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Sample records for subducting plates mantle

  1. 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

  2. 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...

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

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    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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Deep mantle seismic heterogeneities in Western Pacific subduction zones

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

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    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

  13. 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

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

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    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.

  15. 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

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

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    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.

  17. 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.

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

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

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    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

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

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    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.

  1. 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.

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

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    T. W. Becker

    2012-11-01

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

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

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    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.

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fumiko Tajima

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  17. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, Wouter P.

    2005-01-01

    Geological observations indicate that along two active continental margins (East Asia and Mediterranean) major phases of overriding plate extension, resulting from subduction hinge-retreat, occurred synchronously with a reduction in subducting plate velocity. In this paper, results of fluid

  19. A large mantle water source for the northern San Andreas Fault System: A ghost of subduction past

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirby, Stephen H.; Wang, Kelin; Brocher, Thomas M.

    2014-01-01

    Recent research indicates that the shallow mantle of the Cascadia subduction margin under near-coastal Pacific Northwest U.S. is cold and partially serpentinized, storing large quantities of water in this wedge-shaped region. Such a wedge probably formed to the south in California during an earlier period of subduction. We show by numerical modeling that after subduction ceased with the creation of the San Andreas Fault System (SAFS), the mantle wedge warmed, slowly releasing its water over a period of more than 25 Ma by serpentine dehydration into the crust above. This deep, long-term water source could facilitate fault slip in San Andreas System at low shear stresses by raising pore pressures in a broad region above the wedge. Moreover, the location and breadth of the water release from this model gives insights into the position and breadth of the SAFS. Such a mantle source of water also likely plays a role in the occurrence of Non-Volcanic Tremor (NVT) that has been reported along the SAFS in central California. This process of water release from mantle depths could also mobilize mantle serpentinite from the wedge above the dehydration front, permitting upward emplacement of serpentinite bodies by faulting or by diapiric ascent. Specimens of serpentinite collected from tectonically emplaced serpentinite blocks along the SAFS show mineralogical and structural evidence of high fluid pressures during ascent from depth. Serpentinite dehydration may also lead to tectonic mobility along other plate boundaries that succeed subduction, such as other continental transforms, collision zones, or along present-day subduction zones where spreading centers are subducting.

  20. Subduction and Plate Edge Tectonics in the Southern Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMets, Charles; Traylen, Stephen

    2000-03-01

    To better understand the influence of Rivera plate kinematics on the geodynamic evolution of western Mexico, we use more than 1400 crossings of seafloor spreading magnetic lineations along the Pacific-Rivera rise and northern Mathematician ridge to solve for rotations of the Rivera plate relative to the underlying mantle and the Pacific and North American plates at 14 times since 9.9 Ma. Our comparison of magnetic anomaly crossings from the undeformed Pacific plate to their counterparts on the Rivera plate indicates that significant areas of the Rivera plate have deformed since 9.9 Ma. Dextral shear along the southern edge of the plate from 3.3-2.2 Ma during a regional plate boundary reorganization deformed the Rivera plate farther into its interior than previously recognized. In addition, seafloor located north of two rupture zones within the Rivera plate sutured to North America after 1.5 Ma. Anomaly crossings from these two deformed regions thus cannot be used to reconstruct motion of the Rivera plate. Finite rotations that best reconstruct Pacific plate anomaly crossings onto their undeformed counterparts on the Rivera plate yield stage spreading rates that decrease gradually by 10% between 10 and 3.6 Ma, decrease rapidly by 20% after ˜3.6 Ma, and recover after 1 Ma. The slowdown in Pacific-Rivera seafloor spreading at 3.6 Ma coincided with the onset of dextral shear across the then-incipient southern boundary of the Rivera plate with the Pacific plate. The available evidence indicates that the Rivera plate has been an independent microplate since at least 10 Ma, contrary to published assertions that it fragmented from the Cocos plate at ˜5 Ma. Motion of the Rivera plate relative to North America has changed significantly since 10 Ma, in concert with significant changes in Pacific-Rivera motion. A significant and robust feature of Rivera-North America motion not previously recognized is the cessation of margin-normal convergence and thus subduction from 2

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Role of mantle flow in Nubia-Somalia plate divergence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamps, D. S.; Iaffaldano, G.; Calais, E.

    2015-01-01

    Present-day continental extension along the East African Rift System (EARS) has often been attributed to diverging sublithospheric mantle flow associated with the African Superplume. This implies a degree of viscous coupling between mantle and lithosphere that remains poorly constrained. Recent advances in estimating present-day opening rates along the EARS from geodesy offer an opportunity to address this issue with geodynamic modeling of the mantle-lithosphere system. Here we use numerical models of the global mantle-plates coupled system to test the role of present-day mantle flow in Nubia-Somalia plate divergence across the EARS. The scenario yielding the best fit to geodetic observations is one where torques associated with gradients of gravitational potential energy stored in the African highlands are resisted by weak continental faults and mantle basal drag. These results suggest that shear tractions from diverging mantle flow play a minor role in present-day Nubia-Somalia divergence.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallik, Ananya; Li, Yuan; Wiedenbeck, Michael

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  3. Bridging the mantle: A comparison of geomagnetic polarity reversal rate, global subduction flux, and true polar wander records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biggin, A. J.; Hounslow, M.; Domeier, M.

    2017-12-01

    The long-term variability in average geomagnetic reversal frequency over the Phanerozoic, consisting of superchrons interspersed with periods of hyper-reversal activity, remains one of the most prominent and enigmatic features evident within palaeomagnetic records. This variability is widely expected to reflect mantle convection modifying the pattern and/or magnitude of core-mantle boundary heat flow, and thereby affecting the geodynamo's operation, but actual causal links to surface geological processes remain tenuous. Previous studies have argued that mantle plumes, superplume oscillation, true polar wander, and avalanching of cold slabs into the lower mantle could all be at least partly responsible. Here we will present a re-evaluated reversal frequency record for the Phanerozoic and use it, together with published findings from numerical geodynamo simulations, to push further towards an integrated explanation of how the geomagnetic field has responded to mantle processes over the last few hundreds of million years. Recent work on absolute plate motions back through the Phanerozoic have allowed estimations to be made as to both the global subduction flux and rates of true polar wander through time. When considered alongside the outputs of numerical simulations of the geodynamo process, these can potentially explain long-timescale palaeomagnetic variations over the last few hundreds of million years.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, W. B.

    2001-12-01

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

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

    related seismicity. Our results suggest serpentinization around mid-ocean ridge transform faults, which go on to become fracture zones on the incoming plate, plays a significant role in the delivery of water into the mantle at subduction zones.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerault, M.; Coltice, N.

    2017-12-01

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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuo, B. Y.

    2017-12-01

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

  16. 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

  17. How large is the subducted water flux? New constraints on mantle regassing rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parai, R.; Mukhopadhyay, S.

    2012-02-01

    Estimates of the subducted water (H2O) flux have been used to discuss the regassing of the mantle over Earth history. However, these estimates vary widely, and some are large enough to have reduced the volume of water in the global ocean by a factor of two over the Phanerozoic. In light of uncertainties in the hydration state of subducting slabs, magma production rates and mantle source water contents, we use a Monte Carlo simulation to set limits on long-term global water cycling and the return flux of water to the deep Earth. Estimates of magma production rates and water contents in primary magmas generated at ocean islands, mid-ocean ridges, arcs and back-arcs are paired with estimates of water entering trenches via subducting oceanic slab in order to construct a model of the deep Earth water cycle. The simulation is constrained by reconstructions of Phanerozoic sea level change, which suggest that ocean volume is near steady-state, though a sea level decrease of up to 360 m may be supported. We provide limits on the return flux of water to the deep Earth over the Phanerozoic corresponding to a near steady-state exosphere (0-100 meter sea level decrease) and a maximum sea level decrease of 360 m. For the near steady-state exosphere, the return flux is 1.4 - 2.0- 0.3+ 0.4 × 1013 mol/yr, corresponding to 2-3% serpentinization in 10 km of lithospheric mantle. The return flux that generates the maximum sea level decrease over the Phanerozoic is 3.5- 0.3+ 0.4 × 1013 mol/yr, corresponding to 5% serpentinization in 10 km of lithospheric mantle. Our estimates of the return flux of water to the mantle are up to 7 times lower than previously suggested. The imbalance between our estimates of the return flux and mantle output flux leads to a low rate of increase in bulk mantle water content of up to 24 ppm/Ga.

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  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. 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

  2. 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 (

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  5. Slab and Sediment Melting during Subduction Initiation: Mantle Plagiogranites from the Oman Ophiolite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollinson, H. R.

    2014-12-01

    ophiolite, rather they were derived during subduction by the partial melting of the slab and associated sediment and emplaced into the overlying mantle wedge. Current subduction-initiation models for supra-subduction ophiolites should integrate this process into their thinking.

  6. Subduction recycling of continental sediments and the origin of geochemically enriched reservoirs in the deep mantle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rapp, R.P.; Irifune, T.; Shimizu, N.; Nishiyama, N.; Norman, M.D.; Inoue, T. (Ehime U); (WHOI); (UC); (ANU)

    2008-10-08

    Isotopic and trace element geochemical studies of ocean island basalts (OIBs) have for many years been used to infer the presence of long-lived ({approx} 1-2 Ga old) compositional heterogeneities in the deep mantle related to recycling of crustal lithologies and marine and terrigenous sediments via subduction [e.g., Zindler, A., Hart, S.R., 1986. Chemical geodynamics. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 14, 493-571; Weaver, B.L., 1991. The origin of ocean island basalt end-member compositions: trace element and isotopic constraints. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 104, 381-397; Chauvel, C., Hofmann, A.W., Vidal, P., 1992. HIMU-EM: the French Polynesian connection. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 110, 99-119; Hofmann, A.W., 1997. Mantle geochemistry: the message from oceanic volcanism. Nature 385, 219-229; Willbold, M., Stracke, A., 2006. Trace element composition of mantle end-members: Implications for recycling of oceanic and upper and lower continental crust. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. Q04004. 7, doi:10.1029/2005GC001005]. In particular, models for the EM-1 type ('enriched mantle') OIB reservoir have invoked the presence of subducted, continental-derived sediment to explain high {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr ratios, low {sup 143}Nd/{sup 144}Nd and {sup 206}Pb/{sup 204}Pb ratios, and extreme enrichments in incompatible elements observed in OIB lavas from, for example, the Pitcairn Island group in the South Pacific [Woodhead, J.D., McCulloch, M.T., 1989; Woodhead, J.D., Devey, C.W., 1993. Geochemistry of the Pitcairn seamounts, I: source character and temporal trends. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 116, 81-99; Eisele, J., Sharma, M., Galer, S.J.G., Blichert-Toft, J., Devey, C.W., Hofmann, A.W., 2002. The role of sediment recycling in EM-1 inferred from Os, Pb, Hf, Nd, Sr isotope and trace element systematics of the Pitcairn hotspot. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 196, 197-212]. More recently, ultrapotassic, mantle-derived lavas (lamproites) from Gaussberg, Antarctica have been interpreted as

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezada, Maximiliano J.

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

  9. Atlas of the Underworld : Paleo-subduction, -geography, -atmosphere and -sea level reconstructed from present-day mantle structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Meer, Douwe G.

    2017-01-01

    In this thesis, I aimed at searching for new ways of constraining paleo-geographic, -atmosphere and -sea level reconstructions, through an extensive investigation of mantle structure in seismic tomographic models. To this end, I explored evidence for paleo-subduction in these models and how this may

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Plate tectonics, mantle convection and D'' seismic structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Lianxing

    This thesis adopts multidisciplinary (geodynamical and seismological) approaches toward understanding dynamics of the Earth's mantle. My geodynamical approach is directed at understanding the relationship between large-scale surface observables (geoid, topography, plate motions) and mantle rheology and convection of the present-day Earth. In chapter 2, I remove shallow mantle structure of various tectonic features to generate "residual tomography." In chapter 3, I show that the pattern, spectrum and amplitude of the "residual topography" are consistent with shallow origin of the "Earth surface dynamic topography;" the long wavelength geoid and topography (l = 2-3) are successfully explained by density models inferred from the "residual tomography," assuming layered mantle convection stratified at the "920 km seismic discontinuity." In chapter 4, I develop a new method to calculate mantle flow with lateral variation of viscosity. The viscosity contrast between continental and oceanic regions is identified to have dominating effects on both the observed poloidal/toroidal ratio and pattern of toroidal motions at long wavelengths. My seismological approach is focused on exploring fine structures near the core-mantle boundary (CMB) and developing new seismic techniques. I discuss the method development and strategies to explore fine structures in the following chapters. In chapter 5, I develop a hybrid method, a combination of analytical and numerical methods, with numerical methods applied in heterogeneous regions only. In chapter 6, I constrain the general structures of the ultra low velocity zones (ULVZ) near the CMB under the south-east Pacific and Iceland. The SKS-SPdKS data are explained by ULVZ with P-velocity reduction of 10%, horizontal length-scales of about 250 km and height of about 40 km. S-velocity reduction of 30% is consistent with the data. In chapter 7, I constrain the detailed structures of the ULVZ near the CMB from observed broadband PKP precursors

  13. Mineralogy of subducted clay and clay restite in the lower mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, L.; Skora, S. E.; Walter, M. J.

    2012-12-01

    Seismic tomography indicates that subducting oceanic lithosphere often penetrates the transition zone and eventually the lower mantle [e.g. 1, 2]. While mineralogical changes in the mafic and ultramafic portions of slabs have been well documented experimentally, the phase relations of overlying sediments at pressures above 25 GPa remain poorly studied. This is in part because sediments are expected to partially melt at sub-arc depth (P~2.5-4.5 GPa), and contribute to the genesis of arc magmas. Sediment restites left behind after the extraction of low pressure melts undergo major chemical changes, according to the melting reaction: Coe+Phen+Cpx+H2O = Grt+Ky+Melt [3]. However, sediments may not always melt depending on the thermal regime and volatile availability and composition [3]. Hence, chemically unmodified sediments as well as restites may be entrained to greater depths and contribute to compositional heterogeneity in the deep mantle. Indeed, mineral inclusions with compositions indicative of subducted sedimentary protoliths (CAS-phase; K-hollandite; stishovite) have been reported in 'ultradeep' diamonds and suggest that deep subduction and survival of sediments occurs to at least transition zone depths [4]. With this in mind, we have performed laser heated diamond anvil cell experiments at pressures of 8-80 GPa on two anhydrous glass starting materials: a marine clay and the restite that is left after 50% melt extraction of this clay at 3 GPa and 800 °C [3]. We chose to work with an anhydrous version of the marine clay given that the investigated pressure range exceeds that of phengite stability [5], and phengite is the only hydrous phase in subducted sediments at UHP conditions. The clay was heated along a P-T path representative of a cold subduction geotherm, whereas the clay restite was heated along a hotter subduction geotherm consistent with low pressure melting. Phases were identified by synchrotron X-ray micro-diffraction at beamline I15 of the Diamond

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Plate Tectonic Cycling and Whole Mantle Convection Modulate Earth's 3He/22Ne Ratio

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dygert, N. J.; Jackson, C.; Hesse, M. A.; Tremblay, M. M.; Shuster, D. L.; Gu, J.

    2016-12-01

    3He and 22Ne are not produced in the mantle or fractionated by partial melting, and neither isotope is recycled back into the mantle by subduction of oceanic basalt or sediment. Thus, it is a surprise that large 3He/22Ne variations exist within the mantle and that the mantle has a net elevated 3He/22Ne ratio compared to volatile-rich planetary precursor materials. Depleted subcontinental lithospheric mantle and mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) mantle have distinctly higher 3He/22Ne compared to ocean island basalt (OIB) sources ( 4-12.5 vs. 2.5-4.5, respectively) [1,2]. The low 3He/22Ne of OIBs approaches chondritic ( 1) and solar nebula values ( 1.5). The high 3He/22Ne of the MORB mantle is not similar to solar sources or any known family of meteorites, requiring a mechanism for fractionating He from Ne in the mantle and suggesting isolation of distinct mantle reservoirs throughout geologic time. We model the formation of a MORB source with elevated and variable 3He/22Ne though diffusive exchange between dunite channel-hosted basaltic liquids and harzburgite wallrock beneath mid-ocean ridges. Over timescales relevant to mantle upwelling beneath spreading centers, He may diffuse tens to hundreds of meters into wallrock while Ne is relatively immobile, producing a regassed, depleted mantle lithosphere with elevated 3He/22Ne. Subduction of high 3He/22Ne mantle would generate a MORB source with high 3He/22Ne. Regassed, high 3He/22Ne mantle lithosphere has He concentrations 2-3 orders of magnitude lower than undegassed mantle. To preserve the large volumes of high 3He/22Ne mantle required by the MORB source, mixing between subducted and undegassed mantle reservoirs must have been limited throughout geologic time. Using the new 3He/22Ne constraints, we ran a model similar to [3] to quantify mantle mixing timescales, finding they are on the order of Gyr assuming physically reasonable seafloor spreading rates, and that Earth's convecting mantle has lost >99% of its primordial

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lallemand, Serge

    2016-12-01

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

  20. 3D Numerical Examination of Continental Mantle Lithosphere Response to Lower Crust Eclogitization and Nearby Slab Subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janbakhsh, P.; Pysklywec, R.

    2017-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. A New Comprehensive Model for Crustal and Upper Mantle Structure of the European Plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morelli, A.; Danecek, P.; Molinari, I.; Postpischl, L.; Schivardi, R.; Serretti, P.; Tondi, M. R.

    2009-12-01

    We present a new comprehensive model of crustal and upper mantle structure of the whole European Plate — from the North Atlantic ridge to Urals, and from North Africa to the North Pole — describing seismic speeds (P and S) and density. Our description of crustal structure merges information from previous studies: large-scale compilations, seismic prospection, receiver functions, inversion of surface wave dispersion measurements and Green functions from noise correlation. We use a simple description of crustal structure, with laterally-varying sediment and cristalline layers thickness and seismic parameters. Most original information refers to P-wave speed, from which we derive S speed and density from scaling relations. This a priori crustal model by itself improves the overall fit to observed Bouguer anomaly maps, as derived from GRACE satellite data, over CRUST2.0. The new crustal model is then used as a constraint in the inversion for mantle shear wave speed, based on fitting Love and Rayleigh surface wave dispersion. In the inversion for transversely isotropic mantle structure, we use group speed measurements made on European event-to-station paths, and use a global a priori model (S20RTS) to ensure fair rendition of earth structure at depth and in border areas with little coverage from our data. The new mantle model sensibly improves over global S models in the imaging of shallow asthenospheric (slow) anomalies beneath the Alpine mobile belt, and fast lithospheric signatures under the two main Mediterranean subduction systems (Aegean and Tyrrhenian). We map compressional wave speed inverting ISC travel times (reprocessed by Engdahl et al.) with a non linear inversion scheme making use of finite-difference travel time calculation. The inversion is based on an a priori model obtained by scaling the 3D mantle S-wave speed to P. The new model substantially confirms images of descending lithospheric slabs and back-arc shallow asthenospheric regions, shown in

  8. 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

  9. Mantle Subduction and Uplift of Intracontinental Mountains: A Case Study from the Chinese Tianshan Mountains within Eurasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jinyi; Zhang, Jin; Zhao, Xixi; Jiang, Mei; Li, Yaping; Zhu, Zhixin; Feng, Qianwen; Wang, Lijia; Sun, Guihua; Liu, Jianfeng; Yang, Tiannan

    2016-06-29

    The driving mechanism that is responsible for the uplift of intracontinental mountains has puzzled geologists for decades. This study addresses this issue by using receiver function images across the Chinese Tianshan Mountains and available data from both deep seismic profiles and surface structural deformation. The near-surface structural deformation shows that the Tianshan crust experienced strong shortening during the Cenozoic. The receiver function image across the Tianshan Mountains reveals that the lithosphere of the Junggar Basin to the north became uncoupled along the Moho, and the mantle below the Moho subducted southwards beneath the northern part of the Tianshan Mountains, thereby thickening the overlying crust. Similar deep structures, however, are not observed under the Tarim Basin and the adjacent southern Tianshan Mountains. This difference in the deep structures correlates with geomorphological features in the region. Thus, a new model of mantle subduction, herein termed M-type subduction, is proposed for the mountain-building processes in intracontinental compressional settings. The available geomorphological, geological and seismic data in the literatures show that this model is probably suitable for other high, linear mountains within the continent.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  11. Influence of rheology on realignment of mantle convective structure with plate motion after a plate reorganization

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hunen, J.; Zhong, S.

    2006-08-01

    Small-scale convection (SSC) rolls below the oceanic lithosphere have the tendency to align with the large-scale shearing direction and thus with the plate motion direction relative to the deep mantle. Understanding the timescales of and processes responsible for realignment would contribute significantly to our understanding of the unresolved phenomena in the Pacific such as gravity lineations, small-scale seismic velocity variations, and intraplate volcanism that cannot be explained by hot spots. In this study we examine the evolution of those convection rolls when this relative plate motion direction is suddenly changed, as suggested by the kink in the Hawaii-Emperor seamount chain. Using three-dimensional numerical flow models, we investigate the realignment of SSC rolls after a change in plate motion direction. From the nature of the SSC, it is expected that rheological parameters dominate the characteristics of this realignment. Our results show that this is indeed the case. We find that (1) using constraints from onset timing of SSC, realignment of rolls can occur as fast as within 20 Ma, but might also take much longer, dependent on the rheology; (2) the realignment period is strongly correlated to the sum of large-scale shear stress induced by plate motion and small-scale shear stress from the SSC itself; (3) in a mantle deforming by dislocation creep, realignment occurs faster than by diffusion creep, because dislocation creep SSC is more vigorous; and (4) activation energy has little influence on the realignment time. Possible evidence for the realignment period might come from precise age determination of intraplate volcanism or azimuthal seismic anisotropy.

  12. Investigating the relationship between the mantle transition zone and the fate of subducted slabs: an adaptative-mesh numerical approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garel, F.; Davies, R.; Goes, S. D.; Davies, J.; Lithgow-Bertelloni, C. R.; Stixrude, L. P.

    2012-12-01

    Seismic observations show a wide range of slab morphologies within the mantle transition zone. This zone is likely to have been critical in Earth's thermal and chemical evolution, acting as a 'valve' that controls material transfer between the upper and lower mantle. However, the interaction between slabs and this complex region remains poorly understood. The complexity arises from non-linear and multi-scale interactions between several aspects of the mantle system, including mineral phase changes and material rheology. In this study, we will utilize new, multi-scale geodynamic models to determine what controls the seismically observed variability in slab behavior within the mantle transition zone and, hence, the down-going branch of the mantle 'valve'. Our models incorporate the newest mineral physics and theoretical constraints on density, phase proportions and rheology. In addition we exploit novel and unique adaptive grid methodologies to provide the resolution necessary to capture rapid changes in material properties in and around the transition zone. Our early results, which will be presented, illustrate the advantages of the new modelling technique for studying subduction including the effects of changes in material properties and mineral phases.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  16. Water in geodynamical models of mantle convection and plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-González, J.; Van Hunen, J.; Chotalia, K.; Lithgow-Bertelloni, C. R.; Rozel, A.; Tackley, P. J.; Nakagawa, T.

    2017-12-01

    The presence of water in the the mantle has a significant effect in the dynamical and thermal evolution of Earth, which partially explains the differences with other planets and is a key factor for the presence of life on Earth. First, a small amount of water can decrease the mantle viscosity by a several orders of magnitude, thereby changing the convection regime and affecting the thermal evolution. Second, the presence of water significantly changes the solidus curve, with crucial implications for melting. Third, water in the mantle can change the Clapeyron slope of mantle materials, which changes the depth at which phase transitions take place. The thermal and dynamical evolution of Earth under the presence of water in the mantle has been the focus of recent studies, but many questions remain unanswered. In this project we intend to investigate how the maximum water capacity of different mantle regions affects water transport and Earth's convective regime. We will study the effect phase transitions under the presence of water, which can change the buoyancy of slabs in the transition zone. We present preliminary results numerical models of global mantle convection for the whole history of earth using the numerical geodynamics software tool StagYY. We will use a new parametrisation of dehydration processes, obtained from high-resolution numerical simulations, to implement a more accurate description of the water released from the slab as it travels through the mantle. We have integrated recent experimental results of the water capacity of deep mantle minerals to study the water circulation and the total water budget. We use data from the most recent experiments and ab-inito calculations to implement a realistic rheology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  18. The bright spot in the West Carpathian upper mantle: a trace of the Tertiary plate collision-and a caveat for a seismologist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Środa, Piotr

    2010-07-01

    The 2-D full waveform modelling of the mantle arrivals from the CELEBRATION 2000 profiles crossing the Carpathian orogen suggests two possible tectonic models for the collision of ALCAPA (Alpine-Carpathian-Pannonian) and the European Plate in the West Carpathians in southern Poland and Slovakia. Due to an oblique (NE-SW) convergence of plates, the character of the collision may change along the zone of contact of the plates: in the western part of the area an earlier collision might have caused substantial crustal shortening and formation of a crocodile-type structure, with the delaminated lower crust of ~100km length acting as a north-dipping reflecting discontinuity in the uppermost mantle. In the eastern part, a less advanced collision only involved the verticalization of the subducted slab remnant after a slab break-off. The lower crustal remnant of ~10km size in the uppermost mantle acts as a pseudo-diffractor generating observable mantle arrivals. Due to the similarity of synthetic data generated by both models, the question of the non-uniqueness of seismic data interpretation, that may lead to disparate tectonic inferences, is also discussed.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. The effects of rheological decoupling on slab deformation in the Earth's upper mantle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Androvičová, A.; Čížková, H.; van den Berg, A.

    2013-01-01

    Processes within subduction zones have a major influence on the plate dynamics and mantle convection. Subduction is controlled by a combination of many parameters and there is no simple global relationship between the resulting slab geometry and deformation and any specific subduction parameter.

  4. Reconstructing mantle heterogeneity with data assimilation based on the back-and-forth nudging method: Implications for mantle-dynamic fitting of past plate motions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glišović, Petar; Forte, Alessandro

    2016-04-01

    The paleo-distribution of density variations throughout the mantle is unknown. To address this question, we reconstruct 3-D mantle structure over the Cenozoic era using a data assimilation method that implements a new back-and-forth nudging algorithm. For this purpose, we employ convection models for a compressible and self-gravitating mantle that employ 3-D mantle structure derived from joint seismic-geodynamic tomography as a starting condition. These convection models are then integrated backwards in time and are required to match geologic estimates of past plate motions derived from marine magnetic data. Our implementation of the nudging algorithm limits the difference between a reconstruction (backward-in-time solution) and a prediction (forward-in-time solution) on over a sequence of 5-million-year time windows that span the Cenozoic. We find that forward integration of reconstructed mantle heterogeneity that is constrained to match past plate motions delivers relatively poor fits to the seismic-tomographic inference of present-day mantle heterogeneity in the upper mantle. We suggest that uncertainties in the past plate motions, related for example to plate reorganization episodes, could partly contribute to the poor match between predicted and observed present-day heterogeneity. We propose that convection models that allow tectonic plates to evolve freely in accord with the buoyancy forces and rheological structure in the mantle could provide additional constraints on geologic estimates of paleo-configurations of the major tectonic plates.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  8. Long-wavelength character of subducted slabs in the lower mantle

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Běhounková, Marie; Čížková, H.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 275, 1-2 (2008), s. 43-53 ISSN 0012-821X Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30120515 Keywords : subduction process * slab thickening * non-linear rheology * tomography Subject RIV: DC - Siesmology, Volcanology, Earth Structure Impact factor: 3.955, year: 2008

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Shallow and buoyant lithospheric subduction : causes and implications from thermo-chemical numerical modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hunen, Jeroen van

    2001-01-01

    Where two lithospheric plates converge on the Earth, one of them disappears into the mantle. The dominant driving mechanism for plate motion is regarded to be `slab pull': the subducted plate, the slab, exerts a pulling force on the attached plate at the surface. However, what has been puzzling

  12. 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

  13. SECULAR CHANGES IN RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PLATE-TECTONIC AND MANTLE-PLUME ENGENDERED PROCESSES DURING PRECAMBRIAN TIME

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. V. Mints

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Paradoxically, the lists of “proxies” of both plate- and plume-related settings are devoid of even a mention of the high-grade metamorphic rocks (granulite, amphibolite and high-temperature eclogite facies. However, the granulite-gneiss belts and areas which contain these rocks, have a regional distribution in both the Precambrian and the Phanerozoic records. The origin and evolution of the granulite-gneiss belts correspond to the activity of plumes expressed in vigorous heating of the continental crust; intraplate magmatism; formation of rift depressions filled with sediments, juvenile lavas, and pyroclastic flow deposits; and metamorphism of lower and middle crustal complexes under conditions of granulite and high-temperature amphibolite facies that spreads over the fill of rift depressions also. Granulite-gneiss complexes of the East European Craton form one of the main components of the large oval intracontinental tectonic terranes of regional or continental rank. Inclusion of the granulite-gneiss complexes from Eastern Europe, North and South America, Africa, India, China and Australia in discussion of the problem indicated in the title to this paper, suggests consideration of a significant change in existing views on the relations between the plate- and plume-tectonic processes in geological history, as well as in supercontinent assembly and decay. The East European and North American cratons are fragments of the long-lived supercontinent Lauroscandia. After its appearance at ~2.8 Ga, the crust of this supercontinent evolved under the influence of the sequence of powerful mantle plumes (superplumes up to ~0.85 Ga. During this time Lauroscandia was subjected to rifting, partial breakup and the following reconstruction of the continent. The processes of plate-tectonic type (rifting with the transition to spreading and closing of the short-lived ocean with subduction within Lauroscandia were controlled by the superplumes. Revision of the

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Mantle dynamics following supercontinent formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heron, Philip J.

    This thesis presents mantle convection numerical simulations of supercontinent formation. Approximately 300 million years ago, through the large-scale subduction of oceanic sea floor, continental material amalgamated to form the supercontinent Pangea. For 100 million years after its formation, Pangea remained relatively stationary, and subduction of oceanic material featured on its margins. The present-day location of the continents is due to the rifting apart of Pangea, with supercontinent dispersal being characterized by increased volcanic activity linked to the generation of deep mantle plumes. The work presented here investigates the thermal evolution of mantle dynamics (e.g., mantle temperatures and sub-continental plumes) following the formation of a supercontinent. Specifically, continental insulation and continental margin subduction are analyzed. Continental material, as compared to oceanic material, inhibits heat flow from the mantle. Previous numerical simulations have shown that the formation of a stationary supercontinent would elevate sub-continental mantle temperatures due to the effect of continental insulation, leading to the break-up of the continent. By modelling a vigorously convecting mantle that features thermally and mechanically distinct continental and oceanic plates, this study shows the effect of continental insulation on the mantle to be minimal. However, the formation of a supercontinent results in sub-continental plume formation due to the re-positioning of subduction zones to the margins of the continent. Accordingly, it is demonstrated that continental insulation is not a significant factor in producing sub-supercontinent plumes but that subduction patterns control the location and timing of upwelling formation. A theme throughout the thesis is an inquiry into why geodynamic studies would produce different results. Mantle viscosity, Rayleigh number, continental size, continental insulation, and oceanic plate boundary evolution are

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  19. Within-plate Cenozoic Volcanism and Mantle Sources Within The Western-central Mediterranean Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beccaluva, L.; Bianchini, G.; Bonadiman, C.; Coltorti, M.; Siena, F.

    An integrated study of anorogenic basic magmas and entrained mantle xenoliths rep- resents a promising approach for a comprehension of the magmatogenic events occur- ring within the lithospheric mantle in the western-central Mediterranean area. In this contribution we review the geochemical characteristics of mafic lavas and associated peridotite xenoliths from three anorogenic volcanic districts: Pliocene-Quaternary vol- canism of Sardinia; Pliocene-Quaternary volcanism of the Iblean area (eastern Sicily); Paleocene-Oligocene Veneto Volcanic Province. Investigations have been focused on 1) petrological features of parental magmas, which may contribute to infer the com- positional characteristics of mantle sources and to constrain the modes of partial melt- ing; 2) modelling the depletion events and metasomatic enrichments in mantle xeno- liths of the three volcanic districts, as well as the nature of their causative agents. Petrological features and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic data, both of lava and xenoliths, indicate that DM+HIMU components distinguish the lithospheric mantle sections of Iblean and Veneto Volcanic Provinces. On the other hand, lavas and xenoliths from Sardinia display a significant different isotopic signature characterised by DM+EM1. Similar geochemical fingerprints, i.e. the significant presence of EM components are gener- ally recorded by mafic lavas and mantle xenoliths from the European Plate, whereas they are not observed in the stable African lithospheric domain.

  20. Mantle compositions below petit-spot volcanoes of the NW Pacific Plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirano, N.

    2017-12-01

    Monogenetic petit-spot volcanoes of a few kilometers in diameter and geothermal gradient than the conventional GDH1 model; Machida et al., 2015; Yamamoto et al., 2014). The fact that the majority of the petit-spot lava samples do not contain olivine phenocrysts and have differentiated compositions (45-52 wt% SiO2, Mg# values of 50-65) indicates that these magmas have undergone differentiation in a magma chamber. However, geobarometry indicates that the deepest-sourced associated peridotitic xenoliths were derived from a depth of 42 km (Yamamoto et al., 2014). This indicates that melt fractionation must have occurred at depths greater than the middle lithosphere, a situation where the depth of fractionation could correlate with the rotation of the σ3 stress axis from the extensionally lower to the compressional upper part of the lithosphere. This rotation is the result of concave flexure prior to the outer rise of the subduction zone (Valentine & Hirano, 2010). Pilet et al. (2016) and Yamamoto et al. (2009) reported that these xenoliths were derived from a metasomatized region of the mantle, with this region metasomatized by prior melts of petit-spot magmas in the province. The strategic analysis of xenocrystic olivines from several petit-spot volcanoes also indicates that more depleted compositions are located in areas more proximal to the trench. This indicates that the lithospheric mantle in this region must have been significantly metasomatized prior to the onset of trench subduction.

  1. The subduction erosion and mantle source region contamination model of Andean arc magmatism: Isotopic evidence from igneous rocks of central Chile

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stern, Charles R

    2001-01-01

    Continental crust may be incorporated in mantle-derived Andean magmas as these magmas rise through the crust (Hildreth and Moorbath, 1988), or alternatively, crust may be tectonically transported into the mantle by subduction of trench sediments and subduction erosion of the continental margin, and then added into the mantle source region of Andean magmas (Stern, 1991). Since the mantle has relatively low Sr, Nd, and Pb concentrations compared to continental crust, differences in the isotopic compositions of magmas erupted in different region of the Andes may be produced by relatively small differences in the amount of subducted crust added to the mantle source region of these magmas. By comparison, significantly larger amounts of crust must be assimilated by mantle-derived magmas to produce isotopic differences of similar magnitude. Therefore, constraining the process by which continental crust is incorporated in Andean magmas has important implications for understanding the chemical cycling that takes place in the Andean subduction-related magma factory. Isotopic data suggest the incorporation of a greater proportion of crust in Andean magmas erupted at the northern portion of the Southern Volcanic Zone of central Chile compared to those erupted in the southern portion of the Southern Volcanic Zone of south central Chile (SSVZ) (Stern et al., 1984; Futa and Stern, 1988; Hildreth and Moorbath, 1988). The NSVZ occurs just south of the current locus of the subduction of the Juan Fernandez Ridge. The southward migration of the locus of subduction of this ridge has resulted in decreasing subduction angle below the NSVZ, the eastward migration of the volcanic front of the Andean arc, and an increase in the crustal thickness below the arc. These factors together have caused changes, since the middle Miocene, in the isotopic composition of Andean igneous rocks of central Chile. The data indicate a close chronologic relation between the southward migrations of the locus

  2. Highly siderophile element geochemistry of peridotites and pyroxenites from Horní Bory, Bohemian Massif: Implications for HSE behaviour in subduction-related upper mantle

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ackerman, Lukáš; Pitcher, L.; Strnad, L.; Puchtel, I. S.; Jelínek, E.; Walker, R. J.; Rohovec, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 100, č. 1 (2013), s. 158-175 ISSN 0016-7037 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB300130902 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : alloy * high pressure * high temperature * igneous geochemistry * isotopic composition * mass balance * nappe * osmium isotope * peridotite * petrography * platinum group element * precipitation (chemistry) * pyroxenite * siderophile element * subduction * sulfide * upper mantle Subject RIV: DD - Geochemistry Impact factor: 4.250, year: 2013

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Past plate and mantle motion from new ages for the Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount Chain

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, John; Steinberger, Bernhard; Regelous, Marcel; Koppers, Anthony; Wijbrans, Jan; Haase, Karsten; Stoffers, Peter; Jokat, Wilfried; Garbe-Schoenberg, C.-Dieter

    2014-05-01

    Estimates of the relative motion between the Hawaiian and Louisville hotspots have consequences for understanding the role and character of deep Pacific-mantle return flow. The relative motion between these primary hotspots can be inferred by comparing the age records for their seamount trails. Our new 40Ar/39Ar ages for 18 lavas from 10 seamounts along the Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount Chain (HESC) show that volcanism started in the sharp portion of the Hawaiian-Emperor Bend (HEB) at ≥47.5 Ma and continued for ≥5 Myr (O'Connor et al., 2013). The slope of the along-track distance from the currently active Hawaiian hotspot plotted versus age is remarkably linear between ~57 and 25 Ma in the central ˜1900 km of the seamount chain, including the HEB. This model predicts an age for the oldest Emperor Seamounts that matches published ages, implying that a linear age-distance relationship might extend back to at least 82 Ma. In contrast, Hawaiian age progression was much faster since at least ~15 Ma and possibly as early as ~27 Ma. Linear age-distance relations for the Hawaii-Emperor and Louisville seamount chains predict ~300 km overall hotspot relative motion between 80 and 47.5 Ma, in broad agreement with numerical models of plumes in a convecting mantle, and paleomagnetic data. We show that a change in hotspot relative motion may also have occurred between ~55 Ma and ~50 Ma. We interpret this change in hotspot motion as evidence that the HEB reflects a combination of hotspot and plate motion changes driven by the same plate/mantle reorganization. O'Connor et al. (2013), Constraints on past plate and mantle motion from new ages for the Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount Chain, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 14, 4564-4584, doi:10.1002/ggge.20267.

  9. 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.

  10. Dynamics of upper mantle rocks decompression melting above hot spots under continental plates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perepechko, Yury; Sorokin, Konstantin; Sharapov, Victor

    2014-05-01

    temperature (THS) > 1900oC asthenolens size ~700 km. When THS = of 2000oC the maximum melting degree of the primitive mantle is near 40%. An increase in the TB > 1900oC the maximum degree of melting could rich 100% with the same size of decompression melting zone (700 km). We examined decompression melting above the HS having LHS = 100 km - 780 km at a TB 1850- 2100oC with the thickness of lithosphere = 100 km.It is shown that asthenolens size (Lln) does not change substantially: Lln=700 km at LHS = of 100 km; Lln= 800 km at LHS = of 780 km. In presence of asymmetry of large HS the region of advection is developed above the HS maximum with the formation of asymmetrical cell. Influence of lithospheric plate thicknesses on appearance and evolution of asthenolens above the HS were investigated for the model stepped profile for the TB ≤ of 1750oS with Lhs = 100km and maximum of THS =2350oC. With an increase of TB the Lln difference beneath lithospheric steps is leveled with retention of a certain difference to melting degrees and time of the melting appearance a top of the HS. RFBR grant 12-05-00625.

  11. Effects of low-pressure igneous processes and subduction on Fe3+/ΣFe and redox state of mantle eclogites from Lace (Kaapvaal craton)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aulbach, S.; Woodland, A. B.; Vasilyev, P.; Galvez, M. E.; Viljoen, K. S.

    2017-09-01

    Reconstructing the redox state of the mantle is critical in discussing the evolution of atmospheric composition through time. Kimberlite-borne mantle eclogite xenoliths, commonly interpreted as representing former oceanic crust, may record the chemical and physical state of Archaean and Proterozoic convecting mantle sources that generated their magmatic protoliths. However, their message is generally obscured by a range of primary (igneous differentiation) and secondary processes (seawater alteration, metamorphism, metasomatism). Here, we report the Fe3+/ΣFe ratio and δ18 O in garnet from in a suite of well-characterised mantle eclogite and pyroxenite xenoliths hosted in the Lace kimberlite (Kaapvaal craton), which originated as ca. 3 Ga-old ocean floor. Fe3+/ΣFe in garnet (0.01 to 0.063, median 0.02; n = 16) shows a negative correlation with jadeite content in clinopyroxene, suggesting increased partitioning of Fe3+ into clinopyroxene in the presence of monovalent cations with which it can form coupled substitutions. Jadeite-corrected Fe3+/ΣFe in garnet shows a broad negative trend with Eu*, consistent with incompatible behaviour of Fe3+ during olivine-plagioclase accumulation in the protoliths. This trend is partially obscured by increasing Fe3+ partitioning into garnet along a conductive cratonic geotherm. In contrast, NMORB-normalised Nd/Yb - a proxy of partial melt loss from subducting oceanic crust (1) - shows no obvious correlation with Fe3+/ΣFe, nor does garnet δ18OVSMOW (5.14 to 6.21‰) point to significant seawater alteration. Median bulk-rock Fe3+/ΣFe is roughly estimated at 0.025. This observation agrees with V/Sc systematics, which collectively point to a reduced Archaean convecting mantle source to the igneous protoliths of these eclogites compared to the modern MORB source. Oxygen fugacites (fO2) relative to the fayalite-magnetite-quartz buffer (FMQ) range from Δlog ⁡ fO2 = FMQ-1.3 to FMQ-4.6. At those reducing conditions, the solubility

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  13. Mantle Circulation Models with variational data assimilation: Inferring past mantle flow and structure from plate motion histories and seismic tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunge, H.; Hagelberg, C.; Travis, B.

    2002-12-01

    EarthScope will deliver data on structure and dynamics of continental North America and the underlying mantle on an unprecedented scale. Indeed, the scope of EarthScope makes its mission comparable to the large remote sensing efforts that are transforming the oceanographic and atmospheric sciences today. Arguably the main impact of new solid Earth observing systems is to transform our use of geodynamic models increasingly from conditions that are data poor to an environment that is data rich. Oceanographers and meteorologists already have made substantial progress in adapting to this environment, by developing new approaches of interpreting oceanographic and atmospheric data objectively through data assimilation methods in their models. However, a similarly rigorous theoretical framework for merging EarthScope derived solid Earth data with geodynamic models has yet to be devised. Here we explore the feasibility of data assimilation in mantle convection studies in an attempt to fit global geodynamic model calculations explicitly to tomographic and tectonic constraints. This is an inverse problem not quite unlike the inverse problem of finding optimal seismic velocity structures faced by seismologists. We derive the generalized inverse of mantle convection from a variational approach and present the adjoint equations of mantle flow. The substantial computational burden associated with solutions to the generalized inverse problem of mantle convection is made feasible using a highly efficient finite element approach based on the 3-D spherical fully parallelized mantle dynamics code TERRA, implemented on a cost-effective topical PC-cluster (geowulf) dedicated specifically to large-scale geophysical simulations. This dedicated geophysical modeling computer allows us to investigate global inverse convection problems having a spatial discretization of less than 50 km throughout the mantle. We present a synthetic high-resolution modeling experiment to demonstrate that mid

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakabayashi, John

    2017-12-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yi; Su, Bin; Chu, Zhuyin

    2017-05-01

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

  1. Measurements of upper mantle shear wave anisotropy from a permanent network in southern Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Benthem, S.A.C.; Valenzuela, R.W.; Ponce, G.J.

    2013-01-01

    Upper mantle shear wave anisotropy under stations in southern Mexico was measured using records of SKS phases. Fast polarization directions where the Cocos plate subducts subhorizontally are oriented in the direction of the relative motion between the Cocos and North American plates, and are

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Rapid Grain Size Reduction in the Upper Mantle at a Plate Boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidder, S. B.; Scott, J.; Prior, D. J.; Lubicich, E. J.

    2017-12-01

    process was very rapid (<10,000 yrs). In either case we interpret that semi-brittle deformation was a key process responsible for rapid localization in this initiating plate-scale mantle shear zone.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahm, Haider Hassan Faraj

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. The origin of high-Mg magmas in Mt Shasta and Medicine Lake volcanoes, Cascade Arc (California): higher and lower than mantle oxygen isotope signatures attributed to current and past subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, E.; Bindeman, I.; Grove, T. L.

    2011-11-01

    We report the oxygen isotope composition of olivine and orthopyroxene phenocrysts in lavas from the main magma types at Mt Shasta and Medicine Lake Volcanoes: primitive high-alumina olivine tholeiite (HAOT), basaltic andesites (BA), primitive magnesian andesites (PMA), and dacites. The most primitive HAOT (MgO > 9 wt%) from Mt. Shasta has olivine δ18O (δ18OOl) values of 5.9-6.1‰, which are about 1‰ higher than those observed in olivine from normal mantle-derived magmas. In contrast, HAOT lavas from Medicine Lake have δ18OOl values ranging from 4.7 to 5.5‰, which are similar to or lower than values for olivine in equilibrium with mantle-derived magmas. Other magma types from both volcanoes show intermediate δ18OOl values. The oxygen isotope composition of the most magnesian lavas cannot be explained by crustal contamination and the trace element composition of olivine phenocrysts precludes a pyroxenitic mantle source. Therefore, the high and variable δ18OOl signature of the most magnesian samples studied (HAOT and BA) comes from the peridotitic mantle wedge itself. As HAOT magma is generated by anhydrous adiabatic partial melting of the shallow mantle, its 1.4‰ range in δ18OOl reflects a heterogeneous composition of the shallow mantle source that has been influenced by subduction fluids and/or melts sometime in the past. Magmas generated in the mantle wedge by flux melting due to modern subduction fluids, as exemplified by BA and probably PMA, display more homogeneous composition with only 0.5‰ variation. The high-δ18O values observed in magnesian lavas, and principally in the HAOT, are difficult to explain by a single-stage flux-melting process in the mantle wedge above the modern subduction zone and require a mantle source enriched in 18O. It is here explained by flow of older, pre-enriched portions of the mantle through the slab window beneath the South Cascades.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Constraints on Past Plate and Mantle Motion from New Ages for the Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount Chain

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, J. M.; Steinberger, B. M.; Regelous, M.; Koppers, A. A.; Wijbrans, J. R.; Haase, K. M.; Stoffers, P.; Jokat, W.; Garbe-Schoenberg, C.

    2013-12-01

    Estimates of the relative motion between the Hawaiian and Louisville hotspots have consequences for understanding the role and character of deep Pacific-mantle return flow. The relative motion between these primary hotspots can be inferred by comparing the age records for their seamount trails. Our new 40Ar/39Ar ages for 18 lavas from 10 seamounts along the Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount Chain (HESC) show that volcanism started in the sharp portion of the Hawaiian-Emperor Bend (HEB) at ≥47.5 Ma and continued for ≥5 Myr (O'Connor et al., 2013). The slope of the along-track distance from the currently active Hawaiian hotspot plotted versus age is remarkably linear between ~57 and 25 Ma in the central ˜1900 km of the seamount chain, including the HEB. This model predicts an age for the oldest Emperor Seamounts that matches published ages, implying that a linear age-distance relationship might extend back to at least 82 Ma. In contrast, Hawaiian age progression was much faster since at least ~15 Ma and possibly as early as ~27 Ma. Linear age-distance relations for the Hawaii-Emperor and Louisville seamount chains predict ~300 km overall hotspot relative motion between 80 and 47.5 Ma, in broad agreement with numerical models of plumes in a convecting mantle, and paleomagnetic data. We show that a change in hotspot relative motion may also have occurred between ~55 Ma and ~50 Ma. We interpret this change in hotspot motion as evidence that the HEB reflects a combination of hotspot and plate motion changes driven by the same plate/mantle reorganization. O'Connor et al. (2013), Constraints on past plate and mantle motion from new ages for the Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount Chain. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., in press.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. The mantle source of island arc magmatism during early subduction: Evidence from Hf isotopes in rutile from the Jijal Complex (Kohistan arc, Pakistan)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, Tanya A.; Müntener, Othmar

    2018-05-01

    The Cretaceous-Paleogene Kohistan arc complex, northern Pakistan, is renowned as one of the most complete sections through a preserved paleo-island arc. The Jijal Complex represents a fragment of the plutonic roots of the Kohistan arc, formed during its early intraoceanic history. We present the first Hf isotope determinations for the Jijal Complex, made on rutile from garnet gabbros. These lithologies are zircon-free, but contain rutile that formed as an early phase. Recent developments in analytical capabilities coupled with a careful analytical and data reduction protocol allow the accurate determination of Hf isotope composition for rutile with <30 ppm Hf for the first time. Rutile from the analysed samples contains 5-35 ppm Hf, with sample averages of 13-17 ppm. Rutile from five samples from the Jijal Complex mafic section, sampling 2 km of former crustal thickness, gave indistinguishable Hf isotope compositions with εHf(i) ranging from 11.4 ± 3.2 to 20.1 ± 5.7. These values are within error of or only slightly more enriched than modern depleted mantle. The analysed samples record variable degrees of interaction with late-stage melt segregations, which produced symplectitic overprints on the main mineral assemblage as well as pegmatitic segregations of hydrous minerals. The indistinguishable εHf(i) across this range of lithologies demonstrates the robust preservation of the Hf isotope composition of rutile. The Hf isotope data, combined with previously published Nd isotope data for the Jijal Complex garnet gabbros, favour derivation from an inherently enriched, Indian Ocean type mantle. This implies a smaller contribution from subducted sediments than if the source was a normal (Pacific-type) depleted mantle. The Jijal Complex thus had only a limited recycled continental crustal component in its source, and represents a largely juvenile addition of new continental crust during the early phases of intraoceanic magmatism. The ability to determine the Hf

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Upper Mantle Discontinuities Underneath Central and Southern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Campos, X.; Clayton, R. W.

    2011-12-01

    Central and southern Mexico are affected by the subduction of Cocos plate beneath North American plate. The MesoAmerican Subduction Experiment (MASE) and the Veracruz-Oaxaca (VEOX) project have mapped the geometry of the Cocos slab. It is characterized in central Mexico by a shallow horizontal geometry up to ~300 km from the trench, then it dives steeply (70°) into the mantle, to its apparent end at 500 km depth. In contrast, some 400 km to the south, the slab subducts smoothly, with a dip angle of ~26° to a depth of 150 km. We use receiver functions from teleseismic events, recorded at stations from MASE, VEOX, and the Servicio Sismológico Nacional (SSN, Mexican National Seismological Service) to map the upper mantle discontinuities and properties of the transition zone in central and southern Mexico. We also use data from the Mapping the Rivera Subduction Zone (MARS) Experiment to get a complete picture of the subduction regime in central Mexico and compare the mantle transition zone in a slab tear regime. The 410 discontinuity shows significant variation in topography in central Mexico, particularly where the slab is expected to reach such depth. The 660 discontinuity shows a smoother topography, indicating that the slab does not penetrate this far down. The results will be compared with a ridge regime in the Gulf of California.

  3. 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.

  4. Numerical modelling of volatiles in the deep mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichheimer, Philipp; Thielmann, Marcel; Golabek, Gregor J.

    2017-04-01

    The transport and storage of water in the mantle significantly affects several material properties of mantle rocks and thus water plays a key role in a variety of geodynamical processes (tectonics, magmatism etc.). The processes driving transport and circulation of H2O in subduction zones remain a debated topic. Geological and seismological observations suggest different inflow mechanisms of water e.g. slab bending, thermal cracking and serpentinization (Faccenda et al., 2009; Korenaga, 2017), followed by dehydration of the slab. On Earth both shallow and steep subduction can be observed (Li et al., 2011). However most previous models (van Keken et al., 2008; Wilson et al., 2014) did not take different dip angles and subduction velocities of slabs into account. To which extent these parameters and processes influence the inflow of water still remains unclear. We present 2D numerical models simulating the influence of the various water inflow mechanisms on the mantle with changing dip angle and subduction velocity of the slab over time. The results are used to make predictions regarding the rheological behavior of the mantle wedge, dehydration regimes and volcanism at the surface. References: van Keken, P. E., et al. A community benchmark for subduction zone modeling. Phys. Earth Planet. Int. 171, 187-197 (2008). Faccenda, M., T.V. Gerya, and L. Burlini. Deep slab hydration induced by bending-related variations in tectonic pressure. Nat. Geosci. 2, 790-793 (2009). Korenaga, J. On the extent of mantle hydration caused by plate bending. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 457, 1-9 (2017). Wilson, C. R., et al. Fluid flow in subduction zones: The role of solid rheology and compaction pressure. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 401, 261-274 (2014). Li, Z. H., Z. Q. Xu, and T. V. Gerya. Flat versus steep subduction: Contrasting modes for the formation and exhumation of high- to ultrahigh-pressure rocks in continental collision zones. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 301, 65-77 (2011).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tosi, Nicola; Čadek, Ondřej; Martinec, Zdeněk

    2009-11-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Fine scale heterogeneity in the Earth's upper mantle - observation and interpretation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thybo, Hans

    2014-01-01

    can be correlated to main plate tectonic features, such as oceanic spreading centres, continental rift zones and subducting slabs. Much seismological mantle research is now concentrated on imaging fine scale heterogeneity, which may be detected and imaged with high-resolution seismic data with dense...

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharkov, E. V.

    2015-12-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Birch's Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D. L.

    2002-12-01

    Francis Birch's 1952 paper started the sciences of mineral physics and physics of the Earth's interior. Birch stressed the importance of pressure, compressive strain and volume in mantle physics. Although this may seem to be an obvious lesson many modern paradoxes in the internal constitution of the Earth and mantle dynamics can be traced to a lack of appreciation for the role of compression. The effect of pressure on thermal properties such as expansivity can gravitational stratify the Earth irreversibly during accretion and can keep it chemically stratified. The widespread use of the Boussinesq approximation in mantle geodynamics is the antithesis of Birchian physics. Birch pointed out that eclogite was likely to be an important component of the upper mantle. Plate tectonic recycling and the bouyancy of oceanic crust at midmantle depths gives credence to this suggestion. Although peridotite dominates the upper mantle, variations in eclogite-content may be responsible for melting- or fertility-spots. Birch called attention to the Repetti Discontinuity near 900 km depth as an important geodynamic boundary. This may be the chemical interface between the upper and lower mantles. Recent work in geodynamics and seismology has confirmed the importance of this region of the mantle as a possible barrier. Birch regarded the transition region (TR ; 400 to 1000 km ) as the key to many problems in Earth sciences. The TR contains two major discontinuities ( near 410 and 650 km ) and their depths are a good mantle thermometer which is now being exploited to suggest that much of plate tectonics is confined to the upper mantle ( in Birch's terminology, the mantle above 1000 km depth ). The lower mantle is homogeneous and different from the upper mantle. Density and seismic velocity are very insensitive to temperature there, consistent with tomography. A final key to the operation of the mantle is Birch's suggestion that radioactivities were stripped out of the deeper parts of

  15. Towards absolute plate motions constrained by lower-mantle slab remnants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

    Since the first reconstruction of the supercontinent Pangaea, key advances in plate tectonic reconstructions have been made1. Although the movement of tectonic plates since the start of the mid-Cretaceous period (~100 million years (Myr) ago) is relatively well understood1, 2, the longitudinal

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  18. The Earth's Mantle Is Solid: Teachers' Misconceptions About the Earth and Plate Tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Chris

    2000-01-01

    Discusses the misconceptions revealed by the teachers' answers and outlines more accurate answers and explanations based on established evidence and uses these to provide a more complete understanding of plate tectonic process and the structure of Earth. (Author/YDS)

  19. Subduction initiation and recycling of Alboran domain derived crustal components prior to the intra-crustal emplacement of mantle peridotites in the Westernmost Mediterranean: isotopic evidence from the Ronda peridotite

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

    During Late Oligocene-Early Miocene different domains formed in the region between Iberia and Africa in the westernmost Mediterranean, including thinned continental crust and a Flysch Trough turbiditic deposits likely floored by oceanic crust [1]. At this time, the Ronda peridotite likely constituted the subcontinental lithospheric mantle of the Alboran domain, which mantle lithosphere was undergoing strong thinning and melting [2] [3] coevally with Early Miocene extension in the overlying Alpujárride-Maláguide stacked crust [4, 5]. Intrusive Cr- rich pyroxenites in the Ronda massif records the geochemical processes occurring in the subcontinental mantle of the Alboran domain during the Late Oligocene [6]. Recent isotopic studies of these pyroxenites indicate that their mantle source was contaminated by a subduction component released by detrital crustal sediments [6]. This new data is consistent with a subduction setting for the late evolution of the Alboran lithospheric mantle just prior to its final intracrustal emplacement in the early Miocene Further detailed structural studies of the Ronda plagioclase peridotites-related to the initial stages of ductile emplacement of the peridotite-have led to Hidas et al. [7] to propose a geodynamic model where folding and shearing of an attenuated mantle lithosphere occurred by backarc basin inversion followed by failed subduction initiation that ended into the intracrustal emplacement of peridotite into the Alboran wedge in the earliest Miocene. This hypothesis implies that the crustal component recorded in late, Cr-rich websterite dykes might come from underthrusted crustal rocks from the Flysch and/or Alpujárrides units that might have been involved in the earliest stages of this subduction initiation stage. To investigate the origin of crustal component in the mantle source of this late magmatic event recorded by Cr-pyroxenites, we have carried out a detail Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf isotopic study of a variety of Betic

  20. Mantle amphibole control on arc and within-plate chemical signatures: Quaternary lavas from Kurdistan Province, Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kheirkhah, M.; Allen, M. B.; Neill, I.; Emami, M. H.; McLeod, C.

    2012-04-01

    New analyses of Quaternary lavas from Kurdistan Province in west Iran shed light on the nature of collision zone magmatism. The rocks are from the Turkish-Iranian plateau within the Arabia-Eurasia collision. Compositions are typically basanite, hawaiite and alkali basalt. Sr-Nd isotope values are close to BSE, which is similar to Quaternary alkali basalts of NW Iran, but distinct from a depleted source melting under Mount Ararat. The chemical signatures suggests variable melting of two distinct sources. One inferred source produced melts with La/Nb from~3.5 to~1.2, which we model as the result of depletion of amphibole during ≤1% melting in the garnet stability field. We infer phlogopite in the source of potassic lavas from Takab. Lithosphere delamination or slab break-off mechanisms for triggering melting are problematic, as the lithosphere is~150-200km thick. It is possible that the negative dT/dP section of the amphibole peridotite solidus was crossed as a result of lithospheric thickening in the collision zone. This explanation is conditional upon the mantle source being weakly hydrated and so only containing a small proportion of amphibole, which can be exhausted during small degrees of partial melting. Our model maybe viable for other magmatic areas within orogenic plateaux, e.g. northern Tibet. Depletion of mantle amphibole may also help explain larger scale transitions from arc to within-plate chemistry in orogens, such as the Palaeogene Arabia-Eurasia system.

  1. Mantle temperature under drifting deformable continents during the supercontinent cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Masaki

    2013-04-01

    The thermal heterogeneity of the Earth's mantle under the drifting continents during a supercontinent cycle is a controversial issue in earth science. Here, a series of numerical simulations of mantle convection are performed in 3D spherical-shell geometry, incorporating drifting deformable continents and self-consistent plate tectonics, to evaluate the subcontinental mantle temperature during a supercontinent cycle. Results show that the laterally averaged temperature anomaly of the subcontinental mantle remains within several tens of degrees (±50 °C) throughout the simulation time. Even after the formation of the supercontinent and the development of subcontinental plumes due to the subduction of the oceanic plates, the laterally averaged temperature anomaly of the deep mantle under the continent is within +10 °C. This implies that there is no substantial temperature difference between the subcontinental and suboceanic mantles during a supercontinent cycle. The temperature anomaly immediately beneath the supercontinent is generally positive owing to the thermal insulation effect and the active upwelling plumes from the core-mantle boundary. In the present simulation, the formation of a supercontinent causes the laterally averaged subcontinental temperature to increase by a maximum of 50 °C, which would produce sufficient tensional force to break up the supercontinent. The periodic assembly and dispersal of continental fragments, referred to as the supercontinent cycle, bear close relation to the evolution of mantle convection and plate tectonics. Supercontinent formation involves complex processes of introversion, extroversion or a combination of these in uniting dispersed continental fragments, as against the simple opening and closing of individual oceans envisaged in Wilson cycle. In the present study, I evaluate supercontinent processes in a realistic mantle convection regime. Results show that the assembly of supercontinents is accompanied by a

  2. 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".

  3. Rheologic effects of crystal preferred orientation in upper mantle flow near plate boundaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackman, Donna; Castelnau, Olivier; Dawson, Paul; Boyce, Donald

    2016-04-01

    Observations of anisotropy provide insight into upper mantle processes. Flow-induced mineral alignment provides a link between mantle deformation patterns and seismic anisotropy. Our study focuses on the rheologic effects of crystal preferred orientation (CPO), which develops during mantle flow, in order to assess whether corresponding anisotropic viscosity could significantly impact the pattern of flow. We employ a coupled nonlinear numerical method to link CPO and the flow model via a local viscosity tensor field that quantifies the stress/strain-rate response of a textured mineral aggregate. For a given flow field, the CPO is computed along streamlines using a self-consistent texture model and is then used to update the viscosity tensor field. The new viscosity tensor field defines the local properties for the next flow computation. This iteration produces a coupled nonlinear model for which seismic signatures can be predicted. Results thus far confirm that CPO can impact flow pattern by altering rheology in directionally-dependent ways, particularly in regions of high flow gradient. Multiple iterations run for an initial, linear stress/strain-rate case (power law exponent n=1) converge to a flow field and CPO distribution that are modestly different from the reference, scalar viscosity case. Upwelling rates directly below the spreading axis are slightly reduced and flow is focused somewhat toward the axis. Predicted seismic anisotropy differences are modest. P-wave anisotropy is a few percent greater in the flow 'corner', near the spreading axis, below the lithosphere and extending 40-100 km off axis. Predicted S-wave splitting differences would be below seafloor measurement limits. Calculations with non-linear stress/strain-rate relation, which is more realistic for olivine, indicate that effects are stronger than for the linear case. For n=2-3, the distribution and strength of CPO for the first iteration are greater than for n=1, although the fast seismic

  4. 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

  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. Plate tectonics and planetary habitability: current status and future challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korenaga, Jun

    2012-07-01

    Plate tectonics is one of the major factors affecting the potential habitability of a terrestrial planet. The physics of plate tectonics is, however, still far from being complete, leading to considerable uncertainty when discussing planetary habitability. Here, I summarize recent developments on the evolution of plate tectonics on Earth, which suggest a radically new view on Earth dynamics: convection in the mantle has been speeding up despite its secular cooling, and the operation of plate tectonics has been facilitated throughout Earth's history by the gradual subduction of water into an initially dry mantle. The role of plate tectonics in planetary habitability through its influence on atmospheric evolution is still difficult to quantify, and, to this end, it will be vital to better understand a coupled core-mantle-atmosphere system in the context of solar system evolution. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.

  7. Atlas of the underworld: Slab remnants in the mantle, their sinking history, and a new outlook on lower mantle viscosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Meer, Douwe G.; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.; Spakman, Wim

    2018-01-01

    Across the entire mantle we interpret 94 positive seismic wave-speed anomalies as subducted lithosphere and associate these slabs with their geological record. We document this as the Atlas of the Underworld, also accessible online at www.atlas-of-the-underworld.org, a compilation comprising subduction systems active in the past 300 Myr. Deeper slabs are correlated to older geological records, assuming no relative horizontal motions between adjacent slabs following break-off, using knowledge of global plate circuits, but without assuming a mantle reference frame. The longest actively subducting slabs identified reach the depth of 2500 km and some slabs have impinged on Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces in the deepest mantle. Anomously fast sinking of some slabs occurs in regions affected by long-term plume rising. We conclude that slab remnants eventually sink from the upper mantle to the core-mantle boundary. The range in subduction-age versus - depth in the lower mantle is largely inherited from the upper mantle history of subduction. We find a significant depth variation in average sinking speed of slabs. At the top of the lower mantle average slab sinking speeds are between 10 and 40 mm/yr, followed by a deceleration to 10-15 mm/yr down to depths around 1600-1700 km. In this interval, in situ time-stationary sinking rates suggest deceleration from 20 to 30 mm/yr to 4-8 mm/yr, increasing to 12-15 mm/yr below 2000 km. This corroborates the existence of a slab deceleration zone but we do not observe long-term (> 60 My) slab stagnation, excluding long-term stagnation due to compositional effects. Conversion of slab sinking profiles to viscosity profiles shows the general trend that mantle viscosity increases in the slab deceleration zone below which viscosity slowly decreases in the deep mantle. This is at variance with most published viscosity profiles that are derived from different observations, but agrees qualitatively with recent viscosity profiles suggested

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. An inverted continental Moho and serpentinization of the forearc mantle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bostock, M G; Hyndman, R D; Rondenay, S; Peacock, S M

    2002-05-30

    Volatiles that are transported by subducting lithospheric plates to depths greater than 100 km are thought to induce partial melting in the overlying mantle wedge, resulting in arc magmatism and the addition of significant quantities of material to the overlying lithosphere. Asthenospheric flow and upwelling within the wedge produce increased lithospheric temperatures in this back-arc region, but the forearc mantle (in the corner of the wedge) is thought to be significantly cooler. Here we explore the structure of the mantle wedge in the southern Cascadia subduction zone using scattered teleseismic waves recorded on a dense portable array of broadband seismometers. We find very low shear-wave velocities in the cold forearc mantle indicated by the exceptional occurrence of an 'inverted' continental Moho, which reverts to normal polarity seaward of the Cascade arc. This observation provides compelling evidence for a highly hydrated and serpentinized forearc region, consistent with thermal and petrological models of the forearc mantle wedge. This serpentinized material is thought to have low strength and may therefore control the down-dip rupture limit of great thrust earthquakes, as well as the nature of large-scale flow in the mantle wedge.

  11. Continental Subduction: Mass Fluxes and Interactions with the Wider Earth System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuthbert, S. J.

    2011-12-01

    Substantial parts of ultra-high pressure (UHP) terrains probably represent subducted passive continental margins (PCM). This contribution reviews and synthesises research on processes operating in such systems and their implication for the wider Earth system. PCM sediments are large repositories of volatiles including hydrates, nitrogen species, carbonates and hydrocarbons. Sediments and upper/ mid-crustal basement are rich in incompatible elements and are fertile for melting. Lower crust may be more mafic and refractory. Juvenile rift-related mafic rocks also have the potential to generate substantial volumes of granitoid melts, especially if they have been hydrated. Exposed UHP terrains demonstrate the return of continental crust from mantle depths, show evidence for substantial fluxes of aqueous fluid, anatexis and, in entrained orogenic peridotites, metasomatism of mantle rocks by crust- derived C-O-H fluids. However, substantial bodies of continental material may never return to the surface as coherent masses of rock, but remain sequestered in the mantle where they melt or become entrained in the deeper mantle circulation. Hence during subduction, PCM's become partitioned by a range of mechanisms. Mechanical partitioning strips away weaker sediment and middle/upper crust, which circulate back up the subduction channel, while denser, stronger transitional pro-crust and lower crust may "stall" near the base of the lithosphere or be irreversibly subducted to join the global mantle circulation. Under certain conditions sediment and upper crustal basement may reach depths for UHPM. Further partitioning takes place by anatexis, which either aids stripping and exhumation of the more melt-prone rock-masses through mechanical softening, or separates melt from residuum so that melt escapes and is accreted to the upper plate leading to "undercrusting", late-orogenic magmatism and further refinement of the crust. Melt that traverses sections of mantle will interact with

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Electrical conductivity imaging in the western Pacific subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utada, Hisashi; Baba, Kiyoshi; Shimizu, Hisayoshi

    2010-05-01

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

  15. Compositionally heterogeneous podiform chromitite in the Shetland Ophiolite Complex (Scotland): Implications for chromitite petrogenesis and late-stage alteration in the upper mantle portion of a supra-subduction zone ophiolite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derbyshire, E. J.; O'Driscoll, B.; Lenaz, D.; Gertisser, R.; Kronz, A.

    2013-03-01

    The mantle sequence of the ~ 492 Ma Shetland Ophiolite Complex (SOC; Scotland) contains abundant compositionally heterogeneous podiform chromitite bodies enclosed in elongate dunite lenses in the vicinity of the petrological Moho. Chromitite petrogenesis and late-stage alteration events recorded in these seams are examined here using petrography, mineral chemistry and crystal structural data. The resistant nature of Cr-spinel to serpentinisation and other late-stage alteration means that primary igneous compositions are preserved in unaltered crystal cores. Chromitite mineralogy and texture from five sampled localities at The Viels, Hagdale, Harold's Grave, Nikka Vord and Cliff reveal significant inter-pod chemical heterogeneity. The Cr-spinel mineral chemistry is consistent with supra-subduction zone melt extraction from the SOC peridotites. The occurrence of chromitite seams in the centres of the dunite lenses combined with variable Cr-spinel compositions at different chromitite seam localities supports a model of chromitite formation from spatially (and temporally?) fluctuating amounts of melt-rock interaction through channelised and/or porous melt flow. Pervasive serpentinisation of the SOC has led to the almost complete replacement of the primary (mantle) silicate mineral assemblages with serpentine (lizardite with minor chrysotile and antigorite). Magmatic sulphide (e.g., pentlandite) in dunite and chromitite is locally converted to reduced Ni-sulphide varieties (e.g., heazlewoodite and millerite). A post-serpentinisation (prograde) oxidisation event is recorded in the extensively altered Cliff chromitite seams in the west of the studied area, where chromitite Cr-spinel is extensively altered to ferritchromit. The ferritchromit may comprise > 50% of the volume of the Cliff Cr-spinels and contain appreciable quantities of 1-2 μm inclusions of sperrylite (PtAs2) and Ni-arsenide, signifying the coeval formation of these minerals with ferritchromit at

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Tectonic predictions with mantle convection models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coltice, Nicolas; Shephard, Grace E.

    2018-04-01

    Over the past 15 yr, numerical models of convection in Earth's mantle have made a leap forward: they can now produce self-consistent plate-like behaviour at the surface together with deep mantle circulation. These digital tools provide a new window into the intimate connections between plate tectonics and mantle dynamics, and can therefore be used for tectonic predictions, in principle. This contribution explores this assumption. First, initial conditions at 30, 20, 10 and 0 Ma are generated by driving a convective flow with imposed plate velocities at the surface. We then compute instantaneous mantle flows in response to the guessed temperature fields without imposing any boundary conditions. Plate boundaries self-consistently emerge at correct locations with respect to reconstructions, except for small plates close to subduction zones. As already observed for other types of instantaneous flow calculations, the structure of the top boundary layer and upper-mantle slab is the dominant character that leads to accurate predictions of surface velocities. Perturbations of the rheological parameters have little impact on the resulting surface velocities. We then compute fully dynamic model evolution from 30 and 10 to 0 Ma, without imposing plate boundaries or plate velocities. Contrary to instantaneous calculations, errors in kinematic predictions are substantial, although the plate layout and kinematics in several areas remain consistent with the expectations for the Earth. For these calculations, varying the rheological parameters makes a difference for plate boundary evolution. Also, identified errors in initial conditions contribute to first-order kinematic errors. This experiment shows that the tectonic predictions of dynamic models over 10 My are highly sensitive to uncertainties of rheological parameters and initial temperature field in comparison to instantaneous flow calculations. Indeed, the initial conditions and the rheological parameters can be good enough

  18. 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.

  19. Kinematics and dynamics of the East Pacific Rise linked to a stable, deep-mantle upwelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowley, David B.; Forte, Alessandro M.; Rowan, Christopher J.; Glišović, Petar; Moucha, Robert; Grand, Stephen P.; Simmons, Nathan A.

    2016-01-01

    Earth’s tectonic plates are generally considered to be driven largely by negative buoyancy associated with subduction of oceanic lithosphere. In this context, mid-ocean ridges (MORs) are passive plate boundaries whose divergence accommodates flow driven by subduction of oceanic slabs at trenches. We show that over the past 80 million years (My), the East Pacific Rise (EPR), Earth’s dominant MOR, has been characterized by limited ridge-perpendicular migration and persistent, asymmetric ridge accretion that are anomalous relative to other MORs. We reconstruct the subduction-related buoyancy fluxes of plates on either side of the EPR. The general expectation is that greater slab pull should correlate with faster plate motion and faster spreading at the EPR. Moreover, asymmetry in slab pull on either side of the EPR should correlate with either ridge migration or enhanced plate velocity in the direction of greater slab pull. Based on our analysis, none of the expected correlations are evident. This implies that other forces significantly contribute to EPR behavior. We explain these observations using mantle flow calculations based on globally integrated buoyancy distributions that require core-mantle boundary heat flux of up to 20 TW. The time-dependent mantle flow predictions yield a long-lived deep-seated upwelling that has its highest radial velocity under the EPR and is inferred to control its observed kinematics. The mantle-wide upwelling beneath the EPR drives horizontal components of asthenospheric flows beneath the plates that are similarly asymmetric but faster than the overlying surface plates, thereby contributing to plate motions through viscous tractions in the Pacific region. PMID:28028535

  20. Bending-related faulting and mantle serpentinization at the Middle America trench.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranero, C R; Morgan, J Phipps; McIntosh, K; Reichert, C

    2003-09-25

    The dehydration of subducting oceanic crust and upper mantle has been inferred both to promote the partial melting leading to arc magmatism and to induce intraslab intermediate-depth earthquakes, at depths of 50-300 km. Yet there is still no consensus about how slab hydration occurs or where and how much chemically bound water is stored within the crust and mantle of the incoming plate. Here we document that bending-related faulting of the incoming plate at the Middle America trench creates a pervasive tectonic fabric that cuts across the crust, penetrating deep into the mantle. Faulting is active across the entire ocean trench slope, promoting hydration of the cold crust and upper mantle surrounding these deep active faults. The along-strike length and depth of penetration of these faults are also similar to the dimensions of the rupture area of intermediate-depth earthquakes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  2. Searching for Hysteresis in Models of Mantle Convection with Grain-Damage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamichhane, R.; Foley, B. J.

    2017-12-01

    The mode of surface tectonics on terrestrial planets is determined by whether mantle convective forces are capable of forming weak zones of localized deformation in the lithosphere, which act as plate boundaries. If plate boundaries can form then a plate tectonic mode develops, and if not convection will be in the stagnant lid regime. Episodic subduction or sluggish lid convection are also possible in between the nominal plate tectonic and stagnant lid regimes. Plate boundary formation is largely a function of the state of the mantle, e.g. mantle temperature or surface temperature, and how these conditions influence both mantle convection and the mantle rheology's propensity for forming weak, localized plate boundaries. However, a planet's tectonic mode also influences whether plate boundaries can form, as the driving forces for plate boundary formation (e.g. stress and viscous dissipation) are different in a plate tectonic versus stagnant lid regime. As a result, tectonic mode can display hysteresis, where convection under otherwise identical conditions can reach different final states as a result of the initial regime of convection. Previous work has explored this effect in pseudoplastic models, finding that it is more difficult to initiate plate tectonics starting from a stagnant lid state than it is to sustain plate tectonics when already in a mobile lid regime, because convective stresses in the lithosphere are lower in a stagnant lid regime than in a plate tectonic regime. However, whether and to what extent such hysteresis is displayed when alternative rheological models for lithospheric shear localization are used is unknown. In particular, grainsize reduction is commonly hypothesized to be a primary cause of shear localization and plate boundary formation. We use new models of mantle convection with grain-size evolution to determine how the initial mode of surface tectonics influences the final convective regime reached when convection reaches statistical

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Rubey

    2017-09-01

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

  4. Water contents of clinopyroxenes from sub-arc mantle peridotites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Michael; Turner, Simon; Blatter, Dawnika; Maury, Rene; Perfit, Michael; Yogodzinski, Gene

    2017-01-01

    One poorly constrained reservoir of the Earth's water budget is that of clinopyroxene in metasomatised, mantle peridotites. This study presents reconnaissance Sensitive High-Resolution, Ion Microprobe–Stable Isotope (SHRIMP–SI) determinations of the H2O contents of (dominantly) clinopyroxenes in rare mantle xenoliths from four different subduction zones, i.e. Mexico, Kamchatka, Philippines, and New Britain (Tabar-Feni island chain) as well as one intra-plate setting (western Victoria). All of the sub-arc xenoliths have been metasomatised and carry strong arc trace element signatures. Average measured H2O contents of the pyroxenes range from 70 ppm to 510 ppm whereas calculated bulk H2O contents range from 88 ppm to 3 737 ppm if the variable presence of amphibole is taken into account. In contrast, the intra-plate, continental mantle xenolith from western Victoria has higher water contents (3 447 ppm) but was metasomatised by alkali and/or carbonatitic melts and does not carry a subduction-related signature. Material similar to the sub-arc peridotites can either be accreted to the base of the lithosphere or potentially be transported by convection deeper into the mantle where it will lose water due to amphibole breakdown.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-11-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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 ...

  13. Towards modelling of water inflow into the mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thielmann, M.; Eichheimer, P.; Golabek, G.

    2017-12-01

    The transport and storage of water in the mantle significantly affects various material properties of mantle rocks and thus water plays a key role in a variety of geodynamical processes (tectonics, magmatism etc.) Geological and seismological observations suggest different inflow mechanisms of water via the subducting slab like slab bending, thermal cracking and serpentinization (Faccenda et al., 2009; Korenaga, 2017). Most of the previous numerical models do not take different dip angles of the subduction slab and subduction velocities into account, while nature provides two different types of subduction regimes i.e. shallow and deep subduction (Li et al., 2011). To which extent both parameters influence the inflow and outflow of water in the mantle still remains unclear. For the investigation of the inflow and outflow of fluids e.g. water in the mantle, we use high resolution 2D finite element simulations, which allow us to resolve subducted sediments and crustal layers. For this purpose the finite element code MVEP2 (Kaus, 2010), is tested against benchmark results (van Keken et al., 2008). In a first step we reproduced the analytical cornerflow model (Batchelor, 1967) used in the benchmark of van Keken et al.(2008) as well as the steady state temperature field. Further steps consist of successively increasing model complexity, such as the incorporation of hydrogen diffusion, water transport and dehydration reactions. ReferencesBatchelor, G. K. An Introduction to Fluid Dynamics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK (1967) van Keken, P. E., et al. A community benchmark for subduction zone modeling. Phys. Earth Planet. Int. 171, 187-197 (2008). Faccenda, M., T.V. Gerya, and L. Burlini. Deep slab hydration induced by bending-related variations in tectonic pressure. Nat. Geosci. 2, 790-793 (2009). Korenaga, J. On the extent of mantle hydration caused by plate bending. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 457, 1-9 (2017). Li, Z. H., Xu, Z. Q., and T.V. Gerya. Flat versus

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Tomography images of the Alpine roots and surrounding upper mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plomerova, Jaroslava; Babuska, Vladislav

    2017-04-01

    Teleseismic body-wave tomography represents powerful tool to study regional velocity structure of the upper mantle and to image velocity anomalies, such as subducted lithosphere plates in collisional zones. In this contribution, we recapitulate 3D models of the upper mantle beneath the Alps, which developed at a collision zone of the Eurasian and African plates. Seismic tomography studies indicate a leading role of the rigid mantle lithosphere that functioned as a major stress guide during the plate collisions. Interactions of the European lithosphere with several micro-plates in the south resulted in an arcuate shape of this mountain range on the surface and in a complicated geometry of the Alpine subductions in the mantle. Early models with one bended lithosphere root have been replaced with more advanced models showing two separate lithosphere roots beneath the Western and Eastern Alps (Babuska et al., Tectonophysics 1990; Lippitsch et al., JGR 2003). The standard isotropic velocity tomography, based on pre-AlpArray data (the currently performed passive seismic experiment in the Alps and surroundings) images the south-eastward dipping curved slab of the Eurasian lithosphere in the Western Alps. On the contrary, beneath the Eastern Alps the results indicate a very steep northward dipping root that resulted from the collision of the European plate with the Adriatic microplate. Dando et al. (2011) interpret high-velocity heterogeneities at the bottom of their regional tomographic model as a graveyard of old subducted lithospheres. High density of stations, large amount of rays and dense ray-coverage of the volume studied are not the only essential pre-requisites for reliable tomography results. A compromise between the amount of pre-processed data and the high-quality of the tomography input (travel-time residuals) is of the high importance as well. For the first time, the existence of two separate roots beneath the Alps has been revealed from carefully pre

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Slab Penetration vs. Slab Stagnation: Mantle Reflectors as an Indicator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okeler, A.; Gu, Y. J.; Schultz, R.; Contenti, S. M.

    2011-12-01

    Subducting oceanic lithosphere along convergent margins may stagnate near the base of the upper mantle or penetrate into the lower mantle. These dynamic processes cause extensive thermal and compositional variations, which can be observed in terms of impedance contrast (reflectivity) and topography of mantle transition zone (MTZ) discontinuities, i.e., 410- and 660-km discontinuities. In this study, we utilize ~ 15000 surface-reflected shear waves (SS) and their precursory arrivals (S410S and S660S) to analyze subduction related deformations on mantle reflectivity structure. We apply pre-stack, time-to-depth migration technique to SS precursors, and move weak underside reflections using PREM-predicted travel-time curves. Common Mid-point gathers are formed to investigate structure under the western Pacific, south America, and Mediterranean convergent boundaries. In general, mantle reflectivity structures are consistent with previous seismic tomography models. In regions of slab penetration (e.g., southern Kurile arc, Aegean Sea), our results show 1) a substantial decrease in S660S amplitude, and 2) strong lower mantle reflector(s) at ~ 900 km depth. These reflective structures are supported by zones of high P and S velocities extending into the lower mantle. Our 1-D synthetic simulations suggest that the decreasing S660S amplitudes are, at least partially, associated with shear wave defocusing due to changes in reflector depth (by ±20 km) within averaging bin. Assuming a ~500 km wide averaging area, a dipping reflector with 6-8 % slope can reduce the amplitude of a SS precursor by ~50%. On the other hand, broad depressions with strong impedance contrast at the base of the MTZ characterize the regions of slab stagnation, such as beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea and northeastern China. For the latter region, substantial topography on the 660-km discontinuity west of the Wadati-Benioff zone suggests that the stagnant part of the Pacific plate across Honshu arc is not

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

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    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

  4. The Effect of Slab Holes on the Surrounding Mantle Flow Field and the Surface from a Multi-Disciplinary Approach

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    Portner, D. E.; Kiraly, A.; Makushkina, A.; Parks, B. H.; Ghosh, T.; Haynie, K. L.; Metcalf, K.; Manga, M.; O'Farrell, K. A.; Moresi, L. N.; Jadamec, M. A.; Stern, R. J.

    2017-12-01

    Large-scale detachment of subducting slabs can have a significant geologic footprint by altering the slab-driven mantle flow field as hot subslab mantle can flow upward through the newly developed opening in the slab. The resulting increase in heat and vertical motion in the mantle wedge may contribute to volcanism and broad surface uplift. Recent geodynamic modeling results show that smaller tears and holes are similarly likely to form in many settings, such as where oceanic ridges or continental fragments subduct. High-resolution seismic tomography models are imaging an increasing number of these gaps and tears ranging in size from tens to hundreds of km in size, many of which occur proximal to alkali volcanism. Here we investigate the role of such gaps on the subduction-induced mantle flow field and related surface response. In particular, we address the relationships between slab hole size, depth, and distance from the slab edge and the magnitude of dynamic response of the mantle using analog experiments and numerical simulations. In the laboratory models, the subduction system is simplified to a two-layered Newtonian viscous sheet model. Our setup consists of a tank filled with glucose syrup and a plate made from silicon putty to model the upper mantle and subducting lithosphere, respectively. In each experiment, we pre-cut a rectangular hole with variable width into the silicon putty plate. Additionally, we perform a series of complementary numerical models using the Underworld geophysical modeling code to calculate the more detailed instantaneous mantle flow perturbation induced by the slab hole. Together, these results imply a strong effect of hole size on mantle flow. Similarly, the depth of the slab hole influences near-surface flow, with significant surface flow alteration when the hole is near the trench and diminishing surface deformation as the hole is dragged deeper into the mantle. The inferred consequence of the dependence of vertical mantle flux

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

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    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

  6. Incipient boninitic arc crust built on denudated mantle: the Khantaishir ophiolite (western Mongolia)

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    Gianola, Omar; Schmidt, Max W.; Jagoutz, Oliver; Sambuu, Oyungerel

    2017-12-01

    , the multiply documented occurrence of highly depleted boninites during subduction initiation suggests a causal relationship of subduction initiation and highly depleted mantle. Possibly, a discontinuity between dense fertile and buoyant depleted mantle contributes to the sinking of the future dense subducting plate, while the buoyant depleted mantle of the future overriding plate forms the infant mantle wedge.

  7. Mantle wedge serpentinization effects on slab dips

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eh Tan

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

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    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. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Incorporating Cutting Edge Scientific Results from the Margins-Geoprisms Program into the Undergraduate Curriculum: The Subduction Factory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penniston-Dorland, S.; Stern, R. J.; Edwards, B. R.; Kincaid, C. R.

    2014-12-01

    The NSF-MARGINS Program funded a decade of research on continental margin processes. The NSF-GeoPRISMS Mini-lesson Project, funded by NSF-TUES, is designed to integrate fundamental results from the MARGINS program into open-source college-level curriculum. Three Subduction Factory (SubFac) mini-lessons were developed as part of this project. These include hands-on examinations of data sets representing 3 key components of the subduction zone system: 1) Heat transfer in the subducted slab; 2) Metamorphic processes happening at the plate interface; and 3) Typical magmatic products of arc systems above subduction zones. Module 1: "Slab Temperatures Control Melting in Subduction Zones, What Controls Slab Temperature?" allows students to work in groups using beads rolling down slopes as an analog for the mathematics of heat flow. Using this hands-on, exploration-based approach, students develop an intuition for the mathematics of heatflow and learn about heat conduction and advection in the subduction zone environment. Module 2: "Subduction zone metamorphism" introduces students to the metamorphic rocks that form as the subducted slab descends and the mineral reactions that characterize subduction-related metamorphism. This module includes a suite of metamorphic rocks available for instructors to use in a lab, and exercises in which students compare pressure-temperature estimates obtained from metamorphic rocks to predictions from thermal models. Module 3: "Central American Arc Volcanoes, Petrology and Geochemistry" introduces students to basic concepts in igneous petrology using the Central American volcanic arc, a MARGINS Subduction Factory focus site, as an example. The module relates data from two different volcanoes - basaltic Cerro Negro (Nicaragua) and andesitic Ilopango (El Salvador) including hand sample observations and major element geochemistry - to explore processes of mantle and crustal melting and differentiation in arc volcanism.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Tomographic and Geodynamic Constraints on Convection-Induced Mixing in Earth's Deep Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hafter, D. P.; Forte, A. M.; Bremner, P. M.; Glisovic, P.

    2017-12-01

    Seismological studies reveal two large low-shear-velocity provinces (LLSVPs) in the lowermost mantle (e.g., Su et al. 1994; Wang & Wen 2007; He & Wen 2012), which may represent accumulations of subducted slabs at the CMB (Tan & Gurnis 2005; Christensen & Hoffman 1994) or primordial material generated in the early differentiation of Earth (e.g. Li et al. 2014). The longevity or stability of these large-scale heterogeneities in the deep mantle depends on the vigor and spatial distribution of the convective circulation, which is in turn dependent on the distribution of mantle buoyancy and viscosity (e.g. Glisovic & Forte 2015). Here we explore the state of convective mixing in the mantle using the ASPECT convection code (Kronbichler et al. 2012). A series of experiments are conducted to consider the geochemical and dynamical contributions of LLSVPs to deep-mantle upwellings and corresponding plume-sourced volcanism. The principal feature of these experiments is the use of particle tracers to track geochemical changes in the LLSVPs and mantle plumes in addition to identifying those parts of the mantle that may remain unmixed. We employ 3-D mantle density anomalies derived from joint inversions of seismic, geodynamic and mineral physics constraints and geodynamically-constrained viscosity distributions (Glisovic et al. 2015) to ensure that the predicted flow fields yield a good match to key geophysical constraints (e.g. heat flow, global gravity anomalies and plate velocities).

  3. 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.

  4. 3D instantaneous dynamics modeling of present-day Aegean subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  5. Subduction zone guided waves in Northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garth, Thomas; Rietbrock, Andreas

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Cenozoic intra-plate magmatism in the Darfur volcanic province: mantle source, phonolite-trachyte genesis and relation to other volcanic provinces in NE Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucassen, Friedrich; Pudlo, Dieter; Franz, Gerhard; Romer, Rolf L.; Dulski, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Chemical and Sr, Nd and Pb isotopic compositions of Late Cenozoic to Quaternary small-volume phonolite, trachyte and related mafic rocks from the Darfur volcanic province/NW-Sudan have been investigated. Isotope signatures indicate variable but minor crustal contributions. Some phonolitic and trachytic rocks show the same isotopic composition as their primitive mantle-derived parents, and no crustal contributions are visible in the trace element patterns of these samples. The magmatic evolution of the evolved rocks is dominated by crystal fractionation. The Si-undersaturated strongly alkaline phonolite and the Si-saturated mildly alkaline trachyte can be modelled by fractionation of basanite and basalt, respectively. The suite of basanite-basalt-phonolite-trachyte with characteristic isotope signatures from the Darfur volcanic province fits the compositional features of other Cenozoic intra-plate magmatism scattered in North and Central Africa (e.g., Tibesti, Maghreb, Cameroon line), which evolved on a lithosphere that was reworked or formed during the Neoproterozoic.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  8. Deep and persistent melt layer in the Archaean mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrault, Denis; Pesce, Giacomo; Manthilake, Geeth; Monteux, Julien; Bolfan-Casanova, Nathalie; Chantel, Julien; Novella, Davide; Guignot, Nicolas; King, Andrew; Itié, Jean-Paul; Hennet, Louis

    2018-02-01

    The transition from the Archaean to the Proterozoic eon ended a period of great instability at the Earth's surface. The origin of this transition could be a change in the dynamic regime of the Earth's interior. Here we use laboratory experiments to investigate the solidus of samples representative of the Archaean upper mantle. Our two complementary in situ measurements of the melting curve reveal a solidus that is 200-250 K lower than previously reported at depths higher than about 100 km. Such a lower solidus temperature makes partial melting today easier than previously thought, particularly in the presence of volatiles (H2O and CO2). A lower solidus could also account for the early high production of melts such as komatiites. For an Archaean mantle that was 200-300 K hotter than today, significant melting is expected at depths from 100-150 km to more than 400 km. Thus, a persistent layer of melt may have existed in the Archaean upper mantle. This shell of molten material may have progressively disappeared because of secular cooling of the mantle. Crystallization would have increased the upper mantle viscosity and could have enhanced mechanical coupling between the lithosphere and the asthenosphere. Such a change might explain the transition from surface dynamics dominated by a stagnant lid on the early Earth to modern-like plate tectonics with deep slab subduction.

  9. Thermal structure and geodynamics of subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wada, Ikuko

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalot-Prat, F.; Girbacea, R.

    2000-11-01

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

  13. Towards adjoint-based inversion of time-dependent mantle convection with nonlinear viscosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dunzhu; Gurnis, Michael; Stadler, Georg

    2017-04-01

    We develop and study an adjoint-based inversion method for the simultaneous recovery of initial temperature conditions and viscosity parameters in time-dependent mantle convection from the current mantle temperature and historic plate motion. Based on a realistic rheological model with temperature-dependent and strain-rate-dependent viscosity, we formulate the inversion as a PDE-constrained optimization problem. The objective functional includes the misfit of surface velocity (plate motion) history, the misfit of the current mantle temperature, and a regularization for the uncertain initial condition. The gradient of this functional with respect to the initial temperature and the uncertain viscosity parameters is computed by solving the adjoint of the mantle convection equations. This gradient is used in a pre-conditioned quasi-Newton minimization algorithm. We study the prospects and limitations of the inversion, as well as the computational performance of the method using two synthetic problems, a sinking cylinder and a realistic subduction model. The subduction model is characterized by the migration of a ridge toward a trench whereby both plate motions and subduction evolve. The results demonstrate: (1) for known viscosity parameters, the initial temperature can be well recovered, as in previous initial condition-only inversions where the effective viscosity was given; (2) for known initial temperature, viscosity parameters can be recovered accurately, despite the existence of trade-offs due to ill-conditioning; (3) for the joint inversion of initial condition and viscosity parameters, initial condition and effective viscosity can be reasonably recovered, but the high dimension of the parameter space and the resulting ill-posedness may limit recovery of viscosity parameters.

  14. 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

  15. Elasticity of superhydrous phase B at the mantle temperature and pressure: Implications for 800-km discontinuity and water flow into lower mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, D.; Wang, W.; Wu, Z.

    2017-12-01

    Plate subduction can transport the water to the Earth's interior by forming hydrous phases and water can exert important effects on global dynamics and many processes within the deep Earth. Superhydrous phase B (ShyB), as an important candidate for transporting water into the mantle transition zone and lower mantle, is stable up to 31 GPa and will decompose into bridgmanite, periclase and water at a depth of 800 km [Komabayashi and Omori, 2006]. The decomposition of ShyB may be related to the seismic discontinuity at the depth of 800 km in Western-Pacific Subduction Zones [Liu et al., 2016; Porritt and Yoshioka, 2016]. The detail discussions on this topic require the elasticity of ShyB at the P-T conditions of the transition zone and lower mantle. In this contribution, we obtained the thermal elasticity of ShyB using first-principles calculations. ShyB shows a very low velocity and density compared to the bridgmanite and periclase, the major minerals in the lower mantle. The accumulation of ShyB will generate the low-velocity anomaly in the uppermost lower mantle. The dehydration of ShyB will cause the Vp, Vs, and density increase by 7.5%, 15.0% and 12%, respectively. It means that a slab with 10% ShyB could cause an impedance contrast of 2.7% at a depth of 800 km for shear wave. Furthermore, the released waters by the dehydration of ShyB probably migrate upward and promote the partial melt to reduce the sound velocity at shallower depth, which can further explain the low-velocity zones just above 800-km discontinuity in Western-Pacific Subduction Zones [Liu et al., 2016]. Komabayashi, T., and S. Omori (2006), Internally consistent thermodynamic data set for dense hydrous magnesium silicates up to 35GPa, 1600°C: Implications for water circulation in the Earth's deep mantle, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 156(1-2), 89-107. Liu, Z., J. Park, and S. I. Karato (2016), Seismological detection of low-velocity anomalies surrounding the mantle transition

  16. Deep Sources: New constraints on the tectonic origin of the Klyuchevskoy Group upper mantle anomaly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourke, J. R.; Nikulin, A.; Levin, V. L.

    2017-12-01

    Volcanoes of the Klyuchevskoy Group (KG) form one of the most active volcanic clusters on the planet, yet its position relative to the subducting Pacific Plate seems to be in violation of the understood principles of the flux-induced arc volcanism. Positioned at 170km above the accepted subduction contact, the KG is seemingly outside the maximum fluid flux release zone of 100km, as observed across global subduction zone environments. Past geophysical studies indicate presence of a planar seismic anomaly 110km below the KG, and it has been noted that the KG lavas exhibit anomalous geochemical signatures, possibly associated with two separate melt generation regions. This interpretation was largely based on receiver function analysis of seismic data recorded by 3 stations of the Partnership in International Research and Education (PIRE) network, done prior to this data becoming publically available. We present results of receiver function and a teleseismic, regional, and local source shear wave splitting study, focused on datasets obtained by the full PIRE network of 12 stations, as well as a hybrid summation of all stations. We present our findings in the form of depth migrated receiver function images convolved with a three-dimensional model of the subduction zone and shear-wave splitting measurements. Our results vastly increase the resolution of the previously identified upper mantle anomaly, further constraining its geometry both vertically and laterally. We complement our observations with a forward modeling effort aimed at assessing the geological nature of the anomaly. Specifically, we test three scenarios that were previously invoked to explain the presence of the low-velocity anomaly in the upper mantle below the KG: a 3D flow of mantle material around the corner of the subducting Pacific Plate, a sinking paleoslab left behind as a result of subduction rollback, and a plume of sediments from the subducting plate. We show that presence of remnant paleoslab

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Importance of initial buoyancy field on evolution of mantle thermal structure: Implications of surface boundary conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petar Glišović

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Although there has been significant progress in the seismic imaging of mantle heterogeneity, the outstanding issue that remains to be resolved is the unknown distribution of mantle temperature anomalies in the distant geological past that give rise to the present-day anomalies inferred by global tomography models. To address this question, we present 3-D convection models in compressible and self-gravitating mantle initialised by different hypothetical temperature patterns. A notable feature of our forward convection modelling is the use of self-consistent coupling of the motion of surface tectonic plates to the underlying mantle flow, without imposing prescribed surface velocities (i.e., plate-like boundary condition. As an approximation for the surface mechanical conditions before plate tectonics began to operate we employ the no-slip (rigid boundary condition. A rigid boundary condition demonstrates that the initial thermally-dominated structure is preserved, and its geographical location is fixed during the evolution of mantle flow. Considering the impact of different assumed surface boundary conditions (rigid and plate-like on the evolution of thermal heterogeneity in the mantle we suggest that the intrinsic buoyancy of seven superplumes is most-likely resolved in the tomographic images of present-day mantle thermal structure. Our convection simulations with a plate-like boundary condition reveal that the evolution of an initial cold anomaly beneath the Java-Indonesian trench system yields a long-term, stable pattern of thermal heterogeneity in the lowermost mantle that resembles the present-day Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs, especially below the Pacific. The evolution of subduction zones may be, however, influenced by the mantle-wide flow driven by deeply-rooted and long-lived superplumes since Archean times. These convection models also detect the intrinsic buoyancy of the Perm Anomaly that has been identified as a unique

  10. 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.

  11. Dissonance and harmony between global and regional-scale seismic anisotropy and mantle dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, T. W.

    2017-12-01

    Huge numbers of SKS splitting observations and improved surface-wave based models of azimuthal anisotropy have advanced our understanding of how convection is recorded in mantle fabrics in the upper mantle. However, we are still debating the relative importance of frozen to actively forming olivine fabrics, subduction zone anisotropy lacks a clear reference model, and regional marine studies yield conflicting evidence as to what exactly is going on at the base of the plates and below. Here, I review the degree of agreement between regional and global observations of seismic anisotropy and how well those may be matched by first-order mantle convection models. Updated bean counting can help contextualize the spatial scales of alignment, and I discuss several examples of the relative roles of plate shear to mantle density anomalies and frozen-in structure for oceanic and continental plates. Resolution of seismological models is globally uneven, but there are some locales where such exercises may yield information on the relative strength of asthenosphere and mantle. Another long-standing question is how olivine fabrics record flow under different stress and volatile conditions. I illustrate how different petrological assumptions might be used to reconcile observations of azimuthal dependency of wave speeds for both Love and Rayleigh waves, and how this could improve our models of the upper mantle, much in the spirit of Montagner's vectorial tomography. This is but one approach to improve the regional realism of global geodynamic background models to understand where in space and time dissonance arises, and if a harmonious model may yet be constructed given our assumptions about the workings of the mantle.

  12. Improved High Resolution Models of Subduction Dynamics: Use of transversely isotropic viscosity with a free-surface

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    Dynamic topography, or uncompensated topography, is controlled by internal dynamics, and provide constraints on the buoyancy structure and rheological parameters in the mantle. Compared with other surface manifestations such as the geoid, dynamic topography is very sensitive to shallower and more regional mantle structure. For example, the significant dynamic topography above the subduction zone potentially provides a rich mine for inferring the rheological and mechanical properties such as plate coupling, flow, and lateral viscosity variations, all critical in plate tectonics. However, employing subduction zone topography in the inversion study requires that we have a better understanding of the topography from forward models, especially the influence of the viscosity formulation, numerical resolution, and other factors. One common approach to formulating a fault between the subducted slab and the overriding plates in viscous flow models assumes a thin weak zone. However, due to the large lateral variation in viscosity, topography from free-slip numerical models typically has artificially large magnitude as well as high-frequency undulations over subduction zone, which adds to the difficulty in making comparisons between model results and observations. In this study, we formulate a weak zone with the transversely isotropic viscosity (TI) where the tangential viscosity is much smaller than the viscosity in the normal direction. Similar with isotropic weak zone models, TI models effectively decouple subducted slabs from the overriding plates. However, we find that the topography in TI models is largely reduced compared with that in weak zone models assuming an isotropic viscosity. Moreover, the artificial `tooth paste' squeezing effect observed in isotropic weak zone models vanishes in TI models, although the difference becomes less significant when the dip angle is small. We also implement a free-surface condition in our numerical models, which has a smoothing

  13. A Model of Continental Growth and Mantle Degassing Comparing Biotic and Abiotic Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höning, D.; Hansen-Goos, H.; Spohn, T.

    2012-12-01

    While examples for interaction of the biosphere with the atmosphere can be easily cited (e.g., production and consumption of O2), interaction between the biosphere and the solid planet and its interior is much less established. It has been argued (e.g., Rosing et al. 2006; Sleep et al, 2012) that the formation of continents could be a consequence of bioactivity harvesting solar energy through photosynthesis to help build the continents and that the mantle should carry a chemical biosignature. We present an interaction model that includes mantle convection, mantle water vapor degassing at mid-oceanic ridges and regassing through subduction zones, continental crust formation and erosion and water storage and transport in a porous oceanic crust that includes hydrous mineral phases. The mantle viscosity in this model depends on the water concentration in the mantle. We use boundary layer theory of mantle convection to parameterize the mantle convection flow rate and assume that the plate speed equals the mantle flow rate. The biosphere enters the calculation through the assumption that the continental erosion rate is enhanced by a factor of several through bioactivity and through an assumed reduction of the kinetic barrier to diagenetic and metamorphic reactions (e.g., Kim et al. 2004) in the sedimentary basins in subduction zones that would lead to increased water storage capacities. We further include a stochastic model of continent-to-continent interactions that limits the effective total length of subduction zones. We use present day parameters of the Earth and explore a phase plane spanned by the percentage of surface coverage of the Earth by continents and the total water content of the mantle. We vary the ratio of the erosion rate in a postulated abiotic Earth to the present Earth, as well as the activation barrier to diagenetic and metamorphic reactions that affect the water storage capacity of the subducting crust. We find stable and unstable fixed points in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Mantle contamination and the Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) 'high-tide mark': evidence for mantle extrusion caused by Tethyan closure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flower, M. F. J.; Russo, R. M.; Tamaki, K.; Hoang, N.

    2001-04-01

    Western Pacific basins are characterized by three remarkable attributes: (1) complex kinematic histories linked to global-scale plate interactions; (2) DUPAL-like contaminated mantle; and (3) rapid post-Mesozoic rollback of the confining arc-trench systems. The coincidence of slab steepening, extreme arc curvature, and vigorous basin opening associated with the Mariana convergent margin suggests that rollback continues in response to an east-directed mantle 'wind'. Against a backdrop of conflicting kinematic and genetic interpretations we explore the notion that eastward asthenospheric flow driven by diachronous Tethyan closure caused stretching of eastern Eurasia and concomitant opening of western Pacific basins. Marking the eastern boundary of the latter, the Izu-Bonin-Mariana forearc may be regarded as a litho-tectonic 'high-tide mark' comprising igneous and metamorphic products from successive episodes (since ca. 45 Ma.) of arc sundering and backarc basin opening. The forearc also forms an isotopic boundary separating contaminated western Pacific mantle from the N-MORB Pacific Ocean reservoir. While the isotopic composition of western Pacific mantle resembles that feeding Indian Ocean hotspot and spreading systems, its spatial-temporal variation and the presence of subduction barriers to the south appear to preclude northward flow of Indian Ocean mantle and require an endogenous origin for sub-Eurasian contaminated mantle. It is concluded that the extrusion of Tethyan asthenosphere, contaminated by sub-Asian cratonic lithosphere, was a major cause of western Pacific arc rollback and basin opening. The model is consistent with paleomagnetic and geologic evidence supporting independent kinematic histories for constituent parts of the Philippine Sea and Sunda plates although interpretation of these is speculative. Compounded by effects of the Australia-Indonesia collision, late-Tethyan mantle extrusion appears to have produced the largest DUPAL domain in the

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  20. Re — Os isotopic constraints on the origin of volcanic rocks, Gorgona Island, Colombia: Os isotopic evidence for ancient heterogeneities in the mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, R. J.; Echeverria, L. M.; Shirey, S. B.; Horan, M. F.

    1991-04-01

    The Re — Os isotopic systematics of komatiites and spatially associated basalts from Gorgona Island, Colombia, indicate that they were produced at 155±43 Ma. Subsequent episodes of volcanism produced basalts at 88.1±3.8 Ma and picritic and basaltic lavas at ca. 58 Ma. The age for the ultramafic rocks is important because it coincides with the late-Jurassic, early-Cretaceous disassembly of Pangea, when the North- and South-American plates began to pull apart. Deep-seated mantle upwelling possibly precipitated the break-up of these continental plates and caused a tear in the subducting slab west of Gorgona, providing a rare, late-Phanerozoic conduit for the komatiitic melts. Mantle sources for the komatiites were heterogeneous with respect to Os and Pb isotopic compositions, but had homogeneous Nd isotopic compositions (ɛNd+9±1). Initial 187Os/186Os normalized to carbonaceous chondrites at 155 Ma (γOs) ranged from 0 to +22, and model-initial μ values ranged from 8.17 to 8.39. The excess radiogenic Os, compared with an assumed bulk-mantle evolution similar to carbonaceous chondrites, was likely produced in portions of the mantle with long-term elevated Re concentrations. The Os, Pb and Nd isotopic compositions, together with major-element constraints, suggest that the sources of the komatiites were enriched more than 1 Ga ago by low (<20%) and variable amounts of a basalt or komatiite component. This component was added as either subducted oceanic crust or melt derived from greater depths in the mantle. These results suggest that the Re — Os isotope system may be a highly sensitive indicator of the presence of ancient subducted oceanic crust in mantle-source regions.

  1. Re - Os isotopic constraints on the origin of volcanic rocks, Gorgona Island, Colombia: Os isotopic evidence for ancient heterogeneities in the mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, R.J.; Echeverria, L.M.; Shirey, S.B.; Horan, M.F.

    1991-01-01

    The Re - Os isotopic systematics of komatiites and spatially associated basalts from Gorgona Island, Colombia, indicate that they were produced at 155??43 Ma. Subsequent episodes of volcanism produced basalts at 88.1??3.8 Ma and picritic and basaltic lavas at ca. 58 Ma. The age for the ultramafic rocks is important because it coincides with the late-Jurassic, early-Cretaceous disassembly of Pangea, when the North- and South-American plates began to pull apart. Deep-seated mantle upwelling possibly precipitated the break-up of these continental plates and caused a tear in the subducting slab west of Gorgona, providing a rare, late-Phanerozoic conduit for the komatiitic melts. Mantle sources for the komatiites were heterogeneous with respect to Os and Pb isotopic compositions, but had homogeneous Nd isotopic compositions (??Nd+9??1). Initial 187Os/186Os normalized to carbonaceous chondrites at 155 Ma (??Os) ranged from 0 to +22, and model-initial ?? values ranged from 8.17 to 8.39. The excess radiogenic Os, compared with an assumed bulk-mantle evolution similar to carbonaceous chondrites, was likely produced in portions of the mantle with long-term elevated Re concentrations. The Os, Pb and Nd isotopic compositions, together with major-element constraints, suggest that the sources of the komatiites were enriched more than 1 Ga ago by low (<20%) and variable amounts of a basalt or komatiite component. This component was added as either subducted oceanic crust or melt derived from greater depths in the mantle. These results suggest that the Re - Os isotope system may be a highly sensitive indicator of the presence of ancient subducted oceanic crust in mantle-source regions. ?? 1991 Springer-Verlag.

  2. 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.

  3. Crustal and uppermost mantle structure and deformation in east-central China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, H.; Yang, X.; Ouyang, L.; Li, J.

    2017-12-01

    We conduct a non-linear joint inversion of receiver functions and Rayleigh wave dispersions to obtain the crustal and upper mantle velocity structure in east-central China. In the meanwhile, the lithosphere and upper mantle deformation beneath east-central China is also evaluated with teleseismic shear wave splitting measurements. The resulting velocity model reveals that to the east of the North-South Gravity Lineament, the crust and the lithosphere are significantly thinned. Furthermore, three extensive crustal/lithospheric thinning sub-regions are clearly identified within the study area. This indicates that the modification of the crust and lithosphere in central-eastern China is non-uniform due to the heterogeneity of the lithospheric strength. Extensive crustal and lithospheric thinning could occur in some weak zones such as the basin-range junction belts and large faults. The structure beneath the Dabie orogenic belt is complex due to the collision between the North and South China Blocks during the Late Paleozoic-Triassic. The Dabie orogenic belt is generally delineated by a thick crust with a mid-crust low-velocity zone and a two-directional convergence in the lithospheric scale. Obvious velocity contrast exhibits in the crust and upper mantle at both sides of the Tanlu fault, which suggests the deep penetration of this lithospheric-scale fault. Most of our splitting measurements show nearly E-W trending fast polarization direction which is slightly deviating from the direction of plate motion. The similar present-day lithosphere structure and upper mantle deformation may imply that the eastern NCC and the eastern SCB were dominated by a common dynamic process after late Mesozoic, i.e., the westward subduction of Pacific plate and the retreat of the subduction plate. The westward subduction of the Philippine plate and the long-range effects of the collision between the Indian plate and Eurasia plate during Cenozoic may have also contributed to the present

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    Until recently it was assumed that the Archaean continental crust (made of TTGs: tonalites, trondhjemites, and granodiorites) was generated through partial melting of MORB-like basalts in hot subduction environments, where the subducted oceanic crust melted at high pressure, leaving a garnet-bearing amphibolitic or eclogitic residue. However, recent geochemical models as well as basalt melting experiments have precluded MORB as a plausible source for TTGs. Rather, geochemical and experimental evidences indicate that formation of TTG required a LILE-enriched source, similar to oceanic plateau basalts. Moreover, subduction is a continuous process, while continental growth is episodic. Several “super-growth events” have been identified at ~ 4.2, ~ 3.8, ~ 3.2, ~ 2.7, ~ 1.8, ~ 1.1, and ~ 0.5 Ga, which is inconsistent with the regular pattern that would be expected from a subduction-driven process. In order to account for this periodicity, it has been proposed that, as subduction proceeds, descending residual slabs accumulate at the 660-km seismic discontinuity. When stored oceanic crust exceeds a certain mass threshold, it rapidly sinks into the mantle as a cold avalanche, which induces the ascent of mantle plumes that in turn produce large amounts of magmas resulting in oceanic plateaus. However, melting at the base of thick oceanic plateaus does not appear to be a realistic process that can account for TTG genesis. Modern oceanic plateaus contain only small volumes (≤ 5%) of felsic magmas generally formed by high degrees of fractional crystallization of basaltic magmas. The composition of these felsic magmas drastically differs from that of TTGs. In Iceland, the interaction between a mantle plume and the mid-Atlantic ridge gives rise to an anomalously (Archaean-like) high geothermal gradient resulting in thick basaltic crust able to melt at shallow depth. Even in this favorable context though, the characteristic Archaean TTG trace element signature is not being

  6. Comparison of gravimetric and mantle flow solutions for sub-lithopsheric stress modeling and their combination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eshagh, Mehdi; Steinberger, Bernhard; Tenzer, Robert; Tassara, Andrés

    2018-05-01

    . Additional large stress anomalies are detected along the central and southern Andes, while stresses under most of old, stable cratonic formations are much less pronounced or absent. A prevailing stress-vector orientation realistically resembles a convergent mantle flow and downward currents under continental basins that separate Andean Orogeny from the Amazonian Shield and adjacent cratons. Runcorn's (gravimetric) solution, on the other hand, reflects a tectonic response of the lithosphere to mantle flow, with the maximum stress intensity detected along the subduction zone between the Nazca and Altiplano plates and along the convergent tectonic margin between the Altiplano and South American plates. The results also reveal a very close agreement between the results obtained from the combined and Hager and O'Connell's solutions.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Length-scales of Slab-induced Asthenospheric Deformation from Geodynamic Modeling, Mantle Deformation Fabric, and Synthetic Shear Wave Splitting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jadamec, M. A.; MacDougall, J.; Fischer, K. M.

    2017-12-01

    The viscosity structure of the Earth's interior is critically important, because it places a first order constraint on plate motion and mantle flow rates. Geodynamic models using a composite viscosity based on experimentally derived flow laws for olivine aggregates show that lateral viscosity variations emerge in the upper mantle due to the subduction dynamics. However, the length-scale of this transition is still not well understood. Two-dimensional numerical models of subduction are presented that investigate the effect of initial slab dip, maximum yield stress (slab strength), and viscosity formulation (Newtonian versus composite) on the emergent lateral viscosity variations in the upper-mantle and magnitude of slab-driven mantle flow velocity. Significant viscosity reductions occur in regions of large flow velocity gradients due to the weakening effect of the dislocation creep deformation mechanism. The dynamic reductions in asthenospheric viscosity (less than 1018 Pa s) occur within approximately 500 km from driving force of the slab, with peak flow velocities occurring in models with a lower yield stress (weaker slab) and higher stress exponent. This leads to a sharper definition of the rheological base of the lithosphere and implies lateral variability in tractions along the base of the lithosphere. As the dislocation creep mechanism also leads to mantle deformation fabric, we then examine the spatial variation in the LPO development in the asthenosphere and calculate synthetic shear wave splitting. The models show that olivine LPO fabric in the asthenosphere generally increases in alignment strength with increased proximity to the slab, but can be transient and spatially variable on small length scales. The vertical flow fields surrounding the slab tip can produce shear-wave splitting variations with back-azimuth that deviate from the predictions of uniform trench-normal anisotropy, a result that bears on the interpretation of complexity in shear

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myhill, R.; Warren, L. M.

    2011-12-01

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

  14. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

    that subducted slabs could make important contributions to LIP generation, and establishes a potential linkage between plate tectonics and mantle plume.

  16. 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.

  17. The fate of carbonates along a subducting slab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouilhol, P.; Debret, B.; Inglis, E.

    2017-12-01

    Carbon long-term cycling is a subject of recent controversy as new mass balance calculations suggest that most carbon is transferred from the slab to the mantle wedge by fluids during subduction, limiting the efficiency of carbon recycling to the deep mantle. Here, we examine the mobility of carbon at large scale during subduction through field, petrographic and geochemical studies on exhumed portion of the alpine slab that have recorded different metamorphic conditions during subduction. We studied serpentinite samples, metasomatic horizon between serpentinites and sediments, as well as veins hosted in serpentinites. Samples are from the Western Alps (Queyras and Zermatt) and have recorded a prograde metamorphic history from low temperature blueshist to eclogite facies P-T conditions. We show that during subduction there are several stages of carbonate precipitation and dissolution at metasomatic interfaces between metasedimentary and ultramafic rocks in the slab, as well as within the serpentinites. The early stage of subduction sees carbonate precipitation from the sediment derived fluids into the serpentnites. At higher temperature, when the dehydration shift from sediment to serpentinite dominated, the carbonates are dissolved, inducing the release of CO2 rich fluids. This occurs before the eclogite facies is attained, providing strong evidence for the mobility of carbon in fluids during the early stages of subduction. These fluids are a potential metasomatic agent for the fore-arc mantle wedge, corroborating the observation of carbonate bearing veins in sub-arc mantle ultramafic rocks. In eclogite facies conditions, olivine and carbonate veins within the serpentinites witness the mobility of CO2 during serpentinite dehydration, and may provide clues about the large scale recycling of CO2 within the deep mantle, as well as secondary precipitation associated with exhumation. Trace elements, Fe and Zn isotopic composition of the different samples provides

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, L.

    2006-12-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Can Lower Mantle Slab-like Seismic Anomalies be Explained by Thermal Coupling Between the Upper and Lower Mantles?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cízková, H. (Hana); Cadek, O.; Berg, A.P. van den; Vlaar, N.J.

    1999-01-01

    Below subduction zones, high resolution seismic tomographic models resolve fast anomalies that often extend into the deep lower mantle. These anomalies are generally interpreted as slabs penetrating through the 660-km seismic discontinuity, evidence in support of whole-mantle convection. However,

  5. Mantle mixing and thermal evolution during Pangaea assembly and breakup

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudolph, M. L.; Li, M.; Zhong, S.; Manga, M.

    2016-12-01

    Continents insulate the underlying mantle, and it has been suggested that the arrangement of the continents can have a significant effect on sub-continental mantle temperatures. Additionally, the dispersal or agglomeration of continents may affect the efficacy of continental insulation, with some studies suggesting warming of 100K beneath supercontinents. During the most recent supercontinent cycle, Pangaea was encircled by subduction, potentially creating a `curtain' of subducted material that may have prevented mixing of the sub-Pangaea mantle with the sub-Panthalassa mantle. Using 3D spherical shell geometry mantle convection simulations, we quantify the effect of insulation by continents and supercontinents. We explore the differences in model predictions for purely thermal vs. thermochemical convection, and we use tracers to quantify the exchange of material between the sub-oceanic to the sub-continental mantle.

  6. Present mantle flow in North China Craton constrained by seismic anisotropy and numerical modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, W.; Guo, Z.; Zhang, H.; Chen, Y. J.

    2017-12-01

    North China Carton (NCC) has undergone complicated geodynamic processes during the Cenozoic, including the westward subduction of the Pacific plate to its east and the collision of the India-Eurasia plates to its southwest. Shear wave splitting measurements in NCC reveal distinct seismic anisotropy patterns at different tectonic blocks, that is, the predominantly NW-SE trending alignment of fast directions in the western NCC and eastern NCC, weak anisotropy within the Ordos block, and N-S fast polarization beneath the Trans-North China Orogen (TNCO). To better understand the origin of seismic anisotropy from SKS splitting in NCC, we obtain a high-resolution dynamic model that absorbs multi-geophysical observations and state-of-the-art numerical methods. We calculate the mantle flow using a most updated version of software ASPECT (Kronbichler et al., 2012) with high-resolution temperature and density structures from a recent 3-D thermal-chemical model by Guo et al. (2016). The thermal-chemical model is obtained by multi-observable probabilistic inversion using high-quality surface wave measurements, potential fields, topography, and surface heat flow (Guo et al., 2016). The viscosity is then estimated by combining the dislocation creep, diffusion creep, and plasticity, which is depended on temperature, pressure, and chemical composition. Then we calculate the seismic anisotropy from the shear deformation of mantle flow by DREX, and predict the fast direction and delay time of SKS splitting. We find that when complex boundary conditions are applied, including the far field effects of the deep subduction of Pacific plate and eastward escaping of Tibetan Plateau, our model can successfully predict the observed shear wave splitting patterns. Our model indicates that seismic anisotropy revealed by SKS is primarily resulting from the LPO of olivine due to the shear deformation from asthenospheric flow. We suggest that two branches of mantle flow may contribute to the

  7. Deep Subducction in a Compressible Mantle: Observations and Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, S. D.

    2017-12-01

    Our understanding of slab dynamics is primarily based on the results of numerical models of subduction. In such models coherent, cold slabs are clearly visible from the surface of the Earth to the core mantle boundary. In contrast, fast seismic anomalies associated with cold subducted slabs are difficult to identify below 1500-2000 km in tomographic models of Earth's mantle. One explanation for this has been the resolution, or lack thereof, of seismic tomography in the mid-mantle region; however in this work I will explore the impact of compressibility on the dynamics of subducting slabs, specifically shear heating of the slab and latent heat of phase transformations. Most geodynamic models of subduction have used an incompressible formulation, thus because subducted slabs are assumed to be cold and stiff, the primary means of thermal equilibration is conduction. With an assumed sinking velocity of approximately 0.1 m/yr, a subducted slab reaches the core-mantle boundary in approximately 30 Myrs—too fast for significant conductive cooling of the downgoing slab. In this work I consider a whole-mantle geometry and include both phase transformations with associated latent heat and density changes from the olivine-wadsleyite-ringwoodite-bridgmanite system and the pyroxene-garnet system. The goal of this work is to understand both the eventual fate and thermal evolution of slabs beneath the transition zone.

  8. Influence of obliquely subducting slab on Pacific-North America shear motion inferred from seismic anisotropy along the Queen Charlotte margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, L.; Kao, H.; Wang, K.; Wang, Z.

    2016-12-01

    Haida Gwaii is located along the transpressive Queen Charlotte margin between the Pacific (PA) and North America (NA) plates. The highly oblique relative plate motion is partitioned, with the strike-slip component accommodated by the Queen Charlotte Fault (QCF) and the convergent component by a thrust fault offshore. To understand how the presence of a obliquely subducting slab influences shear deformation of the plate boundary, we investigate mantle anisotropy by analyzing shear-wave splitting of teleseismic SKS phases recorded at 17 seismic stations in and around Haida Gwaii. We used the MFAST program to determine the polarization direction of the fast wave (φ) and the delay time (δt) between the fast and slow phases. The fast directions derived from stations on Haida Gwaii and two stations to the north on the Alaska Panhandle are predominantly margin-parallel (NNW). However, away from the plate boundary, the fast direction transitions to WSW-trending, very oblique or perpendicular to the plate boundary. Because the average delay time of 0.6-2.45 s is much larger than values based on an associated local S phase splitting analysis in the same study area, it is reasonable to infer that most of the anisotropy from our SKS analysis originates from the upper mantle and is associated with lattice-preferred orientation of anisotropic minerals. The margin-parallel fast direction within about 100 km of the QCF (average φ = -40º and δt = 1.2 s) is likely induced by the PA-NA shear motion. The roughly margin-normal fast directions farther away, although more scatterd, are consistent with that previously observed in the NA continent and are attributed to the absolute motion of the NA plate. However, the transition between the two regimes based on our SKS analysis appears to be gradual, suggesting that the plate boundary shear influences a much broader region at mantle depths than would be inferred from the surface trace of the QCF. We think this is due to the presence

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  12. 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)

  13. 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

  14. Forearc serpentinites as probes into the chemical, petrological and biological diversity of subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savov, I. P.

    2017-12-01

    The mantle region that cover the variously fluid-saturated and heated subducted slabs is a site where colossal serpentinization processes occur. Nowhere this is more evident than in the forearcs of convergent plate margins, where the amount of fluids leaving the slabs and intermingling with the overlaying mantle wedge is maximized. The nature of this forearc serpentinization processes can be studied at accretionary prisms, serpentinite mud volcanoes (ODP Sites 125 and 195; IODP Exp. 366- all in the Marianas), or via tectonically exhumed, Proterozoic to modern, forearc melange complexes worldwide (Greenland, California, Kamchatka, Armenia, Cuba, Colombia, among others). I shall review the marine and continental settings hosting forearc serpentinites (FS) with emphasis on the FS fluid and mineral chemistry, imaging of isotopes/elements/molecules and textures (via ToF SIMS), and the environment and the P-T conditions that may lead to stable microbial communities like the recently discovered one under S.Chamorro Seamount that suggests life can exist in the forearcs as deep as 12 km (Plumper et al., 2017; PNAS). FS are very similar to classical abyssal serpentinites (from FZ or TF on the seafloor). They have similar mineralogy, textures, are major reservoir of fluid mobile trace elements (B, Li, Cs, As, Sb, I, Br) and also are a host of often vast isotope fractionations (B, Li, I). Yet differences exist and need to be further explored as both of these serpentinite types may take part of the subducted slab inventory and affect the input-output budgets across the "Subduction Factory". FS are often associated with blueschists, which combined with the FS may help us more fully explore the P-T-t evolution of the entire forearc region.

  15. Geochemical insights into the lithology of mantle sources for Cenozoic alkali basalts in West Qinling, China

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

    Although alkali basalts are common in oceanic islands and continental rifts, the lithology of their mantle sources is still controversial. While the peridotite is usually viewed as a common source lithology, there are increasing studies suggesting significant contributions from ultramafic metasomatites such as carbonated peridotite, pyroxenite and hornblendite to the origin of alkali basalts. The present study indicates that carbonated peridotite plus hornblendite would have served as the mantle sources of Cenozoic alkali basalts from the West Qinling orogen in China. The target basalts show low SiO2 contents of 36.9 to 40.8 wt% and highly variable Na2O + K2O contents from 0.86 to 4.77 wt%, but high CaO contents of 12.5 to 16.3 wt% and CaO/Al2O3 ratios of 1.42 to 2.19. They are highly enriched in the majority of incompatible trace elements, but depleted in Rb, K, Pb, Zr, Hf, and Ti. Furthermore, they exhibit high (La/Yb)N, Zr/Hf, Ce/Pb and Nb/Ta ratios, but low Ti/Eu and Hf/Sm ratios. Generally, with increasing (La/Yb)N and CaO/Al2O3 ratios, their Ti/Eu and Hf/Sm ratios decrease whereas their Zr/Hf, Ce/Pb and Nb/Ta ratios increase. These major and trace element features are similar to those of carbonatites and hornblendite-derived melts to some extent, but significantly different from those of mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB). This suggests that the alkali basalts would be originated from metasomatic mantle sources. A comparison of the major-trace elements in the alkali basalts with those of some representative mantle-derived melts indicates that the source lithology of alkali basalts is a kind of ultramafic metasomatites that are composed of carbonated peridotite and hornblendite. Such metasomatites would be generated by reaction of the depleted MORB mantle peridotite with hydrous, carbonate-bearing felsic melts derived from partial melting of the subducted Paleotethyan oceanic crust. Therefore, the melt-peridotite reaction at the slab-mantle interface in the

  16. The Earth's heterogeneous mantle a geophysical, geodynamical, and geochemical perspective

    CERN Document Server

    Khan, Amir

    2015-01-01

    This book highlights and discusses recent developments that have contributed to an improved understanding of observed mantle heterogeneities and their relation to the thermo-chemical state of Earth's mantle, which ultimately holds the key to unlocking the secrets of the evolution of our planet. This series of topical reviews and original contributions address 4 themes. Theme 1 covers topics in geophysics, including global and regional seismic tomography, electrical conductivity and seismic imaging of mantle discontinuities and heterogeneities in the upper mantle, transition zone and lower mantle. Theme 2 addresses geochemical views of the mantle including lithospheric evolution from analysis of mantle xenoliths, composition of the deep Earth and the effect of water on subduction-zone processes. Theme 3 discusses geodynamical perspectives on the global thermo-chemical structure of the deep mantle. Theme 4 covers application of mineral physics data and phase equilibrium computations to infer the regional-scale ...

  17. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergei Rasskazov

    2017-07-01

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

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

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

    2017-12-01

    The area of Papua New Guinea is one of the most seismically active regions on the planet. Seismicity in the region results from oblique convergence between the Pacific and India-Australia plates, with deformation occurring across a broad region involving several microplates. The region gives an excellent natural laboratory to test geodynamic models of subduction polarity reversal, microplate interaction, and to delineate the structure of subducting plates and relic structures at depth. However, a lack of permanent seismic stations means that routine earthquake locations for small to intermediate sized earthquakes have significant location errors. In 2014, we deployed a temporary network of eight broadband stations on islands in eastern Papua New Guinea to record ongoing seismic deformation. The network straddles a complex region where subduction of the Solomon plate occurs to the south and possible subduction of the Ontong-Java plateau occurs to the north. The stations were installed for 27 months. During the deployment period, there were 13 M>6.5 earthquakes in the area, including M7.5 doublet events in 2015, giving a rich seismic dataset. A high-quality catalogue of local events was formed by a multi-step process. Using the scanloc module of SeisComp3, we first detect P-onsets using a STA/LTA detection. Once clusters of P onsets are found, S-wave picks are incorporated based on a pre-defined window length of maximum S-P time. Groups of onsets are then associated to events, giving us a starting catalogue of 269 events (1765 P-onsets) with minimum magnitude of M 3.5. In a second step, we refine onset times using a Kurtosis picker to improve location accuracy. To form robust hypocentral locations using an appropriate structural model for the area and to constrain crust and mantle structure in the region, we derive a minimum 1-D velocity model using the VELEST program. We use a starting model from Abers et al. (1991) and we restrict our catalogue to events with an

  20. Dynamical geochemistry of the mantle

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    G. F. Davies

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The reconciliation of mantle chemistry with the structure of the mantle inferred from geophysics and dynamical modelling has been a long-standing problem. This paper reviews three main aspects. First, extensions and refinements of dynamical modelling and theory of mantle processing over the past decade. Second, a recent reconsideration of the implications of mantle heterogeneity for melting, melt migration, mantle differentiation and mantle segregation. Third, a recent proposed shift in the primitive chemical baseline of the mantle inferred from observations of non-chondritic 142Nd in the Earth. It seems most issues can now be resolved, except the level of heating required to maintain the mantle's thermal evolution.

    A reconciliation of refractory trace elements and their isotopes with the dynamical mantle, proposed and given preliminary quantification by Hofmann, White and Christensen, has been strengthened by work over the past decade. The apparent age of lead isotopes and the broad refractory-element differences among and between ocean island basalts (OIBs and mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORBs can now be quantitatively accounted for with some assurance.

    The association of the least radiogenic helium with relatively depleted sources and their location in the mantle have been enigmatic. The least radiogenic helium samples have recently been recognised as matching the proposed non-chondritic primitive mantle. It has also been proposed recently that noble gases reside in a so-called hybrid pyroxenite assemblage that is the result of melt from fusible pods reacting with surrounding refractory peridotite and refreezing. Hybrid pyroxenite that is off-axis may not remelt and erupt at MORs, so its volatile constituents would recirculate within the mantle. Hybrid pyroxenite is likely to be denser than average mantle, and thus some would tend to settle in the D" zone at the base of the mantle, along with some old subducted

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

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    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

  2. Optimization of Regional Geodynamic Models for Mantle Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knepley, M.; Isaac, T.; Jadamec, M. A.

    2016-12-01

    The SubductionGenerator program is used to construct high resolution, 3D regional thermal structures for mantle convection simulations using a variety of data sources, including sea floor ages and geographically referenced 3D slab locations based on seismic observations. The initial bulk temperature field is constructed using a half-space cooling model or plate cooling model, and related smoothing functions based on a diffusion length-scale analysis. In this work, we seek to improve the 3D thermal model and test different model geometries and dynamically driven flow fields using constraints from observed seismic velocities and plate motions. Through a formal adjoint analysis, we construct the primal-dual version of the multi-objective PDE-constrained optimization problem for the plate motions and seismic misfit. We have efficient, scalable preconditioners for both the forward and adjoint problems based upon a block preconditioning strategy, and a simple gradient update is used to improve the control residual. The full optimal control problem is formulated on a nested hierarchy of grids, allowing a nonlinear multigrid method to accelerate the solution.

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

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    N. P. Butterworth

    2014-08-01

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

  4. Earth's first stable continents did not form by subduction.

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    Johnson, Tim E; Brown, Michael; Gardiner, Nicholas J; Kirkland, Christopher L; Smithies, R Hugh

    2017-03-09

    The geodynamic environment in which Earth's first continents formed and were stabilized remains controversial. Most exposed continental crust that can be dated back to the Archaean eon (4 billion to 2.5 billion years ago) comprises tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite rocks (TTGs) that were formed through partial melting of hydrated low-magnesium basaltic rocks; notably, these TTGs have 'arc-like' signatures of trace elements and thus resemble the continental crust produced in modern subduction settings. In the East Pilbara Terrane, Western Australia, low-magnesium basalts of the Coucal Formation at the base of the Pilbara Supergroup have trace-element compositions that are consistent with these being source rocks for TTGs. These basalts may be the remnants of a thick (more than 35 kilometres thick), ancient (more than 3.5 billion years old) basaltic crust that is predicted to have existed if Archaean mantle temperatures were much hotter than today's. Here, using phase equilibria modelling of the Coucal basalts, we confirm their suitability as TTG 'parents', and suggest that TTGs were produced by around 20 per cent to 30 per cent melting of the Coucal basalts along high geothermal gradients (of more than 700 degrees Celsius per gigapascal). We also analyse the trace-element composition of the Coucal basalts, and propose that these rocks were themselves derived from an earlier generation of high-magnesium basaltic rocks, suggesting that the arc-like signature in Archaean TTGs was inherited from an ancestral source lineage. This protracted, multistage process for the production and stabilization of the first continents-coupled with the high geothermal gradients-is incompatible with modern-style plate tectonics, and favours instead the formation of TTGs near the base of thick, plateau-like basaltic crust. Thus subduction was not required to produce TTGs in the early Archaean eon.

  5. Simulating faults and plate boundaries with a transversely isotropic plasticity model

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    Sharples, W.; Moresi, L. N.; Velic, M.; Jadamec, M. A.; May, D. A.

    2016-03-01

    In mantle convection simulations, dynamically evolving plate boundaries have, for the most part, been represented using an visco-plastic flow law. These systems develop fine-scale, localized, weak shear band structures which are reminiscent of faults but it is a significant challenge to resolve the large- and the emergent, small-scale-behavior. We address this issue of resolution by taking into account the observation that a rock element with embedded, planar, failure surfaces responds as a non-linear, transversely isotropic material with a weak orientation defined by the plane of the failure surface. This approach partly accounts for the large-scale behavior of fine-scale systems of shear bands which we are not in a position to resolve explicitly. We evaluate the capacity of this continuum approach to model plate boundaries, specifically in the context of subduction models where the plate boundary interface has often been represented as a planar discontinuity. We show that the inclusion of the transversely isotropic plasticity model for the plate boundary promotes asymmetric subduction from initiation. A realistic evolution of the plate boundary interface and associated stresses is crucial to understanding inter-plate coupling, convergent margin driven topography, and earthquakes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  11. Large-scale retreat and advance of shallow seas in Southeast Asia driven by mantle flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahirovic, Sabin; Flament, Nicolas; Dietmar Müller, R.; Seton, Maria; Gurnis, Michael

    2016-04-01

    The Indonesian islands and surrounding region represent one of the most submerged, low-lying continental areas on Earth. Almost half of this region, known as Sundaland, is presently inundated by a shallow sea. The role of mantle convection in driving long-wavelength topography and vertical motion of the lithosphere in this region has largely been ignored when interpreting regional stratigraphic sections, despite a consensus that Southeast Asia presently situated on a "dynamic topography low" resulting from long-term post-Pangea subduction. However, dynamic topography is typically described as a temporally and spatially transient process, implying that Sundaland may have experienced significant vertical motions in the geological past, and thus must be considered when interpreting relative sea level changes and the paleogeographic indicators of advancing and retreating shallow seas. Although the present-day low regional elevation has been attributed to the massive volume of oceanic slabs sinking in the mantle beneath Southeast Asia, a Late Cretaceous to Eocene regional unconformity indicates that shallow seas retreated following regional flooding during the mid-Cretaceous sea level highstand. During the Eocene, less than one fifth of Sundaland was submerged, despite global sea level being ~200 m higher than at present. The regional nature of the switch from marine to terrestrial environments, that is out-of-sync with eustatic sea levels, suggests that broad mantle-driven dynamic uplift may have led to the emergence of Sundaland in the Late Cretaceous and Paleocene. We use numerical forward modelling of plate tectonics and mantle convection, and compare the predicted trends of dynamic topography with evidence from regional paleogeography and eustasy to determine the extent to which mantle-driven vertical motions of the lithosphere have influenced regional basin histories in Southeast Asia. A Late Cretaceous collision of Gondwana-derived terranes with Sundaland choked

  12. 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

  13. Sources of Magmatic Volatiles Discharging from Subduction Zone Volcanoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, T.

    2001-05-01

    Subduction zones are locations of extensive element transfer from the Earth's mantle to the atmosphere and hydrosphere. This element transfer is significant because it can, in some fashion, instigate melt production in the mantle wedge. Aqueous fluids are thought to be the major agent of element transfer during the subduction zone process. Volatile discharges from passively degassing subduction zone volcanoes should in principle, provide some information on the ultimate source of magmatic volatiles in terms of the mantle, the crust and the subducting slab. The overall flux of volatiles from degassing volcanoes should be balanced by the amount of volatiles released from the mantle wedge, the slab and the crust. Kudryavy Volcano, Kurile Islands, has been passively degassing at 900C fumarole temperatures for at least 40 years. Extensive gas sampling at this basaltic andesite cone and application of CO2/3He, N2/3He systematics in combination with C and N- isotopes indicates that 80% of the CO2 and approximately 60% of the N 2 are contributed from a sedimentary source. The mantle wedge contribution for both volatiles is, with 12% and 17% less significant. Direct volatile flux measurements from the volcano using the COSPEC technique in combination with direct gas sampling allows for the calculation of the 3He flux from the volcano. Since 3He is mainly released from the astenospheric mantle, the amount of mantle supplying the 3He flux can be determined if initial He concentrations of the mantle melts are known. The non-mantle flux of CO2 and N2 can be calculated in similar fashion. The amount of non-mantle CO2 and N2 discharging from Kudryavy is balanced by the amount of CO2 and N2 subducted below Kudryavy assuming a zone of melting constrained by the average spacing of the volcanoes along the Kurile arc. The volatile budget for Kudryavy is balanced because the volatile flux from the volcano is relatively small (75 t/day (416 Mmol/a) SO2, 360 Mmol/a of non-mantle CO2 and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Masaki

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  16. Mantle structure and tectonic history of SE Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Robert; Spakman, Wim

    2015-09-01

    Seismic travel-time tomography of the mantle under SE Asia reveals patterns of subduction-related seismic P-wave velocity anomalies that are of great value in helping to understand the region's tectonic development. We discuss tomography and tectonic interpretations of an area centred on Indonesia and including Malaysia, parts of the Philippines, New Guinea and northern Australia. We begin with an explanation of seismic tomography and causes of velocity anomalies in the mantle, and discuss assessment of model quality for tomographic models created from P-wave travel times. We then introduce the global P-wave velocity anomaly model UU-P07 and the tectonic model used in this paper and give an overview of previous interpretations of mantle structure. The slab-related velocity anomalies we identify in the upper and lower mantle based on the UU-P07 model are interpreted in terms of the tectonic model and illustrated with figures and movies. Finally, we discuss where tomographic and tectonic models for SE Asia converge or diverge, and identify the most important conclusions concerning the history of the region. The tomographic images of the mantle record subduction beneath the SE Asian region to depths of approximately 1600 km. In the upper mantle anomalies mainly record subduction during the last 10 to 25 Ma, depending on the region considered. We interpret a vertical slab tear crossing the entire upper mantle north of west Sumatra where there is a strong lateral kink in slab morphology, slab holes between c.200-400 km below East Java and Sumbawa, and offer a new three-slab explanation for subduction in the North Sulawesi region. There is a different structure in the lower mantle compared to the upper mantle and the deep structure changes from west to east. What was imaged in earlier models as a broad and deep anomaly below SE Asia has a clear internal structure and we argue that many features can be identified as older subduction zones. We identify remnants of slabs

  17. 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

  18. Upper mantle fluids evolution, diamond formation, and mantle metasomatism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, F.; Sverjensky, D. A.

    2017-12-01

    During mantle metasomatism, fluid-rock interactions in the mantle modify wall-rock compositions. Previous studies usually either investigated mineral compositions in xenoliths and xenocrysts brought up by magmas, or examined fluid compositions preserved in fluid inclusions in diamonds. However, a key study of Panda diamonds analysed both mineral and fluid inclusions in the diamonds [1] which we used to develop a quantitative characterization of mantle metasomatic processes. In the present study, we used an extended Deep Earth Water model [2] to simulate fluid-rock interactions at upper mantle conditions, and examine the fluids and mineral assemblages together simultaneously. Three types of end-member fluids in the Panda diamond fluid inclusions include saline, rich in Na+K+Cl; silicic, rich in Si+Al; and carbonatitic, rich in Ca+Mg+Fe [1, 3]. We used the carbonatitic end-member to represent fluid from a subducting slab reacting with an excess of peridotite + some saline fluid in the host environment. During simultaneous fluid mixing and reaction with the host rock, the logfO2 increased by about 1.6 units, and the pH increased by 0.7 units. The final minerals were olivine, garnet and diamond. The Mg# of olivine decreased from 0.92 to 0.85. Garnet precipitated at an early stage, and its Mg# also decreased with reaction progress, in agreement with the solid inclusions in the Panda diamonds. Phlogopite precipitated as an intermediate mineral and then disappeared. The aqueous Ca, Mg, Fe, Si and Al concentrations all increased, while Na, K, and Cl concentrations decreased during the reaction, consistent with trends in the fluid inclusion compositions. Our study demonstrates that fluids coming from subducting slabs could trigger mantle metasomatism, influence the compositions of sub-lithospherc cratonic mantle, precipitate diamonds, and change the oxygen fugacity and pH of the upper mantle fluids. [1] Tomlinson et al. EPSL (2006); [2] Sverjensky, DA et al., GCA (2014

  19. Hot subduction: Magmatism along the Hunter Ridge, SW Pacific

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crawford, A.J.; Verbeeten, A.; Danyushevsky, L.V.; Sigurdsson, I.A.; Maillet, P.; Monzier, M.

    1997-01-01

    The Hunter 'fracture zone' is generally regarded as a transform plate boundary linking the oppositely dipping Tongan and Vanuatu subduction systems. Dredging along the Hunter Ridge and sampling of its northernmost extent, exposed as the island of Kadavu in Fiji, has yielded a diversity of magmatic suites, including arc tholeiites and high-Ca boninites, high-Mg lavas with some affinities to boninites and some affinities to adakites, and true adakitic lavas associated with remarkable low-Fe, high-Na basalts with 8-16 ppm Nb (herein high-Nb basalts). Lavas which show clear evidence of slab melt involvement in their petrogenesis occur at either end of the Hunter Ridge, whereas the arc tholeiites and high-Ca boninites appear to be restricted to the south central part of the ridge. Mineralogical and whole rock geochemical data for each of these suites are summarized, and a tectono-magmatic model for their genesis and distribution is suggested. Trace element features and radiogenic isotope data for the Hunter Ridge lavas indicate compositions analogue to Pacific MORB-like mantle

  20. Mantle Convection on Modern Supercomputers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weismüller, J.; Gmeiner, B.; Huber, M.; John, L.; Mohr, M.; Rüde, U.; Wohlmuth, B.; Bunge, H. P.

    2015-12-01

    Mantle convection is the cause for plate tectonics, the formation of mountains and oceans, and the main driving mechanism behind earthquakes. The convection process is modeled by a system of partial differential equations describing the conservation of mass, momentum and energy. Characteristic to mantle flow is the vast disparity of length scales from global to microscopic, turning mantle convection simulations into a challenging application for high-performance computing. As system size and technical complexity of the simulations continue to increase, design and implementation of simulation models for next generation large-scale architectures is handled successfully only in an interdisciplinary context. A new priority program - named SPPEXA - by the German Research Foundation (DFG) addresses this issue, and brings together computer scientists, mathematicians and application scientists around grand challenges in HPC. Here we report from the TERRA-NEO project, which is part of the high visibility SPPEXA program, and a joint effort of four research groups. TERRA-NEO develops algorithms for future HPC infrastructures, focusing on high computational efficiency and resilience in next generation mantle convection models. We present software that can resolve the Earth's mantle with up to 1012 grid points and scales efficiently to massively parallel hardware with more than 50,000 processors. We use our simulations to explore the dynamic regime of mantle convection and assess the impact of small scale processes on global mantle flow.

  1. 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.

  2. Enrichments of the mantle sources beneath the Southern Volcanic Zone (Andes) by fluids and melts derived from abraded upper continental crust

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holm, Paul Martin; Søager, Nina; Dyhr, Charlotte Thorup

    2014-01-01

    Mafic basaltic-andesitic volcanic rocks from the Andean Southern Volcanic Zone (SVZ) exhibit a northward increase in crustal components in primitive arc magmas from the Central through the Transitional and Northern SVZ segments. New elemental and Sr–Nd-high-precision Pb isotope data from the Quat......Mafic basaltic-andesitic volcanic rocks from the Andean Southern Volcanic Zone (SVZ) exhibit a northward increase in crustal components in primitive arc magmas from the Central through the Transitional and Northern SVZ segments. New elemental and Sr–Nd-high-precision Pb isotope data from...... mantle by means of subduction erosion in response to the northward increasingly strong coupling of the converging plates. Both types of enrichment had the same Pb isotope composition in the TSVZ with no significant component derived from the subducting oceanic crust. Pb–Sr–Nd isotopes indicate a major...

  3. 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

  4. Seismic structure of the western U.S. mantle and its relation to regional tectonic and magmatic activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmandt, Brandon

    Vigorous convective activity in the western U.S. mantle has long been inferred from the region's widespread intra-plate crustal deformation, volcanism, and high elevations, but the specific form of convective activity and the degree and nature of lithospheric involvement have been strongly debated. I design a seismic travel-time tomography method and implement it with seismic data from the EarthScope Transportable Array and complementary arrays to constrain three-dimensional seismic structure beneath the western U.S. Tomographic images of variations in compressional velocity, shear velocity, and the ratio of shear to compressional velocity in the western U.S. mantle to a depth of 1000 km are produced. Using these results I investigate mantle physical properties, Cenozoic subduction history, and the influence of small-scale lithospheric convection on regional tectonic and magmatic activity, with particular focus on southern California and the Pacific Northwest. This dissertation includes previously published co-authored material. Chapter II presents a travel-time tomography method I designed and first implemented with data from southern California and the surrounding southwestern U.S. The resulting images provide a new level of constraint on upper mantle seismic anomalies beneath the Transverse Ranges, southern Great Valley, Salton Trough, and southwestern Nevada volcanic field. Chapter III presents tomographic images of the western U.S. mantle, identifies upper mantle volumes where partial melt is probable, and discusses implications of the apparently widespread occurrence of gravitational instabilities of continental lithsophere and the complex geometry and buoyancy of subducted ocean lithosphere imaged beneath the western U.S. In Chapter IV, tomography images are used in conjunction with geologic constraints on major transitions in crustal deformation and magmatism to construct a model for Pacific Northwest evolution since the Cretaceous. Accretion in the Pacific

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Highly oxidising fluids generated during serpentinite breakdown in subduction zones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debret, B; Sverjensky, D A

    2017-09-04

    Subduction zones facilitate chemical exchanges between Earth's deep interior and volcanism that affects habitability of the surface environment. Lavas erupted at subduction zones are oxidized and release volatile species. These features may reflect a modification of the oxidation state of the sub-arc mantle by hydrous, oxidizing sulfate and/or carbonate-bearing fluids derived from subducting slabs. But the reason that the fluids are oxidizing has been unclear. Here we use theoretical chemical mass transfer calculations to predict the redox state of fluids generated during serpentinite dehydration. Specifically, the breakdown of antigorite to olivine, enstatite, and chlorite generates fluids with high oxygen fugacities, close to the hematite-magnetite buffer, that can contain significant amounts of sulfate. The migration of these fluids from the slab to the mantle wedge could therefore provide the oxidized source for the genesis of primary arc magmas that release gases to the atmosphere during volcanism. Our results also show that the evolution of oxygen fugacity in serpentinite during subduction is sensitive to the amount of sulfides and potentially metal alloys in bulk rock, possibly producing redox heterogeneities in subducting slabs.

  10. Numerical simulations of the mantle lithosphere delamination

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-03-01

    Sudden uplift, extension, and increased igneous activity are often explained by rapid mechanical thinning of the lithospheric mantle. Two main thinning mechanisms have been proposed, convective removal of a thickened lithospheric root and delamination of the mantle lithosphere along the Moho. In the latter case, the whole mantle lithosphere peels away from the crust by the propagation of a localized shear zone and sinks into the mantle. To study this mechanism, we perform two-dimensional (2-D) numerical simulations of convection using a viscoplastic rheology with an effective viscosity depending strongly on temperature, depth, composition (crust/mantle), and stress. The simulations develop in four steps. (1) We first obtain "classical" sublithospheric convection for a long time period (˜300 Myr), yielding a slightly heterogeneous lithospheric temperature structure. (2) At some time, in some simulations, a strong thinning of the mantle occurs progressively in a small area (˜100 km wide). This process puts the asthenosphere in direct contact with the lower crust. (3) Large pieces of mantle lithosphere then quickly sink into the mantle by the horizontal propagation of a detachment level away from the "asthenospheric conduit" or by progressive erosion on the flanks of the delaminated area. (4) Delamination pauses or stops when the lithospheric mantle part detaches or when small-scale convection on the flanks of the delaminated area is counterbalanced by heat diffusion. We determine the parameters (crustal thicknesses, activation energies, and friction coefficients) leading to delamination initiation (step 2). We find that delamination initiates where the Moho temperature is the highest, as soon as the crust and mantle viscosities are sufficiently low. Delamination should occur on Earth when the Moho temperature exceeds ˜800°C. This condition can be reached by thermal relaxation in a thickened crust in orogenic setting or by corner flow lithospheric erosion in the

  11. Late Archaean mantle metasomatism below eastern Indian craton ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    R. Narasimhan (Krishtel eMaging) 1461 1996 Oct 15 13:05:22

    crop NDD display mainly four distinct orientations viz., N-S, NNE-SSW, ...... also be trapped either along the grain boundary ... faster plate movements, high angle subduction would be ..... istry of oxide minerals in polymictic xenoliths from the.

  12. Travel-time Tomography of the Upper Mantle using Amphibious Array Seismic Data from the Cascadia Initiative and EarthScope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cafferky, S.; Schmandt, B.

    2013-12-01

    Offshore and onshore broadband seismic data from the Cascadia Initiative and EarthScope provide a unique opportunity to image 3-D mantle structure continuously from a spreading ridge across a subduction zone and into continental back-arc provinces. Year one data from the Cascadia Initiative primarily covers the northern half of the Juan de Fuca plate and the Cascadia forearc and arc provinces. These new data are used in concert with previously collected onshore data for a travel-time tomography investigation of mantle structure. Measurement of relative teleseismic P travel times for land-based and ocean-bottom stations operating during year one was completed for 16 events using waveform cross-correlation, after bandpass filtering the data from 0.05 - 0.1 Hz with a second order Butterworth filter. Maps of travel-time delays show changing patterns with event azimuth suggesting that structural variations exist beneath the oceanic plate. The data from year one and prior onshore travel time measurements were used in a tomographic inversion for 3-D mantle P-velocity structure. Inversions conducted to date use ray paths determined by a 1-D velocity model. By meeting time we plan to present models using ray paths that are iteratively updated to account for 3-D structure. Additionally, we are testing the importance of corrections for sediment and crust thickness on imaging of mantle structure near the subduction zone. Low-velocities beneath the Juan de Fuca slab that were previously suggested by onshore data are further supported by our preliminary tomographic inversions using the amphibious array data.

  13. 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.

  14. Mantle dynamics and Cretaceous magmatism in east-central China: Insight from teleseismic tomograms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Guoming; Zhang, Guibin; Zhao, Dapeng; Lü, Qingtian; Li, Hongyi; Li, Xinfu

    2015-11-01

    Both the rich mineralization in the Lower Yangtze Block (LYB) and the post-collisional mafic rocks in the Dabie Orogen (DBO) are closely related to the Cretaceous magmatism in east-central China. Various geodynamic models have been proposed for explaining the mechanism of the Cretaceous magmatism, but these models are controversial and even contradictory with each other, especially on the mechanism of adakites. A unified geodynamic model is required for explaining the magmatism in east-central China, in particular, the spatial and temporal correlations of magmatic activity in the DBO and that in the LYB. For this purpose, we apply teleseismic tomography to study P-wave velocity structure down to 800 km depth beneath east-central China. A modified multiple-channel cross-correlation method is used to collect 28,805 high-quality P-wave arrival-time data from seismograms of distant earthquakes recorded by permanent seismic stations and our temporary stations in the study region. To remove the influence of crustal heterogeneity on the mantle tomography, we used the CRUST1.0 model to correct the teleseismic relative residuals. Our tomography revealed distinct high-velocity (high-V) anomalies beneath the DBO and two flanks of the LYB, and low-velocity (low-V) anomalies above the high-V zones. Combining our tomographic images with previous geological, geochemical and geophysical results, we infer that these high-V and low-V anomalies reflect the detached lithosphere and upwelling asthenospheric materials, respectively, which are associated with the Late Mesozoic dynamic process and the Cretaceous magmatism. We propose a double-slab subduction model that a ridge subduction yielded the adakitic rocks in the LYB during 150-135 Ma and the subsequent Pacific Plate subduction played a crucial role in not only the formation of igneous rocks in the LYB but also remelting of the subducted South China Block beneath the DBO during 135-101 Ma.

  15. The subcontinental mantle beneath southern New Zealand, characterised by helium isotopes in intraplate basalts and gas-rich springs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoke, L.; Poreda, R.; Reay, A.; Weaver, S. D.

    2000-07-01

    relationship with either age or proximity to the Cenozoic intraplate volcanic centres or with major faults. In general, areas characterised by mantle 3He emission are interpreted to define those regions beneath which mantle melting and basalt magma addition to the crust are recent. The strongest mantle 3He anomaly (equivalent to >80% mantle helium component) is centred over southern Dunedin, measured in magmatic CO 2-rich mineral water springs issuing from crystalline basement rocks which outcrop at the southern extent of Miocene intraplate basaltic volcanism which ceased 9 Ma ago. This mantle helium anomaly overlaps with an area characterised by elevated surface high heat flow, compatible with a long-lived mantle melt/heat input into the crust. In comparison Banks Peninsula, another Miocene intraplate basaltic centre, is characterised by relatively low surface heat flow and a small mantle helium contribution measured in a nitrogen-rich spring. Here the thermal transient induced by the magmatic event has either dissipated or has not reached the surface. In the former case one might be dealing with storage and mixing of magmatic and crustal gases at shallow crustal levels and in the latter with active to recent mantle-melt degassing at depth. Along the most actively deforming part of the plate boundary zone, the transpressional Alpine Fault and Marlborough fault systems, mantle helium is present in gas-rich springs in all those areas underlain by actively subducting oceanic crust (the Australian plate in the south and Pacific plate in the north), whereas the central part of the Alpine transpressional fault is characterised by pure crustal radiogenic helium. Areas where the mantle helium component is negligible are restricted to the centre part of the South Island, extending along its length from Southland to northern Canterbury and Murchison. These areas are interpreted to delineate the extent of thicker and colder lithosphere compared to all other areas where mantle helium

  16. Seismic Imaging of Mantle Plumes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nataf, Henri-Claude

    The mantle plume hypothesis was proposed thirty years ago by Jason Morgan to explain hotspot volcanoes such as Hawaii. A thermal diapir (or plume) rises from the thermal boundary layer at the base of the mantle and produces a chain of volcanoes as a plate moves on top of it. The idea is very attractive, but direct evidence for actual plumes is weak, and many questions remain unanswered. With the great improvement of seismic imagery in the past ten years, new prospects have arisen. Mantle plumes are expected to be rather narrow, and their detection by seismic techniques requires specific developments as well as dedicated field experiments. Regional travel-time tomography has provided good evidence for plumes in the upper mantle beneath a few hotspots (Yellowstone, Massif Central, Iceland). Beneath Hawaii and Iceland, the plume can be detected in the transition zone because it deflects the seismic discontinuities at 410 and 660 km depths. In the lower mantle, plumes are very difficult to detect, so specific methods have been worked out for this purpose. There are hints of a plume beneath the weak Bowie hotspot, as well as intriguing observations for Hawaii. Beneath Iceland, high-resolution tomography has just revealed a wide and meandering plume-like structure extending from the core-mantle boundary up to the surface. Among the many phenomena that seem to take place in the lowermost mantle (or D''), there are also signs there of the presence of plumes. In this article I review the main results obtained so far from these studies and discuss their implications for plume dynamics. Seismic imaging of mantle plumes is still in its infancy but should soon become a turbulent teenager.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. 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

    buoyant plates. But its action is not indefinitely self-sustaining, so could die out if not "nudged" occasionally. Wholly untrumpeted by seismologists, this built-in ocean-plate-heat is indeed evident as slab-reheating during active subduction. Nearly 100 circum-Pacific tomographic transects kindly provided by E.R.Engdahl consistently show the "slab" high-Vp signature peters out at between 200 and 350 km (plate age-dependent and even at 130 Ma) and a second high-Vp signature then begins close to the top of the TZ and goes on into the lower mantle. This latter signature must be mineralogical, not thermal, and arguably is not mantle but is only a stream of dense stishovitic lumps derived from the TZ-depth partial melting of subducted oceanic crust. Where now is the slab-pull to sustain plate tectonics?

  1. Deformation of Tibetan Crust and Mantle and the Uplift of the Plateau: Insights from Broadband Surface Waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agius, M. R.; Lebedev, S.

    2013-12-01

    results show that the prominent high-velocity anomalies in the upper mantle are most consistent with the presence of subducted Indian lithosphere beneath large portions of Tibet. Estimated thermal anomalies within the high-velocity features match those expected for subducted India. The morphology of India's subduction beneath Tibet is complex and shows pronounced west-east variations. Beneath eastern and northeastern Tibet, in particular, the subducted Indian lithosphere appears to have subducted, at a shallow angle, hundreds of km NNE-wards. Azimuthal anisotropy beneath Tibet is distributed in multiple layers with different fast-propagations directions, which accounts for the complexity of published shear-wave splitting observations. The fast directions within the mid-lower crust are parallel to the extensional components of the current strain rate field at the surface, consistent with similar deformation through the entire crust, rather than channel flow. Anisotropy within the asthenosphere beneath northeastern Tibet (sandwiched between the Tibetan lithosphere above and the subducted Indian lithosphere below) indicates SSW-NNE flow, parallel to the direction of motion of the Indian Plate, including its subducted leading edge.

  2. Role of rheology in reconstructing slab morphology in global mantle models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bello, Léa; Coltice, Nicolas; Tackley, Paul; Müller, Dietmar

    2015-04-01

    Reconstructing the 3D structure of the Earth's mantle has been a challenge for geodynamicists for about 40 years. Although numerical models and computational capabilities have incredibly progressed, parameterizations used for modeling convection forced by plate motions are far from being Earth-like. Among the set of parameters, rheology is fundamental because it defines in a non-linear way the dynamics of slabs and plumes, and the organization of the lithosphere. Previous studies have employed diverse viscosity laws, most of them being temperature and depth dependent with relatively small viscosity contrasts. In this study, we evaluate the role of the temperature dependence of viscosity (variations up to 6 orders of magnitude) on reconstructing slab evolution in 3D spherical models of convection driven by plate history models. We also investigate the importance of pseudo-plasticity in such models. We show that strong temperature dependence of viscosity combined with pseudo-plasticity produce laterally and vertically continuous slabs, and flat subduction where trench retreat is fast (North, Central and South America). Moreover, pseudo-plasticity allows a consistent coupling between imposed plate motions and global convection, which is not possible with temperature-dependent viscosity only. However, even our most sophisticated model is not able to reproduce unambiguously stagnant slabs probably because of the simplicity of material properties we use here. The differences between models employing different viscosity laws are very large, larger than the differences between two models with the same rheology but using two different plate reconstructions or initial conditions.

  3. Hot N Sour Mantle Soup on Indian Plate During Cretaceous- Evidence from Clumped Isotope and Geochemical Studies of Sung Valley Carbonatite, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, P.; Banerjee, Y.; Tiwari, A.; Srivastava, R. K.

    2015-12-01

    Geological processes involved in the formation of Carbonatite rocks are complex and so is the understanding about its formational temperature. Fluid inclusion studies (1) on Carbonatite and their associated Ijolites showed a homogenization temperature of 1000-1100°C for Ijoltes and a temperature (T) range of 200-600°C was assigned to the carbonatite melts. Liquid immiscibility process is held responsible for the origin of parental carbonated (ijolititic/ nephelinitic) magma. The homogenization T signifies about a time interval during which there must be a considerable amount of T dropdown soon after the formation of Ijolite and subsequent crystallization of the residual carbonatite magma. However the lack of information about the T of the primary carbonated melt remains as an important area of petrological research. Experimental studies suggest a T range of 950-1400°C for the primary carbonate melt (2). Advent of Clumped isotope thermometry (3) allowed independent method for estimation of the formational T and provide avenues to derive composition of CO2 in equilibrium with carbonate melt. Earlier attempt involving carbonatites from several locations (4) captured range of T between 83°-416°C . Here we present our observation on calcite growth T in the carbonatites from the Cretaceous Sung valley ultramafic-alkaline-carbonatite complex. Based on stable C,O isotope study and Sr, Nd isotopic composition a mantle origin- genetically linked with the Kerguelen plume was proposed (5). Clumped isotope study on the same samples revealed consistent C and O isotope compositions, providing Δ47 values ranging from 0.32 to 0.48. δ13C and δ18O (in VPDB) values of the present study falls within the "Primary Igneous Carbonatite Field" (6). Using high T thermometry equation (7) we obtained a T range of 137-474 °C for the calcite present in the samples. The T recorded in our study is lower than that deduced experimental values of 960-625°C at 0.1 GPa (8) and fluid inclusion

  4. Volcanism and Subduction: The Kamchatka Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichelberger, John; Gordeev, Evgenii; Izbekov, Pavel; Kasahara, Minoru; Lees, Jonathan

    The Kamchatka Peninsula and contiguous North Pacific Rim is among the most active regions in the world. Kamchatka itself contains 29 active volcanoes, 4 now in a state of semi-continuous eruption, and I has experienced 14 magnitude 7 or greater earthquakes since accurate recording began in 1962. At its heart is the uniquely acute subduction cusp where the Kamchatka and Aleutian Arcs and Emperor Seamount Chain meet. Volcanism and Subduction covers coupled magmatism and tectonics in this spectacular region, where the torn North Pacific slab dives into hot mantle. Senior Russian and American authors grapple with the dynamics of the cusp with perspectives from the west and east of it, respectively, while careful tephrostratigraphy yields a remarkably precise record of behavior of storied volcanoes such as Kliuchevskoi and Shiveluch. Towards the south, Japanese researchers elucidate subduction earthquake processes with unprecedented geodetic resolution. Looking eastward, new insights on caldera formation, monitoring, and magma ascent are presented for the Aleutians. This is one of the first books of its kind printed in the English language. Students and scientists beginning research in the region will find in this book a useful context and introduction to the region's scientific leaders. Others who wish to apply lessons learned in the North Pacific to their areas of interest will find the volume a valuable reference.

  5. Large-scale compositional heterogeneity in the Earth's mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballmer, M.

    2017-12-01

    Seismic imaging of subducted Farallon and Tethys lithosphere in the lower mantle has been taken as evidence for whole-mantle convection, and efficient mantle mixing. However, cosmochemical constraints point to a lower-mantle composition that has a lower Mg/Si compared to upper-mantle pyrolite. Moreover, geochemical signatures of magmatic rocks indicate the long-term persistence of primordial reservoirs somewhere in the mantle. In this presentation, I establish geodynamic mechanisms for sustaining large-scale (primordial) heterogeneity in the Earth's mantle using numerical models. Mantle flow is controlled by rock density and viscosity. Variations in intrinsic rock density, such as due to heterogeneity in basalt or iron content, can induce layering or partial layering in the mantle. Layering can be sustained in the presence of persistent whole mantle convection due to active "unmixing" of heterogeneity in low-viscosity domains, e.g. in the transition zone or near the core-mantle boundary [1]. On the other hand, lateral variations in intrinsic rock viscosity, such as due to heterogeneity in Mg/Si, can strongly affect the mixing timescales of the mantle. In the extreme case, intrinsically strong rocks may remain unmixed through the age of the Earth, and persist as large-scale domains in the mid-mantle due to focusing of deformation along weak conveyor belts [2]. That large-scale lateral heterogeneity and/or layering can persist in the presence of whole-mantle convection can explain the stagnation of some slabs, as well as the deflection of some plumes, in the mid-mantle. These findings indeed motivate new seismic studies for rigorous testing of model predictions. [1] Ballmer, M. D., N. C. Schmerr, T. Nakagawa, and J. Ritsema (2015), Science Advances, doi:10.1126/sciadv.1500815. [2] Ballmer, M. D., C. Houser, J. W. Hernlund, R. Wentzcovitch, and K. Hirose (2017), Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo2898.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, M.

    2010-12-01

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

  7. Crust and upper-mantle structure of Wanganui Basin and southern Hikurangi margin, North Island, New Zealand as revealed by active source seismic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tozer, B.; Stern, T. A.; Lamb, S. L.; Henrys, S. A.

    2017-11-01

    Wide-angle reflection and refraction data recorded during the Seismic Array HiKurangi Experiment (SAHKE) are used to constrain the crustal P-wave velocity (Vp) structure along two profiles spanning the length and width of Wanganui Basin, located landwards of the southern Hikurangi subduction margin, New Zealand. These models provide high-resolution constraints on the structure and crustal thickness of the overlying Australian and subducted Pacific plates and plate interface geometry. Wide-angle reflections are modelled to show that the subducted oceanic Pacific plate crust is anomalously thick (∼10 km) below southern North Island and is overlain by a ∼1.5-4.0 km thick, low Vp (4.8-5.4 km s-1) layer, interpreted as a channel of sedimentary material, that persists landwards at least as far as Kapiti Island. Distinct near vertical reflections from onshore shots identify a ∼4 km high mound of low-velocity sedimentary material that appears to underplate the overlying Australian plate crust and is likely to contribute to local rock uplift along the Axial ranges. The overriding Australian plate Moho beneath Wanganui Basin is imaged as deepening southwards and reaches a depth of at least 36.4 km. The Moho shape approximately mirrors the thickening of the basin sediments, suggestive of crustal downwarping. However, the observed crustal thickness variation is insufficient to explain the large negative Bouguer gravity anomaly (-160 mGal) centred over the basin. Partial serpentinization within the upper mantle with a concomitant density decrease is one possible way of reconciling this anomaly.

  8. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng-Horng Lin

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Carbonate stability in the reduced lower mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorfman, Susannah M.; Badro, James; Nabiei, Farhang; Prakapenka, Vitali B.; Cantoni, Marco; Gillet, Philippe

    2018-05-01

    Carbonate minerals are important hosts of carbon in the crust and mantle with a key role in the transport and storage of carbon in Earth's deep interior over the history of the planet. Whether subducted carbonates efficiently melt and break down due to interactions with reduced phases or are preserved to great depths and ultimately reach the core-mantle boundary remains controversial. In this study, experiments in the laser-heated diamond anvil cell (LHDAC) on layered samples of dolomite (Mg, Ca)CO3 and iron at pressure and temperature conditions reaching those of the deep lower mantle show that carbon-iron redox interactions destabilize the MgCO3 component, producing a mixture of diamond, Fe7C3, and (Mg, Fe)O. However, CaCO3 is preserved, supporting its relative stability in carbonate-rich lithologies under reducing lower mantle conditions. These results constrain the thermodynamic stability of redox-driven breakdown of carbonates and demonstrate progress towards multiphase mantle petrology in the LHDAC at conditions of the lowermost mantle.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1989-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Magma Diversity in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt: the role of Mantle Heterogeneities, Slab-derived Fluxes and Crustal Contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaaf, P.; Valdez, G.; Siebe, C.; Carrasco, G.

    2005-12-01

    The Plio-Quaternary Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB) is related to subduction of the Cocos and Rivera plates underneath the North American plate. Non-parallelism of the magmatic arc with respect to the trench can be explained by oblique subduction and changes of dip angle. In this contribution we compare geochemical and Sr-Nd-Pb isotope data of five TMVB stratovolcanoes (from east to west: Colima Volcano, Nevado de Toluca, Popocatepetl, La Malinche, and Pico de Orizaba) and associated cinder cones. Volcanic products range in stratovolcanoes from andesites (e.g. Colima, Popocatepetl) to rhyolites (e.g. Pico de Orizaba), and from basalts to andesites in the monogenetic cones. Concentrations of incompatible elements correlate positively with Sr-Nd-Pb isotope ratios from east to west along the arc. 87Sr/86Sr, eNd, and 206Pb/204Pb range from 0.7034-0.7050, +6.9 to minus 1.8, and 18.57-18.78, respectively, displaying considerable differences. In the central TMVB, REE patterns of closely spaced high-Mg basaltic andesites differ substantially. This cannot be explained by fractional crystallization processes or differential partial melting of a homogeneous mantle source. Instead, it points towards small-scale mantle heterogeneities. LILE (e.g. Cs, Rb, Ba, Pb) and HFSE (e.g. Ta, Nb, Zr) display variations of orders in magnitude at different segments along the arc. These variations might correlate with amounts of slab-derived aqueous fluids and intensity of metasomatic reactions between the subducting lithosphere and the overlying mantle wedge. Isotopic ratios of mid-lower crustal xenoliths found in nearly all stratovolcano products reflect the nature of the underlying crust beneath the TMVB. Tertiary-Cretaceous plagiogranites (Colima), Cretaceous limestones (Popocatepetl), and Grenvillian quartzites (Pico de Orizaba)and their increasing radiogenic isotope ratios match well with the observed isotopic signatures of the stratovolcanoes. Moreover, elevated CO2 amounts in

  15. Sublithospheric flows in the mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trifonov, V. G.; Sokolov, S. Yu.

    2017-11-01

    The estimated rates of upper mantle sublithospheric flows in the Hawaii-Emperor Range and Ethiopia-Arabia-Caucasus systems are reported. In the Hawaii-Emperor Range system, calculation is based on motion of the asthenospheric flow and the plate moved by it over the branch of the Central Pacific plume. The travel rate has been determined based on the position of variably aged volcanoes (up to 76 Ma) with respect to the active Kilauea Volcano. As for the Ethiopia-Arabia-Caucasus system, the age of volcanic eruptions (55-2.8 Ma) has been used to estimate the asthenospheric flow from the Ethiopian-Afar superplume in the northern bearing lines. Both systems are characterized by variations in a rate of the upper mantle flows in different epochs from 4 to 12 cm/yr, about 8 cm/yr on average. Analysis of the global seismic tomographic data has made it possible to reveal rock volumes with higher seismic wave velocities under ancient cratons; rocks reach a depth of more than 2000 km and are interpreted as detached fragments of the thickened continental lithosphere. Such volumes on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean were submerged at an average velocity of 0.9-1.0 cm/yr along with its opening. The estimated rates of the mantle flows clarify the deformation properties of the mantle and regulate the numerical models of mantle convection.

  16. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

    The discovery of three Super-Earths around different stars, possible only in the last year, prompts us to study the characteristics of our planet within a general context. The Earth, being the most massive terrestrial object in the solar system is the only planet that exhibits plate tectonics. We think this might not be a coincidence and explore the role that mass plays in determining the mode of convection. We use the scaling of convective vigor with Rayleigh number commonly used in parameterized convection. We study how the parameters controlling convection: Rayleigh number (Ra), boundary layer thickness (δ), internal temperature (T_i) and convective velocities (u) scale with mass. This is possible from the scaling of heat flux, mantle density, size and gravity with mass which we reported in Valencia, et. al 2006. The extrapolation to massive rocky planets is done from our knowledge of the Earth. Even though uncertainties arise from extrapolation and assumptions are needed we consider this simple scaling to be a first adequate step. As the mass