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Sample records for subducting lithospheric plates

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

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

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    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

  3. Subduction Drive of Plate Tectonics

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    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

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

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    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. 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

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

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    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".

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

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    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.

  9. 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

  10. Subduction and Plate Edge Tectonics in the Southern Caribbean

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

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    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

  12. 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

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    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

  13. 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....

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

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    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.

  15. 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

  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

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

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    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

  18. 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

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

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    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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Linking plate reconstructions with deforming lithosphere to geodynamic models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, R. D.; Gurnis, M.; Flament, N.; Seton, M.; Spasojevic, S.; Williams, S.; Zahirovic, S.

    2011-12-01

    While global computational models are rapidly advancing in terms of their capabilities, there is an increasing need for assimilating observations into these models and/or ground-truthing model outputs. The open-source and platform independent GPlates software fills this gap. It was originally conceived as a tool to interactively visualize and manipulate classical rigid plate reconstructions and represent them as time-dependent topological networks of editable plate boundaries. The user can export time-dependent plate velocity meshes that can be used either to define initial surface boundary conditions for geodynamic models or alternatively impose plate motions throughout a geodynamic model run. However, tectonic plates are not rigid, and neglecting plate deformation, especially that of the edges of overriding plates, can result in significant misplacing of plate boundaries through time. A new, substantially re-engineered version of GPlates is now being developed that allows an embedding of deforming plates into topological plate boundary networks. We use geophysical and geological data to define the limit between rigid and deforming areas, and the deformation history of non-rigid blocks. The velocity field predicted by these reconstructions can then be used as a time-dependent surface boundary condition in regional or global 3-D geodynamic models, or alternatively as an initial boundary condition for a particular plate configuration at a given time. For time-dependent models with imposed plate motions (e.g. using CitcomS) we incorporate the continental lithosphere by embedding compositionally distinct crust and continental lithosphere within the thermal lithosphere. We define three isostatic columns of different thickness and buoyancy based on the tectonothermal age of the continents: Archean, Proterozoic and Phanerozoic. In the fourth isostatic column, the oceans, the thickness of the thermal lithosphere is assimilated using a half-space cooling model. We also

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  5. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumacher, Lina; Thomas, Christine

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerault, M.; Coltice, N.

    2017-12-01

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

  8. 3D Numerical Examination of Continental Mantle Lithosphere Response to Lower Crust Eclogitization and Nearby Slab Subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janbakhsh, P.; Pysklywec, R.

    2017-12-01

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

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerya, Taras

    2014-05-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Origin of Starting Earthquakes under Complete Coupling of the Lithosphere Plates and a Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babeshko, V. A.; Evdokimova, O. V.; Babeshko, O. M.; Zaretskaya, M. V.; Gorshkova, E. M.; Mukhin, A. S.; Gladskoi, I. B.

    2018-02-01

    The boundary problem of rigid coupling of lithospheric plates modeled by Kirchhoff plates with a base represented by a three-dimensional deformable layered medium is considered. The possibility of occurrence of a starting earthquake in such a block structure is investigated. For this purpose, two states of this medium in the static mode are considered. In the first case, the semi-infinite lithospheric plates in the form of half-planes are at a distance so that the distance between the end faces is different from zero. In the second case, the lithospheric plates come together to zero spacing between them. Calculations have shown that in this case more complex movements of the Earth's surface are possible. Among such movements are the cases described in our previous publications [1, 2].

  17. Global Models of Ridge-Push Force, Geoid, and Lithospheric Strength of Oceanic plates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahatsente, Rezene

    2017-12-01

    An understanding of the transmission of ridge-push related stresses in the interior of oceanic plates is important because ridge-push force is one of the principal forces driving plate motion. Here, I assess the transmission of ridge-push related stresses in oceanic plates by comparing the magnitude of the ridge-push force to the integrated strength of oceanic plates. The strength is determined based on plate cooling and rheological models. The strength analysis includes low-temperature plasticity (LTP) in the upper mantle and assumes a range of possible tectonic conditions and rheology in the plates. The ridge-push force has been derived from the thermal state of oceanic lithosphere, seafloor depth and crustal age data. The results of modeling show that the transmission of ridge-push related stresses in oceanic plates mainly depends on rheology and predominant tectonic conditions. If a lithosphere has dry rheology, the estimated strength is higher than the ridge-push force at all ages for compressional tectonics and at old ages (>75 Ma) for extension. Therefore, under such conditions, oceanic plates may not respond to ridge-push force by intraplate deformation. Instead, the plates may transmit the ridge-push related stress in their interior. For a wet rheology, however, the strength of young lithosphere (stress may dissipate in the interior of oceanic plates and diffuses by intraplate deformation. The state of stress within a plate depends on the balance of far-field and intraplate forces.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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 (

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lallemand, Serge

    2016-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  12. STRUCTURE OF THE LITHOSPHERE AND SEISMOTECTONIC DEFORMATIONS IN CONTACT ZONE OF LITHOSPHERIC PLATES IN THE SUMATRA ISLAND REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. A. Kuchay

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The inversion seismic tomography algorithm (ITS was used to calculate 3D seismic anomalies models for velocities of P- and S-waves in the zone of the Sunda arc, Indonesia. In the area under study, strong earthquakes (M>4.8 are clustered in the zone of high P-wave velocities. Earthquake hypocenters are located in zones of both high and low velocity anomalies of S-waves. The giant Sumatra earthquake (December 26, 2004, Mw=9.0 ruptured the greatest fault length of any recorded earthquake, and the rupture started in the area wherein the sign of P-wave velo­city anomalies is abruptly changed. We calculated seismotectonic deformations (STD from data on mechanisms of 2227 earthquakes recorded from 1977 to 2013, and our calculations show that the STD component, that controls vertical extension of rocks, is most stable through all the depth levels. In the marginal regions at the western and eastern sides of the Sunda arc, the crustal areas (depths from 0 to 35 km are subject to deformations which sign is opposite to that of deformations in the central part. Besides, at depths from 70 to 150 km beneath the Sumatra earthquake epicentre area, the zone is subject to deformations which sign is opposite to that of deformations in the studied part of the Sunda arc. For earthquakes that may occur in the crust in the Sunda arc in the contact zone of the plates, maximum magnitudes depend on the direction of pressure imposed by the actively subducting plate, which is an additional criteria for determining the limit magnitude for the region under study. 

  13. 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

  14. Rheological structure of the lithosphere in plate boundary strike-slip fault zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatzaras, Vasileios; Tikoff, Basil; Kruckenberg, Seth C.; Newman, Julie; Titus, Sarah J.; Withers, Anthony C.; Drury, Martyn R.

    2016-04-01

    How well constrained is the rheological structure of the lithosphere in plate boundary strike-slip fault systems? Further, how do lithospheric layers, with rheologically distinct behaviors, interact within the strike-slip fault zones? To address these questions, we present rheological observations from the mantle sections of two lithospheric-scale, strike-slip fault zones. Xenoliths from ˜40 km depth (970-1100 ° C) beneath the San Andreas fault system (SAF) provide critical constraints on the mechanical stratification of the lithosphere in this continental transform fault. Samples from the Bogota Peninsula shear zone (BPSZ, New Caledonia), which is an exhumed oceanic transform fault, provide insights on lateral variations in mantle strength and viscosity across the fault zone at a depth corresponding to deformation temperatures of ˜900 ° C. Olivine recrystallized grain size piezometry suggests that the shear stress in the SAF upper mantle is 5-9 MPa and in the BPSZ is 4-10 MPa. Thus, the mantle strength in both fault zones is comparable to the crustal strength (˜10 MPa) of seismogenic strike-slip faults in the SAF system. Across the BPSZ, shear stress increases from 4 MPa in the surrounding rocks to 10 MPa in the mylonites, which comprise the core of the shear zone. Further, the BPSZ is characterized by at least one order of magnitude difference in the viscosity between the mylonites (1018 Paṡs) and the surrounding rocks (1019 Paṡs). Mantle viscosity in both the BPSZ mylonites and the SAF (7.0ṡ1018-3.1ṡ1020 Paṡs) is relatively low. To explain our observations from these two strike-slip fault zones, we propose the "lithospheric feedback" model in which the upper crust and lithospheric mantle act together as an integrated system. Mantle flow controls displacement and the upper crust controls the stress magnitude in the system. Our stress data combined with data that are now available for the middle and lower crustal sections of other transcurrent fault

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nafiz Maden

    2013-07-01

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

  5. Lithospheric flexure under the Hawaiian volcanic load: Internal stresses and a broken plate revealed by earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Fred W.

    2016-01-01

    Several lines of earthquake evidence indicate that the lithospheric plate is broken under the load of the island of Hawai`i, where the geometry of the lithosphere is circular with a central depression. The plate bends concave downward surrounding a stress-free hole, rather than bending concave upward as with past assumptions. Earthquake focal mechanisms show that the center of load stress and the weak hole is between the summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea where the load is greatest. The earthquake gap at 21 km depth coincides with the predicted neutral plane of flexure where horizontal stress changes sign. Focal mechanism P axes below the neutral plane display a striking radial pattern pointing to the stress center. Earthquakes above the neutral plane in the north part of the island have opposite stress patterns; T axes tend to be radial. The M6.2 Honomu and M6.7 Kiholo main shocks (both at 39 km depth) are below the neutral plane and show radial compression, and the M6.0 Kiholo aftershock above the neutral plane has tangential compression. Earthquakes deeper than 20 km define a donut of seismicity around the stress center where flexural bending is a maximum. The hole is interpreted as the soft center where the lithospheric plate is broken. Kilauea's deep conduit is seismically active because it is in the ring of maximum bending. A simplified two-dimensional stress model for a bending slab with a load at one end yields stress orientations that agree with earthquake stress axes and radial P axes below the neutral plane. A previous inversion of deep Hawaiian focal mechanisms found a circular solution around the stress center that agrees with the model. For horizontal faults, the shear stress within the bending slab matches the slip in the deep Kilauea seismic zone and enhances outward slip of active flanks.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Pool Structures: A New Type of Interaction Zones of Lithospheric Plate Flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garetskyi, R. G.; Leonov, M. G.

    2018-02-01

    Study of tectono-geodynamic clusters of the continental lithosphere (the Sloboda cluster of the East European Platform and the Pamir cluster of Central Asia) permitted identification of pool structures, which are a specific type of zone of intraplate interaction of rock masses.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yi; Su, Bin; Chu, Zhuyin

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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

    reflected wave from an anticipated fault plane of Tokai Earthquake, the boundary between Eurasian lithosphere and the subducting Philippine Sea Plate. Further several trials of new transmission protocol and also remote control are being made for the transmitter network of the next generation. The whole system appears working well as reported by Yoshida et al. (2008, This meeting).

  19. Reconciling plate kinematic and seismic estimates of lithospheric convergence in the central Indian Ocean

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Bull, J.M.; DeMets, C.; Krishna, K.S.; Sanderson, D.J.; Merkouriev, S.

    The far-field signature of the India-Asia collision and history of uplift in Tibet are recorded by sediment input into the Indian Ocean and the strain accumulation history across the diffuse plate boundary between the Indian and Capricorn plates. We...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  4. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hafkenscheid, Edith

    2004-01-01

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

  6. Processes accompanying of mantle plume emplacement into continental lithosphere: Evidence from NW Arabian plate, Western Syria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharkov, E. V.

    2015-12-01

    Lower crustal xenoliths occurred in the Middle Cretaceous lamprophyre diatremes in Jabel Ansaria (Western Syria) (Sharkov et al., 1992). They are represented mainly garnet granulites and eclogite-like rocks, which underwent by deformations and retrograde metamorphism, and younger fresh pegmatoid garnet-kaersutite-clinopyroxene (Al-Ti augite) rocks; mantle peridotites are absent in these populations. According to mineralogical geothermobarometers, forming of garnet-granulite suite rocks occurred under pressure 13.5-15.4 kbar (depths 45-54 kn) and temperature 965-1115oC. At the same time, among populations of mantle xenoliths in the Late Cenozoic platobasalts of the region, quite the contrary, lower crustal xenoliths are absent, however, predominated spinel lherzolites (fragments of upper cooled rim of a plume head), derived from the close depths (30-40 km: Sharkov, Bogatikov, 2015). From this follows that ancient continental crust was existed here even in the Middle Cretaceous, but in the Late Cenozoic was removed by extended mantle plume head; at that upper sialic crust was not involved in geomechanic processes, because Precambrian metamorphic rocks survived as a basement for Cambrian to Cenozoic sedimentary cover of Arabian platform. In other words, though cardinal rebuilding of deep-seated structure of the region occurred in the Late Cenozoic but it did not affect on the upper shell of the ancient lithosphere. Because composition of mantle xenolithis in basalts is practically similar worldwide, we suggest that deep-seated processes are analogous also. As emplacement of the mantle plume heads accompanied by powerful basaltic magmatism, very likely that range of lower (mafic) continental crust existence is very convenient for extension of plume heads and their adiabatic melting. If such level, because of whatever reasons, was not reached, melting was limited but appeared excess of volatile matters which led to forming of lamprophyre or even kimberlite.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Jianke; Zhao, Dapeng; Dong, Dongdong

    2016-02-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  14. Lithosphere Structure of the Rivera Plate - Jalisco Block Contact Zone: Septentrional Region of the Islas Marías (Mexico)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madrigal-Ávalos, L. A.; Nunez, D.; Escalona-Alcazar, F. D. J.; Nuñez-Cornu, F. J.; Barba, D. C., Sr.; Danobeitia, J.

    2017-12-01

    The western margin of Mexico is a tectonic complex region where large earthquakes occurred with very destructive consequences, including the generation of big tsunamis. This fact is mainly the result of the Rivera plate subduction beneath the North American plate and the Jalisco Block implying a high potential seismic risk. In the north, between the Tamayo Fracture Zone and the Mesoamerican Trench, the Islas Marías region is a complex tectonic limit within the interaction of the Rivera plate oceanic crust and the Jalisco Block continental crust. In order to know the shallow and deep structure of the Rivera plate - Jalisco Block contact zone and to be able to determine these potential seismic sources, the TSUJAL geophysical experiment was carried out from 2012 to 2016. As part of this project, we present the results of the processed and analyzed MCS and WAS data along the TS09 and RTSIM01 seismic transects, respectively, across the septentrional region of Islas Marías. These marine seismic lines are coincident with 110 km length for MCS and 240 km for WAS, and perpendicular to the coastline with SW-NE orientation. The seismic sources used in this work aboard RRS James Cook consisted of 12 guns with a total capacity for WAS data of 5800 in3 every 120 s and 3540 in3 every 50 m for MCS data. The MCS data were acquired with a 5.85 km length streamer with a 468 active channels, while the WAS data were recorded by a network of 4 OBS and 27 land seismic stations. After data processing and joint interpretation, it was possible to determine that shallow structure is mainly constituted by normal faults associated to graben structures forming sedimentary basins with non-deformed sediments in the basement. While the deep structure is characterized by depths from 9 to 12 km in the oceanic crust and 18 to 21 km in the continental crust. The deepest layers of the upper mantle were determined up to 35 km depth. In this study, it was possible to calculate a dip angle between 6

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Z.; Li, C.

    2017-12-01

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

  16. Confirmation of the extraterrestrial forces decisive effect on earthquake triggering and lithospheric plates movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostrihansky, L.; Kalenda, P.

    2012-04-01

    In contrast to unsuccessful searching for biweekly tides earthquakes triggering the Earth's rotation variations give the unambiguous answer that the extreme positions of the Earth's acceleration and deceleration trigger earthquakes. In addition to it, an important repetition of earthquakes with 19 years period of the Meton's cycle and nutation has been found. Further, it has been found that the continental heating by the Sun and formation of the thermoelastic wave is an important factor of affecting of the Earth's surface and the plate movement. For this the special static vertical pendulum serves with the optimum length of several tens of meters, which after its refinement will be an important instrument for confirmation of stated claims. This problem is so far important that the scientific community advocates an opinion that earthquakes are caused by fluently acting forces in the Earth's interior, i.e. by forces causing absolutely unpredictable disturbances of the Earth' crust. This work is in outstanding interest of the European Union because the volcanic eruptions in Iceland, till now unpredictable, disturb the air-traffic in Europe in spite that just earthquakes in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge show unequivocal earthquake triggering in rhythm of the Earth's rotation variations.

  17. 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

    The idea of a Pacific-derived and eastward-transported Caribbean and Scotia plates was first proposed by J. Tuzo Wilson in 1966. Wilson proposed that the motion of these two, small plates was analogous to "ice rafting" observed on frozen lakes and oceans when a narrow ( 50 m) strip of ice is forced over a lower plate of ice. In the Caribbean the upper plate corresponds to the 750 km-long, north-south length of the Lesser Antilles volcanic arc ranging in thickness from 20-30 km while its subducting plate is Atlantic Cretaceous oceanic crust of 8-10 km thickness and subducting at an angle of 45º to a depth of 300 km into the mantle. We estimated the length of the Lesser Antilles slab from MIT P-wave global tomography (MITP08; Li et al., 2008) and compared to published transects from Utrecht UUP-07 global tomography (van Bentham et al., 2013). The measured slab lengths vary from 1550 km (Utrecht) to 1250 km (MIT). We then unfolded both slabs to the Earth's surface, and used GPlates to restore the leading edge of the Caribbean plate at the time of the Lesser Antilles slab's initial subduction. The Middle Eocene (49 Ma) reconstruction realigns the proto-Lesser Antilles arc and leading edge of the Caribbean plate in a continuous arc with older arc rocks in Cuba. During this Middle Eocene period of abrupt tectonic transition, the Cuban arc segment was terminated on its northeastward path by collision with the Bahama carbonate platform with subsequent reorientation onto its present, east-west path into the central Atlantic Ocean from 49-0 Ma. This collision/plate reorientation event is independently recorded by: 1) a poorly defined Greater Antilles slab seen on tomography that is aligned with the Cuban arc; 2) identical initiation ages of 49 Ma for the Cayman trough pull-apart and the Lesser Antilles slab; and 3) similarity in lengths for the length of the subducted, Lesser Antilles slab ( 1250-1550 km) and the length of the Cayman trough pull-apart basin ( 1100 km). East

  18. 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

  19. The continental lithosphere

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Artemieva, Irina

    2009-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elesin, Y; Gerya, T; Artemieva, Irina

    2010-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Geothermal He and CO2 variations at Changbaishan intra-plate volcano (NE China) and the nature of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahm, D.; Hilton, D. R.; Cho, M.; Wei, H.; Kim, K.-R.

    2008-11-01

    We report new He and CO2 data for geothermal fluids from Changbaishan Volcano located on the border of China and North Korea. Helium isotope ratios reach a maximum of 5.4 RA (where RA = 3He/4He in air) whereas carbon isotope values (δ 13C) fall between -2 and -7 ‰ (vs. PDB). The ratio of CO2/3He varies between 0.5-7.1 (×109) for gas samples but is considerably higher (~1012) in waters. The combined He-CO2 systematics reveal the clear imprint of a dominant subducted slab contribution to the total CO2 inventory. We conclude that these geothermal volatiles originate from the sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) in NE China and represent ancient fluids captured by prior metasomatic events.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  9. Lithospheric strength in the active boundary between the Pacific Plate and Baja California microplate constrained from lower crustal and upper mantle xenoliths

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    Chatzaras, Vasileios; van der Werf, Thomas; Kriegsman, Leo M.; Kronenberg, Andreas; Tikoff, Basil; Drury, Martyn R.

    2017-04-01

    The lower crust is the most poorly understood of the lithospheric layers in terms of its rheology, particularly at active plate boundaries. We studied naturally deformed lower crustal xenoliths within an active plate boundary, in order to link their microstructures and rheological parameters to the well-defined active tectonic context. The Baja California shear zone (BCSZ), located at the western boundary of the Baja California microplate, comprises the active boundary accommodating the relative motion between the Pacific plate and Baja California microplate. The basalts of the Holocene San Quintin volcanic field carry lower crustal and upper mantle xenoliths, which sample the Baja California microplate lithosphere in the vicinity of the BCSZ. The lower crustal xenoliths range from undeformed gabbros to granoblastic two-pyroxene granulites. Two-pyroxene geothermometry shows that the granulites equilibrated at temperatures of 690-920 oC. Phase equilibria (P-T pseudosections using Perple_X) indicate that symplectites with intergrown pyroxenes, plagioclase, olivine and spinel formed at 3.6-5.4 kbar, following decompression from pressures exceeding 6 kbar. FTIR spectroscopy shows that the water content of plagioclase varies among the analyzed xenoliths; plagioclase is relatively dry in two xenoliths while one xenolith contains hydrated plagioclase grains. Microstructural observations and analysis of the crystallographic texture provide evidence for deformation of plagioclase by a combination of dislocation creep and grain boundary sliding. To constrain the strength of the lower crust and upper mantle near the BCSZ we estimated the differential stress using plagioclase and olivine grain size paleopiezomtery, respectively. Differential stress estimates for plagioclase range from 10 to 32 MPa and for olivine are 30 MPa. Thus the active microplate boundary records elevated crustal temperatures, heterogeneous levels of hydration, and low strength in both the lower crust and

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. SEISMOTECTONIC DEFORMATION IN THE CONTACT AREA OF THE NAZCA AND SOUTH AMERICAN LITHOSPHERIC PLATES IN RELATION TO THE FEBRUARY 27, 2010 MW 8.8 MAULE EARTHQUAKE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. G. Dyadkov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on the data on earthquake focal mechanisms, we estimated seismotectonic deformation related to the 2010 Мw 8.8 Maule earthquake and analyzed the deformation at different depths. In the main seismic dislocation of the Maule earthquake and the northern area, the deformation field to a depth of 70 km is typical of subduction zones as evidenced by shortening in the direction of the oceanic plate subduction. Below a depth of 70 km, the deformation pattern changes sharply to horizontal stretching. After the main seismic event, as well as before it, nearlatitudinal shortening was dominant in the focal zone, while the region of the main seismic dislocations was surrounded by separate areas of near-latitudinal stretching, which is an opposite type of deformation. We conducted a detailed analysis of the seismotectonic deformations in the oceanic uplift area to the west of the deep-water trough and identified local zones of near-latitudinal stretching near the southern and northern boundaries of the future Maule earthquake zone. Detecting such zones can provide important data for early forecasting of regions wherein strong subduction-related earthquakes are being prepared.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. The magma ocean as an impediment to lunar plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Paul H.

    1993-01-01

    The primary impediment to plate tectonics on the moon was probably the great thickness of its crust and particularly its high crust/lithosphere thickness ratio. This in turn can be attributed to the preponderance of low-density feldspar over all other Al-compatible phases in the lunar interior. During the magma ocean epoch, the moon's crust/lithosphere thickness ratio was at the maximum theoretical value, approximately 1, and it remained high for a long time afterwards. A few large regions of thin crust were produced by basin-scale cratering approximately contemporaneous with the demise of the magma ocean. However, these regions probably also tend to have uncommonly thin lithosphere, since they were directly heated and indirectly enriched in K, Th, and U by the same cratering process. Thus, plate tectonics on the moon in the form of systematic lithosphere subduction was impeded by the magma ocean.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. The Ionian and Alfeo-Etna fault zones : New segments of an evolving plate boundary in the central Mediterranean Sea?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Polonia, A.; Torelli, L.; Artoni, A.; Carlini, M.; Faccenna, C.; Ferranti, L.; Gasperini, L.; Govers, R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/108173836; Klaeschen, D.; Monaco, C.; Neri, G.; Nijholt, N.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/413306674; Orecchio, B.; Wortel, R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/068439202

    2016-01-01

    The Calabrian Arc is a narrow subduction-rollback system resulting from Africa/Eurasia plate convergence. While crustal shortening is taken up in the accretionary wedge, transtensive deformation accounts for margin segmentation along transverse lithospheric faults. One of these structures is the

  9. 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

  10. The extending lithosphere (Arthur Holmes Medal Lecture)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brun, Jean-Pierre

    2017-04-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yujun; Fan, Taoyuan; Wu, Zhonghai

    2018-05-01

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

  14. The metallogenic role of east-west fracture zones in South America with regard to the motion of lithospheric plates (with an example from Brazil)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutina, J.; Carter, William D.; Lopez, F.X.

    1978-01-01

    The role of east-west fracture zones in South America is discussed with regard to global fracturing and the motion of lithospheric plates. A set of major NW-trending lineaments has been derived which show a tendency to be spaced equidistantly and may correspond to a set of east-west fractures in the "pre-drift" position of the South American plate. Statistical analysis of linears in the ERTS-mosaics shows that NW-fractures are also among the most important ones in the Andes region, suggesting that the above major lineaments extend into the basement of the Andes. Some of the old major fractures, trending east-west in the present orientation of South America, are discussed and their NE orientation in the pre-drift position of the plate is considered. An example of structural control of ore deposition in the Brazilian Shield is presented, using the maps of the RADAM Project. It is concluded that the small tin-bearing granitic bodies concentrated in the region of Sao Felix do Xingu in the state of Para represent upper parts of an unexposed granitoid massif which is controlled by the intersection of a major east-west fracture zone probably represents westward extension of the Patos Lineament of the easternmost part of Brazil, connected with the east-west fracture zone of the Para state through the basement of the Maranhao Basin (Sineclise do Maranhao-Piaui). It is expected that the proposed "Patos-Para Lineament" extends further westward and may similarly control, at intersections with fractures of other trends, some mineralization centers in the western part of the state of Para and in the state of Amazonas.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. The lithosphere-asthenosphere: Italy and surroundings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-02-01

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

  4. The lithosphere-asthenosphere Italy and surroundings

    CERN Document Server

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

    2003-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras-Reyes, Eduardo; Garay, Jeremías

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Masaki

    2010-06-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulson, Sophie; Garth, Thomas; Reitbrock, Andreas

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  12. Plate tectonics in the late Paleozoic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathew Domeier

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available As the chronicle of plate motions through time, paleogeography is fundamental to our understanding of plate tectonics and its role in shaping the geology of the present-day. To properly appreciate the history of tectonics—and its influence on the deep Earth and climate—it is imperative to seek an accurate and global model of paleogeography. However, owing to the incessant loss of oceanic lithosphere through subduction, the paleogeographic reconstruction of ‘full-plates’ (including oceanic lithosphere becomes increasingly challenging with age. Prior to 150 Ma ∼60% of the lithosphere is missing and reconstructions are developed without explicit regard for oceanic lithosphere or plate tectonic principles; in effect, reflecting the earlier mobilistic paradigm of continental drift. Although these ‘continental’ reconstructions have been immensely useful, the next-generation of mantle models requires global plate kinematic descriptions with full-plate reconstructions. Moreover, in disregarding (or only loosely applying plate tectonic rules, continental reconstructions fail to take advantage of a wealth of additional information in the form of practical constraints. Following a series of new developments, both in geodynamic theory and analytical tools, it is now feasible to construct full-plate models that lend themselves to testing by the wider Earth-science community. Such a model is presented here for the late Paleozoic (410–250 Ma together with a review of the underlying data. Although we expect this model to be particularly useful for numerical mantle modeling, we hope that it will also serve as a general framework for understanding late Paleozoic tectonics, one on which future improvements can be built and further tested.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Lithospheric processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baldridge, W. [and others

    2000-12-01

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

  17. Lithospheric processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baldridge, W.S.

    2000-01-01

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

  18. Lithosphere erosion atop mantle plumes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  19. 3-D thermo-mechanical laboratory modeling of plate-tectonics: modeling scheme, technique and first experiments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Boutelier

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available We present an experimental apparatus for 3-D thermo-mechanical analogue modeling of plate tectonic processes such as oceanic and continental subductions, arc-continent or continental collisions. The model lithosphere, made of temperature-sensitive elasto-plastic analogue materials with strain softening, is submitted to a constant temperature gradient causing a strength reduction with depth in each layer. The surface temperature is imposed using infrared emitters, which allows maintaining an unobstructed view of the model surface and the use of a high resolution optical strain monitoring technique (Particle Imaging Velocimetry. Subduction experiments illustrate how the stress conditions on the interplate zone can be estimated using a force sensor attached to the back of the upper plate and adjusted via the density and strength of the subducting lithosphere or the lubrication of the plate boundary. The first experimental results reveal the potential of the experimental set-up to investigate the three-dimensional solid-mechanics interactions of lithospheric plates in multiple natural situations.

  20. Pressure-Driven Poiseuille Flow: A Major Component of the Torque-Balance Governing Pacific Plate Motion

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    The Pacific Plate is thought to be driven mainly by slab pull, associated with subduction along the Aleutians-Japan, Marianas-Izu-Bonin, and Tonga-Kermadec trenches. This implies that viscous flow within the sub-Pacific asthenosphere is mainly generated by overlying plate motion (i.e., Couette flow) and that the associated shear stresses at the lithosphere's base are resisting such motion. Recent studies on glacial isostatic adjustment and lithosphere dynamics provide tighter constraints on the viscosity and thickness of Earth's asthenosphere and, therefore, on the amount of shear stress that asthenosphere and lithosphere mutually exchange, by virtue of Newton's third law of motion. In light of these constraints, the notion that subduction is the main driver of present-day Pacific Plate motion becomes somewhat unviable, as the pulling force that would be required by slabs exceeds the maximum available from their negative buoyancy. Here we use coupled global models of mantle and lithosphere dynamics to show that the sub-Pacific asthenosphere features a significant component of pressure-driven (i.e., Poiseuille) flow and that this has driven at least 50% of the Pacific Plate motion since, at least, 15 Ma. A corollary of our models is that a sublithospheric pressure difference as high as ±50 MPa is required across the Pacific domain.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

    One of the main methods to determine the strength of the lithosphere is by estimating it's effective elastic thickness. This method assumes that the lithosphere is a thin elastic plate that floats on the mantle and uses both topography and gravity anomalies to estimate the plate thickness. Whereas this seems to work well for oceanic plates, it has given controversial results in continental collision zones. For most of these locations, additional geophysical data sets such as receiver functions and seismic tomography exist that constrain the geometry of the lithosphere and often show that it is rather complex. Yet, lithospheric geometry by itself is insufficient to understand the dynamics of the lithosphere as this also requires knowledge of the rheology of the lithosphere. Laboratory experiments suggest that rocks deform in a viscous manner if temperatures are high and stresses low, or in a plastic/brittle manner if the yield stress is exceeded. Yet, the experimental results show significant variability between various rock types and there are large uncertainties in extrapolating laboratory values to nature, which leaves room for speculation. An independent method is thus required to better understand the rheology and dynamics of the lithosphere in collision zones. The goal of this paper is to discuss such an approach. Our method relies on performing numerical thermomechanical forward models of the present-day lithosphere with an initial geometry that is constructed from geophysical data sets. We employ experimentally determined creep-laws for the various parts of the lithosphere, but assume that the parameters of these creep-laws as well as the temperature structure of the lithosphere are uncertain. This is used as a priori information to formulate a Bayesian inverse problem that employs topography, gravity, horizontal and vertical surface velocities to invert for the unknown material parameters and temperature structure. In order to test the general methodology

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, M.

    2010-12-01

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

  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. Craton Heterogeneity in the South American Lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Using natural laboratories and modeling to decipher lithospheric rheology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobolev, Stephan

    2013-04-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

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

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  17. Stagnant lids and mantle overturns: Implications for Archaean tectonics, magmagenesis, crustal growth, mantle evolution, and the start of plate tectonics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean H. Bédard

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The lower plate is the dominant agent in modern convergent margins characterized by active subduction, as negatively buoyant oceanic lithosphere sinks into the asthenosphere under its own weight. This is a strong plate-driving force because the slab-pull force is transmitted through the stiff sub-oceanic lithospheric mantle. As geological and geochemical data seem inconsistent with the existence of modern-style ridges and arcs in the Archaean, a periodically-destabilized stagnant-lid crust system is proposed instead. Stagnant-lid intervals may correspond to periods of layered mantle convection where efficient cooling was restricted to the upper mantle, perturbing Earth's heat generation/loss balance, eventually triggering mantle overturns. Archaean basalts were derived from fertile mantle in overturn upwelling zones (OUZOs, which were larger and longer-lived than post-Archaean plumes. Early cratons/continents probably formed above OUZOs as large volumes of basalt and komatiite were delivered for protracted periods, allowing basal crustal cannibalism, garnetiferous crustal restite delamination, and coupled development of continental crust and sub-continental lithospheric mantle. Periodic mixing and rehomogenization during overturns retarded development of isotopically depleted MORB (mid-ocean ridge basalt mantle. Only after the start of true subduction did sequestration of subducted slabs at the core-mantle boundary lead to the development of the depleted MORB mantle source. During Archaean mantle overturns, pre-existing continents located above OUZOs would be strongly reworked; whereas OUZO-distal continents would drift in response to mantle currents. The leading edge of drifting Archaean continents would be convergent margins characterized by terrane accretion, imbrication, subcretion and anatexis of unsubductable oceanic lithosphere. As Earth cooled and the background oceanic lithosphere became denser and stiffer, there would be an increasing

  18. Probing the Cypriot Lithosphere: Insights from Broadband Seismology

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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

  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. Numerical simulations of the mantle lithosphere delamination

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-03-01

    overriding lithosphere of subduction zones.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tosi, Nicola; Čadek, Ondřej; Martinec, Zdeněk

    2009-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    The effective elastic thickness Te corresponds to the thickness of an idealized elastic beam that would bend similarly to the actual lithosphere under the same applied loads, and could provide important insight into rheology and state of stress. Thus, it is helpful to improve our understanding of the relationship between tectonic styles, distribution of earthquakes and lithospheric rheology in various tectonic settings. The Southeast Asia, located in the southeastern part of the Eurasian Plate, comprises a complex collage of continental fragments, volcanic arcs, and suture zones and marginal oceanic basins, and is surrounded by tectonically active margins which exhibit intense seismicity and volcanism. The Cenozoic southeastward extrusion of the rigid Indochina Block due to the Indo-Asian collision resulted in the drastic surface deformation in the western area. Therefore, a high resolution spatial variation map of Te might be a useful tool for the complex Southeast Asia area to examine the relationships between surface deformation, earthquakes, lithospheric structure and mantle dynamics. In this study, we present a high-resolution map of spatial variations of Te in the Southeast Asia area using the wavelet method, which convolves a range of scaled wavelets with the two data sets of Bouguer gravity anomaly and topography. The topography and bathymetry grid data was extracted from the GEBCO_08 Grid of GEBCO digital atlas. The pattern of Te variations agrees well with the tectonic provinces in the study area. On the whole, low lithosphere strength characterizes the oceanic basins, such as the South China Sea, the Banda sea area, the Celebes Sea, the Sulu Sea and the Andaman Sea. Unlike the oceanic basins, the continental fragments show a complex pattern of Te variations. The Khorat plateau and its adjacent area show strong lithosphere characteristics with a Te range of 20-50 km, suggesting that the Khorat plateau is the strong core of the Indochina Block. The West

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janiszewski, Helen Anne

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  8. The Lithosphere in Italy: Structure and Seismicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  14. Incorporating Cutting Edge Scientific Results from the Margins-Geoprisms Program into the Undergraduate Curriculum, Rupturing Continental Lithosphere Part II: Introducing Euler Poles Using Baja-North America Relative Plate Motion Across the Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loveless, J. P.; Bennett, S. E. K.; Cashman, S. M.; Dorsey, R. J.; Goodliffe, A. M.; Lamb, M. A.

    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 the significant findings from the MARGINS program into open-source college-level curriculum. The Gulf of California (GOC) served as the focus site for the Rupturing Continental Lithosphere (RCL) initiative, which addressed several scientific questions: What forces drive rift initiation, localization, propagation and evolution? How does deformation vary in time and space, and why? How does crust evolve, physically and chemically, as rifting proceeds to sea-floor spreading? What is the role of sedimentation and magmatism in continental extension? We developed two weeks of curriculum, including lectures, labs, and in-class activities that can be used as a whole or individually. This component of the curriculum introduces students to the Euler pole description of relative plate motion (RPM) by examining the tectonic interactions of the Baja California microplate and North American plate. The plate boundary varies in rift obliquity along strike, from highly oblique and strike-slip dominated in the south to slightly less oblique and with a larger extensional component in the north. This Google Earth-based exercise provides students with a visualization of RPM using small circle contours of the local direction and magnitude of Baja-North America movement on a spherical Earth. Students use RPM to calculate the fault slip rates on transform, normal, and oblique-slip faults and examine how the varying faulting styles combine to accommodate RPM. MARGINS results are integrated via comparison of rift obliquity with the structural style of rift-related faults around the GOC. We find this exercise to fit naturally into courses about plate tectonics, geophysics, and especially structural geology, given the similarity between Euler pole rotations and stereonet-based rotations of structural data.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arcay, Diane

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maffione, Marco; Thieulot, Cedric; 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

  20. Barrel organ of plate tectonics - a new tool for outreach and education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broz, Petr; Machek, Matěj; Šorm, Zdar

    2016-04-01

    Plate tectonics is the major geological concept to explain dynamics and structure of Earth's outer shell, the lithosphere. In the plate tectonic theory processes in the Earth lithosphere and its dynamics is driven by the relative motion and interaction of lithospheric plates. Geologically most active regions on Earth often correlate with the lithospheric plate boundaries. Thus for explaining the earth surface evolution, mountain building, volcanism and earthquake origin it is important to understand processes at the plate boundaries. However these processes associated with plate tectonics usually require significant period of time to take effects, therefore, their entire cycles cannot be directly observed in the nature by humans. This makes a challenge for scientists studying these processes, but also for teachers and popularizers trying to explain them to students and to the general public. Therefore, to overcome this problem, we developed a mechanical model of plate tectonics enabling demonstration of most important processes associated with plate tectonics in real time. The mechanical model is a wooden box, more specifically a special type of barrel organ, with hand painted backdrops in the front side. These backdrops are divided into several components representing geodynamic processes associated with plate tectonics, specifically convective currents occurring in the mantle, sea-floor spreading, a subduction of the oceanic crust under the continental crust, partial melting and volcanism associated with subduction, a formation of magmatic stripes, an ascent of mantle plume throughout the mantle, a volcanic activity associated with hot spots, and a formation and degradation of volcanic islands on moving lithospheric plate. All components are set in motion by a handle controlled by a human operator, and the scene is illuminated with colored lights controlled automatically by an electric device embedded in the box. Operation of the model may be seen on www

  1. Petroleum formation by Fischer-Tropsch synthesis in plate tectonics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szatmari, P. (Petrobras Research Center, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil))

    1989-08-01

    A somewhat speculative hypothesis of petroleum genesis in the upper lithosphere is proposed, based on Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. This hypothesis is distinct from both the organic (biogenic) model and the inorganic model of hydrocarbon degassing from the Earth's interior. The hypothesis presented in this paper proposes that petroleum liquids form by Fischer-Tropsch synthesis on magnetite and hematite catalysts when carbon dioxide (derived by massive metamorphic or igneous decarbonation of subducted sedimentary carbonates) reacts with hydrogen generated by the serpentinization (in the absence of air) of shallow-mantle lithosphere and ophiolite thrust sheets. Oblique plate movements may favor hydrocarbon formation by creating deep faults that aid fluid flow and serpentinization. The world's richest oil provinces, including those of the Middle East, may be tentatively interpreted to have formed by this mechanism. 8 figs., 1 tab.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. How broad and deep is the region of chemical alteration of oceanic plates at trenches?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranero, C. R.; Grevemeyer, I.; Barckhausen, U.

    2017-12-01

    Different lines of evidence indicate that oceanic plates are affected by pervasive bending-related deformation approaching ocean trenches. Results from active-seismic work support that deformation provides paths for exchange between hydrosphere and lithosphere, possibly causing chemical alteration of the incoming lithosphere. Much work focused on the potential transformation of peridotite to serpentine in the uppermost mantle of incoming plates, but there is no consensus on the region where it may occur or the intensity of alteration, let alone on limiting factors for the process. Teleseismic (large-great) earthquakes with normal-fault mechanism in the outer rise region have been often called to speculate on the depth of penetration of plate hydration. However, large-great outer-rise earthquakes may be related to stress changes due to slab pull after decoupling along the inter-plate boundary, and not necessarily controlled by bending stresses only. If so, the majority of the time the depth of water percolation may be related to local bending stresses expressed by micro-earthquakes rather than large events. Seismic images and multibeam bathymetry from lithosphere of similar thermal thickness from different trenches display a remarkable variability of the intensity of bending-related deformation along the subduction zones where plate age does not change significantly indicating that the intensity of deformation (not the depth) and perhaps hydration is very variable in space and not controlled by plate age. Seismic images showing hundreds of kilometers perpendicular to the trench into the incoming plate show that the bending-related deformation reaches mantle under the outer rise, well before the lithosphere plunges into the trench and develops the marked bend-faulting fabric observable in bathymetric maps. Thus, alteration occurs in a hundreds-of-km wide area, with deformation intensity related to local characteristics, and deformation depth to plate age.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuthbert, Simon

    2017-04-01

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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Plumes do not Exist: Plate Circulation is Confined to Upper Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, W. B.

    2002-12-01

    Plumes from deep mantle are widely conjectured to define an absolute reference frame, inaugurate rifting, drive plates, and profoundly modify oceans and continents. Mantle properties and composition are assumed to be whatever enables plumes. Nevertheless, purported critical evidence for plume speculation is false, and all data are better interpreted without plumes. Plume fantasies are made ever more complex and ad hoc to evade contradictory data, and have no predictive value because plumes do not exist. All plume conjecture derives from Hawaii and the guess that the Emperor-Hawaii inflection records a 60-degree change in Pacific plate direction at 45 Ma. Paleomagnetic latitudes and smooth Pacific spreading patterns disprove any such change. Rationales for other fixed plumes collapse when tested, and hypotheses of jumping, splitting, and gyrating plumes are specious. Thermal and physical properties of Hawaiian lithosphere falsify plume predictions. Purported tomographic support elsewhere represents artifacts and misleading presentations. Asthenosphere is everywhere near solidus temperature, so melt needs a tensional setting for egress but not local heat. Gradational and inconsistent contrasts between MORB and OIB are as required by depth-varying melt generation and behavior in contrasted settings and do not indicate systematically unlike sources. MORB melts rise, with minimal reaction, through hot asthenosphere, whereas OIB melts react with cool lithosphere, and lose mass, by crystallizing refractories and retaining and assimilating fusibles. The unfractionated lower mantle of plume conjecture is contrary to cosmologic and thermodynamic data, for mantle below 660 km is more refractory than that above. Subduction, due to density inversion by top-down cooling that forms oceanic lithosphere, drives plate tectonics and upper-mantle circulation. It organizes plate motions and lithosphere stress, which controls plate boundaries and volcanic chains. Hinge rollback is the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalot-Prat, F.; Girbacea, R.

    2000-11-01

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

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  4. Alps, Carpathians and Dinarides-Hellenides: about plates, micro-plates and delaminated crustal blocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Stefan

    2014-05-01

    Before the onset of Europe-Africa continental collision in the Dinarides-Hellenides (around 60Ma) and in the Alps and Western Carpathians (around 35 Ma), and at a large scale, the dynamics of orogenic processes in the Mediterranean Alpine chains were governed by Europe-Africa plate convergence leading to the disappearance of large parts of intervening oceanic lithosphere, i.e. the northern branch of Neotethys along the Sava-Izmir-Ankara suture and Alpine Tethys along the Valais-Magura suture (Schmid et al. 2008). In spite of this, two major problems concerning the pre-collisional stage are still poorly understood: (1) by now we only start to understand geometry, kinematics and dynamics of the along-strike changes in the polarity of subduction between Alps-Carpathians and Dinarides-Hellenides, and (2) it is not clear yet during exactly which episodes and to what extent intervening rifted continental fragments such as, for example, Iberia-Briançonnais, Tisza, Dacia, Adria-Taurides moved independently as micro-plates, and during which episodes they remained firmly attached to Europa or Africa from which they broke away. As Europe-Africa plate convergence slowed down well below 1 cm/yr at around 30 Ma ago these pre-collisional processes driven by plate convergence on a global scale gave way to more local processes of combined roll-back and crustal delamination in the Pannonian basin of the Carpathian embayment and in the Aegean (as well as in the Western Mediterranean, not discussed in this contribution). In the case of the Carpathian embayment E-directed roll back totally unrelated to Europe-Africa N-S-directed convergence, started at around 20 Ma ago, due to the presence relict oceanic lithosphere in the future Pannonian basin that remained un-subducted during collision. Due to total delamination of the crust from the eastward rolling back European mantle lithosphere the anticlockwise rotating ALCAPA crustal block, consisting of Eastern Alps and Western Carpathian

  5. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Carcaterra

    2018-03-01

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

  7. Large plates and small blocks: The Variscan orogeny in the Bohemian Massif

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroner, Uwe; Romer, Rolf L.

    2017-04-01

    The Bohemian Massif of the Central European Variscides consists of several late Proterozoic / early Paleozoic low-strain crustal units, namely the Bruno-Vistulian continental block of the Laurussian plate that is juxtaposed with the Tepla-Barrandian Unit and the Lausitz block of the Gondwana plate. These pre-Variscan low-strain units are separated by high-strain zones that contain the mid- and lower crustal record of the Variscan orogeny (400-300 Ma), with nappes reflecting successive subduction exhumation events, voluminous migmatites and a wide range of geochemically contrasting granites. Although the principal constraints are undisputed, there is no consensus regarding the general tectonics of this area. Here we present a plate tectonic model explaining the Bohemian Massif as an orogenic wedge with a Gondwana pro-wedge and a Laurussia retro-wedge area. The principal formation steps are as follows. Subduction of the oceanic crust of the Gondwana plate, i.e. the southern part of the Rheic Ocean eventually followed by continental subduction of the distal Peri-Gondwana shelf produced the early Devonian (U)HP complexes now exposed in the uppermost allochthonous units. The arrival of the Tepla-Barrandian Cadomian block initiates a flip of subduction polarity, leading to the complete closure of the Rheic Ocean in the late Devonian coeval with the exhumation of the early Variscan (U)HP units. Caused by the Lausitz block entering the plate boundary zone in the early Carboniferous, this early subduction accretion stage was followed by continent continent collision. The resulting orogenic wedge is characterized by an intra-continental subduction zone in the pro-wedge area superimposed by the crustal stack of early and mid-Variscan accreted units. Due to heating of the subducted slab in the mantle, the isothermal exhumation of this deeply buried continental crust caused HT-LP metamorphism during the final transpressional stage. Lateral extrusion tectonics coeval with the

  8. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  10. Pacific plate slab pull and intraplate deformation in the early Cenozoic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. P. Butterworth

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Large tectonic plates are known to be susceptible to internal deformation, leading to a~range of phenomena including intraplate volcanism. However, the space and time dependence of intraplate deformation and its relationship with changing plate boundary configurations, subducting slab geometries, and absolute plate motion is poorly understood. We utilise a buoyancy-driven Stokes flow solver, BEM-Earth, to investigate the contribution of subducting slabs through time on Pacific plate motion and plate-scale deformation, and how this is linked to intraplate volcanism. We produce a series of geodynamic models from 62 to 42 Ma in which the plates are driven by the attached subducting slabs and mantle drag/suction forces. We compare our modelled intraplate deformation history with those types of intraplate volcanism that lack a clear age progression. Our models suggest that changes in Cenozoic subduction zone topology caused intraplate deformation to trigger volcanism along several linear seafloor structures, mostly by reactivation of existing seamount chains, but occasionally creating new volcanic chains on crust weakened by fracture zones and extinct ridges. Around 55 Ma, subduction of the Pacific-Izanagi ridge reconfigured the major tectonic forces acting on the plate by replacing ridge push with slab pull along its northwestern perimeter, causing lithospheric extension along pre-existing weaknesses. Large-scale deformation observed in the models coincides with the seamount chains of Hawaii, Louisville, Tokelau and Gilbert during our modelled time period of 62 to 42 Ma. We suggest that extensional stresses between 72 and 52 Ma are the likely cause of large parts of the formation of the Gilbert chain and that localised extension between 62 and 42 Ma could cause late-stage volcanism along the Musicians volcanic ridges. Our models demonstrate that early Cenozoic changes in Pacific plate driving forces only cause relatively minor changes in Pacific

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kersting; Arculus; Gust

    1996-06-07

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

  12. Implications for anomalous mantle pressure and dynamic topography from lithospheric stress patterns in the North Atlantic Realm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schiffer, Christian; Nielsen, Søren Bom

    2016-01-01

    With convergent plate boundaries at some distance, the sources of the lithospheric stress field of the North Atlantic Realm are mainly mantle tractions at the base of the lithosphere, lithospheric density structure and topography. Given this, we estimate horizontal deviatoric stresses using a wel...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

    Subduction of hydrous and carbonated oceanic lithosphere replenishes the mantle volatile inventory. Substantial uncertainties exist on the magnitudes of the recycled volatile fluxes and it is unclear whether Earth surface reservoirs are undergoing net-loss or net-gain of H2O and CO2. Here, we use noble gases as tracers for deep volatile cycling. Specifically, we construct and apply a kinetic model to estimate the effect of subduction zone metamorphism on the elemental composition of noble gases in amphibole - a common constituent of altered oceanic crust. We show that progressive dehydration of the slab leads to the extraction of noble gases, linking noble gas recycling to H2O. Noble gases are strongly fractionated within hot subduction zones, whereas minimal fractionation occurs along colder subduction geotherms. In the context of our modelling, this implies that the mantle heavy noble gas inventory is dominated by the injection of noble gases through cold subduction zones. For cold subduction zones, we estimate a present-day bulk recycling efficiency, past the depth of amphibole breakdown, of 5-35% and 60-80% for 36Ar and H2O bound within oceanic crust, respectively. Given that hotter subduction dominates over geologic history, this result highlights the importance of cooler subduction zones in regassing the mantle and in affecting the modern volatile budget of Earth's interior.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  16. Inverse models of plate coupling and mantle rheology: Towards a direct link between large-scale mantle flow and mega thrust earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurnis, M.; Ratnaswamy, V.; Stadler, G.; Rudi, J.; Liu, X.; Ghattas, O.

    2017-12-01

    We are developing high-resolution inverse models for plate motions and mantle flow to recover the degree of mechanical coupling between plates and the non-linear and plastic parameters governing viscous flow within the lithosphere and mantle. We have developed adjoint versions of the Stokes equations with fully non-linear viscosity with a cost function that measures the fit with plate motions and with regional constrains on effective upper mantle viscosity (from post-glacial rebound and post seismic relaxation). In our earlier work, we demonstrate that when the temperature field is known, the strength of plate boundaries, the yield stress and strain rate exponent in the upper mantle are recoverable. As the plate boundary coupling drops below a threshold, the uncertainty of the inferred parameters increases due to insensitivity of plate motion to plate coupling. Comparing the trade-offs between inferred rheological parameters found from a Gaussian approximation of the parameter distribution and from MCMC sampling, we found that the Gaussian approximation—which is significantly cheaper to compute—is often a good approximation. We have extended our earlier method such that we can recover normal and shear stresses within the zones determining the interface between subducting and over-riding plates determined through seismic constraints (using the Slab1.0 model). We find that those subduction zones with low seismic coupling correspond with low inferred values of mechanical coupling. By fitting plate motion data in the optimization scheme, we find that Tonga and the Marianas have the lowest values of mechanical coupling while Chile and Sumatra the highest, among the subduction zones we have studies. Moreover, because of the nature of the high-resolution adjoint models, the subduction zones with the lowest coupling have back-arc extension. Globally we find that the non-linear stress-strain exponent, n, is about 3.0 +/- 0.25 (in the upper mantle and lithosphere) and a

  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. Seismic imaging of lithospheric discontinuities and continental evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bostock, M. G.

    1999-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  3. Space geodesy validation of the global lithospheric flow

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-02-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  5. Introduction to the structures and processes of subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yong-Fei; Zhao, Zi-Fu

    2017-09-01

    Subduction zones have been the focus of many studies since the advent of plate tectonics in 1960s. Workings within subduction zones beneath volcanic arcs have been of particular interest because they prime the source of arc magmas. The results from magmatic products have been used to decipher the structures and processes of subduction zones. In doing so, many progresses have been made on modern oceanic subduction zones, but less progresses on ancient oceanic subduction zones. On the other hand, continental subduction zones have been studied since findings of coesite in metamorphic rocks of supracrustal origin in 1980s. It turns out that high-pressure to ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic rocks in collisional orogens provide a direct target to investigate the tectonism of subduction zones, whereas oceanic and continental arc volcanic rocks in accretionary orogens provide an indirect target to investigate the geochemistry of subduction zones. Nevertheless, metamorphic dehydration and partial melting at high-pressure to ultrahigh-pressure conditions are tectonically applicable to subduction zone processes at forearc to subarc depths, and crustal metasomatism is the physicochemical mechanism for geochemical transfer from the slab to the mantle in subduction channels. Taken together, these provide us with an excellent opportunity to find how the metamorphic, metasomatic and magmatic products are a function of the structures and processes in both oceanic and continental subduction zones. Because of the change in the thermal structures of subduction zones, different styles of metamorphism, metasomatism and magmatism are produced at convergent plate margins. In addition, juvenile and ancient crustal rocks have often suffered reworking in episodes independent of either accretionary or collisional orogeny, leading to continental rifting metamorphism and thus rifting orogeny for mountain building in intracontinental settings. This brings complexity to distinguish the syn-subduction

  6. Updated Reference Model for Heat Generation in the Lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  8. Strain localization at the margins of strong lithospheric domains: insights from analogue models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Calignano, Elisa; Sokoutis, Dimitrios; Willingshofer, Ernst; Gueydan, Frederic; Cloetingh, Sierd

    The lateral variation of the mechanical properties of continental lithosphere is an important factor controlling the localization of deformation and thus the deformation history and geometry of intra-plate mountain belts. A series of three-layer lithospheric-scale analog models, with a strong domain

  9. Scaling of Convection and Plate Tectonics in Super-Earths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valencia, D. C.; O'Connell, R. J.; Sasselov, D. D.

    2006-12-01

    The discovery of three Super-Earths around different stars, possible only in the last year, prompts us to study the characteristics of our planet within a general context. The Earth, being the most massive terrestrial object in the solar system is the only planet that exhibits plate tectonics. We think this might not be a coincidence and explore the role that mass plays in determining the mode of convection. We use the scaling of convective vigor with Rayleigh number commonly used in parameterized convection. We study how the parameters controlling convection: Rayleigh number (Ra), boundary layer thickness (δ), internal temperature (T_i) and convective velocities (u) scale with mass. This is possible from the scaling of heat flux, mantle density, size and gravity with mass which we reported in Valencia, et. al 2006. The extrapolation to massive rocky planets is done from our knowledge of the Earth. Even though uncertainties arise from extrapolation and assumptions are needed we consider this simple scaling to be a first adequate step. As the mass of a planet increases, Ra increases, yielding a decrease in δ and an increase in u, while T_i increases very slightly. This is true for an isoviscous case and is more accentuated in a temperature dependent viscosity scenario. In a planet with vigorous convection (high u), a thin lithosphere (low δ) is easier to subduct and hence, initiate plate tectonics. The lithosphere also has to be dense enough (cold and thick) to have the bouyancy necessary for subduction. We calculate that a convective cycle for an isoviscous planet is τ ~ M^{-0.3} considering whole mantle convection. Meaning that if these planets have continents, the timescale for continental rearrangement is shorter (about half the Earth's for a 5 earth-mass planet). Additionally, we explore the negative feedback cycle between convection and temperature dependent viscosity and estimate a timescale for this effect.

  10. Reconciling the geological history of western Turkey with plate circuits and mantle tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaymakci, N.; van Hinsbergen, D. J.; Spakman, W.; Torsvik, T. H.

    2010-12-01

    We place the geological history since Cretaceous times in western Turkey in a context of convergence, subduction, collision and slab break-off. To this end, we compare the west Anatolian geological history with amounts of Africa-Europe convergence calculated from the Atlantic plate circuit, and the seismic tomography images of the west Anatolian mantle structure. Western Turkish geology reflects the convergence between the Sakarya continent (here treated as Eurasia) in the north and Africa in the south, with the Anatolide-Tauride Block (ATB) between two strands of the Neotethyan ocean. Convergence between the Sakarya and the ATB started at least ~95-90Myr ago, marked by ages of metamorphic soles of ophiolites that form the highest structural unit below Sakarya. These are underlain by high-pressure, low-temperature metamorphic rocks of the Tavsanli and Afyon zones, and the Ören Unit, which in turn are underlain by the Menderes Massif derived from the ATB. Underthrusting of the ATB below Sakarya was since ~50Ma, associated with high-temperature metamorphism and widespread granitic magmatism. Thrusting in the Menderes Massif continued until 35 Ma, after which there is no record of accretion in western Turkey. Plate circuits show that since 90 Ma, ~1400 km of Africa-Europe convergence occurred, of which ~700 km since 50 Ma and ~450 km since 35Ma. Seismic tomography shows that the African slab under western Turkey is decoupled from the African Plate. This detached slab is a single, coherent body, representing the lithosphere consumed since 90 Ma. There was no subduction re-initiation after slab break-off. ATB collision with Europe therefore did not immediately lead to slab break-off but instead to delamination of subducting lithospheric mantle from accreting ATB crust, while staying attached to the African Plate. This led to asthenospheric inflow below the ATB crust, high-temperature metamorphism and felsic magmatism. Slab break-off in western Turkey probably occurred

  11. Mercury's Lithospheric Magnetization

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Plate-Tectonic Circulation is Driven by Cooling From the Top and is Closed Within the Upper Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, W. B.

    2001-12-01

    Subduction drives plate tectonics and is due to cooling from the top: circulation is self-organized, and likely is closed above the discontinuity near 660 km. The contrary consensus that plate tectonics is driven by bottom heating and involves the entire mantle combines misunderstood kinematics with flawed concepts of through-the-mantle plumes and subduction. Plume conjecture came from the Emperor-Hawaii progression, the 45 Ma inflection in which was assumed to mark a 60-degree change in direction of that part of the Pacific plate over a fixed plume. Smooth spreading patterns around the east and south margin of the Pacific plate, and paleomagnetic data, disprove such a change. Speculations that plumes move, jump, etc. do not revive falsified conjecture. Geochemical distinctions between enriched island and depleted ridge basalts (which overlap) are expected products of normal upper-mantle processes, not plumes. MORB traverses solidus-T asthenosphere, whereas OIB zone-refines through subsolidus lithosphere and crust, crystallizing refractories to retain T of diminishing melt while assimilating and retaining fusibles. Tomographic inference of deep-mantle subduction is presented misleadingly and may reflect methodological and sampling artifacts (downward smearing, and concentration of recorded body waves in bundles within broad anomalies otherwise poorly sampled). Planetological and other data require hot Earth accretion, and thorough early fractionation, from material much more refractory than primitive meteorites, and are incompatible with the little-fractionated lower mantle postulated to permit whole-mantle circulation. The profound seismic discontinuity near 660 km is a thermodynamic and physical barrier to easy mass transfer in either direction. Refractory lower mantle convects slowly, perhaps in layers, and loses primarily original heat, whereas upper mantle churns rapidly, and the 660 decoupling boundary must have evolved into a compositional barrier also

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. Plate tectonics, habitability and life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spohn, Tilman; Breuer, Doris

    2016-04-01

    The role of plate tectonics in defining habitability of terrestrial planets is being increasingly discussed (e.g., Elkins-Tanton, 2015). Plate tectonics is a significantly evolved concept with a large variety of aspects. In the present context, cycling of material between near surface and mantle reservoirs is most important. But increased heat transport through mixing of cold lithosphere with the deep interior and formation of continental crust may also matter. An alternative mechanism of material cycling between these reservoirs is hot-spot volcanism combined with crust delamination. Hot-spot volcanism will transport volatiles to the atmosphere while delamination will mix crust, possibly altered by sedimentation and chemical reactions, with the mantle. The mechanism works as long as the stagnant lithosphere plate has not grown thicker than the crust and as long as volcanic material is added onto the crust. Thermal evolution studies suggest that the mechanism could work for the first 1-2 Ga of planetary evolution. The efficiency of the mechanism is limited by the ratio of extrusive to intrusive volcanism, which is thought to be less than 0.25. Plate tectonics would certainly have an advantage by working even for more evolved planets. A simple, most-used concept of habitability requires the thermodynamic stability of liquid water on the surface of a planet. Cycling of CO2between the atmosphere, oceans and interior through subduction and surface volcanism is an important element of the carbonate-silicate cycle, a thermostat feedback cycle that will keep the atmosphere from entering into a runaway greenhouse. Calculations for a model Earth lacking plate tectonics but degassing CO2, N, and H2O to form a surface ocean and a secondary atmosphere (Tosi et al, 2016) suggest that liquid water can be maintained on the surface for 4.5Ga. The model planet would then qualify as habitable. It is conceivable that the CO2 buffering capability of its ocean together with silicate

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2002-10-01

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

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

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    Semen I. Sherman

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Anomalous Late Jurassic motion of the Pacific Plate with implications for true polar wander

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    Fu, R. R.; Kent, D.

    2017-12-01

    True polar wander, or TPW, is the rotation of the entire mantle-crust system that results in simultaneous change in latitude and orientation for all lithospheric plates. One of the most recent candidate TPW events consists of a 30˚ rotation during Late Jurassic time (160 - 145 Ma). However, existing paleomagnetic documentation of this event derives exclusively from continental studies. Because all major landmasses except China were connected directly or via spreading centers in the Late Jurassic, the velocities of these continents were mutually constrained and their motion as a group over the underlying mantle would be indistinguishable from TPW using only continental data. On the other hand, plates of the Pacific Basin constituted a kinematically independent domain, interfacing with continents at subduction zones and slip-strike boundaries. Coherent motion of both Pacific Basin and continental plates would therefore indicate uniform motion of virtually the entire lithosphere, providing a means to distinguish TPW from continental drift. We performed thermal demagnetization on remaining samples from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 801B, which were cored from the oldest sampled oceanic crust in the Western Pacific, to determine its change in paleolatitude during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous (167 - 134 Ma). We find that the Pacific Plate likely underwent a steady southward drift during this time period, consistent with previous results from magnetic anomalies, except for an episode of northward motion between Oxfordian and Tithonian time (161 - 147 Ma). Although the amplitude of this northward shift is subject to significant uncertainty due to the sparse recovery of core samples, the trajectory of the Pacific Plate is most simply explained by TPW in the 160 - 145 Ma interval as inferred from continental data. Furthermore, such an interpretation is consistent with the sense of shear inferred at the Farallon-North American Plate boundary, whereas uniform

  4. Is plate tectonics needed to evolve technological species on exoplanets?

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    Robert J. Stern

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available As we continue searching for exoplanets, we wonder if life and technological species capable of communicating with us exists on any of them. As geoscientists, we can also wonder how important is the presence or absence of plate tectonics for the evolution of technological species. This essay considers this question, focusing on tectonically active rocky (silicate planets, like Earth, Venus, and Mars. The development of technological species on Earth provides key insights for understanding evolution on exoplanets, including the likely role that plate tectonics may play. An Earth-sized silicate planet is likely to experience several tectonic styles over its lifetime, as it cools and its lithosphere thickens, strengthens, and becomes denser. These include magma ocean, various styles of stagnant lid, and perhaps plate tectonics. Abundant liquid water favors both life and plate tectonics. Ocean is required for early evolution of diverse single-celled organisms, then colonies of cells which specialized further to form guts, appendages, and sensory organisms up to the complexity of fish (central nervous system, appendages, eyes. Large expanses of dry land also begin in the ocean, today produced above subduction zones in juvenile arcs and by their coalescence to form continents, although it is not clear that plate tectonics was required to create continental crust on Earth. Dry land of continents is required for further evolution of technological species, where modification of appendages for grasping and manipulating, and improvement of eyes and central nervous system could be perfected. These bioassets allowed intelligent creatures to examine the night sky and wonder, the beginning of abstract thinking, including religion and science. Technology arises from the exigencies of daily living such as tool-making, agriculture, clothing, and weapons, but the pace of innovation accelerates once it is allied with science. Finally, the importance of plate

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

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

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    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.

  7. Reducing risk where tectonic plates collide

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    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.

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

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    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Assessing the role of slab rheology in coupled plate-mantle convection models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bello, Léa; Coltice, Nicolas; Tackley, Paul J.; Dietmar Müller, R.; Cannon, John

    2015-11-01

    Reconstructing the 3D structure of the Earth's mantle has been a challenge for geodynamicists for about 40 yr. Although numerical models and computational capabilities have substantially progressed, parameterizations used for modeling convection forced by plate motions are far from being Earth-like. Among the set of parameters, rheology is fundamental because it defines in a non-linear way the dynamics of slabs and plumes, and the organization of lithosphere deformation. In this study, we evaluate the role of the temperature dependence of viscosity (variations up to 6 orders of magnitude) and the importance of pseudo-plasticity on reconstructing slab evolution in 3D spherical models of convection driven by plate history models. Pseudo-plasticity, which produces plate-like behavior in convection models, allows a consistent coupling between imposed plate motions and global convection, which is not possible with temperature-dependent viscosity alone. Using test case models, we show that increasing temperature dependence of viscosity enhances vertical and lateral coherence of slabs, but leads to unrealistic slab morphologies for large viscosity contrasts. Introducing pseudo-plasticity partially solves this issue, producing thin laterally and vertically more continuous slabs, and flat subduction where trench retreat is fast. We evaluate the differences between convection reconstructions employing different viscosity laws to be very large, and similar to the differences between two models with the same rheology but using two different plate histories or initial conditions.

  11. The Continental Margin of East Asia: a collage of multiple plates formed by convergence and extension from multiple directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, J.; Wang, T.; Ludington, S.; Qiu, Z.; Li, Z.

    2017-12-01

    East Asia is one of the most complex regions in the world. Its margin was divided into 4 parts: Northeast Asia, North China, South China and Southeast Asia. During the Phanerozoic, continental plates of East Asia have interacted successively with a) the Paleo Tethyan Ocean, b) the Tethyan and Paleo Pacific Oceans and c) the Pacific and Indian. In the Early Mesozoic, the Indosinian orogeny is characterized by the convergence and extension within multiple continental plates, whereas the Late Mesozoic Yanshanian orogeny is characterized by both convergence and compression due to oceanic subduction and by widespread extension. We propose this combination as "East Asia Continental Margin type." Except in Northeast Asia, where Jurassic and Cretaeous accretionary complexes are common, most magmatic rocks are the result of reworking of ancient margins of small continental plates; and oceanic island arc basalts and continental margin arc andesites are largely absent. Because South China is adjacent to the western margin of the Pacific Plate, some effects of its westward subduction must be unavoidable, but juvenile arc-related crust has not been identified. The East Asian Continental Margin is characterized by magmatic rocks that are the result of post-convergent tectonics, which differs markedly from the active continental margins of both South and North America. In summary, the chief characteristics of the East Asian Continental Margin are: 1) In Mesozoic, the periphery of multiple blocks experienced magmatism caused by lithospheric delamination and thinning in response to extension punctuated by shorter periods of convergence. 2) The main mechanism of magma generation was the partial melting of crustal rocks, due to underplating by upwelling mafic magma associated with the collapse of orogenic belts and both extension and compression between small continental blocks. 3) During orogeny, mostly high Sr/Y arc-related granitoids formed, whereas during post-orogenic times, A

  12. Plate tectonics hiati as the cause of global glaciations: 2. The late Proterozoic 'Snowball Earth'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osmaston, M. F.

    2003-04-01

    A fundamental reappraisal of the mechanisms that drive plate tectonics has yielded the remarkable conclusion that, for at least the past 130 Ma, the principal agent has not been ridge-push or slab-pull but a CW-directed torque (probably of electromagnetic origin at the CMB) reaching the deep (>600 km, e.g.[1]) tectospheric keel of the Antarctica craton. Major changes in spreading direction marked both ends of the 122--85 Ma Cretaceous Superchron and started by forming the Ontong Java Plateau. Action of MORs as gearlike linkages has driven Africa and India CCW since Gondwana breakup and continues to drive the Pacific plate CCW. In the Arctic there is now no cratonic keel to pick up any corresponding polar torque, so northern hemisphere plate tectonics is far less active. The thesis of this contribution is that in the Neoproterozoic the lack of cratons at high latitudes would have deprived plate tectonics of this motivation, causing MORs to die (see below) and a major fall in sea-level, leading to global glaciation as outlined in Part 1 for the Huronian events. Like that seen during that first hiatus, dyke-swarm volcanism could have arisen from thermal shrinkage of the global lithosphere, providing CO2 and ash-covering that interrrupted glacial episodes. In oceanic settings this volcanism would have lowered pH and supplied Fe2+ for shallow bio-oxygenic action to deposit as BIF. My multifacet studies of the subduction process convince me that the rapid development of "flat-slab" interface profiles involves the physical removal of hanging-wall material in front of the downbend by basal subduction tectonic erosion (STE). Historically this, and its inferred ubiquity in the Archaean as the precursor to PSM (Part 1), suggests that the required subducting-plate buoyancy is thermal. Accordingly, a redesign [2] of the MOR process has incorporated the heat-containing LVZ as an integral part of the plate and luckily provides a lot more ridge-push to ensure the subduction of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Göğüş, Oğuz H.; Ueda, Kosuke

    2018-06-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Tectonics and Non-isostatic Topography of the Mariana Trench and Adjacent Plates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hongyu, L.; Lin, J.; Zhou, Z.; Zhang, F.

    2017-12-01

    Multi-types of geophysical data including multibeam bathymetry, sediment thickness, gravity anomaly, and crustal magnetic age were analyzed to investigate tectonic processes of the Mariana Trench and the surrounding plates. We calculated non-Airy-isostatic topography by removing from the observed bathymetry the effects of sediment loading, thermal subsidence, and Airy local isostatically-compensated topography. The Mariana Trench was found to be associated with a clearly defined zone of negative non-isostatic topography, which was caused by flexural bending of the subducting Pacific plate and with the maximum depth anomaly and flexural bending near the Challenger Deep. In contrast, the Caroline Ridge and Caroline Islands Chain have much more subdued non-isostatic topography, indicating their higher topography is largely compensated by thicker crust. Along the Mariana Trough, the northern and central segments appear to be associated with relatively low magma supply as indicated by the relatively low topography and thin crust. In contrast, the southern Mariana Trough is associated with relatively high magma supply as indicated by the relatively high and smoother topography, an axial high spreading center, and relatively thick crust. The southern end of the Mariana Trough was also found to be associated with positive non-isostatic topographic anomaly, which might be caused by the complex tectonic deformation of the overriding Mariana and Philippine Sea plates and their interaction with the subducting Pacific plate. Analysis further revealed that the southern Mariana Arc, located between the Mariana Trench and Mariana Trough, is associated with positive non-isostatic topographic anomalies, which may be explained by the late stage magmatic loading on the older and thus stronger lithospheric plate of the Mariana volcanic arc.

  16. 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).

  17. Metamorphism and Shear Localization in the Oceanic and Continental Lithosphere: A Local or Lithospheric-Scale Effect?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montesi, L.

    2017-12-01

    Ductile rheologies are characterized by strain rate hardening, which favors deformation zones that are as wide as possible, thus minimizing strain rate and stress. By contrast, plate tectonics and the observation of ductile shear zones in the exposed middle to lower crust show that deformation is often localized, that is, strain (and likely strain rate) is locally very high. This behavior is most easily explained if the material in the shear zone is intrinsically weaker than the reference material forming the wall rocks. Many origins for that weakness have been proposed. They include higher temperature (shear heating), reduced grain size, and fabric. The latter two were shown to be the most effective in the middle crust and upper mantle (given observational limits restricting heating to 50K or less) but they were not very important in the lower crust. They are not sufficient to explain the generation of narrow plate boundaries in the oceans. We evaluate here the importance of metamorphism, especially related to hydration, in weakening the lithosphere. Serpentine is a major player in the dynamics of the oceanic lithosphere. Although its ductile behavior is poorly constrained, serpentine is likely to behave in a brittle or quasi-plastic manner with a reduced coefficient of friction, replacing stronger peridotite. Serpentinization sufficiently weakens the oceanic lithosphere to explain the generation of diffuse plate boundaries and, combined with grain size reduction, the development of narrow plate boundaries. Lower crust outcrops, especially in the Bergen Arc (Norway), display eclogite shear zones hosted in metastable granulites. The introduction of water triggered locally a metamorphic reaction that reduces rock strength and resulted in a ductile shear zone. The presence of these shear zones has been used to explain the weakness of the lower crust perceived from geodesy and seismic activity. We evaluate here how much strain rate may increase as a result of

  18. 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

  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. Geochemistry of serpentinites in subduction zones: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  2. Spatial variations of current tectonic stress field and its relationship to the structure and rheology of lithosphere around the Bohai Sea, North China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xianrui; Wang, Jie; Zeng, Zuoxun; Dai, Qingqin

    2017-05-01

    The tectonic stress field in the middle-upper crust is closely related to the structure and rheology of the lithosphere. To determine the stress field in the deep crust, we inversed the focal mechanism solutions (FMSs) of 62 earthquakes that occurred between 2009 and 2015 in the Bohai Sea and its surrounding areas using broadband seismic waveforms collected from 140 stations. We then derived the tectonic stress field using the software SATSI (Spatial And Temporal Stress Inversion) based on the damped linear inversion method. The inversion results show that both the maximum (σ1) and minimum (σ3) principle stress axes throughout the entire region are nearly horizontal except in the Tangshan and Haicheng areas, suggesting that the study area is predominantly under a strike-slip faulting stress regime. The σ1 and σ3 axes are found to be oriented in the NEE-SWW or nearly E-W and NNW-SSE or nearly S-N directions, respectively. These results indicate that the stress field in the North China Craton is controlled by the combined effects of the Pacific Plate westward subduction and the India-Eurasia Plate collision. However, localized normal faulting stress regimes (where the vertical stress σv ≈ σ1) are observed in the Tangshan and Haicheng areas, where low viscosity bodies (LVBs) were identified using geophysical data. Based on the analysis of focal mechanism solutions, active faults and lithosphere rheology characteristics in the Tangshan and Haicheng areas, we speculate that the anomalous stress regime is caused by the local extension resulting from the movement of strike-slip faults under the action of the regional stress field. The existence of LVB may indicate weakness in the crust that favors the accumulation of tectonic stress and triggers large earthquakes.

  3. The latest geodynamics in Asia: Synthesis of data on volcanic evolution, lithosphere motion, and mantle velocities in the Baikal-Mongolian region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergei Rasskazov

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available From a synthesis of data on volcanic evolution, movement of the lithosphere, and mantle velocities in the Baikal-Mongolian region, we propose a comprehensive model for deep dynamics of Asia that assumes an important role of the Gobi, Baikal, and North Transbaikal transition-layer melting anomalies. This layer was distorted by lower-mantle fluxes at the beginning of the latest geodynamic stage (i.e. in the early late Cretaceous due to avalanches of slab material that were stagnated beneath the closed fragments of the Solonker, Ural-Mongolian paleoceans and Mongol-Okhotsk Gulf of Paleo-Pacific. At the latest geodynamic stage, Asia was involved in east–southeast movement, and the Pacific plate moved in the opposite direction with subduction under Asia. The weakened upper mantle region of the Gobi melting anomaly provided a counterflow connected with rollback in the Japan Sea area. These dynamics resulted in the formation of the Honshu-Korea flexure of the Pacific slab. A similar weakened upper mantle region of the North Transbaikal melting anomaly was associated with the formation of the Hokkaido-Amur flexure of the Pacific slab, formed due to progressive pull-down of the slab material into the transition layer in the direction of the Pacific plate and Asia convergence. The early–middle Miocene structural reorganization of the mantle processes in Asia resulted in the development of upper mantle low-velocity domains associated with the development of rifts and orogens. We propose that extension at the Baikal Rift was caused by deviator flowing mantle material, initiated under the moving lithosphere in the Baikal melting anomaly. Contraction at the Hangay orogen was created by facilitation of the tectonic stress transfer from the Indo-Asian interaction zone due to the low-viscosity mantle in the Gobi melting anomaly.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Controls on intrusion of near-trench magmas of the Sanak-Baranof Belt, Alaska, during Paleogene ridge subduction, and consequences for forearc evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kusky, Timothy M.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Donely, D. Thomas; Rowley, David; Haeussler, Peter J.

    2003-01-01

    have sheeted margins and appear to have intruded along extensional jogs in margin-parallel strike-slip faults, whereas others form significant angles with the main faults and may have been influenced by minor faults of other orientations. Some of the plutons of the Sanak-Baranof belt have their long axes oriented parallel to faults of an orthorhombic fault set, implying that these faults may have provided a conduit for magma emplacement. This orthorhombic set of late faults is interpreted to have initially formed during the ridge subduction event, and continued to be active for a short time after passage of the triple junction. ENE-striking dextral faults of this orthorhombic fault system exhibit mutually crosscutting relationships with Eocene dikes related to ridge subduction, and mineralized strike-slip and normal faults of this system have yielded 40Ar/39Ar ages identical to near-trench intrusives related to ridge subduction. Movement on the orthorhombic fault system accommodated exhumation of deeper levels of the southern Alaska accretionary wedge, which is interpreted as a critical taper adjustment to subduction of younger oceanic lithosphere during ridge subduction. These faults therefore accommodate both deformation of the wedge and assisted emplacement of near-trench plutons. Structures that crosscut the plutons and aureoles include the orthorhombic fault set and dextral strike-slip faults, reflecting a new kinematic regime established after ridge subduction, during underthrusting of the trailing oceanic plate with new dextral-oblique convergence vectors with the overriding plate. The observation that the orthorhombic fault set both cuts and is cut by Eocene intrusives demonstrates the importance of these faults for magma emplacement in the forearc.A younger, ca. 35 Ma suite of plutons intrudes the Chugach terrane in the Prince William Sound region, and their intrusion geometry was strongly influenced by pre-existing faults developed during ridge subduction

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    important for understanding the large-scale structure of the earth's crust under major geographic features, such as mountain ranges, oceanic ridges and subduction zones. Short wave length residual anomalies are due to shallow anomalous masses that may be of interest for commercial exploitation. The last part is the magnetotellurics (MT), which is an electromagnetic geophysical method of imaging the earth's subsurface by measuring natural variations of electrical and magnetic fields at the Earth's surface. The long-period MT technique is used to exploration deep crustal. MT has been used to investigate the distribution of silicate melts in the Earth's mantle and crust and to better understand the plate-tectonic processes.

  8. Subduction Initiation Existed Along the Ancient Continent Margins? Evidence of U-Pb ages of zircons from the Bonin Trench, Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y. B.; Pearce, J. A.; Ryan, J. G.; Li, X. H.; Haraguchi, S.; Iizuka, T.; Kon, Y.; Yamamoto, S.; Sawaki, Y.; Ishii, T.; Maruyama, S.

    2017-12-01

    Although it is not cleanly known when and where the subduction initiation began on the Paleo-Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) Trench, Jurassic and Cretaceous plutonic rocks, such as gabbroic, granitic and metamorphic rocks had been sampled from the Amami Plateau-Daito Ridge-Okidaito Ridge (ADO) in the Philippine Sea Plate. Furthermore, Mesozonic to Paleozonic ages zircons were obtained from volcaniclastic sandstones collected from northern Izu-Bonin forarc (Tani et al., 2012). We present U-Pb ages, Hf-O isotopes and trace element compositions of zircon grains separated from sediment, volcanic rock, dolerite and gabbro, collected from Chichijima Island and Bonin forearc seafloor (KH03-3, KT04-28 cruise of the University of Tokyo, IODP Leg 352). In the zircon age histogram, several age groups were identified. The age peaks are 0-3 Ma and 13 Ma (Hahajima Seamount: soft mud and volcanic tuff); 38 Ma (Oomachi Seamount: sandstone); 45 Ma (Chichijima Island: volcanic rock); 40 Ma, 48 Ma and 52 Ma (Hahajima Seamount: dolerite and gabbro); 45 Ma and 164-165 Ma (IODP Leg 352: volcanic rock), respectively. Zircon U-Pb ages ranging 0-52 Ma correspond well to the multi-stages of magmatism in the IBM. However, 164-165 Ma maybe represent the ages of zircon xenocryst including in forearc volcanic rock , which pre-existing in ancient continent crustal materials (SE China Continent Crust?) as the basement of Paleo-IBM. It seems reasonable to suppose that the subduction initiation of IBM existed along the ancient SE China Continent margins. The initiation of subduction zone is a consequence of lateral compositional buoyancy contrast within the lithosphere, that advocated by Niu et al. (2003, 2016).

  9. Tomography and Dynamics of Western-Pacific Subduction Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, D.

    2012-01-01

    the Japan Sea and the East Asia margin may be related to a metastable olivine wedge in the subducting Pacific slab. The Pacific slab becomes stagnant in the mantle transition zone under East Asia, and a big mantle wedge (BMW) has formed above the stagnant slab. Convective circulations and fluid and magmatic processes in the BMW may have caused intraplate volcanism (e.g., Changbai and Wudalianchi), reactivation of the North China craton, large earthquakes, and other active tectonics in East Asia. Deep subduction and dehydration of continental plates (such as the Eurasian plate, Indian plate and Burma microplate) are also found, which have caused intraplate magmatism (e.g., Tengchong) and geothermal anomalies above the subducted continental plates. Under Kamchatka, the subducting Pacific slab shortens toward the north and terminates near the Aleutian-Kamchatka junction. The slab loss was induced by friction with the surrounding asthenosphere, as the Pacific plate rotated clockwise 30 Ma ago, and then it was enlarged by the slab-edge pinch-off by the asthenospheric flow. The stagnant slab finally collapses down to the bottom of the mantle, which may trigger upwelling of hot mantle materials from the lower mantle to the shallow mantle. Suggestions are also made for future directions of the seismological research of subduction zones.

  10. Three-dimensional lithospheric density distribution of China and surrounding regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuantao Li

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we analyze lithospheric density distribution of China and surrounding regions on the basis of 30′ × 30′ gravity data and 1° × 1° P-wave velocity data. Firstly, we used the empirical equation between the density and the P-wave velocity difference as the base of the initial model of the Asian lithospheric density. Secondly, we calculated the gravity anomaly, caused by the Moho discontinuity and the sedimentary layer discontinuity, by the Parker formula. Thirdly, the gravity anomaly of the spherical harmonics with 2–40 order for the anomalous body below the lithosphere is calculated based on the model of EGM96. Finally, by using Algebra Reconstruction Techniques (ART, the inversion of 30′ × 30′ residual lithospheric Bouguer gravity anomaly caused by the lithosphere yields a rather detailed structural model. The results show that the lithospheric density distribution of China and surrounding regions has a certain connection with the tectonic structure. The density is relatively high in the Philippine Sea plate, Japan Sea, the Indian plate, the Kazakhstan shield and the Western Siberia plain, whereas the Tibetan Plateau has low-density characteristics. The minimum value of density lies in the north of Philippines, in the Taiwan province and in the Ryukyu island arc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. Water and Electricity Do Mix: Studying Plates, Petroleum, and Permafrost using Marine Electromagnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constable, S.

    2015-12-01

    Marine magnetotelluric (MT) and controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) sounding methods were developed in the early 1980's as deep-water academic tools to study the oceanic lithosphere and mantle. Electrical conductivity is a strong function of porosity, temperature, melting, and volatile content, and so marine MT and CSEM data can be used to address a variety of geological questions related to plate tectonics. These include the distribution of melt at mid-ocean ridges, the fate of fluids in subduction zones, and the nature of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. With the advent of deepwater oil and gas drilling in the late 1990's, marine EM methods were embraced by the exploration community, and are now routinely used to assist in exploration and make drilling decisions for wells costing $100M or more. For countries without conventional hydrocarbon resources, gas hydrate offers the potential for energy production, and marine CSEM methods may be the only effective way to explore for and characterize this resource. The use of EM methods to map geothermal, groundwater, and mineral resources also has application in the marine environment. Water and electricity has proved to be a very successful mix!

  14. Magma explains low estimates of lithospheric strength based on flexure of ocean island loads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buck, W. Roger; Lavier, Luc L.; Choi, Eunseo

    2015-04-01

    One of the best ways to constrain the strength of the Earth's lithosphere is to measure the deformation caused by large, well-defined loads. The largest, simple vertical load is that of the Hawaiian volcanic island chain. An impressively detailed recent analysis of the 3D response to that load by Zhong and Watts (2013) considers the depth range of seismicity below Hawaii and the seismically determined geometry of lithospheric deflection. These authors find that the friction coefficient for the lithosphere must be in the normal range measured for rocks, but conclude that the ductile flow strength has to be far weaker than laboratory measurements suggest. Specifically, Zhong and Watts (2013) find that stress differences in the mantle lithosphere below the island chain are less than about 200 MPa. Standard rheologic models suggest that for the ~50 km thick lithosphere inferred to exist below Hawaii yielding will occur at stress differences of about 1 GPa. Here we suggest that magmatic accommodation of flexural extension may explain Hawaiian lithospheric deflection even with standard mantle flow laws. Flexural stresses are extensional in the deeper part of the lithosphere below a linear island load (i.e. horizontal stresses orthogonal to the line load are lower than vertical stresses). Magma can accommodate lithospheric extension at smaller stress differences than brittle and ductile rock yielding. Dikes opening parallel to an island chain would allow easier downflexing than a continuous plate, but wound not produce a freely broken plate. The extensional stress needed to open dikes at depth depends on the density contrast between magma and lithosphere, assuming magma has an open pathway to the surface. For a uniform lithospheric density ρL and magma density ρM the stress difference to allow dikes to accommodate extension is: Δσxx (z) = g z (ρM - gρL), where g is the acceleration of gravity and z is depth below the surface. For reasonable density values (i.e.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark, Chris; Chew, David; Gupta, Sanjeev

    2017-11-01

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

  16. Large scale deformation of the oceanic lithosphere: insights from numerical modeling of the Indo-Australian intraplate deformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royer, J.; Brandon, V.

    2011-12-01

    The large-scale deformation observed in the Indo-Australian plate seems to challenge tenets of plate tectonics: plate rigidity and narrow oceanic plate boundaries. Its distribution along with kinematic data inversions however suggest that the Indo-Australian plate can be viewed as a composite plate made of three rigid component plates - India, Capricorn, Australia - separated by wide and diffuse boundaries either extensional or compressional. We tested this model using the SHELLS numerical code (Kong & Bird, 1995) where the Indo-Australian plate was meshed into 5281 spherical triangular finite elements. Model boundary conditions are defined only by the plate velocities of the rigid parts of the Indo-Australian plate relative to their neighboring plates. Different plate velocity models were tested. From these boundary conditions, and taking into account the age of the lithosphere, seafloor topography, and assumptions on the rheology of the oceanic lithosphere, SHELLS predicts strain rates within the plate. We also tested the role of fossil fracture zones as potential lithospheric weaknesses. In a first step, we considered different component plate pairs (India/Capricorn, Capricorn/Australia, India/Australia). Since the limits of their respective diffuse boundary (i.e. the limits of the rigid component plates) are not known, we let the corresponding edge free. In a second step, we merged the previous meshes to consider the whole Indo-Australian plate. In this case, the velocities on the model boundaries are all fully defined and were set relative to the Capricorn plate. Our models predict deformation patterns very consistent with that observed. Pre-existing structures of the lithosphere play an important role in the intraplate deformation and its distribution. The Chagos Bank focuses the extensional deformation between the Indian and Capricorn plates. Reactivation of fossil fracture zones may accommodate large part of the deformation both in extensional areas, off

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Meghan S.; Becker, Thorsten

    2014-05-01

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

  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

    Asthenospheric counterflows, accompanied motions of the lithosphere in Central and East Asia, are defined on basis of spatial-temporal activity of mantle sources [Rasskazov et al., 2012; Rasskazov, Chuvashova, 2013; Chuvashova, Rasskazov, 2014] and the tomographic model of the Rayleigh wave group velocities [Kozhevnikov et al., 2014]. The opposite fluxes are defined relative to centers of convective instability (low-velocity anomalies), expressed by thinning of the mantle transition layer under Southwestern Gobi (44 °N, 95 °E) and Northern Baikal (52 °N, 108 °E). Cretaceous-Paleogene volcanic fields in Southern Gobi are shifted eastwards relative to the former anomaly over 600 km with the opposite sub-lithospheric flux at depths of 150-300 km. Likewise, the Late Tertiary Vitim volcanic field is shifted relative to the latter anomaly over 100-200 km. We suggest that the Gobi and Baikal asthenospheric counterflows contributed to the rollback mechanism of downgoing slab material from the Pacific under the eastern margin of Asia in the Cretaceous-Paleogene and Early-Middle Miocene. The east-west Gobi reverse flux, caused by differential block motions in front of the Indo-Asian convergence, resulted in the oblique Honshu-Korean flexure of the Pacific slab that propagated beneath the continental margin, while the Japan Sea was quickly opening at about 15 Ma. The Baikal N60°W reverse flux, originated due to oncoming traffic between Eurasia and the Pacific plate, entailed the formation of the Baikal Rift Zone and direct Hokkaido Amur slab flexure [Rasskazov et al., 2004]. The study is supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Grant 14-05-31328). References Chuvashova I.S., Rasskazov S.V. Magmatic sources in the mantle of the evolving Earth. Irkutsk: Publishing House of the Irkutsk State University, 2014. 310 p. (in Russian) Kozhevnikov V.M., Seredkina A.I., Solovei O.A. 3D mantle structure of Central Asia from Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion

  2. Anomalous Late Jurassic motion of the Pacific Plate with implications for true polar wander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Roger R.; Kent, Dennis V.

    2018-05-01

    True polar wander, or TPW, is the rotation of the entire mantle-crust system about an equatorial axis that results in a coherent velocity contribution for all lithospheric plates. One of the most recent candidate TPW events consists of a ∼30° rotation during Late Jurassic time (160-145 Ma). However, existing paleomagnetic documentation of this event derives exclusively from continents, which compose less than 50% of the Earth's surface area and may not reflect motion of the entire mantle-crust system. Additional paleopositional information from the Pacific Basin would significantly enhance coverage of the Earth's surface and allow more rigorous testing for the occurrence of TPW. We perform paleomagnetic analyses on core samples from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 801B, which were taken from the oldest available Pacific crust, to determine its paleolatitude during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous (167-133 Ma). We find that the Pacific Plate underwent a steady southward drift of 0.49°-0.74° My-1 except for an interval between Kimmeridgian and Tithonian time (157-147 Ma), during which it underwent northward motion at 1.45° ± 0.76° My-1 (1σ). This trajectory indicates that the plates of the Pacific Basin participated in the same large-amplitude (∼30°) rotation as continental lithosphere in the 160-145 Ma interval. Such coherent motion of a large majority of the Earth's surface strongly supports the occurrence of TPW, suggesting that a combination of subducting slabs and rising mantle plumes was sufficient to significantly perturb the Earth's inertia tensor in the Late Jurassic.

  3. Lithospheric controls on magma composition along Earth's longest continental hotspot track.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, D R; Rawlinson, N; Iaffaldano, G; Campbell, I H

    2015-09-24

    Hotspots are anomalous regions of volcanism at Earth's surface that show no obvious association with tectonic plate boundaries. Classic examples include the Hawaiian-Emperor chain and the Yellowstone-Snake River Plain province. The majority are believed to form as Earth's tectonic plates move over long-lived mantle plumes: buoyant upwellings that bring hot material from Earth's deep mantle to its surface. It has long been recognized that lithospheric thickness limits the rise height of plumes and, thereby, their minimum melting pressure. It should, therefore, have a controlling influence on the geochemistry of plume-related magmas, although unambiguous evidence of this has, so far, been lacking. Here we integrate observational constraints from surface geology, geochronology, plate-motion reconstructions, geochemistry and seismology to ascertain plume melting depths beneath Earth's longest continental hotspot track, a 2,000-kilometre-long track in eastern Australia that displays a record of volcanic activity between 33 and 9 million years ago, which we call the Cosgrove track. Our analyses highlight a strong correlation between lithospheric thickness and magma composition along this track, with: (1) standard basaltic compositions in regions where lithospheric thickness is less than 110 kilometres; (2) volcanic gaps in regions where lithospheric thickness exceeds 150 kilometres; and (3) low-volume, leucitite-bearing volcanism in regions of intermediate lithospheric thickness. Trace-element concentrations from samples along this track support the notion that these compositional variations result from different degrees of partial melting, which is controlled by the thickness of overlying lithosphere. Our results place the first observational constraints on the sub-continental melting depth of mantle plumes and provide direct evidence that lithospheric thickness has a dominant influence on the volume and chemical composition of plume-derived magmas.

  4. Crustal and upper mantle investigations of the Caribbean-South American plate boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezada, Maximiliano J.

    The evolution of the Caribbean --- South America plate boundary has been a matter of vigorous debate for decades and many questions remain unresolved. In this work, and in the framework of the BOLIVAR project, we shed light on some aspects of the present state and the tectonic history of the margin by using different types of geophysical data sets and techniques. An analysis of controlled-source traveltime data collected along a boundary-normal profile at ˜65°W was used to build a 2D P-wave velocity model. The model shows that the Caribbean Large Igenous Province is present offshore eastern Venezuela and confirms the uniformity of the velocity structure along the Leeward Antilles volcanic belt. In contrast with neighboring profiles, at this longitude we see no change in velocity structure or crustal thickness across the San Sebastian - El Pilar fault system. A 2D gravity modeling methodology that uses seismically derived initial density models was developed as part of this research. The application of this new method to four of the BOLIVAR boundary-normal profiles suggests that the uppermost mantle is denser under the South American continental crust and the island arc terranes than under the Caribbean oceanic crust. Crustal rocks of the island arc and extended island arc terranes of the Leeward Antilles have a relatively low density, given their P-wave velocity. This may be caused by low iron content, relative to average magmatic arc rocks. Finally, an analysis of teleseismic traveltimes with frequency-dependent kernels produced a 3D P-wave velocity perturbation model. The model shows the structure of the mantle lithosphere under the study area and clearly images the subduction of the Atlantic slab and associated partial removal of the lower lithosphere under northern South America. We also image the subduction of a section of the Caribbean plate under South America with an east-southeast direction. Both the Atlantic and Caribbean subducting slabs penetrate the

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  8. Archean greenstone-tonalite duality: Thermochemical mantle convection models or plate tectonics in the early Earth global dynamics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerrich, Robert; Polat, Ali

    2006-03-01

    were intruded by voluminous norites from the Neoarchean through Proterozoic; norites are accounted for by melting of subduction metasomatized Archean continental lithospheric mantle (CLM). Deep CLM defines Archean cratons; it extends to ˜ 350 km, includes the diamond facies, and xenoliths signify a composition of the buoyant, refractory, residue of plume melting, a natural consequence of imbricated plateau-arc crust. Voluminous tonalites of Archean greenstone-granitoid terranes show a secular trend of increasing Mg#, Cr, Ni consistent with slab melts hybridizing with thicker mantle wedge as subduction angle steepens. Strike-slip faults of 1000 km scale; diachronous accretion of distinct tectonostratigraphic terranes; and broad Cordilleran-type orogens featuring multiple sutures, and oceanward migration of arcs, in the Archean Superior and Yilgarn cratons, are in common with the Altaid and Phanerozoic Cordilleran orogens. There is increasing geological evidence of the supercontinent cycle operating back to ˜ 2.7 Ga: Kenorland or Ur ˜ 2.7-2.4 Ga; Columbia ˜ 1.6-1.4 Ga; Rodinia ˜ 1100-750 Ma; and Pangea ˜ 230 Ma. High-resolution seismic reflection profiling of Archean terranes reveals a prevalence of low angle structures, and evidence for paleo-subduction zones. Collectively, the geological-geochemical-seismic records endorse the operation of plate tectonics since the early Archean.

  9. 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.

  10. Plate Speed-up and Deceleration during Continental Rifting: Insights from Global 2D Mantle Convection Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brune, S.; Ulvrova, M.; Williams, S.

    2017-12-01

    The surface of the Earth is divided into a jigsaw of tectonic plates, some carrrying continents that disperse and aggregate through time, forming transient supercontinents like Pangea and Rodinia. Here, we study continental rifting using large-scale numerical simulations with self-consistent evolution of plate boundaries, where continental break-up emerges spontaneously due to slab pull, basal drag and trench suction forces.We use the StagYY convection code employing a visco-plastic rheology in a spherical annulus geometry. We consider an incompressible mantle under the Boussinesq approximation that is basally and internally heated.We show that continental separation follows a characteristic evolution with three distinctive phases: (1) A pre-rift phase that typically lasts for several hundreds of millions of years with tectonic quiescence in the suture and extensional stresses that are slowly building up. (2) A rift phase that further divides into a slow rift period of several tens of millions of years where stresses continuously increase followed by a rift acceleration period featuring an abrupt stress drop within several millions of years. The speed-up takes place before lithospheric break-up and therefore affects the structural architecture of the rifted margins. (3) The drifting phase with initially high divergence rates persists over tens of millions of years until the system adjust to new conditions and the spreading typically slows down.By illustrating the geodynamic connection between subduction dynamics and rift evolution, our results allow new interpretations of plate tectonic reconstructions. Rift acceleration within the second phase of rifting is compensated by enhanced convergence rates at subduction zones. This model outcome predicts enhanced subduction velocities, e.g. between North America and the Farallon plate during Central Atlantic rifting 200 My ago, or closure of potential back-arc basins such as in the proto-Andean ranges of South America

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-11-01

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

  12. Subducted slab-plume interaction traced by magnesium isotopes in the northern margin of the Tarim Large Igneous Province

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Zhiguo; Zhang, Zhaochong; Xie, Qiuhong; Hou, Tong; Ke, Shan

    2018-05-01

    Incorporation of subducted slabs may account for the geochemical and isotopic variations of large igneous provinces (LIPs). However, the mechanism and process by which subducted slabs are involved into magmas is still highly debated. Here, we report a set of high resolution Mg isotopes for a suite of alkaline and Fe-rich rocks (including basalts, mafic-ultramafic layered intrusions, diabase dykes and mantle xenoliths in the kimberlitic rocks) from Tarim Large Igneous Province (TLIP). We observed that δ26 Mg values of basalts range from -0.29 to - 0.45 ‰, -0.31 to - 0.42 ‰ for mafic-ultramafic layered intrusions, -0.28 to - 0.31 ‰ for diabase dykes and -0.29 to - 0.44 ‰ for pyroxenite xenoliths from the kimberlitic rocks, typically lighter than the normal mantle source (- 0.25 ‰ ± 0.04, 2 SD). After carefully precluding other possibilities, we propose that the light Mg isotopic compositions and high FeO contents should be ascribed to the involvement of recycled sedimentary carbonate rocks and pyroxenite/eclogite. Moreover, from basalts, through layered intrusions to diabase dykes, (87Sr/86Sr)i values and δ18OV-SMOW declined, whereas ε (Nd) t and δ26 Mg values increased with progressive partial melting of mantle, indicating that components of carbonate rock and pyroxenite/eclogite in the mantle sources were waning over time. In combination with the previous reported Mg isotopes for carbonatite, nephelinite and kimberlitic rocks in TLIP, two distinct mantle domains are recognized for this province: 1) a lithospheric mantle source for basalts and mafic-ultramafic layered intrusions which were modified by calcite/dolomite and eclogite-derived high-Si melts, as evidenced by enriched Sr-Nd-O and light Mg isotopic compositions; 2) a plume source for carbonatite, nephelinite and kimberlitic rocks which were related to magnesite or periclase/perovskite involvement as reflected by depleted Sr-Nd-O and extremely light Mg isotopes. Ultimately, our study suggests

  13. 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

  14. Analysis of Lithospheric Stresses Using Satellite Gravimetry: Hypotheses and Applications to North Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minakov, A.; Medvedev, S.

    2017-12-01

    Analysis of lithospheric stresses is necessary to gain understanding of the forces that drive plate tectonics and intraplate deformations and the structure and strength of the lithosphere. A major source of lithospheric stresses is believed to be in variations of surface topography and lithospheric density. The traditional approach to stress estimation is based on direct calculations of the Gravitational Potential Energy (GPE), the depth integrated density moment of the lithosphere column. GPE is highly sensitive to density structure which, however, is often poorly constrained. Density structure of the lithosphere may be refined using methods of gravity modeling. However, the resulted density models suffer from non-uniqueness of the inverse problem. An alternative approach is to directly estimate lithospheric stresses (depth integrated) from satellite gravimetry data. Satellite gravity gradient measurements by the ESA GOCE mission ensures a wealth of data for mapping lithospheric stresses if a link between data and stresses or GPE can be established theoretically. The non-uniqueness of interpretation of sources of the gravity signal holds in this case as well. Therefore, the data analysis was tested for the North Atlantic region where reliable additional constraints are supplied by both controlled-source and earthquake seismology. The study involves comparison of three methods of stress modeling: (1) the traditional modeling approach using a thin sheet approximation; (2) the filtered geoid approach; and (3) the direct utilization of the gravity gradient tensor. Whereas the first two approaches (1)-(2) calculate GPE and utilize a computationally expensive finite element mechanical modeling to calculate stresses, the approach (3) uses a much simpler numerical treatment but requires simplifying assumptions that yet to be tested. The modeled orientation of principal stresses and stress magnitudes by each of the three methods are compared with the World Stress Map.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Interaction Between Downwelling Flow and the Laterally-Varying Thickness of the North American Lithosphere Inferred from Seismic Anisotropy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behn, M. D.; Conrad, C. P.; Silver, P. G.

    2005-12-01

    Shear flow in the asthenosphere tends to align olivine crystals in the direction of shear, producing a seismically anisotropic asthenosphere that can be detected using a number of seismic techniques (e.g., shear-wave splitting (SWS) and surface waves). In the ocean basins, where the asthenosphere has a relatively uniform thickness and lithospheric anisotropy appears to be small, observed azimuthal anisotropy is well fit by asthenospheric shear flow in global flow models driven by a combination of plate motions and mantle density heterogeneity. In contrast, beneath the continents both the lithospheric ceiling and asthenospheric thickness may vary considerably across cratonic regions and ocean-continent boundaries. To examine the influence of a continental lithosphere with variable thickness on predictions of continental seismic anisotropy, we impose lateral variations in lithospheric viscosity in global models of mantle flow driven by plate motions and mantle density heterogeneity. For the North American continent, the Farallon slab descends beneath a deep cratonic root, producing downwelling flow in the upper mantle and convergent flow beneath the cratonic lithosphere. We evaluate both the orientation of the predicted azimuthal anisotropy and the depth dependence of radial anisotropy for this downwelling flow and find that the inclusion of a strong continental root provides an improved fit to observed SWS observations beneath the North American craton. Thus, we hypothesize that at least some continental anisotropy is associated with sub-lithospheric viscous shear, although fossil anisotropy in the lithospheric layer may also contribute significantly. Although we do not observe significant variations in the direction of predicted anisotropy with depth, we do find that the inclusion of deep continental roots pushes the depth of the anisotropy layer deeper into the upper mantle. We test several different models of laterally-varying lithosphere and asthenosphere

  18. 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.

  19. Colorado Plateau magmatism and uplift by warming of heterogeneous lithosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Mousumi; Jordan, Thomas H; Pederson, Joel

    2009-06-18

    The forces that drove rock uplift of the low-relief, high-elevation, tectonically stable Colorado Plateau are the subject of long-standing debate. While the adjacent Basin and Range province and Rio Grande rift province underwent Cenozoic shortening followed by extension, the plateau experienced approximately 2 km of rock uplift without significant internal deformation. Here we propose that warming of the thicker, more iron-depleted Colorado Plateau lithosphere over 35-40 Myr following mid-Cenozoic removal of the Farallon plate from beneath North America is the primary mechanism driving rock uplift. In our model, conductive re-equilibration not only explains the rock uplift of the plateau, but also provides a robust geodynamic interpretation of observed contrasts between the Colorado Plateau margins and the plateau interior. In particular, the model matches the encroachment of Cenozoic magmatism from the margins towards the plateau interior at rates of 3-6 km Myr(-1) and is consistent with lower seismic velocities and more negative Bouguer gravity at the margins than in the plateau interior. We suggest that warming of heterogeneous lithosphere is a powerful mechanism for driving epeirogenic rock uplift of the Colorado Plateau and may be of general importance in plate-interior settings.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, L. D.

    2013-12-01

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

  1. Lithospheric structure of the Northern Ordos and adjacent regions from surface wave tomography: implications to the tectonics of the North China Craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    LI, S.; Guo, Z.; Chen, Y. J.

    2017-12-01

    We present a high-resolution upper mantle S velocity model of the northern Ordos block using ambient noise tomography and two-plane-wave tomography between 8 and 143 s. The Ordos block, regarded as the nuclei of the Archean craton of North China Craton, is underlain by high velocity down to 200 km, indicating the preservation of cratonic root at the interior. However, thick lithospheric keel (≥ 200 km) is not observed outside the Ordos, suggesting craton reworking around the Ordos. The most important findings is the prominent low velocity shown beneath the Datong volcano that migrates westward with depth. At 200 km depth, the low velocity locates almost 500 km west to the leading edge of the flat-lying Pacific slab in the mantle transition zone. This observation is in conflict with the previous interpretation that the Datong volcano is fed by the deep upwelling related to the subduction of the Pacific plate. The westward tilted low velocity beneath the Datong volcano, however, is in agreement with the predominant NW-SE trending alignment of fast direction revealed by SKS splitting in this area, suggesting the Datong volcano is likely due to the asthenospheric mantle flow from west. Two possible scenarios could be related to this mantle process. First, the low velocity beneath the Datong volcano may link to the large-scale, deep-rooted mantle upwelling beneath the Mongolia, northwest to the Datong volcano at deeper depth revealed by Zhang et al. (2016). We postulate that when the raising mantle materials reaches the shallow depth, it would be forced bent by the thick lithosphere beneath the Gobi in Mongolia and flow southeastward to Datong volcano. Second, it is also worth noting that the low velocity beneath the Datong volcano connects to the low velocity zone (LVZ) beneath the Ordos block below 200km, which further links the LVZ beneath the northeastern Tibet to the west. Therefore, the Datong volcano could be fed by the mantle flow from northeastern Tibet. The

  2. 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.

  3. Cyclic formation and stabilization of Archean lithosphere by accretionary orogenesis: Constraints from TTG and potassic granitoids, North China Craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Cawood, Peter A.; Liu, Shuwen; Guo, Rongrong; Bai, Xiang; Wang, Kang

    2017-09-01

    Accretionary orogens are major sites of modern continental growth, yet their role in the development of Archean continental crust remains enigmatic. Diverse granitoid suites from tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) to potassic granitoids appeared during late Archean, representing a period of major continental formation and stabilization. In this study, whole-rock geochemical and zircon U-Pb and Lu-Hf isotopic data are reported for Neoarchean granitoid gneisses from the Northern Liaoning Terrane, northeastern North China Craton (NCC). Older granitoid gneisses ( 2592-2537 Ma) define three magmatic zones migrating from southeast to northwest, each showing a common magmatic evolution from high-pressure TTGs to medium-/low-pressure TTGs and potassic granitoids. They have depleted zircon ƐHf(t) of +0.5 to +8.7. Younger 2529-2503 Ma potassic granitoids and TTGs occur throughout the terrane, which are marked by variable zircon ƐHf(t) of -4.7 to +8.1, and are coeval with regional high-grade metamorphism. Petrogenetic modeling and changing Sr/Y and (La/Yb)N of the granitoids suggest that the crust experienced episodic thickening and thinning and became progressively evolved through development of potassic granitoids and sedimentary successions. The metavolcanic basement to the granitoids display tholeiitic to calc-alkaline affinities, together with the top-to-the-northwest thrusting and associated volcanogenic massive sulfide-type Cu-Zn deposits, suggesting cyclic crustal formation of Northern Liaoning within an accretionary orogen with a SE-dipping subduction polarity. Cyclic crustal thickening and thinning is related to tectonic switching from advancing to retreating relations between the downgoing and overriding plate. After 2530 Ma, this accretionary system accreted to the ancient continental nucleus of NCC (Anshan-Benxi Terrane), signifying final lithosphere stabilization.

  4. Rifting Thick Lithosphere - Canning Basin, Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czarnota, Karol; White, Nicky

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

    In subduction zones, ultramafic xenoliths hosted in alkaline basalts can yield significant information about the role of potential slab-derived components in the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM). Chemical and isotopic heterogeneities in such xenoliths are usually interpreted to reflect melt extraction followed by metasomatic re-enrichment. Here we report new whole-rock major, trace element and isotopic (Sr-Nd-Pb) data for a Proterozoic suite of 17 anhydrous spinel-lherzolites and Eocene (new K-Ar data) host alkaline basalt found near Coyhaique ( 46°S), Aysén Region, Chile. These Patagonian nodules are located in a current back-arc position, 100 km east of the present day volcanic arc and 320 km from the Chile Trench. The mantle xenoliths consist of coarse- to medium-grained spinel-lherzolites with trace element compositions characteristic of a subduction zone setting, such as pronounced negative Nb, Ta and Ti anomalies coupled with significant enrichment of LILEs (e.g., U) and chalcophile elements (W, Pb and Sn). Most of them are characterized by flat to depleted light-rare earth element (LREE) patterns (Ce/YbN = 0.6-1.1) coupled with less radiogenic Sr-Pb (87Sr/86Sr = 0.702422-0.703479; 206Pb/204Pb = 18.212-18.539) and more radiogenic Nd isotopic compositions (143Nd/144Nd = 0.512994-0.513242), similar to the depleted mantle component (DMM or PREMA). In contrast, samples with slight LREE enrichment (Ce/YbN = 1.3-1.8) show more radiogenic Sr-Pb (87Sr/86Sr = 0.703791-0.704239; 206Pb/204Pb = 18.572-18.703) and less radiogenic Nd isotopic compositions (143Nd/144Nd = 0.512859-0.512934), similar to the EM-2 reservoir. These new geochemical and isotope data suggest that the Coyhaique spinel-lherzolites are derived from a heterogeneous SCLM resulting from mixing between a depleted mantle component and up to 10% of slab-derived components. The enriched component added to the SCLM represents variable extents of melts of both subducted Chile Trench sediments and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenough, John D.; McDivitt, Jordan A.

    2018-04-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Evolution of the Adria-Europe plate boundary in the northern Dinarides: From continent-continent collision to back-arc extension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ustaszewski, Kamil; Kounov, Alexandre; Schmid, Stefan M.; Schaltegger, Urs; Krenn, Erwin; Frank, Wolfgang; Fügenschuh, Bernhard

    2010-12-01

    The Sava Zone of the northern Dinarides is part of the Cenozoic Adria-Europe plate boundary. Here Late Cretaceous subduction of remnants of Meliata-Vardar oceanic lithosphere led to the formation of a suture, across which upper plate European-derived units of Tisza-Dacia were juxtaposed with Adria-derived units of the Dinarides. Late Cretaceous siliciclastic sediments, deposited on the Adriatic plate, were incorporated into an accretionary wedge that evolved during the initial stages of continent-continent collision. Structurally deeper parts of the exposed accretionary wedge underwent amphibolite-grade metamorphism. Grt-Pl-Ms-Bt thermobarometry and multiphase equilibria indicate temperatures between 550°C and 630°C and pressures between 5 and 7 kbar for this event. Peak metamorphic conditions were reached at around 65 Ma. Relatively slow cooling from peak metamorphic conditions throughout most of the Paleogene was possibly induced by hanging wall erosion in conjunction with southwest directed propagation of thrusting in the Dinarides. Accelerated cooling took place in Miocene times, when the Sava Zone underwent substantial extension that led to the exhumation of the metamorphosed units along a low-angle detachment. Footwall exhumation started under greenschist facies conditions and was associated with top-to-the-north tectonic transport, indicating exhumation from below European plate units. Extension postdates the emplacement of a 27 Ma old granitoid that underwent solid-state deformation under greenschist facies conditions. The 40Ar/39Ar sericite and zircon and apatite fission track ages from the footwall allow bracketing this extensional unroofing between 25 and 14 Ma. This extension is hence linked to Miocene rift-related subsidence in the Pannonian basin, which represents a back-arc basin formed due to subduction rollback in the Carpathians.

  10. 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.

  11. Dehydration-driven topotaxy in subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

    Mineral replacement reactions play a fundamental role in the chemistry and the strength of the lithosphere. When externally or internally derived fluids are present, interface-coupled dissolution-precipitation is the driving mechanism for such reactions [1]. One of the microstructural features of this process is a 3D arrangement of crystallographic axes across internal interfaces (topotaxy) between reactant and product phases. Dehydration reactions are a special case of mineral replacement reaction that generates a transient fluid-filled porosity. Among others, the dehydration serpentinite is of special relevance in subduction zones because of the amount of fluids involved (potentially up to 13 wt.%). Two topotatic relationships between olivine and antigorite (the serpentine mineral stable at high temperature and pressure) have been reported in partially hydrated mantle wedge xenoliths [2]. Therefore, if precursor antigorite serpentine has a strong crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) its dehydration might result in prograde peridotite with a strong inherited CPO. However for predicting the importance of topotactic reactions for seismic anisotropy of subduction zones we also need to consider the crystallization orthopyroxene + chlorite in the prograde reaction and, more importantly, the fact that this dehydration reaction produces a transient porosity of ca. 20 % vol. that results in local fluctuations of strain during compaction and fluid migration. We address this issue by a microstructural comparison between the CPO developed in olivine, orthopyroxene and chlorite during high-pressure antigorite dehydration in piston cylinder experiments (at 750ºC and 20 kbar and 1000ºC and 30 kbar, 168 h) and that recorded in natural samples (Cerro del Almirez, Betic Cordillera, Spain). Experimentally developed CPOs are strong. Prograde minerals show a significant inheritance of the former antigorite foliation. Topotactic relations are dominated by (001)atg//(100)ol

  12. Crustal thickness controlled by plate tectonics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Artemieva, Irina M.; Meissner, Rolf

    2012-01-01

    /gabbro–eclogite phase transition in crustal evolution and the links between lithosphere recycling, mafic magmatism, and crustal underplating. We advocate that plate tectonics processes, togetherwith basalt/gabbro–eclogite transition, limit crustal thickness worldwide by providing effective mechanisms of crustal...

  13. Dynamics of the Pacific Northwest Lithosphere and Asthenosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphreys, E.

    2013-12-01

    Seismic imaging resolves a complex structure beneath the Pacific Northwest (PNW) that is interpreted as: an high-velocity piece of accreted (~50 Ma) Farallon lithosphere that deepens from being exposed (at coast, where it is called Siletzia) to lower crust in SE Washington and then descending vertically to ~600 km as a 'curtain' beneath central Idaho; a stubby Juan de Fuca slab (to directed tractions on the Cascadia mega-thrust average ~4 TN per meter of along-strike fault length, or probably a shear stress of ~40 MPa over much of the locked mega-thrust (i.e., much more shear stress than the typical earthquake stress drop of 1-10 MPa). Normal to the coast, southern Cascadia is relatively tensional (where margin-normal compression is less than typical ridge push by ~4 TN/m of along-strike fault length) whereas northern Cascadia is compressional. This indicates that the southern Cascadia mega-thrust is more weakly coupled than the northern mega-thrust. Southern Cascadia slab rollback and extension of the Cascade graben and Basin-and-Range are enabled by the weak coupling, in conjunction with high gravitational potential energy of the southern Oregon arc and back-arc. Juan de Fuca-Gorda lithosphere experiences the same stress on its eastern margin as North America does on the PNW Cascadia margin (by stress continuity), although current models of the individual plates do not show this continuity. Gorda plate is strongly compressed across the Mendocino transform by the north-moving Pacific Plate. Development of the NW-trending Blanco transform has created a fault that avoids this strong compression.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Looking at the roots of the highest mountains: the lithospheric structure of the Himalaya-Tibet and the Zagros orogens. Results from a geophysical-petrological study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tunini, L.; Jimenez-Munt, I.; Fernandez, M.; Villasenor, A.; Afonso, J. C.; Verges, J.

    2013-12-01

    The Himalaya-Tibet and Zagros orogens are the two most prominent mountain belts built by continental collision. They are part of a huge belt of Cenozoic age which runs from the Pyrenees to Burma. In its central sector, the collision with the southern margin of the Eurasian plate has resulted not only in the building of mountain ranges over the north-eastern edges of the Arabian and Indian plates but also in widespread deformation 1000-3000 km from the suture zones. Zagros and Himalaya-Tibet orogens share many geodynamic processes but at different rates, amount of convergence and stage of development. The study of their present-day structures provides new insights into their quasi coeval collisional event pointing out differences and similarities in the mountain building processes. We present 2D crust and upper mantle cross-sections down to 400 km depth, along four SW-NE trending profiles. Two profiles cross the Zagros Mountains, running from the Mesopotamian Foreland Basin up to the Alborz and Central Iran. Two other profiles run through the Himalaya-Tibetan orogen: the western transect crosses the western Himalaya, Tarim Basin, Tian Shan Mountains and Junggar Basin; the eastern transect runs from the Indian shield to the Beishan Basin, crossing the eastern Himalaya, Tibetan Plateau, Qaidam Basin and Qilian Mountains. We apply the LitMod-2D code which integrates potential fields (gravity and geoid), isostasy (elevation) and thermal (heat flow and temperature distribution) equations, and mantle petrology. The resulting crust and upper mantle structure is constrained by available data on elevation, Bouguer anomaly, geoid height, surface heat flow and seismic data including P- and S-wave tomography models. Our results show distinct deformation patterns between the crust and the lithospheric mantle beneath the Zagros and Himalaya-Tibetan orogens, indicating a strong strain partitioning in both areas. At crustal level, we found a thickening beneath the Zagros and the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Impact of lithospheric rheology on surface topography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, K.; Becker, T. W.

    2017-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Subduction and vertical coastal motions in the eastern Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Permeability Barrier Generation in the Martian Lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schools, Joe; Montési, Laurent

    2015-11-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Tectonically asymmetric Earth: From net rotation to polarized westward drift of the lithosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlo Doglioni

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The possibility of a net rotation of the lithosphere with respect to the mantle is generally overlooked since it depends on the adopted mantle reference frames, which are arbitrary. We review the geological and geophysical signatures of plate boundaries, and show that they are markedly asymmetric worldwide. Then we compare available reference frames of plate motions relative to the mantle and discuss which is at best able to fit global tectonic data. Different assumptions about the depths of hotspot sources (below or within the asthenosphere, which decouples the lithosphere from the deep mantle predict different rates of net rotation of the lithosphere relative to the mantle. The widely used no-net-rotation (NNR reference frame, and low (1°/Ma net rotation (shallow hotspots source, all plates, albeit at different velocity, move westerly along a curved trajectory, with a tectonic equator tilted about 30° relative to the geographic equator. This is consistent with the observed global tectonic asymmetries.

  10. Anomalously high porosity in subduction inputs to the Nankai Trough (SW Japan) potentially caused by volcanic ash and pumice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huepers, A.; Ikari, M.; Underwood, M.; Kopf, A.

    2013-12-01

    At convergent margins, the sedimentary section seaward of the trench on the subducting oceanic lithosphere provides the source material for accretionary prisms and eventually becomes the host rock of the plate boundary megathrust. The mechanical properties of the sediments seaward of the subduction zone have therefore a first order control on subduction zone forearc mechanics and hydrogeology. At the Nankai Trough (SW Japan) the majority of sediment approaching the subduction zone is clay-rich. Scientific drilling expeditions in the framework of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) and the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) have revealed an anomalous zone of high porosity in a major lithologic unit known as the Upper Shikoku Basin facies (USB), which is associated with elevated volcanic ash content and high amounts of silica in the interstitial water. The existence of the high porosity zone has previously been associated with advanced silica cementation, driven by the dual diagenetic transition of opal-A to opal-CT, and opal-CT to quartz. However, temperature estimates from recent drilling expeditions offshore the Kii peninsula reveal different in situ temperatures at the proposed diagenetic boundary in the Shikoku Basin. Furthermore, laboratory measurements using core samples from the USB show that cohesive strength is not elevated in the high porosity zone, suggesting that a process other than cementation may be responsible. The USB sediment is characterized by abundant volcanic ash and pumice, therefore the high porosity zone in the USB may be closely linked to the mechanical behavior of this phase. We conducted consolidation tests in the range 0.1 to 8 MPa effective vertical stress on artificial ash-smectite and pumice-smectite mixtures, as well as intact and remolded natural samples from the IODP Sites C0011 and C0012 to investigate the role of the volcanic constituent on porosity loss with progressive burial. Our results show that both remolded and intact

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopper, E.; Fischer, K. M.

    2016-12-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  16. Regional metamorphism at extreme conditions: Implications for orogeny at convergent plate margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yong-Fei; Chen, Ren-Xu

    2017-09-01

    Regional metamorphism at extreme conditions refers either to Alpine-type metamorphism at low geothermal gradients of geothermal gradients of >30 °C/km. Extreme pressures refer to those above the polymorphic transition of quartz to coesite, so that ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) eclogite-facies metamorphism occurs at mantle depths of >80 km. Extreme temperatures refer to those higher than 900 °C at crustal depths of ≤80 km, so that ultrahigh-temperature (UHT) granulite-facies metamorphism occurs at medium to high pressures. While crustal subduction at the low geothermal gradients results in blueschist-eclogite facies series without arc volcanism, heating of the thinned orogenic lithosphere brings about the high geothermal gradients for amphibolite-granulite facies series with abundant magmatism. Therefore, UHP metamorphic rocks result from cold lithospheric subduction to the mantle depths, whereas UHT metamorphic rocks are produced by hot underplating of the asthenospheric mantle at the crustal depths. Active continental rifting is developed on the thinned lithosphere in response to asthenospheric upwelling, and this tectonism is suggested as a feasible mechanism for regional granulite-facies metamorphism, with the maximum temperature depending on the extent to which the mantle lithosphere is thinned prior to the rifting. While lithospheric compression is associated with subduction metamorphism in accretionary and collisional orogens, the thinned orogenic lithosphere undergoes extension due to the asthenospheric upwelling to result in orogen-parallel rifting metamorphism and magmatism. Thus, the rifting metamorphism provides a complement to the subduction metamorphism and its operation marks the asthenospheric heating of the orogenic lithosphere. Because of the partial melting and melt extraction of the lower continental crust, contemporaneous granite-migmatite-granulite associations may serve as a petrological indicator of rifting orogeny that is superimposed on

  17. 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

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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

  20. Global thermal models of the lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cammarano, F.; Guerri, M.

    2017-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. The Importance of Lower Mantle Structure to Plate Stresses and Plate Motions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, W. E.; Wang, X.; Ghosh, A.

    2016-12-01

    Plate motions and plate stresses are widely assumed as the surface expression of mantle convection. The generation of plate tectonics from mantle convection has been studied for many years. Lithospheric thickening (or ridge push) and slab pull forces are commonly accepted as the major driving forces for the plate motions. However, the importance of the lower mantle to plate stresses and plate motions remains less clear. Here, we use the joint modeling of lithosphere and mantle dynamics approach of Wang et al. (2015) to compute the tractions originating from deeper mantle convection and follow the method of Ghosh et al. (2013) to calculate gravitational potential energy per unit area (GPE) based on Crust 1.0 (Laske et al., 2013). Absolute values of deviatoric stresses are determined by the body force distributions (GPE gradients and traction magnitudes applied at the base of the lithosphere). We use the same relative viscosity model that Ghosh et al. (2013) used, and we solve for one single adjustable scaling factor that multiplies the entire relative viscosity field to provide absolute values of viscosity throughout the lithosphere. This distribution of absolute values of lithosphere viscosities defines the magnitudes of surface motions. In this procedure, the dynamic model first satisfies the internal constraint of no-net-rotation of motions. The model viscosity field is then scaled by the single factor until we achieve a root mean square (RMS) minimum between computed surface motions and the kinematic no-net-rotation (NNR) model of Kreemer et al. (2006). We compute plate stresses and plate motions from recently published global tomography models (over 70 based on Wang et al., 2015). We find that RMS misfits are significantly reduced when details of lower mantle structure from the latest tomography models are added to models that contain only upper and mid-mantle density distributions. One of the key reasons is that active upwelling from the Large Low Shear

  3. Imaging the lithospheric structure of the Central Andes from the joint inversion of multiple seismic data sets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Kevin Michael

    A lingering question in Cordilleran tectonics is how high plateaus form in the absence of continental collision. The type example of an active Cordilleran high plateau is found in the Central Andes of Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. Along this section of the South American Cordillera, tectonics are primarily driven by subduction of the oceanic Nazca Plate beneath the continental South American Plate. Extending over 1,800 km along the active continental margin, the Central Andean Plateau (CAP) reaches a maximum width of around 400 km with several peaks in excess of 6 km. Numerous morphotectonic subdivisions of the CAP highlight the complex along-strike variability of the Plateau providing a natural laboratory for investigating the relative contribution of tectonic processes involved in building and maintaining Cordilleran high plateaus. The scale of this problem extends far beyond the scope of any one geoscientific discipline requiring a multidisciplinary approach. Our contribution to this scientific problem and the focus of the work presented in this dissertation is to better understand the current lithospheric and uppermost mantle structure along the CAP. This is achieved by integrating recent advances in seismic imaging techniques with a growing availability of high-quality seismic data into three distinct studies across the South American continent. In the first study, we present a shear-wave velocity model for the crust below the Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Complex (APVC). The target of this study is to constrain the crustal volume of a large magma reservoir inferred to exist below the APVC. When combined with geological and petrological constraints, the large-volume magma reservoir imaged in this study suggests a significant magmatic contribution to the growth of the Plateau in excess of one kilometer over the last ten million years. In addition to the tectonic contributions of this work, we introduce a new method of jointly inverting surface-wave dispersion

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  6. The Rapid Drift of the Indian Tectonic Plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, P.; Yuan, X.; Kumar, R.; Kind, R.; Li, X.; Chadha, R.

    2007-12-01

    The breakup of the supercontinent Gondwanaland into Africa, Antarctica, Australia and India about 140 million years ago and consequently the opening of the Indian Ocean was caused by heating of the lithosphere from below by a large plume whose relicts are the Marion, Kerguelen and Reunion plumes. Plate reconstructions based on paleomagnetic data suggest that the Indian plate attained a very high speed (18-20 cm/yr during late Cretaceous) subsequent to its breakup from the Gondwanaland and slowed down to ~5 cm/yr since the continental collision with Asia during the last ~50 Ma. The Australian and African plates moved comparatively lesser distances and at much lesser speed of 2-4 cm/yr. Antarctica remained almost stationary. This super mobility makes India unique compared to the other fragments of Gondwanaland. We propose that when the parts of Gondwanaland were separated by the plume, the penetration of their lithospheric roots into the asthenosphere played an important role in determining their speed. We estimated the thickness of the lithospheric plates of the different parts of Gondwanaland around the Indian Ocean using the S-receiver function technique. We found that the part of Gondwanaland with clearly the thinnest lithosphere has travelled with the highest speed - India. The lithospheric root in South Africa, Australia and Antarctica is between 180 and 300 km deep. The Indian lithosphere is in contrast only about 100 km thick. Our interpretation is that the plume that partitioned Gondwanaland has also melted the lower half of the Indian lithosphere thus permitting faster motion due to the ridge push or slab pull.

  7. 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