Sample records for continental subduction-zone metamorphism

  1. Chemical geodynamics of continental subduction-zone metamorphism: Insights from studies of the Chinese Continental Scientific Drilling (CCSD) core samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Yong-Fei; Chen, Ren-Xu; Zhao, Zi-Fu

    2009-09-01

    The Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt of east-central China has long been a type location for the study of geodynamic processes associated with ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) tectonics. Much of our understanding of the world's most enigmatic processes in continental deep-subduction zones has been deduced from various records in this belt. By taking advantage of having depth profiles from core samples of the Chinese Continental Scientific Drilling (CCSD) project in the Sulu orogen, a series of combined studies were carried out for UHP metamorphic rocks from the main hole (MH) at continuous depths of 100 to 5000 m. The results provide new insights into the chemical geodynamics of continental subduction-zone metamorphism, especially on the issues that are not able to be resolved from the surface outcrops. Available results from our geochemical studies of CCSD-MH core samples can be outlined as follows. (1) An O isotope profile of 100 to 5000 m is established for the UHP metamorphic minerals, with finding of 18O depletion as deep as 3300 m. Along with areal 18O depletion of over 30,000 km 2 along the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt, three-dimensional 18O depletion of over 100,000 km 3 occurs along the northern margin of the South China Block. (2) Changes in mineral O isotope, H isotope and water content occur in eclogite-gneiss transitions, concordant with petrographic changes. The contact between different lithologies is thus the most favorable place for fluid action; fluid for retrogression of the eclogites away from the eclogite-gneiss boundary was derived from the decompression exsolution. For the eclogites adjacent to gneiss, in contrast, the retrograde metamorphism was principally caused by aqueous fluid from the gneiss that is relatively rich in water. Inspection of the relationship between the distance, petrography and ?18O values of adjacent samples shows O isotope heterogeneities between the different and same lithologies on scales of 20 to 50 cm, corresponding to the maximum scales of fluid mobility during the continental collision. (3) Studies of major and trace elements in the two continuous core segments indicate high mobility of LILE and LREE but immobility of HFSE and HREE. Some eclogites have andesitic compositions with high SiO 2, alkalis, LREE and LILE but low CaO, MgO and FeO contents. These features likely result from chemical exchange with gneisses, possibly due to the metasomatism of felsic melt produced by partial melting of the associated gneisses during the exhumation. On the other hand, some eclogites appear to have geochemical affinity to refractory rocks formed by melt extraction as evidence by strong LREE and LILE depletion and the absence of hydrous minerals. These results provide evidence for melt-induced element mobility in the UHP metamorphic rocks, and thus the possible presence of supercritical fluid during exhumation. In particular, large variations in the abundance of such elements as SiO 2, LREE and LILE occur at the contact between eclogite and gneiss. This indicates their mobility between different slab components, although it only occurs on small scales and is thus limited in local open-systems. (4) Despite the widespread retrogression, retrograde fluid was internally buffered in stable isotope compositions, and the retrograde fluid was of deuteric origin and thus was derived from the decompression exsolution of structural hydroxyl and molecular water in nominally anhydrous minerals. (5) A combined study of petrography and geochronology reveals the episode of HP eclogite-facies recrystallization at 216 ± 3 Ma, with timescale of 1.9 to 9.3 Myr or less. Collectively, the Dabie-Sulu UHP terrenes underwent the protracted exhumation (2-3 mm/yr) in the HP-UHP regime. (6) Zircon U-Pb ages and Hf isotopes indicate that mid-Neoproterozoic protoliths of bimodal UHP metaigneous rocks formed during supercontinental rifting along preexisting arc-continent collision orogen, corresponding to dual bimodal magmatism in response to the attempted breakup of the supercontinent Rodinia at about 780 Ma. The first type of bim

  2. UHP impure marbles from the Dabie Mountains: Metamorphic evolution and carbon cycling in continental subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Penglei; Wu, Yao; Chen, Yi; Zhang, Junfeng; Jin, Zhenmin

    2015-01-01

    Impure marbles from ultra-high pressure (UHP) metamorphic belts bear significant information on the metamorphic evolution and carbon cycling during continental subduction and exhumation. In this study, detailed petrological data are presented and a P-T-X(CO2) path is constructed for the impure marbles from the Dabie UHP terrane. Coesite relicts are discovered as inclusions within dolomite from the selected samples, which have a peak assemblage of dolomite, aragonite, garnet, omphacite, phengite, coesite, allanite and rutile. Estimated with the compositions of peak minerals, a P-T condition of 4.05-4.45 GPa at 740-820 °C is obtained by conventional geothermobarometry. The modeled fluid compositions have a low X(CO2) (0.01-0.02) at the peak conditions, while the X(CO2) firstly increased during isothermal exhumation and then decreased at later retrogression. The discovery of coesite within dolomite underscores the role of the 'pressure vessel' models and highlights the significance of fluid unavailability in preserving coesite in UHP rocks. Neither petrological evidence nor independent peak P-T estimations support the breakdown of dolomite in the studied marbles, which contests recent suggestions. Analysis on the phase relations in the CaO-MgO-SiO2-H2O-CO2 system shows that the bulk rock compositions have a large control on the stable UHP carbonate associations in carbonate-bearing rocks. The low X(CO2) in the peak fluids indicates a weak decarbonation of the impure marbles under sub-arcs. In the last, a large fraction of CO2 is shown to be sequestrated during regional retrogression of clinopyroxene marbles, which has a profound influence and must be considered for the global carbon cycling.

  3. Metamorphic Perspectives of Subduction Zone Volatiles Cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bebout, G. E.

    2008-12-01

    Field study of HP/UHP metamorphic rocks provides "ground-truthing" for experimental and theoretical petrologic studies estimating extents of deep volatiles subduction, and provides information regarding devolatilization and deep subduction-zone fluid flow that can be used to reconcile estimates of subduction inputs and arc volcanic outputs for volatiles such as H2O, N, and C. Considerable attention has been paid to H2O subduction in various bulk compositions, and, based on calculated phase assemblages, it is thought that a large fraction of the initially structurally bound H2O is subducted to, and beyond, subarc regions in most modern subduction zones (Hacker, 2008, G-cubed). Field studies of HP/UHP mafic and sedimentary rocks demonstrate the impressive retention of volatiles (and fluid-mobile elements) to depths approaching those beneath arcs. At the slab-mantle interface, high-variance lithologies containing hydrous phases such as mica, amphibole, talc, and chlorite could further stabilize H2O to great depth. Trench hydration in sub-crustal parts of oceanic lithosphere could profoundly increase subduction inputs of particularly H2O, and massive flux of H2O-rich fluids from these regions into the slab-mantle interface could lead to extensive metasomatism. Consideration of sedimentary N concentrations and ?15N at ODP Site 1039 (Li and Bebout, 2005, JGR), together with estimates of the N concentration of subducting altered oceanic crust (AOC), indicates that ~42% of the N subducting beneath Nicaragua is returned in the corresponding volcanic arc (Elkins et al., 2006, GCA). Study of N in HP/UHP sedimentary and basaltic rocks indicates that much of the N initially subducted in these lithologies would be retained to depths approaching 100 km and thus available for addition to arcs. The more altered upper part of subducting oceanic crust most likely to contribute to arcs has sediment-like ?15NAir (0 to +10 per mil; Li et al., 2007, GCA), and study of HP/UHP eclogites indicates retention of seafloor N signatures and, in some cases, enrichments in sedimentary N due to forearc metamorphic fluid-rock interactions (Halama et al., this session). A global estimate of C cycling, using seafloor inputs (carbonate and organic matter) and estimates of volcanic CO2 outputs, indicates ~40% return (with large uncertainty) of the subducting C in volcanic gases. This imbalance appears plausible, given the evidence for deep carbonate subduction, in UHP marbles, and the preservation of graphite in UHP metasediments, together seemingly indicating that large fractions of subducting C survive forearc-to-subarc metamorphism. Estimates of return efficiency in the Central America arc, based on data for volcanic gases, are lower and variable along strike (12-29%), quite reasonably explained by de Leeuw et al. (2007, EPSL) as resulting from incomplete decarbonation of subducting sediment and AOC, fluid flow patterns expected given sediment section thickness, and varying degrees of forearc underplating. The attempts to mass-balance C and N across individual arc-trench systems demonstrate valuable integration of information from geophysical, field, petrologic, and geochemical observations. Studies of subduction-zone metamorphic suites can yield constraints on the evolution of deeply subducting rocks and the physicochemical characteristics of fluids released in forearcs and contributing to return flux in arc volcanic gases.

  4. Permo-Triassic Collision, Subduction-Zone Metamorphism, and Tectonic Exhumation Along the East Asian Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ernst, W. G.; Tsujimori, Tatsuki; Zhang, Ruth; Liou, J. G.

    2007-05-01

    Convergent plate motion at 320-210 Ma generated the Tongbai-Dabie-Sulu (east-central China)-Imjingang-Gyeonggi (central Korea)-Renge-Suo (Southwestern Japan)-Sikhote-Alin orogen along the paleo-Pacific edge of cratonal Asia. This amalgamated belt reflects collision between the Sino-Korean and Yangtze cratons on the SW portion, and accretion of outboard oceanic arcs ± sialic fragments against the NE margin. Subducted Proterozoic-Paleozoic continental and oceanic crustal complexes underwent high- and ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism at low to moderate temperatures. Tectonic slices of sialic crust episodically disengaged from the downgoing plate and, driven by buoyancy, ascended rapidly to midcrustal levels from depths exceeding 90-200 km after continental collision in east-central China plus or minus Korea, and from 30-50 km after arrival of far-traveled oceanic terranes in SW Japan and the Russian Far East. On achieving neutral buoyancy and stalling out at 10-20 km depth, later doming, gravitational collapse, and erosion exposed parts of the high- and ultrahigh-pressure complexes. This curvilinear orogen has been segmented and offset by major and minor transverse faults. Also, regional backarc spreading opened marginal basins behind the Permo-Triassic convergent suture zone, further disturbing portions oceanward.

  5. Earthquakes, fluid pressures and rapid subduction zone metamorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viete, D. R.

    2013-12-01

    High-pressure/low-temperature (HP/LT) metamorphism is commonly incomplete, meaning that large tracts of rock can remain metastable at blueschist- and eclogite-facies conditions for timescales up to millions of years [1]. When HP/LT metamorphism does take place, it can occur over extremely short durations (<<1 Myr) [1-2]. HP/LT metamorphism must be associated with processes that allow large volumes of rock to remain unaffected over long periods of time, but then suddenly undergo localized metamorphism. Existing models for HP/LT metamorphism have focussed on the role of fluids in providing heat for metamorphism [2] or catalyzing metamorphic reactions [1]. Earthquakes in subduction zone settings can occur to depths of 100s of km. Metamorphic dehydration and the associated development of elevated pore pressures in HP/LT metamorphic rocks has been identified as a cause of earthquake activity at such great depths [3-4]. The process of fracturing/faulting significantly increases rock permeability, causing channelized fluid flow and dissipation of pore pressures [3-4]. Thus, deep subduction zone earthquakes are thought to reflect an evolution in fluid pressure, involving: (1) an initial increase in pore pressure by heating-related dehydration of subduction zone rocks, and (2) rapid relief of pore pressures by faulting and channelized flow. Models for earthquakes at depth in subduction zones have focussed on the in situ effects of dehydration and then sudden escape of fluids from the rock mass following fracturing [3-4]. On the other hand, existing models for rapid and incomplete metamorphism in subduction zones have focussed only on the effects of heating and/or hydration with the arrival of external fluids [1-2]. Significant changes in pressure over very short timescales should result in rapid mineral growth and/or disequilibrium texture development in response to overstepping of mineral reaction boundaries. The repeated process of dehydration-pore pressure development-earthquake-pore pressure relief could conceivably produce a record of episodic HP/LT metamorphism driven by rapid pressure pulses. A new hypothesis is presented for the origins of HP/LT metamorphism: that HP/LT metamorphism is driven by effective pressure pulses caused by localized, earthquake-related modifications to fluid pressures in the subducted slab. In other words, HP/LT metamorphism marks abrupt changes in stress state within the subducted slab, driven by earthquake rupture and fluid flow, and involving a rapid return toward lithostatic pressure from effective pressures well below lithostatic. References: 1. Bjørnerud, MG, Austrheim, H & Lund, MG, 2002. Processes leading to eclogitization (densification) of subducted and tectonically buried crust. Journal of Geophysical Research 107, 2252. 2. Camacho, A, Lee, JKW, Hensen, BJ & Braun, J, 2005. Short-lived orogenic cycles and the eclogitization of cold crust by spasmodic hot fluids. Nature 435, 1191-1196. 3. Green, HW & Houston, H, 1995. The mechanics of deep earthquakes. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences 23, 169-213. 4. Hacker, BR, Peacock, SM, Abers, GA & Holloway, SD, 2003. Subduction factory 2. Are intermediate-depth earthquakes in subducting slabs linked to metamorphic dehydration reactions?. Journal of Geophysical Research 108, 2030.

  6. Quantification of Subduction Zone Metamorphic Devolatilization From Computed High Pressure Phase Equilibria

    Microsoft Academic Search

    D. M. Kerrick; J. D. Connolly

    2001-01-01

    Devolatilization in subduction zones is essential to arc magmatism, seismicity and volatile recycling. A premise of our research is that realistic modeling of metamorphic devolatilization of subducted lithologies is only possible with phase equilibria for chemical systems that closely approximate actual bulk compositions. Volatile components are introduced into subduction zones by three contrasting lithologies: marine sediments, and hydrothermally altered mantle

  7. Chlorine Behavior in Metasedimentary Rocks during Subduction Zone Metamorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnes, J.; Selverstone, J.; Bebout, G. E.; Penniston-Dorland, S.

    2014-12-01

    Chlorine concentrations and isotopic compositions were measured in two well-characterized metasedimentary suites from the Catalina Schist and the Western Alps to determine Cl behavior during prograde metamorphism. The Catalina Schist is a subduction zone metamorphic complex in California, USA containing lawsonite-albite (LA) to amphibolite grade rocks recording temperatures of 350 to 750°C and depths of 15 to 45 km. Previous work has shown a decrease in N, B, Cs, As, and Sb concentrations from the LA to the epidote-blueschist facies, with relatively little loss at higher metametamorphic grade [1], and limited Li loss across all grades [2]. Metapelitic rocks from the Western Alps (Schistes Lustres and Lago di Cignana) record temperatures of 350 to 550°C and depths up to 90 km. In contrast to Catalina, N, B, Cs, Ba, and Rb concentrations are relatively uniform across grade [3]. In the Catalina Schist, Cl concentration shows a pattern of loss similar to B and N, from ~100-500 ppm Cl in the LA facies to ~100 ppm in the lawsonite-blueschist facies to relatively uniform concentrations of ~10-25 ppm at higher grades. This loss is likely not due to the breakdown of apatite as P2O5 concentrations remain constant across grade. In the Alps, Cl concentrations are overall lower and show moderate loss from ~10 ppm in the lowest grade to <5 ppm in the highest grade. ?37Cl values range from -1 to +1.6‰ and -1.7 to -0.7‰ in Catalina and the Alps, respectively. Both suites show significant isotopic heterogeneities within a single metamorphic grade and no systematic change in ?37Cl value with increasing grade. We interpret these heterogeneities to be inherited from the protolith. Despite large Cl losses, limited Cl isotope fractionation at high temperatures minimizes variations in ?37Cl value with increasing metamorphic grade. [1] Bebout et al, 1999, EPSL, 171, 53-81 [2] Penniston-Dorland et al, 2012, GCA, 77, 530-545 [3] Bebout et al, 2013, Chem Geol, 342, 1-20

  8. Boron isotope geochemistry of metasedimentary rocks and tourmalines in a subduction zone metamorphic suite

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Toshio Nakano; Eizo Nakamura

    2001-01-01

    In order to understand the behavior of boron (B) and its isotope fractionation during subduction zone metamorphism, B contents and isotopic compositions together with major element compositions were determined for metasedimentary rocks and tourmalines from the Sambagawa Metamorphic Belt, central Shikoku, Japan. No systematic changes in whole-rock B content and isotope composition of the metasediments were observed among the different

  9. Fractionation of trace elements by subduction-zone metamorphism — effect of convergent-margin thermal evolution

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Gray E. Bebout; Jeffrey G. Ryan; William P. Leeman; Ann E. Bebout

    1999-01-01

    Differential chemical\\/isotopic alteration during forearc devolatilization can strongly influence the cycling of volatile components, including some trace elements, in subduction zones. The nature and magnitude of this devolatilization effect are likely to be strongly dependent on the thermal structure of individual convergent margins. A recent model for metamorphism of the Catalina Schist, involving progressive underplating (at ?45 km depths) of

  10. Fractionation of trace elements by subduction-zone metamorphism - effect of convergent-margin thermal evolution

    Microsoft Academic Search

    G. E. Bebout; J. G. Ryan; W. P. Leeman; A. E. Bebout

    1999-01-01

    Differential chemical\\/isotopic alteration during forearc devolatilization can strongly influence the cycling of volatile components, including some trace elements, in subduction zones. The nature and magnitude of this devolatilization effect are likely to be strongly dependent on the thermal structure of individual convergent margins. A recent model for metamorphism of the Catalina Schist, involving progressive underplating (at 350°C at 9 to

  11. Experimental modeling of subduction zone metamorphism and devolatilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perchuk, Alexei L.; Korepanova, Olga S.

    2010-05-01

    Subduction zones are characterized by valuable thermal gradients owing to descend of cold oceanic plate into the hot mantle. We propose for the first time to apply high-gradient zones of the piston-cylinder apparatus to study the interaction between subducting plate and hanging wall mantle. In this contribution, we present peculiar features of the glaucophane schist-olivine interaction as analogs of crust and mantle, respectively. The glaucophane schist is from the Atbashi complex, Tien Shan, the olivine is collected from the quarry Ahaim, Norway. ?-? conditions of the runs correspond to so-called "warm" geotherm. We present results of the two runs carried out at pressure of 2.4 and 2.6 GPa and both at the temperature of 1050 grad ? at the upper range of the capsule. Temperature of ~700 grad C the lower edge of the 7 mm capsule was inferred from the numerical modeling based on the real sizes of materials after the runs. The experiments reveal that transformation of the glaucophane schist is strongly controlled by the pressure. The transformation was resulted in growth of barroisitic amphibole rims around the primary glaucophane at 2.4 GPa and patchy omphacite+quartz aggregate at 2.6 GPa. Thus we didn't observe the typical eclogite assemblage (omphacite+garnet) in the metabasic rock well within the eclogite facies P-T conditions. The devolatalization owing to the breakdown of hydrous mineral of the glaucophane schist lead to the formation of thin (30 micron) orthopyroxene layer at the contact of olive with glaucophane schist. In addition, first portions of melt (dacite composition) appear in between the orthopyroxene layer and the glaucophane schist. The melt (fluid) was migrated above the opx layer but owing to the low Si-content didn't react with the host olivine. The study demonstrated that high-gradient zones of the "piston-cylinder" apparatus are very efficient for study mantle-crust interaction in the subduction zones. Financial support by RFBR grants N 09-05-01217 and 09-05-00991.

  12. Anatexis of garnet amphibolites from a subduction zone metamorphic terrane

    SciTech Connect

    Sorensen, S.S.; Barton, M.D.; Ernst, W.G.

    1985-01-01

    Concomitant rehydration, metasomatism and amphibolitization of eclogite blocks from a mafic/ultramafic complex of the Catalina Schist terrane, southern California, at estimated metamorphic P approx. 8-12 kb, T approx. 600/sup 0/-700/sup 0/C was apparently accompanied by partial melting of some blocks. Mobilizates of An approx./sub 10-20/ plagioclase (PL) +/- zoisite (ZO) + quartz (QZ) + celadonitic (Si approx. 3.3 p.f.u.) white mica (WM) +/- tourmaline range from stringers and dikelets (approx. 1 cm-0.5 m) in migmatitic amphibolite blocks to dikes approx. 30 m x 3 m which intrude the surrounding, locally enstatite + chlorite +/- talc +/- aluminous actinolite +/- anthophyllite-bearing ultramafic matrix. The uniform phase proportions and the coarse-grained (PL to approx. 20 cm) pegmatitic, graphic, and myrmekitic textures displayed by the dikes and dikelets suggest that they crystallized from silicate melts. WM and ZO appear to be magmatic phases. Fe-rich GT is migmatitic portions of blocks exhibits higher Mg/(Mg + Ca) p.f.u. than GT in restitic portions of blocks; rims are richer in Mg than cores. Field relations, microprobe mineral chemistry, and bulk compositions suggest the pegmatites are low fractions of amphibolite-derived partial melt. Abundant fluid inclusions occur in GT, QZ, PL and clinopyroxene. T/sub h/ for primary H/sub 2/O-rich, low salinity L + V inclusions in GT and QZ from a migmatite range from 136-169/sup 0/C; estimates of T limits for entrapment are 530-640/sup 0/C at 8 kb, 650-780/sup 0/C at 10 kb. H/sub 2/O-rich fluids evidently enabled metasomatism, amphibolitization, and anatexis of (originally) eclogitic rocks at the P-T conditions reflected by the metamorphic mineral assemblages.

  13. Elemental responses to subduction-zone metamorphism: Constraints from the North Qilian Mountain, NW China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Yuanyuan; Niu, Yaoling; Song, Shuguang; Davidson, Jon; Liu, Xiaoming

    2013-02-01

    Subduction zone metamorphism (SZM) and behaviors of chemical elements in response to this process are important for both arc magmatism and mantle compositional heterogeneity. In this paper, we report the results of our petrographic and geochemical studies on blueschist and eclogite facies rocks of sedimentary and basaltic protoliths from two metamorphic sub-belts with different metamorphic histories in the North Qilian Mountain, Northwest China. The protolith of low-grade blueschists is basaltic in composition and is most likely produced in a back-arc setting, while the protoliths of high-grade blueschists/eclogites geochemically resemble the present-day normal and enriched mid-oceanic ridge basalts plus some volcanic arc rocks. The meta-sedimentary rocks, including meta-graywacke, meta-pelite, meta-chert and marble, show geochemical similarity to global oceanic (subducted) sediments. Assuming that high field strength elements (HFSEs) are relatively immobile, the correlated variations of rare earth elements (REEs) and Th with HFSEs suggest that all these elements are probably also immobile, whereas Pb and Sr are mobile in rocks of both basaltic and sedimentary protoliths during SZM. Ba, Cs and Rb are immobile in rocks of sedimentary protoliths and mobile in rocks of basaltic protolith. The apparent mobility of U in rocks of basaltic protolith may be inherited from seafloor alterations rather than caused by SZM. On the basis of in situ mineral compositional analysis (both major and trace elements), the most significant trace element storage minerals in these subduction-zone metamorphic rocks are: lawsonite, pumpellyite, apatite, garnet and epidote group minerals for REEs, white micas (both phengite and paragonite) for large ion lithophile elements, rutile and titanite for HFSEs. The presence and stability of these minerals exert the primary controls on the geochemical behaviors of most of these elements during SZM. The immobility of REEs, Th and U owing to their redistribution into newly formed minerals suggests that subduction-zone dehydration metamorphism will not contribute to the enrichment of these elements in arc magmatism. These observations require the formation and contribution of supercritical fluids or hydrous melts (these can effectively transport the aforementioned incompatible elements) from greater depths to arc magmatism. In addition, the overall sub-chondritic Nb/Ta ratio retained in rutile-bearing eclogites indicates that the subducting/subducted residual ocean crust passing through SZM cannot be responsible for the missing Nb (relative to Ta) in the bulk silicate earth.

  14. Quantification of Subduction Zone Metamorphic Devolatilization From Computed High Pressure Phase Equilibria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerrick, D. M.; Connolly, J. D.

    2001-12-01

    Devolatilization in subduction zones is essential to arc magmatism, seismicity and volatile recycling. A premise of our research is that realistic modeling of metamorphic devolatilization of subducted lithologies is only possible with phase equilibria for chemical systems that closely approximate actual bulk compositions. Volatile components are introduced into subduction zones by three contrasting lithologies: marine sediments, and hydrothermally altered mantle ultramafic rocks and oceanic metabasalts. Using free energy minimization (Perplex programs - web address: erdw.ethz.ch/ ~jamie/perplex), phase equilibria were computed to 6 GPa ( ~160 km) to quantify the evolution of CO2 and H20 by prograde metamorphism of these lithologies. Geotherms for NW and SE Japan [1] were adopted as thermal extremes along the tops of subducted slabs. The following summarizes our conclusions regarding the correlation between the depth of devolatilization, bulk rock composition and P-T locations geotherms. Serpentinites: for carbonate-bearing serpentinites (ophicarbonates) little CO2 is released; for high-temperature (high-T) geotherms complete dehydration occurs under forearcs, and for low-temperature (low-T) geotherms major dehydration occurs under subarcs. Siliceous limestones: little devolatilization for all geotherms. Marls: with high-T geotherms devolatilization is complete under subarcs; in contrast, little devolatilization occurs with low-T geotherms. Carbonate-free pelites and turbidites: with high-T geotherms most dehydration occurs under forearcs, whereas along low-T geotherms substantial H20 is released under subarcs. Carbonate-bearing oceanic metabasalts: decarbonation is negligible along low-T and intermediate-T geotherms and is limited along high-T geotherms; dehydration is complete under forearcs for high-T geotherms, significant under subarcs for intermediate-T geotherms, and very limited along low-T geotherms. Carbonate-free oceanic metabasalts: dehydration is complete under forearcs for high-T geotherms, and widespread under subarcs for intermediate-T and low-T geotherms. Metamorphic devolatilization of subducted metabasalts and metasediments is continuous; thus, we do not expect pulses of fluid release (corresponding to univariant devolatilization) for these lithologies. Our study emphasizes that because of differences in the bulk compositions of volatile-bearing lithologies and in the P-T location of geotherms, generalized modeling of subduction zone volatile recycling is questionable. References: [1] Peacock, S.M. and Wang, K. (1999) Science, 268, 937-939.

  15. Growth of early continental crust controlled by melting of amphibolite in subduction zones.

    PubMed

    Foley, Stephen; Tiepolo, Massimo; Vannucci, Riccardo

    2002-06-20

    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. PMID:12075348

  16. U Pb SHRIMP geochronology of zircon in garnet peridotite from the Sulu UHP terrane, China: Implications for mantle metasomatism and subduction-zone UHP metamorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, R. Y.; Yang, J. S.; Wooden, J. L.; Liou, J. G.; Li, T. F.

    2005-09-01

    We studied the Zhimafang ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic (UHP) peridotite from pre-pilot drill hole PP-1 of Chinese Continental Scientific Drilling project in the Sulu UHP terrane, eastern China. The peridotite occurs as lens within quartofeldspathic gneiss, and has an assemblage of Ol + Opx + Cpx + Phl + Ti-clinohumite (Ti-Chu) + Grt (or chromite) ± magnesite (Mgs). Zircons were separated from cores at depths of 152 m (C24, garnet lhezolite), 160 m (C27, strongly retrograded phlogopite-rich peridotite) and 225 m (C50, banded peridotite), and were dated by SHRIMP mass spectrometer. Isometric zircons without inherited cores contain inclusions of olivine (Fo 91-92), enstatite (En 91-92), Ti-clinohumite, diopside, phlogopite and apatite. The enstatite inclusions have low Al 2O 3 contents of only 0.04-0.13 wt.%, indicating a UHP metamorphic origin. The weighted mean 206Pb / 238U zircon age for garnet lherzolite (C24) is 221 ± 3 Ma, and a discordia lower intercept age for peridotite (C50) is 220 ± 2 Ma. These ages are within error and represent the time of subduction-zone UHP metamorphism. A younger lower intercept age of 212 ± 3 Ma for a foliated wehrlite (C27) was probably caused by Pb loss during retrograde metamorphism. The source of zirconium may be partially attributed to melt/fluid metasomatism within the mantle wedge. Geochronological and geochemical data confirm that the mantle-derived Zhimafang garnet peridotites (probably the most representative type of Sulu garnet peridotites) were tectonically inserted into a subducting crustal slab and subjected to in situ Triassic subduction-zone UHP metamorphism.

  17. Thermal and metamorphic environment of subduction zone episodic tremor and slip

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Simon M. Peacock

    2009-01-01

    Episodic tremor and slip (ETS) have been detected in the Cascadia and southwest Japan subduction zones, where the subducting crust is relatively warm because of the young incoming lithosphere (<20 Ma) and modest plate convergence rates (?40–60 mm\\/a). In the southwest Japan subduction zone, low-frequency earthquakes occur on the plate interface at depths of 30–35 km beneath Shikoku where finite

  18. Record in metamorphic tourmalines of subduction-zone devolatilization and boron cycling

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Gray E. Bebout; Eizo Nakamura

    2003-01-01

    Boron concentrations and isotope compositions of fluids and lavas from subduction-zone settings show great potential for elucidating mass flux at Earth's modern convergent margins. However, the fluid-mineral-melt behavior of B and its two stable isotopes remains relatively poorly understood. Boron isotope analyses of tourmaline in metasedimentary rocks subducted to 15 90 km depths (1) demonstrate the ability of this mineral

  19. Polyphase Formation and Exhumation of HP-UHP Rocks in Continental Subduction Zone: Numerical Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Z.; Gerya, T.

    2008-12-01

    High- to ultrahigh-pressure (HP-UHP) metamorphic rocks commonly form and exhume during the early continental collision, with the protoliths mainly derived from subducted upper and middle continental crust. While the geodynamic significance of HP-UHP complexes is widely recognized and their appearance in the Neoproterozoic is considered as a "hallmark" for establishing modern plate tectonic styles, many questions related to their origin still remain unresolved. Of particular importance is the poly-metamorphic origin of many HP-UHP terranes composed of tectonic units having strongly variable ages, peak metamorphic conditions and P-T paths. In order to address this issue we conducted 2D high-resolution thermomechanical numerical modeling of the continental subduction associated with formation and exhumation of the HP-UHP rocks, with testing different geometrical configurations, rheological properties and varied width of subducting continental margins, convergence velocity, sedimentation and erosion rates. Most of our experiments confirm poly-phase origin of HP-UHP terranes and predict existence of several consequent episodes of (U)HP rocks exhumation related to the inherently cyclic origin of continental crust subduction-detachment-exhumation process. Periodicity of formation of rheologically weak zones (thrusting faults) controlling HP-UHP rocks exhumation processes depends on the competing effects of downward directed subduction drag and upward directed crustal buoyancy forces. The buoyancy forces and related deviatoric stresses accumulate in the subduction channel due to subduction of low-density crustal rocks and are then reset back during rapid exhumation episodes. Numerical modeling suggest that UHP rocks may remain in the sub-lithospheric channel for several million years being heated to 800-900°C by the surrounding hot mantle. At the later stage upward extrusion of such hot partially molten rocks may exhume high-temperature (HT) UHP complexes toward the surface. Therefore, sub-lithospheric channel formation and extrusion processes may provide plausible explanation for occurrence of UHP-HT rocks in nature.

  20. Shear wave azimuthal anisotropy in the transition zone from oceanic to continental subduction along the western Hellenic subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evangelidis, Christos

    2015-04-01

    In western Greece, the Hellenic subduction system is separated by the Cephalonia Transform Fault (CTF), a dextral offset of ~100 km, into the northern and southern segments, which are characterized by different convergence rates and slab composition. Recent seismic data show that north of CTF there is a subducted continental lithosphere in contrast to the region south of CTF where the on-going subduction is oceanic. Shear wave splitting of SKS phases provide useful information for the upper mantle anisotropy. Its direction and strength is caused by the ongoing upper mantle flow that constrain the subduction geodynamics. I have now measured SKS splitting parameters from all broadband stations of the Hellenic Unified Seismic Network (HUSN) and some selected stations of the National Strong Motion Network, specially concentrated in the transitional area from oceanic to continental subduction. These measurements, combined with previously published observations, provide the most complete up-to-date spatial coverage for the area. Generally, the pronounced zonation of seismic anisotropy across the subduction zone, as inferred from other studies, is also observed here. Fast SKS splitting directions are trench-normal in the region nearest to the trench. The fast splitting directions change abruptly to trench-parallel above the corner of the mantle wedge and rotate back to trench-normal over the back-arc. Additionally, beneath western Greece, between the western Gulf of Corinth in the south and the Epirus-Thessaly area in the north a toroidal pattern emerges that possibly depicts a slab tear between the oceanic and the continental subducted slabs and a consequent toroidal asthenospheric flow.

  1. Fluid processes in subduction zones.

    PubMed

    Peacock, S A

    1990-04-20

    Fluids play a critical role in subduction zones and arc magmatism. At shallow levels in subduction zones (<40 kilometers depth), expulsion of large volumes of pore waters and CH(4)-H(2)O fluids produced by diagenetic and low-grade metamorphic reactions affect the thermal and rheological evolution of the accretionary prism and provide nutrients for deep-sea biological communities. At greater depths, H(2)O and CO(2) released by metamorphic reactions in the subducting oceanic crust may alter the bulk composition in the overlying mantle wedge and trigger partial melting reactions. The location and conse-quences of fluid production in subduction zones can be constrained by consideration of phase diagrams for relevant bulk compositions in conjunction with fluid and rock pressure-temperature-time paths predicted by numerical heat-transfer models. Partial melting of subducting, amphibole-bearing oceanic crust is predicted only within several tens of million years of the initiation of subduction in young oceanic lithosphere. In cooler subduction zones, partial melting appears to occur primarily in the overlying mantle wedge as a result of fluid infiltration. PMID:17784486

  2. Mineralogical Evidence for the Bulk Transformation of Continental Crust to Ultrahigh-Pressure Conditions in Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterman, E. M.; Hacker, B. R.; Kylander-Clark, A. R.

    2005-12-01

    Evidence for (ultra)high-pressure --(U)HP-- metamorphism in modern orogenic belts and the preservation of exhumed (U)HP terranes around the world suggest that subduction and exhumation of continental crust plays an important role in Phanerozoic plate tectonics. The Western Gneiss region (WGR) of Norway, a major (U)HP province extending over 60,000 km2, provides an excellent opportunity to study how subduction to depths >100 km affects continental crust. By studying a ~60 km wide transect bounded to the north by Vartdalsfjorden and Rovdefjorden and the south by the Möre og Romsdal county boundary, we are able to examine mineralogical changes that occurred during subduction and exhumation within a rock composed predominantly of orthogneiss and variably transformed mafic bodies, which indicate the depths to which these rocks were subducted. Previous studies (e.g. Hacker et al., 2005) have suggested that Caledonian deformation in WGR host gneisses is primarily limited to brittle-ductile fabrics characterized by greenschist to lower-amphibolite facies metamorphism; the majority of the deformation in the rocks, including the pervasive foliation and foliation-parallel isoclinal folds, occurred between 1200 and 900 Ma. On the northern half of our study area, however, locally occurring neoblastic garnet crosscuts the foliation in the gneiss. The boundary of this garnet zone coincides with the local HP-UHP boundary, as determined by the presence of coesite in eclogite. Because garnet can retain information about changes in pressure and temperature, as well as the availability of water within the crust to catalyze chemical reactions, our findings suggest that 1) portions of the orthogneiss did transform at high pressures, 2) the presence of garnet within the orthogneiss may indicate conditions that approximate UHP and can therefore be useful in defining the boundaries between UHP and HP conditions, and 3) the growth of garnet during (U)HP metamorphism may be controlled by hydration of the crust, thus explaining the partial transformation to (U)HP mineral assemblages throughout the WGR.

  3. Fluid pathways in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiegelman, M. W.; van Keken, P. E.; Hacker, B. R.

    2009-12-01

    A large amount of water captured in the oceanic crust and mantle is recycled in subduction zones. Upon compaction and heating most fluids are expelled, but a significant amount of water can be carried in hydrated mineral phases and point defects. While the qualitative role of volatiles and dehydration reactions is well appreciated in the mechanisms for intermediate depth seismicity, mantle wedge melting and arc volcanism, the quantitative details of the metamorphic reactions and the pathways of fluids and melts in the slab are poorly understood. We provide finite element models, combined with thermodynamic and mineralogical constraints, to estimate the water release and migration from the subducting slab to overlying arc. We use models from a selection of warm (e.g., Cascadia), cold (Central Honshu) and intermediate (Nicaragua) subduction zones, using slab geometries constrained from seismological observations. The fluid release is predicted from the breakdown of hydrated phases in sediments, oceanic crust and slab mantle. We use newly developed high resolution models for the flow of these released fluids that take into account permeability and compaction pressures. While the detailed structure depends on the chosen rheology and permeability, we find that for reasonable assumptions of permeability, a significant amount of fluids can travel through the wedge along nearly vertical pathways at rates and paths, consistent with geochronological and geochemical constraints. For models considered to date, we find that the principal source of fluids that feed the wedge come from the hydrated oceanic crust and particularly the hydrated slab mantle. Fluids released from the sediments and shallow crust, tend to travel along high permeability zones in the subducting slab before being released to hydrate the cold corner of subduction zones, suggesting that the cold and hydrated forearc region that is imaged in many subduction zones is maintained by an active hydrological cycle. For these materials to be involved in wedge melting, however, would require entrainment of the rehydrated material into the wedge flow. Current fluid flow models only include dehydration reactions and not melting, thus fluid pathways are for the hydrous fluid only. We plan to add a reactive flow formulation to these models that includes consistent hydration, dehydration and melting reactions, thus allowing for a more complete description of chemical transport through the subduction system. Nicaragua Model

  4. Metamorphic PT conditions and thermal structure of Chinese Continental Scientific Drilling main hole eclogites: Fe-Mg partitioning thermometer vs. Zr-in-rutile thermometer

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. Y. ZHANG; Y. IIZUKA; W. G. ERNST; J. G. LIOU; Z.-Q. XU; T. TSUJIMORI; C.-H. LO; B.-M. JAHN

    2009-01-01

    Core rocks recovered from the main hole (5158 m deep) of the Chinese Continental Scientific Drilling (CCSD-MH) project, southern Sulu UHP terrane, east-central China, consist of eclogites, various gneisses and minor metaperidotite cumulates; this lithological section underwent subduction-zone UHP metamorphism. Coesite-bearing eclogites are mainly present between the depths of 100-2000 m, but below 2000 m, mafic eclogites are rare. Selected

  5. Crustal growth in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogt, Katharina; Castro, Antonio; Gerya, Taras

    2015-04-01

    There is a broad interest in understanding the physical principles leading to arc magmatisim at active continental margins and different mechanisms have been proposed to account for the composition and evolution of the continental crust. It is widely accepted that water released from the subducting plate lowers the melting temperature of the overlying mantle allowing for "flux melting" of the hydrated mantle. However, relamination of subducted crustal material to the base of the continental crust has been recently suggested to account for the growth and composition of the continental crust. We use petrological-thermo-mechanical models of active subduction zones to demonstrate that subduction of crustal material to sublithospheric depth may result in the formation of a tectonic rock mélange composed of basalt, sediment and hydrated /serpentinized mantle. This rock mélange may evolve into a partially molten diapir at asthenospheric depth and rise through the mantle because of its intrinsic buoyancy prior to emplacement at crustal levels (relamination). This process can be episodic and long-lived, forming successive diapirs that represent multiple magma pulses. Recent laboratory experiments of Castro et al. (2013) have demonstrated that reactions between these crustal components (i.e. basalt and sediment) produce andesitic melt typical for rocks of the continental crust. However, melt derived from a composite diapir will inherit the geochemical characteristics of its source and show distinct temporal variations of radiogenic isotopes based on the proportions of basalt and sediment in the source (Vogt et al., 2013). Hence, partial melting of a composite diapir is expected to produce melt with a constant major element composition, but substantial changes in terms of radiogenic isotopes. However, crustal growth at active continental margins may also involve accretionary processes by which new material is added to the continental crust. Oceanic plateaus and other crustal units may collide with continental margins to form collisional orogens and accreted terranes in places where oceanic lithosphere is recycled back into the mantle. We use thermomechanical-petrological models of an oceanic-continental subduction zone to analyse the dynamics of terrane accretion and its implications to arc magmatisim. It is shown that terrane accretion may result in the rapid growth of continental crust, which is in accordance with geological data on some major segments of the continental crust. Direct consequences of terrane accretion may include slab break off, subduction zone transference, structural reworking, formation of high-pressure terranes and partial melting (Vogt and Gerya., 2014), forming complex suture zones of accreted and partially molten units. Castro, A., Vogt, K., Gerya, T., 2013. Generation of new continental crust by sublithospheric silicic-magma relamination in arcs: A test of Taylor's andesite model. Gondwana Research, 23, 1554-1566. Vogt, K., Castro, A., Gerya, T., 2013. Numerical modeling of geochemical variations caused by crustal relamination. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 14, 470-487. Vogt, K., Gerya, T., 2014. From oceanic plateaus to allochthonous terranes: Numerical Modelling. Gondwana Research, 25, 494-508

  6. Cascadia Subduction Zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Frankel, Arthur D.; Petersen, Mark D.

    2008-01-01

    The geometry and recurrence times of large earthquakes associated with the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) were discussed and debated at a March 28-29, 2006 Pacific Northwest workshop for the USGS National Seismic Hazard Maps. The CSZ is modeled from Cape Mendocino in California to Vancouver Island in British Columbia. We include the same geometry and weighting scheme as was used in the 2002 model (Frankel and others, 2002) based on thermal constraints (Fig. 1; Fluck and others, 1997 and a reexamination by Wang et al., 2003, Fig. 11, eastern edge of intermediate shading). This scheme includes four possibilities for the lower (eastern) limit of seismic rupture: the base of elastic zone (weight 0.1), the base of transition zone (weight 0.2), the midpoint of the transition zone (weight 0.2), and a model with a long north-south segment at 123.8? W in the southern and central portions of the CSZ, with a dogleg to the northwest in the northern portion of the zone (weight 0.5). The latter model was derived from the approximate average longitude of the contour of the 30 km depth of the CSZ as modeled by Fluck et al. (1997). A global study of the maximum depth of thrust earthquakes on subduction zones by Tichelaar and Ruff (1993) indicated maximum depths of about 40 km for most of the subduction zones studied, although the Mexican subduction zone had a maximum depth of about 25 km (R. LaForge, pers. comm., 2006). The recent inversion of GPS data by McCaffrey et al. (2007) shows a significant amount of coupling (a coupling factor of 0.2-0.3) as far east as 123.8? West in some portions of the CSZ. Both of these lines of evidence lend support to the model with a north-south segment at 123.8? W.

  7. Ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism: tracing continental crust into the mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chopin, Christian

    2003-07-01

    More and more evidence is being discovered in Phanerozoic collision belts of the burial of crustal rocks to previously unsuspected (and ever increasing) depths, presently on the order of 150-200 km, and of exhumation from such depths. This extends by almost one order of magnitude the depth classically ascribed to the metamorphic cycling of continental crust, and demonstrates its possible subduction. The pieces of evidence for this new, ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphism exclusively occur in the form of relics of high-pressure minerals that escaped back-transformation during decompression. The main UHP mineral indicators are the high-pressure polymorphs of silica and carbon, coesite and microdiamond, respectively; the latter often demonstrably precipitated from a metamorphic fluid and is completely unrelated to kimberlitic diamond or any shock event. Recent discoveries of pyroxene exsolutions in garnet and of coesite exsolutions in titanite suggest a precursor garnet or titanite containing six-fold coordinated silicon, therefore still higher pressures than implied by diamond stability, on the order of 6 GPa. The UHP rocks raise a formidable geological problem: that of the mechanisms responsible for their burial and, more pressingly, for their exhumation from the relevant depths. The petrological record indicates that large tracts of UHP rocks were buried to conditions of low T/ P ratio, consistent with a subduction-zone context. Decompression occurred in most instances under continuous cooling, implying continuous heat loss to the footwall and hangingwall of the rising body. This rise along the subduction channel - an obvious mechanical discontinuity and weak zone - may be driven by buoyancy up to mid-crustal levels as a result of the lesser density of the acidic crustal rocks (even if completely re-equilibrated at depth) after delamination from the lower crust, in a convergent setting. Chronological studies suggest that the rates involved are typical plate velocities (1-2 cm/yr), especially during early stages of exhumation, and bear no relation to normal erosion rates. Important observations are that: (i) as a result of strain partitioning and fluid channelling, significant volumes of subducted crust may remain unreacted (i.e. metastable) even at conditions as high as 700°C and 3 GPa - with implications as to geophysical modeling; (ii) subducted continental crust shows no isotopic or geochemical evidence of interaction with mantle material. An unknown proportion of subducted continental crust must have escaped exhumation and effectively recycled into the mantle, with geochemical implications still to be explored, bearing in mind the above inefficiency of mixing. The repeated occurrence of UHP metamorphism, hence of continental subduction, through time and space since at least the late Proterozoic shows that it must be considered a common process, inherent to continental collision. Evidence of older, Precambrian UHP metamorphism is to be sought in high-pressure granulite-facies terranes.

  8. Late Triassic alkaline complex in Sulu UHP terrane: Implications for post-collisional magmatism along the continental subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, H.; Song, Y.; Liu, Q.

    2014-12-01

    In order to insight into crust-mantle interaction triggered by partial melting of the subudcted continental crust during its exhumation, we carried out a combined study on Shidao alkaline complex in the Sulu ultrahigh pressure (UHP) terrane. The alkaline complex is composed of shoshonitic to ultrapotassic gabbro, pyroxene syenite, amphibole syenite, quartz syenite, and granite. Field researches suggest that the mafic rocks are earlier than the felsic ones in sequence. LA-ICPMS zircon U-Pb dating on them gives Late Triassic ages of 214 ± 2 to 200 ± 3 Ma from mafic to felsic rocks. These ages are a bit younger than Late Triassic ages for partial melting of the Sulu UHP terrane during exhumation, indicating syn-exhumation magmatism during continental collision. The alkaline rocks have wide ranges of SiO2 (49.7 - 76.7 wt.%), MgO (8.25 - 0.03 wt.%),total Fe2O3 (9.23 - 0.47 wt.%), CaO (8.39 - 0.39 wt.%), Ni (126.0 - 0.07 ppm), and Cr (182.0 - 0.45 ppm) contents. Other major oxides are regularly changed with SiO2. The alkaline rocks have characteristics of arc-like patterns in the trace element distribution, e.g., enrichment of LREE and LILE (Rb, Ba, Th and U), depletion of HFSE (Nb, Ta, P and Ti), and positive Pb anomalies. From the mafic to felsic rocks, (La/Yb)N ratios and contents of the total REE, Sr and Ba are decreased but Rb contents are increased. The alkaline rocks also display features of A2-type granitoids, suggesting a post-collisional magmatism. They have high initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70575 and 0.70927) and negative ?Nd(t) values (-18.6 to -15.0) for whole-rock. The homogeneous initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios and ?Nd(t) values of the alkaline rocks are almost unchanged with SiO2 and MgO contents, suggesting a fractional crystallization (FC) process from a same parental magma. Our studies suggest a series of crust-mantle interaction processes along the continental subduction interface as follows: (1) melts from partial melting of the subducted continental crust during its exhumation metasomatized the overlying mantle wedge; (2) partial melting of the enriched lithospheric mantle generated the Late Triassic alkaline complex; and (3) the alkaline magma was successively experienced crystal fractionation mainly dominated by olivine, clinopyroxene, plagioclase and alkali feldspar.

  9. A 3D Velocity Model of the Central Cascadia Subduction Zone beneath the Oregon Continental Shelf and Coast Range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenyon, C.; Trehu, A. M.; Toomey, D. R.; Wilcock, W. S.; Carbotte, S. M.; Carton, H. D.; Canales, J.

    2013-12-01

    Signals from the R/V Langseth's tuned airgun array were recorded on 6 ocean-bottom seismometers and 35 EarthScope FlexArray seismometers deployed in the Oregon Coast Range from 43.5° to 45°N as a piggyback project on the 2012 Ridge2Trench experiment to image the structure of the Juan de Fuca plate. This section of the Juan de Fuca/North America plate boundary slipped in 2 moderate low-angle thrust earthquakes in 2004, and continuing seismicity has clustered around these events since that time. It has also been associated with a transition in megathrust recurrence rate based on paleoseismic data and exhibits anomalous locking characteristics in geodetic data. Previously acquired bathymetric, potential field, and seismic data indicate the presence of subducted seamounts in this region and hint at large velocity variations of the overlying forearc crust immediately above the plate boundary [Tréhu et al., 2012]. The sources for this study are ~18,000 airgun shots along 4 lines on the continental shelf and upper slope and a line oblique to the coast that extends across the margin to the trench (and ultimately to the ridge). Data quality is excellent, with strong Pg and PmP arrivals observed at most stations for all shots. A preliminary look at the data supports the presence of large along-strike velocity variations in this region. To date, ~2/3 of the data have been picked. We will present velocity models that merge the new data with constraints from 2D and 3D onshore/offshore data acquired in 1989 and 1996 to improve the resolution and extend the velocity model to the south to include Heceta Bank, a region of uplifted late Miocene and early Pliocene sediments underlain by a previously poorly resolved high density anomaly. [Tréhu, A.M., Blakely, R.J., Williams, M.C., Subducted seamounts and recent earthquakes beneath the central Cascadia forearc, Geology, v. 40, p. 103-106, 2012

  10. Reply to Comment on "Corundum-bearing garnet peridotites from northern Dominican Republic: A metamorphic product of an arc cumulate in the Caribbean subduction zone" by Richard N. Abbott and Grenville Draper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hattori, Kéiko H.; Guillot, Stéphane; Tubrett, Mike N.; Saumur, Benoit-Michel; Vidal, Olivier; Morfin, Samuel

    2010-06-01

    In our Reply to the Comment by Abbott R.N., Jr., Draper, G., 2010. Comment on "Corundum-bearing garnet peridotite from northern Dominican Republic: A metamorphic product of an arc cumulate in the Caribbean subduction zone" by Hattori et al. Lithos 114 (2010) 437-450]. Lithos 117, 322-326 (this issue), we clarify several points concerning the origin of garnet (Grt)-bearing ultramafic rocks in Dominican Republic, and provide new trace element data from additional samples that contain varying amounts of loss on ignition (LOI). These new data verify that the trace element signature of these bulk rocks reflect those of their primary rocks, and are not significantly affected by low-temperature alteration. These new geochemical data reconfirm the interpretations in our paper (Hattori et al., 2010a) that Grt-bearing ultramafic rocks crystallized as cumulates of arc magmas at shallow levels in the mantle wedge, and were later metamorphosed in the subduction channel to form Grt.

  11. The Role of H2O in Subduction Zone Magmatism

    E-print Network

    Skemer, Philip

    The Role of H2O in Subduction Zone Magmatism Timothy L. Grove,1 Christy B. Till,1,2 and Michael J, subducted slab, chlorite, H2O-saturated, hydrous magma, arc magmas Abstract Water is a key ingredient that occurs when magmas cool and crystallize in Earth's continental crust. The source of H2O for arc magma

  12. Polyphase formation and exhumation of high- to ultrahigh-pressure rocks in continental subduction zone: Numerical modeling and application to the Sulu ultrahigh-pressure terrane in eastern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zhonghai; Gerya, Taras V.

    2009-09-01

    High- to ultrahigh-pressure (HP-UHP) metamorphic rocks commonly form and exhume during the early continental collision, and many questions related to their origin still remain unresolved. We focus our study on explaining the poly metamorphic origins of many HP-UHP terranes composed of tectonic units having strongly variable ages, peak metamorphic conditions, and P-T paths. These features are especially well characterized for the Sulu UHP terrane in eastern China which we have chosen therefore as the reference case. We conducted 2-D thermomechanical numerical modeling of continental subduction associated with formation and exhumation of HP-UHP rocks. Our experiments suggest existence of several consequent episodes of (U)HP rocks exhumation related to the inherently cyclic origin of continental crust subduction-detachment-exhumation processes. Three major phases of these processes are identified in our reference model for the Sulu UHP terrane: (1) first and (2) second exhumation episodes of HP rocks originated in the subduction channel at lithospheric depths and (3) exhumation of UHP rocks originated at asthenospheric depths. Numerical models also suggest that subducted UHP rocks which are positively buoyant compared to the mantle may detach from the slab forming a flattened plume underplating the overriding lithosphere. This sublithospheric plume may exist for several million years being heated to 800-900°C by the surrounding hot mantle. At the later stage, upward extrusion of hot partially molten rocks from the plume may exhume high-temperature (HT) UHP complexes toward the surface.

  13. How weak is the subduction zone interface?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Several lines of evidence suggest that subduction zones are weak and that the unique availability of water on Earth is a critical factor in the weakening process. We have evaluated the strength of subduction zone interfaces using two approaches: (i) from empirical relationships between shear stress at the interface and subduction velocity, deduced from laboratory experiments; and (ii) from a parametric study of natural subduction zones that provides new insights on subduction zone interface strength. Our results suggest that subduction is only mechanically feasible when shear stresses along the plate interface are relatively low (less than ~35 MPa). To account for this requirement, we propose that there is a feedback mechanism between subduction velocity, water released from the subducting plate, and weakening of the fore-arc mantle that may explain how relatively low shear stresses are maintained at subduction interfaces globally.

  14. Fluid and deformation induced metamorphic processes around continental Moho

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Austrheim, Håkon

    2013-04-01

    Exposed High Pressure (HP) and Ultra High Pressure (UHP) metamorphic terrains have been studied in order to assess the metamorphic processes and their role in changing petrophysical properties near Moho depth in continental root zones. The investigation points to the critical role of fluid and deformation in metamorphic transformation in the deep crust and upper mantle. This applies to a) formation of granulite facies areas, b) transformation of granulites to eclogites, c) retrogression of eclogite facies rocks to amphibolite and greenschist facies rocks and d) the spinel lherzolite to garnet lherzolite transition. Dry rocks, both feldspar bearing and ultramafic, remain with their pre-HP and UHP structures and anhydrous mineralogy preserved while reactions occur where fluid has been introduced along deformation zones. Metamorphic rocks of different ages and stable at different P-T conditions are mixed on a metre to km scale and such mixtures will be present throughout the crust and upper mantle. This lack of equilibration may lead to error in geothermal gradients calculated on minerals from xenoliths; b) misinterpretation of rock composition inferred from geophysical signature and c) induce extra uncertainty in geodynamic models that assume continuous metamorphic equilibration. Pseudotachylytes (frictional melts or ultracomminuted material) are observed in both ultramafic and feldspar bearing lithologies spatially associated with HP and UHP rocks, suggesting that rock properties at Moho depth allow earthquakes. Seismicity enhances the metamorphic and metasomatic transitions through fragmentation and by opening the rock for fluid influx. Ductile eclogite facies shear zones nucleate along the brittle structures. These observations point to Moho as a rock processing zone with the following facets: 1. A metastable dry and strong lower crust and upper mantle 2. Earthquakes and tremors result in fluid flow and HP metamorphism. 3. A pronounced weakening of the hydrated and transformed rocks allows the development of new fabrics (crystallographic preferred orientation, CPO) in the transformed rocks. Deep tremors and earthquakes at Moho depth may record ongoing metamorphic transitions.

  15. Serpentine in active subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynard, Bruno

    2013-09-01

    Serpentinization is a key phenomenon for understanding the geodynamics of subduction zones in the 10-200 km depth range. Serpentines are a major water carrier, and their rheological properties have a strong influence on deformation partitioning and seismicity at depths. I review experimental investigations that have been conducted on serpentines, with emphasis on the large body of data acquired over the past decade. Determinations of physical properties at the pressure and temperature conditions of subductions allow interpreting geophysical data in active subduction in terms of mineralogy and petrology, and to link the presence of serpentinites with deformation and fluid circulation. The fluid budget can be partially constrained from geophysical data. Elasticity data provide a quantitative basis for mapping serpentinization in the mantle wedge and slab from seismic tomography. Anisotropy suggests the existence of thin serpentinite channels above the plate interface, that account for mechanical decoupling inferred from down-dip limit of the seismogenic zone and heat flow. Strain-rate dependent rheology of antigorite serpentine is consistent with stable deformation of this thin layer or channel over timescales ranging from those of the seismic cycle to those of thermal equilibration and exhumation of high-pressure rocks, and with the geological record of subduction-related deformation. Circulation of serpentinizing fluids depends on the permeability structure, and is imaged by electrical conductivity tomography. It could be controlled by fracturing in the undeformed cold nose of the mantle wedge, and by plastic deformation along the plate interface. Fluid migration mechanisms are similar to those inferred from petrological and geochemical data on exhumed serpentinites. Estimation of the fluid budget associated with serpentine formation will rely on numerical simulations for which coupling of kinetics of hydration and dehydration at scales ranging from grain size up to faulting pattern needs to be established, especially for water cycling to the transition zone in the core of the slab.

  16. Divergence in subduction zones and exhumation of high pressure rocks (Eocene Western Alps)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malusà, Marco G.; Faccenna, Claudio; Garzanti, Eduardo; Polino, Riccardo

    2011-10-01

    Exhumation of high-pressure rocks has long remained a controversial issue in the Earth sciences. In this article, we analyze the tectono-metamorphic, stratigraphic and plate-motion constraints from the Western Alps region, providing new insights on exhumation mechanisms and tectonic evolution during the earliest orogenic stages. Eocene eclogites of the Western Alps form a 20-25 km wide belt on the upper-plate side of the orogen (Eclogite belt), exposed beneath extensional shear zones at the rear of a lower-pressure accretionary wedge. Units of the Eclogite belt show the youngest peak-pressure assemblages within the subduction zone, and experienced superfast tectonic exhumation since 45-40 Ma. The role of erosion was negligible during the whole of this stage. Eocene foreland basins remained starved, and the massive arrival of axial-belt detritus began well after exhumation was completed. Tectonic reconstructions based on fixed-boundaries exhumation models (e.g. channel flow), and/or implying fast erosion at the surface (e.g. slab breakoff), are thus not consistent with geological evidence. In the lack of erosion, exhumation through the overburden requires divergence within the subduction zone. We demonstrate that this was not attained by rollback of the lower plate (Europe), but was instead attained by NNEward motion of the upper plate (Adria-Africa) away from the Western Alps trench. Such motion induced localized extension within the weak portion of the upper plate, at the rear of the accretionary wedge, and allowed tectonic emplacement of the Eclogite belt in the upper crust at rates much faster than subduction rates. Tectonic exhumation ceased in the Oligocene, when oblique-divergence along the Western Alps traverse changed into oblique-convergence. The onset of slow erosional unroofing was synchronously recorded by pressure-temperature paths in all major tectonic units of the Western Alps, and by arrival of orogenic detritus in sedimentary basins. This work demonstrates that divergence between upper plate and trench is a viable mechanism to exhume large and coherent eclogite units in continental subduction zones. Our exhumation model can be applied to other eclogite belts showing a similar exhumational record, including the Western Gneiss Region, the Dabie-Sulu, and eastern Papua New Guinea.

  17. Seismic coupling and uncoupling at subduction zones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruff, L.; Kanamori, H.

    1983-01-01

    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.

  18. Fluid flux and melting reactions in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    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.

  19. A benchmark for subduction zone modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Keken, P.; King, S.; Peacock, S.

    2003-04-01

    Our understanding of subduction zones hinges critically on the ability to discern its thermal structure and dynamics. Computational modeling has become an essential complementary approach to observational and experimental studies. The accurate modeling of subduction zones is challenging due to the unique geometry, complicated rheological description and influence of fluid and melt formation. The complicated physics causes problems for the accurate numerical solution of the governing equations. As a consequence it is essential for the subduction zone community to be able to evaluate the ability and limitations of various modeling approaches. The participants of a workshop on the modeling of subduction zones, held at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, MI, USA in 2002, formulated a number of case studies to be developed into a benchmark similar to previous mantle convection benchmarks (Blankenbach et al., 1989; Busse et al., 1991; Van Keken et al., 1997). Our initial benchmark focuses on the dynamics of the mantle wedge and investigates three different rheologies: constant viscosity, diffusion creep, and dislocation creep. In addition we investigate the ability of codes to accurate model dynamic pressure and advection dominated flows. Proceedings of the workshop and the formulation of the benchmark are available at www.geo.lsa.umich.edu/~keken/subduction02.html We strongly encourage interested research groups to participate in this benchmark. At Nice 2003 we will provide an update and first set of benchmark results. Interested researchers are encouraged to contact one of the authors for further details.

  20. Ancient subduction zone in Sakhalin Island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodnikov, A. G.; Sergeyeva, N. A.; Zabarinskaya, L. P.

    2013-07-01

    The northern part of Sakhalin Island is an area of recent intensive tectonic movements and hydrothermal processes, as well as a place of accumulation of useful minerals. The deep structure of the lithosphere beneath the region of the Neftegorsk earthquake of May 27, 1995 in North Sakhalin, which killed residents and caused significant destruction, is examined in this paper. Our geodynamic model shows that North Sakhalin consists of the North Sakhalin Basin, Deryugin Basin and an ophiolite complex located between them. The Deryugin Basin was formed in place of an ancient deep trench after subducting the Okhotsk Sea Plate under Sakhalin in the Late Cretaceous-Paleogene. The North Sakhalin Basin was formed on the side of the back-arc basin at that time. The ophiolite complex is fixed in the position of ancient subduction zone that was active in the Late Cretaceous-Paleogene. Approximately in the Miocene, the subduction of the Okhotsk lithosphere apparently ceased. The remains of the subduction zone in the form of an ophiolite complex have been identified from geological and geophysical data. On the surface, the subduction zone is manifested as deep faults stretched along Sakhalin. It is probable that the Neftegorsk earthquake was a result of activation of this ancient subduction zone.

  1. Regional monocline and orogens at subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenci, F.

    2003-04-01

    This research aims at contributing to the study of convergent margins focusing on the geometrical characters of accretionary prisms and foreland monoclines. It is well-known that the geometrical configuration of subduction zone is described by angular and linear parameters: a, the angle of the prism upper surface (topographic) envelope; b, the dip of the foreland monocline; the depth of the basal décollement (i.e., the fault plane separating the upper plate from the lower, subducting, plate), and the depth of the protodécollement (i.e. the thickness of the sediments in the foreland above the stratigraphic décollement layer). An analysis of foreland monocline dip, accretionary prism topographic envelope, basal décollement depth and orogen and prism areas has been performed for the circumpacific subduction zones, and the Barbados and Apennines accretionary prisms. The original data collected for the circumpacific subduction zones show that the highest dips of the foreland monocline are associated with the lowest development of the orogens above sea level and, most importantly, with the geographic polarity of the subduction zones. The analysis on the Barbados and the Apennines, both characterised by the westward direction of subduction (i.e., opposing the mantle flow inferred by the wesward drift of the lithosphere), has shown interesting similarities and differences. Relationships between basal décollement depth and overall area of the prism, dip of the foreland monocline and elevation of the prism with respect to the stable foreland are proposed.

  2. Seismicity, metamorphism and rheology of the lower continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Austrheim, Håkon

    2014-05-01

    Seismological data document that both normal earthquakes and tremors occur in the lower continental crust. Pseudotachylytes (frictional melts and ultracommunited rocks) have been described from several high grade metamorphic terrains and may be the geological manifestation of this seismicity. The Grenville (c. 930Ma) granulite facies complex (T: 800 °C; P: ?10kbar) of the Lindås Nappe in the Bergen Arcs, W-Norway underwent a fluid induced partial eclogite (T: 600-650 °C; P: 15-20 kbar) and amphibolite facies metamorphism during the Caledonian (c.400-430 Ma) continent collision. Pseudotachylyte fault and injection veins formed in the dry granulites at or close to the reaction fronts both in the eclogitized (western parts) and the amphibolitized (eastern parts) of the Nappe. They are locally recrystalized with the development of amphibolite and eclogite facies assemblages demonstrating that they formed pre or syn the Caledonian metamorphism. The pseudotachylytes transect lithologies ranging from peridotite to anorthosite and consequently the influence of the seismic energy release on a range of granulite facies minerals including garnet, pyroxenes, olivine, plagioclase, hornblende and scapolite can be observed. The seismic energy released promotes the Caledonian metamorphism and change the petrophysical properties of the lower crust in the following ways: The melting and the ultracommunition of the granulite facies minerals increased the reactive surface area and produce local pathways for fluid. S-rich scapolite, a common mineral in granulities play a key role in this process by releasing S and C to form sulfides and carbonates. Small sulfide grains impregnate the pseudotachylyte veins which may lead to an increased electrical conductivity of the deep crust. The pseudotachylyte veins impose inhomogeneities in the massive rocks through grain size reduction and lead to strain localization with development of amphibolite and eclogite facies shear zones. Formation of eclogite facies breccias where meter size blocks of rotated granulites are enclosed in eclogite may have initiated by the seismic events as indicated by fractures in the relict granulite facies garnet. The seismic events may have been important in large scale transport of fluid required to bring about the metamorphism of the dry granulite facies complex.

  3. Global analysis of the effect of fluid flow on subduction zone temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rotman, Holly M. M.; Spinelli, Glenn A.

    2013-08-01

    Knowledge of the controls on temperature distributions at subduction zones is critical for understanding a wide range of seismic, metamorphic, and magmatic processes. Here, we present the results of ˜220 thermal model simulations covering the majority of known subduction zone convergence rates, incoming plate ages, and slab dips. We quantify the thermal effects of fluid circulation in the subducting crust by comparing results with and without advective heat transfer in the oceanic crustal aquifer. We find that hydrothermal cooling of a subduction zone is maximized when the subducting slab is young, slowly converging, steeply dipping, and the crustal aquifer is ventilated near the trench. Incoming plate age is one of the primary controls on the effectiveness of advective heat transfer in the aquifer, and the greatest temperature effects occur with an incoming plate <50 Ma. The thermal effects of fluid circulation decrease dramatically with increasing age of the incoming plate. Temperatures in the Cascadia, Nankai, southern Chile, Colombia/Ecuador, Mexico, and Solomon Islands subduction zones are likely strongly affected by fluid circulation; for these systems, only thermal models of Cascadia and Nankai have included fluid flow in subducting crust.

  4. Some aspects of the tectonics of subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aubouin, Jean

    1989-03-01

    The main structures of a subduction zone are as follows. (1) On the outer wall: faults, formed either by reactivation of the structural grain of the oceanic plate, when the latter is slightly oblique to the trench, or by a new fault network parallel to the trench, or both. The width of the faulted zone is about 50 miles. (2) On the inner wall: either an accretionary prism or an extensional fault network, or both; collapsed structures and slumps are often associated, sometimes creating confusion with the accretionary structures. (3) The overall structure of the trench itself is determined by the shape of the edge of the continental crust or of the island arc. Its detailed structure, however, is related to the oceanic plate, namely when the structural grain of the latter is slightly oblique to the trench, which then takes an "en echelon" form. Collapsed units can fill up the trench which is, in that case, restricted to an irregular narrow depression; the tectonic framework of the trench can be buried under a sedimentary blanket when the sedimentation rate is high and the trench bottom is a large, flat area. Two extreme types of active margins can be distinguished: convergent compressive margins, when the accretionary mechanism is strongly active; and convergent extensional margins where the accretionary mechanism is absent or only weakly active. The status of a given margin between these two extreme types is related to the convergence rate of the plates, the dip of the subduction zone, the sedimentation activity and the presence of a continental obstacle, because oceanic seamounts and aseismic ridges are easily subducted. Examples are taken from the Barbados, Middle America, Peru, Kuril, Japan, Nankai, Marianna, Manila, New Hebredes and Tonga trenches.

  5. Comments on “Corundum-bearing garnet peridotite from northern Dominican Republic: A metamorphic product of an arc cumulate in the Caribbean subduction zone,” by Hattori et al. [Lithos 114 (2010) 437-450

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbott, Richard N., Jr.; Draper, Grenville

    2010-06-01

    The Cuaba Gneiss in northern Dominican Republic hosts an unusual suite of Grt-ultramafites. Two hypotheses for their origin are distinguished by the depth of crystallization of an igneous protolith. In the first hypothesis the protolith crystallized under ultra high pressure (UHP) magmatic conditions (> 3.2 GPa) in the field of stability for Grt + Spl + Crn. The protolith was then modified by subsolidus processes. In a new hypothesis the protolith crystallized under low pressure (LP) magmatic conditions (< 1.1 GPa) in the field of stability for plagioclase. Grt + Crn was produced during prograde metamorphism. The LP hypothesis depends on a small Eu anomaly, limited fluid interaction, REE modeling, and a magmatic composition for clinopyroxene. Arguments against the LP hypothesis address, (1) the source of the Eu anomaly, (2) the use of clinopyroxene in assessing provenance and modeling REEs, (3) the proposed prograde mineral reactions, and (4) thermodynamic calculations.

  6. Acceleration spectra for subduction zone earthquakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boatwright, J.; Choy, G.L.

    1989-01-01

    We estimate the source spectra of shallow earthquakes from digital recordings of teleseismic P wave groups, that is, P+pP+sP, by making frequency dependent corrections for the attenuation and for the interference of the free surface. The correction for the interference of the free surface assumes that the earthquake radiates energy from a range of depths. We apply this spectral analysis to a set of 12 subduction zone earthquakes which range in size from Ms = 6.2 to 8.1, obtaining corrected P wave acceleration spectra on the frequency band from 0.01 to 2.0 Hz. Seismic moment estimates from surface waves and normal modes are used to extend these P wave spectra to the frequency band from 0.001 to 0.01 Hz. The acceleration spectra of large subduction zone earthquakes, that is, earthquakes whose seismic moments are greater than 1027 dyn cm, exhibit intermediate slopes where u(w)???w5/4 for frequencies from 0.005 to 0.05 Hz. For these earthquakes, spectral shape appears to be a discontinuous function of seismic moment. Using reasonable assumptions for the phase characteristics, we transform the spectral shape observed for large earthquakes into the time domain to fit Ekstrom's (1987) moment rate functions for the Ms=8.1 Michoacan earthquake of September 19, 1985, and the Ms=7.6 Michoacan aftershock of September 21, 1985. -from Authors

  7. Cyclic stressing and seismicity at strongly coupled subduction zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taylor, M.A.J.; Zheng, G.; Rice, J.R.; Stuart, W.D.; Dmowska, R.

    1996-01-01

    We use the finite element method to analyze stress variations in and near a strongly coupled subduction zone during an earthquake cycle. Deformation is assumed to be uniform along strike (plane strain on a cross section normal to the trench axis), and periodic earthquake slip is imposed consistent with the long-term rate of plate convergence and degree of coupling. Simulations of stress and displacement rate fields represent periodic fluctuations in time superimposed on an average field. The oceanic plate, descending slab, and continental lithosphere are assumed here to respond elastically to these fluctuations, and the remaining mantle under and between plates is assumed to respond as Maxwell viscoelastic. In the first part of the analysis we find that computed stress fluctuations in space and time are generally consistent with observed earthquake mechanism variations with time since a great thrust event. In particular, trench-normal extensional earthquakes tend to occur early in the earthquake cycle toward the outer rise but occur more abundantly late in the cycle in the subducting slab downdip of the main thrust zone. Compressional earthquakes, when they occur at all, have the opposite pattern. Our results suggest also that the actual timing of extensional outer rise events is controlled by the rheology of the shallow aseismic portion of the thrust interface. The second part of the analysis shows the effects of mantle relaxation on the rate of ground surface deformation during the earthquake cycle. Models without relaxation predict a strong overall compressional strain rate in the continental plate above the main thrust zone, with the strain rate constant between mainshocks. However with significant relaxation present, a localized region of unusually low compressional, or even slightly extensional, strain rate develops along the surface of the continental plate above and somewhat inland from the downdip edge of the locked main thrust zone. The low strain rate starts in the middle or late part of the cycle, depending on position. This result suggests that the negligible or small contraction measured on the Shumagin Islands, Alaska, during 1980 to 1991, may not invalidate an interpretation of that region as being a moderately coupled subduction zone. In contrast, mantle relaxation causes only modest temporal nonuniformity of uplift rates in the overriding plate and of extensional stress rates in the subducting plate, even when the Maxwell time is an order of magnitude less than the recurrence interval.

  8. The role of phase transitions at subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faccenda, Manuele

    2015-04-01

    The role of phase transitions on the Earth's internal dynamics has been extensively investigated in the past by means of thermo-mechanical, 2D/3D global models of mantle convection. Among the different solid-solid phase transformations, the post-spinel transition, occurring at about 660 km depth in the Earth's mantle, profoundly affects the dynamic of mantle convection, favouring a layered pattern that is intermittently replaced by whole mantle convection. In this contribution, I will focus mostly on regional models of subduction where a range of metamorphic and melting reactions takes place. After reviewing the most important reactions characterizing convergent margins, I will discuss, based on recent 2D petrological-thermo-mechanical simulations, how phase transition in the mantle affect the subduction dynamics and the subduction-induced flow patterns. In particular, models without phase transitions develop poloidal convective cells with a large aspect ratio (width/height). In these models, cells width is similar to lithospheric plates width, producing drifting of the entire overriding plate. On the contrary, models accounting for phase transitions are characterized by poloidal cells with aspect ratio of about 1, yielding eventually to the break-up and drifting of a portion of the overriding plate. This last, more realistic simulation of subduction well reproduce the fragmentation of supercontinents and the opening of oceanic basins, highlighting the important role played by phase transition in the subduction zone dynamics.

  9. The ophiolites of northeast India — a subduction zone ophiolite complex of the Indo-Burman orogenic belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharjee, C. C.

    1991-06-01

    The ophiolites of northeast India are rootless blocks of various dimensions, floating in a matrix which belongs to the upper Cretaceous-Lower Tertiary Disang Group. They consist of diverse igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, of which ultramafics are the main component. They do not constitute a continuous sheet but are made up of units haphazardly juxtaposed along faults or they consist of lensoid slices interbedded with Disang Group rocks. The ultramafics are interpreted as slices of oceanic crust and upper mantle obducted onto the Indian continental margin. Associated blue schist is indicative of subduction zone tectonics. The occurrences of ultramafics showing intrusive contacts and the presence of intermediate — acid volcanics suggest an island arc — continent type of collision along the Benioff Zone coincident with the ophiolite belt. The tectonic history of the Indo-Burman orogenic belt can be tentatively summarised as follows: Introduction of the subduction zone during Cretaceous times; obduction of oceanic crust and upper mantle and intermixing with deep oceanic sediments. Deposition of the Disang sediments. Formation of an island arc separating the sedimentary basin into eastern and western sub-basins. The Barail sediments were deposited in both basins. The formation of the island arc was accompanied by plutonism and volcanism and by deformation and low grade metamorphism of the lower Disang sediments. Gradual shallowing of the basin consequent upon the collision of the island arc with the easterly subducted India plate. Continent-continent collision and rotation of the down-basin normal faults into low angle reverse faults (thrusts) along which the thrust sheets were piled up. The frontal areas of the thrust sheets were asymmetrically folded. This was followed by asymmetrical folding of the rocks of the foreland areas. Formation of gravity faults and conjugate sets of strike-slip faults in the orogen and the foreland areas. The structures associated with the ophiolite belt are attributed first to the collision of the easterly subducting India plate with an island arc and subsequently with the Burma plate.

  10. Spatiotemporal evolution of dehydration reactions in subduction zones (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padron-Navarta, J.

    2013-12-01

    Large-scale deep water cycling takes place through subduction zones in the Earth, making our planet unique in the solar system. This idiosyncrasy is the result of a precise but unknown balance between in-gassing and out-gassing fluxes of volatiles. Water is incorporated into hydrous minerals during seafloor alteration of the oceanic lithosphere. The cycling of volatiles is triggered by dehydration of these minerals that release fluids from the subducting slab to the mantle wedge and eventually to the crust or to the deep mantle. Whereas the loci of such reactions are reasonably well established, the mechanisms of fluid migration during dehydration reactions are still barely known. One of the challenges is that dehydration reactions are dynamic features evolving in time and space. Experimental data on low-temperature dehydration reactions (i.e. gypsum) and numerical models applied to middle-crust conditions point to a complex spatiotemporal evolution of the dehydration process. The extrapolation of these inferences to subduction settings has not yet been explored but it is essential to understand the dynamism of these settings. Here I propose an alternative approach to tackle this problem through the textural study of high-pressure terrains that experienced dehydration reactions. Spatiotemporal evolution of dehydration reactions should be recorded during mineral nucleation and growth through variations in time and space of the reaction rate. Insights on the fluid migration mechanism could be inferred therefore by noting changes in the texture of prograde assemblages. The dehydration of antigorite in serpentinite is a perfect candidate to test this approach as it releases a significant amount of fluid and produces a concomitant porosity. Unusual alternation of equilibrium and disequilibrium textures observed in Cerro del Almirez (Betic Cordillera, S Spain)[1, 2] attest for a complex fluid migration pattern for one of the most relevant reactions in subduction zones. This opens the possibility to correlate textural features recorded in high-pressure terrains with the physical fingerprint of dehydration reactions such as fluid flow rates and eventually seismicity or tremor. References [1] Padrón-Navarta, J. A., Tommasi, A., Garrido, C. J., López Sánchez-Vizcaíno, V., Gómez-Pugnaire, M. T., Jabaloy, A. & Vauchez, A. (2010). Fluid transfer into the wedge controlled by high-pressure hydrofracturing in the cold top-slab mantle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 297, 271-286. [2] Padrón-Navarta, J. A., López Sánchez-Vizcaíno, V., Garrido, C. J. & Gómez-Pugnaire, M. T. (2011). Metamorphic Record of High-pressure Dehydration of Antigorite Serpentinite to Chlorite Harzburgite in a Subduction Setting (Cerro del Almirez, Nevado-Filábride Complex, Southern Spain). Journal of Petrology 52, 2047-2078.

  11. The dynamics of reactive fluid escape in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plümper, Oliver; John, Timm; Podladchikov, Yuri; Scambelluri, Marco

    2014-05-01

    At subduction zones seawater-altered oceanic lithosphere is returned to the Earth's mantle, where increasing pressures and temperatures cause the progressive destabilization of hydrous minerals to liberate immense quantities of aqueous fluids. Understanding the mechanism and non-lithostatic fluid (thermo)dynamics of how fluids are liberated and escape from the subducting oceanic plate is key to develop a quantitative understanding of geochemical cycles and geodynamical processes associated with subduction zones. Fluids released from the subducting slab induce sub-arc mantle melting causing volcanism and induce petrophysical changes during dehydration that can lead to intermediate-depth seismicity. In all these cases large-scale transport systems need to form, where fluids are able to escape from the subducting slab to either migrate up-dip along the subduction channel or into the overlying mantle wedge. Nevertheless, permeability is minimal at the depths and confining pressures relevant to subduction settings, thus insufficient to allow for pervasive fluid flow with high enough fluxes to efficiently drain the subducting oceanic plate. Evidence from the volatile cycle indicates that a fluid extraction mechanism must exist that can keep pace with the slab descent velocity of cm/year to avoid the fluid being lost to the mantle. The tendency of fluid flow to occur channelized in space and time, demonstrated in almost all high-pressure terrains as vein networks, points to a possible mechanism. Channelized fluid flow would enable efficient fluid release rates with high local fluid fluxes over long distances. However, the unresolved questions is; how does a dehydrating system with an intially low, pervasive fluid production develop into a channelized fluid extraction network, allowing effective large-scale fluid transport? By using a combined approach of field observations, reaction microstructures down to the nanoscale and state-of-the-art numerical modelling we investigate one of the most prominent dehydration reaction for the deep volatile cycle, the breakdown of antigorite to form anhydrous olivine. For the first time we are able to link micro- to nanoscale breakdown reaction microstructures characteristic of initial fluid pooling to the development of large-scale, channelizing dehydration vein networks. On the basis of our findings we formulate a consistent mechanistic model of metamorphic fluid escape during mineral dehydration.

  12. Experimental study of boron geochemistry: implications for fluid processes in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    You, C. F.; Spivack, A. J.; Gieskes, J. M.; Rosenbauer, R.; Bischoff, J. L.

    1995-06-01

    A comprehensive experimental study, utilizing an autoclave hydrothermal apparatus with a 10B isotopic tracer, has been conducted to monitor the geochemical behavior of sediment B during early subduction zone processes. The partition coefficient of exchangeable B ( K D) was determined over a temperature range of 25-350°C, at 800 bars and a water/rock ratio of 3-1.5 w/w. These K D are shown to be a complex function of temperature, pH, and possibly mineralogy. At low temperatures, K D is significantly high at ˜4 in contrast to the value of essentially zero at temperatures higher than ˜100°C. A K D of zero represents no B adsorption, implying efficient mobilization of exchangeable B at shallow depths during sediment subduction. Our experimental results demonstrate high mobilization of bulk B in sediments (both exchangeable and lattice bound) at elevated temperatures (200-350°C), in good agreement with previous observations of B in metasediments indicating progressive depletion during metamorphism. In addition, this study emphasizes the importance of a possible water/rock ratio dependence of B mobilization. In other words, the degree of sedimentary B mobilization in subduction zones strongly depends on the local thermal structure and porosity distribution. In low geothermal gradient areas, large amounts of porewater are expelled before significant B mobilization has occurred, so that some sedimentary B will survive and get into the deeper parts of the subduction zone. Our results imply that efficient mobilization of B from the subducted slab must occur and that arc magmatism recycles most of the remaining subducted B back to surface reservoirs. A reconsideration of the B budget in subduction zones provides critical information with respect to B sources and sinks in the ocean.

  13. Dehydration-driven topotaxy in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Mineral replacement reactions play a fundamental role in the chemistry and the strength of the lithosphere. When externally or internally derived fluids are present, interface-coupled dissolution-precipitation is the driving mechanism for such reactions [1]. One of the microstructural features of this process is a 3D arrangement of crystallographic axes across internal interfaces (topotaxy) between reactant and product phases. Dehydration reactions are a special case of mineral replacement reaction that generates a transient fluid-filled porosity. Among others, the dehydration serpentinite is of special relevance in subduction zones because of the amount of fluids involved (potentially up to 13 wt.%). Two topotatic relationships between olivine and antigorite (the serpentine mineral stable at high temperature and pressure) have been reported in partially hydrated mantle wedge xenoliths [2]. Therefore, if precursor antigorite serpentine has a strong crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) its dehydration might result in prograde peridotite with a strong inherited CPO. However for predicting the importance of topotactic reactions for seismic anisotropy of subduction zones we also need to consider the crystallization orthopyroxene + chlorite in the prograde reaction and, more importantly, the fact that this dehydration reaction produces a transient porosity of ca. 20 % vol. that results in local fluctuations of strain during compaction and fluid migration. We address this issue by a microstructural comparison between the CPO developed in olivine, orthopyroxene and chlorite during high-pressure antigorite dehydration in piston cylinder experiments (at 750ºC and 20 kbar and 1000ºC and 30 kbar, 168 h) and that recorded in natural samples (Cerro del Almirez, Betic Cordillera, Spain). Experimentally developed CPOs are strong. Prograde minerals show a significant inheritance of the former antigorite foliation. Topotactic relations are dominated by (001)atg//(100)ol// (100)opx//(001)chl. The relation [010]atg// [001]ol //[001]opx can also be inferred but it is weaker. Similar topotactic relations are observed in the Cerro del Almirez samples, but the CPOs are weaker and more complex. The complexity arises from constant interfacial angles and systematic low-index interfacial contacts between orthopyroxene-olivine-chlorite (e.g. (001)chl // (100)opx). As a consequence the inheritance from the antigorite serpentinite is partially obliterated. Compaction-related microstructural features are also present including: (1) smooth bending of the former foliation and diffuse olivine veinlets perpendicular to it, (2) gradual crystallographic misorientation (up to 15º) of prismatic enstatite due to buckling, (3) localized orthoenstatite(Pbca)/low clinoenstatite (P21/c) inversion, and (4) brittle fracturing of prismatic enstatite wrapped by plastically deformed chlorite. These observations suggest that topotactic crystrallographic relations are dominant in undrained systems, but that the mechanisms allowing for compaction and fluid draining significantly affect the final texture in drained systems. Because the second case prevails in subduction zones, compaction mechanisms need to be better understood for modelling the development of CPOs after foliated protoliths in the slab and the mantle wedge. [1] Putnis, A., 2009. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry 70, 87-124. [2] Boudier, F., et al. 2010 J. Petrology 51, 495-512.

  14. Metamorphic belts of Anatolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oberhänsli, Roland; Prouteau, Amaury; Candan, Osman; Bousquet, Romain

    2015-04-01

    Investigating metamorphic rocks from high-pressure/low-temperature (HP/LT) belts that formed during the closure of several oceanic branches, building up the present Anatolia continental micro-plate gives insight to the palaeogeography of the Neotethys Ocean in Anatolia. Two coherent HP/LT metamorphic belts, the Tav?anl? Zone (distal Gondwana margin) and the Ören-Afyon-Bolkarda? Zone (proximal Gondwana margin), parallel their non-metamorphosed equivalent (the Tauride Carbonate Platform) from the Aegean coast in NW Anatolia to southern Central Anatolia. P-T conditions and timing of metamorphism in the Ören-Afyon-Bolkarda? Zone (>70?-65 Ma; 0.8-1.2 GPa/330-420°C) contrast those published for the overlying Tav?anl? Zone (88-78 Ma; 2.4 GPa/500 °C). These belts trace the southern Neotethys suture connecting the Vardar suture in the Hellenides to the Inner Tauride suture along the southern border of the Kir?ehir Complex in Central Anatolia. Eastwards, these belts are capped by the Oligo-Miocene Sivas Basin. Another HP/LT metamorphic belt, in the Alanya and Bitlis regions, outlines the southern flank of the Tauride Carbonate Platform. In the Alanya Nappes, south of the Taurides, eclogites and blueschists yielded metamorphic ages around 82-80 Ma (zircon U-Pb and phengite Ar-Ar data). The Alanya-Bitlis HP belt testifies an additional suture not comparable to the northerly Tav?anl? and Ören-Afyon belts, thus implying an additional oceanic branch of the Neotethys. The most likely eastern lateral continuation of this HP belt is the Bitlis Massif, in SE Turkey. There, eclogites (1.9-2.4 GPa/480-540°C) occur within calc-arenitic meta-sediments and in gneisses of the metamorphic (Barrovian-type) basement. Zircon U-Pb ages revealed 84.4-82.4 Ma for peak metamorphism. Carpholite-bearing HP/LT metasediments representing the stratigraphic cover of the Bitlis Massif underwent 0.8-1.2 GPa/340-400°C at 79-74 Ma (Ar-Ar on white mica). These conditions compares to the Tav?anl?-Afyon realm. However the differences in time and P-T conditions (eclogite- vs. blueschist-facies units) in the Bitlis Massif indicate that the different metamorphic peak conditions were reached at different times in a single subduction zone. Exhumation from approx. 65 to 35 km depth occurred within <10 myr. The special relations between eclogite-blueschist are due to the fact that collision with the Arabian plate was and still is on going in the Bitlis area. The Bitlis HP rocks represent a subduction realm that separated the Bitlis-Pütürge(-Bistun?) continental block from the South-Armenian (Tauride?) block, further north. Post-Eocene blueschists south of the Bitlis Massif witness the separation of the Bitlis-Pütüre block from the Arabian plate, and the southward migration of the subduction zone from the Late Cretaceous to the Oligocene. Continuous convergence of Africa and Eurasia engendered the simultaneous consumption of several, separated branches of the Neotethys Ocean and amalgamation of different terranes. The rise of the Eastern Anatolia Plateau is related to this complex geodynamic setting. Reduced seismic velocities inferred from geophysical observations, which are interpreted as complete replacement of lithospheric- by asthenospheric mantle, can be explained by thermodynamic modelling as partial hydration of the lithospheric mantle wedge during protracted subduction. Hydrated lithospheric mantle is interpreted as result of the complex geodynamic setting in Anatolia with multiple simultaneous subduction zones.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Seepage of methane-dominated hydrocarbons is heterogeneous in space and time, and trigger mechanisms of episodic seep events are not well constrained. It is generally found that free hydrocarbon gas entering the local gas hydrate stability field in marine sediments is sequestered in gas hydrates. In this manner, gas hydrates can act as a buffer for carbon transport from the sediment into the ocean. However, the efficiency of gas hydrate-bearing sediments for retaining hydrocarbons may be corrupted: Hypothesized mechanisms include critical gas/fluid pressures beneath gas hydrate-bearing sediments, implying that these are susceptible to mechanical failure and subsequent gas release. Although gas hydrates often occur in seismically active regions, e.g., subduction zones, the role of earthquakes as potential triggers of hydrocarbon transport through gas hydrate-bearing sediments has hardly been explored. Based on a recent publication (Fischer et al., 2013), we present geochemical and transport/reaction-modelling data suggesting a substantial increase in upward gas flux and hydrocarbon emission into the water column following a major earthquake that occurred near the study sites in 1945. Calculating the formation time of authigenic barite enrichments identified in two sediment cores obtained from an anticlinal structure called "Nascent Ridge", we find they formed 38-91 years before sampling, which corresponds well to the time elapsed since the earthquake (62 years). Furthermore, applying a numerical model, we show that the local sulfate/methane transition zone shifted upward by several meters due to the increased methane flux and simulated sulfate profiles very closely match measured ones in a comparable time frame of 50-70 years. We thus propose a causal relation between the earthquake and the amplified gas flux and present reflection seismic data supporting our hypothesis that co-seismic ground shaking induced mechanical fracturing of gas hydrate-bearing sediments creating pathways for free gas to migrate from a shallow reservoir within the gas hydrate stability zone into the water column. Our results imply that free hydrocarbon gas trapped beneath a local gas hydrate seal was mobilized through earthquake-induced mechanical failure and in that way circumvented carbon sequestration within the sediment. These findings lead to conclude that hydrocarbon seepage triggered by earthquakes can play a role for carbon budgets at other seismically active continental margins. The newly identified process presented in our study is conceivable to help interpret data from similar sites. Reference: Fischer, D., Mogollon, J.M., Strasser, M., Pape, T., Bohrmann, G., Fekete, N., Spieß, V. and Kasten, S., 2013. Subduction zone earthquake as potential trigger of submarine hydrocarbon seepage. Nature Geoscience 6: 647-651.

  16. Controls on earthquake rupture and triggering mechanisms in subduction zones

    E-print Network

    Llenos, Andrea Lesley

    2010-01-01

    Large earthquake rupture and triggering mechanisms that drive seismicity in subduction zones are investigated in this thesis using a combination of earthquake observations, statistical and physical modeling. A comparison ...

  17. Lithospheric dynamics of Earth's subduction zones and Martian tectonic provinces

    E-print Network

    Ding, Min, Ph. D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    2015-01-01

    This thesis investigates lithospheric dynamics of Earth's subduction zones and Martian tectonic provinces on multiple time scales ranging from short-term earthquake deformation to long-term tectonic loading. In Chapter 2, ...

  18. Crust and subduction zone structure of Southwestern Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

    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.

  19. Initiation of Subduction Zones: A Consequence of Lateral Compositional Buoyancy Contrast Within the Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niu, Y.; O'Hara, M. J.; Pearce, J. A.

    2001-12-01

    Subduction of oceanic lithosphere into deep mantle is one of the key aspects of plate tectonics. Pull by the subducting-slab due to its negative buoyancy is widely accepted as the major driving force for plate motion and plate tectonics. Hence, there would be no plate tectonics if there were no subduction zones. Yet how a subduction zone initiates remains poorly known. Here we show that lateral compositional (vs. thermal) buoyancy contrast within the lithosphere creates the favored and necessary condition for the initiation of a subduction zone by (1) comparing the compositional and density differences between normal oceanic lithosphere (NOL) represented by abyssal peridotites (AP) and subarc lithosphere (SAL) represented by forearc peridotites (FP), and (2) simple physical analysis. As the gravitational attraction is the principal driving force of the subducting slab, it would be optimal if one part of the lithosphere experiences a greater gravitational attraction than its adjacent neighbor prior to or during the initiation of a subduction. This requires the pre-existence of a density contrast within the lithosphere. If the lithosphere is thermally uniform as is often the case, then the density contrast must result from a compositional contrast. This hypothesis can be tested by examining the lithospheric materials on both sides of a subduction zone. Subduction of a dense NOL beneath a buoyant continental lithosphere is straightforward, but intra-oceanic subduction such as in the western Pacific requires a scrutiny. Our data show that FP of Mariana and Tonga - two of the most important intra-oceanic subduction zones on Earth - are compositionally more depleted than AP: Cr#-sp (mean+/- 1? ) = 0.584+/-0.084(FP) vs. 0.307+/-0.134(AP); Mg#-ol = 0.915+/-0.006(FP) vs. 0.898+/-0.082(AP); Mg#-opx = 0.917+/-0.006(FP) vs. 0.908+/-0.006(AP); Mg#-cpx = 0.929+/-0.021(FP) vs. 0.917+/-0.011(AP). As a result, SAL is > 0.7% less dense than NOL. This density contrast due to compositional difference is equivalent to ? T = ~230° C, which is similar to or greater than the postulated thermal buoyancy contrast between a hot mantle plume and its surroundings. While the depleted nature of FP has been interpreted to result from subducting-slab dehydration induced high extents of mantle wedge melting, evidence indicates that the depletion of these FP predates the inception of the subduction, thus these FP are not residues of present-day arc magmatism. Hence, the compositional buoyancy contrast already existed within the lithosphere before the inception of the subduction in the western Pacific. Much of the Mariana SAL may be fragments of old continental lithosphere, whereas the Tonga/Fiji plateau and Kamchatka lithosphere may be remnants of buoyant, hence unsubductable oceanic plateaus (mantle plume head materials) for the Louisville and Hawaiian hotspots respectively. Passive continental margins, where the largest compositional buoyancy contrast exists within the lithosphere, are the loci of future subduction zones. Geometrical analysis shows that the compositional buoyancy contrast within the lithosphere under compression (e.g., ridge push) induces transtensional planes. The weakest plane in the vicinity of the compositional buoyancy contrast develops into a reverse fault. The dense NOL (the foot-wall) tends to sink into the hot and less dense asthenosphere. Calculations show that this tendency to sink reduces both the normal stress to, and shear resistance along, the fault plane, thus easing the sinking and favoring the initiation of a subduction zone. This concept also explains other observations and makes testable predictions on important geodynamic problems.

  20. The Generation of Continents through Subduction Zone Processing of Large Igneous Provinces: A Case Study from the Central American Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmon, N.; Rychert, C.

    2013-12-01

    Billions of years ago primary mantle magmas evolved to form the continental crust, although no simple magmatic differentiation process explains the progression to average andesitic crustal compositions observed today. A multiple stage process is often invoked, involving subduction and or oceanic plumes, to explain the strong depletion observed in Archean xenoliths and as well as pervasive tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite and komatiite protoliths in the greenstone belts in the crust in the cratons. Studying modern day analogues of oceanic plateaus that are currently interacting with subductions zones can provide insights into continental crust formation. Here we use surface waves to image crustal isotropic and radially anisotropic shear velocity structure above the central American subduction system in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, which juxtaposes thickened ocean island plateau crust in Costa Rica with continental/normal oceanic crust in Nicaragua. We find low velocities beneath the active arc regions (3-6% slower than the surrounding region) and up to 6% radially anisotropic structures within the oceanic crust of the Caribbean Large Igneous Province beneath Costa Rica. The low velocities and radial anisotropy suggest the anomalies are due to pervasive deep crustal magma sills. The inferred sill structures correlate spatially with increased silicic outputs in northern Costa Rica, indicating that deep differentiation of primary magmas is more efficient beneath Costa Rica relative to Nicaragua. Subduction zone alteration of large igneous provinces promotes efficient, deep processing of primary basalts to continental crust. This scenario can explain the formation of continental lithosphere and crust, by both providing strongly depleted mantle lithosphere and a means for rapidly generating a silicic crustal composition.

  1. Extreme Nb/Ta fractionation in metamorphic titanite from ultrahigh-pressure metagranite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yi-Xiang; Zheng, Yong-Fei

    2015-02-01

    Extremely high Nb/Ta ratios (up to 239) occur in metamorphic titanite from ultrahigh-pressure metagranite in the Sulu orogen. This indicates significant Nb/Ta fractionation in subduction-zone fluids. By means of U-Pb dating and trace element analysis of titanite, we distinguish the metamorphic domains from the anatectic domains. Titanite U-Pb dating yields lower intercept ages of 215 ± 12 Ma to 222 ± 27 Ma for the metagranite samples, with regardless of the compositional differences between the two types of titanite domains. This indicates the two generations of titanite growth during exhumation of deeply subducted continental crust. The metamorphic titanite shows significantly elevated Nb but decreased Ta and thus higher Nb/Ta ratios than the anatectic titanite. The increase of Nb/Ta ratios for the metamorphic titanite is associated more with a decrease of Ta than an increase of Nb, suggesting the control of fluid composition on the titanite Nb/Ta ratios. Because the metamorphic titanite grew during the exhumation of deeply subducted continental crust, its unusually high Nb/Ta ratios are ascribed to the breakdown of hydrous minerals such as phengite and biotite that host much more Nb than Ta. This implies that the composition of subduction-zone fluids is primarily dictated by the geochemical property of hydrous minerals that break down during dehydration reaction at high-pressure to ultrahigh-pressure conditions. Therefore, significant Nb/Ta fractionation in Ti-rich accessory minerals such as titanite and rutile, at least on the mineral scale, during subduction-zone processes is possibly much more common than previously thought.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schellart, W. P.; Rawlinson, N.

    2013-12-01

    The maximum earthquake magnitude recorded for subduction zone plate boundaries varies considerably on Earth, with some subduction zone segments producing giant subduction zone thrust earthquakes (e.g. Chile, Alaska, Sumatra-Andaman, Japan) and others producing relatively small earthquakes (e.g. Mariana, Scotia). Here we show how such variability might depend on various subduction zone parameters. We present 24 physical parameters that characterize these subduction zones in terms of their geometry, kinematics, geology and dynamics. We have investigated correlations between these parameters and the maximum recorded moment magnitude (MW) for subduction zone segments in the period 1900-June 2012. The investigations were done for one dataset using a geological subduction zone segmentation (44 segments) and for two datasets (rupture zone dataset and epicenter dataset) using a 200 km segmentation (241 segments). All linear correlations for the rupture zone dataset and the epicenter dataset (|R| = 0.00-0.30) and for the geological dataset (|R| = 0.02-0.51) are negligible-low, indicating that even for the highest correlation the best-fit regression line can only explain 26% of the variance. A comparative investigation of the observed ranges of the physical parameters for subduction segments with MW > 8.5 and the observed ranges for all subduction segments gives more useful insight into the spatial distribution of giant subduction thrust earthquakes. For segments with MW > 8.5 distinct (narrow) ranges are observed for several parameters, most notably the trench-normal overriding plate deformation rate (vOPD?, i.e. the relative velocity between forearc and stable far-field backarc), trench-normal absolute trench rollback velocity (vT?), subduction partitioning ratio (vSP?/vS?, the fraction of the subduction velocity that is accommodated by subducting plate motion), subduction thrust dip angle (?ST), subduction thrust curvature (CST), and trench curvature angle (?T). The results indicate that MW > 8.5 subduction earthquakes occur for rapidly shortening to slowly extending overriding plates (-3.0 ? vOPD? ? 2.3 cm/yr), slow trench velocities (-2.9 ? vT? ? 2.8 cm/yr), moderate to high subduction partitioning ratios (vSP?/vS? ? 0.3-1.4), low subduction thrust dip angles (?ST ? 30°), low subduction thrust curvature (CST ? 2.0 × 10-13 m-2) and low trench curvature angles (-6.3° ? ?T ? 9.8°). Epicenters of giant earthquakes with MW > 8.5 only occur at trench segments bordering overriding plates that experience shortening or are neutral (vOPD? ? 0), suggesting that such earthquakes initiate at mechanically highly coupled segments of the subduction zone interface that have a relatively high normal stress (deviatoric compression) on the interface (i.e. a normal stress asperity). Notably, for the three largest recorded earthquakes (Chile 1960, Alaska 1964, Sumatra-Andaman 2004) the earthquake rupture propagated from a zone of compressive deviatoric normal stress on the subduction zone interface to a region of lower normal stress (neutral or deviatoric tension). Stress asperities should be seen separately from frictional asperities that result from a variation in friction coefficient along the subduction zone interface. We have developed a global map in which individual subduction zone segments have been ranked in terms of their predicted capability of generating a giant subduction zone earthquake (MW > 8.5) using the six most indicative subduction zone parameters (vOPD?, vT?, vSP?/vS?, ?ST, CST and ?T). We identify a number of subduction zones and segments that rank highly, which implies a capability to generate MW > 8.5 earthquakes. These include Sunda, North Sulawesi, Hikurangi, Nankai-northern Ryukyu, Kamchatka-Kuril-Japan, Aleutians-Alaska, Cascadia, Mexico-Central America, South America, Lesser Antilles, western Hellenic and Makran. Several subduction segments have a low score, most notably Scotia, New Hebrides and Mariana.

  3. Seismicity of the eastern Hellenic Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruestle, A.; Kueperkoch, L.; Rische, M.; Meier, T.; Friederich, W.; Egelados Working Group

    2012-04-01

    The Hellenic Subduction Zone (HSZ) is the seismically most active region of Europe. The African plate is subducting beneath the Aegean lithosphere with a relative velocity of 4 cm per year. A detailed picture of the microseismicity of the eastern HSZ was obtained by the recordings of the temporary networks CYCNET (September 2002 - September 2005) and EGELADOS (October 2005 - March 2007). In total, nearly 7000 earthquakes were located with a location uncertainty of less than 20 km. The SE Aegean is dominated by (1) shallow intraplate seismicity within the Aegean plate, by (2) interplate seismicity at the plate contact and by (3) intermediate deep seismicity along the subducting African slab. Strong shallow seismicity in the upper plate is observed along the Ptolemy graben south of Crete extending towards the Karpathos Basin, indicating intense recent deformation of the forearc. In contrary, low shallow seismicity around Rhodes indicates only minor seismic crustal deformation of the upper plate. An almost NS-striking zone of microseismicity has been located, running from the Karpathos basin via the Nisyros volcanic complex towards the EW striking Gökova graben. In the SE Aegean the geometry of the Wadati-Benioff-Zone (WBZ) within the subducting African plate is revealed in detail by the observed microseismicity. Between about 50 to 100 km depth a continuous band of intermediate deep seismicity describes the strongly curved geometry of the slab. From the central to the eastern margin of the HSZ, the dip direction of the WBZ changes from N to NW with a strong increase of the dip angle beneath the eastern Cretan Sea. The margin of the dipping African slab is marked by an abrupt end of the observed WBZ beneath SW Anatolia. Below 100 km depth, the WBZ of the eastern HSZ is dominated by an isolated cluster of intense intermediate deep seismicity (at 100-180 km depth) beneath the Nisyros volcanic complex. It has an extension of about 100x80 km and is build up of 3 parallel, linear subclusters, dipping along the subducting slab to the NW. The change of crustal deformation and slap dip indicates a significant deformation of the eastern HSZ between Karpathos and Crete.

  4. Animation of Volcanism at a Subduction Zone

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    Jennifer Loomis

    This animation illustrates subduction of an oceanic plate beneath continental crust and the processes that can result in volcanic eruptions. Users can stop, play, fast forward and rewind the animation at any time to stress important points.

  5. Interseismic coupling and asperity distribution along the Kamchatka subduction zone

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Roland Bürgmann; Mikhail G. Kogan; Grigory M. Steblov; George Hilley; Vasily E. Levin; Edwin Apel

    2005-01-01

    GPS measurements of interseismic horizontal surface velocities reveal the degree of kinematic coupling of the plate boundary thrust along the Kamchatka subduction zone from about 51° to 57°N latitude. Inversions for the distribution of aseismic slip rate along the ~15°NW dipping underthrust suggest a nonslipping plate interface in southern Kamchatka above ~50 km depth, along the segment that ruptured in

  6. The chemistry of subduction-zone fluids Craig E. Manning*

    E-print Network

    Manning, Craig

    Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567, USA Received 24 April 2004 elements even in H2O-rich fluids. Subduction-zone fluids may be surprisingly dilute, having only two-element patterns of fluids carrying only dissolved silicate components are similar to those of primitive island

  7. Paleoseismicity of the Southern End of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, Northwestern California

    E-print Network

    Keller, Ed

    ) and Atwater (1987), the earthquake and tsunami threat along the Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) was classified Paleoseismicity of the Southern End of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, Northwestern California Abstract The southern end of the Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) in northwestern California poses a high

  8. Influence of paired subduction zones: insight into Central Mediterranean tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Meghan Samantha; Moresi, Louis; Faccenna, Claudio; Funiciello, Francesca

    2015-04-01

    The Hellenic and Calabrian slabs are subducting the last remnant of the Ionian oceanic lithosphere into the deep mantle beneath the Central Mediterranean. Seismic tomography studies have provided clear images of the present day morphology of the subducted lithosphere [1]. Tectonic studies have shown that the Calabrian slab has rolled back into its current geometry with episodes of back-arc spreading that have now ceased [2]. Conversely, GPS observations along with tectonic reconstructions show that the Hellenic slab is currently rolling back and appears to have accelerated in the past ~15 My [3], which has resulted in the only region of backarc spreading still active in the Mediterranean. Observations of seismic anisotropy from SKS splitting [4] indicate toroidal flow patterns at the edges of the subducted slabs, which lead to interpretations of mantle convection and flow. Rollback in a confined setting has allowed the two slabs to become a plate-tectonic pushmi-pullyu [5]. The evolution of each slab is necessarily dependent on the other as they are both subducting the same lithosphere in opposite directions and are sufficiently close together that their induced mantle flow patterns must interact strongly. Although this seems to be an oddity in the classical picture of plate tectonics, we note that rollback-dominated subduction is more likely to be important in the highly-confined setting of a closing ocean where the oceanic lithosphere is not always able to develop into a freely-moving plate. Under such conditions, back-to-back pairings of subducting slabs are potentially more common. To investigate this setting, we present preliminary numerical models of paired subduction zones that we have developed using Underworld. We include variations in the strength and buoyancy of the surrounding (over-riding) plates and account for the presence of continentally-derived basement in the Adriatic sea. The geodynamic models allow for exploration into the timing, mechanics, and evolution of the last remnant of the oldest oceanic lithosphere on Earth being consumed due to the convergence of Africa and Eurasia. References: [1] Piromallo & Morelli, 2004; Lucente et al, 1999 [2] D'Agostino & Selvaggi, 2004; Serpelloni et al., 2007 [3] Royden & Husson 2006 [4] Civello & Margheriti, 2004; Evangelidis et al, 2011 [5] Lofting, 1920

  9. Redox Conditions of Subduction Zone Magmas and Mantle (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelley, K. A.; Cottrell, E.

    2010-12-01

    Subduction zone basalts are more oxidized than basalts from other tectonic settings (e.g., higher Fe3+/?Fe), and this contrast may play a central role in the unique geochemical transformations that generate arc and continental crust. The processes that create oxidized arc magmas, however, are poorly constrained, although they appear inherently linked to subduction. Near-surface differentiation processes unique to arc settings might drive oxidation of magmas that originate in equilibrium with a relatively reduced mantle source. Alternatively, arc magmas could record the oxidation conditions of relatively oxidized mantle sources. Here, we present new measurements of naturally glassy olivine-hosted melt inclusions from a single eruption of Agrigan volcano, Marianas, in order to test the influence of differentiation processes vs. source conditions on the Fe3+/?Fe ratio, a proxy for system oxygen fugacity (fO2). We determined Fe3+/?Fe ratios in glass inclusions using µ-XANES and couple these data with major elements and S by EMP and dissolved volatiles (H2O, CO2) by FTIR. After correcting for post-entrapment crystallization, Fe3+/?Fe ratios in the Agrigan melt inclusions (0.21-0.28), and their modeled fO2’s (?QFM +0.8 - +1.8), are uniformly more oxidized than normal MORB, and preserve a portion of the liquid line of descent of this magma from 5.7 to 3.2 wt.% MgO. Fractionation of olivine ± clinopyroxene should increase Fe3+/?Fe as MgO decreases in the melt, and the data follow this prediction to ~4.9 wt.% MgO, after which point the trend clearly reverses and Fe3+/?Fe ratios sharply decrease with MgO. This strong reduction trend is inconsistent with crystallization of common ferromagnesian phases found in the bulk Agrigan sample, including magnetite. The Fe3+/?Fe ratio decreases with decreasing S, however, suggesting that electronic exchanges associated with SO2 degassing may dominate Fe3+/?Fe variations in the melt during differentiation. In the case of this Agrigan magma, the dominant effect of differentiation on magmatic fO2 is reduction rather than oxidation. Tracing back Agrigan melts with MgO >5 (i.e., undegassed for S) along a modeled olivine fractionation trend to primary melts (Fo90 equilibrium) reveals melts in equilibrium with the mantle beneath Agrigan at fO2’s of ?QFM +1, significantly more oxidized than current constraints for the mantle beneath mid-ocean ridges.

  10. Detection of Deep Fluid Flow in Subduction Zones with Magnetotelluric Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritter, O.; Araya, J.

    2014-12-01

    After the 1995 Mw 8 Antofagasta earthquake, Husen and Kissling (2001) interpreted alterations observed in the seismic velocity structure as large-scale fluid distribution changes, deep within the subduction zone. Such large scale fluid relocation would cause similar modifications of the associated deep electrical resistivity structure. In this paper, we examine feasibility to detect such changes in the deep hydraulic system with magnetotelluric monitoring. Continuous magnetotelluric (MT) data have been recorded above the subduction zone in northern Chile as part of the Integrated Plate Boundary Observatory Chile (IPOC) with an array of 9 stations since 2007. With the MT method, electrical resistivity and lateral changes of the resistivity structure are estimated from so called transfer functions (TF). If the subsurface resistivity structure is stable, these TFs vary only within their statistical significance intervals over time. Any statistically significant deviations, particularly when observed over the network of sites, must be originated from a change in the subsurface resistivity structure. We simulate the effects of such changes on the TFs using 3D forward modelling studies. The background model is based on 3D inversion of the IPOC MT stations. The results show that detectable differences in the TFs are obtained if the resistivity decreases by 5 times of its original value in the lower continental crust over the rupture zone. The implications of these results are compared with observed changes in the TFs after the 2007 Mw 7.7 Tocopilla and 2014 Mw 8.2 Pisagua earthquakes.

  11. The relationship between continental collision process and metamorphic pattern in the Himalayan collision belts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, Chang-Whan

    2015-04-01

    Both UHP and HP eclogites are reported from the Kaghan Valley and Tso Morari Massif in the western part of the Himalayan collision belt (Ghazanfar and Chaudhry, 1987; Thakur, 1983). UHP eclogites in the Kaghan record peak metamorphic conditions of 770 °C and 30 kbar (O'Brien et al., 2001) and was retrograded into the epidote-amphibolite or blueschist (580-610 °C, 10-13 kbar; Lombardo and Rolfo, 2000). Sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe dating of zircon reveals that the UHP eclogite formed at ca. 46 Ma (Kaneko et al., 2003; Parrish et al., 2006). The Tso Morari UHP eclogite had formed at 750 °C, > 39 kbar (Mukheerjee et al., 2003; Bundy, 1980) and underwent amphibolite facies retro-grade metamorphism (580 °C, 11 kbar) during uplift (Guillot et al., 2008). Peak metamorphism of the Tso Morari Massif was dated at ca. 53-55 Ma (Leech et al., 2005). Only HP eclogites have been reported from the mid-eastern part of the Himalayan collision belt (Lombardo and Rolfo, 2000; Corrie et al., 2010). The HP eclogite in the mid-eastern part may have formed at ca. > 780 °C and 20 kbar and was overprinted by high-pressure granulite facies metamorphism (780-750°C, 12-10 kbar) at ca. 30 Ma (Groppo et al. 2007; Corrie et al., 2010). HP granulite (890 °C, 17-18 kbar) is reported from the NBS, at the eastern terminus of the Himalayan collision belt; the granulite was subjected to retrograde metamorphism to produce lower-pressure granulite (875-850°C, 10-5 kbar), representing near-isothermal decompression (Liu and Zhong, 1997). The HP granulite metamorphism may have occurred at ca. 22-25 Ma. Along the Himalayan collision belt, peak metamorphism changes eastward from UHP eclogite facies through HP eclogite facies to high-pressure granulite facies, indicating a progressive eastwards decrease in the depth of subduction of continental crust and an eastwards increase in the geothermal gradient. The peak metamorphic ages also decrease from 53-46 Ma in the west to 22-25 Ma in the east indicating propagation of collision towards east. The following collision model of the Himalayan collision belt is proposed based on data published in previous studies. Collision between the Indian and Asian blocks started in the west before ca. 55 Ma. In the western part, the amount of oceanic slab subducted prior to continent collision was enough to pull the continental crust down to the depths of UHP metamorphism, as a wide ocean existed between the Asian and Indian blocks prior to collision. Following UHP metamorphism, oceanic slab break-off started at ca. 55~46 Ma in the west due to the very strong buoyancy of the deeply subducted continental block. In contrast, the subduction of continental crust continued at this time in the middle and eastern parts of the belt. The zone of break-off migrated eastward, initiating a change from steep- to low-angle subduction. Final break-off may have occurred in the easternmost part of the belt at ca. 22-25 Ma. The depth of slab break-off decreased toward the east due to the westward decrease of the amount of subducted oceanic crust along the Himalayan collision belt, resulting eastwards decrease of an uplifting rate due to a decrease in buoyancy of the continental slab. The slower uplift resulted in a longer period of thermal relaxation and a higher geothermal gradient. In the west, the high rate of uplift resulted the epidote amphibolite facies (580-610°C) retrograde metamorphic overprint on the UHP eclogites, whereas the relatively slow uplift in the mid-eastern part caused high-grade granulites (850°C) retrograde metamorphic overprint on the HP eclogites. The study indicates that the metamorphic pattern along the collision belt is strongly related to the amount of subducted oceanic crust between continents before collision and the depth of slab break-off. Therefore metamorphic pattern can be used to interpret both the disappeared and ongoing tectonic process during continental collision.

  12. Seismic Survey of the Locked and Unlocked Sumatra Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Satish C.; Midenet, Stephan; Djajadihardja, Yusuf

    2009-12-01

    The Sumatra subduction zone is the most seismically active region on Earth. In the past 5 years, it has been the site of three great earthquakes, including the 26 December 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake. That event produced a devastating tsunami around the Indian Ocean that claimed approximately 230,000 lives and caused terrible damage and destruction. Part of the subduction zone still is locked and is likely to break in the next decade or so. To study the seismic and tsunami risk in this locked region, a deep seismic reflection survey, the Tsunami Investigation-Deep Evaluation Seismic (TIDES) project, was carried out in May 2009 using a CGGVeritas vessel towing a 15-kilometer-long streamer, the longest ever used during a seismic survey. The survey should provide the first ever seismic images of the locked zone from the seafloor down to a depth of 50 kilometers.

  13. Anchor-like force proposed for subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlowicz, Michael

    Two plate tectonics researchers have turned to a simple maritime tool to explain a 25-year-old mystery. Christopher Scholz and Jaime Campos have proposed that the action of a sea anchor, which is used to steady ships in deep water, provides an apt model of the forces at work when the Earth's crustal plates collide and why those collisions provoke powerful earthquakes in some subduction zones and just minor temblors in others.

  14. Electromagnetic Images of the South and Central American Subduction Zones

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Heinrich Brasse

    \\u000a Current and fossil plate margins offer some of the most rewarding targets for geophysical studies. Particularly, the fluid\\/melt\\u000a cycle in subduction zones continues to be of major interest for seismological as well as deep electromagnetic (EM), specifically\\u000a magnetotelluric investigations. In this contribution we describe a number of experiments which have been conducted in several\\u000a ocean-continent convergence zones around the world,

  15. Subduction Zone Diversity and Nature of the Plate Contact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Defranco, R.; Govers, R.; Wortel, R.

    2008-12-01

    We recently showed that the overall dynamics of subduction and initial collision depends on whether the plate contact is a fault or a channel. Here, we combine results of our numerical experiments with a re-analysis of published observations. Overall, our synthesis connects seismic moment release with back-arc deformation and tectonic processes at the margin. It leads us to identify four classes of subduction zones. The first two classes results directly from our numerical experiments. In class 1, subduction zones are characterized by a plate contact that is largely fault-like with an accretionary margin. In class 2, the plate contacts are largely channel-type and have an erosive margin. Class 3, where the plate contact is entirely channel-like, consists of accretionary margins with a high sediment supply. Subduction zones of class 4, mostly characterized by an erosive convergent margin (northern Chili, Peru, Honshu and Kuril), are more complicated. They can be explained by incorporating regional observations.

  16. Ups and downs in western Crete (Hellenic subduction zone)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

    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.

  17. A Case for CO2-rich Subduction Zone Magmas (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blundy, J.; Cashman, K. V.; Rust, A.; Witham, F.

    2009-12-01

    Most of what we know about the pre-eruptive volatile budgets of subduction zone magmas comes from studies of glassy melt inclusions. Melt inclusions (MI) from arc magmas, ranging in composition from basalt to rhyolite, testify to the importance of H2O, with contents of up to a few wt% in basalts, increasing to >6 wt% in more evolved compositions. This behaviour is consistent with crystallisation of anhydrous minerals from basalts under H2O-undersaturated conditions to generate andesite and dacites. The role of CO2 is less clear. MI from basalts typically have higher CO2 than those from more evolved compositions, contrary to what would be expected from fractional crystallisation alone. Moreover, suites of MI from a single eruption rarely subscribe to simple open or closed degassing trends. In fact, at many arc volcanoes H2O-CO2 systematics of melt inclusions lie closer to isopleths than degassing paths, suggestive of fluxing by CO2-rich gas. We propose that the observed patterns of H2O and CO2 in MI from andesite and dacite arc magmas are a consequence of these magmas having sufficiently high initial CO2 that they become gas saturated at or close to their inferred deep crustal source regions. The high CO2 of these magmas is a result of differentiation of parental arc basalts with high initial CO2. Once derivative magmas detach from their source regions and ascend through the crust they begin a process of degassing that strips them of most of their original CO2 content with little concomitant loss of H2O. By means of thermodynamic calculations in the well-studied analogue system albite-H2O-CO2 we show that this degassing is unaccompanied by crystallisation in all but the most slowly ascending magmas. As a consequence, magmas are unable to trap MI with CO2 contents anywhere near their original values. The lost CO2 may percolate upwards, fluxing shallower-stored magma bodies. By the time the ascending melt reaches its liquidus and traps MI, some 90% of the original CO2 has been lost. We present petrological modelling of Mount St. Helens dacites to show that initial CO2 contents at the point of generation in the lower crust were of the order 1.5 wt%, while H2O was c. 7 wt%. In contrast, the most volatile-rich MI from the May 18th 1980 plinian eruption contain 6.1 wt% H2O and only 400 ppm CO2. The role of CO2 in magmatic differentiation is often overlooked because in H2O-undersaturated systems at lower crustal pressures it has little effect on phase relations. Deep and sustained degassing of CO2 from ascending arc magmas has important consequences for the behaviour of other volatile species, while the CO2 liberated may also play a role in deep crustal metamorphism, as widely acknowledge as an important factor in the amphibolite to granulite transition.

  18. Two-dimensional numerical modeling of tectonic and metamorphic histories at active continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerya, Taras; Stöckhert, Bernhard

    2006-04-01

    The evolution of an active continental margin is simulated in two dimensions, using a finite difference thermomechanical code with half-staggered grid and marker-in-cell technique. The effect of mechanical properties, changing as a function of P and T, assigned to different crustal layers and mantle materials in the simple starting structure is discussed for a set of numerical models. For each model, representative P T paths are displayed for selected markers. Both the intensity of subduction erosion and the size of the frontal accretionary wedge are strongly dependent on the rheology chosen for the overriding continental crust. Tectonically eroded upper and lower continental crust is carried down to form a broad orogenic wedge, intermingling with detached oceanic crust and sediments from the subducted plate and hydrated mantle material from the overriding plate. A small portion of the continental crust and trench sediments is carried further down into a narrow subduction channel, intermingling with oceanic crust and hydrated mantle material, and to some extent extruded to the rear of the orogenic wedge underplating the overriding continental crust. The exhumation rates for (ultra)high pressure rocks can exceed subduction and burial rates by a factor of 1.5 3, when forced return flow in the hanging wall portion of the self-organizing subduction channel is focused. The simulations suggest that a minimum rate of subduction is required for the formation of a subduction channel, because buoyancy forces may outweigh drag forces for slow subduction. For a weak upper continental crust, simulated by a high pore pressure coefficient in the brittle regime, the orogenic wedge and megascale melange reach a mid- to upper-crustal position within 10 20 Myr (after 400 600 km of subduction). For a strong upper crust, a continental lid persists over the entire time span covered by the simulation. The structural pattern is similar in all cases, with four zones from trench toward arc: (a) an accretionary complex of low-grade metamorphic sedimentary material; (b) a wedge of mainly continental crust, with medium-grade HP metamorphic overprint, wound up and stretched in a marble cake fashion to appear as nappes with alternating upper and lower crustal provenance, and minor oceanic or hydrated mantle interleaved material; (c) a megascale melange composed of high-pressure and ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic oceanic and continental crust, and hydrated mantle, all extruded from the subduction channel; (d) zone represents the upward tilted frontal part of the remaining upper plate lid in the case of a weak upper crust. The shape of the P T paths and the time scales correspond to those typically recorded in orogenic belts. Comparison of the numerical results with the European Alps reveals some similarities in their gross structural and metamorphic pattern exposed after collision. A similar structure may be developed at depth beneath the forearc of the Andes, where the importance of subduction erosion is well documented, and where a strong upper crust forms a stable lid.

  19. The dynamics of intra-oceanic subduction zones: A direct comparison between fossil petrological evidence (Rio San Juan Complex, Dominican Republic) and numerical simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krebs, M.; Maresch, W. V.; Schertl, H.-P.; Münker, C.; Baumann, A.; Draper, G.; Idleman, B.; Trapp, E.

    2008-06-01

    Dispersed blocks of various types of metamorphic rocks in serpentinite mélanges of the northern Dominican Republic (Hispaniola) provide fossil evidence for the dynamics of the subduction zone channel in the intra-oceanic Caribbean subduction zone system between 120 and 55 Ma. Comprehensive petrological and geochronological data on three exemplary samples of eclogite and blueschist are presented that allow a series of different but interrelated pressure-temperature-time paths to be delineated. Eclogites indicate a low P/T gradient during subduction and record conditions in the nascent stages of the subduction zone. Lu-Hf data yield 103.6 ± 2.7 Ma for peak metamorphic conditions of 23 kbar/750 °C. An anticlockwise P-T path is defined. Other blocks record the continuous cooling of the evolving subduction zone and show typical clockwise P-T-paths. Omphacite blueschists reach maximum P-T-conditions of 17-18 kbar/520 °C at 80.3 ± 1.1 Ma (Rb-Sr age data). The mature subduction zone is typified by jadeite blueschists recording very high ("cold") P/T gradients. A Rb-Sr age of 62.1 ± 1.4 Ma dates peak metamorphic P-T conditions at 16-18 kbar/340-380 °C. The array of P-T-t data allows overall cooling rates of the subduction zone at depths of c. 60 km to be constrained at 9 °C/Ma. Cooling rates and exhumation rates (i.e., vertical component of retrograde trajectories) of the metamorphic blocks are 9-20 °C/Ma and 5-6 mm/a, respectively. The derived P-T-t array is compared with a 2-D numerical subduction-zone model published by Gerya et al. [Gerya, T.V., Stöckhert, B. and Perchuk, A.L., 2002. Exhumation of high-pressure metamorphic rocks in a subduction channel: a numerical simulation. Tectonics 142, 6-1-6-19.; 45° slab dip, 40 Ma lithosphere age, convergence rates of 10-40 mm/a], which incorporates weakening of lithospheric mantle of the hanging wall by fluids emanating from the downgoing slab, resulting in an increasingly more funnel-shaped subduction channel system with time. The numerically derived array of simulated P-T-t paths as well as the calculated rates of exhumation and cooling agree well with the P-T-t data derived from the metamorphic blocks of the Rio San Juan serpentinite mélanges when convergence rates of 15 to 25 mm/a are chosen. This value is also in accord with available paleogeographic reconstructions calling for a long-term average of 22 mm/a of orthogonal convergence. On the basis of the comparison, the onset of subduction in the Rio San Juan segment of the Caribbean Great Arc can be constrained to approximately 120 Ma. This segment was thus obviously active for more than 65 Ma. An orthogonal convergence rate of 15-25 mm/a requires that a minimum amount of 975-1625 km of oceanic crust must have been subducted. Both petrological/geochronological data and numerical simulation underscore the broad spectrum of different P-T-t paths and peak conditions recorded by material subducted at different periods of time as the subduction zone evolved and matured.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  1. Obduction of western Anatolian ophiolites: from birth to steady state of a subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plunder, Alexis; Agard, Philippe; Chopin, Christian; Whitechurch, Hubert; Okay, Aral

    2015-04-01

    During Cretaceous times, the convergence between the Anatolide Tauride block (following the movement of Africa) and Eurasia lead to the closure of a branch of the Neotethyan ocean and to ophiolite obduction. Obducted ophiolite and their sub-ophiolitic units can be found along a 400 kilometre-long north to south transect in western Anatolia. The aim of this contribution is twofold: (1) (re)-appraise the metamorphic pressure-temperature (PT) conditions and evolution of the sub-ophiolitic units of western Anatolia, by constraining the formation of the metamorphic sole during the first stages of subduction and the unusual accretion of ocean-derived units along a subduction interface in an evolving, cooling thermal regime, and (2) understand the dynamics of a large-scale and long-lived obduction. Directly below the ophiolite (mostly made of mantle-derived rocks) lies a metamorphic sole. The upper part is this sole is made of garnet and garnet clinopyroxene amphibolites, the lower part consisting in amphibolite or green-schist facies metapelites and metabasite suggestive of discrete accretion steps. In the northern part of the section the metamorphic sole is characterised by an important blueschist-facies overprint destabilizing the amphibolite paragenesis. This high-pressure overprint is lacking in the southern area. Using field and petrological observations, three units (namely and from top to bottom, OC1, OC2 and OC3) were distinguished in the accretionary complex with PT conditions ranging from incipient metamorphism to blueschist facies conditions. OC1 represents most of the outcropping unit, is found all along the section and shows only low-grade metamorphism. Metamorphic conditions remains hard to establish in this unit made of a stack of hm-thick tectonic slices showing subtle differences in their metamorphic grade (from pristine pillow basalts and hydrothermalized lavas to lawsonite pumpellyite-lawsonite bearing basalts). In OC2, Fe-Mg carpholite-bearing layers were found and attest to high-pressure and low-temperature conditions. As OC2, OC3 exhibit a clear blueschist facies metamorphism, but slightly higher PT conditions. Both OC2 and 3 were only found in the northern area close to the suture zone. Combining these data, available radiometric and palaeogeographic data and recent themomechanical modelling a tentative reconstruction of the subduction-zone evolution through time during the emplacement of a large-scale ophiolite is presented. We show that the cooling of the subduction must occur very quickly (~<15 My) after subduction inception and investigate the implications for early subduction and obduction dynamics.

  2. Subduction zone guided waves: 3D modelling and attenuation effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garth, T.; Rietbrock, A.

    2013-12-01

    Waveform modelling is an important tool for understanding complex seismic structures such as subduction zone waveguides. These structures are often simplified to 2D structures for modelling purposes to reduce computational costs. In the case of subduction zone waveguide affects, 2D models have shown that dispersed arrivals are caused by a low velocity waveguide, inferred to be subducted oceanic crust and/or hydrated outer rise normal faults. However, due to the 2D modelling limitations the inferred seismic properties such as velocity contrast and waveguide thickness are still debated. Here we test these limitations with full 3D waveform modelling. For waveguide effects to be observable the waveform must be accurately modelled to relatively high frequencies (> 2 Hz). This requires a small grid spacing due to the high seismic velocities present in subduction zones. A large area must be modelled as well due to the long propagation distances (400 - 600 km) of waves interacting with subduction zone waveguides. The combination of the large model area and small grid spacing required means that these simulations require a large amount of computational resources, only available at high performance computational centres like the UK National super computer HECTOR (used in this study). To minimize the cost of modelling for such a large area, the width of the model area perpendicular to the subduction trench (the y-direction) is made as small as possible. This reduces the overall volume of the 3D model domain. Therefore the wave field is simulated in a model ';corridor' of the subduction zone velocity structure. This introduces new potential sources of error particularly from grazing wave side reflections in the y-direction. Various dampening methods are explored to reduce these grazing side reflections, including perfectly matched layers (PML) and more traditional exponential dampening layers. Defining a corridor model allows waveguide affects to be modelled up to at least 2 Hz (needed for dispersion analysis) for the large model area that is considered. Simulations with a variety of quality factors (Q) at different parts of the subduction zone have been run to investigate how seismic attenuation affects the observed dispersed waveforms. We show that the low Q in the mantle wedge can improve the fit of the dispersed waveforms. A low Q in the low velocity waveguide structure however means that the delayed high frequency energy has very low amplitude, and so is not seen clearly at the surface. The Q of the low velocity crustal waveguide must therefore be greater than 250, suggesting that melting does not occur in the subducted oceanic crust at depths of 220 km or less. The velocity contrast seen at these depths must therefore be due to compositional variations. Benchmarking 2D elastic models with the 3D case shows that 2D models give a good approximation of 3D subduction zone waveguide structure. Visco-elastic simulations show that attenuation in the mantle wedge affects the observed dispersion, but the low velocity waveguide itself does not have significantly reduced Q. This work is an example of how the increasing computing power coupled with well-defined model boundaries can allow high resolution 3D modelling to be applied to specific structures of interest.

  3. Subduction Zone Processes and Implications for Changing Composition of the Upper and Lower Mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, J. D.; Ryan, J. G.

    2003-12-01

    With ca. forty thousand kilometers of subduction zones and convergence rates from 30 km Ma-1 to 180 km Ma-1, subduction carries massive amounts of material into seafloor trenches, and beyond. Most of the subducting plate is made of mantle material returning to the depths from which it originated. The hydrated and altered upper oceanic section and the overlying sediments, however, carry a record of low-temperature interaction with the ocean, atmosphere, and continents. Subduction and recycling of these components into the mantle has the potential to change mantle composition in terms of volatile contents, heat-producing elements, radiogenic isotope systematics, and trace element abundances. Enrichments in volatile and potassium, uranium, and thorium contents could change the rheological, thermal, and geodynamical behavior of portions of the mantle. Changing isotope and trace-element systematics provide a means for tracking mantle mixing and the possible subduction modification of the deep mantle. A large number of studies point to possible contributions of subducted sediments and altered oceanic crust (AOC) to the mantle-source region for enriched mantle II (EMII) and high mu (HiMU) enriched oceanic island basalts. Transit through the subduction zone, however, changes the composition of the subducting sediment and AOC from that measured outboard of trenches.This chapter focuses on subduction zone processes and their implications for mantle composition. It examines subduction contributions to the shallow mantle that may be left behind in the wedge following arc magma genesis, as well as the changing composition of the slab as it is processed beneath the fore-arc, volcanic front and rear arc on its way to the deep mantle. Much of this chapter uses boron and the beryllium isotopes as index tracers: boron, because it appears to be completely recycled in volcanic arcs with little to none subducted into the deep mantle, and cosmogenic 10Be, with a 1.5 Ma half-life, because it uniquely tracks the contribution from the subducted sediments.The focus here is on subduction processes from trench to rear arc. This chapter starts with a brief discussion of recent thermal models for the downgoing plate and the prograde metamorphic mineralogy of the oceanic crust and sedimentary veneer; the reader is referred to Schmidt and Poli (Chapter 3.17), for an extensive discussion. In the next step it uses 10Be to estimate the absolute mass of sediments subducted to the volcanic arc, in comparison to that supplied to the subduction trenches. Flux balances for 10Be subducted in the sediments versus that erupted in the volcanic arc provide estimates of the fraction of 10Be extracted from the downgoing plate, which can be extrapolated to other elements (cf. Plank and Langmuir, 1993). It subsequently looks at chemical changes for selected elements across the subduction zone, using data from fore-arc serpentinite mud volcanoes, subduction-assemblage metamorphic rocks, high-pressure eclogites, and volcanic lavas from Kurile cross-arc transects, and examines boron-isotope systematics across the convergent margin. Lithium-isotope systematics and comparison of 10Be with uranium-series systematics sometimes delineate multiple stages of subduction modification of the mantle and pinpoint the compositional effects of prior subduction modification on the upper mantle. This contribution ends with estimates of the efficiency of arsenic, antimony, potassium, caesium, rubidium, barium, strontium, uranium, thorium, lead, cerium, samarium, neodymium, lutetium, and hafnium recycling from trench to rear arc, relative to that of boron and beryllium.2.11.2. Thermal Structure and Mineralogy of The Subducting PlateCentral to understanding the recycling of subducted elements in the arc or their subduction to the deep mantle is the temperature variation in the subducting slab, and the prograde mineral assemblages in the sediment, oceanic crust, and lithospheric mantle. Together, they determine where dehydration of the sediments, crust, and deeper subducting mantle occurs, a

  4. Modelling Subduction Zone Magmatism Due to Hydraulic Fracture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawton, R.; Davies, J. H.

    2014-12-01

    The aim of this project is to test the hypothesis that subduction zone magmatism involves hydraulic fractures propagating from the oceanic crust to the mantle wedge source region (Davies, 1999). We aim to test this hypothesis by developing a numerical model of the process, and then comparing model outputs with observations. The hypothesis proposes that the water interconnects in the slab following an earthquake. If sufficient pressure develops a hydrofracture occurs. The hydrofracture will expand in the direction of the least compressive stress and propagate in the direction of the most compressive stress, which is out into the wedge. Therefore we can calculate the hydrofracture path and end-point, given the start location on the slab and the propagation distance. We can therefore predict where water is added to the mantle wedge. To take this further we have developed a thermal model of a subduction zone. The model uses a finite difference, marker-in-cell method to solve the heat equation (Gerya, 2010). The velocity field was prescribed using the analytical expression of cornerflow (Batchelor, 1967). The markers contained within the fixed grid are used to track the different compositions and their properties. The subduction zone thermal model was benchmarked (Van Keken, 2008). We used the hydrous melting parameterization of Katz et.al., (2003) to calculate the degree of melting caused by the addition of water to the wedge. We investigate models where the hydrofractures, with properties constrained by estimated water fluxes, have random end points. The model predicts degree of melting, magma productivity, temperature of the melt and water content in the melt for different initial water fluxes. Future models will also include the buoyancy effect of the melt and residue. Batchelor, Cambridge UP, 1967. Davies, Nature, 398: 142-145, 1999. Gerya, Cambridge UP, 2010. Katz, Geochem. Geophys. Geosy, 4(9), 2003 Van Keken et.al. Phys. Earth. Planet. In., 171:187-197, 2008.

  5. Slab anisotropy from subduction zone guided waves in Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, K. H.; Tseng, Y. L.; Hu, J. C.

    2014-12-01

    Frozen-in anisotropic structure in the oceanic lithosphere and faulting/hydration in the upper layer of the slab are expected to play an important role in anisotropic signature of the subducted slab. Over the past several decades, despite the advances in characterizing anisotropy using shear wave splitting method and its developments, the character of slab anisotropy remains poorly understood. In this study we investigate the slab anisotropy using subduction zone guided waves characterized by long path length in the slab. In the southernmost Ryukyu subduction zone, seismic waves from events deeper than 100 km offshore northern Taiwan reveal wave guide behavior: (1) a low-frequency (< 1 Hz) first arrival recognized on vertical and radial components but not transverse component (2) large, sustained high-frequency (3-10 Hz) signal in P and S wave trains. The depth dependent high-frequency content (3-10Hz) confirms the association with a waveguide effect in the subducting slab rather than localized site amplification effects. Using the selected subduction zone guided wave events, we further analyzed the shear wave splitting for intermediate-depth earthquakes in different frequency bands, to provide the statistically meaningful shear wave splitting parameters. We determine shear wave splitting parameters from the 34 PSP guided events that are deeper than 100 km with ray path traveling along the subducted slab. From shear wave splitting analysis, the slab and crust effects reveal consistent polarization pattern of fast directions of EN-WS and delay time of 0.13 - 0.27 sec. This implies that slab anisotropy is stronger than the crust effect (<0.1 s) but weaker than the mantle wedge and sub-slab mantle effect (0.3-1.3 s) in Taiwan.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-15

    Subducting slabs provide the main driving force for plate motion and flow in the Earth's mantle, and geodynamic, seismic and geochemical studies offer insight into slab dynamics and subduction-induced flow. Most previous geodynamic studies treat subduction zones as either infinite in trench-parallel extent (that is, two-dimensional) or finite in width but fixed in space. Subduction zones and their associated slabs are, however, limited in lateral extent (250-7,400 km) and their three-dimensional geometry evolves over time. Here we show that slab width controls two first-order features of plate tectonics-the curvature of subduction zones and their tendency to retreat backwards with time. Using three-dimensional numerical simulations of free subduction, we show that trench migration rate is inversely related to slab width and depends on proximity to a lateral slab edge. These results are consistent with retreat velocities observed globally, with maximum velocities (6-16 cm yr(-1)) only observed close to slab edges (<1,200 km), whereas far from edges (>2,000 km) retreat velocities are always slow (<2.0 cm yr(-1)). Models with narrow slabs (< or =1,500 km) retreat fast and develop a curved geometry, concave towards the mantle wedge side. Models with slabs intermediate in width ( approximately 2,000-3,000 km) are sublinear and retreat more slowly. Models with wide slabs (> or =4,000 km) are nearly stationary in the centre and develop a convex geometry, whereas trench retreat increases towards concave-shaped edges. Additionally, we identify periods (5-10 Myr) of slow trench advance at the centre of wide slabs. Such wide-slab behaviour may explain mountain building in the central Andes, as being a consequence of its tectonic setting, far from slab edges. PMID:17361181

  7. Long-Term Hydrogeochemical Records from Ocean Drilling Program Borhehole Observatories in the Costa Rica Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kastner, M.; Solomon, E. A.; Wheat, C. G.; Jannasch, H. W.

    2010-12-01

    The dynamic hydrogeology of subduction zones makes them important regions for geochemical cycling between the major reservoirs: seawater, oceanic crust, continental crust, and the mantle. The distillation and loss of some volatiles and fluid-soluble elements from the shallow slab not only affect reactions and processes within the seismogenic zone, but they also support the deep biosphere and play a central role in the longer-term global cycle of volatiles, such as the return of water and carbon dioxide to the ocean and atmosphere, to the depths of magmatism beneath volcanic arcs, and ultimately the mantle. Examples of key questions that have been addressed at these tectonic regimes through ocean drilling, are: what is the role of fluids in earthquake cycles; what are the global chemical and isotopic fluxes at subduction zones; how does fluid flow in the upper oceanic basement influence these global cycles? Motivated by these questions, sealed borehole hydrologic observatories (CORKs) were developed in 1989, with long-term instrumentation, to record background in-situ values of physical, chemical, and biological properties and transients. Two were deployed at the Costa Rica subduction zone; one in the upper oceanic basement ~0.3 km from the trench, the second along the décollement fault zone ~0.4 km arcward of the prism toe. Both were instrumented to continuously and simultaneously measure formation temperature, pressure, fluid chemistry and flow rate. The results of the first 7 years of deployment (2002-2009) in the oceanic basement, and 2 years in the décollement, constitute the first co-recorded hydrological, chemical, and physical databases and provided the first in-situ fluids from basement. These data have placed constraints on key questions, such as (1) How does fluid flow and chemistry vary spatially and temporally, and how do they change in response to tectonic events; (2) Can in-situ pressure, temperature, fluid flow, and chemistry be used to understand processes occurring within the seismogenic zone and be used to determine the temporal behavior of plate boundary ruptures? The continuous physical and geochemical records at the oceanic basement site show that the uppermost basement is highly permeable. The formation fluid composition, especially, the 87Sr/86Sr ratios, and the nitrate and sulfate concentrations, support mixing between seawater and a subduction zone fluid originating within the forearc, suggesting that the uppermost basement serves as an efficient pathway for fluid expelled from the subduction zone. Slow slip events were recorded at both sites during the monitoring period. These events were recorded both in pressure and flow rate, and the data indicate that they propagate up-dip and terminate at or near the trench.

  8. Hydration of the incoming plate in the Kuril subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujie, G.; Kodaira, S.; Yamashita, M.; Sato, T.; Takahashi, T.; Takahashi, N.; Noguchi, N.

    2010-12-01

    Water supplied from the subducting oceanic plate by dehydration is inferred to cause seismicity and magmatism in subduction zones. It is important, therefore, to reveal the distribution of water within the incoming plate for understanding seismic and volcanic activities in subduction zones. In 2009 and 2010, to reveal the detailed seismic structure and hydration process within the incoming plate, we conducted a wide-angle seismic survey in the Kuril subduction zone, where the old Pacific plate formed in the eastern Pacific ridge is subducting from south to north beneath the island arc of Japan. We designed a north-south 500km-long seismic experimental line to be perpendicular to the Kuril trench. The northern end of our line is located at about 30km south of the trench axis and well-developed horst and graben structure is observed around the northern end. We deployed 80 Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBSs) at intervals of 6km and shot a large tuned airgun array towed by R/V Kairei. In addition, we obtained MCS reflection data using a 444-channel hydrophone streamer (6km long) along the same line. We modelled both P-wave and S-wave velocity structures by the traveltime inversion using refraction, reflection and PS-conversion traveltimes. Our results show that P-wave velocity beneath the well-developed horst and graben structure is about 5% lower than that in the south of outer rise. This is consistent with a previous structure study in the Chili subduction zone that shows the P-wave velocity in the vicinity of the trench axis is lower than that of normal oceanic plate. More notable feature of our results is the regional variations of Vp/Vs. The S-wave velocity, as well as P-wave velocity, gradually decreases toward the trench axis. However Vp/Vs is not uniform; Vp/Vs immediately beneath the sediments is remarkably high beneath the well-developed horst and graben structure, and Vp/Vs decreases with depth (high Vp/Vs is confined to the top of the oceanic plate). Since the high Vp/Vs implies the high degree of crustal hydration, one plausible explanation for our Vp/Vs model is that normal faults related to the well-developed horst and graben structure provide pathways for water percolation from sediments to oceanic crust, and lead to crustal hydration of the incoming plate.

  9. Variable Rupture Mode at Subduction Zones Around the Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satake, K.

    2005-12-01

    The enormity of the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, in comparison with 19th- and 20th-century earthquakes in its rupture area, serves as a reminder that a subduction zone may produce earthquakes larger than those in recorded in the past. Historical record and paleoseismological data show that variability in rupture mode is characteristic of some subduction zones. Infrequent, gigantic earthquakes predominate in geologic records, while historic data tell of more frequent, smaller earthquakes. This implies that along the Cascadia subduction zone, great (M > 8) earthquake can occur more frequently than estimated from paleoseismological record. Like the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, the giant 1960 Chilean earthquake (Mw 9.5) was unusually large. Historical predecessors of the 1960 earthquake occurred in 1837, 1737, and 1575. However, midway along the 1960 rupture, only the 1575 event produced geologic records of subsidence and tsunami as obvious as those of 1960. The 1837 and 1737 ruptures were probably small, at least at this latitude (Cisternas et al., 2005). Along the Nankai trough of southwest Japan, recurrence of semi-regular earthquakes has been documented in the 1300 years' written history, with an indication of some variability. The easternmost Suruga trough was ruptured in 1854 but not in 1944, leaving a seismic gap for the anticipated Tokai earthquake. The 1707 earthquake ruptured both Nankai and Tokai sources that ruptured separately in 1854 and in 1944 and 1946. The 1605 earthquake seems to be an unusual tsunami earthquake. Near Tokyo, along the Sagami trough, historical records and marine terraces show two types of large earthquakes (1923 type and 1703 type; Shishikura, 2003); their average recurrence intervals are estimated geologically as several hundred years and a few thousand years, respectively. Earthquakes larger than Mw 8.2 can happen along the southern Kuril trench even though they are unknown from the 200-year written history of Hokkaido. Plate-boundary earthquakes close to M 8, at intervals of 100 years or less, had been considered characteristic in this subduction zone. The 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake (M 8.0), for instance, was preceded by similar earthquakes, from slightly different source areas, in 1952 and 1843. However, tsunami deposits show that unusually large tsunamis repeated at intervals averaging about 500 yr, with the most recent event in the 17th century (Hirakawa et al., 2000; Nanayama et al., 2003). The inferred inundation area is much wider than those typical earthquakes, and is best explained by earthquakes that broke more than one of the historical segments. Only these multi-segment earthquakes triggered deep postseismic creep that produced decimeters of coastal uplift (Sawai et al., 2004).

  10. Estimates of radiated energy from global shallow subduction zone earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bilek, S. L.; Lay, T.; Ruff, L.

    2002-12-01

    Previous studies used seismic energy to moment ratios for datasets of large earthquakes as a useful discriminant for tsunami earthquakes. We extend this idea of a "slowness" discriminant to a large dataset of subduction zone underthrusting earthquakes. We determined estimates of energy release in these shallow earthquakes using a large dataset of source time functions. This dataset contains source time functions for 418 shallow (< 70 km depth) earthquakes ranging from Mw 5.5 - 8.0 from 14 circum-Pacific subduction zones. Also included are tsunami earthquakes for which source time functions are available. We calculate energy using two methods, a substitution of a simplified triangle and integration of the original source time function. In the first method, we use a triangle substitution of peak moment and duration to find a minimum estimate of energy. The other method incorporates more of the source time function information and can be influenced by source time function complexity. We examine patterns in source time function complexity with respect to the energy estimates. For comparison with other earthquake parameters, it is useful to remove the effect of seismic moment on the energy estimates. We use the seismic energy to moment ratio (E/Mo) to highlight variations with depth, moment, and subduction zone. There is significant scatter in this ratio using both methods of energy calculation. We observe a slight increase in E/Mo with increasing Mw. There is not much variation in E/Mo with depth seen in entire dataset. However, a slight increase in E/Mo with depth is apparent in a few subduction zones such as Alaska, Central America, and Peru. An average E/Mo of 5x10e-6 roughly characterizes this shallow earthquake dataset, although with a factor of 10 scatter. This value is within about a factor of 2 of E/Mo ratios determined by Choy and Boatwright (1995). Tsunami earthquakes suggest an average E/Mo of 2x10e-7, significantly lower than the average for the shallow earthquake dataset. In addition, we also examine several large shallow earthquakes with relatively low E/Mo in order to compare these events with tsunami earthquakes as well as characteristics of the subduction underthrust zone.

  11. Chronology of historical tsunamis in Mexico and its relation to large earthquakes along the subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suarez, G.; Mortera, C.

    2013-05-01

    The chronology of historical earthquakes along the subduction zone in Mexico spans a time period of approximately 400 years. Although the population density along the coast of Mexico has always been low, relative to that of central Mexico, several of the large subduction earthquakes reports include references to the presence of tsunamis invading the southern coast of Mexico. Here we present a chronology of historical tsunamis affecting the Pacific coast of Mexico and compare this with the historical record of subduction events and to the existing Mexican and worldwide catalogs of tsunamis in the Pacific basin. Due to the geographical orientation of the Pacific coat of Mexico, tsunamis generated on the other subduction zones of the Pacific have not had damaging effects in the country. Among the tsunamis generated by local earthquakes, the largest one by far is the one produced by the earthquake of 28 March 1787. The reported tsunami has an inundation area that reaches for over 6 km inland. The length of the coast where the tsunami was reported extends for over 450 km. In the last 100 years two large tsunamis have been reported along the Pacific coast of Mexico. On 22 June 1932 a tsunami with reported wave heights of up to 11 m hit the coast of Jalisco and Colima. The town of Cuyutlan was heavily damaged and approximately 50 people lost their lives do to the impact of the tsunami. This unusual tsunami was generated by an aftershock (M 6.9) of the large 3 June 1932 event (M 8.1). The main shock of 3 June did not produce a perceptible tsunami. It has been proposed that the 22 June event is a tsunami earthquake generated on the shallow part of the subduction zone. On 16 November 1925 an unusual tsunami was reported in the town of Zihuatanejo in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. No earthquake on the Pacific rim occurs at the same time as this tsunami and the historical record of hurricanes and tropical storms do not list the presence of a meteorological disturbance that could explain a surge wave of the height reported. Here we investigate the morphology of the trench in this region to analyze whether a local landslide on the trench slope or in the continental shelf could be the cause of this tsunami.

  12. Superficial Crustal Seismicity In Northern Chile, and The Seismic Cycle On The Nazca Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinod, J.; Comte, D.; David, C.; Glass, B.; Correa, E.; Vallée, M.; Audin, L.; Hérail, G.; Farias, M.

    The only region in Chile where significant superficial continental crustal seismicity has been reported is the northernmost part of the country, above Iquique and Arica, where a permanent seismic network is operating since 1994. Data show that the crustal seismicity vanishes south of 19.7S. This region is located in front of the north Chile seismic gap, which is the only segment of the Nazca subduction zone that did not suffer any major earthquake in the last 100 years. The June 23, 2001, South Peru earthquake (Mw=8.4) filled the northern part of this seismic gap. Its occurrence has been followed by a strong increase of the superficial seismicity in the Precordillera and Western Cordillera of northern Chile. The stronger of those earthquakes (M=6.3), localized near Aroma (19.6S; 69.3W), consisted in the activation of a N10 dex- tral strike-slip fault located at the southern termination of the Moquella flexure. This flexure, however, did not accommodate significant displacements in the last 9 My. We estimate the Coulomb stress increase resulting from the occurrence of the June 23 earthquake to vary between 0.2 bars in the Arica Precodillera and 0.07 bars near Aroma, which is located at the southern end of the superficial seismic zone. The main directions of the stress tensor had been evaluated using the crustal microseismic events occurred in northern Chile before June 2001, and we check that the Peru earthquake resulted in an increase of the deviatoric stress. We suspect the present-day high level of crustal seismicity in northern Chile to be favored both by the occurrence of the Peru earthquake, and by the interseismic stresses that accumulate from 1877 on the locked segment of the Nazca subduction zone. The rupture of the subduction zone in northern Chile should result, indeed, in a drop of the Coulomb failure stress on the present-day activated faults. This particular situation may explain the occurrence of superficial seismicity in a region that did not suffer major deformation from the end of the Miocene.

  13. Modeling of Mantle Convection in 3D Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bengtson, A. K.; van Keken, P. E.; Lin, S.; Kneller, E. A.

    2010-12-01

    The influence of 3D subduction zone geometries on mantle convection patterns is not well characterized. Subducting plates with complex 3D geometries often exhibit seismological signatures that cannot be explained by 2D flow patterns [Hoernle et al. Nature 2008/2009; Long and Silver Science 2008; Kneller et al. Nature 2007]. We use finite element methods to study the lateral transport and thermal structure in 3D subduction zones and their evolution over time. Realistic 3D geometries were created from seismological observations for both the Marianas and Central America, building upon the work of Kneller et al. [Nature 2007; Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 2008]. Highly refined meshes were created using spherical geometry on a Cartesian mesh, and slab motion was prescribed in a kinematic manner. The finite element code Sepran was used to solve the Stokes and heat equations using diffusion creep laws for viscosity. We present the velocities, temperatures, and pressures in the mantle wedge for the Marianas and Central America regions. Comparisons are made between 2D and 3D flow patterns to test the dependence of flow on 3D geometries, in addition to dependence of flow on plate direction. Resulting thermal and lateral structures are important for understanding mantle and slab mineralogy and seismic signatures. We find the lateral transport is particularly important in regions of strong obliquity and trench curvature.

  14. Understanding Seismotectonic Aspects of Central and South American Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vargas-Jiménez, Carlos A.; Monsalve-Jaramillo, Hugo; Huérfano, Victor

    2004-10-01

    The Circum-Pacific, and particularly the Central and South America, subduction zones are complex structures that are subject to frequent, large-magnitude earthquakes, volcanic activity, tsunamis, and geological hazards. Among these natural hazards, earthquakes produce the most significant social and economic impacts in Latin America, and the subduction zones therefore demand constant vigilance and intensive study. The American continent has witnessed serveral earthquakes that rank among the most destrive in the world. Earthquakes such as the ones that occurred in Colombia-Ecuador [Mw = 8.9, 1906], Chile [Mw = 9.6, 1960; Mw = 8.9, 1995], Mexico [Mw = 9.6, 1985], and Peru [Mw = 8.0, 2001], as well as a number of destuctive events related to crustal fault systems and volcanic eruptions [e.g., Soufrière, El Ruiz, Galeras, ect.], have produced significant human and economic loss.The latent seismic hazards in the Caribbean, and Central and South America demand from the regional Earth sciences community accurate models to explain the mechanisms of these natural phenomena.

  15. Water and the Oxidation State of Subduction Zone Magmas

    SciTech Connect

    Kelley, K.; Cottrell, E

    2009-01-01

    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 (Fe{sup 3+}/{Sigma}Fe), determined with Fe K-edge micro-x-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy, and pre-eruptive magmatic H{sub 2}O contents of a global sampling of primitive undegassed basaltic glasses and melt inclusions covering a range of plate tectonic settings. Magmatic Fe{sup 3+}/{Sigma}Fe 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 H{sub 2}O 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.

  16. Plate interaction in the NE Caribbean subduction zone from continuous GPS observations

    E-print Network

    ten Brink, Uri S.

    Plate interaction in the NE Caribbean subduction zone from continuous GPS observations Uri S. ten sites on NE Caribbean islands to evaluate strain accumulation along the North American (NA) ­ Caribbean-Venegas (2012), Plate interaction in the NE Caribbean subduction zone from continuous GPS observations, Geophys

  17. Relationship between the location of chemosynthetic benthic communities and geologic structure on the Cascadia subduction zone

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Brian T. R. Lewis; Guy C. Cochrane

    1990-01-01

    Chemosynthetic benthic communities, which live symbiotically with microbes capable of metabolizing nutrients dissolved in water seeping out of the seafloor, are widespread along the Cascadia subduction zone. These seeps and vents are therefore indicative of one mode of fluid migration out of the subduction zone sediments. The authors have used deep-towed seismic methods, including hydrophones mounted on Alvin, to examine

  18. Relationship between the location of chemosynthetic benthic communities and geologic structure on the Cascadia subduction zone

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Briant T. R. Lewis; Guy C. Cochrane

    1990-01-01

    Chemosynthetic benthic communities, which live symbiotically with microbes capable of metabolizing nutrients dissolved in water seeping out of the seafloor, are widespread along the Cascadia subduction zone. These seeps and vents are therefore indicative of one mode of fluid migration out of the subduction zone sediments. We have used deep-towed seismic methods, including hydrophones mounted on Alvin, to examine the

  19. Shear stresses on megathrusts: Implications for mountain building behind subduction zones

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Simon Lamb

    2006-01-01

    Shear stresses ? on a subduction megathrust play an important role in determining the forces available for mountain building adjacent to a subduction zone. In this study, the temperatures and shear stresses on megathrusts in 11 subduction zones around the Pacific rim (Hikurangi, Tonga, Izu-Ogasawara, western Nankai, northeastern Japan, Aleutians, western Alaska, Cascadia, northern Chile, southern Chile) and SE Asia

  20. Shear stresses on megathrusts: Implications for mountain building behind subduction zones

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Simon Lamb

    2006-01-01

    Shear stresses tau on a subduction megathrust play an important role in determining the forces available for mountain building adjacent to a subduction zone. In this study, the temperatures and shear stresses on megathrusts in 11 subduction zones around the Pacific rim (Hikurangi, Tonga, Izu-Ogasawara, western Nankai, northeastern Japan, Aleutians, western Alaska, Cascadia, northern Chile, southern Chile) and SE Asia

  1. Quantifying potential tsunami hazard in the Puysegur subduction zone, south of New Zealand

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayes, G.P.; Furlong, K.P.

    2010-01-01

    Studies of subduction zone seismogenesis and tsunami potential, particularly of large subduction zones, have recently seen a resurgence after the great 2004 earthquake and tsunami offshore of Sumatra, yet these global studies have generally neglected the tsunami potential of small subduction zones such as the Puysegur subduction zone, south of New Zealand. Here, we study one such relatively small subduction zone by analysing the historical seismicity over the entire plate boundary region south of New Zealand, using these data to determine the seismic moment deficit of the subduction zone over the past ~100 yr. Our calculations indicate unreleased moment equivalent to a magnitude Mw 8.3 earthquake, suggesting this subduction zone has the potential to host a great, tsunamigenic event. We model this tsunami hazard and find that a tsunami caused by a great earthquake on the Puysegur subduction zone would pose threats to the coasts of southern and western South Island, New Zealand, Tasmania and southeastern Australia, nearly 2000 km distant. No claim to original US government works Geophysical Journal International ?? 2010 RAS.

  2. Mantle wedge anisotropy in the Hikurangi subduction zone, central North Island, New Zealand

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. Morely; G. Stuart; J. Kendall; M. Reyners

    2005-01-01

    The mantle wedge above a subduction zone is the region where fluids from the subducted plate are mixed with convecting mantle to generate magmas. Observations of seismic anisotropy can be used to infer strain and flow patterns and physical processes in this region. In this study, we estimate seismic anisotropy using shear wave splitting observations from local subduction zone earthquakes

  3. Identifying coseismic subsidence in tidal-wetland stratigraphic sequences at the Cascadia subduction zone of western North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, A.R.; Shennan, I.; Long, A.J.

    1996-01-01

    Tidal-wetland stratigraphy reveals that great plate boundary earthquakes have caused hundreds of kilometers of coast to subside at the Cascadia subduction zone. However, determining earthquake recurrence intervals and mapping the coastal extent of past great earthquake ruptures in this region are complicated by the effects of many sedimentologic, hydrographic, and oceanographic processes that occur on the coasts of tectonically passive as well as active continental margins. Tidal-wetland stratigraphy at many Cascadia estuaries differs little from that at similar sites on passive-margin coasts where stratigraphic sequences form through nonseismic processes unrelated to coseismic land level changes. Methods developed through study of similar stratigraphic sequences in Europe provide a framework for investigating the Cascadia estuarine record. Five kinds of criteria must be evaluated when inferring regional coastal subsidence due to great plate boundary earthquakes: the suddenness and amount of submergence, the lateral extent of submerged tidal-wetland soils, the coincidence of submergence with tsunami deposits, and the degree of synchroneity of submergence events at widely spaced sites. Evaluation of such criteria at the Cascadia subduction zone indicates regional coastal subsidence during at least two great earthquakes. Evidence for a coseismic origin remains equivocal, however, for the many peat-mud contacts in Cascadia stratigraphic sequences that lack (1) contrasts in lithology or fossils indicative of more than half a meter of submergence, (2) well-studied tsunami deposits, or (3) precise ages needed for regional correlation. Paleoecologic studies of fossil assemblages are particularly important in estimating the size of sudden sea level changes recorded by abrupt peat-mud contacts and in helping to distinguish erosional and gradually formed contacts from coseismic contacts. Reconstruction of a history of great earthquakes for the Cascadia subduction zone will require rigorous application of the above criteria and many detailed investigations.

  4. High interseismic coupling in the Eastern Makran (Pakistan) subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Y. N.; Jolivet, R.; Simons, M.; Agram, P. S.; Martens, H. R.; Li, Z.; Lodi, S. H.

    2015-06-01

    Estimating the extent of interseismic coupling along subduction zone megathrusts is essential for quantitative assessments of seismic and tsunami hazards. Up to now, quantifying the seismogenic potential of the eastern Makran subduction zone at the northern edge of the Indian ocean has remained elusive due to a paucity of geodetic observations. Furthermore, non-tectonic processes obscure the signature of accumulating elastic strain. Historical earthquakes of magnitudes greater than 7 have been reported. In particular, the 1945 Mw 8.1 earthquake resulted in a significant tsunami that swept the shores of the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. A quantitative estimate of elastic strain accumulation along the subduction plate boundary in eastern Makran is needed to confront previous indirect and contradictory conclusions about the seismic potential in the region. Here, we infer the distribution of interseismic coupling on the eastern Makran megathrust from time series of satellite Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) images acquired between 2003 and 2010, applying a consistent series of corrections to extract the low amplitude, long wavelength deformation signal associated with elastic strain on the megathrust. We find high interseismic coupling (i.e. the megathrust does not slip and elastic strain accumulates) in the central section of eastern Makran, where the 1945 earthquake occurred, while lower coupling coincides spatially with the subduction of the Sonne Fault Zone. The inferred accumulation of elastic strain since the 1945 earthquake is consistent with the future occurrence of magnitude 7+ earthquakes and we cannot exclude the possibility of a multi-segment rupture (Mw 8+). However, the likelihood for such scenarios might be modulated by partitioning of plate convergence between slip on the megathrust and internal deformation of the overlying, actively deforming, accretionary wedge.

  5. Postcollisional mafic igneous rocks record crust-mantle interaction during continental deep subduction.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Findings of coesite and microdiamond in metamorphic rocks of supracrustal protolith led to the recognition of continental subduction to mantle depths. The crust-mantle interaction is expected to take place during subduction of the continental crust beneath the subcontinental lithospheric mantle wedge. This is recorded by postcollisional mafic igneous rocks in the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt and its adjacent continental margin in the North China Block. These rocks exhibit the geochemical inheritance of whole-rock trace elements and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopes as well as zircon U-Pb ages and Hf-O isotopes from felsic melts derived from the subducted continental crust. Reaction of such melts with the overlying wedge peridotite would transfer the crustal signatures to the mantle sources for postcollisional mafic magmatism. Therefore, postcollisonal mafic igneous rocks above continental subduction zones are an analog to arc volcanics above oceanic subduction zones, providing an additional laboratory for the study of crust-mantle interaction at convergent plate margins. PMID:24301173

  6. Upper lithospheric structure of the subduction zone offshore of southern Arauco peninsula, Chile, at ˜38°S

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Contreras-Reyes, Eduardo; Grevemeyer, Ingo; Flueh, Ernst R.; Reichert, Christian

    2008-07-01

    A joint interpretation of swath bathymetric, seismic refraction, wide-angle reflection, and multichannel seismic data was used to derive a detailed tomographic image of the Nazca-South America subduction zone system offshore southern Arauco peninsula, Chile at ˜38°S. Here, the trench basin is filled with up to 2.2 km of sediments, and the Mocha Fracture Zone (FZ) is obliquely subducting underneath the South American plate. The velocity model derived from the tomographic inversion consists of a ˜7-km-thick oceanic crust and shows P wave velocities typical for mature fast spreading crust in the seaward section of the profile, with uppermost mantle velocities >8.4 km s-1. In the trench-outer rise area, the top of incoming oceanic plate is pervasively fractured and likely hydrated as shown by extensional faults, horst-and-graben structures, and a reduction of both crustal and mantle velocities. These slow velocities are interpreted in terms of extensional bending-related faulting leading to fracturing and hydration in the upper part of the oceanic lithosphere. The incoming Mocha FZ coincides with an area of even slower velocities and thinning of the oceanic crust (10-15% thinning), suggesting that the incoming fracture zone may enhance the flux of chemically bound water into the subduction zone. Slow mantle velocities occur down to a maximum depth of 6-8 km into the upper mantle, where mantle temperatures are estimated to be 400-430°C. In the overriding plate, the tomographic model reveals two prominent velocity transition zones characterized by steep lateral velocity gradients, resulting in a seismic segmentation of the marine fore arc. The margin is composed of three main domains: (1) a ˜20 km wide frontal prism below the continental slope with Vp ? 3.5 km s-1, (2) a ˜50 km area with Vp = 4.5-5.5 km s-1, interpreted as a paleoaccretionary complex, and (3) the seaward edge of the Paleozoic continental framework with Vp ? 6.0 km s-1. Frontal prism velocities are noticeably lower than those found in the northern erosional Chile margin, confirming recent accretionary processes in south central Chile.

  7. Electrical structure of the central Cascadia subduction zone: The EMSLAB Lincoln Line revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Rob L.; Wannamaker, Philip E.; McGary, R. Shane; Elsenbeck, Jimmy

    2014-09-01

    The EMSLAB experiment was an ambitious onshore-offshore magnetotelluric (MT) transect of the Cascadia subduction zone. When completed (1985-1988), it was the largest experiment of its kind. Modeling and inversion capabilities at the time were, however, not sufficiently sophisticated to handle a fully regularized inversion of the data, including the seafloor data and bathymetric constraints, with the main final model presented based on trial and error forward modeling of the responses. Moreover, new data collected as part of the Earthscope USArray program are of higher quality due to improvements in instrument technology, and augment the original EMSLAB data set, presenting an opportunity to revisit the structure in this part of the subduction system. We have integrated the original wide-band MT data as well as several long-period stations from the original EMSLAB data set and invert these in conjunction with EMSLAB seafloor responses and new Earthscope data on land. This new composite data set has been analyzed in several ways, within a two-dimensional geometry in which conductivity is assumed to be invariant along a strike direction roughly coincident with that of the subduction zone. We have solved for fully smooth regularized models, as well as solutions that allow discontinuities in conductivity along the top surface of the descending slab. Finally, we have tested specific features in the EMSLAB model, notably a moderately shallow (~30 km depth) forearc conductor. A feature similar to this shallow conductor is a consistent and required feature in our new inversion models, but the new models highlight the connection between the slab and what is interpreted to be an accumulation of aqueous fluids in the deep crust. The depth (~40 km) at which the conductor intersects the slab suggests that the fluids are released by the transition of hydrous basalt to eclogite at upper greenschist facies and higher metamorphic grade. The nose of the mantle wedge has a conductivity consistent with a dry peridotite composition and thermal models of the system. At a depth of around 80 km the mantle intersecting the slab shows a slight increase in conductivity. This increase is not sufficient to require the presence of melt, but a conductor indicative of melt can be inserted into the model at this depth without compromising the fit.

  8. Initiation of the Fiordland-Puysegur subduction zone, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, X.; Gurnis, M.; May, D.

    2014-12-01

    The Australia-Pacific plate boundary south of New Zealand was an active ridge 45 Ma to 30 Ma, generating oceanic crust between the Resolution Rifted Margin and the Campbell Rifted Margin. Referred to as the Macquarie Ridge Complex (MRC), this boundary progressively evolved into a strike-slip boundary from 30 Ma to 20 Ma; the northern segment, the Fiordland-Puysegur subduction zone (FPSZ), has had a substantial transpressional component. Over the last 20 Myr, 600 km of highly oblique plate motion occurred at the MRC, and resulted in a maximum total convergence of 150-200 km at the FPSZ, which some simple models suggested might be near the threshold for a self-sustaining subduction. The morphology of the Puysegur Ridge shows a diagnostic change from uplift to subsidence expected for the transition of a subduction zone from being forced externally to being internally driven by the negative buoyancy of the slab. The large negative gravity anomalies over the Snares Zone, in the middle of the FPSZ, imply strong vertical forces pulling downward the lithosphere. To better understand these observations, we use a viscous flow forward model with a free surface to simulate the geodynamics of the FPSZ since 20 Ma. The forward model describes the dynamics of an incompressible, Stokes fluid. Brittle-ductile behavior of the material within the crust-asthenosphere is modeled by using a fluid viscosity defined via a composite flow law comprised from an Arrhenius and a Drucker-Prager rheology. The well-constrained relative plate motion between the Australian and Pacific plates is used to define a Dirichlet boundary condition for velocity within the lithosphere. In the mantle, we apply the hydrostatic pressure as a normal stress boundary condition. A simplified surface process model consisting of linear diffusion is applied at the free surface to simulate short-range erosion and sedimentation. Our models show that the topographic variations within the Puysegur Ridges may correspond to different stages of subduction initiation. The Snares Zone may be self-sustaining, while the northern and southern parts of the FPSZ are approaching such a self-sustaining threshold.

  9. Shallow subduction zone earthquakes and their tsunamigenic potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polet, J.; Kanamori, H.

    2000-09-01

    We have examined the source spectra of all shallow subduction zone earthquakes from 1992 to 1996 with moment magnitude 7.0 or greater, as well as some other interesting events, in the period range 1-20s, by computing moment rate functions of teleseismic P waves. After comparing the source spectral characteristics of `tsunami earthquakes' (earthquakes that are followed by tsunamis greater than would be expected from their moment magnitude) with regular events, we identified a subclass of this group: `slow tsunami earthquakes'. This subclass consists of the 1992 Nicaragua, the 1994 Java and the February 1996 Peru earthquakes. We found that these events have an anomalously low energy release in the 1-20s frequency band with respect to their moment magnitude, although their spectral drop-off is comparable to those of the other earthquakes. From an investigation of the centroid and body wave locations, it appears that most earthquakes in this study conformed to a simple model in which the earthquake nucleates in a zone of compacted and dehydrated sediments and ruptures up-dip until the stable sliding friction regime of unconsolidated sediments stops the propagation. Sediment-starved trenches, e.g. near Jalisco, can produce very shallow slip, because the fault material supports unstable sliding. The slow tsunami earthquakes also ruptured up-dip; however, their centroid is located unusually close to the trench axis. The subduction zones in which these events occurred all have a small accretionary prism and a thin layer of subducting sediment. Ocean surveys show that in these regions the ocean floor close to the trench is highly faulted. We suggest that the horst-and-graben structure of a rough subducting oceanic plate will cause contact zones with the overriding plate, making shallow earthquake nucleation and up-dip propagation to the ocean floor possible. The rupture partly propagates in sediments, making the earthquake source process slow. Two factors have to be considered in the high tsunami-generating potential of these events. First, the slip propagates to shallow depths in low-rigidity material, causing great deformation and displacement of a large volume of water. Second, the measured seismic moment may not represent the true earthquake displacement, because the elastic constants of the source region are not taken into account in the standard CMT determination.

  10. A revised dislocation model of interseismic deformation of the Cascadia subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Kelin; Wells, Ray; Mazzotti, Stephane; Hyndman, Roy D.; Sagiya, Takeshi

    2003-01-01

    CAS3D-2, a new three-dimensional (3-D) dislocation model, is developed to model interseismic deformation rates at the Cascadia subduction zone. The model is considered a snapshot description of the deformation field that changes with time. The effect of northward secular motion of the central and southern Cascadia forearc sliver is subtracted to obtain the effective convergence between the subducting plate and the forearc. Horizontal deformation data, including strain rates and surface velocities from Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements, provide primary geodetic constraints, but uplift rate data from tide gauges and leveling also provide important validations for the model. A locked zone, based on the results of previous thermal models constrained by heat flow observations, is located entirely offshore beneath the continental slope. Similar to previous dislocation models, an effective zone of downdip transition from locking to full slip is used, but the slip deficit rate is assumed to decrease exponentially with downdip distance. The exponential function resolves the problem of overpredicting coastal GPS velocities and underpredicting inland velocities by previous models that used a linear downdip transition. A wide effective transition zone (ETZ) partially accounts for stress relaxation in the mantle wedge that cannot be simulated by the elastic model. The pattern of coseismic deformation is expected to be different from that of interseismic deformation at present, 300 years after the last great subduction earthquake. The downdip transition from full rupture to no slip should take place over a much narrower zone.

  11. Seismic reflection imaging of two megathrust shear zones in the northern Cascadia subduction zone.

    PubMed

    Calvert, Andrew J

    2004-03-11

    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. PMID:15014496

  12. Active deformation along the Andaman-Nicobar subduction zone from seismic reflection studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moeremans, R. E.; Singh, S. C.

    2013-12-01

    The Andaman-Sumatra subduction zone is one of the most seismically active regions on Earth and is a prime example of oblique subduction. It is the result of the oblique convergence between the downgoing Indo-Australian and the overriding Eurasian plates, leading to slip partitioning into a trench-normal thrust component along the plate interface and a trench-subparallel strike-slip component along a sliver fault. The direction of convergence is 90° with respect to the trench near Java, reduces to 45° off of northern Sumatra, and becomes almost parallel to the trench along the Andaman-Nicobar portion of the subduction. Rates of subduction vary from 63 mm/yr off of Java, 50 mm/yr near Nias Island, 45 mm/yr northwest of Sumatra, and 39 mm/yr near the Andaman Islands. After the great December 2004 earthquake, the Sumatran section of the subduction zone was heavily investigated using marine geophysical studies, but the deformation processes in the Andaman-Nicobar region remain poorly understood due to the lack of data. Here, we present seismic reflection profiles from the Andaman-Nicobar region that cover the deformation front, the forearc high, and the forearc basin. We find that the presence of thick (> 3 s TWT) sediments lead to slip taking place predominantly along landward vergent frontal faults. The frontal fault vergence changes to seaward due to the thinning (< 2 s TWT) of the sediments in the region where the Ninetyeast ridge subducts. The presence of a thick (> 3 s TWT) 20 km-long unit of undeformed sediments, possibly resulting from the landward vergence of the frontal thrusts, suggests that ~40 km of the Ninetyeast ridge has subducted beneath the Andaman forearc. The forearc is widest between the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, likely due to the subduction of thick sediments. The forearc basin is bounded in the west by a series of backthrusts and is underlain by a continental crust, which was once a part of the Malay Peninsula. The forearc basin is crescent-shaped, and seems to be actively deforming. It is shallowest and least deformed where the Ninetyeast ridge is being subducted. Part of the backthrust motion seems to be accommodated in a seaward direction in the southern profiles but landward backthrusts become prevalent where the Ninetyeast ridge converges upon the trench. The strike-slip motion is taken up along the N-S trending Andaman-Nicobar fault.

  13. New seismic images of the cascadia subduction zone from cruise SO 108-ORWELL

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Flueh, E.R.; Fisher, M.A.; Bialas, J.; Childs, J. R.; Klaeschen, D.; Kukowski, Nina; Parsons, T.; Scholl, D. W.; ten Brink, U.; Trehu, A.M.; Vidal, N.

    1998-01-01

    In April and May 1996, a geophysical study of the Cascadia continental margin off Oregon and Washington was conducted aboard the German R/V Sonne. This cooperative experiment by GEOMAR and the USGS acquired wide-angle reflection and refraction seismic data, using ocean-bottom seismometers (OBS) and hydrophones (OBH), and multichannel seismic reflection (MCS) data. The main goal of this experiment was to investigate the internal structure and associated earthquake hazard of the Cascadia subduction zone and to image the downgoing plate. Coincident MCS and wide-angle profiles along two tracks are presented here. The plate boundary has been imaged precisely beneath the wide accretionary wedge close to shore at c13km depth. Thus, the downgoing plate dips more shallowly than previously assumed. The dip of the plate changes from 2?? to 4?? at the eastern boundary of the wedge on the northern profile, whereas approximately 3km of sediment is entering the subduction zone. On the southern profile, where the incoming sedimentary section is about 2.2km thick, the plate dips about 0.5?? to 1.5?? near the deformation front and increases to 3.5?? further landwards. On both profiles, the deformation of the accretionary wedge has produced six ridges on the seafloor, three of which represent active faulting, as indicated by growth folding. The ridges are bordered by landward verging faults which reach as deep as the top of the oceanic basement. Thus, the entire incoming sediment package is being accreted. At least two phases of accretion are evident, and the rocks of the older accretionary phase(s) forms the backstop for the younger phase, which started around 1.5 Ma ago. This documents that the 30 to 50km wide frontal part of the accretionary wedge, which is characterized by landward vergent thrusts, is a Pleistocene feature which was formed in response to the high input of sediment building the fans during glacial periods. Velocities increase quite rapidly within the wedge, both landward and downward. At the toe of the deformation front, velocities are higher than 4.0 km/s, indicating extensive dewatering of deep, oceanic sediment. Further landward, considerable velocity variation is found, which indicates major breaks throughout the accretionary history.

  14. Slow-slip events hiding in low-coupled areas of the Chilean subduction zone ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Métois, Marianne; Vigny, Christophe; Socquet, Anne

    2014-05-01

    The recent expansion of dense GPS networks over plate boundaries allows for remarkably precise mapping of interseismic coupling along active faults. The coupling coefficient is linked to the ratio between slipping velocity on the fault during the interseismic period and the long-term plates velocity. The coupling coefficient is a phenomenological parameter representing the kinematic state of the system, but a physical quantitative description of that parameter is needed for seismic hazard assessment. In other words, which amount of coupling or decoupling is needed to allow for earthquake to nucleate, propagate or stop, would be of great help to build rupture scenarios. Here, we investigate the link between coupling and present-day seismicity over the Chilean subduction zone. We combine recent GPS data acquired over the 2000 km long margin (38-18°S) with older data acquired at continental scale to get a nearly continuous picture of the interseismic coupling variations on the interface. We identify at least six zones where the coupling decreases dramatically, dividing individual highly coupled segments. These low-coupled areas often behave as barriers to past megathrust ruptures and experience high rates of seismicity during the interseismic period, including swarm-like sequences. We suggest that in these regions, the subduction interface is a patchwork of small velocity-weakening patches surrounded by velocity-strengthening material that would slide during the interseimic period. This relationship is consistent with observations over other subduction zones, notably in Ecuador where shallow aseismic transients have been observed near low coupled swarm-prone areas (Vallée et al. 2013). However for now, no transient event has been recorded yet all over the Chilean megathrust, preventing clear identification of creeping portions of the interface. Here, we test the hypothesis supposing that, similar to the Ecuador 2010 swarm episode, significant slow-slip events related to the observed swarm activity could occur offshore the low-coupled areas, in the shallowest part of the interface, well out of reach from our cGPS inland network.

  15. Geoid anomalies in the vicinity of subduction zones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcadoo, D. C.

    1980-01-01

    The regional geoid of the southwest Pacific is matched reasonably well by results from a model of the upper mantle density structure (including slabs) associated with subduction zones of the region. Estimates of the geoid are obtained from Geos-3 and Seasat radar altimeter data. These data are very well suited to the task of detecting intermediate wavelength (600-4000 km) geopotential variations. Actually, subducting slabs can be expected to produce primarily intermediate and longer wavelength variations. Gravimetric profiles across trench/island arc complexes resolve primarily short wavelengths. The model represents subducting slabs as thin surfaces of anomalous mass per unit area. These surfaces are positioned using published seismicity results which detail the configuration of the Benioff zones. Crustal effects are ignored. Effects due to the contrast between the young thermal lithosphere of the behind-arc regions (marginal basins) and the older lithosphere seaward of the trench are modelled. Results indicate that the New Hebrides slab possesses an average areal density anomaly of about 300,000 gm/sq cm. This is about three times that which is estimated for the Tonga-Kermadec slab. Additional modelling suggests that slabs worldwide may be an important source of large, long wavelength gravity highs; i.e., they may contribute substantially to geopotential power of harmonic degree as low as three or four up to twenty or more.

  16. High-temperature metamorphism during extreme thinning of the continental crust: a reappraisal of the North Pyrenean passive paleomargin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clerc, C.; Lahfid, A.; Monié, P.; Lagabrielle, Y.; Chopin, C.; Poujol, M.; Boulvais, P.; Ringenbach, J.-C.; Masini, E.; de St Blanquat, M.

    2015-06-01

    An increasing number of field examples in mountain belts show that the formation of passive margins during extreme continent thinning may occur under conditions of high to very high thermal gradient beneath a thin cover of syn-rift sediments. Orogenic belts resulting from the tectonic inversion of distal margins and regions of exhumed continental mantle may exhibit high-temperature, low-pressure (HT-LP) metamorphism and coeval syn-extensional, ductile deformation. Recent studies have shown that the northern flank of the Pyrenean belt, especially the North Pyrenean Zone, is one of the best examples of such inverted hot, passive margin. In this study, we provide a map of HT-LP metamorphism based on a data set of more than 100 peak-temperature estimates obtained using Raman spectroscopy of the carbonaceous material (RSCM). This data set is completed by previous PT (pressure and temperature) estimates based on mineral assemblages, and new 40Ar-39Ar (amphibole, micas) and U-Pb (titanite) ages from metamorphic and magmatic rocks of the North Pyrenean Zone. The implications on the geological evolution of the Cretaceous Pyrenean paleomargins are discussed. Ages range mainly from 110 to 90 Ma, and no westward or eastward propagation of the metamorphism and magmatism can be clearly identified. In contrast, the new data reveal a progressive propagation of the thermal anomaly from the base to the surface of the continental crust. Focusing on the key localities of the Mauléon basin, Arguenos-Moncaup, Lherz, Boucheville and the Bas-Agly, we analyze the thermal conditions prevailing during the Cretaceous crustal thinning. The results are synthetized into a series of three regional thematic maps and into two detailed maps of the Arguenos-Moncaup and Lherz areas. The results indicate a first-order control of the thermal gradient by the intensity of crustal thinning. The highest grades of metamorphism are intimately associated with the areas where subcontinental mantle rocks have been unroofed or exhumed.

  17. Coseismic Slip Beneath Forearc Basins in Great Subduction Zone Earthquakes: Implications for the Size and Mode of Rupture on the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wells, R. E.; Blakely, R.; Sugiyama, Y.; Scholl, D.

    2002-12-01

    We have examined the relationship between coseismic slip and forearc structure for 29 of the largest circum-Pacific megathrust earthquakes. Coseismic slip distributions were compiled from published seismic, geodetic, and tsunami waveform inversions, and we interpreted forearc structure from satellite gravity and bathymetry and marine geology. Seismogenic slip is generally focused beneath forearc deep sea terraces and basins, which are underlain by relatively high velocity arc or continental crust. Along the non-accretionary margins of NE Japan, Kuriles, and Kamchatka, the high slip areas roughly correlate with the width of the deep sea terrace, and the landward edge of the terrace approximately coincides with the landward limit of interplate thrust focal mechanisms. Along accretionary margins, coseismic slip is commonly focused beneath the offshore forearc basins. In the 1923, 1944, 1946, and 1968 earthquakes along the Nankai and Sagamai Trough of SW Japan, slip was focused beneath five forearc basins, and the presently locked Tokai source region is centered on a sixth. The steep gravity gradient marking the landward edge of the basins coincides with the landward decrease in coseismic slip and the 350°C isotherm on the plate boundary, approximately marking the down-dip limit to stick-slip behavior. Similar coseismic slip beneath basins is also observed along the Aleutian, Mexico, Peru, and S. Chile subduction zones. Transverse forearc gravity highs which separate the basins commonly overlie areas of lower coseismic slip, as at Cape Erimo separating the 1952 and 1968 Tokachi-oki earthquakes off Hokkaido, the Shumagin gap separating the 1938 and 1946 earthquakes in S. Alaska, and the Portlock anticline separating the Kodiak and Prince William Sound asperities in 1964. If the long-term slip budget is balanced along the margin, then the intervening gravity highs may be future sources of great slip not observed historically, or more likely are regions of smaller interseismic strain accumulation, as is observed in the Shumagin gap. The empirical relationship between high coseismic slip and forearc basins suggests that forearc basins may be useful indicators of long-term seismic moment release in some subduction zones. The inferred source zone of the 1700 AD Mw~9 Cascadia earthquake contains five very large basin-centered gravity lows, the largest of which is 350 km long off the mouth of the Columbia River. These lows, corresponding to the Eel, Coos Bay, Newport-Willapa, and Olympic basins, lie within the locked and transition zones inferred from geodetic data and may indicate at depth. The steep gravity gradient marking the inboard edge of the basins and presumably the downdip limit to large coseismic slip lies beneath Grays Harbor and the western Olympic Peninsula in Washington and just offshore Oregon, between the 350°C and 450° C isotherms on the megathrust. Transverse gravity highs between the basins suggest the margin is seismically segmented and may produce a variety of large earthquakes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    The thermal structure of subduction zones plays a key role on mechanical and chemical processes taking place along the slab-mantle interface. Until now, changes through time of this thermal structure have been explored mostly by the means of numerical simulations. However, both "warm" (i.e., epidote-bearing), and "cold" (i.e., lawsonite-bearing) HP oceanic rocks have been reported in some fossil subduction complexes exposed at the Earth's surface (e.g., Franciscan Complex, California; Rio San Juan Complex, Hispañola; Halilba?? Unit, Central Anatolia). These a-priori "incompatible" rocks witness different thermal stages of ancient subduction zones and their study might provide complementary constraints to numerical models. To decipher the meaning of these contrasting metamorphic rocks in the Halilba?? Unit, we are carrying out Lu-Hf geochronology on garnet (grt) and lws from a variety of HP oceanic rocks, as well as the metamorphic sole of the overlying ophiolite. We selected five samples that are representative of the variety of metamorphic evolutions (i.e. peak conditions and P-T paths) encountered in this area. Preliminary analyses yielded 110 Ma (grt-hbl isochron) for a sub-ophiolitic grt amphibolite; 92 Ma (grt-omp) for an eclogite with prograde and retrograde ep; 90 Ma (grt-omp) for an eclogitic metabasite with prograde ep and retrograde ep+lws; 87 Ma (grt-gln) for a lws eclogite with prograde ep; and 86 Ma (grt-gln) for a blueschist with prograde and retrograde lws. These ages are mainly two-point isochrons. Further-refined data will be presented at the EGU General Assembly 2015, in Vienna. The consistent younging trend from "warm" to "cold" metamorphic rocks revealed by these first-order results points to metamorphic-sole formation during the initiation of intra-oceanic subduction at ~110 Ma, and subsequent cooling of the slab-mantle interface between 92 and 86 Ma. Therefore, the contrasting metamorphic evolutions encountered in the Halilba?? Unit record the progressive thermal maturation of the juvenile Neotethyan subduction zone. This period of ~23 myr between subduction initiation and thermal "steady state" is significantly shorter than that obtained for the Rio San Juan Complex (~60 myr; Krebs et al. 2008, Lithos, 103, 106-137), but compares well with that for the Franciscan Complex (~22 myr; Anczkiewicz et al. 2004, EPSL, 225, 147-161) and falls in the range predicted in numerical simulations (e.g., Gerya et al. 2002, Tectonics, 21/6, 1056).

  19. Slab dehydration and fluid-producing metamorphic reactions in early subduction stages: the record of the metamorphic sole of the Mont Albert ophiolite (Quebec, Canada)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jewison, Ella; Soret, Mathieu; Dubacq, Benoït; Agard, Philippe; Labrousse, Loïc

    2015-04-01

    Metamorphic soles found at the base of obducted ophiolites provide valuable information on the early history of the subduction / obduction system. Metamorphic soles are characterised by rocks originating from the ocean floor (basalts and sediments in variable proportions) metamorphosed up to granulite facies, where the intensity of metamorphism increases to the top of the unit, towards the contact with peridotite. Their mafic and less frequently pelitic lithologies make them sensitive recorders of their pressure-temperature conditions of crystallization and allow radiometric dating. In addition, metamorphic soles have directly witnessed slab dehydration as they underwent similar fluid-producing metamorphic reactions before being accreted to the mantle wedge peridotites (i.e. before "underplating"). The mechanisms of underplating remain uncertain, because of the somewhat obscure link between weakening through fluid production and hardening via garnet crystallization, with direct consequences on the rheology of the plate interface. In this study, we document fluid-producing reactions occurring during the prograde history of the metamorphic sole of the Taconian (ca. 460 Ma) ophiolite from Mont Albert (Quebec, Canada). This metamorphic sole shows variably metamorphosed mafic and pelitic rocks with metamorphic gradients over the scale of 10 metres, with clinopyroxene-garnet-amphibole granulite facies mafic rocks at the contact with the overlying peridotites. Evidences of melting of pelitic lithologies increase towards the contact, and no remains of metapelites have been found within about 20 m from the contact. Fluid channelization and melt migration is evidenced by decimetric dykes and veins. Away from the contact, metamorphism intensity gradually decreases to greenschist facies with abundant hydrated silicates. The aim of the study is to provide constraints (i) on the nature of the fluids produced (aqueous versus melt), (ii) on their composition and (iii) on the pressure-temperature conditions of their production. This will allow a better understanding of the rheological behaviour of subducting slabs in subduction zones and of amphibolites in the lower continental crust.

  20. Links between fluid circulation, temperature, and metamorphism in subducting slabs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spinelli, G.A.; Wang, K.

    2009-01-01

    The location and timing of metamorphic reactions in subducting lithosph??re are influenced by thermal effects of fluid circulation in the ocean crust aquifer. Fluid circulation in subducting crust extracts heat from the Nankai subduction zone, causing the crust to pass through cooler metamorphic faci??s than if no fluid circulation occurs. This fluid circulation shifts the basalt-to-eclogite transition and the associated slab dehydration 14 km deeper (35 km farther landward) than would be predicted with no fluid flow. For most subduction zones, hydrothermal cooling of the subducting slab will delay eclogitization relative to estimates made without considering fluid circulation. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  1. Rare earth element budgets in subduction-zone fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsay, A.; Zajacz, Z.; Sanchez-Valle, C.

    2012-12-01

    Subduction zone fluids play a fundamental role in the geochemical cycle of the Earth. The nature and composition of these fluids are determined by complex processes and still poorly understood. As a result of a variety of metasomatic and partial melting events, arc-related magmas display a typical trace element abundance spectrum, in which the rare earth elements' (REE) signature is an important record of petrogenetic processes. Therefore, investigating the behavior of REE in fluids at high pressure (P) and temperature (T) conditions is crucial for constraining fluid composition, as well as understanding subduction-zone processes in general. However, up to date, the experimental studies on REE solubility and speciation are limited to quite low P-T conditions (300 °C, saturated water vapor pressure) [1]. The theoretical predictions of the stability of REE complexes have been performed up to 350 °C [2] and 1000 °C, 0.5 GPa [3] by the extrapolation of thermodynamic data obtained at ambient conditions. In this study we present new experimental data on REE silicate (REE2Si2O7) solubility in aqueous quartz saturated fluids, containing various ligands, at conditions relevant for subducting slabs (600, 700, 800 °C, 2.6 GPa). The aim of the experiments was to investigate the relative effect of temperature and ligands on the solubility of REE. The experiments were conducted in an end-loaded piston-cylinder apparatus and the fluids were in situ sampled at P-T in the form of primary fluid inclusions in quartz [4]. The gold capsule was typically loaded with a chip of synthetic REE silicate (La,Nd,Gd,Dy,Er,Yb)2Si2O7, an aqueous fluid (~20 wt.%) and a piece of natural quartz. During the experiment (24-48 h) a thermal gradient along the capsule promoted intensive dissolution of quartz at the hottest part and precipitation of new quartz at the cooler part of the capsule, allowing the primary fluid inclusions to be trapped (~30-50 ?m). Rubidium and cesium were added to the fluid as the internal standards for LA-ICPMS analyses. The solubility of REE in quartz saturated water, free of additional ligands, increases more than an order of magnitude as temperature is increased from 600 °C to 800 °C. The effect of halogen ligands (Cl-, F-) on the solubility of REE was tested on experiments conducted at 800 °C. Addition of 1.5 m NaCl enhances the solubilities of all REE by a factor of 2 to 4 and induces moderate LREE/HREE fractionation; the La/Yb ratio increases by factor of 2. Unlike chlorine, the presence of fluorine ligands in the fluid (0.3 m NaF) promotes increase in HREE solubilities with almost no change in LREE solubilities compared to water, hence decreasing the La/Yb ratio by a factor of 2. The results of our experiments suggest that temperature plays an important role in mobilization of all REE by fluids. The presence of Cl- and F- ligands in the fluid shows opposing effects on the REE pattern: Cl- seems to be a more efficient ligand for LREE, while F- tends to form more stable complexes with HREE. [1] Migdisov A. A. et al., 2009, Geochim Cosmochim Acta, 73, 7087-7109 [2] Wood S. A. 1990b, Chem Geo., 82, 159-186 [3] Haas J. R. 1995, Geochim Cosmochim Acta, 59, 4329-4350 [4] Bali E. et al., 2011, Contrib Mineral Petrol, 161, 597-613

  2. Numerical modeling of fluid migration in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter, Marius J.; Quinteros, Javier; Sobolev, Stephan V.

    2015-04-01

    It is well known that fluids play a crucial role in subduction evolution. For example, excess mechanical weakening along tectonic interfaces, due to excess fluid pressure, may enable oceanic subduction. Hence, the fluid content seems to be a critical parameter for subduction initiation. Studies have also shown a correlation between the location of slab dehydration and intermediate seismic activity. Furthermore, expelled fluids from the subduction slab affect the melting temperature, consequently, contributing to partial melting in the wedge above the downgoing plate, and resulting in chemical changes in earth interior and extensive volcanism. In summary, fluids have a great impact on tectonic processes and therefore should be incorporated into geodynamic numerical models. Here we use existing approaches to couple and solve fluid flow equations in the SLIM-3D thermo-mechanical code. SLIM-3D is a three-dimensional thermo-mechanical code capable of simulating lithospheric deformation with elasto-visco-plastic rheology. It incorporates an arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian formulation, free surface, and changes in density and viscosity, due to endothermic and exothermic phase transitions. It has been successfully applied to model geodynamic processes at different tectonic settings, including subduction zones. However, although SLIM-3D already includes many features, fluid migration has not been incorporated into the model yet. To this end, we coupled solid and fluid flow assuming that fluids flow through a porous and deformable solid. Thereby, we introduce a two-phase flow into the model, in which the Stokes flow is coupled with the Darcy law for fluid flow. This system of equations becomes, however, nonlinear, because the rheology and permeability are depended on the porosity (fluid fraction of the matrix). Ultimately, the evolution of porosity is governed by the compaction pressure and the advection of the porous solid. We show the details of our implementation of the fluid flow into the existing thermo-mechanical finite element code and present first results of benchmarks (e.g. solitary wave) and experiments. We are especially interested in the coupling of subduction processes and the evolution of the magmatic arc. Thereby, we focus on the key factors controlling magma emplacement and its influence on subduction processes.

  3. Seismic imaging of the western Hellenic subduction zone: A link between slab buoyancy, differential rollback, and upper-plate deformation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearce, F. D.; Rondenay, S.; Zhang, H.; Olive, J. L.; Royden, L.

    2011-12-01

    The Hellenic subduction zone is located in the east-central Mediterranean region and exhibits large variations in convergence rate along its western edge. Differences in the lithosphere entering the subduction zone are believed to drive the different rates of convergence. While seismic reflection data has shown a transition from continental to oceanic lithosphere along the foreland, no detailed images of the mantle-wedge structure are available to test this hypothesis. Here, we present the results of several seismic imaging studies to constrain the structure of the lower and upper plates along the western Hellenic subduction zone (WHSZ). These studies exploit data from two temporary arrays of 40 broadband seismometers that were deployed across Greece in a northern line (NL, across Northern Greece) and southern line (SL, across Peloponnesus, Attica, and Evia), each roughly perpendicular to the trench axis. Over 50 high-quality teleseismic events were processed from each line using a 2D teleseismic migration algorithm based on the Generalized Radon Transform and a 3D receiver function algorithm that includes dipping interfaces. In addition, a 3D P-wave velocity model was constructed by applying double-difference tomography to ~7000 local earthquakes. Seismic images from each method all show a N60E dipping slab beneath both NL and SL. From the migration images, we interpret a ~10 km thick low-velocity layer beneath SL as subducted oceanic crust and a ~20 km thick low-velocity layer beneath NL as subducted continental crust. The two imaged subducted crusts connect smoothly with results from seismic reflection data obtained updip. However, the ~20 km thick continental crust we observe in the upper mantle beneath NL is less than the ~30 km thick crust observed in seismic reflection data from the foreland, which suggests that ~10 km of continental crust is being scraped off and attached to the upper plate. When compared along strike, the two profiles show that the oceanic slab has sunk ~20 km more than the continental slab within the uppermost mantle. P-wave tomograms show a high-velocity, shallow-dipping slab in the forearc overlain by low-velocities of the Hellenides thrust belt, which progressively retreat seaward from NL to SL. In the backarc, a low-velocity mantle wedge is overlain by high-velocities beneath the extended crust of the Aegean block, which progressively advance seaward from NL to SL. Shear-wave splitting results obtained from SKS and S waves show a similar pattern across both northern and southern Greece with fast-splitting directions that are (1) arc-perpendicular nearest the trench, (2) arc-parallel beneath the fore-arc, and (3) arc-perpendicular within the back-arc. Our seismic imaging results support the hypothesis that along-strike changes in slab buoyancy cause differential rollback between the oceanic and continental segments that help drive the large difference in convergence rates and upper plate deformation along the WHSZ.

  4. Imaging the Chilean Subduction Zone at 38° S Using Prestack Kirchhoff Depth Migration Within Project TIPTEQ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, K.; Buske, S.; Wigger, P.; Micksch, U.; Krawczyk, C. M.; Stiller, M.; Araneda, M.; Bataille, K.; Bribach, J.; Lüth, S.; Mechie, J.; Schulze, A.; Shapiro, S. A.; Ziegenhagen, T.

    2005-12-01

    The Chilean continental margin is one of the most seismically active subduction systems and serves as a natural laboratory to study mega-thrust earthquakes. Investigations with respect to the structural and petrophysical properties of the corresponding seismogenic coupling zone are the key to understand the triggering mechanisms and processes that generate those mega-thrust earthquakes. This is one of the main aims of the interdisciplinary project TIPTEQ (from The Incoming Plate to mega-Thrust EarthQuake processes). As part of this project an approximately 95 km long 3C near-vertical reflection seismic profile was shot in southern Central Chile at about 38° S in January 2005. The profile runs from the Pacific Ocean to the Central Valley along a west-east trending line crossing the relocated hypocentre of the historic 1960 Valdivia earthquake (Mw=9.5). An additional expanding spread (ESP) experiment focuses on the down-dip limit (30-50 km depth) of the seismogenic coupling zone. Furthermore, three-hole (Camouflet) shooting configurations were carried out as a pilot study to test SH-wave generation in a crustal regime. This paper focuses on the structural imaging results using prestack Kirchhoff depth migration. Close to the coast the oceanic crust is clearly visible and can be traced below a strongly heterogeneous accreted overburden further inland down to depths of about 50 km. At the eastern end of the seismic section, a strong reflector appears at about 60 km depth, which runs perpendicular to the extrapolated plate interface. Taking into account results from previous experiments and other components of project TIPTEQ, we will present an interpretation of the subduction zone image with special emphasis on its structural features.

  5. Initial water budget: the key to detaching large volumes of eclogitized oceanic crust in subduction zones?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angiboust, Samuel; Agard, Philippe

    2010-05-01

    The Mesozoic, Neotethyan ophiolites and eclogites from the Zermatt-Saas area (ZS, Western Alps) represent a complete sequence of subducted lithosphere and the largest and deepest known piece of exhumed oceanic lithosphere so far (Bucher et al., 2005; Angiboust et al., 2009). Pervasive hydrothermal processes and seafloor alteration, which led to the incorporation of large amounts of fluid bound in the hydrated, upper layers of the oceanic crust, enabled the development of moderately (lawsonite eclogites) or strongly hydrated parageneses (glaucophanites, chloritoschists). Although their exhumation may have been facilitated by the highly buoyant continental units underlying the ZS ophiolite (e.g., Monte Rosa) and/or the mechanically weak (and light) surrounding serpentinites, none of the other major ophiolite bodies from the same subduction zone (eg, Monviso, Voltri) show the same characteristics (ie, continuous mafic slices and abundant lawsonite). We therefore investigated the extent to which the hydration of the oceanic lithosphere may be a major parameter controlling exhumation, a process largely overlooked up to now. Internally, the ZS ophiolite is made up of a series of tectonics slices of oceanic crust (150-300m thick) which are systematically separated by a 5 to 100-m thick serpentinite slivers. This stack of slices is separated from the underlying eclogitized continental crust (e.g., Monte Rosa) by a thick (~500m) serpentinite sole. Field observations, textural relationships and pseudosection modelling reveal that lawsonite (now pseudomorphed by clinozoisite) was abundant and widespread in mafic eclogites when the ophiolite detached from the slab at c. 550°C and 24 kbar. Comparison between fresh eclogitic samples and thermodynamic modelling suggests that (i) water remained in excess from burial to eclogitic peak conditions, (ii) the lightest eclogitized metabasalts correspond to the portions of oceanic crust where metasomatism was most intense, (iii) crystallization of widespread hydrated parageneses (such as lawsonite, glaucophane and phengite), instead of garnet and omphacite, decreased rock density by 5 to 10 % and subsequently enhanced its flottability. We propose that this density decrease acted as an efficient force to prevent these slices from irreversibly sinking into the mantle. Penetrative serpentinization of the slab mantle harzburgites during ridge-processes (Li et al., 2004) likely facilitated the detachment of theses slices from the downgoing slab and their stacking in the serpentinized subduction channel at pressures between 15-20 kbar. Exhumation of the underlying positively buoyant continental crust later dragged this "frozen" nappe-stack towards the surface.

  6. Eocene supra-subduction zone mafic magmatism in the Sibumasu Block of SW Yunnan: Implications for Neotethyan subduction and India-Asia collision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yuejun; Zhang, Limin; Cawood, Peter A.; Ma, Liyan; Fan, Weiming; Zhang, Aimei; Zhang, Yuzhi; Bi, Xianwu

    2014-10-01

    Geochemical and isotopic data for metabasic rocks in NW Yunnan constrain the nature of the mantle source beneath the East Himalayan Syntaxis during the Neotethyan subduction and the timing of initial collision between India and Asia. Our results indicate that these mafic rocks crystallized at 50-55 Ma and were metamorphosed at ~ 39 Ma, contemporaneous with magmatic flare-ups and high-grade metamorphism in South Tibet. The mafic rocks in NW Yunnan are divisible into three groups. Group 1, from Nabang, shows geochemical affinity to a MORB-like source modified by the recycled component with ?Nd(t) of + 5.1 to + 9.5 and ?Hf(t) of + 5.1 to + 11.6, and resembles back-arc basin basalt. Group 2 is mainly from Jinzhouzhai and Tongbiguan to the east of Group 1, and is marked by high Al2O3, enrichment in LILEs and depletion in HFSEs, along with negative ?Nd(t) (- 1.1 to - 5.6) and ?Hf(t) (- 4.6 to - 0.9) values. Group 2 is interpreted to have originated from the lithospheric mantle modified by input from a slab-derived component in a continental arc setting. Group 3, from Nanjingli, is located a considerable distance east from Group 1, and exhibits negative ?Nd(t) (- 6.7 to - 7.6) and ?Hf(t) (- 7.1 to - 2.2), and is inferred to be derived from the Tengchong lithospheric mantle but with limited involvement of a slab-derived component. Overall Nd-Hf isotopic compositions show a sharp decrease from Group 1 to Group 2 and then a more subdued decrease to Group 3, with the three groups corresponding to an overall spatial distribution from west to east. Our results suggest that early Eocene magmatism in NW Yunnan represents the eastward continuation of the Gangdese magmatic belt and that the Neotethyan subduction continued until ~ 50 Ma followed by the India-Asia collision. It is proposed that at least two eastward-dipping subduction zones are involved in the Neotethyan suprasubduction system prior to 55 Ma. The sudden decrease in convergence rate in the early Eocene (55-50 Ma), together with the inferred positive buoyancy of the Tengchong lithosphere, stimulated rollback of down-going slab and induced melting of heterogeneous mantle sources to result in a flare-up in magmatic activity.

  7. Subslab seismic anisotropy and mantle flow in the western Pacific subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, C. C.; Kuo, B. Y.; Chen, C. W.

    2014-12-01

    We present source-side anisotropy for a few subduction zones in an attempt to map the mantle flow beneath the slab. Shear-wave splitting parameters of S were measured at stations towards the back of the subduction with the receiver-side anisotropy removed. We examined the observed fast directions against tilting/rotation of olivine fabric relative to the geometry of the subduction. We found that at the SW edge of the Ryukyu subduction zone the olivine fabric in the subslab mantle must rotate clockwise by 25 degrees from the slab subduction trajectory to explain the observed pattern of shear-wave splitting. This rotation echoes the deformation model of the slab when it is impinging against the Eurasian lithosphere. In the Vanuatu (New Hebrides) subduction zone, the olivine fabric may rotate dramatically to accommodate the rapid retreat of the trench and flipping of subduction polarity in the past a few Mys.

  8. Teaching about Subduction Zone Magmagenesis using MARGINS Subduction Factory Focus Site Geochemical Compilations and ABS3 (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, R. J.; Jordan, E.; Raye, U.; Carr, M. J.; Feigenson, M.; Gill, J. B.; Hacker, B. R.; Kimura, J.; Lehnert, K. A.; Tamura, Y.; van Keken, P. E.

    2010-12-01

    Processes and inputs involved in generating arc magmas are reasonably well known but quantitative modeling is often overlooked when teaching about subduction zone magmagenesis. In order to appreciate these complexities, students need to be able to explore subduction zone magmagenetic processes using trace element compositions of igneous rocks. The MARGINS Subduction Factory experiment selected two endmember convergent margins, the Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) arc, which subducts old, cold, dense seafloor, and the Central American (CentAm) arc, which subducts young, hot, buoyant seafloor. We have compiled high-quality trace element and isotopic data for young, fresh lavas from along the magmatic fronts of these endmember arcs, using the EarthChem database. Comparing data for primitive magmas from the two arc systems allows for first-order distinctions, including the greater relative abundances of fluid-mobile elements (e.g., K, Sr, U) in IBM lavas and greater relative abundances of elements requiring sediment melting (e.g., Th, LREE, Zr) in CentAm lavas. These differences can be explored quantitatively using the Arc Basalt Simulator version 3 (ABS3). ABS3 is a free Excel-based spreadsheet forward model that allows the user to control compositions of subducted sediment and altered oceanic crust in tandem with realistic thermal models to predict metamorphic conditions in the subducted slab, using simplified results from Perple_X, and to understand when sediment- and slab-melting is likely (See J.-I. Kimura et al, this meeting "V15 The Subduction Filter" session for more information about ABS3). Prograde metamorphism along with experimentally-determined partition coefficients are used to predict hydrous fluid compositions; experimental results along with mineral-melt distribution coefficients are used to predict slab melt compositions. Hydrous fluid or melt is allowed to rise into and metasomatize overlying mantle, and the modified fluid allowed to trigger mantle melting (using pMELTS (Ghiorso et al.), melting parameterization (Katz et al.), and open system melting (Zou et al.). ABS3 allows the user to select many variables and quickly shows how such changes affect fluid and melt compositions. We are working to increase awareness of this resource through low-cost workshops at national geoscientific meetings (one held at 2010 GSA Annual meeting; one planned for 2011 AGU meeting) and encourage interested faculty and students to attend one of these workshops.

  9. Dehydrated fluid and seismic deformation in deep subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okamoto, K.

    2013-12-01

    It has been considered that there is a correlation between the double seismic zone and metamorphic dehydration reaction in deep slab. The location of the upper limits of the upper seismic plane correspond to metamorphic facies boundary where H2O contents change in subducting crust; numerous earthquakes from 60 to 110 km depths in the lawsonite-blueschist facies, many earthquakes in the lower crust of the slab from 110 to 150 km depths in the lawsonite-amphibole eclogite facies and few earthquakes in the lawsonite eclogite facies. There is still minor amount of H2O present in the lawsonite eclogite facies. The dehydrated fluid is not the only trigger to cause slab earthquake. Recent petrological researches have revealed that both blueschist and lawsonite eclogite are stable in the same pressure and temperature condition because chemical variation including water content creates both lawsonite-amphibole eclogite and lawsonite eclogite in different portion of subducted crust. It would cause stress localization and hydro-fracturing in the slab in the shallower part (depths ranging from 60 to 110 km) and lawsonite amphibole eclogite in the lower crust in the deeper part (from 110 to 150 km depth) in the upper seismic plane. The lower plane of the double seismic zone, is considered to be related to dehydration reaction in the slab. Metamorphic olivine has been described in vein from serpentinite mylonite. The vein was created by dehydration reaction to decompose antigorite under shear deformation. In the cold slab beneath Tohoku arc, the reaction has a negative slope in P-T space and forms olivine+orthopyroxene+fluid. In the warm slab beneath SW Japan, the reaction has a positive slope in P-T space and forms olivine+talc+fluid. The above these dehydration reactions are well-described in the serpentinite from high P/T metamorphic belt from Spain, and Italy, respectively.

  10. Deformation and stress change associated with plate interaction at subduction zones: a kinematic modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Shaorong; Takemoto, Shuzo

    2000-08-01

    The interseismic deformation associated with plate coupling at a subduction zone is commonly simulated by the steady-slip model in which a reverse dip-slip is imposed on the down-dip extension of the locked plate interface, or by the backslip model in which a normal slip is imposed on the locked plate interface. It is found that these two models, although totally different in principle, produce similar patterns for the vertical deformation at a subduction zone. This suggests that it is almost impossible to distinguish between these two models by analysing only the interseismic vertical deformation observed at a subduction zone. The steady-slip model cannot correctly predict the horizontal deformation associated with plate coupling at a subduction zone, a fact that is proved by both the numerical modelling in this study and the GPS (Global Positioning System) observations near the Nankai trough, southwest Japan. It is therefore inadequate to simulate the effect of the plate coupling at a subduction zone by the steady-slip model. It is also revealed that the unphysical assumption inherent in the backslip model of imposing a normal slip on the locked plate interface makes it impossible to predict correctly the horizontal motion of the subducted plate and the stress change within the overthrust zone associated with the plate coupling during interseismic stages. If the analysis made in this work is proved to be correct, some of the previous studies on interpreting the interseismic deformation observed at several subduction zones based on these two models might need substantial revision. On the basis of the investigations on plate interaction at subduction zones made using the finite element method and the kinematic/mechanical conditions of the plate coupling implied by the present plate tectonics, a synthesized model is proposed to simulate the kinematic effect of the plate interaction during interseismic stages. A numerical analysis shows that the proposed model, designed to simulate the motion of a subducted slab, can correctly produce the deformation and the main pattern of stress concentration associated with plate coupling at a subduction zone. The validity of the synthesized model is examined and partially verified by analysing the horizontal deformation observed by GPS near the Nankai trough, southwest Japan.

  11. Serpentine rheology and its significance on subduction zone processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katayama, I.; Hirauchi, K.

    2011-12-01

    Serpentinite is expected to present at the subducting plate interface, where released water from the descending slab reacts to the mantle rocks. Serpentinites are characterized by low seismic velocity and high Poisson's ratio, and such anomalies are detected in various subduction systems (e.g. Kamiya and Kobayashi 2000; Hyndman and Peacock 2003). In order to understand rheological behavior of serpentine at the plate interface, we are performing deformation experiments of serpentine at high pressures and temperatures. In this study, we introduce several topics related to serpentine rheology in subduction systems, including (1) down-dip limit of interplate earthquake, (2) excess pore fluid pressure and low-frequency tremor and (3) coupling-decoupling at the subducting plate interface. (1) Down-dip limit of interplate earthquake is generally controlled by the brittle-ductile transition at temperatures around 350-400C. However, in some subduction zones where a cold plate is subducting, the down-dip limit coincides with the depth of crustal Moho at temperatures lower than the brittle-ductile transition (Oleskevich et al. 1999). Seno (2005) proposed this seaward shift of down-dip limit resulted from weak serpentine at the plate interface. To test this hypothesis, we performed deformation experiments of serpentine at conditions corresponding to the Moho of cold subduction systems (P=1GPa, T=200-300C). Experimental results show that deformation of serpentine is mostly controlled by plastic flow rather than brittle failure, suggesting that the presence of serpentine at plate interface inhibits the initiation of subduction interplate earthquake. (2) Low-frequency tremor is mostly located at depths of 35-40 km, where the subducting plate meets the island arc Moho (Shelley et al. 2006). Such regions are characterized by low velocity anomaly and high Poisson's ratio, suggesting the presence of serpentine with excess aqueous fluids. This can be resulted of back stopped fluid migration at the island arc Moho due to the permeability contrast between serpentinite and gabbro. The excess fluids could cause a stick-slip type unstable sliding of serpentinite, and may trigger the low-frequency earthquake at the tip of mantle wedge. (3) Coupling/decoupling between mantle wedge and subducting plate is a key for material circulation and thermal structure of subduction systems. Numerical modeling shows that the low-viscosity layer such as serpentinite at the plate interface causes decoupling, and the forearc mantle wedge becomes stagnant (Wada et al. 2008). We are investigating the viscosity contrast between serpentines and olivine by laboratory experiments. Preliminary results show that the high-temperature serpentine (antigorite) is slightly weaker than olivine by a factor of 2, whereas low-temperature serpentines (lizardite, chrysotile) are characterized by one order of magnitude lower viscosity than that of olivine. This indicates that the coupling-decoupling phenomena are largely influenced by the type of serpentine stable at the subducting plate interface.

  12. Uncertainty in turbidite correlations along the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atwater, B. F.

    2012-12-01

    An influential reconstruction of Cascadia earthquakes builds on tenous evidence for synchronous shaking. The synchroneity has been inferred by correlating deep-sea turbidites with one another (http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/pp1661f/). The correlated deposits record turbidity currents that likely evolved from other kinds of subaqueous mass movements. The stratigraphic correlations reportedly distinguish between long ruptures and series of shorter ones; the greater the extent of turbidite correlation along the plate boundary, the longer the inferred fault rupture. The correlations have been interpreted as exact enough to show whether the initial mass movements began during the same few minutes in areas hundreds of kilometers apart. A recent review of these findings focuses on deep-sea channels that head offshore Washington (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2012/1043/). Two of the points reviewed: (1) Sensitivity of Cascadia Channel turbidites to the extent of fault rupture beneath its tributary canyons. The Juan de Fuca tributaries head mainly in submarine canyons offshore northern Washington, while the combined Quinault, Grays, and Willapa tributaries head offshore southern Washington. It has been assumed that flows from north and south, if initiated at the same time, were both large enough to merge at the head of Cascadia Channel and to continue together for hundreds of kilometers downstream. This so-called confluence test is often cited as evidence that 13 fault ruptures of the past 7,500-7,800 years extended along the full length of the Washington coast. But the test is confounded by uncertainties in proximal turbidite counts, flow paths, and relative sizes of flows. (2) Ability of individual sandy layers within a turbidite to mimic the series of strong-motion pulses during an earthquake. According to the reconstruction: (a) A series of ground-motion pulses during an earthquake produces a series of sediment pulses in a turbidity current. (b) The sediment pulses yield a sequence of sandy layers. (c) The sandy sequence correlates among core sites hundreds of kilometers apart along the length of the subduction zone. (d) This stratigraphic similarity, evidenced mainly by logs of density and magnetic susceptibility, enables a full-length rupture of magnitude 9 to be distinguished geologically from a series of shorter ruptures. Open questions include: Do the density and magnetic signatures of a sandy sequence have enough complexity in shape and reproducibility among adjacent cores to justify long-distance correlation of individual sandy layers? Do the initial mass movements respond less to individual pulses than to cumulative shaking, and do they commonly begin or continue after the mainshock has finished? Are the pulses of shaking likely to vary along strike, as in strong-motion records from the 2010 Maule and 2011 Tohoku earthquakes? An unknown fraction of the so-called full-length ruptures represents series of shorter ruptures, and solitary short ruptures may sometimes break the plate boundary offshore southern British Columbia and northern Washington.

  13. Coseismic and interseismic displacements at a subduction zone - a parameter study using finite-element modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Tao; Hampel, Andrea

    2013-04-01

    Tide-gauge and geodetic measurements of coseismic and interseismic displacements in the forearc of subduction zones showed that the coastal region undergoes uplift during the interseismic phase and subsidence during the coseismic phase, while opposite vertical movements are observed in the neighbouring regions (e.g., Savage & Thatcher 1992; Hyndman & Wang 1995). Horizontal displacements during the interseismic phase are typically directed landward, whereas the forearc moves seaward during the earthquake (e.g., Klotz et al. 1999). Here we use two-dimensional finite-element modelling to evaluate how the friction coefficient along the plate interface, the length and the position of the downdip end of the locked zone affect the coseismic and interseismic displacements. Our model consists of a deformable, rheologically stratified upper plate and an undeformable oceanic plate, which rotates at a prescribed angular velocity (cf. Cailleau & Oncken, 2008). The frictional plate interface is divided - from the trench to the base of the continental lithosphere - into a seismogenic zone, a transition zone and a landward free slip zone. During an initial phase, the seismogenic zone is locked, which leads to the accumulation of elastic strain in the forearc. During the subsequent coseismic phase, the strain is released and causes sudden slip of several meters on the plate interface. During the next interseismic phase, the seismogenic zone is locked again. Our model results show patterns of vertical and horizontal displacements that are in general agreement with geodetically observed patterns. A sensitivity analysis reveals that the magnitude of the vertical displacements is strongly influenced by the friction coefficients of the seismogenic zone and the transition zone. The location of the zones of maximum interseismic uplift and coseismic subsidence in the coastal regions depends on the length and position of the locked zone. Preliminary results from three-dimensional models show that the lateral extent of the rupture zone also affects the direction of the coseismic surface displacements, as recorded by GPS stations during the 2011 Japan earthquake (Ozawa et al. 2011). References: Cailleau, B., O. Oncken (2008) Past forearc deformation in Nicaragua and coupling at the megathrust interface: Evidence for subduction retreat? Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 9, Q03016, doi:10.1029/2007GC001754. Hyndman, R.D., K. Wang (1995) The rupture zone of Cascadia great earthquakes from current deformation and the thermal regime. Journal of Geophysical Research, 100, 22133-22154. Klotz, J., D. Angermann, G.W. Michel, R. Porth, C. Reigber, J. Reinking, J. Reinking, J. Viramonte, R. Perdomo, V.H. Rios, S. Barrientos, R. Barriga, O. Cifuentes (1999) GPS-derived Deformation of the Central Andes Including the 1995 Antofagasta Mw=8.0 Earthquake. Pure and Applied Geophysics, 154, 709-730. Ozawa, S., T. Nishimura, H. Suito, T. Kobayashi, M. Tobita, T. Imakiire (2011) Coseismic and postseismic slip of the 2011 magnitude-9 Tohoku-Oki earthquake. Nature, 475, 373-376. Savage, J.C., Thatcher, W. (1992) Interseismic deformation at the Nankai Trough, Japan, subduction zone. Journal of Geophysical Research, 97, 11117-11135.

  14. A critical review of tectonic processes at continental margin orogens

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Steven H. Edelman

    1991-01-01

    A ``cordilleran-type'' orogen has previously been defined as contractional deformation of a continental margin due to subcontinental subduction. The plate tectonic setting of cordilleran-type orogenesis is fundamentally different from that of ``collisional'' orogenesis. Intracontinental orogens such as the Himalayas and Alps form by collision between a continental margin and a continental margin subduction zone. Orogens at continental margins may form

  15. Metamorphic rocks of the Yap arc-trench system

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. Hawkins; R. Batiza

    1977-01-01

    The Yap trench-arc is a link between the Mariana and Philippine arcs; the latter are both loci of acive volcanism and seismicity but the Yap arc is formed of metamorphic rocks and has had few historic earthquakes. It does not appear to be an active subduction zone. The 8-9 km deep Yap trench has a steep west well, it has

  16. The Deep Roots of Volcanoes: Models of Magma Dynamics with Applications to Subduction Zones

    E-print Network

    Katz, Richard Foa

    a computational approach for fluid flow in a deforming mantle matrix; in chapter 3 for modeling mantle flow of these contributes to the development of a comprehensive model of subduction by addressing computational challengesThe Deep Roots of Volcanoes: Models of Magma Dynamics with Applications to Subduction Zones Richard

  17. CAFE: a seismic investigation of water percolation in the Cascadia subduction zone

    Microsoft Academic Search

    S. Rondenay; G. A. Abers; K. C. Creager; S. D. Malone; L. MacKenzie; Z. Zhang; P. E. van Keken; A. G. Wech; J. R. Sweet; T. I. Melbourne; B. R. Hacker

    2008-01-01

    Subduction zones transport water into the Earth's interior. The subsequent release of this water through dehydration reactions may trigger intraslab earthquakes and arc volcanism, regulate slip on the plate interface, control plate buoyancy, and regulate the long-term budget of water on the planet's surface. As part of Earthscope, we have undertaken an experiment named CAFE (Cascadia Arrays for Earthscope) seeking

  18. Inferred pore pressures at the Costa Rica subduction zone: implications for dewatering processes

    E-print Network

    Fisher, Andrew

    Inferred pore pressures at the Costa Rica subduction zone: implications for dewatering processes a direct measure of the rate and magnitude of sediment dewatering. Laboratory consolidation tests indicate use a simple model of fluid flow to demonstrate that dewatering of the underthrust sediments can occur

  19. Subduction zone coupling and tectonic block rotations in the North Island, New Zealand

    E-print Network

    McCaffrey, Robert

    Subduction zone coupling and tectonic block rotations in the North Island, New Zealand Laura M. Wallace and John Beavan Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, Lower Hutt, New Zealand Robert Mc Darby Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, Lower Hutt, New Zealand Received 17 June 2004

  20. INTRODUCTION The subduction zones to the north and east of Australia

    E-print Network

    INTRODUCTION The subduction zones to the north and east of Australia provide frequent events over in southeastern Australia and dif- ferent parts of Western Australia (Kennett 2003). Fundamental and higher mode (1996) analysed the data from the SKIPPY stations in eastern Australia using the Partitioned Waveform

  1. A low viscosity wedge in subduction zones Magali I. Billen *, Michael Gurnis

    E-print Network

    Billen, Magali I.

    A low viscosity wedge in subduction zones Magali I. Billen *, Michael Gurnis Seismological mantle wedge), which could decrease the viscosity of the mantle locally by several orders of magnitude. Using numerical models we demonstrate that a low viscosity wedge has a dramatic influence on the force

  2. Mantle wedge asymmetries and geochemical signatures along W-and ENE-directed subduction zones

    E-print Network

    Doglioni, Carlo

    Mantle wedge asymmetries and geochemical signatures along W- and E­NE-directed subduction zones: Received 27 March 2008 Accepted 26 January 2009 Available online xxxx Keywords: Mantle wedge Subduction of the asthenosphere in the hanging wall of the slab, whereas along the opposite second type, the mantle is pushed down

  3. Sandbox and Numerical Experiments of Extensional Deformation at Retreating Subduction Zones

    Microsoft Academic Search

    M. T. Brandon; S. D. Willett

    2008-01-01

    Many subduction zones show evidence for synconvergent horizontal extension in the overriding plate. This extension is widespread above the Apennines wedge, reaching to within ~50 km of the subduction front, along the Po and Adriatic flank of the range. This extension is commonly attributed to rollback of the overriding plate. However, Waschbush and Beaumont (1996, JGR) showed that for accreting

  4. Hydrodynamic response of subduction zones to seismic activity: A case study for the Costa Rica margin

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Paula A. Cutillo; Shemin Ge; Elizabeth J. Screaton

    2006-01-01

    Thermal anomalies in tectonically active areas are often attributed to sub-seafloor fluid circulation and faulting mechanisms, particularly in subduction zones where the largest thrust earthquakes occur. Postseismic fluid flow is enabled by the poroelastic response of the fault system to the earthquake's strain field, as well as by the rupturing of permeability barriers in the vicinity of the fault zone.

  5. Seismic Anisotropy From Local Earthquakes in the Hikurangi Subduction Zone, North Island, New Zealand

    Microsoft Academic Search

    K. E. Styles; G. W. Stuart; J. Kendall; M. Reyners

    2006-01-01

    The mantle wedge of a subduction zone, between the subducting slab and the overriding plate, is a region of viscous deformation where fluids released from the subducting lithosphere mix with convecting mantle. Observations of seismic anisotropy can be used to infer flow patterns and physical processes in the mantle wedge. We estimate seismic anisotropy using shear wave splitting observations from

  6. Variability of Near-Term Probability for the Next Great Earthquake on the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Stephane Mazzotti; John Adams

    2004-01-01

    The threat of a great (M 9) earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone is evidenced by both paleoseismology data and current strain accumulation along the fault. On the basis of recent information on the characteristics of this subduction system, we estimate the conditional probabilities of a great earthquake occurring within the next 50 years and their variabilities. The most important

  7. Composite Volcanoes, Stratovolcanoes, and Subduction-Zone Volcanoes (title provided or enhanced by cataloger)

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    This resource defines and describes composite volcanoes, stratovolcanoes, subduction-zone volcanoes and composite cones. The information is from different sources and therefore the site gives a broad picture of these forms. The shape of the volcano is described as a function of the type and frequency of eruption and its proximity to plate boundaries.

  8. Earth Planets Space, 62, 665673, 2010 Construction of semi-dynamic model of subduction zone

    E-print Network

    Tackley, Paul J.

    , and we find that the effect of Earth curvature is small by comparing our model with a similar oneEarth Planets Space, 62, 665­673, 2010 Construction of semi-dynamic model of subduction zone of subduction, such as the change in plate boundaries and trench curvature with time (Schellart et al., 2007

  9. Three-dimensional thermal structure of subduction zones:1 effects of obliquity and curvature2

    E-print Network

    van Keken, Peter

    1 Three-dimensional thermal structure of subduction zones:1 effects of obliquity and curvature2 3 4 5 Amelia K. Bengtson1,* and Peter E. van Keken1 6 [1]{Department of Earth and Environmental the surface into the Earth's4 interior is important for understanding the mechanisms of intermediate

  10. Tomography of the westernmost Ryukyu subduction zone and the serpentinization of the fore-arc mantle

    E-print Network

    Lin, Andrew Tien-Shun

    Tomography of the westernmost Ryukyu subduction zone and the serpentinization of the fore is not reproduced in this study. We convert VS and VP/VS to perturbations of temperature and serpentinization theoretical modeling of subduction. The serpentinization reaches $15%, or 2% water content, at 50 km depth

  11. Guatemala jadeitites and albitites were formed by deuterium-rich serpentinizing fluids deep within a subduction zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, C.A.; Harlow, G.E.

    1999-01-01

    Jadeitites and albitites from the Motagua Valley, Guatemala, are high-pressure-low-temperature metasomatic rocks that occur as tectonic inclusions in serpentinite-matrix melange. Metasomatism was driven by a fluid with a ??18OH2O value of 6???, and a ??DH2O value that is high in comparison with metamorphic fluids at other high-pressure-low-temperature localities of similar grade. We infer that the fluid was originally seawater that was entrained during subduction either as mineral-bound H2O or as free pore waters. The fluid drove serpentinization reactions in ultramafic rocks, possibly leading to deuterium enrichment of H2O, prior to forming the Jadeitites and albitites at a depth of 29 ?? 11 km. There are isotopic and fluid-inclusion similarities to rodingites, which are Ca-rich metasomatites found at other serpentinite localities. Our results suggest that the serpentinization process, whether it occurs within subduction zones or on the flanks of oceanic spreading ridges, may produce residual fluids that are H2O rich, have 1-8 wt% equivalent NaCl, and have high, perhaps sea water-like, ??D values.

  12. Seismic Wave Attenuation Estimated from Tectonic Tremor and Radiated Energy in Tremor for Various Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yabe, S.; Baltay, A.; Ide, S.; Beroza, G. C.

    2013-12-01

    Ground motion prediction is an essential component of earthquake hazard assessment. Seismic wave attenuation with distance is an important, yet difficult to constrain, factor for such estimation. Using the empirical method of ground motion prediction equations (GMPEs), seismic wave attenuation with distance, which includes both the effect of anelastic attenuation and scattering, can be estimated from the distance decay of peak ground velocity (PGV) or peak ground acceleration (PGA) of ordinary earthquakes; however, in some regions where plate-boundary earthquakes are infrequent, such as Cascadia and Nankai, there are fewer data with which to constrain the empirical parameters. In both of those subduction zones, tectonic tremor occurs often. In this study, we use tectonic tremor to estimate the seismic wave attenuation with distance, and in turn use the attenuation results to estimate the radiated seismic energy of tremor. Our primary interest is in the variations among subduction zones. Ground motion attenuation and the distribution of released seismic energy from tremors are two important subduction zone characteristics. Therefore, it is very interesting to see whether there are variations of these parameters in different subduction zones, or regionally within the same subduction zone. It is also useful to estimate how much energy is released by tectonic tremor from accumulated energy to help understand subduction dynamics and the difference between ordinary earthquakes and tremor. We use the tectonic tremor catalog of Ide (2012) in Nankai, Cascadia, Mexico and southern Chile. We measured PGV and PGA of individual tremor bursts at each station. We assume a simple GMPE relationship and estimate seismic attenuation and relative site amplification factors from the data. In the Nankai subduction zone, there are almost no earthquakes on the plate interface, but intra-slab earthquakes occur frequently. Both the seismic wave attenuation with distance and the site response obtained from intra-slab earthquakes is almost the same as that determined from tectonic tremor. This means the attenuation parameter should be well estimated from tremor. Furthermore, we find substantial along-strike variation in the estimated attenuation parameter in the Nankai subduction zone, allowing us to infer with-in region differences in behavior.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishikawa, T.; Ide, S.

    2013-12-01

    Since the pioneering study of Uyeda and Kanamori (1979), it has been thought that world's subduction zones can be classified into two types: Chile and Mariana types. Ruff and Kanamori (1980) suggested that the maximum earthquake size within each subduction zone correlates with convergence rate and age of subducting lithosphere. Subduction zones with younger lithosphere and larger convergence rates are associated with great earthquakes (Chile), while subduction zones with older lithosphere and smaller convergence rates have low seismicity (Mariana). However, these correlations are obscured after the 2004 Sumatra earthquake and the 2009 Tohoku earthquake. Furthermore, McCaffrey (2008) pointed out that the history of observation is much shorter than the recurrence times of very large earthquakes, suggesting a possibility that any subduction zone may produce earthquakes larger than magnitude 9. In the present study, we compare world's subduction zones in terms of b-values in the Gutenberg-Richer relation. We divided world's subduction zones into 146 regions, each of which is bordered by a trench section of about 500 km and extends for 200 km from the trench section in the direction of relative plate motion. In each region, earthquakes equal to or larger than M4.5 occurring during 1988-2009 were extracted from ISC catalog. We find a positive correlation between b-values and ages of subducting lithosphere, which is one of the two important variables discussed in Ruff and Kanamori (1980). Subduction zones with younger lithosphere are associated with high b-values and vice versa, while we cannot find a correlation between b-values and convergence rates. We used the ages determined by Müller et al. (2008) and convergence rate calculated using PB2002 (Bird, 2003) for convergence rate. We also found a negative correlation between b-values and the estimates of seismic coupling, which is defined as the ratio of the observed seismic moment release rate to the rate calculated from plate tectonic velocities (Scholz and Campos, 2012). Lithosphere age also has a weak negative correlation with the degree of seismic coupling. Based on differences in b-values for the types of faulting, Schorlemmer et al. (2005) suggested that b-value depends inversely on differential stress. This idea, taken together with correlations in the present study, suggests a model where the buoyancy of subducting slabs which depends on the lithosphere age determines stress state and the b-value in each sunbduction zone. The stress state also controls the seismic coupling. This model is basically consistent with the idea of Ruff and Kanamori (1980). Subduction zones with younger and lighter lithosphere are in a compressive stress state and associate with high coupling and small b-values (Chile), while those with older and heavier lithosphere are in a tensional stress state and correlate with low coupling and large b-values (Mariana). Subduction zones such as Nicaragua and El Salvador where b-values are much higher than the expectation from the above correlations may be explained by considering the fact that local tectonics affects the seismic coupling (LaFemina et al., 2009; Scholz and Campos, 2012).

  14. Links Between Geologic Conditions and Lateral Seismicity Variations in Circum-Pacific Subduction Zones (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bilek, S. L.; Stankova-Pursley, J.

    2009-12-01

    In general, the vast majority of global seismicity occurs within the upper 60 km of subduction zones. However, focused examination of earthquake locations within any given subduction zone shows a complex distribution, with high concentrations of seismicity adjacent to relatively quiet zones. In addition, there is a wide spectrum of earthquake rupture characteristics found in subduction zones, including complex slip patterns featuring multiple asperities and slip over a range of time periods. Features such as subducting bathymetry, characteristics of the incoming plate, and forearc structure can all impact locations and rupture characteristics of the shallow earthquakes. Here we review observations of along-strike variations of seismicity distributions and rupture characteristics in several subduction zones around the Pacific and discuss possible factors in causing these lateral transitions. For instance, in regions such as Central and South America and the western Pacific margins of Japan and Kuriles, along-strike changes in the subducting plate, such as temperature, plate origins, presence of ridges or fracture zones, produce along strike variations in the location and slip distribution of earthquakes. Individual earthquakes in Costa Rica, Peru, and Chile were likely influenced by the past subduction of seamounts, ridges, and fracture zones, although rupture histories determined for these events suggest these subducted features act as either rupture asperities or barriers. Small-scale variations are also observed, such as factor of 2 variations in earthquake apparent stress within a roughly 100-150 km segment along the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica that correspond to variations in temperature, geodetically determined plate coupling, and past earthquake history. Along the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone, lateral variation within forearc blocks appears to impart along-strike variations in the seismicity.

  15. Slab1.0: A three-dimensional model of global subduction zone geometries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, Gavin P.; Wald, David J.; Johnson, Rebecca L.

    2012-01-01

    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, http://on.doi.gov/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.

  16. Record of high-pressure overprint in metamorphic soles of the Tav?anli zone, Western Anatolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plunder, Alexis; Agard, Philippe; Chopin, Christian; Okay, Aral

    2013-04-01

    Large obducted ophiolites correspond to the emplacement of dense oceanic lithosphere on top of a continent and thereby provide insights into rheological and thermal coupling between plates or fluid budgets. Obducted ophiolites thrust onto the continental margin of the Anatolide-Tauride block (Western Anatolia, south of the Izmir-Ankara suture zone) are dated through their metamorphic sole at ca. 90-95Ma and derive from the same intra-oceanic Neotethyan subduction. We herein focus on the metamorphic soles of the Tav?anl? zone, which show a variable high-pressure low-temperature (HP-LT) overprint of the initial amphibolitic metamorphic conditions (Önen & Hall, 1993; Dilek & Whitney, 1997; Okay et al, 1998). Systematic sampling was done in both the already studied areas as well as new locations. PT conditions were estimated at 8 kbar and 700°C for the amphibolitic stage with the assemblage hornblende + plagioclase ± garnet ± epidote. The HP-LT metamorphic overprint reached incipient blueschist to blueschist facies PT conditions. Development of the characteristic assemblage glaucophane + lawsonite yields PT estimates of >6-7 kbar and 300°C. The high-pressure stage is similar to the one observed for the underlying accretionary-complex unit of the Tav?anl? zone (Plunder et al, this meeting). This HP overprint was not observed in other obduction contexts such as Oman or New Caledonia but was documented in Fransciscan Complex amphibolites (Wakayabashi, 1990). The record of two metamorphic events can be understood as: (1) rapid cooling of the subduction zone after initiation and the exhumation of the metamorphic sole; (2) reburial after or during exhumation of the amphibolite initially welded at the base of the ophiolite. Several observations (i.e., lack of tectonic contact between the ophiolitic body and the metamorphic sole, PT estimates,...) point to cooling as the most likely hypothesis. Metamorphic soles allow to highlight: (1) the dynamics of obducted material and the evolution of the interplate coupling during subduction and obduction and, based on the available geochronological data, (2) the timing of hanging-wall thermal reequilibration of a young and hot subduction zone to <10 My. Dilek, Y., Whitney, D.L., 1997. Counterclockwise P-T-t trajectory from the metamorphic sole of a Neo-Tethyan ophiolite (Turkey). Tectonophysics 280, 295-310. Okay, A.I., Harris, N.B.W., Kelley, S., 1998. Exhumation of blueschists along a Tethyan suture in northwest Turkey. Tectonophysics 285, 275-299. Önen, A.P., Hall, R., 1993. Ophiolites and related metamorphic rocks from the Kutahya region, north-west Turkey. Geological Journal 28, 399-412. Plunder, A., Agard, P., Chopin, C., Okay, A.I., 2013. Tectono-metamorphic evolution of the Tav?anl? zone, (Western Anatolia): implications for mechanical coupling during subduction/obduction processes. EGU General Assembly 2013, Abstract 8404. Wakabayashi, J., 1990. Counterclockwise P-T-t paths from amphibolites, Franciscan complex, California: relics from the early stages of subduction zone metamorphism. The Journal of Geology, v. 98, p. 657-680.

  17. Plate rotation during continental collision and its relationship with the exhumation of UHP metamorphic terranes: Application to the Norwegian Caledonides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottrill, A. D.; van Hunen, J.; Cuthbert, S. J.; Brueckner, H. K.; Allen, M. B.

    2014-05-01

    variation and asynchronous onset of collision during the convergence of continents can significantly affect the burial and exhumation of subducted continental crust. Here we use 3-D numerical models for continental collision to discuss how deep burial and exhumation of high and ultrahigh pressure metamorphic (HP/UHP) rocks are enhanced by diachronous collision and the resulting rotation of the colliding plates. Rotation during collision locally favors eduction, the inversion of the subduction, and may explain the discontinuous distribution of ultra-high pressure (UHP) terranes along collision zones. For example, the terminal (Scandian) collision of Baltica and Laurentia, which formed the Scandinavian Caledonides, resulted in the exhumation of only one large HP/UHP terrane, the Western Gneiss Complex (WGC), near the southern end of the collision zone. Rotation of the subducting Baltica plate during collision may provide an explanation for this distribution. We explore this hypothesis by comparing orthogonal and diachronous collision models and conclude that a diachronous collision can transport continental material up to 60 km deeper, and heat material up to 300°C hotter, than an orthogonal collision. Our diachronous collision model predicts that subducted continental margin material returns to the surface only in the region where collision initiated. The diachronous collision model is consistent with petrological and geochonological observations from the WGC and makes predictions for the general evolution of the Scandinavian Caledonides. We propose the collision between Laurentia and Baltica started at the southern end of the collisional zone, and propagated northward. This asymmetric geometry resulted in the counter clockwise rotation of Baltica with respect to Laurentia, consistent with paleomagnetic data from other studies. Our model may have applications to other orogens with regional UHP terranes, such as the Dabie Shan and Papua New Guinea cases, where block rotation during exhumation has also been recorded.

  18. Anatexis and metamorphism in tectonically thickened continental crust exemplified by the Sevier hinterland, western North America

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patino Douce, Alberto E.; Humphreys, Eugene D.; Johnston, A. Dana

    1990-01-01

    This paper presents a thermal and petrologic model of anatexis and metamorphism in regions of crustal thickening exemplified by the Sevier hinterland in western North America, and uses the model to examine the geological and physical processes leading to crustally derived magmatism. The results of numerical experiments show that anatexis was an inevitable end-product of Barrovian metamorphism in the thickened crust of the late Mesozoic Sevier orogenic belt and that the advection of heat across the lithosphere, in the form of mantle-derived mafic magmas, was not required for melting of metasedimentary rocks. It is suggested that, in the Sevier belt, as in other intracontinental orogenic belts, anatexis occurred in the midcrust and not at the base of the crust.

  19. Subduction Zone Concepts and the 2010 Chile Earthqake (Arthur Holmes Medal Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Huene, Roland

    2010-05-01

    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 50 years of improved acquisition techniques, analysis capabilities, and imaging that greatly improves resolution in observational data. The first observatories in boreholes that place instruments closer to earthquake rupture zones have been deployed. Technological improvement should be strongly pursued to meet future challenges. Advanced seismic imaging and the new riser drilling vessel Chikyu are tools to significantly advance understanding of earthquake mechanics but availability is restricted by current global science budgets. The present scientific knowledge leaves great earthquakes and tsunamis an unpredictable "stealth" natural hazard of great proportions.

  20. Probing the Detailed Seismic Velocity Structure of Subduction Zones Using Advanced Seismic Tomography Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, H.; Thurber, C. H.

    2005-12-01

    Subduction zones are one of the most important components of the Earth's plate tectonic system. Knowing the detailed seismic velocity structure within and around subducting slabs is vital to understand the constitution of the slab, the cause of intermediate depth earthquakes inside the slab, the fluid distribution and recycling, and tremor occurrence [Hacker et al., 2001; Obara, 2002].Thanks to the ability of double-difference tomography [Zhang and Thurber, 2003] to resolve the fine-scale structure near the source region and the favorable seismicity distribution inside many subducting slabs, it is now possible to characterize the fine details of the velocity structure and earthquake locations inside the slab, as shown in the study of the Japan subduction zone [Zhang et al., 2004]. We further develop the double-difference tomography method in two aspects: the first improvement is to use an adaptive inversion mesh rather than a regular inversion grid and the second improvement is to determine a reliable Vp/Vs structure using various strategies rather than directly from Vp and Vs [see our abstract ``Strategies to solve for a better Vp/Vs model using P and S arrival time'' at Session T29]. The adaptive mesh seismic tomography method is based on tetrahedral diagrams and can automatically adjust the inversion mesh according to the ray distribution so that the inversion mesh nodes are denser where there are more rays and vice versa [Zhang and Thurber, 2005]. As a result, the number of inversion mesh nodes is greatly reduced compared to a regular inversion grid with comparable spatial resolution, and the tomographic system is more stable and better conditioned. This improvement is quite valuable for characterizing the fine structure of the subduction zone considering the highly uneven distribution of earthquakes within and around the subducting slab. The second improvement, to determine a reliable Vp/Vs model, lies in jointly inverting Vp, Vs, and Vp/Vs using P, S, and S-P times in a manner similar to double-difference tomography. Obtaining a reliable Vp/Vs model of the subduction zone is more helpful for understanding its mechanical and petrologic properties. Our applications of the original version of double-difference tomography to several subduction zones beneath northern Honshu, Japan, the Wellington region, New Zealand, and Alaska, United States, have shown evident velocity variations within and around the subducting slab, which likely is evidence of dehydration reactions of various hydrous minerals that are hypothesized to be responsible for intermediate depth earthquakes. We will show the new velocity models for these subduction zones by applying our advanced tomographic methods.

  1. Plate rotation during continental collision and its relationship with the exhumation of UHP metamorphic terranes: application to the Norwegian Caledonides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottrill, Andrew; van Hunen, Jeroan; Cuthbert, Simon; Allen, Mark; Brueckner, Hannes

    2014-05-01

    Lateral variation and asynchronous onset of collision during the convergence of continents can significantly affect the burial and exhumation of subducting material. We use 3D numerical models for continental collision to discuss how deep burial and exhumation of ultra-high pressure metamorphic rocks are enhanced by oblique convergence and resulting rotation of the colliding plates. Rotation during collision locally favours eduction, the inversion of the subduction process following ocean slab break-off, and may relate to the discontinuous distribution of ultra-high pressure (UHP) terranes along collision zones. For example the terminal (Scandian) collision of Baltica and Laurentia, which formed the Scandinavian Caledonides resulted in the exhumation of only one large high pressure/ultra-high pressure (HP/UHP) terrane, the Western Gneiss Complex (WGC), near the southern end of the collision zone. Rotation of the subducting Baltica plate during collision may provide a likely explanation for this distribution. We explore this hypothesis by comparing orthogonal and oblique collision models and conclude that an oblique collision can transport continental material up to 60km deeper, and heat material up to 300°C hotter, than an orthogonal collision. Our oblique collision model predicts that subducted continental margin material returns to the surface only in the region where collision initiated. The oblique collision model is consistent with petrological and geochonological observations from the Western Gneiss Complex and makes predictions for the general evolution of the Scandinavian Caledonides. We propose the collision between Laurentia and Baltica started at the southern end of the collisional zone, and propagated northward. This asymmetric geometry resulted in the counter clockwise rotation of Baltica and the northwards movement of Baltica's rotational pole with respect to Laurentia, consistent with paleomagnetic data from other studies. Our model has applications to others orogens with regional UHP terranes, such as the Dabie Shan and Papua New Guinea cases, where block rotation during exhumation has also been recorded.

  2. Unraveling an antique subduction process from metamorphic basement around Medellín city, Central Cordillera of Colombian Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bustamante, Andres; Juliani, Caetano

    2011-10-01

    In the surroundings of Caldas and El Retiro cities (Colombia) metamorphic rocks derived from basic and pelitic protoliths comprise the Caldas amphibole schist and the Ancón schist respectively. Subordinated metamorphosed granite bodies (La Miel gneiss) are associated to these units, and The El Retiro amphibolites, migmatites and granulites crops out eastwards of these units, separated by shear zones. The Caldas amphibole schist and the Ancón schist protoliths could have been formed in a distal marine reduced environment and amalgamated to the South American continent in an apparent Triassic subduction event. The El Retiro rocks are akin to a continental basement and possible include impure metasediments of continental margin, whose metamorphism originated granulite facies rocks and migmatites as a result of the anatexis of quartz-feldspathic rocks. The metamorphism was accompanied by intense deformation, which has juxtaposed both migmatites and granulite blocks. Afterward, heat and fluid circulation associated with the emplacement of minor igneous intrusions resulted in intense fluid-rock interaction, variations in the grain size of the minerals and, especially, intense retrograde metamorphic re-equilibrium. Thermobarometric estimations for the Caldas amphibole schist indicate metamorphism in the Barrovian amphibolite facies. The metamorphic path is counter-clockwise, but retrograde evolution could not be precisely defined. The pressures of the metamorphism in these rocks range from 6.3 to 13.5 kbar, with narrow temperature ranging from 550 to 630 °C. For the Ancón schist metapelites the P- T path is also counter-clockwise, with a temperature increase evidenced by the occurrence of sillimanite and the cooling by later kyanite. The progressive metamorphism event occurred at pressures of 7.6-7.2 kbar and temperatures of 645-635 °C for one sample and temperature between 500 and 600 °C under constant pressure of 6 kbar. The temperature estimated for these rocks varies between 400 and 555 °C at pressures of 5-6 kbar in the retrograde metamorphic path. The El Retiro rocks evidence strong decompression with narrow variation in temperature, showing pressure values between 8.7 and 2.7 kbar at temperatures of 740-633 °C. These metamorphic fragments of the basement in the Central Cordillera of the Colombian Andes could represent a close relationship with an antique subduction zone.

  3. Anatomy of the Andean subduction zone: three-dimensional density model upgraded and compared against global-scale models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tassara, Andrés.; Echaurren, Andrés.

    2012-04-01

    We present an upgraded version of a previously published 3-D density model of the Andean subduction zone between 18°S and 45°S. This model consists of 3-D bodies of constant density, which geometry is constrained by independent seismic data and is triangulated from vertical cross-sections. These bodies define the first-order morphology and internal structure of the subducted Nazca slab and South American Plate. The new version of the density model results after forward modelling the Bouguer anomaly as computed from the most recent version of the Earth Gravitational Model (EGM2008). The 3-D density model incorporates new seismic information to better constrain the geometry of the subducted slab and continental Moho (CMH) and has a trench-parallel resolution doubling the resolution of the previous model. As an example of the potential utility of our model, we compare the geometry of the subducted slab and CMH against the corresponding global models Slab1.0 and Crust2.0, respectively. This exercise demonstrates that, although global models provide a good first-order representation of the slab and upper-plate crustal geometries, they show large discrepancies (up to ±40 km) with our upgraded model for some well-constrained areas. The geometries of the slab, lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary below the continent, CMH and intracrustal density discontinuity that we present here as Supporting Information can be used to study Andean geodynamic processes from a wide range of quantitative approaches.

  4. Experimental Study on Fluid Distribution at Ultra-High Metamorphic Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mönicke, K.; Burchard, M.; Duyster, J.; Maresch, W. V.; Röller, K.; Stöckhert, B.

    2001-12-01

    Ultra-high pressure (UHP) metamorphic rocks record deep subduction of continental crust. Insight into their rheological behavior at UHP metamorphic conditions is important for the understanding of the mechanical state and the kinematics within subduction zones. Amazingly, many exhumed UHP metamorphic rocks do not show evidence of significant deformation. Thus, it has been proposed that deformation is localized in low-strength zones controlled by partially wetting interstitial fluids [1]. Experimental results [2] show that at UHP metamorphic conditions only one homogenous fluid phase with variable composition exists, whose density and viscosity should be intermediate between those of conventional aqueous solutions and hydrous melts. Inclusions of such supercritical fluid have been recently described from a natural UHP metamorphic rock [3]. Motivated by these findings, experiments using a piston-cylinder apparatus were performed to study the fluid distribution in various rock types at pressures of 3.5 GPa and temperatures between 900 ° C and 600 ° C. Starting materials were natural UHP metamorphic specimens of (1) S-type granitic biotite-phengite-gneiss and (2) pyrope-quartzite, both from the Dora Maira Massif (Western Alps, Italy) and (3) a diamond-bearing garnet-mica-gneiss with granodioritic bulk composition from the Saxonian Erzgebirge (Germany), all with 2 wt.% water added. The supercritical fluids formed in these experiments can be quenched to form a silicic glass with demixing of an aqueous solution without changing the UHP fluid topology significantly. The shape of the fluid-filled interstices is irregular and complex, resulting in a low volume/interface area ratio and a potential of high stress concentration at the edges of wedge-shaped offshoots. We propose that the distribution of supercritical fluids has a pronounced effect on the strength of cool subducted crust, allowing deformation by grain boundary sliding and dissolution precipitation creep, or granular flow with grain shape accommodation by material transfer via an intergranular fluid [4], possibly localized in specific rock types. References: \

  5. Two-dimensional numerical modeling of tectonic and metamorphic histories at active continental margins

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Taras Gerya; Bernhard Stöckhert

    2006-01-01

    The evolution of an active continental margin is simulated in two dimensions, using a finite difference thermomechanical code with half-staggered grid and marker-in-cell technique. The effect of mechanical properties, changing as a function of P and T, assigned to different crustal layers and mantle materials in the simple starting structure is discussed for a set of numerical models. For each

  6. Seismic imaging of the western Hellenic subduction zone : the relationship between slab composition, retreat rate, and overriding lithosphere genesis

    E-print Network

    Pearce, Frederick D. (Frederick Douglas), 1978-

    2015-01-01

    In this dissertation, I investigate the structure and dynamics of the Western Hellenic Subduction Zone (WHSZ) by using two complementary seismic imaging methods and interpreting the resulting images with models that describe ...

  7. Seismotectonics of accretive versus erosive subduction zones - insights from analog seismic cycle simulation

    Microsoft Academic Search

    M. Rosenau; R. Bachmann; O. Oncken

    2007-01-01

    Accretive and erosive subduction zones differ both in their forearc structure and seismic release character. For instance the greatest historical megathrust earthquakes concentrated along accretive margins, tectonically characterized by forearc shortening (e.g. Sumatra, Southern Chile, Alaska), whereas erosive margins, tectonically characterized by forearc extension (e.g. Peru, Kuriles), have often been the locus of tsunami earthquakes (i.e. slow and shallow events).

  8. Deep structure of Japan subduction zone as derived from local, regional, and teleseismic events

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Dapeng Zhao; Akira Hasegawa; Hiroo Kanamori

    1994-01-01

    We have determined a detailed three-dimensional P wave velocity structure of the Japan subduction zone to 500-km depth by inverting local, regional, and teleseismic data simultaneously. We used 45,318 P wave arrivals from 1241 shallow and deep earthquakes which occurred in and around the Japan Islands. The arrival times are recorded by the Japan University Seismic Network which covers the

  9. Why Do Slow Earthquakes Occur Favorably in Hot Subduction Zones? : 2D Numerical Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, T.; Schubnel, A.

    2014-12-01

    It is puzzling why slow earthquakes occur in hot subduction zones only. We study numerically how antigorite dehydration coupled with slip-induced dilatancy and thermal pressurization affects rupture behavior to solve the above puzzle. Recent related studies actually suggest importance of antigorite dehydration. We assume faulting in a 2D thermoporoelastic medium. The mineral reaction is assumed using a first order Arrhenius law. Nondimensional parameters important in the modeling are Su, Su' and X' according to our former study; Su' and Su are proportional to permeability and increase rate of slip-induced porosity. X' denotes volume change induced by the reaction. Our calculation shows that moment release rate and fault tip growth rate are smaller for larger values of Su, smaller values of X' or smaller values of Su'. These two rates are found to be negligibly small compared with the solutions for the dynamic elasticity analysis when Su>1 and X'<0 are satisfied. Slow sustained fault growth occurs for such values of Su and X'. This suggests that Su>1 and X'<0 are satisfied at hot subduction zones; the condition X'<0 is consistent with the reaction expected at hot subduction zones. In cold subduction zones however, antigorite dehydration will occur at depth greater than 60km, with -0.1

  10. Why Ignoring Anisotropy When Imaging Subduction Zones Could be a Bad Idea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bezada, M. J.; Faccenda, M.; Toomey, D. R.; Humphreys, E.

    2014-12-01

    Mantle flow patterns around subduction zones and the consequent seismic anisotropy have been the subject of many studies across different disciplines. However, even though upper mantle anisotropy is not controversial, our primary means of imaging subduction zones in the upper mantle -teleseismic tomography- commonly assumes that the mantle is isotropic. We investigate the possible effects of unaccounted-for anisotropy in seismic imaging of the upper mantle in a subduction setting by carrying out a synthetic test in three steps: (1) We build an anisotropic velocity model of a subduction zone. The model was built from self-consistent estimates of mantle velocity structure and strain-induced anisotropy that are derived from thermo-mechanical and microstructural modeling. (2) We generate P-wave travel-time delay data for this model using an event distribution that is representative of what is typically recorded by a temporary seismic array. The anisotropic travel times are calculated through the prescribed model using a graph-theory ray tracer. (3) We invert the anisotropic synthetic delays under the assumption of isotropy, as is common practice. The tomographic inversion of the synthetic data recovers the input velocity structure fairly well, but delays caused solely by anisotropy result in very significant additional isotropic velocity anomalies that are artificial. Some of these artifacts are nonetheless attractive targets for (mis)interpretation. For example, one of the most notable artifacts is a low velocity zone in the mantle wedge. Our initial results suggest that significant artifacts may be common in isotropic velocity models of subduction zones and stress the need for mantle imaging that properly handles anisotropy.

  11. Nitrogen systematics and gas fluxes of subduction zones: Insights from Costa Rica arc volatiles

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Mindy M. Zimmer; Tobias P. Fischer; David R. Hilton; Guillermo E. Alvarado; Zachary D. Sharp; James A. Walker

    2004-01-01

    Volcanic gases are a powerful tool for assessing magmatic processes in subduction zones. We report gas chemistry and nitrogen isotope compositions of fumaroles, bubbling springs, and geothermal wells from the Costa Rican segment of the Central American volcanic segment (CAVS), and new correlation spectroscopy (COSPEC) SO2 flux measurements of Poás and Arenal volcanoes. N2\\/He ratios (100–8,250) and nitrogen isotope compositions

  12. Nitrogen systematics and gas fluxes of subduction zones: Insights from Costa Rica arc volatiles

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Mindy M. Zimmer; Tobias P. Fischer; David R. Hilton; Guillermo E. Alvarado; Zachary D. Sharp; James A. Walker

    2004-01-01

    Volcanic gases are a powerful tool for assessing magmatic processes in subduction zones. We report gas chemistry and nitrogen isotope compositions of fumaroles, bubbling springs, and geothermal wells from the Costa Rican segment of the Central American volcanic segment (CAVS), and new correlation spectroscopy (COSPEC) SO2 flux measurements of Poás and Arenal volcanoes. N2\\/He ratios (100-8,250) and nitrogen isotope compositions

  13. Pressure dependence of fluid transport properties of shallow fault systems in the Nankai subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanikawa, Wataru; Mukoyoshi, Hideki; Lin, Weiren; Hirose, Takehiro; Tsutsumi, Akito

    2014-12-01

    We measured fluid transport properties at an effective pressure of 40 MPa in core samples of sediments and fault rocks collected by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) NanTroSEIZE drilling project Expedition 316 from the megasplay fault system (site C0004) and the frontal thrust (site C0007) in the Nankai subduction zone. Permeability decreased with effective pressure as a power law function. Permeability values in the fault zones were 8 × 10-18 m2 at site C0004 and 9 × 10-18 m2 at site C0007. Stratigraphic variation in transport properties suggests that the megasplay fault zone may act as a barrier to fluid flow, but the frontal thrust fault zone might not. Depth variation in permeability at site C0007 is probably controlled by the mechanical compaction of sediment. Hydraulic diffusivity at shallow depths was approximately 1 × 10-6 m2 s-1 in both fault zones, which is small enough to lead to pore pressure generation that can cause dynamic fault weakening. However, absence of a very low permeable zone, which may have formed in the Japan Trench subduction zone, might prevent facilitation of huge shallow slips during Nankai subduction zone earthquakes. Porosity tests under dry conditions might have overestimated the porosity.

  14. Subslab seismic anisotropy and mantle flow at the SW edge of the Ryukyu subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, C.; Kuo, B.; Chen, C.

    2013-12-01

    The SW edge of the Ryukyu subdution zone is at the subduction-collision junction of the Phillipine plate and the Eurasin lithosphere. Previous splitting results have shown a large scale trench-parallel flow in the subslab mantle of the Ryukyu subduction zone, but how these mantle flow interact with the Eurasin lithosphere mantle remains unknown. We present the shear wave splitting measurements at the SW edge of the Ryukyu subduction zone for SKS coming from remote events and S from slab events received by Australian stations, both sampling the mantle behind the Ryukyu slab. Splittings at Australian stations were corrected. Delay times for S, ranging from 1 to 4.5 s, are larger than that for SKS averaged on about 1.1 s. Fast directions to first order parallel the trench, being consistent with previous observations. A more complicated pattern is seen toward the SW edge of the Rykyu subduction zone, where the fast direction is transitional rotating from trench-parallel to trench-oblique/-perpendicular,. The pattern at the western boundary of measurement reflects the fabric of the orogenic belt of Taiwan, while the rotation away from trench-parallel occurs distant from the Eurasian lithosphere, indicating its mantle dynamic control. Synthetic waveforms for shear-wave splitting is employed to interpret how the subslab asthenosphere deform along with the subduction to shape the observed pattern.

  15. The 1945 Balochistan earthquake and probabilistic tsunami hazard assessment for the Makran subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Höchner, Andreas; Babeyko, Andrey; Zamora, Natalia

    2014-05-01

    Iran and Pakistan are countries quite frequently affected by destructive earthquakes. For instance, the magnitude 6.6 Bam earthquake in 2003 in Iran with about 30'000 casualties, or the magnitude 7.6 Kashmir earthquake 2005 in Pakistan with about 80'000 casualties. Both events took place inland, but in terms of magnitude, even significantly larger events can be expected to happen offshore, at the Makran subduction zone. This small subduction zone is seismically rather quiescent, but a tsunami caused by a thrust event in 1945 (Balochistan earthquake) led to about 4000 casualties. Nowadays, the coastal regions are more densely populated and vulnerable to similar events. Additionally, some recent publications raise the question of the possiblity of rare but huge magnitude 9 events at the Makran subduction zone. We first model the historic Balochistan event and its effect in terms of coastal wave heights, and then generate various synthetic earthquake and tsunami catalogs including the possibility of large events in order to asses the tsunami hazard at the affected coastal regions. Finally, we show how an effective tsunami early warning could be achieved by the use of an array of high-precision real-time GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) receivers along the coast.

  16. Metamorphic terranes, isotopic provinces, and implications for crustal growth of the western United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ernst, W. G.

    1988-07-01

    Simplified maps of the western Cordillera, indicating distribution of metamorphic facies and times of principal recrystallization have been compiled. Despite rearrangement by transcurrent shuffling, general trends are recognizable. Narrow belts of Phanerozoic high-P blue schist, and serpentinized peridotite lie outboard from broad, penecontemporaneous high-T metamorphosed calcalkaline magma-intruded belts bordering the Pacific Ocean, and both are disposed approximately parallel to the present-day North American margin; they represent recrystallized products of mid-Paleozoic and younger subduction zones, Andean-type margins, and exotic island arcs. In contrast, dominant metamorphic mineral parageneses within the continental interior are spatially associated with chiefly mesozonal granitic plutons. Glaucophane schists, eclogites, and large tracts of ophiolitic ultramafics are absent, in part due to selective overprinting of old accretionary margin lithotectonic assemblages by subsequent orogenies, high-T recrystallization, and anatexis. For example, at depth within the California Coast Ranges, high-P phases are currently being destroyed; farther inland, a general paucity of oceanic petrotectonic assemblages is evident, possibly reflecting the differential sinking of dense basaltic/peridotitic units during thermal softening. Preserved metamorphic field gradients reflect the magnitude of subsequent uplift and erosion as well as original PT conditions. Late Mesozoic to mid-Cenozoic recrystallization accompanied earlier crustal thickening + ductile deformation, succeeded by later extension + brittle faulting + mylonitization; Mesozoic-Cenozoic metamorphism involved cratonal rocks in the Mojave-Sonoran Desert, but in Nevada and to the north, eugeoclinal sections were recrystallized. Metamorphic intensity decreases eastward toward the Phanerozoic hinge line. Basement rocks in the Rockies display the effects of shallow level crustal deformation but much less widespread evidence of post-Proterozoic plutonism and regional metamorphism. Initial Pb, Nd, and Sr isotopic compositions and crystallization ages of igneous rocks, in comparison with times of intrusion, recrystallization, and metamorphic facies distributions are compatible with a geologic scenario involving gradual, proximal growth of the ancient continent chiefly southward from the Archean Wyoming craton during early and mid-Proterozoic time, followed by late Proterozoic-Phanerozoic westward development. Accretion involved the incorporation of some exotic, mostly oceanic, outboard terranes. However, continental growth in the western U.S. Cordillera during both Proterozoic and Phanerozoic time periods appears to have been due chiefly to partial fusion and magma ascent above subducting paleo-Pacific lithospheric plates, combined with metamorphic (+ sedimentary) reworking in the forearc + trench + back arc setting, rather than resulting from the amalgamation of preexisting ancient continental fragments.

  17. The influence of small stresses on the dynamics of glaciers and subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter, Jacob I.

    The fast flow of glaciers and rupture of earthquakes on subduction zones both occur at interfaces notoriously difficult to observe. When slip events occur on such interfaces, elastic energy is radiated in the form of seismic waves. Here, we analyze these and other signals, such as continuous GPS, for two glacier systems and a subduction zone. We find that the slip events at an Antarctic ice stream, a Greenland outlet glacier, and a subduction zone in Costa Rica are all modulated by the ocean tide, however, the manifestations of the modulations vary considerably. In Antarctica, we directly measure the bidaily rupture process of the Whillans Ice Plain using broadband seismometers. The average rupture speed of these events varies by a factor of 2, which is dependent upon the recurrence interval. Based on variations of rupture near the source region, we observe that rupture speed depends on loading conditions. In Greenland, the breakup of the sea ice and iceberg mixture that forms during the winter causes changes in the flow velocity of Store Glacier, West Greenland. We measure velocity using continuous GPS 16 km away from the terminus and time-lapse photography near the terminus. We observe a step-change in velocity near the terminus in response to the ice melange breakup, corresponding to a 30-60 kPa loss of buttressing stress. Further, we observe semi-diurnal periodicity in GPS speed perturbations 16 km from the terminus, likely due to ocean tides. At the subduction zone, we identify and locate tremor events, distinct from earthquakes in their low amplitude, which occur as shear failure on the plate interface. We locate the events on portions of the plate believed to be undergoing stable sliding, adjacent to locked portions of the plate. Furthermore, we provide multiple forms of geodetic and pressure evidence of an offshore event that occurred in 2008. Observations of various behaviors that include relatively small stresses may provide insight into the unique dynamics of glaciers and subduction zones. Small stresses that drive failure suggests either a weak basal interface or a system near its critical stress state.

  18. A Crustal Structure Study of the Southern Ryukyu Subduction Zone by Using the Aftershock Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, Y.; Lin, J.; Lee, C.

    2011-12-01

    The region along the Ryukyu subduction zone is known as a tsunami disaster zone. The biggest tsunami (85 m) of Japan history was recorded in the Ishigaki Island, Ryukyu, in 1771. The paleo-tsunami events show that it has a frequency of about 150 years. This thread makes the Ryukyu subduction zone as a concerned field for the earthquake studies. However, due to the long distance from the east coast of Taiwan, this is an area out of the effective earthquake detection zone from the Central Weather Bureau network. A main shock of M = 6.9 occurred near the Ishigaki Island in 2009 August 17. After this event, we quickly deployed the OBS and found many aftershocks with the magnitude greater than 5.0. The main shock was 240 km, NE direction from the Hualien city, Taiwan. If a tsunami occurred, it took only less than 15 minutes to arrive the coast. From the recorded data, we picked the P- and S-wave using the 1-D module (iasp91). There were 1500 recorded events during those time range, and most of the earthquakes were located around the Nanao Basin. Based on this, we study the southern Ryukyu subduction zone structure by using the results from focal mechanism solution. From the earthquake relocation it shows that two main groups of aftershocks. They tend in northwest - southeast with a left-lateral strike-slip fault. The left-lateral strike-slip fault is the main structures that link with the splay faults at the southern Ryukyu Trench. The stability and extension of the splay faults are one of the major concerns for the occurrence of mega earthquake. More than 500-km long of the splay fault, such as that in the Indonesia, Chile and Japan subduction zones, has attacked by mega earthquakes in the recent years. The second group of those aftershocks was located in the Gagua Ridge near the Ryukyu Trench. This group may represent the ridge structure relate to the Taitung canyon fault. The front of Ryukyu Trench was being as a locked subduction zone where it is easily to accumulate the earthquake stress. Because of these two earthquake groups are out of range of Taiwan Central Weather Bureau network and lack of information, it is worthwhile to focus our attentions on it.

  19. Earthquake supercycle in subduction zones controlled by the downdip width of the seismogenic zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrendörfer, Robert; van Dinther, Ylona; Gerya, Taras; Dalguer, Luis Angel

    2015-04-01

    Supercycles describe a long-term cluster of megathrust earthquakes that consist of partial ruptures before a complete failure of a subduction zone segment (Sieh et al. 2008, Goldfinger et al. 2013). The controls on supercycles remain unclear, although structural or fault frictional heterogeneities were proposed (Sieh et al. 2008). We recognize that supercycles have been suggested in those subduction zones (Sieh et al. 2008, Goldfinger et al. 2013, Metois et al. 2014, Chlieh et al. 2014) for which the seismogenic zone downdip width is estimated (Heuret et al. 2011, Hayes et al. 2012, Hayes et al. 2013) to be larger than average. Here we assess this potential link between the seismogenic zone downdip width and supercycles. For this purpose we use the continuum-based seismo-mechanical model of megathrust earthquake cycles in subduction zones (Van Dinther et al. 2013), which was validated through a comparison against scaled analogue subduction experiments (Corbi et al. 2013). The two-dimensional numerical model setup consists of a visco-elastic wedge underthrusted by a rigid plate and a frictional boundary layer simulating the megathrust. In this boundary layer, we evaluate a non-associative Drucker-Prager plasticity with pressure dependent yield strength and a strongly rate-dependent friction formulation. The velocity-weakening seismogenic zone with a downdip width W is limited up-and downdip by velocity-strengthening regions. In our numerical models, an increasing seismogenic zone downdip width leads to a transition from ordinary cycles of similar sized complete ruptures to supercycles. For supercycles in wide seismogenic zones, we demonstrate how interseismic deformation accompanied by partial ruptures effectively increases the stress throughout the seismogenic zone until a crack-like superevent releases most of the accumulated stresses. Our findings suggest that supercycles are more likely to occur in subduction zones with a large seismogenic downdip width due to a larger potential strength excess. It takes longer and more events to reach a critical stress state in the center of wider seismogenic zones. We conclude that such stress evolution along the dip of a wide seismogenic zone is the simplest mechanism governing supercycles. Our results show that earthquake size variability during a supercycle can be purely explained by the along-dip evolution of stress heterogeneities within an up- and downdip bounded homogeneous seismogenic zone. Additional a priori complexities, like previously suggested structural or frictional heterogeneities (Sieh et al. 2008) are not required to generate supercycles, although they are expected to complicate our simplest explanation of supercycles. We suggest that larger than thus far observed earthquakes could occur as part of a supercycle in subduction zones with a large seismogenic zone downdip width.

  20. Segmentation of Makran Subduction Zone and its consequences on tsunami hazard estimations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mokhtari, M.

    2009-04-01

    In a plate tectonic setting like that of the Makran Accretionary Complex of Oman Sea, a fairly high earthquake activity would be expected, as in many of the other major Accretionary complexes/subduction zones around the world. But this region which is located between the Zendan-Minab Fault System and Oranch Fault Zone shows relatively low seismicity in comparison with the surrounding region. Better documented tsunami events in the Makran subduction zones are 3, including two events of seismic origin, and one of unknown origin. The latest event is the major earthquake generated tsunami of 1945 in eastern Makran that ruptured approximately one-fifth the length of the subduction zone. It is important to note that, the epicenter of this event is also close to the Sonne Fault which has created segments on the Makran Subduction Zone. The crossing points between Makran Subduction Zone and these oblique fault zones can be a location for occurrence of major earthquake activities. However, more studies are required for further clarification. In contrast to the east, the plate boundary in western Makran has no clear record of historically as well as instrumental great events. The large changes in seismicity between eastern and western Makran suggest segmentation of the subduction zone. This is being supported by Kukowski et al., (2000) where they introduce a new boundary coinciding very well with the Sonne strike-slip fault. As mentioned the western part is characterized by the absence of events. East of the Sonne fault and west of long 64°E is the only region with a clustering of events within the submarine and southernmost onshore part of the Accretionary Wedge, also including the Mw 8.1 event of 1945 (Byrne et al., 1992). Most events in the wedge appear to be pure-thrust earthquakes and are interpreted as plate boundary events (Quittmeyer and Kafka, 1984; Byrne et al., 1992). The earthquake of August 12, 1963, a few tens of kilometers east of the Sonne fault, had a large strike-slip component and its depth was estimated to be only 5 km (Quittmeyer and Kafka, 1984). Taking into account the uncertainties of focal estimation, it is being speculated that this event may have occurred in connection with motion along the Sonne fault (Kukowski et al. 2000)and are not associated with the subduction. The absence of subduction events in western Makran indicates either that entirely aseismic subduction occurs or that the plate boundary is currently locked and experiences great earthquakes with long repeat times. Evidence is presently inconclusive concerning which of these two hypotheses can be correct. In this presentation after discussing the Makran Subduction Zone segmentation using geophysical data, its effect on tsunami hazard estimation will be presented.

  1. Gravity Anomaly Between Immature And Mature Subduction Zones In The Western Pacific And Its Implications For Subduction Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Y.; Lee, S.

    2008-12-01

    From immature to mature subduction zones, the western Pacific is a key area to investigate subduction evolution. Among them, the Yap and Mussau trenches located in the boundary of Caroline plate and the Hjort trench to the south of New Zealand are considered as immature subduction zones. The common geological features of immature subduction zones include: (1) a short trench-arc distance, (2) the lack of Wadati-Benioff zone, and (3) the absence of arc volcanism triggered by subducting slab. On the other hand, the Izu-Bonin- Mariana and Tonga-Kermadec trenches are well-developed or mature subduction zones characterized by active arc volcanism and deep earthquakes. We compare two end-members, immature and mature subduction zones, with gravity anomaly derived from satellite altimetry which has sufficient accuracy for this kind of regional study. The isostatic residual gravity anomalies show that the width of non-isostatically- compensated region of the mature subduction zone is substantially wider than that of immature ones. Moreover, when we removed the gravitational effects due to the seafloor from the free-air gravity anomaly, a large difference was found between the immature and mature subduction zones in the overriding plate side. In the mature subduction zones, a low gravity anomaly of ~200-250 mGals can be found in the overriding plate which differs from the immature subduction zones. We discuss the possible causes of the low gravity anomaly including: (1) serpentinization in the upper mantle; (2) presence of partial melt in the mantle wedge; (3) difference in the density structure between the overriding and subducting plates in terms of slab age and cooling history; and (4) thickened crust or anomalous crustal structure beneath the arc. Serpentinization cannot explain the low gravity anomaly at ~150-200 km from the trench. Also, the difference of gravity anomaly due to the difference of the slab age is insufficient to account for the total anomaly. In this study, we explore various causes of low-gravity-anomaly development associated with the evolution of subduction zones systematically with special attention on the dynamic topography and thermal models.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    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.

  3. Evolution of the northern Sierra Nevada metamorphic belt: Petrological, structural, and Ar/Ar constraints

    SciTech Connect

    Hacker, B.R. [Stanford Univ., CA (United States)] [Stanford Univ., CA (United States)

    1993-05-01

    The Sierra Nevada metamorphic belt constitutes an important record of the growth of continental crust from essentially oceanic materials. In the northern Sierra, the central part of the belt is made up of volcanoplutonic arcs and sediment-dominated units inferred to be accretionary wedges or closed ocean basins. The latter are broken formation and melange composed of radiolarian chert, lava, and volcanogenic and continental turbidites. Sedimentary detritus in the largest of these units can be plausibly linked to sources farther east in the Sierra, suggesting that deposition occurred near the eastern Sierran arc. Isoclinal folds, steeply dipping foliations, and steeply plunging down-dip lineations are characteristics structures. The westernmost unit is only feebly recrystallized, and deformation was accomplished principally by stress solution and local redeposition in veins. More easterly, inboard units are compositionally similar, but they recrystallized at pumpellyite-actinolite-and blueschist-facies conditions and deformed via solution-transfer and dislocation creep. Phengite silica contents, the degree of quartz veining, and the locations of pseudo-isograds support an eastward increase in metamorphic pressure and temperature. Metamorphic conditions during the growth of pumpellyite and actinolite ranged from {approximately}150-350 {degrees}C and 200-400 MPa, compatible with recrystallization and deformation in subduction zones or the deeper levels of magmatic arcs. Ar/Ar ages of volcanisclastic rocks and crosscutting plutons constrain the age of deformation and metamorphism in the western part of the region to 174-165 Ma. Deformation and recrystallization in more easterly units may have been coeval or begun as early as Triassic time. 58 refs., 14 figs., 4 tabs.

  4. Mantle convection, tectonics and the evolution of the Tethyan subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    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 side of Africa from the Jurassic until the collision in the Oligocene, and even afterward when Arabia formed by opening of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. This also suggests a dominant role of an underlying flow at large scale, dragging and mechanically eroding plates and breaking them into fragments, then passively carried. Only during a short period of the Late Cretaceous did the situation change drastically with the obduction event giving the large ophiolitic nappes observed from Oman to Turkey. This obduction event has never been really explained. It has been shown to be coeval with faster plate velocities and more active formation of oceanic crust globally, which in turn suggests a link with deep mantle convection. We discuss this succession of events and propose to relate them with the basal drag induced by convective mantle flow below the African continental lithosphere. We discuss the effects of convection on crustal deformation at different scales from deep convection related to plumes and subduction zones to more local mantle flow due to slab retreat and tearing.

  5. Trench-parallel flow in the mantle wedge: insights from integrating seismology and 3D subduction zone modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Keken, P. E.; Kneller, E. A.; Syracuse, E.; Long, M.; Abt, D.; Abers, G.; Fischer, K.

    2007-12-01

    The mantle wedge in many subduction zones is characterized by a cold, low attenuation fore-arc and a hot, high attenuation arc and back-arc. The transition from fore-arc to arc mantle correlates in the Honshu, Nankai and possibly the Ryukyu subduction zones with a change in orientation of shear wave splitting from trench-parallel to trench-normal. For the Marianas, Andes and Central America subduction zones the trench-parallel splitting occurs further into the arc as well. The differences between these fundamental seismological observations suggest that multiple mechanisms can be responsible for the formation of trench-parallel anisotropy. Proposed mechanisms include fabric transitions in olivine due to changes in hydration and stress, melt alignment, and 3D flow. We use high resolution 2D and 3D dynamical models of these subduction zones to investigate the role of 3D flow and olivine fabric transitions in generating the observed patterns of anisotropy. The slab geometry is determined from available shallow geophysics and Benioff zone seismicity. For Ryukyu we obtain satisfactory splitting magnitudes for models that are based strictly on 2D corner flow with the B-type fabric in the cold fore-arc mantle. The widespread trench-parallel anisotropy in the Marianas and the 30-34S segment of the Andean subduction zone is better explained by 3D flow driven by along-trench pressure differences induced by changes in slab dip (Andes) or curvature (Marianas).Initial models for the Nicaragua-Costa Rica and Cascadia subduction zones incorporating present-day slab shape are dominated by 2D cornerflow and cannot explain the observed anisotropy. Future modeling will explore whether the time-dependent evolution of this subduction zone can create three-dimensional flow patterns with significant arc-parallel flow.

  6. Seismic evidence for the nature of the Vrancea zone of the Eastern Carpathians: an oceanic subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bokelmann, Götz; Rodler, Fee-Alexandra

    2014-05-01

    The Vrancea region of the southeastern Carpathians is one of the most active seismic zones in Europe and it is well-known for its strong intermediate depth earthquakes. Seismic tomography had revealed a high-velocity body beneath Vrancea and the Moesian platform that extends to a depth of at least 350 km and can be interpreted as descending lithosphere. The strong earthquakes occur within the northeastern part of this high-velocity body, in a very limited seismogenic volume at intermediate depth (70-180 km). Several geodynamic models have been proposed for this area. They can be split into two main categories, in terms of the nature of the high-velocity anomaly, which may (a) be associated with descending relic oceanic lithosphere beneath the bending zone of the SE-Carpathians, either attached or already detached from the continental crust; or (b) it may represent continental lithosphere that has been delaminated, after continental collision and orogenic thickening. Based on currently available information, it appears difficult to distinguish between these two types of models. In this paper we attempt to shed more light on the nature of the seismic anomaly, as well as that of the origin of the intermediate depth seismicity in the Vrancea zone, by investigating the waveform character of P-waves excited by local earthquakes beneath this area, and in particular the dependence of group arrival times on frequency. We present observations of such a dispersion from stations situated at the bending zone of the SE-Carpathians. On the other hand, signals from the same earthquakes, but observed at reference stations outside of the anomalous zone do not show that frequency dependence. A natural explanation for these observations is that they are caused by the presence of a low-velocity (oceanic crustal) channel at the top of the seismic anomaly, which is too thin to be resolved by classical seismic tomographic techniques. Similar observations of dispersed first-arriving P-waves have been made above subduction zones around the world, in which low-velocity layers with a thickness of several kilometers are known to exist. This suggests that a tabular slab of subducted oceanic crust is present within the seismic anomaly under the Vrancea region, and that the anomaly consists of subducted oceanic lithosphere rather than continental lithosphere, at least at depths shallower than the seismically active zone.

  7. In-situ Nd isotope measurements on accessory minerals: Insights into isotope equilibration during metamorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammerli, Johannes; Spandler, Carl; Kemp, Tony; Pirard, Cassian

    2015-04-01

    Understanding isotope equilibration processes during metamorphism has huge implications for a range of geoscience applications, ranging from provenance studies of sedimentary units to the origin of magmas and ore bodies. Furthermore, recent claims of isotope disequilibrium situations during the melting of continental crust have questioned the reliability of using certain isotope systems to track magma sources. Our recent work investigated a prograde sequence of high-temperature, low-pressure (350-650 ?C, ~3-5 kbar) metasedimentary rocks from the Mt. Lofty Ranges, South Australia that underwent widespread pervasive fluid flow at peak metamorphism. In situ Nd-isotope analyses by LA-MC-ICP-MS found that the detrital signature of apatite survives temperatures of 500 °C. However, the observed isotope equilibration of REE-bearing accessory minerals at ~600 °C, before the onset of partial melting, suggests that isotope disequilibrium is unlikely during high-grade metamorphism of upper crustal rocks where fluid induced melting takes place. Here, we extend our research to metasedimentary rocks from (ultra)-high pressure metamorphic terrains from northern New Caledonia, and Dabieshan, China that represent pressure and temperature conditions found in subduction zones. Our study helps to understand isotope equilibration processes from heterogeneous protoliths as well as the impact of retrogression and the resetting of isotope systems over a pressure-temperature range from ~350 °C to 700 °C and ~15 kbar to 40 kbar. Nd isotope analyses of apatite, allanite, titanite, xenotime, monazite, lawsonite and epidote in pelitic and psammitic samples allow the investigation of isotope equilibration on a mineral and sub-mineral scale, as well as comparison with traditional bulk rock isotope analyses. Our preliminary results show that under high-pressure conditions (~20 to 30 kbar) and temperatures to ~650 °C, REE-bearing phases show variable ?Nd values in some cases. These differences cannot be simply explained with retrogressive processes and the partial resetting of the isotope system. The results rather suggest that isotopic exchange between different REE-phases in such systems might be limited, and hence heterogeneous isotope signatures of protolithic sedimentary rocks can survive to great depths in subduction-zone environments. These results may have bearing on the reliability of isotopic tracking of the subducted slab component of arc magmas.

  8. Full waveform modelling of aftershock seismicity in the Chilean subduction zone using the VERCE platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garth, T.; Hicks, S. P.; Fuenzalida Velasco, A. J.; Casarotti, E.; Spinuso, A.; Rietbrock, A.

    2014-12-01

    The VERCE platform allows high resolution waveforms to be simulated through an interactive web-based portal. The platform runs on a variety of HPC clusters, and waveforms are calculated using SPECFEM3D. We use the full waveform modelling techniques supported on the VERCE platform to test the validity of a number of subduction zone velocity models from the Chilean subduction zone. Waveforms are calculated for aftershocks of the 2010 Mw 8.8 Maule (central Chile) and the Mw 8.1 2014 Pisagua (Northern Chile) earthquakes. For the Maule region, we use a 2D tomographic model of the rupture area (Hicks et al., 2012), and the focal mechanisms of Agurto et al., (2012). For the Pisagua earthquake, we use a 2.5D composite velocity model based on tomographic studies of the region (e.g. Husen et al., 2000, Contreras-Reyes et al., 2012) and Slab1.0 (Hayes et al., 2012). Focal mechanisms for the Pisagua aftershock sequence are produced from waveforms recorded on the IPOC network using the program ISOLA (Sokos and Zahradnik, 2008). We also test a number of synthetic velocity models. The simulated waveforms are directly compared to waveforms recorded on the temporary deployment for the Maule earthquake aftershocks, and waveforms recorded on the IPOC network for the Pisagua earthquake aftershocks. The waveforms produced by the 3D full waveform simulations are also compared to the waveforms produced by the focal mechanism inversion, which assume a 1D velocity model. The VERCE platform allows waveforms from the full 3D model to be produced easily, and allows us to quantifiably assess the validity of both the velocity model and the source mechanisms. In particular the dependence of the dip of the focal mechanism on the velocity model used is explored, in order to assess the reliability of current models of the plate interface geometry in the Chilean subduction zone.

  9. Multiple Layers of Anisotropy in the Chile-Argentina Subduction Zone, South America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, M. L.; Zandt, G.

    2004-12-01

    We examine shear wave splitting in teleseismic and local phases to observe seismic anisotropy in part of the South American subduction zone. The data is from the CHARGE network, which traversed the Andes Mountains of Chile and Argentina across two transects between 30° and 36° S. Beneath the southern part of our network, fast polarization directions from teleseismic phases are consistently trench-parallel, while in the northeastern part of the network fast directions are trench-normal. This trend appears to be correlated with a changing geometry of the subducted slab. Subduction zones may exhibit multiple layers of mantle anisotropy, corresponding to the mantle wedge, subducting slab, and the asthenosphere in the upper mantle below the slab. Based on previous work, we have suggested that the largest source of the anisotropy sampled by teleseismic phases is localized below the subducting slab. Preliminary measurements of anisotropy in the mantle wedge (sampled by local S-waves) reveal quite variable patterns in azimuth and magnitude, similar to other subduction zones. There is also an observed variation in splitting parameters in the teleseismic events with backazimuth that may be explained by a combination of wedge and below-slab anisotropy. However, preliminary two layer models with reasonable values for the wedge and below-slab components do not generally fit observed trends with backazimuth, therefore there may be three layers of anisotropy: the mantle wedge, the subducting slab lithosphere, and an asthenospheric layer. Because the magnitude of anisotropy due to the slab and to the wedge is relatively small compared to total anisotropy, removing it's effect from the total anisotropy leaves an asthenospheric component that is very similar to the total observed anisotropy by teleseisms. Calculations attempting this removal to date have made small adjustments to the telseismic values that actually make the asthenospheric component look more consistent across the network.

  10. Compaction Further Enhances Inelastic Wedge Failure in Shallow Subduction Zone Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, S.; Hirakawa, E. T.

    2014-12-01

    Accretionary wedges in the subduction zone are typically highly porous due to continuous influx of unconsolidated sediments on the seafloor. A well-known deformation mode for porous materials is compaction. When porous materials are compacted in the undrained condition (as in the rapid loading of earthquake rupture) the pore pressure increases significantly when pore space closes while pore fluids are largely incompressible, resulting in a much larger pore pressure increase than that by the elastic compression alone. In this work, we incorporate compaction in our poroplastic model of shallow subduction zone earthquakes (Ma, 2012; Ma and Hirakawa, 2013) by using an end-cap yield criterion (e.g., Wong, 1997). We show that for a wedge on the verge of compactant failure initially (due to large porosity) up-dip rupture causes significant wedge compaction, which induces large pore pressure increase, reduces effective stress, and causes more easily shear failure. The wedge needs not be on the verge of Coulomb failure initially. Dilatancy accompanying shear failure near the end of deformation process can reduce volume loss due to initial compaction, resulting in a small net volumetric plastic strain. Compaction significantly enhances failure in the wedge, which makes our wedge-failure mechanism more plausible in explaining well-documented anomalous observations for shallow subduction zone earthquakes, such as slow rupture velocity, efficient tsunami generation, deficiency in high-frequency radiation, and low moment-scaled radiated energy. The dynamically elevated pore pressure may also explain numerous observations on the hydrologic activities in the wedge (e.g., mud volcanoes).

  11. Exploring Lesser Antilles subduction zone locking through modeling of cGPS and earthquake seismology data.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higgins, M.; Weber, J. C.; Robertson, R. E. A.

    2014-12-01

    We are undertaking a study to better determine the locking characteristics of Lesser Antilles subduction zone using new cGPS data from 20 stations in the Lesser Antilles volcanic islands and outboard islands in the forearc sliver. The new data come from the SRC, IGS and IPGP cGPS networks. Each site we use has a minimum of 3 years of data, and raw site velocities have average uncertainties in the horizontal on order ? 2 mm/yr. Eventually, we also hope to incorporate vertical velocities, which have slightly larger uncertainties, into the model along with earthquake slip vectors from the Harvard CMT catalog. We model the cGPS data using Defnode, which performs inverse modeling using the Okada (1985; 1992) method to determine the elastic slip distribution along block (CA plate, NA plate, SA plate, forearc sliver) boundaries. Free parameters are the distribution of locking ratios of the fault representing the subduction zone, and deformation in each block. Our model's weakness is that it is constrained by data from islands with a limited distribution in trying to model a large area. Using the SRC earthquake catalogue, the subduction zone was gridded and we summed the total seismic moment for each grid cell, using only M>3.5 earthquakes with low RMS values. The gridded seismic moment rates were then averaged over the length of time of the complete catalog. Several models were then produced with Defnode and a solution optimization technique that estimated the locking ratio distribution. The models' resulting seismic moment rates are then compared against those gleaned from the SRC catalogue. Previous works have suggested that subducting ridges on the NA plate may indeed be locked, this work also tries to identify the locking ratio of these ridges.

  12. Estimation of strong ground motions from hypothetical earthquakes on the Cascadia subduction zone, Pacific Northwest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heaton, T.H.; Hartzell, S.H.

    1989-01-01

    Strong ground motions are estimated for the Pacific Northwest assuming that large shallow earthquakes, similar to those experienced in southern Chile, southwestern Japan, and Colombia, may also occur on the Cascadia subduction zone. Fifty-six strong motion recordings for twenty-five subduction earthquakes of Ms???7.0 are used to estimate the response spectra that may result from earthquakes Mw<81/4. Large variations in observed ground motion levels are noted for a given site distance and earthquake magnitude. When compared with motions that have been observed in the western United States, large subduction zone earthquakes produce relatively large ground motions at surprisingly large distances. An earthquake similar to the 22 May 1960 Chilean earthquake (Mw 9.5) is the largest event that is considered to be plausible for the Cascadia subduction zone. This event has a moment which is two orders of magnitude larger than the largest earthquake for which we have strong motion records. The empirical Green's function technique is used to synthesize strong ground motions for such giant earthquakes. Observed teleseismic P-waveforms from giant earthquakes are also modeled using the empirical Green's function technique in order to constrain model parameters. The teleseismic modeling in the period range of 1.0 to 50 sec strongly suggests that fewer Green's functions should be randomly summed than is required to match the long-period moments of giant earthquakes. It appears that a large portion of the moment associated with giant earthquakes occurs at very long periods that are outside the frequency band of interest for strong ground motions. Nevertheless, the occurrence of a giant earthquake in the Pacific Northwest may produce quite strong shaking over a very large region. ?? 1989 Birkha??user Verlag.

  13. A Thick, Deformed Sedimentary Wedge in an Erosional Subduction Zone, Southern Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silver, E. A.; Kluesner, J. W.; Edwards, J. H.; Vannucchi, P.

    2014-12-01

    A paradigm of erosional subduction zones is that the lower part of the wedge is composed of strong, crystalline basement (Clift and Vannucchi, Rev. Geophys., 42, RG2001, 2004). The CRISP 3D seismic reflection study of the southern part of the Costa Rica subduction zone shows quite the opposite. Here the slope is underlain by a series of fault-cored anticlines, with faults dipping both landward and seaward that root into the plate boundary. Deformation intensity increases with depth, and young, near-surface deformation follows that of the deeper structures but with basin inversions indicating a dynamic evolution (Edwards et al., this meeting). Fold wavelength increases landward, consistent with the folding of a landward-thickening wedge. Offscraping in accretion is minimal because incoming sediments on the lower plate are very thin. Within the wedge, thrust faulting dominates at depth in the wedge, whereas normal faulting dominates close to the surface, possibly reflecting uplift of the deforming anticlines. Normal faults form a mesh of NNW and ENE-trending structures, whereas thrust faults are oriented approximately parallel to the dominant fold orientation, which in turn follows the direction of roughness on the subducting plate. Rapid subduction erosion just prior to 2 Ma is inferred from IODP Expedition 334 (Vannucchi et al., 2013, Geology, 49:995-998). Crystalline basement may have been largely removed from the slope region during this rapid erosional event, and the modern wedge may consist of rapidly redeposited material (Expedition 344 Scientists, 2013) that has been undergoing deformation since its inception, producing a structure quite different from that expected of an eroding subduction zone.

  14. Full waveform modelling using the VERCE platform - application to aftershock seismicity in the Chile subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garth, Thomas; Rietbrock, Andreas; Hicks, Steve; Fuenzalida Velasco, Amaya; Casarotti, Emanuele; Spinuso, Alessandro

    2015-04-01

    The VERCE platform is an online portal that allows full waveform simulations to be run for any region where a suitable velocity model exists. We use this facility to simulate the waveforms from aftershock earthquakes from the 2014 Pisagua earthquake, and 2010 Maule earthquake that occurred at the subduction zone mega thrust in Northern and Central Chile respectively. Simulations are performed using focal mechanisms from both global earthquake catalogues, and regional earthquake catalogues. The VERCE platform supports specFEM Cartesian, and simulations are run using meshes produced by CUBIT. The full waveform modelling techniques supported on the VERCE platform are used to test the validity of a number of subduction zone velocity models from the Chilean subduction zone. For the Maule earthquake we use a 2D and 3D travel time tomography model of the rupture area (Hicks et al. 2011; 2014). For the Pisagua earthquake we test a 2D/3D composite velocity model based on tomographic studies of the region (e.g. Husen et al. 2000, Contreyes-Reyes et al. 2012) and slab1.0 (Hayes et al. 2012). Focal mechanisms from the cGMT catalogue and local focal mechanisms calculated using ISOLA (e.g. Agurto et al. 2012) are used in the simulations. The waveforms produced are directly compared to waveforms recorded on the temporary deployment for the Maule earthquake aftershocks, and waveforms recorded on the IPOC network for the Pisagua earthquake aftershocks. This work demonstrates how the VERCE platform allows waveforms from the full 3D simulations to be easily produced, allowing us to quantify the validity of both the velocity model and the source mechanisms. These simulations therefore provide an independent test of the velocity models produced synthetically and by travel time tomography studies. Initial results show that the waveform is reasonably well reproduced in the 0.05 - 0.25 frequency band using a refined 3D travel time tomography, and locally calculated focal mechanisms.

  15. Mineral rheological constraints on the stress limits in the subduction zone and its applications to deep earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, J.

    2013-12-01

    Most deep earthquakes occur in subduction zone and there are almost no earthquakes at the depth over 700 km. Some previous studies showed that the cufoff of the deepest earthquakes are related to the absence of the transformational faulting caused by metastable phase or loss strength of slab due to superplasticity. Here we report that the low stress limit in deep subduction zone caused by perovskite rheological properties can account for this issue. In this study, the possible limits of stress accumulation at different depth in subduction zone were obtained by considering both the dislocation creep of minerals and the elastic deformation of the subducted slab. Firstly, the basic condition of stress accumulation was supposed to be that the elastic strain rate generated by plate motion is no less than the creep rate of the minerals in subduction zone. Secondly, the temperatures in the subduction zone were obtained by simulating the slab using kinematic method and the slab subduction velocity was supposed to be 5~10 cm per year. The limits of elastic strain at different depths were determined by supposing that the plate displacement was completely converted to elastic deformation. Furthermore, the elastic strain was assigned at different depths according to the phase distribution and compressibility. Finally, the dislocation creep rate for the possible minerals (olivine, wadsleyite, ringwoodite and perovskite) in subduction zone against temperatures were plotted at a range of 0.1~1000 MPa. The stress accumulation limits at different depths in the subduction zone during one year were obtained from the above plots by constraining the temperatures and the elastic strain. Our results showed that in the subduction zone the stress limits decrease by one or two orders of magnitude with increasing depth and phase transformation. In the slab where olivine dominates, stress can be accumulated to over 1000 MPa if there are no earthquakes occurring. In the area where wadsleyite and ringwoodite exist, stresses are around 100 MPa. However, at the depth where perovskite dominates, the maximum is only around 10 MPa. If we apply the stress (10~30 MPa) by the geophysical observation as the usual values in the subduction zone, in perovskite phase area, there are no earthquakes because dislocation creep can dissipate the extra stress. However in other mineral phase areas, earthquakes are needed to keep the relatively constant stress. We think that the rheological characteristics of perovskite can account for the focal depth limit of earthquakes in subdcution zone and there is no need the transformational faulting caused by the olivine-spinel transformation or superplasticity of ringwoodite dissociation products.

  16. Sweet Spot Tremor Triggered by Intraslab Earthquakes in the Nankai Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aiken, C.; Obara, K.; Peng, Z.; Chao, K.; Maeda, T.

    2014-12-01

    Deep tectonic tremor has been observed at several major plate-bounding faults around the Pacific Rim. Tremor­ in these regions can be triggered by small stresses arising from solid earth tides as well as passing seismic waves of large, distant earthquakes. While large, distant earthquakes are capable of repeatedly triggering tremor in the same region (i.e., a sweet spot), it is less understood how intraslab earthquakes interact with sweet spot tremor areas. We conduct a systematic survey of tremor triggered in the Nankai subduction zone by intraslab earthquakes to better understand what governs fault slip along the Eurasian-Philippine Sea Plate boundary. We examine 3 tremor sweet spots in the Nankai subduction zone: Shikoku West, Kii North, and Tokai. In each region, we select earthquakes from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) catalog that occur from mid-2009 to mid-2014 with magnitude (M) greater than 2, that occur within the down-going Philippine Sea Plate, and within a 300 km epicentral distance of the sweet spot region. Using these selection criteria, we obtain ~1,200 earthquakes in each region. We examine a tremor catalog immediately before and after these local events as well as visually inspect filtered waveforms from short-period Hi-net seismic stations surrounding the sweet spot areas to identify additional tremor signals. From our initial analysis, we have identified 18 clear cases of increased tremor activity immediately following intraslab earthquakes in Shikoku West, most of which occur down-dip of the Shikoku West sweet spot. In comparison, we have identified only 5 triggering earthquakes in Kii North, and our investigation at Tokai is still ongoing. Our results so far are in agreement with triggering susceptibility being dependent upon background activity rates, as has been suggested for remote triggering of microearthquakes in geothermal regions by large, distant earthquakes as well as for remotely triggered tremor in the Nankai subduction zone. Next, we plan to evaluate whether the observed triggering cases reflect a true causal relationship between intraslab earthquakes and interplate tremors or if the observations are due to coincidence. By doing so, we aim to better understand the physical mechanisms responsible for the triggering of the sweet spot tremor in the Nankai subduction zone.

  17. Trace element behavior in hydrothermal experiments: Implications for fluid processes at shallow depths in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    You, C.-F.; Castillo, P. R.; Gieskes, J. M.; Chan, L. H.; Spivack, A. J.

    1996-05-01

    Chemical evaluation of fluids affected during progressive water-sediment interactions provides critical information regarding the role of slab dehydration and/or crustal recycling in subduction zones. To place some constraints on geochemical processes during sediment subduction, reactions between décollement sediments and synthetic NaCl-CaCl 2 solutions at 25-350°C and 800 bar were monitored in laboratory hydrothermal experiments using an autoclave apparatus. This is the first attempt in a single set of experiments to investigate the relative mobilities of many subduction zone volatiles and trace elements but, because of difficulties in conducting hydrothermal experiments on sediments at high P-T conditions, the experiments could only be designed for a shallow (˜ 10 km) depth. The experimental results demonstrate mobilization of volatiles (B and NH 4) and incompatible elements (As, Be, Cs, Li, Pb, Rb) in hydrothermal fluids at relatively low temperatures (˜ 300°C). In addition, a limited fractionation of light from heavy rare earth elements (REEs) occurs under hydrothermal conditions. On the other hand, the high field strength elements (HFSEs) Cr, Hf, Nb, Ta, Ti, and Zr are not mobile in the reacted fluids. The observed behavior of volatiles and trace elements in hydrothermal fluids is similar to the observed enrichment in As, B, Cs, Li, Pb, Rb, and light REEs and depletion in HFSEs in arc magmas relative to magmas derived directly from the upper mantle. Thus, our work suggests a link between relative mobilities of trace elements in hydrothermal fluids and deep arc magma generation in subduction zones. The experimental results are highly consistent with the proposal that the addition of subduction zone hydrous fluids to the subarc mantle, which has been depleted by previous melting events, can produce the unique characteristics of arc magmas. Moreover, the results suggest that deeply subducted sediments may no longer have the composition necessary to generate the other distinct characteristics, such as the B-? 11 B and B- 10Be systematics, of arc lavas. Finally, the mobilization of B, Cs, Pb, and light REEs relative to heavy REEs in the hydrothermal fluids fractionate the ratios of B/Be, B/Nb, Cs/Rb, Pb/Ce, La/Ba and LREE/HREE, which behave conservatively during normal magmatic processes. These results demonstrate that the composition of slab-derived fluids has great implications for the recycling of elements; not only in arc magmas but also in mantle plumes.

  18. Thermal Regime of the Makran Subduction Zone and Relationship to Past and Future Megathrust Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, G. L.; McNeill, L. C.; Wang, K.; He, J.; Henstock, T.

    2012-12-01

    The Makran subduction zone in the northern Arabian Sea is an end-member among global subduction zones due to the thickness of its input sediment section, a very wide (>200km) accretionary prism, the shallow dip of the subducting plate and relatively old subducting lithosphere (70-100Ma). In general, seismicity in the Makran is relatively low when compared to most other subduction zones such as Nankai or Chile. However, the margin experienced a tsunamigenic Mw 8.1 earthquake in 1945, possibly with a shallow thrust focal mechanism supported by previous dislocation modelling of uplift data. More recent smaller-magnitude offshore earthquakes also suggest seismicity on the plate interface. Seismicity on the shallow part of the megathrust beneath the outer accretionary prism at this margin is surprising considering conventional models for the position of the plate boundary seismogenic zone and the very thick sediment section on the subducting oceanic plate. The extreme thickness of incoming sediment (>7km) at the Makran has previously led to the suggestion that this margin may have a strong aseismic component, reasons being perceived presence of overpressured fluids and low strength of unconsolidated sediment. However, overpressure may in fact not be significant and the state of sediment consolidation depends on the in situ temperature and pressure conditions. To further understand the seismogenic potential of this margin we have developed a 2-D thermal model along a representative profile of the subduction zone, constrained by limited surface heat flow observations. The geometry of the model is constructed from seismic reflection data, seismicity where present, and the position of the volcanic arc. The estimated thermal structure and heat flow of the model are compared with heat flow data from the offshore prism, including direct probe measurements and values derived from depths to the base of the gas-hydrate stability zone (BSR). The primary results from the thermal modelling are twofold. 1) The high sediment cover on the incoming oceanic plate leads to high (~150°) plate boundary temperatures at the deformation front making the megathrust potentially seismogenic to a very shallow depth, and 2) If the downdip seismogenic limit is defined by a temperature of 350-450°C, the shallow dip of the subducting plate (and so shallow dip of the thermal contours) leads to a wide potential seismogenic zone. These results suggest that, though there may be an aseismic zone in the outermost accretionary prism, the thermal characteristics of the Makran do not preclude a significant megathrust rupture, with a possible shallow component. Potential earthquake rupture areas and subsequent magnitudes are generated based on these constraints of the seismogenic zone.

  19. Upper-mantle seismic discontinuities and the thermal structure of subduction zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vidale, J.E.; Benz, H.M.

    1992-01-01

    The precise depths at which seismic velocities change abruptly in the upper mantle are revealed by the analysis of data from hundreds of seismometers across the western United States. The boundary near 410 km depth is locally elevated, that near 660 km depressed. The depths of these boundaries, which mark phase transitions, provide an in situ thermometer in subduction zones: the observed temperature contrasts require at least moderate thickening of the subducting slab near 660 km depth. In addition, a reflector near 210 km depth may mark the bottom of the aesthenosphere.

  20. Deformation and mantle flow beneath the Sangihe subduction zone from seismic anisotropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Leo, J. F.; Wookey, J.; Hammond, J. O. S.; Kendall, J.-M.; Kaneshima, S.; Inoue, H.; Yamashina, T.; Harjadi, P.

    2012-03-01

    Subduction of oceanic lithosphere is the most direct feedback between the Earth's surface and deep interior. However, the detail of its interaction with the broader convecting mantle is still unclear. Mantle flow around subduction zones can be constrained using seismic anisotropy, but despite many such studies, a simple global picture is lacking. The Sangihe subduction zone (where the Molucca Sea microplate is subducting westward beneath the Eurasian plate) is part of the tectonically complex Sulawesi-Philippine region, and an ideal natural laboratory to study complex subduction processes. We investigate the anisotropic structure of the Sangihe subduction zone with shear wave splitting measurements of local S and SKS phases at two stations (MNI in Sulawesi, DAV in the Philippines), as well as downgoing S phases at five stations at teleseismic distances. Combining different phases allows a better vertical resolution of anisotropic fabrics than is possible with a single phase. The broad depth distribution of local events (˜60-630 km) allows us to observe a change in splitting behaviour at ˜380 km depth: above, fast directions (?) are trench-parallel and delay times (?t) are ˜0.34-0.53 s with no increase with depth. We suggest this anisotropy is caused by aligned cracks, possibly melt-filled beneath the volcanic arc, and fossil anisotropy in the overriding plate. Below ˜380 km, ? is predominantly trench-normal and ?t are slightly higher (˜0.53-0.65 s). As no correlation is observed with inferred distance travelled inside the slab, we attribute this anisotropy to shear layers atop the slab, which are coherent from ˜200 to 400 km depth and perhaps extend into the transition zone. SKS and source-side measurements show larger ?t (˜1.53 and 1.33 s, respectively) and trench-parallel ?. Since these phases predominantly sample sub-slab mantle, we consider along-strike lateral flow associated with the double-sided subduction of the Molucca Sea microplate to be the most likely explanation. We thus infer three dominant regions of anisotropy at the Sangihe subduction zone: one within the overriding lithosphere, one along the slab-wedge interface, and one below the subducting Molucca Sea slab. The mantle wedge above 200 km depth and the slab itself do not seem to contribute notably to the measured anisotropy. This study demonstrates the insight seismic anisotropy can provide into mantle dynamics even in tectonically complex subduction systems.

  1. Crustal structure and continental dynamics of Central China: A receiver function study and implications for ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Chuansong; Dong, Shuwen; Chen, Xuanhua; Santosh, M.; Li, Qiusheng

    2014-01-01

    The Qinling-Tongbai-Hong'an-Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt records the tectonic history of Paleozoic convergence between the South China and North China Blocks. In this study, the distribution of crustal thickness and P- and S-wave velocity ratio (Vp/Vs) is obtained by using the H-k stacking technique from the Dabie-Sulu belt in central China. Our results show marked differences in the crustal structure between the Dabie and Sulu segments of the ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) orogen. The lower crust in the Dabie orogenic belt is dominantly of felsic-intermediate composition, whereas the crust beneath the Sulu segment is largely intermediate-mafic. The crust of the Dabie orogenic belt is thicker by ca. 3-5 km as compared to that of the surrounding region with the presence of an ‘orogenic root’. The crustal thickness is nearly uniform in the Dabie orogenic belt with a generally smooth crust-mantle boundary. A symmetrically thickened crust in the absence of any deep-structural features similar to that of the Yangtze block suggests no supportive evidence for the proposed northward subduction of the Yangtze continental block beneath the North China Block. We propose that the collision between the Yangtze and North China Blocks and extrusion caused crustal shortening and thickening, as well as delamination of the lower crust, resulting in asthenospheric upwelling and lower crustal UHP metamorphism along the Dabie Orogen. Our results also reveal the presence of a SE to NW dipping Moho in the North China Block (beneath the Tran-North China Orogen and Eastern Block), suggesting the fossil architecture of the northwestward subduction of the Kula plate.

  2. Implications of estimated magmatic additions and recycling losses at the subduction zones of accretionary (non-collisional) and collisional (suturing) orogens

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scholl, D. W.; Von Huene, R.

    2009-01-01

    Arc magmatism at subduction zones (SZs) most voluminously supplies juvenile igneous material to build rafts of continental and intra-oceanic or island arc (CIA) crust. Return or recycling of accumulated CIA material to the mantle is also most vigorous at SZs. Recycling is effected by the processes of sediment subduction, subduction erosion, and detachment and sinking of deeply underthrust sectors of CIA crust. Long-term (>10-20 Ma) rates of additions and losses can be estimated from observational data gathered where oceanic crust underruns modern, long-running (Cenozoic to mid-Mesozoic) ocean-margin subduction zones (OMSZs, e.g. Aleutian and South America SZs). Long-term rates can also be observationally assessed at Mesozoic and older crust-suturing subduction zone (CSSZs) where thick bodies of CIA crust collided in tectonic contact (e.g. Wopmay and Appalachian orogens, India and SE Asia). At modern OMSZs arc magmatic additions at intra-oceanic arcs and at continental margins are globally estimated at c. 1.5 AU and c. 1.0 AU, respectively (1 AU, or Armstrong Unit,= 1 km3 a-1 of solid material). During collisional suturing at fossil CSSZs, global arc magmatic addition is estimated at 0.2 AU. This assessment presumes that in the past the global length of crustal collision zones averaged c. 6000 km, which is one-half that under way since the early Tertiary. The average long-term rate of arc magmatic additions extracted from modern OMSZs and older CSSZs is thus evaluated at 2.7 AU. Crustal recycling at Mesozoic and younger OMSZs is assessed at c. 60 km3 Ma-1 km-1 (c. 60% by subduction erosion). The corresponding global recycling rate is c. 2.5 AU. At CSSZs of Mesozoic, Palaeozoic and Proterozoic age, the combined upper and lower plate losses of CIA crust via subduction erosion, sediment subduction, and lower plate crustal detachment and sinking are assessed far less securely at c. 115 km3 Ma-1 km-1. At a global length of 6000 km, recycling at CSSZs is accordingly c. 0.7 AU. The collective loss of CIA crust estimated for modern OMSZs and for older CSSZs is thus estimated at c. 3.2 AU. SZ additions (2.7 AU) and subtractions (23.2 AU) are similar. Because many uncertainties and assumptions are involved in assessing and applying them to the deep past, the net growth of CIA crust during at least Phanerozoic time is viewed as effectively nil. With increasing uncertainty, the long-term balance can be applied to the Proterozoic, but not before the initiation of the present style of subduction at c. 3 Ga. Allowing that since this time a rounded-down rate of recycling of 3 AU is applicable, a startlingly high volume of CIA crust equal to that existing now has been recycled to the mantle. Although the recycled volume (c. 9 ?? 109 km3) is small (c. 1%) compared with that of the mantle, it is large enough to impart to the mantle the signature of recycled CIA crust. Because subduction zones are not spatially fixed, and their average global lengths have episodically been less or greater than at present, recycling must have contributed significantly to creating recognized heterogeneities in mantle geochemistry. ?? The Geological Society of London 2009.

  3. Automatic detection of low-frequency earthquakes in the Mexican subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank, W.; Shapiro, N. M.; Kostoglodov, V.; Husker, A. L.; Campillo, M.; Payero, J. S.; Prieto, G. A.

    2013-05-01

    We use data from the MesoAmerican Subduction Experiment to detect and locate low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs) in the Mexican subduction zone. The analysis is based on visually-identified templates that are used to perform a network waveform correlation search that produces ~17,000 robustly detected LFEs that form 15 distinct families. Stacking a LFE family's corresponding detections results in seismograms with clear P- and S-wave arrivals; these travel times are then used to locate the sources. The locations superpose a region of permanent NVT activity (reported as a Sweet Spot by Husker et al. [2012]). The LFE family hypocenters have been located at a depth of 40 - 45 km in an area that is surrounding the upper slab-plate interface. We characterize their focal mechanisms by comparing their stacked seismograms to synthetic seismograms with varying moment tensors revealing a common low-dipping thrusting focal mechanism. To further explore the LFE activity in the Mexican subduction zone and to perform a more in-depth characterization of this phenomenon, it is necessary to greatly expand the number of LFE families. To achieve this, we are implementing an automatic detection algorithm that explores the signal coherency across the whole network.

  4. Effect of depth-dependent shear modulus on tsunami generation along subduction zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geist, E.L.; Bilek, S.L.

    2001-01-01

    Estimates of the initial size of tsunamis generated by subduction zone earthquakes are significantly affected by the choice of shear modulus at shallow depths. Analysis of over 360 circum-Pacific subduction zone earthquakes indicates that for a given seismic moment, source duration increases significantly with decreasing depth (Bilek and Lay, 1998; 1999). Under the assumption that stress drop is constant, the increase of source duration is explained by a 5-fold reduction of shear modulus from depths of 20 km to 5 km. This much lower value of shear modulus at shallow depths in comparison to standard earth models has the effect of increasing the amount of slip estimated from seismic moment determinations, thereby increasing tsunami amplitude. The effect of using depth dependent shear modulus values is tested by modeling the tsunami from the 1992 Nicaraguan tsunami earthquake using a previously determined moment distribution (lhmle??, 1996a). We find that the tide gauge record of this tsunami is well matched by synthetics created using the depth dependent shear modulus and moment distribution. Because excitation of seismic waves also depends on elastic heterogeneity, it is important, particularly for the inversion of short period waves, that a consistent seismic/tsunami shear modulus model be used for calculating slip distributions.

  5. Water supplement by silica diagenesis in cold subduction zone: an implication for the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hina, S.; Hamada, Y.; Kameda, J.; Yamaguchi, A.; Kimura, G.

    2011-12-01

    The fluid existing at plate interfaces in subduction zone makes a strong effect on seismicity and fault slip of the plate boundary megathrusts. As a source of the fluid, pore fluid included in subducting sedimentsand dehydration reaction of clay minerals have been discussed in detail, however, dewatering from siliceous sediments such as diatom and radiolarian ooze are poorly investigated in spite of their major occurrence in old oceanic plate. Silica in the siliceous sediment is transformed from amorphous silica into quartz via cristobalite phase (Opal A ? Opal CT ? Quartz) releasing structured water. In this study, we evaluate the amount of dehydration from siliceous sediment in subducting plate. Silica diagenesis and dehydration are calculated quantitatively introducing reaction kinetics (Mizutani, 1970) and temperature profile models of the Japan Trench, a cold type subduction zone where the siliceous sediments subduct in (Peacock and Wang, 1999; Wang and Suyehiro, 1999; Wada and Wang, 2009; Kimura et al., submitted). As a result, through this diagenetic conversion, structured water of silica minerals is released as much as 140g/m^2/year at shallow plate boundary (~13km depth below the sea floor), where the temperature is about ~100 -~120°C. This water should generate an excess pore pressure which drops effective stress and rock strength along the décollement. Dehydration of silica can play an important role in slip propagation to shallow portion of plate boundary as the Grate Tohoku Earthquake (9 March 2011).

  6. Subduction-zone earthquake complexity related to frictional anisotropy in antigorite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campione, Marcello; Capitani, Gian Carlo

    2013-10-01

    Earthquakes generated in subduction zones are caused by unstable movements along faults. This fault-slip instability is determined by frictional forces that depend on the temperature, pressure, morphology and deformation state of the fault rocks. Fault friction may also be influenced by preferred mineral orientations. Over-thrusting of rocks at the interface between a subducting slab and the overlying mantle wedge generates shear deformation that causes minerals to align, and this preferred mineral orientation affects the propagation of shear seismic waves. Here we use laboratory experiments to simulate fault slip in antigorite, the most abundant hydrous mineral phase within Earth's upper mantle. Using atomic force microscopy, we show that antigorite single crystals possess strong frictional anisotropy on their basal slip surface and that preferred mineral alignment extends this property to a regional scale. Depending on the alignment, fault movements can occur along a high-friction direction, creating stick-slip behaviour that generates earthquakes. In contrast, if movements occur along a low-friction direction, the mantle wedge will deform aseismically. Our results imply that mantle rocks in subduction-zone thrust faults can exhibit two opposite frictional behaviours, seismic and aseismic.

  7. Ambient seafloor noise excited by earthquakes in the Nankai subduction zone.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25635384

  8. Locking of the Chile subduction zone controlled by fluid pressure before the 2010 earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno, Marcos; Haberland, Christian; Oncken, Onno; Rietbrock, Andreas; Angiboust, Samuel; Heidbach, Oliver

    2014-04-01

    Constraints on the potential size and recurrence time of strong subduction-zone earthquakes come from the degree of locking between the down-going and overriding plates, in the period between large earthquakes. In many cases, this interseismic locking degree correlates with slip during large earthquakes or is attributed to variations in fluid content at the plate interface. Here we use geodetic and seismological data to explore the links between pore-fluid pressure and locking patterns at the subduction interface ruptured during the magnitude 8.8 Chile earthquake in 2010. High-resolution three-dimensional seismic tomography reveals variations in the ratio of seismic P- to S-wave velocities (Vp/Vs) along the length of the subduction-zone interface. High Vp/Vs domains, interpreted as zones of elevated pore-fluid pressure, correlate spatially with parts of the plate interface that are poorly locked and slip aseismically. In contrast, low Vp/Vs domains, interpreted as zones of lower pore-fluid pressure, correlate with locked parts of the plate interface, where unstable slip and earthquakes occur. Variations in pore-fluid pressure are caused by the subduction and dehydration of a hydrothermally altered oceanic fracture zone. We conclude that variations in pore-fluid pressure at the plate interface control the degree of interseismic locking and therefore the slip distribution of large earthquake ruptures.

  9. Subduction-Driven Recycling of Continental Margin Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levander, A.; Bezada, M. J.; Niu, F.; Palomeras, I.; Thurner, S.; Humphreys, E.; Miller, M. S.; Carbonell, R.; Gallart, J.; Schmitz, M.

    2014-12-01

    While subduction recycling of oceanic lithosphere is one of the central themes of plate tectonics, recycling continental lithosphere appears far more complicated and is less well understood. Delamination and convective downwelling are two widely recognized processes invoked to explain the removal of lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts. Here we describe another process that can lead to the loss of continental lithosphere adjacent to a subduction zone: Subducting oceanic plates can entrain and recycle lithospheric mantle from an adjacent continent and disrupt the continental lithosphere far inland from the subduction zone. Seismic images from recent dense broadband arrays on opposite sides of the Atlantic show higher than expected volumes of positive anomalies identified as the subducted Atlantic (ATL) slab under northeastern South America (SA), and the Alboran slab beneath the Gibraltar arc region (GA). The positive anomalies lie under and are aligned with the continental margins at depths greater than 200 km. Closer to the surface we find that the continental margin lithospheric mantle is significantly thinner than expected beneath the orogens adjacent to the subduction zones. Thinner than expected lithosphere extends inland as far as the edges of nearby cratonic cores. These observations suggest that subducting oceanic plates viscously entrain and remove continental mantle lithosphere from beneath adjacent continental margins, modulating the surface tectonics and pre-conditioning the margins for further deformation. The latter can include delamination of the entire lithospheric mantle, as around GA, inferred by results from active and passive seismic experiments. Secondary downwellings develop under the continental interior inland from the subduction zone: We image one under SA and one or more in the past were likely under GA. The process of subduction-driven continental margin lithosphere removal reconciles numerous, sometimes mutually exclusive, geodynamic models proposed to explain the complex oceanic-continental tectonics of these two subduction zones.

  10. A tremor and slip event on the CocosCaribbean subduction zone as measured by a global positioning system (GPS) and seismic

    E-print Network

    Biggs, Juliet

    ; published 12 October 2010. [1] In May 2007 a network of global positioning systems (GPS) and seismic), A tremor and slip event on the CocosCaribbean subduction zone as measured by a global positioning systemA tremor and slip event on the CocosCaribbean subduction zone as measured by a global positioning

  11. Boron isotopes of sediments and pore-fluids in the Costa Rica subduction zone and their implications for fluid-rock interaction and geochemical cycling

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. Deyhle; A. Kopf; A. Eisenhauer; K. Wallmann

    2003-01-01

    Only very little is known about boron isotopic compositions of continuous siliceous sedimentary successions in the forearcs of subduction zones. In order to evaluate the B geochemical cycle and fluid-rock interactions at convergent margins, the knowledge of the boron isotopic composition of the subducting sediment component is important. The Costa Rican subduction zone offshore the Nicoya Peninsula is non-accretionary and

  12. Seismic characteristics of outer-rise earthquakes in the different seismic coupling subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Hsin-Hua; Lin, Jing-Yi

    2013-04-01

    Characterizing the seismogenic zone of major subduction plate boundaries provides us a possible to reduce large earthquakes hazard. In the past several decades, many scientists have analyzed various geophysical methods and datasets, such as seismic and geodetic ground motion data, historical tsunami deposits, aftershock distributions, and seafloor bathymetry, trying to understand the mechanisms behind great devastating earthquakes, and to estimate the probability of a major earthquake occurrence in the future. In this study, by using the global earthquake catalog (GCMT) from January 1, 1976 to December 31, 2011. We firstly re-examines the outer-rise earthquake model proposed by the Christensen (1988) at the subduction zones suggested to have different coupling levels. The compressive stress cumulated during the subducting processes are often reflected by the occurrence of compressional outer-rise earthquakes. Thus, in the region where the compressional outer-rise earthquakes take place without any corresponding large underthrusting earthquakes, the seismic potential is usually considered to be high. We re-examined the high seismic potential areas determined by this criteria in Christensen (1988) and confirm that the large underthrusting earthquakes did really occur in the 30 years following the appearance of compressional outer-rise events, such as in Tonga region in the vicinity of 20S, a Mw 8.3 large earthquake occurred in 2006. This result represents that the outer-rise earthquake model could be an indicator for the generation of large earthquakes along subduction zones. In addition, to have a more accurate estimation for the seismic potential, we discuss the relationship between the generation of earthquakes and the change of cumulative gravitational potential energy caused by earthquakes (?GPE) over time. Our result shows an acceleration of ?GPE before large earthquakes. Our result also shows that the extensional outer-rise events for strong seismic coupling subduction zone only presented after the occurrence of earthquakes with magnitude larger than 8, for instance, after the 2012 March Mw 9.0 Tohoku, the 2010 February Mw 8.8 Chili and the 2006 November Mw8.3 Kamchatka earthquakes, which is consistent with the analysis performed by Christensen (1988). Based on our analysis, the outer rise earthquakes occur immediately after the main event which does not coincide with the result stating in Christensen (1988) that they occur in the 30 years after the earthquake. In addition, the duration of the extensional outer-rise earthquakes occurrence appears to be correlated with its magnitude. Meanwhile, for the earthquakes with magnitude smaller than 8, as well as in the weak coupling areas, this observation is not engaged.

  13. Seismological investigations of the subduction zone plate interface: New advances and challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rietbrock, Andreas; Garth, Tom; Hicks, Stephen

    2015-04-01

    In the last decade, huge advances have been made in analysing the slip distribution of large megathrust earthquakes and how slip relates to geodetic locking, shedding light on the character of the seismic cycle in subduction zones. Recently, a number of studies have suggested that at convergent plate boundaries, geodetic locking may be closely related to slip distribution of subsequent large earthquakes, as found recently for the Maule 2010 and Tohoku 2011 earthquakes. However, the physical (e.g. seismic) properties along the subduction zone interface are still poorly constrained, posing a major limitation to our physical understanding of both geodetic locking and earthquake rupture process. Here, we present high-resolution seismic tomography results (P- and S-wave velocity), as well as earthquake locations to make a detailed investigation of seismic properties along the portion of the plate interface that ruptured during the 2010 Maule earthquake. Additionally, to test the robustness of our models, we performed numerous numerical tests including changes to the parameterization, synthetic recovery tests and bootstrap analysis. We find P-wave velocities of about 5.7 km/s at 10 km depth and linearly increasing to 7.5 km/s at a depth of 30 km. Between 30 km and 43 km, P-wave velocities are relatively constant at around 7.5 km/s before a subsequent increase to 8.3 km/s at larger depths (>60 km) is observed. The Poisson's ratio is significantly elevated, at values of up to 0.35 at shallow depths of 10km to 15km, before reaching less elevated values of 0.28-0.29 in the depth range between 20km and 43km. Comparison of these velocities to petrological models shows good agreement below 30 - 50 km depth. At shallower depths though P-wave velocities are significantly lower, which together with the elevated poisons ratio indicates that this portion of the mega thrust is highly hydrated, suggesting that material properties may in part control the seismogenic character of subduction megathrusts Comparison of our findings to other regional tomographic models from other subduction zones worldwide (Japan, Sumatra) shows excellent agreements with our results.

  14. Marine electromagnetics: A new tool for mapping fluids at subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Key, K.; Naif, S.; Constable, S.; Evans, R. L.

    2013-12-01

    The recent adoption of marine electromagnetic (EM) methods by the hydrocarbon exploration industry has driven technological innovations in acquisition hardware and modeling software that have created new opportunities for studying plate boundary structure at subduction zones. Because the bulk electrical resistivity measured by EM surveys is strongly dependent on crustal porosity and hence fluid content, EM data can provide valuable constraints on crustal hydration in the incoming oceanic plate, fluids released through sediment compaction and dehydration reactions occurring after the plate is subducted, and fluids escaping through the overlying forearc crust. Since water also plays an important role in regulating subduction earthquake processes and frictional behavior along the plate boundary, EM data have the potential to reveal new insights on the causes of large subduction zone earthquakes and their potential for generating tsunamis. As a demonstration of this novel technique, we present new results from the first controlled-source EM survey of a subduction zone, carried out at the Middle America Trench offshore Nicaragua in 2010. During this survey 50 seafloor EM receivers were deployed along a 280 km profile extending from the abyssal plain, across the trench and onto the forearc. Controlled-source EM signals were broadcast to the receivers by deep-towing a low-frequency electric dipole transmitter close to the seafloor along the entire survey profile, generating diffusive EM waves that traveled through the crust and uppermost mantle. Non-linear two-dimensional inversion of the data reveals a significant decrease in crustal resistivity with the onset of bending faults at the trench outer rise and images a continuous zone of low resistivity porous sediments being carried down with the subducting plate to at least 10 km down dip from the trench. Further landward at about 25 km from the trench, a sub-vertical low-resistivity zone extending from the plate boundary into the overlying forearc crust is consistent with the fluid release expected from the smectite-illite transformation and occurs directly beneath the location of known seafloor fluid seeps. Potential future surveys at other margins such as Cascadia, Alaska, New Zealand and Japan and integrated interpretation with other geophysical, geochemical and geological studies offers the chance for greatly enhancing our understanding of subduction processes.

  15. Talc and "talc"-bearing dehydrating serpentinite rheology within subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilairet, N.; Wang, Y.; Reynard, B.

    2008-12-01

    Fluids released by subducting slabs hydrate peridotites within the mantle wedge and produce weak phyllosilicates in significant quantities (1). Depending on the original chemistry of peridotites and on the silica content of the fluids, either talc or the high-pressure (HP) variety of serpentine antigorite, or both, can form down to 180 km depth. A talc-like phase is also produced transiently during serpentine dehydration (2). The extent to which such weak materials at the slab-mantle wedge interface can influence the dynamics of subduction zones from human (seismicity - post-seismic ground deformations) to geological (convection) timescales is still unknown. Promising deformation experiments on antigorite have shown that its low strength makes it a potential actor for governing silent earthquakes that release elastic energy in subduction zones and for localizing deformation at the slab interface, thereby modifying the mantle wedge convection, heat fluxes and seismic anisotropy (3). The strength of talc at low pressure is also exceptionally low compared to other silicates (4) and at sub-surface conditions the weakness of talc is thought to govern deformation in major faults such as San Andreas (5). At low pressures (< 500 MPa), talc behaves cataclastically and hardly achieves distributed deformation (4). However, higher pressures should promote crystal plasticity i.e. different deformation mechanisms in talc. Investigating the rheology of talc, and talc-bearing assemblage during serpentine dehydration, at P-T conditions corresponding to subducting slabs, is necessary in order to better understand localization of deformation in the slab-mantle wedge interface as well as the nature of this interface. We conducted deformation experiments using the D-DIA (6) apparatus at GSE-CARS (APS sector 13), with in situ strain and stress measurements using synchrotron X-ray imaging and diffraction, respectively. Stress-strain data were obtained on talc at P-T conditions between 2 and 5 GPa, and T between 350 and 700C, at strain rates between 10-4 and 10-5 s-1. Dehydration of serpentine was conducted around 4 GPa and 10-5 s-1. The results will be presented together with their implications, in particular the influence of the talc-like phase within a dehydrating serpentine, and more generally for subduction zones dynamics. 1 Ulmer and Trommsdorff GSA spec. publ. (1999). 2 Perrillat et al EPSL (2005) 3 Hilairet et al Science (2007) 4 Escartin et al EPSL (2008) 5 Moore and Rymer Nature (2007) 6 Wang et al RSI (2003)

  16. Subduction zone Hf-anomalies: Mantle messenger, melting artefact or crustal process?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woodhead, Jon; Hergt, Janet; Greig, Alan; Edwards, Louise

    2011-04-01

    The origin of Hf elemental depletions in subduction zone magmas is investigated using new major- and trace-element data for cumulate xenoliths from the Mariana arc, and deep sea sediments recovered by the DSDP and ODP drilling programmes. Results indicate that most of the rare earth element (REE) and Hf inventory in the xenoliths is contained within two minerals—clinopyroxene and titanomagnetite—and that removal of a typical gabbroic fractionating assemblage reduces the depletion in Hf relative to neighbouring REE on a mantle normalised trace element diagram (commonly denoted Hf/Hf*) in the evolving magmas. Confirmation of this observation is provided by a variety of literature data from different subduction zones in which bulk-rock samples also define a positive correlation between Hf/Hf* and the silica content of the magmas. In agreement with experimental studies on REE-HFSE partitioning, we observe that the ability of clinopyroxene to influence the Hf/Hf* of fractionating magmas is associated with its aluminium content. This decoupling of Hf from the REE in differentiating arc magmas suggests that bulk rock Hf/Hf* values, when used in isolation, are unlikely to provide a robust measure of source REE-Hf characteristics, even when suites are filtered to exclude all but the most mafic samples. It may be possible to normalise data to a constant degree of fractionation, and in this way distinguish subtle changes in source Hf/Hf* but most existing datasets are of neither the size nor quality to attempt such calculations. Modification of Hf/Hf* is also seen when modelling mantle melting processes and there are strong suggestions that source variations are influenced by not only subducted sediment, which exhibits a remarkably wide range in Hf/Hf*, but also subduction zone fluids. These observations remove some of the constraints imposed on recent models that attempt to reconcile Hf isotope data with Hf-REE abundance data in some arc suites. Although a case may be made for the involvement of residual, minor, phases in the downgoing slab, fluid and sediment addition, and the role of major phases during partial melting, in particular clinopyroxene, in the mantle wedge can also exert a strong influence on Hf-REE relationships.

  17. The Effects of the Brittle-Ductile Transition on the India-Asia Intracontinental Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cannon, J. M.; Murphy, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    The intracontinental subduction zone between India and Asia is termed the Main Himalayan thrust. Beneath the range front and Lesser Himalaya the subduction interface is locked and only ruptures during great earthquakes. However beneath the High Himalaya and southern Tibet a rheologic transition from brittle to ductile deformation along the subduction zone has been defined based on microseismicity, geodesy, and thermal modelling. Geodetic data suggests that the crust above the transition zone strains to accommodate much of India-Asia interseismic convergence as southern Tibet creeps toward the locked portion of the Main Himalayan thrust. We combine regional geology with stream profile analysis, thermal modelling, geodesy, and microseismicity to understand spatial and temporal characteristics of the intracontinental subduction in this region of the Himalaya. This continuous flux of material against the locked portion of the subduction zone stores elastic strain which drives great earthquakes that rupture the plate boundary from southern Tibet to the range front. While the brittle-ductile transition zone stores a significant amount of interseismic strain it has also been a locus of permanent shortening and crustal thickening as shown by the presence of the Dolpo and Manaslu folds in Nepal and Kakhtang thrust in Bhutan, which were all active in the Middle Miocene. The forelimb of the Dolpo fold, a 400 km long 50 km half wavelength gentle fold, coincides with a 200 km x 50 km swath of oversteepened river channels indicative of rapid rock uplift suggesting the fold is currently being uplifted and shortened. The Dolpo fold experienced persistent shortening and crustal thickening despite being located adjacent to, and active concurrently with the Gurla Mandhata core complex indicating simultaneous N-S shortening and E-W extension implying a constrictional train field since the Middle Miocene. We interpret the Dolpo fold to reflect an active antiformal duplex along the Main Himalayan thrust in which shear zones stack ductile lower-middle crust and propagate into the seismogenic upper crust becoming nucleation sites for microseismicity. We predict the position of the duplex to be controlled not by a footwall ramp but rather by the transition from ductile to brittle rheology along the Main Himalayan thrust.

  18. Automated Monitoring of Non-Volcanic Tremors in Southwest Japan Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suda, N.; Ishihara, Y.; Nakata, R.; Kusumi, T.

    2005-12-01

    Activities of low-frequency tremors, which occur in the non-volcanic region of southwest Japan along the subduction zone of the Philippine Sea plate, often show slow migration of tremor sources with a speed of about 10 km/day and quasi-periodicity of occurrence with an interval of 2--6 months. Such characteristics seem to be related to fluid liberated from the subducting slab. Monitoring of tremor activities therefore may lead us to elucidation of fluid property and its role in the subduction zone. To monitor activities of low-frequency tremors in real-time, we have developed the automatic detection and hypocenter determination system using real-time data from the commutation-satellite seismic telemetry system. We divide the tremor region into 6 subregions, and use 8--12 vertical-component seismic data to monitor the tremor activity in each subregion. Before applying the detection method, we preprocess real-time data by applying the bandpass filter with a frequency band of 1--10 Hz, resampling them from 100 Hz to 20 Hz, calculating their envelopes, and finally applying the moving average with a time window of 3 seconds. The automatic detection method is based on a two-step numerical statistical test: the first test is for examining whether given two envelopes with a length of 2 minutes are correlated or not, and the second for examining whether an event occur or not in this time window using results of the first test. If an event is detected then the automatic hypocenter determination method is applied. In this method time lags for the maximum cross-correlations obtained in the detection method are utilized as traveltime difference data, and hypocenters are determined by minimizing the absolute residual using the simplex method. The results obtained by the automatic detection method are consistent to those determined by visual inspection of waveforms, and also the results obtained by the automatic hypocenter determination are consistent to those determined by the conventional traveltime analysis of envelope waveforms. Thus our system is useful for real-time monitoring of the tremors, and consequently will provide basic data for investigation of the subduction zone associated with great earthquakes.

  19. Dehydration Behavior of Metapelites and Metabasites at Very low to low Grade Metamorphic Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Massonne, H.; Willner, A. P.

    2007-12-01

    Thermodynamic calculations have been undertaken in the system Na-Ca-K-Fe-Mg-Al-Si-Ti-H-O with the PERPLE_X software package (Connolly, 1990 and updates) for a better understanding of the dehydration behavior of metapelites and metabasites during prograde metamorphism. To obtain reasonable results for the temperature range 150-450° C at pressures up to 25 kbar, the subsequent solid solution models were introduced being compatible with the applied thermodynamic data set of Holland & Powell (1998 and updates): a three component model for Mg-Fe2+-Fe3+-pumpellyite, a two component model for Fe2+-Mg- stilpnomelane, a four component amphibole model (tremolite - Fe2+-tremolite - glaucophane - Mg- riebeckite), and a four component Na-pyroxene model (acmite - jadeite - diopside - hedenbergite). The water contents released by prograde metamorphism up to 450° C from MORB and psammopelitic compositions on top of oceanic crust, were obtained by calculating P-T pseudosections. Metabasite contains 6-7 wt% H2O bound to minerals at 150° C depending on the oxidation state. Along geotherms lower than 7° C/km typical for young subduction zones, no water is released up to 400° C. However, reduction of the rock causes release of small amounts of water. Metapsammopelitic rocks also store about 6 wt% H2O in minerals at 150° C. Considerable amounts of water are liberated by mineral reactions already in the temperature range 150-250° C also at the above mentioned low geotherms. This behavior determines the rheological characteristics of the upper oceanic crust during early subduction. If water is exclusively released in the sedimentary portion of the downgoing crust only this material gets weakened to be scraped off to form accretionary wedges. At geotherms of 15-20° C/km both lithologies show significant dehydration at very low metamorphic grade. For instance, in cold frontal paleoaccretionary prisms of the Chilean Coastal Cordillera metapelites by far dominate whereas in hotter basal accretionary prisms both low grade basic oceanic crust and continental sediments occur. We also hypothesize that accretionary wedge complexes with a clear dominance of sediments should not have formed in hot subduction zones typical for Precambrian Earth.

  20. Metamorphism and Continental Collision

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    Kenneth Howard

    Physical Geology students are required to understand the processes involved in plate tectonics. They are expected to know the geologic differences between continents and ocean basins and should be able to recall and use simple geologic terms to describe geologic processes and events. This activity is designed to improve student comprehension of the varied Earth materials and complex processes involved in plate collisions. The activity synthesizes material covered during the first eight weeks of Physical Geology on plate tectonics, rock types, volcanoes, and Earth's composition. The instructor introduces the exercise to the students as a component of the college's Critical Thinking Initiative. The "hook" for the students is that the exercise represents a chance for self-appraisal of course content and understanding prior to the next semester test. The grading rubric for the lab is discussed with the students in terms of the Bloom Pyramid so that they can assess their level of progress in the course.

  1. Potential links between porphyry copper deposits and exhumed metamorphic basement complexes in northern Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, Frances; Docherty, Alistair; Perkins, Rebecca

    2014-05-01

    Porphyry copper deposits (PCDs) are typically associated with magmatic arcs in compressional subduction zone settings where thickened crust and fractionated calc-alkaline magmas produce favourable conditions for copper mineralisation. A classic example is the Eocene-Oligocene PCD belt of Chile, the world's leading copper producing country. In other parts of the world, older late Cretaceous to early Tertiary PCDs are found in regions of former subduction-related magmatism that have undergone subsequent post-orogenic crustal extension, such as the Basin and Range province of western North America, and the Eurasian Balkan-Carpathian-Dinaride belt. In the Basin and Range there is a striking correlation between the location of many PCDs and exhumed metamorphic core complexes (isolated remnants of the middle to lower crust exhumed during extensional normal faulting). This close spatial relationship raises questions about the links between the two. For example, are their exhumation histories related? Could the presence of impermeable metamorphic rocks at depth affect and localise mineralising fluids? In Chile there appears to be a similar spatial relationship between PCDs and isolated outcrops of exhumed metamorphic basement. In northern Chile, isolated exposures of high-grade metamorphic gneisses and amphibolites are thought to be exhumed remnants of the pre-subduction Proterozoic-Paleozoic continental margin of Gondwana [2], although little is known about when they were exhumed and by what mechanism. For example, the Limón Verde metamorphic complex, exhumed from a depth of ca. 50 km, is situated adjacent to Chuquicamata, the largest open pit copper mine in the world. In northernmost Chile, another metamorphic exposure, the Belén complex, sits close to the Dos Hermanos PCD, a small deposit that is not actively mined. Comprising garnet-bearing gneisses and amphibolites, the Belén is thought to have been exhumed from a depth of ca. 25 km, but when and how is unclear [3]. We present new mapping, structural analysis, and geochronologic data from both the Limón Verde and the Belén metamorphic complexes and explore the relationship between these isolated outcrops and PCD formation in northern Chile. References: [1] Seedorff et al., 2008, Root Zones of Porphyry Systems: Extending the Porphyry Model to Depth, Ec. Geol., 103, 939-956. [2] Hervé et al., 2007, Metamorphic and Plutonic basement complexes, in: The Geology of Chile, Geol. Soc. Lond., 5-19. [3] Wörner et al., 2000, Precambrian and Early Paleozoic evolution of the Andean basement at Belen (northern Chile) and Cerro Uyarani (western Bolivia Altiplano), 13, 717-737.

  2. Two types of peridotite in North Qaidam UHPM belt and their tectonic implications for oceanic and continental subduction: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Shuguang; Su, Li; Niu, Yaoling; Zhang, Guibin; Zhang, Lifei

    2009-07-01

    Two types of peridotites are recognized in the North Qaidam continental-type UHP metamorphic belt. (1) Garnet peridotite, which includes garnet lherzolite, garnet-bearing dunite, garnet-free dunite and garnet pyroxenite, is one of the most informative lithologies in a continental-type subduction zone. Observations such as diamond inclusion in a zircon crystal and decompression exsolutions in garnet and olivine, plus thermobarometric calculations, argue that this garnet peridotite must have derived from mantle depths in excess of 200 km. Geochemical data reveal that the protolith of the garnet peridotite is largely of cumulate origin from high-Mg melts in a sub-arc mantle wedge environment rather than a abyssal peridotite. (2) Oceanic lithospheric mantle harzburgite, which occurs together with a meta-cumulate complex (including garnet pyroxenite and kyanite-eclogite) and with eclogite of MORB protolith. They are interpreted as exhumed blocks of the subducted oceanic lithosphere formed in the Cambrian (˜500-550 Ma). The presence of these two types of peridotites in the same continental-type subduction belt is unique and they allow a better understanding of the tectonic history of the North Qaidam continental-type UHP belt in particular and processes of plate tectonic convergence from oceanic lithosphere subduction to continental collision/subduction in general.

  3. Modeling the influence of Moho topography on receiver functions: A case study from the central Hellenic subduction zone

    Microsoft Academic Search

    B. Endrun; L. Ceranna; T. Meier; M. Bohnhoff; H.-P. Harjes

    2005-01-01

    Pseudospectral 2D modeling of wave propagation provides a fresh look at receiver function data from the Hellenic subduction zone. It is shown that distinct Moho topography, which is suggested for this complex subduction environment from various geophysical data sets, can provide a conclusive explanation for previously observed ``inverted'' Moho phases in the forearc as well as for a complex sequence

  4. Modeling the influence of Moho topography on receiver functions: A case study from the central Hellenic subduction zone

    Microsoft Academic Search

    B. Endrun; L. Ceranna; T. Meier; M. Bohnhoff; H.-P. Harjes

    2005-01-01

    Pseudospectral 2D modeling of wave propagation provides a fresh look at receiver function data from the Hellenic subduction zone. It is shown that distinct Moho topography, which is suggested for this complex subduction environment from various geophysical data sets, can provide a conclusive explanation for previously observed “inverted” Moho phases in the forearc as well as for a complex sequence

  5. Hf-Nd input flux in the Izu-Mariana subduction zone and recycling of subducted material in the mantle

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Catherine Chauvel; Jean-Christophe Marini; Terry Plank; John N. Ludden

    2009-01-01

    In subduction zones, two major mass fluxes compete: the input flux of altered oceanic crust and sediments subducted into the mantle and the output flux of magma that forms the volcanic arc. While the composition and the amount of material erupted along volcanic arcs are relatively well known, the chemical and isotopic composition of the subducted material (altered oceanic crust

  6. Erratum to Empirical Ground-Motion Relations for Subduction Zone Earthquakes and Their Application to Cascadia and Other Regions

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Gail M. Atkinson; David M. Boore

    2008-01-01

    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

  7. Comparison of gravity anomaly between mature and immature intra-oceanic subduction zones in the western Pacific

    E-print Network

    Comparison of gravity anomaly between mature and immature intra-oceanic subduction zones. In the isostatic residual gravity anomaly map, the width of non- isostatically-compensated region of the mature attraction due to seafloor is removed, a large difference exists between the mature and immature subduction

  8. Identifying coseismic subsidence in tidal-wetland stratigraphic sequences at the Cascadia subduction zone of western North America

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Alan R. Nelson; Ian Shennan; Antony J. Long

    1996-01-01

    Tidal-wetland stratigraphy reveals that great plate boundary earthquakes have caused hundreds of kilometers of coast to subside at the Cascadia subduction zone. However, determining earthquake recurrence intervals and mapping the coastal extent of past great earthquake ruptures in this region are complicated by the effects of many sedimento!ogic, hydrographic, and oceanographic processes that occur on the coasts of tectonically passive

  9. Geochemical and biogeochemical observations on the biological communities associated with fluid venting in Nankai Trough and Japan Trench subduction zones

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. Boulègue; E. L. Benedetti; D. Dron; A. Mariotti; R. Létolle

    1987-01-01

    We have studied the compositions and structure of the lamellibranchia Calyptogena sp associated with fluid venting in subduction zones off Japan. The gills of the Calyptogena are the habitat of symbiotic bacteria which develop owing to chemoautotrophy. They most probably assimilate hydrogen sulfide, methane and\\/or carbon dioxide and reduce nitrogen. The isotopic budget of methane uptake enables to establish the

  10. Shallow Thermal Conditions in the Central and Southern Cascadia Subduction Zone J.R. McKenna1

    E-print Network

    Southern Methodist University

    > 9) subduction zone thrust earthquakes. Thermal cross- sections based on measured heat flow on the instrumental record, almost no shallow thrust (interslab) earthquakes have occurred in the forearc region. Most that a large shallow thrust fault earthquake occurred about 300 years ago along the CSZ [e.g., Atwater, 1987

  11. Short Notes Variability of Near-Term Probability for the Next Great Earthquake on the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Stephane Mazzotti; John Adams

    2004-01-01

    The threat of a great (M 9) earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone is evidenced by both paleoseismology data and current strain accumulation along the fault. On the basis of recent information on the characteristics of this subduction system, we estimate the conditional probabilities of a great earthquake occurring within the next 50 years and their variabilities. The most important

  12. The energy release in earthquakes, and subduction zone seismicity and stress in slabs. Ph.D. Thesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vassiliou, M. S.

    1983-01-01

    Energy release in earthquakes is discussed. Dynamic energy from source time function, a simplified procedure for modeling deep focus events, static energy estimates, near source energy studies, and energy and magnitude are addressed. Subduction zone seismicity and stress in slabs are also discussed.

  13. Slab Rollback and Subduction Erosion Model for the North Pamir - Alai Intracontinental Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sobel, E. R.; Schoenbohm, L. M.; Chen, J.; Thiede, R. C.; Stockli, D. F.; Sudo, M.

    2011-12-01

    Cenozoic convergence between the North Pamir and the Tien Shan is thought to have been primarily accommodated along the south-dipping intracontinental Alai subduction zone. The North Pamir has moved ~300 km north with respect to stable Asia along the surface trace of this subduction, the Main Pamir Thrust (MPT) system, subducting the basin now represented only by the Alai Basin and the westernmost portion of the Tarim Basin. As there is no evidence that the Tien Shan has moved southward during the late Cenozoic, we suggest that significant northward motion of the North Pamir is best explained as a consequence of slab rollback in a contractile setting. The ca. 500 km along-strike width of the North Pamir is extremely short for a subduction zone; the belt is highly concave. Published compilations show that short plate segments are characterized by strong curvature and rapid slab rollback rates. The MPT system has previously been treated as a large overthrust. The hanging wall of such a large structure should have experienced significant exhumation. However, new and previously published thermochronologic data show that the North Pamir experienced only minor late Cenozoic exhumation. If the North Pamir is viewed as the overriding plate in a subduction zone, the lack of significant exhumation may be explained by subduction erosion, which can remove material from the toe of the overriding plate without causing significant crustal thickening. Subduction erosion is common in slab rollback settings. In our model, early-middle Miocene north-south extension in the E-W trending Central Pamir domes is related to back-arc extension, while the 11 Ma Taxkorgan alkali complex and subsequent east-west extension in the N-S trending Kongur detachment are related to slab rollback edge effects. Published studies of the deformation history of the Alai Basin, westernmost Tarim, and Tien Shan suggest two main periods of Cenozoic deformation: in the Oligo-Miocene and since the mid-Miocene or Pliocene. We suggest that the first episode predates intracontinental subduction, when deformation could have been distributed throughout the region. Following the onset of subduction, perhaps linked to ca. 25 Mya breakoff of the Indian slab, most of the shortening between the NP and Tien Shan was accommodated in a narrow zone bounded by the MPT. As thicker, more rigid crust and / or a thicker sedimentary section entered the subduction zone, the degree of coupling between the two plates would have increased, causing the mid-Miocene - Pliocene deformation in the Alai Basin, westernmost Tarim, and Tien Shan. Progressively greater coupling can explain the difficulty in dating this collision. Intracontinental subduction is absent on the north flank of Tibet, likely because the Tarim block is too buoyant to be subducted. The consequences of the different boundary conditions may explain the different Neogene deformation styles of these regions.

  14. Anisotropy and mantle flow in the Chile-Argentina subduction zone from shear wave splitting analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Megan L.; Zandt, George; Triep, Enrique; Fouch, Matthew; Beck, Susan

    2004-12-01

    We examine shear wave splitting in teleseismic phases to observe seismic anisotropy in the South American subduction zone. Data is from the CHARGE network, which traversed Chile and western Argentina across two transects between 30°S and 36°S. Beneath the southern and northwestern parts of the network, fast polarization direction ($\\varphi$) is consistently trench-parallel, while in the northeast $\\varphi$ is trench-normal the transition between these two zones is gradual. We infer that anisotropy sampled by teleseismic phases is localized within or below the subducting slab. We explain our observations with a model in which eastward, Nazca-entrained asthenospheric flow is deflected by retrograde motion of the subducting Nazca plate. Resulting southward flow through this area produces N-S $\\varphi$ observed in the south and northwest; E-W $\\varphi$ result from interaction of this flow with the local slab geometry producing eastward mantle flow under the actively flattening part of the slab.

  15. Seismotectonics of accretive versus erosive subduction zones - insights from analog seismic cycle simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenau, M.; Bachmann, R.; Oncken, O.

    2007-12-01

    Accretive and erosive subduction zones differ both in their forearc structure and seismic release character. For instance the greatest historical megathrust earthquakes concentrated along accretive margins, tectonically characterized by forearc shortening (e.g. Sumatra, Southern Chile, Alaska), whereas erosive margins, tectonically characterized by forearc extension (e.g. Peru, Kuriles), have often been the locus of tsunami earthquakes (i.e. slow and shallow events). Here we investigate the implied link between internal forearc deformation and megathrust seismogenesis and its implications for seismic hazard in subduction zones. We interpret quasi two- dimensional plastoelastic (allowing deformation to localize, permanent shortening dominates) and elastoplastic (elastic deformation dominates, minor internal deformation) granular wedge models as analogs of accretive and erosive subduction forearcs, respectively, overlying a rate-state frictional plate interface which represents a seismogenic megathrust. Experimental observations support current hypotheses that internal forearc deformation is controlled by stress changes associated with the megathrust seismic cycle: Consistent with the theory of dynamic Coulomb wedges, coseismic compression at the updip limit of great earthquakes triggers shallow postseismic forearc deformation. Plastic shortening of the outer forearc wedge and shallow afterslip both are interpreted as transient postseismic relaxation mechanisms with the first being dominant in plastoelastic/accretive settings and the second being dominant in elastoplastic/erosive settings. Interseismically, permanent crustal shortening localizes in both settings above the downdip limit of great earthquakes and may lead to uplift of a coastal cordillera. Longterm coastal uplift rates at elastoplastic/erosive margins are about one order of magnitude lower than in plastoelastic/accretive settings, and associated with permanent crustal extension above the seismogenic zone. Extension here appears as an effect of postseismic relaxation coeval to interseismic reloading. Internal shortening of plastoelastic/accretive margins reduces the subduction velocity stretching the recurrence intervals. We found, however, no evidence for that longer recurrence intervals lead to larger earthquake slip (e.g. due to stronger healing effects). Consequently, the seismic moment release rate tends to be smaller at accretive than at erosive margins, at least in the 2D case presented here. Since megathrust earthquakes of magnitude 8 and higher gain their size not primarily by increasing coseismic slip but by unzipping larger parts of the plate interface along strike of the subduction zone, the historical concentration of great events along accretive margins, if statistically significant, is probably a 3D effect associated with lateral rupture propagation. These findings may have important implications for seismic hazard in subduction zones since (1) forearc anatomy is suggested to reflect the seismogenic structure at depth, for instance in accretive settings, (2) erosive settings tend to release elastic energy by shallow megathrust afterslip and thus have a generally higher risk of tsunami earthquakes than accretive margins and (3) erosive margins are characterized by more frequent megathrust earthquakes than accretive margins. Very great earthquakes along accretive margins may be triggered either by a longer wavelength along-strike-segmentation of the subduction interface or by more synchronized seismic cycles of neighboring segments compared to erosive margins thus boosting lateral rupture propagation during a single giant event.

  16. High-resolution image of the North Chilean subduction zone: seismicity, reflectivity and fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bloch, W.; Kummerow, J.; Salazar, P.; Wigger, P.; Shapiro, S. A.

    2014-06-01

    We obtained high-precision locations for 5250 earthquakes in the Iquique segment of the northern Chilean subduction zone from two temporary local seismic networks around 21°S. A double seismic zone in the downgoing Nazca slab can be clearly identified. One band of seismicity is located at the plate interface and a second one 20-25 km deeper in the oceanic mantle. It can be traced updip to uncommonly shallow levels of 50 km. A combined interpretation of seismicity and reflectivity along the seismic ANCORP'96 experiment suggests the prevalence of fluid processes in the subducted oceanic crust as well as in the uppermost 20 km of the mantle. Crustal seismicity is pervasive below the Coastal Cordillera. Beneath the Precordillera, the lower bound of crustal seismicity delineates a sharp west-dipping boundary down to 20 km depth, consistent with earlier findings indicating a rheological boundary.

  17. H2O transport and release in subduction zones: Experimental constraints on basaltic and andesitic systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poli, Stefano; Schmidt, Max W.

    1995-11-01

    Phase relationships in natural andesitic and synthetic basaltic systems were experimentally investigated from 2.2 to 7.7 GPa, and 550°C to 950°C, in the presence of an aqueous fluid, in order to determine the stability of hydrous phases in natural subducted crustal material and to constrain reactions resulting in the release of water from subduction zones to the mantle wedge. Water reservoirs in subducted oceanic crust at depths exceeding the amphibole stability field (>70-80 km) are lawsonite (11 wt % H2O), Mg-chloritoid (8 wt %), talc (5 wt %), and zoisite-clinozoisite (2 wt %) in basaltic rocks; and lawsonite, zoisite-clinozoisite, phengite (4 wt %) and staurolite (2 wt %) in andesitic compositions. The thermal stability of lawsonite at 6.0 GPa extends to ?800°C and 870°C in basaltic and andesitic compositions, respectively. At pressures above amphibole-out (2.3-2.5 GPa) lawsonite reacts through continuous reactions with steep positive dP/dT slopes to zoisite-clinozoisite (until 3.0-3.2 GPa), and at higher pressures (to more than 7.7 GPa) to assemblages containing garnet + clinopyroxene and garnet + clinopyroxene + kyanite in basaltic and andesitic compositions, respectively. On the contrary, the breakdown of zoisite-clinozoisite is mainly pressure-sensitive. Phengite represents the hydrous phase with the largest stability field encountered in this study. In andesite, phengite is stable to more than 7.7 GPa and more than 920°C. Talc and staurolite contribute in minor amounts to the water balance in basaltic and andesitic rock compositions. A model for water release from the subducted slab is developed combining thermal models for subduction zones with the experimentally determined phase relationships. Up to 1 wt % and 2 wt % H2O in basaltic and andesitic rocks, respectively, can be stored to depths beyond 200 km in cold subduction zones, mainly by lawsonite and phengite. Dehydration rates are high until amphibole-out, and relatively low at greater depths. The amphibole-out reactions are found to release a significant amount of water in a depth interval of several kilometers, however, they do not represent a discrete pulse of fluid and do not completely dehydrate the descending slab. Fluid release at depths greater than 200 km through phengite and progressive lawsonite breakdown would hydrate the overlying mantle, causing the generation of amphibole or phlogopite peridotite. At higher geothermal gradients, epidote/zoisite contributes to fluid flux to the mantle wedge at 100-120 km depth. The extensive stability field of phengite may greatly enhance the role of sediments and the small amount of potassium in mafic compositions for the fluid budget in subduction zones at increasing depth.

  18. Long-term perspectives on giant earthquakes and tsunamis at subduction zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Satake, K.; Atwater, B.F.

    2007-01-01

    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.

  19. Deep low-frequency earthquakes in tremor localize to the plate interface in multiple subduction zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, J.R.; Beroza, G.C.; Ide, S.; Ohta, K.; Shelly, D.R.; Schwartz, S.Y.; Rabbel, W.; Thorwart, M.; Kao, H.

    2009-01-01

    Deep tremor under Shikoku, Japan, consists primarily, and perhaps entirely, of swarms of low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs) that occur as shear slip on the plate interface. Although tremor is observed at other plate boundaries, the lack of cataloged low-frequency earthquakes has precluded a similar conclusion about tremor in those locales. We use a network autocorrelation approach to detect and locate LFEs within tremor recorded at three subduction zones characterized by different thermal structures and levels of interplate seismicity: southwest Japan, northern Cascadia, and Costa Rica. In each case we find that LFEs are the primary constituent of tremor and that they locate on the deep continuation of the plate boundary. This suggests that tremor in these regions shares a common mechanism and that temperature is not the primary control on such activity. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  20. Diversity of tsunamigenic earthquakes along the Sunda subduction zone: 2004- 2006

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geist, E. L.

    2006-12-01

    In the past three years, three major tsunamigenic earthquakes have occurred along the Sunda subduction zone that spanned a wide range of tsunami generating capacity. In this study, the efficiency of tsunami excitation is measured by average and maximum observed local runup relative to the scalar seismic moment of the earthquake. The overall severity of the tsunami from the Mw~9.2 December 26, 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake closely matched that expected from an earthquake of this magnitude. In contrast, the March 28, 2005 Nias earthquake was deficient in tsunami excitation for an earthquake of Mw=8.7. The tsunami from the latest earthquake along the subduction zone, the Mw=7.7 July 17, 2006 Java event, was greater than expected and in fact, was greater in terms of average and maximum runup than the March 2005 event. Seismogenic tsunamis are primarily generated from coseismic vertical displacement of the seafloor in response to slip on a fault. The variation in tsunamis from these three earthquakes can be explained by dip-directed variations in the distribution of slip or moment density over the rupture area. Moment density concentrated up dip along the interplate thrust results in four effects that contribute to increased tsunami excitation: (1) a strong reduction in shear modulus in the shallow part of subduction zone results in greater slip for a given moment density; (2) the circumstance of seafloor rupture results in a traction free boundary condition that increases the amount of slip near the trench, in comparison to an imbedded rupture; (3) shallower fault depth below the seafloor results in greater vertical displacement for a given amount of slip; and (4) an increase in the water depth over tsunami generation regions near the trench results in greater amplification of tsunami waves during shoaling according to Green's Law. The difference, therefore, in tsunami excitation from the March 2005 and July 2006 earthquakes can be ascribed to the fact that most of the energy release for the former event was concentrated in the downdip region of the interplate thrust, whereas initial seismic data suggests that most of the energy release for the latter was near the trench. For very long ruptures such as for the December 2004 earthquake, there also can be significant along-strike variability in the rupture process that affects the detailed distribution of local tsunami runup. A large amount of slip near the trench in the southern part of the rupture zone, as deduced from deep-ocean satellite altimetry measurements, resulted in the region of highest runup observed in the western Aceh Province. In contrast, slip along other regions of the long rupture was concentrated in the down dip extent of rupture and was less efficient in generating the tsunami. While we can start to understand the details of tsunami generation in hindsight, the more fundamental issue is understanding the physics of subduction earthquakes to explain why slip and moment release is distributed in particular patterns. This involves understanding "pre-seismic" effects such as the variation in frictional properties with depth and how stresses along the fault have evolved in response to previous earthquakes and tectonic loading. Understanding the dynamics of subduction earthquakes is equally important, in determining, for example, under what conditions earthquakes may rupture to the seafloor and dynamic branching onto secondary thrusts. A better understanding of subduction earthquake physics, combined with new deep-ocean measurements of tsunamis from an expanded network of bottom pressure sensors near the world's subduction zones, can lead to improvements in our ability to assess the hazards from future tsunamis.

  1. Nonextensivity at the Circum-Pacific subduction zones-Preliminary studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scherrer, T. M.; França, G. S.; Silva, R.; de Freitas, D. B.; Vilar, C. S.

    2015-05-01

    Following the fragment-asperity interaction model introduced by Sotolongo-Costa and Posadas (2004) and revised by Silva et al. (2006), we try to explain the nonextensive effect in the context of the asperity model designed by Lay and Kanamori (1981). To address this issue, we used data from the NEIC catalog in the decade between 2001 and 2010, in order to investigate the so-called Circum-Pacific subduction zones. We propose a geophysical explanation to nonextensive parameter q. The results need further investigation however evidence of correlation between the nonextensive parameter and the asperity model is shown, i.e., we show that q-value is higher for areas with larger asperities and stronger coupling.

  2. Unlocking the Secrets of the Mantle Wedge: New Insights Into Melt Generation Processes in Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grove, T. L.

    2007-05-01

    Recent laboratory studies of the melting and crystallization behavior of mantle peridotite and subduction zone lavas have led to new insights into melting processes in island arc settings. Melting of the mantle wedge in the presence of H2O begins at much lower temperatures than previously thought. The solidus of mantle peridotite at 3 GPa is ~ 800 °C, which is 200 °C below previous estimates. At pressures greater than 2.4 GPa chlorite becomes a stable phase on the solidus and it remains stable until ~ 3.5 GPa. Therefore, melting over this pressure range occurs in the presence of chlorite, which contains ~ 12 wt. % H2O. Chlorite stabilized on the peridotite solidus by slab-derived H2O may be the ultimate source of H2O for subduction zone magmatism. Thus, chlorite could transport large amounts of H2O into the descending mantle wedge to depths where it can participate in melting to generate hydrous arc magmas. Our ability to identify primitive mantle melts at subduction zones has led to the following observations. 1) Primitive mantle melts show evidence of final equilibration at shallow depths near the mantle - crust boundary. 2) They contain variable amounts of dissolved H2O (up to 6 wt. %). 3) They record variable extents of melting (up to > 25 wt. %). To produce melts with such variable characteristics requires more than one melting process and requires consideration of a new type of melting called hydrous flux melting. Flux melting occurs when the H2O - rich melt initially produced on the solidus near the base of the mantle wedge ascends and continuously reacts with overlying hotter, shallower mantle. The mantle melts and magmatic H2O content is constantly diluted as the melt ascends and reacts with shallower, hotter mantle. Anhydrous mantle melts are also found in close temporal and spatial proximity to hydrous flux melts. These melts are extracted at similar depths near the top of the mantle wedge when mantle is advected up and into the wedge corner and melted by adiabatic decompression. In light of these new insights into the chemical processes that lead to melt generation in subduction zones, further study of the influence of mantle dynamics and physical processes on melting is crucial. Variations in mantle permeability near the base of the wedge may exercise important controls on the access of fluids and/or melts to the overlying wedge. The presence of chlorite in the wedge may also influence rheological properties and seismicity in the vicinity of the slab - wedge interface. Improved knowledge of rheology and permeability will help us to develop more robust models of mantle flow and temperature distribution in the mantle wedge. These are crucial for refining melting models. By combining evidence from petrology, geochemistry and geophysics the mysteries that attend the generation of melt in the mantle wedge can be resolved.

  3. Deformation Mechanisms of Antigorite Serpentinite at Subduction Zone Conditions Determined from Experimentally and Naturally Deformed Rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Auzende, A. L.; Escartin, J.; Walte, N.; Guillot, S.; Hirth, G.; Frost, D. J.

    2014-12-01

    The rheology of serpentinite, and particularly that of antigorite-bearing rocks, is of prime importance for understanding subduction zone proceses, including decoupling between the downwelling slab and the overriding plate, exhumation of high-pressure rocks, fluids pathways and, more generally, mantle wedge dynamics. We present results from deformation-DIA experiments on antigorite serpentinite performed under conditions relevant of subduction zones (1-3.5 GPa ; 400-650°C). We complemented our study with a sample deformed in a Griggs-type apparatus at 1 GPa and 400°C (Chernak and Hirth, EPSL, 2010), and with natural samples from Cuba and the Alps deformed under blueschist/eclogitic conditions. Our observations on experimental samples of antigorite deformed within its stability field show that deformation is dominated by cataclastic flow; we can only document a minor contribution of plastic deformation. In naturally deformed samples, deformation-related plastic structures largely dominate strain accommodation, but we also document a minor contribution of brittle deformation. When dehydration occurs in experiments, plasticity increases, and is coupled to local embrittlement attributed to hydraulic fracturating due to the migration of dehydration fluids. Our results thus show that semibrittle deformation operates within and above the stability field of antigorite. We also document that the corrugated structure of antigorite has a control on the strain accommodation mechanisms under subduction conditions, with preferred inter and intra-cracking along (001) and gliding along both a and b. Deformation dominated by brittle processes, as observed in experiments, may occur during deformation at elevated (seismic?) strain rates, while plastic deformation, as observed in naturally deformed rocks, may correspond instead to low strain rates instead (aseismic creep?). We also discuss the role of antigorite rheology and mode of deformation on fluid transport.

  4. Deformation mechanisms of antigorite serpentinite at subduction zone conditions determined from experimentally and naturally deformed rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Auzende, Anne-Line; Escartin, Javier; Walte, Nicolas P.; Guillot, Stéphane; Hirth, Greg; Frost, Daniel J.

    2015-02-01

    We performed deformation-DIA experiments on antigorite serpentinite at pressures of 1-3.5 GPa and temperatures of between 400 and 650 °C, bracketing the stability of antigorite under subduction zone conditions. For each set of pressure-temperature (P-T) conditions, we conducted two runs at strain rates of 5 ×10-5 and 1 ×10-4 s-1. We complemented our study with a sample deformed in a Griggs-type apparatus at 1 GPa and 400 °C (Chernak and Hirth, 2010), and with natural samples from Cuba and the Alps deformed under blueschist/eclogitic conditions. Optical and transmission electron microscopies were used for microstructural characterization and determination of deformation mechanisms. Our observations on experimentally deformed antigorite prior to breakdown show that deformation is dominated by cataclastic flow with observable but minor contribution of plastic deformation (microkinking and (001) gliding mainly expressed by stacking disorder mainly). In contrast, in naturally deformed samples, plastic deformation structures are dominant (stacking disorder, kinking, pressure solution), with minor but also perceptible contribution of brittle deformation. When dehydration occurs in experiments, plasticity increases and is coupled to local embrittlement that we attribute to antigorite dehydration. In dehydrating samples collected in the Alps, embrittlement is also observed suggesting that dehydration may contribute to intermediate-depth seismicity. Our results thus show that semibrittle deformation operates within and above the stability field of antigorite. However, the plastic deformation recorded by naturally deformed samples was likely acquired at low strain rates. We also document that the corrugated structure of antigorite controls the strain accommodation mechanisms under subduction conditions, with preferred inter- and intra-grain cracking along (001) and gliding along both a and b. We also show that antigorite rheology in subduction zones is partly controlled by the presence of fluids, which can percolate within the exhumation channel via deformation-induced interconnected porosity.

  5. An experimental study of the stability of dolomite, ankerite and kutnohorite in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morlidge, M. F.; Pawley, A. R.

    2003-04-01

    Subduction zones recycle large amounts of CO2 back into the Earth's interior. The amount of CO2_ emitted from arc volcanism appears to be less than that subducted. It is therefore assumed that the additional CO_2 is either released before magma generation or is subducted to greater depths within the upper mantle. Investigations into the stability of solid solution carbonates (Ca,Mg,Fe,Mn) have been carried out using multi-anvil apparatus at 5-8 GPa and 500-1000^oC. The reaction of dolomite [CaMg(CO_3)2] to aragonite plus magnesite has been bracketed at 6 GPa between 760^oC and 800^oC and at 8 GPa between 1050^oC and 1100^oC. The bracketing of this reaction compares well with the experimental results of Sato and Katsura (2001), but differs from those of Luth (2001). Ankerite [CaFe(CO_3)2] breakdown to aragonite plus siderite has been bracketed at 5 GPa between 740^oC and 800^oC and at 7 GPa between 950^oC and 1000^oC. The reaction of kutnohorite [CaMn(CO_3)2] to aragonite plus rhodochrosite has also been studied. Comparison of the results of the experiments on dolomite and ankerite stability with modelled geotherms within subduction zones, suggests that aragonite, magnesite and siderite are stable under cold geotherms, whereas dolomite and ankerite are stable under hotter geotherms. Luth, R.W. (2001) Contrib Mineral Petrol, 141, 222-232. Sato, K. and Katsura, T. (2001) Earth Planet Sci Letters, 184, 529-534.

  6. Interseismic deformation along the Philippine Fault system and Manila subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Y.; Yu, S.; Loveless, J. P.; Bacolcol, T.

    2013-12-01

    Southern Taiwan and Luzon is bounded between the Sunda plate and the Philippine Sea plate. The Philippine Sea plate converges obliquely with the Sunda plate with a rate of 50-90 mm/yr and results in a major sinistral strike-slip fault, the Philippine fault, extending 1300 km from Luzon to Mindanao. Using GPS data collected between 2000 and 2013 as well as a block modeling approach, we decompose the crustal motion into multiple rotating blocks, homogeneous intrablock strain, and the elastic deformation due to fault slip at block boundaries. Our preferred model composed of 9 blocks, produced a mean residual velocity of 3.1 mm/yr at 92 GPS stations. The estimated slip rates on the Philippine fault increase toward the south, from ~10 mm/yr at latitude 17°N to ~40 mm/yr at latitude 15°N. Estimated slip rates on the Philippine fault are higher than the long-term geological slip rates of 9-17 mm/yr, partly due to the postseismic deformation of the 1990 Ms 7.9 Luzon earthquake. Along the Manila subduction zone, estimated slip rates are ~70 mm/yr on the northern segment (offshore SW Taiwan, 21°N~22.5°N), ~10 mm/yr on the central segment (17°N~20°N), and 20 mm/yr on the southern segment (14°N~17N). High plate coupling ratios is inferred at shallow depths on the northern Manila subduction zone, although the resolution is poor due to sparse GPS data. The central segment is likely to be creeping and the southern segment is possibly partially locked.

  7. Structure of the Lesser Antilles subduction zone backstop and its role in a large accretionary system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bangs, Nathan L.; Christeson, Gail L.; Shipley, Thomas H.

    2003-07-01

    The role of a backstop in subduction zones has been the subject of numerous laboratory and numerical modeling studies; however, few field observations exist revealing how backstops control deformation in subduction zones and accretionary wedge construction. A seismic reflection and refraction survey acquired in 1998 with the R/V Maurice Ewing reveals the geometry of the forearc igneous crust, accretionary wedge, and forearc basin structure of the northern Guadeloupe area of the Lesser Antilles forearc. An accreted block of buoyant crust, accreted in the late Miocene, forms the toe of the overriding arc crust and forms the backstop. We imaged the top of this surface, beneath the forearc basin, to its seaward edge where it meets the subducting oceanic crust. The toe of the backstop was thrust upward and forms a steep buttress in contact with the lower half of the accretionary wedge. The steep buttress produces a narrow inner deformation zone with minimal backthrusting of the accretionary complex landward over the backstop, and a narrow <10 km transition between accreted and forearc basin sediment. Seismic reflections from the subducting crust and the decollement appear beneath the entire accretionary wedge and below the backstop toe. Separating the decollement and the subducting crust is an interval, usually between 500 and 750 m, of underthrust sediment carried underneath the accretionary wedge and subducted 15 km landward and beneath the toe of the backstop. We speculate that the upturned geometry of the toe of the backstop and a weak fluid-rich decollement may facilitate sediment subduction beneath the backstop and potentially into the mantle.

  8. Offshore Structure of the Cascadia Subduction Zone from Full-wave Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, H.

    2014-12-01

    We construct a preliminary offshore model of the crust and uppermost mantle at the Cascadia subduction zone using a full-wave tomographic method. We include the ocean bottom seismometers deployed by the Cascadia Initiative community experiment and Neptune Canada from 2011-2013, and the available broadband stations on land. We have extracted the empirical Green's functions from continuous seismic records on the vertical components of the OBS and inland station pairs with a frequency-time normalization method, which provide useful Rayleigh-wave signals within the periods of 7-50 s. We have also selected ~50 regional earthquakes between 2011-2013 offshore of the Cascadia subduction zone, which generated useful surface-wave signals up to 75 s period. We simulate wave propagation within a 3D Earth structure using a finite-difference method to generate a station Strain Greens Tensor database and synthetic waveforms. Rayleigh wave phase delays are obtained by cross-correlating the observed and synthetic waveforms. The sensitivity kernels of Rayleigh waves on the perturbations of Vp and Vs are calculated based on the Strain Greens Tensor database. We then invert for the velocity perturbation from the reference model and progressively improve the model resolution. Our preliminary full-wave tomographic imaging using the EGFs and earthquake Rayleigh waves shows: (1) Segmented low-velocity anomalies along the forearc, which are spatially correlated with the patterns of offshore basins and high slip patches; (2) Low velocities beneath the Blanco fracture zone; (3) The distribution of pseudofaults defines the seismic velocity heterogeneities; and (4) A low-velocity zone beneath the oceanic Moho near the trench, which may indicate serpentinization of the mantle lithosphere.

  9. Source Variations of Small Magnitude Events in the Downdip Region of the Mexican Subduction Zone.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, R.; Bilek, S. L.; Brudzinski, M. R.; Cabral-Cano, E.; Arciniega-Ceballos, A.

    2014-12-01

    Slip in subduction zones produce a range of events including typical seismicity, slow slip events, and non-volcanic tremor. Understanding the nature of the transition between these different types of slip is an important area of study in order to advance our understanding of the conditions required for the spectrum of slip. The portion of the Middle America subduction zone underneath Oaxaca, Mexico is an ideal place to study this relationship because a local land based seismic and geodetic network lies above a large portion of the seismogenic zone to capture large and small magnitude earthquakes. This is also an area with slow slip events, non-volcanic tremor, and evidence for an ultra slow velocity layer near the downdip transitional region. In order to study the earthquakes at the downdip transition, we use a catalog of small magnitude (M < 5.5) locally recorded events from 2006 to 2012, prior to the 2012 Mw 7.4 Ometepec, Mexico earthquake. For each downdip event in the catalog, we compute first motion focal mechanisms using a standard community algorithm, FocMec. We see significant heterogeneity in our focal mechanism solutions. Our results show a lack of thrust events in an area with a known megathrust seismic gamp updid and prominent slow slip events observed downdip. We also find an abundance of thrust events in an area with an ultra slow layer and east of the slow slip events. Further analysis of stress drop will be used to study temporal patterns relative to the slow slip events as well as the Ometepec event.

  10. Buoyancy-driven, rapid exhumation of ultrahigh-pressure metamorphosed continental?crust

    PubMed Central

    Ernst, W. G.; Maruyama, S.; Wallis, S.

    1997-01-01

    Preservation of ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) minerals formed at depths of 90–125 km require unusual conditions. Our subduction model involves underflow of a salient (250 ± 150 km wide, 90–125 km long) of continental crust embedded in cold, largely oceanic crust-capped lithosphere; loss of leading portions of the high-density oceanic lithosphere by slab break-off, as increasing volumes of microcontinental material enter the subduction zone; buoyancy-driven return toward midcrustal levels of a thin (2–15 km thick), low-density slice; finally, uplift, backfolding, normal faulting, and exposure of the UHP terrane. Sustained over ?20 million years, rapid (?5 mm/year) exhumation of the thin-aspect ratio UHP sialic sheet caught between cooler hanging-wall plate and refrigerating, downgoing lithosphere allows withdrawal of heat along both its upper and lower surfaces. The intracratonal position of most UHP complexes reflects consumption of an intervening ocean basin and introduction of a sialic promontory into the subduction zone. UHP metamorphic terranes consist chiefly of transformed, yet relatively low-density continental crust compared with displaced mantle material—otherwise such complexes could not return to shallow depths. Relatively rare metabasaltic, metagabbroic, and metacherty lithologies retain traces of phases characteristic of UHP conditions because they are massive, virtually impervious to fluids, and nearly anhydrous. In contrast, H2O-rich quartzofeldspathic, gneissose/schistose, more permeable metasedimentary and metagranitic units have backreacted thoroughly, so coesite and other UHP silicates are exceedingly rare. Because of the initial presence of biogenic carbon, and its especially sluggish transformation rate, UHP paragneisses contain the most abundantly preserved crustal diamonds. PMID:11038569

  11. Contrasting plate-tectonic styles of the Qinling-Dabie-Sulu and Franciscan metamorphic belts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ernst, W. G.; Liou, J. G.

    1995-04-01

    The Dabie Mountains are part of the >2000-km-long Qinling-Dabie-Sulu suture zone juxtaposing the Sino-Korean and Yangtze cratons. An eastern extension apparently crosses Korea and lies along the Japan Sea side of Honshu as the Imjingang and Sangun terranes, respectively; a northeastern segment may be present in Sikhote-Alin, Russian Far East. This orogenic belt records late Paleozoic ocean-floor consumption and the Triassic collision of two Precambrian continental massifs in east-central China. Coesite and microdiamond inclusions in strong, refractory minerals of eclogite facies ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic rocks in the Dabie-Sulu area attest to profound subduction of a leading salient of the old, cold Yangtze craton, now recovered through tectonic exhumation and erosion. Northward increase in intensity of subsolidus recrystallization of the suture complex is analogous to the internal progression in grade of high-pressure (HP) and UHP metamorphism documented in the Western Alps. In both regions, subduction of narrow prongs of continental material, UHP metamorphism, and return toward midcrustal levels of relatively lower density, buoyant microcontinental blocks resulted from delamination of these rocks from the descending, higher density, oceanic-crust-capped lithospheric plate. Such salients of continental crust represent an integral structural part of the downgoing slab, remain intact, and may be dragged to great depths before disengaging and rising differentially as coherent blocks. UHP parageneses include trace mineralogic relics requiring peak metamorphic conditions of 700 900 ° C and 28 35 kbar or more. In contrast, Pacific-type HP metamorphic belts, as represented by the Franciscan Complex of western California, recrystallized under physical conditions up to 200 500 ° C, 10 ± 3 kbar. In this setting, voluminous quartzo-feldspathic and graywacke debris was carried downward on oceanic-crust-capped lithosphere, choking the subduction zone with incompetent material. Sited between both plates, and strongly adhering to neither, this buoyant, largely sedimentary complex decoupled at 25 30 km depth, and ascended toward the surface. In both Alpine-type intracontinental collision and Pacific-type underflow, light sialic material displaced dense mantle; thus, the return to midcrustal levels was propelled dominantly by body forces.

  12. Influences of recurrence times and fault zone temperatures on the age-rate dependence of subduction zone seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCaffrey, Robert

    1997-10-01

    Correlations among subduction zone seismicity, convergence rate and subducting plate age are reassessed considering the possible roles of both recurrence times and fault zone temperatures. Distributions of earthquakes with respect to subducting lithosphere age and convergence rate are grossly explained by a recurrence relation when ages and rates at the world's trenches are taken into account. Correlations between maximum earthquake size Mwmax and convergence rate occur because faster subduction lowers the average recurrence time, so that at random within a limited sampling time, faster subduction zones have larger earthquakes. Published empirical slopes of an assumed linear relationship between Mwmax and convergence rate are predicted to within 1 standard deviation by such a recurrence model. Recurrence predicts that Mwmax should be related to the logarithm of convergence rate and revised age-rate- Mwmax data agree with such a relationship. No resolvable global correlation between age and Mwmax is found. Hence mechanical explanations of subduction zone seismicity based on such correlations are not required. Predicted average steady state temperatures, based on age and dip of the subducting lithosphere and convergence rate, at most subduction zone thrust faults are within a small range of values (±50°C). The few warm outliers, that is, Cascadia, Mexico, and southernmost Chile (south of Chile Rise) that subduct very young lithosphere, also have low seismic coupling coefficients suggesting that high temperature may inhibit seismicity. Fault zone temperatures can explain global variations in seismic coupling coefficients as well as the slab anchor model of Scholz and Campos [1995]. Applying this to the Cascadia subduction zone, in contrast to conclusions drawn from mechanical models of subduction and consistent with many other observations, due to its extremely high temperature, Cascadia may be a region where aseismic subduction predominates.

  13. Long-term hydrogeochemical records in the oceanic basement and forearc prism at the Costa Rica subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomon, Evan A.; Kastner, Miriam; Wheat, C. Geoffrey; Jannasch, Hans; Robertson, Gretchen; Davis, Earl E.; Morris, Julie D.

    2009-05-01

    Two sealed borehole hydrologic observatories (CORKs) were installed in two active hydrogeochemical systems at the Costa Rica subduction zone to investigate the relationship between tectonics, fluid flow, and fluid composition. The observatories were deployed during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 205 at Site 1253, ~ 0.2 km seaward of the trench, in the upper igneous basement, and at Site 1255, ~ 0.5 km landward of the trench, in the décollement. Downhole instrumentation was designed to monitor formation fluid flow rates, composition, pressure, and temperature. The two-year records collected by this interdisciplinary effort constitute the first co-registered hydrological, chemical, and physical dataset from a subduction zone, providing critical information on the average and transient state of the subduction thrust and upper igneous basement. The continuous records at ODP Site 1253 show that the uppermost igneous basement is highly permeable hosting an average fluid flow rate of 0.3 m/yr, and indicate that the fluid sampled in the basement is a mixture between seawater (~ 50%) and a subduction zone fluid originating within the forearc (~ 50%). These results suggest that the uppermost basement serves as an efficient pathway for fluid expelled from the forearc that should be considered in models of subduction zone hydrogeology and deformation. Three transients in fluid flow rates were observed along the décollement at ODP Site 1255, two of which coincided with stepwise increases in formation pressure. These two transients are the result of aseismic slip dislocations that propagated up-dip from the seismogenic zone over the course of ~ 2 weeks terminating before reaching ODP Site 1255 and the trench. The nature and temporal behavior of strain and the associated hydrological response during these slow slip events may be an analog for the response of the seaward part of the subduction prism during or soon after large subduction zone earthquakes.

  14. Complex flow resulted from along-strike variations in slab length in the southern Chilean subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, S.; Chung, S.

    2013-12-01

    Complicated patterns and trench-parallel components of seismic anisotropy in the central portion of the subduction zones have not been link to three-dimensional flow in general, as toroidal circulations may mostly occur in the vicinity of a plate edge. Nevertheless, recent dynamical models demonstrate that complex flow forms when lateral heterogeneities in the subduction zone are considered. Seismic studies often show gradual variations in slab length along strike. The southern Chilean subduction zone is a notable example. The Peru-Chile Trench roughly extending 5900 km is the longest trench worldwide. Most of the regions are distant from the subduction zone edges. In this study the effects of slab-length variations are examined with numerical experiments. The results are used to characterize the regional mantle circulations and the potential heat sources for the recent Patagonian plateau basalts in the southern South America. The model results show that rollback subduction induces both significant poloidal components and trench-parallel flow, extending over 1500 kilometers along the strike of the subduction zone. The trajectories of a set of passive tracers show intricate patterns such as helical streamlines, revealing complex mantle circulations in systems with the along-arc slab-length variations. The upwelling may lead to decompression melting of the heterogeneous asthenosphere to cause extensive lavas in the back arc. Mantle upwelling of the sub-slab mantle moving towards supra-slab regions is observed in the southernmost portion of the subduction system, but only for models with slab segments roughly deeper than 100 km depth. The results indicate that certain segments of the Antarctic slab may reach at least 100 km depth.

  15. Active Arc-Continent Accretion in Timor-Leste: New Structural Mapping and Quantification of Continental Subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tate, G. W.; McQuarrie, N.; Bakker, R.; van Hinsbergen, D. J.; Harris, R. A.

    2010-12-01

    The island of Timor represents the active accretion of the Banda volcanic arc to the Australian continental margin. Arc accretion marks the final closure of an ocean basin in the canonic Wilson tectonic cycle, yet the incipient stages as visible now on Timor are still poorly understood. In particular, ocean closure brings continental material into the subduction zone as part of the down-going plate. The positive buoyancy of this subducting continental crust presents a complex problem in crustal dynamics, with possible effects on overall plate motions, migration and/or reversal of the active subduction zone, and the modes of faulting within the upper crust. New mapping in Timor-Leste has provided a detailed view of the structural repetition of Australian continental sedimentary units structurally below overriding Banda Arc material. The central Dili-Same transect begins in the north with the low-grade metamorphic Aileu Formation of Australian affinity, thrust over the time-equivalent more proximal Maubisse Formation to the south. These in turn are thrust over the Australian intra-continental strata, the Triassic Aitutu and the Permian Cribas Formations. The Aitutu and Cribas Formations are deformed in a series of faulted ENE-striking anticlines exposed along the central axis of Timor. The southern end of the transect reveals a 15-km wide piggyback basin of synorogenic marine clays north of another faulted anticline of Aututu and Cribas on the south coast. The eastern Laclo-Barique transect exposes a deeper erosional level, showing three regional NNE-striking thrust faults with approximately 3 km spacing and 50-75 km along-strike extent, each one repeating the Aitutu and Cribas stratigraphy. The strike of Australian-affinity units in the eastern transect is rotated 50-60 degrees to the north compared to the units in the central transect. The Jurassic Wailuli shales and the Bobonaro tectonic mélange act as the upper décollement between this duplex and the Lolotoi metamorphic basement of the Banda Arc. This mapping provides the opportunity to create balanced structural cross-sections across Timor. New relationships such as the fault repetition of the Cribas and Aitutu Formations in the eastern transect, which were previously mapped as a single anticline, will drastically change cross-sections and increase shortening estimates. An initial cross-section produces a minimum shortening of 320 km, 250 km of which is accommodated by the subduction and underplating of Australian continental material.

  16. 3D double difference velocity tomography of the Middle America subduction zone beneath Nicaragua and Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Driskell, Melissa M.

    Waveform and arrival onset data collected on five amphibious arrays deployed along the Costa Rica-Nicaragua portion of the Middle America subduction zone are integrated to conduct high resolution velocity and location studies. Pick quality is evaluated using an automated arrival detection algorithm based on the wavelet transform and Akaike information criterion, resulting in revised pick weights for inversion studies. I explore the effect of new weighting and removal of poor data by relocating hypocenters through a minimum one dimensional velocity model and conducting double-difference local earthquake tomography (LET). Analysis of the hypocenter relocation and seismic velocity tomography results suggest that using the improved quality determinations improve sharpness in the velocity images. Double-difference LET, utilizing catalog derived absolute and differential times and waveform cross-correlation derived differential times, is conducted with the quality-controlled dataset. Results show improved hypocentral locations of seismogenic zone earthquakes and compressional and shear velocity structure of the seismogenic zone. There is high variability in seismic structure along the length of the margin. I find that the up-dip limit of seismogenic zone microseismicity is variable but approximately corresponds to the 150°C isotherm. The downdip limit of interseismic microseismicity occurs near the continental Moho intersection with the subducting plate interface. Seismicity is sparser in Nicaragua and low velocities dominate the margin. Low Vp and high Vp/Vs in the oceanic mantle suggest serpentinization. Seismogenic zone seismicity resides in a low Vp and low Vp/Vs band that parallels the top of the high-velocity subducting slab. This low velocity band thin and weakens from north to south. This may reflect decreasing hydration or changes in overpressure along the plate interface. The addition of data from the TUCAN experiment provides additional raypath coverage along margin due to the broader aperture of the array. The results are compared to the coarse model and an ancillary method of calculating high-resolution Vp/Vs measurements. Using the highest resolution data along the Nicoya peninsula, we find that regions with subduction tremor and slow slip are associated with high Vp zones. These regions may be a better proxy signal for defining the limit of rupture during major earthquakes.

  17. 3D Double Difference Velocity Tomography of the Middle America Subduction Zone Beneath Costa Rica and Nicaragua

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore-Driskell, M. M.; DeShon, H. R.

    2011-12-01

    The Nicaragua/Costa Rica segment of the Middle America subduction zone exhibits seismogenic zone characteristics that are strongly dependent on plate structure, temperature, and fluid-related processes. Local earthquake tomography-derived velocity models aimed at characterizing lateral and downdip variability along the megathrust of this erosive margin have been limited to individual onshore/offshore experiments. This study utilizes data from a quality-controlled integration of amphibious datasets from the Osa and Nicoya networks collected as part of CRSEIZE (PIs. S. Schwartz/L. Dorman) and the Jaco/Quepos, Nicaragua, and Nicaragua outer-rise networks collected as part of the SFB 574 program (PIs. E. Flueh/W. Rabbel). The individual studies previously completed use different local earthquake relocation and tomography approaches that have led to variable resolution and velocity models that reflect the parameterization used for that particular inversion. We use the double difference local earthquake tomography approach, utilizing catalog derived absolute and differential times and waveform cross-correlation derived differential times. With the use of an automatic pick verification method, we limit our data to only the highest confidence arrival picks. Results using this data show improved hypocentral locations of seismogenic zone earthquakes and compressional and shear velocity structure of the seismogenic zone extending approximately 600 km along strike from Nicaragua through central Costa Rica. The coarse grid (20 x 20 km) compressional velocity images appear broadly consistent with previous studies. We use this coarse model to develop a higher resolution model using 10 x 10 km and 5 x 5 km inversion grids. Highest resolution occurs within the shallow seismogenic zone, but we also image the nose of the forearc mantle wedge. We find that the updip limit of seismogenic zone microseismicity is variable and may be located closer to trench in Nicaragua. The interplate interseismic microseismicity occurs near the expected continental Moho intersection with the subducting plate interface, and comparison with recent subduction tremor, which occurs downdip of microseismicity, suggests that the tremor may be a better proxy for the downdip limit of rupture during major earthquakes. Results provide insight into the role of fluids within the seismogenic zone and shallow forearc mantle.

  18. Seismic Anisotropy and SKS Splitting in the Sangihe Subduction Zone Predicted from 3-D Mantle Flow Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Leo, J. F.; Li, Z.; Walker, A. M.; Wookey, J.; Kendall, J.; Ribe, N. M.; Tommasi, A.

    2012-12-01

    Observations of shear wave splitting are often interpreted as being due to strain-induced crystal alignment of olivine in the convecting upper mantle, and the polarization of the fast shear wave is frequently taken to directly indicate the direction of mantle flow. Caution must be exercised when making such inferences, as the relationship between olivine lattice-preferred orientation (LPO) and fast direction is dependent on many factors, including the entire deformation history. This is especially the case in regions where complex time-dependent mantle flow is expected, e.g., subduction zones. Observations of shear wave splitting at subduction zones are varied, ranging from trench-perpendicular to -parallel fast directions, or a combination of both. Rigorously interpreting this variety of observations requires modeling which properly accounts for LPO development in the near-slab mantle environment. To this end, we simulate olivine LPO evolution caused by defomation of polycrystalline aggregates as they deform and move along pathlines extracted from a 3-D mantle flow model at a subduction zone (Li & Ribe, 2012). The model is based on 3-D boundary-element numerical simulations of a dense fluid sheet (representing the slab) with a geometry approximating that of the Sangihe subduction zone in Indonesia, where trench-parallel fast directions have recently been measured and ascribed to trench-parallel sub-slab mantle flow (Di Leo et al., 2012). This subduction zone is unique in that it is part of the only double-sided subduction system on Earth. At the Sangihe trench, the Molucca Sea plate is subducting westwards beneath the Eurasian plate. However, this microplate is also subducting eastwards at the nearby Halmahera trench. To test whether the measured trench-parallel fast directions are due to sub-slab mantle flow, and whether this is only possible due to the double-sided geometry, we use two different flow models: one with single- and one with double-sided subduction. The effect of deformation and LPO development is simulated assuming the defomation of each crystal is governed by the motion of dislocations. Interactions between crystals are descibed using the visco-plastic self-consistent (VPSC) approach. Unlike previous studies, we consider the entire subduction history from subduction initiation onwards. This approach is necessary for the Sangihe subduction zone, as it is fairly young and the slab has only just reached the bottom of the mantle transition zone. In older subduction zones, early textures may eventually be destroyed. After calculating elastic properties associated with LPO at multiple depths, we estimate the resulting splitting parameters (fast direction ?, delay time ?t) for synthetic SKS phases. We compare these measurements with splitting observations in the Sangihe subduction zone. Our models show that complex behavior in ? appears in even apparently simple models of subduction zone mantle flow and that making robust dynamic inferences requires proper consideration of the geometry of subduction.

  19. Geochemistry of ocean floor serpentinites world-wide: constraints on the ultramafic input to subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kodolányi, J.; Pettke, T.; Spandler, C.; Kamber, B.; Gméling, K.

    2009-04-01

    Serpentinite can be a major component of the upper part of the oceanic lithosphere and is a significant H2O-contributor to subduction zones (Scambelluri et al. 2004). Serpentinite dehydration releases large amounts of water through a very limited number of discontinuous reactions and it is therefore expected to have the potential of leaving a trace element chemical fingerprint in overlying rocks (Ulmer and Trommsdorff 1995; Scambelluri et al. 2004; see also Pettke et al. 2009). We present major and trace element whole rock (XRF, ICP-MS and PGAA) and in-situ mineral (EPMA and LA-ICP-MS) analyses of serpentinized peridotites sampled on DSDP/ODP drilling cruises, in order to chemically characterize the hydrated ultramafic input of subduction zones. The studied 39 samples cover all major geodynamic settings where serpentinites occur on recent ocean floors (fast and slow spreading mid-ocean ridges, passive margins and supra-subduction zones). All rock samples consist of one or two serpentine (srp) polymorphs, brucite (brc), magnetite (mag), and relic high-temperature mantle minerals: olivine (ol), orthopyroxene (opx), clinopyroxene (cpx) and spinel (spl). Serpentine + brc replace ol, forming a mesh-like network around relic crystal fragments. Magnetite usually forms strings of individual crystals along the srp mesh-network. Very rare iowaite (a H2O and Cl-bearing Fe-Mg oxy-hydroxide) remnants were found around the ol core of mesh srp and in the srp ± brc replacements after ol mesh cores. Orthopyroxene alters to bastitic pseudomorphs which consist of srp rarely accompanied by brc. Associated mag is generally absent. The degree of ol and opx alteration is variable, i.e., there are samples in which opx is completely whereas ol is only partially altered and vice versa, which suggests variable temperatures of alteration (alteration rate of opx is higher than that of ol above ca. 350 °C; Martin and Fyfe 1970). Clinopyroxene and spl appear to be weakly altered in thoroughly serpentinized samples. Where present, carbonate (cab) forms veins or fills former srp ± brc pseudomorphs after ol or opx. Major, minor and trace element chemistry of the serpentinites generally reflects that of their ultramafic precursor (Mg-rich and Si-poor rocks with low trace element contents). With respect to certain elements, however, we detect significant serpentinization-related changes. Besides their high H2O-contents (8.7-17.2 wt. %), the hydrated harzburgites and lherzolites also display high B and Cl concentrations (8-177 ?g/g and 1160-5920 ?g/g, respectively) relative to depleted mantle values (0.06 and 0.51 ppm, respectively; Salters and Stracke 2004). Supra-subduction zone serpentinites contain 10 to 100 times more Cs (0.04-1.2 ?g/g) and Rb (0.1-7.1 ?g/g) than samples from mid-ocean ridges and passive margins (Cs: below 0.07 ?g/g; Rb: 0.004-1.17 ?g/g). We often observe 100 to 1000-fold enrichments in U, Pb, Sr and Li relative to elements of similar compatibility in the mantle. In-situ mineral analyses suggest that B and Cl reside in serpentine minerals. Cesium and Rb whole rock and mineral chemical data correlate well, too. If carbonates are not present, the Sr budget of serpentinites is largely controlled by serpentine minerals that take up 0.36 to 21 ?g/g Sr, i.e., orders of magnitude more than concentrations of precursor ol and opx. Bastites tend to have (about 1.5-4 times) higher trace-element concentrations than mesh rims, suggesting that precursor mineralogy (e.g. harzburgites vs. dunites) and alteration temperature (Martin and Fyfe 1970) can affect serpentinite chemistry. Enrichments of U, Pb and Li may have multiple origins, i.e., may be only partly related to serpentinization and low-temperature carbonate addition. Our study shows that serpentinites from representative geodynamic settings have variable, but generally depleted chemical character, inherited from precursor mantle rocks. However, notably B and Cl are enriched, but not uniformly so and independent of geodynamic setting. Supra-subduction zone serpentinites reveal additi

  20. Metamorphic core complexes vs. synkinematic plutons in continental extension setting: insights from key structures (Shandong Province, eastern China)

    E-print Network

    Paris-Sud XI, Université de

    ) the exhumation of the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Linglong MCC below the SE-dipping Linglong detachment fault by partially-melted lower to middle crust upward into the Linglong MCC should be revised to Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous period. Key-words: Mesozoic extension, eastern Asia, Metamorphic Core Complex, synkinematic pluton

  1. Along-strike variations in temperature and tectonic tremor activity along the Hikurangi subduction zone, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yabe, Suguru; Ide, Satoshi; Yoshioka, Shoichi

    2014-12-01

    In the Hikurangi subduction zone, situated along the east coast of the North Island, New Zealand, where the old oceanic Pacific Plate is subducting beneath the Australian Plate, several slow slip events and tectonic tremors have recently been documented. These observations are somewhat surprising because such slow seismic phenomena tend to be common in subduction zones where relatively young oceanic plate is subducting. The locations of tectonic tremors, down-dip limit of slow slip events and seismic coupling transition change along strike from greater depths in the south to shallower depths in the north, suggesting significant along-strike variations in the characteristics of the plate interface. Similar along-strike variations have been observed for other characteristic features of the Hikurangi subduction zone. Here, we demonstrate that along-strike variations observed for tectonic tremors, slow slip events, and seismic coupling can be explained by lateral differences in the thermal structure of the subduction zone, which are controlled mainly by variations in convergence rate and friction along the plate interface. To demonstrate this, we first confirm that tectonic tremors occur around the plate interface. Then, we calculate the thermal structure of the Hikurangi subduction zone using a two-dimensional finite difference code. To explain the along-strike variation in the heat flow observed in the forearc region, temperatures along the plate interface should be systematically higher in the northern region than in the southern region, which we interpret as a consequence of higher convergence rates and greater frictional heating in the northern region. We compare the along-strike variation of seismic characteristics with calculated thermal structure and highlight that this along-strike variation in temperature controls the depth of the brittle-ductile transition, which is consistent with the observed spatial variations in tectonic tremors, down-dip limit of slow slip events and seismic coupling. Our results suggest that tectonic tremors recorded within subduction zones reflect the transient rheology of the materials being subducted, which is controlled by variations in temperature along the plate interface.

  2. Seismicity, topography, and free-air gravity of the Aleutian-Alaska subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    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 (Kodiak, Shumagin). Two great earthquakes ruptured much of this segment: the 1938 M 8.3 earthquake SW of Kodiak and the 1964 M 9.2 earthquake, which ruptured 800 km of the margin between Prince William Sound and Kodiak Island. Large slip during the 1938 event occurred under the Shumagin and Tugidak basins, but slip in 1964 is thought to have occurred on asperities under Prince William Sound and the outer arc highs off Kodiak. Seismic profiling and industry drilling indicates sustained subsidence has also occurred along the Alaska margin. BSE is probably occurring there, but the terrace structure is buried by the high sedimentation rate. At present, the inherited accretionary structures, the ongoing collision of the Yakutat terrane, and uncertainties in finite fault modeling obscure correlation of slip with topographic and gravity signatures in the 1964 source region.

  3. High Resolution 3-D Waveform Tomography of the Lithospheric Structure of the Hellenic Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamara, Samir; Friederich, Wolfgang; Schumacher, Florian; Meier, Thomas; Egelados Working Group

    2015-04-01

    We present a high-resolution lithospheric shear-wave velocity model of the Hellenic subduction zone obtained by full waveform tomography of the EGELADOS project data. This high quality data was collected with the broadband amphibian seismic network EGELADOS that was deployed all over the southern Aegean from October 2005 to April 2007 providing a sampling of the south Aegean lithosphere with a resolution never reached before. Because of the strong deformations in the Hellenic subduction zone and the linear approximation in solving the full waveform inverse problem, a special care was taken to guarantee the best possible accuracy of earthquakes parameters and initial reference models. The accurate locations of the selected earthquakes were hence re-estimated and the best moment tensors were selected by computing the misfits between the observed seismograms for one event and a set of synthetics calculated for every value of the fault angles (strike, dip and rake) and hypocenter depths. On the other hand, instead of using an average 1D reference model for the complete region, a 1D path-specific approach permitted to obtain the 1D initial model for each source-receiver pair by waveform fitting using a grid search varying the Moho depth and the average S-wave velocity in the crust. These models were then refined by a 1D inversion and used to calculate the sensitivity kernels for each source-receiver pair. For the inversion, we adopted a special formulation including a correction term which permits to use the path-specific sensitivity kernels in an inversion for 3D velocity perturbations relative to a single 1D reference model constructed from all these 1D initial models. The inversion was done in frequency domain with a frequency window ranging from 0.03 Hz to 0.1 Hz. For the selected 2695 paths the total number of data values reached 140140. The model was discretized in volume cells with a varying vertical width and a fixed lateral one of approximately 15 km, resulting in 67320 model parameters. Adding the smoothing and damping constraints we solved in total a system of 274780 equations for 67320 unknowns. The 3D tomographic model obtained from the full waveform inversion of the shear-wave velocity resolves in high details the crustal structure of the Hellenic subduction zone and images distinctly the eastern part of the volcanic arc where most of the actual volcanic activity is concentrated. Thinning of the crust in the Gulf of Corinth and many special features of the forearc such as low velocity anomalies throughout its upper 40 km depth are also well imaged. The crustal thickness in the southern Aegean shows strong variations in the whole region with a shallower Moho in the volcanic arc and the Cretan Sea (from 18 km to 25 km) and a thicker one beneath the entire forearc especially in its south-eastern part (from 45 to 50 km).

  4. Cretaceous high-pressure metamorphic belts of the Central Pontides (northern Turkey): pre-collisional Pacific-type accretionary continental growth of Laurasian Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aygul, Mesut; Okay, Aral I.; Oberhaensli, Roland; Sudo, Masafumi

    2014-05-01

    Cretaceous blueschist-facies metamorphic rocks crop out widely in the central part of the Pontides, an east-west trending mountain belt in northern Turkey. They comprise an accretionary wedge along to the southern Laurasian active continental margin and predate the opening of Black Sea basin. From North to South, the wedge consists of a low grade metaflysch unit with marble, Na-amphibole-bearing metabasite and serpentinite blocks. An extensional shear zone separates the accreted distal terrigenous sediments from HP/LT micaschists and metabasites of oceanic origin, known as Domuzda? Complex. The shear zone reaches up to one km in thickness and consists of tectonic slices of serpentinite, metabasite, marble, phyllite and micaschist with top to the NW sense of shear. The Domuzda? Complex predominantly consists of carbonaceous micaschist and metabasite with serpentinite, and minor metachert, marble and metagabbro. Metabasites consist mainly of epidote-blueschists sometimes with garnet. Fresh lawsonite-blueschists are found as blocks within the shear zone. Peak metamorphic assemblages in the micaschists are chloritoid-glaucophane and garnet-chloritoid-glaucophane-lawsonite in addition to phengite, paragonite, quartz, chlorite and rutile (P: 17 ± 1 Kbar, T: 390-450 °C). To the south, lithologies change slightly, with metabasite and thick, pale marble with few metachert and metapelitic horizons. The degree of metamorphism also changes. The metabasites range from high-pressure upper-greenschist facies with growth of sodic-amphibole to lower greenschist without any HP index mineral, suggesting a general decrease in pressure toward south within the prism. While Domuzda? Complex represents deep-seated underplated oceanic sediments and basalts, the carbonate-rich southern parts can be interpreted as seamounts integrated into the accretionary prism. Ar/Ar dating on phengite separates both from terrigenous and oceanic metasediments give consistent plateau ages of 100 ± 2 Ma. One of the Cld-micaschist, exposed to the South, gives a 92 ± 2 Ma age. This documents a southward younging of metamorphism within the accretionary prism. A mid-Jurassic (160 Ma) age, previously reported from a micaschist in the southern part of Domuzda? Complex, is also supported in this study. These rocks however differ from the Cretaceous HP unit both in lithology and degree of metamorphism (P: 10 ± 2 Kbar, T: 620 ± 30°C; Okay et al. 2013). It is not clear whether these rocks indicate episodic subduction process or represent tectonically emplaced slivers of the overriding plate which has widespread Mid-Jurassic high-grade metamorphic rocks and intrusions. The Cretaceous accretionary complex structurally overlies an arc-related low-grade metavolcanic unit, which is thrusted over the ophiolitic rocks of the main Tethyan ?zmir-Ankara-Erzincan Suture zone that separates the Pontides from the Gondwana-derived terranes. In the tectonic framework discussed above, the study area represents subduction and accretion related units, which are sandwiched between the southern Laurasian active margin and the Gondwana-derived K?r?ehir Block without any continental fragments. This indicates that Pacific-type pre-collisional accretion has a major role in the Tethyan geology of the Central Pontides during Cretaceous. Okay et al. (2013) Tectonics 32: 1247-1271.

  5. Apparent stress, fault maturity and seismic hazard for normal-fault earthquakes at subduction zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Choy, G.L.; Kirby, S.H.

    2004-01-01

    The behavior of apparent stress for normal-fault earthquakes at subduction zones is derived by examining the apparent stress (?? a = ??Es/Mo, where E s is radiated energy and Mo is seismic moment) of all globally distributed shallow (depth, ?? 1 MPa) are also generally intraslab, but occur where the lithosphere has just begun subduction beneath the overriding plate. They usually occur in cold slabs near trenches where the direction of plate motion across the trench is oblique to the trench axis, or where there are local contortions or geometrical complexities of the plate boundary. Lower ??a (< 1 MPa) is associated with events occurring at the outer rise (OR) complex (between the OR and the trench axis), as well as with intracrustal events occurring just landward of the trench. The average apparent stress of intraslab-normal-fault earthquakes is considerably higher than the average apparent stress of interplate-thrust-fault earthquakes. In turn, the average ?? a of strike-slip earthquakes in intraoceanic environments is considerably higher than that of intraslab-normal-fault earthquakes. The variation of average ??a with focal mechanism and tectonic regime suggests that the level of ?? a is related to fault maturity. Lower stress drops are needed to rupture mature faults such as those found at plate interfaces that have been smoothed by large cumulative displacements (from hundreds to thousands of kilometres). In contrast, immature faults, such as those on which intraslab-normal-fault earthquakes generally occur, are found in cold and intact lithosphere in which total fault displacement has been much less (from hundreds of metres to a few kilometres). Also, faults on which high ??a oceanic strike-slip earthquakes occur are predominantly intraplate or at evolving ends of transforms. At subduction zones, earthquakes occurring on immature faults are likely to be more hazardous as they tend to generate higher amounts of radiated energy per unit of moment than earthquakes occurring on mature faults. We have identified earthquake pairs in which an interplate-thrust and an intraslab-normal earthquake occurred remarkably close in space and time. The intraslab-normal member of each pair radiated anomalously high amounts of energy compared to its thrust-fault counterpart. These intraslab earthquakes probably ruptured intact slab mantle and are dramatic examples in which Mc (an energy magnitude) is shown to be a far better estimate of the potential for earthquake damage than Mw. This discovery may help explain why loss of life as a result of intraslab earthquakes was greater in the 20th century in Latin America than the fatalities associated with interplate-thrust events that represented much higher total moment release. ?? 2004 RAS.

  6. CAFE: a seismic investigation of water percolation in the Cascadia subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rondenay, S.; Abers, G. A.; Creager, K. C.; Malone, S. D.; MacKenzie, L.; Zhang, Z.; van Keken, P. E.; Wech, A. G.; Sweet, J. R.; Melbourne, T. I.; Hacker, B. R.

    2008-12-01

    Subduction zones transport water into the Earth's interior. The subsequent release of this water through dehydration reactions may trigger intraslab earthquakes and arc volcanism, regulate slip on the plate interface, control plate buoyancy, and regulate the long-term budget of water on the planet's surface. As part of Earthscope, we have undertaken an experiment named CAFE (Cascadia Arrays for Earthscope) seeking to better constrain these effects in the Cascadia subduction zone. The basic experiment has four components: (1) a 47-element broadband imaging array of Flexible Array instruments integrated with Bigfoot; (2) three small-aperture seismic arrays with 15 additional short-period instruments near known sources of Episodic Tremor and Slip (ETS) events; (3) analysis of the PBO and PANGA GPS data sets to define the details of episodic slip events; and (4) integrative modeling with complementary constraints from petrology and geodynamics. Here, we present a summary of the results that have been obtained to date by CAFE, with a focus on high-resolution seismic imaging. A 250 km-long by 120 km-deep seismic profile extending eastward from the Washington coast was generated by 2-D Generalized Radon Transform Inversion of the broadband data. It images the subducted crust as a shallow-dipping, low-velocity layer from 20km depth beneath the coast to 40km depth beneath the forearc. The termination of the low-velocity layer is consistent with the depth at which hydrated metabasalts of the subducted crust are expected to undergo eclogitization, a reaction that is accompanied by the release of water and an increase in seismic velocities. Slab earthquakes are located in both the oceanic crust and mantle at depths <40 km, and exclusively in the oceanic mantle at greater depth, as would be expected if they are related to slab dehydration. Two ETS events have occurred during the course of the deployment. They were precisely located and are confined to the region above which the crust exhibits low-velocities and is believed to undergo progressive dehydration, further supporting the proposition that water plays a role in ETS.

  7. Low to negligible BrO/SO2 ratios at two subduction-zone volcanoes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bobrowski, Nicole; Hörmann, Christoph; Mori, Toshiya; Platt, Ulrich

    2014-05-01

    In July 2013 a measurement campaign took place on Kyushu, Japan, investigating the BrO/SO2 ratio in the plume of Sakurajima and Aso. Multi-Axis-Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) measurements were carried out at four sides on Sakurajima Island, with a maximum distance of about 5 km downwind, and assuming a wind speed of 5 m/s (corresponding to a plume age of about 15 minutes). At Aso measurements took place on the western slope of the active crater and at the crater rim. The MAX-DOAS data of both sites were evaluated for BrO and SO2 slant column densities (SCDs). In the following, BrO/SO2 ratios were calculated to overcome dilution effects and to investigate the BrO formation processes in the ash-laden plume of Sakurajima and the volcanic plume of Aso which is characterized by emissions from a fumarolic area and a mud pool. The BrO/SO2 ratios of the measurement have been below the detection limit for Aso as well as during most of the measurement days at Sakurajima with the only exception on 15th July 2013, when a BrO/SO2 ratio of ~ 1 x 10-5 could be determined. After very high BrO/SO2 ratios at Sakurajima that were reported by C. Lee et al. (2005) our results seem to be unexpected but nevertheless match the general geological settings at both volcanoes. In a recent paper, Shinohara (2013) summarized and compared chlorine emissions from the Japanese volcanic arc with global chlorine emissions from arc volcanoes and pointed out that the volcanic gas emissions in Japan are quite Cl-poor compared to those at other subduction zones. In the recent past it has been found that low chlorine emissions can occur together with nevertheless high bromine emissions (Nyiragongo, Bobrowski et al., 2013). However, looking up Br/Cl ratios (of condensate measurements at fumaroles) of the Japanese arc volcanism summarized in Gerlach, 2004 a comparatively low Br/Cl ratio is added with 6-7 x 10-4 (global arc mean 2 x 10-3) to the already poor chlorine emissions. We will present upper limits of BrO/SO2 ratios and give an estimate on bromine emissions of Aso and Sakurajima for July 2013. To our knowledge these are the so far lowest bromine emission from an arc volcano. Possible reasons will be discussed in the light of today's available literature - pointing out the geological particularities on Eurasian-Philippine plate subduction zone.

  8. The River Network, Active Tectonics and the Mexican Subduction Zone, Southwest Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaidzik, K.; Ramirez-Herrera, M. T.; Kostoglodov, V.; Basili, R.

    2014-12-01

    Rivers, their profiles and network reflect the integration of multiple processes and forces that are part of the fundamental controls on the relief structure of mountain belts. The motivation of this study is to understand active tectonic processes in the forearc region of subduction zones, by distinguishing evidence of active deformation using the river network and topography. To this end, morphotectonic and structural studies have been conducted on fifteen drainage basins on the mountain front, parallel to the Mexican subduction zone, where the Cocos plate underthrusts the North American plate. The southwest - northeast Cocos plate subduction stress regime initiated ca. 20 MA. NE-SW to NNE-SSW normal faults as well as sub-latitudinal to NW-SE strike-slip faults (both dextral and sinistral) constitute the majority of mesofaults recorded in the field within the studied drainage basins. Occasionally dextral N-S strike-slip faults also occur. The stress tensor reconstruction suggests two main evolution stages of these faults: 1) the older is dominated by a NW-SE to WNW-ESE extensional regime and 2) the younger is a transcurrent regime, with NNE-SSW ?1 axis. The drainage pattern is strongly controlled by tectonic features, whereas lithology is only a subordinate factor, with only one exception (Petatlán river). Generally, major rivers flow from north to south mainly through NE-SW and NNE-SSW normal faults, and/or sub-longitudinal dextral (also locally sinistral) strike-slip faults. In the central and eastern part of the studied area, rivers also follow NW-SE structures, which are generally normal or sinistral strike-slip faults (rarely reverse). In most cases, local deflections of the river main courses are related to sub-latitudinal strike-slip faults, both dextral and sinistral. Within the current stress field related to the active Cocos subduction, both normal and strike-slip fault sets could be reactivated. Our analysis suggests that strike-slip faults, mainly left lateral, are probably active because they are offsetting the main stream courses of the largest river basins; however only few focal mechanisms are associated to these faults. We hypothesize that these faults are active, perhaps experiencing slow events or associated fault creep. Further studies are needed to solve this problem.

  9. Significant foreshock activities of M>7.5 earthquakes in the Kuril subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harada, T.; Yokoi, S.; Satake, K.

    2014-12-01

    In the Kuril subduction zone, some M>7.5 earthquakes are accompanied by significant foreshock activities, providing a good opportunity to understand the characteristics of foreshocks for large interplate events such as occur along the Japan Trench and Nankai Trough etc. Some preliminary results from our examination of the foreshock sequences are as follows. Relocated foreshocks tend to migrate with time toward the trench axis. Foreshock distributions of the interplate earthquakes do not overlap with the large coseismic slips (asperities) of the mainshocks. Foreshocks of the 2007 northern Kuril outer-rise event, however, were distributed on the entire rupture area. Foreshock sequences seem to be limited in the regions where the background seismicity rates are relatively high. The foreshock activities were found in the examination of the space-time pattern of M>7 events along the northern Japan to Kuril trench since 1913 (e.g. Harada, Satake, and Ishibashi, 2011:AGU, 2012:AOGS). The large earthquakes preceded by active foreshock sequences are: the 2006 (M8.3), 2007 (M8.1) offshore Simushir earthquakes, the 1963 (M8.5), 1991 (M7.6), 1995 (M7.9) offshore Urup events, the 1978 (M7.8) offshore Iturup events, the 1969 (M8.2) offshore Shikotan event. In contrast, M>7.5 interplate earthquakes offshore Hokkaido (1952 (M8.1), 1973 (M7.8), 2003 (M8.1)) and intraslab earthquakes (1958 (M8.3), 1978 (M7.8), 1993 (M7.6), 1994 (M8.3)) had few or no foreshocks. In the examination of the active foreshocks, we relocated foreshocks by the Modified JHD method (Hurukawa, 1995), compared relocated foreshock areas with mainshock coseismic slip distributions estimated by the teleseismic body-wave inversion (Kikuchi and Kanamori, 2003), and examined the relation between active foreshock sequences and regional background seismicity. This study was supported by the MEXT's "New disaster mitigation research project on Mega thrust earthquakes around Nankai/Ryukyu subduction zones".

  10. Interseismic coupling and seismic potential along the Central Andes subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chlieh, Mohamed; Perfettini, Hugo; Tavera, Hernando; Avouac, Jean-Philippe; Remy, Dominique; Nocquet, Jean-Mathieu; Rolandone, FréDéRique; Bondoux, Francis; Gabalda, Germinal; Bonvalot, Sylvain

    2011-12-01

    We use about two decades of geodetic measurements to characterize interseismic strain build up along the Central Andes subduction zone from Lima, Peru, to Antofagasta, Chile. These measurements are modeled assuming a 3-plate model (Nazca, Andean sliver and South America Craton) and spatially varying interseismic coupling (ISC) on the Nazca megathrust interface. We also determine slip models of the 1996 Mw = 7.7 Nazca, the 2001 Mw = 8.4 Arequipa, the 2007 Mw = 8.0 Pisco and the Mw = 7.7 Tocopilla earthquakes. We find that the data require a highly heterogeneous ISC pattern and that, overall, areas with large seismic slip coincide with areas which remain locked in the interseismic period (with high ISC). Offshore Lima where the ISC is high, a Mw˜8.6-8.8 earthquake occurred in 1746. This area ruptured again in a sequence of four Mw˜8.0 earthquakes in 1940, 1966, 1974 and 2007 but these events released only a small fraction of the elastic strain which has built up since 1746 so that enough elastic strain might be available there to generate a Mw > 8.5 earthquake. The region where the Nazca ridge subducts appears to be mostly creeping aseismically in the interseismic period (low ISC) and seems to act as a permanent barrier as no large earthquake ruptured through it in the last 500 years. In southern Peru, ISC is relatively high and the deficit of moment accumulated since the Mw˜8.8 earthquake of 1868 is equivalent to a magnitude Mw˜8.4 earthquake. Two asperities separated by a subtle aseismic creeping patch are revealed there. This aseismic patch may arrest some rupture as happened during the 2001 Arequipa earthquake, but the larger earthquakes of 1604 and 1868 were able to rupture through it. In northern Chile, ISC is very high and the rupture of the 2007 Tocopilla earthquake has released only 4% of the elastic strain that has accumulated since 1877. The deficit of moment which has accumulated there is equivalent to a magnitude Mw˜8.7 earthquake. This study thus provides elements to assess the location, size and magnitude of future large megathurst earthquakes in the Central Andes subduction zone. Caveats of this study are that interseismic strain of the forearc is assumed time invariant and entirely elastic. Also a major source of uncertainty is due to fact that the available data place very little constraints on interseismic coupling at shallow depth near the trench, except offshore Lima where sea bottom geodetic measurements have been collected suggesting strong coupling.

  11. Paleostress analysis of a subduction zone megasplay fault - An example from the Nobeoka Thrust, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The megasplay faults in subduction zones, branching from plate boundary thrusts, are thought to have a potential to generate earthquakes and accompany tsunamis. Paleo-splay faults exposed on land often preserve clear deformation features of the seismogenic zone and provide information on the fault mechanisms at depth. One of the important information that can be obtained from exhumed faults is paleo-stress field. Here we investigated the Nobeoka Thrust, a fossilized megasplay fault in the Shimanto Belt in Kyushu, which consists of phyllite and sandstone-shale mélanges that have experienced maximum burial temperatures of ~250 -320°C, [Kondo et al., 2005, Tectonics 24.6(2005)]. Kondo et al. (2005) described two orientations of slickensides from the outcrop, suggesting the existence of flexural gentle fold in kilometer scale. The paleo-stress fields preserved in the Nobeoka Thrust is likely to represent multiple stages occurring during burial and uplift, enabling the reconstruction of fault motions along the fault. In this study, we analyzed paleo-stress from slip vectors on small faults observed in the drilled cores of the Nobeoka Thrust obtained from scientific drilling performed in 2011. Small faults are expected to be less-reactivated and their population is much larger than that of large faults, providing high statistical reliability. Multiple inverse method [MIM; Yamaji, 2000, Journal of Structural Geology, 22, 441-452] was applied to the small faults. K-means clustering [Otsubo et al. , 2006, Journal of Structural Geology, 28, 991-997] was applied to stress tensors detected by the MIM for estimating optimal solutions. The results reveal stress solution of four directions existing throughout the drilled range. The stress solution is applied to faults distributed among different lithology, and therefore the paleo-stress is thought to have acted on the whole cores. By drawing the stress polygon from the direction of the stress solution and the stress rate, we estimate the stress state of the Nobeoka Thrust and discuss potential insights to the fault stress evolution of megasplay fault in a subduction zone.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    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 deformation in the maximum depth >10km. Temperature difference between the hanging wall and footwall suggests the displacement along the Nobeoka thrust is >10km, which is almost similar to the mega-splay fault in the Nankai Trough. Geological and physical properties of the Nobeoka thrust suggest an evolving process of the seismogenic mega-splay fault associated with seismogenic up-thrust of the inner wedge of the accretionary prism.

  13. Beach ridges as paleoseismic indicators of abrupt coastal subsidence during subduction zone earthquakes, and implications for Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone paleoseismology, southeast coast of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kelsey, Harvey M.; Witter, Robert C.; Engelhart, Simon E.; Briggs, Richard; Nelson, Alan R.; Haeussler, Peter J.; Corbett, D. Reide

    2015-01-01

    The Kenai section of the eastern Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone straddles two areas of high slip in the 1964 great Alaska earthquake and is the least studied of the three megathrust segments (Kodiak, Kenai, Prince William Sound) that ruptured in 1964. Investigation of two coastal sites in the eastern part of the Kenai segment, on the southeast coast of the Kenai Peninsula, identified evidence for two subduction zone earthquakes that predate the 1964 earthquake. Both coastal sites provide paleoseismic data through inferred coseismic subsidence of wetlands and associated subsidence-induced erosion of beach ridges. At Verdant Cove, paleo-beach ridges record the paleoseismic history; whereas at Quicksand Cove, buried soils in drowned coastal wetlands are the primary indicators of paleoearthquake occurrence and age. The timing of submergence and death of trees mark the oldest earthquake at Verdant Cove that is consistent with the age of a well documented ?900-year-ago subduction zone earthquake that ruptured the Prince William Sound segment of the megathrust to the east and the Kodiak segment to the west. Soils buried within the last 400–450 years mark the penultimate earthquake on the southeast coast of the Kenai Peninsula. The penultimate earthquake probably occurred before AD 1840 from its absence in Russian historical accounts. The penultimate subduction zone earthquake on the Kenai segment did not rupture in conjunction with the Prince William Sound to the northeast. Therefore the Kenai segment, which is presently creeping, can rupture independently of the adjacent Prince William Sound segment that is presently locked.

  14. FAST TRACK PAPER: The reflection seismic survey of project TIPTEQ-the inventory of the Chilean subduction zone at 38.2° S

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Groß, K.; Micksch, U.

    2008-02-01

    We describe results of an active-source seismology experiment across the Chilean subduction zone at 38.2°S. The seismic sections clearly show the subducted Nazca plate with varying reflectivity. Below the coast the plate interface occurs at 25 km depth as the sharp lower boundary of a 2-5 km thick, highly reflective region, which we interpret as the subduction channel, that is, a zone of subducted material with a velocity gradient with respect to the upper and lower plate. Further downdip along the seismogenic coupling zone the reflectivity decreases in the area of the presumed 1960 Valdivia hypocentre. The plate interface itself can be traced further down to depths of 50-60 km below the Central Valley. We observe strong reflectivity at the plate interface as well as in the continental mantle wedge. The sections also show a segmented forearc crust in the overriding South American plate. Major features in the accretionary wedge, such as the Lanalhue fault zone, can be identified. At the eastern end of the profile a bright west-dipping reflector lies perpendicular to the plate interface and may be linked to the volcanic arc.

  15. Continental rifting and metamorphic core complex formation ahead of the Woodlark spreading ridge, D'Entrecasteaux Islands, Papua New Guinea

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Timothy A. Little; S. L. Baldwin; P. G. Fitzgerald; B. Monteleone

    2007-01-01

    We evaluate the role of a metamorphic core complex (MCC) on Normanby Island in the Woodlark rift. Located 1 km thickness of blueschist-derived mylonites formed in a midcrustal shear zone during the Pliocene at ?400–500°C. This top-to-the-north zone appears to have reactivated the gently dipping base of the Papuan ophiolite (Papuan Ultramafic Body, PUB), and its continued activity appears to

  16. Flat versus normal subduction zones: a comparison based on 3-D regional traveltime tomography and petrological modelling of central Chile and western Argentina (29°-35°S)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marot, M.; Monfret, T.; Gerbault, M.; Nolet, G.; Ranalli, G.; Pardo, M.

    2014-12-01

    Our study compares the seismic properties between the flat and normal subduction regions in central Chile, to better understand the links between the slab geometry, surface deformation and the deeper structures. In comparison with previous studies, we show the most complete 3-D regional seismic tomography images for this region, in which we use (1) a larger seismic data set compiled from several short-term seismic catalogues, (2) a denser seismic array allowing a better resolution of the subduction zone from the trench to the backarc and into the upper ˜30 km of the slab and (3) a starting 1-D background velocity model specifically calculated for this region and refined over the years. We assess and discuss our tomography results using regional seismic attenuation models and estimating rock types on the basis of pressure and temperature conditions computed from thermomechanical models. Our results show significant seismic differences between the flat and normal subduction zones. As expected, the faster seismic velocities and increased seismicity within the flat slab and overriding lithosphere are generally consistent with a cooler thermal state. Our results are also consistent with dehydration of the mantle above the subducted Juan Fernandez Ridge at the eastern tip of the flat slab segment, indicating that the latter retains some fluids during subduction. However, fluids in the upper portion of the flat slab segment are not seismically detected, since we report instead fast slab seismic velocities which contradict the argument of its buoyancy being the cause of horizontal subduction. The forearc region, above the flat slab, exhibits high Vs and very low Vp/Vs ratios, uncorrelated with typical rock compositions, increased density or reduced temperature; this feature is possibly linked with the aftershock effects of the Mw7.1 1997 Punitaqui earthquake, the flat slab geometry and/or seismic anisotropy. At the surface, the seismic variations correlate with the geological terranes. The Andean crust is strongly reduced in seismic velocities along the La Ramada-Aconcagua deformation belt, suggesting structural damage. Slow seismic velocities along the Andean Moho match non-eclogitized hydrated rocks, consistent with a previous delamination event or a felsic composition, which in turn supports the extent of the Chilenia terrane at these depths. We confirm previous studies that suggest that the Cuyania terrane in the backarc region is mafic and contains an eclogitized lower crust below 50-km depth. We also hypothesize major Andean basement detachment faults (or shear zones) to extend towards the plate interface and canalize slab-derived fluids into the continental crust.

  17. Source Investigation and Comparison of the 1939, 1946, 1949 and 1965 Earthquakes, Cascadia Subduction Zone, Western Washington

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Katy R. Wiest; Diane I. Doser; Aaron A. Velasco; James Zollweg

    2007-01-01

    Over the past ~65 years intraslab earthquakes have caused the most significant damage in the western Washington region. This\\u000a study examines regional and teleseismic seismograms for four historic, suspected intraslab events of M > 5.5 occurring within\\u000a the Cascadia Subduction zone in 1939 (South Seattle), 1946 (Puget Sound), 1949 (Olympia) and 1965 (Sea-Tac) to better determine\\u000a the source locations, mechanisms

  18. Construction of semi-dynamic model of subduction zone with given plate kinematics in 3D sphere

    Microsoft Academic Search

    M. Morishige; S. Honda; P. J. Tackley

    2010-01-01

    We present a semi-dynamic subduction zone model in a three-dimensional spherical shell. In this model, velocity is imposed on the top surface and in a small three-dimensional region around the shallow plate boundary while below this region, the slab is able to subduct under its own weight. Surface plate velocities are given by Euler's theorem of rigid plate rotation on

  19. Source Modeling of Subduction-Zone Earthquakes and Long-Period Ground Motion Validation in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Hiroe Miyake; Kazuki Koketsu; Takashi Furumura

    2007-01-01

    The national seismic hazard map of Japan indicates 30 year probability in the Tokyo metropolitan area controlled by megathrust earthquakes along the Philippine sea plate. Four major subduction-zone earthquakes are Kanto (Mw 7.9), northern Tokyo-bay (Mw 7.0 or greater), Tokai (Mw 8.0), and Tonankai (Mw 8.2) earthquakes. We have experienced the 1923 Kanto and 1944 Tonakai earthquakes, however the rest

  20. Stable Cl isotopes in subduction-zone pore waters: Implications for fluid-rock reactions and the cycling of chlorine

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Barbara Ransom; Arthur J. Spivack; Miriam Kastner

    1995-01-01

    Stable Cl isotope ratios, measured in marine pore waters associated with the Barbados and Nankai subduction zones, extend significantly (to ˜-80\\/00) the range of delta37Cl values reported for natural waters. These relatively large negative values, together with geologic and chemical evidence from Barbados and Nankai and recent laboratory data showing that hydrous silicate minerals (i.e., those with structural OH sites)

  1. Subduction zone tectonic studies to develop concepts for the occurrence of sediment subduction (Phase I). Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Hilde, T.W.C.

    1984-08-01

    The objective was to determine the fate of sediments at convergent lithospheric plate boundaries. The study focuses on the structures of the Circum-Pacific trenches and shallow portions of the associated subduction zones. Sediment distribution and the nature of sediment deformation was defined through the various stages of plate convergence to determine if the sediments are subducted or accreted. The controlling factors for sediment subduction and/or accretion were determined. 50 figs. (ACR)

  2. Relative Moment Tensor Study of deep earthquake clusters in the Tonga-Fiji Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, W.; Wen, L.

    2014-12-01

    Studies of sources mechanisms play an important role in deep earthquake research. Moment tensors are usually estimated by the least-square fitting of amplitudes in the observed seismograms. In this study, we apply a relative moment tensor procedure to study the clusters of the deep earthquakes. The relative moment tensor procedure inverts the moment tensors of clustered events at the same time using the amplitude ratio of the seismic phases recorded at same station generated between the events and the information of take off angle and azimuth of the seismic phases. The relative method has some advantage over the traditional moment tensor inversion methods: 1) no Green's function is needed and 2) using the relative amplitude between the events eliminates the inaccuracies of the Green's functions because the seismic waves share similar ray paths between the cluster events. We use the relative method to study the source mechanisms of deep earthquake clusters in Tonga-Fiji subduction zone. We discuss the difference between our results and those of traditional studies, and its implications to the understanding of deep earthquake mechanisms.

  3. Crustal earthquake triggering by pre-historic great earthquakes on subduction zone thrusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sherrod, Brian; Gomberg, Joan

    2014-01-01

    Triggering of earthquakes on upper plate faults during and shortly after recent great (M>8.0) subduction thrust earthquakes raises concerns about earthquake triggering following Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes. Of particular regard to Cascadia was the previously noted, but only qualitatively identified, clustering of M>~6.5 crustal earthquakes in the Puget Sound region between about 1200–900?cal?yr?B.P. and the possibility that this was triggered by a great Cascadia thrust subduction thrust earthquake, and therefore portends future such clusters. We confirm quantitatively the extraordinary nature of the Puget Sound region crustal earthquake clustering between 1200–900?cal?yr?B.P., at least over the last 16,000. We conclude that this cluster was not triggered by the penultimate, and possibly full-margin, great Cascadia subduction thrust earthquake. However, we also show that the paleoseismic record for Cascadia is consistent with conclusions of our companion study of the global modern record outside Cascadia, that M>8.6 subduction thrust events have a high probability of triggering at least one or more M>~6.5 crustal earthquakes.

  4. Forecast model for great earthquakes at the Nankai Trough subduction zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stuart, W.D.

    1988-01-01

    An earthquake instability model is formulated for recurring great earthquakes at the Nankai Trough subduction zone in southwest Japan. The model is quasistatic, two-dimensional, and has a displacement and velocity dependent constitutive law applied at the fault plane. A constant rate of fault slip at depth represents forcing due to relative motion of the Philippine Sea and Eurasian plates. The model simulates fault slip and stress for all parts of repeated earthquake cycles, including post-, inter-, pre- and coseismic stages. Calculated ground uplift is in agreement with most of the main features of elevation changes observed before and after the M=8.1 1946 Nankaido earthquake. In model simulations, accelerating fault slip has two time-scales. The first time-scale is several years long and is interpreted as an intermediate-term precursor. The second time-scale is a few days long and is interpreted as a short-term precursor. Accelerating fault slip on both time-scales causes anomalous elevation changes of the ground surface over the fault plane of 100 mm or less within 50 km of the fault trace. ?? 1988 Birkha??user Verlag.

  5. Distribution of dehalogenation activity in subseafloor sediments of the Nankai Trough subduction zone

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23479745

  6. Earthquake supercycle in subduction zones controlled by the width of the seismogenic zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrendörfer, Robert; van Dinther, Ylona; Gerya, Taras; Dalguer, Luis Angel

    2015-06-01

    A supercycle describes a long-term cluster of differently-sized megathrust earthquakes, leading up to the final complete failure of a subduction zone segment. The precise controls on supercycles are unclear, although structural and frictional heterogeneities are proposed. We recognize that supercycles are suggested to occur in those regions where the estimated downdip width of the seismogenic zone is larger than average. Here we investigate the link between supercycles and the seismogenic zone downdip width using a two-dimensional numerical model. In our simulations, the first megathrust earthquakes in a supercycle generally rupture only the outermost parts of the seismogenic zone. These partial ruptures are stopped owing to a large excess of strength over stress, and transfer stresses towards the centre of the seismogenic zone. In addition to the continued tectonic loading, they thereby gradually reduce the strength excess so that the largest megathrust events finally rupture the entire seismogenic zone and release most of the accumulated stress. A greater width increases the average strength excess and thus favours supercycles over ordinary cycles of only similarly sized complete ruptures. Our results imply that larger than thus far observed earthquakes could conclude a supercycle where seismogenic zone widths are larger than average.

  7. Frequency dependent guiding behavior from subduction zone earthquakes and the inferred slab anisotropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tseng, Y.; Chen, K. H.; Hung, S.; Hu, J.

    2013-12-01

    Seismic waves traveling up the subducted plate to the fore-arc stations reveal amplified high-frequency energy, called subduction zone guided waves. In Taiwan, guiding behavior of the subducted Philippine Sea plate (PSP) and Eurasian plate (EP) can be illustrated by large amplitude and long duration high-frequency-coda (3-10Hz), which can explain the anomalously large peak ground acceleration pattern from intermediate-depth earthquakes. Here we study the frequency dependent guiding behavior and explore how such behavior varies with slab properties (e.g., thickness and velocity gradient of the slab, low-velocity layer on the top of the slab, and so on) through 3-D wave propagation simulation. Compared with back arc stations, the guided waves observed in fore arc stations is found to be amplified by ~8 times for the >4 Hz signal, ~1 time for 0.5-1.5 Hz, and ~0.3 times for < 1 Hz. Both the > 4 Hz and ~1 Hz guided waves exhibit amplification pattern that is similar to the observed PGA anomaly from intermediate-depth events. The relatively low frequency guiding signal at forearc stations with long path lengths in the slab allows us to characterize anisotropy in the slab. Using shear wave splitting analysis on guided wave events in Taiwan and Japan, we found delay time 0.1~0.2 sec at forarc station that implies weaker anisotropy compared with the mantle wedge and sub-slab mantle.

  8. Investigating the Role of Dehydration Reactions in Subduction Zone Pore Pressures Using Newly-Developed Permeability-Porosity Relationships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    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.

  9. Argon Ages of Ba-rich Phengitic Muscovite From Subduction Zone Complexes: Samana Peninsula, Dominican Republic and Franciscan Complex, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catlos, E. J.; Sorensen, S. S.

    2001-12-01

    Deciphering processes by which volatile components are released during metamorphism in subduction zone settings is essential for understanding mass transfer from slabs to arc magmas. Because phengitic muscovite is stable to >750\\deg C and >7 GPa, it can transport alkali and alkaline-earth elements to great depths. Phengite dehydration may facilitate material transfer from the subducted slab to the overlying mantle wedge at higher pressures than those at which the slab melts. Sorensen et al (1997) showed that some phengite grains in eclogites from the Franciscan Complex of California and from the Samana Peninsula, Dominican Republic, formed from metasomatic fluids produced by phengite decomposition found at greater depths and temperatures. These phengites have the potential to show timing relationships for the expulsion of K-rich metasomatic fluids from the two paleosubduction zones. Large (500?m - to 4mm-sized) Ba-rich phengite grains are present in eclogites and associated metasomatites from both the Samana Peninsula and the Franciscan Complex. Many grains display patchy variation in Ba, likely related to different compositions of metasomatic fluids present during phengite crystallization or alteration. For example, a Samana grain (SS8527B1) contains 0.4-1.1 wt% BaO and a Franciscan grain (T902Ablue) has 0.5-0.9 wt% BaO. Higher BaO contents correlate with brighter regions in BSE images. A total of 19 grains from 7 Samana rocks and 23 grains from 11 Franciscan rocks were dated using the laser 40Ar/39Ar method to discern age discrepancies between the compositionally variable areas seen in the BSE images. Ages of Samana samples vary from 25+/-4 Ma (SS8527B2) to 50+/-4 Ma (SS8527B1). Some show little age variation within a single grain (SS8424D, 11 spots, 39+/-3 Ma, MSWD=1.2), whereas others appear age zoned (SS8424C, 4 spots, 36+/-1 Ma to 42+/-1 Ma, MSWD=7). These results are similar to mica 40Ar/39Ar ages from eclogites in northern Venezuela (Smith and Sisson, 1999), and may indicate the initial stages of the regional tectonic reorganization from subduction to transcurrent uplift along both the northern and southern margins of the Caribbean plate. A large range of ages is also seen with the Franciscan phengites, which range from 114+/-8 Ma (GL1604) to 161+/-3 Ma (T902B). Individual spots on Franciscan grain MH9011C range from 134+/-3 Ma to 149+/-1 Ma (4 spots, MSWD=7), whereas sample T902Ahost shows 153+/-2 Ma (6 spots, MSWD=1.2). The latter values resemble 160+/-3 Ma (Ross and Sharp, 1988) and 160-170 Ma (Baldwin and Harrison, 1992) dates for hornblendes from Franciscan and Baja California amphibolite mélange blocks, which have been interpreted as 'initiation of subduction' ages, whereas the younger dates resemble values these authors attributed to the continuation of subduction at lower P-T conditions. Phengite grains, which record ~50 Ma of fluid-rock interaction in Franciscan, and ~25 Ma in the Samana eclogites, thus may prove to be a powerful tool that links fluid-rock interactions to broader tectonic events.

  10. Timing of eclogite-facies metamorphism of the Chuacús complex, Central Guatemala: Record of Late Cretaceous continental subduction of North America's sialic basement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martens, Uwe C.; Brueckner, Hannes K.; Mattinson, Christopher G.; Liou, Juhn G.; Wooden, Joseph L.

    2012-08-01

    A Late Cretaceous collision of the southernmost portion of the North American continental margin with an undetermined southern block was first established based on the sedimentation history of the plate's supracrustal cover, which is overthrust by harzburgite-dominated nappes of the Guatemala Suture Complex. The collision is also well registered in the metamorphic evolution of continental eclogites of the Chuacús complex, a geologic unit that represents Mesoproterozoic-Triassic sialic basement of North America at the boundary with the Caribbean plate. Garnet-clinopyroxene-phengite thermobarometry of eclogites hosted in Chuacús gneisses indicates near ultra-high-pressure conditions to ~ 700 °C and ~ 2.1-2.4 GPa. SHRIMP-RG U-Pb dating of eclogite metamorphic zircon yielded a 75.5 ± 2 Ma age (95% confidence level). Chondrite-normalized rare-earth element patterns of zircon lack Eu anomalies and show depletions in heavy rare earths, consistent with zircon growing in a plagioclase-free, garnet-rich, eclogite-facies assemblage. Additionally, a Sm-Nd clinopyroxene-two garnet-whole rock isochron from an eclogite band yielded a less precise but consistent age of 77 ± 13 Ma. The above features imply subduction to > 60 km depth of at least a portion of the North American sialic basement during Late Cretaceous collision. The Chuacús complex was overprinted by an amphibolite-facies event. For instance, mafic high-pressure paragneiss contains symplectite, resorbed garnet, and amphibole + plagioclase poikiloblasts. Zircon rims from the paragneiss sample show rare-earth patterns consistent with plagioclase growth and garnet breakdown. Their 74.5 ± 3.5 Ma SHRIMP-RG U-Pb age is therefore interpreted as the time of retrogression, which is consistent with previously published results. Within error, the ages of the eclogite-facies event and the amphibolite-facies retrogression are equivalent. Thus exhumation of the Chuacús slab from mantle to mid-crustal depth was quick, taking few million years. During exhumation, partial melting of Chuacús gneisses generated ubiquitous pegmatites. One of the pegmatites intruded the North Motagua mélange, which is a serpentinite-rich subduction complex of the Guatemala Suture Complex containing Early Cretaceous oceanic eclogites. U-Pb, Rb-Sr, and K-Ar ages of the pegmatite range ~ 76-66 Ma. Thus initial juxtaposition of continental and oceanic high-pressure belts of the Guatemala Suture Complex predates Tertiary-present strike-slip faulting between the North-American and Caribbean plates.

  11. 3D absolute hypocentral determination - 13 years of seismicity in Ecuadorian subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Font, Yvonne; Segovia, Monica; Theunissen, Thomas

    2010-05-01

    In Ecuador, the Nazca plate is subducting beneath the North Andean Block. This subduction triggered, during the last century, 4 major earthquakes of magnitude greater than 7.7. Between 1994 and 2007, the Geophysical Institute (Escuela National Politecnica, Quito) recorded about 40 000 events in whole Ecuador ranging from Mb 1.5 to 6.9. Unfortunately, the local network shows great density discrepancy between the Coastal and Andean regions where numerous stations were installed to survey volcanic activity. Consequently, seismicity in and around the interplate seismogenic zone - producer of the most destructive earthquakes and tsunamis - is not well constrained. This study aims to improve the location of 13 years seismicity occurred during an interseismic period in order to better localize the seismic deformation and gaps. The first step consists in the construction of a 3D "georealistic" velocity model. Because local tomography cannot provide satisfactory model, we combined all local crustal/lithospheric information on the geometry and velocity properties of different geological units. Those information cover the oceanic Nazca plate and sedimentary coverture the subducting plate dip angle; the North Andean Block margin composed of accreted oceanic plateaus (the Moho depth is approximated using gravity modeling); the metamorphic volcanic chain (oceanic nature for the occidental cordillera and inter-andean valley, continental one for the oriental cordillera); The continental Guyana shield and sedimentary basins. The resulting 3D velocity model extends from 2°N to 6.5°S and 277°E to 283°E and reaches a depth of 300 km. It is discretized in constant velocity blocks of 12 x 12 x 3 km in x, y and z, respectively. The second step consists in selecting an adequate sub-set of seismic stations in order to correct the effect of station density disequilibrium between coastal and volcanic regions. Consequently, we only keep the most representative volcanic stations in terms of azimuthal coverage, record frequency and signal quality. Then, we define 5 domains: Offshore/coast, North-Andean margin, Volcanic chain, Southern Ecuador, and a domain deeper than 50 km. We process earthquake location only if at least 3 proximal stations exist in the event's domain. This data selection allows providing consistent quality location. The third step consists in improving the 3D MAXI technique that is well adapted to perform absolute earthquake location in velocity model presenting strong lateral Vp heterogeneities. The resulting catalogue allows specifying the deformation in the subduction system. All seismicity previously detected before trench occurs indeed between the trench and the coastal range. South of 0°, facing the subducting Carnegie Ridge, the seismicity aligns along the interplate seismogenic zone between an updip limit shallower than ~8 km and a downdip limit that reaches up to 50 km depth. The active seismogenic zone is interrupted by a gap that extends right beneath the coastal range. At these latitudes, a diffuse intraplate deformation also affects the subducting plate, probably induced by the locally thickened lithosphere flexure. Between the trench and the coast, earthquake distribution clearly defines a gap, which size is comparable to the 1942 M7.9 asperity (ellipse of axes ~55/35 km). A slab is clearly defines and dips around 25 to 30°. The slab seismicity is systematically interrupted between 100-170 km, approximately beneath the volcanic chain. North of 0°, i.e. in the megathrust earthquake domain, the interseismic activity is clearly reduced. The interplate distribution seems to gather along alignments perpendicular to the trench attesting probably of the margin segmentation. The North Andean overriding margin is undergoing active deformation, especially at the location where the Andean Chain strike changes of direction. At these latitudes, no earthquake occurs deeper than 100 km depth.

  12. Physical properties and Consolidation behavior of sediments from the N. Japan subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valdez, R. D., II; Lauer, R. M.; Ikari, M.; Kitajima, H.; Saffer, D. M.

    2013-12-01

    Sediment hydraulic properties, consolidation state, and ambient pore pressure development are key parameters that affect fluid migration, deformation, and the slip behavior and mechanical strength of subduction zone megathrusts. In order to better understand the dynamics and mechanisms of large subduction earthquakes, Integrated Oceanic Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 343, drilled into the toe of the Japan Trench subduction zone in a region of large shallow slip in the M 9.0 Tohoku earthquake, as part of the Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (J-FAST). Here, we report on two constant rate of strain (CRS) uniaxial consolidation experiments and two triaxial deformation experiments on bedded claystone and clayey mudstone core samples collected from the frontal prism and subducted sediment section cored at Site C0019, 2.5 km landward of the Japan Trench, from depths of 697.18 and 831.45 mbsf. The goals of our experiments were: (1) to define the hydraulic and acoustic properties of sediments that host the subduction megathrust fault that slipped in the M 9.0 Tohoku earthquake; and (2) to constrain in-situ consolidation state and its implications for in-situ stress. The permeability-porosity trends are similar for the two samples, and both exhibit permeability that decreases systematically with increasing effective stress and decreasing porosity, and which varies log-linearly with porosity. Permeabilities of material from the frontal prism decrease from 5×10-18 m2 at 5 MPa effective stress, to 3.0×10-19 m2 at 70 MPa, and porosities decrease from 51% to 29%, while permeabilities of the subducted sediment sample decrease from 5×10-18 m2 at 5 MPa to 3.6×10-19 m2 at 90 MPa, and porosities decrease from 49% to 36%. In-situ permeabilities for the prism and underthrust sediment samples, estimated using laboratory defined permeability-porosity relationships, are 4.9×10-18 m2 and 3.7×10-18 m2, respectively. Elastic wavespeeds increase systematically with increasing effective stress. P-wave velocities (Vp) in the frontal prism sample increase from 2.1 km/s at 8 MPa to 2.7 km/s at 55 MPa effective stress, and velocities in the underthrust sediment sample increase from 2.3 km/s at 6 MPa to 3.0 km/s at 76.5 MPa. Estimated in-situ Vp for the frontal prism and underthrust sediment sample are 2.1 km/s and 2.4 km/s, respectively. This is slightly higher than both the logging while drilling (LWD) measurements and shipboard velocity measurements on discrete samples. We also estimated pre-consolidation pressures (Pc) for each sample using the work-stress method. Comparing Pc with the present day in-situ vertical stress calculated from shipboard bulk density data, we find that both samples are severely overconsolidated. We report this in terms of overconsolidation ratio (OCR), defined as the ratio of Pc to the in-situ stress expected for the case of normal consolidation. Values of OCR for the prism and underthrust samples are 3.95 and 4.28, respectively. This overconsolidation is broadly consistent with fully drained (non-overpressured) conditions, and may reflect uplift and unroofing of the sediments following peak burial greater than their current depth, a significant contribution from lateral tectonic stresses leading to an effective stress far greater than expected for the case of uniaxial burial, or cementation that leads to apparent overconsolidation.

  13. Supercritical aqueous fluids in subduction zones carrying carbon and sulfur: oxidants for the mantle wedge?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sverjensky, Dimitri; Manning, Craig

    2014-05-01

    Much speculation surrounds the nature of aqueous fluids in subduction zones. Aqueous fluids likely trigger partial melting in the mantle wedge, influencing the chemistry of the magmas that erupt in island arcs. They also may play a role in transporting elements that could metasomatize and oxidize the overlying mantle wedge, most importantly C, S and Fe. However, full coupling of aqueous fluid chemistry with the silicate, carbonate, C, sulfide and sulfate minerals has remained limited to pressures of 0.5 GPa because of limitations on the HKF aqueous ion equation of state. Recent progress in developing a Deep Earth Water model (Sverjensky et al., 2014), calibrated with new experimental data, now enables a detailed evaluation of the evolution of aqueous fluid chemistry to a pressure of 6 GPa, well into subduction zone conditions. We report aqueous speciation models for eclogitic aqueous fluids constrained by model mineral assemblages that give preliminary indications of the solubilities of elements that could contribute to mass transfer and redox changes in the mantle wedge. For example, at 600 °C and 2.5 GPa, an aqueous fluid in equilibrium with jadeite, paragonite, muscovite, quartz, lawsonite, almandine, talc, magnesite and pyrite at QFM oxidation state with 0.1 molal total Cl, contains 5.5 molal C, 0.04 molal S, and 9 micromolal Fe. The fluid has a pH of 4.7, much greater than the neutral pH of 3.3; the predominant species and molalities are CO2 (5.0), Na+ (0.44), Si(OH)4 (0.36), HCO3- (0.26), H3SiO4- (0.23), CaHCO3+ (0.18), silica dimer (0.10), Cl- (0.09), K+ (0.08), HCOO- (0.06), H2S (0.03). Calculations for model eclogitic fluids at the higher pressures and temperatures of subarc conditions also show that the solubility of C is much greater than either S or Fe at QFM. However, in subarc eclogitic fluids of higher oxidation state (QFM +3 to +4) in equilibrium with hematite, anhydrite, jadeite, kyanite, phlogopite, coesite, lawsonite, almandine-pyrope, and magnesite, the C/S ratio can vary from 0.2 to 3.5 when temperature varies from 650 to 750 °C at 4 GPa. Fe concentrations remain negligible. These results strongly suggest that aqueous subarc eclogitic fluids that evolve to QFM +3 to +4, perhaps by reaction with metamorphosed Fe-oxide-bearing sediments, could transport significant amounts of C and/or S into the mantle wedge environment depending on the temperature. Hotter subduction should favor high C/S fluids, whereas colder subduction should favor low C/S fluids. Aqueous Fe transport is unlikely to be playing a significant role in oxidizing the mantle wedge. Sverjensky, D. A., Harrison, B., and Azzolini, D., 2014. Water in the deep Earth: the dielectric constant and the solubilities of quartz and corundum to 60 kb and 1,200°C. Geochim. et Cosmochim. Acta (in press).

  14. Yttrium Behavior in Aqueous Fluid At High Pressures and Temperatures: Implications for Cold Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanis, E. A.; Simon, A. C.; Tschauner, O. D.; Frank, M. R.; Chow, P.; Xiao, Y.; Hanchar, J. M.

    2010-12-01

    Constraining thermodynamically the mass transfer of the REE and HFSE from subducted oceanic crust and metasediments to the mantle wedge is fundamental towards interpreting trace element processes in subduction zone recycling and the plumbing system of arc volcanoes. Experimental studies of trace element partitioning involving aqueous fluids at P-T appropriate for slab-mantle wedge conditions are complicated by the difficulties in retrieving the fluid. In this study, we used a diamond anvil cell (HDAC) and in situ synchrotron X-ray florescence (SXRF; at the HPCAT 16-IDD undulator beamline at the APS) to quantify the solubility of Y, a proxy for the heavy REEs, in acidic aqueous fluid under the P-T conditions of cold subducting slabs. These data extend those of Schmidt et al. (2007) from 2 to 5 GPa. Gold was used as the pressure standard via in situ XRD. A synthetic xenotime (YPO4) crystal was placed close to the inside edge of the gasket and the remaining chamber volume filled with a 2 M HCl aqueous solution. A monochromatic incident beam focused to a 35x50 micron spot was used. Fluorescence from the sample was collected 10 degrees away from the incident beam in a 170 degree backscattering geometry and measured by using a silicon drift detector. We verified that the sample and HDAC geometry eliminates completely any secondary fluorescence from xenotime in the sample chamber; i.e., only Y fluorescence from the fluid was measured. A five-point Y standard calibration was used. The collected spectra of standards and the xenotime experiments were summed, and normalized to beam flux and time. The Y peak was extracted, and analyzed by fitting the background and peak area. The standard calibration demonstrates a linear relationship between concentration and peak area. These data indicate that equilibrium is achieved in approximately 1 hr. The Y concentration in the fluid at run conditions was determined by comparing the measured Y peak area with the standard calibration; we note that the Y standard concentrations bracket the measured Y peak area in the unknown solutions. The measured concentration of Y in the fluid is 415(40) ppm at 310 C at 5 GPa, consistent with Schmidt et al. (2007) who report 495 ppm Y at 300 C and 0.1 GPa. The measured concentration of Y in our experiments at 5 GPa and 450 C is 210(20) ppm, indicating that the concentration of Y in acidic aqueous fluid at 450 C decreases with increasing pressure. These new data constrain the effect of P and T on the mass transfer of HREE via a slab-(metasediment)-evolved aqueous fluid into the overlying mantle wedge and arc plumbing system; hence, the data have important implications for the relationship between HREE partitioning and slab-evolved fluid as a function of the P and T attending mass flux in subduction zones.

  15. Docked Or Accreted Indian Ocean Fracture Ridges Along The Sumatra Subduction Zone Northern Tip

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rangin, C.; Le Pichon, X.; Lin, J.; Maury, T.; Jean Claude, S.

    2004-12-01

    Detailed multibeam mapping coupled with echo sounder data collected offshore the northern tip of Sumatra over the rupture area of the Dec. 26 2004 Mw 9.3 earthquake during the Sumatra aftershock cruise reveal dominant sub-meridian dextral wrenching at the western termination of the Sunda subduction zone. N10°W trending dextral wrench faults with both west and east vergency affect the wedge that overlies in this area the northern prolongation of the NS trending oceanic fracture zone ridges system that absorbs the Indian/Australian plates relative motion between the 90° E and 92°E ridges. Three main N10°W dextral wrenched fault zones with a discrete westward vergency were continuously mapped on the basis of bathymetry and low frequency sounder profiles over 150km across the wedge. The Upper Splay Fault located immediately west of the Inner Ridge (backstop or innermost wedge?) extends from south of Simelue/Nias Island to the vicinity of the Nicobar Islands to the north. The N/S Median Splay Fault within the core of the wedge is the site of the most intense strike-slip deformation evidenced by flower structures and micro-seismicity (OBS). Piggy-back basins are dextrally wrenched as shown by echo sounder data. The westernmost half of the wedge is dominated by NNW elongated pop-up structures with both west and east verging thrusts. Many of these are interpreted by us as oceanic ridges deformation in progress. We propose that the structural fabric of the wedge is due to the interaction of the 90°-92°E oceanic fracture ridges system with the Sumatra backstop and inner wedge. The ridges deformed at depth by NS left-lateral strike-slip faulting due to the distributed Indian/Australian motion dominate the fabric of the hyper- oblique convergent zone. As a consequence, if the ridges are not yet incorporated within the wedge, as we believe, the inter-plate boundary that is well defined by after-slip seismicity near 40-50km depth below the Aceh basin and is known to extend westward with a gentle dip under the upper wedge, does not extend below the outer oceanic fractures system that forms the backbone of the lower wedge. It would have to steepen upward to merge into the MSF in the median part of the wedge. Thus, in our preferred interpretation, the inter-plate boundary does not extend below the lower part of the wedge that is essentially constituted by deformed but still not accreted oceanic fracture volcanic ridges and the steep dip of the decollement east of the MSF below the shallow upper wedge may have played a major role in the generation of the Sumatra Tsunami. Alternatively one would have to assume that the ridges are already incorporated within the wedge which we have at this stage no evidence for. We show that this type of interaction of the submeridian Indian ocean fracture ridges with the subduction zone extends far north into Myanmar and Bangladesh along the NS trending Andaman trench.

  16. Docked Or Accreted Indian Ocean Fracture Ridges Along The Sumatra Subduction Zone Northern Tip

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rangin, C.; Le Pichon, X.; Lin, J.; Maury, T.; Jean Claude, S.

    2007-12-01

    Detailed multibeam mapping coupled with echo sounder data collected offshore the northern tip of Sumatra over the rupture area of the Dec. 26 2004 Mw 9.3 earthquake during the Sumatra aftershock cruise reveal dominant sub-meridian dextral wrenching at the western termination of the Sunda subduction zone. N10°W trending dextral wrench faults with both west and east vergency affect the wedge that overlies in this area the northern prolongation of the NS trending oceanic fracture zone ridges system that absorbs the Indian/Australian plates relative motion between the 90° E and 92°E ridges. Three main N10°W dextral wrenched fault zones with a discrete westward vergency were continuously mapped on the basis of bathymetry and low frequency sounder profiles over 150km across the wedge. The Upper Splay Fault located immediately west of the Inner Ridge (backstop or innermost wedge?) extends from south of Simelue/Nias Island to the vicinity of the Nicobar Islands to the north. The N/S Median Splay Fault within the core of the wedge is the site of the most intense strike-slip deformation evidenced by flower structures and micro-seismicity (OBS). Piggy-back basins are dextrally wrenched as shown by echo sounder data. The westernmost half of the wedge is dominated by NNW elongated pop-up structures with both west and east verging thrusts. Many of these are interpreted by us as oceanic ridges deformation in progress. We propose that the structural fabric of the wedge is due to the interaction of the 90°-92°E oceanic fracture ridges system with the Sumatra backstop and inner wedge. The ridges deformed at depth by NS left-lateral strike-slip faulting due to the distributed Indian/Australian motion dominate the fabric of the hyper- oblique convergent zone. As a consequence, if the ridges are not yet incorporated within the wedge, as we believe, the inter-plate boundary that is well defined by after-slip seismicity near 40-50km depth below the Aceh basin and is known to extend westward with a gentle dip under the upper wedge, does not extend below the outer oceanic fractures system that forms the backbone of the lower wedge. It would have to steepen upward to merge into the MSF in the median part of the wedge. Thus, in our preferred interpretation, the inter-plate boundary does not extend below the lower part of the wedge that is essentially constituted by deformed but still not accreted oceanic fracture volcanic ridges and the steep dip of the decollement east of the MSF below the shallow upper wedge may have played a major role in the generation of the Sumatra Tsunami. Alternatively one would have to assume that the ridges are already incorporated within the wedge which we have at this stage no evidence for. We show that this type of interaction of the submeridian Indian ocean fracture ridges with the subduction zone extends far north into Myanmar and Bangladesh along the NS trending Andaman trench.

  17. The Impact of Frictional Anisotropy of Serpentine on Thrust Fault Slip at Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campione, M.; Capitani, G. C.

    2013-12-01

    Models describing the slip dynamics of a fault assume generally an isotropic interface giving rise to shear forces which are parallel to the slip direction. However, structured surfaces may be associated with an anisotropic frictional behavior, which is characterized by a dependence of the magnitude of friction force on slip direction and the presence of friction force components transverse to the slip direction. The arrangement of atoms in the crystal structure of the minerals composing the rock slab, the foliation and lineations originating from the rock deformation, and the presence of gouges formed as a consequence of rock erosion, contribute to the structuring of the surface on different length scales. Among these aspects, only the former is related to intrinsic properties of the fault, and its influence on the frictional properties is therefore independent on the rock history. In order to study the relation between frictional properties and crystal structure, we performed a nanotribological characterization of the surface of prominent mineral species with a scanning force microscope, where a micrometric tip mounted on an elastic cantilever is scanned by piezoelectric actuation along all directions of the sample surface on a nanoscopic area, while vertical deflection and lateral torsion of the cantilever are monitored in real-time, allowing for the quantitative determination of the friction force vectors. Antigorite, the high-temperature, high pressure polymorph of serpentine, is a mineral with a prominent role in defining the mechanical behavior of faulted regions. Indeed, there is general consensus that it forms in the forearc mantle wedge by hydration of olivine and pyroxenes through aqueous fluids released in the downgoing slab, upon increasing pressure and temperature. We asses frictional anisotropies as high as 100% of individual crystal domains of antigorite [1]. This anisotropy is related to the peculiar wavy arrangement of the TO-layer and the presence of reversals occurring along the a-axis of the tetrahedral sheets of antigorite. If we associate the known strain-induced lattice preferred orientation (LPO) of serpentine rocks to our nanoscopic observation, a strong anisotropic frictional behavior of sliding surfaces of serpentinized rocks in subduction zones can be inferred. The results obtained with other phyllosilicates such as mica muscovite and phlogopite will be also presented for comparison. Impressive phenomena can be envisaged if frictional anisotropy is introduced in the dynamical description of faults such as mechanical instabilities giving rise to a strong declination of the slip vector with respect to the plate convergence direction, explaining seismic degree of partitioning otherwise to be considered anomalous. On the other hand, for specific LPO mechanisms, a strain softening behavior of the serpentinized mantle wedge can be inferred, providing a physical explanation to its postulated aseismic character. [1] Campione M., and Capitani G. C., Subduction-zone earthquake complexity related to frictional anisotropy in antigorite, Nature Geoscience, in press, 2013.

  18. Coseismic and postseismic stress rotations due to great subduction zone earthquakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hardebeck, Jeanne L.

    2012-01-01

    The three largest recent great subduction zone earthquakes (2011 M9.0 Tohoku, Japan; 2010 M8.8 Maule, Chile; and 2004 M9.2 Sumatra-Andaman) exhibit similar coseismic rotations of the principal stress axes. Prior to each mainshock, the maximum compressive stress axis was shallowly plunging, while immediately after the mainshock, both the maximum and minimum compressive stress axes plunge at ~45°. Dipping faults can be oriented for either reverse or normal faulting in this post-mainshock stress field, depending on their dip, explaining the observed normal-faulting aftershocks without requiring a complete reversal of the stress field. The significant stress rotations imply near-complete stress drop in the mainshocks, with >80% of the pre-mainshock stress relieved in the Tohoku and Maule earthquakes and in the northern part of the Sumatra-Andaman rupture. The southern part of the Sumatra-Andaman rupture relieved ~60% of the pre-mainshock stress. The stress axes rotated back rapidly in the months following the Tohoku and Maule mainshocks, and similarly in the southern part of the Sumatra-Andaman rupture. A rapid postseismic rotation is possible because the near-complete stress drop leaves very little “background” stress at the beginning of the postseismic reloading. In contrast, there has been little or no postseismic rotation in the northern part of the Sumatra-Andaman rupture over the 7 years since the mainshock. All M ?8.0 subduction earthquakes since 1990 with an adequate number of pre- and post-mainshock events were evaluated, and not all show similar coseismic stress rotations. Deeper earthquakes exhibit smaller coseismic stress rotations, likely due to increasing deviatoric stress with depth.

  19. Aseismic Slip on the Northern Cascadia Subduction Zone: Impacts on Seismic Hazard Estimates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dragert, H.; Mazzotti, S.; Wang, K.

    2002-12-01

    Based on data from the few longer operating continuous GPS sites in southwestern British Columbia and northwestern Washington State, aseismic slip appears to occur repeatedly on the deeper interface of the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) underlying the eastern Olympics and southern Vancouver Is. The spatial and temporal character of the slip events observed so far have implications for regional seismic hazard estimates. During the period between slips, stress accumulates over an interface region wider than the normal locked/transition zone of the CSZ. However, it appears that there is little long-term stress accumulation on the deeper interface and the potential rupture zone for the next megathrust earthquake remains predominantly offshore. Because of its location downdip of the locked plate interface, a deep aseismic slip produces a small, discrete Coulomb stress increment of the order of 0.01 MPa which moves the locked zone closer to rupture, potentially acting as a trigger for a future great thrust earthquake. The spatial correlation of the boundary of the slip zone with the location of large in-slab earthquakes also suggests a common structural cause or a possible stress interaction. The silent slips and in-slab earthquakes may both be related to a common process of slab dehydration. However, the observed slip events create a Coulomb shadow for normal earthquakes on steeply dipping faults within the descending slab downdip from the slip zone. The region of slip also underlies the areas of high crustal seismicity of Puget Sound and Georgia Strait, but estimates of Coulomb stress changes on crustal faults due to deep slip are extremely sensitive to geometry, thus obscuring patterns of possible crustal stress interactions. To date, no temporal correlations have been found between rates of crustal seismicity and the occurrence of aseismic slip.

  20. Quantifying potential earthquake and tsunami hazard in the Lesser Antilles subduction zone of the Caribbean region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayes, Gavin P.; McNamara, Daniel E.; Seidman, Lily; Roger, Jean

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we quantify the seismic and tsunami hazard in the Lesser Antilles subduction zone, focusing on the plate interface offshore of Guadeloupe. We compare potential strain accumulated via GPS-derived plate motions to strain release due to earthquakes that have occurred over the past 110 yr, and compute the resulting moment deficit. Our results suggest that enough strain is currently stored in the seismogenic zone of the Lesser Antilles subduction arc in the region of Guadeloupe to cause a large and damaging earthquake of magnitude Mw ? 8.2 ± 0.4. We model several scenario earthquakes over this magnitude range, using a variety of earthquake magnitudes and rupture areas, and utilizing the USGS ShakeMap and PAGER software packages. Strong ground shaking during the earthquake will likely cause loss of life and damage estimated to be in the range of several tens to several hundreds of fatalities and hundreds of millions to potentially billions of U.S. dollars of damage. In addition, such an event could produce a significant tsunami. Modelled tsunamis resulting from these scenario earthquakes predict meter-scale wave amplitudes even for events at the lower end of our magnitude range (M 7.8), and heights of over 3?m in several locations with our favoured scenario (M 8.0, partially locked interface from 15–45?km depth). In all scenarios, only short lead-times (on the order of tens of minutes) would be possible in the Caribbean before the arrival of damaging waves.

  1. A strong-motion database from the Central American subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arango, Maria Cristina; Strasser, Fleur O.; Bommer, Julian J.; Hernández, Douglas A.; Cepeda, Jose M.

    2011-04-01

    Subduction earthquakes along the Pacific Coast of Central America generate considerable seismic risk in the region. The quantification of the hazard due to these events requires the development of appropriate ground-motion prediction equations, for which purpose a database of recordings from subduction events in the region is indispensable. This paper describes the compilation of a comprehensive database of strong ground-motion recordings obtained during subduction-zone events in Central America, focusing on the region from 8 to 14° N and 83 to 92° W, including Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. More than 400 accelerograms recorded by the networks operating across Central America during the last decades have been added to data collected by NORSAR in two regional projects for the reduction of natural disasters. The final database consists of 554 triaxial ground-motion recordings from events of moment magnitudes between 5.0 and 7.7, including 22 interface and 58 intraslab-type events for the time period 1976-2006. Although the database presented in this study is not sufficiently complete in terms of magnitude-distance distribution to serve as a basis for the derivation of predictive equations for interface and intraslab events in Central America, it considerably expands the Central American subduction data compiled in previous studies and used in early ground-motion modelling studies for subduction events in this region. Additionally, the compiled database will allow the assessment of the existing predictive models for subduction-type events in terms of their applicability for the Central American region, which is essential for an adequate estimation of the hazard due to subduction earthquakes in this region.

  2. Gravity anomalies, crustal structure, and seismicity at subduction zones: 1. Seafloor roughness and subducting relief

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassett, Dan; Watts, Anthony B.

    2015-05-01

    An ensemble averaging technique is used to remove the long-wavelength topography and gravity field from subduction zones. >200 residual bathymetric and gravimetric anomalies are interpreted within fore arcs, many of which are attributed to the tectonic structure of the subducting plate. The residual-gravimetric expression of subducting fracture zones extends >200 km landward of the trench axis. The bathymetric expression of subducting seamounts with height ?1 km and area ?500 km2 (N=36), and aseismic ridges (N>10), is largest near the trench (within 70 km) and above shallow subducting slab depths (SLAB1.0 <17 km). Subducting seamounts are similar in wavelength, amplitude, and morphology to unsubducted seamounts. Morphology, spatial distributions, and reduced levels of seismicity are considered inconsistent with mechanical models proposing wholesale decapitation, and the association of subducting seamounts with large-earthquakes. Subducting aseismic ridges are associated with uplift and steepening of the outer fore arc, a gradual reduction in residual bathymetric expression across the inner fore arc, and a local increase in the width and elevation of the volcanic-arc/orogen. These contrasting expressions reflect the influence of margin-normal variations in rigidity on where and how the upper plate deforms, both to accommodate subducting relief and in response to stresses transmitted across the plate interface. The outer fore arc and arc have lower rigidity due to fracturing and thermal weakening, respectively. Similar associations with complex earthquakes and fault creep suggest aseismic ridge subduction may also be accommodated by the development and evolution of a broad fracture network, the geometrical strength of which may exceed the locking strength of a smooth fault.

  3. Antigorite-induced seismic anisotropy and implications for deformation in subduction zones and the Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shao, Tongbin; Ji, Shaocheng; Kondo, Yosuke; Michibayashi, Katsuyoshi; Wang, Qian; Xu, Zhiqin; Sun, Shengsi; Marcotte, Denis; Salisbury, Matthew H.

    2014-03-01

    The present study, which is a follow-up of the Journal of Geophysical Research paper by Ji et al. (2013a), provides a new calibration for both seismic and fabric properties of antigorite serpentinites. Comparisons of the laboratory velocities of antigorite serpentinites measured at high pressures with crystallographic-preferred orientation data measured using electron backscatter diffraction techniques demonstrate that seismic anisotropy in high T serpentinite, which is essentially controlled by the antigorite c axis fabric, is independent on the operating slip system but strongly dependent on the regime and magnitude of finite strain experienced by the rock. Extrapolation of the experimental data with both pressure and temperature suggests that Vp anisotropy decreases but shear wave splitting (?Vs) and Vp/Vs increase with increasing pressure in either cold or hot subduction zones. For a cold, steeply subducting slab, antigorite is most likely deformed by nearly coaxial flattening or trench-parallel movements, forming trench-parallel seismic anisotropy. For a hot, shallowly subducting slab, however, antigorite is most likely deformed by simple shear or transpression. Trench-normal seismic anisotropy can be observed when the subducting dip angle is smaller than 30°. The geophysical characteristics of the Tibetan Plateau such as strong heterogeneity in Vp, Vs and attenuation, shear wave splitting and electric conductivity may be explained by the presence of strongly deformed serpentinites in lithospheric shear zones reactivated along former suture zones between amalgamated blocks, hydrated zones of subducting lithospheric mantle, and the crust-mantle boundary if the temperature is below 700°C in the region of interest.

  4. Velocity and Density Models Incorporating the Cascadia Subduction Zone for 3D Earthquake Ground Motion Simulations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stephenson, William J.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION In support of earthquake hazards and ground motion studies in the Pacific Northwest, three-dimensional P- and S-wave velocity (3D Vp and Vs) and density (3D rho) models incorporating the Cascadia subduction zone have been developed for the region encompassed from about 40.2?N to 50?N latitude, and from about -122?W to -129?W longitude. The model volume includes elevations from 0 km to 60 km (elevation is opposite of depth in model coordinates). Stephenson and Frankel (2003) presented preliminary ground motion simulations valid up to 0.1 Hz using an earlier version of these models. The version of the model volume described here includes more structural and geophysical detail, particularly in the Puget Lowland as required for scenario earthquake simulations in the development of the Seattle Urban Hazards Maps (Frankel and others, 2007). Olsen and others (in press) used the model volume discussed here to perform a Cascadia simulation up to 0.5 Hz using a Sumatra-Andaman Islands rupture history. As research from the EarthScope Program (http://www.earthscope.org) is published, a wealth of important detail can be added to these model volumes, particularly to depths of the upper-mantle. However, at the time of development for this model version, no EarthScope-specific results were incorporated. This report is intended to be a reference for colleagues and associates who have used or are planning to use this preliminary model in their research. To this end, it is intended that these models will be considered a beginning template for a community velocity model of the Cascadia region as more data and results become available.

  5. Tsunami impact to Washington and northern Oregon from segment ruptures on the southern Cascadia subduction zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Priest, George R.; Zhang, Yinglong; Witter, Robert C.; Wang, Kelin; Goldfinger, Chris; Stimely, Laura

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores the size and arrival of tsunamis in Oregon and Washington from the most likely partial ruptures of the Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) in order to determine (1) how quickly tsunami height declines away from sources, (2) evacuation time before significant inundation, and (3) extent of felt shaking that would trigger evacuation. According to interpretations of offshore turbidite deposits, the most frequent partial ruptures are of the southern CSZ. Combined recurrence of ruptures extending ~490 km from Cape Mendocino, California, to Waldport, Oregon (segment C) and ~320 km from Cape Mendocino to Cape Blanco, Oregon (segment D), is ~530 years. This recurrence is similar to frequency of full-margin ruptures on the CSZ inferred from paleoseismic data and to frequency of the largest distant tsunami sources threatening Washington and Oregon, ~Mw 9.2 earthquakes from the Gulf of Alaska. Simulated segment C and D ruptures produce relatively low-amplitude tsunamis north of source areas, even for extreme (20 m) peak slip on segment C. More than ~70 km north of segments C and D, the first tsunami arrival at the 10-m water depth has an amplitude of <1.9 m. The largest waves are trapped edge waves with amplitude ?4.2 m that arrive ?2 h after the earthquake. MM V–VI shaking could trigger evacuation of educated populaces as far north as Newport, Oregon for segment D events and Grays Harbor, Washington for segment C events. The NOAA and local warning systems will be the only warning at greater distances from sources.

  6. The South Sandwich "Forgotten" Subduction Zone and Tsunami Hazard in the South Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

    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.

  7. South Sandwich: The Forgotten Subduction Zone and Tsunami Hazard in the South Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

    While no large interplate thrust earthquakes are known at the South Sandwich subduction zone, historical catalogues include a number of earthquakes with reported magnitudes of 7 or more. We present a detailed seismological study of the largest one (27 June 1929; M (G&R) = 8.3). The earthquake relocates 80 km North of the Northwestern corner of the arc. Its mechanism, inverted using the PDFM method, features normal faulting on a steeply dipping fault plane (phi, delta, lambda = 71, 70, 272 deg.). The seismic moment, 1.7 10**28 dyn*cm, supports Gutenberg and Richter's estimate, and is 28 times the largest shallow CMT in the region. The 1929 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 using the MOST method [Titov and Synolakis, 1997] suggest deep-water tsunami amplitudes reaching 30 cm off the coast of Brazil, where it should have had observable run-up, and 20 cm along the Gulf of Guinea (Ivory Coast, Ghana). We also simulate a number of potential sources obtained by assigning the 1929 moment to the geometries of other known 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. A common feature of these models is the strong focusing of tsunami waves by the SAR, the SWIOR, and the Agulhas Rise, resulting in amplitudes always enhanced 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.

  8. 3-D Imaging of the Northern Hikurangi Subduction Zone, New Zealand: Subducted Sediment Near Shallow SSEs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    We examine 3-D Vp and Vp/Vs along the northern and central Hikurangi subduction zone, New Zealand, where the subducting Pacific plate offshore is heterogeneous with many seamounts and the overlying Australian plate has rotation and extension. The downdip limit of interseismic coupling is shallower than 15-km, indicating that much of the plate interface (PI) is slipping aseismically, and large shallow slow-slip events (SSEs) and small deep SSEs have been observed. We selected 2600 spatially distributed earthquakes, incorporating upgraded permanent network, and temporary networks from 1993-94, 2001, and 2011-12. Onshore-offshore marine-seismic data were also included, helping to constrain the shallow velocities and the PI gradient, where sampled. Our method used earthquake differential times and receiver differential times with gradational inversions. The results show major variations along strike and regions of subducted sediment. Above the shallow plate interface (less than 20-km depth) and north of Gisborne there is a 70-km long zone of high Vp/Vs and low Vp, which is interpreted as subducted sediment with high fluid-pressure. This section also showed subducted sediment in shallower depth offshore seismic reflection data, and corresponds to an area of shallow SSE's. It is bounded to the north by a high Qp, higher Vp, moderate Vp/Vs feature which may be a seamount, and to the south by high Qp, high Vp features that may correspond to Cretaceaous volcanics or a subducted seamont. At the northeastern tip of the North Island, low Vp above the PI is also consistent with thick sediment. In deeper zones, where the PI is 25-45 km depth, there are northern and central zones of thick low Vp, low Qp material related to underplated sediments, which are uplifting the Raukumara and Kaimanawa Ranges. Small deep (25-45 km) SSEs are related to the central deep underplated sediment zone, but no SSEs have been observed in the northern underplated zone.

  9. Constraining Interseismic Deformation in the Cascadia Subduction Zone Using a Viscoelastic Earthquake Cycle Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, M. J.; Segall, P.; Johnson, K. M.

    2012-12-01

    Most recent models of interseismic deformation in Cascadia have been restricted to elastic half-spaces. In this study, we investigate the interseismic deformation in the Cascadia subduction zone using a viscoelastic earthquake cycle model in order to constrain the extent of plate coupling, elastic plate thickness, and the viscoelastic relaxation time. Our model of the plate interface consists of an elastic layer overlying a Maxwell viscoelastic half-space. The fault in the elastic layer is composed of a fully locked zone that slips during megathrust events at cycle time T= 500 years, and a transition zone where the interseismic slip rate changes from zero (fully coupled) to the plate velocity (zero coupling). Slip deficit within the transition zone is accommodated by either coseismic or rapid post-seismic slip. We model the slip rate in the transition zone using the analytic solution for slip at a constant resistive stress in an elastic full space. We explore ranges for the 4 model parameters: the elastic plate thickness, the relaxation time, and the upper and the lower bounds of the transition zone - that minimize the residual between the predicted surface velocities and the observed GPS data. GPS position solutions were provided by PANGA and our data consists of 29 GPS station velocities from 2002 to 2010 in the Olympic Peninsula - southern Vancouver Island region, since this region is least affected by forearc rotation. Our preliminary result suggests a shallow fully locked zone (< 15 km depth) with a short relaxation time (< 100 years) compared to the recurrence interval (~ 500 years). For a given degree of misfit to the data, accounting for the viscoelastic effect allows deeper locking depth compared to the fully elastic model.

  10. Constraints on upper plate deformation in the Nicaraguan subduction zone from earthquake relocation and directivity analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    French, S. W.; Warren, L. M.; Fischer, K. M.; Abers, G. A.; Strauch, W.; Protti, J. M.; Gonzalez, V.

    2010-03-01

    In the Nicaraguan segment of the Central American subduction zone, bookshelf faulting has been proposed as the dominant style of Caribbean plate deformation in response to oblique subduction of the Cocos plate. A key element of this model is left-lateral motion on arc-normal strike-slip faults. On 3 August 2005, a Mw 6.3 earthquake and its extensive foreshock and aftershock sequence occurred near Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua. To determine the fault plane that ruptured in the main shock, we relocated main shock, foreshock, and aftershock hypocenters and analyzed main shock source directivity using waveforms from the TUCAN Broadband Seismic Experiment. The relocation analysis was carried out by applying the hypoDD double-difference method to P and S onset times and differential traveltimes for event pairs determined by waveform cross correlation. The relocated hypocenters define a roughly vertical plane of seismicity with an N60°E strike. This plane aligns with one of the two nodal planes of the main shock source mechanism. The directivity analysis was based on waveforms from 16 TUCAN stations and indicates that rupture on the N60°E striking main shock nodal plane provides the best fit to the data. The relocation and directivity analyses identify the N60°E vertical nodal plane as the main shock fault plane, consistent with the style of faulting required by the bookshelf model. Relocated hypocenters also define a second fault plane that lies to the south of the main shock fault plane with a strike of N350°E-N355°E. This fault plane became seismically active 5 h after the main shock, suggesting the influence of stresses transferred from the main shock fault plane. The August 2005 earthquake sequence was preceded by a small eruption of a nearby volcano, Concepción, on 28 July 2005. However, the local seismicity does not provide evidence for earthquake triggering of the eruption or eruption triggering of the main shock through crustal stress transfer.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  12. Time-Dependent Inner Core Structures Examined by Repeating Earthquakes in the Southwest Pacific Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, W. C.

    2014-12-01

    Time-dependent inner core structure is interpreted as differential rotation of the Earth's inner core. This inference is made on the basis of variations deviated from an isotropic and homogeneous inner core structure and the amount of velocity perturbations progressively evolving as a function of calendar time. Most compelling evidences for inner core rotation come from the inner core structures beneath Colombia and Venezuela, characterized by strong anisotropy and lateral variation, for the South Sandwich Islands earthquakes recorded by College (COL) and other seismic stations in Alaska. Repeating earthquakes with highly similar waveforms can minimize the potential artifacts due to inter-event separation and unknown short-scale mantle heterogeneities, and can acquire robust measurement of time shift due to temporal change of inner core structures. Moderate repeating earthquake sequences (RES) in the Tonga-Kermadec-Vanuatu in the southwest Pacific subduction zones are studied over a 20-year time window between 1990 and 2009. I select 13 RES consisting of two or three events with time separation of 2 - 14.4 years and analyze the PKiKP-PKPdf, PKPbc-PKPdf, and PKPab-PKPdf phase pairs recorded by the European, African, and central Asian stations sampling the eastern hemisphere of the inner core. I measure the double differential time of the phase pairs using waveform cross-correlation. Majority of the double differential time measurements within ±50 millisecond can largely be explained by the time shift due to inter-event distance on the order of hundreds of meters or less and null change of the PKPdf phase. These observations indicate inner core structures in the eastern hemisphere are uniform and probably insensitive to motion of the inner core.

  13. Subduction factory 2. Are intermediate-depth earthquakes in subducting slabs linked to metamorphic dehydration reactions?

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Bradley R. Hacker; Simon M. Peacock; Geoffrey A. Abers; Stephen D. Holloway

    2003-01-01

    New thermal-petrologic models of subduction zones are used to test the hypothesis that intermediate-depth intraslab earthquakes are linked to metamorphic dehydration reactions in the subducting oceanic crust and mantle. We show that there is a correlation between the patterns of intermediate-depth seismicity and the locations of predicted hydrous minerals: Earthquakes occur in subducting slabs where dehydration is expected, and they

  14. Relative impact of mantle densification and eclogitization of slabs on subduction dynamics: A numerical thermodynamic/thermokinematic investigation of metamorphic density evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duesterhoeft, Erik; Quinteros, Javier; Oberhänsli, Roland; Bousquet, Romain; de Capitani, Christian

    2014-12-01

    Understanding the relationships between density and spatio-thermal variations at convergent plate boundaries is important for deciphering the present-day dynamics and evolution of subduction zones. In particular, the interaction between densification due to mineralogical phase transitions and slab pull forces is subject to ongoing investigations. We have developed a two-dimensional subduction zone model that is based on thermodynamic equilibrium assemblage calculations and includes the effects of melting processes on the density distribution in the lithosphere. Our model calculates the 'metamorphic density' of rocks as a function of pressure, temperature and chemical composition in a subduction zone down to 250 km. We have used this model to show how the hydration, dehydration, partial melting and fractionation processes of rocks all influence the metamorphic density and greatly depend on the temperature field within the subduction system. These processes are largely neglected by other approaches that reproduce the density distribution within this complex tectonic setting. Our model demonstrates that the initiation of eclogitization (i.e., when crustal rocks reach higher densities than the ambient mantle) of the slab is not the only significant process that makes the descending slab denser and generates the slab pull force. Instead, the densification of the lithospheric mantle of the sinking slab starts earlier than eclogitization and contributes significantly to slab pull in the early stages of subduction. Accordingly, the complex metamorphic structure of the slab and the mantle wedge has an important impact on the development of subduction zones.

  15. Metamorphic Rocks

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    2007-12-12

    Here is an in-depth description of metamorphic rocks, from their classification to formation and identification. It covers types of metamorphism (including Barrovian, or regional rock changes), classification by foliation, and metamorphic processes (facies and zones). An alphabetical list of rocks with picture, composition, description, tectonic association, and type of metamorphism is given. Common metamorphic minerals are covered as well.

  16. Interseismic Strain Along the Sumatra Subduction Zone: A Case for a Locked Fault Portion Extending Well Below the Forearc Moho

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simoes, M.; Avouac, J.; Cattin, R.; Henry, P.; Natawidjaja, D. H.

    2003-12-01

    A current and most accepted view about the seismogenic zone along subduction zones is that the downdip extent of the locked fault portion would correspond either to the 350° C isotherm if this temperature is reached above the Moho, or to the intersection with the forearc Moho for colder subduction zones [Oleskevich et al., 1999]. This limit would reflect the transition from slip-weakening friction to aseismic stable-sliding, or else ductile flow. In the first case, when the downdip end of the locked zone is temperature-controlled, stable-sliding of quartzo-feldspathic rocks would be the controlling factor, while the systematic presence of serpentinite or other hydrated minerals is advocated to explain aseismic interplate slip in the mantle at temperatures much less that the 750° C needed for ductile flow of mantle rocks [Peacock and Hyndman, 1999]. Here, we consider the case of the Sumatra subduction zone where the ~53 Myr Indian oceanic crust subducts below an island-arc characterized by a relatively thin crust, with a Moho depth estimated to ~23 km. We model interseismic deformation from a creeping dislocation embedded in an elastic half-space, using the back-slip approach. In addition to recently published GPS velocities, we take advantage of recent data on the pattern and rate of interseismic uplift that have been obtained from the study of coral growth [Natawidjaja, 2003; Sieh et al., 1999]. These data are found to put tight constraints on the horizontal position of the downdip limit of the locked fault zone, at 127 +/- 4/2 km from the trench. This position corresponds to a depth between 40 and 58 km and to a temperature of 269° C +/- 155° C, when compared with thermal modeling. So, in this particular setting, the locked fault portion extends well into the mantle. However, temperature is not high enough to advocate stable sliding or ductile flow of unaltered or altered mantle rocks. This case appeals to some reappraisal of the physical control on the depth of the locked fault zone along subduction zones. References. Natawidjaja, D.H., Neotectonics of the Sumatran fault and paleogeodesy of the Sumatran subduction zone., PhD thesis, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, 2003. Oleskevich, D.A., R.D. Hyndman, and K. Wang, The updip and downdip limit to great subduction earthquakes : thermal and structural models of Cascadia, South Alaska, SW Japan and Chile., Journal of Geophysical Research, 104 (B7), 14965-14991, 1999. Peacock, S.M., and R.D. Hyndman, Hydrous minerals in the mantle wedge and the maximum depth of subdcution thrust earthquakes., Geophysical Research Letters, 26 (16), 2517-2520, 1999. Sieh, K., S.N. Ward, D. Natawidjaja, and B.W. Suwargadi, Crustal deformation at the Sumatra subduction zone revealed by coral data., Geophysical Research Letters, 26 (20), 3141-3144, 1999.

  17. Traces of H2O in Ultrahigh-Pressure Metamorphic Rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobrzhinetskaya, L. F.

    2007-05-01

    Ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic rocks accommodate a significant amount of H2O at high pressures and temperatures during their deep subduction. Fluid-driven processes are responsible for mineral reactions; they may trigger phase transformations and provide a decisive weakening effect on the rheological behavior of the rocks during deep subduction, or they may lead to brittle failure and earthquakes. Dehydration reactions, producing fluid (i.e., H2O, CO2) during regional metamorphism at low-to-mid crustal levels (P ~ 0.1 - 1 GPa), are reasonably pressure insensitive. At these levels, the maximum dehydration occurs at the greatest temperatures experienced by buried rocks. In the deep subduction zone (> 120 - 150 km), where both high pressures and temperatures operate, the situation is different. There, on the one hand, the water becomes chemically bonded and incorporated into the structure of both nominally hydrous and anhydrous minerals. On the other hand, the aqueous fluid (a supercritical fluid) dissolves a considerable amount of mineral components at high pressures and temperatures, and a solute concentration increases as pressure is increased. Microstructural observations on ultrahigh-pressure minerals from eclogites and metasediments provide convincing evidence of fluid involvement as deep as the upper mantle and possibly, the mantle transition zone. Diamond is one of the minerals of great importance because it unambiguously records the high pressure (minimum 4 GPa and possibly > 4GPa) at which the host rocks were recrystallized. We present here the results of studies of nano-inclusions associated with dislocations of growth and/or with interstitial defects of carbon in diamond structure obtained with transmission electron microscopy, microRaman, and microInfrared synchrotron assisted spectroscopy. A diverse composition of multicomponent fluid and crystalline inclusions and characteristic of nitrogen aggregations, provide evidence that the diamonds were crystallized from a supercritical C-O-H fluid during a UHP metamorphism related to continental collision. These observations are also consistent with diamonds synthesized at high pressure and high temperature from graphite, amorphous carbon, and coal in the presence of H2O. The crustal signature of carbon isotopes (? 13C) in the diamonds, together with their multiphase fluid- solid inclusions, provides evidence of a pathway by which organic carbon and H2O were subducted to the mantle depths and returned back to the Earth's surface. Microstructural patterns such as healed cracks, microfabrics, etc., observed in other minerals co-existing with diamonds, can therefore be recognized and attributed to UPH metamorphism events and may cast a light on the deformation and rheology of UHP metamorphic rocks.

  18. Viscous flow and deformation of regional metamorphic belts at convergent plate boundaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwamori, Hikaru

    2003-06-01

    Viscous flow and deformation of a Newtonian fluid between rigid boundaries have been modeled for investigating deformation of a forearc wedge and a regional metamorphic belt as a weak deforming zone between the plates at convergent boundaries. Three types of analytic formulations together with numerical formulations for a Newtonian fluid with a constant viscosity are used for investigating various flows and deformation: (1) flows induced by squeezing between two parallel boundaries, (2) flows induced by squeezing and heterogeneous mass influx in the wedge between two oblique boundaries (e.g., accretionary wedge over the subducting plate with the continental plate as a backstop), and (3) flows induced by dragging along the boundaries and by homogeneous mass influx in the wedge as in type 2. All cases include strike-slip movements of the boundaries, which allows us to investigate three-dimensional (3-D) deformation (e.g., 3-D corner flow). The corresponding flow, deformation of infinitesimal and finite elements, and the timescale of flow are calculated for each configuration with various mechanical boundary conditions. The model results show that configuration and mechanism of the flow can be inferred from the spatial variation of finite deformation (e.g., deformed radiolarians as a strain marker and geometry of folding as finite deformation of a large block). In particular, prolate strain nearly parallel to the strike of subduction zone, together with a large-scale folding, can be a good indicator for deformation in the forearc wedge associated with 3-D corner flow induced by oblique subduction. Deformation observed in the Cretaceous regional metamorphic belts in southwest Japan can be explained by this mechanism.

  19. Slab-Forearc Density Structure and Rigidity Controlling the Seismogenic Behaviour Along the Peru-Chile Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

    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 important consequence for our understanding of the physical processes and factors interacting along seismogenic zones in general and the Peru-Chile trench in particular

  20. Slab-Forearc Density Structure and Rigidity Controlling the Seismogenic Behaviour Along the Peru-Chile Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

    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 important consequence for our understanding of the physical processes and factors interacting along seismogenic zones in general and the Peru-Chile trench in particular

  1. Provenance of eclogitic metasediments in the north Qilian HP/LT metamorphic terrane, western China: Geodynamic implications for early Paleozoic subduction-erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, J. X.; Li, J. P.; Yu, S. Y.; Meng, F. C.; Mattinson, C. G.; Yang, H. J.; Ker, C. M.

    2012-10-01

    In this contribution, we present new petrological, geochemical, zircon U-Pb and Hf isotopic data for eclogitic metasediments from the north Qilian orogenic belt, in which early Paleozoic ophiolitic sequences and HP/LT metamorphic rocks have been previously recognized. The studied metasediments contain eclogite facies assemblages reflecting P-T conditions of 450-560 °C and 1.9-2.4 GPa, consistent with those of adjacent eclogites. REE compositions of the eclogitic metasediments overlap those of average upper continental crust. The SHRIMP and LA-MC-ICPMS U-Pb data of zircons from metasediments demonstrate input from sources with major age components about 500 Ma and 1600-1900 Ma (peak at ~ 1800 Ma), with a smaller population at 660-800 Ma (peak at 750 Ma), and minor > 1.9 Ga zircon ages. The youngest detrital zircons suggest a maximum depositional age of ca. 475 Ma, and combined with P-T conditions and previously determined metamorphic age suggest a burial rate of > 0.6-0.7 cm/yr. Zircon Hf isotopic analyses show that 500 Ma zircons have positive ?Hf(t) (mainly between + 8 and + 16). By contrast, Meso- to Paleoproterozoic detrital zircons show a broad spectrum of ?Hf(t) (mainly between - 5 and + 10) with TDMHf of 1800-2500 Ma. These data suggest that eclogitic metasediments are derived from a mixture of Proterozoic continent crust and juvenile early Paleozoic oceanic and/or island arc crust, and their protoliths likely were deposited in a terrigenous-dominated continental margin basin rather than a pelagic oceanic crust environment. The new results are consistent with subduction erosion of the active continental margin during south-dipping subduction, as these sediments, formed in a fore-arc environment close to the Qilian block to the south, were transported in the subduction zone to 60-70 km depth prior to their exhumation.

  2. Constraints on Subduction Zone Coupling along the Philippine and Manila Trenches based on GPS and Seismological Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamburger, M. W.; Johnson, K. M.; Nowicki, M. A. E.; Bacolcol, T. C.; Solidum, R., Jr.; Galgana, G.; Hsu, Y. J.; Yu, S. B.; Rau, R. J.; McCaffrey, R.

    2014-12-01

    We present results of two techniques to estimate the degree of coupling along the two major subduction zone boundaries that bound the Philippine Mobile Belt, the Philippine Trench and the Manila Trench. Convergence along these plate margins accommodates about 100 mm/yr of oblique plate motion between the Philippine Sea and Sundaland plates. The coupling estimates are based on a recently acquired set of geodetic data from a dense nationwide network of continuous and campaign GPS sites in the Philippines. First, we use a kinematic, elastic block model (tdefnode; McCaffrey, 2009) that combines existing fault geometries, GPS velocities and focal mechanism solutions to solve for block rotations, fault coupling, and intra-block deformation. Secondly, we use a plate-block kinematic model described in Johnson (2013) to simultaneously estimate long-term fault slip rates, block motions and interseismic coupling on block-bounding faults. The best-fit model represents the Philippine Mobile Belt by 14 independently moving rigid tectonic blocks, separated by active faults and subduction zones. The model predicts rapid convergence along the Manila Trench, decreasing progressively southwards, from > 100 mm/yr in the north to less than 20 mm/yr in the south at the Mindoro Island collision zone. Persistent areas of high coupling, interpreted to be asperities, are observed along the Manila Trench slab interface, in central Luzon (16-18°N) and near its southern and northern terminations. Along the Philippine Trench, we observe ~50 mm/yr of oblique convergence, with high coupling observed at its central and southern segments. We identify the range of allowable coupling distributions and corresponding moment accumulation rates on the two subduction zones by conducting a suite of inversions in which the total moment accumulation rate on a selected fault is fixed. In these constrained moment inversions we test the range of possible solutions that meet criteria for minimum, best-fit, and maximum coupling that still fit the data, based on reduced chi-squared calculations. In spite of the variable coupling, the total potential moment accumulation rate along each of the two subduction zones is estimated to range from 3.98 x 1019 to 2.24 x 1020 N-m yr-1, equivalent to a magnitude Mw 8.4 to 8.9 earthquake per 100 years.

  3. Variability in forearc deformation during subduction: Insight from geodynamic models and application to the Calabria subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Zhihao; Schellart, Wouter; Duarte, Joao

    2015-04-01

    In nature subducting slabs and overriding plate segments bordering subduction zones are generally embedded within larger plates. Such large plates can impose far-field boundary conditions that impact the style of subduction and overriding plate deformation. Here we present 3D dynamic analogue models of subduction, in which the far-field boundary conditions at the trailing edges of the subducting plate (SP) and overriding plate (OP) are varied. Four configurations are presented: Free (both plates free), SP-Fixed, OP-Fixed and SP-OP-Fixed. We investigate their impact on the kinematics and dynamics of subduction, with a special focus on overriding plate deformation. Our models indicate that in natural (narrow) subduction zones, assuming a homogeneous overriding plate, the formation of backarc basins (e.g., Tyrrhenian Sea, Aegean Sea, Scotia Sea) is generally expected to occur at a comparable location (300-500 km from the trench), irrespective of the boundary condition. Furthermore, our models indicate that the style of forearc deformation (shortening or extension) is determined by the mobility of the overriding plate through controlling the force normal to the subduction zone interface (trench suction). Our geodynamic model that uses the SP-OP-Fixed set-up is comparable to the Calabria subduction zone with respect to subduction kinematics, slab geometry, trench curvature and accretionary wedge configuration. Furthermore, it provides explanation for the natural observations of both backarc extension in the Tyrrhenian Sea and forearc extension in the Calabria region, which have been active since the Miocene. We explain the observations as a consequence of subduction of the narrow Calabrian slab and the immobility of the subducting African plate and overriding Eurasian plate. This setting forced subduction to be accommodated almost entirely by slab rollback (not trenchward overriding plate motion), while trench retreat was accommodated almost entirely by backarc and forearc extension (not trenchward overriding plate motion), similarly to our SP-OP-Fixed model. This tectonic setting induced strong trench suction, which caused the forearc extension in Calabria.

  4. Nanoscale Properties of Rocks and Subduction Zone Rheology: Inferences for the Mechanisms of Deep Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riedel, M. R.

    2007-12-01

    Grain boundaries are the key for the understanding of mineral reaction kinetics. More generally, nanometer scale processes involved in breaking and establishing bonds at reaction sites determine how and at which rate bulk rock properties change in response to external tectonic forcing and possibly feed back into various geodynamic processes. A particular problem is the effects of grain-boundary energy on the kinetics of the olivine-spinel phase transformation in subducting slabs. Slab rheology is affected in many ways by this (metastable) mineral phase change. Sluggish kinetics due to metastable hindrance is likely to cause particular difficulties, because of possible strong non-linear feedback loops between strain-rate and change of creep properties during transformation. In order to get these nanoscale properties included into thermo-mechanical models, reliable kinetic data is required. The measurement of grain-boundary energies is, however, a rather difficult problem. Conventional methods of grain boundary surface tension measurement include (a) equilibrium angles at triple junction (b) rotating ball method (c) thermal groove method, and others (Gottstein & Shvindlerman, 1999). Here I suggest a new method that allows for the derivation of grain-boundary energies for an isochemical phase transformation based on experimental (in-situ) kinetic data in combination with a corresponding dynamic scaling law (Riedel and Karato, 1997). The application of this method to the olivine-spinel phase transformation in subducting slabs provides a solution to the extrapolation problem of measured kinetic data: Any kinetic phase boundary measured at the laboratory time scale can be "scaled" to the correct critical isotherm at subduction zones, under experimentelly "forbidden" conditions (Liou et al., 2000). Consequences for the metastability hypothesis that relates deep seismicity with olivine metastability are derived and discussed. References: Gottstein G, Shvindlerman LS (1999) Grain Boundary Migration in Metals, CRC Press, 385 pp., New York. Riedel MR, Karato S (1997) Grain-Size Evolution in Subducted Oceanic Lithosphere Associated with the Olivine- Spinel Transformation and Its Effects on Rheology. EPSL 148: 27-43. Liou JG, Hacker BR, Zhang RY (2000) Into the forbidden zone. Science 287, 1215-1216.

  5. Anisotropy in the Chile-Argentina Flat Slab Subduction Zone, South America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, M. L.; Zandt, G.; Fouch, M. J.; Triep, E.

    2003-12-01

    The South American subduction zone exhibits a dramatic change in dip of the subducting Nazca plate from latitudes 30° S to 36° S beneath Chile and Argentina. At 30° S the slab flattens at a depth of approximately 100 km under Argentina and extends at that depth almost 300 km eastward before continuing its descent into the mantle. South of 33° S, the slab has a uniform dip of approximately 30° . We are analyzing teleseismic and local earthquakes for seismic anisotropy to better understand the deformation and mantle flow associated with this change in subduction geometry. Earthquakes were recorded by 22 portable broadband seismic stations as a part of the CHile ARgentina Geophysical Experiment (CHARGE). In this study, we analyzed teleseismic SKS and SKKS arrivals from earthquakes with epicentral distances 85° -140° from the network as well as S arrivals from local earthquakes in the subducting slab. Preliminary shear wave splitting analyses of local S waves exhibit splitting times of 0.1-0.4 s with a heterogeneous azimuthal distribution of fast axes at some stations in the north, directly above the flat slab. The highest quality results for shear wave splitting from teleseismic events give similar results in this region. We observe larger splitting times ( ˜0.8 s) with fast directions oriented E-W at stations in the northern part of our network, eastward of the flat slab region. In the southern part of our network, we observe generally N-S fast directions and a broad range (0.2-0.6 s) of splitting times. Preliminary results for the southern portion of our study region are consistent with a model in which N-S mantle flow resulting from retrograde motion of the subducting Nazca plate controls the direction and magnitude of the mantle anisotropy as suggested by Russo and Silver (1994). In the flat slab zone, however, the fast polarization axis is perpendicular (i.e. E-W) to that predicted by the retrograde slab model. We therefore suggest that the local bending geometry of the subducting slab could produce mantle flow in an E-W direction.

  6. Intertidal land-level changes during the most recent megathrust earthquake at the Cascadia subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milker, Y.; Horton, B.; Engelhart, S. E.; Nelson, A. R.; Witter, R. C.

    2013-12-01

    Estuarine marshes along the US-Pacific coast host unique stratigraphic sequences that record coseismic land-level changes and tsunamis during the most recent magnitude 8-9 earthquakes at the Cascadia subduction zone. Earlier studies have shown the great potential of microfossil reconstructions of land-level changes during past earthquakes, but these estimates are available only at a few sites and the precision of many is quite low with errors of >×0.3 m. To make more accurate reconstructions of earthquake-induced land-level changes along the Oregon coast of Cascadia, we sampled a surface transect (18 stations) in the Sough Slough estuary in order to identify live and dead benthic foraminiferal assemblages and their relations to their environment. We collected 0.5-m-long Russian cores at seven selected stations in the Sough Slough estuary in order to study the influence of infaunal living species on the reliability and precision of relative sea-level estimates. We also collected 3-4-m-long vibracores in South Slough and a second estuary 12 km to the south to examine changes in late Holocene fossil foraminiferal assemblages resulting from land-level changes and sea-level rise. New local and regional transfer functions using modern benthic foraminiferal assemblages will be developed and their performance will be evaluated before applying them to the fossil assemblages. The modern foraminiferal assemblages in the South Slough estuary show a strong vertical distribution with higher numbers of Miliammina fusca restricted to the mud flat and low marsh stations, and higher numbers of Jadammina macresences, Balticammina pseudomacrescens, Trochammina inflata and Haplophragmoides manilaensis in the middle marsh stations. Higher numbers of Trochamminita irregularis and Trochamminita sp. were observed in the high marsh and upland stations. Our initial results of the infaunal distribution study shows that the majority of living foraminifera (51 - 118 specimen per 10 cm3 sediment volume) are restricted to 0-2 cm depths, but lower numbers with 1 to 3 living specimen per 10 cm3 sediment volume have been found down to 50 cm depth. A preliminary local transfer function, based on the modern assemblages in the study area, shows a good potential predictive accuracy of × 0.25 m for earthquake-induced land-level estimates. A first application of this transfer function to the fossil assemblages indicates coseismic coastal subsidence of 0.42 m × 0.30 m during the most recent megathrust earthquake (AD 1700) in South Slough.

  7. Splay Faults as Primary Targets for Drilling Within the Nankai Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LE PICHON, X.; LE PICHON, X.; Henry, P.; Lallemant, S.

    2001-12-01

    The Nankai subduction may be considered as an ideal case of fully and homogeneously locked subduction. Large earthquakes occur there on a quasi-periodic basis (100-150 yr.) and account for most of the subduction motion. It has been considered for many years as a prime target for investigations by drilling of the seismogenic zone. However, the important role played by subducting basement topography in the structuring of the Nankai wedge and subduction zone has only recently been realized. We propose that activation of splay thrusts is a mechanism by which subducting basement topography influences seismic activity in a decisive fashion and consider that these splay faults become primary drilling targets relatively easy to reach. As the geometrical asperity is impinging the accretionary wedge, it leaves a scar behind it in the form of an embayment. Decollement propagation restarts seaward of it at an accelerated rate. As the asperity is subducted below the backstop, one (or several) splay fault is formed and may propagate laterally beyond the geometrical asperity. From then on, a significant part of the subduction motion is diverted along the splay fault that is probably the true prolongation of the seismogenic zone to the seafloor. In this model, most of the motion is released along the splay fault during the earthquake and during the interseismic period, a significant part of it is slowly transferred to the seaward ductile decollement. Thus splay faults become very important targets for drilling as they can be reached with limited core length and as they have a decisive influence on the rupture distribution during large earthquakes and on the generation of tsunamis. In eastern Nankai, the impingement every two millions years or so of the wedge backstop by regularly spaced volcanic ridges associated with the Izu-Bonin arc activates splay faults with associated fluid seepage sites (Tokai Thrust and possibly Kodaiba Fault). Tokai thrust continues westward within the Kumano basin beyond the subducted ridge. In central Nankai, seamount groups along a now inactive spreading center also impinge the margin and are the likely cause for activation of splay faults. These appear to extend westward south of Tosa basin. Seismological and tsunami studies suggest that coseismic motion on these splay faults occurred during the 1946 Nankai-do subduction earthquake. Consequently, both zones appear as major drilling targets corresponding to a similar scientific rationale. We argue however that Eastern Nankai is logistically easier to address by drilling. We note further that the eastern target was not ruptured during the 1944 Tonankai earthquake and that consequently the events immediately preceding the rupture may be monitored within the instrumented hole.

  8. Behaviour of high field strength elements in subduction zones: constraints from Kamchatka-Aleutian arc lavas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Münker, Carsten; Wörner, Gerhard; Yogodzinski, Gene; Churikova, Tatiana

    2004-08-01

    Models explaining the characteristic depletion of High Field Strength Elements (HFSE) relative to elements of similar compatibility in subduction zone magmas invoke either (1) the presence of HFSE-rich minerals in the subduction regime or (2) a selectively lower mobility of HFSE during subduction metasomatism of the mantle. In order to investigate the properties of HFSE in subduction regimes closer, we performed high precision measurements of Nb/Ta, Zr/Hf, and Lu/Hf ratios together with 176Hf/ 177Hf analyses on arc rocks from Kamchatka and the western Aleutians. The volcanic rocks of the Kamchatka region comprise compositional end members for both fluid and slab melt controlled mantle regimes, thus enabling systematic studies on the HFSE mobility at different conditions in the subarc mantle. Hf-Nd isotope and systematic Zr/Hf and Lu/Hf covariations illustrate that Zr-Hf and Lu are immobile in fluid-dominated regimes. Hf-Nd isotope compositions furthermore indicate the presence of "Indian" type depleted mantle beneath Kamchatka, as previously shown for the Mariana and Izu-Bonin arcs. In addition to a depleted mantle component, Hf-Nd isotope compositions enable identification of a more enriched mantle wedge component in the back-arc (Sredinny Ridge) that most likely consists of mantle lithosphere. The ratios of Nb/Ta and Zr/Hf are decoupled in rocks from fluid-dominated sources, indicating that Nb and Ta can be enriched in the mantle by subduction fluids to a small extent. In contrast to the fluid-dominated regime in Central Kamchatka, the budget of HFSE and Lu in rocks from the Northern Kamchatka Depression and in adakitic rocks from the western Aleutians is significantly affected by slab melts that originate from subducted oceanic crust. Compositions of the rocks with the highest slab melt components in their source (Sr/Y>30) provide no evidence that either Nb/Ta or Zr/Hf ratios are fractionated at a globally significant scale during melting of subducted oceanic crust. Subduction processes are therefore an unlikely candidate to explain the terrestrial Nb-Ta paradox (i.e., the subchondritic Nb/Ta ratios in all accessible terrestrial silicate reservoirs).

  9. Seismic tremor under the subduction zones: the rock-physics interpretation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burlini, L.; di Toro, G.; Meredith, P.; Mainprice, D.; Burg, J.

    2006-12-01

    Elevated pore fluid pressures in rocks leads to weakening and embrittlement through the principle of effective stress. Any material can fail by hydraulic fracture if pore pressure exceeds the confining pressure. We have measured the output of seismicity, as acoustic emission (AE) energy, during heating of serpentinite samples to beyond their equilibrium dehydration temperatures. Experiments were performed on 30mm long cores with a diameter of approximately 15mm, under a hydrostatic stress of 200 and 300 MPa in a Paterson high- pressure/high-temperature internally-heated gas apparatus. AEs were recorded via two piezoelectric transducers embedded in the sample end caps, away from the hot zone at the ends of two hollow zirconia buffer rods. Drained and undrained conditions were achieved by placing either permeable or impermeable discs between the samples and the buffer rods. At 200 MPa, serpentinites dehydrates to talc + olivine and water around 800 K. Microseismicity in the form of high-energy AE events was confined to a narrow temperature interval just above the equilibrium dehydration temperature. This overstep is due to the heating rate being faster than for equilibrium studies in our experiments. The high-energy AE events were characterised by very long duration, which is typical of a cascade of multiple overlapping events that cannot be individually resolved. Under drained conditions, the serpentinite samples showed a clear volume reduction due to the dehydration reaction and subsequent compaction. By contrast, under undrained conditions, the samples maintained the same dimensions, but lost weight, implying that no compaction occurred during dehydration. Our results conclusively show that seismicity can be generated by dehydration reactions even in the absence of a deviatoric stress. This has potentially important implications for earthquake nucleation in subducting lithospheric plates. Moreover, the cascade of events that followed the onset of dehydration may well be related to the low-amplitude long-duration (tremor) seismic events that characterize the seismic activity in subduction zones and has been tentatively interpreted as caused by dehydration of the subductiong plate. Support to this hypothesis comes from our laboratory observation where low-amplitude and long-duration events were correlated with the flow of water outside the sample through the porous spacers and the thermocouple holes.

  10. The June 23, 2001, Peru Earthquake and the Southern Peru Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giovanni, M.; Beck, S.; Wagner, L.

    2001-12-01

    The plate boundary between the South American plate and the subducting Nazca plate along the Peru coast has been the site of large destructive earthquakes for many centuries including the recent June 23, 2001 (Mw=8.4) event. This underthrusting event has an aftershock area of 320 km by 100 km based on relocated aftershocks recorded globally during the first month. Modeling of the teleseismic broadband P waveforms of the 2001 Peru earthquake indicate the source time function has two pulses of moment release with the larger second pulse located approximately 120 to 160 km southeast of the mainshock hypocenter indicating a unilateral rupture to the southeast. The south-central Peru segment (12° -19° S) of the subduction zone has ruptured in underthrusting earthquakes this century from north to south in 1974 (Mw=8.0), 1996 (Mw=7.7), 1942 (Mw=7.9-8.2) and 2001 (Mw=8.4). The 1974, 1996, 1942, and 2001 earthquakes have source durations of 60, 45, 75, and 100 sec respectively, and all initiated with a small pulse of moment release followed by much larger moment release delayed in time. The 1974, 1996, and 2001 earthquakes all show unilateral rupture to the SSE with the largest pulse of moment release occurring at least 100 km from the mainshock hypocenter. The maximum intensities observed for the 1942 earthquake also suggest a possible southeast rupture. There is some overlap along strike in the aftershock areas of these four events but there does not seem to be overlap in the rupture of the largest asperities associated with each event. Previous earthquakes in 1868, 1784, and 1604 ruptured the same segment of the plate boundary as the 2001 earthquake. Based on intensity and tsunami reports the 1868 and 1604 events were larger than the 2001 earthquake while the 1784 event may have been smaller. Assuming the last earthquake to rupture the southern Peru segment was 1896 then the time between events (133 years) and a convergent rate of 9 cm/yr suggests 12 m of accumulated tectonic slip prior to the 2001 earthquake. Preliminary estimates of the slip during the rupture of the largest asperity during the 2001 earthquake are 9 to 15 m suggesting that a portion of the plate boundary was locked between events. The occurrence of the 2001 earthquake provides further evidence that the mode and size of earthquake rupture along the Peru coast has changed between successive earthquake cycles.

  11. Imaging the Andaman and Sunda Subduction Zones Using Regional Double-Difference Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deshon, H. R.; Zhang, H.; Thurber, C. H.; Engdahl, E.

    2007-12-01

    We present an extension of the double-difference (DD) local earthquake tomography algorithm to teleseismic scales and show initial results for the Andaman and Sunda subduction systems. The 2004 and 2005 great Sumatra earthquakes and the resulting aftershock sequences generated thousands of globally recorded events and illuminated the shallow seismogenic zone. We focus analysis on earthquakes that meet the stringent Engdahl-van der Hilst-Buland (EHB) location quality criteria, as these events provide the most reliable information for imaging the complexities of the seismogenic zone. Where broadband waveforms exist, we use a frequency- based automatic picking technique to identify additional first arrivals and depth phase onset times for inclusion in the dataset. Waveform cross-correlation is used to reduce relative picking errors between earthquakes with similar waveforms, leading to higher precision differential times. To extend the DD tomography code for use with teleseismic raypaths, we integrated a hybrid ray tracer that combines a finite-difference (FD) travel time calculator and pseudo-bending algorithm to solve for P and S first arrivals. This advancement allows us to use teleseismic data to more precisely determine the relative location of subduction zone earthquakes, especially their focal depths, and solve for 3D velocity heterogeneity. The FD travel time calculator is computationally stable and capable of computing travel times to all points in the model and can locate diffractions in ray shadow zones. It can find the correct solution even in strongly heterogeneous medium. However, its accuracy depends on grid spacing size and computation time may be unacceptable if the grid size is too small for the desired accuracy. Therefore, the FD travel time calculator is used to provide an approximate initial raypath. We then apply the spherical pseudo-bending algorithm of Koketsu and Sekine (1998) to further improve raypath accuracy. Because of non-linearity of the two-point problem, this algorithm may fail to find the true two-point ray path in a heterogeneous medium if the initial ray path to start with is far from the true solution. By combining the two algorithms, we can efficiently and accurately find the ray path solution even in strongly heterogeneous medium.

  12. Nitrogen systematics and gas fluxes of subduction zones: Insights from Costa Rica arc volatiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmer, Mindy M.; Fischer, Tobias P.; Hilton, David R.; Alvarado, Guillermo E.; Sharp, Zachary D.; Walker, James A.

    2004-05-01

    Volcanic gases are a powerful tool for assessing magmatic processes in subduction zones. We report gas chemistry and nitrogen isotope compositions of fumaroles, bubbling springs, and geothermal wells from the Costa Rican segment of the Central American volcanic segment (CAVS), and new correlation spectroscopy (COSPEC) SO2 flux measurements of Poás and Arenal volcanoes. N2/He ratios (100-8,250) and nitrogen isotope compositions (?15N = -3.02 to +1.69‰) of Costa Rica volatiles are consistent with sources ranging from typical arc-type end-members, with nitrogen addition from the subducting slab, to MORB end-member, having experienced no slab modification. Overall, nitrogen-helium chemistry of Costa Rican material indicates a diminished slab contribution versus other locations along the arc (e.g., Nicaragua and Guatemala). We use SO2 flux measurements of Poás and Arenal (1.80*105 ± 4.00*104 and 8.30*103 ± 4.00*103 kg/day, respectively, or 1.30*105 ± 6.25*104 and 2.81*106 ± 6.25*105 mol/day, respectively) to extrapolate a SO2 flux for the Costa Rica segment of 1.09*109 mol/day. Using CO2/St (St = total sulfur) of 2.7 and 5.9, we calculate CO2 fluxes of 1.88*108 and 4.11*108 kg/yr, respectively (2.94*109 and 6.42*109 mol/yr, respectively). Other volatile fluxes (N2, He, H2, Ar, HCl, and H2O) are calculated using CO2/St and regional gas chemistry. For Costa Rica, the output/input ratios of nitrogen are less than unity (0.03 to 0.06 for CO2/St of 2.7 and 5.9, respectively), suggesting more N is subducted than released in the subarc, possibly resulting from sediment offscraping, forearc devolatilization, limited fluid availability in the subarc, or subduction past the subarc.

  13. Deep electrical conductivity structure of the Cascadia subduction zone in Southern British Columbia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soyer, W.; Unsworth, M. J.; Xiao, W.; Kovacs, G. J.; Samson, C.; Fernberg, P.

    2004-05-01

    Long period magnetotelluric (MT) measurements were made in southwestern British Columbia in 2003 to investigate the electrical structure of the Cascadia subduction zone as part of the POLARIS project. Data were recorded in the period range 1 to 25000 seconds at 36 field sites using long-period MT systems with fluxgate magnetometers. The instruments used were the Geological Survey of Canada LIMS systems and University of Alberta NIMS systems. MT data were collected at many locations in the Canadian Cordillera during the Lithoprobe project, but the new MT data are the first to give the long period data needed for imaging deep structure. The stations were concentrated on a profile that extended from Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island to Shuswap Lake. Some MT stations were located in Washington State to investigate the 3-D effects of the low resistivity salt water in the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound. The MT impedance data have been analyzed with 2-D inversions and the models reveal the following features: (1) The data on Vancouver Island detect low resistivities above the subducting Juan de Fuca plate, similar to previous results on a profile to the northwest. This anomaly corresponds to an area of high seismic reflectivity ('E-reflector') and low seismicity, and may be related to fluids originating from the oceanic plate. (2) A zone of low resistivity is present beneath the volcanic arc at a depth of 15-20 km below the surface. (3) The Intermontane and Omineca Belts are characterized by high resistivities in the upper crust and low resistivity in the lower crust, similar to models of previous studies such as Lithoprobe. The lower crustal resistivity decreases to the east, as also indicated by vertical magnetic transfer functions. Further analysis of these data are in progress to determine the resistivity of the underlying upper mantle and to evaluate the depth of the astenosphere. A second deployment of the NIMS instruments in summer 2004 will extend the line across the Rocky Mountains into the Foothills of Alberta, and will produce a continuous long-period MT profile across the entire Canadian Cordillera.

  14. Tsunami recurrence inferred from soil deposits on Ishigaki island along the Ryukyu subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ando, M.; Shishikura, M.; Tu, Y.; Nakamura, M.; Arashiro, Y.

    2012-12-01

    The Ryukyu trench at the northwestern boundary of the Philippine Sea plate had no known thrust earthquakes Mw>8.0 in approximately the last 250 years. Due to this lack of associated large thrust earthquakes, an accepted common idea is that Ryukyu trench is aseismic. However, in 1771 a large tsunami struck Ishigaki islands and Miyako islands with the run-up height of up to 30-35 m. The 1771 source is suggested to be a tsunami (slow) earthquake with Mw=8.0 that occurred near the trench axis. Furthermore, very-low frequency earthquakes at shallow depths near the trench axis and slow-slip events at depths of 30km have been identified in the western Ryukyu trench. These findings suggest that the Ryukyu subduction zone has the potential to generate large thrust earthquakes. If the slip deficit has accumulated at the interface, the accumulated slip of more than 30 m would cause a large earthquake and a huge tsunami. Considering the abovementioned findings, estimate for the size and recurrence intervals of past tsunamis along the western Ryukyu trench was undertaken through excavation surveys of the Holocene deposits in Ishigaki and Miyako islands. The excavated sites are located on the lower Holocene marine terraces and implemented using a geoslicer or backhoes at 10 sites on November 2011 and June 2012. Stratigraphic and foraminiferal assemblages of tsunami sediment were compared with shallow beach sand to gain information on sediment source and depositional style. Based on the excavations, two tsunami layers were identified at 5 sites and provided estimates of sedimentation ages. The results obtained from stratigaraphic and foraminiferal analyses together with C14 dates of tsunami sediment indicated an event between 9-11th C. on Ishigaki and another or the same event occurred between 11th C. and 1771 on Miyako island. Consequently, if the 1771 earthquake is the only event that had occurred in the last 300 years over the 120 km, large earthquakes would potentially occur in the future along the rest of segments along the Western Ryukyu boundary.

  15. Crustal deformation at the Nankai subduction zone inferred from onshore GPS velocities and seafloor geodetic observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, T.; Tadokoro, K.; Ikuta, R.; Okuda, T.; Nagai, S.; Kuno, M.

    2011-12-01

    The Philippine Sea plate (PH) subducts beneath the southwest Japan along the Nankai Trough with a rate of about 4-6 cm/yr, where megathrust earthquakes have repeatedly occurred every 100-150 years. The probability of earthquake occurrence within 30 years from January 1st, 2011 are estimated to be 87 %, 70 %, and 60 % for the next Tokai, Tonankai, and Nankai earthquakes, respectively. We are concerned about the expansion of earthquake damage because these earthquakes have possibilities of interlocking with adjacent segments according to the historical record. Thus, it is important to know the spatio-temporal variation of crustal deformation accompanied with plate interaction. For this issue, we have conducted seafloor geodetic observation at the Nankai Trough using a GPS/Acoustic technique since 2004. In this system, we estimate the position of a surveying vessel by Kinematic GPS analysis and measure the distance between the vessel and the benchmark on the seafloor by Acoustic measurements. Next we determine the location of the benchmark. For the repeatability of this observation, the location of benchmark is determined within a precision of 2-3 cm at horizontal components. Recently, a number of research institutes have conducted seafloor geodetic observation using this technique before and after earthquakes occurred in offshore area, and then they have provided significant achievement to understand inter-, co-, and post-seismic crustal deformation. Several seafloor benchmarks are located at the Nankai subduction zone, which are individually operated by Japan Coast Guard, Tohoku University, and Nagoya University. In the Kumano Basin, we have three seafloor benchmarks located about 60-80 km away from the deformation front of the Nankai Trough. The observations from 2005 to 2010 have illustrated that those benchmarks are moving at rates of about 3-4 cm/yr toward west-northwest with velocity uncertainties of about 2 cm/yr relative to the Amurian plate (AM). In this study, we investigate interplate coupling at the Nankai Trough using onshore GPS velocities derived from Geophysical Survey Institute of Japan and offshore GPS site velocities derived from seafloor geodetic observation. We assume that observed GPS velocities are represented by the superposition of elastic deformation associated with subduction of the PH, rigid block motion of the overriding plate, and error. The plate interface along the Nankai Trough is represented by multiple rectangular faults. Moreover relative plate motion of the PH-AM (Sella et al., 2002) is assigned to the plate interface as a priori constraint.

  16. The halogen cycle in subduction zones: insight from back-arc basin basalts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chavrit, Deborah; Ruzie, Lorraine; Burgess, Ray; Hilton, David; Sumino, Hirochika; Sinton, John; Ballentine, Chris

    2014-05-01

    The extent to which the subduction process preserves the volatile elements signature of the downgoing slab and the mechanisms by which these elements are transferred into the mantle wedge are not well understood. Halogens (Cl, Br, I) are good candidates to trace these processes, due to their incompatibility and their relatively high concentrations in seawater and marine sediments. A technique developed at the University of Manchester allows the high precision measurements of these elements on neutron-irradiated samples using noble gas mass spectrometry. To better constrain the cycle of halogens in subduction zones, we analyzed the halogens in 15 volcanic glasses (BABB) from three back-arc basins which are known to contain slab-derived components viz Manus basin, Lau basin and Mariana trough. The three back-arc basins have relatively constant Br/Cl weight ratios (4.0±0.4×10-3) which are 2x higher than the mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB) value. The I/Cl weight ratios (0.9 to 7.1×10-5) range from values close to seawater to MORB values. These results suggest that the halogen composition of the BABB mantle source is affected by a slab-derived component. However, the I/Cl ratios positively correlate with Ba/Nb ratios that are between 5-33 (weight), which reflect the extent of the slab contribution. Thus, it indicates the presence of an unknown end member with a MORB-like Ba/Nb ratio and with low I/Cl and high Br/Cl ratios. It is notable that the halogen ratios of this component are similar to that of the fluid phases trapped in altered oceanic crust. Another component with higher Ba/Nb, higher I/Cl and lower Br/Cl ratios, is consistent with the presence of a sedimentary-derived component. The possible origins of the signature of the halogen BABB mantle source will be discussed by comparing with the different components characterizing the subducted oceanic crust.

  17. The variations of long time period slow slip events along the Ryukyu subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tu, Y. T.; Heki, K.

    2014-12-01

    Slow slip events (SSEs) are a type of slow earthquakes that can be observed with Global Positioning System (GPS) networks in the world. Those events are detected on intensely coupled plate boundaries such as Cascadia subduction zone (Dragert et al., 2001), western North America, Mexico (Kostoglodov et al., 2003), Alaska (Ohta et al., 2007) and Tokai and Boso areas (Ozawa et al., 2002, 2003), central Japan and are considered to have relations to large subduction thrust earthquakes. However, in southwestern Ryukyu trench where most of researchers believe that it should be a decoupled plate boundary, SSEs recur regularly and are located at a patch that is as deep as 20 to 40 km (Heki and Kataoka, 2008). For comprehending the characteristics and time variations of SSEs in this area, the GEONET GPS data of 16 years are used in this study. During 1997 to 2014, more than thirty SSEs are identified near Hateruma Island, Ryukyu. The average recurrence interval is calculated to be 6.3 months and release seismic moment is Mw 6.6 on average. However, the values of recurrence interval are not invariable. From 1997 to 2002, interval period of SSEs is 7.5 months, but during 2002 to 2008, the interval period decreases suddenly to 5.5 months. After 2008, the value restores to 7.2 months again. Furthermore, the slip amount of SSEs in this area varies with time. From 1997 to 2002, the slip is 9.5 cm/year; and during 2002 to 2008, the value slightly increases to 10.5 cm/year. However, in 2008 to 2013, the slip drops to 6.6 cm/year, but accord to the trend of cumulative slip, the slip value would increase in 2014. Considering these data, we find the slip values increase conspicuously in 2002 and 2013. Coincidentally, one Mw 7.1 thrust earthquake occurred in 2002 and earthquake swarm activity started in the Okinawa trough approximately 50km north of the SSE patch. In 2013, another earthquake swarm activity occurred in nearly the same area as the 2002 activity. This suggests that the slip amount varies due to the earthquake swarm activities in Okinawa trough; the external stress perturbations such as magma injection and the Mw 7.1 earthquake could accelerate the slip amount of SSEs.

  18. Recurrence, Rates, and Paleogeodetic Implications: Southern Cascadia Subduction Zone, Northern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leroy, T. H.; Patton, J. R.

    2010-12-01

    Earthquake and tsunami hazard for northern California and southern Oregon is dominated by estimates of recurrence for earthquakes on the Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) and upper plate thrust faults. Recurrence interval (RI)estimates derived from site based terrestrial data (270-1,370 years) are inconsistent with the regional marine record of great earthquakes (RI = ~240 years). Reconciling these differences reveals information regarding different sources or magnitudes of coseismic or interseismic deformation in the southern CSZ. Early paleoseismic investigations utilized bulk peat for 14C age determinations and lack vertical elevation control. All terrestrial data sets are compiled, evaluated, ranked, and excluded according to their paleoseismic relevance. We construct an OxCal age model to evaluate the discriminated 14C based space-time relations graphically and statistically. We interpret a regional timing of tectonic deformation that is consistent with the timing of the marine record. Not all events are observed in each region and not all events have age control. Some regions lack cores representing the complete modern tidal elevation range (biasing the paleoseismic record). For example, when individual sites in the same region are combined, a more complete record of coseismic subsidence can be assumed, reducing the terrestrial RI to 360+-40, yet still longer than the marine RI. We consider relative sea-level (RSL), as the relation between land-level and sea-level and we find that chronologically distinct buried soils are found in settings segregated by elevation. Subsidence in southern Humboldt Bay occurred in positions of higher RSL at ~1,500, 2,200, and ~3,500 cal yrs BP. We pose that the RSL position does not relate to the time preceding the earthquake, but may relate to the accumulated strain at the time of the earthquake. RSL with a higher position would correspond with more accumulated strain in the upper plate. We evaluate the various factors that may confound this relation. We also compare the estimates of subsidence for cores in locations that share the sea-level / land-level relations as today as these may be a modern analogue to what subsidence we might expect if the CSZ earthquake were to occur tomorrow. Some unknowns that are priorities to complete this analysis include down-core diatom paleoecologic interpretations based upon correlations (transfer function) with modern biogeochemical transects, neither of which currently exist, developing a reliable vertical tidal elevation network tied to distal benchmarks, and there are also several buried soils that lack 14C age determinations. Lastly, additional cores collected in regions that are under sampled with respect to various elevation ranges.

  19. Seismic Activity offshore Martinique and Dominique islands (Lesser Antilles subduction zone)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz Fernandez, Mario; Galve, Audrey; Monfret, Tony; Charvis, Philippe; Laigle, Mireille; Flueh, Ernst; Gallart, Josep; Hello, Yann

    2010-05-01

    In the framework of the European project Thales was Right, two seismic surveys (Sismantilles II and Obsantilles) were carried out to better constrain the lithospheric structure of the Lesser Antilles subduction zone, its seismic activity and to evaluate the associated seismic hazards. Sismantilles II experiment was conducted in January, 2007 onboard R/V Atalante (IFREMER). A total of 90 OBS belonging to Géoazur, INSU-CNRS and IFM-Geomar were deployed on a regular grid, offshore Antigua, Guadeloupe, Dominique and Martinique islands. During the active part of the survey, more than 2500 km of multichannel seismic profiles were shot along the grid lines. Then the OBS remained on the seafloor continuously recording for the seismic activity for approximately 4 months. On April 2007 Obsantilles experiment, carried out onboard R/V Antea (IRD), was focused on the recovery of those OBS and the redeployment of 28 instruments (Géoazur OBS) off Martinique and Dominica Islands for 4 additional months of continuous recording of the seismicity. This work focuses on the analysis of the seismological data recorded in the southern sector of the study area, offshore Martinique and Dominique. During the two recording periods, extending from January to the end of August 2007, more than 3300 seismic events were detected in this area. Approximately 1100 earthquakes had enough quality to be correctly located. Station corrections, obtained from multichannel seismic profiles, were introduced to each OBS to take in to account the sedimentary cover and better constrain the hypocentral determinations. Results show events located at shallower depths in the northern sector of the array, close to the Tiburon Ridge, where the seismic activity is mainly located between 20 to 40 km depth. In the southern sector, offshore Martinique, hypocenters become deeper, ranging to 60 km depth and dipping to the west. Focal solutions have also been obtained using the P wave polarities of the best azimuthally constrained earthquakes (Gap smaller than 90°). Focal mechanisms also reveal some differences between the northern and southern sector of the array. Whereas in the southern sector most of the analysed events show purely reverse fault solutions, in the northern area events present strike slip and normal fault solutions and could be related to intraplate deformation.

  20. Evolving subduction zones in the Western United States, as interpreted from igneous rocks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lipman, P.W.; Prostka, H.J.; Christiansen, R.L.

    1971-01-01

    Variations in the ratio of K2O to SiO4 in andesitic rocks suggest early and middle Cenozoic subduction beneath the western United States along two subparallel imbricate zones dipping about 20 degrees eastward. The western zone emerged at the continental margin, but the eastern zone was entirely beneath the continental plate. Mesozoic subduction apparently occurred along a single steeper zone.

  1. Geodynamics of collision and collapse at the AfricaArabiaEurasia subduction zone an introduction

    E-print Network

    Utrecht, Universiteit

    ; (2) continental drift, sea-floor spreading and formation of ocean basins; (3) subduction initiation and drifting in the Western Mediterranean (Dercourt et al. 1986), and with initiation of the Tyrrhenian oceanic subduction stage closes the oceanic basin, even- tually resulting in the arrival of a continental

  2. The impact of splay faults on fluid flow, solute transport, and pore pressure distribution in subduction zones: A case study offshore the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauer, Rachel M.; Saffer, Demian M.

    2015-04-01

    Observations of seafloor seeps on the continental slope of many subduction zones illustrate that splay faults represent a primary hydraulic connection to the plate boundary at depth, carry deeply sourced fluids to the seafloor, and are in some cases associated with mud volcanoes. However, the role of these structures in forearc hydrogeology remains poorly quantified. We use a 2-D numerical model that simulates coupled fluid flow and solute transport driven by fluid sources from tectonically driven compaction and smectite transformation to investigate the effects of permeable splay faults on solute transport and pore pressure distribution. We focus on the Nicoya margin of Costa Rica as a case study, where previous modeling and field studies constrain flow rates, thermal structure, and margin geology. In our simulations, splay faults accommodate up to 33% of the total dewatering flux, primarily along faults that outcrop within 25 km of the trench. The distribution and fate of dehydration-derived fluids is strongly dependent on thermal structure, which determines the locus of smectite transformation. In simulations of a cold end-member margin, smectite transformation initiates 30 km from the trench, and 64% of the dehydration-derived fluids are intercepted by splay faults and carried to the middle and upper slope, rather than exiting at the trench. For a warm end-member, smectite transformation initiates 7 km from the trench, and the associated fluids are primarily transmitted to the trench via the décollement (50%), and faults intercept only 21% of these fluids. For a wide range of splay fault permeabilities, simulated fluid pressures are near lithostatic where the faults intersect overlying slope sediments, providing a viable mechanism for the formation of mud volcanoes.

  3. Crustal Structure and Deformation of the Incoming and Overriding Plates of the North Chilean Subduction Zone, 21-23.5ºS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calahorrano, A.; Ranero, C. R.; Barckhausen, U.; Reichert, C.; Grevemeyer, I.

    2008-12-01

    We present MCS images of the crustal structure of the subduction zone of north Chile. The 50 Ma oceanic Nazca Plate subducts sub-orthogonally below the South American Plate at ~80-90 mm/yr. Here we focus on three reflection lines from Sonne 104 cruise that run perpendicular to the coast for ~450 km, imaging the overriding plate and some ~350 km of the oceanic incoming plate. The ocean plate displays well-defined top of the igneous crust reflections and fairly continuous Moho reflections 2-3 seconds (TWT) deeper. The deepest Moho reflections occur across the Iquique Ridge. The seismic data shows the deformation of the incoming oceanic crust as it approaches the outer rise bulge and bends into the trench. The top of the igneous crust shows clear development of faulting and prominent trenchward dipping reflections appears in the mantle, clearly below the Moho reflection. The bending-related deformation of the incoming plate forming horst-and-graben structures is observed underthursting below the margin. The inter- plate contact is observed about 50 km landward from the deformation front. The trench axis is largely devoid of stratified turbidites. But the three seismic lines show abundant debris from the continental slope accumulates at the slope toe forming a 5-10 km wide sediment prism. The prism is also observable in multibeam bathymetry maps. The landward segment of the frontal prism appears to be partially underthrusting the margin, providing clastic, fluid-rich material to the subduction channel. Thus the amount of fluid-rich sediment in this apparently starved trench seems to be considerable.

  4. Metamorphic probing of subduction dynamics and rheology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agard, Philippe

    2015-04-01

    Understanding subduction dynamics and rheology, and particularly the role of fluids and deformation, strongly relies on integrated tectonic, petrological and geochemical studies able to retrieve from our most direct and reliable natural probes (i.e., preserved metamorphic assemblages) their pressure-temperature-time (P-T-t) evolution. I first provide two examples of such integrated studies that allow tracking rock trajectories and exhumation dynamics in subduction zones -- thanks to the considerable progress made over the last ten years on estimating P-T-t conditions. The Oman example shows how EPMA mapping and the detailed study of local, low-temperature equilibria help constrain the behaviour and dynamics of upper crustal units during continental subduction, demonstrating the importance of slicing, accretion at depths of ~30 km and short-lived tectonic expulsion. In the Western Alps, the extensive coverage of field exposures by means of the Raman Spectrometry of carbonaceous matter and by dedicated pseudosection modelling allows to identify the existence of tens of km long, fairly continuous slices of downgoing slab exhumed from similar eclogitic depths (~80 km), and to assess the role of the overall fluid content in enabling their exhumation/preservation. I then illustrate how metamorphic rocks can provide ideal probes (though still partly to be improved) to address key, large-scale tectonic processes and not 'simply' histories, and do stress the importance of adequate field-based data acquisition. Three examples (and present-day limitations) are reviewed here: (1) The regional-scale exhumation of blueschists from the downdip end of the seismogenic zone across thousands of kilometers along the Neotethys (at ~1-1.5 GPa, 350°C) is a major geodynamic event providing insights into changes in interplate mechanical coupling and subduction dynamics. (2) Eclogite breccias recently reported in the Monviso area (W. Alps) allow constraining short-term processes involving seismogenesis, fluid migration (and its duration), fluid fluxes and will help improve our general understanding of the earthquake 'factory' (at ~2.6 GPa, 550°C). (3) Amphibolite to granulite-facies metamorphic soles (i.e., ~500m thick tectonic slices welded to the base of ophiolites) provide specific insights into the rheology of nascent subduction, as their accretion is restricted to a transient, optimal P-T-t window (at 1±0.2 GPa, 750-850°C, after < 1-2 My) during which fluid release and infiltration lead to similar effective rheology on both sides of the plate interface (i.e., downgoing crust and mantle wedge). This transient though universal episode maximizes interplate mechanical coupling and ultimately promotes the detachment of the sole from the sinking slab. For all three examples above, one should emphasize the need for a better assessment of the P-T stability of (the complex solid solutions of) amphiboles, which would represent a major breakthrough for our further understanding of subduction dynamics and rheology.

  5. The dynamics of serpentinite dehydration reactions in subduction zones: Constrains from the Cerro del Almirez ultramafic massif (Betic Cordillera, SE Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dilissen, Nicole; Garrido, Carlos J.; López Sánchez-Vizcaíno, Vicente; Padrón-Navarta, José Alberto

    2015-04-01

    Arc volcanism, earthquakes and subduction dynamics are controlled by fluids from downgoing slabs and their effect on the melting and rheology of the overlying mantle wedge. High pressure dehydration of serpentinite in the slab and the subduction channel is considered as one of the main sources of fluids in subduction zones. Even though this metamorphic reaction is essential in subduction activities, the behavior of the fluids, the kinetics and thermodynamics during the breakdown reaction are still poorly understood. The Cerro del Almirez (Nevado-Filábride Complex, Betic Cordillera, SE Spain) uniquely preserves the dehydration front from antigorite serpentinite to chlorite-harzburgite and constitutes a unique natural laboratory to investigate high-pressure dehydration of serpentinite. This reaction occurred in a subduction setting releasing up to 13 wt% of water, contributing significantly to the supply of fluids to the overlying mantle wedge. A key to the understanding of the metamorphic conditions prevailing during serpentinite dehydration is to study the two prominent textures -granofels and spinifex-like chlorite harzburgite- occurring in this reaction product. The detailed texture differences in the Chl-harzburgite can provide insights into diverse kinetic and thermodynamic conditions of this dehydration reaction due to variations in effective pressure and drainage conditions. It has been proposed that difference in overpressure (P') and deviation from growth equilibrium, i.e. overstepping, is responsible for these two types of textures [Padrón-Navarta et al., 2011]. The magnitude and duration of P' is highly dependent on dehydration kinetics [Connolly, 1997]. The fast pressure drop, with spinifex-texture as a product, can be linked to draining events expected after hydrofracturing, which are recorded in grain size reduction zones in this massif. According to this hypothesis, mapping of textural variation in Chl-harzburgite might be used as a proxy to investigate the hydrodynamics of serpentinite dehydration reaction. During an intensive detailed field mapping of a well-exposed area of ca. 0.87 km2 in the W-SW part of the massif, we mapped textural variations of Chl-harzburgite every three to ten meters. Granofels and spinifex lenses occur within scales of decimetres to decametres. These spatial scale constrains can be linked to temporal scales of the reactions and to the spatial and temporal variation of fluid release during dehydration of serpentinite. REFERENCES Connolly, J. A. D. (1997), Devolatilization-generated fluid pressure and deformation-propagated fluid flow during prograde regional metamorphism, J. Geophys. Res.-Solid Earth, 102(B8), 18149-18173, doi:10.1029/97jb00731. Padrón-Navarta, J. A., V. López Sánchez-Vizcaíno, C. J. Garrido, and M. T. Gómez-Pugnaire (2011), Metamorphic record of high-pressure dehydration of antigorite serpentinite to chlorite harzburgite in a subduction setting (Cerro del Almirez, Nevado-Filábride Complex, southern Spain), Journal of Petrology, 52(10), 2047-2078.

  6. Subduction zone megathrust ruptures and trench parallel gravity anomalies: Evaluating their relationship with relocated aftershocks and background seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teel, A.; Thurber, C. H.; Lin, G.

    2009-12-01

    Subduction zone megathrust rupture characteristics have been hypothesized to be related to physical conditions along the plate interface. Song and Simons (2003) and Wells et al. (2003) both find that rupture preferentially occurs in regions of strongly negative trench parallel gravity anomalies (TPGA). The inference is that TPGA reflects local variations in geologic structure which serve as a control on underlying seismic coupling and segmentation. A recent study by Llenos and McGuire (2007) uses estimated second moments of the slip distribution, inferred from Rayleigh waves, to create rupture models for 15 great subduction zone earthquakes. They find that for 11 of the 15 events studied, TPGA increases between the earthquake centroid and the edges of rupture, supporting the hypothesis of structural control on the boundaries of rupture. As an independent test of this relationship, we use a joint hypocenter determination method based on the JED algorithm described in Douglas (1967) to relocate earthquakes in 12 of the 15 regions studied by Llenos and McGuire (2007). Our results are consistent with the areal extent and directivity of rupture for the Llenos and McGuire (2007) models in 10 cases, but they are inconsistent with the location of the Llenos and McGuire (2007) rupture models in 9 cases. This indicates that their findings relating TPGA to rupture extent need revision. Additionally, we do not find seismicity to be correlated to TPGA. If ruptures tend to terminate in areas of increasing TPGA, one would expect to find seismicity exhibiting the same trend.

  7. Comparison of crustal and upper mantle heterogeneity in different time periods: Indonesian subduction zone to northern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Weijia; Fu, Li-Yun; Kennett, B. L. N.

    2014-02-01

    Earthquake events from the Indonesian subduction zone recorded in northern Australia show a long and high-frequency coda associated with both P and S waves. Regional events recorded by Warramunga array in northern Australia can separate out wave propagation through the mantle by focusing on the coherent signal across the medium-aperture array. Most of the incoherent wave components result from structures in the vicinity of the array with small-scale lengths of 1-2 km or smaller. The coherent phases with relatively rapid changes in waveforms are associated with the scattering of seismic waves by crustal and mantle heterogeneity, but in some case can be related to structural effects near the source. As the depth of the source increases, the coherent portion of the seismic wavefield tends to become much simpler, which suggests that the heterogeneity tends to weaken at depth with larger-scale length. We compare the coherent signal features of earthquakes from the Indonesian subduction zone that have occurred in recent years with those in the early 1980s, first studied by Kennett (Phys Earth Planet Inter 47: 319-332, 1987). The general characteristics of the coherent signal variation with depth in recent years are the same as those observed in 1980s, but the variations are larger. This change suggests a stringer variation in heterogeneity with depth than before, which may bear important information about the dynamic processes and evolution of the crust and upper mantle.

  8. Temporal correlation between ETS tremor and b-value anomalies in northern and southern Cascadia subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farahbod, A.; Calvert, A. J.; Kao, H.

    2012-12-01

    The frequency-magnitude distribution (b-value) for seismicity in northern and southern Cascadia subduction zone is not constant. Estimated time-varying b-values over a ten-year time interval between 1998 and 2008 for earthquakes in Vancouver Island-Northern Washington and Northern California show that despite big uncertainties, in several cases there is a correlation between the occurrence of ETS tremor episodes and changes in the b-value for both crustal and in-slab earthquakes. Variation in b-value is due to changes in stress regime, which is likely influenced by slip and/or tremor activity that have the potential to modify the distribution of fluids in the crust. The correlation between b-value and tremor activity is more obvious for the case of crustal events partly due to the more complete earthquake catalogue. Based on this analysis, ETS tremors are more likely to happen when b-value is close to an extremum or with some delay before and after it. The results obtained in this research for the northern Cascadia subduction zone are more reliable than previous studies on b-value heterogeneity within descending plates, since we used a homogeneous catalog, both in time and space, which was obtained through combining all available earthquake information for the Pacific Northwest.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    While examples for interaction of the biosphere with the atmosphere can be easily cited (e.g., production and consumption of O2), interaction between the biosphere and the solid planet and its interior is much less established. It has been argued (e.g., Rosing et al. 2006; Sleep et al, 2012) that the formation of continents could be a consequence of bioactivity harvesting solar energy through photosynthesis to help build the continents and that the mantle should carry a chemical biosignature. We present an interaction model that includes mantle convection, mantle water vapor degassing at mid-oceanic ridges and regassing through subduction zones, continental crust formation and erosion and water storage and transport in a porous oceanic crust that includes hydrous mineral phases. The mantle viscosity in this model depends on the water concentration in the mantle. We use boundary layer theory of mantle convection to parameterize the mantle convection flow rate and assume that the plate speed equals the mantle flow rate. The biosphere enters the calculation through the assumption that the continental erosion rate is enhanced by a factor of several through bioactivity and through an assumed reduction of the kinetic barrier to diagenetic and metamorphic reactions (e.g., Kim et al. 2004) in the sedimentary basins in subduction zones that would lead to increased water storage capacities. We further include a stochastic model of continent-to-continent interactions that limits the effective total length of subduction zones. We use present day parameters of the Earth and explore a phase plane spanned by the percentage of surface coverage of the Earth by continents and the total water content of the mantle. We vary the ratio of the erosion rate in a postulated abiotic Earth to the present Earth, as well as the activation barrier to diagenetic and metamorphic reactions that affect the water storage capacity of the subducting crust. We find stable and unstable fixed points in the phase area where the net degassing and continental growth rates are zero. Many of the parameter combinations result in one stable fixed point with a completely dry mantle that lacks continents altogether and a second stable fixed point with a continent coverage and mantle water concentration close to that of the present Earth. In addition, there is an unstable fixed point situated between the two. In general, the abiotic world has a larger zone of attraction for the fixed point with a dry mantle and no continents than the biotic world. Thus a biotic world is found to be more likely to develop continents and a have wet mantle. Furthermore, the biotic model is generally found to have a wetter mantle than an abiotic model with the same continent coverage. Through the effect of water on the mantle rheology, the biotic world would thus tend to be tectonically more active and have a more rapid long-term carbon silicate cycle. References: J. Kim, H. Dong, J. Seabaugh, S. W. Newell, D. D. Eberl, Science 303, 830-832, 2004 N. H. Sleep, D. K. Bird, E. Pope, Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 40, 277-300, 2012 M. T. Rosing, D. K. Bird, N. H. Sleep, W. Glassley, F. Albarede, Paleo3 232, 90-113, 2006

  10. Thermal Models of the Costa Rica - Nicaragua Subduction Zone: the Effect of a Three-Dimensional Oceanic Plate Structure and Hydrothermal Circulation in the Temperature Distribution and Mantle Wedge Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Over the last years several 2D thermo-mechanical models of the Costa Rica - Nicaragua Subduction Zone (CNSZ) have studied the thermal distribution of sections of the fault. Such investigations allow us to understand temperature-related aspects of subduction zones, like volcanism and megathrust earthquake locations. However, certain features of the CNSZ limit the range of applicability of 2D models. In the CNSZ, geochemical trends and seismic anisotropy studies reveal a 3D mantle wedge flow that departs from the 2D corner flow. The origin of this flow are dip variations (20o to 25o between Nicaragua and Costa Rica) and the presence of a slab window in Panama that allows material to flow into the mantle wedge. Also, the Central America trench has abrupt variations in surface heat flux that contrasts with steady changes in plate age and convergence rate. These variations have been attributed to hydrothermal circulation (HC), which effectively removes heat from the oceanic crust.In this project we analyze the thermal structure of the CNSZ. The objective is to study dehydration and metamorphic reactions, as well as the length of the megathrust seismogenic zone. We created 3D finite-element models that employ a dislocation creep rheology for the mantle wedge. Two aspects make our models different from previous studies: an up-to-date 3D slab geometry, and an implementation of HC by introducing a conductive proxy in the subducting aquifer, allowing us to model convective heat transport without the complex, high-Rayleigh number calculations. A 3D oceanic boundary condition that resembles the along-strike changes in surface heat flux is also employed. Results show a maximum mantle wedge flow rate of 4.69 cm/yr in the along-strike direction, representing more than 50% of the slab convergence rate. With respect to 2D models, analysis shows this flow changes temperatures by ~100 C in the mantle wedge near areas of strong slab curvature. Along the subducting interface, there is also a change of 10-40 C, which can have a significant impact on dehydration and metamorphic reactions. Also, 2D models have proven that HC controls temperatures along the subduction thrust, which controls the length of the seismogenic zone. In general, the combined effect of 3D mantle wedge flow and HC is expected to have a significant impact on the thermal structure.

  11. Subduction-Driven Recycling of Continental Margin Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levander, Alan; Bezada, Maximiliano; Niu, Fenglin; Palomeras, Imma; Thurner, Sally; Humphreys, Eugene; Carbonell, Ramon; Gallart, Josep; Schmitz, Michael; Miller, Meghan

    2015-04-01

    Subduction recycling of oceanic lithosphere, a central theme of plate tectonics, is relatively well understood, whereas recycling continental lithosphere is more difficult to recognize, and appears far more complicated. Delamination and localized convective downwelling are two widely recognized processes invoked to explain the removal of lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts. Here we describe another process that can lead to the loss of continental lithosphere adjacent to a subduction zone: Subducting oceanic plates can entrain and recycle lithospheric mantle from an adjacent continent and disrupt the continental lithosphere far inland from the subduction zone. Seismic images from recent dense broadband seismograph arrays in northeastern South America (SA) and in the western Mediterranean show higher than expected volumes of positive anomalies identified as the subducted Atlantic slab under northeastern SA, and the Alboran slab beneath the Gibraltar arc region (GA). The positive anomalies lie under and are aligned with the continental margins at depths greater than 200 km. Closer to the surface we find that the continental margin lithospheric mantle is significantly thinner than expected beneath the orogens adjacent to the subduction zones. The thinner than expected lithosphere extends inland as far as the edges of nearby cratonic cores. These observations suggest that subducting oceanic plates viscously entrain and remove continental mantle lithosphere from beneath adjacent continental margins, modulating the surface tectonics and pre-conditioning the margins for further deformation. The latter can include delamination of the entire lithospheric mantle, as around GA, inferred by results from active and passive seismic experiments. Viscous removal of continental margin lithosphere creates lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) topography which can give rise to secondary downwellings under the continental interior far inland from the subduction zone: We image one under SA and we infer that one or more have occurred in the past under the western Mediterranean. The process of subduction-driven continental margin lithosphere removal reconciles numerous, sometimes mutually exclusive, geodynamic models proposed to explain the complex oceanic-continental tectonics of these two subduction zones.

  12. Effect of slab dehydration on the mantle wedge dynamics in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arcay, D.; Doin, M. P.; Tric, E.

    2003-04-01

    In oceanic subduction zones, dehydration of slab's minerals might partly explain back-arc spreading and its initiation within the volcanic arc. While the slab enters the asthenosphere, it releases water which hydrates the asthenosphere and might significantly decrease its viscosity. This should develop the corner flow, and warm the overriding lithosphere. If the induced thermal erosion lasts, an extensive stress will locally appear. In a first step numerical experiments were performed to understand what controls the mechanical evolution of cold subduction. Our thermomechanical model combines a non-Newtonian viscous rheology and a pseudo-brittle rheology, as a function of depth, temperature and stress, both for an oceanic crust and the mantle . The viscous parameters and the frictional coefficient for the mantle are in good agreement with laboratory measurements, whereas we imposed a very low frictional coefficient in the oceanic crust to maintain low stresses on the subduction plane (f_s? 0.008) and, in some simulations, a maximum yield stress of 30 MPa in the mantle. These preliminary simulations show firstly that dissipation energy modifies the dip angle of subduction and reduces the global force necessary to subduct and secondly that, even without dehydration, a corner flow appears rapidly (at 2 My) with velocity of 5±2 cm/y and erodes thermally the overriding lithosphere by about 12 km after 5 My. In our dehydration modelling, the released water comes from the oceanic crust, and the altered peridotite of the slab. This peridotite is believed to be serpentinized at the mid-ocean ridge and along normal faults during bending near the trench, and can be 5 to 20 km thick. We use accurate phase diagrams for H_2O-satured mantle peridotite and a gabbroic crust to determine at each time step the amount of water released or absorbed by each unit of rock. Transition phases are supposed to be not metastable. We assume that the rock viscosity decrease depends on the concentration in water. The viscosity of a H_2O-satured asthenospheric rock is at least 100 times less than that of a dry one, at a pressure of 3 kbars (Hirth and Kohlstedt, 1996). For cold subductions, simulations show a three-step dehydration of the subducting lithosphere. The crust releases its water at 74 km (blue schists destabilisation) and the top part of peridotite at 150 km (chlorite destablisation). In the bottom peridotite part serpentine transforms into phase A at 200 km whitout losing water. As P-T-t paths remain quite cold, only a small amount of water is liberated. However this water seems to be sufficient to hydrate the overlapping lithosphere over a significant volume (about 100 km wide and 50 km high) and increases the mantle corner concentration in water. Introducing a decrease in viscosity associated to the hydrated corner, we observe an increasing thermal erosion of the overlapping lithosphere.

  13. Tectonic development of forearc basins along the Western Sunda/Andaman Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochran, J. R.; Kattoju, K. R.

    2010-12-01

    A prominent feature of the western Sunda/Andaman subduction zone is a series of forearc basins located immediately to the east (arcward) of the accretionary prism and outerarc ridge. Multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection lines and other geophysical data allow us to examine the structure of the forearc basin located from about 8°30’N to 11°40’N along the western boundary of the Andaman Sea immediately east of Little Andaman and Car Nicobar Islands. The basin is bounded on the west by the Eastern Margin Fault (EMF), a moderately dipping (20-30°) down-to-the-east normal fault that forms the eastern boundary of the outerarc ridge. The relatively gentle (< 3.5°) western flank of Invisible Bank forms the eastern slope of the basin. The eastern flank of Invisible Bank is a sharp east-facing scarp with > 2000 m of relief formed by the West Andaman Fault (WAF). A deep 150 mGal free-air gravity low is located between the EMF and WAF, directly over the basin. The Andaman forearc basin thus appears similar to the Aceh, Siberut and Bengkulu forearc basins located west of Sumatra. However, MCS lines across the Andaman forearc basin show that its internal structure and development are different than that of the southern basins. The footwall of the EMF can be traced to a depth of about 2s twtt beneath flat lying sediments that form a basin roughly 10 km wide. On the eastern side, these sediments lap up onto a crumpled mass of sediments that form the hanging wall of the fault. These sediments are disturbed and display compressional deformation that appears to increase eastward toward a well-defined deformation front. Immediately to the west of the deformation front, thrusting can be observed within the sedimentary section with slices stacked on each other. The deformation reaches to the seafloor in places. The deformation front forms an anticlinal feature that produces positive relief on the seafloor. Sediments lap up onto both flanks of the anticline suggesting recent and probably continuing relative uplift. The sedimentary section to the east of the anticline, filling the deepest portion of the forearc basin and forming the west flank of Invisible Bank appears undeformed. This structure is different from that observed in the basins west of Sumatra. There, sediments within the forearc basins are basically undeformed. The reason for this difference may be related to a difference in the nature of the faults bounding the basins on the west. The WAF and Mentawai Fault, which bound the southern basins, developed as strike slip faults accommodating the necessary stretching of the Burma sliver plate. They are therefore basically vertical faults. The EMF has no strike slip component and has a moderate dip of 20-30°. All of the basins probably formed as the result of subduction erosion of the upper plate, which will produce isostatically driven subsidence without significant horizontal extension. The near-vertical nature of the WAF and Mentawai Fault allow this subsidence to occur by simple downwarping of the hanging wall. However the EMF dips at a moderately shallow angle so isostatically driven vertical motion on the fault results in space problems and significant deformation of the hanging wall.

  14. In situ Raman study of dissolved CaCO3 minerals under subduction zone conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Facq, S.; Daniel, I.; Sverjensky, D. A.

    2012-12-01

    The fate and the characteristics of the Earth's deep carbon reservoirs are still not well understood [1]. The connection between the surficial and the deep-Earth carbon cycles occurs at subduction zones where carbon is transported into the mantle and where hydrous silicates and carbonate minerals break down releasing H2O and C-species in fluids associated with mantle metasomatism and the generation of arc volcanism [2]. In order to obtain mass balance between recycling and burial in the deep mantle, the study of the dissolution of CaCO3 minerals in equilibrium with aqueous fluids under mantle conditions is crucial. We report a novel integrated experimental and theoretical study of the equilibration of CaCO3 minerals with aqueous solutions (pure water or NaCl solutions) at high pressures and temperatures (0.5 to 8 GPa and 250 to 500 °C). The fluid speciation was studied using in situ Raman spectroscopy coupled to an externally heated membrane type DAC equipped with 500 ?m pure synthetic diamond anvils. In a typical experiment, the aqueous fluid and a calcite crystal [3] were loaded in a rhenium gasket. The pressure was determined from the calibrated shift of the carbonate ?1 symmetric stretching mode of aragonite and the temperature measured with a K-type thermocouple. Raman spectra were recorded using a Labram HR800 Raman spectrometer (Horiba Jobin-Yvon) coupled to a Spectra Physics Ar+ laser. At equilibrium with an aragonite crystal, the Raman data show that bicarbonate is the most abundant species in low-pressure fluids (below 4 GPa) whereas carbonate becomes progressively dominant at higher pressure. After correction from their Raman cross-sections [4], the relative amounts of dissolved carbonate and bicarbonate were estimated from the areas of the Raman bands of the carbonate and bicarbonate ions (?1 and ?5 symmetric stretching modes, respectively). The presence of sodium chloride influences the speciation by extending the pressure field where the bicarbonate species is dominant in the fluid. The Raman data were also used to constrain a theoretical thermodynamic model of the fluid speciation in equilibrium with CaCO3. Building on published calcite solubility data from 400 - 700 °C and 2 - 16 kb [3, 5], revised thermodynamic properties of aqueous CO2 and HCO3-, data for the aqueous CaHCO3+ complex from 4 to 90 °C [6], and estimated dielectric constants of water, enabled an equation of state characterization of the standard Gibbs free energy of CaHCO3+ at the conditions of the Raman study. At 300 - 400 °C, the Raman speciation results were used to constrain equilibrium constants involving the carbonate ion. The results indicate that CO2 is a minor species in fluids in equilibrium with aragonite at 300 - 500 °C and P > 1.0 GPa. Instead, the CaHCO3+ species becomes important at high pressures until carbonate ion becomes the dominant C-species. [1] Marty, B. and Tolstikhin, I.N., Chemical Geology 145, 233 (1998) [2] Schmidt, M.W. and Poli, S., Earth and Planetary Science Letters 163, 163 (1998) [3] Caciagli, N.C. and Manning, C.E., Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 146, 275 (2003) [4] Frantz, J., Chemical Geology 152, 211 (1998) [5] Fein, J.B. and Walther, J.V., Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 103, 317 (1989) [6] Plummer, L.N. and Busenberg, E., Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 46, 1011 (1982)

  15. The impact of frictional anisotropy on thrust fault slip at subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campione, M.; Malaspina, N.; Sassella, A.; Capitani, G.

    2012-12-01

    Models describing the slip dynamics of a fault assume generally an isotropic interface giving rise to shear forces which are parallel to the slip direction. However, structured surfaces may be associated with an anisotropic frictional behavior, which is characterized by a dependence of the magnitude of friction force on slip direction and the presence of friction force components transverse to the slip direction. The structured morphology of a surface may originate from aspects involving different length scales: from the arrangement of atoms in the crystal structure of the minerals composing the rock slab, to the foliation and lineations originating from the rock deformation, up to the presence of gouges formed as a consequence of rock erosion. Among these aspects, only the former is related to intrinsic properties of the fault, and its influence on the frictional properties is therefore independent on the rock history. In order to study the relation between frictional properties and crystal structure, the use of an atom-sensitive probe is mandatory. For this scope, we performed a nanotribological characterization of the surface of prominent mineral species with a scanning force microscope, where a micrometric tip mounted on an elastic cantilever is scanned by piezoelectric actuation along all directions of the sample surface on a nanoscopic area, while vertical deflection and lateral torsion of the cantilever are monitored in real-time, allowing for the quantitative determination of the friction force vectors. Antigorite, the high-temperature, high pressure polymorph of serpentine, is a mineral with a prominent role in defining the mechanical behavior of faulted regions. Indeed, there is general consensus that the forearc mantle wedge at subduction environments is hydrated by aqueous fluids released during subduction by dehydration reactions occurring in the slab lithologies, at increasing pressure and temperature. At these conditions, serpentine is the most abundant mineral phase characterizing hydrated harzburgites, stable at temperatures of 650-700 °C, at pressures corresponding to 30-60 km depths. We asses frictional anisotropies as high as 100% of individual crystal domains of antigorite. This anisotropy is related to the peculiar wavy arrangement of the TO-layer and the presence of reversals occurring along the a-axis of the tetrahedral sheets of antigorite. If we associate the known strain-induced lattice preferred orientation of serpentine rocks to our nanoscopic observation, a strong anisotropic frictional behavior of sliding surfaces of serpentinized rocks in subduction zones can be inferred. The results obtained with other phyllosilicates such as mica muscovite and chlorite will be also presented for comparison. Impressive phenomena can be envisaged if frictional anisotropy is introduced in the dynamical description of faults such as mechanical instabilities giving rise to a strong declination of the slip vector with respect to the plate convergence direction, explaining seismic degree of partitioning otherwise to be considered anomalous. On the other hand, for a certain strain-induced crystal preferred orientation, a strain softening behavior of the serpentinized mantle wedge can be inferred, providing a physical explanation to its postulated aseismic character.

  16. Shear-wave splitting and mantle anisotropy in the southern South American subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDougall, J. G.; Fischer, K. M.; Anderson, M. L.

    2010-12-01

    The goal of this study is to constrain mantle flow above and below the subducting Nazca plate at latitudes of 30°-41° S. In this segment of the South American subduction zone, slab dip varies dramatically, including a region of flat slab subduction in the north and greater dip angles (~30°) in the south, where the segment ends at a slab gap associated with Chile Ridge. We measured shear-wave splitting in over 200 S arrivals from local earthquakes at permanent stations PLCA (USGS/GTSN) and PEL (Geoscope) and 14 stations of the 2000-2002 CHARGE (Chile Argentina Geophysical Experiment) PASSCAL array. We also made splitting measurements in 17 SKS and SKKS phases recorded by PLCA and permanent station TRQA (IRIS/GSN). Splitting parameters for a sub-set of local S, SKS and SKKS phases were determined using a range of filters from 0.05-0.2 to 0.05-2, and were generally stable as a function of frequency; frequency-dependence was observed in a small number of cases, and will be investigated further. The results reported below correspond to a 0.05-2 Hz bandpass filter. Local S splitting times range from 0.1-0.9 seconds, and for back-arc stations, splitting times correlate with path length in the mantle wedge. These results indicate that wedge anisotropy is a dominant factor in the observed splitting, although shallower anisotropy also appears to be present. Splitting fast polarizations at back-arc stations show a coherent variation with latitude. Fast polarizations vary from NE at 40°-41°S, to N (roughly slab-strike parallel) at 35°-36°S, to NE-ESE at 30°-33°S, curving as the slab flattens where the Juan Fernandez Ridge is subducting beneath the South American lithosphere. For SKS and SKKS phases at PLCA (in the western back-arc at 41°S), fast directions are predominantly ENE-ESE and splitting times range from 1.0-2.3 s. At TRQA (much farther to the east and at 38°S), teleseismic fast polarizations are E-SE and splitting times vary from 0.8-2.4 s. At PLCA, because SKS and SKKS splitting times are significantly larger than the local S splitting times, significant anisotropy must exist below and potentially within the Nazca slab. We plan to constrain the depth variation of anisotropy by modeling anisotropy above the slab with local S splitting, correcting SKS/SKKS phases from permanent stations and the CHARGE array for the effects of this shallow structure, and using the residual teleseismic splitting to model slab and sub-slab anisotropy. Below the slab and in back-arc regions where temperatures are likely too high, and stresses too low, to permit the formation of olivine B-type fabric, fast direction observations may be used as proxies for mantle flow. Under this assumption, the local S and SKS/SKKS splitting measurements indicate that flow both above and below the slab is neither purely parallel to slab-strike nor to the direction of subducting plate motion. The apparent three-dimensional flow pattern may be influenced by slab rollback, along-strike variations in slab dip, and/or influx of material into the wedge from the slab gap to the south of our study region.

  17. The impact of thick subduction zone sediment input sections on earthquake and tsunami potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeill, L. C.; Smith, G. L.; Henstock, T.

    2012-12-01

    The role of input sediments at subduction zones in controlling fault properties and seismogenic behavior is an ongoing focus area of geohazard research. This includes the effect of sediment burying oceanic basement topography, smoothing the plate interface and reducing the potential for earthquake rupture-stopping barriers. The impact of extremely thick sediment sections on the position of the updip limit of the seismogenic zone has, however, not been examined in detail. At some margins, convergent margin seismicity (including recent megathrust ruptures, aftershocks, and smaller magnitude plate boundary earthquakes) has recorded activity on the plate boundary significantly further seaward than conventionally expected, i.e., beneath the prism and extending close to the trench. Example margins include those with very thick input sediment sections e.g., North Sumatra and Makran, where trench sediment thicknesses reach 5-7 km. These results prove that the accretionary wedge can behave seismogenically, resulting in a potentially significant impact on rupture width, and earthquake and tsunami magnitude. On the North Sumatra margin, rupture during the 2004 earthquake propagated far seaward beneath the prism with possible evidence for aftershock activity to the trench. On the Makran margin, several 20th Century M5-8 earthquakes appear to originate from the plate boundary beneath the outer/offshore prism, including a M 8 earthquake in 1945, but this margin's seismic and tsunamigenic hazard potential has often been under-acknowledged. The base of the input sediment sections at these two margins are dense and likely lithified, hence not conforming to the expectation of thick sediment sections being overpressured and weak. In addition, the accreted sediments of the North Sumatran prism interior are high density. Thermal modeling of the Makran margin, with the thickest global sediment input section and the widest prism, places the 150°C isotherm or updip seismogenic limit at the trench, generating a wide, partly offshore seismogenic zone beneath the accretionary prism. Integrating an estimated rupture width from thermal structure of the plate boundary with likely rupture length and slip scenarios, generates potential M8.5-9 earthquakes on this margin. Similar thermal modeling of the North Sumatra margin places the updip limit ~30-40 km landward of the trench, broadly in agreement with slip models for the 2004 earthquake and placing a significant part of the seismogenic zone beneath the accretionary prism. This position coincides with structural and morphological changes thought to relate to changes in internal prism and basal fault properties. For subduction plate boundary rupture, the seaward extent of the seismogenic zone has implications for tsunami generation with potential for an increased submarine rupture area and rupture in deeper water. These examples support the idea that the morphology and structure of the forearc can be used to assess the position of the updip seismogenic limit and suggest that other margins with very thick sediment input should be carefully examined for their seismic potential.

  18. Ultrahigh Pressure Metamorphism: Cambridge Topics in Petrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Bernard W.

    The field of ultra-high pressure metamorphism (UHPM) emerged only 12 years ago when microscopic relics of coesite were found in crustal rocks that had been metamorphosed during subduction related to continental collision. Coesite-bearing metamorphic rocks were soon found elsewhere, and then metamorphic microdiamonds were discovered. Suddenly, the pressure axis for orogenic metamorphism had expanded from 1.5-2.0 to 3.0-4.0 GPa!

  19. Age and Petrogenesis of Garnet Peridotites in the Sulu Ultrahigh-Pressure Metamorphic Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Q.; Widom, E.; Yang, J.; Chen, S.

    2007-05-01

    Investigations of garnet peridotites in the Dabie-Sulu ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic belt indicate that they have experienced subduction zone UHP metamorphism and mantle metasomatism. However, the formation age, origin and source of the garnet peridotites are still poorly constrained. Re-Os formation ages of 1.8 and 2 Ga are obtained for Raobozhai peridotites from the Dabie terrane and Xugou peridotites from the Sulu terrane, respectively [1,2]. The latter is interpreted to originate from the Yangtze craton. Although the basement beneath the Yangtze craton and the continental lithospheric mantle (CLM) of the eastern block of the North China craton prior to Triassic was Archean, no Archean formation ages of peridotites have been reported from the Dabie-Sulu UHP metamorphic belt. We report Re-Os isotopic results for garnet peridotites from the Pre-pilot hole 1 (PP1) of the Chinese Continental Scientific Drilling Project, located in the western part of the Sulu terrane. Samples from 147 to 245 m include harzburgite, lherzolite, dunite and serpentinite. They are fresher and less serpentinized than those in any other drill holes or field outcrops. Os and Re concentrations range from 0.0089-3.7345 ppb and 0.0049-0.2489 ppb, respectively, with 187Re/188Os varying from 0.0067-6.9925 and 187Os/188Os varying from 0.11163-0.15723. The lack of correlation between 187Os/188Os and 187Re/188Os indicates that the Re-Os isotope system has been disturbed by later metasomatism due to Re mobility. However, most PP1 samples have unradiogenic 187Os/188Os varying from 0.11163-0.11730, among the most depleted peridotites found in China. Re depletion ages (TRD) range from 1.22 to 2.43 Ga, indicating that the PP1 peridotites are at least 2.43 Ga in age. Re-Os model ages (TMA) range from 0.095-2.881 Ga, and three samples have Archean TMA, indicating that the PP1 peridotites could have originated from refractory Archean CLM beneath either the North China or Yangtze cratons. References [1] Jin, Y. et al. 2004 Chinese Science Bulletin 49, 508-513 [2] Yuan, H. et al. 2007 Chemical Geology 236, 323-338

  20. Tsunami history of an Oregon coastal lake reveals a 4600 yr record of great earthquakes on the Cascadia subduction zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kelsey, H.M.; Nelson, A.R.; Hemphill-Haley, E.; Witter, R.C.

    2005-01-01

    Bradley Lake, on the southern Oregon coastal plain, records local tsunamis and seismic shaking on the Cascadia subduction zone over the last 7000 yr. Thirteen marine incursions delivered landward-thinning sheets of sand to the lake from nearshore, beach, and dune environments to the west. Following each incursion, a slug of marine water near the bottom of the freshwater lake instigated a few-year-to-several-decade period of a brackish (??? 4??? salinity) lake. Four additional disturbances without marine incursions destabilized sideslopes and bottom sediment, producing a suspension deposit that blanketed the lake bottom. Considering the magnitude and duration of the disturbances necessary to produce Bradley Lake's marine incursions, a local tsunami generated by a great earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone is the only accountable mechanism. Extreme ocean levels must have been at least 5-8 m above sea level, and the cumulative duration of each marine incursion must have been at least 10 min. Disturbances without marine incursions require seismic shaking as well. Over the 4600 yr period when Bradley Lake was an optimum tsunami recorder, tsunamis from Cascadia plate-boundary earthquakes came in clusters. Between 4600 and 2800 cal yr B.P., tsunamis occurred at the average frequency of ??? 3-4 every 1000 yr. Then, starting ???2800 cal yr B.P., there was a 930-1260 yr interval with no tsunamis. That gap was followed by a ???1000 yr period with 4 tsunamis. In the last millennium, a 670-750 yr gap preceded the A.D. 1700 earthquake and tsunami. The A.D. 1700 earthquake may be the first of a new cluster of plate-boundary earthquakes and accompanying tsunamis. Local tsunamis entered Bradley Lake an average of every 390 yr, whereas the portion of the Cascadia plate boundary that underlies Bradley Lake ruptured in a great earthquake less frequently, about once every 500 yr. Therefore, the entire length of the subduction zone does not rupture in every earthquake, and Bradley Lake has recorded earthquakes caused by rupture along the entire length of the Cascadia plate boundary as well as earthquakes caused by rupture of shorter segments of the boundary. The tsunami record from Bradley Lake indicates that at times, most recently ???1700 yr B.P., overlapping or adjoining segments of the Cascadia plate boundary ruptured within decades of each other. ?? 2005 Geological Society of America.

  1. Stochastic strong ground motion simulations for the intermediate-depth earthquakes of the south Aegean subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kkallas, Harris; Papazachos, Konstantinos; Boore, David; Margaris, Vasilis

    2015-04-01

    We have employed the stochastic finite-fault modelling approach of Motazedian and Atkinson (2005), as described by Boore (2009), for the simulation of Fourier spectra of the Intermediate-depth earthquakes of the south Aegean subduction zone. The stochastic finite-fault method is a practical tool for simulating ground motions of future earthquakes which requires region-specific source, path and site characterizations as input model parameters. For this reason we have used data from both acceleration-sensor and broadband velocity-sensor instruments from intermediate-depth earthquakes with magnitude of M 4.5-6.7 that occurred in the south Aegean subduction zone. Source mechanisms for intermediate-depth events of north Aegean subduction zone are either collected from published information or are constrained using the main faulting types from Kkallas et al. (2013). The attenuation parameters for simulations were adopted from Skarladoudis et al. (2013) and are based on regression analysis of a response spectra database. The site amplification functions for each soil class were adopted from Klimis et al., (1999), while the kappa values were constrained from the analysis of the EGELADOS network data from Ventouzi et al., (2013). The investigation of stress-drop values was based on simulations performed with the EXSIM code for several ranges of stress drop values and by comparing the results with the available Fourier spectra of intermediate-depth earthquakes. Significant differences regarding the strong-motion duration, which is determined from Husid plots (Husid, 1969), have been identified between the for-arc and along-arc stations due to the effect of the low-velocity/low-Q mantle wedge on the seismic wave propagation. In order to estimate appropriate values for the duration of P-waves, we have automatically picked P-S durations on the available seismograms. For the S-wave durations we have used the part of the seismograms starting from the S-arrivals and ending at the 95%-energy limit of the Husid plots. After appropriate calibration of all parameters involved in the simulations we generated separate stochastic waveforms for both P- and S-waves, and produce the final synthetics by appropriate merging of the two stochastic waveforms. This work has been partly supported by the 3D-SEGMENTS project #1337 funded by EC European Social Fund and the Operational Programme "Education and Lifelong Learning" of the ARISTEIA-I call of the Greek Secretariat of Research and Technology.

  2. Slab-derived fluid flux in subduction zones: Effects of localized hydration in the incoming plate and rehydration during subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wada, I.; Behn, M. D.; Shaw, A. M.

    2011-12-01

    We investigate the effects of localized hydration in the incoming oceanic plate and rehydration in the overlying slab and mantle wedge on the pattern of fluid flux in subduction zones. Fluid flux is calculated by coupling a subduction zone thermal model with thermodynamic calculations based on Perple_X. To date most studies of fluid flux in subduction zones have assumed a uniform distribution of mineralogically bound H2O within given lithologies in the incoming plate. However, geological and geophysical observations and thermo-mechanical models indicate the distribution of hydrous phases in the lower crust and upper mantle can be highly localized due to fault-controlled fluid migration and hydration. Furthermore, H2O released during dehydration reactions may become consumed by the hydration of under-saturated parts of the overlying slab and/or mantle as fluids migrate upward. Our modelling results show that the subduction of a locally hydrated incoming plate results in shallower fluid release compared to that of a uniformly hydrated plate for the same average H2O content. Rehydration in the uniformly hydrated slab has a very small effect on the pattern of fluids release, but rehydration in the locally hydrated slab can delay the liberation of H2O notably. However, the actual degree of rehydration in the locally hydrated slab is expected to be small as H2O likely migrates upward along faults that have already been hydrated and are thus near saturation. The model predicts little rehydration in the flowing part of the mantle wedge due to high temperatures. The greater fluid release at shallower depths in locally hydrated slabs may result in a larger increase in local pore fluid pressure compared to uniformly hydrated slabs, promoting intraslab earthquakes through dehydration embrittlement. Locally hydrated slabs also tend to provide a greater supply of fluids to the overlying subduction channel and mantle wedge in the forearc and arc regions, influencing viscous slab-mantle coupling that drives mantle wedge flow and promoting hydrous melting for arc volcanism.

  3. Receiver function study of the Hellenic subduction zone: imaging crustal thickness variations and the oceanic Moho of the descending African lithosphere

    Microsoft Academic Search

    X. Li; G. Bock; A. Vafidis; R. Kind; H.-P. Harjes; W. Hanka; K. Wylegalla; M. van der Meijde; X. Yuan

    2003-01-01

    We use data from recently installed broad-band seismographs on the islands of Crete, Gavdos, Santorini, Naxos and Samos in the Hellenic subduction zone to construct receiver function images of the crust and upper mantle from south of Crete into the Aegean Sea. The stations are equipped with STS-2 seismometers and they are operated by GFZ Potsdam, University of Chania and

  4. Deformation and melt transport in a highly depleted peridotite massif from the Canadian Cordillera: Implications to seismic anisotropy above subduction zones

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Andréa Tommasi; Alain Vauchez; Marguerite Godard; France Belley

    2006-01-01

    Seismic anisotropy in subduction zones results from a combination of various processes. Although it depends primarily on the orientation of olivine in response to flow, the presence of water and melt in the wedge may modify the deformation of olivine. The melt distribution also influences anisotropy. Direct observations of the deformation and melt-rock interactions in a strongly depleted spinel-harzburgite massif

  5. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 92, No. 6, pp. 21102125, August 2002 Regional Wave Propagation from Mexican Subduction Zone Earthquakes

    E-print Network

    Furumura, Takashi

    Mexico City has repeatedly been struck by coastal earthquakes in the past. During this earthquake, severe-bed zone of Mexico City located more than 300 km from the plate interface. The extensive damage in the city Regional Wave Propagation from Mexican Subduction Zone Earthquakes: The Attenuation Functions

  6. Cycling of B, Li, and LILE (K, Cs, Rb, Ba, Sr) into subduction zones: SIMS evidence from micas in high-P/T metasedimentary rocks

    E-print Network

    Bebout, Gray E.

    Cycling of B, Li, and LILE (K, Cs, Rb, Ba, Sr) into subduction zones: SIMS evidence from micas in high-P/T metasedimentary rocks Gray E. Bebout a,, Ann E. Bebout b , Colin M. Graham c a Department by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) complements previously published whole-rock data for metasedimentary

  7. Neoproterozoic arc-back-arc system in the Central Eastern Desert of Egypt: Evidence from supra-subduction zone ophiolites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farahat, E. S.

    2010-12-01

    Ophiolites are widely distributed in the Central Eastern Desert (CED) of Egypt, occurring as clusters in the northern (NCEDO) and southern (SCEDO) segments. Mineralogical and geochemical data on the volcanic sections of Wizer (WZO) and Abu Meriewa (AMO) ophiolites as representatives of the NCEDO and SCEDO, respectively, are presented. The WZO volcanic sequence comprises massive metavolcanics of MORB-like compositions intruded by minor boninitic dykes and thrust over island-arc metavolcanic blocks in the mélange matrix. Such transitional MORB-IAT-boninitic magmatic affinities for the WZO metavolcanics suggest that they most likely formed in a protoarc-forearc setting. Chemical compositions of primary clinopyroxene and Cr-spinel relicts from the WZO volcanic section further confirm this interpretation. The compositional variability in the WZO volcanic sequence is comparable with the associated mantle rocks that vary from slightly depleted harzburgites to highly depleted harzburgites containing small dunite bodies, which are residues after MORB, IAT and boninite melt formation, respectively. Source characteristics of the different lava groups from the WZO indicate generation via partial melting of a MORB source which was progressively depleted by melt extraction and variably enriched by subduction zone fluids. MORB-like magma may have been derived from ~ 20% partial melting of an undepleted lherzolite source, leaving slightly depleted harzburgite as a residuum. The generation of island-arc magma can be accounted for by partial melting (~ 15%) of the latter harzburgitic mantle source, whereas boninites may have been derived from partial melting (~ 20%) of a more refractory mantle source previously depleted by melt extraction of MORB and IAT melts, leaving ultra-refractory dunite bodies as residuum. The AMO volcanic unit occurs as highly deformed pillowed metavolcanic rocks in a mélange matrix. They can be categorized geochemically into LREE-depleted (La/Yb CN = 0.41-0.50) and LREE-enriched (La/Yb CN = 4.7-4.9) lava types that show an island arc to MORB geochemical signature, respectively, signifying a back-arc basin setting. This is consistent, as well, with their mantle section. Source characteristics indicate depleted to slightly enriched mantle sources with overall slight subduction zone geochemical affinities as compared to the WZO. Generally, CED ophiolites show supra-subduction zone geochemical signature with prevalent island arc tholeiitic and minor boninitic affinities in the NCEDO and MORB/island-arc association in the SCEDO. Such differences in geochemical characteristics of the NCEDO and SCEDO, along with the abundance of mature island arc metavolcanics which are close in age (~ 750 Ma) to the ophiolitic rocks, general enrichment in HFSE of ophiolites from north to south, and lack of a crustal break and major shear zones, is best explained by a geotectonic model whereby the CED represents an arc-back-arc system above a southeast-dipping subduction zone.

  8. Niobium-enriched basalts from the Wabigoon subprovince, Canada: evidence for adakitic metasomatism above an Archean subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyman, D. A.; Ayer, J. A.; Devaney, J. R.

    2000-06-01

    Late Archean niobium-enriched basalts from the Central Sturgeon Lake assemblage and Neepawa group of the western Wabigoon subprovince have mantle-normalized Nb/La between 0.8 and 1.3 and Zr/Y between 4 and 7. They are compositionally similar to basalts attributed to adakite metasomatism of mantle wedge regions in Cenozoic subduction zones [Sajona et al., J. Petrol. 37 (1996) 693-726]. In detail, their Sc-REE systematics suggest the Archean basalts were generated above the garnet stability field. An association with adakite-like volcanic rocks, an absence of komatiites and the arc-like attributes of their host sequences suggest a subduction-related origin for the basalts. If current models of adakite and Niobium-enriched basalt genesis are valid, then additional examples of these rocks should be relatively common in other Archean greenstone belts.

  9. 3D Modeling of Strong Ground Motion in the Pacific Northwest From Large Earthquakes in the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, K. B.; Geisselmeyer, A.; Stephenson, W. J.; Mai, P. M.

    2007-12-01

    The Cascadia subduction zone in the Pacific Northwest, USA, generates Great (megathrust) earthquakes with a recurrence period of about 500 years, most recently the M~9 event on January 26, 1700. Since no earthquake of such magnitude has occurred in the Pacific Northwest since the deployment of strong ground motion instruments, a large uncertainty is associated with the ground motions expected from such event. To decrease this uncertainty, we have carried out the first 3D simulations of megathrust earthquakes (Mw8.5 and Mw9.0) rupturing along the Cascadia subduction zone. The simulations were carried out in a recently developed 3D velocity model of the region of dimensions 1050 km by 550 km, discretized into 2 billion 250 m3 cubes with a minimum S-wave velocity of 625 m/s. The model includes the subduction slab, accretionary sediments, local sedimentary basins, and the ocean layer. About 6 minutes of wave propagation for each scenario consumed about 24 Wall-clock hours using a parallel fourth-order finite-difference method with 1600 processors on the San Diego Supercomputer Center Datastar supercomputer. The source descriptions for the Mw9.0 scenarios were designed by mapping the inversion results for the December 26, 2004 M9+ Sumatra-Andaman Islands earthquake (Ji, 2006) onto a 950 km by 150 km large rupture for the Pacific Northwest model. Simulations were carried out for hypocenters located toward the northern and southern ends of the subduction zone. In addition, we simulated two M8.5 events with a source area of 275 km by 150 km located in the northern and central parts of the model area. The sources for the M8.5 events were generated using the pseudo-dynamic model by Guatteri et al. (2004). All sources used spatially-variable slip, rise time and rupture velocity. Three major metropolitan areas are located in the model region, namely Seattle (3 million+ people), Vancouver (2 million+ people), and Portland (2 million+ people), all located above sedimentary basins amplifying the waves incident from the subduction zone. The estimated peak ground velocities (PGVs) for frequencies less than 0.5 Hz vary significantly with the assumed rise time. Using a mean rise of 32 s, as estimated from source inversion of the 2004 M9+ Sumatra-Andeman event (Ji, 2006), PGVs reached 40 cm/s in Seattle and 10 cm/s in Vancouver and Portland. However, if the mean rise time is decreased to about 14 s, as suggested by the empirical regression by Somerville et al. (1999), PGVs are increased by 2-3 times at these locations. For the Mw8.5 events, PGVs would reach about 10 cm/s in Seattle, and about 5 cm/s in Vancouver and Portland. Combined with extended duration of the shaking exceeding 1 minute for the Mw8.5 events and 2 minutes for the Mw9 events, these long-period ground motions may inflict significant damage on the built environment, in particular on the highrises in downtown Seattle. However, the strongest shaking arrives 1-2 minutes after the earthquake nucleates, indicating that an early warning system in place may help mitigate loss of life in case of a megathrust earthquake in the Pacific Northwest. Additional efforts should analyse the simulated displacements on the ocean bottom for tsunami generation potential.

  10. Varying mantle sources of supra-subduction zone ophiolites: REE evidence from the Zambales Ophiolite Complex, Luzon, Philippines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yumul, G. P.

    1996-09-01

    The Zambales Ophiolite Complex, a supra-subduction zone ophiolite, is characterized by three volcanic-hypabyssal rock units: the Coto Block volcanic-hypabyssal rocks, the Coto dikes intruded into the Coto residual peridotites and the Acoje Block volcanic-hypabyssal rocks. The first two groups exhibit transitional mid-ocean ridge-island arc characteristics while the latter reveals island arc affinity. Furthermore, these three volcanic rock suites are characterized by differing bulk REE, major-element, trace-element and mineral chemistries. The Coto Block volcanic-hypabyssal rocks [ {(Ce}/{Yb) n} 0.4-1.0; TiO 2 0.50-1.50 wt.%; Zr 31-76 ppm; Y 13-31 ppm] have higher REE, Ti, Zr and Y than the Coto dikes [ {(Ce}/{Yb) n} 0.3-0.8; TiO 2 0.52-0.94 wt.%; Zr 15-55 ppm; Y 10-27 ppm] and the Acoje Block volcanic-hypabyssal rocks [ {(Ce}/{Yb) n} 0.2-0.3; TiO 2 0.26-0.86 wt.%; Zr 11-45 ppm; Y 10-23 ppm] arguing for an increasing degree of melting of the sources from the former to the latter. These data suggest the involvement of several mantle sources which have undergone different degrees of partial melting and LREE addition as evidenced by the presence of LREE-enriched basalts [ {(Ce}/{Yb) n} 3-5] among the Coto Block volcanic-hypabyssal rocks. These results further illustrate the complexities involved in the generation and evolution of supra-subduction zone ophiolites.

  11. Consolidation state of incoming sediments to the Nankai Trough subduction zone: Implications for sediment deformation and properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitajima, Hiroko; Saffer, Demian M.

    2014-07-01

    hydromechanical properties of accreted and underthrust sediments are key parameters controlling the mechanics of earthquakes and the development of fluid pressure in subduction zones. We conducted consolidation tests on sediments from the Philippine Sea Plate (PSP) in the Nankai Trough to understand the consolidation state and hydraulic properties of the incoming sediment section before its incorporation into the subduction zone. We used mudstone and sandstone cores sampled from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment at two reference sites (Site C0011 located on a basement low; and Site C0012 located on a basement high). Our experimental results indicate that most of the mudstone samples are normally consolidated or overconsolidated, with overconsolidation ratios (OCR) ranging from 0.89 to 2.52 at Site C0011 and 0.86 to 3.85 at Site C0012. Higher OCR values at Site C0012, at least at shallow depths, are likely caused by erosional unloading. This implies that Site C0011 may serve as a better geotechnical reference site. We also find that mudstones accreted along the frontal thrust are severely overconsolidated relative to coeval mudstones at Site C0011, which likely reflects enhanced consolidation due to increased horizontal tectonic stress. Sandstones in the incoming section on the PSP exhibit 2-3 orders of magnitude higher in situ permeability than the mudstones, and the siliciclastic sandstone we tested maintains a high permeability at stresses up to at least 70 MPa, suggesting that the sandstones may act as important pathways for drainage or pore pressure translation from depths of several kilometers.

  12. Joint Inversion of Seismic and Gravity Data for Velocity Structure and Hypocentral Locations of the Colombian Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Syracuse, E. M.; Maceira, M.; Prieto, G. A.; Zhang, H.; Ammon, C. J.

    2014-12-01

    Joint inversions of geophysical data recover models that simultaneously fit multiple types of constraints while playing upon the various sensitivities of each data type. Here, we combine body wave arrival times with surface wave dispersion measurements and gravity observations to develop a combined 3D P- and S-wave velocity model for the crust and upper mantle of Colombia. P- and S-wave arrival times were obtained for local earthquakes from instruments in the Colombian National Seismic Network. Rayleigh wave dispersion curves were inverted for using a subset of network stations and larger local earthquakes. Gravity observations were extracted from the global satellite-based model EGM2008. Preliminary results using body waves only show reduced velocities beneath the volcanic arc in the upper 25 km of the crust. Crustal velocities are also reduced from the 1D starting model beneath the Eastern Cordillera in the northern half of the country. Relocations of intermediate-depth seismicity clearly indicate a discontinuity in the slab centered 5° N latitude, where the southern portion of the slab is ~200 km trenchward of the northern portion, coincident with the termination of arc volcanism and in recent years interpreted as due to a slab tear [Vargas and Mann, 2013]. Seismicity below 100 km depth in the southern portion of the subduction zone­­­ is surrounded by a ~100-km-thick region of elevated velocities, associated with the subduction of the Nazca Plate, and embedded within a broader region of reduced velocities. The northern portion of the subduction zone at 100 km depth and below is characterized by a broad region of elevated velocities, which may be consistent with a slab of an old, thickened Caribbean Plate origin. The overlapping of the edges of the Nazca and Caribbean slabs may contribute to the seismicity of the Bucaramanga nest.

  13. Fast rates of subduction erosion along the Costa Rica Pacific margin: Implications for nonsteady rates of crustal recycling at subduction zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vannucchi, P.; Ranero, C.R.; Galeotti, S.; Straub, S.M.; Scholl, D. W.; McDougall-Ried, K.

    2003-01-01

    At least since the middle Miocene (???16 Ma), subduction erosion has been the dominant process controlling the tectonic evolution of the Pacific margin of Costa Rica. Ocean Drilling Program Site 1042 recovered 16.5 Ma nearshore sediment at ???3.9 km depth, ???7 km landward of the trench axis. The overlying Miocene to Quaternary sediment contains benthic foraminifera documenting margin subsidence from upper bathyal (???200 m) to abyssal (???2000 m) depth. The rate of subsidence was low during the early to middle Miocene but increased sharply in the late Miocene-early Pliocene (5-6.5 Ma) and at the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary (2.4 Ma). Foraminifera data, bedding dip, and the geometry of slope sediment indicate that tilting of the forearc occurred coincident with the onset of rapid late Miocene subsidence. Seismic images show that normal faulting is widespread across the continental slope; however, extension by faulting only accounts for a minor amount of the post-6.5 Ma subsidence. Basal tectonic erosion is invoked to explain the subsidence. The short-term rate of removal of rock from the forearc is about 107-123 km3 Myr-1 km-1. Mass removal is a nonsteady state process affecting the chemical balance of the arc: the ocean sediment input, with the short-term erosion rate, is a factor of 10 smaller than the eroded mass input. The low 10Be concentration in the volcanic arc of Costa Rica could be explained by dilution with eroded material. The late Miocene onset of rapid subsidence is coeval with the arrival of the Cocos Ridge at the subduction zone. The underthrusting of thick and thermally younger ocean crust decreased the subduction angle of the slab along a large segment of the margin and changed the dynamic equilibrium of the margin taper. This process may have induced the increase in the rate of subduction erosion and thus the recycling of crustal material to the mantle. Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.

  14. Subduction-driven recycling of continental margin lithosphere.

    PubMed

    Levander, A; Bezada, M J; Niu, F; Humphreys, E D; Palomeras, I; Thurner, S M; Masy, J; Schmitz, M; Gallart, J; Carbonell, R; Miller, M S

    2014-11-13

    Whereas subduction recycling of oceanic lithosphere is one of the central themes of plate tectonics, the recycling of continental lithosphere appears to be far more complicated and less well understood. Delamination and convective downwelling are two widely recognized processes invoked to explain the removal of lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts. Here we relate oceanic plate subduction to removal of adjacent continental lithosphere in certain plate tectonic settings. We have developed teleseismic body wave images from dense broadband seismic experiments that show higher than expected volumes of anomalously fast mantle associated with the subducted Atlantic slab under northeastern South America and the Alboran slab beneath the Gibraltar arc region; the anomalies are under, and are aligned with, the continental margins at depths greater than 200 kilometres. Rayleigh wave analysis finds that the lithospheric mantle under the continental margins is significantly thinner than expected, and that thin lithosphere extends from the orogens adjacent to the subduction zones inland to the edges of nearby cratonic cores. Taking these data together, here we describe a process that can lead to the loss of continental lithosphere adjacent to a subduction zone. Subducting oceanic plates can viscously entrain and remove the bottom of the continental thermal boundary layer lithosphere from adjacent continental margins. This drives surface tectonics and pre-conditions the margins for further deformation by creating topography along the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. This can lead to development of secondary downwellings under the continental interior, probably under both South America and the Gibraltar arc, and to delamination of the entire lithospheric mantle, as around the Gibraltar arc. This process reconciles numerous, sometimes mutually exclusive, geodynamic models proposed to explain the complex oceanic-continental tectonics of these subduction zones. PMID:25391963

  15. Exhumation of high-pressure Metamorphic rocks along the coast of Venezuela: Insights from BOLIVAR Seismic Reflection and Refraction Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magnani, M.; Mann, P.; Zelt, C. A.; Levander, A.; Ave Lallemant, H.

    2006-12-01

    A 120-km-wide belt of metamorphic rocks called the Cordillera de la Costa belt extends as a steep-sided, 2- 2.5-km-high range for 700 km along the northern coast of South America from the Bocono fault to the northeastern tip of Trinidad. This belt has been subdivided into two sub-belts of Mesozoic and early Tertiary rocks: the Coastal Range/Margarita belt consisting of rocks of oceanic affinity locally at blueschist metamorphic grade and the Cordillera de la Costa belt sensu strictu consisting of continentally-derived rocks at HP/LT metamorphic grade locally containing eclogite bearing assemblages. These two metamorphic belts are inferred to have sutured together and to the South American craton to the south by oblique collision of the Caribbean arc in Eocene to Miocene time. This oblique collision culminated in the present-day, right-lateral, continental strike-slip plate boundary (Moron-El Pilar fault zone) that defines the linear topographic and lithologic boundaries of the Coastal Range/Margarita belt. In order to better understand the obduction and topographic uplift of these metamorphic terranes, the BOLIVAR seismic experiment acquired four wide-angle offshore-onland transects across the Cordillera de la Costa belt separated by 100-250 km. The offshore segment of the transects in the Bonaire basin north of Venezuela include coincident, deep-penetration seismic reflection lines. The offshore data shows that the Bonaire basin is a rift structure of Paleogene age; the main grain of normal faults is roughly NW-SE with a minor E-W trend, parallel to the present-day. Normal faults 30-70 km from the coast were inverted in late Neogene time and show large overlying fold structures. Refraction profiles crossing the Coastal Range/Margarita belt show discrete, high-velocity (>6.5 km/s) bodies at upper and mid-crustal depths (3-15 km) that are correlated to high-density serpentinized peridotites and other oceanic-derived rocks mapped at the surface. We propose that these rocks form the footwall of a strike-slip inverted normal fault similar to those imaged offshore in the Bonaire basin. The main suture zone of the metamorphic rocks with the back-arc basin rocks to the north and the continental margin rocks to the south therefore appears to be a steep, ~30 degree dipping fault presently characterized by right-lateral strike-slip motion. This fault is transpressional since its trend is about 5-10 degrees oblique to the GPS-derived direction of South America-Caribbean motion. This component of transpression, perhaps acting on preexisting normal faults appears to be the mechanism for the narrow elongate uplift of metamorphic rocks of the Cordillera de la Costa belt. We suggest that the exhumation of the HP/LT complexes occurred in two stages: 1) arc parallel extension resulting from oblique collision uplifted the metamorphosed units from deep in the subduction zone to mid crustal depths; 2) obduction and emplacement from the midcrust to the surface was accommodated by transpression, possibly along preexisting normal faults. This last mechanism appears to play an important role in the final exhumation of the complexes as the seismic data image the velocity anomalies only in those portions of the strike-slip boundary which are presently under compression.

  16. UPb and 40Ar\\/39Ar geochronology of the Symvolon granodiorite: Implications for the thermal and structural evolution of the Rhodope metamorphic core complex, northeastern Greece

    Microsoft Academic Search

    David A. Dinter; Allison Macfarlane; Willis Hames; Clark Isachsen; Samuel Bowring; Leigh Royden

    1995-01-01

    North Aegean continental lithosphere was thickened by southwest vergent thrusting and continental subduction within the Alpine collisional orogen but has subsequently been greatly extended on a northeast-southwest axis in the back arc of the Hellenic subduction zone. Crosscutting relationships with two granodiorite bodies emplaced at ?31–33 Ma, the Xanthi and eastern Vrondou plutons, constrain a pre-mid-Oligocene origin of Alpine convergent

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    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 rheology of the Messinian salts acts as the décollement level in the frontal part of the wedge. Repeated imbricate thrusting within in the Calabrian wedge allows the