arrivals, and perform 17 iterations of vP and vS model updates (altogether, requiring about 16 million CPU hours) before reaching stable convergence. Among other features, our resulting model shows a nearly vertical, high-velocity body, that overlaps with the distribution of seismicity in its northeastern part. In its southwestern part, a slab appears to dip less steeply to the NW, and is suggestive of ongoing - or recently concluded - subduction geodynamic processes. Joint inversion for vP and vS allow us to address the vP/vS ratio distribution, that marks high vP/vS in the crust beneath the Focsani sedimentary basin - possibly due to high fluid pressure - and a low vP/vS edge along the lower plane of the subducting lithosphere, that in other similar environment has been attributed to dehydration of serpentine in the slab. In spite of the restricted amount of data available, and limitations on the usable frequency pass-band, full-waveform inversion reveals its potential to improve the general quality of imaging with respect to other tomographic techniques - although at a sensible cost in terms of computing resources. Our study also shows that re-analysis of legacy data sets with up-to-date techniques may bring new, useful

  14. The seismic cycle at subduction thrusts: 1. Insights from laboratory models

    KAUST Repository

    Corbi, F.; Funiciello, F.; Moroni, M.; van Dinther, Y.; Mai, Paul Martin; Dalguer, L. A.; Faccenna, C.

    2013-01-01

    Subduction megathrust earthquakes occur at the interface between the subducting and overriding plates. These hazardous phenomena are only partially understood because of the absence of direct observations, the restriction of the instrumental seismic record to the past century, and the limited resolution/completeness of historical to geological archives. To overcome these restrictions, modeling has become a key-tool to study megathrust earthquakes. We present a novel model to investigate the seismic cycle at subduction thrusts using complementary analog (paper 1) and numerical (paper 2) approaches. Here we introduce a simple scaled gelatin-on-sandpaper setup including realistic tectonic loading, spontaneous rupture nucleation, and viscoelastic response of the lithosphere. Particle image velocimetry allows to derive model deformation and earthquake source parameters. Analog earthquakes are characterized by “quasi-periodic” recurrence. Consistent with elastic theory, the interseismic stage shows rearward motion, subsidence in the outer wedge and uplift of the “coastal area” as a response of locked plate interface at shallow depth. The coseismic stage exhibits order of magnitude higher velocities and reversal of the interseismic deformation pattern in the seaward direction, subsidence of the coastal area, and uplift in the outer wedge. Like natural earthquakes, analog earthquakes generally nucleate in the deeper portion of the rupture area and preferentially propagate upward in a crack-like fashion. Scaled rupture width-slip proportionality and seismic moment-duration scaling verifies dynamic similarities with earthquakes. Experimental repeatability is statistically verified. Comparing analog results with natural observations, we conclude that this technique is suitable for investigating the parameter space influencing the subduction interplate seismic cycle.

  15. Three-Dimensional Shear Wave Velocity Structure of the Peru Flat Slab Subduction Segment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knezevic Antonijevic, S.; Wagner, L. S.; Beck, S. L.; Zandt, G.; Long, M. D.

    2012-12-01

    Recent studies focused on flat slab subduction segments in central Chile (L. S. Wagner, 2006) and Alaska (B. R. Hacker and G. A. Aber, 2012) suggest significant differences in seismic velocity structures, and hence, composition in the mantle wedge between flat and normal "steep" subducting slabs. Instead of finding the low velocities and high Vp/Vs ratios common in normal subduction zones, these studies find low Vp, high Vs, and very low Vp/Vs above flat slabs. This may indicate the presence of dry, cold material in the mantle wedge. In order to investigate the seismic velocities of the upper mantle above the Peruvian flat segment, we have inverted for 2D Rayleigh wave phase velocity maps using data from the currently deployed 40 station PULSE seismic network and some adjacent stations from the CAUGHT seismic network. We then used the sensitivity of surface waves to shear wave velocity structure with depth to develop a 3D shear wave velocity model. This model will allow us to determine the nature of the mantle lithosphere above the flat slab, and how this may have influenced the development of local topography. For example, dry conditions (high Vs velocities) above the flat slab would imply greater strength of this material, possibly making it capable of causing further inland overthrusting, while wet conditions (low Vs) would imply weaker material. This could provide some insight into the ongoing debate over whether the Fitzcarrald arch (along the northern most flank of the Altiplano) could be a topographical response to the subducted Nazca ridge hundred kilometers away from the trench (N. Espurt, 2012, P. Baby, 2005, V. A. Ramos, 2012) or not (J. Martinod, 2005, M. Wipf, 2008, T. Gerya, 2008).

  16. The seismic cycle at subduction thrusts: 1. Insights from laboratory models

    KAUST Repository

    Corbi, F.

    2013-04-01

    Subduction megathrust earthquakes occur at the interface between the subducting and overriding plates. These hazardous phenomena are only partially understood because of the absence of direct observations, the restriction of the instrumental seismic record to the past century, and the limited resolution/completeness of historical to geological archives. To overcome these restrictions, modeling has become a key-tool to study megathrust earthquakes. We present a novel model to investigate the seismic cycle at subduction thrusts using complementary analog (paper 1) and numerical (paper 2) approaches. Here we introduce a simple scaled gelatin-on-sandpaper setup including realistic tectonic loading, spontaneous rupture nucleation, and viscoelastic response of the lithosphere. Particle image velocimetry allows to derive model deformation and earthquake source parameters. Analog earthquakes are characterized by “quasi-periodic” recurrence. Consistent with elastic theory, the interseismic stage shows rearward motion, subsidence in the outer wedge and uplift of the “coastal area” as a response of locked plate interface at shallow depth. The coseismic stage exhibits order of magnitude higher velocities and reversal of the interseismic deformation pattern in the seaward direction, subsidence of the coastal area, and uplift in the outer wedge. Like natural earthquakes, analog earthquakes generally nucleate in the deeper portion of the rupture area and preferentially propagate upward in a crack-like fashion. Scaled rupture width-slip proportionality and seismic moment-duration scaling verifies dynamic similarities with earthquakes. Experimental repeatability is statistically verified. Comparing analog results with natural observations, we conclude that this technique is suitable for investigating the parameter space influencing the subduction interplate seismic cycle.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

    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

  18. Insights into the lithospheric architecture of Iberia and Morocco from teleseismic body-wave attenuation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezada, Maximiliano J.

    2017-11-01

    The long and often complicated tectonic history of continental lithosphere results in lateral strength heterogeneities which in turn affect the style and localization of deformation. In this study, we produce a model for the attenuation structure of Iberia and northern Morocco using a waveform-matching approach on P-wave data from teleseismic deep-focus earthquakes. We find that attenuation is correlated with zones of intraplate deformation and seismicity, but do not find a consistent relationship between attenuation and recent volcanism. The main features of our model are low to moderate Δt* in the undeformed Tertiary basins of Spain and high Δt* in areas deformed by the Alpine orogeny. Additionally, low Δt* is found in areas where the Alboran slab is thought to be attached to the Iberian and African lithosphere, and high Δt* where it has detached. These features are robust with respect to inversion parameters, and are consistent with independent data. Very mild backazimuthal dependence of the measurements and comparison with previous results suggest that the source of the attenuation is sub-crustal. In line with other recent studies, the range of Δt* we observe is much larger than can be expected from lithospheric thickness or temperature variations.

  19. Fate of Subducting Organic Carbon: Evidence from HP/UHP Metasedimentary Suites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraft, K.; Bebout, G. E.

    2017-12-01

    Community interest in deep-Earth C cycling has focused attention on extents of C release from subducting oceanic lithosphere and sediment and the fate of this released C. Many have suggested that, based on isotopic and other arguments, 20% of the C subducted into the deeper mantle is in reduced form (organic); however, individual margins show large variation in carbonate to organic C ratios. Despite the size of the potentially deeply subducted organic C reservoir, its fate in subducting sections remains largely unexplored, with most attention paid to release of carbonate C. To characterize the forearc behavior of organic C, metamorphosed to P-T as high as that beneath volcanic fronts, we evaluated records of reduced C (RC) contents and isotope compositions in HP/UHP metasediments: 1) Schistes Lustres/Cignana (SLC) suite (Alps; Cook-Kollars et al., 2014, Chem Geol) with abundant carbonate and resembling sediment entering the East Sunda trench; and (2) Franciscan Complex (FC), W. Baja Terrain (WBT), Catalina Schist (CS) metasediments (Sadofsky and Bebout, 2003, G3), largely sandstone-shale sequences containing very little carbonate. In general, more Al-rich samples (shaley) in the terrigenous metasedimentary suites have higher concentrations of RC, which in low-grade units preserves δ13C of its organic protoliths. Carbonate-poor rocks in the SLC suite, and at ODP Site 765, show correlated major element (Al, Mg, Mn, Ti, P) and RC contents (up to 1.2 wt.%) reflecting sandstone-shale mixture. In the FC, WBT, and CS, the more Al-rich samples contain up to 2 wt. % RC. In high-grade Catalina Schist, RC has elevated δ13C due to C loss in CH4 and high-grade Alps rocks show reduced RC wt. % normalized to Al content. We consider processes that could alter contents and isotopic compositions of RC in sediment, e.g., devolatilization, closed-system exchange with carbonate, redox reactions, isotopic exchange with C in externally-derived fluids. It appears that, on modern Earth

  20. Three-dimensional thermal structure and seismogenesis in the Tohoku and Hokkaido subduction system

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Keken, P. E.; Kita, S.; Nakajima, J.; Bengtson, A. K.; Hacker, B. R.; Abers, G. A.

    2010-12-01

    The Northern Japan arc is characterized by fast subduction of old oceanic lithosphere. The high density instrumentation and high seismicity make this an ideal natural laboratory to study the interplay between subduction zone dynamics, dehydration, migration of fluids, and seismogenesis. In this study we use high resolution finite element models to predict the thermal structure of the subduction slab below Tohoku (Northern Honshu) and Hokkaido. These models allow us to predict the pressure, temperature and mineralogy of the subducted crust and mantle. We use these models to predict the (p,T) conditions of earthquakes that are relocated with a precision of around 1 km by double difference techniques. Below Northern Hokkaido and Tohoku we find that the earthquake activity is strong in crust and the uppermost mantle for temperatures seismic moment. The strongest 3D variations in this arc occur below southern Hokkaido. This 200 km wide region is characterized by a change in trench geometry, anomalously low heatflow and an anomalous velocity structure in the mantle wedge. Tomographic imaging suggest that continental crust is subducted to significant depth, thereby insulating the subducting slab from the hot mantle wedge at least at intermediate depths. The thermal insulation is also suggested by the deepening of the earthquakes in the slab (Kita et al., EPSL, 2010). This region may be characterized by active crustal erosion which would lead to a further blanketing of the crust by a sedimentary layer. Further modifications in thermal structure are possible due to the 3D wedge flow that is generated by the along-arc variations in trench geometry. We quantitatively verify the relative importance of these processes using 2D and 3D dynamical models. Without the seismically imaged crustal structure the earthquake temperatures are significantly elevated compared to the Tohoku and (northern) Hokkaido sections. If we take the modified crustal structure into account we find a (p

  1. Petrology of Serpentinites and Rodingites in the Oceanic Lithosphere

    OpenAIRE

    Klein, Frieder

    2009-01-01

    Serpentinization, steatitization, and rodingitization are consequences of seawater reaction with lithospheric mantle. These processes take place coevally within the oceanic lithosphere and are related to circulation pathways, lithologic makeup of rocks along the flow path, fluid flux, and temperature. While the boundary conditions are set by the history of magmatic and tectonic accretion of the lithosphere, fluid-rock equilibria determine what reactions take place and where in the system. Pet...

  2. Global model for the lithospheric strength and effective elastic thickness

    OpenAIRE

    Magdala Tesauro; Mikhail Kaban; S. A. P. L. Cloetingh

    2013-01-01

    Global distribution of the strength and effective elastic thickness (Te) of the lithosphere are estimated using physical parameters from recent crustal and lithospheric models. For the Te estimation we apply a new approach, which provides a possibility to take into account variations of Young modulus (E) within the lithosphere. In view of the large uncertainties affecting strength estimates, we evaluate global strength and Te distributions for possible end-member ‘hard’ (HRM) and a ‘soft’ (SR...

  3. Comparison of Oceanic and Continental Lithosphere, Asthenosphere, and the LAB Through Shear Velocity Inversion of Rayleigh Wave Data from the ALBACORE Amphibious Array in Southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amodeo, K.; Rathnayaka, S.; Weeraratne, D. S.; Kohler, M. D.

    2016-12-01

    Continental and oceanic lithosphere, which form in different tectonic environments, are studied in a single amphibious seismic array across the Southern California continental margin. This provides a unique opportunity to directly compare oceanic and continental lithosphere, asthenosphere, and the LAB (Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary) in a single data set. The complex history of the region, including spreading center subduction, block rotation, and Borderland extension, allows us to study limits in the rigidity and strength of the lithosphere. We study Rayleigh wave phase velocities obtained from the ALBACORE (Asthenospheric and Lithospheric Broadband Architecture from the California Offshore Region Experiment) offshore seismic array project and invert for shear wave velocity structure as a function of depth. We divide the study area into several regions: continent, inner Borderland, outer Borderland, and oceanic seafloor categorized by age. A unique starting Vs model is used for each case including layer thicknesses, densities, and P and S velocities which predicts Rayleigh phase velocities and are compared to observed phase velocities in each region. We solve for shear wave velocities with the best fit between observed and predicted phase velocity data in a least square sense. Preliminary results indicate that lithospheric velocities in the oceanic mantle are higher than the continental region by at least 2%. The LAB is observed at 50 ± 20 km beneath 15-35 Ma oceanic seafloor. Asthenospheric low velocities reach a minimum of 4.2 km/s in all regions, but have a steeper positive velocity gradient at the base of the oceanic asthenosphere compared to the continent. Seismic tomography images in two and three dimensions will be presented from each study region.

  4. Evolution of Meso-Cenozoic lithospheric thermal-rheological structure in the Jiyang sub-basin, Bohai Bay Basin, eastern North China Craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Wei; Qiu, Nansheng; Wang, Ye; Chang, Jian

    2018-01-01

    The Meso-Cenozoic lithospheric thermal-rheological structure and lithospheric strength evolution of the Jiyang sub-basin were modeled using thermal history, crustal structure, and rheological parameter data. Results indicate that the thermal-rheological structure of the Jiyang sub-basin has exhibited obvious rheological stratification and changes over time. During the Early Mesozoic, the uppermost portion of the upper crust, middle crust, and the top part of the upper mantle had a thick brittle layer. During the early Early Cretaceous, the top of the middle crust's brittle layer thinned because of lithosphere thinning and temperature increase, and the uppermost portion of the upper mantle was almost occupied by a ductile layer. During the late Early Cretaceous, the brittle layer of the middle crust and the upper mantle changed to a ductile one. Then, the uppermost portion of the middle crust changed to a thin brittle layer in the late Cretaceous. During the early Paleogene, the thin brittle layer of the middle crust became even thinner and shallower under the condition of crustal extension. Currently, with the decrease in lithospheric temperature, the top of the upper crust, middle crust, and the uppermost portion of the upper mantle are of a brittle layer. The total lithospheric strength and the effective elastic thickness ( T e) in Meso-Cenozoic indicate that the Jiyang sub-basin experienced two weakened stages: during the late Early Cretaceous and the early Paleogene. The total lithospheric strength (approximately 4-5 × 1013 N m-1) and T e (approximately 50-60 km) during the Early Mesozoic was larger than that after the Late Jurassic (2-7 × 1012 N m-1 and 19-39 km, respectively). The results also reflect the subduction, and rollback of Pacific plate is the geodynamic mechanism of the destruction of the eastern North China Craton.

  5. Lithospheric expression of geological units in central and eastern North America from full waveform tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Huaiyu; French, Scott; Cupillard, Paul; Romanowicz, Barbara

    2014-09-01

    The EarthScope TA deployment has provided dense array coverage throughout the continental US and with it, the opportunity for high resolution 3D seismic velocity imaging of both lithosphere and asthenosphere in the continent. Building upon our previous long-period waveform tomographic modeling in North America, we present a higher resolution 3D isotropic and radially anisotropic shear wave velocity model of the North American lithospheric mantle, constructed tomographically using the spectral element method for wavefield computations and waveform data down to 40 s period. The new model exhibits pronounced spatial correlation between lateral variations in seismic velocity and anisotropy and major tectonic units as defined from surface geology. In the center of the continent, the North American craton exhibits uniformly thick lithosphere down to 200-250 km, while major tectonic sutures of Proterozoic age visible in the surface geology extend down to 100-150 km as relatively narrow zones of distinct radial anisotropy, with Vsv >Vsh. Notably, the upper mantle low velocity zone is present everywhere under the craton between 200 and 300 km depth. East of the continental rift margin, the lithosphere is broken up into a series of large, somewhat thinner (150 km) high velocity blocks, which extend laterally 200-300 km offshore into the Atlantic Ocean. Between the craton and these deep-rooted blocks, we find a prominent narrow band of low velocities that roughly follows the southern and eastern Laurentia rift margin and extends into New England. We suggest that the lithosphere along this band of low velocities may be thinned due to the combined effects of repeated rifting processes and northward extension of the hotspot related Bermuda low-velocity channel across the New England region. We propose that the deep rooted high velocity blocks east of the Laurentia margin represent the Proterozoic Gondwanian terranes of pan-African affinity, which were captured during the Rodinia

  6. Lithospheric low-velocity zones associated with a magmatic segment of the Tanzanian Rift, East Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plasman, M.; Tiberi, C.; Ebinger, C.; Gautier, S.; Albaric, J.; Peyrat, S.; Déverchère, J.; Le Gall, B.; Tarits, P.; Roecker, S.; Wambura, F.; Muzuka, A.; Mulibo, G.; Mtelela, K.; Msabi, M.; Kianji, G.; Hautot, S.; Perrot, J.; Gama, R.

    2017-07-01

    Rifting in a cratonic lithosphere is strongly controlled by several interacting processes including crust/mantle rheology, magmatism, inherited structure and stress regime. In order to better understand how these physical parameters interact, a 2 yr long seismological experiment has been carried out in the North Tanzanian Divergence (NTD), at the southern tip of the eastern magmatic branch of the East African rift, where the southward-propagating continental rift is at its earliest stage. We analyse teleseismic data from 38 broad-band stations ca. 25 km spaced and present here results from their receiver function (RF) analysis. The crustal thickness and Vp/Vs ratio are retrieved over a ca. 200 × 200 km2 area encompassing the South Kenya magmatic rift, the NTD and the Ngorongoro-Kilimanjaro transverse volcanic chain. Cratonic nature of the lithosphere is clearly evinced through thick (up to ca. 40 km) homogeneous crust beneath the rift shoulders. Where rifting is present, Moho rises up to 27 km depth and the crust is strongly layered with clear velocity contrasts in the RF signal. The Vp/Vs ratio reaches its highest values (ca. 1.9) beneath volcanic edifices location and thinner crust, advocating for melting within the crust. We also clearly identify two major low-velocity zones (LVZs) within the NTD, one in the lower crust and the second in the upper part of the mantle. The first one starts at 15-18 km depth and correlates well with recent tomographic models. This LVZ does not always coexist with high Vp/Vs ratio, pleading for a supplementary source of velocity decrease, such as temperature or composition. At a greater depth of ca. 60 km, a mid-lithospheric discontinuity roughly mimics the step-like and symmetrically outward-dipping geometry of the Moho but with a more slanting direction (NE-SW) compared to the NS rift. By comparison with synthetic RF, we estimate the associated velocity reduction to be 8-9 per cent. We relate this interface to melt ponding

  7. Asthenosphere versus lithosphere as possible sources for basaltic magmas erupted during formation of the Red Sea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Altherr, R.; Henjes-Kunst, F.; Baumann, A.

    1990-01-01

    Representative basalts from the axial trough of the Red Sea and from volcanic fields of the Arabian Peninsula ranging in composition from N-type MORB to basanite and in age from Early Miocene to Recent show a limited variation in their isotopic compositions: 87 Sr/ 86 Sr = 0.70240-0.70361, 206 Pb/ 204 Pb = 18.040-19.634, 207 Pb/ 204 Pb = 15.496-15.666, 208 Pb/ 204 Pb = 37.808-39.710, 143 Nd/ 144 Nd = 0.513194-0.512670. There is a poorly constrained correlation between chemical composition and isotope ratios: with increasing alkalinity, Sr and Pb isotope ratios increase and the Nd isotope ratio tends to decrease. In Pb isotope variation diagrams most of the basalts plot significantly above the NHRLs, irrespective of tectonic setting, i.e. thickness of underlying crust and/or lithosphere. MORBs from the axial trough of the Red Sea have higher Pb isotope ratios for a given 87 Sr/ 86 Sr than MORBs from the Indian Ocean ridges, including the Carlsberg Ridge. It is therefore suggested that both spreading ridges tap different convective systems in the asthenosphere. The tectonic setting of the basalts is reflected in their Nd-Sr isotope characteristics. Basalts from areas where the continental lithosphere is drastically thinned or absent (i.e. Red Sea axial trough and coastal plain, Afar) plot along a reference line defined by N-type MORB and Tristan da Cunha. Basalts erupted in areas with Pan-African crust of normal thickness and moderately thinned lithospheric mantle (i.e. rift shoulder) are characterized by relative low 143 Nd/ 144 Nd ratios and plot below the reference line towards an EM I component which is also found in the subcontinental lithospheric mantle. These differences in the Nd-Sr isotopic compositions of the basalts are independent of bulk-rock chemistry and are therefore controlled by tectonic setting alone. (orig./WL)

  8. Oppositely directed pairs of propagating rifts in back-arc basins: Double saloon door seafloor spreading during subduction rollback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, A. K.

    2006-06-01

    rotation in the Liguro-Provencal Basin. The latter feature demonstrates that a rift also propagated northeast in the Liguro-Provencal Basin, at least in its oceanic accretion phase of development. An adaptation of an existing model for subduction slab detachment occurring along the North African margin in the late Burdigalian/Langhian, proposes propagation in opposite directions of the slab tear. The resultant rhombic slab detachment is closely associated in space and time with the rhombic form of the Algerian/Liguro-Provencal basins, suggesting a cause and effect relationship.

  9. Finite-frequency P-wave tomography of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin: Implications for the lithospheric evolution in Western Laurentia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yunfeng; Gu, Yu Jeffrey; Hung, Shu-Huei

    2017-02-01

    The lithosphere beneath the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin has potentially undergone Precambrian subduction and collisional orogenesis, resulting in a complex network of crustal domains. To improve the understanding of its evolutionary history, we combine data from the USArray and three regional networks to invert for P-wave velocities of the upper mantle using finite-frequency tomography. Our model reveals distinct, vertically continuous high (> 1%) velocity perturbations at depths above 200 km beneath the Precambrian Buffalo Head Terrane, Hearne craton and Medicine Hat Block, which sharply contrasts with those beneath the Canadian Rockies (Medicine Hat Block (200 km). These findings are consistent with earlier theories of tectonic assembly in this region, which featured distinct Archean and Proterozoic plate convergences between the Hearne craton and its neighboring domains. The highly variable, bimodally distributed craton thicknesses may also reflect different lithospheric destruction processes beneath the western margin of Laurentia.

  10. S-wave velocities of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system in the Lesser Antilles from the joint inversion of surface wave dispersion and receiver function analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, O'Leary; Clouard, Valerie; Tait, Stephen; Panza, Giuliano F.

    2018-06-01

    We present an overview of S-wave velocities (Vs) within the crust and upper mantle of the Lesser Antilles as determined with 19 seismic broadband stations. Receiver functions (RF) have been computed from teleseismic recordings of earthquakes, and Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion relations have been taken from earlier surface wave tomographic studies in the Caribbean area. Local smoothness optimization (LSO) procedure has been applied, combined with an H-K stacking method, the spatial distribution of hypocenters of local earthquakes and of the energy they released, in order to identify an optimum 1D model of Vs below each station. Several features of the Caribbean plate and its interaction with the Atlantic subducting slab are visible in the resulting models: (a) relatively thick oceanic crust below these stations ranges from 21 km to 33 km, being slight thinner in the middle of the island arc; (b) crustal low velocity zones are present below stations SABA, SEUS, SKI, SMRT, CBE, DSD, GCMP and TDBA; (c) lithospheric thickness range from 40 km to 105 km but lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary was not straightforward to correlate between stations; (d) the aseismic mantle wedge between the Caribbean seismic lithosphere and the subducted slab varies in thickness as well as Vs values which are, in general, lower below the West of Martinique than below the West of Guadeloupe; (e) the depth of the subducted slab beneath the volcanic arc, appears to be greater to the North, and relatively shallower below some stations (e.g. DLPL, SAM, BIM and FDF) than was estimated in previous studies based on the depth-distribution of seismicity; f) the WBZ is >10-15 km deeper than the top of the slab below the Central Lesser Antilles (Martinique and Dominica) where the presence of partial melt in the mantle wedge seems also to be more evident.

  11. Global equivalent magnetization of the oceanic lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyment, J.; Choi, Y.; Hamoudi, M.; Lesur, V.; Thebault, E.

    2015-11-01

    As a by-product of the construction of a new World Digital Magnetic Anomaly Map over oceanic areas, we use an original approach based on the global forward modeling of seafloor spreading magnetic anomalies and their comparison to the available marine magnetic data to derive the first map of the equivalent magnetization over the World's ocean. This map reveals consistent patterns related to the age of the oceanic lithosphere, the spreading rate at which it was formed, and the presence of mantle thermal anomalies which affects seafloor spreading and the resulting lithosphere. As for the age, the equivalent magnetization decreases significantly during the first 10-15 Myr after its formation, probably due to the alteration of crustal magnetic minerals under pervasive hydrothermal alteration, then increases regularly between 20 and 70 Ma, reflecting variations in the field strength or source effects such as the acquisition of a secondary magnetization. As for the spreading rate, the equivalent magnetization is twice as strong in areas formed at fast rate than in those formed at slow rate, with a threshold at ∼40 km/Myr, in agreement with an independent global analysis of the amplitude of Anomaly 25. This result, combined with those from the study of the anomalous skewness of marine magnetic anomalies, allows building a unified model for the magnetic structure of normal oceanic lithosphere as a function of spreading rate. Finally, specific areas affected by thermal mantle anomalies at the time of their formation exhibit peculiar equivalent magnetization signatures, such as the cold Australian-Antarctic Discordance, marked by a lower magnetization, and several hotspots, marked by a high magnetization.

  12. High-temperature peridotites - lithospheric or asthenospheric?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hops, J.J.; Gurney, J.J.

    1990-01-01

    High-temperature peridotites by definition yield equilibration temperatures greater than 1100 degrees C. On the basis of temperature and pressure calculations, these high-temperature peridotites are amongst the deepest samples entrained by kimberlites on route to the surface. Conflicting models proposing either a lithospheric or asthenospheric origin for the high-temperature peridotites have been suggested. A detailed study of these xenoliths from a single locality, the Jagersfontein kimberlite in the Orange Free State, has been completed as a means of resolving this controversy. 10 refs., 2 figs

  13. Modelling the interplate domain in thermo-mechanical simulations of subduction: Critical effects of resolution and rheology, and consequences on wet mantle melting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arcay, Diane

    2017-08-01

    The present study aims at better deciphering the different mechanisms involved in the functioning of the subduction interplate. A 2D thermo-mechanical model is used to simulate a subduction channel, made of oceanic crust, free to evolve. Convergence at constant rate is imposed under a 100 km thick upper plate. Pseudo-brittle and non-Newtonian behaviours are modelled. The influence of the subduction channel strength, parameterized by the difference in activation energy between crust and mantle (ΔEa) is investigated to examine in detail the variations in depth of the subduction plane down-dip extent, zcoup . First, simulations show that numerical resolution may be responsible for an artificial and significant shallowing of zcoup if the weak crustal layer is not correctly resolved. Second, if the age of the subducting plate is 100 Myr, subduction occurs for any ΔEa . The stiffer the crust is, that is, the lower ΔEa is, the shallower zcoup is (60 km depth if ΔEa = 20 kJ/mol) and the hotter the fore-arc base is. Conversely, imposing a very weak subduction channel (ΔEa > 135 J/mol) leads there to an extreme mantle wedge cooling and inhibits mantle melting in wet conditions. Partial kinematic coupling at the fore-arc base occurs if ΔEa = 145 kJ/mol. If the incoming plate is 20 Myr old, subduction can occur under the conditions that the crust is either stiff and denser than the mantle, or weak and buoyant. In the latter condition, cold crust plumes rise from the subduction channel and ascend through the upper lithosphere, triggering (1) partial kinematic coupling under the fore-arc, (2) fore-arc lithosphere cooling, and (3) partial or complete hindrance of wet mantle melting. zcoup then ranges from 50 to more than 250 km depth and is time-dependent if crust plumes form. Finally, subduction plane dynamics is intimately linked to the regime of subduction-induced corner flow. Two different intervals of ΔEa are underlined: 80-120 kJ/mol to reproduce the range of slab

  14. Estimation of seismic velocity in the subducting crust of the Pacific slab beneath Hokkaido, northern Japan by using guided waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiina, T.; Nakajima, J.; Toyokuni, G.; Kita, S.; Matsuzawa, T.

    2014-12-01

    A subducting crust contains a large amount of water as a form of hydrous minerals (e.g., Hacker et al., 2003), and the crust plays important roles for water transportation and seismogenesis in subduction zones at intermediate depths (e.g., Kirby et al., 1996; Iwamori, 2007). Therefore, the investigation of seismic structure in the crust is important to understand ongoing physical processes with subduction of oceanic lithosphere. A guided wave which propagates in the subducting crust is recorded in seismograms at Hokkaido, northern Japan (Shiina et al., 2014). Here, we estimated P- and S-wave velocity in the crust with guided waves, and obtained P-wave velocity of 6.6-7.3 km/s and S-wave velocity of 3.6-4.2 km/s at depths of 50-90 km. Moreover, Vp/Vs ratio in the crust is calculated to be 1.80-1.85 in that depth range. The obtained P-wave velocity about 6.6km/s at depths of 50-70 km is consistent with those estimated in Tohoku, northeast Japan (Shiina et al., 2013), and this the P-wave velocity is lower than those expected from models of subducting crustal compositions, such as metamorphosed MORB model (Hacker et al., 2003). In contrast, at greater depths (>80 km), the P-wave velocity marks higher velocity than the case of NE Japan and the velocity is roughly comparable to those of the MORB model. The obtained S-wave velocity distribution also shows characteristics similar to P waves. This regional variation may be caused by a small variation in thermal regime of the Pacific slab beneath the two regions as a result of the normal subduction in Tohoku and oblique subduction in Hokkaido. In addition, the effect of seismic anisotropy in the subducting crust would not be ruled out because rays used in the analysis in Hokkaido propagate mostly in the trench-parallel direction, while those in Tohoku are sufficiently criss-crossed.

  15. A Review of Recent Developments in the Study of Regional Lithospheric Electrical Structure of the Asian Continent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Letian

    2017-09-01

    The Asian continent was formed through the amalgamation of several major continental blocks that were formerly separated by the Paleo-Asian and Tethyan Oceans. During this process, the Asian continent underwent a long period of continental crustal growth and tectonic deformation, making it the largest and youngest continent on Earth. This paper presents a review of the application of geophysical electromagnetic methods, mainly the magnetotelluric (MT) method, in recent investigations of the diverse tectonic features across the Asian continent. The case studies cover the major continental blocks of Asia, the Central Asian orogenic system, the Tethyan orogenic system, as well as the western Pacific subduction system. In summary, most of the major continental blocks of Asia exhibit a three-layer structure with a resistive upper crust and upper mantle and a relatively conductive mid-lower crust. Large-scale conductors in the upper mantle were interpreted as an indication of lithospheric modification at the craton margins. The electrical structure of the Central Asian orogenic system is generally more resistive than the bordering continental blocks, whereas the Tethyan orogenic system displays more conductive, with pervasive conductors in the lower crust and upper mantle. The western Pacific subduction system shows increasing complexity in its electrical structure from its northern extent to its southern extent. In general, the following areas of the Asian continent have increasingly conductive lithospheric electrical structures, which correspond to a transition from the most stable areas to the most active tectonic areas of Asia: the major continental blocks, the accretionary Central Asian orogenic system, the collisional Tethyan orogenic system, and the western Pacific subduction system. As a key part of this review, a three-dimensional (3-D) model of the lithospheric electrical structure of a large portion of the Tibetan Plateau is presented and discussed in detail

  16. Subduction zone and crustal dynamics of western Washington; a tectonic model for earthquake hazards evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Dal; Villaseñor, Antonio; Benz, Harley

    1999-01-01

    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

  17. Piecewise delamination of Moroccan lithosphere from beneath the Atlas Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezada, M. J.; Humphreys, E. D.; Davila, J. M.; Carbonell, R.; Harnafi, M.; Palomeras, I.; Levander, A.

    2014-04-01

    The elevation of the intracontinental Atlas Mountains of Morocco and surrounding regions requires a mantle component of buoyancy, and there is consensus that this buoyancy results from an abnormally thin lithosphere. Lithospheric delamination under the Atlas Mountains and thermal erosion caused by upwelling mantle have each been suggested as thinning mechanisms. We use seismic tomography to image the upper mantle of Morocco. Our imaging resolves the location and shape of lithospheric cavities and of delaminated lithosphere ˜400 km beneath the Middle Atlas. We propose discontinuous delamination of an intrinsically unstable Atlas lithosphere, enabled by the presence of anomalously hot mantle, as a mechanism for producing the imaged structures. The Atlas lithosphere was made unstable by a combination of tectonic shortening and eclogite loading during Mesozoic rifting and Cenozoic magmatism. The presence of hot mantle sourced from regional upwellings in northern Africa or the Canary Islands enhanced the instability of this lithosphere. Flow around the retreating Alboran slab focused upwelling mantle under the Middle Atlas, which we infer to be the site of the most recent delamination. The Atlas Mountains of Morocco stand as an example of large-scale lithospheric loss in a mildly contractional orogen.

  18. Global model for the lithospheric strength and effective elastic thickness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tesauro, M.; Kaban, M.K.; Cloetingh, S.A.P.L.

    2013-01-01

    Global distribution of the strength and effective elastic thickness (Te) of the lithosphere are estimated using physical parameters from recent crustal and lithospheric models. For the Te estimation we apply a new approach, which provides a possibility to take into account variations of Young

  19. A lithospheric perspective on structure and evolution of Precambrian cratons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Artemieva, Irina

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this chapter is to provide a summary of geophysical data on the structure of the stable continental lithosphere and its evolution since the Archean. Here, the term lithosphere is used to define the outer layer of the Earth which includes the crust and uppermost mantle, forms the ro...

  20. The Southern Tyrrhenian subduction system: recent evolution and neotectonic implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Argnani

    2000-06-01

    Full Text Available Geological and geophysical data have been integrated with the aim of presenting a new evolutionary model for the Southern Tyrrhenian and adjacent regions. The Southern Tyrrhenian backarc basin opened within a plate convergence regime because of sinking and rollback of the oceanic Ionian lithosphere. On the basis of seismological observations, I infer that the sinking slab was torn apart on either side in the last 2 Ma and this process controlled the neotectonics of the Southern Apennines - Tyrrhenian region. On the north-eastern side the slab broke off from NW to SE and this process triggered volcanism and NW-SE extension along the Eastern Tyrrhenian margin, and strike-slip tectonics along NW-SE trending faults in Northern Calabria. On the south-western side the slab broke off from W to E along the Aeolian Island alignment, although the tear has currently been reoriented along the NNW-SSE Malta escarpment. During its sinking the subducted slab also detached from the overriding plate, favouring the wedging of the asthenosphere between the two plates and the regional uplift of the Calabrian arc and surroundings. This regional uplift promoted gravitational instability within the orogenic wedge, particularly towards low topography areas; the large-scale sliding of the Calabrian arc towards the Ionian basin can be the cause of CW rotation and graben formation in Calabria. Also the E-dipping extensional faults of the Southern Apennines can be related to accommodation of vertical motions within the fold-and-thrust belt. The pattern of recent seismicity reflects this neotectonics where crustal-scale gravity deformation within the orogenic wedge is responsible for extensional earthquakes in Calabria and the Southern Apennines, whereas Africa plate convergence can account for compressional earthquakes in Sicily.

  1. Lu-Hf isotope constraints on plume-lithosphere interaction during emplacement of the Bushveld Large Igneous Province at 2.06 Ga: Implications for the structure and evolution of the Kaapvaal Craton's lithospheric mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zirakparvar, N. A.; Mathez, E. A.; Rajesh, H.; Vervoort, J. D.; Choe, S.

    2016-12-01

    The Bushveld Large Igneous Province (B-LIP) comprises a diverse array of >30 magma bodies that intruded the Kaapvaal Craton at 2.06 Ga. In this talk we use zircon and bulk-rock Lu-Hf isotope data to show that the B-LIP formed in response to the arrival of a plume(s) from the deep mantle. New zircon Hf isotope compositions for four B-LIP bodies yield intrusion-specific average ɛHf (2.06 Ga) values that range from -20.7 ± 2.8 to -2.7 ± 2.8, largely consistent with literature zircon data for other B-LIP intrusions. Bulk-rock solution ɛHf (2.06 Ga) values for a variety of B-LIP intrusions range from -2.1 ± 0.2 to -10.6 ± 0.2. Because the most radiogenic Hf isotope compositions across the entire B-LIP are nearly primordial with an ɛHf (2.06 Ga) close to 0, it is likely that the heat source of the B-LIP was a plume(s) from deep mantle. The Hf isotope data further suggests that individual intrusions in the B-LIP can be grouped into four categories based on their ultimate sources: 1) melts generated in subduction and plume modified continental lithospheric mantle; 2) melts generated by melting of a mafic-ultramafic reservoir composed of older ( 2.7 Ga) plume-related material trapped in the Kaapvaal lithosphere; 3) melts generated in the mid- to upper crust; and 4) melts generated from the 2.06 Ga mantle plume itself. The presence of 2.7 Ga mafic-ultramafic material in the Kaapvaal lithosphere may have acted to strengthen the lithosphere so that it was able to resist being dispered by the arrival of the B-LIP plume at 2.06 Ga. Because the B-LIP extends into a 2.7 Ga aged suture zone between the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe cratons, it is also possible to understand the role of the lithospheric mantle in producing the Lu-Hf signatures observed in the various B-LIP intrusions as a function of two different types of the continental lithosphere: The very old lithosphere comprising the Kaapvaal Craton and the somewhat younger lithosphere comprising the suture zone. A basic

  2. The westward drift of the lithosphere: A tidal ratchet?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Carcaterra

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Is the westerly rotation of the lithosphere an ephemeral accidental recent phenomenon or is it a stable process of Earth's geodynamics? The reason why the tidal drag has been questioned as the mechanism determining the lithospheric shift relative to the underlying mantle is the apparent too high viscosity of the asthenosphere. However, plate boundaries asymmetries are a robust indication of the ‘westerly’ decoupling of the entire Earth's outer lithospheric shell and new studies support lower viscosities in the low-velocity layer (LVZ atop the asthenosphere. Since the solid Earth tide oscillation is longer in one side relative to the other due to the contemporaneous Moon's revolution, we demonstrate that a non-linear rheological behavior is expected in the lithosphere mantle interplay. This may provide a sort of ratchet favoring lowering of the LVZ viscosity under shear, allowing decoupling in the LVZ and triggering the westerly motion of the lithosphere relative to the mantle.

  3. Magmatic tectonic effects of high thermal regime at the site of active ridge subduction: the Chile Triple Junction model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagabrielle, Yves; Guivel, Christèle; Maury, René C.; Bourgois, Jacques; Fourcade, Serge; Martin, Hervé

    2000-11-01

    High thermal gradients are expected to be found at sites of subduction of very young oceanic lithosphere and more particularly at ridge-trench-trench (RTT) triple junctions, where active oceanic spreading ridges enter a subduction zone. Active tectonics, associated with the emplacement of two main types of volcanic products, (1) MORB-type magmas, and (2) calc-alkaline acidic magmas in the forearc, also characterize these plate junction domains. In this context, MORB-type magmas are generally thought to derive from the buried active spreading center subducted at shallow depths, whereas the origin of calc-alkaline acidic magmas is more problematic. One of the best constrained examples of ridge-trench interaction is the Chile Triple Junction (CTJ) located southwest of the South American plate at 46°12'S, where the active Chile spreading center enters the subduction zone. In this area, there is a clear correlation between the emplacement of magmatic products and the migration of the triple junction along the active margin. The CTJ lava population is bimodal, with mafic to intermediate lavas (48-56% SiO 2) and acidic lavas ranging from dacites to rhyolites (66-73% SiO 2). Previous models have shown that partial melting of oceanic crust plus 10-20% of sediments, leaving an amphibole- and plagioclase-rich residue, is the only process that may account for the genesis of acidic magmas. Due to special plate geometry in the CTJ area, a given section of the margin may be successively affected by the passage of several ridge segments. We emphasize that repeated passages will lead to the development of very high thermal gradients allowing melting of rocks of oceanic origin at temperatures of 800-900°C and low pressures, corresponding to depths of 10-20 km depth only. In addition, the structure of the CTJ forearc domain is dominated by horizontal displacements and tilting of crustal blocks along a network of strike-slip faults. The occurrence of such a deformed domain implies

  4. Tomographically-imaged subducted slabs and magmatic history of Caribbean and Pacific subduction beneath Colombia

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  5. New Insights on the Structure of the Cascadia Subduction Zone from Amphibious Seismic Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janiszewski, Helen Anne

    A new onshore-offshore seismic dataset from the Cascadia subduction zone was used to characterize mantle lithosphere structure from the ridge to the volcanic arc, and plate interface structure offshore within the seismogenic zone. The Cascadia Initiative (CI) covered the Juan de Fuca plate offshore the northwest coast of the United States with an ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) array for four years; this was complemented by a simultaneous onshore seismic array. Teleseismic data recorded by this array allows the unprecedented imaging of an entire tectonic plate from its creation at the ridge through subduction initiation and back beyond the volcanic arc along the entire strike of the Cascadia subduction zone. Higher frequency active source seismic data also provides constraints on the crustal structure along the plate interface offshore. Two seismic datasets were used to image the plate interface structure along a line extending 100 km offshore central Washington. These are wide-angle reflections from ship-to-shore seismic data from the Ridge-To-Trench seismic cruise and receiver functions calculated from a densely spaced CI OBS focus array in a similar region. Active source seismic observations are consistent with reflections from the plate interface offshore indicating the presence of a P-wave velocity discontinuity. Until recently, there has been limited success in using the receiver function technique on OBS data. I avoid these traditional challenges by using OBS constructed with shielding deployed in shallow water on the continental shelf. These data have quieter horizontals and avoid water- and sediment-multiple contamination at the examined frequencies. The receiver functions are consistently modeled with a velocity structure that has a low velocity zone (LVZ) with elevated P to S-wave velocity ratios at the plate interface. A similar LVZ structure has been observed onshore and interpreted as a combination of elevated pore-fluid pressures or metasediments

  6. 3D absolute hypocentral determination - 13 years of seismicity in Ecuadorian subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Font, Yvonne; Segovia, Monica; Theunissen, Thomas

    2010-05-01

    In Ecuador, the Nazca plate is subducting beneath the North Andean Block. This subduction triggered, during the last century, 4 major earthquakes of magnitude greater than 7.7. Between 1994 and 2007, the Geophysical Institute (Escuela National Politecnica, Quito) recorded about 40 000 events in whole Ecuador ranging from Mb 1.5 to 6.9. Unfortunately, the local network shows great density discrepancy between the Coastal and Andean regions where numerous stations were installed to survey volcanic activity. Consequently, seismicity in and around the interplate seismogenic zone - producer of the most destructive earthquakes and tsunamis - is not well constrained. This study aims to improve the location of 13 years seismicity occurred during an interseismic period in order to better localize the seismic deformation and gaps. The first step consists in the construction of a 3D "georealistic" velocity model. Because local tomography cannot provide satisfactory model, we combined all local crustal/lithospheric information on the geometry and velocity properties of different geological units. Those information cover the oceanic Nazca plate and sedimentary coverture the subducting plate dip angle; the North Andean Block margin composed of accreted oceanic plateaus (the Moho depth is approximated using gravity modeling); the metamorphic volcanic chain (oceanic nature for the occidental cordillera and inter-andean valley, continental one for the oriental cordillera); The continental Guyana shield and sedimentary basins. The resulting 3D velocity model extends from 2°N to 6.5°S and 277°E to 283°E and reaches a depth of 300 km. It is discretized in constant velocity blocks of 12 x 12 x 3 km in x, y and z, respectively. The second step consists in selecting an adequate sub-set of seismic stations in order to correct the effect of station density disequilibrium between coastal and volcanic regions. Consequently, we only keep the most representative volcanic stations in terms

  7. Electrical conductivity imaging in the western Pacific subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utada, Hisashi; Baba, Kiyoshi; Shimizu, Hisayoshi

    2010-05-01

    Oceanic plate subduction is an important process for the dynamics and evolution of the Earth's interior, as it is regarded as a typical downward flow of the mantle convection that transports materials from the near surface to the deep mantle. Recent seismological study showed evidence suggesting the transportation of a certain amount of water by subduction of old oceanic plate such as the Pacific plate down to 150-200 km depth into the back arc mantle. However it is not well clarified how deep into the mantle the water can be transported. The electromagnetic induction method to image electrical conductivity distribution is a possible tool to answer this question as it is known to be sensitive to the presence of water. Here we show recent result of observational study from the western Pacific subduction zone to examine the electrical conductivity distribution in the upper mantle and in the mantle transition zone (MTZ), which will provide implications how water distributes in the mantle. We take two kinds of approach for imaging the mantle conductivity, (a) semi-global and (b) regional induction approaches. Result may be summarized as follows: (a) Long (5-30 years) time series records from 8 submarine cables and 13 geomagnetic observatories in the north Pacific region were analyzed and long period magnetotelluric (MT) and geomagnetic deep sounding (GDS) responses were estimated in the period range from 1.7 to 35 days. These frequency dependent response functions were inverted to 3-dimensional conductivity distribution in the depth range between 350 and 850 km. Three major features are suggested in the MTZ depth such as, (1) a high conductivity anomaly beneath the Philippine Sea, (2) a high conductivity anomaly beneath the Hawaiian Islands, and (3) a low conductivity anomaly beneath and in the vicinity of northern Japan. (b) A three-year long deployment of ocean bottom electro-magnetometers (OBEM's) was conducted in the Philippine Sea and west Pacific Ocean from 2005

  8. A Paleozoic Japan-type subduction-accretion system in the Beishan orogenic collage, southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Dongfang; Xiao, Wenjiao; Windley, Brian F.; Han, Chunming; Tian, Zhonghua

    2015-05-01

    Magmatic arcs ascribed to oceanic lithosphere subduction played a dominant role in the construction of the accretionary Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB). The Beishan orogenic collage, situated between the Tianshan Orogen to the west and the Inner Mongolia Orogen to the east, is a key area to understanding the subduction and accretionary processes of the southern CAOB. However, the nature of magmatic arcs in the Beishan and the correlation among different tectonic units along the southern CAOB are highly ambiguous. In order to investigate the subduction-accretion history of the Beishan and put a better spatial and temporal relationship among the tectonic belts along the southern CAOB, we carried out detailed field-based structural geology and LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb geochronological as well as geochemical studies along four cross-sections across crucial litho-tectonic units in the central segment of the Beishan, mainly focusing on the metamorphic assemblages and associated plutons and volcanic rocks. The results show that both the plutonic and volcanic rocks have geochemical characteristics similar to those of subduction-related rocks, which favors a volcanic arc setting. Zircons from all the plutonic rocks yield Phanerozoic ages and the plutons have crystallization ages ranging from 464 ± 2 Ma to 398 ± 3 Ma. Two volcanic-sedimentary rocks yield zircons with a wide age range from Phanerozoic to Precambrian with the youngest age peaks at 441 Ma and 446 Ma, estimated to be the time of formation of the volcanic rocks. These new results, combined with published data on ophiolitic mélanges from the central segment of the Beishan, favor a Japan-type subduction-accretion system in the Cambrian to Carboniferous in this part of the Paleo-Asian Ocean. The Xichangjing-Niujuanzi ophiolite probably represents a major suture zone separating different tectonic units across the Beishan orogenic collage, while the Xiaohuangshan-Jijitaizi ophiolitic mélange may represent a

  9. Density heterogeneity of the cratonic lithosphere

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cherepanova, Yulia; Artemieva, Irina

    2015-01-01

    Using free-board modeling, we examine a vertically-averaged mantle density beneath the Archean-Proterozoic Siberian craton in the layer from the Moho down to base of the chemical boundary layer (CBL). Two models are tested: in Model 1 the base of the CBL coincides with the LAB, whereas in Model 2...... the base of the CBL is at a 180 km depth. The uncertainty of density model is density structure of the Siberian lithospheric mantle with a strong...... correlation between mantle density variations and the tectonic setting. Three types of cratonic mantle are recognized from mantle density anomalies. 'Pristine' cratonic regions not sampled by kimberlites have the strongest depletion with density deficit of 1.8-3.0% (and SPT density of 3.29-3.33 t/m3...

  10. Deep magmatism alters and erodes lithosphere and facilitates decoupling of Rwenzori crustal block

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallner, Herbert; Schmeling, Harro

    2013-04-01

    The title is the answer to the initiating question "Why are the Rwenzori Mountains so high?" posed at the EGU 2008. Our motivation origins in the extreme topography of the Rwenzori Mountains. The strong, cold proterozoic crustal horst is situated between rift segments of the western branch of the East African Rift System. Ideas of rift induced delamination (RID) and melt induced weakening (MIW) have been tested with one- and two-phase flow physics. Numerical model parameter variations and new observations lead to a favoured model with simple and plausible definitions. Results coincide in the scope of their comparability with different observations or vice versa reduce ambiguity and uncertainties in model input. Principle laws of the thermo-mechanical physics are the equations of conservation of mass, momentum, energy and composition for a two-phase (matrix-melt) system with nonlinear rheology. A simple solid solution model determines melting and solidification under consideration of depletion and enrichment. The Finite Difference Method with markers is applied to visco-plastic flow using the streamfunction in an Eulerian formulation in 2D. The Compaction Boussinesq and the high Prandtl number Approximation are employed. Lateral kinematic boundary conditions provide long-wavelength asthenospheric upwelling and extensional stress conditions. Partial melts are generated in the asthenosphere, extracted above a critical fraction, and emplaced into a given intrusion level. Temperature anomalies positioned beneath the future rifts, the sole specialization to the Rwenzori situation, localize melts which are very effective in weakening the lithosphere. Convection patterns tend to generate dripping instabilities at the lithospheric base; multiple slabs detach and distort uprising asthenosphere; plumes migrate, join and split. In spite of appearing chaotic flow behaviour a characteristic recurrence time of high velocity events (drips, plumes) emerges. Chimneys of increased

  11. 3D Thermo-Mechanical Models of Plume-Lithosphere Interactions: Implications for the Kenya rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheck-Wenderoth, M.; Koptev, A.; Sippel, J.

    2017-12-01

    We present three-dimensional (3D) thermo-mechanical models aiming to explore the interaction of an active mantle plume with heterogeneous pre-stressed lithosphere in the Kenya rift region. As shown by the recent data-driven 3D gravity and thermal modeling (Sippel et al., 2017), the integrated strength of the lithosphere for the region of Kenya and northern Tanzania appears to be strongly controlled by the complex inherited crustal structure, which may have been decisive for the onset, localization and propagation of rifting. In order to test this hypothesis, we have performed a series of ultra-high resolution 3D numerical experiments that include a coupled mantle/lithosphere system in a dynamically and rheologically consistent framework. In contrast to our previous studies assuming a simple and quasi-symmetrical initial condition (Koptev et al., 2015, 2016, 2017), the complex 3D distribution of rock physical properties inferred from geological and geophysical observations (Sippel et al., 2017) has been incorporated into the model setup that comprises a stratified three-layer continental lithosphere composed of an upper and lower crust and lithospheric mantle overlaying the upper mantle. Following the evidence of the presence of a broad low-velocity seismic anomaly under the central parts of the East African Rift system (e.g. Nyblade et al, 2000; Chang et al., 2015), a 200-km radius mantle plume has been seeded at the bottom of a 635 km-depth model box representing a thermal anomaly of 300°C temperature excess. In all model runs, results show that the spatial distribution of surface deformation is indeed strongly controlled by crustal structure: within the southern part of the model box, a localized narrow zone stretched in NS direction (i.e. perpendicularly to applied far-field extension) is aligned along a structural boundary within the lower crust, whereas in the northern part of the model domain, deformation is more diffused and its eastern limit coincides with

  12. Seismic Imaging of the Lesser Antilles Subduction Zone Using S-to-P Receiver Functions: Insights From VoiLA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chichester, B.; Rychert, C.; Harmon, N.; Rietbrock, A.; Collier, J.; Henstock, T.; Goes, S. D. B.; Kendall, J. M.; Krueger, F.

    2017-12-01

    In the Lesser Antilles subduction zone Atlantic oceanic lithosphere, expected to be highly hydrated, is being subducted beneath the Caribbean plate. Water and other volatiles from the down-going plate are released and cause the overlying mantle to melt, feeding volcanoes with magma and hence forming the volcanic island arc. However, the depths and pathways of volatiles and melt within the mantle wedge are not well known. Here, we use S-to-P receiver functions to image seismic velocity contrasts with depth within the subduction zone in order to constrain the release of volatiles and the presence of melt in the mantle wedge, as well as slab structure and arc-lithosphere structure. We use data from 55-80° epicentral distances recorded by 32 recovered broadband ocean-bottom seismometers that were deployed during the 2016-2017 Volatiles in the Lesser Antilles (VoiLA) project for 15 months on the back- and fore-arc. The S-to-P receiver functions are calculated using two methods: extended time multi-taper deconvolution followed by migration to depth to constrain 3-D discontinuity structure of the subduction zone; and simultaneous deconvolution to determine structure beneath single stations. In the south of the island arc, we image a velocity increase with depth associated with the Moho at depths of 32-40 ± 4 km on the fore- and back-arc, consistent with various previous studies. At depths of 65-80 ± 4 km beneath the fore-arc we image a strong velocity decrease with depth that is west-dipping. At 96-120 ± 5 km beneath the fore-arc, we image a velocity increase with depth that is also west-dipping. The dipping negative-positive phase could represent velocity contrasts related to the top of the down-going plate, a feature commonly imaged in subduction zone receiver function studies. The negative phase is strong, so there may also be contributions to the negative velocity discontinuity from slab dehydration and/or mantle wedge serpentinization in the fore-arc.

  13. Evolution and diversity of subduction zones controlled by slab width

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W. P.; Freeman, J.A.; Stegman, D. R.; Moresi, L.; May, D.

    2007-01-01

    Subducting slabs provide the main driving force for plate motion and flow in the Earth's mantle, and geodynamic, seismic and geochemical studies offer insight into slab dynamics and subduction-induced flow. Most previous geodynamic studies treat subduction zones as either infinite in trench-parallel

  14. Influence of the subducting plate velocity on the geometry of the slab and migration of the subduction hinge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, Wouter P.

    2005-01-01

    Geological observations indicate that along two active continental margins (East Asia and Mediterranean) major phases of overriding plate extension, resulting from subduction hinge-retreat, occurred synchronously with a reduction in subducting plate velocity. In this paper, results of fluid

  15. Mantle Subduction and Uplift of Intracontinental Mountains: A Case Study from the Chinese Tianshan Mountains within Eurasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-29

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

  16. Thermochronology of the Sulu ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic terrane: Implications for continental collision and lithospheric thinning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Li-Ping; Li, Zheng-Xiang; Danišík, Martin; Li, Sanzhong; Evans, Noreen; Jourdan, Fred; Tao, Ni

    2017-08-01

    The thermal history of the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt provides important constraints on the collision process between the South China and North China blocks during the Mesozoic, and possible lithospheric thinning event(s) in the eastern North China Block. This study reports on the thermal evolution of the Sulu ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic (UHP) terrane using zircon U-Pb geochronology and multiple thermochronology methods such as mica and hornblende 40Ar/39Ar, zircon and apatite fission track, and zircon and apatite (U-Th)/He dating. 40Ar/39Ar and zircon (U-Th)/He data show that the UHP terrane experienced accelerated cooling during 180-160 Ma. This cooling event could be interpreted to have resulted from extensional unroofing of an earlier southward thrusting nappe, or, more likely, an episode of northward thrusting of the UHP rocks as a hanging wall. A subsequent episode of exhumation took place between ca. 125 Ma and 90 Ma as recorded by zircon (U-Th)/He data. This event was more pronounced in the northwest section of the UHP terrane, whereas in the southeast section, the zircon (U-Th)/He system retained Jurassic cooling ages of ca. 180-160 Ma. The mid-Cretaceous episode of exhumation is interpreted to have resulted from crustal extension due to the removal of thickened, enriched mantle. A younger episode of exhumation was recorded by apatite fission track and apatite (U-Th)/He ages at ca. 65-40 Ma. Both latter events were linked to episodic thinning of lithosphere along the Sulu UHP terrane in an extensional environment, likely caused by the roll-back of the Western Pacific subduction system.

  17. Stress orientations in subduction zones and the strength of subduction megathrust faults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardebeck, Jeanne L

    2015-09-11

    Subduction zone megathrust faults produce most of the world's largest earthquakes. Although the physical properties of these faults are difficult to observe directly, their frictional strength can be estimated indirectly by constraining the orientations of the stresses that act on them. A global investigation of stress orientations in subduction zones finds that the maximum compressive stress axis plunges systematically trenchward, consistently making an angle of 45° to 60° with respect to the subduction megathrust fault. These angles indicate that the megathrust fault is not substantially weaker than its surroundings. Together with several other lines of evidence, this implies that subduction zone megathrusts are weak faults in a low-stress environment. The deforming outer accretionary wedge may decouple the stress state along the megathrust from the constraints of the free surface. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  18. Continental lithosphere of the Arabian Plate: A geologic, petrologic, and geophysical synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Robert J.; Johnson, Peter

    2010-07-01

    The Arabian Plate originated ˜ 25 Ma ago by rifting of NE Africa to form the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea. It is one of the smaller and younger of the Earth's lithospheric plates. The upper part of its crust consists of crystalline Precambrian basement, Phanerozoic sedimentary cover as much as 10 km thick, and Cenozoic flood basalt (harrat). The distribution of these rocks and variations in elevation across the Plate cause a pronounced geologic and topographic asymmetry, with extensive basement exposures (the Arabian Shield) and elevations of as much as 3000 m in the west, and a Phanerozoic succession (Arabian Platform) that thickens, and a surface that descends to sea level, eastward between the Shield and the northeastern margin of the Plate. This tilt in the Plate is partly the result of marginal uplift during rifting in the south and west, and loading during collision with, and subduction beneath, the Eurasian Plate in the northeast. But a variety of evidence suggests that the asymmetry also reflects a fundamental crustal and mantle heterogeneity in the Plate that dates from Neoproterozoic time when the crust formed. The bulk of the Plate's upper crystalline crust is Neoproterozoic in age (1000-540 Ma) reflecting, in the west, a 300-million year process of continental crustal growth between ˜ 850 and 550 Ma represented by amalgamated juvenile magmatic arcs, post-amalgamation sedimentary and volcanic basins, and granitoid intrusions that make up as much as 50% of the Shield's surface. Locally, Archean and Paleoproterozoic rocks are structurally intercalated with the juvenile Neoproterozoic rocks in the southern and eastern parts of the Shield. The geologic dataset for the age, composition, and origin of the upper crust of the Plate in the east is smaller than the database for the Shield, and conclusions made about the crust in the east are correspondingly less definitive. In the absence of exposures, furthermore, nothing is known by direct observation about the

  19. How large is the subducted water flux? New constraints on mantle regassing rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parai, R.; Mukhopadhyay, S.

    2012-02-01

    Estimates of the subducted water (H2O) flux have been used to discuss the regassing of the mantle over Earth history. However, these estimates vary widely, and some are large enough to have reduced the volume of water in the global ocean by a factor of two over the Phanerozoic. In light of uncertainties in the hydration state of subducting slabs, magma production rates and mantle source water contents, we use a Monte Carlo simulation to set limits on long-term global water cycling and the return flux of water to the deep Earth. Estimates of magma production rates and water contents in primary magmas generated at ocean islands, mid-ocean ridges, arcs and back-arcs are paired with estimates of water entering trenches via subducting oceanic slab in order to construct a model of the deep Earth water cycle. The simulation is constrained by reconstructions of Phanerozoic sea level change, which suggest that ocean volume is near steady-state, though a sea level decrease of up to 360 m may be supported. We provide limits on the return flux of water to the deep Earth over the Phanerozoic corresponding to a near steady-state exosphere (0-100 meter sea level decrease) and a maximum sea level decrease of 360 m. For the near steady-state exosphere, the return flux is 1.4 - 2.0- 0.3+ 0.4 × 1013 mol/yr, corresponding to 2-3% serpentinization in 10 km of lithospheric mantle. The return flux that generates the maximum sea level decrease over the Phanerozoic is 3.5- 0.3+ 0.4 × 1013 mol/yr, corresponding to 5% serpentinization in 10 km of lithospheric mantle. Our estimates of the return flux of water to the mantle are up to 7 times lower than previously suggested. The imbalance between our estimates of the return flux and mantle output flux leads to a low rate of increase in bulk mantle water content of up to 24 ppm/Ga.

  20. A tale of two arcs? Plate tectonics of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) arc using subducted slab constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, J. E.; Suppe, J.; Renqi, L.; Kanda, R. V. S.

    2014-12-01

    Published plate reconstructions typically show the Izu-Bonin Marianas arc (IBM) forming as a result of long-lived ~50 Ma Pacific subduction beneath the Philippine Sea. These reconstructions rely on the critical assumption that the Philippine Sea was continuously coupled to the Pacific during the lifetime of the IBM arc. Because of this assumption, significant (up to 1500 km) Pacific trench retreat is required to accommodate the 2000 km of Philippine Sea/IBM northward motion since the Eocene that is constrained by paleomagnetic data. In this study, we have mapped subducted slabs of mantle lithosphere from MITP08 global seismic tomography (Li et al., 2008) and restored them to a model Earth surface to constrain plate tectonic reconstructions. Here we present two subducted slab constraints that call into question current IBM arc reconstructions: 1) The northern and central Marianas slabs form a sub-vertical 'slab wall' down to maximum 1500 km depths in the lower mantle. This slab geometry is best explained by a near-stationary Marianas trench that has remained +/- 250 km E-W of its present-day position since ~45 Ma, and does not support any significant Pacific slab retreat. 2) A vanished ocean is revealed by an extensive swath of sub-horizontal slabs at 700 to 1000 km depths in the lower mantle below present-day Philippine Sea to Papua New Guinea. We call this vanished ocean the 'East Asian Sea'. When placed in an Eocene plate reconstruction, the East Asian Sea fits west of the reconstructed Marianas Pacific trench position and north of the Philippine Sea plate. This implies that the Philippine Sea and Pacific were not adjacent at IBM initiation, but were in fact separated by a lost ocean. Here we propose a new IBM arc reconstruction constrained by subducted slabs mapped under East Asia. At ~50 Ma, the present-day IBM arc initiated at equatorial latitudes from East Asian Sea subduction below the Philippine Sea. A separate arc was formed from Pacific subduction below

  1. Tasman frontier subduction initiation and paleogene climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sutherland, Rupert; Dickens, Gerald R.; Blum, Peter; Agnini, Claudia; Alegret, Laia; Bhattacharya, Joyeeta; Bordenave, Aurelien; Chang, Liao; Collot, Julien; Cramwinckel, Margot J.; Dallanave, Edoardo; Drake, Michelle K.; Etienne, Samuel J.G.; Giorgioni, Martino; Gurnis, Michael; Harper, Dustin T.; Huang, Huai Hsuan May; Keller, Allison L.; Lam, Adriane R.; Li, He; Matsui, Hiroki; Newsam, Cherry; Park, Yu Hyeon; Pascher, Kristina M.; Pekar, Stephen F.; Penman, Donald E.; Saito, Saneatsu; Stratford, Wanda R.; Westerhold, Thomas; Zhou, Xiaoli

    International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 371 drilled six sites in the Tasman Sea of the southwest Pacific between 27 July and 26 September 2017. The primary goal was to understand Tonga-Kermadec subduction initiation through recovery of Paleogene sediment records. Secondary goals

  2. Migration Imaging of the Java Subduction Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dokht, Ramin M. H.; Gu, Yu Jeffrey; Sacchi, Mauricio D.

    2018-02-01

    Imaging of tectonically complex regions can greatly benefit from dense network data and resolution enhancement techniques. Conventional methods in the analysis of SS precursors stack the waveforms to obtain an average discontinuity depth, but smearing due to large Fresnel zones can degrade the fine-scale topography on the discontinuity. To provide a partial solution, we introduce a depth migration algorithm based on the common scattering point method while considering nonspecular diffractions from mantle transition zone discontinuities. Our analysis indicates that, beneath the Sunda arc, the depth of the 410 km discontinuity (the 410) is elevated by 30 km and the 660 km discontinuity (the 660) is depressed by 20-40 km; the region of the strongest anticorrelation is correlated with the morphology of the subducting Indo-Australian slab. In eastern Java, a "flat" 410 coincides with a documented slab gap, showing length scales greater than 400 km laterally and 200 km vertically. This observation could be explained by the arrival of a buoyant oceanic plateau at the Java trench at approximately 8 Ma ago, which may have caused a temporary cessation of subduction and formed a tear in the subducting slab. Our results highlight contrasting depths of the 410 and 660 along the shallow-dipping slab below the Banda trench. The 660, however, becomes significantly uplifted beneath the Banda Sea, which is accompanied by enhanced reflection amplitudes. We interpret these observations as evidence for a subslab low-velocity zone, possibly related to the lower mantle upwelling beneath the subducting slab.

  3. Non-uniform splitting of a single mantle plume by double cratonic roots : Insight into the origin of the central and southern East African Rift System

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koptev, Alexander; Cloetingh, Sierd; Gerya, Taras; Calais, Eric; Leroy, Sylvie

    Using numerical thermo-mechanical experiments we analyse the role of an active mantle plume and pre-existing lithospheric thickness differences in the structural development of the central and southern East African Rift system. The plume-lithosphere interaction model setup captures the essential

  4. Thermal structure and geodynamics of subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wada, Ikuko

    The thermal structure of subduction zones depends on the age-controlled thermal state of the subducting slab and mantle wedge flow. Observations indicate that the shallow part of the forearc mantle wedge is stagnant and the slab-mantle interface is weakened. In this dissertation, the role of the interface strength in controlling mantle wedge flow, thermal structure, and a wide range of subduction zone processes is investigated through two-dimensional finite-element modelling and a global synthesis of geological and geophysical observations. The model reveals that the strong temperature-dependence of the mantle strength always results in full slab-mantle decoupling along the weakened part of the interface and hence complete stagnation of the overlying mantle. The interface immediately downdip of the zone of decoupling is fully coupled, and the overlying mantle is driven to flow at a rate compatible with the subduction rate. The sharpness of the transition from decoupling to coupling depends on the rheology assumed and increases with the nonlinearity of the flow system. This bimodal behaviour of the wedge flow gives rise to a strong thermal contrast between the cold stagnant and hot flowing parts of the mantle wedge. The maximum depth of decoupling (MDD) thus dictates the thermal regime of the forearc. Observed surface heat flow patterns and petrologically and geochemically estimated mantle wedge temperatures beneath the volcanic arc require an MDD of 70--80 km in most, if not all, subduction zones regardless of their thermal regime of the slab. The common MDD of 70--80 km explains the observed systematic variations of the petrologic, seismological, and volcanic processes with the thermal state of the slab and thus explains the rich diversity of subduction zones in a unified fashion. Models for warm-slab subduction zones such as Cascadia and Nankai predict shallow dehydration of the slab beneath the cold stagnant part of the mantle wedge, which provides ample fluid

  5. Global correlations between maximum magnitudes of subduction zone interface thrust earthquakes and physical parameters of subduction zones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W. P.; Rawlinson, N.

    2013-01-01

    The maximum earthquake magnitude recorded for subduction zone plate boundaries varies considerably on Earth, with some subduction zone segments producing giant subduction zone thrust earthquakes (e.g. Chile, Alaska, Sumatra-Andaman, Japan) and others producing relatively small earthquakes (e.g.

  6. 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

  7. Observations at convergent margins concerning sediment subduction, subduction erosion, and the growth of continental crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Huene, Roland E.; Scholl, D. W.

    1991-01-01

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

  8. 3D instantaneous dynamics modeling of present-day Aegean subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glerum, Anne; Spakman, Wim; van Hinsbergen, Douwe; Pranger, Casper

    2017-04-01

    To study the sensitivity of surface observables to subduction and mantle flow, i.e. the coupling of crustal tectonics and the underlying mantle dynamics, we have developed 3D numerical models of the instantaneous crust-mantle dynamics of the eastern Mediterranean. These models comprise both a realistic crust-lithosphere system and the underlying mantle. The focus for this presentation lies on the regional crustal flow response to the present-day Aegean subduction system. Our curved model domain measures 40°x40°x2900km with the Aegean subduction system taken as the geographic center. Model set-ups are based on geological and geophysical data of the eastern Mediterranean. We first create a 3D synthetic geometry of the crust-lithosphere system in a stand-alone program, including the present-day configuration of the plates in the region and crust and lithosphere thickness variations abstracted from Moho and LAB maps (Faccenna et al., 2014, Carafa et al., 2015). In addition we construct the geometry of the Aegean slab from a seismic tomography model (UU-P07; Amaru, 2007) and earthquake hypocenters (NCEDC, 2014). Geometries are then imported into the finite element code ASPECT (Kronbichler et al., 2012) using specially designed plugins. The mantle initial temperature conditions can include deviations from an adiabatic profile obtained from conversion of the UU-P07 seismic velocity anomalies to temperature anomalies using a depth-dependent scaling (Karato, 2008). We model compressible mantle flow for which material properties are obtained from thermodynamics P-T lookup-tables (Perple_X, Connolly, 2009) in combination with nonlinear viscoplastic rheology laws. Sublithospheric flow through the lateral model boundaries is left free via open boundary conditions (Chertova et al., 2012), while plate motion is prescribed at the model sides in terms of relative as well as absolute plate motion velocities (e.g. Doubrovine et al., 2012). So far, we used a free-slip surface, but

  9. Mantle flow influence on subduction evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chertova, Maria V.; Spakman, Wim; Steinberger, Bernhard

    2018-05-01

    The impact of remotely forced mantle flow on regional subduction evolution is largely unexplored. Here we investigate this by means of 3D thermo-mechanical numerical modeling using a regional modeling domain. We start with simplified models consisting of a 600 km (or 1400 km) wide subducting plate surrounded by other plates. Mantle inflow of ∼3 cm/yr is prescribed during 25 Myr of slab evolution on a subset of the domain boundaries while the other side boundaries are open. Our experiments show that the influence of imposed mantle flow on subduction evolution is the least for trench-perpendicular mantle inflow from either the back or front of the slab leading to 10-50 km changes in slab morphology and trench position while no strong slab dip changes were observed, as compared to a reference model with no imposed mantle inflow. In experiments with trench-oblique mantle inflow we notice larger effects of slab bending and slab translation of the order of 100-200 km. Lastly, we investigate how subduction in the western Mediterranean region is influenced by remotely excited mantle flow that is computed by back-advection of a temperature and density model scaled from a global seismic tomography model. After 35 Myr of subduction evolution we find 10-50 km changes in slab position and slab morphology and a slight change in overall slab tilt. Our study shows that remotely forced mantle flow leads to secondary effects on slab evolution as compared to slab buoyancy and plate motion. Still these secondary effects occur on scales, 10-50 km, typical for the large-scale deformation of the overlying crust and thus may still be of large importance for understanding geological evolution.

  10. Lithospheric structure of southern Indian shield and adjoining oceans: integrated modelling of topography, gravity, geoid and heat flow data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Niraj; Zeyen, H.; Singh, A. P.; Singh, B.

    2013-07-01

    For the present 2-D lithospheric density modelling, we selected three geotransects of more than 1000 km in length each crossing the southern Indian shield, south of 16°N, in N-S and E-W directions. The model is based on the assumption of local isostatic equilibrium and is constrained by the topography, gravity and geoid anomalies, by geothermal data, and where available by seismic data. Our integrated modelling approach reveals a crustal configuration with the Moho depth varying from ˜40 km beneath the Dharwar Craton, and ˜39 km beneath the Southern Granulite Terrane to about 15-20 km beneath the adjoining oceans. The lithospheric thickness varies significantly along the three profiles from ˜70-100 km under the adjoining oceans to ˜130-135 km under the southern block of Southern Granulite Terrane including Sri Lanka and increasing gradually to ˜165-180 km beneath the northern block of Southern Granulite Terrane and the Dharwar Craton. This step-like lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) structure indicates a normal lithospheric thickness beneath the adjoining oceans, the northern block of Southern Granulite Terrane and the Dharwar Craton. The thin lithosphere below the southern block of Southern Granulite Terrane including Sri Lanka is, however, atypical considering its age. Our results suggest that the southern Indian shield as a whole cannot be supported isostatically only by thickened crust; a thin and hot lithosphere beneath the southern block of Southern Granulite Terrane including Sri Lanka is required to explain the high topography, gravity, geoid and crustal temperatures. The widespread thermal perturbation during Pan-African (550 Ma) metamorphism and the breakup of Gondwana during late Cretaceous are proposed as twin cause mechanism for the stretching and/or convective removal of the lower part of lithospheric mantle and its replacement by hotter and lighter asthenosphere in the southern block of Southern Granulite Terrane including Sri Lanka

  11. Subduction and exhumation of a continental margin in the Scandinavian Caledonides: Insights from ultrahigh pressure metamorphism, late orogenic basins and 3D numerical modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuthbert, Simon

    2017-04-01

    The Scandinavian Caledonides (SC) represents a plate collision zone of Himalayan style and scale. Three fundamental characteristics of this orogen are: (1) early foreland-directed, tectonic transport and stacking of nappes; (2) late, wholesale reversal of tectonic transport; (3) ultrahigh pressure metamorphism of felsic crust derived from the underthrusting plate at several levels in the orogenic wedge and below the main thrust surface, indicating subduction of continental crust into the mantle. The significance of this for crustal evolution is the profound remodeling of continental crust, direct geochemical interaction of such crust and the mantle and the opening of accommodation space trapping large volumes of clastic detritus within the orogen. The orogenic wedge of the SC was derived from the upper crust of the Baltica continental margin (a hyper-extended passive margin), plus terranes derived from an assemblage of outboard arcs and intra-oceanic basins and, at the highest structural level, elements of the Laurentian margin. Nappe emplacement was driven by Scandian ( 430Ma) collision of Baltica with Laurentia, but emerging Middle Ordovician ages for diamond-facies metamorphism for the most outboard (or rifted) elements of Baltica suggest prior collision with an arc or microcontinent. Nappes derived from Baltica continental crust were subducted, in some cases to depths sufficient to form diamond. These then detached from the upper part of the down-going plate along major thrust faults, at which time they ceased to descend and possibly rose along the subduction channel. Subduction of the remaining continental margin continued below these nappes, possibly driven by slab-pull of the previously subducted Iapetus oceanic lithosphere and metamorphic densification of subducted felsic continental margin. 3D numerical modelling based upon a Caledonide-like plate scenario shows that if a continental corner or promontory enters the subduction zone, the continental margin

  12. The East African rift system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chorowicz, Jean

    2005-10-01

    This overview paper considers the East African rift system (EARS) as an intra-continental ridge system, comprising an axial rift. It describes the structural organization in three branches, the overall morphology, lithospheric cross-sections, the morphotectonics, the main tectonic features—with emphasis on the tension fractures—and volcanism in its relationships with the tectonics. The most characteristic features in the EARS are narrow elongate zones of thinned continental lithosphere related to asthenospheric intrusions in the upper mantle. This hidden part of the rift structure is expressed on the surface by thermal uplift of the rift shoulders. The graben valleys and basins are organized over a major failure in the lithospheric mantle, and in the crust comprise a major border fault, linked in depth to a low angle detachment fault, inducing asymmetric roll-over pattern, eventually accompanied by smaller normal faulting and tilted blocks. Considering the kinematics, divergent movements caused the continent to split along lines of preexisting lithospheric weaknesses marked by ancient tectonic patterns that focus the extensional strain. The hypothesis favored here is SE-ward relative divergent drifting of a not yet well individualized Somalian plate, a model in agreement with the existence of NW-striking transform and transfer zones. The East African rift system comprises a unique succession of graben basins linked and segmented by intracontinental transform, transfer and accommodation zones. In an attempt to make a point on the rift system evolution through time and space, it is clear that the role of plume impacts is determinant. The main phenomenon is formation of domes related to plume effect, weakening the lithosphere and, long after, failure inducing focused upper mantle thinning, asthenospheric intrusion and related thermal uplift of shoulders. The plume that had formed first at around 30 Ma was not in the Afar but likely in Lake Tana region (Ethiopia

  13. Electrical Conductivity Model of the Mantle Lithosphere of the Slave Craton (NW Canada) and its tectonic interpretation in the context of Geochemical Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lezaeta, P.; Chave, A.; Evans, R.; Jones, A. G.; Ferguson, I.

    2002-12-01

    The Slave Craton, northwestern Canada, contains the oldest known rocks on Earth, with exposed outcrop over an area of about 600x400 km2. The discovery of economic diamondiferous kimberlite pipes during the early 1990s motivated extensive research in the region. Over the last six years, four types of deep-probing magnetotelluric (MT) surveys were conducted within the framework of diverse geoscientific programs, aimed at determining the regional-scale electrical structures of the craton. Two of the surveys involved novel acquisition; one through frozen lake ice along ice roads during winter, and the second deploying ocean-bottom instrumentation from float planes during summer. The latter surveys required one year of recording between summers, thus allowing long period transfer functions that lead to mantle penetration depths of over 300 km. Two-dimensional modeling of the MT data from along the winter road showed the existence of a high conductivity zone at depths of 80-120 km beneath the central Slave craton. This anomalous region is spatially coincident with an ultradepleted harzburgitic layer in the upper mantle that was interpreted by others to be related to a subducted slab emplaced during the mid-Archean. A 3-D electrical conductivity model of the Slave lithosphere has been obtained, by trial and error, to fit the magnetic transfer and MT response functions from the lake experiments. This 3-D model traces the central Slave conductor as a NE-SW oriented mantle structure. Its NE-SW orientation coincides with that of a late fold belt system, with the first phase of craton-wide plutonism at ca 2630-2590 Ma, three-part subdivision of the craton based on SKS results, and with a G10 (garnet) geochemical mantle boundaries. All of these highlight a NE-SW structural grain to the lithospheric mantle of the craton, in sharp contrast to the N-S grain of the crust. Constraints on the depth range and lateral extension of the electrical conductive structure are obtained

  14. DESTRUCTION OF THE LITHOSPHERE: FAULTBLOCK DIVISIBILITY AND ITS TECTONOPHYSICAL REGULARITIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Semen I. Sherman

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A new concept is proposed concerning the origin and inception of ‘initial’ faults and formation of large blocks as a result of cooling of the Archaean lithosphere, during which Benard cells had formed (Fig. 5. At locations where cooling convection currents went down, partial crystallization took place, stresses were localized, and initial fault occurred there. The systems of such fault developed mainly in two directions and gradually formed an initial block pattern of the lithosphere. This pattern is now represented by the largest Archaean faults acting as boundaries of the lithospheric plates and large intraplate blocks (Fig. 6. This group of faults represents the first scaletime level of destruction of the lithosphere. Large blocks of the first (and may be the second order, which are located on the viscous foundation, interacted with each other under the influence of the sublithospheric movements or endogenous sources and thus facilitated the occurrence of high stresses inside the blocks. When the limits of strength characteristics of the block medium were exceeded, the intrablock stresses were released and caused formation of fractures/faults and blocks of various ranks (Fig. 14. This large group, including faultblock structures of various ranks and ages, comprises the second level of the scaletime destruction of the lithosphere.The intense evolution of ensembles of faults and blocks of the second scaletime level is facilitated by shortterm activation of faultblock structures of the lithosphere under the influence of strain waves. Periods of intensive shortterm activation are reliably detected by seismic monitoring over the past fifty years. Investigations of periodical processes specified in the geological records over the post-Proterozoic periods [Khain, Khalilov, 2009] suggest that in so far uninvestigated historical and more ancient times, the top of the lithosphere was subject to wave processes that

  15. Evidence for multiphase folding of the central Indian Ocean lithosphere

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Krishna, K.S.; Bull, J.M.; Scrutton, R.A.

    Long-wavelength (100-300 km) folding in the central Indian Ocean associated with the diffuse plate boundary separating the Indian, Australian, and Capricorn plates is Earth's most convincing example of organized large-scale lithospheric deformation...

  16. Lithospheric Strength Beneath the Zagros Mountains of Southwestern Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, A. N.; Nyblade, A.; Brazier, R.; Rodgers, A.; Al-Amri, A.

    2006-05-01

    The Zagros Mountain Belt of southwestern Iran is among the most seismically active mountain belts in the world. Early seismic studies of this area found that the lithosphere underlying the Zagros Mountains follows the "jelly sandwich" model, having a strong upper crust and a strong lithospheric mantle, separated by a weak lower crust. More recent studies, which analyzed earthquakes originating within the Zagros Mountains that were recorded at teleseismic distances, however, found that these earthquakes occurred only within the upper crust, thus indicating that the strength of the Zagros Mountains' lithosphere lies only within the upper crust, in accordance with the "creme brulee" lithospheric model. Preliminary analysis of regionally recorded earthquakes that originated within the Zagros Mountains is presented here. Using earthquakes recorded at regional distances will allow the analysis of a larger dataset than has been used in previous studies. Preliminary results show earthquakes occurring throughout the crust and possibly extending into the upper mantle.

  17. Global strength and elastic thickness of the lithosphere

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tesauro, M.; Kaban, M.K.; Cloetingh, S.A.P.L.

    2012-01-01

    Thestrengthand effective elasticthickness (Te) ofthelithosphere control its response to tectonic and surface processes. Here, we present the first globalstrengthand effective elasticthickness maps, which are determined using physical properties from recent crustal and lithospheric models. Pronounced

  18. The structure of the Calabrian subduction system from the fore-arc to the back-arc: new insights from wide-angle seismic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prada, M.; Sallares, V.; Ranero, C. R.; Grevemeyer, I.; Zitellini, N.

    2017-12-01

    The Calabrian arc is a Neogene-Quaternary arcuate orogen result from the subduction of the Ionian Lithosphere under Calabria. The SE migration of this subduction system, triggered by slab rollback, caused the opening of the Tyrrhenian back-arc basin. The large-scale lithospheric structure of the subduction system is mostly imaged by regional earthquake tomography studies. The limited resolution of these studies, however, hinders the definition of smaller-scale details on the location, nature and transition of different lithospheric domains, which are crucial to study the geodynamic evolution of the system. Here we perform travel-time tomography of offshore and onshore active-source wide-angle seismic data to define the 2D Vp structure of the entire Calabrian subduction system. The data were acquired along a 550 km-long transect that extends from the Tyrrhenian back-arc domain to the fore-arc in the Ionian Sea, across Calabria. From NW to SE, the tomographic model shows abrupt variations of the velocity structure. In the back-arc system, particularly in the Vavilov and Marsili basins, OBS sections lack PmP-like arrivals and the velocity structure shows a continuous and strong vertical velocity gradient of 1 s-1. These results strongly support the presence of a basement made of exhumed mantle rocks. Between the Vavilov and Marsili basins, a relatively thick, low-velocity block is interpreted to be of continental affinity. The transition between Marsili Basin and Calabria is marked by a steep Moho geometry that shallows from SE to NW, revealing a dramatic crustal thinning along the N Calabrian margin. The lower crust of the margin has localized Vp of 7 km/s under the submarine volcanic arc. SE Calabria, the model shows a strong horizontal velocity gradient that is interpreted as the backstop of the subduction. In the Ionian, a 3-5 km thick sedimentary wedge thickens towards the NW. The frontal part of the wedge shows sub-vertical low-velocity anomalies indicating the

  19. Lithospheric structure of the westernmost Mediterranean inferred from finite frequency Rayleigh wave tomography S-velocity model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palomeras, Imma; Villasenor, Antonio; Thurner, Sally; Levander, Alan; Gallart, Josep; Harnafi, Mimoun

    2016-04-01

    The Iberian Peninsula and Morocco, separated by the Alboran Sea and the Algerian Basin, constitute the westernmost Mediterranean. From north to south this region consists of the Pyrenees, the result of interaction between the Iberian and Eurasian plates; the Iberian Massif, a region that has been undeformed since the end of the Paleozoic; the Central System and Iberian Chain, regions with intracontinental Oligocene-Miocene deformation; the Gibraltar Arc (Betics, Rif and Alboran terranes) and the Atlas Mountains, resulting from post-Oligocene subduction roll-back and Eurasian-Nubian plate convergence. In this study we analyze data from recent broad-band array deployments and permanent stations on the Iberian Peninsula and in Morocco (Spanish IberArray and Siberia arrays, the US PICASSO array, the University of Munster array, and the Spanish, Portuguese, and Moroccan National Networks) to characterize its lithospheric structure. The combined array of 350 stations has an average interstation spacing of ~60 km, comparable to USArray. We have calculated the Rayleigh waves phase velocities from ambient noise for short periods (4 s to 40 s) and teleseismic events for longer periods (20 s to 167 s). We inverted the phase velocities to obtain a shear velocity model for the lithosphere to ~200 km depth. The model shows differences in the crust for the different areas, where the highest shear velocities are mapped in the Iberian Massif crust. The crustal thickness is highly variable ranging from ~25 km beneath the eastern Betics to ~55km beneath the Gibraltar Strait, Internal Betics and Internal Rif. Beneath this region a unique arc shaped anomaly with high upper mantle velocities (>4.6 km/s) at shallow depths (volcanic fields in Iberia and Morocco, indicative of high temperatures at relatively shallow depths, and suggesting that the lithosphere has been removed beneath these areas

  20. Lithospheric structure and deformation of the North American continent

    OpenAIRE

    Magdala Tesauro; Mikhail Kaban; S. Cloetingh; W. D. Mooney

    2013-01-01

    We estimate the integrated strength and elastic thickness (Te) of the North American lithosphere based on thermal, density and structural (seismic) models of the crust and upper mantle. The temperature distribution in the lithosphere is estimated considering for the first time the effect of composition as a result of the integrative approach based on a joint analysis of seismic and gravity data. We do this via an iterative adjustment of the model. The upper mantle temperatures are initially e...

  1. Terrane-Scale Metastability in Subducted Himalayan Continental Crust as Revealed by Integrated Petrological and Geodynamic Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palin, R. M.; Reuber, G. S.; White, R. W.; Kaus, B. J. P.; Weller, O. M.

    2017-12-01

    The Tso Morari massif, northwest India, is one of only two regions in the Himalayan Range that exposes subduction-related ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic rocks. The tectonic evolution of the massif is strongly debated, however, as reported pressure estimates for peak metamorphism range between 2.4 GPa and 4.8 GPa. Such ambiguity hinders effective lithospheric-scale modeling of the early stages of the orogen's evolution. We present the results of integrated petrological and geodynamic modeling (Palin et al., 2017, EPSL) that provide new quantitative constraints on the prograde-to-peak pressure-temperature-time (P-T-t) path, and predict the parageneses that felsic and mafic components of the massif crust should have formed under equilibrium conditions. Our model shows that peak P-T conditions of 2.6-2.8 GPa and 600-620 °C, representative of subduction to 90-100 km depth (assuming lithostatic pressure), were reached just 3 Myr after the onset of collision. These P-T-t constraints correlate well with those reported for similar UHP eclogite in the along-strike Kaghan Valley, Pakistan, suggesting that the northwest Himalaya contains dismembered remnants of a 400-km long UHP terrane comparable in size to the Western Gneiss Region, Norway, and the Dabie-Sulu belt, China. The extremely high pressures (up to 4.8 GPa) for peak metamorphism reported by some workers are likely to be unreliable due to thermobarometry having been performed on minerals that did not represent equilibrium assemblages. Furthermore, key high-P minerals predicted to form in subducted Tso Morari continental crust (e.g. jadeite, Mg-rich garnet) are absent from natural samples in the region, reflecting the widespread metastable preservation of lower-pressure protolith assemblages during subduction and exhumation. This result questions the reliability of geodynamic simulations of orogenesis that are commonly predicated on equilibrium metamorphism operating continuously throughout tectonic cycles.

  2. A lithospheric velocity model for the flat slab region of Argentina from joint inversion of Rayleigh-wave dispersion and teleseismic receiver functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ammirati, J. B.; Alvarado, P. M.; Beck, S. L.

    2014-12-01

    Receiver Function (RF) analyses using teleseismic P waveforms is a technique to isolate P to S conversions from seismic discontinuities in the lithosphere. Using earthquakes with a good azimuthal distribution, RFs recorded at a three-component seismic station can be inverted to obtain detailed lithospheric velocity structures. The technique, however presents a velocity-depth trade-off, which results in a non-unique model because RFs do not depend on the absolute seismic velocities but rather on relative velocity contrasts. Unlike RF, surface wave dispersion is sensitive to the average shear-wave velocity which makes it well suited for studying long period variations of the lithospheric seismic velocities. We performed a joint inversion of RF and Rayleigh-wave phase velocity dispersion to investigate the structure beneath the SIEMBRA network, a 43-broadband-seismic-station array deployed in the Pampean flat slab region of Argentina. Our results indicate: 1) The presence of several mid-crustal discontinuities probably related with terrane accretion; 2) A high seismic velocity in the lower crust suggesting partial eclogitization; 3) A thicker crust (> 50 km) beneath the western Sierras Pampeanas with an abrupt change in the relative timing of the Moho signal indicating a thinner crust to the east; 4) The presence of the subducting oceanic crust lying at ~100 km depth. We then built a 1D regional velocity model for the flat slab region of Argentina and used it for regional moment tensor inversions for local earthquakes. This technique is notably dependent on small-scale variations of Earth structure when modeling higher frequency seismic waveforms. Eighteen regional focal mechanisms have been determined. Our solutions are in good agreement with GCMT source estimations although our solutions for deep earthquakes systematically resulted in shallower focal depths suggesting that the slab seismicity could be concentrated at the top of the subducting Nazca plate. Solutions

  3. Imaging Shear Strength Along Subduction Faults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletery, Quentin; Thomas, Amanda M.; Rempel, Alan W.; Hardebeck, Jeanne L.

    2017-11-01

    Subduction faults accumulate stress during long periods of time and release this stress suddenly, during earthquakes, when it reaches a threshold. This threshold, the shear strength, controls the occurrence and magnitude of earthquakes. We consider a 3-D model to derive an analytical expression for how the shear strength depends on the fault geometry, the convergence obliquity, frictional properties, and the stress field orientation. We then use estimates of these different parameters in Japan to infer the distribution of shear strength along a subduction fault. We show that the 2011 Mw9.0 Tohoku earthquake ruptured a fault portion characterized by unusually small variations in static shear strength. This observation is consistent with the hypothesis that large earthquakes preferentially rupture regions with relatively homogeneous shear strength. With increasing constraints on the different parameters at play, our approach could, in the future, help identify favorable locations for large earthquakes.

  4. Imaging shear strength along subduction faults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletery, Quentin; Thomas, Amanda M.; Rempel, Alan W.; Hardebeck, Jeanne L.

    2017-01-01

    Subduction faults accumulate stress during long periods of time and release this stress suddenly, during earthquakes, when it reaches a threshold. This threshold, the shear strength, controls the occurrence and magnitude of earthquakes. We consider a 3-D model to derive an analytical expression for how the shear strength depends on the fault geometry, the convergence obliquity, frictional properties, and the stress field orientation. We then use estimates of these different parameters in Japan to infer the distribution of shear strength along a subduction fault. We show that the 2011 Mw9.0 Tohoku earthquake ruptured a fault portion characterized by unusually small variations in static shear strength. This observation is consistent with the hypothesis that large earthquakes preferentially rupture regions with relatively homogeneous shear strength. With increasing constraints on the different parameters at play, our approach could, in the future, help identify favorable locations for large earthquakes.

  5. Receiver Function Imaging of Crustal and Lithospheric Structure Beneath the Jalisco Block and Western Michoacan, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes Alfaro, G.; Cruz-Atienza, V. M.; Perez-Campos, X.; Reyes Dávila, G. A.

    2014-12-01

    We used a receiver function technique for imaging western Mexico, a unique area with several active seismic and volcanic zones like the triple junction of Rivera, Cocos and North American plates and the Colima volcano complex (CVC), the most active in Mexico. Clear images of the distribution of the crust and the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary are obtained using P-to-S receiver functions (RF) from around ~80 broadband stations recorded by the Mapping the Rivera Subduction Zone (MARS), the Colima Volcano Deep Seismic Experiment (CODEX) and a local network (RESCO) that allowed us to considerably increase the teleseismic database used in the project. For imaging, we constructed several 2-D profiles of depth transformed RFs to delineate the seismic discontinuities of the region. Low seismic velocities associated with the Michoacan-Guanajuato and the Mascota-Ayutla-Tapalpa volcanic fields are also observed. Most impressive, a large and well delineated magma body 100 km underneath CVC is recognized along a surely related depression of the moho discontinuity just above it. We bring more tools for a better understanding of the deep processes that ultimately control eruptive behavior in the region.

  6. Heterogeneity in Subducting Slab Influences Fluid Properties, Plate Coupling and Volcanism: Hikurangi Subduction Zone, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberhart-Phillips, D. M.; Reyners, M.; Bannister, S. C.

    2017-12-01

    Seismicity distribution and 3-D models of P- and S-attenuation (1/Q) in the Hikurangi subduction zone, in the North Island of New Zealand, show large variation along-arc in the fluid properties of the subducting slab. Volcanism is also non-uniform, with extremely productive rhyolitic volcanism localized to the central Taupo Volcanic zone, and subduction without volcanism in the southern North Island. Plate coupling varies with heterogeneous slip deficit in the northern section, low slip deficit in the central section, and high slip deficit (strong coupling) in the south. Heterogeneous initial hydration and varied dehydration history both are inferred to play roles. The Hikurangi Plateau (large igneous province) has been subducted beneath New Zealand twice - firstly at ca. 105-100 Ma during north-south convergence with Gondwana, and currently during east-west convergence between the Pacific and Australian plates along the Hikurangi subduction zone. It has an uneven downdip edge which has produced spatially and temporally localized stalls in subduction rate. The mantle wedge under the rhyolitic section has a very low Q feature centred at 50-125 km depth, which directly overlies a 150-km long zone of dense seismicity. This seismicity occurs below a sharp transition in the downdip extent of the Hikurangi Plateau, where difficulty subducting the buoyant plateau would have created a zone of increased faulting and hydration that spent a longer time in the outer-rise yielding zone, compared with areas to the north and south. At shallow depths this section has unusually high fracture permeability from the two episodes of bending, but it did not experience dehydration during Gondwana subduction. This central section at plate interface depths less than 50-km has low Q in the slab crust, showing that it is extremely fluid rich, and it exhibits weak plate coupling with both deep and shallow slow-slip events. In contrast in the southern section, where there is a large deficit in

  7. Fundamental structure model of island arcs and subducted plates in and around Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, T.; Sato, H.; Ishiyama, T.; Shinohara, M.; Hashima, A.

    2015-12-01

    The eastern margin of the Asian continent is a well-known subduction zone, where the Pacific (PAC) and Philippine Sea (PHS) plates are being subducted. In this region, several island arcs (Kuril, Northeast Japan, Southwest Japan, Izu-Bonin and Ryukyu arcs) meet one another to form a very complicated tectonic environment. At 2014, we started to construct fundamental structure models for island arcs and subducted plates in and around Japan. Our research is composed of 6 items of (1) topography, (2) plate geometry, (3) fault models, (4) the Moho and brittle-ductile transition zone, (5) the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary, and (6) petrological/rheological models. Such information is basic but inevitably important in qualitative understanding not only for short-term crustal activities in the subduction zone (particularly caused by megathrust earthquakes) but also for long-term cumulative deformation of the arcs as a result of strong plate-arc/arc-arc interactions. This paper is the first presentation of our research, mainly presenting the results of items (1) and (2). The area of our modelling is 12o-54o N and 118o-164o E to cover almost the entire part of Japanese Islands together with Kuril, Ryukyu and Izu-Bonin trenches. The topography model was constructed from the 500-m mesh data provided from GSJ, JODC, GINA and Alaska University. Plate geometry models are being constructed through the two steps. In the first step, we modelled very smooth plate boundaries of the Pacific and Philippine Sea plates in our whole model area using 42,000 earthquake data from JMA, USGS and ISC. For 7,800 cross sections taken with several directions to the trench axes, 2D plate boundaries were defined by fitting to the earthquake distribution (the Wadati-Benioff zone), from which we obtained equi-depth points of the plate boundary. These equi-depth points were then approximated by spline interpolation technique to eliminate shorter wave length undulation (75-150 km), but provide a

  8. Dynamic Linkages Between the Transition Zone & Surface Plate Motions in 2D Models of Subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arredondo, K.; Billen, M. I.

    2013-12-01

    While slab pull is considered the dominant force controlling plate motion and speed, its magnitude is controlled by slab behavior in the mantle, where tomographic studies show a wide range of possibilities from direct penetration to folding, or stagnation directly above the lower mantle (e.g. Fukao et al., 2009). Geodynamic studies have investigated various parameters, such as plate age and two phase transitions, to recreate observed behavior (e.g. Běhounková and Cízková, 2008). However, past geodynamic models have left out known slab characteristics that may have a large impact on slab behavior and our understanding of subduction processes. Mineral experiments and seismic observations have indicated the existence of additional phase transitions in the mantle transition zone that may produce buoyancy forces large enough to affect the descent of a subducting slab (e.g. Ricard et al., 2005). The current study systematically tests different common assumptions used in geodynamic models: kinematic versus free-slip boundary conditions, the effects of adiabatic heating, viscous dissipation and latent heat, compositional layering and a more complete suite of phase transitions. Final models have a complete energy equation, with eclogite, harzburgite and pyrolite lithosphere compositional layers, and seven composition-dependent phase transitions within the olivine, pyroxene and garnet polymorph minerals. Results show important feedback loops between different assumptions and new behavior from the most complete models. Kinematic models show slab weakening or breaking above the 660 km boundary and between compositional layers. The behavior in dynamic models with a free-moving trench and overriding plate is compared to the more commonly found kinematic models. The new behavior may have important implications for the depth distribution of deep earthquakes within the slab. Though the thermodynamic parameters of certain phase transitions may be uncertain, their presence and

  9. Nanoscale Properties of Rocks and Subduction Zone Rheology: Inferences for the Mechanisms of Deep Earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedel, M. R.

    2007-12-01

    ) Grain Boundary Migration in Metals, CRC Press, 385 pp., New York. Riedel MR, Karato S (1997) Grain-Size Evolution in Subducted Oceanic Lithosphere Associated with the Olivine- Spinel Transformation and Its Effects on Rheology. EPSL 148: 27-43. Liou JG, Hacker BR, Zhang RY (2000) Into the forbidden zone. Science 287, 1215-1216.

  10. Volcanism and Subduction: The Kamchatka Region

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  11. Intracratonic asthenosphere upwelling and lithosphere rejuvenation beneath the Hoggar swell (Algeria): Evidence from HIMU metasomatised lherzolite mantle xenoliths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beccaluva, L.; Azzouni-Sekkal, A.; Benhallou, A.; Bianchini, G.; Ellam, R. M.; Marzola, M.; Siena, F.; Stuart, F. M.

    2007-08-01

    The mantle xenoliths included in Quaternary alkaline volcanics from the Manzaz-district (Central Hoggar) are proto-granular, anhydrous spinel lherzolites. Major and trace element analyses on bulk rocks and constituent mineral phases show that the primary compositions are widely overprinted by metasomatic processes. Trace element modelling of the metasomatised clinopyroxenes allows the inference that the metasomatic agents that enriched the lithospheric mantle were highly alkaline carbonate-rich melts such as nephelinites/melilitites (or as extreme silico-carbonatites). These metasomatic agents were characterized by a clear HIMU Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic signature, whereas there is no evidence of EM1 components recorded by the Hoggar Oligocene tholeiitic basalts. This can be interpreted as being due to replacement of the older cratonic lithospheric mantle, from which tholeiites generated, by asthenospheric upwelling dominated by the presence of an HIMU signature. Accordingly, this rejuvenated lithosphere (accreted asthenosphere without any EM influence), may represent an appropriate mantle section from which deep alkaline basic melts could have been generated and shallower mantle xenoliths sampled, respectively. The available data on lherzolite xenoliths and alkaline lavas (including He isotopes, Ra Pan-African basement. This can be considered a far-field foreland reaction of the Africa-Europe collisional system since the Eocene.

  12. Introduction to the structures and processes of subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yong-Fei; Zhao, Zi-Fu

    2017-09-01

    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

  13. Global model for the lithospheric strength and effective elastic thickness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesauro, Magdala; Kaban, Mikhail K.; Cloetingh, Sierd A. P. L.

    2013-08-01

    Global distribution of the strength and effective elastic thickness (Te) of the lithosphere are estimated using physical parameters from recent crustal and lithospheric models. For the Te estimation we apply a new approach, which provides a possibility to take into account variations of Young modulus (E) within the lithosphere. In view of the large uncertainties affecting strength estimates, we evaluate global strength and Te distributions for possible end-member 'hard' (HRM) and a 'soft' (SRM) rheology models of the continental crust. Temperature within the lithosphere has been estimated using a recent tomography model of Ritsema et al. (2011), which has much higher horizontal resolution than previous global models. Most of the strength is localized in the crust for the HRM and in the mantle for the SRM. These results contribute to the long debates on applicability of the "crème brulée" or "jelly-sandwich" model for the lithosphere structure. Changing from the SRM to HRM turns most of the continental areas from the totally decoupled mode to the fully coupled mode of the lithospheric layers. However, in the areas characterized by a high thermal regime and thick crust, the layers remain decoupled even for the HRM. At the same time, for the inner part of the cratons the lithospheric layers are coupled in both models. Therefore, rheological variations lead to large changes in the integrated strength and Te distribution in the regions characterized by intermediate thermal conditions. In these areas temperature uncertainties have a greater effect, since this parameter principally determines rheological behavior. Comparison of the Te estimates for both models with those determined from the flexural loading and spectral analysis shows that the 'hard' rheology is likely applicable for cratonic areas, whereas the 'soft' rheology is more representative for young orogens.

  14. Velocities of Subducted Sediments and Continents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hacker, B. R.; van Keken, P. E.; Abers, G. A.; Seward, G.

    2009-12-01

    The growing capability to measure seismic velocities in subduction zones has led to unusual observations. For example, although most minerals have VP/ VS ratios around 1.77, ratios 1.8 have been observed. Here we explore the velocities of subducted sediments and continental crust from trench to sub-arc depths using two methods. (1) Mineralogy was calculated as a function of P & T for a range of subducted sediment compositions using Perple_X, and rock velocities were calculated using the methodology of Hacker & Abers [2004]. Calculated slab-top temperatures have 3 distinct depth intervals with different dP/dT gradients that are determined by how coupling between the slab and mantle wedge is modeled. These three depth intervals show concomitant changes in VP and VS: velocities initially increase with depth, then decrease beyond the modeled decoupling depth where induced flow in the wedge causes rapid heating, and increase again at depth. Subducted limestones, composed chiefly of aragonite, show monotonic increases in VP/ VS from 1.63 to 1.72. Cherts show large jumps in VP/ VS from 1.55-1.65 to 1.75 associated with the quartz-coesite transition. Terrigenous sediments dominated by quartz and mica show similar, but more-subdued, transitions from ~1.67 to 1.78. Pelagic sediments dominated by mica and clinopyroxene show near-monotonic increases in VP/ VS from 1.74 to 1.80. Subducted continental crust that is too dry to transform to high-pressure minerals has a VP/ VS ratio of 1.68-1.70. (2) Velocity anisotropy calculations were made for the same P-T dependent mineralogies using the Christoffel equation and crystal preferred orientations measured via electron-backscatter diffraction for typical constituent phases. The calculated velocity anisotropies range from 5-30%. For quartz-rich rocks, the calculated velocities show a distinct depth dependence because crystal slip systems and CPOs change with temperature. In such rocks, the fast VP direction varies from slab-normal at

  15. Global patterns in Earth's dynamic topography since the Jurassic: the role of subducted slabs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Rubey

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available We evaluate the spatial and temporal evolution of Earth's long-wavelength surface dynamic topography since the Jurassic using a series of high-resolution global mantle convection models. These models are Earth-like in terms of convective vigour, thermal structure, surface heat-flux and the geographic distribution of heterogeneity. The models generate a degree-2-dominated spectrum of dynamic topography with negative amplitudes above subducted slabs (i.e. circum-Pacific regions and southern Eurasia and positive amplitudes elsewhere (i.e. Africa, north-western Eurasia and the central Pacific. Model predictions are compared with published observations and subsidence patterns from well data, both globally and for the Australian and southern African regions. We find that our models reproduce the long-wavelength component of these observations, although observed smaller-scale variations are not reproduced. We subsequently define geodynamic rules for how different surface tectonic settings are affected by mantle processes: (i locations in the vicinity of a subduction zone show large negative dynamic topography amplitudes; (ii regions far away from convergent margins feature long-term positive dynamic topography; and (iii rapid variations in dynamic support occur along the margins of overriding plates (e.g. the western US and at points located on a plate that rapidly approaches a subduction zone (e.g. India and the Arabia Peninsula. Our models provide a predictive quantitative framework linking mantle convection with plate tectonics and sedimentary basin evolution, thus improving our understanding of how subduction and mantle convection affect the spatio-temporal evolution of basin architecture.

  16. The Kenya rift revisited: insights into lithospheric strength through data-driven 3-D gravity and thermal modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sippel, Judith; Meeßen, Christian; Cacace, Mauro; Mechie, James; Fishwick, Stewart; Heine, Christian; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2017-01-01

    We present three-dimensional (3-D) models that describe the present-day thermal and rheological state of the lithosphere of the greater Kenya rift region aiming at a better understanding of the rift evolution, with a particular focus on plume-lithosphere interactions. The key methodology applied is the 3-D integration of diverse geological and geophysical observations using gravity modelling. Accordingly, the resulting lithospheric-scale 3-D density model is consistent with (i) reviewed descriptions of lithological variations in the sedimentary and volcanic cover, (ii) known trends in crust and mantle seismic velocities as revealed by seismic and seismological data and (iii) the observed gravity field. This data-based model is the first to image a 3-D density configuration of the crystalline crust for the entire region of Kenya and northern Tanzania. An upper and a basal crustal layer are differentiated, each composed of several domains of different average densities. We interpret these domains to trace back to the Precambrian terrane amalgamation associated with the East African Orogeny and to magmatic processes during Mesozoic and Cenozoic rifting phases. In combination with seismic velocities, the densities of these crustal domains indicate compositional differences. The derived lithological trends have been used to parameterise steady-state thermal and rheological models. These models indicate that crustal and mantle temperatures decrease from the Kenya rift in the west to eastern Kenya, while the integrated strength of the lithosphere increases. Thereby, the detailed strength configuration appears strongly controlled by the complex inherited crustal structure, which may have been decisive for the onset, localisation and propagation of rifting.

  17. Tsunami Hazard Assessment of Coastal South Africa Based on Mega-Earthquakes of Remote Subduction Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kijko, Andrzej; Smit, Ansie; Papadopoulos, Gerassimos A.; Novikova, Tatyana

    2017-11-01

    After the mega-earthquakes and concomitant devastating tsunamis in Sumatra (2004) and Japan (2011), we launched an investigation into the potential risk of tsunami hazard to the coastal cities of South Africa. This paper presents the analysis of the seismic hazard of seismogenic sources that could potentially generate tsunamis, as well as the analysis of the tsunami hazard to coastal areas of South Africa. The subduction zones of Makran, South Sandwich Island, Sumatra, and the Andaman Islands were identified as possible sources of mega-earthquakes and tsunamis that could affect the African coast. Numerical tsunami simulations were used to investigate the realistic and worst-case scenarios that could be generated by these subduction zones. The simulated tsunami amplitudes and run-up heights calculated for the coastal cities of Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth are relatively small and therefore pose no real risk to the South African coast. However, only distant tsunamigenic sources were considered and the results should therefore be viewed as preliminary.

  18. Tsunami Hazard Assessment of Coastal South Africa Based on Mega-Earthquakes of Remote Subduction Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kijko, Andrzej; Smit, Ansie; Papadopoulos, Gerassimos A.; Novikova, Tatyana

    2018-04-01

    After the mega-earthquakes and concomitant devastating tsunamis in Sumatra (2004) and Japan (2011), we launched an investigation into the potential risk of tsunami hazard to the coastal cities of South Africa. This paper presents the analysis of the seismic hazard of seismogenic sources that could potentially generate tsunamis, as well as the analysis of the tsunami hazard to coastal areas of South Africa. The subduction zones of Makran, South Sandwich Island, Sumatra, and the Andaman Islands were identified as possible sources of mega-earthquakes and tsunamis that could affect the African coast. Numerical tsunami simulations were used to investigate the realistic and worst-case scenarios that could be generated by these subduction zones. The simulated tsunami amplitudes and run-up heights calculated for the coastal cities of Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth are relatively small and therefore pose no real risk to the South African coast. However, only distant tsunamigenic sources were considered and the results should therefore be viewed as preliminary.

  19. The lithosphere structure and deep processes of the Mesozoic metallogenic belt in eastern China: constraints from passive and active seismic methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Q.; Shi, D.; Jiang, G.; Yan, J.

    2013-12-01

    The lithosphere structure and deep processes are keys to understanding mineral system and ore-forming processes. Lithosphere-scale process could create big footprints or signatures which can be observed by geophysics methods. SinoProbe-03 has conducted a Transect exploration across middle and lower Yangtze Metallogenic Belt (YMT) in Eastern China. Broadband seismic, reflection seismic, wide-angle reflection and magnetotellurics survey were carried out along the Transect. Seismic reflection profiles and MT survey were also performed in Luzong, Tongling and Ningwu ore districts to construct 3D geological model. The resulting geophysical data provides new information which help to better understanding the lithosphere structure, deep processes and deformation history of the Metallogenic Belt. The major results are: (1) Lower velocity body at the top of upper mantle and a SE dipping high velocity body were imaged by teleseismic tomography beneath YMB; (2) Shear wave splitting results show NE parallel fast-wave polarization direction which parallel with tectonic lineament; (3) The reflection seismic data support the crustal-detachment model, the lower and upper crust was detached during contraction deformation near Tanlu fault and Ningwu volcanic basin; (4) Broadband and reflection seismic confirm the shallow Moho beneath YMB; (5) Strong correlation of lower crust reflectivity with magmatism; (6) The lower crust below Luzong Volcanics shows obvious reflective anisotropy both at the crust-mantle transition and the brittle-ductile transition in the crust. All these features suggest that introcontinental subduction, lithosphere delamination, mantle sources magmatic underplating, and MASH process are responsible for the formation of this Mesozoic metallogenic belt. Acknowledgment: We acknowledge the financial support of SinoProbe by the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Land and Resources, P. R. China, under Grant sinoprobe-03, and financial support by National Natural

  20. The lithosphere architecture and geodynamic of the Middle and Lower Yangtze metallogenic belt in eastern China: constraints from integrated geophysical data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lü, Qingtian; Shi, Danian; Jiang, Guoming; Dong, Shuwen

    2014-05-01

    The lithosphere structure and deep processes are keys to understanding mineral system and ore-forming processes. Lithosphere-scale process could create big footprints or signatures which can be observed by geophysics methods. SinoProbe has conducted an integrated deep exploration across middle and lower reaches of Yangtze Metallogenic Belt (YMB) in Eastern China, these included broadband seismic, reflection seismic, wide-angle reflection and magnetotellurics survey. Seismic reflection profiles and MT survey were also performed in Luzong, Tongling and Ningwu ore districts to construct 3D geological model. The resulting geophysical data provides new information which help to better understanding the lithosphere structure, geodynamic, deformation and heat and mass transportation that lead to the formation of the Metallogenic Belt. The major results are: (1) Lower velocity body at the top of upper mantle and a SE dipping high velocity body were imaged by teleseismic tomography beneath YMB; (2) Shear wave splitting results show NE parallel fast-wave polarization direction which parallel with tectonic lineament; (3) The reflection seismic data support the crustal-detachment model, the lower and upper crust was detached during contraction deformation near Tanlu fault and Ningwu volcanic basin; (4) Broadband and reflection seismic confirm the shallow Moho beneath YMB; (5) Strong correlation of lower crust reflectivity with magmatism; (6) The lower crust below Luzong Volcanics shows obvious reflective anisotropy both at the crust-mantle transition and the brittle-ductile transition in the crust. All these features suggest that introcontinental subduction, lithosphere delamination, mantle sources magmatic underplating, and MASH process are responsible for the formation of this Mesozoic metallogenic belt. Acknowledgment: We acknowledge the financial support of SinoProbe by the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Land and Resources, P. R. China, under Grant sinoprobe-03, and

  1. Post-processing scheme for modelling the lithospheric magnetic field

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Lesur

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available We investigated how the noise in satellite magnetic data affects magnetic lithospheric field models derived from these data in the special case where this noise is correlated along satellite orbit tracks. For this we describe the satellite data noise as a perturbation magnetic field scaled independently for each orbit, where the scaling factor is a random variable, normally distributed with zero mean. Under this assumption, we have been able to derive a model for errors in lithospheric models generated by the correlated satellite data noise. Unless the perturbation field is known, estimating the noise in the lithospheric field model is a non-linear inverse problem. We therefore proposed an iterative post-processing technique to estimate both the lithospheric field model and its associated noise model. The technique has been successfully applied to derive a lithospheric field model from CHAMP satellite data up to spherical harmonic degree 120. The model is in agreement with other existing models. The technique can, in principle, be extended to all sorts of potential field data with "along-track" correlated errors.

  2. Evolving lithospheric flexure and paleotopography of the Pyrenean Orogen from 3D flexural modeling and basin analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curry, M. E.; van der Beek, P.; Huismans, R. S.; Muñoz, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    The Pyrenees are an asymmetric, doubly-vergent orogen with retro- and pro- foreland basins that preserve a record of deformation since the Mesozoic. The extensive research and exploration efforts on the mountain belt and flanking foreland basins provide an exceptional dataset for investigating geodynamics and surface processes over large spatial and temporal scales in western Europe. We present the results of a numerical modeling study investigating the spatio-temporal variation in lithospheric flexure in response to the developing orogen. We employ a finite element method to model the 3D flexural deformation of the lithosphere beneath the Pyrenean orogen since the onset of convergence in the late Cretaceous. Using subsurface, geophysical, and structural data, we describe the evolving geometry of both the French Aquitaine and Spanish Ebro foreland basins at the present (post-orogenic), the mid-Eocene (peak orogenic), the Paleocene (early orogenic), and the end of the Cretaceous (pre- to early orogenic). The flexural modeling provides insight into how both the rigidity of the lithosphere and the paleotopographic load have varied over the course of orogenesis to shape the basin geometry. We find that the overriding European plate has higher rigidity than the subducting Iberian plate, with modern Effective Elastic Thickness (EET) values of 20 ± 2 and 12 ± 2 km, respectively. Modeling indicates that the modern rigidity of both plates decreases westward towards the Bay of Biscay. The lithospheric rigidity has increased by 50% since the Mesozoic with early Cenozoic EET values of 13 ± 2 and 8 ± 1 km for the European and Iberian plates, respectively. The topographic load began increasing with convergence in the late Cretaceous, reaching modern levels in the central and eastern Pyrenees by the Eocene. In contrast, the topographic load in the western Pyrenees was 70% of the modern value in the Eocene, and experienced topographic growth through the Oligo-Miocene. The

  3. Mineralogy of subducted clay and clay restite in the lower mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, L.; Skora, S. E.; Walter, M. J.

    2012-12-01

    Seismic tomography indicates that subducting oceanic lithosphere often penetrates the transition zone and eventually the lower mantle [e.g. 1, 2]. While mineralogical changes in the mafic and ultramafic portions of slabs have been well documented experimentally, the phase relations of overlying sediments at pressures above 25 GPa remain poorly studied. This is in part because sediments are expected to partially melt at sub-arc depth (P~2.5-4.5 GPa), and contribute to the genesis of arc magmas. Sediment restites left behind after the extraction of low pressure melts undergo major chemical changes, according to the melting reaction: Coe+Phen+Cpx+H2O = Grt+Ky+Melt [3]. However, sediments may not always melt depending on the thermal regime and volatile availability and composition [3]. Hence, chemically unmodified sediments as well as restites may be entrained to greater depths and contribute to compositional heterogeneity in the deep mantle. Indeed, mineral inclusions with compositions indicative of subducted sedimentary protoliths (CAS-phase; K-hollandite; stishovite) have been reported in 'ultradeep' diamonds and suggest that deep subduction and survival of sediments occurs to at least transition zone depths [4]. With this in mind, we have performed laser heated diamond anvil cell experiments at pressures of 8-80 GPa on two anhydrous glass starting materials: a marine clay and the restite that is left after 50% melt extraction of this clay at 3 GPa and 800 °C [3]. We chose to work with an anhydrous version of the marine clay given that the investigated pressure range exceeds that of phengite stability [5], and phengite is the only hydrous phase in subducted sediments at UHP conditions. The clay was heated along a P-T path representative of a cold subduction geotherm, whereas the clay restite was heated along a hotter subduction geotherm consistent with low pressure melting. Phases were identified by synchrotron X-ray micro-diffraction at beamline I15 of the Diamond

  4. Eastern Mediterranean geothermal resources and subduction dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roche, Vincent; Sternai, Pietro; Guillou-Frottier, Laurent; Jolivet, Laurent; Gerya, Taras

    2017-04-01

    The Aegean-Anatolian retreating subduction and collision zones have been investigated through 3D numerical geodynamic models involving slab rollback/tearing/breakoff constrained by, for instance, seismic tomography or anisotropy and geochemical proxies. Here, we integrate these investigations by using the well documented geothermal anomalies geothermal anomalies. First, we use 3D high-resolution thermo-mechanical numerical models to quantify the potential contribution of the past Aegean-Anatolian subduction dynamics to such present-day measured thermal anomalies. Results suggest an efficient control of subduction-related asthenospheric return flow on the regional distribution of thermal anomalies. Our quantification shows that the slab-induced shear heating at the base of the crust could partly explain the high heat flow values above the slab tear (i.e. in the Menderes Massif, Western Turkey). Second, the associated thermal signature at the base of the continental crust is used as basal thermal boundary condition for 2D crustal-scale models dedicated to the understanding of heat transfer from the abnormally hot mantle to the shallow geothermal reservoir. These models couple heat transfer and fluid flow equations with appropriate fluid and rock physical properties. Results suggest that permeable low-angle normal faults (detachments) in the back-arc region can control the bulk of the heat transport and fluid circulation patterns. We suggest that detachments can drain crustal and/or mantellic fluids up to several kilometers depths. At the basin-scale, we show that the permeability of detachments may control the reservoirs location. Temperatures at the base of detachments may be subject to protracted increase (due to anomalously high basal heat flow) through time, thereby generating dome-shaped thermal structures. These structures, usually with 20km characteristic wavelength, may reach the Moho involving lateral rheological contrasts and possibly crustal

  5. Unraveling African plate structure from elevation, geoid and geology data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chardon, Dominique; Bajolet, Flora; Robert, Alexandra; Rouby, Delphine

    2014-05-01

    The aim of our project is to simulate the long-wavelength, flexural isostatic response of the African plate to sediment transfers due to Meso-Cenozoic erosion - deposition processes in order to extract the residual topography driven by mantle dynamics. Our work will be based on the reconstruction and subtraction of two continental-scale erosional-depositional surfaces of Eocene and Late Cretaceous ages and their offshore extensions. The first step of our project consists in computing crustal and lithospheric maps of the African plate considering its various crustal geological components (cratons, mobile belts, basins, rifts and passive margins of various ages and strengths). In order to consider these heterogeneities, we compute a 2D distribution of crustal densities and thermal parameters from geological data and use it as an input of our modeling. We combine elevation and geoid anomaly data using a thermal analysis, following the method of Fullea et al. (2007) in order to map crustal and lithospheric thicknesses. In this approach, we assume local isostasy and consider a four-layer model made of crust and lithospheric mantle plus seawater and asthenosphere. In addition, we compare our results with crustal thickness datasets compiled from bibliography, existing global models such as CRUST 1.0, and tomographic lithospheric models. The obtained crustal thicknesses range from 30 to 45km, with the thickest crust confined to the northern part of the West African Craton, the Kaapvaal craton, and the Congo cuvette. The crust in the East African Rift appears unrealistically thick (40-45 km) as it is not isotatically compensated, highlighting the dynamic effect of the African superswell. The thinnest crust (30-35km) follows a central East-West trend coinciding with Cretaceous rifts and the Cameroon volcanic line. Pan-African mobile belts yield intermediate values of ca. 35-40 km. The lithosphere reaches 250 km beneath cratons, but remains globally thin (ca. 150-180 km

  6. Constraints on Composition, Structure and Evolution of the Lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchini, Gianluca; Bonadiman, Costanza; Aulbach, Sonja; Schutt, Derek

    2015-05-01

    The idea for this special issue was triggered at the Goldschmidt Conference held in Florence (August 25-30, 2013), where we convened a session titled "Integrated Geophysical-Geochemical Constraints on Composition and Structure of the Lithosphere". The invitation to contribute was extended not only to the session participants but also to a wider spectrum of colleagues working on related topics. Consequently, a diverse group of Earth scientists encompassing geophysicists, geodynamicists, geochemists and petrologists contributed to this Volume, providing a comprehensive overview on the nature and evolution of lithospheric mantle by combining studies that exploit different types of data and interpretative approaches. The integration of geochemical and geodynamic datasets and their interpretation represents the state of the art in our knowledge of the lithosphere and beyond, and could serve as a blueprint for future strategies in concept and methodology to advance our knowledge of this and other terrestrial reservoirs.

  7. Mantle to Surface Dynamics Across Subduction-Collision Transitions in Space and Time: Results from the CD-CAT Project in Anatolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitney, D. L.; Abgarmi, B.; Beck, S. L.; Brocard, G. Y.; Cosca, M. A.; Darin, M. H.; Delph, J. R.; Hui, H.; Kahraman, M.; Kaymakci, N.; Kuscu, G.; Meijers, M. J.; Mulch, A.; Özacar, A.; Portner, D. E.; Reid, M. R.; Rey, P. F.; Rojay, B.; Schlieffarth, W. K.; Sandvol, E. A.; Schoenbohm, L. M.; Tank, B.; Teoman, U.; Teyssier, C. P.; Thomson, S. N.; Turkelli, N.; Umhoefer, P. J.; Uslular, G.; Willenbring, J. K.

    2017-12-01

    From west to east, the southern plate boundary of Anatolia varies from subduction to continental collision; plate dynamics are influenced by the interaction of back-arc extension in the west (Aegean) and convergence in the east (Arabia-Eurasia). Prior to 40 Ma, the entire margin was a subduction zone. The NSF project "Continental Dynamics-Central Anatolian Tectonics (CD-CAT)" has contributed to understanding how the mantle, crust, and surface evolve in subduction-to-collision transitions in time and space. Differences are seen in changes in deformation style as collision proceeded; e.g. from distributed across a broad zone to highly localized on a series of oblique-slip faults, and from transpression to transtension (W of the Central Anatolian fault zone, CAFZ) or strike-slip (E of the CAFZ); age, composition, and sources of magmatism, including a magmatic lull from 40-20 Ma, followed by expansion of magmatism SE-ward in central Anatolia; properties and architecture of the lithosphere and sub-lithospheric mantle (e.g. significant and locally abrupt crustal thickness variations, including thick crust under the Tauride Mts; thin to absent lithospheric mantle; and a torn and disaggregating slab that varies from shallow to steep below central Anatolia); and a topographic gradient from a high eastern plateau (> 2 km) to a central plateau (1-1.5 km) bounded to the N and S by mountain ranges that rose > 2 km from the sea between 11-5 Ma, producing a rain shadow in the Anatolian interior. Thermochronologic and structural studies of exhumed mid-crust and associated basins and fault zones as well as geophysical data for Anatolia today show the extent to which inherited features (suture zones, faults) have affected the tectonic evolution of Anatolia, particularly in the vicinity of the CAFZ/East Anatolian Fault, and mantle properties. Results also show that the Miocene was a dynamic time in the thermal and mechanical evolution of the region, as early Miocene rollback

  8. Links Between Earthquake Characteristics and Subducting Plate Heterogeneity in the 2016 Pedernales Ecuador Earthquake Rupture Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, L.; Mori, J. J.

    2016-12-01

    The collision between the Indian and Eurasian plates formed the Himalayas, the largest orogenic belt on the Earth. The entire region accommodates shallow earthquakes, while intermediate-depth earthquakes are concentrated at the eastern and western Himalayan syntaxis. Here we investigate the focal depths, fault plane solutions, and source rupture process for three earthquake sequences, which are located at the western, central and eastern regions of the Himalayan orogenic belt. The Pamir-Hindu Kush region is located at the western Himalayan syntaxis and is characterized by extreme shortening of the upper crust and strong interaction of various layers of the lithosphere. Many shallow earthquakes occur on the Main Pamir Thrust at focal depths shallower than 20 km, while intermediate-deep earthquakes are mostly located below 75 km. Large intermediate-depth earthquakes occur frequently at the western Himalayan syntaxis about every 10 years on average. The 2015 Nepal earthquake is located in the central Himalayas. It is a typical megathrust earthquake that occurred on the shallow portion of the Main Himalayan Thrust (MHT). Many of the aftershocks are located above the MHT and illuminate faulting structures in the hanging wall with dip angles that are steeper than the MHT. These observations provide new constraints on the collision and uplift processes for the Himalaya orogenic belt. The Indo-Burma region is located south of the eastern Himalayan syntaxis, where the strike of the plate boundary suddenly changes from nearly east-west at the Himalayas to nearly north-south at the Burma Arc. The Burma arc subduction zone is a typical oblique plate convergence zone. The eastern boundary is the north-south striking dextral Sagaing fault, which hosts many shallow earthquakes with focal depth less than 25 km. In contrast, intermediate-depth earthquakes along the subduction zone reflect east-west trending reverse faulting.

  9. Dehydration kinetics of talc and 10 Å phase: Consequences for subduction zone seismicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chollet, Mélanie; Daniel, Isabelle; Koga, Kenneth T.; Petitgirard, Sylvain; Morard, Guillaume

    2009-06-01

    The process of dehydration embrittlement is usually proposed as an explanation for the presence of intermediate-depth earthquakes in subduction zones. It assumes that the release of water by hydrous mineral breakdown is fast enough to provoke brittle failure. We performed high-pressure, high-temperature, dehydration experiments of talc and 10 Å phase coupled with in situ measurement of reaction kinetics using synchrotron X-ray diffraction. Newly developed, X-ray transparent, pressure-sealed, titanium capsule ensured a closed thermochemical environment. From isothermal kinetics data fitted to the Avrami's equation and from the texture of reaction products, we conclude that dehydration rates of these minerals are limited by diffusion. Predicted minimum rates of fluid release range from 10 - 4 to 9 × 10 - 6 m 3fluid m - 3 rock s - 1 , and are fast enough to provoke hydraulic rupture since Maxwell relaxation rate of rocks relevant of subduction zones are slower than the rate of fluid release. These rates are comparable between talc, 10 Å phase and antigorite also [Perrillat, J.-P., Daniel, I., Koga, K.T., Reynard, B., Cardon, H., Crichton, W.A., 2005. Kinetics of antigorite dehydration: a real-time X-ray diffraction study. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 236, 899-913]. Consequently, we suggest that the dehydration of hydrous minerals may eventually be fast enough to trigger the intermediate-depth earthquakes, and that the deepest among intermediate-depth earthquakes may actually locate the limits for dehydration of hydrous minerals in the downgoing lithosphere.

  10. Partial delamination of continental mantle lithosphere, uplift-related crust mantle decoupling, volcanism and basin formation: a new model for the Pliocene Quaternary evolution of the southern East-Carpathians, Romania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalot-Prat, F.; Girbacea, R.

    2000-11-01

    A geodynamic model is proposed for the Mid-Miocene to Quaternary evolution of the southern East-Carpathians in order to explain the relationships between shallow and deep geological phenomena that occurred synchronously during late-collision tectonics. In this area, an active volcanic zone cross-cuts since 2 My the suture between the overriding Tisza-Dacia and subducting European continental plates. Mafic calc-alkaline and alkaline magmas (south Harghita and Persani volcanoes) erupted contemporaneously. These magmas were supplied by partial melting of the mantle lithosphere of the subducting, and not of the overriding, plate. In an effort to decipher this geodynamically a-typical setting of magma generation, the spatial and temporal distribution of shallow and deep phenomena was successively examined in order to establish the degree of their interdependence. Our model indicates that intra-mantle delamination of the subducting European plate is the principal cause of a succession of events. It caused upwelling of the hot asthenosphere below a thinned continental lithosphere of the Carpathians, inducing the uplift of the lithosphere and its internal decoupling at the Moho level by isostatic and mostly thermal effects. During this uplift, the crust deformed flexurally whilst the mantle deformed in a ductile way. This triggered decompressional partial melting of the uppermost mantle lithosphere. Flexural deformation of the crust induced its fracturing, allowing for the rapid ascent of magmas to the surface, as well as reactivation of an older detachment horizon at the base of the Carpathian nappe stack above which the Brasov, Ciuc and Gheorghieni hinterland basins formed by extension and gravity spreading. The rapid subsidence of the Focsani foreland basin is controlled by the load exerted on the lithosphere by the delaminated mantle slab that is still attached to it. In this model, crust-mantle decoupling, magma genesis and volcanism, local near-surface hinterland

  11. Geochronological Constraints on the Exhumation and Emplacement of Subcontinental Lithospheric Mantle Peridotites in the Westernmost Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrido, Carlos J.; Hidas, Károly; Marchesi, Claudio; Varas-Reus, María Isabel; Booth-Rea, Guillermo

    2017-04-01

    Exhumation of subcontinental mantle peridotite in the Western Mediterranean has been attributed to different tectonic processes including pure extension, transpression, or alternating contractive and extensional processes related with continental subduction followed by extension, before final their contractive intracrustal emplacement. Any model trying to explain the exhumation and emplacement of subcontinental lithospheric mantle peridotites in the westernmost Mediterranean should take into account the available geochronological constraints, as well as the petrological and geochemical processes that lead to internal tectono-magmatic zoning so characteristic of the Betic and Rif orogenic peridotites. Different studies have suggested a Hercynian, Cenozoic-Mesozoic or an Alpine age for the late tectono-magmatic evolution and intra-crustal emplacement of Betic-Rif peridotites. The pervasive presence of Mesozoic U-Pb zircon ages in Ronda UHP and HP garnet pyroxenites does not support a Hercynian age for the intracrustal emplacement of the peridotite. A hyper-extended margin setting for is in good agreement with the Jurassic extensional event that pervasively affected ALKAPECA terrains (i.e. the Alboran, Kabylides, Peloritani, and Calabria domains) in the western Mediterranean due to the opening of the Piemonte-Ligurian Ocean. However, a Jurassic age and a passive margin tectonic setting do not account, among other observations, for the late Miocene thermochronological ages recorded in zircons rims (U-Pb) and garnets (Lu-Hf) in garnet pyroxenites from the Betic-Rif peridotites, the pervasive Miocene resetting of U-Pb zircon and monazite ages in the overlying Jubrique crustal section, the supra-subduction radiogenic signature of late pyroxenite intrusive dikes in the Ronda peridotite, and the arc tholeiitic affinity of late mantle-derived, gabbroic dykes intruding in the Ronda and Ojen plagioclase lherzolites. These data are more consistent with a supra-subduction

  12. Projected inundations on the South African coast by tsunami waves ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Historical and recent evidence recorded along the South African coast suggests that five tsunami events have occurred since 1960. These were mostly associated with trigger mechanisms associated with sources of remote submarine seismicity along far-field subduction zones and local atmospheric disturbances ...

  13. Extensional and compressional instabilities in icy satellite lithospheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herrick, D.L.; Stevenson, D.J.

    1990-01-01

    The plausibility of invoking a lithospheric instability mechanism to account for the grooved terrains on Ganymede, Encedalus, and Miranda is presently evaluated in light of the combination of a simple mechanical model of planetary lithospheres and asthenospheres with recent experimental data for the brittle and ductile deformation of ice. For Ganymede, high surface gravity and warm temperatures render the achievement of an instability sufficiently great for the observed topographic relief virtually impossible; an instability of sufficient strength, however, may be able to develop on such smaller, colder bodies as Encedalus and Miranda. 15 refs

  14. Earthquake nucleation in weak subducted carbonates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurzawski, Robert M.; Stipp, Michael; Niemeijer, André R.; Spiers, Christopher J.; Behrmann, Jan H.

    2016-09-01

    Ocean-floor carbonate- and clay-rich sediments form major inputs to subduction zones, especially at low-latitude convergent plate margins. Therefore, knowledge of their frictional behaviour is fundamental for understanding plate-boundary earthquakes. Here we report results of mechanical tests performed on simulated fault gouges prepared from ocean-floor carbonates and clays, cored during IODP drilling offshore Costa Rica. Clay-rich gouges show internal friction coefficients (that is, the slope of linearized shear stress versus normal stress data) of μint = 0.44 - 0.56, irrespective of temperature and pore-fluid pressure (Pf). By contrast, μint for the carbonate gouge strongly depends on temperature and pore-fluid pressure, with μint decreasing dramatically from 0.84 at room temperature and Pf = 20 MPa to 0.27 at T = 140 °C and Pf = 120 MPa. This effect provides a fundamental mechanism of shear localization and earthquake generation in subduction zones, and makes carbonates likely nucleation sites for plate-boundary earthquakes. Our results imply that rupture nucleation is prompted by a combination of temperature-controlled frictional instability and temperature- and pore-pressure-dependent weakening of calcareous fault gouges.

  15. Deformation of the Pannonian lithosphere and related tectonic topography: a depth-to-surface analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dombrádi, E.

    2012-01-01

    Fingerprints of deep-seated, lithospheric deformation are often recognised on the surface, contributing to topographic evolution, drainage organisation and mass transport. Interactions between deep and surface processes were investigated in the Carpathian-Pannonian region. The lithosphere beneath

  16. Subduction zone forearc serpentinites as incubators for deep microbial life

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Plümper, Oliver|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/37155960X; King, Helen E.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/411261088; Geisler, Thorsten; Liu, Yang|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/411298119; Pabst, Sonja; Savov, Ivan P.; Rost, Detlef; Zack, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    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

  17. Net Rotation of the Lithosphere in Mantle Convection Models with Self-consistent Plate Generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerault, M.; Coltice, N.

    2017-12-01

    Lateral variations in the viscosity structure of the lithosphere and the mantle give rise to a discordant motion between the two. In a deep mantle reference frame, this motion is called the net rotation of the lithosphere. Plate motion reconstructions, mantle flow computations, and inferences from seismic anisotropy all indicate some amount of net rotation using different mantle reference frames. While the direction of rotation is somewhat consistent across studies, the predicted amplitudes range from 0.1 deg/Myr to 0.3 deg/Myr at the present-day. How net rotation rates could have differed in the past is also a subject of debate and strong geodynamic arguments are missing from the discussion. This study provides the first net rotation calculations in 3-D spherical mantle convection models with self-consistent plate generation. We run the computations for billions of years of numerical integration. We look into how sensitive the net rotation is to major tectonic events, such as subduction initiation, continental breakup and plate reorganisations, and whether some governing principles from the models could guide plate motion reconstructions. The mantle convection problem is solved with the finite volume code StagYY using a visco-pseudo-plastic rheology. Mantle flow velocities are solely driven by buoyancy forces internal to the system, with free slip upper and lower boundary conditions. We investigate how the yield stress, the mantle viscosity structure and the properties of continents affect the net rotation over time. Models with large lateral viscosity variations from continents predict net rotations that are at least threefold faster than those without continents. Models where continents cover a third of the surface produce net rotation rates that vary from nearly zero to over 0.3 deg/Myr with rapide increase during continental breakup. The pole of rotation appears to migrate along no particular path. For all models, regardless of the yield stress and the

  18. Lithospheric Structure of the Zagros and Alborz Mountain Belts (Iran) from Seismic Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, A.; Hatzfeld, D.; Kaviani, A.; Tatar, M.

    2008-12-01

    We present a synthesis of the results of two dense temporary passive seismic experiments installed for a few months across Central Zagros for the first one, and from North-western Zagros to Alborz for the second one. On both transects, the receiver function analysis shows that the crust has an average thickness of ~ 43 km beneath the Zagros fold-and-thrust belt and the Iranian plateau. The crust is thicker in the back side of the Main Zagros Reverse Fault (MZRF), with a larger maximum Moho depth in Central Zagros (69 ± 2 km) than in North-western Zagros (56 ± 2 km). To reconcile Bouguer anomaly data and Moho depth profile of Central Zagros, we proposed that the thickening is related to overthrusting of the Arabian margin by Central Iran on the MZRF considered as a major thrust fault rooted at Moho depth. The better-quality receiver functions of NW Zagros display clear conversions on a low-velocity channel which cross-cuts the whole crust from the surface trace of the MZRF to the Moho on 250-km length. Waveform modeling shows that the crustal LVZ is ~ 10-km thick with a S-wave velocity 8-30 % smaller than the average crustal velocity. We interpret the low-velocity channel as the trace of the thrust fault and the suture between the Arabian and the Iranian lithospheres. We favour the hypothesis of the LVZ being due to sediments of the Arabian margin dragged to depth during the subduction of the Neotethyan Ocean. At upper mantle depth, we find shield-like shear-wave velocities in the Arabian upper-mantle, and lower velocities in the Iranian shallow mantle (50-150 km) which are likely due to higher temperature. The lack of a high-velocity anomaly in the mantle northeast of the MZRF suture suggests that the Neotethian oceanic lithosphere is now detached from the Arabian margin. The crust of the Alborz mountain range is not thickened in relation with its high elevations, but its upper mantle has low P-wave velocities.

  19. New Insight into the Lithosphere Structure of the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulliam, J.; Gurrola, H.; Mickus, K. L.; Keller, G. R.

    2016-12-01

    The Gulf Coast of Texas is a passive margin remaining after the breakup of Pangaea. The opening of the western Gulf of Mexico (GOM) was the result of the Yucatan block rifting away from North America and rotating to its present location but the exact nature of this rifting is not well understood. Some models describe it as passive rifting while other models consider it to be the result of active volcanic rifting. Until recently the sparse distribution of seismic stations limits our ability to image the deep crust and upper mantle that are important to the understanding of important tectonic process of the area. Here we present new observations from passive seismic imaging using data from a broadband 26-station profile across the Gulf Coastal Plain (GCP) and the EarthScope Transportable Array. Ps receiver function (RF) imaging of the GCP profile reveals possible remnants of a subducted slab beneath the GCP of the central Texas coast outboard of the Balcones fault zone. The presence of a remnant late Paleozoic slab associated with the assembly of Pangaea may imply that rifting associated with the opening of the GOM did not completely overprint older features, which suggests that passive rifting was responsible for the opening of western GOM. A remnant slab would provide a plausible explanation for a low velocity layer imaged beneath the coastal region by Sp RF imaging. A strong negative S110p phase observed in an Sp receiver functions image across the GCP of central Texas may be interpreted as the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere boundary (LAB) but observations of other positive and negative phases in the 110 and 200 km depth interval lead us to believe the interval is a semi-ductile region with layered flow. We refer to this interval as a "Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Transition Zone" (LATZ). The LATZ model is supported by observed high P but low S-wave velocities in this depth interval of tomographic models and by SKS analysis that inferred a large amount of anisotropy in

  20. Geophysical Exploration Technologies for the Deep Lithosphere Research: An Education Materials for High School Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, H.; Xu, C.; Luo, S.; Chen, H.; Qin, R.

    2012-12-01

    The science of Geophysics applies the principles of physics to study of the earth. Geophysical exploration technologies include the earthquake seismology, the seismic reflection and refraction methods, the gravity method, the magnetic method and the magnetotelluric method, which are used to measure the interior material distribution, their structure and the tectonics in the lithosphere of the earth. Part of the research project in SinoProbe-02-06 is to develop suitable education materials for carton movies targeting the high school students and public. The carton movies include five parts. The first part includes the structures of the earth's interior and variation in their physical properties that include density, p-wave, s-wave and so on, which are the fundamentals of the geophysical exploration technologies. The second part includes the seismology that uses the propagation of elastic waves through the earth to study the structure and the material distribution of the earth interior. It can be divided into earthquake seismology and artifice seismics commonly using reflection and refraction. The third part includes the magnetic method. Earth's magnetic field (also known as the geomagnetic field)extends from the Earth's inner core to where it meets the solar wind, a stream of energetic particles emanating from the Sun. The aim of magnetic survey is to investigate subsurface geology on the basis of anomalies in the Earth's magnetic field resulting from the magnetic properties of the underlying rocks. The magnetic method in the lithosphere attempts to use magnetic disturbance to analyse the regional geological structure and the magnetic boundaries of the crust. The fourth part includes the gravity method. A gravity anomaly results from the inhomogeneous distribution of density of the Earth. Usually gravity anomalies contain superposed anomalies from several sources. The long wave length anomalies due to deep density contrasts are called regional anomalies. They are

  1. Lithospheric Structure of the Incoming Nazca Plate Adjacent to the 2014 Iquique Earthquake Rupture Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, E. K.; Trehu, A. M.; Davenport, K. K.; Roland, E. C.

    2017-12-01

    The 2014 Iquique Mw 8.1 earthquake occurred within a 500-km long segment of the Peru-Chile subduction zone that had not experienced a significant earthquake since 1877. This event did not fill the entire seismic gap and details of the deformation, along with local gravity anomalies, point to a geologic control on slip behavior. To better constrain along-strike changes in geologic or morphologic features and the correlation with earthquake rupture, the 2016 PICTURES (Pisagua-Iquique Crustal Tomography to Understand the Region of the Earthquake Source) experiment collected multichannel seismic (MCS) and ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) data from across the deformation front and incoming Nazca plate within the area of the 2014 earthquake. Here, we provide a first look at MCS reflection data from this experiment that images the Nazca plate along an uninterrupted 170 km line perpendicular to the region of greatest slip, acquired using the R/V Langseth's 12.5 km streamer and 6600 cc gun array. We summarize structural features of the incoming oceanic lithosphere and present a preliminary 2D velocity model that spans the Nazca outer rise to the trench along the Iquique Ridge (IR). The IR represents a broad, high oceanic feature (HOF) that roughly spans the entire seismic gap. The source of buoyancy and reduced seismic velocities of the IR swell are thought to be produced by isostatically compensated, overthickened crust or anomalously low density mantle due to heating or serpentinization, and we explore these two hypotheses using our preliminary velocity model. Past outer rise deformation modeling suggests a significant bending moment and vertical force at the trench axis, a source for broad, homogenous coupling as the HOF converges the margin. However, decreased incoming sediment and rough topography associated with numerous large seamounts may also lead to a thin subduction channel, influencing heterogeneous rupture behavior. Seaward of the Iquique 2014 event, our initial

  2. Subduction, Extension, and a Mantle Plume in the Pacific Northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawley, W. B.; Allen, R. M.; Richards, M. A.

    2016-12-01

    Subduction zones are some of the most important systems that control the dynamics and evolution of the earth. The Cascadia Subduction Zone offers a unique natural laboratory for understanding the subduction process, and how subduction interacts with other large-scale geodynamical phenomena. The small size of the Juan de Fuca (JdF) plate and the proximity of the system to the Yellowstone Hotspot and the extensional Basin and Range province allow for detailed study of the effects these important systems have on each other. We present both a P-wave and an S-wave tomographic model of the Pacific Northwestern United States using regional seismic arrays, including the amphibious Cascadia Initiative. These models share important features, such as the Yellowstone plume, the subducting JdF slab, a gap in the subducting slab, and a low-velocity feature beneath the shallowest portions of the slab. But subtle differences in these features between the models—the size of the gap in the subducting JdF slab and the shape of the Yellowstone plume shaft above the transition zone, for example—provide physical insight into the interpretation of these models. The physics that we infer from our seismic tomography and other studies of the region will refine our understanding of subduction zones worldwide, and will help to identify targets for future amphibious seismic array studies. The discovery of a pronounced low-velocity feature beneath the JdF slab as it subducts beneath the coastal Pacific Northwest is, thus far, the most surprising result from our imaging work, and implies a heretofore unanticipated regime of dynamical interaction between the sublithospheric oceanic asthenosphere and the subduction process. Such discoveries are made possible, and rendered interpretable, by ever-increasing resolution that the Cascadia Initiative affords seismic tomography models.

  3. How much does geometry of seismic sources matter in tsunami modeling? A sensitivity analysis for the Calabrian subduction interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonini, R.; Maesano, F. E.; Tiberti, M. M.; Romano, F.; Scala, A.; Lorito, S.; Volpe, M.; Basili, R.

    2017-12-01

    The geometry of seismogenic sources could be one of the most important factors concurring to control the generation and the propagation of earthquake-generated tsunamis and their effects on the coasts. Since the majority of potentially tsunamigenic earthquakes occur offshore, the corresponding faults are generally poorly constrained and, consequently, their geometry is often oversimplified as a planar fault. The rupture area of mega-thrust earthquakes in subduction zones, where most of the greatest tsunamis have occurred, extends for tens to hundreds of kilometers both down dip and along strike, and generally deviates from the planar geometry. Therefore, the larger the earthquake size is, the weaker the planar fault assumption become. In this work, we present a sensitivity analysis aimed to explore the effects on modeled tsunamis generated by seismic sources with different degrees of geometric complexities. We focused on the Calabrian subduction zone, located in the Mediterranean Sea, which is characterized by the convergence between the African and European plates, with rates of up to 5 mm/yr. This subduction zone has been considered to have generated some past large earthquakes and tsunamis, despite it shows only in-slab significant seismic activity below 40 km depth and no relevant seismicity in the shallower portion of the interface. Our analysis is performed by defining and modeling an exhaustive set of tsunami scenarios located in the Calabrian subduction and using different models of the subduction interface with increasing geometrical complexity, from a planar surface to a highly detailed 3D surface. The latter was obtained from the interpretation of a dense network of seismic reflection profiles coupled with the analysis of the seismicity distribution. The more relevant effects due to the inclusion of 3D complexities in the seismic source geometry are finally highlighted in terms of the resulting tsunami impact.

  4. Extension of thickened and hot lithospheres: Inferences from laboratory modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tirel, C.; Brun, J.P.; Sokoutis, D.

    2006-01-01

    The extension of a previously thickened lithosphere is studied through a series of analogue experiments. The models deformed in free and boundary-controlled gravity spreading conditions that simulate the development of wide rift-type and core complex-type structures. In models, the development of

  5. European Lithospheric Mantle; geochemical, petrological and geophysical processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ntaflos, Th.; Puziewicz, J.; Downes, H.; Matusiak-Małek, M.

    2017-04-01

    The second European Mantle Workshop occurred at the end of August 2015, in Wroclaw, Poland, attended by leading scientists in the study the lithospheric mantle from around the world. It built upon the results of the first European Mantle Workshop (held in 2007, in Ferrara, Italy) published in the Geological Society of London Special Publication 293 (Coltorti & Gregoire, 2008).

  6. Lithospheric strength variations in Mainland China : Tectonic implications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deng, Yangfan; Tesauro, M.

    2016-01-01

    We present a new thermal and strength model for the lithosphere of Mainland China. To this purpose, we integrate a thermal model for the crust, using a 3-D steady state heat conduction equation, with estimates for the upper mantle thermal structure, obtained by inverting a S wave tomography model.

  7. The African upper mantle and its relationship to tectonics and surface geology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priestley, Keith; McKenzie, Dan; Debayle, Eric; Pilidou, Sylvana

    2008-12-01

    This paper focuses on the upper-mantle velocity structure of the African continent and its relationship to the surface geology. The distribution of seismographs and earthquakes providing seismograms for this study results in good fundamental and higher mode path coverage by a large number of relatively short propagation paths, allowing us to image the SV-wave speed structure, with a horizontal resolution of several hundred kilometres and a vertical resolution of ~50 km, to a depth of about 400 km. The difference in mantle structure between the Archean and Pan-African terranes is apparent in our African upper-mantle shear wave model. High-velocity (4-7 per cent) roots exist beneath the cratons. Below the West African, Congo and Tanzanian Cratons, these extend to 225-250 km depth, but beneath the Kalahari Craton, the high wave speed root extends to only ~170 km. With the exception of the Damara Belt that separates the Congo and Kalahari Cratons, any high-speed upper-mantle lid below the Pan-African terranes is too thin to be resolved by our long-period surface wave technique. The Damara Belt is underlain by higher wave speeds, similar to those observed beneath the Kalahari Craton. Extremely low SV-wave speeds occur to the bottom of our model beneath the Afar region. The temperature of the African upper mantle is determined from the SV-wave speed model. Large temperature variations occur at 125 km depth with low temperatures beneath west Africa and all of southern Africa and warm mantle beneath the Pan-African terrane of northern Africa. At 175 km depth, cool upper mantle occurs below the West African, Congo, Tanzanian and Kalahari Cratons and anomalously warm mantle occurs below a zone in northcentral Africa and beneath the region surrounding the Red Sea. All of the African volcanic centres are located above regions of warm upper mantle. The temperature profiles were fit to a geotherm to determine the thickness of the African lithosphere. Thick lithosphere exists

  8. Characterising East Antarctic Lithosphere and its Rift Systems using Gravity Inversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughan, Alan P. M.; Kusznir, Nick J.; Ferraccioli, Fausto; Leat, Phil T.; Jordan, Tom A. R. M.; Purucker, Michael E.; Golynsky, A. V. Sasha; Rogozhina, Irina

    2013-04-01

    Since the International Geophysical Year (1957), a view has prevailed that East Antarctica has a relatively homogeneous lithospheric structure, consisting of a craton-like mosaic of Precambrian terranes, stable since the Pan-African orogeny ~500 million years ago (e.g. Ferracioli et al. 2011). Recent recognition of a continental-scale rift system cutting the East Antarctic interior has crystallised an alternative view of much more recent geological activity with important implications. The newly defined East Antarctic Rift System (EARS) (Ferraccioli et al. 2011) appears to extend from at least the South Pole to the continental margin at the Lambert Rift, a distance of 2500 km. This is comparable in scale to the well-studied East African rift system. New analysis of RadarSat data by Golynsky & Golynsky (2009) indicates that further rift zones may form widely distributed extension zones within the continent. A pilot study (Vaughan et al. 2012), using a newly developed gravity inversion technique (Chappell & Kusznir 2008) with existing public domain satellite data, shows distinct crustal thickness provinces with overall high average thickness separated by thinner, possibly rifted, crust. Understanding the nature of crustal thickness in East Antarctica is critical because: 1) this is poorly known along the ocean-continent transition, but is necessary to improve the plate reconstruction fit between Antarctica, Australia and India in Gondwana, which will also better define how and when these continents separated; 2) lateral variation in crustal thickness can be used to test supercontinent reconstructions and assess the effects of crystalline basement architecture and mechanical properties on rifting; 3) rift zone trajectories through East Antarctica will define the geometry of zones of crustal and lithospheric thinning at plate-scale; 4) it is not clear why or when the crust of East Antarctica became so thick and elevated, but knowing this can be used to test models of

  9. Numerical modeling of continental lithospheric weak zone over plume

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perepechko, Y. V.; Sorokin, K. E.

    2011-12-01

    The work is devoted to the development of magmatic systems in the continental lithosphere over diffluent mantle plumes. The areas of tension originating over them are accompanied by appearance of fault zones, and the formation of permeable channels, which are distributed magmatic melts. The numerical simulation of the dynamics of deformation fields in the lithosphere due to convection currents in the upper mantle, and the formation of weakened zones that extend up to the upper crust and create the necessary conditions for the formation of intermediate magma chambers has been carried out. Thermodynamically consistent non-isothermal model simulates the processes of heat and mass transfer of a wide class of magmatic systems, as well as the process of strain localization in the lithosphere and their influence on the formation of high permeability zones in the lower crust. The substance of the lithosphere is a rheologic heterophase medium, which is described by a two-velocity hydrodynamics. This makes it possible to take into account the process of penetration of the melt from the asthenosphere into the weakened zone. The energy dissipation occurs mainly due to interfacial friction and inelastic relaxation of shear stresses. The results of calculation reveal a nonlinear process of the formation of porous channels and demonstrate the diversity of emerging dissipative structures which are determined by properties of both heterogeneous lithosphere and overlying crust. Mutual effect of a permeable channel and the corresponding filtration process of the melt on the mantle convection and the dynamics of the asthenosphere have been studied. The formation of dissipative structures in heterogeneous lithosphere above mantle plumes occurs in accordance with the following scenario: initially, the elastic behavior of heterophase lithosphere leads to the formation of the narrow weakened zone, though sufficiently extensive, with higher porosity. Further, the increase in the width of

  10. Deep subduction of hot young oceanic slab required by the Syros eclogites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flemetakis, Stamatis; Moulas, Evangelos; Kostopoulos, Dimitrios; Chatzitheodoridis, Elias

    2014-05-01

    calculated for a subduction velocity of 3 cm/yr, a subduction angle of 30° and an age of incoming lithosphere of ~20 Ma with a shear stress of 80 MPa at the slab-mantle interface [5]. The above are in excellent agreement with published isotopic work on zircons and garnets from Syros eclogites suggesting crystallisation from magmas derived from a depleted mantle at ~80 Ma and constraining the event of eclogitic metamorphism at ~55 Ma. Diffusion modelling of the garnet outermost rims suggests a brief heating pulse of only ~1,000 years at peak T. [1] Van der Molen (1981) Tectonophysics 73, 323-342 .[2] Koons and Thompson (1985) Chemical Geology 50, 3-30. [3] Baxter and Caddick (2013) Geology 41, 6, 643-646. [4] Poli et al. (2009) Earth and Planetary Science Letters 278, 350-360. [5] Peacock (1993) Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 105, 684-694 .

  11. Lithospheric-scale centrifuge models of pull-apart basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corti, Giacomo; Dooley, Tim P.

    2015-11-01

    We present here the results of the first lithospheric-scale centrifuge models of pull-apart basins. The experiments simulate relative displacement of two lithospheric blocks along two offset master faults, with the presence of a weak zone in the offset area localising deformation during strike-slip displacement. Reproducing the entire lithosphere-asthenosphere system provides boundary conditions that are more realistic than the horizontal detachment in traditional 1 g experiments and thus provide a better approximation of the dynamic evolution of natural pull-apart basins. Model results show that local extension in the pull-apart basins is accommodated through development of oblique-slip faulting at the basin margins and cross-basin faults obliquely cutting the rift depression. As observed in previous modelling studies, our centrifuge experiments suggest that the angle of offset between the master fault segments is one of the most important parameters controlling the architecture of pull-apart basins: the basins are lozenge shaped in the case of underlapping master faults, lazy-Z shaped in case of neutral offset and rhomboidal shaped for overlapping master faults. Model cross sections show significant along-strike variations in basin morphology, with transition from narrow V- and U-shaped grabens to a more symmetric, boxlike geometry passing from the basin terminations to the basin centre; a flip in the dominance of the sidewall faults from one end of the basin to the other is observed in all models. These geometries are also typical of 1 g models and characterise several pull-apart basins worldwide. Our models show that the complex faulting in the upper brittle layer corresponds at depth to strong thinning of the ductile layer in the weak zone; a rise of the base of the lithosphere occurs beneath the basin, and maximum lithospheric thinning roughly corresponds to the areas of maximum surface subsidence (i.e., the basin depocentre).

  12. Space geodesy validation of the global lithospheric flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespi, M.; Cuffaro, M.; Doglioni, C.; Giannone, F.; Riguzzi, F.

    2007-02-01

    Space geodesy data are used to verify whether plates move chaotically or rather follow a sort of tectonic mainstream. While independent lines of geological evidence support the existence of a global ordered flow of plate motions that is westerly polarized, the Terrestrial Reference Frame (TRF) presents limitations in describing absolute plate motions relative to the mantle. For these reasons we jointly estimated a new plate motions model and three different solutions of net lithospheric rotation. Considering the six major plate boundaries and variable source depths of the main Pacific hotspots, we adapted the TRF plate kinematics by global space geodesy to absolute plate motions models with respect to the mantle. All three reconstructions confirm (i) the tectonic mainstream and (ii) the net rotation of the lithosphere. We still do not know the precise trend of this tectonic flow and the velocity of the differential rotation. However, our results show that assuming faster Pacific motions, as the asthenospheric source of the hotspots would allow, the best lithospheric net rotation estimate is 13.4 +/- 0.7 cm yr-1. This superfast solution seems in contradiction with present knowledge on the lithosphere decoupling, but it matches remarkably better with the geological constraints than those retrieved with slower Pacific motion and net rotation estimates. Assuming faster Pacific motion, it is shown that all plates move orderly `westward' along the tectonic mainstream at different velocities and the equator of the lithospheric net rotation lies inside the corresponding tectonic mainstream latitude band (~ +/-7°), defined by the 1σ confidence intervals.

  13. Lithosphere structure in Madagascar as revealed from receiver functions and surface waves analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rindraharisaona, E. J.; Tilmann, F. J.; Yuan, X.; Dreiling, J.; Priestley, K. F.; Barruol, G.; Wysession, M. E.

    2017-12-01

    The geological history of Madagascar makes it an ideal place to study the lithospheric structure and its evolution. It comprises Archean to Proterozoic units on the central eastern part, which is surrounded by a Triassic to Jurassic basin formation in the west and Cretaceous volcanics along the coasts. Quaternary volcanic rocks have been embedded in crystalline and sedimentary rocks. The aim of the present work is to characterize the crustal structure and determine the imprint of the dominant geodynamic events that have affected Madagascar: the Pan-African orogeny, the breakup of Gondwanaland and Neogene tectonic activity. From 2011 to 2014 different temporary seismic arrays were deployed in Madagascar. We based the current study mostly on SELASOMA project, which is composed of 50 seismic stations that were installed traversing southern Madagascar from the west to the east, sampling the different geological units. To measured seismic dispersion curves, one a wide period ranges using ambient noise, Rayleigh and Love surface waves. To compute the average crustal Vp/Vs ratio internal crustal structure and discontinuities in the mantle, we use both P- and S-waves receiver functions. To better resolve of the crustal structure, we jointly inverted P-wave receiver functions and Rayleigh wave group velocity.The crustal extension during the Carboniferous to Cenozoic has thinned the igneous crust down to 15 km in the western Morondava basin by removing much of the lower crust, while the thickness of the upper crust is nearly identical in the sedimentary basin and under Proterozoic and Archaean rocks of the eastern two thirds of Southern Madagascar. In general, the Archean crust is thicker than the Proterozoic, because mafic component is missing in the Proterozoic domain while it forms the bottom of the Archean crust. The lithosphere thickness in the southern part of Madagascar is estimated to be between 90 and 125 km.

  14. Imaging the lithosphere and underlying mantle of the South Atlantic, South America and Africa using waveform tomography with massive datasets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celli, N. L.; Lebedev, S.; Schaeffer, A. J.; Ravenna, M.; Gaina, C.

    2017-12-01

    Recent growth in global seismic station coverage has created dense data sampling of the previously poorly constrained lithosphere and underlying mantle beneath the South Atlantic, South America and Africa. The new data enable us to image the vast region at a new level of detail and address important open questions regarding its lithospheric architecture and mantle dynamics. In order to fully exploit the data sampling, we use an efficient, multimode waveform tomography scheme that enables the extraction of structural information from millions of seismograms and use the inherent data redundancy to minimize effects of errors in the data. Our tomographic model is constrained by waveform fits of over 1.2 million vertical-component seismograms, computed using the Automated Multimode Inversion of surface, S- and multiple S-waves. Each successful seismogram fit provides a set of linear equations describing 1D average velocity perturbations within approximate sensitivity volumes, with respect to a 3D reference model. We then combine all equations into a large linear system and invert jointly for a model of S- and P-wave speeds and azimuthal anisotropy within the lithosphere and underlying mantle. We are now able to image the detailed structure of various African shields. For example, in West Africa, two clearly separate high-velocity units underlay the Reguibat and Man-Léo Shields; in the Congo area, a single high-velocity body, formed by three main units correspond to the Gabon-Cameroon, Bomu-Kibali and Kasai Shields. Strong low-velocity anomalies underlay the Afar Hotspot and the East African Rift; pronounced low velocities are also seen beneath parts of the Sahara Desert. We discuss the shape of the deep Afar anomaly and its possible relationships with the Saharan volcanism and the neighboring Tanzania Craton. In the South Atlantic, we retrieve fine-scale velocity structure along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR), indicative of hotspot-ridge interactions. Major hotspots show

  15. Geothermal He and CO2 variations at Changbaishan intra-plate volcano (NE China) and the nature of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahm, D.; Hilton, D. R.; Cho, M.; Wei, H.; Kim, K.-R.

    2008-11-01

    We report new He and CO2 data for geothermal fluids from Changbaishan Volcano located on the border of China and North Korea. Helium isotope ratios reach a maximum of 5.4 RA (where RA = 3He/4He in air) whereas carbon isotope values (δ 13C) fall between -2 and -7 ‰ (vs. PDB). The ratio of CO2/3He varies between 0.5-7.1 (×109) for gas samples but is considerably higher (~1012) in waters. The combined He-CO2 systematics reveal the clear imprint of a dominant subducted slab contribution to the total CO2 inventory. We conclude that these geothermal volatiles originate from the sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) in NE China and represent ancient fluids captured by prior metasomatic events.

  16. Major zircon megacryst suites of the Indo-Pacific lithospheric margin (ZIP) and their petrogenetic and regional implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutherland, Lin; Graham, Ian; Yaxley, Gregory; Armstrong, Richard; Giuliani, Gaston; Hoskin, Paul; Nechaev, Victor; Woodhead, Jon

    2016-04-01

    Zircon megacrysts (± gem corundum) appear in basalt fields of Indo-Pacific origin over a 12,000 km zone (ZIP) along West Pacific continental margins. Age-dating, trace element, oxygen and hafnium isotope studies on representative zircons (East Australia-Asia) indicate diverse magmatic sources. The U-Pb (249 to 1 Ma) and zircon fission track (ZFT) ages (65 to 1 Ma) suggest thermal annealing during later basalt transport, with < 1 to 203 Ma gaps between the U-Pb and ZFT ages. Magmatic growth zonation and Zr/Hf ratios (0.01-0.02) suggest alkaline magmatic sources, while Ti—in—zircon thermometry suggests that most zircons crystallized within ranges between 550 and 830 °C. Chondrite-normalised multi-element plots show variable enrichment patterns, mostly without marked Eu depletion, indicating little plagioclase fractionation in source melts. Key elements and ratios matched against zircons from magmatic rocks suggest a range of ultramafic to felsic source melts. Zircon O-isotope ratios (δ18O in the range 4 to 11‰) and initial Hf isotope ratios (ɛHf in the range +2 to +14) encompass ranges for both mantle and crustal melts. Calculated Depleted Mantle (TDM 0.03-0.56 Ga) and Crustal Residence (0.20-1.02 Ga) model ages suggest several mantle events, continental break-ups (Rodinia and Gondwana) and convergent margin collisions left imprints in the zircon source melts. East Australian ZIP sites reflect prolonged intraplate magmatism (~85 Ma), often during times of fast-migrating lithosphere. In contrast, East Asian-Russian ZIP sites reflect later basaltic magmatism (<40 Ma), often linked to episodes of back-arc rifting and spreading, slow-migrating lithosphere and slab subduction.

  17. Lithosphere mantle density of the North China Craton based on gravity data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, B.; Artemieva, I. M.; Thybo, H.

    2017-12-01

    Based on gravity, seismic and thermal data we constrained the lithospheric mantle density at in-situ and STP condition. The gravity effect of topography, sedimentary cover, Moho and Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary variation were removed from free-air gravity anomaly model. The sedimentary covers with density range from 1.80 g/cm3 with soft sediments to 2.40 g/cm3 with sandstone and limestone sediments. The average crustal density with values of 2.70 - 2.78 g/cm3 which corresponds the thickness and density of the sedimentary cover. Based on the new thermal model, the surface heat flow in original the North China Craton including western block is > 60 mW/m2. Moho temperature ranges from 450 - 600 OC in the eastern block and in the western block is 550 - 650 OC. The thermal lithosphere is 100 -140 km thick where have the surface heat flow of 60 - 70 mW/m2. The gravity effect of surface topography, sedimentary cover, Moho depth are 0 to +150 mGal, - 20 to -120 mGal and +50 to -200 mGal, respectively. By driving the thermal lithosphere, the gravity effect of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary ranges from 20 mGal to +200 mGal which shows strong correction with the thickness of the lithosphere. The relationship between the gravity effect of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary and the lithosphere thickness also for the seismic lithosphere, and the value of gravity effect is 0 to +220 mGal. The lithospheric mantle residual gravity which caused by lithospheric density variation range from -200 to +50 mGal by using the thermal lithosphere and from -250 to +100 mGal by driving the seismic lithosphere. For thermal lithosphere, the lithospheric mantle density with values of 3.21- 3.26 g/cm3 at in-situ condition and 3.33 - 3.38 g/cm3 at STP condition. Using seismic lithosphere, density of lithosphere ranges from 3.20 - 3.26 g/cm3 at in-situ condition and 3.31 - 3.41 g/cm3 at STP condition. The subcontinental lithosphere of the North China Craton is highly heterogeneous

  18. Noble gas composition of subcontinental lithospheric mantle: An extensively degassed reservoir beneath Southern Patagonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jalowitzki, Tiago; Sumino, Hirochika; Conceição, Rommulo V.; Orihashi, Yuji; Nagao, Keisuke; Bertotto, Gustavo W.; Balbinot, Eduardo; Schilling, Manuel E.; Gervasoni, Fernanda

    2016-09-01

    Patagonia, in the Southern Andes, is one of the few locations where interactions between the oceanic and continental lithosphere can be studied due to subduction of an active spreading ridge beneath the continent. In order to characterize the noble gas composition of Patagonian subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM), we present the first noble gas data alongside new lithophile (Sr-Nd-Pb) isotopic data for mantle xenoliths from Pali-Aike Volcanic Field and Gobernador Gregores, Southern Patagonia. Based on noble gas isotopic compositions, Pali-Aike mantle xenoliths represent intrinsic SCLM with higher (U + Th + K)/(3He, 22Ne, 36Ar) ratios than the mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) source. This reservoir shows slightly radiogenic helium (3He/4He = 6.84-6.90 RA), coupled with a strongly nucleogenic neon signature (mantle source 21Ne/22Ne = 0.085-0.094). The 40Ar/36Ar ratios vary from a near-atmospheric ratio of 510 up to 17700, with mantle source 40Ar/36Ar between 31100-6800+9400 and 54000-9600+14200. In addition, the 3He/22Ne ratios for the local SCLM endmember, at 12.03 ± 0.15 to 13.66 ± 0.37, are higher than depleted MORBs, at 3He/22Ne = 8.31-9.75. Although asthenospheric mantle upwelling through the Patagonian slab window would result in a MORB-like metasomatism after collision of the South Chile Ridge with the Chile trench ca. 14 Ma, this mantle reservoir could have remained unhomogenized after rapid passage and northward migration of the Chile Triple Junction. The mantle endmember xenon isotopic ratios of Pali-Aike mantle xenoliths, which is first defined for any SCLM-derived samples, show values indistinguishable from the MORB source (129Xe/132Xe =1.0833-0.0053+0.0216 and 136Xe/132Xe =0.3761-0.0034+0.0246). The noble gas component observed in Gobernador Gregores mantle xenoliths is characterized by isotopic compositions in the MORB range in terms of helium (3He/4He = 7.17-7.37 RA), but with slightly nucleogenic neon (mantle source 21Ne/22Ne = 0.065-0.079). We

  19. A record of spontaneous subduction initiation in the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arculus, Richard J.; Ishizuka, Osamu; Bogus, Kara A.; Gurnis, Michael; Hickey-Vargas, Rosemary; Aljahdali, Mohammed H.; Bandini-Maeder, Alexandre N.; Barth, Andrew P.; Brandl, Philipp A.; Drab, Laureen; Do Monte Guerra, Rodrigo; Hamada, Morihisa; Jiang, Fuqing; Kanayama, Kyoko; Kender, Sev; Kusano, Yuki; Li, He; Loudin, Lorne C.; Maffione, Marco; Marsaglia, Kathleen M.; McCarthy, Anders; Meffre, Sebastién; Morris, Antony; Neuhaus, Martin; Savov, Ivan P.; Sena, Clara; Tepley, Frank J.; Van Der Land, Cees; Yogodzinski, Gene M.; Zhang, Zhaohui

    2015-01-01

    The initiation of tectonic plate subduction into the mantle is poorly understood. If subduction is induced by the push of a distant mid-ocean ridge or subducted slab pull, we expect compression and uplift of the overriding plate. In contrast, spontaneous subduction initiation, driven by subsidence

  20. Three-dimensional dynamic laboratory models of subduction with an overriding plate and variable interplate rheology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duarte, João C.; Schellart, Wouter P.; Cruden, Alexander R.

    2013-01-01

    Subduction zones are complex 3-D features in which one tectonic plate sinks underneath another into the deep mantle. During subduction the overriding plate (OP) remains in physical contact with the subducting plate and stresses generated at the subduction zone interface and by mantle flowforce the

  1. Deformation and fluid-enhanced annealing in subcontinental lithospheric mantle beneath the Pannonian Basin (Styrian Basin, Eastern Austria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aradi, Laszlo; Hidas, Károly; János Kovács, István; Tommasi, Andrea; Garrido, Carlos; Szabó, Csaba

    2017-04-01

    extensive deformational regimes controlled the evolution of the basin. We suggest that the source of the fluids and melts, caused extensive annealing in the subcontinental lithospheric mantle, was the subducted Penninic-slab (e.g. [4]) below the Styrian Basin. The source of the high structural hydroxyl contents could be also this slab, which provided high H2O activity environment in the SCLM of the Styrian basin in a mantle-wedge-like setting. References: [1] Szabó, Cs. et al. 2004. Tectonophysics, 393(1), 119-137. [2] Blackman, D. K. et al. 2002. G3, 3, 1-24. [3] Tommasi, A. et al. 2000. J. of Geophys. Res.: Solid Earth, 105, 7893-7908. [4] Qorbani, E. et al 2015. Tectonophysics, 409, 96-108.

  2. SPECIFIC FEATURES OF DEFORMATION OF THE CONTINENTAL AND OCEANIC LITHOSPHERE AS A RESULT OF THE EARTH CORE NORTHERN DRIFT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikhail A. Goncharov

    2012-01-01

    drifting (Figures 26, and 27.By comparing the equations that describe the model of the northern drift of the lithosphere and the model of the core drift towards the North Pole, it is possible to establish a quantitative ‘bridge’ between the structures of meridional compression of the lithosphere and the core drifting structures.Conclusions based on the model of the northern drift of the lithosphere conform to many independent data and concepts, such as disturbance of the isostatic equilibrium of the Antarctica lithosphere and its high standing; the anomalously wide shelf of the Arctic ocean (Figure 28а and the increased thickness of the sediment cover, that is rich in hydrocarbons, in combination with the ultralow velocity of spreading in Gakkel Ridge; the approximately equal areas of Antarctica and the Arctic ocean as antipodes (Figure 28б; elongation (according to GPS data of the parallels in the Southern hemisphere, and their shortening in the Northern hemisphere (Figure 26; radial (relative to the South Pole rifts and other lineaments in Antarctica (Figures 29, and 30; the sub-concentric (relative to the same pole system of spreading around Antarctica, which develops northward into the submeridional system including three ‘trunks’ at a distance of about 90° (Figure 31.Due to the higher velocity of the northern drift of the lithosphere within the band with the middle meridian 100° E – 80° W, wherein the main mass of the continental lithosphere is concentrated and whose two ‘poles’ are marked by the axes of the African and Pacific superplumes (Figures 3, 4, 5, and 32, the following specific features have developed: maximum elongation of the Antarctic continent in the Southern (‘stretched’ hemisphere (Figure 28 б; maximum shortening of the Arctic ocean in the Northern (‘compressed’ hemisphere (Figure 28а; maximum spreading velocity in the SouthEastern Indian Ridge (Figure 33; maximum northern component of the horizontal displacements velocity

  3. Shear heating and metamorphism in subduction zones, 1. Thermal models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohn, M. J.; Castro, A. E.; Spear, F. S.

    2017-12-01

    Popular thermal-mechanical models of modern subduction systems are 100-500 °C colder at c. 50 km depth than pressure-temperature (P-T) conditions determined from exhumed metamorphic rocks. This discrepancy has been ascribed by some to profound bias in the rock record, i.e. metamorphic rocks reflect only anomalously warm subduction, not normal subduction. Accurately inferring subduction zone thermal structure, whether from models or rocks, is crucial for predicting depths of seismicity, fluid release, and sub-arc melting conditions. Here, we show that adding realistic shear stresses to thermal models implies P-T conditions quantitatively consistent with those recorded by exhumed metamorphic rocks, suggesting that metamorphic rock P-T conditions are not anomalously warm. Heat flow measurements from subduction zone fore-arcs typically indicate effective coefficients of friction (µ) ranging from 0.025 to 0.1. We included these coefficients of friction in analytical models of subduction zone interface temperatures. Using global averages of subducting plate age (50 Ma), subduction velocity (6 cm/yr), and subducting plate geometry (central Chile), temperatures at 50 km depth (1.5 GPa) increase by c. 200 °C for µ=0.025 to 700 °C for µ=0.1. However, at high temperatures, thermal softening will reduce frictional heating, and temperatures will not increase as much with depth. Including initial weakening of materials ranging from wet quartz (c. 300 °C) to diabase (c. 600 °C) in the analytical models produces concave-upward P-T distributions on P-T diagrams, with temperatures c. 100 to 500 °C higher than models with no shear heating. The absolute P-T conditions and concave-upward shape of the shear-heating + thermal softening models almost perfectly matches the distribution of P-T conditions derived from a compilation of exhumed metamorphic rocks. Numerical models of modern subduction zones that include shear heating also overlap metamorphic data. Thus, excepting the

  4. Preferential mantle lithospheric extension under the South China margin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clift, P.; Jian Lin

    2001-01-01

    Continental rifting in the South China Sea culminated in seafloor spreading at ∼ 30Ma (Late Oligocene). The basin and associated margins form a classic example of break-up in a relatively juvenile arc crust environment. In this study, we documented the timing, distribution and amount of extension in the crust and mantle lithosphere on the South China Margin during this process. Applying a one-dimensional backstripping modeling technique to drilling data from the Pearl River Mouth Basin (PRMB) and Beibu Gulf Basin, we calculated subsidence rates of the wells and examined the timing and amount of extension. Our results show that extension of the crust exceeded that in the mantle lithosphere under the South China Shelf, but that the two varied in phase, suggesting depth-dependent extension rather than a lithospheric-scale detachment. Estimates of total crustal extension derived in this way are similar to those measured by seismic refraction, indicating that isostatic compensation is close to being local. Extension in the Beibu Gulf appears to be more uniform with depth, a difference that we attribute to the different style of strain accommodation during continental break-up compared to intra-continental rifting. Extension in PRMB and South China slope continues for ∼ 5m.y. after the onset of seafloor spreading due to the weakness of the continental lithosphere. The timing of major extension is broadly mid-late Eocene to late Oligocene (∼ 45-25Ma), but is impossible to correlate in detail with poorly dated strike-slip deformation in the Red River Fault Zone. (author)

  5. A Swarm lithospheric magnetic field model to SH degree 80

    OpenAIRE

    Thébault, Erwan; Vigneron, Pierre; Langlais, Benoit; Hulot, Gauthier

    2016-01-01

    International audience; The Swarm constellation of satellites was launched in November 2013 and since then has delivered high-quality scalar and vector magnetic field measurements. A consortium of several research institutions was selected by the European Space Agency to provide a number of scientific products to be made available to the scientific community on a regular basis. In this study, we present the dedicated lithospheric field inversion model. It uses carefully selected magnetic fiel...

  6. Seismological Constraints on Lithospheric Evolution in the Appalachian Orogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, K. M.; Hopper, E.; Hawman, R. B.; Wagner, L. S.

    2017-12-01

    Crust and mantle structures beneath the Appalachian orogen, recently resolved by seismic data from the EarthScope SESAME Flexible Array and Transportable Array, provide new constraints on the scale and style of the Appalachian collision and subsequent lithospheric evolution. In the southern Appalachians, imaging with Sp and Ps phases reveals the final (Alleghanian) suture between the crusts of Laurentia and the Gondwanan Suwannee terrane as a low angle (Kellogg, 2017) isostatic arguments indicate crustal thicknesses were 15-25 km larger at the end of the orogeny, indicating a thick crustal root across the region. The present-day residual crustal root beneath the Blue Ridge mountains is estimated to have a density contrast with the mantle of only 104±20 kg/m3. This value is comparable to other old orogens but lower than values typical of young or active orogens, indicating a loss of lower crustal buoyancy over time. At mantle depths, the negative shear velocity gradient that marks the transition from lithosphere to asthenosphere, as illuminated by Sp phases, varies across the Appalachian orogen. This boundary is shallow beneath the northeastern U.S. and in the zone of Eocene volcanism in Virginia, where low velocity anomalies occur in the upper mantle. These correlations suggest recent active lithosphere-asthenosphere interaction.

  7. Mantle Earthquakes in Thinned Proterozoic Lithosphere: Harrat Lunayyir, Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchette, A. R.; Klemperer, S. L.; Mooney, W. D.; Zahran, H. M.

    2017-12-01

    Harrat Lunayyir is an active volcanic field located in the western Arabian Shield 100 km outside of the Red Sea rift margin. We use common conversion point (CCP) stacking of P-wave receiver functions (PRFs) to show that the Moho is at 38 km depth, close to the 40 km crustal thickness measured in the center of the craton, whereas the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) is at 60 km, far shallower than the 150 km furthest in the craton. We locate 67 high-frequency earthquakes with mL ≤ 2.5 at depths of 40-50 km below the surface, located clearly within the mantle lid. The occurrence of earthquakes within the lithospheric mantle requires a geothermal temperature profile that is below equilibrium. The lithosphere cannot have thinned to its present thickness earlier than 15 Ma, either during an extended period of rifting possibly beginning 24 Ma or, more likely, as part of the second stage of rifting following collision between Arabia and Eurasia.

  8. Geochemical Consequences of Lithospheric Delamination in the Eastern Mediterranean: Evidence From Young Turkish Basalts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furman, T.; Kurkcuoglu, B.; Plummer, C.

    2007-12-01

    Magmatism associated with continental collision is increasingly attributed to major disturbance of or within the lithosphere. Geochemical and isotopic data on post-collisional primitive mafic lavas from across the Anatolian plate enable us to assess the effects of lithospheric delamination (slab rollback and breakoff) as indicated by geophysical studies. The Anatolian province displays geodynamically complex manifestations of the closure of neo-Tethys and the collision between Africa and Europe that commenced circa 30 Ma. The current south- southwestward motion of Anatolia, a.k.a. "Turkish escape", is accommodated by slab rollback along the Hellenic trench and orogenic collapse along both the eastern and western margins of the microplate. Volcanism occurs primarily along the fault zones that border and cross-cut Anatolia, and major element characteristics of the lavas vary with both space and time. In Western Anatolia, early Miocene collisional calc- alkaline magmatism was followed by Quaternary alkaline volcanism (Alici et al. 1998, 2002; Aldanmaz et al. 2000, 2006) related to orogenic collapse, presumably resulting from slab rollback. Orogenic collapse in Eastern Anatolia is facilitated by slab breakoff as determined by geophysical studies (Zor et al. 2003; Angus et al. 2006; Lei & Zhao 2007). This transition was accompanied a change from mid-Miocene calc-alkaline to Quaternary alkaline volcanism (e.g., Yilmaz 1990; Pearce et al. 1990). Central Anatolia displays calc-alkaline and tholeiitic volcanism, including alkali olivine basalts; plate tectonic reconstructions (Lyberis et al. 1992) indicate that the African slab did not reach Central Anatolia. Sr-Nd isotope values from each volcanic province define linear arrays that converge upon a common unradiogenic value typical of global depleted mantle. We suggest that mafic volcanism throughout Anatolia is supported by a common asthenospheric component, modified by identifiable, location-specific additions. In areas

  9. Lithospheric flexural strength and effective elastic thicknesses of the Eastern Anatolia (Turkey) and surrounding region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oruç, Bülent; Gomez-Ortiz, David; Petit, Carole

    2017-12-01

    The Lithospheric structure of Eastern Anatolia and the surrounding region, including the northern part of the Arabian platform is investigated via the analysis and modeling of Bouguer anomalies from the Earth Gravitational Model EGM08. The effective elastic thickness of the lithosphere (EET) that corresponds to the mechanical cores of the crust and lithospheric mantle is determined from the spectral coherence between Bouguer anomalies and surface elevation data. Its average value is 18.7 km. From the logarithmic amplitude spectra of Bouguer anomalies, average depths of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB), Moho, Conrad and basement in the study area are constrained at 84 km, 39 km, 16 km and 7 km, respectively. The geometries of the LAB and Moho are then estimated using the Parker-Oldenburg inversion algorithm. We also present a lithospheric strength map obtained from the spatial variations of EET determined by Yield Stress Envelopes (YSE). The EET varies in the range of 12-23 km, which is in good agreement with the average value obtained from spectral analysis. Low EET values are interpreted as resulting from thermal and flexural lithospheric weakening. According to the lithospheric strength of the Eastern Anatolian region, the rheology model consists of a strong but brittle upper crust, a weak and ductile lower crust, and a weak lower part of the lithosphere. On the other hand, lithosphere strength corresponds to weak and ductile lower crust, a strong upper crust and a strong uppermost lithospheric mantle for the northern part of the Arabian platform.

  10. Contrasted continental rifting via plume-craton interaction : Applications to Central East African Rift

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koptev, Alexander; Burov, Evgueni; Calais, Eric; Leroy, Sylvie; Gerya, Taras; Guillou-Frottier, Laurent; Cloetingh, Sierd

    The East African Rift system (EARS) provides a unique system with the juxtaposition of two contrasting yet simultaneously formed rift branches, the eastern, magma-rich, and the western, magma-poor, on either sides of the old thick Tanzanian craton embedded in a younger lithosphere. Data on the

  11. Metamorphism and Shear Localization in the Oceanic and Continental Lithosphere: A Local or Lithospheric-Scale Effect?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montesi, L.

    2017-12-01

    Ductile rheologies are characterized by strain rate hardening, which favors deformation zones that are as wide as possible, thus minimizing strain rate and stress. By contrast, plate tectonics and the observation of ductile shear zones in the exposed middle to lower crust show that deformation is often localized, that is, strain (and likely strain rate) is locally very high. This behavior is most easily explained if the material in the shear zone is intrinsically weaker than the reference material forming the wall rocks. Many origins for that weakness have been proposed. They include higher temperature (shear heating), reduced grain size, and fabric. The latter two were shown to be the most effective in the middle crust and upper mantle (given observational limits restricting heating to 50K or less) but they were not very important in the lower crust. They are not sufficient to explain the generation of narrow plate boundaries in the oceans. We evaluate here the importance of metamorphism, especially related to hydration, in weakening the lithosphere. Serpentine is a major player in the dynamics of the oceanic lithosphere. Although its ductile behavior is poorly constrained, serpentine is likely to behave in a brittle or quasi-plastic manner with a reduced coefficient of friction, replacing stronger peridotite. Serpentinization sufficiently weakens the oceanic lithosphere to explain the generation of diffuse plate boundaries and, combined with grain size reduction, the development of narrow plate boundaries. Lower crust outcrops, especially in the Bergen Arc (Norway), display eclogite shear zones hosted in metastable granulites. The introduction of water triggered locally a metamorphic reaction that reduces rock strength and resulted in a ductile shear zone. The presence of these shear zones has been used to explain the weakness of the lower crust perceived from geodesy and seismic activity. We evaluate here how much strain rate may increase as a result of

  12. Deep mantle seismic heterogeneities in Western Pacific subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentham, H. L. M.; Rost, S.

    2012-04-01

    In recent years array seismology has been used extensively to image the small scale (~10 km) structure of the Earth. In the mantle, small scale structure likely represents chemical heterogeneity and is essential in our understanding of mantle convection and especially mantle mixing. As subduction is the main source of introducing crustal material into the Earth's mantle, it is of particular interest to track the transport of subducted crust through the mantle to resolve details of composition and deformation of the crust during the subduction process. Improved knowledge of subduction can help provide constraints on the mechanical mixing process of crustal material into the ambient mantle, as well as constraining mantle composition and convection. This study uses seismic array techniques to map seismic heterogeneities associated with Western Pacific subduction zones, where a variety of slab geometries have been previously observed. We use seismic energy arriving prior to PP, a P-wave underside reflection off the Earth's surface halfway between source and receiver, to probe the mantle for small-scale heterogeneities. PP precursors were analysed at Eielson Array (ILAR), Alaska using the recently developed Toolkit for Out-of-Plane Coherent Arrival Tracking (TOPCAT) algorithm. The approach combines the calculated optimal beampower and an independent semblance (coherency) measure, to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of coherent arrivals. 94 earthquakes with sufficient coherent precursory energy were selected and directivity information of the arrivals (i.e. slowness and backazimuth) was extracted from the data. The scattering locations for 311 out-of-plane precursors were determined by ray-tracing and minimising the slowness, backazimuth and differential travel time misfit. Initial analyses show that deep scattering (>1000 km) occurs beneath the Izu-Bonin subduction zone, suggesting that subducted crust does continue into the lower mantle in this location. Other

  13. African Anthropologist

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROMOTING ACCESS TO AFRICAN RESEARCH ... It provides a forum for African and Africanist anthropologists to publish research reports, articles, book ... A Qualitative Exploration · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT

  14. Large-scale variation in lithospheric structure along and across the Kenya rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prodehl, C.; Mechie, J.; Kaminski, W.; Fuchs, K.; Grosse, C.; Hoffmann, H.; Stangl, R.; Stellrecht, R.; Khan, M.A.; Maguire, Peter K.H.; Kirk, W.; Keller, Gordon R.; Githui, A.; Baker, M.; Mooney, W.; Criley, E.; Luetgert, J.; Jacob, B.; Thybo, H.; Demartin, M.; Scarascia, S.; Hirn, A.; Bowman, J.R.; Nyambok, I.; Gaciri, S.; Patel, J.; Dindi, E.; Griffiths, D.H.; King, R.F.; Mussett, A.E.; Braile, L.W.; Thompson, G.; Olsen, K.; Harder, S.; Vees, R.; Gajewski, D.; Schulte, A.; Obel, J.; Mwango, F.; Mukinya, J.; Riaroh, D.

    1991-01-01

    The Kenya rift is one of the classic examples of a continental rift zone: models for its evolution range from extension of the lithosphere by pure shear1, through extension by simple shear2, to diapiric upwelling of an asthenolith3. Following a pilot study in 19854, the present work involved the shooting of three seismic refraction and wide-angle reflection profiles along the axis, across the margins, and on the northeastern flank of the rift (Fig. 1). These lines were intended to reconcile the different crustal thickness estimates for the northern and southern parts of the rift4-6 and to reveal the structure across the rift, including that beneath the flanks. The data, presented here, reveal significant lateral variations in structure both along and across the rift. The crust thins along the rift axis from 35 km in the south to 20 km in the north; there are abrupt changes in Mono depth and uppermost-mantle seismic velocity across the rift margins, and crustal thickening across the boundary between the Archaean craton and PanAfrican orogenic belt immediately west of the rift. These results suggest that thickened crust may have controlled the rift's location, that there is a decrease in extension from north to south, and that the upper mantle immediately beneath the rift may contain reservoirs of magma generated at greater depth.

  15. Grenvillian vs Pan-African tectonic evolution in the Gamburtsev Province of East Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraccioli, F.; Guochao, W.; Finn, C.; Bell, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    The Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains in interior East Antarctica are underlain by 50-60 km thick crust. In contrast, the Archean to Mesoproterozoic Mawson craton that occupies the Wilkes and Terre Adelie region features only 40-45 km thick crust. The Gamburtsev Province is underlain by 200 km thick lithoshere, as typically observed over Precambrian lithosphere that has not been substantially reworked during Phanerozoic subduction or collision. Ferraccioli et al., (2011) proposed that a segment of a stalled orogen (i.e. an orogen where widespread orogenic collapse and root delamination has not occurred) is preserved in the Gamburtsev Province and hypothesised that its origin relates to accretionary and subsequent collisional events at ca 1 Ga, linked to the assembly of Rodinia. However, passive seismic interpretations indicate that crustal thickening may relate instead to Pan-African age assembly of Gondwana (at ca 550 Ma). Here we interpret a set of enhanced magnetic and gravity images, depth to magnetic and gravity sources and 2D and forward and inverse models to characterise the crustal architecture of the Gamburtsev Province. Enhanced aeromagnetic images reveal a system of subglacial faults that segment the Gamburtsev Province into three distinct geophysical domains, the northern, central and southern domains. Apparent offsets in high-frequency magnetic anomalies within the central domain are interpreted as revealing a transpressional fault system parallel to the previously proposed Gamburtsev Suture. Our magnetic and gravity model, combined with independent constraints from sediment provenance ages, is interpreted as revealing arc and back arc terranes of inferred Grenvillian age in the northern and Central domains of the Gambrurtsev Province. Distinct magnetic anomalies correspond to inferred Paleoproterozoic crust that may have affinities with the Lambert Terrane and the South Pole Province, an inferred Mesoproterozoic (1.6-1.4 Ga?) igneous province. We

  16. The fate of carbonates along a subducting slab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouilhol, P.; Debret, B.; Inglis, E.

    2017-12-01

    Carbon long-term cycling is a subject of recent controversy as new mass balance calculations suggest that most carbon is transferred from the slab to the mantle wedge by fluids during subduction, limiting the efficiency of carbon recycling to the deep mantle. Here, we examine the mobility of carbon at large scale during subduction through field, petrographic and geochemical studies on exhumed portion of the alpine slab that have recorded different metamorphic conditions during subduction. We studied serpentinite samples, metasomatic horizon between serpentinites and sediments, as well as veins hosted in serpentinites. Samples are from the Western Alps (Queyras and Zermatt) and have recorded a prograde metamorphic history from low temperature blueshist to eclogite facies P-T conditions. We show that during subduction there are several stages of carbonate precipitation and dissolution at metasomatic interfaces between metasedimentary and ultramafic rocks in the slab, as well as within the serpentinites. The early stage of subduction sees carbonate precipitation from the sediment derived fluids into the serpentnites. At higher temperature, when the dehydration shift from sediment to serpentinite dominated, the carbonates are dissolved, inducing the release of CO2 rich fluids. This occurs before the eclogite facies is attained, providing strong evidence for the mobility of carbon in fluids during the early stages of subduction. These fluids are a potential metasomatic agent for the fore-arc mantle wedge, corroborating the observation of carbonate bearing veins in sub-arc mantle ultramafic rocks. In eclogite facies conditions, olivine and carbonate veins within the serpentinites witness the mobility of CO2 during serpentinite dehydration, and may provide clues about the large scale recycling of CO2 within the deep mantle, as well as secondary precipitation associated with exhumation. Trace elements, Fe and Zn isotopic composition of the different samples provides

  17. Mantle weakening and strain localization: Implications for the long-term strength of the continental lithosphere

    OpenAIRE

    Précigout , Jacques; Gueydan , Frédéric

    2009-01-01

    International audience; Mechanics of the continental lithosphere require the presence of a high-strength uppermost mantle that defines the "jelly sandwich" model for lithosphere strength layering. However, in deforming regions, growing numbers of geological and geophysical data predict a sub-Moho mantle strength lower than the crustal strength, or a "crème brûlée" model. To reconcile these two opposite views of lithosphere strength layering, we account for a new olivine rheology, which could ...

  18. Impact of the lithosphere on dynamic topography: Insights from analogue modeling

    OpenAIRE

    Sembroni, Andrea; Kiraly, Agnes; Faccenna, Claudio; Funiciello, Francesca; Becker, Thorsten W.; Goblig, Jan; Fernandez, Manel

    2017-01-01

    Density anomalies beneath the lithosphere are expected to generate dynamic topography at the Earth's surface due to the induced mantle flow stresses which scale linearly with density anomalies, while the viscosity of the upper mantle is expected to control uplift rates. However, limited attention has been given to the role of the lithosphere. Here we present results from analogue modeling of the interactions between a density anomaly rising in the mantle and the lithosphere in a Newtonian sys...

  19. Towards an improved determination of Earth’s lithospheric field from satellite observations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kotsiaros, Stavros; Olsen, Nils; Finlay, Chris

    Perhaps one of the biggest difficulties in modelling the Earth’s lithospheric magnetic field is the separation of contributions from sources of internal and external origin. In particular, the determination of smaller-scale lithospheric magnetic field features is problematic because the lithosphe......Perhaps one of the biggest difficulties in modelling the Earth’s lithospheric magnetic field is the separation of contributions from sources of internal and external origin. In particular, the determination of smaller-scale lithospheric magnetic field features is problematic because...

  20. African Journals Online: African Studies

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Items 51 - 56 of 56 ... Research Review of the Institute of African Studies. Please note: As of 2013 the Research Review of the Institute of African Studies is now publishing under the title Contemporary Journal of African Studies. You can view the CJAS pages on AJOL here: http://www.ajol.info/index.php/contjas/index.

  1. Pan African Collisional Tectonics Along the Moroccan West African Craton Continued to Ediacaran-Cambrian Boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hefferan, K. P.; Samson, S. D.; Rice, K.; Soulaimani, A.

    2016-12-01

    Precision geochronologic dating and field mapping in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Morocco document a Neoproterozoic Pan African orogenic cycle consisting of three distinct orogenic events: Iriri-Tichibanine orogeny (760-700 Ma), Bou Azzer orogeny (680-640 Ma) and the WACadomian orogeny (620 Ma to either 555 or 544 Ma). The Iriri-Tichibanine and Bou Azzer orogenies involved northward directed subduction beneath island arc volcanic terranes. These orogenic events generated calc-alkaline magmatism and supra-subduction zone ophiolites exposed in the Bou Azzer and Siroua erosional inliers. The WACadomian orogeny involved subduction and collision of the Cadomia arc complex with the West African Craton and generation of clastic sedimentary basins. The termination of the WACadomian orogeny has been the subject of debate as calc-alkaline to high K magmatism and folding continued to 544 Ma: Was 620-544 Ma calc-alkaline to high K magmatism and clastic basin development due to a) continental rift basin tectonics or b) southward directed subduction and collisional tectonics with associated back arc basin tectonism? We present field and geochemical data supporting the continuation of subduction-collisional tectonics to the Ediacaran-Cambrian boundary 544 Ma. Field mapping in the Central Anti-Atlas (Agadir Melloul) clearly documents an angular unconformity between Ouarzazate Group and Adoudounian limestones (N 30°31'28.91", W07°48'29.12"). Volcaniclastic rocks of Ouarzazate Group (615-545 Ma) are clearly folded and unconformably overlain by Adoudou Formation (541-529 Ma) limestones to the north. Geochemical discrimination diagrams on Latest Neoproterozoic calc-alkaline to high K igneous rocks throughout the Anti-Atlas plot in subduction and collisional arc magma domains. Back arc basin tectonism is likely responsible for localized extensional basins but continental rift tectonics and passive margin sedimentation did not begin in the Anti-Atlas Mountains until Early

  2. Barium isotope geochemistry of subduction-zone magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, H.; Nan, X.; Huang, J.; Wörner, G.; Huang, F.

    2017-12-01

    Subduction zones are crucial tectonic setting to study material exchange between crust and mantle, mantle partial melting with fluid addition, and formation of ore-deposits1-3. The geochemical characteristics of arc lavas from subduction zones are different from magmas erupted at mid-ocean ridges4, because there are addition of fluids/melts from subducted AOC and its overlying sediments into their source regions in the sub-arc mantle4. Ba is highly incompatible during mantle melting5, and it is enriched in crust (456 ppm)6 relative to the mantle (7.0 ppm)7. The subducted sediments are also enriched in Ba (776 ppm of GLOSS)8. Moreover, because Ba is fluid soluble during subduction, it has been used to track contributions of subduction-related fluids to arc magmas9 or recycled sediments to the mantle10-11. To study the Ba isotope fractionation behavior during subduction process, we analyzed well-characterized, chemically-diverse arc lavas from Central American, Kamchatka, Central-Eastern Aleutian, and Southern Lesser Antilles. The δ137/134Ba of Central American arc lavas range from -0.13 to 0.24‰, and have larger variation than the arc samples from other locations. Except one sample from Central-Eastern Aleutian arc with obviously heavy δ137/134Ba values (0.27‰), all other samples from Kamchatka, Central-Eastern Aleutian, Southern Lesser Antilles arcs are within the range of OIB. The δ137/134Ba is not correlated with the distance to trench, partial melting degrees (Mg#), or subducting slab-derived components. The samples enriched with heavy Ba isotopes have low Ba contents, indicating that Ba isotopes can be fractionated at the beginning of dehydration process with small amount of Ba releasing to the mantle wedge. With the dehydration degree increasing, more Ba of the subducted slab can be added to the source of arc lavas, likely homogenizing the Ba isotope signatures. 1. Rudnick, R., 1995 Nature; 2. Tatsumi, Y. & Kogiso, T., 2003; 3. Sun, W., et al., 2015 Ore

  3. Linking plate reconstructions with deforming lithosphere to geodynamic models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, R. D.; Gurnis, M.; Flament, N.; Seton, M.; Spasojevic, S.; Williams, S.; Zahirovic, S.

    2011-12-01

    While global computational models are rapidly advancing in terms of their capabilities, there is an increasing need for assimilating observations into these models and/or ground-truthing model outputs. The open-source and platform independent GPlates software fills this gap. It was originally conceived as a tool to interactively visualize and manipulate classical rigid plate reconstructions and represent them as time-dependent topological networks of editable plate boundaries. The user can export time-dependent plate velocity meshes that can be used either to define initial surface boundary conditions for geodynamic models or alternatively impose plate motions throughout a geodynamic model run. However, tectonic plates are not rigid, and neglecting plate deformation, especially that of the edges of overriding plates, can result in significant misplacing of plate boundaries through time. A new, substantially re-engineered version of GPlates is now being developed that allows an embedding of deforming plates into topological plate boundary networks. We use geophysical and geological data to define the limit between rigid and deforming areas, and the deformation history of non-rigid blocks. The velocity field predicted by these reconstructions can then be used as a time-dependent surface boundary condition in regional or global 3-D geodynamic models, or alternatively as an initial boundary condition for a particular plate configuration at a given time. For time-dependent models with imposed plate motions (e.g. using CitcomS) we incorporate the continental lithosphere by embedding compositionally distinct crust and continental lithosphere within the thermal lithosphere. We define three isostatic columns of different thickness and buoyancy based on the tectonothermal age of the continents: Archean, Proterozoic and Phanerozoic. In the fourth isostatic column, the oceans, the thickness of the thermal lithosphere is assimilated using a half-space cooling model. We also

  4. Highly oxidising fluids generated during serpentinite breakdown in subduction zones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debret, B; Sverjensky, D A

    2017-09-04

    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.

  5. Anomalous variations of lithosphere magnetic field before several earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Z.; Chen, B.

    2015-12-01

    Based on the geomagnetic vector data measured each year since 2011 at more than 500 sites with a mean spatial interval of ~70km.we observed anomalous variations of lithospheric magnetic field before and after over 15 earthquakes having magnitude > 5. We find that the field in near proximity (about 50km) to the epicenter of large earthquakes shows high spatial and temporal gradients before the earthquake. Due to the low frequency of repeat measurements it is unclear when these variations occurred and how do them evolve. We point out anomalous magnetic filed using some circles with radius of 50km usually in June of each year, and then we would check whether quake will locat in our circles during one year after that time (June to next June). Now we caught 10 earthquakes of 15 main shocks having magnitude > 5, most of them located at less than10km away from our circles and some of them were in our circles. Most results show that the variations of lithosphere magnetic filed at the epicenter are different with surrending backgroud usually. When we figure out horizontal variations (vector) of lithosphere magnetic field and epicenter during one year after each June, we found half of them show that the earthquakes will locat at "the inlands in a flowing river", that means earthquakes may occur at "quiet"regions while the backgroud show character as"flow" as liquid. When we compared with GPS results, it appears that these variations of lithospere magnetic field may also correlate with displacement of earth's surface. However we do not compared with GPS results for each earthquake, we are not clear whether these anomalous variations of lithospere magnetic field may also correlate with anomalous displacement of earth's surface. Future work will include developing an automated method for identifying this type of anomalous field behavior and trying to short repeat measurement period to 6 month to try to find when these variations occur.

  6. Dynamics of Lithospheric Extension and Residual Topography in Southern Tibet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, B.; Shahnas, M. H.; Pysklywec, R.; Sengul Uluocak, E.

    2017-12-01

    Although the north-south (N-S) convergence between India and Eurasia is ongoing, a number of north-south trending rifts (e.g., Tangra Yum Co Rift, Yadong-Gulu Rift and Cona Rift) and normal faulting are observed at the surface of southern Tibet, suggesting an east-west (E-W) extension tectonic regime. The earthquake focal mechanisms also show that deformation of southern Tibet is dominated by E-W extension across these N-S trending rifts. Because the structure of the lithosphere and underlying mantle is poorly understood, the origin of the east-west extension of southern Tibet is still under debate. Gravitational collapse, oblique convergence, and mantle upwelling are among possible responsible mechanisms. We employ a 3D-spherical control volume model of the present-day mantle flow to understand the relationship between topographic features (e.g., rifts and the west-east extension), intermediate-depth earthquakes, and tectonic stresses induced by mantle flow beneath the region. The thermal structure of the mantle and crust is obtained from P and S-wave seismic inversions and heat flow data. Power-law creep with viscous-plastic rheology, describing the behavior of the lithosphere and mantle material is employed. We determine the models which can best reconcile the observed features of southern Tibet including surface heat flow, residual topography with uplift and subsidence, reported GPS rates of the vertical movements, and the earthquake events. The 3D geodynamic modeling of the contemporary mantle flow-lithospheric response quantifies the relative importance of the various proposed mechanism responsible for the E-W extension and deep earthquakes in southern Tibet. The results also have further implications for the magmatic activities and crustal rheology of the region.

  7. Generation of continental rifts, basins, and swells by lithosphere instabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fourel, Loïc.; Milelli, Laura; Jaupart, Claude; Limare, Angela

    2013-06-01

    Continents may be affected simultaneously by rifting, uplift, volcanic activity, and basin formation in several different locations, suggesting a common driving mechanism that is intrinsic to continents. We describe a new type of convective instability at the base of the lithosphere that leads to a remarkable spatial pattern at the scale of an entire continent. We carried out fluid mechanics laboratory experiments on buoyant blocks of finite size that became unstable due to cooling from above. Dynamical behavior depends on three dimensionless numbers, a Rayleigh number for the unstable block, a buoyancy number that scales the intrinsic density contrast to the thermal one, and the aspect ratio of the block. Within the block, instability develops in two different ways in an outer annulus and in an interior region. In the outer annulus, upwellings and downwellings take the form of periodically spaced radial spokes. The interior region hosts the more familiar convective pattern of polygonal cells. In geological conditions, such instabilities should manifest themselves as linear rifts striking at a right angle to the continent-ocean boundary and an array of domal uplifts, volcanic swells, and basins in the continental interior. Simple scaling laws for the dimensions and spacings of the convective structures are derived. For the subcontinental lithospheric mantle, these dimensions take values in the 500-1000 km range, close to geological examples. The large intrinsic buoyancy of Archean lithospheric roots prevents this type of instability, which explains why the widespread volcanic activity that currently affects Western Africa is confined to post-Archean domains.

  8. The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary observed with USArray receiver functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Kumar

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The dense deployment of seismic stations so far in the western half of the United States within the USArray project provides the opportunity to study in greater detail the structure of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system. We use the S receiver function technique for this purpose, which has higher resolution than surface wave tomography, is sensitive to seismic discontinuities, and is free from multiples, unlike P receiver functions. Only two major discontinuities are observed in the entire area down to about 300 km depth. These are the crust-mantle boundary (Moho and a negative boundary, which we correlate with the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB, since a low velocity zone is the classical definition of the seismic observation of the asthenosphere by Gutenberg (1926. Our S receiver function LAB is at a depth of 70–80 km in large parts of westernmost North America. East of the Rocky Mountains, its depth is generally between 90 and 110 km. Regions with LAB depths down to about 140 km occur in a stretch from northern Texas, over the Colorado Plateau to the Columbia basalts. These observations agree well with tomography results in the westernmost USA and on the east coast. However, in the central cratonic part of the USA, the tomography LAB is near 200 km depth. At this depth no discontinuity is seen in the S receiver functions. The negative signal near 100 km depth in the central part of the USA is interpreted by Yuan and Romanowicz (2010 and Lekic and Romanowicz (2011 as a recently discovered mid-lithospheric discontinuity (MLD. A solution for the discrepancy between receiver function imaging and surface wave tomography is not yet obvious and requires more high resolution studies at other cratons before a general solution may be found. Our results agree well with petrophysical models of increased water content in the asthenosphere, which predict a sharp and shallow LAB also in continents (Mierdel et al., 2007.

  9. Lithospheric Structure of Central Europe: Puzzle Pieces from Pannonian Basin to Trans-European Suture Zone Resolved by Geophysical-Petrological Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bielik, M.; Tašárová, Z. A.; Fullea, J.; Sroda, P.

    2017-12-01

    We have analysed the thermochemical structure of the mantle in Central Europe comprising the Western Carpathians, Pannonian Basin and parts of the European Platform, Bohemian Massif and easternmost Eastern Alps. This area is very complex and characterized by a highly heterogeneous lithospheric structure reflecting the interplay of contraction, strike slip, subduction, and extension tectonics. Our modelling is based on an integrative 3-D approach (LitMod) that combines in a self-consistent manner concepts and data from thermodynamics, mineral physics, geochemistry, petrology, and solid Earth geophysics. This approach minimizes uncertainties of the estimates derived from modelling of various data sets separately. To further constrain our 3-D model we have made use of the vast geophysical and geological data (2-D and 3-D, shallow/crustal versus deep lithospheric experiments) based on experiments performed in Central Europe in the past decades. Given the amount and the different nature/resolution of the available constraints, one of the most challenging tasks of this study was to consistently combine them. Our goal was to find a trade-off between all local and regional data sets available in a way that preserves as many structural details as possible and summarizes those data sets into a single robust regional model. The resulting P/T-dependent mantle densities are in LitMod 3-D calculated based on a given mineralogical composition. Therefore, they provide more reliable estimates compared to pure gravity models and enhance modelling of the crustal structures. Our results clearly indicate presence of several lithospheric domains characterized by distinct features, Pannonian Basin being one of the most outstanding ones. It has the thinnest crust and lithosphere in the area modelled, characterized by relatively fertile composition. Z. Alasonati Tašárová's research project was financed by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (project TA553/1-2); M. Bielik was funded by the

  10. Regional Crustal Deformation and Lithosphere Thickness Observed with Geodetic Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vermeer, M.; Poutanen, M.; Kollo, K.; Koivula, H.; Ahola, J.

    2009-04-01

    The solid Earth, including the lithosphere, interacts in many ways with other components of the Earth system, oceans, atmosphere and climate. Geodesy is a key provider of data needed for global and environmental research. Geodesy provides methods and accurate measurements of contemporary deformation, sea level and gravity change. The importance of the decades-long stability and availability of reference frames must be stressed for such studies. In the future, the need to accurately monitor 3-D crustal motions will grow, both together with increasingly precise GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) positioning, demands for better follow-up of global change, and local needs for crustal motions, especially in coastal areas. These demands cannot yet be satisfied. The project described here is a part of a larger entity: Upper Mantle Dynamics and Quaternary Climate in Cratonic Areas, DynaQlim, an International Lithosphere Project (ILP) -sponsored initiative. The aims of DynaQlim are to understand the relations between upper mantle dynamics, mantle composition, physical properties, temperature and rheology, to study the postglacial uplift and ice thickness models, sea level change and isostatic response, Quaternary climate variations and Weichselian (Laurentian and other) glaciations during the late Quaternary. We aim at studying various aspects of lithospheric motion within the Finnish and Fennoscandian area, but within a global perspective, by the newest geodetic techniques in a multidisciplinary setting. The studies involve observations of three-dimensional motions and gravity change in a multidisciplinary context on a range of spatial scales: the whole of Fennoscandia, Finland, a regional test area of Satakunta, and the local test site Olkiluoto. Objectives of the research include improving our insight into the 3-D motion of a thick lithosphere, and into the gravity effect of the uplift, using novel approaches; improving the kinematic 3-D models in the

  11. Lithosphere Response to Intracratonic Rifting: Examples from Europe and Siberia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Artemieva, I. M.; Thybo, H.; Herceg, M.

    2012-01-01

    is based on critically assessed results from various seismic studies, including reflection and refraction profiles and receiver function studies. We also use global shear-wave tomography models, gravity constraints based on GOCE data, and thermal models for the lithosphere to speculate on thermo...... of basaltic magmas and consequently in a change in mantle density and seismic velocities. Although kimberlite magmatism is commonly not considered as a rifting events, its deep causes may be similar to the mantle-driven rifting and, as a consequence, modification of mantle density and velocity structure may...... in it seismic wave velocity and density structure....

  12. Mapping lithosphere thickness beneath the Southern Caribbean and Venezuela using body wave reflectivity and surface wave tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masy, J.; Niu, F.; Levander, A.; Schmitz, M.

    2012-12-01

    lateral resolution (Yang and Forsyth, 2006). The phase velocities were inverted for 1D shear velocity structure on a 0.5 by 0.5 degree grid. Crustal thickness for the starting models was previously determined from BOLIVAR and other wide-angle seismic experiments and receiver function analysis (Schmitz et al., 2001; Niu et al., 2007; Bezada et al., 2007; Clark et al., 2008; Guedez, 2008; Magnani et al., 2009; Bezada et al., 2010a). The resulting 3D shear velocity model was then used to determine the depth of the LAB in conjunction with Ps and Sp receiver functions. LAB depth is approximately 120-140 km beneath the Archean-Proterozoic Guayana Shield, in reasonable agreement with body wave tomography. The lithosphere thins to the west beneath the Barinas Apure Basin to about 90 km, and to the north beneath the Sierra del Interior to 80 to 90 km. Offshore beneath the Cariaco basin the LAB is ~60 km. At depths up to 200 km beneath the Peninsula the Paria, there are high velocities interepreted as the subducting oceanic part of the South American Plate, a result that is consistent with finite-frequency P wave tomography (Bezada et al., 2010b).

  13. Formation and Evolution of the Continental Lithospheric Mantle: Perspectives From Radiogenic Isotopes of Silicate and Sulfide Inclusions in Macrodiamonds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirey, S. B.; Richardson, S. H.

    2007-12-01

    Silicate and sulfide inclusions that occur in diamonds comprise the oldest (>3 Ga), deepest (>140 km) samples of mantle-derived minerals available for study. Their relevance to the evolution of the continental lithosphere is clear because terrestrial macrodiamonds are confined to regions of the Earth with continental lithospheric mantle keels. The goals of analytical work on inclusions in diamond are to obtain paragenesis constraints, radiogenic ages, and initial isotopic compositions. The purpose is to place diamond formation episodes into the broader framework of the geological processes that create and modify the continental lithosphere and to relate the source of the C and N in diamond-forming fluids to understanding the Earth's C and N cycles in the Archean. Although sulfide and silicate inclusions rarely occur in the same diamond, they both can be grouped according to their geochemical similarity with the chief rock types that comprise the mantle keel: peridotite and eclogite. Silicate inclusions are classified as harzburgitic (depleted; olivine > Fo91, garnet Cr2O3 > 3 wt% and CaO from 0 to 5 wt%), lherzolitic (fertile), or eclogitic (basaltic; garnet Cr2O3 14 wt%; Os > 2 ppm) versus eclogitic (Ni bearing kimberlites, and the generosity of mining companies because of the extreme rarity of inclusions in suites of mostly gem-quality diamonds. Most isotopic work has been on the Kaapvaal-Zimbabwe craton with lesser work on the Slave, Siberian, and Australian cratons. Sm-Nd ages on silicate suites and Re-Os ages on sulfide suites confirm diamond formation from the Mesoarchean though the Neoproterozoic. Most important are the systematics across cratons in the context of crustal geology that lead to generalities about craton evolution. Inclusion suites date mantle keels as Mesoarchean and clearly point to subduction as the major process to form the earliest continental nuclei and to amalgamate the cratons in their present form. This is evident from the elevated

  14. Unraveling the Alteration History of Serpentinites and Associated Ultramafic Rocks from the Kampos HPLT Subduction Complex, Syros, Greece

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooperdock, E. H. G.; Stockli, D. F.

    2016-12-01

    Serpentinization, hydration of peridotite, has a profound effect on fundamental tectonic and petrologic processes such as deformation of the lithosphere, bulk rheology, fluid-mobile element cycling and deep earth carbon cycling. Though numerous studies have investigated the petrology, structure and geochemistry of serpentinites, the absolute chronology of serpentinization remains elusive due to a lack of accessory minerals that can be dated using established geochronological techniques. Magnetite forms as a common secondary mineral in serpentinites from the fluid-induced breakdown reaction of primary peridotite minerals. Magnetite (U-Th)/He chronometry provides the potential to directly date the cooling of exhumed ultramafic bodies and the low-temperature fluid alteration of serpentinites. We present the first application of magnetite (U-Th)/He chronometry to date stages of alteration in ultramafic rocks from the Kampos mélange belt, a high-pressure low-temperature (HP-LT) subduction complex that experienced exhumation in the Miocene on the island of Syros, Greece. Two generations of magnetite are distinguishable by grain size, magnetite trace element geochemistry and (U-Th)/He age. Large magnetite grains (mm) from a chlorite schist and a serpentinite schist have distinct geochemical signatures indicative of formation during blackwall-related fluid alteration and record Mid-Miocene exhumation-related cooling ages, similar to zircon (U-Th)/He ages from northern Syros. Smaller grains (µm) from the serpentinite schist lack blackwall-related fluid signatures and record post-exhumation mineral formation associated with widespread high-angle Pliocene normal faulting. These results reveal evidence for multiple episodes of fluid-rock alteration, which has implications for the cooling history and local geochemical exchanges of this HP-LT terrane. Given the fundamental impact of serpentinizaton on a vast array of tectonic, petrological, and geochemical processes, the

  15. Tomography and Dynamics of Western-Pacific Subduction Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, D.

    2012-01-01

    We review the significant recent results of multiscale seismic tomography of the Western-Pacific subduction zones and discuss their implications for seismotectonics, magmatism, and subduction dynamics, with an emphasis on the Japan Islands. Many important new findings are obtained due to technical advances in tomography, such as the handling of complex-shaped velocity discontinuities, the use of various later phases, the joint inversion of local and teleseismic data, tomographic imaging outside a seismic network, and P-wave anisotropy tomography. Prominent low-velocity (low-V) and high-attenuation (low-Q) zones are revealed in the crust and uppermost mantle beneath active arc and back-arc volcanoes and they extend to the deeper portion of the mantle wedge, indicating that the low-V/low-Q zones form the sources of arc magmatism and volcanism, and the arc magmatic system is related to deep processes such as convective circulation in the mantle wedge and dehydration reactions in the subducting slab. Seismic anisotropy seems to exist in all portions of the Northeast Japan subduction zone, including the upper and lower crust, the mantle wedge and the subducting Pacific slab. Multilayer anisotropies with different orientations may have caused the apparently weak shear-wave splitting observed so far, whereas recent results show a greater effect of crustal anisotropy than previously thought. Deep subduction of the Philippine Sea slab and deep dehydration of the Pacific slab are revealed beneath Southwest Japan. Significant structural heterogeneities are imaged in the source areas of large earthquakes in the crust, subducting slab and interplate megathrust zone, which may reflect fluids and/or magma originating from slab dehydration that affected the rupture nucleation of large earthquakes. These results suggest that large earthquakes do not strike anywhere, but in only anomalous areas that may be detected with geophysical methods. The occurrence of deep earthquakes under

  16. Tracing halogen and B cycling in subduction zones based on obducted, subducted and forearc serpentinites of the Dominican Republic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagé, Lilianne; Hattori, Keiko

    2017-12-19

    Serpentinites are important reservoirs of fluid-mobile elements in subduction zones, contributing to volatiles in arc magmas and their transport into the Earth's mantle. This paper reports halogen (F, Cl, Br, I) and B abundances of serpentinites from the Dominican Republic, including obducted and subducted abyssal serpentinites and forearc mantle serpentinites. Abyssal serpentinite compositions indicate the incorporation of these elements from seawater and sediments during serpentinization on the seafloor and at slab bending. During their subduction and subsequent lizardite-antigorite transition, F and B are retained in serpentinites, whilst Cl, Br and I are expelled. Forearc mantle serpentinite compositions suggest their hydration by fluids released from subducting altered oceanic crust and abyssal serpentinites, with only minor sediment contribution. This finding is consistent with the minimal subduction of sediments in the Dominican Republic. Forearc mantle serpentinites have F/Cl and B/Cl ratios similar to arc magmas, suggesting the importance of serpentinite dehydration in the generation of arc magmatism in the mantle wedge.

  17. Xenoliths in Eocene lavas from Central Tibet record carbonated metasomatism of the lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goussin, Fanny; Cordier, Carole; Boulvais, Philippe; Guillot, Stéphane; Roperch, Pierrick; Replumaz, Anne

    2017-04-01

    Cenozoic post-collisional volcanism of the Tibetan Plateau, emplaced on an accreted continental margin under compression, could bring important information regarding the edification of the Plateau. In this study, we combined petrography, whole rock geochemistry, stable isotopes and in situ mineral analysis to decipher the genesis of Eocene-Oligocene magmatic rocks from the Nangqian basin (35-38 Ma, [Spurlin et al., 2005; Xu et al., 2016]), located at the hinge between Central Tibet and the Eastern Indo-Asia Collision Zone. Our dataset includes potassic trachyandesites; amphibole-bearing potassic trachytes; and rare ultrapotassic (K2O/Na2O ≥ 4) mafic syenites. All samples have high REE abundances (La = 100 - 500 x primitive mantle). Fractionation of heavy REE (Gd/YbN > 3) indicates melting in the garnet stability field, and relative depletion in high-field strength elements (Nb, Ta) indicates a selective enrichment of the source by metasomatic fluids. This metasomatism event is also evidenced by the occurrence of re-equilibrated mantle xenocrysts of phlogopite (Mg# = 88 - 90 and Cr2O3 content = 0.9 - 1.82 wt%) in mafic syenites. Potassic trachyandesites have specific composition, with negative Zr-Hf anomaly and low Hf/Sm (0.2 - 0.4). Indeed, they include xenocrystic aggregates, composed of magmatic clinopyroxene, apatite and subordinate biotite and feldspar, with interstitial calcite and dolomite. δ18OV -SMOW (9.2 - 11.0 ) and δ13CV -PDB (-6.1 - -4.0 ) of these rocks indicate the presence of primary, mantle-derived carbonates. In situ analysis of the major and trace element compositions of the carbonates, clinopyroxenes and apatites further suggest that these aggregates represent cumulates of a carbonate-bearing magma. These xenoliths thus show that the lithospheric mantle was also metasomatized by CO2-rich fluids. Cenozoic carbonatites in China have been identified in Maoniuping in Western Sichuan (31.7 Ma), Lixian in the Western Qinlin (22-23 Ma), and

  18. Subduction in the Subtropical Gyre: Seasoar Cruises Data Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-09-01

    Julie Pallant , Frank Bahr, Terrence Joyce, Jerome Dean, James R. Luyten & Performing Organization Rept No. WHOI-95- 13 IL Performing Organization Name...AD-A28 6 861 WHOI-95-13 Woods Hole x Oceanc grapbic Ifliotitutionf de Subduction in the Subtropical Gyre: Seasoar Cruises Data Report by Julie S. •P...unlimiled. =Tfl QUALuTr =S) ij Ai Si 4 ;•IIII.. " - II •r * 9 9 * 11S 0 WIHOI-95-13 Subduction in the Subtropical Gyre: Seasoar Cruises Data Report by 0 Julie

  19. Colorado Plateau magmatism and uplift by warming of heterogeneous lithosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Mousumi; Jordan, Thomas H; Pederson, Joel

    2009-06-18

    The forces that drove rock uplift of the low-relief, high-elevation, tectonically stable Colorado Plateau are the subject of long-standing debate. While the adjacent Basin and Range province and Rio Grande rift province underwent Cenozoic shortening followed by extension, the plateau experienced approximately 2 km of rock uplift without significant internal deformation. Here we propose that warming of the thicker, more iron-depleted Colorado Plateau lithosphere over 35-40 Myr following mid-Cenozoic removal of the Farallon plate from beneath North America is the primary mechanism driving rock uplift. In our model, conductive re-equilibration not only explains the rock uplift of the plateau, but also provides a robust geodynamic interpretation of observed contrasts between the Colorado Plateau margins and the plateau interior. In particular, the model matches the encroachment of Cenozoic magmatism from the margins towards the plateau interior at rates of 3-6 km Myr(-1) and is consistent with lower seismic velocities and more negative Bouguer gravity at the margins than in the plateau interior. We suggest that warming of heterogeneous lithosphere is a powerful mechanism for driving epeirogenic rock uplift of the Colorado Plateau and may be of general importance in plate-interior settings.

  20. Continents as lithological icebergs: The importance of buoyant lithospheric roots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, D.H.; Drury, R.; Mooney, W.D.

    1997-01-01

    An understanding of the formation of new continental crust provides an important guide to locating the oldest terrestrial rocks and minerals. We evaluated the crustal thicknesses of the thinnest stable continental crust and of an unsubductable oceanic plateau and used the resulting data to estimate the amount of mantle melting which produces permanent continental crust. The lithospheric mantle is sufficiently depleted to produce permanent buoyancy (i.e., the crust is unsubductable) at crustal thicknesses greater than 25-27 km. These unsubductable oceanic plateaus and hotspot island chains are important sources of new continental crust. The newest continental crust (e.g., the Ontong Java plateau) has a basaltic composition, not a granitic one. The observed structure and geochemistry of continents are the result of convergent margin magmatism and metamorphism which modify the nascent basaltic crust into a lowermost basaltic layer overlain by a more silicic upper crust. The definition of a continent should imply only that the lithosphere is unsubductable over ??? 0.25 Ga time periods. Therefore, the search for the oldest crustal rocks should include rocks from lower to mid-crustal levels.

  1. Strain localization at the margins of strong lithospheric domains: insights from analogue models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Calignano, Elisa; Sokoutis, Dimitrios; Willingshofer, Ernst; Gueydan, Frederic; Cloetingh, Sierd

    The lateral variation of the mechanical properties of continental lithosphere is an important factor controlling the localization of deformation and thus the deformation history and geometry of intra-plate mountain belts. A series of three-layer lithospheric-scale analog models, with a strong domain

  2. Implications of a visco-elastic model of the lithosphere for calculating yield strength envelopes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ershov, A.V.; Stephenson, R.A.

    2006-01-01

    The dominant deformation mechanism in the ductile part of the lithosphere is creep. From a mechanical point of view, creep can be modelled as a viscous phenomenon. On the other hand, yield-strength envelopes (YSEs), commonly used to describe lithosphere rheology, are constructed supposing creep to

  3. Lithosphere erosion and continental breakup : Interaction of extension, plume upwelling and melting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lavecchia, Alessio; Thieulot, Cedric; Beekman, Fred; Cloetingh, Sierd; Clark, Stuart

    2017-01-01

    We present the results of thermo-mechanical modelling of extension and breakup of a heterogeneous continental lithosphere, subjected to plume impingement in presence of intraplate stress field. We incorporate partial melting of the extending lithosphere, underlying upper mantle and plume, caused by

  4. Robust high resolution models of the continental lithosphere: Methodology and application to Asia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stolk, W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/323259170

    2013-01-01

    Asia is a key natural laboratory for the study of active intra-continental deformation in far-field response to the ongoing collision ofIndiaandEurasia. The resulting tectonic processes strongly depend on the thermo-mechanical structure of the lithosphere. This lithosphere can be separated into

  5. Revisiting the physical characterisitics of the subduction interplate seismogenic zones

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

    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 statistical study done by Pacheco et al. (1993) and test some empirical 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

  6. Topographic and sedimentary features in the Yap subduction zone and their implications for the Caroline Ridge subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Dongdong; Zhang, Zhengyi; Bai, Yongliang; Fan, Jianke; Zhang, Guangxu

    2018-01-01

    The Yap subduction zone in the western Pacific presents some unique features compared to normal intra-oceanic subduction zones such as the subduction of an oceanic plateau. However, due to the relative paucity of geophysical data, the detailed structure remains unknown in this area. In this study, we present the latest high-quality swath bathymetry and multi-channel seismic data acquired synchronously in 2015 across the Yap subduction zone. The topographic and sedimentary features are intensively investigated and a modified evolutionary model of the Yap subduction zone is proposed. The two-stage evolution of the Parece Vela Basin (PVB) produced fabrics that are N-S trending and NW-SE trending. Our seismic data clearly reveal landslide deposits at the upper slope break of the forearc, to the north of the Yap Island, which was identified as the fault notch denoting a lithological boundary in previous work. The swath bathymetry and seismic profile reveal detailed horst and graben structures, including a crescent-shaped fault zone near the contact between the Yap Trench and the Caroline Ridge. A simple geometric model is proposed to explain the structure formation, indicating that the higher topography of the Caroline Ridge resulted in enhanced bending-related extension. A seismic angular unconformity (named R1) is identified in the Sorol Trough, marking the onset of rifting in the trough. Based on the sequence thickness and deposition rate by Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP), it is deduced that the Sorol Trough formed at 10 Ma or even earlier. A modified model for the Yap subduction zone evolution is proposed, incorporating three major tectonic events: the proto-Yap Arc rupture in the Oligocene, the collision of the Caroline Ridge and the Yap Trench in the late Oligocene or middle Miocene, and the onset of the Sorol Trough rifting in the late Miocene.

  7. Philippine Sea Plate inception, evolution, and consumption with special emphasis on the early stages of Izu-Bonin-Mariana subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lallemand, Serge

    2016-12-01

    We compiled the most relevant data acquired throughout the Philippine Sea Plate (PSP) from the early expeditions to the most recent. We also analyzed the various explanatory models in light of this updated dataset. The following main conclusions are discussed in this study. (1) The Izanagi slab detachment beneath the East Asia margin around 60-55 Ma likely triggered the Oki-Daito plume occurrence, Mesozoic proto-PSP splitting, shortening and then failure across the paleo-transform boundary between the proto-PSP and the Pacific Plate, Izu-Bonin-Mariana subduction initiation and ultimately PSP inception. (2) The initial splitting phase of the composite proto-PSP under the plume influence at ˜54-48 Ma led to the formation of the long-lived West Philippine Basin and short-lived oceanic basins, part of whose crust has been ambiguously called "fore-arc basalts" (FABs). (3) Shortening across the paleo-transform boundary evolved into thrusting within the Pacific Plate at ˜52-50 Ma, allowing it to subduct beneath the newly formed PSP, which was composed of an alternance of thick Mesozoic terranes and thin oceanic lithosphere. (4) The first magmas rising from the shallow mantle corner, after being hydrated by the subducting Pacific crust beneath the young oceanic crust near the upper plate spreading centers at ˜49-48 Ma were boninites. Both the so-called FABs and the boninites formed at a significant distance from the incipient trench, not in a fore-arc position as previously claimed. The magmas erupted for 15 m.y. in some places, probably near the intersections between back-arc spreading centers and the arc. (5) As the Pacific crust reached greater depths and the oceanic basins cooled and thickened at ˜44-45 Ma, the composition of the lavas evolved into high-Mg andesites and then arc tholeiites and calc-alkaline andesites. (6) Tectonic erosion processes removed about 150-200 km of frontal margin during the Neogene, consuming most or all of the Pacific ophiolite

  8. Subducted slab-plume interaction traced by magnesium isotopes in the northern margin of the Tarim Large Igneous Province

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Zhiguo; Zhang, Zhaochong; Xie, Qiuhong; Hou, Tong; Ke, Shan

    2018-05-01

    Incorporation of subducted slabs may account for the geochemical and isotopic variations of large igneous provinces (LIPs). However, the mechanism and process by which subducted slabs are involved into magmas is still highly debated. Here, we report a set of high resolution Mg isotopes for a suite of alkaline and Fe-rich rocks (including basalts, mafic-ultramafic layered intrusions, diabase dykes and mantle xenoliths in the kimberlitic rocks) from Tarim Large Igneous Province (TLIP). We observed that δ26 Mg values of basalts range from -0.29 to - 0.45 ‰, -0.31 to - 0.42 ‰ for mafic-ultramafic layered intrusions, -0.28 to - 0.31 ‰ for diabase dykes and -0.29 to - 0.44 ‰ for pyroxenite xenoliths from the kimberlitic rocks, typically lighter than the normal mantle source (- 0.25 ‰ ± 0.04, 2 SD). After carefully precluding other possibilities, we propose that the light Mg isotopic compositions and high FeO contents should be ascribed to the involvement of recycled sedimentary carbonate rocks and pyroxenite/eclogite. Moreover, from basalts, through layered intrusions to diabase dykes, (87Sr/86Sr)i values and δ18OV-SMOW declined, whereas ε (Nd) t and δ26 Mg values increased with progressive partial melting of mantle, indicating that components of carbonate rock and pyroxenite/eclogite in the mantle sources were waning over time. In combination with the previous reported Mg isotopes for carbonatite, nephelinite and kimberlitic rocks in TLIP, two distinct mantle domains are recognized for this province: 1) a lithospheric mantle source for basalts and mafic-ultramafic layered intrusions which were modified by calcite/dolomite and eclogite-derived high-Si melts, as evidenced by enriched Sr-Nd-O and light Mg isotopic compositions; 2) a plume source for carbonatite, nephelinite and kimberlitic rocks which were related to magnesite or periclase/perovskite involvement as reflected by depleted Sr-Nd-O and extremely light Mg isotopes. Ultimately, our study suggests

  9. Partitioning of Trace Elements Between Hydrous Minerals and Aqueous Fluids : a Contribution to the Chemical Budget of Subduction Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

    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

  10. Lithospheric scale conductivity anomalies at the Proterozoic-Phanerozoic transition of Australia- Insights from AusLAMP MT data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, K. E.; Thiel, S.; Heinson, G. S.

    2017-12-01

    The intraplate deformation of the north-south trending Neoproterozoic Ikara-Flinders Ranges in South Australia, Australia, draws interest due to its high heat flow, elevated seismicity and the presence of diamondiferous kimberlites and mineral deposits. To the west lies the highly prospective Archean-Paleoproterozoic Gawler Craton, boasting the world's largest IOCG-U deposit, Olympic Dam. The Paleo-Mesoproterozoic Curnamona Province lies to the east, thought to have once been connected to the Gawler Craton and host to the world-class Broken Hill Ag-Pb-Zn deposit. A total of 162 long-period (10 s - 10,000 s) magnetotelluric (MT) stations from the Australia-wide AusLAMP (Australian Lithospheric Architecture Magnetotelluric Project) dataset were used to image the electrical resistivity beneath the Ikara-Flinders Ranges and adjacent Curnamona Province. The most recent acquisition extends this survey region northward to an area predominantly covered with Paleo-Mesozoic sedimentary basins including the most significant on-shore oil and gas region in Australia, the Cooper Basin. The resultant model from 3D inversions using ModEM software shows a relatively resistive Ikara-Flinders Ranges, with two parallel arcuate conductors (the WNAC and ENAC) at 20 to 80 km depth in the Nackara Arc. These conductors correlate well with locations of diamondiferous kimberlites which suggests that the conductors may have derived from the ascent of carbon-rich kimberlite-hosting magma and volatiles up large lithospheric scale structures. The conductors appear to have no correlation with regions of intraplate seismicity within the Ikara-Flinders Ranges which may mean that enhanced pore fluid pressure is not the main cause for the seismicity as was recently proposed. A large conductor covering most of the Curnamona Province (the CC) extends over depths of 10-40 km. The Curnamona Province's most recent tectonothermal activity is from Delamerian reworking during the Cambrian at its margins but

  11. Asthenospheric counterflows beneath the moving lithosphere of Central and East Asia in the past 90 Ma: volcanic and tomographic evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasskazov, Sergei; Chuvashova, Irina; Kozhevnikov, Vladimir

    2015-04-01

    Asthenospheric counterflows, accompanied motions of the lithosphere in Central and East Asia, are defined on basis of spatial-temporal activity of mantle sources [Rasskazov et al., 2012; Rasskazov, Chuvashova, 2013; Chuvashova, Rasskazov, 2014] and the tomographic model of the Rayleigh wave group velocities [Kozhevnikov et al., 2014]. The opposite fluxes are defined relative to centers of convective instability (low-velocity anomalies), expressed by thinning of the mantle transition layer under Southwestern Gobi (44 °N, 95 °E) and Northern Baikal (52 °N, 108 °E). Cretaceous-Paleogene volcanic fields in Southern Gobi are shifted eastwards relative to the former anomaly over 600 km with the opposite sub-lithospheric flux at depths of 150-300 km. Likewise, the Late Tertiary Vitim volcanic field is shifted relative to the latter anomaly over 100-200 km. We suggest that the Gobi and Baikal asthenospheric counterflows contributed to the rollback mechanism of downgoing slab material from the Pacific under the eastern margin of Asia in the Cretaceous-Paleogene and Early-Middle Miocene. The east-west Gobi reverse flux, caused by differential block motions in front of the Indo-Asian convergence, resulted in the oblique Honshu-Korean flexure of the Pacific slab that propagated beneath the continental margin, while the Japan Sea was quickly opening at about 15 Ma. The Baikal N60°W reverse flux, originated due to oncoming traffic between Eurasia and the Pacific plate, entailed the formation of the Baikal Rift Zone and direct Hokkaido Amur slab flexure [Rasskazov et al., 2004]. The study is supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Grant 14-05-31328). References Chuvashova I.S., Rasskazov S.V. Magmatic sources in the mantle of the evolving Earth. Irkutsk: Publishing House of the Irkutsk State University, 2014. 310 p. (in Russian) Kozhevnikov V.M., Seredkina A.I., Solovei O.A. 3D mantle structure of Central Asia from Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion

  12. Long-lived melting of ancient lower crust of the North China Craton in response to paleo-Pacific plate subduction, recorded by adakitic rhyolite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chao; Song, Shuguang; Niu, Yaoling; Allen, Mark B.; Su, Li; Wei, Chunjing; Zhang, Guibin; Fu, Bin

    2017-11-01

    Magmatism in eastern China in response to paleo-Pacific plate subduction during the Mesozoic was complex, and it is unclear how and when exactly the magmas formed via thinning and partial destruction of the continental lithosphere. To better understand this magmatism, we report the results of a geochronological and geochemical study of Early Cretaceous adakitic rhyolite (erupted at 125.4 ± 2.2 Ma) in the Xintaimen area within the eastern North China Craton (NCC). In situ zircon U-Pb dating shows that this adakitic rhyolite records a long ( 70 Myrs) and complicated period of magmatism with concordant 206Pb/238U ages from 193 Ma to 117 Ma. The enriched bulk rock Sr-Nd isotopic compositions of the Xintaimen adakitic rhyolite, as well as the enriched zircon Hf and O isotopic compositions, indicate that the magmas parental to the adakitic rhyolite were derived from partial melting of the Paleoproterozoic mafic lower crust, heated by mafic melts derived from the mantle during the paleo-Pacific plate subduction. A minor older basement component is indicated by the presence of captured Neoarchean to Early Paleoproterozoic zircons. The Mesozoic zircons have restricted Hf and O isotopic compositions irrespective of their ages, suggesting that they formed from similar sources at similar melting conditions. The Xintaimen adakitic rhyolite offers an independent line of evidence that the ancient lower crust of eastern China underwent a long period ( 70 Myrs) of destruction, melting or remelting, from 193 to 120 Ma, related to the subduction of the paleo-Pacific plate beneath eastern China.

  13. Subduction Initiation Existed Along the Ancient Continent Margins? Evidence of U-Pb ages of zircons from the Bonin Trench, Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y. B.; Pearce, J. A.; Ryan, J. G.; Li, X. H.; Haraguchi, S.; Iizuka, T.; Kon, Y.; Yamamoto, S.; Sawaki, Y.; Ishii, T.; Maruyama, S.

    2017-12-01

    Although it is not cleanly known when and where the subduction initiation began on the Paleo-Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) Trench, Jurassic and Cretaceous plutonic rocks, such as gabbroic, granitic and metamorphic rocks had been sampled from the Amami Plateau-Daito Ridge-Okidaito Ridge (ADO) in the Philippine Sea Plate. Furthermore, Mesozonic to Paleozonic ages zircons were obtained from volcaniclastic sandstones collected from northern Izu-Bonin forarc (Tani et al., 2012). We present U-Pb ages, Hf-O isotopes and trace element compositions of zircon grains separated from sediment, volcanic rock, dolerite and gabbro, collected from Chichijima Island and Bonin forearc seafloor (KH03-3, KT04-28 cruise of the University of Tokyo, IODP Leg 352). In the zircon age histogram, several age groups were identified. The age peaks are 0-3 Ma and 13 Ma (Hahajima Seamount: soft mud and volcanic tuff); 38 Ma (Oomachi Seamount: sandstone); 45 Ma (Chichijima Island: volcanic rock); 40 Ma, 48 Ma and 52 Ma (Hahajima Seamount: dolerite and gabbro); 45 Ma and 164-165 Ma (IODP Leg 352: volcanic rock), respectively. Zircon U-Pb ages ranging 0-52 Ma correspond well to the multi-stages of magmatism in the IBM. However, 164-165 Ma maybe represent the ages of zircon xenocryst including in forearc volcanic rock , which pre-existing in ancient continent crustal materials (SE China Continent Crust?) as the basement of Paleo-IBM. It seems reasonable to suppose that the subduction initiation of IBM existed along the ancient SE China Continent margins. The initiation of subduction zone is a consequence of lateral compositional buoyancy contrast within the lithosphere, that advocated by Niu et al. (2003, 2016).

  14. The Fairway-Aotea Basin and the New Caledonia Trough, witnesses of the Pacific-Australian plate boundary evolution : from mid-Cretaceous cessation of subduction to Eocene subduction renewal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collot, J.; Geli, L. B.; Lafoy, Y.; Sutherland, R.; Herzer, R. H.; Roest, W. R.

    2009-12-01

    The geodynamical history of the SW Pacific is controlled since the Mesozoic by the evolution of peri-Pacific subduction zones, in a trench retreat by slab roll-back process, which successively occurred along the Eastern Gondwana margin. In this context, most basins which formed after 45 Ma reached a stage of seafloor spreading, have recorded the inversions of the earth's magnetic field and present typical oceanic crust morphologies. By contrast, the New Caledonia and Fairway basins, which are narrower and present thick sedimentary covers have a less known and more controversial origin. Based on a regional geological synthesis and on interpretation of multichannel seismic reflection and refraction data, combined with drill hole data off New Zealand and a compilation of regional potential data, we distinguish 2 phases of the evolution of the Fairway-Aotea Basin (FAB) and the New Caledonia Trough (NCT), which reflect the evolution of the Gondwana-Pacific plate boundary: Phase 1: Mid Cretaceous formation of the FAB in a continental intra- or back- arc position of the Pacific-Gondwana subduction system. The formation of this shallow basin reflects the onset of continental breakup of the Eastern Gondwana margin during Cenomanian which was most probably caused by a dynamic change of the subduction zone through a « verticalization » of the slab. This event may be the result of the 99 Ma kinematic plate reorganization which probably led to subduction cessation along the Gondwana-Pacific plate boundary. A tectonic escape mechanism, in relation with the locking of the subduction zone by the Hikurangi Plateau, could also be responsible of the trench retreat leading to backarc extension. Phase 2: Regional Eocene-Oligocene uplift followed by rapid subsidence (3-4 km) of the system « Lord Howe Rise - FAB - Norfolk Ridge ». The structural style of this deformation leads us to suggest that detachment of the lower crust is the cause of subsidence. We therefore propose a model in

  15. Seismic structure of the lithosphere beneath NW Namibia: Impact of the Tristan da Cunha mantle plume

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Xiaohui; Heit, Benjamin; Brune, Sascha; Steinberger, Bernhard; Geissler, Wolfram H.; Jokat, Wilfried; Weber, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Northwestern Namibia, at the landfall of the Walvis Ridge, was affected by the Tristan da Cunha mantle plume during continental rupture between Africa and South America, as evidenced by the presence of the Etendeka continental flood basalts. Here we use data from a passive-source seismological network to investigate the upper mantle structure and to elucidate the Cretaceous mantle plume-lithosphere interaction. Receiver functions reveal an interface associated with a negative velocity contrast within the lithosphere at an average depth of 80 km. We interpret this interface as the relic of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) formed during the Mesozoic by interaction of the Tristan da Cunha plume head with the pre-existing lithosphere. The velocity contrast might be explained by stagnated and "frozen" melts beneath an intensively depleted and dehydrated peridotitic mantle. The present-day LAB is poorly visible with converted waves, indicating a gradual impedance contrast. Beneath much of the study area, converted phases of the 410 and 660 km mantle transition zone discontinuities arrive 1.5 s earlier than in the landward plume-unaffected continental interior, suggesting high velocities in the upper mantle caused by a thick lithosphere. This indicates that after lithospheric thinning during continental breakup, the lithosphere has increased in thickness during the last 132 Myr. Thermal cooling of the continental lithosphere alone cannot produce the lithospheric thickness required here. We propose that the remnant plume material, which has a higher seismic velocity than the ambient mantle due to melt depletion and dehydration, significantly contributed to the thickening of the mantle lithosphere.

  16. Nonlinear viscoplasticity in ASPECT: benchmarking and applications to subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glerum, Anne; Thieulot, Cedric; Fraters, Menno; Blom, Constantijn; Spakman, Wim

    2018-03-01

    ASPECT (Advanced Solver for Problems in Earth's ConvecTion) is a massively parallel finite element code originally designed for modeling thermal convection in the mantle with a Newtonian rheology. The code is characterized by modern numerical methods, high-performance parallelism and extensibility. This last characteristic is illustrated in this work: we have extended the use of ASPECT from global thermal convection modeling to upper-mantle-scale applications of subduction.Subduction modeling generally requires the tracking of multiple materials with different properties and with nonlinear viscous and viscoplastic rheologies. To this end, we implemented a frictional plasticity criterion that is combined with a viscous diffusion and dislocation creep rheology. Because ASPECT uses compositional fields to represent different materials, all material parameters are made dependent on a user-specified number of fields.The goal of this paper is primarily to describe and verify our implementations of complex, multi-material rheology by reproducing the results of four well-known two-dimensional benchmarks: the indentor benchmark, the brick experiment, the sandbox experiment and the slab detachment benchmark. Furthermore, we aim to provide hands-on examples for prospective users by demonstrating the use of multi-material viscoplasticity with three-dimensional, thermomechanical models of oceanic subduction, putting ASPECT on the map as a community code for high-resolution, nonlinear rheology subduction modeling.

  17. Tensor-guided fitting of subduction slab depths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazargani, Farhad; Hayes, Gavin P.

    2013-01-01

    Geophysical measurements are often acquired at scattered locations in space. Therefore, interpolating or fitting the sparsely sampled data as a uniform function of space (a procedure commonly known as gridding) is a ubiquitous problem in geophysics. Most gridding methods require a model of spatial correlation for data. This spatial correlation model can often be inferred from some sort of secondary information, which may also be sparsely sampled in space. In this paper, we present a new method to model the geometry of a subducting slab in which we use a data‐fitting approach to address the problem. Earthquakes and active‐source seismic surveys provide estimates of depths of subducting slabs but only at scattered locations. In addition to estimates of depths from earthquake locations, focal mechanisms of subduction zone earthquakes also provide estimates of the strikes of the subducting slab on which they occur. We use these spatially sparse strike samples and the Earth’s curved surface geometry to infer a model for spatial correlation that guides a blended neighbor interpolation of slab depths. We then modify the interpolation method to account for the uncertainties associated with the depth estimates.

  18. Formation of cratonic lithosphere: An integrated thermal and petrological model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzberg, Claude; Rudnick, Roberta

    2012-09-01

    The formation of cratonic mantle peridotite of Archean age is examined within the time frame of Earth's thermal history, and how it was expressed by temporal variations in magma and residue petrology. Peridotite residues that occupy the lithospheric mantle are rare owing to the effects of melt-rock reaction, metasomatism, and refertilization. Where they are identified, they are very similar to the predicted harzburgite residues of primary magmas of the dominant basalts in greenstone belts, which formed in a non-arc setting (referred to here as "non-arc basalts"). The compositions of these basalts indicate high temperatures of formation that are well-described by the thermal history model of Korenaga. In this model, peridotite residues of extensive ambient mantle melting had the highest Mg-numbers, lowest FeO contents, and lowest densities at ~ 2.5-3.5 Ga. These results are in good agreement with Re-Os ages of kimberlite-hosted cratonic mantle xenoliths and enclosed sulfides, and provide support for the hypothesis of Jordan that low densities of cratonic mantle are a measure of their high preservation potential. Cratonization of the Earth reached its zenith at ~ 2.5-3.5 Ga when ambient mantle was hot and extensive melting produced oceanic crust 30-45 km thick. However, there is a mass imbalance exhibited by the craton-wide distribution of harzburgite residues and the paucity of their complementary magmas that had compositions like the non-arc basalts. We suggest that the problem of the missing basaltic oceanic crust can be resolved by its hydration, cooling and partial transformation to eclogite, which caused foundering of the entire lithosphere. Some of the oceanic crust partially melted during foundering to produce continental crust composed of tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG). The remaining lithosphere gravitationally separated into 1) residual eclogite that continued its descent, and 2) buoyant harzburgite diapirs that rose to underplate cratonic nuclei

  19. Recent progress in modelling 3D lithospheric deformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaus, B. J. P.; Popov, A.; May, D. A.

    2012-04-01

    Modelling 3D lithospheric deformation remains a challenging task, predominantly because the variations in rock types, as well as nonlinearities due to for example plastic deformation result in sharp and very large jumps in effective viscosity contrast. As a result, there are only a limited number of 3D codes available, most of which are using direct solvers which are computationally and memory-wise very demanding. As a result, the resolutions for typical model runs are quite modest, despite the use of hundreds of processors (and using much larger computers is unlikely to bring much improvement in this situation). For this reason we recently developed a new 3D deformation code,called LaMEM: Lithosphere and Mantle Evolution Model. LaMEM is written on top of PETSc, and as a result it runs on massive parallel machines and we have a large number of iterative solvers available (including geometric and algebraic multigrid methods). As it remains unclear which solver combinations work best under which conditions, we have implemented most currently suggested methods (such as schur complement reduction or Fully coupled iterations). In addition, we can use either a finite element discretization (with Q1P0, stabilized Q1Q1 or Q2P-1 elements) or a staggered finite difference discretization for the same input geometry, which is based on a marker and cell technique). This gives us he flexibility to test various solver methodologies on the same model setup, in terms of accuracy, speed, memory usage etc. Here, we will report on some features of LaMEM, on recent code additions, as well as on some lessons we learned which are important for modelling 3D lithospheric deformation. Specifically we will discuss: 1) How we combine a particle-and-cell method to make it work with both a finite difference and a (lagrangian, eulerian or ALE) finite element formulation, with only minor code modifications code 2) How finite difference and finite element discretizations compare in terms of

  20. Implications for anomalous mantle pressure and dynamic topography from lithospheric stress patterns in the North Atlantic Realm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schiffer, Christian; Nielsen, Søren Bom

    2016-01-01

    With convergent plate boundaries at some distance, the sources of the lithospheric stress field of the North Atlantic Realm are mainly mantle tractions at the base of the lithosphere, lithospheric density structure and topography. Given this, we estimate horizontal deviatoric stresses using a wel...

  1. Subduction and vertical coastal motions in the eastern Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Andy; Jackson, James; Copley, Alex; McKenzie, Dan; Nissen, Ed

    2017-10-01

    Convergence in the eastern Mediterranean of oceanic Nubia with Anatolia and the Aegean is complex and poorly understood. Large volumes of sediment obscure the shallow structure of the subduction zone, and since much of the convergence is accommodated aseismically, there are limited earthquake data to constrain its kinematics. We present new source models for recent earthquakes, combining these with field observations, published GPS velocities and reflection-seismic data to investigate faulting in three areas: the Florence Rise, SW Turkey and the Pliny and Strabo Trenches. The depths and locations of earthquakes reveal the geometry of the subducting Nubian plate NE of the Florence Rise, a bathymetric high that is probably formed by deformation of sediment at the surface projection of the Anatolia-Nubia subduction interface. In SW Turkey, the presence of a strike-slip shear zone has often been inferred despite an absence of strike-slip earthquakes. We show that the GPS-derived strain-rate field is consistent with extension on the orthogonal systems of normal faults observed in the region and that strike-slip faulting is not required to explain observed GPS velocities. Further SW, the Pliny and Strabo Trenches are also often interpreted as strike-slip shear zones, but almost all nearby earthquakes have either reverse-faulting or normal-faulting focal mechanisms. Oblique convergence across the trenches may be accommodated either by a partitioned system of strike-slip and reverse faults or by oblique slip on the Aegean-Nubia subduction interface. The observed late-Quaternary vertical motions of coastlines close to the subduction zone are influenced by the interplay between: (1) thickening of the material overriding the subduction interface associated with convergence, which promotes coastal uplift; and (2) subsidence due to extension and associated crustal thinning. Long-wavelength gravity data suggest that some of the observed topographic contrasts in the eastern

  2. Frictional behavior of carbonate-rich sediments in subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinowitz, H. S.; Savage, H. M.; Carpenter, B. M.; Collettini, C.

    2016-12-01

    Deformation in rocks and sediments is controlled by multiple mechanisms, each governed by its own pressure- (P), temperature- (T), and slip velocity- (v) dependent kinetics. Frictional behavior depends on which of these mechanisms are dominant, and, thus, varies with P, T, and v. Carbonates are a useful material with which to interrogate the PTv controls on friction due to the fact that a wide range of mechanisms can be easily accessed in the lab at geologically relevant conditions. In addition, carbonate-rich layers make up a significant component of subducting sediments around the world and may impact the frictional behavior of shallow subduction zones. In order to investigate the effect of carbonate subduction and the evolution of friction at subduction zone conditions, we conducted deformation experiments on input sediments for two subduction zones, the Hikurangi trench, New Zealand (ODP Site 1124) and the Peru trench (DSDP Site 321), which have carbonate/clay contents of 40/60 wt% and 80/20 wt%, respectively. Samples were saturated with distilled water mixed with 35g/l sea salt and deformed at room temperature. Experiments were conducted at σeff = 1-100 MPa and T = 20-100 °C with sliding velocities of 1-300 μm/s and hold times of 1-1000 s. We test the changes in velocity dependence and healing over these PT conditions to elucidate the frictional behavior of carbonates in subduction zone settings. The mechanical results are complemented by microstructural analysis. In lower stress experiments, there is no obvious shear localization; however, by 25 MPa, pervasive boundary-parallel shears become dominant, particularly in the Peru samples. Optical observations of these shear zones under cross-polarized light show evidence of plastic deformation (CPO development) while SEM-EDS observations indicate phase segregation in the boundary shears. Degree of microstructural localization appears to correspond with the trends observed in velocity-dependence. Our

  3. 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

    2004-05-15

    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)

  4. Earthquakes, fluid pressures and rapid subduction zone metamorphism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viete, D. R.

    2013-12-01

    High-pressure/low-temperature (HP/LT) metamorphism is commonly incomplete, meaning that large tracts of rock can remain metastable at blueschist- and eclogite-facies conditions for timescales up to millions of years [1]. When HP/LT metamorphism does take place, it can occur over extremely short durations (the role of fluids in providing heat for metamorphism [2] or catalyzing metamorphic reactions [1]. Earthquakes in subduction zone settings can occur to depths of 100s of km. Metamorphic dehydration and the associated development of elevated pore pressures in HP/LT metamorphic rocks has been identified as a cause of earthquake activity at such great depths [3-4]. The process of fracturing/faulting significantly increases rock permeability, causing channelized fluid flow and dissipation of pore pressures [3-4]. Thus, deep subduction zone earthquakes are thought to reflect an evolution in fluid pressure, involving: (1) an initial increase in pore pressure by heating-related dehydration of subduction zone rocks, and (2) rapid relief of pore pressures by faulting and channelized flow. Models for earthquakes at depth in subduction zones have focussed on the in situ effects of dehydration and then sudden escape of fluids from the rock mass following fracturing [3-4]. On the other hand, existing models for rapid and incomplete metamorphism in subduction zones have focussed only on the effects of heating and/or hydration with the arrival of external fluids [1-2]. Significant changes in pressure over very short timescales should result in rapid mineral growth and/or disequilibrium texture development in response to overstepping of mineral reaction boundaries. The repeated process of dehydration-pore pressure development-earthquake-pore pressure relief could conceivably produce a record of episodic HP/LT metamorphism driven by rapid pressure pulses. A new hypothesis is presented for the origins of HP/LT metamorphism: that HP/LT metamorphism is driven by effective pressure

  5. African Zoology

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    African Zoology, a peer-reviewed research journal, publishes original scientific contributions and critical reviews that focus principally on African fauna in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. Research from other regions that advances practical and theoretical aspects of zoology will be considered. Rigorous ...

  6. Thermal-Chemical Model Of Subduction: Results And Tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorczyk, W.; Gerya, T. V.; Connolly, J. A.; Yuen, D. A.; Rudolph, M.

    2005-12-01

    Seismic structures with strong positive and negative velocity anomalies in the mantle wedge above subduction zones have been interpreted as thermally and/or chemically induced phenomena. We have developed a thermal-chemical model of subduction, which constrains the dynamics of seismic velocity structure beneath volcanic arcs. Our simulations have been calculated over a finite-difference grid with (201×101) to (201×401) regularly spaced Eulerian points, using 0.5 million to 10 billion markers. The model couples numerical thermo-mechanical solution with Gibbs energy minimization to investigate the dynamic behavior of partially molten upwellings from slabs (cold plumes) and structures associated with their development. The model demonstrates two chemically distinct types of plumes (mixed and unmixed), and various rigid body rotation phenomena in the wedge (subduction wheel, fore-arc spin, wedge pin-ball). These thermal-chemical features strongly perturb seismic structure. Their occurrence is dependent on the age of subducting slab and the rate of subduction.The model has been validated through a series of test cases and its results are consistent with a variety of geological and geophysical data. In contrast to models that attribute a purely thermal origin for mantle wedge seismic anomalies, the thermal-chemical model is able to simulate the strong variations of seismic velocity existing beneath volcanic arcs which are associated with development of cold plumes. In particular, molten regions that form beneath volcanic arcs as a consequence of vigorous cold wet plumes are manifest by > 20% variations in the local Poisson ratio, as compared to variations of ~ 2% expected as a consequence of temperature variation within the mantle wedge.

  7. Dynamics of the Pacific Northwest Lithosphere and Asthenosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphreys, E.

    2013-12-01

    Seismic imaging resolves a complex structure beneath the Pacific Northwest (PNW) that is interpreted as: an high-velocity piece of accreted (~50 Ma) Farallon lithosphere that deepens from being exposed (at coast, where it is called Siletzia) to lower crust in SE Washington and then descending vertically to ~600 km as a 'curtain' beneath central Idaho; a stubby Juan de Fuca slab (to directed tractions on the Cascadia mega-thrust average ~4 TN per meter of along-strike fault length, or probably a shear stress of ~40 MPa over much of the locked mega-thrust (i.e., much more shear stress than the typical earthquake stress drop of 1-10 MPa). Normal to the coast, southern Cascadia is relatively tensional (where margin-normal compression is less than typical ridge push by ~4 TN/m of along-strike fault length) whereas northern Cascadia is compressional. This indicates that the southern Cascadia mega-thrust is more weakly coupled than the northern mega-thrust. Southern Cascadia slab rollback and extension of the Cascade graben and Basin-and-Range are enabled by the weak coupling, in conjunction with high gravitational potential energy of the southern Oregon arc and back-arc. Juan de Fuca-Gorda lithosphere experiences the same stress on its eastern margin as North America does on the PNW Cascadia margin (by stress continuity), although current models of the individual plates do not show this continuity. Gorda plate is strongly compressed across the Mendocino transform by the north-moving Pacific Plate. Development of the NW-trending Blanco transform has created a fault that avoids this strong compression.

  8. Power law olivine crystal size distributions in lithospheric mantle xenoliths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armienti, P.; Tarquini, S.

    2002-12-01

    Olivine crystal size distributions (CSDs) have been measured in three suites of spinel- and garnet-bearing harzburgites and lherzolites found as xenoliths in alkaline basalts from Canary Islands, Africa; Victoria Land, Antarctica; and Pali Aike, South America. The xenoliths derive from lithospheric mantle, from depths ranging from 80 to 20 km. Their textures vary from coarse to porphyroclastic and mosaic-porphyroclastic up to cataclastic. Data have been collected by processing digital images acquired optically from standard petrographic thin sections. The acquisition method is based on a high-resolution colour scanner that allows image capturing of a whole thin section. Image processing was performed using the VISILOG 5.2 package, resolving crystals larger than about 150 μm and applying stereological corrections based on the Schwartz-Saltykov algorithm. Taking account of truncation effects due to resolution limits and thin section size, all samples show scale invariance of crystal size distributions over almost three orders of magnitude (0.2-25 mm). Power law relations show fractal dimensions varying between 2.4 and 3.8, a range of values observed for distributions of fragment sizes in a variety of other geological contexts. A fragmentation model can reproduce the fractal dimensions around 2.6, which correspond to well-equilibrated granoblastic textures. Fractal dimensions >3 are typical of porphyroclastic and cataclastic samples. Slight bends in some linear arrays suggest selective tectonic crushing of crystals with size larger than 1 mm. The scale invariance shown by lithospheric mantle xenoliths in a variety of tectonic settings forms distant geographic regions, which indicate that this is a common characteristic of the upper mantle and should be taken into account in rheological models and evaluation of metasomatic models.

  9. 3D Numerical Model of Continental Breakup via Plume Lithosphere Interaction Near Cratonic Blocks: Implications for the Tanzanian Craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koptev, A.; Calais, E.; Burov, E. B.; Leroy, S. D.; Gerya, T.

    2014-12-01

    Although many continental rift basins and their successfully rifted counterparts at passive continental margins are magmatic, some are not. This dichotomy prompted end-member views of the mechanism driving continental rifting, deep-seated and mantle plume-driven for some, owing to shallow lithospheric stretching for others. In that regard, the East African Rift (EAR), the 3000 km-long divergent boundary between the Nubian and Somalian plates, provides a unique setting with the juxtaposition of the eastern, magma-rich, and western, magma-poor, branches on either sides of the 250-km thick Tanzanian craton. Here we implement high-resolution rheologically realistic 3D numerical model of plume-lithosphere interactions in extensional far-field settings to explain this contrasted behaviour in a unified framework starting from simple, symmetrical initial conditions with an isolated mantle plume rising beneath a craton in an east-west tensional far field stress. The upwelling mantle plume is deflected by the cratonic keel and preferentially channelled along one of its sides. This leads to the coeval development of a magma-rich branch above the plume head and a magma-poor one along the opposite side of the craton, the formation of a rotating microplate between the two rift branches, and the feeding of melt to both branches form a single mantle source. The model bears strong similarities with the evolution of the eastern and western branches of the central EAR and the geodetically observed rotation of the Victoria microplate. This result reconciles the passive (plume-activated) versus active (far-field tectonic stresses) rift models as our experiments shows both processes in action and demonstrate the possibility of developing both magmatic and amagmatic rifts in identical geotectonic environments.

  10. Slab-derived components in the subcontinental lithospheric mantle beneath Chilean Patagonia: Geochemistry and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopes of mantle xenoliths and host basalt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jalowitzki, Tiago; Gervasoni, Fernanda; Conceição, Rommulo V.; Orihashi, Yuji; Bertotto, Gustavo W.; Sumino, Hirochika; Schilling, Manuel E.; Nagao, Keisuke; Morata, Diego; Sylvester, Paul

    2017-11-01

    In subduction zones, ultramafic xenoliths hosted in alkaline basalts can yield significant information about the role of potential slab-derived components in the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM). Chemical and isotopic heterogeneities in such xenoliths are usually interpreted to reflect melt extraction followed by metasomatic re-enrichment. Here we report new whole-rock major, trace element and isotopic (Sr-Nd-Pb) data for a Proterozoic suite of 17 anhydrous spinel-lherzolites and Eocene (new K-Ar data) host alkaline basalt found near Coyhaique ( 46°S), Aysén Region, Chile. These Patagonian nodules are located in a current back-arc position, 100 km east of the present day volcanic arc and 320 km from the Chile Trench. The mantle xenoliths consist of coarse- to medium-grained spinel-lherzolites with trace element compositions characteristic of a subduction zone setting, such as pronounced negative Nb, Ta and Ti anomalies coupled with significant enrichment of LILEs (e.g., U) and chalcophile elements (W, Pb and Sn). Most of them are characterized by flat to depleted light-rare earth element (LREE) patterns (Ce/YbN = 0.6-1.1) coupled with less radiogenic Sr-Pb (87Sr/86Sr = 0.702422-0.703479; 206Pb/204Pb = 18.212-18.539) and more radiogenic Nd isotopic compositions (143Nd/144Nd = 0.512994-0.513242), similar to the depleted mantle component (DMM or PREMA). In contrast, samples with slight LREE enrichment (Ce/YbN = 1.3-1.8) show more radiogenic Sr-Pb (87Sr/86Sr = 0.703791-0.704239; 206Pb/204Pb = 18.572-18.703) and less radiogenic Nd isotopic compositions (143Nd/144Nd = 0.512859-0.512934), similar to the EM-2 reservoir. These new geochemical and isotope data suggest that the Coyhaique spinel-lherzolites are derived from a heterogeneous SCLM resulting from mixing between a depleted mantle component and up to 10% of slab-derived components. The enriched component added to the SCLM represents variable extents of melts of both subducted Chile Trench sediments and

  11. Cyclic formation and stabilization of Archean lithosphere by accretionary orogenesis: Constraints from TTG and potassic granitoids, North China Craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Cawood, Peter A.; Liu, Shuwen; Guo, Rongrong; Bai, Xiang; Wang, Kang

    2017-09-01

    Accretionary orogens are major sites of modern continental growth, yet their role in the development of Archean continental crust remains enigmatic. Diverse granitoid suites from tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) to potassic granitoids appeared during late Archean, representing a period of major continental formation and stabilization. In this study, whole-rock geochemical and zircon U-Pb and Lu-Hf isotopic data are reported for Neoarchean granitoid gneisses from the Northern Liaoning Terrane, northeastern North China Craton (NCC). Older granitoid gneisses ( 2592-2537 Ma) define three magmatic zones migrating from southeast to northwest, each showing a common magmatic evolution from high-pressure TTGs to medium-/low-pressure TTGs and potassic granitoids. They have depleted zircon ƐHf(t) of +0.5 to +8.7. Younger 2529-2503 Ma potassic granitoids and TTGs occur throughout the terrane, which are marked by variable zircon ƐHf(t) of -4.7 to +8.1, and are coeval with regional high-grade metamorphism. Petrogenetic modeling and changing Sr/Y and (La/Yb)N of the granitoids suggest that the crust experienced episodic thickening and thinning and became progressively evolved through development of potassic granitoids and sedimentary successions. The metavolcanic basement to the granitoids display tholeiitic to calc-alkaline affinities, together with the top-to-the-northwest thrusting and associated volcanogenic massive sulfide-type Cu-Zn deposits, suggesting cyclic crustal formation of Northern Liaoning within an accretionary orogen with a SE-dipping subduction polarity. Cyclic crustal thickening and thinning is related to tectonic switching from advancing to retreating relations between the downgoing and overriding plate. After 2530 Ma, this accretionary system accreted to the ancient continental nucleus of NCC (Anshan-Benxi Terrane), signifying final lithosphere stabilization.

  12. Spatial variations of current tectonic stress field and its relationship to the structure and rheology of lithosphere around the Bohai Sea, North China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xianrui; Wang, Jie; Zeng, Zuoxun; Dai, Qingqin

    2017-05-01

    The tectonic stress field in the middle-upper crust is closely related to the structure and rheology of the lithosphere. To determine the stress field in the deep crust, we inversed the focal mechanism solutions (FMSs) of 62 earthquakes that occurred between 2009 and 2015 in the Bohai Sea and its surrounding areas using broadband seismic waveforms collected from 140 stations. We then derived the tectonic stress field using the software SATSI (Spatial And Temporal Stress Inversion) based on the damped linear inversion method. The inversion results show that both the maximum (σ1) and minimum (σ3) principle stress axes throughout the entire region are nearly horizontal except in the Tangshan and Haicheng areas, suggesting that the study area is predominantly under a strike-slip faulting stress regime. The σ1 and σ3 axes are found to be oriented in the NEE-SWW or nearly E-W and NNW-SSE or nearly S-N directions, respectively. These results indicate that the stress field in the North China Craton is controlled by the combined effects of the Pacific Plate westward subduction and the India-Eurasia Plate collision. However, localized normal faulting stress regimes (where the vertical stress σv ≈ σ1) are observed in the Tangshan and Haicheng areas, where low viscosity bodies (LVBs) were identified using geophysical data. Based on the analysis of focal mechanism solutions, active faults and lithosphere rheology characteristics in the Tangshan and Haicheng areas, we speculate that the anomalous stress regime is caused by the local extension resulting from the movement of strike-slip faults under the action of the regional stress field. The existence of LVB may indicate weakness in the crust that favors the accumulation of tectonic stress and triggers large earthquakes.

  13. The latest geodynamics in Asia: Synthesis of data on volcanic evolution, lithosphere motion, and mantle velocities in the Baikal-Mongolian region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergei Rasskazov

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available From a synthesis of data on volcanic evolution, movement of the lithosphere, and mantle velocities in the Baikal-Mongolian region, we propose a comprehensive model for deep dynamics of Asia that assumes an important role of the Gobi, Baikal, and North Transbaikal transition-layer melting anomalies. This layer was distorted by lower-mantle fluxes at the beginning of the latest geodynamic stage (i.e. in the early late Cretaceous due to avalanches of slab material that were stagnated beneath the closed fragments of the Solonker, Ural-Mongolian paleoceans and Mongol-Okhotsk Gulf of Paleo-Pacific. At the latest geodynamic stage, Asia was involved in east–southeast movement, and the Pacific plate moved in the opposite direction with subduction under Asia. The weakened upper mantle region of the Gobi melting anomaly provided a counterflow connected with rollback in the Japan Sea area. These dynamics resulted in the formation of the Honshu-Korea flexure of the Pacific slab. A similar weakened upper mantle region of the North Transbaikal melting anomaly was associated with the formation of the Hokkaido-Amur flexure of the Pacific slab, formed due to progressive pull-down of the slab material into the transition layer in the direction of the Pacific plate and Asia convergence. The early–middle Miocene structural reorganization of the mantle processes in Asia resulted in the development of upper mantle low-velocity domains associated with the development of rifts and orogens. We propose that extension at the Baikal Rift was caused by deviator flowing mantle material, initiated under the moving lithosphere in the Baikal melting anomaly. Contraction at the Hangay orogen was created by facilitation of the tectonic stress transfer from the Indo-Asian interaction zone due to the low-viscosity mantle in the Gobi melting anomaly.

  14. Subduction initiation and recycling of Alboran domain derived crustal components prior to the intra-crustal emplacement of mantle peridotites in the Westernmost Mediterranean: isotopic evidence from the Ronda peridotite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varas-Reus, María Isabel; Garrido, Carlos J.; Bosch, Delphine; Marchesi, Claudio Claudio; Acosta-Vigil, Antonio; Hidas, Károly; Barich, Amel

    2014-05-01

    During Late Oligocene-Early Miocene different domains formed in the region between Iberia and Africa in the westernmost Mediterranean, including thinned continental crust and a Flysch Trough turbiditic deposits likely floored by oceanic crust [1]. At this time, the Ronda peridotite likely constituted the subcontinental lithospheric mantle of the Alboran domain, which mantle lithosphere was undergoing strong thinning and melting [2] [3] coevally with Early Miocene extension in the overlying Alpujárride-Maláguide stacked crust [4, 5]. Intrusive Cr- rich pyroxenites in the Ronda massif records the geochemical processes occurring in the subcontinental mantle of the Alboran domain during the Late Oligocene [6]. Recent isotopic studies of these pyroxenites indicate that their mantle source was contaminated by a subduction component released by detrital crustal sediments [6]. This new data is consistent with a subduction setting for the late evolution of the Alboran lithospheric mantle just prior to its final intracrustal emplacement in the early Miocene Further detailed structural studies of the Ronda plagioclase peridotites-related to the initial stages of ductile emplacement of the peridotite-have led to Hidas et al. [7] to propose a geodynamic model where folding and shearing of an attenuated mantle lithosphere occurred by backarc basin inversion followed by failed subduction initiation that ended into the intracrustal emplacement of peridotite into the Alboran wedge in the earliest Miocene. This hypothesis implies that the crustal component recorded in late, Cr-rich websterite dykes might come from underthrusted crustal rocks from the Flysch and/or Alpujárrides units that might have been involved in the earliest stages of this subduction initiation stage. To investigate the origin of crustal component in the mantle source of this late magmatic event recorded by Cr-pyroxenites, we have carried out a detail Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf isotopic study of a variety of Betic

  15. Seismic investigations of the Earth's lithosphere and asthenosphere in two unique convergent margin settings: The Carpathians, Romania, and U.S. Cordillera, Idaho-Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanciu, Adrian Christian

    Proposed mechanisms for the unusual seismicity ~100 km southeast of the contact between the Transylvanian Basin and the Eastern Carpathians in Romania have included tearing and rollback of a subducted slab of oceanic lithosphere and gravitational instability and delamination of continental lithosphere. We examined the upper mantle fabrics using shear wave splitting of SK(K)S phases recorded at four broadband seismic stations in the Transylvanian Basin. Our results indicate a regional NW-SE splitting trend, with measurements that reflect an abrupt change from this regional flow field in the vicinity of the Vrancea body to a NE-SW trend that is consistent with redirection of mantle flow. Crustal thickness measurements show 28-30 km in the western part of the Transylvanian Basin, 34-39 km at the contact with the Eastern Carpathians, and 40-45 km further east. These results, along with previous estimates, constrain the locus of the inferred Miocene suture between the southeastern-most portion of the Tisza-Dacia terrane and the East European Platform. The second convergent margin system represented here is in the North American Cordillera in Idaho and Oregon, where subduction and accretion of exotic terranes have modified the western margin of North America. We used teleseismic receiver functions from 85 broadband stations to analyze the geometry of the Salmon River suture zone, the western Idaho shear zone, and the Grouse Creek-Farmington zone boundary. Results show a clear break in crustal thickness from ~28 km beneath the accreted terranes to 36 km east of the surface expression of the WISZ. A strong mid-crustal converter at ~20 km depth is consistent with tectonic wedging during accretion of the Blue Mountains terranes. An eastern Moho offset of ~6 km is consistent with the Archean Grouse Creek-Farmington zone boundary. We used deep converted phases generated beneath the study area to image the mantle transition zone. We observe a continuous high amplitude P410s

  16. Strengthening African Union for African Integration: An African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads. ... in the international state system and seek for African initiative in solving African problems. ... of the African Union by examining the efforts of African Leaders towards African integration, ...

  17. Thinning of heterogeneous lithosphere: insights from field observations and numerical modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petri, B.; Duretz, T.; Mohn, G.; Schmalholz, S. M.

    2017-12-01

    The nature and mechanisms of formation of extremely thinned continental crust (N Italy) and in the Southern Alps (N Italy) were selected for their exceptional level of preservation of rift-related structures. This situation enables us to characterize (1) the pre-rift architecture of the continental lithosphere, (2) the localization of rift-related deformation in distinct portion of the lithosphere and (3) the interaction between initial heterogeneities of the lithosphere and rift-related structures. In a second stage, these observations are integrated in high-resolution, two-dimensional thermo-mechanical models taking into account various patterns of initial mechanical heterogeneities. Our results show the importance of initial pre-rift architecture of the continental lithosphere during rifting. Key roles are given to high-angle and low-angle normal faults, anastomosing shear-zones and decoupling horizons. We propose that during the first stages of thinning, deformation is strongly controlled by the complex pre-rift architecture of the lithosphere, localized along major structures responsible for the lateral extrusion of mid to lower crustal levels. This extrusion juxtaposes mechanically stronger levels in the hyper-thinned continental crust, being exhumed by subsequent low-angle normal faults. Altogether, these results highlight the critical role of the extraction of mechanically strong layers of the lithosphere during the extreme thinning of the continental lithosphere and allows to propose a new model for the formation of continental passive margins.

  18. Lithospheric strucutre and relationship to seismicity beneath the Southeastern US using reciever functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, E.; Lekic, V.

    2017-12-01

    Despite being on a passive margin for millions of years, the Southeastern United States (SEUS) contains numerous seismogenic zones with the ability to produce damaging earthquakes. However, mechanisms controlling these intraplate earthquakes are poorly understood. Recently, Biryol et al. 2016 use P-wave tomography suggest that upper mantle structures beneath the SEUS correlate with areas of seismicity and seismic quiescence. Specifically, thick and fast velocity lithosphere beneath North Carolina is stable and indicative of areas of low seismicity. In contrast, thin and slow velocity lithosphere is weak, and the transition between the strong and weak lithosphere may be correlated with seismogenic zones found in the SEUS. (eg. Eastern Tennessee seismic zone and the Central Virginia seismic zone) Therefore, I systematically map the heterogeneity of the mantle lithosphere using converted seismic waves and quantify the spatial correlation between seismicity and lithospheric structure. The extensive network of seismometers that makes up the Earthscope USArray combined with the numerous seismic deployments in the Southeastern United States allows for unprecedented opportunity to map changes in lithospheric structure across seismogenic zones and seismic quiescent regions. To do so, I will use both P-to-s and S-to-p receiver functions (RFS). Since RFs are sensitive to seismic wavespeeds and density discontinuities with depth, they particularly useful for studying lithospheric structure. Ps receiver functions contain high frequency information allowing for high resolution, but can become contaminated by large sediment signals; therefore, I removed sediment multiples and correct for time delays of later phases using the method of Yu et. al 2015 which will allow us to see later arriving phases associated with lithospheric discontinuities. S-to-p receiver functions are not contaminated by shallow layers, making them ideal to study deep lithospheric structures but they can

  19. Seismic and Thermal Structure of the Arctic Lithosphere, From Waveform Tomography and Thermodynamic Modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebedev, S.; Schaeffer, A. J.; Fullea, J.; Pease, V.

    2015-12-01

    Thermal structure of the lithosphere is reflected in the values of seismic velocities within it. Our new tomographic models of the crust and upper mantle of the Arctic are constrained by an unprecedentedly large global waveform dataset and provide substantially improved resolution, compared to previous models. The new tomography reveals lateral variations in the temperature and thickness of the lithosphere and defines deep boundaries between tectonic blocks with different lithospheric properties and age. The shape and evolution of the geotherm beneath a tectonic unit depends on both crustal and mantle-lithosphere structure beneath it: the lithospheric thickness and its changes with time (these determine the supply of heat from the deep Earth), the crustal thickness and heat production (the supply of heat from within the crust), and the thickness and thermal conductivity of the sedimentary cover (the insulation). Detailed thermal structure of the basins can be modelled by combining seismic velocities from tomography with data on the crustal structure and heat production, in the framework of computational petrological modelling. The most prominent lateral contrasts across the Arctic are between the cold, thick lithospheres of the cratons (in North America, Greenland and Eurasia) and the warmer, non-cratonic blocks. The lithosphere of the Canada Basin is cold and thick, similar to old oceanic lithosphere elsewhere around the world; its thermal structure offers evidence on its lithospheric age and formation mechanism. At 150-250 km depth, the central Arctic region shows a moderate low-velocity anomaly, cooler than that beneath Iceland and N Atlantic. An extension of N Atlantic low-velocity anomaly into the Arctic through the Fram Strait may indicate an influx of N Atlantic asthenosphere under the currently opening Eurasia Basin.

  20. Mantle Noble Gas Contents Controlled by Subduction of Serpentinite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krantz, J. A.; Parman, S. W.; Kelley, S. P.; Smye, A.; Jackson, C.

    2017-12-01

    Geochemical analyses of exhumed subduction zone material1, well gases2, MORB, and OIBs3 indicate that noble gases are being recycled from the surface of the earth into the mantle. However, the path taken by these noble gases is unclear. To estimate the distribution and quantity of Ar, Kr, and Xe in subducting slabs, a model consisting of layers of sediments, altered oceanic crust (AOC), and serpentinite (hydrously altered mantle) has been developed. The noble gas contents of sediments and AOC were calculated using the least air-like and most gas-rich analyses from natural systems4,5, while serpentinite was modelled using both data from natural systems1 and experimentally determined solubilities. Layer thicknesses were assessed over a range of values: 1 to 12 km of sediments, 5 to 9 km of AOC, and 1 to 30 km of serpentinite. In all cases, the serpentinite layer contains at least an order of magnitude more Ar and Kr than the other layers. For realistic layer thicknesses (1 km of sediments, 6 km of AOC, and 3 km of serpentinite), Xe is distributed roughly equally between the three layers. By incorporating global subduction rates6, fluxes of the heavy noble gases into the mantle have been calculated as 4 · 1012 mol/Ma for 36Ar, 6 · 1011 mol/Ma for 84Kr, and 8 · 109 mol/Ma for 130Xe. These fluxes are equivalent to the total 84Kr and 130Xe contents of the depleted and bulk mantle over 1 and 10 Ma7. Similarly, the flux of 36Ar is equivalent over 1 and 100 Ma. Since the Kr and Xe have not been completely overprinted by recycling, the large majority of subducted noble gases must escape in the subduction zone. However, even the small amounts that are subducted deeper have affected the mantle as measured in both MORB and OIBs. 1. Kendrick, M.A. et al., Nature Geoscience, 4, 807-812, 2011 2. Holland, G. and Ballentine, C.J., Nature, 441, 186-191, 2006 3. Parai, R. and Mukhopadhyay, S., G3, 16, 719-735, 2015 4. Matsuda, J. and Nagao, K., Geochemical Journal, 20, 71-80, 1986

  1. The impact of lateral variations in lithospheric thickness on glacial isostatic adjustment in West Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nield, Grace A.; Whitehouse, Pippa L.; van der Wal, Wouter; Blank, Bas; O'Donnell, John Paul; Stuart, Graham W.

    2018-04-01

    Differences in predictions of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) for Antarctica persist due to uncertainties in deglacial history and Earth rheology. The Earth models adopted in many GIA studies are defined by parameters that vary in the radial direction only and represent a global average Earth structure (referred to as 1D Earth models). Over-simplifying actual Earth structure leads to bias in model predictions in regions where Earth parameters differ significantly from the global average, such as West Antarctica. We investigate the impact of lateral variations in lithospheric thickness on GIA in Antarctica by carrying out two experiments that use different rheological approaches to define 3D Earth models that include spatial variations in lithospheric thickness. The first experiment defines an elastic lithosphere with spatial variations in thickness inferred from seismic studies. We compare the results from this 3D model with results derived from a 1D Earth model that has a uniform lithospheric thickness defined as the average of the 3D lithospheric thickness. Irrespective of deglacial history and sub-lithospheric mantle viscosity, we find higher gradients of present-day uplift rates (i.e. higher amplitude and shorter wavelength) in West Antarctica when using the 3D models, due to the thinner-than-1D-average lithosphere prevalent in this region. The second experiment uses seismically-inferred temperature as input to a power-law rheology thereby allowing the lithosphere to have a viscosity structure. Modelling the lithosphere with a power-law rheology results in behaviour that is equivalent to a thinner-lithosphere model, and it leads to higher amplitude and shorter wavelength deformation compared with the first experiment. We conclude that neglecting spatial variations in lithospheric thickness in GIA models will result in predictions of peak uplift and subsidence that are biased low in West Antarctica. This has important implications for ice-sheet modelling

  2. Magma explains low estimates of lithospheric strength based on flexure of ocean island loads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buck, W. Roger; Lavier, Luc L.; Choi, Eunseo

    2015-04-01

    One of the best ways to constrain the strength of the Earth's lithosphere is to measure the deformation caused by large, well-defined loads. The largest, simple vertical load is that of the Hawaiian volcanic island chain. An impressively detailed recent analysis of the 3D response to that load by Zhong and Watts (2013) considers the depth range of seismicity below Hawaii and the seismically determined geometry of lithospheric deflection. These authors find that the friction coefficient for the lithosphere must be in the normal range measured for rocks, but conclude that the ductile flow strength has to be far weaker than laboratory measurements suggest. Specifically, Zhong and Watts (2013) find that stress differences in the mantle lithosphere below the island chain are less than about 200 MPa. Standard rheologic models suggest that for the ~50 km thick lithosphere inferred to exist below Hawaii yielding will occur at stress differences of about 1 GPa. Here we suggest that magmatic accommodation of flexural extension may explain Hawaiian lithospheric deflection even with standard mantle flow laws. Flexural stresses are extensional in the deeper part of the lithosphere below a linear island load (i.e. horizontal stresses orthogonal to the line load are lower than vertical stresses). Magma can accommodate lithospheric extension at smaller stress differences than brittle and ductile rock yielding. Dikes opening parallel to an island chain would allow easier downflexing than a continuous plate, but wound not produce a freely broken plate. The extensional stress needed to open dikes at depth depends on the density contrast between magma and lithosphere, assuming magma has an open pathway to the surface. For a uniform lithospheric density ρL and magma density ρM the stress difference to allow dikes to accommodate extension is: Δσxx (z) = g z (ρM - gρL), where g is the acceleration of gravity and z is depth below the surface. For reasonable density values (i.e.

  3. Global map of lithosphere thermal thickness on a 1 deg x 1 deg grid - digitally available

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artemieva, Irina

    2014-05-01

    This presentation reports a 1 deg ×1 deg global thermal model for the continental lithosphere (TC1). The model is digitally available from the author's web-site: www.lithosphere.info. Geotherms for continental terranes of different ages (early Archean to present) are constrained by reliable data on borehole heat flow measurements (Artemieva and Mooney, 2001), checked with the original publications for data quality, and corrected for paleo-temperature effects where needed. These data are supplemented by cratonic geotherms based on xenolith data. Since heat flow measurements cover not more than half of the continents, the remaining areas (ca. 60% of the continents) are filled by the statistical numbers derived from the thermal model constrained by borehole data. Continental geotherms are statistically analyzed as a function of age and are used to estimate lithospheric temperatures in continental regions with no or low quality heat flow data. This analysis requires knowledge of lithosphere age globally. A compilation of tectono-thermal ages of lithospheric terranes on a 1 deg × 1 deg grid forms the basis for the statistical analysis. It shows that, statistically, lithospheric thermal thickness z (in km) depends on tectono-thermal age t (in Ma) as: z=0.04t+93.6. This relationship formed the basis for a global thermal model of the continental lithosphere (TC1). Statistical analysis of continental geotherms also reveals that this relationship holds for the Archean cratons in general, but not in detail. Particularly, thick (more than 250 km) lithosphere is restricted solely to young Archean terranes (3.0-2.6 Ga), while in old Archean cratons (3.6-3.0 Ga) lithospheric roots do not extend deeper than 200-220 km. The TC1 model is presented by a set of maps, which show significant thermal heterogeneity within continental upper mantle. The strongest lateral temperature variations (as large as 800 deg C) are typical of the shallow mantle (depth less than 100 km). A map of the

  4. Lithospheric discontinuities beneath the U.S. Midcontinent - signatures of Proterozoic terrane accretion and failed rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chen; Gilbert, Hersh; Fischer, Karen M.; Andronicos, Christopher L.; Pavlis, Gary L.; Hamburger, Michael W.; Marshak, Stephen; Larson, Timothy; Yang, Xiaotao

    2018-01-01

    Seismic discontinuities between the Moho and the inferred lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) are known as mid-lithospheric discontinuities (MLDs) and have been ascribed to a variety of phenomena that are critical to understanding lithospheric growth and evolution. In this study, we used S-to-P converted waves recorded by the USArray Transportable Array and the OIINK (Ozarks-Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky) Flexible Array to investigate lithospheric structure beneath the central U.S. This region, a portion of North America's cratonic platform, provides an opportunity to explore how terrane accretion, cratonization, and subsequent rifting may have influenced lithospheric structure. The 3D common conversion point (CCP) volume produced by stacking back-projected Sp receiver functions reveals a general absence of negative converted phases at the depths of the LAB across much of the central U.S. This observation suggests a gradual velocity decrease between the lithosphere and asthenosphere. Within the lithosphere, the CCP stacks display negative arrivals at depths between 65 km and 125 km. We interpret these as MLDs resulting from the top of a layer of crystallized melts (sill-like igneous intrusions) or otherwise chemically modified lithosphere that is enriched in w