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Sample records for subducting oceanic plate

  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. 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.

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

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    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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

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    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

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

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    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

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

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    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.

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

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    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

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

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    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

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

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    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

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

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    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

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

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    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.

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

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

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    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

  17. 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

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

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    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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

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

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    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

  3. 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

    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.

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

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    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maguire, R.; Ritsema, J.

    2017-12-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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 (

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-09-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Uppermost oceanic crust structure and properties from multichannel seismic data at the Alaska subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becel, A.; Carton, H. D.; Shillington, D. J.

    2017-12-01

    The most heterogeneous, porous and permeable layer within a subducting oceanic crust is the uppermost layer called Layer 2A. This layer, made of extrusive basalts, forms at the ridge axis and persists as a thin ( 600 m) low-velocity cap in old crust. Nearing the trench axis, when oceanic plate bends, normal faults can be formed or reactivated at the outer-rise allowing a more vigorous hydrothermal circulation to resume within this layer. Porosity and heterogeneity within this layer are important to assess because these parameters might have a profound impact on subduction zone processes. However, conventional refraction data quality is rarely good enough to look into detail into the properties of the uppermost oceanic layer. Here we use 2D marine long-offset multi-channel seismic (MCS) reflection data collected offshore of the Alaska Peninsula during the ALEUT Program. The dataset was acquired aboard the R/V Marcus Langseth with a 636-channels, 8-km long streamer. We present initial results from three 140 km long profiles across the 52-56Myr old incoming Pacific oceanic crust formed at fast spreading rate: two perpendicular margin and one parallel margin profiles. Those profiles are located outboard of the Shumagin gaps. Outboard of this subduction zone segment, abundant bending related normal faults are imaged and concentrated within 50-60 km of the trench. Long-offset MCS data exhibit a prominent triplication that includes postcritical reflections and turning waves within the upper crust at offsets larger than 3 km. The triplication suggests the presence of a velocity discontinuity within the upper oceanic crust. We follow a systematic and uniform approach to extract upper crustal post-critical reflections and add them to them to the vertical incidence MCS images. Images reveal small-scale variations in the thickness of the Layer 2A and the strength of its base along the profiles. The second step consists of the downward continuation followed by travel

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. D. Müller

    2012-12-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Supra-subduction and mid-ocean ridge peridotites from the Piranshahr area, NW Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajialioghli, Robab; Moazzen, Mohssen

    2014-11-01

    The Piranshahr metaperidotites in the northwestern end of the Zagros orogen were emplaced following the closure of the Neotethys ocean. The ophiolitic rocks were emplaced onto the passive margin of the northern edge of the Arabian plate as a result of northeastward subduction and subsequent accretion of the continental fragments. The metaperidotites have compositions ranging from low-clinopyroxene lherzolite to harzburgite and dunite. They are mantle residues with distinct geochemical signatures of both mid-ocean ridge and supra subduction zone (SSZ) affinities. The abyssal peridotites are characterized by high Al2O3 and Cr2O3 contents and low Mg-number in pyroxenes. The Cr-number in the coexisting spinel is also low. The SSZ mantle peridotites are characterized by low Al2O3 contents in pyroxenes as well as low Al2O3 and high Cr-number in spinel. Mineral chemical data indicate that the MOR- and SSZ-type peridotites are the residues from ∼15-20% and ∼30-35% of mantle melting, respectively. Considering petrography, mineralogy and textural evidence, the petrological history of the Piranshahr metaperidotites can be interpreted in three stages: mantle stable stage, serpentinization and metamorphism. The temperature conditions in the mantle are estimated using the Ca-in-orthopyroxene thermometer as 1210 ± 26 °C. The rocks have experienced serpentinization. Based on the textural observations, olivine and pyroxene transformed into lizardite and/or chrysotile with pseudomorphic textures at temperatures below 300 °C during the initial stage of serpentinization. Subsequent orogenic metamorphism affected the rocks at temperatures lower than 600 °C under lower-amphibolite facies metamorphism.

  19. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  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. 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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  6. Fast intraslab fluid-flow events linked to pulses of high pore fluid pressure at the subducted plate interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taetz, Stephan; John, Timm; Bröcker, Michael; Spandler, Carl; Stracke, Andreas

    2018-01-01

    A better understanding of the subduction zone fluid cycle and its chemical-mechanical feedback requires in-depth knowledge about how fluids flow within and out of descending slabs. Relicts of fluid-flow systems in exhumed rocks of fossil subduction zones allow for identification of the general relationships between dehydration reactions, fluid pathway formation, the dimensions and timescales of distinct fluid flow events; all of which are required for quantitative models for fluid-induced subduction zone processes. Two types of garnet-quartz-phengite veins can be distinguished in an eclogite-facies mélange block from the Pouébo Eclogite Mélange, New Caledonia. These veins record synmetamorphic internal fluid release by mineral breakdown reactions (type I veins), and infiltration of an external fluid (type II veins) with the associated formation of a reaction selvage. The dehydration and fluid migration documented by the type I veins likely occurred on a timescale of 105-106 years, based on average subduction rates and metamorphic conditions required for mineral dehydration and fluid flow. The timeframe of fluid-rock interaction between the external fluid and the wall-rock of the type II veins is quantified using a continuous bulk-rock Li-diffusion profile perpendicular to a vein and its metasomatic selvage. Differences in Li concentration between the internal and external fluid reservoirs resulted in a distinct diffusion profile (decreasing Li concentration and increasing δ7 Li) as the reaction front propagated into the host rock. Li-chronometric constraints indicate that the timescales of fluid-rock interaction associated with type II vein formation are on the order of 1 to 4 months (0.150-0.08+0.14 years). The short-lived, pulse-like character of this process is consistent with the notion that fluid flow caused by oceanic crust dehydration at the blueschist-to-eclogite transition contributes to or even dominates episodic pore fluid pressure increases at the

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Separate zones of sulfate and sulfide release from subducted mafic oceanic crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomkins, Andrew G.; Evans, Katy A.

    2015-10-01

    Liberation of fluids during subduction of oceanic crust is thought to transfer sulfur into the overlying sub-arc mantle. However, despite the importance of sulfur cycling through magmatic arcs to climate change, magma oxidation and ore formation, there has been little investigation of the metamorphic reactions responsible for sulfur release from subducting slabs. Here, we investigate the relative stability of anhydrite (CaSO4) and pyrite (FeS2) in subducted basaltic oceanic crust, the largest contributor to the subducted sulfur budget, to place constraints on the processes controlling sulfur release. Our analysis of anhydrite stability at high pressures suggests that this mineral should dominantly dissolve into metamorphic fluids released across the transition from blueschist to eclogite facies (∼450-650 °C), disappearing at lower temperatures on colder geothermal trajectories. In contrast, we suggest that sulfur release via conversion of pyrite to pyrrhotite occurs at temperatures above 750 °C. This higher temperature stability is indicated by the preservation of pyrite-bornite inclusions in coesite-bearing eclogites from the Sulu Belt in China, which reached temperatures of at least 750 °C. Thus, sulfur may be released from subducting slabs in two separate pulses; (1) varying proportions of SO2, HSO4- and H2S are released via anhydrite breakdown at the blueschist-eclogite transition, promoting oxidation of remaining silicates in some domains, and (2) H2S is released via pyrite breakdown well into the eclogite facies, which may in some circumstances coincide with slab melting or supercritical liquid generation driven by influx of serpentinite-derived fluids. These results imply that the metallogenic potential in the sub-arc mantle above the subducting slab varies as a function of subduction depth, having the greatest potential above the blueschist-eclogite transition given the association between oxidised magmas and porphyry Cu(-Au-Mo) deposits. We speculate

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  13. Seismofocal zones and mid-ocean ridges - look outside of the plate paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anokhin, Vladimir; Kholmianskii, Mikhail

    2014-05-01

    Seismofocal zones and mid-ocean ridges - look outside of the plate paradigm Vladimir M. Anokhin, Mikhail A. Kholmianskii Configuration of the seismofocal zones (SFZ), visible in a real position of the focuses of earthquakes, has a significant step component (jagged) expressed by the presence of several sub-horizontal "seismoplanes", which concentrates focuses of earthquakes (depths 10, 35 km and other). Orientation of seismolines inside of SFZ tends to 4 main directions: 0-5 dgr, 120-145 dgr, 40-55 dgr, 85-90 dgr. These facts suggest significantly block, a terraced structure of the body of Benioff zone. The borders of blocks have orientation according directions regmatic net of the Earth. In accordance with this, SFZ can be presented as the most active segments of the border of the crossing: «continent-ocean», having the following properties: - block (terraced) structure; - in some sites - dive under the continental crust (in present time); - prevailing compression (in present time), perhaps, as the period of the oscillatory cycle; Infinite "subduction" in SFZ is unlikely. One of the areas where there is proof of concept of far "spreading" is the southernmost tip of the mid-oceanic Gakkel ridge in the Laptev sea (Arctic ocean). Here active "spreading" ridge normal approaches to the boundary of the continental crust - the shelf of the Laptev sea. On the shelf there are a number of subparallel NW grabens. NE fault zone Charlie, controlling the continental slope is established stepped fault without shift component. This means that the amount of extending of the offshore grabens does not significantly differ from the scale of spreading in the Gakkel ridge. However, the total spreads grabens (50-100 km) 6-10 times less than the width of the oceanic crust (600 km) in the surrounding area. Conclusion: the oceanic crust in the Laptev sea was formed mainly not due to "spreading". It is very likely that here was sinking and the processing of continental crust in the ocean

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  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. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Changes in Pacific Absolute Plate Motion and Formation of Oceanic Flood Basalt Plateaus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroenke, L. W.; Wessel, P.

    2006-12-01

    The origin of the large oceanic flood basalt plateaus that are prominent features of the central western Pacific Basin remains unclear. Major changes in Pacific Absolute Plate Motion (APM) have been identified as occurring at 145, 125, 96, and 47 Ma. Formation of the Shatsky Rise (~145 Ma), the Ontong Java Plateau (122+ Ma), the Southern Hess Rise (95±5 Ma), and the Louisiade Plateau (~48 Ma) appear to coincide with these changes. A smaller, but still prominent change in Pacific APM also occurred at 110 Ma when the Northern Hess Rise formed. Although these concurrent events may simply be chance occurrences, initiation of plate tectonic reorganizations upon arrival of mantle plume heads also was proposed by Ratcliff et al. (1998), who suggested that the mantle plume head delivery of hot material to produce flood basalts also had the potential to trigger reorganizations of plate motions. It should be noted, however, that Pacific Rim subduction zone development also coincides with these APM changes, and that the actual cause and effect of each change in APM has yet to be clearly established. Here we present a modified Pacific APM model that uses several older seamount chains (Musicians, Ratak-Gilbert-Ellice, the Wake trails, and the Liliuokalani trails) to constrain the oldest Pacific plate motion using the hybrid technique of Wessel et al (2006).

  19. Subduction evolution in the Anatolian region : the rise, demise, and fate of the Anadolu Plate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gürer, M.D.

    2017-01-01

    A major ocean basin once intervened the African and Arabian continents in the south and the Eurasian continent in the north: the Neotethys Ocean. Unlike the present-day Atlantic Ocean, it was not a single, wide ocean with one mid-oceanic ridge, but consisted of several relatively narrow oceanic

  20. 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.

  1. Global Ocean Sedimentation Patterns: Plate Tectonic History Versus Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, A.; Reynolds, E.; Olson, P.; Hinnov, L. A.; Gnanadesikan, A.

    2014-12-01

    Global sediment data (Whittaker et al., 2013) and carbonate content data (Archer, 1996) allows examination of ocean sedimentation evolution with respect to age of the underlying ocean crust (Müller et al., 2008). From these data, we construct time series of ocean sediment thickness and carbonate deposition rate for the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian ocean basins for the past 120 Ma. These time series are unique to each basin and reflect an integrated response to plate tectonics and climate change. The goal is to parameterize ocean sedimentation tied to crustal age for paleoclimate studies. For each basin, total sediment thickness and carbonate deposition rate from 0.1 x 0.1 degree cells are binned according to basement crustal age; area-corrected moments (mean, variance, etc.) are calculated for each bin. Segmented linear fits identify trends in present-day carbonate deposition rates and changes in ocean sedimentation from 0 to 120 Ma. In the North and South Atlantic and Indian oceans, mean sediment thickness versus crustal age is well represented by three linear segments, with the slope of each segment increasing with increasing crustal age. However, the transition age between linear segments varies among the three basins. In contrast, mean sediment thickness in the North and South Pacific oceans are numerically smaller and well represented by two linear segments with slopes that decrease with increasing crustal age. These opposing trends are more consistent with the plate tectonic history of each basin being the controlling factor in sedimentation rates, rather than climate change. Unlike total sediment thickness, carbonate deposition rates decrease smoothly with crustal age in all basins, with the primary controls being ocean chemistry and water column depth.References: Archer, D., 1996, Global Biogeochem. Cycles 10, 159-174.Müller, R.D., et al., 2008, Science, 319, 1357-1362.Whittaker, J., et al., 2013, Geochem., Geophys., Geosyst. DOI: 10.1002/ggge.20181

  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

    older in the oceanic rocks (Malusà et al. 2015). Finally, further SE, the Voltri massif shows a huge volume of serpentinized mantle which locally overlies continental basement (strongly metamorphosed), and is interpreted as an exhumed remnant of the subduction channel (Federico et al., 2007). In all these localities the transport directions during initial pulses of stacking were consistently oriented generally towards the NW to N, taking into account the subsequent Oligocene and younger collision-related deformation (complex folds, thrusts, backfolds and backthrusts, and block-rotations). It is thus possible to attempt reconstructing an early stage continental subduction wedge involving these different elements from the subduction channel to the most frontal part of the accretionary complex. However, this early Alpine orogen which was active throughout the Eocene is interpreted to have propagated generally towards the NW to N, prior to subsequent pulses of more westerly directed deformation from the Oligocene onwards within the southern part of the Western Alps arc. It is therefore essential to continually improve high-resolution 3D geophysical imaging to facilitate a better understanding of the complex western termination of the Alpine orogen. References: Dumont T., Schwartz S., Guillot S., Simon-Labric S., Tricart P. & Jourdan S. (2012), Structural and sedimentary record of the Oligocene revolution in the Western Alpine arc. Jour. Geodynamics, doi:10.1016/j.jog.2011.11.006 Federico L., Crispini L., Scambelluri M. & Capponi G. (2007), Ophiolite mélange zone records exhumation in a fossil subduction channel. Geology, 35, p. 499-502 Malusà M.G., Faccenna C., Baldwin S.L., Fitzgerald P.G., Rossetti F., Balestrieri M.L., Danišík M., Ellero A., Ottria G. & Piromallo C. (2015), Contrasting styles of (U)HP rock exhumation along the Cenozoic Adria-Europe plate boundary (Western Alps, Calabria, Corsica). Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. ,16, p. 1786-1824 Tricart P. & Schwartz S

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zheng; Zheng, Yong-Fei

    2017-09-01

    Continental basalts, erupted in either flood or rift mode, usually show oceanic island basalts (OIB)-like geochemical compositions. Although their depletion in Sr-Nd isotope compositions is normally ascribed to contributions from the asthenospheric mantle, their enrichment in large ion lithophile elements (LILE) and light rare earth elements (LREE) is generally associated with variable enrichments in the Sr-Nd isotope compositions. This indicates significant contributions from crustal components such as igneous oceanic crust, lower continental crust and seafloor sediment. Nevertheless, these crustal components were not incorporated into the mantle sources of continental basalts in the form of solidus rocks. Instead they were processed into metasomatic agents through low-degree partial melting in order to have the geochemical fractionation of the largest extent to achieve the enrichment of LILE and LREE in the metasomatic agents. Therefore, the mantle sources of continental basalts were generated by metasomatic reaction of the depleted mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB) mantle with hydrous felsic melts. Nevertheless, mass balance considerations indicate differential contributions from the mantle and crustal components to the basalts. While the depleted MORB mantle predominates the budget of major elements, the crustal components predominate the budget of melt-mobile incompatible trace elements and their pertinent radiogenic isotopes. These considerations are verified by model calculations that are composed of four steps in an ancient oceanic subduction channel: (1) dehydration of the subducting crustal rocks at subarc depths, (2) anataxis of the dehydrated rocks at postarc depths, (3) metasomatic reaction of the depleted MORB mantle peridotite with the felsic melts to generate ultramafic metasomatites in the lower part of the mantle wedge, and (4) partial melting of the metasomatites for basaltic magmatism. The composition of metasomatites is quantitatively dictated by

  5. 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

  6. Three Plate Reconstruction in the Eastern Indian Ocean: New Constraints on Wharton and Australian-Antarctic basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, J.; Dyment, J.

    2012-12-01

    Understanding the continuous seismicity and repeated occurrence of major earthquakes in Sumatra and the neighboring area requires detailed constrains on the subducting plate. In this study we analyze the past plate kinematics evolution of the Wharton basin, eastern Indian Ocean through a three plate reconstruction involving Australia (AUS), Antarctica (ANT), and India (IND). We compile marine magnetic identifications in the Australian-Antarctic Basin [1,2], the Crozet and Central Indian basins (Yatheesh et al, in prep.) and the Wharton Basin [3]. The Wharton Basin is characterized by an extinct spreading center dated by anomaly 18 (38 Ma). The southern flank of the basin exhibits a continuous sequence of anomalies 20n (42 Ma) to 34n (84 Ma), whereas the northern flank lacks some of the older anomalies because a significant part has been subducted in the Sunda Trench. The three-plate reconstructions have provided set of rotation parameters describing the evolution of IND-AUS. Using these parameters, we have reconstructed the missing isochrons of the northern flank and the detailed geometry of the subducted part of the Wharton basin. Such an exercise provides useful constraints on the age and structure of the plate in subduction under Indonesia. As a byproduct, the three plate reconstruction provided set of rotation parameters for AUS-ANT as well, which constrains the conjugate fit between the basins. Previous studies [1,2,4,5] have achieved such a fit on the base of ill-defined fracture zones. We consider the well-defined fracture zones from the Crozet, Central Indian, and Wharton basins, but avoid using the poor fracture zone imprints from the Australian-Antarctic Basin. As a result from this approach, we conclude that the relative motion of AUS with respect to ANT initially followed a north-south direction, then changed to northwest-southeast at anomaly 32ny, and reverted to northeast southwest at anomaly 24no prior to the establishment of the Southeast Indian

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Xiaodong

    2016-04-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  12. Magnesium Isotopic Evidence for Ancient Subducted Oceanic Crust in LOMU-Like Potassium-Rich Volcanic Rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yang; Teng, Fang-Zhen; Ying, Ji-Feng; Su, Ben-Xun; Hu, Yan; Fan, Qi-Cheng; Zhou, Xin-Hua

    2017-10-01

    To evaluate the role of subducted oceanic crust in the genesis of potassium-rich magmas, we report high-precision Mg isotopic data for a set of Cenozoic volcanic rocks from Northeast China. These rocks overall are lighter in Mg isotopic composition than the normal mantle and display considerable Mg isotopic variations, with δ26Mg ranging from -0.61 to -0.23. The covariation of δ26Mg with TiO2 in these rocks suggests that their light Mg isotopic compositions were derived from recycled oceanic crust in the form of carbonated eclogite in the source region. The strong correlations between δ26Mg and (Gd/Yb)N ratio as well as Sr-Pb isotopes further indicate a multicomponent and multistage origin of these rocks. Magnesium isotopes may thus be used as a novel tracer of recycled oceanic crust in the source region of mantle-derived magmas.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Quetzalcoatl; Zuñiga, F. Ramón

    2018-06-01

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

  14. A viscoplastic shear-zone model for episodic slow slip events in oceanic subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, A.; Meng, L.

    2016-12-01

    Episodic slow slip events occur widely along oceanic subduction zones at the brittle-ductile transition depths ( 20-50 km). Although efforts have been devoted to unravel their mechanical origins, it remains unclear about the physical controls on the wide range of their recurrence intervals and slip durations. In this study we present a simple mechanical model that attempts to account for the observed temporal evolution of slow slip events. In our model we assume that slow slip events occur in a viscoplastic shear zone (i.e., Bingham material), which has an upper static and a lower dynamic plastic yield strength. We further assume that the hanging wall deformation is approximated as an elastic spring. We envision the shear zone to be initially locked during forward/landward motion but is subsequently unlocked when the elastic and gravity-induced stress exceeds the static yield strength of the shear zone. This leads to backward/trenchward motion damped by viscous shear-zone deformation. As the elastic spring progressively loosens, the hanging wall velocity evolves with time and the viscous shear stress eventually reaches the dynamic yield strength. This is followed by the termination of the trenchward motion when the elastic stress is balanced by the dynamic yield strength of the shear zone and the gravity. In order to account for the zig-saw slip-history pattern of typical repeated slow slip events, we assume that the shear zone progressively strengthens after each slow slip cycle, possibly caused by dilatancy as commonly assumed or by progressive fault healing through solution-transport mechanisms. We quantify our conceptual model by obtaining simple analytical solutions. Our model results suggest that the duration of the landward motion increases with the down-dip length and the static yield strength of the shear zone, but decreases with the ambient loading velocity and the elastic modulus of the hanging wall. The duration of the backward/trenchward motion depends

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Structural styles and zircon ages of the South Tianshan accretionary complex, Atbashi Ridge, Kyrgyzstan: Insights for the anatomy of ocean plate stratigraphy and accretionary processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sang, Miao; Xiao, Wenjiao; Orozbaev, Rustam; Bakirov, Apas; Sakiev, Kadyrbek; Pak, Nikolay; Ivleva, Elena; Zhou, Kefa; Ao, Songjian; Qiao, Qingqing; Zhang, Zhixin

    2018-03-01

    The anatomy of an ancient accretionary complex has a significance for a better understanding of the tectonic processes of accretionary orogens and complex because of its complicated compositions and strong deformation. With a thorough structural and geochronological study of a fossil accretionary complex in the Atbashi Ridge, South Tianshan (Kyrgyzstan), we analyze the structure and architecture of ocean plate stratigraphy in the western Central Asian Orogenic Belt. The architecture of the Atbashi accretionary complex is subdivisible into four lithotectonic assemblages, some of which are mélanges with "block-in-matrix" structure: (1) North Ophiolitic Mélange; (2) High-pressure (HP)/Ultra-high-pressure (UHP) Metamorphic Assemblage; (3) Coherent & Mélange Assemblage; and (4) South Ophiolitic Mélange. Relationships between main units are tectonic contacts presented by faults. The major structures and lithostratigraphy of these units are thrust-fold nappes, thrusted duplexes, and imbricated ocean plate stratigraphy. All these rock units are complicatedly stacked in 3-D with the HP/UHP rocks being obliquely southwestward extruded. Detrital zircon ages of meta-sediments provide robust constraints on their provenance from the Ili-Central Tianshan Arc. The isotopic ages of the youngest components of the four units are Late Permian, Early-Middle Triassic, Early Carboniferous, and Early Triassic, respectively. We present a new tectonic model of the South Tianshan; a general northward subduction polarity led to final closure of the South Tianshan Ocean in the End-Permian to Late Triassic. These results help to resolve the long-standing controversy regarding the subduction polarity and the timing of the final closure of the South Tianshan Ocean. Finally, our work sheds lights on the use of ocean plate stratigraphy in the analysis of the tectonic evolution of accretionary orogens.

  1. Immature intra-oceanic arc-type volcanism on the Izanagi Plate revealed by the geochemistry of the Daimaruyama greenstones in the Hiroo Complex, southern Hidaka Belt, central Hokkaido, Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamasaki, Toru; Nanayama, Futoshi

    2018-03-01

    The Izanagi Plate is assumed to have underlain the western Panthalassa Ocean to the east of Eurasia, and to have been subducting under the Eurasian continent. Although the Izanagi Plate has been lost to subduction, the subduction complexes of the circum-Panthalassa continental margins provide evidence that subduction-related volcanism occurred within the Panthalassa Ocean, and not just along its margins. The Daimaruyama mass is a kilometer-sized allochthonous greenstone body in the Hiroo Complex in the southeastern part of the Nakanogawa Group in the southern Hidaka Belt, northern Japan. The Hiroo Complex is a subduction complex that formed within the Paleo-Kuril arc-trench system at 57-48 Ma. The Daimaruyama greenstones consist mainly of coarse volcaniclastic rocks with lesser amount of lava. Red bedded chert, red shale, and micritic limestone are also observed as blocks associated with the greenstones. The presence of Early Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian) radiolaria in red bedded cherts within the greenstones indicates that the Daimaruyama greenstones formed after this time. An integrated major and trace element geochemical dataset for whole-rocks and clinopyroxenes of the greenstones indicates a calc-alkaline magmatic trend with low TiO2 contents and increases in SiO2 and decreases in FeO* with increasing differentiation. Negative anomalies of Nb, Ta, and Ti in normal mid-ocean-ridge basalt type normalized patterns are interpreted as "arc-signatures". Using "rhyolite-MELTS", we conducted a numerical simulation of magmatic differentiation under conditions of 1.5 kbar and H2O = 3 wt% to reproduce the liquid line of descent of the Daimaruyama greenstones. Back-calculations of the equilibrium melt compositions from the trace element chemistry of the clinopyroxenes generally agree with the whole-rock rare earth element compositions of the Daimaruyama greenstones, therefore providing support for the conditions used for the rhyolite-MELTS calculations as well as the actual

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  4. 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

  5. From Tethyan Oceans to the Western Mediterranean I - Plate reconstructions from the Present back to the Early Mesozoic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Stefan; Handy, Mark; Bousquet, Romain; Kissling, Eduard; Bernoulli, Daniel

    2010-05-01

    -Kabylia-Peloritani-Calabria; Michard et al. 2002) is rendered necessary for two principal reasons: (a) the contrasting tectonometamorphic evolution of the West Ligurian Ocean (future Alps-Corsica-Betics) and the East Ligurian Ocean (future Apennine) make it necessary to kinematically decouple the fate of these two branches of Alpine Tethys located on opposite sides of the Alkapekia continental block; (b) Alkapecia that was formerly part of the African and/or Adriatic plate overrode parts of the Iberian, African and Adria plates as an independent continental microplate during Late Cenozoic rollback subduction leading to the present-day Betic-Rif arc and the Calabrian Trench-Arc system. Our complex five-plate model provides an explanation of the equally complex evolution of the Western Mediterranean-Alps system, as discussed in part II of this contribution (Handy et al.). Márton, E., Zampieri, D., Grandesso, P., Ćosović, V., Moro, A., submitted to Tectonophysics. New Cretaceous paleomagnetic results from the foreland of the Southern Alps and the refined apparent polar wander path for stable Adria. Savostin, L.A., Sibuet, J.-C., Zonenshain, L.P., Le Pichon, X., Roulet, M.-J., 1986. Kinematic evolution of the Tethys belt from the Atlantic ocean to the Pamire since the Triassic. Tectonophysics 123: 1-35. Séranne, M., 1999. The Gulf of Lion continental margin (NW Mediterranean) revisited by IBS: an overview. In: B. Durand, L. Jolivet, F. Horvath, M. Séranne (Editors), The Mediterranean Basins: Tertiary Extension within the Alpine Orogen. Geological Society, London, Special Publications 156: 15-36. Michard, A., Chalouan, A., Feinberg, H., Goffé, B., Montigny, R., 2002. How does the Alpine belt end between Spain and Morocco? Bullétin Societé géologique de France 173: 3-15.

  6. Segmentation of Slow Slip Events in South Central Alaska Possibly Controlled by a Subducted Oceanic Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Haotian; Wei, Meng; Li, Duo; Liu, Yajing; Kim, YoungHee; Zhou, Shiyong

    2018-01-01

    Recent GPS observations show that slow slip events in south central Alaska are segmented along strike. Here we review several mechanisms that might contribute to this segmentation and focus on two: along-strike variation of slab geometry and effective normal stress. We then test them by running numerical simulations in the framework of rate-and-state friction with a nonplanar fault geometry. Results show that the segmentation is most likely related to the along-strike variation of the effective normal stress on the fault plane caused by the Yakutat Plateau. The Yakutat Plateau could affect the effective normal stress by either lowering the pore pressure in Upper Cook Inlet due to less fluids release or increasing the normal stress due to the extra buoyancy caused by the subducted Yakutat Plateau. We prefer the latter explanation because it is consistent with the relative amplitudes of the effective normal stress in Upper and Lower Cook Inlet and there is very little along-strike variation in Vp/Vs ratio in the fault zone from receiver function analysis. However, we cannot exclude the possibility that the difference in effective normal stress results from along-strike variation of pore pressure due to the uncertainties in the Vp/Vs estimates. Our work implies that a structural anomaly can have a long-lived effect on the subduction zone slip behavior and might be a driving factor on along-strike segmentation of slow slip events.

  7. 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.

  8. Dispersed Volcanic Ash in Sediment Entering NW Pacific Ocean Subduction Zones: Towards a Regional Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scudder, R. P.; Murray, R. W.; Underwood, M.; Kutterolf, S.; Plank, T.; Dyonisius, M.; Arshad, M. A.

    2011-12-01

    Volcanic ash has long been recognized to be an important component of the global sedimentary system. Ash figures prominently in a number of sedimentary and petrophysical investigations, including how the fluid budget of subducting sediment will be affected by hydration/dehydration reactions. Additionally, many studies focus on discrete ash layers, and how to link their presence with volcanism, climate, arc evolution, biological productivity, and other processes. Less widely recognized is the ash that is mixed into the bulk sediment, or "dispersed" ash. Dispersed ash is quantitatively significant and is an under-utilized source of critical geochemical and tectonic information. Based on geochemical studies of ODP Site 1149, a composite of DSDP Sites 579 & 581, as well as IODP Sites C0011 & C0012 drilled during Expedition 322, we will show the importance of dispersed ash to the Izu-Bonin-Marianas, Kurile-Kamchatka and Nankai subduction zones. Initial geochemical analyses of the bulk sediment, as related to dispersed ash entering these subduction systems are presented here. Geochemical analysis shows that the characteristics of the three sites exhibit some variability consistent with observed lithological variations. For example, the average SiO2/Al2O3 ratios at Site 1149, Site C0011 and Site C0012 average 3.7. The composite of Sites 579 & 581 exhibits a higher average of 4.6. There are contrasts between other key major elemental indicators as well (e.g., Fe2O3). Ternary diagrams such as K2O-Na2O-CaO show that there are at least two distinct geochemical fields with Sites 1149, C0011 and C0012 clustering in one and Sites 579 & 581 in the other. Q-mode Factor Analysis was performed on the bulk sediment chemical data in order to determine the composition of potential end members of these sites. The multivariate statistics indicate that Site 1149 has 3-4 end members, consistent with the results of Scudder et al. (2009, EPSL, v. 284, pp 639), while each of the other sites

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, H.; Leng, W.

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  17. Suitability of Open-Ocean Instrumentation for Use in Near-Field Tsunami Early Warning Along Seismically Active Subduction Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Amy L.; Newman, Andrew V.

    2018-05-01

    Over the past decade, the number of open-ocean gauges capable of parsing information about a passing tsunami has steadily increased, particularly through national cable networks and international buoyed efforts such as the Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami (DART). This information is analyzed to disseminate tsunami warnings to affected regions. However, most current warnings that incorporate tsunami are directed at mid- and far-field localities. In this study, we analyze the region surrounding four seismically active subduction zones, Cascadia, Japan, Chile, and Java, for their potential to facilitate local tsunami early warning using such systems. We assess which locations currently have instrumentation in the right locations for direct tsunami observations with enough time to provide useful warning to the nearest affected coastline—and which are poorly suited for such systems. Our primary findings are that while some regions are ill-suited for this type of early warning, such as the coastlines of Chile, other localities, like Java, Indonesia, could incorporate direct tsunami observations into their hazard forecasts with enough lead time to be effective for coastal community emergency response. We take into account the effect of tsunami propagation with regard to shallow bathymetry on the fore-arc as well as the effect of earthquake source placement. While it is impossible to account for every type of off-shore tsunamigenic event in these locales, this study aims to characterize a typical large tsunamigenic event occurring in the shallow part of the megathrust as a guide in what is feasible with early tsunami warning.

  18. 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.

  19. Deciphering Detailed Plate Kinematics of the Indian Ocean: A Combined Indian-Australian-French Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vadakkeyakath, Y.; Müller, R.; Dyment, J.; Bhattacharya, G.; Lister, G. S.; Kattoju, K. R.; Whittaker, J.; Shuhail, M.; Gibbons, A.; Jacob, J.; White, L. T.; Bissessur, P. D.; Kiranmai, S.

    2012-12-01

    The Indian Ocean formed as a result of the fragmentation and dispersal of East Gondwanaland since the Jurassic. The deep ocean basins in the Indian Ocean contain the imprints of this plate tectonic history, which is related with several major events such as the Kerguelen, Marion and Reunion hotspot inception and the Indo-Eurasian collision. A broad model for evolution of the Indian Ocean was proposed in the early 1980s. Subsequently, French scientists collected a large amount of magnetic data from the western and southern parts of the Indian Ocean while Indian and Australian scientists collected considerable volumes of magnetic data from the regions of Indian Ocean around their mainlands. Using these data, the Indian, French and Australian researchers independently carried out investigations over different parts of the Indian Ocean and provided improved models of plate kinematics at different sectoral plate boundaries. Under two Indo-French collaborative projects, detailed magnetic investigations were carried out in the Northwestern and Central Indian Ocean by combining the available magnetic data from conjugate regions. Those projects were complemented by additional area-specific studies in the Mascarene, Wharton, Laxmi and Gop basins, which are characterized by extinct spreading regimes. These Indo-French projects provided high resolution and improved plate tectonic models for the evolution of the conjugate Arabian and Eastern Somali basins that constrain the relative motion between the Indian-African (now Indian-Somalian) plate boundaries, and the conjugate Central Indian, Crozet and Madagascar basins that mainly constrain the relative motions of Indian-African (now Capricorn-Somalian) and Indian-Antarctic (now Capricorn-Antarctic) plate boundaries. During the same period, Australian scientists carried out investigations in the southeastern part of the Indian Ocean and provided an improved understanding of the plate tectonic evolution of the Indian

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Lead transport in intra-oceanic subduction zones: 2D geochemical-thermo-mechanical modeling of isotopic signatures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baitsch-Ghirardello, B.; Stracke, A.; Connolly, J.A.D.; Nikolaeva, K.M.; Gerya, T.V.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the physical-chemical mechanisms and pathways of geochemical transport in subduction zones remains a long-standing goal of subduction-related research. In this study, we perform fully coupled geochemical-thermo-mechanical (GcTM) numerical simulations to investigate Pb isotopic

  3. Early Cretaceous MORB-type basalt and A-type rhyolite in northern Tibet: Evidence for ridge subduction in the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Jian-Jun; Li, Cai; Sun, Zhen-Ming; Xu, Wei; Wang, Ming; Xie, Chao-Ming

    2018-04-01

    New zircon U-Pb ages, major- and trace-element data, and Hf isotopic compositions are presented for bimodal volcanic rocks of the Zhaga Formation (ZF) in the western-middle segment of the Bangong-Nujiang suture zone (BNSZ), northern Tibet. The genesis of these rocks is described, and implications for late-stage evolution of the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan Ocean (BNTO) are considered. Detailed studies show that the ZF bimodal rocks, which occur as layers within a typical bathyal to abyssal flysch deposit, comprise MORB-type basalt that formed at a mid-ocean ridge, and low-K calc-alkaline A-type rhyolite derived from juvenile crust. The combination of MORB-type basalt, calc-alkaline A-type rhyolite, and bathyal to abyssal flysch deposits in the ZF leads us to propose that they formed as a result of ridge subduction. The A-type ZF rhyolites yield LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb ages of 118-112 Ma, indicating formation during the Early Cretaceous. Data from the present study, combined with regional geological data, indicate that the BNTO underwent conversion from ocean opening to ocean closure during the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous. The eastern segment of the BNTO closed during this period, while the western and western-middle segments were still at least partially open and active during the Early Cretaceous, accompanied by ridge subduction within the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan Ocean.

  4. The behavior of iron and zinc stable isotopes accompanying the subduction of mafic oceanic crust: A case study from Western Alpine ophiolites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inglis, Edward C.; Debret, Baptiste; Burton, Kevin W.; Millet, Marc-Alban; Pons, Marie-Laure; Dale, Christopher W.; Bouilhol, Pierre; Cooper, Matthew; Nowell, Geoff M.; McCoy-West, Alex J.; Williams, Helen M.

    2017-07-01

    Arc lavas display elevated Fe3+/ΣFe ratios relative to MORB. One mechanism to explain this is the mobilization and transfer of oxidized or oxidizing components from the subducting slab to the mantle wedge. Here we use iron and zinc isotopes, which are fractionated upon complexation by sulfide, chloride, and carbonate ligands, to remark on the chemistry and oxidation state of fluids released during prograde metamorphism of subducted oceanic crust. We present data for metagabbros and metabasalts from the Chenaillet massif, Queyras complex, and the Zermatt-Saas ophiolite (Western European Alps), which have been metamorphosed at typical subduction zone P-T conditions and preserve their prograde metamorphic history. There is no systematic, detectable fractionation of either Fe or Zn isotopes across metamorphic facies, rather the isotope composition of the eclogites overlaps with published data for MORB. The lack of resolvable Fe isotope fractionation with increasing prograde metamorphism likely reflects the mass balance of the system, and in this scenario Fe mobility is not traceable with Fe isotopes. Given that Zn isotopes are fractionated by S-bearing and C-bearing fluids, this suggests that relatively small amounts of Zn are mobilized from the mafic lithologies in within these types of dehydration fluids. Conversely, metagabbros from the Queyras that are in proximity to metasediments display a significant Fe isotope fractionation. The covariation of δ56Fe of these samples with selected fluid mobile elements suggests the infiltration of sediment derived fluids with an isotopically light signature during subduction.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W. P.; Rawlinson, N.

    2010-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Thermal Evolution of Juvenile Subduction Zones ' New Constraints from Lu-Hf Geochronology on HP oceanic rocks (Halilbaǧi, Central Anatolia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pourteau, Amaury; Scherer, Erik; Schmidt, Alexander; Bast, Rebecca

    2015-04-01

    The thermal structure of subduction zones plays a key role on mechanical and chemical processes taking place along the slab-mantle interface. Until now, changes through time of this thermal structure have been explored mostly by the means of numerical simulations. However, both "warm" (i.e., epidote-bearing), and "cold" (i.e., lawsonite-bearing) HP oceanic rocks have been reported in some fossil subduction complexes exposed at the Earth's surface (e.g., Franciscan Complex, California; Rio San Juan Complex, Hispañola; Halilbağı Unit, Central Anatolia). These a-priori "incompatible" rocks witness different thermal stages of ancient subduction zones and their study might provide complementary constraints to numerical models. To decipher the meaning of these contrasting metamorphic rocks in the Halilbağı Unit, we are carrying out Lu-Hf geochronology on garnet (grt) and lws from a variety of HP oceanic rocks, as well as the metamorphic sole of the overlying ophiolite. We selected five samples that are representative of the variety of metamorphic evolutions (i.e. peak conditions and P-T paths) encountered in this area. Preliminary analyses yielded 110 Ma (grt-hbl isochron) for a sub-ophiolitic grt amphibolite; 92 Ma (grt-omp) for an eclogite with prograde and retrograde ep; 90 Ma (grt-omp) for an eclogitic metabasite with prograde ep and retrograde ep+lws; 87 Ma (grt-gln) for a lws eclogite with prograde ep; and 86 Ma (grt-gln) for a blueschist with prograde and retrograde lws. These ages are mainly two-point isochrons. Further-refined data will be presented at the EGU General Assembly 2015, in Vienna. The consistent younging trend from "warm" to "cold" metamorphic rocks revealed by these first-order results points to metamorphic-sole formation during the initiation of intra-oceanic subduction at ~110 Ma, and subsequent cooling of the slab-mantle interface between 92 and 86 Ma. Therefore, the contrasting metamorphic evolutions encountered in the Halilbağı Unit

  8. Metallogeny of subduction zones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sorokhtin N. O.

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Field and geochemical characterisitics of the Mesoarchean (~3075 ma) Ivisaartoq greenstone belt, southern West Greenland: Evidence for seafloor hydrothermal alteration in a supra-subduction oceanic crust

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Polat, A.; Appel, P.W.U.; Frei, Robert

    2006-01-01

    -enriched, near-flat HREE, and HFSE (especially Nb)-depleted trace element patterns, indicating a subduction zone geochemical signature. Ultramafic pillows and cumulates display large positive initial eNd values of + 1.3 to + 5.0, consistent with a strongly depleted mantle source. Given the geological...... similarities between the Ivisaartoq greenstone belt and Phanerozoic forearc ophiolites, we suggest that the Ivisaartoq greenstone belt represents Mesoarchean supra-subduction zone oceanic crust....... assemblage is interpreted as relict epidosite. The stage II metasomatic assemblage occurs as concordant discontinuous layered calc-silicate bodies to discordant calc-silicate veins commonly associated with shear zones. The stage II metasomatic assemblage consists mainly of diopside...

  12. 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.

  13. Dike-induced contraction along oceanic and continental divergent plate boundaries

    KAUST Repository

    Trippanera, D.

    2014-10-28

    The axis of divergent plate boundaries shows extension fractures and normal faults at the surface. Here we present evidence of contraction along the axis of the oceanic ridge of Iceland and the continental Main Ethiopian Rift. Contraction is found at the base of the tilted hanging wall of dilational normal faults, balancing part of their extension. Our experiments suggest that these structures result from dike emplacement. Multiple dike injection induces subsidence above and uplift to the sides of the dikes; the transition in between is accommodated by reverse faults and subsequent peripheral inward dipping normal faults. Our results suggest that contraction is a direct product of magma emplacement along divergent plate boundaries, at various scales, marking a precise evolutionary stage and initiating part of the extensional structures (extension fractures and normal faults). Key Points Contraction along divergent plate boundaries results from dike emplacementContraction generates extensional structures along divergent plate boundariesSurface deformation along divergent plate boundaries may be magma induced

  14. Dike-induced contraction along oceanic and continental divergent plate boundaries

    KAUST Repository

    Trippanera, D.; Acocella, V.; Ruch, Joel

    2014-01-01

    The axis of divergent plate boundaries shows extension fractures and normal faults at the surface. Here we present evidence of contraction along the axis of the oceanic ridge of Iceland and the continental Main Ethiopian Rift. Contraction is found at the base of the tilted hanging wall of dilational normal faults, balancing part of their extension. Our experiments suggest that these structures result from dike emplacement. Multiple dike injection induces subsidence above and uplift to the sides of the dikes; the transition in between is accommodated by reverse faults and subsequent peripheral inward dipping normal faults. Our results suggest that contraction is a direct product of magma emplacement along divergent plate boundaries, at various scales, marking a precise evolutionary stage and initiating part of the extensional structures (extension fractures and normal faults). Key Points Contraction along divergent plate boundaries results from dike emplacementContraction generates extensional structures along divergent plate boundariesSurface deformation along divergent plate boundaries may be magma induced

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Early Carboniferous adakite-like and I-type granites in central Qiangtang, northern Tibet: Implications for intra-oceanic subduction and back-arc basin formation within the Paleo-Tethys Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jin-Heng; Xie, Chao-Ming; Li, Cai; Wang, Ming; Wu, Hao; Li, Xing-Kui; Liu, Yi-Ming; Zhang, Tian-Yu

    2018-01-01

    Recent studies have proposed that the Late Devonian ophiolites in the central Qiangtang region of northern Tibet were formed in an oceanic back-arc basin setting, which has led to controversy over the subduction setting of the Longmucuo-Shuanghu-Lancangjiang Suture Zone (LSLSZ) during the Late Devonian to Early Carboniferous. In this paper we present new data about a suite of granite plutons that intrude into ophiolite in central Qiangtang. Our aim was to identify the type of subduction and to clarify the existence of an intra-oceanic back-arc basin in the LSLSZ during the Late Devonian to Early Carboniferous. The suite of granites consists of monzogranites, syenogranites, and granodiorites. Our laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry zircon U-Pb data yielded Early Carboniferous crystallization ages of 357.2 Ma, 357.4 Ma and 351.1 Ma. We subsequently investigated the petrogenesis and tectonic setting of these granites based on their geochemical and Hf isotopic characteristics. First, we divided the granites into high Sr/Y (HSG) and low Sr/Y granites (LSG). The HSG group contains monzogranites and granodiorites that have similar geochemical characteristics to adakites (i.e., high Sr/Y and La/Yb ratios, low MgO, Y, and Yb contents, and no pronounced negative Eu anomaly), although they have slightly lower Sr and Al2O3 contents, caused by crystal fractionation during late magmatic evolution. Therefore, we define the HSG group as adakite-like granites. The study of the HSG shows that they are adakite-like granites formed by partial melting of oceanic crust and experience fractional crystallization process during late evolution. However, some differences between the monzogranites and granodiorites indicate that there are varying degree contributions of subducted sediments during diagenesis. The LSG group contains syenogranites that have distinct negative correlations between their P2O5 and SiO2 contents, and Y and Th contents have significant positive

  20. 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

  1. Origin of ophiolite complexes related to intra-oceanic subduction initiation: implications of IODP Expedition 352 (Izu-Bonin fore arc)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Alastair; Avery, Aaron; Carvallo, Claire; Christeson, Gail; Ferré, Eric; Kurz, Walter; Kutterolf, Steffen; Morgan, Sally; Pearce, Julian; Reagan, Mark; Sager, William; Shervais, John; Whattam, Scott; International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 352 (Izu-Bonin-Mariana Fore Arc), the Scientific Party of

    2015-04-01

    Ophiolites, representing oceanic crust exposed on land (by whatever means), are central to the interpretation of many orogenic belts (e.g. E Mediterranean). Based mostly on geochemical evidence, ophiolites are widely interpreted, in many but by no means all cases, as having formed within intra-oceanic settings above subduction zones (e.g. Troodos ophiolite, Cyprus). Following land geological, dredging and submersible studies, fore arcs of the SW Pacific region became recognised as likely settings of supra-subduction zone ophiolite genesis. This hypothesis was tested by recent drilling of the Izu-Bonin fore arc. Four sites were drilled, two on the outer fore arc and two on the upper trench slope. Site survey seismic data, combined with borehole data, indicate that three of the sites are located in fault-controlled sediment ponds that formed in response to dominantly down-to the-west extensional faulting (with hints of preceding top-to-the-east compressional thrusting). The sediments overlying the igneous basement, of maximum Late Eocene to Recent age, document ash and aeolian input, together with mass wasting of the fault-bounded sediment ponds. At the two more trenchward sites (U1440 and U1441), mostly tholeiitic basalts were drilled, including massive and pillowed lavas and hyaloclastite. Geochemically, these extrusives are of near mid-oceanic ridge basalt composition (fore arc basalts). Subtle chemical deviation from normal MORB can be explained by weakly fluid-influenced melting during decompression melting in the earliest stages of supra-subduction zone spreading (not as 'trapped' older MORB). The remaining two sites, c. 6 km to the west (U1439 and U1442), penetrated dominantly high-magnesian andesites, known as boninites, largely as fragmental material. Their formation implies the extraction of highly depleted magmas from previously depleted, refractory upper mantle in a supra-subduction zone setting. Following supra-subduction zone spreading, the active

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulson, Sophie; Garth, Thomas; Reitbrock, Andreas

    2016-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  11. A combined rigid/deformable plate tectonic model for the evolution of the Indian Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, J. G.; Glover, C. T.; Adriasola Munoz, A. C.; Harris, J. P.; Goodrich, M.

    2012-04-01

    Plate tectonic reconstructions are essential for placing geological information in its correct spatial context, understanding depositional environments, defining basin dimensions and evolution, and serve as a basis for palaeogeographic mapping and for palaeo-climate modelling. Traditional 'rigid' plate reconstructions often result in misfits (overlaps and underfits) in the geometries of juxtaposed plate margins when restored to their pre-rift positions. This has been attributed to internal deformation pre- and/or syn- continental break-up. Poorly defined continent-ocean boundaries add to these problems. To date, few studies have integrated continental extension within a global model. Recent plate tectonic reconstructions based on the relative motions of Africa, Madagascar, India and Antarctica during the break-up of eastern Gondwana have not taken into account the effects of deformation; particularly between India and Madagascar, and India and the Seychelles. A deformable plate model is in development that builds on the current rigid plate model to describe the complex multiphase break-up history between Africa, Madagascar, Seychelles and India, the associated magmatic activity and subsequent India/Eurasia collision. The break-up of eastern Gondwana occurred in the mid Jurassic by rifting between Africa and the India-Madagascar-Australian-Antarctica plates, followed by the Late Jurassic drift of India away from Australia and the Cretaceous break-up of Australia and Antarctica. The northwards drift of the Seychelles-India block in the Tertiary was accommodated by the opening of the Laxmi Basin. This was followed by the eruption of the extensive Deccan flood basalts and the separation of India and the Seychelles. Crustal domains on volcanic margins can be very difficult to define due to the accretion of magmatic material. On these margins, there is much speculation on the position of the continent-ocean boundary and the timing of rifting and sea-floor spreading. The

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Searching for conditions of observation of subduction seismogenic zone transients on Ocean Bottom Seismometers deployed at the Lesser Antilles submerged fore-arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bécel, Anne; Laigle, Mireille; Diaz, Jordi; Hirn, Alfred; Flueh, Ernst; Charvis, Philippe

    2010-05-01

    In the frame of the European Union « THALES WAS RIGHT » and French ANR CATTELL SUBSISMANTI funding, an unprecedented array of 80 OBS, Ocean Bottom Seismometers of Géoazur Nice, INSU/IPGP Paris, IfM-GEOMAR Kiel, AWI Bremerhaven could gathered. They have been deployed for continuous recording over four months on the fore-arc domain of the Lesser Antilles subduction zone offshore Martinique, Dominica, Guadeloupe and Antigua Islands, by scientific cruises of N/O ATALANTE, F/S M. A. MERIAN and N/O ANTEA. One of the aims of this OBS array was the feasibility study of detecting at sea-bottom the seismological part of recently discovered phenomena such as NVT non-volcanic tremors and LP, for Long-Period events. The ability of detecting such transient signals is of importance, since they are possibly related to potential mega-thrust earthquakes and their preparation zone. At the Lesser Antilles subduction zone, the fore-arc domain overlying the seismogenic part of the interplate is located offshore, covered by as much as 4000 m of water. In this case, transient signals can be accessible only from OBS observations. Hence, there is a major difference, in the sense of the instrumental and logistical effort, with the subductions under NW US-Canada and under Central Japan where these signals have been discovered. There, the subduction zones have an emerged fore-arc that has allowed the chance discovery of those phenomena by regular instrument maintained routinely on land. Over 20 of the instruments were BB-OBS, with broadband seismic sensors, possibly the largest such gathering at the time of the experiment among the OBS types. Among those broadband OBS designed or used by different Institutions, there were at least three different seismometer brands and acoustical sensors, as well as different mechanical mounting and technical solutions for coupling them to ground. This did not facilitate data recovery and processing, but on the other hand, as planned by interweaving the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  16. The subduction-accretion history of the Bangong-Nujiang Ocean: Constraints from provenance and geochronology of the Mesozoic strata near Gaize, central Tibet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shun; Ding, Lin; Guilmette, Carl; Fu, Jiajun; Xu, Qiang; Yue, Yahui; Henrique-Pinto, Renato

    2017-04-01

    The Mesozoic strata, within the Bangong-Nujiang suture zone in central Tibet, recorded critical information about the subduction-accretion processes of the Bangong-Nujiang Ocean prior to the Lhasa-Qiangtang collision. This paper reports detailed field observations, petrographic descriptions, sandstone detrital zircon U-Pb ages and Hf isotopic analyses from an accretionary complex (preserved as Mugagangri Group) and the unconformably overlying Shamuluo Formation near Gaize. The youngest detrital zircon ages, together with other age constraints from literature, suggest that the Mugagangri Group was deposited during late Triassic-early Jurassic, while the Shamuluo Formation was deposited during late Jurassic-early Cretaceous. Based on the differences in lithology, age and provenance, the Mugagangri Group is subdivided into the upper, middle and lower subunits. These units are younging structurally downward/southward, consistent with models of progressive off-scrapping and accretion in a southward-facing subduction complex. The upper subunit, comprising mainly quartz-sandstone and siliceous mud/shale, was deposited in abyssal plain environment close to the Qiangtang passive margin during late Triassic, with sediments derived from the southern Qiangtang block. The middle and lower subunits comprise mainly lithic-quartz-sandstone and mud/shale, containing abundant ultramafic/ophiolitic fragments. The middle subunit, of late Triassic-early Jurassic age, records a transition in tectono-depositional setting from abyssal plain to trench-wedge basin, with sudden influx of sediments sourced from the central Qiangtang metamorphic belt and northern Qiangtang magmatic belt. The appearance of ultramafic/ophiolitic fragments in the middle subunit reflects the subduction initiation. The lower subunit was deposited in a trench-wedge basin during early Jurassic, with influx of Jurassic-aged zircons originating from the newly active southern Qiangtang magmatic arc. The lower subunit

  17. Deciphering detailed plate kinematics of the Indian Ocean and developing a unified model for East Gondwanaland reconstruction: An Indian-Australian-French initiative

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Yatheesh, V.; Dyment, J.; Bhattacharya, G.C.; Muller, R.D.

    The Indian Ocean formed as a result of the fragmentation and dispersal of Gondwanaland since the Jurassic. The deep ocean basins in the Indian Ocean contain the imprints of this plate tectonic history, which is related with several major tectonic...

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. From opening to subduction of an oceanic domain constrained by LA-ICP-MS U-Pb zircon dating (Variscan belt, Southern Armorican Massif, France)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paquette, J.-L.; Ballèvre, M.; Peucat, J.-J.; Cornen, G.

    2017-12-01

    In the Variscan belt of Western Europe, the lifetime and evolution of the oceanic domain is poorly constrained by sparse, outdated and unreliable multigrain ID-TIMS U-Pb zircon dating. In this article, we present a complete in situ LA-ICP-MS dataset of about 300 U-Pb zircon analyses obtained on most of the ophiolitic and eclogitic outcrops of Southern Brittany, comprising new dating of previously published zircon populations and newly discovered rock samples. In situ dating and cathodo-luminescence imaging of each zircon grain yields new absolute time-constraints on the evolution of the Galicia-Moldanubian Ocean. The new results confirm that the opening of this oceanic domain is well defined at about 490 Ma. In contrast, the generally-quoted 400-410 Ma-age for the high-pressure event related to the subduction of the oceanic crust is definitely not recorded in the zircons of the eclogites. In light of these new data, we propose that the obduction of oceanic rocks occurred at about 370-380 Ma while the high-pressure event is recorded at 355 Ma in only a few zircon grains of some eclogite samples. Additionally, this large scale dating project demonstrates that the zircons from eclogites do not systematically recrystallise during the high pressure event and consequently their U-Pb systems do not record that metamorphism systematically. These zircons rather preserve the isotopic memory of the magmatic crystallization of their igneous protolith. Another example of an eclogite sample from the French Massif Central illustrates the frequent mistake in the interpretation of the ages of the early hydrothermal alteration of zircons in the oceanic crust versus partial or complete recrystallization during eclogite facies metamorphism.

  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. 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.

  4. 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

  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. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

    distinct change in locking at the subduction interface as revealed by previous geodetic studies. On the west end of the Kenai Peninsula, where seismically imaged downgoing crust appears oceanic, the geodetic signal mainly reflects postseismic deformation from the 1964 earthquake as evinced by southeast trending displacement vectors (with respect to fixed North America). While postseismic relaxation continues east of the boundary, NNW-directed elastic deformation due to locking at the plate boundary dominates the geodetic signal, and imaging reveals thickened Yakutat crust is subducting. The collocation of sharp changes in both deep structure and surface deformation suggest that the nature of the plate interface changes drastically across the western edge of the Yakutat block and that variations in downgoing plate structure control the strain field in the overriding plate.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynard, Bruno

    2016-12-01

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

  10. Characterization and Scaling of Heave Plates for Ocean Wave Energy Converters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Brian; Mundon, Timothy

    2016-11-01

    Ocean waves present a tremendous, untapped source of renewable energy, capable of providing half of global electricity demand by 2040. Devices developed to extract this energy are known as wave energy converters (WECs) and encompass a wide range of designs. A somewhat common archetype is a two-body point-absorber, in which a surface float reacts against a submerged "heave" plate to extract energy. Newer WEC's are using increasingly complex geometries for the submerged plate and an emerging challenge in creating low-order models lies in accurately determining the hydrodynamic coefficients (added mass and drag) in the corresponding oscillatory flow regime. Here we present experiments in which a laboratory-scale heave plate is sinusoidally forced in translation (heave) and rotation (pitch) to characterize the hydrodynamic coefficients as functions of the two governing nondimensional parameters, Keulegan-Carpenter number (amplitude) and Reynolds number. Comparisons against CFD simulations are offered. As laboratory-scale physical model tests remain the standard for testing wave energy devices, effects and implications of scaling (with respect to a full-scale device) are also investigated.

  11. Bivergent thrust wedges surrounding oceanic island arcs: Insight from observations and sandbox models of the northeastern caribbean plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    ten Brink, Uri S.; Marshak, S.; Granja, Bruna J.L.

    2009-01-01

    At several localities around the world, thrust belts have developed on both sides of oceanic island arcs (e.g., Java-Timor, Panama, Vanuatu, and the northeastern Caribbean). In these localities, the overall vergence of the backarc thrust belt is opposite to that of the forearc thrust belt. For example, in the northeastern Caribbean, a north-verging accretionary prism lies to the north of the Eastern Greater Antilles arc (Hispaniola and Puerto Rico), whereas a south-verging thrust belt called the Muertos thrust belt lies to the south. Researchers have attributed such bivergent geometry to several processes, including: reversal of subduction polarity; subduction-driven mantle flow; stress transmission across the arc; gravitational spreading of the arc; and magmatic inflation within the arc. New observations of deformational features in the Muertos thrust belt and of fault geometries produced in sandbox kinematic models, along with examination of published studies of island arcs, lead to the conclusion that the bivergence of thrusting in island arcs can develop without reversal of subduction polarity, without subarc mantle flow, and without magmatic inflation. We suggest that the Eastern Greater Antilles arc and comparable arcs are simply crustalscale bivergent (or "doubly vergent") thrust wedges formed during unidirectional subduction. Sandbox kinematic modeling suggests, in addition, that a broad retrowedge containing an imbricate fan of thrusts develops only where the arc behaves relatively rigidly. In such cases, the arc acts as a backstop that transmits compressive stress into the backarc region. Further, modeling shows that when arcs behave as rigid blocks, the strike-slip component of oblique convergence is accommodated entirely within the prowedge and the arc-the retrowedge hosts only dip-slip faulting ("frontal thrusting"). The existence of large retrowedges and the distribution of faulting in an island arc may, therefore, be evidence that the arc is

  12. Intermediate crust (IC); its construction at continent edges, distinctive epeirogenic behaviour and identification as sedimentary basins within continents: new light on pre-oceanic plate motions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osmaston, Miles F.

    2014-05-01

    that, by blocking the hydrothermal cooling widely seen along MOR axes this must inhibit the freezing-in of diagnostic spreading-type magnetic anomalies and would prolong magmagenesis to give a thicker-than-oceanic mafic crust. I have called this Intermediate Crust (IC) [9, 10], to distinguish it from Mature Continental Crust (MCC). Plate separation will continue to generate IC along the margins for as long/far as the sedimentation input is sufficient to have this effect. Transition to the MOR process will then follow. But if, contrary to the general plate tectonics assumption, based on body forces, plate separation ceases after a limited separation (or perhaps several in differing directions), without proceeding to the oceanic condition, the resulting IC areas will be incorporated within the continent [11]. Where does this lead us? With examples drawn from 40 years' study, I will contend that this is indeed the way the Earth has worked and that it offers potential plate kinematic explanation of the origin of the block-and-sedimentary basin layouts abundantly present in the non-craton areas of continents. I will show that in some cases the intricacy of block outlines and the precision with which they can be fitted together in a kinematically consistent manner rules out that this was purely by chance. The evidently meaningful character of those outlines means that they have been drawn by a narrow-crack separative mechanism which reflects that of our new MOR model. To provide a basis for such Plate Kinematic Analysis (PKA) we now link and compare some features of IC-formation at continental edges and of the crust of sedimentary basins. Characteristics of IC and of sedimentary basin crust (SBC). 1. IC basement, with expected seismic Vp around 6km/s, must look deceptively like that assigned to supposedly stretched MCC. 2. For thermodynamic reasons, the hydrous metamorphic content of deep MCC and of deeply subducted UHP slices of it gives them a big thermal epeirogenic

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Blueschist facies fault tectonites from the western margin of the Siberian Craton: Implications for subduction and exhumation associated with early stages of the Paleo-Asian Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Likhanov, Igor I.; Régnier, Jean-Luc; Santosh, M.

    2018-04-01

    The tectonic evolution of the Siberian Cratonic margins offers important clues for global paleogeographic reconstructions, particularly with regard to the complex geological history of Central Asia. The Yenisey Ridge fold-and-thrust belt at the western margin of the Siberian Craton forms part of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) and is a key to understand the Precambrian tectonic evolution of the Siberian Craton and crustal growth in the CAOB, the world's largest Phanerozoic accretionary orogenic belt. Here we report for the first time, the occurrence of glaucophane schist relics in tectonites within the Yenisey shear zone which provides insights on Chilean-type convergent boundary. We present results from isotope geochronology (SHRIMP zircon analysis and mica 40Ar/39Ar dating), coupled with P-T calculations derived from conventional geothermobarometry and pseudosections in the system NCKFMASH that suggest two superimposed metamorphic events. During the first stage, glaucophane schists formed at around 640-620 Ma at P-T conditions of 8-10 kbar and 400-450 °C. In the second stage, the rocks experienced dynamic metamorphism (c. 600 Ma) at 11-15 kbar/550-640 °C. The differences in P-T parameters between weakly deformed rocks and intensely deformed tectonites and P-T paths suggest distinct tectonic processes. Geochemical features of the mafic tectonites suggest N-MORB and E-MORB affinity, and the zircon U-Pb ages suggest formation of the protoliths at 701.6 ± 8.4. The sequence of spreading, subduction and shear deformation identified in our study correlate with the early stages of development of the Paleo-Asian Ocean at the western margin of the Siberian Craton and supports the spatial proximity of Siberia and Laurentia at 700-600 Ma, as proposed for the Late Neoproterozoic paleogeographic reconstructions and as robustly constrained from large igneous province (LIP) record.

  3. Geodynamics of oceanic plateau and plume head accretion and their role in Phanerozoic orogenic systems of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter G. Betts

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We present three 3D numerical models of deep subduction where buoyant material from an oceanic plateau and a plume interact with the overriding plate to assess the influence on subduction dynamics, trench geometry, and mechanisms for plateau accretion and continental growth. Transient instabilities of the convergent margin are produced, resulting in: contorted trench geometry; trench migration parallel with the plate margin; folding of the subducting slab and orocline development at the convergent margin; and transfer of the plateau to the overriding plate. The presence of plume material beneath the oceanic plateau causes flat subduction above the plume, resulting in a “bowed” shaped subducting slab. In plateau-only models, plateau accretion at the edge of the overriding plate results in trench migration around the edge of the plateau before subduction is re-established directly behind the trailing edge of the plateau. The plateau shortens and some plateau material subducts. The presence of buoyant plume material beneath the oceanic plateau has a profound influence on the behaviour of the convergent margin. In the plateau + plume model, plateau accretion causes rapid trench advance. Plate convergence is accommodated by shearing at the base of the plateau and shortening in the overriding plate. The trench migrates around the edge of the plateau and subduction is re-established well behind the trailing edge of the plateau, effectively embedding the plateau into the overriding plate. A slab window forms beneath the accreted plateau and plume material is transferred from the subducting plate to the overriding plate through the window. In all of the models, the subduction zone maintains a relatively stable configuration away from the buoyancy anomalies within the downgoing plate. The models provide a dynamic context for plateau and plume accretion in Phanerozoic accretionary orogenic systems such as the East China Orogen and the Central Asian

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishii, T.

    2015-12-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Seismic Structure of the Oceanic Plate Entering the Central Part of the Japan Trench Obtained from Ocean-Bottom Seismic Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohira, A.; Kodaira, S.; Fujie, G.; No, T.; Nakamura, Y.; Miura, S.

    2017-12-01

    In trench-outer rise regions, the normal faults develop due to the bending of the incoming plate, which cause numerous normal-faulting earthquakes and systematic structural variations toward trenches. In addition to the effects on the bend-related normal fault, structural variations which are interpreted to be attributed to pseudofaults, a fracture zone, and petit-spot volcanic activities are observed in the oceanic plate entering the central part of the Japan Trench, off Miyagi. In May-June 2017, to understand detail structural variations and systematic structural changes of the oceanic plate toward the trench, we conducted an active-source seismic survey off Miyagi using R/V Kaimei, a new research vessel of JAMSTEC. Along a 100 km-long seismic profile which is approximately perpendicular to the trench axis, we deployed 40 ocean-bottom seismometers at intervals of 2 km and fired a large airgun array (total volume 10,600 cubic inches) with 100 m shooting intervals. Multi-channel seismic reflection data were also collected along the profile. On OBS records we observed refractions from the sedimentary layer and the oceanic crust (Pg), wide-angle reflections from the crust-mantle boundary (PmP), and refractions from the uppermost mantle (Pn). Pg is typically observed clearly at near offsets (approximately 20 km) but it highly attenuates at far offsets (> 20 km). A triplication of Pg-PmP-Pn with strong amplitudes is observed at ranges from 30 km to 60 km offsets. Pn is typically weak and its apparent velocity is approximately 8 km/sec. High attenuation of Pg and weak Pn may indicate the complex crustal structure related to petit-spot volcanic activities and/or a fracture zone, which are recognized in bathymetry data around the profile.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  10. New aero-gravity results from the Arctic: Linking the latest Cretaceous-early Cenozoic plate kinematics of the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Døssing, Arne; Hopper, J.R.; Olesen, Arne Vestergaard

    2013-01-01

    The tectonic history of the Arctic Ocean remains poorly resolved and highly controversial. Details regarding break up of the Lomonosov Ridge from the Barents-Kara shelf margins and the establishment of seafloor spreading in the Cenozoic Eurasia Basin are unresolved. Significantly, the plate...... tectonic evolution of the Mesozoic Amerasia Basin is essentially unknown. The Arctic Ocean north of Greenland is at a critical juncture that formed at the locus of a Mesozoic three-plate setting between the Lomonosov Ridge, Greenland, and North America. In addition, the area is close to the European plate...... plateau against an important fault zone north of Greenland. Our results provide new constraints for Cretaceous-Cenozoic plate reconstructions of the Arctic. Key Points Presentation of the largest aero-gravity survey acquired over the Arctic Ocean Plate tectonic link between Atlantic and Arctic spreading...

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selverstone, J.; Sharp, Z. D.

    2013-10-01

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

  13. Subduction and vertical coastal motions in the eastern Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    Amphiboles are ubiquitous minerals in the altered oceanic crust. During subduction, their breakdown is governed by continuous reactions up to eclogitic facies conditions. Amphiboles thus contribute to slab-derived fluid throughout prograde metamorphism and continuously record information about volatile exchanges occurring between the slab and the mantle wedge. However, the fate of volatile elements and especially halogens, such as F and Cl, in amphibole during subduction is poorly constrained. We studied metagabbros from three different localities in the Western Alps: the Chenaillet ophiolite, the Queyras Schistes Lustrés and the Monviso meta-ophiolitic complexes. These samples record different metamorphic conditions, from greenschist to eclogite facies, and have interacted with different lithologies (e.g. sedimentary rocks, serpentinites) from their formation at mid-oceanic ridge, up to their devolatilization during subduction. In the oceanic crust, the initial halogen budget is mostly stored in magmatic amphibole (F = 300-7000 ppm; Cl = 20-1200 ppm) or in amphibole corona (F = 100-7000 ppm; Cl = 80-2000 ppm) and titanite (F = 200-1500 ppm; Cl govern the halogen fluxes between the crust and the overlying mantle and/or the plate interface in subduction zones. Li and B are poorly stored in the oceanic crust (< 5 ppm). In subduction zones, prograde metamorphism of metagabbros is first marked by the crystallization of glaucophane at the expense of magmatic and amphibole coronas. This episode is accompanied with a decrease of halogen concentrations in amphiboles (< 200 ppm of F and Cl) suggesting that these elements can be transferred to the mantle wedge by fluids. In the Queyras Schistes Lustrés complex, the intense deformation and the abundant devolatilization of metasedimentary rocks produce large fluid flows that promote rock chemical hybridization (metasomatic mixing with hybrid composition between metasedimentary rock and metagabbro) at the metasedimentary rock

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Pararas-Carayannis

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Indonesian Landforms and Plate Tectonics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herman Th. Verstappen

    2014-06-01

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

  20. High-resolution numerical modeling of tectonic underplating in circum-Pacific subduction zones: toward a better understanding of deformation in the episodic tremor and slip region?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menant, A.; Angiboust, S.; Gerya, T.; Lacassin, R.; Simoes, M.; Grandin, R.

    2017-12-01

    Study of now-exhumed ancient subduction systems have evidenced km-scale tectonic units of marine sediments and oceanic crust that have been tectonically underplated (i.e. basally accreted) from the downgoing plate to the overriding plate at more than 30-km depth. Such huge mass transfers must have a major impact, both in term of long-term topographic variations and seismic/aseismic deformation in subduction zones. However, the quantification of such responses to the underplating process remains poorly constrained. Using high-resolution visco-elasto-plastic thermo-mechanical models, we present with unprecedented details the dynamics of formation and destruction of underplated complexes in subductions zones. Initial conditions in our experiments are defined in order to fit different subduction systems of the circum-Pacific region where underplating process is strongly suspected (e.g. the Cascadia, SW-Japan, New Zealand, and Chilean subduction zones). It appears that whatever the subduction system considered, underplating of sediments and oceanic crust always occur episodically forming a coherent nappe stacking at depths comprised between 10 and 50 km. At higher depth, a tectonic mélange with a serpentinized mantle wedge matrix developed along the plates interface. The size of these underplated complexes changes according to the subduction system considered. For instance, a 15-km thick nappe stacking is obtained for the N-Chilean subduction zone after a series of underplating events. Such an episodic event lasts 4-5 Myrs and can be responsible of a 2-km high uplift in the forearc region. Subsequent basal erosion of these underplated complexes results in their only partial preservation at crustal and mantle depth, suggesting that, after exhumation, only a tiny section of the overall underplated material can be observed nowadays in ancient subduction systems. Finally, tectonic underplating in our numerical models is systematically associated with (1) an increasing

  1. 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

  2. Ocean Ridges and Oxygen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langmuir, C. H.

    2014-12-01

    material, and oxygen could rise. Once the ocean becomes fully oxidized, a substantial subduction flux operates as a negative feedback. Plate tectonic geochemical cycles may have played a very significant role in the oxygen balance in both the ancient and modern Earth.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  4. Improving ambient noise cross-correlations in the noisy ocean bottom environment of the Juan de Fuca plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Ye; Ritzwoller, Michael H.

    2017-09-01

    Ambient noise tomography exploits seismic ground motions that propagate coherently over long interstation distances. Such ground motions provide information about the medium of propagation that is recoverable from interstation cross-correlations. Local noise sources, which are particularly strong in ocean bottom environments, corrupt ambient noise cross-correlations and compromise the effectiveness of ambient noise tomography. Based on 62 ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs) located on Juan de Fuca (JdF) plate from the Cascadia Initiative experiment and 40 continental stations near the coast of the western United States obtained in 2011 and 2012, we attempt to reduce the effects of local noise on vertical component seismic records across the plate and onto US continent. The goal is to provide better interstation cross-correlations for use in ambient noise tomography and the study of ambient noise directionality. As shown in previous studies, tilt and compliance noise are major sources of noise that contaminate the vertical channels of the OBSs and such noise can be greatly reduced by exploiting information on the horizontal components and the differential pressure gauge records, respectively. We find that ambient noise cross-correlations involving OBSs are of significantly higher signal-to-noise ratio at periods greater than 10 s after reducing these types of noise, particularly in shallow water environments where tilt and compliance noise are especially strong. The reduction of tilt and compliance noise promises to improve the accuracy and spatial extent of ambient noise tomography, allowing measurements based on coherently propagating ambient noise to be made at stations in the shallower parts of the JdF plate and at longer periods than in previous studies. In addition such local noise reduction produces better estimates of the azimuthal content of ambient noise.

  5. The Relation Between Plate Spreading Rate, Crustal Thickness and Axial Relief at Mid-Ocean Ridges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Z.; Buck, W. R.

    2017-12-01

    Variations in axial valley relief and in faulting at plate spreading centers are clearly related to magma supply and axial lithospheric structure. Previous models that consider the interaction of magmatic dikes with lithospheric stretching do not successfully reproduce both of these trends. We present the first model that reproduces these trends by making simple assumptions about the partitioning of magma between dikes, gabbros and extrusives. A key concept is that dikes open not only in the brittle axial lithosphere but also into the underlying ductile crust, where they cool to form gabbro. The amount of gabbro so intruded depends on magma pressure that is related to axial relief. The deeper the valley the less magma goes into gabbros and the more magma is available for dikes to accommodate plate separation. We define the fraction of plate separation rate accommodated by dikes as M. If Mreasonable. Finally, we describe themo-mechanical models that allow us to relate plate spreading rate and crustal thickness and to axial valley depth.

  6. The Taitao Granites: I-type granites formed by subduction of the Chile Ridge and its implication in growth of continental crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anma, Ryo

    2016-04-01

    Late Miocene to Early Pliocene granite plutons are exposed at the tip of the Taitao peninsula, the westernmost promontory of the Chilean coast, together with a contemporaneous ophiolite with a Penrose-type stratigraphy. Namely, the Taitao granites and the Taitao ohiolite, respectively, are located at ~30 km southeast of the Chile triple junction, where a spreading center of the Chile ridge system is subducting underneath the South America plate. This unique tectonic setting provides an excellent opportunity to study the generation processes of granitic magmas at a ridge subduction environment, and the complex magmatic interactions between the subducting ridge, overlying crust and sediments, and mantle. This paper reviews previous studies on the Taitao ophiolite/granite complex and use geochemical data and U-Pb age distributions of zircons separated from igneous and sedimentary rocks from the area to discuss the mechanism that formed juvenile magma of calc-alkaline I-type granites during ridge subduction. Our model implies that the magmas of the Taitao granites formed mainly due to partial melting of hot oceanic crust adjacent to the subducting mid-oceanic ridge that has been under influence of deep crustal contamination and/or metasomatized sub-arc mantle through slab window. The partial melting took place under garnet-free-amphibolite conditions. The juvenile magmas then incorporated a different amount of subducted sediments to form the I-type granites with various compositions. The Taitao granites provide an ideal case study field that shows the processes to develop continental crusts out of oceanic crusts through ridge subduction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertrand, G.

    2012-12-01

    , favoring high melt production in the mantle wedge, by dehydration of the subducted oceanic crust, and increased influx of mafic magmas in the MASH (Melting, Assimilation, Storage, Homogenization) zone, and 2) a subsequent significant decrease in subduction rate, favoring extensional regime within the upper plate and easing upward migration of fertile magmas to the upper crust. This second effect seems to be confirmed in the Aegean-Balkan-Carpathian area where the two clusters are spatially and temporally correlated with known extensional regimes. Although preliminary, these results highlight the control of the geodynamic context, and especially the subduction kinematics, on the spatial and temporal distribution of porphyry copper deposits. This study also confirms that the paleogeographic approach is a promising tool that could help identifying geodynamic and tectonic criteria favoring the genesis of various ore deposit types. Correlatively, ore deposits may be considered, in future studies, as possible markers of past geodynamic contexts.

  9. Structural variation of the oceanic Moho in the Pacific plate revealed by active-source seismic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohira, Akane; Kodaira, Shuichi; Nakamura, Yasuyuki; Fujie, Gou; Arai, Ryuta; Miura, Seiichi

    2017-10-01

    The characteristics of the oceanic Moho are known to depend on various factors, such as seafloor spreading rate, crustal age, and accretionary processes at a ridge. However, the effect of local magmatic activities on the seismic signature of the Moho is poorly understood. Here an active-source reflection and refraction survey is used to investigate crustal structure and Moho characteristics along a >1000-km-long profile southeast of the Shatsky Rise in a Pacific Ocean basin formed from the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous and spanning the onset of Shatsky Rise volcanism. Although the seismic velocity structure estimated from the refraction data showed typical characteristics of the oceanic crust of the old Pacific plate, the appearance of the Moho reflections was spatially variable. We observed clear Moho reflections such as those to be expected where the spreading rate is fast to intermediate only at the southwestern end of the profile, whereas Moho reflections were diffuse, weak, or absent along other parts of the profile. The poor Moho reflections can be explained by the presence of a thick crust-mantle transition layer, which is temporally coincident with the formation of the Shatsky Rise. We inferred that the crust-mantle transition layer was formed by changes in on-axis accretion process or modification of the primary Moho by off-axis magmatism, induced by magmatic activity of the Shatsky Rise.

  10. From continental to oceanic rifting in the Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, Luca; Bonini, Marco; Martín, Arturo

    2017-11-01

    The continental margin of northwestern Mexico is the youngest example of the transition from a convergent plate boundary to an oblique divergent margin that formed the Gulf of California rift. Subduction of the Farallon oceanic plate during the Cenozoic progressively brought the East Pacific Rise (EPR) toward the North America trench. In this process increasingly younger and buoyant oceanic lithosphere entered the subduction zone until subduction ended just before most of the EPR could collide with the North America continental lithosphere. The EPR segments bounding the unsubducted parts of the Farallón plate remnants (Guadalupe and Magdalena microplates) also ceased spreading (Lonsdale, 1991) and a belt of the North American plate (California and Baja California Peninsula) became coupled with the Pacific Plate and started moving northwestward forming the modern Gulf of California oblique rift (Nicholson et al., 1994; Bohannon and Parsons, 1995). The timing of the change from plate convergence to oblique divergence off western Mexico has been constrained at the middle Miocene (15-12.5 Ma) by ocean floor morphology and magnetic anomalies as well as plate tectonic reconstructions (Atwater and Severinghaus, 1989; Stock and Hodges, 1989; Lonsdale, 1991), although the onset of transtensional deformation and the amount of right lateral displacement within the Gulf region are still being studied (Oskin et al., 2001; Fletcher et al., 2007; Bennett and Oskin, 2014). Other aspects of the formation of the Gulf of California remain not well understood. At present the Gulf of California straddles the transition from continental transtension in the north to oceanic spreading in the south. Seismic reflection-refraction data indicate asymmetric continent-ocean transition across conjugate margins of rift segments (González-Fernández et al., 2005; Lizarralde et al., 2007; Miller and Lizarralde, 2013; Martín-Barajas et al., 2013). The asymmetry may be related to crustal

  11. 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

  12. Hf-Nd Isotopes in West Philippine Basin Basalts: Results from International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Site U1438 and Implications for the Early History of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) Subduction System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yogodzinski, G. M.; Hocking, B.; Bizimis, M.; Hickey-Vargas, R.; Ishizuka, O.; Bogus, K.; Arculus, R. J.

    2015-12-01

    Drilling at IODP Site U1438, located immediately west of Kyushu-Palau Ridge (KPR), the site of IBM subduction initiation, penetrated 1460 m of volcaniclastic sedimentary rock and 150 m of underlying basement. Biostratigraphic controls indicate a probable age for the oldest sedimentary rocks at around 55 Ma (51-64 Ma - Arculus et al., Nat Geosci in-press). This is close to the 48-52 Ma time period of IBM subduction initiation, based on studies in the forearc. There, the first products of volcanism are tholeiitic basalts termed FAB (forearc basalt), which are more depleted than average MORB and show subtle indicators of subduction geochemical enrichment (Reagan et al., 2010 - Geochem Geophy Geosy). Shipboard data indicate that Site U1438 basement basalts share many characteristics with FABs, including primitive major elements (high MgO/FeO*) and strongly depleted incompatible element patterns (Ti, Zr, Ti/V and Zr/Y below those of average MORB). Initial results thus indicate that FAB geochemistry may have been produced not only in the forearc, but also in backarc locations (west of the KPR) at the time of subduction initiation. Hf-Nd isotopes for Site 1438 basement basalts show a significant range of compositions from ɛNd of 7.0 to 9.5 and ɛHf of 14.5 to 19.8 (present-day values). The data define a well-correlated and steep array in Hf-Nd isotope space. Relatively radiogenic Hf compared to Nd indicates an Indian Ocean-type MORB source, but the dominant signature, with ɛHf >16.5, is more radiogenic than most Indian MORB. The pattern through time is from more-to-less radiogenic and more variable Hf-Nd isotopes within the basement section. This pattern culminates in basaltic andesite sills, which intrude the lower parts of the sedimentary section. The sills have the least radiogenic compositions measured so far (ɛNd ~6.6, ɛHf ~13.8), and are similar to those of boninites of the IBM forearc and modern IBM arc and reararc rocks. The pattern within the basement

  13. 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

  14. Evidence for ˜80-75 Ma subduction jump during Anatolide-Tauride-Armenian block accretion and ˜48 Ma Arabia-Eurasia collision in Lesser Caucasus-East Anatolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolland, Yann; Perincek, Dogan; Kaymakci, Nuretdin; Sosson, Marc; Barrier, Eric; Avagyan, Ara

    2012-05-01

    Orogens formed by a combination of subduction and accretion are featured by a short-lived collisional history. They preserve crustal geometries acquired prior to the collisional event. These geometries comprise obducted oceanic crust sequences that may propagate somewhat far away from the suture zone, preserved accretionary prism and subduction channel at the interplate boundary. The cessation of deformation is ascribed to rapid jump of the subduction zone at the passive margin rim of the opposite side of the accreted block. Geological investigation and 40Ar/39Ar dating on the main tectonic boundaries of the Anatolide-Tauride-Armenian (ATA) block in Eastern Turkey, Armenia and Georgia provide temporal constraints of subduction and accretion on both sides of this small continental block, and final collisional history of Eurasian and Arabian plates. On the northern side, 40Ar/39Ar ages give insights for the subduction and collage from the Middle to Upper Cretaceous (95-80 Ma). To the south, younger magmatic and metamorphic ages exhibit subduction of Neotethys and accretion of the Bitlis-Pütürge block during the Upper Cretaceous (74-71 Ma). These data are interpreted as a subduction jump from the northern to the southern boundary of the ATA continental block at 80-75 Ma. Similar back-arc type geochemistry of obducted ophiolites in the two subduction-accretion domains point to a similar intra-oceanic evolution prior to accretion, featured by slab steepening and roll-back as for the current Mediterranean domain. Final closure of Neotethys and initiation of collision with Arabian Plate occurred in the Middle-Upper Eocene as featured by the development of a Himalayan-type thrust sheet exhuming amphibolite facies rocks in its hanging-wall at c. 48 Ma.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-11

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

  16. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

    Serpentinization-fueled systems in the cool, hydrated forearc mantle of subduction zones may provide an environment that supports deep chemolithoautotrophic life. Here, we examine serpentinite clasts expelled from mud volcanoes above the Izu–Bonin–Mariana subduction zone forearc (Pacific Ocean) that

  18. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Widiyantoro

    2003-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    We present results from three-dimensional inversion of an amphibious magnetotelluric (MT) array consisting of 71 offshore and 75 onshore sites in the central part of Cascadia, to image down-dip and along strike variations of electrical conductivity, and to constrain the 3D distribution of fluids and melt in the subduction zone. The array is augmented by EarthScope TA MT data and legacy 2D profiles providing sparser coverage of western WA, OR, and northern CA. The prior model for the inversion includes ocean bathymetry, conductive marine sediments, and a resistive subducting plate, with geometry derived from the model of McCrory et al. (2012) and seismic tomography. Highly conductive features appear just above the interface with the a priori resistive plate in three zones. (1) In the area with marine MT data a conductive layer, which we associate with fluid-rich decollement and subduction channel sediments, extends eastward from the trench to underthrust the seaward edge of Siletzia, which is clearly seen as a thick crustal resistor. The downdip extent of the underthrust conductive layer is a remarkably uniform 35 km. (2) High conductivities, consistent with metamorphic fluids associated with eclogitization, occur near the forearc mantle corner. Conductivity is highly variable along strike, organized in a series of E-W to diagonal elongated conductive/resistive structures, whose significance remains enigmatic. (3) High conductivities associated with fluids and melts are found in the backarc, again exhibiting substantial along strike variability.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capitanio, Fabio A.

    2017-04-01

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

  3. Motion of the Rivera plate since 10 Ma relative to the Pacific and North American plates and the mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMets, Charles; Traylen, Stephen

    2000-03-01

    .6 to 1.0 Ma along the entire plate boundary, followed by a resumption of trench-normal subduction along the southern half of the Rivera-North America plate boundary after 1.0 Ma. Motion of the Rivera plate relative to the underlying mantle since 10 Ma has oscillated between periods of landward motion and seaward motion. The evidence suggests that the torque exerted by slab pull on this young and hot oceanic plate is either minimal or is effectively counterbalanced by forces that resist its motion.

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, P. R.

    2007-05-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. Tasman frontier subduction initiation and paleogene climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  9. 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.

  10. Shear flow beneath oceanic plates: Local nonsimilarity boundary layers for olivine rheology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yuen, D.A.; Tovish, A.; Schubert, G.

    1978-01-01

    The principle of local similarity, which has been used to model the two-dimensional boundary layers in the oceanic upper mantle, permits calculation of the temperature, velocity, and stress fields with essentially analytic techniques. Finite difference numerical methods are hard pressed to resolve the detail required by the large variation of viscosity between the lithosphere and the asthenosphere. In this paper the local similarity approximation has been justified by quantitatively evaluating the effect of nonsimilarity due to viscous heating, nonlinear temperature- and pressure-dependent rheology, buoyancy, adiabatic cooling, etc. Nonsimilar effects produce only small modifications of the locally similar boundary layers; important geophysical observables such as surface heat flux and ocean floor topography are given to better than 10% by the locally similar solution. A posteriori evaluations of the term neglected in the boundary layer simplification of the complete equations have been conducted on the locally similar temperature and velocity profiles close to the spreading ridge. The boundary layer models are valid to depths of 100 km at 3 m.y. and 10 km at 0.3 m.y

  11. 3D movies for teaching seafloor bathymetry, plate tectonics, and ocean circulation in large undergraduate classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, C. D.; Lisiecki, L. E.; Gebbie, G.; Hamann, B.; Kellogg, L. H.; Kreylos, O.; Kronenberger, M.; Spero, H. J.; Streletz, G. J.; Weber, C.

    2015-12-01

    Geologic problems and datasets are often 3D or 4D in nature, yet projected onto a 2D surface such as a piece of paper or a projection screen. Reducing the dimensionality of data forces the reader to "fill in" that collapsed dimension in their minds, creating a cognitive challenge for the reader, especially new learners. Scientists and students can visualize and manipulate 3D datasets using the virtual reality software developed for the immersive, real-time interactive 3D environment at the KeckCAVES at UC Davis. The 3DVisualizer software (Billen et al., 2008) can also operate on a desktop machine to produce interactive 3D maps of earthquake epicenter locations and 3D bathymetric maps of the seafloor. With 3D projections of seafloor bathymetry and ocean circulation proxy datasets in a virtual reality environment, we can create visualizations of carbon isotope (δ13C) records for academic research and to aid in demonstrating thermohaline circulation in the classroom. Additionally, 3D visualization of seafloor bathymetry allows students to see features of seafloor most people cannot observe first-hand. To enhance lessons on mid-ocean ridges and ocean basin genesis, we have created movies of seafloor bathymetry for a large-enrollment undergraduate-level class, Introduction to Oceanography. In the past four quarters, students have enjoyed watching 3D movies, and in the fall quarter (2015), we will assess how well 3D movies enhance learning. The class will be split into two groups, one who learns about the Mid-Atlantic Ridge from diagrams and lecture, and the other who learns with a supplemental 3D visualization. Both groups will be asked "what does the seafloor look like?" before and after the Mid-Atlantic Ridge lesson. Then the whole class will watch the 3D movie and respond to an additional question, "did the 3D visualization enhance your understanding of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge?" with the opportunity to further elaborate on the effectiveness of the visualization.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  13. Crustal Gravitational Potential Energy Change and Subduction Earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, P. P.

    2017-05-01

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

  14. The role of farfield tectonic stress in oceanic intraplate deformation, Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reece, Robert S.; Gulick, Sean P. S.; Christesen, Gail L.; Horton, Brian K.; VanAvendonk, Harm J.; Barth, Ginger

    2013-01-01

    An integration of geophysical data from the Pacific Plate reveals plate bending anomalies, massive intraplate shearing and deformation, and a lack of oceanic crust magnetic lineaments in different regions across the Gulf of Alaska. We argue that farfield stress from the Yakutat Terrane collision with North America is the major driver for these unusual features. Similar plate motion vectors indicate that the Pacific plate and Yakutat Terrane are largely coupled along their boundary, the Transition Fault, with minimal translation. Our study shows that the Pacific Plate subduction angle shallows toward the Yakutat Terrane and supports the theory that the Pacific Plate and Yakutat Terranemaintain coupling along the subducted region of the Transition Fault. We argue that the outboard transfer of collisional stress to the Pacific Plate could have resulted in significant strain in the NE corner of the Pacific Plate, which created pathways for igneous sill formation just above the Pacific Plate crust in the Surveyor Fan. A shift in Pacific Plate motion during the late Miocene altered the Yakutat collision with North America, changing the stress transfer regime and potentially terminating associated strain in the NE corner of the Pacific Plate. The collision further intensified as the thickest portion of the Yakutat Terrane began to subduct during the Pleistocene, possibly providing the impetus for the creation of the Gulf of Alaska Shear Zone, a>200 km zone of intraplate strike-slip faults that extend from the Transition Fault out into the Pacific Plate. This study highlights the importance of farfield stress from complex tectonic regimes in consideration of large-scale oceanic intraplate deformation.

  15. 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

  16. Decrease in oceanic crustal thickness since the breakup of Pangaea

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Avendonk, Harm J. A.; Davis, Joshua K.; Harding, Jennifer L.; Lawver, Lawrence A.

    2017-01-01

    Earth's mantle has cooled by 6-11 °C every 100 million years since the Archaean, 2.5 billion years ago. In more recent times, the surface heat loss that led to this temperature drop may have been enhanced by plate-tectonic processes, such as continental breakup, the continuous creation of oceanic lithosphere at mid-ocean ridges and subduction at deep-sea trenches. Here we use a compilation of marine seismic refraction data from ocean basins globally to analyse changes in the thickness of oceanic crust over time. We find that oceanic crust formed in the mid-Jurassic, about 170 million years ago, is 1.7 km thicker on average than crust produced along the present-day mid-ocean ridge system. If a higher mantle temperature is the cause of thicker Jurassic ocean crust, the upper mantle may have cooled by 15-20 °C per 100 million years over this time period. The difference between this and the long-term mantle cooling rate indeed suggests that modern plate tectonics coincide with greater mantle heat loss. We also find that the increase of ocean crustal thickness with plate age is stronger in the Indian and Atlantic oceans compared with the Pacific Ocean. This observation supports the idea that upper mantle temperature in the Jurassic was higher in the wake of the fragmented supercontinent Pangaea due to the effect of continental insulation.

  17. Evidence for subduction-related magmatism during the Cretaceous and Cenozoic in Myanmar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sevastjanova, Inga; Sagi, David Adam; Webb, Peter; Masterton, Sheona; Hill, Catherine; Davies, Clare

    2017-04-01

    Myanmar's complex geological history, numerous controversies around its tectonic evolution and the presence of prospective hydrocarbon basins make it a key area of interest for geologists. Understanding whether a passive or an active margin existed in the region during the Cenozoic is particularly important for the production of accurate basin models; active Cenozoic subduction would imply that hydrocarbon basins in the forearc experienced extension due to slab rollback. The geology of Myanmar was influenced by the regional tectonics associated with the Cretaceous and Cenozoic closure of the Neotethys Ocean. During this time, India travelled rapidly from Gondwana to Asia at speeds up to 20 cm/yr. To accommodate the north-eastward motion of India, the Neotethys Ocean was consumed at the subduction zone along the southern margin of Eurasia. Based on our Global Plate Model, this subduction zone can reasonably be expected to extend for the entire width of the Neotethys Ocean as far as Myanmar and Southeast Asia at their eastern extent. Moreover, a) Cretaceous volcanism onshore Myanmar, b) the middle Cenozoic arc-related extension in the Present Day eastern Andaman Sea and c) the late Cenozoic uplift of the Indo-Burman Ranges are all contemporaneous with the subduction ages predicted by the global plate motions. However, because of the geological complexity of the area, additional evidence would augment interpretations that are based on structural data. In an attempt to reduce the uncertainty in the existing interpretations, we have compiled published zircon geochronological data from detrital and igneous rocks in the region. We have used published zircon U-Pb ages and, where available, published Hf isotope data and CL images (core/rim) in order to distinguish 'juvenile' mantle-derived zircons from those of reworked crustal origin. The compilation shows that Upper Cretaceous and Cenozoic zircons, which are interpreted to have a volcanic provenance, are common across the

  18. A Plate Tectonic Model for the Neoproterozoic with Evolving Plate Boundaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merdith, Andrew; Collins, Alan; Williams, Simon; Pisarevsky, Sergei; Müller, Dietmar

    2017-04-01

    The Neoproterozoic was dominated by the formation of the supercontinent Rodinia, its break-up and the subsequent amalgamation of Gondwana, during which, the planet experienced large climatic variations and the emergence of complex life. Here we present a topological plate model of the Neoproterozoic based on a synthesis of available geological and palaeomagnetic data. Subduction zones, which are well preserved in the geological record, are used as a proxy for convergent margins; evidence for mid-ocean ridges and transform motion is less clearly preserved, though passive margins are used as a proxy for spreading centres, and evidence for strike-slip motions are used to model transform boundaries. We find that the model presented here only predicts 70% of the total length of subduction active today, though it models similar lengths of both transform and divergent boundaries, suggesting that we have produced a conservative model and are probably underestimating the amount of subduction. Where evidence for convergent, divergent or transform motion is not preserved, we interpret the locations of plate boundaries based on the relative motions of cratonic crust as suggested through either palaeomagnetic data or the geological record. Using GPlates, we tie these boundaries together to generate a plate model that depicts the motion of tectonic plates through the Neoproterozoic. We omit India and South China from Rodinia completely, due to long-lived subduction preserved on margins of India and conflicting palaeomagnetic data for the Cryogenian, but tie them together due to similar Tonian aged accretionary patterns along their respective (present-day) north-western and northern margins, such that these two cratons act as a "lonely wanderer" for much of the Neoproterozoic, and form their own tectonic plate. We also introduce a Tonian-Cryogenian aged rotation of the Congo-São Francisco Craton relative to Rodinia to better fit palaeomagnetic data and account for thick passive

  19. Hafnium at subduction zones: isotopic budget of input and output fluxes; L'hafnium dans les zones de subduction: bilan isotopique des flux entrant et sortant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marini, J.Ch

    2004-05-15

    Subduction zones are the primary regions of mass exchanges between continental crust and mantle of Earth through sediment subduction toward the earth's mantle and by supply of mantellic magmas to volcanic arcs. We analyze these mass exchanges using Hafnium and Neodymium isotopes. At the Izu-Mariana subduction zone, subducting sediments have Hf and Nd isotopes equivalent to Pacific seawater. Altered oceanic crust has Hf and Nd isotopic compositions equivalent to the isotopic budget of unaltered Pacific oceanic crust. At Luzon and Java subduction zones, arc lavas present Hf isotopic ratios highly radiogenic in comparison to their Nd isotopic ratios. Such compositions of the Luzon and Java arc lavas are controlled by a contamination of their sources by the subducted oceanic sediments. (author)

  20. 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

  1. Mechanical decoupling along a subduction boundary fault: the case of the Tindari-Alfeo Fault System, Calabrian Arc (central Mediterranean Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maesano, F. E.; Tiberti, M. M.; Basili, R.

    2017-12-01

    In recent years an increasing number of studies have been focused in understanding the lateral terminations of subduction zones. In the Mediterranean region, this topic is of particular interest for the presence of a "land-locked" system of subduction zones interrupted by continental collision and back-arc opening. We present a 3D reconstruction of the area surrounding the Tindari-Alfeo Fault System (TAFS) based on a dense set of deep seismic reflection profiles. This fault system represents a major NNW-SSE trending subduction-transform edge propagator (STEP) that controls the deformation zone bounding the Calabrian subduction zone (central Mediterranean Sea) to the southwest. This 3D model allowed us to characterize the mechanical and kinematic evolution of the TAFS during the Plio-Quaternary. Our study highlights the presence of a mechanical decoupling between the deformation observed in the lower plate, constituted by the Ionian oceanic crust entering the subduction zone, and the upper plate, where a thick accretionary wedge has formed. The lower plate hosts the master faults of the TAFS, whereas the upper plate is affected by secondary deformation (bending-moment faulting, localized subsidence, stepovers, and restraining/releasing bends). The analysis of the syn-tectonic sedimentary basins related to the activity of the TAFS at depth allow us to constrain the propagation rate of the deformation and of the vertical component of the slip-rate. Our findings provide a comprehensive framework of the structural setting that can be expected along a STEP boundary where contractional and transtensional features coexist at close distance from one another.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Reduction of nitrogen compounds in oceanic basement and its implications for HCN formation and abiotic organic synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Nils G; Neubeck, Anna

    2009-10-22

    Hydrogen cyanide is an excellent organic reagent and is central to most of the reaction pathways leading to abiotic formation of simple organic compounds containing nitrogen, such as amino acids, purines and pyrimidines. Reduced carbon and nitrogen precursor compounds for the synthesis of HCN may be formed under off-axis hydrothermal conditions in oceanic lithosphere in the presence of native Fe and Ni and are adsorbed on authigenic layer silicates and zeolites. The native metals as well as the molecular hydrogen reducing CO2 to CO/CH4 and NO3-/NO2- to NH3/NH4+ are a result of serpentinization of mafic rocks. Oceanic plates are conveyor belts of reduced carbon and nitrogen compounds from the off-axis hydrothermal environments to the subduction zones, where compaction, dehydration, desiccation and diagenetic reactions affect the organic precursors. CO/CH4 and NH3/NH4+ in fluids distilled out of layer silicates and zeolites in the subducting plate at an early stage of subduction will react upon heating and form HCN, which is then available for further organic reactions to, for instance, carbohydrates, nucleosides or even nucleotides, under alkaline conditions in hydrated mantle rocks of the overriding plate. Convergent margins in the initial phase of subduction must, therefore, be considered the most potent sites for prebiotic reactions on Earth. This means that origin of life processes are, perhaps, only possible on planets where some kind of plate tectonics occur.

  9. Reduction of nitrogen compounds in oceanic basement and its implications for HCN formation and abiotic organic synthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neubeck Anna

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Hydrogen cyanide is an excellent organic reagent and is central to most of the reaction pathways leading to abiotic formation of simple organic compounds containing nitrogen, such as amino acids, purines and pyrimidines. Reduced carbon and nitrogen precursor compounds for the synthesis of HCN may be formed under off-axis hydrothermal conditions in oceanic lithosphere in the presence of native Fe and Ni and are adsorbed on authigenic layer silicates and zeolites. The native metals as well as the molecular hydrogen reducing CO2 to CO/CH4 and NO3-/NO2- to NH3/NH4+ are a result of serpentinization of mafic rocks. Oceanic plates are conveyor belts of reduced carbon and nitrogen compounds from the off-axis hydrothermal environments to the subduction zones, where compaction, dehydration, desiccation and diagenetic reactions affect the organic precursors. CO/CH4 and NH3/NH4+ in fluids distilled out of layer silicates and zeolites in the subducting plate at an early stage of subduction will react upon heating and form HCN, which is then available for further organic reactions to, for instance, carbohydrates, nucleosides or even nucleotides, under alkaline conditions in hydrated mantle rocks of the overriding plate. Convergent margins in the initial phase of subduction must, therefore, be considered the most potent sites for prebiotic reactions on Earth. This means that origin of life processes are, perhaps, only possible on planets where some kind of plate tectonics occur.

  10. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  13. Dynamic triggering of low magnitude earthquakes in the Middle American Subduction Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escudero, C. R.; Velasco, A. A.

    2010-12-01

    We analyze global and Middle American Subduction Zone (MASZ) seismicity from 1998 to 2008 to quantify the transient stresses effects at teleseismic distances. We use the Bulletin of the International Seismological Centre Catalog (ISCCD) published by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS). To identify MASZ seismicity changes due to distant, large (Mw >7) earthquakes, we first identify local earthquakes that occurred before and after the mainshocks. We then group the local earthquakes within a cluster radius between 75 to 200 km. We obtain statistics based on characteristics of both mainshocks and local earthquakes clusters, such as local cluster-mainshock azimuth, mainshock focal mechanism, and local earthquakes clusters within the MASZ. Due to lateral variations of the dip along the subducted oceanic plate, we divide the Mexican subduction zone in four segments. We then apply the Paired Samples Statistical Test (PSST) to the sorted data to identify increment, decrement or either in the local seismicity associated with distant large earthquakes. We identify dynamic triggering for all MASZ segments produced by large earthquakes emerging from specific azimuths, as well as, a decrease for some cases. We find no depend of seismicity changes due to focal mainshock mechanism.

  14. Hafnium at subduction zones: isotopic budget of input and output fluxes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marini, J.Ch.

    2004-05-01

    Subduction zones are the primary regions of mass exchanges between continental crust and mantle of Earth through sediment subduction toward the earth's mantle and by supply of mantellic magmas to volcanic arcs. We analyze these mass exchanges using Hafnium and Neodymium isotopes. At the Izu-Mariana subduction zone, subducting sediments have Hf and Nd isotopes equivalent to Pacific seawater. Altered oceanic crust has Hf and Nd isotopic compositions equivalent to the isotopic budget of unaltered Pacific oceanic crust. At Luzon and Java subduction zones, arc lavas present Hf isotopic ratios highly radiogenic in comparison to their Nd isotopic ratios. Such compositions of the Luzon and Java arc lavas are controlled by a contamination of their sources by the subducted oceanic sediments. (author)

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Vannucchi

    2013-03-01

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

  18. The emergence of volcanic oceanic islands on a slow-moving plate: The example of Madeira Island, NE Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramalho, Ricardo S.; Brum da Silveira, António; Fonseca, Paulo E.; Madeira, José; Cosca, Michael; Cachão, Mário; Fonseca, Maria M.; Prada, Susana N.

    2015-02-01

    The transition from seamount to oceanic island typically involves surtseyan volcanism. However, the geological record at many islands in the NE Atlantic—all located within the slow-moving Nubian plate—does not exhibit evidence for an emergent surtseyan phase but rather an erosive unconformity between the submarine basement and the overlying subaerial shield sequences. This suggests that the transition between seamount and island may frequently occur by a relative fall of sea level through uplift, eustatic changes, or a combination of both, and may not involve summit volcanism. In this study, we explore the consequences for island evolutionary models using Madeira Island (Portugal) as a case study. We have examined the geologic record at Madeira using a combination of detailed fieldwork, biostratigraphy, and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology in order to document the mode, timing, and duration of edifice emergence above sea level. Our study confirms that Madeira's subaerial shield volcano was built upon the eroded remains of an uplifted seamount, with shallow marine sediments found between the two eruptive sequences and presently located at 320-430 m above sea level. This study reveals that Madeira emerged around 7.0-5.6 Ma essentially through an uplift process and before volcanic activity resumed to form the subaerial shield volcano. Basal intrusions are a likely uplift mechanism, and their emplacement is possibly enhanced by the slow motion of the Nubian plate relative to the source of partial melting. Alternating uplift and subsidence episodes suggest that island edifice growth may be governed by competing dominantly volcanic and dominantly intrusive processes.

  19. 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.

  20. Faulting and hydration of the Juan de Fuca plate system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nedimović, Mladen R.; Bohnenstiehl, DelWayne R.; Carbotte, Suzanne M.; Pablo Canales, J.; Dziak, Robert P.

    2009-06-01

    Multichannel seismic observations provide the first direct images of crustal scale normal faults within the Juan de Fuca plate system and indicate that brittle deformation extends up to ~ 200 km seaward of the Cascadia trench. Within the sedimentary layering steeply dipping faults are identified by stratigraphic offsets, with maximum throws of 110 ± 10 m found near the trench. Fault throws diminish both upsection and seaward from the trench. Long-term throw rates are estimated to be 13 ± 2 mm/kyr. Faulted offsets within the sedimentary layering are typically linked to larger offset scarps in the basement topography, suggesting reactivation of the normal fault systems formed at the spreading center. Imaged reflections within the gabbroic igneous crust indicate swallowing fault dips at depth. These reflections require local alteration to produce an impedance contrast, indicating that the imaged fault structures provide pathways for fluid transport and hydration. As the depth extent of imaged faulting within this young and sediment insulated oceanic plate is primarily limited to approximately Moho depths, fault-controlled hydration appears to be largely restricted to crustal levels. If dehydration embrittlement is an important mechanism for triggering intermediate-depth earthquakes within the subducting slab, then the limited occurrence rate and magnitude of intraslab seismicity at the Cascadia margin may in part be explained by the limited amount of water imbedded into the uppermost oceanic mantle prior to subduction. The distribution of submarine earthquakes within the Juan de Fuca plate system indicates that propagator wake areas are likely to be more faulted and therefore more hydrated than other parts of this plate system. However, being largely restricted to crustal levels, this localized increase in hydration generally does not appear to have a measurable effect on the intraslab seismicity along most of the subducted propagator wakes at the Cascadia margin.

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

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    A. Argnani

    2000-06-01

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

  2. TSUNAMIGENIC SOURCES IN THE INDIAN OCEAN

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    B. K. Rastogi

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on an assessment of the repeat periods of great earthquakes from past seismicity, convergence rates and paleoseismological results, possible future source zones of tsunami generating earthquakes in the Indian Ocean (possible seismic gap areas are identified along subduction zones and zones of compression. Central Sumatra, Java, Makran coast, Indus Delta, Kutch-Saurashtra, Bangladesh and southern Myanmar are identified as possible source zones of earthquakes in near future which might cause tsunamis in the Indian Ocean, and in particular, that could affect India. The Sunda Arc (covering Sumatra and Java subduction zone, situated on the eastern side of the Indian Ocean, is one of the most active plate margins in the world that generates frequent great earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. The Andaman- Nicobar group of islands is also a seismically active zone that generates frequent earthquakes. However, northern Sumatra and Andaman-Nicobar regions are assessed to be probably free from great earthquakes (M!8.0 for a few decades due to occurrence of 2004 Mw 9.3 and 2005 Mw 8.7 earthquakes. The Krakatau volcanic eruptions have caused large tsunamis in the past. This volcano and a few others situated on the ocean bed can cause large tsunamis in the future. List of past tsunamis generated due to earthquakes/volcanic eruptions that affected the Indian region and vicinity in the Indian Ocean are also presented.

  3. 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

  4. Source to Sink Tectonic Fate of Large Oceanic Turbidite Systems and the Rupturing of Great and Giant Megathrust Earthquakes (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholl, D. W.; Kirby, S. H.; von Huene, R.

    2010-12-01

    OCEAN FLOOR OBSERVATIONS: Oceanic turbidite systems accumulate above igneous oceanic crust and are commonly huge in areal and volumetric dimensions. For example, the volume of the Zodiac fan of the Gulf of Alaska is roughly 300,000 cubic km. Other large oceanic systems construct the Amazon cone, flood the Bay of Bengal abyss, and accumulate along trench axes to thickness of 1 to 7 km and lengths of 1000 to 3000 km, e.g., the Aleutian-Alaska, Sumatra-Andaman, Makran, and south central Chile Trenches. THE ROCK RECORD: Despite the large dimensions of oceanic turbidite systems, they are poorly preserved in the rock record. This includes oceanic systems deposited in passive-margin oceans, e.g., the Paleozoic Iapetus and Rheric oceans of the Atlantic realm, This circumstance does not apply to Cretaceous and E. Tertiary rock sequences of the north Pacific rim where oceanic turbidite deposits are preserved as accretionary complexes, e.g., the Catalina-Pelona-Orocopia-Rand schist of California and the Chugach-Kodiak complex of Alaska. These rock bodies are exhumed crustal underplates of once deeply (15-30 km) subducted oceanic turbidite systems. PATH FROM SOURCE TO TECTONIC SINK: The fate of most oceanic turbidite systems is to be removed from the sea floor and, ultimately, destroyed. This circumstance is unavoidable because most of them are deposited on lower plate crust destined for destruction in a subduction zone. During the past 4-5 myr alone a volume of 1-1.5 million cubic km of sediment sourced from the glaciated drainages of the Gulf of Alaska flooded the 3000-km-long Aleutian-Alaska trench axis. A small part of this volume accumulated tectonically as a narrow, 10-30-km wide accretionary frontal prism. But about 80 percent was subducted and entered the subduction channel separating the two plates. The subduction channel, roughly 1 km thick, conveys the trench turbidite deposits landward down dip along the rupturing width of the seismogenic zone. SEISMIC CONSEQUENCE

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  6. U enrichment and Th/U fractionation in Archean boninites: Implications for paleo-ocean oxygenation and U cycling at juvenile subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manikyamba, C.; Said, Nuru; Santosh, M.; Saha, Abhishek; Ganguly, Sohini; Subramanyam, K. S. V.

    2018-05-01

    Phanerozoic boninites record enrichments of U over Th, giving Th/U: 0.5-1.6, relative to intraoceanic island arc tholeiites (IAT) where Th/U averages 2.6. Uranium enrichment is attributed to incorporation of shallow, oxidized fluids, U-rich but Th-poor, from the slab into the melt column of boninites which form in near-trench to forearc settings of suprasubduction zone ophiolites. Well preserved Archean komatiite-tholeiite, plume-derived, oceanic volcanic sequences have primary magmatic Th/U ratios of 4.4-3.6, and Archean convergent margin IAT volcanic sequences, having REE and HFSE compositions similar to Phanerozoic IAT equivalents, preserve primary Th/U of 4-3.6. The best preserved Archean boninites of the 3.0 Ga Olondo and 2.7 Ga Gadwal greenstone belts, hosted in convergent margin ophiolite sequences, also show relative enrichments of U over Th, with low average Th/U ∼3 relative to coeval IAT, and Phanerozoic counterparts which are devoid of crustal contamination and therefore erupted in an intraoceanic setting, with minimal contemporaneous submarine hydrothermal alteration. Later enrichment of U is unlikely as Th-U-Nb-LREE patterns are coherent in these boninites whereas secondary effects induce dispersion of Th/U ratios. The variation in Th/U ratios from Archean to Phanerozoic boninites of greenstone belts to ophiolitic sequences reflect on genesis of boninitic lavas at different tectono-thermal regimes. Consequently, if the explanation for U enrichment in Phanerozoic boninites also applies to Archean examples, the implication is that U was soluble in oxygenated Archean marine water up to 600 Ma before the proposed great oxygenation event (GOE) at ∼2.4 Ga. This interpretation is consistent with large Ce anomalies in some hydrothermally altered Archean volcanic sequences aged 3.0-2.7 Ga.

  7. 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.

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

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

    2017-12-01

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

  9. In situ experimental study of subduction zone fluids using diamond anvil cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bureau, H.; Foy, E.; Somogyi, A.; Munsch, P.; Simon, G.; Kubsky, S.

    2008-12-01

    Experiments carried out in diamond anvil cells combined with in situ synchrotron light source measurements represent the only one issue to observe and study fluid equilibria in real time, at the pressure and temperature conditions of the subduction zones. We will present new results recently obtained at the DIFFABS beam line (SOLEIL Synchrotron) aiming at studying equilibria between silica-rich hydrous melts and aqueous fluids in the presence of U, Th, Pb, Ba and Br. We used synchrotron X-Ray fluorescence analysis performed in situ in Bassett-modified hydrothermal diamond anvil cells in order to monitor the chemical transfers of the studied elements between the phases in equilibrium at different pressures (up to 1.6 GPa) and temperatures (up to 900°C). We have calculated the partition coefficients for each studied element (i): Difluid/melt = Cifluid/Cimelt. Results show that U and Th exhibit more affinities for the silica-rich hydrous fluids in the presence or absence of Br, considered here such as an analogue for Cl, (i.e. 0.4 > 10 after decompression) this coefficient decreases with pressure suggesting that Br would not be immediately washed out from the subducted plate during dehydration but may be recycled deeper in the mantle. These new data combined with previous ones obtained for Pb, Ba (Bureau et al., 2007, HPR vol 27, p. 235) and Rb, Sr, Zr (Bureau et al., 2004, Eos Trans. AGU, 85(47), V11C-05), allow us to propose a general outline of the fluid phase transfers through the subduction factory: (1) at shallow level: their nature and composition, the impact of the presence of halogens and the fertilizing role of such fluids in the mantle wedge, where the generation of arc magmas takes place (2) deeper in the mantle: where hydrous silica-rich supercritical fluids may also favour a deep recycling of a fraction of volatiles and trace elements present in the subducted oceanic crust.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  12. Reducing risk where tectonic plates collide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomberg, Joan S.; Ludwig, Kristin A.

    2017-06-19

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

  13. 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

  14. A multidisciplinary approach to constrain incoming plate hydration in the Central American Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Y.; Guild, M. R.; Naif, S.; Eimer, M. O.; Evans, O.; Fornash, K.; Plank, T. A.; Shillington, D. J.; Vervelidou, F.; Warren, J. M.; Wiens, D.

    2017-12-01

    The oceanic crust and mantle of the incoming plate are potentially the greatest source of water to the subduction zone, but their extent of hydration is poorly constrained. Hydrothermal alteration of the oceanic crust is an important source of mineral-bound water that ultimately dehydrates during subduction. Bend faults at the trench-outer rise provide another viable mechanism to further hydrate the down-going plate. Here, we take a multidisciplinary approach to constrain the fluid budget of the subducting plate at the Northern Central American margin; this site was chosen since it has an unusually wet subducting slab at the Nicaragua segment. Abundant geophysical and geochemical datasets are available for this region and this work is an analysis of these data. Controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) and wide-angle seismic (WAS) observations show significant resistivity and velocity reductions in the incoming oceanic crust associated with bend faults, which suggests seawater infiltration and hydrous alteration. We used the CSEM porosity constraints to predict P-wave velocity and find that the WAS data require an additional reduction of up to 0.3 km/s in the lower crust at the trench, equivalent to 2 wt% H2O. We implemented the porosity structure together with constraints on fluid flow and reaction kinetics into two-phase flow numerical models to quantify the degree of serpentinization possible relative to WAS estimates. Thermodynamic modeling of basalt and peridotite bulk compositions were used to predict the alteration assemblages and associated water contents in the bend faulting region as well as the dehydration fluxes during subduction. In Nicaragua, the major fluid pulse at sub-arc depths results from chlorite and antigorite breakdown in the upper 10 km of the slab mantle, whereas in Costa Rica, the slab mantle is not predicted to dehydrate at sub-arc depths. In addition, comparisons between observed and predicted magnetic anomalies and geochemical variations

  15. Migration Imaging of the Java Subduction Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  16. Linking Serpentinite Geochemistry with Possible Alteration and Evolution of Supra-Subduction Wedge Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scambelluri, M.; Cannaò, E.; Agostini, S.; Gilio, M.

    2016-12-01

    Serpentinites are able to transport and release volatiles and fluid-mobile elements (FME) found in arc magmas. Constraining the trace element compositions of these rocks and of fluids released by de-serpentinization improves our knowledge of mass transfer from subduction zones to volcanic arcs, and of the role of slab and wedge mantle in this global process. Studies of high-pressure ultramafic rocks exhumed from plate interface settings reveal the fluid/rock interactions atop the slab and the processes that can affect the mantle wedge. Alpine eclogite-facies antigorite serpentinite (Voltri Massif) and fully de-serpentinized meta-peridotite (Cima di Gagnone) are enriched in sediment-derived As, Sb, U, Pb before peak dehydration. Their Sr, Pb and B isotopic compositions are reset during prograde (forearc) interaction with slab fluids. The eclogitic garnet and olivine from the Cima di Gagnone metaperidotite trap primary inclusions of the fluid released during breakdown of antigorite and chlorite. The inclusions display FME enrichments (high Cl, S; variable Cs, Rb, Ba, B, Pb, As, Sb) indicating element release from rocks to fluids during dehydration under subarc conditions. Our studies show that serpentinized mantle rocks from subduction zones sequester FME from slab fluids and convey these components and radiogenic isotopes into the mantle wedge upon dehydration. The geochemical processes revealed by such plate-interface rocks can apply to the supra-subduction mantle. Shallow element release from slabs to mantle wedge, downdrag of this altered mantle and its subsequent (subarc) dehydration transfers crust-derived FMEs to the arc magma sources without the need of concomitant subarc dehydration/melting of metasedimentary slab components. The slab signature detected in arc lavas can thus result from geochemical mixing of sediment, oceanic crust and ultramafic reservoirs into altered wedge-mantle rocks, rather than being attributed to multiple fluids.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigloch, Karin; Mihalynuk, Mitchell G.

    2013-04-01

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

  18. Global Dynamic Numerical Simulations of Plate Tectonic Reorganizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morra, G.; Quevedo, L.; Butterworth, N.; Matthews, K. J.; Müller, D.

    2010-12-01

    We use a new numerical approach for global geodynamics to investigate the origin of present global plate motion and to identify the causes of the last two global tectonic reorganizations occurred about 50 and 100 million years ago (Ma) [1]. While the 50 Ma event is the most well-known global plate-mantle event, expressed by the bend in the Hawaiian-Emperor volcanic chain, a prominent plate reorganization at about 100 Ma, although presently little studied, is clearly indicated by a major bend in the fracture zones in the Indian Ocean and by a change in Pacific plate motion [2]. Our workflow involves turning plate reconstructions into surface meshes that are subsequently employed as initial conditions for global Boundary Element numerical models. The tectonic setting that anticipates the reorganizations is processed with the software GPlates, combining the 3D mesh of the paleo-plate morphology and the reconstruction of paleo-subducted slabs, elaborated from tectonic history [3]. All our models involve the entire planetary system, are fully dynamic, have free surface, are characterized by a spectacular computational speed due to the simultaneous use of the multi-pole algorithm and the Boundary Element formulation and are limited only by the use of sharp material property variations [4]. We employ this new tool to unravel the causes of plate tectonic reorganizations, producing and comparing global plate motion with the reconstructed ones. References: [1] Torsvik, T., Müller, R.D., Van der Voo, R., Steinberger, B., and Gaina, C., 2008, Global Plate Motion Frames: Toward a unified model: Reviews in Geophysics, VOL. 46, RG3004, 44 PP., 2008 [2] Wessel, P. and Kroenke, L.W. Pacific absolute plate motion since 145 Ma: An assessment of the fixed hot spot hypothesis. Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol 113, B06101, 2008 [3] L. Quevedo, G. Morra, R. D. Mueller. Parallel Fast Multipole Boundary Element Method for Crustal Dynamics, Proceeding 9th World Congress and 4th Asian

  19. 16 Years, 16 Cruises, 1.6 Billion Soundings: a Compilation of High-Resolution Multibeam Bathymetry of the Active Plate Boundary Along the Chilean Continental Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinrebe, W.; Flueh, E. R.; Hasert, M.; Behrmann, J. H.; Voelker, D.; Geersen, J.; Ranero, C. R.; Diaz-Naveas, J. L.

    2011-12-01

    Chile, a country stranding the active plate boundary between the South-American and the Nazca Plate is afflicted by recurrent earthquakes and hazardous volcanic eruptions. The strongest earthquake ever recorded occurred here, and volcanic hazards are frequent. Consequently, this area has been studied by geoscientists for many years to improve the understanding of subduction zone processes. Swath bathymetry mapping of the ocean floor has proven to bear a large potential for the interpretation of subduction-related processes, such as tectonic deformation of the marine forearc, release and migration of fluids as well as earthquake-triggered mass wasting. Multibeam bathymetry data of 16 major cruises of German, British, and Chilean research vessels recorded between 1995 and December 2010, in total more than 10,000 data files comprising about 1.6 billion soundings, have now been carefully reprocessed, compiled and merged into a unifying set of high-resolution bathymetric maps of the Chilean continental margin from latitude 40°S to 20°S. The imprint of subsurface processes on the surface morphology is well displayed in the case of the Chilean continental margin. The 3,500 km long Chilean convergent margin is not uniform, as various segments with different tectonic characteristics can be distinguished. Major factors that control margin morphology and thus the style of subduction are (1) relief and structure of the incoming oceanic plate, (2) supply of trench sediment, (3) turbidite transport within the trench, and (4) the input of terrigeneous sediments down the continental slope. A major segment boundary occurs at latitude 32°-33° S where the hotspot-related volcanic chain of Juan Fernandez is presently subducting. South of the area of ridge subduction the trench is filled with turbidites, and accretionary ridges develop across the base of the slope along most of the segment, whereas north of this boundary the turbiditic infill is reduced and subduction erosion is

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  2. The rigid Andean sliver hypothesis challenged : impact on interseismic coupling on the Chilean subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metois, M.

    2017-12-01

    Convergence partitioning between subduction zones and crustal active structures has been widely evidenced. For instance, the convergence between the Indian and Sunda plates is accommodated both by the Sumatra subduction zone and the Great Sumatran strike-slip fault, that defines a narrow sliver. In Cascadia, small-scale rotating rigid blocks bounded by active faults have been proposed (e.g. McCaffrey et al. 2007). Recent advances in geodetic measurements along the South-American margin especially in Ecuador, Peru and Chile and the need for precise determination of the coupling amount on the megathrust interface in particular for seismic hazard assessment, led several authors to propose the existence of large-scale Andean slivers rotating clockwise and counter-clockwise South and North of the Arica bend, respectively (e.g. Chlieh et al. 2011, Nocquet et al. 2014, Métois et al. 2013). In Chile, one single large Andean sliver bounded to the west by the subduction thrust and to the east by the subandean fold-an-thrust belt active front is used to mimic the velocities observed in the middle to far field that are misfitted by elastic coupling models on the megathrust interface alone (Métois et al. 2016). This rigid sliver is supposed to rotate clockwise around a Euler pole located in the South Atlantic ocean, consistently with long-term observed rotations detected by paleomagnetism (e.g. Arriagada et al. 2008). However, recent GPS data acquired in the Taltal area ( 26°S, Klein et al. submitted) show higher than expected middle-field eastward velocities and question the first-order assumption of a rigid Andean sliver. Mis-modeling the fore-arc deformation has a direct impact on the inverted coupling amount and distribution, and could therefore bias significantly the megathrust rupture scenarios. Correctly estimating the current-day deformation of the Andes is therefore required to properly assess for coupling on the plate interface and is challenging since crustal

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

    . Plate motions are driven by subduction, the passive falling away of oceanic lithosphere which is negatively buoyant because of top-down cooling. Slabs have top and bottom rolling hinges and sink subvertically (inclinations of slabs mark their positions, not trajectories) into the transition zone, where they are laid down on, and depress, the 660-km discontinuity. Rollback of upper hinges into subducting plates is required by plate behavior at all scales. That fronts of overriding plates advance at rollback velocity is required by common preservation atop their thin leading edges of little-deformed fore-arc basins. Convergence velocity also commonly equals rollback but is faster in some arcs. Steeply-sinking inclined slabs push sublithospheric upper mantle forward into the shrinking ocean from which they came, forcing seafloor spreading therein, and pull overriding plates behind them. Continental plates pass over sunken slabs like tanks above their basal treads, and material from, and displaced rearward by, sunken slabs is cycled into pull-apart oceans opening behind the continents, thus transferring mantle from shrinking to enlarging oceans. Hot mantle displaced above slabs enables backarc spreading. Spreading ridges, in both shrinking and enlarging oceans, are passive byproducts of subduction, and migrate because it is more energy efficient to process new asthenosphere than to get partial melt from increasingly distant sources. A plate-motion framework wherein hinges roll back, ridges migrate, Antarctica is approximately fixed, and intraplate deformation is integrated may approximate an absolute reference to sluggish lower mantle, whereas the hotspot frame is invalid, and the no-net-rotation frame minimizes trench and ridge motions.

  6. 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

  7. Convergent margin structure and tectonics of the Java subduction zone (105°E-122°E)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp, H.; Barckhausen, U.; Djajadihardja, Y.; Engels, M.; Flueh, E. R.; Hindle, D. A.; Lueschen, E.; Mueller, C.; Planert, L.; Reichert, C. J.; Shulgin, A. A.; Wittwer, A.

    2009-12-01

    The Java margin is the site of oceanic subduction of the Indo-Australian plate underneath the Indonesian archipelago. Data from a suite of geophysical experiments conducted between 1997-2006 using RV SONNE as platform include seismic and seismological studies, potential field measurements and high-resolution seafloor bathymetry mapping. Tomographic inversions provide an image of the ongoing deformation of the forearc and the deep subsurface. We investigate the role of various key mechanisms that shape the first-order features characterizing the present margin architecture. Our results show a high variability in subduction zone processes along the Java margin, ranging from accretionary subduction to erosive processes to zero-budget mass transfer. These variations are closely linked to changes in character of the incoming plate. Off Western Java (105°E -109°E), near-full accretion of the trench sediment fill is associated with a well-developed accretionary prism fronting a 4 km deep forearc basin. The Central Java segment (109°E -115°E) experiences the collision of an oceanic plateau dotted with numerous seamounts, causing large-scale uplift of the forearc, coupled with erosion of the frontal prism and correlated mass wasting processes. Intense deformation of the forearc basin results from thrusting and compressional forces. In the neighbouring segment farther to the east (115°E-119°E), the lack of significant sediment input to the trench supports the notion that recycling of upper plate material in the forearc sustains the massive outer high observed here adjacent to a mature forearc basin. The incoming oceanic plate of the Argo Abyssal plain is devoid of a sediment drape and the original spreading fabric overprinted by bending-related faulting near the trench shape its morphology. The transition zone from the Java margin to the Banda Arc (119°E-122°E) experiences the early stages of continent-island arc collision associated with the convergence of the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Late Cretaceous intra-oceanic magmatism in the internal Dinarides (northern Bosnia and Herzegovina): Implications for the collision of the Adriatic and European plates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ustaszewski, Kamil; Schmid, Stefan M.; Lugović, Boško; Schuster, Ralf; Schaltegger, Urs; Bernoulli, Daniel; Hottinger, Lukas; Kounov, Alexandre; Fügenschuh, Bernhard; Schefer, Senecio

    2009-03-01

    The Kozara Mountains of northern Bosnia and Hercegovina form part of the internal Dinarides and host two tectonically juxtaposed ophiolitic successions of different age. The southern part of the Kozara Mountains exposes the Western Vardar Ophiolitic Unit, which was obducted onto the Adriatic margin in the Late Jurassic. The northern part exposes a bimodal igneous succession that was thrust onto the Western Vardar Ophiolitic Unit during the latest Cretaceous to Early Paleogene. This bimodal igneous succession comprises isotropic gabbros, doleritic dikes, basaltic pillow lavas and rhyolites. Pelagic limestones, intercalated with pillow lavas, yielded a Campanian globotruncanid association, consistent with concordant U-Pb ages on zircons from dolerites and rhyolites of 81.39 ± 0.11 and 81.6 ± 0.12 Ma, respectively. Chondrite-normalised rare earth element patterns of the bimodal igneous rocks show enrichment of LREE over HREE. Primitive mantle-normalised multi-element diagrams do not reveal significant depletion of HFSE. The ɛNd(T) and initial 87Sr/ 86Sr isotopic values range from + 4.4 to + 6.3 and from 0.70346 to 0.70507 respectively, suggesting an intraoceanic origin. The bimodal igneous succession is unconformably overlain by Maastrichtian to Paleocene siliciclastics that contain abundant ophiolitic detritus, suggesting reworking of the Campanian magmatics. An Eocene turbiditic sandstone succession unconformably covers both the Western Vardar Ophiolitic Unit and the Late Cretaceous bimodal igneous successions. These observations suggest that the Adriatic Plate and the Europe-derived Tisza and Dacia Mega-Units were still separated by a deep basin floored by oceanic lithosphere until the Campanian and that its closure did not occur before the Maastrichtian to earliest Paleogene. This Late Cretaceous oceanic domain probably represented a remnant of the Vardar Ocean, or alternatively, the Alpine Tethys; possibly the traces of both oceanic domains were connected in

  13. 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.

  14. IODP Expedition 319, NanTroSEIZE Stage 2: First IODP Riser Drilling Operations and Observatory Installation Towards Understanding Subduction Zone Seismogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean Toczko

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE is a major drilling project designed to investigate fault mechanics and the seismogenic behavior of subduction zone plate boundaries. Expedition 319 is the first riser drilling operation within scientific ocean drilling. Operations included riser drilling at Site C0009 in the forearc basin above the plate boundary fault, non-riser drilling at Site C0010 across the shallow part of the megasplay faultsystem—which may slip during plate boundary earthquakes—and initial drilling at Site C0011 (incoming oceanic plate for Expedition 322. At Site C0009, new methods were tested, including analysis of drill mud cuttings and gas, and in situ measurements of stress, pore pressure, and permeability. These results, in conjunction with earlier drilling, will provide a the history of forearc basin development (including links to growth of the megasplay fault system and modern prism, b the first in situ hydrological measurements of the plate boundary hanging wall, and c integration of in situ stress measurements (orientation and magnitude across the forearc and with depth. A vertical seismic profile (VSP experiment provides improved constraints on the deeper structure of the subduction zone. At Site C0010, logging-while-drilling measurements indicate significantchanges in fault zone and hanging wall properties over short (<5 km along-strike distances, suggesting different burial and/or uplift history. The first borehole observatory instruments were installed at Site C0010 to monitor pressure and temperature within the megasplay fault zone, and methods of deployment of more complex observatoryinstruments were tested for future operations.

  15. 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

    A belt of Paleogene near-trench plutons known as the Sanak-Baranof belt intruded the southern Alaska convergent margin. A compilation of isotopic ages of these plutons shows that they range in age from 61 Ma in the west to ca. 50 Ma in the east. This migrating pulse of magmatism along the continental margin is consistent with North Pacific plate reconstructions that suggests the plutons were generated by migration of a trench-ridge-trench triple junction along the margin. On the Kenai Peninsula the regional lower greenschist metamorphic grade of the turbiditic host rocks, texture of the plutons, contact-metamorphic assemblage, and isotopic and fluid inclusion studies suggest that the plutons were emplaced at pressures of 1.5–3.0 kbars (5.2–10.5 km) into a part of the accretionary wedge with an ambient temperature of 210–300 °C. The presence of kyanite, garnet, and cordierite megacrysts in the plutons indicates that the melts were generated at a depth greater than 20 km and minimum temperature of 650 °C. These megacrysts are probably xenocrystic remnants of a restitic or contact metamorphic phase entrained by the melt during intrusion. However, it is also possible that they are primary magmatic phases crystallized from the peraluminous melt.Plutons of the Sanak-Baranof belt serve as time and strain markers separating kinematic regimes that predate and postdate ridge subduction. Pre-ridge subduction structures are interpreted to be related to the interaction between the leading oceanic plate and the Chugach terrane. These include regional thrust faults, NE-striking map-scale folds with associated axial planar foliation, type-1 mélanges, and an arrayof faults within the contact aureole indicating shortening largely accommodated by layer-parallel extension. Syn-ridge subduction features include the plutons, dikes, and ductile shear zones within contact aureoles with syn-kinematic metamorphic mineral growth and foliation development. Many of the studied plutons

  16. Reconstructing Plate Boundaries in the Jurassic Neo-Tethys From the East and West Vardar Ophiolites (Greece and Serbia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maffione, Marco; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.

    2018-03-01

    Jurassic subduction initiation in the Neo-Tethys Ocean eventually led to the collision of the Adria-Africa and Eurasia continents and the formation of an 6,000 km long Alpine orogen spanning from Iberia to Iran. Reconstructing the location and geometry of the plate boundaries of the now disappeared Neo-Tethys during the initial moments of its closure is instrumental to perform more realistic plate reconstructions of this region, of ancient ocean basins in general, and on the process of subduction initiation. Neo-Tethyan relics are preserved in an ophiolite belt distributed above the Dinaric-Hellenic fold-thrust belt. Here we provide the first quantitative constraints on the geometry of the spreading ridges and trenches active in the Jurassic Neo-Tethys using a paleomagnetically based net tectonic rotation analysis of sheeted dykes and dykes from the West and East Vardar Ophiolites of Serbia (Maljen and Ibar) and Greece (Othris, Pindos, Vourinos, and Guevgueli). Based on our results and existing geological evidence, we show that initial Middle Jurassic ( 175 Ma) closure of the western Neo-Tethys was accommodated at a N-S trending, west dipping subduction zone initiated near and parallel to the spreading ridge. The West Vardar Ophiolites formed in the forearc parallel to this new trench. Simultaneously, the East Vardar Ophiolites formed above a second N-S to NW-SE trending subduction zone located close to the European passive margin. We tentatively propose that this second subduction zone had been active since at least the Middle Triassic, simultaneously accommodating the closure of the Paleo-Tethys and the back-arc opening of Neo-Tethys.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Intra-slab COH fluid fluxes evidenced by fluid-mediated decarbonation of lawsonite eclogite-facies altered oceanic metabasalts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitale Brovarone, Alberto; Chu, Xu; Martin, Laure; Ague, Jay J.; Monié, Patrick; Groppo, Chiara; Martinez, Isabelle; Chaduteau, Carine

    2018-04-01

    The interplay between the processes controlling the mobility of H2O and C-bearing species during subduction zone metamorphism exerts a critical control on plate tectonics and global volatile recycling. Here we present the first study on fresh, carbonate-bearing, lawsonite eclogite-facies metabasalts from Alpine Corsica, France, which reached the critical depths at which important devolatilization reactions occur in subducting slabs. The studied samples indicate that the evolution of oceanic crustal sequences subducted under present-day thermal regimes is dominated by localized fluid-rock interactions that are strongly controlled by the nature and extent of inherited (sub)seafloor hydrothermal processes, and by the possibility of deep fluids to be channelized along inherited or newly-formed discontinuities. Fluid channelization along inherited discontinuities controlled local rehydration and dehydration/decarbonation reactions and the stability of carbonate and silicate minerals at the blueschist-eclogite transition. Fluid-mediated decarbonation was driven by upward, up-temperature fluid flow in the inverted geothermal gradient of a subducting oceanic slab, a process that has not been documented in natural samples to date. We estimate that the observed fluid-rock reactions released 20-60 kg CO2 per m3 of rock (i.e. 0.7-2.1 wt% CO2), which is in line with the values predicted from decarbonation of metabasalts in open systems at these depths. Conversely, the estimated time-integrated fluid fluxes (20-50 t/m2) indicate that the amount of carbon transported by channelized fluid flow within the volcanic part of subducting oceanic plates is potentially much higher than previous numerical estimates, testifying to the percolation of C-bearing fluids resulting from devolatilization/dissolution processes operative in large reservoirs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Geometry and structure of the pull-apart basins developed along the western South American-Scotia plate boundary (SW Atlantic Ocean)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteban, F. D.; Tassone, A.; Isola, J. I.; Lodolo, E.; Menichetti, M.

    2018-04-01

    The South American-Scotia plate boundary is a left-lateral fault system which runs roughly E-W for more than 3000 km across the SW Atlantic Ocean and the Tierra del Fuego Island, reaching to the west the southern Chile Trench. Analyses of a large dataset of single- and multi-channel seismic reflection profiles acquired offshore has allowed to map the trace of the plate boundary from Tierra del Fuego to the Malvinas Trough, a tectonic depression located in the eastern part of the fault system, and to reconstruct the shape and geometry of the basins formed along the principal displacement zone of the fault system. Three main Neogene pull-apart basins that range from 70 to 100 km in length, and from 12 to 22 km in width, have been identified along this segment of the plate boundary. These basins have elongated shapes with their major axes parallel to the ENE-WSW direction of the fault zone. The sedimentary architecture and the infill geometry of the basins suggest that they represent mostly strike-slip dominated transtension basins which propagated from E to W. The basins imaged by seismic data show in some cases geometrical and structural features linked to the possible reactivation of previous wedge-top basins and inherited structures pertaining to the external front of the Magallanes fold-and-thrust compression belt, along which the South American-Scotia fault system has been superimposed. It is suggested that the sequence of the elongated basins occur symmetrically to a thorough going strike-slip fault, in a left-stepping geometrical arrangement, in a manner similar to those basins seen in other transcurrent environments.

  3. Comparative Roughness Characteristics of the Subducting Seafloor and Statistical Relationships with Seismogenic Potential, with Special Emphasis on Great Earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lallemand, S.; Peyret, M.; van Rijsingen, E.; Arcay, D.

    2017-12-01

    Do some topographic features or morphological characteristics promote earthquake nucleation, large coseismic slip or creep ? To answer this question, we have developed a new database called "SubRough" which provides few roughness parameters at selected spatial wavelengths. Since the currently subducting topography is generally unknown, we assume that the bathymetry of the oceanic plates, a few hundreds of km seaward of the trench, is a reasonable proxy for determining the roughness of the subduction interface. Given the selected wavelengths in our roughness study (detailed below), we do not expect major changes when entering the subduction zone, even though the presence of a subduction channel or significant sediment offscrapping may alter it. Morphological objects characterized by high spatial frequencies (isolated seamounts or fracture zones) are likely to play a role in large events initiation or termination. Similarly, wide "smooth" areas may likely favor rupture propagation and thus large events, while ridges or plateaus may also play a specific role in seismic behavior. Consequently, we only retain the roughness components Rsw and Rlw that are comprised respectively within 2 wavelength bands: [12-20 km] and [80-100 km]. The choice of these wavelengths is constrained by the resolution of the bathymetry, the size of the studied area and the characteristic wavelengths of the seafloor topography. This new morphological information is then statistically analyzed to better understand how topographic features are modeled by roughness data. From a worldwide statistical point of view, fracture zones show similar amplitudes as mean seafloor at both wavelengths, which indicates that it is not possible to distinguish them from the background signal. Conversely, seamounts show roughness amplitudes about two times larger than the averaged ones at both wavelengths. Ridges and plateaus show Rlw amplitudes similar to seamounts but lower Rsw than seamounts. Finally, the

  4. Oceans and continents: Similarities and differences in the mechanisms of heat loss

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sclater, J.G.; Parsons, B.; Jaupart, C.

    1981-01-01

    The principal objective of this paper is to present a simple and self-consistent review of the basic physical processes controlling heat loss from the earth. To accomplish this objective, we give a short summary of the oceanic and continental data and compare and contrast the respective mechanisms of heat loss . In the oceans we concentrate on the effect of hydrothermal circulation, and on the continents we consider in some detail a model relating surface heat flow to varying depth scales for the distribution of potassium, thorium, and uranium. From this comparison we conclude that the range in possible geotherms at depths below 100 to 150 km under continents and oceans overlaps and the thermal structure beneath an old stable continent is indistinguishable from that beneath an ocean were it at equilibrium. Oceans and continents are part of the same thermal system. Both have an upper rigid mechanical layer where heat loss is by conduction and a lower thermal boundary layer where convection is dominant. The simple conductive definition of the plate thickness is an oversimplification. The observed distribution of area versus age in the ocean allows us to investigate the dominant mechanism of heat loss which is plate creation. This distribution and an understanding of the heat flow through oceans and continents can be used to calculate the heat loss of the earth. This heat loss is 10 13 cal/s (4.2 x 10 13 W) of which more than 60% results from the creation of oceanic plate. The relation between area and age of the oceans is coupled to the ridge and subducting slab forces that contribute to the driving mechanism for plate motions. These forces are self-regulating and maintain the rate of plate generation required to achieve a balance between heat loss and heat generation

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kodaira, S.

    2007-05-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Investigating the Indian Ocean Geoid Low

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, A.; Gollapalli, T.; Steinberger, B. M.

    2016-12-01

    The lowest geoid anomaly on Earth lies in the Indian Ocean just south of the Indian peninsula.Several theories have been proposed to explain this geoid low, most of which invoke past subduction. Some recent studies have alsoargued that high velocity anomalies in the lower mantle coupled with low velocity anomalies in the upper mantle are responsible for these negative geoidanomalies. However, there is no general consensus regarding the source of the Indian Ocean negative geoid. We investigate the source of this geoid low by using forward models of density driven mantle convection using CitcomS. We test various tomography models in our flow calculations with different radial and lateral viscosity variations. Many tomography modelsproduce a fairly high correlation to the global geoid, however none could match the precise location of the geoid low in the Indian Ocean. Amerged P-wave model of LLNL-G3DV3 in the Indian Ocean region and S40rts elsewhere yields a good fit to the geoid anomaly, both in pattern and magnitude.The source of this geoid low seems to stem from a low velocity anomaly stretching from a depth of 300 km up to 700 km in the northern Indian Ocean region.This velocity anomaly could potentially arise from material rising along the edge of the African LLSVP and moving towards the northeast, facilitated by the movementof the Indian plate in the same direction.

  10. 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

  11. Effect of thicker oceanic crust in the Archaean on the growth of continental crust through time

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilks, M.E.

    1988-01-01

    Present crustal evolution models fail to account for the generation of the large volume of continental crust in the required time intervals. All Archaean plate tectonic models, whether invoking faster spreading rates, similar to today's spreading rates, or longer ridge lengths, essentially propose that continental crust has grown by island arc accretion due to the subduction of oceanic crust. The petrological differences that characterize the Archaean from later terrains result from the subduction of hotter oceanic crust into a hotter mantle. If the oceanic crust was appreciably thicker in the Archaean, as geothermal models would indicate, this thicker crust is surely going to have an effect on tectonic processes. A more valid approach is to compare the possible styles of convergence of thick oceanic crust with modern convergence zones. The best modern analog occurs where thick continental crust is colliding with thick continental crust. Oceanic crustal collision on the scale of the present-day Himalayan continental collision zone may have been a frequent occurrence in the Archaean, resulting in extensive partial melting of the hydrous underthrust oceanic crust to produce voluminous tonalite melts, leaving a depleted stabilized basic residuum. Present-day island arc accretion may not have been the dominant mechanism for the growth of the early Archaean crust

  12. Tectonic setting of the Seychelles, Mascarene and Amirante Plateaus in the Western Equatorial Indian Ocean

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mart, Y.

    1988-01-01

    A system of marine plateaus occurs in the western equatorial Indian Ocean, forming an arcuate series of wide and shallow banks with small islands in places. The oceanic basins that surround the Seychelles - Amirante region are of various ages and reflect a complex seafloor spreading pattern. The structural analysis of the Seychelle - Amirante - Mascarene region reflects the tectonic evolution of the western equatorial Indian Ocean. It is suggested that due to the seafloor spreading during a tectonic stage, the Seychelles continental block drifted southwestwards to collide with the oceanic crust of the Mascarene Basin, forming an elongated folded structure at first, and then a subduction zone. The morphological similarity, the lithological variability and the different origin of the Seychelles Bank, the Mascarene Plateau and the Amirante Arc emphasizes the significant convergent effects of various plate tectonic processes on the development of marine plateaus

  13. Topographic and sedimentary features in the Yap subduction zone and their implications for the Caroline Ridge subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Dongdong; Zhang, Zhengyi; Bai, Yongliang; Fan, Jianke; Zhang, Guangxu

    2018-01-01

    The Yap subduction zone in the western Pacific presents some unique features compared to normal intra-oceanic subduction zones such as the subduction of an oceanic plateau. However, due to the relative paucity of geophysical data, the detailed structure remains unknown in this area. In this study, we present the latest high-quality swath bathymetry and multi-channel seismic data acquired synchronously in 2015 across the Yap subduction zone. The topographic and sedimentary features are intensively investigated and a modified evolutionary model of the Yap subduction zone is proposed. The two-stage evolution of the Parece Vela Basin (PVB) produced fabrics that are N-S trending and NW-SE trending. Our seismic data clearly reveal landslide deposits at the upper slope break of the forearc, to the north of the Yap Island, which was identified as the fault notch denoting a lithological boundary in previous work. The swath bathymetry and seismic profile reveal detailed horst and graben structures, including a crescent-shaped fault zone near the contact between the Yap Trench and the Caroline Ridge. A simple geometric model is proposed to explain the structure formation, indicating that the higher topography of the Caroline Ridge resulted in enhanced bending-related extension. A seismic angular unconformity (named R1) is identified in the Sorol Trough, marking the onset of rifting in the trough. Based on the sequence thickness and deposition rate by Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP), it is deduced that the Sorol Trough formed at 10 Ma or even earlier. A modified model for the Yap subduction zone evolution is proposed, incorporating three major tectonic events: the proto-Yap Arc rupture in the Oligocene, the collision of the Caroline Ridge and the Yap Trench in the late Oligocene or middle Miocene, and the onset of the Sorol Trough rifting in the late Miocene.

  14. 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

  15. Tracing halogen and B cycling in subduction zones based on obducted, subducted and forearc serpentinites of the Dominican Republic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagé, Lilianne; Hattori, Keiko

    2017-12-19

    Serpentinites are important reservoirs of fluid-mobile elements in subduction zones, contributing to volatiles in arc magmas and their transport into the Earth's mantle. This paper reports halogen (F, Cl, Br, I) and B abundances of serpentinites from the Dominican Republic, including obducted and subducted abyssal serpentinites and forearc mantle serpentinites. Abyssal serpentinite compositions indicate the incorporation of these elements from seawater and sediments during serpentinization on the seafloor and at slab bending. During their subduction and subsequent lizardite-antigorite transition, F and B are retained in serpentinites, whilst Cl, Br and I are expelled. Forearc mantle serpentinite compositions suggest their hydration by fluids released from subducting altered oceanic crust and abyssal serpentinites, with only minor sediment contribution. This finding is consistent with the minimal subduction of sediments in the Dominican Republic. Forearc mantle serpentinites have F/Cl and B/Cl ratios similar to arc magmas, suggesting the importance of serpentinite dehydration in the generation of arc magmatism in the mantle wedge.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    We explore the effects of variable material properties, phase transformations, and metamorphic devolatilization reactions on the thermal structure of a subducting slab using thermodynamic phase equilibrium calculations combined with a thermal evolution model. The subducting slab is divided...... into three layers consisting of oceanic sediments, altered oceanic crust, and partially serpentinized or anhydrous harzburgite. Solid-fluid equilibria and material properties are computed for each layer individually to illustrate distinct thermal consequences when chemical and mechanical homogenization...... indicate that subducting sediments and oceanic crust warm by 40 and 70°C, respectively, before the effect of wedge convection and heating is encountered at 1.7 GPa. Retention of fluid in the slab pore space plays a negligible role in oceanic crust and serpentinized peridotites. By contrast, the large...

  17. Plate tectonics

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chaubey, A.K.

    's continental drift theory was later disproved, it was one of the first times that the idea of crustal movement had been introduced to the scientific community; and it has laid the groundwork for the development of modern plate tectonics. In the early... of the structure of the atom was to physical sciences and the theory of evolution was to the life sciences. Tectonics is the study of the forces within the Earth that give rise to continents, ocean basins, mountain ranges, earthquake belts and other large-scale...

  18. Thermal Structure of the Cascadia Subduction Zone on the Washington Margin (AT26-04, EM122)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — We propose to conduct a comprehensive study of the thermal environment of the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) within the NSF GeoPRISM Corridor off the Washington...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Barium isotope geochemistry of subduction-zone magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, H.; Nan, X.; Huang, J.; Wörner, G.; Huang, F.

    2017-12-01

    Subduction zones are crucial tectonic setting to study material exchange between crust and mantle, mantle partial melting with fluid addition, and formation of ore-deposits1-3. The geochemical characteristics of arc lavas from subduction zones are different from magmas erupted at mid-ocean ridges4, because there are addition of fluids/melts from subducted AOC and its overlying sediments into their source regions in the sub-arc mantle4. Ba is highly incompatible during mantle melting5, and it is enriched in crust (456 ppm)6 relative to the mantle (7.0 ppm)7. The subducted sediments are also enriched in Ba (776 ppm of GLOSS)8. Moreover, because Ba is fluid soluble during subduction, it has been used to track contributions of subduction-related fluids to arc magmas9 or recycled sediments to the mantle10-11. To study the Ba isotope fractionation behavior during subduction process, we analyzed well-characterized, chemically-diverse arc lavas from Central American, Kamchatka, Central-Eastern Aleutian, and Southern Lesser Antilles. The δ137/134Ba of Central American arc lavas range from -0.13 to 0.24‰, and have larger variation than the arc samples from other locations. Except one sample from Central-Eastern Aleutian arc with obviously heavy δ137/134Ba values (0.27‰), all other samples from Kamchatka, Central-Eastern Aleutian, Southern Lesser Antilles arcs are within the range of OIB. The δ137/134Ba is not correlated with the distance to trench, partial melting degrees (Mg#), or subducting slab-derived components. The samples enriched with heavy Ba isotopes have low Ba contents, indicating that Ba isotopes can be fractionated at the beginning of dehydration process with small amount of Ba releasing to the mantle wedge. With the dehydration degree increasing, more Ba of the subducted slab can be added to the source of arc lavas, likely homogenizing the Ba isotope signatures. 1. Rudnick, R., 1995 Nature; 2. Tatsumi, Y. & Kogiso, T., 2003; 3. Sun, W., et al., 2015 Ore

  2. 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.

  3. Subduction factory 1. Theoretical mineralogy, densities, seismic wave speeds, and H2O contents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hacker, Bradley R.; Abers, Geoffrey A.; Peacock, Simon M.

    2003-01-01

    We present a new compilation of physical properties of minerals relevant to subduction zones and new phase diagrams for mid-ocean ridge basalt, lherzolite, depleted lherzolite, harzburgite, and serpentinite. We use these data to calculate H2O content, density and seismic wave speeds of subduction zone rocks. These calculations provide a new basis for evaluating the subduction factory, including (1) the presence of hydrous phases and the distribution of H2O within a subduction zone; (2) the densification of the subducting slab and resultant effects on measured gravity and slab shape; and (3) the variations in seismic wave speeds resulting from thermal and metamorphic processes at depth. In considering specific examples, we find that for ocean basins worldwide the lower oceanic crust is partially hydrated (measurements. Subducted hydrous crust in cold slabs can persist to several gigapascals at seismic velocities that are several percent slower than the surrounding mantle. Seismic velocities and VP/VS ratios indicate that mantle wedges locally reach 60-80% hydration.

  4. Isostatic anomaly characteristics and dynamic environment of New Britain Ocean trenches and neighboring Area in Papua New Guinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, G.; Shen, C.; Wang, J.

    2017-12-01

    we calculated the Bouguer gravity anomaly and the Airy-Heiskanen isostatic anomaly in the New Britain ocean trenches and its surrounding areas of Papua New Guinea using the topography model and the gravity anomaly model from Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and analyzed the characteristics of isostatic anomaly and the earthquake dynamic environment of this region. The results show that there are obviously differences in the isostatic state between each block in the region, and the crustal tectonic movement is very intense in the regions with high positive or negative isostatic gravity anomalies; A number of sub-plates in this area is driven by the external tectonic action such as plate subduction and thrust of the Pacific plate, the Indian - Australian plate and the Eurasian plate. From the distribution of isostatic gravity anomaly, the tectonic action of anti-isostatic movement in this region is the main source of power; from the isostatic gravity and the spatial distribution of the earthquake, with the further contraction of the Indian-Australian plate, the southwestern part of the Solomon Haiya plate will become part of the Owen Stanley fold belt, the northern part will enter the lower part of the Bismarck plate, eastern part will enter the front of the Pacific plate, the huge earthquake will migrate to the north and east of the Solomon Haiya plate.

  5. Evaluation of Oceanic Transport Statistics By Use of Transient Tracers and Bayesian Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trossman, D. S.; Thompson, L.; Mecking, S.; Bryan, F.; Peacock, S.

    2013-12-01

    Key variables that quantify the time scales over which atmospheric signals penetrate into the oceanic interior and their uncertainties are computed using Bayesian methods and transient tracers from both models and observations. First, the mean residence times, subduction rates, and formation rates of Subtropical Mode Water (STMW) and Subpolar Mode Water (SPMW) in the North Atlantic and Subantarctic Mode Water (SAMW) in the Southern Ocean are estimated by combining a model and observations of chlorofluorocarbon-11 (CFC-11) via Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA), statistical technique that weights model estimates according to how close they agree with observations. Second, a Bayesian method is presented to find two oceanic transport parameters associated with the age distribution of ocean waters, the transit-time distribution (TTD), by combining an eddying global ocean model's estimate of the TTD with hydrographic observations of CFC-11, temperature, and salinity. Uncertainties associated with objectively mapping irregularly spaced bottle data are quantified by making use of a thin-plate spline and then propagated via the two Bayesian techniques. It is found that the subduction of STMW, SPMW, and SAMW is mostly an advective process, but up to about one-third of STMW subduction likely owes to non-advective processes. Also, while the formation of STMW is mostly due to subduction, the formation of SPMW is mostly due to other processes. About half of the formation of SAMW is due to subduction and half is due to other processes. A combination of air-sea flux, acting on relatively short time scales, and turbulent mixing, acting on a wide range of time scales, is likely the dominant SPMW erosion mechanism. Air-sea flux is likely responsible for most STMW erosion, and turbulent mixing is likely responsible for most SAMW erosion. Two oceanic transport parameters, the mean age of a water parcel and the half-variance associated with the TTD, estimated using the model's tracers as

  6. Integrating surface and mantle constraints for palaeo-ocean evolution: a tour of the Arctic and adjacent regions (Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Young Scientists Lecture)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shephard, Grace E.

    2016-04-01

    Plate tectonic reconstructions heavily rely on absolute motions derived from hotspot trails or palaeomagnetic data and ocean-floor magnetic anomaies and fracture-zone geometries to constrain the detailed history of ocean basins. However, as oceanic lithosphere is progressively recycled into the mantle, kinematic data regarding the history of these now extinct-oceans is lost. In order to better understand their evolution, novel workflows, which integrate a wide range of complementary yet independent geological and geophysical datasets from both the surface and deep mantle, must be utilised. In particular, the emergence of time-dependent, semi or self-consistent geodynamic models of ever-increasing temporal and spatial resolution are revealing some critical constraints on the evolution and fate of oceanic slabs. The tectonic evolution of the circum-Arctic is no exception; since the breakup of Pangea, this enigmatic region has seen major plate reorganizations and the opening and closure of several ocean basins. At the surface, a myriad of potential kinematic scenarios including polarity, timing, geometry and location of subduction have emerged, including for systems along continental margins and intra-oceanic settings. Furthermore, recent work has reignited a debate about the origins of 'anchor' slabs, such as the Farallon and Mongol-Okhotsk slabs, which have been used to refine absolute plate motions. Moving to the mantle, seismic tomography models reveal a region peppered with inferred slabs, however assumptions about their affinities and subduction location, timing, geometry and polarity are often made in isolation. Here, by integrating regional plate reconstructions with insights from seismic tomography, satellite derived gravity gradients, slab sinking rates and geochemistry, I explore some Mesozoic examples from the palaeo-Arctic, northern Panthalassa and western margin of North America, including evidence for a discrete and previously undescribed slab under

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  11. An Integrated Age Model for the Cocos Plate using IODP CRISP Drilling Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baxter, A. T.; Kutterolf, S.; Schindlbeck, J. C.; Sandoval, M. I.; Barckhausen, U.; Li, Y. X.; Petronotis, K. E.

    2017-12-01

    We present an integrated age model for the incoming Cocos Plate sediments offshore Costa Rica. The data, collected over two IODP Expeditions (334 and 344), provides a medium- to high-resolution record from the initial formation of the ocean crust in the Miocene to the present day. This study provides >50 age control points for the CRISP sediments from Sites U1381 and U1414. Although the two sites are just 10 km apart, there are distinct differences in the sediment and tephra record. Most notable is the presence of a hiatus at Site U1381. The hiatus, which is seen at other sites on the Cocos Plate, but not at Site U1414, may be related to erosion due to bottom water currents, mass wasting from Cocos Ridge subduction or may be related to the closure of the Central American Seaway (CAS). Sediment accumulation rates in the Miocene are comparable to modern abyssal plain rates. However, an increase is observed in the Pleistocene, when detritus from the forearc basin appears at Site U1414 2 Ma, shortly after the initiation of Cocos Ridge subduction. A tectonic model is presented that reconstructs the Cocos Plate, from its formation at 23 Ma to the present day. Eastern Equatorial Pacific (EEP) paleoceanographic events, such as the Miocene `carbonate crash' and the Late Miocene-Early Pliocene `biogenic bloom' observed at Site U1414, are also discussed.

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  15. Tectonic evolution of the Caribbean and northwestern South America: The case for accretion of two Late Cretaceous oceanic plateaus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, Andrew C.; Tarney, John

    2005-04-01

    It is widely accepted that the thickened oceanic crust of the Caribbean plate, its basaltic accreted margins, and accreted mafic terranes in northwestern South America represent the remnants of a single ca. 90 Ma oceanic plateau. We review geologic, geochemical, and paleomagnetic evidence that suggests that the Caribbean-Colombian oceanic plateau in fact represents the remnants of two different oceanic plateaus, both dated as ca. 90 Ma. The first of these plateaus, the Caribbean Plateau, formed ca. 90 Ma in the vicinity of the present-day Galapagos hotspot. Northeastward movement of the Farallon plate meant that this plateau collided with the proto Caribbean arc and northwestern South America Gorgona Plateau, formed at 26° 30°S, possibly at the site of the present-day Sala y Gomez hotspot. Over the next ˜45 m.y., this plateau was carried progressively northeastward on the Farallon plate and collided in the middle Eocene with the proto Andean subduction zone in northwestern South America. The recognition of a second ca. 90 Ma Pacific oceanic plateau strengthens the link between plateau formation and global oceanic anoxic events.

  16. Nonlinear viscoplasticity in ASPECT: benchmarking and applications to subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glerum, Anne; Thieulot, Cedric; Fraters, Menno; Blom, Constantijn; Spakman, Wim

    2018-03-01

    ASPECT (Advanced Solver for Problems in Earth's ConvecTion) is a massively parallel finite element code originally designed for modeling thermal convection in the mantle with a Newtonian rheology. The code is characterized by modern numerical methods, high-performance parallelism and extensibility. This last characteristic is illustrated in this work: we have extended the use of ASPECT from global thermal convection modeling to upper-mantle-scale applications of subduction.Subduction modeling generally requires the tracking of multiple materials with different properties and with nonlinear viscous and viscoplastic rheologies. To this end, we implemented a frictional plasticity criterion that is combined with a viscous diffusion and dislocation creep rheology. Because ASPECT uses compositional fields to represent different materials, all material parameters are made dependent on a user-specified number of fields.The goal of this paper is primarily to describe and verify our implementations of complex, multi-material rheology by reproducing the results of four well-known two-dimensional benchmarks: the indentor benchmark, the brick experiment, the sandbox experiment and the slab detachment benchmark. Furthermore, we aim to provide hands-on examples for prospective users by demonstrating the use of multi-material viscoplasticity with three-dimensional, thermomechanical models of oceanic subduction, putting ASPECT on the map as a community code for high-resolution, nonlinear rheology subduction modeling.

  17. Foreland sedimentary record of Andean mountain building during advancing and retreating subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horton, Brian K.

    2016-04-01

    -skinned basement inversion with geometrically and kinematically linked thin-skinned thrust structures at shallower levels in the eastern foreland, including well-dated late Miocene growth strata. The mid-Cenozoic hiatus potentially signifies nondeposition during passage of a flexural forebulge or nondeposition during neutral to extensional conditions possibly driven by a transient retreating-slab configuration along the western margin of South America. Similar long-lived stratigraphic gaps are commonly observed in other foreland records of continental convergent margins. It is proposed that Andean orogenesis along the South American convergent margin has long been sensitive to variations in subduction dynamics throughout Mesozoic-Cenozoic time, such that shifts in relative convergence and degree of mechanical coupling along the subduction interface (i.e., transitions between advancing versus retreating modes of subduction) have governed fluctuating contractional, extensional, and neutral conditions. Unclear is whether these various modes affected the entire convergent margin simultaneously due to continental-scale changes (e.g., temporal shifts in plate convergence, absolute motion of upper plate, or mantle wedge circulation) or whether parts of the margin behaved independently due to smaller-scale fluctuations (e.g., spatial variations in the age of the subducted plate, buoyant asperities in the downgoing slab, or asthenospheric anomalies).

  18. Heat Flow Variation along the Nankai Trough Floor Correlated with the Structure of the Shikoku Basin Oceanic Crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamano, M.; Kawada, Y.; Gao, X.

    2016-12-01

    Surface heat flow observed on the floor of the Nankai Trough, near the trench axis, is highly variable and does not well correspond to the seafloor age of the incoming Philippine Sea plate (Shikoku Basin). Recent detailed measurements between 133.5°E and 137°E revealed that heat flow on the trough floor significantly varies along the trough. The most conspicuous variation is found around 136°E. Heat flow is extremely high and variable between 135°E and 136°E, much higher than the value estimated from the age. On the east of 136°E, heat flow gradually decreases eastward over 50 km to the value nearly consistent with the age with no appreciable scatter. Elevated heat flow on the trough floor can be attributed to vigorous fluid circulation in a permeable layer (aquifer) in the subducted oceanic crust, which efficiently transports heat upward along the plate interface (Spinelli and Wang, 2008). The heat flow variation around 136°E may therefore arise from variation in the permeability structure of the crustal aquifer. A probable cause of the heterogeneity in the aquifer permeability is a structure boundary in the incoming Shikoku Basin, the boundary between the younger part on the west formed by spreading in NE-SW direction and the older part on the east formed by E-W spreading. It is located around 136°E, about the same place as the heat flow distribution boundary. A possible additional source of variation in the permeability structure is the geometry of the subducted Philippine Sea plate. A prominent bend in the subducted plate between 135°E and 136°E, which corresponds to the high heat flow area on the trough floor, may have fractured the oceanic crust and enhanced the aquifer permeability. We evaluated the influence of variations in the aquifer permeability on the thermal structure through 3D numerical modelling using a high thermal-conductivity proxy for heat transport by fluid flow. A sharp along-strike change in the permeability of the subducted

  19. Formation of mantle "lone plumes" in the global downwelling zone - A multiscale modelling of subduction-controlled plume generation beneath the South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Nan; Li, Zheng-Xiang

    2018-01-01

    It has been established that almost all known mantle plumes since the Mesozoic formed above the two lower mantle large low shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs). The Hainan plume is one of the rare exceptions in that instead of rising above the LLSVPs, it is located within the broad global mantle downwelling zone, therefore classified as a "lone plume". Here, we use the Hainan plume example to investigate the feasibility of such lone plumes being generated by subducting slabs in the mantle downwelling zone using 3D geodynamic modelling. Our geodynamic model has a high-resolution regional domain embedded in a relatively low resolution global domain, which is set up in an adaptive-mesh-refined, 3D mantle convection code ASPECT (Advanced Solver for Problems in Earth's ConvecTion). We use a recently published plate motion model to define the top mechanical boundary condition. Our modelling results suggest that cold slabs under the present-day Eurasia, formed from the Mesozoic subduction and closure of the Tethys oceans, have prevented deep mantle hot materials from moving to the South China Sea from regions north or west of the South China Sea. From the east side, the Western Pacific subduction systems started to promote the formation of a lower-mantle thermal-chemical pile in the vicinity of the future South China Sea region since 70 Ma ago. As the top of this lower-mantle thermal-chemical pile rises, it first moved to the west, and finally rested beneath the South China Sea. The presence of a thermochemical layer (possible the D″ layer) in the model helps stabilizing the plume root. Our modelling is the first implementation of multi-scale mesh in the regional model. It has been proved to be an effective way of modelling regional dynamics within a global plate motion and mantle dynamics background.

  20. 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

  1. S-to-P Conversions from Mid-mantle Slow Scatterers in Slab Regions: Observations of Deep/Stagnated Oceanic Crust?

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xiaobo; Zheng, Yixian

    2018-02-01

    The fate of a subducted slab is a key ingredient in the context of plate tectonics, yet it remains enigmatic especially in terms of its crustal component. In this study, our efforts are devoted to resolve slab-related structures in the mid-mantle below eastern Indonesia, the Izu-Bonin region, and the Peru area by employing seismic array analysing techniques on high-frequency waveform data from F-net in Japan and the Alaska regional network and the USArray in North America. A pronounced arrival after the direct P wave is observed in the recordings of four deep earthquakes (depths greater than 400 km) from three subduction systems including the Philippines, the Izu-Bonin, and the Peru. This later arrival displays a slightly lower slowness compared to the direct P wave and its back-azimuth deviates somewhat from the great-circle direction. We explain it as an S-to-P conversion at a deep scatterer below the sources in the source region. In total, five scatterers are seen at depths ranging from 930 to 1500 km. Those scatterers appear to be characterised by an 7 km-thick low-velocity layer compared to the ambient mantle. Combined evidence from published mineral physical analysis suggests that past subducted oceanic crust, possibly fragmented, is most likely responsible for these thin-layer compositional heterogeneities trapped in the mid-mantle beneath the study regions. Our observations give a clue to the potential fate of subducted oceanic crust.

  2. 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

  3. Plate tectonic reconstruction of the Carpathian-Pannonian region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csontos, L.; Vörös, A.

    2003-04-01

    Plate tectonics of the Carpathian area is controlled by microcontinents between the European and African margins and the relative movements of these margins. Beside the generally accepted Apulian (Austroalpine, West Carpathian, Dinaric) microcontinents two others: the Bihor-Getic (Tisza) and Drina-Ivanjica are introduced. The first was attached to the European margin, the second to the Apulian microcontinent. During Permian a major ocean was obliquely subducted south of the Apulian microcontinents. Drina-Ivanjica rifted off the Apulian microcontinent in the Late Permian-Middle Triassic, as a consequence of back-arc rifting. Short-lived oceans subducted by the end of Jurassic, causing Drina-Ivanjica to collide with the internal Dinaric-West Carpathian and Bihor-Getic margins. An external Penninic-Váhic ocean tract began opening in the Early Jurassic, separating the East Alpine-West Carpathian microcontinent (and its fauna) from the European shelf. Further south, the Severin-Ceahlau-Magura also began opening in the Early Jurassic, but final separation of the Bihor-Getic (and its fauna) from the European shelf did not take place until the Middle-Late Jurassic. Two oroclinal bends: the Alcapa on the Dinaric margin and the Tisza-Dacia on the South Carpathian-Getic margin are essential elements of these reconstructions. Their bending (Aptian and Albian-Maastrichtian, respectively) are suggested by paleomagnetic and tectonic transport data. The two oroclinal bends are finally opposed and pushed into the Carpathian embayment by the Paleogene. In Miocene a back-arc basin develops on older tectonic elements. Differential rotations affect the wealded microcontinents.

  4. 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

    Mantle convection and plate tectonics are one system, because oceanic plates are cold upper thermal boundary layers of the convection cells. As a corollary, Phanerozoic-style of plate tectonics or more likely a different version of it (i.e. a larger number of slowly moving plates, or similar number of faster plates) is expected to have operated in the hotter, vigorously convecting early Earth. Despite the recent advances in understanding the origin of Archean greenstone-granitoid terranes, the question regarding the operation of plate tectonics in the early Earth remains still controversial. Numerical model outputs for the Archean Earth range from predominantly shallow to flat subduction between 4.0 and 2.5 Ga and well-established steep subduction since 2.5 Ga [Abbott, D., Drury, R., Smith, W.H.F., 1994. Flat to steep transition in subduction style. Geology 22, 937-940], to no plate tectonics but rather foundering of 1000 km sectors of basaltic crust, then "resurfaced" by upper asthenospheric mantle basaltic melts that generate the observed duality of basalts and tonalities [van Thienen, P., van den Berg, A.P., Vlaar, N.J., 2004a. Production and recycling of oceanic crust in the early earth. Tectonophysics 386, 41-65; van Thienen, P., Van den Berg, A.P., Vlaar, N.J., 2004b. On the formation of continental silicic melts in thermochemical mantle convection models: implications for early Earth. Tectonophysics 394, 111-124]. These model outputs can be tested against the geological record. Greenstone belt volcanics are composites of komatiite-basalt plateau sequences erupted from deep mantle plumes and bimodal basalt-dacite sequences having the geochemical signatures of convergent margins; i.e. horizontally imbricated plateau and island arc crust. Greenstone belts from 3.8 to 2.5 Ga include volcanic types reported from Cenozoic convergent margins including: boninites; arc picrites; and the association of adakites-Mg andesites- and Nb-enriched basalts. Archean cratons

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Mantle Serpentinization near the Central Mariana Trench Constrained by Ocean Bottom Surface Wave Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, C.; Wiens, D. A.; Lizarralde, D.; Eimer, M. O.; Shen, W.

    2017-12-01

    We investigate the crustal and uppermost mantle seismic structure across the Mariana trench by jointly inverting Rayleigh wave phase and group velocities from ambient noise and longer period phase velocities from Helmholtz tomography of teleseismic waveforms. We use data from a temporary deployment in 2012-2013, consisting of 7 island-based stations and 20 broadband ocean bottom seismographs, as well as data from the USGS Northern Mariana Islands Seismograph Network. To avoid any potential bias from the starting model, we use a Bayesian Monte-Carlo algorithm to invert for the azimuthally-averaged SV-wave velocity at each node. This method also allows us to apply prior constraints on crustal thickness and other parameters in a systematic way, and to derive formal estimates of velocity uncertainty. The results show the development of a low velocity zone within the incoming plate beginning about 80 km seaward of the trench axis, consistent with the onset of bending faults from bathymetry and earthquake locations. The maximum depth of the velocity anomaly increases towards the trench, and extends to about 30 km below the seafloor. The low velocities persist after the plate is subducted, as a 20-30 km thick low velocity layer with a somewhat smaller velocity reduction is imaged along the top of the slab beneath the forearc. An extremely low velocity zone is observed beneath the serpentine seamounts in the outer forearc, consistent with 40% serpentinization in the forearc mantle wedge. Azimuthal anisotropy results show trench parallel fast axis within the incoming plate at uppermost mantle depth (2%-4% anisotropy). All these observations suggest the velocity reduction in the incoming plate prior to subduction results from both serpentinized normal faults and water-filled cracks. Water is expelled from the cracks early in subduction, causing a modest increase in the velocity of the subducting mantle, and moves upward and causes serpentinization of the outer forearc

  9. Three steps of serpentinization in an eclogitized oceanic serpentinization front (Lanzo Massif - Western Alps)

    OpenAIRE

    DEBRET, Baptiste; NICOLLET, christian; ANDREANI, Muriel; SCHWARTZ, Stéphane; GODARD, Marguerite

    2013-01-01

    The Lanzo peridotite massif is a fragment of oceanic lithosphere generated in an ocean-continent transition context and eclogitized during alpine collision. Despite the subduction history, the massif has preserved its sedimentary oceanic cover, suggesting that it may have preserved its oceanic structure. It is an exceptional case for studying the evolution of a fragment of the lithosphere from its oceanization to its subduction and then exhumation. We present a field and petrological study re...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, T.

    2010-12-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-01

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

  19. Structure and composition of the plate-boundary slip zone for the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chester, Frederick M; Rowe, Christie; Ujiie, Kohtaro; Kirkpatrick, James; Regalla, Christine; Remitti, Francesca; Moore, J Casey; Toy, Virginia; Wolfson-Schwehr, Monica; Bose, Santanu; Kameda, Jun; Mori, James J; Brodsky, Emily E; Eguchi, Nobuhisa; Toczko, Sean

    2013-12-06

    The mechanics of great subduction earthquakes are influenced by the frictional properties, structure, and composition of the plate-boundary fault. We present observations of the structure and composition of the shallow source fault of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake and tsunami from boreholes drilled by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 343 and 343T. Logging-while-drilling and core-sample observations show a single major plate-boundary fault accommodated the large slip of the Tohoku-Oki earthquake rupture, as well as nearly all the cumulative interplate motion at the drill site. The localization of deformation onto a limited thickness (less than 5 meters) of pelagic clay is the defining characteristic of the shallow earthquake fault, suggesting that the pelagic clay may be a regionally important control on tsunamigenic earthquakes.

  20. Ocean Bottom Seismograph Performance during the Cascadia Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aderhold, K.; Evers, B.

    2015-12-01

    The Ocean Bottom Seismograph Instrument Pool (OBSIP) provides instrumentation and operations support for the Cascadia Initiative community experiment. This experiment investigates geophysical processes across the Cascadia subduction zone through a combination of onshore and offshore seismic data. The recovery of Year 4 instruments in September 2015 marks the conclusion of a multi-year experiment that utilized 60 ocean-bottom seismographs (OBSs) specifically designed for the subduction zone boundary, including shallow/deep water deployments and active fisheries. The new instruments feature trawl-resistant enclosures designed by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) and Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) for shallow deployment [water depth ≤ 500 m], as well as new deep-water instruments designed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI). Existing OBSIP instruments were also deployed along the Blanco Transform Fault and on the Gorda Plate through complementary experiments. Stations include differential pressure gauges (DPG) and absolute pressure gauges (APG). All data collected from the Cascadia, Blanco, and Gorda deployments will be freely available through the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) Data Management Center (DMC). The Cascadia Initiative is the largest amphibious seismic experiment undertaken to date and demonstrates an effective structure for community experiments through collaborative efforts from the Cascadia Initiative Expedition Team (CIET), OBSIP (institutional instrument contributors [LDEO, SIO, WHOI] and Management Office [IRIS]), and the IRIS DMC. The successes and lessons from Cascadia are a vital resource for the development of a Subduction Zone Observatory (SZO). To guide future efforts, we investigate the quality of the Cascadia OBS data using basic metrics such as instrument recovery and more advanced metrics such as noise characteristics through power spectral density analysis. We also use this broad and

  1. 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.

  2. Cascadia Initiative Ocean Bottom Seismograph Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evers, B.; Aderhold, K.

    2017-12-01

    The Ocean Bottom Seismograph Instrument Pool (OBSIP) provided instrumentation and operations support for the Cascadia Initiative community experiment. This experiment investigated geophysical processes across the Cascadia subduction zone through a combination of onshore and offshore seismic data. The recovery of Year 4 instruments in September 2015 marked the conclusion of a multi-year experiment that utilized 60 ocean-bottom seismographs (OBSs) specifically designed for the subduction zone boundary, including shallow/deep water deployments and active fisheries. The new instruments featured trawl-resistant enclosures designed by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) and Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) for shallow deployment [water depth ≤ 500 m], as well as new deep-water instruments designed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI). Existing OBSIP instruments were also deployed along the Blanco Transform Fault and on the Gorda Plate through complementary experiments. Station instrumentation included weak and strong motion seismometers, differential pressure gauges (DPG) and absolute pressure gauges (APG). All data collected from the Cascadia, Blanco, and Gorda deployments is available through the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) Data Management Center (DMC). The Cascadia Initiative is the largest amphibious seismic experiment undertaken to date, encompassing a diverse technical implementation and demonstrating an effective structure for community experiments. Thus, the results from Cascadia serve as both a technical and operational resource for the development of future community experiments, such as might be contemplated as part of the SZ4D Initiative. To guide future efforts, we investigate and summarize the quality of the Cascadia OBS data using basic metrics such as instrument recovery and more advanced metrics such as noise characteristics through power spectral density analysis. We also use this broad and diverse

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-25

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

  5. The Rise of Oxygen in the Earth's Atmosphere Controlled by the Efficient Subduction of Organic Carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, M. S.; Dasgupta, R.

    2017-12-01

    Carbon cycling between the Earth's surface environment, i.e., the ocean-atmosphere system, and the Earth's interior is critical for differentiation, redox evolution, and long-term habitability of the planet. This carbon cycle is influenced heavily by the extent of carbon subduction. While the fate of carbonates during subduction has been discussed in numerous studies [e.g., 1], little is known how organic carbon is quantitatively transferred from the Earth's surface to the interior. Efficient subduction of organic carbon would remove reduced carbon from the surface environment over the long-term (≥100s Myrs) while release at subduction zone arc volcanoes would result in degassing of CO2. Here we conducted high pressure-temperature experiments to determine the carbon carrying capacity of slab derived, rhyolitic melts under graphite-saturated conditions over a range of P (1.5-3.0 GPa) and T (1100-1400 °C) at a fixed melt H2O content (2 wt.%) [2]. Based on our experimental data, we developed a thermodynamic model of CO2 dissolution in C-saturated slab melts, that allows us to quantify the extent of organic carbon mobility as a function of slab P, T, and fO2 during subduction through time. Our experimental data and thermodynamic model suggest that the subduction of graphitized organic C, and graphite/diamond formed by reduction of carbonates with depth [e.g., 3], remained efficient even in ancient, hotter subduction zones - conditions at which subduction of carbonates likely remained limited [1]. Considering the efficiency the subduction of organic C and potential conditions for ancient subduction, we suggest that the lack of remobilization in subduction zones and deep sequestration of organic C in the mantle facilitated the rise and maintenance atmospheric oxygen in the Paleoproterozoic and is causally linked to the Great Oxidation Event (GOE). Our modeling shows that episodic subduction and organic C sequestration pre-GOE may also explain occasional whiffs of

  6. Unraveling P-T-t-D Evolution of Zermatt-Saas Ophiolites from Valtournanche: from Ocean Opening to Mountain Building

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebay, G.; Tiepolo, M.; Zanoni, D.; Langone, A.; Spalla, M. I.

    2015-12-01

    The Zermatt-Saas (ZS) Zone, formerly part of Tethyan oceanic crust and variously affected by oceanic metamorphism, is now part of the orogenic suture that developed in the Western European Alps during the Alpine subduction and collision. The ZS rocks preserve a dominant HP to UHP metamorphic imprint overprinted by greenschist facies metamorphism. The age of the oceanic protoliths is considered to be middle to upper Jurassic whereas the HP metamorphism is mostly considered to be Eocene. In upper Valtournanche ZS ophiolites, the dominant regional S2 foliation is mapped with spatial continuity in serpentinite, metarodingite and eclogite and is defined by HP/UHP parageneses in all lithotypes. It developed at 2.5 ± 0.3 GPa and 600 ± 20°C during Alpine subduction. S2 foliation of serpentinites wraps rare clinopyroxene and zircon relics. Trace element composition of clinopyroxene suggests that they crystallised from a melt in equilibrium with plagioclase: they most likely represent relicts of gabbroic assemblages. The clinopyroxene porphyroclasts have rims indented within S2 and compositions similar to fine-grained clinopyroxeneII defining S2, suggesting that they recrystallised during Alpine subduction. Zircon cores show, under CL, sector zoning typical of magmatic growth. U-Pb dates suggest their crystallisation during Middle Jurassic. Magmatic cores have thin fringe overgrowths parallel to the S2 foliation. U-Pb concordant analyses on these domains reveal an Upper Cretaceous-Paleocene crystallization most likely representing the HP to UHP Alpine re-equilibration. This suggests that some sections of the ZS have experienced HP to UHP metamorphism earlier than previously thought, opening new interpretative geodynamic scenarios. Remarkably, these new dates are similar to those recorded for the HP re-equilibration in the continental crust of the adjacent Austroalpine units (upper plate of the Alpine subduction system) and to those recorded for prograde metamorphism in

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. Multi-stage origin of the Coast Range ophiolite, California: Implications for the life cycle of supra-subduction zone ophiolites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shervais, J.W.; Kimbrough, D.L.; Renne, P.; Hanan, B.B.; Murchey, B.; Snow, C.A.; Zoglman, Schuman M.M.; Beaman, J.

    2004-01-01

    The Coast Range ophiolite of California is one of the most extensive ophiolite terranes in North America, extending over 700 km from the northernmost Sacramento Valley to the southern Transverse Ranges in central California. This ophiolite, and other ophiolite remnants with similar mid-Jurassic ages, represent a major but short-lived episode of oceanic crust formation that affected much of western North America. The history of this ophiolite is important for models of the tectonic evolution of western North America during the Mesozoic, and a range of conflicting interpretations have arisen. Current petrologic, geochemical, stratigraphic, and radiometric age data all favor the interpretation that the Coast Range ophiolite formed to a large extent by rapid extension in the forearc region of a nascent subduction zone. Closer inspection of these data, however, along with detailed studies of field relationships at several locales, show that formation of the ophiolite was more complex, and requires several stages of formation. Our work shows that exposures of the Coast Range ophiolite preserve evidence for four stages of magmatic development. The first three stages represent formation of the ophiolite above a nascent subduction zone. Rocks associated with the first stage include ophiolite layered gabbros, a sheeted complex, and volcanic rocks vith arc tholeiitic or (roore rarely) low-K calc-alkaline affinities. The second stage is characterized by intrusive wehrlite-clinopyroxenite complexes, intrusive gabbros, Cr-rich diorites, and volcanic rocks with high-Ca boninitic or tholeiitic ankaramite affinities. The third stage includes diorite and quartz diorite plutons, felsic dike and sill complexes, and calc-alkaline volcanic rocks. The first three stages of ophiolite formation were terminated by the intrusion of mid-ocean ridge basalt dikes, and the eruption of mid-ocean ridge basalt or ocean-island basalt volcanic suites. We interpret this final magmatic event (MORB

  10. 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

  11. What controls intermediate depth seismicity in subduction zones?

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    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Oxygen isotopes in garnet and accessory minerals to constrain fluids in subducted crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubatto, Daniela; Gauthiez-Putallaz, Laure; Regis, Daniele; Rosa Scicchitano, Maria; Vho, Alice; Williams, Morgan

    2017-04-01

    Fluids are considered a fundamental agent for chemical exchanges between different rock types in the subduction system. Constraints on the sources and pathways of subduction fluids thus provide crucial information to reconstruct subduction processes. Garnet and U-Pb accessory minerals constitute some of the most robust and ubiquitous minerals in subducted crust and can preserve multiple growth zones that track the metamorphic evolution of the sample they are hosted in. Microbeam investigation of the chemical (major and trace elements) and isotopic composition (oxygen and U-Pb) of garnet and accessory minerals is used to track significant fluid-rock interaction at different stages of the subduction system. This approach requires consideration of the diffusivity of oxygen isotopes particularly in garnet, which has been investigated experimentally. The nature of the protolith and ocean floor alteration is preserved in relict accessory phases within eclogites that have been fully modified at HP conditions (e.g. Monviso and Dora Maira units in the Western Alps). Minerals in the lawsonite-blueschists of the Tavsanli zone in Turkey record pervasive fluid exchange between mafic and sedimentary blocks at the early stage of subduction. High pressure shear zones and lithological boundaries show evidence of intense fluid metasomatism at depth along discontinuities in Monviso and Corsica. In the UHP oceanic crust of the Zermatt-Saas Zone, garnet oxygen isotopes and tourmaline boron isotopes indicate multistage fluid infiltration during prograde metamorphism. Localized exchanges of aqueous fluids are also observed in the subducted continental crust of the Sesia-Lanzo Zone. In most cases analyses of distinct mineral zones enable identification of multiple pulses of fluids during the rock evolution.

  14. Mantle Noble Gas Contents Controlled by Subduction of Serpentinite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krantz, J. A.; Parman, S. W.; Kelley, S. P.; Smye, A.; Jackson, C.

    2017-12-01

    Geochemical analyses of exhumed subduction zone material1, well gases2, MORB, and OIBs3 indicate that noble gases are being recycled from the surface of the earth into the mantle. However, the path taken by these noble gases is unclear. To estimate the distribution and quantity of Ar, Kr, and Xe in subducting slabs, a model consisting of layers of sediments, altered oceanic crust (AOC), and serpentinite (hydrously altered mantle) has been developed. The noble gas contents of sediments and AOC were calculated using the least air-like and most gas-rich analyses from natural systems4,5, while serpentinite was modelled using both data from natural systems1 and experimentally determined solubilities. Layer thicknesses were assessed over a range of values: 1 to 12 km of sediments, 5 to 9 km of AOC, and 1 to 30 km of serpentinite. In all cases, the serpentinite layer contains at least an order of magnitude more Ar and Kr than the other layers. For realistic layer thicknesses (1 km of sediments, 6 km of AOC, and 3 km of serpentinite), Xe is distributed roughly equally between the three layers. By incorporating global subduction rates6, fluxes of the heavy noble gases into the mantle have been calculated as 4 · 1012 mol/Ma for 36Ar, 6 · 1011 mol/Ma for 84Kr, and 8 · 109 mol/Ma for 130Xe. These fluxes are equivalent to the total 84Kr and 130Xe contents of the depleted and bulk mantle over 1 and 10 Ma7. Similarly, the flux of 36Ar is equivalent over 1 and 100 Ma. Since the Kr and Xe have not been completely overprinted by recycling, the large majority of subducted noble gases must escape in the subduction zone. However, even the small amounts that are subducted deeper have affected the mantle as measured in both MORB and OIBs. 1. Kendrick, M.A. et al., Nature Geoscience, 4, 807-812, 2011 2. Holland, G. and Ballentine, C.J., Nature, 441, 186-191, 2006 3. Parai, R. and Mukhopadhyay, S., G3, 16, 719-735, 2015 4. Matsuda, J. and Nagao, K., Geochemical Journal, 20, 71-80, 1986

  15. Multi-stage mixing in subduction zone: Application to Merapi volcano, Indonesia

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    Debaille, V.; Doucelance, R.; Weis, D.; Schiano, P.

    2003-04-01

    Basalts sampling subduction zone volcanism (IAB) often show binary mixing relationship in classical Sr-Nd, Pb-Pb, Sr-Pb isotopic diagrams, generally interpreted as reflecting the involvement of two components in their source. However, several authors have highlighted the presence of minimum three components in such a geodynamical context: mantle wedge, subducted and altered oceanic crust and subducted sediments. The overlying continental crust can also contribute by contamination and assimilation in magma chambers and/or during magma ascent. Here we present a multi-stage model to obtain a two end-member mixing from three components (mantle wedge, altered oceanic crust and sediments). The first stage of the model considers the metasomatism of the mantle wedge by fluids and/or melts released by subducted materials (altered oceanic crust and associated sediments), considering mobility and partition coefficient of trace elements in hydrated fluids and silicate melts. This results in the generation of two distinct end-members, reducing the number of components (mantle wedge, oceanic crust, sediments) from three to two. The second stage of the model concerns the binary mixing of the two end-members thus defined: mantle wedge metasomatized by slab-derived fluids and mantle wedge metasomatized by sediment-derived fluids. This model has been applied on a new isotopic data set (Sr, Nd and Pb, analyzed by TIMS and MC-ICP-MS) of Merapi volcano (Java island, Indonesia). Previous studies have suggested three distinct components in the source of indonesian lavas: mantle wedge, subducted sediments and altered oceanic crust. Moreover, it has been shown that crustal contamination does not significantly affect isotopic ratios of lavas. The multi-stage model proposed here is able to reproduce the binary mixing observed in lavas of Merapi, and a set of numerical values of bulk partition coefficient is given that accounts for the genesis of lavas.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Global plate boundary evolution and kinematics since the late Paleozoic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Kara J.; Maloney, Kayla T.; Zahirovic, Sabin; Williams, Simon E.; Seton, Maria; Müller, R. Dietmar

    2016-11-01

    Many aspects of deep-time Earth System models, including mantle convection, paleoclimatology, paleobiogeography and the deep Earth carbon cycle, require high-resolution plate motion models that include the evolution of the mosaic of plate boundaries through time. We present the first continuous late Paleozoic to present-day global plate model with evolving plate boundaries, building on and extending two previously published models for the late Paleozoic (410-250 Ma) and Mesozoic-Cenozoic (230-0 Ma). We ensure continuity during the 250-230 Ma transition period between the two models, update the absolute reference frame of the Mesozoic-Cenozoic model and add a new Paleozoic reconstruction for the Baltica-derived Alexander Terrane, now accreted to western North America. This 410-0 Ma open access model provides a framework for deep-time whole Earth modelling and acts as a base for future extensions and refinement. We analyse the model in terms of the number of plates, predicted plate size distribution, plate and continental root mean square (RMS) speeds, plate velocities and trench migration through time. Overall model trends share many similarities to those for recent times, which we use as a first order benchmark against which to compare the model and identify targets for future model refinement. Except for during the period 260-160 Ma, the number of plates (16-46) and ratio of "large" plates (≥ 107.5 km2) to smaller plates ( 2.7-6.6) are fairly similar to present-day values (46 and 6.6, respectively), with lower values occurring during late Paleozoic assembly and growth of Pangea. This temporal pattern may also reflect difficulties in reconstructing small, now subducted oceanic plates further back in time, as well as whether a supercontinent is assembling or breaking up. During the 260-160 Ma timeframe the model reaches a minima in the number of plates, in contrast to what we would expect during initial Pangea breakup and thus highlighting the need for refinement

  19. Vizualization Challenges of a Subduction Simulation Using One Billion Markers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudolph, M. L.; Gerya, T. V.; Yuen, D. A.

    2004-12-01

    Recent advances in supercomputing technology have permitted us to study the multiscale, multicomponent fluid dynamics of subduction zones at unprecedented resolutions down to about the length of a football field. We have performed numerical simulations using one billion tracers over a grid of about 80 thousand points in two dimensions. These runs have been performed using a thermal-chemical simulation that accounts for hydration and partial melting in the thermal, mechanical, petrological, and rheological domains. From these runs, we have observed several geophysically interesting phenomena including the development of plumes with unmixed mantle composition as well as plumes with mixed mantle/crust components. Unmixed plumes form at depths greater than 100km (5-10 km above the upper interface of subducting slab) and consist of partially molten wet peridotite. Mixed plumes form at lesser depth directly from the subducting slab and contain partially molten hydrated oceanic crust and sediments. These high resolution simulations have also spurred the development of new visualization methods. We have created a new web-based interface to data from our subduction simulation and other high-resolution 2D data that uses an hierarchical data format to achieve response times of less than one second when accessing data files on the order of 3GB. This interface, WEB-IS4, uses a Javascript and HTML frontend coupled with a C and PHP backend and allows the user to perform region of interest zooming, real-time colormap selection, and can return relevant statistics relating to the data in the region of interest.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-01

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

  1. Oceanic Sub-Moho Reflectors in and Around the Segmentation Boundary Between the Tonankai-Nankai Earthquake Area, the Central Nankai Trough

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakanishi, A.; Kodaira, S.; Miura, S.; Ito, A.; Sato, T.; Park, J.; Obana, K.; Kaneda, Y.

    2006-12-01

    The Nankai Trough is a unique subduction zone because the recurrence intervals of M8 class earthquakes and the segmentation of rupture zones are well documented on the basis of geophysical, geological and historic data. In 2004, large intraslab earthquake (Mw7.5) occurred southeast off the Kii Peninsula, the central Nankai Trough. Recent ocean bottom seismograph observation off the Kii Peninsula shows seismicity concentrated in the oceanic crust and the uppermost mantle. To understand the genesis of such intraslab earthquakes and its relation to large interplate earthquakes as well as to obtain an entire structural image of Nankai Trough subduction seismogenic zone, a wide-angle reflection/refraction survey across the coseismic rupture zone of the Tonankai earthquake was conducted in 2004. This research is part of "Structure research on plate dynamics of the presumed rupture zone of the Tonankai-Nankai Earthquakes" funded by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The result of structural image shows a bit thicker oceanic crust (>8km) subducting landward, and the existence of oceanic sub-Moho reflectors in