Sample records for subduction zone environments

  1. Building a Subduction Zone Observatory (United States)

    Gomberg, Joan S.; Bodin, Paul; Bourgeois, Jody; Cashman, Susan; Cowan, Darrel; Creager, Kenneth C.; Crowell, Brendan; Duvall, Alison; Frankel, Arthur; Gonzalez, Frank; Houston, Heidi; Johnson, Paul; Kelsey, Harvey; Miller, Una; Roland, Emily C.; Schmidt, David; Staisch, Lydia; Vidale, John; Wilcock, William; Wirth, Erin


    Subduction zones contain many of Earth’s most remarkable geologic structures, from the deepest oceanic trenches to glacier-covered mountains and steaming volcanoes. These environments formed through spectacular events: Nature’s largest earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions are born here.

  2. Metallogeny of subduction zones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sorokhtin N. O.


    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

  3. Boron cycling in subduction zones


    Palmer, Martin R.


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

  4. Seismic coupling and uncoupling at subduction zones (United States)

    Ruff, L.; Kanamori, H.


    Some of the correlations concerning the properties of subduction zones are reviewed. A quantitative global comparison of many subduction zones reveals that the largest earthquakes occur in zones with young lithosphere and fast convergence rates. Maximum earthquake size is directly related to the asperity distribution on the fault plane. This observation can be translated into a simple model of seismic coupling where the horizontal compressive stress between two plates is proportional to the ratio of the summed asperity area to the total area of the contact surface. Plate age and rate can control asperity distribution directly through the horizontal compressive stress associated with the vertical and horizontal velocities of subducting slabs. The basalt to eclogite phase change in the down-going oceanic crust may be largely responsible for the uncoupling of subduction zones below a depth of about 40 km.

  5. Stress orientations in subduction zones and the strength of subduction megathrust faults. (United States)

    Hardebeck, Jeanne L


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

  6. Stress orientations in subduction zones and the strength of subduction megathrust faults (United States)

    Hardebeck, Jeanne L.


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

  7. Subduction zones seen by GOCE gravity gradients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Švarc, Mario; Herceg, Matija; Cammarano, Fabio

    In this study, the GOCE (Gravity field and steady state Ocean Circulation Explorer) gradiometry data were used to study geologic structures and mass variations within the lithosphere in areas of known subduction zones. The advantage of gravity gradiometry over other gravity methods...... is that gradients are extremely sensitive to localized density contrasts within regional geological settings, which makes it ideally suited for detecting subduction zones. Second order gravity gradients of disturbing potential were extracted from global geopotential model, the fifth release GOCE model ‘EGM_TIM_RL05......’. In order to remove the signal which mainly corresponds to the gravity signal of the lower mantle, long wavelength part of the gravity signal was removed up to degree and order 60. Because the areas with notable topography differences coincide with subduction zones, topography correction was also performed...

  8. Thermal impact of magmatism in subduction zones (United States)

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


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

  9. The earthquake cycle in subduction zones (United States)

    Melosh, H. J.; Fleitout, L.


    A simplified model of a subduction zone is presented, which incorporates the mechanical asymmetry induced by the subducted slab to anchor the subducting plate during post-seismic rebound and thus throw most of the coseismic stream release into the overthrust plate. The model predicts that the trench moves with respect to the deep mantle toward the subducting plate at a velocity equal to one-half of the convergence rate. A strong extensional pulse is propagated into the overthrust plate shortly after the earthquake, and although this extension changes into compression before the next earthquake in the cycle, the period of strong extension following the earthquake may be responsible for extensional tectonic features in the back-arc region.

  10. Subduction zone decoupling/retreat modeling explains south Tibet (Xigaze) and other supra-subduction zone ophiolites and their UHP mineral phases (United States)

    Butler, Jared P.; Beaumont, Christopher


    The plate tectonic setting in which proto-ophiolite 'oceanic' lithosphere is created remains controversial with a number of environments suggested. Recent opinions tend to coalesce around supra-subduction zone (SSZ) forearc extension, with a popular conceptual model in which the proto-ophiolite forms during foundering of oceanic lithosphere at the time of spontaneous or induced onset of subduction. This mechanism is favored in intra-oceanic settings where the subducting lithosphere is old and the upper plate is young and thin. We investigate an alternative mechanism; namely, decoupling of the subducting oceanic lithosphere in the forearc of an active continental margin, followed by subduction zone (trench) retreat and creation of a forearc oceanic rift basin, containing proto-ophiolite lithosphere, between the continental margin and the retreating subduction zone. A template of 2D numerical model experiments examines the trade-off between strength of viscous coupling in the lithospheric subduction channel and net slab pull of the subducting lithosphere. Three tectonic styles are observed: 1) C, continuous subduction without forearc decoupling; 2) R, forearc decoupling followed by rapid subduction zone retreat; 3) B, breakoff of subducting lithosphere followed by re-initiation of subduction and in some cases, forearc decoupling (B-R). In one case (BA-B-R; where BA denotes backarc) subduction zone retreat follows backarc rifting. Subduction zone decoupling is analyzed using frictional-plastic yield theory and the Stefan solution for the separation of plates containing a viscous fluid. The numerical model results are used to explain the formation of Xigaze group ophiolites, southern Tibet, which formed in the Lhasa terrane forearc, likely following earlier subduction and not necessarily during subduction initiation. Either there was normal coupled subduction before subduction zone decoupling, or precursor slab breakoff, subduction re-initiation and then decoupling

  11. Metamorphic zirconology of continental subduction zones (United States)

    Chen, Ren-Xu; Zheng, Yong-Fei


    Zircon is widely used to date geological events and trace geochemical sources in high-pressure (HP) to ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic rocks of continental subduction zones. However, protolith zircons may be modified by three different types of metamorphic recrystallization via mechanisms of solid-state transformation, metasomatic alteration and dissolution reprecipitation; new zircon growth may be induced by dehydration reactions below the wet solidus of crustal rocks (metamorphic zircon) or peritectic reactions above the wet solidus (peritectic zircon). As a consequence, there are different origins of zircon domains in high-grade metamorphic rocks from collisional orogens. Thus, determining the nature of individual zircon domains is substantial to correct interpretation of their origin in studies of isotopic geochronology and geochemical tracing. We advocate an integrated study of zircon mineragraphy (internal structure and external morphology), U-Pb ages, mineral inclusions, trace elements, and Lu-Hf and O isotope compositions. Only in this way we are in a position to advance the simple zircon applications to metamorphic zirconology, enabling discrimination between the different origins of zircon and providing constraints on the property of fluid activity at subduction-zone conditions. The metamorphic recrystallization of protolith zircons and the new growth of metamorphic and peritectic zircons are prominent in HP to UHP metamorphic rocks of collisional orogens. These different types of recrystallized and grown zircons can be distinguished by their differences in element and isotope compositions. While the protolith nature of metamorphosed rocks dictates water availability, the P-T conditions of subduction zones dictate the property of subduction-zone fluids. The fluids of different properties may be produced at different positions of subducting and exhuming crustal slices, and they may physically and chemically mix with each other in continental

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W. P.; Rawlinson, N.


    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.

  13. Correlated Paleoseismic Interpretation of Turbidites from 3 Distinct Sedimentary Environments in the Cascadia Subduction Zone Off Vancouver Island Canada (United States)

    Enkin, R. J.; Hamilton, T. S.; Rogers, G. C.


    Sedimentary sequences containing turbidites can provide important paleoseismic records. We present sedimentary records from 3 distinct sedimentary systems which provide a reliable well-dated paleseismic record. All 3 sites are subject to strong ground shaking in the event of a megathrust earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone near Vancouver Island, Canada. Effingham Inlet is an anoxic fjord on the west coast of Vancouver Island with an age model based on radiocarbon dates from terrestrial plant material (no marine correction), the Mazama Ash, and sedimentation rates constrained by annual laminations [Dallimore et al. 2008, Enkin et al., 2013]. Barkley Canyon [Goldfinger et al., 2012], 150 km SW, has been sampled at the abyssal plain fan in front of a submarine canyon. Slipstream Slump [ms submitted], 40 km north of Barkley Canyon, is a well-preserved 3 km wide sedimentary failure from the frontal ridge of the Cascadia accretionary wedge. At Slipstream, given the 2300 m water depth and the thin weak crust at the outer edge of the accretionary wedge, megathrust earthquake shaking is the most likely trigger for the turbidity currents, with sediments sourced exclusively from the exposed slide scar. Correlations based on sedimentology and physical property logging are made between turbidites observed at Barkley Canyon and Slipstream Slump, and a mutually consistent age model is defined using only planktonic foraminiferal dates and Bayesian analysis with a Poisson-process sedimentation model. A young marine reservoir age of ΔR=0 yr brings the top to the present and produces age correlations consistent with the thickest (>10 cm) Effingham Inlet turbidites. Correlations of physical property logs tie the Effingham Inlet record to the offshore, despite the extreme differences in the sedimentology. Having good marine geophysical data and well positioned core transects allows the facies analysis needed to interpret the turbidite record. This study provides a much

  14. Highly oxidising fluids generated during serpentinite breakdown in subduction zones. (United States)

    Debret, B; Sverjensky, D A


    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.

  15. Great earthquakes hazard in slow subduction zones (United States)

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


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

  16. Introduction to the structures and processes of subduction zones (United States)

    Zheng, Yong-Fei; Zhao, Zi-Fu


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

  17. The Run-Up of Subduction Zones (United States)

    Riquelme, S.; Bravo, F. J.; Fuentes, M.; Matias, M.; Medina, M.


    Large earthquakes in subduction zones are liable to produce tsunamis that can cause destruction and fatalities. The Run-up is a geophysical parameter that quantifies damage and if critical facilities or population are exposed to. Here we use the coupling for certain subduction regions measured by different techniques (Potency and GPS observations) to define areas where large earthquakes can occur. Taking the slab 1.0 from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), we can define the geometry of the area including its tsunamigenic potential. By using stochastic earthquakes sources for each area with its maximum tsunamigenic potential, we calculate the numerical and analytical run-up for each case. Then, we perform a statistical analysis and calculate the envelope for both methods. Furthermore, we build an index of risk using: the closest slope to the shore in a piecewise linear approach (last slopecriteria) and the outputsfrom tsunami modeling. Results show that there are areas prone to produce higher run-up than others based on the size of the earthquake, geometrical constraints of the source, tectonic setting and the coast last slope. Based on these results, there are zones that have low risk index which can define escape routes or secure coastal areas for tsunami early warning, urban and planning purposes when detailed data is available.

  18. Diapiric flow at subduction zones: a recipe for rapid transport. (United States)

    Hall, P S; Kincaid, C


    Recent geochemical studies of uranium-thorium series disequilibrium in rocks from subduction zones require magmas to be transported through the mantle from just above the subducting slab to the surface in as little as approximately 30,000 years. We present a series of laboratory experiments that investigate the characteristic time scales and flow patterns of the diapiric upwelling model of subduction zone magmatism. Results indicate that the interaction between buoyantly upwelling diapirs and subduction-induced flow in the mantle creates a network of low-density, low-viscosity conduits through which buoyant flow is rapid, yielding transport times commensurate with those indicated by uranium-thorium studies.

  19. Noble gases recycled into the mantle through cold subduction zones (United States)

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


    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.

  20. GPS Monitoring of Subduction Zone Deformation in Costa Rica (United States)

    Lundgren, Paul


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

  1. A subduction zone reference frame based on slab geometry and subduction partitioning of plate motion and trench migration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W. P.


    The geometry of subducted slabs that interact with the transition zone depends critically on the partitioning of the subduction velocity (v S⊥) at the surface into its subducting plate motion component (vSP⊥) and trench migration component (vT⊥). Geodynamic models of progressive subduction

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maffione, Marco; Thieulot, Cedric|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/270177493; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J.J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/269263624; Morris, Antony; Plümper, Oliver|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/37155960X; Spakman, Wim|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/074103164

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

  3. Subduction zone forearc serpentinites as incubators for deep microbial life (United States)

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


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

  4. Subduction zone forearc serpentinites as incubators for deep microbial life. (United States)

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


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

  5. Subduction of oceanic plate irregularities and seismicity distribution along the Mexican Subduction Zone (United States)

    Manea, Marina; Constantin Manea, Vlad; Gerya, Taras; Wong, Raul-Valenzuela; Radulian, Mircea


    It is known that oceanic plates morphology is not a simple one, but rather complicated by a series of irregularities as seamounts, fracture zones and mid-ocean ridges. These features present on the oceanic floor form part of the fabric of oceanic crust, and once formed they move together with the oceanic plates until eventually enter a subduction zone. Offshore Mexico the oceanic Cocos plate seafloor is littered with relatively small but numerous seamounts and seamount chains, and also large fracture zones. In this study we investigate the relationship between these oceanic irregularities located in the vicinity of the trench in Mexico and the distribution of subduction seismicity, including the rupture history of large subduction zone earthquakes. Since the interseismic locking degree is influenced by the rheological properties of crustal and mantle rocks, any variations along strike will result in significant changes in seismic behavior due to a change in frictional stability. Our preliminary study shows a direct relationship between the presence of seamounts chains on the incoming oceanic plate and the subduction seismicity distribution. We also found a clear relationship between the subduction of the Tehuantepec fracture zone (TFZ) and the low seismic activity in the region where this fracture zone intersects the trench. This region is also long term conspicuously quiet and considered a seismic gap where no significant large earthquake has occurred in more than 100 years. Using high-resolution three-dimensional coupled petrological-thermomechanical numerical simulations specifically tailored for the subduction of the Cocos plate in the region of TFZ we show that the weakened serpentinized fracture zone is partially scraped out in the forearc region because of its low strength and positive buoyancy. The presence of serpentinite in the fore arc apparently lowers the degree of interseismic locking, producing a seismic gap in southern Mexico.

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

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

  7. Subduction zone earthquakes and stress in slabs (United States)

    Vassiliou, M. S.; Hager, B. H.


    Simple viscous fluid models of subducting slabs are used to explain observations of the distribution of earthquakes as a function of depth and the orientation of stress axes of deep (greater than 300 km) and intermediate (70-300 km) earthquakes. Results suggest the following features in the distribution of earthquakes with depth: (1) an exponential decrease from shallow depths down to 250 to 300 km, (2) a minimum near 250 to 300 km, and (3) a deep peak below 300 km. Many shallow subducting slabs show only the first characteristic, while deeper extending regions tend to show all three features, with the deep peak varying in position and intensity. These data, combined with the results on the stress orientations of various-depth earthquakes, are consistent with the existence of a barrier of some sort at 670-km depth and a uniform viscosity mantle above this barrier.

  8. Splay fault branching along the Nankai subduction zone. (United States)

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


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

  9. The Geodynamics of Continental Lithosphere Entering a Subduction Zone (United States)

    Steedman, C. E.; Kaus, B. J.; Becker, T. W.; Okaya, D.; Wu, F. T.


    As deformation patterns resulting from subduction of a passive continental margin are insufficiently understood, here we perform 2-D numerical simulations to explore the effects of continental lithosphere entering a subduction zone. The model setup consists of a subduction zone in which the oceanic part of a passive continental margin initially subducts beneath an oceanic plate. A particle-based 2-D visco-elasto-plastic thermo-mechanical finite element code is employed to study the dynamics of the system. A novel new feature of the code is that the resolution of the model can be significantly increased in selected parts of the domain, which allows for self-consistent modelling of mantle-lithosphere interaction. In the present study this feature is employed to study how crustal scale deformation around the subduction zone is influenced by surface processes and by flow in the upper mantle. Using systematic 2-D numerical simulations, we explore the parameters that are dominant in controlling near- surface structures, both with regards to changes in topography over time, and subsurface features such as Moho undulations. The main parameters that have been varied are: the lithospheric density structure; the strength of the lower crust; the amounts of erosion; imposed pushing versus density-driven (slab-pull and ridge- push) convergence; the upper boundary condition (free surface versus free slip); rheology (non-Newtonian versus Newtonian, viscous, visco-elasto-plastic); and finally the effect of an imposed slab breakoff. In all cases we track surface uplift, subduction evolution and rock exhumation history. The results can be compared to evidence from areas such as Taiwan where continental subduction or convergence is thought to be happening. Preliminary results indicate that a low viscosity lower crust may contribute to crustal uplift.

  10. Deep electrical resistivity structure of Costa Rican Subduction Zone (United States)

    Worzewski, T.; Jegen, M.; Brasse, H.; Taylor, W.


    The water content and its distribution play an important role in the subduction process. Water is released from the subducting slab in a series of metamorphic reactions and the hydration of the mantle wedge may trigger the onset of melting, weakening and changes in the dynamics and thermal structure of subduction zones. However, the amount of water carried into the subduction zone and its distribution are not well constrained by existing data and are subject of vigorous current research in SFB574 (Volatiles and Fluids in Subduction Zones: Climate Feedback and Trigger Mechanisms for Natural Disasters). We will show numerical modeling studies which are used to determine the resolution and sensitivity of the MT response to fluids in the crust and subducting slab under the special condition of a coastal setting. In 2007-2008 we conducted a long-period magnetotelluric investigations in northwestern Costa Rica on- and offshore, where the Cocos Plate subducts beneath the Carribean plate. Eleven marine magnetotelluric Stations newly developed and constructed by IFM-GEOMAR and University of Kiel were deployed on the 200 km long marine extension of the profile for several months. We will present the data and its processing, as well as our attempts to eliminate motion induced noise observed on some stations on the cliffy shelf due to tidal waves hitting the shelf and trench parallel- and perpendicular currents. The marine profile was extended landwards by the Free University of Berlin over length of 160 kilometers with further 18 stations. We present preliminary modeling results of land data, which revealed interesting features, inter alia a possible image of fluid release from the downgoing slab in the forearc, as well as ongoing modeling of the combined on- and offshore data sets.

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

    Garth, Tom; Rietbrock, Andreas


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

  12. Fluid flux and melting reactions in subduction zones (United States)

    Bouilhol, Pierre; Magni, Valentina; van Hunen, Jeroen; Kaislaniemi, Lars


    Understanding the metamorphic reactions that occurs within the slab is a must to constrain subduction zone processes. Slab dehydration reactions ultimately permit the mantle wedge to melt, by lowering its solidus, thus forming arcs above descending slabs. Alternatively the slab crust may cross its solidus in warm hydrated slabs. Moreover, slab dehydration allows chemical fractionation to occur between residual phases and transferred fluid phase, giving arc magmas part of their typical subduction zone chemical characteristics. To better comprehend such complex thermo-chemical open system, we are using a numerical model that reproduces the thermo-mechanical behaviour of a subducting slab and computes the thermodynamic equilibrium paragenesis at each P-T-X conditions of the system. Hence we generate a "paragenetic map" of a subduction system, allowing us to track the fate of water during dehydration and subsequent re-hydration or melting reactions. Here we highlight the role of dehydration and re-hydration reactions occurring in the slab's igneous crust and mantle and the mantle wedge for different slab configuration hence presenting the evolution of a subduction paragenetic map for different regimes. We intend to show the key roles of a) antigorite and chlorite breakdown in the hydrated part of the slab mantle, b) amphibole and lawsonite in the slab crust, and c) the role of amphibole and chlorite in the mantle wedge. Our results show the crucial role of dehydration and re-hydration reactions on slab and mantle wedge melting potential.

  13. Frictional behavior of carbonate-rich sediments in subduction zones (United States)

    Rabinowitz, H. S.; Savage, H. M.; Carpenter, B. M.; Collettini, C.


    Deformation in rocks and sediments is controlled by multiple mechanisms, each governed by its own pressure- (P), temperature- (T), and slip velocity- (v) dependent kinetics. Frictional behavior depends on which of these mechanisms are dominant, and, thus, varies with P, T, and v. Carbonates are a useful material with which to interrogate the PTv controls on friction due to the fact that a wide range of mechanisms can be easily accessed in the lab at geologically relevant conditions. In addition, carbonate-rich layers make up a significant component of subducting sediments around the world and may impact the frictional behavior of shallow subduction zones. In order to investigate the effect of carbonate subduction and the evolution of friction at subduction zone conditions, we conducted deformation experiments on input sediments for two subduction zones, the Hikurangi trench, New Zealand (ODP Site 1124) and the Peru trench (DSDP Site 321), which have carbonate/clay contents of 40/60 wt% and 80/20 wt%, respectively. Samples were saturated with distilled water mixed with 35g/l sea salt and deformed at room temperature. Experiments were conducted at σeff = 1-100 MPa and T = 20-100 °C with sliding velocities of 1-300 μm/s and hold times of 1-1000 s. We test the changes in velocity dependence and healing over these PT conditions to elucidate the frictional behavior of carbonates in subduction zone settings. The mechanical results are complemented by microstructural analysis. In lower stress experiments, there is no obvious shear localization; however, by 25 MPa, pervasive boundary-parallel shears become dominant, particularly in the Peru samples. Optical observations of these shear zones under cross-polarized light show evidence of plastic deformation (CPO development) while SEM-EDS observations indicate phase segregation in the boundary shears. Degree of microstructural localization appears to correspond with the trends observed in velocity-dependence. Our

  14. Control of high oceanic features and subduction channel on earthquake ruptures along the Chile-Peru subduction zone (United States)

    Contreras-Reyes, Eduardo; Carrizo, Daniel


    We discuss the earthquake rupture behavior along the Chile-Peru subduction zone in terms of the buoyancy of the subducting high oceanic features (HOF's), and the effect of the interplay between HOF and subduction channel thickness on the degree of interplate coupling. We show a strong relation between subduction of HOF's and earthquake rupture segments along the Chile-Peru margin, elucidating how these subducting features play a key role in seismic segmentation. Within this context, the extra increase of normal stress at the subduction interface is strongly controlled by the buoyancy of HOF's which is likely caused by crustal thickening and mantle serpentinization beneath hotspot ridges and fracture zones, respectively. Buoyancy of HOF's provide an increase in normal stress estimated to be as high as 10-50 MPa. This significant increase of normal stress will enhance seismic coupling across the subduction interface and hence will affect the seismicity. In particular, several large earthquakes (Mw ≥ 7.5) have occurred in regions characterized by subduction of HOF's including fracture zones (e.g., Nazca, Challenger and Mocha), hotspot ridges (e.g., Nazca, Iquique, and Juan Fernández) and the active Nazca-Antarctic spreading center. For instance, the giant 1960 earthquake (Mw = 9.5) is coincident with the linear projections of the Mocha Fracture Zone and the buoyant Chile Rise, while the active seismic gap of north Chile spatially correlates with the subduction of the Iquique Ridge. Further comparison of rupture characteristics of large underthrusting earthquakes and the locations of subducting features provide evidence that HOF's control earthquake rupture acting as both asperities and barriers. This dual behavior can be partially controlled by the subduction channel thickness. A thick subduction channel smooths the degree of coupling caused by the subducted HOF which allows lateral earthquake rupture propagation. This may explain why the 1960 rupture propagates

  15. Mapping seismic azimuthal anisotropy of the Japan subduction zone (United States)

    Zhao, D.; Liu, X.


    We present 3-D images of azimuthal anisotropy tomography of the crust and upper mantle of the Japan subduction zone, which are determined using a large number of high-quality P- and S-wave arrival-time data of local earthquakes and teleseismic events recorded by the dense seismic networks on the Japan Islands. A tomographic method for P-wave velocity azimuthal anisotropy is modified and extended to invert S-wave travel times for 3-D S-wave velocity azimuthal anisotropy. A joint inversion of the P and S wave data is conducted to constrain the 3-D azimuthal anisotropy of the Japan subduction zone. Main findings of this work are summarized as follows. (1) The high-velocity subducting Pacific and Philippine Sea (PHS) slabs exhibit trench-parallel fast-velocity directions (FVDs), which may reflect frozen-in lattice-preferred orientation of aligned anisotropic minerals formed at the mid-ocean ridge as well as shape-preferred orientation such as normal faults produced at the outer-rise area near the trench axis. (2) Significant trench-normal FVDs are revealed in the mantle wedge, which reflects corner flow in the mantle wedge due to the active subduction and dehydration of the oceanic plates. (3) Obvious toroidal FVDs and low-velocity anomalies exist in and around a window (hole) in the aseismic PHS slab beneath Southwest Japan, which may reflect a toroidal mantle flow pattern resulting from hot and wet mantle upwelling caused by the joint effects of deep dehydration of the Pacific slab and the convective circulation process in the mantle wedge above the Pacific slab. (4) Significant low-velocity anomalies with trench-normal FVDs exist in the mantle below the Pacific slab beneath Northeast Japan, which may reflect a subducting oceanic asthenosphere affected by hot mantle upwelling from the deeper mantle. ReferencesLiu, X., D. Zhao (2016) Seismic velocity azimuthal anisotropy of the Japan subduction zone: Constraints from P and S wave traveltimes. J. Geophys. Res. 121, doi

  16. Three-dimensional Thermal Model of the Mexican Subduction Zone (United States)

    Rosas, J. C.; Pimentel, F. D. C.; Currie, C. A.; He, J.; Harris, R. N.


    Along the Mexican section of the Middle America Trench (MAT), the Cocos plate subducts beneath the North American plate. The most important feature of this subduction zone is the flat-slab section below central Mexico, extending approximately 250 km landward from the trench at a depth of 50 km. Further west, the dip changes to 45-50º. This particular geometry has several unique consequences, such as a volcanic arc that is not aligned with the trench and very shallow slab seismicity. For the mantle wedge, the abrupt change in slab geometry could lead to a three-dimensional (3D) mantle wedge flow that departs from the classical 2D subduction-driven corner flow. Evidence of 3D flow in the region comes from seismic anisotropy studies, which show that olivine fast-direction axes have a component that is parallel to the MAT. In other subduction zones, such as Costa Rica-Nicaragua and Japan, 3D flow has been observed to increase temperatures by >50º C relative to corner flow models.For this study, we have created the first 3D finite-element model of the Mexican subduction zone in order to analyze its thermal structure. Our objective is to assess the effects of 3D mantle flow and hydrothermal circulation (HC) in the subducting slab. In this region, low surface heat flow values near the trench indicate that HC may remove heat from the oceanic plate. Our model incorporates the effect of HC through conductivity proxies in the subducting crust and a 2D oceanic geotherm that includes the age variations of the Cocos plate along the MAT. For an isoviscous mantle, our model shows that the slab dip variations induce a flow that departs from 2D corner flow near the transition between the flat-slab and normal-dipping sections. The mantle flows in eastward direction toward the flat slab, and its orientation is consistent with seismic anisotropy studies. The maximum along-margin flow rate is nearly 2 cm/yr, which is >30% of the convergence rate. Temperatures at the location of this

  17. Ups and downs in western Crete (Hellenic subduction zone). (United States)

    Tiberti, Mara Monica; Basili, Roberto; Vannoli, Paola


    Studies of past sea-level markers are commonly used to unveil the tectonic history and seismic behavior of subduction zones. We present new evidence on vertical motions of the Hellenic subduction zone as resulting from a suite of Late Pleistocene - Holocene shorelines in western Crete (Greece). Shoreline ages obtained by AMS radiocarbon dating of seashells, together with the reappraisal of shoreline ages from previous works, testify a long-term uplift rate of 2.5-2.7 mm/y. This average value, however, includes periods in which the vertical motions vary significantly: 2.6-3.2 mm/y subsidence rate from 42 ka to 23 ka, followed by ~7.7 mm/y sustained uplift rate from 23 ka to present. The last ~5 ky shows a relatively slower uplift rate of 3.0-3.3 mm/y, yet slightly higher than the long-term average. A preliminary tectonic model attempts at explaining these up and down motions by across-strike partitioning of fault activity in the subduction zone.

  18. Slab melting versus slab dehydration in subduction-zone magmatism. (United States)

    Mibe, Kenji; Kawamoto, Tatsuhiko; Matsukage, Kyoko N; Fei, Yingwei; Ono, Shigeaki


    The second critical endpoint in the basalt-H(2)O system was directly determined by a high-pressure and high-temperature X-ray radiography technique. We found that the second critical endpoint occurs at around 3.4 GPa and 770 °C (corresponding to a depth of approximately 100 km in a subducting slab), which is much shallower than the previously estimated conditions. Our results indicate that the melting temperature of the subducting oceanic crust can no longer be defined beyond this critical condition and that the fluid released from subducting oceanic crust at depths greater than 100 km under volcanic arcs is supercritical fluid rather than aqueous fluid and/or hydrous melts. The position of the second critical endpoint explains why there is a limitation to the slab depth at which adakitic magmas are produced, as well as the origin of across-arc geochemical variations of trace elements in volcanic rocks in subduction zones.

  19. Slow earthquakes linked along dip in the Nankai subduction zone. (United States)

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


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

  20. Crust and subduction zone structure of Southwestern Mexico (United States)

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


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

  1. Water and the oxidation state of subduction zone magmas. (United States)

    Kelley, Katherine A; Cottrell, Elizabeth


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

  2. 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


    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)

  3. Seismic reflection imaging of two megathrust shear zones in the northern Cascadia subduction zone. (United States)

    Calvert, Andrew J


    At convergent continental margins, the relative motion between the subducting oceanic plate and the overriding continent is usually accommodated by movement along a single, thin interface known as a megathrust. Great thrust earthquakes occur on the shallow part of this interface where the two plates are locked together. Earthquakes of lower magnitude occur within the underlying oceanic plate, and have been linked to geochemical dehydration reactions caused by the plate's descent. Here I present deep seismic reflection data from the northern Cascadia subduction zone that show that the inter-plate boundary is up to 16 km thick and comprises two megathrust shear zones that bound a >5-km-thick, approximately 110-km-wide region of imbricated crustal rocks. Earthquakes within the subducting plate occur predominantly in two geographic bands where the dip of the plate is inferred to increase as it is forced around the edges of the imbricated inter-plate boundary zone. This implies that seismicity in the subducting slab is controlled primarily by deformation in the upper part of the plate. Slip on the shallower megathrust shear zone, which may occur by aseismic slow slip, will transport crustal rocks into the upper mantle above the subducting oceanic plate and may, in part, provide an explanation for the unusually low seismic wave speeds that are observed there.

  4. Geodynamic Modeling of the Subduction Zone around the Japanese Islands (United States)

    Honda, S.


    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

  5. Imaging of the subducted Kyushu-Palau Ridge in the Hyuga-nada region, western Nankai Trough subduction zone (United States)

    Yamamoto, Yojiro; Obana, Koichiro; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Nakanishi, Ayako; Kodaira, Shuichi; Kaneda, Yoshiyuki


    We performed 3D seismic tomography of the Hyuga-nada region, western Nankai subduction zone, to investigate the relationship of the subducted part of Kyushu-Palau Ridge (KPR) to coseismic rupture propagation, seismicity, and shallow very low frequency earthquakes. Combining active-source and passive-source data recorded both onshore and offshore, we imaged the deep slab from near the trough axis to the coastal area. Our results show the subducted KPR as a low-velocity belt oriented NW-SE extending down the plate boundary to around 30 km depth. At this depth, we suggest that the subducted KPR detaches from the slab and becomes underplated on the overriding continental plate. As the coseismic slip areas of past large earthquakes do not extend into the subducted KPR, we suggest that it may inhibit rupture propagation. The interior of the subducted KPR shows active intraslab seismicity with a wide depth distribution. Shallow very low frequency earthquakes are continuously active above the location of the subducted KPR, whereas they are intermittent to the northeast of the subducted KPR. Thus, the subducted KPR appears to be an important factor in coseismic rupture propagation and seismic phenomena in this region.

  6. Thermobarometric and fluid expulsion history of subduction zones

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  7. Tectonics of the IndoBurma Oblique Subduction Zone (United States)

    Steckler, M. S.; Seeber, L.; Akhter, S. H.; Betka, P. M.; Cai, Y.; Grall, C.; Mondal, D. R.; Gahalaut, V. K.; Gaherty, J. B.; Maung Maung, P.; Ni, J.; Persaud, P.; Sandvol, E. A.; Tun, S. T.


    The Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta (GBD) is obliquely colliding with the IndoBurma subduction zone. Most of the 42 mm/y of arc-parallel motion is absorbed in a set of dextral to dextral-convergent faults, the Sagaing, Kabaw and Churachandpur-Mao Faults. The 13-17 mm/y of convergence with the delta has built a 250-km wide active accretionary prism. The upper part of the 19-km sediment thickness consists of a shallowing-up stack of prograding strata that has shifted the shelf edge 3-400 km since the Himalayan orogeny at 50 Ma. The upper 3-5 km sandy shelf to fluvial strata are deformed into a broad fold and thrust belt above an overpressured décollement. It forms a flat shallow roof thrust in the frontal accretionary prism. The structure of the deeper part of the accretionary prism, which must transfer the incoming sediments to the upper plate, is unknown. GPS indicates the downdip end of the megathrust locked zone is 25 km at 92.5°E. The deformation front, marked by nascent detachment folds above the shallow décollement reaches the megacity of Dhaka in the middle of the GBD. The seismogenic potential of this portion of the prism is unknown. Arc volcanism in Myanmar, 500 km east of the deformation front, is sparse. Limited geochemical data on the arc volcanics are consistent with hot slab conditions. One possibility is that the deep GBD slab and basement are metamorphosed and dewatered early in the subduction process whereby most of the fluids are transferred to the growing prism by buoyancy driven migration or accretion of fluid-rich strata. Since it is entirely subaerial this little-studied region crossing Bangladesh, India and Myanmar provides an opportunity for a detailed multidisciplinary geophysical and geological investigation. It has the potential to highlight the role of fluids in subduction zones, the tectonics of extreme accretion and their seismic hazards, and the interplay between driving and resistance forces of a subduction zone during a soft collision.

  8. Slab2 - Updated subduction zone geometries and modeling tools (United States)

    Portner, D. E.; Hayes, G. P.; Furtney, M.; Moore, G.; Flamme, H. E.; Hearne, M. G.


    The U.S. Geological Survey database of global subduction zone geometries (Slab1.0) combines a variety of geophysical data sets (earthquake hypocenters, moment tensors, active-source seismic survey images of the shallow subduction zone, bathymetry, trench locations, and sediment thickness information) to image the shape of subducting slabs in three dimensions, at approximately 85% of the world's convergent margins. The database is used extensively for a variety of purposes from earthquake source imaging to magnetotelluric modeling. Gaps in Slab1.0 exist where input data are sparse and/or where slabs are geometrically complex (and difficult to image with an automated approach). Slab1.0 also does not include information on the uncertainty in the modeled geometrical parameters, or the input data used to image them, and provides no means for others to reproduce the models it describes. Now near completion, Slab2 will update and replace Slab1.0 by: (1) extending modeled slab geometries to the full extent of all known global subduction zones; (2) incorporating regional data sets (e.g., tomography models) that may describe slab geometry more comprehensively than do previously used teleseismic data; (3) providing information on the uncertainties in each modeled slab surface; (4) modifying our modeling approach to a fully-three dimensional data interpolation, rather than following the 2-D to 3-D steps of Slab1.0; (5) adding further layers to the base geometry dataset, such as historic moment release, earthquake tectonic providence, and interface coupling; (6) migrating the slab modeling code base to a more universally distributable language, Python; and (7) providing the code base and input data we use to create our models, such that the community can both reproduce the slab geometries, and add their own data sets to ours to further improve upon those models in the future. In this presentation we will describe our progress made in creating Slab2, and provide information on

  9. Isotopic Characteristics of Thermal Fluids from Mexican Subduction Zone (United States)

    Taran, Y.; Inguaggiato, S.


    Chemical (major and trace elements) and isotopic (H,O,N,C,He) composition of waters and gases from thermal springs and geothermal wells of Mexican subduction zone have been measured. Three main geochemical profiles have been realized: (1) along the frontal Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB) zone through high- temperature Acoculco, Los Humeros, Los Azufres and La Primavera hydrothermal systems, Colima and Ceboruco volcanoes; (2) along the for-arc region of Pacific coast (12 groups of hot springs); (3) across the zone, from Pacific coast to TMVB, through the Jalisco Block. Fluids from El Chichon volcano in Chiapanecan arc system and Tacana volcano from the Central America Volcanic Arc have also been sampled. The frontal zone of TMVB is characterized by high 3He/4He ratios, from 7.2Ra in Ceboruco fumaroles to 7.6Ra in gases from Acoculco and Los Humeros calderas (Ra is atmospheric value of 1.4x10-6). These values are significantly higher than those published earlier in 80-s (up to 6.8Ra). Gases from coastal springs are low in 3He, usually < 1Ra with a minimum value of 0.2Ra in the northernmost submarine Punta Mita hot springs and a maximum value of 2.4Ra in La Tuna springs at the southern board of the Colima graben. An important feature of the TMVB thermal fluids is the absence of excess nitrogen in gases and, as a consequence, close to zero d15N values. In contrast, some coastal for-arc gases and gases from the Jalisco Block have high N2/Ar ratios and d15N up to +5 permil. Isotopic composition of carbon of CO2 along TMVB is close to typical "magmatic" values from -3 permil to -5 permil, but d13C of methane varies significantly indicating multiple sources of CH4 in geothermal fluids and a partial temperature control. High 3He/4He ratios and pure atmospheric nitrogen may indicate a low contribution of subducted sediments into the TMVB magmas and magmatic fluids. In contrast, El Chichon and Tacana fluids show some excess nitrogen (N2/Ar up to 500) and variable d15N, but

  10. Thermobarometric and fluid expulsion history of subduction zones (United States)

    Ernst, W. G.


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

  11. Modeling Diverse Pathways to Age Progressive Volcanism in Subduction Zones. (United States)

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


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

  12. Growth of early continental crust controlled by melting of amphibolite in subduction zones. (United States)

    Foley, Stephen; Tiepolo, Massimo; Vannucci, Riccardo


    It is thought that the first continental crust formed by melting of either eclogite or amphibolite, either at subduction zones or on the underside of thick oceanic crust. However, the observed compositions of early crustal rocks and experimental studies have been unable to distinguish between these possibilities. Here we show a clear contrast in trace-element ratios of melts derived from amphibolites and those from eclogites. Partial melting of low-magnesium amphibolite can explain the low niobium/tantalum and high zirconium/samarium ratios in melts, as required for the early continental crust, whereas the melting of eclogite cannot. This indicates that the earliest continental crust formed by melting of amphibolites in subduction-zone environments and not by the melting of eclogite or magnesium-rich amphibolites in the lower part of thick oceanic crust. Moreover, the low niobium/tantalum ratio seen in subduction-zone igneous rocks of all ages is evidence that the melting of rutile-eclogite has never been a volumetrically important process.

  13. Subduction Mode Selection During Slab and Mantle Transition Zone Interaction: Numerical Modeling (United States)

    Shi, Yanan; Wei, Dongping; Li, Zhong-Hai; Liu, Ming-Qi; Liu, Mengxue


    Global seismic tomography of the subduction zones shows that the subducting slabs could either stagnate around the 660-km discontinuity, or penetrate into the lower mantle. The stagnating slabs also have various morphologies. These are directly related to the interaction between the subducting slabs and the mantle transition zone (MTZ), the dynamics of which are still debated. Using a 2-D thermo-mechanical model, we systematically investigated the modes of subduction in the mantle transition zone and explored the key constraints of various subduction styles. Four basic subduction modes are obtained in the numerical experiments, including one with slab penetrating through the 660-km discontinuity and three other modes with slab stagnating in the MTZ (i.e. folding, lying and rolling-back). The numerical models indicate that the age of subducting oceanic plate, the thickness of overriding continental lithosphere and the convergence velocity play crucial roles in the dynamics of subducting slab and MTZ interaction. In general, the young subducting slab favors the penetration or folding mode, whereas the old subducting slab tends to result in lying or rolling-back mode, although other parameters can also affect. Our models also show a strong correlation between the subduction mode selection and dip angle of the slab tip when reaching the 660-km phase boundary.

  14. Dehydration-induced instabilities at intermediate depths in subduction zones (United States)

    Brantut, Nicolas; Stefanou, Ioannis; Sulem, Jean


    We formulate a model for coupled deformation and dehydration of antigorite, based on a porosity-dependent yield criterion and including shear-enhanced compaction. A pore pressure and compaction instability can develop when the net volume change associated with the reaction is negative, i.e., at intermediate depth in subduction zones. The instability criterion is derived in terms of the dependence of the yield criterion on porosity: if that dependence is strong, instabilities are more likely to occur. We also find that the instability is associated with strain localization, over characteristic length scales determined by the hydraulic diffusivity, the elasto-plastic parameters of the rock, and the reaction rate. Typical lower bounds for the localization length are of the order of 10 to 100 for antigorite dehydration and deformation at 3 GPa. The fluid pressure and deformation instability is expected to induce stress buildup in the surrounding rocks forming the subducted slab, which provides a mechanism for the nucleation and propagation of intermediate-depth earthquakes.

  15. Topographic and sedimentary features in the Yap subduction zone and their implications for the Caroline Ridge subduction (United States)

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


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

  16. Reevaluating carbon fluxes in subduction zones, what goes down, mostly comes up. (United States)

    Kelemen, Peter B; Manning, Craig E


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

  17. 3D Numerical modelling of topography development associated with curved subduction zones (United States)

    Munch, Jessica; Ueda, Kosuke; Burg, Jean-Pierre; May, Dave; Gerya, Taras


    Curved subduction zones, also called oroclines, are geological features found in various places on Earth. They occur in diverse geodynamic settings: 1) single slab subduction in oceanic domain (e.g. Sandwich trench in the Southern Atlantic); 2) single slab subduction in continental domain, (e.g. Gibraltar-Alboran orocline in the Western Mediterranean) 3); multi-slab subduction (e.g. Caribbean orocline in the South-East of the Gulf of Mexico). These systems present various curvatures, lengths (few hundreds to thousands of km) and ages (less than 35 Ma for Gibraltar Alboran orocline, up to 100 Ma for the Caribbean). Recent studies suggested that the formation of curved subduction systems depends on slab properties (age, length, etc) and may be linked with processes such as retreating subduction and delamination. Plume induced subduction initiation has been proposed for the Caribbean. All of these processes involve deep mechanisms such as mantle and slab dynamics. However, subduction zones always generate topography (trenches, uplifts, etc), which is likely to be influenced by surface processes. Hence, surface processes may also influence the evolution of subduction zones. We focus on different kinds of subduction systems initiated by plume-lithosphere interactions (single slab subduction/multi-slab subduction) and scrutinize their surface expression. We use numerical modeling to examine large-scale subduction initiation and three-dimensional slab retreat. We perform two kinds of simulations: 1) large scale subduction initiation with the 3D-thermomechanical code I3ELVIS (Gerya and Yuen, 2007) in an oceanic domain and 2) large scale subduction initiation in oceanic domain using I3ELVIS coupled with a robust new surface processes model (SPM). One to several retreating slabs form in the absence of surface processes, when the conditions for subduction initiation are reached (c.f. Gerya et al., 2015), and ridges occur in the middle of the extensional domain opened by slab

  18. Does subduction zone magmatism produce average continental crust (United States)

    Ellam, R. M.; Hawkesworth, C. J.


    The question of whether present day subduction zone magmatism produces material of average continental crust composition, which perhaps most would agree is andesitic, is addressed. It was argued that modern andesitic to dacitic rocks in Andean-type settings are produced by plagioclase fractionation of mantle derived basalts, leaving a complementary residue with low Rb/Sr and a positive Eu anomaly. This residue must be removed, for example by delamination, if the average crust produced in these settings is andesitic. The author argued against this, pointing out the absence of evidence for such a signature in the mantle. Either the average crust is not andesitic, a conclusion the author was not entirely comfortable with, or other crust forming processes must be sought. One possibility is that during the Archean, direct slab melting of basaltic or eclogitic oceanic crust produced felsic melts, which together with about 65 percent mafic material, yielded an average crust of andesitic composition.

  19. Migration of teleseismically triggered tremor in southwestern Japan subduction zone (United States)

    Kurihara, R.; Obara, K.; Maeda, T.; Takeo, A.


    Deep low frequency tremor in subduction zone is sometimes triggered by surface waves from teleseismic earthquakes. In southwestern Japan, a sequence of triggered tremor was reported for the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake (Miyazawa and Mori, 2006). Such triggered tremor was observed in the ambient tremor zone where the short-term slow slip events episodically occur. However, the triggered tremor is not distributed in the entire source area of ambient tremor, but is concentrated in several fixed spots. In this study, we tried to reveal accurate location of triggered tremor and investigate the spatiotemporal characteristics for understandings of condition and occurrence mechanism of triggered tremor. We detected low frequency earthquakes in tremor sequence triggered by teleseismic wave by using matched filter technique. The data were obtained at 10 NIED Hi-net stations. We used low frequency earthquakes occurred in 2014 detected by JMA as template events. Time duration of the templates is five seconds. We analyzed continuous waveform data for one hour from the origin times of 2004 Sumatra, 2008 Wenchuan, 2012 Sumatra and 2015 Nepal earthquakes. In western Shikoku, detected triggered tremor is concentrated at distant fixed two spots with an average separation of 20 km for analyzed four teleseismic events. Particularly, southwestern spot has a streak-like distribution along the dip direction of the subducting plate. In this spot, we detected along-dip migration of triggered tremor. The migration speed is about 300 km/h for 2008 Wenchuan earthquake and about 20 km/h for 2015 Nepal earthquake. Shelly et al. (2007) reported similar along-dip migration of ambient tremor at velocity from 25 to 150 km/h. Therefore, migrations of triggered tremor detected in this study suggest that the triggered tremor is also associated by slow slip event like as ambient tremor.

  20. The thermodynamic regime of metamorphism in the ancient subduction zones (United States)

    Perchuk, L. L.; Aranovich, L. Ya.


    Based on mineralogical themometry and baroraetry and computation of mineral reactions modelling metamorphic sequence, a geotherm for metamorphic belts of the subduction zones has been deduced. Relatively low PT-values (3 kbar/200° C) correspond to zeolite and prehnite-pumpellyite metasediments and at higher pressures and temperatures (10 kbar/400 °C) lawsonite-glaucophane assemblages become unstable. The PT-curve achieves maximum at 11 kbar and 470° C to drop down to normal geotherm (Perchuk 1977). High concentration of H2O in the metamorphic fluid has been revealed, the difference between Pf1 and P_{{text{H}}_{text{2}} {text{O}}} being less than 2 kbar. Consideration has also been given to specific thermodynamic regime of zeolite and prehnite-pumpellyite zones of the younger island arcs, where lawsoniteglaucophane zones are absent. Here the geotherm has been found to rise from 0.2kbar/120° C up to 4 kbar/350° C and P_{{text{H}}_{text{2}} {text{O}}}-regime similar to that of glaucophane schists formations.

  1. Deep postseismic viscoelastic relaxation excited by an intraslab normal fault earthquake in the Chile subduction zone (United States)

    Bie, Lidong; Ryder, Isabelle; Métois, Marianne


    The 2005 Mw 7.8 Tarapaca earthquake was the result of normal faulting on a west-dipping plane at a depth of 90 km within the subducting slab down-dip of the North Chilean gap that partially ruptured in the 2014 M 8.2 Iquique earthquake. We use Envisat observations of nearly four years of postseismic deformation following the earthquake, together with some survey GPS measurements, to investigate the viscoelastic relaxation response of the surrounding upper mantle to the coseismic stress. We constrain the rheological structure by testing various 3D models, taking into account the vertical and lateral heterogeneities in viscosity that one would expect in a subduction zone environment. A viscosity of 4-8 × 1018 Pa s for the continental mantle asthenosphere fits both InSAR line-of-sight (LOS) and GPS horizontal displacements reasonably well. In order to test whether the Tarapaca earthquake and associated postseismic relaxation could have triggered the 2014 Iquique sequence, we computed the Coulomb stress change induced by the co- and postseismic deformation following the Tarapaca earthquake on the megathrust interface and nodal planes of its M 6.7 foreshock. These static stress calculations show that the Tarapaca earthquake may have an indirect influence on the Iquique earthquake, via loading of the M 6.7 preshock positively. We demonstrate the feasibility of using deep intraslab earthquakes to constrain subduction zone rheology. Continuing geodetic observation following the 2014 Iquique earthquake may further validate the rheological parameters obtained here.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. D. Müller


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

  3. Episodic tremor and slip in Northern Sumatra subduction zone (United States)

    Sianipar, Dimas; Subakti, Hendri


    The first reported observation of non-volcanic tremor in Sunda Arc in Sumbawa, Indonesia open a possibility of discovery of episodic tremor and slip (ETS) from out of Pacific Rim. Non-volcanic tremor gives some important information about dynamic of plate boundaries. The characteristics of these tremors are visually as non-impulsive, high frequency, long-duration and low-amplitude signals. Tectonic tremor occurred in a transition part of brittle-ductile of a fault and frequently associated with the shearing mechanism of slow slip. Tectonic tremor is a seismic case that also very interested, because it shows strong sensitivity to stress changes. Deep non-volcanic tremor is usually associated with episodic slow-slip events. Tectonic tremor is found in close association with geodetically observed slow-slip events (SSE) in subduction zones. One research found that there is possibility of SSE occurrence on Banyak Islands, North Sumatra revealed from coral observation. The SSE occurred on the Banyak Islands portion of the megathrust at 30-55 km depth, within the downdip transition zone. We do a systematic search of episodic tremor and its possible relationship with slow-slip phenomena in Northern Sumatra subduction zone. The spectrogram analysis is done to analyze the potential tremor signals. We use three component broadband seismic stations with 20, 25, and 50 sampling per second (BH* and SH* channels). We apply a butterworth 5 Hz highpass filter to separate the signal as local tremor and teleseismic/regional earthquakes. Before computing spectrogram to avoid high-frequency artifacts to remote triggering, we apply a 0.5 Hz filter. We also convert the binary seismic data into sound waves to make sure that these events meet the tectonic tremor criterion. We successfully examine 3 seismic stations with good recording i.e. GSI, SNSI and KCSI. We find there are many evidences of high frequency episodic tremor like signals. This include an analysis of potential triggered

  4. Trench dynamics: Effects of dynamically migrating trench on subducting slab morphology and characteristics of subduction zones systems (United States)

    Yoshida, Masaki


    Understanding the mechanisms of trench migration (retreat or advance) is crucial to characterizing the driving forces of Earth's tectonics plates, the origins of subducting slab morphologies in the deep mantle, and identifying the characteristics of subduction zones systems, which are among the fundamental issues of solid Earth science. A series of numerical simulations of mantle convection, focusing on plate subduction in a three-dimensional (3-D) regional spherical shell coordinate system, was performed to examine subduction zone characteristics, including geodynamic relationships among trench migration, back-arc stress, and slab morphology. The results show that a subducting slab tends to deflect around the base of the mantle transition zone and form a sub-horizontal slab because its front edge (its 'toe') is subject to resistance from the highly viscous lower mantle. As the sub-horizontal slab starts to penetrate into the lower mantle from its 'heel,' the toe of the slab is drawn into the lower mantle. The results for models with dynamically migrating trenches suggest that trench retreat is the dynamically self-consistent phenomenon in trench migration. The reason for this is that the strong lateral mantle flow that is generated as a sequence of events leading from corner flow at the subduction initiation to return flow of the formation of a sub-horizontal slab in the shallower part of mantle wedge produces the retreat of the subducting slab. In fact, a 'mantle suction force,' which is generated in the mantle wedge to fill space left by the retreating subducting plate, is enhanced by the subsequent trench retreat. Even when upwelling flow with significant positive buoyancy originates just above a mantle phase boundary at a depth of 410 km (as inferred from independent seismic tomographic, geodynamic, geochemical, and mineral physics), reaches the base of the overriding plate, and the overriding plate is slightly thinned, lithospheric stress tends to be

  5. Constraints on Subduction Zone Processes from Low Frequency Earthquakes (United States)

    Bostock, M. G.


    The discovery of tectonic tremor and constituent low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs) offers seismologists new opportunities to study both deformational processes and structure within the subduction zone forearc. This assertion is especially true for northern Cascadia where i) regular seismicity is sparse, and ii) a relatively transparent overriding plate inflicts minimal distortion upon direct P and S wave arrivals from LFEs. Despite low signal-to-noise ratios, LFEs are highly repetitive and signal can be enhanced through construction of stacked templates. Studies in both Cascadia and Nankai reveal an association between LFE hypocenters and a high Vp/Vs, low-velocity zone (LVZ) that is inferred to represent overpressured upper oceanic crust. Scattered signals within Vancouver Island templates, interpreted to originate at boundaries of the LVZ, place LFEs within the LVZ and suggest that this structure may define a distributed (several km) zone of deformation. A recent analysis of LFE magnitudes indicates that LFEs exhibit scaling relations distinct from both regular earthquakes and longer period (10's of seconds to days) phenomena associated with slow slip. Regular earthquakes generally obey a scaling of moment proportional to duration cubed consistent with self similarity, whereas long period slow slip phenomena exhibit a linear scaling between moment and duration that can be accommodated through constant slip or constant stress drop models. In contrast, LFE durations are nearly constant suggesting that moment is governed by slip alone and that asperity size remains approximately constant. The implied dimensions (~1 km2), the persistance of LFEs in time and their stationarity in space point to structural heterogeneity, perhaps related to pockets of upper oceanic crust impervious to hydrothermal circulation, as a fundamental control.

  6. Subduction of fracture zones controls mantle melting and geochemical signature above slabs. (United States)

    Manea, Vlad C; Leeman, William P; Gerya, Taras; Manea, Marina; Zhu, Guizhi


    For some volcanic arcs, the geochemistry of volcanic rocks erupting above subducted oceanic fracture zones is consistent with higher than normal fluid inputs to arc magma sources. Here we use enrichment of boron (B/Zr) in volcanic arc lavas as a proxy to evaluate relative along-strike inputs of slab-derived fluids in the Aleutian, Andean, Cascades and Trans-Mexican arcs. Significant B/Zr spikes coincide with subduction of prominent fracture zones in the relatively cool Aleutian and Andean subduction zones where fracture zone subduction locally enhances fluid introduction beneath volcanic arcs. Geodynamic models of subduction have not previously considered how fracture zones may influence the melt and fluid distribution above slabs. Using high-resolution three-dimensional coupled petrological-thermomechanical numerical simulations of subduction, we show that enhanced production of slab-derived fluids and mantle wedge melts concentrate in areas where fracture zones are subducted, resulting in significant along-arc variability in magma source compositions and processes.

  7. Molecular modelling of rare earth element complexation in subduction zone fluids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Sijl, J.; Allan, N.L.; Davies, G.R.; van Westrenen, W.


    Complexation of (trace) elements in fluids plays a critical role in determining element mobility in subduction zones, but to date, the atomic-scale processes controlling elemental solubilities are poorly understood. As a first step towards computer simulation of element complexation in subduction

  8. Trading Time with Space - Development of subduction zone parameter database for a maximum magnitude correlation assessment (United States)

    Schaefer, Andreas; Wenzel, Friedemann


    Subduction zones are generally the sources of the earthquakes with the highest magnitudes. Not only in Japan or Chile, but also in Pakistan, the Solomon Islands or for the Lesser Antilles, subduction zones pose a significant hazard for the people. To understand the behavior of subduction zones, especially to identify their capabilities to produce maximum magnitude earthquakes, various physical models have been developed leading to a large number of various datasets, e.g. from geodesy, geomagnetics, structural geology, etc. There have been various studies to utilize this data for the compilation of a subduction zone parameters database, but mostly concentrating on only the major zones. Here, we compile the largest dataset of subduction zone parameters both in parameter diversity but also in the number of considered subduction zones. In total, more than 70 individual sources have been assessed and the aforementioned parametric data have been combined with seismological data and many more sources have been compiled leading to more than 60 individual parameters. Not all parameters have been resolved for each zone, since the data completeness depends on the data availability and quality for each source. In addition, the 3D down-dip geometry of a majority of the subduction zones has been resolved using historical earthquake hypocenter data and centroid moment tensors where available and additionally compared and verified with results from previous studies. With such a database, a statistical study has been undertaken to identify not only correlations between those parameters to estimate a parametric driven way to identify potentials for maximum possible magnitudes, but also to identify similarities between the sources themselves. This identification of similarities leads to a classification system for subduction zones. Here, it could be expected if two sources share enough common characteristics, other characteristics of interest may be similar as well. This concept

  9. Electrical conductivity imaging in the western Pacific subduction zone (United States)

    Utada, Hisashi; Baba, Kiyoshi; Shimizu, Hisayoshi


    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

  10. Dating Subduction Zone Metamorphism with Garnet and Lawsonite Geochronology (United States)

    Mulcahy, S. R.; Vervoort, J. D.


    Lawsonite [CaAl2Si2O7(OH)2 H2O] is a critical index mineral for high- to ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism associated with subduction. Lawsonite is an important carrier of water into the mantle, a likely contributor to subduction zone seismicity, and a bearer of trace elements that link metamorphism to arc magmatism. Due to its limited pressure-temperature stability, lawsonite can serve as a powerful petrogenetic indicator of specific metamorphic events. Lu-Hf dating of lawsonite, therefore provides a potentially powerful new tool for constraining subduction zone processes in a pressure-temperature window where few successful geochronometers exist. Broad application of lawsonite Lu-Hf geochronology requires constraining the role of pressure-temperature path, lawsonite forming reactions, and the Lu and Hf systematics within lawsonite and other blueschist facies minerals. We are working to address the role of the metamorphic path on the applicability of lawsonite Lu-Hf geochronology within the Franciscan Complex of California. The Franciscan Complex preserves mafic high-grade exotic blocks in melange that underwent a counterclockwise pressure-temperature path wherein garnet, which strongly partitions heavy rare-earth elements, formed prior to lawsonite. Coherent mafic rocks within the Franciscan Complex, however, underwent a clockwise pressure-temperature path and lawsonite growth occurred prior to garnet. We sampled exotic blocks of garnet-hornblendite, garnet-epidote amphibolite, garnet-epidote blueschist, and lawsonite blueschist from the Berkeley Hills and Tiburon Peninsula of California. We collected four samples from coherent lawsonite blueschist across the lawsonite-pumpellyite-epidote isograds in Ward Creek, near Cazadero California. High-grade blocks give ages similar to existing Franciscan geochronology: multi-stage garnet in hornblendite gives the following ages: 171×1.3 Ma (MSWD 2.8) for the core and 159.4×0.9 Ma (MSWD 2.0) for the corresponding rim; 166

  11. Assessment of Optimum Value for Dip Angle and Locking Rate Parameters in Makran Subduction Zone (United States)

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


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

  12. A satellite magnetic perspective of subduction zones, large igneous provinces, rifts, and diffuse plate boundary zones (United States)

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


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

  13. A Computer-Based Subduction-Zone-Earthquake Exercise for Introductory-Geology Classes. (United States)

    Shea, James Herbert


    Describes the author's computer-based program for a subduction-zone-earthquake exercise. Instructions for conducting the activity and obtaining the program from the author are provided. Written in IBM QuickBasic. (PR)

  14. Frictional behaviour of megathrust fault gouges under in-situ subduction zone conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    den Hartog, S.A.M.


    Subduction zone megathrusts generate the largest earthquakes and tsunamis known. Understanding and modelling “seismogenesis” on such faults requires an understanding of the frictional processes that control nucleation and propagation of seismic slip. However, experimental data on the frictional

  15. Lithium Isotopic Fractionation in Subduction Zones: Clues From Clays (United States)

    Williams, L. B.; Hervig, R. L.


    Lithium isotope ratios show such large variations in nature (>30 per mil), that many areas of geosciences are exploring the usefulness of this system in explaining the evolution of particular rocks. Here we show how the lithium isotope ratios change during the transformation of smectite clay minerals to illite during burial metamorphism. Such a transition may be a common feature in the shallow regions of subduction zones and may ultimately affect the Li isotope compositions of fluids contributing to arc magmatism. Lithium is a ubiquitous trace element in natural formation waters that, like B, shows large isotopic fractionation especially during interactions with clay minerals. Lithium is adsorbed in the interlayer region of expandable clay minerals but is easily exchanged. Lithium is also incorporated into the octahedral sites. The substitutions of Li in two crystallographic sites of clay minerals may complicate interpretations of bulk Li-isotope ratios. We suggest that the magnitude of the isotopic fractionation of Li between fluid and clay is different in the interlayer sites of clay minerals than in the octahedral sites of clay minerals. Examination of Li contents and isotope variations in experimental reactions of smectite to illite (300C, 100MPa) shows changes with structural re-arrangement of the clay layers. The Li-isotope trend declines (from ~+6 to -13 per mil, expressed as ratios of 7/6) throughout R1-ordering of the mixed-layered illite smectite (I/S). However, the equilibrium end products of the reaction have R3-ordering and show a heavier isotope ratio (~0 per mil). This observation is very similar to the trends we observed for B-isotopes, where the interlayer B initially overprinted the tetrahedral-layer B isotope composition, but as the interlayer sites were collapsed during illitization, the equilibrium isotope composition was approached. The significant Li and B isotopic changes that occur during ordering of I/S coincides with the temperatures

  16. A model for the termination of the Ryukyu subduction zone against Taiwan: A junction of collision, subduction/separation, and subduction boundaries (United States)

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


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

  17. Implications for metal and volatile cycles from the pH of subduction zone fluids. (United States)

    Galvez, Matthieu E; Connolly, James A D; Manning, Craig E


    The chemistry of aqueous fluids controls the transport and exchange-the cycles-of metals and volatile elements on Earth. Subduction zones, where oceanic plates sink into the Earth's interior, are the most important geodynamic setting for this fluid-mediated chemical exchange. Characterizing the ionic speciation and pH of fluids equilibrated with rocks at subduction zone conditions has long been a major challenge in Earth science. Here we report thermodynamic predictions of fluid-rock equilibria that tie together models of the thermal structure, mineralogy and fluid speciation of subduction zones. We find that the pH of fluids in subducted crustal lithologies is confined to a mildly alkaline range, modulated by rock volatile and chlorine contents. Cold subduction typical of the Phanerozoic eon favours the preservation of oxidized carbon in subducting slabs. In contrast, the pH of mantle wedge fluids is very sensitive to minor variations in rock composition. These variations may be caused by intramantle differentiation, or by infiltration of fluids enriched in alkali components extracted from the subducted crust. The sensitivity of pH to soluble elements in low abundance in the host rocks, such as carbon, alkali metals and halogens, illustrates a feedback between the chemistry of the Earth's atmosphere-ocean system and the speciation of subduction zone fluids via the composition of the seawater-altered oceanic lithosphere. Our findings provide a perspective on the controlling reactions that have coupled metal and volatile cycles in subduction zones for more than 3 billion years(7).

  18. Connecting the Surface and the Deep: Evolving Role of Subduction Zone Fluids Through Time (United States)

    Galvez, Matthieu Emmanuel


    The speciation of aqueous fluids controls the transport and exchange of metals and volatile elements on Earth. Subduction zones 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 been a major challenge in Earth science. I will first present thermodynamic predictions of fluid-rock equilibria that tie together models of mineralogy and fluid speciation along a range of model P-T paths. The pH of fluids in subducted crustal lithologies is uniform and confined to a mildly alkaline range, controlled by rock volatile and chlorine contents. In contrast, the pH of mantle wedge fluids exhibits marked sensitivity to minor variations in rock chemistry. 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 carbon, alkali and halogens illustrates a top-down control of Earth's atmosphere - ocean chemistry on the speciation of subduction zone fluids via the hydrothermally altered oceanic lithosphere. These results provide a perspective on the physicochemical mechanisms that have coupled metal and volatile cycles in subduction zones for over 2.5 billion years.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Arcay


    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

  20. Nitrogen recycling at the Costa Rican subduction zone: The role of incoming plate structure. (United States)

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


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

  1. Slab1.0: A three-dimensional model of global subduction zone geometries (United States)

    Hayes, G.P.; Wald, D.J.; Johnson, R.L.


    We describe and present a new model of global subduction zone geometries, called Slab1.0. An extension of previous efforts to constrain the two-dimensional non-planar geometry of subduction zones around the focus of large earthquakes, Slab1.0 describes the detailed, non-planar, three-dimensional geometry of approximately 85% of subduction zones worldwide. While the model focuses on the detailed form of each slab from their trenches through the seismogenic zone, where it combines data sets from active source and passive seismology, it also continues to the limits of their seismic extent in the upper-mid mantle, providing a uniform approach to the definition of the entire seismically active slab geometry. Examples are shown for two well-constrained global locations; models for many other regions are available and can be freely downloaded in several formats from our new Slab1.0 website, d9ARbS. We describe improvements in our two-dimensional geometry constraint inversion, including the use of average active source seismic data profiles in the shallow trench regions where data are otherwise lacking, derived from the interpolation between other active source seismic data along-strike in the same subduction zone. We include several analyses of the uncertainty and robustness of our three-dimensional interpolation methods. In addition, we use the filtered, subduction-related earthquake data sets compiled to build Slab1.0 in a reassessment of previous analyses of the deep limit of the thrust interface seismogenic zone for all subduction zones included in our global model thus far, concluding that the width of these seismogenic zones is on average 30% larger than previous studies have suggested. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  2. On the initiation of subduction (United States)

    Mueller, Steve; Phillips, Roger J.


    Estimates of shear resistance associated with lithospheric thrusting and convergence represent lower bounds on the force necessary to promote trench formation. Three environments proposed as preferential sites of incipient subduction are investigated: passive continental margins, transform faults/fracture zones, and extinct ridges. None of these are predicted to convert into subduction zones simply by the accumulation of local gravitational stresses. Subduction cannot initiate through the foundering of dense oceanic lithosphere immediately adjacent to passive continental margins. The attempted subduction of buoyant material at a mature trench can result in large compressional forces in both subducting and overriding plates. This is the only tectonic force sufficient to trigger the nucleation of a new subduction zone. The ubiquitous distribution of transform faults and fracture zones, combined with the common proximity of these features to mature subduction complexes, suggests that they may represent the most likely sites of trench formation if they are even marginally weaker than normal oceanic lithosphere.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cloetingh, Sierd


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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cloetingh, S.A.P.L.


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

  5. Characterizing Mega-Earthquake Related Tsunami on Subduction Zones without Large Historical Events (United States)

    Williams, C. R.; Lee, R.; Astill, S.; Farahani, R.; Wilson, P. S.; Mohammed, F.


    Due to recent large tsunami events (e.g., Chile 2010 and Japan 2011), the insurance industry is very aware of the importance of managing its exposure to tsunami risk. There are currently few tools available to help establish policies for managing and pricing tsunami risk globally. As a starting point and to help address this issue, Risk Management Solutions Inc. (RMS) is developing a global suite of tsunami inundation footprints. This dataset will include both representations of historical events as well as a series of M9 scenarios on subductions zones that have not historical generated mega earthquakes. The latter set is included to address concerns about the completeness of the historical record for mega earthquakes. This concern stems from the fact that the Tohoku Japan earthquake was considerably larger than had been observed in the historical record. Characterizing the source and rupture pattern for the subduction zones without historical events is a poorly constrained process. In many case, the subduction zones can be segmented based on changes in the characteristics of the subducting slab or major ridge systems. For this project, the unit sources from the NOAA propagation database are utilized to leverage the basin wide modeling included in this dataset. The length of the rupture is characterized based on subduction zone segmentation and the slip per unit source can be determined based on the event magnitude (i.e., M9) and moment balancing. As these events have not occurred historically, there is little to constrain the slip distribution. Sensitivity tests on the potential rupture pattern have been undertaken comparing uniform slip to higher shallow slip and tapered slip models. Subduction zones examined include the Makran Trench, the Lesser Antilles and the Hikurangi Trench. The ultimate goal is to create a series of tsunami footprints to help insurers understand their exposures at risk to tsunami inundation around the world.

  6. 3D geodynamic models for the development of opposing continental subduction zones: The Hindu Kush-Pamir example (United States)

    Liao, Jie; Gerya, Taras; Thielmann, Marcel; Webb, A. Alexander G.; Kufner, Sofia-Katerina; Yin, An


    The development of opposing continental subduction zones remains scantly explored in three dimensions. The Hindu Kush-Pamir orogenic system at the western end of the Himalayan orogen provides a rare example of continental collision linked to two opposing intra-continental subduction zones. The subducted plates feature a peculiar 3D geometry consisting of two distinct lithospheric fragments with different polarities, subduction angles and slab-curvatures beneath the Hindu Kush and Pamir, respectively. Using 3D geodynamic modeling, we simulate possible development of two opposing continental subduction zones to understand the dynamic evolution of the Hindu Kush-Pamir orogenic system. Our geodynamic model reproduces the major tectonic elements observed: (1) the deeper subduction depth, the steeper dip angle and the southward offset of the Hindu Kush subduction zone relative to the Pamir naturally occur if convergence direction of the subducting Indian plate and dip-direction of the Hindu Kush subduction zone match. (2) The formation of the highly asymmetrically curved Pamir region and the south-dipping subduction is promoted by the initial geometry of the indenting Indian lithosphere together with the existence of a major strike-slip fault on the eastern margin of the Pamir region. (3) Subduction of only the lower continental crust during continental collision can occur if the coupling between upper and lower crusts is weak enough to allow a separation of these two components, and that (4) the subduction of mainly lower crust then facilitates that conditions for intermediate-depth seismicity can be reached. (5) The secondary tectonic features modeled here such as strike-slip-fault growth, north-northwest striking extension zone, and lateral flow of the thickened ductile upper crust are comparable to the current tectonics of the region. (6) Model results are further compared to the potentially similar orogenic system, i.e., the Alpine orogen, in terms of the curved

  7. Seismic anisotropy in the Hellenic subduction zone: Effects of slab segmentation and subslab mantle flow (United States)

    Evangelidis, C. P.


    The segmentation and differentiation of subducting slabs have considerable effects on mantle convection and tectonics. The Hellenic subduction zone is a complex convergent margin with strong curvature and fast slab rollback. The upper mantle seismic anisotropy in the region is studied focusing at its western and eastern edges in order to explore the effects of possible slab segmentation on mantle flow and fabrics. Complementary to new SKS shear-wave splitting measurements in regions not adequately sampled so far, the source-side splitting technique is applied to constrain the depth of anisotropy and to densify measurements. In the western Hellenic arc, a trench-normal subslab anisotropy is observed near the trench. In the forearc domain, source-side and SKS measurements reveal a trench-parallel pattern. This indicates subslab trench-parallel mantle flow, associated with return flow due to the fast slab rollback. The passage from continental to oceanic subduction in the western Hellenic zone is illustrated by a forearc transitional anisotropy pattern. This indicates subslab mantle flow parallel to a NE-SW smooth ramp that possibly connects the two subducted slabs. A young tear fault initiated at the Kefalonia Transform Fault is likely not entirely developed, as this trench-parallel anisotropy pattern is observed along the entire western Hellenic subduction system, even following this horizontal offset between the two slabs. At the eastern side of the Hellenic subduction zone, subslab source-side anisotropy measurements show a general trench-normal pattern. These are associated with mantle flow through a possible ongoing tearing of the oceanic lithosphere in the area. Although the exact geometry of this slab tear is relatively unknown, SKS trench-parallel measurements imply that the tear has not reached the surface yet. Further exploration of the Hellenic subduction system is necessary; denser seismic networks should be deployed at both its edges in order to achieve

  8. Depth-dependent rupture mode along the Ecuador-Colombia subduction zone (United States)

    Yoshimoto, Masahiro; Kumagai, Hiroyuki; Acero, Wilson; Ponce, Gabriela; Vásconez, Freddy; Arrais, Santiago; Ruiz, Mario; Alvarado, Alexandra; Pedraza García, Patricia; Dionicio, Viviana; Chamorro, Orlando; Maeda, Yuta; Nakano, Masaru


    A large earthquake (Mw 7.7) occurred on 16 April 2016 within the source region of the 1906 earthquake in the Ecuador-Colombia subduction zone. The 1906 event has been interpreted as a megathrust earthquake (Mw 8.8) that ruptured the source regions of smaller earthquakes in 1942, 1958, and 1979 in this subduction. Our seismic analysis indicated that the spatial distribution of the 2016 earthquake and its aftershocks correlated with patches of high interplate coupling strength and was similar to those of the 1942 earthquake and its aftershocks, suggesting that the 2016 and 1942 earthquakes ruptured the same asperity. Our analysis of tsunami waveforms of the 1906 event indicated Mw around 8.4 and showed that large slip occurred near the trench off the source regions of the above three historical and the 2016 earthquakes, suggesting that a depth-dependent complex rupture mode exists along this subduction zone.

  9. Dry Juan de Fuca slab revealed by quantification of water entering Cascadia subduction zone (United States)

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


    Water is carried by subducting slabs as a pore fluid and in structurally bound minerals, yet no comprehensive quantification of water content and how it is stored and distributed at depth within incoming plates exists for any segment of the global subduction system. Here we use seismic data to quantify the amount of pore and structurally bound water in the Juan de Fuca plate entering the Cascadia subduction zone. Specifically, we analyse these water reservoirs in the sediments, crust and lithospheric mantle, and their variations along the central Cascadia margin. We find that the Juan de Fuca lower crust and mantle are drier than at any other subducting plate, with most of the water stored in the sediments and upper crust. Variable but limited bend faulting along the margin limits slab access to water, and a warm thermal structure resulting from a thick sediment cover and young plate age prevents significant serpentinization of the mantle. The dryness of the lower crust and mantle indicates that fluids that facilitate episodic tremor and slip must be sourced from the subducted upper crust, and that decompression rather than hydrous melting must dominate arc magmatism in central Cascadia. Additionally, dry subducted lower crust and mantle can explain the low levels of intermediate-depth seismicity in the Juan de Fuca slab.

  10. Megathrust and accretionary wedge properties and behaviour in the Makran subduction zone (United States)

    Penney, Camilla; Tavakoli, Farokh; Saadat, Abdolreza; Nankali, Hamid Reza; Sedighi, Morteza; Khorrami, Fateme; Sobouti, Farhad; Rafi, Zahid; Copley, Alex; Jackson, James; Priestley, Keith


    We study the Makran subduction zone, along the southern coasts of Iran and Pakistan, to gain insights into the kinematics and dynamics of accretionary prism deformation. By combining techniques from seismology, geodesy and geomorphology, we are able to put constraints on the shape of the subduction interface and the style of strain across the prism. We also address the long-standing tectonic problem of how the right-lateral shear taken up by strike-slip faulting in the Sistan Suture Zone in eastern Iran is accommodated at the zone's southern end. We find that the subduction interface in the western Makran may be locked, accumulating elastic strain, and move in megathrust earthquakes. Such earthquakes, and associated tsunamis, present a significant hazard to populations around the Arabian Sea. The time-dependent strain within the accretionary prism, resulting from the megathrust earthquake cycle, may play an important role in the deformation of the Makran region. By considering the kinematics of the 2013 Balochistan and Minab earthquakes, we infer that the local gravitational and far-field compressive forces in the Makran accretionary prism are in balance. This force balance allows us to calculate the mean shear stress and effective coefficient of friction on the Makran megathrust, which we find to be 5-35 MPa and 0.01-0.03, respectively. These values are similar to those found in other subduction zones, showing that the abnormally high sediment thickness in the offshore Makran does not significantly reduce the shear stress on the megathrust.

  11. Seismicity, shear failure and modes of deformation in deep subduction zones (United States)

    Lundgren, Paul R.; Giardini, Domenico


    The joint hypocentral determination method is used to relocate deep seismicity reported in the International Seismological Center catalog for earthquakes deeper than 400 km in the Honshu, Bonin, Mariannas, Java, Banda, and South America subduction zones. Each deep seismic zone is found to display planar features of seismicity parallel to the Harvard centroid-moment tensor nodal planes, which are identified as planes of shear failure. The sense of displacement on these planes is one of resistance to deeper penetration.

  12. Geoid anomalies in the vicinity of subduction zones (United States)

    Mcadoo, D. C.


    In the considered investigation, attention is given to the line source model, a surface source model, an application of the model, and a model of the thermal lithosphere associated with marginal basins. It is found that undulations in the altimetrically observed geoid of the southwest Pacific are strongly controlled by positive density anomalies in the subducting slabs of the region and the effects of elevation of the geotherm in behind arc lithosphere (corresponding to young marginal basins). Finer details of slab geometry do not obviously manifest themselves in the observed geoid. Such gravitational effects are quite attenuated at sea level and are apparently mixed with crustal effects, oceanographic noise, etc. It appears that slabs in global composite may contribute substantially to intermediate and long wavelength portions (down to spherical harmonic degree 3 or 4) of the earth's gravity field.

  13. Transient uplift after a 17th-century earthquake along the Kuril subduction zone. (United States)

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


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

  14. Seismic evidence for flow in the hydrated mantle wedge of the Ryukyu subduction zone. (United States)

    Nagaya, Takayoshi; Walker, Andrew M; Wookey, James; Wallis, Simon R; Ishii, Kazuhiko; Kendall, J-Michael


    It is widely accepted that water-rich serpentinite domains are commonly present in the mantle above shallow subducting slabs and play key roles in controlling the geochemical cycling and physical properties of subduction zones. Thermal and petrological models show the dominant serpentine mineral is antigorite. However, there is no good consensus on the amount, distribution and alignment of this mineral. Seismic velocities are commonly used to identify antigorite-rich domains, but antigorite is highly-anisotropic and depending on the seismic ray path, its properties can be very difficult to distinguish from non-hydrated olivine-rich mantle. Here, we utilize this anisotropy and show how an analysis of seismic anisotropy that incorporates measured ray path geometries in the Ryukyu arc can constrain the distribution, orientation and amount of antigorite. We find more than 54% of the wedge must consist of antigorite and the alignment must change from vertically aligned to parallel to the slab. This orientation change suggests convective flow in the hydrated forearc mantle. Shear wave splitting analysis in other subduction zones indicates large-scale serpentinization and forearc mantle convection are likely to be more widespread than generally recognized. The view that the forearc mantle of cold subduction zones is dry needs to be reassessed.

  15. Controls on continental strain partitioning above an oblique subduction zone, Northern Andes (United States)

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


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

  16. Possible control of subduction zone slow-earthquake periodicity by silica enrichment. (United States)

    Audet, Pascal; Bürgmann, Roland


    Seismic and geodetic observations in subduction zone forearcs indicate that slow earthquakes, including episodic tremor and slip, recur at intervals of less than six months to more than two years. In Cascadia, slow slip is segmented along strike and tremor data show a gradation from large, infrequent slip episodes to small, frequent slip events with increasing depth of the plate interface. Observations and models of slow slip and tremor require the presence of near-lithostatic pore-fluid pressures in slow-earthquake source regions; however, direct evidence of factors controlling the variability in recurrence times is elusive. Here we compile seismic data from subduction zone forearcs exhibiting recurring slow earthquakes and show that the average ratio of compressional (P)-wave velocity to shear (S)-wave velocity (vP/vS) of the overlying forearc crust ranges between 1.6 and 2.0 and is linearly related to the average recurrence time of slow earthquakes. In northern Cascadia, forearc vP/vS values decrease with increasing depth of the plate interface and with decreasing tremor-episode recurrence intervals. Low vP/vS values require a large addition of quartz in a mostly mafic forearc environment. We propose that silica enrichment varying from 5 per cent to 15 per cent by volume from slab-derived fluids and upward mineralization in quartz veins can explain the range of observed vP/vS values as well as the downdip decrease in vP/vS. The solubility of silica depends on temperature, and deposition prevails near the base of the forearc crust. We further propose that the strong temperature dependence of healing and permeability reduction in silica-rich fault gouge via dissolution-precipitation creep can explain the reduction in tremor recurrence time with progressive silica enrichment. Lower gouge permeability at higher temperatures leads to faster fluid overpressure development and low effective fault-normal stress, and therefore shorter recurrence times. Our results also

  17. 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 (United States)

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


    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

  18. Three-dimensional structure and seismicity beneath the Central Vanuatu subduction zone (United States)

    Foix, Oceane; Crawford, Wayne; Pelletier, Bernard; Regnier, Marc; Garaebiti, Esline; Koulakov, Ivan


    The 1400-km long Vanuatu subduction zone results from subduction of the oceanic Australian plate (OAP) beneath the North-Fijian microplate (NFM). Seismic and volcanic activity are both high, and several morphologic features enter into subduction, affecting seismicity and probably plate coupling. The Entrecasteaux Ridge, West-Torres plateau, and Bougainville seamount currently enter into subduction below the large forearc islands of Santo and Malekula. This collision coincides with a strongly decreased local convergence velocity rate - 35 mm/yr compared to 120-160 mm/yr to the north and south - and significant uplift on the overriding plate, indicating a high degree of deformation. The close proximity of large uplifted forearc islands to the trench provides excellent coverage of the megathrust seismogenic zone for a seismological study. We used 10 months of seismological data collected using the 30-instrument land and sea ARC-VANUATU seismology network to construct a 3D velocity model — using the LOTOS joint location/model inversion software — and locate 11655 earthquakes using the NonLinLoc software suite. The 3-D model reveals low P and S velocities in the first tens of kilometers beneath both islands, probably due to water infiltration in the heavily faulted upper plate. The model also suggests the presence of a subducted seamount beneath south Santo. The earthquake locations reveal a complex interaction of faults and stress zones related to high and highly variable deformation. Both brittle deformation and the seismogenic zone depth limits vary along-slab and earthquake clusters are identified beneath central and south Santo, at about 10-30 km of depth, and southwest of Malekula island between 10-20 km depth.

  19. Lower slab boundary in the Japan subduction zone (United States)

    Tonegawa, Takashi; Hirahara, Kazuro; Shibutani, Takuo; Fujii, Naoyuki


    We have successfully detected the lower boundary of a subducting slab. The successive imaging of the lower slab boundary beneath northeastern (NE) Japan is attained by receiver function (RF) depth conversion analysis using a recent 3D tomographic velocity model. We use waveforms from 249 teleseismic events collected by Hi-net and J-array short-period stations in NE Japan. RFs are calculated through frequency domain division of radial components by vertical ones with a water level of 0.001 and a 1.0 Hz low-pass Gaussian filter. Assuming that all later phases in the radial RFs are due to Ps phases converted at discontinuities beneath stations, we calculate depth-converted RFs, mapped onto the cross-section with the CCP (common conversion point) stacking. In a cross section, the slab surface and the oceanic Moho can be imaged down to 120 km depth. For the greater depths, the RF amplitudes corresponding to them cannot be seen, because, in the oceanic crust, basalt would be completely metamorphosed to eclogite below this depth. The lower boundary of the Pacific slab can also be traced down to 200 km depth or more. It is parallel to the slab surface and the oceanic Moho, and the thickness between the slab surface and the lower boundary is ˜ 80 km. Finally, we estimate a top-to-bottom slab velocity model that explains the RFs observed at broadband stations with the synthetic RFs. This model exhibits a 13% velocity reduction downwards the lower slab boundary, which would relatively sharp for the base of the thermal boundary layer. Therefore, this sharp discontinuity is presumably considered to be the subducting G (Gutenberg) discontinuity that is formed by the change of the amount of H 2O (water), meaning that the G discontinuity is the chemical boundary at the bottom of the oceanic lithosphere. The G discontinuity depth is controlled by the potential temperature of the asthenospheric mantle beneath the mid-ocean ridge, and hence the observed thickness of 80 km, i.e. the

  20. The subduction zone flow field from seismic anisotropy: a global view. (United States)

    Long, Maureen D; Silver, Paul G


    Although the morphologies of subducting slabs have been relatively well characterized, the character of the mantle flow field that accompanies subduction remains poorly understood. To analyze this pattern of flow, we compiled observations of seismic anisotropy, as manifested by shear wave splitting. Data from 13 subduction zones reveal systematic variations in both mantle-wedge and subslab anisotropy with the magnitude of trench migration velocity |V(t)|. These variations can be explained by flow along the strike of the trench induced by trench motion. This flow dominates beneath the slab, where its magnitude scales with |V(t)|. In the mantle wedge, this flow interacts with classical corner flow produced by the convergence velocity V(c); their relative influence is governed by the relative magnitude of |V(t)| and V(c).

  1. Subduction zone processes and continental crust formation in the southern Central Andes: insights from geochemistry and geochronology


    Jones, Rosemary Ellen


    Subduction zones, such as the Andean convergent margin, are the sites at which new continental crust is generated, and where subducting material is either recycled to the crust via arc magmatism or transferred to the deep mantle. The composition of arc magmas and associated new continental crust reflects variable contributions from mantle, crustal and subducted reservoirs. Insights into crustal growth and recycling processes in the southern Central Andes, specifically in the ...

  2. Fluid accumulation along the Costa Rica subduction thrust and development of the seismogenic zone (United States)

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


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

  3. Source Parameters of Large Magnitude Subduction Zone Earthquakes Along Oaxaca, Mexico (United States)

    Fannon, M. L.; Bilek, S. L.


    Subduction zones are host to temporally and spatially varying seismogenic activity including, megathrust earthquakes, slow slip events (SSE), nonvolcanic tremor (NVT), and ultra-slow velocity layers (USL). We explore these variations by determining source parameters for large earthquakes (M > 5.5) along the Oaxaca segment of the Mexico subduction zone, an area encompasses the wide range of activity noted above. We use waveform data for 36 earthquakes that occurred between January 1, 1990 to June 1, 2014, obtained from the IRIS DMC, generate synthetic Green's functions for the available stations, and deconvolve these from the ­­­observed records to determine a source time function for each event. From these source time functions, we measured rupture durations and scaled these by the cube root to calculate the normalized duration for each event. Within our dataset, four events located updip from the SSE, USL, and NVT areas have longer rupture durations than the other events in this analysis. Two of these four events, along with one other event, are located within the SSE and NVT areas. The results in this study show that large earthquakes just updip from SSE and NVT have slower rupture characteristics than other events along the subduction zone not adjacent to SSE, USL, and NVT zones. Based on our results, we suggest a transitional zone for the seismic behavior rather than a distinct change at a particular depth. This study will help aid in understanding seismogenic behavior that occurs along subduction zones and the rupture characteristics of earthquakes near areas of slow slip processes.

  4. Thermal State, Slab Metamorphism, and Interface Seismicity in the Cascadia Subduction Zone Based On 3-D Modeling (United States)

    Ji, Yingfeng; Yoshioka, Shoichi; Banay, Yuval A.


    Giant earthquakes have repeatedly ruptured the Cascadia subduction zone, and similar earthquakes will likely also occur there in the near future. We employ a 3-D time-dependent thermomechanical model that incorporates an up-to-date description of the slab geometry to study the Cascadia subduction thrust. Results show a distinct band of 3-D slab dehydration that extends from Vancouver Island to the Seattle Basin and farther southward to the Klamath Mountains in northern California, where episodic tremors cluster. This distribution appears to include a region of increased dehydration in northern Cascadia. The phenomenon of heterogeneous megathrust seismicity associated with oblique subduction suggests that the presence of fluid-rich interfaces generated by slab dehydration favors megathrust seismogenesis in the northern part of this zone. The thin, relatively weakly metamorphosed Explorer, Juan de Fuca, and Gorda Plates are associated with an anomalous lack of thrust earthquakes, and metamorphism that occurs at temperatures of 500-700°C near the Moho discontinuity may represent a key factor in explaining the presence of the associated episodic tremor and slip (ETS), which requires a young oceanic plate to subduct at a small dip angle, as is the case in Cascadia and southwestern Japan. The 3-D intraslab dehydration distribution suggests that the metamorphosed plate environment is more complex than had previously been believed, despite the existence of channeling vein networks. Slab amphibolization and eclogitization near the continental Moho depth is thus inferred to account for the resultant overpressurization at the interface, facilitating the generation of ETS and the occurrence of small to medium thrust earthquakes beneath Cascadia.

  5. Subduction zones dynamics and structure from coupled geodynamic and seismological modelling (United States)

    Faccenda, Manuele


    The present-day structure of subduction settings is mainly determined by means of seismological methods. The interpretation of seismological data (e.g., isotropic and anisotropic velocity anomalies) is however non-unique, as different processes occurring simultaneously at subduction zones can be invoked to explain the observations. A further complication arises when regional tomographic seismic models ignore seismic anisotropy, in which case apparent seismic anomalies due to non-uniform sampling of anisotropic areas will appear. In order to decrease the uncertainties related to the interpretation of seismological observations, geodynamic modelling can be exploited to reproduce the micro and macro scale dynamics and structure of subduction settings, yielding a valuable first-order approximation of the rock isotropic and anisotropic elastic properties. The model output can be subsequently tested against observations by performing seismological synthetics (e.g., SKS splitting, travel-time tomography, receiver functions, azimuthal and radial anisotropy). When the misfit between the modelled and measured seismic parameters is low, the geodynamic model likely provides a good approximation of the recent dynamics and present-day structure of the subduction setting. Such a model can then be used to give a more robust and thermomechanically-based interpretation of the observables and/or further improve the seismological model by providing a-priori information for subsequent inversions. The methodology is still in its infancy, but we envisage that future developments could substantially improve seismological models and, overall, our understanding of complex subduction settings.

  6. Thermal structure and intermediate-depth seismicity in the Tohoku-Hokkaido subduction zones

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Keken, P.E. [Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI (United States). Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences; Kita, S.; Nakajima, J. [Tohoku Univ., Sendai (Japan). Research Center for Prediction of Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions


    The cause of intermediate-depth (>40 km) seismicity in subduction zones is not well understood. The viability of proposed mechanisms, which include dehydration embrittlement, shear instabilities and the presence of fluids in general, depends significantly on local conditions, including pressure, temperature and composition. The wellinstrumented and well-studied subduction zone below Northern Japan (Tohoku and Hokkaido) provides an excellent testing ground to study the conditions under which intermediate-depth seismicity occurs. This study combines new finite element models that predict the dynamics and thermal structure of the Japan subduction system with a high-precision hypocenter data base. The upper plane of seismicity is principally contained in the crustal portion of the subducting slab and appears to thin and deepen within the crust at depths >80 km. The disappearance of seismicity overlaps in most of the region with the predicted phase change of blueschist to hydrous eclogite, which forms a major dehydration front in the crust. The correlation between the thermally predicted blueschist-out boundary and the disappearance of seismicity breaks down in the transition from the northern Japan to Kurile arc below western Hokkaido. Adjusted models that take into account the seismically imaged modified upper mantle structure in this region fail to adequately recover the correlation that is seen below Tohoku and eastern Hokkaido. We conclude that the thermal structure below Western Hokkaido is significantly affected by timedependent, 3-D dynamics of the slab. This study generally supports the role of fluids in the generation of intermediate-depth seismicity. (orig.)

  7. Some geophysical and geochemical consequences of slab serpentinization at subduction zones (United States)

    Phipps Morgan, J.; Ruepke, L. H.; Ranero, C.; Hort, M.


    Here we explore the potential impact of slab serpentinization and deserpentinization processes on arc-melting and on water, carbon-dioxide, U, Pb, and noble gas recycling into the deep mantle. We examine the consequences of a scenario in which bend-faulting between the outer rise and trench axis creates the conduits for seawater to reach and react with cold lithospheric mantle to serpentinize it. Water penetration to serpentinize the slab-lithosphere will be inhibited by thick sediments (e.g. Cascades) or thick oceanic crust (subducting oceanic plateaus), while subducting long-offset fracture zones will be especially serpentine-rich because they serpentinized at both the spreading center and subduction zone. If this process occurs, then the incoming lithosphere will typically contain ~500m of altered sediments, ~6 km of partially hydrated oceanic crust, and ~20-55km of partially serpentinized slab mantle. Possible regional geophysical consequences of this scenario are: (1) Fracture Zones preferentially become tears in subducting slabs because they are relatively serpentine rich, thus they deserpentinize more. (2) If so, then their greater deserpentinization should produce greater sub-arc water release which leads to greater arc melting above subducted fracture zones. (3) Regions of little serpentinization will be correlated with flat subduction, lower volumes of slab-water release, and relatively low rates of arc-volcanism. Our thermomechanical modelling implies, depending upon a slab's age and subduction rate, between 30-90% of the slab's chemically bound water is likely to survive sub-arc dehydration to transport its water into the deeper mantle. Possible global geochemical consequences of this scenario are: (1) At current subduction rates, 0.5-1.5 oceans of water would be recycled past the arc-melting region into the deeper mantle during the past Ga. (2) Since 0.3%, 1%, and 3% of the exosphere's Ne, Ar, and Xe are dissolved in the oceans, this implies that at

  8. 3D receiver function Kirchhoff depth migration image of Cascadia subduction slab weak zone (United States)

    Cheng, C.; Allen, R. M.; Bodin, T.; Tauzin, B.


    We have developed a highly computational efficient algorithm of applying 3D Kirchhoff depth migration to telesismic receiver function data. Combine primary PS arrival with later multiple arrivals we are able to reveal a better knowledge about the earth discontinuity structure (transmission and reflection). This method is highly useful compare with traditional CCP method when dipping structure is met during the imaging process, such as subduction slab. We apply our method to the reginal Cascadia subduction zone receiver function data and get a high resolution 3D migration image, for both primary and multiples. The image showed us a clear slab weak zone (slab hole) in the upper plate boundary under Northern California and the whole Oregon. Compare with previous 2D receiver function image from 2D array(CAFE and CASC93), the position of the weak zone shows interesting conherency. This weak zone is also conherent with local seismicity missing and heat rising, which lead us to think about and compare with the ocean plate stucture and the hydralic fluid process during the formation and migration of the subduction slab.

  9. Rapid conversion of an oceanic spreading center to a subduction zone inferred from high-precision geochronology. (United States)

    Keenan, Timothy E; Encarnación, John; Buchwaldt, Robert; Fernandez, Dan; Mattinson, James; Rasoazanamparany, Christine; Luetkemeyer, P Benjamin


    Where and how subduction zones initiate is a fundamental tectonic problem, yet there are few well-constrained geologic tests that address the tectonic settings and dynamics of the process. Numerical modeling has shown that oceanic spreading centers are some of the weakest parts of the plate tectonic system [Gurnis M, Hall C, Lavier L (2004) Geochem Geophys Geosys 5:Q07001], but previous studies have not favored them for subduction initiation because of the positive buoyancy of young lithosphere. Instead, other weak zones, such as fracture zones, have been invoked. Because these models differ in terms of the ages of crust that are juxtaposed at the site of subduction initiation, they can be tested by dating the protoliths of metamorphosed oceanic crust that is formed by underthrusting at the beginning of subduction and comparing that age with the age of the overlying lithosphere and the timing of subduction initiation itself. In the western Philippines, we find that oceanic crust was less than ∼1 My old when it was underthrust and metamorphosed at the onset of subduction in Palawan, Philippines, implying forced subduction initiation at a spreading center. This result shows that young and positively buoyant, but weak, lithosphere was the preferred site for subduction nucleation despite the proximity of other potential weak zones with older, denser lithosphere and that plate motion rapidly changed from divergence to convergence.

  10. Altimetry data and the elastic stress tensor of subduction zones (United States)

    Caputo, Michele


    The maximum shear stress (mss) field due to mass anomalies is estimated in the Apennines, the Kermadec-Tonga Trench, and the Rio Grande Rift areas and the results for each area are compared to observed seismicity. A maximum mss of 420 bar was calculated in the Kermadec-Tonga Trench region at a depth of 28 km. Two additional zones with more than 300 bar mss were also observed in the Kermadec-Tonga Trench study. Comparison of the calculated mss field with the observed seismicity in the Kermadec-Tonga showed two zones of well correlated activity. The Rio Grande Rift results showed a maximum mss of 700 bar occurring east of the rift and at a depth of 6 km. Recorded seismicity in the region was primarily constrained to a depth of approximately 5 km, correlating well to the results of the stress calculations. Two areas of high mss are found in the Apennine region: 120 bar at a depth of 55 km, and 149 bar at the surface. Seismic events observed in the Apennine area compare favorably with the mss field calculated, exhibiting two zones of activity. The case of loading by seamounts and icecaps are also simulated. Results for this study show that the mss reaches a maximum of about 1/3 that of the applied surface stress for both cases, and is located at a depth related to the diameter of the surface mass anomaly.

  11. Electromagnetic Precursors Leading to Triangulation of Future Earthquakes and Imaging of the Subduction Zone (United States)

    Heraud, J. A.; Centa, V. A.; Bleier, T.


    During several sessions in past AGU meetings, reports on the progress of analysis of magnetometer data have been given, as our research moved from a one dimensional geometry, to two and finally to a three dimensional image. In the first case, we learned how to extract one coordinate, azimuth information, on the occurrence of an earthquake based on the processing of mono-polar pulses received at a single station. A two dimensional geometry was implemented through triangulation and we showed the use of this technique to find out where a future epicenter would occur. Recently, we have obtained compelling evidence that the pressure points leading to the determination of future epicenters originate at a plane, inclined with the same angle as the subduction zone, a three-dimensional position of the future hypocenter. Hence, an image of the subduction zone or interface between the Nazca plate and the continental plate in the northern area of Lima, Peru, has been obtained, corresponding to the subduction zone obtained by traditional seismic methods. Our work with magnetometers deployed along part of the Peruvian coast since 2009, has shown that it is possible to measure, with significant precision, the azimuth of electromagnetic pulses propagating from stress points in the earth's crust due to the subduction of tectonic plates, as to be able to determine precisely the origin of the pulses. The occurrence of earthquakes approximately 11 to 18 days after the appearance of the first pulses and the recognition of grouping of such pulses, has allowed us to determine accurately the direction and the timing of future seismic events. Magnetometers, donated by Quakefinder and Telefonica del Peru were then strategically installed in different locations in Peru with the purpose of achieving triangulation. During two years since 2013, about a dozen earthquakes have been associated with future seismic activity in a pre or post occurrence way. Our presentation will be based on animated

  12. Smectite reactions and slip instabilities in subduction zones (United States)

    Gadenne, Leslie; Raimbourg, Hugues; Champallier, Remi; Yamamoto, Yuzuru


    instabilities in natural conditions, as (1) smectite is a major component of subducted sediments and (2) its transformation into illite may occur over a large depth range.

  13. Subduction Zone Concepts and the 2010 Chile Earthqake (Arthur Holmes Medal Lecture) (United States)

    von Huene, Roland


    Knowledge of convergent margin systems evolved from hypothesis testing with marine geophysical technology that improved over decades. Wegener's drift hypothesis, Holmes mantle convection, and marine magnetic anomaly patterns were integrated into an ocean spreading concept that won wide acceptance after ocean drilling confirmed the crustal younging trend toward the Mid-Atlantic ridge. In contrast, the necessary disposal of oceanic and trench sediment at convergent margins remained largely hypothetical. Fresh interpretations of some coastal mountains as exposing ancient convergent margin rock assemblages and the seismologist's "Wadati-Benioff" zone were combined into a widely-accepted hypothesis. A convergent margin upper plate was pictured as an imbricate fan of ocean sediment thrust slices detached from the lower plate. During the 1980s ocean drilling to test the hypothesis revealed what then were counter-intuitive processes of sediment subduction and subduction erosion. Rather than the proposed seaward growth by accretion, many margins had lost material from erosion. In current concepts, individual margins are shaped by the net consequences of subduction accretion, sediment subduction, and subduction erosion. Similarly, recently acquired age data from ancient subduction complexes reveal periods dominated by accretion separated by periods dominated by tectonic erosion. Globally, the recycling of continental crustal material at subduction zones appears largely balanced by magmatic addition at volcanic arcs. The longevity of the original imbricate fan model in text books confirms its pictorial simplicity, because geophysical images and drill core evidence show that it commonly applies to only a relatively small frontal prism. A better understanding of convergent margin dynamics is of urgent societal importance as coastal populations increase rapidly and as recent disastrous earthquakes and tsunamis verify. The shift in convergent margin concepts has developed through

  14. Zagros blueschists: Episodic underplating and long-lived cooling of a subduction zone (United States)

    Angiboust, Samuel; Agard, Philippe; Glodny, Johannes; Omrani, Jafar; Oncken, Onno


    Pressure-temperature-time (P- T- t) trajectories of high-pressure rocks provide important constraints to understand the tectonic evolution of convergent margins. New field observations and P- T- t constraints for the evolution of the only known blueschist-facies exposure along the Zagros suture zone in Southern Iran are reported here. These blueschists, now exposed in tectonic windows under the Sanandaj-Sirjan zone (upper plate), constitute accreted fragments of the Tethyan domain during N-directed Cretaceous subduction. Three units were identified in the field: from top to bottom, the Ashin unit (mafic and felsic gneisses), the Seghin complex (mafic tuffs and ultramafics) and the Siah Kuh massif (coherent volcanic edifice). Microstructural observations, P- T estimates and Rb-Sr deformation ages indicate that the Ashin unit possibly underwent burial down to 30-35 km and 550 °C along a relatively warm P- T gradient (c. 17°/km) and was ultimately deformed between 85 and 100 Ma. The Seghin complex exhibits remarkably well-preserved HP-LT assemblages comprising lawsonite, glaucophane, aragonite, omphacite and garnet. P- T- t reconstruction indicates that this slice was subducted down to c. 50 km at temperatures of c. 500 °C along a very cold subduction gradient (c. 7°/km). Deformation in the Seghin complex stopped at around 65 Ma, close to peak metamorphic conditions. Field relationships and estimates of the P- T trajectory followed by the Siah Kuh volcanic edifice indicate that this massif was lately subducted down to 15 km depth along the same very cold gradient. This slice-stack represents a well-preserved field example (i) highlighting the existence of transient underplating processes juxtaposing pluri-kilometric tectonic slices along the subduction channel and (ii) imaging the discontinuous down-stepping of the active main subduction thrust with ongoing accretion. The Zagros blueschists also record an apparent cooling of the Zagros subduction zone between 90

  15. Geodetic Observations of Interseismic Strain Segmentation at the Sumatra Subduction Zone (United States)

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


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

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

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


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

  17. Towards Estimating the Magnitude of Earthquakes from EM Data Collected from the Subduction Zone (United States)

    Heraud, J. A.


    During the past three years, magnetometers deployed in the Peruvian coast have been providing evidence that the ULF pulses received are indeed generated at the subduction or Benioff zone. Such evidence was presented at the AGU 2015 Fall meeting, showing the results of triangulation of pulses from two magnetometers located in the central area of Peru, using data collected during a two-year period. The process has been extended in time, only pulses associated with the occurrence of earthquakes and several pulse parameters have been used to estimate a function relating the magnitude of the earthquake with the value of a function generated with those parameters. The results shown, including an animated data video, are a first approximation towards the estimation of the magnitude of an earthquake about to occur, based on electromagnetic pulses that originated at the subduction zone. During the past three years, magnetometers deployed in the Peruvian coast have been providing evidence that the ULF pulses received are indeed generated at the subduction or Benioff zone. Such evidence was presented at the AGU 2015 Fall meeting, showing the results of triangulation of pulses from two magnetometers located in the central area of Peru, using data collected during a two-year period. The process has been extended in time, only pulses associated with the occurrence of earthquakes have been used and several pulse parameters have been used to estimate a function relating the magnitude of the earthquake with the value of a function generated with those parameters. The results shown, including an animated data video, are a first approximation towards the estimation of the magnitude of an earthquake about to occur, based on electromagnetic pulses that originated at the subduction zone.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. The zone of influence of the subducting slab in the asthenospheric mantle (United States)

    MacDougall, Julia G.; Jadamec, Margarete A.; Fischer, Karen M.


    Due to the multidisciplinary nature of combined geodynamics and shear wave splitting studies, there is still much to be understood in terms of isolating the contributions from mantle dynamics to the shear wave splitting signal, even in a two-dimensional (2-D) mantle flow framework. This paper investigates the viscous flow, lattice preferred orientation (LPO) development, and predicted shear wave splitting for a suite of buoyancy-driven subduction models using a non-linear rheology to shed light on the nature of the slab-driven asthenospheric flow and plate-mantle coupling. The slab-driven zone of influence in the mantle, LPO fabric, and resulting synthetic splitting are sensitive to slab strength and slab initial slab dip. The non-linear viscosity formulations leads to dynamic reductions in asthenospheric viscosity extending over 600 km into the mantle wedge and over 300 km behind the trench, with peak flow velocities occurring in models with a weaker slab and moderate slab dip. The 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 results suggest that LPO formed during initial subduction may persist into the steady state subduction regime. Vertical flow fields in the asthenosphere 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 wave splitting observed in real subduction zones. Furthermore, the models demonstrate the corner flow paradigm should not be equated with a 2-D subduction framework.

  1. Shallow seismicity patterns in the northwestern section of the Mexico Subduction Zone (United States)

    Abbott, Elizabeth R.; Brudzinski, Michael R.


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

  2. Characterizing Seismic Anisotropy across the Peruvian Flat-Slab Subduction Zone: Shear Wave Splitting from PULSE (United States)

    Eakin, C. M.; Long, M. D.; Beck, S. L.; Wagner, L. S.; Tavera, H.


    Although 10% of subduction zones worldwide today exhibit shallow or flat subduction, we are yet to fully understand how and why these slabs go flat. An excellent study location for such a problem is in Peru, where the largest region of flat-subduction currently exists, extending ~1500 km in length (from 3 °S to 15 °S) and ~300 km in width. Across this region we investigate the pattern of seismic anisotropy, an indicator for past and/or ongoing deformation in the upper mantle. To achieve this we conduct shear wave splitting analyzes at 40 broadband stations from the PULSE project (PerU Lithosphere and Slab Experiment). These stations were deployed for 2+ years across the southern half of the Peruvian flat-slab region. We present detailed shear wave splitting results for deep and teleseismic events, making use of a wide variety of available phases that sample the upper mantle directly beneath the stations (such as SKS, SKKS, PKS, sSKS, SKiKS, ScS and local/direct S). We analyze the variability of our results with respect to initial polarizations and ray paths, as well as spatial variability between stations as the underlying slab morphology changes. Preliminary results show predominately NW-SE fast polarizations (trench oblique to sub-parallel) over the flat-slab region east of Lima. These results are consistent with observations of more complex multi-layered anisotropy beneath a nearby permanent station (NNA). Further south, towards the transition to steeper subduction, the splitting pattern becomes increasingly dominated by null measurements. Over to the east however, beyond Cuzco, where the mantle wedge might begin to play a role, we record fast polarizations quasi-parallel to the local slab contours. We carefully evaluate the different possible source locations within the subduction zone for this seismic anisotropy and observe increasing evidence for distinct anisotropy within the slab as well as the sub-slab mantle.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fumiko Tajima


    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

  4. Monitoring transient changes within overpressured regions of subduction zones using ambient seismic noise. (United States)

    Chaves, Esteban J; Schwartz, Susan Y


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

  5. The spatial distribution of earthquake stress rotations following large subduction zone earthquakes (United States)

    Hardebeck, Jeanne L.


    Rotations of the principal stress axes due to great subduction zone earthquakes have been used to infer low differential stress and near-complete stress drop. The spatial distribution of coseismic and postseismic stress rotation as a function of depth and along-strike distance is explored for three recent M ≥ 8.8 subduction megathrust earthquakes. In the down-dip direction, the largest coseismic stress rotations are found just above the Moho depth of the overriding plate. This zone has been identified as hosting large patches of large slip in great earthquakes, based on the lack of high-frequency radiated energy. The large continuous slip patches may facilitate near-complete stress drop. There is seismological evidence for high fluid pressures in the subducted slab around the Moho depth of the overriding plate, suggesting low differential stress levels in this zone due to high fluid pressure, also facilitating stress rotations. The coseismic stress rotations have similar along-strike extent as the mainshock rupture. Postseismic stress rotations tend to occur in the same locations as the coseismic stress rotations, probably due to the very low remaining differential stress following the near-complete coseismic stress drop. The spatial complexity of the observed stress changes suggests that an analytical solution for finding the differential stress from the coseismic stress rotation may be overly simplistic, and that modeling of the full spatial distribution of the mainshock static stress changes is necessary.

  6. Plate coupling across the northern Manila subduction zone deduced from mantle lithosphere buoyancy (United States)

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


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

  7. OBS seismic data preliminary results: Manila subduction zone (21°N) (United States)

    Zhao, M.; Liu, S.; Sun, L.; Sibuet, J. C.; Zhang, J.; Chen, C.; Qiu, X.


    A two-dimensional ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) survey was performed in 2015, along an E-W trending line (OBS2015-2) located in front of the Manila subduction zone. The preliminary results show that OBS data are of high quality for the whole experiment. Seismic phases (such as Pg and PmP) are very clear in the OBSs' record sections. They are further identified by forward modeling using the Rayinvr software. The reflective seismic phases from the Moho interface (PmP) are observed in all OBS sections. The identification of these PmP phases used simultaneously with Fast and Tomo2D tomography results shows that the nature of the crust is essentially continental, not oceanic, except perhaps close to the trench. The obvious PmP phases in the incoming plate along the Manila Trench subduction zone, will further provide good constraints concerning the nature and evolution of the incoming plate in the Manila subduction zone. This research was granted by the Natural Science Foundation of China (91428204, 41176053) and the scientific cruise (NORC2015-8) by the R/V Shiyan 2.

  8. Tectonic history of subduction zones inferred from retrograde blueschist P-T paths

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


    Many Phanerozoic convergent plate junctions are marked by discontinuous blueschist belts, reflecting relatively high-pressure (P) prograde trajectories. Common blueschist paragneisses, such as those of the western Alps, exhibit widespread overprinting by greenschist and/or epidote-amphibolite facies assemblages. For this type of high-P belt, retrograde metamorphism involved fairly rapid, nearly isothermal decompression; some terranes underwent continued heating during early stages of pressure release. Uplift probably occurred as a consequence of the entrance of an island arc, oceanic plateau, or segment of continental crust into the subduction zone (collision), resulting in marked deceleration or cessation of underflow and buoyant, approximately adiabatic rise of the stranded, recrystallized subduction complex. Other high-P belts, such as the Franciscan of western California, preserve metamorphic aragonite and lack a low-P overprint; retrogression approximately retraced the prograde P-T (temperature) path, or for early formed high-grade blocks, occurred at even higher P/T ratios. Parts of this type of metamorphic belt evidently migrated slowly back up the subduction zone in response to isostatic forces during continued plate descent and refrigeration. Upward motion took place as tectonically imbricated slices, as laminar return flow in melange zones, and perhaps partly a lateral spreading/extension of the underplated accretionary prism. Retrograde P-T trajectories of high-P belts therefore provide important constraints on the tectonic evolution of convergent plate junctions.

  9. P-wave tomography of subduction zones around the central Philippines and its geodynamic implications (United States)

    Fan, Jianke; Zhao, Dapeng; Dong, Dongdong; Zhang, Guangxu


    High-resolution tomographic images are obtained by inverting a large number of arrival-time data of local earthquakes and teleseismic events to depict the 3-D crustal and upper mantle structure beneath the central Philippines. Our tomographic results show that the subducted South China Sea slab beneath the southern segment of the Manila Trench steepens and tears, resulting in migration of the locus of active volcanism in the Macolod Corridor, due to the collision between the Palawan microcontinental block and the Philippine Mobile Belt. The subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate along the Philippine Trench started at 10-12°N or south of 12°N, the central part of the trench, from at least ∼10 Ma estimated from our tomographic images. Our results reveal clearly a high-velocity anomaly in and around the mantle transition zone, which is interpreted as the subducted Proto South China Sea slab that sinks deeper southeastward, being well consistent with geological results that the age of collision between the Palawan microcontinental block and the Philippine Mobile Belt becomes younger from the south to the north. This collision zone can be divided into northern and southern segments, demarcated by the salient point of the collision zone, which is probably the boundary between the South China Sea slab and the Proto South China Sea slab, and may be ascribed to the complete consumption of the two slabs.

  10. The spatial distribution of earthquake stress rotations following large subduction zone earthquakes (United States)

    Hardebeck, Jeanne L.


    Rotations of the principal stress axes due to great subduction zone earthquakes have been used to infer low differential stress and near-complete stress drop. The spatial distribution of coseismic and postseismic stress rotation as a function of depth and along-strike distance is explored for three recent M ≥ 8.8 subduction megathrust earthquakes. In the down-dip direction, the largest coseismic stress rotations are found just above the Moho depth of the overriding plate. This zone has been identified as hosting large patches of large slip in great earthquakes, based on the lack of high-frequency radiated energy. The large continuous slip patches may facilitate near-complete stress drop. There is seismological evidence for high fluid pressures in the subducted slab around the Moho depth of the overriding plate, suggesting low differential stress levels in this zone due to high fluid pressure, also facilitating stress rotations. The coseismic stress rotations have similar along-strike extent as the mainshock rupture. Postseismic stress rotations tend to occur in the same locations as the coseismic stress rotations, probably due to the very low remaining differential stress following the near-complete coseismic stress drop. The spatial complexity of the observed stress changes suggests that an analytical solution for finding the differential stress from the coseismic stress rotation may be overly simplistic, and that modeling of the full spatial distribution of the mainshock static stress changes is necessary.[Figure not available: see fulltext.

  11. Initiation of GPS-Acoustics Measurements on the Continental Slope of the Cascadia Subduction Zone (United States)

    Chadwell, C. D.


    Land-based GPS measurements suggest the megathrust is locked offshore along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. However, land-based data alone lack geometric resolution to constrain the how the slip is distributed. GPS-Acoustic measurements can provide these constraints, but using traditional GPS-Acoustic approaches employing a ship is costly. Wave Gliders, a wave- and solar-powered, remotely-piloted sea surface platform, provide a low cost method for collecting GPS-A data. We have adapted GPS-Acoustic technology to the Wave Glider. In July 2016, the GPS-A Wave Glider was launched on month-long mission to two sites on the continental slope of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. One site is approximately 45 NM offshore central Oregon and the other approximately 50 NM offshore central Washington State. We will report on initial results of the GPS-A data collection and operational experiences of the mission. Wave Glider based GPS-A measurement have the potential to significantly increase the number and frequency of measurements of strain accumulation in Cascadia Subduction Zone and elsewhere.

  12. Subduction zone and crustal dynamics of western Washington; a tectonic model for earthquake hazards evaluation (United States)

    Stanley, Dal; Villaseñor, Antonio; Benz, Harley


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

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


    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

  14. Counter-intuitive Behavior of Subduction Zones: Weak Faults Rupture, Strong Faults Creep (United States)

    Wang, K.; Gao, X.; Bilek, S. L.; Brown, L. N.


    Subduction interfaces that produce great earthquakes are often said to be "strongly coupled", and those that creep are said to be "weakly coupled". However, the relation between the strength and seismogenic behavior of subduction faults is far from clear. Seismological and geodetic observations of earthquake rupture usually provide information only on stress change, not fault strength. In this study, we infer fault strength by calculating frictional heating along megathrusts and comparing results with heat flow measurements. We find that stick-slip megathrusts that have produced great earthquakes such as at Japan Trench and northern Sumatra have very low apparent friction coefficients (~ 0.02 - 0.03), but megathrusts that creep such as at Northern Hikurangi and Manila Trench have higher values (up to ~0.13). The differnce cannot be explained by coseismic dynamic weakening of the stick-slip megathrusts, because the average stress drop in great earthquakes is usually less than 5 MPa, equivalent to a coseismic reduction of apparent friction coefficient by less than ~0.01. Therefore our results indicate differences in the static strength of different subduction faults. Why are the creeping faults stronger? We think it is related to their creeping mechanism. Very rugged subducting seafloor tends to cause creep and hinder great earthquake rupture (Wang and Bilek, 2014). In contrast, all giant earthquakes have occurred at subduction zones with relatively smooth subducting seafloor. Large geometrical irregularities such as seamounts generate heterogeneous structure and stresses that promote numerous small and medium size earthquakes and aseismic creep. The creeping is a process of breaking and wearing of geometrical irregularities in a deformation zone and is expected to be against relatively large resistance (strong creep). This is different from the creeping of smooth faults due to the presence of weak fault gouge (weak creep) such as along the creeping segment of the

  15. Extending the global coverage of Slab1.0 3D subduction zone models (United States)

    Seidman, L.; Hayes, G. P.


    Slab1.0 is a three-dimensional model of subduction zone geometries that covers approximately 85% of global slabs by area. It is built from an automated interpolation of a combined dataset made up from subduction-related earthquakes, moment tensors, interpretations of active source seismic data, and models of bathymetry and sediment thickness. Those subduction zones that are missing from the model are difficult to characterize with this automated approach because of sparse teleseismically located, interplate seismicity (e.g., Cascadia, Hikurangi), complex geometry (e.g., Halmahera, southern Philippine Sea), or some combination of these issues (e.g., Caribbean). Here we attempt to solve this problem with a straightforward modification of the Slab1.0 approach. Instead of constructing a series of automated spline fits to our geophysical data in two-dimensional cross sections, we produce hand-contoured two-dimensional fits; under the assumption that where seismicity is sparse or geometry complex, a human guided by tectonic knowledge can produce a better fit to geometry than can a computer algorithm. These manual 2D sections are then interpolated into a 3D surface in the same way automated 2D fits are processed for Slab1.0. Following this approach, we produce models for slabs in the Caribbean, the Makran, the Manila Trench, the Halmahera Plate, and the Hellenic Arc. We also address regions of current models (e.g., Peru) that were poorly characterized by the original automated approach. These new models thus provide valuable information on subduction zone structure from the trench and into the mantle in regions previously missing from Slab1.0, and help to make existing models more accurate, and thus more useful, than was previously possible. In turn, the models can be used to better characterize associated seismic hazards.

  16. The January 25th, 2014 Kebumen earthquake: A normal faulting in subduction zone of Southern Java (United States)

    Serhalawan, Yopi Ruben; Sianipar, Dimas; Suardi, Iman


    Normal faulting mechanism of earthquake in subduction zone is quite interested to study further. We investigated the Kebumen, January 25, 2014 earthquake sequences by retrieving focal mechanisms using full moment tensor inversion. We used BMKG seismic data from stations in the vicinity of Central Java region for these inversions. Then we correlated the static coulomb stress change by the mainshock to the aftershocks. We found that mainshock is a normal faulting earthquake with nodal plane 1; strike 283, dip 22 and rake -100; nodal plane 2 with strike 113, dip 68 and rake -86. Using distribution analysis of high precision aftershocks after relocated; we considered that the reliable fault plane was nodal plane 1 with strike trending SE-NW. The focal mechanisms provide an estimate of the local stress field in the Wadati-Beniof Zone of Southern Java subduction zone. There is also conclution stating that the mainshock may trigger the aftershocks mainly in three zones, i.e. in continental crustal, upper mantle and on the oceanic slab. This is visually showed that the high quality aftershocks located in positive zones of static coulomb stress change.

  17. Accessory minerals and subduction zone metasomatism: a geochemical comparison of two mélanges (Washington and California, U.S.A.) (United States)

    Sorensen, Sorena S.; Grossman, Jeffrey N.


    The ability of a subducted slab or subducted sediment to contribute many incompatible trace elements to arc source regions may depend on the stabilities of accessory minerals within these rocks, which can only be studied indirectly. In contrast, the role of accessory minerals in lower-T and -P metasomatic processes within paleo-subduction zones can be studied directly in subduction-zone metamorphic terranes.

  18. Metastability of Subducted Slabs in the Mantle Transition Zone: A Collaborative Geodynamic, Petrologic, and Seismological Approach (United States)

    Garber, J. M.; Billen, M. I.; Duncan, M. S.; Roy, C.; Ibourichene, A. S.; Olugboji, T.; Celine, C.; Rodríguez-González, J.; Grand, S. P.; Madrigal, P.; Sandiford, D.; Valencia-Cardona, J. J.


    Subducted slabs exhibit a range of geometries in the mantle transition zone. Studies of this phenomenon suggest that olivine and/or pyroxene metastability may profoundly alter the slab density profile, leading to slab flattening (e.g., King et al., 2015) and potentially yielding a resolvable seismological signature (e.g., Kawakatsu and Yoshioka, 2011; Yoshioka et al., 2015). Such metastability may also be critical for deep earthquake generation. Geodynamic modelling of this process is typically done with a simplified petrologic model of the downgoing slab, whereas petrologic studies of phase assemblages in subducted slabs typically impose an idealized geodynamic model with an unrealistic thermal structure. Connecting these two approaches should lead to a better understanding of the consequences of metastable assemblages on subducting slabs. Here, we present a new methodology that combines geodynamic, seismic and petrologic approaches to assess the impact of mineral metastability on dynamic subduction models, developed in a collaborative effort begun at the 2016 NSF CIDER summer program in Santa Barbara, CA. We use two parallel approaches to extrapolate equilibrium rock properties to metastable regions and impose these data on extracted time-slices from robust thermo-mechanical geodynamic models, allowing us to quantify the density and buoyancy changes in the slab that result from considering metastable phase assemblages. Our preliminary results suggest that metastable assemblages can yield a 10-30% density decrease over the subducted slab relative to an equilibrium reference model. We then generate a seismic velocity profile of the slab, and compute waveforms based on the 2D finite-difference method (e.g., Vidale & Helmberger, 1987) to determine whether metastable phases could reasonably be detected by different seismic approaches. Continuing analyses will be aimed at coupling the evolution of geodynamic models with phase metastability to model the feedback between

  19. Zinc isotope evidence for sulfate-rich fluid transfer across subduction zones (United States)

    Pons, Marie-Laure; Debret, Baptiste; Bouilhol, Pierre; Delacour, Adélie; Williams, Helen


    Subduction zones modulate the chemical evolution of the Earth's mantle. Water and volatile elements in the slab are released as fluids into the mantle wedge and this process is widely considered to result in the oxidation of the sub-arc mantle. However, the chemical composition and speciation of these fluids, which is critical for the mobility of economically important elements, remain poorly constrained. Sulfur has the potential to act both as oxidizing agent and transport medium. Here we use zinc stable isotopes (δ66Zn) in subducted Alpine serpentinites to decipher the chemical properties of slab-derived fluids. We show that the progressive decrease in δ66Zn with metamorphic grade is correlated with a decrease in sulfur content. As existing theoretical work predicts that Zn-SO42- complexes preferentially incorporate heavy δ66Zn, our results provide strong evidence for the release of oxidized, sulfate-rich, slab serpentinite-derived fluids to the mantle wedge.

  20. Zinc isotope evidence for sulfate-rich fluid transfer across subduction zones. (United States)

    Pons, Marie-Laure; Debret, Baptiste; Bouilhol, Pierre; Delacour, Adélie; Williams, Helen


    Subduction zones modulate the chemical evolution of the Earth's mantle. Water and volatile elements in the slab are released as fluids into the mantle wedge and this process is widely considered to result in the oxidation of the sub-arc mantle. However, the chemical composition and speciation of these fluids, which is critical for the mobility of economically important elements, remain poorly constrained. Sulfur has the potential to act both as oxidizing agent and transport medium. Here we use zinc stable isotopes (δ(66)Zn) in subducted Alpine serpentinites to decipher the chemical properties of slab-derived fluids. We show that the progressive decrease in δ(66)Zn with metamorphic grade is correlated with a decrease in sulfur content. As existing theoretical work predicts that Zn-SO4(2-) complexes preferentially incorporate heavy δ(66)Zn, our results provide strong evidence for the release of oxidized, sulfate-rich, slab serpentinite-derived fluids to the mantle wedge.

  1. Modeling mantle circulation and density distributions in subduction zones: Implications for seismic studies (United States)

    Kincaid, C. R.; Druken, K. A.; Griffiths, R. W.; Long, M. D.; Behn, M. D.; Hirth, G.


    Subduction of ocean lithosphere drives plate tectonics, large-scale mantle circulation and thermal-chemical recycling processes through arcs. Seismologists have made important advances in our ability to map circulation patterns in subduction zones though anisotropy data/methods and in providing detailed images of mantle density fields. Increasingly, seismic and geodynamic disciplines are combining to extend our understanding of time varying subduction processes and associated vertical mass and energy fluxes. We use laboratory experiments to characterize three-dimensional flow fields in convergent margins for a range in plate forcing conditions and background, buoyancy-driven flow scenarios. Results reveal basic patterns in circulation, buoyant flow morphologies and density distributions that have implications for reconciling seismic data with mantle convection models. Models utilize a glucose working fluid with a temperature dependent viscosity to represent the upper 2000km of the mantle. Subducting lithosphere is modeled with a Phenolic plate and back-arc extension is produced using Mylar sheets. We recreate basic subduction styles observed in previous dynamic subduction models using simplified, kinematic forcing. Slab plate segments, driven by hydraulic pistons, move with various combinations of downdip, rollback and steepening motion. Neutral density finite strain markers are distributed throughout the fluid and used as proxies for tracking the evolution of olivine alignment through space and time in the evolving flow fields. Particle image velocimetry methods are also used to track time varying 3D velocity fields for use in directly calculating anisotropy patterns. Results show that complex plate motions (rollback, steepening, back-arc extension) in convergent margins produce relatively simple anisotropy patterns (e.g., trench-normal alignments) and underscore the importance of initial strain marker orientations on alignment patterns in the wedge. Results also

  2. Detection of Very Low Frequency Earthquakes in the Mexican Subduction Zone (United States)

    Maury, J.; Ide, S.; Cruz-Atienza, V. M.; Kostoglodov, V.; Perez-Campos, X.


    Tremors have already been detected in three different areas (Jalisco, Guerrero and Oaxaca) of the Mexican subduction zone but their moment tensor is difficult to estimate. However, Very Low Frequency (VLF) earthquakes have been shown to occur at the subduction interface in Guerrero, Mexico at the same time as tremors and their focal mechanisms have been calculated. We try to detect VLF events using the same method in Jalisco and in Oaxaca. With this aim we detect tremors using an envelope correlation method in Oaxaca and use a previously determined tremor catalog in Jalisco [Idehara et al., 2014]. Using the method of Ide and Yabe [2014], we stack waveforms, in the VLF band, at the time of occurrence of tremors. Finally, the stacked waveforms are inverted to better estimate the depth of these events and their moment tensor. This analysis is carried out for different time periods between 2005 and 2015, depending on the deployment of temporary network along the Mexican coast. In addition, permanent broadband stations of the Servicio Sismológico Nacional (Mexico) are used. The tremors detected in Oaxaca area are located farther west than previously known probably because of the more eastern location of stations. Our results show the spatial distribution of moment tensor along the Mexican subduction zone. The VLF sources are located at or close to the plate interface in Oaxaca and Jalisco as is observed in Guerrero. These events have magnitudes of about 3 and very low-angle to low-angle thrust mechanisms in agreement with the varying geometry of the subduction interface. The slip directions of VLF earthquakes are also consistent with the plates convergence vectors. In addition, some clear VLF signals are detected without any stacking using correlation methods. These individual detections confirm the results of our statistical analysis.

  3. Dynamic Linkages Between the Transition Zone & Surface Plate Motion in 2D Models of Subduction (United States)

    Arredondo, K.; Billen, M. I.


    Subduction zones exhibit a wide range of behavior, from slab stagnation at 660 km to direct penetration into the lower mantle. Due to uncertainties in the tectonic history of individual subduction zones, such as trench velocities, potential mechanisms for controlling slab behavior in the transition zone are explored using numerical models. Numerical simulations have utilized a range of assumptions to improve computational efficiency, such as ignoring latent heat, ignoring compositional effects or fixing the trench location: the net effect of these assumptions resulting modeled dynamics remains unclear. Additionally the eight major, composition-dependent, phase transitions for pyrolite, harzburgite and eclogite may be an important influence on subducting slab dynamics due to the additional forces that are dependent on depth and compositional layering within the slab (e.g., Ricard et al., 2005). With the goal of developing more complete, self-consistent, and less idealized simulations, we test the importance of various factors on slab behavior: the presence of shear, adiabatic and latent heating, compositional layering, composition-dependent phase transitions and explicit plate speeds versus dynamically evolving plate and trench velocities. Preliminary results indicate that individual components have a relatively minor effect, but produce large changes when combined together. The extent of slab folding and stagnation is overestimated by only modeling the 410 and 660 km phase transitions. Dynamic models with all seven composition-dependent phase transitions are very sensitive to the plate strength and weak zone viscosity, causing large changes in plate speed and slab detachment. Changes to the overriding plate buoyance and strength investigate the origin and influence of trench movement on slab deformation. These feedbacks and parameter-sensitive behavior indicate that the wide range of observed slab behavior may result from subtle differences in plate and plate

  4. Shear wave splitting and the dynamics of the hydrated mantle wedge in subduction regions constrained by the example of the Ryukyu subduction zone (United States)

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


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

  5. Imaging the Middle America subduction zone with body waves extracted from ambient noise by seismic interferometry (United States)

    Vargas, W.; Brown, L. D.; Cabolova, A.; Quiros, D. A.; Chen, C.


    Subduction zones have long been a prime target for seismic imaging with a variety of active and passive methodologies. Here we report an attempt to use seismic interferometry to extract body waves (P and S) from ambient noise recorded during a broadband experiment in southwestern Mexico for reflection imaging of the crust and subducting Cocos plate. The Middle America Subduction Experiment (MASE; Kim et al., 2010) included a quasi linear array of 100 broadband seismic instruments deployed at a nominal spacing of 6 km which continuously recorded for up to 30 months. Our focus was on using cross-correlation and autocorrelation of ambient noise along this array to 1) determine if useful body waves could be extracted, 2) assess which conditions were most favorable for such extraction, and 3) evaluate whether these waves could be used to image deep lithospheric structure, with particular interest in the seismogenic zone. While surface wave tomography using cross-correlation techniques have found widespread success in mapping crustal structure, examples of body wave imaging of crustal targets using this approach are still very few. In our analysis, we have found it necessary to suppress the surface wave energy to enhance body waves from virtual sources. Our pre-processing sequence includes bias removal, bandpass filtering, deconvolution (spectral whitening), and sign- bit conversion. The resulting data windows are cross-correlated and stacked until useful signals are apparent. The virtual shot gathers thus far produced show clear Rayleigh and Pg waves, with weaker but distinct Sg phases. We have also found arrivals with hyperbolic travel times that match those expected for deep reflections. Crustal imaging is limited by the large station spacing, which results in relatively few stations at sub-critical offsets. However several apparent reflections from sub-Moho depths suggest that key elements of the subduction process can be imaged using reflections derived from ambient

  6. Sr, Nd, water and carbon dioxide input of altered Pacific MORB into the Tonga subduction zone (United States)

    Rosner, M.; Bach, W.; Erzinger, J.


    The hydrothermally altered and weathered uppermost section of subducting oceanic plates influences the budget of many fluid-mobile elements in supra-subduction zones. The characterisation of subducted upper basement is therefore an important parameter for the understanding of arc-magmatism. We present preliminary Sr and Nd isotope as well as H_2O^+ and CO_2 concentration data for altered basalts from ˜80 Ma Pacific crust drilled during DSDP Leg 91 (Site 595; 23^o49.3'S and 165^o31.6'W) 1000 km East of the Tonga trench. The sample set consists of 10 partially altered, aphyric microcrystalline basalts and subordinate breccia from the uppermost 55 m of basement. Smectite, celadonite, calcite, and Fe-oxides are the most abundant secondary phases, replacing igneous groundmass and filling fissures and void space. 87Sr/86Sr and 143Nd/144Nd isotope ratios vary between 0.70330 and 0.70445 and between 0.513059 and 0.513095, respectively. The H_2O^+ and CO_2 concentrations range from 2.2 to 4.3 wt.% and 0.21 to 3.13 wt.%, respectively. 87Sr/86Sr is positively correlated with H_2O^+ concentrations and alteration intensity (chiefly smectite abundance). Significant macroscopic authigenic carbonate is developed in only two samples, all others show slightly elevated concentrations between 0.21 and 0.82 wt.% related to trace calcite in veinlets. Interestingly, 143Nd/144Nd is negatively correlated with CO_2 abundance suggesting that the 143Nd/144Nd may by ascribed to seawater alteration rather than mantle source heterogeneity. Our preliminary data indicate that the intensity of alteration and the magnitude of chemical change may be greater at Site 595 than in the 6 Ma old eastern Pacific crust at Sites 504 and 896 (Alt et al., 1996) but somewhat smaller than at Sites 417/418 in 118 Ma Atlantic crust (Staudigel et al., 1995). In addition to Sites 801 and 1149 in old Pacific crust, Site 595 may provide insights into western Pacific subduction zone inputs with particular relevance for

  7. The characteristics of mantle lithosphere buoyancy revealed from the northern Manila subduction zone to the active collision in Taiwan region (United States)

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


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

  8. Subduction zone slip variability during the last millennium, south-central Chile (United States)

    Dura, Tina; Horton, Benjamin P.; Cisternas, Macro; Ely, Lisa L; Hong, Isabel; Nelson, Alan R.; Wesson, Robert L.; Pilarczyk, Jessica E.; Parnell, Andrew C.; Nikitina, Daria


    The Arauco Peninsula (37°-38°S) in south-central Chile has been proposed as a possible barrier to the along-strike propagation of megathrust ruptures, separating historical earthquakes to the south (1960 AD 1837, 1737, and 1575) and north (2010 AD, 1835, 1751, 1657, and 1570) of the peninsula. However, the 2010 (Mw 8.8) earthquake propagated into the Arauco Peninsula, re-rupturing part of the megathrust that had ruptured only 50 years earlier during the largest subduction zone earthquake in the instrumental record (Mw 9.5). To better understand long-term slip variability in the Arauco Peninsula region, we analyzed four coastal sedimentary sections from two sites (Tirúa, 38.3°S and Quidico, 38.1°S) located within the overlap of the 2010 and 1960 ruptures to reconstruct a ∼600-year record of coseismic land-level change and tsunami inundation. Stratigraphic, lithologic, and diatom results show variable coseismic land-level change coincident with tsunami inundation of the Tirúa and Quidico marshes that is consistent with regional historical accounts of coseismic subsidence during earthquakes along the Valdivia portion of the subduction zone (1960 AD and 1575) and coseismic uplift during earthquakes along the Maule portion of the subduction zone (2010 AD, 1835, 1751). In addition, we document variable coseismic land-level change associated with three new prehistoric earthquakes and accompanying tsunamis in 1470–1570 AD, 1425–1455, and 270–410. The mixed record of coseismic subsidence and uplift that we document illustrates the variability of down-dip and lateral slip distribution at the overlap of the 2010 and 1960 ruptures, showing that ruptures have repeatedly propagated into, but not through the Arauco Peninsula and suggesting the area has persisted as a long-term impediment to slip through at least seven of the last megathrust earthquakes (∼600 years).

  9. Deeper Subduction Zone Melting Explains Enrichment of Upper Mantle and Resolves Dehydration Paradox (United States)

    Dixon, Jacqueline; Bindeman, Ilya; Kingsley, Richard


    We present new volatile and stable isotope data on oceanic basaltic glasses with a range of enriched compositions. Basalt compositions studied here can be modeled by mixing between depleted mantle and various enriched (EM) and prevalent (PREMA) mantle components. We develop a multi-stage metasomatic and melting model for the origin of the enriched components, extending the subduction factory concept to involve melting of different components at different depths, down to the mantle transition zone (660 km), with slab temperature a key variable. EM components are heterogeneous, ranging from wet and heavy (Arctic Ridges) to dry and light (East Pacific Rise), and are derived from the subducted slab at depths of 150 to 250 km by addition of oceanic ridge and ocean island basalts requires involvement of a mostly dehydrated slab component to explain trace element ratios and radiogenic isotopic compositions, but a fully hydrated slab component to explain stable isotope compositions. In our model, thermal parameters of slabs control the timing and composition of subduction-derived components. This includes deep release of fluids from subcrustal hydrous phases that may rehydrate previously dehydrated slab, resolving the paradox.

  10. Large trench-parallel gravity variations predict seismogenic behavior in subduction zones. (United States)

    Song, Teh-Ru Alex; Simons, Mark


    We demonstrate that great earthquakes occur predominantly in regions with a strongly negative trench-parallel gravity anomaly (TPGA), whereas regions with strongly positive TPGA are relatively aseismic. These observations suggest that, over time scales up to at least 1 million years, spatial variations of seismogenic behavior within a given subduction zone are stationary and linked to the geological structure of the fore-arc. The correlations we observe are consistent with a model in which spatial variations in frictional properties on the plate interface control trench-parellel variations in fore-arc topography, gravity, and seismogenic behavior.

  11. Tidal modulation of slow slip events in the Nankai trough subduction zone detected by borehole strainmeters (United States)

    Kikuchi, J.; Ide, S.; Matsumoto, N.


    Slow slip events (SSEs) often occur in the Nankai subduction zone, Japan, within a band-like zone extended from the center of Honshu to western Shikoku. SSEs are believed as shear slip on the plate interface, where the frictional property changes from velocity weakening to strengthening in the dip direction. Therefore the dynamics of SSEs may give some hints on the depth dependent friction and plate subduction. The tidal modulation of SSEs has been identified by statistical analysis using strain data of Plate Boundary Observatory, in the Cascadia subduction zone [Hawthorne & Rubin, 2010]. Here, we perform similar statistical analyses using strain data recorded at borehole stations maintained by National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, in western Japan. The correlation between the oscillation in SSEs and tidal stress was confirmed statistically. In Nankai subduction zone, it is known that SSEs are accompanied with high activity of deep tectonic tremors [Hirose & Obara, 2006]. These tremors have been known to be sensitive to tidal stress [Nakata et al., 2008]. Therefore, the tidal modulation of SSEs is another representation of tidal modulation of tremors. To clarify the relation between SSEs and tremors, we investigate whether strain changes corresponding to SSEs can be explained only by tremors activity. For an SSE occurred in Aug. 2010 in Bungo channel, we assume that the seismic moment of the SSE is 1.6 × 1018 Nm (Mw 6.1) based on the inversion of GNSS data [Nishimura et al., 2013], and that this moment is released by 715 tremors that occur during this SSE [Idehara et al., 2014]. In this case, each tremor is assigned with seismic moment of 2.2 × 1015 Nm (Mw 4.2). Then the strain change at the observation station by these tremors is calculated using the Okada [1992] method, assuming a half space and focal mechanism consistent with the regional plate motion. The calculated strain is qualitatively similar with the observed strain

  12. Nitrogen evolution within the Earth's atmosphere-mantle system assessed by recycling in subduction zones (United States)

    Mallik, Ananya; Li, Yuan; Wiedenbeck, Michael


    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

  13. Lattice preferred orientation of talc and implications for seismic anisotropy in subduction zones (United States)

    Lee, Jungjin; Jung, Haemyeong; Klemd, Reiner


    Since hydrous phases such as talc and serpentine are elastically very anisotropic, the lattice preferred orientation (LPO) of both minerals when formed in the mantle wedge or the subducting slab can cause large seismic anisotropies in subduction zones. Although, fabric studies of talc-associated phases (e.g., serpentine, amphibole) have been reported, up to now no quantitative measurements of the talc LPO have been conducted. In order to examine the LPO of talc, SEM/EBSD analyses were performed on highly deformed garnet-chloritoid-talc schists from the Makbal UHP terrane in the Tianshan orogen (Kazakhstan). These rocks underwent subduction-related eclogite-facies metamorphism corresponding to a burial depth of ca. 92 km (P ≅ 2.9 GPa). The samples contain between 20 and 40 vol. % talc. The LPO results showed that talc has a strong alignment of [001] axes subnormal to the foliation and, in addition, the [100] and [010] axes display a weak concentration with a girdle subparallel to the foliation. The seismic anisotropy of the polycrystalline talc was calculated using the obtained LPO and the pressure-dependent elastic constants of single-crystal talc. The magnitude of the seismic anisotropy of talc due to its LPO was 68‒69 % for P-waves and 21‒23 % for S-waves under the ambient pressure. The seismic anisotropies of talc decreased to 36‒37 % for P-waves and 13‒17 % for S-waves under high pressure (2.9 GPa), however they still remained high. The polarization direction of vertically propagating fast S-waves of the talc was trench-parallel and it was influenced by the strength of talc LPO of both [100] and [010] axes, pressure, and the dipping angle of the subducting slab. Our results indicate that the presence of strong LPO of talc in the hydrated mantle can contribute significantly to the trench-parallel seismic anisotropy and long delay time of S-waves observed in many subduction zones.

  14. A wave equation migration method for receiver function imaging: 2. Application to the Japan subduction zone (United States)

    Chen, Ling; Wen, Lianxing; Zheng, Tianyu


    The newly developed wave equation poststack depth migration method for receiver function imaging is applied to study the subsurface structures of the Japan subduction zone using the Fundamental Research on Earthquakes and Earth's Interior Anomalies (FREESIA) broadband data. Three profiles are chosen in the subsurface imaging, two in northeast (NE) Japan to study the subducting Pacific plate and one in southwest (SW) Japan to study the Philippine Sea plate. The descending Pacific plate in NE Japan is well imaged within a depth range of 50-150 km. The slab image exhibits a little more steeply dipping angle (˜32°) in the south than in the north (˜27°), although the general characteristics between the two profiles in NE Japan are similar. The imaged Philippine Sea plate in eastern SW Japan, in contrast, exhibits a much shallower subduction angle (˜19°) and is only identifiable at the uppermost depths of no more than 60 km. Synthetic tests indicate that the top 150 km of the migrated images of the Pacific plate is well resolved by our seismic data, but the resolution of deep part of the slab images becomes poor due to the limited data coverage. Synthetic tests also suggest that the breakdown of the Philippine Sea plate at shallow depths reflects the real structural features of the subduction zone, rather than caused by insufficient coverage of data. Comparative studies on both synthetics and real data images show the possibility of retrieval of fine-scale structures from high-frequency contributions if high-frequency noise can be effectively suppressed and a small bin size can be used in future studies. The derived slab geometry and image feature also appear to have relatively weak dependence on overlying velocity structure. The observed seismicity in the region confirms the geometries inferred from the migrated images for both subducting plates. Moreover, the deep extent of the Pacific plate image and the shallow breakdown of the Philippine Sea plate image are

  15. Petro-fabrics and Seismic Properties of Blueschist and Eclogite in the North Qilian Suture Zone, NW China: Implications for the Low-velocity Upper Layer in Subducting Slab, Trench-parallel Seismic Anisotropy and Eclogite Detectability in the Subduction Zone (United States)

    Cao, Y.


    The potential seismological contributions of metamorphosed and deformed oceanic crust in a subduction zone environment were studied in a detailed petro-fabric analysis of blueschist and eclogite in the North Qilian suture zone, NW China. The calculated whole-rock seismic properties based on the measured lattice preferred orientations (LPOs) of the constituting minerals show increasing P-wave and S-wave velocities and decreasing seismic anisotropies from blueschist to eclogite, mainly due to the decreasing volume proportion and deformation extent of glaucophane. The low velocity of the upper layer in the subducting oceanic crust can be explained by the existence of blueschist and foliated eclogite, which induces a 3-12% reduction in velocity compared to that induced by the surrounding mantle rocks. This low-velocity layer may gradually disappear when blueschist and foliated eclogite are replaced by massive eclogite at a depth in excess of 60-75 km for the paleo North Qilian subduction zone. Trench-parallel seismic anisotropy with a moderate delay time (0.1-0.3 s) can only effectively contribute to deformed blueschist and eclogite in a high-angle (>45-60°) subducting slab, regardless of the direction of slab movement. The calculated reflection coefficients (Rc = 0.04-0.20) at the lithologic interfaces between eclogite and blueschist imply that it may be possible to detect eclogite bodies in shallow subduction channels using high-resolution seismic reflection profiles. However, the imaging of eclogite bodies located in deep subduction zones could be challenging.

  16. Imaging the Seismic Cycle in the Central Andean Subduction Zone from Geodetic Observations (United States)

    Ortega-Culaciati, F.; Becerra-Carreño, V. C.; Socquet, A.; Jara, J.; Carrizo, D.; Norabuena, E. O.; Simons, M.; Vigny, C.; Bataille, K. D.; Moreno, M.; Baez, J. C.; Comte, D.; Contreras-Reyes, E.; Delorme, A.; Genrich, J. F.; Klein, E.; Ortega, I.; Valderas, M. C.


    We aim to quantify spatial and temporal evolution of fault slip behavior during all stages of the seismic cycle in subduction megathrusts, with the eventual goal of improving our understanding of the mechanical behavior of the subduction system and its implications for earthquake and tsunami hazards. In this work, we analyze the portion of the Nazca-SouthAmerican plates subduction zone affected by the 1868 southern Peru and 1877 northern Chile mega-earthquakes. The 1868 and 1878 events defined a seismic gap that did not experience a large earthquake for over 124 years. Only recently, the 1995 Mw 8.1 Antofagasta, 2001 Mw 8.4 Arequipa, 2007 Mw 7.7 Tocopilla, and 2014 Mw 8.2 Pisagua earthquakes released only a small fraction of the potential slip budget, thereby raising concerns about continued seismic and tsunami hazard. We use over a decade of observations from continuous and campaign GPS networks to analyze inter-seismic strain accumulation, as well as co-seimic deformation associated to the more recent earthquakes in the in the Central Andean region. We obtain inferences of slip (and back-slip) behavior using a consistent and robust inversion framework that accounts for the spatial variability of the constraint provided by the observations on slip across the subduction megathrust. We present an updated inter-seismic coupling model and estimates of pre-, co- and post- seismic slip behavior associated with the most recent 2014 Mw 8.2 Pisagua earthquake. We analyze our results, along with published information on the recent and historical large earthquakes, to characterize the regions of the megathrust that tend to behave aseismically, and those that are capable to accumulate a slip budget (ultimately leading to the generation of large earthquakes), to what extent such regions may overlap, and discuss the potential for large earthquakes in the region.

  17. Imprints of an "Arc" Signature onto Subduction Zone Eclogites from Central Guatemala (United States)

    Simons, K. K.; Sorensen, S. S.; Harlow, G. E.; Brueckner, H. K.; Goldstein, S. L.; Hemming, N. G.; Langmuir, C. H.


    High-pressure, low-temperature (HP-LT) rocks associated with the Motagua fault zone in central Guatemala occur as tectonic blocks in serpentinite mélange. Dismembered jadeitite and albitite veins within the melange are crystallization products of subduction fluids at glaucophane) in veins and overgrowths. The low temperatures recorded in these rocks indicate they have only seen an aqueous fluid, not a melt, and therefore, could provide a window into the acquisition of an arc signature at a cold margin. Trace-element patterns for both eclogite and jadeitite resemble arc lavas, with large enrichments in the most fluid mobile elements (e.g. Cs, Tl, Ba, Pb), moderate enrichments in U, Th, Be and LREE and generally little to no enrichment in HFSE and HREE, although enriched Nb in jadeitite indicates some HFSE mobility. Trace-element patterns also have similarities to average subducting sediment (GLOSS), with enrichments in Th, Be, Ba and Li that suggest a sediment contribution. Nd versus Sr isotopes lie to the right of the mantle array, indicating a hydrous fluid contribution from altered ocean crust or sediment. Overall, Guatemalan eclogites resemble counterparts from the Franciscan Complex (CA) and the Dominican Republic. Guatemalan and Franciscan eclogites are interpreted to have had a MORB protolith despite the arc trace element signature because of: 1) similarities in major elements to MORB; 2) HREE and HFSE abundances similar to MORB; and 3) high 143Nd/144Nd that overlap MORB values. The modifications that transformed these eclogites from a MORB trace element pattern to an arc one can be attributed to an aqueous subduction fluid at moderate depths (reactions, and an abundance of alkali-aluminosilicate components in subduction fluids. Together these may act to dissolve and transport trace elements (including elements considered insoluble like Nb) out of the slab and into the mantle wedge. The Guatemala data thus indicate that the arc geochemical fingerprint may be

  18. Investigating the Role of Dehydration Reactions in Subduction Zone Pore Pressures Using Newly-Developed Permeability-Porosity Relationships (United States)

    Screaton, E.; Daigle, H.; James, S.; Meridth, L.; Jaeger, J. M.; Villaseñor, T. G.


    Dehydration reactions are linked to shallow subduction zone deformation through excess pore pressures and their effect on mechanical properties. Two reactions, the transformation of smectite to illite and of opal-A to opal-CT and then to quartz, can occur relatively early in the subduction process and may affect the propagation of the plate boundary fault, the updip limit of velocity-weakening frictional paper, and tsunamigenesis. Due to large variations between subduction zones in heat flow, sedimentation rates, and geometries, dehydration location may peak prior to subduction to as much as 100 km landward of the deformation front. The location of the dehydration reaction peak relative to when compaction occurs, causes significant differences in pore pressure generation. As a result, a key element to modeling excess pore pressures due to dehydration reactions is the assumed relationship between permeability and porosity. Data from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) drilling of subduction zone reference sites were combined with previously collected results to develop relationships for porosity-permeability behavior for various sediment types. Comparison with measurements of deeper analog data show that porosity-permeability trends are maintained through burial and diagenesis to porosities <10%, suggesting that behavior observed in shallow samples is informative for predicting behavior at depth following subduction. We integrate these permeability-porosity relationships, compaction behavior, predictions of temperature distribution, kinetic expressions for smectite and opal-A dehydration, into fluid flow models to examine the role of dehydration reactions in pore pressure generation.

  19. Earthquake swarm activity in the Oaxaca segment of Middle American Subduction Zone (United States)

    Brudzinski, M. R.; Cabral, E.; Arciniega-Ceballos, A.


    An outstanding question in geophysics is the degree to which the newly discovered family of slow fault slip behaviors is related to more traditional earthquakes, especially since theoretical predictions indicate slip in the deeper transitional zone promotes failure in the shallower seismogenic zone. The Oaxacan segment of the Middle American Subduction zone is a natural region to pursue detailed studies of the spectrum of fault slip due to the unusually shallow subduction angle and short trench-to-coast distances that bring broad portions of the seismogenic and transitional zones of the plate interface inland. A deployment of broadband seismometers in this region has improved the network coverage to ~70 km station spacing since 2006, providing new opportunities to investigate smaller seismic phenomena. While characterization of tectonic tremor has been a prominent focus of this deployment, the improved network has also revealed productive earthquake swarms, whose sustained periods of similar magnitude earthquakes are also thought to be driven by slow slip. We identify a particularly productive earthquake swarm in July 2006 (~600 similar earthquakes detected), which occurred during a week-long episode of tectonic tremor and geodetically detected slow slip. Using a multi-station "template matching" waveform cross correlation technique, we have been able to detect and locate swarm earthquakes several orders of magnitude smaller than that of traditional processing, particularly during periods of increased background activity, because the detector is finely tuned to events with similar hypocentral location and focal mechanism. When we scan for repeats of the event families detected in the July 2006 sequence throughout the 6+ years since, we find these families were also activated during several other slow slip episodes, which indicates a link between slow slip in the transition zone and earthquakes at the downdip end of the seismogenic portion of the megathrust.

  20. Three-dimensional magnetotelluric imaging of Cascadia subduction zone from an amphibious array (United States)

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


    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

  1. Sharp Permeability Transitions due to Shallow Diagenesis of Subduction Zone Sediments (United States)

    James, S.; Screaton, E.


    The permeability of hemipelagic sediments is an important factor in fluid flow in subduction zones and can be affected by porosity changes and cementation-dissolution processes acting during diagenesis. Anomalously high porosities have been observed in cores from the Shikoku Basin sediments approaching the Nankai Trough subduction zone. These high porosities have been attributed to the presence of minor amounts of amorphous silica cement that strengthen the sediment and inhibit consolidation. The porosity rapidly drops from 66-68% to 54-56% at a diagenetic boundary where the amorphous silica cement dissolves. Although the anomalous porosity profiles at Nankai have received attention, the magnitude of the corresponding permeability change has not been addressed. In this study, permeability profiles were constructed using permeability-porosity relationships from previous studies, to estimate the magnitude and rate of permeability changes with depth. The predicted permeability profiles for the Nankai Trough sediment cores indicate that permeability drops by almost one order of magnitude across the diagenetic boundary. This abrupt drop in permeability has the potential to facilitate significant changes in pore fluid pressures and thus to influence the deformation of the sediment onto the accretionary prism. At the Costa Rica subduction zone, results vary with location. Site U1414 offshore the Osa Peninsula shows porosities stable at 69% above 145 mbsf and then decrease to 54% over a 40 m interval. A porosity drop of that magnitude is predicted to correlate to an order of magnitude permeability decrease. In contrast, porosity profiles from Site 1039 offshore the Nicoya Peninsula and Site U1381 offshore the Osa Peninsula show anomalously high porosities but no sharp drop. It is likely that sediments do not cross the diagenetic boundary due to the extremely low (<10°C/km) thermal gradient at Site 1039 and the thin (<100 m) sediment cover at Site U1381. At these locations

  2. Is the Vincent fault in southern California the Laramide subduction zone megathrust? (United States)

    Xia, H.; Platt, J. P.


    The Vincent fault (VF) in the San Gabriel Mountains, southern California separates a Meso-Proterozoic gneiss complex and Mesozoic granitoid rocks in the upper plate from the ocean-affiliated Late Cretaceous Pelona schist in the lower plate, and it has been widely interpreted as the original Laramide subduction megathrust. A 500 to 1000 m thick mylonite zone, consisting of a low-stress (LS) section at the bottom, a high-stress (HS) section at the top, and a weakly deformed section in between, is developed above the VF. Our kinematic, thermobarometric and geochronological analysis of the mylonite zone indicates that the VF is a normal fault. Shear sense indicators including asymmetric porphyroblasts, quartz new grain fabric, mineral fish, and quartz CPO from the HS and the LS sections exhibit a top-to-SE sense of shear on the SW-dipping mylonitic foliation, which is contrary to what one would expect for the Laramide subduction megathrust. A few samples from the LS section were overprinted by HS microstructure, implying that the LS mylonites predate the HS mylonites. TitaniQ thermometer and Si-in-muscovite barometer show that the P-T conditions are 389 ± 6 °C, 5 kbar for the LS mylonites and 329 ± 6 °C, 2.4 kbar for HS mylonites. Considering the temporal sequence of HS and LS mylonites, they are likely to be formed during exhumation. A comparison with the lower plate leads to the same conclusion. The top 80-100 m of the Pelona schist underneath the VF is folded and also mylonitized, forming the Narrows synform and S3 simultaneously. Our previous study found that S3 of the Pelona schist has a top-to-SE sense of shear and similar P-T conditions as the LS mylonite in the upper plate, so S3 of the Pelona schist is likely to be formed together with the LS mylonites in the upper plate. While mylonitization of Pelona schist (S3) overprinted both the subduction-related S1 fabric and the return-flow-related S2 fabric, it is reasonable to argue that the mylonite zone above

  3. Experimental Study of Slab-Mantle Geochemical Exchange in Subduction Zones (United States)

    Iizuka, Y.; Nakamura, E.; Kobayashi, K.


    Aqueous fluids derived from subducting oceanic crust play an important role in the material transport leading to the production or arc lavas, and in the long-term chemical evolution of the Earth's mantle and crust. In order to determine the geochemical evolution of both the subducting slab and the overlying mantle wedge, a series of dehydration/hydration experiments was carried out at conditions of 0.8-4.0 GPa and 650-900° C appropriate for subduction zones. Blueschist facies rocks/minerals, and olivine (Fo90) were used for starting materials, as analogue materials of slab and mantle, respectively. Finely ground metabasalt (H2O = 5.9 wt%) and glaucophane (H2O = 2.3 wt%) were separately sealed in gold capsules with an olivine grain (1mm diameter), and then run in a piston-cylinder apparatus. Polished sections of run products were observed and analyzed for major element compositions with an electron micro-probe. Trace elements of selected run-products were determined using an ion probe (Cameca-5f). At subsolidus conditions, the metabasalt was transformed into amphibolite-facies mineral assemblages containing Mg-ilmenite at 1.5 GPa. Glaucophane was transformed into the mineral assemblage of Na-Cpx, Opx +/- garnet. Garnets formed in the slab portion show low-LREE/HREE and higher-HREE contents when compared with the starting materials. In all subsolidus experiments, Al-rich silicate glasses, which could be quenched aqueous fluids, were observed between mineral grain boundaries in the slab portions. The fluids at 3.0 GPa show high-LREE/HREE, and higher-LILE and lower-HREE contents. In contrast, the quenched fluids for glaucophane experiments. The behavior of the HREE and HFSE is consistent with the existence of garnet and Ti-oxides (rutile and ilmenite) in the slab portion of the experiments. The fluids should therefore be enriched in SiO2, LILE and LREE. Mineral zones were observed on olivine grains near the initial olivine-slab interface. These reaction zones

  4. Identification of source lithology at south segment of Kamchatka subduction zone (United States)

    Gavrilenko, M.; Herzberg, C. T.; Portnyagin, M.; Ozerov, A.


    Kamchatka peninsula (Russia) is an island-arc with a complex geological history and structure. It has three distinct volcanic fronts, the origin of which is still debated. Moreover, a junction with the Aleutian Arc (at ~56°N) complicates the understanding of geodynamics at the region. However, the south part (from ~53°N) of Kamchatka peninsula is thought to be a "textbook case" of subduction zone with relatively rapid (over 8 cm/yr) near-normal convergence and a steep (over 50°) angle of subduction. Kamchatka is unusual in the world because its volcanoes contain a significant amount of primitive high MgO lavas that are rich in olivine crystals. Furthermore, high precision contents of Ni, Ca, and Mn can help to constrain the source lithology. Straub et al. (2008) reported high Ni contents on olivines from a limited number of samples from the Mexican Volcanic Front, and concluded that pyroxenite melting was important. Portnyagin et al. (2009) reported high precision Ni, Ca, and Mn contents of olivines from a wide range of volcanoes from Kamchatka, and similarly concluded that pyroxenite melting is widespread. We have extended the work of Portnyagin et al. (2009) by analyzing olivine phenocrysts from volcanoes in the southernmost Kamchatka peninsula. Our work confirms that there are regional variations in olivine phenocryst composition that likely arises from variations in pyroxenite composition, the amount of peridotite melt that mixes with pyroxenite melts, and a variable role played by magnetite fractionation. We conclude that pyroxenite melting is likely to be important in subduction zones world-wide, but its significance has been underestimated because of the general rarity of olivine-bearing high MgO lavas.

  5. Ambient seafloor noise excited by earthquakes in the Nankai subduction zone. (United States)

    Tonegawa, Takashi; Fukao, Yoshio; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Obana, Koichiro; Kodaira, Shuichi; Kaneda, Yoshiyuki


    Excitations of seismic background noises are mostly related to fluid disturbances in the atmosphere, ocean and the solid Earth. Earthquakes have not been considered as a stationary excitation source because they occur intermittently. Here we report that acoustic-coupled Rayleigh waves (at 0.7-2.0 Hz) travelling in the ocean and marine sediments, retrieved by correlating ambient noise on a hydrophone array deployed through a shallow to deep seafloor (100-4,800 m) across the Nankai Trough, Japan, are incessantly excited by nearby small earthquakes. The observed cross-correlation functions and 2D numerical simulations for wave propagation through a laterally heterogeneous ocean-crust system show that, in a subduction zone, energetic wave sources are located primarily under the seafloor in directions consistent with nearby seismicity, and secondarily in the ocean. Short-period background noise in the ocean-crust system in the Nankai subduction zone is mainly attributed to ocean-acoustic Rayleigh waves of earthquake origin.

  6. Deep Magnetotelluric survey on Crete Island across the Hellenic Subduction Zone (United States)

    Kalisperi, D.; Smirnov, M.; Kokologiannakis, A.; Pentes, G.; Makris, J. P.


    Crete Island is located in a prominent position at the fore-arc of the Hellenic Subduction Zone (HSZ), thus enabling onshore study of the Earth's deep structure. The area is characterized by a complicated geological and geotectonic setting as well as by intense geodynamics that manifests itself in high seismicity. The aim of the ongoing research project 'MagnetoTellurics in studying Geodynamics of the hEllenic ARc (MT-GEAR)' is to contribute to the investigation of the geoelectric structure of Southern Aegean, and particularly to try to image the Hellenic Subduction Zone. In this context, onshore magnetotelluric (MT) measurements were carried out in July 2013 on Crete Island, comprising three parallel profiles aligned to the North-South (NS) direction, yielding a site spacing of about 5 to 10 km. In total, 21 broad-band MT soundings were conducted in the period range of 0.003-1000 s organized in the three 36Km, 30Km and 42Km long NS trending profiles. Data were collected using two different types of MT instruments (an EMI MT24LF and two Uppsala type MTU2000 systems) which were running simultaneously. We present the resulting model of the conductivity structure of the HSZ in the area of Crete.

  7. Tsunami Hazard Assessment of Coastal South Africa Based on Mega-Earthquakes of Remote Subduction Zones (United States)

    Kijko, Andrzej; Smit, Ansie; Papadopoulos, Gerassimos A.; Novikova, Tatyana


    After the mega-earthquakes and concomitant devastating tsunamis in Sumatra (2004) and Japan (2011), we launched an investigation into the potential risk of tsunami hazard to the coastal cities of South Africa. This paper presents the analysis of the seismic hazard of seismogenic sources that could potentially generate tsunamis, as well as the analysis of the tsunami hazard to coastal areas of South Africa. The subduction zones of Makran, South Sandwich Island, Sumatra, and the Andaman Islands were identified as possible sources of mega-earthquakes and tsunamis that could affect the African coast. Numerical tsunami simulations were used to investigate the realistic and worst-case scenarios that could be generated by these subduction zones. The simulated tsunami amplitudes and run-up heights calculated for the coastal cities of Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth are relatively small and therefore pose no real risk to the South African coast. However, only distant tsunamigenic sources were considered and the results should therefore be viewed as preliminary.

  8. Aftereffects of Subduction-Zone Earthquakes: Potential Tsunami Hazards along the Japan Sea Coast. (United States)

    Minoura, Koji; Sugawara, Daisuke; Yamanoi, Tohru; Yamada, Tsutomu


    The 2011 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake is a typical subduction-zone earthquake and is the 4th largest earthquake after the beginning of instrumental observation of earthquakes in the 19th century. In fact, the 2011 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake displaced the northeast Japan island arc horizontally and vertically. The displacement largely changed the tectonic situation of the arc from compressive to tensile. The 9th century in Japan was a period of natural hazards caused by frequent large-scale earthquakes. The aseismic tsunamis that inflicted damage on the Japan Sea coast in the 11th century were related to the occurrence of massive earthquakes that represented the final stage of a period of high seismic activity. Anti-compressive tectonics triggered by the subduction-zone earthquakes induced gravitational instability, which resulted in the generation of tsunamis caused by slope failing at the arc-back-arc boundary. The crustal displacement after the 2011 earthquake infers an increased risk of unexpected local tsunami flooding in the Japan Sea coastal areas.

  9. Diapir versus along-channel ascent of crustal material during plate convergence: Constrained by the thermal structure of subduction zones (United States)

    Liu, Ming-Qi; Li, Zhong-Hai; Yang, Shao-Hua


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

  10. Seismic attenuation structure associated with episodic tremors and slip zones, southwestern Japan, in the Nankai subduction zone (United States)

    Kita, S.; Matsubara, M.


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

  11. Position and Life Span of Volcanic Arcs - What Link to Present-day Kinematic Parameters in Subduction Zones ? (United States)

    Schmidt, M. W.; Poli, S.


    Since slabs can be located at depth by geophysical methods, correlations are sought between the position of volcanic arcs above slabs and kinematic subduction parameters (subduction angle, velocity, burying rate...). However, the only (rough) correlation found so far, is between arc width and subduction angle, reflecting the projection of a slab depth-interval to a surface width. Volcanic arcs result from fluid and/or melt release from the slab (which occurs more or less continuously to >200 km depth), in most cases in combination with mantle wedge melting. Volcanic arcs may simply form above a zone with a sufficient extent of melting in the mantle and thus dominantly reflect the thermal structure in the mantle wedge which in turn mostly depends on mantle wedge convection. We argue that on geological time scales, pathways to actual (observable) subduction zone parameters are not unique as kinematic constraints in nature are fuzzy. Subduction systems do not converge to a steady state, implying that mantle wedge convection, the resulting thermal regime, loci of metamorphic reactions (i.e. fluid/melt release from the slab), and their surface manifestations, evolve continuously. As a consequence, present day kinematic parameters are not simply linked to the geometry of the volcanic arc (e.g. position of the volcanic front). An evolution of kinematic subduction parameters and their volcanic surface expression with time is documented in back arc basins which have an average life span of 11+/-6 Ma. About 48% of present intraoceanic subduction zones have or have had a Neozoic back arc and therefore they are highly dynamic systems strongly diverging from a steady state system with fixed kinematic boundaries. Other geologically short lived phenomena are aseismic ridge, oceanic plateau, and mid-ocean ridge subduction which modify buoyancy forces, slab geometry, and thermal structure within a subduction zone and thus cause changes in volcanic activity and melt type. In some

  12. Seismicity, topography, and free-air gravity of the Aleutian-Alaska subduction zone (United States)

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


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

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

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


    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 glaucophane at the expense of magmatic and amphibole coronas. This episode is accompanied with a decrease of halogen concentrations in amphiboles (glaucophane (up to 600 ppm) whereas halogen concentrations are unaffected. At eclogite facies conditions, metagabbros display low halogens concentrations (< 20 ppm of F and < 100 ppm of Cl) relative to altered oceanic crust (F = 40-650 ppm; Cl = 40-1400 ppm) suggesting that these elements are continuously released by fluids during the first 30-80 km of subduction whatever the tectonic environment (e.g. slab, plate interface) and the considered fluid/rock interactions.

  14. Constraining the Rate of Water-Releasing Metamorphic Reactions in Subduction Zones (United States)

    Mehl, L. Y.; Barkman, J. E.; Baxter, E. F.


    Metamorphic reactions in subduction zones have implications for the timing and depth over which water is released from subducting lithologies. Water release is related to the densification of the slab, the fluxing of arc magmatism, and seismogenesis. Garnet-forming reactions frequently involve the release of water. In order to quantify the rate at which water is produced during the P-T-t interval represented by garnet growth, we seek to constrain the rate and duration of garnet formation. Garnets in blueschists were collected from Sifnos, Greece. This island is in an accretionary wedge setting where the Apulian microplate subducted beneath the Eurasia plate from late Cretaceous to Eocene times. Peak metamorphic conditions were certainly less than 600 C and 2.0 GPa [1]. Blueschists from this subduction zone are preserved in the northern part of Sifnos; we collected most of our samples from Vroulidia Bay. This locality was chosen because large garnets (5-10mm) are preserved in many lithologies. Also, the peak temperatures determined by previous workers indicates that the garnet has remained closed to diffusive re-equilibration of Nd permitting the use of Sm/Nd geochronology to constrain prograde reaction history. Samples taken from Vroulidia Bay are fresh, with compositions that likely include mafic oceanic protoliths. Common assemblages include glaucophane, epidote, garnet, zoisite, quartz, phengite, partially replaced titanite, and rutile, as well as patches of carbonate and rare chlorite. The garnets sampled are dominantly almandine but also include a grossular component. Possible garnet-forming reactions in the Sifnos rocks may include: Chlorite + quartz = Almandine + H2O where the consumption of Fe-rich chlorite forms the almandine and releases water. The break down of Ca-rich clinozoisite, lawsonite, and/or titanite could contribute to the grossular component. Using the Sm/Nd isochron method, microsampled cores and rims of garnets may be directly dated. The

  15. Chemical and oxygen isotope zonings in garnet from subducted continental crust record mineral replacement and metasomatism (United States)

    Vho, Alice; Rubatto, Daniela; Regis, Daniele; Baumgartner, Lukas; Bouvier, Anne-Sophie


    Garnet is a key mineral in metamorphic petrology for constraining pressure, temperature and time paths. Garnet can preserve multiple growth stages due to its wide P-T stability field and the relatively slow diffusivity for major and trace elements at sub-solidus temperatures. Pressure-temperature-time-fluid paths of the host rock may be reconstructed by combining metamorphic petrology with microscale trace element and oxygen isotope measurements in garnet. Subduction zones represent relevant geological settings for geochemical investigation of element exchanges during aqueous fluid-rock interactions. The Sesia Zone consists of a complex continental sequence containing a variety of mono-metamorphic and poly-metamorphic lithologies such as metagranitoids, sediments and mafic boudins. The precursor Varisican-Permian amphibolite-facies basement (6-9 kbar 650-850°C; Lardeaux and Spalla, 1991; Robyr et al., 2013) experienced high pressure metamorphism (15-22 kbar 500-550°C; Regis, et al. 2014; Robyr et al., 2013) during Alpine subduction. In different lithologies of the Internal Complex (Eclogitic Micaschist Complex), including metabasites from the Ivozio Complex, Ti-rich metasediments from Val Malone and pre-Alpine Mn-quartzites associated to metagabbros from Cima Bonze, garnet is abundant and shows a variety of complex textures that cannot be reconciled with typical growth zoning, but indicate resorption and replacement processes and possible metasomatism. In-situ, microscale oxygen isotopes analysis of garnet zones was performed by ion microprobe with the SwissSIMS Cameca IMS 1280-HR at University of Lausanne and SHRIMP-SI at the Australian National University. Each sample has a distinct δ18O composition, and the δ18O values show different degrees of variation between domains. Homogeneously low values of element geochemistry and P-T modelling allows reconstructing the major stages of metasomatism, as well as identifying the nature of the fluid interacting with the

  16. Fractal analysis of the spatial distribution of earthquakes along the Hellenic Subduction Zone (United States)

    Papadakis, Giorgos; Vallianatos, Filippos; Sammonds, Peter


    The Hellenic Subduction Zone (HSZ) is the most seismically active region in Europe. Many destructive earthquakes have taken place along the HSZ in the past. The evolution of such active regions is expressed through seismicity and is characterized by complex phenomenology. The understanding of the tectonic evolution process and the physical state of subducting regimes is crucial in earthquake prediction. In recent years, there is a growing interest concerning an approach to seismicity based on the science of complex systems (Papadakis et al., 2013; Vallianatos et al., 2012). In this study we calculate the fractal dimension of the spatial distribution of earthquakes along the HSZ and we aim to understand the significance of the obtained values to the tectonic and geodynamic evolution of this area. We use the external seismic sources provided by Papaioannou and Papazachos (2000) to create a dataset regarding the subduction zone. According to the aforementioned authors, we define five seismic zones. Then, we structure an earthquake dataset which is based on the updated and extended earthquake catalogue for Greece and the adjacent areas by Makropoulos et al. (2012), covering the period 1976-2009. The fractal dimension of the spatial distribution of earthquakes is calculated for each seismic zone and for the HSZ as a unified system using the box-counting method (Turcotte, 1997; Robertson et al., 1995; Caneva and Smirnov, 2004). Moreover, the variation of the fractal dimension is demonstrated in different time windows. These spatiotemporal variations could be used as an additional index to inform us about the physical state of each seismic zone. As a precursor in earthquake forecasting, the use of the fractal dimension appears to be a very interesting future work. Acknowledgements Giorgos Papadakis wish to acknowledge the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (IKY). References Caneva, A., Smirnov, V., 2004. Using the fractal dimension of earthquake distributions and the

  17. Carbonation by fluid-rock interactions at High-Pressure conditions: implications for Carbon cycling in subduction zones (United States)

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


    Carbonate-bearing lithologies are the main carbon carrier into subduction zones. Their evolution during metamorphism largely controls the fate of carbon regulating its fluxes between shallow and deep reservoirs. In subduction zones, most works have focused on subtractive processes responsible for carbon release from subducting slabs. As an example, several recent works have stressed on the importance of carbonate dissolution as a mean to mobilize large amounts of carbon in subduction zones. By contrast, little is known on additive processes such as rock carbonation at high-pressure (HP) conditions. At shallow depths (e.g. ocean floor and shallow subduction zones, i.e. geo-biosphere and the atmosphere. We report the occurrence of eclogite-facies marbles associated with metasomatic systems in HP metamorphic unit in Alpine Corsica (France). We performed a field-based study on metasomatic marbles. We will present the petrology and geochemistry that characterize carbonate metasomatism together with fluid inclusions study and pseudosection modeling. Altogether, we bring strong evidences for the precipitation of these carbonate-rich assemblages from carbonic fluids during HP metamorphism. We propose that rock carbonation can occur at HP conditions by either vein-injection or chemical replacement mechanisms. Rock carbonation indicates that carbonic fluids produced by decarbonation reactions and carbonate dissolution may not be directly transferred to the mantle wedge, but may have a preferential and complex pathway within the slab and along slab/mantle interface. Rock carbonation by fluid-rock interactions has a potentially great impact on the residence time of carbon and oxygen and on carbonates isotopic signature in subduction zones. Lastly, carbonation may modulate the emission of CO2 at volcanic arcs over geological time scales.

  18. Slab-Forearc Density Structure and Rigidity Controlling the Seismogenic Behaviour Along the Peru-Chile Subduction Zone (United States)

    Tassara, A.; Hackney, R.; Legrand, D.


    The rupture area and recurrence time of historical earthquakes along the Peru-Chile subduction zone and seismicity recorded by modern networks show a distinctive spatiotemporal distribution defining a characteristic segmentation of the seismogenic zone. It is unclear what factors control this segmentation. Knowledge about this topic is urgent to understand the processes generating devastating subduction earthquakes and to improve its hazard assessment. We are studying this problem for the Peru-Chile subduction zone from two perspectives. First, we applied a wavelet-based spectral isostatic analysis of topography and gravity to compute a high resolution map of the flexural rigidity along the subduction zone. This parameter is a function of the thermo- mechanical structure of both converging plates and the frictional properties of the subduction channel between them. Spatial variations on this map show correlation with the seismogenic segmentation, suggesting that rigidity and the associated physical factors play a fundamental role for the seismogenic behaviour along the margin. Second, we used an existing 3D density model to derive a map of vertical stress acting on the subducting slab below the forearc. This stress is a function of the thickness and density structure of the forearc resulting from long-term geological processes, and is the main component of the normal stress that regulates the magnitude of shear stresses to be released during earthquakes. The spatial variations of vertical stresses show significant correlations with the seismogenic segmentation, implying that the geologically-inherited density structure of the forearc is an important parameter for sustaining a time-persistent seismic segmentation. Of particular interest is the analysis of the giant (Mw 9.5) 1960 Valdivia earthquake, which nucleated in a region of high rigidity and high vertical stress and propagated southward into a region of very low rigidity and vertical stress. This could have

  19. 2010 Maule earthquake slip correlates with pre-seismic locking of Andean subduction zone. (United States)

    Moreno, Marcos; Rosenau, Matthias; Oncken, Onno


    The magnitude-8.8 Maule (Chile) earthquake of 27 February 2010 ruptured a segment of the Andean subduction zone megathrust that has been suspected to be of high seismic potential. It is the largest earthquake to rupture a mature seismic gap in a subduction zone that has been monitored with a dense space-geodetic network before the event. This provides an image of the pre-seismically locked state of the plate interface of unprecedentedly high resolution, allowing for an assessment of the spatial correlation of interseismic locking with coseismic slip. Pre-seismic locking might be used to anticipate future ruptures in many seismic gaps, given the fundamental assumption that locking and slip are similar. This hypothesis, however, could not be tested without the occurrence of the first gap-filling earthquake. Here we show evidence that the 2010 Maule earthquake slip distribution correlates closely with the patchwork of interseismic locking distribution as derived by inversion of global positioning system (GPS) observations during the previous decade. The earthquake nucleated in a region of high locking gradient and released most of the stresses accumulated in the area since the last major event in 1835. Two regions of high seismic slip (asperities) appeared to be nearly fully locked before the earthquake. Between these asperities, the rupture bridged a zone that was creeping interseismically with consistently low coseismic slip. The rupture stopped in areas that were highly locked before the earthquake but where pre-stress had been significantly reduced by overlapping twentieth-century earthquakes. Our work suggests that coseismic slip heterogeneity at the scale of single asperities should indicate the seismic potential of future great earthquakes, which thus might be anticipated by geodetic observations.

  20. Seismic‐wave attenuation determined from tectonic tremor in multiple subduction zones (United States)

    Yabe, Suguru; Baltay, Annemarie S.; Ide, Satoshi; Beroza, Gregory C.


    Tectonic tremor provides a new source of observations that can be used to constrain the seismic attenuation parameter for ground‐motion prediction and hazard mapping. Traditionally, recorded earthquakes of magnitude ∼3–8 are used to develop ground‐motion prediction equations; however, typical earthquake records may be sparse in areas of high hazard. In this study, we constrain the distance decay of seismic waves using measurements of the amplitude decay of tectonic tremor, which is plentiful in some regions. Tectonic tremor occurs in the frequency band of interest for ground‐motion prediction (i.e., ∼2–8  Hz) and is located on the subducting plate interface, at the lower boundary of where future large earthquakes are expected. We empirically fit the distance decay of peak ground velocity from tremor to determine the attenuation parameter in four subduction zones: Nankai, Japan; Cascadia, United States–Canada; Jalisco, Mexico; and southern Chile. With the large amount of data available from tremor, we show that in the upper plate, the lower crust is less attenuating than the upper crust. We apply the same analysis to intraslab events in Nankai and show the possibility that waves traveling from deeper intraslab events experience more attenuation than those from the shallower tremor due to ray paths that pass through the subducting and highly attenuating oceanic crust. This suggests that high pore‐fluid pressure is present in the tremor source region. These differences imply that the attenuation parameter determined from intraslab earthquakes may underestimate ground motion for future large earthquakes on the plate interface.

  1. The Hainan Lone Plume Prompted By Encircling Subduction Zones around the South China Sea (United States)

    Zhang, N.; Li, Z. X.


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

  2. Mantle convection, tectonics and the evolution of the Tethyan subduction zone (United States)

    Jolivet, Laurent; Sternai, Pietro; Menant, Armel; Faccenna, Claudio; Becker, Thorsten; Burov, Evguenii


    Mantle convection drives plate tectonics and the size, number and thermotectonic age of plates codetermines the convection pattern. However, the degree of coupling of surface deformation and mantle flow is unclear. Most numerical models of lithospheric deformation are designed such that strain is a consequence of kinematic boundary conditions, and rarely account for basal stresses due to mantle flow. On the other hand, convection models often treat the lithosphere as a single-layer stagnant lid with vertically undeformable surface. There is thus a gap between convection models and lithospheric-scale geodynamic models. The transmission of stresses from the flowing mantle to the crust is a complex process. The presence of a ductile lower crust inhibits the upward transmission of stresses but a highly extended crust in a hot environment such as a backarc domain, with no lithospheric mantle and a ductile lower crust in direct contact with asthenosphere, will be more prone to follow the mantle flow than a thick and stratified lithosphere. We review geological observations and present reconstructions of the Aegean and Middle East and discuss the possible role played by basal drag in governing lithospheric deformation. In Mediterranean backarc regions, lithosphere-mantle coupling is effective on geological time scale as shown by the consistency of SKS fast orientations in the mantle with stretching directions in the crust. The long-term geological history of the Tethyan convergent zone suggests that asthenospheric flow has been an important player. The case of Himalaya and Tibet strongly supports a major contribution of a northward asthenospheric push, with no persistent slab that could drive India after collision, large thrust planes being then decoupling zones between deep convection and surface tectonics. The African plate repeatedly fragmented during its northward migration with the separation of Apulia and Arabia. Indeed, extension has been active on the northern

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

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


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

  4. Estimation of peak ground accelerations for Mexican subduction zone earthquakes using neural networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia, Silvia R; Romo, Miguel P; Mayoral, Juan M [Instituto de Ingenieria, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico D.F. (Mexico)


    An extensive analysis of the strong ground motion Mexican data base was conducted using Soft Computing (SC) techniques. A Neural Network NN is used to estimate both orthogonal components of the horizontal (PGAh) and vertical (PGAv) peak ground accelerations measured at rock sites during Mexican subduction zone earthquakes. The work discusses the development, training, and testing of this neural model. Attenuation phenomenon was characterized in terms of magnitude, epicentral distance and focal depth. Neural approximators were used instead of traditional regression techniques due to their flexibility to deal with uncertainty and noise. NN predictions follow closely measured responses exhibiting forecasting capabilities better than those of most established attenuation relations for the Mexican subduction zone. Assessment of the NN, was also applied to subduction zones in Japan and North America. For the database used in this paper the NN and the-better-fitted- regression approach residuals are compared. [Spanish] Un analisis exhaustivo de la base de datos mexicana de sismos fuertes se llevo a cabo utilizando tecnicas de computo aproximado, SC (soft computing). En particular, una red neuronal, NN, es utilizada para estimar ambos componentes ortogonales de la maxima aceleracion horizontal del terreno, PGAh, y la vertical, PGAv, medidas en sitios en roca durante terremotos generados en la zona de subduccion de la Republica Mexicana. El trabajo discute el desarrollo, entrenamiento, y prueba de este modelo neuronal. El fenomeno de atenuacion fue caracterizado en terminos de la magnitud, la distancia epicentral y la profundidad focal. Aproximaciones neuronales fueron utilizadas en lugar de tecnicas de regresion tradicionales por su flexibilidad para tratar con incertidumbre y ruido en los datos. La NN sigue de cerca la respuesta medida exhibiendo capacidades predictivas mejores que las mostradas por muchas de las relaciones de atenuacion establecidas para la zona de

  5. Dynamic Linkages Between the Transition Zone & Surface Plate Motions in 2D Models of Subduction (United States)

    Arredondo, K.; Billen, M. I.


    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

  6. Seismoturbidite record as preserved at core sites at the Cascadia and Sumatra–Andaman subduction zones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. R. Patton


    Full Text Available Turbidite deposition along slope and trench settings is evaluated for the Cascadia and Sumatra–Andaman subduction zones. Source proximity, basin effects, turbidity current flow path, temporal and spatial earthquake rupture, hydrodynamics, and topography all likely play roles in the deposition of the turbidites as evidenced by the vertical structure of the final deposits. Channel systems tend to promote low-frequency components of the content of the current over longer distances, while more proximal slope basins and base-of-slope apron fan settings result in a turbidite structure that is likely influenced by local physiography and other factors. Cascadia's margin is dominated by glacial cycle constructed pathways which promote turbidity current flows for large distances. Sumatra margin pathways do not inherit these antecedent sedimentary systems, so turbidity currents are more localized.

  7. Long-Term Interactions Between Intermediate Depth and Shallow Seismicity in North Chile Subduction Zone (United States)

    Jara, Jorge; Socquet, Anne; Marsan, David; Bouchon, Michel


    We document interactions between intermediate depth and interplate seismicity in the North Chile subduction zone, over a 25 year period (1990-2015). We show that the 2005 Mw 7.8 Tarapaca slab-pull earthquake was followed by 9 years of enhanced deep and shallow seismicity, together with the decrease of eastward average GPS velocities and associated interplate coupling, eventually leading to the 2014 Mw 8.1 Iquique megathrust earthquake. In contrast, megathrust ruptures (e.g., Mw 8.0 Antofagasta in 1995, or Mw 8.1 Iquique in 2014) initiate several years of silent background seismicity in the studied area, both at shallow and intermediate depths. The plunge of a rigid slab into a viscous asthenospheric mantle could explain the observed synchronization between deep and shallow seismicity and their long-term interactions.

  8. Long-term perspectives on giant earthquakes and tsunamis at subduction zones (United States)

    Satake, K.; Atwater, B.F.; ,


    Histories of earthquakes and tsunamis, inferred from geological evidence, aid in anticipating future catastrophes. This natural warning system now influences building codes and tsunami planning in the United States, Canada, and Japan, particularly where geology demonstrates the past occurrence of earthquakes and tsunamis larger than those known from written and instrumental records. Under favorable circumstances, paleoseismology can thus provide long-term advisories of unusually large tsunamis. The extraordinary Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 resulted from a fault rupture more than 1000 km in length that included and dwarfed fault patches that had broken historically during lesser shocks. Such variation in rupture mode, known from written history at a few subduction zones, is also characteristic of earthquake histories inferred from geology on the Pacific Rim. Copyright ?? 2007 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  10. Sediment-derived fluids in subduction zones: Isotopic evidence from veins in blueschist and eclogite of the Franciscan Complex, California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nelson, B.K. (Univ. of Washington, Seattle (United States))


    Isotopic analyses of minerals from veins that cut high-grade blueschist and eclogite blocks in the central belt of the Franciscan Complex provide constraints on the chronology of metamorphic events and on the origin and movement of fluids within the subduction zone. A Rb-Sr age of 153 {plus minus}1 Ma obtained for minerals from veins and open cavities that formed contemporaneously with retrograde blueschist facies metamorphism is a minimum age for the prograde metamorphism. The veining precedes the last episode of sedimentary-matrix melange formation by a minimum 15 to 20 Ma, during which time the blocks must have been stored within the subduction complex at low temperatures and without undergoing penetrative deformation. Initial Nd-isotope compositions ({epsilon}{sub Nd}) of the vein minerals range from +10.8 to {minus}2.4, indicating that some fluids were derived predominantly from dehydration of subducted mid-ocean ridge basalt, but that other fluids had a component derived from subducted sediment. The provenance of the subducted sediment was within old continental crust, thus associating the Franciscan paleo-subduction complex with a continental craton by the time of vein formation.

  11. The potential influence of subduction zone polarity on overriding plate deformation, trench migration and slab dip angle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, W. P.


    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

  12. Integrated Land- and Underwater-Based Sensors for a Subduction Zone Earthquake Early Warning System (United States)

    Pirenne, B.; Rosenberger, A.; Rogers, G. C.; Henton, J.; Lu, Y.; Moore, T.


    Ocean Networks Canada (ONC — ) operates cabled ocean observatories off the coast of British Columbia (BC) to support research and operational oceanography. Recently, ONC has been funded by the Province of BC to deliver an earthquake early warning (EEW) system that integrates offshore and land-based sensors to deliver alerts of incoming ground shaking from the Cascadia Subduction Zone. ONC's cabled seismic network has the unique advantage of being located offshore on either side of the surface expression of the subduction zone. The proximity of ONC's sensors to the fault can result in faster, more effective warnings, which translates into more lives saved, injuries avoided and more ability for mitigative actions to take place.ONC delivers near real-time data from various instrument types simultaneously, providing distinct advantages to seismic monitoring and earthquake early warning. The EEW system consists of a network of sensors, located on the ocean floor and on land, that detect and analyze the initial p-wave of an earthquake as well as the crustal deformation on land during the earthquake sequence. Once the p-wave is detected and characterized, software systems correlate the data streams of the various sensors and deliver alerts to clients through a Common Alerting Protocol-compliant data package. This presentation will focus on the development of the earthquake early warning capacity at ONC. It will describe the seismic sensors and their distribution, the p-wave detection algorithms selected and the overall architecture of the system. It will further overview the plan to achieve operational readiness at project completion.

  13. Time-dependent geoid anomalies at subduction zones due to the seismic cycle (United States)

    Cambiotti, G.; Sabadini, R.; Yuen, D. A.


    We model the geoid anomalies excited during a megathrust earthquake cycle at subduction zones, including the interseismic phase and the contribution from the infinite series of previous earthquakes, within the frame of self-gravitating, spherically symmetric, compressible, viscoelastic Earth models. The fault cuts the whole 50 km lithosphere, dips 20°, and the slip amplitude, together with the length of the fault, are chosen in order to simulate an Mw = 9.0 earthquake, while the viscosity of the 170 km thick asthenosphere ranges from 1017 to 1020 Pa s. On the basis of a new analysis from the Correspondence Principle, we show that the geoid anomaly is characterized by a periodic anomaly due to the elastic and viscous contribution from past earthquakes and to the back-slip of the interseismic phase, and by a smaller static contribution from the steady-state response to the previous infinite earthquake cycles. For asthenospheric viscosities from 1017-1018 to 1019-1020 Pa s, the characteristic relaxation times of the Earth model change from shorter to longer timescales compared to the 400 yr earthquake recurrence time, which dampen the geoid anomaly for the higher asthenospheric viscosities, since the slower relaxation cannot contribute its whole strength within the interseismic cycle. The geoid anomaly pattern is characterized by a global, time-dependent positive upwarping of the geoid topography, involving the whole hanging wall and partially the footwall compared to the sharper elastic contribution, attaining, for a moment magnitude Mw = 9.0, amplitudes as high as 6.6 cm for the lowermost asthenospheric viscosities during the viscoelastic response compared to the elastic maximum of 3.8 cm. The geoid anomaly vanishes due to the back-slip of the interseismic phase, leading to its disappearance at the end of the cycle before the next earthquake. Our results are of importance for understanding the post-seismic and interseismic geoid patterns at subduction zones.

  14. Origin of magmas in subduction zones: a review of experimental studies. (United States)

    Kushiro, Ikuo


    Studies of the origin of magmas in subduction zones, particularly in the Japanese island arc, have been significantly advanced by petrological, geochemical, geophysical and experimental studies during last 50 years. Kuno's original model(1)) for magma generation in the Japanese island arc, that tholeiite magmas are formed at relatively shallow levels in the mantle on the Pacific Ocean side whereas alkali basalt magmas are formed in deeper levels on the Japan Sea side, stimulated subsequent studies, particularly high-pressure experimental studies in which the author participated. Recent seismic tomographic studies of regions beneath the Japanese island arc demonstrate that seismic low-velocity zones where primary magmas are formed have finger-like shapes and rise obliquely from the Japan Sea side toward the Pacific Ocean side. Based on experimental studies, it is suggested that the compositions of primary magmas depend mainly on the H2O content and degree of melting in the melting zones, and that primary tholeiite magmas are formed by 10-25% melting of the source mantle containing less than 0.2 wt.% H2O. High-alumina basalt and alkali basalt magmas are formed by smaller degrees of melting of similar mantle, whereas primary boninite magmas are formed by more than 20% melting of the source mantle with more than 0.2 wt.% H2O, and finally, high-magnesia andesite magmas are formed by smaller degrees of melting of similar mantle.

  15. The transition zone below the Chile-Argentina flat subduction region (United States)

    Bonatto, Luciana; Piromallo, Claudia; Badi, Gabriela


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

  16. Spatial distribution of random velocity inhomogeneities in the western part of Nankai subduction zone (United States)

    Takahashi, T.; Obana, K.; Yamamoto, Y.; Nakanishi, A.; Kodaira, S.; Kaneda, Y.


    In the Nankai trough, there are three seismogenic zones of megathrust earthquakes (Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai earthquakes). Lithospheric structures in and around these seismogenic zones are important for the studies on mutual interactions and synchronization of their fault ruptures. Recent studies on seismic wave scattering at high frequencies (>1Hz) make it possible to estimate 3D distributions of random inhomogeneities (or scattering coefficient) in the lithosphere, and clarified that random inhomogeneity is one of the important medium properties related to microseismicity and damaged structure near the fault zone [Asano & Hasegawa, 2004; Takahashi et al. 2009]. This study estimates the spatial distribution of the power spectral density function (PSDF) of random inhomogeneities the western part of Nankai subduction zone, and examines the relations with crustal velocity structure and seismic activity. Seismic waveform data used in this study are those recorded at seismic stations of Hi-net & F-net operated by NIED, and 160 ocean bottom seismographs (OBSs) deployed at Hyuga-nada region from Dec. 2008 to Jan. 2009. This OBS observation was conducted by JAMSTEC as a part of "Research concerning Interaction Between the Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai Earthquakes" funded by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan. Spatial distribution of random inhomogeneities is estimated by the inversion analysis of the peak delay time of small earthquakes [Takahashi et al. 2009], where the peak delay time is defined as the time lag from the S-wave onset to its maximal amplitude arrival. We assumed the von Karman type functional form for the PSDF. Peak delay times are measured from root mean squared envelopes at 4-8Hz, 8-16Hz and 16-32Hz. Inversion result can be summarized as follows. Random inhomogeneities beneath the Quaternary volcanoes are characterized by strong inhomogeneities at small spatial scale (~ a few hundreds meter) and weak spectral gradient

  17. Separation of supercritical slab-fluids to form aqueous fluid and melt components in subduction zone magmatism. (United States)

    Kawamoto, Tatsuhiko; Kanzaki, Masami; Mibe, Kenji; Matsukage, Kyoko N; Ono, Shigeaki


    Subduction-zone magmatism is triggered by the addition of H(2)O-rich slab-derived components: aqueous fluid, hydrous partial melts, or supercritical fluids from the subducting slab. Geochemical analyses of island arc basalts suggest two slab-derived signatures of a melt and a fluid. These two liquids unite to a supercritical fluid under pressure and temperature conditions beyond a critical endpoint. We ascertain critical endpoints between aqueous fluids and sediment or high-Mg andesite (HMA) melts located, respectively, at 83-km and 92-km depths by using an in situ observation technique. These depths are within the mantle wedge underlying volcanic fronts, which are formed 90 to 200 km above subducting slabs. These data suggest that sediment-derived supercritical fluids, which are fed to the mantle wedge from the subducting slab, react with mantle peridotite to form HMA supercritical fluids. Such HMA supercritical fluids separate into aqueous fluids and HMA melts at 92 km depth during ascent. The aqueous fluids are fluxed into the asthenospheric mantle to form arc basalts, which are locally associated with HMAs in hot subduction zones. The separated HMA melts retain their composition in limited equilibrium with the surrounding mantle. Alternatively, they equilibrate with the surrounding mantle and change the major element chemistry to basaltic composition. However, trace element signatures of sediment-derived supercritical fluids remain more in the melt-derived magma than in the fluid-induced magma, which inherits only fluid-mobile elements from the sediment-derived supercritical fluids. Separation of slab-derived supercritical fluids into melts and aqueous fluids can elucidate the two slab-derived components observed in subduction zone magma chemistry.

  18. Is localised dehydration and vein generation the tremor-generating mechanism in subduction zones? (United States)

    Fagereng, Ake; Meneghini, Francesca; Diener, Johann; Harris, Chris


    The phenomena of tectonic, non-volcanic, tremor was first discovered at the down-dip end of the seismogenic zone in Japan early this millennium. Now this low amplitude, low frequency, noise-like seismic signal has been observed at and/or below the deep limit of interseismic coupling along most well-instrumented subduction thrust interfaces. Data and models from these examples suggest a link between tremor and areas of elevated fluid pressure, or at least fluid presence. Tremor locations appear to also correlate with margin-specific locations of metamorphic fluid release, determined by composition and thermal structure. We therefore hypothesise that: (i) tremor on the deep subduction thrust interface is related to localised fluid release; and (ii) accretionary complex rocks exhumed from appropriate pressure - temperature conditions should include a record of this process, and allow a test for the hypothesis. Hydrothermal veins are a record of mineral precipitation at non-equilibrium conditions, commonly caused by fracture, fluid influx, and precipitation of dissolved minerals from this fluid. Quartz veins are ubiquitous in several accretionary complexes, including the Chrystalls Beach Complex, New Zealand, and the Kuiseb Schist of the Namibian Damara Belt. In both locations, representing temperatures of deformation of tremor. In the Chrystalls Beach Complex, quartz δ18O values range from 14.1 ‰ to 17.0 ‰ (n = 18), whereas in the Kuiseb schist, values range from 9.4 ‰ to 17.9 ‰ (n = 30). In the latter, values less than 14.0‰ are associated with long-lived shear zones. Excluding the lower values in the Kuiseb schist, the δ18O values are consistent with metamorphic fluids in near equilibrium with the host rocks. We thus infer that the veins that developed on the prograde path formed at a small range of temperatures from a local fluid source. This interpretation is consistent with the veins forming in response to a spatially localised metamorphic fluid

  19. Isotopic investigation of metasomatism in subduction zones: the Franciscan Complex, California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nelson, B.K.; Depaolo, D.J.


    Metasomatizing fluids associated with metamorphism in subduction zones may be an important agent for the chemical modification of subducted rocks and of the overlying mantle wedge, both of which may be sources for island arc magmas. To characterize the timing of metasomatism and the source and nature of the fluids, the authors measured Sm-Nd and Rb-Sr isotope ratios of vein-filling minerals and actinolitic rinds cross-cutting meta-basaltic blocks from the Franciscan Central belt. 12 of 14 unmetasomatized samples of greenstone, blueschist and eclogite blocks have measured element of/sub ND/=+8 to +11, indicating MOR protoliths. Measured element of/sub Sr/ values scatter, but initial element of/sub Sr/ for whole rocks and garnets at 150 m.y. are +1 to +16. In element of/sub Nd=element of/sub Sr/ space the initial ratios are shifted to higher element of/sub Sr/ values with respect to unaltered MORB, suggesting seawater-hydrothermal alteration of the protolith. Foliated actinolite +/- white mica rinds from an eclogite and blueschist, both with element of/sub Nd/=+9, have element of/sub Nd/ of +6 and +1 respectively. The Rb-Sr age of the aragonite-glaucophane pair is 153.6 +/- 2.4 m.y., with initial /sup 87/Sr//sup 86/Sr = 0.7052 and element of/sub Nd/ = +6.3. The Rb-Sr age of a white mica-zoisite pair from a vein in a Tiburon eclogite is 151.9 +/- 0.4 m.y., initial /sup 87/Sr//sup 86/Sr = 0.7050 and element of/sub Nd/=+6.7. The vein fluids had similar isotopic compositions, but some rind-forming fluids had element of/sub Nd/<+1 suggesting a component derived from continental crust. Jadeitic metagreywacke, such as that from Pacheco Pass may be a source for low element of/sub Nd/ fluids. Beyond alteration at a MOR, subduction-related metasomatism may further modify eclogite returned to the mantle.

  20. The South Sandwich "Forgotten" Subduction Zone and Tsunami Hazard in the South Atlantic (United States)

    Okal, E. A.; Hartnady, C. J. H.; Synolakis, C. E.


    While no large interplate thrust earthquakes are know at the "forgotten" South Sandwich subduction zone, historical catalogues include a number of events with reported magnitudes 7 or more. A detailed seismological study of the largest event (27 June 1929; M (G&R) = 8.3) is presented. The earthquake relocates 80 km North of the Northwestern corner of the arc and its mechanism, inverted using the PDFM method, features normal faulting on a steeply dipping fault plane (phi, delta, lambda = 71, 70, 272 deg. respectively). The seismic moment of 1.7*10**28 dyn*cm supports Gutenberg and Richter's estimate, and is 28 times the largest shallow CMT in the region. This event is interpreted as representing a lateral tear in the South Atlantic plate, comparable to similar earthquakes in Samoa and Loyalty, deemed "STEP faults" by Gover and Wortel [2005]. Hydrodynamic simulations were performed using the MOST method [Titov and Synolakis, 1997]. Computed deep-water tsunami amplitudes of 30cm and 20cm were found off the coast of Brazil and along the Gulf of Guinea (Ivory Coast, Ghana) respectively. The 1929 moment was assigned to the geometries of other know earthquakes in the region, namely outer-rise normal faulting events at the center of the arc and its southern extremity, and an interplate thrust fault at the Southern corner, where the youngest lithosphere is subducted. Tsunami hydrodynamic simulation of these scenarios revealed strong focusing of tsunami wave energy by the SAR, the SWIOR and the Agulhas Rise, in Ghana, Southern Mozambique and certain parts of the coast of South Africa. This study documents the potential tsunami hazard to South Atlantic shorelines from earthquakes in this region, principally normal faulting events.

  1. Deformation of the central Andes (15-27 deg S) derived from a flow model of subduction zones (United States)

    Wdowinski, Shimon; O'Connell, Richard J.


    A simple viscous flow model of a subduction zone is used to calculate the deformation within continental lithosphere above a subducting slab. This formulation accounts for two forces that dominate the deformation in the overriding lithosphere: tectonic forces and buoyancy forces. Numerical solutions, obtained by using a finite element technique, are compared with observations from the central Andes (15-27 deg S). The model predicts the observed deformation pattern of extension in the forearc, compression in the Western Monocline (corresponding to magmatic activity), extension in the Altiplano, compression in the Eastern Monocline and Subandes, and no deformation in the Brazilian Shield. By comparing the calculated solutions with the large-scale tectonic observations, the forces that govern the deformation in the central Andes are evaluated. The approximately constant subduction velocity in the past 26 million years suggests that the rate of crustal shortening in the Andes has decreased with time due to the thickening of the crust.

  2. The Impact of Surface Bending, A Complete Mineralogical Model and Movement of the Overriding Plate on Subduction Zones (United States)

    Arredondo, Katrina Marie

    Modern observations of subduction zones provide only snapshots of a complex geologic system that can last tens of millions of years. Surface velocity measurements and seismic tomography images provide information on the possible forces acting on the plate and influencing slab shape and behavior. Modern subduction zones exhibit a wide range of behavior, from the rapidly rolling back Tonga subduction zone (where the trench is moving toward the subducting plate) to stationary trenches to trench advance (where the trench is moving toward the overriding plate). Slabs may also stagnate at 660 km while others directly penetrate into the lower mantle. Numerical models can combine observations and laboratory data to test and study possible forces that may explain the wide variety of behavior observed in modern subduction zones. Past numerical model studies have not studied the impact on subduction zone behavior from: composition-dependent phase transitions, a complete mineralogical model and movement of the overriding plate. Here we show that: 1) weakening of the subducting plate can be observed from the forebulge to the trench using highly detailed bathymetry and gravity measurement tracks parallel to the trench, 2) using a complete mineralogy model is important for accurate numerical models because incomplete approximations may overestimate slab stagnation and slab rollback, 3) in free subduction models, the complete mineralogy model creates a strong feedback loop between broad slab folds and trench velocities, and 4) the movement of the overriding plate is very important for slab rollback. Results presented in Chapter 1 indicate that the rheology in the numerical models should produce weakening in the slab as it bends into the trench, which is observed in the models of Chapter 2 and 3. Past published models can be analyzed in relation to Chapter 2 and 3 to determine if their conclusions are skewed by an overestimation of slab stagnation or trench rollback. The presented

  3. A Calcium-in-Olivine Geohygrometer and its Application to Subduction Zone Magmatism (United States)

    Gavrilenko, M.; Herzberg, C. T.; Vidito, C. A.; Carr, M. J.; Tenner, T.; Ozerov, A.


    Calcium contents of subduction zone olivines are lower than those for olivines from modern MORB, Archean komatiites, and Hawaii (Fig. 1). A role for magmatic H2O is likely for subduction zone olivines, and we have explored the suggestion by [1] that H2O has affected the partitioning of CaO between olivine and silicate melt. We provide a provisional calibration of DCaOOl/L as a function of magmatic MgO and H2O, based on nominally anhydrous experiments (Fig. 2) and minimally degassed H2O contents of olivine-hosted melt inclusions (Fig. 3). The low diffusivity of Ca in olivine [2], when compared to that of H+ [3, 4, 5, 6], might help to retain the memory of magmatic water that is otherwise lost by diffusion and degassing. Application of our geohygrometer (Fig. 4) typically yields 3 to 4 wt. % magmatic H2O at the Kamchatka and Central American arcs for olivines having 1000 ppm Ca, which agrees with H2O maxima from melt inclusion studies [7]; Cerro Negro and Shiveluch volcanoes are exceptions, with about 6% H2O. Our geohygrometer is by no means a replacement for more accurate methods of H2O analysis, but it has the advantage of applicability in cases where olivine-hosted melt inclusions do not exist (or in case when melt inclusions are partly or completely degassed). Additionally, application of the geohygrometer to core-rim olivine Ca analyses has the potential to reveal changes in magmatic H2O, as revealed by Klyuchevskoy and Shiveluch volcanoes. High precision EMPA analyses with 10-20 µm spatial resolution on some olivine grains from Klyuchevskoy and Shiveluch show a decrease in Ca content from core centers to the rim contacts. Our geohygrometer indicates the olivine grains may record changing magmatic H2O. Furthermore, high Mg numbers and Ni contents indicate these are mantle olivines, and the inferred H2O may be recording entry from the slab to the mantle wedge, a prediction that will be tested by SIMS analyses. References: [1] Feig et al. (2006) CMP, 152

  4. Boron desorption and fractionation in Subduction Zone Fore Arcs: Implications for the sources and transport of deep fluids (United States)

    Saffer, Demian M.; Kopf, Achim J.


    At many subduction zones, pore water geochemical anomalies at seafloor seeps and in shallow boreholes indicate fluid flow and chemical transport from depths of several kilometers. Identifying the source regions for these fluids is essential toward quantifying flow pathways and volatile fluxes through fore arcs, and in understanding their connection to the loci of excess pore pressure at depth. Here we develop a model to track the coupled effects of boron desorption, smectite dehydration, and progressive consolidation within sediment at the top of the subducting slab, where such deep fluid signals likely originate. Our analysis demonstrates that the relative timing of heating and consolidation is a dominant control on pore water composition. For cold slabs, pore water freshening is maximized because dehydration releases bound water into low porosity sediment, whereas boron concentrations and isotopic signatures are modest because desorption is strongly sensitive to temperature and is only partially complete. For warmer slabs, freshening is smaller, because dehydration occurs earlier and into larger porosities, but the boron signatures are larger. The former scenario is typical of nonaccretionary margins where insulating sediment on the subducting plate is commonly thin. This result provides a quantitative explanation for the global observation that signatures of deeply sourced fluids are generally strongest at nonaccretionary margins. Application of our multitracer approach to the Costa Rica, N. Japan, N. Barbados, and Mediterranean Ridge subduction zones illustrates that desorption and dehydration are viable explanations for observed geochemical signals, and suggest updip fluid migration from these source regions over tens of km.

  5. Detailed Structure and Thickness of Upper Mantle Discontinuities in the Tonga Subduction Zone From Regional Broadband Arrays (United States)

    Tibi, R.; Wiens, D. A.


    Recordings of deep Tonga earthquakes from two arrays of 12 broadband seismographs each in the Fiji and Tonga islands are stacked and searched for reflections and conversions from upper mantle discontinuities in the Tonga subduction zone. The arrays operated as part of the Seismic Arrays in Fiji and Tonga (SAFT) experiment from July 2001 to August 2002. In comparison with the commonly used teleseismic approaches, the short path lengths for the regional data provide smaller Fresnel zones and high frequency content for precise mapping of discontinuity topography and sharpness. This is particularly important for a subduction zone, where variations in temperature and water content may be expected which should cause changes in the elevation and sharpness of the discontinuities. We studied the phases s410p, P660p and S660p. To enhance these low-amplitude phases, deconvolved seismograms from each event/array pair are aligned on the maximum amplitude of the direct P wave and subsequently slant-stacked. For the 410-km discontinuity, the results show no systematic variations in depth with distance to the cold slab. The 660-km discontinuity varies between 656 and 714 km in depth. For the southern and central parts of the subduction zone, the largest depths occur in the core of the Tonga slab. For the northern part, two separate depressions of the 660 are observed. These anomalies are interpreted as being induced by the active, steeply subducting Tonga deep zone and a subhorizontally lying remnant of subducted lithosphere from the fossil Vityaz trench, respectively. Interpreting the deflections of the 660 in terms of local temperatures implies a thermal anomaly at 660 km depth of -800 to -1200oK for the Tonga slab, and -600 to -950oK for the piece of the Vityaz lithosphere. Except for the southern region where it thickens, the Tonga slab seems to penetrate the 660 with little deformation. Waveform modeling susggests that both the 410 and 660 discontinuities are sharp. The 410

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

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


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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brandt, Frederik Ejvang

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

  8. Distribution of dehalogenation activity in subseafloor sediments of the Nankai Trough subduction zone. (United States)

    Futagami, Taiki; Morono, Yuki; Terada, Takeshi; Kaksonen, Anna H; Inagaki, Fumio


    Halogenated organic matter buried in marine subsurface sediment may serve as a source of electron acceptors for anaerobic respiration of subseafloor microbes. Detection of a diverse array of reductive dehalogenase-homologous (rdhA) genes suggests that subseafloor organohalide-respiring microbial communities may play significant ecological roles in the biogeochemical carbon and halogen cycle in the subseafloor biosphere. We report here the spatial distribution of dehalogenation activity in the Nankai Trough plate-subduction zone of the northwest Pacific off the Kii Peninsula of Japan. Incubation experiments with slurries of sediment collected at various depths and locations showed that degradation of several organohalides tested only occurred in the shallow sedimentary basin, down to 4.7 metres below the seafloor, despite detection of rdhA in the deeper sediments. We studied the phylogenetic diversity of the metabolically active microbes in positive enrichment cultures by extracting RNA, and found that Desulfuromonadales bacteria predominate. In addition, for the isolation of genes involved in the dehalogenation reaction, we performed a substrate-induced gene expression screening on DNA extracted from the enrichment cultures. Diverse DNA fragments were obtained and some of them showed best BLAST hit to known organohalide respirers such as Dehalococcoides, whereas no functionally known dehalogenation-related genes such as rdhA were found, indicating the need to improve the molecular approach to assess functional genes for organohalide respiration.

  9. Probabilities of Earthquake Occurrences along the Sumatra-Andaman Subduction Zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pailoplee Santi


    Full Text Available Earthquake activities along the Sumatra-Andaman Subduction Zone (SASZ were clarified using the derived frequency-magnitude distribution in terms of the (i most probable maximum magnitudes, (ii return periods and (iii probabilities of earthquake occurrences. The northern segment of SASZ, along the western coast of Myanmar to southern Nicobar, was found to be capable of generating an earthquake of magnitude 6.1–6.4 Mw in the next 30–50 years, whilst the southern segment of offshore of the northwestern and western parts of Sumatra (defined as a high hazard region had a short recurrence interval of 6-12 and 10-30 years for a 6.0 and 7.0 Mw magnitude earthquake, respectively, compared to the other regions. Throughout the area along the SASZ, there are 70– almost 100% probabilities of the earthquake with Mw up to 6.0 might be generated in the next 50 years whilst the northern segment had less than 50% chance of occurrence of a 7.0 Mw earthquake in the next 50 year. Although Rangoon was defined as the lowest hazard among the major city in the vicinity of SASZ, there is 90% chance of a 6.0 Mw earthquake in the next 50 years. Therefore, the effective mitigation plan of seismic hazard should be contributed.

  10. Three-dimensional attenuation and velocity structure of the Cocos subduction zone in Mexico (United States)

    Chen, T.; Clayton, R. W.


    The 3D P-wave attenuation and velocity structure of the Cocos subduction zone in Mexico is imaged using about 700 local events recorded by the MASE (100 seismometers running across central Mexico, 2005-2007) and VEOX (47 seismometers running across southern Mexico, 2007-2009) arrays, supplemented by stations from the National Seismic Network in Mexico (SSN). Using a spectral-decay method, we obtain a path attenuation operator t* for each seismogram in the frequency band 1 to 30 Hz, depending on the signal quality. These measurements are then inverted for 3D spatial variations in attenuation. Direct P wave arrivals are used for velocity inversion. Inversion results show low attenuation associated with the Cocos slab, and show the slab dip angle increases from central to southern Mexico. High attenuation is imaged in the mantle wedge and the crust above. The highest attenuation is found in the crust near the active Los Tuxtlas volcanic field, probably related to the dehydration and melting process. Cocos slab is also traced as high-velocity strucuture from velocity inversion. Low velocity is imaged in the mantle wedge and crust above. Anomalous high velocity structure is found near the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southern Mexico dipping south from the Gulf of Mexico. This structure is also seen in receiver function images, and may be related to the collision between the Yucatan Block and Mexico in the Miocene.

  11. Incremental Slip Along Dilatant Faults in Ancient Fluid-Rich Subduction Zones (United States)

    Remitti, F.; Fagereng, A.; Sibson, R. H.; Vannucchi, P.; Bettelli, G.


    At a variety of depths in subduction zones a proportion of relative plate motion is accommodated by episodic tremor and slow slip events. These events are accompanied by distinct low frequency seismic signals and/or high levels of micro-seismic activity. Based on theoretical studies and seismic attributes of the source region, fluids overpressured to near-lithostatic values seem likely to be involved in the mechanism behind episodic tremor. Ancient crust surrounding paleoseismic zones, especially if rich in overpressured fluids, should contain widespread relics of this kind of activity. Here we present microstructural observations from two ancient subduction thrust analogues where brittle deformation was accommodated by repeating micro-movements along dilatant faults. The first example is a mélange formed during Triassic-Jurassic tectonic accretion of ocean floor sediments now exposed in the Chrystalls Beach Complex, South Island, NZ. The mélange comprises competent sandstone and chert lenses set in a cleaved mudstone matrix deformed in a continuous-discontinuous style under subgreenschist conditions. Deformation is characterized by a pervasive anastomosing fault-fracture mesh of multiple shearing surfaces, subparallel to cleavage and coated with incrementally developed quartz-calcite slickenfibres. Microstructural observations reveal that slickenfibres grew by 'crack-seal' increments of 10-100 μm. Incremental slip transfer was constant over a single slickenfiber and accommodated by opening of extension fractures that link en echelon slip surfaces. The characteristic spacing of inclusion bands indicates relatively constant growth increments, possibly occurring into regular size cracks. Increments of non-constant growth and, instead, fractures significantly wider than 100 μm, are represented by local veins of euhedral quartz and carbonate. Similar structures are present in the shallow part of an ancient plate interface, now exposed in the Northern Apennines of

  12. An imbalance in the deep water cycle at subduction zones: The potential importance of the fore-arc mantle (United States)

    Ribeiro, Julia M.; Lee, Cin-Ty A.


    The depth of slab dehydration is thought to be controlled by the thermal state of the downgoing slab: cold slabs are thought to mostly dehydrate beneath the arc front while warmer slabs should mostly dehydrate beneath the fore-arc. Cold subduction zone lavas are thus predicted to have interacted with greater extent of water-rich fluids released from the downgoing slab, and should thus display higher water content and be elevated in slab-fluid proxies (i.e., high Ba/Th, H2O/Ce, Rb/Th, etc.) compared to hot subduction zone lavas. Arc lavas, however, display similar slab-fluid signatures regardless of the thermal state of the slab, suggesting more complexity to volatile cycling in subduction zones. Here, we explore whether the serpentinized fore-arc mantle may be an important fluid reservoir in subduction zones and whether it can contribute to arc magma generation by being dragged down with the slab. Using simple mass balance and fluid dynamics calculations, we show that the dragged-down fore-arc mantle could provide enough water (∼7-78% of the total water injected at the trenches) to account for the water outfluxes released beneath the volcanic arc. Hence, we propose that the water captured by arc magmas may not all derive directly from the slab, but a significant component may be indirectly slab-derived via dehydration of dragged-down fore-arc serpentinites. Fore-arc serpentinite dehydration, if universal, could be a process that explains the similar geochemical fingerprint (i.e., in slab fluid proxies) of arc magmas.

  13. A two-way interaction between the Hainan plume and the Manila subduction zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mériaux, Catherine A.; Duarte, João C.; Schellart, Wouter P.; Mériaux, Anne Sophie


    The interaction between mantle plumes and subducting slabs is well accepted, but the influence of slabs on plumes has more often been portrayed than the reverse. Here we present three-dimensional upper mantle laboratory models in which a compositional plume rises underneath a subducting plate.

  14. IODP expedition 334: An investigation of the sedimentary record, fluid flow and state of stress on top of the seismogenic zone of an erosive subduction margin

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Vannucchi, P.; Ujiie, K.; Stroncik, N.; IODP Exp. 334 Scientific Party; Yatheesh, V.

    The Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project (CRISP) is an experiment to understand the processes that control nucleation and seismic rupture of large earthquakes at erosional subduction zones. Integrated Ocean Drililng Program (IODP) Expedition 334 by R...

  15. Arc-parallel shear deformation and escape flow in the mantle wedge of the Central America subduction zone: Evidence from P wave anisotropy

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    W. Rabbel; I. Koulakov; A. N. Dinc; A. Jakovlev


      The upper mantle of the Central America subduction zone is anisotropic In the fore arc P wave anisotropy is arc-parallel P wave anisotropy indicates escape flow in agreement with GPS and S waves...

  16. IODP Expedition 322 Drills Two Sites to Document Inputs to The Nankai Trough Subduction Zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu’suke Kubo


    Full Text Available Ocean Drilling Program were to sample and log the incoming sedimentary strata and uppermost igneous basement of the Shikoku Basin, seaward of the Nankai Trough (southwestern Japan. Characterization of these subduction inputs is one piece of the overall science plan for the Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment. Before we can assess how various material properties evolve down the dip of the plate interface, and potentially change the fault’s behavior from stable sliding to seismogenic slip, we must determine the initial pre-subduction conditions. Two sites were drilled seaward of the trench to demonstrate how facies characterand sedimentation rates responded to bathymetric architecture. Site C0011 is located on the northwest flank of a prominent basement high (Kashinosaki Knoll, and Site C0012 is located near the crest of the seamount. Even though significant gaps remain in the coring record, and attempts to recover wireline logs at Site C0012 failed, correlations can be made between stratigraphic units at the two sites.Sedimentation rates slowed down throughout the condensed section above the basement high, but the seafloor relief was never high enough during the basin’s evolution to prevent the accumulation of sandy turbidites near the crest of the seamount. We discovered a new stratigraphic unit, the middle Shikoku Basin facies, which is typified by late Miocene volcaniclastic turbidites. The sediment-basalt contact was recovered intact at Site C0012, giving a minimumbasement age of 18.9 Ma. Samples of interstitial water show a familiar freshening trend with depth at Site C0011, but chlorinity values at Site C0012 increase above the values for seawater toward the basement contact. The geochemical trends at Site C0012 are probably a response to hydration reactions in the volcaniclastic sediment and diffusional exchange with seawater-like fluid in the upper igneous basement. These data are important because they finallyestablish an

  17. He isotope ratios in the Nankai Trough and Costa Rica subduction zones - implications for volatile cycling (United States)

    Kastner, M.; Hilton, D. R.; Jenkins, W. J.; Solomon, E. A.; Spivack, A. J.


    The noble gas 3He is a clear indicator of primordial volatile flux from the mantle, thus providing important insights on the interaction between Earth's interior and exterior reservoirs. Volatile cycling at ridge-crests and its impact on the evolution of seawater chemistry is rather well known as constrained by the 3He flux, whereas the impact of volatile cycling at subduction zones (SZs) on seawater chemistry is as yet poorly known. Constraining chemical and isotopic cycling at SZs is important for understanding the evolution of the mantle-crust and ocean-atmosphere systems. To gain insights on volatile cycling in SZs, pore fluids were sampled for He concentration and isotopic analyses at two tectonically contrasting SZs, Nankai Trough (offshore Japan, Muroto and Kumano transects), an accretionary SZ, and Costa Rica (Offshore Osa Peninsula), an erosional SZ. Sampling for He was achieved by rapidly subsampling core sediments, cleaning and transferring these samples into Ti squeezers in a glove bag, and storing the squeezed pore fluids in crimped Cu tubes for shore-based He concentration and isotope ratio analyses. At the Nankai Trough SZ there is a remarkable range of He isotopic values. The 3He/4He ratios relative to atmospheric ratio (RA) range from mostly crustal 0.47 RA to 4.30 RA which is ~55% of the MORB value of 8 RA. Whereas at the Costa Rica SZ, offshore Osa Peninsula, the ratios range from 0.86 to 1.14 RA, indicating the dominance of crustal radiogenic 4He that is from U and Th decay. The distribution of the He isotope values at Nankai Trough is most interesting, fluids that contain significant mantle 3He components (3He/4He >1) were sampled along and adjacent to fluid conduits that were identified by several chemical and isotopic data (i.e. Cl, B, and Li), including the presence of thermogenic hydrocarbons. Whereas the fluids dominated by 4He (3He/4He ≤1) were obtained from sediment sections that were between the fluid conduits. At Costa Rica, however

  18. Subduction Zone Dewatering at the Southern End of New Zealand's Hikurangi Margin - Insights from 2D Seismic Tomography (United States)

    Crutchley, G. J.; Klaeschen, D.


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

  19. Three-Dimensional Thermal Structure of the Middle-America Subduction Zone: Along-margin mantle flow and slab metamorphism (United States)

    Rosas, J. C.; Currie, C. A.; He, J.


    Temperature is the primary control parameter of several processes occurring at subduction zones, such as slab metamorphism and dehydration, arc volcanism and the rupture width of megathrust earthquakes. The thermal state depends on the temperature of the oceanic slab and the flow pattern of the overlying mantle wedge. In most previous studies, mantle flow was modeled as two-dimensional (2D) corner flow, driven by the subducting plate. However, recent studies have shown the limitations of the 2D corner flow scheme, as a three-dimensional (3D) oceanic plate structure can generate along-strike pressure gradients, producing a trench-parallel flow component. One region where 3D effects may be important is the Middle America Subduction Zone (MASZ). Here, the dip of the oceanic plate varies from 0 to 70 degrees along the margin, with abrupt changes in slab dip in Central Mexico and Costa Rica-Nicaragua. Seismic anisotropy and arc magma geochemistry variations suggest a significant along-margin component of flow in these areas. Further, offshore surface heat flow measurements show that there may be along-margin variations in the temperature of the subducting oceanic plate, due to variations in plate age and hydrothermal circulation. In this study, we quantify the changes in the thermal structure of a subduction zone that result from along-margin variations in oceanic plate structure. We use 3D numerical models that consist of kinematically-defined subducting and overriding plates, and a flowing mantle wedge driven by drag exerted by the subducting plate. The finite-element code PGCtherm-3D is used to solve the steady-state governing equations for mantle wedge flow and the 3D thermal structure of the subduction zone. The models employ an oceanic plate that smoothly dips into the mantle and has along-margin variations in the deep dip of 40 and 70 degrees over a distance of 50km to 300km, as observed in some regions of the MASZ. Using an isoviscous mantle wedge, our

  20. Long streamer waveform tomography imaging of the Sanak Basin, Alaska subduction zone (United States)

    Roche, Pierre-Henri; Delescluse, Matthias; Becel, Anne; Nedimovic, Mladen; Shillington, Donna; Webb, Spahr; Kuehn, Harold


    The Alaska subduction zone is prone to large megathrust earthquakes, including several large tsunamigenic events in the historical record (e.g. the 1964 Mw 9.2 and the 1946 Mw 8.6 earthquakes). Along the Alaska Peninsula trench, seismic coupling varies from fully locked to the east to weakly coupled to the West, with apparent aseismic slip in the Shumagin Gap and Unimak rupture zone. Overlapping the Shumagin gap and the Unimak area, the Sanak basin is a Miocene basin formed by a large-scale normal fault recently imaged by the ALEUT 2011 cruise and clearly rooting in the subduction interface at 30 km depth (Becel et al., submitted). Recent activity on this normal fault is detected at the seafloor of the Sanak Basin by a 5 m scarp in the multibeam bathymetry data. As this normal fault may be associated with faults involved in the 1946 tsunami earthquake, it is particularly important to try to decipher its history in the Sanak basin, where sediments record the fault activity. MCS data processing and interpretation shows evidence for the activity of the fault from Miocene to recent geological times. Very limited knowledge of the sedimentation rates and ages as well as complexities due to submarine landslides and channel depositions make it difficult to quantify the present day fault activity with respect to the Miocene fault activity. In addition, the mechanical behaviour of a normal splay fault system requires low to zero effective friction and probably involves fluids. High-resolution seismic velocity imaging can help with both the interpretation of complex sedimentary deposition and fluid detection. To obtain such a high resolution velocity field, we use two 45-km-long MCS profiles from the ALEUT 2011 cruise acquired with an 8-km-long streamer towed at 12 m depth to enhance low frequencies with shots fired from a large, tuned airgun array (6600 The two profiles extend from the shelf break to mid slope and encompass the normal splay fault emerging at 1 km

  1. Coastal evidence for Holocene subduction-zone earthquakes and tsunamis in central Chile (United States)

    Dure, Tina; Cisternas, Marco; Horton, Benjamin; Ely, Lisa; Nelson, Alan R.; Wesson, Robert L.; Pilarczyk, Jessica


    The ∼500-year historical record of seismicity along the central Chile coast (30–34°S) is characterized by a series of ∼M 8.0–8.5 earthquakes followed by low tsunamis (tsunami (>10 m), but the frequency of such large events is unknown. We extend the seismic history of central Chile through a study of a lowland stratigraphic sequence along the metropolitan coast north of Valparaíso (33°S). At this site, higher relative sea level during the mid Holocene created a tidal marsh and the accommodation space necessary for sediment that preserves earthquake and tsunami evidence. Within this 2600-yr-long sequence, we traced six laterally continuous sand beds probably deposited by high tsunamis. Plant remains that underlie the sand beds were radiocarbon dated to 6200, 5600, 5000, 4400, 3800, and 3700 cal yr BP. Sediment properties and diatom assemblages of the sand beds—for example, anomalous marine planktonic diatoms and upward fining of silt-sized diatom valves—point to a marine sediment source and high-energy deposition. Grain-size analysis shows a strong similarity between inferred tsunami deposits and modern coastal sediment. Upward fining sequences characteristic of suspension deposition are present in five of the six sand beds. Despite the lack of significant lithologic changes between the sedimentary units under- and overlying tsunami deposits, we infer that the increase in freshwater siliceous microfossils in overlying units records coseismic uplift concurrent with the deposition of five of the sand beds. During our mid-Holocene window of evidence preservation, the mean recurrence interval of earthquakes and tsunamis is ∼500 years. Our findings imply that the frequency of historical earthquakes in central Chile is not representative of the greatest earthquakes and tsunamis that the central Chilean subduction zone has produced.

  2. The story of a Yakima fold and how it informs Late Neogene and Quaternary backarc deformation in the Cascadia subduction zone, Manastash anticline, Washington, USA (United States)

    Kelsey, Harvey M.; Ladinsky, Tyler C.; Staisch, Lydia; Sherrod, Brian; Blakely, Richard J.; Pratt, Thomas; Stephenson, William; Odum, Jackson K.; Wan, Elmira


    The Yakima folds of central Washington, USA, are prominent anticlines that are the primary tectonic features of the backarc of the northern Cascadia subduction zone. What accounts for their topographic expression and how much strain do they accommodate and over what time period? We investigate Manastash anticline, a north vergent fault propagation fold typical of structures in the fold province. From retrodeformation of line- and area-balanced cross sections, the crust has horizontally shortened by 11% (0.8–0.9 km). The fold, and by inference all other folds in the fold province, formed no earlier than 15.6 Ma as they developed on a landscape that was reset to negligible relief following voluminous outpouring of Grande Ronde Basalt. Deformation is accommodated on two fault sets including west-northwest striking frontal thrust faults and shorter north to northeast striking faults. The frontal thrust fault system is active with late Quaternary scarps at the base of the range front. The fault-cored Manastash anticline terminates to the east at the Naneum anticline and fault; activity on the north trending Naneum structures predates emplacement of the Grande Ronde Basalt. The west trending Yakima folds and west striking thrust faults, the shorter north to northeast striking faults, and the Naneum fault together constitute the tectonic structures that accommodate deformation in the low strain rate environment in the backarc of the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

  3. Detailed structure and sharpness of upper mantle discontinuities in the Tonga subduction zone from regional broadband arrays (United States)

    Tibi, Rigobert; Wiens, Douglas A.


    Recordings of deep Tonga earthquakes from two arrays of 12 broadband seismographs each in the Fiji and Tonga islands are stacked and searched for reflections and conversions from upper mantle discontinuities in the Tonga subduction zone. The arrays operated as part of the Seismic Arrays in Fiji and Tonga (SAFT) experiment from July 2001 to August 2002. In comparison with the commonly used teleseismic approaches, the short path lengths for the local data provide smaller Fresnel zones and high-frequency content for precise mapping of discontinuity topography and sharpness. To enhance the low-amplitude discontinuity phases s410p, P660p and S660p, deconvolved seismograms from each event/array pair are aligned on the maximum amplitude of the direct P wave and subsequently slant stacked. For the 410-km discontinuity, the results show no systematic variations in depth with distance to the cold slab. The 660-km discontinuity varies between 656 and 714 km in depth. For the southern and central parts of the subduction zone, the largest depths occur in the core of the Tonga slab. For the northern part, two separate depressions of the 660-km discontinuity are observed. These anomalies are interpreted as being induced by the active, steeply subducting Tonga deep zone and a subhorizontally lying remnant of subducted lithosphere from the fossil Vityaz trench, respectively. Interpreting the deflections of the 660-km discontinuity in terms of local temperatures implies a thermal anomaly of -800°K to -1200°K at 660 km depth. Except for the southern region where it may thicken, the width of the depressed 660-km discontinuity region implies that the Tonga slab seems to penetrate the 660-km discontinuity with little deformation. Waveform modeling suggests that both the 410- and 660-km discontinuities are sharp. The 660-km discontinuity is at most 2 km thick in many parts of the region, and a first-order discontinuity cannot be precluded. The 410-km discontinuity thickness shows

  4. Shallow thermal structure constrained by seafloor temperature and heat flow estimated from BSRs in the Nankai subduction zone (United States)

    Ohde, A.; Otsuka, H.; Kioka, A.; Ashi, J.


    The Nankai Trough is a plate convergent boundary where earthquakes with a magnitude of 8 take place repeatedly. Thermal structure in subduction zones affects pore pressure and diagenesis such as consolidation, dewatering and cementation, and constrains physical properties of a fault-slip plane. In the Nankai subduction zone, existence of methane hydrate is confirmed from acoustic reflectors called the Bottom Simulating Reflectors (BSRs) which parallel the seafloor on seismic reflection images with high-amplitude and reverse-polarity waveforms. As a depth of BSR is theoretically constrained by subseafloor profiles of temperature and pressure, the BSR depths effectively produce subseafloor geothermal information over a wide area without heat flow probe penetration or in-situ borehole temperature measurement that is fragmentary. In this study, we aim at calculating precise two-dimensional shallow thermal structure. First, we investigate detailed distribution of the BSRs in the Nankai area ranging from offshore Tokai to Hyuga using two-dimensional multi-channel seismic reflection data. The BSR depths are then forwarded to estimate heat flow values. Second, we use a simple two-dimensional thermal modeling of Blackwell et al. [1980] that takes into account topographical effects of the seafloor roughness. We also employ additional boundary conditions constrained by seafloor temperature and the heat flow estimated from BSR depths. In order to confirm reliability of the modeled thermal structure, we additionally estimate the base of gas hydrate stability zone which is proved to almost equal to observational BSR depths. We find in the modeled thermal structure that the convex portions that are subject to cooling by cold bottom water, while depressions are less subject to the cooling from observational BSRs and theoretical calculation. The thermal structure gained here provides essential data for seismic simulations in subduction zones and for laboratory experiments as

  5. Fault and fluid systems in supra-subduction zones: The Troodos ophiolite (United States)

    Quandt, Dennis; Micheuz, Peter; Kurz, Walter; Krenn, Kurt


    The Troodos massif on the island of Cyprus represents a well-preserved and complete supra-subduction zone (SSZ) ophiolite. It includes an extrusive sequence that is subdivided into Upper (UPL) and Lower Pillow Lavas (LPL). These volcanic rocks contain mineralized fractures (veins) and vesicles that record fluid availability probably related to slab dehydration and deformation subsequent to a period of subduction initiation in the framework of a SSZ setting. Here, we present electron microprobe element mappings and cathodoluminescence studies of vein minerals as well as analyses of fluid inclusions entrapped in zeolite, calcite and quartz from veins and vesicles of the Pillow Lavas of the Troodos ophiolite. Two different zeolite type assemblages, interpreted as alteration products of compositional varying volcanic glasses, occur: (1) Na-zeolites analcime and natrolite from the UPL that require lower formation temperatures, higher Na/Ca ratios and pH values than (2) Ca-zeolites heulandite and mordenite from the LPL which indicate temporal or spatial varying fluid compositions and conditions. Calcite represents a late stage phase in incompletely sealed blocky type (1) assemblage and in syntaxial quartz veins. Additionally, calcite occurs as major phase in syntaxial and blocky veins of UPL and LPL. These syntaxial quartz and calcite veins are assumed to be related to tectonic extension. Chalcedony is associated with quartz and occurs in typical veins and vesicles of the LPL. In addition, the presence of neptunian dykes in veins suggests that seawater penetrated fractures throughout the extrusive sequence. Thus, circulation in an open system via advective transport is favored while diffusion in a closed system is a subordinate, local and late stage phenomenon. Calcite veins and quartz vesicles contain primary, partly re-equilibrated two phase (liquid, vapor) fluid inclusions. The chemical system of all studied inclusions in both host minerals is restricted to aqueous

  6. Paleo-asperities frozen along a major fault zone in Alpine Corsica ophiolites: Implications on present-day subduction zone intermediate-depth seismicity (United States)

    Fabbri, Olivier; Magott, Rémi; Fournier, Marc


    In an ophiolitic thrust sheet of Alpine Corsica, a major fault zone called PHI2 separates oceanic gabbros from variably serpentinized peridotites. Along and near PHI2, abundant pseudotachylytes testify to ancient seismic ruptures. A mineralogical and structural analysis of the pseudotachylyte veins shows that seismic ruptures occurred at various stages before, during or after the subduction process. Due to the lack of index minerals, P-T conditions of formation of peridotite-hosted pseudotachylyte remain undetermined. Conversely, two populations of gabbro-hosted pseudotachylyte veins can be distinguished: veins formed under blueschist to eclogite facies conditions (containing glaucophane and omphacite) and veins formed under greenschist facies conditions (containing tremolite, clinochlore and clinozoisite). Various kinematic indicators show that the blueschist to eclogite facies pseudotachylyte veins formed within the subducting Piemonte-Liguria oceanic lithosphere at depths of about 60 km, while the greenschist facies veins formed during syn- to post-collisional crustal extension. Detailed mapping indicates that the internal structure of PHI2 fault zone is spatially heterogeneous. A-type damage zones, which are located between gabbro and fresh (not serpentinized) peridotite, are characterized by pseudotachylyte accumulations and are interpreted as ancient fully locked asperities. To the opposite, type C damage zones, observed between gabbro and fully serpentinized peridotites, are characterized by the lack of pseudotachylytes and the presence of cataclasite and mineralized veins, and are regarded as creeping, aseismic, domains. B type damage zones, found between gabbro and moderately serpentinized peridotites, are outlined by pseudotachylytes, but in significantly less amounts than along A-type zones. These zones, intermediate between the other two types, could correspond to partially locked (conditionally stable) portions of the fault zone. The distribution of

  7. Deciphering the 3-D distribution of fluid along the shallow Hikurangi subduction zone using P- and S-wave attenuation (United States)

    Eberhart-Phillips, Donna; Bannister, Stephen; Reyners, Martin


    We use local earthquake velocity spectra to solve for the 3-D distribution of P- and S-wave attenuation in the shallow Hikurangi subduction zone in the North Island of New Zealand to gain insight into how fluids control both the distribution of slip rate deficit and slow-slip events at the shallow plate interface. Qs/Qp gives us information on the 3-D distribution of fluid saturation, which we can compare with the previously determined 3-D distribution of Vp/Vs, which gives information on pore fluid pressure. The Hikurangi margin is unusual, in that a large igneous province (the Hikurangi Plateau) is being subducted. This plateau has had two episodes of subduction—first at 105-100 Ma during north-south convergence with Gondwana, and currently during east-west convergence between the Pacific and Australian plates. We find that in the southern part of the subduction zone, where there is a large deficit in slip rate at the plate interface, the plate interface region is only moderately fluid-rich because the underlying plateau had already had an episode of dehydration during Gondwana subduction. But fluid pressure is relatively high, due to an impermeable terrane in the upper plate trapping fluids below the plate interface. The central part of the margin, where the slip rate deficit is very low, is the most fluid-rich part of the shallow subduction zone. We attribute this to an excess of fluid from the subducted plateau. Our results suggest this part of the plateau has unusually high fracture permeability, on account of it having had two episodes of bending—first at the Gondwana trench and now at the Hikurangi Trough. Qs/Qp is consistent with fluids migrating across the plate interface in this region, leaving it drained and producing high fluid pressure in the overlying plate. The northern part of the margin is a region of heterogeneous deficit in slip rate. Here the Hikurangi Plateau is subducting for the first time, so there is less fluid available from its

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

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


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

  9. Turbidite event history--Methods and implications for Holocene paleoseismicity of the Cascadia subduction zone (United States)

    Goldfinger, Chris; Nelson, C. Hans; Morey, Ann E.; Johnson, Joel E.; Patton, Jason R.; Karabanov, Eugene; Gutierrez-Pastor, Julia; Eriksson, Andrew T.; Gracia, Eulalia; Dunhill, Gita; Enkin, Randolph J.; Dallimore, Audrey; Vallier, Tracy; Kayen, Robert; Kayen, Robert


    Turbidite systems along the continental margin of Cascadia Basin from Vancouver Island, Canada, to Cape Mendocino, California, United States, have been investigated with swath bathymetry; newly collected and archive piston, gravity, kasten, and box cores; and accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dates. The purpose of this study is to test the applicability of the Holocene turbidite record as a paleoseismic record for the Cascadia subduction zone. The Cascadia Basin is an ideal place to develop a turbidite paleoseismologic method and to record paleoearthquakes because (1) a single subduction-zone fault underlies the Cascadia submarine-canyon systems; (2) multiple tributary canyons and a variety of turbidite systems and sedimentary sources exist to use in tests of synchronous turbidite triggering; (3) the Cascadia trench is completely sediment filled, allowing channel systems to trend seaward across the abyssal plain, rather than merging in the trench; (4) the continental shelf is wide, favoring disconnection of Holocene river systems from their largely Pleistocene canyons; and (5) excellent stratigraphic datums, including the Mazama ash and distinguishable sedimentological and faunal changes near the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary, are present for correlating events and anchoring the temporal framework. Multiple tributaries to Cascadia Channel with 50- to 150-km spacing, and a wide variety of other turbidite systems with different sedimentary sources contain 13 post-Mazama-ash and 19 Holocene turbidites. Likely correlative sequences are found in Cascadia Channel, Juan de Fuca Channel off Washington, and Hydrate Ridge slope basin and Astoria Fan off northern and central Oregon. A probable correlative sequence of turbidites is also found in cores on Rogue Apron off southern Oregon. The Hydrate Ridge and Rogue Apron cores also include 12-22 interspersed thinner turbidite beds respectively. We use 14C dates, relative-dating tests at channel confluences, and

  10. Megathrust splay faults, forearc basins, and segment boundaries related to the Kodiak Islands segment of the Alaska subduction zone (United States)

    Ramos, M. D.; Liberty, L. M.


    We have compiled and interpreted a comprehensive upper-crustal seismic reflection dataset revealing spatiotemporal Cenozoic deformation across the Kodiak forearc and accretionary prism. Pervasive splay faults and forearc basin growth and positioning with respect to the prism record both accreting and eroding margin episodes through time. Seafloor bathymetry, in conjunction with seismic reflection data, show that post-glacial splay fault motion can exceed 40 meters offshore Kodiak Island. We observe considerable differences in splay fault uplift rates and activation spanning the near-shore region to the continental shelf, with significant tsunamigenic fault motion from the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake concentrated along the Kodiak Island shelf fault zone system. We utilize potential fields data to highlight the continuity of megathrust splay faults that span the southern Gulf of Alaska and to identify geophysical signatures of segment boundaries that represent subducting Pacific plate morphology which may define megathrust rupture limits. Constraints on interseismic deformation from compiled geodetic GPS, focal mechanism, and earthquake datasets reveal the seismotectonic character of the Kodiak segment and are consistent with the structural heterogeneity at both the plate interface and upper plate. Upper plate geometry of the Kodiak segment shows Holocene fault motion has been accommodated along distinct fault zone segments. This knowledge informs tsunami risk modelers to allow for different alternatives of coseismic splay fault uplift during megathrust rupture. Our results suggest growth of forearc structures is contemporaneous with the subduction of major Pacific plate morphologies and provide clear geophysical evidence that can explain the persistence of the Kodiak segment, which is a major step towards a composite Alaska subduction zone deformation model.

  11. An Investigation of the Accuracy of Coulomb Stress Changes Inferred From Geodetic Observations Following Subduction Zone Earthquakes (United States)

    Stressler, Bryan J.; Barnhart, William D.


    Earthquake clustering along plate boundaries suggests that earthquakes may interact, and static Coulomb stress change (CSC) is commonly invoked as one possible mechanism for stress transfer between earthquakes and nearby faults. Previous work has addressed the precision of CSC predictions that are influenced by observational noise, inversion regularization, and simplified modeling assumptions. Here we address the accuracy of CSC predictions informed by geodetic observations in subduction zones where inversion model resolution is poor. We conduct synthetic tests to quantify the degree to which the sign and magnitude of CSC can be reliably inferred from slip distributions inverted from various geodetic observations (interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR), GPS, and seafloor observations). We find that in an idealized subduction zone, CSC can only be confidently inferred for receiver faults far (tens of kilometers) from the earthquake source, though this distance shortens with the addition of synthetic seafloor observations. We apply this methodology to the 2010 Mw8.8 Maule earthquake and identify 13 aftershocks from a population of 475 documented events for which we can confidently resolve coseismic stress changes. These results demonstrate that the low model resolution of fault slip inversions in subduction zones limits our ability to address fundamental questions about earthquake sources and stress interactions. Nonetheless, our results highlight that stress change predictions are considerably more accurate after the introduction of seafloor geodetic observations. Additionally, we show that InSAR observations are not required to substantially improve stress change approximations in regions where GPS may be the only viable observation, such as in island arcs settings.

  12. High frequency local reflections and conversions from upper mantle discontinuities in the Fiji-Tonga subduction zone (United States)

    Tibi, R.; Wiens, D. A.


    Recordings of deep Fiji-Tonga earthquakes from an array of 15 broadband seismographs in Fiji are stacked and searched for reflections and conversions from upper mantle discontinuities near the Fiji-Tonga slab. The Fiji array operated as part of the SAFT (Seismic Arrays in Fiji and Tonga) experiment from July 2001 to August 2002. In comparison with the commonly used teleseismic approaches, the short path lengths for the local data provide smaller Fresnel zones and high frequency content for precise mapping of discontinuity topography and sharpness. This is particularly important for a subduction zone, where variations in temperature and water content may be expected which should cause changes in the elevation and sharpness of the discontinuities. We study the phases s410p, P660p and S660p where they arrive at least 10 seconds after the direct P wave and prior to the S wave accross the array. To anhance low-amplitude reflections/conversions, deconvolved seismograms from each event are aligned on the maximum amplitude of the direct P wave and slant stacked. Preliminary results indicate that for the northern part of the Fiji-Tonga subduction zone, the 660-km discontinuity varies between 660 and 670 km in depth. In the central part we observe converted phases consistent with a ``410'' depth of 380 km, indicating the effect of the cold subducting plate. The reflections/conversions show only a slight frequency shift relative to the direct P waveforms, suggesting the discontinuities are relatively sharp. The thickness for the 660-km discontinuity is estimated as between 2 and 6 km.

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

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


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

  14. Variation of Seismic Velocity Structure around the Mantle Transition Zone and Conjecture of Deep Water Transport by Subducted Slabs (United States)

    Tajima, F. C.; Stahler, S. C.; Ohtani, E.; Yoshida, M.; Sigloch, K.


    Seismic tomography models published in the past two decades determined common long-wavelength features of subducting plates as high velocity anomalies and upwelling plumes as low velocity anomalies, and have led to a new class of high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) modeling of global mantle convection with a link to tomography models [e.g., Becker and Boschi, 2002; Ritsema et al., 2007; Schuberth et al., 2009a,b]. However, even such high resolution numerical models do not account for the variation associated with different behaviors of subducting plates as they enter the mantle transition zone (MTZ), i.e., some flatten to form stagnant slabs with a large lateral extent and others descend further into the lower mantle. There are conventional interpretations applied for the cause of variation of the subducted slab behaviors, i.e., temperature difference due to different plate age, different geochemical compositions, different water content and subsequent possible reduction of viscosity etc., which could be taken as non-unique and somewhat equivocal. These parameters and conditions have been tested in two-dimensional numerical simulations, while the water content in the MTZ or the mechanisms of hydration and dehydration through subduction process are still in the realm of conjecture. Recent models of seismic P- and SH-wave velocities derived for the mantle structure beneath northeast China [Wang and Niu, 2010; Ye et al., 2011] using reflectivity synthetics with data from the dense Chinese networks of broadband seismic instruments, show a broader 660 km discontinuity (by about 30 to 70 km) and slower shear velocities above the MTZ than a global standard model iasp91 (Kennett and Engdahl, 1991). These features were interpreted with a mixture of different chemical properties which show delayed phase transformation, and effects of water above the flattened slab. Nonetheless, the SH-wave model has a structure similar to model TNA above the MTZ, which was derived for the

  15. 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.


    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

  16. Influence of subduction zone conditions and gouge composition on frictional slip stability of megathrust faults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    den Hartog, S.A.M.; Spiers, C.J.


    To understand the temperature/depth distribution of destructive earthquakes in subduction megathrusts, and the mechanisms of nucleation of these events, data on the frictional behaviour of phyllosilicate/quartz-rich megathrust fault gouges under in-situ conditions are needed. We performed rotary

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  18. Slab detachment in laterally varying subduction zones: 3-D numerical modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duretz, T.; Gerya, T.V.; Spakman, W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/074103164

    Understanding the three-dimensional (3-D) dynamics of subduction-collision systems is a longstanding challenge in geodynamics. We investigate the impact of slab detachment in collision systems that are subjected to along-trench variations. High-resolution thermomechanical numerical models,

  19. Empirical ground-motion relations for subduction-zone earthquakes and their application to Cascadia and other regions (United States)

    Atkinson, G.M.; Boore, D.M.


    Ground-motion relations for earthquakes that occur in subduction zones are an important input to seismic-hazard analyses in many parts of the world. In the Cascadia region (Washington, Oregon, northern California, and British Columbia), for example, there is a significant hazard from megathrust earthquakes along the subduction interface and from large events within the subducting slab. These hazards are in addition to the hazard from shallow earthquakes in the overlying crust. We have compiled a response spectra database from thousands of strong-motion recordings from events of moment magnitude (M) 5-8.3 occurring in subduction zones around the world, including both interface and in-slab events. The 2001 M 6.8 Nisqually and 1999 M 5.9 Satsop earthquakes are included in the database, as are many records from subduction zones in Japan (Kyoshin-Net data), Mexico (Guerrero data), and Central America. The size of the database is four times larger than that available for previous empirical regressions to determine ground-motion relations for subduction-zone earthquakes. The large dataset enables improved determination of attenuation parameters and magnitude scaling, for both interface and in-slab events. Soil response parameters are also better determined by the data. We use the database to develop global ground-motion relations for interface and in-slab earthquakes, using a maximum likelihood regression method. We analyze regional variability of ground-motion amplitudes across the global database and find that there are significant regional differences. In particular, amplitudes in Cascadia differ by more than a factor of 2 from those in Japan for the same magnitude, distance, event type, and National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) soil class. This is believed to be due to regional differences in the depth of the soil profile, which are not captured by the NEHRP site classification scheme. Regional correction factors to account for these differences are

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

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


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

  1. Characterizing Seismic Anisotropy across the Peruvian Flat-Slab Subduction Zone: Implications for the Dynamics of Flat-Slabs (United States)

    Eakin, Caroline; Long, Maureen; Beck, Susan; Wagner, Lara; Tavera, Hernando


    Although 10% of subduction zones worldwide today exhibit shallow or flat subduction, we are yet to fully understand how and why these slabs go flat. An excellent study location for such a problem is in Peru, where the largest region of flat-subduction currently exists, extending ~1500 km in length (from 3 °S to 15 °S) and ~300 km in width. Across this region we investigate the pattern of seismic anisotropy, an indicator for past and/or ongoing deformation in the upper mantle. To achieve this we conduct shear wave splitting analyzes at 40 broadband stations from the PULSE project (PerU Lithosphere and Slab Experiment). These stations were deployed for 2+ years across the southern half of the Peruvian flat-slab region. We present detailed shear wave splitting results for both teleseismic events (such as SKS, SKKS, PKS, sSKS) that sample the upper mantle column beneath the stations as well as direct S from local events that constrain anisotropy in the upper portion of the subduction zone. We analyze the variability of our results with respect to initial polarizations, ray paths, and frequency content as well as spatial variability between stations as the underlying slab morphology changes. Teleseismic results show predominately NW-SE fast polarizations (trench oblique to sub-parallel) over the flat-slab region east of Lima. These results are consistent with observations of more complex multi-layered anisotropy beneath a nearby permanent station (NNA) that suggests a trench-perpendicular fast direction in the lowest layer in the sub-slab mantle. Further south, towards the transition to steeper subduction, the splitting pattern becomes increasingly dominated by null measurements. Over to the east however, beyond Cuzco, where the mantle wedge might begin to play a role, we record fast polarizations quasi-parallel to the local slab contours. Local S results indicate the presence of weak (delay times typically less than 0.5 seconds) and heterogeneous supra

  2. Evolution of seismic signals and slip patterns along subduction zones: insights from a friction lab scale experiment

    CERN Document Server

    Voisin, Christophe; Larose, Eric; Renard, François


    Continuous GPS and broadband seismic monitoring have revealed a variety of disparate slip patterns especially in shallow dipping subduction zones, among which regular earthquakes, slow slip events and silent quakes1,2. Slow slip events are sometimes accompanied by Non Volcanic Tremors (NVT), which origin remains unclear3, either related to fluid migration or to friction. The present understanding of the whole menagerie of slip patterns is based upon numerical simulations imposing ad hoc values of the rate and state parameters a and b4-6 derived from the temperature dependence of a and b of a wet granite gouge7. Here we investigate the influence of the cumulative slip on the frictional and acoustic patterns of a lab scale subduction zone. Shallow loud earthquakes (stick-slip events), medium depth slow, deeper silent quakes (smooth sliding oscillations) and deepest steady-state creep (continuous sliding) are reproduced by the ageing of contact interface with cumulative displacement8. The Acoustic Emission evolv...

  3. Revisiting viscoelastic effects on interseismic deformation and locking degree: A case study of the Peru-North Chile subduction zone (United States)

    Li, Shaoyang; Moreno, Marcos; Bedford, Jonathan; Rosenau, Matthias; Oncken, Onno


    Viscoelastic effects potentially play an important role during all phases of the earthquake cycle in subduction zones. However, most current models neglect such effects in the interseismic deformation pattern. Here we use finite element method (FEM) models to investigate the control of viscoelasticity on interseismic deformation and to highlight the pitfalls of interpreting the data with purely elastic models for both the forward and inverse problems. Our results confirm that elastic models are prone to overestimating the interseismic locking depth, a crucial parameter for estimating the maximum possible earthquake magnitude. The application of the viscoelastic model improves the fit to the interseismic deformation, especially in the inland area. Additionally, we construct 3-D FEM models constrained by geophysical and GPS data and apply our methodology to the Peru-North Chile subduction zone. Our results indicate that viscoelastic effects contribute significantly to the observed GPS data. The signals interpreted as back-arc shortening in the elastic model can be alternatively explained by viscoelastic deformation, which, in turn, dramatically refines the interseismic locking pattern in both dip and strike directions. Our viscoelastic locking map exhibits excellent correlation with the slip distributions of previous earthquakes, especially the recent 2014 Mw 8.1 Iquique earthquake. The incorrect elastic assumptions affect the analysis of interseismic deformation with respect to slip deficit calculations. Our results thus suggest that it is necessary to thoroughly reevaluate existing locking models that are based on purely elastic models, some of which attribute viscoelastic deformation to different sources such as microplate sliver motions.

  4. Elastic Wavespeed Images of Northern Chile Subduction Zone from the Joint Inversion of Body and Surface Waves: Structure of the Andean Forearc and the Double Seismic Zone (United States)

    Comte, D.; Carrizo, D.; Roecker, S. W.; Peyrat, S.; Arriaza, R.; Chi, R. K.; Baeza, S.


    Partly in anticipation of an imminent megathrust earthquake, a significant amount of seismic data has been collected over the past several years in northern Chile by local deployments of seismometers. In this study we generate elastic wavespeed images of the crust and upper mantle using a combination of body wave arrival times and surface wave dispersion curves. The body wave data set consists of 130000 P and 108000 S wave arrival times generated by 12000 earthquakes recorded locally over a period of 25 years by networks comprising about 360 stations. The surface wave data set consists of Rayleigh wave dispersion curves determined from ambient noise recorded by 60 broad band stations from three different networks over a period of three years. Transit time biases due to an uneven distribution of noise were estimated using a technique based on that of Yao and van der Hilst (2009) and found to be as high as 5% for some station pairs. We jointly invert the body and surface wave observations to both improve the overall resolution of the crustal images and reduce the trade-off between shallow and deep structures in the images of the subducted slab. Of particular interest in these images are three regions of anomalous Vp/Vs: (1) An extensive zone of low Vp/Vs (1.68) correlates with trench-parallel magmatic belts emplaced in the upper continental crust. In the region of the coast and continental slope, low Vp/Vs corresponds to batholithic structures in the Jurassic-Cretaceous magmatic arc. Between the central depression and Domeyko Cordillera, low Vp/Vs correlates with the distribution of magmatic arcs of Paleocene-Oligocene and Eocene-Oligocene age. Low Vp/Vs also correlates with the location of the Mejillones Peninsula. (2) A region of high Vp/Vs occurs in what is most likely the serpentinized wedge of the subduction zone. (3) An additional zone of low Vp/Vs is located in the middle of the double seismic zone at depths of 90-110 km. This region may exist all along the

  5. Slow slip near the trench at the Hikurangi subduction zone, New Zealand. (United States)

    Wallace, Laura M; Webb, Spahr C; Ito, Yoshihiro; Mochizuki, Kimihiro; Hino, Ryota; Henrys, Stuart; Schwartz, Susan Y; Sheehan, Anne F


    The range of fault slip behaviors near the trench at subduction plate boundaries is critical to know, as this is where the world's largest, most damaging tsunamis are generated. Our knowledge of these behaviors has remained largely incomplete, partially due to the challenging nature of crustal deformation measurements at offshore plate boundaries. Here we present detailed seafloor deformation observations made during an offshore slow-slip event (SSE) in September and October 2014, using a network of absolute pressure gauges deployed at the Hikurangi subduction margin offshore New Zealand. These data show the distribution of vertical seafloor deformation during the SSE and reveal direct evidence for SSEs occurring close to the trench (within 2 kilometers of the seafloor), where very low temperatures and pressures exist. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  6. Horizontal subduction zones, convergence velocity and the building of the Andes

    CERN Document Server

    Martinod, Joseph; Roperch, Pierrick; Guillaume, Benjamin; Espurt, Nicolas; 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.09.010


    We discuss the relationships between Andean shortening, plate velocities at the trench, and slab geometry beneath South America. Although some correlation exists between the convergence velocity and the westward motion of South America on the one hand, and the shortening of the continental plate on the other hand, plate kinematics neither gives a satisfactory explanation to the Andean segmentation in general, nor explains the development of the Bolivian orocline in Paleogene times. We discuss the Cenozoic history of horizontal slab segments below South America, arguing that they result from the subduction of oceanic plateaus whose effect is to switch the buoyancy of the young subducting plate to positive. We argue that the existence of horizontal slab segments, below the Central Andes during Eocene-Oligocene times, and below Peru and North-Central Chile since Pliocene, resulted (1) in the shortening of the continental plate interiors at a large distance from the trench, (2) in stronger interplate coupling and...

  7. Deformation of Lawsonite at High Pressure and High Temperature - Implications for Low Velocity Layers in Subduction Zones (United States)

    Amiguet, E.; Hilairet, N.; Wang, Y.; Gillet, P.


    During subduction, the hydrated oceanic crust undergoes a series of metamorphic reactions and transform gradually to blueschists and eclogite at depths of 20-50 km. Detailed seismic observations of subduction zones suggest a complex layered structure with the presence of a Low Velocity Layer (LVL) related to the oceanic crust [1] persisting to considerable depths (100- 250 km).While the transformation from blueschist to eclogite [2] and the presence of glaucophane up to 90-100 km [3] could explain some of these observations, the presence of LVL at greater depths could be related to the presence of the hydrous mineral lawsonite (CaAl2(Si2O7)(OH)2 H2O). Its stability field extends to 8.5 GPa and 1100K corresponding to depths up to 250 km in cold hydrous part of subducting slabs [4]. Because these regions undergo large and heterogeneous deformation, lawsonite plasticity and crystal preferred orientation (CPOs) may strongly influence the dynamic of subduction zones and the seismic properties. We present a deformation study at high presssure and high temperature on lawsonite. Six samples were deformed at 4-10 GPa and 600K to 1000K using a D-DIA apparatus [5] at 13-BMD at GSECARS beamline, APS, in axial compression up to 30% deformation with strain rates of 3.10-4s-1 to 6.10-6s-1. We measured in-situ lattice strains (a proxy for macroscopic stress), texture and strain using synchrotron radiations and calculated the macroscopic stress using lawsonite elastic properties [6]. Results from lattice strain analysis show a dependence of flow stress with temperature and strain rate. Texture analysis coupled with transmission electron microscopy showed that dislocation creep is the dominant deformation mechanism under our deformation conditions. [1] Abers, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 176, 323-330, 2000 [2] Helffrich et al., Journal of Geophysical Research, 94, 753-763, 1989 [3] Bezacier et al., Tectonophysics, 494, 201-210, 2010 [4] Schmidt & Poli, Earth and Planetary

  8. A look inside of diamond-forming media in deep subduction zones. (United States)

    Dobrzhinetskaya, Larissa F; Wirth, Richard; Green, Harry W


    Geologists have "known" for many years that continental crust is buoyant and cannot be subducted very deep. Microdiamonds 10-80 microm in size discovered in the 1980s within metamorphic rocks related to continental collisions clearly refute this statement, suggesting that material of continental crust has been subducted to a minimum depth of >150 km and incorporated into mountain chains during tectonic exhumation. Over the past decade, the rapidly moving technological advancement has made it possible to examine these diamonds in detail, and to learn that they contain nanometric multiphase inclusions of crystalline and fluid phases and are characterized by a "crustal" signature of carbon stable isotopes. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy, focused ion beam techniques, synchrotron infrared spectroscopy, and nano-secondary ion mass spectrometry studies of these diamonds provide evidence that they were crystallized from a supercritical carbon-oxygen-hydrogen fluid. These microdiamonds preserve evidence of the pathway by which carbon and water can be subducted to mantle depths and returned back to the earth's surface.

  9. 2D numerical modelling of fluid percolation in the subduction zone (United States)

    Dymkova, D.; Gerya, T.; Podladchikov, Y.


    Subducting slab dehydration and resulting aqueous fluid percolation triggers partial melting in the mantle wedge and is accompanied with the further melt percolation through the porous space to the region above the slab. This problem is a complex coupled chemical, thermal and mechanical process responsible for the magmatic arcs formation and change of the mantle wedge properties. We have created a two-dimensional model of a two-phase flow in a porous media solving a coupled Darcy-Stokes system of equations for two incompressible media for the case of nonlinear visco-plastic rheology of solid matrix. Our system of equation is expanded for the high-porosity limits and stabilized for the case of high porosity contrasts. We use a finite-difference method with fully staggered grid in a combination with marker-in-cell technique for advection of fluid and solid phase. We performed a comparison with a benchmark of a thermal convection in a porous media in a bottom-heated box to verify the interdependency of Rayleigh and Nusselt numbers with earlier obtained ones (Cherkaoui & Wilcock, 1999). We have demonstrated the stability and robustness of the algorithm in case of strongly non-linear visco-plastic rheology of solid including cases with localization of both deformation and porous flow along spontaneously forming shear bands. We have checked our model for the forming of localized porous channels under a simple shear stress (Katz et al, 2006). We have developed a setup of a self-initiating due to gravitational instability subduction. With our coupled fluid-solid flow we have achieved a self-consistent water downward suction by a slab bending predicted by the other models with a simplified fluid kinematical motion implementation (Faccenda et al, 2009). With this setup we have obtained a self-consistent upper crust weakening by a porous fluid pressure which was theoretically assumed in the previously existing subduction models (Gerya & Meilick, 2011; Faccenda et al, 2009

  10. Ins and outs of a complex subduction zone: C cycling along the Sunda margin, Indonesia (United States)

    House, B. M.; Bebout, G. E.; Hilton, D. R.


    Subduction of C in marine sediments and altered oceanic crust is the main mechanism for reintroducing C into the deep earth and removing it from communication with the ocean and atmosphere. However, detailed studies of individual margins - which are necessary to understanding global C cycling - are sparse. The thick, C-rich sediment column along the Sunda margin, Indonesia makes understanding this margin crucial for constructing global C cycling budgets. Furthermore it is an ideal location to compare cycling of organic and carbonate C due to the abrupt transition from carbonate-dominated sediments in the SE to sediments rich in organic C from the Nicobar Fan in the NW. To quantify and characterize C available for subduction, we analyzed samples from DSDP 211, 260, 261, and ODP 765, all outboard of the trench, as well as piston and gravity cores of locally-sourced terrigenous trench fill. We created a 3-D model of overall sediment thickness and the thicknesses of geochemically distinct sedimentary units using archived and published seismic profiles to infer unit thicknesses at and along the 2500 km trench. This model vastly improves estimates of the C available for subduction and also reveals that the Christmas Island Seamount Province serves as a barrier to turbidite flow, dividing the regions of the trench dominated by organic and inorganic C input. Incorporating best estimates for the depth of the decollement indicates that the terrigenous trench fill, with up to 1.5 wt % organic C, is entirely accreted as is the thick section of carbonate-rich turbidites that dominate the southeastern portion of the margin (DSDP 261/ODP 765). Organic C accounts for most of the C bypassing the accretionary complex NW of the Christmas Island Seamount Province, and C inputs to the trench are lower there than to the SE where carbonate units near the base of the sediment column are the dominant C source. Release of C from altered oceanic crust - a C reservoir up to 10 times greater

  11. Garnet cannibalism provides clues to extensive hydration of lower crustal fragments in a subduction channel (Sesia Zone, Northwestern Alps) (United States)

    Giuntoli, Francesco; Lanari, Pierre; Engi, Martin


    The extent to which granulites are transformed to eclogites is thought to impose critical limits on the subduction of continental lower crust. Although it is seldom possible to document such densification processes in detail, the transformation is believed to depend on fluid access and deformation. Remarkably complex garnet porphyroblasts are widespread in eclogite facies micaschists in central parts of the Sesia Zone (Western Italian Alps). They occur in polydeformed samples in assemblages involving phengite+quartz+rutile ±paragonite, Na-amphibole, Na-pyroxene, chloritoid. Detailed study of textural and compositional types reveals a rich inventory of growth and partial resorption zones in garnet. These reflect several stages of the polycyclic metamorphic evolution. A most critical observation is that the relict garnet cores indicate growth at 900 °C and 0.9 GPa. This part of the Eclogitic Micaschist Complex thus derived from granulite facies metapelites of Permian age. These dry rocks must have been extensively hydrated during Cretaceous subduction, and garnet records the conditions of these processes. Garnet from micaschist containing rutile, epidote, paragonite and phengite were investigated in detail. Two types of garnet crystals are found in many thin sections: mm-size porphyroclasts and smaller atoll garnets, some 100 µm in diameter. X-ray maps of the porphyroclasts show complex zoning in garnet: a late Paleozoic HT-LP porphyroclastic core is overgrown by several layers of HP-LT Alpine garnet, these show evidence of growth at the expense of earlier garnet generations. Textures indicate 1-2 stages of resorption, with garnet cores that were fractured and then sealed by garnet veins, rimmed by multiple Alpine overgrowth rims with lobate edges. Garnet rim 1 forms peninsula and embayment structures at the expense of the core. Rim 2 surrounds rim 1, both internally and externally, and seems to have grown mainly at the expense of the core. Rim 3 grew mainly at

  12. Deformation of mantle pyroxenites provides clues to geodynamic processes in subduction zones: Case study of the Cabo Ortegal Complex, Spain (United States)

    Henry, Hadrien; Tilhac, Romain; Griffin, William L.; O'Reilly, Suzanne Y.; Satsukawa, Takako; Kaczmarek, Mary-Alix; Grégoire, Michel; Ceuleneer, Georges


    pyroxenites: (1) delamination from an arc root in a mantle-wedge setting at temperatures above 1000 °C and (2) introduction into a relatively softer subduction channel where deformation was accommodated by localized shear zones, thus preserving the high-temperature fabrics of pyroxenites. The Cabo Ortegal pyroxenites may therefore be seen as a rare exposure of deformed mantle-wedge material.

  13. Modeled temperatures and fluid source distributions for the Mexican subduction zone: Effects of hydrothermal circulation and implications for plate boundary seismic processes (United States)

    Perry, Matthew; Spinelli, Glenn A.; Wada, Ikuko; He, Jiangheng


    In subduction zones, spatial variations in pore fluid pressure are hypothesized to control the sliding behavior of the plate boundary fault. The pressure-temperature paths for subducting material control the distributions of dehydration reactions, a primary control on the pore fluid pressure distribution. Thus, constraining subduction zone temperatures are required to understand the seismic processes along the plate interface. We present thermal models for three margin-perpendicular transects in the Mexican subduction zone. We examine the potential thermal effects of vigorous fluid circulation in a high-permeability aquifer within the basaltic basement of the oceanic crust and compare the results with models that invoke extremely high pore fluid pressures to reduce frictional heating along the megathrust. We combine thermal model results with petrological models to determine the spatial distribution of fluid release from the subducting slab and compare dewatering locations with the locations of seismicity, nonvolcanic tremor, slow-slip events, and low-frequency earthquakes. Simulations including hydrothermal circulation are most consistent with surface heat flux measurements. Hydrothermal circulation has a maximum cooling effect of 180°C. Hydrothermally cooled crust carries water deeper into the subduction zone; fluid release distributions in these models are most consistent with existing geophysical data. Our models predict focused fluid release, which could generate overpressures, coincident with an observed ultraslow layer (USL) and a region of nonvolcanic tremor. Landward of USLs, a downdip decrease in fluid source magnitude could result in the dissipation in overpressure in the oceanic crust without requiring a downdip increase in fault zone permeability, as posited in previous studies.

  14. Long-term and Short-term Vertical Deformation Rates across the Forearc in the Central Mexican Subduction Zone (United States)

    Ramirez-Herrera, M. T.; Gaidzik, K.; Forman, S. L.; Kostoglodov, V.; Burgmann, R.


    Spatial scales of the earthquake cycle, from rapid deformation associated with earthquake rupture to slow deformation associated with interseismic and transient slow-slip behavior, span from fractions of a meter to thousands of kilometers (plate boundaries). Similarly, temporal scales range from seconds during an earthquake rupture to thousands of years of strain accumulation between earthquakes. The complexity of the multiple physical processes operating over this vast range of scales and the limited coverage of observations leads most scientists to focus on a narrow space-time window to isolate just one or a few process. We discuss here preliminary results on the vertical crustal deformation associated with both slow and rapid crustal deformation along a profile across the forearc region of the central Mexican subduction zone on the Guerrero sector, where the Cocos plate underthrusts the North American plate. This sector of the subduction zone is characterized by a particular slab geometry (with zones of rapid bending-unbending of the slab), irregular distributed seismicity, exceptionally large slow slip events (SSE) and non-volcanic tremors (NVT). We used the river network and geomorphic features of the Papagayo River to assess Quaternary crustal deformation. The Papagayo drainage network is strongly controlled by Late Cenozoic tectonic, Holocene and recent earthquake cycle processes. This is particularly true for the southern section of the drainage basin; from the dam in La Venta to the river mouth, where W-E structures commonly offset the course of the main river. River terraces occur along the course of the river at different elevations. We measured the height of a series of terraces and obtained OSL ages on quartz extracts to determine long-term rates of deformation. Finally, we discuss associations of the topography and river characteristics with the Cocos slab geometry, slow earthquakes, crustal deformation, and interseismic deformation.

  15. Supra-subduction zone extensional magmatism in Vermont and adjacent Quebec: Implications for early Paleozoic Appalachian tectonics (United States)

    Kim, J.; Coish, R.; Evans, M.; Dick, G.


    Metadiabasic intrusions of the Mount Norris Intrusive Suite occur in fault-bounded lithotectonic packages containing Stowe, Moretown, and Cram Hill Formation lithologies in the northern Vermont Rowe-Hawley belt, a proposed Ordovician arc-trench gap above an east-dipping subduction zone. Rocks of the Mount Norris Intrusive Suite are characteristically massive and weakly foliated, have chilled margins, contain xenoliths, and have sharp contacts that both crosscut and are parallel to early structural fabrics in the host metasedimentary rocks. Although the mineral assemblage of the Mount Norris Intrusive Suite is albite + actinolite + epidote + chlorite + calcite + quartz, intergrowths of albite + actinolite are probably pseudomorphs after plagioclase + clinopyroxene. The metadiabases are subalkaline, tholeiitic, hypabyssal basalts with preserved ophitic texture. A backarc-basin tectonic setting for the intrusive suite is suggested by its LREE (light rare earth element) enrichment, negative Nb-Ta anomalies, and Ta/Yb vs. Th/Yb trends. Although no direct isotopic age data are available, the intrusions are broadly Ordovician because their contacts are clearly folded by the earliest Acadian (Silurian-Devonian) folds. Field evidence and geochemical data suggest compelling along-strike correlations with the Coburn Hill Volcanics of northern Vermont and the Bolton Igneous Group of southern Quebec. Isotopic and stratigraphic age constraints for the Bolton Igneous Group bracket these backarc magmas to the 477-458 Ma interval. A tectonic model that begins with east-dipping subduction and progresses to outboard west-dipping subduction after a syncollisional polarity reversal best explains the intrusion of deformed metamorphosed metasedimentary rocks by backarc magmas.

  16. Jurassic arc volcanism on Crimea (Ukraine): Implications for the paleo-subduction zone configuration of the Black Sea region (United States)

    Meijers, M. J. M.; Vrouwe, B.; van Hinsbergen, D. J. J.; Kuiper, K. F.; Wijbrans, J.; Davies, G. R.; Stephenson, R. A.; Kaymakcı, N.; Matenco, L.; Saintot, A.


    The early Cretaceous and younger opening of the Black Sea has obliterated much of the older record of Tethyan subduction below southeastern Europe. The earlier Mesozoic evolution was dominated by opening and closure of Tethyan oceans between Gondwana and Laurasia with their consumption, at least in part, accommodated along the southern Eurasian margin. Crimea (Ukraine), a peninsula in the northern Black Sea, represents the northernmost region of southeastern Europe that exposes a record of a pre-Cretaceous Tethyan active margin. To shed new light on the paleosubduction zone configuration of the southeastern European margin in the Jurassic, we report 40Ar/ 39Ar isotope dating on 10 samples and whole rock geochemistry on 31 samples from supposedly Jurassic magmatic rocks from the Crimean peninsula. The samples can be subdivided into two age groups: middle Jurassic (~ 172-158 Ma) and uppermost Jurassic to lowermost Cretaceous (~ 151-142 Ma), that both have a subduction-related geochemical signature. The ages of the younger group are in conflict with previously assigned biostratigraphic ages of the units under- and overlying the volcanic complex. This might suggest a scenario where the latter were juxtaposed by faulting. We argue that the Crimean volcanics represent a fragment of a volcanic arc overlying the southeastern European continental margin. These data therefore provide evidence for Jurassic northwards subduction below the Eurasian margin, preceding the opening of the Black Sea as a back-arc basin. We argue that the corresponding Jurassic trench was already positioned south of the Turkish Pontides and the Caucasus belt, implying a very shallow slab angle in the Jurassic.

  17. Peru Subduction Zone Seismic Experiment (PeruSZE): Preliminary Results From a Seismic Network Between Mollendo and Lake Titicaca, Peru. (United States)

    Guy, R.; Stubailo, I.; Skinner, S.; Phillips, K.; Foote, E.; Lukac, M.; Aguilar, V.; Tavera, H.; Audin, L.; Husker, A.; Clayton, R.; Davis, P. M.


    This work describes preliminary results from a 50 station broadband seismic network recently installed from the coast to the high Andes in Peru. UCLA's Center for Embedded Network Sensing (CENS) and Caltech's Tectonic Observatory are collaborating with the IRD (French L'Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement) and the Institute of Geophysics, in Lima Peru in a broadband seismic experiment that will study the transition from steep to shallow slab subduction. The currently installed line has stations located above the steep subduction zone at a spacing of about 6 km. In 2009 we plan to install a line of 50 stations north from this line along the crest of the Andes, crossing the transition from steep to shallow subduction. A further line from the end of that line back to the coast, completing a U shaped array, is in the planning phase. The network is wirelessly linked using multi-hop network software designed by computer scientists in CENS in which data is transmitted from station to station, and collected at Internet drops, from where it is transmitted over the Internet to CENS each night. The instrument installation in Peru is almost finished and we have been receiving data daily from 10 stations (out of total 50) since June 2008. The rest are recording on-site while the RF network is being completed. The software system provides dynamic link quality based routing, reliable data delivery, and a disruption tolerant shell interface for managing the system from UCLA without the need to travel to Peru. The near real-time data delivery also allows immediate detection of any problems at the sites. We are building a seismic data and GPS quality control toolset that would greatly minimize the station's downtime by alerting the users of any possible problems.

  18. Late extensional shear zones and associated recumbent folds in the Alpujarride subduction complex, Betic Cordillera, southern Spain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Orozco, M.; Alonso-Chaves, F.; Platt, J.


    The existence in the Alpujarride Complex (Betic Cordillera, southern Spain) of a relatively continuous extensional event (following crustal thickening) is based on detailed structural studies and is consistent with the P-T paths and geochronological data established for the Alpujarride rocks. According to our research, the Alpujarride Complex contains two large-scale shear zones accommodating early Miocene extension. The shear zones contain km-scale recumbent folds, some with sheath fold geometry, and megaboudinage structures, and are closely associated with detachment faults. Large-scale folds and boudins cause dome-like undulations in the detachments, which are inferred to overlap in time with the deformation in the shear zones. One shear zone in the eastern part of the orogen is top-N; the other, in the western part, is top-E. The change in the shear direction may represent a temporal evolution in the direction of shear, possibly related to a change in the subduction direction in space and time.

  19. An integrated approach to the seismic activity and structure of the central Lesser Antilles subduction megathrust seismogenic zone (United States)

    Hirn, Alfred; Laigle, Mireille; Charvis, Philippe; Flueh, Ernst; Gallart, Josep; Kissling, Edi; Lebrun, Jean-Frederic; Nicolich, Rinaldo; Sachpazi, Maria


    In order to increase the understanding of plate boundaries that show currently low seismic activity, as was the Sumatra-Andaman subduction before the major earthquake in 2004, a cluster of surveys and cruises has been carried out in 2007 and coordinated under the European Union THALES WAS RIGHT project on the Lesser Antilles subduction zone of the Carribean-America plate boundary. A segment of the corresponding transform boundary just tragically ruptured in the 2010 January 12, Haïti earthquake. This cluster is composed by the German cruise TRAIL with the vessel F/S M. A. MERIAN, the French cruise SISMANTILLES II with the IFREMER vessel N/O ATALANTE), and French cruise OBSANTILLES with the IRD vessel N/O ANTEA. During these cruises and surveys, 80 OBS, Ocean Bottom Seismometers, 64 of which with 3-components seismometers and hydrophones, and 20 OBH with hydrophones have been brought together from several pools (Geoazur Nice, INSU/IPGP Paris, IfM-GEOMAR Kiel, AWI Bremerhaven), with up to 30 land stations (CSIC Barcelona, IPG Paris, INSU-RLBM and -Lithoscope, ETH Zurich). The deployment of all these instruments has been supported principally in addition by ANR Catastrophes Telluriques et Tsunamis (SUBSISMANTI), by the EU SALVADOR Programme of IFM-GEOMAR, as well as by the EU project THALES WAS RIGHT. The main goal of this large seismic investigation effort is the understanding of the behaviour of the seismogenic zone and location of potential source regions of mega-thrust earthquakes. Specific goals are the mapping of the subduction interplate in the range where it may be seismogenic along the Lesser Antilles Arc from Antigua to Martinique Islands, as a contribution to identification and localisation in advance of main rupture zones of possible future major earthquakes, and to the search for transient signals of the activity. The forearc region, commonly considered as a proxy to the seismogenic portion of the subduction mega-thrust fault plane, and which is here the

  20. Long-term slow slip events along the Nankai trough subduction zone after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan (United States)

    Ozawa, Shinzaburo


    The global navigation satellite system (GNSS) network in Japan has detected transient crustal deformation in regions along the Nankai trough subduction zone in southwest Japan from approximately 2013, after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. Using the GNSS data, we estimated the spatiotemporal evolution of long-term aseismic slip along the Nankai trough. The result indicates that aseismic slip has occurred on the plate interface in the Bungo, northern Miyazaki, and southern Miyazaki regions, southwest Japan. The estimated time evolution between October 2013 and April 2015 shows the simultaneous occurrence of northern and southern Miyazaki slow slips with different durations followed by a Bungo slow slip in 2014. A southern Miyazaki slow slip occurred from approximately July 2015, which was followed by a northern Miyazaki slow slip and a Bungo slow slip in 2016. The 2016 Bungo slow slip occurred in a shallow area that did not slip at the time of the 2014 Bungo slow slip. The two different rupture processes from 2013 to 2015 and from 2015 to 2016 may be an important clue toward understanding subduction tectonics in southwest Japan. These interplate slow slip events are changing the stress state in favor of the occurrence of Nankai and Hyuga-nada earthquakes together with Tokai and Kii channel slow slips, which have been occurring since approximately 2013 and 2014, respectively.[Figure not available: see fulltext.

  1. Review of subduction and its association with geothermal system in Sumatera-Java (United States)

    Ladiba, A. F.; Putriyana, L.; Sibarani, B. br.; Soekarno, H.


    Java and Sumatera have the largest geothermal resources in Indonesia, in which mostly are spatially associated with volcanoes of subduction zones. However, those volcanoes are not distributed in a regular pattern due to the difference of subduction position. Subduction position in java is relatively more perpendicular to the trench than in Sumatera. In addition, Java has a concentration of large productive geothermal field with vapour dominated system in the western part of Java, which may be caused by the various subduction dip along the island. In order to understand the relationship between the subduction process and geothermal system in the subduction zone volcanoes, we examined several kinematic parameters of subduction that potentially relevant to the formation of geothermal system in overriding plate such as slab dip, subduction rate, and direction of subduction. Data and information regarding tectonic setting of Sumatera and Java and productive geothermal field in Sumatera and Java have been collected and evaluated. In conclusion, there are three condition that caused the geothermal fluid to be more likely being in vapour phase, which are: the subduction is in an orthogonal position, the slab dip is high, and rate of subduction is high. Although there are plenty researches of subduction zone volcanoes, only a few of them present information about its formation and implication to the geothermal system. The result of this study may be used as reference in exploration of geothermal field in mutual geologic environment.

  2. Plume-induced subduction (United States)

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


    Dominant present-day subduction initiation mechanisms require acting plate forces and/or pre-existing zones of lithospheric weakness, which are themselves consequences of plate tectonics. In contrast, recently discovered plume-induced subduction initiation could have started the first subduction zone without pre-existing plate tectonics. Here, we investigate this new mechanism with high-resolution 3D numerical thermomechanical modeling experiments. We show that typical plume-induced subduction dynamics is subdivided into five different stages: (1) oceanic plateau formation by arrival of a mantle plume head; (2) formation of an incipient trench and a descending nearly-circular slab at the plateau margins; (3) tearing of the circular slab; (4) formation of several self-sustained retreating subduction zones and (5) cooling and spreading of the new lithosphere formed between the retreating subduction zones. At the final stage of plume-induced subduction initiation, a mosaic of independently moving, growing and cooling small oceanic plates heading toward individual retreating subduction zones forms. The plates are separated by spreading centers, triple junctions and transform faults and thus the newly formed multi-slab subduction system operates as an embryonic plate tectonic cell. We demonstrate that three key physical factors combine to trigger self-sustained plume-induced subduction: (1) old negatively buoyant oceanic lithosphere; (2) intense weakening of the lithosphere by plume-derived magmas; and (3) lubrication of the forming subduction interface by hydrated oceanic crust. We furthermore discuss that plume-induced subduction, which is rare at present day conditions, may have been common in the Precambrian time and likely started global plate tectonics on Earth.

  3. Crystallographic preferred orientations of exhumed subduction channel rocks from the Eclogite Zone of the Tauern Window (Eastern Alps, Austria), and implications on rock elastic anisotropies at great depths

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Keppler, R.; Ullemeyer, K.; Behrmann, J. H.; Stipp, M.; Kurzawski, R. M.; Lokajíček, Tomáš

    647/648, April (2015), s. 89-104 ISSN 0040-1951 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : crystallographic preferred orientation * eclogite Zone * elastic properties * P-wave anisotropy * retrogression of eclogites * subduction channel Subject RIV: DC - Siesmology, Volcanology, Earth Structure Impact factor: 2.650, year: 2015

  4. Reaction-induced grain boundary cracking and anisotropic fluid flow during prograde devolatilization reactions within subduction zones (United States)

    Okamoto, Atsushi; Shimizu, Hiroyuki; Fukuda, Jun-ichi; Muto, Jun; Okudaira, Takamoto


    Devolatilization reactions during prograde metamorphism are a key control on the fluid distribution within subduction zones. Garnets in Mn-rich quartz schist within the Sanbagawa metamorphic belt of Japan are characterized by skeletal structures containing abundant quartz inclusions. Each quartz inclusion was angular-shaped, and showed random crystallographic orientations, suggesting that these quartz inclusions were trapped via grain boundary cracking during garnet growth. Such skeletal garnet within the quartz schist formed related to decarbonation reactions with a positive total volume change (Δ V t > 0), whereas the euhedral garnet within the pelitic schists formed as a result of dehydration reaction with negative Δ V t values. Coupled hydrological-chemical-mechanical processes during metamorphic devolatilization reactions were investigated by a distinct element method (DEM) numerical simulation on a foliated rock that contained reactive minerals and non-reactive matrix minerals. Negative Δ V t reactions cause a decrease in fluid pressure and do not produce fractures within the matrix. In contrast, a fluid pressure increase by positive Δ V t reactions results in hydrofracturing of the matrix. This fracturing preferentially occurs along grain boundaries and causes episodic fluid pulses associated with the development of the fracture network. The precipitation of garnet within grain boundary fractures could explain the formation of the skeletal garnet. Our DEM model also suggests a strong influence of reaction-induced fracturing on anisotropic fluid flow, meaning that dominant fluid flow directions could easily change in response to changes in stress configuration and the magnitude of differential stress during prograde metamorphism within a subduction zone.

  5. Improving automatic earthquake locations in subduction zones: a case study for GEOFON catalog of Tonga-Fiji region (United States)

    Nooshiri, Nima; Heimann, Sebastian; Saul, Joachim; Tilmann, Frederik; Dahm, Torsten


    Automatic earthquake locations are sometimes associated with very large residuals up to 10 s even for clear arrivals, especially for regional stations in subduction zones because of their strongly heterogeneous velocity structure associated. Although these residuals are most likely not related to measurement errors but unmodelled velocity heterogeneity, these stations are usually removed from or down-weighted in the location procedure. While this is possible for large events, it may not be useful if the earthquake is weak. In this case, implementation of travel-time station corrections may significantly improve the automatic locations. Here, the shrinking box source-specific station term method (SSST) [Lin and Shearer, 2005] has been applied to improve relative location accuracy of 1678 events that occurred in the Tonga subduction zone between 2010 and mid-2014. Picks were obtained from the GEOFON earthquake bulletin for all available station networks. We calculated a set of timing corrections for each station which vary as a function of source position. A separate time correction was computed for each source-receiver path at the given station by smoothing the residual field over nearby events. We begin with a very large smoothing radius essentially encompassing the whole event set and iterate by progressively shrinking the smoothing radius. In this way, we attempted to correct for the systematic errors, that are introduced into the locations by the inaccuracies in the assumed velocity structure, without solving for a new velocity model itself. One of the advantages of the SSST technique is that the event location part of the calculation is separate from the station term calculation and can be performed using any single event location method. In this study, we applied a non-linear, probabilistic, global-search earthquake location method using the software package NonLinLoc [Lomax et al., 2000]. The non-linear location algorithm implemented in NonLinLoc is less

  6. The Ionian Abyssal Plain - closure of a remnant Mesozoic oceanic domain: subbottom structures, deep deformation and the Calabrian subduction zone (United States)

    Gallais, F.; Gutscher, M.; Graindorge, D.; Klaeschen, D.


    The Ionian Abyssal Plain (IAP), located in the Central Mediterranean area is a deep triangular shaped basin, surrounded by the Calabrian subduction zone to the NW, the Mediterranean Ridge to the NE and the Medina Ridges to the South. Available heat flow measurements show very low values under the Ionian Abyssal plain, suggesing a very old age of 180-200 Ma for the basin. The Bouguer gravity anomaly map shows only a strong positive anomaly in this region and the depth of the Moho is around 16 to 18 km corresponding to high refraction velocities of 8.1-8.2 km/s. The Ionian basin is interpreted as one of the oldest basins in the Mediterranean area, and is thought to represent a remnant part of the Mesozoic Tethyan ocean. Due to the complex relative motions of microplates and blocks, currently, the oceanic lithosphere of the Ionian basin is being simultaneously consumed by subduction to the NE beneath the Hellenic system and to the NW beneath Calabria. We present the most relevant lines of the Archimede multi-channel seismic cruise (1997, R/V Le Nadir) crossing the Ionian Abyssal Plain and the Calabrian subduction zone. Interpretation of this seismic dataset is based on correlation with published seismic data and with ESP results. Beneath the IAP, we identify a thick sedimentary cover (> 5km) from the Jurassic to the Plio-Quaternary in age, which overlies the oceanic basement. The Pre-Messinian sequences are affected by a set of NE/SW striking compressional faults with some syn-tectonic basins NW of these faults. These features are interpreted as a re-activated set of normal faults, possibly formed during rifting and/or subsequent accretion of oceanic crust. The orientation of the subbottom structures and the thickness of the Messinian deposits in the south-eastern part of the IAP may be linked with the presence of these faults and their activity through time. On the Calabrian side of the IAP, the Post-Messinian sequences are accreted to the Calabrian wedge. The weak

  7. 3-D Laboratory and Numerical Models of Mantle Flow in Subduction Zones (United States)

    Funiciello, F.; Piromallo, C.; Moroni, M.; Becker, T.; Faccenna, C.; Bui, H.; Cenedese, A.


    Analogue and numerical studies are powerful tools to gain insight on the subduction process. Here we investigate some results from both approaches in order to characterize the induced flow triggered in the mantle by slab motion. The fluid velocity field in our 3-D laboratory experiments is reconstructed and analyzed through the PTV (Particle Tracking Velocimetry) image analysis technique, which provides a set of velocity vectors centred with particle centroid positions. Numerical investigation is approached by means of the finite element code Citcom (e.g. Moresi & Solomatov, 1995, Zhong et al., 1998; obtained from, solving the equations for conservation of mass, momentum and energy for an incompressible viscous spherical shell.

  8. Subduction and accretion of sedimentary rocks in the Yakutat collision zone, St. Elias orogen, Gulf of Alaska (United States)

    Van Avendonk, Harm J. A.; Gulick, Sean P. S.; Christeson, Gail L.; Worthington, Lindsay L.; Pavlis, Terry L.; Ridgway, Kenneth D.


    The collision of the Yakutat Block with the continental margin of North America in the Gulf of Alaska has intensified exhumation and erosion in the Chugach-St. Elias orogen over the last few million years. The resultant sediment flux and deposition of the glaciomarine Yakataga Formation on the continental shelf has filled a deep sedimentary basin offshore, where the Pamplona fold-thrust belt first deforms these strata. It is presently unclear whether the older sedimentary rocks of the Poul Creek and Kulthieth Formations are also accreted in the Pamplona Zone, or whether they are underthrusting the margin. In this paper we use marine seismic and well logging data to show that in the offshore Yakataga strata, porosity loss and lateral compaction can account for half of the convergence between the Yakutat Block and North America over the last 2 Myr. A lateral seismic velocity gradient in these syn-orogenic strata suggests that this layer-parallel shortening starts approximately 100 km outboard of the deformation front. Beneath the fold-and-thrust belt, where the seismic velocity is as high as 4.7 km/s, we image a large low-velocity zone (2.0-2.5 km/s) at 5 km depth. The dramatic decrease in seismic velocity with depth coincides with the boundary between the Yakataga and Poul Creek Formations in well data. Fine-grained and organic-rich Poul Creek strata possibly accommodate slip, such that older sedimentary rocks are entrained with the subducting Yakutat Block. Alternatively, the imaged low-velocity zone may have formed by increased fluid pressures in the hanging wall. In that case the décollement would lie beneath this low-velocity zone, possibly within the coal-bearing layers of the older and deeper Kulthieth Formation.

  9. The Modern Gorda-Juan de Fuca Subduction System and the Inherited Stratification of the Transition Zone below Western US (United States)

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


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

  10. Toward computational models of magma genesis and geochemical transport in subduction zones (United States)

    Katz, R.; Spiegelman, M.


    The chemistry of material erupted from subduction-related volcanoes records important information about the processes that lead to its formation at depth in the Earth. Self-consistent numerical simulations provide a useful tool for interpreting this data as they can explore the non-linear feedbacks between processes that control the generation and transport of magma. A model capable of addressing such issues should include three critical components: (1) a variable viscosity solid flow solver with smooth and accurate pressure and velocity fields, (2) a parameterization of mass transfer reactions between the solid and fluid phases and (3) a consistent fluid flow and reactive transport code. We report on progress on each of these parts. To handle variable-viscosity solid-flow in the mantle wedge, we are adapting a Patankar-based FAS multigrid scheme developed by Albers (2000, J. Comp. Phys.). The pressure field in this scheme is the solution to an elliptic equation on a staggered grid. Thus we expect computed pressure fields to have smooth gradient fields suitable for porous flow calculations, unlike those of commonly used penalty-method schemes. Use of a temperature and strain-rate dependent mantle rheology has been shown to have important consequences for the pattern of flow and the temperature structure in the wedge. For computing thermal structure we present a novel scheme that is a hybrid of Crank-Nicholson (CN) and Semi-Lagrangian (SL) methods. We have tested the SLCN scheme on advection across a broad range of Peclet numbers and show the results. This scheme is also useful for low-diffusivity chemical transport. We also describe our parameterization of hydrous mantle melting [Katz et. al., G3, 2002 in review]. This parameterization is designed to capture the melting behavior of peridotite--water systems over parameter ranges relevant to subduction. The parameterization incorporates data and intuition gained from laboratory experiments and thermodynamic

  11. The Melt Segregation During Ascent of Buoyant Diapirs in Subduction Zones (United States)

    Zhang, N.; Behn, M. D.; Parmentier, E. M.; Kincaid, C. R.


    Cold, low-density diapirs arising from hydrated mantle and/or subducted sediments on the top of subducting slabs may transport key chemical signatures from the slab to the shallow source region for arc magmas. These chemical signatures are strongly influenced by melting of this buoyant material during its ascent. However, to date there have been relatively few quantitative models to constrain melting and melt segregation in an ascending diapir, as well as the induced geochemical signature. Here, we use a two-phase Darcy-Stokes-energy model to investigate thermal evolution, melting, and melt segregation in buoyant diapirs as they ascend through the mantle wedge. Using a simplified 2-D axi-symmetric circular geometry we investigate diapir evolution in three scenarios with increasing complexity. First, we consider a case without melting in which the thermal evolution of the diapir is controlled solely by thermal diffusion during ascent. Our results show that for most cases (e.g., diapir radius ≤ 3.7 km and diapir generation depths of ~ 75 km) thermal diffusion times are smaller than the ascent time—implying that the diapir will thermal equilibrate with the mantle wedge. Secondly, we parameterize melting within the diapir, but without melt segregation, and add the effect of latent heat to the thermal evolution of the diapir. Latent heat significantly buffers heating of the diapir. For the diapir with radius ~3.7 km, the heating from the outside is slowed down ~30%. Finally, we include melt segregation within the diapir in the model. Melting initiates at the boundaries of the diapir as the cold interior warms in response to thermal equilibration with the hot mantle wedge. This forms a high porosity, high permeability rim around the margin of the diapir. As the diapir continues to warm and ascend, new melts migrate into this rim and are focused upward, accumulating at the top of the diapir. The rim thus acts like an annulus melt channel isolating the central part of

  12. Forearc structure from legacy multichannel seismic data linked to mechanical variability and rupture segmentation on the central Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone (United States)

    Roland, E. C.; von Huene, R.; Miller, J.; Haeussler, P. J.; Scholl, D. W.; Ryan, H. F.; Kirby, S. H.


    The historical earthquake record, geodetic observations, and modern interseismic seismicity patterns indicate along-strike variability in the mechanical behavior of the subduction zone extending from the central Alaska peninsula west to the eastern Aleutian Islands. This region spans the rupture areas of several historical megathrust earthquakes, including the 1938 M8.3 Semidi Islands event, the 1946 M8.5 earthquake near Unimak Pass, and the 1957 M8.6 Andreanof Islands earthquake. Each of these events produced tsunamis that affected Alaska and/or far-field coastal regions in Hawaii and the mainland U.S. The '38 and '46 rupture areas are separated by a segment of the subduction zone in the vicinity of the Shumagin Islands where, based on plate velocities from GPS, plate coupling decreases from nearly fully locked in the east, to very low coupling in the western Shumagins, indicating an important change in seismic style along-strike. Changes in the degree of interseismic coupling are often attributed to variability in the mechanical strength of the thrust interface, influenced by heterogeneity in the material properties and subducted topographic relief. Furthermore, the expression of forearc structural features along the margin may indicate the width and up-dip limit of the locked zone. We explore structural characteristics of the shallow portion of the subduction system related to variations in the mechanical properties of the megathrust and interseismic coupling using legacy multichannel seismic (MCS) data from several segments along the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone. Critical images were reprocessed with modern seismic processing systems. We characterize structural features of the downgoing plate and forearc, including the variation in thickness and character of subducted sediment, the geometry of the upper plate wedge, the distribution of imbricate thrust faults, the transition from outer prism to margin rock framework and extensional faulting. These

  13. Slow Slip in the Alaska Subduction Zone and the Long-term Slip Budget on the Megathrust (United States)

    Freymueller, J. T.; Li, S.; Fu, Y.; McCaffrey, R.


    The Cook Inlet region of Alaska has experienced some of the longest-lasting slow slip events yet discovered, with the longest event being at least 9 years long and having a moment equivalent to an Mw7.8 earthquake. Three other long-lasting events have been identified as well, with durations ranging from 2-4 years. Small and short-lived events (roughly comparable to some of the Cascadia ETS events) are also seen in the geodetic time series. Based on the record so far, the large slow slip events may be confined to certain segments of the plate interface, although data coverage is not as good or as comprehensive in time. At least one event occurred near Kodiak Island, but other segments of the subduction zone may not have experienced any significant slip events over the last two decades. Within the rupture zone of the 1964 Alaska earthquake, the area experiencing slow slip events overlaps with the area that experienced afterslip following the earthquake. Within uncertainty (which is considerable), there is no evidence for overlap between areas of significant coseismic slip and the areas of the slow slip events. Published papers on the various slow slip events have used different geometric models for the plate interface, which contributes to the present uncertainty in constraining the slip budget.

  14. M9.1 Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake Tsunami Inundation Modeling of Sequim Bay and Lopez Island, Washington (United States)

    Lee, C. J.; Cakir, R.; Walsh, T. J.; LeVeque, R. J.; Adams, L. M.; Gonzalez, F. I.


    The Strait of Juan de Fuca and adjacent coastal zone are prone to tsunami hazard triggered by a M9+ Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) earthquake. In addition to the numerous tsunami deposits observed on the outer coast, there is geological evidence for nine sandy or muddy tsunami layers deposited in last 2500-year period in a tidal marsh area of Discovery Bay, Northeastern Olympic Peninsula, Washington (Williams et al., 2005, The Holocene, v. 15, no. 1). Thus, it is important to assess the potential tsunami hazard due to a future M9+ CSZ earthquake event that may impact local communities in and near Discovery Bay area . In this study, we conducted tsunami simulations using Clawpack-GeoClaw and the earthquake source scenario M9.1 CSZ, designated as "L1" (Witter et al., 2011, Oregon DOGAMI Special Paper 43). A fine-resolution (1/3 arc-second) NOAA digital elevation model (DEM) was used to provide a high resolution tsunami inundation simulation in Sequim Bay (about 5 miles west of Discovery Bay), Clallam county and Lopez Island, San Juan County. The test gauges, set around major infrastructures and properties, provided estimates of wave height, wave velocity, and wave arrival time. The results will contribute to further improving mitigation planning and emergency response efforts of the counties.

  15. Deciphering the Alpine Deformation History of a Potential Fossil Subduction Interface in the Depth of the Seismogenic Zone (Central Alps) (United States)

    Ioannidi, Paraskevi Io; Oncken, Onno; Angiboust, Samuel; Agard, Philippe


    We use here a potential fossil subduction interface preserved in the Central Alps (N. Italy) as a proxy to study and understand the variety of deformation patterns taking place at the transition between unstable and conditionally stable regimes in present-day subduction interfaces. Foliated cataclasites and mylonites occur discontinuously at the base of the overriding plate within the first tens of meters above the contact with the underlying ultramafics. These brittle and plastic features are crosscut by metamorphic veins which are later sheared during pressure solution creep and quartz dynamic recrystallization. We herein question the possibility to interpret the succession recorded by these microstructures as one piece of evidence for alternating transient slip events. Microprobe results point to different episodes of phengite and garnet recrystallization of the inherited upper plate minerals. Quartz inclusions within garnets help determine the pressure conditions under which the new generations formed. Field observations, microfabrics and mapping revealed a wide range of deformation patterns in each locality studied, exposing segments corresponding to a depth range of 15-35 km (250°-450°C). A combination of these P-T estimates and a comparison to the results of thermodynamic modelling can independently validate the depth to which these rocks were buried. EBSD analysis on recrystallized quartz grains reveal lower differential stresses than those expected from the Byerlee law. Rb/Sr and 40Ar/39Ar deformation ages are being acquired from rocks of the interface to shed light on the time during which the individual shear zones were active.

  16. Mantle Viscosity in the Kuril Subduction Zone from Postseismic GPS Monitoring of Great 2006/2007 Earthquakes (United States)

    Kogan, M. G.; Vasilenko, N. F.; Frolov, D. I.; Freymueller, J. T.; Steblov, G. M.; Ekstrom, G.; Prytkov, A. S.


    This study is based on 10 years of ongoing GPS measurements of postseismic deformation following a pair of great earthquakes in the Kuril subduction zone. The study area is one of only a handful to capture a magnitude >8 signal and its postseismic signature with continuous GPS. The Kuril GPS Array was installed a few months prior to a 2006/2007 earthquake doublet and has been recording postseismic displacements in the near and far fields since that time. For a decade, the near field stations are moving trenchward, towards the seismic source at a speed of several tens of millimeters per year initially and an order of magnitude slower currently. Our modeling of viscoelastic relaxation explores realistic 3D subduction structures accounting for the dipping slab and for a low-viscosity mantle wedge above it (software RELAX of S. Barbot). We test linear (Maxwell) and nonlinear (power-law) rheologies of the asthenosphere, assuming that the viscoelastic relaxation is the dominant signal compared to afterslip after a year since the earthquakes. The data are best fit by the Maxwell asthenospheric viscosity 1 × 1018 Pa s for an interval 2007.5-2016.5. This viscosity is about ten times smaller than for two M9 events (Chile 1960 and Alaska 1964) from postseismic GPS displacements observed several decades later. This suggests a power-law rheology predicting the growth of apparent viscosity with time. From laboratory experiments with olivine, two alternative power-law mechanisms are possible: dislocation creep (stress power-law exponent n = 3.4-4.5) or diffusion creep (n = 0.9-1.5). Our numerical tests spanned the expected range of n, as well as a range of values of the initial apparent viscosity. The data are best fit by diffusion creep with n = 1.2 although the fit is not as good as for the Maxwell model.

  17. Stratigraphic and microfossil evidence for a 4500-year history of Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes and tsunamis at Yaquina River estuary, Oregon, USA (United States)

    Graehl, Nicholas A; Kelsey, Harvey M.; Witter, Robert C.; Hemphill-Haley, Eileen; Engelhart, Simon E.


    The Sallys Bend swamp and marsh area on the central Oregon coast onshore of the Cascadia subduction zone contains a sequence of buried coastal wetland soils that extends back ∼4500 yr B.P. The upper 10 of the 12 soils are represented in multiple cores. Each soil is abruptly overlain by a sandy deposit and then, in most cases, by greater than 10 cm of mud. For eight of the 10 buried soils, times of soil burial are constrained through radiocarbon ages on fine, delicate detritus from the top of the buried soil; for two of the buried soils, diatom and foraminifera data constrain paleoenvironment at the time of soil burial.We infer that each buried soil represents a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake because the soils are laterally extensive and abruptly overlain by sandy deposits and mud. Preservation of coseismically buried soils occurred from 4500 yr ago until ∼500–600 yr ago, after which preservation was compromised by cessation of gradual relative sea-level rise, which in turn precluded drowning of marsh soils during instances of coseismic subsidence. Based on grain-size and microfossil data, sandy deposits overlying buried soils accumulated immediately after a subduction zone earthquake, during tsunami incursion into Sallys Bend. The possibility that the sandy deposits were sourced directly from landslides triggered upstream in the Yaquina River basin by seismic shaking was discounted based on sedimentologic, microfossil, and depositional site characteristics of the sandy deposits, which were inconsistent with a fluvial origin. Biostratigraphic analyses of sediment above two buried soils—in the case of two earthquakes, one occurring shortly after 1541–1708 cal. yr B.P. and the other occurring shortly after 3227–3444 cal. yr B.P.—provide estimates that coseismic subsidence was a minimum of 0.4 m. The average recurrence interval of subduction zone earthquakes is 420–580 yr, based on an ∼3750–4050-yr-long record and seven to nine interearthquake

  18. A precision based regularization scheme for slip inversion: Application to the Central Andean Subduction Zone (United States)

    Ortega-Culaciati, Francisco; Becerra, Valeria; Simons, Mark; Moreno, Marcos; Ruiz, Javier; Comte, Diana; Contreras-Reyes, Eduardo; Maksymowicz, Andrei; Socquet, Anne; Jara, Jorge; Carrizo, Daniel


    Imaging subsurface slip behavior from surface observations is essential to increase our level of understanding of the kinematics and physical processes controlling earthquake and tsunami occurrence. As the estimation procedure is an inherently ill-posed problem, the adopted inverse methodology to obtain such estimates, particularly the form of the a priori information, plays a key role in this learning process. There are two general end member approaches to estimate the distribution of slip on a fault that deals with the inherent instability of the inverse problem: An unregularized, computationally expensive, fully Bayesian MCMC approach and a much more expedient but biased optimization approach using some form of regularized least squares. We focus our efforts in the latter approach. On the regularized inversion, the chosen form of a priori information, or regularization scheme, will introduce a bias on fault slip estimates that needs to be well understood to be able to achieve rigorous interpretation of the obtained slip values. Here we discuss the effects that the a priori information implied by commonly used regularization schemes has on slip estimates of fault behavior. Also, we propose a novel regularization scheme, based on the precision of the model parameters in the unregularized problem, that accounts for the spatial variability of the constraints provided by the observations (typically onland). The proposed regularization scheme improves the stability and resolution of the inferred slip distributions of fault behavior. We illustrate our findings by analyzing synthetic cases in the Central Andean subduction megathrust, and apply the methodology to perform an analysis of the seismic cycle in the region.

  19. The polyphased tectonic evolution of the Anegada Passage in the northern Lesser Antilles subduction zone (United States)

    Laurencin, M.; Marcaillou, B.; Graindorge, D.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Lallemand, S.; Laigle, M.; Lebrun, J.-F.


    The influence of the highly oblique plate convergence at the northern Lesser Antilles onto the margin strain partitioning and deformation pattern, although frequently invoked, has never been clearly imaged. The Anegada Passage is a set of basins and deep valleys, regularly related to the southern boundary of the Puerto Rico-Virgin Islands (PRVI) microplate. Despite the publications of various tectonic models mostly based on bathymetric data, the tectonic origin and deformation of this Passage remains unconstrained in the absence of deep structure imaging. During cruises Antithesis 1 and 3 (2013-2016), we recorded the first deep multichannel seismic images and new multibeam data in the northern Lesser Antilles margin segment in order to shed a new light on the structure and tectonic pattern of the Anegada Passage. We image the northeastern extent of the Anegada Passage, from the Sombrero Basin to the Lesser Antilles margin front. Our results reveal that this northeastern segment is an EW trending left-stepping en échelon strike-slip system that consists of the Sombrero and Malliwana pull-apart basins, the Malliwana and Anguilla left-lateral faults, and the NE-SW compressional restraining bend at the Malliwana Hill. Reviewing the structure of the Anegada Passage, from the south of Puerto Rico to the Lesser Antilles margin front, reveals a polyphased tectonic history. The Anegada Passage is formed by a NW-SE extension, possibly related to the rotation or escape of PRVI block due to collision of the Bahamas Bank. Currently, it is deformed by an active WNW-ESE strike-slip deformation associated to the shear component of the strain partitioning resulting from the subduction obliquity.

  20. Modeling slow-slip segmentation in Cascadia subduction zone constrained by tremor locations and gravity anomalies (United States)

    Li, Duo; Liu, Yajing


    Along-strike segmentation of slow-slip events (SSEs) and nonvolcanic tremors in Cascadia may reflect heterogeneities of the subducting slab or overlying continental lithosphere. However, the nature behind this segmentation is not fully understood. We develop a 3-D model for episodic SSEs in northern and central Cascadia, incorporating both seismological and gravitational observations to constrain the heterogeneities in the megathrust fault properties. The 6 year automatically detected tremors are used to constrain the rate-state friction parameters. The effective normal stress at SSE depths is constrained by along-margin free-air and Bouguer gravity anomalies. The along-strike variation in the long-term plate convergence rate is also taken into consideration. Simulation results show five segments of ˜Mw6.0 SSEs spontaneously appear along the strike, correlated to the distribution of tremor epicenters. Modeled SSE recurrence intervals are equally comparable to GPS observations using both types of gravity anomaly constraints. However, the model constrained by free-air anomaly does a better job in reproducing the cumulative slip as well as more consistent surface displacements with GPS observations. The modeled along-strike segmentation represents the averaged slip release over many SSE cycles, rather than permanent barriers. Individual slow-slip events can still propagate across the boundaries, which may cause interactions between adjacent SSEs, as observed in time-dependent GPS inversions. In addition, the moment-duration scaling is sensitive to the selection of velocity criteria for determining when SSEs occur. Hence, the detection ability of the current GPS network should be considered in the interpretation of slow earthquake source parameter scaling relations.

  1. Rheology of Asthenosphere in the Kuril-Kamchatka Subduction Zone from Postseismic GPS Observations after Great 2006-2007 Earthquakes (United States)

    Kogan, M. G.; Vasilenko, N. F.; Frolov, D. I.; Freymueller, J. T.; Steblov, G. M.; Ekstrom, G.; Prytkov, A. S.


    The 1,200-km-long Kuril subduction zone is one of the most seismically active regions on the Earth. It was the last major subduction zone totally unexplored by methods of space geodesy. The Kuril GPS Array was installed in summer 2006. Several months later, a doublet of great (MW > 8) earthquakes ruptured the central segment of the Kuril arc where events of such size had not occurred for about a century. We test mechanisms of viscoelastic relaxation with both Maxwell and power-law rheologies to explain the postseismic motion for 8 years following the earthquake doublet. For the period after summer 2007, we have assumed that the contributions from afterslip are negligible. We model viscoelastic relaxation caused by coseismic slip using the open-source software package RELAX of S. Barbot. It allows us to consider the three-dimensional rheology, including a dipping elastic slab and a low-viscosity mantle above the slab. In 2007-2008, the observed postseismic movement was at a speed of several tens of millimeters per year and directed trenchward. Seven years later, the speed was reduced by an order of magnitude and still directed trenchward. Viscoelastic relaxation with the Maxwell viscosity of about 1 × 1018 Pa s reasonably explains the observed deformation for initial 3-5 years with a tendency to an increase in apparent viscosity. However, the question arises: will the apparent viscosity continue to grow with post-earthquake time? A power-law rheology would predict such growth over the decades following an earthquake. According to laboratory experiments, a power-law rheology of olivine is associated with dislocation creep (stress exponent n = 3.4-4.5) or diffusional creep (n = 0.9-1.5). We modeled deformation for a range of values of n and of apparent initial viscosity. We found the power-law models that agree well with the observed postseismic deformation, showing a significantly better fit in later years (2012-2015) than a Maxwell rheology with viscosity 1 × 1018

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

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


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

  3. Investigation of mantle kinematics beneath the Hellenic-subduction zone with teleseismic direct shear waves (United States)

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


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

  4. Deformation fabrics of blueschist facies phengite-rich, epidote-glaucophane schists from Ring Mountain, California and implications for seismic anisotropy in subduction zone (United States)

    Jung, H.; HA, Y.; Raymond, L. A.


    In many subduction zones, strong seismic anisotropy is observed. A part of the seismic anisotropy can be attributed to the subducting oceanic crust, which is transformed to blueschist facies rocks under high-pressure, high-temperature conditions. Because glaucophane, epidote, and phengite constituting the glaucophane schists are very anisotropic elastically, seismic anisotropy in the oceanic crust in hot subduction zones can be attributed to the lattice preferred orientation (LPO) of these minerals. We studied deformation fabrics and seismic properties of phengite-rich, epidote-glaucophane schists from the Franciscan Complex of Ring Mountain, California. The blueschist samples are mainly composed of glaucophane, epidote, and phengite, with minor garnet, titanite, and chlorite. Some samples contain abundant phengite (up to 40 %). We determined LPOs of minerals using SEM/EBSD and calculated seismic anisotropy of minerals and whole rocks. LPOs of glaucophane have [001] axes aligned subparallel to lineation, and both (110) poles and [100] axes subnormal to foliation. Epidote [001] axes are aligned subnormal to foliation, with both (110) and (010) poles subparallel to lineation. LPOs of phengite are characterized by maxima of [001] axes subnormal to foliation, and both (110) and (010) poles and [100] axes aligned in a girdle subparallel to foliation. Phengite showed much stronger seismic anisotropy (AVP = 42%, max.AVS = 37%) than glaucophane or epidote. Glaucophane schist with abundant phengite showed much stronger seismic anisotropy (AVP = 30%, max.AVS = 23%) than epidote-glaucophane schist without phengite (AVP = 13%, max.AVS = 9%). Therefore, phengite clearly can significantly affect seismic anisotropy of whole rocks. When the subduction angle of phengite-rich blueschist facies rocks is considered for a 2-D corner flow model, the polarization direction of fast S-waves for vertically propagating S-waves changed to a nearly trench-parallel direction for the subduction

  5. Possible correlation between annual gravity change and shallow background seismicity rate at subduction zone by surface load (United States)

    Mitsui, Yuta; Yamada, Kyohei


    The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) has monitored global gravity changes since 2002. Gravity changes are considered to represent hydrological water mass movements around the surface of the globe, although fault slip of a large earthquake also causes perturbation of gravity. Since surface water movements are expected to affect earthquake occurrences via elastic surface load or pore-fluid pressure increase, correlation between gravity changes and occurrences of small (not large) earthquakes may reflect the effects of surface water movements. In the present study, we focus on earthquakes smaller than magnitude 7.5 and examine the relation between annual gravity changes and earthquake occurrences at worldwide subduction zones. First, we extract amplitudes of annual gravity changes from GRACE data for land. Next, we estimate background seismicity rates in the epidemic-type aftershock sequence model from shallow seismicity data having magnitudes of over 4.5. Then, we perform correlation analysis of the amplitudes of the annual gravity changes and the shallow background seismicity rates, excluding source areas of large earthquakes, and find moderate positive correlation. It implies that annual water movements can activate shallow earthquakes, although the surface load elastostatic stress changes are on the order of or below 1 kPa, as small as a regional case in a previous study. We speculate that periodic stress perturbation is amplified through nonlinear responses of frictional faults.[Figure not available: see fulltext.

  6. Study of time dynamics of seismicity for the Mexican subduction zone by means of the visibility graph method. (United States)

    Ramírez-Rojas, Alejandro; Telesca, Luciano; Lovallo, Michele; Flores, Leticia


    By using the method of the visibility graph (VG), five magnitude time series extracted from the seismic catalog of the Mexican subduction zone were investigated. The five seismic sequences represent the seismicity which occurred between 2005 and 2012 in five seismic areas: Guerrero, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Jalisco and Michoacan. Among the five seismic sequences, the Jalisco sequence shows VG properties significantly different from those shown by the other four. Such a difference could be inherent in the different tectonic settings of Jalisco with respect to those characterizing the other four areas. The VG properties of the seismic sequences have been put in relationship with the more typical seismological characteristics (b-value and a-value of the Gutenberg-Richter law). The present study was supported by the Bilateral Project Italy-Mexico "Experimental Stick-slip models of tectonic faults: innovative statistical approaches applied to synthetic seismic sequences", jointly funded by MAECI (Italy) and AMEXCID (Mexico) in the framework of the Bilateral Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation PE 2014-2016

  7. Pinpoint core sampling at active faults in the Nankai subduction zone by new ROV "NSS" (United States)

    Ashi, J.; Shirai, M.; Tokuyama, H.; Soh, W.; Kinoshita, M.; Machiyama, H.; Kanamatsu, T.; Hirono, T.; Ikehara, K.; Arai, K.; Omura, A.


    Piston coring across active faults in shallow water depth, as well as drilling or trenching of fault zone on land, provides us with information about earthquake timing, recurrence of fault activity and fault displacement. In contrast, it is not easy to take samples from deep-sea with pinpoint accuracy. In order to identify the position of the core sampler and approach the target for sampling, a transponder is recently installed on the cable just above the sampler. The pilot vehicle of new ROV "NSS" (Navigable Sampling System) can move by four thrusters, observe seafloor by video cameras, release samplers and measurement tools by command from a mother ship, and real time geophysical or geochemical monitoring through an armored cable. The whole system including winches is removal. The ship with large deck can be equipped with NSS system. Depth capability of the pilot vehicle is 4000m and maximum payload weight is 1.5 Tons. First cruise using NSS was conducted in the Nankai Trough and the Sagami Trough using JAMSTEC R/V "Kaiyo" in 2003. Piston cores were taken from active faults off the Central Japan in the Nankai Trough, and the cold seep sites along the blind fault off Hatsushima, Sagami Bay. NSS using seafloor video camera and thrusters has accuracy of pinpoint sampling within 2m, and allows us to take samples from narrow fault zone or small clam colony. Core samples derived from active fault zones show different sedimentation histories; lack of strata and differences of layer thickness across dip-slip faults and lithological changes with time across strike-slip faults near submarine canyon, and provide information about recurrence time and fault displacement. NSS is one of tools that break through difficulties of pinpoint sampling in deep-sea and will proceed studies of active submarine faults.

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

    Itaba, S.; Kimura, T.


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Vannucchi


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

  10. Near-continuous tremor and low-frequency earthquake activities in the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone revealed by a mini seismic array (United States)

    Li, Bo; Ghosh, Abhijit


    Tectonic tremor and low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs) are relatively poorly studied in the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone due to the limited data availability, difficult logistics, and rugged terrain. Using 2 months of continuous data recorded by a mini seismic array in the Akutan Island, we detect near-continuous tremor activity with an average of 1.3 h of tectonic tremor per day using a beam backprojection method. Tremor sources are clustered in two patches with an 25 km gap in between them. In addition, we visually identify three low-frequency earthquakes, and using them as templates, we detect 1300 additional LFEs applying a matched-filter method. Tremor and LFE activities agree well in space and time, and LFEs show a much smaller recurrence interval during tremor than during non-tremor time periods. Tremor sources propagate both along the strike and dip directions of the subduction fault with velocities ranging between 13 and 110 km/h. Prolific patchy tremor and LFE activities suggest lateral heterogeneity in the locked to freely slipping transition zone, indicating that slow earthquakes may play an important role in the earthquake cycles in this subduction zone.

  11. The nexus of soil radon and hydrogen dynamics and seismicity of the northern flank of the Kuril-Kamchatka subduction zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. P. Malysheva


    Full Text Available The comparison of kinematics and dynamic parameters of radon and molecular hydrogen concentration in subsoil air on the stations network at the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky geodynamic proving ground with seismicity of the northern flank of the Kuril-Kamchatka subduction zone was fulfilled in the period from July till August 2004. On the basis of correlation analysis of the regional seismicity and variations of radon flux density calculated using the data of gas-discharge counters of STS-6 type and SSNTDs it was shown that the radon mass transfer abnormal variations are conditioned by both regional seismicity in total and the subduction zone of proving ground. The azimuths of «geodeformation waves» coming to the registration points are calculated during clearly expressed anomaly beginnings, which coincide with directions to earthquake epicenters taking place at the same time. The geochemical anomalies recorded are presumptively deformative by nature and can be conditioned by processes of «quasi-viscous» flow of the lithosphere during rearrangement of tectonic stress fields of the subduction zone. The short-term (predicted time ? <14 days precursor of the earthquakes swarm was revealed in hydrogen dynamics on August, 4-5 (four earthquakes had M?5.3 and epicentral distance about 130 km from the Paratunka base station.

  12. Trace element composition of rutile in eclogite from the Karakaya Complex, NW Anatolia: Implications for rutile growth during subduction zone metamorphism (United States)

    Şengün, Fırat


    High-pressure/low-temperature (HP/LT) eclogite-facies terranes are widely regarded to represent exhumed fragments of subducted slabs. Therefore, the metamorphic studies of eclogites and associated high-pressure rocks yield crucial information about their P-T evolution and associated tectonometamorphic processes at depth in subduction zones. Especially rutile in eclogites record chemical history of subduction zones and also constrain metamorphic temperatures of subduction zone processes. Eclogites occur as a tectonic slice within metabasite-phyllite-marble intercalation of the Karakaya Complex. In this study, trace element geochemistry of rutiles and Zr-in-rutile thermometry have been investigated. The main mineralogical composition eclogites are composed of omphacite, garnet, glaucophane, epidote and quartz. Core-rim analyses through rutile grains yield remarkable trace element zoning with lower contents of Nb, Ta and Zr in the core than in the rim. The variations in Nb, Ta and Zr can be ascribed to the growth zoning rather than diffusion effect. The Nb/Ta and Zr/Hf ratios increase with a decrease in Ta and Hf contents, which could be ascribed to the effect of metamorphic dehydration at subduction zones on rutile Nb/Ta differentiation. The rutile grains from eclogites in the Karakaya Complex are characterized by subchondritic Nb/Ta and Zr/Hf ratios. It can be noted that the subchondritic Nb/Ta ratios may record rutile growth from local sinks of aqueous fluids from metamorphic dehydration. The Zr contents of the all rutile grains vary between 81 and 160 ppm with the average of 123 ppm. The Zr-in-rutile thermometer yielded the metamorphic temperature of 559-604 oC (average 585 oC) for eclogites occurring in the Karakaya Complex. This average temperature suggests the peak growth temperature of rutile. Moreover, Zr contents and calculated temperatures in both inclusion rutile and matrix rutile from eclogites are identical to each other, which suggests that rutiles in

  13. Seafloor Geodesy usi­ng Wave Gliders to study Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards at Subduction Zones (United States)

    Sathiakumar, S.; Barbot, S.; Hill, E.; Peng, D.; Zerucha, J.; Suhaimee, S.; Chia, G.; Salamena, G. G.; Syahailatua, A.


    Land-based GNSS networks are now in place to monitor most subduction zones of the world. These provide valuable information about the amount of­ geodetic strain accumulated in the region, which in turn gives insight into the seismic potential. However, it is usually impossible to resolve activity on the megathrust near the trench using land-based GNSS data alone, given typical signal-to-noise ratios. Ship-based seafloor geodesy is being used today to fill this observation gap. However, surveys using ships are very expensive, tedious and impractical due to the large areas to be covered. Instead of discrete missions using ships, continuous monitoring of the seafloor using autonomous marine robots would aid in understanding the tectonic setting of the seafloor better at a potentially lower cost, as well as help in designing better warning systems. Thus, we are developing seafloor geodesy capabilities using Wave Gliders, a new class of wave-propelled, persistent marine autonomous vehicle using a combination of acoustic and GNSS technologies. We use GNSS/INS to position the platform, and acoustic ranging to locate the seafloor. The GNSS/INS system to be integrated with the Wave Gliders has stringent requirements of low power, light weight, and high accuracy. All these factors are equally important due to limited power and space in the Wave Gliders and the need for highly accurate and precise measurements. With this hardware setup, a limiting factor is the accuracy of measurement of the sound velocity in the water column. We plan to obtain precise positioning of seafloor by exploring a measurement setup that minimizes uncertainties in sound velocity. This will be achieved by making fine-resolution measurements of the two-way travel time of the acoustic waves underwater using the Wave Gliders, and performing statistical signal processing on this data to obtain more reliable sound velocity measurement. This enhanced seafloor geodetic technique using Wave Gliders should

  14. Variable Holocene deformation above a shallow subduction zone extremely close to the trench. (United States)

    Thirumalai, Kaustubh; Taylor, Frederick W; Shen, Chuan-Chou; Lavier, Luc L; Frohlich, Cliff; Wallace, Laura M; Wu, Chung-Che; Sun, Hailong; Papabatu, Alison K


    Histories of vertical crustal motions at convergent margins offer fundamental insights into the relationship between interplate slip and permanent deformation. Moreover, past abrupt motions are proxies for potential tsunamigenic earthquakes and benefit hazard assessment. Well-dated records are required to understand the relationship between past earthquakes and Holocene vertical deformation. Here we measure elevations and (230)Th ages of in situ corals raised above the sea level in the western Solomon Islands to build an uplift event history overlying the seismogenic zone, extremely close to the trench (4-40 km). We find marked spatiotemporal heterogeneity in uplift from mid-Holocene to present: some areas accrue more permanent uplift than others. Thus, uplift imposed during the 1 April 2007 Mw 8.1 event may be retained in some locations but removed in others before the next megathrust rupture. This variability suggests significant changes in strain accumulation and the interplate thrust process from one event to the next.

  15. Propriétés élastiques des minéraux hydratés : applications à l'anisotropie sismique dans les zones de subduction


    Bezacier, Lucile


    The flow of material and the seismic signature of subduction zones are highly dependent on the elastic propertiesof two major types of hydrated minerals: serpentines (antigorite, lizardite and chrysotile) produced by thehydration of mantle minerals and glaucophane, a marker of blueschists and eclogites, which are metamorphicfacies characteristic of subduction zones. Detection of these phases is sometime difficult. It is important to knowtheir elastic properties in order to better understand t...

  16. Tomographic Imaging of the Peru Subduction Zone beneath the Altiplano and Implications for Andean Tectonics (United States)

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


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

  17. Modeling the effects of source and path heterogeneity on ground motions of great earthquakes on the Cascadia Subduction Zone Using 3D simulations (United States)

    Delorey, Andrew; Frankel, Arthur; Liu, Pengcheng; Stephenson, William J.


    We ran finite‐difference earthquake simulations for great subduction zone earthquakes in Cascadia to model the effects of source and path heterogeneity for the purpose of improving strong‐motion predictions. We developed a rupture model for large subduction zone earthquakes based on a k−2 slip spectrum and scale‐dependent rise times by representing the slip distribution as the sum of normal modes of a vibrating membrane.Finite source and path effects were important in determining the distribution of strong motions through the locations of the hypocenter, subevents, and crustal structures like sedimentary basins. Some regions in Cascadia appear to be at greater risk than others during an event due to the geometry of the Cascadia fault zone relative to the coast and populated regions. The southern Oregon coast appears to have increased risk because it is closer to the locked zone of the Cascadia fault than other coastal areas and is also in the path of directivity amplification from any rupture propagating north to south in that part of the subduction zone, and the basins in the Puget Sound area are efficiently amplified by both north and south propagating ruptures off the coast of western Washington. We find that the median spectral accelerations at 5 s period from the simulations are similar to that of the Zhao et al. (2006) ground‐motion prediction equation, although our simulations predict higher amplitudes near the region of greatest slip and in the sedimentary basins, such as the Seattle basin.

  18. The importance of mantle wedge heterogeneity to subduction zone magmatism and the origin of EM1 (United States)

    Turner, Stephen J.; Langmuir, Charles H.; Dungan, Michael A.; Escrig, Stephane


    The composition of the convecting asthenospheric mantle that feeds the mantle wedge can be investigated via rear-arc lavas that have minimal slab influence. This "ambient mantle wedge" composition (the composition of the wedge prior to the addition of a slab component) varies substantially both worldwide and within individual arcs. 143Nd/144Nd measurements of rear-arc samples that have minimal slab influence are similar to 143Nd/144Nd in the stratovolcanoes of the adjacent volcanic fronts, suggesting that 143Nd/144Nd of arc-front volcanics are largely inherited from the ambient mantle composition. 143Nd/144Nd correlates with ratios such as Th/U, Zr/Nb, and La/Sm, indicating that these ratios also are strongly influenced by ambient wedge heterogeneity. The same phenomenon is observed among individual volcanoes from the Chilean Southern Volcanic Zone (SVZ), where along-strike variability of the volcanic front tracks that of rear-arc monogenetic volcanics. Depleted mantle wedges are more strongly influenced by slab-derived components than are enriched wedges. This leads to surprising trace element correlations in the global dataset, such as between Pb/Nb and Zr/Nb, which are not explicable by variable compositions or fluxes of slab components. Depleted ambient mantle is present beneath arcs with back-arc spreading; relatively enriched mantle is present adjacent to continents. Ambient mantle wedge heterogeneity both globally and regionally forms isotope mixing trajectories for Sr, Nd and Hf between depleted mantle and EM1-type enriched compositions as represented by Gough Island basalts. Making use of this relationship permits a quantitative match with the SVZ data. It has been suggested that EM1-type mantle reservoirs are the result of recycled lower continental crust, though such models do not account for certain trace element ratios such as Ce/Pb and Nb/U or the surprisingly homogeneous trace element compositions of EM1 volcanics. A model in which the EM1 end

  19. Crustal Deformation in Southcentral Alaska: The 1964 Prince William Sound Earthquake Subduction Zone (United States)

    Cohen, Steven C.; Freymueller, Jeffrey T.


    This article, for Advances in Geophysics, is a summary of crustal deformation studies in southcentral Alaska. In 1964, southcentral Alaska was struck by the largest earthquake (moment magnitude 9.2) occurring in historical times in North America and the second largest earthquake occurring in the world during the past century. Conventional and space-based geodetic measurements have revealed a complex temporal-spatial pattern of crustal movement. Numerical models suggest that ongoing convergence between the North America and Pacific Plates, viscoelastic rebound, aseismic creep along the tectonic plate interface, and variable plate coupling all play important roles in controlling both the surface and subsurface movements. The geodetic data sets include tide-gauge observations that in some cases provide records back to the decades preceding the earthquake, leveling data that span a few decades around the earthquake, VLBI data from the late 1980s, and GPS data since the mid-1990s. Geologic data provide additional estimates of vertical movements and a chronology of large seismic events. Some of the important features that are revealed by the ensemble of studies that are reviewed in this paper include: (1) Crustal uplift in the region that subsided by up 2 m at the time of the earthquake is as much as 1 m since the earthquake. In the Turnagain Arm and Kenai Peninsula regions of southcentral Alaska, uplift rates in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake reached 150 mm/yr , but this rapid uplift decayed rapidly after the first few years following the earthquake. (2) At some other locales, notably those away the middle of the coseismic rupture zone, postseismic uplift rates were initially slower but the rates decay over a longer time interval. At Kodiak Island, for example, the uplift rates have been decreasing at a rate of about 7mm/yr per decade. At yet other locations, the uplift rates have shown little time dependence so far, but are thought not to be sustainable

  20. A morphologic proxy for debris flow erosion with application to the earthquake deformation cycle, Cascadia Subduction Zone, USA (United States)

    Penserini, Brian D.; Roering, Joshua J.; Streig, Ashley


    In unglaciated steeplands, valley reaches dominated by debris flow scour and incision set landscape form as they often account for > 80% of valley network length and relief. While hillslope and fluvial process models have frequently been combined with digital topography to develop morphologic proxies for erosion rate and drainage divide migration, debris-flow-dominated networks, despite their ubiquity, have not been exploited for this purpose. Here, we applied an empirical function that describes how slope-area data systematically deviate from so-called fluvial power-law behavior at small drainage areas. Using airborne LiDAR data for 83 small ( 1 km2) catchments in the western Oregon Coast Range, we quantified variation in model parameters and observed that the curvature of the power-law scaling deviation varies with catchment-averaged erosion rate estimated from cosmogenic nuclides in stream sediments. Given consistent climate and lithology across our study area and assuming steady erosion, we used this calibrated denudation-morphology relationship to map spatial patterns of long-term uplift for our study catchments. By combining our predicted pattern of long-term uplift rate with paleoseismic and geodetic (tide gauge, GPS, and leveling) data, we estimated the spatial distribution of coseismic subsidence experienced during megathrust earthquakes along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Our estimates of coseismic subsidence near the coast (0.4 to 0.7 m for earthquake recurrence intervals of 300 to 500 years) agree with field measurements from numerous stratigraphic studies. Our results also demonstrate that coseismic subsidence decreases inland to negligible values > 25 km from the coast, reflecting the diminishing influence of the earthquake deformation cycle on vertical changes of the interior coastal ranges. More generally, our results demonstrate that debris flow valley networks serve as highly localized, yet broadly distributed indicators of erosion (and rock

  1. The Molybdenum Isotope System as a Tracer of Slab Input in Subduction Zones: An Example From Martinique, Lesser Antilles Arc (United States)

    Gaschnig, Richard M.; Reinhard, Christopher T.; Planavsky, Noah J.; Wang, Xiangli; Asael, Dan; Chauvel, Catherine


    Molybdenum isotopes are fractionated by Earth-surface processes and may provide a tracer for the recycling of crustal material into the mantle. Here, we examined the Mo isotope composition of arc lavas from Martinique in the Lesser Antilles arc, along with Cretaceous and Cenozoic Deep Sea Drilling Project sediments representing potential sedimentary inputs into the subduction zone. Mo stable isotope composition (defined as δ98Mo in ‰ deviation from the NIST 3134 standard) in lavas older than ˜7 million years (Ma) exhibits a narrow range similar to and slightly higher than MORB, whereas those younger than ˜7 Ma show a much greater range and extend to unusually low δ98Mo values. Sediments from DSDP Leg 78A, Site 543 have uniformly low δ98Mo values whereas Leg 14, Site 144 contains both sediments with isotopically light Mo and Mo-enriched black shales with isotopically heavy Mo. When coupled with published radiogenic isotope data, Mo isotope systematics of the lavas can be explained through binary mixing between a MORB-like end-member and different sedimentary compositions identified in the DSDP cores. The lavas older than ˜7 Ma were influenced by incorporation of isotopically heavy black shales into the mantle wedge. The younger lavas are the product of mixing isotopically light sedimentary material into the mantle wedge. The change in Mo isotope composition of the lavas at ˜7 Ma is interpreted to reflect the removal of the Cretaceous black shale component due to the arrival of younger ocean crust where the age-equivalent Cretaceous sediments were deposited in shallower oxic waters. Isotopic fractionation of Mo during its removal from the slab is not required to explain the observed systematics in this system.

  2. Accommodation space, relative sea level, and the archiving of paleo-earthquakes along subduction zones (United States)

    Kelsey, Harvey M.; Engelhart, Simon E.; Pilarczyk, Jessica E.; Horton, Benjamin P.; Rubin, Charles; Daryono, Mudrik; Ismail, Nazli; Hawkes, Andrea D.; Bernhardt, Christopher E.; Cahill, Niamh


    The spatial variability of Holocene relative sea-level (RSL) change influences the capacities of coastal environments to accommodate a sedimentary record of paleoenvironmental change. In this study we couch a specific investigation in more general terms in order to demonstrate the applicability of the relative sea-level history approach to paleoseismic investigations. Using subsidence stratigraphy, we trace the different modes of coastal sedimentation over the course of time in the eastern Indian Ocean where RSL change evolved from rapidly rising to static from 8000 yr ago to present. Initially, the coastal sites from the Aceh, Sumatra, coastal plain, which are subject to repeated great earthquakes and tsunamis, built up a sedimentary sequence in response to a RSL rise of 1.4 mm/yr. The sequence found at 2 sites 8 km apart contained 3 soils of a mangrove origin (Rhizophora,Bruguiera/Ceriops, Avicennia pollen, and/or intertidal foraminifera) buried by sudden submergence related to coseismic subsidence and 6 tsunami sands that contain pristine subtidal and planktic foraminifera. After 3800 cal yr B.P. (years before A.D. 1950), sea level stabilized and remained such to the present. The stable relative sea level reduced accommodation space in the late Holocene, suggesting that the continued aggradation of the coastal plain was a consequence of periodic coastal inundation by tsunamis.

  3. Rates of burial and exhumation of lawsonite blueschist/eclogite in subduction zones from in situ UV laser ablation 40Ar/39Ar phengite geochronology (United States)

    Fornash, K.; Cosca, M. A.; Whitney, D. L.; Teyssier, C. P.


    Lawsonite eclogites and blueschists are accessible records of processes that occur at depth in subducting slabs and can therefore provide information about the chemical and physical evolution of subduction zones. In composite blueschist-eclogite terranes, blueschists may have formed (1) by prograde metamorphism (pre-eclogite), (2) at the same P-T conditions as eclogite-facies metamorphism as a result of differences in bulk composition, H2O content, or oxidation state, or (3) from retrogression of eclogite, e.g. during exhumation. Field and petrologic observations of lawsonite eclogite and blueschist in the Sivrihisar Massif, Turkey, suggest that some blueschist formed from eclogite during exhumation in the subduction channel, whereas results from thermobarometry suggest that some blueschist formed at the same P-T conditions as eclogite. To test the age, petrologic, and tectonic relationship of coexisting eclogite and blueschist, we applied in situ UV laser ablation 40Ar/39Ar phengite geochronology to eclogite- and blueschist-facies rocks representing different structural positions and displaying different phengite textures and coexisting mineral assemblages. Phengite from fresh lawsonite eclogite yield an age of 93 ± 2 Ma and have the narrowest spread in ages (glaucophane-rich margins of eclogite pods also record 92 Ma. Omphacite-bearing lawsonite blueschist and a blueschist-facies quartzite from the same structural position contain age populations at 97 Ma and 110 Ma. These results document a sequence of events from prograde blueschist-facies (> 93 Ma) to peak eclogite-facies metamorphism and vein formation (~93 Ma) to retrograde metamorphism (< 90 Ma). Combined with P-T estimates, these new results distinguish prograde from retrograde blueschist assemblages and allow calculation of burial/exhumation rates over the depth range ~80-45 km in a subduction zone.

  4. Petrofabrics of high-pressure rocks exhumed at the slab-mantle interface from the "point of no return" in a subduction zone (Sivrihisar, Turkey) (United States)

    Whitney, Donna L.; Teyssier, Christian; Seaton, Nicholas C. A.; Fornash, Katherine F.


    The highest pressure recorded by metamorphic rocks exhumed from oceanic subduction zones is 2.5 GPa, corresponding to the maximum decoupling depth (MDD) (80 ± 10 km) identified in active subduction zones; beyond the MDD (the "point of no return") exhumation is unlikely. The Sivrihisar massif (Turkey) is a coherent terrane of lawsonite eclogite and blueschist facies rocks in which assemblages and fabrics record P-T-fluid-deformation conditions during exhumation from 80 to 45 km. Crystallographic fabrics and other features of high-pressure metasedimentary and metabasaltic rocks record transitions during exhumation. In quartzite, microstructures and crystallographic fabrics record deformation in the dislocation creep regime, including dynamic recrystallization during decompression, and a transition from prism slip to activation of rhomb and basal slip that may be related to a decrease in water fugacity during decompression ( 2.5 to 1.5 GPa). Phengite, lawsonite, and omphacite or glaucophane in quartzite and metabasalt remained stable during deformation, and omphacite developed an L-type crystallographic fabric. In marble, aragonite developed columnar textures with strong crystallographic fabrics that persisted during partial to complete dynamic recrystallization that was likely achieved in the stability field of aragonite (P > 1.2 GPa). Results of kinematic vorticity analysis based on lawsonite shape fabrics are consistent with shear criteria in quartzite and metabasalt and indicate a large component of coaxial deformation in the exhuming channel beneath a simple shear dominated interface. This large coaxial component may have multiplied the exhuming power of the subduction channel and forced deeply subducted rocks to flow back from the point of no return.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Pararas-Carayannis


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

  6. Mineralogy, geochronology and geochemistry of early Triassic blueschists in the Lancang metamorphic zone of Southwest China: fingerprints of the Paleotethyan subduction (United States)

    Wang, Y.; Fan, W.; Zhang, Y.; Cai, Y.; Jourdan, M.


    The subduction of the Paleotethyan Ocean and subsequent continental collision along the Lancang tectonic belt of the southeastern Paleotethyan belt is a major tectonic event for Southwest China, but the timing of the subduction and associated thermal structure preceding the final collision are still unknown. The mafic blueschists exposed in the Lancang accretionary complex provide the crucial records of the kinematics and thermal dynamics for the subduction zone. In this paper, we present a set of new mineralogical, geochronological and geochemical data for the Xuyi blueschists and report the presence of high-pressure Na-amphibole in the Lancang metamorphic zone. The mineral assemblage of these blueschists consists of zoned sodic amphibole (25-30 %), albite (15-20 %), epidote (25-30 %), phengite (5-10 %), chlorite (~5-10 %), and minor amounts of actinolite, apatite, sphere, zircon, ilmenite, quartz and secondary limonite. They display a progressive metamorphism from ~0.5 GPa to ~0.9 GPa and retrograde metamorphic overprinting (back to ~0.6 GPa) within the temperature range 300-450°C. The glaucophane and phengite developed during progressive metamorphism yielded the Ar-Ar ages of 246-251 Ma, and the glaucophane overprinted by retrograde metamorphism gave the Ar-Ar plateau ages of 233.2 ×3.1 Ma. The Xuyi blueschists yielded the zircon U-Pb age of 254 × 3 Ma, and are compositionally identical to the subalkaline basalt with typical OIB-type REE and multi-elemental patterns and ɛNd(t) values of +3.35 to +4.85. Based on all the available data, it is inferred that the protolith originated from the basaltic seamount with shallow-marine carbonate cap in the Paleotethyan Ocean till 254 Ma. The seamounts subducted eastward down to 30-35 km depths beneath the Lincang arc and became metamorphosed to form the epidote blueschists at ~246 -251 Ma. The blueschists were subsequently transported to shallower crustal levels in response to the continuous underthrust of the

  7. Alteration and dehydration of subducting oceanic crust within subduction zones: implications for décollement step-down and plate-boundary seismogenesis (United States)

    Kameda, Jun; Inoue, Sayako; Tanikawa, Wataru; Yamaguchi, Asuka; Hamada, Yohei; Hashimoto, Yoshitaka; Kimura, Gaku


    The alteration and dehydration of predominantly basaltic subducting oceanic crustal material are thought to be important controls on the mechanical and hydrological properties of the seismogenic plate interface below accretionary prisms. This study focuses on pillow basalts exposed in an ancient accretionary complex within the Shimanto Belt of southwest Japan and provides new quantitative data that provide insight into clay mineral reactions and the associated dehydration of underthrust basalts. Whole-rock and clay-fraction X-ray diffraction analyses indicate that the progressive conversion of saponite to chlorite proceeds under an almost constant bulk-rock mineral assemblage. These clay mineral reactions may persist to deep crustal levels ( 320 °C), possibly contributing to the bulk dehydration of the basalt and supplying fluid to plate-boundary fault systems. This dehydration can also cause fluid pressurization at certain horizons within hydrous basalt sequences, eventually leading to fracturing and subsequent underplating of upper basement rock into the overriding accretionary prism. This dehydration-induced breakage of the basalt can explain variations in the thickness of accreted basalt fragments within accretionary prisms as well as the reported geochemical compositions of mineralized veins associated with exposed basalts in onland locations. This fracturing of intact basalt can also nucleate seismic rupturing that would subsequently propagate along seismogenic plate interfaces.[Figure not available: see fulltext.

  8. Phengite-hosted LILE enrichment in eclogite and related rocks: Implications for fluid-mediated mass transfer in subduction zones and arc magma genesis (United States)

    Sorensen, Sorena S.; Grossman, J.N.; Perfit, M.R.


    Geochemical differences between island arc basalts (LAB) and ocean-floor basalts (mid-ocean ridge basalts; MORB) suggest that the large-ion lithophile elements (LILE) K, Ba, Rb and Cs are probably mobilized in subduction zone fluids and melts. This study documents LILE enrichment of eclogite, amphibolite, and epidote ?? garnet blueschist tectonic blocks and related rocks from melanges of two subduction complexes. The samples are from six localities of the Franciscan Complex, California, and related terranes of Oregon and Baja California, and from the Samana Metamorphic Complex, Samana Peninsula, Dominican Republic. Most Franciscan blocks are MORB-like in their contents of rare earth elements (REE) and high field strength elements (HFSE); in contrast, most Samana blocks show an LAB signature of these elements. The whole-rock K2O contents of both groups range from 1 to 3 wt %; K, Ba, Rb, and Cs are all strongly intercorrelated. Many blocks display K/Ba similar to melasomatized transition zones and rinds at their outer margins. Some transition zones and rinds are enriched in LILE compared with host blocks; others are relatively depleted in these elements. Some LILE-rich blocks contain 'early' coarse-grained muscovite that is aligned in the foliation defined by coarse-grained omphacite or amphibole grains. Others display 'late' muscovite in veins and as a partial replacement of garnet; many contain both textural types. The muscovite is phengite that contains ???3??25-3??55 Si per 11 oxygens, and ???0??25-0??50 Mgper 11 oxygens. Lower-Si phengite has a significant paragonite component: Na per 11 oxygens ranges to ???0??12. Ba contents of phengite range to over 1 wt % (0??027 per 11 oxygens). Ba in phengite does not covary strongly with either Na or K. Ba contents of phengite increase from some blocks to their transition zones or rinds, or from blocks to their veins. Averaged KlBa ratios for phengite and host samples define an array which describes other subsamples of

  9. New Cascadia subduction zone tsunami inundation modeling to guide relocation of coastal infrastucture for Indian tribes on the northern Washington coast (United States)

    Walsh, T. J.; LeVeque, R. J.; Adams, L. M.; Schelling, J.; Gonzalez, F. I.; Cakir, R.


    There have been advances in understanding the potential for great tsunamigenic earthquakes on the Cascadia Subduction Zone, motivating an effort to update the assessment of tsunami hazards on the Washington coast. Fine resolution (1/3 arc-second) digital elevation models (DEMs) of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and northern Olympic Peninsula have recently been made available, and coastal Indian tribes (Quinault, Hoh, and Quileute) have made plans to move important infrastructure out of their tsunami hazard zones. We have made numerical simulations of tsunamis incident on the Quinault, Hoh, Quileute, and Makah Reservations and adjacent coast with the GeoClaw numerical model [] for a local tsunami generated by a 9.1M Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, designated L1 by Witter and others (DOGAMI Special Paper 43). This scenario is estimated to have `2% probability of nonexceedance in 50 years, which would be comparable to the International Building Code standard for seismic loading on structures of high importance, and provides appropriate guidance to the affected communities for siting of their significant infrastructure.

  10. Source characteristics of moderate size events using empirical Green funclions: an application to some Guerrero (Mexico subduction zone earthquakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. K. Singh


    Full Text Available The records of an aftershock (M ~ 4 of a moderate size event (M = 5.9 which occurred along the subduction zone of Guerrero (Mexico, are used as empirical Green functions (EGF to determine the source characteristics of the mainshock and of its smaller size (M = 5.5 foreshock. The data consist of accelerograms recorded by the Guerrero Accelerograph Array, a high dynamic range strong motion array. The three events appear to be located close to each other at distances much smaller than the source to receiver distances. The fault mechanism of the mainshock is computed by non-linear inversion of P polarity readings and S wave polarizations determined at two near source stations. The foreshock and aftershock fault mechanisms are similar to that of the mainshock as inferred from long period data and shear wave polarization analysis. The maximum likelihood solution is well constrained, indicating a typical shallow dipping thrust fault mechanism, with the P-axis approximately oriented in a SSW direction. The source time functions (STFs of the mainshock and foreshock events are determined using a new method of deconvolution of the EGF records at three strong motion sites. In this method the STF of the large event is approximated by a superposition of pseudo triangular pulses whose parameters are determined by a non-linear inversion in frequency domain. The source time function of the mainshock shows the presence of two separate pulses, which can be related to multiple rupture episodes. The relative location of mainshock sub-events is done by using plots of isochrones computed from measurementes of the time delay between pulses on the STF records at each station. The first sub-event is located no more than 2.5-3 km away from the other along the fault strike. The STF retrieved from foreshock records shows single pulse waveforms. The computed STFs are used to estimate seismic moments, source radii and stress release of the events assuming a circular fault

  11. Recycling of volatiles at subduction zones: Noble gas evidence from the Tabar-Lihir-Tanga-Feni arc of papua New Guinea (United States)

    Farley, Kenneth; Mcinnes, Brent; Patterson, Desmond


    Convergent margin processes play an important but poorly understood role in the distribution of terrestrial volatile species. For example, subduction processes filter volatiles from the subducting package, thereby restricting their return to the mantle. In addition, once extracted from the downgoing slab, volatiles become an essential component in the petrogenesis of island arc magmas. The noble gases, with their systematic variation in physical properties and diversity of radiogenic isotopes, should carry a uniquely valuable record of these processes. However, thus far studies of noble gases in arc volcanics have achieved only limited success in this regard. Subduction-related lavas and geothermal fluids carry (3)He/(4)He ratios equal to or slightly lower than those found in the depleted upper mantle source of mid-ocean ridge basalts. Apparently slab-derived helium (which should have (3)He/(4)He much less than MORB) is extensively diluted by MORB-like helium from the mantle wedge, making it difficult to use helium as a tracer of convergent margin processes. Interpretation of the heavier noble gases (Ne-Ar-Kr-Xe) in arc lavas has also proven difficult, because the lavas carry low noble gas concentrations and hence are subject to pervasive atmospheric contamination. The low noble gas concentrations may be a consequence of degassing in the high level magma chambers characteristic of arc stratovolcanos. We have recently initiated a project to better constrain the behavior of volatiles in subduction zones through geochemical studies of the tectonically unusual volcanoes of the Tabar-Lihir-Tanga-Feni (TLTF) arc in the Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea.

  12. Geodetic displacements and aftershocks following the 2001 Mw = 8.4 Peru earthquake: Implications for the mechanics of the earthquake cycle along subduction zones (United States)

    Perfettini, H.; Avouac, J.-P.; Ruegg, J.-C.


    We analyzed aftershocks and postseismic deformation recorded by the continuous GPS station AREQ following the Mw = 8.4, 23 June 2001 Peru earthquake. This station moved by 50 cm trenchward, in a N235°E direction during the coseismic phase, and continued to move in the same direction for an additional 15 cm over the next 2 years. We compare observations with the prediction of a simple one-dimensional (1-D) system of springs, sliders, and dashpot loaded by a constant force, meant to simulate stress transfer during the seismic cycle. The model incorporates a seismogenic fault zone, obeying rate-weakening friction, a zone of deep afterslip, the brittle creep fault zone (BCFZ) obeying rate-strengthening friction, and a zone of viscous flow at depth, the ductile fault zone (DFZ). This simple model captures the main features of the temporal evolution of seismicity and deformation. Our results imply that crustal strain associated with stress accumulation during the interseismic period is probably not stationary over most of the interseismic period. The BCFZ appears to control the early postseismic response (afterslip and aftershocks), although an immediate increase, by a factor of about 1.77, of ductile shear rate is required, placing constraints on the effective viscosity of the DFZ. Following a large subduction earthquake, displacement of inland sites is trenchward in the early phase of the seismic cycle and reverse to landward after a time ti for which an analytical expression is given. This study adds support to the view that the decay rate of aftershocks may be controlled by reloading due to deep afterslip. Given the ratio of preseismic to postseismic viscous creep, we deduce that frictional stresses along the subduction interface account for probably 70% of the force transmitted along the plate interface.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean Toczko


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

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

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


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

  15. Seismicity and the subduction process (United States)

    Ruff, L.; Kanamori, H.


    There is considerable variation between subduction zones in the largest characteristic earthquake within each zone. Assuming that coupling between downgoing and upper plates is directly related to characteristic earthquake size, tests for correlations between variation in coupling and other physical features of subduction zones are conducted: the lateral extent and penetration depth of Benioff zones, age of subducting lithosphere, convergence rate, and back-arc spreading. Using linear multivariate regression, coupling is correlated with two variables: convergence rate and lithosphere age. Secondary correlations within the data set are penetration depth versus lithosphere age, and lateral extent versus convergence rate. Taken together, the observed correlations suggest a simple qualitative model where convergence rate and lithosphere age determine the horizontal and sinking rates, respectively, of slabs: these parameters influence the seismic coupling in the subduction zone. In the limit of a fast sinking rate and slow convergence rate, back-arc spreading occurs and thereby appears to be a passive process.

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

    Zhang, Nan; Li, Zheng-Xiang


    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.

  17. School Zone: Learning Environments for Children. (United States)

    Taylor, Anne P.; Vlastos, George

    Architectural solutions to some educational problems are explored and a systematic method is presented for designing schools as learning environments for children. Classroom environments and outdoor play areas are considered as functional art forms and seen as three-dimensional textbooks. The book demonstrates a way of using curriculum as a design…

  18. Gravity and Magnetic Anomaly Interpretations and 2.5D Cross-Section Models over the Border Ranges Fault System and Aleutian Subduction Zone, Alaska (United States)

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


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

  19. The Role of Chaotic Dynamics in the Cooling of Magmatic Systems in Subduction Related Environment (United States)

    Petrelli, M.; El Omari, K.; Le Guer, Y.; Perugini, D.


    Understanding the dynamics occurring during the thermo-chemical evolution of igneous bodies is of crucial importance in both petrology and volcanology. This is particularly true in subduction related systems where large amount of magmas start, and sometime end, their differentiation histories at mid and lower crust levels. These magmas play a fundamental role in the evolution of both plutonic and volcanic systems but several key questions are still open about their thermal and chemical evolution: 1) what are the dynamics governing the development of these magmatic systems, 2) what are the timescales of cooling, crystallization and chemical differentiation; 4) how these systems contribute to the evolution of shallower magmatic systems? Recent works shed light on the mechanisms acting during the growing of new magmatic bodies and it is now accepted that large crustal igneous bodies result from the accretion and/or amalgamation of smaller ones. What is lacking now is how fluid dynamics of magma bodies can influence the evolution of these igneous systems. In this contribution we focus on the thermo-chemical evolution of a subduction related magmatic system at pressure conditions corresponding to mid-crustal levels (0.7 GPa, 20-25 km). In order to develop a robust model and address the Non-Newtonian behavior of crystal bearing magmas, we link the numerical formulation of the problem to experimental results and rheological modeling. We define quantitatively the thermo-chemical evolution of the system and address the timing required to reach the maximum packing fraction. We will shows that the development of chaotic dynamics significantly speed up the crystallization process decreasing the time needed to reach the maximum packing fraction. Our results have important implications for both the rheological history of the magmatic body and the refilling of shallower magmatic systems.

  20. An exploratory study for rapid estimation of critical source parameters of great subduction-zone earthquakes in Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Singh, S. K; Perez-Campos, X, Iglesias, A; Pacheco, J. F [Instituto de Geofisica, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico D.F. (Mexico)


    The rapid and reliable estimation of moment magnitude M{sub w}, location, and size of rupture area, and radiated energy E{sub s} of great Mexican subduction zone earthquakes is critical for a quick assessment of tsunami and/or damage potential of the event and for issuing an early tsunami alert. To accomplish this goal, the Mexican broadband seismic network needs to be supplemented by permanent GPS stations along the Pacific coast, spaced about 65 km apart or less. The data from the GPS network must be transmitted to a central location and processed in near-real time to track the position of the stations. Assuming that this can be implemented, we develop a procedure for near-real time estimation of the critical source parameters. We demonstrate the viability of the procedure by processing near-source GPS data and regional seismograms for the earthquakes of Colima-Jalisco in 1995 (M{sub w}=8.0) and Sumatra-Andaman in 2004 (M{sub w}=9.0-9.3). The procedure yields estimates of M{sub w} and E{sub s} in excellent agreement with those reported from earlier solutions. In the case of the Colima-Jalisco earthquake, the estimated location and size of rupture area agree with that mapped from aftershock locations. Presently, there are 13 permanent GPS stations along the Pacific coast of Mexico with an average spacing of {approx}200 km which operate in an autonomous mode. It is urgent to increase the number of stations to {>=}28 thus decreasing the spacing of stations to {<=}65 km. Data must be transmitted in near-real time to a central station to track the position of the stations, preferably every second. [Spanish] Para una estimacion oportuna del potencial de dano y tsunami asociado a los grandes temblores de subduccion en Mexico, resulta critica la determinacion rapida y confiable de parametros sismologicos como lo son la magnitud de momento (M{sub w}), la energia sismica radiada (E{sub s}) y la localizacion y el tamano de la ruptura. Para alcanzar este objetivo, la red

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

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


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

  2. High resolution earthquake source mechanisms in a subduction zone: 3-D waveform simulations of aftershocks from the 2010 Mw 8.8 Chile rupture (United States)

    Hicks, Stephen; Rietbrock, Andreas


    The earthquake rupture process is extremely heterogeneous. For subduction zone earthquakes in particular, it is vital to understand how structural variations in the overriding plate and downgoing slab may control slip style. The large-scale 3-D geometry of subduction plate boundaries is rapidly becoming well understood (e.g. Hayes et al., 2012); however, the nature of slip style along any finer-scale structures remains elusive. Regional earthquake moment tensor (RMT) inversion can shed light on faulting mechanisms. However, many traditional regional moment tensor inversions use simplified (1-D) Earth models (e.g. Agurto et al., 2012; Hayes et al., 2013) that only use the lowest frequency parts of the waveform, which may mask source complexity. As a result, we may have to take care when making small-scale interpretations about the causative fault and its slip style. This situation is compounded further by strong lateral variations in subsurface geology, as well as poor station coverage for recording offshore subduction earthquakes. A formal assessment of the resolving capability of RMT inversions in subduction zones is challenging and the application of 3-D waveform simulation techniques in highly heterogeneous media is needed. We generate 3-D waveform simulations of aftershocks from a large earthquake that struck Chile in 2010. The Mw 8.8 Maule earthquake is the sixth largest earthquake ever recorded. Following the earthquake, there was an international deployment of seismic stations in the rupture area, making this one of the best observed aftershock sequences to date. We therefore have a unique opportunity to compare recorded waveforms with simulated waveforms for many earthquakes, shedding light on the effect of 3-D heterogeneity on source imaging. We perform forward simulations using the spectral element wave propagation code, SPEFEM3D (e.g. Komatitsch et al., 2010) for a set of moderate-sized aftershocks (Mw 4.0-5.5). A detailed knowledge of velocity structure

  3. Core-Log-Seismic Integrative Study of a Subduction Zone Megasplay Fault -An Example from the Nobeoka Thrust, Shimanto Belt, Southwest Japan (United States)

    Hamahashi, M.; Tsuji, T.; Saito, S.; Tanikawa, W.; Hamada, Y.; Hashimoto, Y.; Kimura, G.


    Investigating the mechanical properties and deformation patterns of megathrusts in subduction zones is important to understand the generation of large earthquakes. The Nobeoka Thrust, a fossilized megasplay fault in Kyushu Shimanto Belt, southwest Japan, exposes foliated fault rocks that were formed under the temperature range of 180-350° (Kondo et al., 2005). During the Nobeoka Thrust Drilling Project (2011), core samples and geophysical logging data were obtained recovering a continuous distribution of multiple fault zones, which provide the opportunity to examine their structure and physical properties in various scales (Hamahashi et al., 2013; 2015). By performing logging data analysis, discrete sample physical property measurements, and synthetic modeling of seismic reflections along the Nobeoka Thrust, we conducted core-log-seismic integrative study to characterize the effects of damage zone architecture and structural anisotropy towards the physical properties of the megasplay. A clear contrast in physical properties across the main fault core and surrounding damage zones were identified, where the fault rocks preserve the porosity of 4.8% in the hanging wall and 7.6% in the footwall, and P-wave velocity of 4.8 km/s and 4.2 km/s, respectively. Multiple sandstone-rich- and shale-rich damage zones were found from the drilled cores, in which velocity decreases significantly in the brecciated zones. The internal structure of these foliated fault rocks consist of heterogeneous lithology and texture, and velocity anisotropy ranges 1-18% (P-wave) and 1.5-80% (S-wave), affected by structural dip angle, foliation density, and sandstone/mudstone ratio. To evaluate the fault properties at the seismogenic depth, we developed velocity/earth models and synthetic modeling of seismic reflection using acoustic logs across the thrust and parameterized lithological and structural elements in the identified multiple damage zones.

  4. Evolving metasomatic agent in the Northern Andean subduction zone, deduced from magma composition of the long-lived Pichincha volcanic complex (Ecuador) (United States)

    Samaniego, Pablo; Robin, Claude; Chazot, Gilles; Bourdon, Erwan; Cotten, Joseph


    Geochemical studies of long-lived volcanic complexes are crucial for the understanding of the nature and composition of the subduction component of arc magmatism. The Pichincha Volcanic Complex (Northern Andean Volcanic Zone) consists of: (1) an old, highly eroded edifice, the Rucu Pichincha, whose lavas are mostly andesites, erupted from 1,100 to 150 ka; and (2) a younger, essentially dacitic, Guagua Pichincha composite edifice, with three main construction phases (Basal Guagua Pichincha, Toaza, and Cristal) which developed over the last 60 ka. This structural evolution was accompanied by a progressive increase of most incompatible trace element abundances and ratios, as well as by a sharp decrease of fluid-mobile to fluid-immobile element ratios. Geochemical data indicate that fractional crystallization of an amphibole-rich cumulate may account for the evolution from the Guagua Pichincha andesites to dacites. However, in order to explain the transition between the Rucu Pichincha andesites and Guagua Pichincha dacites, the mineralogical and geochemical data indicate the predominance of magma mixing processes between a mafic, trace-element depleted, mantle-derived end-member, and a siliceous, trace-element enriched, adakitic end-member. The systematic variation of trace element abundances and ratios in primitive samples leads us to propose that the Rucu Pichincha magmas came from a hydrous-fluid metasomatized mantle wedge, whereas Guagua Pichincha magmas are related to partial melting of a siliceous-melt metasomatized mantle. This temporal evolution implies a change from dehydration to partial melting of the slab, which may be associated with an increase in the geothermal gradient along the slab due to the presence of the subducted Carnegie Ridge at the subduction system. This work emphasizes the importance of studying arc-magma systems over long periods of time (of at least 1 million of years), in order to evaluate the potential variations of the slab contribution

  5. Discovery of the early Jurassic Gajia mélange in the Bangong-Nujiang suture zone: Southward subduction of the Bangong-Nujiang Ocean? (United States)

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


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

  6. Small repeating earthquake activity, interplate quasi-static slip, and interplate coupling in the Hyuga-nada, southwestern Japan subduction zone (United States)

    Yamashita, Yusuke; Shimizu, Hiroshi; Goto, Kazuhiko


    Small repeating earthquake (RE) analysis is a useful method for estimating interplate quasi-static slip, which is a good indicator of interplate coupling. We detected 170 continual-type interplate RE groups and then estimated the spatial variation in quasi-static slip in the Hyuga-nada over the past 17 years. The RE activity in this region has different characteristics compared with that in the northeast Japan subduction zone, presumably reflecting differences in the subduction properties. Our results revealed that interplate coupling spatially changes along the trench-axis and dip-direction—a phenomenon that cannot be resolved by land-based Global Positioning System (GPS) analysis. By comparing seismicity, the low-slip-rate areas correspond with the location of hypocenters and asperities for large- and moderate-sized interplate earthquakes, suggesting strong interplate coupling at these sites. These results indicate that the slip rate distribution estimated from RE activity is reliable and useful for assessing the potential of future large earthquakes.

  7. The Calabrian subduction zone (Ionian Sea): Historical seismicity and a new review of the system from multi-channel seismic data (United States)

    Gallais, Flora; Gutscher, Marc-Andre; Torelli, Luigi; Polonia, Alina; Graindorge, David


    The Calabrian subduction zone is included in the long W-E elongated compressive South Mediterranean belt. This subduction is located in the complex Central Mediterranean area and accommodates the African/Eurasian convergence at very slow rates (thrusts events characteristic of active subduction have been recorded during the instrumental era. However, the South Calabrian/East Sicilian region is well-known to have been affected by strong historical seismicity with Mercalli intensities reaching XI. The sources of these events is often linked to the activity of crustal, normal faults in the Calabrian region: 1638, 1783, 1905. Furthermore, important details of the Messina 1908 earthquake (72000 killed) and tsunami remain unresolved, in particular the origin of the tsunami (fault induced or submarine landslide). Moreover, the origin of two of the most destructive earthquakes (1169 and 1693) remains enigmatic. For the 1169 and 1693 (60000 killed and 5 to 10 m tsunami wave) Catania earthquakes, the source faults are the subject of debate and linked alternatively to the activity of the Malta escarpment or of the subduction fault plane (because the isoseismals are open to the sea). In this case, the 1169 earthquake which had similar intensities and a comparable isoseismal pattern, is suggested to have the same source and so the fault plane may have be locked between these two events. To better understand the origins of the 1169 and 1693 major events and seek evidence of activity of Calabrian system, we present new results from reprocessed 96-channels seismic reflection profiles (French Archimede cruise, 1997) offshore Sicily. Interpretation of the seismic dataset is based on correlations with published seismic data and with ESP results and allows us to identify the following thick sedimentary cover (>5km) in the Ionian Abyssal Plain overlying an oceanic crust: Mesozoic (1400 to 1800m) and Tertiary (~1800m) sequences, a Messinian unit (1400m) and the Plio-Quaternary deposits

  8. Key role of Upper Mantle rocks in Alpine type orogens: some speculations derived from extensional settings for subduction zone processes and mountain roots (United States)

    Müntener, Othmar


    Orogenic architecture and mountain roots are intrinsically related. Understanding mountain roots largely depends on geophysical methods and exhumed high pressure and high temperature rocks that might record snapshots of the temporal evolution at elevated pressure, temperatures and/or fluid pulses. If such high pressure rocks represent ophiolitic material they are commonly interpreted as exhumed remnants of some sort of 'mid-ocean ridge' processes. Mantle peridotites and their serpentinized counterparts thus play a key role in understanding orogenic architecture as they are often considered to track suture zones or ancient plate boundaries. The recognition that some mantle peridotites and their serpentinized counterparts are derived from ocean-continent transition zones (OCT's) or non-steady state (ultra-)slow plate separation systems question a series of 'common beliefs' that have been applied to understand Alpine-type collisional orogens in the framework of the ophiolite concept. Among these are: (i) the commonly held assumption of a simple genetic link between mantle melting and mafic (MORB-type) magmatism, (ii) the commonly held assumption that mélange zones represent deep subduction zone processes at the plate interface, (iii) that pre-collisional continental crust and oceanic crust can easily be reconstructed to their original thickness and used for reconstructions of the size of small subducted oceanic basins as geophysical data from rifted margins increasingly indicate that continental crust is thinned to much less than the average 30-35 kilometers over a large area that might be called the 'zone of hyperextension', and (iv) the lack of a continuous sheet of mafic oceanic crust and the extremely short time interval of formation results in a lack of 'eclogitization potential' during convergence and hence a lack of potential for subsequent slab pull and, perhaps, a lack of potential for 'slab-breakoff'. Here we provide a synopsis of mantle rocks from the

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

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


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

  10. A discussion of numerical subduction initiation (United States)

    Buiter, Susanne; Ellis, Susan


    if subduction can numerically initiate. However, once a setup has been found that successfully initiates subduction, a small change in either rheology or geometry can again lead to subduction initiation failure. We will discuss subduction setups that have been known to fail and how to avoid them, thus potentially leading to successful recipes for numerical subduction initiation. A further point we will discuss is how the geometry of weak zones and pre-existing slabs that are used to initiate a subduction model can impact subsequent subduction style and velocity. For example, using simple linear viscous subduction models we find that initiation along shallow initial pre-existing weak zones and/or pre-existing slabs results in shallow, forward dipping slabs, whereas steep initial dip angles lead to steep slab dips and an overturned slab.

  11. Cycling of sulfur in subduction zones: The geochemistry of sulfur in the Mariana Island Arc and back-arc trough (United States)

    Alt, J.C.; Shanks, Wayne C.; Jackson, M.C.


    The sulfur contents and sulfur isotopic compositions of 24 glassy submarine volcanics from the Mariana Island Arc and back-arc Mariana Trough were determined in order to investigate the hypothesis that subducted seawater sulfur (??34S = 21???) is recycled through arc volcanism. Our results for sulfur are similar to those for subaerial arc volcanics: Mariana Arc glasses are enriched in 34S (??34S = up to 10.3???, mean = 3.8???) and depleted in S (20-290 ppm, mean = 100 ppm) relative to MORB (850 ppm S, ??34S = 0.1 ?? 0.5???). The back-arc trough basalts contain 200-930 ppm S and have ??34S values of 1.1 ?? 0.5???, which overlap those for the arc and MORB. The low sulfur contents of the arc and some of the trough glasses are attributed to (1) early loss of small amounts of sulfur through separation of immiscible sulfide and (2) later vapor-melt equilibrium control of sulfur contents and loss of sulfur in a vapor phase from sulfide-undersaturated melts near the minimum in sulfur solubility at f{hook}O2 ??? NNO (nickel-nickel oxide). Although these processes removed sulfur from the melts their effects on the sulfur isotopic compositions of the melts were minimal. Positive trends of ??34S with 87Sr 86Sr, LILE and LREE contents of the arc volcanics are consistent with a metasomatic seawater sulfur component in the depleted sub-arc mantle source. The lack of a 34S-rich slab signature in the trough lavas may be attributed to equilibration of metasomatic fluid with mantle material along the longer pathway from the slab to the source of the trough volcanics. Sulfur is likely to have been transported into the mantle wedge by metasomatic fluid derived from subducted sediments and pore fluids. Gases extracted from vesicles in arc and back-arc samples are predominantly H2O, with minor CO2 and traces of H2S and SO2. CO2 in the arc and back-arc rocks has ??13C values of -2.1 to -13.1???, similar to MORB. These data suggest that degassing of CO2 could explain the slightly lower

  12. Crustal structure and configuration of the subducting Philippine Sea plate beneath the Pacific coast industrial zone in Japan inferred from receiver function analysis (United States)

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


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

  13. Insights into a fossil plate interface of an erosional subduction zone: a tectono-metamorphic study of the Tianshan metamorphic belt. (United States)

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


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

  14. Late Cretaceous dacitic dykes swarm from Central Iran, a trace for amphibolite melting in a subduction zone (United States)

    Nosouhian, N.; Torabi, G.; Arai, S.


    Late Cretaceous Bayazeh dyke swarm is situated in the western part of the Central-East Iranian Microcontinent (CEIM). These dykes with a dominant northeast-southwest trend occur in the Eastern margin of the Yazd block. They cross cut the Lower Cretaceous sedimentary rocks. The length of the Bayazeh dykes occasionally reaches up to the 2 km. Rock forming minerals of these dykes are plagioclase (andesine and oligoclase), amphibole (magnesio-hastingsitic hornblende, magnesio-hornblende and tschermakitic hornblende), quartz, K-feldspar (orthoclase), zircon and apatite. Secondary minerals are chlorite (pycnochlorite), albite, magnetite and calcite. The main textures are porphyritic, glomeroporphyritic and poikilitic. The felsic character of the Bayazeh dacitic dykes is shown by their high SiO2 (62.70 to 64.60 wt %) and low [Fe2O3* + MgO + MnO + TiO2] (average 4.64 wt %) contents. These dykes represent the peraluminous to metaluminous nature and their Na2O and K2O values are 5.20-7.14 and 1.51-2.59 wt %, respectively, which reveal their sodic chemistry. The trace element characteristics are the LREE enrichment relative to HREE, [La/Yb]CN = 13.27-22.99, and slightly negative or positive Eu anomaly. These geochemical characteristics associated with low Nb/La (0.16-0.25), Yb/Nd (0.04-0.05) and high Zr/Sm (37.60-58.25) ratios indicate that the melting of a metamorphosed subducted oceanic crust is occurred where the residual mineral assemblage is dominated by garnet amphibolite. The chemical compositions of the Bayazeh dykes resemble those of slab-derived tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) series. They were formed by subduction of Mesozoic Neo-Tethys -related Nain and Ashin oceanic crusts.

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

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


    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. State of stress and crustal fluid migration related to west-dipping structures in the slab-forearc system in the northern Chilean subduction zone (United States)

    Salazar, P.; Kummerow, J.; Wigger, P.; Shapiro, S.; Asch, G.


    Previous studies in the forearc of the northern Chilean subduction zone have identified important tectonic features in the upper crust. As a result of these works, the West Fissure Fault System (WFFS) has recently been imaged using microseismic events. The WFFS is the westward-dipping, sharp lower boundary of the northern Chilean forearc and is geometrically opposed to subduction of the Nazca plate. The present article builds on this previous work and is novel in that it characterizes this structure's stress distribution using focal mechanisms and stress tensor analysis. The results of the stress tensor analysis show that the state of stress in the WFFS is related to its strike-slip tectonic context and likely represents a manifestation of local forces associated with the highest areas in the Andes. Two seismic clusters have also been identified; these clusters may be associated with a blind branch of the WFFS. We studied these clusters in order to determine their sources and possible connection with fluid migration across the upper plate. We observed that the two clusters differ from one another in some regards. The central cluster has characteristics consistent with an earthquake swarm with two clearly identifiable phases. Conversely, the SW cluster has a clear main shock associated with it, and it can be separated into two subclusters (A and A΄). In contrast, similarities among the two clusters suggest that the clusters may have a common origin. The b-values for both clusters are characteristic of tectonic plate boundaries. The spatial spreading, which is approximately confined to one plane, reflects progressive growth of the main fracture underlying the swarm and subcluster A. We also find that earthquakes themselves trigger aftershocks near the borders of their rupture areas. In addition, the spatio-temporal migration of hypocentres, as well as their spatial correlation with areas that are interpreted to be fluid migration zones, suggest that there is a close

  17. Fast Identification of Near-Trench Earthquakes Along the Mexican Subduction Zone Based on Characteristics of Ground Motion in Mexico City (United States)

    Perez-Campos, X.; Singh, S. K.; Arroyo, D.; Rodríguez, Q.; Iglesias, A.


    The disastrous 1985 Michoacan earthquake gave rise to a seismic alert system for Mexico City which became operational in 1991. Initially limited to earthquakes along the Guerrero coast, the system now has a much wider coverage. Also, the 2004 Sumatra earthquake exposed the need for a tsunami early warning along the Mexican subduction zone. A fast identification of near-trench earthquakes along this zone may be useful in issuing a reliable early tsunami alert. The confusion caused by low PGA for the magnitude of an earthquake, leading to "missed" seismic alert, would be averted if its near-trench origin can be quickly established. It may also help reveal the spatial extent and degree of seismic coupling on the near-trench portion of the plate interface. This would lead to a better understanding of tsunami potential and seismic hazard along the Mexican subduction zone. We explore three methods for quick detection of near-trench earthquakes, testing them on recordings of 65 earthquakes at station CU in Mexico City (4.8 ≤Mw≤8.0; 270≤R≤615 km). The first method is based on the ratio of total to high-frequency energy, ER (Shapiro et al., 1998). The second method is based on parameter Sa*(6) which is the pseudo-acceleration response spectrum with 5% damping, Sa, at 6 s normalized by the PGA. The third parameter is the PGA residual, RESN, at CU, with respect to a newly-derived ground motion prediction equation at CU for coastal shallow-dipping thrust earthquakes following a bayesian approach. Since the near-trench earthquakes are relatively deficient in high-frequency radiation, we expect ER and Sa*(6) to be relatively large and RESN to be negative for such events. Tests on CU recordings show that if ER ≥ 100 and/or Sa*(6) ≥ 0.70, then the earthquake is near trench; for these events RESN ≤ 0. Such an event has greater tsunami potential. Few misidentifications and missed events are most probably a consequence of poor location, although unusual depth and source

  18. High-pressure mafic oceanic rocks from the Makbal Complex, Tianshan Mountains (Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan): Implications for the metamorphic evolution of a fossil subduction zone (United States)

    Meyer, Melanie; Klemd, Reiner; Konopelko, Dmitry


    The Makbal Complex in the western Tianshan Mountains of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan consists of HP/UHP metasedimentary host rocks which enclose various HP mafic blocks or boudins. These mafic rocks comprise rare eclogites (sensu stricto and sensu lato), garnet amphibolites (retrograded eclogites) and a newly discovered glaucophanite (glaucophane-garnet-omphacite bearing rock). So far the Makbal Complex has been interpreted to predominantly consist of continental lithologies and the mafic rocks were considered as dismembered dikes intruding continental metasediments. This interpretation is mainly based on the geological relationship and bulk rock chemistry of the different rock types. It was further suggested that the continental lithologies of the Makbal Complex underwent eclogite-facies metamorphism in a former subduction zone. In the present study we combined conventional geothermometry, P-T pseudosection modeling and major and trace element whole rock geochemistry for different mafic samples (glaucophanite and eclogites (sensu lato)) in order to shed light on both the metamorphic evolution and the protoliths of the mafic HP rocks in the Makbal Complex. Prograde to peak-pressure clockwise P-T paths of glaucophanite and eclogites (sensu lato) were modeled using garnet isopleth thermobarometry. The results show that the glaucophanite and eclogite (sensu lato) samples experienced similar prograde P-T paths and slightly different peak metamorphic conditions at ~ 560 °C at 2.4 GPa for the former and between ~ 520 °C at 2.2 GPa and ~ 555 °C at ~ 2.5 GPa for the latter, corresponding to burial depths between 70 and 85 km. Whole rock major and trace element analyses and petrological evidence imply that the various rock types at the Makbal Complex most likely originated from different precursor rocks. Eclogites (sensu lato) are believed to represent strongly retrogressed former eclogite-facies rocks that had never been eclogites (sensu stricto, i.e. > 70 vol.% garnet and

  19. Long-term Ocean Bottom Monitoring for Shallow Slow Earthquakes in the Hyuga-nada, Nankai Subduction Zone (United States)

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


    The Hyuga-nada region, nearby the western end of the Nankai Trough in Japan, is one of the most active areas of shallow slow earthquakes in the world. Recently, ocean-bottom observation of offshore seismicity near the trench succeeded in detecting shallow tremor. The observed traces contained a complete episode lasting for one month exhibiting similar migration property of deep tremor [Yamashita et al., 2015]. This activity was associated with shallow very-low-frequency earthquake (VLFE) activity documented by land-based broadband seismic network. The coincidence between tremor and VLFE activities and similarity of their migration pattern show strong resemblance with the episodic tremor and slip episodes; this similarity suggests that the tremor activity in the shallow plate boundary may also be coupled with VLFE and short-term slow slip events in this area. It is important clarifying the seismicity including slow earthquakes to understand the slip behavior at a shallow plate boundary, and to improve assessments of the possibility of tsunamigenic megathrust earthquake that is anticipated to occur at the Nankai Trough. Motivated by these issues, we started long-term ocean-bottom monitoring in this area from May 2014 using 3 broadband and 7 short-period seismometers. In January 2015, we replaced the instruments and obtained the first data which includes minor shallow tremor and VLFE activity on June 1-3, 2014. Preliminary results of data processing show that the shallow tremor activity occurred at the northwestern part of the 2013 activity. The location corresponds the point where the tremors stopped migrating to further north direction and turned sharply eastward in the 2013 activity. On the other hand, clear tremor migration was not found in the 2014 activity. This local activity may imply that regional/small-scale heterogeneous structures such as a subducting sea mount affect the activity pattern. During the 2014 observation, many ordinary earthquakes also

  20. Microstructures and petro-fabrics of lawsonite blueschist in the North Qilian suture zone, NW China: Implications for seismic anisotropy of subducting oceanic crust (United States)

    Cao, Yi; Jung, Haemyeong; Song, Shuguang


    We conducted a detailed study on the microstructures and petro-fabrics of massive and foliated lawsonite blueschist (LBS) in North Qilian suture zone, NW China. The lattice preferred orientation (LPO) of glaucophane and lawsonite in foliated lawsonite blueschist (LBS) is considered to be dominantly formed by the deformation mechanism of dislocation creep and rigid-body rotation, respectively. The LPO of glaucophane is mainly characterized by the [001] axis aligning parallel to lineation and the [100] axis and (110) pole plunging perpendicular to foliation. In contrast, the LPO of lawsonite features the maximum [010] axis concentrated close to lineation and the [001] axis strongly clustered normal to foliation. The preferred orientation of [010] axis of lawsonite parallel to lineation is supported by a two-dimensional numerical modeling using the finite-volume method (FVM). The mineral LPOs are much stronger in foliated LBS than in massive LBS. In addition, a kinematic vorticity analysis suggests that both pure shear dominant (Wm = 0.18-0.26) and simple shear dominant (Wm = 0.86-0.93) deformation regimes are present in foliated LBS. The [001] axis and (010) pole of glaucophane, and the [100] and [010] axes of lawsonite, tend to distribute in a foliation-parallel girdle in the pure shear dominant samples, but simple shear dominant samples display more lineation-parallel concentrations of a [001] axis of glaucophane and a [010] axis of lawsonite. Because the whole-rock seismic anisotropies in foliated LBS are significantly higher than those in massive LBS and a counteracting effect on seismic anisotropies occurs between glaucophane and lawsonite, the delay time of fast S-wave polarization anisotropy induced by an actual subducting oceanic crust with a high subducting angle (> 45-60°) is expected to range from 0.03 to 0.09 s (lower bound for massive LBS) and from 0.1 to 0.3 s (upper bound for foliated epidote blueschist).

  1. Organic matter subducted to the seasonal thermocline supports summertime heterotrophy in the lower euphotic zone of the North Atlantic subtropical gyre (United States)

    Chen, H.


    In the oligotrophic subtropical gyre of the North Atlantic, summertime surface drawdown of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and build-up of oxygen (O2) in the absence of nutrients to support primary productivity has been an unresolved puzzle for decades. We use 4 years of biogeochemical data from profiling floats in the northwestern subtropical North Atlantic and 24 years of bottle samples from the BATS timeseries to address this puzzle. We show that oxygen-rich, low-nitrate surface waters are subducted into the seasonal thermocline after the spring bloom. These waters are trapped on isopyncals that are progressively displaced downward over the season. Because of this downward displacement, a 50-100m depth-integrated O2 anomaly appears at an average rate of 1.64 ± 0.60 mol/m2 from May to October. Similarly and apparent nitrate loss occurs at an average rate of -0.028 ± 0.022 mol/m2. Organic matter is also subducted to these isopycnals and its remineralization counters the tendencies towards oxygen build-up and nitrate loss in the lower euphotic zone. This compensation, however, is incomplete (70-80%). The result is a positive rate of change in the O2 anomaly from May to October (0.32 ± 0.15 mol/m2) despite net heterotrophy. For Bermuda, 30-50% of positive net community production (NCP) within the mixed layer could be supported by vertical supply of the nutrients remineralized at 50-100m.

  2. Modeling the seismic cycle in subduction zones: The role and spatiotemporal occurrence of off-megathrust earthquakes

    KAUST Repository

    van Dinther, Y.


    Shallow off-megathrust subduction events are important in terms of hazard assessment and coseismic energy budget. Their role and spatiotemporal occurrence, however, remain poorly understood. We simulate their spontaneous activation and propagation using a newly developed 2-D, physically consistent, continuum, viscoelastoplastic seismo-thermo-mechanical modeling approach. The characteristics of simulated normal events within the outer rise and splay and normal antithetic events within the wedge resemble seismic and seismological observations in terms of location, geometry, and timing. Their occurrence agrees reasonably well with both long-term analytical predictions based on dynamic Coulomb wedge theory and short-term quasi-static stress changes resulting from the typically triggering megathrust event. The impact of off-megathrust faulting on the megathrust cycle is distinct, as more both shallower and slower megathrust events arise due to occasional off-megathrust triggering and increased updip locking. This also enhances tsunami hazards, which are amplified due to the steeply dipping fault planes of especially outer rise events.

  3. 2009 Slow Slip Event under the Northeast Taiwan at the Backarc Extension of the Ryukyu Subduction Zone from Continuous GPS Data (United States)

    Ching, K. E.; Rau, R. J.; Wang, K.; Peng, Z.; Wang, Y. J.


    A slow-slip event is detected from June 2009 to October 2009 based on the analysis of coordinate time series from 22 continuous GPS stations in northeastern Taiwan, belonging to the backarc extension region of the Ryukyu subduction zone. The GPS data from 2006 to 2011 were processed using GAMIT software. The seasonal signals and common-mode errors were removed from the coordinate time series. Accumulative displacement pattern shows horizontal displacement direction towards SSE with the maximum value of ~9 mm. However, no significant vertical displacements are detected. The accumulative slip distribution and fault geometry parameters are inverted by surface accumulative displacements using the uniform stress drop inversion. The optimized model indicates a normal fault with a shallow dip angle of ~5° and a depth of ~8 km. A maximum of ~40 mm of slip is inferred near the eastern part of the study area. Comparison with rainfall data indicates that this slow slip event is not the seasonal response. Seismicity distribution and focal mechanism solutions imply that several nearly east-west-striking seismogenic zones develop and mainly act as left-lateral strike-slip faulting and normal faulting accompanying the opening of the backarc basin. The bottom depth of these seismogenic zones is ~10 km, corresponding to the depth of our inferred fault plane. A low Qp/Qs layer is also discovered at the same region, which suggests a high fluid within this layer. Therefore we suggest a shallow south-dipping décollement under the backarc basin in northeastern Taiwan. The relationship between this slow slip event and other regular large earthquakes in this region will be studied soon.

  4. Dynamics of intraoceanic subduction initiation: 2D thermomechanical modeling (United States)

    Zhou, X.; Gerya, T.; LI, Z.; Stern, R. J.


    Intraoceanic subduction initiation occurs in previous weak zones which could be transform faults or old fracture zones, and concurrents with the change of plate motions. It is an important process to understand the beginning of plate tectonics. However, the dynamic process during (after) subduction initiation remain obscure. The process of suducting slabs move from down to downdip is also not revealed clearly. In order to obtain better understanding of the transitional process of subducting slab motion, we use finite difference and marker-in-cell methods to establish a series of self-sustainable subduction initiation models and explore many visco-plastic parameters to qualify the dynamical process of subduction initiation. The following parameters are systematic tested: (1) the age of the subducting slab; (2) friction coefficient of the mantle material; (3) the mantle potential temperature; (4) the age of the overriding slab. We find out the critical age of the oceanic lithosphere which can produce subduction initiation. And the age of subducting slab plays important roles during subduction initiation. The young subducting slab induces fast trench retreat and then trench begin to advance. For the old subducting slab, it induces relative slower trench retreat and then stop moving. The age of overriding slabs impacts coupling with the subducting slab. The friction coefficient of lithosphere also impacts the backarc spreading and subduction velocity. Stronger subducted plate gives lower subduction velocity and faster trench retreat velocity. The mantle potential temperature changes the critical age of subducted slabs.

  5. Active and passive seismic imaging of the Precordilleran crust, fore-arc of the North-Chilean subduction zone (Central Andes) (United States)

    Wenske, Ina; Hellwig, Olaf; Buske, Stefan; Wigger, Peter; Shapiro, Serge A.


    In the fore-arc of the Chilean subduction zone the prominent trench-parallel fault systems can be traced for several thousand kilometers in the north-south direction. These fault systems possibly crosscut parts or the entire crust and are expected to have a close relationship to transient processes of the subduction earthquake cycle. With the motivation to image and characterize the structural inventory and the processes that occur in the vicinity of these large-scale fault zones, we are currently performing a combined analysis of active and passive seismic data sets. The active-seismic data analysis is intended to provide images of the faults at depth and allow linking surface information to subsurface structures. The correlation of the active seismic data with the observed seismicity around these fault systems complements the image and potentially reveals the origin and the nature of the seismicity (including tremors) bound to these fault systems. In 1996, an approximately 350 km long, west-east running reflection seismic profile was acquired to image the entire crust of the Central Andean fore-arc system (North Chile; ANCORP96 seismic line). Several features such as the downgoing plate (Nazca reflector) and the Quebrada Blanca Bright Spot at mid-crustal level were clearly imaged using both standard CMP processing and Kirchhoff prestack depth migration. The latter proved to be more successful in coping with the low data coverage and varying data quality. However, the original images did not provide conclusive information on the upper crust (goal of our current re-processing of the ANCORP96 reflection seismic data set is to provide improved images of the upper and middle crust, Thereby, resolving the shallow and perhaps steeply dipping segments of the major fault systems, which were not detected by the original processing. This is done by using adapted noise-suppression schemes and a novel prestack depth migration technique (Coherency Migration). The re

  6. Buoyant subduction on Venus: Implications for subduction around coronae (United States)

    Burt, J. D.; Head, J. W.


    Potentially low lithospheric densities, caused by high Venus surface and perhaps mantle temperatures, could inhibit the development of negative buoyancy-driven subduction and a global system of plate tectonics/crustal recycling on that planet. No evidence for a global plate tectonic system was found so far, however, specific features strongly resembling terrestrial subduction zones in planform and topographic cross-section were described, including trenches around large coronae and chasmata in eastern Aphrodite Terra. The cause for the absence, or an altered expression, of plate tectonics on Venus remains to be found. Slab buoyancy may play a role in this difference, with higher lithospheric temperatures and a tendency toward positive buoyancy acting to oppose the descent of slabs and favoring under thrusting instead. The effect of slab buoyancy on subduction was explored and the conditions which would lead to under thrusting versus those allowing the formation of trenches and self-perpetuating subduction were defined. Applying a finite element code to assess the effects of buoyant forces on slabs subducting into a viscous mantle, it was found that mantle flow induced by horizontal motion of the convergent lithosphere greatly influences subduction angle, while buoyancy forces produce a lesser effect. Induced mantle flow tends to decrease subduction angle to near an under thrusting position when the subducting lithosphere converges on a stationary overriding lithosphere. When the overriding lithosphere is in motion, as in the case of an expanding corona, subduction angles are expected to increase. An initial stage involved estimating the changes in slab buoyancy due to slab healing and pressurization over the course of subduction. Modeling a slab, descending at a fixed angle and heated by conduction, radioactivity, and the heat released in phase changes, slab material density changes due to changing temperature, phase, and pressure were derived.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


    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. Subducting continental lower crust and crustal thickness variations in the intermediate seismic zone of Pamir-Hindu Kush inferred from Moho underside reflection pmP (United States)

    He, Hangqi; Pan, Fa-Bin; Chen, Hanlin; Zhang, Yujia; Zheng, Xin; He, Xiaobo


    The Pamir-Hindu Kush region is an orogenic belt which formed as a result of recent continental collision between the Indian and Eurasian Plates. A comprehensive understanding of the tectonic history of this region has been hampered due to limited seismological investigations. In this study, we use the Moho underside reflection pmP phase to constrain crustal thickness variations in the intermediate-depth seismic zone (36-37°N, 69-72°E). The seismic events characterized by focal depth deeper than 100 km and magnitude > 5.8 (Mw) were used. The crustal thickness was determined by identifying the depth phase pP and the Moho underside reflection pmP. The measured thickness varies spatially from 58.1 to 76.2 km, with uncertainties most likely resulting from deviation of the average P-wave velocities ( 6.21 km/s with a deviation of 0.22 km/s) in the crust. The strong Moho depth variations imply a large structural deformation of the crust, which reflects a complex collision-related mountain building history. We also detected two strong reflections from deep interfaces down to 97 km underneath the southernmost Pamir. Based on our direct observations and waveform modeling, we interpret that the two reflections are possibly the manifestations of the underplating subducted Eurasian lower crust in this region. Our observations complement those of other seismic results, including receiver functions from previous studies.

  9. Chemistry, isotopic composition, and origin of a methane-hydrogen sulfide hydrate at the Cascadia subduction zone (United States)

    Kastner, M.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Lorenson, T.D.


    Although the presence of extensive gas hydrate on the Cascadia margin, offshore from the western U.S. and Canada, has been inferred from marine seismic records and pore water chemistry, solid gas hydrate has only been found at one location. At Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 892, offshore from central Oregon, gas hydrate was recovered close to the sediment - water interface at 2-19 m below the seafloor, (mbsf) at 670 m water depth. The gas hydrate occurs as elongated platy crystals or crystal aggregates, mostly disseminated irregularly, with higher concentrations occurring in discrete zones, thin layers, and/or veinlets parallel or oblique to the bedding. A 2-to 3-cm thick massive gas hydrate layer, parallel to bedding, was recovered at ???17 mbsf. Gas from a sample of this layer was composed of both CH4 and H2S. This sample is the first mixed-gas hydrate of CH4-H2S documented in ODP; it also contains ethane and minor amounts of CO2. Measured temperature of the recovered core ranged from 2 to - 18??C and are 6 to 8 degrees lower than in-situ temperatures. These temperature anomalies were caused by the partial dissociation of the CH4-H2S hydrate during recovery without a pressure core sampler. During this dissociation, toxic levels of H2S (??34S, +27.4???) were released. The ??13C values of the CH4 in the gas hydrate, -64.5 to -67.5???(PDB), together with ??D values of - 197 to - 199???(SMOW) indicate a primarily microbial source for the CH4. The ??18O value of the hydrate H2O is +2.9???(SMOW), comparable with the experimental fractionation factor for sea-ice. The unusual composition (CH4-H2S) and depth distribution (2-19 mbsf) of this gas hydrate indicate mixing between a methane-rich fluid with a pore fluid enriched in sulfide; at this site the former is advecting along an inclined fault into the active sulfate reduction zone. The facts that the CH4-H2S hydrate is primarily confined to the present day active sulfate reduction zone (2-19 mbsf), and that from here

  10. Influences of the Tonga Subduction Zone on seafloor massive sulfide deposits along the Eastern Lau Spreading Center and Valu Fa Ridge (United States)

    Evans, Guy N.; Tivey, Margaret K.; Seewald, Jeffrey S.; Wheat, C. Geoff


    This study investigates the morphology, mineralogy, and geochemistry of seafloor massive sulfide (SMS) deposits from six back-arc hydrothermal vent fields along the Eastern Lau Spreading Center (ELSC) and Valu Fa Ridge (VFR) in the context of endmember vent fluid chemistry and proximity to the Tonga Subduction Zone. To complement deposit geochemistry, vent fluid analyses of Cu, Zn, Ba, Pb and H2,(aq) were completed to supplement existing data and enable thermodynamic calculations of mineral saturation states at in situ conditions. Results document southward increases in the abundance of mantle-incompatible elements in hydrothermal fluids (Ba and Pb) and SMS deposits (Ba, Pb, As, and Sb), which is also expressed in the abundance of barite (BaSO4) and galena (PbS) in SMS deposits. These increases correspond to a decrease in distance between the ELSC/VFR and the Tonga Subduction Zone that correlates with a change in crustal lithology from back-arc basin basalt in the north to mixed andesite, rhyolite, and dacite in the south. Barite influences deposit morphology, contributing to the formation of horizontal flanges and squat terraces. Results are also consistent with a regional-scale lowering of hydrothermal reaction zone temperatures from north to south (except at the southernmost Mariner vent field) that leads to lower-temperature, higher-pH vent fluids relative to mid-ocean ridges of similar spreading rates (Mottl et al., 2011). These fluids are Cu- and Zn-poor and the deposits formed from these fluids are Cu-poor but Zn-rich. In contrast, at the Mariner vent field, higher-temperature and lower pH vent fluids are hypothesized to result from higher reaction zone temperatures and the localized addition of acidic magmatic volatiles (Mottl et al., 2011). The Mariner fluids are Cu- and Zn-rich and vent from SMS deposits that are rich in Cu but poor in Zn with moderate amounts of Pb. Thermodynamic calculations indicate that the contrasting metal contents of vent fluids

  11. Shallow Low-frequency Tremor in the Hyuga-nada region, western Nankai Trough subduction zone, observed by ocean bottom seismographic experiment (United States)

    Yamashita, Y.; Yakiwara, H.; Shimizu, H.; Uchida, K.; Kamizono, M.; Nakamoto, M.; Fukui, M.; Fujita, S.; Aizawa, K.; Miyamachi, H.; Hirano, S.; Umakoshi, K.; Yamada, T.; Kanehara, H.; Aoshima, T.


    The Hyuga-nada region, locating western Nankai trough, is one of the most seismically active areas in Japan. Here, the Philippine Sea Plate subducts northwestward beneath the Eurasian Plate at an approximate rate of 5-7 cm/yr [e.g., Seno et al., 1993; Miyazaki and Heki, 2001]. Interplate earthquakes with magnitudes in the range of 6.5 to 7.5 repeatedly occur at intervals of decades. In the shallower part of the plate boundary in this region, the shallow very-low frequency earthquakes (dominant frequency 10~20 s) occur [Obara and Ito, 2005; Asano et al., 2008]. The shallow part of the plate boundary zone is very important for the generation of large interplate earthquakes and following tsunami. In order to reveal the detail of microseismicity from the shallower part of the plate boundary to seismogenic zone in the Hyuga-nada region, we have conducted Ocean Bottom Seismographic experiment from May 19 until July 6, 2013. We used 12 Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBSs) with a three-component short-period (10 OBSs: 4.5Hz, 2 OBSs: 1Hz) seismometer. All OBSs were recovered but one OBS was no data because of the technical problem of the recorder. During this experiment, many earthquakes recorded by OBSs. In addition, many low-frequency signals were also recorded. From the characteristic of the waveform and estimated source location, these are the shallow low-frequency tremor which is recorded for the first time by close-in observation the Hyuga-nada region. Here, we report the result of preliminary analysis of these shallow low-frequency tremors. The tremor activity mainly occurred from end of May to end of July 2013. Dominant frequency range of these tremors are 1-8 Hz and long duration range (10 seconds ~ a few minutes), which is same character of low-frequency tremor observed in Kii-Peninsula, Nankai trough using short-period OBSs [Obana and Kodaira, 2009]. We estimated tremor source location using envelop correlation method [Obara, 2002]. Although we estimated only a few

  12. Preliminary results of high resolution subbottom survey and surface sediment sampling by ROV "NSS" in the Nankai subduction zone off Kumano (United States)

    Ashi, J.; Kh-10-3 Science Party


    The Nankai subduction zone off Kumano has been extensively investigated for site surveys of IODP Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE) by bathymetirc survey, 2D and 3D seismic reflection survey, dive observation and sidescan sonar survey. However, subbottom profiling and surface sediment sampling were limited due to steep and complex topography under strong Kuroshio Current. We carried out deep-tow subbottom survey and pinpoint core sampling by ROV "NSS (Navigable Sampling System)" of Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, the Univ. Tokyo during Hakuho-maru KH-10-3 cruise. A pilot vehicle of NSS is equipped with four thrusters, observation cameras and a hock for a heavy payload. Depth capability of the pilot vehicle is 4000 m and maximum payload weight is 1.5 tons. We introduced a chirp subbottom profiling system of EdgeTech DW-106 for high resolution mapping of shallow structures and determination of a sampling point on this year's survey. Three survey lines crossed the splay fault area around IODP drilling sites. Subbottom profiles show that seafloor is completely covered by stratified sediments and any fault displacement cannot be identified although maximum penetration of chirp signal is only 15 meters in prism slope regions. In contrast, landward progressive tilting of slope basin sediments and talus deposits on it are well imaged along the steep scarp 30 km southwest of the drilling sites. Dense chemosynthetic biological community revealed by camera observations also suggests existence of active fault in this area. The scarp more gentle slope than the above is located 4 kilometers trenchward of it. Subbottom profiles show well-stratified sediment cover without fault deformation. Seismic reflection profiles and existence of dense traces of bivalves, however, suggest existence of a splay fault beneath it. A long-term heat flow meter of ERI, Univ. Tokyo was installed at each fault scarp for monitoring of cold seep activity. We also present

  13. Possible shallow slow slip events in Hyuga-nada, Nankai subduction zone, inferred from migration of very low frequency earthquakes (United States)

    Asano, Youichi; Obara, Kazushige; Matsuzawa, Takanori; Hirose, Hitoshi; Ito, Yoshihiro


    investigated the spatiotemporal evolution of a shallow very low frequency earthquake (sVLFE) swarm linked to the 2009/2010 long-term slow slip event (SSE) in the Bungo channel, southwestern Japan. Broadband seismograms were analyzed using a cross-correlation technique to detect sVLFEs having similar waveforms to template sVLFEs, and their relative locations were estimated. The sVLFEs exhibit clear migration over a distance of 150 km along the Nankai trough, similar to nonvolcanic tremors and deep very low frequency earthquakes (dVLFEs) accompanied by short-term SSEs on the downward extension of the seismogenic zone. This similarity between sVLFEs and dVLFEs suggests that SSEs occur in both deeper and shallower extensions of the seismogenic zone. The analyzed sVLFEs were likely caused by a shallow SSE that occurred from January to March 2010 following the initiation and acceleration of the long-term SSE. This temporal evolution may be caused by stress interaction between the shallow SSE and the long-term SSE.

  14. Horizontal mantle flow controls subduction dynamics. (United States)

    Ficini, E; Dal Zilio, L; Doglioni, C; Gerya, T V


    It is generally accepted that subduction is driven by downgoing-plate negative buoyancy. Yet plate age -the main control on buoyancy- exhibits little correlation with most of the present-day subduction velocities and slab dips. "West"-directed subduction zones are on average steeper (~65°) than "East"-directed (~27°). Also, a "westerly"-directed net rotation of the lithosphere relative to the mantle has been detected in the hotspot reference frame. Thus, the existence of an "easterly"-directed horizontal mantle wind could explain this subduction asymmetry, favouring steepening or lifting of slab dip angles. Here we test this hypothesis using high-resolution two-dimensional numerical thermomechanical models of oceanic plate subduction interacting with a mantle flow. Results show that when subduction polarity is opposite to that of the mantle flow, the descending slab dips subvertically and the hinge retreats, thus leading to the development of a back-arc basin. In contrast, concordance between mantle flow and subduction polarity results in shallow dipping subduction, hinge advance and pronounced topography of the overriding plate, regardless of their age-dependent negative buoyancy. Our results are consistent with seismicity data and tomographic images of subduction zones. Thus, our models may explain why subduction asymmetry is a common feature of convergent margins on Earth.

  15. Origin of the {sup 238}U-{sup 230}Th disequilibrium in magmas from subduction zones: the Arenal example; Origine du desequilibre {sup 238}U-{sup 230}TH dans les magmas des zones de subduction: exemple de l`Arenal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Villemant, B. [Paris-6 Univ., 75 (France)


    The existence in some volcanic products of strong excess of {sup 238}U with respect to {sup 230}Th is one of the characteristics of volcanic arc magmas. These excesses are generally attributed to fluid additions inside mantellic sources before magma segregation, differentiation and eruption. These fluids should be linked to the dehydration of the subducted rocks. These hypotheses are essentially based on correlations between {sup 10}Be, {sup 87}Sr anomalies, Ba/La ratios and on the distribution of volcanic centers with respect to the subduction zone. Recent studies suggest an evolution of the composition of volcanic sources in Central America from a depleted mantle type (MORB) in the North (Nicaragua) to a less transformed enriched type (OIB) in the South (Costa Rica). The Arenal volcano belongs to a transition zone between these two types. The preliminary study of trace elements and {sup 238}U-{sup 230}Th disequilibria in recent volcanic products (1968-1993) indicates a more complex situation. At least two different mantle sources were successively involved characterized by different Th/La and La/Yb ratios and very different to the OIB type. Also most lavas are in equilibrium with {sup 238}U/{sup 232}Th ratios of about 1.2 to 1.3. However, in eruptive cycle, some lavas are characterized by a strong {sup 238}U excess with respect to {sup 230}Th with cannot be linked to the sources, even when modified by fluids in depth. These results are interpreted in terms of heterogeneities of mantle sources and low depths late interactions with hydrothermal fluids during eruptions. Abstract only. (J.S.). 2 refs.

  16. PGE and Re-Os Isotope Behaviour in a Subduction-Modified Mantle Wedge: A Fresh Look into the Peridotites from the Ulten Zone, Eastern Alps (United States)

    Aulbach, S.; Braga, R.; Gudelius, D.; Prelevic, D.; Meisel, T. C.


    Peridotites in the upper Austroalpine Ulten zone (Eastern Italy) sample the subduction-modified Variscan mantle wedge. Metasomatism of peridotites during four stages of mantle wedge evolution includes: (1) Intrusion of alkaline melts from an inner, subduction-modified wedge and cryptic enrichment of spinel lherzolites (SL); (2) Reaction with siliceous crustal melts after pressure increase, generating coarse-grained garnet amphibole peridotites (GAP); (3) Crystallisation of abundant amphibole (± apatite and dolomite) from residual hydrous fluids during and/or after peak metamorphism recorded by fine-grained GAP; [4] Subsequent influx of crustal fluids, causing retrograde formation of spinel chlorite amphibole peridotites (SAP) [1-5]. SL and coarse GAP are apparently more fertile, whereas fine GAP and SAP retain the most depleted major-element characteristics. Overall, samples fall on partial melting trends consistent with extraction of low degrees of melt (F≤0.15) at 2-1 GPa. SL and coarse GAP have ±flat PGE patterns normalised to Primitive Upper Mantle (PUM), or show small decreases or increases from compatible to incompatible PGE. This suggests retention of primary sulphide liquid at low degrees of melting, during which PGE concentrations are little fractionated [6]. Indeed, broad positive correlations between the PGE suggest a common host, likely sulphide, observed in the samples as assemblages of pn ± po and cpy. Most fine-GAP share these patterns, indicating robustness against massive hydrous fluid influx, while Os/Ir > PUM argue against strong Os scavenging by highly oxidising hydrous fluids. Nevertheless, elevated Ru/IrPUM in a subgroup of samples may indicate a role for spinel addition under oxidising conditions. Most samples have 187Os/188Os >PUM, despite sub-PUM Re/Os, which requires addition of, or isotopic equilibration with, 187Os-rich crustal components, most likely via the precipitation of metasomatic sulphide. [1] Nimis and Morten (2000) J

  17. Isosymmetric pressure-induced bonding increase changes compression behavior of clinopyroxenes across jadeite-aegirine solid solution in subduction zones: ISOSYMMETRIC PHASE TRANSITION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Jingui [Key Laboratory of High Temperature and High Pressure Study of the Earth' s Interior, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang China; Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawai' i at Mānoa, Honolulu Hawaii USA; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing China; Zhang, Dongzhou [Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawai' i at Mānoa, Honolulu Hawaii USA; Fan, Dawei [Key Laboratory of High Temperature and High Pressure Study of the Earth' s Interior, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang China; Downs, Robert T. [Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson Arizona USA; Hu, Yi [Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawai' i at Mānoa, Honolulu Hawaii USA; Dera, Przemyslaw K. [Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawai' i at Mānoa, Honolulu Hawaii USA


    Pyroxenes are among the most important minerals of Earth's crust and upper mantle and play significant role in controlling subduction at convergent margins. In this study, synchrotron-based single-crystal X-ray diffraction experiments were carried out on a natural aegirine [NaFe3+Si2O6] sample at ambient temperature and high pressures to 60 GPa, simulating conditions within the coldest part of a subduction zone consisting of old lithosphere. The diffraction data reveal no obvious sign of structural phase transition in aegirine within this pressure range; however, several relevant structural parameter trends change noticeably at approximately 24 GPa, indicating the presence of the previously predicted isosymmetric bonding change, related to increase of coordination number of Na+ at M2 site. The pressure-volume data, fit with third-order Birch-Murnaghan (BM3) equation of state over the whole pressure range, yields KT0 = 126(2) GPa and K'T0 = 3.3(1), while separate BM3 fits performed for the 0–24.0 GPa and 29.9–60.4 GPa pressure ranges give KT0 = 118(3) GPa, K'T0 = 4.2(3) and KT0 = 133(2) GPa, K'T0 = 3.0(1), suggesting that the structure stiffens as a result of the new bond formation. Aegirine exhibits strong anisotropic compression with unit strain axial ratios ε1:ε2:ε3 = 1.00:2.44:1.64. Structural refinements reveal that NaO8 polyhedron is the most compressible and SiO4 tetrahedron has the lowest compressibility. The consequence of bonding transition is that the compressional behavior of aegirine below ~24 GPa and above that pressure is quite different, with likely consequences for relevant thermodynamic parameters and ion diffusion coefficients.

  18. Chlorine and fluorine partition coefficients and abundances in sub-arc mantle xenoliths (Kamchatka, Russia): Implications for melt generation and volatile recycling processes in subduction zones (United States)

    Bénard, A.; Koga, K. T.; Shimizu, N.; Kendrick, M. A.; Ionov, D. A.; Nebel, O.; Arculus, R. J.


    We report chlorine (Cl) and fluorine (F) abundances in minerals, interstitial glasses, and melt inclusions in 12 andesite-hosted, spinel harzburgite xenoliths and crosscutting pyroxenite veins exhumed from the sub-arc lithospheric mantle beneath Avacha volcano in the Kamchatka Arc (NE Russia). The data are used to calculate equilibrium mineral-melt partition coefficients (D mineral / melt) for Cl and F relevant to subduction-zone processes and unravel the history of volatile depletion and enrichment mechanisms in an arc setting. Chlorine is ∼100 times more incompatible in pyroxenes (DClmineral/melt = 0.005-0.008 [±0.002-0.003]) than F (DFmineral/melt = 0.50-0.57 [±0.21-0.24]), which indicates that partial melting of mantle sources leads to strong depletions in Cl relative to F in the residues. The data set in this study suggests a strong control of melt composition on DCl,Fpyroxene/melt, in particular H2O contents and Al/(Al + Si), which is in line with recent experiments. Fluorine is compatible in Ca-amphibole in the 'wet' sub-arc mantle (DFamphibole/melt = 3.5-3.7 [±1.5]) but not Cl (DClamphibole/melt = 0.03-0.05 [±0.01-0.03]), indicating that amphibole may fractionate F from Cl in the mantle wedge. The inter-mineral partition coefficients for Cl and F in this study are consistent amongst different harzburgite samples, whether they contain glass or not. In particular, disseminated amphibole hosts much of the Cl and F bulk rock budgets of spinel harzburgites (DClamphibole/pyroxene up to 14 and DFamphibole/pyroxene up to 40). Chlorine and fluorine are variably enriched (up to 1500 ppm Cl and 750 ppm F) in the parental arc picrite and boninite melts of primitive pyroxenite veins (and related melt inclusions) crosscutting spinel harzburgites. Based on the data in this study, the main inferences on the behaviour of Cl and F during melting and metasomatic processes in the sub-arc mantle are as follow: (i) Melting models show that most depleted mantle protoliths

  19. Slip Distribution of Two Recent Large Earthquakes in the Guerrero Segment of the Mexican Subduction Zone, and Their Relation to Previous Earthquakes, Silent Slip Events and Seismic Gaps (United States)

    Hjorleifsdottir, V.; Ji, C.; Iglesias, A.; Cruz-Atienza, V. M.; Singh, S. K.


    In 2012 and 2014 mega-thrust earthquakes occurred approximately 300 km apart, in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. The westernmost half of the segment between them has not had a large earthquake in at least 100 years and most of the easternmost half last broke in 1957. However, down dip of both earthquakes, silent slip events have been reported, as well as in the gap between them (Kostoglodov et al 2003, Graham 2014). There are indications that the westernmost half has different frictional properties than the areas surrounds it. However, the two events at the edges of the zone also seem to behave in different manners, indicating a broad range of frictional properties in this area, with changes occurring over short distances. The 2012/03/20, M7.5 earthquake occurred near the Guerrero-Oaxaca border, between the towns of Ometepec (Gro.) and Pinotepa Nacional (Oax.). This earthquake is noteworthy for breaking the same asperities as two previously recorded earthquakes, the M7.2 1937 and M6.9 1982(a) earthquakes, in very large "repeating earthquakes". Furthermore, the density of repeating smaller events is larger in this zone than in other parts of the subduction zone (Dominguez et al, submitted) and this earthquake has had very many aftershocks for its size (UNAM Seis. group, 2013). The 2012 event may have broken two asperities (UNAM Seis. group, 2013). How the two asperities relate to the previous relatively smaller "large events", to the repeating earthquakes, the high number of aftershocks and to the slow slip event is not clear. The 2014/04/18 M 7.2 earthquake broke a patch on the edge of the Guerrero gap, that previously broke in the 1979 M7.4 earthquake as well as the 1943 M 7.4 earthquake. This earthquake, despite being smaller, had a much larger duration, few aftershocks and clearly ruptured two separate patches (UNAM Seis. group 2015). In this work we estimate the slip distributions for the 2012 and 2014 earthquakes, by combining the data used separately in

  20. Recent crustal foundering in the Northern Volcanic Zone of the Andean arc: Petrological insights from the roots of a modern subduction zone (United States)

    Bloch, Elias; Ibañez-Mejia, Mauricio; Murray, Kendra; Vervoort, Jeffrey; Müntener, Othmar


    Periodic loss of the lower lithosphere into the convecting mantle due to gravitational instability is postulated to be a major mechanism for lithosphere recycling in orogenic zones, but unequivocal petrologic evidence of this process is elusive. The Granatifera Tuff, located in the Mercaderes-Rio Mayo area of the southern Colombian Andes, contains a wide variety of crustal and mantle xenoliths. Here we focus on the thermobarometry and Lu-Hf isotope systematics of crustal garnet clinopyroxenite xenoliths, the results of which offer the first evidence of recent, and likely active, crustal foundering in the Northern Volcanic Zone of the Andean arc. We find that most of these xenoliths equilibrated between 60-80 km depths, ∼7-27 km below the seismically determined Moho in this region, and that at least one crustal garnet clinopyroxenite re-equilibrated at depths exceeding 95 km. A second garnet clinopyroxenite equilibrated at ∼150 km depths, and is either foundered lithospheric material or the product of reaction between peridotite and a mobile component (either silicic melt or fluids) at >4 GPa. All of the investigated garnet clinopyroxenites are negatively buoyant relative to the upper mantle asthenosphere. The presence of minor amounts of secondary amphibole and orthopyroxene, coupled with the lack of major-element retrograde zonation in primary phases within these xenoliths, indicates that these rocks were rapidly transported to, and briefly resided at, shallow depths before eruption. Lu-Hf ages from two garnet clinopyroxenites and one garnet-clinopyroxene hornblendite are <5 Ma, and approximate the time at which these xenoliths were transported to shallow depths prior to eruption. A large-magnitude positive geoid anomaly and relatively low mean surface elevations indicate that the gravitationally unstable crustal root is still largely attached to the overriding crust in this part of the Northern Volcanic Zone. Thermobarometric calculations indicate that the

  1. Methane-carbon flow into the benthic food web at cold seeps--a case study from the Costa Rica subduction zone. (United States)

    Niemann, Helge; Linke, Peter; Knittel, Katrin; MacPherson, Enrique; Boetius, Antje; Brückmann, Warner; Larvik, Gaute; Wallmann, Klaus; Schacht, Ulrike; Omoregie, Enoma; Hilton, David; Brown, Kevin; Rehder, Gregor


    Cold seep ecosystems can support enormous biomasses of free-living and symbiotic chemoautotrophic organisms that get their energy from the oxidation of methane or sulfide. Most of this biomass derives from animals that are associated with bacterial symbionts, which are able to metabolize the chemical resources provided by the seeping fluids. Often these systems also harbor dense accumulations of non-symbiotic megafauna, which can be relevant in exporting chemosynthetically fixed carbon from seeps to the surrounding deep sea. Here we investigated the carbon sources of lithodid crabs (Paralomis sp.) feeding on thiotrophic bacterial mats at an active mud volcano at the Costa Rica subduction zone. To evaluate the dietary carbon source of the crabs, we compared the microbial community in stomach contents with surface sediments covered by microbial mats. The stomach content analyses revealed a dominance of epsilonproteobacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences related to the free-living and epibiotic sulfur oxidiser Sulfurovum sp. We also found Sulfurovum sp. as well as members of the genera Arcobacter and Sulfurimonas in mat-covered surface sediments where Epsilonproteobacteria were highly abundant constituting 10% of total cells. Furthermore, we detected substantial amounts of bacterial fatty acids such as i-C15∶0 and C17∶1ω6c with stable carbon isotope compositions as low as -53‰ in the stomach and muscle tissue. These results indicate that the white microbial mats at Mound 12 are comprised of Epsilonproteobacteria and that microbial mat-derived carbon provides an important contribution to the crab's nutrition. In addition, our lipid analyses also suggest that the crabs feed on other (13)C-depleted organic matter sources, possibly symbiotic megafauna as well as on photosynthetic carbon sources such as sedimentary detritus.

  2. Impact of the slab dip change onto the deformation partitioning in the northern Lesser Antilles oblique subduction zone (Antigua-Virgin Islands) (United States)

    Laurencin, Muriel; Marcaillou, Boris; Klingelhoefer, Frauke; Graindorge, David; Lebrun, Jean-Frédéric; Laigle, Mireille; Lallemand, Serge


    Marine geophysical cruises Antithesis (2013-2016) investigate the impact of the variations in interplate geometry onto margin tectonic deformation along the strongly oblique Lesser Antilles subduction zone. A striking features of this margin is the drastic increase in earthquake number from the quiet Barbuda-St Martin segment to the Virgin Islands platform. Wide-angle seismic data highlight a northward shallowing of the downgoing plate: in a 150 km distance from the deformation front, the slab dipping angle in the convergence direction decreases from 12° offshore of Antigua Island to 7° offshore of Virgin Islands. North-South wide-angle seismic line substantiates a drastic slab-dip change that likely causes this northward shallowing. This dip change is located beneath the southern tip of the Virgin Islands platform where the Anegada Passage entails the upper plate. Based on deep seismic lines and bathymetric data, the Anegada Passage is a 450 km long W-E trending set of pull-apart basins and strike-slip faults that extends from the Lesser Antilles accretionary prism to Puerto Rico. The newly observed sedimentary architecture within pull-apart Sombrero and Malliwana basins indicates a polyphased tectonic history. A past prominent NW-SE extensive to transtensive phase, possibly related to the Bahamas Bank collision, opened the Anegada Passage as previously published. Transpressive tectonic evidences indicate that these structures have been recently reactivated in an en-echelon sinistral strike-slip system. The interpreted strain ellipsoid is consistent with deformation partitioning. We propose that the slab northward shallowing increases the interplate coupling and the seismic activity beneath the Virgin Islands platform comparatively to the quiet Barbuda-St Martin segment. It is noteworthy that the major tectonic partitioning structure in the Lesser Antilles forearc is located above the slab dip change where the interplate seismic coupling increases.

  3. New sedimentary-core records and a recent co-seismic turbidite help to unravel the paleoseismicity of the Hikurangi Subduction Zone, New Zealand (United States)

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


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

  4. Anatomy of a subduction zone - seismicity structure of the northern Chilean forearc from >100,000 double-difference relocated earthquake hypocenters (United States)

    Sippl, Christian; Schurr, Bernd


    We present a catalog of >100k well-located earthquake hypocenters for the northern Chilean forearc region, between the latitudes of 18.5°S and 24°S. The detected events cover the timespan 2007-2014 and were extracted from the IPOC permanent station network dataset. Previously published earthquake catalogs for the region contain significantly fewer earthquakes. Using this new, high-resolution set of hypocenters, we can outline the slab structure in unprecedented detail, allowing e.g. the determination of along-strike changes in slab dip angle or the resolution of structures inside the zone of intermediate-depth seismicity. For the compilation of the catalog, we relied on an automated multi-step process for event detection, association and phase picking. Thus retrieved earthquake hypocenters were then relocated in a 2.5D velocity model for the Northern Chile forearc region with a probabilistic approach that also allows the determination of uncertainties. In a final step, double-difference re-location incorporating cross-correlation lag times was performed, which sharpened event clusters through relative location. We estimate that the completeness magnitude of the catalog is around 3. The majority of all >100k earthquakes are located at intermediate depths (between 80 and 140 km) inside the subducted slab. This area of pervasive activity extends along the entire strike of the investigated area, but shows a clear offset at 21°S, which may hint at a slab tear at this location. Events of comparable hypocentral depths to the south of this offset are located further east than the ones to the north of it. Further updip, a triple seismic zone at depths between 40 and around 80 km is visible, which grades into the highly active event cluster at intermediate depths: below the plate interface, which is clearly delineated by seismic activity, a second parallel band of hypocenters only about 5 km below likely corresponds to earthquakes occurring within the oceanic crust or

  5. Seafloor morphology of the continental slope in front the Petacalco Bay and its tsunamigenic relationship at the Mexican sector of the Middle American subduction zone (United States)

    Mortera-Gutierrez, C. A.; Bandy, W. L.; Millan-Motolinia, C.; Ponce-Nuñez, F.; Ortega-Ramirez, J.


    The recent occurrence of offshore, large, earthquake ruptures in the western limit of the Guerrero Seismic Gap and the scattered data of seafloor morphology of the continental slope along this sector at the Mexican Mid American subduction zone have encouraged the UNAM marine geophysical group to initiate a mapping program at the Guerrero margin, from the shelf break to the Middle American Trench. The main objective of this initiative is to have a complete cover of the seafloor morphology of the Guerrero slope as the background data for comparative studies of the seafloor deformation in case of future offshore earthquake ruptures in this region. At he first stage of this initiative, we have mapped the continental slope in front the Petacalco Bay, west of the Guerrero Seismic Gap, where three important large earthquakes occurred and caused great damages in Mexico City: Petatlán earthquake (Mw=7.6) at 1979, Michoacán earthquake (Mw=8.1) and its aftershock (Mw=7.9) at 1985. Geophysical results of two campaigns carry in 2012 (MAMRIV12) and 2013 (BABPET13) on board the BO EL PUMA are presented which include multibeam data and subbottom profiles. These data sets cover an area between 101°W and 103°W, and from the shelf-slope break to the trench. The multibeam chart shows details of the hydrological erosion induced by many submarine cannons at the upper slope, whereas the seafloor relief in the lower slope is dominated by tectonic structures. The subbottom profiles and the seafloor morphology evidence zones of big slumps and faults. For first time the Rio Balsas submarine cannon is completed chart, reaching the trench basin. The river course is deflected, possibly by shear faulting. There are slump sites near the trench that probably one is associated to the 1925 tsunami at Zihuatanejo, Guerrero. The 1985 Michoacán aftershock was accompany by a small Tsunami. At that time, the lack of morphology data in this slope inhibited further studies of seafloor-deformation and

  6. Subduction dynamics: Constraints from gravity field observations (United States)

    Mcadoo, D. C.


    Satellite systems do the best job of resolving the long wavelength components of the Earth's gravity field. Over the oceans, satellite-borne radar altimeters such as SEASAT provide the best resolution observations of the intermediate wavelength components. Satellite observations of gravity contributed to the understanding of the dynamics of subduction. Large, long wavelength geoidal highs generally occur over subduction zones. These highs are attributed to the superposition of two effects of subduction: (1) the positive mass anomalies of subducting slabs themselves; and (2) the surface deformations such as the trenches convectively inducted by these slabs as they sink into the mantle. Models of this subduction process suggest that the mantle behaves as a nonNewtonian fluid, its effective viscosity increases significantly with depth, and that large positive mass anomalies may occur beneath the seismically defined Benioff zones.

  7. Applications for the environment : real-time information synthesis low emissions zones : operational concept. (United States)


    This document serves as an Operational Concept for the Applications for the Environment: Real-Time Information Synthesis (AERIS) Low Emissions Zones : Transformative Concept. The Low Emissions Zone Transformative Concept includes the ability for an e...

  8. Structure of the Cocos subduction zone in central and southern Mexico from three-dimensional body-wave attenuation and travel time tomography (United States)

    Chen, T.; Clayton, R. W.


    The 3D P- and S-wave attenuation and velocity structure of the Cocos subduction zone in Mexico is imaged using seismic events recorded by the MASE (100 seismometers running across central Mexico, 2005-2007) and VEOX (47 seismometers running across southern Mexico, 2007-2009) arrays, supplemented by stations from the National Seismic Network in Mexico (SSN). Using a spectral-decay method, we obtain a path attenuation operator t* for each seismogram in the frequency band 1 to 30 Hz, depending on the signal quality. These measurements are then inverted for 3D spatial variations in attenuation. Direct body-wave arrivals from local events are used for 3D velocity inversion. Deeper velocity structures along MASE and VEOX arrays are obtained by including teleseismic events. Inversion results show low attenuation associated with the Cocos slab, and show the slab dip angle increases from central to southern Mexico. High attenuation is imaged in the mantle wedge and the crust above. The highest attenuation is found in the crust near the active Los Tuxtlas volcanic field, probably related to the dehydration and melting process. Low velocity is observed in the mantle wedge and the crust above from velocity inversion. The Cocos slab is traced as high-velocity structure. The Cocos slab dips down to about 500 km in central Mexico along MASE array as shown by previous study (Perez-Campos, GRL, 2008). In southern Mexico along VEOX line, no clear continuous Cocos slab is observed deeper than about 150 km, which is also found by receiver function studies (Kim et al., in press; Perez-Campos et al., in press). There are some indications that the Cocos slab in southern Mexico near the Isthmus of Tehuantepec is truncated by some high-velocity structure dipping south from the Gulf of Mexico. This anomalous south-dipping structure is also seen in receiver function images, and may be related to the collision between the Yucatan Block and Mexico in the Miocene (Kim et al., in press).

  9. Analysis of past recurrent methane seep activity using radiocarbon dating of Calyptogena spp. shells in the eastern Nankai subduction zone, Japan (United States)

    Yagasaki, Kazuhiro; Ashi, Juichiro; Yokoyama, Yusuke; Miyairi, Yosuke; Kuramoto, Shin'ichi


    Fault activity around subduction zones have been widely studied and monitored through drilling of oceanic plates, studying piston cores, use of monitoring equipment or through visual analysis using submersible vehicles. Yet the understanding of how small scale faults near shallow regions of the seabed behave in relation to cold seep vent activity is still vague, especially determining when they were active in the past. In tectonically active margins such as the Nankai and Tokai regions off Japan, dense methane hydrate reservoirs have been identified. Cold seeps releasing methane rich hydrocarbon fluids are common here, supporting a wide variety of biological species that hold a symbiotic relationship with the chemosynthetic bacteria. In 1998 a large dead Calyptogena spp. bivalve colony (over 400m2 in size) was discovered off Tokai, Japan. It is unusual for a bivalve colony this size to mostly be dead, raising questions as to what caused their death. In this study we document the radiocarbon 14C age of these bivalve shells to attempt analysing the possible methane seep bahaviour in the past. The measured 14C age ranged in three age groups of 1396±36-1448±34, 1912±31-1938±35 and 5975±34. The 14C age of shells that were alive upon collection and the dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in seawater show little difference (˜100 14C age) indicating that shells are not heavily affected by the dead carbon effect from cold seeps that is of biogenic or thermogenic origin, which can make the age to become considerably older than the actual age. Thus the novel calibration model used was based on the seawater DIC collected above the Calyptogena spp. colony site (1133±31), which resulted in the dead shells to be clustered around 1900 Cal AD. This proves to be interesting as the predicted epicenter of the Ansei-Tokai earthquake (M 8.4) in 1854 is extremely close to the bibalve colony site. Using geological data obtained using visual analysis and sub-seafloor structural

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

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


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

  11. Zircon U-Pb geochronology and petrogenesis of metabasites from the western Beihuaiyang zone in the Hong'an orogen, central China: Implications for detachment within subducting continental crust at shallow depths (United States)

    Liu, Yi-Can; Liu, Li-Xiang; Li, Yuan; Gu, Xiao-Feng; Song, Biao


    Deformed low-grade metabasites from the western segment of the Beihuaiyang zone in the Hong'an orogen, central China can be divided into two types, i.e. meta-gabbro and meta-basalt. These lithologies have been studied by using whole-rock elemental and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic analyses, and zircon SHRIMP U-Pb dating. Concordant zircon U-Pb ages of 631 ± 5 Ma and 623 ± 14 Ma are obtained for the meta-gabbros, consistent with a previously reported U-Pb age of 635 ± 5 Ma. The meta-basalt was dated to have a protolith age of middle Neoproterozoic (∼750 Ma) and a metamorphic age at ca. 240 Ma. The all studied metabasites occur as block or slice within a metamorphosed Ordovician volcanic zone (originally named as the Dingyuan Formation) and are in tectonic contact to each other. The gabbro and basalt emplaced at ∼630 Ma and ∼750 Ma, respectively in a continental rifting setting, whereas their present country rocks were erupted at ∼465 Ma in an arc setting. The Pb-isotope compositions of the low-grade meta-gabbros and meta-basalts are similar to those from the Dabie ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) meta-igneous rocks with an upper continental crust affinity. The protolith ages of the studied relatively low-grade meta-basic rocks are in good agreement not only with ages for two episodes of middle and late Neoproterozoic mafic and felsic magmatism in the Suizhou to Zaoyang areas at the northern margin of the South China Block, but are also in agreement with the protolith ages of UHP meta-igneous rocks in the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt. Therefore, these Neoproterozoic low-grade metabasites are considered to be exotic and they may have been detached and offscraped from the subducting upper crust of the South China Block at shallow depths during continental collision in the Triassic. They were subsequently exhumed in the initial stage of continental subduction, and thrusted over the Paleozoic metamorphosed rocks in the southern margin of the North China Block or as foreign slices

  12. Switching deformation mode and mechanisms during subduction of continental crust: a case study from Alpine Corsica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Molli


    Full Text Available The switching in deformation mode (from distributed to localized and mechanisms (viscous versus frictional represent a relevant issue in the frame of crustal deformation, being also connected with the concept of the brittle–ductile transition and seismogenesis. In a subduction environment, switching in deformation mode and mechanisms and scale of localization may be inferred along the subduction interface, in a transition zone between the highly coupled (seismogenic zone and decoupled deeper aseismic domain (stable slip. However, the role of brittle precursors in nucleating crystal-plastic shear zones has received more and more consideration being now recognized as fundamental in some cases for the localization of deformation and shear zone development, thus representing a case in which switching deformation mechanisms and scale and style of localization (deformation mode interact and relate to each other. This contribution analyses an example of a millimetre-scale shear zone localized by brittle precursor formed within a host granitic protomylonite. The studied structures, developed in ambient pressure–temperature (P–T conditions of low-grade blueschist facies (temperature T of ca. 300 °C and pressure P ≥ 0. 70 GPa during involvement of Corsican continental crust in the Alpine subduction. We used a multidisciplinary approach by combining detailed microstructural and petrographic analyses, crystallographic preferred orientation by electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD, and palaeopiezometric studies on a selected sample to support an evolutionary model and deformation path for subducted continental crust. We infer that the studied structures, possibly formed by transient instability associated with fluctuations of pore fluid pressure and episodic strain rate variations, may be considered as a small-scale example of fault behaviour associated with a cycle of interseismic creep and coseismic rupture or a new analogue for

  13. Spatial and temporal development of exhumation at the St. Elias syntaxis in the Yakutat-North American subduction-collision zone, SE Alaska (United States)

    Falkowski, Sarah; Enkelmann, Eva; Pfänder, Jörg; Drost, Kerstin; Stübner, Konstanze; Ehlers, Todd


    Since the Mesozoic, the western North American margin has been built by the subduction-collision of several terranes. Currently, the 15-30 km thick, wedge-shaped oceanic plateau of the Yakutat microplate collides obliquely with North America at the bend of the southern Alaskan margin forming the Chugach-St. Elias Mountains. Glaciation of this orogen started 6-5 Ma and efficient glacial erosion has been reported over different timescales. Particularly rapid and deep exhumation occurs at the St. Elias syntaxis, where the plate boundary bends and the tectonic regime transitions from transpression to convergence and flat-slab subduction. This region comprises the highest topography and is almost completely covered by the Seward-Malaspina and Hubbard-Valerie glacial systems. Very young detrital zircon fission-track exhumation ages (track age distributions derived from 46 glacio-fluvial sand samples confine the area of rapid and deep exhumation on the resolution of catchments to an ~4800 km2 area on the North American Plate around the St. Elias syntaxis. To overcome the shortcoming of a decreased resolution of the provenance signal of sand, we present 22 new crystallization ages of cobble-sized detritus from the Seward-Malaspina Glacier. Zircon U-Th/He ages of the cobbles demonstrate that they originate from below the ice and their provenance is analyzed based on their petrographic information and zircon U/Pb data (30.8±0.8 to 277.1±7 Ma, 2σ). Furthermore, we gained 29 new cooling ages of multiple thermochronometers from the cobbles of the Seward-Malaspina and Hubbard-Valerie Glaciers (hornblende and biotite 40Ar/39Ar, zircon and apatite U-Th/He, apatite fission-track) that reveal different cooling histories for the rocks within the syntaxis. For most cobbles, we can determine the provenance within the glacial catchments of the syntaxis area. The results support previous conclusions of a larger part of the syntaxis being affected by rapid, deep exhumation because

  14. Switching deformation mode and mechanisms during subduction of continental crust: a case study from Alpine Corsica (United States)

    Molli, Giancarlo; Menegon, Luca; Malasoma, Alessandro


    The switching in deformation mode (from distributed to localized) and mechanism (viscous versus frictional) represent a relevant issue in the frame of processes of crustal deformation in turn connected with the concept of the brittle-"ductile" transition and seismogenesis. On the other hand the role of brittle precursors in nucleating crystal-plastic shear zones has received more and more consideration being now recognized as having a fundamental role in the localization of deformation and shear zone development, thus representing a case in which switching deformation mode and mechanisms interact and relate to each other. This contribution analyses an example of a crystal plastic shear zone localized by brittle precursor formed within a host granitic-mylonite during deformation in subduction-related environment. The studied sample come from the external Corsican continental crust units involved in alpine age subduction and characterized by a low grade blueschist facies peak assemblages. The blueschist facies host rock is cut by a thin (girdle c-axis CPO. Extrapolation of laboratory-derived flow laws indicates strain rate of ca. 3.5 * 10-12 s-1 during viscous flow in the shear zone. The studied structures, possibly formed by transient instability related to episodic stress/strain rate variations, may be considered as a small scale example of fault behaviour associated with a cycle of interseismic creep with coseismic rupture and then a fossil example of stick-slip strain accommodation in subduction environment of continental crust.

  15. Defining fire environment zones in the boreal forests of northeastern China. (United States)

    Wu, Zhiwei; He, Hong S; Yang, Jian; Liang, Yu


    Fire activity in boreal forests will substantially increase with prolonged growing seasons under a warming climate. This trend poses challenges to managing fires in boreal forest landscapes. A fire environment zone map offers a basis for evaluating these fire-related problems and designing more effective fire management plans to improve the allocation of management resources across a landscape. Toward that goal, we identified three fire environment zones across boreal forest landscapes in northeastern China using analytical methods to identify spatial clustering of the environmental variables of climate, vegetation, topography, and human activity. The three fire environment zones were found to be in strong agreement with the spatial distributions of the historical fire data (occurrence, size, and frequency) for 1966-2005. This paper discusses how the resulting fire environment zone map can be used to guide forest fire management and fire regime prediction. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Media Environment as a Zone of Personal and Social Risk (United States)

    Medvedeva, Tatyana; Kazantseva, Galina; Karpukova, Albina; Serova, Olga; Sizova, Olga; Bikteeva, Lolita


    The paper considers elements of modern media environment taking more and more space in day-to-day life of people. The modern media environment enriched with various informational and technological resources, information transfer speed and availability of all kinds of content in unlimited quantities, requires careful examination--first of all,…

  17. Deformation cycles of subduction earthquakes in a viscoelastic Earth. (United States)

    Wang, Kelin; Hu, Yan; He, Jiangheng


    Subduction zones produce the largest earthquakes. Over the past two decades, space geodesy has revolutionized our view of crustal deformation between consecutive earthquakes. The short time span of modern measurements necessitates comparative studies of subduction zones that are at different stages of the deformation cycle. Piecing together geodetic 'snapshots' from different subduction zones leads to a unifying picture in which the deformation is controlled by both the short-term (years) and long-term (decades and centuries) viscous behaviour of the mantle. Traditional views based on elastic models, such as coseismic deformation being a mirror image of interseismic deformation, are being thoroughly revised.

  18. Coastal zones : shifting shores, sharing adaptation strategies for coastal environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hay, J.E. [Waikato Univ. (New Zealand); Morneau, F.; Savard, J.P. [Ouranos, Montreal, PQ (Canada); Madruga, R.P. [Centre of Investigation on the Global Economy (Cuba); Leslie, K.R. [Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (Belize); Agricole, W. [Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Seychelles); Burkett, V. [United States Geological Survey (United States)


    A parallel event to the eleventh Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change was held to demonstrate examples of adaptation from around the world in the areas of food security, water resources, coastal zones, and communities/infrastructure. Panels on each theme presented examples from developing countries, countries in economic transition, and developed countries. These 4 themes were chosen because both mitigation and adaptation are essential to meeting the challenge of climate change. The objective of the event was to improve the knowledge of Canada's vulnerabilities to climate change, identify ways to minimize the negative effects of future impacts, and explore opportunities that take advantage of any positive impacts. This third session focused on how coastal communities are adapting to climate change in such places as Quebec, the Caribbean, and small Island States. It also presented the example of how a developed country became vulnerable to Hurricane Katrina which hit the coastal zone in the United States Gulf of Mexico. The presentations addressed the challenges facing coastal communities along with progress in risk assessment and adaptation both globally and in the Pacific. Examples of coastal erosion in Quebec resulting from climate change were presented along with climate change and variability impacts over the coastal zones of Seychelles. Cuba's vulnerability and adaptation to climate change was discussed together with an integrated operational approach to climate change, adaptation, biodiversity and land utilization in the Caribbean region. The lessons learned from around the world emphasize that adaptation is needed to reduce unavoidable risks posed by climate change and to better prepare for the changes ahead. refs., tabs., figs.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2007). We investigate the northward subduction of the. Indo-Australian plate along the eastern Sunda arc right from northwestern Sumatra, along Java to. Keywords. Slab detachment; subduction zone; Sunda arc; Indo-Australian slab; trench migration. J. Earth Syst. Sci. 120, No. 2, April 2011, pp. 193–204 c Indian Academy ...

  20. Subduction trench migration since the Cretaceous (United States)

    Williams, S.; Flament, N. E.; Müller, D.; Butterworth, N. P.


    Much of our knowledge about subduction zone processes is derived from analyzing present-day Earth. Several studies of contemporary plate motions have investigated the balance between retreating and advancing trenches and shown that subduction zone kinematics are sensitive to the choice of Absolute Plate Motion (APM) model (or "reference frame"). For past times, the absolute motions of the lithospheric plates relative to the Earth's deep interior over tens of millions of years are commonly constrained using observations from paleomagnetism and age-progressive seamount trails. In contrast, a reference frame linking surface plate motions to subducted slab remnants mapped from seismic tomography has recently been proposed. APM models derived using different methodologies, different subsets of hotspots, or differing assumptions of hotspot motion, have contrasting implications for parameters that describe the long term state of the plate-mantle system, such as the balance between advance and retreat of subduction zones, plate velocities, and net lithospheric rotation. Here we quantitatively compare the subduction zone kinematics, net lithospheric rotation and fit to hotspot trails derived the last 130 Myr for a range of alternative reference frames and a single relative plate motion model. We find that hotspot and tomographic slab-remnant reference frames yield similar results for the last 70 Myr. For the period between 130 and 70 Ma, when hotspot trails become scarce, hotspot reference frames yield a much more dispersed distribution of slab advance and retreat velocities, which is considered geodynamically less plausible. By contrast, plate motions calculated using the slab-remnant reference frame, or using a reference frame designed to minimise net rotation, yield more consistent subduction zone kinematics for times older than 70 Ma. Introducing the global minimisation of trench migration rates as a key criterion in the construction of APM models forms the foundation

  1. First finding of microdiamond, coesite and other UHP phases in felsic granulites in the Moldanubian Zone: Implications for deep subduction and a revised geodynamic model for Variscan Orogeny in the Bohemian Massif (United States)

    Perraki, Maria; Faryad, Shah Wali


    Heavy mineral fractions and polished thin sections from felsic granulites from the Moldanubian Zone of the Bohemian Massif were thoroughly studied by means of Raman microspectroscopy combined with optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The following phases were identified, among others, as inclusions in robust minerals such as garnet and zircon: Diamond, characterized by an intense narrow peak at 1332 cm- 1, was found in two inclusions in zircon. They have a size of ~ 5 μm. Coesite, identified by its very characteristic peak at ~ 520 cm- 1, was found in an inclusion in garnet together with quartz. Coesite has been almost completely transformed into quartz; only minor coesite nano-domains remain. Kumdykolite, the orthorhombic polymorph of NaAlSi3O8, characterized by strong peaks at 220, 456 and 492 cm- 1, occurs either as single crystals or as a part of multiphase inclusions in garnet and in zircon along with other mineral phases such as K-feldspar, phengite, rutile. Moissanite, SiC, exhibiting the characteristic Raman bands at ~ 767, 788 and 969 cm- 1, occurs as inclusions in garnet. Diamond and coesite are considered to have formed at the peak ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic (UHPM) conditions. Kumdykolite has been proposed to be a metastable phase formed during rapid cooling from high temperature. Moissanite points to extremely reduced conditions during subduction to great depths. The finding of UHP phases in felsic granulites in the Moldanubian Zone is clear evidence for subduction of crustal materials to mantle depths. The garnet hosting the UHP phase inclusions usually preserves prograde compositional zoning; this in combination with the UHPM mineral inclusions suggests that the felsic material should have passed UHP metamorphism at a low-temperature gradient. Isothermal decompression (the commonly accepted model) at temperatures of 850-950 °C would have substantially modified and homogenized the garnet composition eliminating any compositional

  2. Fossil intermediate-depth earthquakes in subducting slabs linked to differential stress release (United States)

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


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

  3. Acoustic profiling and surface imaging of the coastal area near the subduction zone: the eastern coastal area of Boso Peninsula, Central Japan. (United States)

    Furuyama, S.; Sato, T.


    The plate motion of the Philippine Sea plate and the Pacific plate influences geology of coastal area in the Pacific side in Japan and sometime causes extensive damage of human activity, such as the Great East Japan Earthquake. It is important to understand the geological structures in a coastal area for disaster prevention. Especially, rapid equipment of geoinformations is highly demanded in the Kanto region where covers capital Tokyo area. Geological Survey of Japan investigated the eastern coastal area in Boso Peninsula, eastern part of the Kanto region, Japan within two years from 2014 to 2015. We obtained seismic sections of ca. 1100 km in total length with a boomer and multi-channel streamer (24 channel with 3.125 m spacing) and report the geological significance of the subsurface structures. The survey area is divided into the northern part of Kujukuri area, the southern part of Kujukuri area, the coastal part of Kujukuri area based on topography and geological structures. In these Kujukuri areas, two strata that show distinct stratification bounded by distinct unconformity distribute and we define them as the Kujukuri A Unit and the Kujukuri B Unit, in ascending order. The lower sequence has some folds and normal faults. These folds that deformed the Kujukuri B Unit extend toward north-northeast in the northern part of Kujukuri area. They contributed to development of wide shelf distributed in this area. In the southern part of Kujukuri area, a lot of faults deformed the Kujukuri B Unit and some of them displaced the Kujukuri A Unit over 10 msec (two way travel). Normal faults developed in the Kujukuri B Unit over 10 msec made grabens and half grabens in the coastal part of Kujukuri area and these grabens and half grabens could make the lowland in the Kujukuri coastal area. The combination of these geological structures identified in the Kujukuri areas could reflect the transition of stress field associated with the subduction of the Philippine Sea plate

  4. Subduction, back-arc spreading and global mantle flow (United States)

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


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

  5. Flux and genesis of CO2 degassing from volcanic-geothermal fields of Gulu-Yadong rift in the Lhasa terrane, South Tibet: Constraints on characteristics of deep carbon cycle in the India-Asia continent subduction zone (United States)

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


    Gulu-Yadong rift (GYR) is the longest extensional, NE-SW-trending rift in the Himalayas and Lhasa terrane of South Tibet. Many volcanic-geothermal fields (VGFs), which comprise intense hot springs, steaming fissures, geysers and soil micro-seepage, are distributed in the GYR, making it ideal area for studying deep carbon emissions in the India-Asia continent subduction zone. As for the northern segment of GYR in the Lhasa terrane, its total flux and genesis of CO2 emissions are poorly understood. Following accumulation chamber method, soil CO2 flux survey has been carried out in VGFs (i.e., Jidaguo, Ningzhong, Sanglai, Tuoma and Yuzhai from south to north) of the northern segment of GYR. Total soil CO2 output of the northern GYR is about 1.50 × 107 t a-1, which is attributed to biogenic and volcanic-geothermal source. Geochemical characteristics of the volcanic-geothermal gases (including CO2 and He) of the northern GYR indicate their significant mantle-derived affinities. Combined with previous petrogeochemical and geophysical data, our He-C isotope modeling calculation results show that (1) excess mantle-derived 3He reflects degassing of volatiles related with partial melts from enriched mantle wedge induced by northward subduction of the Indian lithosphere, and (2) the crust-mantle interaction can provide continuous heat and materials for the overlying volcanic-geothermal system, in which magma-derived volatiles are inferred to experience significant crustal contamination during their migration to the surface.

  6. Earthquake nucleation in weak subducted carbonates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    Ocean-floor carbonate- and clay-rich sediments form major inputs to subduction zones, especially at low-latitude convergent plate margins. Therefore, knowledge of their frictional behaviour is fundamental for understanding plate-boundary earthquakes. Here we report results of mechanical tests

  7. Modeling critical zone processes in intensively managed environments (United States)

    Kumar, Praveen; Le, Phong; Woo, Dong; Yan, Qina


    Processes in the Critical Zone (CZ), which sustain terrestrial life, are tightly coupled across hydrological, physical, biochemical, and many other domains over both short and long timescales. In addition, vegetation acclimation resulting from elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration, along with response to increased temperature and altered rainfall pattern, is expected to result in emergent behaviors in ecologic and hydrologic functions, subsequently controlling CZ processes. We hypothesize that the interplay between micro-topographic variability and these emergent behaviors will shape complex responses of a range of ecosystem dynamics within the CZ. Here, we develop a modeling framework ('Dhara') that explicitly incorporates micro-topographic variability based on lidar topographic data with coupling of multi-layer modeling of the soil-vegetation continuum and 3-D surface-subsurface transport processes to study ecological and biogeochemical dynamics. We further couple a C-N model with a physically based hydro-geomorphologic model to quantify (i) how topographic variability controls the spatial distribution of soil moisture, temperature, and biogeochemical processes, and (ii) how farming activities modify the interaction between soil erosion and soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics. To address the intensive computational demand from high-resolution modeling at lidar data scale, we use a hybrid CPU-GPU parallel computing architecture run over large supercomputing systems for simulations. Our findings indicate that rising CO2 concentration and air temperature have opposing effects on soil moisture, surface water and ponding in topographic depressions. Further, the relatively higher soil moisture and lower soil temperature contribute to decreased soil microbial activities in the low-lying areas due to anaerobic conditions and reduced temperatures. The decreased microbial relevant processes cause the reduction of nitrification rates, resulting in relatively lower nitrate

  8. Earthquake occurrence along the Java trench in front of the onset of the Wadati-Benioff zone: Beginning of a new subduction cycle?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Špičák, Aleš; Hanuš, Václav; Vaněk, Jiří


    Roč. 26, č. 1 (2007), TC1005/1-TC1005/16 ISSN 0278-7407 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3012303 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30120515 Keywords : Wadati-Benioff zone * earthquake occurrence * Java trench Subject RIV: DC - Siesmology, Volcanology, Earth Structure Impact factor: 2.398, year: 2007

  9. Detailed inversion of a shallow slow slip event at the Hikurangi subduction zone, New Zealand, using numerical Green's functions and absolute pressure gauge data (United States)

    Williams, C. A.; Wallace, L. M.; Webb, S. C.; Ito, Y.; Mochizuki, K.; Hino, R.; Henrys, S. A.


    Slow slip events (SSEs) have been observed throughout the world, and the existence of these events has fundamentally altered our understanding of the possible ranges of slip behavior at subduction plate boundaries. SSEs are typically observed via continuous GPS (cGPS) observations. Although much has been learned in recent years, the slip distributions for shallow SSEs are still poorly understood due to the lack of offshore data to constrain the slip estimates. Most importantly, it has been difficult to determine whether shallow SSEs extend to the trench, or whether they terminate at some distance inboard of the trench. Constraining the slip distribution is critical to our understanding of the physics underlying SSEs. Recently, absolute pressure gauges (APGs) were deployed offshore near Gisborne, New Zealand, as part of the HOBITSS experiment, capturing a SSE event during September and October 2014. The APGs provide a record of vertical deformation during the event, allowing much better constraints on the offshore slip distribution. Initial inversions using an elastic half-space model based on these observations indicate that slip occurred within 2 km of the trench. We here describe a more detailed inversion procedure where we include the effects of detailed fault geometry, bathymetry/topography, and material property variations to provide a more accurate estimate of the slip distribution during this event. We use the PyLith finite element code to generate Green's functions for use in our inversions. By going beyond an elastic half-space model we should be able to place much tighter constraints on the slip distribution, and thus improve our understanding of shallow SSEs.

  10. P- and S-wave velocity models incorporating the Cascadia subduction zone for 3D earthquake ground motion simulations—Update for Open-File Report 2007–1348 (United States)

    Stephenson, William J.; Reitman, Nadine G.; Angster, Stephen J.


    In support of earthquake hazards studies and ground motion simulations in the Pacific Northwest, threedimensional (3D) P- and S-wave velocity (VP and VS , respectively) models incorporating the Cascadia subduction zone were previously developed for the region encompassed from about 40.2°N. to 50°N. latitude, and from about 122°W. to 129°W. longitude (fig. 1). This report describes updates to the Cascadia velocity property volumes of model version 1.3 ([V1.3]; Stephenson, 2007), herein called model version 1.6 (V1.6). As in model V1.3, the updated V1.6 model volume includes depths from 0 kilometers (km) (mean sea level) to 60 km, and it is intended to be a reference for researchers who have used, or are planning to use, this model in their earth science investigations. To this end, it is intended that the VP and VS property volumes of model V1.6 will be considered a template for a community velocity model of the Cascadia region as additional results become available. With the recent and ongoing development of the National Crustal Model (NCM; Boyd and Shah, 2016), we envision any future versions of this model will be directly integrated with that effort

  11. Evidence for retrograde lithospheric subduction on Venus (United States)

    Sandwell, David T.; Schubert, Gerald


    Annular moats and outer rises around large Venus coronas such as Artemis, Latona, and Eithinoha are similar in arcuate planform and topography to the trenches and outer rises of terrestrial subduction zones. On earth, trenches and outer rises are modeled as the flexural response of a thin elastic lithosphere to the bending moment of the subducted slab; this lithospheric flexure model also accounts for the trenches and outer rises outboard of the major coronas on Venus. Accordingly, it is proposed that retrograde lithospheric subduction may be occurring on the margins of the large Venus coronas while compensating back-arc extension is occurring in the expanding coronas interiors. Similar processes may be taking place at other deep arcuate trenches or chasmata on Venus such as those in the Dali-Diana chasmata area of aestern Aphrodite Terra.

  12. Probing the transition between seismically coupled and decoupled segments along an ancient subduction interface

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Angiboust, Samuel; Kirsch, Josephine; Oncken, Onno; Glodny, Johannes; Monié, Patrick; Rybacki, Erik


    ... as the focus site of episodic tremor and slip features. Exhumed remnants of the former Alpine subduction zone found in the Swiss Alps allow analyzing fluid and deformation processes near the transition zone region (30–40 km paleodepth...

  13. Mapping subduction interface coupling using magnetotellurics: Hikurangi margin, New Zealand (United States)

    Heise, W.; Caldwell, T. G.; Bannister, S.; Bertrand, E. A.; Ogawa, Y.; Bennie, S. L.; Ichihara, H.


    The observation of slow-slip, seismic tremor, and low-frequency earthquakes at subduction margins has provided new insight into the mechanisms by which stress accumulates between large subduction (megathrust) earthquakes. However, the relationship between the physical properties of the subduction interface and the nature of the controls on interplate seismic coupling is not fully understood. Using magnetotelluric data, we show in situ that an electrically resistive patch on the Hikurangi subduction interface corresponds with an area of increased coupling inferred from geodetic data. This resistive patch must reflect a decrease in the fluid or sediment content of the interface shear zone. Together, the magnetotelluric and geodetic data suggest that the frictional coupling of this part on the Hikurangi margin may be controlled by the interface fluid and sediment content: the resistive patch marking a fluid- and sediment-starved area with an increased density of small, seismogenic-asperities, and therefore a greater likelihood of subduction earthquake nucleation.

  14. Rheological separation of the megathrust seismogenic zone and episodic tremor and slip. (United States)

    Gao, Xiang; Wang, Kelin


    Episodic tremor and accompanying slow slip, together called ETS, is most often observed in subduction zones of young and warm subducting slabs. ETS should help us to understand the mechanics of subduction megathrusts, but its mechanism is still unclear. It is commonly assumed that ETS represents a transition from seismic to aseismic behaviour of the megathrust with increasing depth, but this assumption is in contradiction with an observed spatial separation between the seismogenic zone and the ETS zone. Here we propose a unifying model for the necessary geological condition of ETS that explains the relationship between the two zones. By developing numerical thermal models, we examine the governing role of thermo-petrologically controlled fault zone rheology (frictional versus viscous shear). High temperatures in the warm-slab environment cause the megathrust seismogenic zone to terminate before reaching the depth of the intersection of the continental Mohorovičić discontinuity (Moho) and the subduction interface, called the mantle wedge corner. High pore-fluid pressures around the mantle wedge corner give rise to an isolated friction zone responsible for ETS. Separating the two zones is a segment of semi-frictional or viscous behaviour. The new model reconciles a wide range of seemingly disparate observations and defines a conceptual framework for the study of slip behaviour and the seismogenesis of major faults.

  15. Formation and stability of a double subduction system: a numerical study (United States)

    Pusok, Adina E.; Stegman, Dave


    Examples of double subduction systems can be found in both modern (Izu-Bonin-Marianas and Ryukyu arcs, e.g. Hall [1997]) and ancient (Kohistan arc in Western Himalayas, e.g. Burg [2006], Burg et al. [2006]) tectonic record. A double subduction system has also been proposed to explain the high convergence rate observed for the India-Eurasia convergence [Jagoutz et al., 2015; Holt et al., 2016, 2017]. Rates of convergence across coupled double subduction systems can be significantly faster than across single subduction systems because of slab pull by two slabs. However, despite significant geological and geophysical observations, our understanding about this process is limited, and questions regarding double subduction remain largely unexplored in terms of physical factors controlling its initiation, duration and dynamics. Subduction initiation (of a single system) in itself has been a popular and challenging topic in the research community for the last few years, and various mechanisms (i.e., collapse at a passive margin or transform fault [Gerya et al., 2008; Stern, 2004], driven by compression [Hall et al., 2003; Toth and Gurnis, 1998], due to shear heating under compression [Thielmann and Kaus, 2012] or plume induced initiation [Gerya et al., 2015]) have been proposed. However, initiation of a secondary subduction, and formation of a stable double subduction system has not been studied before. Previous studies of double subduction either introduced weak zones to initiate subduction [Mishin et al., 2008] or both the subduction systems were already initiated [Jagoutz et al., 2015], thus assuming a priori information regarding the initial position of the two subduction zones. In this study, we perform 2D and 3D numerical simulations to investigate i) subduction initiation of a secondary system in an already initiated single subduction system, and ii) the dynamics and stability of the newly formed double subduction system. For this, we employ the code LaMEM [Kaus et

  16. Subducting Plate Breakup by Plume-Lithosphere Interaction (United States)

    Koptev, A.; Gerya, T.; Jolivet, L.; Leroy, S. D.


    We use a 3D high-resolution thermo-mechanical modeling to investigate the impact of active mantle plume on a subducting lithospheric plate. Initial model setup consists of an overriding continental lithosphere and subducting lithospheric plate including oceanic and continental lithosphere. A mantle plume thermal anomaly has been initially seeded at the bottom of the model box underneath the continental segment of subducting plate. Mantle plume impingement on lithospheric bottom leads to thinning of continental lithosphere and decompressional melting of both lithospheric and sublithospheric mantle along stretched trench-parallel zone. Further continental breakup is followed by opening of an oceanic basin separating a newly formed microcontinent from the main subducting continent. Despite continuous push applied at the boundary of subducting plate, plume-induced oceanic basin opens during several Myrs reaching several hundred kilometers wide. Cooling of the mantle plume and beginning of collision between the separated microcontinent and the overriding continental plate lead to gradual closure of newly formed oceanic basin that gets further involved into subduction and collision. The final stage sees continental subduction of main body of subducting plate and simultaneous tectonic exhumation of the upper crust of the subducted microcontinent. This scenario involving a plume-induced rifting of a microcontinent away from main body of subducted plate can be compared to the Mesozoic-Cenozoic development of the African plate characterized by the consecutive separation of the Apulian microcontinent and Arabian plate (in the Jurassic and the Neogene, respectively) during subduction of Neo-Tethys oceanic lithosphere beneath the Eurasian margin.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    of this metasomatic-tectonic relationship requires that 1) Phanerozoic orogenic Au-deposits form in subduction-zone environments, and 2) the geochemical similarity of Precambrian orogenic deposits to their younger counterparts is the result of having the same petrogenetic origin. Hydrogen and oxygen isotope...... compositions of fuchsite and quartz from auriferous mineralization in the ca. 3.8 Ga Isua Supracrustal Belt (ISB) in West Greenland, in conjunction with elevated concentrations of CO2, Cr, Al, K and silica relative to protolith assemblages, suggest that this mineralization shares a common petro-tectonic origin......, are the result of seawater-derived fluids liberated from subducting lithosphere interacting with ultramafic rocks in the mantle wedge and lower crust, before migrating up crustal-scale vertical fracture zones. Thus, the presence of quartz-carbonate-fuchsite mineralization in the Isua supracrustal belt and other...

  18. Reaction-induced rheological weakening enables oceanic plate subduction


    Hirauchi, Ken-ichi; Fukushima, Kumi; Kido, Masanori; Muto, Jun; Okamoto, Atsushi


    Earth is the only terrestrial planet in our solar system where an oceanic plate subducts beneath an overriding plate. Although the initiation of plate subduction requires extremely weak boundaries between strong plates, the way in which oceanic mantle rheologically weakens remains unknown. Here we show that shear-enhanced hydration reactions contribute to the generation and maintenance of weak mantle shear zones at mid-lithospheric depths. High-pressure friction experiments on peridotite goug...

  19. Fluid-mediated metal transport in subduction zones and its link to arc-related giant ore deposits: Constraints from a sulfide-bearing HP vein in lawsonite eclogite (Tianshan, China) (United States)

    Li, Ji-Lei; Gao, Jun; John, Timm; Klemd, Reiner; Su, Wen


    High-pressure (HP) veins in eclogites provide insight into element mobility during fluid-rock interaction in subduction zones. Here, we present a petrological-geochemical study of a sulfide-bearing HP vein and its massive lawsonite eclogite host rock from the Chinese Tianshan (ultra-)high-pressure/low-temperature metamorphic belt. The omphacite-dominated vein is enveloped by a garnet-poor, sulfide-bearing eclogite-facies reaction selvage. Lawsonite, garnet, omphacite, glaucophane and other HP minerals occur as inclusions in pyrite porphyroblasts of the selvage rock, indicating that the selvage formed prograde under eclogite-facies conditions. Relicts of wall-rock garnet (Grt_I) cores in recrystallized selvage garnet (Grt_II) close to the wall rock and the Ca distribution in Grt_II, which images the overgrown selvage matrix, indicate that the selvage formed due to dissolution-precipitation processes as a consequence of fluid-rock interaction of the wall rock eclogite with the vein-forming fluid. The peak metamorphic P-T conditions of the wall-rock eclogite are estimated at ca. 590 °C and 23 kbar. Mass-balance calculations indicate that the reaction selvage experienced: (1) a depletion of the large-ion lithophile elements (K-Rb-Ba) of up to 100% relative to their concentrations in the wall-rock eclogite; (2) a moderate depletion of the HREE and some transition metal elements including Fe, Cu, Ni, Zn, Co, Cr, and Mn (10-40%); (3) a significant enrichment of CaO (up to 50-80%), Sr (up to ˜200%), Pb (up to ˜170%) and S (up to ˜210%); (4) a slight to moderate enrichment of the LREE (10-20%) and MREE (0-40%); whereas (5) the HFSE show no significant variations.

  20. Light comfort zones of mesopelagic acoustic scattering layers in two contrasting optical environments

    KAUST Repository

    Røstad, Anders


    We make a comparison of the mesopelagic sound scattering layers (SLs) in two contrasting optical environments; the clear Red Sea and in murkier coastal waters of Norway (Masfjorden). The depth distributions of the SL in Masfjorden are shallower and narrower than those of the Red Sea. This difference in depth distribution is consistent with the hypothesis that the organisms of the SL distribute according to similar light comfort zones (LCZ) in the two environments. Our study suggest that surface and underwater light measurements ranging more than10 orders of magnitude is required to assess the controlling effects of light on SL structure and dynamics.

  1. [Evaluation of land resources carrying capacity of development zone based on planning environment impact assessment]. (United States)

    Fu, Shi-Feng; Zhang, Ping; Jiang, Jin-Long


    Assessment of land resources carrying capacity is the key point of planning environment impact assessment and the main foundation to determine whether the planning could be implemented or not. With the help of the space analysis function of Geographic Information System, and selecting altitude, slope, land use type, distance from resident land, distance from main traffic roads, and distance from environmentally sensitive area as the sensitive factors, a comprehensive assessment on the ecological sensitivity and its spatial distribution in Zhangzhou Merchants Economic and Technological Development Zone, Fujian Province of East China was conducted, and the assessment results were combined with the planning land layout diagram for the ecological suitability analysis. In the Development Zone, 84.0% of resident land, 93.1% of industrial land, 86.0% of traffic land, and 76. 0% of other constructive lands in planning were located in insensitive and gently sensitive areas, and thus, the implement of the land use planning generally had little impact on the ecological environment, and the land resources in the planning area was able to meet the land use demand. The assessment of the population carrying capacity with ecological land as the limiting factor indicated that in considering the highly sensitive area and 60% of the moderately sensitive area as ecological land, the population within the Zone in the planning could reach 240000, and the available land area per capita could be 134.0 m2. Such a planned population scale is appropriate, according to the related standards of constructive land.

  2. Subduction and volatile recycling in Earth's mantle (United States)

    King, S. D.; Ita, J. J.; Staudigel, H.


    The subduction of water and other volatiles into the mantle from oceanic sediments and altered oceanic crust is the major source of volatile recycling in the mantle. Until now, the geotherms that have been used to estimate the amount of volatiles that are recycled at subduction zones have been produced using the hypothesis that the slab is rigid and undergoes no internal deformation. On the other hand, most fluid dynamical mantle flow calculations assume that the slab has no greater strength than the surrounding mantle. Both of these views are inconsistent with laboratory work on the deformation of mantle minerals at high pressures. We consider the effects of the strength of the slab using two-dimensional calculations of a slab-like thermal downwelling with an endothermic phase change. Because the rheology and composition of subducting slabs are uncertain, we consider a range of Clapeyron slopes which bound current laboratory estimates of the spinel to perovskite plus magnesiowustite phase transition and simple temperature-dependent rheologies based on an Arrhenius law diffusion mechanism. In uniform viscosity convection models, subducted material piles up above the phase change until the pile becomes gravitationally unstable and sinks into the lower mantle (the avalanche). Strong slabs moderate the 'catastrophic' effects of the instabilities seen in many constant-viscosity convection calculations; however, even in the strongest slabs we consider, there is some retardation of the slab descent due to the presence of the phase change.

  3. Progressive Subduction-Accretion Growth of the Late Paleozoic-Cretaceous Izmir-Ankara Suture Zone Melange in Northern Anatolia, Turkey, and a New Tectonic Model for the Evolution of Northern Neotethys (United States)

    Dilek, Y.; Sarifakioglu, E.; Sevin, M.


    Seamount-oceanic plateau remnants and ophiolite fragments with MORB-like and island arc tholeiite (IAT) affinities occur as blocks in the Ankara Mélange along the Izmir-Ankara-Erzincan suture zone in north-central Turkey, and provide temporal and geochemical evidence for magmatism associated with subduction initiation-evolution and convergent margin growth in the Northern Neotethys. Ophiolitic blocks and the serpentinite and/or greywacke matrix of the mélange are deformed and imbricated along generally south-directed thrust sheets as a result of the north-dipping subduction polarity and the continental collision tectonics in the early Paleogene. Plagiogranite dikes intruding the SSZ gabbros have revealed U/Pb zircon ages of 179 Ma; epi-ophiolitic pelitic rocks resting directly on various ophiolitic units, on the other hand, contain zircons with ages around 130 Ma. Upper Cretaceous flyschal deposits unconformably cover imbricate thrust sheets of the SSZ-type ophiolite and the ophiolitic mélange containing MORB-like ophiolitic slabs and seamount fragments. SSZ-type ophiolite blocks include upper mantle peridotites, cumulate to massive gabbros, sheeted diabase dykes, plagiogranite veins and stocks, and basalt-chert-radiolarite. MORB-like ophiolitic blocks mainly contain upper mantle peridotites, massive gabbros, basaltic lavas, and chert-radiolarite. TiO2 contents of the SSZ-type, diabasic dykes and basaltic lavas are between 0.2 - 0.93 wt.%, whereas those of the MORB-like basalts range between 0.85 - 5.05 wt.%. Nb contents of the SSZ-type diabasic dykes and basaltic lavas range between 0.1-2.5 ppm and of the MORB-like lavas between 3.7-5.4 ppm. SSZ-type basic rocks have Th/Yb ratios of 0.1-1 whereas the MORB-like basic rocks show Th/Yb values ranging from 0.01 to 0.3, suggesting enrichment by slab-derived fluids. The low TiO2 and Nb values, combined with higher Th/Yb ratios, indicate an IAT affinity of the SSZ rock suites in comparison to the tholeiitic features

  4. Subduction initiation and Obduction: insights from analog models (United States)

    Agard, P.; Zuo, X.; Funiciello, F.; Bellahsen, N.; Faccenna, C.; Savva, D.


    Subduction initiation and obduction are two poorly constrained geodynamic processes which are interrelated in a number of natural settings. Subduction initiation can be viewed as the result of a regional-scale change in plate convergence partitioning between the set of existing subduction (and collision or obduction) zones worldwide. Intraoceanic subduction initiation may also ultimately lead to obduction of dense oceanic "ophiolites" atop light continental plates. A classic example is the short-lived Peri-Arabic obduction, which took place along thousands of km almost synchronously (within ~5-10 myr), from Turkey to Oman, while the subduction zone beneath Eurasia became temporarily jammed. We herein present analog models designed to study both processes and more specifically (1) subduction initiation through the partitioning of deformation between two convergent zones (a preexisting and a potential one) and, as a consequence, (2) the possible development of obduction, which has so far never been modeled. These models explore the mechanisms of subduction initiation and obduction and test various triggering hypotheses (i.e., plate acceleration, slab crossing the 660 km discontinuity, ridge subduction; Agard et al., 2007). The experimental setup comprises an upper mantle modelled as a low-viscosity transparent Newtonian glucose syrup filling a rigid Plexiglas tank and high-viscosity silicone plates. Convergence is simulated by pushing on a piston at one end of the model with plate tectonics like velocities (1-10 cm/yr) onto (i) a continental margin, (ii) a weakness zone with variable resistance and dip (W), (iii) an oceanic plate - with or without a spreading ridge, (iv) a subduction zone (S) dipping away from the piston and (v) an upper active continental margin, below which the oceanic plate is being subducted at the start of the experiment (as for the Oman case). Several configurations were tested over thirty-five parametric experiments. Special emphasis was

  5. Influence of environment and mitochondrial heritage on the ecological characteristics of fish in a hybrid zone.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Stolzenberg

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ecological characteristics (growth, morphology, reproduction arise from the interaction between environmental factors and genetics. Genetic analysis of individuals' life history traits might be used to improve our understanding of mechanisms that form and maintain a hybrid zone. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A fish hybrid zone was used to characterize the process of natural selection. Data were collected during two reproductive periods (2001 and 2002 and 1117 individuals (nase, Chondrostama nasus nasus, sofie C. toxostoma toxostoma and hybrids were sampled. Reproductive dates of the two parental species overlapped at sympatric sites. The nase had an earlier reproductive period than the sofie; males had longer reproductive periods for both species. Hybridisation between female nase and male sofie was the most likely. Hybrids had a reproductive period similar to the inherited parental mitochondrial type. Growth and reproductive information from different environments has been synthesised following a bayesian approach of the von Bertalanffy model. Hybrid life history traits appear to link with maternal heritage. Hybrid size from the age of two and size at first maturity appeared to be closer to the size of the maternal origin species (nase or sofie. Median growth rates for hybrids were similar and intermediate between those of the parental species. We observed variable life history traits for hybrids and pure forms in the different parts of the hybrid zone. Geometrical analysis of the hybrid fish shape gave evidence of two main morphologies with a link to maternal heritage. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Selective mating seemed to be the underlying process which, with mitochondrial heritage, could explain the evolution of the studied hybrid zone. More generally, we showed the importance of studies on hybrid zones and specifically the study of individuals' ecological characteristics, to improve our understanding of speciation.

  6. Influence of Environment and Mitochondrial Heritage on the Ecological Characteristics of Fish in a Hybrid Zone (United States)

    Stolzenberg, Nicolas; Nguyen The, Bénédicte; Salducci, Marie Dominique; Cavalli, Laurent


    Background Ecological characteristics (growth, morphology, reproduction) arise from the interaction between environmental factors and genetics. Genetic analysis of individuals' life history traits might be used to improve our understanding of mechanisms that form and maintain a hybrid zone. Methodology/Principal Findings A fish hybrid zone was used to characterize the process of natural selection. Data were collected during two reproductive periods (2001 and 2002) and 1117 individuals (nase, Chondrostama nasus nasus, sofie C. toxostoma toxostoma and hybrids) were sampled. Reproductive dates of the two parental species overlapped at sympatric sites. The nase had an earlier reproductive period than the sofie; males had longer reproductive periods for both species. Hybridisation between female nase and male sofie was the most likely. Hybrids had a reproductive period similar to the inherited parental mitochondrial type. Growth and reproductive information from different environments has been synthesised following a bayesian approach of the von Bertalanffy model. Hybrid life history traits appear to link with maternal heritage. Hybrid size from the age of two and size at first maturity appeared to be closer to the size of the maternal origin species (nase or sofie). Median growth rates for hybrids were similar and intermediate between those of the parental species. We observed variable life history traits for hybrids and pure forms in the different parts of the hybrid zone. Geometrical analysis of the hybrid fish shape gave evidence of two main morphologies with a link to maternal heritage. Conclusions/Significance Selective mating seemed to be the underlying process which, with mitochondrial heritage, could explain the evolution of the studied hybrid zone. More generally, we showed the importance of studies on hybrid zones and specifically the study of individuals' ecological characteristics, to improve our understanding of speciation. PMID:19536286

  7. Influence of environment and mitochondrial heritage on the ecological characteristics of fish in a hybrid zone. (United States)

    Stolzenberg, Nicolas; Nguyen The, Bénédicte; Salducci, Marie Dominique; Cavalli, Laurent


    Ecological characteristics (growth, morphology, reproduction) arise from the interaction between environmental factors and genetics. Genetic analysis of individuals' life history traits might be used to improve our understanding of mechanisms that form and maintain a hybrid zone. A fish hybrid zone was used to characterize the process of natural selection. Data were collected during two reproductive periods (2001 and 2002) and 1117 individuals (nase, Chondrostama nasus nasus, sofie C. toxostoma toxostoma and hybrids) were sampled. Reproductive dates of the two parental species overlapped at sympatric sites. The nase had an earlier reproductive period than the sofie; males had longer reproductive periods for both species. Hybridisation between female nase and male sofie was the most likely. Hybrids had a reproductive period similar to the inherited parental mitochondrial type. Growth and reproductive information from different environments has been synthesised following a bayesian approach of the von Bertalanffy model. Hybrid life history traits appear to link with maternal heritage. Hybrid size from the age of two and size at first maturity appeared to be closer to the size of the maternal origin species (nase or sofie). Median growth rates for hybrids were similar and intermediate between those of the parental species. We observed variable life history traits for hybrids and pure forms in the different parts of the hybrid zone. Geometrical analysis of the hybrid fish shape gave evidence of two main morphologies with a link to maternal heritage. Selective mating seemed to be the underlying process which, with mitochondrial heritage, could explain the evolution of the studied hybrid zone. More generally, we showed the importance of studies on hybrid zones and specifically the study of individuals' ecological characteristics, to improve our understanding of speciation.

  8. Plants from Chernobyl zone could shed light on genome stability in radioactive environment (United States)

    Shevchenko, Galina; Talalaiev, Oleksandr; Doonan, John


    For nearly 30 years, despite of chronic radiation, flora in Chernobyl zone continue to flourish, evidencing the adaptation of plants to such an environment. Keeping in mind interplanetary missions, this phenomenon is a challenge for plant space research since it highlights the possible mechanisms of genome protection and stabilization in harmful environment. Plants are sessile organisms and, contrary to animals, could not escape the external impact. Therefore, plants should evolve the robust system allowing DNA-protection against damage, which is of special interest. Our investigations show that Arabidopsis thaliana from Chernobyl zone tolerate radiomimetics and heavy metals better than control plants from non-polluted areas. Besides, its genome is less affected by such mutagens. qPCR investigations have revealed up-regulation of some genes involved in DNA damage response. In particular, expression of ATR is increased slightly and downstream expression of CycB1:1 gene is increased significantly after bleomycin treatment suggesting role of ATR-dependent pathway in genome stabilization. Several DNA repair pathways are known to exist in plants. We continue investigations on gene expression from different DNA repair pathways as well as cell cycle regulation and investigation of PCD hallmarks in order to reveal the mechanism of plant tolerance to radiation environment. Our investigations provide unique information for space researchers working on biotechnology of radiation tolerant plants.

  9. Gondwana breakup via double-saloon-door rifting and seafloor spreading in a backarc basin during subduction rollback (United States)

    Martin, A. K.


    attached to Southern Patagonia/West Antarctic Peninsula, while the Ellsworth Whitmore Terrane is combined with the Thurston Island Block; paleogeographies demonstrate rifting and extension in a backarc environment relative to a Pacific margin subduction zone/accretionary wedge where simultaneous crustal shortening occurs; a ridge jump towards the subduction zone from east of the Falkland Islands to the Rocas Verdes Basin evinces subduction rollback; this ridge jump combined with backarc extension isolated an area of thicker continental crust — The Falkland Islands Block; well-documented EW oriented seafloor spreading anomalies in the Weddell Sea are perpendicular to the subduction zone and propagate in the opposite direction to rollback; the dextral strike-slip Gastre and sub-parallel faults form one boundary of the Gondwana subduction rollback, whereas the other boundary may be formed by inferred sinistral strike-slip motion between a combined Thurston Island/Ellsworth Whitmore Terrane and Marie Byrd Land/East Antarctica.

  10. Subduction Zones: Facts, Ideas, and Speculations. (United States)

    Uyeda, Seiya


    Recent research studies of both classifications of ocean margins (active or of Pacific type and passive or of Atlantic variety) have yielded a considerable amount of new information leading to some new theories. These theories regarding different kinds of tectonic activity are discussed. (BT)

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


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


    Formation of new subduction zones represents one of the cornerstones of plate tectonics, yet both the kinematics and geodynamics governing this process remain enigmatic. A major subduction initiation event occurred in the Late Cretaceous, within the Neo-Tethys Ocean between Gondwana and Eurasia. Suprasubduction zone ophiolites (i.e., emerged fragments of ancient oceanic lithosphere formed at suprasubduction spreading centers) were generated during this subduction event and are today distribut...

  12. A first step in constructing a long multi-lake paleoseismic record in Southern Alaska for revealing the recurrence rate of megathrust earthquakes along the Alaskan-Aleutian subduction zone (United States)

    Praet, Nore; Moernaut, Jasper; Van Daele, Maarten; Kempf, Philipp; Haeussler, Peter; Strupler, Michael; De Batist, Marc


    On March 27, 1964, the "Good Friday" Earthquake ruptured an 800 km-long segment of the Alaskan-Aleutian megathrust, representing the largest measured earthquake in North America (Mw 9.2). Recurrence rates of such megathrust earthquakes are typically in the order of hundreds of years. The development of a reliable assessment of seismic hazards evidently requires statistically much more robust earthquake recurrence data. For this, high-quality paleoseismological records are necessary, which are able to extend the historical evidence much further back in time. The current knowledge of the paleoseismicity along the megathrust segment around Prince William Sound is inferred from records of abrupt changes in coastal elevation. Lake sediments can also produce excellent paleoseismological records. Seismically induced subaquatic landslides generate distinct resedimentation deposits that are interbedded in between the background sediments. During a reconnaissance survey in 2012, we collected short cores and high-resolution seismic data in several glacial lakes in Southern Alaska. The short gravity cores reveal a clear sedimentary imprint of the 1964 Earthquake in different sub-basins of the investigated lakes, and the seismic profiles show the presence of older mass-wasting deposits with similar large volumes. Multiple landslide deposits and associated turbidites at several stratigraphic levels imply that these deposits were also triggered by strong earthquake shaking. The length (i.e. entire Holocene) and high-resolution chronology (i.e. Pb/Cs data reveal that the core laminations represent varves) of the lacustrine record will allow to generate a unique, high-quality dataset of megathrust earthquake recurrences along the Prince William Sound segment of the Alaskan-Aleutian subduction zone. In winter of 2014, long cores (ca. 15 meters) will be taken at key locations in Skilak Lake, Eklutna Lake and possibly Kenai Lake. Analyzing and dating these sediment cores will make it

  13. Slow Slip Events and degree of coupling along the Mexican subduction zone in Guerrero and Oaxaca areas: role of the slab geometry and its lateral variations, spatio-temporal evolution, slip budget, determined from cGPS time series inversion using PCAIM code (United States)

    Cotte, N.; Perfettini, H.; Rousset, B.; Kostoglodov, V.; Lasserre, C.; Walpersdorf, A.; Cabral, E.


    Since the first cGPS have been installed in 1997 in the Guerrero-Oaxaca region of the Central American subduction zone in Mexico, several slow slip events (SSE) have been observed there. Further studies showed that the SSE characteristics are disparate in Guerrero and Oaxaca in terms of duration, amplitude and depth. In particular, recent investigations show that the slip during SSE intrudes the seismogenic zone in Guerrero, but barely in Oaxaca. The SSE lateral and depth extent has important implications on the seismic cycle. It affects the redistribution of stress (increasing or decreasing it) within the seismogenic zone, thus the timing and magnitude of future earthquakes. It is thus important to constrain a degree of coupling on the subduction interface and how the coupling evolves in space and time. This can be achieved by refining coupling models based on the observations and exploring a sensitivity of the models to variations of their main parameters.To better understand the effect of the SSE on the seismic cycle along the Mexican subduction zone, we analyze cGPS data and invert the time series, using a method based on a principal component analysis: PCAIM (Principal Component Analysis-based Inversion Method). For both Guerrero and Oaxaca areas, we first discuss the geometry of the plates' interface. Then we investigate in particular the effect of possible lateral and down-dip variations of the subduction interface on coupling models. Subsequent modeling using the PCAIM of the sequential SSEs that occurred in the past decade permitted to compare our results with the inferences of previously published works. We present the first analysis of the latest large SSE that started in January 2014 in Guerrero. We show that the PCAIM allows to describe a complex slip history in space and time of different SSEs and to provide a comparative analysis of behavior of the individual SSEs. We then discuss the potential interplay between SSE in Guerrero and Oaxaca, and the

  14. The hidden simplicity of subduction megathrust earthquakes (United States)

    Meier, M.-A.; Ampuero, J. P.; Heaton, T. H.


    The largest observed earthquakes occur on subduction interfaces and frequently cause widespread damage and loss of life. Understanding the rupture behavior of megathrust events is crucial for earthquake rupture physics, as well as for earthquake early-warning systems. However, the large variability in behavior between individual events seemingly defies a description with a simple unifying model. Here we use three source time function (STF) data sets for subduction zone earthquakes, with moment magnitude Mw ≥ 7, and show that such large ruptures share a typical universal behavior. The median STF is scalable between events with different sizes, grows linearly, and is nearly triangular. The deviations from the median behavior are multiplicative and Gaussian—that is, they are proportionally larger for larger events. Our observations suggest that earthquake magnitudes cannot be predicted from the characteristics of rupture onsets.

  15. Rapid fore-arc extension and detachment-mode spreading following subduction initiation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morris, Antony; Anderson, Mark W.; Omer, Ahmed; Maffione, Marco; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J.J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/269263624


    Most ophiolites have geochemical signatures that indicate formation by suprasubduction seafloor spreading above newly initiated subduction zones, and hence they record fore-arc processes operating following subduction initiation. They are frequently underlain by a metamorphic sole formed at the top

  16. Coastal zone environment measurements at Sakhalin Island using autonomous mobile robotic system (United States)

    Tyugin, Dmitry; Kurkin, Andrey; Zaytsev, Andrey; Zeziulin, Denis; Makarov, Vladimir


    To perform continuous complex measurements of environment characteristics in coastal zones autonomous mobile robotic system was built. The main advantage of such system in comparison to manual measurements is an ability to quickly change location of the equipment and start measurements. AMRS allows to transport a set of sensors and appropriate power source for long distances. The equipment installed on the AMRS includes: a modern high-tech ship's radar «Micran» for sea waves measurements, multiparameter platform WXT 520 for weather monitoring, high precision GPS/GLONASS receiver OS-203 for georeferencing, laser scanner platform based on two Sick LMS-511 scanners which can provide 3D distance measurements in up to 80 meters on the AMRS route and rugged designed quad-core fanless computer Matrix MXE-5400 for data collecting and recording. The equipment is controlled by high performance modular software developed specially for the AMRS. During the summer 2016 the experiment was conducted. Measurements took place at the coastal zone of Sakhalin Island (Russia). The measuring system of AMRS was started in automatic mode controlled by the software. As result a lot of data was collected and processed to database. It consists of continuous measurements of the coastal zone including different weather conditions. The most interesting for investigation is a period of three-point storm detected on June, 2, 2016. Further work will relate to data processing of measured environment characteristics an