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Sample records for subducted plate beneath

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garth, Tom; Rietbrock, Andreas

    2017-09-01

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

  2. Seismic attenuation structure beneath Nazca Plate subduction zone in southern Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    We estimate seismic attenuation in terms of quality factors, QP and QS using P and S phases, respectively, beneath Nazca Plate subduction zone between 10°S and 18.5°S latitude in southern Peru. We first relocate 298 earthquakes with magnitude ranges of 4.0-6.5 and depth ranges of 20-280 km. We measure t*, which is an integrated attenuation through the seismic raypath between the regional earthquakes and stations. The measured t* are inverted to construct three-dimensional attenuation structures of southern Peru. Checkerboard test results for both QP and QS structures ensure good resolution in the slab-dip transition zone between flat and normal slab subduction down to a depth of 200 km. Both QP and QS results show higher attenuation continued down to a depth of 50 km beneath volcanic arc and also beneath the Quimsachata volcano, the northernmost young volcano, located far east of the main volcanic front. We also observe high attenuation in mantle wedge especially beneath the normal subduction region in both QP and QS (100-130 in QP and 100-125 in QS) and slightly higher QP and QS beneath the flat-subduction and slab-dip transition regions. We plan to relate measured attenuation in the mantle wedge to material properties such as viscosity to understand the subduction zone dynamics.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Indo-Australian plate along the eastern Sunda arc ... tral Java is dominated by the collision of the oceanic Roo ... depths of around 670 km occur in the steeply dip- .... Symbols are same as in figure 4(b); Mg# (which equals to 100[Mg/(Mg+Fe)]) is calculated on a molar .... view to explain the above discrepancy for both the.

  4. Heterogeneous subduction structure within the Pacific plate beneath the Izu-Bonin arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Wei; Xing, Junhui; Jiang, Xiaodian

    2018-05-01

    The Izu-Bonin subduction zone is a subduction system formed in early Eocene. The structure of the subduction zone becomes complicated with the evolution of the surrounding plate motion, and many aspects are still unkown or ambiguous. The geodynamic implications are further investigated in related to published seismic observations and geochemical characters of the Izu-Bonin subduction zone. As indicated by seismic tomography and epicentral distributions, the dip angle of the plate beneath the segment to the south of 29°-30°N (the southern Izu-Bonin) is much steeper than the northern one (the northern Izu-Bonin). Deep focus events in the southern segment extend to the depth of ∼600 km, whereas in the northern section deep events just terminate at 420-450 km. Particularly, tomographic images show an obvious boundary between the northern and southern Izu-Bonin at depths of 150-600 km neglected in the previous studies. The northern and southern segments are even separated by a wide range of low-velocity anomaly in P and S wave tomography at 380 km and 450 km depths. In this depth range, three events near 30°N are characterized by strike-slip mechanisms with slab parallel σ1 and horizontally north-south trending σ3, which differ with the typical down-dip compression mechanisms for neighboring events. These events could be attributed to an abrupt change of the morphology and movement of the slab in the transition segment between the northern and southern Izu-Bonin. Indicated by the focal mechanisms, the northern and southern Izu-Bonin exhibits an inhomogeneous stress field, which is closely related to age differences of the downgoing slab. Because of the reheating process, the thermal age of the Pacific plate entering the Izu-Bonin trench in the past 10 Ma, is only 60-90 ± 20 Ma, along with the younger plate subducting in the northern segment. The seismic anisotropy implies that mantle wedge flow orientation is between the motion direction of the Pacific plate and

  5. Subduction of the Rivera plate beneath the Jalisco block as imaged by magnetotelluric data

    OpenAIRE

    Corbo-Camargo, Fernando; Arzate-Flores, Jorge Arturo; Álvarez-Béjar, Román; Aranda-Gómez, José Jorge; Yutsis, Vsevolod

    2013-01-01

    Two magnetotelluric (MT) profiles perpendicular to the trench provide information on the subduction of the Rivera plate under the Jalisco block (JB). The geometry of the subducting slab is inferred by the anomalous conductor on the top of the profile in the central part of the JB. High conductivity zones (

  6. Array-Based Receiver Function Analysis of the Subducting Juan de Fuca Plate Beneath the Mount St. Helens Region and its Implications for Subduction Geometry and Metamorphism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, M. E.; Abers, G. A.; Creager, K. C.; Ulberg, C. W.; Crosbie, K.

    2017-12-01

    Mount St. Helens (MSH) is unusual as a prolific arc volcano located 50 km towards the forearc of the main Cascade arc. The iMUSH (imaging Magma Under mount St. Helens) broadband deployment featured 70 seismometers at 10-km spacing in a 50-km radius around MSH, spanning a sufficient width for testing along-strike variation in subsurface geometry as well as deep controls on volcanism in the Cascade arc. Previous estimates of the geometry of the subducting Juan de Fuca (JdF) slab are extrapolated to MSH from several hundred km to the north and south. We analyze both P-to-S receiver functions and 2-D Born migrations of the full data set to locate the upper plate Moho and the dip and depth of the subducting slab. The strongest coherent phase off the subducting slab is the primary reverberation (Ppxs; topside P-to-S reflection) from the Moho of the subducting JdF plate, as indicated by its polarity and spatial pattern. Migration images show a dipping low velocity layer at depths less than 50 km that we interpret as the subducting JdF crust. Its disappearance beyond 50 km depth may indicate dehydration of subducting crust or disruption of high fluid pressures along the megathrust. The lower boundary of the low velocity zone, the JdF Moho, persists in the migration image to depths of at least 90 km and is imaged at 74 km beneath MSH, dipping 23 degrees. The slab surface is 68 km beneath MSH and 85 km beneath Mount Adams volcano to the east. The JdF Moho exhibits 10% velocity contrasts as deep as 85 km, an observation difficult to reconcile with simple models of crustal eclogitization. The geometry and thickness of the JdF crust and upper plate Moho is consistent with similar transects of Cascadia and does not vary along strike beneath iMUSH, indicating a continuous slab with no major disruption. The upper plate Moho is clear on the east side of the array but it disappears west of MSH, a feature we interpret as a result of both serpentinization of the mantle wedge and a

  7. 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

    The thesis is a contribution towards the understanding of the generation of the source mantle for magmas related to the subduction of the Nazca plate under South America with an emphasis on the geochemistry of the volatiles Cl, F, S, H2O and CO2. The study presents analytical data for tephra, min...

  8. Subduction history of the Paleo-Pacific plate beneath the Eurasian continent: Evidence from Mesozoic igneous rocks and accretionary complex in NE Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, W.

    2015-12-01

    Mesozoic magmatisms in NE China can be subdivided into seven stages, i.e., Late Triassic, Early Jurassic, Middle Jurassic, Late Jurassic, early Early Cretaceous, late Early Cretaceous, and Late Cretaceous. Late Triassic magmatisms consist of calc-alkaline igneous rocks in the Erguna Massif, and bimodal igneous rocks in eastern margin of Eurasian continent. The former reveals southward subduction of the Mongol-Okhotsk oceanic plate, the latter reveals an extensional environment (Xu et al., 2013). Early Jurassic magmatisms are composed of calc-alkaline igneous rocks in the eastern margin of the Eurasian continent and the Erguna Massif, revealing westward subduction of the Paleo-pacific plate and southward subduction of the Mongol-Okhotsk oceanic plate (Tang et al., 2015), respectively. Middle Jurassic magmatism only occur in the Great Xing'an Range and the northern margin of the NCC, and consists of adakitic rocks that formed in crustal thickening, reflecting the closure of the Mongol-Okhotsk ocean (Li et al., 2015). Late Jurassic and early Early Cretaceous magmatisms only occur to the west of the Songliao Basin, and consist of trackyandesite and A-type of rhyolites, revealing an extensional environment related to delamination of thickened crust. The late Early Cretaceous magmatisms are widespread in NE China, and consist of calc-alkaline volcanics in eastern margin and bimodal volcanics in intracontinent, revealing westward subduction of the Paleo-pacific plate. Late Cretaceous magmatisms mainly occur to the east of the Songliao Basin, and consist of calc-alkaline volcanics in eastern margin and alkaline basalts in intracontinent (Xu et al., 2013), revealing westward subduction of the Paleo-pacific plate. The Heilongjiang complex with Early Jurassic deformation, together with Jurassic Khabarovsk complex in Russia Far East and Mino-Tamba complex in Japan, reveal Early Jurassic accretionary history. Additionally, the Raohe complex with the age of ca. 169 Ma was

  9. Subduction Drive of Plate Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, W. B.

    2003-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  11. Buckling instabilities of subducted lithosphere beneath the transition zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  12. Subduction and Plate Edge Tectonics in the Southern Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  13. Seismic Structure of Mantle Transition Zone beneath Northwest Pacific Subduction Zone and its Dynamic Implication

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    The northwest Pacific subduction region is an ideal location to study the interaction between the subducting slab and upper mantle discontinuities. Various and complex geometry of the Pacific subducting slab can be well traced downward from the Kuril, Japan and Izu-Bonin trench using seismicity and tomography images (Fukao and Obayashi, 2013). Due to the sparse distribution of seismic stations in the sea, investigation of the deep mantle structure beneath the broad sea regions is very limited. In this study, we applied the well- developed multiple-ScS reverberations method (Wang et al., 2017) to analyze waveforms recorded by the Chinese Regional Seismic Network, the densely distributed temporary seismic array stations installed in east Asia. A map of the topography of the upper mantle discontinuities beneath the broad oceanic regions in northwest Pacific subduction zone is imaged. We also applied the receiver function analysis to waveforms recorded by stations in northeast China and obtain the detailed topography map beneath east Asia continental regions. We then combine the two kinds of topography of upper mantle discontinuities beneath oceanic and continental regions respectively, which are obtained from totally different methods. A careful image matching and spatial correlation is made in the overlapping study regions to calibrate results with different resolution. This is the first time to show systematically a complete view of the topography of the 410-km and 660-km discontinuities beneath the east Asia "Big mantle wedge" (Zhao and Ohtani, 2009) covering the broad oceanic and continental regions in the Northwestern Pacific Subduction zone. Topography pattern of the 660 and 410 is obtained and discussed. Especially we discovered a broad depression of the 410-km discontinuity covering more than 1000 km in lateral, which seems abnormal in the cold subducting tectonic environment. Based on plate tectonic reconstruction studies and HTHP mineral experiments, we

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currie, C. A.; Beaumont, C.

    2009-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  19. Segmented Subduction Across the Juan De Fuca Plate: Challenges in Imaging with an Amphibious Array

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    The Cascadia Initiative (CI) is an amphibious array spanning the Juan de Fuca plate from formation at the ridge to the destruction of the slab in the mantle beneath western North America. This ambitions project has occupied over 300 onshore and offshore sites, providing an unprecedented opportunity to understand the dynamics of oceanic plates. The CI project is now in its fourth and final year of deployment. Here we present constraints on the structure of the Juan de Fuca plate and its interaction with western North America. We identify segmentation along the Cascadia subduction zone that can be traced back onto the Juan de Fuca plate prior to subduction. These results give insight into the life cycle of oceanic plates, from their creation at a mid-ocean ridge to their subduction and subsequent recycling into the mantle.

  20. A detailed map of the 660-kilometer discontinuity beneath the izu-bonin subduction zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wicks, C W; Richards, M A

    1993-09-10

    Dynamical processes in the Earth's mantle, such as cold downwelling at subduction zones, cause deformations of the solid-state phase change that produces a seismic discontinuity near a depth of 660 kilometers. Observations of short-period, shear-to-compressional wave conversions produced at the discontinuity yield a detailed map of deformation beneath the Izu-Bonin subduction zone. The discontinuity is depressed by about 60 kilometers beneath the coldest part of the subducted slab, with a deformation profile consistent with the expected thermal signature of the slab, the experimentally determined Clapeyron slope of the phase transition, and the regional tectonic history.

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    tectonics of the Eastern Alps, where subduction of the adjacent Adriatic plate beneath the Eastern Alps is debated. Our results highlight that both indentation and subduction of Adria are valid collisional mechanisms to provoke lateral extrusion-type deformation within the Eastern Alps lithosphere, i.e. the upper plate. Moreover, the insights suggest that the Oligocene to Late Miocene structural evolution of the Eastern Alps is best described by phases of oblique and subsequent orthogonal subduction which is in line with Miocene rotations of the Adriatic plate. Furthermore, oblique subduction of the Adriatic plate provides a viable mechanism to explain the rapid decrease in slab length beneath the Eastern Alps towards the Pannonian Basin, also implying that the Adriatic slab can behave and form independently with regards to the adjacent subduction of Adria beneath the Dinarides.

  3. Imaging megathrust zone and Yakutat/Pacific plate interface in Alaska subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

    We image the subducted slab underneath a 450 km long transect of the Alaska subduction zone. Dense stations in southern Alaska are set up to investigate (1) the geometry and velocity structure of the downgoing plate and their relation to slab seismicity, and (2) the interplate coupled zone where the great 1964 (magnitude 9.3) had greatest rupture. The joint teleseismic migration of two array datasets (MOOS, Multidisciplinary Observations of Onshore Subduction, and BEAAR, Broadband Experiment Across the Alaska Range) based on teleseismic receiver functions (RFs) using the MOOS data reveal a shallow-dipping prominent low-velocity layer at ~25-30 km depth in southern Alaska. Modeling of these RF amplitudes shows a thin (<6.5 km) low-velocity layer (shear wave velocity of ~3 km/s), which is ~20-30% slower than normal oceanic crustal velocities, between the subducted slab and the overriding North American plate. The observed low-velocity megathrust layer (with P-to-S velocity ratio (Vp/Vs) exceeding 2.0) may be due to a thick sediment input from the trench in combination of elevated pore fluid pressure in the channel. The subducted crust below the low-velocity channel has gabbroic velocities with a thickness of 11-12 km. Both velocities and thickness of the low-velocity channel abruptly increase as the slab bends in central Alaska, which agrees with previously published RF results. Our image also includes an unusually thick low-velocity crust subducting with a ~20 degree dip down to 130 km depth at approximately 200 km inland beneath central Alaska. The unusual nature of this subducted segment has been suggested to be due to the subduction of the Yakutat terrane. We also show a clear image of the Yakutat and Pacific plate subduction beneath the Kenai Peninsula, and the along-strike boundary between them at megathrust depths. Our imaged western edge of the Yakutat terrane, at 25-30 km depth in the central Kenai along the megathrust, aligns with the western end of the

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  5. Seismic Evidence of Ancient Westward Residual Slab Subduction Beneath Southern Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng-Horng Lin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The northeastern convergence of the Philippine Sea plate toward the Eurasian plate causes the major western Philippine Sea plate boundary to subduct toward the northwest or west directions. However, this phenomenon is not clearly observed along the plate boundary between Luzon and Taiwan. Careful examination of deep seismicity in the southern Taiwan area from the earthquake catalog reported by the Central Weather Bureau shows two seismic zones dipping toward the opposing directions. The first dips toward the east from the surface down to 150 km in depth, while the second dips westward at depths between 150 and 200 km. These two seismic zones are confirmed further by seismogram observation and modeling results generated by two deep faults in the southern Taiwan area. The eastward seismic zone clearly results from the Eurasia plate subduction along the Manila trench, while a small section of the westward seismic zone might likely be a residual slab from the ancient subducted Philippine Sea plate. Based on the subduction speed obtained from GPS observations and the subducted Eurasian plate geometry, we can further estimate the eastward Eurasian plate subduction started at least 3.35 million years ago. This result is roughly consistent with the volcanic ages (3 - 4 Ma observed in the arc between Luzon and Taiwan.

  6. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. MT2D Inversion to Image the Gorda Plate Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubis, Y. K.; Niasari, S. W.; Hartantyo, E.

    2018-04-01

    The magnetotelluric method is applicable for studying complicated geological structures because the subsurface electrical properties are strongly influenced by the electric and magnetic fields. This research located in the Gorda subduction zone beneath the North American continental plate. Magnetotelluric 2D inversion was used to image the variation of subsurface resistivity although the phase tensor analysis shows that the majority of dimensionality data is 3D. 19 MT sites were acquired from EarthScope/USArray Project. Wepresent the image of MT 2D inversion to exhibit conductivity distribution from the middle crust to uppermost asthenosphere at a depth of 120 kilometers. Based on the inversion, the overall data misfit value is 3.89. The Gorda plate subduction appears as a high resistive zone beneath the California. Local conductive features are found in the middle crust downward Klamath Mountain, Bonneville Lake, and below the eastern of Utah. Furthermore, mid-crustal is characterized by moderately resistive. Below the extensional Basin and Range province was related to highly resistive. The middle crust to the uppermost asthenosphere becomes moderately resistive. We conclude that the electrical parameters and the dimensionality of datain the shallow depth(about 22.319 km) beneath the North American platein accordance with surface geological features.

  9. Scattering beneath Western Pacific subduction zones: evidence for oceanic crust in the mid-mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentham, H. L. M.; Rost, S.

    2014-06-01

    Small-scale heterogeneities in the mantle can give important insight into the dynamics and composition of the Earth's interior. Here, we analyse seismic energy found as precursors to PP, which is scattered off small-scale heterogeneities related to subduction zones in the upper and mid-mantle. We use data from shallow earthquakes (less than 100 km depth) in the epicentral distance range of 90°-110° and use array methods to study a 100 s window prior to the PP arrival. Our analysis focuses on energy arriving off the great circle path between source and receiver. We select coherent arrivals automatically, based on a semblance weighted beampower spectrum, maximizing the selection of weak amplitude arrivals. Assuming single P-to-P scattering and using the directivity information from array processing, we locate the scattering origin by ray tracing through a 1-D velocity model. Using data from the small-aperture Eielson Array (ILAR) in Alaska, we are able to image structure related to heterogeneities in western Pacific subduction zones. We find evidence for ˜300 small-scale heterogeneities in the region around the present-day Japan, Izu-Bonin, Mariana and West Philippine subduction zones. Most of the detected heterogeneities are located in the crust and upper mantle, but 6 per cent of scatterers are located deeper than 600 km. Scatterers in the transition zone correlate well with edges of fast features in tomographic images and subducted slab contours derived from slab seismicity. We locate deeper scatterers beneath the Izu-Bonin/Mariana subduction zones, which outline a steeply dipping pseudo-planar feature to 1480 km depth, and beneath the ancient (84-144 Ma) Indonesian subduction trench down to 1880 km depth. We image the remnants of subducted crustal material, likely the underside reflection of the subducted Moho. The presence of deep scatterers related to past and present subduction provides evidence that the subducted crust does descend into the lower mantle at

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Arcay

    2012-12-01

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

  11. Elasto-plastic deformation and plate weakening due to normal faulting in the subducting plate along the Mariana Trench

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zhiyuan; Lin, Jian

    2018-06-01

    We investigated variations in the elasto-plastic deformation of the subducting plate along the Mariana Trench through an analysis of flexural bending and normal fault characteristics together with geodynamic modeling. Most normal faults were initiated at the outer-rise region and grew toward the trench axis with strikes mostly subparallel to the local trench axis. The average trench relief and maximum fault throws were measured to be significantly greater in the southern region (5 km and 320 m, respectively) than the northern and central regions (2 km and 200 m). The subducting plate was modeled as an elasto-plastic slab subjected to tectonic loading at the trench axis. The calculated strain rates and velocities revealed an array of normal fault-like shear zones in the upper plate, resulting in significant faulting-induced reduction in the deviatoric stresses. We then inverted for solutions that best fit the observed flexural bending and normal faulting characteristics, revealing normal fault penetration to depths of 21, 20, and 32 km beneath the seafloor for the northern, central, and southern regions, respectively, which is consistent with the observed depths of the relocated normal faulting earthquakes in the central Mariana Trench. The calculated deeper normal faults of the southern region might lead to about twice as much water being carried into the mantle per unit trench length than the northern and central regions. We further calculated that normal faulting has reduced the effective elastic plate thickness Te by up to 52% locally in the southern region and 33% in both the northern and central regions. The best-fitting solutions revealed a greater apparent angle of the pulling force in the southern region (51-64°) than in the northern (22-35°) and central (20-34°) regions, which correlates with a general southward increase in the seismically-determined dip angle of the subducting slab along the Mariana Trench.

  12. The upper-mantle transition zone beneath the Chile-Argentina flat subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagdo, Paula; Bonatto, Luciana; Badi, Gabriela; Piromallo, Claudia

    2016-04-01

    The main objective of the present work is the study of the upper mantle structure of the western margin of South America (between 26°S and 36°S) within an area known as the Chile-Argentina flat subduction zone. For this purpose, we use teleseismic records from temporary broad band seismic stations that resulted from different seismic experiments carried out in South America. This area is characterized by on-going orogenic processes and complex subduction history that have profoundly affected the underlying mantle structure. The detection and characterization of the upper mantle seismic discontinuities are useful to understand subduction processes and the dynamics of mantle convection; this is due to the fact that they mark changes in mantle composition or phase changes in mantle minerals that respond differently to the disturbances caused by mantle convection. The discontinuities at a depth of 410 km and 660 km, generally associated to phase changes in olivine, vary in width and depth as a result of compositional and temperature anomalies. As a consequence, these discontinuities are an essential tool to study the thermal and compositional structure of the mantle. Here, we analyze the upper-mantle transition zone discontinuities at a depth of 410 km and 660 km as seen from Pds seismic phases beneath the Argentina-Chile flat subduction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. Using GPS, tide gauge and altimetry data to constrain subduction parameters at the Vanuatu plate boundary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballu, V.; Bouin, M.; Baillard, C.; Calmant, S.; Pelletier, B.; Crawford, W. C.; Kanas, T.; Garaebiti, E.

    2012-12-01

    The Vanuatu subduction zone, Southwest Pacific, combines several features that makes it a particularly useful place to study seismic cycles. The convergence rate is high - approximately 12 cm/yr - and the seismic cycle relatively short. Measurements of interseismic motions are helped by relatively high vertical rates, the close proximity of some islands to the plate interface and the existence of very shallow seamounts on either side of the plate interface. The Vanuatu archipelago is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire: the Australian plate subducts eastward beneath the North Fiji basin, on the western border of the Pacific Plate. High topographic features on the diving plate may contribute to locking of the plates, which can play a major role in the genesis of destructive earthquakes. GPS network points were installed in the early 1990s and the geodesy network has been densified through the years, enabling us to map interseismic horizontal and vertical deformation rates throughout the archipelago. More recently, 8 continuous GPS stations were installed, along with 3 continuous seafloor pressure gauges very near to the plate interface. We show results from GPS data collected from 1996 to 2011, that we re-processed and combined into the ITRF2008 reference frame, and altimetry and seafloor pressure data from 1999 to 2010. The GPS results show that vertical deformation rates vary both across and along the archipelago. We believe that these variations result from variable distance to the plate limit and variable locking parameters. In some areas, subsidence rates are close to one centimeter per year. In the Torres islands (at the northern end of the archipelago) where villagers face recurrent coastal flooding, we showed that this flooding is due more to ground motion than to rise in the absolute sea level, even though the sea-level rise rates are locally high and the islands uplift over the long term. In the Central area of Vanuatu, we augmented the on-land network with

  15. Spatial Variation of Slip Behavior Beneath the Alaska Peninsula Along Alaska-Aleutian Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shanshan; Freymueller, Jeffrey T.

    2018-04-01

    We resurveyed preexisting campaign Global Positioning System (GPS) sites and estimated a highly precise GPS velocity field for the Alaska Peninsula. We use the TDEFNODE software to model the slip deficit distribution using the new GPS velocities. We find systematic misfits to the vertical velocities from the optimal model that fits the horizontal velocities well, which cannot be explained by altering the slip distribution, so we use only the horizontal velocities in the study. Locations of three boundaries that mark significant along-strike change in the locking distribution are identified. The Kodiak segment is strongly locked, the Semidi segment is intermediate, the Shumagin segment is weakly locked, and the Sanak segment is dominantly creeping. We suggest that a change in preexisting plate fabric orientation on the downgoing plate has an important control on the along-strike variation in the megathrust locking distribution and subduction seismicity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  17. Estimates of elastic plate thicknesses beneath large volcanos on Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcgovern, Patrick J.; Solomon, Sean C.

    1992-01-01

    Megellan radar imaging and topography data are now available for a number of volcanos on Venus greater than 100 km in radius. These data can be examined to reveal evidence of the flexural response of the lithosphere to the volcanic load. On Earth, flexure beneath large hotspot volcanos results in an annual topographic moat that is partially to completely filled in by sedimentation and mass wasting from the volcano's flanks. On Venus, erosion and sediment deposition are considered to be negligible at the resolution of Magellan images. Thus, it may be possible to observe evidence of flexure by the ponding of recent volcanic flows in the moat. We also might expect to find topographic signals from unfilled moats surrounding large volcanos on Venus, although these signals may be partially obscured by regional topography. Also, in the absence of sedimentation, tectonic evidence of deformation around large volcanos should be evident except where buried by very young flows. We use analytic solutions in axisymmetric geometry for deflections and stresses resulting from loading of a plate overlying an inviscid fluid. Solutions for a set of disk loads are superimposed to obtain a solution for a conical volcano. The deflection of the lithosphere produces an annular depression or moat, the extent of which can be estimated by measuring the distance from the volcano's edge to the first zero crossing or to the peak of the flexural arch. Magellan altimetry data records (ARCDRs) from data cycle 1 are processed using the GMT mapping and graphics software to produce topographic contour maps of the volcanos. We then take topographic profiles that cut across the annular and ponded flows seen on the radar images. By comparing the locations of these flows to the predicted moat locations from a range of models, we estimate the elastic plate thickness that best fits the observations, together with the uncertainty in that estimate.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  19. Philippine Sea Plate inception, evolution, and consumption with special emphasis on the early stages of Izu-Bonin-Mariana subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lallemand, Serge

    2016-12-01

    We compiled the most relevant data acquired throughout the Philippine Sea Plate (PSP) from the early expeditions to the most recent. We also analyzed the various explanatory models in light of this updated dataset. The following main conclusions are discussed in this study. (1) The Izanagi slab detachment beneath the East Asia margin around 60-55 Ma likely triggered the Oki-Daito plume occurrence, Mesozoic proto-PSP splitting, shortening and then failure across the paleo-transform boundary between the proto-PSP and the Pacific Plate, Izu-Bonin-Mariana subduction initiation and ultimately PSP inception. (2) The initial splitting phase of the composite proto-PSP under the plume influence at ˜54-48 Ma led to the formation of the long-lived West Philippine Basin and short-lived oceanic basins, part of whose crust has been ambiguously called "fore-arc basalts" (FABs). (3) Shortening across the paleo-transform boundary evolved into thrusting within the Pacific Plate at ˜52-50 Ma, allowing it to subduct beneath the newly formed PSP, which was composed of an alternance of thick Mesozoic terranes and thin oceanic lithosphere. (4) The first magmas rising from the shallow mantle corner, after being hydrated by the subducting Pacific crust beneath the young oceanic crust near the upper plate spreading centers at ˜49-48 Ma were boninites. Both the so-called FABs and the boninites formed at a significant distance from the incipient trench, not in a fore-arc position as previously claimed. The magmas erupted for 15 m.y. in some places, probably near the intersections between back-arc spreading centers and the arc. (5) As the Pacific crust reached greater depths and the oceanic basins cooled and thickened at ˜44-45 Ma, the composition of the lavas evolved into high-Mg andesites and then arc tholeiites and calc-alkaline andesites. (6) Tectonic erosion processes removed about 150-200 km of frontal margin during the Neogene, consuming most or all of the Pacific ophiolite

  20. Seismically active column and volcanic plumbing system beneath the island arc of the Izu-Bonin subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Špičák, Aleš; Vaněk, Jiří; Hanuš, Václav

    2009-12-01

    A detailed spatio-temporal analysis of teleseismic earthquake occurrence (mb > 4.0) along the convergent margin of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc system reveals an anomalously high concentration of events between 27° and 30.5°N, beneath a chain of seamounts between Tori-shima and Nishino-shima volcanoes. This seismicity is dominated by the 1985/1986 earthquake swarm represented in the Engdahl-van der Hilst-Buland database by 146 earthquakes in the body wave magnitude range 4.3-5.8 and focal depth range 1-100 km. The epicentral cluster of the swarm is elongated parallel to the volcanic chain. Available focal mechanisms are consistent with an extensional tectonic regime and reveal nodal planes with azimuths close to that of the epicentral cluster. Earthquakes of the 1985/1986 swarm occurred in seven time phases. Seismic activity migrated in space from one phase to the other. Earthquake foci belonging to individual phases of the swarm aligned in vertically disposed seismically active columns. The epicentral zones of the columns are located in the immediate vicinity of seamounts Suiyo and Mokuyo, recently reported by the Japanese Meteorological Agency as volcanically active. The three observations-episodic character of earthquake occurrence, column-like vertically arranged seismicity pattern, and existence of volcanic seamounts at the seafloor above the earthquake foci-led us to interpret the 1985/1986 swarm as a consequence of subduction-related magmatic and/or fluid activity. A modification of the shallow earthquake swarm magmatic model of D. Hill fits earthquake foci distribution, tectonic stress orientation and fault plane solutions. The 1985/1986 deep-rooted earthquake swarm in the Izu-Bonin region represents an uncommon phenomenon of plate tectonics. The portion of the lithospheric wedge that was affected by the swarm should be composed of fractured rigid, brittle material so that the source of magma and/or fluids which might induce the swarm should be situated at a

  1. Coupling intensity and isostatic competition between subducting slab and overriding plate control trench motions and tectonics of the overriding plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, G.; Moresi, L. N.

    2017-12-01

    Trench motions not only reflect tectonic regimes on the overriding plate but also shed light on the competition between subducting slab and overriding plate, however, major controls over trench advance or retreat and their consequences are still illusive. We use 2D thermo-mechanical experiments to study the problem. We find that the coupling intensity particularly in the uppermost 200 km and the isostatic competition between subducting slab and overriding plate largely determine trench motion and tectonics of in the overriding plate. Coupling intensity is the result of many contributing factors, including frictional coefficient of brittle part of the subducting interface and the viscosity of the ductile part, thermal regime and rheology of the overriding plate, and water contents and magmatic activity in the subducting slab and overriding plate. In this study, we are not concerned with the dynamic evolution of individual controlling parameter but simply use effective media. For instance, we impose simple model parameters such as frictional coefficient and vary the temperature and strain-rate dependent viscosity of the weak layer between the subducting slab and overriding plate. In the coupled end-member case, strong coupling leads to strong corner flow, depth-dependent compression/extension, and mantle return flow on the overriding plate side. It results in fast trench retreat, broad overriding plate extension, and even slab breakoff. In the decoupled end-member case, weak coupling causes much weaker response on the overriding plate side compared with the coupled end-member case, and the subducting slab can be largely viewed as a conveyer belt. We find that the isostatic competition between the subducting slab and overriding plate also has a major control over trench motion, and may better be viewed in 3D models. This is consistent with the findings in previous 3D studies that trench motion is most pronounced close to the slab edge. Here we propose that the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-06-01

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

  6. The northern Lesser Antilles oblique subduction zone: new insight about the upper plate deformation, 3D slab geometry and interplate coupling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcaillou, B.; Laurencin, M.; Graindorge, D.; Klingelhoefer, F.

    2017-12-01

    In subduction zones, the 3D geometry of the plate interface is thought to be a key parameter for the control of margin tectonic deformation, interplate coupling and seismogenic behavior. In the northern Caribbean subduction, precisely between the Virgin Islands and northern Lesser Antilles, these subjects remain controversial or unresolved. During the ANTITHESIS cruises (2013-2016), we recorded wide-angle seismic, multichannel reflection seismic and bathymetric data along this zone in order to constrain the nature and the geometry of the subducting and upper plate. This experiment results in the following conclusions: 1) The Anegada Passage is a 450-km long structure accross the forearc related to the extension due to the collision with the Bahamas platform. 2) More recently, the tectonic partitioning due to the plate convergence obliquity re-activated the Anegada Passage in the left-lateral strike-slip system. The partitioning also generated the left-lateral strike-slip Bunce Fault, separating the accretionary prism from the forearc. 3) Offshore of the Virgin Islands margin, the subducting plate shows normal faults parallel to the ancient spreading center that correspond to the primary fabric of the oceanic crust. In contrast, offshore of Barbuda Island, the oceanic crust fabric is unresolved (fracture zone?, exhumed mantle? ). 4) In the direction of the plate convergence vector, the slab deepening angle decreases northward. It results in a shallower slab beneath the Virgin Islands Platform compared to the St Martin-Barbuda forearc. In the past, the collision of the Bahamas platform likely changed the geodynamic settings of the northeastern corner of the Caribbean subduction zone and we present a revised geodynamic history of the region. Currently, various features are likely to control the 3D geometry of the slab: the margin convexity, the convergence obliquity, the heterogeneity of the primary fabric of the oceanic crust and the Bahamas docking. We suggest that

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Reconstruction of Northeast Asian Deformation Integrated with Western Pacific Plate Subduction since 200 Ma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, S.; Gurnis, M.; Ma, P.; Zhang, B.

    2017-12-01

    The configuration and kinematics of continental deformation and its marginal plate tectonics on the Earth's surface are intrinsic manifestations of plate-mantle coupling. The complex interactions of plate boundary forces result in plate motions that are dominated by slab pull and ridge push forces and the effects of mantle drag; these interactions also result in continental deformation with a complex basin-mountain architecture and evolution. The kinematics and evolution of the western Pacific subduction and northeast Asian continental-margin deformation are a first-order tectonic process whose nature and chronology remains controversial. This paper implements a "deep-time" reconstruction of the western Pacific subduction, continental accretion or collision and basin-mountain deformation in northeast Asia since 200 Ma based on a newly revised global plate model. The results demonstrate a NW-SE-oriented shortening from 200-137 Ma, a NWW-SEE-oriented extension from 136-101 Ma, a nearly N-S-oriented extension and uplift with a short-term NWW-SEE-oriented compressional inversion in northeast China from 100-67 Ma, and a NW-SE- and nearly N-S-oriented extension from 66 Ma to the present day. The western Pacific oceanic plate subducted forward under East Asia along Mudanjiang-Honshu Island during the Jurassic, and the trenches retreated to the Sikhote-Alin, North Shimanto, and South Shimanto zones from ca. 137-128 Ma, ca. 130-90 Ma, and in ca. 60 Ma, respectively. Our time-dependent analysis of plate motion and continental deformation coupling suggests that the multi-plate convergent motion and ocean-continent convergent orogeny were induced by advance subduction during the Jurassic and earliest Cretaceous. Our analysis also indicates that the intra-continent rifting and back-arc extension were triggered by trench retreat during the Cretaceous and that the subduction of oceanic ridge and arc were triggered by trench retreat during the Cenozoic. Therefore, reconstructing

  12. 3-D subduction dynamics in the western Pacific: Mantle pressure, plate kinematics, and dynamic topography.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  14. Tomographic Imaging of the Lesser Antilles Subducted Slab and its Significance for Estimating the Age and Amount of Eastward Motion of the Overriding Caribbean Plate

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    -west-trending, velocity anomalies observed at depths of 0-550 km, near the centerline of the subducted Lesser Antilles slab, and extending 1000 km west beneath the Caribbean plate appear to be downdip extensions of orthogonally-subducted, Central Atlantic fracture ones that have allowed the mantle to rise through an east-west-trending slab tear.

  15. Intermediate-depth earthquakes within young Cocos plate beneath Central Mexico: A hypothesis test for dehydration embrittlement and shear instability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, T.

    2010-12-01

    Subducting slab undergoes a series of dehydration reactions on their ways into the mantle and these processes are responsible for transporting water, recycling volatiles and chemical elements in arc magmas. It is generally accepted that the SOC is hydrated. However, it is not clear if subducting oceanic mantle (SOM) is hydrated and how deep the hydration is. Seismic refraction studies found that normal-fault type faulting can extend 12-20 km deep into the interior of the slab off Nicaragua, suggesting deep hydration of the SOM. Seismic refraction studies also found that the uppermost SOM is seismically slow and is partially serpentinized. The fluids released from dehydration inside the SOM can reduce the normal stress locally and facilitate the occurrences of intra-slab events through dehydration embrittlement and hydraulic fracture. It has been suggested that the dehydration of antigorite at about 600C is particularly important in facilitating the lower plane of the double seismic zone. To link the dehydration process to the occurrences of intra-slab events, it is critical to clarify where these events are located, either located at the dehydration boundary or in the neighborhood rocks. However, if the SOM is anhydrous, other mechanism, such as shear instabilities, has to be invoked to explain the occurrences of intermediate-depth intraslab earthquakes. Here I discuss locations of intermediate-depth intraslab earthquakes in Central Mexico subduction zone, where young Cocos plate subducts beneath North America plate. Recent studies involving local converted wave modeling and receiver function analysis indicate the presence of an ultra-slow velocity layer (USL) of about 3 km thick, likely an over-pressured upper oceanic crust. Most events display anomalously large converted SP waves that are 2-2.5 secs after direct P waves and finite difference modeling converge the location of these events about 9 km below the lower boundary USL. With a lower oceanic crust of about

  16. 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.

  17. Subduction in the Southern Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  18. Modeling the Geometry of Plate Boundary and Seismic Structure in the Southern Ryukyu Trench Subduction Zone, Japan, Using Amphibious Seismic Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Y.; Takahashi, T.; Ishihara, Y.; Kaiho, Y.; Arai, R.; Obana, K.; Nakanishi, A.; Miura, S.; Kodaira, S.; Kaneda, Y.

    2018-02-01

    Here we present the new model, the geometry of the subducted Philippine Sea Plate interface beneath the southern Ryukyu Trench subduction zone, estimated from seismic tomography and focal mechanism estimation by using passive and active data from a temporary amphibious seismic network and permanent land stations. Using relocated low-angle thrust-type earthquakes, repeating earthquakes, and structural information, we constrained the geometry of plate boundary from the trench axis to a 60 km depth with uncertainties of less than 5 km. The estimated plate geometry model exhibited large variation, including a pronounced convex structure that may be evidence of a subducted seamount in the eastern portion of study area, whereas the western part appeared smooth. We also found that the active earthquake region near the plate boundary, defined by the distance from our plate geometry model, was clearly separated from the area dominated by short-term slow-slip events (SSEs). The oceanic crust just beneath the SSE-dominant region, the western part of the study area, showed high Vp/Vs ratios (>1.8), whereas the eastern side showed moderate or low Vp/Vs (<1.75). We interpreted this as an indication that high fluid pressures near the surface of the slab are contributing to the SSE activities. Within the toe of the mantle wedge, P and S wave velocities (<7.5 and <4.2 km/s, respectively) lower than those observed through normal mantle peridotite might suggest that some portions of the mantle may be at least 40% serpentinized.

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2012-01-01

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

  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. Subducting plate geology in three great earthquake ruptures of the western Alaska margin, Kodiak to Unimak

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Huene, Roland E.; Miller, John J.; Weinrebe, Wilhelm

    2012-01-01

    Three destructive earthquakes along the Alaska subduction zone sourced transoceanic tsunamis during the past 70 years. Since it is reasoned that past rupture areas might again source tsunamis in the future, we studied potential asperities and barriers in the subduction zone by examining Quaternary Gulf of Alaska plate history, geophysical data, and morphology. We relate the aftershock areas to subducting lower plate relief and dissimilar materials in the seismogenic zone in the 1964 Kodiak and adjacent 1938 Semidi Islands earthquake segments. In the 1946 Unimak earthquake segment, the exposed lower plate seafloor lacks major relief that might organize great earthquake rupture. However, the upper plate contains a deep transverse-trending basin and basement ridges associated with the Eocene continental Alaska convergent margin transition to the Aleutian island arc. These upper plate features are sufficiently large to have affected rupture propagation. In addition, massive slope failure in the Unimak area may explain the local 42-m-high 1946 tsunami runup. Although Quaternary geologic and tectonic processes included accretion to form a frontal prism, the study of seismic images, samples, and continental slope physiography shows a previous history of tectonic erosion. Implied asperities and barriers in the seismogenic zone could organize future great earthquake rupture.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. The Subduction of an Exhumed and Serpentinized Magma-Poor Basement Beneath the Northern Lesser Antilles Reveals the Early Tectonic Fabric at Slow-Spreading Mid-Oceanic Ridges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcaillou, B.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Laurencin, M.; Biari, Y.; Graindorge, D.; Jean-Frederic, L.; Laigle, M.; Lallemand, S.

    2017-12-01

    Multichannel and wide-angle seismic data as well as heat-flow measurements (ANTITHESIS cruise, 2016) reveal a 200x200km patch of magma-poor oceanic basement in the trench and beneath the outer fore-arc offshore of Antigua to Saint Martin in the Northern Lesser Antilles. These data highlight an oceanic basement with the following features: 1/ Absence of any reflection at typical Moho depth and layer2/layer3 limit depths. 2/ High Velocity Vp at the top (>5.5 km/s), low velocity gradient with depth (serpentinized at the slow-spreading mid-Atlantic Ridge 80 Myr ago, is currently subducting beneath the Northern Lesser Antilles. During the exhumation, early extension triggers penetrative shear zones sub-parallel to the ridge and to the transform fault. Eventually, this early extension generates sliding along the so-called detachment fault, while the other proto-detachment abort. Approaching the trench, the plate bending reactivates these weak zones in normal faults and fluid pathways promoting deep serpentinisation and localizing tectonic deformation at the plate interface. These subducting fluid-rich mechanically weak mantle rocks rise questions about their relation to the faster slab deepening, the lower seismic activity and the pervasive tectonic partitioning in this margin segment.

  7. Inversion for Double-Layer Anisotropy in the Mantle Beneath the Middle America and Izu-Bonin Subduction Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuo, B. Y.

    2017-12-01

    We measured shear wave splitting for the intraslab events in the Middle America and Izu-Bonin subduction zones recorded at Pacific stations to infer the anisotropic structure in the subslab mantle. The receiver-side anisotropy is accounted for by considering both azimuthal anisotropy determined by SKS splitting and radial anisotropy given in global tomographic model, although the latter does not change the overall pattern of subslab anisotropy. By removing the anisotropy effects from both receiver and source sides, the initial polarization directions (p) of the shear waves used were recovered, most of which are in reasonable agreement with that predicted form the CMT solutions. For both subduction zones, the polarization-splitting plots strongly suggest the presence of two layers of anisotropy. To constrain the two-layer model, we perform inversions which minimize the misfit in both the splitting parameters and p. In the MASZ, the best model contains an upper layer with the fast direction in parallel with the absolute plate motion of the Cocos plate and a lower layer 40-60 degree clockwise from the APM. The delay times are 1.5 and 1.9 s respectively. The interference of the double layer produced dts in excess of 3 s at a certain range of p. The SKS splitting were also inverted for a two-layer model, yielding similar splitting characters and the clockwise rotation. We are investigating why this rotation takes place and how this observation is related to the dynamics of the asthenosphere.

  8. Overriding plate shortening and extension above subduction zones : A parametric study to explain formation of the Andes Mountains

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, Wouter P.

    2008-01-01

    Mountain building above subduction zones, such as observed in the Andes, is enigmatic, and the key parameter controlling the underlying dynamics remains a matter of considerable debate. A global survey of subduction zones is presented here, illustrating the correlation between overriding plate

  9. Seismological observations at the Northern Andean region of Colombia: Evidence for a shallowly subducting Caribbean Slab and an extensional regime in the upper plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monsalve, G.; Cardona, A.; Yarce, J.; Alvira, D.; Poveda, E.

    2013-05-01

    A number of seismological observations, among which we can mention teleseismic travel time residuals, P to S receiver functions and Pn velocity quantification, suggest a clear distinction between the seismic structure of the crust and uppermost mantle between the plains on the Caribbean coast of Colombia and the mountains at the Northern Andean region. Absolute and relative travel time residuals indicate the presence of a seismically fast material in the upper mantle beneath northern Colombia; preliminary results of Pn studies show a region of relatively slow Pn velocities (between 7.8 and 7.9 km/s) underneath the Caribbean coast, contrasting with values greater than 8 km/s beneath the Central and Western cordilleras of Colombia, and the Pacific coast; receiver functions suggest a significantly thinner crust beneath the Caribbean coast, with a crustal thickness between 25 and 30 km, than beneath the Northern Andean zone at the cordilleras of Colombia, where it exceeds 40 km and reaches about 57 km at the location of Bogota. Besides the obviuos discrepancies that appear in response to different topography, we think that the seismological observations are a consequence of the presence of two very distinct slab segments beneath Colombia and contrasting behaviors of the upper plate, which correspond to Caribbean and Nazca subductions. Our seismic observations can be explained by a shallowly subducting Caribbean Plate, in the absence of an asthenospheric wedge, that steepens at about the location of the Bucaramanga nest, and a thinned continental crust that reflects an extensional component linked to oblique convergence of the Caribbean, which contrasts with the crustal thickening in the Andean Cordillera linked to crustal shortening and Nazca plate subuction. These new data are consistent with the idea of of a relatively warm Nazca slab of Neogene age which seems to have a relatively frontal convergence, and a colder, more buoyant Caribbean slab which represents an

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  11. Water, oceanic fracture zones and the lubrication of subducting plate boundaries—insights from seismicity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  12. Commentary: The Feasibility of Subduction and Implications for Plate Tectonics on Jupiter's Moon Europa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kattenhorn, Simon A.

    2018-03-01

    A new modeling-based study by Johnson et al. (2017, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JE005370) lends support to the hypothesis that portions of Europa's surface may have been removed by the process of subduction, as suggested by Kattenhorn and Prockter (2014, https://doi.org/10.1038/NGEO2245). Using a simple 1-D model that tracks the thermal and density structure of a descending ice plate, Johnson et al. show that ice plates with 10% porosity and overall salt contents of 5%, which differ in salt content by 2.5% from the surrounding reference ice shell, are nonbuoyant and thus likely to sink through the underlying, convecting portion of the ice shell. The feasibility of subduction in an ice shell is critical to the existence of icy plate tectonics, which is hypothesized to exist at least locally on Europa, potentially making it the only other Solar System body other than Earth with a surface modified by plate tectonics.

  13. Structural control of the upper plate on the down-dip segmentation of subduction dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Q.; Barbot, S.; Karato, S. I.; Shibazaki, B.; Matsuzawa, T.; Tapponnier, P.

    2017-12-01

    The geodetic and seismic discoveries of slow earthquakes in subduction zones have provided the observational evidence for the existence of the transition between megathrust earthquakes and the creeping behaviors. However, the mechanics behind slow earthquakes, and the period differential motion between the subducting slab and the overlying plate below the seismogenic zone, remain controversial. In Nankai subduction zone, the very-low-frequency earthquakes (VLFE), megathrust earthquakes, long-term slow earthquakes (duration of months or years) and the episodic tremor and slip zone (ETS) are located within the accretionary prism, the continental upper crust, the continental lower crust and the upmost mantle of the overriding plate, respectively. We use the rate-and-state friction law to simulate the periodic occurrence of VLFEs, megathrust earthquakes and the tremors in the ETS zone because of relatively high rock strength within these depth ranges. However, it is not feasible to use frictional instabilities to explain the long-term slow earthquakes in the lower crust where the ductile rock physics plays a significant role in the large-scale deformation. Here, our numerical simulations show that slow earthquakes at the depth of the lower crust may be the results of plastic instabilities in a finite volume of ductile material accompanying by the grain-size evolution. As the thickness of the fault zone increases with depth, deformation becomes distributed and the dynamic equilibrium of grain size, as a competition between thermally activated grain growth and damage-related grain size reduction, results in cycles of strain acceleration and strain deficit. In addition, we took into account the elevated pore pressure in the accretinary prism which is associated with small stress drop and low-frequency content of VLFEs and may contribute to the occurrence of tsunamigenic earthquakes. Hence, in our numerical simulations for the plate boundary system in Nankai, the down

  14. Seismic evidence for deep fluid circulation in the overriding plate of subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Long-lived melting of ancient lower crust of the North China Craton in response to paleo-Pacific plate subduction, recorded by adakitic rhyolite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chao; Song, Shuguang; Niu, Yaoling; Allen, Mark B.; Su, Li; Wei, Chunjing; Zhang, Guibin; Fu, Bin

    2017-11-01

    Magmatism in eastern China in response to paleo-Pacific plate subduction during the Mesozoic was complex, and it is unclear how and when exactly the magmas formed via thinning and partial destruction of the continental lithosphere. To better understand this magmatism, we report the results of a geochronological and geochemical study of Early Cretaceous adakitic rhyolite (erupted at 125.4 ± 2.2 Ma) in the Xintaimen area within the eastern North China Craton (NCC). In situ zircon U-Pb dating shows that this adakitic rhyolite records a long ( 70 Myrs) and complicated period of magmatism with concordant 206Pb/238U ages from 193 Ma to 117 Ma. The enriched bulk rock Sr-Nd isotopic compositions of the Xintaimen adakitic rhyolite, as well as the enriched zircon Hf and O isotopic compositions, indicate that the magmas parental to the adakitic rhyolite were derived from partial melting of the Paleoproterozoic mafic lower crust, heated by mafic melts derived from the mantle during the paleo-Pacific plate subduction. A minor older basement component is indicated by the presence of captured Neoarchean to Early Paleoproterozoic zircons. The Mesozoic zircons have restricted Hf and O isotopic compositions irrespective of their ages, suggesting that they formed from similar sources at similar melting conditions. The Xintaimen adakitic rhyolite offers an independent line of evidence that the ancient lower crust of eastern China underwent a long period ( 70 Myrs) of destruction, melting or remelting, from 193 to 120 Ma, related to the subduction of the paleo-Pacific plate beneath eastern China.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  20. 3-D Simulation of Tectonic Evolution in Mariana with a Coupled Model of Plate Subduction and Back-Arc Spreading

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashima, A.; Matsu'Ura, M.

    2006-12-01

    We obtained the expressions for internal deformation fields due to a moment tensor in an elastic-viscoelastic layered holf-space. This unified formulation of internal deformation fields for shear faulting and crack opening enabled us to deal with the problem of tectonic deformation at a composite type of plate boundary zones. The tectonic deformation can be ascribed to mechanical interaction at plate boundaries, which make a closed circuit with the mode of relative plate motion changing from divergence to convergence through transcurrent motion. One of the rational ways to represent mechanical interaction at plate boundaries is specifying the increase rates of normal or tangential displacement discontinuity across plate interfaces. On the basis of such a basic idea we developed a 3-D simulation model for the nonlinear, coupled system of plate subduction and back-arc spreading in Mariana. Through numerical simulations we revealed the evolution process of back-arc spreading. At the first stage, steady plate subduction (shear faulting at a plate interface) gradually forms tensile stress fields in the back-arc region of the overriding plate. When the accumulated tensile stress reaches a critical level, back-arc spreading (crack opening) starts at a structurally weak portion of the overriding plate. The horizontal motion of the frontal part of the overriding plate due to back-arc spreading pushes out the plate boundary toward the oceanic plate. In steady-state plate subduction the shear stress acting on a plate interface must balance with the maximum frictional resistance (shear strength) of the plate interface. Therefore, the increase of shear stress at the plate interface leads to the increase of slip rate at the plate interface. The local increase of slip rate at the plate interface produces the additional tensile stress in the back-arc region. The increased tensile stress must be canceled out by the additional crack opening. Such a feedback mechanism between plate

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, L.; Mori, J. J.

    2016-12-01

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

  2. Seismic triplication used to reveal slab subduction that had disappeared in the late Mesozoic beneath the northeastern South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaoran; Li, Qiusheng; Li, Guohui; Zhou, Yuanze; Ye, Zhuo; Zhang, Hongshuang

    2018-03-01

    We provided a new study of the seismic velocity structure of the mantle transition zone (MTZ) beneath the northeastern South China Sea using P-wave triplications from two earthquakes at the central Philippines recorded by the Chinese Digital Seismic Network. Through fitting the observed and theoretical triplications modeled by the dynamic ray tracing method for traveltimes, and the reflectivity method for synthetic waveforms using grid-searching method, best-fit velocity models based on IASP91 were obtained to constrain the P-wave velocity structure of the MTZ. The models show that a high-velocity anomaly (HVA) resides at the bottom of MTZ. The HVA is 215 km to 225 km thick, with a P-wave velocity increment of 1.0% between 450 km and 665 km or 675 km transition and increase by 2.5-3.5% at 665 km or 675 km depth. The P-wave velocity increment ranges from approximately 0.3% to 0.8% below the 665 km or 675 km. We proposed that the HVA in the MTZ was caused by the broken fragments of a diving oceanic plate falling into the MTZ at a high angle, and/or by unstable thick continental lithosphere dropping into the MTZ sequentially or almost simultaneously.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  5. Waveform through the subducted plate under the Tokyo region in Japan observed by a ultra-dense seismic network (MeSO-net) and seismic activity around mega-thrust earthquakes area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakai, S.; Kasahara, K.; Nanjo, K.; Nakagawa, S.; Tsuruoka, H.; Morita, Y.; Kato, A.; Iidaka, T.; Hirata, N.; Tanada, T.; Obara, K.; Sekine, S.; Kurashimo, E.

    2009-12-01

    In central Japan, the Philippine Sea plate (PSP) subducts beneath the Tokyo Metropolitan area, the Kanto region, where it causes mega-thrust earthquakes, such as the 1703 Genroku earthquake (M8.0) and the 1923 Kanto earthquake (M7.9) which had 105,000 fatalities. A M7 or greater earthquake in this region at present has high potential to produce devastating loss of life and property with even greater global economic repercussions. The Central Disaster Management Council of Japan estimates the next great earthquake will cause 11,000 fatalities and 112 trillion yen (1 trillion US$) economic loss. This great earthquake is evaluated to occur with a probability of 70 % in 30 years by the Earthquake Research Committee of Japan. We had started the Special Project for Earthquake Disaster Mitigation in Tokyo Metropolitan area (2007-2012). Under this project, the construction of the Metropolitan Seismic Observation network (MeSO-net) that consists of about 400 observation sites was started [Kasahara et al., 2008; Nakagawa et al., 2008]. Now, we had 178 observation sites. The correlation of the wave is high because the observation point is deployed at about 2 km intervals, and the identification of the later phase is recognized easily thought artificial noise is very large. We also discuss the relation between a deformation of PSP and intra-plate M7+ earthquakes: the PSP is subducting beneath the Honshu arc and also colliding with the Pacific plate. The subduction and collision both contribute active seismicity in the Kanto region. We are going to present a high resolution tomographic image to show low velocity zone which suggests a possible internal failure of the plate; a source region of the M7+ intra-plate earthquake. Our study will contribute a new assessment of the seismic hazard at the Metropolitan area in Japan. Acknowledgement: This study was supported by the Earthquake Research Institute cooperative research program.

  6. Absolute Plate Motion Control Since the Triassic from the Cocos Slab and its Associated Subduction Record in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boschman, L.; Van Hinsbergen, D. J. J.; Langereis, C. G.; Molina-Garza, R. S.; Kimbrough, D. L.; Spakman, W.

    2017-12-01

    A positive wave speed anomaly interpreted as the Cocos slab stretches from the uppermost mantle at the Middle America trench in the west, to the lowermost mantle below the Atlantic in the east. The length and continuity of this slab indicates long-lived, uninterrupted eastward subduction of the attached Cocos Plate and its predecessor, the Farallon Plate. The geological record of Mexico contains Triassic to present day evidence of subduction, of which the post-Late Cretaceous phase is of continental margin-style. Interpretations of the pre-Upper Cretaceous subduction-related rock assemblages are under debate, and vary from far-travelled exotic intra-oceanic island arc character to in-situ extended continental margin origin. We present new paleomagnetic data that show that Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous subduction-related rocks from the Vizcaíno Peninsula and the Guerrero terrane have a paleolatitudinal plate motion history that is equal to that of the North American continent. This suggests that these rock assemblages were part of the overriding plate and were perhaps only separated from the North American continent by temporal fore- or back-arc spreading. The entire Triassic-present day subduction record, and hence, reconstructed trench location, can therefore be linked to the Cocos slab, which provides control on longitudinal plate motion of North America since the time of Pangea. Compared to the latest state of the art mantle frames, in which longitudes are essentially unconstrained for pre-Cretaceous times, our reconstructed absolute position of North America requires a significant westward longitudinal shift for Mesozoic times.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Li

    2012-02-01

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

  8. Depth variations of P-wave azimuthal anisotropy beneath East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, W.; Zhao, D.; Xu, J.

    2017-12-01

    We present a new P-wave anisotropic tomographic model beneath East Asia by inverting a total of 1,488,531 P wave arrival-time data recorded by the regional seismic networks in East Asia and temporary seismic arrays deployed on the Tibetan Plateau. Our results provide important new insights into the subducting Indian, Pacific and Philippine Sea plates and mantle dynamics in East Asia. Our tomographic images show that the northern limit of the subducting Indian plate has reached the Jinsha River suture in eastern Tibet. A striking variation of P-wave azimuthal anisotropy is revealed in the Indian lithosphere: the fast velocity direction (FVD) is NE-SW beneath the Indian continent, whereas the FVD is arc parallel beneath the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau, which may reflect re-orientation of minerals due to lithospheric extension, in response to the India-Eurasia collision. The FVD in the subducting Philippine Sea plate beneath the Ryukyu arc is NE-SW(trench parallel), which is consistent with the spreading direction of the West Philippine Basin during its initial opening stage, suggesting that it may reflect the fossil anisotropy. A circular pattern of FVDs is revealed around the Philippine Sea slab beneath SE China. We suggest that it reflects asthenospheric strain caused by toroidal mantle flow around the edge of the subducting slab. We find a striking variation of the FVD with depth in the subducting Pacific slab beneath the Northeast Japan arc. It may be caused by slab dehydration that changed elastic properties of the slab with depth. The FVD in the mantle wedge beneath the Northeast Japan and Ryukyu arcs is trench normal, which reflects subduction-induced convection. Beneath the Kuril and Izu-Bonin arcs where oblique subduction occurs, the FVD in the mantle wedge is nearly normal to the moving direction of the downgoing Pacific plate, suggesting that the oblique subduction together with the complex slab morphology have disturbed the mantle flow.

  9. Fluid content along the subduction plate interface: how it impacts the long- (and short-) term rheology and exhumation modes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agard, Philippe; Angiboust, Samuel; Guillot, Stéphane; Burov, Evgueni

    2015-04-01

    Over the last decade, many studies based on field, petrological and geophysical evidence have emphasized the link between mineral reactions, fluid release and seismogenesis, either along the whole plate interface (eg., Hacker et al., 2003) or at specific depths (e.g., ~30 km: Audet et al., 2009; ~70-80 km: Angiboust et al., 2012). Although they argue for a crucial influence of fluids on subduction processes, large uncertainties remain when assessing their impact on the rheology of the plate interface across space and time. Kilometer-scale accreted terranes/units in both ancient and present-day subduction zones potentially allow to track changes in mechanical coupling along the plate interface. Despite some potential biases (exhumation is limited and episodic, lasting no more than a few My if any, from prefered depths -- mainly 30-40 and 70-80 km, and there are so far only few examples precisely located with respect to the plate interface) their record of changes in fluid regime and strain localisation is extremely valuable. One striking example of the role of fluids on plate interface rheology during nascent subduction is provided by metamorphic soles (i.e., ~500 m thick tectonic slices welded to the base of ophiolites). We show that their accretion to the ophiolite indeed only happens across a transient, optimal time-T-P window (after Hacker et al., Journal of Geophysical Research 2003; Audet et al., Nature, 2009; Angiboust et al., Geology 2012

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. Arc magmatism as a window to plate kinematics and subduction polarity: Example from the eastern Pontides belt, NE Turkey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yener Eyuboglu

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The Eastern Pontides orogenic belt in the Black Sea region of Turkey offers a critical window to plate kinematics and subduction polarity during the closure of the Paleotethys. Here we provide a brief synthesis on recent information from this belt. We infer a southward subduction for the origin of the Eastern Pontides orogenic belt and its associated late Mesozoic–Cenozoic magmatism based on clear spatial and temporal variations in Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic arc magmatism, together with the existence of a prominent south-dipping reverse fault system along the entire southern coast of the Black Sea. Our model is at variance with some recent proposals favoring a northward subduction polarity, and illustrates the importance of arc magmatism in evaluating the geodynamic milieu associated with convergent margin processes.

  12. 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.

  13. Seismically active column and volcanic plumbing system beneath the island arc of the Izu-Bonin subduction zone

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Špičák, Aleš; Vaněk, Jiří; Hanuš, Václav

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 179, č. 3 (2009), s. 1301-1312 ISSN 0956-540X Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30120515 Keywords : seismicity and tectonics * volcano seismology * subduction zone processes * volcanic arc processes * magma migration and fragmentation * Pacific Ocean Subject RIV: DC - Siesmology, Volcanology, Earth Structure Impact factor: 2.435, year: 2009

  14. Variation of b and p values from aftershocks sequences along the Mexican subduction zone and their relation to plate characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  15. Stress Drops of Earthquakes on the Subducting Pacific Plate in the South-East off Hokkaido, Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Y.; Yamada, T.

    2013-12-01

    Large earthquakes have been occurring repeatedly in the South-East of Hokkaido, Japan, where the Pacific Plate subducts beneath the Okhotsk Plate in the north-west direction. For example, the 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake (Mw8.3 determined by USGS) took place in the region on September 26, 2003. Yamanaka and Kikuchi (2003) analyzed the slip distribution of the earthquake and concluded that the 2003 earthquake had ruptured the deeper half of the fault plane of the 1952 Tokachi-oki earthquake. Miyazaki et al. (2004) reported that a notable afterslip was observed at adjacent areas to the coseismic rupture zone of the 2003 earthquake, which suggests that there would be significant heterogeneities of strength, stress and frictional properties on the surface of the Pacific Plate in the region. In addition, some previous studies suggest that the region with a large slip in large earthquakes permanently have large difference of strength and the dynamic frictional stress level and that it would be able to predict the spatial pattern of slip in the next large earthquake by analyzing the stress drop of small earthquakes (e.g. Allmann and Shearer, 2007 and Yamada et al., 2010). We estimated stress drops of 150 earthquakes (4.2 ≤ M ≤ 5.0), using S-coda waves, or the waveforms from 4.00 to 9.11 seconds after the S wave arrivals, of Hi-net data. The 150 earthquakes were the ones that occurred from June, 2002 to December, 2010 in south-east of Hokkaido, Japan, from 40.5N to 43.5N and from 141.0E to 146.5E. First we selected waveforms of the closest earthquakes with magnitudes between 3.0 and 3.2 to individual 150 earthquakes as empirical Green's functions. We then calculated source spectral ratios of the 150 pairs of interested earthquakes and EGFs by deconvolving the individual S-coda waves. We finally estimated corner frequencies of earthquakes from the spectral ratios by assuming the omega-squared model of Boatwright (1978) and calculated stress drops of the earthquakes by

  16. 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.

  17. Imaging the deep structures of the convergent plates along the Ecuadorian subduction zone through receiver function analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galve, A.; Charvis, P.; Regnier, M. M.; Font, Y.; Nocquet, J. M.; Segovia, M.

    2017-12-01

    The Ecuadorian subduction zone was affected by several large M>7.5 earthquakes. While we have low resolution on the 1942, 1958 earthquakes rupture zones extension, the 2016 Pedernales earthquake, that occurs at the same location than the 1942 earthquake, give strong constraints on the deep limit of the seismogenic zone. This downdip limit is caused by the onset of plasticity at a critical temperature (> 350-450 °C for crustal materials, or serpentinized mantle wedge, and eventually > 700 °C for dry mantle). However we still don't know exactly where is the upper plate Moho and therefore what controls the downdip limit of Ecuadorian large earthquakes seismogenic zone. For several years Géoazur and IG-EPN have maintained permanent and temporary networks (ADN and JUAN projects) along the margin to register the subduction zone seismological activity. Although Ecuador is not a good place to perform receiver function due to its position with respect to the worldwide teleseismic sources, the very long time deployment compensate this issue. We performed a frequency dependent receiver function analysis to derive (1) the thickness of the downgoing plate, (2) the interplate depth and (3) the upper plate Moho. These constraints give the frame to interpretation on the seismogenic zone of the 2016 Pedernales earthquake.

  18. 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.

  19. Receiver Function Imaging of Mantle Transition Zone Discontinuities Beneath Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahm, Haider Hassan Faraj

    Subduction of tectonic plates is one of the most important tectonic processes, yet many aspects of subduction zone geodynamics remain unsolved and poorly understood, such as the depth extent of the subducted slab and its geometry. The Alaska subduction zone, which is associated with the subduction of the Pacific Plate beneath the North America plate, has a complex tectonic setting and carries a series of subduction episodes, and represents an excellent target to study such plate tectonic processes. Previous seismological studies in Alaska have proposed different depth estimations and geometry for the subducted slab. The Mantle transition zone discontinuities of the 410km and the 660 km provide independent constraints on the depth extent of the subducted slabs. We conducted a receiver function study to map the topography of the 410 km and the 660 km discontinuities beneath Alaska and its adjacent areas by taking advantage of the teleseismic data from the new USArray deployment in Alaska and northwestern Canada. Stacking over 75,000 high-quality radial receiver functions recorded in Alaska with more than 40 years of recording period, the topographies of the 410 km and 660 km are mapped. The depths of both d410 and d660 show systematic spatial variations, the mean depth of d410 and d660 are within 6 km and 6 km from the global average, respectively. The mean MTZ thickness of the entire study area is within -2 km from the global average of 250 km, suggesting normal MTZ conditions on average. Central and south-central Alaska are characterized by a larger than normal MTZ thickness, suggesting that the subducting Pacific slab is thermally interacted with the MTZ. This study shows that lateral upper mantle velocity variations contribute the bulk of the observed apparent undulations of the MTZ discontinuities.

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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 M.

    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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Imaging b-value depth variations within the Cocos and Rivera plates at the Mexican subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Quetzalcoatl; Zuñiga, F. Ramón

    2018-06-01

    By a systematic mapping of the b-value along profiles perpendicular to the Mexican Wadati-Benioff zone, we obtained important characteristics pertaining the stress state and faulting style related to the subduction process. To this purpose, we used data from the earthquake catalog reported by the Servicio Sismologico Nacional (1988-2016). We investigate depth variations of the b-value for the Cocos and Rivera under North American plates interface, by a detailed analysis of 15 cross-sections. The obtained b-value profiles vary from 0.50 to 2.50, which nevertheless appear related to the faulting style and stress state. By comparing the locations and focal mechanism of the largest events with the b-values of the surrounding regions, our analysis corroborates the dependence of the b-value on the faulting style. Thrust events occur in regions of low and high b-value at depths 30 km), in agreement with global studies. These results support the hypothesis that differential stress processes may be behind the occurrence of the different faulting style. On the contrary, by analyzing the mean b-values for both types of faulting mechanism at each of the cross-sections, we found a significantly lower mean b-value related to normal faulting for those regions where the 8 (Mw 8.2) and 19 (Mw 7.1) September 2017 earthquakes occur. These results lead us to conclude that those regions experienced an increased stress state prone to the occurrence of normal-intraplate events. We also compare the b-value distribution with Vp and Q tomography studies obtaining a good correlation between them. We found evidence to relate b-value variations with subduction processes such as stress state due to tectonic and flexural conditions, and to a lesser extent to material heterogeneity and fluid dehydration.

  11. Using Low-Frequency Earthquakes to Investigate Slow Slip Processes and Plate Interface Structure Beneath the Olympic Peninsula, WA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chestler, Shelley

    This dissertation seeks to further understand the LFE source process, the role LFEs play in generating slow slip, and the utility of using LFEs to examine plate interface structure. The work involves the creation and investigation of a 2-year-long catalog of low-frequency earthquakes beneath the Olympic Peninsula, Washington. In the first chapter, we calculate the seismic moments for 34,264 low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs) beneath the Olympic Peninsula, WA. LFE moments range from 1.4x1010- 1.9x1012 N-m (M W=0.7-2.1). While regular earthquakes follow a power-law moment-frequency distribution with a b-value near 1 (the number of events increases by a factor of 10 for each unit increase in MW), we find that while for large LFEs the b-value is ˜6, for small LFEs it is families, or spots on the plate interface where LFEs repeat, can also be fit by exponential distributions. An exponential moment-frequency distribution implies a scale-limited source process. We consider two end-member models where LFE moment is limited by (1) the amount of slip or (2) slip area. We favor the area-limited model. Based on the observed exponential distribution of LFE moment and geodetically observed total slip we estimate that the total area that slips within an LFE family has a diameter of 300 m. Assuming an area-limited model, we estimate the slips, sub-patch diameters, stress drops, and slip rates for LFEs during ETS events. We allow for LFEs to rupture smaller sub-patches within the LFE family patch. Models with 1-10 sub-patches produce slips of 0.1-1 mm, sub-patch diameters of 80-275 m, and stress drops of 30-1000 kPa. While one sub-patch is often assumed, we believe 3-10 sub-patches are more likely. In the second chapter, using high-resolution relative low-frequency earthquake (LFE) locations, we calculate the patch areas (Ap) of LFE families. During Episodic Tremor and Slip (ETS) events, we define AT as the area that slips during LFEs and ST as the total amount of summed LFE slip

  12. 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.

  13. Two-phase southward subduction of the Mongol-Okhotsk oceanic plate constrained by Permian-Jurassic granitoids in the Erguna and Xing'an massifs (NE China)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Huichuan; Li, Yinglei; He, Hongyun; Huangfu, Pengpeng; Liu, Yongzheng

    2018-04-01

    Geodynamics of the Mongol-Okhotsk oceanic plate southward subduction are still pending problems. This paper presents new zircon LA-ICP-MS U-Pb age and whole-rock geochemical data for the middle Permian to Middle Jurassic granitoids in the western Erguna and central Xing'an massifs. 267-264 Ma, 241 Ma and 173 Ma I-type granites, and 216 Ma A-type granites were identified in the Erguna and Xing'an massifs (NE China). The I-type granites were produced by partial melting of the lower mafic crust. The 216 Ma A-type granites were derived from partial melting of crustal materials with tonalitic to granodioritic compositions. The 267-264 Ma and 241 Ma I-type granites were generated in an Andean-type arc setting, wheras the 216 Ma A-type and 173 Ma granites were formed in supra subduction extensional setting. We summarized previous age data of the middle Permian to Middle Jurassic magmtaic rocks in the Erguna and Xing'an Massifs and identified two isolated phases of magmatic activity including the ca. 267-225 Ma and ca. 215-165 Ma periods, with a significant magmatic gap at ca. 225-215 Ma. These middle Permian to Middle Jurassic magmatic rocks are closely related to the southward subduction of the Mongol-Okhotsk ocean. A two-stage tectonic evolutionary model was proposed to account for these geological observations in the Erguna and Xing'an massifs, involving Permian to Middle Triassic continuous southward subduction of the Mongol-Okhotsk oceanic plate and Late Triassic to Jurassic slab-rollback and supra subduction extension.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  16. Paleoarchean bedrock lithologies across the Makhonjwa Mountains of South Africa and Swaziland linked to geochemical, magnetic and tectonic data reveal early plate tectonic genes flanking subduction margins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maarten de Wit

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The Makhonjwa Mountains, traditionally referred to as the Barberton Greenstone Belt, retain an iconic Paleoarchean archive against which numerical models of early earth geodynamics can be tested. We present new geologic and structural maps, geochemical plots, geo- and thermo-chronology, and geophysical data from seven silicic, mafic to ultramafic complexes separated by major shear systems across the southern Makhonjwa Mountains. All reveal signs of modern oceanic back-arc crust and subduction-related processes. We compare the rates of processes determined from this data and balance these against plate tectonic and plume related models. Robust rates of both horizontal and vertical tectonic processes derived from the Makhonjwa Mountain complexes are similar, well within an order of magnitude, to those encountered across modern oceanic and orogenic terrains flanking Western Pacific-like subduction zones. We conclude that plate tectonics and linked plate-boundary processes were well established by 3.2–3.6 Ga. Our work provides new constraints for modellers with rates of a ‘basket’ of processes against which to test Paleoarchean geodynamic models over a time period close to the length of the Phanerozoic. Keywords: Paleoarchean, Barberton Greenstone Belt, Onverwacht Suite, Geologic bedrock and structural maps, Geochemistry and geophysics, Plate tectonics

  17. Tectonics of the Philippine Sea plate before and after 52 Ma subduction initiation to form the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishizuka, O.; Tani, K.; Harigane, Y.; Umino, S.; Stern, R. J.; Reagan, M. K.; Hickey-Vargas, R.; Yogodzinski, G. M.; Kusano, Y.; Arculus, R. J.

    2016-12-01

    Robust tectonic reconstruction of the evolving Philippine Sea Plate for the period immediately before and after subduction initiation 52 Ma to form the Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) arc is prerequisite to understand cause of subduction initiation (SI) and test competing hypotheses for SI such as spontaneous or induced nucleation. Understanding of nature and origin of overriding and subducting plates is especially important because plate density is a key parameter controlling SI based on numerical modeling (e.g., Leng and Gurnis 2015). There is increasing evidence that multiple geological events related to changing stress fields took place in and around Philippine Sea plate about the time of SI 52 Ma (Ishizuka et al., 2011). For our understanding of the early IBM arc system to increase, it is important to understand the pattern and tempo of these geological events, particularly the duration and extent of seafloor spreading in the proto arc associated with SI, and its temporal relationship with spreading in the West Philippine Basin (WPB). IODP Exp. 351 provided evidence of SI-related seafloor spreading west of the Kyushu-Palau Ridge (Arculus et al., 2015). Planned age determination of the basement crust at Site U1438 will constrain the timing and geometry of SI-related spreading and its relationship to variation in mode of spreading in the WPB including rotation of spreading axis. Some tectonic reconstructions suggest that part of the IBM arc could have formed on "young" WPB crust. Dredging of the northern Mariana forearc crust and mantle in 2014 aimed to test this hypothesis. Preliminary data indicates that early arc crustal section of the N. Mariana forearc is geochemically and temporally similar to that exposed in the Bonin and southern Mariana forearcs. New tectonic reconstructions for the nascent IBM system will be presented based on these observations.

  18. The Fairway-Aotea Basin and the New Caledonia Trough, witnesses of the Pacific-Australian plate boundary evolution : from mid-Cretaceous cessation of subduction to Eocene subduction renewal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collot, J.; Geli, L. B.; Lafoy, Y.; Sutherland, R.; Herzer, R. H.; Roest, W. R.

    2009-12-01

    The geodynamical history of the SW Pacific is controlled since the Mesozoic by the evolution of peri-Pacific subduction zones, in a trench retreat by slab roll-back process, which successively occurred along the Eastern Gondwana margin. In this context, most basins which formed after 45 Ma reached a stage of seafloor spreading, have recorded the inversions of the earth's magnetic field and present typical oceanic crust morphologies. By contrast, the New Caledonia and Fairway basins, which are narrower and present thick sedimentary covers have a less known and more controversial origin. Based on a regional geological synthesis and on interpretation of multichannel seismic reflection and refraction data, combined with drill hole data off New Zealand and a compilation of regional potential data, we distinguish 2 phases of the evolution of the Fairway-Aotea Basin (FAB) and the New Caledonia Trough (NCT), which reflect the evolution of the Gondwana-Pacific plate boundary: Phase 1: Mid Cretaceous formation of the FAB in a continental intra- or back- arc position of the Pacific-Gondwana subduction system. The formation of this shallow basin reflects the onset of continental breakup of the Eastern Gondwana margin during Cenomanian which was most probably caused by a dynamic change of the subduction zone through a « verticalization » of the slab. This event may be the result of the 99 Ma kinematic plate reorganization which probably led to subduction cessation along the Gondwana-Pacific plate boundary. A tectonic escape mechanism, in relation with the locking of the subduction zone by the Hikurangi Plateau, could also be responsible of the trench retreat leading to backarc extension. Phase 2: Regional Eocene-Oligocene uplift followed by rapid subsidence (3-4 km) of the system « Lord Howe Rise - FAB - Norfolk Ridge ». The structural style of this deformation leads us to suggest that detachment of the lower crust is the cause of subsidence. We therefore propose a model in

  19. Life and death of the resurrection plate: Evidence for its existence and subduction in the northeastern Pacific in Paleocene-Eocene time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haeussler, P.J.; Bradley, D.C.; Wells, R.E.; Miller, M.L.

    2003-01-01

    Onshore evidence suggests that a plate is missing from published reconstructions of the northeastern Pacific Ooean in Paleocene- Eocene time. The Resurrection plate, named for the Resurrection Peninsula ophiolite near Seward, Alaska, was located east of the Kula plate and north of the Farallon plate. We interpret coeval near-trench magmatism in southern Alaska and the Cascadia margin as evidence for two slab windows associated with trench-ridge-trench (TRT) triple junctions, which formed the western and southern boundaries of the Resurrection plate. In Alaska, the Sanak-Baranof belt of near-trench intrusions records a west-to-east migration, from 61 to 50 Ma, of the northern TRT triple junction along a 2100-km-long section of coastline. In Oregon, Washington, and southern Vancouver Island, voluminous basaltic volcanism of the Siletz River Volcanics, Crescent Formation, and Metchosin Volcanics occurred between ca. 66 and 48 Ma. Lack of a clear age progression of magmatism along the Cascadia margin suggests that this southern triple junction did not migrate significantly. Synchronous near-trench magmatism from southeastern Alaska to Puget Sound at ca. 50 Ma documents the middle Eocene subduction of a spreading center, the crest of which was subparallel to the margin. We interpret this ca. 50 Ma event as recording the subduction-zone consumption of the last of the Resurrection plate. The existence and subsequent subduction of the Resurrection plate explains (1) northward terrane transport along the southeastern Alaska-British Columbia margin between 70 and 50 Ma, synchronous with an eastward-migrating triple junction in southern Alaska; (2) rapid uplift and voluminous magmatism in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia prior to 50 Ma related to subduction of buoyant, young oceanic crust of the Resurrection plate; (3) cessation of Coast Mountains magmatism at ca. 50 Ma due to cessation of subduction, (4) primitive mafic magmatism in the Coast Mountains and Cascade

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  1. The dynamics of double slab subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  2. Mantle wedge structure beneath the Yamato Basin, southern part of the Japan Sea, revealed by long-term seafloor seismic observations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    The Japanese Islands are located at subduction zones where Philippine Sea (PHS) plate subducts from the southeast beneath the Eurasian plate and the Pacific plate descends from the east beneath the PHS and Eurasian plates and have a high density of seismic stations. Many seismic tomography studies using land seismic station data were conducted to reveal the seismic structure. These studies discussed the relationship between heterogeneous structures and the release of fluids from the subducting slab, magma generation and movement in the subduction zone. However, regional tomography using the land station data did not have a sufficient resolution to image a deep structure beneath the Japan Sea.To obtain the deep structure, observations of natural earthquakes within the Japan Sea are essential. Therefore, we started the repeating long-term seismic observations using ocean bottom seismometers(OBSs) in the Yamato Basin from 2013 to 2016. We apply travel-time tomography method to the regional earthquake and teleseismic arrival-data recorded by OBSs and land stations. In this presentation, we will report the P and S wave tomographic images down to a depth of 300 km beneath the southern part of the Japan Sea. This study was supported by "Integrated Research Project on Seismic and Tsunami Hazards around the Sea of Japan" conducted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) of Japan.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abedi, Maysam; Bahroudi, Abbas

    2016-10-01

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

  5. P-wave velocity structure beneath the northern Antarctic Peninsula: evidence of a steeply subducting slab and a deep-rooted low-velocity anomaly beneath the central Bransfield Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Yongcheol; Kim, Kwang-Hee; Lee, Joohan; Yoo, Hyun Jae; Plasencia L., Milton P.

    2012-12-01

    Upper-mantle structure between 100 and 300 km depth below the northern Antarctic Peninsula is imaged by modelling P-wave traveltime residuals from teleseismic events recorded on the King Sejong Station (KSJ), the Argentinean/Italian stations (JUBA and ESPZ), an IRIS/GSN Station (PMSA) and the Seismic Experiment in Patagonia and Antarctica (SEPA) broad-band stations. For measuring traveltime residuals, we applied a multichannel cross-correlation method and inverted for upper-mantle structure using VanDecar's method. The new 3-D velocity model reveals a subducted slab with a ˜70° dip angle at 100-300 km depth and a strong low-velocity anomaly confined below the SE flank of the central Bransfield Basin. The low velocity is attributed to a thermal anomaly in the mantle that could be as large as 350-560 K and which is associated with high heat flow and volcanism in the central Bransfield Basin. The low-velocity zone imaged below the SE flank of the central Bransfield Basin does not extend under the northern Bransfield Basin, suggesting that the rifting process in that area likely involves different geodynamic processes.

  6. Eclogitization of the Subducted Oceanic Crust and Its Implications for the Mechanism of Slow Earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xinyang; Zhao, Dapeng; Suzuki, Haruhiko; Li, Jiabiao; Ruan, Aiguo

    2017-12-01

    The generating mechanism and process of slow earthquakes can help us to better understand the seismogenic process and the petrological evolution of the subduction system, but they are still not very clear. In this work we present robust P and S wave tomography and Poisson's ratio images of the subducting Philippine Sea Plate beneath the Kii peninsula in Southwest Japan. Our results clearly reveal the spatial extent and variation of a low-velocity and high Poisson's ratio layer which is interpreted as the remnant of the subducted oceanic crust. The low-velocity layer disappears at depths >50 km, which is attributed to crustal eclogitization and consumption of fluids. The crustal eclogitization and destruction of the impermeable seal play a key role in the generation of slow earthquakes. The Moho depth of the overlying plate is an important factor affecting the depth range of slow earthquakes in warm subduction zones due to the transition of interface permeability from low to high there. The possible mechanism of the deep slow earthquakes is the dehydrated oceanic crustal rupture and shear slip at the transition zone in response to the crustal eclogitization and the temporal stress/strain field. A potential cause of the slow event gap existing beneath easternmost Shikoku and the Kii channel is the premature rupture of the subducted oceanic crust due to the large tensional force.

  7. 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.

  8. Slip parameters on major thrusts at a convergent plate boundary: regional heterogeneity of potential slip distance at the shallow portion of the subducting plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukoyoshi, Hideki; Kaneki, Shunya; Hirono, Tetsuro

    2018-03-01

    Understanding variations of slip distance along major thrust systems at convergent margins is an important issue for evaluation of near-trench slip and the potential generation of large tsunamis. We derived quantitative estimates of slip along ancient subduction fault systems by using the maturity of carbonaceous material (CM) of discrete slip zones as a proxy for temperature. We first obtained the Raman spectra of CM in ultracataclasite and pseudotachylyte layers in discrete slip zones at depths below the seafloor of 1-4 km and 2.5-5.5 km, respectively. By comparing the area-under-the-peak ratios of graphitic and disordered bands in those Raman spectra with spectra of experimentally heated CM from surrounding rocks, we determined that the ultracataclasite and pseudotachylyte layers had been heated to temperatures of up to 700 and 1300 °C, respectively. Numerical simulation of the thermal history of CM extracted from rocks near the two slip zones, taking into consideration these temperature constraints, indicated that slip distances in the ultracataclasite and pseudotachylyte layers were more than 3 and 7 m, respectively. Thus, potential distance of coseismic slip along the subduction-zone fault system could have regional variations even at shallow depth (≤ 5.5 km). The slip distances we determined probably represent minimum slips for subduction-zone thrusts and thus provide an important contribution to earthquake preparedness plans in coastal areas facing the Nankai and Sagami Troughs.

  9. Seismic observation of a sharp post-garnet phase transition within the Farallon crust: Evidence for oceanic plateau subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maguire, R.; Ritsema, J.

    2017-12-01

    The tectonic evolution of North America over the past 150 million years was heavily influenced by the complex subduction history of the Farallon plate. In particular, Laramide mountain building may have been triggered by the initiation of flat slab subduction in the late Cretaceous. While it has been proposed that the cause of slab flattening is related to the subduction of an oceanic plateau[1], direct geophysical evidence of a subducted oceanic plateau is lacking. Here, using P-to-S receiver functions, we detect a sharp seismic discontinuity at 720-km depth beneath the southeastern United States and Gulf of Mexico. We interpret this discontinuity as a garnet-to-bridgmanite phase transition occurring within a thickened Farallon crust. Our results are consistent with a subducted oceanic plateau (likely the conjugate half of the Hess rise) which is foundering below the base of the mantle transition zone. Additionally, we find a strong 520-km discontinuity beneath the southeastern United States which may indicate a hydrous transition zone due to the release of H2O from the Farallon slab. These results provide insight into the dynamics of flat slab subduction as well as the tectonic history of North America. [1] Livaccari, R. F., Burke, K., & Şengör, A. M. C. (1981). Was the Laramide orogeny related to subduction of an oceanic plateau? Nature, v. 289, p. 276-278, doi: 10.1038/289276a0

  10. 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

  11. Tomography and Dynamics of Western-Pacific Subduction Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, D.

    2012-01-01

    We review the significant recent results of multiscale seismic tomography of the Western-Pacific subduction zones and discuss their implications for seismotectonics, magmatism, and subduction dynamics, with an emphasis on the Japan Islands. Many important new findings are obtained due to technical advances in tomography, such as the handling of complex-shaped velocity discontinuities, the use of various later phases, the joint inversion of local and teleseismic data, tomographic imaging outside a seismic network, and P-wave anisotropy tomography. Prominent low-velocity (low-V) and high-attenuation (low-Q) zones are revealed in the crust and uppermost mantle beneath active arc and back-arc volcanoes and they extend to the deeper portion of the mantle wedge, indicating that the low-V/low-Q zones form the sources of arc magmatism and volcanism, and the arc magmatic system is related to deep processes such as convective circulation in the mantle wedge and dehydration reactions in the subducting slab. Seismic anisotropy seems to exist in all portions of the Northeast Japan subduction zone, including the upper and lower crust, the mantle wedge and the subducting Pacific slab. Multilayer anisotropies with different orientations may have caused the apparently weak shear-wave splitting observed so far, whereas recent results show a greater effect of crustal anisotropy than previously thought. Deep subduction of the Philippine Sea slab and deep dehydration of the Pacific slab are revealed beneath Southwest Japan. Significant structural heterogeneities are imaged in the source areas of large earthquakes in the crust, subducting slab and interplate megathrust zone, which may reflect fluids and/or magma originating from slab dehydration that affected the rupture nucleation of large earthquakes. These results suggest that large earthquakes do not strike anywhere, but in only anomalous areas that may be detected with geophysical methods. The occurrence of deep earthquakes under

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulson, Sophie; Garth, Thomas; Reitbrock, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Subduction zone guided wave arrivals from intermediate depth earthquakes (70-300 km depth) have a huge potential to tell us about the velocity structure of the subducting oceanic crust as it dehydrates at these depths. We see guided waves as the oceanic crust has a slower seismic velocity than the surrounding material, and so high frequency energy is retained and delayed in the crustal material. Lower frequency energy is not retained in this crustal waveguide and so travels at faster velocities of the surrounding material. This gives a unique observation at the surface with low frequency energy arriving before the higher frequencies. We constrain this guided wave dispersion by comparing the waveforms recorded in real subduction zones with simulated waveforms, produced using finite difference full waveform modelling techniques. This method has been used to show that hydrated minerals in the oceanic crust persist to much greater depths than accepted thermal petrological subduction zone models would suggest in Northern Japan (Garth & Rietbrock, 2014a), and South America (Garth & Rietbrock, in prep). These observations also suggest that the subducting oceanic mantle may be highly hydrated at intermediate depth by dipping normal faults (Garth & Rietbrock 2014b). We use this guided wave analysis technique to constrain the velocity structure of the down going ~45 Ma Pacific plate beneath Alaska. Dispersion analysis is primarily carried out on guided wave arrivals recorded on the Alaskan regional seismic network. Earthquake locations from global earthquake catalogues (ISC and PDE) and regional earthquake locations from the AEIC (Alaskan Earthquake Information Centre) catalogue are used to constrain the slab geometry and to identify potentially dispersive events. Dispersed arrivals are seen at stations close to the trench, with high frequency (>2 Hz) arrivals delayed by 2 - 4 seconds. This dispersion is analysed to constrain the velocity and width of the proposed waveguide

  13. Seismic Evidence for the North China Plate Underthrusting Beneath Northeastern Tibet and its Implications for Plateau Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Z.; Gao, R.; Li, Q.; Zhang, H.

    2016-12-01

    The effects of India-Asia collision and the subsequent interaction between the two continents on northeastern Tibet (NE Tibet), i.e., the tectonic transition zone between the Tibetan plateau and the North China craton (NCC) for example, remain uncertain due to inadequate geophysical data coverage in NE Tibet. Here in this research, based on new dataset collected from a dense linear array of 38 broadband seismograph stations, we applied seismic receiver functions (Sp and Ps converted waves) to imaging the lithospheric structure and shear wave splitting (XKS waves) to inspecting the anisotropy in the lithosphere and upper mantle beneath NE Tibet. The seismic array traverses NE Tibet to the westernmost NCC (Alxa block) in an SSW-NNE direction. The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) is clearly defined and appears as a south-dipping interface that runs continuously from the Alxa interior to the Qilian orogen on the S-wave receiver function images. Shear wave splitting measurements show significant lateral variations of seismic anisotropy across NE Tibet. Under joint constraints from both the lithospheric structure imaging and the regional anisotropic regime, combined with previous studies and through a thorough analysis/comparison/integration, we finally constructed a comprehensive lithospheric model of NE Tibet. The model tells that the NCC lithospheric mantle has been persistently underthrust beneath the Qilian orogen in response to on-going convergence/compression between the interior Tibetan plateau and the NCC. This process forms the syntectonic crustal thrust. The regional anisotropic regime can be well accommodated in our interpretation. The lithospheric model summarized here can be well accommodated in a scenario of northeastward migration of stepwise/multiple Aisan mantle lithosphere underthrusting beneath the Tibetan plateau. The multiple Aisan lithospheric blocks underthrust the plateau stepwise in small scale. Our results provide a new section from

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaeffer, A. J.; Audet, P.

    2017-12-01

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

  16. Simulation of tectonic evolution of the Kanto basin of Japan since 1 Ma due to subduction of the Pacific and Philippine sea plates and collision of the Izu-Bonin arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashima, Akinori; Sato, Toshinori; Sato, Hiroshi; Asao, Kazumi; Furuya, Hiroshi; Yamamoto, Shuji; Kameo, Koji; Miyauchi, Takahiro; Ito, Tanio; Tsumura, Noriko; Kaneda, Heitaro

    2015-04-01

    The Kanto basin, the largest lowland in Japan, developed by flexure as a result of (1) the subduction of the Philippine Sea (PHS) and the Pacific (PAC) plates and (2) the collision of the Izu-Bonin arc with the Japanese island arc. Geomorphological, geological, and thermochronological data on long-term vertical movements over the last 1 My suggest that subsidence initially affected the entire Kanto basin after which the area of subsidence gradually narrowed until, finally, the basin began to experience uplift. In this study, we modelled the tectonic evolution of the Kanto basin following the method of Matsu'ura and Sato (1989) for a kinematic subduction model with dislocations, in order to quantitatively assess the effects of PHS and PAC subduction. We include the steady slip-rate deficit (permanent locking rate at the plate interface) in our model to account for collision process. We explore how the arc-arc collision process has been affected by a westerly shift in the PHS plate motion vector with respect to the Eurasian plate, thought to have occurred between 1.0-0.5 Ma, using long-term vertical deformation data to constrain extent of the locked zone on the plate interface. We evaluated the change in vertical deformation rate for two scenarios: (1) a synchronous shift in the orientation of the locked zone as PHS plate motion shifts and (2) a delayed shift in the orientation of the locked zone following a change in plate motion. Observed changes in the subsidence/uplift pattern are better explained by scenario (2), suggesting that recent (<1 My) deformation in the Kanto basin shows a lag in crustal response to the shift in plate motion. We also calculated recent stress accumulation rates and found a good match with observed earthquake mechanisms, which shows that intraplate earthquakes serve to release stress accumulated through long-term plate interactions.

  17. Simulation of tectonic evolution of the Kanto Basin of Japan since 1 Ma due to subduction of the Pacific and Philippine Sea plates and the collision of the Izu-Bonin arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashima, Akinori; Sato, Toshinori; Sato, Hiroshi; Asao, Kazumi; Furuya, Hiroshi; Yamamoto, Shuji; Kameo, Koji; Miyauchi, Takahiro; Ito, Tanio; Tsumura, Noriko; Kaneda, Heitaro

    2016-06-01

    The Kanto Basin, the largest lowland in Japan, developed by flexure as a result of (1) the subduction of the Philippine Sea (PHS) and the Pacific (PAC) plates and (2) the repeated collision of the Izu-Bonin arc fragments with the Japanese island arc. Geomorphological, geological, and thermochronological data on vertical movements over the last 1 My suggest that subsidence initially affected the entire basin after which the area of subsidence gradually narrowed until, finally, the basin began to experience uplift. In this study, we modeled the tectonic evolution of the Kanto Basin following the method of Matsu'ura and Sato (1989) for a kinematic subduction model with dislocations, in order to quantitatively assess the effects of PHS and PAC subduction. We include the steady slip-rate deficit (permanent locking rate at the plate interface) in our model to account for collision process. We explore how the latest collision of the Izu Peninsula block has been affected by a westerly shift in the PHS plate motion vector with respect to the Eurasian plate, thought to have occurred between 1.0-0.5 Ma, using long-term vertical deformation data to constrain extent of the locked zone on the plate interface. We evaluated the change in vertical deformation rate for two scenarios: (1) a synchronous shift in the orientation of the locked zone as PHS plate motion shifts and (2) a delayed shift in the orientation of the locked zone following the shift in plate motion. Observed changes in the uplift/subsidence pattern are better explained by scenario (2), suggesting that recent (< 1 My) deformation in the Kanto Basin shows a lag in crustal response to the plate motion shift. We also calculated stress accumulation rates and found a good match with observed earthquake mechanisms, which shows that intraplate earthquakes serve to release stress accumulated through long-term plate interactions.

  18. Seismic imaging along a 600 km transect of the Alaska Subduction zone (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calkins, J. A.; Abers, G. A.; Freymueller, J. T.; Rondenay, S.; Christensen, D. H.

    2010-12-01

    We present earthquake locations, scattered wavefield migration images, and phase velocity maps from preliminary analysis of combined seismic data from the Broadband Experiment Across the Alaska Range (BEAAR) and Multidisciplinary Observations of Onshore Subduction (MOOS) projects. Together, these PASSCAL broadband arrays sampled a 500+ km transect across a portion of the subduction zone characterized by the Yakutat terrane/Pacific plate boundary in the downgoing plate, and the Denali volcanic gap in the overriding plate. These are the first results from the MOOS experiment, a 34-station array that was deployed from 2006-2008 to fill in the gap between the TACT offshore refraction profile (south and east of the coastline of the Kenai Peninsula), and the BEAAR array (spanning the Alaska Range between Talkeetna and Fairbanks). 2-D images of the upper 150 km of the subduction zone were produced by migrating forward- and back-scattered arrivals in the coda of P waves from large teleseismic earthquakes, highlighting S-velocity perturbations from a smoothly-varying background model. The migration images reveal a shallowly north-dipping low velocity zone that is contiguous near 20 km depth on its updip end with previously obtained images of the subducting plate offshore. The low velocity zone steepens further to the north, and terminates near 120 km beneath the Alaska Range. We interpret this low velocity zone to be the crust of the downgoing plate, and the reduced seismic velocities to be indicative of hydrated gabbroic compositions. Earthquakes located using the temporary arrays and nearby stations of the Alaska Regional Seismic Network correlate spatially with the inferred subducting crust. Cross-sections taken along nearly orthogonal strike lines through the MOOS array reveal that both the dip angle and the thickness of the subducting low velocity zone change abruptly across a roughly NNW-SSE striking line drawn through the eastern Kenai Peninsula, coincident with a

  19. Organochemical characteristics of carbonaceous materials as indicators of heat recorded on an ancient plate-subduction fault

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneki, S.; Hirono, T.; Mukoyoshi, H.; Sampei, Y.; Ikehara, M.

    2016-07-01

    Coseismic shear stress and slip distance affect subduction-related earthquake processes. They need to be understood to evaluate the earthquake's mechanism and the tsunami generation potential near trenches. The amount of frictional heat generated depends on the shear stress and slip distance, which are therefore able to be derived from the temperature recorded in the fault. Here we developed a new temperature proxy for carbonaceous materials by performing spectroscopic, thermogravimetric, and organic elemental analyses in conjunction with heating experiments. We found marked anomalies in the infrared and Raman spectra and atomic compositions of carbonaceous materials retrieved from the slip zone of an ancient megasplay fault in the Cretaceous Shimanto accretionary complex, Japan: the infrared spectra show extinction of aliphatic C-H bonding and very weak aromatic C=C bonding, and the Raman spectra show a slightly elevated ratio of disordered band intensity to graphitic band intensity and relatively low H/C and O/C ratios. These correlate well with the spectral and elemental features of host-rock carbonaceous materials after heating to 600°C. Thus, we conclude that the slip zone experienced a temperature of 600°C during a past earthquake event, indicating coseismic slip of 2-9 m, which could have generated a large tsunami if the ruptures propagated to the seafloor.

  20. Rollback of an intraoceanic subduction system and termination against a continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, S. M.; Simmons, N. A.; Moucha, R.

    2017-12-01

    The Southeast Indian Slab (SEIS) seismic anomaly has been suggested to represent a Tethyan intraoceanic subduction system which operated during the Jurassic until its termination at or near the margin of East Gondwana (Simmons et al., 2015). As plate reconstructions suggest the downgoing plate remained coupled to the continental margin, this long-lived system likely experienced a significant amount of slab rollback and trench migration (up to 6000 km). Using a 2D thermomechanical numerical code that includes the effects of phase transitions, we test this interpretation by modeling the long-term subduction, transition zone stagnation, and rollback of an intraoceanic subduction system in which the downgoing plate remains coupled to a continental margin. In addition, we also investigate the termination style of such a system, with a particular focus on the potential for some continental subduction beneath an overriding oceanic plate. This work performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344. LLNL-ABS-735738

  1. Seismic ACROSS Transmitter Installed at Morimachi above the Subducting Philippine Sea Plate for the Test Monitoring of the Seismogenic Zone of Tokai Earthquake not yet to Occur

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunitomo, T.; Kumazawa, M.; Masuda, T.; Morita, N.; Torii, T.; Ishikawa, Y.; Yoshikawa, S.; Katsumata, A.; Yoshida, Y.

    2008-12-01

    Here we report the first seismic monitoring system in active and constant operation for the wave propagation characteristics in tectonic region just above the subducting plate driving the coming catastrophic earthquakes. Developmental works of such a system (ACROSS; acronym for Accurately Controlled, Routinely Operated, Signal System) have been started in 1994 at Nagoya University and since 1996 also at TGC (Tono Geoscience Center) of JAEA promoted by Hyogoken Nanbu Earthquakes (1995 Jan.17, Mj=7.3). The ACROSS is a technology system including theory of signal and data processing based on the brand new concept of measurement methodology of Green function between a signal source and observation site. The works done for first generation system are reported at IWAM04 and in JAEA report (Kumazawa et al.,2007). The Meteorological Research Institute of JMA has started a project of test monitoring of Tokai area in 2004 in corporation with Shizuoka University to realize the practical use of the seismic ACROSS for earthquake prediction researches. The first target was set to Tokai Earthquake not yet to take place. The seismic ACROSS transmitter was designed so as to be appropriate for the sensitive monitoring of the deep active fault zone on the basis of the previous technology elements accumulated so far. The ground coupler (antenna) is a large steel-reinforced concrete block (over 20m3) installed in the basement rocks in order to preserve the stability. Eccentric moment of the rotary transmitter is 82 kgm at maximum, 10 times larger than that of the first generation. Carrier frequency of FM signal for practical use can be from 3.5 to 15 Hz, and the signal phase is accurately controlled by a motor with vector inverter synchronized with GPS clock with a precision of 10-4 radian or better. By referring to the existing structure model in this area (Iidaka et al., 2003), the site of the transmitting station was chosen at Morimachi so as to be appropriate for detecting the

  2. A possible connection between post-subduction arc magmatism and adakite-NEB rock association in Baja California, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, P. R.

    2007-05-01

    Late Miocene to Recent arc-related magmatism occurs in Baja California, Mexico despite the cessation of plate subduction along its western margin at ~12.5 Ma. It includes calcalkaline and K-rich andesites, tholeiitic basalts and basaltic andesites, alkalic basalts similar to many ocean island basalts (OIB), magnesian and basaltic andesites with adakitic affinity (bajaiites), adakites, and Nb-enriched basalts (NEB). A popular model for the close spatial and temporal association of adakite (plus bajaiite) and NEB in Baja California is these are due to melting of the subducted Farallon/Cocos plate, which in turn is caused by the influx of hot asthenospheric mantle through a window created in the subducted slab directly beneath the Baja California peninsula [e.g., Benoit, M. et. al. (2002) J. Geol. 110, 627-648; Calmus, T. et al. (2003) Lithos 66, 77-105]. Here I propose an alternative model for the cause of post-subduction magmatism in Baja California in particular and origin of adakite-NEB rock association in general. The complicated tectonic configuration of the subducting Farallon/Cocos plate and westward motion of the North American continent caused western Mexico to override the hot, upwelling Pacific mantle that was decoupled from the spreading centers abandoned west of Baja California. The upwelling asthenosphere is best manifested east of the peninsula, beneath the Gulf of California, and is most probably due to a tear or window in the subducted slab there. The upwelling asthenosphere is compositionally heterogeneous and sends materials westward into the mantle wedge beneath the peninsula. These materials provide sources for post-subduction tholeiitic and alkalic magmas. Portions of tholeiitic magmas directly erupted at the surface produce tholeiitic lavas, but some get ponded beneath the crust. Re-melting and/or high-pressure fractional crystallization of the ponded tholeiitic magmas generate adakitic rocks. Alkalic magmas directly erupted at the surface

  3. Subduction beneath Gibraltar? Recent studies provide answers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutscher, Marc-André

    2012-03-01

    On 1 November 1755 a powerful earthquake shook Portugal, Spain, and northern Morocco, with tremors felt across most of northwestern Europe and as far west as the Azores and as far south as the Cape Verde islands [Gutscher, 2004]. Known as the Great Lisbon Earthquake, the event was followed by a devastating tsunami that swept the nearby Atlantic coast with waves 5-15 meters high; tsunami waves 1-5 meters high were also observed in the Antilles [Gutscher et al., 2006]. Following the earthquake, huge conflagrations raged for days in the city of Lisbon, where 85% of buildings were leveled. In total, 40,000-60,000 people are estimated to have perished. Modern estimates now consider that the earthquake's magnitude was between 8.5 and 9.0, making it among the strongest earthquakes ever felt. But questions on the earthquake's exact mechanism continue to perplex researchers. Also perplexing are observations of extreme stretching of crust in the western Alboran Sea, an arm of the Mediterranean between Spain and Morocco. Could the processes that stretched the crust there be related to the forces that triggered the 1755 earthquake?

  4. Space geodetic observations of repeating slow slip events beneath the Bonin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arisa, Deasy; Heki, Kosuke

    2017-09-01

    The Pacific Plate subducts beneath the Philippine Sea Plate along the Izu-Bonin Trench. We investigated crustal movements at the Bonin Islands, using Global Navigation Satellite System and geodetic Very Long Baseline Interferometry data to reveal how the two plates converge in this subduction zone. These islands are located ∼100 km from the trench, just at the middle between the volcanic arc and the trench, making these islands suitable for detecting signatures of episodic deformation such as slow slip events (SSEs). During 2007-2016, we found five SSEs repeating quasi-periodically with similar displacement patterns. In estimating their fault parameters, we assumed that the fault lies on the prescribed plate boundary, and optimized the size, shape and position of the fault and dislocation vectors. Average fault slip was ∼5 cm, and the average moment magnitude was ∼6.9. We also found one SSE occurred in 2008 updip of the repeating SSE in response to an M6 class interplate earthquake. In spite of the frequent occurrence of SSEs, there is no evidence for long-term strain accumulation in the Bonin Islands that may lead to future megathrust earthquakes. Plate convergence in Mariana-type subduction zones may occur, to a large extent, episodically as repeating SSEs.

  5. GPS measurements and finite element modeling of the earthquake cycle along the Middle America subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correa Mora, Francisco

    We model surface deformation recorded by GPS stations along the Pacific coasts of Mexico and Central America to estimate the magnitude of and variations in frictional locking (coupling) along the subduction interface, toward a better understanding of seismic hazard in these earthquake-prone regions. The first chapter describes my primary analysis technique, namely 3-dimensional finite element modeling to simulate subduction and bounded-variable inversions that optimize the fit to the GPS velocity field. This chapter focuses on and describes interseismic coupling of the Oaxaca segment of the Mexican subduction zone and introduces an analysis of transient slip events that occur in this region. Our results indicate that coupling is strong within the rupture zone of the 1978 Ms=7.8 Oaxaca earthquake, making this region a potential source of a future large earthquake. However, we also find evidence for significant variations in coupling on the subduction interface over distances of only tens of kilometers, decreasing toward the outer edges of the 1978 rupture zone. In the second chapter, we study in more detail some of the slow slip events that have been recorded over a broad area of southern Mexico, with emphasis on their space-time behavior. Our modeling indicates that transient deformation beneath southern Mexico is focused in two distinct slip patches mostly located downdip from seismogenic areas beneath Guerrero and Oaxaca. Contrary to conclusions reached in one previous study, we find no evidence for a spatial or temporal correlation between transient slip that occurs in these two widely separated source regions. Finally, chapter three extends the modeling techniques to new GPS data in Central America, where subduction coupling is weak or zero and the upper plate deformation is much more complex than in Mexico. Cocos-Caribbean plate convergence beneath El Salvador and Nicaragua is accompanied by subduction and trench-parallel motion of the forearc. Our GPS

  6. 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.

  7. Petrogenesis of Jurassic granitoids at the northeastern margin of the North China Craton: New geochemical and geochronological constraints on subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jin; Zhang, Jian; Liu, Zhenghong; Yin, Changqing; Zhao, Chen; Peng, Youbo

    2018-06-01

    At the junction between the North China Craton (NCC) and the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB), northern Liaoning province, NE China, there are widespread Jurassic igneous rocks. The tectonic setting and petrogenesis of these rocks are unresolved. Zircon U-Pb dating, whole-rock geochemistry, and Hf isotopic compositions of Jurassic granitoids were investigated to constrain their ages and petrogenesis in order to understand the tectonic evolution of the Paleo-Pacific Ocean along the northeastern margin of the NCC. Geochronological data indicate that magmatism occurred between the early and late Jurassic (180-156 Ma). Despite the wide range in ages of the intrusions, Jurassic granitoids were likely derived from a similar or common source, as inferred from their geochemical and Hf isotopic characteristics. Compared to the island arc andesite-dacite-rhyolite series, the Jurassic granitoids are characterized by higher SiO2, Al2O3, and Sr contents, and lower MgO, FeOT, Y, and Yb contents, indicating that the primary magmas show typical characteristics of adakitic magmas derived from partial melting of thickened lower crust. These findings, combined with their εHf(t) values (+1.4 to +5.4) and two-stage model ages (1515-1165 Ma), indicate the primary magmas originated from partial melting of juvenile crustal material accreted during the Mesoproterozoic. They are enriched in large-ion lithophile elements (e.g., Rb, K, Th, Ba, and U) and light rare-earth elements (REE), and depleted in high-field-strength elements (e.g., Nb, Ta, Ti, and P) and heavy REE. Based on these findings and previous studies, we suggest that the Jurassic adakitic granitoids (180-156 Ma) were formed in an active continental margin and compressive tectonic setting, related to subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate.

  8. Upper and Middle Crustal Velocity Structure of the Colombian Andes From Ambient Noise Tomography: Investigating Subduction-Related Magmatism in the Overriding Plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poveda, Esteban; Julià, Jordi; Schimmel, Martin; Perez-Garcia, Nelson

    2018-02-01

    New maps of S velocity variation for the upper and middle crust making up the northwestern most corner of South America have been developed from cross correlation of ambient seismic noise at 52 broadband stations in the region. Over 1,300 empirical Green's functions, reconstructing the Rayleigh wave portion of the seismic wavefield, were obtained after time and frequency-domain normalization of the ambient noise recordings and stacking of 48 months of normalized data. Interstation phase and group velocity curves were then measured in the 6-38 s period range and tomographically inverted to produce maps of phase and group velocity variation in a 0.5° × 0.5° grid. Velocity-depth profiles were developed for each node after simultaneously inverting phase and group velocity curves and combined to produce 3-D maps of S velocity variation for the region. The S velocity models reveal a 7 km thick sedimentary cover in the Caribbean region, the Magdalena Valley, and the Cordillera Oriental, as well as crustal thicknesses in the Pacific and Caribbean region under 35 km, consistent with previous studies. They also display zones of slow velocity at 25-35 km depth under regions of both active and inactive volcanism, suggesting the presence of melts that carry the signature of segmented subduction into the overriding plate. A low-velocity zone in the same depth range is imaged under the Lower Magdalena Basin in the Caribbean region, which may represent either sublithospheric melts ponding at midcrustal levels after breaching through a fractured Caribbean flat slab or fluid migration through major faults within the Caribbean crust.

  9. Mesozoic strike-slip movement of the Dunhua-Mishan Fault Zone in NE China: A response to oceanic plate subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Cheng; Zhu, Guang; Zhang, Shuai; Gu, Chengchuan; Li, Yunjian; Su, Nan; Xiao, Shiye

    2018-01-01

    The NE-striking Dunhua-Mishan Fault Zone (DMFZ) is one of two branches of the continental-scale sinistral Tan-Lu Fault Zone in NE China. The field data presented here indicate that the ca. 1000 km long DMFZ records two phases of sinistral faulting. The structures produced by these two phases of faulting include NE-SW-striking ductile shear belts and brittle faults, respectively. Mylonite-hosted microstructures and quartz c-axis fabrics suggest deformation temperatures of 450 °C-500 °C for the ductile shear belts. Combining new zircon U-Pb dates for 14 igneous rock samples analyzed during this study with the geology of this region indicates these shear belts formed during the earliest Early Cretaceous. This phase of sinistral displacement represents the initial formation of the DMFZ in response to the northward propagation of the Tan-Lu Fault Zone into NE China. A phase of Early Cretaceous rifting was followed by a second phase of sinistral faulting at 102-96 Ma, as evidenced by our new U-Pb ages for associated igneous rocks. Combining our new data with the results of previous research indicates that the DFMZ records a four-stage Cretaceous evolutionary history, where initial sinistral faulting at the beginning of the Early Cretaceous gave way to rifting during the rest of the Early Cretaceous. This was followed by a second phase of sinistral faulting at the beginning of the Late Cretaceous and a second phase of local rifting during the rest of the Late Cretaceous. The Cretaceous evolution of the DMFZ records the synchronous tectonic evolution of the NE China continent bordering the Pacific Ocean. Two phases of regional N-S compression generated the two phases of sinistral faulting within the DMFZ, whereas two-stage regional extension generated the two phases of rifting. The two compressive events were the result of the rapid low-angle subduction of the Izanagi and Pacific plates, whereas the two-stage extension was caused by the roll-back of these respective

  10. Slip-dependent weakening on shallow plate boundary fault in the Japan subduction zone: shallow coseismic slip facilitated by foreshock afterslip

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Yoshi; Ikari, Matt; Ujiie, Kohtaro; Kopf, Achim

    2017-04-01

    Understanding of role of slow earthquakes as they relate to the occurrence of both megathrust earthquakes and tsunami earthquakes is necessary to mitigate these disasters in the near future. Laboratory shearing experiments is one of important approach to evaluate these relationships. Here, we use powdered gouge samples from JFAST (IODP Expedition 343) Hole C0019E, core sample 17R-1, which is the plate boundary fault zone in the Japan Trench subduction zone. In this region, both large coseismic slip during the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake as well as discrete slow slip events (SSE) have occurred. Experiments were conducted in a single-direct shear apparatus under normal stress of 16 MPa, with total shear displacements of up to 16 mm. We evaluate the slip-dependence of friction by extracting the velocity-dependent friction parameters a, b, and Dc , and also measure the rate of change in friction coefficient with shear displacement as the slip-dependence of friction. We report that in friction experiments using the Tohoku fault zone samples, an increase in sliding velocity exceeding that of earthquake afterslip can induce a change from steady-state frictional strength or slip hardening friction to slip-weakening frictional behavior. Our results show that the slip weakening is observed when the slip velocity exceeds 3.7 × 10-6 m/s during our experiments, while steady-state frictional strength or slip hardening is observed below 1 × 10-6 m/s. In the Japan Trench region, two slow events prior to the mainshock were observed in the mainshock area with a coseismic slip exceeding 30 m . One event is an episodic SSE with a slip velocity of 0.1 × 10-6 , and the other is afterslip after the largest Tohoku earthquake foreshock with a slip velocity exceeding 2 × 10-6 m/s. Our experiments show that slip-weakening friction should be expected at the afterslip rate, suggesting that the afterslip may have facilitated the large coseismic slip during the mainshock on the plate boundary

  11. 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

  12. GEODYNAMICS OF NAZCA RIDGE’S OBLIQUE SUBDUCTION AND MIGRATION - IMPLICATIONS FOR TSUNAMI GENERATION ALONG CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN PERU: Earthquake and Tsunami of 23 June 2001

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Pararas-Carayannis

    2012-01-01

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

  13. S-wave tomography of the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    We present an S-wave tomographic model of the Pacific Northwestern United States using regional seismic arrays, including the amphibious Cascadia Initiative. Offshore, our model shows a rapid transition from slow velocities beneath the ridge to fast velocities under the central Juan de Fuca plate, as seen in previous studies of the region (c.f., Bell et al., 2016; Byrnes et al., 2017). Our model also shows an elongated low-velocity feature beneath the hinge of the Juan de Fuca slab, similar to that observed in a P-wave study (Hawley et al., 2016). The addition of offshore data also allows us to investigate along-strike variations in the structure of the subducting slab. Of particular note is a `gap' in the high velocity slab between 44N and 46N, beginning around 100km depth. There exist a number of explanations for this section of lower velocities, ranging from a change in minerology along strike, to a true tear in the subducting slab.

  14. Cenozoic lithospheric deformation in Northeast Asia and the rapidly-aging Pacific Plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ting; Moresi, Louis; Zhao, Dapeng; Sandiford, Dan; Whittaker, Joanne

    2018-06-01

    Northeast Asia underwent widespread rifting and magmatic events during the Cenozoic. The geodynamic origins of these tectonic events are often linked to Pacific plate subduction beneath Northeast Asia. However, the Japan Sea did not open until the late Oligocene, tens of millions of years after Pacific Plate subduction initiation in the Paleocene. Moreover, it is still not clear why the Baikal Rift Zone extension rate increased significantly after the late Miocene, while the Japan Sea opening ceased at the same time. Geodynamic models suggest these enigmatic events are related to the rapidly-aging Pacific Plate at the trench after Izanagi-Pacific spreading ridge subduction. Subduction of the young Pacific Plate delayed the Japan Sea opening during the Eocene while advection of the old Pacific Plate towards the trench increases seafloor age rapidly, allowing the Japan Sea to open after the early Miocene. The Japan Sea opening promotes fast trench retreat and slab stagnation, with subduction-induced wedge zone convection gradually increasing its extent during this process. The active rifting center associated with wedge zone convection upwelling also shifts inland-ward during slab stagnation, preventing further Japan Sea spreading while promoting the Baikal Rift Zone extension. Our geodynamic model provides a good explanation for the temporal-spatial patterns of the Cenozoic tectonic and magmatic events in Northeast Asia.

  15. Crustal and Upper Mantle Velocity Structure beneath Northwestern South America revealed by the CARMArray

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miao, W.; Cornthwaite, J.; Levander, A.; Niu, F.; Schmitz, M.; Dionicio, V.; Nader-Nieto, M. F.

    2017-12-01

    The Caribbean plate (CAR) is a fragment of the Farallon plate heavily modified by igneous processes that created the Caribbean large igneous province (CLIP) between 110 and 80 Ma.The CAR collided with and initiated subduction beneath northwestern South America plate (SA) at about 60-55 Ma as a narrow flat-slab subduction zone with an accretionary prism offshore, but no volcanic arc. Large scale regional tomography suggests that 1000 km of the CAR has been subducted (Van Benthem et al., 2013, JGR). The flat slab has caused Laramide-style basement uplifts of the Merida Andes, Sierra de la Perija, and Santa Marta ranges with elevations >5 km. The details of subduction geometry of the CAR plate beneath northeastern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela are complicated and remain unclear. The region of slab steepening lies below the triangular Maracaibo block (Bezada et al, 2010, JGR), bounded by major strike slip faults and currently escaping to the north over the CAR. Geodetic data suggests the this region has the potential for a magnitude 8+ earthquake (Bilham and Mencin, 2013, AGU Abstract). To better understand the subduction geometry, we deployed 65 broadband (BB) stations across northeastern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela in April of 2016. The 65 stations interweave with the 32 existing Colombian and Venezuelan BB stations, forming a 2-D array (hereafter referred to as CARMArray) with a station spacing of 35-100 km that covers an area of 600 km by 400 km extending from the Caribbean coast in Colombia to the interior plains of Venezuela. With data from the first year of operation, we have measured the Rayleigh wave phase velocities and Z/H ratios in the period range of 8-40 s using both ambient noise and earthquake data recorded by the CARMArray. We also generated Ps receiver functions from waveform data of teleseismic events recorded by the array. We then jointly inverted the three datasets to construct a 3-D S-wave velocity model beneath the array. We will

  16. Detailed seismotectonic analysis of Sumatra subduction zone revealed by high precision earthquake location

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, S. H.; Rhie, J.

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsyth, D. W.

    2017-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  1. a New Animation of Subduction Processes for Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  5. Anisotropic structure of the mantle wedge beneath the Ryukyu arc from teleseismic receiver function analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, K. A.; Wirth, E. A.; Long, M. D.

    2011-12-01

    The recycling of oceanic plates back into the mantle through subduction is an important process taking place within our planet. However, many fundamental aspects of subduction systems, such as the dynamics of mantle flow, have yet to be completely understood. Subducting slabs transport water down into the mantle, but how and where that water is released, as well as how it affects mantle flow, is still an open question. In this study, we focus on the Ryukyu subduction zone in southwestern Japan and use anisotropic receiver function analysis to characterize the structure of the mantle wedge. We compute radial and transverse P-to-S receiver functions for eight stations of the broadband F-net array using a multitaper receiver function estimator. We observe coherent P-to-SV converted energy in the radial receiver functions at ~6 sec for most of the stations analyzed consistent with conversions originating at the top of the slab. We also observe conversions on the transverse receiver functions that are consistent with the presence of multiple anisotropic and/or dipping layers. The character of the transverse receiver functions varies significantly along strike, with the northernmost three stations exhibiting markedly different behavior than stations located in the center of the Ryukyu arc. We compute synthetic receiver functions using a forward modeling scheme that can handle dipping interfaces and anisotropic layers to create models for the depths, thicknesses, and strengths of anisotropic layers in the mantle wedge beneath Ryukyu.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  8. Plate Motion and Crustal Deformation Estimated with Geodetic Data from the Global Positioning System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argus, Donald F.; Heflin, Michael B.

    1995-01-01

    We use geodetic data taken over four years with the Global Positioning System (GPS) to estimate: (1) motion between six major plates and (2) motion relative to these plates of ten sites in plate boundary zones. The degree of consistency between geodetic velocities and rigid plates requires the (one-dimensional) standard errors in horizontal velocities to be approx. 2 mm/yr. Each of the 15 angular velocities describing motion between plate pairs that we estimate with GPS differs insignificantly from the corresponding angular velocity in global plate motion model NUVEL-1A, which averages motion over the past 3 m.y. The motion of the Pacific plate relative to both the Eurasian and North American plates is observed to be faster than predicted by NUVEL-1A, supporting the inference from Very Long B ase- line Interferometry (VLBI) that motion of the Pacific plate has speed up over the past few m.y. The Eurasia-North America pole of rotation is estimated to be north of NUVEL-1A, consistent with the independent hypothesis that the pole has recently migrated northward across northeast Asia to near the Lena River delta. Victoria, which lies above the main thrust at the Cascadia subduction zone, moves relative to the interior of the overriding plate at 30% of the velocity of the subducting plate, reinforcing the conclusion that the thrust there is locked beneath the continental shelf and slope.

  9. Imaging a Remnant Slab Beneath Southeastern US: New Results from Teleseismic, Finite-frequency Tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biryol, C. B.; Wagner, L. S.; Fischer, K. M.; Hawman, R. B.

    2014-12-01

    Our new results from teleseismic, finite-frequency, body-wave tomography analysis reveal a relatively steep east-dipping fast velocity anomaly beneath the Southeastern US. The resolving power of our dataset is good enough to retrieve major mantle anomalies, such as this fast velocity body, owing to the dense receiver coverage provided by US Transportable Array (TA) and the SouthEastern Suture of the Appalachian Margin Experiment (SESAME). Various resolution and recovery tests demonstrate the robustness of this anomaly in our tomographic model between the depths of 60 and 660 km. Our images reveal that the dip of this structure decreases significantly in the mantle transition zone where it terminates. We also observe major gaps in the lateral continuity of this structure. Based on the amplitude, location and geometry of the velocity perturbation, we interpret this anomaly as remnant subducted lithosphere, suspended in the upper mantle after a subduction phase as young as 100-110 Ma or as old as 1Ga. Basic calculations and evaluations on the geometry and location of this anomaly help us to narrow down the origin of this slab to the Farallon flat-slab subduction in the west and Grenville Subduction during assembly of supercontinent Rodinia. Our images reveal possible mechanisms that would allow this slab to remain in the upper mantle without sinking into deeper mantle for such extended periods of time. We believe the flat geometry of the slab near the transition zone and the fragmented nature provide important clues about processes that could delay/resist the sinking while providing necessary time for it to transform into a more neutrally buoyant state. In this respect, we believe our results have broad implications for subduction processes and piece-meal slab failure, as well as tectonic implications for characteristics of former subduction zones that help shape North American Plate.

  10. Linking Late Cretaceous to Eocene Tectonostratigraphy of the San Jacinto Fold Belt of NW Colombia With Caribbean Plateau Collision and Flat Subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, J. Alejandro; Oncken, Onno; Le Breton, Eline; Ibánez-Mejia, Mauricio; Faccenna, Claudio; Veloza, Gabriel; Vélez, Vickye; de Freitas, Mario; Mesa, Andrés.

    2017-11-01

    Collision with and subduction of an oceanic plateau is a rare and transient process that usually leaves an indirect imprint only. Through a tectonostratigraphic analysis of pre-Oligocene sequences in the San Jacinto fold belt of northern Colombia, we show the Late Cretaceous to Eocene tectonic evolution of northwestern South America upon collision and ongoing subduction with the Caribbean Plate. We linked the deposition of four fore-arc basin sequences to specific collision/subduction stages and related their bounding unconformities to major tectonic episodes. The Upper Cretaceous Cansona sequence was deposited in a marine fore-arc setting in which the Caribbean Plate was being subducted beneath northwestern South America, producing contemporaneous magmatism in the present-day Lower Magdalena Valley basin. Coeval strike-slip faulting by the Romeral wrench fault system accommodated right-lateral displacement due to oblique convergence. In latest Cretaceous times, the Caribbean Plateau collided with South America marking a change to more terrestrially influenced marine environments characteristic of the upper Paleocene to lower Eocene San Cayetano sequence, also deposited in a fore-arc setting with an active volcanic arc. A lower to middle Eocene angular unconformity at the top of the San Cayetano sequence, the termination of the activity of the Romeral Fault System, and the cessation of arc magmatism are interpreted to indicate the onset of low-angle subduction of the thick and buoyant Caribbean Plateau beneath South America, which occurred between 56 and 43 Ma. Flat subduction of the plateau has continued to the present and would be the main cause of amagmatic post-Eocene deposition.

  11. Progressive enrichment of arc magmas caused by the subduction of seamounts under Nishinoshima volcano, Izu-Bonin Arc, Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  12. High-resolution imaging of the low velocity layer in Alaskan subduction zone with scattered waves and interferometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, D.; Keranen, K. M.; Abers, G. A.; Kim, Y.; Li, J.; Shillington, D. J.; Brown, L. D.

    2017-12-01

    The physical factors that control the rupture process of great earthquakes at convergent plate boundaries remain incompletely understood. While recent developments in imaging using the teleseismic wavefield have led to marked advances at wavelengths of a couple kilometers to tens of kilometers, higher resolution imaging of the rupture zone would improve the resolution of imaging and thus provide improved parameter estimation, as the teleseismic wavefield is fundamentally limited by its low frequency content. This study compares and evaluates two seismic imaging techniques using the high-frequency signals from teleseismic coda versus earthquake scattered waves to image the subducting Yakutat oceanic plateau in the Alaska subduction zone. We use earthquakes recorded by the MOOS PASSCAL broadband deployment in southern Alaska. In our first method, we select local earthquakes that lie directly beneath and laterally near the recording array for imaging, and extract body wave information via a simple autocorrelation and stacking. Profiles analogous to seismic reflection profile are constructed using the near-vertically travelling waves. In our second method, we compute teleseismic receiver functions within the 0.02-1.0 Hz frequency band. Both results image interfaces that we associate with the subducting oceanic plate in Alaska-Aleutian system, with greater resolution than commonly used methods with teleseismic sources. Structural details from our results can further our understanding of the conditions and materials that characterize the subduction megathrusts, and the techniques can be employed in other regions along the Alaska-Aleutian system and at other convergent margins with suitable seismic arrays.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  15. 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

  16. A listing of cosmogenic, optically-stimulated-luminescence, (U-Th)/He, and fission-track sample locations, analyses, and age data compiled as part of Marsden contract GNS002 (2000-2004) : subduction initiation beneath Fiordland, southwest New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sutherland, R.

    2007-01-01

    This report is an archive of data relevant to Fiordland tectonic evolution. Specifically these are the data that were collected and compiled as part of Marsden contract GNS002 (2000-2004); samples were collected between 1987 and 2002. The principal investigator of the Marsden Fund project was Rupert Sutherland (GNS Science). Additional named investigators (with responsibilities and affiliations) were: Kyeong Kim (cosmogenic isotope dating; GNS Science); Peter Kamp (fission track dating; Waikato University); Martha House (U-Th/He dating; Caltech, USA); and Michael Gurnis (numerical models of subduction initiation; Caltech, USA). After the project began, Uwe Rieser from Victoria University agreed to undertake optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating as part of the project. (author). 6 refs

  17. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. W. Becker

    2012-11-01

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

  19. Migration Imaging of the Java Subduction Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  20. History and evolution of Subduction in the Precambrium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, R.; Gerya, T.

    2013-12-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Vertical slab sinking and westward subduction offshore of Mesozoic North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigloch, Karin; Mihalynuk, Mitchell G.

    2013-04-01

    Subducted slabs in the mantle, as imaged by seismic tomography, preserve a record of ancient subduction zones. Ongoing debate concerns how direct this link is. How long ago did each parcel of slab subduct, and where was the trench located relative to the imaged slab position? Resolving these questions will benefit paleogeographic reconstructions, and restrict the range of plausible rheologies for mantle convection simulations. We investigate one of the largest and best-constrained Mesozoic slab complexes, the "Farallon" in the transition zone and lower mantle beneath North America. We quantitatively integrate observations from whole-mantle P-wave tomography, global plate reconstructions, and land geological evidence from the North American Cordillera. These three data sets permit us to test the simplest conceivable hypothesis for linking slabs to paleo-trenches: that each parcel of slab sank only vertically shortly after entering the trench That is, we test whether within the limits of tomographic resolution, all slab material lies directly below the location where it subducted beneath its corresponding arc. Crucially and in contrast to previous studies, we do not accept or impose an Andean-style west coast trench (Farallon-beneath-continent subduction) since Jurassic times, as this scenario is inconsistent with many geological observations. Slab geometry alone suggests that trenches started out as intra-oceanic because tomography images massive, linear slab "walls" in the lower mantle, extending almost vertically from about 800 km to 2000+ km depth. Such steep geometries would be expected from slabs sinking vertically beneath trenches that were quasi-stationary over many tens of millions of years. Intra-oceanic trenches west of Mesozoic North America could have been stationary, whereas a coastal Farallon trench could not, because the continent moved westward continuously as the Atlantic opened. Overlap of North American west-coast positions, as reconstructed in a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janiszewski, Helen Anne

    . This new offshore result indicates that the structure may persist updip indicating the plate interface may be weak. To focus more broadly on the entire subduction system, I calculate phase velocities from teleseismic Rayleigh waves from 20-100 s period across the entire onshore-offshore array. The shear-wave velocity model calculated from these data can provide constrains on the thermal structure of the lithosphere both prior to and during subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate. Using OBS data in this period band requires removal of tilt and compliance noise, two types of water-induced noise that affect long period data. To facilitate these corrections on large seismic arrays such as the CI, an automated quality control routine was developed for selecting noise windows for the calculation of the required transfer functions. These corrections typically involve either averaging out transient signals, which requires the assumption of stationarity of the noise over the long periods of time, or laborious hand selection of noise segments. This new method calculates transfer functions based on daily time series that exclude transient signals, but allows for the investigation of long-term variation over the course of an instrument's deployment. I interpret these new shoreline-crossing phase velocity maps in terms of the tectonics associated with the Cascadia subduction system. Major findings include that oceanic plate cooling models do not explain the velocities observed beneath the Juan de Fuca plate, that slow velocities in the forearc appear to be more prevalent in areas modeled to have experienced high slip in past Cascadia megathrust earthquakes, and along strike variations in phase velocity reflect variations in arc structure and backarc tectonics.

  4. Fault plane orientations of deep earthquakes in the Izu-Bonin-Marianas subduction zone system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myhill, R.; Warren, L. M.

    2011-12-01

    We present the results of directivity analysis on 45 deep earthquakes within the Izu-Bonin-Marianas subduction zone between 1993 and 2011. The age of the subducting Pacific plate increases from north to south along the trench, from 120 Ma offshore Tokyo to over 150 Ma east of the Mariana Islands. The dip of the deep slab generally increases from north to south, and is steep to overturned beneath the southern Bonin Islands and Marianas. Between 34 and 26 degrees north, a peak in seismicity at 350-450 km depth marks a decrease in dip as the slab approaches the base of the upper mantle. We observe directivity for around 60 percent of the analysed earthquakes, and use the propagation characteristics to find the best fitting rupture vector. In 60-70 percent of cases with well constrained rupture directivity, the best fitting rupture vector allows discrimination of the fault plane and the auxiliary plane of the focal mechanism. The identified fault planes between 100 km and 500 km are predominantly near-horizontal or south-southwest dipping. Rotated into the plane of the slab, the fault plane poles form a single cluster, since the more steeply dipping fault planes are found within more steeply dipping sections of slab. The dominance of near-horizontal fault planes at intermediate depth agrees with results from previous studies of the Tonga and Middle-America subduction zones. However, the presence of a single preferred fault plane orientation for large deep-focus earthquakes has not been previously reported, and contrasts with the situation for deep-focus earthquakes in the Tonga-Kermadec subduction system. Ruptures tend to propagate away from the top surface of the slab. We discuss potential causes of preferred fault plane orientations within subducting slabs in the light of existing available data, and the implications for mechanisms of faulting at great depths within the Earth.

  5. 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.

  6. Metamorphic Perspectives of Subduction Zone Volatiles Cycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebout, G. E.

    2008-12-01

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

  7. Transition from strike-slip faulting to oblique subduction: active tectonics at the Puysegur Margin, South New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamarche, Geoffroy; Lebrun, Jean-Frédéric

    2000-01-01

    South of New Zealand the Pacific-Australia (PAC-AUS) plate boundary runs along the intracontinental Alpine Fault, the Puysegur subduction front and the intraoceanic Puysegur Fault. The Puysegur Fault is located along Puysegur Ridge, which terminates at ca. 47°S against the continental Puysegur Bank in a complex zone of deformation called the Snares Zone. At Puysegur Trench, the Australian Plate subducts beneath Puysegur Bank and the Fiordland Massif. East of Fiordland and Puysegur Bank, the Moonlight Fault System (MFS) represents the Eocene strike-slip plate boundary. Interpretation of seafloor morphology and seismic reflection profiles acquired over Puysegur Bank and the Snares Zone allows study of the transition from intraoceanic strike-slip faulting along the Puysegur Ridge to oblique subduction at the Puysegur Trench and to better understand the genetic link between the Puysegur Fault and the MFS. Seafloor morphology is interpreted from a bathymetric dataset compiled from swath bathymetry data acquired during the 1993 Geodynz survey, and single beam echo soundings acquired by the NZ Royal Navy. The Snares Zone is the key transition zone from strike-slip faulting to subduction. It divides into three sectors, namely East, NW and SW sectors. A conspicuous 3600 m-deep trough (the Snares Trough) separates the NW and East sectors. The East sector is characterised by the NE termination of Puysegur Ridge into right-stepping en echelon ridges that accommodate a change of strike from the Puysegur Fault to the MFS. Between 48°S and 47°S, in the NW sector and the Snares Trough, a series of transpressional faults splay northwards from the Puysegur Fault. Between 49°50'S and 48°S, thrusts develop progressively at Puysegur Trench into a decollement. North of 48°S the Snares Trough develops between two splays of the Puysegur Fault, indicating superficial extension associated with the subsidence of Puysegur Ridge. Seismic reflection profiles and bathymetric maps show a

  8. 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

  9. 3D absolute hypocentral determination - 13 years of seismicity in Ecuadorian subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Font, Yvonne; Segovia, Monica; Theunissen, Thomas

    2010-05-01

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

  10. Cenozoic Evolution of the Central Part of the Mexican Subduction Zone From Geologic and Geophysical Data - In the Eve of the Result From the "Mase" Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, L.

    2006-12-01

    The Meso America Subduction Experiments (MASE), carried out jointly by Caltech, UCLA and UNAM (Institute of Geophysics and Center for Geoscience) is about to provide a detailed image of the crust and upper mantle in the central part of the Mexican subduction zone (Acapulco, Gro. Huejutla, Hgo.). Preliminary results show that the Cocos plate between the coast and the volcanic front is horizontal and placed just beneath the upper plate Moho. Further north, beneath the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB), seismicity is scarce or absent and the geometry of the subducted plate is poorly defined. This part of the TMVB also displays a large geochemical variability, including lavas with scarce to none evidence of fluids from the subducting plate (OIB in Sierra Chichinautzin) and lavas with slab melting signature (adakites of Nevado de Toluca and Apan area) that coexist with the more abundant products showing clear evidence of fluids from the subduting plate. These peculiarities led several workers to formulate models that depart from a classic subduction scenario for the genesis of the TMVB. These include the presence of a rootless mantle plume, the development of a continental rift, a more or less abrupt increase of the subduction angle and a detached slab. While waiting from the final results of the MASE project the data available from potential methods, thermal modeling and the geologic record of the TMVB provide some constraints to evaluate these models. Gravimetric and magnetotelluric data consistently indicate that beneath the TMVB the upper mantle has a relatively low density and high temperatures/conductivity. Thermal modeling also indicates a low viscosity and high temperature mantle beneath the arc. All the above seems to indicate that the slab must increase rapidly its dip beneath the volcanic front leaving space for a hot asthenospheric mantle. The fate of the slab further to the north is unclear from geophysical data alone. Global and regional tomographic

  11. Metallogeny of subduction zones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sorokhtin N. O.

    2017-03-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  15. A possible mechanism for earthquakes found in the mantle wedge of the Nazca subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    Beneath Colombia, the Cauca cluster of intermediate-depth earthquakes extends for 200 km along the trench (3.5°N-5.5°N, 77.0°W-75.3°W) and, with 58 earthquakes per year with local magnitude ML >= 2.5, has a higher rate of seismicity than the subduction zone immediately to the north or south. By precisely locating 433 cluster earthquakes from 1/2010-3/2014 with data from the Colombian National Seismic Network, we found that the earthquakes are located both in a continuous Nazca plate subducting at an angle of 33°-43° and in the overlying mantle wedge. The mantle wedge earthquakes (12% of the earthquakes) form two isolated 40-km-tall columns extending perpendicular to the subducting slab. Using waveform inversion, we computed focal mechanisms for 69 of the larger earthquakes. The focal mechanisms are variable, but the intraslab earthquakes are generally consistent with an in-slab extensional stress axis oriented 25° counterclockwise from the down-dip direction. We suggest that the observed mantle wedge earthquakes are the result of hydrofracture in a relatively cool mantle wedge. This segment of the Nazca Plate is currently subducting at a normal angle, but Wagner et al. (2017) suggested that a flat slab slowly developed in the region between 9-5.9 Ma and persisted until 4 Ma. During flat slab subduction, the overlying mantle wedge typically cools because it is cut off from mantle corner flow. After hydrous minerals in the slab dehydrate, the dehydrated fluid is expelled from the slab and migrates through the mantle wedge. If a cool mantle wedge remains today, fluid dehydrated from the slab may generate earthquakes by hydrofracture, with the mantle wedge earthquakes representing fluid migration pathways. Dahm's (2000) model of water-filled fracture propagation in the mantle wedge shows hydrofractures propagating normal to the subducting slab and extending tens of km into the mantle wedge, as we observe.

  16. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baes, M.

    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

  18. Gaps, tears and seismic anisotropy around the subducting slabs of the Antilles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlaphorst, David; Kendall, J.-Michael; Baptie, Brian; Latchman, Joan L.; Tait, Steve

    2017-02-01

    Seismic anisotropy in and beneath the subducting slabs of the Antilles is investigated using observations of shear-wave splitting. We use a combination of teleseismic and local events recorded at three-component broadband seismic stations on every major island in the area to map anisotropy in the crust, the mantle wedge and the slab/sub-slab mantle. To date this is the most comprehensive study of anisotropy in this region, involving 52 stations from 8 seismic networks. Local event delay times (0.21 ± 0.12 s) do not increase with depth, indicating a crustal origin in anisotropy and an isotropic mantle wedge. Teleseismic delay times are much larger (1.34 ± 0.47 s), with fast shear-wave polarisations that are predominantly parallel to trend of the arc. These observations can be interpreted three ways: (1) the presence of pre-existing anisotropy in the subducting slab; (2) anisotropy due to sub-slab mantle flow around the eastern margin of the nearly stationary Caribbean plate; (3) some combination of both mechanisms. However, there are two notable variations in the trench-parallel pattern of anisotropy - trench-perpendicular alignment is observed in narrow regions east of Puerto Rico and south of Martinique. These observations support previously proposed ideas of eastward sublithospheric mantle flow through gaps in the slab. Furthermore, the pattern of anisotropy south of Martinique, near Saint Lucia is consistent with a previously proposed location for the boundary between the North and South American plates.

  19. Results from CAT/SCAN, the Calabria-Apennine-Tyrrhenian/Subduction-Accretion-Collision Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steckler, M. S.; Amato, A.; Guerra, I.; Armbruster, J.; Baccheschi, P.; Diluccio, F.; Gervasi, A.; Harabaglia, P.; Kim, W.; Lerner-Lam, A.; Margheriti, L.; Seeber, L.; Tolstoy, M.; Wilson, C. K.

    2005-12-01

    The Calabrian Arc region is the final remnant of a Western Mediterranean microplate driven by rollback. Calabria itself is an exotic block that rifted off Sardinia and opened the Tyrrhenian Sea back-arc basin in its wake. The Calabrian Arc rapidly advanced to the southeast, with subduction ahead and extension behind, following subduction rollback of the Mesozoic seafloor. The subduction zone meanwhile collided progressively with the Apulia to form the Apennines in peninsular Italy and with the Africa to form the Maghrebides in Sicily. The Calabrian Arc is where the transition from subduction to continental collision is occurring. The collisions on either side of Calabria have restricted oceanic subduction to a narrow 200-km salient with well-defined edges and seismicity that extends to over 500 km depth. The collisions have also slowed, or possibly even halted, the rapid advance of the arc. Whether rollback of the oceanic lower plate of the Ionian Sea continues and whether the upper plate of Calabria continues to move as an independent plate are both uncertain. The Calabrian-Apennine-Tyrrhenian/Subduction-Collision-Accretion Network (CAT/SCAN) is a passive experiment to study of the Calabrian Arc and the transition to the southern Apennines. The land deployment consisted of three phases. The initial phase included an array of 39 broadband seismometers onshore, deployed in the winter of 2003/4. In September 2004, the array was reduced to 28 broadband and 8 short-period instruments. In April 2005, the array was reduced once again to 20 broadband and 2 short-period instruments. The field deployment was completed in October 2005. Offshore, 12 broadband Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBSs) were deployed in the beginning of October 2004. Data from 4 OBSs have been recovered so far with deployment durations from a few weeks to almost one year. Fishing activity has been strongly implicated in the early recoveries, (with one instrument returned by fishermen), and is suspected

  20. Thermal structure and geodynamics of subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wada, Ikuko

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

  1. Investigating subduction reversal in Papua New Guinea from automatic analysis of seismicity recorded on a temporary local network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks, S. P.; Harmon, N.; Rychert, C.; Tharimena, S.; Bogiatzis, P.; Savage, B.; Shen, Y.; Baillard, C.

    2017-12-01

    azimuthal gap of <270°, leaving 147 well-located events. This new seismic catalogue gives a detailed insight into the plate boundary structures at depth in the Papua New Guinea region. We are also able to delineate Wadati-Benioff seismicity to 600 km depth in the subducting Solomon Sea plate beneath the New Britain arc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  3. Origin and evolution of the deep thermochemical structure beneath Eurasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flament, N; Williams, S; Müller, R D; Gurnis, M; Bower, D J

    2017-01-18

    A unique structure in the Earth's lowermost mantle, the Perm Anomaly, was recently identified beneath Eurasia. It seismologically resembles the large low-shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs) under Africa and the Pacific, but is much smaller. This challenges the current understanding of the evolution of the plate-mantle system in which plumes rise from the edges of the two LLSVPs, spatially fixed in time. New models of mantle flow over the last 230 million years reproduce the present-day structure of the lower mantle, and show a Perm-like anomaly. The anomaly formed in isolation within a closed subduction network ∼22,000 km in circumference prior to 150 million years ago before migrating ∼1,500 km westward at an average rate of 1 cm year -1 , indicating a greater mobility of deep mantle structures than previously recognized. We hypothesize that the mobile Perm Anomaly could be linked to the Emeishan volcanics, in contrast to the previously proposed Siberian Traps.

  4. Imaging paleoslabs in the D″ layer beneath Central America and the Caribbean using seismic waveform inversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgeaud, Anselme F E; Kawai, Kenji; Konishi, Kensuke; Geller, Robert J

    2017-11-01

    D″ (Dee double prime), the lowermost layer of the Earth's mantle, is the thermal boundary layer (TBL) of mantle convection immediately above the Earth's liquid outer core. As the origin of upwelling of hot material and the destination of paleoslabs (downwelling cold slab remnants), D″ plays a major role in the Earth's evolution. D″ beneath Central America and the Caribbean is of particular geodynamical interest, because the paleo- and present Pacific plates have been subducting beneath the western margin of Pangaea since ~250 million years ago, which implies that paleoslabs could have reached the lowermost mantle. We conduct waveform inversion using a data set of ~7700 transverse component records to infer the detailed three-dimensional S-velocity structure in the lowermost 400 km of the mantle in the study region so that we can investigate how cold paleoslabs interact with the hot TBL above the core-mantle boundary (CMB). We can obtain high-resolution images because the lowermost mantle here is densely sampled by seismic waves due to the full deployment of the USArray broadband seismic stations during 2004-2015. We find two distinct strong high-velocity anomalies, which we interpret as paleoslabs, just above the CMB beneath Central America and Venezuela, respectively, surrounded by low-velocity regions. Strong low-velocity anomalies concentrated in the lowermost 100 km of the mantle suggest the existence of chemically distinct denser material connected to low-velocity anomalies in the lower mantle inferred by previous studies, suggesting that plate tectonics on the Earth's surface might control the modality of convection in the lower mantle.

  5. Distribution and migration of aftershocks of the 2010 Mw 7.4 Ogasawara Islands intraplate normal-faulting earthquake related to a fracture zone in the Pacific plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obana, Koichiro; Takahashi, Tsutomu; No, Tetsuo; Kaiho, Yuka; Kodaira, Shuichi; Yamashita, Mikiya; Sato, Takeshi; Nakamura, Takeshi

    2014-04-01

    describe the aftershocks of a Mw 7.4 intraplate normal-faulting earthquake that occurred 150 km east Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands, Japan, on 21 December 2010. It occurred beneath the outer trench slope of the Izu-Ogasawara trench, where the Pacific plate subducts beneath the Philippine Sea plate. Aftershock observations using ocean bottom seismographs (OBSs) began soon after the earthquake and multichannel seismic reflection surveys were conducted across the aftershock area. Aftershocks were distributed in a NW-SE belt 140 km long, oblique to the N-S trench axis. They formed three subparallel lineations along a fracture zone in the Pacific plate. The OBS observations combined with data from stations on Chichi-jima and Haha-jima Islands revealed a migration of the aftershock activity. The first hour, which likely outlines the main shock rupture, was limited to an 80 km long area in the central part of the subsequent aftershock area. The first hour activity occurred mainly around, and appears to have been influenced by, nearby large seamounts and oceanic plateau, such as the Ogasawara Plateau and the Uyeda Ridge. Over the following days, the aftershocks expanded beyond or into these seamounts and plateau. The aftershock distribution and migration suggest that crustal heterogeneities related to a fracture zone and large seamounts and oceanic plateau in the incoming Pacific plate affected the rupture of the main shock. Such preexisting structures may influence intraplate normal-faulting earthquakes in other regions of plate flexure prior to subduction.

  6. Segmented Coastal Uplift Along an Erosional Subduction Margin, Northern Hikurangi Fore Arc, North Island, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  7. Why Archaean TTG cannot be generated by MORB melting in subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Hervé; Moyen, Jean-François; Guitreau, Martin; Blichert-Toft, Janne; Le Pennec, Jean-Luc

    2014-06-01

    produced. Consequently, internal recycling of oceanic plateaus does not appear to be a suitable process for the genesis of Archaean continental crust. A possible alternative to this scenario is the subduction of oceanic plateaus. This hypothesis is supported by a present-day analog. In Ecuador, the Carnegie ridge, which is an oceanic plateau resulting from the Galapagos hot spot activity, is being subducted beneath the South American plate. Not only are the resulting magmas adakitic (TTG-like) in composition, but the volcanic productivity is several times greater than in other parts of the Andean volcanic arc. Above the location where the plateau is subducted, the arc is wide and the quaternary volcanoes numerous (about 80 active edifices). The volcanic productivity of each individual volcano also is more intense than away from the subduction focal point with an average output rate of about 0.4-0.5 km3·ka- 1 compared with only about 0.05-0.2 km3·ka- 1 for production rates at volcanoes erupting in the rest of the arc. Consequently, we infer that occasional subduction of oceanic plateaus throughout Earth's history can account for the episodic nature of crustal growth. Additionally, the generation by this mechanism of huge volumes of TTG-like magmas would readily dominate the crustal growth record.

  8. 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

  9. Impact of The N - S Fracture Zone Along The Indo-Australia Plate Analyzed from Local Seismic Data In The Western Offshore of Sumatra, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haridhi, H. A.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Huang, B. S.; Lee, C. S.

    2015-12-01

    Large subduction earthquake have repeatedly occurred along the Sumatra and Andaman subduction zones where the Indo-Australia plate is subducting beneath the Eurasian plate. We have analyzed earthquake data from local seismic network along the Sumatra region that provided by the Meteorology Climatology Geophysical Agencies of Indonesia (MCGAI), giving a reliable P-wave velocity model by using joint inversion of picked P-wave travel time using VELEST and a re-scanned single channel seismic reflection of Sumatra cruise I and II. As much as 1,503 events are being analyzed, that is from two years and three months of data recording (2009/04 - 2011/07). The VELEST and DD technique are used to relocate all events by forcing the obtained velocity model. It is found that the surface deformation and earthquake cluster are strongly influenced by the impact of an N - S subparalel fracture zone along the Indo-Australia plate. This also explains the seismic gaps along the Sumatra and Andaman subduction zones. So far, the intriguing seismogenic behaviour and forearc structure are not well explained by the existing models. Therefore, the planned IODP Expedition 362 is trying to ground truth the scientific questions. The aftershock earthquake data are huge, but they will provide a gateway to help the understanding of this shallow megathrust slip and reduce its devastated harzards.

  10. Divergent plate motion drives rapid exhumation of (ultra)high pressure rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Jie; Malusà, Marco G.; Zhao, Liang; Baldwin, Suzanne L.; Fitzgerald, Paul G.; Gerya, Taras

    2018-06-01

    Exhumation of (ultra)high pressure [(U)HP] rocks by upper-plate divergent motion above an unbroken slab, first proposed in the Western Alps, has never been tested by numerical methods. We present 2D thermo-mechanical models incorporating subduction of a thinned continental margin beneath either a continental or oceanic upper plate, followed by upper-plate divergent motion away from the lower plate. Results demonstrate how divergent plate motion may trigger rapid exhumation of large volumes of (U)HP rocks directly to the Earth's surface, without the need for significant overburden removal by erosion. Model exhumation paths are fully consistent with natural examples for a wide range of upper-plate divergence rates. Exhumation rates are systematically higher than the divergent rate imposed to the upper plate, and the modeled size of exhumed (U)HP domes is invariant for different rates of upper-plate divergence. Major variations are instead predicted at depth for differing model scenarios, as larger amounts of divergent motion may allow mantle-wedge exhumation to shallow depth under the exhuming domes. The transient temperature increase, due to ascent of mantle-wedge material in the subduction channel, has a limited effect on exhumed continental (U)HP rocks already at the surface. We test two examples, the Cenozoic (U)HP terranes of the Western Alps (continental upper plate) and eastern Papua New Guinea (oceanic upper plate). The good fit between model predictions and the geologic record in these terranes encourages the application of these models globally to pre-Cenozoic (U)HP terranes where the geologic record of exhumation is only partly preserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  12. Mantle flow influence on subduction evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  13. P-wave anisotropic velocity tomography beneath the Japan islands: Large-scale images and details in the Kanto district

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishise, M.; Koketsu, K.; Miyake, H.; Oda, H.

    2006-12-01

    The Japan islands arc is located in the convergence zone of the North American (NA), Amurian (AM), Pacific (PAC) and Philippine Sea (PHS) plates, and its parts are exposed to various tectonic settings. For example, at the Kanto district in its central part, these four plates directly interact with each, so that disastrous future earthquakes are expected along the plate boundaries and within the inland areas. In order to understand this sort of complex tectonic setting, it is necessary to know the seismological structure in various perspectives. We investigate the seismic velocity structure beneath the Japan islands in view of P-wave anisotropy. We improved a hitherto-known P-wave tomography technique so that the 3-D structure of isotropic and anisotropic velocities and earthquake hypocenter locations are determined from P-wave arrival times of local earthquakes [Ishise and Oda, 2005]. In the tomography technique, P-wave anisotropy is assumed to hold hexagonal symmetry with horizontal symmetry axis. The P-wave arrival times used in this study are complied in the Japan University Network Earthquake Catalog. The results obtained are summarized as follows; (1) the upper crust anisotropy is governed by the present-day stress field arising from the interaction between the plates surrounding the Japan islands arc, (2) the mantle anisotropy is caused by the present-day mantle flow induced by slab subduction and continental plate motion, (3) the old PAC slab keeps its original slab anisotropy which was captured when the plate was formed, while the youngest part of the PHS slab has lost the original anisotropy during its subduction and has gained new anisotropy which is controlled by the present-day stress field. We also carried out a further study on high-resolution seismic tomography for understanding the specific characteristics of the Kanto district. We mostly focused on the elucidation of the dual subduction formed by the PHS and PAC slabs using seismological data

  14. Resistivity Image from 2D Inversion of Magnetotelluric Data in the Northern Cascadia Subduction Zone (United States)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gultom, F. B.; Niasari, S. W.; Hartantyo, E.

    2018-04-01

    Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) lies between Pacific margin and North America plate. The purpose of this research is to identify the CSZ along Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming from conductivity (σ) contrast in the subsurface by using the magnetotelluric (MT) method. MT is an electromagnetic method that use frequency between 10-4 Hz and 104 Hz. We obtained the MT data from the EarthScope USArray in the form of EDI-File (five components of the electromagnetic field). We analyzed the MT data using phase tensor and modeled the data using 2D inversion. From the phase tensor analysis, the 3D data dominated the eastern regions. Global data misfit is 6,88, where WYI18 (close to Yellowstone) contributes misfit of 29,3. This means that the model response does not fit the data, which implies the data is not fully 2D. The 2D inversion results are found high resistivity anomalies (more than 500 ohm.m) at shallow depth beneath Oregon and Wyoming, which coresspond to high density anomalies. This high resistivity anomalies might correspond to the north American plate. Thus, it can be concluded that 2D inversion model can be used for most 3D MT data to illustrate the resistivity distribution in the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

  15. Heterogeneous coupling along Makran subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarifi, Z.; Raeesi, M.

    2010-12-01

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

  16. Complex Anisotropic Structure of the Mantle Wedge Beneath Kamchatka Volcanoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, V.; Park, J.; Gordeev, E.; Droznin, D.

    2002-12-01

    A wedge of mantle material above the subducting lithospheric plate at a convergent margin is among the most dynamic environments of the Earth's interior. Deformation and transport of solid and volatile phases within this region control the fundamental process of elemental exchange between the surficial layers and the interior of the planet. A helpful property in the study of material deformation and transport within the upper mantle is seismic anisotropy, which may reflect both microscopic effects of preferentialy aligned crystals of olivine and orthopyroxene and macroscopic effects of systematic cracks, melt lenses, layering etc. Through the mapping of anisotropic properties within the mantle wedge we can establish patterns of deformation. Volatile content affects olivine alignment, so regions of anomalous volatile content may be evident. Indicators of seismic anisotropy commonly employed in upper mantle studies include shear wave birefringence and mode-conversion between compressional and shear body waves. When combined together, these techniques offer complementary constraints on the location and intensity of anisotropic properties. The eastern coast of southern Kamchatka overlies a vigorous convergent margin where the Pacific plate descends at a rate of almost 80 mm/yr towards the northwest. We extracted seismic anisotropy indicators from two data sets sensitive to the anisotropic properties of the uppermost mantle. Firstly, we evaluated teleseismic receiver functions for a number of sites, and found ample evidence for anisotropicaly-influenced P-to-S mode conversion. Secondly, we measured splitting in S waves of earthquakes with sources within the downgoing slab. The first set of observations provides constraints on the depth ranges where strong changes in anisotropic properties take place. The local splitting data provides constraints on the cumulative strength of anisotropic properties along specific pathways through the mantle wedge and possibly parts of

  17. Pre-Cenozoic basement rocks of the Proto-Philippine Sea Plate: Constraints for the birthplace of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tani, K.; Ishizuka, O.; Horie, K.; Barth, A. P.; Harigane, Y.; Ueda, H.

    2016-12-01

    The Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc is widely regarded to be a typical intra-oceanic arc, with the oceanic Pacific Plate subducting beneath the Philippine Sea Plate, an evolving complex of active and inactive arcs and back-arc basins. However, little is known about the origin of the proto-Philippine Sea Plate, which existed along with the Pacific Plate at the time of subduction initiation in the Eocene. To investigate the crustal structures of the proto-Philippine Sea Plate, we conducted manned-submersible and dredge surveys in the Daito Ridges and the Kyushu-Palau Ridge. The Daito Ridges comprise 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 the Daito Ridges expose deep crustal sections of gabbroic, granitic, metamorphic, and ultra-mafic rocks, along with volcanic rocks ranging from basalt to andesite. Mesozoic magmatic zircon U-Pb ages have been obtained from the plutonic rocks, and whole-rock geochemistry of the igneous rocks indicates arc origins. Furthermore, mafic schist collected from the Daito Ridge has experienced amphibolite facies metamorphism, with phase assemblages suggesting that the crust was thicker than 20 km at the time. Similar amphibolite-facies metamorphic rocks with Proterozoic zircons have been recovered in the southern Kyushu-Palau Ridge, indicating that such distinctively older basement rocks exist as isolated tectonic blocks within the present Philippine Sea Plate. These finds show that the parts of the Daito Ridges and Kyushu-Palau Ridge represent developed crustal sections of the Pre-Cenozoic arc that comprises part of the proto-Philippine Sea Plate, and, together with the tectonic reconstruction of the proto-Philippine Sea Plate (Deschamps and Lallemand 2002, JGR), they suggest that subduction of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc initiated at the continental margin of the Southeast Asia.

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  1. Structural factors controlling inter-plate coupling and earthquake rupture process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kodaira, S.

    2007-05-01

    Recent availability of a large number of ocean bottom seismographs (OBSs), a large volume of air-gun array and a long streamer cable for academics provide several new findings of lithospheric scale structures in subduction seismogenic zones. JAMSTEC has acquired long-offset seismic data using a super-densely deploy OBS (i.e. 1 - 5 km spacing OBSs along 100 - 500 km long profiles) in the Nankai seismogeinc zone, SW. Japan, since 1999. Long-offset multichannel seismic (MCS) data by a two-ship experiment, as well as conventional 2D MCS data, have been also acquired at a part of the profiles. Some of those profiles have been designed as combined onshore - offshore profiles for imaging a land-ocean transition zone. One of the most striking findings is an image of several scales of subducted seamounts/ridges in the Nankai trough seismogenic zone. We detected the subducted seamount/ridges, which are 50 - 100 km wide, distributing from near trough axis to ~ 40 km deep beneath the Japanese island. From a point of seismogenic process, an important aspect is that those structures are strongly correlated with slip zones of magnitude 8-class earthquakes, i.e.; subducted seamounts/ridge control the rupture propagations. Moreover, the most recent seismic study crossing the segmentation boundary between M=8 class earthquakes detected a high seismic velocity body forming a strongly coupled patch at the segmentation boundary. The numerical simulation incorporating all those structures explained the historic rupture patterns, and shows the occurrence of a giant earthquake along the entire Nankai trough, a distance of over 600 km long (Mw=8.7). The growth processes of a rupture revealed from the simulation are; 1) prior to the giant earthquake, a small slow event (or earthquake) occurs near the segmentation boundary, 2) this accelerates a very slow slip (slower than the plate convergent rate), at the strong patch, which reduces a degree of coupling, 3) then a rupture easily propagates

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  4. Tectonics and geology of spreading ridge subduction at the Chile Triple Junction: a synthesis of results from Leg 141 of the Ocean Drilling Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrmann, J.H.; Lewis, S.D.; Cande, S.C.

    1994-01-01

    An active oceanic spreading ridge is being subducted beneath the South American continent at the Chile Triple Junction. This process has played a major part in the evolution of most of the continental margins that border the Pacific Ocean basin. A combination of high resolution swath bathymetric maps, seismic reflection profiles and drillhole and core data from five sites drilled during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 141 provide important data that define the tectonic, structural and stratigraphic effects of this modern example of spreading ridge subduction. A change from subduction accretion to subduction erosion occurs along-strike of the South American forearc. This change is prominently expressed by normal faulting, forearc subsidence, oversteepening of topographic slopes and intensive sedimentary mass wasting, overprinted on older signatures of sediment accretion, overthrusting and uplift processes in the forearc. Data from drill sites north of the triple junction (Sites 859-861) show that after an important phase of forearc building in the early to late Pliocene, subduction accretion had ceased in the late Pliocene. Since that time sediment on the downgoing oceanic Nazca plate has been subducted. Site 863 was drilled into the forearc in the immediate vicinity of the triple junction above the subducted spreading ridge axis. Here, thick and intensely folded and faulted trench slope sediments of Pleistocene age are currently involved in the frontal deformation of the forearc. Early faults with thrust and reverse kinematics are overprinted by later normal faults. The Chile Triple Junction is also the site of apparent ophiolite emplacement into the South American forearc. Drilling at Site 862 on the Taitao Ridge revealed an offshore volcanic sequence of Plio-Pleistocene age associated with the Taitao Fracture Zone, adjacent to exposures of the Pliocene-aged Taitao ophiolite onshore. Despite the large-scale loss of material from the forearc at the triple junction

  5. Shear-wave splitting observations of mantle anisotropy beneath Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellesiles, A. K.; Christensen, D. H.; Entwistle, E.; Litherland, M.; Abers, G. A.; Song, X.

    2009-12-01

    Observations of seismic anisotropy were obtained from three different PASSCAL broadband experiments throughout Alaska, using shear-wave splitting from teleseismic SKS phases. The MOOS (Multidisciplinary Observations Of Subduction), BEAAR (Broadband Experiment Across the Alaska Range), and ARCTIC (Alaska Receiving Cross-Transects for the Inner Core) networks were used along with selected permanent broadband stations operated by AEIC (Alaska Earthquake Information Center) to produce seismic anisotropy results for the state of Alaska along a north south transect from the active subduction zone in the south, through continental Alaska, to the passive margin in the north. The BEAAR network is in-between the ARCTIC and MOOS networks above the subducting Pacific Plate and mantle wedge and shows a tight ~90 degree rotation of anisotropy above the 70km contour of the subducting plate. The southern stations in BEAAR yield anisotropy results that are subparallel to the Pacific Plate motion as it subducts under North America. These stations have an average fast direction of -45 degrees and 1.03 seconds of delay on average. The MOOS network in south central Alaska yielded similar results with an average fast direction of -30 degrees and delay times of .9 seconds. In the north portion of the BEAAR network the anisotropy is along strike of the subduction zone and has an average fast direction of 27 degrees with an average delay time of 1.4 seconds, although the delay times above the mantle wedge range from 1 to 2.5 seconds and are directly correlated to the length of ray path in the mantle wedge. This general trend NE/SW is seen in the ARCTIC stations to the north although the furthest north stations are oriented more NNE compared to those in BEAAR. The average fast direction for the ARCTIC network is 40 degrees with an average delay time of 1.05 seconds. These results show two distinct orientations of anisotropy in Alaska separated by the subducting Pacific Plate.

  6. Stress Drops for Oceanic Crust and Mantle Intraplate Earthquakes in the Subduction Zone of Northeastern Japan Inferred from the Spectral Inversion Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, H.; Ishikawa, K.; Arai, T.; Ibrahim, R.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding stress drop related to intraplate earthquakes in the subducting plate is very important for seismic hazard mitigation. In previous studies, Kita et al. (2015) analyzed stress drops for intraplate earthquakes under Hokkaido, Northern Japan, using S-coda wave spectral ratio analysis methods, and found that the stress drop for events occurring more than 10 km beneath the upper surface of the subducting plate (within the oceanic mantle) was larger than the stress drop for events occurring within 10 km of the upper surface of the subducting plate (in the oceanic crust). In this study, we focus on intraplate earthquakes that occur under Tohoku, Northeastern Japan, to determine whether similar stress drop differences may exist between earthquakes occurring within the upper 10 km of the subducting plate (within the oceanic crust) and those occurring deeper than 10 km (within the oceanic mantle), based on spectral inversion analysis of seismic waveforms recorded during the earthquakes. We selected 64 earthquakes with focal depths between 49-76 km and Mw 3.5-5.0 that occurred in the source area of the 2003 Miyagi-ken-oki earthquake (Mw 7.0) (region 1), and 82 earthquakes with focal depths between 49-67 km and Mw 3.5-5.5 in the source area of the 2011 Miyagi- ken-oki earthquake (Mw 7.1) (region 2). Records from the target earthquakes at 24 stations in region 1 and 21 stations in region 2 were used in the analysis. A 5-sec time window following S-wave onset was used for each station record. Borehole records of KiK-net station (MYGH04) was used as a reference station for both regions 1 and 2. We applied the spectral inversion analysis method of Matsunami et al. (2003) separately to regions 1 and 2. Our results show that stress drop generally increases with focal depth and that the stress drop for events occurring deeper than 10 km in the plate (within the oceanic mantle) were larger than the stress drop for events occurring within 10 km of the upper surface of the

  7. Thermal-Chemical Model Of Subduction: Results And Tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorczyk, W.; Gerya, T. V.; Connolly, J. A.; Yuen, D. A.; Rudolph, M.

    2005-12-01

    Seismic structures with strong positive and negative velocity anomalies in the mantle wedge above subduction zones have been interpreted as thermally and/or chemically induced phenomena. We have developed a thermal-chemical model of subduction, which constrains the dynamics of seismic velocity structure beneath volcanic arcs. Our simulations have been calculated over a finite-difference grid with (201×101) to (201×401) regularly spaced Eulerian points, using 0.5 million to 10 billion markers. The model couples numerical thermo-mechanical solution with Gibbs energy minimization to investigate the dynamic behavior of partially molten upwellings from slabs (cold plumes) and structures associated with their development. The model demonstrates two chemically distinct types of plumes (mixed and unmixed), and various rigid body rotation phenomena in the wedge (subduction wheel, fore-arc spin, wedge pin-ball). These thermal-chemical features strongly perturb seismic structure. Their occurrence is dependent on the age of subducting slab and the rate of subduction.The model has been validated through a series of test cases and its results are consistent with a variety of geological and geophysical data. In contrast to models that attribute a purely thermal origin for mantle wedge seismic anomalies, the thermal-chemical model is able to simulate the strong variations of seismic velocity existing beneath volcanic arcs which are associated with development of cold plumes. In particular, molten regions that form beneath volcanic arcs as a consequence of vigorous cold wet plumes are manifest by > 20% variations in the local Poisson ratio, as compared to variations of ~ 2% expected as a consequence of temperature variation within the mantle wedge.

  8. Shear velocity structure of the laterally heterogeneous crust and uppermost mantle beneath the Indian region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohan, G.; Rai, S. S.; Panza, G. F.

    1997-08-01

    The shear velocity structure of the Indian lithosphere is mapped by inverting regionalized Rayleigh wave group velocities in time periods of 15-60 s. The regionalized maps are used to subdivide the Indian plate into several geologic units and determine the variation of velocity with depth in each unit. The Hedgehog Monte Carlo technique is used to obtain the shear wave velocity structure for each geologic unit, revealing distinct velocity variations in the lower crust and uppermost mantle. The Indian shield has a high-velocity (4.4-4.6 km/s) upper mantle which, however, is slower than other shields in the world. The central Indian platform comprised of Proterozoic basins and cratons is marked by a distinct low-velocity (4.0-4.2 km/s) upper mantle. Lower crustal velocities in the Indian lithosphere generally range between 3.8 and 4.0 km/s with the oceanic segments and the sedimentary basins marked by marginally higher and lower velocities, respectively. A remarkable contrast is observed in upper mantle velocities between the northern and eastern convergence fronts of the Indian plate. The South Bruma region along the eastern subduction front of the Indian oceanic lithosphere shows significant velocity enhancement in the lower crust and upper mantle. High velocities (≈4.8 km/s) are also observed in the upper mantle beneath the Ninetyeast ridge in the northeastern Indian Ocean.

  9. 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.

  10. What role did the Hikurangi subduction zone play in the M7.8 Kaikoura earthquake?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, L. M.; Hamling, I. J.; Kaneko, Y.; Fry, B.; Clark, K.; Bannister, S. C.; Ellis, S. M.; Francois-Holden, C.; Hreinsdottir, S.; Mueller, C.

    2017-12-01

    The 2016 M7.8 Kaikoura earthquake ruptured at least a dozen faults in the northern South Island of New Zealand, within the transition from the Hikurangi subduction zone (in the North Island) to the transpressive Alpine Fault (in the central South Island). The role that the southern end of the Hikurangi subduction zone played (or did not play) in the Kaikoura earthquake remains one of the most controversial aspects of this spectacularly complex earthquake. Investigations using near-field seismological and geodetic data suggest a dominantly crustal faulting source for the event, while studies relying on teleseismic data propose that a large portion of the moment release is due to rupture of the Hikurangi subduction interface beneath the northern South Island. InSAR and GPS data also show that a large amount of afterslip (up to 0.5 m) occurred on the subduction interface beneath the crustal faults that ruptured in the M7.8 earthquake, during the months following the earthquake. Modeling of GPS velocities for the 20 year period prior to the earthquake indicate that interseismic coupling was occurring on the Hikurangi subduction interface beneath the northern South Island, in a similar location to the suggested coseismic and postseismic slip on the subduction interface. We will integrate geodetic, seismological, tsunami, and geological observations in an attempt to balance the seemingly conflicting views from local and teleseismic data regarding the role that the southern Hikurangi subduction zone played in the earthquake. We will also discuss the broader implications of the observed coseismic and postseismic deformation for understanding the kinematics of the southern termination of the Hikurangi subduction zone, and its role in the transition from subduction to strike-slip in the central New Zealand region.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, H.; Leng, W.

    2017-12-01

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

  12. Amphibious Shear Velocity Structure of the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  13. Slab Geometry and Deformation in the Northern Nazca Subduction Zone Inferred From The Relocation and Focal mechanisms of Intermediate-Depth Earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Procedure for the determination of gap and base ground surface configurations beneath the bottom plate of storage tanks using neutron gauging inspection techniques : including radiation safety procedure and emergency procedure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaafar Abdullah

    1993-01-01

    The procedure is intended for the neutron gauging inspection of gap between the bottom plate and the foundation of bulk storage tanks, which potentially exhibit uneven sinking of the bottom plate and the foundation. Its describes the requirements for the performance of neutron back scattered inspection techniques (or radiometric non-destructive evaluation techniques), using an isotopic neutron source associated with neutron detecting systems, to detect and size the gap between the bottom plate and the foundations as well as to quantify the presence of hydrogenous materials (e.g. oil or water) underneath the bottom plate. This procedure is not only outline the requirements for the neutron gauging inspection, but also describes the requirements which shall be taken into account in formulating the radiation safety and emergency procedures for the neutron gauging inspection works

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Earthquake nucleation in weak subducted carbonates

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  20. Shear heating and metamorphism in subduction zones, 1. Thermal models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohn, M. J.; Castro, A. E.; Spear, F. S.

    2017-12-01

    Popular thermal-mechanical models of modern subduction systems are 100-500 °C colder at c. 50 km depth than pressure-temperature (P-T) conditions determined from exhumed metamorphic rocks. This discrepancy has been ascribed by some to profound bias in the rock record, i.e. metamorphic rocks reflect only anomalously warm subduction, not normal subduction. Accurately inferring subduction zone thermal structure, whether from models or rocks, is crucial for predicting depths of seismicity, fluid release, and sub-arc melting conditions. Here, we show that adding realistic shear stresses to thermal models implies P-T conditions quantitatively consistent with those recorded by exhumed metamorphic rocks, suggesting that metamorphic rock P-T conditions are not anomalously warm. Heat flow measurements from subduction zone fore-arcs typically indicate effective coefficients of friction (µ) ranging from 0.025 to 0.1. We included these coefficients of friction in analytical models of subduction zone interface temperatures. Using global averages of subducting plate age (50 Ma), subduction velocity (6 cm/yr), and subducting plate geometry (central Chile), temperatures at 50 km depth (1.5 GPa) increase by c. 200 °C for µ=0.025 to 700 °C for µ=0.1. However, at high temperatures, thermal softening will reduce frictional heating, and temperatures will not increase as much with depth. Including initial weakening of materials ranging from wet quartz (c. 300 °C) to diabase (c. 600 °C) in the analytical models produces concave-upward P-T distributions on P-T diagrams, with temperatures c. 100 to 500 °C higher than models with no shear heating. The absolute P-T conditions and concave-upward shape of the shear-heating + thermal softening models almost perfectly matches the distribution of P-T conditions derived from a compilation of exhumed metamorphic rocks. Numerical models of modern subduction zones that include shear heating also overlap metamorphic data. Thus, excepting the

  1. Neural network analysis for geological interpretation of tomographic images beneath the Japan Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuwatani, T.; Toriumi, M.

    2009-12-01

    Recent advances in methodologies of geophysical observations, such as seismic tomography, seismic reflection method and geomagnetic method, provide us a large amount and a wide variety of data for physical properties of a crust and upper mantle (e.g. Matsubara et al. (2008)). However, it has still been difficult to specify a rock type and its physical conditions, mainly because (1) available data usually have a lot of error and uncertainty, and (2) physical properties of rocks are greatly affected by fluid and microstructures. The objective interpretation and quantitative evaluation for lithology and fluid-related structure require the statistical analyses of integrated geophysical and geological data. Self-Organizing Maps (SOMs) are unsupervised artificial neural networks that map the input space into clusters in a topological form whose organization is related to trends in the input data (Kohonen 2001). SOMs are powerful neural network techniques to classify and interpret multiattribute data sets. Results of SOM classifications can be represented as 2D images, called feature maps which illustrate the complexity and interrelationships among input data sets. Recently, some works have used SOM in order to interpret multidimensional, non-linear, and highly noised geophysical data for purposes of geological prediction (e.g. Klose 2006; Tselentis et al. 2007; Bauer et al. 2008). This paper describes the application of SOM to the 3D velocity structure beneath the whole Japan islands (e.g. Matsubara et al. 2008). From the obtained feature maps, we can specify the lithology and qualitatively evaluate the effect of fluid-related structures. Moreover, re-projection of feature maps onto the 3D velocity structures resulted in detailed images of the structures within the plates. The Pacific plate and the Philippine Sea plate subducting beneath the Eurasian plate can be imaged more clearly than the original P- and S-wave velocity structures. In order to understand more precise

  2. Revisiting the physical characterisitics of the subduction interplate seismogenic zones

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

    Based on the Centennial earthquake catalog, the revised 1964-2007 EHB hypocenters catalog and the 1976-2007 CMT Harvard catalog, we have extracted the hypocenters, nodal planes and seismic moments of worldwide subduction earthquakes for the 1900-2007 period. For the 1976-2007 period, we combine the focal solutions provided by Harvard and the revised hypocenters from Engdahl et al. (1998). Older events are extracted from the Centennial catalogue (Engdahl and Villasenor, 2002) and they are used to estimate the cumulated seismic moment only. The selection criteria for the subduction earthquakes are similar to those used by Mc Caffrey (1994), i.e., we test if the focal mechanisms are consistent with 1/ shallow thrust events (depth > 70 km, positive slips, and at least one nodal plane gets dip 8). We assume that the seismogenic zone coincides with the distribution of 5.5 statistical study done by Pacheco et al. (1993) and test some empirical laws obtained for example by Ruff and Kanamori (1980) in light of a more complete, detailed, accurate and uniform description of the subduction interplate seismogenic zone. Since subduction earthquakes result from stress accumulation along the interplate and stress depends on plates kinematics, subduction zone geometry, thermal state and seismic coupling, we aim to isolate some correlations between parameters. The statistical analysis reveals that: 1- vs, the subduction velocity is the first order controlling parameter of seismogenic zone variability, both in term of geometry and seismic behaviour; 2- steep dip, large vertical extent and narrow horizontal extent of the seismogenic zone are associated to fast subductions, and cold slabs, the opposite holding for slow subductions and warm slabs; the seismogenic zone usually ends in the fore-arc mantle rather than at the upper plate Moho depth; 3- seismic rate () variability is coherent with the geometry of the seismogenic zone:  increases with the dip and with the vertical

  3. Deep mantle seismic heterogeneities in Western Pacific subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentham, H. L. M.; Rost, S.

    2012-04-01

    In recent years array seismology has been used extensively to image the small scale (~10 km) structure of the Earth. In the mantle, small scale structure likely represents chemical heterogeneity and is essential in our understanding of mantle convection and especially mantle mixing. As subduction is the main source of introducing crustal material into the Earth's mantle, it is of particular interest to track the transport of subducted crust through the mantle to resolve details of composition and deformation of the crust during the subduction process. Improved knowledge of subduction can help provide constraints on the mechanical mixing process of crustal material into the ambient mantle, as well as constraining mantle composition and convection. This study uses seismic array techniques to map seismic heterogeneities associated with Western Pacific subduction zones, where a variety of slab geometries have been previously observed. We use seismic energy arriving prior to PP, a P-wave underside reflection off the Earth's surface halfway between source and receiver, to probe the mantle for small-scale heterogeneities. PP precursors were analysed at Eielson Array (ILAR), Alaska using the recently developed Toolkit for Out-of-Plane Coherent Arrival Tracking (TOPCAT) algorithm. The approach combines the calculated optimal beampower and an independent semblance (coherency) measure, to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of coherent arrivals. 94 earthquakes with sufficient coherent precursory energy were selected and directivity information of the arrivals (i.e. slowness and backazimuth) was extracted from the data. The scattering locations for 311 out-of-plane precursors were determined by ray-tracing and minimising the slowness, backazimuth and differential travel time misfit. Initial analyses show that deep scattering (>1000 km) occurs beneath the Izu-Bonin subduction zone, suggesting that subducted crust does continue into the lower mantle in this location. Other

  4. P-wave velocity structure beneath the northern Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Y.; Kim, K.; Jin, Y.

    2010-12-01

    We have imaged tomographically the tree-dimensional velocity structure of the upper mantle beneath the northern Antarctic Peninsula using teleseismic P waves. The data came from the seven land stations of the Seismic Experiment in Patagonia and Antarctica (SEPA) campaigned during 1997-1999, a permanent IRIS/GSN station (PMSA), and 3 seismic stations installed at scientific bases, Esperanza (ESPZ), Jubany (JUBA), and King Sejong (KSJ), in South Shetland Islands. All of the seismic stations are located in coast area, and the signal to noise ratios (SNR) are very low. The P-wave model was inverted from 95 earthquakes resulting in 347 ray paths with P- and PKP-wave arrivals. The inverted model shows a strong low velocity anmaly beneath the Bransfield Strait, and a fast anomaly beneath the South Shetland Islands. The low velocity anomaly beneath the Bransfield might be due to a back arc extension, and the fast velocity anomaly beneath the South Shetland Islands could indicates the cold subducted slab.

  5. Tomographic Imaging of the Seismic Structure Beneath the East Anatolian Plateau, Eastern Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gökalp, Hüseyin

    2012-10-01

    The high level of seismic activity in eastern Turkey is thought to be mainly associated with the continuing collision of the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates. The determination of a detailed three-dimensional (3D) structure is crucial for a better understanding of this on-going collision or subduction process; therefore, a body wave tomographic inversion technique was performed on the region. The tomographic inversion used high quality arrival times from earthquakes occurring in the region from 1999 to 2001 recorded by a temporary 29 station broadband IRIS-PASSCAL array operated by research groups from the Universities of Boğaziçi (Turkey) and Cornell (USA). The data was inverted and consisted of 3,114 P- and 2,298 S-wave arrival times from 252 local events with magnitudes ( M D) ranging from 2.5 to 4.8. The stability and resolution of the results were qualitatively assessed by two synthetic tests: a spike test and checkerboard resolution test and it was found that the models were well resolved for most parts of the imaged domain. The tomographic inversion results reveal significant lateral heterogeneities in the study area to a depth of ~20 km. The P- and S-wave velocity models are consistent with each other and provide evidence for marked heterogeneities in the upper crustal structure beneath eastern Turkey. One of the most important features in the acquired tomographic images is the high velocity anomalies, which are generally parallel to the main tectonic units in the region, existing at shallow depths. This may relate to the existence of ophiolitic units at shallow depths. The other feature is that low velocities are widely dispersed through the 3D structure beneath the region at deeper crustal depths. This feature can be an indicator of the mantle upwelling or support the hypothesis that the Anatolian Plateau is underlain by a partially molten uppermost mantle.

  6. Origin of depleted basalts during subduction initiation and early development of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana island arc: Evidence from IODP expedition 351 site U1438, Amami-Sankaku basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickey-Vargas, R.; Yogodzinski, G. M.; Ishizuka, O.; McCarthy, A.; Bizimis, M.; Kusano, Y.; Savov, I. P.; Arculus, R.

    2018-05-01

    The Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) island arc formed following initiation of subduction of the Pacific plate beneath the Philippine Sea plate at about 52 Ma. Site U1438 of IODP Expedition 351 was drilled to sample the oceanic basement on which the IBM arc was constructed, to better understand magmatism prior to and during the subduction initiation event. Site U1438 igneous basement Unit 1 (150 m) was drilled beneath 1460 m of primarily volcaniclastic sediments and sedimentary rock. Basement basalts are microcrystalline to fine-grained flows and form several distinct subunits (1a-1f), all relatively mafic (MgO = 6.5-13.8%; Mg# = 52-83), with Cr = 71-506 ppm and Ni = 62-342 ppm. All subunits are depleted in non-fluid mobile incompatible trace elements. Ratios such as Sm/Nd (0.35-0.44), Lu/Hf (0.19-0.37), and Zr/Nb (55-106) reach the highest values found in MORB, while La/Yb (0.31-0.92), La/Sm (0.43-0.91) and Nb/La (0.39-0.59) reach the lowest values. Abundances of fluid-mobile incompatible elements, K, Rb, Cs and U, vary with rock physical properties, indicating control by post-eruptive seawater alteration, but lowest abundances are typical of fresh, highly depleted MORBs. Mantle sources for the different subunits define a trend of progressive incompatible element depletion. Inferred pressures of magma segregation are 0.6-2.1 GPa with temperatures of 1280-1470 °C. New 40Ar/39Ar dates for Site U1438 basalts averaging 48.7 Ma (Ishizuka et al., 2018) are younger that the inferred age of IBM subduction initiation based on the oldest ages (52 Ma) of IBM forearc basalts (FAB) from the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea plate. FAB are hypothesized to be the first magma type erupted as the Pacific plate subsided, followed by boninites, and ultimately typical arc magmas over a period of about 10 Ma. Site U1438 basalts and IBM FABs are similar, but Site U1438 basalts have lower V contents, higher Ti/V and little geochemical evidence for involvement of slab-derived fluids. We

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  9. Diamond Growth in the Subduction Factory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

    2009-11-01

    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 décollement. Western Java, however, differs markedly from margins such as Nankai or Barbados, where a uniform, continuous décollement 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 décollement 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 décollement and terminates at the sea floor and which potentially contributes to tsunami generation during co-seismic activity.

  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. The future of Earth's oceans: consequences of subduction initiation in the Atlantic and implications for supercontinent formation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duarte, J.C.; Schellart, W.P.; Rosas, F.M.

    2016-01-01

    Subduction initiation is a cornerstone in the edifice of plate tectonics. It marks the turning point of the Earth's Wilson cycles and ultimately the supercycles as well. In this paper, we explore the consequences of subduction zone invasion in the Atlantic Ocean, following recent discoveries at the

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  19. Frictional properties of JFAST core samples and implications for slow earthquakes at the Tohoku subduction zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sawai, Michiyo; Niemeijer, André R.; Hirose, Takehiro; Spiers, Christopher J.

    2017-01-01

    Slow earthquakes occur in the shallow (<20 km deep) part of the Tohoku subduction zone. To understand how frictional properties of the plate boundary fault affect the generation of these slow earthquakes, we conducted friction experiments using borehole samples retrieved from the plate boundary

  20. 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

  1. Gondwana subduction-modified mantle domain prevents magmatic seafloor generation in the Central Indian Ridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morishita, T.; Nakamura, K.; Senda, R.; Suzuki, K.; Kumagai, H.; Sato, H.; Sato, T.; Shibuya, T.; Minoguchi, K.; Okino, K.

    2013-12-01

    The creation of oceanic crust at mid-ocean ridges is essential to understanding the genesis of oceanic plate and the evolution of the Earth. Detailed bathymetric measurements coupled with dense sample recovery at mid-ocean ridge revealed a wide range of variations in the ridge and seafloor morphologies, which cannot be simply explained by a spreading rate, but also by ridge geometry, mantle compositions and thermal structure (Dick et al., 2003 Nature; Cannat et al. 2006 Geology). It is now widely accepted that very limited magmatic activity with tectonic stretching generates oceanic core complex and/or smooth seafloor surface in the slow to ultraslow-spreading ridges, where serpentinized peridotite and gabbros are expected to be exposed associated with detachment faults (Cann et al., 1997 Nature; Cannat et al., 2006), although magmatism might be an essential role for the formation of oceanic core complexes (Buck et al., 2005 Nature; Tucholke et al 2008 JGR). A rising question is why magmatic activity is sometimes prevented during the oceanic plate formation. Ancient melting domain, that are too refractory to melt even in adiabatically upwelling to the shallow upper mantle, might cause the amagmatic spreading ridges (Harvey et al., 2006 EPSL, Liu et al.,2008 Nature). Its origin and effect on seafloor generations are, however, not well understood yet. We report an oceanic hill as an example of an ancient subduction-modified mantle domain, probably formed at continental margin of the Gondwanaland~Pangea supercontinent, existing beneath the Central Indian Ridge. This domain is the most likely to have prevented magmatic seafloor generation, resulting in creation of very deep oceanic valley and serpentine diaper (now the studied oceanic hill) at the present Central Indian ridge.

  2. Subduction zone locking, strain partitioning, intraplate deformation and their implications to Seismic Hazards in South America

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  3. Mapping lithosphere thickness beneath the Southern Caribbean and Venezuela using body wave reflectivity and surface wave tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    lateral resolution (Yang and Forsyth, 2006). The phase velocities were inverted for 1D shear velocity structure on a 0.5 by 0.5 degree grid. Crustal thickness for the starting models was previously determined from BOLIVAR and other wide-angle seismic experiments and receiver function analysis (Schmitz et al., 2001; Niu et al., 2007; Bezada et al., 2007; Clark et al., 2008; Guedez, 2008; Magnani et al., 2009; Bezada et al., 2010a). The resulting 3D shear velocity model was then used to determine the depth of the LAB in conjunction with Ps and Sp receiver functions. LAB depth is approximately 120-140 km beneath the Archean-Proterozoic Guayana Shield, in reasonable agreement with body wave tomography. The lithosphere thins to the west beneath the Barinas Apure Basin to about 90 km, and to the north beneath the Sierra del Interior to 80 to 90 km. Offshore beneath the Cariaco basin the LAB is ~60 km. At depths up to 200 km beneath the Peninsula the Paria, there are high velocities interepreted as the subducting oceanic part of the South American Plate, a result that is consistent with finite-frequency P wave tomography (Bezada et al., 2010b).

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-03-01

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

  5. Aftershocks of the 2010 Mw 7.4 Bonin Islands normal-faulting earthquake: Implication for deformation of the Pacific Plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obana, K.; Takahashi, T.; No, T.; Kaiho, Y.; Kodaira, S.; Yamashita, M.; Sato, T.; Noguchi, N.; Nakamura, T.

    2011-12-01

    A Mw 7.4 normal-faulting earthquake occurred 150 km east of Chichi-jima Island, Bonin Islands, Japan on December 21, 2010 (UTC). This is an earthquake occurred within the Pacific plate beneath the outer trench-slope region along the Izu-Ogasawara (Bonin) trench, where the Pacific plate subducts beneath the Philippine Sea plate. According to Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), the associated tsunami was observed over a wide area along the Pacific coast of Japan. Normal faulting earthquakes in outer trench-slope region are a result of the bending of the incoming/subducting oceanic plates. The bending-related normal faults cutting the oceanic plate are likely associated with hydration of the oceanic plate prior to subduction [e.g., Ranero et al., 2003]. The normal faulting earthquakes can be a key to understand deformation and resulting hydration of the oceanic plate. That is also important for consideration of tsunami generation in shallow outer trench-slope region. Aftershock observation of the 2010 Bonin Islands earthquake were conducted by R/V Kairei of Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) using ocean bottom seismographs (OBSs). First OBS was deployed in the source area on December 25, 2010 and retrieved on January 7, 2011. Other 4 OBSs were deployed on January 6 and 7 and retrieved on March 11 and 12, 2011. Overall aftershocks distributed in a 130 km long area extended in a NW-SE direction although Izu-Bonin trench extends N-S direction in this area. Most of the aftershocks were located at depths shallower than 30 km, corresponding to the oceanic crust and the uppermost mantle of the Pacific plate. The aftershocks show a complicated distribution. In the central part of the aftershock area, aftershocks formed three subparallel lines with roughly 15 km intervals oriented NW-SE direction. In the southeastern part of the aftershock area away from the trench, the aftershocks distributed along ESE-WNW direction. We estimated aftershock

  6. High-velocity basal sediment package atop oceanic crust, offshore Cascadia: Impacts on plate boundary processes and fluid migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, D. E.; Keranen, K. M.

    2017-12-01

    Differences in fluid pressure and mechanical properties at megathrust boundaries in subduction zones have been proposed to create varying seismogenic behavior. In Cascadia, where large ruptures are possible but little seismicity occurs presently, new seismic transects across the deformation front (COAST cruise; Holbrook et al., 2012) image an unusually high-wavespeed sedimentary unit directly overlying oceanic crust. Wavespeed increases before sediments reach the deformation front, and the well-laminated unit, consistently of 1 km thickness, can be traced for 50 km beneath the accretionary prism before imaging quality declines. Wavespeed is modeled via iterative prestack time migration (PSTM) imaging and increases from 3.5 km/sec on the seaward end of the profile to >5.0 km/s near the deformation front. Landward of the deformation front, wavespeed is low along seaward-dipping thrust faults in the Quaternary accretionary prism, indicative of rapid dewatering along faults. The observed wavespeed of 5.5 km/sec just above subducting crust is consistent with porosity intersects the plate boundary at an oblique angle and changes the degree of hydration of the oceanic plate as it subducts within our area. Fluid flow out of oceanic crust is likely impeded by the low-porosity basal sediment package except along the focused thrust faults. Decollements are present at the top of oceanic basement, at the top of the high-wavespeed basal unit, and within sedimentary strata at higher levels; the decollement at the top of oceanic crust is active at the toe of the deformation front. The basal sedimentary unit appears to be mechanically strong, similar to observations from offshore Sumatra, where strongly consolidated sediments at the deformation front are interpreted to facilitate megathrust rupture to the trench (Hupers et al., 2017). A uniformly strong plate interface at Cascadia may inhibit microseismicity while building stress that is released in great earthquakes.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  9. Lateral Variations of the Mantle Transition Zone Structure beneath the Southeastern Tibetan Plateau Revealed by P-wave Receiver Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Y.; Ai, Y.; Jiang, M.; He, Y.; Chen, Q.

    2017-12-01

    The deep structure of the southeastern Tibetan plateau is of great scientific importance to a better understanding of the India-Eurasia collision as well as the evolution of the magnificent Tibetan plateau. In this study, we collected 566 permanent and temporary seismic stations deployed in SE Tibet, with a total of 77853 high quality P-wave receiver functions been extracted by maximum entropy deconvolution method. On the basis of the Common Conversion Point (CCP) stacking technique, we mapped the topography of the 410km and 660km discontinuities (hereinafter called the `410' and the `660'), and further investigated the lateral variation of the mantle transition zone (MTZ) thickness beneath this region. The background velocity model deduced from H-κ stacking results and a previous body-wave tomographic research was applied for the correction of the crustal and upper mantle heterogeneities beneath SE Tibet for CCP stacking. Our results reveal two significantly thickened MTZ anomalies aligned nearly in the south-north direction. The magnitude of both anomalies are 30km above the global average of 250km. The southern anomaly located beneath the Dianzhong sub-block and the Indo-China block is characterized by a slightly deeper `410' and a greater-than-normal `660', while the northern anomaly beneath western Sichuan has an uplifted `410' and a depressed `660'. Combining with previous studies in the adjacent region, we suggest that slab break-off may occurred during the eastward subduction of the Burma plate, with the lower part of the cold slab penetrated into the MTZ and stagnated at the bottom of the `660' which may cause the southern anomaly in our receiver function images. The origin of the Tengchong volcano is probably connected to the upwelling of the asthenospheric material caused by the slab break-off or to the ascending of the hot and wet material triggered by the dehydration of stagnant slab in the MTZ. The anomaly in the north, on the other hand, might be

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Lihong; JIANG Xiaodian; ZHANG Weigang

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentham, H. L.; Rost, S.

    2010-12-01

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

  12. Seismic evidence for overpressured subducted oceanic crust and megathrust fault sealing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audet, Pascal; Bostock, Michael G; Christensen, Nikolas I; Peacock, Simon M

    2009-01-01

    Water and hydrous minerals play a key part in geodynamic processes at subduction zones by weakening the plate boundary, aiding slip and permitting subduction-and indeed plate tectonics-to occur. The seismological signature of water within the forearc mantle wedge is evident in anomalies with low seismic shear velocity marking serpentinization. However, seismological observations bearing on the presence of water within the subducting plate itself are less well documented. Here we use converted teleseismic waves to obtain observations of anomalously high Poisson's ratios within the subducted oceanic crust from the Cascadia continental margin to its intersection with forearc mantle. On the basis of pressure, temperature and compositional considerations, the elevated Poisson's ratios indicate that water is pervasively present in fluid form at pore pressures near lithostatic values. Combined with observations of a strong negative velocity contrast at the top of the oceanic crust, our results imply that the megathrust is a low-permeability boundary. The transition from a low- to high-permeability plate interface downdip into the mantle wedge is explained by hydrofracturing of the seal by volume changes across the interface caused by the onset of crustal eclogitization and mantle serpentinization. These results may have important implications for our understanding of seismogenesis, subduction zone structure and the mechanism of episodic tremor and slip.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. V. Chertova

    2012-10-01

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

  14. Plateau subduction, intraslab seismicity, and the Denali (Alaska) volcanic gap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuang, Lindsay Yuling; Bostock, Michael; Wech, Aaron; Plourde, Alexandre

    2018-01-01

    Tectonic tremors in Alaska (USA) are associated with subduction of the Yakutat plateau, but their origins are unclear due to lack of depth constraints. We have processed tremor recordings to extract low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs), and generated a set of six LFE waveform templates via iterative network matched filtering and stacking. The timing of impulsive P (compressional) wave and S (shear) wave arrivals on template waveforms places LFEs at 40–58 km depth, near the upper envelope of intraslab seismicity and immediately updip of increased levels of intraslab seismicity. S waves at near-epicentral distances display polarities consistent with shear slip on the plate boundary. We compare characteristics of LFEs, seismicity, and tectonic structures in central Alaska with those in warm subduction zones, and propose a new model for the region’s unusual intraslab seismicity and the enigmatic Denali volcanic gap (i.e., an area of no volcanism where expected). We argue that fluids in the Yakutat plate are confined to its upper crust, and that shallow subduction leads to hydromechanical conditions at the slab interface in central Alaska akin to those in warm subduction zones where similar LFEs and tremor occur. These conditions lead to fluid expulsion at shallow depths, explaining strike-parallel alignment of tremor occurrence with the Denali volcanic gap. Moreover, the lack of double seismic zone and restriction of deep intraslab seismicity to a persistent low-velocity zone are simple consequences of anhydrous conditions prevailing in the lower crust and upper mantle of the Yakutat plate.

  15. Slab-derived components in the subcontinental lithospheric mantle beneath Chilean Patagonia: Geochemistry and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopes of mantle xenoliths and host basalt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jalowitzki, Tiago; Gervasoni, Fernanda; Conceição, Rommulo V.; Orihashi, Yuji; Bertotto, Gustavo W.; Sumino, Hirochika; Schilling, Manuel E.; Nagao, Keisuke; Morata, Diego; Sylvester, Paul

    2017-11-01

    modified oceanic crust throughout the initial stages of the Farallón-Aluk ridge collision during Paleocene to Eocene time. However, based on the tectonic evolution of southern South America, we cannot exclude the influence of long-lived subduction events beneath south Patagonia. Although we believe that the studied samples were brought to the surface in this geodynamic context, there is no evidence that ocean island basalt (OIB)-like melts related to the Farallón-Aluk asthenospheric slab window affected the peridotite composition. The host alkaline basalt is a single unit with a HIMU-like OIB signature characterized by marked positive Nb-Ta anomalies coupled with negative anomalies in highly incompatible and fluid-mobile elements (Rb, K, Pb, and Sr). The compositional similarity between the HIMU-like OIB mantle source and the host basalt is also evident from trace element ratios [(Ba-Th-K-La-Zr)/Nb] as well as by the low 87Sr/86Sri (0.703039-0.703058) and relatively high 143Nd/144Ndi (0.512880-0.512874) and 206Pb/204Pb (19.333-19.389) isotopic ratios. The low 206Pb/204Pb ratios compared to end-member HIMU lavas (e.g., Sta. Helena and the Cook-Austral Islands) suggest that this region was modified by processes associated with a prolonged period of subduction related to the Andean orogenesis and the recycling of several oceanic plates beneath the continent, following the Mesozoic breakup of Gondwana or an even older subduction-related event with young recycling ages (< 2 Ga).

  16. A paleomagnetic investigation of vertical-axis rotations in coastal Sonora, Mexico: Evidence for distributed transtensional deformation during the Proto-Gulf shift from a subduction-dominated to transform-dominated plate boundary in the Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Scott William

    The history of late Miocene (Proto-Gulf) deformation on the Sonoran margin of the Gulf of California is key to understanding how Baja California was captured by the Pacific plate and how strain was partitioned during the Proto-Gulf period (12.5-6 Ma). The Sierra el Aguaje and Sierra Tinajas del Carmen are located in southwestern coastal Sonora, Mexico, and represent the eastern rifted margin of the central Gulf of California. The ranges are composed of volcanic units and their corresponding volcaniclastic units which are the result of persistent magmatic activity between 20 and 8.8 Ma, including three packages of basalt and andesite that make excellent paleomagnetic recorders. Based on cross cutting relations and geochronologic data for pre-, syn-, and post-tectonic volcanic units, most of the faulting and tilting in the Sierra El Aguaje is bracketed between 11.9 and 9.0 Ma, thus falling entirely within Proto-Gulf time. A paleomagnetic investigation into possible vertical axis rotations in the Sierra el Aguaje has uncovered evidence of clockwise rotations between ~13º and ~105º with possible translations. These results are consistent with existing field relations, which suggest the presence of large (>45°) vertical axis rotations in this region. This evidence includes: a) abrupt changes in the strike of tilted strata in different parts of the range, including large domains characterized by E-W strikes b) ubiquitous NE-SW striking faults with left lateral-normal oblique slip, that terminate against major NW-trending right lateral faults, and c) obliquity between the general strike of tilted strata and the strike of faults. These rotations occurred after 12 Ma and largely prior to 9 Ma, thus falling into the Proto-Gulf period. Such large-scale rotations lend credence to the theory that the area inboard of Baja California was experiencing transtension during the Proto-Gulf period, rather than the pure extension that would be the result of strain partitioning

  17. 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

  18. Mantle helium along the Newport-Inglewood fault zone, Los Angeles basin, California: A leaking paleo-subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boles, J. R.; Garven, G.; Camacho, H.; Lupton, J. E.

    2015-07-01

    Mantle helium is a significant component of the helium gas from deep oil wells along the Newport-Inglewood fault zone (NIFZ) in the Los Angeles (LA) basin. Helium isotope ratios are as high as 5.3 Ra (Ra = 3He/4He ratio of air) indicating 66% mantle contribution (assuming R/Ra = 8 for mantle), and most values are higher than 1.0 Ra. Other samples from basin margin faults and from within the basin have much lower values (R/Ra geothermal gradients, and is modeled as truncated by a proposed major, potentially seismically active, décollement beneath the LA basin. Our results demonstrate that the NIFZ is a deep-seated fault directly or indirectly connected with the mantle. Based on a 1-D model, we calculate a maximum Darcy flow rate q ˜ 2.2 cm/yr and a fault permeability k ˜ 6 × 10-17 m2 (60 microdarcys), but the flow rates are too low to create a geothermal anomaly. The mantle leakage may be a result of the NIFZ being a former Mesozoic subduction zone in spite of being located 70 km west of the current plate boundary at the San Andreas fault.

  19. Plans for a Northern Cascadia Subduction Zone Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heesemann, M.; Wang, K.; Davis, E.; Chadwell, C. D.; Nissen, E.; Moran, K.; Scherwath, M.

    2017-12-01

    To accurately assess earthquake and tsunami hazards posed by the Cascadia Subduction Zone, it is critically important to know which area of the plate interface is locked and whether or not part of the energy is being released aseismically by slow creep on the fault. Deeper locking that extends further to the coast produces stronger shaking in population centers. Shallow locking, on the other hand, leads to bigger tsunamis. We will report on and discuss plans for a new amphibious Northern Cascadia Subduction Zone Observatory (NCSZO) that will leverage the existing NEPTUNE cabled seafloor observatory, which is operated by Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), and the onshore network of geodetic stations, which is operated by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). To create a NCSZO we plan to (1) add a network of seven GPS-Acoustic (GPS-A) sites offshore Vancouver Island, (2) establish a Deformation Front Observatory, and (3) improve the existing onshore geodetic network (see Figure below). The GPS-A stations will provide the undisturbed motion of the Juan de Fuca (JdF) Plate (1), deformation of the JdF plate (2), deformation of the overriding plate (3-7) and a cabled laboratory to study the potential for continuous GPS-A measurements (6). The Deformation Front Observatory will be used to study possible transient slip events using seafloor pressure and tilt instruments and fluid flux meters.

  20. History and Evolution of Precambrian plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Ria; Gerya, Taras

    2014-05-01

    Plate tectonics is a global self-organising process driven by negative buoyancy at thermal boundary layers. Phanerozoic plate tectonics with its typical subduction and orogeny is relatively well understood and can be traced back in the geological records of the continents. Interpretations of geological, petrological and geochemical observations from Proterozoic and Archean orogenic belts however (e.g., Brown, 2006), suggest a different tectonic regime in the Precambrian. Due to higher radioactive heat production the Precambrian lithosphere shows lower internal strength and is strongly weakened by percolating melts. The fundamental difference between Precambrian and Phanerozoic tectonics is therefore the upper-mantle temperature, which determines the strength of the upper mantle (Brun, 2002) and the further tectonic history. 3D petrological-thermomechanical numerical modelling experiments of oceanic subduction at an active plate at different upper-mantle temperatures show these different subduction regimes. For upper-mantle temperatures 250 K above the present day value no subduction occurs any more. The whole lithosphere is delaminating and due to strong volcanism and formation of a thicker crust subduction is inhibited. This stage of 200-250 K higher upper mantle temperature which corresponds roughly to the early Archean (Abbott, 1994) is marked by strong volcanism due to sublithospheric decompression melting which leads to an equal thickness for both oceanic and continental plates. As a consequence subduction is inhibited, but a compressional setup instead will lead to orogeny between a continental or felsic terrain and an oceanic or mafic terrain as well as internal crustal convection. Small-scale convection with plume shaped cold downwellings also in the upper mantle is of increased importance compared to the large-scale subduction cycle observed for present temperature conditions. It is also observed that lithospheric downwellings may initiate subduction by

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  2. Upper-Mantel Earthquakes in the Australia-Pacific Plate Boundary Zone and the Roots of the Alpine Fault

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boese, C. M.; Warren-Smith, E.; Townend, J.; Stern, T. A.; Lamb, S. H.

    2016-12-01

    Seismicity in the upper mantle in continental collision zones is relatively rare, but observed around the world. Temporary seismometer deployments have repeatedly detected mantle earthquakes at depths of 40-100 km within the Australia-Pacific plate boundary zone beneath the South Island of New Zealand. Here, the transpressive Alpine Fault constitutes the primary plate boundary structure linking subduction zones of opposite polarity farther north and south. The Southern Alps Microearthquake Borehole Array (SAMBA) has been operating continuously since November 2008 along a 50 km-long section of the central Alpine Fault, where the rate of uplift of the Southern Alps is highest. To date it has detected more than 40 small to moderate-sized mantle events (1≤ML≤3.9). The Central Otago Seismic Array (COSA) has been in operation since late 2012 and detected 15 upper mantle events along the sub-vertical southern Alpine Fault. Various mechanisms have been proposed to explain the occurrence of upper mantle seismicity in the South Island, including intra-continental subduction (Reyners 1987, Geology); high shear-strain gradients due to depressed geotherms and viscous deformation of mantle lithosphere (Kohler and Eberhart-Phillips 2003, BSSA); high strain rates resulting from plate bending (Boese et al. 2013, EPSL), and underthrusting of the Australian plate (Lamb et al. 2015, G3). Focal mechanism analysis reveals a variety of mechanisms for the upper mantle events but predominantly strike-slip and reverse faulting. In this study, we apply spectral analysis to better constrain source parameters for these mantle events. These results are interpreted in conjunction with new information about crustal structure and low-frequency earthquakes near the Moho and in light of existing velocity, attenuation and resistivity models.

  3. Transfer of subduction fluids into the deforming mantle wedge during nascent subduction: Evidence from trace elements and boron isotopes (Semail ophiolite, Oman)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prigent, C.; Guillot, S.; Agard, P.; Lemarchand, D.; Soret, M.; Ulrich, M.

    2018-02-01

    The basal part of the Semail ophiolitic mantle was (de)formed at relatively low temperature (LT) directly above the plate interface during "nascent subduction" (the prelude to ophiolite obduction). This subduction-related LT deformation was associated with progressive strain localization and cooling, resulting in the formation of porphyroclastic to ultramylonitic shear zones prior to serpentinization. Using petrological and geochemical analyses (trace elements and B isotopes), we show that these basal peridotites interacted with hydrous fluids percolating by porous flow during mylonitic deformation (from ∼850 down to 650 °C). This process resulted in 1) high-T amphibole crystallization, 2) striking enrichments of minerals in fluid mobile elements (FME; particularly B, Li and Cs with concentrations up to 400 times those of the depleted mantle) and 3) peridotites with an elevated δ11B of up to +25‰. These features indicate that the metasomatic hydrous fluids are most likely derived from the dehydration of subducting crustal amphibolitic materials (i.e., the present-day high-T sole). The rapid decrease in metasomatized peridotite δ11B with increasing distance to the contact with the HT sole (to depleted mantle isotopic values in <1 km) suggests an intense interaction between peridotites and rapid migrating fluids (∼1-25 m.y-1), erasing the initial high-δ11B subduction fluid signature within a short distance. The increase of peridotite δ11B with increasing deformation furthermore indicates that the flow of subduction fluids was progressively channelized in actively deforming shear zones parallel to the contact. Taken together, these results also suggest that the migration of subduction fluids/melts by porous flow through the subsolidus mantle wedge (i.e., above the plate interface at sub-arc depths) is unlikely to be an effective mechanism to transport slab-derived elements to the locus of partial melting in subduction zones.

  4. 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

  5. Lithium inputs to subduction zones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  6. Dependence of Subduction Zone seismicity on Strain-Rate-Dependent Critical Homologous Temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, P. M.

    2016-12-01

    Earthquakes mainly occur in crust or mantle that is below a critical temperature for the tectonic strain-rate, such that stress builds up to the breaking point before it can relax due to creep. Then long-range stress correlation gives rise to power law seismicity with large events. The limiting temperature depends on pressure, which is taken into account by finding a critical homologous temperature THc=T/TM above which earthquakes are rarely observed. We find that THc for ocean plates is ˜0.55. For California earthquakes, it is also close to 0.55. The uppermost mantle layer of oceanic plates of thickness ˜50 km is composed of harzburgite and depleted peridotite from which basalt has been removed to form ocean crust. Thus it has a higher melting temperature than the peridotite of the surrounding mantle, or the lower halves of plates. Thicknesses of seismicity in deep subduction zones, determined from 2D polynomial fits to a relocated catalog, are ˜50 km, which suggests that the earthquake channel is confined to this layer. We construct models to find homologous temperatures in slabs, and find that seismicity thicknesses are also, on average, confined to TH ≤ 0.55 ± 0.05. The associated rheology is compared with that obtained from flexure models of ocean lithosphere. The brittle-ductile transition occurs where viscosity drops from high values in the cold cores of slabs to values of 1022 to $1023 Pa s, i.e., where creep strain-rates become comparable to tectonic rates. The cutoff for deep earthquakes is not sharp. However they appear unlikely to occur if homologous temperature is high TH>0.55. Exceptions to the rule are anomalously deep earthquakes such as those beneath the Iceland and the Hawaiian hotspots, and the Newport Inglewood Fault. These are smaller events with short-range stress correlation, and can be explained if strain-rates are 2 to 3 orders of magnitude higher than those associated with earthquakes located where TH ≤0.55. We conclude that the

  7. Radial and Azimuthal Anisotropy Tomography of the NE Japan Subduction Zone: Implications for the Pacific Slab and Mantle Wedge Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishise, Motoko; Kawakatsu, Hitoshi; Morishige, Manabu; Shiomi, Katsuhiko

    2018-05-01

    We investigate slab and mantle structure of the NE Japan subduction zone from P wave azimuthal and radial anisotropy using travel time tomography. Trench normal E-W-trending azimuthal anisotropy (AA) and radial anisotropy (RA) with VPV > VPH are found in the mantle wedge, which supports the existence of small-scale convection in the mantle wedge with flow-induced LPO of mantle minerals. In the subducting Pacific slab, trench parallel N-S-trending AA and RA with VPH > VPV are obtained. Considering the effect of dip of the subducting slab on apparent anisotropy, we suggest that both characteristics can be explained by the presence of laminar structure, in addition to AA frozen-in in the subducting plate prior to subduction.

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  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.

    2016-11-01

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

  11. A model for the motion of the Philippine Sea plate consistent with NUVEL-1 and geological data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seno, Tetsuzo; Stein, Seth; Gripp, Alice E.

    1993-01-01

    We investigate angular velocity vectors of the Philippine Sea (PH) plate relative to the adjacent major plates, Eurasia (EU) and Pacific (PA), and the smaller Caroline (CR) plate. Earthquake slip vector data along the Philippine Sea plate are inverted, subject to the constraint that EU-PA motion equals that predicted by the global relative plate model NUVEL-1. The resulting solution fails to satisfy geological constraints along the Caroline-Pacific boundary: convergence along the Mussau Trench and divergence along the Sorol Trough. We then seek solutions satisfying both the CR-PA boundary conditions and the Philippine Sea slip vector data, by adjusting the PA-PH and EU-PH best fitting poles within their error ellipses. We also consider northern Honshu to be part of the North American plate and impose the constraint that the Philippine Sea plate subducts beneath northern Honshu along the Sagmi Trough in a NNW-NW direction. Of the solutions satisfying these conditions, we select the best EU-PH as 48.2 deg N, 157.0 deg E, 1.09 deg/my, corresponding to a pole far from Japan and south of Kamchatka, and PA-PH, 1.2 deg N, 134.2 deg E, 1.00 deg/my. Predicted NA-PH and EU-PH convergence rates in central Honshu are consistent with estimated seismic slip rates. Previous estimates of the EU-PH pole close to central Honshu are inconsistent with extension within the Bonin backarc implied by earthquake slip vectors and NNW-NW convergence of the Bonin forearc at the Sagami Trough.

  12. Crustal structure beneath Eastern Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    is recorded by 350 Reftek Texan receivers for 10 equidistant shot points along the profile. We use forward ray tracing modelling to construct a two-dimensional velocity model from the observed travel times. These results show the first images of the subsurface velocity structure beneath the Greenland ice...

  13. Modeling subduction earthquake sources in the central-western region of Colombia using waveform inversion of body waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monsalve-Jaramillo, Hugo; Valencia-Mina, William; Cano-Saldaña, Leonardo; Vargas, Carlos A.

    2018-05-01

    Source parameters of four earthquakes located within the Wadati-Benioff zone of the Nazca plate subducting beneath the South American plate in Colombia were determined. The seismic moments for these events were recalculated and their approximate equivalent rupture area, slip distribution and stress drop were estimated. The source parameters for these earthquakes were obtained by deconvolving multiple events through teleseismic analysis of body waves recorded in long period stations and with simultaneous inversion of P and SH waves. The calculated source time functions for these events showed different stages that suggest that these earthquakes can reasonably be thought of being composed of two subevents. Even though two of the overall focal mechanisms obtained yielded similar results to those reported by the CMT catalogue, the two other mechanisms showed a clear difference compared to those officially reported. Despite this, it appropriate to mention that the mechanisms inverted in this work agree well with the expected orientation of faulting at that depth as well as with the wave forms they are expected to produce. In some of the solutions achieved, one of the two subevents exhibited a focal mechanism considerably different from the total earthquake mechanism; this could be interpreted as the result of a slight deviation from the overall motion due the complex stress field as well as the possibility of a combination of different sources of energy release analogous to the ones that may occur in deeper earthquakes. In those cases, the subevents with very different focal mechanism compared to the total earthquake mechanism had little contribution to the final solution and thus little contribution to the total amount of energy released.

  14. Margin-Wide Earthquake Subspace Scanning Along the Cascadia Subduction Zone Using the Cascadia Initiative Amphibious Dataset

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, E.; Bilek, S. L.; Rowe, C. A.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding the spatial extent and behavior of the interplate contact in the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) may prove pivotal to preparation for future great earthquakes, such as the M9 event of 1700. Current and historic seismic catalogs are limited in their integrity by their short duration, given the recurrence rate of great earthquakes, and by their rather high magnitude of completeness for the interplate seismic zone, due to its offshore distance from these land-based networks. This issue is addressed via the 2011-2015 Cascadia Initiative (CI) amphibious seismic array deployment, which combined coastal land seismometers with more than 60 ocean-bottom seismometers (OBS) situated directly above the presumed plate interface. We search the CI dataset for small, previously undetected interplate earthquakes to identify seismic patches on the megathrust. Using the automated subspace detection method, we search for previously undetected events. Our subspace comprises eigenvectors derived from CI OBS and on-land waveforms extracted for existing catalog events that appear to have occurred on the plate interface. Previous work focused on analysis of two repeating event clusters off the coast of Oregon spanning all 4 years of deployment. Here we expand earlier results to include detection and location analysis to the entire CSZ margin during the first year of CI deployment, with more than 200 new events detected for the central portion of the margin. Template events used for subspace scanning primarily occurred beneath the land surface along the coast, at the downdip edge of modeled high slip patches for the 1700 event, with most concentrated at the northwestern edge of the Olympic Peninsula.

  15. Thermal effects of massive CO2 emissions associated with subduction volcanism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schuiling, R.D.

    2004-01-01

    Large volumes of CO₂ are emitted during volcanic activity at convergent plate boundaries, not only from volcanic centers. Their C isotopic signature indicates that this CO₂ is mainly derived from the decarbonation of subducted limestones or carbonated metabasalts, not as often admitted from magma

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Robert J.; Johnson, Peter

    2010-07-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, R.

    2003-04-01

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

  20. Lateral structural variation within the overlying plate and its correlation to the Tonankai earthquake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujie, G.; Nakanishi, A.; Park, J.; Obana, K.; Kodaira, S.; Kaneda, Y.

    2009-12-01

    Destructive interplate earthquakes have repeatedly occurred every 100-150 years beneath the Kumano-nada, off the Kii peninsula owing to the subduction of the Philippine Sea plate beneath the southwest Japan arc. The last great interplate earthquakes in this seismogenic subduction zone was the 1944 Tonankai earthquakes, and a number of coseismic slip distribution models derived from seismic and tsunami data show remarkable lateral variations along the trough axis. In 2006 and 2007, we conducted extensive wide-angle seismic refraction and reflection surveys in the entire rupture zone of the 1944 Tonankai earthquake. We designed two along-trough and two across-trench seismic survey lines and deployed a number of OBSs (Ocean Bottom Seismometers) with a spacing of 5km and fired an airgun array with a total volume of 200L at every 0.2km. The quality of the obtained wide-angle seismic record section is substantially good and we observed remarkable regional variation in the amplitude of refraction and reflection phases. For example, in some record sections, we can trace seismic signals up to the offset of more than 100 km, but in other sections, the airgun signals become dim at the offset of less than 30km. Such regional variation in the amplitude indicates the lateral variation of the seismic attenuation structure. For revealing lateral structural variation, we developed seismic structure models by the following approach. First, we applied the first arrival tomography for developing P-wave velocity structure models. Then, we imaged structural boundaries by the reflection traveltime mapping method. Finally, we developed seismic attenuation models by using raypaths and amplitude of first arrivals. Our seismic structure models showed remarkable along-trench structural variation. In the P-wave velocity models, we found a height on the subducting Philippine plate at the eastern end of the Kumano basin (south-east off Shima peninsula). In the western area (i.e. Kumano Basin

  1. Asthenospheric counterflows beneath the moving lithosphere of Central and East Asia in the past 90 Ma: volcanic and tomographic evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasskazov, Sergei; Chuvashova, Irina; Kozhevnikov, Vladimir

    2015-04-01

    . Russian Geol. Geophys. 2014. V. 55, N 10. P. 1564-1575. Rasskazov S., Taniguchi H., Goto A., Litasov K. Magmatic expression of plate subduction beneath East Asia in the Mesozoic through Cenozoic // Northeast Asian Studies. 2004. V. 9. P. 179-219. Rasskazov S.V., Chuvashova I.S., Yasnygina T.A., Fefelov N.N., Saranina E.V. Potassic and potassic-sodic volcanic series in the Cenozoic of Asia. Novosibirsk, Academic Publishing House "GEO", 2012. 351 p. (in Russian) Rasskazov S.V., Chuvashova I.S. The latest mantle geodynamics of Central Asia. Irkutsk: Publishing House of the Irkutsk State University, 2013. 308 p. (in Russian)

  2. 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.

  3. Geothermics of the Apenninic subduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Zito

    1997-06-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Dehydration and melting experiments constrain the fate of subducted sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Marie C.; Plank, Terry

    2000-12-01

    Geochemical tracers demonstrate that elements are cycled from subducted sediments into the arc melting regime at subduction zones, although the transfer mechanism is poorly understood. Are key elements (Th, Be, Rb) lost during sediment dehydration or is sediment melting required? To investigate this question, we conducted phase equilibria and trace element partitioning experiments on a pelagic red clay for conditions appropriate to the slab beneath arc volcanoes (2-4 GPa, 600°-1000°C). Using both piston cylinders and multianvils, we determined the solidus, phase stabilities, and major element compositions of coexisting phases. The solidus (H2O + Cl fluid-saturated) was located at 775 ± 25°C at 2 GPa, 810 ± 15°C at 3 GPa, and 1025 ± 25°C at 4 GPa with noevidence for complete miscibility between melt and fluid. This sediment composition produces a profusion of phases both above and below the solidus: garnet, jadeitic pyroxene, alkali-rich amphibole, phengite, biotite, magnetite, coesite, kyanite, apatite, zircon, Cl-rich fluids, and peraluminous to peralkaline granitic melts. At 2 GPa the phengite dehydration solidus is at 800°-825°C, while biotite breaks down between 850° and 900°C. To explore trace element partitioning across the solidus at 2 GPa, we used diamonds to trap fluids and melts. Both the bulk sediment residues and diamond traps were analyzed postexperiment by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) for 40 elements for which we calculated bulk partition coefficients (D = Csolid/Cfluid). Below the solidus, Rb, Sr, Ba, and Pb showed the greatest mobility (D ˜ 0.5-1.0), while at the solidus, Th and Be became notably partitioned into the melt (D values changing from >2.0 to oceanic crust dehydration) may provide new constraints on the next generation of thermal/geodynamical models of subduction zones.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  7. New constraints on the crustal structure beneath northern Tyrrhenian Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, V. L.; Park, J. J.

    2009-12-01

    We present new seismological data on the seismic structure beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea between Corsica and the coast of Italy. Teleseismic receiver functions from two Tyrrhenian islands (Elba and Gorgona) identify clear P-to-S mode-converted waves from two distinct interfaces, at ~20 and ~45 km depth. Both interfaces are characterized by an increase of seismic wavespeed with depth. Using a summation of direct and multiply-reflected body waves within the P wave coda we estimate the mean ratio of compressional and shear wave speeds above the 45 km interface to be 1.75-1.80. Using reflectivity computations in 1D layered models we develop a model of seismic wavespeed distribution that yields synthetic seismograms very similar to those observed. We apply a Ps-multiple summation procedure to the synthetic waveforms to further verify the match between observed and predicted wavefields. The lower layer of our model, between 20 and 45 km, has Vp ~ 7.5 km/sec, a value that can be ascribed to either very fast crustal rocks or very slow upper mantle rocks. The Vp/Vs ratio is ~1.8 in this intermediate layer. On the basis of a well-constrained downward increase in seismic wave speed beneath this second layer, we interpret it as the magmatically reworked lower crust, a lithology that has been proposed to explain high-Vp layers in the crustal roots of island-arc terranes and volcanically altered continental margins, as well as lower-crustal high-Vp features sometimes seen beneath continental rifts. The presence of a thick layer of high-Vp, but crustal, lithology beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea differs considerably from previous estimates that interpreted the interface at ~20 km as the Moho. Our new interpretation obviates a need for a crustal thickness change of over 20 km at the crest of the Apennines orogen. We propose an alteration in the properties of the lower crust instead. We argue that ongoing convergent subduction of the Adriatic lithospehre is not required beneath northern

  8. Strong seismic wave scattering beneath Kanto region derived from dense K-NET/KiK-net strong motion network and numerical simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takemura, S.; Yoshimoto, K.

    2013-12-01

    Observed seismograms, which consist of the high-frequency body waves through the low-velocity (LV) region at depth of 20-40 km beneath northwestern Chiba in Kanto, show strong peak delay and spindle shape of S waves. By analyzing dense seismic records from K-NET/KiK-net, such spindle-shape S waves are clearly observed in the frequency range of 1-8 Hz. In order to investigate a specific heterogeneous structure to generate such observations, we conduct 3-D finite-difference method (FDM) simulation using realistic heterogeneous models and compare the simulation results with dense strong motion array observations. Our 3-D simulation model is covering the zone 150 km by 64 km in horizontal directions and 75 km in vertical direction, which has been discretized with uniform grid size 0.05 km. We assume a layered background velocity structure, which includes basin structure, crust, mantle and subducting oceanic plate, base on the model proposed by Koketsu et al. (2008). In order to introduce the effect of seismic wave scattering, we assume a stochastic random velocity fluctuation in each layer. Random velocity fluctuations are characterized by exponential-type auto-correlation function (ACF) with correlation distance a = 3 km and rms value of fluctuation e = 0.05 in the upper crust, a = 3 km and e = 0.07 in the lower crust, a = 10 km and e = 0.02 in the mantle. In the subducting oceanic plate, we assume an anisotropic random velocity fluctuation characterized by exponential-type ACF with aH = 10 km in horizontal direction, aZ = 0.5 km in vertical direction and e = 0.02 (e.g., Furumura and Kennett, 2005). In addition, we assume a LV zone at northeastern part of Chiba with depth of 20-40 km (e.g., Matsubara et al., 2004). In the LV zone, random velocity fluctuation characterized by Gaussian-type ACF with a = 1 km and e = 0.07 is superposed on exponential-type ACF with a = 3 km and e = 0.07, in order to modulate the S-wave propagation in the dominant frequency range of

  9. Subducted bathymetric features linked to variations in earthquake apparent stress along the northern Japan Trench

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyer, P. A.; Bilek, S. L.; Phillips, W. S.

    2010-12-01

    Ocean floor bathymetric features such as seamounts and ridges are thought to influence the earthquake rupture process when they enter the subduction zone by causing changes in frictional conditions along the megathrust contact between the subducting and overriding plates. Once subducted, these features have been described as localized areas of heterogeneous plate coupling, with some controversy over whether these features cause an increase or decrease in interplate coupling. Along the northern Japan Trench, a number of bathymetric features, such as horst and graben structures and seamounts, enter the subduction zone where they may vary earthquake behavior. Using seismic coda waves, scattered energy following the direct wave arrivals, we compute apparent stress (a measure of stress drop proportional to radiated seismic energy that has been tied to the strength of the fault interface contact) for 329 intermediate magnitude (3.2 earthquake spectra for path and site effects and compute apparent stress using the seismic moment and corner frequency determined from the spectra. Preliminary results indicate apparent stress values between 0.3 - 22.6 MPa for events over a depth range of 2 - 55 km, similar to those found in other studies of the region although within a different depth range, with variations both along-strike and downdip. Off the Sanriku Coast, horst and graben structures enter the Japan Trench in an area where a large number of earthquakes occur at shallow (< 30 km) depth. These shallow events have a mean apparent stress of 1.2 MPa (range 0.3 - 3.8 MPa) which is approximately 2 times lower then the mean apparent stress for other events along the northern portion of this margin in the same shallow depth range. The relatively low apparent stress for events related to subducting horst and graben structures suggests weak interplate coupling between the subducting and overriding plates due to small, irregular contact zones with these features at depth. This is in

  10. Geochemistry of subduction zone serpentinites: A review

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. How long-term dynamics of sediment subduction controls short-term dynamics of seismicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brizzi, S.; van Zelst, I.; van Dinther, Y.; Funiciello, F.; Corbi, F.

    2017-12-01

    Most of the world's greatest earthquakes occur along the subduction megathrust. Weak and porous sediments have been suggested to homogenize the plate interface and thereby promote lateral rupture propagation and great earthquakes. However, the importance of sediment thickness, let alone their physical role, is not yet unequivocally established. Based on a multivariate statistical analysis of a global database of 62 subduction segments, we confirm that sediment thickness is one of the key parameters controlling the maximum magnitude a megathrust can generate. Moreover, Monte Carlo simulations highlighted that the occurrence of great earthquakes on sediment-rich subduction segments is very unlikely (p-value≪0.05) related to pure chance. To understand how sediments in the subduction channel regulate earthquake size, this study extends and demystifies multivariate, spatiotemporally limited data through numerical modeling. We use the 2D Seismo-Thermo-Mechanical modeling approach to simulate both the long- and short-term dynamics of subduction and related seismogenesis (van Dinther et al., JGR, 2013). These models solve for the conservation of mass, momentum and energy using a visco-elasto-plastic rheology with rate-dependent friction. Results show that subducted sediments have a strong influence on the long-term evolution of the convergent margin. Increasing the sediment thickness on the incoming plate from 0 to 6 km causes a decrease of slab dip from 23° to 10°. This, in addition to increased radiogenic heating, extends isotherms, thereby widening the seismogenic portion of the megathrust from 80 to 150 km. Consequently, over tens of thousands of years, we observe that the maximum moment magnitude of megathrust earthquakes increases from 8.2 to 9.2 for these shallower and warmer interfaces. In addition, we observe more and larger splay faults, which could enhance vertical seafloor displacements. These results highlight the primary role of subducted sediments in

  12. What controls intermediate depth seismicity in subduction zones?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florez, M. A.; Prieto, G. A.

    2017-12-01

    Intermediate depth earthquakes seem to cluster in two distinct planes of seismicity along the subducting slab, known as Double Seismic Zones (DSZ). Precise double difference relocations in Tohoku, Japan and northern Chile confirm this pattern with striking accuracy. Furthermore, past studies have used statistical tests on the EHB global seismicity catalog to suggest that DSZs might be a dominant global feature. However, typical uncertainties associated with hypocentral depth prevent us from drawing meaningful conclusions about the detailed structure of intermediate depth seismicity and its relationship to the physical and chemical environment of most subduction zones. We have recently proposed a relative earthquake relocation algorithm based on the precise picking of the P and pP phase arrivals using array processing techniques [Florez and Prieto, 2017]. We use it to relocate seismicity in 24 carefully constructed slab segments that sample every subduction zone in the world. In all of the segments we are able to precisely delineate the structure of the double seismic zone. Our results indicate that whenever the lower plane of seismicity is active enough the width of the DSZ decreases in the down dip direction; the two planes merge at depths between 140 km and 300 km. We develop a method to unambiguously pick the depth of this merging point, the end of the DSZ, which appears to be correlated with the slab thermal parameter. We also confirm that the width of the DSZ increases with plate age. Finally, we estimate b-values for the upper and lower planes of seismicity and explore their relationships to the physical parameters that control slab subduction.

  13. Deformation in D″ Beneath North America From Anisotropy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowacki, A. J.; Wookey, J.; Kendall, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    The lowermost few hundred kilometres of the Earth's mantle—known as D″—form the boundary between it and the core below, control the Earth's convective system, and are the site of probable large thermochemical heterogeneity. Seismic observations of D″ show a strong heterogeneity in seismic wave velocity and significant seismic anisotropy (the variation of wave speed with direction) are present in many parts of the region. On the basis of continuous regions of fast shear velocity (VS) anomalies in global models, it is also proposed as the resting place of subducted slabs, notably the Farallon beneath North America. A phase change of MgSiO3-perovskite (pv) to a post-perovskite (ppv) structure at near-core-mantle boundary (CMB) conditions is a compelling mechanism to explain the seismic features of D″. An outstanding question is how this and other mineral phases may deform to produce anisotropy, with different mechanisms possible. With knowledge either of mantle flow or which slip system is responsible for causing deformation, we can potentially determine the other with observations of the resulting seismic anisotropy. We investigate the dynamics at the CMB beneath North America using differential shear wave splitting in S and ScS phases from earthquakes of magnitude MW>5.5 in South and Central America, Hawaii the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and East Pacific Rise. They are detected on ~500 stations in North America, giving ~700 measurements of anisotropy in D″. We achieve this by correcting for anisotropy in the upper mantle (UM) beneath both the source and receiver. The measurements cover three regions beneath western USA, the Yucatan peninsula and Florida. In each case, two different, crossing ray paths are used, so that the style of anisotropy can be constrained—a single azimuth cannot distinguish differing cases. Our results showing ~1% anisotropy dependent on azimuth are not consistent with transverse isotropy with a vertical symmetry axis (VTI) anywhere. The

  14. Small-scale Forearc Structure from Residual Bathymetry and Vertical Gravity Gradients at the Cocos-North America Subduction Zone offshore Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, E. S. M.; Ito, Y.

    2017-12-01

    The subduction of topographic relief on the incoming plate at subduction zones causes deformation of the plate interface as well as the overriding plate. Whether the resulting geometric irregularities play any role in inhibiting or inducing seismic rupture is a topic of relevance for megathrust earthquake source studies. A method to discern the small-scale structure at subduction zone forearcs was recently developed by Bassett and Watts (2015). Their technique constructs an ensemble average of the trench-perpendicular topography, and the removal of this regional tectonic signal reveals the short-wavelength residual bathymetric anomalies. Using examples from selected areas at the Tonga, Mariana, and Japan subduction zones, they were able to link residual bathymetric anomalies to the subduction of seamount chains, given the similarities in wavelength and amplitude to the morphology of seamounts that have yet to subduct. We focus here on an analysis of forearc structures found in the Mexico segment of the Middle America subduction zone, and their potential mechanical interaction with areas on the plate interface that have been previously identified as source regions for earthquake ruptures and aseismic events. We identified several prominent residual bathymetric anomalies off the Guerrero and Oaxaca coastlines, mainly in the shallow portion of the plate interface and between 15 and 50 kilometers away from the trench axis. The residual amplitude of these bathymetric anomalies is typically in the hundreds of meters. Some of the residual bathymetric anomalies offshore Oaxaca are found landward of seamount chains on the incoming Cocos Plate, suggesting that these anomalies are associated with the prior subduction of seamounts at the margin. We also separated the residual and regional components of satellite-based vertical gravity gradient data using a directional median filter to isolate the possible gravity signals from the seamount edifices.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  17. Thermal classification of lithospheric discontinuities beneath USArray

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  18. Nuclear wastes beneath the deep sea floor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bishop, W.P.; Hollister, C.D.

    1974-01-01

    Projections of energy demands for the year 2000 show that nuclear power will likely be one of our energy sources. But the benefits of nuclear power must be balanced against the drawbacks of its by-product: high-level wastes. While it may become possible to completely destroy or eliminate these wastes, it is at least equally possible that we may have to dispose of them on earth in such a way as to assure their isolation from man for periods of the order of a million years. Undersea regions in the middle of tectonic plates and in the approximate center of major current gyres offer some conceptual promise for waste disposal because of their geologic stability and comparatively low organic productivity. The advantages of this concept and the types of detailed information needed for its accurate assessment are discussed. The technical feasibility of permanent disposal beneath the deep sea floor cannot be accurately assessed with present knowledge, and there is a need for a thorough study of the types and rates of processes that affect this part of the earth's surface. Basic oceanographic research aimed at understanding these processes is yielding answers that apply to this societal need. (U.S.)

  19. 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

  20. Seismic variability of subduction thrust faults: Insights from laboratory models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbi, F.; Funiciello, F.; Faccenna, C.; Ranalli, G.; Heuret, A.

    2011-06-01

    Laboratory models are realized to investigate the role of interface roughness, driving rate, and pressure on friction dynamics. The setup consists of a gelatin block driven at constant velocity over sand paper. The interface roughness is quantified in terms of amplitude and wavelength of protrusions, jointly expressed by a reference roughness parameter obtained by their product. Frictional behavior shows a systematic dependence on system parameters. Both stick slip and stable sliding occur, depending on driving rate and interface roughness. Stress drop and frequency of slip episodes vary directly and inversely, respectively, with the reference roughness parameter, reflecting the fundamental role for the amplitude of protrusions. An increase in pressure tends to favor stick slip. Static friction is a steeply decreasing function of the reference roughness parameter. The velocity strengthening/weakening parameter in the state- and rate-dependent dynamic friction law becomes negative for specific values of the reference roughness parameter which are intermediate with respect to the explored range. Despite the simplifications of the adopted setup, which does not address the problem of off-fault fracturing, a comparison of the experimental results with the depth distribution of seismic energy release along subduction thrust faults leads to the hypothesis that their behavior is primarily controlled by the depth- and time-dependent distribution of protrusions. A rough subduction fault at shallow depths, unable to produce significant seismicity because of low lithostatic pressure, evolves into a moderately rough, velocity-weakening fault at intermediate depths. The magnitude of events in this range is calibrated by the interplay between surface roughness and subduction rate. At larger depths, the roughness further decreases and stable sliding becomes gradually more predominant. Thus, although interplate seismicity is ultimately controlled by tectonic parameters (velocity of

  1. Distribution of shallow very low frequency earthquakes in the eastern Nankai trough influenced by a subducted oceanic ridge: Results from cluster analysis applied to ocean bottom seismographs

    Science.gov (United States)

    To, A.; Obana, K.; Araki, E.

    2016-12-01

    The activity of very low frequency earthquakes (VLFEs) in the shallow accretionary prism of the eastern Nankai trough has been observed frequently in the past. In this study, we investigated the distribution of VLFEs that occurred in October 2015, which were recorded by an array of broadband ocean bottom seismometers (BBOBSs) of DONET1 network. The size of the network is much wider (>80 km) compared to previous BBOBS networks that were used for close-in observations of VLFEs; therefore the new dataset provides a broader overview of the VLFE distribution of this region. We first located the detected events using conventional methods such as the envelope correlation method. However, the results seemed to be largely scattered due to noise and the effect of 3D structures that could not be properly handled. Then, we introduced hierarchal clustering analysis, based on measured travel time patterns among stations obtained for each event. The analyses enabled the assessment of relative locations among events. Finally, the locations of event-clusters were estimated, instead of individual events, so that the obtained locations seemed less scattered. The obtained results indicate that the VLFE distribution is strongly influenced by a subducted ridge (Park et al., 2003) that exists beneath the northeastern side of the DONET1 network. Though the VLFEs are distributed from an area near the outer ridge toward the trench axis in the region with a smooth plate boundary, they are clustered at a shallow depth near the outer ridge in the region of the rough plate boundary. The VLFEs are clustered on the landward side of the peak of the subducted ridge; this could be explained by an elevated pore pressure in the region caused by the low-permeability oceanic ridge that may clog the up-dip pathway of the fluid along the decollement zone. The along-strike variation of the stress state, inferred from the VLFE distribution, should be an important factor in assessing the strain release

  2. New GPS velocity field in the northern Andes (Peru - Ecuador - Colombia): heterogeneous locking along the subduction, northeastwards motion of the Northern Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nocquet, J.; Mothes, P. A.; Villegas Lanza, J.; Chlieh, M.; Jarrin, P.; Vallée, M.; Tavera, H.; Ruiz, G.; Regnier, M.; Rolandone, F.

    2010-12-01

    Rapid subduction of the Nazca plate beneath the northen Andes margin (~6 cm/yr) results in two different processes: (1) elastic stress is accumulating along the Nazca/South American plate interface which is responsible for one of the largest megathrust earthquake sequences during the last century. The 500-km-long rupture zone of the 1906 (Mw= 8.8) event was partially reactivated by three events from the 1942 (Mw = 7.8), 1958 (Mw = 7.7), to the 1979 (Mw = 8.2). However, south of latitude 1°S, no M>8 earthquake has been reported in the last three centuries, suggesting that this area is slipping aseismically (2) permanent deformation causes opening of the Gulf of Guayaquil, with northeastwards motion of the Northern Andean Block (NAB). We present a new GPS velocity field covering the northern Andes from south of the Gulf of Guayaquil to the Caribbean plate. Our velocity field includes new continuously-recording GPS stations installed along the Ecuadorian coast, together with campaign sites observed since 1994 in the CASA project (Kellogg et al., 1989). We first estimate the long-term kinematics of the NAB 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 NAB (wrms=1.2 mm/yr). As a consequence, 30% of the obliquity of the Nazca/South America motion is accommodated by transcurrent to transpressive motion along the eastern boundary of the NAB. Residual velocities with respect to the NAB are then modeled in terms Models indicate a patchwork of highly coupled asperities encompassed by aseismic patches over the area of rupture of the M~8.8 1906 earthquake. Very low coupling is found along the southern Ecuadorian and northern Peru subduction.

  3. 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.

  4. Activated Very Low Frequency Earthquakes By the Slow Slip Events in the Ryukyu Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, M.; Sunagawa, N.

    2014-12-01

    The Ryukyu Trench (RT), where the Philippine Sea plate is subducting, has had no known thrust earthquakes with a Mw>8.0 in the last 300 years. However, the rupture source of the 1771 tsunami has been proposed as an Mw > 8.0 earthquake in the south RT. Based on the dating of tsunami boulders, it has been estimated that large tsunamis occur at intervals of 150-400 years in the south Ryukyu arc (RA) (Araoka et al., 2013), although they have not occurred for several thousand years in the central and northern Ryukyu areas (Goto et al., 2014). To address the discrepancy between recent low moment releases by earthquakes and occurrence of paleo-tsunamis in the RT, we focus on the long-term activity of the very low frequency earthquakes (VLFEs), which are good indicators of the stress release in the shallow plate interface. VLFEs have been detected along the RT (Ando et al., 2012), which occur on the plate interface or at the accretionary prism. We used broadband data from the F-net of NIED along the RT and from the IRIS network. We applied two filters to all the raw broadband seismograms: a 0.02-0.05 Hz band-pass filter and a 1 Hz high-pass filter. After identification of the low-frequency events from the band-pass-filtered seismograms, the local and teleseismic events were removed. Then we picked the arrival time of the maximum amplitude of the surface wave of the VLFEs and determined the epicenters. VLFEs occurred on the RA side within 100 km from the trench axis along the RT. Distribution of the 6670 VLFEs from 2002 to 2013 could be divided to several clusters. Principal large clusters were located at 27.1°-29.0°N, 25.5°-26.6°N, and 122.1°-122.4°E (YA). We found that the VLFEs of the YA are modulated by repeating slow slip events (SSEs) which occur beneath south RA. The activity of the VLFEs increased to two times of its ordinary rate in 15 days after the onset of the SSEs. Activation of the VLFEs could be generated by low stress change of 0.02-20 kPa increase in

  5. How weak is the subduction zone interface?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Formation of heterogeneous magmatic series beneath North Santorini, South Aegean island arc

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bailey, John C; Jensen, E.S.; Hansen, A.

    2008-01-01

    magma formation beneath North Santorini throughout its 500 ka history is attributed to variable transfer of sedimentary components - either terrigenous or pelagic, as bulk sediments or high-temperature partial melts rather than fluids or low-temperature partial melts - from a rupture zone...... in the subducted slab to the overlying mantle. The three main magmatic series followed independent paths of assimilation of upper crustal materials during fractional crystallization. Assimilation was more pronounced at the basaltic stage. The long-lived histories of the three main magmatic series imply repetitive...... melting of isolated mantle regions, ascent of magmas through independent feeder systems, and their residence in separate crustal magma chambers....

  7. Upper mantle low velocity heterogeneities beneath NE China revealed by source- and receiver-side converted waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Z.; Niu, F.

    2017-12-01

    Common-conversion-point (CCP) stacking of receiver function is a powerful tool in mapping upper mantle heterogeneities. However, reverberations from shallow boundaries with large velocity contrast could contaminate the imaging profiles severely. Applying the refined Slowness Weighted CCP (SWCCP) stacking technique (Guan and Niu, 2017) on NECESSArray data, we eliminated the multiple effects and systematically imaged the upper mantle low velocity heterogeneities in NE China where there exist rich unconsolidated sediments. The SWCCP profiles reveal a 350 km low velocity heterogeneity which is possibly associated with the Changbai Mountain volcanism and interpreted as a negatively buoyant silicate melt lying atop of the 410 km discontinuity. Besides, the imaging results are also suggestive of a sporadic 580-620 km low velocity heterogeneity locating in the easternmost part of NE China with a velocity contrast comparable with the 660-km discontinuity. In addition, between 42º N and 45º N, we also found a double 660-km discontinuity at the two sides of the localized depression in the longitudinal range of 128º E to 131º E. On the other hand, we gathered USArray and Alaska regional array seismic data of deep earthquakes occurring beneath NE China and the surrounding areas and employed stacking technique to study the source side S-to-P conversions. The source-side stacking also showed a strong S-to-P conversion at 600 km deep, consistent with the SWCCP stacks. Meanwhile, we also confirmed the double 660-km discontinuity feature from the source-side conversions. The receiver- and source-side observations provide strong constraints on these low velocity anomalies that may offer insights on the subduction dynamics of the Pacific plate.

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. Probable Maximum Earthquake Magnitudes for the Cascadia Subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rong, Y.; Jackson, D. D.; Magistrale, H.; Goldfinger, C.

    2013-12-01

    The concept of maximum earthquake magnitude (mx) is widely used in seismic hazard and risk analysis. However, absolute mx lacks a precise definition and cannot be determined from a finite earthquake history. The surprising magnitudes of the 2004 Sumatra and the 2011 Tohoku earthquakes showed that most methods for estimating mx underestimate the true maximum if it exists. Thus, we introduced the alternate concept of mp(T), probable maximum magnitude within a time interval T. The mp(T) can be solved using theoretical magnitude-frequency distributions such as Tapered Gutenberg-Richter (TGR) distribution. The two TGR parameters, β-value (which equals 2/3 b-value in the GR distribution) and corner magnitude (mc), can be obtained by applying maximum likelihood method to earthquake catalogs with additional constraint from tectonic moment rate. Here, we integrate the paleoseismic data in the Cascadia subduction zone to estimate mp. The Cascadia subduction zone has been seismically quiescent since at least 1900. Fortunately, turbidite studies have unearthed a 10,000 year record of great earthquakes along the subduction zone. We thoroughly investigate the earthquake magnitude-frequency distribution of the region by combining instrumental and paleoseismic data, and using the tectonic moment rate information. To use the paleoseismic data, we first estimate event magnitudes, which we achieve by using the time interval between events, rupture extent of the events, and turbidite thickness. We estimate three sets of TGR parameters: for the first two sets, we consider a geographically large Cascadia region that includes the subduction zone, and the Explorer, Juan de Fuca, and Gorda plates; for the third set, we consider a narrow geographic region straddling the subduction zone. In the first set, the β-value is derived using the GCMT catalog. In the second and third sets, the β-value is derived using both the GCMT and paleoseismic data. Next, we calculate the corresponding mc

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Plating laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seamster, A.G.; Weitkamp, W.G.

    1984-01-01

    The lead plating of the prototype resonator has been conducted entirely in the plating laboratory at SUNY Stony Brook. Because of the considerable cost and inconvenience in transporting personnel and materials to and from Stony Brook, it is clearly impractical to plate all the resonators there. Furthermore, the high-beta resonator cannot be accommodated at Stony Brook without modifying the set up there. Consequently the authors are constructing a plating lab in-house

  16. Remnants of Eoarchean continental crust derived from a subducted proto-arc.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Rongfeng; Zhu, Wenbin; Wilde, Simon A; Wu, Hailin

    2018-02-01

    Eoarchean [3.6 to 4.0 billion years ago (Ga)] tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) is the major component of Earth's oldest remnant continental crust, thereby holding the key to understanding how continental crust originated and when plate tectonics started in the early Earth. TTGs are mostly generated by partial melting of hydrated mafic rocks at different depths, but whether this requires subduction remains enigmatic. Recent studies show that most Archean TTGs formed at relatively low pressures (≤1.5 GPa) and do not require subduction. We report a suite of newly discovered Eoarchean tonalitic gneisses dated at ~3.7 Ga from the Tarim Craton, northwestern China. These rocks are probably the oldest high-pressure TTGs so far documented worldwide. Thermodynamic and trace element modeling demonstrates that the parent magma may have been generated by water-fluxed partial melting of moderately enriched arc-like basalts at 1.8 to 1.9 GPa and 800° to 830°C, indicating an apparent geothermal gradient (400° to 450°C GPa -1 ) typical for hot subduction zones. They also locally record geochemical evidence for magma interaction with a mantle wedge. Accordingly, we propose that these high-pressure TTGs were generated by partial melting of a subducted proto-arc during arc accretion. Our model implies that modern-style plate tectonics was operative, at least locally, at ~3.7 Ga and was responsible for generating some of the oldest continental nuclei.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraft, K.; Bebout, G. E.

    2017-12-01

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

  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. Fluid and mass transfer at subduction interfaces-The field metamorphic record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebout, Gray E.; Penniston-Dorland, Sarah C.

    2016-01-01

    The interface between subducting oceanic slabs and the hanging wall is a structurally and lithologically complex region. Chemically disparate lithologies (sedimentary, mafic and ultramafic rocks) and mechanical mixtures thereof show heterogeneous deformation. These lithologies are tectonically juxtaposed at mm to km scales, particularly in more intensely sheared regions (mélange zones, which act as fluid channelways). This juxtaposition, commonly in the presence of a mobile fluid phase, offers up huge potential for mass transfer and related metasomatic alteration. Fluids in this setting appear capable of transporting mass over scales of kms, along flow paths with widely varying geometries and P-T trajectories. Current models of arc magmatism require km-scale migration of fluids from the interface into mantle wedge magma source regions and implicit in these models is the transport of any fluids generated in the subducting slab along and ultimately through the subduction interface. Field and geochemical studies of high- and ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic rocks elucidate the sources and compositions of fluids in subduction interfaces and the interplay between deformation and fluid and mass transfer in this region. Recent geophysical studies of the subduction interface - its thickness, mineralogy, density, and H2O content - indicate that its rheology greatly influences the ways in which the subducting plate is coupled with the hanging wall. Field investigation of the magnitude and styles of fluid-rock interaction in metamorphic rocks representing "seismogenic zone" depths (and greater) yields insight regarding the roles of fluids and elevated fluid pore pressure in the weakening of plate interface rocks and the deformation leading to seismic events. From a geochemical perspective, the plate interface contributes to shaping the "slab signature" observed in studies of the composition of arc volcanic rocks. Understanding the production of fluids with hybridized chemical

  1. Source region of volcanism and seismicity pattern beneath Central American volcanoes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Špičák, Aleš; Hanuš, Václav; Vaněk, Jiří

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 236, 1/2 (2005), s. 149-172 ISSN 0077-7749 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/03/1203; GA AV ČR IAA3012303 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30120515 Keywords : Central America * subduction * convergent plate margins Subject RIV: DC - Siesmology, Volcanology, Earth Structure Impact factor: 0.721, year: 2005

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishikawa, T.; Ide, S.

    2013-12-01

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

  3. Record of Permian-Early Triassic continental arc magmatism in the western margin of the Jiamusi Block, NE China: petrogenesis and implications for Paleo-Pacific subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hao; Ge, Wenchun; Dong, Yu; Bi, Junhui; Wang, Zhihui; Ji, Zheng; Yang, H.; Ge, W. C.; Dong, Y.; Bi, J. H.; Wang, Z. H.; Ji, Z.

    2017-09-01

    In this paper, we report zircon U-Pb ages, Hf isotopes and whole-rock geochemical data for the Permian to Early Triassic granitoids from the western margin of the Jiamusi Block (WJB), NE China. The intermediate to felsic (SiO2 = 59.67-74.04 wt%) granitoids belong to calc-alkaline series and are characterized by enrichments in light rare earth elements and large ion lithophile elements with pronounced negative Nb, Ta and Ti anomalies, revealing typical continental magmatic arc geochemical signatures. The zircon U-Pb determinations on the granodiorite, monzogranite, syenogranite and quartz diorite samples yielded ages between ca. 275-245 Ma, which, together with the published coeval intrusive rocks, indicates that Permian to Early Triassic continental arc magmatism occurred extensively in the WJB. The low and mainly negative zircon ɛ Hf( t) values between -7.6 and +1.6 and the zircon Hf model ages of 1.2-1.8 Ga, which are significantly older than their crystallization ages, suggest that they were mainly derived from reworking of ancient crustal materials with a limited input of juvenile components. The geochemical systematics and petrogenetic considerations indicate that the studied granitoids were generated from a zone of melting, assimilation, storage, and homogenization, i.e., a MASHed zone at the base of Paleo- to Mesoproterozoic continental crust, where large portions of igneous rocks and minor clay-poor sediments involved in the source region. In combination with regional geological data, we argue that the Jiamusi Block was unlikely the rifted segment of the Songliao Block and two possible geodynamical models were proposed to interpret the formation of the ca. 275-245 Ma granitoids in the WJB. In the context of Permian global plate reconstruction, we suggest that Paleo-Pacific plate subduction was initiated in the Permian to Early Triassic beneath the Jiamusi Block, and even whole eastern NE China.

  4. Permian-Triassic thermal anomaly of the active margin of South America as a result of plate kinematics reorganization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riel, Nicolas; Jaillard, Etienne; Guillot, Stéphane; Martelat, Jean-Emmanuel; Braun, Jean

    2013-04-01

    From Permian to Triassic times, tectonic plate reorganization provoked Pangaea breakup, counterclockwise rotation of Gondwana, closing of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean and opening of the Neo-Tethys oceanic realm. Meanwhile, the switch from arc volcanism to widespread S-type magmatism along the western South American active margin around 275-265 Ma is symptomatic of the onset of a large-scale Permian-Triassic thermal anomaly (PTTA)affecting the whole margin. Here we report metamorphic and U-Pb geochronological results from the El Oro metamorphic complex in the forearc zone of southwestern Ecuador, which recorded the last step, at 230-225 Ma, of the PTTA. The change in the drift direction of Gondwana from north to east at ca. 270 Ma was related to plate reorganization and provoked the verticalization of the subducted Panthalassa slab. As the slab verticalized, strong heat advection produced a high heat flow beneath the active margin inducing the development of a huge thermal anomaly responsible for the PTTA, which lasted 30 Ma. This voluminous magmatic activity culminated at the Permian-Triassic boundary, and may have contributed to the degradation of life conditions on the Earth surface.

  5. Post-20 Ma Motion of the Adriatic Plate: New Constraints From Surrounding Orogens and Implications for Crust-Mantle Decoupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Breton, Eline; Handy, Mark R.; Molli, Giancarlo; Ustaszewski, Kamil

    2017-12-01

    A new kinematic reconstruction that incorporates estimates of post-20 Ma shortening and extension in the Apennines, Alps, Dinarides, and Sicily Channel Rift Zone (SCRZ) reveals that the Adriatic microplate (Adria) rotated counterclockwise as it subducted beneath the European Plate to the west and to the east, while indenting the Alps to the north. Minimum and maximum amounts of rotation are derived by using, respectively, estimates of crustal extension along the SCRZ (minimum of 30 km) combined with crustal shortening in the Eastern Alps (minimum of 115 km) and a maximum amount (140 km) of convergence between Adria and Moesia across the southern Dinarides and Carpatho-Balkan orogens. When combined with Neogene convergence in the Western Alps, the best fit of available structural data constrains Adria to have moved 113 km to the NW (azimuth 325°) while rotating 5 ± 3° counterclockwise relative to Europe since 20 Ma. Amounts of plate convergence predicted by our new model exceed Neogene shortening estimates of several tens of kilometers in both the Apennines and Dinarides. We attribute this difference to crust-mantle decoupling (delamination) during rollback in the Apennines and to distributed deformation related to the northward motion of the Dacia Unit between the southern Dinarides and Europe (Moesia). Neogene motion of Adria resulted from a combination of Africa pushing from the south, the Adriatic-Hellenides slab pulling to the northeast, and crustal wedging in the Western Alps, which acted as a pivot and stopped farther northwestward motion of Adria relative to Europe.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Fossil plume head beneath the Arabian lithosphere?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Mordechai; Hofmann, Albrecht W.

    1992-12-01

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

  8. Monitoring of the spatio-temporal change in the interplate coupling at northeastern Japan subduction zone based on the spatial gradients of surface velocity field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iinuma, Takeshi

    2018-04-01

    A monitoring method to grasp the spatio-temporal change in the interplate coupling in a subduction zone based on the spatial gradients of surface displacement rate fields is proposed. I estimated the spatio-temporal change in the interplate coupling along the plate boundary in northeastern (NE) Japan by applying the proposed method to the surface displacement rates based on global positioning system observations. The gradient of the surface velocities is calculated in each swath configured along the direction normal to the Japan Trench for time windows such as 0.5, 1, 2, 3 and 5 yr being shifted by one week during the period of 1997-2016. The gradient of the horizontal velocities is negative and has a large magnitude when the interplate coupling at the shallow part (less than approximately 50 km in depth) beneath the profile is strong, and the sign of the gradient of the vertical velocity is sensitive to the existence of the coupling at the deep part (greater than approximately 50 km in depth). The trench-parallel variation of the spatial gradients of a displacement rate field clearly corresponds to the trench-parallel variation of the amplitude of the interplate coupling on the plate interface, as well as the rupture areas of previous interplate earthquakes. Temporal changes in the trench-parallel variation of the spatial gradient of the displacement rate correspond to the strengthening or weakening of the interplate coupling. We can monitor the temporal change in the interplate coupling state by calculating the spatial gradients of the surface displacement rate field to some extent without performing inversion analyses with applying certain constraint conditions that sometimes cause over- and/or underestimation at areas of limited spatial resolution far from the observation network. The results of the calculation confirm known interplate events in the NE Japan subduction zone, such as the post-seismic slip of the 2003 M8.0 Tokachi-oki and 2005 M7.2 Miyagi

  9. A 80 OBS and 30 Land 3-component seismometers array encompassing the 280 km segment of the Lesser Antilles subduction megathrust seismogenic zone: view of current seismicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laigle, Mireille; Sapin, Martine; Ruiz, Mario; Diaz, Jordi; Kissling, Edi; Charvis, Philippe; Flueh, Ernst; Hirn, Alfred

    2010-05-01

    An extensive onshore and offshore seismic station array in the Lesser Antilles subduction zone allows to monitor microearthquake activity for a period of 4 months in a region previously outside of reach for detailed observation. Such a network has been possible thanks to a cluster of 3 seismic surveys (TRAIL - F/S Merian, SISMANTILLESII - N/O Atalante, and OBSANTILLES - N/O Antea) for deploying and recovering the instruments from several pools (Geoazur, INSU-IPGP, IFM-GEOMAR, AWI ). It has been followed by an additional deployment of the 28 GeoAzur OBSs (OBSANTILLES - N/O Antea) during 5 months in the south-western half. These operations have been carried out for the seismic investigation of the Antilles megathrust seismogenic zone in the framework of the THALES WAS RIGHT european project, and with also the financial support of the french ANR Catastrophes Telluriques et Tsunamis (SUBSISMANTI) and by the EU SALVADOR Programme of IFM-GEOMAR. Onshore, 30 3-components land stations (CSIC Barcelone, IPG Paris, INSU-RLBM and -LITHOSCOPE) have been temporarily deployed. The deep seismic structure of the whole area has been investigated during these seismic surveys by wide-angle reflection and refraction seismics recorded by these instruments as well as multi-channel reflection seismic imaging (MCS) along a dense grid of crossing profiles at the OBS positions providing excellent velocity information for the upper plate. Both the location and the interpretation of the recorded earthquake activity require constraints on the deep seismic structure, which will be discussed with respect to the 3D geometry of the interplate boundary and oceanic Moho, as well as those of the forearc basement and Moho. Preliminary locations have been obtained within a simple 1D velocity model by taking into account corrections for the variable thickness of the mud- and sediments layers beneath each OBS. The latter are estimated for both P- and S-waves to compensate for the huge structural

  10. Subduction zone earthquake probably triggered submarine hydrocarbon seepage offshore Pakistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, David; José M., Mogollón; Michael, Strasser; Thomas, Pape; Gerhard, Bohrmann; Noemi, Fekete; Volkhard, Spiess; Sabine, Kasten

    2014-05-01

    Seepage of methane-dominated hydrocarbons is heterogeneous in space and time, and trigger mechanisms of episodic seep events are not well constrained. It is generally found that free hydrocarbon gas entering the local gas hydrate stability field in marine sediments is sequestered in gas hydrates. In this manner, gas hydrates can act as a buffer for carbon transport from the sediment into the ocean. However, the efficiency of gas hydrate-bearing sediments for retaining hydrocarbons may be corrupted: Hypothesized mechanisms include critical gas/fluid pressures beneath gas hydrate-bearing sediments, implying that these are susceptible to mechanical failure and subsequent gas release. Although gas hydrates often occur in seismically active regions, e.g., subduction zones, the role of earthquakes as potential triggers of hydrocarbon transport through gas hydrate-bearing sediments has hardly been explored. Based on a recent publication (Fischer et al., 2013), we present geochemical and transport/reaction-modelling data suggesting a substantial increase in upward gas flux and hydrocarbon emission into the water column following a major earthquake that occurred near the study sites in 1945. Calculating the formation time of authigenic barite enrichments identified in two sediment cores obtained from an anticlinal structure called "Nascent Ridge", we find they formed 38-91 years before sampling, which corresponds well to the time elapsed since the earthquake (62 years). Furthermore, applying a numerical model, we show that the local sulfate/methane transition zone shifted upward by several meters due to the increased methane flux and simulated sulfate profiles very closely match measured ones in a comparable time frame of 50-70 years. We thus propose a causal relation between the earthquake and the amplified gas flux and present reflection seismic data supporting our hypothesis that co-seismic ground shaking induced mechanical fracturing of gas hydrate-bearing sediments

  11. Interactions between strike-slip earthquakes and the subduction interface near the Mendocino Triple Junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Jianhua; McGuire, Jeffrey J.

    2018-01-01

    The interactions between the North American, Pacific, and Gorda plates at the Mendocino Triple Junction (MTJ) create one of the most seismically active regions in North America. The earthquakes rupture all three plate boundaries but also include considerable intraplate seismicity reflecting the strong internal deformation of the Gorda plate. Understanding the stress levels that drive these ruptures and estimating the locking state of the subduction interface are especially important topics for regional earthquake hazard assessment. However owing to the lack of offshore seismic and geodetic instruments, the rupture process of only a few large earthquakes near the MTJ have been studied in detail and the locking state of the subduction interface is not well constrained. In this paper, first, we use the second moments inversion method to study the rupture process of the January 28, 2015 Mw 5.7 earthquake on the Mendocino transform fault that was unusually well recorded by both onshore and offshore strong motion instruments. We estimate the rupture dimension to be approximately 6 km by 3 km corresponding to a stress drop of ∼4 MPa for a crack model. Next we investigate the frictional state of the subduction interface by simulating the afterslip that would be expected there as a result of the stress changes from the 2015 earthquake and a 2010 Mw 6.5 intraplate earthquake within the subducted Gorda plate. We simulate afterslip scenarios for a range of depths of the downdip end of the locked zone defined as the transition to velocity strengthening friction and calculate the corresponding surface deformation expected at onshore GPS monuments. We can rule out a very shallow downdip limit owing to the lack of a detectable signal at onshore GPS stations following the 2010 earthquake. Our simulations indicate that the locking depth on the slab surface is at least 14 km, which suggests that the next M8 earthquake rupture will likely reach the coastline and strong shaking

  12. Porphyry copper deposits distribution along the western Tethyan and Andean subductions: insights from a paleogeographic approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertrand, G.

    2012-12-01

    The genesis of many types of mineral deposits is closely linked to tectonic and petrographic conditions resulting from specific geodynamic contexts. Porphyry deposits, for instance, are associated to calc-alkaline magmatism of subduction zones. In order to better understand the relationships between ore deposit distribution and their tectonic context, and help identifying geodynamic-related criteria of favorability that would, in turn, help mineral exploration, we propose a paleogeographic approach. Paleogeographic reconstructions, based on global or regional plate tectonic models, are crucial tools to assess tectonic and kinematic contexts of the past. We use this approach to study the distribution of porphyry copper deposits along the western Tethyan and Andean subductions since Lower Cretaceous and Paleocene, respectively. For both convergent contexts, databases of porphyry copper deposits, including, among other data, their age and location, were compiled. Spatial and temporal distribution of the deposits is not random and show that they were emplaced in distinct clusters. Five clusters are identified along the western Tethyan suture, from Lower Cretaceous to Pleistocene, and at least three along the Andes, from Paleocene to Miocene. Two clusters in the Aegean-Balkan-Carpathian area, that were emplaced in Upper Cretaceous and Oligo-Miocene, and two others in the Andes, that were emplaced in late Eocene and Miocene, are studied in details and correlated with the past kinematics of the Africa-Eurasia and Nazca-South America plate convergences, respectively. All these clusters are associated with a similar polyphased kinematic context that is closely related to the dynamics of the subductions. This context is characterized by 1) a relatively fast convergence rate, shortly followed by 2) a drastic decrease of this rate. To explain these results, we propose a polyphased genetic model for porphyry copper deposits with 1) a first stage of rapid subduction rate

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  14. Subduction zone guided waves in Northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garth, Thomas; Rietbrock, Andreas

    2016-04-01

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

  15. A numerical reference model for themomechanical subduction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quinquis, Matthieu; Chemia, Zurab; Tosi, Nicola

    2010-01-01

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

  16. The geological and petrological studies of the subduction boundaries and suggestion for the geological future work in Japan - How to avoid ultra-mega-earthquakes -

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishii, T.

    2015-12-01

    The Pacific plate is surrounded by circum-Pacific active margin, along which volcanic and seismic activities are very high. Ultra-Mega-Earthquakes (=UMEs, M>9.0) are occasionally observed along the margin, where sedimentary rocks of subducting slaves contact with the accreted sedimentary rocks of subducted slaves. But, those UME have never been occured along western Pacific islandarc-trench system including Izu-Ogasawara (=Bonin)-Mariana-Yap-Palau-Philippine-Tonga-Kermadec Trenches. I assume that the geological and petrological characteristics of the subduction boundaries are very important to understand those different seismic activities. Along the above mentioned trench inner wall, especially in the southern Mariana, mantle peridotites are widely distributed. Subducting slave contacts directly with the olivine dominant mantle peridotites of subducted slave, serpentinite layer can be deposited easily under hydrous oceanic sub-bottom environment and very slippery subduction boundaries are left along the subduction zone.On the other hand, those geological evidences give us some ideas on how to avoid UMEs in the Japanese Islands along Japan Trench and Nankai Trough in future. We will be able to change artificially from normal subduction boundaries with asperity zone into slippery subduction boundaries with serpentine layer, by means of serpentine mud injection toward the subduction boundaries interior by combining the following improved drilling technologies A and B. (A) Deep Sea Drilling Vessel CHIKYU has a drilling ability to reach subduction boundary with asperity zone in the Nankai Trough. (B) Advanced drilling technology in the shale gas industry is tremendous, that is, after one vertical deep drilling, horizontal drilling towards several direction are performed, then shale gas is collected by hydraulic fracturing method. I hope that, after several generations, our posterity will be able to avoid UMEs by continuous serpentine mud injection.

  17. Seismological evidence for a sub-volcanic arc mantle wedge beneath the Denali volcanic gap, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, D.E.; Pasyanos, M.E.

    2002-01-01

    Arc volcanism in Alaska is strongly correlated with the 100 km depth contour of the western Aluetian Wadati-Benioff zone. Above the eastern portion of the Wadati-Benioff zone however, there is a distinct lack of volcanism (the Denali volcanic gap). We observe high Poisson's ratio values (0.29-0.33) over the entire length of the Alaskan subduction zone mantle wedge based on regional variations of Pn and Sn velocities. High Poisson's ratios at this depth (40-70 km), adjacent to the subducting slab, are attributed to melting of mantle-wedge peridotites, caused by fluids liberated from the subducting oceanic crust and sediments. Observations of high values of Poisson's ratio, beneath the Denali volcanic gap suggest that the mantle wedge contains melted material that is unable to reach the surface. We suggest that its inability to migrate through the overlying crust is due to increased compression in the crust at the northern apex of the curved Denali fault.

  18. Pleistocene vertical motions of the Costa Rican outer forearc from subducting topography and a migrating fracture zone triple junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Joel H.; Kluesner, Jared W.; Silver, Eli A.; Bangs, Nathan L.

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the links between subducting slabs and upper-plate deformation is a longstanding goal in the field of tectonics. New 3D seismic sequence stratigraphy, mapped within the Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project (CRISP) seismic-reflection volume offshore southern Costa Rica, spatiotemporally constrains several Pleistocene outer forearc processes and provides clearer connections to subducting plate dynamics. Three significant shelf and/or slope erosional events at ca. 2.5–2.3 Ma, 1.95–1.78 Ma, and 1.78–1.19 Ma, each with notable differences in spatial extent, volume removed, and subsequent margin response, caused abrupt shifts in sedimentation patterns and rates. These shifts, coupled with observed deformation, suggest three primary mechanisms for Pleistocene shelf and slope vertical motions: (1) regional subaerial erosion and rapid subsidence linked to the southeastward Panama Fracture Zone triple-junction migration, with associated abrupt bathymetric variations and plate kinematic changes; (2) transient, kilometer-scale uplift and subsidence due to inferred subducting plate topography; and (3) progressive outer wedge shortening accommodated by landward- and seaward-dipping thrust faults and fold development due to the impinging Cocos Ridge. Furthermore, we find that the present-day wedge geometry (to within ∼3 km along strike) has been maintained through the Pleistocene, in contrast to modeled landward margin retreat. We also observe that deformation, i.e., extension and shortening, is decoupled from net margin subsidence. Our findings do not require basal erosion, and they suggest that the vertical motions of the Costa Rican outer forearc are not the result of a particular continuous process, but rather are a summation of plate to plate changes (e.g., passage of a fracture zone triple junction) and episodic events (e.g., subducting plate topography).

  19. Interaction of the Cyprus/Tethys Slab With the Mantle Transition Zone Beneath Anatolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, D. A.; Rost, S.; Taylor, G.; Cornwell, D. G.

    2017-12-01

    The geodynamics of the eastern Mediterranean are dominated by northward motion of the Arabian/African continents and subduction of the oldest oceanic crust on the planet along the Aegean and Cyprean trenches. These slabs have previously been imaged using seismic tomography on a continental scale, but detailed information regarding their descent from upper to lower mantle and how they interact with the mantle transition zone have been severely lacking. The Dense Array for North Anatolia (DANA) was a 73 station passive seismic deployment active between 2012-2013 with the primary aim of imaging shallow structure beneath the North Anatolian Fault. However, we exploit the exceptional dataset recorded by DANA to characterise a region where the Cyprus Slab impinges upon the mantle transition zone beneath northern Turkey, providing arguably the most detailed view of a slab as it transits from the upper to lower mantle. We map varying depths and amplitudes of the transition zone seismic discontinuities (`410', `520' and `660') in 3D using over 1500 high quality receiver functions over an area of approximately 200km x 300km. The `410' is observed close to its predicted depth, but the `660' is depressed to >670 km across the entirety of the study region. This is consistent with an accumulation of cold subducted material at the base of the upper mantle, and the presence of a `520' discontinuity in the vicinity of the slab surface also suggests that the slab is present deep within the transition zone. Anomalous low velocity layers above and within the transition zone are constrained and may indicate hydration and ongoing mass/fluid flux between upper and lower mantle in the presence of subduction. The results of the study have implications not only for the regional geodynamics of Anatolia, but also for slab dynamics globally.

  20. Chlorine isotope constraints on fluid-rock interactions during subduction and exhumation of the Zermatt-Saas ophiolite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selverstone, J.; Sharp, Z. D.

    2013-10-01

    Chlorine isotope compositions of high-pressure (˜2.3 GPa) serpentinite, rodingite, and hydrothermally altered oceanic crust (AOC) differ significantly from high- and ultrahigh-pressure (> 3.2 GPa) metasedimentary rocks in the Aosta region, Italy. Texturally early serpentinites, rodingites, and AOC have bulk δ37Cl values indistinguishable from those of modern seafloor analogues (δ37Cl = -1.0 to +1.0‰). In contrast, serpentinites and AOC samples that recrystallized during exhumation have low δ37Cl values (-2.7 to -0.5‰); 37Cl depletion correlates with progressive changes in bulk chemistry. HP/UHP metasediments have low δ37Cl values (median = -2.5‰) that differ statistically from modern marine sediments (median = -0.6‰). Cl in metasedimentary rocks is concentrated in texturally early minerals, indicating modification of seafloor compositions early in the subduction history. The data constrain fluid sources during both subduction and exhumation-related phases of fluid-rock interaction: (1) marine sediments at the top of the downgoing plate likely interacted with isotopically light pore fluids from the accretionary wedge in the early stages of subduction. (2) No pervasive interaction with externally derived fluid occurred during subsequent subduction to the maximum depths of burial. (3) Localized mixing between serpentinites and fluids released by previously isotopically modified metasediments occurred during exhumation in the subduction channel. Most samples, however, preserved protolith signatures during subduction to near-arc depths.

  1. Anisotropy tomography beneath east-central China and its geodynamic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, G.; Zhang, G.

    2017-12-01

    The east-central China primary consists of the southeastern part of the North China Block (NCB), the Middle-Lower Yangtze Block (MLYB), the northern part of Cathaysia Block (CB) and the Qinling-Dabie-Sulu Orogen (QDSO) (Fig. 1). Previous studies have suggested that both the rich mineralization in MLYB and the ultra-high pressure metamorphic belts in QDSO are closely to the Cretaceous magmatism in the east-central China. For discussing the geodynamic process, we have used the teleseismic tomography to study the 3D P-wave velocity structure down to 800 km deep and proposed a double-slab subduction model. In the present study, we introduce another two parameters representing the azimuthal anisotropy based on the isotropy tomography. Compared with the SKS method, the anisotropy tomography can provide the velocity anisotropy structure in different depths. The new anisotropy results show that (1) high-velocity (high-V) anomalies exist beneath the Middle Yangtze Block (MYB) from 200 km to 700 km depths and beneath the Lower Yangtze Block from 500 km to 700 km depths, and (2) low-velocity (low-V) anomalies exist beneath the Lower Yangtze Block from 50 km to 200 km depths and beneath the CB from 300 km to 700 km depths, respectively, and (3) the fast directions of P-wave velocity at 50-100 km depths are chaotic, however they show some regular changes from 200 km to 600 km depths. At 200-km deep, the fast direction of the low-V beneath the LYB is nearly E-W-trending. With the depth increasing, the fast directions of the low-V beneath the CB from 300 km to 600 km depths change to NEE-trending. In other side, the fast directions of eastern part of the high-V beneath the MYB, close to the low-V beneath the CB, denote NW-trending from 300 km to 600 depths. Combing with previous studies, we explain the high-V and the low-V, mentioned above, as the ancient Yangtze Craton and the upwelling asthenospheric materials, respectively. In addition, the NE-trending fast directions in the

  2. Indonesian Landforms and Plate Tectonics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herman Th. Verstappen

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available DOI: 10.17014/ijog.v5i3.103The horizontal configuration and vertical dimension of the landforms occurring in the tectonically unstable parts of Indonesia were resulted in the first place from plate tectonics. Most of them date from the Quaternary and endogenous forces are ongoing. Three major plates – the northward moving Indo-Australian Plate, the south-eastward moving SE-Asian Plate and the westward moving Pacific Plate - meet at a plate triple-junction situated in the south of New Guinea’s Bird’s Head. The narrow North-Moluccan plate is interposed between the Asia and Pacific. It tapers out northward in the Philippine Mobile Belt and is gradually disappearing. The greatest relief amplitudes occur near the plate boundaries: deep ocean trenches are associated with subduction zones and mountain ranges with collision belts. The landforms of the more stable areas of the plates date back to a more remote past and, where emerged, have a more subdued relief that is in the first place related to the resistance of the rocks to humid tropical weathering Rising mountain ranges and emerging island arcs are subjected to rapid humid-tropical river erosions and mass movements. The erosion products accumulate in adjacent sedimentary basins where their increasing weight causes subsidence by gravity and isostatic compensations. Living and raised coral reefs, volcanoes, and fault scarps are important geomorphic indicators of active plate tectonics. Compartmental faults may strongly affect island arcs stretching perpendicular to the plate movement. This is the case on Java. Transcurrent faults and related pull-apart basins are a leading factor where plates meet at an angle, such as on Sumatra. The most complicated situation exists near the triple-junction and in the Moluccas. Modern research methods, such as GPS measurements of plate movements and absolute dating of volcanic outbursts and raised coral reefs are important tools. The mega-landforms resulting

  3. Spatial distribution of reflection intensity of the upper surface of the Philippine Sea plate, near the main slip area of the Boso Slow Slip Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kono, A.; Sato, T.; Shinohara, M.; Mochizuki, K.; Yamada, T.; Uehira, K.; Shimbo, T.; Machida, Y.; Hino, R.; Azuma, R.

    2017-12-01

    Off the Boso Peninsula, Japan, the Pacific plate (PAC) is subducting westward beneath the Honshu Island Arc (HIA) and the Philippine Sea plate (PHS), while the PHS is subducting northwestward under the HIA. Such tectonic interactions have caused various seismic events such as the Boso Slow Slip Events (SSEs). To better understand these seismic events, it is important to determine the structure under this region. In May 2017, we published 2D P-wave velocity structure under the survey area, and showed geometry of the upper surface of PHS (UPHS) and reflection intensity variation along it. From our result and previous studies, relatively strong reflection from the UPHS can be observed near the main slip area of Boso SSEs, and such reflective area may relate with the Boso SSEs. However, it is still insufficient to link both only from the 2D models and further work is needed to reveal spatial distribution of the strong reflection area. From July to August 2009, we conducted a marine seismic experiment using airgun as source off the east coast of the Boso Peninsula. Airgun was shot along the 4 survey lines, and 27 Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBSs) were deployed in the survey area. In our presentation, we used 18 OBSs to determine 3D P-wave velocity structure. We estimated 3D velocity structure from airgun data recorded in the OBSs by using the FAST (Zelt and Barton, 1998). Next, we picked the reflection traveltimes likely reflected from the UPHS and applied them to the Traveltime mapping method (Fujie et al. 2006) to estimate spatial locations of the reflectors. As a result, reflections from the UPHS seem to concentrate near the main slip area of the Boso SSEs and an area where the serpentine seamount chain of the Izu-Bonin subduction zone is subducting. Acknowledgement The marine seismic experiment was conducted by R/V Hakuhou-maru of Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, and the OBSs were retrieved by Shincho-maru of Shin-Nihon-Kaiji co. Ltd. (Present

  4. Rheological Properties of Natural Subduction Zone Interface: Insights from "Digital" Griggs Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ioannidi, P. I.; Le Pourhiet, L.; Moreno, M.; Agard, P.; Oncken, O.; Angiboust, S.

    2017-12-01

    The physical nature of plate locking and its relation to surface deformation patterns at different time scales (e.g. GPS displacements during the seismic cycle) can be better understood by determining the rheological parameters of the subduction interface. However, since direct rheological measurements are not possible, finite element modelling helps to determine the effective rheological parameters of the subduction interface. We used the open source finite element code pTatin to create 2D models, starting with a homogeneous medium representing shearing at the subduction interface. We tested several boundary conditions that mimic simple shear and opted for the one that best describes the Grigg's type simple shear experiments. After examining different parameters, such as shearing velocity, temperature and viscosity, we added complexity to the geometry by including a second phase. This arises from field observations, where shear zone outcrops are often composites of multiple phases: stronger crustal blocks embedded within a sedimentary and/or serpentinized matrix have been reported for several exhumed subduction zones. We implemented a simplified model to simulate simple shearing of a two-phase medium in order to quantify the effect of heterogeneous rheology on stress and strain localization. Preliminary results show different strength in the models depending on the block-to-matrix ratio. We applied our method to outcrop scale block-in-matrix geometries and by sampling at different depths along exhumed former subduction interfaces, we expect to be able to provide effective friction and viscosity of a natural interface. In a next step, these effective parameters will be used as input into seismic cycle deformation models in an attempt to assess the possible signature of field geometries on the slip behaviour of the plate interface.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  6. Mapping magnetic lineaments and subsurface basement beneath ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    65

    studied the basement structures beneath parts of the Lower Benue Trough (LBT). Anudu et .... order vertical derivatives can be calculated respectively using the relations below: 145. ( ) ... minerals as in the case of the FVD-RTP-TMI (Figure 6).

  7. Elastic and Anelastic Structure Beneath Eurasia

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ekstrom, Goran

    1997-01-01

    The primary objective of this work has been to map the variations of elastic mantle properties beneath Eurasia over horizontal length scales of approximately 1000-1500 kilometers and vertial length...

  8. Cascadia Seismicity Related to Seamount Subduction as detected by the Cascadia Initiative Amphibious Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, E.; Bilek, S. L.; Rowe, C. A.

    2016-12-01

    Unlike other subduction zones, the Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) is notable for the absence of detected and located small and moderate magnitude interplate earthquakes, despite the presence of recurring episodic tremor and slip (ETS) downdip and evidence of pre-historic great earthquakes. Thermal and geodetic models indicate that the seismogenic zone exists primarily, if not entirely, offshore; therefore the perceived unusual seismic quiescence may be a consequence of seismic source location in relation to land based seismometers. The Cascadia Initiative (CI) amphibious community seismic experiment includes ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) deployed directly above the presumed locked seismogenic zone. We use the CI dataset to search for small magnitude interplate earthquakes previously undetected using the on-land sensors alone. We implement subspace detection to search for small earthquakes. We build our subspace with template events from existing earthquake catalogs that appear to have occurred on the plate interface, windowing waveforms on CI OBS and land seismometers. Although our efforts will target the entire CSZ margin and full 4-year CI deployment, here we focus on a previously identified cluster off the coast of Oregon, related to a subducting seamount. During the first year of CI deployment, this target area yields 293 unique detections with 86 well-located events. Thirty-two of these events occurred within the seamount cluster, and 13 events were located in another cluster to the northwest of the seamount. Events within the seamount cluster are separated into those whose depths place them on the plate interface, and a shallower set ( 5 km depth). These separate event groups track together temporally, and seem to agree with a model of seamount subduction that creates extensive fracturing around the seamount, rather than stress concentrated at the seamount-plate boundary. During CI year 2, this target area yields >1000 additional event detections.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Rubey

    2017-09-01

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

  10. Geochemistry of subduction zone serpentinites: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  12. Source and fractionation controls on subduction-related plutons and dike swarms in southern Patagonia (Torres del Paine area) and the low Nb/Ta of upper crustal igneous rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müntener, Othmar; Ewing, Tanya; Baumgartner, Lukas P.; Manzini, Mélina; Roux, Thibaud; Pellaud, Pierre; Allemann, Luc

    2018-05-01

    The subduction system in southern Patagonia provides direct evidence for the variability of the position of an active continental arc with respect to the subducting plate through time, but the consequences on the arc magmatic record are less well studied. Here we present a geochemical and geochronological study on small plutons and dykes from the upper crust of the southern Patagonian Andes at 51°S, which formed as a result of the subduction of the Nazca and Antarctic plates beneath the South American continent. In situ U-Pb geochronology on zircons and bulk rock geochemical data of plutonic and dyke rocks are used to constrain the magmatic evolution of the retro-arc over the last 30 Ma. We demonstrate that these combined U-Pb and geochemical data for magmatic rocks track the temporal and spatial migration of the active arc, and associated retro-arc magmatism. Our dataset indicates that the rear-arc area is characterized by small volumes of alkaline basaltic magmas at 29-30 Ma that are characterized by low La/Nb and Th/Nb ratios with negligible arc signatures. Subsequent progressive eastward migration of the active arc culminated with the emplacement of calc-alkaline plutons and dikes 17-16 Ma with elevated La/Nb and Th/Nb ratios and typical subduction signatures constraining the easternmost position of the southern Patagonian batholith at that time. Geochemical data on the post-16 Ma igneous rocks including the Torres del Paine laccolith indicate an evolution to transitional K-rich calc-alkaline magmatism at 12.5 ± 0.2 Ma. We show that trace element ratios such as Nb/Ta and Dy/Yb systematically decrease with increasing SiO2, for both the 17-16 Ma calc-alkaline and the 12-13 Ma K-rich transitional magmatism. In contrast, Th/Nb and La/Nb monitor the changes in the source composition of these magmas. We suggest that the transition from the common calc-alkaline to K-rich transitional magmatism involves a change in the source component, while the trace element ratios

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-04-24

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-11

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

  15. Large-scale subduction of continental crust implied by India-Asia mass-balance calculation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingalls, Miquela; Rowley, David B.; Currie, Brian; Colman, Albert S.

    2016-11-01

    Continental crust is buoyant compared with its oceanic counterpart and resists subduction into the mantle. When two continents collide, the mass balance for the continental crust is therefore assumed to be maintained. Here we use estimates of pre-collisional crustal thickness and convergence history derived from plate kinematic models to calculate the crustal mass balance in the India-Asia collisional system. Using the current best estimates for the timing of the diachronous onset of collision between India and Eurasia, we find that about 50% of the pre-collisional continental crustal mass cannot be accounted for in the crustal reservoir preserved at Earth's surface today--represented by the mass preserved in the thickened crust that makes up the Himalaya, Tibet and much of adjacent Asia, as well as southeast Asian tectonic escape and exported eroded sediments. This implies large-scale subduction of continental crust during the collision, with a mass equivalent to about 15% of the total oceanic crustal subduction flux since 56 million years ago. We suggest that similar contamination of the mantle by direct input of radiogenic continental crustal materials during past continent-continent collisions is reflected in some ocean crust and ocean island basalt geochemistry. The subduction of continental crust may therefore contribute significantly to the evolution of mantle geochemistry.

  16. Update on GPS-Acoustics Measurements on the Continental Slope of the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadwell, C. D.

    2017-12-01

    Land-based GPS measurements suggest the megathrust is locked offshore along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. However, land-based data alone lack geometric resolution to constrain the how the slip is distributed. GPS-Acoustic measurements can provide these constraints, but using traditional GPS-Acoustic approaches employing a ship is costly. Wave Gliders, a wave- and solar-powered, remotely-piloted sea surface platform, provide a low cost method for collecting GPS-A data. We have adapted GPS-Acoustic technology to the Wave Glider and in 2016 began annual measurements at three sites in the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ). Here, we review positioning results collected during summer 2017 at two sites on the continental slope of the Cascadia Subduction Zone: One site is approximately 45 NM offshore central Oregon and the other approximately 50 NM offshore central Washington State. A third site is approximately 90 NM offshore central Oregon on the incoming Juan de Fuca plate. We will report on initial results of the GPS-A data collection and operational experiences of the missions in 2016 and 2017. Wave Glider based GPS-A measurement have the potential to significantly increase the number and frequency of measurements of strain accumulation in Cascadia Subduction Zone and elsewhere.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Argnani

    2000-06-01

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

  18. Petrologic Aspects of Seamount and Guyot Volcanism on the Ancestral Mesozoic Pacific Plate: a Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natland, J. H.

    2007-12-01

    Hundreds of large seamounts and guyots are widely scattered almost in a "shotgun-blast" arrangement in an area about the size of the United States west of the Mississippi River on the Mesozoic Pacific plate between the Mariana Trench and the Gilbert Islands. Most of these formed between ~160-100 Ma while the Pacific plate was surrounded by spreading ridges and growing outward in all directions. There is little to no indication that the seamounts and guyots formed along linear seamount chains; existing radiometric-age data show no age progressions. The volcanoes appear to have formed in response to a uniform stress configuration across the plate, which was either not moving or moving very slowly at the time (1, 2), much like the modern Antarctic plate. When the growing plate started to encounter subduction systems in the western Pacific at ~90 Ma, consistent stress patterns began to develop, and the broad linear Gilbert and Line volcanic ridge systems began to form. Even then, however, considerable overlapping of volcanism occurred, and only the most general age progressions are evident in existing data. Petrologic data from samples obtained from dozens of volcanic summits by dredging and beneath several carbonate platforms by drilling reveal considerable diversity in development of differentiated alkalic magmatic lineages rooted in diverse parental basaltic rocks. These include transitional, alkalic and basanitic compositions, with differentiates of hawaiite, mugearite, trachyte and one phonolite. Many of the basaltic rocks are partly to significantly transformed by alteration under oxidative conditions (dredged rocks) and both oxidative and non-oxidative conditions (drilled rocks). This can make estimations of mantle geochemical provenance difficult. Nevertheless, the province has been linked by backtracking techniques to the modern SOPITA region of the South Pacific (3), and its rocks show enrichments in trace elements and isotopic characteristics similar to

  19. Three-Dimensional Magnetotelluric Imaging of the Cascadia Subduction Zone with an Amphibious Array

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    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 to constrain the 3D distribution of fluids and melt in the subduction zone. The array is augmented by EarthScope TA MT data and legacy 2D profiles providing sparser coverage of western WA, OR, and northern CA. The prior model for the inversion includes ocean bathymetry, conductive marine sediments, and a resistive subducting plate, with geometry derived from the model of McCrory et al. (2012) and seismic tomography. Highly conductive features appear just above the interface with the a priori resistive plate in three zones. (1) In the area with marine MT data a conductive layer, which we associate with fluid-rich decollement and subduction channel sediments, extends eastward from the trench to underthrust the seaward edge of Siletzia, which is clearly seen as a thick crustal resistor. The downdip extent of the underthrust conductive layer is a remarkably uniform 35 km. (2) High conductivities, consistent with metamorphic fluids associated with eclogitization, occur near the forearc mantle corner. Conductivity is highly variable along strike, organized in a series of E-W to diagonal elongated conductive/resistive structures, whose significance remains enigmatic. (3) High conductivities associated with fluids and melts are found in the backarc, again exhibiting substantial along strike variability.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capitanio, Fabio A.

    2017-04-01

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

  1. Is the Local Seismicity in Haiti Capable of Imaging the Northern Caribbean Subduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbeau, J.; Clouard, V.; Rolandone, F.; Leroy, S. D.; de Lepinay, B. M.

    2017-12-01

    The boundary between the Caribbean (CA) and North American (NAM) plates in the Hispaniola region is the western prolongation of the NAM plate subduction evolving from a frontal subduction in the Lesser Antilles to an oblique collision against the Bahamas platform in Cuba. We analyze P-waveforms arriving at 27 broadband seismic temporary stations deployed along a 200 km-long N-S transect across Haiti, during the Trans-Haiti project. We compute teleseismic receiver functions using the ETMTRF method, and determine crustal thickness and bulk composition (Vp/Vs) using the H-k stacking method. Three distinctive crustal domains are imaged. We relate these domains to crustal terranes that have been accreted along the plate boundary during the northeastwards displacement of the CA plate. We propose a N-S crustal profile across Haiti accounting for the surface geology, shallow structural history and these new seismological constraints. Local seismicity recorded by the temporary network from April 2013 to June 2014 is used to relocate the seismicity. A total of 593 events were identified with magnitudes ranging from 1.6 to 4.5. This local seismicity, predominantly shallow (accommodation of an important part of convergence in this area.

  2. Geochemical evidence for subduction in the early Archaean from quartz-carbonate-fuchsite mineralization, Isua Supracrustal Belt, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pope, Emily Catherine; Rosing, Minik Thorleif; Bird, Dennis K.

    Quartz, carbonate and fuchsite (chromian muscovite) is a common metasomatic assemblage observed in orogenic gold systems, both in Phanerozoic convergent margin settings, and within supracrustal and greenstone belts of Precambrian rocks. Geologic and geochemical observations in younger orogenic...... systems suggest that ore-forming metasomatic fluids are derived from subduction-related devolitilization reactions, implying that orogenic Au-deposits in Archaean and Proterozoic supracrustal rock suites are related to subduction-style plate tectonics beginning early in Earth history. Justification...... with Phanerozoic orogenic deposits and that this type of metasomatism is a unique result of subduction-related processes. Fuchsite from the ISB has a δ18O and δD of 7.7 to 17.9‰ and -115 to -61‰, respectively. δ18O of quartz from the same rocks is between 10.3 and 18.6‰. Muscovite-quartz oxygen isotope thermometry...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardebeck, Jeanne L

    2015-09-11

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

  5. The 2005 Tarapaca, Chile, Intermediate-depth Earthquake: Evidence of Heterogeneous Fluid Distribution Across the Plate?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuge, K.; Kase, Y.; Urata, Y.; Campos, J.; Perez, A.

    2008-12-01

    The physical mechanism of intermediate-depth earthquakes remains unsolved, and dehydration embrittlement in subducting plates is a candidate. An earthquake of Mw7.8 occurred at a depth of 115 km beneath Tarapaca, Chile. In this study, we suggest that the earthquake rupture can be attributed to heterogeneous fluid distribution across the subducting plate. The distribution of aftershocks suggests that the earthquake occurred on the subhorizontal fault plane. By modeling regional waveforms, we determined the spatiotemporal distribution of moment release on the fault plane, testing a different suite of velocity models and hypocenters. Two patches of high slip were robustly obtained, although their geometry tends to vary. We tested the results separately by computing the synthetic teleseismic P and pP waveforms. Observed P waveforms are generally modeled, whereas two pulses of observed pP require that the two patches are in the WNW-ESE direction. From the selected moment-release evolution, the dynamic rupture model was constructed by means of Mikumo et al. (1998). The model shows two patches of high dynamic stress drop. Notable is a region of negative stress drop between the two patches. This was required so that the region could lack wave radiation but propagate rupture from the first to the second patches. We found from teleseismic P that the radiation efficiency of the earthquake is relatively small, which can support the existence of negative stress drop during the rupture. The heterogeneous distribution of stress drop that we found can be caused by fluid. The T-P condition of dehydration explains the locations of double seismic zones (e.g. Hacker et al., 2003). The distance between the two patches of high stress drop agrees with the distance between the upper and lower layers of the double seismic zone observed in the south (Rietbrock and Waldhauser, 2004). The two patches can be parts of the double seismic zone, indicating the existence of fluid from dehydration

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  8. Subduction zones seen by GOCE gravity gradients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Švarc, Mario; Herceg, Matija; Cammarano, Fabio

    In this study, the GOCE (Gravity field and steady state Ocean Circulation Explorer) gradiometry data were used to study geologic structures and mass variations within the lithosphere in areas of known subduction zones. The advantage of gravity gradiometry over other gravity methods is that gradie...

  9. Tasman frontier subduction initiation and paleogene climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  10. On the relative significance of lithospheric weakening mechanisms for sustained plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araceli Sanchez-Maes, Sophia

    2018-01-01

    Plate tectonics requires the bending of strong plates at subduction zones, which is difficult to achieve without a secondary weakening mechanism. Two classes of weakening mechanisms have been proposed for the generation of ongoing plate tectonics, distinguished by whether or not they require water. Here we show that the energy budget of global subduction zones offers a simple yet decisive test on their relative significance. Theoretical studies of mantle convection suggest bending dissipation to occupy only 10-20 % of total dissipation in the mantle, and our results indicate that the hydrous mechanism in the shallow part of plates is essential to satisfy the requirement. Thus, surface oceans are required for the long-term operation of plate tectonics on terrestrial worlds. Establishing this necessary and observable condition for sustained plate tectonics carries important implications for planetary habitability at large.

  11. Effects of Flat Slab Subduction on Andean Thrust Kinematics and Foreland Basin Evolution in Western Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horton, B. K.; Fuentes, F.; McKenzie, N. R.; Constenius, K. N.; Alvarado, P. M.

    2014-12-01

    Debate persists over the effects of flat-slab subduction on the kinematics of overriding plate deformation and the evolution of retroarc sedimentary basins. In western Argentina, major spatial and temporal variations in the geometry of the subducting Nazca slab since ~15 Ma provide opportunities to evaluate the late Cenozoic response of the Andean fold-thrust belt and foreland basin to subhorizontal subduction. Preliminary results from several structural and sedimentary transects spanning the frontal thrust belt and foreland basin system between 31°S and 35°S reveal Oligocene-middle Miocene hinterland exhumation during normal-slab subduction followed thereafter by progressive slab shallowing with initial rapid cratonward propagation of ramp-flat thrust structures (prior to basement-involved foreland uplifts) and accompanying wholesale exhumation and recycling of the early Andean foreland basin (rather than regional dynamic subsidence). Detrital zircon U-Pb geochronologic data prove instrumental for revealing shifts in thrust-belt exhumation, defining depositional ages within the foreland basin, and constraining the timing of activity along frontal thrust structures. In both the San Juan (31-32°S) and Malargüe (34-35°S) segments of the fold-thrust belt, geochronological results for volcaniclastic sandstones and syndeformational growth strata are consistent with a major eastward advance in shortening at 12-9 Ma. This episode of rapid thrust propagation precedes the reported timing of Sierras Pampeanas basement-involved foreland uplifts and encompasses modern regions of both normal- and flat-slab subduction, suggesting that processes other than slab dip (such as inherited crustal architecture, critical wedge dynamics, and arc magmatism) are additional regulators of thrust-belt kinematics and foreland basin evolution.

  12. Distribution and depth of bottom-simulating reflectors in the Nankai subduction margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohde, Akihiro; Otsuka, Hironori; Kioka, Arata; Ashi, Juichiro

    2018-04-01

    Surface heat flow has been observed to be highly variable in the Nankai subduction margin. This study presents an investigation of local anomalies in surface heat flows on the undulating seafloor in the Nankai subduction margin. We estimate the heat flows from bottom-simulating reflectors (BSRs) marking the lower boundaries of the methane hydrate stability zone and evaluate topographic effects on heat flow via two-dimensional thermal modeling. BSRs have been used to estimate heat flows based on the known stability characteristics of methane hydrates under low-temperature and high-pressure conditions. First, we generate an extensive map of the distribution and subseafloor depths of the BSRs in the Nankai subduction margin. We confirm that BSRs exist at the toe of the accretionary prism and the trough floor of the offshore Tokai region, where BSRs had previously been thought to be absent. Second, we calculate the BSR-derived heat flow and evaluate the associated errors. We conclude that the total uncertainty of the BSR-derived heat flow should be within 25%, considering allowable ranges in the P-wave velocity, which influences the time-to-depth conversion of the BSR position in seismic images, the resultant geothermal gradient, and thermal resistance. Finally, we model a two-dimensional thermal structure by comparing the temperatures at the observed BSR depths with the calculated temperatures at the same depths. The thermal modeling reveals that most local variations in BSR depth over the undulating seafloor can be explained by topographic effects. Those areas that cannot be explained by topographic effects can be mainly attributed to advective fluid flow, regional rapid sedimentation, or erosion. Our spatial distribution of heat flow data provides indispensable basic data for numerical studies of subduction zone modeling to evaluate margin parallel age dependencies of subducting plates.[Figure not available: see fulltext.

  13. Earth's first stable continents did not form by subduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Tim E; Brown, Michael; Gardiner, Nicholas J; Kirkland, Christopher L; Smithies, R Hugh

    2017-03-09

    The geodynamic environment in which Earth's first continents formed and were stabilized remains controversial. Most exposed continental crust that can be dated back to the Archaean eon (4 billion to 2.5 billion years ago) comprises tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite rocks (TTGs) that were formed through partial melting of hydrated low-magnesium basaltic rocks; notably, these TTGs have 'arc-like' signatures of trace elements and thus resemble the continental crust produced in modern subduction settings. In the East Pilbara Terrane, Western Australia, low-magnesium basalts of the Coucal Formation at the base of the Pilbara Supergroup have trace-element compositions that are consistent with these being source rocks for TTGs. These basalts may be the remnants of a thick (more than 35 kilometres thick), ancient (more than 3.5 billion years old) basaltic crust that is predicted to have existed if Archaean mantle temperatures were much hotter than today's. Here, using phase equilibria modelling of the Coucal basalts, we confirm their suitability as TTG 'parents', and suggest that TTGs were produced by around 20 per cent to 30 per cent melting of the Coucal basalts along high geothermal gradients (of more than 700 degrees Celsius per gigapascal). We also analyse the trace-element composition of the Coucal basalts, and propose that these rocks were themselves derived from an earlier generation of high-magnesium basaltic rocks, suggesting that the arc-like signature in Archaean TTGs was inherited from an ancestral source lineage. This protracted, multistage process for the production and stabilization of the first continents-coupled with the high geothermal gradients-is incompatible with modern-style plate tectonics, and favours instead the formation of TTGs near the base of thick, plateau-like basaltic crust. Thus subduction was not required to produce TTGs in the early Archaean eon.

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Corbi, F.

    2013-04-01

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

  16. Motion of the Rivera plate since 10 Ma relative to the Pacific and North American plates and the mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMets, Charles; Traylen, Stephen

    2000-03-01

    To better understand the influence of Rivera plate kinematics on the geodynamic evolution of western Mexico, we use more than 1400 crossings of seafloor spreading magnetic lineations along the Pacific-Rivera rise and northern Mathematician ridge to solve for rotations of the Rivera plate relative to the underlying mantle and the Pacific and North American plates at 14 times since 9.9 Ma. Our comparison of magnetic anomaly crossings from the undeformed Pacific plate to their counterparts on the Rivera plate indicates that significant areas of the Rivera plate have deformed since 9.9 Ma. Dextral shear along the southern edge of the plate from 3.3-2.2 Ma during a regional plate boundary reorganization deformed the Rivera plate farther into its interior than previously recognized. In addition, seafloor located north of two rupture zones within the Rivera plate sutured to North America after 1.5 Ma. Anomaly crossings from these two deformed regions thus cannot be used to reconstruct motion of the Rivera plate. Finite rotations that best reconstruct Pacific plate anomaly crossings onto their undeformed counterparts on the Rivera plate yield stage spreading rates that decrease gradually by 10% between 10 and 3.6 Ma, decrease rapidly by 20% after ˜3.6 Ma, and recover after 1 Ma. The slowdown in Pacific-Rivera seafloor spreading at 3.6 Ma coincided with the onset of dextral shear across the then-incipient southern boundary of the Rivera plate with the Pacific plate. The available evidence indicates that the Rivera plate has been an independent microplate since at least 10 Ma, contrary to published assertions that it fragmented from the Cocos plate at ˜5 Ma. Motion of the Rivera plate relative to North America has changed significantly since 10 Ma, in concert with significant changes in Pacific-Rivera motion. A significant and robust feature of Rivera-North America motion not previously recognized is the cessation of margin-normal convergence and thus subduction from 2

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Widiyantoro

    2011-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    Amphiboles are ubiquitous minerals in the altered oceanic crust. During subduction, their breakdown is governed by continuous reactions up to eclogitic facies conditions. Amphiboles thus contribute to slab-derived fluid throughout prograde metamorphism and continuously record information about volatile exchanges occurring between the slab and the mantle wedge. However, the fate of volatile elements and especially halogens, such as F and Cl, in amphibole during subduction is poorly constrained. We studied metagabbros from three different localities in the Western Alps: the Chenaillet ophiolite, the Queyras Schistes Lustrés and the Monviso meta-ophiolitic complexes. These samples record different metamorphic conditions, from greenschist to eclogite facies, and have interacted with different lithologies (e.g. sedimentary rocks, serpentinites) from their formation at mid-oceanic ridge, up to their devolatilization during subduction. In the oceanic crust, the initial halogen budget is mostly stored in magmatic amphibole (F = 300-7000 ppm; Cl = 20-1200 ppm) or in amphibole corona (F = 100-7000 ppm; Cl = 80-2000 ppm) and titanite (F = 200-1500 ppm; Cl govern the halogen fluxes between the crust and the overlying mantle and/or the plate interface in subduction zones. Li and B are poorly stored in the oceanic crust (< 5 ppm). In subduction zones, prograde metamorphism of metagabbros is first marked by the crystallization of glaucophane at the expense of magmatic and amphibole coronas. This episode is accompanied with a decrease of halogen concentrations in amphiboles (< 200 ppm of F and Cl) suggesting that these elements can be transferred to the mantle wedge by fluids. In the Queyras Schistes Lustrés complex, the intense deformation and the abundant devolatilization of metasedimentary rocks produce large fluid flows that promote rock chemical hybridization (metasomatic mixing with hybrid composition between metasedimentary rock and metagabbro) at the metasedimentary rock

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Widiyantoro

    2003-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuthbert, S. J.

    2011-12-01

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

  1. Improved High Resolution Models of Subduction Dynamics: Use of transversely isotropic viscosity with a free-surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, X.; Gurnis, M.; Stadler, G.; Rudi, J.; Ratnaswamy, V.; Ghattas, O.

    2017-12-01

    Dynamic topography, or uncompensated topography, is controlled by internal dynamics, and provide constraints on the buoyancy structure and rheological parameters in the mantle. Compared with other surface manifestations such as the geoid, dynamic topography is very sensitive to shallower and more regional mantle structure. For example, the significant dynamic topography above the subduction zone potentially provides a rich mine for inferring the rheological and mechanical properties such as plate coupling, flow, and lateral viscosity variations, all critical in plate tectonics. However, employing subduction zone topography in the inversion study requires that we have a better understanding of the topography from forward models, especially the influence of the viscosity formulation, numerical resolution, and other factors. One common approach to formulating a fault between the subducted slab and the overriding plates in viscous flow models assumes a thin weak zone. However, due to the large lateral variation in viscosity, topography from free-slip numerical models typically has artificially large magnitude as well as high-frequency undulations over subduction zone, which adds to the difficulty in making comparisons between model results and observations. In this study, we formulate a weak zone with the transversely isotropic viscosity (TI) where the tangential viscosity is much smaller than the viscosity in the normal direction. Similar with isotropic weak zone models, TI models effectively decouple subducted slabs from the overriding plates. However, we find that the topography in TI models is largely reduced compared with that in weak zone models assuming an isotropic viscosity. Moreover, the artificial `tooth paste' squeezing effect observed in isotropic weak zone models vanishes in TI models, although the difference becomes less significant when the dip angle is small. We also implement a free-surface condition in our numerical models, which has a smoothing

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yolsal-Çevikbilen, Seda; Taymaz, Tuncay

    2012-04-01

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

  3. Active Deformation in the Overriding Plate Associated with Temporal Changes of the Philippine Sea Plate Motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishiyama, T.; Sato, H.; Van Horne, A.

    2015-12-01

    We present detailed geologic evidence linking changes over time in Philippine Sea plate (PHS) motion and intracontinental deformation in central and southwest (SW) Japan during the Pliocene and after. In the early Pliocene, subduction of the PHS plate under SW Japan restarted in a northerly direction after period of deceleration or cessation. Later, motion changed to a more westerly direction. Corresponding geological changes found in the overriding plate include unconformities in the forearc basins, changes in slip sense on faults, depocenter migration, re-organization of drainage systems and volcanism. Quaternary intraplate deformation is prominent north of the Median Tectonic Line (MTL) inactive segment, above a shallow flat slab. In contrast, less Quaternary tectonic activity is found north of the MTL active segment which lies over a steadily-slipping portion of the subducting slab that behaves as a less-deformed rigid block. Depocenters and active thrusting have migrated north/northwestward over the past 5 My above the shallow flat slab segment of the PHS. We reconstructed the Plio-Pleistocene migration history using Neogene stratigraphy and shallow seismic reflection profiles. We see shallow PHS slab contact with the lower continental crust in our deep seismic reflection profiles, which may explain its enhanced downward drag of the overriding plate and synchronous strong compression in the crust. We find evidence of more westerly PHS plate subduction since the middle Pleistocene in (1) unconformities in the Kumano forearc basin deposits in SW Japan, (2) drastic stream captures in Shikoku, and (3) concordant changes in fault slip sense from thrust to dextral slip along the MTL. Oblique subduction could have induced stronger horizontal stress in the overriding plate above the shallow flat slab which could account for the increasing geologic slip rate observed on active structures. During four repetitions of megathrust earthquake sequences since the 17th century

  4. Rheological and geodynamic controls on the mechanisms of subduction and HP/UHP exhumation of crustal rocks during continental collision : Insights from numerical models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burov, Evgene; Francois, Thomas; Agard, Philippe; Le Pourhiet, Laetitia; Meyer, Bertrand; Tirel, C.; Lebedev, Sergei; Yamato, Philippe; Brun, Jean Pierre

    2014-01-01

    While subduction of crustal rocks is increasingly accepted as a common scenario inherent to convergent processes involving continental plates and micro-continents, its occurrence in each particular context, as well as its specific mechanisms and conditions is still debated. The presence of

  5. High-resolution numerical modeling of tectonic underplating in circum-Pacific subduction zones: toward a better understanding of deformation in the episodic tremor and slip region?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menant, A.; Angiboust, S.; Gerya, T.; Lacassin, R.; Simoes, M.; Grandin, R.

    2017-12-01

    Study of now-exhumed ancient subduction systems have evidenced km-scale tectonic units of marine sediments and oceanic crust that have been tectonically underplated (i.e. basally accreted) from the downgoing plate to the overriding plate at more than 30-km depth. Such huge mass transfers must have a major impact, both in term of long-term topographic variations and seismic/aseismic deformation in subduction zones. However, the quantification of such responses to the underplating process remains poorly constrained. Using high-resolution visco-elasto-plastic thermo-mechanical models, we present with unprecedented details the dynamics of formation and destruction of underplated complexes in subductions zones. Initial conditions in our experiments are defined in order to fit different subduction systems of the circum-Pacific region where underplating process is strongly suspected (e.g. the Cascadia, SW-Japan, New Zealand, and Chilean subduction zones). It appears that whatever the subduction system considered, underplating of sediments and oceanic crust always occur episodically forming a coherent nappe stacking at depths comprised between 10 and 50 km. At higher depth, a tectonic mélange with a serpentinized mantle wedge matrix developed along the plates interface. The size of these underplated complexes changes according to the subduction system considered. For instance, a 15-km thick nappe stacking is obtained for the N-Chilean subduction zone after a series of underplating events. Such an episodic event lasts 4-5 Myrs and can be responsible of a 2-km high uplift in the forearc region. Subsequent basal erosion of these underplated complexes results in their only partial preservation at crustal and mantle depth, suggesting that, after exhumation, only a tiny section of the overall underplated material can be observed nowadays in ancient subduction systems. Finally, tectonic underplating in our numerical models is systematically associated with (1) an increasing

  6. Time-reversibility in seismic sequences: Application to the seismicity of Mexican subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telesca, L.; Flores-Márquez, E. L.; Ramírez-Rojas, A.

    2018-02-01

    In this paper we investigate the time-reversibility of series associated with the seismicity of five seismic areas of the subduction zone beneath the Southwest Pacific Mexican coast, applying the horizontal visibility graph method to the series of earthquake magnitudes, interevent times, interdistances and magnitude increments. We applied the Kullback-Leibler divergence D that is a metric for quantifying the degree of time-irreversibility in time series. Our findings suggest that among the five seismic areas, Jalisco-Colima is characterized by time-reversibility in all the four seismic series. Our results are consistent with the peculiar seismo-tectonic characteristics of Jalisco-Colima, which is the closest to the Middle American Trench and belongs to the Mexican volcanic arc.

  7. Brittle deformation during Alpine basal accretion and the origin of seismicity nests above the subduction interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menant, Armel; Angiboust, Samuel; Monié, Patrick; Oncken, Onno; Guigner, Jean-Michel

    2018-04-01

    Geophysical observations on active subduction zones have evidenced high seismicity clusters at 20-40 km depth in the fore-arc region whose origin remains controversial. We report here field observations of pervasive pseudotachylyte networks (interpreted as evidence for paleo-seismicity) in the now-exhumed Valpelline continental unit (Dent Blanche complex, NW. Alps, Italy), a tectonic sliver accreted to the upper plate at c. 30 km depth during the Paleocene Alpine subduction. Pre-alpine granulite-facies paragneiss from the core of the Valpelline unit are crosscut by widespread, mm to cm-thick pseudotachylyte veins. Co-seismic heating and subsequent cooling led to the formation of Ti-rich garnet rims, ilmenite needles, Ca-rich plagioclase, biotite microliths and hercynite micro-crystals. 39Ar-40Ar dating yields a 51-54 Ma age range for these veins, thus suggesting that frictional melting events occurred near peak burial conditions while the Valpelline unit was already inserted inside the duplex structure. In contrast, the base of the Valpelline unit underwent synchronous ductile and brittle, seismic deformation under water-bearing conditions followed by a re-equilibration at c. 40 Ma (39Ar-40Ar on retrograded pseudotachylyte veins) during exhumation-related deformation. Calculated rheological profiles suggest that pseudotachylyte veins from the dry core of the granulite unit record upper plate micro-seismicity (Mw 2-3) formed under very high differential stresses (>500 MPa) while the sheared base of the unit underwent repeated brittle-ductile deformation at much lower differential stresses (<40 MPa) in a fluid-saturated environment. These results demonstrate that some of the seismicity clusters nested along and above the plate interface may reflect the presence of stiff tectonic slivers rheologically analogous to the Valpelline unit acting as repeatedly breaking asperities in the basal accretion region of active subduction zones.

  8. A study of upper mantle discontinuities beneath the Korean Peninsula using teleseismic receiver functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, S.; Park, Y.; Kim, K.; Rhie, J.

    2010-12-01

    The study on the topography of the upper mantle discontinuities helps us to understand the complex interactions between the subducting slabs and upper mantle discontinuities. To investigate the depth variation of the upper mantle discontinuities beneath the Korean Peninsula and surrounding regions, we applied the common conversion point stacking of the P-to-s receiver functions. The broadband seismic networks in South Korea and Japan were used to produce the high-resolution receiver function images of the region. The 410- and 660-km discontinuities (hereafter referred to as the 410 and the 660) are clearly imaged and their depth variations show interesting features, especially for the 660. In this region, the subducting Pacific slab bends to flatten over the 660 and several tomographic images indicate that the stagnant slab is extending to the west under China. If the depth of the 660 is affected by the temperature, the broad depression of the 660 is expected and several SS precursor studies support this idea. However, our observation shows that the 660 is locally depressed and its pattern is spatially changing. While the depressed 660 due to the Pacific slab is clearly imaged at lower latitudes (depressed 660 to the north. It indicates that the effect of the Pacific slab on the depth variation of the 660 is changing significantly in our study area.

  9. Imaging Shear Strength Along Subduction Faults

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  10. Imaging shear strength along subduction faults

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Geodynamic Constraints on the Sources of Seismic Anisotropy Beneath Madagascar

    Science.gov (United