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Sample records for subducted plate beneath

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Crustal structure and configuration of the subducting Philippine Sea plate beneath the Pacific coast industrial zone in Japan inferred from receiver function analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igarashi, T.; Iidaka, T.; Sakai, S.; Hirata, N.

    2012-12-01

    We apply receiver function (RF) analyses to estimate the crustal structure and configuration of the subducting Philippine Sea (PHS) plate beneath the Pacific coast industrial zone stretching from Tokyo to Fukuoka in Japan. Destructive earthquakes often occurred at the plate interface of the PHS plate, and seismic activities increase after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake (Mw9.0) around the Tokyo metropolitan area. Investigation on the crustal structure is the key to understanding the stress concentration and strain accumulation process, and information on configuration of the subducting plate is important to mitigate future earthquake disasters. In this study, we searched for the best-correlated velocity structure model between an observed receiver function at each station and synthetic ones by using a grid search method. Synthetic RFs were calculated from many assumed one-dimensional velocity structures that consist of four layers with positive velocity steps. Observed receiver functions were stacked without considering back azimuth or epicentral distance. We further constructed the vertical cross-sections of depth-converted RF images transformed the lapse time of time series to depth by using the estimated structure models. Telemetric seismographic network data covered on the Japanese Islands including the Metropolitan Seismic Observation network, which constructed under the Special Project for Earthquake Disaster Mitigation in the Tokyo Metropolitan area and maintained by Special Project for Reducing Vulnerability for Urban Mega Earthquake Disasters, are used. We selected events with magnitudes greater or equal to 5.0 and epicentral distance between 30 and 90 degrees based on USGS catalogues. As a result, we clarify spatial distributions of the crustal S-wave velocities. Estimated average one-dimensional S-wave velocity structure is approximately equal to the JMA2011 structural model although the velocity from the ground surface to 5 km in depth is slow. In particular

  5. Early Jurassic calc-alkaline magmatism in northeast China: Magmatic response to subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate beneath the Eurasian continent

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brandt, Frederik Ejvang

    , minerals, fluid and melt inclusions from the Payenia backarc province of the Andean Southern Volcanic Zone. Major emphasis has been on olivine hosted melt inclusions. The study gives evidence for the role of fluids in the metasomatism of the backarc mantle, and outlines the trend of the variation...... of the metasomatism in Payenia, which is also characterized by a variation in oxidation state and other geochemical parameters of the melt inclusions, and is moreover related to mantle lithological variations. The mantle metasomatism by melts of subducted crust and fluid-borne enrichment is quantitatively modelled......, the origin of Chlorine is explained via slab-derived fluids, and the contrast between backarc and frontal arc magmas is discussed. These results add to the understanding of the origin of the complexities in the mantle wedge under arc-backarc in a subduction zone which has transition to flat slab conditions...

  7. 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...

  8. Nonuniform subduction of the Indian crust beneath the Himalayas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xiaoyu; Li, Wenhui; Gao, Rui; Xu, Xiao; Li, Hongqiang; Huang, Xingfu; Ye, Zhuo; Lu, Zhanwu; Klemperer, Simon L

    2017-10-02

    Himalayan tectonic activity is triggered by downward penetration of the Indian plate beneath the Asian plate. The subsurface geometry of this interaction has not been fully investigated. This study presents novel constraints on this geometry provided by two newly obtained, deep seismic reflection profiles. The profiles cover 100- and 60-km transects across the Yarlung-Zangbo suture of the Himalaya-Tibet orogen at c. 88°E. Both profiles show a crustal-scale outline of the subducting Indian crust. This outline clearly shows Indian understhrusting southern Tibet, but only to a limited degree. When combined with a third seismic reflection profile of the western Himalayas, the new profiles reveal progressive, eastward steepening and shortening in the horizontal advance of the subducting Indian crust.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-04-24

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

  19. Tomographic Inversion for Shear Velocity Beneath the North American Plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grand, Stephen P.

    1987-12-01

    A tomographic back projection scheme has been applied to S and SS travel times to invert for shear velocity below the North American plate. The data range in distance from 8° to 80°, and a total of 3923 arrival times were used. First arrivals were measured directly off the seismograms, while the arrival times of later arrivals were found by a waveform correlation technique using synthetic seismograms. The starting model was laterally heterogeneous in the upper 400 km to account for the first-order differences in ray paths already known. The model was divided into blocks with horizontal dimensions of 500 km by 500 km and varying vertical thicknesses. Good resolution was obtained for structure from just below the crust to about 1700 km depth in the mantle. In the upper mantle a high-velocity root was found directly beneath the Canadian shield to about 400 km depth with the Superior province having the highest velocity and deepest root. The east coast of the United States was found to have intermediate velocities from 100 to 350 km depth and the western United States the slowest velocities at these depths. Below 400 km depth the most significant structure found is a slab-shaped high-velocity anomaly from the eastern Carribean to the northern United States. Beneath the Carribean this anomaly is almost vertical and extends from about 700 km to 1700 km depth. Further to the north, the anomaly dips to the east with high velocities at 700 km depth in the central United States and high velocities below 1100 km depth beneath the east coast. The anomaly is about 1% in magnitude. This lower-mantle anomaly may be associated with past subduction of the Farallon plate beneath North America.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Three-dimensional dynamic laboratory models of subduction with an overriding plate and variable interplate rheology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

    Subduction zones are complex 3-D features in which one tectonic plate sinks underneath another into the deep mantle. During subduction the overriding plate (OP) remains in physical contact with the subducting plate and stresses generated at the subduction zone interface and by mantle flowforce the

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Investigation of mantle kinematics beneath the Hellenic-subduction zone with teleseismic direct shear waves

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currie, C. A.; Beaumont, C.

    2009-05-01

    The origin of deep-seated magmatism (in particular, kimberlites and lamproites) within continental plate interiors remains enigmatic in the context of plate tectonic theory. One hypothesis proposes a relationship between kimberlite occurrence and lithospheric subduction, such that a subducting plate releases fluids below a continental craton, triggering melting of the deep lithosphere and magmatism (Sharp, 1974; McCandless, 1999). This study provides a quantitative evaluation of this hypothesis, focusing on the Late Cretaceous- Eocene (105-50 Ma) kimberlites and lamproites of western North America. These magmas were emplaced along a corridor of Archean and Proterozoic lithosphere, 1000-1500 km inboard of the plate margin separating the subducting Farallon Plate and continental North America Plate. Kimberlite-lamproite magmatism coincides with tectonic events, including the Laramide orogeny, shut-down of the Sierra Nevada arc, and eastward migration of volcanism, that are commonly attributed to a change in Farallon Plate geometry to a shallow-angle trajectory (1999; Sharp, W.E., Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., v.21, pp.351-354, 1974.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Arcay

    2012-12-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. A plate tectonics oddity: Caterpillar-walk exhumation of subducted continental crust

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tirel, C.; Brun, J.-P.; Burov, E.; Wortel, M.J.R.; Lebedev, S.

    2013-01-01

    Since plate tectonics began on Earth, grandiose "subduction factories" have continually shaped the continents, accreting continental blocks and new crust at the convergent plate boundaries. An enigmatic product of subduction factories is the high-pressure to ultrahigh-pressure (HP-UHP) metamorphic

  19. 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

  20. Modeling of slow slip events and their interaction with large earthquakes along the subduction interfaces beneath Guerrero and Oaxaca, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. P-wave tomography of Northeast Asia: Constraints on the western Pacific plate subduction and mantle dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Jincheng; Tian, You; Liu, Cai; Zhao, Dapeng; Feng, Xuan; Zhu, Hongxiang

    2018-01-01

    A high-resolution model of 3-D P-wave velocity structure beneath Northeast Asia and adjacent regions is determined by using 244,180 arrival times of 14,163 local and regional earthquakes and 319,857 relative travel-time residuals of 9988 teleseismic events recorded at ∼2100 seismic stations in the study region. Our tomographic results reveal the subducting Pacific slab clearly as a prominent high-velocity anomaly from the Japan Trench to the North-South Gravity lineament (NSGL) in East China. The NSGL is roughly coincident with the western edge of the stagnant Pacific slab in the mantle transition zone (MTZ). The subducting Pacific slab has partly sunk into the lower mantle beneath Northeast China, but under the Sino-Korean Craton the slab lies horizontally in the MTZ. The NSGL, as an important tectonic line in Mainland China, is marked by sharp differences in the surface topography, gravity anomaly, crustal and lithospheric thickness and mantle seismic velocity from the east to the west. These features of the NSGL and large-scale hot and wet upwelling in the big mantle wedge (BMW) in the east of the NSGL are all related to the subduction processes of the Western Pacific plate. The Changbai intraplate volcanic group is underlain by a striking low-velocity anomaly from the upper MTZ and the BMW up to the surface, and deep earthquakes (410-650 km depths) occur actively in the subducting Pacific slab to the east of the Changbai volcano. We propose that the Changbai volcanic group is caused by upwelling of hot and wet asthenospheric materials and active convection in the BMW. The formation of other volcanic groups in the east of the NSGL is also associated with the subduction-driven corner flow in the BMW.

  3. Kinematics of subduction and plate convergence under Taiwan and its geomorphic, geodetic and seismic expressions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suppe, J.; Carena, S.; Kanda, R. V.; Wu, Y.; Huang, H.; Wu, J. E.

    2013-12-01

    Deciphering the kinematics of ongoing subduction and rapid plate convergence under Taiwan is neither trivial nor straightforward. A 3D synthesis of diverse constraints is required, for example tomography, geodesy, tectonic geomorphology, stress inversion, and Philippine Sea plate motions. Eurasian-Philippine Sea plate convergence is ~90mm/y in a mildly oblique 300° azimuth relative to the ~NS nearly vertically subducting Eurasian mantle lithosphere which extends to ~500km depth. If all the current plate convergence were consumed in subduction of Eurasian mantle, the subduction flexural hinge would migrate westward at ~80mm/y, which is fast relative to the ~30mm/y long-term slip rate on the Taiwan main detachment that represents the Eurasian subduction interface under the Taiwan Central Mountains. If this fast simple subduction were occurring, subduction would too quickly outrun the mountain belt in conflict with data. Instead we estimate that subduction of Eurasian lithosphere is proceeding at ~50mm/y with the remaining ~40mm/y convergence at a lithospheric level consumed by secondary subduction above and to the east of the main plate interface. This secondary subduction is largely transient deformation that is most obvious under the Coastal Range, which represents the deforming western margin of the Philippine Sea plate during the last ~1-1.5 Ma. The thrust faults of the Coastal Range function as subduction faults with the long-term net motion of their footwalls moving largely down relative to their only slowly uplifting hanging walls, with a net secondary subduction of ~40-50km in the last ~1-1.5Ma as estimated from seismic tomography and other data. In addition we find evidence for ongoing subduction of the eastern Central Mountains of Taiwan. The crest of the mountains coincides with the western edge of the migrating plate flexure, a band of extensional geodetic strain coincides with the flexure, and an extensional stress state in the upper 5-10km coincides

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartolome, R.; Gorriz, E.; Danobeitia, J.; Barba, D. C., Sr.; Martí, D.; L Cameselle, A.; Nuñez-Cornu, F. J.; Bandy, W. L.; Mortera, C.; Nunez, D.; Alonso, J. L.; Castellon, A.; Prada, M.

    2016-12-01

    During the TSUJAL marine geophysical survey, conducted in February and March 2014 Spanish, Mexican and British scientists and technicians explored the western margin of Mexico, considered one of the most active seismic zones in America. This work aims to characterize the internal structure of the subduction zone of the Rivera plate beneath the North American plate in the offshore part of the Jalisco Block, to link the geodynamic and the recent tectonic deformation occurring there with the possible generation of tsunamis and earthquakes. For this purpose, it has been carried out acquisition, processing and geological interpretation of a multichannel seismic reflection profile running perpendicular to the margin. Crustal images show an oceanic domain, dominated by subduction-accretion along the lower slope of the margin with a subparallel sediment thickness of up to 1.6 s two way travel time (approx. 2 km) in the Middle American Trench. Further, from these data the region appears to be prone to giant earthquake production. The top of the oceanic crust (intraplate reflector) is very well imaged. It is almost continuous along the profile with a gentle dip (<10°); however, it is disrupted by normal faulting resulting from the bending of the plate during subduction. The continental crust presents a well-developed accretionary prism consisting of highly deformed sediments with prominent slumping towards the trench that may be the result of past tsunamis. Also, a Bottom Simulating Reflector (BSR) is identified in the first half a second (twtt) of the section. High amplitude reflections at around 7-8 s twtt clearly image a discontinuous Moho, defining a very gentle dipping subduction plane.

  6. Investigating the Subduction History of the Southwest Pacific using Coupled Plate Tectonic-Mantle Convection Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, K. J.; Flament, N. E.; Williams, S.; Müller, D.; Gurnis, M.

    2014-12-01

    The Late Cretaceous to mid Eocene (~85-45 Ma) evolution of the southwest Pacific has been the subject of starkly contrasting plate reconstruction models, reflecting sparse and ambiguous data. Disparate models of (1) west-dipping subduction and back-arc basin opening to the east of the Lord Howe Rise, (2) east-dipping subduction and back-arc basin closure to the east of the Lord Howe Rise, and (3) tectonic quiescence with no subduction have all been proposed for this time frame. To help resolve this long-standing problem we test a new southwest Pacific reconstruction using global mantle flow models with imposed plate motions. The kinematic model incorporates east to northeast directed rollback of a west-dipping subduction zone between 85 and 55 Ma, accommodating opening of the South Loyalty back-arc basin to the east of New Caledonia. At 55 Ma there is a plate boundary reorganization in the region. West-dipping subduction and back-arc basin spreading end, and there is initiation of northeast dipping subduction within the back-arc basin. Consumption of South Loyalty Basin seafloor continues until 45 Ma, when obduction onto New Caledonia begins. West-dipping Tonga-Kermadec subduction initiates at this time at the relict Late Cretaceous-earliest Eocene subduction boundary. We use the 3D spherical mantle convection code CitcomS coupled to the plate reconstruction software GPlates, with plate motions and evolving plate boundaries imposed since 230 Ma. The predicted present-day mantle structure is compared to S- and P-wave seismic tomography models, which can be used to infer the presence of slab material in the mantle at locations where fast velocity anomalies are imaged. This workflow enables us to assess the forward-modeled subduction history of the region.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Plate coupling across the northern Manila subduction zone deduced from mantle lithosphere buoyancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Chung-Liang; Doo, Wen-Bin; Kuo-Chen, Hao; Hsu, Shu-Kun

    2017-12-01

    The Manila subduction zone is located at the plate boundary where the Philippine Sea plate (PSP) moves northwestward toward the Eurasian plate (EU) with a high convergence rate. However, historically, no large earthquakes greater than Mw7 have been observed across the northern Manila subduction zone. The poorly understood plate interaction between these two plates in this region creates significant issues for evaluating the seismic hazard. Therefore, the variation of mantle lithospheric buoyancy is calculated to evaluate the plate coupling status across the northern Manila subduction zone, based on recently published forward gravity modeling constrained by the results of the P-wave seismic crustal structure of the TAIGER (Taiwan Integrated Geodynamic Research) project. The results indicate weak plate coupling between the PSP and EU, which could be related to the release of the overriding PSP from the descending EU's dragging force, which was deduced from the higher elevation of the Luzon arc and the fore-arc basin northward toward the Taiwan orogen. Moreover, serpentinized peridotite is present above the plate boundary and is distributed more widely and thickly closer to offshore southern Taiwan orogen. We suggest that low plate coupling may facilitate the uplifting of serpentinized mantle material up to the plate boundary.

  10. Stress rotation across the Cascadia megathrust requires a weak subduction plate boundary at seismogenic depths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Duo; McGuire, Jeffrey J.; Liu, Yajing; Hardebeck, Jeanne L.

    2018-01-01

    The Mendocino Triple Junction region is the most seismically active part of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The northward moving Pacific plate collides with the subducting Gorda plate causing intense internal deformation within it. Here we show that the stress field rotates rapidly with depth across the thrust interface from a strike-slip regime within the subducting plate, reflecting the Pacific plate collision, to a thrust regime in the overriding plate. We utilize a dense focal mechanism dataset, including observations from the Cascadia Initiative ocean bottom seismograph experiment, to constrain the stress orientations. To quantify the implications of this rotation for the strength of the plate boundary, we designed an inversion that solves for the absolute stress tensors in a three-layer model subject to assumptions about the strength of the subducting mantle. Our results indicate that the shear stress on the plate boundary fault is likely no more than about ∼50 MPa at ∼20 km depth. Regardless of the assumed mantle strength, we infer a relatively weak megathrust fault with an effective friction coefficient of ∼0 to 0.2 at seismogenic depths. Such a low value for the effective friction coefficient requires a combination of high fluid pressures and/or fault-zone minerals with low inherent friction in the region where a great earthquake is expected in Cascadia.

  11. Stress rotation across the Cascadia megathrust requires a weak subduction plate boundary at seismogenic depths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Duo; McGuire, Jeffrey J.; Liu, Yajing; Hardebeck, Jeanne L.

    2018-03-01

    The Mendocino Triple Junction region is the most seismically active part of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The northward moving Pacific plate collides with the subducting Gorda plate causing intense internal deformation within it. Here we show that the stress field rotates rapidly with depth across the thrust interface from a strike-slip regime within the subducting plate, reflecting the Pacific plate collision, to a thrust regime in the overriding plate. We utilize a dense focal mechanism dataset, including observations from the Cascadia Initiative ocean bottom seismograph experiment, to constrain the stress orientations. To quantify the implications of this rotation for the strength of the plate boundary, we designed an inversion that solves for the absolute stress tensors in a three-layer model subject to assumptions about the strength of the subducting mantle. Our results indicate that the shear stress on the plate boundary fault is likely no more than about ∼50 MPa at ∼20 km depth. Regardless of the assumed mantle strength, we infer a relatively weak megathrust fault with an effective friction coefficient of ∼0 to 0.2 at seismogenic depths. Such a low value for the effective friction coefficient requires a combination of high fluid pressures and/or fault-zone minerals with low inherent friction in the region where a great earthquake is expected in Cascadia.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Tan, Eh

    2012-10-01

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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  15. SubductionGenerator: A program to build three-dimensional plate configurations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jadamec, M. A.; Kreylos, O.; Billen, M. I.; Turcotte, D. L.; Knepley, M.

    2016-12-01

    Geologic, geochemical, and geophysical data from subduction zones indicate that a two-dimensional paradigm for plate tectonic boundaries is no longer adequate to explain the observations. Many open source software packages exist to simulate the viscous flow of the Earth, such as the dynamics of subduction. However, there are few open source programs that generate the three-dimensional model input. We present an open source software program, SubductionGenerator, that constructs the three-dimensional initial thermal structure and plate boundary structure. A 3D model mesh and tectonic configuration are constructed based on a user specified model domain, slab surface, seafloor age grid file, and shear zone surface. The initial 3D thermal structure for the plates and mantle within the model domain is then constructed using a series of libraries within the code that use a half-space cooling model, plate cooling model, and smoothing functions. The code maps the initial 3D thermal structure and the 3D plate interface onto the mesh nodes using a series of libraries including a k-d tree to increase efficiency. In this way, complicated geometries and multiple plates with variable thickness can be built onto a multi-resolution finite element mesh with a 3D thermal structure and 3D isotropic shear zones oriented at any angle with respect to the grid. SubductionGenerator is aimed at model set-ups more representative of the earth, which can be particularly challenging to construct. Examples include subduction zones where the physical attributes vary in space, such as slab dip and temperature, and overriding plate temperature and thickness. Thus, the program can been used to construct initial tectonic configurations for triple junctions and plate boundary corners.

  16. Nitrogen recycling at the Costa Rican subduction zone: The role of incoming plate structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hyunwoo; Fischer, Tobias P; de Moor, J Maarten; Sharp, Zachary D; Takahata, Naoto; Sano, Yuji

    2017-10-24

    Efficient recycling of subducted sedimentary nitrogen (N) back to the atmosphere through arc volcanism has been advocated for the Central America margin while at other locations mass balance considerations and N contents of high pressure metamorphic rocks imply massive addition of subducted N to the mantle and past the zones of arc magma generation. Here, we report new results of N isotope compositions with gas chemistry and noble gas compositions of forearc and arc front springs in Costa Rica to show that the structure of the incoming plate has a profound effect on the extent of N subduction into the mantle. N isotope compositions of emitted arc gases (9-11 N°) imply less subducted pelagic sediment contribution compared to farther north. The N isotope compositions (δ(15)N = -4.4 to 1.6‰) of forearc springs at 9-11 N° are consistent with previously reported values in volcanic centers (δ(15)N = -3.0 to 1.9‰). We advocate that subduction erosion enhanced by abundant seamount subduction at 9-11 N° introduces overlying forearc crustal materials into the Costa Rican subduction zone, releasing fluids with lighter N isotope signatures. This process supports the recycling of heavier N into the deep mantle in this section of the Central America margin.

  17. 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

  18. Earthquake Directivity, Orientation, and Stress Drop Within the Subducting Plate at the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abercrombie, Rachel E.; Poli, Piero; Bannister, Stephen

    2017-12-01

    We develop an approach to calculate earthquake source directivity and rupture velocity for small earthquakes, using the whole source time function rather than just an estimate of the duration. We apply the method to an aftershock sequence within the subducting plate beneath North Island, New Zealand, and investigate its resolution. We use closely located, highly correlated empirical Green's function (EGF) events to obtain source time functions (STFs) for this well-recorded sequence. We stack the STFs from multiple EGFs at each station, to improve the stability of the STFs. Eleven earthquakes (M 3.3-4.5) have sufficient azimuthal coverage, and both P and S STFs, to investigate directivity. The time axis of each STF in turn is stretched to find the maximum correlation between all pairs of stations. We then invert for the orientation and rupture velocity of both unilateral and bilateral line sources that best match the observations. We determine whether they are distinguishable and investigate the effects of limited frequency bandwidth. Rupture orientations are resolvable for eight earthquakes, seven of which are predominantly unilateral, and all are consistent with rupture on planes similar to the main shock fault plane. Purely unilateral rupture is rarely distinguishable from asymmetric bilateral rupture, despite a good station distribution. Synthetic testing shows that rupture velocity is the least well-resolved parameter; estimates decrease with loss of high-frequency energy, and measurements are best considered minimum values. We see no correlation between rupture velocity and stress drop, and spatial stress drop variation cannot be explained as an artifact of varying rupture velocity.

  19. Subduction of the Caribbean Plate and Basement Uplifts in the Overriding South American Plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellogg, J. N.; Bonini, W. E.

    1982-06-01

    The new tectonic interpretations presented in this paper are based on geologic field mapping and gravity data supplemented by well logs, seismic profiles, and radiometric and earthquake data. The present Caribbean-South American plate boundary is the South Caribbean marginal fault, where subduction is indicated by folding and thrusting in the deformed belt and a seismic zone that dips 30° to the southeast and terminates 200 km below the Maracaibo Basin. The Caribbean-South American convergence rate is estimated as 1.9 ± 0.3 cm/yr on the basis of the 390-km length of the seismic zone and a thermal equilibration time of 10 m.y. The Caribbean-South American convergence has produced a northwest-southeast maximum principal stress direction σ1 in the overriding South American plate. The mean σ1 direction for the Maracaibo-Santa Marta block is 310° ± 10° based on earthquake focal mechanism determinations, and structural and gravity data. On the overriding South American plate, basement blocks have been uplifted 7-12 km in the last 10 m.y. to form the Venezuelan Andes, Sierra de Perija, and the Colombian Santa Marta massif. Crystalline basement of the Venezuelan Andes has been thrust to the northwest over Tertiary sediments on a fault dipping about 25° and extending to the mantle. In the Sierra de Perija, Mesozoic sediments have been thrust 16-26 km to the northwest over Tertiary sandstones along the Cerrejon fault. A thrust fault dipping 15° ± 10° to the southeast is consistent with field mapping, and gravity and density data. The Santa Marta massif has been uplifted 12 km in the last 10 m.y. by northwest thrusting over sediments. The basement block overthrusts of the Perijas, Venezuelan Andes, and the Santa Marta massif are Pliocene-Pleistocene analogs for Laramide orogenic structures in the middle and southern Rocky Mountains of the United States. The nonmagmatic basement block uplifts along low-angle thrust faults reveal horizontal compression in the

  20. Dynamics of subduction and continental collision: Influence of the nature of the plate contact. Geologica Ultraiectina (284)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Franco, R.

    2008-01-01

    At convergent plate boundaries, the properties of the actual plate contact are important for the overall dynamics. Convergent plate boundaries both mechanically decouple and link tectonic plates and accommodate large amounts of strain. We investigate two fundamental physical states of the subduction

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W. P.; Spakman, W.

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W.P.; Spakman, W.

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Subduction controls the distribution and fragmentation of Earth’s tectonic plates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallard, Claire; Coltice, Nicolas; Seton, Maria; Müller, R Dietmar; Tackley, Paul J

    2016-07-07

    The theory of plate tectonics describes how the surface of Earth is split into an organized jigsaw of seven large plates of similar sizes and a population of smaller plates whose areas follow a fractal distribution. The reconstruction of global tectonics during the past 200 million years suggests that this layout is probably a long-term feature of Earth, but the forces governing it are unknown. Previous studies, primarily based on the statistical properties of plate distributions, were unable to resolve how the size of the plates is determined by the properties of the lithosphere and the underlying mantle convection. Here we demonstrate that the plate layout of Earth is produced by a dynamic feedback between mantle convection and the strength of the lithosphere. Using three-dimensional spherical models of mantle convection that self-consistently produce the plate size–frequency distribution observed for Earth, we show that subduction geometry drives the tectonic fragmentation that generates plates. The spacing between the slabs controls the layout of large plates, and the stresses caused by the bending of trenches break plates into smaller fragments. Our results explain why the fast evolution in small back-arc plates reflects the marked changes in plate motions during times of major reorganizations. Our study opens the way to using convection simulations with plate-like behaviour to unravel how global tectonics and mantle convection are dynamically connected.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Subduction of lower continental crust beneath the Pamir imaged by receiver functions from the seismological TIPAGE network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, F. M.; Yuan, X.; Schurr, B.; Mechie, J.; Sippl, C.; Kufner, S.; Haberland, C. A.; Minaev, V.; Oimahmadov, I.; Gadoev, M.; Abdybachaev, U.; Orunbaev, S.

    2013-12-01

    As the northwestern promontory of the Tibetan Plateau, the Pamir forms an outstanding part of the India-Asia convergence zone. The Pamir plateau has an average elevation of more than 4000 m surrounded by peaks exceeding 7000 m at its northern, eastern and southern borders. The Pamir is thought to consist of the same collage of continental terranes as Tibet. However, in this region the Indian-Asian continental collision presents an extreme situation since, compared to Tibet, in the Pamir a similar amount of north-south convergence has been accommodated within a much smaller distance. The Pamir hosts a zone of intermediate depth earthquakes being the seismic imprint of Earth's most spectacular active intra-continental subduction zone. We present receiver function (RF) images from the TIPAGE seismic profile giving evidence that the intermediate depth seismicity is situated within a subducted layer of lower continental crust: We observe a southerly dipping 10-15 km thick low-velocity zone (LVZ), that starts from the base of the crust and extends to a depth of more than 150 km enveloping the intermediate depth earthquakes that have been located with high precision from our local network records. In a second northwest to southeast cross section we observe that towards the western Pamir the dip direction of the LVZ bends to the southeast following the geometry of the intermediate depth seismic zone. Our observations imply that the complete arcuate intermediate depth seismic zone beneath the Pamir traces a slab of subducting Eurasian continental lower crust. These observations provide important implications for the geodynamics of continental collision: First, it shows that under extreme conditions lower crust can be brought to mantle depths despite its buoyancy, a fact that is also testified by the exhumation of ultra-high pressure metamorphic rocks. Recent results from teleseismic tomography show a signal of Asian mantle lithosphere down to 600 km depth, implying a great

  11. GPS Monitoring of Subduction Zone Deformation in Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundgren, Paul

    1997-01-01

    The subduction of the Cocos plate beneath Costa Rica is among the highest convergence rates in the world. The high subduction rate and nearness of the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica to the Middle America Trench (MAT) provide a unique opportunity to map variations in interseismic strain of the crust above the seismogenic zone in response to variations in seismic coupling.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Evidences for recent plume-induced subduction, microplates and localized lateral plate motions on Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davaille, Anne; Smrekar, Suzanne

    2017-04-01

    Using laboratory experiments and theoretical modeling, we recently showed that plumes could induce roll-back subduction around large coronae. When a hot plume rises under a brittle and visco-elasto-plastic skin/lithosphere, the latter undergoes a flexural deformation which puts it under tension. Radial cracks and rifting of the skin then develop, sometimes using pre-existing weaknesses. Plume material upwells through the cracks (because it is more buoyant) and spreads as a axisymmetric gravity current above the broken denser skin. The latter bends and sinks under the combined force of its own weight and that of the plume gravity current. However, due to the brittle character of the upper part of the experimental lithosphere, it cannot deform viscously to accomodate the sinking motions. Instead, the plate continues to tear, as a sheet of paper would do upon intrusion. Several slabs are therefore produced, associated with trenches localized along partial circles on the plume, and strong roll-back is always observed. Depending on the lithospheric strength, roll-back can continue and triggers a complete resurfacing, or it stops when the plume stops spreading. Two types of microplates are also observed. First, the upwelling plume material creates a set of new plates interior to the trench segments. These plates move rapidly and expand through time, but do not subduct.. In a few cases, we also observe additional microplates exterior to the trenches. This happens when the subducting plate contains preexisting heterogeneities (e.g. fractures) and the subducted slab is massive enough for slab pull to become efficient and induce horizontal plate motions. Scalings derived from the experiments suggest that Venus lithosphere is soft enough to undergo such a regime. And indeed, at least two candidates can be identified on Venus, where plume-induced subduction could have operated. (1) Artemis Coronae is the largest (2300 km across) coronae on Venus and is bounded over 270° of

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Mantle Flow Beneath the Juan de Fuca and East Pacific Rise Spreading Centers and Adjacent Plates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toomey, D. R.; Hooft, E. E.; Wilcock, W. S.

    2010-12-01

    Observations of seismic anisotropy are a principal means of inferring the direction of mantle flow beneath tectonic plates. Azimuthal anisotropy of mantle head waves (Pn) observed in mid-plate settings, for example, has been used to infer that beneath oceanic crust the mantle flow that is frozen in is parallel to the paleospreading direction. While the agreement between historical measurements of azimuthal anisotropy and paleospreading direction is good, the combined uncertainties in experimental results (many of which date back 30 to 50 years) and in inferring the paleospreading direction are often 10-15°. In contrast to historical results from mid-plate settings, recent studies of Pn anisotropy beneath the East Pacific Rise (EPR) and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge reveal that the fast-direction of seismic anisotropy - and by inference the direction of mantle flow - is skewed with respect to the current spreading direction. This result indicates that sub-ridge mantle flow is not an entirely passive response to plate spreading. Here we use data from recent active-source seismic experiments to investigate azimuthal anisotropy of Pn arrivals in two near-ridge settings. These modern experiments, which use dense arrays of ocean-bottom seismometers (OBSs) and well-navigated seismic shooting lines, can constrain azimuthal anisotropy to within ±1°. One data set is from the multi-scale Endeavour seismic tomography experiment (ETOMO) that took place in September 2009. Seismic data were collected using 68 four-component OBSs at 64 sites and the 6600 in3 airgun array of the R/V Marcus G. Langseth. The study includes 5567 shots covering 90 km along-axis and 50 km across. The second data set is from the UNDERSHOOT experiment, which was conducted at the EPR between the Siqueiros and Clipperton transforms, a section of ridge that is sub-divided by the 9°03'N overlapping spreading center (OSC). Seismic data were collected using a combination of four-component OBSs and single

  19. Structure of the subducted Cocos Plate from locations of intermediate-depth earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomnitz, C.; Rodríguez-Padilla, L. D.; Castaños, H.

    2013-05-01

    Locations of 3,000 earthquakes of 40 to 300 km depth are used to define the 3-D structure of the subducted Cocos Plate under central and southern Mexico. Discrepancies between deep-seated lineaments and surface tectonics are described. Features of particular interest include: (1) a belt of moderate activity at 40 to 80 km depth that parallels the southern boundary of the Mexican Volcanic Plateau; (2) an offset of 150 km across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec where all seismic activity is displaced toward the northeast; (3) three nests of frequent, deep-seated events (80 to 300 km depth) under southern Veracruz, Chiapas and the coast of Mexico-Guatemala. The active subduction process is sharply delimited along a NW-SE lineament from the Yucatan Peninsula, of insignificant earthquake activity. The focal distribution of intermediate-depth earthquakes in south-central Mexico provides evidence of stepwise deepening of the subduction angle along the Trench, starting at 15 degrees under Michoacan-Guerrero to 45 degrees under NW Guatemala. Historical evidence suggests that the hazard to Mexico City from large intermediate-depth earthquakes may have been underestimated.

  20. Cascadia subducting plate fluids channelled to fore-arc mantle corner: ETS and silica deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyndman, Roy D; McCrory, Patricia A.; Wech, Aaron; Kao, Han; Ague, Jay j

    2015-01-01

    In this study we first summarize the constraints that on the Cascadia subduction thrust, there is a 70 km gap downdip between the megathrust seismogenic zone and the Episodic Tremor and Slip (ETS) that lies further landward; there is not a continuous transition from unstable to conditionally stable sliding. Seismic rupture occurs mainly offshore for this hot subduction zone. ETS lies onshore. We then suggest what does control the downdip position of ETS. We conclude that fluids from dehydration of the downgoing plate, focused to rise above the fore-arc mantle corner, are responsible for ETS. There is a remarkable correspondence between the position of ETS and this corner along the whole margin. Hydrated mineral assemblages in the subducting oceanic crust and uppermost mantle are dehydrated with downdip increasing temperature, and seismic tomography data indicate that these fluids have strongly serpentinized the overlying fore-arc mantle. Laboratory data show that such fore-arc mantle serpentinite has low permeability and likely blocks vertical expulsion and restricts flow updip within the underlying permeable oceanic crust and subduction shear zone. At the fore-arc mantle corner these fluids are released upward into the more permeable overlying fore-arc crust. An indication of this fluid flux comes from low Poisson's Ratios (and Vp/Vs) found above the corner that may be explained by a concentration of quartz which has exceptionally low Poisson's Ratio. The rising fluids should be silica saturated and precipitate quartz with decreasing temperature and pressure as they rise above the corner.

  1. A satellite magnetic perspective of subduction zones, large igneous provinces, rifts, and diffuse plate boundary zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purucker, M. E.; Whaler, K. A.

    2008-12-01

    Large and intermediate-scale tectonic features such as subduction zones, large igneous provinces, rifts, and diffuse plate boundary zones are often seen to have a magnetic signature visible from the perspective of near-Earth magnetic field satellites such as CHAMP and Orsted. Why do these tectonic features have a magnetic signature, while others do not? A new model of the lithospheric field (MF-6, Maus et al., 2008) extending to spherical harmonic degree 120 (333 km wavelength) has been used to evaluate the magnetic state of the lithosphere under the assumption that the magnetization is either induced (with a seismic starting model), or remanent (with a minimum norm approach). Some of the features identified from these images include the Tethyan and NE Siberian diffuse plate boundary zones, the Red Sea rift, and Cretaceous rift basins developed on the West African shield. Almost without exception, subduction zones exhibit a magnetic signature, as do many large igneous provinces. In this talk we discuss some of the new insights this magnetic perspective provides, and speculate on the controls which determine whether tectonic features will be expressed magnetically.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Mantle Flow and Melting Beneath Young Oceanic Lithosphere: Seismic Studies of the Galapagos Archipelago and the Juan de Fuca Plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrnes, Joseph Stephen

    In this dissertation, I use seismic imaging techniques to constrain the physical state of the upper mantle beneath regions of young oceanic lithosphere. Mantle convection is investigated beneath the Galapagos Archipelago and then beneath the Juan de Fuca (JdF) plate, with a focus on the JdF and Gorda Ridges before turning to the off-axis asthenosphere. In the Galapagos Archipelago, S-to-p receiver functions reveal a discontinuity in seismic velocity that is attributed to the dehydration of the upper mantle. The depth at which dehydration occurs is shown to be consistent with prior constraints on mantle temperature. A comparison between results from receiver functions, seismic tomography and petrology shows that mantle upwelling and melt generation occur shallower than the depth of the discontinuity, despite the expectation of high viscosities in the dehydrated layer. Beneath the JdF and Gorda Ridge, low Vs anomalies are too large to be explained by the cooling of the lithosphere and are attributed to partial melt. The asymmetry, large Vs gradients, and sinuosity of the anomalies beneath the JdF Ridge are consistent with models of buoyancy-driven upwelling. However, deformation zone processes appear to dominate mantle flow over seafloor spreading beneath the Explorer and Gorda diffuse plate boundaries. Finally, S-to-p receiver functions reveal a seismic discontinuity beneath the JdF plate that can only be attributed to seismic anisotropy. Synthesis of the receiver function results with prior SKS splitting results requires heterogeneous anisotropy between the crust and the discontinuity. Models of anisotropy feature increasing anisotropy before the decrease at the discontinuity, but well below the base of the lithosphere, and a clockwise rotation of the fast direction with increasing depth. In these results and even in the SKS splitting results, additional driving mechanisms for mantle flow such as density or pressure anomalies are required.

  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. 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

  7. Orogen-parallel Variation in Flexure of the Arabian Plate Beneath the Zagros Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirouz, M.; Avouac, J. P.; Simpson, G.; Hassanzadeh, J.; Herman, F.; Sternai, P.

    2014-12-01

    The Zagros Mountains are the part of the Alpine-Himalayan chain that forms the northern margin of the Arabian plate and comprises a Neogene-Recent sedimentary basin that is forming in response to ongoing Arabia-Eurasia collision. Flexure of the Arabian lithosphere beneath the Zagros forms one of largest and most active basins in the world at which a backstripped deflection of a competent layer just below the foreland deposits represents its total amount of tectonic subsidence. As such, the Asmari Fm. can be used to analyze flexural bending and subsequently the amount of loading and elastic thickness of the Arabian lithosphere since the continent-continent collision started. In this study, flexure of the Arabian lithosphere is investigated using more than 100 boreholes and 60 interpreted seismic lines which show that the flexure is shallower (~ 1 km) and wider in the east and deeper (~6 km) and narrower towards the west (Figure 1). The shallow and wide eastern foredeep has little accommodation space due to small tectonic loads and the thick lithosphere in this region. In addition, viscous strength in the eastern sector leads to a wide deformation belt with low topography and low surface slopes. These factors, combined with arid climatic conditions, produce low sediment supply to the foreland basin so that it remains under-filled even though the foreland basin is shallow. In contrast, the western part of the Zagros region shows much larger accommodation space due to the combination of large loads and a relatively thin elastic plate. In the western sector, frictional basal strength and steeper topography along with more humid climatic conditions leading to a large supply of sediment to the foreland which is completely filled even though the foreland basin is deep. Our results also show that the Zagros foreland basin migrated towards south through the Neogene; however, the way of propagation is not fully understood yet. The eastern depocenter of the Zagros foreland

  8. 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).

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. Segmentation of plate coupling, fate of subduction fluids, and modes of arc magmatism in Cascadia, inferred from magnetotelluric resistivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wannamaker, Philip E.; Evans, Rob L.; Bedrosian, Paul A.; Unsworth, Martyn J.; Maris, Virginie; McGary, R. Shane

    2014-01-01

    Five magnetotelluric (MT) profiles have been acquired across the Cascadia subduction system and transformed using 2-D and 3-D nonlinear inversion to yield electrical resistivity cross sections to depths of ∼200 km. Distinct changes in plate coupling, subduction fluid evolution, and modes of arc magmatism along the length of Cascadia are clearly expressed in the resistivity structure. Relatively high resistivities under the coasts of northern and southern Cascadia correlate with elevated degrees of inferred plate locking, and suggest fluid- and sediment-deficient conditions. In contrast, the north-central Oregon coastal structure is quite conductive from the plate interface to shallow depths offshore, correlating with poor plate locking and the possible presence of subducted sediments. Low-resistivity fluidized zones develop at slab depths of 35–40 km starting ∼100 km west of the arc on all profiles, and are interpreted to represent prograde metamorphic fluid release from the subducting slab. The fluids rise to forearc Moho levels, and sometimes shallower, as the arc is approached. The zones begin close to clusters of low-frequency earthquakes, suggesting fluid controls on the transition to steady sliding. Under the northern and southern Cascadia arc segments, low upper mantle resistivities are consistent with flux melting above the slab plus possible deep convective backarc upwelling toward the arc. In central Cascadia, extensional deformation is interpreted to segregate upper mantle melts leading to underplating and low resistivities at Moho to lower crustal levels below the arc and nearby backarc. The low- to high-temperature mantle wedge transition lies slightly trenchward of the arc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Reducing risk where tectonic plates collide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomberg, Joan S.; Ludwig, Kristin A.

    2017-06-19

    Most of the world’s earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and volcanic eruptions are caused by the continuous motions of the many tectonic plates that make up the Earth’s outer shell. The most powerful of these natural hazards occur in subduction zones, where two plates collide and one is thrust beneath another. The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) “Reducing Risk Where Tectonic Plates Collide—A USGS Plan to Advance Subduction Zone Science” is a blueprint for building the crucial scientific foundation needed to inform the policies and practices that can make our Nation more resilient to subduction zone-related hazards.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. MASE: A seismological perspective of the sub-horizontal subduction of the Cocos Plate under North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Campos, X.; Clayton, R. W.; Davis, P.; Iglesias, A.; Husker, A.; Valdés-González, C. M.

    2006-12-01

    The main objective of the MesoAmerican Subduction Experiment (MASE) is the generation of a dynamic model of the subduction of Cocos plate underneath the North American plate. One component of this project is a seismic line consisting of 100 broadband seismometers, located every 5 km between Acapulco and Tampico, with its mid-point in Mexico City. The initial instrument was deployed at the end of 2004 and the full line will operate until January 2007. The purpose of this line is to derive a velocity and structure model along the transect, and to determine attenuation and viscosity in the mantle wedge. Various researchers from the three institutions involved (Caltech, UNAM, and UCLA) are using several techniques to achieve these goals, such as receiver functions, surface-wave dispersion, tomography and waveform modeling. Preliminary results from dispersion curves show clearly a Moho that correlates to one obtained with receiver functions, which show a flat subducting slab up to ~200 km from the trench. Also, tomography, together with the previous techniques and ray tracing, show a difference in behavior within the Trans Mexican Volvanic Belt. Furthermore, from microseism correlation, we can distinguish surface waves that give information about the crust structure.

  19. Seismic Anisotropy due to Crust and Uppermost Mantle Deformation Beneath Southern Peru and Bolivia: Constraints from Receiver Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Differential subsidence of the forearc wedge of the Ryukyu (Nansei-Shoto) Arc caused by subduction of ridges on the Philippine Sea Plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okamura, Yukinobu; Nishizawa, Azusa; Oikawa, Mitsuhiro; Horiuchi, Daishi

    2017-10-01

    The Philippine Sea Plate (PSP) carrying several ridges has been sudbucting under the Ryukyu (Nansei-Shoto) Arc since middle Miocene. Because no extensive accretionary prism has been growing along the Ryukyu Trench, the arc provides an opportunity to examine effects of ridge subduction on structure of the forearc wedge and a clue to reconstruct ancient plate motion of the PSP that is inferred to have changed between NW and NNW. To examine this perspective, we clarified structure of the Ryukyu forearc wedge based on seismic profiles and bathymetric data and related them to ridge subduction. An erosional unconformity between pre-Neogen and Neogene rocks is widely recognized through the Ryukyu Arc, and we divided the forearc wedges into Zones I to IV from southwest to northeast by difference of depth of the erosional unconformity. We correlated these four zones to the locations of ridge subduction that have been shifting NE or SW along the Ryukyu Trench. Zone I is underlain by the largely subsided unconformity and we attributed the structure to tearing of the Eurasia plate due to subduction of the western margin of the PSP including the Luzon Arc. Zone II consists of a wide terrace on the shallow erosional unconformity, and no ridge that was subducting in this zone is known. Zone III is characterized by the seaward descending unconformity covered with a thick sequence of Neogene sediments and is related to subduction of the NW-SE trending Daito Ridge and the E-W trending Amami Plateau. Zone IV has the deeper unconformity and slope geometry and corresponds to subduction of the NNW-SSE trending Kyushu-Palau Ridge. The structure of the Ryukyu forearc is consistently related to subduction of ridges on the PSP, suggesting that the change of the plate motion of the PSP can be precisely reconstructed by further detailed survey.

  3. 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

  4. Geometry and Evolution of the Cangdong Sag in the Bohai Bay Basin, China: Implications for Subduction of the Pacific Plate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Liang; Qi, Jiafu; Li, Hongxiang; Dong, Yueqi; Zhang, Shuai; Zhang, Xichen; Yu, Xiaoxia; Luo, Lingyan

    2017-11-13

    The Cangdong Sag is a complex Cenozoic rift basin at the center of the Bohai Bay Basin. Cenozoic structures in the Cangdong Sag can be subdivided into the Cangdong Fault System in the west and the Xuxi Fault System in the east. The geometry of the boundary faults varies along the axes of half-grabens. According to the cross-sectional strata geometry, unconformity and planar structural pattern, the Cenozoic structural evolution of the Cangdong Sag can be divided into four distinct stages: (1) major Paleocene initial rift, (2) latest Paleocene-early Eocene intensive rift, (3) late Eocene-Oligocene strike-slip superimposed rift, and (4) Neogene to present-day post-rift depression. The extensional deformation was mainly derived from horizontal stress induced by the upwelling of asthenosphere. The strike-slip structure of the Cangdong Sag provides important information related to the subduction of the Western Pacific Plate. It was found that the strike-slip movement of the southern Xuxi Fault Zone was activated during the deposition of the third member of Shahejie Formation to the Dongying Formation; therefore, ~43 Ma probably marks the time when the Western Pacific Plate initially changed its subduction direction from northwest to nearly west.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Convergent plate margin dynamics : New perspectives from structural geology, geophysics and geodynamic modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W. P.; Rawlinson, N.

    2010-01-01

    Convergent plate margins occur when two adjoining tectonic plates come together to form either a subduction zone, where at least one of the converging plates is oceanic and plunges beneath the other into the mantle, or a collision zone, where two continents or a continent and a magmatic arc collide.

  8. 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

    plate interface, which in turn, may trigger slip events reported from many subduction zones.

  9. Breaking the shell: Initiating plate tectonic-like subduction on Europa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bland, Michael T.; McKinnon, William B.

    2017-10-01

    Europa’s prominent bands have been proposed to form by a seafloor-spreading-like mechanism involving complete separation of Europa’s lithosphere and the emplacement of fresh ice from below [Prockter et al. 2002]. This formation mechanism poses a challenge for Europa’s strain balance: extensional rifting at bands must be offset by lithospheric shortening elsewhere, yet few obvious contractional features have been observed. Kattenhorn and Prockter [2014] suggested that extension on Europa is accommodated by subduction of the lithosphere at linear, tabular zones termed subsumption bands. Subduction of Europa’s lithosphere implicitly requires that lithospheric-scale thrust faults can develop. This contrasts with previous numerical modeling, which found that lithospheric shortening is instead primarily accommodated by folding or passive thickening [Bland and McKinnon 2012, 2013]. Here we reevaluate the conditions required to form large-scale thrust faults using a numerical model of lithospheric shortening on Europa that includes realistic localization of brittle failure (non-associated plasticity). In the absence of strain weakening (wherein brittle failure decreases the subsequent yield strength) essentially all shortening results in folding or thickening, consistent with previous results. With moderate strain weakening, deformation becomes localized within fault-like zones for surface temperatures ≤100 K; however, the resulting surface deformation suggests a complex interplay between folding and faulting. Only if the ice shell weakens very easily does faulting dominate. Large-scale faults preferentially form at cold surface temperatures and high heat fluxes. Cold temperatures promote faulting (as opposed to folding), and high heat fluxes result in a thinner lithosphere, which is more easily subducted. The subsumption bands identified by Kattenhorn and Prockter [2014] are at a relatively high latitude (cold temperature), and are associated with putative

  10. Reducing risk where tectonic plates collide—U.S. Geological Survey subduction zone science plan

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-19

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

  11. 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

  12. Cascadia subduction tremor muted by crustal faults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Ray; Blakely, Richard J.; Wech, Aaron G.; McCrory, Patricia A.; Michael, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    Deep, episodic slow slip on the Cascadia subduction megathrust of western North America is accompanied by low-frequency tremor in a zone of high fluid pressure between 30 and 40 km depth. Tremor density (tremor epicenters per square kilometer) varies along strike, and lower tremor density statistically correlates with upper plate faults that accommodate northward motion and rotation of forearc blocks. Upper plate earthquakes occur to 35 km depth beneath the faults. We suggest that the faults extend to the overpressured megathrust, where they provide fracture pathways for fluid escape into the upper plate. This locally reduces megathrust fluid pressure and tremor occurrence beneath the faults. Damping of tremor and related slow slip caused by fluid escape could affect fault properties of the megathrust, possibly influencing the behavior of great earthquakes.

  13. Sub-crustal earthquakes within the Australia-Pacific plate boundary zone beneath the Southern Alps, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boese, C. M.; Stern, T. A.; Townend, J.; Bourguignon, S.; Sheehan, A.; Smith, E. G. C.

    2013-08-01

    Sub-crustal earthquakes have been observed sporadically for ∼40 years in the central South Island of New Zealand. We report on 20 events recorded between December 2008 and February 2012 near the Alpine Fault in the continental collision zone between the Australian and Pacific plates. A subset of 18 events at depths of 47-74 km occurs south of Mt. Cook and together with recently reported tremor locations indicates along-strike variations in deformation behaviour along the plate boundary. The sub-crustal earthquakes south of Mt. Cook increase in depth, frequency and size southwards towards the Puysegur subduction zone. Focal mechanisms could be determined for 14 earthquakes and exhibit predominantly strike-slip and reverse faulting solutions. Stress inversion analysis of the focal mechanisms yields a stress field favouring oblique-reverse faulting. We interpret the geographic and vertical distributions of these sub-crustal events in relation to a previously proposed tectonic model of a remnant passive margin that formed south of New Zealand in the Eocene and was overridden when dextral strike-slip motion initiated on the Alpine Fault. We infer that sub-crustal earthquakes occur along the leading edge of this structure, which is attached to the continental Australian crust.

  14. Fluctuating pressures measured beneath a high-temperature, turbulent boundary layer on a flat plate at Mach number of 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrott, Tony L.; Jones, Michael G.; Albertson, Cindy W.

    1989-01-01

    Fluctuating pressures were measured beneath a Mach 5, turbulent boundary layer on a flat plate with an array of piezoresistive sensors. The data were obtained with a digital signal acquisition system during a test run of 4 seconds. Data sampling rate was such that frequency analysis up to 62.5 kHz could be performed. To assess in situ frequency response of the sensors, a specially designed waveguide calibration system was employed to measure transfer functions of all sensors and related instrumentation. Pressure time histories were approximated well by a Gaussian prohibiting distribution. Pressure spectra were very repeatable over the array span of 76 mm. Total rms pressures ranged from 0.0017 to 0.0046 of the freestream dynamic pressure. Streamwise, space-time correlations exhibited expected decaying behavior of a turbulence generated pressure field. Average convection speed was 0.87 of freestream velocity. The trendless behavior with sensor separation indicated possible systematic errors.

  15. Fluid release from the subducted Cocos plate and partial melting of the crust deduced from magnetotelluric studies in southern Mexico: Implications for the generation of volcanism and subduction dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    Jödicke, A; Jording, H.; Ferrari, L.; Arzate, J.; Mezger, K.; Rüpke, Lars

    2006-01-01

    In order to study electrical conductivity phenomena that are associated with subduction related fluid release and melt production, magnetotelluric (MT) measurements were carried out in southern Mexico along two coast to coast profiles. The conductivity-depth distribution was obtained by simultaneous two-dimensional inversion of the transverse magnetic and transverse electric modes of the magnetotelluric transfer functions. The MT models demonstrate that the plate southern profile shows enhanc...

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Modeling Crustal Thickness Variations Beneath the East Pacific Rise: Mantle Diapirs or Plate Kinematics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, S. A.; Toomey, D. R.

    2003-12-01

    Geophysical studies along the East Pacific Rise between the Siqueiros and Clipperton fracture zones reveal along- and cross-axis variations in crustal thickness whose origins are poorly understood. By one view, variations in crustal thickness are the result of three-dimensional upwelling of the mantle associated with a melt-rich diapir centered at 9° 50'N. Alternatively, it has been proposed that the migration of the 9° 03'N overlapping spreading center (OSC) alters the thickness of crust by increasing the amount of time that a crustal unit resides near the spreading axis. In this case, crustal thickness variations arise from plate kinematics, and not from three-dimensional variations in mantle upwelling. We report on a modeling study designed to explore how the evolution of OSCs may alter the thickness of newly-formed crust. OSC propagation is modeled using the kinematic algorithm developed by Wilson [1990], modified to track parcels of crust through time. Given an OSC's kinematic history and two-dimensional descriptions of the melt flux out of the mantle (i.e. invariant along the rise), we predict relative variations in crustal thickness. Our modeling assumes that underplating increases the thickness of the crust and/or Moho transition zone as long as a crustal unit resides over the source of mantle-derived melt. Results suggest two general kinematic mechanisms whereby variations in crustal thickness can occur: those due to an offset between the mantle-level magmatic system and the spreading axis, and those due to any relative reduction in the velocity of a crustal unit as it moves off axis. Offset-induced crustal thickness variations are manifest as long-wavelength ( ˜50 km), low-amplitude cross-axis asymmetries. Local slowing of crustal units as they move off axis -- in direct association with the OSC and its overlap basins -- results in relatively short-wavelength ( ˜10 km), high-amplitude variations in crustal thickness. Using a kinematic history

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Laboratory models of the thermal evolution of the mantle during rollback subduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kincaid, C; Griffiths, R W

    2003-09-04

    The subduction of oceanic lithosphere plays a key role in plate tectonics, the thermal evolution of the mantle and recycling processes between Earth's interior and surface. Information on mantle flow, thermal conditions and chemical transport in subduction zones come from the geochemistry of arc volcanoes, seismic images and geodynamic models. The majority of this work considers subduction as a two-dimensional process, assuming limited variability in the direction parallel to the trench. In contrast, observationally based models increasingly appeal to three-dimensional flow associated with trench migration and the sinking of oceanic plates with a translational component of motion (rollback). Here we report results from laboratory experiments that reveal fundamental differences in three-dimensional mantle circulation and temperature structure in response to subduction with and without a rollback component. Without rollback motion, flow in the mantle wedge is sluggish, there is no mass flux around the plate and plate edges heat up faster than plate centres. In contrast, during rollback subduction flow is driven around and beneath the sinking plate, velocities increase within the mantle wedge and are focused towards the centre of the plate, and the surface of the plate heats more along the centreline.

  3. Comments on “Arc magmatism and subduction history beneath the Zagros Mountains, Iran: A new report of adakites and geodynamic consequences” by J. Omrani, P. Agard, H. Whitechurch, M. Bennoit, G. Prouteau, L. Jolivet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aftabi, Alijan; Atapour, Habibeh

    2009-12-01

    Based on the imprecise geochemical data for 62 samples from Qom, Anar and Baft regions in central Iranian magmatic arc Omrani et al. (Omrani, J., Agard, P., Witechurch, H., Benoit, M., Prouteau, G., Jolivet, L., 2008. Arc magmatism and subduction history beneath the Zagsros Mountains, Iran: A new report of adakites and geodynamic consequences. Lithos 106, 380-398.), suggested that all studied magmatic rocks display the geochemical affinity of subduction-related calc-alkalic rock suites. Here, we demonstrate that the incorrect altered and variable geochemical data (e.g., Al 2O 3, Sr, Y, Ni, Cr, SiO 2, Na 2O, La/Yb and Th/Ce), show that most of the samples actually display calc-alkaline, shoshonitic and calc-alkalic-adakitic affinities. Furthermore, as a result of alteration, rock samples of similar age (e.g., Qom) indicate both adakitic and non-adakitic compositional signatures, which is misleading. On the basis of more than 400 previously published geochemical analyses, we suggest that, after eliminating the false geochemical signatures, the calc-alkaline and adakitic affinities of the central Iranian magmatic arc are due to flat subduction and might be related to a second phase of Miocene- Pliocene porphyry copper mineralization, which is a considerable exploration target and thus merits further investigation.

  4. 3D geometry of a plate boundary fault related to the 2016 Off-Mie earthquake in the Nankai subduction zone, Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuji, Takeshi; Minato, Shohei; Kamei, Rie; Tsuru, Tetsuro; Kimura, Gaku

    2017-11-01

    We used recent seismic data and advanced techniques to investigate 3D fault geometry over the transition from the partially coupled to the fully coupled plate interface inboard of the Nankai Trough off the Kii Peninsula, Japan. We found that a gently dipping plate boundary décollement with a thick underthrust layer extends beneath the entire Kumano forearc basin. The 1 April 2016 Off-Mie earthquake (Mw6.0) and its aftershocks occurred, where the plate boundary décollement steps down close to the oceanic crust surface. This location also lies beneath the trenchward edge of an older accretionary prism (∼14 Ma) developed along the coast of the Kii peninsula. The strike of the 2016 rupture plane was similar to that of a formerly active splay fault system in the accretionary prism. Thus, the fault planes of the 2016 earthquake and its aftershocks were influenced by the geometry of the plate interface as well as splay faulting. The 2016 earthquake occurred within the rupture area of large interplate earthquakes such as the 1944 Tonankai earthquake (Mw8.1), although the 2016 rupture area was much smaller than that of the 1944 event. Whereas the hypocenter of the 2016 earthquake was around the underplating sequence beneath the younger accretionary prism (∼6 Ma), the 1944 great earthquake hypocenter was close to oceanic crust surface beneath the older accretionary prism. The variation of fault geometry and lithology may influence the degree of coupling along the plate interface, and such coupling variation could hinder slip propagation toward the deeper plate interface in the 2016 event.

  5. A Comparative Analysis of Seismological and Gravimetric Crustal Thicknesses below the Andean Region with Flat Subduction of the Nazca Plate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario E. Gimenez

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available A gravimetric study was carried out in a region of the Central Andean Range between 28∘ and 32∘ south latitudes and from 72∘ and 66∘ west longitudes. The seismological and gravimetrical Moho models were compared in a sector which coincides with the seismological stations of the CHARGE project. The comparison reveals discrepancies between the gravity Moho depths and those obtained from seismological investigations (CHARGE project, the latter giving deeper values than those resulting from the gravimetric inversion. These discrepancies are attenuated when the positive gravimetric effect of the Nazca plate is considered. Nonetheless, a small residuum of about 5 km remains beneath the Cuyania terrane region, to the east of the main Andean chain. This residuum could be gravimetrically justified if the existence of a high density or eclogitized portion of the lower crust is considered. This result differed from the interpretations from Project “CHARGE” which revealed that the entire inferior crust extending from the Precordillera to the occidental “Sierras Pampeanas” could be “eclogitized”. In this same sector, we calculated the effective elastic thickness (Te of the crust. These results indicated an anomalous value of Te = 30 km below the Cuyania terrane. This is further conclusive evidence of the fact that the Cuyania terrane is allochthonous, for which also geological evidences exist.

  6. 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.

  7. Fluid release from the subducted Cocos plate and partial melting of the crust deduced from magnetotelluric studies in southern Mexico: Implications for the generation of volcanism and subduction dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    JöDicke, H.; Jording, A.; Ferrari, L.; Arzate, J.; Mezger, K.; Rüpke, L.

    2006-08-01

    In order to study electrical conductivity phenomena that are associated with subduction related fluid release and melt production, magnetotelluric (MT) measurements were carried out in southern Mexico along two coast to coast profiles. The conductivity-depth distribution was obtained by simultaneous two-dimensional inversion of the transverse magnetic and transverse electric modes of the magnetotelluric transfer functions. The MT models demonstrate that the plate southern profile shows enhanced conductivity in the deep crust. The northern profile is dominated by an elongated conductive zone extending >250 km below the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB). The isolated conductivity anomalies in the southern profile are interpreted as slab fluids stored in the overlying deep continental crust. These fluids were released by progressive metamorphic dehydration of the basaltic oceanic crust. The conductivity anomalies may be related to the main dehydration reactions at the zeolite → blueschist → eclogite facies transitions and the breakdown of chlorite. This relation allows the estimation of a geothermal gradient of ˜8.5°C/km for the top of the subducting plate. The same dehydration reactions may be recognized along the northern profile at the same position relative to the depth of the plate, but more inland due to a shallower dip, and merge near the volcanic front due to steep downbending of the plate. When the oceanic crust reaches a depth of 80-90 km, ascending fluids produce basaltic melts in the intervening hot subcontinental mantle wedge that give rise to the volcanic belt. Water-rich basalts may intrude into the lower continental crust leading to partial melting. The elongated highly conductive zone below the TMVB may therefore be caused by partial melts and fluids of various origins, ongoing migmatization, ascending basaltic and granitic melts, growing plutons as well as residual metamorphic fluids. Zones of extremely high conductance (>8000 S) in the

  8. Tsunami Hazard Posed to New Zealand by the Kermadec and Southern New Hebrides Subduction Margins: An Assessment Based on Plate Boundary Kinematics, Interseismic Coupling, and Historical Seismicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, William; Wallace, Laura; Wang, Xiaoming; Reyners, Martin

    2012-01-01

    We assess the tsunami hazard posed to New Zealand by the Kermadec and southern New Hebrides subduction margins. Neither of these subduction zones has produced tsunami large enough to cause significant damage in New Zealand over the past 150 years of well-recorded history. However, as this time frame is short compared to the recurrence interval for major tsunamigenic earthquakes on many of the Earth's subduction zones, it should not be assumed that what has been observed so far is representative of the long term. For each of these two subduction zones we present plate kinematic and fault-locking results from block modelling of earthquake slip vector data and GPS velocities. The results are used to estimate the current rates of strain accumulation on the plate interfaces where large tsunamigenic earthquakes typically occur. We also review data on the larger historical earthquakes that have occurred on these margins, as well as the Global CMT catalogue of events since 1976. Using this information we have developed a set of scenarios for large earthquakes which have been used as initial conditions for the COMCOT tsunami code to estimate the subsequent tsunami propagation in the southwest Pacific, and from these the potential impact on New Zealand has been evaluated. Our results demonstrate that there is a significant threat posed to the Northland and Coromandel regions of New Zealand should a large earthquake ( M w ≳8.5) occur on the southern or middle regions of the Kermadec Trench, and that a similarly large earthquake on the southern New Hebrides Trench has the potential to strongly impact on the far northern parts of New Zealand close to the southern end of the submarine Three Kings Ridge. We propose logic trees for the magnitude-frequency parameters of large earthquakes originating on each trench, which are intended to form the basis for future probabilistic studies.

  9. 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

  10. Complex seismic anisotropy and mantle dynamics beneath Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemnifi, Awad A.; Elshaafi, Abdelsalam; Karaoğlu, Özgür; Salah, Mohamed K.; Aouad, Nassib; Reed, Cory A.; Yu, Youqiang

    2017-12-01

    Seismic anisotropy is an unambiguous property of the deep Earth that is often detected through shear wave splitting (SWS) and anisotropic receiver function (RF) techniques, which are then used to infer the lithospheric and asthenospheric deformational structure. The Anatolian plate and its associated Mediterranean, Eurasian, and Arabian plate boundaries represent the consequences of a variety of convergent and transform tectonic regimes; these boundaries are thus well-suited for studying seismic anisotropy related to subduction, orogenic, and strike-slip processes. We apply a joint SWS and RF analysis to identify the magnitude and orientation of deformation associated with lithosphere-asthenosphere coupling beneath the Anatolian plate system as well as intra-plate fossil fabrics resulting from ancient and ongoing collision. SWS analysis reveals the existence of complex anisotropic fabrics beneath the Anatolian region, where the upper-layer fast orientations are either parallel to strike-slip faults or orthogonal to reverse faults. Strongly oriented NE-SW lower-layer fast orientations suggest that they originate from slab-modulated flow in the mantle wedge overlying the northward-subducting African plate. The results of the RF analysis show that the fast orientations are spatially variable but are generally consistent with crustal fabrics developed mostly through intensive faulting and are possibly associated with sub-vertical lower crustal shear zones.

  11. The Role of Proto-Thrusts in Frontal Accretion and Accommodation of Plate Convergence, Hikurangi Subduction Margin, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, P.; Ghisetti, F.; Ellis, S. M.; Morgan, J.

    2016-12-01

    Proto-thrusts are an enigmatic structural feature at the toe of many subduction accretionary wedges. They are commonly recognised in seismic reflection sections as relatively small-displacement (tens of metres) faults seaward of the primary deformation front. Although widely assumed to reflect incipient accretionary deformation and to mark the location of future thrusts, proto-thrusts have received relatively little attention. Few studies have attempted to characterise their displacement properties, evolution, and kinematic role in frontal accretion processes associated with propagation of the interface décollement. In this study, we make use of excellent quality geophysical and bathymetric imaging of the spectacular 25 km-wide Hikurangi margin proto-thrust zone (PTZ), the structure of which varies significantly along strike. From a detailed structural analysis, we provide the first substantial quantitative dataset on proto-thrust geometry, displacement profiles, fault scaling relationships, and fault population characteristics. These analyses provide new insights into the role of inferred stratigraphic inhomogeneity in proto-thrust development, and the role of proto-thrust arrays in frontal accretion. Our observations, combined with our own recently published reconstructions of the wedge, and ongoing numerical simulations, indicate a migrating wave of proto-thrust activity in association with forward-advancement of the décollement. Calculation of tectonic shortening accommodated by the active PTZ east of the present deformation front, from measurements of seismically-imaged fault displacements and estimates of sub-seismic faulting derived from power law relationships, reveal their surprisingly significant role in accommodating regional plate convergence. South of the colliding Bennett Knoll Seamount, the predominantly seaward-vergent PTZ has accommodated 3.3 km of tectonic shortening, of which 70% is at sub-seismic scale. In comparison, north of Bennett Knoll

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Numerical simulations of temperature, dehydration, and flow fields associated with subduction of the Cocos plate, and its relation to the occurrence of interplate seismic events in southern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suenaga, N.; Ji, Y.; Yoshioka, S.; Manea, M.; Manea, V. C.

    2016-12-01

    In southern Mexico, tectonic tremors mainly occur in the "flat slab region, and the last three SSEs in southern Mexico occurred in the shallower region. Besides, there are two seismic gaps of megathrust earthquakes in Guerrero and Oaxaca. To investigate generation mechanisms of megathrust earthquakes, tectonic tremors, and slow slip events (SSEs) in southern Mexico, we performed three-dimensional numerical simulations of temperature and mantle flow associated with subduction of the Cocos plate, and estimated dehydrated water content from the subducting plate. Here we considered retreat of the Middle American trench initiating about 16 Ma as one of the generation mechanisms of the slab flattening. In our model, we introduced the trench retreat effect during only a certain period between 16 Ma and present in order to best fit the observed heat flow data (from Global Heat Flow Database) as well as Curie point depths defined by the 580 ° isotherm. Our preliminary results show that trench rollback has a strong influence on temperature distribution. Models with trench rollback induce a weaker mantle wedge convection cell compared with models with stationary trench. Other parameter that is currently investigated in this study is the rate of trench retreat.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Upper-plate splay fault earthquakes along the Arakan subduction belt recorded by uplifted coral microatolls on northern Ramree Island, western Myanmar (Burma)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shyu, J. Bruce H.; Wang, Chung-Che; Wang, Yu; Shen, Chuan-Chou; Chiang, Hong-Wei; Liu, Sze-Chieh; Min, Soe; Aung, Lin Thu; Than, Oo; Tun, Soe Thura

    2018-02-01

    Upper-plate structures that splay out from the megathrusts are common features along major convergent plate boundaries. However, their earthquake and tsunami hazard potentials have not yet received significant attention. In this study, we identified at least one earthquake event that may have been produced by an upper-plate splay fault offshore western Myanmar, based on U-Th ages of uplifted coral microatolls. This event is likely an earthquake that was documented historically in C.E. 1848, with an estimated magnitude between 6.8 and 7.2 based on regional structural characteristics. Such magnitude is consistent with the observed co-seismic uplift amount of ∼0.5 m. Although these events are smaller in magnitude than events produced by megathrusts, they may produce higher earthquake and tsunami hazards for local coastal communities due to their proximity. Our results also indicate that earthquake events with co-seismic uplift along the coast may not necessarily produce a flight of marine terraces. Therefore, using only records of uplifted marine terraces as megathrust earthquake proxies may overlook the importance of upper-plate splay fault ruptures, and underestimate the overall earthquake frequency for future seismic and tsunami hazards along major subduction zones of the world.

  18. 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

  19. Great earthquakes hazard in slow subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcaillou, B.; Gutscher, M.; Westbrook, G. K.

    2008-12-01

    Research on the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake of 2004 has challenged two popular paradigms; that the strongest subduction earthquakes strike in regions of rapid plate convergence and that rupture occurs primarily along the contact between the basement of the overriding plate and the downgoing plate. Subduction zones presenting similar structural and geodynamic characteristics (slow convergence and thick wedges of accreted sediment) may be capable of generating great megathrust earthquakes (M>8.5) despite an absence of thrust type earthquakes over the past 40 years. Existing deep seismic sounding data and hypocenters are used to constrain the geometry of several key slow subduction zones (Antilles, Hellenic, Sumatra). This geometry forms the basis for numerical modelling of fore-arc thermal structure, which is applied to calculate the estimated width of the seismogenic portion of the subduction fault plane. The margins with the thickest accretionary wedges are commonly found to have the widest (predicted) seismogenic zone. Furthermore, for these margins there exists a substantial (20-60 km wide) region above the up-dip limit for which the contribution to tsunami generation is poorly understood. As the rigidity (mu) of these high-porosity sediments is low, co-seismic slip here can be expected to be slow. Accordingly, the contribution to seismic moment will be low, but the contribution to tsunami generation may be very high. Indeed, recent seismological data from Nankai indicate very low frequency shallow-thrust earthquakes beneath this portion of the accretionary wedge, long-considered to be "aseismic". We propose that thick accumulations of sediment on the downgoing plate and the presence of a thick accretionary wedge can increase the maximum size of the potential rupture fault plane in two ways; 1) by thermally insulating the downgoing plate and thereby increasing the total downdip length of the fault which can rupture seismically and 2) by "smoothing out" the

  20. 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

  1. An Alpine-style Ordovician collision complex in the Sierra de Pie de Palo, Argentina: Record of subduction of Cuyania beneath the Famatina arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Staal, C. R.; Vujovich, G. I.; Currie, K. L.; Naipauer, M.

    2011-03-01

    The Caucete Group and structurally overlying Pie de Palo Complex in western Argentina are characterised by two generations of west-verging folds and thrust-related shear zones, which formed under amphibolite facies conditions. The Caucete Group is separated from the Pie de Palo Complex by the Pirquitas thrust. These structures are interpreted to have formed as a result of a progressive deformation, generated during Middle Ordovician, underthrusting of the Laurentian-derived Cuyania microcontinent beneath the active Famatina margin. Geometrical relationships are most simply explained if the Pie de Palo Complex was basement to the Caucete Group prior to Ordovician orogenesis. We propose that this basement-cover relationship was established during Cambrian rifting of the Cuyania microcontinent from Laurentia. The Pirquitas fault may have been initiated during this extension prior to its long-lived remobilization as a thrust. We cannot rule out the possibility that the Pie de Palo Complex was exotic with respect to the Caucete Group, but for this to be possible we have to introduce an extra generation of structures, for which no evidence is preserved. The deformation was characterised by early strain localization followed by a more homogeneously distributed non-coaxial flow during F 2. Thermal softening probably dominated over fabric softening during this stage.

  2. Mapping the indentation between the Iberian and Eurasian plates beneath the Western Pyrenees/Eastern Cantabrian Mountains from receiver function analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, J.; Pedreira, D.; Ruiz, M.; Pulgar, J. A.; Gallart, J.

    2012-10-01

    In the last decades, active seismic profiling in the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula has evidenced that the Alpine collision between the Iberian and Eurasian plates resulted in a complex crustal structure, with the Iberian crust underthrusting the Eurasian crust and reaching depths of at least 45-50 km beneath the Pyrenean chain and the Cantabrian Mountains. In the transition between these two zones the situation is particularly complex, as evidenced in previous wide-angle and passive seismic studies. This contribution focuses in getting new clues on the crustal structure of this transitional zone through receiver function (RF) analysis of teleseismic data recorded at permanent and temporary stations located in both the Spanish and French sides of the Western Pyrenees. Different techniques (H-κ stacking, pseudo-migration, synthetic 2D modeling) have been considered in the analysis. Passive seismic data from previous temporary deployments in the zone have been reworked and added to the discussion. A first order result is that passive seismic data are broadly consistent with the indentation of the Iberian and Eurasian crusts inferred from active seismic profiling, thus providing a completely independent confirmation of this feature. For the first time, an Iberian Moho underlying the Eurasian crust is documented from RF beneath the stations located at the Northern side of the Pyrenean range. Moreover, clear indications of dipping interfaces are observed at some stations. The new RF results suggest that in the crustal indentation beneath the Basque Massifs area, the Eurasian crust extends farther south with respect to the image inferred from active seismic data. This new geometry implies that the Pamplona transfer zone has played a major role in the regional geodynamic history.

  3. Fluid accumulation along the Costa Rica subduction thrust and development of the seismogenic zone

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    In 2011 we acquired an 11 × 55 km, 3-D seismic reflection volume across the Costa Rica margin, NW of the Osa Peninsula, to accurately image the subduction thrust in 3-D, to examine fault zone properties, and to infer the hydrogeology that controls fluid accumulation along the thrust. Following processing to remove water column multiples, noise, and acquisition artifacts, we constructed a 3-D seismic velocity model for Kirchhoff prestack depth migration imaging. Images of the plate boundary thrust show high-reflection amplitudes underneath the middle to lower slope that we attribute to fluid-rich, poorly drained portions of the subduction thrust. At 5 km subseafloor, beneath the upper slope, the plate interface abruptly becomes weakly reflective, which we interpret as a transition to a well-drained subduction thrust. Mineral dehydration during diagenesis may also diminish at 5 km subseafloor to reduce fluid production and contribute to the downdip change from high to low amplitude. There is also a layered fabric and systems of both thrust and normal faults within the overriding plate that form a "plumbing system." Faults commonly have fault plane reflections and are presumably fluid charged. The faults and layered fabric form three compartmentalized hydrogeologic zones: (1) a shallow NE dipping zone beneath the slope, (2) a steeply SW dipping zone beneath the shelf slope break, and (3) a NE dipping zone beneath the shelf. The more direct pathway in the middle zone drains the subduction thrust more efficiently and contributes to reduced fluid pressure, elevates effective stress, and creates greater potential for unstable coseismic slip.

  4. Seismic imaging of a mid-lithospheric discontinuity beneath Ontong Java Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Structures of Active Blind Thrusts Beneath Tokyo Metropolitan Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishiyama, T.; Sato, H.; Kato, N.; Nakayama, T.; Iwasaki, T.; Abe, S.

    2011-12-01

    We show structural models of active blind thrust faults beneath Tokyo metropolitan area, based on actively deforming landforms, Quaternary stratigraphy, and deep to shallow high-resolution seismic reflection data tied with these stratigraphic constraints, resolving seismic hazards from otherwise elusive active structures beneath highly urbanized areas. At the leading edge of the subducting Philippine Sea plate beneath the Kanto region, most significant active structures are recognized as folding and/or faulting of late Pleistocene and Holocene fluvial and marine deposits. Newly obtained seismic reflection profile and reprocessed sections indicate that these active structures are surface manifestations of emergent splay thrust faults extending from a subduction megathrust that generated the A.D.1923 Kanto earthquake (M7.9). Much slower rates of slip along these structures (~ 4.2 mm/yr) than slip deficits (~ 30 mm/yr) indicate that slip partitioning might have occurred between the subduction megathrust and splay faults. In contrast to these megathrust-related structures, steeply dipping blind thrusts are distributed beneath the Kanto plain underlain by several thousand meters thick Neogene forearc basin and shallow marine to terrestrial sediments (Kazusa and Shimousa Group). Deep seismic reflection profiles corroborate that these blind thrusts are reactivated normal faults originally formed due to early to middle Miocene extensional tectonics. While rates of slip along these structures are commonly slow (~0.1 mm/yr) based on offsets of late Pleistocene terrace deposits, their proximity to the metropolitan area urges more intense efforts to identify their potential seismic hazards including locations, sizes, rates of slip, and geometries of blind thrusts.

  7. 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

  8. The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary beneath the South Island of New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, Junlin; Fischer, Karen M.; Savage, Martha K.

    2018-02-01

    Lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) properties beneath the South Island of New Zealand have been imaged by Sp receiver function common-conversion point stacking. In this transpressional boundary between the Australian and Pacific plates, dextral offset on the Alpine fault and convergence have occurred for the past 20 My, with the Alpine fault now bounded by Australian plate subduction to the south and Pacific plate subduction to the north. Using data from onland seismometers, especially the 29 broadband stations of the New Zealand permanent seismic network (GeoNet), we obtained 24,971 individual receiver functions by extended-time multi-taper deconvolution, and mapped them to three-dimensional space using a Fresnel zone approximation. Pervasive strong positive Sp phases are observed in the LAB depth range indicated by surface wave tomography. These phases are interpreted as conversions from a velocity decrease across the LAB. In the central South Island, the LAB is observed to be deeper and broader to the northwest of the Alpine fault. The deeper LAB to the northwest of the Alpine fault is consistent with models in which oceanic lithosphere attached to the Australian plate was partially subducted, or models in which the Pacific lithosphere has been underthrust northwest past the Alpine fault. Further north, a zone of thin lithosphere with a strong and vertically localized LAB velocity gradient occurs to the northwest of the fault, juxtaposed against a region of anomalously weak LAB conversions to the southeast of the fault. This structure could be explained by lithospheric blocks with contrasting LAB properties that meet beneath the Alpine fault, or by the effects of Pacific plate subduction. The observed variations in LAB properties indicate strong modification of the LAB by the interplay of convergence and strike-slip deformation along and across this transpressional plate boundary.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Shallow seismicity patterns in the northwestern section of the Mexico Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Elizabeth R.; Brudzinski, Michael R.

    2015-11-01

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

  12. Combined Plate Motion and Density Driven Flow in the Asthenosphere beneath Saudi Arabia: Evidence from Shearwave Splitting and Seismic Anisotropy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hansen, S; Schwartz, S; Al-Amri, A; Rodgers, A

    2006-09-08

    Mantle anisotropy along the Red Sea and across the Arabian Peninsula was analyzed using shear-wave splitting recorded by stations from three different seismic networks: the largest, most widely distributed array of stations examined across the Arabian Peninsula to date. Stations near the Gulf of Aqaba display fast orientations aligned parallel to the Dead Sea Transform Fault, most likely related to the strike-slip motion between Africa and Arabia However, most of our observations across Arabia are statistically the same (at a 95% confidence level), with north-south oriented fast directions and delay times averaging about 1.4 s. Since end-member models of fossilized anisotropy and present-day asthenospheric flow do not adequately explain these observations, we interpret them as a combination of plate and density driven flow in the asthenosphere. Combining northeast oriented flow associated with absolute plate motion with northwest oriented flow associated with the channelized Afar upwelling along the Red Sea produces a north-south resultant that matches the observations and supports models of active rifting.

  13. Mantle heterogeneities beneath the Northeast Indian Ocean as sampled by intra-plate volcanism at Christmas Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taneja, Rajat; Rushmer, Tracy; Blichert-Toft, Janne; Turner, Simon; O'Neill, Craig

    2016-10-01

    The intra-plate region of the Northeast Indian Ocean, located between the Ninetyeast Ridge and the North West Shelf of Australia, contains numerous submerged seamounts and two sub-aerially exposed volcanic island groups. While the Cocos (Keeling) Archipelago is a coral atoll, Christmas Island is the only sub-aerially exposed volcanic island and contains Late Cretaceous, Eocene and Pliocene lavas. The lavas are predominantly basaltic in composition, except for one sampled flow that is trachytic. Although the evolution of the western margin of Australia, and the seismicity in the intra-plate region, has received considerable attention, the origin of the seamount province in the Northeast Indian Ocean is still a matter of debate. In order to constrain the origin of volcanism on Christmas Island and the associated Seamount Province we analysed 14 Christmas Island samples for major and trace element abundances and 12 of these for Nd, Hf and Pb isotope compositions. The trace element patterns of the lavas are similar to many ocean island basalts, while high 208Pb/204Pb and 207Pb/204Pb at a given 206Pb/204Pb suggest affiliation with the DUPAL anomaly. The reconstructed position of Christmas Island during the Eocene (44-37 Ma) places the island in close proximity to the (present-day) upper mantle low-seismic velocity anomalies. Moreover, an enriched mantle (EM-2) type component in addition to the DUPAL anomaly is observed in the Eocene volcanic phase. The younger Pliocene ( 4 Ma) sequences at Christmas Island are inferred to be the product of partial melting of existing material induced by lithospheric flexure.

  14. 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.

  15. Crust and subduction zone structure of Southwestern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Formation and metasomatism of continental lithospheric mantle in intra-plate and subduction-related tectonic settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ionov, Dmitri

    2010-05-01

    , major and trace element and isotope compositions of fertile lherzolites and thus cannot provide viable alternatives to the concept of melt extraction from pristine mantle as the major mechanism of CLM formation. Published data on xenoliths from andesitic volcanoes and on supra-subduction oceanic peridotites [4] show that the most common rocks in mantle wedge lithosphere are highly refractory harzburgites characterized by a combination of variable but generally high modal opx (18-30%) with very low modal cpx (1.5-3%). At a given olivine (or MgO) content, they have higher opx and silica, and lower cpx, Al and Ca contents than normal refractory peridotite xenoliths in continental basalts; the Mg-Si and Al-Si trends in those rocks resemble those in cratonic peridotites. These features may indicate either fluid fluxing during melting in the mantle wedge or selective post-melting metasomatic enrichments in silica to transform some olivine to opx. High oxygen fugacities and radiogenic Os-isotope compositions in those rocks may be related to enrichments by slab-derived fluids, but these features are not always coupled with trace element enrichments or patterns commonly attributed to "subduction zone metasomatism" deduced from studies of arc volcanic rocks and experiments. The valuable insights provided by experimental work and xenolith case studies are difficult to apply to many natural peridotite series because late-stage processes commonly overlap the evidence for initial melting. References: [1] Herzberg C., J. Petrol. 45: 2507 (2004). [2] Ionov D. & Sobolev A., GCA 72 (S1): A410 (2008). [3] Ionov D., Contrib. Miner. Petrol. (2007) [4] Ionov D., J. Petrol. doi: 10.1093/petrology/egp090 (2010)

  19. Insights into a fossil plate interface of an erosional subduction zone: a tectono-metamorphic study of the Tianshan metamorphic belt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayet, Lea; Moritz, Lowen; Li, Jilei; Zhou, Tan; Agard, Philippe; John, Timm; Gao, Jun

    2016-04-01

    Subduction zone seismicity and volcanism are triggered by processes occurring at the slab-wedge interface as a consequence of metamorphic reactions, mass-transfer and deformation. Although the shallow parts of subduction zones (60km). In order to better understand the plate interface dynamics at these greater depths, one has to rely on the rock record from fossil subduction zones. The Chinese Tianshan metamorphic belt (TMB) represents an ideal candidate for such studies, because structures are well exposed with exceptionally fresh high-pressure rocks. Since previous studies from this area focused on fluid-related processes and its metamorphic evolution was assessed on single outcrops, the geodynamic setting of this metamorphic belt is unfortunately heavily debated. Here, we present a new geodynamic concept for the TMB based on detailed structural and petrological investigations on a more regional scale. A ~11km x 13km area was extensively covered, together with E-W and N-S transects, in order to produce a detailed map of the TMB. Overall, the belt is composed of two greenschist-facies units that constitute the northern and southern border of a large high-pressure (HP) to ultra high-pressure (UHP) unit in the center. This HP-UHP unit is mainly composed of metasediments and volcanoclastic rocks, with blueschist, eclogite and carbonate lenses. Only the southern part of the HP-UHP unit is composed of the uppermost part of an oceanic crust (e.g., pillow basalts and deep-sea carbonates). From south to north, the relative abundance and size of blueschist massive boudins and layers (as well as eclogite boudins) decreases and the sequence is increasingly interlayered with metasedimentary and carbonate-rich horizons. This indicates that the subducted material was dominated by trench filling made of sediments and volcanoclastic rocks, with only subordinate pieces of oceanic crust/lithosphere. The whole sequence is cut by km-scale major shear planes orientated WNW-ESE showing

  20. Analysis of the Seismicity Associated to the Subduction of the Rivera Plate using OBS and Onland Stations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuñez-Cornu, F. J.; Barba, D. C., Sr.; Danobeitia, J.; Bandy, W. L.; Zamora-Camacho, A.; Marquez-Ramirez, V. H.; Ambros, M.; Gomez, A.; Sandoval, J. M.; Mortera-Gutierrez, C. A.

    2016-12-01

    The second stage of TsuJal Project includes the study of passive seismic activity in the region of the plate Rivera and Jalisco block by anchoring OBS and densifying the network of seismic stations on land for at least four months. This stage began in April 2016 with the deployment of 25 Obsidian stations with sensor Le-3D MkIII from the northern part of Nayarit state to the south of Colima state, including the Marias Islands. This temporal seismic network complements the Jalisco Seismic Network (RESAJ) for a total of 50 stations. Offshore, ten OBS type LCHEAPO 2000 with 4 channel (3 seismic short period and 1 pressure) were deployed, in the period from 19 to 30 April 2016 using the BO El Puma from UNAM. The OBS were deployed in an array from the Marias Islands to offcoast of the border of Colima and Michoacan states. On May 4, an earthquake with Ml = 4.2 took place in the contact area of the Rivera Plate, Cocos Plate and the Middle America Trench, subsequently occurred a seismic swarm with over 200 earthquakes until May 16, including an earthquake with Ml = 5.0 on May 7. A second swarm took place between May 28 and Jun 4 including an earthquake with Ml = 4.8 on Jun 1. An analysis of the quality of different location methods is presented: automatic preliminary RESAJ location using Antelope; location with revised RESAJ phases in Antelope; relocation of RESAJ data with hypo and a regional velocity model; relocation of RESAJ data with hypo adding data from the temporal seismic network stations; and finally the relocation adding the data from the OBS network. Moreover, the tectonic implications of these earthquakes are discussed.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Two-dimensional Numerical Models of Accretionary Wedges Deformation in Response to Subduction and Obduction: Evidence from the Middle Part of the Manila Trench

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, L.; Ding, W.; Chen, L.; Gerya, T.

    2016-12-01

    The Manila Trench is located at the eastern boundary of the South China Sea (SCS). It was created by the subduction of the South China Sea Plate beneath the Philippine Sea Plate since the early Neogene, and also influenced by the northwestern movement of the Philippine Sea Plate. There is wide discussion whether the dual-subduction and widespread seamounts in the South China Sea would have play important roles in the 'S-shaped' geometry and the different diving angle along the Manila Trench. Multi-beam tectono-geomorphological studies on the accretionary wedges have suggested that: (1) the stress direction of the subduction along the middle part of the Manila Trench, between 17o and 18 o N, is NW55 o; (2) The Manila Trench is actually caused by obduction due to the northwestern movement of the Philippine Sea Plate. Although the NW 55 o stress direction has been supported by detailed analysis on the trend of the folds, thrust faults, extension fractures and large sea-floor canyon, its obduction-origin is purely based on regional structure. Here we use 2D numerical modeling experiments to investigate the deformation style of accretionary wedge in response to the seamounts subduction and obduction, and provide new insights into the mechanism responsible for the Luzon obduction along the Manila Trench. Our preliminary results show that: (1) the accretionary wedge is eroded faster in subduction model; (2) the velocity field direction of the slab differs in two models at the beginning of seamount subduction, which is vertical in obduction model, but oblique in subduction model; (3) both sides of the accretionary wedge deform strongly in subduction model, whereas in obduction model only the leading edge shows intensive deformation. Further modelling will focus on other parts of the Manila Trench with different slab age and subduction velocity to see their tectonic influences on the accretionary wedges.

  4. Investigating Late Cenozoic Mantle Dynamics beneath Yellowstone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Q.; Liu, L.

    2015-12-01

    Recent tomography models (Sigloch, 2011; Schmandt & Lin, 2014) reveal unprecedented details of the mantle structure beneath the United States (U.S.). Prominent slow seismic anomalies below Yellowstone, traditionally interpreted as due to a mantle plume, are restricted to depths either shallower than 200 km or between 500 and 1000 km, but a continuation to greater depth is missing. Compared to fast seismic anomalies, which are usually interpreted as slabs or delaminated lithosphere, origin of deep slow seismic anomalies, especially those in the vicinity of subduction zones, is more enigmatic. As a consequence, both the dynamics and evolution of these slow anomalies remain poorly understood. To investigate the origin and evolution of the Yellowstone slow anomaly during the past 20 Myr, we construct a 4D inverse mantle convection model with a hybrid data assimilation scheme. On the one hand, we use the adjoint method to recover the past evolution of mantle seismic structures beyond the subduction zones. On the other hand, we use a high-resolution forward model to simulate the subduction of the oceanic (i.e., Farallon) plate. During the adjoint iterations, features from these two approaches are blended together at a depth of ~200 km below the subduction zone. In practice, we convert fast and slow seismic anomalies to effective positive and negative density heterogeneities. Our preliminary results indicate that at 20 Ma, the present-day shallow slow anomalies beneath the western U.S. were located inside the oceanic asthenosphere, which subsequently entered the mantle wedge, through the segmented Farallon slab. The eastward encroachment of the slow anomaly largely followed the Yellowstone hotspot track migration. The present deep mantle Yellowstone slow anomaly originated at shallower depths (i.e. transition zone), and was then translated down to the lower mantle accompanying the sinking fast anomalies. The temporal evolution of the slow anomalies suggests that the deep

  5. 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.

  6. Velocity structure of the mantle transition zone beneath the southeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guohui; Bai, Ling; Zhou, Yuanze; Wang, Xiaoran; Cui, Qinghui

    2017-11-01

    P-wave triplications related to the 410 km discontinuity (the 410) were clearly observed from the vertical component seismograms of three intermediate-depth earthquakes that occurred in the Indo-Burma Subduction Zone (IBSZ) and were recorded by the Chinese Digital Seismic Network (CDSN). By matching the observed P-wave triplications with synthetics through a grid search, we obtained the best-fit models for four azimuthal profiles (I-IV from north to south) to constrain the P-wave velocity structure near the 410 beneath the southeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau (TP). A ubiquitous low-velocity layer (LVL) resides atop the mantle transition zone (MTZ). The LVL is 25 to 40 km thick, with a P-wave velocity decrement ranging from approximately - 5.3% to - 3.6% related to the standard Earth model IASP91. An abrupt transition in the velocity decrement of the LVL was observed between profiles II and III. We postulate that the mantle structure beneath the southeastern margin of the TP is primarily controlled by the southeastern extrusion of the TP to the north combined with the eastward subduction of the Indian plate to the south, but not affected by the Emeishan mantle plume. We attribute the LVL to the partial melting induced by water and/or other volatiles released from the subducted Indian plate and the stagnant Pacific plate, but not from the upwelling or the remnants of the Emeishan mantle plume. A high-velocity anomaly ranging from approximately 1.0% to 1.5% was also detected at a depth of 542 to 600 km, providing additional evidence for the remnants of the subducted Pacific plate within the MTZ.

  7. 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

  8. Average slip rate at the transition zone on the plate interface in the Nankai subduction zone, Japan, estimated from short-term SSE catalog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itaba, S.; Kimura, T.

    2013-12-01

    Short-term slow slip events (S-SSEs) in the Nankai subduction zone, Japan, have been monitored by borehole strainmeters and borehole accelerometers (tiltmeters) mainly. The scale of the S-SSE in this region is small (Mw5-6), and therefore there were two problems in S-SSE identification and estimation of the fault model. (1) There were few observatories that can detect crustal deformation associated with S-SSEs. Therefore, reliability of the estimated fault model was low. (2) The signal associated with the S-SSE is relatively small. Therefore, it was difficult to detect the S-SSE only from strainmeter and tiltmeter. The former problem has become resolvable to some extent by integrating the data of borehole strainmeter, tiltmeter and groundwater (pore pressure) of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, tiltmeter of the National Research Institute for Earthquake Science and Disaster Prevention and borehole strainmeter of the Japan Meteorological Agency. For the latter, by using horizontal redundant component of a multi-component strainmeter, which consists generally of four horizontal extensometers, it has become possible to extract tectonic deformation efficiently and detect a S-SSE using only strainmeter data. Using the integrated data and newly developed technique, we started to make a catalog of S-SSE in the Nankai subduction zone. For example, in central Mie Prefecture, we detect and estimate fault model of eight S-SSEs from January 2010 to September 2012. According to our estimates, the average slip rate of S-SSE is 2.7 cm/yr. Ishida et al. [2013] estimated the slip rate as 2.6-3.0 cm/yr from deep low-frequency tremors, and this value is consistent with our estimation. Furthermore, the slip deficit rate in this region evaluated by the analysis of GPS data from 2001 to 2004 is 1.0 - 2.6 cm/yr [Kobayashi et al., 2006], and the convergence rate of the Philippine Sea plate in this region is estimated as 5.0 - 7.0 cm/yr. The difference

  9. Holocene faulting in the Bellingham forearc basin: upper-plate deformation at the northern end of the Cascadia subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelsey, Harvey M.; Sherrod, Brian L.; Blakely, Richard J.; Haugerud, Ralph A.

    2013-01-01

    The northern Cascadia forearc takes up most of the strain transmitted northward via the Oregon Coast block from the northward-migrating Sierra Nevada block. The north-south contractional strain in the forearc manifests in upper-plate faults active during the Holocene, the northern-most components of which are faults within the Bellingham Basin. The Bellingham Basin is the northern of four basins of the actively deforming northern Cascadia forearc. A set of Holocene faults, Drayton Harbor, Birch Bay, and Sandy Point faults, occur within the Bellingham Basin and can be traced from onshore to offshore using a combination of aeromagnetic lineaments, paleoseismic investigations and scarps identified using LiDAR imagery. With the recognition of such Holocene faults, the northernmost margin of the actively deforming Cascadia forearc extends 60 km north of the previously recognized limit of Holocene forearc deformation. Although to date no Holocene faults are recognized at the northern boundary of the Bellingham Basin, which is 15 km north of the international border, there is no compelling tectonic reason to expect that Holocene faults are limited to south of the international border.

  10. Shear wave splitting measurements and interpretation beneath Acapulco-Tampico transect in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubailo, I.; Davis, P.

    2007-12-01

    We have examined shear wave splitting in teleseismic shear waves from 100 broadband stations installed from Acapulco to Tampico in Mexico over a period of 1.5 years (2005-2007). The instruments were part of the MASE (Middle America Subduction Experiment) which has the objective to build a geodynamical model of the subduction process beneath the Middle America Trench. The stations had a 5-6 km spacing and provided a unique data set which allows examination of the variation in splitting in high detail. Tomographic and receiver function studies in this area (done by MASE colleagues) show the presence of a flat slab under the western part of the array, and a steeply dipping slab beneath its center. According to geochronological data, the onset of flat slab subduction took place ~15-20 Ma, after the Cocos plate broke off the Farallon plate. We observe large splitting delay times with, on average, a fast direction in the northeast-southwest direction, but with considerable variation along the network. We compare the splitting results with the three dimensional structure inferred from the geochemistry and seismic analyses.

  11. Is subduction really in the plate tectonics driving seat, or do two other global mechanisms do the driving? A review in the 'deep-keeled cratons' frame for global dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osmaston, M. F.

    2012-04-01

    Introduction. The title poses a question very like that of my talk in 2003 [1], concluding then that, as a driver, subduction comes 'a doubtful third'. My purpose here is to show that subsequent developments now cause even that limited status to be denied it with great assurance, except in a rare situation, of which there is no current example. The key point is that studies of subduction have been importantly mistaken as to the nature of the plate arriving for subduction. Deep-keeled cratons? The 'deep-keeled cratons' frame for global dynamics [2 - 5] is the result of seeking Earth-behaviour guidance on the following outside-the-box proposition:- "If cratons have tectospheric keels that reach or approach the 660 km discontinuity, AND the 660 level is an effective barrier to mantle circulation, then obviously (i) when two cratons separate, the upper mantle to put under the nascent ocean must arrive by a circuitous route and, conversely, (ii) if they approach one another, the mantle volume that was in between them must get extruded sideways." Remarkably it has turned out [2 - 5] that Earth dynamical behaviour for at least the past 150 Ma provides persuasive affirmation of both these expectations and that the explanation for the otherwise-unexpected immobility of subcratonic material to such depths is a petrological one which is also applicable to the behaviour of LVZ mantle below MORs [6 - 8]. Straight away this result has major consequences for the character of the plate arriving for subduction. First, to construct them, we need a 'thick-plate' (>100km?) model of the MOR process which recognizes that this LVZ immobility renders invalid the existing concept of divergent mantle flow below MORs. I show that my now not-so-new model [1, 8 - 10], based on a deep, narrrow, wall-accreting sub-axis crack, possesses outstandingly relevant properties, even appropriately dependent on spreading rate. Second, the oceanic plate arriving for subduction is no longer just the cooled

  12. 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

  13. Effect of Aseismic Ridge Subduction on Volcanism in the NE Lesser Antilles Arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinton, A. J.; Hatfield, R. G.; McCanta, M. C.

    2014-12-01

    The interaction of aseismic ridges or buoyant crust in subduction zones can affect the volcanism occurring on the overriding plate. Here we describe the affect of the subduction of an aseismic ridge on volcanism in the NE Lesser Antilles. The Lesser Antilles island arc is a result of westward subduction of the North American plate beneath the Caribbean plate and stretches 800 km from Saba in the north to Grenada in the south. From Guadeloupe northwards, the arc bifurcates into an eastern, inactive arc (known as the Limestone Caribees) and a western, active arc (Volcanic Caribees). It has been suggested that this bifurcation is the result of the subduction of buoyant crust in the form of at least two aseismic ridges, in the North American plate. In 2012, IODP Expedition 340 recovered 130 m of core from site U1396, located 55 km SW of Montserrat, Lesser Antilles. The core contains a detailed record of volcanism, in the form of more than 180 tephra layers, that stretches back nearly 4.5 Ma. This is the longest and most complete record of volcanism for the NE Lesser Antilles and provides insight into the evolution and development of the island arc in this region. A variety of techniques are being applied to the tephra layers from U1396 to determine their age, chemistry, components and origin. Here we present preliminary results from paeleomagnetic age determinations for each tephra layer to show how the subduction of aseismic ridges on the North American plate has affected the rate of volcanism and development of the island arc in the NE Lesser Antilles over the last 4.5 Ma.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Isabella Anomaly: Lithospheric drip, delamination or fragment of the Farallon plate?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsyth, D. W.; Rau, C. J.

    2009-12-01

    The Isabella Anomaly or Central Valley Anomaly in California is perhaps the best known example of a high seismic velocity anomaly that has been interpreted as a lithospheric instability. High P and S velocities extend to a depth of at least 150 km and perhaps to several hundred km in a nearly cylindrical region 100-150 km across. The amplitude of the anomaly in the upper 200 km is similar to that of the subducted Gorda plate. This anomaly has been variously interpreted as a convective drip or as a remnant of the lithosphere delaminated from beneath the eastern Sierra Nevada. We suggest instead that the Isabella anomaly may represent a fragment of the subducted Farallon plate that is still attached to the Pacific lithosphere. Directly seaward of the anomaly is the fossil Monterrey microplate, which is a remnant of the Farallon plate that was left when subduction ceased before the spreading center itself subducted. The microplate was then incorporated into the Pacific plate, but it is not clear how much of the subducting slab remained attached to the surface microplate. New Rayleigh wave tomographic images of Baja California show that there are still fragments of the Farallon plate remaining attached to the unsubducted Guadelupe and Magdelena microplate remnants, with anomalies extending down to at least 150 km. The geometry of these anomalies in relationship to the microplates is very similar to that of the Isabella anomaly. A major question with this interpretation is whether a bit of oceanic lithosphere extending down into the asthenosphere could be dragged along with the surface microplate/Pacific plate for 20 Ma since subduction ceased. Another anomaly similar to the Isabella anomaly begins in the shallow mantle beneath the northern end of San Francisco bay and dips to the west - another candidate for a lithospheric drip or convective instability?

  17. Slow slip rate and excitation efficiency of deep low-frequency tremors beneath southwest Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daiku, Kumiko; Hiramatsu, Yoshihiro; Matsuzawa, Takanori; Mizukami, Tomoyuki

    2018-01-01

    We estimated the long-term average slip rate on the plate interface across the Nankai subduction zone during 2002-2013 using deep low-frequency tremors as a proxy for short-term slow slip events based on empirical relations between the seismic moment of short-term slow slip events and tremor activities. The slip rate in each region is likely to compensate for differences between the convergence rate and the slip deficit rate of the subducting Philippine Sea plate estimated geodetically, although the uncertainty is large. This implies that the strain because of the subduction of the plate is partially stored as the slip deficit and partially released by slow slip events during the interseismic period. The excitation efficiency of the tremors for the slow slip events differs among regions: it is high in the northern Kii region. Some events in the western Shikoku region show a somewhat large value. Antigorite serpentinite of two types exists in the mantle wedge beneath southwest Japan. Slips with more effective excitation of tremors presumably occur in high-temperature conditions in the antigorite + olivine stability field. Other slip events with low excitation efficiency are distributed in the antigorite + brucite stability field. Considering the formation reactions of these minerals and their characteristic structures, events with high excitation efficiency can be correlated with a high pore fluid pressure condition. This result suggests that variation in pore fluid pressure on the plate interface affects the magnitude of tremors excited by slow slip events.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuo, Xuran; Chan, Lung Sang; Gao, Jian-Feng

    2017-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Deep vs. shallow expressions of continental cratons: Can cratonic roots be destroyed by subduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Seismic attenuation structure associated with episodic tremors and slip zones, southwestern Japan, in the Nankai subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kita, S.; Matsubara, M.

    2016-12-01

    We imaged the seismic attenuation structure (frequency- independent Qp) beneath southwestern Japan using t* estimated by the S coda wave spectral ratio method to the waveform data from the Kiban nationwide seismic network. The seismic attenuation (Qp-1) structure was clearly imaged for the region beneath Shikoku, the Kii peninsula, and eastern Kyushu at depths down to 50 km. At depths of 5 to 35 km, the seismic attenuation structure changes at the Median Tectonic Line and other geological boundaries beneath Shikoku and the southwestern Kii peninsula. High-Qp zones within the lower crust of the overlying plate were found just above the slip regions at the centers and deeper parts of the long-term slow-slip events (SSEs) beneath the Bungo and Kii channels and central Shikoku. Beneath central Shikoku, within the overlying plate, a high-Qp zone bounded by low-Qp zones was located from the top of the overlying plate to the plate interface of the subducting plate. The high-Qp zone and low-Qp zones correspond to high-Vp and low-Vp zones of previous study by Matsubara et al. [2009], respectively. The boundaries of the high-Qp zone and the low-Qp zones were located at the segment boundaries of tremors. The heterogeneity of the seismic attenuation and velocity structures also appeared to correspond to the characteristics of geography (uplifting map by Ohmori [1990]) beneath Shikoku. The results indicated that the locations of the long- and short-term SSEs could be limited by the inhomogeneous distribution of the materials and/or condition of the overlying plate, which is considered to be formed due to geological and geographical process. The heterogeneity of materials and/or condition within the forearc crust possibly made an effect on inhomogeneous rheological strength distribution on the interface.

  3. Postcollisional mafic igneous rocks record crust-mantle interaction during continental deep subduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zi-Fu; Dai, Li-Qun; Zheng, Yong-Fei

    2013-12-04

    Findings of coesite and microdiamond in metamorphic rocks of supracrustal protolith led to the recognition of continental subduction to mantle depths. The crust-mantle interaction is expected to take place during subduction of the continental crust beneath the subcontinental lithospheric mantle wedge. This is recorded by postcollisional mafic igneous rocks in the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt and its adjacent continental margin in the North China Block. These rocks exhibit the geochemical inheritance of whole-rock trace elements and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopes as well as zircon U-Pb ages and Hf-O isotopes from felsic melts derived from the subducted continental crust. Reaction of such melts with the overlying wedge peridotite would transfer the crustal signatures to the mantle sources for postcollisional mafic magmatism. Therefore, postcollisonal mafic igneous rocks above continental subduction zones are an analog to arc volcanics above oceanic subduction zones, providing an additional laboratory for the study of crust-mantle interaction at convergent plate margins.

  4. Coherent tilt signals observed in the Shumagin seismic gap Detection of time-dependent subduction at depth?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beavan, J.; Bilham, R.; Hurst, K.

    1984-01-01

    Repeated surveys of short level lines in the Shumagin Islands, Alaska, reveal coherent tilt signals associated with subduction of the Pacific plate beneath the North American plate in the Shumagin seismic gap. Ten years of steady tilt down toward the trench is interrupted during 1978-1980 by a rapid episode of reverse tilt. The 'normal' tilt represents surface deformation as subduction occurs, with the plate boundary locked to at least 60 km depth. Using all available tilt, sea level, and seismic data, the tilt reversal is interpreted as due to an episodic reverse slip of about 80 cm magnitude on the plate boundary between about 70 km and 20 km depth, downdip from the main seismogenic zone, which remains locked. This event causes an increase of stress on the locked main thrust zone. It is speculated that such events may be a regular process at subduction zones, that great plate boundary earthquakes may be more common during their occurrence, and that their onset may be detectable early enough to give warning of an increase in probability for the occurrence of a great earthquake.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W. P.; Rawlinson, N.

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  14. The nature of subslab slow velocity anomalies beneath South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portner, Daniel Evan; Beck, Susan; Zandt, George; Scire, Alissa

    2017-05-01

    Slow seismic velocity anomalies are commonly imaged beneath subducting slabs in tomographic studies, yet a unifying explanation for their distribution has not been agreed upon. In South America two such anomalies have been imaged associated with subduction of the Nazca Ridge in Peru and the Juan Fernández Ridge in Chile. Here we present new seismic images of the subslab slow velocity anomaly beneath Chile, which give a unique view of the nature of such anomalies. Slow seismic velocities within a large hole in the subducted Nazca slab connect with a subslab slow anomaly that appears correlated with the extent of the subducted Juan Fernández Ridge. The hole in the slab may allow the subslab material to rise into the mantle wedge, revealing the positive buoyancy of the slow material. We propose a new model for subslab slow velocity anomalies beneath the Nazca slab related to the entrainment of hot spot material.

  15. From transpressional to transtensional tectonics in Northern Central America controlled by Cocos - Caribbean subduction coupling change

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  16. 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

  17. PLATE

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kling, Joyce; Hjulmand, Lise-Lotte

    2008-01-01

    the Project in Language Assessment for Teaching in English (PLATE) language professionals from CBS’s Language Center observe teachers and provide feedback using evaluation criteria from the Common European Framework for Reference (CEFR) supplemented by some additional criteria which take the LSP nature......’s level of English is sufficient for the increasing number of courses offered in English each semester. This paper addresses these concerns and describes a pilot project initiated in 2003 at CBS to gauge the overall English language proficiency of those teaching content courses in English. Through...

  18. Kinematics of subduction and subduction-induced flow in the upper mantle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W. P.

    2004-01-01

    Results of fluid dynamical experiments are presented to model the kinematics of lithospheric subduction in the upper mantle. The experiments model a dense highviscosity plate (subducting lithosphere) overlying a less dense low-viscosity layer (upper mantle). The overriding lithosphere is not

  19. Small repeating earthquakes and inter-plate aseismic slip in and around the Kanto district after the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku earthquake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igarashi, T.; Iidaka, T.; Sakai, S.; Obara, K.; Hirata, N.

    2013-12-01

    The 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku earthquake (Mw9.0) was the largest earthquake in recorded history in Japan. For the stress changes by this earthquake, the seismic activities around the Kanto district including Tokyo metropolitan area have changed significantly. We detect many small repeating earthquakes beneath this area. They may suggest induced interplate aseismic slips at the subducting Philippine Sea (PHS) plate and the subducting Pacific (PAC) plate. The upper boundary of the PAC plate contacts the PHS plate beneath this area, but the northeastern limit of the PHS plate remains poorly understood. In this study, we first estimate the configuration of the subducting PHS plate and PAC plate and the limit of PHS plate beneath the Kanto district by applying receiver function (RF) analysis. Thereafter, we investigate the space-time characteristics of the inter-plate aseismic slips from sequences of small repeating earthquakes beneath the Kanto district after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. We made many vertical cross-sections of depth-converted RF images to investigate plate configurations. Telemetric seismographic network data covered on the Kanto district including the Metropolitan Seismic Observation network, which constructed under the Special Project for Earthquake Disaster Mitigation in the Tokyo Metropolitan area and maintained by Special Project for Reducing Vulnerability for Urban Mega Earthquake Disasters, are used. We selected events with a good S/N and epicentral distance between 30 and 90 degrees based on USGS catalogues. As a result, we elucidated the configuration of PHS plate and PAC plate beneath the Kanto district. The PHS plate subducts to the northwest and the direction coincides with plate motion. The northeastern limit of PHS plate is estimated from the change of plate thickness, which gradually decreases to the northeast after contact with the underlying PAC plate beneath the Tokyo metropolitan area. There is little seismic activity from

  20. Lithospheric expression of cenozoic subduction, mesozoic rifting and the Precambrian Shield in Venezuela

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Heterogeneous Structure and Seismicity beneath the Tokyo Metropolitan Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakagawa, S.; Kato, A.; Sakai, S.; Nanjo, K.; Panayotopoulos, Y.; Kurashimo, E.; Obara, K.; Kasahara, K.; Aketagawa, T.; Kimura, H.; Hirata, N.

    2010-12-01

    Beneath the Tokyo metropolitan area, the Philippine Sea Plate (PSP) subducts and causes damaged mega-thrust earthquakes. Sato et al. (2005) revealed the geometry of upper surface of PSP, and Hagiwara et al. (2006) estimated the velocity structure beneath Boso peninsula. However, these results are not sufficient for the assessment of the entire picture of the seismic hazards beneath the Tokyo metropolitan area including those due to an intra-slab M7+ earthquake. So, we launched the Special Project for Earthquake Disaster Mitigation in the Tokyo Metropolitan area (Hirata et al., 2009). Proving the more detailed geometry and physical properties (e.g. velocities, densities, attenuation) and stress field within PSP is very important to attain this issue. The core item of this project is a dense seismic array called Metropolitan Seismic Observation network (MeSO-net) for making observations in the metropolitan area (Sakai and Hirata, 2009; Kasahara et al., 2009). We deployed the 249 seismic stations with a spacing of 5 km. Some parts of stations construct 5 linear arrays at interval of 2 km such as Tsukuba-Fujisawa (TF) array, etc. The TF array runs from northeast to southwest through the center of Tokyo. In this study, we applied the tomography method to image the heterogeneous structure under the Tokyo metropolitan area. We selected events from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) unified earthquake list. All data of MeSO-net were edited into event data by the selected JMA unified earthquake list. We picked the P and S wave arrival times. The total number of stations and events are 421 and 1,256, respectively. Then, we applied the double-difference tomography method (Zhang and Thurber, 2003) to this dataset and estimated the fine-scale velocity structure. The grid nodes locate 10 km interval in parallel with the array, 20 km interval in perpendicular to the array; and on depth direction, 5 km interval to a depth of less than 50 km and 10 km interval at a depth of more

  2. Long term (since the late palaeogene) tectono-sedimentary evolution of the Lesser Antilles fore-arc at Marie-Galante Basin: a clue for geodynamical behavior at the subduction interfac

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jean-Frederic, L.; DeMin, L.; Garrigou, J.; Münch, P.; Léticée, J. L.; Cornée, J. J.

    2015-12-01

    Oblique subduction of late cretaceous lithosphere of the Atlantic ocean beneath the thick (25km) crust of the Caribbean plate results in widespread deformation and vertical motions in the Lesser Antilles fore-arc. The present-day deformation includes a major transtensive left lateral fault system along the arc and several forearc transverse basins accommodating lengthening of the fore-arc northward. These deformations result from plate motion partitioning under increasing subduction obliquity from the Marie-Galante Basin (MGB) latitude (central Lesser Antilles) northward. Vertical motions in the fore-arc at a regional scale were interpreted as resulting from the effect of subducting ridges and reliefs. The present day uplift of the fore-arc islands acting since the late(?) Pleistocene is believed to attest for long wavelength bending of the plate under strongly coupled plate interface. Recent GPS data suggests a mostly uncoupled plate interface. To decipher between the models and to understand the long-term evolution of the Lesser Antilles forearc since the Late Palaeogene, we interpret high-resolution bathymetric and seismic data from the MGB, together with the onland geology of shallow water carbonate platforms. The tectonic pattern reveals both inherited and late Neogene structures (re)activated under multidirectional extensive tectonic. The sismo-stratigraphic interpretation of sedimentary deposit displays long-term drowning and flexing of the upper plate similar to that occurring under intensive tectonic erosion at the subduction interface. Several short term period of second order uplift can correlate with sweeping of subducting ridges or transient events at the plate interface. The evolution of the Lesser Antilles fore-arc since the Late Palaeogene is interpreted within the regional geodynamical evolution of the plate boundary following its last major reorganization: collision of the Bahamas Bank and inception of the Greater Antilles strike-slip fault zone.

  3. 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.

  4. First results of high-resolution modeling of Cenozoic subduction orogeny in Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, S.; Sobolev, S. V.; Babeyko, A. Y.; Krueger, F.; Quinteros, J.; Popov, A.

    2016-12-01

    The Andean Orogeny is the result of the upper-plate crustal shortening during the Cenozoic Nazca plate subduction beneath South America plate. With up to 300 km shortening, the Earth's second highest Altiplano-Puna Plateau was formed with a pronounced N-S oriented deformation diversity. Furthermore, the tectonic shortening in the Southern Andes was much less intensive and started much later. The mechanism of the shortening and the nature of N-S variation of its magnitude remain controversial. The previous studies of the Central Andes suggested that they might be related to the N-S variation in the strength of the lithosphere, friction coupling at slab interface, and are probably influenced by the interaction of the climate and tectonic systems. However, the exact nature of the strength variation was not explored due to the lack of high numerical resolution and 3D numerical models at that time. Here we will employ large-scale subduction models with a high resolution to reveal and quantify the factors controlling the strength of lithospheric structures and their effect on the magnitude of tectonic shortening in the South America plate between 18°-35°S. These high-resolution models are performed by using the highly scalable parallel 3D code LaMEM (Lithosphere and Mantle Evolution Model). This code is based on finite difference staggered grid approach and employs massive linear and non-linear solvers within the PETSc library to complete high-performance MPI-based parallelization in geodynamic modeling. Currently, in addition to benchmark-models we are developing high-resolution (Paleozoic-Cenozoic sediments above the uppermost crust in the Subandean Ranges. Future work will be focused on the origin of different styles of deformation and topography evolution in Altiplano-Puna Plateau and Central-Southern Andes through 3D modeling of large-scale interaction of subducting and overriding plates.

  5. Modeling Diverse Pathways to Age Progressive Volcanism in Subduction Zones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kincaid, C. R.; Szwaja, S.; Sylvia, R. T.; Druken, K. A.

    2015-12-01

    One of the best, and most challenging clues to unraveling mantle circulation patterns in subduction zones comes in the form of age progressive volcanic and geochemical trends. Hard fought geological data from many subduction zones, like Tonga-Lau, the Cascades and Costa-Rica/Nicaragua, reveal striking temporal patterns used in defining mantle flow directions and rates. We summarize results from laboratory subduction models showing a range in circulation and thermal-chemical transport processes. These interaction styles are capable of producing such trends, often reflecting apparent instead of actual mantle velocities. Lab experiments use a glucose working fluid to represent Earth's upper mantle and kinematically driven plates to produce a range in slab sinking and related wedge transport patterns. Kinematic forcing assumes most of the super-adiabatic temperature gradient available to drive major downwellings is in the tabular slabs. Moreover, sinking styles for fully dynamic subduction depend on many complicating factors that are only poorly understood and which can vary widely even for repeated parameter combinations. Kinematic models have the benefit of precise, repeatable control of slab motions and wedge flow responses. Results generated with these techniques show the evolution of near-surface thermal-chemical-rheological heterogeneities leads to age progressive surface expressions in a variety of ways. One set of experiments shows that rollback and back-arc extension combine to produce distinct modes of linear, age progressive melt delivery to the surface through a) erosion of the rheological boundary layer beneath the overriding plate, and deformation and redistribution of both b) mantle residuum produced from decompression melting and c) formerly active, buoyant plumes. Additional experiments consider buoyant diapirs rising in a wedge under the influence of rollback, back-arc spreading and slab-gaps. Strongly deflected diapirs, experiencing variable rise

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Dal; Villaseñor, Antonio; Benz, Harley

    1999-01-01

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

  7. Pervasive upper mantle melting beneath the western US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hier-Majumder, Saswata; Tauzin, Benoit

    2017-04-01

    We report from converted seismic waves, a pervasive seismically anomalous layer above the transition zone beneath the western US. The layer, characterized by an average shear wave speed reduction of 1.6%, spans over an area of ∼ 1.8 ×106 km2 with thicknesses varying between 25 and 70 km. The location of the layer correlates with the present location of a segment of the Farallon plate. This spatial correlation and the sharp seismic signal atop of the layer indicate that the layer is caused by compositional heterogeneity. Analysis of the seismic signature reveals that the compositional heterogeneity can be ascribed to a small volume of partial melt (0.5 ± 0.2 vol% on average). This article presents the first high resolution map of the melt present within the layer. Despite spatial variations in temperature, the calculated melt volume fraction correlates strongly with the amplitude of P-S conversion throughout the region. Comparing the values of temperature calculated from the seismic signal with available petrological constraints, we infer that melting in the layer is caused by release of volatiles from the subducted Farallon slab. This partially molten zone beneath the western US can sequester at least 1.2 ×1017 kg of volatiles, and can act as a large regional reservoir of volatile species such as H or C.

  8. 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

  9. Intermittent plate tectonics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silver, Paul G; Behn, Mark D

    2008-01-04

    Although it is commonly assumed that subduction has operated continuously on Earth without interruption, subduction zones are routinely terminated by ocean closure and supercontinent assembly. Under certain circumstances, this could lead to a dramatic loss of subduction, globally. Closure of a Pacific-type basin, for example, would eliminate most subduction, unless this loss were compensated for by comparable subduction initiation elsewhere. Given the evidence for Pacific-type closure in Earth's past, the absence of a direct mechanism for termination/initiation compensation, and recent data supporting a minimum in subduction flux in the Mesoproterozoic, we hypothesize that dramatic reductions or temporary cessations of subduction have occurred in Earth's history. Such deviations in the continuity of plate tectonics have important consequences for Earth's thermal and continental evolution.

  10. Using paleomagnetism to expand the observation time window of plate locking along subduction zones: evidence from the Chilean fore-arc sliver (38°S - 42°S)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Moreno, Catalina; Speranza, Fabio; Di Chiara, Anita

    2017-04-01

    Fore-arc crustal motion has been usually addressed by the analysis of earthquake slip vectors and, since the last twenty years, by velocity fields derived from Global Positioning System (GPS) data. Yet this observation time window (few decades) can be significantly shorter than a complete seismic cycle or constrained to interseismic periods where the postseismic deformation release, the vicinity of other important faults, and the slip partitioning in oblique subduction may hinder the finite deformation pattern. Paleomagnetic data may yield finite rotations occurring since rock formation, thus provide a much longer observation time span in the order of millions or tens of millions of years. The cumulative permanent or nonreversing deformation in function of the considered geological formation age can represent the average over many seismic cycles, thus significantly complement "instantaneous" information derived from seismic and GPS data. With the aim of evaluate the strike-variation and evolution of the plate coupling along the Chilean subduction zone, here we report on the paleomagnetism of 43 Oligocene-Pleistocene volcanic sites from the fore-arc sliver between 38°S and 42°S. Sites were gathered west of the 1000 km long Liquiñe-Ofqui dextral fault zone (LOFZ) that represents the eastern fore-arc sliver boundary. Nineteen reliable sites reveal that the fore arc is characterized by counterclockwise (CCW) rotations of variable magnitude, except at 40°S - 41°S, where ultrafast (>50°/Myr) clockwise (CW) rotations occur within a 30 km wide zone adjacent to the LOFZ. CCW rotation variability (even at close sites) and rapidity (>10°/Myr) suggest that the observed block rotation pattern is related to NW-SE seismically active sinistral faults crosscutting the whole fore arc. According to previously published data, CW rotations up to 170° also occur east of the LOFZ and have been related to ongoing LOFZ shear. We suggest that the occurrence and width of the eastern

  11. 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.

  12. Receiver function imaging of upper mantle complexity beneath the Pacific Northwest, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eagar, Kevin C.; Fouch, Matthew J.; James, David E.

    2010-08-01

    Small-scale topographic variations on the upper mantle seismic discontinuities provide important constraints on the thermal influences of upwellings and downwellings in geodynamically complex regions. Subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate and other tectonic processes dominating the Pacific Northwest, United States in the Cenozoic involve massive thermal flux that likely result in an upper mantle that has strong 3-D temperature variations. We address the interaction of such processes in the region using receiver functions to image the upper mantle seismic discontinuities at 410 and 660 km. We utilized over 15 000 high quality receiver functions gathered from 294 teleseismic earthquakes recorded at 277 regional broadband seismic stations, primarily those of the Earthscope/USArray Transportable Array. We find the average depths of the discontinuities to be 412 km and 658 km, respectively, with no obvious 520 km discontinuity detected. The peak-to-peak range is greater on the '410' than the '660', suggesting the possibility of more significant regional dynamic processes at upper mantle depths. Our results are not consistent with a mantle plume below central Oregon in the High Lava Plains region. Our observation of a thinner transition zone beneath the western Snake River Plain region, however, is consistent with a regional increase in mantle temperatures, perhaps due to either asthenospheric flow from beneath and around the southern edge of the Juan de Fuca plate, or to vertical flow in the form of regional mantle upwelling related to the Snake River Plain / Yellowstone hotspot track. Further, our results are not consistent with a simple subducting Juan de Fuca slab morphology, but rather suggest similar levels of significant complexity in slab structure found by recent regional tomographic studies. We find evidence for a thickened and therefore cooler mantle transition zone beneath the Wallowa / Idaho Batholith region, consistent with tomographic models which suggest

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Deep structure and historical earthquakes in the Calabrian subduction zone (Southern Italy): preliminary results from multi-channel seismic reflection profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallais, F.; Gutscher, M.; Torelli, L.; Polonia, A.; Riminucci, F.

    2009-12-01

    The Calabrian subduction zone is located in the complex Central Mediterranean area. This subduction is characterized by the presence of deep earthquakes under the Tyrrhenian Sea down to 500 km depth. The Tethyan remnant Ionian slab descends towards the NW at a dip of about 70° and is associated with an active volcanic arc (the Aeolian Islands). Recently reported GPS and seismicity studies suggest that the subduction of the Ionian lithosphere beneath the Calabrian Arc may be locally still active, though at very slow rates (thrust earthquakes, characteristic of active subduction zone, suggests that if subduction is active, the fault plane may be locked since the instrumental period. To seek evidence of continuous tectonic activity of the Calabrian system, we present preliminary results from reprocessed 96-channels seismic reflection profiles (French Archimede cruise, 1997) offshore Sicily. This analysis permits to recognize a well-defined stratigraphy in the Ionian Abyssal Plain, this stratigraphy becomes difficult to follow under the deformed Calabrian Prism. But the joint interpretation with the reprocessed PM01 profile (French PRISMED cruise, 1994) helps constrain this interpretation and to image some characteristic structures of an accretionary wedge (fore/back-thrusts, basal decollement...). This study also include interpretation of a more recent Italian seismic cruise (Calamare, 2008) and CROP profiles. This work will help to prepare a future cruise proposal (CIRCEE, to be submitted in January 2010) to study the Calabrian subduction with OBS, MCS seismic, heat-flow measurements and sediment coring. The goals are : 1/ to image the deep structure of this subduction zone, 2/ to characterize its thermal state to deduce a geometry of the seismogenic part of the plate interface and add new constraints on seismic risk linked with the Calabrian subduction.

  17. A new tomographic image on the Philippine Sea Slab beneath Tokyo - Implication to seismic hazard in the Tokyo metropolitan region -

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Combined plate motion and density driven flow in the asthenosphere beneath Saudi Arabia: Evidence from shear-wave splitting and seismic anisotropy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hansen, S; Schwartz, S

    2006-02-08

    A comprehensive study of mantle anisotropy along the Red Sea and across Saudi Arabia was performed by analyzing shear-wave splitting recorded by stations from three different seismic networks: the largest, most widely distributed array of stations examined across Saudi Arabia to date. Stations near the Gulf of Aqaba display fast orientations that are aligned parallel to the Dead Sea Transform Fault, most likely related to the strike-slip motion between Africa and Arabia. However, most of our observations across Saudi Arabia are statistically the same, showing a consistent pattern of north-south oriented fast directions with delay times averaging about 1.4 s. Fossilized anisotropy related to the Proterozoic assembly of the Arabian Shield may contribute to the pattern but is not sufficient to fully explain the observations. We feel that the uniform anisotropic signature across Saudi Arabia is best explained by a combination of plate and density driven flow in the asthenosphere. By combining the northeast oriented flow associated with absolute plate motion with the northwest oriented flow associated with the channelized Afar plume along the Red Sea, we obtain a north-south oriented resultant that matches our splitting observations and supports models of active rifting processes. This explains why the north-south orientation of the fast polarization direction is so pervasive across the vast Arabian Plate.

  20. Origin and dynamics of depositionary subduction margins

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Origin and dynamics of depositionary subduction margins

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  2. Interplay between deformation, fluid release and migration across a nascent subduction interface: evidence from Oman-UAE and implications for warm subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agard, Philippe; Prigent, Cécile; Soret, Mathieu; Guillot, Stéphane; Dubacq, Benoît

    2017-04-01

    Frozen-in subduction plate interfaces preserving the first 1-2 My of the subduction history are found beneath ophiolites. These contacts are a key target to study the inception of mantle wedge metasomatism and the mechanical coupling between the upper plate and the top part of the sinking slab shortly after subduction initiation. Combining structural field and EBSD data, detailed petrology, thermodynamic modelling and geochemistry on both sides, i.e. the base of the mantle wedge (Oman-UAE basal peridotites) and the underlying accreted crustal fragments from the subducting slab (metamorphic soles), this study documents the continuous evolution of the plate contact from 1 GPa 900-750°C to 0.6 GPa 750-600°C, with emphasis on strain localization and feedbacks between deformation and fluid migration. In the mantle wedge, the (de)formation of proto-ultramylonitic peridotites is coeval with mantle metasomatism by focused hydrous fluid migration. Peridotite metasomatism results in the precipitation of new minerals (clinopyroxene, amphibole and spinel ± olivine and orthopyroxene) and their enrichment in FMEs (particularly B, Li and Cs, with concentrations up to 40 times that of the PM). Boron concentrations and isotopes (δ11B of metasomatized peridotites up to +25‰) suggest that these fluids with a "subduction signature" are probably sourced from the dehydrating amphibolitic metamorphic sole. Concomitantly, deformation in the lower plate results in the stepwise formation, detachment and accretion to the mylonitic s.l. mantle of successive slices of HT metabasalts from the downgoing slab, equilibrated at amphibolite/granulite conditions (900-750°C). Two major stages may be outlined: - between 900 and 750°C, the garnet-clinopyroxene-amphibole bearing sinking crust (with melting < 6 vol%) gets juxtaposed and mechanically coupled to the mantle, leading to the transfer of subduction fluids and metasomatism (possibly into the arc zone ultimately). Deformation is

  3. The ADN project : an integrated seismic monitoring of the northern Ecuadorian subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Monitoring transient changes within overpressured regions of subduction zones using ambient seismic noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaves, Esteban J; Schwartz, Susan Y

    2016-01-01

    In subduction zones, elevated pore fluid pressure, generally linked to metamorphic dehydration reactions, has a profound influence on the mechanical behavior of the plate interface and forearc crust through its control on effective stress. We use seismic noise-based monitoring to characterize seismic velocity variations following the 2012 Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica earthquake [M w (moment magnitude) 7.6] that we attribute to the presence of pressurized pore fluids. Our study reveals a strong velocity reduction (~0.6%) in a region where previous work identified high forearc pore fluid pressure. The depth of this velocity reduction is constrained to be below 5 km and therefore not the result of near-surface damage due to strong ground motions; rather, we posit that it is caused by fracturing of the fluid-pressurized weakened crust due to dynamic stresses. Although pressurized fluids have been implicated in causing coseismic velocity reductions beneath the Japanese volcanic arc, this is the first report of a similar phenomenon in a subduction zone setting. It demonstrates the potential to identify pressurized fluids in subduction zones using temporal variations of seismic velocity inferred from ambient seismic noise correlations.

  6. New tomographic images of P- , S- wave velocity and Q on the Philippine Sea Slab beneath Tokyo: Implication to seismotectonics and seismic hazard in the Tokyo metropolitan region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirata, Naoshi; Sakai, Shin'ichi; Nakagawa, Shigeki; Panayotopoulos, Yannis; Ishikawa, Masahiro; Sato, Hiroshi; Kasahara, Keiji; Kimura, Hisanor; Honda, Ryou

    2013-04-01

    The Central Disaster Management Council of Japan estimates the next great M7+ earthquake in the Tokyo metropolitan region will cause 11,000 fatalities and 112 trillion yen (1 trillion US) economic loss at worst case if it occur beneath northern Tokyo bay with M7.3. However, the estimate is based on a source fault model by conventional studies about the PSP geometry. To evaluate seismic hazard due to the great quake we need to clarify the geometry of PSP and also the Pacific palate (PAP) that subducs beneath PSP. We identify those plates with use of seismic tomography and available deep seismic reflection profiling and borehole data in southern Kanto area. We deployed about 300 seismic stations in the greater Tokyo urban region under the Special Project for Earthquake Disaster Mitigation in Tokyo Metropolitan Area. We obtain clear P- and S- wave velocity (Vp and Vs) and Q tomograms which show a clear image of PSP and PAP. A depth to the top of PSP, 20 to 30 kilometer beneath northern part of Tokyo bay, is about 10 km shallower than previous estimates based on the distribution of seismicity (Ishida, 1992). This shallower plate geometry changes estimations of strong ground motion for seismic hazards analysis within the Tokyo region. Based on elastic wave velocities of rocks and minerals, we interpreted the tomographic images as petrologic images. Tomographic images revealed the presence of two stepwise velocity increase of the top layer of the subducting PSP slab. Rock velocity data reveals that subducting PSP crust transforms from blueschists to amphibolites at depth of 30km and amphibolites to eclogites at depth of 50km, which suggest that dehydration reactions occurs in subducting crust of basaltic compositions during prograde metamorphism and water is released from the subducting PSP crust. Tomograms show evidence for a low-velocity zone (LVZ) beneath the area just north of Tokyo bay. A Q tomogram show a low Q zone in PSP slab. We interpret the LVZ as a

  7. The lithosphere structure beneath the central Mediterranean from S receiver functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchi, Irene; Miller, Meghan; Piana Agostinetti, Nicola; O'Driscoll, Leland

    2017-04-01

    The last piece of Mesozoic oceanic lithosphere from the Neo-Tethys Ocean is being consumed beneath Eurasia in the Central Mediterranean area, squeezed by the continuing convergence of Africa with the Eurasian plate. Convergence between Africa and Eurasia has been ongoing since the Cenozoic, forming a series of arcuate shaped subduction zones, and producing the current complex plate boundary that strikes across the Mediterranean area. Moreover, geophysical imaging depicts a variable lithospheric structure related to remnants of both oceanic and continental lithosphere within this convergent margin, which contributes to its complexity. In fact, the subduction/collision of blocks with different rheologies and thicknesses (e.g. continental or oceanic) has resulted in complex setting that includes accretionary wedges, orogenesis, and formation of an intricate back-arc/fore-arc/trench system. In order to shed light on these tectonic structures, we provide observations and interpretations of the lithospheric structure of the central Mediterranean via S receiver functions analysis. Teleseismic observations recorded at permanent and temporary seismic stations have been employed to produce images of the lithospheric discontinuities with tens of kilometers lateral resolution. We illustrate the feasibility of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary detection on a regional scale, and detect the occurrence of deeper seismic discontinuities due both to positive and negative seismic velocity jumps.

  8. 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

  9. Thermal impact of magmatism in subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees Jones, David W.; Katz, Richard F.; Tian, Meng; Rudge, John F.

    2018-01-01

    Magmatism in subduction zones builds continental crust and causes most of Earth's subaerial volcanism. The production rate and composition of magmas are controlled by the thermal structure of subduction zones. A range of geochemical and heat flow evidence has recently converged to indicate that subduction zones are hotter at lithospheric depths beneath the arc than predicted by canonical thermomechanical models, which neglect magmatism. We show that this discrepancy can be resolved by consideration of the heat transported by magma. In our one- and two-dimensional numerical models and scaling analysis, magmatic transport of sensible and latent heat locally alters the thermal structure of canonical models by ∼300 K, increasing predicted surface heat flow and mid-lithospheric temperatures to observed values. We find the advection of sensible heat to be larger than the deposition of latent heat. Based on these results we conclude that thermal transport by magma migration affects the chemistry and the location of arc volcanoes.

  10. 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.

  11. Plate Tectonics: A Paradigm under Threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratt, David

    2000-01-01

    Discusses the challenges confronting plate tectonics. Presents evidence that contradicts continental drift, seafloor spreading, and subduction. Reviews problems posed by vertical tectonic movements. (Contains 242 references.) (DDR)

  12. Reorganization of convergent plate boundaries. Geologica Ultraiectina (340)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baes, M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304824739

    2011-01-01

    It is still unclear where a subduction is initiated and what are the responsible mechanisms involved in subduction initiation process. Understanding of subduction initiation will advance our knowledge of how and when plate tectonics started on Earth. Another issue concerning the subduction process

  13. Topography of the 410 km and 660 km discontinuities beneath the Japan Sea and adjacent regions by analysis of multiple-ScS waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xin; Li, Juan; Chen, Qi-Fu

    2017-02-01

    The northwest Pacific subduction region is an ideal location to study the interaction between the subducting slab and upper mantle discontinuities. Due to the sparse distribution of seismic stations in the sea, previous studies mostly focus on mantle transition zone (MTZ) structures beneath continents or island arcs, leaving the vast area of the Japan Sea and Okhotsk Sea untouched. In this study, we analyzed multiple-ScS reverberation waves, and a common-reflection-point stacking technique was applied to enhance consistent signals beneath reflection points. A topographic image of the 410 km and 660 km discontinuities is obtained beneath the Japan Sea and adjacent regions. One-dimensional and 3-D velocity models are adapted to obtain the "apparent" and "true" depth. We observe a systematic pattern of depression ( 10-20 km) and elevation ( 5-10 km) of the 660, with the topography being roughly consistent with the shift of the olivine-phase transition boundary caused by the subducting Pacific plate. The behavior of the 410 is more complex. It is generally 5-15 km shallower at the location where the slab penetrates and deepened by 5-10 km oceanward of the slab where a low-velocity anomaly is observed in tomography images. Moreover, we observe a wide distribution of depressed 410 beneath the southern Okhotsk Sea and western Japan Sea. The hydrous wadsleyite boundary caused by the high water content at the top of the MTZ could explain the depression. The long-history trench rollback motion of Pacific slab might be responsible for the widely distributed depression of the 410 ranging upward and landward from the slab.

  14. Electrical conductivity imaging in the western Pacific subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utada, Hisashi; Baba, Kiyoshi; Shimizu, Hisayoshi

    2010-05-01

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

  15. IODP Expedition 334: An Investigation of the Sedimentary Record, Fluid Flow and State of Stress on Top of the Seismogenic Zone of an Erosive Subduction Margin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Vannucchi

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project (CRISP is an experiment to understand the processes that control nucleation and seismic rupture of large earthquakes at erosional subduction zones. Integrated Ocean Drililng Program (IODP Expedition 334 by R/V JOIDES Resolution is the first step toward deep drilling through the aseismic and seismicplate boundary at the Costa Rica subduction zone offshore the Osa Peninsula where the Cocos Ridge is subducting beneath the Caribbean plate. Drilling operations included logging while drilling (LWD at two slope sites (Sites U1378 and U1379 and coring at three slope sites (Sites U1378–1380and at one site on the Cocos plate (Site U1381. For the first time the lithology, stratigraphy, and age of the slope and incoming sediments as well as the petrology of the subducting Cocos Ridge have been characterized at this margin.The slope sites recorded a high sediment accumulation rate of 160–1035m m.y.-1 possibly caused by on-land uplift triggered by the subduction of the Cocos Ridge. The geochemical data as well as the in situ temperature data obtained at the slope sites suggest that fluids are transported from greater depths. The geochemical profiles at Site U1381 reflect diffusional communication of a fluid with seawater-likechemistry and the igneous basement of the Cocos plate (Solomon et al., 2011; Vannucchi et al., 2012a. The present-day in situ stress orientation determined by borehole breakouts at Site U1378 in the middle slope and Site U1379 in the upper slope shows a marked change in stress state within ~12 km along the CRISP transect; that maycorrespond to a change from compression (middle slope to extension (upper slope.

  16. How the gas hydrate system gives insight into subduction wedge dewatering processes in a zone of highly-oblique convergence on the southern Hikurangi margin of New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crutchley, Gareth; Klaeschen, Dirk; Pecher, Ingo; Henrys, Stuart

    2017-04-01

    The southern end of New Zealand's Hikurangi subduction margin is characterised by highly-oblique convergence as it makes a southward transition into a right-lateral transform plate boundary at the Alpine Fault. Long-offset seismic data that cross part of the offshore portion of this transition zone give new insight into the nature of the plate boundary. We have carried out 2D pre-stack depth migrations, with an iterative reflection tomography to update the velocity field, on two seismic lines in this area to investigate fluid flow processes that have implications for the mechanical stability of the subduction interface. The results show distinct and focused fluid expulsion pathways from the subduction interface to the shallow sub-surface. For example, on one of the seismic lines there is a clear disruption of the gas hydrate system at its intersection with a splay fault - a clear indication of focused fluid release from the subduction interface. The seismic velocities derived from tomography also highlight a broad, pronounced low velocity zone beneath the deforming wedge that we interpret as a thick zone of gas-charged fluids that may have important implications for the long-term frictional stability of the plate boundary in this area. The focused flow upward toward the seafloor has the potential to result in the formation of concentrated gas hydrate deposits. Our on-going work on these data will include amplitude versus offset analysis in an attempt to better characterise the nature of the subduction interface, the fluids in that region, and also the shallower gas hydrate system.

  17. 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.

  18. Slab remnants beneath the Baja California peninsula: Seismic constraints and tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulssen, Hanneke; de Vos, Denise

    2017-11-01

    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 remained unclear. In this study we used surface wave phase velocity and receiver function data of NARS-Baja stations around the Gulf of California to better constrain the location of the slab. For stations in central and southern Baja California the shear velocity models show an upper mantle high-velocity layer with its top in the depth range from 115 to 135km and a thickness varying between roughly 40 and 60km. These high-velocity anomalies are interpreted as subducted slab remnants. In contrast, the models for the northern peninsula show no slab signature. This change directly correlates with the variation in relative motion between the Baja California peninsula and the Pacific plate as measured by GPS data. It is inferred that the stalled slab fragments beneath the peninsula produce strong coupling between Baja California and the Pacific plate. The shear velocity models for stations on the Mexican mainland show a layer of higher velocities above a low-velocity upper mantle. In the North, the low-velocity mantle, starting at a depth of 40km, is associated with upwelling as suggested by previous studies. Further south, the transition from higher to lower mantle velocities occurs around 80km depth, which is a typical value for the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. Furthermore, the models show strong crustal thinning towards the gulf, both from the peninsula as well as from the Mexican mainland.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  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. Seismicity, topography, and free-air gravity of the Aleutian-Alaska subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, R. E.; Blakely, R. J.; Scholl, D. W.; Ryan, H. F.

    2011-12-01

    The Aleutian-Alaska subduction zone, extending 3400 km from the Queen Charlotte Fault to Kamchatka, has been the source of six great megathrust earthquakes in the 20th Century. Four earthquakes have ruptured the 2000-km-long Aleutian segment, where the Cenozoic Aleutian arc overlies the subducting Pacific plate. These include the 1946 M 8.6 earthquake off Unimak Is., the 1957 M 8.6 and 1986 M 8.0 earthquakes off the Andreanoff Is., and the 1965 M 8.7 Rat Is. earthquake. The source regions of these earthquakes inferred from waveform inversions underlie the well-defined Aleutian deep-sea terrace. The deep-sea terrace is about 4 km deep and is underlain by Eocene arc framework rocks, which extend nearly to the trench. It is bounded on its seaward and landward margins by strong topographic and fee-air gravity gradients. The main asperities (areas of largest slip) for the great earthquakes and nearly all of the Aleutian thrust CMT solutions lie beneath the Aleutian terrace, between the maximum gradients. Similar deep-sea terraces are characteristic of non-accretionary convergent margins globally (75% of subduction zones), and, where sampled by drilling (e.g., Japan, Peru, Tonga, Central America), are undergoing sustained subsidence. Sustained subsidence requires removal of arc crust beneath the terrace by basal subduction erosion (BSE). BSE is in part linked to the seismic cycle, as it occurs in the same location as the megathrust earthquakes. Along the eastern 1400 km of the Alaskan subduction zone, the Pacific plate subducts beneath the North American continent. The boundary between the Aleutian segment and the continent is well defined in free-air gravity, and the distinctive deep-sea terrace observed along the Aleutian segment is absent. Instead, the Alaskan margin consists of exhumed, underplated accretionary complexes forming outer arc gravity highs. Superimposed on them are broad topographic highs and lows forming forearc basins (Shumagin, Stevenson) and islands

  3. Intraplate volcanism influenced by distal subduction tectonics at Jeju Island, Republic of Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenna, Marco; Cronin, Shane J.; Kereszturi, Gábor; Sohn, Young Kwan; Smith, Ian E. M.; Wijbrans, Jan

    2015-01-01

    The drivers behind the inception of, and the variable, pulsatory eruption rates at distributed intraplate volcanic fields are not well understood. Such broad areas of monogenetic volcanism cover vast areas of the world and are often heavily populated. Reliable models to unravel their behaviour require robust spatio-temporal frameworks within the fields, but an analysis of the potential proximal and distal regional volcano-tectonic processes is also needed. Jeju Island (Republic of Korea) is a volcanic field that has been extensively drilled and dated. It is also located near one of the world's best-studied tectonic plate boundaries: the subduction zone in southwestern Japan, which generates the Ryukyu and SW Japan arcs. A new set of 40Ar/39Ar ages collected from cores penetrating the entire Jeju eruptive pile, along with geochemical information, is used to construct a temporal and volumetric model for the volcano's growth. The overall pattern indicates inception of volcanism at ~1.7 Ma, with an initial 1.2 Myr of low-rate activity, followed by over an order of magnitude rise over the last 0.5 Myr. The magma flux at Jeju correlates well with increased extension rates in the arc/backarc region. In particular, we infer that the increased trenchward mantle flow, caused by the greater rollback of the Philippine Sea Plate, activated pre-existing shear weaknesses in the mantle beneath Jeju, resulting in mantle upwelling and decompression melting that caused a change in compositions and an increase in eruption rates at Jeju. Thus, the volcanic activity of an intraplate field system can be modulated by regional subduction processes occurring more than 650 km away. This model may explain the frequent observation of pulsatory behaviour seen in many monogenetic volcanic fields worldwide that lie within 1,000 km of subduction zones.

  4. Subduction Zone Dewatering at the Southern End of New Zealand's Hikurangi Margin - Insights from 2D Seismic Tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crutchley, G. J.; Klaeschen, D.

    2016-12-01

    The southern end of New Zealand's Hikurangi subduction margin is characterised by highly-oblique convergence as it makes a southward transition into a right-lateral transform plate boundary. Long-offset seismic data that cross part of the offshore portion of this transition zone give new insight into the nature of the margin. We have carried out two-dimensional pre-stack depth migrations with an iterative reflection tomography to update the velocity field on two seismic lines in this area. The depth-migrated sections show much-improved imaging of faulting within the wedge, and the seismic velocities themselves give clues about the distribution of gas and/or overpressured regions at the plate boundary and within the overlying wedge. A fascinating observation is a major splay fault that has been (or continues to be) a preferred dewatering pathway through the wedge, evidenced by a thermal anomaly that has left its mark on the overlying gas hydrate layer. Another interesting observation is a thick and laterally extensive low velocity zone beneath the subduction interface, which might have important implications for the long-term mechanical stability of the interface. Our on-going work on these data is focused on amplitude versus offset analysis in an attempt to better understand the nature of the subduction interface and also the shallower gas hydrate system. This study is an example of how distinct disturbances of the gas hydrate system can provide insight into subduction zone fluid flow processes that are important for understanding wedge stability and ultimately earthquake hazard.

  5. Peru Subduction Experiment (PERUSE) Preliminary results of Gravity measurements, Earthquake locations and Regional Seismicity in Southern Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

    The Peru Subduction Experiment (PERUSE) is a collaborative project developed by UCLA, Caltech, French L’Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) and Instituto Geofisico del Peru (IGP) to improve geophysical models of the Andean Orogenic Belt and to image the subduction process in Southern Peru. One area of particular interest is where the Nazca Plate transitions from a normally subducting slab at an angle of about 30 degrees to a shallow subducting slab beneath the South American Plate. The PERUSE project, which started in the summer of 2008, consists of a linear array of 50 broadband seismic stations that are evenly spaced about 6 kilometers apart. They are aligned perpendicular to the coast of Peru, from Mollendo to Juliaca. Caltech will deploy 50 more stations by the end of 2009. Their line will run perpendicular to the current line, from Juliaca to Cusco. By the end of 2010, a third linear array will be installed north of and perpendicular to Caltech’s line in the Altiplano. Preliminary results from gravity measurements indicate that the crustal root of the Andes dips approximately 20 degrees on both sides of the range, and extends to a depth of approximately 70km. This also agrees well with the receiver function results, which show that the crust thickens from the coast of Mollendo through the Altiplano to Juliaca to a depth about 70km (Phillips et al, Fall AGU 2009). Teleseismic studies also indicate that the crustal thickness varies laterally below southern Peru. We are developing a heterogeneous model from the topographic and gravity data, teleseismic events, and the receiver function results to accurately locate earthquakes in the area of interest and to provide a better crustal model of the region.

  6. Subduction of the South Chile active spreading ridge: A 17 Ma to 3 Ma magmatic record in central Patagonia (western edge of Meseta del Lago Buenos Aires, Argentina)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutonnet, E.; Arnaud, N.; Guivel, C.; Lagabrielle, Y.; Scalabrino, B.; Espinoza, F.

    2010-01-01

    The Chile Triple Junction is a natural laboratory to study the interactions between magmatism and tectonics during the subduction of an active spreading ridge beneath a continent. The MLBA plateau (Meseta del Lago Buenos Aires) is one of the Neogene alkali basaltic plateaus located in the back-arc region of the Andean Cordillera at the latitude of the current Chile Triple Junction. The genesis of MLBA can be related with successive opening of slabs windows beneath Patagonia: within the subducting Nazca Plate itself and between the Nazca and Antarctic plates. Detailed 40Ar/ 39Ar dating and geochemical analysis of bimodal magmatism from the western flank of the MLBA show major changes in the back-arc magmatism which occurred between 14.5 Ma and 12.5 Ma with the transition from calc-alkaline lavas (Cerro Plomo) to alkaline lavas (MLBA) in relation with slab window opening. In a second step, at 4-3 Ma, alkaline felsic intrusions were emplaced in the western flank of the MLBA coevally with the MLBA basalts with which they are genetically related. These late OIB-like alkaline to transitional basalts were generated by partial melting of the subslab asthenosphere of the subducting Nazca plate during the opening of the South Chile spreading ridge-related slab window. These basalts differentiated with small amounts of assimilation in shallow magma chambers emplaced along transtensional to extensional zones. The close association of bimodal magmatism with extensional tectonic features in the western MLBA is a strong support to the model of Patagonian collapse event proposed to have taken place between 5 and 3 Ma as a consequence of the presence of the asthenospheric window (SCR-1 segment of South Chile Ridge) below the MLBA area.

  7. 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

  8. Teleseismic P wave tomography of South Island, New Zealand upper mantle: Evidence of subduction of Pacific lithosphere since 45 Ma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zietlow, Daniel W.; Molnar, Peter H.; Sheehan, Anne F.

    2016-06-01

    A P wave speed tomogram produced from teleseismic travel time measurements made on and offshore the South Island of New Zealand shows a nearly vertical zone with wave speeds that are 4.5% higher than the background average reaching to depths of approximately 450 km under the northwestern region of the island. This structure is consistent with oblique west-southwest subduction of Pacific lithosphere since about 45 Ma, when subduction beneath the region began. The high-speed zone reaches about 200-300 km below the depths of the deepest intermediate-depth earthquakes (subcrustal to ~200 km) and therefore suggests that ~200-300 km of slab below them is required to produce sufficient weight to induce the intermediate-depth seismicity. In the southwestern South Island, high P wave speeds indicate subduction of the Australian plate at the Puysegur Trench to approximately 200 km depth. A band with speeds ~2-3.5% lower than the background average is found along the east coast of the South Island to depths of ~150-200 km and underlies Miocene or younger volcanism; these low speeds are consistent with thinned lithosphere. A core of high speeds under the Southern Alps associated with a convergent margin and mountain building imaged in previous investigations is not well resolved in this study. This could suggest that such high speeds are limited in both width and depth and not resolvable by our data.

  9. 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...

  10. Structural discontinuities inside the Pacific plate offshore of the Tohoku and Kanto regions revealed by seismic reflection imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panayotopoulos, Y.; Kasahara, K.; Hirata, N.; Abe, S.; Katou, M.; Kato, A.; Obara, K.

    2012-12-01

    We have investigated the material properties and the tectonic processes that govern the Pacific plate just before it is subducted in the Japan Trench Subduction zone. We reprocessed the 500 km long data retrieved by the summer 1991 seismic survey offshore of the Boso peninsula and Tohoku regions and produced a high resolution image of the Pacific plate crust and Mantle lithosphere beneath it. We have conducted a CMP gather analysis combining 18828 traces and applied a first arrival mute at almost every 4 shots. Consecutively we applied NMO corrections after determining stacking velocity values every 30 CMP gathers, which is equivalent to every 800 m along the profile. The corrected traces enabled us to retrieve a high resolution image of the sediments deposited on the Pacific plate. The upper part of the plate is characterized by a thick sequence of sediments offshore of the Boso peninsula that becomes progressively thinner towards the north in the region offshore the Tohoku region. This could be due to the geometry of the profile, since the southern part is further away from the trench than the north. Offshore Tohoku the sediments are possibly eroded and redeposit inside the trench by down going currents. Our profile intersects with a seamount range that is currently subducting under the Japan Trench. The sedimentary sequence on the Pacific plate around this range is disturbed by a thick sequence of possibly volcanic origin sediments derived from the seamount range. The sedimentary units offshore Boso peninsula display an uplift of several hundred meters. In the southernmost part of our profile we were able to observe several long scale discontinuities inside the plate, that stretch down to the Moho. This area greatly coincides with the Kashima fault zone, previously observed only by the shift of the magnetic anomalies on the plate. The Pacific sea plate crust immediately to the north of this fault zone is significantly thicker than the average crustal thickness

  11. Three-dimensional magnetotelluric imaging of Cascadia subduction zone from an amphibious array

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    We present results from three-dimensional inversion of an amphibious magnetotelluric (MT) array consisting of 71 offshore and 75 onshore sites in the central part of Cascadia, to image down-dip and along strike variations of electrical conductivity, and constrain the 3D distribution of fluids and melt in the subduction zone. A larger scale array consisting of EarthScope transportable-array data and several 2D legacy profiles (e.g. EMSLAB, CAFE-MT, SWORMT) which covers WA, OR, northern CA and northern NV has been inverted separately, to provide a broader view of the subduction zone. Inverting these datasets including seafloor data, and involving strong coast effects presents many challenges, especially for the nominal TE mode impedances which have very anomalous phases in both land and seafloor sites. We find that including realistic bathymetry and conductive seafloor sediments significantly stabilizes the inversion, and that a two stage inversion strategy, first emphasizing fit to the more challenging TE data, improved overall data fits. We have also constrained the geometry of the (assumed resistive) subducting plates by extracting morphological parameters (e.g. upper boundary and thickness) from seismological models (McCrory et al 2012, Schmandt and Humphreys 2010). These constraints improve recovery and resolution of subduction related conductivity features. With the strategies mentioned above, we improved overall data fits, resulting in a model which reveals (for the first time) a conductive oceanic asthenosphere, extending under the North America plate. The most striking model features are conductive zones along the plate interface, including a continuous stripe of high conductivity just inboard of the coast, extending from the northern limits of our model in Washington state, to north-central Oregon. High conductivities also occur in patches near the tip of the mantle wedge, at depths appropriate for eclogitization, and at greater depth beneath the arc, in

  12. Deep-crustal magma reservoirs beneath the Nicaraguan volcanic arc, revealed by 2-D and semi 3-D inversion of magnetotelluric data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brasse, Heinrich; Schäfer, Anja; Díaz, Daniel; Alvarado, Guillermo E.; Muñoz, Angélica; Mütschard, Lutz

    2015-11-01

    A long-period magnetotelluric (MT) experiment was conducted in early 2009 in western Nicaragua to study the electrical resistivity and thus fluid/melt distribution at the Central American continental margin where the Cocos plate subducts beneath the Caribbean plate. Strike analysis yields a preference direction perpendicular to the profile, with moderate deviation from two-dimensionality, however. Two-dimensional modeling maps the sediments of the Nicaraguan Depression and a high-conductivity zone in the mid-crust, slightly offset from the arc. Further conductors are modeled in the backarc. However, these features are probably artifacts when a 2-D program is applied to data which show moderate 3-D characteristics. 3-D inversion clarifies the situation, and the major remaining conductive structure is now quasi directly beneath the volcanic chain and interpreted as a deep-seated magma deposit. Conductivity in the backarc is also relatively high and may either be caused by still existing partial melts beneath the Paleocene to Miocene volcanic arcs or by related metallic deposits in the aureoles of hydrothermal alteration.

  13. Izu-Bonin Arc: Intra-oceanic from the beginning? Unraveling the crustal structure of the Mesozoic proto-Philippine Sea Plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tani, K.; Ishizuka, O.; Ueda, H.; Shukuno, H.; Hirahara, Y.; Nichols, A. R.; Dunkley, D. J.; Horie, K.; Ishikawa, A.; Morishita, T.; Tatsumi, Y.

    2012-12-01

    The Izu-Bonin Arc is widely regarded as a typical intra-oceanic arc, where the oceanic Pacific Plate is subducting beneath the Philippine Sea Plate, an evolving complex of active and inactive arcs and back-arc basins. It is dominated by oceanic crust forming three large back-arc basins; Shikoku, Parece Vela, and West Philippine Basins, making the present Philippine Sea Plate look like an "oceanic" plate. However, all of these back-arc basins were formed after the inception of subduction at Izu-Bonin Arc, which began at ~52 Ma (Ishizuka et al. 2011, EPSL). Little is known about the proto-Philippine Sea Plate, which existed as a counterpart to the Pacific Plate during subduction initiation and before the formation of back-arc basins. To investigate the crustal structures of the proto-Philippine Sea Plate, we conducted manned-submersible SHINKAI6500 and Deep-Tow camera surveys during the April 2010 cruise of the R/V YOKOSUKA cruise (YK10-04) at the Amami Plateau, Daito Ridge, and Okidaito Ridge (ADO) region. The ADO region comprises the northwestern Philippine Sea Plate along with what are regarded as remnants of the proto-Philippine Sea Plate. Submersible observations and rock sampling revealed that ADO region exposes deep crustal sections of gabbroic, granitic, and metamorphic rocks, indicating that part of the proto-Philippine Sea Plate is composed of older, possibly continental, crust. Jurassic to Cretaceous magmatic zircon U-Pb ages have been obtained from the ADO plutonic rocks. These findings and tectonic reconstruction of the proto-Philippine Sea Plate (Deschamps and Lallemand 2002, JGR) suggests that subduction of the Izu-Bonin Arc initiated at the continental margin of the Southeast Asia, possibly correlating to the Mesozoic island-arc and ophiolite complexes exposed in the Philippine Islands and Borneo, and later acquired "intra-oceanic"-like setting through formation of the backarc basins. Furthermore, detrital zircon ages from volcaniclastic sandstones

  14. 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

    -slab anisotropy beneath all stations. Splitting is however is weakest and nulls most prevalent above the incoming Nazca Ridge where the slab is at its most shallow. This suggests the main source for the local S anisotropy may be from a thin mantle wedge layer sandwiched between the slab and upper plate. The deepest local S events sample a large volume of dipping slab material and provide increasing evidence for distinct anisotropy within the subducting slab itself that has fast polarizations parallel to the slab strike. Our detailed shear wave splitting study therefore reveals the presence of complex and multi-layered anisotropy across the Peruvian flat-slab region. We are able to characterize different sources of anisotropy in the sub-slab mantle, slab, asthenospheric wedge and the over-riding plate, each with their own implications for the regional subduction dynamics.

  15. 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.

  16. Splay fault branching along the Nankai subduction zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jin-Oh; Tsuru, Tetsuro; Kodaira, Shuichi; Cummins, Phil R; Kaneda, Yoshiyuki

    2002-08-16

    Seismic reflection profiles reveal steeply landward-dipping splay faults in the rupture area of the magnitude (M) 8.1 Tonankai earthquake in the Nankai subduction zone. These splay faults branch upward from the plate-boundary interface (that is, the subduction zone) at a depth of approximately 10 kilometers, approximately 50 to 55 kilometers landward of the trough axis, breaking through the upper crustal plate. Slip on the active splay fault may be an important mechanism that accommodates the elastic strain caused by relative plate motion.

  17. 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

  18. Large-scale trench-normal mantle flow beneath central South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, M. C.; Rümpker, G.; Wölbern, I.

    2018-01-01

    We investigate the anisotropic properties of the fore-arc region of the central Andean margin between 17-25°S by analyzing shear-wave splitting from teleseismic and local earthquakes from the Nazca slab. With partly over ten years of recording time, the data set is uniquely suited to address the long-standing debate about the mantle flow field at the South American margin and in particular whether the flow field beneath the slab is parallel or perpendicular to the trench. Our measurements suggest two anisotropic layers located within the crust and mantle beneath the stations, respectively. The teleseismic measurements show a moderate change of fast polarizations from North to South along the trench ranging from parallel to subparallel to the absolute plate motion and, are oriented mostly perpendicular to the trench. Shear-wave splitting measurements from local earthquakes show fast polarizations roughly aligned trench-parallel but exhibit short-scale variations which are indicative of a relatively shallow origin. Comparisons between fast polarization directions from local earthquakes and the strike of the local fault systems yield a good agreement. To infer the parameters of the lower anisotropic layer we employ an inversion of the teleseismic waveforms based on two-layer models, where the anisotropy of the upper (crustal) layer is constrained by the results from the local splitting. The waveform inversion yields a mantle layer that is best characterized by a fast axis parallel to the absolute plate motion which is more-or-less perpendicular to the trench. This orientation is likely caused by a combination of the fossil crystallographic preferred orientation of olivine within the slab and entrained mantle flow beneath the slab. The anisotropy within the crust of the overriding continental plate is explained by the shape-preferred orientation of micro-cracks in relation to local fault zones which are oriented parallel to the overall strike of the Andean range. Our

  19. Multiscale Architecture of a Subduction Complex and Insight into Large-scale Material Movement in Subduction Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakabayashi, J.

    2014-12-01

    The >1000 km by >100 km Franciscan complex of California records >100 Ma of subduction history that terminated with conversion to a transform margin. It affords an ideal natural laboratory to study the rock record of subduction-interface and related processes exhumed from 10-70 km. The Franciscan comprises coherent and block-in-matrix (mélange) units forming a nappe stack that youngs structurally downward in accretion age, indicating progressive subduction accretion. Gaps in accretion ages indicate periods of non-accretion or subduction erosion. The Franciscan comprises siliciclastic trench fill rocks, with lesser volcanic and pelagic rocks and serpentinite derived from the downgoing plate, as well as serpentinite and felsic-intermediate igneous blocks derived as detritus from the upper plate. The Franciscan records subduction, accretion, and metamorphism (including HP), spanning an extended period of subduction, rather than a single event superimposed on pre-formed stratigraphy. Melanges (serpentinite and siliciclastic matrix) with exotic blocks, that include high-grade metamorphic blocks, and felsic-intermediate igneous blocks from the upper plate, are mostly/entirely of sedimentary origin, whereas block-in-matrix rocks formed by tectonism lack exotic blocks and comprise disrupted ocean plate stratigraphy. Mélanges with exotic blocks are interbedded with coherent sandstones. Many blocks-in-melange record two HP burial events followed by surface exposure, and some record three. Paleomegathrust horizons, separating nappes accreted at different times, appear restricted to narrow fault zones of structures, are accommodated by discrete faults or narrow shear zones, rather than by significant penetrative strain. Exhumation of Franciscan HP units, both coherent and mélange, was accommodated by significant extension of the overlying plate, and possibly extension within the subduction complex, with cross-sectional extrusion, and like subduction burial, took place at

  20. Plate tectonics, damage and inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bercovici, David; Ricard, Yanick

    2014-04-24

    The initiation of plate tectonics on Earth is a critical event in our planet's history. The time lag between the first proto-subduction (about 4 billion years ago) and global tectonics (approximately 3 billion years ago) suggests that plates and plate boundaries became widespread over a period of 1 billion years. The reason for this time lag is unknown but fundamental to understanding the origin of plate tectonics. Here we suggest that when sufficient lithospheric damage (which promotes shear localization and long-lived weak zones) combines with transient mantle flow and migrating proto-subduction, it leads to the accumulation of weak plate boundaries and eventually to fully formed tectonic plates driven by subduction alone. We simulate this process using a grain evolution and damage mechanism with a composite rheology (which is compatible with field and laboratory observations of polycrystalline rocks), coupled to an idealized model of pressure-driven lithospheric flow in which a low-pressure zone is equivalent to the suction of convective downwellings. In the simplest case, for Earth-like conditions, a few successive rotations of the driving pressure field yield relic damaged weak zones that are inherited by the lithospheric flow to form a nearly perfect plate, with passive spreading and strike-slip margins that persist and localize further, even though flow is driven only by subduction. But for hotter surface conditions, such as those on Venus, accumulation and inheritance of damage is negligible; hence only subduction zones survive and plate tectonics does not spread, which corresponds to observations. After plates have developed, continued changes in driving forces, combined with inherited damage and weak zones, promote increased tectonic complexity, such as oblique subduction, strike-slip boundaries that are subparallel to plate motion, and spalling of minor plates.

  1. 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

  2. Friction and stress coupling on the subduction interfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, E.; Lavier, L.; van Avendonk, H.

    2011-12-01

    At a subduction zone, the down-going oceanic plate slides underneath the overriding plate. The frictional resistance to the relative motion between the plates generates great earthquakes along the subduction interface, which can cause tremendous damage in the civil life and property. There is a strong incentive to understand the frictional strength of the subduction interface. One fundamental question of mechanics of subuction is the degree of coupling between the plates, which is linked to the size of earthquakes. It has been noted that the trench-parallel (along-strike) gravity variation correlates positively with the trench-parallel topography anomaly and negatively with the activity of great earthquake (Song and Simons, 2003). Regions with a negative trench-parallel gravity anomaly are more likely to have great earthquakes. The interpretation of such correlation is that strong coupling along subduction interface will drag down the for-arc region of the overriding plate, which generates the gravity and topography anomalies, and could store more strain energy to be released during a great earthquake. We developed a 2D numerical thermo-mechanical code for modeling subduction. The numerical method is based on an explicit finite element method similar to the Fast Lagrangian Analysis of Continua (FLAC) technique. The constitutive law is visco-elasti-plastic with strain weakening. The cohesion and friction angle are reduced with increasing plastic strain after yielding. To track different petrologic phases, Lagrangian particles are distributed in the domain. Basalt-eclogite, sediment-schist and peridotite-serpentinite phase changes are included in the model. Our numerical models show that the degree of coupling negatively correlates with the coefficient of friction. In the low friction case, the subduction interface has very shallow dipping angle, which helps to elastically couple the downing plate with the overriding plate. The topography and gravity anomalies of the

  3. 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

  4. The Hainan Lone Plume Prompted By Encircling Subduction Zones around the South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, N.; Li, Z. X.

    2016-12-01

    The present of the late Mesozoic Hainan plume originated from the lower mantle of northern South China Sea has been documented by both seismic tomographic and geochemical-petrological work. The Hainan plume is one of the rare mantle plumes that are located away from the two large low shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs) in the lower mantle. Instead, it is within the broad global mantle downwelling zone, thus classified as a "lone plume". It had previously been proposed that this plume could have been triggered by subducting slabs into the lower mantle in the regions surrounding the South China Sea, a mechanism similar to what had been proposed for the formation of the LLSVPs. Here, we investigate the feasibility of such a plume-generation mechanism use a 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 adoptive-mesh-refined, 3D mantle convection code ASPECT. The top mechanic boundary condition of the global domain uses the latest plate motion reconstruction. In a series of experiments, we explore the effects of various important mantle parameters on mantle plume generation. The results so far suggest that the Indo-Australian cold slab acted like a cold wall from the southwest side in the present-day South China Sea mantle domain since 80 Ma ago. Fossil slabs from much older Tethyan subduction systems plays a moderate role in blocking the deep mantle hot materials from escaping to the north. The Western Pacific subduction systems started to promote the initiation of Hainan plume some 50 Ma ago from near the core-mantle boundary (CMB). As the plume head rises, it first moved to the west, and finally to beneath the South China Sea. Our model results are not sensitive to whether there is a chemical layer (possible D" layer) near the CMB.

  5. Depositionary Margins: The Destruction and Renovation of Subduction Forearcs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vannucchi, P.; Morgan, J. P.; Silver, E. A.; Kluesner, J.

    2016-12-01

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

  6. The initiation of subduction: criticality by addition of water?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regenauer-Lieb, K; Yuen, D A; Branlund, J

    2001-10-19

    Subduction is a major process of plate tectonics; however, its initiation is not understood. We used high-resolution (less than 1 kilometer) finite-element models based on rheological data of the lithosphere to investigate the role played by water on initiating subduction. A solid-fluid thermomechanical instability is needed to drive a cold, stiff, and negatively buoyant lithosphere into the mantle. This instability can be triggered slowly by sedimentary loading over a time span of 100 million years. Our results indicate that subduction can proceed by a double feedback mechanism (thermoelastic and thermal-rheological) promoted by lubrication due to water.

  7. Gravity and Magnetic Anomaly Interpretations and 2.5D Cross-Section Models over the Border Ranges Fault System and Aleutian Subduction Zone, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mankhemthong, N.; Doser, D. I.; Baker, M. R.; Kaip, G.; Jones, S.; Eslick, B. E.; Budhathoki, P.

    2011-12-01

    Quaternary glacial covers and lack of dense geophysical data on the Kenai Peninsula cause a location and geometry of the Border Ranges fault system (BRFS) within a recent forearc-accretionary boundary of Aleutian subduction zone in southern Alaska are unclear. Using new ~1,300 gravity collections within the Anchorage and Kenai Peninsula regions complied with prior 1997 gravity and aeromagnetic data help us better imaging these fault and the subduction structures. Cook Inlet forearc basin is corresponded by deep gravity anomaly lows; basin boundaries are characterized by a strong gravity gradient, where are considered to be traces of Border Ranges fault system on the east and Castle Mountain and Bruin Bay fault system on the west and northwest of the forearc basin respectively. Gravity anomaly highs over accreted rocks generally increase southeastward to the Aleutian trench, but show a gravity depression over the Kenai Mountains region. The lineament between gravity high and low in the same terrenes over the Kenai Peninsula is may be another evidence to determine the Southern Edge of the Yakutat Microplate (SEY) as inferred by Eberhart-Phillips et al. (2006). Our 2.5-D models illustrate the main fault of the BRFS dips steeply toward the west with a downslip displacement. Gravity and Magnetic anomaly highs, on the east of the BRFS, probably present a slice of the ultramafic complex emplaced by faults along the boundary of the forearc basin and accretionary wedge terranes. Another magnetic high beneath the basin in the southern forearc basin support a serpentiznied body inferred by Saltus et al. (2001), with a decreasing size toward the north. Regional density-gravity models show the Pacific subducting slab beneath the foreacre-arc teranes with a gentle and flatted dip where the subducting plate is located in north of SEY and dips more steeply where it is located on the south of SEY. The gravity depression over the accreted terrene can be explained by a density low

  8. 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

  9. POTENTIAL OF TSUNAMI GENERATION ALONG THE COLOMBIA/ECUADOR SUBDUCTION MARGIN AND THE DOLORES-GUAYAQUIL MEGA-THRUST

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Pararas-Carayannis

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The Colombia/Ecuador subduction zone is a region where high seismic stress is presently accumulating. Statistical probability studies and GPS measurements of crustal deformation indicate that the region has an increased potential to generate in the near future a major or great tsunamigenic earthquake similar to the 1979 or 1906. Although most of the major earthquakes along this margin usually generate local tsunamis, the recurrence of a great mega-thrust, inter-plate earthquake, similar in magnitude and rupture to the 1906 event (Mw=8.8, rupture 600 km., can generate a tsunami with destructive near and far-field impacts. To understand the potential for such destructive tsunami generation in this region, the present study examines and evaluates: a the controlling inter-plate coupling mechanisms of the tectonic regime of the margin – including lithospheric structure deformation, sea-floor relief and the subduction or accretion of highly folded, hydrated sediments along the seismogenic zone of southern Colombia/North Ecuador; b the seismo-dynamics and role in tsunami generation as affected by the Carnegie Ridge’s oblique subduction beneath the South American continent; and c the seismotectonic extensional processes in the vicinity of the Gulf of Guayaquil-Tumbes Basin and how the northwestward movement of the North Andes block away from the South American continent along the Dolores Guayaquil mega-thrust and the resulting strain rotation may cause sudden detachment, décollement and deformation, with the potential for local tsunami generation that may affect the Gulf of Guayaquil and other coastal areas along southern Ecuador.

  10. 40Ar/39Ar geochronology of subaerial lava flows of Barren Island volcano and the deep crust beneath the Andaman Island Arc, Burma Microplate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Jyotiranjan S.; Pande, Kanchan; Bhutani, Rajneesh

    2015-06-01

    Little was known about the nature and origin of the deep crust beneath the Andaman Island Arc in spite of the fact that it formed part of the highly active Indonesian volcanic arc system, one of the important continental crust forming regions in Southeast Asia. This arc, formed as a result of subduction of the Indian Plate beneath the Burma Microplate (a sliver of the Eurasian Plate), contains only one active subaerial magmatic center, Barren Island volcano, whose evolutional timeline had remained uncertain. In this work, we present results of the first successful attempt to date crustal xenoliths and their host lava flows from the island, by incremental heating 40Ar/39Ar method, in an attempt to understand the evolutionary histories of the volcano and its basement. Based on concordant plateau and isochron ages, we establish that the oldest subaerial lava flows of the volcano are 1.58 ± 0.04 (2σ) Ma, and some of the plagioclase xenocrysts have been derived from crustal rocks of 106 ± 3 (2σ) Ma. Mineralogy (anorthite + Cr-rich diopside + minor olivine) and isotopic compositions (87Sr/86Sr 7.0) of xenoliths not only indicate their derivation from a lower (oceanic) crustal olivine gabbro but also suggest a genetic relationship between the arc crust and the ophiolitic basement of the Andaman accretionary prism. We speculate that the basements of the forearc and volcanic arc of the Andaman subduction zone belong to a single continuous unit that was once attached to the western margin of the Eurasian Plate.

  11. Subduction of the South-Chile active spreading ridge: a 17 Ma to 3 Ma magmatic record in central Patagonia (western edge of Meseta del Lago Buenos Aires, Argentina)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutonnet, Emmanuelle; Arnaud, Nicolas; Guivel, Christèle; Lagabrielle, Yves; Scalabrino, Bruno; Espinoza, Felipe

    2010-05-01

    The Chile Triple Junction is a natural laboratory to study the interactions between magmatism and tectonics during the subduction of an active spreading ridge beneath a continent. The MLBA plateau (Meseta del Lago Buenos Aires) is one of the Neogene alkali basaltic plateaus located in the back-arc region of the Andean Cordillera at the latitude of the current Chile Triple Junction. The genesis of MLBA can be related with successive opening of slabs windows beneath Patagonia: within the subducting Nazca Plate itself and between the Nazca and Antarctic plates. Detailed 40Ar/39Ar dating and geochemical analysis of bimodal magmatism from the western flank of the MLBA show major changes in the back-arc magmatism which occurred between 14.5 Ma and 12.5 Ma with the transition from calc-alkaline lavas (Cerro Plomo) to alkaline lavas (MLBA) in relation with slab window opening. In a second step, at 4- 3 Ma, alkaline felsic intrusions were emplaced in the western flank of the MLBA coevally with the MLBA basalts with which they are genetically related. These late OIB-like alkaline to transitional basalts were generated by partial melting of the subslab asthenosphere of the subducting Nazca plate during the opening of the South Chile spreading ridge-related slab window. These basalts differentiated with small amounts of assimilation in shallow magma chambers emplaced along transtensional to extensional zones. The close association of bimodal magmatism with extensional tectonic features in the western MLBA is a strong support to the model of Patagonian collapse event proposed to have taken place between 5 and 3 Ma as a consequence of the presence of the asthenospheric window (SCR-1 segment of South Chile Ridge) below the MLBA area.

  12. Crustal structure beneath two seismic stations in the Sunda-Banda arc transition zone derived from receiver function analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Syuhada, E-mail: hadda9@gmail.com [Graduate Research on Earthquake and Active Tectonics (GREAT), Bandung Institute of Technology, Jalan Ganesha 10, Bandung 40132 (Indonesia); Research Centre for Physics - Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Kompleks Puspiptek Serpong, Tangsel 15314, Banten Indonesia (Indonesia); Hananto, Nugroho D.; Handayani, Lina [Research Centre for Geotechnology - Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Jl. Sangkuriang (Kompleks LIPI) Bandung 40135 (Indonesia); Puspito, Nanang T; Yudistira, Tedi [Faculty of Mining and Petroleum Engineering ITB, Jalan Ganesha 10, Bandung 40132 (Indonesia); Anggono, Titi [Research Centre for Physics - Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Kompleks Puspiptek Serpong, Tangsel 15314, Banten Indonesia (Indonesia)

    2015-04-24

    We analyzed receiver functions to estimate the crustal thickness and velocity structure beneath two stations of Geofon (GE) network in the Sunda-Banda arc transition zone. The stations are located in two different tectonic regimes: Sumbawa Island (station PLAI) and Timor Island (station SOEI) representing the oceanic and continental characters, respectively. We analyzed teleseismic events of 80 earthquakes to calculate the receiver functions using the time-domain iterative deconvolution technique. We employed 2D grid search (H-κ) algorithm based on the Moho interaction phases to estimate crustal thickness and Vp/Vs ratio. We also derived the S-wave velocity variation with depth beneath both stations by inverting the receiver functions. We obtained that beneath station PLAI the crustal thickness is about 27.8 km with Vp/Vs ratio 2.01. As station SOEI is covered by very thick low-velocity sediment causing unstable solution for the inversion, we modified the initial velocity model by adding the sediment thickness estimated using high frequency content of receiver functions in H-κ stacking process. We obtained the crustal thickness is about 37 km with VP/Vs ratio 2.2 beneath station SOEI. We suggest that the high Vp/Vs in station PLAI may indicate the presence of fluid ascending from the subducted plate to the volcanic arc, whereas the high Vp/Vs in station SOEI could be due to the presence of sediment and rich mafic composition in the upper crust and possibly related to the serpentinization process in the lower crust. We also suggest that the difference in velocity models and crustal thicknesses between stations PLAI and SOEI are consistent with their contrasting tectonic environments.

  13. 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.

  14. Transient thermal regimes in the Sierra Nevada and Baja California extinct outer arcs following the cessation of Farallon subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erkan, Kamil; Blackwell, David

    2009-02-01

    We examine the thermal relaxation of the Sierra Nevada and Baja California extinct outer arc blocks following the progressive cessation of Farallon subduction under western North America beginning at ˜30 Ma. Being parts of the same outer arc until the inland jump of the San Andreas transform fault at ˜5 Ma, these two regions show many similarities in their geology, geomorphology, rigid body behavior, and their relatively low seismicity. In the thermal model, we combine results of different geophysical and geophysical studies to constrain the thermal state and geometry of the outer arcs before the cessation of subduction and then model the postsubduction temperature responses in these regions using the results of the tectonic reconstructions. A well-constrained regional thermal model of these blocks using the results of many earlier studies in these regions confirms that the present low heat flow values in these regions are the remnants of the very cold outer arc thermal regime of the subduction zone even as long as 30 Ma after cessation of subduction. Thus the entire Pacific boundary of the North American plate is still in a transient thermal state. The calculated low lithospheric temperatures in the Sierra Nevada and Peninsular blocks correlate very well with their rigid body behavior obtained from geodetic studies, and seismogenic layer thicknesses obtained from seismological studies. This is in contrast with the fact that both regions are surrounded by intense deformation associated with the western North America intraplate and extraplate motions. These low-temperature islands play important roles in the present interaction of the North American and Pacific plates and contribute to the broad deformation of the transform boundary. The thermal relaxation of the extinct outer arcs includes both vertical heating from the underlying asthenosphere and the lateral heating from the extinct back arc (Basin and Range), which has remained as a high heat flow region after

  15. 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

  16. One and two-dimensional Triplicated waveform modeling beneath northeast Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Y.; Chen, L.

    2016-12-01

    Northeast Asia has long been investigated by geoscientists for its critical importance where the Pacific plate is subducting beneath the Eurasian continent accompanying by complicated mantle processes. In our study, taking advantages of frequent occurrence of deep earthquakes(>300km) in the subduction zone and dense seismic arrays in mainland China and Japan, we conducted both 1-Dimensional (1-D) and 2-Dimensional (2-D) triplicated forward waveform modeling on several selected deep events in the Japan-kuril and Izu areas. Triplicated waveform or Triplication which consists of refracted and reflected wave caused by the 410km/660km discontinuity, is very sensitive to the mantle transition zone velocity structure compared with the most commonly adopted methods such as receiver functions and seismic tomography. From 1-D modeling, we obtained the 1-D P and SH wave velocity structure model in the research area, which has an average P wave velocity 1% with maximum 2.1% and an average SH wave velocity 2% with maximum 3.9% higher than the global Iasp91 model in the mantle transition zone, consistent with the tomographic image of a fast stagnant slab in the region. In addition, we found slightly low velocities at approximately 560 km depth. However, the distribution and properties of such a low velocity feature cannot be well constrained based purely on the simple 1-D waveform modeling. In our 2-D simulations, we constructed a series of models and adopted the SEM method to investigate the sensitivity of triplicated waveforms on the slab structure in the mantle transition zone. In particular, we tested a model with a low velocity metastable olivine wedge (mow) added in the slab in the case that seismic waves travel roughly along the trending direction of the steep slab beneath the Izu Arc. Our preliminary result shows that the synthetic seismograms with the mow model display waveform variations distinctly different from the observations, suggesting that a metastable olivine

  17. A model for the termination of the Ryukyu subduction zone against Taiwan: A junction of collision, subduction/separation, and subduction boundaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, F.T.; Liang, W.-T.; Lee, J.-C.; Benz, H.; Villasenor, A.

    2009-01-01

    The NW moving Philippine Sea plate (PSP) collides with the Eurasian plate (EUP) in the vicinity of Taiwan, and at the same time, it subducts toward the north along SW Ryukyu. The Ryukyu subduction zone terminates against eastern Taiwan. While the Ryukyu Trench is a linear bathym??trie low about 100 km east of Taiwan, closer to Taiwan, it cannot be clearly identified bathymetrically owing to the deformation related to the collision, making the location of the intersection of the Ryukyu with Taiwan difficult to decipher. We propose a model for this complex of boundaries on the basis of seismicity and 3-D velocity structures. In this model the intersection is placed at the latitude of about 23.7??N, placing the northern part of the Coastal Range on EUP. As PSP gets deeper along the subduction zone it collides with EUP on the Taiwan side only where they are in direct contact. Thus, the Eurasian plate on the Taiwan side is being pushed and compressed by the NW moving Philippine Sea plate, at increasing depth toward the north. Offshore of northeastern Taiwan the wedge-shaped EUP on top of the Ryukyu subducting plate is connected to the EUP on the Ryukyu side and coupled to the NW moving PSP by friction at the plate interface. The two sides of the EUP above the western end of the subduction zone are not subjected to the same forces, and a difference in motions can be expected. The deformation of Taiwan as revealed by continuous GPS measurements, geodetic movement along the east coast of Taiwan, and the formation of the Hoping Basin can be understood in terms of the proposed model. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  18. Mantle transition zone discontinuities beneath the Tien Shan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Youqiang; Zhao, Dapeng; Lei, Jianshe

    2017-10-01

    To better understand geodynamic processes of intracontinental mountain building, we conduct a systematic investigation of the mantle transition zone (MTZ) beneath the Tien Shan and its surrounding areas using a receiver function method under non-plane wave front assumption. The resulting apparent depths of the 410 km (d410) and 660 km (d660) discontinuities and the MTZ thickness display significant lateral variations. Both the central Tien Shan and the Pamir Plateau are characterized by a thick MTZ, which can be well explained by the existence of lithospheric segments resulted from possible break-off of the subducted slab or lithosphere delamination. A thin MTZ and an obviously depressed d410, which may be induced by asthenosphere upwelling associated with the dropping lithospheric segment, are revealed beneath the Kazakh Shield. Seismic evidence is obtained for the potential existence of lower mantle upwelling beneath the Tarim Basin based on the observed thin MTZ and relatively significant uplift of d660. The subduction of the Kazakh Shield and Tarim lithosphere driven by the India-Eurasia collision possibly plays an essential role in the formation and evolution of the Tien Shan orogenic belt, and the lower mantle upwelling revealed beneath the Tarim Basin may promote the uplift of the Tien Shan by softening the upper mantle.

  19. 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.

  20. Dynamics and Significance of Plume-Induced Subduction Initiation: Numerical Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    How did the first subduction zone form? Most present-day subduction initiation mechanisms require acting plate forces and/or preexisting zones of lithospheric weakness, which are themselves the consequence of plate tectonics (Stern 2004). In contrast, spontaneous plume-induced subduction initiation - suggested on the basis of numerical thermo-mechanical experiments (Ueda et al., 2008) and supported by data re-interpretation of how subduction started in Late Cretaceous time around the Caribbean LIP (Whattam and Stern, 2014) - does not require pre-existing lithospheric fabric, such as are created by active plate tectonics and is viable for both stagnant lid and mobile/deformable lid conditions. Here, we present first results of high-resolution 3D numerical thermo-mechanical modeling of plume-induced subduction resulting from mechanical-magmatic interaction of an ascending thermal mantle plume with old, cold, dense oceanic lithosphere. We demonstrate that weakening of the strong lithosphere by plume-induced magmatism is the key factor enabling subduction initiation around the plume head. A large plume head is required to overcome ring confinement, and subduction initiation is further favored when plume activity and lithospheric weakening continues for several tens of Ma. We further discuss possible implications of this scenario for modern plate tectonics as well as for plate tectonics initiation in Precambrian time. ReferencesStern, R.J., 2004. Subduction initiation: spontaneous and induced. EPSL 226, 275-292.Ueda, K., Gerya, T., Sobolev, S.V., 2008. Subduction initiation by thermal-chemical plumes. PEPI 171, 296-312.Whattam, S.A., Stern, R. 2014. Late Cretaceous plume-induced subduction initiation along the southern margin of the Caribbean and NW South America: The first documented example with implications for the onset of plate tectonics. Gondwana Research, (accepted).

  1. Impact-driven subduction on the Hadean Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, C.; Marchi, S.; Zhang, S.; Bottke, W.

    2017-10-01

    Impact cratering was a dominant geologic process in the early Solar System that probably played an active role in the crustal evolution of the young terrestrial planets. The Earth's interior during the Hadean, 4.56 to 4 billion years ago, may have been too hot to sustain plate tectonics. However, whether large impacts could have triggered tectonism on the early Earth remains unclear. Here we conduct global-scale tectonic simulations of the evolution of the Earth through the Hadean eon under variable impact fluxes. Our simulations show that the thermal anomalies produced by large impacts induce mantle upwellings that are capable of driving transient subduction events. Furthermore, we find that moderate-sized impacts can act as subduction triggers by causing localized lithospheric thinning and mantle upwelling, and modulate tectonic activity. In contrast to contemporary subduction, the simulated localized subduction events are relatively short-lived (less than 10 Myr) with relatively thin, weak plates. We suggest that resurgence in subduction activity induced by an increased impact flux between 4.1 and 4.0 billion years ago may explain the coincident increase in palaeointensity of the magnetic field. We further suggest that transient impact-driven subduction reconciles evidence from Hadean zircons for tectonic activity with other lines of evidence consistent with an Earth that was largely tectonically stagnant from the Hadean into the Archaean.

  2. 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.

  3. Continental crust beneath southeast Iceland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torsvik, Trond H.; Amundsen, Hans E. F.; Trønnes, Reidar G.; Doubrovine, Pavel V.; Gaina, Carmen; Kusznir, Nick J.; Steinberger, Bernhard; Corfu, Fernando; Ashwal, Lewis D.; Griffin, William L.; Werner, Stephanie C.; Jamtveit, Bjørn

    2015-01-01

    The magmatic activity (0–16 Ma) in Iceland is linked to a deep mantle plume that has been active for the past 62 My. Icelandic and northeast Atlantic basalts contain variable proportions of two enriched components, interpreted as recycled oceanic crust supplied by the plume, and subcontinental lithospheric mantle derived from the nearby continental margins. A restricted area in southeast Iceland—and especially the Öræfajökull volcano—is characterized by a unique enriched-mantle component (EM2-like) with elevated 87Sr/86Sr and 207Pb/204Pb. Here, we demonstrate through modeling of Sr–Nd–Pb abundances and isotope ratios that the primitive Öræfajökull melts could have assimilated 2–6% of underlying continental crust before differentiating to more evolved melts. From inversion of gravity anomaly data (crustal thickness), analysis of regional magnetic data, and plate reconstructions, we propose that continental crust beneath southeast Iceland is part of ∼350-km-long and 70-km-wide extension of the Jan Mayen Microcontinent (JMM). The extended JMM was marginal to East Greenland but detached in the Early Eocene (between 52 and 47 Mya); by the Oligocene (27 Mya), all parts of the JMM permanently became part of the Eurasian plate following a westward ridge jump in the direction of the Iceland plume. PMID:25825769

  4. 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

    onset of the subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate beneath the East Asian continental margin probably took place during the latest Triassic (ca. 215 Ma); (3) changes in the drifting direction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate were responsible for the intermittent magmatic activities; and (4) roll-back of the subducted plate resulted in the oceanwards migration of the magmatic arc and large-scale back-arc extension throughout NE China during the Early Cretaceous.

  5. Subduction, back-arc spreading and global mantle flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hager, B. H.; Oconnell, R. J.; Raefsky, A.

    1983-01-01

    It is pointed out that the subducted lithosphere associated with Benioff zones provides the only direct evidence about the flow in the earth's interior associated with plate motions. It is the primary objective of the present investigation to study the relation between the orientation of subducting lithosphere and the flow patterns (both local and global) near subduction zones. Most of the calculations conducted are based on simple flow models for radially symmetric, Newtonian viscous spheres. The investigation is concerned with the possibility that a simple model of global mantle flow could account for some features of subduction zones. It is found that such a model can account for the orientation of the seismic zones, and, in addition, also for features related to back-arc spreading and perhaps the maximum earthquake size.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  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. Integrating Seismic Tomography, 3d Spherical Flow Modeling and Plate Reconstructions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karason, H.; van der Hilst, R.; Hager, B. H.; Replumaz, A.; Tapponnier, P.

    Due to source and receiver distribution and ray geometry, the sampling of Earth's inte- rior structure is very uneven, and consequently the length scale at which structure can be resolved is spatially variable. In our most recent P-wave tomographic model the mantle is imaged at varying length scales, i.e. the grid size of our block parameteriza- tion adapts to the density of data coverage. In particular, detailed images of complex trajectories of convective flow in the upper mantle, across the transition zone and, in some cases, down to mid-mantle depths are obtained beneath many of the seismically active subduction zones. We have also developed a new code to simulate buoyancy driven mantle flow in three dimensions, in spherical geometry and with high spatial (slabs, are tracked through time to build a flow model with depth de- pendent viscosity profiles of the mantle. At the surface, geometrically complex and/or time-varying boundary conditions are easily applied, facilitating integration with sub- duction history. Comparing the tomography to flow modeling inspired by subduction history and vice versa gives an opportunity to constrain both mantle structure and plate reconstruc- tions. We apply this approach to tectonics in SE-Asia, i.e. the subduction associated with the South and South-West motion of the Sunda-block, caused by the collision of India with mainland Asia. The flow modeling allows us to dynamically connect the plate reconstructions, which constrain surface position of the convergent margin at different times in the past, and the tomography, which constrains the morphology of the slabs at depth. This way we can estimate sinking rates, single out subduction scenarios, constrain the viscosity contrast between the upper and lower mantle and explain apparent discrepancies between the two observables. Furthermore, juxtapos- ing the tomography, realistic flow models and inversion tests using the flow models as inputs, illustrates the biases built into

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cloetingh, Sierd

    1982-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cloetingh, S.A.P.L.

    1982-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Release of mineral-bound water prior to subduction tied to shallow seismogenic slip off Sumatra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hüpers, Andre; Torres, Marta E; Owari, Satoko; McNeill, Lisa C; Dugan, Brandon; Henstock, Timothy J; Milliken, Kitty L; Petronotis, Katerina E; Backman, Jan; Bourlange, Sylvain; Chemale, Farid; Chen, Wenhuang; Colson, Tobias A; Frederik, Marina C G; Guèrin, Gilles; Hamahashi, Mari; House, Brian M; Jeppson, Tamara N; Kachovich, Sarah; Kenigsberg, Abby R; Kuranaga, Mebae; Kutterolf, Steffen; Mitchison, Freya L; Mukoyoshi, Hideki; Nair, Nisha; Pickering, Kevin T; Pouderoux, Hugo F A; Shan, Yehua; Song, Insun; Vannucchi, Paola; Vrolijk, Peter J; Yang, Tao; Zhao, Xixi

    2017-05-26

    Plate-boundary fault rupture during the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman subduction earthquake extended closer to the trench than expected, increasing earthquake and tsunami size. International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 362 sampled incoming sediments offshore northern Sumatra, revealing recent release of fresh water within the deep sediments. Thermal modeling links this freshening to amorphous silica dehydration driven by rapid burial-induced temperature increases in the past 9 million years. Complete dehydration of silicates is expected before plate subduction, contrasting with prevailing models for subduction seismogenesis calling for fluid production during subduction. Shallow slip offshore Sumatra appears driven by diagenetic strengthening of deeply buried fault-forming sediments, contrasting with weakening proposed for the shallow Tohoku-Oki 2011 rupture, but our results are applicable to other thickly sedimented subduction zones including those with limited earthquake records. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  15. Reevaluating carbon fluxes in subduction zones, what goes down, mostly comes up.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelemen, Peter B; Manning, Craig E

    2015-07-28

    Carbon fluxes in subduction zones can be better constrained by including new estimates of carbon concentration in subducting mantle peridotites, consideration of carbonate solubility in aqueous fluid along subduction geotherms, and diapirism of carbon-bearing metasediments. Whereas previous studies concluded that about half the subducting carbon is returned to the convecting mantle, we find that relatively little carbon may be recycled. If so, input from subduction zones into the overlying plate is larger than output from arc volcanoes plus diffuse venting, and substantial quantities of carbon are stored in the mantle lithosphere and crust. Also, if the subduction zone carbon cycle is nearly closed on time scales of 5-10 Ma, then the carbon content of the mantle lithosphere + crust + ocean + atmosphere must be increasing. Such an increase is consistent with inferences from noble gas data. Carbon in diamonds, which may have been recycled into the convecting mantle, is a small fraction of the global carbon inventory.

  16. 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.

  17. Prominent reflector beneath around the segmentation boundary between Tonankai-Nankai earthquake area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakanishi, A.; Shimomura, N.; Fujie, G.; Kodaira, S.; Obana, K.; Takahashi, T.; Yamamoto, Y.; Yamashita, M.; Takahashi, N.; Kaneda, Y.; Mochizuki, K.; Kato, A.; Iidaka, T.; Kurashimo, E.; Shinohara, M.; Takeda, T.; Shiomi, K.

    2013-12-01

    In the Nankai Trough subduction seismogenic zone, the Nankai and Tonankai earthquakes had often occurred simultaneously, and caused a great event. In most cases, first break of such large events of Nankai Trough usually begins from southwest off the Kii Peninsula so far. The idea of split Philippine Sea plate between the Kii Peninsula and the Shikoku Island, which explains seismicity, tectonic background, receiver function image and historical plate motion, was previously suggested. Moreover, between the Kii Peninsula and the Shikoku Island, there is a gap of deep low-frequency events observed in the belt-like zone along the strike of the subducting Philippine Sea plate. In 2010 and 2011, we conducted the large-scale high-resolution wide-angle and reflection (MCS) seismic study, and long-term observation from off Shikoku and Kii Peninsula. Marine active source seismic data have been acquired along grid two-dimensional profiles having the total length of ~800km/year. A three-dimensional seismic tomography using active and passive seismic data observed both land and ocean bottom stations have been also performed. From those data, we found a possible prominent reflector imaged in the offshore side in the Kii channel at the depth of ~18km. The velocity just beneath the reflector cannot be determined due to the lack of ray paths. Based of the amplitude information, we interpret the reflector as the forearc Moho based on the velocity gap (from ~6.4km/s to ~7.4km/s). However, the reflector is shallower than the forearc Moho of other area along the Nankai Trough. Similar reflectors are recognized along other seismic profiles around the Kii channel. In this presentation, we will show the result of structure analysis to understand the peculiar structure including the prominent reflector around the Kii channel. Relation between the structure and the existence of the segmentation of the Nankai megathrust earthquake or seismic gap of the deep low-frequency events will be also

  18. 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

    retreat. Topography associated with slab retreat is curved. Coupling I3ELVIS with SPM yields more accurate topography of the curved subduction zone. This allows balancing the relative importance of surface and deep processes in the evolution of curved subduction zones and the development of their related topography. References: Gerya, T. V., & Yuen, D. A. (2007). Robust characteristics method for modelling multiphase visco-elasto-plastic thermo-mechanical problems. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 163(1), 83-105. Gerya, T. V., Stern, R. J., Baes, M., Sobolev, S. V., & Whattam, S. A. (2015). Plate tectonics on the Earth triggered by plume-induced subduction initiation. Nature, 527(7577), 221-225.

  19. Asthenospheric outflow from the shrinking Philippine Sea Plate: Evidence from Hf-Nd isotopes of southern Mariana lavas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Julia M.; Stern, Robert J.; Martinez, Fernando; Woodhead, Jon; Chen, Min; Ohara, Yasuhiko

    2017-11-01

    At subduction zones, sinking of the downgoing lithosphere is thought to enable a return flow of asthenospheric mantle around the slab edges, so that the asthenosphere from underneath the slab invades the ambient mantle flowing underneath the volcanic arc and the backarc basin. For instance at the northern end of the Lau Basin, trench retreat and slab rollback enable toroidal return flow of Samoan mantle beneath a transform margin to provide a supply of fresh, undepleted Indian mantle that feeds the backarc spreading center. Questions, however, arise about the sense of mantle flow when plate kinematics predict that the trench is advancing, as seen in the Mariana convergent margin. Does the mantle flow in or does it escape outward through slab tears or gaps? Here, we address the origin and sense of asthenospheric mantle flow supplying the southern Mariana convergent margin, a region of strong extension occurring above the subducting Pacific plate. Does the asthenosphere flow northward, from underneath the Pacific plate and Caroline hotspot through a slab tear or gap, or does it flow outward from the Mariana Trough, which possesses a characteristic Indian Ocean isotopic signature? To address these questions, we integrate geodetic data along with new Hf-Nd isotopic data for fresh basaltic lavas from three tectonic provinces in the southernmost Marianas: the Fina Nagu volcanic complex, the Malaguana-Gadao backarc spreading ridge and the SE Mariana forearc rift. Our results indicate that Indian mantle flows outward and likely escapes through slab tears or gaps to accommodate shrinking of the Philippine Sea plate. We thus predict that asthenospheric flow around the Pacific slab at the southern Mariana Trench is opposite to that predicted by most subduction-driven mantle flow models.

  20. Interplay of plate convergence and arc migration in the central Mediterranean (Sicily and Calabria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nijholt, Nicolai; Govers, Rob; Wortel, Rinus

    2016-04-01

    Key components in the current geodynamic setting of the central Mediterranean are continuous, slow Africa-Eurasia plate convergence (~5 mm/yr) and arc migration. This combination encompasses roll-back, tearing and detachment of slabs, and leads to back-arc opening and orogeny. Since ~30 Ma the Apennnines-Calabrian and Gibraltar subduction zones have shaped the western-central Mediterranean region. Lithospheric tearing near slab edges and the accompanying surface expressions (STEP faults) are key in explaining surface dynamics as observed in geologic, geophysical and geodetic data. In the central Mediterranean, both the narrow Calabrian subduction zone and the Sicily-Tyrrhenian offshore thrust front show convergence, with a transfer (shear) zone connecting the distinct SW edge of the former with the less distinct, eastern limit of the latter (similar, albeit on a smaller scale, to the situation in New Zealand with oppositely verging subduction zones and the Alpine fault as the transfer shear zone). The ~NNW-SSE oriented transfer zone (Aeolian-Sisifo-Tindari(-Ionian) fault system) shows transtensive-to-strike slip motion. Recent seismicity, geological data and GPS vectors in the central Mediterranean indicate that the region can be subdivided into several distinct domains, both on- and offshore, delineated by deformation zones and faults. However, there is discussion about the (relative) importance of some of these faults on the lithospheric scale. We focus on finding the best-fitting assembly of faults for the transfer zone connecting subduction beneath Calabria and convergence north of Sicily in the Sicily-Tyrrhenian offshore thrust front. This includes determining whether the Alfeo-Etna fault, Malta Escarpment and/or Ionian fault, which have all been suggested to represent the STEP fault of the Calabrian subduction zone, are key in describing the observed deformation patterns. We first focus on the present-day. We use geodynamic models to reproduce observed GPS

  1. A high resolution 3D velocity model beneath the Tokyo Metropolitan area by MeSO-net

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakagawa, S.; Sakai, S.; Honda, R.; Kimura, H.; Hirata, N.

    2015-12-01

    Beneath the Tokyo metropolitan area, the Philippine Sea Plate (PSP) subducts and causes devastating mega-thrust earthquakes, such as the 1703 Genroku earthquake (M8.0) and the 1923 Kanto earthquake (M7.9). An M7 or greater (M7+) earthquake in this area at present has high potential to produce devastating serious loss of life and property with even greater global economic repercussions. The Central Disaster Management Council of Japan estimates that an M7+ earthquake will cause 23,000 fatalities and 95 trillion yen (about 1 trillion US$) economic loss. We have launched the Special Project for Reducing Vulnerability for Urban Mega Earthquake Disasters in collaboration with scientists, engineers, and social-scientists in nationwide institutions since 2012. We analyze data from the dense seismic array called Metropolitan Seismic Observation network (MeSO-net), which has 296 seismic stations with spacing of 5 km (Sakai and Hirata, 2009; Kasahara et al., 2009). We applied the double-difference tomography method (Zhang and Thurber, 2003) and estimated the velocity structure and the upper boundary of PSP (Nakagawa et al., 2010). The 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake (M9.0) has activated seismicity also in Kanto region, providing better coverage of ray paths for tomographic analysis. We obtain much higher resolution velocity models from whole dataset observed by MeSO-net between 2008 and 2015. A detailed image of tomograms shows that PSP contacts Pacific plate at a depth of 50 km beneath northern Tokyo bay. A variation of velocity along the oceanic crust suggests dehydration reaction to produce seismicity in a slab, which may related to the M7+ earthquake. Acknowledgement: This study was supported by the Special Project for Reducing Vulnerability for Urban Mega Earthquake Disasters of MEXT, Japan and the Earthquake Research Institute cooperative research program.

  2. Anatomy of the western Java plate interface from depth-migrated seismic images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp, H.; Hindle, D.; Klaeschen, D.; Oncken, O.; Reichert, C.; Scholl, D.

    2009-01-01

    Newly pre-stack depth-migrated seismic images resolve the structural details of the western Java forearc and plate interface. The structural segmentation of the forearc into discrete mechanical domains correlates with distinct deformation styles. Approximately 2/3 of the trench sediment fill is detached and incorporated into frontal prism imbricates, while the floor sequence is underthrust beneath the d??collement. Western Java, however, differs markedly from margins such as Nankai or Barbados, where a uniform, continuous d??collement reflector has been imaged. In our study area, the plate interface reveals a spatially irregular, nonlinear pattern characterized by the morphological relief of subducted seamounts and thicker than average patches of underthrust sediment. The underthrust sediment is associated with a low velocity zone as determined from wide-angle data. Active underplating is not resolved, but likely contributes to the uplift of the large bivergent wedge that constitutes the forearc high. Our profile is located 100 km west of the 2006 Java tsunami earthquake. The heterogeneous d??collement zone regulates the friction behavior of the shallow subduction environment where the earthquake occurred. The alternating pattern of enhanced frictional contact zones associated with oceanic basement relief and weak material patches of underthrust sediment influences seismic coupling and possibly contributed to the heterogeneous slip distribution. Our seismic images resolve a steeply dipping splay fault, which originates at the d??collement and terminates at the sea floor and which potentially contributes to tsunami generation during co-seismic activity. ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V.

  3. A Broad Depressed 410-km Discontinuity beneath Northeast Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, J.; Guo, G.; WANG, X.

    2016-12-01

    The topography of the upper mantle discontinuities is important for good understanding of the thermal structure, composition of the mantle, and scales of mantle circulation as well. We applied both receiver function analysis and multiple-ScS reverberations to seismic waveforms recorded by stations beneath land and ocean, respectively. We obtained a complete image of the upper mantle discontinuities beneath northeast Asia, covering from the Okhotsk Sea, far east Russia, Japan Sea and northeast China. Results with different resolutions from different methods are compared in detail, and the comparison shows that long-period ScS reverberation signals is effective in extracting the robust features of the upper mantle discontinuities. Through the integrated depth undulation map covering both sea and land, we detected an obvious depression of the 410-km discontinuity with value 8-25 km, anticorrelated with a wide range of depressed 660-km discontinuity. The depression of the 660 can be explained by the temperature anomaly associated to the subducting Pacific slab. The landward extension of the depressed 410, however, is of large scale with a lateral range of at least 800-1000 km. Mechanism invoking chemical heterogeneity in the mantle transition zone was explored to explain the observation. We speculate that the broadly depressed 410 beneath west Japan Sea, part of Okhotsk Sea, and northeast China might be caused by high water content at the top of the mantle transition zone. The significant trench rollback motion of the subducting Pacific slab from the Miocene might explain the widespread distribution of the depression of the 410. The west edge of observed depressed 410-km discontinuity might pin the initial location where the Pacific subducting slab had been furthest before the occurrence of trench retreating.

  4. The Modern Gorda-Juan de Fuca Subduction System and the Inherited Stratification of the Transition Zone below Western US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tauzin, B.; van der Hilst, R. D.; Wittlinger, G.; Ricard, Y. R.

    2012-12-01

    We provide insights on the deep geodynamic processes that have shaped western North America (NA) during the past 100 Myr. We use data of P-to-S converted waves recorded at seismic stations of the US Transportable Array to image main discontinuities in shear-wave velocity within the transition zone (TZ). We measure the topography and the reflectance (i.e. the amplitude of conversion) of the `410' and `660' interfaces. We image also minor seismic discontinuities around 350, 590 and 630 km depths. Idaho is the location of strong structural anomalies with a sharp topography of the `660', a thick TZ, a reduced reflectance of the `410' and a positive interface at 630 km depth. The thick TZ and the `630' discontinuity suggest low temperatures and a possible garnet to ilmenite transition. Water could also reduce locally the `410' Vs contrast. A remnant of the Farallon plate, anchored 55 Myr ago in the mantle below Idaho [Schmandt and Humphreys, 2011] and providing cool temperatures and water to the TZ, is a possible explanation. At the same location, a layer with 4% shear-wave speed reduction (the `350') and 70 km thickness is present atop the `410' discontinuity. In addition, an almost continuous interface, marking shear wave velocity reductions, spreads at 590 km depth roughly from southern Idaho to southeastern western US. Dehydration induced partial melting [Bercovici and Karato, 2003] can explain a melt layer atop the `410'. However, it does not explain a widespread negative `590' discontinuity within the TZ. It is possible that eclogitic material has progressively accumulated at the base of the TZ due to crustal delamination from the subducted Farallon oceanic lithosphere. With low Vs, the top of a garnetite layer could produce sharp negative velocity gradients around 590 km depth. The geometry of the Gorda-Juan de Fuca subduction system is also subject to debate. Tomography has shown the plate to subduct in the mantle along the whole western margin of NA except

  5. 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...

  6. Thermochronological response to rifting and subduction in the Corsica-Sardinia block

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malusà, Marco Giovanni; Danišík, Martin; Kuhlemann, Joachim

    2014-05-01

    The linkage between deep-seated tectonic processes and surface processes provides a key to investigate the geological evolution of complex plate boundaries starting from the analysis of low-temperature geochronological systems. Here, we integrate published thermochronological data from Corsica (Danišík et al., 2007) with a new multi-thermochronological dataset (i.e., zircon and apatite fission track (ZFT and AFT), and apatite (U-Th)/He (AHe) data) from Sardinia, in order to tackle the Western Mediterranean tectonic issue and constrain the problematic transition in space and time between the opposite-dipping Alpine (European) and Apenninic (Adriatic) subductions. Mesozoic AFT ages (169-201 Ma) and AHe ages (133-204 Ma), found on mountain ridges of central Sardinia and on the eastern coast of the island, indicate that rocks now exposed at the surface have resided since Jurassic times at very shallow depth, i.e., above the partial annealing zone of the AFT system (~60-110°C) or even above the partial retention zone of the AHe system (~40-80°C). The observed age pattern and track length distributions are consistent with those predicted after rising of isothermal surfaces during rifting and subsequent thermal relaxation after continental break-up. We demonstrate that the crustal sections now exposed in central and eastern Sardinia were originally located closer to the Tethyan rift axis than crustal sections exposed in NW Sardinia and Corsica, pointing to a NNE trend for the continental crust isopachs of the northern Tethyan margin (ENE before Corsica-Sardinia rotation), with burial depth progressively increasing from SE to NW. In Alpine Corsica, the low-T geochronological evidence of Jurassic rifting was largely obliterated by Cenozoic metamorphism, but it is still recognized in high-T systems. AFT and AHe ages set after Tethyan rifting but not thermally affected by Neogene backarc extension, define a SE-NW trend of decreasing ages from southern Sardinia to northern

  7. Geomorphologic Indices for Transition from Subduction to Arc-Continent Collision in Sumba Island, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Authemayou, C.; Delcaillau, B.; Brocard, G. Y.; Molliex, S.; Nexer, M.; Pedoja, K.

    2014-12-01

    The Sumba Island lies in a key area to study the eastern Indonesia geodynamics. It is located in the Sunda-Banda fore-arc in the area of transition from subduction of the Indian oceanic lithosphere (W) beneath the Sunda-Banda arc to arc-continent collision between the Australian continental margin and the Sunda-Banda arc (E). East of the Sumba Island, the western boundary of the Savu basin originated during Middle Miocene by the southeastward slab retreat below the Sunda-Banda arc (Rigg and Hall, 2001). Previous studies has detected a global uplift of the island accommodating the Australian plate - South West Banda Arc convergence (Fleury et al., 2009). This uplift is associated with northeastward tilting and gravitational collapse to the South. Analyses of various geomorphic markers (perched low relief landscapes, rockyshore platform, coral reef terraces, drainages) and of morphometric indices allowed us to localise new structures (faults and folds), to determine the chronology of their activation and to better constraint the uplift history of Sumba Island. These results aim to understand the evolution of the deformation in Sumba Island in regard with its geodynamic context from Middle Miocene to present-day.

  8. THE POTENTIAL OF TSUNAMI GENERATION ALONG THE MAKRAN SUBDUCTION ZONE IN THE NORTHERN ARABIAN SEA. CASE STUDY: THE EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI OF NOVEMBER 28, 1945

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Pararas-Carayannis

    2006-01-01

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

  9. Beneath our Feet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernon, Ron

    2001-01-01

    How much do you know about the rocks beneath your feet--the basic materials of our planet? Their variety and beauty is astounding, especially when viewed through the microscope, where crystals of different minerals and in various arrangements are revealed in exquisite detail. While surface rocks seem so solid, they flow deep inside the earth, and, in this spectacular book, you'll see what rocks that have flowed actually look like. Eminent geologist Ron Vernon reveals the incredible beauty and variety of earth rocks, both under and on the surface. Through breathtaking photographs he captures rocks formed by heating and melting inside the earth, rocks ejected from volcanoes, rocks formed by erosion on the earth's surface, and extraterrestrial rocks that have crashed into our planet. These stunning images are accompanied by clear, nontechnical explanations of the processes underlying the creation of rocks and minerals. No other current book so cogently explains the nature and origin of rocks for nonscientists. Beneath Our Feet: The Rocks of Planet Earth is destined to be a must-have purchase for a wide-ranging audience from professional scientists to amateur rock collectors--indeed anyone interested in natural history.

  10. Experimental and observational evidence for plume-induced subduction on Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davaille, A.; Smrekar, S. E.; Tomlinson, S.

    2017-04-01

    Why Venus lacks plate tectonics remains an unanswered question in terrestrial planet evolution. There is observational evidence for subduction--a requirement for plate tectonics--on Venus, but it is unclear why the features have characteristics of both mantle plumes and subduction zones. One explanation is that mantle plumes trigger subduction. Here we compare laboratory experiments of plume-induced subduction in a colloidal solution of nanoparticles to observations of proposed subduction sites on Venus. The experimental fluids are heated from below to produce upwelling plumes, which in turn produce tensile fractures in the lithosphere-like skin that forms on the upper surface. Plume material upwells through the fractures and spreads above the skin, analogous to volcanic flooding, and leads to bending and eventual subduction of the skin along arcuate segments. The segments are analogous to the semi-circular trenches seen at two proposed sites of plume-triggered subduction at Quetzalpetlatl and Artemis coronae. Other experimental deformation structures and subsurface density variations are also consistent with topography, radar and gravity data for Venus. Scaling analysis suggests that this regime with limited, plume-induced subduction is favoured by a hot lithosphere, such as that found on early Earth or present-day Venus.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. IODP Expedition 362: Initial results from drilling the Sumatra subduction zone - the role of input materials in shallow seismogenic slip and forearc plateau development

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNeill, L. C.; Dugan, B.; Petronotis, K. E.; Expedition 362 Scientists, I.

    2016-12-01

    IODP Expedition 362, August-October, 2016, plans to drill two boreholes within the input section of the Indian oceanic plate entering the North Sumatran subduction zone. In 2004, a Mw 9.2 earthquake ruptured the Sunda subduction zone from North Sumatra to the Andaman Islands, a length of 1500 km. The earthquake and tsunami devastated coastal communities around the Indian Ocean. This earthquake and the 2011 Tohoku-Oki Mw 9.0 earthquake showed unexpectedly shallow megathrust slip. In the case of North Sumatra, this shallow slip was focused beneath a distinctive plateau of the accretionary prism. This intriguing seismogenic behavior and forearc structure are not explained by existing models or by observations at other margins where seismogenic slip typically occurs farther landward. Expedition 362 will use core and log data in conjunction with in situ temperature and pressure measurements to document the lithology, structures, and physical and chemical properties of the input sediments. The input materials of the North Sumatran subduction zone are a distinctive, thick (up to 4-5 km) sequence of primarily Bengal-Nicobar Fan-related sediments. This sequence geophysically shows strong evidence for induration and dewatering and has probably reached the temperatures required for sediment-strengthening diagenetic reactions, and input materials may be key to driving the distinctive slip behavior and long-term forearc structure. The plate boundary fault (décollement) originates within the lower pelagic and submarine fan sediments so sampling this interval will help determine what controls décollement development and how its properties evolve. Initial results from the Expedition and plans for post-expedition experiments and modeling will be presented. These methods will be used to predict physical, thermal, fluid, and mechanical properties and diagenetic evolution of the sediments as stresses and temperatures increase due to burial and subduction. Results will be used to

  14. New GPS velocity field in the northern Andes (Ecuador - Colombia) : partial locking along the subduction and northeastward escape of the Northern Andean Block

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nocquet, Jean-Mathieu; Mothes, Patricia; Mohamed, Chlieh; Jarrin, Paul; Martin, Vallee; Rui, Gorki; Regnier, Marc

    2010-05-01

    Rapid subduction of the Nazca plate beneath the Ecuador-Colombia margin (~58 mm/yr) results in two different processes: (1) elastic stress is accumulating along the Nazca/South America plate interface which is responsible of one of the largest megathrust earthquake sequence during the last century (1906, Mw = 8.8, 1942 Mw = 7.8, 1958 Mw = 7.7, and 1979 Mw = 8.2) (2) the Northern Andean Block (NAB) moves northeastward with respect to Stable South America. However, kinematics of the NAB and its level of internal deformation has yet to be quantified. We present a new GPS velocity field covering the northern Andes from south of the Gulf of Guyaquil to the Carribean plate. Our velocity field includes new continuously-recording GPS stations installed along the Ecuadorian coast, together with campaign sites observed since 1994. The observed velocity field confirms that the current surface deformation results from the superimposition of a NNE motion the crustal North Andean Block occurring at ~8 mm/yr and the elastic deformation induced by partial locking of the subduction interface. We first estimate the long-term kinematics of the North Andean block in a joint inversion including GPS data, earthquake slip vectors and quaternary slip rates on major faults. The inversion provides an Euler pole located at long. -107.8°E, lat. 36.2°N, 0.091°/Ma and indicates little internal deformation of the North Andean Block (wrms of residual velcoties is 1.3 mm/yr). As a consequence, 30% of the obliquity of the Nazca/South America motion is accommodated by transcurrent deformation along the eastern boundary of the NAB. Residual velocities with respect to the North Andean Block are then modelled in terms of elastic locking along the subduction interface. Models indicate that the subduction interface is partially locked (50%) up to a depth of 40 km over the area of rupture of the 1906 earthquake. Further south, coupling decreases with latitude, with no coupling detected at the latitude

  15. Assessment of Optimum Value for Dip Angle and Locking Rate Parameters in Makran Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safari, A.; Abolghasem, A. M.; Abedini, N.; Mousavi, Z.

    2017-09-01

    Makran subduction zone is one of the convergent areas that have been studied by spatial geodesy. Makran zone is located in the South Eastern of Iran and South of Pakistan forming the part of Eurasian-Arabian plate's border where oceanic crust in the Arabian plate (or in Oman Sea) subducts under the Eurasian plate ( Farhoudi and Karig, 1977). Due to lack of historical and modern tools in the area, a sampling of sparse measurements of the permanent GPS stations and temporary stations (campaign) has been conducted in the past decade. Makran subduction zone from different perspectives has unusual behaviour: For example, the Eastern and Western parts of the region have very different seismicity and also dip angle of subducted plate is in about 2 to 8 degrees that this value due to the dip angle in other subduction zone is very low. In this study, we want to find the best possible value for parameters that differs Makran subduction zone from other subduction zones. Rigid block modelling method was used to determine these parameters. From the velocity vectors calculated from GPS observations in this area, block model is formed. These observations are obtained from GPS stations that a number of them are located in South Eastern Iran and South Western Pakistan and a station located in North Eastern Oman. According to previous studies in which the locking depth of Makran subduction zone is 38km (Frohling, 2016), in the preparation of this model, parameter value of at least 38 km is considered. With this function, the amount of 2 degree value is the best value for dip angle but for the locking rate there is not any specified amount. Because the proposed model is not sensitive to this parameter. So we can not expect big earthquakes in West of Makran or a low seismicity activity in there but the proposed model definitely shows the Makran subduction layer is locked.

  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. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Transient uplift after a 17th-century earthquake along the Kuril subduction zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawai, Yuki; Satake, Kenji; Kamataki, Takanobu; Nasu, Hiroo; Shishikura, Masanobu; Atwater, Brian F; Horton, Benjamin P; Kelsey, Harvey M; Nagumo, Tamotsu; Yamaguchi, Masaaki

    2004-12-10

    In eastern Hokkaido, 60 to 80 kilometers above a subducting oceanic plate, tidal mudflats changed into freshwater forests during the first decades after a 17th-century tsunami. The mudflats gradually rose by a meter, as judged from fossil diatom assemblages. Both the tsunami and the ensuing uplift exceeded any in the region's 200 years of written history, and both resulted from a shallow plate-boundary earthquake of unusually large size along the Kuril subduction zone. This earthquake probably induced more creep farther down the plate boundary than did any of the region's historical events.

  20. 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.

  1. Using the Mesozoic History of the Canadian Cordillera as a Case Study in Teaching Plate Tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberlain, Valerie Elaine

    1989-01-01

    Reviews a model used in the teaching of plate tectonics which includes processes and concepts related to: terranes and the amalgamation of terranes, relative plate motion and oblique subduction, the effects of continent-continent collision, changes in plate motion, plate configuration, and the type of plate boundary. Diagrams are included.…

  2. Crustal Structure beneath Mexico from Receiver Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espindola, V.; Quintanar, L.; Espindola, J.

    2011-12-01

    The Servicio Sismológico Nacional (SSN) is Mexico's official organism in charge of the observation of seismicity in the country. Operated by the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, it counts with 32 broadband stations deployed throughout the country. The coverage includes most of the geologic provinces of the territory, which vary widely in their geologic characteristics. The availability of records from teleseisms at those stations makes feasible to obtain sound and homogeneous estimates of the structure of the crust in the Mexican territory through the analysis of receiver functions (RF). In this work we present the results of the analysis of RF obtained from events registered from 1998 to 2009 in the 32 stations of the SSN. The RF technique, which uses converted phases at major velocity discontinuities, is a well established technique to infer the velocity contrasts and thickness of the underlying crust. Using this method we were able to infer the depth of the Moho, a major intracrustal discontinuity and in some cases the depth to the base of the subducting plate. We present maps of crustal thickness in Mexico, which varies between about 29 km in the Yucatan peninsula to more than 40 km in central Mexico. Poisson's coefficient varies between 0.19 and 0.30. The position of the descending slab shows a large variation in the subduction angle (from about 6° in the SE margin of the Pacific coast to about 60° in the NW ) as has been found from other techniques.

  3. Back-arc Extension: Critical Analisys of Subduction-related and Non Subduction-related Driving Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantovani, E.; Viti, M.; Babbucci, D.; Tamburelli, C.; Albarello, D.

    It is argued that the opening of back arc basins can hardly be explained as an effect of subduction related forces, since this kind of interpretation has not yet provided plausible explanations for several major features of such processes in the world. In particular, it is not clear why back arc extension occurs in some subduction zones and not in others, why extension ceased in zones where subduction has remained active, why the arcs associated with back arc basins are often characterized by a strongly curved shape, why arc-trench-back arc systems do not develop along the entire length of consuming borders and why no significant correlation can be recognized between any parameter of subduction processes and the occurrence of back arc extension. In addition, modelling experiments indicate that the magnitude of the tensional stress induced in the overriding plate by subduction-related forces is significantly lower than the lithospheric strength. These problems are discussed, in particular, for three subduction-related interpretations, the "slab-pull", the "corner flow" and the "sea an- chor" models, which seem to be the most quoted in literature. It is then argued that possible solutions of the above problems may be provided by the extrusion model, which postulates that back arc basins are generated by the forced separation of the arc from the overriding plate, along a sector of the consuming border. This separa- tion is generally caused by the oblique indentation of strong and buoyant structures against the accretionary belt. In this view, subduction and back arc extension are not causally linked one to the other, but rather represent simultaneous effects of the lateral migration of the arc, driven by plate convergence. It is pointed out that the conditions required for the occurrence of this kind of mechanism may be recognized in the tec- tonic contexts where back arc basins developed in the wake of arc-trench migrating systems. On the other hand, in the zones

  4. Imaging the Rivera and Cocos Plates below Jalisco and Michoacan Blocks from Seismicity Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunez-Cornu, F. J.; Gutierrez Pena, Q. J.; Escudero, C. R.; Barba, D. C., Sr.

    2014-12-01

    We review the local seismicity recorded by the project "Mapping the Riviera Subduction Zone" (MARS), a temporary seismic network that was installed in the states of Jalisco, Colima and Michoacán between January 2006 and June 2007, and the data collected by Jalisco Seismic and Accelerometric Network (RESAJ). We did a relocation of all MARS events using Hypo71 and the P-wave velocity model used by the RESAJ. The data comprise more than 2,000 earthquakes with local magnitude between 1.4 and 5.9 and depths between 1.0 and 109 km. Some crustal seismicity alignments are observed on the Jalisco Block. The geometry of the slabs is different; both are clearly separated beneath the Colima Graben. The Cocos plate, residing south of the graben, presents a typical flat slab dipping with an angle of about 21º extending eastward 200 km from the trench. Meanwhile, the more northerly Rivera plate exhibits a curvature or bend, possibly the result of an oblique suduction process, dipping from the trench with an angle of about 10º just south of Bahía Banderas to a dip angle of 25º at the Eastern contact with the Colima Graben. We have produced profiles parallel to the trench, in a profile along the shore line and a second one 50 km inland. A subduction dip angle of 12º towards the SE direction is observed in the Rivera plate in profiles inland from Bahia de Banderas to the Colima Graben, but the seismicity ceases to define the plate for more westerly profiles which enounter the graben.

  5. Subduction processes related to the Sea of Okhotsk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zabarinskaya, Ludmila P.; Sergeyeva, Nataliya

    2017-04-01

    It is obviously important to study a role of subduction processes in tectonic activity within the continental margins. They are marked by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami and other natural disasters hazardous to the people,plants and animals that inhabit such regions. The northwest part of the Sea of Okhotsk including the northern part of Sakhalin Island and the Deryugin Basin is the area of the recent intensive tectonic movements. The geological and geophysical data have made it possible to construct the geodynamic model of a deep structure of a lithosphere for this region. This geodynamic model has confirmed the existence of the ophiolite complex in the region under consideration. It located between the North Sakhalin sedimentary basin and the Deryugin basin. The Deryugin basin was formed on the side of an ancient deep trench after subducting the Okhotsk Sea Plate under Sakhalin in the Late Cretaceous-Paleogene. The North Sakhalin Basin with oil and gas resources was formed on the side of back-arc basin at that time. Approximately in the Miocene period the subduction process, apparently, has stopped. The remains of the subduction zone in the form of ophiolite complex have been identified according to geological and geophysical data. On a surface the subduction zone is shown as deep faults stretched along Sakhalin.

  6. 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.

  7. Fore-arc deformation at the transition between collision and subduction: insights from 3D thermo-mechanical laboratory experiments.

    OpenAIRE

    D. Boutelier; Onno Oncken; A. Cruden

    2012-01-01

    Three-dimensional thermomechanical laboratory experiments of arc-continent collision investigate the deformation of the fore arc at the transition between collision and subduction. The deformation of the plates in the collision area propagates into the subduction-collision transition zone via along-strike coupling of the neighboring segments of the plate boundary. In our experiments, the largest along-strike gradient of trench-perpendicular compression does not produce sufficiently localized ...

  8. Seamount subduction at the North-Ecuadorian convergent margin : effects on structures, inter-seismic coupling and seismogenesis

    OpenAIRE

    Marcaillou, Boris; Collot, Jean-Yves; Ribodetti, Alessandra; d'Acremont, E.; Mahamat, A. A.; Alvarado, A.

    2016-01-01

    At the North-Ecuadorian convergent margin (1 degrees S-1.5 degrees N), the subduction of the rough Nazca oceanic plate leads to tectonic erosion of the upper plate and complex seismogenic behavior of the megathrust. We used three selected pre-stack depth migrated, multi-channel seismic reflection lines collected during the SISTEUR cruise to investigate the margin structure and decipher the impact of the subducted Atacames seamounts on tectonic erosion, interseismic coupling, and seismogenesis...

  9. Oblique subduction modelling indicates along-trench tectonic transport of sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Convergent plate margins are currently distinguished as 'accretional' or 'erosional', depending on the tendency to accumulate sediments, or not, at the trench. Accretion and erosion can coexist along the same margin and we have noticed that this mostly occurs where subduction is oblique. Here we show that at oblique subduction zones, sediments that enter the trench are first buried, and later migrate laterally parallel to the trench and at various depths. Lateral migration of sediments continues until they reach a physical barrier where they begin to accumulate. The accretionary wedge size decreases along the trench moving away from the barrier. We therefore suggest that the gradual variation of the accretionary wedge size and sediment amount at the trench along one single subduction zone, as observed in many active plate margins worldwide, can be explained by the lateral tectonic migration of sediments driven by obliquity of subduction as well.

  10. Geodynamic Evolution of Subduction to Collision to Escape in Central Anatolia From Surface to Mantle - Results From the CD-CAT Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darin, Michael

    2017-04-01

    Despite significant progress toward understanding the kinematics of modern tectonic escape in Anatolia, considerable uncertainty remains regarding the dynamics of the transition from collision to escape. Because of the relatively small size of the Anatolia microplate, regional-scale studies spanning the plate margins and interior are well-suited to investigate the driving forces and space-time evolution of this unique tectonic transition in collisional orogens. CD-CAT (Continental Dynamics-Central Anatolia Tectonics) is a five-year (2011-2016) project funded by the National Science Foundation (USA) designed to explore the surface-to-mantle dynamics of Anatolia during the Cenozoic subduction-collision-escape transition in central Anatolia. Our approach integrates results from a diversity of methods including: structural, stratigraphic, and geomorphic analyses; magnetostratigraphy; low-temperature thermochronometry; Ar/Ar geochronology; geochemistry; passive seismic experiments (71 stations over two years); magnetotellurics; and numerical modeling. The principal results from this project include: recognition of a margin-wide magmatic lull from 40-20 Ma, followed by a southwestward migration of the initiation of magmatism toward and within the Central Anatolia Volcanic Province (CAVP); an early Miocene switch from contraction/transpression to extension/transtension in the Kırşehir and Niǧde Massifs, while contraction changed to late Miocene strike-slip deformation east of the Central Anatolian fault zone (CAFZ); rain shadow development due to uplift of the central Taurides 11-5 Ma; thin to absent lithospheric mantle beneath central Anatolia; the lack of an Arabia slab shallower than 800 km depth; and a change in the Cyprus slab from horizontal beneath the central Taurides and apparently fragmented beneath the CAVP, to very steeply dipping beneath the eastern Isparta Angle. The CAFZ lies along part of the Inner Tauride Suture (ITS) and represents a fundamental

  11. Uplift in the Fiordland region, New Zealand: implications for incipient subduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    House, M A; Gurnis, M; Kamp, P J J; Sutherland, R

    2002-09-20

    Low-temperature thermochronometry reveals regional Late Cenozoic denudation in Fiordland, New Zealand, consistent with geodynamic models showing uplift of the overriding plate during incipient subduction. The data show a northward progression of exhumation in response to northward migration of the initiation of subduction. The locus of most recent uplift coincides with a large positive Bouguer gravity anomaly within Fiordland. Thermochronometrically deduced crustal thinning, anomalous gravity, and estimates of surface uplift are all consistent with approximately 2 kilometers of dynamic support. This amount of dynamic support is in accord with geodynamic predictions, suggesting that we have dated the initiation of subduction adjacent to Fiordland.

  12. Boron cycling in subduction zones

    OpenAIRE

    Palmer, Martin R.

    2017-01-01

    Subduction zones are geologically dramatic features, with much of the drama being driven by the movement of water. The “light and lively” nature of boron, coupled with its wide variations in isotopic composition shown by the different geo-players in this drama, make it an ideal tracer for the role and movement of water during subduction. The utility of boron ranges from monitoring how the fluids that are expelled from the accretionary prism influence seawater chemistry, to the subduction of c...

  13. The transition zone below the Chile-Argentina flat subduction region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonatto, Luciana; Piromallo, Claudia; Badi, Gabriela

    2017-04-01

    We study the fine structure of the upper mantle (below 200 km depth) beneath the western margin of South America, within an area known as the Chile-Argentina flat subduction zone (between 26°S and 36°S). Unlike what happens in most subduction zones, in this region the Nazca Plate subducts with an angle close to the horizontal -initially dips underneath the continent and flattens at a depth of approximately 100 km, remaining almost horizontal for about 300 km before descending more steeply into the mantle. Moreover, the flat slab follows the path of the subducting Juan Fernández Ridge, a hot spot seamount chain on the Nazca Plate. The complex tectonic setting makes this region an excellent laboratory to explore and quantify the relative contributions of thermal and compositional heterogeneities to the mantle discontinuity structure. In this study we combine data available from four past temporary experiments: 18 seismic stations from CHARGE; 43 from SIEMBRA, 12 from ESP and 30 from PUDEL. The research tools are the Pds phases (the direct P wave converted to an S wave while passing through a seismic discontinuity at depth d). These signals arrive in the coda of the P-phase in the radial component and are expected to be coherent with the waveform of the first arrival for conversion at discontinuities thinner than one half of the P-wavelength. In order to extract these converted phases by means of waveform similarity, we use the receiver function (RF) technique, i.e. the deconvolution of the vertical from the radial component in the frequency domain. The Pds phases are then detected on stacked RF (globally and by common conversion point) in the relative time-slowness domain. Since the incidence angle of converted phases is larger than the incidence angle of the P phase, they are expected with negative slowness. This permits to separate them from the multiples, which are instead expected with positive slowness. We measure amplitudes and arrival times for the

  14. Petrology and geochemistry of volcanic rocks from the island of Panarea: implications for mantle evolution beneath the Aeolian island arc (southern Tyrrhenian sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calanchi, N.; Peccerillo, A.; Tranne, C. A.; Lucchini, F.; Rossi, P. L.; Kempton, P.; Barbieri, M.; Wu, T. W.

    2002-06-01

    Stromboli has a more radiogenic Sr-isotope signature, and shows trace element abundances and ratios that are intermediate between arc and intraplate compositions. Panarea mafic rocks have geochemical and isotopic signatures that are intermediate between those observed in the two sectors of the arc. The late-erupted CA scoriae of Panarea have trace element and isotopic compositions similar to those of the mafic rocks from the western islands of Filicudi and Alicudi, whereas the HKCA and shoshonitic mafic rocks have isotopic and trace element signatures that are closer to those of Stromboli. This reflects the particular position of Panarea, which is sited midway between the western-central arc and Stromboli. According to some recent views, subduction of the Ionian sea plate is actively occurring beneath the eastern Aeolian arc, with rollback of the subduction zone toward the southeast. The Tindari-Letoianni-Malta Escarpment fault zone is considered to be the boundary between the active subducting plate in the east and the African plate and western Aeolian arc in the west. It is suggested that the rollback of the Ionian plate generated inflow of mantle material from below the western arc into the mantle wedge above the subducting Ionian slab. This situation generated a hybrid mantle beneath Panarea, which resulted in a mixture of western-type and resident eastern-arc mantle materials; the latter had a composition akin to the source of Stromboli magmas. Early HKCA and shoshonitic magmatism tapped such a hybrid source, whereas the younger CA activity has been derived from melting of unmodified western-type mantle material. The late eruption of CA rocks with a composition similar to western arc can be explained by assuming that a continuing inflow process had increased the amount of western-type mantle with time, thus favouring the late appearance of CA magmas. This hypothesis accounts for the overall decrease of potassium with time, which is the opposite of the trend observed in

  15. The dominant surface-topography contributions of individual subduction parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crameri, Fabio; Lithgow-Bertelloni, Carolina; Tackley, Paul

    2017-04-01

    It is no secret, not any longer, that dynamic processes below the plate exert a significant contribution to the elevation of the plate at the surface (e.g., Flament et al., 2013). We have therefore studied* the individual impact each and every major subduction parameter has on surface topography. This allows us to qualitatively compare the different sources amongst each other, and to quantify their actual potential to vertically deflect the surface. The gained knowledge from this compilation is crucial: We might finally be able to link the directly-observable surface topography to the dynamics (buoyancy, rheology, and geometry) of the subduction system. *This study is made possible by the efficient convection code StagYY (Tackley 2008), the largely-automated post-processing and visualisation toolbox StagLab (www.fabiocrameri.ch/software), and crucial model developments (Crameri and Tackley, 2015; Crameri et al., G-cubed, submitted, Crameri and Lithgow-Bertelloni, Tectonophysics, submitted). REFERENCES 
Flament, N., M. Gurnis, and R. D. Müller (2013), A review of observations and models of dynamic topography, Lithosphere, 5(2), 189-210. Crameri, F., and P. J. Tackley (2015), Parameters controlling dynamically self-consistent plate tectonics and single-sided subduction in global models of mantle convection, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 120(5), 3680-3706. Crameri, F., C. R. Lithgow-Bertelloni, and P. J. Tackley (submitted), The dynamical control of subduction parameters on surface topography, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. Crameri, F., and C. R. Lithgow-Bertelloni (submitted), Dynamic Mantle-Transition-Zone Controls on Upper-Plate Tilt, Tectonophysics. Tackley, P.J (2008) Modelling compressible mantle convection with large viscosity contrasts in a three- dimensional spherical shell using the yin-yang grid. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 171(1-4), 7-18.

  16. Carbonation of Subduction Interface Ultramafic Rocks and Implications for Deep Carbon Cycling: Evidence from Hybrid Serpentinite-Marble in the Voltri Massif, Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scambelluri, M.; Bebout, G. E.; Gilio, M.; Belmonte, D.; Campomenosi, N.; Crispini, L.

    2015-12-01

    Release of COH fluids from hydrous minerals and carbonates influences element recycling and magmatism at subduction zones. Contradictory interpretations exist regarding the retention/storage of C in subducting plates and in the forearc to subarc mantle. Multiple lines of evidence indicate mobility of C in forearcs; however, the magnitude of this loss is highly uncertain[1-5]. A poorly constrained fraction of the 40-115 Mt/y of C initially subducted is released into fluids (e.g., by decarbonation, carbonate dissolution), and 18-43 Mt/y is returned at arc volcanoes[2-5, refs. therein]. The imbalance could reflect subduction into the deeper mantle or forearc/subarc storage[4-7]. We examine the fate of C in slab/interface ultramafic rocks, and by analogy serpentinized mantle wedge, via study of fluid-rock evolution of marble and variably carbonated serpentinite (Ligurian Alps). Based on petrography, and major/trace element and C and O isotope compositions, we demonstrate that serpentinite dehydration at 2-2.5 GPa, 550°C released aqueous fluids triggering breakdown of dolomite in nearby marbles, thus releasing C into fluids. Carbonate + olivine veins document flow of COH fluids; interaction of these COH fluids with serpentinite led to formation of high-pressure carbonated ultramafic-rock domains, thus resulting in retention of C in some rocks at an ancient subduction interface. We stress that lithologically complex interfaces could contain sites of both C release and C addition, further confounding estimates of net C loss at forearc and subarc depths [cf 4,5]. Sites of C retention, also including carbonate veins and graphite as reduced carbonate[7], could influence the transfer of slab C to at least the depths beneath volcanic fronts. 1. Poli S et al. 2009 EPSL; 2. Ague and Nicolescu 2014 Nat Geosci; 3. Cook-Collars et al. 2014 Chem Geol; 4. Collins et al. 2015 Chem Geol; 5. Kelemen and Manning 2015 PNAS; 6. Sapienza et al. 2009 CMP; 7 Galvez et al. 2013 Nat Geosci

  17. Effect of the Earth's rotation on subduction processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, B. W.; Rodkin, M. V.; Sasorova, E. V.

    2017-09-01

    The role played by the Earth's rotation is very important in problems of physics of the atmosphere and ocean. The importance of inertia forces is traditionally estimated by the value of the Rossby number: if this parameter is small, the Coriolis force considerably affects the character of movements. In the case of convection in the Earth's mantle and movements of lithospheric plates, the Rossby number is quite small; therefore, the effect of the Coriolis force is reflected in the character of movements of the lithospheric plates. Analysis of statistical data on subduction zones verifies this suggestion.

  18. 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.

  19. Recycling Revisited: Where did all the Subducted Sediments go?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, A. W.; Chauvel, C.; Lewin, E.; Kelemen, P. B.; Hacker, B. R.

    2016-12-01

    Several lines of reasoning have revived the idea [1] that subduction has recycled continent-derived sediments into the mantle on a massive scale. For example, well-known peaks in zircon ages have been reinterpreted as reflecting variable rates of crust destruction via erosion and sediment subduction [2]. In addition, assessment of the trace element budgets of subducted sediments and arc volcanics, as well as geological and geophysical studies of accretionary wedges have led to estimates that about one mass of present-day continental crust has been returned to the mantle [3]. If these ideas are correct, then recycled sedimentary components should be present in MORB and OIB sources. As previously established, Nb/U and 87Sr/86Sr are negatively correlated in all EM2-type OIBs, clearly indicating continental/sedimentary input. However, the MORB source reservoir, being depleted in incompatible elements, is particularly susceptible to "pollution" by subducted sediments. Chauvel et al. [4] modeled the Hf-Nd isotopic array of MORBs+OIBs and concluded that it requires the addition of up to 6 % subducted sediment. We revisit this issue and show that global MORBs show no decrease in Nb/U with increasing 87Sr/86Sr, ruling out extensive addition of recycled sediment into global MORB sources. Instead, the Hf-Nd array can be obtained by recycled alkali basalts derived from subducted seamounts and ocean islands, rather than sediments. Moreover, mantle plumes with clearly identifiable sediment input contribute less than 20% of the total plume flux. We conclude that most of the subducted sediment flux is not returned to the convecting mantle. Instead, its most plausible fate is to be underplated beneath existing continental crust via "relamination" [5]. These results imply that continental recycling is subordinate and the growth of the continental crust has been largely irreversible. [1] Armstrong, 1968, Rev. Geophys. 6, 175. [2] Hawkesworth et al., 2009, Science 323, 49. [3] Porter

  20. Supercontinents, mantle dynamics and plate tectonics: A perspective based on conceptual vs. numerical models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Masaki; Santosh, M.

    2011-03-01

    assembly which erodes the continental crust. Ongoing subduction erosion also occurs at the leading edges of dispersing plates, which also contributes to crustal destruction, although this is only a temporary process. The previous numerical studies of mantle convection suggested that there is a significant feedback between mantle convection and continental drift. The process of assembly of supercontinents induces a temperature increase beneath the supercontinent due to the thermal insulating effect. Such thermal insulation leads to a planetary-scale reorganization of mantle flow and results in longest-wavelength thermal heterogeneity in the mantle, i.e., degree-one convection in three-dimensional spherical geometry. The formation of degree-one convection seems to be integral to the emergence of periodic supercontinent cycles. The rifting and breakup of supercontinental assemblies may be caused by either tensional stress due to the thermal insulating effect, or large-scale partial melting resulting from the flow reorganization and consequent temperature increase beneath the supercontinent. Supercontinent breakup has also been correlated with the temperature increase due to upwelling plumes originating from the deeper lower mantle or CMB as a return flow of plate subduction occurring at supercontinental margins. The active mantle plumes from the CMB may disrupt the regularity of supercontinent cycles. Two end-member scenarios can be envisaged for the mantle convection cycle. One is that mantle convection with dispersing continental blocks has a short-wavelength structure, or close to degree-two structure as the present Earth, and when a supercontinent forms, mantle convection evolves into degree-one structure. Another is that mantle convection with dispersing continental blocks has a degree-one structure, and when a supercontinent forms, mantle convection evolves into degree-two structure. In the case of the former model, it would take longer time to form a supercontinent

  1. New sedimentary-core records and a recent co-seismic turbidite help to unravel the paleoseismicity of the Hikurangi Subduction Zone, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Philip; Orpin, Alan; Howarth, Jamie; Patton, Jason; Lamarche, Geoffroy; Woelz, Susanne; Hopkins, Jenni; Gerring, Peter; Mitchell, John; Quinn, Will; McKeown, Monique; Ganguly, Aratrika; Banks, Simon; Davidson, Sam

    2017-04-01

    The Hikurangi margin straddles the convergent boundary between the Pacific and Australia tectonic plates and is New Zealand's potentially largest earthquake and tsunami hazard. The 3000 m-deep Hikurangi Trough, off eastern Marlborough, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay, and East Cape, marks the location where the Pacific plate is subducting beneath the eastern continental margin of the North Island and northeastern South Island. To date the Hikurangi margin has a short historical record relative to the recurrence of great earthquakes and tsunami, and consequently the associated hazard remains poorly constrained. In October 2016 a new, international, 5-year project commenced to evaluate the pre-historic earthquake history of the margin. In November 2016 a RV Tangaroa voyage acquired 50 sediment cores up to 5.5 m long from sites on the continental margin between the Kaikoura coast and Poverty Bay. Core sites were selected using available 30 kHz multibeam bathymetry and backscatter data, sub-bottom acoustic profiles, archived sediment samples, and results from numerical modelling of turbidity currents. Sites fell into three general categories: turbidite distributary systems; small isolated slope-basins; and Hikurangi Channel, levees, and trough. Typical of the margin, the terrigenous-dominated sequence included layers of gravel, sand, mud, and volcanic ash. Many of these layers are turbidites, some of which may have been triggered by strong shaking associated with earthquakes (subduction megathrust and other coastal faults). Some cores contain up to 25 individual turbidites. This library of turbidites may provide the basis of new paleoseismic records that span several hundred kilometres of strike along the plate boundary. During the voyage the 14th November 2016 (NZDT) Mw 7.8 Kaikoura Earthquake occurred, causing strong ground shaking beneath the Kaikoura Canyon region. Sampling with a multicorer within five days of the earthquake, we recovered what appeared to be a very recently

  2. 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.

  3. To what depth can continental crust be subducted: numerical predictions and critical observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerya, T.; Faccenda, M.

    2006-12-01

    We performed systematic two-dimensional numerical modeling of continental collision associated with subduction of the lithospheric mantle. Results of our experiments suggest that two contrasting modes of lithospheric subduction below an orogen can exist: one-sided and double-sided. One-sided subduction brings continental crust subducting atop the slab to the contact with hot asthenosperic mantle wedge below the overriding plate. This can result in strong heating, partial melting and rheological weakening of the crust triggering its delamination from subducting mantle lithosphere in form of compositionally buoyant structures (cold plumes) propagating away from subducting plate, passing through the hot mantle wedge, underplating the overriding lithosphere and producing large amount of relatively felsic syn-orogenic magmas at sub-lithospheric depths. One-sided subduction of the buoyant continental crust can also result in a transient "hot channel effect" triggering formation and exhumation of coesite- and diamond- bearing rocks metamorphosed at 700 to 900oC. Anomalously high temperature is caused by intense viscous and radiogenic heating in the channel composed of deeply subducted radiogenic upper-crustal rocks. Low effective viscosity of the channel subsequent to increased temperature and partial melting permits profound mixing of mantle and crustal rocks. The hot channel exists during few million years only but rapidly produces and exhumes large amounts of ultrahigh-pressure, high-temperature rocks within the orogen. Double-sided subduction can follow the one-sided mode at later stages of orogeny when significant rheological coupling between two plates occurs during the collision. In this case the orogen is characterized by double- verging structure, the layer of subducting continental crust is embedded between two negatively buoyant lithospheric slabs and delamination of the crust does not occur. This mode of subduction can bring crustal rocks from the bottom of an

  4. Geologically current plate motions

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMets, Charles; Gordon, Richard G.; Argus, Donald F.

    2010-04-01

    indicates that motions across the Caribbean-North America and Caribbean-South America plate boundaries are twice as fast as given by NUVEL-1A. Summed, least-squares differences between angular velocities estimated from GPS and those for MORVEL, NUVEL-1 and NUVEL-1A are, respectively, 260 per cent larger for NUVEL-1 and 50 per cent larger for NUVEL-1A than for MORVEL, suggesting that MORVEL more accurately describes historically current plate motions. Significant differences between geological and GPS estimates of Nazca plate motion and Arabia-Eurasia and India-Eurasia motion are reduced but not eliminated when using MORVEL instead of NUVEL-1A, possibly indicating that changes have occurred in those plate motions since 3.16 Ma. The MORVEL and GPS estimates of Pacific-North America plate motion in western North America differ by only 2.6 +/- 1.7mmyr-1, ~25 per cent smaller than for NUVEL-1A. The remaining difference for this plate pair, assuming there are no unrecognized systematic errors and no measurable change in Pacific-North America motion over the past 1-3 Myr, indicates deformation of one or more plates in the global circuit. Tests for closure of six three-plate circuits indicate that two, Pacific-Cocos-Nazca and Sur-Nubia-Antarctic, fail closure, with respective linear velocities of non-closure of 14 +/- 5 and 3 +/- 1mmyr-1 (95 per cent confidence limits) at their triple junctions. We conclude that the rigid plate approximation continues to be tremendously useful, but-absent any unrecognized systematic errors-the plates deform measurably, possibly by thermal contraction and wide plate boundaries with deformation rates near or beneath the level of noise in plate kinematic data.

  5. Geophysical detection of relict metasomatism from an Archean (approximately 3.5 Ga) subduction zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chin-Wu; Rondenay, Stéphane; Evans, Rob L; Snyder, David B

    2009-11-20

    When plate tectonics started on Earth has been uncertain, and its role in the assembly of early continents is not well understood. By synthesizing coincident seismic and electrical profiles, we show that subduction processes formed the Archean Slave craton in Canada. The spatial overlap between a seismic discontinuity and a conductive anomaly at approximately 100 kilometers depth, in conjunction with the occurrence of mantle xenoliths rich in secondary minerals representative of a metasomatic front, supports cratonic assembly by subduction and accretion of lithospheric fragments. Although evidence of cratonic assembly is rarely preserved, these results suggest that plate tectonics was operating as early as Paleoarchean times, approximately 3.5 billion years ago (Ga).

  6. Pervasive seismic low-velocity zones within stagnant plates in the mantle transition zone: Thermal or compositional origin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tauzin, B.; Kim, S.; Kennett, B. L. N.

    2017-11-01

    We exploit conversions between P and S waves for large-scale, high-resolution imaging of the mantle transition zone beneath Northwest Pacific and the margin of Eastern Asia. We find pervasive reflectivity concentrated in two bands with apparent wave-speed reduction of -2% to -4% about 50 km thick at the top of the transition zone and 100 km thick at the bottom. This negative reflectivity associated with the scattered-waves at depth is interpreted jointly with larger-scale mantle tomographic images, and is shown to delineate the stagnant portions of the subducted Pacific plate in the transition zone, with largely positive shear-wave velocity contrasts. The upper reflectivity zone connects to broad low-velocity regions below major intra-plate volcanoes, whereas the lower zone coincides locally with the occurrence of deep-focus earthquakes along the East Asia margin. Similar reflectivity is found in Pacific Northwest of the USA. We demonstrate that the thermal signature of plates alone is not sufficient to explain such features. Alternative explanations for these reflective zones include kinetic effects on olivine phase transitions (meta-stability), compositional heterogeneities within and above stagnant plates, complex wave-propagation effects in the heterogeneous slab structure, or a combination of such factors. We speculate that part of the negative reflectivity is the signature of compositional heterogeneities, as revealed by numerous other studies of seismic scattering throughout the mantle, and that such features could be widespread across the globe.

  7. 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

  8. The lithospheric structure beneath southeast Tibet revealed by P and S receiver functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Haiyan; Peng, Hengchu; Hu, Jiafu

    2017-05-01

    Yunnan is located at the margin of southeast Tibet, where dramatic tectonic activities occur. In this study, we calculated the P and S receiver functions by the deconvolution of three-component seismic data from 48 permanent broad-band stations deployed in Yunnan region. In order to improve signal-noise ratios of the receiver functions, we move-out corrected receiver functions to a reference epicentral distance of 67°, and then stacked them to one trace for each station. Finally, the stacked traces were converted to the depth domain to obtain the crustal and lithospheric thicknesses beneath each station. In southwestern Yunnan (at the west side of the Jinshajiang-Red River Fault), the crustal thicknesses from the P-wave receiver functions (PRFs) and from the S-wave receiver functions (SRFs) are in the ranges of 30-36 km, and of 33-39 km, respectively. But in northwestern Yunnan, the crustal thicknesses from PRFs and SRFs are from 66 to 69 km and from 63 to 66 km, respectively. Our results show that the crustal thicknesses in Yunnan from PRFs and SRFs are consistent, with a maximum deviation of 3 km; and increase gradually from ∼30 km in the south to ∼68 km in the northwest. Besides, the lithospheric thickness from PRFs is also similar to that from SRFs, with the largest difference of 15-20 km in southeastern Yunnan. At the west side of the Jinshajiang-Red River Fault in western Yunnan, it is only about 80-100 km, and increases to 140-150 km regionally in northern and southeastern Yunnan. The thinned lithosphere extends eastward from western Yunnan to eastern Yunnan. We attribute the thinned lithosphere to the upwelling of hot upper mantle materials associated with the eastward subduction of the Indian plate.

  9. 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).

  10. 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.

  11. Three-dimensional passive mantle flow beneath mid-ocean ridges: an analytical approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligi, Marco; Cuffaro, Marco; Chierici, Francesco; Calafato, Antonino

    2008-11-01

    We discuss theoretical and computational method on plate-driven mantle flow beneath mid-ocean ridges. We consider a steady-state flow induced by motion of overlying rigid plates in an incompressible viscous mantle beneath a generic ridge-transform-ridge plate boundary. No assumption of orthogonal and symmetric spreading at ridge axis is made. Analytical solutions for viscosity flow in a half-space and in a layered viscosity mantle beneath an infinitesimal thickness lithosphere and beneath plates that thicken with increasing age, are presented. Numerical calculations were carried out using a standard fast Fourier transform algorithm. The difficulty of using standard Fourier methods to predict accurately the mantle flow field in the proximity of the plate boundaries is overcome by applying the Gegenbauer reconstruction post-processing technique to the Fourier pseudo-spectral solutions. Finally, we present some examples of flow computations. We consider, for both models, two different ridge-transform-ridge geometries consisting of 100 and 1000 km offsets of two ridge segments spreading at 15 mm/yr half rate. We found a significant difference in the flow structure between the two flow models close to ridge axis and ridge-transform intersections. The proposed model and methods are useful for fast mantle flow calculations to investigate melting processes beneath spreading centres, and to predict the relationship between mantle temperature, crustal thickness and geochemistry of the oceanic crust.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  13. The Impact of Subducting Basement Topography on Piggyback Slope Basins within the Outer Wedge of the Nankai Trough Accretionary Prism, Southwest Japanankai Trough accretionary Prism, Southwest Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kington, J. D.; Tobin, H. J.

    2010-12-01

    Slope basin sediments in the vicinity of the NanTroSEIZE transect record the recent deformation history of the accretionary prism fold and thrust belt (Fig. 1). 3D seismic imaging of these sediments reveals recent uplift, along-strike extension, and mass-wasting—including an individual mass transport complex >200 meter thick—of a broad region within the outer wedge (Fig. 2). However, this uplift appears to post-date all activity on the thrust sheets underlying this region (including the out-of-sequence “Megasplay”). Therefore, the cause of the recent uplift is enigmatic. One potential source of deformation of otherwise inactive thrust sheets is the subduction of basement topography beneath the outer wedge. Park (2003) recognized a large basement ridge (the paleo-Zenisu ridge) in this region (Fig 1). Based 2D seismic data, the western edge of this ridge is currently ~10 km east of the NanTroSEIZE transect (Park et al, 2003). Given present-day plate motion vectors between the Philippine Sea and Amur plates (DeMets, et al, 2010), the ridge would have passed beneath the prism toe between approximately 0.5 - 1.0 Ma and would have passed near the region of uplifted basin sediments beginning ~0.5 Ma. Therefore, the timing of uplift within the slope basin provides a test as to whether the passage of the paleo-Zenisu ridge is responsible for the late-stage deformation of the basin. Correlating the initiation of mass wasting within the slope basin sediments with nearby IODP cores may provide age constraints on the beginning of uplift in the area, and therefore a test for this hypothesis.

  14. 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.

  15. Multiple subduction imprints in the mantle below Italy detected in a single lava flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikogosian, Igor; Ersoy, Özlem; Whitehouse, Martin; Mason, Paul R. D.; de Hoog, Jan C. M.; Wortel, Rinus; van Bergen, Manfred J.

    2016-09-01

    Post-collisional magmatism reflects the regional subduction history prior to collision but the link between the two is complex and often poorly understood. The collision of continents along a convergent plate boundary commonly marks the onset of a variety of transitional geodynamic processes. Typical responses include delamination of subducting lithosphere, crustal thickening in the overriding plate, slab detachment and asthenospheric upwelling, or the complete termination of convergence. A prominent example is the Western-Central Mediterranean, where the ongoing slow convergence of Africa and Europe (Eurasia) has been accommodated by a variety of spreading and subduction systems that dispersed remnants of subducted lithosphere into the mantle, creating a compositionally wide spectrum of magmatism. Using lead isotope compositions of a set of melt inclusions in magmatic olivine crystals we detect exceptional heterogeneity in the mantle domain below Central Italy, which we attribute to the presence of continental material, introduced initially by Alpine and subsequently by Apennine subduction. We show that superimposed subduction imprints of a mantle source can be tapped during a melting episode millions of years later, and are recorded in a single lava flow.

  16. 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,

  17. Water and the oxidation state of subduction zone magmas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, Katherine A; Cottrell, Elizabeth

    2009-07-31

    Mantle oxygen fugacity exerts a primary control on mass exchange between Earth's surface and interior at subduction zones, but the major factors controlling mantle oxygen fugacity (such as volatiles and phase assemblages) and how tectonic cycles drive its secular evolution are still debated. We present integrated measurements of redox-sensitive ratios of oxidized iron to total iron (Fe3+/SigmaFe), determined with Fe K-edge micro-x-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy, and pre-eruptive magmatic H2O contents of a global sampling of primitive undegassed basaltic glasses and melt inclusions covering a range of plate tectonic settings. Magmatic Fe3+/SigmaFe ratios increase toward subduction zones (at ridges, 0.13 to 0.17; at back arcs, 0.15 to 0.19; and at arcs, 0.18 to 0.32) and correlate linearly with H2O content and element tracers of slab-derived fluids. These observations indicate a direct link between mass transfer from the subducted plate and oxidation of the mantle wedge.

  18. Thermobarometric and fluid expulsion history of subduction zones

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ernst, W.G. (Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States))

    1990-06-10

    Phanerozoic, unmetamorphosed, weathered, and altered lithotectonic complexes subjected to subduction exhibit the prograde metamorphic facies sequence: zeolite {r arrow} prehnite-pumpellyite {r arrow} glaucophane schist {r arrow} eclogite. Parageneses reflect relatively high-P trajectories, accompanied by semicontinuous devolatilization. The thermal evolution of convergent plate junctions results in early production of high-rank blueschists, high-P amphibolites, and eclogites at depth. Inclusion studies suggest that two-phase immiscible volatiles are evolved in turn during progressive metamorphism of the subducted sections. Expulsion of pore fluids and transitions from weathered and altered supracrustal rocks to zeolite facies assemblages release far more fluid than the better understood higher-grade transformations. Many blueschist parageneses (e.g., Western Alps) have been partially overprinted by later greenschist and/or epidote-amphibolite facies assemblages. Less common blueschist terranes (e.g., Franciscan belt of western California) preserve metamorphic aragonite and other high-P minerals, and lack a low-pressure overprint; physical conditions during retrogression approximately retraced the prograde path or, for early formed high-grade blocks, reflect somewhat higher pressures and lower temperatures. The ease with which volatiles are expelled from a subduction complex and migrate upward along the plate junction zone is roughly proportional to the sandstone/shale ratio: low-permeability mudstones tend to maintain P{sub fluid} values approaching lithostatic, lose strength, and deform chaotically (forming melange belts), whereas permeable sandstone-rich sections retain structural/stratigraphic coherence and fail brittlely (forming coherent terranes).

  19. From the global scale to the Mediterranean plate kinematics

    OpenAIRE

    Riguzzi, F.

    2008-01-01

    Plate motions with respect to the mantle represent the most direct evidence to understand the origin of plate tectonic processes. The research here described has the aim to improve the knowledge on the global scale plate kinematics in “absolute” reference frames, or better, relative to the mantle, incorporating both geological–geophysical and space geodesy data. Geophysical and geological signatures of subduction and rift zones independently show a global polarity of current plate motions, su...

  20. Neotectonics of a subduction/strike-slip transition: the northeastern Dominican Republic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Winslow, M.A.; McCann, W.R.

    1985-01-01

    The Septentrional fault system in the northeastern Dominican Republic marks the zone where the North American-Carribean plate boundary is evolving from subduction to strike-slip motion, and where terranes appear to be forming and migrating laterally in a subduction complex/forearc region. On the Island of Hispaniola, slip vectors are oblique to the strike of the Puerto Rico trench, and oblique subduction thrusts the upper plate over normal seafloor. The offshore geology and seismicity of the northern Caribbean suggest that uplift, broad crustal warping, thrusting, and strike-slip faulting (ie. collisional tectonics) should be present in the northern part of the Dominican Republic. The high topography (>1000m), high levels of seismicity, and large earthquakes support the hypothesis of contemporary deformation in Hispaniola. In this region, the subduction regime dies out toward the west, and deformation is transferred to onshore, oblique-slip faults. As this change in tectonic style has occurred in Neogene to Recent times, we are investigating the modern evolution of a plate boundary. We have already documented: (1) the presence of a strike-slip faulting in the northeastern Dominican Republic; (2) an anomalous push-up structure; and (3) a region of numerous splay faults. In conclusion, recent seismicity suggest a wide zone of deformation and variations in interplate motions near Hispaniola. This island lies at the western limit of active underthrusting and at the eastern limit of onshore faulting, i.e., at an important transition from a subduction to strike-slip regime.

  1. 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

  2. Os and HSE of the hot upper mantle beneath southern Tibet: Indian mantle affinity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Z.; Dale, C. W.; Pearson, D. G.; Niu, Y.; Zhu, D.; Mo, X.

    2011-12-01

    The subduction of the Indian plate (including cratonic continental crust and/or upper mantle) beneath southern Tibet is widely accepted from both geological and geophysical studies. Mantle-derived xenoliths from this region provide a means of directly investigating the mantle underlying the southern part of the plateau. Studies of xenoliths hosted in the Sailipu ultrapotassic volcanic rocks, erupted at ~17 Ma, have indicated that the subcontinental mantle of southern Tibetan Plateau is hot and strongly influenced by metasomatism (Zhao et al., 2008a, b; Liu et al., 2011). Here we report comprehensive EPMA and LA-ICP-MS major and trace element data for the Sailipu xenoliths and also whole rock Os isotope and HSE data in order to constrain the depletion history of the mantle and to identify the presence of any potential Indian cratonic mantle. The xenoliths, ranging in size from 0.5cm to 1.5cm in diameter, are mostly peridotites. The calculated temperatures are 1010-1230°C at the given pressures of ~1.6-2.0 GPa (n=47). These P-T conditions are similar to rift-related upper mantle regimes (e.g. Kenya), indicating the influence of regional extension beneath southern Tibet in the Miocene. A series of compositional discriminations for minerals (Cpx, Opx, Ol, and Phl), e.g. Fo ~91), with a clear metasomatic signature We obtained Os isotope data and abundances of highly siderophile elements (HSE, including Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, Pd and Re) on a set of six olivine-dominated peridotite samples from Sailipu volcanics, less than 1 cm in dimension. They allow us to further constrain the nature and state of the upper mantle beneath the southern Tibet. Sailipu samples display low total HSE abundances (Os+Ir+Ru+Pt+Pd+Re) ranging from 8.7 to 25 ppb, with nearly constant Os, Ir , and Ru, but rather varied Pt (2-13), Pd (0.4-5.2), and Re (0.01-0.5). Chondrite-normalised Pd/Ir ratios range from 0.2 to 2.4 reflecting significant metasomatism of some samples. The xenoliths exhibit 187Os/188Os

  3. 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

  4. Potential methane reservoirs beneath Antarctica

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wadham, J.L.; Arndt, S.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304835706; Tulaczyk, S.; Stibal, M.; Tranter, M.; Telling, J.; Lis, G.P.; Lawson, E.; Ridgwell, A.; Dubnick, A.; Sharp, M.J.; Anesio, A.M.; Butler, C.E.H.

    2012-01-01

    Once thought to be devoid of life, the ice-covered parts of Antarctica are now known to be a reservoir of metabolically active microbial cells and organic carbon. The potential for methanogenic archaea to support the degradation of organic carbon to methane beneath the ice, however, has not yet been

  5. 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

  6. Ultra-slow spreading ridges: a response to the interplay between mantle convection and plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husson, Laurent; Yamato, Philippe; Bezos, Antoine

    2014-05-01

    Ultra-slow spreading ridges such as the South West Indian ridge or the Arctic ridge system are oddities amongst oceanic ridges. Conversely to faster oceanic ridges, petrographic and seafloor studies have shown that they are characterized by low melt supply and present low crustal thicknesses and heat flow; these features are interpreted as an evidence for a cooler sublithospheric mantle. In cartoonish sketches of plate tectonics, ridges open above upwellings, subduction zones occur over downwellings, and plates are riding over the mantle convection cells. In this study, we designed a simple yet dynamically consistent thermal convection model to test the impact of far-field forces on spreading ridges and show that this pattern is disrupted by plate tectonics. In particular, continental collisions modulate the spreading rates because resisting forces build up at plate boundaries. As a consequence, this modifies the surface boundary conditions and therefore the underlying mantle flow. We show that the ideal convection cell pattern quickly breaks down when plate motion is impeded by continental collisions in the far field. Not only the decreasing spreading rates are diagnostic, but in the same time, (i) the heat flow is decreasing at the ridge, (ii) the thermal structure of the cooling lithosphere no longer matches the cooling half-space model, and (iii) the mantle temperature beneath the ridge drops by more than 100 degrees. We compare our model predictions to available observables and show that this simple mechanism explains the atypical thermo-mechanical evolution of the South West Indian ridge and Arctic ridge system. Last, the recent S wave seismic tomography model of Debayle and Ricard (2012) reveals that only away from those two ridges does lithospheric thickening departs from the half-space cooling model, in accord with our model predictions.

  7. 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.

  8. Plate tectonics in the late Paleozoic

    OpenAIRE

    Domeier, Mathew; Torsvik, Trond H.

    2014-01-01

    As the chronicle of plate motions through time, paleogeography is fundamental to our understanding of plate tectonics and its role in shaping the geology of the present-day. To properly appreciate the history of tectonics—and its influence on the deep Earth and climate—it is imperative to seek an accurate and global model of paleogeography. However, owing to the incessant loss of oceanic lithosphere through subduction, the paleogeographic reconstruction of ‘full-plates’ (including oceanic lit...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. 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).

  11. Spreading continents kick-started plate tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey, Patrice F; Coltice, Nicolas; Flament, Nicolas

    2014-09-18

    Stresses acting on cold, thick and negatively buoyant oceanic lithosphere are thought to be crucial to the initiation of subduction and the operation of plate tectonics, which characterizes the present-day geodynamics of the Earth. Because the Earth's interior was hotter in the Archaean eon, the oceanic crust may have been thicker, thereby making the oceanic lithosphere more buoyant than at present, and whether subduction and plate tectonics occurred during this time is ambiguous, both in the geological record and in geodynamic models. Here we show that because the oceanic crust was thick and buoyant, early continents may have produced intra-lithospheric gravitational stresses large enough to drive their gravitational spreading, to initiate subduction at their margins and to trigger episodes of subduction. Our model predicts the co-occurrence of deep to progressively shallower mafic volcanics and arc magmatism within continents in a self-consistent geodynamic framework, explaining the enigmatic multimodal volcanism and tectonic record of Archaean cratons. Moreover, our model predicts a petrological stratification and tectonic structure of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle, two predictions that are consistent with xenolith and seismic studies, respectively, and consistent with the existence of a mid-lithospheric seismic discontinuity. The slow gravitational collapse of early continents could have kick-started transient episodes of plate tectonics until, as the Earth's interior cooled and oceanic lithosphere became heavier, plate tectonics became self-sustaining.

  12. Defining Incipient Subduction by Detecting Serpentenised Mantle in the Regional Magnetic Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires, Rui; Clark, Stuart; Reis, Rui

    2017-04-01

    Keywords: Subduction initiation, Incipient Subduction, Active Margins, Southeast Asia, Mantle wedge The mechanisms of subduction initiation are poorly understood. One idea is to look for incipient subduction zones in the present day and see what features are common in these zones. However, incipient subduction zones are very difficult to detect and debate surrounds particular cases as to whether they qualify as incipient or not. In the analysis conducted in this work, we use the signal of the presence of a mantle wedge in the magnetic anomaly field as an indicator of incipient subduction. Each subduction zone exhibits variations in the particular responses of the system, such as slab-dip angle, maximum earthquake depths and volcanism to various parameters. So far, attempts to reduce the system to a dominate controlling parameter have failed, probably as a result of the limited number of cases and the large variety of controlling parameters. Parameters such as down-going and overriding plate morphology and velocity, mantle flow, the presence of plumes or not, sediment transport into the trench are a few of the parameters that have been studied in the literature. However, one of the characteristics associated with a subduction zones is the presence of a mantelic wedge as a result of the partial melt of the subducting plate and the development of a mantle wedge between the subducting plate and the overriding plate. The wedge is characterised by the presence of water (coming from sediments in the down-going plate) as well as lower temperatures (because the wedge is between two relatively cold lithospheres). As a results a serpentinized mantle wedge is formed that contains hydrous minerals, of which magnetite is an example, that alter the composition and properties of this region. According to Blakely et.al. (2005), this region exhibits both higher magnetic susceptibility and lower densities than the surrounding medium. We analysed five active margin boundaries located

  13. Subduction and vertical coastal motions in the eastern Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Andy; Jackson, James; Copley, Alex; McKenzie, Dan; Nissen, Ed

    2017-10-01

    Convergence in the eastern Mediterranean of oceanic Nubia with Anatolia and the Aegean is complex and poorly understood. Large volumes of sediment obscure the shallow structure of the subduction zone, and since much of the convergence is accommodated aseismically, there are limited earthquake data to constrain its kinematics. We present new source models for recent earthquakes, combining these with field observations, published GPS velocities and reflection-seismic data to investigate faulting in three areas: the Florence Rise, SW Turkey and the Pliny and Strabo Trenches. The depths and locations of earthquakes reveal the geometry of the subducting Nubian plate NE of the Florence Rise, a bathymetric high that is probably formed by deformation of sediment at the surface projection of the Anatolia-Nubia subduction interface. In SW Turkey, the presence of a strike-slip shear zone has often been inferred despite an absence of strike-slip earthquakes. We show that the GPS-derived strain-rate field is consistent with extension on the orthogonal systems of normal faults observed in the region and that strike-slip faulting is not required to explain observed GPS velocities. Further SW, the Pliny and Strabo Trenches are also often interpreted as strike-slip shear zones, but almost all nearby earthquakes have either reverse-faulting or normal-faulting focal mechanisms. Oblique convergence across the trenches may be accommodated either by a partitioned system of strike-slip and reverse faults or by oblique slip on the Aegean-Nubia subduction interface. The observed late-Quaternary vertical motions of coastlines close to the subduction zone are influenced by the interplay between: (1) thickening of the material overriding the subduction interface associated with convergence, which promotes coastal uplift; and (2) subsidence due to extension and associated crustal thinning. Long-wavelength gravity data suggest that some of the observed topographic contrasts in the eastern

  14. Are subduction zones invading the atlantic? Evidence from the southwest iberia margin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duarte, João C.; Rosas, Filipe M.; Terrinha, Pedro; Schellart, Wouter P.; Boutelier, David; Gutscher, Marc André; Ribeiro, António

    Subduction initiation at passive margins plays a central role in the plate tectonics theory. However, the process by which a passive margin becomes active is not well understood. In this paper we use the southwest Iberia margin (SIM) in the Atlantic Ocean to study the process of passive margin

  15. Reconstruction of the Mesozoic subduction in the South China Sea and its implications on the opening of the South China Sea basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, F.; Sun, Z.; Yang, H.

    2013-12-01

    was formed by the northwestward subduction of the Izanagi and Pacific plates beneath the Eurasia plate. The current locations of the Mesozoic arc indicate that it was separated by the opening of the SCS basins. In addition, the opening of the SCS basins may obliquely cut the proto-SCS oceanic crust in the northeast and the Eurasia continental crust in the southwest. Thus, the southwest segment of the Mesozoic arc is carried to the Nansha-Dangerous Ground, southeast to the ridge axis of the southwest sub-basin of the SCS. In comparison, the northeast portion of the Mesozoic subduction system is located northwest to the ridge axis of the SCS basins.

  16. Lithospheric radial anisotropy beneath the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Risheng; Ko, Justin Yen-Ting; Wei, Shengji; Zhan, Zhongwen; Helmberger, Don

    2017-05-01

    The Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary (LAB), where a layer of low viscosity asthenosphere decouples with the upper plate motion, plays an essential role in plate tectonics. Most dynamic modeling assumes that the shear velocity can be used as a surrogate for viscosity which provides key information about mantle flow. Here, we derive a shear velocity model for the LAB structure beneath the Gulf of Mexico allowing a detailed comparison with that beneath the Pacific (PAC) and Atlantic (ATL). Our study takes advantage of the USArray data from the March 25th, 2013 Guatemala earthquake at a depth of 200 km. Such data is unique in that we can observe a direct upward traveling lid arrival which remains the first arrival ahead of the triplications beyond 18°. This extra feature in conjunction with upper-mantle triplication sampling allows good depth control of the LAB and a new upper-mantle seismic model ATM, a modification of ATL, to be developed. ATM has a prominent low velocity zone similar to the structure beneath the western Atlantic. The model contains strong radial anisotropy in the lid where VSH is about 6% faster than VSV. This anisotropic feature ends at the bottom of the lithosphere at about the depth of 175 km in contrast to the Pacific where it extends to over 300 km. Another important feature of ATM is the weaker velocity gradient from the depth of 175 to 350 km compared to Pacific models, which may be related to differences in mantle flow.

  17. 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.

  18. Geodynamic evolution of the lithosphere beneath the Eastern Anatolia region: Constraints from geodynamic modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memis, Caner; Hakan Gogus, Oguz; Pysklywec, Russell; Keskin, Mehmet; Celal Sengor, A. M.; Topuz, Gultekin

    2016-04-01

    The east Anatolian orogenic plateau is characterized by an average elevation of 2 km, and is delimited by the Bitlis-Zagros collision zone to the south and the Pontide arc to the north. Stratigraphic evidence suggests that the high plateau attained its current elevation since the Serravallian (about 12 million years ago), but probably did not reach its present height until at least the latest Pliocene. While the crustal shortening following the Arabia-Eurasia collision in the south enabled its relatively rapid rise and regional tectonic evolution, the presumed removal of the downgoing slab beneath east Anatolia has potentially played a significant role in this geodynamic configuration. According to the proposed scenario, the northward subducting slab of Neo-Tethys peels away from the overlying crust similar to the lithospheric delamination model. In this work, we performed a series of lithospheric removal models by varying rheological, physical and mechanical properties by using 2D numerical geodynamic experiments, (e.g. plate convergence rate, crustal thickness, mantle lithosphere yield-stress). Our model results show that the average amount of delamination hinge motion is maximum (18 km/my) when the lower crustal rheology is felsic granulite. The slab break-off only occurs at lower convergence rates (≤ 2 cm/yr), and is imposed on the margin of delaminating mantle lithosphere. The surface uplift takes place above the asthenospheric column (or plateau gap) through isostatic and thermal support of asthenospheric upwelling, and varies dependent on the width of the asthenospheric column. However; with higher plate convergence rates (≥3 cm/yr), the asthenospheric column does not widen enough and the continental collision occurs rather than delamination/peeling away. In this case, the average uplift appears in the central section of the crust, and this exceeds a surface elevation of 3 km. All model results are consistent with the observations from the Eastern

  19. Whole-mantle convection with tectonic plates preserves long-term global patterns of upper mantle geochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barry, T L; Davies, J H; Wolstencroft, M; Millar, I L; Zhao, Z; Jian, P; Safonova, I; Price, M

    2017-05-12

    The evolution of the planetary interior during plate tectonics is controlled by slow convection within the mantle. Global-scale geochemical differences across the upper mantle are known, but how they are preserved during convection has not been adequately explained. We demonstrate that the geographic patterns of chemical variations around the Earth's mantle endure as a direct result of whole-mantle convection within largely isolated cells defined by subducting plates. New 3D spherical numerical models embedded with the latest geological paleo-tectonic reconstructions and ground-truthed with new Hf-Nd isotope data, suggest that uppermost mantle at one location (e.g. under Indian Ocean) circulates down to the core-mantle boundary (CMB), but returns within ≥100 Myrs via large-scale convection to its approximate starting location. Modelled tracers pool at the CMB but do not disperse ubiquitously around it. Similarly, mantle beneath the Pacific does not spread to surrounding regions of the planet. The models fit global patterns of isotope data and may explain features such as the DUPAL anomaly and long-standing differences between Indian and Pacific Ocean crust. Indeed, the geochemical data suggests this mode of convection could have influenced the evolution of mantle composition since 550 Ma and potentially since the onset of plate tectonics.

  20. A 3-D shear velocity model of the southern North American and Caribbean plates from ambient noise and earthquake tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaite, B.; Villaseñor, A.; Iglesias, A.; Herraiz, M.; Jiménez-Munt, I.

    2015-02-01

    We use group velocities from earthquake tomography together with group and phase velocities from ambient noise tomography (ANT) of Rayleigh waves to invert for the 3-D shear-wave velocity structure (5-70 km) of the Caribbean (CAR) and southern North American (NAM) plates. The lithospheric model proposed offers a complete image of the crust and uppermost-mantle with imprints of the tectonic evolution. One of the most striking features inferred is the main role of the Ouachita-Marathon-Sonora orogeny front on the crustal seismic structure of the NAM plate. A new imaged feature is the low crustal velocities along the USA-Mexico border. The model also shows a break of the east-west mantle velocity dichotomy of the NAM and CAR plates beneath the Isthmus of the Tehuantepec and the Yucatan Block. High upper-mantle velocities along the Mesoamerican Subduction Zone coincide with inactive volcanic areas while the lowest velocities correspond to active volcanic arcs and thin lithospheric mantle regions.

  1. 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.

  2. Subduction of the Daiichi Kashima Seamount in the Japan Trench

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lallemand, S.; Culotta, R.; Von Huene, R.

    1989-01-01

    In 1984-1985, the Kaiko consortium collected Seabeam, single-channel seismic and submersible sampling data in the vicinity of the Daiichi-Kashima seamount and the southern Japan trench. We performed a prestack migration of a Shell multichannel seismic profile, that crosses this area, and examined it in the light of this unusually diverse Kaiko dataset. Unlike the frontal structure of the northern Japan trench, where mass-wasting appears to be the dominant tectonic process, the margin in front of the Daiichi-Kashima shows indentation, imbrication, uplift and erosion. Emplacement of the front one-third of the seamount beneath the margin front occurs without accretion. We conclude that the Daiichi-Kashima seamount exemplifies an intermediate stage between the initial collision and subduction of a seamount at a continental margin. ?? 1989.

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  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. The idol beneath the altar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemens, Norman A

    2014-03-01

    Drawing on the imagery of a Mayan idol hidden beneath the altar of a Catholic mission church imposed on a Mayan city by Spanish conquerors, the author discusses the role of deeply rooted core beliefs that are not always evident on the surface-and the observation that, in clinical practice, things are not always as they seem. Psychotherapists may unconsciously be seen as invading cultural enemies.

  7. Slow earthquakes linked along dip in the Nankai subduction zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirose, Hitoshi; Asano, Youichi; Obara, Kazushige; Kimura, Takeshi; Matsuzawa, Takanori; Tanaka, Sachiko; Maeda, Takuto

    2010-12-10

    We identified a strong temporal correlation between three distinct types of slow earthquakes distributed over 100 kilometers along the dip of the subducting oceanic plate at the western margin of the Nankai megathrust rupture zone, southwest Japan. In 2003 and 2010, shallow very-low-frequency earthquakes near the Nankai trough as well as nonvolcanic tremor at depths of 30 to 40 kilometers were triggered by the acceleration of a long-term slow slip event in between. This correlation suggests that the slow slip might extend along-dip between the source areas of deeper and shallower slow earthquakes and thus could modulate the stress buildup on the adjacent megathrust rupture zone.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-08-29

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

  9. 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.

  10. Mantle structure beneath the Alboran Sea from shear wave splitting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alpert, L. A.; Becker, T. W.; Miller, M. S.; Allam, A. A.

    2011-12-01

    New seismological investigations in the Alboran domain of the western Mediterranean, as part of the PICASSO experiment, support geodynamic models which constrain the mantle structure beneath the Alboran Sea. We evaluate global circulation models in the context of seismic anistropy as inferred from SKS/SKKS splitting observations. Using instantaneous velocity fields from 3-D flow models with variable mantle density based on several tomography and seismicity based models, we calculate the predicted anisotropy, fast polarization direction (FPD), and delay times in order to explain the complex tectonic and geologic history of the Alboran Sea region. Slab rollback, delamination, and convective removal processes have been invoked to explain the synorogenic extension in the Alboran and recently published splitting measurements show north-east trending FPD across the Iberian margin with a rotation to the southeast that follows the curve of the Gibraltar arc, suggested by the authors as supporting west-directed slab rollback. Our new measurements from 39 stations substantiate the measurements in southern Spain, but we find a striking, nearly 90 degree rotation in azimuth and reduced delay times across the High Atlas Mountains in northern Morocco. These splitting patterns define three distinct regions we attempt to predict with our geodynamic models. Here, we test several differently-oriented subduction, slab break-off, and delamination scenarios. Our preliminary results show that density models which include a curved, northeast trending slab predict the east-northeast oriented measurements along the Iberian margin. Imposing a drip structure beneath the Alboran Sea also predicts these orientations. In order to predict the rotation of the FPD we find in Morocco, however, most models require a stiff keel beneath the African craton.

  11. P and SH velocity structure in the upper mantle beneath Northeast China: Evidence for a stagnant slab in hydrous mantle transition zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Juan; Wang, Xin; Wang, Xiujiao; Yuen, David A.

    2013-04-01

    Using high-dense regional body waves for three deep earthquakes that occurred around Russia-China border, we investigate both S and P wave velocity structures in the mantle transition zone beneath Northeast China and northern part of North China Craton, where the northwestern Pacific plate is imaged to subhorizontally lie above the 660-km discontinuity. We observe an increasing trend of S-P travel time residuals along the epicentral distance within a distance range of 11-16.5°, indicating a velocity anomaly in MTZ. We seek the simplest model that explains the observed broadband waveforms and relative travel times of triplication for a confined azimuth sector. Both SH and P data suggest a ˜140±20 km high velocity layer lying above a slightly depressed and broad 660-km discontinuity. Shear velocity reduction of ˜2.5% in the deeper part of the transition zone is required to compensate for the significantly large relative time between AB and CD triplicate branches and the increased trending of S-P travel time residuals as well. The MTZ, as a whole, is featured by low shear velocity and high Vp/Vs ratio. A water-rich mantle transition zone with 0.2-0.4 wt% of H2O may account for the discrepancy between the observed Vp and Vs velocity structures. Our result supports the scenario of a viscosity-dominated stagnant slab with an increased thickness of ˜140 km, which was caused by the large viscosity contrast between the lower and upper mantles. The addition of water and eastward trench retreat might facilitate stagnation of the subducting Pacific slab beneath Northeast China.

  12. Thermobarometric and fluid expulsion history of subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ernst, W. G.

    1990-06-01

    Phanerozoic, unmetamorphosed, weathered, and altered lithotectonic complexes subjected to subduction exhibit the prograde metamorphic facies sequence: zeolite → prehnite-pumpellyite → glaucophane schist → eclogite. Parageneses reflect relatively high-P trajectories, accompanied by semicontinuous devolatilization. The thermal evolution of convergent plate junctions results in early production of high-rank blueschists, high-P amphibolites, and eclogues at depth within narrow subduction zones while the hanging wall lithosphere is still hot. Protracted underflow drains heat from the nonsubducted plate and, even at profound depths, generates very low-T/high-P parageneses. Inclusion studies suggest that two-phase immiscible volatiles (liquid H2O, and gaseous high-hydrocarbons, CH4 and CO2) are evolved in turn during progressive metamorphism of the subducted sections. Expulsion of pore fluids and transitions from weathered and altered supracrustal rocks to zeolite facies assemblages release far more fluid than the better understood higher-grade transformations. Many blueschist parageneses, such as those of the internal Western Alps, have been partially overprinted by later greenschist and/or epidote-amphibolite facies assemblages. Alpine-type postblueschist metamorphic paths involved fairly rapid, nearly adiabatic decompression; some terranes even underwent modest continued heating and fluid evolution during early stages of ascent. Uplift probably occurred as a consequence of the underthrusting of low-density island arc or microcontinental crust along the convergent plate junction, resulting in marked deceleration or cessation of lithospheric underflow, decoupling, and nearly isothermal rise of the recrystallized subduction complex. Other, less common blueschist terranes, such as the eastern Franciscan belt of western California, preserve metamorphic aragonite and other high-P minerals, and lack a low-pressure overprint; physical conditions during retrogression

  13. 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.

  14. Thin lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary beneath Eastern Indian craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shalivahan; Bhattacharya, Bimalendu B.; Rao, N. V. Chalapathi; Maurya, V. P.

    2014-02-01

    The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) separates the hard and rigid outer layer of the earth (lithosphere) and the weaker, hotter, and deeper part of the upper mantle (asthenosphere) and plays a pivotal role in plate tectonics. However, its definitive detection, especially beneath the cratons, is proving elusive. One of the geophysical tools used to map the LAB beneath the cratons is through magnetotelluric (MT) observations. The resistivity at boundary falls in the range of 5-25 Ω-m and can be explained by the presence of a small amount of water in the asthenosphere, possibly inducing partial melt. Here, we report thickness of the LAB in one of the oldest dated ancient cratons of India-Eastern Indian Craton (EIC) of ~ 3.3 Gyr, from MT studies. The two prominent phase-sensitive strike directions, one each for crust and mantle, and the presence of resistive continental lower crust act as a window to mantle in resolving deeper electrical conductivity structures beneath EIC. Our results show that the LAB beneath the EIC is at 95 km. The region is interesting as the electrical properties of the crust and mantle and the Moho depth are similar to those of the Slave Craton, Canada (~ 4.0 Gyr) but the depth of the LAB beneath the EIC is half that of the Slave craton. As cratonic signatures, depicted by ultrapotassic rocks from Gondwana coal fields close to EIC, are preserved at least till early Cretaceous (117 Ma) it is likely that Himalayan orogeny could have played a major role in delamination of the lithospheric roots of the EIC in addition to attendant seismicity.

  15. Modelling the Crust beneath the Kashmir valley in Northwestern Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mir, R. R.; Parvez, I. A.; Gaur, V. K.; A.; Chandra, R.; Romshoo, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    We investigate the crustal structure beneath five broadband seismic stations in the NW-SE trendingoval shaped Kashmir valley sandwiched between the Zanskar and the Pir Panjal ranges of thenorthwestern Himalaya. Three of these sites were located along the southwestern edge of the valley andthe other two adjoined the southeastern. Receiver Functions (RFs) at these sites were calculated usingthe iterative time domain deconvolution method and jointly inverted with surface wave dispersiondata to estimate the shear wave velocity structure beneath each station. To further test the results ofinversion, we applied forward modelling by dividing the crust beneath each station into 4-6homogeneous, isotropic layers. Moho depths were separately calculated at different piercing pointsfrom the inversion of only a few stacked receiver functions of high quality around each piercing point.These uncertainties were further reduced to ±2 km by trial forward modelling as Moho depths werevaried over a range of ±6 km in steps of 2 km and the synthetic receiver functions matched with theinverted ones. The final values were also found to be close to those independently estimated using theH-K stacks. The Moho depths on the eastern edge of the valley and at piercing points in itssouthwestern half are close to 55 km, but increase to about 58 km on the eastern edge, suggesting thathere, as in the central and Nepal Himalaya, the Indian plate dips northeastwards beneath the Himalaya.We also calculated the Vp/Vs ratio beneath these 5 stations which were found to lie between 1.7 and1.76, yielding a Poisson's ratio of ~0.25 which is characteristic of a felsic composition.

  16. 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

  17. Kinematics of a former oceanic plate of the Neotethys revealed by deformation in the Ulukışla basin (Turkey)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gürer, Derya; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J J; Matenco, Liviu; Corfu, Fernando; Cascella, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Kinematic reconstruction of modern ocean basins shows that since Pangea breakup a vast area in the Neotethyan realm was lost to subduction. Here we develop a first-order methodology to reconstruct the kinematic history of the lost plates of the Neotethys, using records of subducted plates accreted

  18. 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.

  19. Geodetic Observations of Interseismic Strain Segmentation at the Sumatra Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prawirodirdjo, L.; Bock, Y.; McCaffrey, R.; Genrich, J.; Calais, E.; Puntodewo, S. S. O.; Subarya, C.; Rais, J.; Zwick, P.; Fauzi

    1997-01-01

    Deformation above the Sumatra subduction zone, revealed by Global Positioning System (GPS) geodetic surveys, shows nearly complete coupling of the forearc to the subducting plate south of 0.5 deg S and half as much to north. The abrupt change in plate coupling coincides with the boundary between the rupture zones of the 1833 and 1861 (Mw greater than 8) thrust earthquakes. The rupture boundary appears as an abrupt change in strain accumulation well into the interseismic cycle, suggesting that seismic segmentation is controlled by properties of the plate interface that persist occupied through more than one earthquake cycle. Structural evidence indicates that differences in basal shear stress may be related to elevated pore pressure in the north.

  20. MACMA: a Virtual Lab for Plate Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grigne, C.; Combes, M.; Tisseau, C.

    2013-12-01

    MACMA (Multi-Agent Convective MAntle) is a tool developed to simulate evolutive plate tectonics and mantle convection in a 2-D cylindrical geometry (Combes et al., 2012). The model relies mainly on a force balance to compute the velocity of each plate, and on empirical rules to determine how plate boundaries move and evolve. It includes first-order features of plate tectonics: (a) all plates on Earth do not have the same size, (b) subduction zones are asymmetric, (c) plates driven by subducting slabs and upper plates do not exhibit the same velocities, and (d) plate boundaries are mobile, can collide, merge and disappear, and new plate boundaries can be created. The MACMA interface was designed to be user-friendly and a simple use of the simulator can be achieved without any prerequisite knowledge in fluid dynamics, mantle rheology, nor in numerical methods. As a preliminary study, the simulator was used by a few students from bachelor's degree to master's degree levels. An initial configuration for plate tectonics has to be created before starting a simulation: the number and types of plate boundaries (ridge, subduction, passive margins) has to be defined and seafloor ages must be given. A simple but interesting exercise consists in letting students build such an initial configuration: they must analyze a map of tectonic plates, choose a 2-D section and examine carefully a map of seafloor ages. Students mentioned that the exercise made them realize that the 3-D spherical structure of plate tectonics does not translate directly in a simple 2-D section, as opposed to what is usually shown in books. Physical parameters: e.g. mantle viscosity, number of layers to consider in the mantle (upper and lower mantle, possible asthenosphere), initial time and mantle temperature, have to be chosen, and students can use this virtual lab to see how different scenarios emerge when parameters are varied. Very importantly, the direct visualization of the mobility of plate

  1. Lasting mantle scars lead to perennial plate tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heron, Philip J; Pysklywec, Russell N; Stephenson, Randell

    2016-06-10

    Mid-ocean ridges, transform faults, subduction and continental collisions form the conventional theory of plate tectonics to explain non-rigid behaviour at plate boundaries. However, the theory does not explain directly the processes involved in intraplate deformation and seismicity. Recently, damage structures in the lithosphere have been linked to the origin of plate tectonics. Despite seismological imaging suggesting that inherited mantle lithosphere heterogeneities are ubiquitous, their plate tectonic role is rarely considered. Here we show that deep lithospheric anomalies can dominate shallow geological features in activating tectonics in plate interiors. In numerical experiments, we found that structures frozen into the mantle lithosphere through plate tectonic processes can behave as quasi-plate boundaries reactivated under far-field compressional forcing. Intraplate locations where proto-lithospheric plates have been scarred by earlier suturing could be regions where latent plate boundaries remain, and where plate tectonics processes are expressed as a 'perennial' phenomenon.

  2. Lasting mantle scars lead to perennial plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heron, Philip J.; Pysklywec, Russell N.; Stephenson, Randell

    2016-01-01

    Mid-ocean ridges, transform faults, subduction and continental collisions form the conventional theory of plate tectonics to explain non-rigid behaviour at plate boundaries. However, the theory does not explain directly the processes involved in intraplate deformation and seismicity. Recently, damage structures in the lithosphere have been linked to the origin of plate tectonics. Despite seismological imaging suggesting that inherited mantle lithosphere heterogeneities are ubiquitous, their plate tectonic role is rarely considered. Here we show that deep lithospheric anomalies can dominate shallow geological features in activating tectonics in plate interiors. In numerical experiments, we found that structures frozen into the mantle lithosphere through plate tectonic processes can behave as quasi-plate boundaries reactivated under far-field compressional forcing. Intraplate locations where proto-lithospheric plates have been scarred by earlier suturing could be regions where latent plate boundaries remain, and where plate tectonics processes are expressed as a ‘perennial' phenomenon. PMID:27282541

  3. Controls on continental strain partitioning above an oblique subduction zone, Northern Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Analyzing One-Sided vs. Two-Sided Subduction Arising from Mantle Convection Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

    Purely thermal plate tectonic generation models struggle to consistently reproduce one-sided subduction as is observed on Earth (Tackley 2000; Van Heck and Tackley 2008; Foley and Becker 2009), and instead produce two-sided subduction where the subducting slab contains a significant flux of material from both plates. The models of Crameri et al. (2012) demonstrate that the implementation of a free upper surface boundary condition and the inclusion of a weak hydrated crust can facilitate one-sided subduction. We employ a similar model configuration to Crameri et al. (2012) to further investigate the dynamics and energetics which are associated with one-sided vs. two-sided subduction. We use a 2D finite difference code based off of the algorithms of I2ELVIS (Gerya and Yuen 2007) where material parameters are tracked on Lagrangian markers and the Stokes and Energy equations are solved on a Cartesian grid. A free surface is implemented by a low viscosity and density 'sticky air layer' (Schmeling et al., 2008; Crameri et al., 2012) with the stabilization routine of Duretz et al. (2011) to prevent the 'drunken seaman' instability (Kaus et al., 2010). The effects of a weak crust, shear heating, a free surface or free slip upper mechanical boundary condition, plasticity as a function of depth or pressure, and the sticky air layer thermal conductivity on one-sided vs. two-sided subduction are investigated. When we observe one-sided subduction it is transient and can smoothly evolve back to a two-sided configuration. In our models, 'sidedness' is a spectrum, rather than either discretely one or two sided, and the models move between the two regimes throughout the model runs. We observe that the thermal conductivity of the sticky air layer can influence the dynamics of the convective domain. Elevated values of thermal conductivity compared to those of rock must be implemented in the sticky air layer in order to maintain a constant temperature at the surface of the convective

  5. Tomographic Imaging of the Peru Subduction Zone beneath the Altiplano and Implications for Andean Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, P. M.; Foote, E. J.; Stubailo, I.; Phillips, K. E.; Clayton, R. W.; Skinner, S.; Audin, L.; Tavera, H.; Dominguez Ramirez, L. A.; Lukac, M. L.

    2010-12-01

    This work describes preliminary tomography results from the Peru Seismic Experiment (PERUSE) a 100 station broadband seismic network installed in Peru. The network consists a linear array of broadband seismic stations that was installed mid-2008 that runs from the Peruvian coast near Mollendo to Lake Titicaca. A second line was added in late 2009 between Lake Titicaca and Cusco. Teleseismic and local earthquake travel time residuals are being combined in the tomographic inversions. The crust under the Andes is found to be 70-80 km thick decreasing to 30 km near the coast. The morphology of the Moho is consistent with the receiver function images (Phillips et al., 2010; this meeting) and also gravity. Ray tracing through the heterogeneous structure is used to locate earthquakes. However the rapid spatial variation in crustal thickness, possibly some of the most rapid in the world, generates shadow zones when using conventional ray tracing for the tomography. We use asymptotic ray theory that approximates effects from finite frequency kernels to model diffracted waves in these regions. The observation of thickened crust suggests that models that attribute the recent acceleration of the Altiplano uplift to crustal delamination are less likely than those that attribute it to crustal compression.

  6. Current plate velocities relative to the hotspots incorporating the NUVEL-1 global plate motion model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gripp, Alice E.; Gordon, Richard G.

    1990-01-01

    The NUVEL-1 model of current global relative plate velocities is presently incorporated into HS2-NUVEL1, a global model for plate velocities relative to hotspots; the results thus obtained are compared with those of the AM1-2 model of hotspot-relative plate velocities. While there are places in which plate velocities relative to the hotspots differ between HS2-NUVEL1 and AM1-2 by tens of degrees in direction and 15 mm/yr in speed, the hotspot Euler vectors differ with 95 percent confidence only for the Arabian and Indian plates. Plates attached to subducting slabs move faster relative to the hotspots than do plates without slabs.

  7. Current plate velocities relative to the hotspots incorporating the NUVEL-1 global plate motion model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gripp, Alice E.; Gordon, Richard G.

    1990-07-01

    The NUVEL-1 model of current global relative plate velocities is presently incorporated into HS2-NUVEL1, a global model for plate velocities relative to hotspots; the results thus obtained are compared with those of the AM1-2 model of hotspot-relative plate velocities. While there are places in which plate velocities relative to the hotspots differ between HS2-NUVEL1 and AM1-2 by tens of degrees in direction and 15 mm/yr in speed, the hotspot Euler vectors differ with 95 percent confidence only for the Arabian and Indian plates. Plates attached to subducting slabs move faster relative to the hotspots than do plates without slabs.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Small subsidence of the 660-km discontinuity beneath Japan probed by ScS reverberations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Mamoru; Misawa, Mika; Kawakatsu, Hitoshi

    We investigate layering structure in the mantle beneath Japan using ScS reverberation waveforms of two recent large deep events in the northwest Pacific. We estimate regional variation of the elastic and anelastic structure of the mantle as well as properties of the major velocity discontinuities by modeling broadband seismograms recorded at two dense networks, J-Array and FREESIA. The 660-km discontinuity is the deepest in the region where the stagnant subducting slab in the transition zone is tomographically imaged, but the subsidence is of ∼10 km, much smaller than previous estimates with SS precursors. No significant elevation is detected for the 410-km discontinuity.

  11. Cold plate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marroquin, Christopher M.; O' Connell, Kevin M.; Schultz, Mark D.; Tian, Shurong

    2018-02-13

    A cold plate, an electronic assembly including a cold plate, and a method for forming a cold plate are provided. The cold plate includes an interface plate and an opposing plate that form a plenum. The cold plate includes a plurality of active areas arranged for alignment over respective heat generating portions of an electronic assembly, and non-active areas between the active areas. A cooling fluid flows through the plenum. The plenum, at the non-active areas, has a reduced width and/or reduced height relative to the plenum at the active areas. The reduced width and/or height of the plenum, and exterior dimensions of cold plate, at the non-active areas allow the non-active areas to flex to accommodate surface variations of the electronics assembly. The reduced width and/or height non-active areas can be specifically shaped to fit between physical features of the electronics assembly.

  12. Crustal Gravitational Potential Energy Change and Subduction Earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, P. P.

    2017-05-01

    Crustal gravitational potential energy (GPE) change induced by earthquakes is an important subject in geophysics and seismology. For the past forty years the research on this subject stayed in the stage of qualitative estimate. In recent few years the 3D dynamic faulting theory provided a quantitative solution of this subject. The theory deduced a quantitative calculating formula for the crustal GPE change using the mathematic method of tensor analysis under the principal stresses system. This formula contains only the vertical principal stress, rupture area, slip, dip, and rake; it does not include the horizontal principal stresses. It is just involved in simple mathematical operations and does not hold complicated surface or volume integrals. Moreover, the hanging wall vertical moving (up or down) height has a very simple expression containing only slip, dip, and rake. The above results are significant to investigate crustal GPE change. Commonly, the vertical principal stress is related to the gravitational field, substituting the relationship between the vertical principal stress and gravitational force into the above formula yields an alternative formula of crustal GPE change. The alternative formula indicates that even with lack of in situ borehole measured stress data, scientists can still quantitatively calculate crustal GPE change. The 3D dynamic faulting theory can be used for research on continental fault earthquakes; it also can be applied to investigate subduction earthquakes between oceanic and continental plates. Subduction earthquakes hold three types: (a) crust only on the vertical up side of the rupture area; (b) crust and seawater both on the vertical up side of the rupture area; (c) crust only on the vertical up side of the partial rupture area, and crust and seawater both on the vertical up side of the remaining rupture area. For each type we provide its quantitative formula of the crustal GPE change. We also establish a simplified model (called

  13. 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.

  14. Seamount subduction underneath an accretionary wedge: modelling mass wasting and wedge collapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannu, Utsav; Ueda, Kosuke; Willett, Sean; Gerya, Taras; Strasser, Michael

    2017-04-01

    Seamounts (h >1 km) and knolls (h = 500 m-1000 m) cover about one-fifth of the total ocean floor area. These topographical highs of the ocean floor eventually get subducted. Subduction of these topographical features leads to severe deformation of the overriding plate and can cause extensive tectonic erosion and mass wasting of the frontal prism, which can ultimately cause a forearc wedge collapse. Large submarine landslides and the corresponding wedge collapse have previously been reported, for instance, in the northern part of the Hikurangi margin where the landslide is known as the giant Ruatoria debris avalanche, and have also been frequently reported in several seismic sections along the Costa Rica margin. Size and frequency relation of landslides suggest that the average size of submarine landslides in margins with rough subducting plates tends to be larger. However, this observation has not yet been tested or explained by physical models. In numerical subduction models, landslides take place, if at all, on a much larger timescale (in the order of 104-105 years, depending on the time steps of the model) than in natural cases. On the other hand, numerical models simulating mass wasting events such as avalanches and submarine landslides, typically model single events at a much smaller spatio-temporal domain, and do not consider long-term occurrence patterns of freely forming landslides. In this contribution, we present a multi-scale nested numerical approach to emulate short-term landslides within long-term progressive subduction. The numerical approach dynamically produces instantaneous submarine landslides and the resulting debris flow in the spatially and temporally refined inner model. Then we apply these convoluted changes in topography (e.g. due to the submarine landslide etc.) back to an outer larger-scale model instance that addresses wedge evolution. We use this approach to study the evolution of the accretionary wedge during seamount subduction.

  15. Topography and subduction geometry in the central Andes: Clues to the mechanics of a noncollisional orogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gephart, John W.

    1994-01-01

    The central Andeean orogen between 12 deg and 32 deg S latitude exhibits a high degree of spatial order: principally an extraordinary bilateral symmetry that is common to the Earth's surface, the underlying Wadati-Benioff zone, and the Nazca/South America plate kinematics, which has been stable since the mid-Tertiary. This spatial order must reflect the physical mechanisms of mountain building in this noncollisional orogen. The shapes of the topography and subduction zone can be reduced to symmetric and antisummeric components relative to any verical symmetry plane; the particular plaen which minimizes the antisymmetry (and maximizes the symmetry) is well resolved and is essentially coincident with the stable Euler equator of Nacza/South America relative motion since the mid-Tertiary. That the topography, subduction geometry, and persistent mid-Tertiary plate kinematics share common spatial and geometric elements suggests that he distribution of topography in this orogen depends strongly on the dynamics of subduction. Other factors that might affect the topography and underlying tectonics, such as climate and inherited strutura fabric, which have different spatial characterisitcs, must be of less significance at a continental scale. Furthermore, the small components of asymmetry among the various elements of the orogen appear to be mutually relate in a simple way; it is possible that this coupled asymmetry is associated with a late Teriary change in plate kinematics. These observations suggest that there is a close connection between plate tectonics and the form of the Earth's surface in this noncollisional setting. It follows hta the distribution of topography near convergent plate boundaries may provide a powerful constraing for understanding the dynamics of subduction.

  16. 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

  17. A 3-D shear velocity model of the southern North America and the Caribbean plates from ambient noise and earthquake tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaite, B.; Villaseñor, A.; Iglesias, A.; Herraiz, M.; Jiménez-Munt, I.

    2014-10-01

    We use group velocities from earthquake tomography together with group and phase velocities from ambient noise tomography (ANT) of Rayleigh-waves to invert for the 3-D shear-wave velocity structure (5-70 km) of the Caribbean (CAR) and southern North American (NAM) plates. The lithospheric model proposed offers a complete image of the crust and uppermost-mantle with imprints of the tectonic evolution. One of the most striking features inferred is the main role of the Ouachita-Marathon-Sonora orogeny front on the crustal seismic structure of NAM plate. A new imaged feature is the low crustal velocities along USA-Mexico border. The model also shows a break of the E-W mantle velocity dichotomy of the NAM and CAR plates beneath the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and Yucatan Block. High upper-mantle velocities along the Mesoamerican Subduction Zone coincide with inactive volcanic areas while the lowest velocities correspond to active volcanic arcs and thin lithospheric mantle regions.

  18. What favors the occurrence of subduction mega-earthquakes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brizzi, Silvia; Funiciello, Francesca; Corbi, Fabio; Sandri, Laura; van Zelst, Iris; Heuret, Arnauld; Piromallo, Claudia; van Dinther, Ylona

    2017-04-01

    uncertainties related to the short observational timespan with respect to the seismic cycle duration, we are systematically testing the influence of Wtrench and Tsed with novel 3D analogue and numerical models, respectively. Analogue models consist of a gelatin wedge underthrusted by a planar, 10° dipping slab including a rectangular patch with velocity-weakening frictional behavior. The experimental setup, specifically designed for the purpose, has the advantage of varying Wtrench from 50 cm to 1.5 m (i.e., 300 to 1000 km in nature), thus offering the opportunity to investigate its influence on MMax. Numerical models are performed using the visco-elasto-plastic Seismo-Thermo-Mechanical code (STM; van Dinther et al., 2013). The 2D setup has been modified including a layer of sediments on top of the subducting plate to test the role of Tsed on MMax. Results coming from the different adopted methodologies will be coupled to develop an integrated conceptual model, pointing out the potential cause-effect relationships between subduction zone parameters and the MMax of STF earthquakes

  19. The extent of continental crust beneath the Seychelles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammond, J. O. S.; Kendall, J.-M.; Collier, J. S.; Rümpker, G.

    2013-11-01

    The granitic islands of the Seychelles Plateau have long been recognised to overlie continental crust, isolated from Madagascar and India during the formation of the Indian Ocean. However, to date the extent of continental crust beneath the Seychelles region remains unknown. This is particularly true beneath the Mascarene Basin between the Seychelles Plateau and Madagascar and beneath the Amirante Arc. Constraining the size and shape of the Seychelles continental fragment is needed for accurate plate reconstructions of the breakup of Gondwana and has implications for the processes of continental breakup in general. Here we present new estimates of crustal thickness and VP/VS from H-κ stacking of receiver functions from a year long deployment of seismic stations across the Seychelles covering the topographic plateau, the Amirante Ridge and the northern Mascarene Basin. These results, combined with gravity modelling of historical ship track data, confirm that continental crust is present beneath the Seychelles Plateau. This is ˜30-33 km thick, but with a relatively high velocity lower crustal layer. This layer thins southwards from ˜10 km to ˜1 km over a distance of ˜50 km, which is consistent with the Seychelles being at the edge of the Deccan plume prior to its separation from India. In contrast, the majority of the Seychelles Islands away from the topographic plateau show no direct evidence for continental crust. The exception to this is the island of Desroche on the northern Amirante Ridge, where thicker low density crust, consistent with a block of continental material is present. We suggest that the northern Amirantes are likely continental in nature and that small fragments of continental material are a common feature of plume affected continental breakup.

  20. 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

  1. Shear wave splitting and the dynamics of the hydrated mantle wedge in subduction regions constrained by the example of the Ryukyu subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagaya, T.; Walker, A.; Wookey, J. M.; Wallis, S.; Ishii, K.; Kendall, J. M.

    2016-12-01

    H2O-rich subduction fluids are a key component of convergent plate margin dynamics, essential to earthquake initiation and magma formation. These fluids in the wedge mantle are dominantly derived from antigorite dragged down by plate motion. However, the accurate distribution of antigorite-rich serpentinite related to the fluid transport in subduction zones has thus far been difficult to determine. Our approach is to model the S-wave splitting of the Ryukyu arc in order to constrain the distribution, amount and orientation of antigorite, while taking into account the geometry of seismic ray paths and the elastic anisotropy of deformed antigorite-bearing mantle. We have also carried out a full assessment of uncertainties associated with our analysis including time delay estimates from the seismic waves themselves, crustal anisotropy, averaging schemes for CPO, and the strength of antigorite CPO patterns. The results suggest the presence of a large-scale flow in the hydrous mantle with a low viscosity and more than 54% of this domain consists of antigorite. Other geophysical observations in the forearc mantle including the low seismic velocity and gravity anomaly are also compatible with our inference of the presence of induced flow in an antigorite-rich, hydrated mantle wedge in the Ryukyu arc. We have also constructed a geodynamic model to examine flow patterns in the hydrated shallow wedge mantle using the distribution and proportion of serpentinite derived from our seismic model and subduction parameters that are close to those of the arc. The results clearly show that convection occurs in the serpentinized mantle wedge and that this domain is associated with a low surface heat flow. S-wave splitting observations in other subduction zones implies this large-scale serpentinization and hydrous mantle flow is likely to be more widespread than generally recognized and the view that the forearc mantle of cold subduction zones lacks significant zones of hydration needs

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. The characteristics of mantle lithosphere buoyancy revealed from the northern Manila subduction zone to the active collision in Taiwan region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Chung-Liang; Doo, Wen-Bin; Kuo-Chen, Hao; Hsu, Shu-Kun; Lin, Jing-Yi

    2017-04-01

    It has been widely studied on the complexity tectonic structure in the active Taiwan orogenesis, since the converging between the Philippine Sea plate (PSP) and the Eurasian plate (EU) along with the Manila subduction zone extended from the Philippine to offshore the southern Taiwan and the Ryukyu subduction zone in the east. Considering the separate contribution of the crust and the mantle lithosphere to the topography, we try to examine the mantle lithosphere buoyancy (Hm) behavior from the northern Manila subduction zone to the active collision in Taiwan region. In this study, we present several Hm profiles across the northern Manila subduction zone and the Taiwan island. In order to calculate the Hm, the crust structures are constrained by the forward gravity modeling, in which the density is provided from the multi-channel seismic data and on land seismic data (thanks to the Taiwan Integrated Geodynamic Research (TAIGER) project). The result shows that the Hm across the northern Manila subduction zone displays apparent undulations, and undulates more drastic approaching the north end of the subduction zone. It implies that the plate coupling between the PSP and the EU here is weak. The Hm across the southern Taiwan undulates still, but the amplitudes are smaller with relative gentle undulations. This reflects the contribution from the slab underneath while the initial collision occurs in south Taiwan. Into the central Taiwan, the Hm pattern behaves undulating mild comparing with that across the subduction zone because the slab structure effects not obvious. Besides, the Hm in the central Taiwan primarily is affects by both the thickening crust and high elevation caused by the strong lateral external compression stress.

  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 Anat