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Sample records for subducted oceanic slab

  1. Breaking the oceanic lithosphere of a subducting slab: the 2013 Khash, Iran earthquake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnhart, William D.; Hayes, Gavin P.; Samsonov, S.; Fielding, E.; Seidman, L.

    2014-01-01

    [1] Large intermediate depth, intraslab normal faulting earthquakes are a common, dangerous, but poorly understood phenomenon in subduction zones owing to a paucity of near field geophysical observations. Seismological and high quality geodetic observations of the 2013 Mw7.7 Khash, Iran earthquake reveal that at least half of the oceanic lithosphere, including the mantle and entire crust, ruptured in a single earthquake, confirming with unprecedented resolution that large earthquakes can nucleate in and rupture through the oceanic mantle. A rupture width of at least 55 km is required to explain both InSAR observations and teleseismic waveforms, with the majority of slip occurring in the oceanic mantle. Combining our well-constrained earthquake slip distributions with the causative fault orientation and geometry of the local subduction zone, we hypothesize that the Khash earthquake likely occurred as the combined result of slab bending forces and dehydration of hydrous minerals along a preexisting fault formed prior to subduction.

  2. 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

    The Cycladic islands of Syros and Siphnos, Aegean Sea, Greece, represent subducted IAT and BABB remnants of the Neotethyan Pindos Ocean. Garnet porphyroblasts (Ø=1mm) in a glaucophane-zoisite eclogite from Kini locality on Syros are compositionally zoned and display a unique prograde heating path from a high-pressure greenschist-facies core with high XSps and low Mg# via a blueschist-facies mantle with moderate XSps and Mg# to an eclogite-facies rim with low XSps and high Mg#. The outermost 35 μm of the garnet rims show flat XSps with rapidly increasing outwards Mg#. Na-Act-Chl-Ph rimmed by Gln mark the greenschist-blueschist facies transition, whereas Pg rimmed by Omp and the incoming of Rt at the expense of Ttn signify the blueschist-eclogite facies transition. Raman barometry of quartz inclusions in the eclogitic garnet rims coupled with elastic modelling of the garnet host [1], and Zr-in-Rt and Grt-Cpx-Ph thermobarometry revealed near-UHP P-T conditions of the order of 2.6 GPa/660°C (maximum residual pressure was 0.8-0.9GPa). By contrast, the greenschist-blueschist transition lies at ~0.75 GPa/355°C. This pressure is in excellent agreement with the position of the albite = jadeite + quartz boundary calculated at 350°C using the observed omphacite composition corrected for jadeite activity (Koons & Thompson, 1985) [2]. As a result, Cpx inclusions in garnet core signify the early entrance of garnet in the subduction zone history of the slab. Furthermore, the early growth of garnet (in lower pressures) observed in eclogites from Syros lies in great agreement with published slab-geotherms that indicate hot subduction and show a precocious garnet growth (Baxter and Caddick, 2013) [3]. The complete absence of lawsonite and the great abundance of zoisite crystals, based on the stability fields of both minerals (Poli et al., 2009) [4], further constrain the P-T trajectory of the slab. Our new P-T estimates match published T distributions on the slab surface

  3. The effects of the overriding plate thermal state on the slab dip in an ocean-continent subduction system

    CERN Document Server

    Roda, Manuel; Spalla, Maria Iole; 10.1016/j.crte.2011.01.005

    2011-01-01

    To evaluate the effects of variations in the thermal state of the overriding plate on the slab dip in an ocean-continent subduction system, a 2-D finite element thermo-mechanical model was implemented. The lithosphere base was located at the depth of the 1600 K isotherm. Numerical simulations were performed while taking into account four different initial thicknesses for the oceanic lithosphere (60, 80, 95 and 110 km) and five different thicknesses of the overriding plate, as compared in terms of the continental-oceanic plate thickness ratio (100, 120, 140, 160 and 200% of the oceanic lithosphere thickness). The results of numerical modeling indicate that a high variability of the subducting plate geometry occurs for an oceanic lithosphere thickness ranging from 60 to 80 km, while the variability decreases where the oceanic plates are thicker (95 and 110 km). Furthermore, the slab dip strongly depends on the thermal state of the overriding plate, and, in particular, the slab dip decreases with the increase in...

  4. Slab melting versus slab dehydration in subduction-zone magmatism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mibe, Kenji; Kawamoto, Tatsuhiko; Matsukage, Kyoko N; Fei, Yingwei; Ono, Shigeaki

    2011-05-17

    The second critical endpoint in the basalt-H(2)O system was directly determined by a high-pressure and high-temperature X-ray radiography technique. We found that the second critical endpoint occurs at around 3.4 GPa and 770 °C (corresponding to a depth of approximately 100 km in a subducting slab), which is much shallower than the previously estimated conditions. Our results indicate that the melting temperature of the subducting oceanic crust can no longer be defined beyond this critical condition and that the fluid released from subducting oceanic crust at depths greater than 100 km under volcanic arcs is supercritical fluid rather than aqueous fluid and/or hydrous melts. The position of the second critical endpoint explains why there is a limitation to the slab depth at which adakitic magmas are produced, as well as the origin of across-arc geochemical variations of trace elements in volcanic rocks in subduction zones.

  5. Extensive decarbonation of continuously hydrated subducting slabs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arzilli, Fabio; Burton, Mike; La Spina, Giuseppe; Macpherson, Colin G.

    2017-04-01

    CO2 release from subducting slabs is a key element of Earth's carbon cycle, consigning slab carbon either to mantle burial or recycling to the surface through arc volcanism, however, what controls subducted carbon's fate is poorly understood. Fluids mobilized by devolatilization of subducting slabs play a fundamental role in the melting of mantle wedges and in global geochemical cycles [1]. The effect of such fluids on decarbonation in subducting lithologies has been investigated recently [2-5], but several thermodynamic models [2-3], and experimental studies [6] suggest that carbon-bearing phases are stable at sub-arc depths (80-140 km; 2.6-4.5 GPa), implying that this carbon can be carried to mantle depths of >140 km. This is inconsistent with observations of voluminous CO2 release from arc volcanoes [7-10], located above slabs that are at 2.6-4.5 GPa pressure. The aim of this study is to re-evaluate the role of metamorphic decarbonation, showing if decarbonation reactions could be feasible at sub-arc depths combined with a continuous hydration scenario. We used the PerpleX software combined with a custom-designed algorithm to simulate a pervasive fluid infiltration characterized by "continuous hydration" combined with a distillation model, in which is possible to remove CO2 when decarbonation occurs, to obtain an open-system scenario. This is performed by repeatedly flushing the sediment with pure H2O at 0.5, 1.0 or 5 wt.% until no further decarbonation occurs. Here we show that continuous hydrated of sediment veneers on subducting slabs by H2O released from oceanic crust and serpentinised mantle lithosphere [11-13], produces extensive slab decarbonation over a narrow, sub-arc pressure range, even for low temperature subduction pathways. This explains the location of CO2-rich volcanism, quantitatively links the sedimentary composition of slab material to the degree of decarbonation and greatly increases estimates for the magnitude of carbon flux through the arc

  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. Subduction Mode Selection During Slab and Mantle Transition Zone Interaction: Numerical Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yanan; Wei, Dongping; Li, Zhong-Hai; Liu, Ming-Qi; Liu, Mengxue

    2017-12-01

    Global seismic tomography of the subduction zones shows that the subducting slabs could either stagnate around the 660-km discontinuity, or penetrate into the lower mantle. The stagnating slabs also have various morphologies. These are directly related to the interaction between the subducting slabs and the mantle transition zone (MTZ), the dynamics of which are still debated. Using a 2-D thermo-mechanical model, we systematically investigated the modes of subduction in the mantle transition zone and explored the key constraints of various subduction styles. Four basic subduction modes are obtained in the numerical experiments, including one with slab penetrating through the 660-km discontinuity and three other modes with slab stagnating in the MTZ (i.e. folding, lying and rolling-back). The numerical models indicate that the age of subducting oceanic plate, the thickness of overriding continental lithosphere and the convergence velocity play crucial roles in the dynamics of subducting slab and MTZ interaction. In general, the young subducting slab favors the penetration or folding mode, whereas the old subducting slab tends to result in lying or rolling-back mode, although other parameters can also affect. Our models also show a strong correlation between the subduction mode selection and dip angle of the slab tip when reaching the 660-km phase boundary.

  8. Necessity of the Ridge for the Flat Slab Subduction: Insights from the Peruvian Flat Slab

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    Flattening of the subducting plate has been linked to the formation of various geological features, including basement-cored uplifts, the cessation of arc volcanism, ignimbrite flare-ups, and the formation of high plateaus and ore deposits [Humphreys et al., 2003; Gutscher et al., 2000; Rosenbaum et al., 2005]. However, the mechanism responsible for the slab flattening is still poorly understood. Here we focus on the Peruvian flat slab, where the Nazca plate starts to bend at ~80 km depth and travels horizontally for several hundred kilometers, at which point steep subduction resumes. Based on a 1500 km long volcanic gap and intermediate depth seismicity patterns, the Peruvian flat slab appears to have the greatest along-strike extent and, therefore, has been suggested as a modern analogue to the putative flat slab during the Laramide orogeny in the western United States (~80-55 Ma). Combining 3D shear wave velocity structure and Rayleigh wave phase anisotropy between ~10° and 18° S, we find that the subducting Nazca plate is not uniformly flat along the entire region, but fails to the north of the subducting Nazca Ridge. Our results show that, in combination with trench retreat, rapid overriding plate motion, and/or presence of a thick cratonic root, the subduction of buoyant overthickened oceanic crust, such as the Nazca Ridge, is necessary for the formation and sustainability of flat slabs. This finding has important implications for the formation of flat slabs both past and present.

  9. Subduction zone earthquakes and stress in slabs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  10. Lower slab boundary in the Japan subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonegawa, Takashi; Hirahara, Kazuro; Shibutani, Takuo; Fujii, Naoyuki

    2006-07-01

    We have successfully detected the lower boundary of a subducting slab. The successive imaging of the lower slab boundary beneath northeastern (NE) Japan is attained by receiver function (RF) depth conversion analysis using a recent 3D tomographic velocity model. We use waveforms from 249 teleseismic events collected by Hi-net and J-array short-period stations in NE Japan. RFs are calculated through frequency domain division of radial components by vertical ones with a water level of 0.001 and a 1.0 Hz low-pass Gaussian filter. Assuming that all later phases in the radial RFs are due to Ps phases converted at discontinuities beneath stations, we calculate depth-converted RFs, mapped onto the cross-section with the CCP (common conversion point) stacking. In a cross section, the slab surface and the oceanic Moho can be imaged down to 120 km depth. For the greater depths, the RF amplitudes corresponding to them cannot be seen, because, in the oceanic crust, basalt would be completely metamorphosed to eclogite below this depth. The lower boundary of the Pacific slab can also be traced down to 200 km depth or more. It is parallel to the slab surface and the oceanic Moho, and the thickness between the slab surface and the lower boundary is ˜ 80 km. Finally, we estimate a top-to-bottom slab velocity model that explains the RFs observed at broadband stations with the synthetic RFs. This model exhibits a 13% velocity reduction downwards the lower slab boundary, which would relatively sharp for the base of the thermal boundary layer. Therefore, this sharp discontinuity is presumably considered to be the subducting G (Gutenberg) discontinuity that is formed by the change of the amount of H 2O (water), meaning that the G discontinuity is the chemical boundary at the bottom of the oceanic lithosphere. The G discontinuity depth is controlled by the potential temperature of the asthenospheric mantle beneath the mid-ocean ridge, and hence the observed thickness of 80 km, i.e. the

  11. The Role of Subducting Ridges in the Formation of Flat Slabs: Insights from the Peruvian Flat Slab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knezevic Antonijevic, Sanja; Wagner, Lara; Kumar, Abhash; Beck, Susan; Long, Maureen; Zandt, George; Eakin, Caroline M.

    2015-04-01

    Flattening of the subducting plate is often used to explain various geological features removed far from the subducting margins, including basement-cored uplifts, the cessation of arc volcanism, ignimbrite flare-ups, and the formation of high plateaus and ore deposits [Humphreys et al., 2003; Gutscher et al., 2000; Rosenbaum et al., 2005, Kay and Mpodozis, 2001]. Today, flat slab subduction is observed in central Chile and Peru, representing the modern analogues to the immense paleo-flat slab that subducted beneath the North American continent during the Laramide orogeny (80-55 Ma) [English et al., 2003]. However, how flat slabs form and what controls their inboard and along-strike extent is still poorly understood. To better understand modern and paleo-flat slabs, we focus on the Peruvian flat slab, where the Nazca plate starts to bend at ~90 km depth and travels horizontally for several hundred kilometers beneath the South American plate. Earlier studies propose a correlation between the flat slab and the subducting Nazca Ridge that has been migrating to the south over the past 11 ~Ma [Hampel et al., 2004, Gutscher et al., 2003]. Combining 3D shear wave velocity structure and Rayleigh wave phase anisotropy between ~10° and 18° S, we find that the flat slab has the greatest inboard extent along the track of the subducting Nazca Ridge. North of the ridge track, where the flat slab was initially formed, the flat slab starts to sag, tear and re-initiate steep slab subduction, allowing inflow of warm asthenosphere. Based on our new constraints on the geometry of the subducted plate, we find that the subduction of buoyant oceanic features with overthickened oceanic crust plays a vital role in the formation of flat slabs. We further develop a model of temporal evolution of the Peruvian flab slab that forms as a result of the combined effects of the subducting ridge, trench retreat, and suction forces. Once the buoyant ridge subducts to ~90 km depth, it will fail to

  12. Viscous Dissipation and Criticality of Subducting Slabs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedel, Mike; Karato, Shun; Yuen, Dave

    2016-04-01

    Rheology of subducting lithosphere appears to be complicated. In the shallow part, deformation is largely accomodated by brittle failure, whereas at greater depth, at higher confining pressures, ductile creep is expected to control slab strength. The amount of viscous dissipation ΔQ during subduction at greater depth, as constrained by experimental rock mechanics, can be estimated on the basis of a simple bending moment equation [1,2] 2ɛ˙0(z) ∫ +h/2 2 M (z) = h ṡ -h/2 4μ(y,z)y dy , (1) for a complex multi-phase rheology in the mantle transition zone, including the effects of a metastable phase transition as well as the pressure, temperature, grain-size and stress dependency of the relevant creep mechanisms; μ is here the effective viscosity and ɛ˙0(z) is a (reference) strain rate. Numerical analysis shows that the maximum bending moment, Mcrit, that can be sustained by a slab is of the order of 1019 Nm per m according to Mcrit˜=σp ∗h2/4, where σp is the Peierl's stress limit of slab materials and h is the slab thickness. Near Mcrit, the amount of viscous dissipation grows strongly as a consequence of a lattice instability of mantle minerals (dislocation glide in olivine), suggesting that thermo-mechanical instabilities become prone to occur at places where a critical shear-heating rate is exceeded, see figure. This implies that the lithosphere behaves in such cases like a perfectly plastic solid [3]. Recently available detailed data related to deep seismicity [4,5] seems to provide support to our conclusion. It shows, e.g., that thermal shear instabilities, and not transformational faulting, is likely the dominating mechanism for deep-focus earthquakes at the bottom of the transition zone, in accordance with this suggested "deep criticality" model. These new findings are therefore briefly outlined and possible implications are discussed. References [1] Riedel, M. R., Karato, S., Yuen, D. A. Criticality of Subducting Slabs. University of Minnesota

  13. Slab detachment of subducted Indo-Australian plate beneath Sunda ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2007). We investigate the northward subduction of the. Indo-Australian plate along the eastern Sunda arc right from northwestern Sumatra, along Java to. Keywords. Slab detachment; subduction zone; Sunda arc; Indo-Australian slab; trench migration. J. Earth Syst. Sci. 120, No. 2, April 2011, pp. 193–204 c Indian Academy ...

  14. The subduction dichotomy of strong plates and weak slabs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Robert I.; Stegman, Dave R.; Tackley, Paul J.

    2017-03-01

    A key element of plate tectonics on Earth is that the lithosphere is subducting into the mantle. Subduction results from forces that bend and pull the lithosphere into the interior of the Earth. Once subducted, lithospheric slabs are further modified by dynamic forces in the mantle, and their sinking is inhibited by the increase in viscosity of the lower mantle. These forces are resisted by the material strength of the lithosphere. Using geodynamic models, we investigate several subduction models, wherein we control material strength by setting a maximum viscosity for the surface plates and the subducted slabs independently. We find that models characterized by a dichotomy of lithosphere strengths produce a spectrum of results that are comparable to interpretations of observations of subduction on Earth. These models have strong lithospheric plates at the surface, which promotes Earth-like single-sided subduction. At the same time, these models have weakened lithospheric subducted slabs which can more easily bend to either lie flat or fold into a slab pile atop the lower mantle, reproducing the spectrum of slab morphologies that have been interpreted from images of seismic tomography.

  15. Seismic anisotropy in the Hellenic subduction zone: Effects of slab segmentation and subslab mantle flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evangelidis, C. P.

    2017-12-01

    The segmentation and differentiation of subducting slabs have considerable effects on mantle convection and tectonics. The Hellenic subduction zone is a complex convergent margin with strong curvature and fast slab rollback. The upper mantle seismic anisotropy in the region is studied focusing at its western and eastern edges in order to explore the effects of possible slab segmentation on mantle flow and fabrics. Complementary to new SKS shear-wave splitting measurements in regions not adequately sampled so far, the source-side splitting technique is applied to constrain the depth of anisotropy and to densify measurements. In the western Hellenic arc, a trench-normal subslab anisotropy is observed near the trench. In the forearc domain, source-side and SKS measurements reveal a trench-parallel pattern. This indicates subslab trench-parallel mantle flow, associated with return flow due to the fast slab rollback. The passage from continental to oceanic subduction in the western Hellenic zone is illustrated by a forearc transitional anisotropy pattern. This indicates subslab mantle flow parallel to a NE-SW smooth ramp that possibly connects the two subducted slabs. A young tear fault initiated at the Kefalonia Transform Fault is likely not entirely developed, as this trench-parallel anisotropy pattern is observed along the entire western Hellenic subduction system, even following this horizontal offset between the two slabs. At the eastern side of the Hellenic subduction zone, subslab source-side anisotropy measurements show a general trench-normal pattern. These are associated with mantle flow through a possible ongoing tearing of the oceanic lithosphere in the area. Although the exact geometry of this slab tear is relatively unknown, SKS trench-parallel measurements imply that the tear has not reached the surface yet. Further exploration of the Hellenic subduction system is necessary; denser seismic networks should be deployed at both its edges in order to achieve

  16. Slab melting as a barrier to deep carbon subduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Andrew R; Walter, Michael J; Kohn, Simon C; Brooker, Richard A

    2016-01-07

    Interactions between crustal and mantle reservoirs dominate the surface inventory of volatile elements over geological time, moderating atmospheric composition and maintaining a life-supporting planet. While volcanoes expel volatile components into surface reservoirs, subduction of oceanic crust is responsible for replenishment of mantle reservoirs. Many natural, 'superdeep' diamonds originating in the deep upper mantle and transition zone host mineral inclusions, indicating an affinity to subducted oceanic crust. Here we show that the majority of slab geotherms will intersect a deep depression along the melting curve of carbonated oceanic crust at depths of approximately 300 to 700 kilometres, creating a barrier to direct carbonate recycling into the deep mantle. Low-degree partial melts are alkaline carbonatites that are highly reactive with reduced ambient mantle, producing diamond. Many inclusions in superdeep diamonds are best explained by carbonate melt-peridotite reaction. A deep carbon barrier may dominate the recycling of carbon in the mantle and contribute to chemical and isotopic heterogeneity of the mantle reservoir.

  17. The Terminal Stage of Subduction: the Hindu Kush Slab Break-off

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kufner, S. K.; Schurr, B.; Sippl, C.; Yuan, X.; Ratschbacher, L.; Akbar, A. S. M.; Ischuk, A.; Murodkulov, S.; Schneider, F.; Mechie, J.; Tilmann, F. J.

    2016-12-01

    The terminal stage of subduction arrives when the ocean basin is closed and the continental margin arrives at the trench. The opposite forces of the sinking slab and buoyant continent ultimately leads to break-off of the subducted slab. This process, although common in geological history, is rarely observed, because it is short-lived. Here we report new precise earthquake hypocenters, detailed tomographic images and earthquake source mechanisms from the Hindu Kush region in Central Asia, which hint at continental subduction and plate necking. Our images provide a rare glimpse at the ephemeral process of slab break-off: the Hindu Kush slablet in its uppermost section is thinned or already severed and that intermediate depth earthquakes cluster at the neck connecting it to the deeper slab. From a strain rate analysis, we deduce that the deep portion of the slab is in the process of detaching from the shallower fragment at much higher rates than the current convergence rate at the surface. The increased strain rate might arise as the buoyant continental crust, which is dragged into the subduction system in its terminal stage, resists subduction, whereas the earlier subducted mantle lithosphere pulls from underneath.

  18. Seismic anisotropy and mantle flow below subducting slabs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walpole, Jack; Wookey, James; Kendall, J.-Michael; Masters, T.-Guy

    2017-05-01

    Subduction is integral to mantle convection and plate tectonics, yet the role of the subslab mantle in this process is poorly understood. Some propose that decoupling from the slab permits widespread trench parallel flow in the subslab mantle, although the geodynamical feasibility of this has been questioned. Here, we use the source-side shear wave splitting technique to probe anisotropy beneath subducting slabs, enabling us to test petrofabric models and constrain the geometry of mantle fow. Our global dataset contains 6369 high quality measurements - spanning ∼ 40 , 000 km of subduction zone trenches - over the complete range of available source depths (4 to 687 km) - and a large range of angles in the slab reference frame. We find that anisotropy in the subslab mantle is well characterised by tilted transverse isotropy with a slow-symmetry-axis pointing normal to the plane of the slab. This appears incompatible with purely trench-parallel flow models. On the other hand it is compatible with the idea that the asthenosphere is tilted and entrained during subduction. Trench parallel measurements are most commonly associated with shallow events (source depth < 50 km) - suggesting a separate region of anisotropy in the lithospheric slab. This may correspond to the shape preferred orientation of cracks, fractures, and faults opened by slab bending. Meanwhile the deepest events probe the upper lower mantle where splitting is found to be consistent with deformed bridgmanite.

  19. Subduction of fracture zones controls mantle melting and geochemical signature above slabs.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-24

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

  20. Slab2 - Updated subduction zone geometries and modeling tools

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey database of global subduction zone geometries (Slab1.0) combines a variety of geophysical data sets (earthquake hypocenters, moment tensors, active-source seismic survey images of the shallow subduction zone, bathymetry, trench locations, and sediment thickness information) to image the shape of subducting slabs in three dimensions, at approximately 85% of the world's convergent margins. The database is used extensively for a variety of purposes from earthquake source imaging to magnetotelluric modeling. Gaps in Slab1.0 exist where input data are sparse and/or where slabs are geometrically complex (and difficult to image with an automated approach). Slab1.0 also does not include information on the uncertainty in the modeled geometrical parameters, or the input data used to image them, and provides no means for others to reproduce the models it describes. Now near completion, Slab2 will update and replace Slab1.0 by: (1) extending modeled slab geometries to the full extent of all known global subduction zones; (2) incorporating regional data sets (e.g., tomography models) that may describe slab geometry more comprehensively than do previously used teleseismic data; (3) providing information on the uncertainties in each modeled slab surface; (4) modifying our modeling approach to a fully-three dimensional data interpolation, rather than following the 2-D to 3-D steps of Slab1.0; (5) adding further layers to the base geometry dataset, such as historic moment release, earthquake tectonic providence, and interface coupling; (6) migrating the slab modeling code base to a more universally distributable language, Python; and (7) providing the code base and input data we use to create our models, such that the community can both reproduce the slab geometries, and add their own data sets to ours to further improve upon those models in the future. In this presentation we will describe our progress made in creating Slab2, and provide information on

  1. Some geophysical and geochemical consequences of slab serpentinization at subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phipps Morgan, J.; Ruepke, L. H.; Ranero, C.; Hort, M.

    2002-12-01

    Here we explore the potential impact of slab serpentinization and deserpentinization processes on arc-melting and on water, carbon-dioxide, U, Pb, and noble gas recycling into the deep mantle. We examine the consequences of a scenario in which bend-faulting between the outer rise and trench axis creates the conduits for seawater to reach and react with cold lithospheric mantle to serpentinize it. Water penetration to serpentinize the slab-lithosphere will be inhibited by thick sediments (e.g. Cascades) or thick oceanic crust (subducting oceanic plateaus), while subducting long-offset fracture zones will be especially serpentine-rich because they serpentinized at both the spreading center and subduction zone. If this process occurs, then the incoming lithosphere will typically contain ~500m of altered sediments, ~6 km of partially hydrated oceanic crust, and ~20-55km of partially serpentinized slab mantle. Possible regional geophysical consequences of this scenario are: (1) Fracture Zones preferentially become tears in subducting slabs because they are relatively serpentine rich, thus they deserpentinize more. (2) If so, then their greater deserpentinization should produce greater sub-arc water release which leads to greater arc melting above subducted fracture zones. (3) Regions of little serpentinization will be correlated with flat subduction, lower volumes of slab-water release, and relatively low rates of arc-volcanism. Our thermomechanical modelling implies, depending upon a slab's age and subduction rate, between 30-90% of the slab's chemically bound water is likely to survive sub-arc dehydration to transport its water into the deeper mantle. Possible global geochemical consequences of this scenario are: (1) At current subduction rates, 0.5-1.5 oceans of water would be recycled past the arc-melting region into the deeper mantle during the past Ga. (2) Since 0.3%, 1%, and 3% of the exosphere's Ne, Ar, and Xe are dissolved in the oceans, this implies that at

  2. 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.

  3. Mantle wedge infiltrated with saline fluids from dehydration and decarbonation of subducting slab.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawamoto, Tatsuhiko; Yoshikawa, Masako; Kumagai, Yoshitaka; Mirabueno, Ma Hannah T; Okuno, Mitsuru; Kobayashi, Tetsuo

    2013-06-11

    Slab-derived fluids play an important role in heat and material transfer in subduction zones. Dehydration and decarbonation reactions of minerals in the subducting slab have been investigated using phase equilibria and modeling of fluid flow. Nevertheless, direct observations of the fluid chemistry and pressure-temperature conditions of fluids are few. This report describes CO2-bearing saline fluid inclusions in spinel-harzburgite xenoliths collected from the 1991 Pinatubo pumice deposits. The fluid inclusions are filled with saline solutions with 5.1 ± 1.0% (wt) NaCl-equivalent magnesite crystals, CO2-bearing vapor bubbles, and a talc and/or chrysotile layer on the walls. The xenoliths contain tremolite amphibole, which is stable in temperatures lower than 830 °C at the uppermost mantle. The Pinatubo volcano is located at the volcanic front of the Luzon arc associated with subduction of warm oceanic plate. The present observation suggests hydration of forearc mantle and the uppermost mantle by slab-derived CO2-bearing saline fluids. Dehydration and decarbonation take place, and seawater-like saline fluids migrate from the subducting slab to the mantle wedge. The presence of saline fluids is important because they can dissolve more metals than pure H2O and affect the chemical evolution of the mantle wedge.

  4. A subduction zone reference frame based on slab geometry and subduction partitioning of plate motion and trench migration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W. P.

    2011-01-01

    The geometry of subducted slabs that interact with the transition zone depends critically on the partitioning of the subduction velocity (v S⊥) at the surface into its subducting plate motion component (vSP⊥) and trench migration component (vT⊥). Geodynamic models of progressive subduction

  5. Slab melting beneath the Cascades Arc driven by dehydration of altered oceanic peridotite

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 3D receiver function Kirchhoff depth migration image of Cascadia subduction slab weak zone

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  7. Subducting characteristic of the Pacific slab beneath northeast China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, G.; Zhang, G.; Xu, Y.

    2012-12-01

    The volcanoes locating in northeast China are very active. Some researchers consider that the origin of volcanoes is closely related to the subducting western Pacific plate and the upwelling asthenosphere. The thickness and the existing range of the subducted plate are not clear as far although the seismic tomography results obviously show that the Pacific plate exists below the volcano region. Therefore, in this study, we adopted the method combining the teleseismic tomography with travel time forward modeling to further study the velocity structure beneath northeast China, especially the precise model of subducted Pacific plate. Our results show that (1) the average thickness and velocity perturbation of slab is 85 km and 1%, respectively, and the slab has not been thickened compared with the previous result of the Japan Sea; (2) the Pacific plate subducted into the mantle transition zone with a shallow dip angle, and changed horizontally when it touched the bottom of mantle transition zone, and extended westward to Longitude 127°E and then stops over there; (3) the horizontal slab locates right below the volcano region. These above features help people understand the origin of intraplate volcanoes and the geodynamical process better. (a) Tomographic result along 43°N. Red and blue colors represent the high and low velocity anomalies, respectively, and the scale is shown at the right-bottom; The profile line is shown in (b); The black triangles represent the volcanoes locating near the profile; The black solid and dashed lines show the depths of upper and lower boundaries of Pacific plate, respectively. The red dots represent the deep earthquakes around the profile. (b) Location of profile AA' along 43°N. Black triangles denote volcanoes; White squares represent the stations; Blue contours denote the depth of upper boundary of Pacific plate; Black and red dots represent the deep epicenters.

  8. Experimental Study of Slab-Mantle Geochemical Exchange in Subduction Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iizuka, Y.; Nakamura, E.; Kobayashi, K.

    2001-12-01

    Aqueous fluids derived from subducting oceanic crust play an important role in the material transport leading to the production or arc lavas, and in the long-term chemical evolution of the Earth's mantle and crust. In order to determine the geochemical evolution of both the subducting slab and the overlying mantle wedge, a series of dehydration/hydration experiments was carried out at conditions of 0.8-4.0 GPa and 650-900° C appropriate for subduction zones. Blueschist facies rocks/minerals, and olivine (Fo90) were used for starting materials, as analogue materials of slab and mantle, respectively. Finely ground metabasalt (H2O = 5.9 wt%) and glaucophane (H2O = 2.3 wt%) were separately sealed in gold capsules with an olivine grain (1mm diameter), and then run in a piston-cylinder apparatus. Polished sections of run products were observed and analyzed for major element compositions with an electron micro-probe. Trace elements of selected run-products were determined using an ion probe (Cameca-5f). At subsolidus conditions, the metabasalt was transformed into amphibolite-facies mineral assemblages containing Mg-ilmenite at 1.5 GPa. Glaucophane was transformed into the mineral assemblage of Na-Cpx, Opx +/- garnet. Garnets formed in the slab portion show low-LREE/HREE and higher-HREE contents when compared with the starting materials. In all subsolidus experiments, Al-rich silicate glasses, which could be quenched aqueous fluids, were observed between mineral grain boundaries in the slab portions. The fluids at 3.0 GPa show high-LREE/HREE, and higher-LILE and lower-HREE contents. In contrast, the quenched fluids for glaucophane experiments. The behavior of the HREE and HFSE is consistent with the existence of garnet and Ti-oxides (rutile and ilmenite) in the slab portion of the experiments. The fluids should therefore be enriched in SiO2, LILE and LREE. Mineral zones were observed on olivine grains near the initial olivine-slab interface. These reaction zones

  9. Decarbonation of subducting slabs: insight from thermomechanical-petrological numerical modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Christopher M.; Gorczyk, Weronika; Gerya, Taras

    2015-04-01

    This work extends a numerical geodynamic modelling code (I2VIS) to simulate subduction of carbonated lithologies (altered basalts and carbonated sediments) into the mantle. Code modifications now consider devolatilisation of H2O-CO2 fluids, a CO2-melt solubility parameterisation for molten sediments, and allows for carbonation of mantle peridotites. The purpose is to better understand slab generated CO2 fluxes and consequent subduction of carbonates into the deep mantle via numerical simulation. Specifically, we vary two key model parameters: 1) slab convergence rate (1,2,3,4,5 cm y-1) and 2) converging oceanic slab age (20,40,60,80 Ma) based on a half-space cooling model. The aim is to elucidate the role subduction dynamics has (i.e., spontaneous sedimentary diapirism, slab roll-back, and shear heating) with respect to slab decarbonation trends not entirely captured in previous experimental and thermodynamic investigations. This is accomplished within a fully coupled petrological-thermomechanical modelling framework utilising a characteristics-based marker-in-cell technique capable of solving visco-plastic rheologies. The thermodynamic database is modified from its original state to reflect the addition of carbonate as CO2 added to the rock's overall bulk composition. Modifications to original lithological units and volatile bulk compositions are as follows: GLOSS average sediments (H2O: 7.29 wt% & CO2: 3.01 wt%), altered basalts (H2O: 2.63 wt% & CO2: 2.90 wt%), and metasomatised peridotite (H2O: 1.98 wt% & CO2: 1.5 wt%). We resolve stable mineralogy and extract rock properties via PerpleX at a resolution of 5K and 25 MPa. Devolatilisation/consumption and stability of H2O-CO2 fluid is determined by accessing the thermodynamic database. When fluid is released due to unstable conditions, it is tracked via markers that freely advect within the velocity field until consumed. 56 numerical models were completed and our results show excellent agreement in dynamics with

  10. 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.

  11. Philippine Sea and East Asian plate tectonics since 52 Ma constrained by new subducted slab reconstruction methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jonny; Suppe, John; Lu, Renqi; Kanda, Ravi

    2016-06-01

    We reconstructed Philippine Sea and East Asian plate tectonics since 52 Ma from 28 slabs mapped in 3-D from global tomography, with a subducted area of ~25% of present-day global oceanic lithosphere. Slab constraints include subducted parts of existing Pacific, Indian, and Philippine Sea oceans, plus wholly subducted proto-South China Sea and newly discovered "East Asian Sea." Mapped slabs were unfolded and restored to the Earth surface using three methodologies and input to globally consistent plate reconstructions. Important constraints include the following: (1) the Ryukyu slab is ~1000 km N-S, too short to account for ~20° Philippine Sea northward motion from paleolatitudes; (2) the Marianas-Pacific subduction zone was at its present location (±200 km) since 48 ± 10 Ma based on a >1000 km deep slab wall; (3) the 8000 × 2500 km East Asian Sea existed between the Pacific and Indian Oceans at 52 Ma based on lower mantle flat slabs; (4) the Caroline back-arc basin moved with the Pacific, based on the overlapping, coeval Caroline hot spot track. These new constraints allow two classes of Philippine Sea plate models, which we compared to paleomagnetic and geologic data. Our preferred model involves Philippine Sea nucleation above the Manus plume (0°/150°E) near the Pacific-East Asian Sea plate boundary. Large Philippine Sea westward motion and post-40 Ma maximum 80° clockwise rotation accompanied late Eocene-Oligocene collision with the Caroline/Pacific plate. The Philippine Sea moved northward post-25 Ma over the northern East Asian Sea, forming a northern Philippine Sea arc that collided with the SW Japan-Ryukyu margin in the Miocene (~20-14 Ma).

  12. Trench dynamics: Effects of dynamically migrating trench on subducting slab morphology and characteristics of subduction zones systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Masaki

    2017-07-01

    Understanding the mechanisms of trench migration (retreat or advance) is crucial to characterizing the driving forces of Earth's tectonics plates, the origins of subducting slab morphologies in the deep mantle, and identifying the characteristics of subduction zones systems, which are among the fundamental issues of solid Earth science. A series of numerical simulations of mantle convection, focusing on plate subduction in a three-dimensional (3-D) regional spherical shell coordinate system, was performed to examine subduction zone characteristics, including geodynamic relationships among trench migration, back-arc stress, and slab morphology. The results show that a subducting slab tends to deflect around the base of the mantle transition zone and form a sub-horizontal slab because its front edge (its 'toe') is subject to resistance from the highly viscous lower mantle. As the sub-horizontal slab starts to penetrate into the lower mantle from its 'heel,' the toe of the slab is drawn into the lower mantle. The results for models with dynamically migrating trenches suggest that trench retreat is the dynamically self-consistent phenomenon in trench migration. The reason for this is that the strong lateral mantle flow that is generated as a sequence of events leading from corner flow at the subduction initiation to return flow of the formation of a sub-horizontal slab in the shallower part of mantle wedge produces the retreat of the subducting slab. In fact, a 'mantle suction force,' which is generated in the mantle wedge to fill space left by the retreating subducting plate, is enhanced by the subsequent trench retreat. Even when upwelling flow with significant positive buoyancy originates just above a mantle phase boundary at a depth of 410 km (as inferred from independent seismic tomographic, geodynamic, geochemical, and mineral physics), reaches the base of the overriding plate, and the overriding plate is slightly thinned, lithospheric stress tends to be

  13. 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

  14. Origin and consequences of western Mediterranean subduction, rollback, and slab segmentation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Hinsbergen, D.J.J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/269263624; Vissers, R.L.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/068789203; Spakman, W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/074103164

    2014-01-01

    The western Mediterranean recorded subduction rollback, slab segmentation and separation. Here we address the questions of what caused Oligocene rollback initiation, and how its subsequent evolution split up an originally coherent fore arc into circum-southwest Mediterranean segments. We

  15. Tomography of the subducting Pacific slab and the 2015 Bonin deepest earthquake (Mw 7.9).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Dapeng; Fujisawa, Moeto; Toyokuni, Genti

    2017-03-15

    On 30 May 2015 an isolated deep earthquake (~670 km, Mw 7.9) occurred to the west of the Bonin Islands. To clarify its causal mechanism and its relationship to the subducting Pacific slab, we determined a detailed P-wave tomography of the deep earthquake source zone using a large number of arrival-time data. Our results show that this large deep event occurred within the subducting Pacific slab which is penetrating into the lower mantle. In the Izu-Bonin region, the Pacific slab is split at ~28° north latitude, i.e., slightly north of the 2015 deep event hypocenter. In the north the slab becomes stagnant in the mantle transition zone, whereas in the south the slab is directly penetrating into the lower mantle. This deep earthquake was caused by joint effects of several factors, including the Pacific slab's fast deep subduction, slab tearing, slab thermal variation, stress changes and phase transformations in the slab, and complex interactions between the slab and the ambient mantle.

  16. Characterizing Seismic Anisotropy across the Peruvian Flat-Slab Subduction Zone: Implications for the Dynamics of Flat-Slabs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eakin, Caroline; Long, Maureen; Beck, Susan; Wagner, Lara; Tavera, Hernando

    2014-05-01

    Although 10% of subduction zones worldwide today exhibit shallow or flat subduction, we are yet to fully understand how and why these slabs go flat. An excellent study location for such a problem is in Peru, where the largest region of flat-subduction currently exists, extending ~1500 km in length (from 3 °S to 15 °S) and ~300 km in width. Across this region we investigate the pattern of seismic anisotropy, an indicator for past and/or ongoing deformation in the upper mantle. To achieve this we conduct shear wave splitting analyzes at 40 broadband stations from the PULSE project (PerU Lithosphere and Slab Experiment). These stations were deployed for 2+ years across the southern half of the Peruvian flat-slab region. We present detailed shear wave splitting results for both teleseismic events (such as SKS, SKKS, PKS, sSKS) that sample the upper mantle column beneath the stations as well as direct S from local events that constrain anisotropy in the upper portion of the subduction zone. We analyze the variability of our results with respect to initial polarizations, ray paths, and frequency content as well as spatial variability between stations as the underlying slab morphology changes. Teleseismic results show predominately NW-SE fast polarizations (trench oblique to sub-parallel) over the flat-slab region east of Lima. These results are consistent with observations of more complex multi-layered anisotropy beneath a nearby permanent station (NNA) that suggests a trench-perpendicular fast direction in the lowest layer in the sub-slab mantle. Further south, towards the transition to steeper subduction, the splitting pattern becomes increasingly dominated by null measurements. Over to the east however, beyond Cuzco, where the mantle wedge might begin to play a role, we record fast polarizations quasi-parallel to the local slab contours. Local S results indicate the presence of weak (delay times typically less than 0.5 seconds) and heterogeneous supra-slab

  17. Three-Dimensional Thermal Structure of the Middle-America Subduction Zone: Along-margin mantle flow and slab metamorphism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosas, J. C.; Currie, C. A.; He, J.

    2013-12-01

    Temperature is the primary control parameter of several processes occurring at subduction zones, such as slab metamorphism and dehydration, arc volcanism and the rupture width of megathrust earthquakes. The thermal state depends on the temperature of the oceanic slab and the flow pattern of the overlying mantle wedge. In most previous studies, mantle flow was modeled as two-dimensional (2D) corner flow, driven by the subducting plate. However, recent studies have shown the limitations of the 2D corner flow scheme, as a three-dimensional (3D) oceanic plate structure can generate along-strike pressure gradients, producing a trench-parallel flow component. One region where 3D effects may be important is the Middle America Subduction Zone (MASZ). Here, the dip of the oceanic plate varies from 0 to 70 degrees along the margin, with abrupt changes in slab dip in Central Mexico and Costa Rica-Nicaragua. Seismic anisotropy and arc magma geochemistry variations suggest a significant along-margin component of flow in these areas. Further, offshore surface heat flow measurements show that there may be along-margin variations in the temperature of the subducting oceanic plate, due to variations in plate age and hydrothermal circulation. In this study, we quantify the changes in the thermal structure of a subduction zone that result from along-margin variations in oceanic plate structure. We use 3D numerical models that consist of kinematically-defined subducting and overriding plates, and a flowing mantle wedge driven by drag exerted by the subducting plate. The finite-element code PGCtherm-3D is used to solve the steady-state governing equations for mantle wedge flow and the 3D thermal structure of the subduction zone. The models employ an oceanic plate that smoothly dips into the mantle and has along-margin variations in the deep dip of 40 and 70 degrees over a distance of 50km to 300km, as observed in some regions of the MASZ. Using an isoviscous mantle wedge, our

  18. Origin and consequences of western Mediterranean subduction, rollback, and slab segmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.; Vissers, Reinoud L. M.; Spakman, Wim

    2014-04-01

    The western Mediterranean recorded subduction rollback, slab segmentation and separation. Here we address the questions of what caused Oligocene rollback initiation, and how its subsequent evolution split up an originally coherent fore arc into circum-southwest Mediterranean segments. We kinematically reconstruct western Mediterranean geology from subduction initiation to present, using Atlantic plate reconstructions as boundary condition. We test possible reconstructions against remnants of subducted lithosphere imaged by seismic tomography. Transform motion between Africa and Iberia (including the Baleares) between 120 and 85 Ma was followed by up to 150 km convergence until 30 Ma. Subduction likely initiated along the transform fault that accommodated pre-85 Ma translation. By the 30 Ma inception of rollback, up to 150 km of convergence had formed a small slab below the Baleares. Iberia was disconnected from Sardinia/Calabria through the North Balearic Transform Zone (NBTZ). Subduction below Sardinia/Calabria was slightly faster than below the Baleares, the difference being accommodated in the Pyrenees. A moving triple junction at the trench-NBTZ intersection formed a subduction transform edge propagator fault between the Baleares and Calabria slab segments. Calabria rolled back eastward, whereas the Baleares slab underwent radial (SW-S-SE) rollback. After Kabylides-Africa collision, the western slab segment retreated toward Gibraltar, here reconstructed as the maximum rollback end-member model, and a Kabylides slab detached from Africa. Opening of a slab window below the NBTZ allowed asthenospheric rise to the base of the fore arc creating high-temperature metamorphism. Western Mediterranean rollback commenced only after sufficient slab-pull was created from 100 to 150 km of slow, forced subduction before 30 Ma.

  19. Melting carbonated epidote eclogites: carbonatites from subducting slabs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poli, Stefano

    2016-12-01

    Current knowledge on the solidus temperature for carbonated eclogites suggests that carbonatitic liquids should not form from a subducted oceanic lithosphere at sub-arc depth. However, the oceanic crust includes a range of gabbroic rocks, altered on rifts and transforms, with large amounts of anorthite-rich plagioclase forming epidote on metamorphism. Epidote disappearance with pressure depends on the normative anorthite content of the bulk composition; we therefore expect that altered gabbros might display a much wider pressure range where epidote persists, potentially affecting the solidus relationships. A set of experimental data up to 4.6 GPa, and 1000 °C, including new syntheses on mafic eclogites with 36.8 % normative anorthite, is discussed to unravel the effect of variable bulk and volatile compositions in model eclogites, enriched in the normative anorthite component ( An 37 and An 45). Experiments are performed in piston cylinder and multianvil machines. Garnet, clinopyroxene, and coesite form in all syntheses. Lawsonite was found to persist at 3.7 GPa, 750 °C, with both dolomite and magnesite; at 3.8 GPa, 775-800 °C, fluid-saturated conditions, epidote coexists with kyanite, dolomite, and magnesite. The anhydrous assemblage garnet, omphacite, aragonite, and kyanite is found at 4.2 GPa, 850 °C. At 900 °C, a silicate glass of granitoid composition, a carbonatitic precipitate, and Na-carbonate are observed. Precipitates are interpreted as evidence of hydrous carbonatitic liquids at run conditions; these liquids produced are richer in Ca compared to experimental carbonatites from anhydrous experiments, consistently with the dramatic role of H2O in depressing the solidus temperature for CaCO3. The fluid-absent melting of the assemblage epidote + dolomite, enlarged in its pressure stability for An-rich gabbros, is expected to promote the generation of carbonatitic liquids. The subsolidus breakdown of epidote in the presence of carbonates at depths

  20. Thermal effects of variable material properties and metamorphic reactions in a three-component subducting slab

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chemia, Zurab; Dolejš, David; Steinle-Neumann, Gerd

    2015-01-01

    We explore the effects of variable material properties, phase transformations, and metamorphic devolatilization reactions on the thermal structure of a subducting slab using thermodynamic phase equilibrium calculations combined with a thermal evolution model. The subducting slab is divided...... within the slab is limited. Two extreme scenarios are considered for a newly forming fluid phase: complete retention in the rock pore space or instantaneous fluid escape due to porosity collapse. Internal heat generation or consumption due to variable heat capacity, compressional work, and energetics...... of progressive metamorphic and devolatilization reactions contribute to the thermal evolution of the slab in addition to the dominating heat flux from the surrounding mantle. They can be considered as a perturbation on the temperature profile obtained in dynamic or kinematic subduction models. Our calculations...

  1. Phase equilibria in subducting basaltic crust: implications for H 2O release from the slab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forneris, Juliette F.; Holloway, John R.

    2003-09-01

    Fluids released from subducting slabs induce partial melting of the mantle wedge above the slab, which in turn is responsible for arc volcanism at the Earth's surface. The partially hydrated basaltic layer of the slab is a potential source of these fluids and a major reservoir for H 2O at depth. Constraining the stability domains of hydrous phases and the position of the dehydration reactions in this system in pressure-temperature ( P- T) space is essential to describe and quantify the fluid release from subducting oceanic crust into the overlying mantle wedge. Experiments were conducted in the ranges of 2.2-3.4 GPa and 625-750°C to determine phase equilibria in an H 2O-saturated natural basalt at conditions relevant to subduction zones. The experimental duration was typically 1 month, although some experiments were replicated with a shorter run duration (1-2 weeks) in order to identify potentially metastable phases. A mixture of a natural mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) glass and mineral seeds was used as the starting material. Oxygen fugacity was buffered within ±1.3 log units of nickel-bunsenite (NiNiO). The results obtained show that a calcic amphibole (barroisite) is stable from 2.2 to about 2.4 GPa. At 2.6 GPa, it is replaced by a sodic amphibole (near end-member glaucophane), which is stable up to 3 GPa at 625°C. This high-pressure assemblage constitutes a true analog of a natural amphibole-bearing eclogite and the first synthesis of glaucophane from a rock of basaltic composition. As opposed to the results of previous studies on basaltic compositions [A.R. Pawley, J.R. Holloway, Science 260 (1993) 664-667; S. Poli, Am. J. Sci. 293 (1993) 1061-1107; S. Poli, M.W. Schmidt, J. Geophys. Res. 100 (1995) 22299-22314; M.W. Schmidt, S. Poli, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 163 (1998) 361-379], chloritoid is present only as a metastable phase in the pressure-temperature range investigated here. Metastability of chloritoid in earlier experiments, due to short run duration

  2. Imaging the Ionian Sea subducting slab panels and faults to control present day motion in the Hellenic-Aegean region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sachpazi, Maria

    2017-04-01

    The Hellenic-Mediterranean subduction system characterized by its fast overriding upper plate, fast trench retreat and its most rapidly extending Corinth Rift has been the target of several conceptual models on slab dynamics and lithosphere extension. Using teleseismic waves conversions on a dense 2-D seismic array -installed in the frame of Thales Was Right project- from Crete to the North Aegean coast through central Greece, a high-resolution imaging of the Hellenic slab and the overlying Aegean plate lithospheric mantle has been acquired. The subducting slab top appears segmented into panels 30- 50km wide by SW-NE along dip faults to at least 100km depth. Intermediate-depth Mw>6 earthquakes are located on those faults which implies that they are seismically active at 70 km depth. Smaller magnitude earthquakes of the upper Benioff zone commonly related to dehydration processes of the descending slab, are also resolved to be clustered along these faults. These faults are likely inherited structures of the oceanic lithosphere and sites of preferred hydration. Their revealed relation with this specific seismicity provides high-resolution insight validating dehydration embrittlement. RF imaging on 4 OBS sites has allowed to resolve the depth and geometry of the updip offshore part of the slab, the thrust interplate boundary. The observations support a trenchward continuation of the slab faults and correlation with the similarly segmented thrusting contact of the Mediterranean Ridge accretionary wedge over the upper plate. The slab faults may control the location and size of major historical megathrust earthquakes a hypothesis that has been strengthened by the study of the Mw 6.8 14.02.2008 earthquake, the first large instrumental interplate earthquake offshore SW Peloponnesus. New high-resolution imaging resolves the Aegean plate lithospheric mantle and shows the presence of a significant heterogeneity on top of the presently subducting slab, never imaged before. It

  3. Metastability of Subducted Slabs in the Mantle Transition Zone: A Collaborative Geodynamic, Petrologic, and Seismological Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  4. Imaging subducted high velocity slabs beneath the sea of Okhotsk using depth phases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, K.; Li, D.; Helmberger, D. V.; Sun, D.; Wei, S.

    2014-12-01

    A recent study of a shallow Kuril subduction zone event displays significant waveform multi-pathing for paths propagating down the slab towards Europe(Zhan,Zhongwen 2014). Relatively fast structures (5%) are invoked to simulate such observations requiring numerical methods to capture such proportional distortions. Here, we present results from the reverse direction that is the effects on depth phases of deep events propagating up the slab. In particular the Mw6.7 Sea of Okhotsk deep earthquake occurred at a depth of 640 km is believed to be near the bottom of the slab structure and produced an abundance of depth phases. Differential travel time sP-P analysis shows a systematic decrease of up to 5 seconds from Europe to Australia and then to Pacific which is indicative of a dipping high velocity layer above the source region. Multiple simulations using WKM(An upgraded variation of the traditional WKBJ method) and finite difference methods were conducted in an effort to assess the effects of sharp structure on the whole wave-field. Results obtained from analytical methods, by the WKM code become questionable compared against the finite difference method due to its inability to handle the diffraction phases which become crucial in complex structures. In this example, seismicity clustered within a 45 degree dipping benioff zone at shallow depth but became blurred beyond 400 km. Finite difference simulations showed that a slab shapped structure that follows the benioff zone at shallow depth and steepens beyond 400 km produces a model that can account for the sP-P differential travel times of our 5s for oceanic paths.

  5. Age of the subducting Pacific slab beneath East Asia and its geodynamic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xin; Zhao, Dapeng; Li, Sanzhong; Wei, Wei

    2017-04-01

    We study the age of the subducting Pacific slab beneath East Asia using a high-resolution model of P-wave tomography and paleo-age data of ancient seafloor. Our results show that the lithosphere age of the subducting slab becomes younger from the Japan Trench (∼130 Ma) to the slab's western edge (∼90 Ma) beneath East China, and the flat (stagnant) slab in the mantle transition zone (MTZ) is the subducted Pacific plate rather than the proposed Izanagi plate which should have already collapsed into the lower mantle. The flat Pacific slab has been in the MTZ for no more than ∼10-20 million years, considerably less than the age of the big mantle wedge beneath East Asia (>110 million years). Hence, the present flat Pacific slab in the MTZ has contributed to the Cenozoic destruction of the East Asian continental lithosphere with extensive intraplate volcanism and back-arc spreading, whereas the destruction of the North China Craton during the Early Cretaceous (∼140-110 Ma) was caused by the subduction of the Izanagi (or the Paleo-Pacific) plate.

  6. Thermal State, Slab Metamorphism, and Interface Seismicity in the Cascadia Subduction Zone Based On 3-D Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Yingfeng; Yoshioka, Shoichi; Banay, Yuval A.

    2017-09-01

    Giant earthquakes have repeatedly ruptured the Cascadia subduction zone, and similar earthquakes will likely also occur there in the near future. We employ a 3-D time-dependent thermomechanical model that incorporates an up-to-date description of the slab geometry to study the Cascadia subduction thrust. Results show a distinct band of 3-D slab dehydration that extends from Vancouver Island to the Seattle Basin and farther southward to the Klamath Mountains in northern California, where episodic tremors cluster. This distribution appears to include a region of increased dehydration in northern Cascadia. The phenomenon of heterogeneous megathrust seismicity associated with oblique subduction suggests that the presence of fluid-rich interfaces generated by slab dehydration favors megathrust seismogenesis in the northern part of this zone. The thin, relatively weakly metamorphosed Explorer, Juan de Fuca, and Gorda Plates are associated with an anomalous lack of thrust earthquakes, and metamorphism that occurs at temperatures of 500-700°C near the Moho discontinuity may represent a key factor in explaining the presence of the associated episodic tremor and slip (ETS), which requires a young oceanic plate to subduct at a small dip angle, as is the case in Cascadia and southwestern Japan. The 3-D intraslab dehydration distribution suggests that the metamorphosed plate environment is more complex than had previously been believed, despite the existence of channeling vein networks. Slab amphibolization and eclogitization near the continental Moho depth is thus inferred to account for the resultant overpressurization at the interface, facilitating the generation of ETS and the occurrence of small to medium thrust earthquakes beneath Cascadia.

  7. The zone of influence of the subducting slab in the asthenospheric mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDougall, Julia G.; Jadamec, Margarete A.; Fischer, Karen M.

    2017-08-01

    Due to the multidisciplinary nature of combined geodynamics and shear wave splitting studies, there is still much to be understood in terms of isolating the contributions from mantle dynamics to the shear wave splitting signal, even in a two-dimensional (2-D) mantle flow framework. This paper investigates the viscous flow, lattice preferred orientation (LPO) development, and predicted shear wave splitting for a suite of buoyancy-driven subduction models using a non-linear rheology to shed light on the nature of the slab-driven asthenospheric flow and plate-mantle coupling. The slab-driven zone of influence in the mantle, LPO fabric, and resulting synthetic splitting are sensitive to slab strength and slab initial slab dip. The non-linear viscosity formulations leads to dynamic reductions in asthenospheric viscosity extending over 600 km into the mantle wedge and over 300 km behind the trench, with peak flow velocities occurring in models with a weaker slab and moderate slab dip. The olivine LPO fabric in the asthenosphere generally increases in alignment strength with increased proximity to the slab but can be transient and spatially variable on small length scales. The results suggest that LPO formed during initial subduction may persist into the steady state subduction regime. Vertical flow fields in the asthenosphere can produce shear wave splitting variations with back azimuth that deviate from the predictions of uniform trench-normal anisotropy, a result that bears on the interpretation of complexity in shear wave splitting observed in real subduction zones. Furthermore, the models demonstrate the corner flow paradigm should not be equated with a 2-D subduction framework.

  8. Characterizing Seismic Anisotropy across the Peruvian Flat-Slab Subduction Zone: Shear Wave Splitting from PULSE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eakin, C. M.; Long, M. D.; Beck, S. L.; Wagner, L. S.; Tavera, H.

    2013-12-01

    Although 10% of subduction zones worldwide today exhibit shallow or flat subduction, we are yet to fully understand how and why these slabs go flat. An excellent study location for such a problem is in Peru, where the largest region of flat-subduction currently exists, extending ~1500 km in length (from 3 °S to 15 °S) and ~300 km in width. Across this region we investigate the pattern of seismic anisotropy, an indicator for past and/or ongoing deformation in the upper mantle. To achieve this we conduct shear wave splitting analyzes at 40 broadband stations from the PULSE project (PerU Lithosphere and Slab Experiment). These stations were deployed for 2+ years across the southern half of the Peruvian flat-slab region. We present detailed shear wave splitting results for deep and teleseismic events, making use of a wide variety of available phases that sample the upper mantle directly beneath the stations (such as SKS, SKKS, PKS, sSKS, SKiKS, ScS and local/direct S). We analyze the variability of our results with respect to initial polarizations and ray paths, as well as spatial variability between stations as the underlying slab morphology changes. Preliminary results show predominately NW-SE fast polarizations (trench oblique to sub-parallel) over the flat-slab region east of Lima. These results are consistent with observations of more complex multi-layered anisotropy beneath a nearby permanent station (NNA). Further south, towards the transition to steeper subduction, the splitting pattern becomes increasingly dominated by null measurements. Over to the east however, beyond Cuzco, where the mantle wedge might begin to play a role, we record fast polarizations quasi-parallel to the local slab contours. We carefully evaluate the different possible source locations within the subduction zone for this seismic anisotropy and observe increasing evidence for distinct anisotropy within the slab as well as the sub-slab mantle.

  9. Diffusion creep of fine-grained garnetite: Implications for the flow strength of subducting slabs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zichao; Ji, Shaocheng

    2000-08-01

    Creep experiments were performed on synthetic fine-grained garnetite to investigate the flow strength of the Earth's subducting slabs. Experiments were conducted at temperatures (T) of 1373-1543 K and total pressure (P) of 0.1 MPa in controlled atmospheres of fO2 =10-17-10-8 MPa. The mechanical data indicate a grain-size sensitive diffusion flow and the creep behavior can be described by an equation of the form: FD1 ɛ.=(5.32±3.10)×10-6Td2.5±0.3fO20σ1.1±0.2exp(-347±46kJ/molRT) where T in Kelvin, d in meter, σ and fO2 in MPa. Based on the diffusivities (D) calculated from creep and diffusion experiments, we proposed that grain boundary diffusion is the dominant mechanism for high temperature creep of the fine-grained garnetite. Normalized creep strength of the garnetite is found to be comparable to those of feldspar and olivine in diffusion creep regime, suggesting that garnetite may not form a strong layer in the subducted oceanic lithosphere if it deforms by grain boundary diffusion creep.

  10. Subduction and Slab Advance at Orogen Syntaxes: Predicting Exhumation Rates and Thermochronometric Ages with Numerical Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nettesheim, Matthias; Ehlers, Todd A.; Whipp, David M.

    2017-04-01

    The change in plate boundary orientation and subducting plate geometry along orogen syntaxes may have major control on the subduction and exhumation dynamics at these locations. Previous work documents that the curvature of subducting plates in 3D at orogen syntaxes forces a buckling and flexural stiffening of the downgoing plate. The geometry of this stiffened plate region, also called indenter, can be observed in various subduction zones around the world (e.g. St. Elias Range, Alaska; Cascadia, USA; Andean syntaxis, South America). The development of a subducting, flexurally stiffened indenter beneath orogen syntaxes influences deformation in the overriding plate and can lead to accelerated and focused rock uplift above its apex. Moreover, the style of deformation in the overriding plate is influenced by the amount of trench or slab advance, which is the amount of overall shortening not accommodated by underthrusting. While many subduction zones exhibit little to no slab advance, the Nazca-South America subduction and especially the early stages of the India-Eurasia collision provide end-member examples. Here, we use a transient, lithospheric-scale, thermomechanical 3D model of an orogen syntaxis to investigate the effects of subducting a flexurally stiffened plate geometry and slab advance on upper plate deformation. A visco-plastic upper-plate rheology is used, along with a buckled, rigid subducting plate. The free surface of the thermomechanical model is coupled to a landscape evolution model that accounts for erosion by fluvial and hillslope processes. The cooling histories of exhumed rocks are used to predict the evolution of low-temperature thermochronometer ages on the surface. With a constant overall shortening for all simulations, the magnitude of slab advance is varied stepwise from no advance, with all shortening accommodated by underthrusting, to full slab advance, i.e. no motion on the megathrust. We show that in models where most shortening is

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fumiko Tajima

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Slab1.0: A three-dimensional model of global subduction zone geometries

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

    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 seismic data to quantify the amount of pore and structurally bound water in the Juan de Fuca plate entering the Cascadia subduction zone. Specifically, we analyse these water reservoirs in the sediments, crust and lithospheric mantle, and their variations along the central Cascadia margin. We find that the Juan de Fuca lower crust and mantle are drier than at any other subducting plate, with most of the water stored in the sediments and upper crust. Variable but limited bend faulting along the margin 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. 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, and that decompression rather than hydrous melting must dominate arc magmatism in central Cascadia. Additionally, dry subducted lower crust and mantle can explain the low levels of intermediate-depth seismicity in the Juan de Fuca slab.

  14. Middle Miocene near trench volcanism in northern Colombia: A record of slab tearing due to the simultaneous subduction of the Caribbean Plate under South and Central America?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, M.; Cardona, A.; Monsalve, G.; Yarce, J.; Montes, C.; Valencia, V.; Weber, M.; De La Parra, F.; Espitia, D.; López-Martínez, M.

    2013-08-01

    Field, geochemical, geochronological, biostratigraphical and sedimentary provenance results of basaltic and associated sediments northern Colombia reveal the existence of Middle Miocene (13-14 Ma) mafic volcanism within a continental margin setting usually considered as amagmatic. This basaltic volcanism is characterized by relatively high Al2O3 and Na2O values (>15%), a High-K calc-alkaline affinity, large ion lithophile enrichment and associated Nb, Ta and Ti negative anomalies which resemble High Al basalts formed by low degree of asthenospheric melting at shallow depths mixed with some additional slab input. The presence of pre-Cretaceous detrital zircons, tourmaline and rutile as well as biostratigraphic results suggest that the host sedimentary rocks were deposited in a platform setting within the South American margin. New results of P-wave residuals from northern Colombia reinforce the view of a Caribbean slab subducting under the South American margin. The absence of a mantle wedge, the upper plate setting, and proximity of this magmatism to the trench, together with geodynamic constraints suggest that the subducted Caribbean oceanic plate was fractured and a slab tear was formed within the oceanic plate. Oceanic plate fracturing is related to the splitting of the subducting Caribbean Plate due to simultaneous subduction under the Panama-Choco block and northwestern South America, and the fast overthrusting of the later onto the Caribbean oceanic plate.

  15. Dehydration reactions in subducting oceanic crust: implications for arc volcanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forneris, J. F.; Holloway, J. R.

    2003-04-01

    In subduction zones, oceanic lithosphere progressively dehydrates as it sinks deep into the underlying mantle. Fluids released from the subducting slab are thought to trigger partial melting in the overlying mantle wedge, leading to the formation of volcanic arcs. Experiments were conducted in the ranges of 2.2--3.4 GPa (70 to 100 km) and 625--750^oC to determine the dehydration reactions that control fluid release from the basaltic layer of the subducting slab. The experimental duration was typically one month, although some experiments were replicated with a shorter run duration (one to two weeks) in order to identify potentially metastable phases. A mixture of a natural mid-ocean ridge basalt glass and mineral seeds was used as the starting material. Oxygen fugacity was buffered within ±1.3 log units of nickel-bunsenite (NiNiO). The results obtained indicate that the transformation of a hydrated eclogite into a nominally dry eclogite occurs through the decomposition of three hydrous phases: amphibole, lawsonite, and zoisite. Chloritoid, a mineral described as an H_2O carrier in previous experimental studies, is found to be metastable in the examined pressure-temperature (P-T) range and therefore should not be involved in the global fluid release from the basaltic crust. A detailed chemical analysis reveals that amphiboles are sodic-calcic (barroisite) at low pressures (2.2 to 2.4 GPa), but become sodic (glaucophane) with increasing pressure. This observation is the first experimental confirmation of the high-pressure stability of glaucophane in metabasalt compositions. At pressures above the stability field of amphibole, zoisite/clinozoisite becomes the stable hydrous phase at temperatures above 645^oC, whereas lawsonite is stable at lower temperatures. H_2O contents of eclogitic assemblages have been estimated based on modal abundance of minerals calculated from electron microprobe analyses. These results indicate that a slab following an intermediate

  16. Slab detachment in laterally varying subduction zones: 3-D numerical modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duretz, T.; Gerya, T.V.; Spakman, W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/074103164

    Understanding the three-dimensional (3-D) dynamics of subduction-collision systems is a longstanding challenge in geodynamics. We investigate the impact of slab detachment in collision systems that are subjected to along-trench variations. High-resolution thermomechanical numerical models,

  17. Surface deformation resulting from subduction and slab detachment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buiter, S.J.H.

    2000-01-01

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

  18. Subduction-stage P-T path of eclogite from the Sambagawa belt: Prophetic record for oceanic-ridge subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoya, M.; Uehara, S.; Wallis, S. R.; Enami, M.

    2003-12-01

    , but in a curve with dP/dT increasing with metamorphic pressure. In previous thermal models curved P-T paths of the same kind were predicted for subduction of a very young slab (<5 Ma) suggesting that the curved P-T paths will be formed just before oceanic-ridge subduction. A new model incorporating progressive approach of an oceanic ridge to a subduction zone shows that the series of the Sambagawa subduction P-T paths well fit the results for a setting where a ridge is close to being subducted at a slow rate relative to the subduction rate. The subduction P-T paths from the Sambagawa belt can, therefore, be regarded as a prophetic record of the subsequent ridge subduction. This suggests that exhumation of high-P/T metamorphic rocks in oceanic subduction zones may be associated with the slow approach and subsequent subduction of oceanic ridges.

  19. Extending the global coverage of Slab1.0 3D subduction zone models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seidman, L.; Hayes, G. P.

    2013-12-01

    Slab1.0 is a three-dimensional model of subduction zone geometries that covers approximately 85% of global slabs by area. It is built from an automated interpolation of a combined dataset made up from subduction-related earthquakes, moment tensors, interpretations of active source seismic data, and models of bathymetry and sediment thickness. Those subduction zones that are missing from the model are difficult to characterize with this automated approach because of sparse teleseismically located, interplate seismicity (e.g., Cascadia, Hikurangi), complex geometry (e.g., Halmahera, southern Philippine Sea), or some combination of these issues (e.g., Caribbean). Here we attempt to solve this problem with a straightforward modification of the Slab1.0 approach. Instead of constructing a series of automated spline fits to our geophysical data in two-dimensional cross sections, we produce hand-contoured two-dimensional fits; under the assumption that where seismicity is sparse or geometry complex, a human guided by tectonic knowledge can produce a better fit to geometry than can a computer algorithm. These manual 2D sections are then interpolated into a 3D surface in the same way automated 2D fits are processed for Slab1.0. Following this approach, we produce models for slabs in the Caribbean, the Makran, the Manila Trench, the Halmahera Plate, and the Hellenic Arc. We also address regions of current models (e.g., Peru) that were poorly characterized by the original automated approach. These new models thus provide valuable information on subduction zone structure from the trench and into the mantle in regions previously missing from Slab1.0, and help to make existing models more accurate, and thus more useful, than was previously possible. In turn, the models can be used to better characterize associated seismic hazards.

  20. Intra-oceanic subduction shaped the assembly of Cordilleran North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigloch, Karin; Mihalynuk, Mitchell G

    2013-04-04

    The western quarter of North America consists of accreted terranes--crustal blocks added over the past 200 million years--but the reason for this is unclear. The widely accepted explanation posits that the oceanic Farallon plate acted as a conveyor belt, sweeping terranes into the continental margin while subducting under it. Here we show that this hypothesis, which fails to explain many terrane complexities, is also inconsistent with new tomographic images of lower-mantle slabs, and with their locations relative to plate reconstructions. We offer a reinterpretation of North American palaeogeography and test it quantitatively: collision events are clearly recorded by slab geometry, and can be time calibrated and reconciled with plate reconstructions and surface geology. The seas west of Cretaceous North America must have resembled today's western Pacific, strung with island arcs. All proto-Pacific plates initially subducted into almost stationary, intra-oceanic trenches, and accumulated below as massive vertical slab walls. Above the slabs, long-lived volcanic archipelagos and subduction complexes grew. Crustal accretion occurred when North America overrode the archipelagos, causing major episodes of Cordilleran mountain building.

  1. Experimental Determination of Chloritoid Stability in Subducting Oceanic Crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forneris, J.; Holloway, J. R.

    2001-12-01

    Dehydration of subducting oceanic lithosphere is the key process for understanding arc magma generation and transport of H2O into the mantle. To establish when and how H2O may be released from the slab into the overlying mantle it is necessary to determine the stability of hydrous phases in the subducting lithosphere. In the past 10 years, experimental investigations of phase relationships in basaltic compositions representing the crustal component of the slab have led to controversial results. Results obtained by Schmidt and Poli (1998) and Pawley and Holloway (1993) on basaltic compositions under H2O saturated conditions showed the potential importance of hydrous phases other than amphibole (such as chloritoid, epidote and lawsonite) in the dehydration process. However, these results are in disagreement with the experiments of Liu et al. (1996), which showed that no hydrous phases are stable beyond the amphibole breakdown reaction at or above 650° C. In our study, piston-cylinder experiments were conducted between 2.2 GPa and 2.8 GPa at 650° C. The starting material consisted of a natural basaltic glass with blueschist/eclogite seeds and H2O. Samples were pressure-sealed in a thick-walled silver capsule with a gold lining designed to prevent hydrogen diffusion in long-duration experiments. The oxygen fugacity was fixed at or near Ni+NiO. These experiments have been focused on determining the stability field of chloritoid by running long-duration experiments (up to 1 month). Our results are in agreement with results by Liu et al. (1996): Chloritoid appears in short-duration runs (144 hours or less at 2.6 GPa and 650° C) but is not present in longer-duration experiments (696 hours or more under the same conditions). The amphiboles obtained in our run products have a glaucophane composition and seem to be stable up to higher pressures (at least 2.6 GPa) than the more calcic amphiboles obtained by the three other groups. Epidote/zoisite is present up to at least

  2. Variations of Converted Ps Phase Amplitude Along the Subducting Philippine Sea Slab Beneath Shikoku, Southwest Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiomi, K.

    2016-12-01

    The Nankai region southwest Japan is one of the famous regions where low-frequency tremors (LFTs) are very active. Since the LFTs are distributed along the down-dip limit of the recurrent megathrust source regions, the LFT activities might be strongly related to stress changes in the source regions along the Philippine Sea slab. To understand the mechanisms of LFTs, knowledge about the structural difference inside and outside of the LFT active zone is important. In this study, we investigate variation of converted P-to-S (Ps) phase amplitude from receiver functions (RFs) along the subducting oceanic Moho. Teleseismograms recorded at the NIED Hi-net and F-net seismic stations are used. Since converted phase amplitude depends on its ray parameter, we select limited earthquakes with ray parameter range from 0.050 to 0.077, and apply amplitude correction coefficients. We read Ps amplitudes of RFs with reference to the previous studies [e.g. Shiomi et al. (2008; 2015)]. Since the selected events are not uniformly distributed in back azimuth (BAZ), we calculate an average and its standard deviation for each 5-degree bin. Then, we fit a simple function constructed with sin(BAZ), sin(2*BAZ) and bias component with the least square fitting algorithm. The bias components, named `standard amplitude' by Shiomi and Park (2009), gradually decay as the oceanic Moho becomes deep. This feature reflects a phase transition from amphibolite to eclogite with water release in the oceanic crust. At almost all stations, sin(BAZ) component is dominate. This component corresponds to the contribution from the dipping interface mainly, and the estimated plunge azimuth (N305±10°E) is consistent with the previous models. On the other hand, only one station, located at the northern edge of the active LFT zone, shows clear 4-lobed backazimuthal distribution. The oceanic Moho is detected at 45km depth beneath this station, and temperature is estimated 600 700°C. This temperature and pressure

  3. Dynamics of intraoceanic subduction initiation: 2D thermomechanical modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Pathway from subducting slab to surface for melt and fluids beneath Mount Rainier.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-17

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

  6. Oceanic-style Subduction Controls Late Cenozoic Deformation of the Northern Pamir and Alai

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobel, E. R.; Chen, J.; Schoenbohm, L. M.; Thiede, R. C.; Stockli, D. F.; Sudo, M.; Strecker, M. R.

    2012-12-01

    The Pamir - Alai represents the preeminent example of an active intracontinental subduction zone in the early stages of continent-continent collision. Such zones are the least understood type of plate boundary because modern examples are few and of limited access, and ancient analogs have been extensively overprinted by subsequent continent-continent collision and erosion processes. In the Pamir, at least 300 km of convergence has apparently occurred between the North Pamir and the South Tien Shan. Published P-wave tomography and earthquake epicenters suggest subduction of a ~300 km-long slab. The MPT and Pamir Frontal Thrusts (PFT) correspond to the updip projection of this subduction zone. We have compiled ca. 260 published and 18 new apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He and fission track, and biotite and muscovite Argon cooling ages from basement samples as well as several detrital samples from key areas in the Pamir region. Our synopsis shows that the hanging wall of the MPT experienced relatively minor amounts of late Cenozoic exhumation. This is incompatible with a model of a huge overthrust such as the Himalayan Main Central Thrust. Rather, the bulk of the convergence is apparently accommodated by underthrusting. The Pamir orogen as a whole is an integral part of the overriding plate in a subduction system, while the remnant basin to the north constitutes the downgoing plate. Herein, we demonstrate that the observed deformation of the upper and lower plates within the Pamir-Alai convergence zone resembles highly arcuate oceanic subduction systems characterized by slab rollback, subduction erosion, subduction accretion, and marginal slab-tear faults. We suggest that the curvature of the North Pamir is genetically linked to the short width and rollback of the south-dipping Alai slab; northward motion (indentation) of the Pamir is accommodated by crustal processes related to slab rollback and intracontinental subduction. Our model relates late Oligocene - early Miocene

  7. 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

  8. Tomography of the subducting Cocos plate in central Mexico: Images of a truncated slab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husker, A. L.; Davis, P. M.

    2007-12-01

    The location of the subducting slab beneath Mexico City and its relation to the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB) has been unknown because of the absence of deep seismicity that could be used to define the Wadati-Benioff zone. We used data from a temporary seismic network to locate the slab using seismic tomography. A break is seen in the Cocos plate under the TMVB. The break is seen with both P-wave and S-wave tomography and in a constrained tomographic inversion that finds parameters for a simple slab temperature model. The data used are 172 teleseismic earthquakes recorded by the Middle American Subduction Experiment (MASE). MASE was made up of 100 broadband seismometers spaced every 5 km running from Acapulco north through Mexico City almost to the Gulf Coast. In order to determine arrival time differences, Dt, across the array, waveforms were cross correlated. When Dt is plotted with respect to the latitude of the seismometer at which it was recorded, a Dt minimum (early arrivals) is seen near the TMVB. This minimum is shifted northward for back azimuths from the south, and southward for back azimuths from the north. The shift in the Dt minimum is indicative of a fast structure at depth. If there were no break in the slab, the localized minimum would not be seen. Tomography reveals an approximately 50-80 km thick slab diving into the mantle at about 75° to approximately 550 km depth and 375 km inland from Acapulco. We speculate the absence of deep earthquakes is due to low stresses in a young plate that has been truncated at depth.

  9. Slab-mantle interactions in simulations of self-consistent mantle convection with single-sided subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crameri, F.; Tackley, P. J.; Meilick, I.; Gerya, T. V.; Kaus, B. J. P.

    2012-04-01

    Subduction zones on present-day Earth are strongly asymmetric features (Zhao 2004) composed of an overriding plate above a subducting plate that sinks into the mantle. Our recent advances in numerical modelling allow global mantle convection models to produce single-sided subduction self-consistently by allowing for free surface topography on and lubrication between the converging plates (Crameri et al., 2012). Thereby, they are indicating important mantle-slab interactions. The increase of viscosity with depth is an important mantle property affecting the dynamics of subduction: a large viscosity increase on the one hand favours an immediate stagnant lid because the slab cannot sink fast enough, while a small increase on the other hand does not provide enough resistance for the sinking slab and therefore facilitates an immediate slab break-off. While in the mobile lid (plate tectonic like) regime, our model also shows that single-sided subduction in turn has strong implications on Earth's interior such as its rms. velocity or its stress distribution. The arcuate trench curvature is such a feature that is caused by single-sided subduction in 3-D geometry. The pressure difference between the mantle region below the inclined sinking slab and the region above it causes a toroidal mantle flow around the slab edges. This flow of mantle material is responsible for forming the slabs and subsequently also the subduction trenches above it towards an arcuate shape. For this study we perform experiments in 2-D and global spherical 3-D, fully dynamic mantle convection models with self-consistent plate tectonics. These are calculated using the finite volume multi-grid code StagYY (Tackley 2008) with strongly temperature and pressure-dependent viscosity, ductile and/or brittle plastic yielding, and non-diffusive tracers tracking compositional variations (the 'air' and the weak crustal layer in this case).

  10. Zooming into the Hindu Kush slab break-off: A rare glimpse on the terminal stage of subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kufner, Sofia-Katerina; Schurr, Bernd; Haberland, Christian; Zhang, Yong; Saul, Joachim; Ischuk, Anatoly; Oimahmadov, Ilhomjon

    2017-03-01

    The terminal stage of subduction sets in when the continental margin arrives at the trench and the opposite forces of the sinking slab and buoyant continent extend and ultimately sever the subducted lithosphere. This process, although common in geological history, is short-lived, and therefore rarely observed. The deep seismicity under the Hindu Kush (Central Asia), including the 2015 Mw 7.5 event, is a rare case that testifies to this process. Here, we use new seismological data to create a high resolution picture of slab break-off and infer its dynamics. High precision earthquake locations and tomographic images show subduction of continental crust down to ∼180 km. A large dataset of source mechanisms indicates sub-vertical extension in the entire slab but a strain rate analysis showed that the deeper seismogenic portion of the slab, below the subducted crust, extends at higher rates (∼40 km/Ma). Most Mw > 7 earthquakes between 1983-2015, relocated relative to our new well-constrained earthquake catalog, cluster in a small volume below 180 km, and indicate shearing on an overturned interface. A slip model for the latest 2015 Mw 7.5 event suggests that it ruptured into a seismic gap on this interface. From this configuration we conclude that a horizontal slab tear develops along-strike of the Hindu Kush seismic zone at the base of the subducted continental crust. Below the subducted crust, the deepest and also largest earthquakes (180-265 km) are likely associated with deformation in the mantle lithosphere. From the seismicity distribution and the rupture mechanisms we further deduce that the dominant deformation mechanism in this deeper portion of the slab changes along-strike from simple to pure shear. The fastest detachment rates and largest earthquakes occur during the simple shear dominated stage. Earthquakes in the upper part (60-180 km), above the rapidly extending slab, might be triggered by processes related to the subduction of crustal rocks.

  11. Subduction and slab tearing dynamics constrained by thermal anomalies in the Anatolia-Aegean region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roche, Vincent; Guillou-Frottier, Laurent; Jolivet, Laurent; Loiselet, Christelle; Bouchot, Vincent

    2015-04-01

    Most previous geodynamic studies treat subduction zones with backward migration (rollback), slab tearing or slab breakoff by numerical or laboratory experiments and by integrating seismicity, tomography data and geochemical studies. Here we investigate these processes in the Aegean-Anatolian domain and particularly the western side of Turkey (western Anatolia) by incorporating thermal regime of the crust, and in particular the geothermal fields as anomalies that could reflect the thermal state of Aegean subduction zone at depth. This domain is characterized by 1) extensional crustal deformation which progressively localized during the Aegean slab retreat from late Eocene to Present, enabling the development of a hot backarc domain; this extension accelerated between 15 and 8 Ma coeval with a fast rotation of the Hellenides and 2) since the latest Miocene, extension is coupled with the development of the North Anatolian Fault that accommodates the westward escape of the Anatolian block. Both the acceleration of extension in the Middle Miocene and the recent escape of Anatolia have been proposed to result from several slab tearing events, the first one being located below western Turkey and the Eastern Aegean Sea, a second one below eastern Turkey and a last one below the Corinth Rift (Faccenna et al., 2006; Jolivet et al., 2013). The distribution of magmatism and mineral resources has been suggested to be largely controlled by these retreat and tearing events (Menant et al., submitted). The development of a widespread active geothermal province in western Anatolia is unlikely to simply result from the Quaternary magmatism whose volcanism part has a too limited extent. Conversely, the long wavelength east-west variation of surface heat flow density could reflect deep thermal processes in the lower crust and/or deeper, and we thus look for possible connections with larger-scale mantle dynamics. We use the distribution of thermal anomalies at different scales and the 3

  12. Reaction-induced rheological weakening enables oceanic plate subduction

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    Earth is the only terrestrial planet in our solar system where an oceanic plate subducts beneath an overriding plate. Although the initiation of plate subduction requires extremely weak boundaries between strong plates, the way in which oceanic mantle rheologically weakens remains unknown. Here we show that shear-enhanced hydration reactions contribute to the generation and maintenance of weak mantle shear zones at mid-lithospheric depths. High-pressure friction experiments on peridotite goug...

  13. Subducted oceanic relief locks the shallow megathrust in central Ecuador

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collot, Jean-Yves; Sanclemente, Eddy; Nocquet, Jean-Mathieu; Leprêtre, Angélique; Ribodetti, Alessandra; Jarrin, Paul; Chlieh, Mohamed; Graindorge, David; Charvis, Philippe

    2017-05-01

    Whether subducted oceanic reliefs such as seamounts promote seismic rupture or aseismic slip remains controversial. Here we use swath bathymetry, prestack depth-migrated multichannel seismic reflection lines, and wide-angle seismic data collected across the central Ecuador subduction segment to reveal a broad 55 km × 50 km, 1.5-2.0 km high, low height-to-width ratio, multipeaked, sediment-bare, shallow subducted oceanic relief. Owing to La Plata Island and the coastline being located, respectively, 35 km and 50-60 km from the trench, GPS measurements allow us to demonstrate that the subducted oceanic relief spatially correlates to a shallow, 80 km × 55 km locked interplate asperity within a dominantly creeping subduction segment. The oceanic relief geometrical anomaly together with its highly jagged topography, the absence of a subduction channel, and a stiff erosive oceanic margin are found to be long-term geological characteristics associated with the shallow locking of the megathrust. Although the size and level of locking observed at the subducted relief scale could produce an Mw >7+ event, no large earthquakes are known to have happened for several centuries. On the contrary, frequent slow slip events have been recorded since 2010 within the locked patch, and regular seismic swarms have occurred in this area during the last 40 years. These transient processes, together with the rough subducted oceanic topography, suggest that interplate friction might actually be heterogeneous within the locked patch. Additionally, we find that the subducted relief undergoes internal shearing and produces a permanent flexural bulge of the margin, which uplifted La Plata Island.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maffione, Marco; Thieulot, Cedric|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/270177493; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J.J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/269263624; Morris, Antony; Plümper, Oliver|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/37155960X; Spakman, Wim|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/074103164

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

  15. Dehydration of subducting slow-spread oceanic lithosphere in the Lesser Antilles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulatto, Michele; Laigle, Mireille; Galve, Audrey; Charvis, Philippe; Sapin, Martine; Bayrakci, Gaye; Evain, Mikael; Kopp, Heidrun

    2017-07-01

    Subducting slabs carry water into the mantle and are a major gateway in the global geochemical water cycle. Fluid transport and release can be constrained with seismological data. Here we use joint active-source/local-earthquake seismic tomography to derive unprecedented constraints on multi-stage fluid release from subducting slow-spread oceanic lithosphere. We image the low P-wave velocity crustal layer on the slab top and show that it disappears beneath 60-100 km depth, marking the depth of dehydration metamorphism and eclogitization. Clustering of seismicity at 120-160 km depth suggests that the slab's mantle dehydrates beneath the volcanic arc, and may be the main source of fluids triggering arc magma generation. Lateral variations in seismic properties on the slab surface suggest that serpentinized peridotite exhumed in tectonized slow-spread crust near fracture zones may increase water transport to sub-arc depths. This results in heterogeneous water release and directly impacts earthquakes generation and mantle wedge dynamics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-13

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

  17. Subduction of oceanic plate irregularities and seismicity distribution along the Mexican Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  18. Numerical simulations of an ocean/continent convergent system: influence of subduction geometry and mantle wedge hydration on crustal recycling

    CERN Document Server

    Roda, Manuel; Spalla, Maria Iole; 10.1029/2009GC003015

    2011-01-01

    The effects of the hydration mechanism on continental crust recycling are analyzed through a 2D finite element thermo-mechanical model. Oceanic slab dehydration and consequent mantle wedge hydration are implemented using a dynamic method. Hydration is accomplished by lawsonite and serpentine breakdown; topography is treated as a free surface. Subduction rates of 1, 3, 5, 7.5 and 10 cm/y, slab angles of 30o, 45o and 60o and a mantle rheology represented by dry dunite and dry olivine flow laws, have been taken into account during successive numerical experiments. Model predictions pointed out that a direct relationship exists between mantle rheology and the amount of recycled crustal material: the larger the viscosity contrast between hydrated and dry mantle, the larger the percentage of recycled material into the mantle wedge. Slab dip variation has a moderate impact on the recycling. Metamorphic evolution of recycled material is influenced by subduction style. TPmax, generally representative of eclogite facie...

  19. Plume-subduction interaction in southern Central America: Mantle upwelling and slab melting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gazel, Esteban; Hoernle, Kaj; Carr, Michael J.; Herzberg, Claude; Saginor, Ian; den Bogaard, Paul van; Hauff, Folkmar; Feigenson, Mark; Swisher, Carl

    2011-01-01

    The volcanic front in southern Central America is well known for its Galapagos OIB-like geochemical signature. A comprehensive set of geochemical, isotopic and geochronological data collected on volumetrically minor alkaline basalts and adakites were used to better constrain the mantle and subduction magma components and to test the different models that explain this OIB signature in an arc setting. We report a migration of back-arc alkaline volcanism towards the northwest, consistent with arc-parallel mantle flow models, and a migration towards the southeast in the adakites possibly tracking the eastward movement of the triple junction where the Panama Fracture Zone intersects the Middle America Trench. The adakites major and trace element compositions are consistent with magmas produced by melting a mantle-wedge source metasomatized by slab derived melts. The alkaline magmas are restricted to areas that have no seismic evidence of a subducting slab. The geochemical signature of the alkaline magmas is mostly controlled by upwelling asthenosphere with minor contributions from subduction components. Mantle potential temperatures calculated from the alkaline basalt primary magmas increased from close to ambient mantle (~ 1380-1410 °C) in the Pliocene to ~ 1450 °C in the younger units. The calculated initial melting pressures for these primary magmas are in the garnet stability field (3.0-2.7 GPa). The average final melting pressures range between 2.7 and 2.5 GPa, which is interpreted as the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary at ~ 85-90 km. We provide a geotectonic model that integrates the diverse observations presented here. The slab detached after the collision of the Galapagos tracks with the arc (~ 10-8 Ma). The detachment allowed hotter asthenosphere to flow into the mantle wedge. This influx of hotter asthenosphere explains the increase in mantle potential temperatures, the northwest migration in the back-arc alkaline lavas that tracks the passage of the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubey, Michael; Brune, Sascha; Heine, Christian; Rhodri Davies, D.; Williams, Simon E.; Dietmar Müller, R.

    2017-09-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Long distance transport of eclogite and blueschist during early Pacific Ocean subduction rollback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamblyn, Renee; Hand, Martin; Kelsey, David; Phillips, Glen; Anczkiewicz, Robert

    2017-04-01

    The Tasmanides in eastern Australia represent a period of continental crustal growth on the western margin of the Pacific Ocean associated with slab rollback from the Cambrian until the Triassic. During rollback numerical models predict that subduction products can become trapped in the forearc (Geyra et al., 2002), and can migrate with the trench as it retreats. In a long-lived subduction controlled regime such as the Tasmanides, this should result in an accumulation of subduction products with protracted geochronological and metamorphic histories. U-Pb, Lu-Hf, Sm-Nd and Ar-Ar geochronology and phase equilibria modelling of lawsonite-eclogite and garnet blueschist in the Southern New England Fold Belt in Australia demonstrate that high-P low-T rocks remained within a subduction setting for c. 40 Ma, from c. 500 to 460 Ma. High-P metamorphic rocks initially formed close to the Australian cratonic margin during the late Cambrian, and were subsequently transported over 1500 Ma oceanward, during which time subducted material continued to accumulate, resulting in the development of complex mélange which records eclogite and blueschist metamorphism and partial exhumation over 40 Ma. The duration of refrigerated metamorphism approximates the extensional evolution of the upper plate which culminated in the development of the Lachlan Fold Belt. The protracted record of eclogite and blueschist metamorphism indicates that rapid exhumation is not necessarily required for preservation of high-pressure metamorphic rocks from subduction systems. Reference: Gerya, T. V., Stockhert, B., & Perchuk, A. L. (2002). Exhumation of high-pressure metamorphic rocks in a subduction channel: A numerical simulation. Tectonics, 21(6), 6-1-6-19. doi:10.1029/2002tc001406

  3. Dehydration of subducting slow-spread oceanic lithosphere in the Lesser Antilles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulatto, Michele; Laigle, Mireille; Galve, Audrey; Charvis, Philippe; Sapin, Martine; Bayrakci, Gaye; Evain, Mikael; Kopp, Heidrun

    2017-01-01

    Subducting slabs carry water into the mantle and are a major gateway in the global geochemical water cycle. Fluid transport and release can be constrained with seismological data. Here we use joint active-source/local-earthquake seismic tomography to derive unprecedented constraints on multi-stage fluid release from subducting slow-spread oceanic lithosphere. We image the low P-wave velocity crustal layer on the slab top and show that it disappears beneath 60–100 km depth, marking the depth of dehydration metamorphism and eclogitization. Clustering of seismicity at 120–160 km depth suggests that the slab’s mantle dehydrates beneath the volcanic arc, and may be the main source of fluids triggering arc magma generation. Lateral variations in seismic properties on the slab surface suggest that serpentinized peridotite exhumed in tectonized slow-spread crust near fracture zones may increase water transport to sub-arc depths. This results in heterogeneous water release and directly impacts earthquakes generation and mantle wedge dynamics. PMID:28691714

  4. Cenozoic tectonics of Western North America controlled by evolving width of Farallon slab

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

    Subduction of oceanic lithosphere occurs through two modes: subducting plate motion and trench migration. Using a global subduction zone data set and three-dimensional numerical subduction models, we show that slab width (W) controls these modes and the partitioning of subduction between them.

  5. Insight into the subducted Indian slab and origin of the Tengchong volcano in SE Tibet from receiver function analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Mijian; Huang, Hui; Huang, Zhouchuan; Wang, Pan; Wang, Liangshu; Xu, Mingjie; Mi, Ning; Li, Hua; Yu, Dayong; Yuan, Xiaohui

    2018-01-01

    The subduction of the Indian Plate beneath SE Tibet and its related volcanism in Tengchong are important geologic processes that accompany the evolution of the Tibetan Plateau. However, it is still not clear whether the subduction and volcanism are confined to the upper mantle or if they extend deep into the mantle transition zone (MTZ). Here, we imaged MTZ structures by using receiver function methods with the waveforms recorded by more than 300 temporary stations in SE Tibet. The results show significant depressions of both the 410-km and 660-km discontinuities and a thickened MTZ (260-280 km) beneath SE Tibet. The depression of the 660-km discontinuity (by 10-30 km) and the thickened MTZ correlate well with high P-wave velocity anomalies in the MTZ, indicating the presence of a subducted Indian slab within the MTZ. Significant depression of the 410-km discontinuity (by 10-20 km) beneath the Tengchong volcano indicates that the volcano originates from the MTZ and is closely related to the subducted Indian slab. Our results confirm the deep subduction of the Indian plate and the deep origin of the Tengchong volcano. However, it remains unknown whether a slab gap exists and contributes to the Tengchong volcano.

  6. Cenozoic tectonics of western North America controlled by evolving width of Farallon slab.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-16

    Subduction of oceanic lithosphere occurs through two modes: subducting plate motion and trench migration. Using a global subduction zone data set and three-dimensional numerical subduction models, we show that slab width (W) controls these modes and the partitioning of subduction between them. Subducting plate velocity scales with W(2/3), whereas trench velocity scales with 1/W. These findings explain the Cenozoic slowdown of the Farallon plate and the decrease in subduction partitioning by its decreasing slab width. The change from Sevier-Laramide orogenesis to Basin and Range extension in North America is also explained by slab width; shortening occurred during wide-slab subduction and overriding-plate-driven trench retreat, whereas extension occurred during intermediate to narrow-slab subduction and slab-driven trench retreat.

  7. 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

  8. Dynamic Subsidence across the Late Cretaceous Western Interior Basin in Response to Farallon Slab Subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, S.; Nummedal, D.; Liu, L.

    2015-12-01

    The United States Cretaceous Western Interior Basin has long been considered a foreland basin, driven by the Sevier thrust and associated basin sediment loads. However, flexural studies demonstrate that this effect exists only within a narrow band in front of the thrust belt. Most of the basin appears to be due to mantle flow-induced dynamic subsidence associated with Farallon plate subduction. Here we show how the components of evolving long-wavelength dynamic subsidence and flexural subsidence created the accommodation space and controlled the stratigraphy across the western United Sates, based on the correlated stratigraphic sections across central Utah-Colorado and southern Wyoming.These backstripped subsidence data reveal a component of continuously evolving long-wavelength dynamic subsidence, in addition to subsidence driven by the Sevier thrust belt and associated sediment loads. The loci of maximum rates of this dynamic subsidence moved eastward from ~98 to 74 Ma in phase with the west-to-east passage of the Farallon slab, as reconstructed from tomography based on quantitative inverse models. These subsidence data allow testing of existing subduction models and confirm the dynamic-topography driven nature of the Western Interior Basin. The results seem to support that the depocenters track the trough of dynamic subsidence with ca.18 Myr cycles through time and space and the stratigraphic patterns of large-scale progradation, eastward migration of depocenter, and regional clinoform-like downlap are related with the dynamic subsidence. Interpretation of these data also provides more insights into the repeated, ca.2 to 6 Myr cycles of thrust-induced subsidence in front of the thrust belt, which control the local eastward progradation of the sand bodies from the thrust belt. The dynamic, flexural subsidence and eustatic sea level changes interacted and controlled the timing and distribution of unconformities. Our work shows how the stratigraphy precisely

  9. Processes and consequences of deep subduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  10. Mantle plume or slab window?: Physical and geochemical constraints on the origin of the Caribbean oceanic plateau (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, A. C.; Hastie, A.

    2009-12-01

    The Caribbean oceanic plateau formed in the Pacific realm when it erupted onto the Farallon plate due to melting of (possibly) the Galapagos hotspot at ~93 Ma. The plateau was subsequently transported to the northeast and collided with the Great Arc of the Caribbean thus initiating subduction polarity reversal and the consequent tectonic emplacement of the Caribbean plate between the North and South American continents. The plateau represents a large outpouring of mafic volcanism, which has been interpreted as having formed by melting of a hot mantle plume. Conversely, some have suggested that a slab window could be involved in forming the plateau. However, the source regions of oceanic plateaus are distinct from N-MORB (the likely source composition for slab window mafic rocks). Furthermore, melt modelling using primitive (high-MgO) Caribbean oceanic plateau lavas from Curaçao, shows that the primary magmas of the plateau contained ~20 wt.% MgO and were derived from 30-32 % partial melting of a fertile peridotite source region which had a potential temperature (Tp) of 1564-1614 °C. Thus, the Caribbean oceanic plateau lavas are derived from decompression melting of a hot upwelling mantle plume with excess heat relative to ambient upper mantle. Extensional decompression partial melting of sub-slab asthenosphere in a slab window with an ambient mantle Tp cannot produce enough melt to form a plateau. The formation of the Caribbean oceanic plateau by melting of ambient upper mantle in, or close to, a slab window setting, is therefore, highly improbable. Reference Hastie, A.R., Kerr, A.C. 2010. Mantle plume or slab window?: Physical and geochemical constraints on the origin of the Caribbean oceanic plateau. Earth Science Reviews, in press.

  11. Surface imprint of toroidal flow at retreating slab edges: The first geodetic evidence in the Calabrian subduction system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palano, M.; Piromallo, C.; Chiarabba, C.

    2017-01-01

    Dense GPS observations can help Earth scientists to capture the surface imprint of mantle toroidal flow at slab edges. We document this process in the Calabrian subduction system, where the Ionian slab rollback took place during the past 30 Ma, following a stepwise process driven by migration of lithospheric tearing. We found rotation rates of 1.29°/Ma (counterclockwise) and 1.74°/Ma (clockwise), for poles located close to the northern and southern slab edges, respectively. These small-scale, opposite rotations occur along complex sets of active faults representing the present-day lithospheric expression of the tearing processes affecting the southeastward retreating Ionian slab at both edges. The observed rotations are likely still young and the process more immature at the northern tear, where it is unable to reorient mantle fabric and therefore is unseen by SKS splitting.

  12. Flat-slab subduction, whole crustal faulting, and geohazards in Alaska: Targets for Earthscope

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  13. Plume-induced subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerya, T.; Stern, R. J.; Baes, M.; Sobolev, S. V.; Whattam, S. A.

    2016-12-01

    Dominant present-day subduction initiation mechanisms require acting plate forces and/or pre-existing zones of lithospheric weakness, which are themselves consequences of plate tectonics. In contrast, recently discovered plume-induced subduction initiation could have started the first subduction zone without pre-existing plate tectonics. Here, we investigate this new mechanism with high-resolution 3D numerical thermomechanical modeling experiments. We show that typical plume-induced subduction dynamics is subdivided into five different stages: (1) oceanic plateau formation by arrival of a mantle plume head; (2) formation of an incipient trench and a descending nearly-circular slab at the plateau margins; (3) tearing of the circular slab; (4) formation of several self-sustained retreating subduction zones and (5) cooling and spreading of the new lithosphere formed between the retreating subduction zones. At the final stage of plume-induced subduction initiation, a mosaic of independently moving, growing and cooling small oceanic plates heading toward individual retreating subduction zones forms. The plates are separated by spreading centers, triple junctions and transform faults and thus the newly formed multi-slab subduction system operates as an embryonic plate tectonic cell. We demonstrate that three key physical factors combine to trigger self-sustained plume-induced subduction: (1) old negatively buoyant oceanic lithosphere; (2) intense weakening of the lithosphere by plume-derived magmas; and (3) lubrication of the forming subduction interface by hydrated oceanic crust. We furthermore discuss that plume-induced subduction, which is rare at present day conditions, may have been common in the Precambrian time and likely started global plate tectonics on Earth.

  14. Continental basalts record the crust-mantle interaction in oceanic subduction channel: A geochemical case study from eastern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zheng; Zheng, Yong-Fei

    2017-09-01

    the crustal metasomatism through melt-peridotite reaction at the slab-mantle interface in oceanic subduction channels. Continental basalts of Mesozoic to Cenozoic ages from eastern China are used as a case example to illustrate the above petrogenetic mechanism. Subduction of the paleo-Pacific oceanic slab beneath the eastern edge of Eurasian continent in the Early Mesozoic would have transferred the crustal signatures into the mantle sources of these basalts. This process would be associated with rollback of the subducting slab at that time, whereas the partial melting of metasomatites takes place mainly in the Late Mesozoic to Cenozoic to produce the continental basalts. Therefore, OIB-like continental basalts are also the product of subduction-zone magmatism though they occur in intraplate settings.

  15. Subduction of hydrated basalt of the oceanic crust: Implications for recycling of water into the upper mantle and continental growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapp, R. P.

    1994-01-01

    Subduction zones are presently the dominant sites on Earth for recycling and mass transfer between the crust and mantle; they feed hydrated basaltic oceanic crust into the upper mantle, where dehydration reactions release aqueous fluids and/or hydrous melts. The loci for fluid and/or melt generation will be determined by the intersection of dehydration reaction boundaries of primary hydrous minerals within the subducted lithosphere with slab geotherms. For metabasalt of the oceanic crust, amphibole is the dominant hydrous mineral. The dehydration melting solidus, vapor-absent melting phase relationships; and amphibole-out phase boundary for a number of natural metabasalts have been determined experimentally, and the pressure-temperature conditions of each of these appear to be dependent on bulk composition. Whether or not the dehydration of amphibole is a fluid-generating or partial melting reaction depends on a number of factors specific to a given subduction zone, such as age and thickness of the subducting oceanic lithosphere, the rate of convergence, and the maturity of the subduction zone. In general, subduction of young, hot oceanic lithosphere will result in partial melting of metabasalt of the oceanic crust within the garnet stability field; these melts are characteristically high-Al2O3 trondhjemites, tonalites and dacites. The presence of residual garnet during partial melting imparts a distinctive trace element signature (e.g., high La/Yb, high Sr/Y and Cr/Y combined with low Cr and Y contents relative to demonstrably mantle-derived arc magmas). Water in eclogitized, subducted basalt of the oceanic crust is therefore strongly partitioned into melts generated below about 3.5 GPa in 'hot' subduction zones. Although phase equilibria experiments relevant to 'cold' subduction of hydrated natural basalts are underway in a number of high-pressure laboratories, little is known with respect to the stability of more exotic hydrous minerals (e.g., ellenbergite) and

  16. Reaction-induced rheological weakening enables oceanic plate subduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-26

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

  17. Flat-slab subduction, orogenesis, intraplate deformation, and glacial erosion in southern Alaska: A tectonic-glacial progression from STEEP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlis, T. L.; Gulick, S. S.; Bruhn, R. L.; Christeson, G. L.; Enkelmann, E.; Freymueller, J. T.; Hallet, B.; Horton, B. K.; Hansen, R. A.; Koons, P. O.; Pavlis, G. L.; Ridgway, K. D.; Spotila, J. A.; Van Avendonk, H. J.

    2012-12-01

    The ST. Elias Erosion and tectonics Project (STEEP) is a Continental Dynamics multidisciplinary collaboration involving offshore and onshore studies of a modern example of an oceanic plateau collision with a continental margin in southern Alaska. These studies constrain erosion-tectonic interactions and clarify the timeline of northern Cordilleran orogenesis. At ~55 Ma an oceanic plateau formed on either the Kula-Farallon or Farallon-Resurrection spreading center. From 50-46 Ma, this plateau attempted to subduct beneath an accretionary complex, the Yakutat Group (YG), near offshore British Columbia. The YG was thrust onto the plateau to form what is now the Yakutat Terrane. From ~40 to as late as 33 Ma the Yakutat Terrane was part of North America and the proto-Transition Fault was active moving the remnant Kula Plate towards the Aleutian Trench, slicing off the southern edge of the Yakutat Terrane, and emplacing Pacific crust adjacent to the Terrane. From ~33 to 6 Ma the Yakutat Terrane moved northward with the Pacific Plate. There is some Oligocene paleogeographic uncertainly, but upper plate deformation and basin development starting ~ 20-25 Ma may be Yakutat related. At ~6 Ma the Pacific Plate underwent a clockwise shift in motion reactivating the Transition Fault, albeit at a slow rate, and this motion drove a component of oblique convergence along the Fairweather Fault and orogenesis in the St. Elias. Rejuvenation of the Transition Fault formed a stable triple junction with the Aleutian Trench and the Yakutat-North American subduction front. Uplift in the orogen seeded glacial systems that reached tidewater by ~5.5 Ma and the sediments produced were the glaciomarine, syn-orogenic Yakataga Formation. The eastern syntaxis of the St. Elias orogen began to focus exhumation as thickened crust generated along the transpressive Fairweather system was fed into the fully contractional core of the orogen. Between 4 and 3 Ma, the thicker portions of the Yakutat Terrane

  18. Variation of Seismic Velocity Structure around the Mantle Transition Zone and Conjecture of Deep Water Transport by Subducted Slabs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tajima, F. C.; Stahler, S. C.; Ohtani, E.; Yoshida, M.; Sigloch, K.

    2011-12-01

    Seismic tomography models published in the past two decades determined common long-wavelength features of subducting plates as high velocity anomalies and upwelling plumes as low velocity anomalies, and have led to a new class of high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) modeling of global mantle convection with a link to tomography models [e.g., Becker and Boschi, 2002; Ritsema et al., 2007; Schuberth et al., 2009a,b]. However, even such high resolution numerical models do not account for the variation associated with different behaviors of subducting plates as they enter the mantle transition zone (MTZ), i.e., some flatten to form stagnant slabs with a large lateral extent and others descend further into the lower mantle. There are conventional interpretations applied for the cause of variation of the subducted slab behaviors, i.e., temperature difference due to different plate age, different geochemical compositions, different water content and subsequent possible reduction of viscosity etc., which could be taken as non-unique and somewhat equivocal. These parameters and conditions have been tested in two-dimensional numerical simulations, while the water content in the MTZ or the mechanisms of hydration and dehydration through subduction process are still in the realm of conjecture. Recent models of seismic P- and SH-wave velocities derived for the mantle structure beneath northeast China [Wang and Niu, 2010; Ye et al., 2011] using reflectivity synthetics with data from the dense Chinese networks of broadband seismic instruments, show a broader 660 km discontinuity (by about 30 to 70 km) and slower shear velocities above the MTZ than a global standard model iasp91 (Kennett and Engdahl, 1991). These features were interpreted with a mixture of different chemical properties which show delayed phase transformation, and effects of water above the flattened slab. Nonetheless, the SH-wave model has a structure similar to model TNA above the MTZ, which was derived for the

  19. The Molybdenum Isotope System as a Tracer of Slab Input in Subduction Zones: An Example From Martinique, Lesser Antilles Arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaschnig, Richard M.; Reinhard, Christopher T.; Planavsky, Noah J.; Wang, Xiangli; Asael, Dan; Chauvel, Catherine

    2017-12-01

    Molybdenum isotopes are fractionated by Earth-surface processes and may provide a tracer for the recycling of crustal material into the mantle. Here, we examined the Mo isotope composition of arc lavas from Martinique in the Lesser Antilles arc, along with Cretaceous and Cenozoic Deep Sea Drilling Project sediments representing potential sedimentary inputs into the subduction zone. Mo stable isotope composition (defined as δ98Mo in ‰ deviation from the NIST 3134 standard) in lavas older than ˜7 million years (Ma) exhibits a narrow range similar to and slightly higher than MORB, whereas those younger than ˜7 Ma show a much greater range and extend to unusually low δ98Mo values. Sediments from DSDP Leg 78A, Site 543 have uniformly low δ98Mo values whereas Leg 14, Site 144 contains both sediments with isotopically light Mo and Mo-enriched black shales with isotopically heavy Mo. When coupled with published radiogenic isotope data, Mo isotope systematics of the lavas can be explained through binary mixing between a MORB-like end-member and different sedimentary compositions identified in the DSDP cores. The lavas older than ˜7 Ma were influenced by incorporation of isotopically heavy black shales into the mantle wedge. The younger lavas are the product of mixing isotopically light sedimentary material into the mantle wedge. The change in Mo isotope composition of the lavas at ˜7 Ma is interpreted to reflect the removal of the Cretaceous black shale component due to the arrival of younger ocean crust where the age-equivalent Cretaceous sediments were deposited in shallower oxic waters. Isotopic fractionation of Mo during its removal from the slab is not required to explain the observed systematics in this system.

  20. Influence of trench width on subduction hinge retreat rates in 3-D models of slab rollback

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    Subduction of tectonic plates limited in lateral extent and with a free-trailing tail, i.e., "free subduction,'' is modeled in a three-dimensional (3-D) geometry. The models use a nonlinear viscoplastic rheology for the subducting plate and exhibit a wide range of behaviors depending on such plate

  1. The Elephants' Graveyard: Constraints from Mantle Plumes on the Fate of Subducted Slabs and Implications for the Style of Mantle Convection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lassiter, J. C.

    2007-12-01

    The style of mantle convection (e.g., layered- vs. whole-mantle convection) is one of the most hotly contested questions in the Geological Sciences. Geochemical arguments for and against mantle layering have largely focused on mass-balance evidence for the existence of "hidden" geochemical reservoirs. However, the size and location of such reservoirs are largely unconstrained, and most geochemical arguments for mantle layering are consistent with a depleted mantle comprising most of the mantle mass and a comparatively small volume of enriched, hidden material either within D" or within seismically anomalous "piles" beneath southern Africa and the South Pacific. The mass flux associated with subduction of oceanic lithosphere is large and plate subduction is an efficient driver of convective mixing in the mantle. Therefore, the depth to which oceanic lithosphere descends into the mantle is effectively the depth of the upper mantle in any layered mantle model. Numerous geochemical studies provide convincing evidence that many mantle plumes contain material which at one point resided close to the Earth's surface (e.g., recycled oceanic crust ± sediments, possibly subduction-modified mantle wedge material). Fluid dynamic models further reveal that only the central cores of mantle plumes are involved in melt generation. The presence of recycled material in the sources of many ocean island basalts therefore cannot be explained by entrainment of this material during plume ascent, but requires that recycled material resides within or immediately above the thermo-chemical boundary layer(s) that generates mantle plumes. More recent Os- isotope studies of mantle xenoliths from OIB settings reveal the presence not only of recycled crust in mantle plumes, but also ancient melt-depleted harzburgite interpreted to represent ancient recycled oceanic lithosphere [1]. Thus, there is increasing evidence that subducted slabs accumulate in the boundary layer(s) that provide the source

  2. 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

  3. Control of high oceanic features and subduction channel on earthquake ruptures along the Chile-Peru subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras-Reyes, Eduardo; Carrizo, Daniel

    2011-05-01

    We discuss the earthquake rupture behavior along the Chile-Peru subduction zone in terms of the buoyancy of the subducting high oceanic features (HOF's), and the effect of the interplay between HOF and subduction channel thickness on the degree of interplate coupling. We show a strong relation between subduction of HOF's and earthquake rupture segments along the Chile-Peru margin, elucidating how these subducting features play a key role in seismic segmentation. Within this context, the extra increase of normal stress at the subduction interface is strongly controlled by the buoyancy of HOF's which is likely caused by crustal thickening and mantle serpentinization beneath hotspot ridges and fracture zones, respectively. Buoyancy of HOF's provide an increase in normal stress estimated to be as high as 10-50 MPa. This significant increase of normal stress will enhance seismic coupling across the subduction interface and hence will affect the seismicity. In particular, several large earthquakes (Mw ≥ 7.5) have occurred in regions characterized by subduction of HOF's including fracture zones (e.g., Nazca, Challenger and Mocha), hotspot ridges (e.g., Nazca, Iquique, and Juan Fernández) and the active Nazca-Antarctic spreading center. For instance, the giant 1960 earthquake (Mw = 9.5) is coincident with the linear projections of the Mocha Fracture Zone and the buoyant Chile Rise, while the active seismic gap of north Chile spatially correlates with the subduction of the Iquique Ridge. Further comparison of rupture characteristics of large underthrusting earthquakes and the locations of subducting features provide evidence that HOF's control earthquake rupture acting as both asperities and barriers. This dual behavior can be partially controlled by the subduction channel thickness. A thick subduction channel smooths the degree of coupling caused by the subducted HOF which allows lateral earthquake rupture propagation. This may explain why the 1960 rupture propagates

  4. Slab-Forearc Density Structure and Rigidity Controlling the Seismogenic Behaviour Along the Peru-Chile Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tassara, A.; Hackney, R.; Legrand, D.

    2007-12-01

    The rupture area and recurrence time of historical earthquakes along the Peru-Chile subduction zone and seismicity recorded by modern networks show a distinctive spatiotemporal distribution defining a characteristic segmentation of the seismogenic zone. It is unclear what factors control this segmentation. Knowledge about this topic is urgent to understand the processes generating devastating subduction earthquakes and to improve its hazard assessment. We are studying this problem for the Peru-Chile subduction zone from two perspectives. First, we applied a wavelet-based spectral isostatic analysis of topography and gravity to compute a high resolution map of the flexural rigidity along the subduction zone. This parameter is a function of the thermo- mechanical structure of both converging plates and the frictional properties of the subduction channel between them. Spatial variations on this map show correlation with the seismogenic segmentation, suggesting that rigidity and the associated physical factors play a fundamental role for the seismogenic behaviour along the margin. Second, we used an existing 3D density model to derive a map of vertical stress acting on the subducting slab below the forearc. This stress is a function of the thickness and density structure of the forearc resulting from long-term geological processes, and is the main component of the normal stress that regulates the magnitude of shear stresses to be released during earthquakes. The spatial variations of vertical stresses show significant correlations with the seismogenic segmentation, implying that the geologically-inherited density structure of the forearc is an important parameter for sustaining a time-persistent seismic segmentation. Of particular interest is the analysis of the giant (Mw 9.5) 1960 Valdivia earthquake, which nucleated in a region of high rigidity and high vertical stress and propagated southward into a region of very low rigidity and vertical stress. This could have

  5. Structural context and variation of ocean plate stratigraphy, Franciscan Complex, California: insight into mélange origins and subduction-accretion processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakabayashi, John

    2017-12-01

    The transfer (accretion) of materials from a subducting oceanic plate to a subduction-accretionary complex has produced rock assemblages recording the history of the subducted oceanic plate from formation to arrival at the trench. These rock assemblages, comprising oceanic igneous rocks progressively overlain by pelagic sedimentary rocks (chert and/or limestone) and trench-fill clastic sedimentary rocks (mostly sandstone, shale/mudstone), have been called ocean plate stratigraphy (OPS). During accretion of OPS, megathrust slip is accommodated by imbricate faults and penetrative strain, shortening the unit and leading to tectonic repetition of the OPS sequence, whereas OPS accreted at different times are separated by non-accretionary megathrust horizons. The Franciscan subduction complex of California accreted episodically over a period of over 150 million years and incorporated OPS units with a variety of characteristics separated by non-accretionary megathrust horizons. Most Franciscan OPS comprises MORB (mid-ocean-ridge basalt) progressively overlain by chert and trench-fill clastic sedimentary rocks that are composed of variable proportions of turbidites and siliciclastic and serpentinite-matrix olistostromes (sedimentary mélanges). Volumetrically, the trench-fill component predominates in most Franciscan OPS, but some units have a significant component of igneous and pelagic rocks. Ocean island basalt (OIB) overlain by limestone is less common than MORB-chert assemblages, as are abyssal serpentinized peridotite slabs. The earliest accreted OPS comprises metabasite of supra-subduction zone affinity imbricated with smaller amounts of metaultramafic rocks and metachert, but lacking a clastic component. Most deformation of Franciscan OPS is localized along discrete faults rather than being distributed in the form of penetrative strain. This deformation locally results in block-in-matrix tectonic mélanges, in contrast to the sedimentary mélanges making up part of

  6. A discussion of numerical subduction initiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buiter, Susanne; Ellis, Susan

    2016-04-01

    In nature, subduction can initiate in various ways: Shortening can localise at oceanic transform faults, extinct spreading centres, or inherited passive margin faults; or, alternatively, subduction can be triggered from existing subduction systems by along-strike trench propagation, polarity reversals, or trench jumps. Numerical studies that specifically address subduction initiation have highlighted the roles of sediment loading, rheological strength contrasts, strain softening, and continental topographic gradients, among others. Usually, however, numerical models that aim to investigate subduction dynamics prefer to bypass the subduction initiation phase and its complexities, and focus instead on the stages during which the slab is descending into the mantle. However, even in these models, subduction still needs to begin. It is disturbingly easy to define initial model geometries that do not result in subduction. The specific combination of initial model geometries and values for rheological parameters that successfully initiates subduction has even been referred to as 'the sweet spot' in model space. One cause of subduction initiation failure is when the subducting and overriding plates lock, resulting in either indentation or severe dragging downwards of the overriding plate. This may point to a difficulty in maintaining a weak subduction interface during model evolution. A second factor that may cause difficulties is that initial model geometry and stresses need to balance, as otherwise the first model stages may show spurious deformation associated with reaching equilibrium. A third requirement that may cause problems is that the surface needs to have sufficient displacement freedom to allow the overriding plate to overthrust the subducting plate. That also implies an exclusion of sharp corners in the subduction interface near the surface. It is the interplay of subduction interface geometry, interface strength and subducting plate rheology that determines

  7. Petro-fabrics and Seismic Properties of Blueschist and Eclogite in the North Qilian Suture Zone, NW China: Implications for the Low-velocity Upper Layer in Subducting Slab, Trench-parallel Seismic Anisotropy and Eclogite Detectability in the Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Y.

    2013-12-01

    The potential seismological contributions of metamorphosed and deformed oceanic crust in a subduction zone environment were studied in a detailed petro-fabric analysis of blueschist and eclogite in the North Qilian suture zone, NW China. The calculated whole-rock seismic properties based on the measured lattice preferred orientations (LPOs) of the constituting minerals show increasing P-wave and S-wave velocities and decreasing seismic anisotropies from blueschist to eclogite, mainly due to the decreasing volume proportion and deformation extent of glaucophane. The low velocity of the upper layer in the subducting oceanic crust can be explained by the existence of blueschist and foliated eclogite, which induces a 3-12% reduction in velocity compared to that induced by the surrounding mantle rocks. This low-velocity layer may gradually disappear when blueschist and foliated eclogite are replaced by massive eclogite at a depth in excess of 60-75 km for the paleo North Qilian subduction zone. Trench-parallel seismic anisotropy with a moderate delay time (0.1-0.3 s) can only effectively contribute to deformed blueschist and eclogite in a high-angle (>45-60°) subducting slab, regardless of the direction of slab movement. The calculated reflection coefficients (Rc = 0.04-0.20) at the lithologic interfaces between eclogite and blueschist imply that it may be possible to detect eclogite bodies in shallow subduction channels using high-resolution seismic reflection profiles. However, the imaging of eclogite bodies located in deep subduction zones could be challenging.

  8. Subducting slab ultra-slow velocity layer coincident with silent earthquakes in southern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Teh-Ru Alex; Helmberger, Donald V; Brudzinski, Michael R; Clayton, Robert W; Davis, Paul; Pérez-Campos, Xyoli; Singh, Shri K

    2009-04-24

    Great earthquakes have repeatedly occurred on the plate interface in a few shallow-dipping subduction zones where the subducting and overriding plates are strongly locked. Silent earthquakes (or slow slip events) were recently discovered at the down-dip extension of the locked zone and interact with the earthquake cycle. Here, we show that locally observed converted SP arrivals and teleseismic underside reflections that sample the top of the subducting plate in southern Mexico reveal that the ultra-slow velocity layer (USL) varies spatially (3 to 5 kilometers, with an S-wave velocity of approximately 2.0 to 2.7 kilometers per second). Most slow slip patches coincide with the presence of the USL, and they are bounded by the absence of the USL. The extent of the USL delineates the zone of transitional frictional behavior.

  9. Primary carbonatite melt from deeply subducted oceanic crust

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walter, M.J.; Bulanova, G.P.; Armstrong, L.S.; Keshav, S.; Blundy, J.D.; Gudfinnesson, G.; Lord, O.T.; Lennie, A.R.; Clark, S.M.; Smith, C.B.; Gobbo, L.

    2008-07-01

    Partial melting in the Earth's mantle plays an important part in generating the geochemical and isotopic diversity observed in volcanic rocks at the surface. Identifying the composition of these primary melts in the mantle is crucial for establishing links between mantle geochemical 'reservoirs' and fundamental geodynamic processes. Mineral inclusions in natural diamonds have provided a unique window into such deep mantle processes. Here they provide exper8imental and geochemical evidence that silicate mineral inclusions in diamonds from Juina, Brazil, crystallized from primary and evolved carbonatite melts in the mantle transition zone and deep upper mantle. The incompatible trace element abundances calculated for a melt coexisting with a calcium-titanium-silicate perovskite inclusion indicate deep melting of carbonated oceanic crust, probably at transition-zone depths. Further to perovskite, calcic-majorite garnet inclusions record crystallization in the deep upper mantle from an evolved melt that closely resembles estimates of primitive carbonatite on the basis of volcanic rocks. Small-degree melts of subducted crust can be viewed as agents of chemical mass-transfer in the upper mantle and transition zone, leaving a chemical imprint of ocean crust that can possibly endure for billions of years.

  10. Deformation fabrics of natural blueschists and implications for seismic anisotropy in subducting oceanic crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Daeyeong; Katayama, Ikuo; Michibayashi, Katsuyoshi; Tsujimori, Tatsuki

    2013-09-01

    Investigations of microstructures are crucial if we are to understand the seismic anisotropy of subducting oceanic crust, and here we report on our systematic fabric analyses of glaucophane, lawsonite, and epidote in naturally deformed blueschists from the Diablo Range and Franciscan Complex in California, and the Hida Mountains in Japan. Glaucophanes in the analyzed samples consist of very fine grains that are well aligned along the foliation and have high aspect ratios and strong crystal preferred orientations (CPOs) characterized by a (1 0 0)[0 0 1] pattern. These characteristics, together with a bimodal distribution of grain sizes from some samples, possibly indicate the occurrence of dynamic recrystallization for glaucophane. Although lawsonite and epidote display high aspect ratios and a strong CPO of (0 0 1)[0 1 0], the occurrence of straight grain boundaries and euhedral crystals indicates that rigid body rotation was the dominant deformation mechanism. The P-wave (AVP) and S-wave (AVS) seismic anisotropies of glaucophane (AVP = 20.4%, AVS = 11.5%) and epidote (AVP = 9.0%, AVS = 8.0%) are typical of the crust; consequently, the fastest propagation of P-waves is parallel to the [0 0 1] maxima, and the polarization of S-waves parallel to the foliation can form a trench-parallel seismic anisotropy owing to the slowest VS polarization being normal to the subducting slab. The seismic anisotropy of lawsonite (AVP = 9.6%, AVS = 19.9%) is characterized by the fast propagation of P-waves subnormal to the lawsonite [0 0 1] maxima and polarization of S-waves perpendicular to the foliation and lineation, which can generate a trench-normal anisotropy. The AVS of lawsonite blueschist (5.6-9.2%) is weak compared with that of epidote blueschist (8.4-11.1%). Calculations of the thickness of the anisotropic layer indicate that glaucophane and lawsonite contribute to the trench-parallel and trench-normal seismic anisotropy beneath NE Japan, but not to that beneath the Ryukyu

  11. The north-subducting Rheic Ocean during the Devonian: consequences for the Rhenohercynian ore sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Raumer, Jürgen F.; Nesbor, Heinz-Dieter; Stampfli, Gérard M.

    2017-10-01

    Base metal mining in the Rhenohercynian Zone has a long history. Middle-Upper Devonian to Lower Carboniferous sediment-hosted massive sulfide deposits (SHMS), volcanic-hosted massive sulfide deposits (VHMS) and Lahn-Dill-type iron, and base metal ores occur at several sites in the Rhenohercynian Zone that stretches from the South Portuguese Zone, through the Lizard area, the Rhenish Massif and the Harz Mountain to the Moravo-Silesian Zone of SW Bohemia. During Devonian to Early Carboniferous times, the Rhenohercynian Zone is seen as an evolving rift system developed on subsiding shelf areas of the Old Red continent. A reappraisal of the geotectonic setting of these ore deposits is proposed. The Middle-Upper Devonian to Early Carboniferous time period was characterized by detrital sedimentation, continental intraplate and subduction-related volcanism. The large shelf of the Devonian Old Red continent was the place of thermal subsidence with contemporaneous mobilization of rising thermal fluids along activated Early Devonian growth faults. Hydrothermal brines equilibrated with the basement and overlying Middle-Upper Devonian detrital deposits forming the SHMS deposits in the southern part of the Pyrite Belt, in the Rhenish Massif and in the Harz areas. Volcanic-hosted massive sulfide deposits (VHMS) formed in the more eastern localities of the Rhenohercynian domain. In contrast, since the Tournaisian period of ore formation, dominant pull-apart triggered magmatic emplacement of acidic rocks, and their metasomatic replacement in the apical zones of felsic domes and sediments in the northern part of the Iberian Pyrite belt, thus changing the general conditions of ore precipitation. This two-step evolution is thought to be controlled by syn- to post-tectonic phases in the Variscan framework, specifically by the transition of geotectonic setting dominated by crustal extension to a one characterized by the subduction of the supposed northern slab of the Rheic Ocean

  12. Volcanic Markers of the Post-Subduction Evolution of Baja California and Sonora, Mexico: Slab Tearing Versus Lithospheric Rupture of the Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calmus, Thierry; Pallares, Carlos; Maury, René C.; Aguillón-Robles, Alfredo; Bellon, Hervé; Benoit, Mathieu; Michaud, François

    2011-08-01

    The study of the geochemical compositions and K-Ar or Ar-Ar ages of ca. 350 Neogene and Quaternary lavas from Baja California, the Gulf of California and Sonora allows us to discuss the nature of their mantle or crustal sources, the conditions of their melting and the tectonic regime prevailing during their genesis and emplacement. Nine petrographic/geochemical groups are distinguished: "regular" calc-alkaline lavas; adakites; magnesian andesites and related basalts and basaltic andesites; niobium-enriched basalts; alkali basalts and trachybasalts; oceanic (MORB-type) basalts; tholeiitic/transitional basalts and basaltic andesites; peralkaline rhyolites (comendites); and icelandites. We show that the spatial and temporal distribution of these lava types provides constraints on their sources and the geodynamic setting controlling their partial melting. Three successive stages are distinguished. Between 23 and 13 Ma, calc-alkaline lavas linked to the subduction of the Pacific-Farallon plate formed the Comondú and central coast of the Sonora volcanic arc. In the extensional domain of western Sonora, lithospheric mantle-derived tholeiitic to transitional basalts and basaltic andesites were emplaced within the southern extension of the Basin and Range province. The end of the Farallon subduction was marked by the emplacement of much more complex Middle to Late Miocene volcanic associations, between 13 and 7 Ma. Calc-alkaline activity became sporadic and was replaced by unusual post-subduction magma types including adakites, niobium-enriched basalts, magnesian andesites, comendites and icelandites. The spatial and temporal distribution of these lavas is consistent with the development of a slab tear, evolving into a 200-km-wide slab window sub-parallel to the trench, and extending from the Pacific coast of Baja California to coastal Sonora. Tholeiitic, transitional and alkali basalts of subslab origin ascended through this window, and adakites derived from the partial

  13. Subduction and volatile recycling in Earth's mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 3D Numerical modelling of topography development associated with curved subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  16. Horizontal mantle flow controls subduction dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ficini, E; Dal Zilio, L; Doglioni, C; Gerya, T V

    2017-08-08

    It is generally accepted that subduction is driven by downgoing-plate negative buoyancy. Yet plate age -the main control on buoyancy- exhibits little correlation with most of the present-day subduction velocities and slab dips. "West"-directed subduction zones are on average steeper (~65°) than "East"-directed (~27°). Also, a "westerly"-directed net rotation of the lithosphere relative to the mantle has been detected in the hotspot reference frame. Thus, the existence of an "easterly"-directed horizontal mantle wind could explain this subduction asymmetry, favouring steepening or lifting of slab dip angles. Here we test this hypothesis using high-resolution two-dimensional numerical thermomechanical models of oceanic plate subduction interacting with a mantle flow. Results show that when subduction polarity is opposite to that of the mantle flow, the descending slab dips subvertically and the hinge retreats, thus leading to the development of a back-arc basin. In contrast, concordance between mantle flow and subduction polarity results in shallow dipping subduction, hinge advance and pronounced topography of the overriding plate, regardless of their age-dependent negative buoyancy. Our results are consistent with seismicity data and tomographic images of subduction zones. Thus, our models may explain why subduction asymmetry is a common feature of convergent margins on Earth.

  17. Effect of a weak layer at the base of an oceanic plate on subduction dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carluccio, Roberta; Kaus, Boris

    2017-04-01

    The plate tectonics model relies on the concept of a relatively rigid lithospheric lid moving over a weaker asthenosphere. In this frame, the lithosphere asthenosphere boundary (LAB) is a first-order discontinuity that accommodates differential motions 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 was suggested to affect 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. Therefore, we here 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 mantle are either linear viscous or have a more realistic temperature-dependent visco-elastic-plastic rheology. Results show that a weak layer affects the dynamics of the plates, foremost by increasing the subduction speed. The impact of this effect depends on the thickness of the layer and the viscosity contrast between the mantle and the weak layer. For moderate viscosity contrasts (1000), it can also change the morphology of the subduction itself, perhaps because this changes the overall effective viscosity contrast between the slab the and the mantle. For thinner layers, the overall effect is reduced. Yet, if seismological observations are correct that suggests that this layer is 10 km thick and partially molten, such that the viscosity is 1000 times lower than that of the mantle, our models suggest that this effect should be measurable. Some of our models also show a pile-up of weak material in the bending zone of the subducting plate, consistent with recent seismological observations.

  18. Subduction in an Eddy-Resolving State Estimate of the Northeast Atlantic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebbie, Geoffrey

    2004-01-01

    Are eddies an important contributor to subduction in the eastern subtropical gyre? Here, an adjoint model is used to combine a regional, eddy-resolving numerical model with observations to produce a state estimate of the ocean circulation. The estimate is a synthesis of a variety of in- situ observations from the Subduction Experiment, TOPEX/POSEIDON altimetry, and the MTI General Circulation Model. The adjoint method is successful because the Northeast Atlantic Ocean is only weakly nonlinear. The state estimate provides a physically-interpretable, eddy-resolving information source to diagnose subduction. Estimates of eddy subduction for the eastern subtropical gyre of the North Atlantic are larger than previously calculated from parameterizations in coarse-resolution models. Furthermore, eddy subduction rates have typical magnitudes of 15% of the total subduction rate. Eddies contribute as much as 1 Sverdrup to water-mass transformation, and hence subduction, in the North Equatorial Current and the Azores Current. The findings of this thesis imply that the inability to resolve or accurately parameterize eddy subduction in climate models would lead to an accumulation of error in the structure of the main thermocline, even in the relatively-quiescent eastern subtropical gyre.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. D. Müller

    2012-12-01

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

  20. Convective Removal of Continental Margin Lithosphere at the Edges of Subducting Oceanic Plates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levander, A.; Bezada, M. J.; Palomeras, I.; Masy, J.; Humphreys, E.; Niu, F.

    2013-12-01

    Although oceanic lithosphere is continuously recycled to the deeper mantle by subduction, the rates and manner in which different types of continental lithospheric mantle are recycled is unclear. Cratonic mantle can be chemically reworked and essentially decratonized, although the frequency of decratonization is unclear. Lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts can be lost to the deeper mantle by convective downwellings and delamination phenomena. Here we describe how subduction related processes at the edges of oceanic plates adjacent to passive continental margins removes the mantle lithosphere from beneath the margin and from the continental interior. This appears to be a widespread means of recycling non-cratonic continental mantle. Lithospheric removal requires the edge of a subducting oceanic plate to be at a relatively high angle to an adjacent passive continental margin. From Rayleigh wave and body wave tomography, and receiver function images from the BOLIVAR and PICASSO experiments, we infer large-scale removal of continental margin lithospheric mantle from beneath 1) the northern South American plate margin due to Atlantic subduction, and 2) the Iberian and North African margins due to Alboran plate subduction. In both cases lithospheric mantle appears to have been removed several hundred kilometers inland from the subduction zones. This type of ';plate-edge' tectonics either accompanies or pre-conditions continental margins for orogenic activity by thinning and weakening the lithosphere. These processes show the importance of relatively small convective structures, i.e. small subducting plates, in formation of orogenic belts.

  1. Geodynamic models of continental subduction and obduction of overriding plate forearc oceanic lithosphere on top of continental crust

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Edwards, Sarah J.; Schellart, Wouter P.; Duarte, Joao C.

    2015-01-01

    Continental subduction takes place in the final stage of subduction when all oceanic lithosphere is consumed and continental passive margin is pulled into the mantle. When the overriding plate is oceanic, dense forearc oceanic lithosphere might be obducted onto light continental crust forming an

  2. Thermal effects of metamorphic reactions in a three-component slab

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chemia, Zurab; Dolejš, David; Steinle-Neumann, Gerd

    2010-01-01

    : age, geometry and rate of subducting lithosphere, shear stress across the subduction interface, radioactive heating, etc. Recently, emphasis has been placed on significant heating of the slab due to rheologically favourable convection in the mantle wedge. However, substantial heat production...... or consumption can occur due to metamorphic reactions, including endothermic devolatilization. We investigate enthalpy budget in a subducting slab using a self-consistent thermodynamic model. Petrological model of a subducting slab consists of three layers: oceanic subducting sediment (GLOSS), oceanic basalt (OB......), and moderately serpentinized harzburgite (SHB). These layers are examined over the range of pressure-temperature conditions of interest by computing metamorphic phase diagrams and retrieving whole-rock thermodynamic properties. Our results suggest that metamorphic reactions consume a significant amount of slab...

  3. The Othris Ophiolite, Greece: A snapshot of subduction initiation at a mid-ocean ridge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barth, M.G.; Mason, P.R.D.; Davies, G.R.; Drury, M.R.

    2008-01-01

    The mantle section of the Tethyan-type Othris Ophiolite, Greece, records tectono-magmatic processes characteristic of both mid-ocean ridges and supra-subduction zones. The Othris Ophiolite is a remnant of the Jurassic Neotethys Ocean, which existed between Eurasia and Gondwanaland. Othris

  4. Ringwoodite lamellae in olivine: Clues to olivine-ringwoodite phase transition mechanisms in shocked meteorites and subducting slabs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ming; El Goresy, Ahmed; Gillet, Philippe

    2004-10-01

    The first natural occurrence of ringwoodite lamellae was found in the olivine grains inside and in areas adjacent to the shock veins of a chondritic meteorite, and these lamellae show distinct growth mechanism. Inside the veins where pressure and temperature were higher than elsewhere, ringwoodite lamellae formed parallel to the {101} planes of olivine, whereas outside they lie parallel to the (100) plane of olivine. The lamellae replaced the host olivine from a few percent to complete. Formation of these lamellae relates to a diffusion-controlled growth of ringwoodite along shear-induced planar defects in olivine. The planar defects and ringwoodite lamellae parallel to the {101} planes of olivine should have been produced in higher shear stress and temperature region than that parallel to the (100) plane of olivine. This study suggests that the time duration of high pressure and temperature for the growth of ringwoodite lamellae might have lasted at least for several seconds, and that an intracrystalline transformation mechanism of ringwoodite in olivine could favorably operate in the subducting lithospheric slabs in the deep Earth.

  5. Ringwoodite lamellae in olivine: Clues to olivine–ringwoodite phase transition mechanisms in shocked meteorites and subducting slabs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ming; Goresy, Ahmed El; Gillet, Philippe

    2004-01-01

    The first natural occurrence of ringwoodite lamellae was found in the olivine grains inside and in areas adjacent to the shock veins of a chondritic meteorite, and these lamellae show distinct growth mechanism. Inside the veins where pressure and temperature were higher than elsewhere, ringwoodite lamellae formed parallel to the {101} planes of olivine, whereas outside they lie parallel to the (100) plane of olivine. The lamellae replaced the host olivine from a few percent to complete. Formation of these lamellae relates to a diffusion-controlled growth of ringwoodite along shear-induced planar defects in olivine. The planar defects and ringwoodite lamellae parallel to the {101} planes of olivine should have been produced in higher shear stress and temperature region than that parallel to the (100) plane of olivine. This study suggests that the time duration of high pressure and temperature for the growth of ringwoodite lamellae might have lasted at least for several seconds, and that an intracrystalline transformation mechanism of ringwoodite in olivine could favorably operate in the subducting lithospheric slabs in the deep Earth. PMID:15479764

  6. Subduction dynamics: Constraints from gravity field observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcadoo, D. C.

    1985-01-01

    Satellite systems do the best job of resolving the long wavelength components of the Earth's gravity field. Over the oceans, satellite-borne radar altimeters such as SEASAT provide the best resolution observations of the intermediate wavelength components. Satellite observations of gravity contributed to the understanding of the dynamics of subduction. Large, long wavelength geoidal highs generally occur over subduction zones. These highs are attributed to the superposition of two effects of subduction: (1) the positive mass anomalies of subducting slabs themselves; and (2) the surface deformations such as the trenches convectively inducted by these slabs as they sink into the mantle. Models of this subduction process suggest that the mantle behaves as a nonNewtonian fluid, its effective viscosity increases significantly with depth, and that large positive mass anomalies may occur beneath the seismically defined Benioff zones.

  7. Abrupt tectonics and rapid slab detachment with grain damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bercovici, David; Schubert, Gerald; Ricard, Yanick

    2015-02-03

    A simple model for necking and detachment of subducting slabs is developed to include the coupling between grain-sensitive rheology and grain-size evolution with damage. Necking is triggered by thickened buoyant crust entrained into a subduction zone, in which case grain damage accelerates necking and allows for relatively rapid slab detachment, i.e., within 1 My, depending on the size of the crustal plug. Thick continental crustal plugs can cause rapid necking while smaller plugs characteristic of ocean plateaux cause slower necking; oceanic lithosphere with normal or slightly thickened crust subducts without necking. The model potentially explains how large plateaux or continental crust drawn into subduction zones can cause slab loss and rapid changes in plate motion and/or induce abrupt continental rebound.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    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 distribut...

  9. A Cambrian intra-oceanic subduction system in the Bozshakol area, Kazakhstan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Ping; Pan, Hongdi; Seitmuratova, Eleonora; Yuan, Feng; Jakupova, Sholpan

    2015-05-01

    adakites. Therefore, Bozshakol intrusive rocks were also derived from the mantle wedge and minor slab melts. We propose a model of intra-oceanic subduction for the Middle to Late Cambrian magmatic evolution of magmatic arcs in northwestern central Kazakhstan.

  10. Subduction of the oceanic Hikurangi Plateau and its impact on the Kermadec arc.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timm, Christian; Davy, Bryan; Haase, Karsten; Hoernle, Kaj A; Graham, Ian J; de Ronde, Cornel E J; Woodhead, Jon; Bassett, Dan; Hauff, Folkmar; Mortimer, Nick; Seebeck, Hannu C; Wysoczanski, Richard J; Caratori-Tontini, Fabio; Gamble, John A

    2014-09-17

    Large igneous province subduction is a rare process on Earth. A modern example is the subduction of the oceanic Hikurangi Plateau beneath the southern Kermadec arc, offshore New Zealand. This segment of the arc has the largest total lava volume erupted and the highest volcano density of the entire Kermadec arc. Here we show that Kermadec arc lavas south of ~32°S have elevated Pb and Sr and low Nd isotope ratios, which argues, together with increasing seafloor depth, forearc retreat and crustal thinning, for initial Hikurangi Plateau-Kermadec arc collision ~250 km north of its present position. The combined data set indicates that a much larger portion of the Hikurangi Plateau (the missing Ontong Java Nui piece) than previously believed has already been subducted. Oblique plate convergence caused southward migration of the thickened and buoyant oceanic plateau crust, creating a buoyant 'Hikurangi' mélange beneath the Moho that interacts with ascending arc melts.

  11. Numerical models of slab migration in continental collision zones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Magni

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Continental collision is an intrinsic feature of plate tectonics. The closure of an oceanic basin leads to the onset of subduction of buoyant continental material, which slows down and eventually stops the subduction process. In natural cases, evidence of advancing margins has been recognized in continental collision zones such as India-Eurasia and Arabia-Eurasia. We perform a parametric study of the geometrical and rheological influence on subduction dynamics during the subduction of continental lithosphere. In our 2-D numerical models of a free subduction system with temperature and stress-dependent rheology, the trench and the overriding plate move self-consistently as a function of the dynamics of the system (i.e. no external forces are imposed. This setup enables to study how continental subduction influences the trench migration. We found that in all models the slab starts to advance once the continent enters the subduction zone and continues to migrate until few million years after the ultimate slab detachment. Our results support the idea that the advancing mode is favoured and, in part, provided by the intrinsic force balance of continental collision. We suggest that the advance is first induced by the locking of the subduction zone and the subsequent steepening of the slab, and next by the sinking of the deepest oceanic part of the slab, during stretching and break-off of the slab. These processes are responsible for the migration of the subduction zone by triggering small-scale convection cells in the mantle that, in turn, drag the plates. The amount of advance ranges from 40 to 220 km and depends on the dip angle of the slab before the onset of collision.

  12. Relationship Between Far Field Stresses, Fluid Flow and High-Pressure Deserpentinization in Subducting Slabs: a Case Study From the Almirez Ultramafic Massif

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dilissen, Nicole; Hidas, Károly; Garrido, Carlos J.; López Sánchez-Vizcaíno, Vicente; Kahl, Wolf-Achim; Padrón-Navarta, José Alberto; Jesús Román-Alpiste, Manuel

    2017-04-01

    Serpentinite dehydration during prograde metamorphism plays a crucial role in subduction dynamics. Observations from exhumed paleo-subduction metamorphic terranes suggest that the discharge of deserpentinization fluids from the subducting slab takes place along different pathways and mechanisms [e.g. 1-3]. Analysis of intermediate-depth focal solutions in active subduction zones indicates that slabs are subjected to different principal stress fields characterized primarily by downdip compression and downdip tension [4]. Although it is well known that far field stresses play a crucial role on fluid flow channeling, their potential impact on the kinetics of serpentinite dehydration and subsequent fluid escape in subducting slabs is still poorly understood. Here, we present a detailed structural and microstructural study to investigate the relationships between far field stresses, fluid flow and high-pressure deserpentinization in the Almirez ultramafic massif (Betic Cordillera, SE Spain) [1, 2]. This massif preserves the high-pressure breakdown of antigorite (Atg-) serpentinite to prograde chlorite (Chl-) harzburgite, which are separated by a sharp isograd [2, 5]. The Chl-harzburgite reaction products show either a granofels or spinifex-like texture indicating crystallization under different overstepping of the Atg-out reaction. The two different textural types of Chl-harzburgite occur below the Atg-out isograd as alternating, meter-wide lenses with either a granofels or spinifex texture. From field measurements, we infer that during antigorite dehydration the minimum compressive stress was subnormal to the dehydration front and the paleo-slab surface. This stress field is consistent with subduction zones with slabs under downdip compression at intermediate depths [4]. The detailed microstructural study —combining µ-CT and EBSD-SEM [6]— of Chl-harzburgite across a c. 15 m wide lens reveals that the SPO and CPO of olivines with contrasting textures are strongly

  13. 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; de Gelder, Giovanni; van der Goes, Freek; Morris, Antony

    2017-04-01

    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. Supra-subduction zone (SSZ) ophiolites (i.e., emerged fragments of ancient oceanic lithosphere accreted at supra-subduction spreading centers) were generated during this subduction event, and are today distributed in the eastern Mediterranean region along three E-W trending ophiolitic belts. Current models associate these ophiolite belts to simultaneous initiation of multiple, E-W trending subduction zones at 95 Ma. Here we report paleospreading direction data obtained from paleomagnetic analysis of sheeted dyke sections from seven Neo-Tethyan ophiolites of Turkey, Cyprus, and Syria, demonstrating that these ophiolites formed at NNE-SSW striking ridges parallel to the newly formed subduction zones. This subduction system was step-shaped and composed of NNE-SSW and ESE-WNW segments. The eastern subduction segment invaded the SW Mediterranean, leading to a radial obduction pattern similar to the Banda arc. Emplacement age constraints indicate that this subduction system formed close to the Triassic passive and paleo-transform margins of the Anatolide-Tauride continental block. Because the original Triassic-Jurassic Neo-Tethyan spreading ridge must have already subducted below the Pontides before the Late Cretaceous, we infer that the Late Cretaceous Neo-Tethyan subduction system started within ancient lithosphere, along NNE-SSW oriented fracture zones and faults parallel to the E-W trending passive margins. This challenges current concepts suggesting that subduction initiation occurs along active intra-oceanic plate boundaries.

  14. A thermo-mechanical model of horizontal subduction below an overriding plate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hunen, Jeroen van; Berg, A.P. van den; Vlaar, N.J.

    2000-01-01

    Subduction of young oceanic lithosphere cannot be explained by the gravitational driving mechanisms of slab pull and ridge push. This deficiency of driving forces can be overcome by obduction of an actively overriding plate, which forces the young plate either to subduct or to collide. This

  15. Dynamical effects of subducting ridges: Insights from 3-D laboratory models

    CERN Document Server

    Martinod, Joseph; Faccenna, Claudio; Labanieh, Shasa; Regard, Vincent; 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2005.02797.x

    2010-01-01

    We model the subduction of buoyant ridges and plateaus to study their effect on slab dynamics. Oceanic ridges parallel to the trench have a stronger effect on the process of subduction because they simultaneously affect a longer trench segment. Large buoyant slab segments sink more slowly into the asthenosphere, and their subduction result in a diminution of the velocity of subduction of the plate. We observe a steeping of the slab below those buoyant anomalies, resulting in smaller radius of curvature of the slab, that augments the energy dissipated in folding the plate and further diminishes the velocity of subduction. When the 3D geometry of a buoyant plateau is modelled, the dip of the slab above the plateau decreases, as a result of the larger velocity of subduction of the dense "normal" oceanic plate on both sides of the plateau. Such a perturbation of the dip of the slab maintains long time after the plateau has been entirely incorporated into the subduction zone. We compare experiments with the presen...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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.

  17. Transitional time of oceanic to continental subduction in the Dabie orogen: Clues from the Triassic age for oceanic eclogites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, H.; Dufrane, S.; Nakamura, E.; Vervoort, J. D.

    2009-12-01

    Low-temperature and high-pressure eclogites with an oceanic affinity in the western part of the Dabie orogen have been investigated with combined Lu-Hf and U-Pb geochronology. These eclogites formed over a range of temperatures (482-565°C and 1.9-2.2 GPa). Three eclogites, which were sampled from the Gaoqiao country, yield Lu-Hf ages of 240.7 ± 1.2 Ma, 243.3 ± 4.1 Ma and 238.3 ± 1.2 Ma, with a corresponding lower-intercept U-Pb zircon age of 232 ± 26 Ma. Despite the well-preserved prograde major- and trace-element zoning in garnets, mineralogical and petrologic studies suggest that Lu-Hf ages mostly reflect a later garnet growth episode. These ages mark the termination of high-pressure eclogite-facies metamorphism instead of representing the early phase of garnet growth. An upper-intercept zircon U-Pb age of 765 ± 24 Ma is defined for the Gaoqiao eclogite, which is consistent with the weighted mean age of 768 ± 21 Ma for the country gneiss. This suggests an analogue protolith origin; however, the gneiss has not been subjected to successive high-pressure metamorphism. The new Triassic ages are thus either an estimate of the involvement of oceanic fragments in the continental subduction or a milestone of the termination of oceanic subduction. The latter implies that different oceanic crustal slices/fragments reached peak metamorphism and started to exhume at diverse times, rather than being subducted and exhumed as a whole. Despite these results, many fundamental questions regarding the multi-slices subduction and exhumation hypothesis remain unanswered.

  18. The Ionian Abyssal Plain - closure of a remnant Mesozoic oceanic domain: subbottom structures, deep deformation and the Calabrian subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallais, F.; Gutscher, M.; Graindorge, D.; Klaeschen, D.

    2010-12-01

    The Ionian Abyssal Plain (IAP), located in the Central Mediterranean area is a deep triangular shaped basin, surrounded by the Calabrian subduction zone to the NW, the Mediterranean Ridge to the NE and the Medina Ridges to the South. Available heat flow measurements show very low values under the Ionian Abyssal plain, suggesing a very old age of 180-200 Ma for the basin. The Bouguer gravity anomaly map shows only a strong positive anomaly in this region and the depth of the Moho is around 16 to 18 km corresponding to high refraction velocities of 8.1-8.2 km/s. The Ionian basin is interpreted as one of the oldest basins in the Mediterranean area, and is thought to represent a remnant part of the Mesozoic Tethyan ocean. Due to the complex relative motions of microplates and blocks, currently, the oceanic lithosphere of the Ionian basin is being simultaneously consumed by subduction to the NE beneath the Hellenic system and to the NW beneath Calabria. We present the most relevant lines of the Archimede multi-channel seismic cruise (1997, R/V Le Nadir) crossing the Ionian Abyssal Plain and the Calabrian subduction zone. Interpretation of this seismic dataset is based on correlation with published seismic data and with ESP results. Beneath the IAP, we identify a thick sedimentary cover (> 5km) from the Jurassic to the Plio-Quaternary in age, which overlies the oceanic basement. The Pre-Messinian sequences are affected by a set of NE/SW striking compressional faults with some syn-tectonic basins NW of these faults. These features are interpreted as a re-activated set of normal faults, possibly formed during rifting and/or subsequent accretion of oceanic crust. The orientation of the subbottom structures and the thickness of the Messinian deposits in the south-eastern part of the IAP may be linked with the presence of these faults and their activity through time. On the Calabrian side of the IAP, the Post-Messinian sequences are accreted to the Calabrian wedge. The weak

  19. Rapid conversion of an oceanic spreading center to a subduction zone inferred from high-precision geochronology.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-22

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

  20. Impact of the slab dip change onto the deformation partitioning in the northern Lesser Antilles oblique subduction zone (Antigua-Virgin Islands)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurencin, Muriel; Marcaillou, Boris; Klingelhoefer, Frauke; Graindorge, David; Lebrun, Jean-Frédéric; Laigle, Mireille; Lallemand, Serge

    2017-04-01

    Marine geophysical cruises Antithesis (2013-2016) investigate the impact of the variations in interplate geometry onto margin tectonic deformation along the strongly oblique Lesser Antilles subduction zone. A striking features of this margin is the drastic increase in earthquake number from the quiet Barbuda-St Martin segment to the Virgin Islands platform. Wide-angle seismic data highlight a northward shallowing of the downgoing plate: in a 150 km distance from the deformation front, the slab dipping angle in the convergence direction decreases from 12° offshore of Antigua Island to 7° offshore of Virgin Islands. North-South wide-angle seismic line substantiates a drastic slab-dip change that likely causes this northward shallowing. This dip change is located beneath the southern tip of the Virgin Islands platform where the Anegada Passage entails the upper plate. Based on deep seismic lines and bathymetric data, the Anegada Passage is a 450 km long W-E trending set of pull-apart basins and strike-slip faults that extends from the Lesser Antilles accretionary prism to Puerto Rico. The newly observed sedimentary architecture within pull-apart Sombrero and Malliwana basins indicates a polyphased tectonic history. A past prominent NW-SE extensive to transtensive phase, possibly related to the Bahamas Bank collision, opened the Anegada Passage as previously published. Transpressive tectonic evidences indicate that these structures have been recently reactivated in an en-echelon sinistral strike-slip system. The interpreted strain ellipsoid is consistent with deformation partitioning. We propose that the slab northward shallowing increases the interplate coupling and the seismic activity beneath the Virgin Islands platform comparatively to the quiet Barbuda-St Martin segment. It is noteworthy that the major tectonic partitioning structure in the Lesser Antilles forearc is located above the slab dip change where the interplate seismic coupling increases.

  1. Thermal buoyancy on Venus - Underthrusting vs subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burt, Jeffrey D.; Head, James W.

    1992-01-01

    The thermal and buoyancy consequences of the subduction endmember are modeled in an attempt to evaluate the conditions distinguishing underthrusting and subduction. Thermal changes in slabs subducting into the Venusian mantle with a range of initial geotherms are used to predict density changes and, thus, slab buoyancy. Based on a model for subduction-induced mantle flow, it is then argued that the angle of the slab dip helps differentiate between underthrusting and subduction. Mantle flow applies torques to the slab which, in combination with torques due to slab buoyancy, act to change the angle of slab dip.

  2. Styles and Causes of Deformation and Exhumation Related to Flat-slab Subduction of the Yakutat Microplate: A Low-temperature Thermochronometer Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, P. A.; Haeussler, P. J.; Arkle, J. C.

    2011-12-01

    Flat-slab subduction of the Yakutat microplate has caused deformation and exhumation across a NW-SE trending swath (>600-km long by ~250 km wide) across southern Alaska. However, the styles and causes of deformation and exhumation vary markedly along the swath. In SE Alaska and adjacent Canada at the SE end of the swath, apatite (U-Th)/He [AHe] ages of ~0.5 Ma and detrital zircon fission-track peak ages of ~3 Ma record very rapid exhumation. This exhumation is related to focusing of deformation around transpressional bends at the outboard Yakutat collision front. At the NW end of the swath, 1 to 6 Ma AHe and apatite fission-track ages [AFT] in the Alaska Range record a complicated history of rapid exhumation. Several factors may contribute to the deformation history of this inboard region including localized transpressional deformation along the dextral Denali fault, changes in Yakutat microplate thickness, impingement of thicker upper plate crust across the Denali fault system, and changes in plate motion. The Talkeetna Mountains (TM), western Chugach Mountains (CM), and Prince William Sound (PWS) contain regions of focused and rapid exhumation separated by regions of slow exhumation and are key locations, between the inboard Alaska Range and outboard St. Elias areas, in understanding the array of deformation processes related to flat-slab subduction in southern Alaska. TM AHe ages generally are >20 Ma, suggesting relatively slow average long-term exhumation rates, but exhumation may have accelerated recently. Farther south, AHe ages are ~15 Ma in most of the PWS, but decrease northward to 3-4 Ma in the core of the western CM. AFT ages similarly decrease from 30 Ma in the PWS to 6 Ma in the CM core. Collectively, these ages record a bull's eye pattern of exhumation that is concentrated at a syntaxial bend in the regional topographic and structural grain in the western CM. The young exhumation here was probably caused by Yakutat underplating, which was focused into

  3. Dehydration of lawsonite could directly trigger earthquakes in subducting oceanic crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okazaki, Keishi; Hirth, Greg

    2016-02-01

    Intermediate-depth earthquakes in cold subduction zones are observed within the subducting oceanic crust, as well as the mantle. In contrast, intermediate-depth earthquakes in hot subduction zones predominantly occur just below the Mohorovičić discontinuity. These observations have stimulated interest in relationships between blueschist-facies metamorphism and seismicity, particularly through dehydration reactions involving the mineral lawsonite. Here we conducted deformation experiments on lawsonite, while monitoring acoustic emissions, in a Griggs-type deformation apparatus. The temperature was increased above the thermal stability of lawsonite, while the sample was deforming, to test whether the lawsonite dehydration reaction induces unstable fault slip. In contrast to similar tests on antigorite, unstable fault slip (that is, stick-slip) occurred during dehydration reactions in the lawsonite and acoustic emission signals were continuously observed. Microstructural observations indicate that strain is highly localized along the fault (R1 and B shears), and that the fault surface develops slickensides (very smooth fault surfaces polished by frictional sliding). The unloading slope during the unstable slip follows the stiffness of the apparatus at all experimental conditions, regardless of the strain rate and temperature ramping rate. A thermomechanical scaling factor for the experiments is within the range estimated for natural subduction zones, indicating the potential for unstable frictional sliding within natural lawsonite layers.

  4. Slab temperature controls on the Tonga double seismic zone and slab mantle dehydration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, S Shawn; Wiens, Douglas A; van Keken, Peter E; Cai, Chen

    2017-01-01

    Double seismic zones are two-layered distributions of intermediate-depth earthquakes that provide insight into the thermomechanical state of subducting slabs. We present new precise hypocenters of intermediate-depth earthquakes in the Tonga subduction zone obtained using data from local island-based, ocean-bottom, and global seismographs. The results show a downdip compressional upper plane and a downdip tensional lower plane with a separation of about 30 km. The double seismic zone in Tonga extends to a depth of about 300 km, deeper than in any other subduction system. This is due to the lower slab temperatures resulting from faster subduction, as indicated by a global trend toward deeper double seismic zones in colder slabs. In addition, a line of high seismicity in the upper plane is observed at a depth of 160 to 280 km, which shallows southward as the convergence rate decreases. Thermal modeling shows that the earthquakes in this "seismic belt" occur at various pressures but at a nearly constant temperature, highlighting the important role of temperature in triggering intermediate-depth earthquakes. This seismic belt may correspond to regions where the subducting mantle first reaches a temperature of ~500°C, implying that metamorphic dehydration of mantle minerals in the slab provides water to enhance faulting.

  5. 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.

  6. Mantle flow and dynamic topography associated with slab window opening: Insights from laboratory models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillaume, Benjamin; Moroni, Monica; Funiciello, Francesca; Martinod, Joseph; Faccenna, Claudio

    2010-12-01

    We present dynamically self-consistent mantle-scale laboratory models that have been conducted to improve our understanding of the influence of slab window opening on subduction dynamics, mantle flow and associated dynamic topography over geological time scales. The adopted setup consists of a two-layer linearly viscous system simulating the subduction of a fixed plate of silicone (lithosphere) under negative buoyancy in a viscous layer of glucose syrup (mantle). Our experimental setting is also characterized by a constant-width rectangular window located at the center of a laterally confined slab, modeling the case of the interaction of a trench-parallel spreading ridge with a wide subduction zone. We found that the opening of a slab window does not produce consistent changes of the geometry and the kinematics of the slab. On the contrary, slab-induced mantle circulation, quantified both in the vertical and horizontal sections using the Feature Tracking image analysis technique, is strongly modified. In particular, rollback subduction and the opening of the slab window generate a complex mantle circulation pattern characterized by the presence of poloidal and toroidal components, with the importance of each evolving according to kinematic stages. Mantle coming from the oceanic domain floods through the slab window, indenting the supra-slab mantle zone and producing its deformation without any mixing between mantle portions. The opening of the slab window and the upwelling of sub-slab mantle produce a regional-scale non-isostatic topographic uplift of the overriding plate that would correspond to values ranging between ca. 1 and 5 km in nature. Assuming that our modeling results can be representative of the natural behavior of subduction zones, we compared them to the tectonics and volcanism of the Patagonian subduction zone. We found that the anomalous backarc volcanism that has been developing since the middle Miocene could result from the lateral flow of sub-slab

  7. Reconstructions of subducted ocean floor along the Andes: a framework for assessing Magmatic and Ore Deposit History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sdrolias, M.; Müller, R.

    2006-05-01

    The South American-Antarctic margin has been characterised by numerous episodes of volcanic arc activity and ore deposit formation throughout much of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. Although its Cenozoic subduction history is relatively well known, placing the Mesozoic arc-related volcanics and the emplacement of ore bodies in their plate tectonic context remains poorly constrained. We use a merged moving hotspot (Late Cretaceous- present) and palaeomagnetic /fixed hotspot (Early Cretaceous) reference frame, coupled with reconstructed spreading histories of the Pacific, Phoenix and Farallon plates to understand the convergence history of the South American and Antarctic margins. We compute the age-area distribution of oceanic lithosphere through time, including subducting oceanic lithosphere and estimate convergence rates along the margin. Additionally, we map the location and migration of spreading ridges along the margin and relate this to processes on the overriding plate. The South American-Antarctic margin in the late Jurassic-early Cretaceous was dominated by rapid convergence, the subduction of relatively young oceanic lithosphere (Verdes" in southern South America. The speed of subduction increased again along the South American-Antarctic margin at ~105 Ma after another change in tectonic regime. Newly created crust from the Farallon-Phoenix ridge continued to be subducted along southern South America until the cessation of the Farallon-Phoenix ridge in the latest Cretaceous / beginning of the Cenozoic. The age of the subducting oceanic lithosphere along the South American-Antarctic margin has increased steadily through time.

  8. The "3-Basins" Project in Mid South America and the Geometry of the Deep Nazca Subducted Slab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assumpcao, M.; Bianchi, M.; Rocha, M., Sr.; Azevedo, P. A. D.

    2016-12-01

    A multi-national two-year deployment of 50 stations covering SW Brazil, Eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, NE Argentina and NW Uruguay will better map the crustal and upper mantle structure in this yet unexplored part of the South American plate. We aim at studying how deep structure and mantle convection controls the evolution of three intracratonic basins: Pantanal, Chaco-Paraná, and Paraná. The Quaternary Pantanal Basin is especially interesting because of its present subsidence and possible influence from Andean flexural effects as well as from deep mantle convection associated with the Nazca slab . The Nazca slab has a flat segment, just above the 660-km discontinuity (beneath the Chaco Basin in Paraguay), and then plunges beneath the Pantanal Basin reaching about 1000 km depth in SE Brazil (Schimmel et al., 2003; Rocha et al. 2011; Simmons et al., 2012). To the north of the Pantanal Basin, the Nazca slab seems to plunge directly through the transition zone without any deep flat segment. Initial studies of receiver functions from the transition zone were made using stations of the permanent Brazilian Seismic Network: the cold Nazca slab makes the 660-km discontinuity deeper between the Peru-Brazil border and the Pantanal basin, but does not affect the discontinuity depth beneath the Paraná basin further to the east. It is expected that the newly deployed temporary stations will significantly improve the maping of the geometry of the Nazca slab within and below the upper mantle transition zone in South America. Work supported by FAPESP grant 2103/24215-6.

  9. The relationship between plate velocity and trench viscosity in Newtonian and power-law subduction calculations

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Scott D.; Hager, Bradford H.

    1990-01-01

    The relationship between oceanic trench viscosity and oceanic plate velocity is studied using a Newtonian rheology by varying the viscosity at the trench. The plate velocity is a function of the trench viscosity for fixed Rayleigh number and plate/slab viscosity. Slab velocities for non-Newtonian rheology calculations are significantly different from slab velocities from Newtonian rheology calculations at the same effective Rayleigh number. Both models give reasonable strain rates for the slab when compared with estimates of seismic strain rate. Non-Newtonian rheology eliminates the need for imposed weak zones and provides a self-consistent fluid dynamical mechanism for subduction in numerical convection models.

  10. ENSO dynamics and diversity resulting from the recharge oscillator interacting with the slab ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Yanshan; Dommenget, Dietmar; Frauen, Claudia; Wang, Gang; Wales, Scott

    2016-03-01

    El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the leading mode of interannual global climate variability, which in its essence is often described by the equatorial dynamics of the recharge oscillator with a fixed pattern. Here we explore the idea that ENSO can be simulated in a model with a fixed pattern of sea surface temperature variability following the recharge oscillator mechanism, which interacts with the thermodynamic red noise of a slab ocean. This model is capable of simulating the leading modes of sea surface temperature variability in the tropical Pacific in good agreement with the observations and most coupled general circulation models. ENSO dynamics, amplitude, seasonality, the structure of the leading patterns, its meridional extension, its variations in an eastern and central Pacific pattern and associated positive feedbacks are all influenced and simulated well by including the interaction of recharge oscillator and the thermodynamic coupling to the slab ocean model. We further point out that much of the ENSO diversity in the spatial structure is a reflection of this interaction. However, it also has to be noted that some equatorial dynamics are missing in this model and in coupled general circulation models that are important for the ENSO diversity.

  11. The relationship between orogenesis, terrane accretion and the subduction of oceanic ridges in the Ecuadorian andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spikings, R.; Winkler, W.; Seward, D.; Hughes, R.; Handler, R.; Crowhurst, P.

    2003-04-01

    Oceanic hotspot activity, generating large oceanic igneous plateau provinces, plate rearrangements and the generation of new spreading centers since at least 90 Ma have formed large structural, thickness and density heterogeneities in the approaching and subducting oceanic crust offshore NW South America (SOAM). Various oceanic allochthonous terranes comprise western Ecuador and the relatively thick and buoyant Carnegie Ridge is being subducted. We present 40Ar/39Ar, fission track (FT) and (U-Th/He) data from i) the Eastern Cordillera and the Amotape Complex, which define the palaeo-continental margin, ii) the Western Cordillera, which is built upon allochthonous, oceanic crust and iii) a tectonic mélange at the ocean-continent suture. 40Ar/39Ar ages and FT data from exotic, Triassic blocks within the ocean-continent suture record elevated cooling rates of plateau basalts and the continental margin. 40Ar/39Ar ages and FT data from the palaeo-continental margin show that the entire contemporaneous continental margin was being cooled by rapid tectonic exhumation (combined with geochemical analyses, suggest that these periods of orogenesis were driven by stress imposed by the collision of terranes that originated at the Caribbean Plateau. Distinct periods of rapid cooling and exhumation of fault blocks in the W. Cordillera and the northern E. Cordillera occurred at ˜15 and ˜9 Ma. Cooling at ˜15 Ma was driven by the collision of the Carnegie Ridge with the trench at ˜15 Ma. The elevated, compressive stress field gave rise to a complex transcurrent system, resulting in uplift, exhumation and cooling in the northern E. Cordillera and extension in the southern E. Cordillera. Finally, FT and (U-Th)/He data record rapid cooling in the northern E. Cordillera and parts of the W. Cordillera at ˜6-5 Ma, suggesting that the middle Miocene transcurrent system was reactivated by thrust tectonics during the late Miocene, giving rise to the Interandean Valley, which split the

  12. Signature of slab fragmentation beneath Anatolia from full-waveform tomography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Govers, R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/108173836; Fichtner, Andreas|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/323044085

    2016-01-01

    When oceanic basins close after a long period of convergence and subduction, continental collision and mountain building is a common consequence. Slab segmentation is expected to have been relatively common just prior to closure of other oceans in the geological past, and may explain some of the

  13. Chemo-probe into the mantle origin of the NW Anatolia Eocene to Miocene volcanic rocks: Implications for the role of, crustal accretion, subduction, slab roll-back and slab break-off processes in genesis of post-collisional magmatism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ersoy, E. Yalçın; Palmer, Martin R.; Genç, Ş. Can; Prelević, Dejan; Akal, Cüneyt; Uysal, İbrahim

    2017-09-01

    Post-collisional Cenozoic magmatic activity in NW Anatolia produced widespread volcanism across the region. In the Biga Peninsula, in the west, medium-K calc-alkaline to ultra-K rocks with orogenic geochemical signature were emplaced at 43-15 Ma (Biga orogenic volcanic rocks; BOVR). Volcanic activity in the Central Sakarya region, to the east, is mainly restricted to 53-38 Ma, but also continued during the Early Miocene with small basaltic extrusives (Sakarya orogenic volcanic rocks; SOVR). This study presents a new set of geochemical data (whole rock major and trace elements and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic compositions), obtained from the Cenozoic calc-alkaline volcanic rocks from these two regions. While there is considerable overlap in the emplacement time of volcanism in the two areas, the post-collisional volcanic rocks of these two regions differ in terms of their geochemical compositions: (1) the BOVR show an age-dependent increase in K and other large-ion lithophile elements (LILE), coupled with an increase in radiogenic Sr and Pb compositions from the Eocene to Miocene; whereas (2) the SOVR are characterized by more sodic compositions with lower K and less radiogenic Sr contents with respect to the BOVR, which were unchanged in Eocene and Miocene. We conclude that these geochemical features were principally related to the distinct modes of subduction-related mantle enrichment processes. We suggest that the Eocene to Miocene progressive enrichment in the BOVR mantle was related to successive subduction of oceanic and crustal materials in the western Aegean, while the SOVR mantle was dominantly enriched during the pre-collisional events. Magma generation in the western region was related to subduction roll-back processes associated with post-collisional extension. In the east, thermal perturbation of the mantle in response to asthenospheric upwelling due to slab break-off process was responsible for the magma generation. The time-dependent increase of K (and other

  14. Continental underplating after slab break-off

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magni, V.; Allen, M. B.; van Hunen, J.; Bouilhol, P.

    2017-09-01

    We present three-dimensional numerical models to investigate the dynamics of continental collision, and in particular what happens to the subducted continental lithosphere after oceanic slab break-off. We find that in some scenarios the subducting continental lithosphere underthrusts the overriding plate not immediately after it enters the trench, but after oceanic slab break-off. In this case, the continental plate first subducts with a steep angle and then, after the slab breaks off at depth, it rises back towards the surface and flattens below the overriding plate, forming a thick horizontal layer of continental crust that extends for about 200 km beyond the suture. This type of behaviour depends on the width of the oceanic plate marginal to the collision zone: wide oceanic margins promote continental underplating and marginal back-arc basins; narrow margins do not show such underplating unless a far field force is applied. Our models show that, as the subducted continental lithosphere rises, the mantle wedge progressively migrates away from the suture and the continental crust heats up, reaching temperatures >900 °C. This heating might lead to crustal melting, and resultant magmatism. We observe a sharp peak in the overriding plate rock uplift right after the occurrence of slab break-off. Afterwards, during underplating, the maximum rock uplift is smaller, but the affected area is much wider (up to 350 km). These results can be used to explain the dynamics that led to the present-day crustal configuration of the India-Eurasia collision zone and its consequences for the regional tectonic and magmatic evolution.

  15. Subduction zone decoupling/retreat modeling explains south Tibet (Xigaze) and other supra-subduction zone ophiolites and their UHP mineral phases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Jared P.; Beaumont, Christopher

    2017-04-01

    The plate tectonic setting in which proto-ophiolite 'oceanic' lithosphere is created remains controversial with a number of environments suggested. Recent opinions tend to coalesce around supra-subduction zone (SSZ) forearc extension, with a popular conceptual model in which the proto-ophiolite forms during foundering of oceanic lithosphere at the time of spontaneous or induced onset of subduction. This mechanism is favored in intra-oceanic settings where the subducting lithosphere is old and the upper plate is young and thin. We investigate an alternative mechanism; namely, decoupling of the subducting oceanic lithosphere in the forearc of an active continental margin, followed by subduction zone (trench) retreat and creation of a forearc oceanic rift basin, containing proto-ophiolite lithosphere, between the continental margin and the retreating subduction zone. A template of 2D numerical model experiments examines the trade-off between strength of viscous coupling in the lithospheric subduction channel and net slab pull of the subducting lithosphere. Three tectonic styles are observed: 1) C, continuous subduction without forearc decoupling; 2) R, forearc decoupling followed by rapid subduction zone retreat; 3) B, breakoff of subducting lithosphere followed by re-initiation of subduction and in some cases, forearc decoupling (B-R). In one case (BA-B-R; where BA denotes backarc) subduction zone retreat follows backarc rifting. Subduction zone decoupling is analyzed using frictional-plastic yield theory and the Stefan solution for the separation of plates containing a viscous fluid. The numerical model results are used to explain the formation of Xigaze group ophiolites, southern Tibet, which formed in the Lhasa terrane forearc, likely following earlier subduction and not necessarily during subduction initiation. Either there was normal coupled subduction before subduction zone decoupling, or precursor slab breakoff, subduction re-initiation and then decoupling

  16. Mesoscale ocean fronts enhance carbon export due to gravitational sinking and subduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stukel, Michael R; Aluwihare, Lihini I; Barbeau, Katherine A; Chekalyuk, Alexander M; Goericke, Ralf; Miller, Arthur J; Ohman, Mark D; Ruacho, Angel; Song, Hajoon; Stephens, Brandon M; Landry, Michael R

    2017-02-07

    Enhanced vertical carbon transport (gravitational sinking and subduction) at mesoscale ocean fronts may explain the demonstrated imbalance of new production and sinking particle export in coastal upwelling ecosystems. Based on flux assessments from (238)U:(234)Th disequilibrium and sediment traps, we found 2 to 3 times higher rates of gravitational particle export near a deep-water front (305 mg C⋅m(-2)⋅d(-1)) compared with adjacent water or to mean (nonfrontal) regional conditions. Elevated particle flux at the front was mechanistically linked to Fe-stressed diatoms and high mesozooplankton fecal pellet production. Using a data assimilative regional ocean model fit to measured conditions, we estimate that an additional ∼225 mg C⋅m(-2)⋅d(-1) was exported as subduction of particle-rich water at the front, highlighting a transport mechanism that is not captured by sediment traps and is poorly quantified by most models and in situ measurements. Mesoscale fronts may be responsible for over a quarter of total organic carbon sequestration in the California Current and other coastal upwelling ecosystems.

  17. Petrofabrics of high-pressure rocks exhumed at the slab-mantle interface from the "point of no return" in a subduction zone (Sivrihisar, Turkey)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitney, Donna L.; Teyssier, Christian; Seaton, Nicholas C. A.; Fornash, Katherine F.

    2014-12-01

    The highest pressure recorded by metamorphic rocks exhumed from oceanic subduction zones is 2.5 GPa, corresponding to the maximum decoupling depth (MDD) (80 ± 10 km) identified in active subduction zones; beyond the MDD (the "point of no return") exhumation is unlikely. The Sivrihisar massif (Turkey) is a coherent terrane of lawsonite eclogite and blueschist facies rocks in which assemblages and fabrics record P-T-fluid-deformation conditions during exhumation from 80 to 45 km. Crystallographic fabrics and other features of high-pressure metasedimentary and metabasaltic rocks record transitions during exhumation. In quartzite, microstructures and crystallographic fabrics record deformation in the dislocation creep regime, including dynamic recrystallization during decompression, and a transition from prism slip to activation of rhomb and basal slip that may be related to a decrease in water fugacity during decompression ( 2.5 to 1.5 GPa). Phengite, lawsonite, and omphacite or glaucophane in quartzite and metabasalt remained stable during deformation, and omphacite developed an L-type crystallographic fabric. In marble, aragonite developed columnar textures with strong crystallographic fabrics that persisted during partial to complete dynamic recrystallization that was likely achieved in the stability field of aragonite (P > 1.2 GPa). Results of kinematic vorticity analysis based on lawsonite shape fabrics are consistent with shear criteria in quartzite and metabasalt and indicate a large component of coaxial deformation in the exhuming channel beneath a simple shear dominated interface. This large coaxial component may have multiplied the exhuming power of the subduction channel and forced deeply subducted rocks to flow back from the point of no return.

  18. Seismic coupling and uncoupling at subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruff, L.; Kanamori, H.

    1983-01-01

    Some of the correlations concerning the properties of subduction zones are reviewed. A quantitative global comparison of many subduction zones reveals that the largest earthquakes occur in zones with young lithosphere and fast convergence rates. Maximum earthquake size is directly related to the asperity distribution on the fault plane. This observation can be translated into a simple model of seismic coupling where the horizontal compressive stress between two plates is proportional to the ratio of the summed asperity area to the total area of the contact surface. Plate age and rate can control asperity distribution directly through the horizontal compressive stress associated with the vertical and horizontal velocities of subducting slabs. The basalt to eclogite phase change in the down-going oceanic crust may be largely responsible for the uncoupling of subduction zones below a depth of about 40 km.

  19. Slab melting and magma formation beneath the southern Cascade arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walowski, Kristina J.; Wallace, Paul J.; Clynne, Michael A.; Rasmussen, D.J.; Weis, D.

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Long-period ocean-bottom motions in the source areas of large subduction earthquakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Takeshi; Takenaka, Hiroshi; Okamoto, Taro; Ohori, Michihiro; Tsuboi, Seiji

    2015-11-30

    Long-period ground motions in plain and basin areas on land can cause large-scale, severe damage to structures and buildings and have been widely investigated for disaster prevention and mitigation. However, such motions in ocean-bottom areas are poorly studied because of their relative insignificance in uninhabited areas and the lack of ocean-bottom strong-motion data. Here, we report on evidence for the development of long-period (10-20 s) motions using deep ocean-bottom data. The waveforms and spectrograms demonstrate prolonged and amplified motions that are inconsistent with attenuation patterns of ground motions on land. Simulated waveforms reproducing observed ocean-bottom data demonstrate substantial contributions of thick low-velocity sediment layers to development of these motions. This development, which could affect magnitude estimates and finite fault slip modelling because of its critical period ranges on their estimations, may be common in the source areas of subduction earthquakes where thick, low-velocity sediment layers are present.

  1. Reconstructing Farallon plate subduction beneath North America back to the Late Cretaceous.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Lijun; Spasojevic, Sonja; Gurnis, Michael

    2008-11-07

    Using an inverse mantle convection model that assimilates seismic structure and plate motions, we reconstruct Farallon plate subduction back to 100 million years ago. Models consistent with stratigraphy constrain the depth dependence of mantle viscosity and buoyancy, requiring that the Farallon slab was flat lying in the Late Cretaceous, consistent with geological reconstructions. The simulation predicts that an extensive zone of shallow-dipping subduction extended beyond the flat-lying slab farther east and north by up to 1000 kilometers. The limited region of flat subduction is consistent with the notion that subduction of an oceanic plateau caused the slab to flatten. The results imply that seismic images of the current mantle provide more constraints on past tectonic events than previously recognized.

  2. Pliocene-Quaternary basalts from the Harrat Tufail, western Saudi Arabia: Recycling of ancient oceanic slabs and generation of alkaline intra-plate magma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakhsh, Rami A.

    2015-12-01

    Harrat Tufail represents a Caenozoic basalt suite at the western margin of the Arabian plate. This rift-related suite includes voluminous Quaternary non-vesicular basalt (with fragments of earlier Pliocene vesicular flow) that forms a cap sheet over Miocene rhyolite and minor vesicular basalt. The contact between rhyolite and the basaltic cap is erosional with remarkable denudations indicating long time gap between the felsic and mafic eruptions. The geochemical data prove alkaline, sodic and low-Ti nature of the olivine basalt cap sheet. The combined whole-rock and mineral spot analyses by the electron microprobe (EMPA) suggest magma generation from low degree of partial melting (∼5%) from spinel- and garnet-lherzolite mantle source. Derivation from a mantle source is supported by low Na content in clinopyroxene (ferroan diopside) whereas high Mg content in ilmenite is an evidence of fractional crystallization trajectory. Accordingly, the Pliocene basaltic cap of Harrat Tufail is a product of mantle melt that originates by recycling in the asthenosphere during subduction of ancient oceanic slab(s). The whole-rock chemistry suggests an ancient ocean island basaltic slab (OIB) whereas the EMPA of Al-rich spinel inclusions in olivine phenocrysts are in favour of a mid-ocean ridge basaltic source (MORB). Calculations of oxygen fugacity based on the composition of co-existing Fe-Ti oxide suggest fluctuation from highly to moderately oxidizing conditions with propagation of crystallization (log10 fO2 from -22.09 to -12.50). Clinopyroxene composition and pressure calculation indicates low-pressure (0.4-2 kbar). Cores of olivine phenocrysts formed at highest temperature (1086-1151 °C) whereas the rims and olivine micro-phenocrysts formed at 712-9-796 °C which is contemporaneous to formation of clinopyroxene at 611-782 °C. Fe-Ti oxides crystallized over a long range (652-992 °C) where it started to form at outer peripheries of olivine phenocrysts and as interstitial

  3. Crustal and upper mantle structure of the Anatolian plate: Imaging the effects of subduction termination and continental collision with seismic techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delph, Jonathan R.

    The neotectonic evolution of the eastern Mediterranean is intimately tied to interactions between the underthrusting/subducting slab along the southern margin of Anatolia and the overriding plate. The lateral variations in the subduction zone can be viewed as a temporal analogue of the transition between continuous subduction and subduction termination by continent-continent collision. By investigating the lateral variations along this subduction zone in the overriding plate, we can gain insight into the processes that precede continent collision. This dissertation summarizes the results of three studies that focus on different parts of the subduction margin: 1) In the west, where the development of a slab tear represents the transition between continuous and enigmatic subduction, 2) In the east, where continent-continent collision between the Arabian and Eurasian Plate is leading to the development of the third largest orogenic plateau on earth after complete slab detachment, and 3) In central Anatolia, where the subducting slab is thought to be in the processes of breaking up, which is affecting the flow of mantle material leading to volcanism and uplift along the margin. In the first study, we interpret that variations in the composition of material in the downgoing plate (i.e. a change from the subduction of oceanic material to continental material) may have led to the development of a slab tear in the eastern Aegean. This underthrusting, buoyant continental fragment is controlling overriding plate deformation, separating the highly extensional strains of western Anatolia from the much lower extensional strains of central Anatolia. Based on intermediate depth seismicity, it appears that the oceanic portion of the slab is still attached to this underthrusting continental fragment. In the second study, we interpret that the introduction of continental lithosphere into the north-dipping subduction zone at the Arabian-Eurasian margin led to the rollback and

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. The Triassic age for oceanic eclogites in the Dabie orogen: Entrainment of oceanic fragments in the continental subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Hao; DuFrane, S. Andrew; Vervoort, Jeffrey D.; Nakamura, Eizo; Li, Qiuli; Zhou, Zuyi

    2010-06-01

    Low-temperature and high-pressure eclogites with an oceanic affinity in the western part of the Dabie orogen have been investigated with combined Lu-Hf and U-Pb geochronology. These eclogites formed over a range of temperatures (482-565 °C and 1.9-2.2 GPa). Three eclogites, which were sampled from the Gaoqiao country, yielded Lu-Hf ages of 240.7 ± 1.2 Ma, 243.3 ± 4.1 Ma and 238.3 ± 1.2 Ma, with a corresponding lower-intercept U-Pb zircon age of 232 ± 26 Ma. Despite the well-preserved prograde major- and trace-element zoning in garnets, these Lu-Hf ages mostly reflect the high-pressure eclogite-facies metamorphism instead of representing the early phase of garnet growth due to the occurrence of omphacite inclusions from core to rim and the shell effect. An upper-intercept zircon U-Pb age of 765 ± 24 Ma is defined for the Gaoqiao eclogite, which is consistent with the weighted-mean age of 768 ± 21 Ma for the country gneiss. However, the gneiss has not been subjected to successive high-pressure metamorphism. The new Triassic ages are likely an estimate of the involvement of oceanic fragments in the continental subduction.

  7. Three-dimensional Thermal Model of the Mexican Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. Influence of Initial Geometry and Boundary Conditions on Flat Subduction Models and Resulting Topography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, P.; Moucha, R.

    2014-12-01

    Numerical investigations of surface deformation in response to flat slab subduction began with seminal papers by Bird (1988) and Mitrovica et al. (1989). Recently, a number of numerical studies have begun to explore the complexity in the dynamics of flat-slab subduction initiation and continuation, but did not address the corresponding surface deformation (English et al., 2003; Pérez-Campos et al., 2008; Liu et al., 2010; Jones et al., 2011; Arrial and Billen, 2013; Vogt and Gerya, 2014). Herein, we explore the conditions that lead to flat-slab subduction and characterize the resulting surface deformation using a 2D finite-difference marker-in-cell method. We specifically explore how initial model geometry and boundary conditions affect the evolution of the angle at which a slab subducts in the presence/absence of a buoyant oceanic plateau and the resulting surface topography. In our simulations, the surface is tracked through time as an internal erosion/sedimentation surface. The top boundary of the crust is overlaid by a "sticky" (viscous 10^17 Pa.s) water/air layer with correspondingly stratified densities. We apply a coupled surface processes model that solves the sediment transport/diffusion erosion equation at each time step to account for the corresponding crustal mass flux and its effect on crustal deformation. Model results show the initial angle of subduction has a substantial impact on the subduction angle of the slab and hence the evolution of topography. The results also indicate plate velocity and the presence of an oceanic plateau in a forced subduction only have a moderate effect on the angle of subduction.

  9. H2O and CO2 devolatilization in subduction zones: implications for the global water and carbon cycles (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

    Subduction of sediments and altered oceanic crust functions as a major carbon sink. Upon subduction the carbon may be released by progressive metamorphic reactions, which can be strongly enhanced by free fluids. Quantification of the CO2 release from subducting slabs is important to determine the provenance of CO2 that is released by the volcanic arc and to constrain the flux of carbon to the deeper mantle. In recent work we used a global set of high resolution thermal models of subduction zones to predict the flux of H2O from the subducting slab (van Keken, Hacker, Syracuse, Abers, Subduction factory 4: Depth-dependent flux of H2O from subducting slabs worldwide, J. Geophys. Res., under review) which provides a new estimate of the dehydration efficiency of the global subducting system. It was found that mineralogically bound water can pass efficiently through old and fast subduction zones (such as in the western Pacific) but that warm subduction zones (such as Cascadia) see nearly complete dehydration of the subducting slab. The top of the slab is sufficiently hot in all subduction zones that the upper crust dehydrates significantly. The degree and depth of dehydration is highly diverse and strongly depends on (p,T) and bulk rock composition. On average about one third of subducted H2O reaches 240 km depth, carried principally and roughly equally in the gabbro and peridotite sections. The present-day global flux of H2O to the deep mantle translates to an addition of about one ocean mass over the age of the Earth. We extend the slab devolatilization work to carbon by providing an update to Gorman et al. (Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst, 2006), who quantified the effects of free fluids on CO2 release. The thermal conditions were based on three end-member subduction zones with linear interpolation to provide a global CO2 flux. We use the new high resolution and global set of models to provide higher resolution predictions for the provenance and pathways of CO2 release to

  10. Deeper Subduction Zone Melting Explains Enrichment of Upper Mantle and Resolves Dehydration Paradox

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, Jacqueline; Bindeman, Ilya; Kingsley, Richard

    2017-04-01

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

  11. Plate Tectonic Consequences of competing models for the origin and history of the Banda Sea subducted oceanic lithosphere

    CERN Document Server

    Heine, Christian; McKay, Hamish; Müller, R Dietmar

    2012-01-01

    The Banda Arc, situated west of Irian Jaya and in the easternmost extension of the Sunda subduction zone system, reveals a characteristic bowl-shaped geometry in seismic tomographic images. This indicates that the oceanic lithosphere still remains attached to the surrounding continental margins of northern Australia and the Bird's Head microcontinent. Major controversies exist between authors proposing an allochthonous or autochthonous origin of the Bird's Head block. Either scenario has important implications for plate kinematic models aiming to reconstruct the tectonic evolution of the region and the late Jurassic seaoor spreading geometry of this now subducted Argo-Tanimbar-Seram (ATS) ocean basin. Wider implications affect the tectonic conguration of the Tethyan-Pacic realm, the distribution of plate boundaries as well as the shape and size of continental blocks which have been rifted off the northeastern Gondwana margin during the Late Jurassic and are now accreted to the SE Asia margin. We apply structu...

  12. Late Cretaceous A- and I-type granite association in the Sakarya Zone, NE Turkey: implications for the origin and slab roll-back of Neotethyan oceanic lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karsli, Orhan; Aydin, Faruk; Uysal, İbrahim; Dokuz, Abdurrahman; Kandemir, Raif

    2017-04-01

    , induces alkali metasomatism of the mafic lower crust, while A-type granite generate and halogens (i.e., F and Cl) play an important role at the site of partial melting, allowing small-degree partial melts. Integrated all available data with the regional tectonic evolution in Sakarya Zone, we attribute generation of the aluminous A- and I-type granites to a back-arc extension in the subduction zone, which is induced by the roll-back of the Neo-Tethyan oceanic slab between 70 and 80 Ma. Consequently, we conclude that these A- and I-type granites were related to intensive extension tectonic, which peaked during the Latest Cretaceous in response to the roll-back of Neo-Tethyan oceanic slab, indicative of final stage of subduction event in the Sakarya Zone.

  13. South-American plate advance and forced Andean trench retreat as drivers for transient flat subduction episodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schepers, Gerben; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J J; Spakman, Wim; Kosters, Martha E; Boschman, Lydian M; McQuarrie, Nadine

    2017-05-16

    At two trench segments below the Andes, the Nazca Plate is subducting sub-horizontally over ∼200-300 km, thought to result from a combination of buoyant oceanic-plateau subduction and hydrodynamic mantle-wedge suction. Whether the actual conditions for both processes to work in concert existed is uncertain. Here we infer from a tectonic reconstruction of the Andes constructed in a mantle reference frame that the Nazca slab has retreated at ∼2 cm per year since ∼50 Ma. In the flat slab portions, no rollback has occurred since their formation at ∼12 Ma, generating 'horse-shoe' slab geometries. We propose that, in concert with other drivers, an overpressured sub-slab mantle supporting the weight of the slab in an advancing upper plate-motion setting can locally impede rollback and maintain flat slabs until slab tearing releases the overpressure. Tear subduction re-establishes a continuous slab and allows the process to recur, providing a mechanism for the transient character of flat slabs.

  14. Buoyant subduction on Venus: Implications for subduction around coronae

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  15. Unstable fault slip induced by lawsonite dehydration in blueschist: Implication for the seismicity in the subducting oceanic crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okazaki, K.; Hirth, G.

    2015-12-01

    Intermediate-depth earthquakes in cold subduction zones are observed within the subducting oceanic crust, as well as the subducting mantle In contrast, intermediate-depth earthquakes in hot subduction zones predominantly occur just below the Moho. These observations have stimulated interest in potential relationships between blueschist-facies metamorphism and seismicity, particularly through the dehydration reactions involving lawsonite. The rheology of these high-pressure and low-temperature metamorphic minerals is largely unknown. We conducted experiments on lawsonite accompanied by monitoring of acoustic emission (AE) in a Griggs-type deformation apparatus. Deformation was started at the confining pressure of 1.0 GPa, the temperature of 300 ˚C, and constant displacement rates of 0.16 to 0.016 μm/s, that correspond to equivalent strain rates (ɛ) of 9 × 10-5 to 9 × 10-6 1/s. In these experiments, temperature was increased at the temperature ramp rate of 0.5 to 0.05˚C/s above the thermal stability of lawsonite (600˚C) while the sample was deforming to test whether the dehydration reaction induces unstable fault slip. In contrast to similar tests on antigorite, unstable fault slip (i.e., stick-slip) occurred during dehydration reactions in the lawsonite gouge layer, and AE signals were continuously observed. Microstructural observations indicate that strain is highly localized along the fault (R1 and B shear), and the fault surface shows mirror-like slickensides. The unloading slope (i.e., rate of stress drop as a function of slip) during the unstable slip follows the stiffness of the apparatus at all experimental conditions regardless of the strain rate and temperature ramping rate. A thermal-mechanical scaling factor in the experiments covers the range estimated for natural subduction zones, indicating the potential for unstable frictional sliding within natural lawsonite layers to induce seismicity in cold subduction zones.

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

  17. Dynamic Topography during Flat Subduction: Subsidence or Uplift?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davila, F. M.; Lithgow-Bertelloni, C. R.

    2011-12-01

    Since the first studies on dynamic topography and basin evolution, low-dipping subduction has been related to intracontinental, long-wavelength and high-amplitude subsidence, whereas retreating to normal subduction systems to uplift. This was proposed to explain the Cretaceous-early Cenozoic topographic evolution of the western US. However, modern flat-slab and slab-retreating segments of South America do not record such a subsidence and uplift patterns. For example, the flat slab of Peru at ˜10°SL, related to the subduction of the Nazca Ridge, underlies an elevated promontory known as the Fitzcarrald Arch. The Argentine flat-slab at ˜31°SL associated to the subduction of the Juan Fernandez Ridge underlies a high-elevated intermontane system known as the Pampean broken foreland. Both upwarping features are younger than 7 Ma and contemporaneous with the arrival of flat subduction to these segments. In order to shed light into this controversy, we calculate dynamic topography along the Andean flat-slab segments using the Hager and O'Connell (1981) instantaneous flow formulation, an accurate reconstruction of the slab geometry along the central Andes and a density contrast between the flat slabs and the country mantle close to zero (△δ≈0) in order to simulate a buoyant oceanic lithosphere. We demonstrate that dynamic subsidence develops only at the leading edge of flat subduction, where the slabs plunge >30°, whereas the flatter slabs reproduce minor or no dynamic topography signals. These results agree with geological and geophysical proxies. Along the Argentine Plains, the account for a accumulated relief of ˜200 m, which might be considered as an "observed dynamic subsidence" signal (given that no tectonic activity has been recorded in this region since the Cretaceous to explain this surface topography). This gives a ˜0.03 mm/yr dynamic subsidence rate that are curiously similar to the exhumations estimated by low-temperature thermochronology along the

  18. Evidence for palaeo-Tethyan oceanic subduction within central Qiangtang, northern Tibet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yan; Santosh, M.; Zhao, Zhong Bao; Niu, Wen Chao; Wang, Gen Hou

    2011-11-01

    The mechanism of formation of blueschist-eclogite belts and their space-time distribution are important in understanding the tectonics associated with convergent plate boundaries. Here we investigate the garnet-bearing blueschists from Rongma area of central Qiangtang in northern Tibet. The mineral assemblage in these rocks is characterized by porphyroblastic garnet set within a matrix of fine-grained amphibole, white mica, epidote, chlorite, albite and quartz with accessory rutile, titanite and apatite. The garnet porphyroblasts exhibit core and rim portions, and the cores carry abundant inclusions of Na amphibole, quartz and rutile, as well as rhomb-shaped inclusions of paragonite and epidote which are interpreted as pseudomorphs after lawsonite. The rims are characterized by coarse-grained inclusions of epidote as well as the absence of paragonite and epidote aggregates, clearly suggesting that the transition from garnet core to rim marks a metamorphic transformation from lawsonite- to epidote-stability field. The Mn content of the garnet porphyroblasts decreases from core to rim, whereas the Fe and Mg contents show an increasing trend. In the matrix, we identify two stages of Na amphibole rimmed by Na-Ca amphibole and albite. Retrograde chlorite is rimmed by fine-grained biotite. Based on microstructural observations and pseudosection modelling, we trace the P-T path for the Rongma garnet blueschist from 1.92 GPa and 490 °C (lawsonite eclogite field) to about 1.68 GPa and 535 °C (epidote eclogite field), marking an initial increase in temperature and decrease in pressure. This stage is followed by a decrease of pressure through the blueschist facies down to P-T conditions of about 0.6 GPa and 530 °C. In combination with previous work including the available isotopic age data, the P-T path obtained in the present study suggests the deep subduction of palaeo-Tethyan oceanic crust between southern and northern Qiangtang blocks, supporting the model that the

  19. Subduction-driven recycling of continental margin lithosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-13

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

  20. Kinematics and flow patterns in deep mantle and upper mantle subduction models : Influence of the mantle depth and slab to mantle viscosity ratio

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W. P.

    Three-dimensional fluid dynamic laboratory simulations are presented that investigate the subduction process in two mantle models, an upper mantle model and a deep mantle model, and for various subducting plate/mantle viscosity ratios (ηSP/ηM = 59-1375). The models investigate the mantle flow field,

  1. How mantle slabs drive plate tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Clinton P; Lithgow-Bertelloni, Carolina

    2002-10-04

    The gravitational pull of subducted slabs is thought to drive the motions of Earth's tectonic plates, but the coupling between slabs and plates is not well established. If a slab is mechanically attached to a subducting plate, it can exert a direct pull on the plate. Alternatively, a detached slab may drive a plate by exciting flow in the mantle that exerts a shear traction on the base of the plate. From the geologic history of subduction, we estimated the relative importance of "pull" versus "suction" for the present-day plates. Observed plate motions are best predicted if slabs in the upper mantle are attached to plates and generate slab pull forces that account for about half of the total driving force on plates. Slabs in the lower mantle are supported by viscous mantle forces and drive plates through slab suction.

  2. Juan de Fuca slab geometry and its relation to Wadati-Benioff zone seismicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCrory, Patricia A.; Blair, J. Luke; Waldhause, Felix; Oppenheimer, David H.

    2012-01-01

    A new model of the subducted Juan de Fuca plate beneath western North America allows first-order correlations between the occurrence of Wadati-Benioff zone earthquakes and slab geometry, temperature, and hydration state. The geo-referenced 3D model, constructed from weighted control points, integrates depth information from earthquake locations and regional seismic velocity studies. We use the model to separate earthquakes that occur in the Cascadia forearc from those that occur within the underlying Juan de Fuca plate and thereby reveal previously obscured details regarding the spatial distribution of earthquakes. Seismicity within the slab is most prevalent where the slab is warped beneath northwestern California and western Washington suggesting that slab flexure, in addition to expected metamorphic dehydration processes, promotes earthquake occurrence within the subducted oceanic plate. Earthquake patterns beneath western Vancouver Island are consistent with slab dehydration processes. Conversely, the lack of slab earthquakes beneath western Oregon is consistent with an anhydrous slab. Double-differenced relocated seismicity resolves a double seismic zone within the slab beneath northwestern California that strongly constrains the location of the plate interface and delineates a cluster of seismicity 10 km above the surface that includes the 1992 M7.1 Mendocino earthquake. We infer that this earthquake ruptured a surface within the Cascadia accretionary margin above the Juan de Fuca plate. We further speculate that this earthquake is associated with a detached fragment of former Farallon plate. Other subsurface tectonic elements within the forearc may have the potential to generate similar damaging earthquakes.

  3. Multi-decadal changes in southern hemisphere subduction rates in a 1/12° ocean model hindcast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowatzki, Eva; Patara, Lavinia; Böning, Claus; Karstensen, Johannes

    2017-04-01

    Mode and Intermediate Waters formed in the mid-latitudes of the Southern Ocean represent a major agent for the ventilation of the southern hemisphere lower thermocline, playing a key role in the uptake and intermittent storage of anthropogenic CO2. Long-term hydrographic records as well as modelling studies have provided indications that characteristics of these water masses have been changing over the last decades. Changes in heat, freshwater and momentum fluxes may all contribute to the water mass variability. In this study, we investigate the temporal and spatial variability of Subantarctic Mode Water (SAMW) and Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) formation and its linkages to changing atmospheric conditions with a global ocean - sea-ice model for the time period 1979-2007. The model employs a horizontal resolution of 1/12° for the Southern Ocean and is forced with the CORE-II interannually-varying atmospheric forcing data set. The hindcast simulation is complemented by a second experiment with a repeated 'normal-year' atmospheric forcing in order to separate atmospherically-related changes from stochastic variability and spurious model trends. We find that subduction rates in the density range of SAMW and AAIW are dominated by the lateral induction term and as such are tightly linked to the maximum mixed layer depth (MLD) at the end of winter. The model simulation shows multi-decadal trends in subduction rates, however the trends are not uniform across the density range of SAMW/ AAIW and differ between the Pacific and Indian Ocean sectors. Largest changes in AAIW formation are found in the southeast Pacific, whereas changes in SAMW formation are most pronounced in the Indian Ocean. In the Pacific, the decrease of subduction rates in the AAIW range is contrasted by a positive trend in the SAMW range. The changes in subduction rates are linked to salinity and thus density trends of the winter mixed layer that can be traced to multi-decadal trends in heat and

  4. Mapping seismic azimuthal anisotropy of the Japan subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, D.; Liu, X.

    2016-12-01

    We present 3-D images of azimuthal anisotropy tomography of the crust and upper mantle of the Japan subduction zone, which are determined using a large number of high-quality P- and S-wave arrival-time data of local earthquakes and teleseismic events recorded by the dense seismic networks on the Japan Islands. A tomographic method for P-wave velocity azimuthal anisotropy is modified and extended to invert S-wave travel times for 3-D S-wave velocity azimuthal anisotropy. A joint inversion of the P and S wave data is conducted to constrain the 3-D azimuthal anisotropy of the Japan subduction zone. Main findings of this work are summarized as follows. (1) The high-velocity subducting Pacific and Philippine Sea (PHS) slabs exhibit trench-parallel fast-velocity directions (FVDs), which may reflect frozen-in lattice-preferred orientation of aligned anisotropic minerals formed at the mid-ocean ridge as well as shape-preferred orientation such as normal faults produced at the outer-rise area near the trench axis. (2) Significant trench-normal FVDs are revealed in the mantle wedge, which reflects corner flow in the mantle wedge due to the active subduction and dehydration of the oceanic plates. (3) Obvious toroidal FVDs and low-velocity anomalies exist in and around a window (hole) in the aseismic PHS slab beneath Southwest Japan, which may reflect a toroidal mantle flow pattern resulting from hot and wet mantle upwelling caused by the joint effects of deep dehydration of the Pacific slab and the convective circulation process in the mantle wedge above the Pacific slab. (4) Significant low-velocity anomalies with trench-normal FVDs exist in the mantle below the Pacific slab beneath Northeast Japan, which may reflect a subducting oceanic asthenosphere affected by hot mantle upwelling from the deeper mantle. ReferencesLiu, X., D. Zhao (2016) Seismic velocity azimuthal anisotropy of the Japan subduction zone: Constraints from P and S wave traveltimes. J. Geophys. Res. 121, doi

  5. Lithium isotope evidence for subduction-enriched mantle in the source of mid-ocean-ridge basalts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Tim; Thomas, Alex; Jeffcoate, Alistair; Niu, Yaoling

    2006-10-05

    'Recycled' crustal materials, returned from the Earth's surface to the mantle by subduction, have long been invoked to explain compositional heterogeneity in the upper mantle. Yet increasingly, problems have been noted with this model. The debate can be definitively addressed using stable isotope ratios, which should only significantly vary in primitive, mantle-derived materials as a consequence of recycling. Here we present data showing a notable range in lithium isotope ratios in basalts from the East Pacific Rise, which correlate with traditional indices of mantle heterogeneity (for example, 143Nd/144Nd ratios). Such co-variations of stable and radiogenic isotopes in melts from a normal ridge segment provide critical evidence for the importance of recycled material in generating chemical heterogeneity in the upper mantle. Contrary to many models, however, the elevated lithium isotope ratios of the 'enriched' East Pacific Rise lavas imply that subducted ocean crust is not the agent of enrichment. Instead, we suggest that fluid-modified mantle, which is enriched during residency in a subduction zone, is mixed back into the upper mantle to cause compositional variability.

  6. Plate tectonics on the Earth triggered by plume-induced subduction initiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerya, T V; Stern, R J; Baes, M; Sobolev, S V; Whattam, S A

    2015-11-12

    Scientific theories of how subduction and plate tectonics began on Earth--and what the tectonic structure of Earth was before this--remain enigmatic and contentious. Understanding viable scenarios for the onset of subduction and plate tectonics is hampered by the fact that subduction initiation processes must have been markedly different before the onset of global plate tectonics because most present-day subduction initiation mechanisms require acting plate forces and existing zones of lithospheric weakness, which are both consequences of plate tectonics. However, plume-induced subduction initiation could have started the first subduction zone without the help of plate tectonics. Here, we test this mechanism using high-resolution three-dimensional numerical thermomechanical modelling. We demonstrate that three key physical factors combine to trigger self-sustained subduction: (1) a strong, negatively buoyant oceanic lithosphere; (2) focused magmatic weakening and thinning of lithosphere above the plume; and (3) lubrication of the slab interface by hydrated crust. We also show that plume-induced subduction could only have been feasible in the hotter early Earth for old oceanic plates. In contrast, younger plates favoured episodic lithospheric drips rather than self-sustained subduction and global plate tectonics.

  7. 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

  8. Alteration and dehydration of subducting oceanic crust within subduction zones: implications for décollement step-down and plate-boundary seismogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  10. Seismic properties of subducting oceanic crust: Constraints from natural lawsonite-bearing blueschist and eclogite in Sivrihisar Massif, Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Yi; Jung, Haemyeong

    2016-01-01

    Investigating the seismic properties of natural lawsonite (Lws)-bearing blueschist and eclogite is particularly important for constraining the seismic interpretation of subducting oceanic crust based on seismological observations. To achieve this end, we analyzed in detail the mineral fabrics and seismic properties of foliated Lws-blueschist and Lws-eclogites from Sivrihisar Massif in Turkey. In both blueschists and eclogites, the lawsonite fabric is characterized by three different patterns: [0 0 1] axes aligning sub-normal to foliation, and [0 1 0] axes aligning sub-parallel to lineation (normal type); [0 0 1] axes aligning sub-parallel to lineation, and [1 0 0] axes aligning sub-normal to foliation with a girdle sub-normal to lineation (abnormal type); and [0 0 1] axes aligning both sub-normal to foliation and sub-parallel to lineation, [0 1 0] axes aligning sub-parallel to lineation, and [1 0 0] axes aligning sub-normal to foliation (transitional pattern). In contrast, glaucophane and omphacite mostly present consistent axial fabrics with the [0 0 1] axes aligning to lineation. These mineral fabrics produce whole-rock seismic anisotropies with similar patterns. However, the variations in seismic anisotropies are mainly controlled by the rock type, to a lesser extent are determined by the lawsonite fabric type, and to only a small extent are affected by mineral fabric strength. Despite the constructive abnormal-type lawsonite fabric on whole-rock seismic anisotropies, because of their weaker mineral fabric strength (or deformation degree), the abnormal-type Lws-blueschist still exhibit comparatively lower seismic anisotropies than those normal-type Lws-blueschist from other localities. Based on the calculated seismic anisotropies and velocities, we estimated that when oceanic crust transforms from Lws-blueschist to Lws-eclogite with increasing subduction depth, (1) P-wave and max. S-wave polarization anisotropies reduce about 70% and 40%, respectively; and (2

  11. Petrogenesis of the Majiari ophiolite (western Tibet, China): Implications for intra-oceanic subduction in the Bangong-Nujiang Tethys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Qiang-tai; Liu, Wei-liang; Xia, Bin; Cai, Zhou-rong; Chen, Wei-yan; Li, Jian-feng; Yin, Zheng-xin

    2017-09-01

    The Majiari ophiolite lies in the western Bangong-Nujiang Suture Zone, which separates the Qiangtang and Lhasa blocks in central Tibet. The ophiolite consists of peridotite, gabbro/diabase and basalt. Zircon U-Pb dating yielded an age of 170.5 ± 1.7 Ma for the gabbro, whereas 40Ar/39Ar dating of plagioclase from the same gabbro yielded ages of 108.4 ± 2.6 Ma (plateau age) and 112 ± 2 Ma (isochron age), indicating that the ophiolite was formed during the Middle Jurassic and was probably emplaced during the Early Cretaceous. Zircons from the gabbro have εHf(t) values ranging from +6.9 to +10.6 and f(Lu/Hf) values ranging from -0.92 to -0.98. Mafic lavas plot in the tholeiitic basalt field but are depleted in Nb, Ta and Ti and enriched in Rb, Ba and Th in the N-MORB-normalized trace element spider diagram. These lavas have whole-rock εNd(t) values of +5.9 to +6.6, suggesting that they were derived from a depleted mantle source, which was probably modified by subducted materials. The Majiari ophiolite probably formed in a typical back-arc basin above a supra-subduction zone (SSZ) mantle wedge. Intra-oceanic subduction occurred during the Middle Jurassic and collision of the Lhasa and South Qiangtang terranes likely occurred in the Early Cretaceous. Thus, closure of the Bangong-Nujiang Tethys Ocean likely occurred before the Early Cretaceous.

  12. The Geodynamics of Continental Lithosphere Entering a Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steedman, C. E.; Kaus, B. J.; Becker, T. W.; Okaya, D.; Wu, F. T.

    2006-12-01

    As deformation patterns resulting from subduction of a passive continental margin are insufficiently understood, here we perform 2-D numerical simulations to explore the effects of continental lithosphere entering a subduction zone. The model setup consists of a subduction zone in which the oceanic part of a passive continental margin initially subducts beneath an oceanic plate. A particle-based 2-D visco-elasto-plastic thermo-mechanical finite element code is employed to study the dynamics of the system. A novel new feature of the code is that the resolution of the model can be significantly increased in selected parts of the domain, which allows for self-consistent modelling of mantle-lithosphere interaction. In the present study this feature is employed to study how crustal scale deformation around the subduction zone is influenced by surface processes and by flow in the upper mantle. Using systematic 2-D numerical simulations, we explore the parameters that are dominant in controlling near- surface structures, both with regards to changes in topography over time, and subsurface features such as Moho undulations. The main parameters that have been varied are: the lithospheric density structure; the strength of the lower crust; the amounts of erosion; imposed pushing versus density-driven (slab-pull and ridge- push) convergence; the upper boundary condition (free surface versus free slip); rheology (non-Newtonian versus Newtonian, viscous, visco-elasto-plastic); and finally the effect of an imposed slab breakoff. In all cases we track surface uplift, subduction evolution and rock exhumation history. The results can be compared to evidence from areas such as Taiwan where continental subduction or convergence is thought to be happening. Preliminary results indicate that a low viscosity lower crust may contribute to crustal uplift.

  13. Subduction of the Tethys Oceans reconstructed from plate kinematics and mantle tomography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hafkenscheid, Edith

    2004-01-01

    This thesis is concerned with the large-scale history of subduction within the Tethyan region, the Alpine-Himalayan mountain chain that stretches from the Mediterranean to the Indonesian archipelago. We investigate whether we can contribute to a better understanding of the Tethyan evolution by

  14. Signature of slab fragmentation beneath Anatolia from full-waveform tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Govers, Rob; Fichtner, Andreas

    2016-09-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Iron speciation and redox state of mantle eclogites: Implications for ancient volatile cycles during mantle melting and oceanic crust subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aulbach, Sonja; Woodand, Alan; Vasilyev, Prokopiy; Viljoen, Fanus

    2017-04-01

    Kimberlite-borne mantle eclogite xenoliths of Archaean and Palaeoproterozoic age are commonly interpreted as representing former oceanic crust. As such, they may retain a memory of the redox state of the ancient convecting mantle sources that gave rise to their magmatic protoliths and which controls the speciation of volatiles in planetary interiors. Mantle eclogite suites commonly include both cumulate and variably evolved extrusive varieties [1], which may be characterised by initial differences in Fe3+/Fetotal. Recent Fe-based oxybarometry shows mantle eclogites to have fO2 relative to the fayalite-magnetite-quartz buffer (ΔFMQ) of -3 to 0, whereby low fO2 relative to modern MORB may relate to subduction of more reducing Archaean oceanic crust or loss of ferric Fe during partial melt loss [2]. Indeed, using V/Sc as a redox proxy, it was recently shown that Archaean mantle eclogites are more reduced than modern MORB (ΔFMQ-1.3 vs. ΔFMQ -0.4) [3]. However, in the warmer ancient mantle, they were also subject to modification due to partial melt loss upon recycling and, after capture in the cratonic mantle lithosphere, may be overprinted by interaction with metasomatic melts and fluids. In order to help further constrain the redox state of mantle eclogites and unravel the effect of primary and secondary processes, we measured Fe3+/Fetotal by Mössbauer in garnet from mantle eclogites from the Lace kimberlite (Kaapvaal craton), comprising samples with melt- and cumulate-like oceanic crustal protoliths as well as metasomatised samples. Fe3+/ΣFe in garnet shows a strong negative correlation with jadeite content and bulk-rock Li and Cu abundances, suggesting increased partitioning of Fe3+ into jadeite in the presence of monovalent cations with which it can form coupled substitutions. Broad negative correlation with whole-rock Al2O3/TiO2 and positive correlation with ΣREE are interpreted as incompatible behaviour of Fe3+ during olivine-plagioclase accumulation

  17. The African Plate: A history of oceanic crust accretion and subduction since the Jurassic

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaina, C.; Torsvik, T.H.; van Hinsbergen, D.J.J.; Medvedev, S.; Werner, S.C.; Labails, C.

    2013-01-01

    We present a model for the Jurassic to Present evolution of plate boundaries and oceanic crust of the African plate based on updated interpretation of magnetic, gravity and other geological and geophysical data sets. Location of continent ocean boundaries and age and geometry of old oceanic crust

  18. Subduction related fluids fractionate Nb/Ta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salters, V. J.; Bizimis, M.; Sachi-Kocher, A.; Taylor, R.; Savov, I. P.; Stern, C. R.

    2009-12-01

    Key differences between the chemical composition of terrestrial materials and those of meteorites have led to the suggestion that a `hidden’ high Nb/Ta reservoir exists in the Earth’s mantle. In order to test this hypothesis we must identify the processes that can create such a reservoir. It has been suggested that during subduction Nb is more refractory then Ta resulting in low Nb/Ta in the subducted slab, which then serves as a reservoir for the high Nb/Ta. Here we report high precision HFSE data on products of the subduction processes thought to fractionate Nb from Ta: boninites (hydrous melting), adakites (slab melting), oceanic island arc basalts and supra subduction zone peridotites. We developed a new method for the high precision determination of Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf concentrations based on a modified version of standard addition. All analyses were performed on a single collector ICPMS (ELEMENT 1), using Y and Yb as internal standards to correct for instrumental drift during the unspiked -spiked sample sequence. Concentrations are calculated using a York- type regression that accounts for all measured and propagated errors. Long-term reproducibility (multiple dissolutions and multiple spike solutions) for the standards BHVO-1, BIR-1 AGV-1 and BCR-1 are better than 0.8% (1s) for Nb/Ta and Zr/Hf ratios. The advantages of this method compared to previous methods are fast throughput, no column chemistry and low blanks. While the Zr/Hf ratios in subduction-related volcanics and ocean island basalts vary by less than a factor of two, the Nb/Ta ratio varies by a factor of four. Most of the Nb/Ta variation is observed in subduction related rocks. Samples with the highest Nb/Ta ratio (up to 19.5) are adakites from the Austral Volcanic Zone (Andes) which are thought to represent eclogitic melts from subducted oceanic crust which was most likely dehydrated. The lowest Nb/Ta (5) was found in boninites from Chichi-Jima, Bonin Island. Samples from Chichi-Jima and from the

  19. Position and Life Span of Volcanic Arcs - What Link to Present-day Kinematic Parameters in Subduction Zones ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, M. W.; Poli, S.

    2003-12-01

    Since slabs can be located at depth by geophysical methods, correlations are sought between the position of volcanic arcs above slabs and kinematic subduction parameters (subduction angle, velocity, burying rate...). However, the only (rough) correlation found so far, is between arc width and subduction angle, reflecting the projection of a slab depth-interval to a surface width. Volcanic arcs result from fluid and/or melt release from the slab (which occurs more or less continuously to >200 km depth), in most cases in combination with mantle wedge melting. Volcanic arcs may simply form above a zone with a sufficient extent of melting in the mantle and thus dominantly reflect the thermal structure in the mantle wedge which in turn mostly depends on mantle wedge convection. We argue that on geological time scales, pathways to actual (observable) subduction zone parameters are not unique as kinematic constraints in nature are fuzzy. Subduction systems do not converge to a steady state, implying that mantle wedge convection, the resulting thermal regime, loci of metamorphic reactions (i.e. fluid/melt release from the slab), and their surface manifestations, evolve continuously. As a consequence, present day kinematic parameters are not simply linked to the geometry of the volcanic arc (e.g. position of the volcanic front). An evolution of kinematic subduction parameters and their volcanic surface expression with time is documented in back arc basins which have an average life span of 11+/-6 Ma. About 48% of present intraoceanic subduction zones have or have had a Neozoic back arc and therefore they are highly dynamic systems strongly diverging from a steady state system with fixed kinematic boundaries. Other geologically short lived phenomena are aseismic ridge, oceanic plateau, and mid-ocean ridge subduction which modify buoyancy forces, slab geometry, and thermal structure within a subduction zone and thus cause changes in volcanic activity and melt type. In some

  20. Geometry and seismic properties of the subducting Cocos plate in central Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Y.; Clayton, R. W.; Jackson, J. M.

    2010-06-01

    The geometry and properties of the interface of the Cocos plate beneath central Mexico are determined from the receiver functions (RFs) utilizing data from the Meso America Subduction Experiment (MASE). The RF image shows that the subducting oceanic crust is shallowly dipping to the north at 15° for 80 km from Acapulco and then horizontally underplates the continental crust for approximately 200 km to the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB). The crustal image also shows that there is no continental root associated with the TMVB. The migrated image of the RFs shows that the slab is steeply dipping into the mantle at about 75° beneath the TMVB. Both the continental and oceanic Moho are clearly seen in both images, and modeling of the RF conversion amplitudes and timings of the underplated features reveals a thin low-velocity zone between the plate and the continental crust that appears to absorb nearly all of the strain between the upper plate and the slab. By inverting RF amplitudes of the converted phases and their time separations, we produce detailed maps of the seismic properties of the upper and lower oceanic crust of the subducting Cocos plate and its thickness. High Poisson's and Vp/Vs ratios due to anomalously low S wave velocity at the upper oceanic crust in the flat slab region may indicate the presence of water and hydrous minerals or high pore pressure. The evidence of high water content within the oceanic crust explains the flat subduction geometry without strong coupling of two plates. This may also explain the nonvolcanic tremor activity and slow slip events occurring in the subducting plate and the overlying crust.

  1. Complex Subduction Imaged by Diffractional Tomography of USArray Receiver Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Y.

    2016-12-01

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

  2. Geologic signature of early Tertiary ridge subduction in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Dwight C.; Kusky, Timothy M.; Haeussler, Peter J.; Goldfarb, Richard J.; Miller, Marti L.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Nelson, Steven W.; Karl, Susan M.

    2003-01-01

    A mid-Paleocene to early Eocene encounter between an oceanic spreading center and a subduction zone produced a wide range of geologic features in Alaska. The most striking effects are seen in the accretionary prism (Chugach–Prince William terrane), where 61 to 50 Ma near-trench granitic to gabbroic plutons were intruded into accreted trench sediments that had been deposited only a few million years earlier. This short time interval also saw the genesis of ophiolites, some of which contain syngenetic massive sulfide deposits; the rapid burial of these ophiolites beneath trench turbidites, followed immediately by obduction; anomalous high-T, low-P, near-trench metamorphism; intense ductile deformation; motion on transverse strike-slip and normal faults; gold mineralization; and uplift of the accretionary prism above sea level. The magmatic arc experienced a brief flare-up followed by quiescence. In the Alaskan interior, 100 to 600 km landward of the paleotrench, several Paleocene to Eocene sedimentary basins underwent episodes of extensional subsidence, accompanied by bimodal volcanism. Even as far as 1000 km inboard of the paleotrench, the ancestral Brooks Range and its foreland basin experienced a pulse of uplift that followed about 40 million years of quiescence.All of these events - but most especially those in the accretionary prism - can be attributed with varying degrees of confidence to the subduction of an oceanic spreading center. In this model, the ophiolites and allied ore deposits were produced at the soon-to-be subducted ridge. Near-trench magmatism, metamorphism, deformation, and gold mineralization took place in the accretionary prism above a slab window, where hot asthenosphere welled up into the gap between the two subducted, but still diverging, plates. Deformation took place as the critically tapered accretionary prism adjusted its shape to changes in the bathymetry of the incoming plate, changes in the convergence direction before and after

  3. Long-term fore-arc basin evolution in response to changing subduction styles in southern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finzel, Emily S.; Enkelmann, Eva; Falkowski, Sarah; Hedeen, Tyler

    2016-07-01

    Detrital zircon U-Pb and fission track double-dating and Hf isotopes from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic strata in the southern Alaska fore-arc basin system reveal the effects of two different modes of flat-slab subduction on the evolution of the overriding plate. The southern margin of Alaska has experienced subduction of a spreading-ridge ( 62-50 Ma) and an oceanic plateau ( 40-0 Ma). When a subducting spreading ridge drives slab flattening, our data suggest that after the ridge has moved along strike retro-arc sediment sources to the fore arc become more predominant over more proximal arc sources. Spreading-ridge subduction also results in thermal resetting of rocks in the upper plate that is revealed by thermochronologic data that record the presence of young age peaks found in subsequent, thin sedimentary strata in the fore-arc basin. When a subducting oceanic plateau drives slab flattening, our data suggest that basin catchments get smaller and local sediment sources become more predominant. Crustal thickening due to plateau subduction drives widespread surface uplift and significant vertical uplift in rheologically weak zones that, combined, create topography and increase rock exhumation rates. Consequently, the thermochronologic signature of plateau subduction has generally young age peaks that generate short lag times indicating rapid exhumation. The cessation of volcanism associated with plateau subduction limits the number of syndepositional volcanic grains that produce identical geochronologic and thermochronologic ages. This study demonstrates the merit of double-dating techniques integrated with stratigraphic studies to expose exhumational age signatures diagnostic of large-scale tectonic processes in magmatic regions.

  4. Long-term Ocean Bottom Monitoring for Shallow Slow Earthquakes in the Hyuga-nada, Nankai Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. An investigation of snowcover-atmosphere-ocean interactions in the northern hemisphere with a global atmospheric model coupled to a slab ocean model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Gina R.

    The difference between snow versus snow free conditions is the most significant natural, seasonal change the land surface can experience. Snow affects all aspects of the surface energy balance including albedo, sensible and latent heat fluxes, and soil moisture. In addition, the presence or lack of snow plays an important role in modifying the overlying air temperature, propagating from local climate to neighboring regions and even globally through atmospheric teleconnections. Numerous studies to date have investigated the implications of snow forcing the atmosphere and associated circulation, however the cause and effect relationship or direction of forcing has not been decisively demonstrated from observed data alone. GCM studies investigating snow-atmosphere interaction have focused on interaction of Siberian or Eurasian snow cover anomalies with the atmospheric teleconnection modes such as the Arctic Oscillation. Although the tendency has been to concentrate on Eurasia due to the magnitude of snowmass, North American snow cover also produces a weak relationship with downstream climate and an atmospheric teleconnection via enhanced North Atlantic storm track activity. Recent GCM studies of the effects of snow cover on overlying atmospheric conditions and large-scale circulation have primarily used a data ocean model with a fixed seasonal cycle of sea surface temperature (SST) and sea ice cover, based on historical SST records. We explore the influence of this SST boundary condition by comparing the data-forced model with a mixed-layer slab ocean model underneath the NCAR atmospheric GCM. Experimental runs consist of 40-year simulations where each experiment was run once with the data-forced model and once with the mixed-layer slab ocean model in scenarios of anomalously high and low snow cover patterns. Anomalous snow cover patterns were generated from historical snow cover data by choosing minimum and maximum depths observed on a particular day of the year for

  6. Deformation Patterns and Subduction Behavior of Continental Lithosphere Entering a Trench

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steedman, C. E.; Kaus, B. J.; Becker, T. W.; Okaya, D.

    2007-05-01

    We perform 2-D numerical simulations of continental lithosphere entering a subduction zone, to better understand deformation patterns resulting from subduction of a continental margin. The model consists of a subduction zone in which an attached slab drives subduction of a passive continental margin beneath an oceanic plate. A particle-based 2-D visco-elasto-plastic thermo-mechanical finite element code is employed to study the dynamics of the system. A novel feature of the code is that the resolution of the model can be significantly increased in selected parts of the domain, which allows for self-consistent modelling of mantle-lithosphere interaction. In the present study we employ this feature to study how lithospheric-scale deformation around and within the subduction zone is influenced by surface processes such as erosion, and by flow in the upper mantle. Using systematic 2-D numerical simulations, we explore the parameters that are dominant in controlling near- surface structures, both with regards to changes in topography and trench location, and subsurface features such as Moho undulations. The main parameters that have been varied are: the lithospheric density structure; the lithospheric age and temperature structure; the strength of the lower crust; the presence of a weak zone at the plate interface; the amounts of erosion; the upper boundary condition (free surface versus free slip); rheology (non-Newtonian versus Newtonian, viscous, visco-elasto-plastic); and finally the effect of an imposed slab breakoff. In all cases we track surface uplift, subduction evolution and rock exhumation history. We find that the strength of the overriding plate influences surface uplift and the shape of subsurface deformation, and that the density and thermal structure of the subducting plate affects trench motion. Denser slab roll back, and younger, lighter slabs advance, while neither slab rheology nor the presence of erosion greatly affect trench location. For all cases

  7. Fluid flux and melting reactions in subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouilhol, Pierre; Magni, Valentina; van Hunen, Jeroen; Kaislaniemi, Lars

    2014-05-01

    Understanding the metamorphic reactions that occurs within the slab is a must to constrain subduction zone processes. Slab dehydration reactions ultimately permit the mantle wedge to melt, by lowering its solidus, thus forming arcs above descending slabs. Alternatively the slab crust may cross its solidus in warm hydrated slabs. Moreover, slab dehydration allows chemical fractionation to occur between residual phases and transferred fluid phase, giving arc magmas part of their typical subduction zone chemical characteristics. To better comprehend such complex thermo-chemical open system, we are using a numerical model that reproduces the thermo-mechanical behaviour of a subducting slab and computes the thermodynamic equilibrium paragenesis at each P-T-X conditions of the system. Hence we generate a "paragenetic map" of a subduction system, allowing us to track the fate of water during dehydration and subsequent re-hydration or melting reactions. Here we highlight the role of dehydration and re-hydration reactions occurring in the slab's igneous crust and mantle and the mantle wedge for different slab configuration hence presenting the evolution of a subduction paragenetic map for different regimes. We intend to show the key roles of a) antigorite and chlorite breakdown in the hydrated part of the slab mantle, b) amphibole and lawsonite in the slab crust, and c) the role of amphibole and chlorite in the mantle wedge. Our results show the crucial role of dehydration and re-hydration reactions on slab and mantle wedge melting potential.

  8. State of stress and crustal fluid migration related to west-dipping structures in the slab-forearc system in the northern Chilean subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  9. 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

    2016-11-17

    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 years(7).

  10. Temperature, salinity, pressure, and other data from current meter and CTD casts in the NE Atlantic Ocean as part of the Subduction Accelerated Research Initiative (ARI) project, from 1991-05-18 to 1993-06-14 (NODC Accession 9700245)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The overall objective of the Subduction Accelerated Research Initiative (ARI) was to bring together several techniques to address the formation and evolution of...

  11. Subduction initiation and Obduction: insights from analog models

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  12. Progressive migration of slab break-off along the southern Tyrrhenian plate boundary: Constraints for the present day kinematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiarabba, Claudio; Palano, Mimmo

    2017-04-01

    The Ionian subduction in the central Mediterranean, just 200 km wide, is one of the narrowest in the world. Its evolution has involved a progressive disruption of the subducting slab, contemporaneous to the retreat and step-wise opening of back-arc basins. In this study, we analyse velocity anomalies of the upper mantle, together with the most comprehensive set of earthquake locations and kinematic indicators available for Italy, to reconstruct the geodynamics and tectonic evolution of the Ionian subduction system. Along the Sicilian boundary, we identify an eastward migration of the slab edge with detachment of the Ionian oceanic lithosphere. We hypothesize that the progressive detachment of the slab took place along lithospheric transform faults of the Neo-Tethys Ocean. Among the main active kinematic elements of the Ionian accretionary wedge, we suggest that a ∼400-km-long and highly segmented shear zone formed by the Aeolian-Tindari-Letojanni fault system and the Ionian fault represents the surface expression of such a lithospheric tearing. The present day convergence between the Eurasian and African plates is accommodated both at the frontal thrust of the flexed Hyblean margin in southern Sicily and offshore along the Tyrrhenian Sea. Lithospheric bending favors the wedging of the mantle underneath northern Sicily, while magmatic fluids are channeled along slab tears.

  13. Modeling 3-D flow in the mantle wedge with complex slab geometries: Comparisons with seismic anisotropy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kincaid, C. R.; MacDougall, J. G.; Druken, K. A.; Fischer, K. M.

    2010-12-01

    Understanding patterns in plate scale mantle flow in subduction zones is key to models of thermal structure, dehydration reactions, volatile distributions and magma generation and transport in convergent margins. Different patterns of flow in the mantle wedge can generate distinct signatures in seismological observables. Observed shear wave fast polarization directions in several subduction zones are inconsistent with predictions of simple 2-D wedge corner flow. Geochemical signatures in a number of subduction zones also indicate 3-D flow and entrainment patterns in the wedge. We report on a series of laboratory experiments on subduction driven flow to characterize spatial and temporal variability in 3-D patterns in flow and shear-induced finite strain. Cases focus on how rollback subduction, along-strike dip changes in subducting plates and evolving gaps or tears in subduction zones control temporal-spatial patterns in 3-D wedge flow. Models utilize a glucose working fluid with a temperature dependent viscosity to represent the upper 2000 km of the mantle. Subducting lithosphere is modeled with two rubber-reinforced continuous belts. Belts pass around trench and upper/lower mantle rollers. The deeper rollers can move laterally to allow for time varying dip angle. Each belt has independent speed control and dip adjustment, allowing for along-strike changes in convergence rate and the evolution of slab gaps. Rollback is modeled using a translation system to produce either uniform and asymmetric lateral trench motion. Neutral density finite strain markers are distributed throughout the fluid and used as proxies for tracking the evolution of anisotropy through space and time in the evolving flow fields. Particle image velocimetry methods are also used to track time varying 3-D velocity fields for directly calculating anisotropy patterns. Results show that complex plate motions (rollback, steepening) and morphologies (gaps) in convergent margins produce flows with

  14. Tectonic deformation of the Andes and the configuration of the subducted slab in central Peru: Results from a micro-seismic experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suarez, G.; Gagnepain, J. J.; Cisternas, A.; Hatzfeld, D.; Molnar, P.; Ocola, L.; Roecker, S. W.; Viode, J. P.

    1983-01-01

    The vast majority of the microearthquakes recorded occurred to the east: on the Huaytapallana fault in the Eastern Cordillera or in the western margin of the sub-Andes. The sub-Andes appear to be the physiographic province subjected to the most intense seismic deformation. Focal depths for the crustal events here are as deep as 50 km, and the fault plane solutions, show thrust faulting on steep planes oriented roughly north-south. The Huaytapallana fault in the Cordillera Oriental also shows relatively high seismicity along a northeast-southwest trend that agrees with the fault scarp and the east dipping nodal plane of two large earthquakes that occurred on this fault in 1969. The recorded microearthquakes of intermediate depth show a flat seismic zone about 25 km thick at a depth of about 100 km. This agrees with the suggestion that beneath Peru the slab first dips at an angle of 30 deg to a depth of 100 km and then flattens following a quasi-horizontal trajectory. Fault plane solutions of intermediate depth microearthquakes have horizontal T axes oriented east-west.

  15. On the initiation of subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Steve; Phillips, Roger J.

    1991-01-01

    Estimates of shear resistance associated with lithospheric thrusting and convergence represent lower bounds on the force necessary to promote trench formation. Three environments proposed as preferential sites of incipient subduction are investigated: passive continental margins, transform faults/fracture zones, and extinct ridges. None of these are predicted to convert into subduction zones simply by the accumulation of local gravitational stresses. Subduction cannot initiate through the foundering of dense oceanic lithosphere immediately adjacent to passive continental margins. The attempted subduction of buoyant material at a mature trench can result in large compressional forces in both subducting and overriding plates. This is the only tectonic force sufficient to trigger the nucleation of a new subduction zone. The ubiquitous distribution of transform faults and fracture zones, combined with the common proximity of these features to mature subduction complexes, suggests that they may represent the most likely sites of trench formation if they are even marginally weaker than normal oceanic lithosphere.

  16. Transient slab flattening beneath Colombia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, L. S.; Jaramillo, J. S.; Ramírez-Hoyos, L. F.; Monsalve, G.; Cardona, A.; Becker, T. W.

    2017-07-01

    Subduction of the Nazca and Caribbean Plates beneath northwestern Colombia is seen in two distinct Wadati Benioff Zones, one associated with a flat slab to the north and one associated with normal subduction south of 5.5°N. The normal subduction region is characterized by an active arc, whereas the flat slab region has no known Holocene volcanism. We analyze volcanic patterns over the past 14 Ma to show that in the mid-Miocene a continuous arc extended up to 7°N, indicating normal subduction of the Nazca Plate all along Colombia's Pacific margin. However, by 6 Ma, we find a complete cessation of this arc north of 3°N, indicating the presence of a far more laterally extensive flat slab than at present. Volcanism did not resume between 3°N and 6°N until after 4 Ma, consistent with lateral tearing and resteepening of the southern portion of the Colombian flat slab at that time.

  17. Trench motion-controlled slab morphology and stress variations: Implications for the isolated 2015 Bonin Islands deep earthquake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ting; Gurnis, Michael; Zhan, Zhongwen

    2017-07-01

    The subducted old and cold Pacific Plate beneath the young Philippine Sea Plate at the Izu-Bonin trench over the Cenozoic hosts regional deep earthquakes. We investigate slab morphology and stress regimes under different trench motion histories with mantle convection models. Viscosity, temperature, and deviatoric stress are inherently heterogeneous within the slab, which we link to the occurrence of isolated earthquakes. Models expand on previous suggestions that observed slab morphology variations along the Izu-Bonin subduction zone, exhibited as shallow slab dip angles in the north and steeper dip angles in the south, are mainly due to variations in the rate of trench retreat from the north (where it is fast) to the south (where it is slow). Geodynamic models consistent with the regional plate tectonics, including oceanic plate age, plate convergence rate, and trench motion history, reproduce the seismologically observed principal stress direction and slab morphology. We suggest that the isolated 680 km deep, 30 May 2015 Mw 7.9 Bonin Islands earthquake, which lies east of the well-defined Benioff zone and has its principal compressional stress direction oriented toward the tip of the previously defined Benioff zone, can be explained by Pacific slab buckling in response to the slow trench retreat.

  18. Mantle wedge serpentinization effects on slab dips

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eh Tan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The mechanical coupling between a subducting slab and the overlying mantle wedge is an important factor in controlling the subduction dip angle and the flow in mantel wedge. This paper investigates the role of the amount of mantle serpentinization on the subduction zone evolution. With numerical thermos-mechanical models with elasto-visco-plastic rheology, we vary the thickness and depth extent of mantle serpentinization in the mantle wedge to control the degree of coupling between the slab and mantle wedge. A thin serpentinized mantle layer is required for stable subduction. For models with stable subduction, we find that the slab dip is affected by the down-dip extent and the mantle serpentinization thickness. A critical down-dip extent exists in mantle serpentinization, determined by the thickness of the overriding lithosphere. If the down-dip extent does not exceed the critical depth, the slab is partially coupled to the overriding lithosphere and has a constant dip angle regardless of the mantle serpentinization thickness. However, if the down-dip extent exceeds the critical depth, the slab and the base of the overriding lithosphere would be separated and decoupled by a thick layer of serpentinized peridotite. This allows further slab bending and results in steeper slab dip. Increasing mantle serpentinization thickness will also result in larger slab dip. We also find that with weak mantle wedge, there is no material flowing from the asthenosphere into the serpentinized mantle wedge. All of these results indicate that serpentinization is an important ingredient when studying the subduction dynamics in the mantle wedge.

  19. Volatile (Li, B, F and Cl) mobility during amphibole breakdown in subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debret, Baptiste; Koga, Kenneth T.; Cattani, Fanny; Nicollet, Christian; Van den Bleeken, Greg; Schwartz, Stephane

    2016-02-01

    Amphiboles are ubiquitous minerals in the altered oceanic crust. During subduction, their breakdown is governed by continuous reactions up to eclogitic facies conditions. Amphiboles thus contribute to slab-derived fluid throughout prograde metamorphism and continuously record information about volatile exchanges occurring between the slab and the mantle wedge. However, the fate of volatile elements and especially halogens, such as F and Cl, in amphibole during subduction is poorly constrained. We studied metagabbros from three different localities in the Western Alps: the Chenaillet ophiolite, the Queyras Schistes Lustrés and the Monviso meta-ophiolitic complexes. These samples record different metamorphic conditions, from greenschist to eclogite facies, and have interacted with different lithologies (e.g. sedimentary rocks, serpentinites) from their formation at mid-oceanic ridge, up to their devolatilization during subduction. In the oceanic crust, the initial halogen budget is mostly stored in magmatic amphibole (F = 300-7000 ppm; Cl = 20-1200 ppm) or in amphibole corona (F = 100-7000 ppm; Cl = 80-2000 ppm) and titanite (F = 200-1500 ppm; Cl glaucophane at the expense of magmatic and amphibole coronas. This episode is accompanied with a decrease of halogen concentrations in amphiboles (glaucophane (up to 600 ppm) whereas halogen concentrations are unaffected. At eclogite facies conditions, metagabbros display low halogens concentrations (< 20 ppm of F and < 100 ppm of Cl) relative to altered oceanic crust (F = 40-650 ppm; Cl = 40-1400 ppm) suggesting that these elements are continuously released by fluids during the first 30-80 km of subduction whatever the tectonic environment (e.g. slab, plate interface) and the considered fluid/rock interactions.

  20. Detecting slab structure beneath the Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Meghan S.; Sun, Daoyuan; Piana Agostinetti, Nicola

    2013-04-01

    The presence of subducted slabs in the Mediterranean has been well documented with seismic tomography, however, these images, which are produced by smoothed, damped inversions, underestimate the sharpness of the structures. The position and extent of the slabs and the presence possible tears or gaps in the subducted lithosphere are still debated, yet the shape and location these structures are important for kinematic reconstructions and evolution of the entire subduction zone system. Extensive distribution of broadband seismic instrumentation in the Mediterranean (Italian National Seismic Network in Italy and the NSF-PICASSO project in Spain and Morocco) has allowed us to use alternative methodologies to detect the position of the slabs and slab tears beneath the Central and Western Mediterranean. Using S receiver functions we are able to identify S-to-p conversions from the bottom of the subducted slab and a lack of these signals where there are gaps or tears in the slab. We also analyze broadband waveforms for changes in P wave coda from deep (> 300 km depth) local earthquakes. The waveform records for stations in southern Italy and around the Betic-Rif show large amplitude, high frequency (f > 5 Hz) late arrivals with long coda after relatively low-frequency onset. High frequency arrivals are the strongest from events whose raypaths travel within the slab to the stations where they are recorded allowing for mapping of where the subducted material is located within the upper mantle. These two methods, along with inferring the slab position from fast P-wave velocity perturbations in tomography and intermediate depth seismicity, provide additional geophysical evidence to aid in interpretation of the complex, segmented slab structure beneath the Mediterranean.

  1. Dynamics of double-polarity subduction: application to the Western Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peral, Mireia; Zlotnik, Sergio; Fernandez, Manel; Vergés, Jaume; Jiménez-Munt, Ivone; Torne, Montserrat

    2016-04-01

    The evolution of the Western Mediterranean is a highly debated question by geologists and geophysicists. Even though most scientists agree in considering slab roll-back to be the driving mechanism of the tectonic evolution of this area, there is still no consensus about the initial setup and its time evolution. A recent model suggests a lateral change in subduction polarity of the Ligurian-Thetys oceanic domain to explain the formation and evolution of the Betic-Rif orogenic system and the associated Alboran back-arc basin. Such geodynamic scenario is also proposed for different converging regions. The aim of this study is to analyze the dynamic evolution of a double-polarity subduction process and its consequences in order to test the physical feasibility of this interaction and provide geometries and evolutions comparable to those proposed for the Western Mediterranean. The 3D numerical model is carried out via the Underworld framework. Tectonic plate behavior is described by equations of fluid dynamics in the presence of several different phases. Underworld solves a non-linear Stokes flow problem using Finite Elements combined with particle-in-cell approach, thus the discretization combines a standard Eulerian Finite Element mesh with Lagrangian particles to track the location of the phases. The final model consists of two oceanic plates with viscoplastic rheology subducting into the upper mantle in opposite direction and the problem is driven by Rayleigh-Taylor instability. We study the influence of the boundary conditions in the model evolution, and the slab deformation produced by the proximity between both plates. Moreover the case of asymmetric friction on the lateral sides of slabs is also considered. Simulations of single subduction models are used as a reference, to compare results and understand the influence of the second plate. We observe slight differences in the trench retreat velocity and the slab morphology near the contact area when plates are

  2. Seismic reflection imaging of two megathrust shear zones in the northern Cascadia subduction zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvert, Andrew J

    2004-03-11

    At convergent continental margins, the relative motion between the subducting oceanic plate and the overriding continent is usually accommodated by movement along a single, thin interface known as a megathrust. Great thrust earthquakes occur on the shallow part of this interface where the two plates are locked together. Earthquakes of lower magnitude occur within the underlying oceanic plate, and have been linked to geochemical dehydration reactions caused by the plate's descent. Here I present deep seismic reflection data from the northern Cascadia subduction zone that show that the inter-plate boundary is up to 16 km thick and comprises two megathrust shear zones that bound a >5-km-thick, approximately 110-km-wide region of imbricated crustal rocks. Earthquakes within the subducting plate occur predominantly in two geographic bands where the dip of the plate is inferred to increase as it is forced around the edges of the imbricated inter-plate boundary zone. This implies that seismicity in the subducting slab is controlled primarily by deformation in the upper part of the plate. Slip on the shallower megathrust shear zone, which may occur by aseismic slow slip, will transport crustal rocks into the upper mantle above the subducting oceanic plate and may, in part, provide an explanation for the unusually low seismic wave speeds that are observed there.

  3. Seismic Structure of the Subducted Cocos Plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clayton, R. W.; Davis, P. M.; Perez-Campos, X.

    2007-05-01

    The Meso-American Subduction Experiment (MASE) was designed to determine the critical parameters to necessary to simulate the subduction process in Central Mexico . A preliminary analysis of the data shows a 200km section of the slab that is subhorizontal and to within the resolution of the receiver functions it underplates the continental crust with no intervening asthenosphere. This is an interesting situation because the short-term (GPS) and long-term (geologic) strain measurements show almost no compressive strain in this region. This would imply that the crust is decoupled from the subducting slab. Near the coast, the receiver functions show that the slab cuts through the crust at an approximately a 15-degree angle, and under the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt the slab becomes detached from the crust, but its geometry at depth is not yet determined from the receiver functions, but a well-developed mantle wedge is apparent from the attenuation of regional earthquakes.

  4. Continental crust melting induced by subduction initiation of the South Tianshan Ocean: Insight from the Latest Devonian granitic magmatism in the southern Yili Block, NW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Zihe; Cai, Keda; Sun, Min; Xiao, Wenjiao; Wan, Bo; Wang, Yannan; Wang, Xiangsong; Xia, Xiaoping

    2018-03-01

    The Tianshan belt of the southwestern Central Asian Orogenic Belt was generated by Paleozoic multi-stage subduction and final closure of several extinct oceans, including the South Tianshan Ocean between the Kazakhstan-Yili and Tarim blocks. However, the subduction initiation and polarity of the South Tianshan Ocean remain issues of highly debated. This study presents new zircon U-Pb ages, geochemical compositions and Sr-Nd isotopes, as well as zircon Hf isotopic data of the Latest Devonian to Early Carboniferous granitic rocks in the Wusun Mountain of the Yili Paleozoic convergent margin, which, together with the spatial-temporal distributions of regional magmatic rocks, are applied to elucidate their petrogenesis and tectonic linkage to the northward subduction initiation of the South Tianshan Ocean. Our zircon U-Pb dating results reveal that these granites were emplaced at the time interval of 362.0 ± 1.2-360.3 ± 1.9 Ma, suggesting a marked partial melting event of the continental crust in the Latest Devonian to Early Carboniferous. These granites, based on their mineral compositions and textures, can be categorized as monzogranites and K-feldspar granites. Geochemically, both monzogranites and K-feldspar granites have characters of I-type granites with high K2O contents (4.64-4.83 wt.%), and the K-feldspar granites are highly fractionated I-type granites, while the monzogranites have features of unfractionated I-type granites. Whole-rock Sr-Nd isotopic modeling results suggest that ca. 20-40% mantle-derived magmas may be involved in magma mixing with continental crust partial melts to generate the parental magmas of the granites. The mantle-derived basaltic magmas was inferred not only to be a major component of magma mixture but also as an important heat source to fuse the continental crust in an extensional setting, which is evidenced by the high zircon saturation temperatures (713-727 °C and 760-782 °C) of the studied granites. The Latest Devonian to

  5. Emplacement of the Kodiak batholith and slab-window migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farris, David W.; Haeussler, P.; Friedman, R.; Paterson, Scott R.; Saltus, R.W.; Ayuso, R.

    2006-01-01

    The Kodiak batholith is one of the largest, most elongate intrusive bodies in the forearc Sanak-Baranof plutonic belt located in southern Alaska. This belt is interpreted to have formed during the subduction of an oceanic spreading center and the associated migration of a slab window. Individual plutons of the Kodiak batholith track the location and evolution of the underlying slab window. Six U/Pb zircon ages from the axis of the batholith exhibit a northeastward-decreasing age progression of 59.2 ± 0.2 Ma at the southwest end to 58.4 ± 0.2 Ma at the northeast tip. The trench-parallel rate of age progression is within error of the average slab-window migration rate for the entire Sanak-Baranof belt (~19 cm/yr). Structural relationships, U/Pb ages, and a model of new gravity data indicate that magma from the Kodiak batholith ascended 5-10 km as a northeastward-younging series of 1-8-km-diameter viscoelastic diapirs. Individual plutons ascended by multiple emplacement mechanisms including downward flow, collapse of wall rock, stoping, and diking. Stokes flow xenolith calculations suggest ascent rates of 5-100 m/yr and an effective magmatic viscosity of 107-108 Pa s. Pre-existing structural or lithologic heterogeneities did not dominantly control the location of the main batholith. Instead, its location was determined by migration of the slab window at depth. 

  6. High-pressure creep of serpentine, interseismic deformation, and initiation of subduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilairet, Nadege; Reynard, Bruno; Wang, Yanbin; Daniel, Isabelle; Merkel, Sebastien; Nishiyama, Norimasa; Petitgirard, Sylvain

    2007-12-21

    The supposed low viscosity of serpentine may strongly influence subduction-zone dynamics at all time scales, but until now its role could not be quantified because measurements relevant to intermediate-depth settings were lacking. Deformation experiments on the serpentine antigorite at high pressures and temperatures (1 to 4 gigapascals, 200 degrees to 500 degrees C) showed that the viscosity of serpentine is much lower than that of the major mantle-forming minerals. Regardless of the temperature, low-viscosity serpentinized mantle at the slab surface can localize deformation, impede stress buildup, and limit the downdip propagation of large earthquakes at subduction zones. Antigorite enables viscous relaxation with characteristic times comparable to those of long-term postseismic deformations after large earthquakes and slow earthquakes. Antigorite viscosity is sufficiently low to make serpentinized faults in the oceanic lithosphere a site for subduction initiation.

  7. Slab fluid release: localized in space and time

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, T.; Gussone, N. C.; Podladchikov, Y. Y.

    2012-12-01

    As subducting oceanic plates descend into the Earth's mantle, increasing pressures and temperatures lead to the progressive destabilization of hydrous mineral phases and the release of H2O-rich fluids. Some fraction of these fluids ascend into the overlying mantle wedge, inducing partial melting, and their "chemical freight" is thought to contribute to the distinctive chemical signature of the resulting arc magmas. Field evidences suggest that channelized fluid flow may be the dominant mechanism for intra-slab fluid flow. Along their pathways within slabs, these fluids can trigger mineral reactions and produce chemical changes in rocks with which they interact. However, the spatial and temporal scales of this fluid flow remain largely unknown. We employed the Ca and Li isotope systems on a fossil high-pressure fluid pathway and its associated reaction halo (Chinese Tianshan), formed at ~70 km depth during subduction of a coherent oceanic slab, allowing us to constrain the fluid flux, fluid source and the duration of the fluid-rock interaction. In the reaction halo, the degree of eclogitization along with Ca concentration increases towards the vein. A high fluid flux is required to obtain the observed Ca increase and changes in δ44/40Ca. The Ca isotope composition indicate mixing of two distinct Ca sources, the wall-rock blueschist and an external fluid source, the latter of which is enriched in heavy Ca isotopes. The relatively high δ44/40Ca (>1.3‰) of the infiltrating fluid is suggestive of partially hydrated slab mantle as the fluid source. Alternatively, Ca derived from MORB, (0.7 to 0.9‰) and AOC (0.6 to 1.0‰) might evolve towards heavier Ca isotope values while it is ascending through the slab and reacting with wall-rocks and forming carbonates, which are usually associated with the flow structures. This is because calcium carbonate precipitation preferentially removes light Ca from the fluid while the residual fluid will get heavier proportional to

  8. The initial superposition of oceanic and continental units in the southern Western Alps: constraints on geometrical restoration and kinematics of the continental subduction wedge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumont, Thierry; Schwartz, Stéphane; Matthews, Steve; Malusa, Marco; Jouvent, Marine

    2017-04-01

    The tectonic contact separating continental and oceanic units is preserved at outcrop in many locations within the Western Alps. The contact has experienced prolonged and progressive deformation during Oligocene collision and subsequent 'extrusive' contraction which is approximately westerly-directed (Dumont et al., 2012). Despite variable metamorphic grade, this tectonic contact displays a relative consistency of tectonostratigraphic and structural characteristics. Removal of the Oligocene and younger deformation is a critical requirement to allow assessment of the kinematic evolution during the Eocene continental subduction phase. The best preserved relationships are observed near the base of the Helminthoid Flysch nappes, in the footwall of the Penninic thrust, or in the external part of the Briançonnais zone. Here, the oceanic units are composed of detached Cretaceous sediments, but they are underlain locally by an olistostrome containing basaltic clasts. Further to the east, the internal boundary of the Briançonnais zone s.l. (including the 'Prepiedmont units'), is frequently marked by breccia or megabreccia, but is strongly affected by blueschist-facies metamorphism and by approximately easterly directed backfolding and backthrusting. At one locality, there is compelling evidence that the oceanic and continental units were already tectonically stacked and metamorphosed (together) 32Ma ago. Some megabreccias of mixed continental/oceanic provenance can be interpreted as a metamorphic equivalent of the external olistostrome, products of the initial pulses of tectonic stacking. The overlying units are composed dominantly of metasediments, containing distributed ophiolitic megaboudins (Tricart & Schwartz, 2006). Further east again, the tectonic contact separates the Dora-Maira continental basement from the Mt. Viso units which are predominantly composed of oceanic lithosphere. Both the Dora-Maira and Mt. Viso units are eclogitic, but the HP peak is apparently

  9. Slab track

    OpenAIRE

    Golob, Tina

    2014-01-01

    The last 160 years has been mostly used conventional track with ballasted bed, sleepers and steel rail. Ensuring the high speed rail traffic, increasing railway track capacities, providing comfortable and safe ride as well as high reliability and availability railway track, has led to development of innovative systems for railway track. The so-called slab track was first built in 1972 and since then, they have developed many different slab track systems around the world. Slab track was also b...

  10. Boron isotope variations in Tonga-Kermadec-New Zealand arc lavas: Implications for the origin of subduction components and mantle influences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leeman, William P.; Tonarini, Sonia; Turner, Simon

    2017-03-01

    The Tonga-Kermadec-New Zealand volcanic arc is an end-member of arc systems with fast subduction suggesting that the Tonga sector should have the coolest modern slab thermal structure on Earth. New data for boron concentration and isotopic composition are used to evaluate the contrasting roles of postulated subduction components (sediments and oceanic slab lithologies) in magma genesis. Major observations include: (a) Tonga-Kermadec volcanic front lavas are enriched in B (as recorded by B/Nb and similar ratios) and most have relatively high δ11B (>+4‰), whereas basaltic lavas from New Zealand have relatively low B/Nb and δ11B (back-arc, as observed elsewhere; and (d) low δ11B is observed in volcanic front samples from Ata, an anomalous sector where the back-arc Valu Fa Spreading Center impinges on the arc and the Louisville Seamount Chain is presently subducting. Otherwise, volcanic front lavas exhibit positive correlations for both B/Nb and δ11B with other plausible indicators of slab-derived fluid contributions (e.g., Ba/Nb, U/Th, (230Th/232Th) and 10Be/9Be), and with estimated degree of melting to produce the mafic lavas. Inferred B-enrichments in the arc magma sources are likely dominated by serpentinite domains deeper within the subducting slab (±altered oceanic crust), and B systematics are consistent with dominant transport by slab-derived aqueous fluids. Effects of this process are amplified by mantle wedge source depletion due to prior melt extraction.Plain Language SummaryBoron isotope and other geochemical data are used to evaluate contributions from subducted materials to magma sources for volcanoes of the Tonga-Kermadec-New Zealand volcanic arc. The data are used to estimate the composition of modified mantle sources for the arc magmas as well as the extent of melting to produce them. It is shown that the mantle was previously depleted in melt components, and then overprinted by B and other components from the subducting slab, predominantly by

  11. Paleomagnetism of Cretaceous Oceanic Red Beds (CORBs) from Gyangze, northern Tethys Himalaya: Evidence for Intra-oceanic Subduction System and Southern Paleolatitute Limit for the Lhasa Block

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Xiaodong

    2016-04-01

    indicate a paleolatitude of 10±2 degree north, ~2000 km distance from the southern Tethys Himalaya. Therefore, the formation is not deposited near the greater Indian continental margins. Based on recent plate tectonic reconstruction, the CORBs are very likely formed within a back-arc basin between the equatorial intra-oceanic subduction system and the Asian continental margin. Due to coeval development of abundant red beds in the Lhasa block, the characteristic pigments of hematite born in the CORBs are likely of terrestrial origin. In addition, the new data indicate that the Lhasa block is unlikely to be at low paleolatitude in the Late Cretaceous and Tertiary as some of the paleomagnetic results show.

  12. Reconstruction of seawater chemistry from deeply subducted oceanic crust; hydrogen and oxygen isotope of lawsonite eclogites preserving pillow structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamabata, D., VI; Masuyama, Y.; Tomiyasu, F.; Ueno, Y.; Yui, T. F.; Okamoto, K.

    2014-12-01

    In order to understand evolution of life, change of seawater chemistry from Hadean, Archean to present is significant. Pillow structure is well-preserved in the Archean greenstone belt (e.g. Komiya et al., 1999). Oxygen and hydrogen isotope of rims in the pillow is useful conventional tool to decipher chemistry of Paleao-seawater from Archean to Present. However, Archean greenstone belt suffered regional metamorphism from greenschist to Amphibolite facies conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to testify the validity of pillow chemistry from recent (Phanerozoic) metamorphosed greenstone. We have systematically collected pillowed greenstone from blueschist and eclogites. Two eclogite exhibiting pillow structures were chosen for oxygen and hydrogen isotope analysis. One is from Corsica (lawsonite eclogite collected with Dr. Alberto Vidale Barbarone) and another is from Cazadero, Franciscan belt (collected by Dr. Tatsuki Tsujimori). The both are ascribed as MORB from major and trace bulk chemistry and Ca is rich in the core and Na is poor in the rims. The former exhibits garnet, omphacite, lawsonite, and glacophane. Phengite is in core of the pillow and chlorite is in the rims. In the latter, besides garnet, omphacite, epdiote and glaucophane, chlorite is recognized with phengite in the core. Glaucophane is richer in the rims from the both samples, therefore istope analysis of glaucophane was done. Mineral separation was carefully done using micro-mill, heavy liquid and isodynamic separator. 20 mg specimens were used for oxygen isotope analysis and 2mg were for hydrogen analysis. δ18O of the all analysis (7.7 to 8.3) is within the range of unaltered igneous oceanic crust and high temperature hydrothermal alteration although rims (8.3 for Franciscan and 8.0 for Corsica) are higher than cores (7.7 for Franciscan and Corsica). δD data is also consistent with hydrothermal alteration. It is relative higher in core from the Corsica and Franciscan (-45 and -56) than of the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ammirati, Jean-Baptiste; Alvarado, Patricia; Beck, Susan

    2015-07-01

    In the central Andes, the Nazca plate displays large along strike variations in dip with a near horizontal subduction angle between 28 and 32°S referred to the Pampean flat slab segment. The upper plate above the Pampean flat slab has high rates of crustal seismicity and active basement cored uplifts. The SIEMBRA experiment, a 43-broad-band-seismic-station array was deployed to better characterize the Pampean flat slab region around 31°S. In this study, we explore the lithospheric structure above the flat slab as a whole and its relation to seismicity. We use the SIEMBRA data to perform a joint inversion of teleseismic receiver functions and Rayleigh wave phase velocity dispersion to constrain the shear wave velocity variations in the lithosphere. Our joint inversion results show: (1) the presence of several upper-plate mid-crustal discontinuities and their lateral extent that are probably related to the terrane accretion history; (2) zones of high shear wave velocity in the upper-plate lower crust associated with a weak Moho signal consistent with the hypothesis of partial eclogitization in the lower crust; (3) the presence of low shear-wave velocities at ˜100 km depth interpreted as the subducting oceanic crust. Finally, in order to investigate the relation of the lithospheric structure to seismicity, we determine an optimal velocity-depth model based on the joint inversion results and use it to perform regional moment tensor inversions (SMTI) of crustal and slab earthquakes. The SMTI for 18 earthquakes that occurred between 2007 and 2009 in the flat slab region below Argentina, indicates systematically shallower focal depths for slab earthquakes (compared with inversions using previous velocity models). This suggests that the slab seismicity is concentrated mostly between 90 and 110 km depths within the subducting Nazca plate's oceanic crust and likely related to dehydration. In addition, the slab earthquakes exhibit extensional focal mechanisms suggesting

  15. High- and low-Cr chromitite and dunite in a Tibetan ophiolite: evolution from mature subduction system to incipient forearc in the Neo-Tethyan Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Qing; Henry, Hadrien; Griffin, William L.; Zheng, Jian-Ping; Satsukawa, Takako; Pearson, Norman J.; O'Reilly, Suzanne Y.

    2017-06-01

    The microstructures, major- and trace-element compositions of minerals and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) maps of high- and low-Cr# [spinel Cr# = Cr3+/(Cr3+ + Al3+)] chromitites and dunites from the Zedang ophiolite in the Yarlung Zangbo Suture (South Tibet) have been used to reveal their genesis and the related geodynamic processes in the Neo-Tethyan Ocean. The high-Cr# (0.77-0.80) chromitites (with or without diopside exsolution) have chromite compositions consistent with initial crystallization by interaction between boninitic magmas, harzburgite and reaction-produced magmas in a shallow, mature mantle wedge. Some high-Cr# chromitites show crystal-plastic deformation and grain growth on previous chromite relics that have exsolved needles of diopside. These features are similar to those of the Luobusa high-Cr# chromitites, possibly recycled from the deep upper mantle in a mature subduction system. In contrast, mineralogical, chemical and EBSD features of the Zedang low-Cr# (0.49-0.67) chromitites and dunites and the silicate inclusions in chromite indicate that they formed by rapid interaction between forearc basaltic magmas (MORB-like but with rare subduction input) and the Zedang harzburgites in a dynamically extended, incipient forearc lithosphere. The evidence implies that the high-Cr# chromitites were produced or emplaced in an earlier mature arc (possibly Jurassic), while the low-Cr# associations formed in an incipient forearc during the initiation of a new episode of Neo-Tethyan subduction at 130-120 Ma. This two-episode subduction model can provide a new explanation for the coexistence of high- and low-Cr# chromitites in the same volume of ophiolitic mantle.

  16. Does slab-window opening cause uplift of the overriding plate? A case study from the Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark, Chris; Chew, David; Gupta, Sanjeev

    2017-11-01

    Complete subduction of an oceanic plate results in slab-window opening. A key uncertainty in this process is whether the higher heat flux and asthenospheric upwelling conventionally associated with slab-window opening generate a detectable topographic signature in the overriding plate. We focus on the Baja California Peninsula, which incorporates the western margin of the Gulf of California rift. The topography and tectonics of the rift flank along the peninsula are strongly bimodal. North of the Puertecitos accommodation zone, the primary drainage divide attains a mean elevation of ca. 1600 m above sea level (asl), above an asthenospheric slab-window opened by Pacific-Farallon spreading ridge subduction along this section of the trench at ca. 17-15 Ma. To the south, mean topography decreases abruptly to ca. 800 m asl (excluding the structurally distinct Los Cabos block at the southern tip of the peninsula), above fragments of the oceanic Farallon slab which stalled following slab tear-off at ca. 15-14 Ma. Along the peninsula, a low-relief surface established atop Miocene subduction-related volcaniclastic units has been incised by a west-draining canyon network in response to uplift. These canyons exhibit cut-and-fill relationships with widespread post-subduction lavas. Here, we utilise LANDSAT and digital elevation model (DEM) data, integrated with previously published K-Ar and 40Ar/39Ar lava crystallisation ages, to constrain the onset of rift flank uplift to ca. 9-5 Ma later than slab-window formation in the north and ca. 11-10 Ma later in the south. These greatly exceed response time estimates of ca. 2 Ma or less for uplift triggered by slab-window opening. Instead, uplift timing of the high-elevation northern region is consistent with lower-lithospheric erosion driven by rift-related convective upwelling. To the south, stalled slab fragments likely inhibited convective return flow, preventing lithospheric erosion and limiting uplift to the isostatic response

  17. Seismicity and the subduction process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruff, L.; Kanamori, H.

    1980-01-01

    There is considerable variation between subduction zones in the largest characteristic earthquake within each zone. Assuming that coupling between downgoing and upper plates is directly related to characteristic earthquake size, tests for correlations between variation in coupling and other physical features of subduction zones are conducted: the lateral extent and penetration depth of Benioff zones, age of subducting lithosphere, convergence rate, and back-arc spreading. Using linear multivariate regression, coupling is correlated with two variables: convergence rate and lithosphere age. Secondary correlations within the data set are penetration depth versus lithosphere age, and lateral extent versus convergence rate. Taken together, the observed correlations suggest a simple qualitative model where convergence rate and lithosphere age determine the horizontal and sinking rates, respectively, of slabs: these parameters influence the seismic coupling in the subduction zone. In the limit of a fast sinking rate and slow convergence rate, back-arc spreading occurs and thereby appears to be a passive process.

  18. Transformation from Paleo-Asian Ocean closure to Paleo-Pacific subduction: New constraints from granitoids in the eastern Jilin-Heilongjiang Belt, NE China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xing-Hua; Zhu, Wen-Ping; Zhou, Zhen-Hua; Qiao, Shi-Lei

    2017-08-01

    The eastern Jilin-Heilongjiang Belt (EJHB) of NE China is a unique orogen that underwent two stages of evolution within the tectonic regimes of the Paleo-Asian and Paleo-Pacific oceans. 158 available zircon U-Pb ages, including 26 ages obtained during the present study and 132 ages from the literature, were compiled and analyzed for the Mesozoic and Cenozoic granitoids from the EJHB and the adjacent Russian Sikhote-Alin Orogenic Belt (SAOB), to examine the temporal-spatial distribution of the granitoids and to constrain the tectonic evolution of the East Asian continental margin. Five stages of granitic magmatism can be identified: Early Triassic (251-240 Ma), Late Triassic (228-215 Ma), latest Triassic to Middle Jurassic (213-158 Ma), Early Cretaceous (131-105 Ma), and Late Cretaceous to Paleocene (95-56 Ma). The Early Triassic granitoids are restricted to the Yanbian region along the Changchun-Yanji Suture, and show geochemical characteristics of magmas from a thickened lower crust source, probably due to the final collision of the combined NE China blocks with the North China Craton. The Late Triassic granitoids, with features of A-type granites, represent post-collisional magmatic activities that were related to post-orogenic extension, marking the end of the tectonic evolution of the Paleo-Asian Ocean. The latest Triassic to Paleocene granitoids with calc-alkaline characteristics were NE-trending emplaced along the EJHB and SAOB and young towards the coastal region, and represent continental marginal arc magmas that were associated with the northwestwards subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate. Two periods of magmatic quiescence (158-131 and 105-95 Ma) correspond to changes in the subduction direction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate from oblique relative to the continental margin to subparallel. Taking all this into account, we conclude that: (1) the final closure of the Paleo-Asian Ocean occurred along the Changchun-Yanji Suture during the Early Triassic; (2) the

  19. Discovery of the early Jurassic Gajia mélange in the Bangong-Nujiang suture zone: Southward subduction of the Bangong-Nujiang Ocean?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Wen; Hu, Xiumian; Zhu, Dicheng; An, Wei; Ma, Anlin

    2017-06-01

    Mélange records a series of geological processes associated with oceanic subduction and continental collision. This paper reports for the first time the presence of Early Jurassic mélange from NW Nagqu in the southern margin of the Bangong-Nujiang suture zone, termed as the Gajia mélange. It shows typically blocks-in-matrix structure with matrix of black shale and siliceous mudstone, and several centimeters to several meters sized blocks of sandstone, silicalite, limestone and basalt. The sandstone blocks consist of homologous sandstone and two types of exotic sandstone, with different modal compositions. The Group 1 of exotic sandstone blocks consists of mainly of feldspar and quartz, whereas the Group 2 is rich in volcanic detritus. The Group 3 of homologous sandstone blocks is rich in feldspar and volcanic detritus with rare occurrence of quartz. U-Pb age data and in situ Hf isotopic compositions of detrital zircons from sandstone blocks are similar to those from the Lhasa terrane, suggesting that the sandstone blocks in the Gajia mélange most probably came from the Lhasa terrane. The YC1σ(2+) age of homologous sandstone blocks is 177 ± 2.4 Ma, suggesting an Early Jurassic depositional age for the sandstones within the Gajia mélange. The Gajia mélange likely records the southward subduction of the Bangong-Nujiang Ocean during the Early Jurassic.

  20. Sulphide-sulphate stability and melting in subducted sediment and its role in arc mantle redox and chalcophile cycling in space and time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canil, Dante; Fellows, Steven A.

    2017-07-01

    The redox budget during subduction is tied to the evolution of oxygen and biogeochemical cycles on Earth's surface over time. The sulphide-sulphate couple in subducted crust has significant potential for redox and control on extraction of chalcophile metals from the arc mantle. We derive oxygen buffers for sulphide-sulphate stability ('SSO buffers') using mineral assemblages in subducted crust within the eclogite facies, and examine their disposition relative to the fO2 in the arc mantle along various P-T trajectories for subduction. The fO2 required for sulphide stability in subducted crust passing beneath an arc is shifted by variations in the bulk Ca/(Ca + Mg + Fe) of the subducting crust alone. Hotter slabs and more Fe-rich sediments stabilize sulphide and favour chalcophile sequestration deep into the mantle, whereas colder slabs and calcic sediment will stabilize anhydrite, in some cases at depths of melt generation in the arc mantle (earth history. Oxidation of arc mantle and the proliferation of porphyry Cu deposits may be latter-day advents in earth history partly due to the rise of planktic calcifiers in the oceans in only the past 250 million years.

  1. Rheological property of mafic schist and geological interpretation to the subduction dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okazaki, K.; Hirth, G.

    2013-12-01

    To understand the spatial and temporal distribution of deformation (e.g., underplating and exhumation of metamorphic rocks) and earthquakes in subduction zones, it is important to constrain the rheological properties of metamorphic rocks (i.e., altered oceanic crust and sediments), and how they evolve during metamorphic reactions following hydration, carbonation and dehydration of the down-going slab. Metamorphism of oceanic crust has stimulated hypotheses on the relationship between intra-slab earthquakes and slab-wedge coupling along plate boundaries in subduction zone. While it is well known that metamorphisms have important effects on material circulation and arc volcanisms at subduction system, it remains unclear how the formation of metamorphic minerals followed by fluid release on the subduction dynamics influences rheology. Past experimental studies on mafic metamorphic rocks were mostly concentrated on phase equilibrium of mineral, thus there are very few reports on the mechanical data for these metamorphic rocks. We conducted triaxial deformation experiments on a mafic greenschist using Griggs-type solid pressure-medium apparatus installed in Brown University. Mafic schist (chlorite - amphibole - epidote - albite schist) containing calcite and quartz veins from Sambagawa metamorphic belt (Japan), which is metamorphosed at the condition of nearly the corner of mantle wedge in hot subduction (1 GPa of pressure and 520C of temperature), was used as experimental samples for typical metamorphic rocks composing oceanic crust in warm subduction zones. Constant strain rete experiments and strain rate step experiment were conducted at 1.0 GPa of confining pressure, 400 ~ 500C of temperature and 10-5 ~ 5×10-7 1/s of strain rate. At stable conditions of samples (1 GPa of confining pressure and 400 and 500C of temperature), differential stresses were higher than 1 GPa. Microstructure of recovered samples showed backing and several localized shear zones. Although

  2. Nitrogen evolution within the Earth's atmosphere-mantle system assessed by recycling in subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallik, Ananya; Li, Yuan; Wiedenbeck, Michael

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of nitrogen (N) across Earth's history requires a comprehensive understanding of N's behaviour in the Earth's mantle - a massive reservoir of this volatile element. Investigation of terrestrial N systematics also requires assessment of its evolution in the Earth's atmosphere, especially to constrain the N content of the Archaean atmosphere, which potentially impacted water retention on the post-accretion Earth, potentially causing enough warming of surface temperatures for liquid water to exist. We estimated the proportion of recycled N in the Earth's mantle today, the isotopic composition of the primitive mantle, and the N content of the Archaean atmosphere based on the recycling rates of N in modern-day subduction zones. We have constrained recycling rates in modern-day subduction zones by focusing on the mechanism and efficiency of N transfer from the subducting slab to the sub-arc mantle by both aqueous fluids and slab partial melts. We also address the transfer of N by aqueous fluids as per the model of Li and Keppler (2014). For slab partial melts, we constrained the transfer of N in two ways - firstly, by an experimental study of the solubility limit of N in melt (which provides an upper estimate of N uptake by slab partial melts) and, secondly, by the partitioning of N between the slab and its partial melt. Globally, 45-74% of N introduced into the mantle by subduction enters the deep mantle past the arc magmatism filter, after taking into account the loss of N from the mantle by degassing at mid-ocean ridges, ocean islands and back-arcs. Although the majority of the N in the present-day mantle remains of primordial origin, our results point to a significant, albeit minor proportion of mantle N that is of recycled origin (17 ± 8% or 12 ± 5% of N in the present-day mantle has undergone recycling assuming that modern-style subduction was initiated 4 or 3 billion years ago, respectively). This proportion of recycled N is enough to

  3. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors in Subduction Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billen, Magali; Arredondo, Katrina

    2014-05-01

    Since the realization that tectonic plates sink into the mantle, in a process we now call subduction, our understanding of this process has improved dramatically through the combined application of observations, theory and modeling. During that time independent research groups focusing on different aspects of subduction have identified factors with a significant impact on subduction, such as three-dimensionality, slab rollback, rheology of the slab and mantle and magnitude of phase changes. However, as each group makes progress we often wonder how these different factors interact as we all strive to understand the real world subduction system. These factors can be divided in two groups: intrinsic factors, including the age of the slab, its thermal structure, composition, and rheology, and extrinsic factors including others forces on plates, overall mantle flow, structure of the overriding plate, rheology of the mantle and phase changes. In addition, while modeling has been a powerful tool for understanding subduction, all models make important (but often necessary) approximations, such as using two dimensions, imposed boundary conditions, and approximations of the conservation equations and material properties. Here we present results of a study in which the "training wheels" are systematically removed from 2D models of subduction to build a more realistic model of subduction and to better understand how combined effects of intrinsic and extrinsic factors contribute to the dynamics. We find that a change from the Boussinesq to the extended Boussinesq form of the conservation equations has a dramatic effect on slab evolution in particular when phase changes are included. Allowing for free (dynamically-driven) subduction and trench motion is numerically challenging, but also an important factor that allows for more direct comparison to observations of plate kinematics. Finally, compositional layering of the slab and compositionally-controlled phase changes also have

  4. High-pressure mafic oceanic rocks from the Makbal Complex, Tianshan Mountains (Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan): Implications for the metamorphic evolution of a fossil subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Melanie; Klemd, Reiner; Konopelko, Dmitry

    2013-09-01

    omphacite) due to an unfavorable alkali-poor bulk composition (Na2O < 1 wt.%). The four high-pressure mafic samples investigated in this study originated from oceanic crust (Zr/Hf ratio of 33 to 35) which contradicts all previous studies suggesting a continental protolith for all mafic HP/UHP rocks at Makbal. The present study indicates that the mafic high-pressure rocks represent incoherent segments of exhumed oceanic crust. Juxtaposition of different mafic oceanic (this study) and continental rocks is suggested to be due to buoyancy-driven exhumation of the metasedimentary host rock in the subduction channel where dismembered fragments of the subducted oceanic crust were captured in different depths.

  5. 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

    2016-04-01

    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. In subduction zones, most works have focused on subtractive processes responsible for carbon release from subducting slabs. As an example, several recent works have stressed on the importance of carbonate dissolution as a mean to mobilize large amounts of carbon in subduction zones. By contrast, little is known on additive processes such as rock carbonation at high-pressure (HP) conditions. At shallow depths (e.g. ocean floor and shallow subduction zones, i.e. geo-biosphere and the atmosphere. We report the occurrence of eclogite-facies marbles associated with metasomatic systems in HP metamorphic unit in Alpine Corsica (France). We performed a field-based study on metasomatic marbles. We will present the petrology and geochemistry that characterize carbonate metasomatism together with fluid inclusions study and pseudosection modeling. Altogether, we bring strong evidences for the precipitation of these carbonate-rich assemblages from carbonic fluids during HP metamorphism. We propose that rock carbonation can occur at HP conditions by either vein-injection or chemical replacement mechanisms. Rock carbonation indicates that carbonic fluids produced by decarbonation reactions and carbonate dissolution may not be directly transferred to the mantle wedge, but may have a preferential and complex pathway within the slab and along slab/mantle interface. Rock carbonation by fluid-rock interactions has a potentially great impact on the residence time of carbon and oxygen and on carbonates isotopic signature in subduction zones. Lastly, carbonation may modulate the emission of CO2 at volcanic arcs over geological time scales.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  7. Reevaluating plate driving forces from 3-D models of subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

    Subducting lithospheric slabs mechanically attached to tectonic plates provide the main driving force for surface plate motion. Numerical models historically simulate slab dynamics as a 2-D process and further simplify the problem into either a density driven model (no heat transfer) or a corner-flow problem (thermal convection) [Christensen, 2001; Enns et al., (in revision); van Keken, 2003]. Recent 3-D global models of density driven flow incorporating a history of plate motion (Conrad and Lithgow-Bertelloni, 2002) have succussfully ruled out slab "suction" (basal shear traction induced by downward flow of the slabs) as a major driving force, but exact partitioning of the remaining forces acting on the slab remain unconstrained. A survey of trenches around the world reveals that over half of the slabs presently subducted in the upper mantle have a discontinuous edge (either a slab tip on a young slab, or the side edge of a slab with finite width) around which mantle can flow: prime examples being slabs in the Mediterranean and Carribean. However, even slabs with a wide lateral extent (and where a 2-D approximation may seem appropriate), show signs of having 3-D complexity. For example, on the surface Tonga appears relatively symmetric, but when the history of subduction is considered, the slab has a twisted, 3-D structure due to significant eastward retreat of just the northern part of an originally N-S oriented trench edge. Similarly the widest slabs, South American and Kamchatka, show seismic anisotropy attributed to trench parallel mantle flow (Russo and Silver, 1994; Peyton, et al., 2001, respectively), while the Aleutian trench has oblique subduction varying in magnitude from west to east, and medium width Central American slab likely has a slab window allowing 3-D flow (Johnston and Thorkelson, 1997). Recent laboratory experiments of subduction have demonstrated the full complexity of flow occuring in 3-D geometry (Kincaid and Griffiths, 2003; Schellart

  8. 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

  9. May eclogite dehydration cause slab fracturation ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loury, Chloé; Lanari, Pierre; Rolland, Yann; Guillot, Stéphane; Ganino, Clément

    2015-04-01

    prograde path, leading to a complete dehydration at the pressure peak conditions, (25 kbar and 510°C). The amount of water released during this stage is about 20 g/dm3. In this example, no hydration event is recorded during the exhumation, explaining the good preservation of the anhydrous eclogite. This study shows that garnet thermobarometry in eclogite may be used as a proxy for progressive oceanic crust dehydration as suggested by the models of Baxter & Caddick (2014). In contrast to such models, the estimations proposed in the present study are based on the measured composition of local domains in rock-samples and not on average bulk rock compositions. Complete dehydration of eclogites around 75 km corresponds to the maximum depth of most exhumed oceanic eclogites except for a few special cases. Moreover the distribution of seismicity along the slab shows that only few earthquakes do occur in the crust beyond this limit as compared to the seismicity above it. Consequently this example from a natural sample strongly suggests that the eclogite dehydration at this depth can cause slab fracturation and consequently enhance eclogite exhumation. Baxter, E.F. & Caddick, M.J. 2013. Garnet growth as a proxy for progressive subduction zone dehydration. Geology, 41, 643-646 Lanari, P., Vidal, O., De Andrade, V., Dubacq, B., Lewin, E., Grosch, E.G. & Schwartz, S. 2014. XMapTools: A MATLAB©-based program for electron microprobe X-ray image processing and geothermobarometry. Computers & Geosciences, 62, 227-240 Loury, C., Rolland, Y., Guillot, S., Mikolaichuk, A., Lanari, P., Bruguier, O. & Bosch, D. in press. Crustal-scale structure of South Tien Shan : implications for subduction polarity and Cenozoic reactivation. Geological Society of London, special publications

  10. Post-Eocene Subduction Dynamics and Mantle Flow beneath Western U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, L.; Zhou, Q.; Leonard, T.

    2015-12-01

    Both surface geology and mantle seismic images suggest a complex late Cenozoic history of mantle dynamics over western U.S. We try to understand this history by simulating the Farallon subduction since 40 Ma. Forward subduction models assimilating time dependent seafloor ages, plate kinematics and evolving plate boundaries suggest that the present-day 3D distribution of fast seismic anomalies below western U.S. mostly represent late Cenozoic slabs, which experienced multiple phases of segmentation during subduction because of their young age and small mechanical strength (Liu & Stegman, 2011). A major slab segmentation event occurred around mid-Miocene, with the resulting slab tear and induced asthenosphere upwelling correlating with the Steens-Columbia River flood basalts (SCRB) eruption both in space and in time (Liu & Stegman, 2012). This suggests that a mantle plume is not required for the formation of the SCRB. Segmentation of the Farallon slab generates rapid toroidal flows around the newly formed slab edges beneath the Cascadia arc. These mantle flows may affect both the pattern and composition of arc volcanism through transportation of oceanic asthenosphere material into the mantle wedge. Based on the forward model, we further test the influence of slow seismic anomalies on mantle dynamics. On the one hand, we explicitly input a deep hot anomaly to represent the putative Yellowstone plume. On the other hand, we develop a hybrid scheme that combines the adjoint inverse method with the high-resolution forward simulation approach, so that the present-day mantle seismic structure is entirely consistent with the convection model. Our preliminary results suggest that a hot plume could actively rise up only when it is several hundreds of kilometers away from the slabs, as is the case prior to 20 Ma. Subsequently, the plume is dominated by the surrounding slabs, resulting in an overall downwelling mantle flow. This suggests that a plume might have contributed to

  11. A two-way interaction between the Hainan plume and the Manila subduction zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mériaux, Catherine A.; Duarte, João C.; Schellart, Wouter P.; Mériaux, Anne Sophie

    2015-01-01

    The interaction between mantle plumes and subducting slabs is well accepted, but the influence of slabs on plumes has more often been portrayed than the reverse. Here we present three-dimensional upper mantle laboratory models in which a compositional plume rises underneath a subducting plate.

  12. The melting of subducted banded iron formations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Nathan; Schmidt, Max W.

    2017-10-01

    Banded iron formations (BIF) were common shelf and ocean basin sediments 3.5-1.8 Ga ago. To understand the fate of these dense rocks upon subduction, the melting relations of carbonated BIF were determined in Fe-Ca-(Mg)-Si-C-O2 at 950-1400 °C, 6 and 10 GPa, oxidizing (fO2 = hematite-magnetite, HM) and moderately reducing (fO2 ∼CO2-graphite/diamond, CCO) conditions. Solidus temperatures under oxidizing conditions are 950-1025 °C with H2O, and 1050-1150 °C anhydrous, but 250-175 °C higher at graphite saturation (values at 6-10 GPa). The combination of Fe3+ and carbonate leads to a strong melting depression. Solidus curves are steep with 17-20 °C/GPa. Near-solidus melts are ferro-carbonatites with ∼22 wt.% FeOtot, ∼48 wt% CO2 and 1-5 wt.% SiO2 at fO2 ∼ HM and ∼49 wt.% FeOtot, ∼20 wt% CO2 and 19-25 wt.% SiO2 at fO2 ∼ CCO . At elevated subduction geotherms, as likely for the Archean, C-bearing BIF could melt out all carbonate around 6 GPa. Fe-rich carbonatites would rise but stagnate gravitationally near the slab/mantle interface until they react with the mantle through Fe-Mg exchange and partial reduction. The latter would precipitate diamond and yield Fe- and C-rich mantle domains, yet, Fe-Mg is expected to diffusively re-equilibrate over Ga time scales. We propose that the oldest subduction derived diamonds stem from BIF derived melts.

  13. The Sabzevar blueschists of the North-Central Iranian micro-continent as remnants of the Neotethys-related oceanic crust subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omrani, Hadi; Moazzen, Mohssen; Oberhänsli, Roland; Altenberger, Uwe; Lange, Manuela

    2013-07-01

    The Sabzevar ophiolites mark the Neotethys suture in east-north-central Iran. The Sabzevar metamorphic rocks, as part of the Cretaceous Sabzevar ophiolitic complex, consist of blueschist, amphibolite and greenschist. The Sabzevar blueschists contain sodic amphibole, epidote, phengite, calcite ± omphacite ± quartz. The epidote amphibolite is composed of sodic-calcic amphibole, epidote, albite, phengite, quartz ± omphacite, ilmenite and titanite. The greenschist contains chlorite, plagioclase and pyrite, as main minerals. Thermobarometry of a blueschist yields a pressure of 13-15.5 kbar at temperatures of 420-500 °C. Peak metamorphic temperature/depth ratios were low (~12 °C/km), consistent with metamorphism in a subduction zone. The presence of epidote in the blueschist shows that the rocks were metamorphosed entirely within the epidote stability field. Amphibole schist samples experienced pressures of 5-7 kbar and temperatures between 450 and 550 °C. The presence of chlorite, actinolite, biotite and titanite indicate greenschist facies metamorphism. Chlorite, albite and biotite replacing garnet or glaucophane suggests temperatures of >300 °C for greenschist facies. The formation of high-pressure metamorphic rocks is related to north-east-dipping subduction of the Neotethys oceanic crust and subsequent closure during lower Eocene between the Central Iranian Micro-continent and Eurasia (North Iran).

  14. Numerical Modelling of Subduction Plate Interface, Technical Advances for Outstanding Questions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Pourhiet, L.; Ruh, J.; Pranger, C. C.; Zheng, L.; van Dinther, Y.; May, D.; Gerya, T.; Burov, E. B.

    2015-12-01

    The subduction zone interface is the place of the largest earthquakes on earth. Compared to the size of a subduction zone itself, it constitutes a very thin zone (few kilometers) with effective rheological behaviour that varies as a function of pressure, temperature, loading, nature of the material locally embedded within the interface as well as the amount of water, melts and CO2. Capturing the behaviour of this interface and its evolution in time is crucial, yet modelling it is not an easy task. In the last decade, thermo-mechanical models of subduction zone have flourished in the literature. They mostly focused on the long-term dynamics of the subduction; e.g. flat subduction, slab detachment or exhumation. The models were validated models against PTt path of exhumed material as well as topography. The models that could reproduce the data all included a mechanically weak subduction channel made of extremely weak and non cohesive material. While this subduction channel model is very convenient at large scale and might apply to some real subduction zones, it does not capture the many geological field evidences that point out the exhumation of very large slice of almost pristine oceanic crust along localised shear zone. Moreover, modelling of sismological and geodetic data using short term tectonic modelling approach also point out that large localised patches rupture within the subduction interface, which is in accordance with geological data but not with large-scale long-term tectonic models. I will present how high resolution models permit to produce slicing at the subduction interface and give clues on how the plate coupling and effective location of the plate interface vary over a few millions of year time scale. I will then discuss the implication of these new high-resolution long-term models of subduction zone on earthquake generation, report progress in the development of self-consistent thermomechanical codes which can handle large strain, high resolution

  15. Slab Contributions to Cascades Magmas: Constraints from Central Oregon and Northern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruscitto, D. M.; Wallace, P. J.

    2010-12-01

    The Cascades arc is the global end member, warm-slab subduction zone (slab thermal parameter ~200 km) resulting from the slow subduction of young oceanic crust beneath North America. Significant slab dehydration is predicted to occur beneath the forearc (e., H2O, S, Cl) beneath the forearc should result in reduced slab contributions to the mantle wedge, consistent with muted subduction-related signatures in calc-alkaline magmas and low magmatic volatile flux estimates from Oregon and Washington compared to other arcs (e.g., Marianas, Kamchatka, Central America). Despite reduced slab-derived inputs, olivine-hosted melt inclusions in the Central Oregon Cascades display elevated volatile contents in melts erupted along the volcanic front compared to those erupted towards the back-arc. In contrast to Oregon and Southern Washington, primitive magmas from the southern part of the arc (e.g., Mt. Shasta) contain some of the highest H2O contents reported. We used olivine-hosted melt inclusion data from Central Oregon and Northern California to estimate the input of volatiles and trace elements from the slab to the mantle wedge beneath the Cascades. Inclusions from near Mt. Shasta in Northern California represent two types of hydrous primitive melts that have equilibrated with a refractory mantle: high-Mg andesite (HMA) and primitive basaltic andesite (PBA) with 3.3 and 5.6 wt.% H2Omax, respectively. Three distinct primitive melt compositions were calculated using inclusions from Central Oregon: calc-alkaline basalt, Sr-rich basalt, and depleted basaltic andesite (1.6, 2.3, and 3.0 wt.% H2Omax, respectively). We calculated extents of mantle melting for each primitive magma composition using Ti, Y, Gd, Dy, Er, and Yb contents (i.e., assuming negligible contributions from the slab). Based on these calculations, we infer Central Oregon and Shasta magmas to represent 8-15% and 14-20% partial melts (respectively) of variably depleted sources. Major elements in preliminary slab

  16. Upper Plate Response to Varying Subduction Styles in the Forearc Cook Inlet Basin in South Central Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Lohff, S. K.; Enkelmann, E.; Finzel, E.; Reid, M. M.

    2016-12-01

    The Cook Inlet forearc basin strata record the upper plate response to changes in subduction since 170 Ma. Subduction of normal oceanic crust during the Jurassic and Cretaceous was followed by spreading ridge subduction in the Paleocene, which initiated near trench magmatism and a shallow subduction angle. This was followed by a period of normal subduction until the Oligocene when subduction of an oceanic plateau commenced causing flat-slab subduction. We study the sedimentary record of the Cook Inlet Basin and analyze the sediment provenance, magmatic sources, paleotopography, and rock exhumation of southern Alaska, and their changes through time. We use a double dating technique on single detrital zircon grains from 25 samples combining fission track and U-Pb dating. We collected Jurassic to Pliocene sandstone, and modern fluvial deposits. Eight Mesozoic samples were taken from the eastern inverted section of the Cook Inlet Basin. Seven Cenozoic samples were taken from outcrops on the northern and southern margin of the basin, and four from northern offshore cores. Six modern river sands were sampled from four rivers to analyze what is currently draining into the basin from the north, east, and south. Zircon fission track data reveal that the Jurassic samples have been fully reset, while Cretaceous and Eocene samples have been partially reset. Subduction of the spreading ridge probably increased the geothermal gradient in the upper plate and caused thermal resetting of the underlying strata. Oligocene to Pliocene sediments contain the youngest age populations with lag times ranging 13-25 Myr. Samples from the northern margin (arc side) yield generally shorter lag times than samples from the south side (prism side). This pattern is consistent with modern sediments that show the youngest ages are sourced from the Alaska Range, revealed by a 14 Ma age peak in the Susitna River. In contrast, the youngest age populations found in the sediments of rivers draining the

  17. The Calabrian Arc: three-dimensional modelling of the subduction interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maesano, Francesco E; Tiberti, Mara M; Basili, Roberto

    2017-08-21

    The Calabrian Arc is a one-of-a-kind subduction zone, featuring one of the shortest slab segments (subduction zone, we first made a geological reconstruction of the shallower slab interface (subduction interface, its lateral terminations and down-dip curvature, and a slab tear at 70-100 km depth. Our 3D slab model of the Calabrian Arc will contribute to understanding of the geodynamics of a cornerstone in the Mediterranean tectonic puzzle and estimates of seismic and tsunami hazards in the region.

  18. 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

  19. Dynamic effects of plate-buoyancy subduction at Manila Trench, South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, L.; Zhan, W.; Sun, J.; Li, J.

    2015-12-01

    Bathymetric map of SCS plate shows two subducting buoyancies, the fossil ridge and the oceanic plateau, which are supposed to impact slab segmentation into the north from Taiwan to 18°N, and the south from 17°N to Mindoro. Hypocenter distribution show that slab dip angle turns lower southwards from 45° to 30° in the north segment, and relatively equals ~45° in the south segment at the depth of 100km. Moreover, volcano distribution can be segmented into Miocene WVC, Quaternary EVC in the north and combined SVC in the south (Fig. A). We found that WVC and SVC mostly locate in a parallel belt ~50km apart to Manila trench, however EVC turn father southwards from 50km to 100km (Fig. B). Above characters congruously indicate that SCS plate kept equal dip angle in Miocene; then the north segment shallowed at 18°N and developed northwards in Quaternary, resulting in lower dip angle than the invariant south segment. To check the transformation of slab dip angle from 45° to 30° between 17~18°N, focal mechanism solution nearby 17°N are found 90° in rake and dip angle, strike parallel to the fossil ridge, indicating a slab tear located coincident with the ridge, where is a weak zone of higher heat flow and lower plate coupling ratio than the adjacent zones and slab can be easily tore as an interface for SCS plate segmentation. Subduction of the two buoyancies within SCS plate is supposed as influential dynamic factor: It caused the trench retreat rate reduced, forming a cusp and a flat convex of Manila trench shape; Moreover, the buoyancies resisted subduction, resulting in shear stress heterogeneity of SCS plate, in consequence the fossil ridge as a fragile belt potentially became stress concentration zone that easily tore; Then the buoyant oceanic plateau might lead to shallowing of the northern SCS plate. To examine the hypothesis, dynamic effects of the two subducting buoyancies are being respectively investigated based on numerical models. (Grt. 41376063, 2013

  20. Seismic Evidence for Possible Slab Melting from Strong Scattering Waves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng-Horng Lin

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Slab melting in young and hot subduction zones has been studied using geochemical observations and thermal modelling, but there are few data from seismic studies to confirm slab melting. Also the detailed geometry in the deep part of the melting slab is often ambiguous in that the intraslab earthquakes within the Wadati-Benioff zone are only limited to shallower depths. To improve our understanding of both the seismic features and geometry found in a young and hot subducted slab, I analyzed anomalous moonquake-like seismograms that were generated by an intermediate-depth earthquake recorded in central Japan. For this study, possible reflected (or scattered sources were examined using detailed analyses of particle motions and a grid search for travel-time differences between the direct and later P-waves. The results show that using strong seismic scattering, slab melting is likely occurring in the deeper, flexing part of the subducted Philippine Sea plate. Because the subducted Philippine Sea plate in central Japan is young and therefore hot, partial melting might have taken place to produce abundant melting spots in the subducted slab. Melting spots, identified as ¡§bright spots,¡¨ could efficiently reflect or scatter seismic energy and generate many later phases with large amplitudes.

  1. Why Do We Need 3-d Numerical Models of Subduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morra, G.; Faccenna, C.; Funiciello, F.; Giardini, D.; Regenauer-Lieb, K.

    We use a set of 2-D and 3-D numerical fluid dynamic experiments, modeled with different strain rate dependent rheologies (viscous, visco-plastic, power law) to ana- lyze the long-term dynamics of the subduction of an oceanic slab into an iso-viscous or stratified mantle. For the lithosphere a fluid dynamic approach has been bench- marked with our previous solid mechanical approach with the aim of overcoming the coherency problem of fluid dynamic calculations. The solid mechanical dichotomy Sstrong before failure and weak where it failsT has been cast into a specialized non- & cedil;linear fluid rheology. Analog 2-D and 3-D experiments are finally compared with the numerical experiments. 2-D numerical experiments are considered with and without free surface to investigate the limitations induced by a closed top boundary. The effect of asymmetric boundary conditions (with and without overriding plate) is analyzed with respect to the possibility of trench retreat. We clearly state the importance for the free surface analysis. 2-D experiments have inherent weaknesses: first they provide an unrealistic simulation of mantle flow (suppression of toroidal flow), second they give rise to the Sclosed boxT problem (interaction of the slab with a boundary, i.e. & cedil;660 km and the left and right box boundaries). 3-D numerical experiments permit to overcome these problems. A natural analysis of the behavior of the mantle flow during subduction and the three-dimensional behavior of the slab is thus possible. Physical observables like trench retreat and toroidal and poloidal flow are compared with the results of our companion analog 3-D experiments.

  2. Seismic evidence for a slab tear at the Puerto Rico Trench

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meighan, Hallie E.; Pulliam, Jay; ten Brink, Uri S.; López-Venegas, Alberto M.

    2013-01-01

    The fore-arc region of the northeast Caribbean plate north of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands has been the site of numerous seismic swarms since at least 1976. A 6 month deployment of five ocean bottom seismographs recorded two such tightly clustered swarms, along with additional events. Joint analyses of the ocean bottom seismographs and land-based seismic data reveal that the swarms are located at depths of 50–150 km. Focal mechanism solutions, found by jointly fitting P wave first-motion polarities and S/P amplitude ratios, indicate that the broadly distributed events outside the swarm generally have strike- and dip-slip mechanisms at depths of 50–100 km, while events at depths of 100–150 km have oblique mechanisms. A stress inversion reveals two distinct stress regimes: The slab segment east of 65°W longitude is dominated by trench-normal tensile stresses at shallower depths (50–100 km) and by trench-parallel tensile stresses at deeper depths (100–150 km), whereas the slab segment west of 65°W longitude has tensile stresses that are consistently trench normal throughout the depth range at which events were observed (50–100 km). The simple stress pattern in the western segment implies relatively straightforward subduction of an unimpeded slab, while the stress pattern observed in the eastern segment, shallow trench-normal tension and deeper trench-normal compression, is consistent with flexure of the slab due to rollback. These results support the hypothesis that the subducting North American plate is tearing at or near these swarms. The 35 year record of seismic swarms at this location and the recent increase in seismicity suggest that the tear is still propagating.

  3. Mantle compositional layering revealed by slab stagnation in the uppermost lower mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballmer, Maxim; Ritsema, Jeroen; Schmerr, Nicholas; Motoki, Matthew

    2015-04-01

    Seismic tomography reveals three different modes of slab sinking behavior. Some slabs segments (1) descend through the upper mantle to stagnate in the transition zone (e.g., Japan slab), others (2) sink into the deep mantle (e.g., Tethys slab), and yet others (3) sink through the upper mantle and transition zone to stagnate at ~1000 km depth (e.g., Peru, Kermadec, Sunda and Nicaragua slabs) [Fukao and Obayashi, 2013]. Whereas stagnation in the transition zone is well explained by the supporting effect of the spinel-to-perovskite phase transition at ~660 km depth ("the 660"), a scenario for equilibrium stagnation in the uppermost lower mantle, where no endothermic phase transitions occur, remains to be proposed. Here, we explore slab sinking behavior using two-dimensional numerical models. We show that slabs stagnate at 900~1000 km depth if the lower mantle be intrinsically dense, for example due to enrichment in Si and/or Fe relative to Mg. A gradual and moderate compositional contrast across the 660 in a heterogeneous mantle is (at least locally) able to provide sufficient support for long-term slab stagnation. While such a contrast is expected to result from early-Earth processes (e.g., differential crystallization of the magma ocean), its maintenance over 4.5 Gyrs of mantle convection and stirring requires ongoing geodynamic mechanism(s) to sustain it. One such mechanism is stagnant slab disintegration, in which a superplastic slab that stagnates above or below the 660 undergoes convective instability to separate into its (enriched) basaltic and (depleted) harzburgitic components. As dense basaltic material and buoyant harzburgite tend to sink and rise, respectively, this mechanism sets up an efficient compositional filter across the transition zone. Thus, the fate of subducted slabs can sustain (disintegration) - as well as provide evidence for (stagnation at ~1000 km depth) - relative enrichment of the lower compared to the upper mantle. Such an enrichment is

  4. Mantle flow and dynamic topography associated with slab window opening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillaume, Benjamin; Moroni, Monica; Funiciello, Francesca; Martinod, Joseph; Faccenna, Claudio

    2010-05-01

    A slab window is defined as an 'hole' in the subducting lithosphere. In the classical view, slab windows develop where a spreading ridge intersects a subduction zone. The main consequences of this phenomenon are the modifications of the physical, chemical and thermal conditions in the backarc mantle that in turn affect the tectonic and magmatic evolution of the overriding plate. In this work, we perform dynamically self-consistent mantle-scale laboratory models, to evaluate how the opening of a window in the subducting panel influences the geometry and the kinematics of the slab, the mantle circulation pattern and, finally, the overriding plate dynamic topography. The adopted setup consists in a two-layer linearly viscous system simulating the roll-back of a fixed subducting plate (simulated using silicone putty) into the upper mantle (simulated using glucose syrup). Our experimental setting is also characterized by a constant-width rectangular window located at the center of a laterally confined slab, modeling the case of the interaction of a trench-parallel spreading ridge with a wide subduction zone. We find that the geometry and the kinematics of the slab are only minorly affected by the opening of a slab window. On the contrary, slab induced mantle circulation, quantified using Feature Tracking image analysis technique, is strongly modified and produces a peculiar non-isostatic topographic signal on the overriding plate. Assuming that our modeling results can be representative of the natural behavior of subduction zones, we compare them to the Patagonian subduction zone finding that anomalous backarc volcanism that developed since middle Miocene could result from the lateral flowage of subslab mantle, and that part of the Patagonian uplift could be dynamically supported.

  5. Mass/age distribution and composition of sediments on the ocean floor and the global rate of sediment subduction

    OpenAIRE

    Hay, William W.; Sloan, J. L.; Wold, C. N.

    1988-01-01

    The total mass of sediments on the ocean floor is estimated to be 262 × 1021 g. The overall mass/age distribution is approximated by an exponential decay curve: (11.02 × 1021 g)e−0.0355t Ma. The mass/age distribution is a function of the area/age distribution of ocean crust, the supply of sediment to the deep sea, and submarine erosion and redeposition. About 140 × 1021 g of the sediment on the ocean floor is pelagic sediment, consisting of about 74% CaCO3, with the remainder opaline silica a...

  6. Seismotectonics of the southern boundary of Anatolia, Eastern Mediterranean region: subduction, collision, and arc jumping

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rotstein, Y.; Kafka, A.L.

    1982-09-10

    The pattern of seismicity and fault plane solutions of earthquakes are used to outline the tectonic features of the southern boundary of Anatolia in the eastern Mediterranean and southeastern Turkey. The results of this study show that this boundary is composed of two distinct parts. One, in southeastern Turkey and Syria, is a wide and complex zone of continental collision. The other, in the Levantine basin of the eastern Mediterranean, is a zone of oceanic subduction. In the region of continental collision three zones of seismicity are observed. Most of the seismic activity in this region follows the Bitlis zone and is associated with a zone of thrusting and mountain building. This appears to be the zone of most active deformation and plate consumption in the plate boundary region between Arabia and Turkey. A less active zone of seismicity to the north of the Bitlis zone is interpreted to have been more active in the past whereas another active zone of seismicity to the south is interpreted to be a zone which may be more active in the future as the main zone of plate consumption jumps to the south. In the subduction zone of the eastern Mediterranean the depth of the subducted slab and the rate of seismicity generally increease from east to west. The zone of present-day convergence between Africa and Turkey in the Levantine basin can be best outlined by the northern edge of the Mediterranean ridge. Deep seismic activity near the Gulf of Antalya is associated with a detached subducted slab north of the Anaximander Mountains that is distinctly different from the seismic trend which is associated with present-day active subduction. Most of the focal mechanisms of the earthquakes along the entire southern boundary of Anatolia indicate that N to NNW thrusting is the dominant mode of seismic deformation.

  7. Microstructures and petro-fabrics of lawsonite blueschist in the North Qilian suture zone, NW China: Implications for seismic anisotropy of subducting oceanic crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Yi; Jung, Haemyeong; Song, Shuguang

    2014-07-01

    We conducted a detailed study on the microstructures and petro-fabrics of massive and foliated lawsonite blueschist (LBS) in North Qilian suture zone, NW China. The lattice preferred orientation (LPO) of glaucophane and lawsonite in foliated lawsonite blueschist (LBS) is considered to be dominantly formed by the deformation mechanism of dislocation creep and rigid-body rotation, respectively. The LPO of glaucophane is mainly characterized by the [001] axis aligning parallel to lineation and the [100] axis and (110) pole plunging perpendicular to foliation. In contrast, the LPO of lawsonite features the maximum [010] axis concentrated close to lineation and the [001] axis strongly clustered normal to foliation. The preferred orientation of [010] axis of lawsonite parallel to lineation is supported by a two-dimensional numerical modeling using the finite-volume method (FVM). The mineral LPOs are much stronger in foliated LBS than in massive LBS. In addition, a kinematic vorticity analysis suggests that both pure shear dominant (Wm = 0.18-0.26) and simple shear dominant (Wm = 0.86-0.93) deformation regimes are present in foliated LBS. The [001] axis and (010) pole of glaucophane, and the [100] and [010] axes of lawsonite, tend to distribute in a foliation-parallel girdle in the pure shear dominant samples, but simple shear dominant samples display more lineation-parallel concentrations of a [001] axis of glaucophane and a [010] axis of lawsonite. Because the whole-rock seismic anisotropies in foliated LBS are significantly higher than those in massive LBS and a counteracting effect on seismic anisotropies occurs between glaucophane and lawsonite, the delay time of fast S-wave polarization anisotropy induced by an actual subducting oceanic crust with a high subducting angle (> 45-60°) is expected to range from 0.03 to 0.09 s (lower bound for massive LBS) and from 0.1 to 0.3 s (upper bound for foliated epidote blueschist).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-25

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

  10. Oxygen and hydrogen isotope study of high-pressure metagabbros and metabasalts (Cyclades, Greece): implications for the subduction of oceanic crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putlitz, Benita; Matthews, Alan; Valley, John W.

    Oxygen and hydrogen stable isotope ratios of eclogite-facies metagabbros and metabasalts from the Cycladic archipelago (Greece) document the scale and timing of fluid-rock interaction in subducted oceanic crust. Close similarities are found between the isotopic compositions of the high-pressure rocks and their ocean-floor equivalents. High-pressure minerals in metagabbros have low δ18O values: garnet 2.6 to 5.9‰, glaucophane 4.3 to 7.1‰ omphacite 3.5 to 6.2‰. Precursor actinolite that was formed during the hydrothermal alteration of the oceanic crust by seawater analyses at 3.7 to 6.3‰. These compositions are in the range of the δ18O values of unaltered igneous oceanic crust and high-temperature hydrothermally altered oceanic crust. In contrast, high-pressure metabasalts are characterised by 18O-enriched isotopic compositions (garnet 9.2 to 11.5‰, glaucophane 10.6 to 12.5‰, omphacite 10.2 to 12.8‰), which are consistent with the precursor basalts having undergone low-temperature alteration by seawater. D/H ratios of glaucophane and actinolite are also consistent with alteration by seawater. Remarkably constant oxygen isotope fractionations, compatible with isotopic equilibrium, are observed among high-pressure minerals, with Δglaucophane-garnet= 1.37+/-0.24‰ and Δomphacite-garnet=0.72+/-0.24‰. For the estimated metamorphic temperature of 500°C, these fractionations yield coefficients in the equation Δ=A*106/T2 (in Kelvin) of Aglaucophane-garnet= 0.87+/-0.15 and Aomphacite-garnet=0.72+/-0.24. A fractionation of Δglaucophane-actinolite=0.94+/-0.21‰ is measured in metagabbros, and indicates that isotopic equilibrium was established during the metamorphic reaction in which glaucophane formed at the expense of actinolite. The preservation of the isotopic compositions of gabbroic and basaltic oceanic crust and the equilibrium fractionations among minerals shows that high-pressure metamorphism occurred at low water/rock ratios. The isotopic

  11. Nb/Ta - Zr/Hf Fractionations during Subduction: Implications for the'Missing' Nb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zateslo, T.; Bizimis, M.; Salters, V. J.; Stern, C.; Taylor, R. N.

    2008-12-01

    Key differences between the chemical composition of terrestrial materials and those of meteorites have led to the suggestion that a 'hidden' high Nb/Ta reservoir exists in the Earth's mantle. In order to test this hypothesis we must identify the processes that can create such a reservoir. Here we report the first high precision HFSE data on products of the subduction processes thought to fractionate Nb from Ta: boninites (hydrous melting), adakites (slab melting), OIBs (Koolau, Walvis: plume with recycled oceanic crust), as well as kimberlites and lamproites. We developed a new method for the high precision determination of Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf concentrations based on a modified version of standard addition. All analyses were performed on a single collector ICPMS (ELEMENT 1), using Y and Yb as internal standards to correct for instrumental drift during the unspiked -spiked sample sequence. Concentrations are calculated using a York- type regression that accounts for all measured and propagated errors. Long-term reproducibility (multiple dissolutions and multiple spike solutions) for the standards BHVO-1, BIR-1 AGV-1 and BCR-1 are better than 0.8% (1s) for Nb/Ta and Zr/Hf ratios. The advantages of this method compared to previous methods are fast throughput, no column chemistry and low blanks. The Koolau and Walvis Ridge lavas have subchondritic Nb/Ta for a given Zr/Hf, overlapping other OIB suites and show no evidence for a recycled, high Nb/Ta reservoir in their source. OIB, considered as a group, have relatively constant Nb/Ta (15-16) but more variable Zr/Hf (35-50). In contrast, boninites (Chichi Jima) have significantly subchondritic Nb/Ta (4-12) at near constant Zr/Hf (35), while adakites (South Andes) extend to near chondritic Nb/Ta (13-19) at more variable Zr/Hf (30-40). The adakites showing the least evidence for crustal contamination have the highest Nb/Ta. The arc lavas cross the OIB trend at near right angle on a Nb/Ta vs. Zr/Hf plot having larger Nb

  12. Does subduction zone magmatism produce average continental crust

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  13. Uplift, rupture, and rollback of the Farallon slab reflected in volcanic perturbations along the Yellowstone adakite hot spot track

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Victor E.; Ross, Martin E.; Duncan, Robert A.; Kimbrough, David L.

    2017-09-01

    Field, geochemical, and geochronological data show that the southern segment of the ancestral Cascades arc advanced into the Oregon back-arc region from 30 to 20 Ma. We attribute this event to thermal uplift of the Farallon slab by the Yellowstone mantle plume, with heat diffusion, decompression, and the release of volatiles promoting high-K calc-alkaline volcanism throughout the back-arc region. The greatest degree of heating is expressed at the surface by a broad ENE-trending zone of adakites and related rocks generated by melting of oceanic crust from the Farallon slab. A hiatus in eruptive activity began at ca. 22-20 Ma but ended abruptly at 16.7 Ma with renewed volcanism from slab rupture occurring in two separate regions. The eastern rupture resulted in the extrusion of Steens Basalt during the ascent and melting of a dry mantle (plume) source contaminated with depleted mantle. The contemporaneous western rupture resulted in renewed subduction, melting of a wet mantle source, and the rejuvenation of high-K calc-alkaline volcanism near the Nevada-California border at 16.7 Ma. Here the initiation of slab rollback is evident in the westward migration of arc volcanism at 7.8 km/Ma. Today, the uplifted slab is largely missing beneath the Oregon back-arc region, replaced instead by a seismic hole that is bound on the south by the adakite hot spot track. We attribute slab destruction to thermal uplift and mechanical dislocation that culminated in rapid tearing of the slab from 17-15 Ma and possible foundering and sinking of slab segments from 16 to 10 Ma.

  14. New seismological evidence for fragmentation of the Tethys slab beneath Anatolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Govers, R. M. A.; Fichtner, A.

    2015-12-01

    When oceanic basins close after a long period of convergence and subduction, continental collision and mountain building is a common consequence. The eastern Mediterranean basin is the last remainder of a once hemispherical neo-Tethys ocean that has nearly disappeared due to convergence of the India and Africa/Arabia plates with the Eurasia plate. New results from full waveform inversion for Anatolia give an unprecedented view on the crust and the upper mantle of the region. Based on highly accurate spectral-element simulations of seismic wave propagation in heterogeneous Earth models, full waveform inversion exploits complete seismograms - including body and surface waves - for the benefit of improved resolution. Furthermore, 3D structure in both crust and mantle is constrained jointly, thereby avoiding contamination from commonly applied crustal corrections. Second-order adjoint techniques provide quantitative estimates of direction- and position-dependent resolution length, which is essential for the interpretation of the model. The images connect major structures in the crust as documented in the geology, to features in the upper mantle that reflect the remnants of the convergence and collision. The results show a major discontinuity between western Anatolia lithosphere and the region to the east of it. It is the imprint of syn-collisional segmentation of the neo-Tethys slab, and separates the Aegean and west Anatolia regions from central and east Anatolia. While convergence between Africa and Europe continued, this initiated a period of lithospheric extension in the west and flat slab subduction in the east that set the stage for earthquake and volcanic activity in the region today. Slab segmentation is expected to have been relatively common just prior to closure of other oceans in the geological past, and may explain some of the complexity that geologists have documented in, for instance, the Tibetan plateau also.

  15. Linking the initial subduction of the South Tianshan Oceanic Plate and associated magmatism to Kazakhstan orocline: insights from petrogenesis of granites in the southern Yili Block

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Zihe; Cai, Keda; Sun, Min; Wang, Yannan; Wang, Xiangsong; Xia, Xiaoping

    2017-04-01

    The Kazakhstan orocline is a striking collage system of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt. It has been documented to be a composite continent via assembly of several orogenic components by the Devonian and finally to attain its U-shaped structure through oroclinal bending in the Late Paleozoic. In order to reveal the relationship between the Kazakhstan orocline and regional magmatism, granitic rocks including monzogranites and K-feldspar granites in the south limb of the orocline have been conducted geochronological and geochemical studies. Zircon LA-ICP-MS U-Pb dating of the monzogranites gave crystallization ages of 360±1.8 Ma and 360.5±1.7 Ma, and the K-feldspar granites have a coeval age (361.3±1.8 Ma). Both of the granites are high-K granites, and show enrichment in light rare earth elements (LREE) and obvious negative Eu anomalies. They display negative anomalies in Ba, Nb, Sr, Eu, and Ti. The K-feldspar granites have higher SiO2, K2O contents and lower MgO, Fe2O3T, Zr contents than those of the monzogranites. Geochemical data support that the K-feldspar granites are highly fractionated I-type granites, and the monzogranites are unfractionated I-type granites. Distinguishable Nd and Hf isotope suggest that the K-feldspar granites and the monzogranites may share a common magma chamber. The negative Eu anomalies and depletions of Ba and Sr possibly imply plagioclase as residue in the magma source. The Sr-Nd isotopic data and the ɛHf(t) values (-3.6 - 2.9) indicate that the parental magma was probably derived from crustal rock with minor mantle-derived melt. The new geochemical data and regional geology evidences indicate that the granites may be generated in a continental back-arc environment, which was inferred to be a response to the initial subduction of the South Tianshan Oceanic Plate. Given that the Kazakhstan orocline was developed during this period, it is plausible to link the initial subduction of the South Tianshan Oceanic Plate and associated

  16. Subduction trench migration since the Cretaceous

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, S.; Flament, N. E.; Müller, D.; Butterworth, N. P.

    2015-12-01

    Much of our knowledge about subduction zone processes is derived from analyzing present-day Earth. Several studies of contemporary plate motions have investigated the balance between retreating and advancing trenches and shown that subduction zone kinematics are sensitive to the choice of Absolute Plate Motion (APM) model (or "reference frame"). For past times, the absolute motions of the lithospheric plates relative to the Earth's deep interior over tens of millions of years are commonly constrained using observations from paleomagnetism and age-progressive seamount trails. In contrast, a reference frame linking surface plate motions to subducted slab remnants mapped from seismic tomography has recently been proposed. APM models derived using different methodologies, different subsets of hotspots, or differing assumptions of hotspot motion, have contrasting implications for parameters that describe the long term state of the plate-mantle system, such as the balance between advance and retreat of subduction zones, plate velocities, and net lithospheric rotation. Here we quantitatively compare the subduction zone kinematics, net lithospheric rotation and fit to hotspot trails derived the last 130 Myr for a range of alternative reference frames and a single relative plate motion model. We find that hotspot and tomographic slab-remnant reference frames yield similar results for the last 70 Myr. For the period between 130 and 70 Ma, when hotspot trails become scarce, hotspot reference frames yield a much more dispersed distribution of slab advance and retreat velocities, which is considered geodynamically less plausible. By contrast, plate motions calculated using the slab-remnant reference frame, or using a reference frame designed to minimise net rotation, yield more consistent subduction zone kinematics for times older than 70 Ma. Introducing the global minimisation of trench migration rates as a key criterion in the construction of APM models forms the foundation

  17. A wave equation migration method for receiver function imaging: 2. Application to the Japan subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ling; Wen, Lianxing; Zheng, Tianyu

    2005-11-01

    The newly developed wave equation poststack depth migration method for receiver function imaging is applied to study the subsurface structures of the Japan subduction zone using the Fundamental Research on Earthquakes and Earth's Interior Anomalies (FREESIA) broadband data. Three profiles are chosen in the subsurface imaging, two in northeast (NE) Japan to study the subducting Pacific plate and one in southwest (SW) Japan to study the Philippine Sea plate. The descending Pacific plate in NE Japan is well imaged within a depth range of 50-150 km. The slab image exhibits a little more steeply dipping angle (˜32°) in the south than in the north (˜27°), although the general characteristics between the two profiles in NE Japan are similar. The imaged Philippine Sea plate in eastern SW Japan, in contrast, exhibits a much shallower subduction angle (˜19°) and is only identifiable at the uppermost depths of no more than 60 km. Synthetic tests indicate that the top 150 km of the migrated images of the Pacific plate is well resolved by our seismic data, but the resolution of deep part of the slab images becomes poor due to the limited data coverage. Synthetic tests also suggest that the breakdown of the Philippine Sea plate at shallow depths reflects the real structural features of the subduction zone, rather than caused by insufficient coverage of data. Comparative studies on both synthetics and real data images show the possibility of retrieval of fine-scale structures from high-frequency contributions if high-frequency noise can be effectively suppressed and a small bin size can be used in future studies. The derived slab geometry and image feature also appear to have relatively weak dependence on overlying velocity structure. The observed seismicity in the region confirms the geometries inferred from the migrated images for both subducting plates. Moreover, the deep extent of the Pacific plate image and the shallow breakdown of the Philippine Sea plate image are

  18. Trans Pacific Ocean in surface layer and subduction and re-circulation in the ocean interior of radiocaesium released from TEPCO FNPP1 accident through the end of 2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoyama, Michio; Tsumune, Daisuke; Tsubono, Takaki; Hamajima, Yasunori; Inomata, Yayoi; Kumamoto, Yuichiro

    2016-04-01

    2012, 134Cs activity reached a maximum of 6.12 ± 0.50 Bq m-3 at a 151-m depth (potential density, 25.3 kg m-3) at 29°N, 165°E. This subsurface maximum, which was also observed along 149°E, might reflect the southward transport of FNPP1-derived radiocaesium in association with the formation and subduction of subtropical mode water (STMW). In June 2012 at 34°N-39°N along 165°E, 134Cs activity showed a maximum at around potential density= 26.3 kg m-3, which corresponds to central mode water (CMW). 134Cs activity was higher in CMW than in any of the surrounding waters, including STMW. These observations also indicate that the most effective pathway by which FNPP1-derived radiocaesium is introduced into the ocean interior on a 1-year time scale is CMW formation and subduction. In June-July 2015 at 36°N-44°N along 165°E, there are only very week signal of subduction of Fukushima derived radiocaesium which mean subducted radiocaesium might move eastward from this region.

  19. The influence of a subduction component on magmatism in the Okinawa Trough: Evidence from thorium and related trace element ratios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Kun; Zeng, Zhi-Gang; Chen, Shuai; Zhang, Yu-Xiang; Qi, Hai-Yan; Ma, Yao

    2017-09-01

    The Okinawa Trough (OT) is a back-arc, initial continental marginal sea basin located behind the Ryukyu Arc-Trench System. Formation and evolution of the OT have been intimately related to subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate (PSP) since the late Miocene; thus, the magma source of the trough has been affected by subduction components, as in the case of other active back-arc basins, including the Lau Basin (LB) and Mariana Trough (MT). We review all the available geochemical data relating to basaltic lavas from the OT and the middle Ryukyu Arc (RA) in this paper in order to determine the influence of the subduction components on the formation of arc and back-arc magmas within this subduction system. The results of this study reveal that the abundances of Th in OT basalts (OTBs) are higher than that in LB (LBBs) and MT basalts (MTBs) due to the mixing of subducted sediments and EMI-like enriched materials. The geochemical characteristics of Th and other trace element ratios indicate that the OTB originated from a more enriched mantle source (compared to N-mid-ocean ridge basalt, N-MORB) and was augmented by subducted sediments. Data show that the magma sources of the south OT (SOT) and middle Ryukyu Arc (MRA) basalts were principally influenced by subducted aqueous fluids and bulk sediments, which were potentially added into magma sources by accretion and underplating. At the same time, the magma sources of the middle OT (MOT) and Kobi-syo and Sekibi-Syo (KBS+SBS) basalts were impacted by subducted aqueous fluids from both altered oceanic crust (AOC) and sediment. The variable geochemical characteristics of these basalts are due to different Wadati-Benioff depths and tectonic environments of formation, while the addition of subducted bulk sediment to SOT and MRA basalts may be due to accretion and underplating, and subsequent to form mélange formation, which would occur partial melting after aqueous fluids are added. The addition of AOC and sediment aqueous fluid

  20. The impact of slab dip variations, gaps and rollback on mantle wedge flow: insights from fluids experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDougall, Julia G.; Kincaid, Chris; Szwaja, Sara; Fischer, Karen M.

    2014-05-01

    Observed seismic anisotropy and geochemical anomalies indicate the presence of 3-D flow around and above subducting slabs. To investigate how slab geometry and velocity affect mantle flow, we conducted a set of experiments using a subduction apparatus in a fluid-filled tank. Our models comprise two independently adjustable, continuous belts to represent discrete sections of subducting slabs that kinematically drive flow in the surrounding glucose syrup that represents the upper mantle. We analyse how slab dip (ranging from 30° to 80°), slab dip difference between slab segments (ranging from 20° to 50°), rates of subduction (4-8 cm yr-1) and slab/trench rollback (0-3 cm yr-1) affect mantle flow. Whiskers were used to approximate mineral alignment induced by the flow, as well as to predict directions of seismic anisotropy. We find that dip variations between slab segments generate 3-D flow in the mantle wedge, where the path lines of trenchward moving mantle material above the slab are deflected towards the slab segment with the shallower dip. The degree of path line deflection increases as the difference in slab dip between the segments increases, and, for a fixed dip difference, as slab dip decreases. In cases of slab rollback and large slab dip differences, we observe intrusion of subslab material through the gap and into the wedge. Flow through the gap remains largely horizontal before eventual downward entrainment. Whisker alignment in the wedge flow is largely trench-normal, except near the lateral edges of the slab where toroidal flow dominates. In addition, whisker azimuths located above the slab gap deviate most strongly from trench-normal orientations when slab rollback does not occur. Such flow field complexities are likely sufficient to affect deep melt production and shallow melt delivery. However, none of the experiments produced flow fields that explain the trench-parallel shear wave splitting fast directions observed over broad arc and backarc

  1. 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.

  2. Slab reformer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spurrier, Francis R.; DeZubay, Egon A.; Murray, Alexander P.; Vidt, Edward J.

    1984-02-07

    Slab-shaped high efficiency catalytic reformer configurations particularly useful for generation of fuels to be used in fuel cell based generation systems. A plurality of structures forming a generally rectangular peripheral envelope are spaced about one another to form annular regions, an interior annular region containing a catalytic bed and being regeneratively heated on one side by a hot comubstion gas and on the other side by the gaseous products of the reformation. An integrally mounted combustor is cooled by impingement of incoming oxidant.

  3. Diapiric flow at subduction zones: a recipe for rapid transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, P S; Kincaid, C

    2001-06-29

    Recent geochemical studies of uranium-thorium series disequilibrium in rocks from subduction zones require magmas to be transported through the mantle from just above the subducting slab to the surface in as little as approximately 30,000 years. We present a series of laboratory experiments that investigate the characteristic time scales and flow patterns of the diapiric upwelling model of subduction zone magmatism. Results indicate that the interaction between buoyantly upwelling diapirs and subduction-induced flow in the mantle creates a network of low-density, low-viscosity conduits through which buoyant flow is rapid, yielding transport times commensurate with those indicated by uranium-thorium studies.

  4. Origin of Columbia River flood basalt controlled by propagating rupture of the Farallon slab.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Lijun; Stegman, Dave R

    2012-02-15

    The origin of the Steens-Columbia River (SCR) flood basalts, which is presumed to be the onset of Yellowstone volcanism, has remained controversial, with the proposed conceptual models involving either a mantle plume or back-arc processes. Recent tomographic inversions based on the USArray data reveal unprecedented detail of upper-mantle structures of the western USA and tightly constrain geodynamic models simulating Farallon subduction, which has been proposed to influence the Yellowstone volcanism. Here we show that the best-fitting geodynamic model depicts an episode of slab tearing about 17 million years ago under eastern Oregon, where an associated sub-slab asthenospheric upwelling thermally erodes the Farallon slab, leading to formation of a slab gap at shallow depth. Driven by a gradient of dynamic pressure, the tear ruptured quickly north and south and within about two million years covering a distance of around 900 kilometres along all of eastern Oregon and northern Nevada. This tear would be consistent with the occurrence of major volcanic dikes during the SCR-Northern Nevada Rift flood basalt event both in space and time. The model predicts a petrogenetic sequence for the flood basalt with sources of melt starting from the base of the slab, at first remelting oceanic lithosphere and then evolving upwards, ending with remelting of oceanic crust. Such a progression helps to reconcile the existing controversies on the interpretation of SCR geochemistry and the involvement of the putative Yellowstone plume. Our study suggests a new mechanism for the formation of large igneous provinces.

  5. Influence of plate geometry, slabs, and viscosity structure on local and global surface motions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gérault, M.; Becker, T. W.; Kaus, B. J.; Faccenna, C.

    2009-12-01

    Unraveling the dynamics of the Pacific domain is essential in order to understand the net rotation of the lithosphere and relative trench motions. The major processes responsible for plate motions in the Pacific region are still debated although they have been attributed recently to keels, mountains, and/or plate dimensions. In this study, we perform numerical experiments to test several combinations of ocean basin geometries and viscosity structures. Changes in global plate motions and trench behavior occur as a response to differential spreading rates, basin width, slab morphology, and plate asymmetry. The influence of strength of the plate boundaries on mantle flow is evaluated as well. The pressure, velocity, and stress fields in the lithosphere and the upper mantle are computed using the two-dimensional (2-D) finite element code MILAMIN. A comparison between Cartesian and cylindrical models provides a quantitative analysis of the interactions of flow related to each of these different configurations. Our results suggest that the dynamics of an oceanic domain surrounded by subducting slabs are significantly affected by the width and geometry of the basin. The asymmetry of plates in terms of length, thickness, and slab geometry leads to a net motion that is up to 15% of the maximum surface motion. We find that for each particular combination of asymmetry and viscosity structure, there exists a critical basin size that maximizes the net rotation of the lithosphere.

  6. The earthquake cycle in subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melosh, H. J.; Fleitout, L.

    1982-01-01

    A simplified model of a subduction zone is presented, which incorporates the mechanical asymmetry induced by the subducted slab to anchor the subducting plate during post-seismic rebound and thus throw most of the coseismic stream release into the overthrust plate. The model predicts that the trench moves with respect to the deep mantle toward the subducting plate at a velocity equal to one-half of the convergence rate. A strong extensional pulse is propagated into the overthrust plate shortly after the earthquake, and although this extension changes into compression before the next earthquake in the cycle, the period of strong extension following the earthquake may be responsible for extensional tectonic features in the back-arc region.

  7. Ablative subduction - A two-sided alternative to the conventional subduction model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Winston C.; O'Connell, Richard J.

    1992-01-01

    The plausibility of a two-sided fluid-based model of lithospheric subduction that is based upon current views of lithospheric structure is examined. In this model the viscous lower lithosphere flows downward, and the brittle upper lithosphere deforms in passive response. This process is potentially double-sided, since it is found that even a buoyant plate can be dragged downward by a dense descending neighbor. Thus an apparent overriding plate may be worn away by a process of viscous ablation, with the rate of ablation a function of plate buoyancy. This process, called 'ablative subduction,' makes it possible to simply interpret observations concerning slab profiles, interplate seismicity, back arc tectonics, and complex processes such as double subduction and subduction polarity reversal. When experiments modeling the evolution of simple fluid 'slabs' are performed, slab profile is found to be strongly influenced by ablation in the overriding plate. When ablation is weak, as when a buoyant continent borders the trench, deformable slabs adopt shallow Andean-style profiles.

  8. Early Cretaceous Na-rich granitoids and their enclaves in the Tengchong Block, SW China: Magmatism in relation to subduction of the Bangong-Nujiang Tethys ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Ren-Zhi; Lai, Shao-Cong; Santosh, M.; Qin, Jiang-Feng; Zhao, Shao-Wei

    2017-08-01

    The Na-rich intermediate-to-felsic granitic rocks provide insights into the generation of magmas in subduction zones. This paper presents zircon LA-ICP-MS U-Pb ages as well as whole-rock geochemical, mineral chemical, and in situ zircon Hf isotopic data on Na-rich granitic rocks from the Tengchong Block, SW China. The granodiorites and associated mafic magmatic enclaves (MMEs) from the Menglian batholith yield zircon U-Pb ages of 116.1 ± 0.8 to 117.8 ± 0.6 Ma and 117.7 ± 0.7 Ma, respectively. Both host granodiorites and enclaves show calc-alkaline and sodium-rich nature, enrichment in large-ion lithophile elements (LILEs), and variable depletion in zircon Hf isotopic compositions. Euhedral amphiboles in both granodiorites and associated enclaves are magnesian-hornblende with high Mg and Ca and contain euhedral plagioclase inclusions of labradorite to andesine (An36-57) composition. The granodiorite was most likely derived through the mixing of partial melts derived from juvenile basaltic lower crust and a minor evolved component of ancient crustal sources. The quartz monzodiorite-granodiorites and associated MMEs from the Xiaotang-Mangdong batholith yield zircon U-Pb ages of 120.3 ± 1.3 to 122.6 ± 0.8 Ma and 120.7 ± 1.5 Ma. These rocks are also sodium-rich and show calc-alkaline trend with negative zircon Hf isotopic compositions (- 5.55 to + 0.58). The MMEs in the host intrusions are monzogabbro with variable and depleted zircon Hf isotopic compositions. The amphiboles in the both host intrusions and the enclaves show Al-rich ferro-tschermakite composition. We infer that the quartz monzodiorite-granodiorites were derived from magmas generated by the melting of ancient basaltic rocks in the lower arc crust induced by the underplating of mantle-derived mafic magmas. The formation of the different types of Na-rich granitic rocks is correlated to the subduction of Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan ocean. A comparison with magmatism in the northern magmatic belt suggests

  9. Seismotectonics of the southern boundary of Anatolia, eastern Mediterranean region: Subduction, collision, and arc jumping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rotstein, Yair; Kafka, Alan L.

    1982-09-01

    The pattern of seismicity and fault plane solutions of earthquakes are used to outline the tectonic features of the southern boundary of Anatolia in the eastern Mediterranean and southeastern Turkey. The results of this study show that this boundary is composed of two distinct parts. One, in southeastern Turkey and Syria, is a wide and complex zone of continental collision. The other, in the Levantine basin of the eastern Mediterranean, is a zone of oceanic subduction. In the region of continental collision three zones of seismicity are observed. Most of the seismic activity in this region follows the Bitlis zone and is associated with a zone of thrusting and mountain building. This appears to be the zone of most active deformation and plate consumption in the plate boundary region between Arabia and Turkey. A less active zone of seismicity to the north of the Bitlis zone is interpreted to have been more active in the past whereas another active zone of seismicity to the south is interpreted to be a zone which may be more active in the future as the main zone of plate consumption jumps to the south. In the subduction zone of the eastern Mediterranean the depth of the subducted slab and the rate of seismicity generally increase from east to west. The zone of present-day convergence between Africa and Turkey in the Levantine basin can be best outlined by the northern edge of the Mediterranean ridge. The subduction zone in this area sequentially jumps to the south as small continental fragments collide with existing zones of subduction. Deep seismic activity near the Gulf of Antalya is associated with a detached subducted slab north of the Anaximander Mountains that is distinctly different from the seismic trend which is associated with present-day active subduction. The plate boundary between Africa and Turkey at the center of the Levantine basin appears to have shifted to the south of the Anaximander Mountains and Florence rise. Most of the focal mechanisms of the

  10. Building a Subduction Zone Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Subduction dynamics and the origin of Andean orogeny and the Bolivian orocline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capitanio, F A; Faccenna, C; Zlotnik, S; Stegman, D R

    2011-11-23

    The building of the Andes results from the subduction of the oceanic Nazca plate underneath the South American continent. However, how and why the Andes and their curvature, the Bolivian orocline, formed in the Cenozoic era (65.5 million years (Myr) ago to present), despite subduction continuing since the Mesozoic era (251.0-65.5 Myr ago), is still unknown. Three-dimensional numerical subduction models demonstrate that variations in slab thickness, arising from the Nazca plate's age at the trench, produce a cordilleran morphology consistent with that observed. The age-dependent sinking of the slab in the mantle drives traction towards the trench at the base of the upper plate, causing it to thicken. Thus, subducting older Nazca plate below the Central Andes can explain the locally thickened crust and higher elevations. Here we demonstrate that resultant thickening of the South American plate modifies both shear force gradients and migration rates along the trench to produce a concave margin that matches the Bolivian orocline. Additionally, the varying forcing along the margin allows stress belts to form in the upper-plate interior, explaining the widening of the Central Andes and the different tectonic styles found on their margins, the Eastern and Western Cordilleras. The rise of the Central Andes and orocline formation are directly related to the local increase of Nazca plate age and an age distribution along the margin similar to that found today; the onset of these conditions only occurred in the Eocene epoch. This may explain the enigmatic delay of the Andean orogeny, that is, the formation of the modern Andes.

  12. Lawsonite Microstructures and Fabric Development at the Slab-Mantle Interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornash, K.; Whitney, D.; Teyssier, C. P.; Seaton, N. C.

    2016-12-01

    Lawsonite is of critical importance to element and water cycling in subduction zones because it has a high H2O content, is stable at high pressures, and is a significant reservoir for trace elements in HP/LT rocks. In addition, the presence, abundance, and crystallographic orientation of lawsonite can affect the deformation and rheological behavior of subducted oceanic crust and sediments, and may influence the seismic properties of subducted slabs. The scarcity of unaltered lawsonite in HP/LT rocks exhumed to the Earth's surface, particularly in eclogite, however, has prevented an understanding of the deformation behavior of lawsonite and the factors controlling the development of fabrics in lawsonite, which are important for understanding the effects of lawsonite on the physical properties of subducted slabs. One of the few places in the world with unaltered lawsonite in eclogite and blueschist facies rocks is the Sivrihisar Massif, Turkey, which contains a coherent sequence of lawsonite-bearing metabasaltic and metasedimentary rocks that were metamorphosed and deformed at the slab-mantle interface (45 - 80 km), and therefore provide an opportunity to systematically compare lawsonite fabrics in rocks with different modal amounts of rheologically significant minerals (e.g., glaucophane, omphacite, quartz), integrated with information about lawsonite crystal size, compositional zoning patterns, shape, and twinning. Studies to date of lawsonite CPO from natural lawsonite-bearing rocks have resulted in two patterns: one is characterized by a concentration of [001] axes parallel to lineation and the other is characterized by a concentration of [001] axes perpendicular to foliation. We have documented the first type in metabasalt and the second in quartzite, but other researchers have documented both types in metabasalt. Regardless of variations in lawsonite CPO or rock type, omphacite and glaucophane CPO remain consistent. Quartz c-axis patterns vary in eclogite- and

  13. Imaging of the subducted Kyushu-Palau Ridge in the Hyuga-nada region, western Nankai Trough subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

    We performed 3D seismic tomography of the Hyuga-nada region, western Nankai subduction zone, to investigate the relationship of the subducted part of Kyushu-Palau Ridge (KPR) to coseismic rupture propagation, seismicity, and shallow very low frequency earthquakes. Combining active-source and passive-source data recorded both onshore and offshore, we imaged the deep slab from near the trough axis to the coastal area. Our results show the subducted KPR as a low-velocity belt oriented NW-SE extending down the plate boundary to around 30 km depth. At this depth, we suggest that the subducted KPR detaches from the slab and becomes underplated on the overriding continental plate. As the coseismic slip areas of past large earthquakes do not extend into the subducted KPR, we suggest that it may inhibit rupture propagation. The interior of the subducted KPR shows active intraslab seismicity with a wide depth distribution. Shallow very low frequency earthquakes are continuously active above the location of the subducted KPR, whereas they are intermittent to the northeast of the subducted KPR. Thus, the subducted KPR appears to be an important factor in coseismic rupture propagation and seismic phenomena in this region.

  14. Li isotopic constraints from the Erro-Tobbio serpentinites on Alpine subduction processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, M.-F.; Scambelluri, M.; Griffin, W. L.; O'Reilly, S. Y.; Pearson, N. J.

    2012-04-01

    Subduction zones represent a unique feature of the dynamic Earth and provide important constraints on how plate tectonics works. Subduction of serpentinized oceanic lithosphere, characterized by releasing water into the mantle wedge via dehydration, i.e. breakdown of hydrous minerals, plays a critical role in not only the generation of continental crust but also the Earth's water cycle. To track the recycling of water or fluid released by subduction, the stable isotope system of Li, a lithophile and mobile element, shows its high potential because 7Li, relative to 6Li, preferentially moves into the fluid phase when fractionation occurs. Here we present new Li abundance and isotopic compositions of the Erro-Tobbio serpentinized peridotite complex, a remnant mantle slice of the Alpine subduction. Our data indicate that most of the serpentinized ultramafic rocks have uniform Li concentrations, around 1 ppm. These rocks, however, show variable Li isotopic compositions. Among them, the high-pressure antigorite-bearing metaperidotites, formed under a low-strain condition, have a limited range in Li isotopic values, with δ7Li = +1.5 to +4.0, similar to those of serpentinized peridotites. In contrast, apparently heavier Li isotopes, up to +10.0, are observed in the high-pressure serpentinite mylonites that also contain antigorite but formed in high-strain domains. We note that O-H isotope ratios of the high-pressure ultramafic rocks reported in previous study (Früh-Green et al., 2001, Contrib. Mineral Petrol. 141: 145-159) show insignificant variations between the low- and high-strain domains. This demonstrates the superiority of Li isotope than conventional stable isotope systems in offering critical information about fluid-releasing processes in subduction zones. Moreover, our new data unsupport the general assumption that fluid released from subducted slabs is in favor of extracting 7Li than 6Li, thus capable of forming the much lighter δ7Li values observed in

  15. Shallow Low-frequency Tremor in the Hyuga-nada region, western Nankai Trough subduction zone, observed by ocean bottom seismographic experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

    The Hyuga-nada region, locating western Nankai trough, is one of the most seismically active areas in Japan. Here, the Philippine Sea Plate subducts northwestward beneath the Eurasian Plate at an approximate rate of 5-7 cm/yr [e.g., Seno et al., 1993; Miyazaki and Heki, 2001]. Interplate earthquakes with magnitudes in the range of 6.5 to 7.5 repeatedly occur at intervals of decades. In the shallower part of the plate boundary in this region, the shallow very-low frequency earthquakes (dominant frequency 10~20 s) occur [Obara and Ito, 2005; Asano et al., 2008]. The shallow part of the plate boundary zone is very important for the generation of large interplate earthquakes and following tsunami. In order to reveal the detail of microseismicity from the shallower part of the plate boundary to seismogenic zone in the Hyuga-nada region, we have conducted Ocean Bottom Seismographic experiment from May 19 until July 6, 2013. We used 12 Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBSs) with a three-component short-period (10 OBSs: 4.5Hz, 2 OBSs: 1Hz) seismometer. All OBSs were recovered but one OBS was no data because of the technical problem of the recorder. During this experiment, many earthquakes recorded by OBSs. In addition, many low-frequency signals were also recorded. From the characteristic of the waveform and estimated source location, these are the shallow low-frequency tremor which is recorded for the first time by close-in observation the Hyuga-nada region. Here, we report the result of preliminary analysis of these shallow low-frequency tremors. The tremor activity mainly occurred from end of May to end of July 2013. Dominant frequency range of these tremors are 1-8 Hz and long duration range (10 seconds ~ a few minutes), which is same character of low-frequency tremor observed in Kii-Peninsula, Nankai trough using short-period OBSs [Obana and Kodaira, 2009]. We estimated tremor source location using envelop correlation method [Obara, 2002]. Although we estimated only a few

  16. Farallon slab detachment and deformation of the Magdalena Shelf, southern Baja California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brothers, Daniel S.; Harding, Alistair J.; Gonzalez-Fernandez, Antonio; Holbrook, W.S. Steven; Kent, Graham M.; Driscoll, Neal W.; Fletcher, John M.; Lizarralde, Daniel; Umhoefer, Paul J.; Axen, Gary

    2012-01-01

    Subduction of the Farallon plate beneath northwestern Mexico stalled by ~12 Ma when the Pacific-Farallon spreading-ridge approached the subduction zone. Coupling between remnant slab and the overriding North American plate played an important role in the capture of the Baja California (BC) microplate by the Pacific Plate. Active-source seismic reflection and wide-angle seismic refraction profiles across southwestern BC (~24.5°N) are used to image the extent of remnant slab and study its impact on the overriding plate. We infer that the hot, buoyant slab detached ~40 km landward of the fossil trench. Isostatic rebound following slab detachment uplifted the margin and exposed the Magdalena Shelf to wave-base erosion. Subsequent cooling, subsidence and transtensional opening along the shelf (starting ~8 Ma) starved the fossil trench of terrigenous sediment input. Slab detachment and the resultant rebound of the margin provide a mechanism for rapid uplift and exhumation of forearc subduction complexes.

  17. On the role of slab de- and re-hydration and temperature on magmas genesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouilhol, P.; Magni, V.; Van Hunen, J.; Kaislaniemi, L.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the metamorphic reactions that occurs within the slab is a must to constrain subduction zone processes. Slab dehydration reactions ultimately permit the mantle wedge to melt, by lowering its solidus, thus forming arcs above descending slabs. Alternatively the slab crust may cross its solidus in warm (young) slabs. Moreover, slab dehydration allows chemical fractionation to occur between residual phases and transferred fluid phase, giving arc magmas part of their typical subduction zone chemical characteristics. To better comprehend such complex thermo-chemical open system, we are using a numerical model that reproduces the thermo-mechanical behaviour of a subducting slab and computes the thermodynamic equilibrium paragenesis at each P-T-X conditions of the system. Hence we generate a 'paragenetic map' of a subduction system, allowing us to track the fate of water during dehydration and subsequent re-hydration or melting reactions. Here we highlight the role of dehydration and re-hydration reactions occurring in the slab's igneous crust and mantle and the mantle wedge for different slab ages at fixed rate and dip, hence presenting the evolution of a subduction paragenetic map for different thermal regimes. We intend to show the key roles of a) antigorite and chlorite breakdown in the hydrated part of the slab mantle, b) amphibole and lawsonite in the slab crust, and c) the role of amphibole and chlorite in the mantle wedge. Furthermore, we demonstrate the importance of dehydration / re-hydration reactions occurring within the slab and mantle wedge as a main process for water transport and melting reactions. As a whole, as the slab age decreases, dehydration reactions are occurring in a narrower PT window at shallower depth, and because of early slab dehydration, the role of hydrous phases in the metasomatized mantle wedge become more important. The younger the slab is, the less lawsonite plays a role in the transferred fluid, inducing drastic changes

  18. Paleomagnetism of Cretaceous Oceanic Red Beds(CORBs) from Gyangze, Northern Tethys Himalaya: Evidence for introoceanic Subduction System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, X.

    2015-12-01

    In the northern Tethys Himalaya, sporadically distributed oceanic red beds (the Chuangde Formation) have been described. The sequence was interpreted to be firstly deposited in the outer continental shelf and upper slope, and later slumped into deep basin. Based on this model, and paleomagnetic data of shallow water deposits from the southern Tethys Himalaya, the CORBs were derived from the northern tip of the passive margin of the greater India. If so, the CORBs would provide more accurate record of the northern extent of the greater India, which is an important parameter for estimating the initial time of India-Asia continental collision and the amount of crustal shortening. The well studied and most accessible section is located in the Chuangde village, about 40km east from the Gyangze city. The formation is about 25m thick, ranging from 84 to 75Ma in age according to fossil records of planktonic foraminiferal species. The lower and upper parts are 2 and 5 meter thick marlstones, respectively, and the middle section is dominated by shale with a few layers of centimeter scale marlstones. Fifty cores were collected from the marlstones of the section, and for the purpose of fold test, 30 more cores were collected from the upper part of the formation from a second section located in the Pulong village, ~10km to the north of the Chuangde village. All samples were subject to stepwise thermal demagnetization. About 60% of the samples yielded interpretable demagnetization results. The middle part of the formation show reversed high temperature component, and the lower and upper parts show normal polarity. The Chuangde section data failed reversal test, because the normal polarity direction is likely not fully resolved from overprint component. However, the well resolved reversal direction from the Chuangde village and the normal direction from Pulong pass both reversal and fold tests. The mean paleomagnetic data indicate a paleolatitude of 10+/-2 degree north, ~2000 km

  19. Subduction initiation close to the continental margin? Implications from U-Pb zircon geochronology of the Pιnarbaşι metamorphic sole, central Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Kalijn; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.; Corfu, Fernando; Gurer, Derya; Brouwer, Fraukje M.; van Roermund, Herman L. M.

    2017-04-01

    Metamorphic soles below ophiolites record high (up to 850°C) metamorphic temperatures at pressures up to 10-15 kbar uncommon in normal subduction zones. They are therefore interpreted to form during intra-oceanic subduction initiation at locations within ocean basins where high temperatures exist at relatively shallow depths, i.e. in the vicinity of mid-ocean ridges. The Pιnarbaşι metamorphic sole in Turkey is a particularly well-preserved example and consists of a sequence a few hundred meters thick of strongly foliated metabasites and pelagic sediments. The sole structurally overlies a serpentinite-hosted tectonic mélange, and underlies the mantle section of the supra-subduction zone Pιnarbaşι ophiolite. The sole rocks preserve an inverted metamorphic field gradient with garnet-clinopyroxene-amphibolites at the top and greenschists at the contact with the underlying tectonic mélange. The Pιnarbaşι sole thus fits well in the general tectonostratigraphy and metamorphic facies of soles worldwide, generally interpreted to represent the top of a nascent intra-oceanic subducting slab that accreted to the base of the hot overriding oceanic plate. This implies that the metamorphic sole could yield constraints on the initiation of subduction in an oceanic domain, something that is not yet well understood. One of the remaining questions is: did subduction start at, close to or further away from the mid oceanic ridge? The age of metamorphic soles has commonly been dated by 40Ar/39Ar chronology. Across Turkey, soles consistently provide Ar-Ar ages of 94-91 Ma, interpreted as cooling of the soles during exhumation and subduction zone maturation. In the top of the metamorphic sole of the Pιnarbaşι ophiolite we found zircon which indicate a preliminary U-Pb ID-TIMS age in the comparable range of 94 - 91 Ma, which we interpreted as the age of peak metamorphism in the garnet-clinopyroxene amphibolites. Surprisingly, the zircon grains also include inherited cores

  20. Slab tears and intermediate-depth seismicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meighan, Hallie E.; ten Brink, Uri S.; Pulliam, Jay

    2013-01-01

    Active tectonic regions where plate boundaries transition from subduction to strike slip can take several forms, such as triple junctions, acute, and obtuse corners. Well-documented slab tears that are associated with high rates of intermediate-depth seismicity are considered here: Gibraltar arc, the southern and northern ends of the Lesser Antilles arc, and the northern end of Tonga trench. Seismicity at each of these locations occurs, at times, in the form of swarms or clusters, and various authors have proposed that each marks an active locus of tear propagation. The swarms and clusters start at the top of the slab below the asthenospheric wedge and extend 30–60 km vertically downward within the slab. We propose that these swarms and clusters are generated by fluid-related embrittlement of mantle rocks. Focal mechanisms of these swarms generally fit the shear motion that is thought to be associated with the tearing process.

  1. The Coupling of Back-arc Extension, Extrusion and Subduction Dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capitanio, Fabio A.

    2017-04-01

    Extension in the Aegean Sea and lateral Anatolian extrusion are contrasting and seemingly unrelated examples of continental tectonics In the Eastern Mediterranean. It is acknowledged that these must reconcile with the dynamics of Tethys closure and following continental collision along the convergent margin, however the underlying mechanisms have been difficult to pinpoint, thus far. Three-dimensional numerical modelling of the dynamics of subduction and coupling with the mantle and upper plates allows probing the evolution of similar areas, supporting inferences on the ultimate causes for the continental tectonics. I will present models that reproduce the force balance of subducting slabs' buoyancy, mantle flow and upper plate interiors, and emphasise the role of perturbations in the force balance that may have followed slab breakoff, collision and trench land-locking reconstructed during the oceanic closure in the Eastern Mediterranean. These perturbations lead to a range of different margin motions and strain regimes in the upper plate, from rollback and back-arc spreading, to indentation and extrusion along the collisional margin. Different spatial and temporal fingerprints are illustrated for these processes, and while the trench rollback and back-arc spreading are rather stable features, extrusion is transient. When these regimes overlap, rapid and complex rearrangements of the tectonics in the upper plate are the result. The remarkable similarity between the models' and the Eastern Mediterranean tectonic regimes and geophysical observable allows proposing viable driving mechanisms and support inferences on the Miocene-to-Pliocene evolution of this puzzling area.

  2. IMAGE OF THE SLAB AND MOHO IN SOUTHERN PERU FROM RECEIVER FUNCTIONS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, K. E.; Clayton, R. W.; Skinner, S.; Davis, P. M.; Guy, R.; Stubailo, I.; Foote, E. J.; Aguilar, V.; Tavera, H.; Audin, L.

    2009-12-01

    Studies were performed using data collected from an array of 50 seismic stations in Southern Peru. The seismic array runs perpendicular to the trench between Mollendo and Juliaca and is part of a UCLA CENS (Center for Embedded Networked Systems) project. This area is of interest because Southern Peru represents a transition between subduction with a dip angle of around 30 degrees and shallow subduction to the north. The current line is located in a region with steeper subduction while a second line is planned between Cusco and Juliaca to study the transition between flat and steep subduction. A third line from Cusco to the coast will study the region with shallow subduction. Based on teleseismic receiver functions (RFs), the crustal thickness gradually thickens to a depth of approximately 70km beneath the Altiplano. A mid-crustal structure has also been observed at a depth of close to 40km. This may represent a remnant of the original Moho before the rapid uplift of the Altiplano, or may indicate some type of underplating episode. Images also show the subducting slab, which is best imaged by RFs based on PKP phases. Additional information on the subducted slab and overlying crust is being sought from PP phases, S-wave RFs, and undersided reflections. The goal of this study is to compare the structure and properties of the “normally” subducting slab with the “flat” slab the will be imaged on the third line.

  3. Effect of rheological approximations on slab detachment in 3D numerical simulations of continental collision

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pusok, Adina E.; Kaus, Boris; Popov, Anton

    2017-04-01

    It is commonly accepted that slab detachment results from the development of extensional stresses within the subducting slab. Subduction slowdown due to arrival of buoyant continental material at the trench is considered to cause such stress build up in the slab. Following slab detachment, slab pull partially or completely loses its strength and hot asthenosphere may flow through the slab window, which can have major consequences for continental collision. The dynamics of slab detachment has been extensively studied in 2D (i.e. analytical and numerical), but 3D models of slab detachment during continental collision remain largely unexplored. Some of the previous 3D models have investigated the role of an asymmetric margin on the propagation of slab detachment (van Hunen and Allen, 2011), the impact of slab detachment on the curvature of orogenic belts (Capitanio and Replumaz, 2013), the role of the collision rate on slab detachment depth (Li et al., 2013) or the effect of along-trench variations on slab detachment (Duretz et al., 2014). However, rheology of mantle and lithosphere is known to have a major influence on the dynamics of subduction. Here, we explore a range of different rheological approximations to understand their sensitivity on the possible scenarios. We employ the code LaMEM (Kaus et al., 2016) to perform 3D simulations of subduction/continental collision in an integrated lithospheric and upper-mantle scale model. The models exhibit a wide range of behaviours depending on the rheological law employed: from linear, to temperature-dependent visco-elasto-plastic rheology that takes into account both diffusion and dislocation creep. For example, we find that slab dynamics varies drastically between end member models: in viscous approximations, slab detachment is slow, dominated by viscous thinning, while for a non-linear visco-elasto-plastic rheology, slab detachment is relatively fast, dominated by plastic breaking and inducing strong mantle flow in

  4. Quantifying the net slab pull force as a driving mechanism for plate tectonics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W. P.

    2004-01-01

    It has remained unclear how much of the negative buoyancy force of the slab (FB) is used to pull the trailing plate at the surface into the mantle. Here I present three-dimensional laboratory experiments to quantify the net slab pull force (FNSP) with respect to FB during subduction. Results show

  5. Review of subduction and its association with geothermal system in Sumatera-Java

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladiba, A. F.; Putriyana, L.; Sibarani, B. br.; Soekarno, H.

    2017-12-01

    Java and Sumatera have the largest geothermal resources in Indonesia, in which mostly are spatially associated with volcanoes of subduction zones. However, those volcanoes are not distributed in a regular pattern due to the difference of subduction position. Subduction position in java is relatively more perpendicular to the trench than in Sumatera. In addition, Java has a concentration of large productive geothermal field with vapour dominated system in the western part of Java, which may be caused by the various subduction dip along the island. In order to understand the relationship between the subduction process and geothermal system in the subduction zone volcanoes, we examined several kinematic parameters of subduction that potentially relevant to the formation of geothermal system in overriding plate such as slab dip, subduction rate, and direction of subduction. Data and information regarding tectonic setting of Sumatera and Java and productive geothermal field in Sumatera and Java have been collected and evaluated. In conclusion, there are three condition that caused the geothermal fluid to be more likely being in vapour phase, which are: the subduction is in an orthogonal position, the slab dip is high, and rate of subduction is high. Although there are plenty researches of subduction zone volcanoes, only a few of them present information about its formation and implication to the geothermal system. The result of this study may be used as reference in exploration of geothermal field in mutual geologic environment.

  6. Three-dimensional structure and seismicity beneath the Central Vanuatu subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foix, Oceane; Crawford, Wayne; Pelletier, Bernard; Regnier, Marc; Garaebiti, Esline; Koulakov, Ivan

    2017-04-01

    The 1400-km long Vanuatu subduction zone results from subduction of the oceanic Australian plate (OAP) beneath the North-Fijian microplate (NFM). Seismic and volcanic activity are both high, and several morphologic features enter into subduction, affecting seismicity and probably plate coupling. The Entrecasteaux Ridge, West-Torres plateau, and Bougainville seamount currently enter into subduction below the large forearc islands of Santo and Malekula. This collision coincides with a strongly decreased local convergence velocity rate - 35 mm/yr compared to 120-160 mm/yr to the north and south - and significant uplift on the overriding plate, indicating a high degree of deformation. The close proximity of large uplifted forearc islands to the trench provides excellent coverage of the megathrust seismogenic zone for a seismological study. We used 10 months of seismological data collected using the 30-instrument land and sea ARC-VANUATU seismology network to construct a 3D velocity model — using the LOTOS joint location/model inversion software — and locate 11655 earthquakes using the NonLinLoc software suite. The 3-D model reveals low P and S velocities in the first tens of kilometers beneath both islands, probably due to water infiltration in the heavily faulted upper plate. The model also suggests the presence of a subducted seamount beneath south Santo. The earthquake locations reveal a complex interaction of faults and stress zones related to high and highly variable deformation. Both brittle deformation and the seismogenic zone depth limits vary along-slab and earthquake clusters are identified beneath central and south Santo, at about 10-30 km of depth, and southwest of Malekula island between 10-20 km depth.

  7. Evidence for retrograde lithospheric subduction on Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandwell, David T.; Schubert, Gerald

    1992-01-01

    Annular moats and outer rises around large Venus coronas such as Artemis, Latona, and Eithinoha are similar in arcuate planform and topography to the trenches and outer rises of terrestrial subduction zones. On earth, trenches and outer rises are modeled as the flexural response of a thin elastic lithosphere to the bending moment of the subducted slab; this lithospheric flexure model also accounts for the trenches and outer rises outboard of the major coronas on Venus. Accordingly, it is proposed that retrograde lithospheric subduction may be occurring on the margins of the large Venus coronas while compensating back-arc extension is occurring in the expanding coronas interiors. Similar processes may be taking place at other deep arcuate trenches or chasmata on Venus such as those in the Dali-Diana chasmata area of aestern Aphrodite Terra.

  8. 3-D imaging of two episodes of Hikurangi Plateau subduction in the southern South Island of New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberhart-Phillips, D. M.; Reyners, M.; Upton, P.; Gubbins, D.

    2016-12-01

    The Hikurangi Plateau (originally part of the Ontong Java large igneous province) has been subducted beneath New Zealand twice - firstly at ca. 108-105 Ma during north-south convergence with Gondwana, and currently during east-west convergence between the Pacific and Australian plates. We have investigated the southern limit of this subducted plateau by supplementing the sparse GeoNet permanent seismograph network in the southeastern South Island with a forty-station broadband portable seismograph network. We have then used local earthquake tomography to determine detailed 3-D Vp and Vp/Vs structure in the southern South Island. We track a region of Vp 8.5 km/s (which has previously been associated with an eclogite layer at the base of the Hikurangi Plateau from studies in the North Island) across most of the southwestern South Island. Its southeastern edge runs diagonally from near Christchurch to northern Fiordland. It dips both to the northwest and the southwest, and impacts the subducted Australian plate in northern Fiordland, where it currently bends the subducted Australian slab to vertical. The plateau and its leading oceanic crust are distinguished by low Vp/Vs, consistent with extensive dehydration of the thick (ca. 35 km), buoyant plateau during ca. 500 km of flat subduction at the Gondwana margin. The plateau is also revealed by dipping zones of relocated earthquakes. The backstop of Gondwana subduction appears to be the ophiolitic Maitai terrane, which extends through the crust and forms the trenchward boundary of the ca. 60-65 km-thick Median Batholith. We image the low Vp crustal root associated with orogeny at the Gondwana margin in the southeastern South Island, as well as the crustal root resulting from the current convergent episode in the western South Island. The shapes of both crustal roots are controlled by the Hikurangi Plateau.

  9. Continuing evolution of the Pacific-Juan de Fuca-North America slab window system-A trench-ridge-transform example from the Pacific Rim

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCrory, P.A.; Wilson, D.S.; Stanley, R.G.

    2009-01-01

    Many subduction margins that rim the Pacific Ocean contain complex records of Cenozoic slab-window volcanism combined with tectonic disruption of the continental margin. The series of slab windows that opened beneath California and Mexico starting about 28.5 Ma resulted from the death of a series of spreading ridge segments and led to piecewise destruction of a subduction regime. The timing and areal extent of the resultant slab-window volcanism provide constraints on models that depict the subsequent fragmentation and dispersal of the overlying continental margin. The initial Pioneer slab window thermally weakened the overlying western Transverse Ranges and California Borderlands region starting about 28.5 Ma. A second thermal pulse occurred in the same region starting about 19 Ma during growth of the Monterey slab window. This additional heating, combined with the capture of a partially subducted Monterey plate fragment by the Cocos plate, initiated the pulling apart and rotation of the adjacent continental margin. Similarly, the capture of Guadalupe and Magdalena plate fragments by the Pacific plate and initiation of the Guadalupe-Magdalena slab window about 12.5 Ma are coeval with Baja California pulling away from the Mexico continental margin, with the break along the Comondú arc, in crust already thermally weakened by about 10 My of volcanism. In coastal California, distributed crustal extension and subsidence accompanied the new transform plate boundary, and continued until the slab windows cooled and plate motion coalesced along a through-going system of strike-slip faults. The transform boundary continues to evolve, and forward modeling predicts an instability with the current configuration as a result of convergence between the Sierra Nevada and Peninsular Ranges batholiths, starting about 2 My in the future. The instability may be resolved by a shift in the locus of transform motion from the San Andreas fault to the eastern California shear zone, or by

  10. Structure and evolution of subducted lithosphere beneath the Sunda arc, Indonesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Widiyantoro, Sri; Hilst, R.D. van der

    1996-01-01

    Tomographic imaging reveals seismic anomalies beneath the Sunda island arc, Indonesia, that suggest that the lithospheric slab penetrates to a depth of at least 1500 kilometers. The Sunda slab forms the eastern end of a deep anomaly associated with the past subduction of the plate underlying the

  11. 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

  12. The onset and evolution of slab flattening in the central Trans-Mexican volcanic belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orozco-Esquivel, T.; Ferrari, L.; Manea, V.; Manea, M.

    2013-05-01

    One of the most intriguing features of the Middle America subduction zone is the horizontal subduction of a segment of the Cocos plate, flanked by slab segments with normal subduction angles of 45°. The flat slab segment extends for about 300 km inland at ~50 km depth, and then sinks into the asthenosphere at a steep angle beneath the present volcanic front of the central Trans-Mexican volcanic belt (TMVB). In Central Mexico, flat subduction is not associated with upper plate shortening because the continental crust is decoupled from the flat slab by a E-W oriented arc, at ca. 270 km from the trench, dominated by basaltic andesitic to andesitic central volcanoes and domes. During the following 10 m.y., the volcanic front of this early TMVB migrated away from the trench, and more siliceous volcanics (andesite to dacite) became dominant. The migration of the arc culminated at ca. 480 km from the trench, and since ca. 8 Ma the volcanic front has migrated backward until its present position at 250 km from the trench. Geochemical data indicate that the contribution of subduction components (fluids, sediment melts) to the magmas decreased as the arc migrated farther from the trench. This behavior abruptly changed at 12 - 9 Ma with the emplacement of adakitic volcanoes and domes at the farthest distance to the trench. The adakitic volcanics signal the onset of slab melting at the end of the arc migration. The rapid migration of the volcanic front farther from the trench and the emplacement of adakitic lavas at the end of this period are consistent with flattening of the subducted slab from the early to the late Miocene. The onset of slab flattening in central Mexico may have been promoted by (1) the rapid increase in Pacific-Cocos spreading rate from ~4 cm/yr to ~12 cm/yr in the early to middle Miocene; (2) the active overriding of the North America plate over the Cocos plate, leading to trench roll back at 0.5-1 cm/yr; (3) the relatively young age of the subducted slab

  13. Non-volcanic tremor and discontinuous slab dehydration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagereng, Åke; Diener, Johann F. A.

    2011-08-01

    Non-volcanic tremor is a recently discovered fault slip style occurring with remarkable regularity in space near the down-dip end of the locked zone on several subduction thrust interfaces. The physical mechanisms and the controls on the location of tremor have not yet been determined. We calculate the stable mineral assemblages and their water content in the subducting slab, and find that slab dehydration is not continuous, but rather restricted to a few reactions localised in pressure-temperature space. Along geothermal gradients applicable to Shikoku and Cascadia - where tremor has been relatively easy to detect - tremor locations correlate with discontinuous and localised voluminous water release from the breakdown of lawsonite and chlorite + glaucophane respectively. The shape of the pressure-temperature path for subducting slabs prevents fluid release at depths above and below where these dehydration reactions occur. We conclude that abundant tremor activity requires metamorphic conditions where localised dehydration occurs during subduction, and this may explain why tremor appears more abundant in some subduction zones than others.

  14. Porosity and Salt Content Determine if Subduction Can Occur in Europa's Ice Shell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Brandon C.; Sheppard, Rachel Y.; Pascuzzo, Alyssa C.; Fisher, Elizabeth A.; Wiggins, Sean E.

    2017-12-01

    Motivated by recent evidence for subduction in Europa's ice shell, we explore the geophysical feasibility of this process. Here we construct a simple model to track the evolution of porosity and temperature within a slab that is forced to subduct. We also vary the initial salt content in Europa's ice shell and determine the buoyancy of our simulated subducting slab. We find that porosity and salt content play a dominant role in determining whether the slab is nonbuoyant and subduction in Europa's ice shell is actually possible. Generally, we find that initially low porosities and high salt contents within the conductive lid are more conducive to subduction. If salt contents are laterally homogenous, and Europa has a reasonable surface porosity of ϕ0 = 0.1, the conductive portion of Europa's shell must have salt contents exceeding 22% for subduction to occur. However, if salt contents are laterally heterogeneous, with salt contents varying by a few percent, subduction may occur for a surface porosity of ϕ0 = 0.1 and overall salt contents of 5%. Thus, we argue that under plausible conditions, subduction in Europa's ice shell is possible. Moreover, assuming that subduction is actively occurring or has occurred in Europa's recent past provides important constraints on the structure and composition of the ice shell.

  15. Convective instability of stagnant slabs at the base of the Mantle Transition Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motoki, M.; Ballmer, M. D.

    2013-12-01

    Seismic tomography reveals that subducting slabs descend to a depth of about 660 km to stagnate at the base of the mantle transition zone for long timescales. Most of the slab is composed of harzburgite covered by veneers of eclogite and hydrated mantle, a make-up that is positively buoyant overall. Initially, this positive compositional buoyancy is overwhelmed by the negative thermal buoyancy of the cool slab. However, the plate continues to be heated from above and below while it stagnates. Consequently, its thermal buoyancy is expected to slowly increase, turning an initially stable into an unstable thermochemical density stratification, and triggering convective instability. Plumes rising out of stagnating slabs may enhance the transition zone and asthenosphere with compositional heterogeneity, including water, as well as support decompression melting. To study these important processes, we systematically explore the parameters controlling convective instability of stagnating slabs in two-dimensional thermochemical geodynamic models. Preliminary results show that instability occurs at about 50-75 Myr after subduction, a timescale that increases with the age and speed of the subducting plate, as well as Rayleigh number. This timescale is further found to be sensitive to preexisting heterogeneity within the slab, as well as the occurrence of small-scale convection at the base of the overriding plate. The plumes rising out of the slab can deliver only a small fraction of the slab's eclogite to the transition zone, but a larger fraction of the slab's harzburgite and hydrated mantle to the base of the lithosphere, where hydrated lithologies undergo decompression melting in a subset of our models. Most of the slab's eclogite instead settles at the very base of the transition zone. These findings have important implications for the fate of subducted slabs, material transport across the transition zone, the compositional stratification of the mantle as a whole, as well

  16. Modeled temperatures and fluid source distributions for the Mexican subduction zone: Effects of hydrothermal circulation and implications for plate boundary seismic processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Matthew; Spinelli, Glenn A.; Wada, Ikuko; He, Jiangheng

    2016-02-01

    In subduction zones, spatial variations in pore fluid pressure are hypothesized to control the sliding behavior of the plate boundary fault. The pressure-temperature paths for subducting material control the distributions of dehydration reactions, a primary control on the pore fluid pressure distribution. Thus, constraining subduction zone temperatures are required to understand the seismic processes along the plate interface. We present thermal models for three margin-perpendicular transects in the Mexican subduction zone. We examine the potential thermal effects of vigorous fluid circulation in a high-permeability aquifer within the basaltic basement of the oceanic crust and compare the results with models that invoke extremely high pore fluid pressures to reduce frictional heating along the megathrust. We combine thermal model results with petrological models to determine the spatial distribution of fluid release from the subducting slab and compare dewatering locations with the locations of seismicity, nonvolcanic tremor, slow-slip events, and low-frequency earthquakes. Simulations including hydrothermal circulation are most consistent with surface heat flux measurements. Hydrothermal circulation has a maximum cooling effect of 180°C. Hydrothermally cooled crust carries water deeper into the subduction zone; fluid release distributions in these models are most consistent with existing geophysical data. Our models predict focused fluid release, which could generate overpressures, coincident with an observed ultraslow layer (USL) and a region of nonvolcanic tremor. Landward of USLs, a downdip decrease in fluid source magnitude could result in the dissipation in overpressure in the oceanic crust without requiring a downdip increase in fault zone permeability, as posited in previous studies.

  17. Topographic form of the Coast Ranges of the Cascadia Margin in relation ot coastal uplift rates and plate subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelsey, Harvey M.; Engebretson, David C.; Mitchell, Clifton E.; Ticknor, Robert L.

    1994-01-01

    The Coast Ranges of the Cascadia margin are overriding the subducted Juan de Fuca/Gorda plate. We investigate the extent to which the latitudinal change in attributes related to the subduction process. These attributes include the varibale age of the subducted slab that underlies the Coast Ranges and average vertical crustal velocities of the western margin of the Coast Rnages for two markedly different time periods, the last 45 years and the last 100 kyr. These vertical crustal velocities are computed from the resurveying of highway bech marks and from the present elevation of shore platforms that have been uplifted in the late Quaternary, respectively. Topogarphy of the Coast Ranges is in part a function of the age and bouyancy of the underlying subducted plate. This is evident in the fact that the two highest topographic elements of the Coast Rnages, the Klamath Mountains and the Olympic Mountains, are underlain by youngest subducted oceanic crust. The subducted Blanco Fracture Zone in southernmost Oregon is responsible for an age discontinuity of subducted crust under the Klamath Mountains. The norhtern terminus of hte topographically higher Klamaths is offset to the north relative to the position of the underlying Blanco Fracture Zone, teh offset being in the direction of migration of the farcture zone, as dictated by relative plate motions. Vertical crustal velocities at the coast, derived from becnh mark surveys, are as much as an order of magnitude greater than vertical crustal velocities derived from uplifted shore platforms. This uplift rate discrepancy indicates that strain is accumulating on the plate margin, to be released during the next interplate earthquake. In a latitudinal sense, average Coast Rnage topography is relatively high where bench mark-derived, short-term vertical crustal velocities are highest. Becuase the shore platform vertical crustal velocities reflect longer-term, premanent uplift, we infer that a small percentage of the

  18. Fluid Release and the Deformation of Subducting Crust

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  19. Geochronology of diamond-bearing zircons from garnet peridotite in the North Qaidam UHPM belt, Northern Tibetan Plateau: A record of complex histories from oceanic lithosphere subduction to continental collision [rapid communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Shuguang; Zhang, Lifei; Niu, Yaoling; Su, Li; Jian, Ping; Liu, Dunyi

    2005-05-01

    to Late Devonian, including the emplacement of ultramafic cumulate probably in the shallow section of a mantle wedge, deep (> 200 km) subduction of the cumulate induced by the subducting slab, and ultimate exhumation genetically associated with continental collision.

  20. 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.

  1. Quantitative Study of Seismogenic Potential Along Manila Trench: Effects of Scaborough Seamount Chain Subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, H.; Liu, Y.; Li, D.; Ning, J.; Matsuzawa, T.; Shibazaki, B.; Hsu, Y. J.

    2014-12-01

    Modern seismicity record along the Manila Trench shows only infrequent Mw7 earthquakes, the lack of great earthquakes may indicate the subduction fault is either aseismically slipping or is accumulating strain energy toward rapid release in a megathrust earthquake. We conduct numerical simulations of the plate coupling, earthquake nucleation and dynamic rupture propagation processes along the Manila subduction fault (15-19.5ºN), taking into consideration the effects of plate geometry (including subducted seamounts), fault strength, rate-state frictional properties and pore pressure variations. Specifically, we use the bathymetry to depict the outline of Manila trench along its strike, 2681 background seismicity (1970/02/13 to 2013/09/06) from Chinese Earthquake Network Center and 540 focal mechanism solutions (1976/01/01 to 2013/01/27) from Global CMT project to constrain the geometry of the subducting Sunda/Eurasian slab. The compilation of seismicity and focal mechanism indicates the plate dipping angle gradually changes from 28º (south of the Scaborough Seamount Chain) to 12º (north of it). This geometric anomaly may due to the subducted part of the seamount chain. Preliminary modeling results using gabbro gouge friction data show that the Scaborough Seamount Chain could be a barrier to earthquake rupture propagation. Only earthquakes larger than Mw7 can overcome the barrier to rupture the entire Manila trench. Smaller earthquakes would cease rupturing when it encounters the seamount chain. Moreover, we propose that Manila trench subduction zone has the potential of rupturing in a Mw8 megathrust earthquake, if the simulation period is long enough for an Mw8 earthquake cycle and dynamic rupture overcomes the subducted Scaborough Seamount Chain. Our model parameters will be further constrained by laboratory rock mechanics experiments conducted on IODP Expedition 349, South China Sea (SCS), drilling samples (work in progress at China Earthquake Administration

  2. Modeling mantle circulation and density distributions in subduction zones: Implications for seismic studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kincaid, C. R.; Druken, K. A.; Griffiths, R. W.; Long, M. D.; Behn, M. D.; Hirth, G.

    2009-12-01

    Subduction of ocean lithosphere drives plate tectonics, large-scale mantle circulation and thermal-chemical recycling processes through arcs. Seismologists have made important advances in our ability to map circulation patterns in subduction zones though anisotropy data/methods and in providing detailed images of mantle density fields. Increasingly, seismic and geodynamic disciplines are combining to extend our understanding of time varying subduction processes and associated vertical mass and energy fluxes. We use laboratory experiments to characterize three-dimensional flow fields in convergent margins for a range in plate forcing conditions and background, buoyancy-driven flow scenarios. Results reveal basic patterns in circulation, buoyant flow morphologies and density distributions that have implications for reconciling seismic data with mantle convection models. Models utilize a glucose working fluid with a temperature dependent viscosity to represent the upper 2000km of the mantle. Subducting lithosphere is modeled with a Phenolic plate and back-arc extension is produced using Mylar sheets. We recreate basic subduction styles observed in previous dynamic subduction models using simplified, kinematic forcing. Slab plate segments, driven by hydraulic pistons, move with various combinations of downdip, rollback and steepening motion. Neutral density finite strain markers are distributed throughout the fluid and used as proxies for tracking the evolution of olivine alignment through space and time in the evolving flow fields. Particle image velocimetry methods are also used to track time varying 3D velocity fields for use in directly calculating anisotropy patterns. Results show that complex plate motions (rollback, steepening, back-arc extension) in convergent margins produce relatively simple anisotropy patterns (e.g., trench-normal alignments) and underscore the importance of initial strain marker orientations on alignment patterns in the wedge. Results also

  3. Mantle flow and oceanic crust formation during the opening of the Tyrrhenian back-arc basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magni, Valentina

    2017-04-01

    The formation of the Tyrrhenian back-arc basin occurred through short-lived episodes of fast spreading alternated with periods of slow rifting. I present results from three-dimensional numerical models of laterally varying subduction to explain the mechanism of back-arc basin opening and its episodic spreading behaviour. Moreover, I explore the consequences of this alternation between fast and slow episodes of extension on the production of new oceanic crust in the back-arc basin. Results show that the presence of continental plates (i.e. Africa and Adria) nearby the oceanic subduction of the Ionian slab produces localised deformation within the overriding plate and it is, thus, crucial for the opening of the back-arc basin. Moreover, the occurrence of collision results in the formation of two slab windows at the ocean-continent boundaries, which is in very good agreement with what is observed in the Central Mediterranean, nearby the Calabrian slab. During the evolution of the system the trench velocity shows pulses of fast trench retreat that last a few millions of years. This is associated with episodes of more intense melting of the asthenosphere rising at the back-arc basin. Finally, these three-dimensional models are used to track the mantle flow throughout the model evolution and the source of the mantle melting at the spreading centre.

  4. A Dynamical Context for Small-scale Heterogeneity Throughout the Mantle Beneath Subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frost, D. A.; Rost, S.; Garnero, E.

    2014-12-01

    Subduction zones are a source for mantle heterogeneity within the convection system and there is mounting evidence that seismic signatures can be used to track slabs down from the surface throughout the mantle. Seismic studies of the mantle beneath Central America demonstrate that subducted slab material reaches the Core-Mantle Boundary (CMB). The lowermost mantle beneath this convergent margin shows strong seismic evidence for heterogeneity. Tomographic models characterise subduction zones to be underlain by increased seismic velocities over 100s-1000s km laterally, in association with D'´ discontinuities 100-300 km above the CMB, consistent with phase transitions in the Bridgmanite system. Recent analyses have found evidence for isolated Ultra Low Velocity Zones in addition to prevalent fine-scale heterogeneity, on the order of 1-10 km, scattering high frequency waves. These techniques indicate thermal and/or chemical anomalies within the mantle on a range of scales. Numerical geodynamical simulations suggest small-scale mechanical mixing of initially coherent compositionally anomalous subducted material separating into entities of various sizes consistent with the range of heterogeneity sizes observed in the lower mantle.Investigating seismic scattering, the re-radiation of a wavefront due to interaction with a sharply contrasting volumetric anomaly, is an effective method for studying small-scale elastic heterogeneities in the Earth's mantle. Studies commonly record structure with scale lengths of about 10 km. Here we analyse scattered energy related to PKPPKP — PKP•PKP (the • indicates the scattering location along the raypath) — sampling a large volume of the mantle beneath Central America. We reveal the character of heterogeneity in various frequency bands within the whole mantle using both broadband and short-period data. These observations will be placed in context with other studies in this region illustrating the large-scale background structure

  5. Topography of the Overriding Plate During Progressive Subduction: A Dynamic Model to Explain Forearc Subsidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhihao; Schellart, Wouter P.; Duarte, João. C.; Strak, Vincent

    2017-10-01

    Overriding plate topography provides constraints on subduction zone geodynamics. We investigate its evolution using fully dynamic laboratory models of subduction with techniques of stereoscopic photogrammetry and particle image velocimetry. Model results show that the topography is characterized by an area of forearc dynamic subsidence, with a magnitude scaling to 1.44-3.97 km in nature, and a local topographic high between the forearc subsided region and the trench. These topographic features rapidly develop during the slab free-sinking phase and gradually decrease during the steady state slab rollback phase. We propose that they result from the variation of the vertical component of the trench suction force along the subduction zone interface, which gradually increases with depth and results from the gradual slab steepening during the initial transient slab sinking phase. The downward mantle flow in the nose of the mantle wedge plays a minor role in driving forearc subsidence.

  6. Shear wave anisotropy in northwestern South America and its link to the Caribbean and Nazca subduction geodynamics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Idárraga‐García, J; Kendall, J.‐M; Vargas, C. A

    2016-01-01

    ...‐related local S splitting at 38 seismic stations. Comparison between the delay times of both phases shows that most of the SKS splitting is due to entrained mantle flow beneath the subducting Nazca and Caribbean slabs...

  7. Comment on 'Boron content and isotopic composition of oceanic basalts: Geochemical and cosmochemical implications' by M. Chaussidon and A. Jambon

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Chen-Feng

    1994-12-01

    Chaussidon and Jambon presented results of their ion microprobe study of boron concentrations and isotopic compositions in oceanic basaltic glasses. Although this study has extended the information on the geochemistry of B and delta B-11 in mid-ocean ridge basalts (E-MORB and N-MORB), back-arc basin basalts (BABB) and ocean island basalts (OIB), their calculation of the maximum amount of B recycled in subduction zones warrants special caution. They concluded that less than 2% of the B in subducted oceanic crust was added to the mantle source in order to explain the low delta B-11 values in the oceanic basalts (-7.4 - 0.6 per mil). Two comments regarding the calculation of Chaussidon and Jambon will be presented in this paper. First, sediments constitute one of the most important B reservoirs in subduction zones and should be considered in any budget calculation. Second, there is an important fractionation effect of both B and delta B-11 in the slab during subduction and this effect should be assessed.

  8. Deflection of mantle flow controlled by slab-cratonic keel interactions: insights from shear-wave splitting in the southeastern Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, M. S.; Becker, T. W.

    2012-12-01

    Subduction and recycling of oceanic lithosphere is a major control on the thermal evolution of the Earth. Cratonic continental lithosphere, conversely, can resist mechanical erosion for billions of years, moves coherently with plates, and deflects flow in the asthenosphere. We investigate the mechanical interactions between these two components of mantle convection in the Caribbean-South American plate margin which hosts a complex subduction system and continental transform fault adjacent to the Guyana Shield. Along the northern margin of the South American continent, shear-wave splitting measurements display anomalously large (1.5-2.5 s) delay times and fast polarization directions are oriented orthogonal to the Antilles trench and parallel to the transform plate boundary. Analysis of various seismological data, including seismicity, tomography, and SK(K)S splitting, and 176 global geodynamical models with lateral viscosity and density variations adapted to this unique region allow for quantitative testing of how mantle flow, as induced by the oceanic slab of the Antilles volcanic arc and mediated by a weak asthenosphere, is influenced by the stiff South American cratonic keel. We explore for the first time how slab-craton interactions affect tectonic force transmission to produce this narrow region of abnormally strong seismic anisotropy parallel to the coastline, change regional plate velocities, and localize intra-plate deformation.

  9. 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

  10. GPS-derived surface imprint of toroidal flow at the Calabrian slab edges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palano, Mimmo; Piromallo, Claudia; Chiarabba, Claudio

    2017-04-01

    Tearing of the lithosphere and toroidal upper mantle circulation have been modeled and proposed at slab edges of several retreating subduction zones. While tear faults laterally decouple the subducting lithosphere during retreat and promote strike-slip motion in the overriding plate, toroidal flow around slab edges accommodates the displacement, from beneath the stiff slab, of less viscous mantle material towards the mantle wedge. Edge processes jointly contribute to surface crustal deformation, which can be revealed both by geodetic and geological observations. We document this effect in the Calabrian subduction system, where the Ionian slab rollback has been taking place since 30 Ma, following a step-wise process accompanied by migration of lithospheric tearing. We observe GPS velocities with symmetric toroidal patterns around the slab hinges: a counterclockwise rotation rate of 1.29 °/Ma around a pole located in the Sibari Gulf for the northern slab edge and a clockwise rotation rate of 1.74 °/Ma around a pole close to the NE Sicily coastal area at the southern slab edge. These small-scale, opposite rotations occur at complex sets of active faults representing the lithospheric tears currently accommodating the SE-ward migration of the subduction system. At depth, the mantle flow field imaged by seismic anisotropy reveals instead an asymmetry: a toroidal pattern of sub-slab return flow appears only at the southern slab edge, while at the northern end SKS-splitting fast directions are trench parallel. A possible cause for this asymmetric coupling of the upper plate deformation with underlying mantle flow is the immature stage of the northern slab tear.

  11. Subducting Plate Breakup by Plume-Lithosphere Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koptev, A.; Gerya, T.; Jolivet, L.; Leroy, S. D.

    2016-12-01

    We use a 3D high-resolution thermo-mechanical modeling to investigate the impact of active mantle plume on a subducting lithospheric plate. Initial model setup consists of an overriding continental lithosphere and subducting lithospheric plate including oceanic and continental lithosphere. A mantle plume thermal anomaly has been initially seeded at the bottom of the model box underneath the continental segment of subducting plate. Mantle plume impingement on lithospheric bottom leads to thinning of continental lithosphere and decompressional melting of both lithospheric and sublithospheric mantle along stretched trench-parallel zone. Further continental breakup is followed by opening of an oceanic basin separating a newly formed microcontinent from the main subducting continent. Despite continuous push applied at the boundary of subducting plate, plume-induced oceanic basin opens during several Myrs reaching several hundred kilometers wide. Cooling of the mantle plume and beginning of collision between the separated microcontinent and the overriding continental plate lead to gradual closure of newly formed oceanic basin that gets further involved into subduction and collision. The final stage sees continental subduction of main body of subducting plate and simultaneous tectonic exhumation of the upper crust of the subducted microcontinent. This scenario involving a plume-induced rifting of a microcontinent away from main body of subducted plate can be compared to the Mesozoic-Cenozoic development of the African plate characterized by the consecutive separation of the Apulian microcontinent and Arabian plate (in the Jurassic and the Neogene, respectively) during subduction of Neo-Tethys oceanic lithosphere beneath the Eurasian margin.

  12. Generation of continental crust in intra-oceanic arcs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gazel, E.; Hayes, J. L.; Kelemen, P. B.; Everson, E. D.; Holbrook, W. S.; Vance, E.

    2014-12-01

    The origin of continental crust is still an unsolved mystery in the evolution of our planet. Although the best candidates to produce juvenile continental crust are intra-oceanic arcs these systems are dominated by basaltic lavas, and when silicic magmas are produced, the incompatible-element compositions are generally too depleted to be a good match for continental crust estimates. Others, such as the W. Aleutians, are dominated by andesitic melts with trace element compositions similar to average continental crust. In order to evaluate which intra-oceanic arcs produced modern continental crust, we developed a geochemical continental index (CI) through a statistical analysis that compared all available data from modern intra-oceanic arcs with global estimates of continental crust. Our results suggest that magmas from Costa Rica (tracks. Iwo-Jima and Vanuatu are in a similar tectonic scenario with subducting intraplate seamounts. Melts from the subducting oceanic crust are thought to significantly control the geochemical signature in the W. Aleutians and Panama. In the L. Antilles and E. Aleutians the continental signature may reflect recycling of a component derived from subducting continental sediments. Most of Izu-Bonin, Marianas, S. Scotia and Tonga arcs with a CI >100 have the least continent-like geochemical signatures. In these arcs the subducting plate is old (>100 Ma), not overprinted by enriched intraplate volcanism and the geochemistry may be dominated by slab-derived, aqueous fluids. We also found a strong correlation between the CI and average crustal P-wave velocity, validating the geochemical index with the available seismic data for intra-oceanic arcs. In conclusion, the production of young continental crust with compositions similar to Archean continental crust is an unusual process, limited to locations where there are especially voluminous partial melts of oceanic crust.

  13. Imprints of an "Arc" Signature onto Subduction Zone Eclogites from Central Guatemala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, K. K.; Sorensen, S. S.; Harlow, G. E.; Brueckner, H. K.; Goldstein, S. L.; Hemming, N. G.; Langmuir, C. H.

    2007-12-01

    High-pressure, low-temperature (HP-LT) rocks associated with the Motagua fault zone in central Guatemala occur as tectonic blocks in serpentinite mélange. Dismembered jadeitite and albitite veins within the melange are crystallization products of subduction fluids at glaucophane) in veins and overgrowths. The low temperatures recorded in these rocks indicate they have only seen an aqueous fluid, not a melt, and therefore, could provide a window into the acquisition of an arc signature at a cold margin. Trace-element patterns for both eclogite and jadeitite resemble arc lavas, with large enrichments in the most fluid mobile elements (e.g. Cs, Tl, Ba, Pb), moderate enrichments in U, Th, Be and LREE and generally little to no enrichment in HFSE and HREE, although enriched Nb in jadeitite indicates some HFSE mobility. Trace-element patterns also have similarities to average subducting sediment (GLOSS), with enrichments in Th, Be, Ba and Li that suggest a sediment contribution. Nd versus Sr isotopes lie to the right of the mantle array, indicating a hydrous fluid contribution from altered ocean crust or sediment. Overall, Guatemalan eclogites resemble counterparts from the Franciscan Complex (CA) and the Dominican Republic. Guatemalan and Franciscan eclogites are interpreted to have had a MORB protolith despite the arc trace element signature because of: 1) similarities in major elements to MORB; 2) HREE and HFSE abundances similar to MORB; and 3) high 143Nd/144Nd that overlap MORB values. The modifications that transformed these eclogites from a MORB trace element pattern to an arc one can be attributed to an aqueous subduction fluid at moderate depths (reactions, and an abundance of alkali-aluminosilicate components in subduction fluids. Together these may act to dissolve and transport trace elements (including elements considered insoluble like Nb) out of the slab and into the mantle wedge. The Guatemala data thus indicate that the arc geochemical fingerprint may be

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorensen, Sorena S.; Grossman, Jeffrey N.

    1993-01-01

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

  15. Deep electrical resistivity structure of Costa Rican Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worzewski, T.; Jegen, M.; Brasse, H.; Taylor, W.

    2009-04-01

    The water content and its distribution play an important role in the subduction process. Water is released from the subducting slab in a series of metamorphic reactions and the hydration of the mantle wedge may trigger the onset of melting, weakening and changes in the dynamics and thermal structure of subduction zones. However, the amount of water carried into the subduction zone and its distribution are not well constrained by existing data and are subject of vigorous current research in SFB574 (Volatiles and Fluids in Subduction Zones: Climate Feedback and Trigger Mechanisms for Natural Disasters). We will show numerical modeling studies which are used to determine the resolution and sensitivity of the MT response to fluids in the crust and subducting slab under the special condition of a coastal setting. In 2007-2008 we conducted a long-period magnetotelluric investigations in northwestern Costa Rica on- and offshore, where the Cocos Plate subducts beneath the Carribean plate. Eleven marine magnetotelluric Stations newly developed and constructed by IFM-GEOMAR and University of Kiel were deployed on the 200 km long marine extension of the profile for several months. We will present the data and its processing, as well as our attempts to eliminate motion induced noise observed on some stations on the cliffy shelf due to tidal waves hitting the shelf and trench parallel- and perpendicular currents. The marine profile was extended landwards by the Free University of Berlin over length of 160 kilometers with further 18 stations. We present preliminary modeling results of land data, which revealed interesting features, inter alia a possible image of fluid release from the downgoing slab in the forearc, as well as ongoing modeling of the combined on- and offshore data sets.

  16. Comparing the effects of rheology on the dynamics and topography of 3D subduction-collision models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pusok, Adina E.; Kaus, Boris; Popov, Anton

    2015-04-01

    Most of the major mountain belts and orogenic plateaus are found within the overlying plate of active or fossil subduction and/or collision zones. It is well known that they evolve differently from one another as the result of specific combinations of surface and mantle processes. The differences among the structures and evolutions of mountain belts arise for several reasons, such as different strengths of materials, different amounts of regional isostatic compensation, and different mechanisms by which forces are applied to the convergence plates. All these possible controlling factors can change with space and time. Of all the mountain belts and orogenic plateaus, the most striking example is the India-Asia collision zone, which gave rise to the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau, the largest region of elevated topography and anomalously thick crust on Earth. Understanding the formation and evolution of such a highly elevated region has been the focus of many tectonic and numerical models. While some of these models (i.e. thin sheet model) have successfully illustrated some of the basic physics of continental collision, none can simultaneously represent active processes such as subduction, underthrusting, channel flow or extrusion, for which fully 3D models are required. Here, we employed the 3D code LaMEM to investigate the role that subduction, continental collision and indentation play on lithosphere dynamics at convergent margins, and the implications they have for the Asian tectonics. Our model setup resembles a simplified tectonic map of the India-Asia collision zone and we performed long-term 3D simulations to analyse the dynamics and the conditions under which large topographic plateaus, such as the Tibetan Plateau can form in an integrated lithospheric and upper-mantle scale model. Results of models with linear viscous rheologies show different modes between the oceanic subduction side (continuous subduction, trench retreat and slab roll-back) and the

  17. Crustal structure of the Carpathian orogen from receiver function analysis: how craton subduction and active delamination affect the crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrescu, Laura; Tataru, Dragos; Grecu, Bogdan

    2017-04-01

    The Carpathian arc is an uncommon curved collisional system, involving the subduction of the Eastern European craton and the Proterozoic Moesian platform beneath younger European microplates. The Cenozoic collision led to the closure of the Tethys Oceanic basin, portions of which are actively breaking off or delaminating beneath the orogen, generating deep mantle earthquakes. Neogene volcanism, possibly related to subduction slab roll-back, also formed a band of presently extinct volcanoes in the back-arc region. The Carpathian embayment is thus an ideal laboratory to investigate crustal processes related to subduction of cratonic material, multiple plate junctions and active delamination. To better understand how the crustal structure changes from the Eastern European cratonic foreland, across the curved subduction zone, to the younger European microplates, we analyse teleseismic earthquakes recorded at broadband seismic stations located across eastern and southern Carpathians, in Romania and Moldova. We processed data from permanent seismic networks (The Romanian National Seismic Network) as well as data from temporary deployments such as CALIXTO (Carpathian Arc Lithosphere X-Tomography) and SCP (South Carpathian Project). Using extended multi-taper spectral division, we compute and analyse radial and transverse receiver functions. Energy on the transverse component may be an indicator of crustal anisotropy or the existence of intracrustal dipping interfaces. Using phase-weighted H-k stacking of receiver functions, we estimate the crustal thickness and the bulk crustal Poisson's ratio as well as the seismic sharpness of the Moho discontinuity. Furthermore, we invert receiver functions to obtain the S-wave velocity structure of the crust and upper mantle beneath individual stations, which provide concurrent information on the Moho nature. Our results provide a better understanding of crustal structure across complex collisional systems involving the subduction of

  18. Formation and stability of a double subduction system: a numerical study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pusok, Adina E.; Stegman, Dave

    2017-04-01

    Examples of double subduction systems can be found in both modern (Izu-Bonin-Marianas and Ryukyu arcs, e.g. Hall [1997]) and ancient (Kohistan arc in Western Himalayas, e.g. Burg [2006], Burg et al. [2006]) tectonic record. A double subduction system has also been proposed to explain the high convergence rate observed for the India-Eurasia convergence [Jagoutz et al., 2015; Holt et al., 2016, 2017]. Rates of convergence across coupled double subduction systems can be significantly faster than across single subduction systems because of slab pull by two slabs. However, despite significant geological and geophysical observations, our understanding about this process is limited, and questions regarding double subduction remain largely unexplored in terms of physical factors controlling its initiation, duration and dynamics. Subduction initiation (of a single system) in itself has been a popular and challenging topic in the research community for the last few years, and various mechanisms (i.e., collapse at a passive margin or transform fault [Gerya et al., 2008; Stern, 2004], driven by compression [Hall et al., 2003; Toth and Gurnis, 1998], due to shear heating under compression [Thielmann and Kaus, 2012] or plume induced initiation [Gerya et al., 2015]) have been proposed. However, initiation of a secondary subduction, and formation of a stable double subduction system has not been studied before. Previous studies of double subduction either introduced weak zones to initiate subduction [Mishin et al., 2008] or both the subduction systems were already initiated [Jagoutz et al., 2015], thus assuming a priori information regarding the initial position of the two subduction zones. In this study, we perform 2D and 3D numerical simulations to investigate i) subduction initiation of a secondary system in an already initiated single subduction system, and ii) the dynamics and stability of the newly formed double subduction system. For this, we employ the code LaMEM [Kaus et

  19. Underpinning tectonic reconstructions of the western Mediterranean region with dynamic slab evolution from 3-D numerical modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chertova, M. V.; Spakman, W.; Geenen, T.; van den Berg, A. P.; van Hinsbergen, D. J. J.

    2014-07-01

    No consensus exists on the tectonic evolution of the western Mediterranean since 35 Ma. Three disparate tectonic evolution scenarios are identified, each portraying slab rollback as the driving mechanism but with rollback starting from strongly different subduction geometries. As a critical test for the validity of each tectonic scenario we employ thermomechanical modeling of the 3-D subduction evolution. From each tectonic scenario we configure an initial condition for numerical modeling that mimics the perceived subduction geometry at 35 Ma. We seek to optimize the fit between observed and predicted slab morphology by varying the nonlinear viscoplastic rheology for mantle, slab, and continental margins. From a wide range of experiments we conclude that a tectonic scenario that starts from NW dipping subduction confined to the Balearic margin at 35 Ma is successful in predicting present-day slab morphology. The other two scenarios (initial subduction from Gibraltar to the Baleares and initial subduction under the African margin) lead to mantle structure much different from what is tomographically imaged. The preferred model predicts slab rotation by more than 180°, east-west lithosphere tearing along the north African margin and a resulting steep east dipping slab under the Gibraltar Strait. The preferred subduction model also meets the first-order temporal constraints corresponding to Mid-Miocene ( 16 Ma) thrusting of the Kabylides onto the African margin and nearly stalled subduction under the Rif-Gibraltar-Betic arc since the Tortonian ( 8 Ma). Our modeling also provides constraints on the rheological properties of the mantle and slab, and of continental margins in the region.

  20. Geodynamical Analysis of Plate Reconstructions based on Subduction History Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quevedo, L. E.; Butterworth, N. P.; Matthews, K. J.; Morra, G.; Müller, R. D.

    2011-12-01

    We present a novel method to produce global subduction history models from plate reconstructions and use their predicted geodynamic behaviour as a quality metric for the physical consistency of absolute motions. We show that modelled slabs constructed by advecting material into the mantle according to absolute and relative plate motions given by a particular reconstruction are better correlated with the present day slab dips observed in mantle tomography than instantaneous kinematic quantities like present convergence rate. A complete simulation incorporating lithospheric thickness derived from oceanic age and a rheological model of the lithosphere was run using the Boundary Element Method-based software BEMEarth to infer the global pattern of mantle flow. The predicted plate motion orientations in the form of Euler pole location for the present day and mid-Cretaceous (125 Ma) were compared with the kinematic model for a set of rheologies and mantle structures, and found to be a robust and efficient indicator of the physical consistency of kinematic reconstructions based on their effect on the balance of plate driving forces. As an application example, during the Early Cretaceous, the predicted motion of the Farallon plate was found to be more consistent with the regional geology of the Western North American Cordillera system than the instantaneous motion suggested by a reconstruction at 125 Ma based on sparse hotspot track data on the Pacific Plate. This suggests that a methodology based on forward geodynamic modellling could be used to predict absolute plate motions in reconstructions for times that are ill-constrained by observations constraining absolute plate motions.

  1. Evolution of the Archaean crust by delamination and shallow subduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Stephen F; Buhre, Stephan; Jacob, Dorrit E

    2003-01-16

    The Archaean oceanic crust was probably thicker than present-day oceanic crust owing to higher heat flow and thus higher degrees of melting at mid-ocean ridges. These conditions would also have led to a different bulk composition of oceanic crust in the early Archaean, that would probably have consisted of magnesium-rich picrite (with variably differentiated portions made up of basalt, gabbro, ultramafic cumulates and picrite). It is unclear whether these differences would have influenced crustal subduction and recycling processes, as experiments that have investigated the metamorphic reactions that take place during subduction have to date considered only modern mid-ocean-ridge basalts. Here we present data from high-pressure experiments that show that metamorphism of ultramafic cumulates and picrites produces pyroxenites, which we infer would have delaminated and melted to produce basaltic rocks, rather than continental crust as has previously been thought. Instead, the formation of continental crust requires subduction and melting of garnet-amphibolite--formed only in the upper regions of oceanic crust--which is thought to have first occurred on a large scale during subduction in the late Archaean. We deduce from this that shallow subduction and recycling of oceanic crust took place in the early Archaean, and that this would have resulted in strong depletion of only a thin layer of the uppermost mantle. The misfit between geochemical depletion models and geophysical models for mantle convection (which include deep subduction) might therefore be explained by continuous deepening of this depleted layer through geological time.

  2. The course of water in Archean subduction systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouilhol, P.; Magni, V.; Van Hunen, J.; Kaislaniemi, L.

    2012-12-01

    The andesitic nature of the bulk continental crust, as well as its characteristic trace element ratios, have a close resemblance to the differentiated crust of volcanic arcs, thus leading to models for formation of continental crust in subduction zone settings. If the modern processes leading to continental crust formation at convergent margins are well constrained, the extrapolation to early Earth conditions is hazardous, because the composition of Earth's early crust can be achieved through several processes. We study the different scenarios that may have operated during early Earth subduction to form differentiated crust. Each scenario (e.g. arc crust melting, slab melting, mantle melting followed by differentiation…) has a common denominator that is the fate of water, because it reflects slab devolatilization and controls the melting process and the stability of minerals such as garnet, amphibole and plagioclase, which are major players in the final melt composition. To this end, we present thermomechanical numerical models that incorporate internally consistent thermodynamic data in order to simulate slab dehydration. Our goal is to track the fate of subducted water in an Archean style subduction regime to better comprehend its modus operandi.

  3. Adakites along oceanic transforms ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haschke, M.; Ben-Avraham, Z.

    2003-04-01

    Quaternary dacites and trachytes from the Aird Hills and Lusancay Islands in Papua New Guinea show some of the clearest slab melt geochemical signatures (Mg# 73-93, Sr = 1520-2650 ppm, Sr/Y = 140-445, La/Yb = 135-238), yet there is no slab currently subducting beneath Papua New Guinea. Alternatively, they may be melts from orogenic mafic crustal underplate, yet they do not occur above an arc crustal keel, nor are they part of an active convergent tectonic setting. Instead, they occur at the tip of a propagating rift-tectonic system within rift-related mafic to silicic alkaline magmatic suites. Although some adakites lie up to 100 km off the present rift-front, they connect to a curved line after their relative positions are adjusted for 16° of late Cenozoic rotation that accounts for active oceanic spreading in the Woodlark Rift. The timing of rift-propagation is consistent with the Quaternary age of Papua New Guinea adakites. The geochemical signature of these rocks is similar to other modern adakites (Western Aleutians, Cerro Pampa, Cook Island). Their Mg#, Sr contents, Sr/Y and La/Yb ratios are significantly higher than those of adakitic melts from orogenic mafic underplate. Trace element modeling indicates that their high Sr/Y and La/Yb ratios requires both small partial melting degrees (testing the adakite = slab melts story, because it not only simulates the geochemical, but also the geodynamic context which presumably led to widespread continental crustal growth in the Archean. This challenges existing adakite and Archean crustal growth models which suggest that the generation of adakitic melts are restricted to convergent plate margins.

  4. Extending Alaska's plate boundary: tectonic tremor generated by Yakutat subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wech, Aaron G.

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Impact of Mantle Wind on Subducting Plate Geometry and Interplate Pressure: Insights From Physical Modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutelier, D.; Cruden, A. R.

    2005-12-01

    New physical models of subduction investigate the impact of large-scale mantle flow on the structure of the subducted slab and deformation of the downgoing and overriding plates. The experiments comprise two lithospheric plates made of highly filled silicone polymer resting on a model asthenosphere of low viscosity transparent silicone polymer. Subduction is driven by a piston that pushes the subducting plate at constant rate, a slab-pull force due to the relative density of the slab, and a basal drag force exerted by flow in the model asthenosphere. Large-scale mantle flow is imposed by a second piston moving at constant rate in a tunnel at the bottom of the experiment tank. Passive markers in the mantle track the evolution of flow during the experiment. Slab structure is recorded by side pictures of the experiment while horizontal deformation is studied via passive marker grids on top of both plates. The initial mantle flow direction beneath the overriding plate can be sub-horizontal or sub-vertical. In both cases, as the slab penetrates the mantle, the mantle flow pattern changes to accommodate the subducting high viscosity lithosphere. As the slab continues to descend, the imposed flow produces either over- or under-pressure on the lower surface of the slab depending on the initial mantle flow pattern (sub-horizontal or sub-vertical respectively). Over-pressure imposed on the slab lower surface promotes shallow dip subduction while under-pressure tends to steepen the slab. These effects resemble those observed in previous experiments when the overriding plate moves horizontally with respect to a static asthenosphere. Our experiments also demonstrate that a strong vertical drag force (due to relatively fast downward mantle flow) exerted on the slab results in a decrease in strain rate in both the downgoing and overriding plates, suggesting a decrease in interplate pressure. Furthermore, with an increase in drag force deformation in the downgoing plate can switch

  6. Earthquake nucleation in weak subducted carbonates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    Ocean-floor carbonate- and clay-rich sediments form major inputs to subduction zones, especially at low-latitude convergent plate margins. Therefore, knowledge of their frictional behaviour is fundamental for understanding plate-boundary earthquakes. Here we report results of mechanical tests

  7. Recycling of volatiles at subduction zones: Noble gas evidence from the Tabar-Lihir-Tanga-Feni arc of papua New Guinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farley, Kenneth; Mcinnes, Brent; Patterson, Desmond

    1994-01-01

    Convergent margin processes play an important but poorly understood role in the distribution of terrestrial volatile species. For example, subduction processes filter volatiles from the subducting package, thereby restricting their return to the mantle. In addition, once extracted from the downgoing slab, volatiles become an essential component in the petrogenesis of island arc magmas. The noble gases, with their systematic variation in physical properties and diversity of radiogenic isotopes, should carry a uniquely valuable record of these processes. However, thus far studies of noble gases in arc volcanics have achieved only limited success in this regard. Subduction-related lavas and geothermal fluids carry (3)He/(4)He ratios equal to or slightly lower than those found in the depleted upper mantle source of mid-ocean ridge basalts. Apparently slab-derived helium (which should have (3)He/(4)He much less than MORB) is extensively diluted by MORB-like helium from the mantle wedge, making it difficult to use helium as a tracer of convergent margin processes. Interpretation of the heavier noble gases (Ne-Ar-Kr-Xe) in arc lavas has also proven difficult, because the lavas carry low noble gas concentrations and hence are subject to pervasive atmospheric contamination. The low noble gas concentrations may be a consequence of degassing in the high level magma chambers characteristic of arc stratovolcanos. We have recently initiated a project to better constrain the behavior of volatiles in subduction zones through geochemical studies of the tectonically unusual volcanoes of the Tabar-Lihir-Tanga-Feni (TLTF) arc in the Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea.

  8. An imbalance in the deep water cycle at subduction zones: The potential importance of the fore-arc mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Julia M.; Lee, Cin-Ty A.

    2017-12-01

    The depth of slab dehydration is thought to be controlled by the thermal state of the downgoing slab: cold slabs are thought to mostly dehydrate beneath the arc front while warmer slabs should mostly dehydrate beneath the fore-arc. Cold subduction zone lavas are thus predicted to have interacted with greater extent of water-rich fluids released from the downgoing slab, and should thus display higher water content and be elevated in slab-fluid proxies (i.e., high Ba/Th, H2O/Ce, Rb/Th, etc.) compared to hot subduction zone lavas. Arc lavas, however, display similar slab-fluid signatures regardless of the thermal state of the slab, suggesting more complexity to volatile cycling in subduction zones. Here, we explore whether the serpentinized fore-arc mantle may be an important fluid reservoir in subduction zones and whether it can contribute to arc magma generation by being dragged down with the slab. Using simple mass balance and fluid dynamics calculations, we show that the dragged-down fore-arc mantle could provide enough water (∼7-78% of the total water injected at the trenches) to account for the water outfluxes released beneath the volcanic arc. Hence, we propose that the water captured by arc magmas may not all derive directly from the slab, but a significant component may be indirectly slab-derived via dehydration of dragged-down fore-arc serpentinites. Fore-arc serpentinite dehydration, if universal, could be a process that explains the similar geochemical fingerprint (i.e., in slab fluid proxies) of arc magmas.

  9. Metasomatic formation and petrology of blueschist-facies hybrid rocks from Syros (Greece): Implications for reactions at the slab-mantle interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, David P.; Marschall, Horst R.; Schumacher, John C.

    2009-01-01

    Chemical disparities at the interface between subducting oceanic crustal rocks and the harzburgitic mantle lead to the formation of reaction zones in the mantle above the subducting slabs composed of hybrid rocks that may carry exotic trace-element patterns and isotopic signatures. Subsequent burial of these metasomatised rocks as part of the progressively subducted slab could deliver trace elements and volatiles to the source region of arc magma. A natural laboratory to study reactions at the slab-mantle interface maybe found in exhumed high-pressure mélanges, where sedimentary, mafic and ultramafic lithologies are juxtaposed and metamorphosed at high-P/T conditions. A mélange zone of that type is found in northern Syros, where metasomatic reaction zones ("blackwalls") formed on a metre scale at the contact of metasedimentary blueschists and serpentinite. Five different zones within such a contact display the assemblages (I) glaucophane + garnet + phengite + epidote, (II) glaucophane + epidote + chlorite, (III) chlorite + epidote + omphacite ± albite (IV) chlorite ± titanite ± rutile ± apatite and (V) serpentine + chromite. Accessory phases, such as apatite, allanite, rutile, titanite, tourmaline, zircon and monazite are abundant in zones II to IV. The observed succession of assemblages together with whole-rock major and trace-element compositions reflect the two dominant processes that are thought to have operated along the lithological contact: (A) diffusion of chemical components driven by the compositional contrast of the juxtaposed rocks, and (B) flux of hydrous fluids along the contact, which depleted (e.g., LILE, SiO 2) or enriched (e.g., B, LREE) certain elements in various zones. Thermodynamic modelling is able to closely predict the succession of mineral assemblages as they are expected from diffusion of Mg and Ca across the contact zone. Employed to various P-T conditions and different juxtaposed rock types, this type of modelling could be used to

  10. The dehydration of slabs in the Early Earth regime and its implications for continental crust composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magni, Valentina; Bouilhol, Pierre; van Hunen, Jeroen; Kaislaniemi, Lars

    2013-04-01

    The andesitic nature of the bulk continental crust, as well as its characteristic trace element ratios, have a close resemblance to the differentiated crust of volcanic arcs, thus leading to models for formation of continental crust in subduction zone settings. If the modern processes leading to continental crust formation at convergent margins are well constrained, the extrapolation to early Earth conditions is hazardous, because the composition of Earth's early crust can be achieved through several processes. However, a large part of the Archean continental crust is made of a composite rock assemblage dominated by granitoids belonging to the TTG series (tonalite-trondhejmeite-granodiorite) that show a subduction signature. We modelled Early Earth subduction dynamics by focusing our attention on the fate of water, since it is a component that is essential to the formation of TTG series. The amount and composition of water bearing fluids in a subduction zone is controlled by slab devolatilization process, and influence both the melting regime and the melt composition. To this end, we present thermomechanical numerical models that incorporate internally consistent thermodynamic data in order to simulate slab dehydration. Our goal is to track the course of subducted water in an Archean style subduction regime to better comprehend its modus operandi. We find that in an Early Earth regime slab devolatilization occurs over a larger depth interval while starting and finishing at shallower pressure compared to present-day situation. Importantly, the slab phases nature and proportion in equilibrium with the released fluid are significantly different from nowadays situations. Overall, an early earth subduction zone regime leads to the formation of a much wider arc that is fed with melts forming through significantly different melting conditions and slab fluid chemical input.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. The January 25th, 2014 Kebumen earthquake: A normal faulting in subduction zone of Southern Java

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  14. Slab flattening, dynamic topography and normal faulting in the Cordillera Blanca region (northern Peru)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margirier, A.; Robert, X.; Laurence, A.; Gautheron, C.; Bernet, M.; Simon-Labric, T.; Hall, S. R.

    2015-12-01

    Processes driving surface uplift in the Andes are still debated and the role of subduction processes as slab flattening on surface uplift and relief building in the Andes is not well understood. Some of the highest Andean summits, the Cordillera Blanca (6768 m) and the Cordillera Negra (5187 m), are located above a present flat subduction zone (3-15°S), in northern Peru. In this area, both the geometry and timing of the flattening of the slab are well constrained (Gutscher et al., 1999; Rosenbaum et al., 2005). This region is thus a perfect target to explore the effect of slab flattening on the Andean topography and uplift. We obtained new apatite (U-Th)/He and fission-track ages from three vertical profiles located in the Cordillera Blanca and the Cordillera Negra. Time-temperature paths obtained from inverse modeling of the thermochronological data indicates a Middle Miocene cooling for both Cordillera Negra profiles. We interpret it as regional exhumation in the Cordillera Occidental starting in Middle Miocene, synchronous with the onset of the subduction of the Nazca ridge (Rosenbaum et al., 2005). We propose that the Nazca ridge subduction at 15 Ma and onset of slab flattening in northern Peru drove regional positive dynamic topography and thus enhanced exhumation in the Cordillera Occidental. This study provides new evidence of the impact subduction processes and associated dynamic topography on paleogeography and surface uplift in the Andes.

  15. Geodynamic Modeling of the Subduction Zone around the Japanese Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honda, S.

    2017-06-01

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

  16. Louisville seamount subduction and its implication on mantle flow beneath the central Tonga-Kermadec arc.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timm, Christian; Bassett, Daniel; Graham, Ian J; Leybourne, Matthew I; de Ronde, Cornel E J; Woodhead, Jon; Layton-Matthews, Daniel; Watts, Anthony B

    2013-01-01

    Subduction of intraplate seamounts beneath a geochemically depleted mantle wedge provides a seldom opportunity to trace element recycling and mantle flow in subduction zones. Here we present trace element and Sr, Nd and Pb isotopic compositions of lavas from the central Tonga-Kermadec arc, west of the contemporary Louisville-Tonga trench intersection, to provide new insights into the effects of Louisville seamount subduction. Elevated (206)Pb/(204)Pb, (208)Pb/(204)Pb, (86)Sr/(87)Sr in lavas from the central Tonga-Kermadec arc front are consistent with localized input of subducted alkaline Louisville material (lavas and volcaniclastics) into sub-arc partial melts. Furthermore, absolute Pacific Plate motion models indicate an anticlockwise rotation in the subducted Louisville seamount chain that, combined with estimates of the timing of fluid release from the subducting slab, suggests primarily trench-normal mantle flow beneath the central Tonga-Kermadec arc system.

  17. 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)

  18. Slab Stagnation in the Lower Mantle: A Multidisciplinary Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waszek, L.; Arredondo, K.; Finkelstein, G. J.; Kellogg, L. H.; Lekic, V.; Li, M.; Lithgow-Bertelloni, C. R.; Romanowicz, B. A.; Schmerr, N. C.; Rudolph, M. L.; Townsend, J. P.; Xing, Z.; Yang, F.

    2014-12-01

    Recent tomographic models show that while many slabs seem to deflect or stagnate at the 660 km discontinuity, some slabs continue to subduct deeper and pond at 1000 km below the earth's surface (Fukao and Obayashi, 2013). Only one slab is observed to penetrate significantly deeper into the mantle. Furthermore, some mantle upwellings also appear to be deflected at 1000 km in depth. The radial correlation functions for the low-order spherical harmonics of most tomographic inversions show that while seismic wave velocities are correlated for all depths below ~1000 km, velocities at depths between 400-1000 km are uncorrelated with velocities at any other depth. This implies that there are large scale velocity features coherent from 1000 km to the core-mantle boundary, but no large scale features coherent from the top of the transition zone down to 1000 km. Seismic studies using precursors and receiver functions find evidence for numerous reflectors in the mid-mantle, ranging from 900 km in depth beneath the southern Pacific and southeast Asia to 1200 km beneath Europe and Japan. This range of depths could indicate topography along a single laterally continuous discontinuity or result from multiple unconnected features. Some reflectors are geographically near, and therefore may be associated with, subducted slabs, however the origin of the others is unclear. The 1000 km 'discontinuity' could potentially be explained by an increase in viscosity or density, such as a compositional difference in the mantle below this depth. We use an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the diversity in apparent slab stagnation behavior and which geophysical mechanisms prevent subduction into the lower mantle. The controlling factor may be a function of the slab itself, including subduction rate, trench rollback, composition, or temperature. Alternatively, bulk mantle properties may control slab penetration. We perform 2D and 3D numerical simulations to determine the influence of

  19. Slab replacement maturity guidelines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-04-01

    This study investigated the use of maturity method to determine early age strength of concrete in slab : replacement application. Specific objectives were (1) to evaluate effects of various factors on the compressive : maturity-strength relationship ...

  20. Alternate approach slab reinforcement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

    The upper mat of reinforcing steel, in exposed concrete bridge approach slabs, is prone to corrosion damage. Chlorides applied to the highways : for winter maintenance can penetrate this concrete layer. Eventually chlorides reach the steel and begin ...

  1. Seismic Constraints on Slab Interaction With the Transition Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lekic, V.; Reif, C.; Dziewonski, A. M.; Sheehan, A.; van Summeren, J.

    2006-12-01

    Over the past decade, seismic tomography has revealed that subducting lithospheric slabs interact with the transition zone in a variety of ways, directly penetrating into the lower mantle in some locations, while stagnating in others. Here, we present preliminary results of attempts to characterize and quantify the stagnation of slab material in the transition zone initiated at the 2006 Cooperative Institute for Deep Earth Research (CIDER) workshop. Providing seismic constraints on slab interaction with the transition zone is essential for verifying dynamic calculations that examine to what degree slabs are hindered from penetrating through the 660 km seismic discontinuity. First we compute the tomographic signature of an end-member mantle model in which 100 km thick slabs descend from the upper to lower mantle without deformation / stagnation in the transition zone. We then compare the amplitude of the predicted shear velocity anomaly with that observed in the most recent Scripps, Berkeley, Harvard, Caltech, and UT Austin global tomographic models. We find that in the western Pacific slab material is accumulating within the transition zone, while under South America, the slabs appear to enter the lower mantle unhindered. This accumulation of slab material in the transition zone indicates that some mechanism is temporarily delaying it from passing into the lower mantle. This finding is consistent with comparisons of power spectra of the observed models in and below the transition zone, which indicate that the pattern of seismic heterogeneity changes drastically across the 660 km discontinuity. Furthermore, the focal mechanisms of deep (>400 km) earthquakes from the Harvard Centroid Moment Tensor project provide a wealth of information on slab deformation within the transition zone. We have systematically compared the orientations of earthquake compressional axes to the slab orientations (as defined by the Wadati-Benioff zone) for all regions of deep seismicity. The

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arredondo, K.; Billen, M. I.

    2014-12-01

    Subduction zones exhibit a wide range of behavior, from slab stagnation at 660 km to direct penetration into the lower mantle. Due to uncertainties in the tectonic history of individual subduction zones, such as trench velocities, potential mechanisms for controlling slab behavior in the transition zone are explored using numerical models. Numerical simulations have utilized a range of assumptions to improve computational efficiency, such as ignoring latent heat, ignoring compositional effects or fixing the trench location: the net effect of these assumptions resulting modeled dynamics remains unclear. Additionally the eight major, composition-dependent, phase transitions for pyrolite, harzburgite and eclogite may be an important influence on subducting slab dynamics due to the additional forces that are dependent on depth and compositional layering within the slab (e.g., Ricard et al., 2005). With the goal of developing more complete, self-consistent, and less idealized simulations, we test the importance of various factors on slab behavior: the presence of shear, adiabatic and latent heating, compositional layering, composition-dependent phase transitions and explicit plate speeds versus dynamically evolving plate and trench velocities. Preliminary results indicate that individual components have a relatively minor effect, but produce large changes when combined together. The extent of slab folding and stagnation is overestimated by only modeling the 410 and 660 km phase transitions. Dynamic models with all seven composition-dependent phase transitions are very sensitive to the plate strength and weak zone viscosity, causing large changes in plate speed and slab detachment. Changes to the overriding plate buoyance and strength investigate the origin and influence of trench movement on slab deformation. These feedbacks and parameter-sensitive behavior indicate that the wide range of observed slab behavior may result from subtle differences in plate and plate

  3. The Opening of the Tyrrhenian Back-arc Basin and the Formation of New Oceanic Crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magni, V.

    2016-12-01

    The opening of the Tyrrhenian basin in the Central Mediterranean is a well-documented example of back-arc extension, which is characterized by short-lived episodes of fast spreading. We present results from three-dimensional numerical models of laterally varying subduction to explain the mechanism of back-arc basin opening and its episodic spreading behaviour. Moreover, we explore the consequences of this alternation between fast and slow episodes of extension on the production of new oceanic crust in the back-arc basin. Our results show that the presence of continental plates (i.e. Africa and Adria) nearby the oceanic subduction of the Ionian slab produces localised deformation within the overriding plate and it is, thus, crucial for the opening of the back-arc basin. During this process the trench retreating velocity dramatically increases for a few million of years. This is associated with an episode of intense melt production of the asthenosphere rising at the back-arc basin. Afterwards, the slab breaks off forming slab windows at the ocean/continent boundaries and causing a second pulse of fast extension. This is in very good agreement with what is observed in the Central Mediterranean, where two slab window formed: one in northern Africa around 12-10 Ma, and propagates laterally westward beneath Sicily until the Middle Pleistocene, and a second one beneath the Central Apennines in the Middle Pleistocene. Finally, these three-dimensional models are used to track the mantle flow throughout the model evolution and the source of the mantle melting at the spreading centre.

  4. Mechanical behaviour of the Oman metamorphic sole: rheology of amphibolites at lower crustal conditions during subduction initiation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    Amphibolites are commonly found in the middle to lower continental crust and along oceanic transform faults and detachments. Amphibolites are also the main component of metamorphic soles beneath highly strained peridotites at the base of large-scale ophiolites as exemplified in Oman. Metamorphic soles are crustal slivers stripped from the slab during early subduction and underplated below the upper plate (future ophiolite) mantle when the subduction interface is still young and warm (i.e. during the first million years -My- of intra-oceanic subduction). Understanding the rheological behaviour of amphibolitic rocks is therefore of major interest to model and quantify deformation and strain localisation in varied geodynamical environments. This contribution focuses on the deformation mechanisms of amphibole through a microstructural and petrological study of garnet-bearing and garnet-free clinopyroxene-bearing amphibolites, using EBSD analysis. The first aim is to test the influence of progres- sive changes in PT conditions during deformation and of the appearance/disappearance of anhydrous minerals (plagioclase, clinopyroxene and garnet) on the mechanical behaviour of mafic amphibolites. The second aim is to track deformation mechanisms during early subduction, through the study of these metamorphosed oceanic rocks, commonly 10-100 m thick, which range from high- to low-grade away from the contact with the peridotites (i.e. from 800 ± 100˚C - 0.9 ± 0.2 GPa to 500 ± 100˚C - 0.5 ± 0.1 GPa) and are essentially mafic at the top). Our study points out the existence of two major steps of deformation in the high-temperature amphibolite slices of the metamorphic soles during the early subdduction dynamics. These two steps witness important mechanical coupling and progressive strain localization at plate interface under cooling and hydrated conditions after subduction initiation. During the accretion of the first slice of metamorphic sole at 850 ± 50˚C (the garnet

  5. Softening trigerred by eclogitization, the first step toward exhumation during continental subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jolivet, Laurent; Raimbourg, Hugues; Labrousse, Loïc; Avigad, Dov; Leroy, Yves; Austrheim, Håkon; Andersen, Torgeir B.

    2005-09-01

    Direct observation of peak pressure deformation in exhumed subduction channels is difficult because little evidence of this deformation survives later syn-exhumation deformation. Most ultrahigh-pressure parageneses are found in continental derived metamorphic rocks making continental subduction the best context to observe peak pressure deformation. Whereas many studies have enlightened the main driving parameters of exhumation such as buoyancy forces, low viscosity in the subduction channel, overburden removal by erosion and normal faulting, a basic question is seldom considered: why is a tectonic unit disconnected from the descending lithosphere and why does it start its way towards the surface? This event, seminal to exhumation processes, must involve some deformation and decoupling of the exhumed slice from the descending slab at peak pressure conditions or close to it. Our field observations in the Bergen arc show that Caledonian eclogitization and later amphibolitization of a granulitic terrane was achieved with a consistent component of simple shear compatible with the sense of the Caledonian subduction. Thus, the sequence of deformation preserved in the Bergen Arc documents the decoupling of subducted crustal material from the descending slab at the onset of exhumation. This observation suggests that deformation in the subduction channel is largely controlled by kinematic boundary conditions, i.e. underthrusting of the subducting slab. In this context of simple shear, metamorphic reactions assisted by fracturating, fluid infiltration and ductile deformation lower the resistance of rocks and allow the localisation of shear zones and the decoupling of buoyant tectonic units from the subducting slab. These tectonic units can then be incorporated into the channel circulation and start their upward travel.

  6. 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 gradients are extremely sensitive to localized density contrasts within regional geological settings, which makes it ideally suited for detecting subduction zones. Second order gravity gradients of disturbing potential were extracted from global geopotential model, the fifth release GOCE model ‘EGM_TIM_RL05......’. In order to remove the signal which mainly corresponds to the gravity signal of the lower mantle, long wavelength part of the gravity signal was removed up to degree and order 60. Because the areas with notable topography differences coincide with subduction zones, topography correction was also performed...

  7. 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

  8. Recycled oceanic crust in the source of 90-40 Ma basalts in North and Northeast China: Evidence, provenance and significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yi-Gang

    2014-10-01

    Major, trace element and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic data of basalts emplaced during 90-40 Ma in the North and Northeast China are compiled in this review, with aims of constraining their petrogenesis, and by inference the evolution of the North China Craton during the late Cretaceous and early Cenozoic. Three major components are identified in magma source, including depleted component I and II, and an enriched component. The depleted component I, which is characterized by relatively low 87Sr/86Sr (1.1) and HIMU-like trace element characteristics, is most likely derived from gabbroic cumulate of the oceanic crust. The depleted component II, which distinguishes itself by its high εNd (∼8) and moderate 87Sr/86Sr (∼0.7038), is probably derived from a sub-lithospheric ambient mantle. The enriched component has low εNd (2-3), high 87Sr/86Sr (>0.7065), low 206Pb/204Pb (17), excess Sr, Rb, Ba and a deficiency of Zr and Hf relative to the REE. This component is likely from the basaltic portion of the oceanic crust, which is variably altered by seawater and contains minor sediments. Comparison with experimental melts and trace element modeling suggest that these recycled oceanic components may be in form of garnet pyroxenite/eclogite. These components are young (stagnated within the mantle transition zone, we propose that it ultimately comes from the subducted Pacific slab. Eu/Eu∗ and 87Sr/86Sr of the 90-40 Ma magmas increases and decreases, respectively, with decreasing emplacement age, mirroring a change in magma source from upper to lower parts of subducted oceanic crust. Such secular trends are created by dynamic melting of a heterogeneous mantle containing recycled oceanic crust. Due to different melting temperature of the upper and lower ocean crust and progressive thinning of the lithosphere, the more fertile basaltic crustal component is preferentially sampled during the early stage of volcanism, whereas the more depleted gabbroic lower crust and lithospheric mantle

  9. Neoarchean Subduction Recorded in the Northern Margin of the Yangtze Craton, South China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, S. B.; Zheng, Y. F.

    2016-12-01

    The Neoarchean is an important era during which plate tectonics began to operate widely on the earth and the continental crust compositions changed dramatically. However, reliable record of plate subduction has never been reported yet in the Yangtze Craton. Here we report geochemical studies on gneissic tonalite, trondhjemite and amphibolite in the Yudongzi Complex in the northern margin of the Yangtze Craton, which suggests that there is a plate subduction recorded in this area at about 2.7 Ga.The rocks in the Yudongzi Complex are gneissic granite, gneissic tonalite, amphibolite gneiss and magnetite quartzite. Most rocks are enriched in sodic. The gneissic granites show positive Eu anomalies, high (La/Yb)cn and Sr/Y ratios, low Ybcn and Y, resembling typical TTG. The amphibolite and tonalite gneiss show less fractionated REE patterns. SHRIMP zircon U-Pb dating on one gneissic trondhjemite, one amphibolite and one tonalite gave crystallization ages of 2667±21 Ma, 2701±10 Ma and 2697±9 Ma, respectively. They all recorded a metamorphic event at about 2.48 Ga. The SHRIMP zircon oxygen isotope analysis for a trondhjemite and an amphibolite gave δ18O values of 6.2±0.3‰ and 6.3±0.4‰, respectively. The oxygen isotope ratios higher than normal mantle values suggest a source experienced low temperature alteration. The laser fluoration analysis of bulk minerals gave δ18O values of 6.4-8.8‰ for zircon and 12.5-15.2‰ for quartz. The zircon Lu-Hf isotope analysis on the trondhjemite and amphibolite gave similar ɛHf(t) values of 0.08±0.48 and 0.07±0.63, respectively. Whole-rock ɛNd(t) values range from -1.5 to +1.0. These trondhjemite and tonalite can be interpreted as derivation from partial melting of subducted oceanic slab with a garnet-amphibolite residue.Considering the 2.67 Ga A-type granitic rocks at Huji in the interior of the craton, plate subduction took place in the northern edge of the Yangtze Craton. The Yudongzi trondhjemite and tonalite were

  10. Paleotethyan subduction process revealed from Triassic blueschists in the Lancang tectonic belt of Southwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Weiming; Wang, Yuejun; Zhang, Yanhua; Zhang, Yuzhi; Jourdan, Fred; Zi, Jianwei; Liu, Huichuan

    2015-11-01

    The subduction of the Paleotethyan Ocean and subsequent continental collision along the Lancang tectonic belt of the southeastern Paleotethyan belt is a major tectonic event in Southwest China, but the event of the subduction preceding the final collision is still not well-constrained. The mafic blueschists exposed in the Lancang accretionary complex provide crucial records of the Paleotethyan subduction process. In this paper, we present a set of new petrologic, geochronological and geochemical data for the Suyi mafic blueschists in the Lancang metamorphic zone. The mineral assemblage of these blueschists consists of zoned sodic amphibole (25-30%), albite (15-20%), epidote (25-30%), phengite (5-10%), chlorite (~ 5-10%), and minor amounts of actinolite, apatite, sphene, zircon, ilmenite, quartz and secondary limonite. This suggests a prograde metamorphism from ~ 0.5 to ~ 0.9 GPa and retrograde metamorphic overprinting (back to ~ 0.6 GPa) within the temperature range of 300-450 °C. The Suyi blueschists give a zircon U-Pb age of 260 ± 4 Ma and glaucophane minerals formed during prograde metamorphism yield a 40Ar/39Ar plateau age of 242 ± 5 Ma (MSWD = 0.77; P = 0.54). The blueschists have geochemical compositions of subalkaline basalt and show typical OIB-type REE and multi-elemental patterns and εNd(t) values ranging from + 3.35 to + 4.85. Based on available data, it is inferred that the protolith formed at 260 Ma and originated from a basaltic seamount. The basaltic rocks subducted down to 30-35 km depths beneath the Lincang arc to form the epidote blueschists at ~ 242 Ma. The blueschists were subsequently transported to shallower crustal levels in response to the continuous underthrust of the subducted slab and the continent-continent collision in the middle-late Triassic. These results provide a systematic constraint on the tectonic evolution and temporal framework of the southeastern Paleotethyan belt in Southwest China.

  11. 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

  12. Trench-parallel flow and seismic anisotropy in the Mariana and Andean subduction systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kneller, Erik A; van Keken, Peter E

    2007-12-20

    Shear-wave splitting measurements above the mantle wedge of the Mariana and southern Andean subduction zones show trench-parallel seismically fast directions close to the trench and abrupt rotations to trench-perpendicular anisotropy in the back arc. These patterns of seismic anisotropy may be caused by three-dimensional flow associated with along-strike variations in slab geometry. The Mariana and Andean subduction systems are associated with the largest along-strike variations of slab geometry observed on Earth and are ideal for testing the link between slab geometry and solid-state creep processes in the mantle. Here we show, with fully three-dimensional non-newtonian subduction zone models, that the strong curvature of the Mariana slab and the transition to shallow slab dip in the Southern Andes give rise to strong trench-parallel stretching in the warm-arc and warm-back-arc mantle and to abrupt rotations in stretching directions that are accompanied by strong trench-parallel stretching. These models show that the patterns of shear-wave splitting observed in the Mariana and southern Andean systems may be caused by significant three-dimensional flow induced by along-strike variations in slab geometry.

  13. Incorporating Cutting Edge Scientific Results from the Margins-Geoprisms Program into the Undergraduate Curriculum: The Subduction Factory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penniston-Dorland, S.; Stern, R. J.; Edwards, B. R.; Kincaid, C. R.

    2014-12-01

    The NSF-MARGINS Program funded a decade of research on continental margin processes. The NSF-GeoPRISMS Mini-lesson Project, funded by NSF-TUES, is designed to integrate fundamental results from the MARGINS program into open-source college-level curriculum. Three Subduction Factory (SubFac) mini-lessons were developed as part of this project. These include hands-on examinations of data sets representing 3 key components of the subduction zone system: 1) Heat transfer in the subducted slab; 2) Metamorphic processes happening at the plate interface; and 3) Typical magmatic products of arc systems above subduction zones. Module 1: "Slab Temperatures Control Melting in Subduction Zones, What Controls Slab Temperature?" allows students to work in groups using beads rolling down slopes as an analog for the mathematics of heat flow. Using this hands-on, exploration-based approach, students develop an intuition for the mathematics of heatflow and learn about heat conduction and advection in the subduction zone environment. Module 2: "Subduction zone metamorphism" introduces students to the metamorphic rocks that form as the subducted slab descends and the mineral reactions that characterize subduction-related metamorphism. This module includes a suite of metamorphic rocks available for instructors to use in a lab, and exercises in which students compare pressure-temperature estimates obtained from metamorphic rocks to predictions from thermal models. Module 3: "Central American Arc Volcanoes, Petrology and Geochemistry" introduces students to basic concepts in igneous petrology using the Central American volcanic arc, a MARGINS Subduction Factory focus site, as an example. The module relates data from two different volcanoes - basaltic Cerro Negro (Nicaragua) and andesitic Ilopango (El Salvador) including hand sample observations and major element geochemistry - to explore processes of mantle and crustal melting and differentiation in arc volcanism.

  14. 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.

  15. Molybdenum mobility and isotopic fractionation during subduction at the Mariana arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freymuth, Heye; Vils, Flurin; Willbold, Matthias; Taylor, Rex N.; Elliott, Tim

    2015-12-01

    -like mantle wedge. Thus we infer that the Pb and Mo budgets of the fluid component are dominated by contributions from the deeper, less altered (cooler) portion of the subducting Pacific crust. The high 98Mo/95Mo of this flux is likely caused by isotopic fractionation during dehydration and fluid flow in the slab. As a result, the residual mafic crust becomes isotopically lighter than the upper mantle from which it was derived. Our results suggest that the continental crust produced by arc magmatism should have an isotopically heavy Mo composition compared to the mantle, whilst a contribution of deep recycled oceanic crust to the sources of some ocean island basalts might be evident from an isotopically light Mo signature.

  16. Tottori earthquakes and Daisen volcano: Effects of fluids, slab melting and hot mantle upwelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Dapeng; Liu, Xin; Hua, Yuanyuan

    2018-03-01

    We investigate the 3-D seismic structure of source areas of the 6 October 2000 Western Tottori earthquake (M 7.3) and the 21 October 2016 Central Tottori earthquake (M 6.6) which occurred near the Daisen volcano in SW Japan. The two large events took place in a high-velocity zone in the upper crust, whereas low-velocity (low-V) and high Poisson's ratio (high-σ) anomalies are revealed in the lower crust and upper mantle. Low-frequency micro-earthquakes (M 0.0-2.1) occur in or around the low-V and high-σ zones, which reflect upward migration of magmatic fluids from the upper mantle to the crust under the Daisen volcano. The nucleation of the Tottori earthquakes may be affected by the ascending fluids. The flat subducting Philippine Sea (PHS) slab has a younger lithosphere age and so a higher temperature beneath the Daisen and Tottori area, facilitating the PHS slab melting. It is also possible that a PHS slab window has formed along the extinct Shikoku Basin spreading ridge beneath SW Japan, and mantle materials below the PHS slab may ascend to the shallow area through the slab window. These results suggest that the Daisen adakite magma was affected by the PHS slab melting and upwelling flow in the upper mantle above the subducting Pacific slab.

  17. Strain pattern of the Southern Tyrrhenian slab from moment tensors of deep earthquakes: implications on the down-dip velocity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Selvaggi

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available Seismic strain is analysed along the slab face of the Southern Tyrrhenian subduction zone using focal mechanisms of deep earthquakes which occurred in the period 1960-1998. Results show that the slab is mostly affected by down-dip shortening which strongly increases below 250 km depth. Extensional strain is mainly confined to the direction perpendicular to the slab face. The dominance of down-dip shortening and the minor along strike inplane extension implies thickening of the slab below 250 km depth. Assuming constant seismic efficiency along the slab, this strain pattern also implies a decrease of the down-dip velocity below 250 km depth. We also locate lower magnitude intermediate-depth and deep earthquakes using arrival times since 1985 available from the Italian seismic national network. These data show that the slab reaches the deeper part of the upper mantle, as suggested by the occurrence of a few ??600 km depth earthquakes, and that a large portion of the Tyrrhenian slab, between 100 and 250 km depth beneath the offshore of the Calabrian arc, is aseismic. Only a short part of the Tyrrhenian slab is seismically continuous from the top to the bottom. The lack of seismicity may indicate either that aseismic subduction is occurring or that the slab is detached from its upper part. Although the data are still inconclusive, they suggest that an aseismic subduction is the most appropriate interpretation, considering recent tomographic images of the slab and the results of this study, which agree well with the presence of a neutral down-dip stress zone, as also observed worldwide in deep slabs.

  18. Experimental constraints on the impact of slab dip, gaps and rollback on mantle wedge flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDougall, J. G.; Szwaja, S.; Kincaid, C. R.; Fischer, K. M.

    2012-12-01

    We conducted fluids experiments to better understand how subduction zone mantle flow and seismic anisotropy relate to slab dip variations, slab gaps, and retrograde trench motion. Subducting lithosphere was modeled with two rubber-reinforced continuous belts that pass around rollers at the trench and at the equivalent of 670 km depth; the advecting mantle was represented by an isoviscous glucose fluid. Each belt had a variable dip and speed, and trench rollback was modeled using translation of the belt system. Neutral density rotation markers ("whiskers") as well as beads and bubbles were used to track flow patterns; whiskers were also used as proxies for finite strain and were assumed to reflect the evolution of olivine fabrics and anisotropy. The dips of the two slab segments were systematically varied from 30° to 80° at subduction rates equivalent to 4 and 8 cm/yr, and in select cases trench rollback equivalent to 3 cm/yr was imposed. Reference cases with identical parameters for the two slab belts produced mantle wedge flow that reflected simple entrainment by the slab, with flow lines that were roughly trench-normal in much of the wedge, except for toroidal flow around the lateral edges of the slab. Dip variations between the slab segments deflected mantle wedge flow lines towards trench-parallel in the direction of the shallower slab, in agreement with prior numerical modeling studies. The degree of along-arc deflection increased as the slab dip difference grew. Deflection also increased as the absolute dip of the shallower-dipping segment decreased, as predicted by analytical estimates of trench-parallel pressure gradients (Hall et al., 2000). Whisker alignments showed the greatest evidence for extension and alignment of olivine a-axes that are sub-parallel to the trench in the mantle wedge close to the change in slab dip, consistent with the numerical models of Kneller and Van Keken (2007). The addition of trench rollback to a given set of experimental

  19. Late Triassic Batang Group arc volcanic rocks in the northeastern margin of Qiangtang terrane, northern Tibet: partial melting of juvenile crust and implications for Paleo-Tethys ocean subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Shao-Qing; Tan, Jun; Wei, Jun-Hao; Tian, Ning; Zhang, Dao-Han; Liang, Sheng-Nan; Chen, Jia-Jie

    2015-03-01

    The Batang Group (BTG) volcanic rocks in the Zhiduo area, with NW-trending outcrops along the northeastern margin of the Qiangtang terrane (northern Tibet), are mainly composed of volcaniclastic rocks, dacite and rhyolite. Major and trace element, Sr and Nd isotope, zircon U-Pb and Hf isotope data are presented for the BTG dacites. Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry zircon U-Pb dating constrains the timing of volcanic eruption as Late Triassic (221 ± 1 Ma). Major and trace element geochemistry shows that the BTG volcanic rocks are classified as calc-alkaline series. All samples are enriched in large-ion lithophile elements and light rare earth elements with negative-slightly positive Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu* = 0.47-1.15), and depleted in high field strength elements and heavy rare earth elements. In addition, these rocks possess less radiogenic Sr [(87Sr/86Sr) i = 0.7047-0.7078], much radiogenic Nd (ɛNd( t) = -4.2 to -1.3) and Hf (ɛHf( t) = 4.0-6.6) isotopes, suggesting that they probably originated from partial melting of a crustal source containing a mantle-derived juvenile component. The inferred magma was assimilated by crustal materials during ascending and experienced significant fractional crystallization. By combining previously published and the new data, we propose that the BTG volcanic rocks were genetically related to southwestward subduction of the Ganzi-Litang ocean (a branch of Paleo-Tethys) in the northeastern margin of the Qiangtang terrane. Given the coeval arc-affinity magmatic rocks in the region, we envisage that the Ganzi-Litang ocean may extend from the Zhongdian arc through the Yidun terrane to the Zhiduo area, probably even further northwest to the Tuotuohe area.

  20. Geoid anomalies in the vicinity of subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcadoo, D. C.

    1981-01-01

    In the considered investigation, attention is given to the line source model, a surface source model, an application of the model, and a model of the thermal lithosphere associated with marginal basins. It is found that undulations in the altimetrically observed geoid of the southwest Pacific are strongly controlled by positive density anomalies in the subducting slabs of the region and the effects of elevation of the geotherm in behind arc lithosphere (corresponding to young marginal basins). Finer details of slab geometry do not obviously manifest themselves in the observed geoid. Such gravitational effects are quite attenuated at sea level and are apparently mixed with crustal effects, oceanographic noise, etc. It appears that slabs in global composite may contribute substantially to intermediate and long wavelength portions (down to spherical harmonic degree 3 or 4) of the earth's gravity field.

  1. Slab remnants beneath the Baja California peninsula : Seismic constraints and tectonic implications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Paulssen, Hanneke; de Vos, Denise

    2017-01-01

    The formation of the Gulf of California has been related to the cessation of subduction of the Guadalupe and Magdalena microplates. Various studies have identified features that point to the presence of a slab remnant beneath the Baja California peninsula, but its depth range and lateral extent

  2. Splitting predictions for synthetic anisotropy models in the lowermost mantle beneath a slab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cottaar, S.; Li, M.; McNamara, A. K.; Romanowicz, B. A.; Wenk, H.

    2013-12-01

    In this multi-disciplinary study we test the complex seismic anisotropy resulting from deformation of a subducting slab onto the core-mantle boundary for different mineralogical compositions. Tracers in a 3D geodynamical model with a subducting slab track the velocity gradient tensor along the slab. This information is fed into a viscoplastic polycrystal plasticity model along with major mineral components and different assumptions for their active slip systems and elastic properties. We test models of perovskite and postperovskite, assuming different dominant slip systems. Next, we analyze the resulting radial anisotropy as well as shear wave splitting in directions along and across the slab. Postperovskite with a main slip plane of (001) results in consistent radial anisotropy for S waves (VSH>VSV), as well as an opposite signature in radial anisotropy for P waves. A main slip plane of (010) in postperovskite also results in consistent shear wave radial anisotropy, but is weaker in strength. Shear wave splitting with suitable crossing rays can further distinguish between these compositional models. The model with postperovskite with a main slip system along (001) shows strong variation in splitting parallel and orthogonal to the subducting slab, while other models show similar splitting.

  3. Stress field evolution above the Peruvian flat-slab (Cordillera Blanca, northern Peru)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margirier, A.; Audin, L.; Robert, X.; Pêcher, A.; Schwartz, S.

    2017-08-01

    In subduction settings, the tectonic regime of the overriding plate is closely related to the geometry of the subducting plate. Flat-slab segments are supposed to increase coupling at the plate interface in the Andes, resulting in an increase and eastward migration of the shortening in the overriding plate. Above the Peruvian flat-slab, a 200 km-long normal fault trend parallel to the range and delimits the western flank of the Cordillera Blanca. In a context of flat subduction, expected to produce shortening, the presence of the Cordillera Blanca normal fault (CBNF) is surprising. We performed a systematic inversion of striated fault planes in the Cordillera Blanca region to better characterize the stress field above the Peruvian flat-slab. It evidences the succession of different tectonic regimes. NE-SW extension is predominant in most of the sites indicating a regional extension. We suggest that the Peruvian flat-slab trigger extension in the Western Cordillera while the shortening migrated eastward. Finally, we propose that flat-slab segments do not increase the coupling at the trench neither the shortening in the overriding plate but only favor shortening migration backward. However, the stress field of the overriding plate arises from the evolution of plate interface properties through time due to bathymetric anomaly migration.

  4. 3D geodynamic models for the development of opposing continental subduction zones: The Hindu Kush-Pamir example

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Jie; Gerya, Taras; Thielmann, Marcel; Webb, A. Alexander G.; Kufner, Sofia-Katerina; Yin, An

    2017-12-01

    The development of opposing continental subduction zones remains scantly explored in three dimensions. The Hindu Kush-Pamir orogenic system at the western end of the Himalayan orogen provides a rare example of continental collision linked to two opposing intra-continental subduction zones. The subducted plates feature a peculiar 3D geometry consisting of two distinct lithospheric fragments with different polarities, subduction angles and slab-curvatures beneath the Hindu Kush and Pamir, respectively. Using 3D geodynamic modeling, we simulate possible development of two opposing continental subduction zones to understand the dynamic evolution of the Hindu Kush-Pamir orogenic system. Our geodynamic model reproduces the major tectonic elements observed: (1) the deeper subduction depth, the steeper dip angle and the southward offset of the Hindu Kush subduction zone relative to the Pamir naturally occur if convergence direction of the subducting Indian plate and dip-direction of the Hindu Kush subduction zone match. (2) The formation of the highly asymmetrically curved Pamir region and the south-dipping subduction is promoted by the initial geometry of the indenting Indian lithosphere together with the existence of a major strike-slip fault on the eastern margin of the Pamir region. (3) Subduction of only the lower continental crust during continental collision can occur if the coupling between upper and lower crusts is weak enough to allow a separation of these two components, and that (4) the subduction of mainly lower crust then facilitates that conditions for intermediate-depth seismicity can be reached. (5) The secondary tectonic features modeled here such as strike-slip-fault growth, north-northwest striking extension zone, and lateral flow of the thickened ductile upper crust are comparable to the current tectonics of the region. (6) Model results are further compared to the potentially similar orogenic system, i.e., the Alpine orogen, in terms of the curved

  5. Formation of mantle "lone plumes" in the global downwelling zone - A multiscale modelling of subduction-controlled plume generation beneath the South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Nan; Li, Zheng-Xiang

    2018-01-01

    It has been established that almost all known mantle plumes since the Mesozoic formed above the two lower mantle large low shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs). The Hainan plume is one of the rare exceptions in that instead of rising above the LLSVPs, it is located within the broad global mantle downwelling zone, therefore classified as a "lone plume". Here, we use the Hainan plume example to investigate the feasibility of such lone plumes being generated by subducting slabs in the mantle downwelling zone using 3D geodynamic modelling. Our geodynamic model has a high-resolution regional domain embedded in a relatively low resolution global domain, which is set up in an adaptive-mesh-refined, 3D mantle convection code ASPECT (Advanced Solver for Problems in Earth's ConvecTion). We use a recently published plate motion model to define the top mechanical boundary condition. Our modelling results suggest that cold slabs under the present-day Eurasia, formed from the Mesozoic subduction and closure of the Tethys oceans, have prevented deep mantle hot materials from moving to the South China Sea from regions north or west of the South China Sea. From the east side, the Western Pacific subduction systems started to promote the formation of a lower-mantle thermal-chemical pile in the vicinity of the future South China Sea region since 70 Ma ago. As the top of this lower-mantle thermal-chemical pile rises, it first moved to the west, and finally rested beneath the South China Sea. The presence of a thermochemical layer (possible the D″ layer) in the model helps stabilizing the plume root. Our modelling is the first implementation of multi-scale mesh in the regional model. It has been proved to be an effective way of modelling regional dynamics within a global plate motion and mantle dynamics background.

  6. The temporal evolution of a subducting plate in the lower mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  7. Reliability of Plastic Slabs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thoft-Christensen, Palle

    1989-01-01

    In the paper it is shown how upper and lower bounds for the reliability of plastic slabs can be determined. For the fundamental case it is shown that optimal bounds of a deterministic and a stochastic analysis are obtained on the basis of the same failure mechanisms and the same stress fields....

  8. Slab Leaf Bowls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suitor, Cheryl

    2012-01-01

    In science class, fourth graders investigate the structure of plants and leaves from trees and how the process of photosynthesis turns sunlight into sugar proteins. In this article, the author fuses art and science for a creative and successful clay slab project in her elementary art classroom. (Contains 1 online resource.)

  9. Seafloor tilt induced by ocean tidal loading inferred from broadband seismometer data from the Cascadia subduction zone and Juan de Fuca Ridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Earl E.; Heesemann, Martin; Lambert, Anthony; He, Jianheng

    2017-04-01

    Mass-balancing voltages from four buried broadband seismometers connected to the NEPTUNE Canada seafloor cable are being recorded at 24-bit resolution. Sites are located on the Vancouver Island continental shelf, the nearby Cascadia accretionary prism, the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge, and the western flank close to the Juan de Fuca Ridge axis. Tidal variations are present throughout the records. Variations in vertical acceleration at three of the sites match predicted gravitational attraction variations very well; those at the fourth site show a small residual that is probably caused by sensitivity to tilt resulting from sensor inclination. Horizontal accelerations, which at tidal periods are sensitive primarily to tilt, are anomalously large relative to standard-earth model results. After removal of predicted tidal body and ocean attraction and loading terms, the residuals are seen to follow ocean pressure variations. Responses range from 0.4 μrad dbar-1 (0.04 μrad kPa-1) at 10° true (down under positive load) at the continental shelf site, to 0.6 μrad dbar-1 at 243° at the Cascadia prism, 0.4 μrad dbar-1 at 90° at the eastern Juan de Fuca Ridge flank, and 0.2 μrad dbar-1 at 116° true on the western ridge flank. Except at the continental shelf site, tilts are roughly perpendicular to structural strike. The tilt observations can be explained by loading-induced deformation in the presence of local lithologic gradients or by the influence of faults or structurally controlled anisotropic elastic properties. The observations highlight the utility of using mass position data from force-feedback broad-band seismometers for geodynamic studies.

  10. The Impact of Surface Bending, A Complete Mineralogical Model and Movement of the Overriding Plate on Subduction Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arredondo, Katrina Marie

    Modern observations of subduction zones provide only snapshots of a complex geologic system that can last tens of millions of years. Surface velocity measurements and seismic tomography images provide information on the possible forces acting on the plate and influencing slab shape and behavior. Modern subduction zones exhibit a wide range of behavior, from the rapidly rolling back Tonga subduction zone (where the trench is moving toward the subducting plate) to stationary trenches to trench advance (where the trench is moving toward the overriding plate). Slabs may also stagnate at 660 km while others directly penetrate into the lower mantle. Numerical models can combine observations and laboratory data to test and study possible forces that may explain the wide variety of behavior observed in modern subduction zones. Past numerical model studies have not studied the impact on subduction zone behavior from: composition-dependent phase transitions, a complete mineralogical model and movement of the overriding plate. Here we show that: 1) weakening of the subducting plate can be observed from the forebulge to the trench using highly detailed bathymetry and gravity measurement tracks parallel to the trench, 2) using a complete mineralogy model is important for accurate numerical models because incomplete approximations may overestimate slab stagnation and slab rollback, 3) in free subduction models, the complete mineralogy model creates a strong feedback loop between broad slab folds and trench velocities, and 4) the movement of the overriding plate is very important for slab rollback. Results presented in Chapter 1 indicate that the rheology in the numerical models should produce weakening in the slab as it bends into the trench, which is observed in the models of Chapter 2 and 3. Past published models can be analyzed in relation to Chapter 2 and 3 to determine if their conclusions are skewed by an overestimation of slab stagnation or trench rollback. The presented

  11. Using glacial morphology to constrain the impact of the Chile active spreading ridge subduction in Central Patagonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scalabrino, B.; Ritz, J. F.; Lagabrielle, Y.

    2009-04-01

    The Central Patagonian Cordillera is a unique laboratory to study interaction between oceanic and continental lithospheres during the subduction of an active spreading ridge beneath a continent. The subduction of the South Chile spreading Ridge, which separates the Nazca plate from the Antarctic plate, started ca. 15-14 Ma at the southern tip of Patagonia (55°S latitude). The northwards migration of the Chile Triple Junction induces the subduction of several segments especially around 46°S latitude. There, three segments subducted at ca. 6, 3 and 0.3 Ma, leading to the formation of a large asthenospheric slab-window beneath Central Patagonia. Contemporaneously, the Central Patagonia reliefs are undergoing major glacial events since at least 7 Ma. These events are evidenced to the east of the Central Patagonian morphotectonic front within perched relict surfaces. Inset in these perched glacial surfaces are found mid-Pleistocene glacial valleys, as the Lake General Carrera-Buenos Aires amphitheatre (LGCBA), which formed between 1.1 Ma and 16 ka. We used the relationships between the glacial valleys and the volcanism associated with the asthenospheric slab-window to better constraints the structural evolution of the Patagonian Cordillera related to the subduction of the Chili active spreading Ridge. The present work focused within two well-preserved perched flat surfaces named Meseta del Lago Buenos Aires and Meseta del Cerro Galera: (i) The meseta del Lago Buenos Aires defines a plateau made of interbedded units of tills and lavas dated between 12 Ma and 3 Ma. The top surface of the meseta, ˜2000 meters high is dated at 3 Ma, and is shaped by four NE-SW trending glacial lobes characterized with kettles, lineations and moraines. The glacial valleys are beheaded westwards and define perched valleys 200 to 400 meters higher than the western Cordillera. This suggests recent vertical movement along N160 extensive/transtensive corridor located between the morphotectonic

  12. Inherited weaknesses control deformation in the flat slab region of Central Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, A.; Carrapa, B.; Larrovere, M.; Aciar, R. H.

    2015-12-01

    The Sierras Pampeanas region of west-central Argentina has long been considered a geologic type-area for flat-slab induced thick-skinned deformation. Frictional coupling between the horizontal subducting plate and South American lithosphere from ~12 Ma to the present provides an obvious causal mechanism for the basement block uplifts that characterize this region. New low temperature thermochronometry data show basement rocks from the central Sierras Pampeanas (~ longitude 66 ̊ W) including Sierras Cadena de Paiman, Velasco and Mazan retain a cooling history of Paleozoic - Mesozoic tectonics events. Results from this study indicate that less than 2 km of basement has been exhumed since at least the Mesozoic. These trends recorded by both apatite fission track (AFT) and apatite helium (AHe) thermochronometry suggest that recent Mio-Pliocene thick-skinned deformation associated with flat-slab subduction follow inherited zones of weakness from Paleozoic terrane sutures and shear zones and Mesozoic rifting. If a Cenozoic foreland basin exisited in this region, its thickness was minimal and was controlled by paleotopography. Pre-Cenozoic cooling ages in these ranges that now reach as high as 4 km imply significant exhumation of basement rocks before the advent of flat slab subduction in the mid-late Miocene. It also suggests that thick-skinned deformation associated with flat slab subduction may at least be facilitated by inherited crustal-scale weaknesses. At the most, pre-existing zones of weakness may be required in regions of thick-skinned deformation. Although flat-slab subduction plays an important role in the exhumation of the Sierras Pampeanas, it is likely not the sole mechanism responsible for thick-skinned deformation in this region. This insight sheds light on the interpretation of modern and ancient regions of thick-skinned deformation in Cordilleran systems.

  13. New perspective on the transition from flat to steeper subduction in Oaxaca, Mexico, based on seismicity, nonvolcanic tremor, and slow slip

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasola, Shannon; Brudzinski, Michael R.; Ghouse, Noorulann; Solada, Katharine; Sit, Stefany; Cabral-Cano, Enrique; Arciniega-Ceballos, Alejandra; Kelly, Nicholas; Jensen, Kevin

    2016-03-01

    We examine the along-strike transition from flat to steeper subduction in Oaxaca, Mexico, to provide a better understanding of what controls the slab morphology. Prior studies have suggested the slab tends to tear along the transitions in dip as the slab rolls back. We determine the slab geometry based on local seismicity, nonvolcanic tremor (NVT), and slow slip utilizing a deployment of broadband seismometers and continuous GPS receivers distributed in and around Oaxaca. We construct depth contours of the subducting slab surface down to 100 km, which illustrate that the transition from flat to steeper subduction occurs rapidly via a sharper flexure than previously recognized. The prior catalog of NVT in Oaxaca is extended using the same method and additional stations that extend further west. The band of NVT follows the new slab contours, widening toward the west with the downdip extent gradually moving inland. The amount of NVT also correlates with the strength of an ultraslow-velocity layer. There are no gaps in seismicity, NVT, or slow slip across the rapid transition in slab dip, further supporting the notion that the slab is not currently torn in the updip region. We propose that the sharp flexure is possible in this region due to bending moment saturation that leads to greater curvature in both the downdip and along-strike directions. A similar set of observations in southern Peru suggests this is a viable alternative to tearing that accommodates the large strains from variable rates of slab rollback.

  14. MORB to supra-subduction geochemical transition in the extrusive sequences of major upper Cretaceous ophiolites of Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babaie, H. A.; Khalatbari Jafari, M.; Moslempour, M. E.

    2014-12-01

    We discuss the geochemical patterns and tectonomagmatic setting of the extrusive sequences in the Khoy, Kermanshah, Fannuj, Nosratabad, Dehshir, south and north Fariman, and Sabzevar ophiolite massifs of Iran. These sequences include pillow lava, sheet flow, hyaloclastite, hyaloclastic breccia, and interbeds of chert and pelagic limestone with Late Cretaceous micro fauna. The Khoy, north Fariman, and Sabzevar massifs also include Late Cretaceous-Early Paleocene supra-ophiolitic volcanic and volcano-sedimentary rocks that formed in a trough near the extrusive sequence. The Khoy pillow lava displays T-MORB characteristics but no chemical contribution from the components released from the subducted slab. On the other hand, the diabase dikes that cut the Khoy extrusive sequence show signatures of subduction zone magmatism and contribution from the melt released through the partial melting of the subducted slab. While lava in the Harsin (Kermanshah) extrusive sequence in west Iran displays E-MORB and P-MORB characteristics, the pillows in the Fannuj, north Fariman, Dehshir, and Sabzevar extrusive sequences indicate the contribution of both fluids and melt from the subducted slab. The Nosratabad and south Fariman ophiolites also show evidence for either melt or fluids, respectively. Partial melting of the subducted slab sedimentary cover may have formed the acidic pillow lava and sheet flow in the Fannuj and Nosratabad extrusive sequence, respectively. Some pillows in the Nosratabad, Sabzevar, north Fariman, and to a lesser extent, Dehshir extrusive sequence display the OIB geochemical characteristics. Mantle plumes or asthenospheric flow that probably moved up through weak zones of the subducted slab may have affected the partial melting of the mantle wedge above the slab. The combined OIB and supra-subduction characteristics suggest the role of the roll-back of the subducted slab in the magmatism of the northeast Iranian ophiolites. The clear MORB-like geochemical

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  16. Slab geometry of the South American margin from joint inversion of body waves and surface waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porritt, R. W.; Ward, K. M.; Porter, R. C.; Portner, D. E.; Lynner, C.; Beck, S. L.; Zandt, G.

    2016-12-01

    The western margin of South America is a long subduction zone with a complex, highly three -dimensional geometry. The first order structure of the slab has previously been inferred from seismicity patterns and locations of volcanoes, but confirmation of the slab geometry by seismic imaging for the entire margin has been limited by either shallow, lithospheric scale models or broader, upper mantle images, often defined on a limited spatial footprint. Here, we present new teleseismic tomographic SV seismic models of the upper mantle from 10°S to 40°S along the South American subduction zone with resolution to a depth of 1000 km as inferred from checkerboard tests. In regions near the Peru Bolivia border (12°S to 18°S) and near central Chile and western Argentina (29.5°S to 33°S) we jointly invert the multi-band direct S and SKS relative delay times with Rayleigh wave phase velocities from ambient noise and teleseismic surface wave tomography. This self-consistent model provides information from the upper crust to below the mantle transition zone along the western margin in these two regions. This consistency allows tracing the slab from the South American coastline to the sub-transition zone upper mantle. From this model we image several features, but most notable is a significant eastward step near the southern edge of the margin (24°-30° S). West of this step, a large high shear velocity body is imaged in the base of and below the transition zone. We suggest this may be a stagnant slab, which is descending into the lower mantle now that it is no longer attached to the surface. This suggests a new component to the subduction history of western South America when an older slab lead the convergence before anchoring in the transition zone, breaking off from the surface, and being overtaken by the modern, actively subducting slab now located further east.

  17. P-wave tomography of subduction zones around the central Philippines and its geodynamic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Jianke; Zhao, Dapeng; Dong, Dongdong; Zhang, Guangxu

    2017-09-01

    High-resolution tomographic images are obtained by inverting a large number of arrival-time data of local earthquakes and teleseismic events to depict the 3-D crustal and upper mantle structure beneath the central Philippines. Our tomographic results show that the subducted South China Sea slab beneath the southern segment of the Manila Trench steepens and tears, resulting in migration of the locus of active volcanism in the Macolod Corridor, due to the collision between the Palawan microcontinental block and the Philippine Mobile Belt. The subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate along the Philippine Trench started at 10-12°N or south of 12°N, the central part of the trench, from at least ∼10 Ma estimated from our tomographic images. Our results reveal clearly a high-velocity anomaly in and around the mantle transition zone, which is interpreted as the subducted Proto South China Sea slab that sinks deeper southeastward, being well consistent with geological results that the age of collision between the Palawan microcontinental block and the Philippine Mobile Belt becomes younger from the south to the north. This collision zone can be divided into northern and southern segments, demarcated by the salient point of the collision zone, which is probably the boundary between the South China Sea slab and the Proto South China Sea slab, and may be ascribed to the complete consumption of the two slabs.

  18. Subduction induced mantle flow: Length-scales and orientation of the toroidal cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Király, Ágnes; Capitanio, Fabio A.; Funiciello, Francesca; Faccenna, Claudio

    2017-12-01

    Subduction-induced mantle circulation plays an important role in the dynamics of convergent margins. Different components of the flow, i.e. toroidal and poloidal, provide relevant driving forces for back-arc basin formation, overriding plate deformation, curvature of subduction zones and volcanic activity. Here, we investigate on the emergence and controls on the toroidal component of the subduction-induced mantle flow by means of numerical modeling. To characterize the toroidal cell's three-dimensional flow, size and length-scales and its disposing factors, we test separately a series of lithospheric and mantle parameters, such as the density difference and viscosity ratio between the slab and the mantle, the width of the slab, as opposed to the size, the stratification and the rheology of the mantle. Out of the tested parameters, the numerical results show that the strength of the flow depends on the mantle viscosity and the magnitude of the slab pull force, that is slab-mantle density difference and the mantle thickness, however the characteristic length, axis and the shape of the toroidal cell are almost independent of the slab's properties and mainly depend on the thickness of the convecting mantle.

  19. From continental to oceanic rifting in the Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, Luca; Bonini, Marco; Martín, Arturo

    2017-11-01

    The continental margin of northwestern Mexico is the youngest example of the transition from a convergent plate boundary to an oblique divergent margin that formed the Gulf of California rift. Subduction of the Farallon oceanic plate during the Cenozoic progressively brought the East Pacific Rise (EPR) toward the North America trench. In this process increasingly younger and buoyant oceanic lithosphere entered the subduction zone until subduction ended just before most of the EPR could collide with the North America continental lithosphere. The EPR segments bounding the unsubducted parts of the Farallón plate remnants (Guadalupe and Magdalena microplates) also ceased spreading (Lonsdale, 1991) and a belt of the North American plate (California and Baja California Peninsula) became coupled with the Pacific Plate and started moving northwestward forming the modern Gulf of California oblique rift (Nicholson et al., 1994; Bohannon and Parsons, 1995). The timing of the change from plate convergence to oblique divergence off western Mexico has been constrained at the middle Miocene (15-12.5 Ma) by ocean floor morphology and magnetic anomalies as well as plate tectonic reconstructions (Atwater and Severinghaus, 1989; Stock and Hodges, 1989; Lonsdale, 1991), although the onset of transtensional deformation and the amount of right lateral displacement within the Gulf region are still being studied (Oskin et al., 2001; Fletcher et al., 2007; Bennett and Oskin, 2014). Other aspects of the formation of the Gulf of California remain not well understood. At present the Gulf of California straddles the transition from continental transtension in the north to oceanic spreading in the south. Seismic reflection-refraction data indicate asymmetric continent-ocean transition across conjugate margins of rift segments (González-Fernández et al., 2005; Lizarralde et al., 2007; Miller and Lizarralde, 2013; Martín-Barajas et al., 2013). The asymmetry may be related to crustal

  20. Imaging the slab structure in the Alpine region by high-resolution P-wave tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillot, Stéphane; Zhao, Liang; Paul, Anne; Malusà, Marco G.; Xu, Xiaobing; Zheng, Tianyu; Solarino, stefano; Schwartz, Stéphane; Dumont, Thierry; Salimbeni, Simone; Aubert, Coralie; Pondrelli, Silvia; Wang, Qingchen; Zhu, Rixiang

    2017-04-01

    Based upon a finite-frequency inversion of traveltimes, we computed a new high-resolution tomography model using P-wave data from 527 broadband seismic stations, both from permanent networks and temporary experiments (Zhao et al., 2016). This model provides an improved image of the slab structure in the Alpine region, and fundamental pin-points for the analysis of Cenozoic magmatism, (U)HP metamorphism and Alpine topography. Our results document the lateral continuity of the European slab from the Western to the Central Alps, and the down-dip slab continuity beneath the Central Alps, ruling out the hypothesis of slab breakoff to explain Cenozoic Alpine magmatism. A low velocity anomaly is observed in the upper mantle beneath the core of the Western Alps, pointing to dynamic topography effects (Malusà et al., this meeting). A NE-dipping Adriatic slab, consistent with Dinaric subduction, is possibly observed beneath the Eastern Alps, whereas the laterally continuous Adriatic slab of the Northern Apennines shows major gaps at the boundary with the Southern Apennines, and becomes near vertical in the Alps-Apennines transition zone. Tear faults accommodating opposite-dipping subductions during Alpine convergence may represent reactivated lithospheric faults inherited from Tethyan extension. Our results suggest that the interpretations of previous tomography results that include successive slab breakoffs along the Alpine-Zagros-Himalaya orogenic belt might be proficiently reconsidered. Malusà M.G. et alii (2017) On the potential asthenospheric linkage between Apenninic slab rollback and Alpine topographic uplift: insights from P wave tomography and seismic anisotropy analysis. EGU 2017. Zhao L. et alii (2016), Continuity of the Alpine slab unraveled by high-resolution P wave tomography. J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1002/2016JB013310.

  1. The subduction zone flow field from seismic anisotropy: a global view.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Maureen D; Silver, Paul G

    2008-01-18

    Although the morphologies of subducting slabs have been relatively well characterized, the character of the mantle flow field that accompanies subduction remains poorly understood. To analyze this pattern of flow, we compiled observations of seismic anisotropy, as manifested by shear wave splitting. Data from 13 subduction zones reveal systematic variations in both mantle-wedge and subslab anisotropy with the magnitude of trench migration velocity |V(t)|. These variations can be explained by flow along the strike of the trench induced by trench motion. This flow dominates beneath the slab, where its magnitude scales with |V(t)|. In the mantle wedge, this flow interacts with classical corner flow produced by the convergence velocity V(c); their relative influence is governed by the relative magnitude of |V(t)| and V(c).

  2. Constraining the Rate of Water-Releasing Metamorphic Reactions in Subduction Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehl, L. Y.; Barkman, J. E.; Baxter, E. F.

    2006-12-01

    Metamorphic reactions in subduction zones have implications for the timing and depth over which water is released from subducting lithologies. Water release is related to the densification of the slab, the fluxing of arc magmatism, and seismogenesis. Garnet-forming reactions frequently involve the release of water. In order to quantify the rate at which water is produced during the P-T-t interval represented by garnet growth, we seek to constrain the rate and duration of garnet formation. Garnets in blueschists were collected from Sifnos, Greece. This island is in an accretionary wedge setting where the Apulian microplate subducted beneath the Eurasia plate from late Cretaceous to Eocene times. Peak metamorphic conditions were certainly less than 600 C and 2.0 GPa [1]. Blueschists from this subduction zone are preserved in the northern part of Sifnos; we collected most of our samples from Vroulidia Bay. This locality was chosen because large garnets (5-10mm) are preserved in many lithologies. Also, the peak temperatures determined by previous workers indicates that the garnet has remained closed to diffusive re-equilibration of Nd permitting the use of Sm/Nd geochronology to constrain prograde reaction history. Samples taken from Vroulidia Bay are fresh, with compositions that likely include mafic oceanic protoliths. Common assemblages include glaucophane, epidote, garnet, zoisite, quartz, phengite, partially replaced titanite, and rutile, as well as patches of carbonate and rare chlorite. The garnets sampled are dominantly almandine but also include a grossular component. Possible garnet-forming reactions in the Sifnos rocks may include: Chlorite + quartz = Almandine + H2O where the consumption of Fe-rich chlorite forms the almandine and releases water. The break down of Ca-rich clinozoisite, lawsonite, and/or titanite could contribute to the grossular component. Using the Sm/Nd isochron method, microsampled cores and rims of garnets may be directly dated. The

  3. 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.

  4. Zinc isotope evidence for sulfate-rich fluid transfer across subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pons, Marie-Laure; Debret, Baptiste; Bouilhol, Pierre; Delacour, Adélie; Williams, Helen

    2016-12-01

    Subduction zones modulate the chemical evolution of the Earth's mantle. Water and volatile elements in the slab are released as fluids into the mantle wedge and this process is widely considered to result in the oxidation of the sub-arc mantle. However, the chemical composition and speciation of these fluids, which is critical for the mobility of economically important elements, remain poorly constrained. Sulfur has the potential to act both as oxidizing agent and transport medium. Here we use zinc stable isotopes (δ66Zn) in subducted Alpine serpentinites to decipher the chemical properties of slab-derived fluids. We show that the progressive decrease in δ66Zn with metamorphic grade is correlated with a decrease in sulfur content. As existing theoretical work predicts that Zn-SO42- complexes preferentially incorporate heavy δ66Zn, our results provide strong evidence for the release of oxidized, sulfate-rich, slab serpentinite-derived fluids to the mantle wedge.

  5. Zinc isotope evidence for sulfate-rich fluid transfer across subduction zones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pons, Marie-Laure; Debret, Baptiste; Bouilhol, Pierre; Delacour, Adélie; Williams, Helen

    2016-12-16

    Subduction zones modulate the chemical evolution of the Earth's mantle. Water and volatile elements in the slab are released as fluids into the mantle wedge and this process is widely considered to result in the oxidation of the sub-arc mantle. However, the chemical composition and speciation of these fluids, which is critical for the mobility of economically important elements, remain poorly constrained. Sulfur has the potential to act both as oxidizing agent and transport medium. Here we use zinc stable isotopes (δ(66)Zn) in subducted Alpine serpentinites to decipher the chemical properties of slab-derived fluids. We show that the progressive decrease in δ(66)Zn with metamorphic grade is correlated with a decrease in sulfur content. As existing theoretical work predicts that Zn-SO4(2-) complexes preferentially incorporate heavy δ(66)Zn, our results provide strong evidence for the release of oxidized, sulfate-rich, slab serpentinite-derived fluids to the mantle wedge.

  6. The dynamical control of subduction parameters on surface topography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crameri, F.; Lithgow-Bertelloni, C. R.; Tackley, P. J.

    2017-04-01

    The long-wavelength surface deflection of Earth's outermost rocky shell is mainly controlled by large-scale dynamic processes like isostasy or mantle flow. The largest topographic amplitudes are therefore observed at plate boundaries due to the presence of large thermal heterogeneities and strong tectonic forces. Distinct vertical surface deflections are particularly apparent at convergent plate boundaries mostly due to the convergence and asymmetric sinking of the plates. Having a mantle convection model with a free surface that is able to reproduce both realistic single-sided subduction and long-wavelength surface topography self-consistently, we are now able to better investigate this interaction. We separate the topographic signal into distinct features and quantify the individual topographic contribution of several controlling subduction parameters. Results are diagnosed by splitting the topographic signal into isostatic and residual components, and by considering various physical aspects like viscous dissipation during plate bending. Performing several systematic suites of experiments, we are then able to quantify the topographic impact of the buoyancy, rheology, and geometry of the subduction-zone system to each and every topographic feature at a subduction zone and to provide corresponding scaling laws. We identify slab dip and, slightly less importantly, slab buoyancy as the major agents controlling surface topography at subduction zones on Earth. Only the island-arc high and the back-arc depression extent are mainly controlled by plate strength. Overall, his modeling study sets the basis to better constrain deep-seated mantle structures and their physical properties via the observed surface topography on present-day Earth and back through time.

  7. Key role of Upper Mantle rocks in Alpine type orogens: some speculations derived from extensional settings for subduction zone processes and mountain roots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müntener, Othmar

    2016-04-01

    Orogenic architecture and mountain roots are intrinsically related. Understanding mountain roots largely depends on geophysical methods and exhumed high pressure and high temperature rocks that might record snapshots of the temporal evolution at elevated pressure, temperatures and/or fluid pulses. If such high pressure rocks represent ophiolitic material they are commonly interpreted as exhumed remnants of some sort of 'mid-ocean ridge' processes. Mantle peridotites and their serpentinized counterparts thus play a key role in understanding orogenic architecture as they are often considered to track suture zones or ancient plate boundaries. The recognition that some mantle peridotites and their serpentinized counterparts are derived from ocean-continent transition zones (OCT's) or non-steady state (ultra-)slow plate separation systems question a series of 'common beliefs' that have been applied to understand Alpine-type collisional orogens in the framework of the ophiolite concept. Among these are: (i) the commonly held assumption of a simple genetic link between mantle melting and mafic (MORB-type) magmatism, (ii) the commonly held assumption that mélange zones represent deep subduction zone processes at the plate interface, (iii) that pre-collisional continental crust and oceanic crust can easily be reconstructed to their original thickness and used for reconstructions of the size of small subducted oceanic basins as geophysical data from rifted margins increasingly indicate that continental crust is thinned to much less than the average 30-35 kilometers over a large area that might be called the 'zone of hyperextension', and (iv) the lack of a continuous sheet of mafic oceanic crust and the extremely short time interval of formation results in a lack of 'eclogitization potential' during convergence and hence a lack of potential for subsequent slab pull and, perhaps, a lack of potential for 'slab-breakoff'. Here we provide a synopsis of mantle rocks from the

  8. Influence of Peruvian flat-subduction dynamics on the evolution of western Amazonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eakin, Caroline M.; Lithgow-Bertelloni, Carolina; Dávila, Federico M.

    2014-10-01

    Convection in the Earth's mantle is mainly driven by cold, dense subducting slabs, but relatively little is known about how 3D variations in slab morphology and buoyancy affect mantle flow or how the surface above deforms in response (i.e. dynamic topography). We investigate this problem by studying the dynamics of an active region of flat-slab subduction located in Peru in South America. Here the slab geometry is well known, based on the regional seismicity, and we have observations from the local geological record to validate our models. Of particular interest is the widespread subsidence and deposition of the Solimões Formation across western Amazonia that coincided with the development of the Peruvian flat-slab during the Mid-Late Miocene. This formation covers an extensive area from the foredeep to the Purus Arch located ∼ 2000km away from the trench. Close to the Andes the preservation of several kilometers of sedimentary thicknesses can be easily accounted for by flexure. Based on an estimate of the Andean loading we predict 2.8 to 3.6 km of accommodation space that spans 100 km. The spatial and temporal history of the Solimões Formation however, particularly the thick distal foreland accumulations up to 1.2 km deep, can only be matched with the addition of a longer-wavelength dynamic source of topography. Following the transition from normal to flat subduction, we predict over 1 km of dynamic subsidence (∼ 1500km wide) that propagates over 1000 km away from the trench, tracking the subduction leading edge. This is followed by a pulse of dynamic uplift over the flat segment behind it. We therefore propose that a combination of uplift, flexure and dynamic topography during slab flattening in Peru is responsible for the sedimentation history and landscape evolution of western Amazonia that eventually led to the configuration of the Amazon Drainage Basin we know today.

  9. Contrasting sediment melt and fluid signatures for magma components in the Aeolian Arc: Implications for numerical modeling of subduction systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamboni, Denis; Gazel, Esteban; Ryan, Jeffrey G.; Cannatelli, Claudia; Lucchi, Federico; Atlas, Zachary D.; Trela, Jarek; Mazza, Sarah E.; De Vivo, Benedetto

    2016-06-01

    The complex geodynamic evolution of Aeolian Arc in the southern Tyrrhenian Sea resulted in melts with some of the most pronounced along the arc geochemical variation in incompatible trace elements and radiogenic isotopes worldwide, likely reflecting variations in arc magma source components. Here we elucidate the effects of subducted components on magma sources along different sections of the Aeolian Arc by evaluating systematics of elements depleted in the upper mantle but enriched in the subducting slab, focusing on a new set of B, Be, As, and Li measurements. Based on our new results, we suggest that both hydrous fluids and silicate melts were involved in element transport from the subducting slab to the mantle wedge. Hydrous fluids strongly influence the chemical composition of lavas in the central arc (Salina) while a melt component from subducted sediments probably plays a key role in metasomatic reactions in the mantle wedge below the peripheral islands (Stromboli). We also noted similarities in subducting components between the Aeolian Archipelago, the Phlegrean Fields, and other volcanic arcs/arc segments around the world (e.g., Sunda, Cascades, Mexican Volcanic Belt). We suggest that the presence of melt components in all these locations resulted from an increase in the mantle wedge temperature by inflow of hot asthenospheric material from tears/windows in the slab or from around the edges of the sinking slab.

  10. Jurassic arc volcanism on Crimea (Ukraine): Implications for the paleo-subduction zone configuration of the Black Sea region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meijers, M. J. M.; Vrouwe, B.; van Hinsbergen, D. J. J.; Kuiper, K. F.; Wijbrans, J.; Davies, G. R.; Stephenson, R. A.; Kaymakcı, N.; Matenco, L.; Saintot, A.

    2010-10-01

    The early Cretaceous and younger opening of the Black Sea has obliterated much of the older record of Tethyan subduction below southeastern Europe. The earlier Mesozoic evolution was dominated by opening and closure of Tethyan oceans between Gondwana and Laurasia with their consumption, at least in part, accommodated along the southern Eurasian margin. Crimea (Ukraine), a peninsula in the northern Black Sea, represents the northernmost region of southeastern Europe that exposes a record of a pre-Cretaceous Tethyan active margin. To shed new light on the paleosubduction zone configuration of the southeastern European margin in the Jurassic, we report 40Ar/ 39Ar isotope dating on 10 samples and whole rock geochemistry on 31 samples from supposedly Jurassic magmatic rocks from the Crimean peninsula. The samples can be subdivided into two age groups: middle Jurassic (~ 172-158 Ma) and uppermost Jurassic to lowermost Cretaceous (~ 151-142 Ma), that both have a subduction-related geochemical signature. The ages of the younger group are in conflict with previously assigned biostratigraphic ages of the units under- and overlying the volcanic complex. This might suggest a scenario where the latter were juxtaposed by faulting. We argue that the Crimean volcanics represent a fragment of a volcanic arc overlying the southeastern European continental margin. These data therefore provide evidence for Jurassic northwards subduction below the Eurasian margin, preceding the opening of the Black Sea as a back-arc basin. We argue that the corresponding Jurassic trench was already positioned south of the Turkish Pontides and the Caucasus belt, implying a very shallow slab angle in the Jurassic.

  11. The Atlas of the Underworld: a catalogue of slab remnants in the mantle imaged by seismic tomography, and their geological interpretation

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Meer, Douwe; van Hinsbergen, Douwe; Spakman, Wim

    2017-04-01

    Seismic tomography has provided a breakthrough in the analysis of plate tectonic history by allowing to trace now-subducted, ancient lithosphere in the Earth's mantle, where they appear as large positive seismic wave-speed anomalies. Subduction also leaves a geological record that allows for dating the geological period of active subduction. By combining these sources of information, we previously compiled 28 lower-mantle slab remnants and estimated for the timing of onset and end of subduction of these slabs, from which we derived a first-order sinking rate of slabs through the mantle (van der Meer et al., 2010). This constraint on lower mantle slab sinking rates allowed for the development of the first slab mantle reference frame, and was used to constrain of mantle viscosity. Since that first compilation, the plate tectonic and seismological community has made major progress on linking geological history to mantle structure. Slabs were linked to plate tectonic models at regional scale, contributed to understanding of orogenies at local level, and was recently even used as a novel basis for plate kinematic restorations. When analyses were expanded into the Pacific realm it improved our understanding of the presence of seismic scatterers in the sub-Pacific mantle and Pacific LLSVP topography. Expanding the tomographic analysis to a global, whole-mantle scale has led to the calculation of total lateral slab lengths, which was used to calculated corresponding subduction zone lengths through time that provided constraints for plate tectonic activity over the past 235 Myr impacting atmospheric CO2 and providing insights in the link between strontium isotope curves and global sea level. Encouraged by the direct and indirect results of our previous work, we have expanded our analysis to nearly 100 mantle images throughout the upper and lower mantle, which we correlate to 94 subduction systems active in the past 300 Myr. We provide our geological interpretation of these

  12. Constraints of mapped and unfolded slabs on Oligocene to present-day Western Mediterranean plate reconstructions: potential role of north Iberia continental delamination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yi-Te; Wu, Jonny; Wu, Yi-Min; Suppe, John; Sibuet, Jean-Claude; Chevrot, Sebastien

    2015-04-01

    Seismic tomographic images of subducted lithospheric remnants under the western Mediterranean have provided new constraints for Oligocene to present-day plate reconstructions. In this study, we mapped slabs under the western Mediterranean and Iberia from regional seismic tomography (Chevrot et al., 2014; Bezada et al., 2013) and from MITP08 global tomography (Li et al., 2008). A newly developed method was used to unfold (ie. structurally restore) the mapped slabs to a model spherical Earth surface, minimizing area and shape distortion. Slab constraints were input into plate tectonic reconstructions using Gplates software. Our mapping confirms the existence of western Mediterranean slabs including the Betic-Alboran, Algerian, and Calabrian slabs that were previously identified by Spakman and Wortel (2004). When unfolded these mapped slabs fit together in an Oligocene plate reconstruction, within tomographic resolution limits. Slab stretching was not required. Slab segmentation supports the existence of a North Balearic transform. Here we emphasize the potential importance for western Mediterranean tectonics of antoher slab under Iberia that we call the 'mid-Iberia slab'. This slab was first identified by Sibuet et al. (2004) and interpreted to be a Neotethyan suture. We have mapped this slab in detail from recent regional tomography (Chevrot et al., 2014). Our mapped slab is sub-vertical and strikes E-W under the southern margins of the Duero and Ebro basins. We newly interpret this slab to be delaminated northern Iberian continental lithosphere. We propose that continental delamination occurred during the Oligocene and produced uplifted Iberian Meseta topography, internally-drained basins, and high mean elevations that still persist today. We show how Oligocene northern Iberian continental delamination could have initiated subduction and rollback of the western Mediterranean

  13. The “ophiolite rule”, chemostratigraphy of Teythan-type ophiolites and subduction initiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whattam, S. A.; Stern, R. J.

    2009-12-01

    with these observations and detailed trace element chemistry characteristics. We interpret the normal ophiolite chemostratigraphy as described above to indicate that asthenospheric sources were systematically depleted and progressively metasomatized as the ophiolite formed. The model entails the decompression melting of a fertile, lherzolitic source and eruption of the lower MOR-like lavas in the earliest stages of subduction initiation; at this stage contribution of fluids from the sinking slab is small. Decompression melting of the asthenosphere leaves a depleted, OPX-rich source that is progressively metasomatized by slab-derived fluids; partial melting of increasingly depleted harzburgitic residue results in the production of VAB-like lavas and associated rocks of the upper unit and the latest stage dikes. Furthermore, the fact that many Neo-Teythan ophiolites display no affiliation with an evolved magmatic arc suggests formation in association with a narrow ocean basin, where subduction to ~100 km (needed to form a magmatic arc) did not occur prior to ophiolite emplacement.

  14. Fast intraslab fluid-flow events linked to pulses of high pore fluid pressure at the subducted plate interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taetz, Stephan; John, Timm; Bröcker, Michael; Spandler, Carl; Stracke, Andreas

    2018-01-01

    A better understanding of the subduction zone fluid cycle and its chemical-mechanical feedback requires in-depth knowledge about how fluids flow within and out of descending slabs. Relicts of fluid-flow systems in exhumed rocks of fossil subduction zones allow for identification of the general relationships between dehydration reactions, fluid pathway formation, the dimensions and timescales of distinct fluid flow events; all of which are required for quantitative models for fluid-induced subduction zone processes. Two types of garnet-quartz-phengite veins can be distinguished in an eclogite-facies mélange block from the Pouébo Eclogite Mélange, New Caledonia. These veins record synmetamorphic internal fluid release by mineral breakdown reactions (type I veins), and infiltration of an external fluid (type II veins) with the associated formation of a reaction selvage. The dehydration and fluid migration documented by the type I veins likely occurred on a timescale of 105-106 years, based on average subduction rates and metamorphic conditions required for mineral dehydration and fluid flow. The timeframe of fluid-rock interaction between the external fluid and the wall-rock of the type II veins is quantified using a continuous bulk-rock Li-diffusion profile perpendicular to a vein and its metasomatic selvage. Differences in Li concentration between the internal and external fluid reservoirs resulted in a distinct diffusion profile (decreasing Li concentration and increasing δ7 Li) as the reaction front propagated into the host rock. Li-chronometric constraints indicate that the timescales of fluid-rock interaction associated with type II vein formation are on the order of 1 to 4 months (0.150-0.08+0.14 years). The short-lived, pulse-like character of this process is consistent with the notion that fluid flow caused by oceanic crust dehydration at the blueschist-to-eclogite transition contributes to or even dominates episodic pore fluid pressure increases at the

  15. The Run-Up of Subduction Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riquelme, S.; Bravo, F. J.; Fuentes, M.; Matias, M.; Medina, M.

    2016-12-01

    Large earthquakes in subduction zones are liable to produce tsunamis that can cause destruction and fatalities. The Run-up is a geophysical parameter that quantifies damage and if critical facilities or population are exposed to. Here we use the coupling for certain subduction regions measured by different techniques (Potency and GPS observations) to define areas where large earthquakes can occur. Taking the slab 1.0 from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), we can define the geometry of the area including its tsunamigenic potential. By using stochastic earthquakes sources for each area with its maximum tsunamigenic potential, we calculate the numerical and analytical run-up for each case. Then, we perform a statistical analysis and calculate the envelope fo