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Sample records for continental subduction-zone metamorphism

  1. 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.

  2. Geochemistry of continental subduction-zone fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Yong-Fei; Hermann, Joerg

    2014-12-01

    The composition of continental subduction-zone fluids varies dramatically from dilute aqueous solutions at subsolidus conditions to hydrous silicate melts at supersolidus conditions, with variable concentrations of fluid-mobile incompatible trace elements. At ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic conditions, supercritical fluids may occur with variable compositions. The water component of these fluids primarily derives from structural hydroxyl and molecular water in hydrous and nominally anhydrous minerals at UHP conditions. While the breakdown of hydrous minerals is the predominant water source for fluid activity in the subduction factory, water released from nominally anhydrous minerals provides an additional water source. These different sources of water may accumulate to induce partial melting of UHP metamorphic rocks on and above their wet solidii. Silica is the dominant solute in the deep fluids, followed by aluminum and alkalis. Trace element abundances are low in metamorphic fluids at subsolidus conditions, but become significantly elevated in anatectic melts at supersolidus conditions. The compositions of dissolved and residual minerals are a function of pressure-temperature and whole-rock composition, which exert a strong control on the trace element signature of liberated fluids. The trace element patterns of migmatic leucosomes in UHP rocks and multiphase solid inclusions in UHP minerals exhibit strong enrichment of large ion lithophile elements (LILE) and moderate enrichment of light rare earth elements (LREE) but depletion of high field strength elements (HFSE) and heavy rare earth elements (HREE), demonstrating their crystallization from anatectic melts of crustal protoliths. Interaction of the anatectic melts with the mantle wedge peridotite leads to modal metasomatism with the generation of new mineral phases as well as cryptic metasomatism that is only manifested by the enrichment of fluid-mobile incompatible trace elements in orogenic peridotites. Partial melting of the metasomatic mantle domains gives rise to a variety of mafic igneous rocks in collisional orogens and their adjacent active continental margins. The study of such metasomatic processes and products is of great importance to understanding of the mass transfer at the slab-mantle interface in subduction channels. Therefore, the property and behavior of subduction-zone fluids are a key for understanding of the crust-mantle interaction at convergent plate margins.

  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 δ15N at ODP Site 1039 (Li and Bebout, 2005, JGR), together with estimates of the N concentration of subducting altered oceanic crust (AOC), indicates that ~42% of the N subducting beneath Nicaragua is returned in the corresponding volcanic arc (Elkins et al., 2006, GCA). Study of N in HP/UHP sedimentary and basaltic rocks indicates that much of the N initially subducted in these lithologies would be retained to depths approaching 100 km and thus available for addition to arcs. The more altered upper part of subducting oceanic crust most likely to contribute to arcs has sediment-like δ15NAir (0 to +10 per mil; Li et al., 2007, GCA), and study of HP/UHP eclogites 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. 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.

  5. Dating Subduction Zone Metamorphism with Garnet and Lawsonite Geochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Lawsonite [CaAl2Si2O7(OH)2 H2O] is a critical index mineral for high- to ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism associated with subduction. Lawsonite is an important carrier of water into the mantle, a likely contributor to subduction zone seismicity, and a bearer of trace elements that link metamorphism to arc magmatism. Due to its limited pressure-temperature stability, lawsonite can serve as a powerful petrogenetic indicator of specific metamorphic events. Lu-Hf dating of lawsonite, therefore provides a potentially powerful new tool for constraining subduction zone processes in a pressure-temperature window where few successful geochronometers exist. Broad application of lawsonite Lu-Hf geochronology requires constraining the role of pressure-temperature path, lawsonite forming reactions, and the Lu and Hf systematics within lawsonite and other blueschist facies minerals. We are working to address the role of the metamorphic path on the applicability of lawsonite Lu-Hf geochronology within the Franciscan Complex of California. The Franciscan Complex preserves mafic high-grade exotic blocks in melange that underwent a counterclockwise pressure-temperature path wherein garnet, which strongly partitions heavy rare-earth elements, formed prior to lawsonite. Coherent mafic rocks within the Franciscan Complex, however, underwent a clockwise pressure-temperature path and lawsonite growth occurred prior to garnet. We sampled exotic blocks of garnet-hornblendite, garnet-epidote amphibolite, garnet-epidote blueschist, and lawsonite blueschist from the Berkeley Hills and Tiburon Peninsula of California. We collected four samples from coherent lawsonite blueschist across the lawsonite-pumpellyite-epidote isograds in Ward Creek, near Cazadero California. High-grade blocks give ages similar to existing Franciscan geochronology: multi-stage garnet in hornblendite gives the following ages: 1711.3 Ma (MSWD 2.8) for the core and 159.40.9 Ma (MSWD 2.0) for the corresponding rim; 1660.9 Ma (MSWD 1.0) for garnet-epidote amphibolite; and 156.21.0 Ma (MSWD 0.35) for garnet-epidote blueschist. Samples from retrograde exotic blocks contain lawsonite formed by garnet breakdown reactions and exhibit elevated Lu concentrations (?0.5-1.3 ppm) and 176Lu/177 Hf ratios (?2.2). Two samples we dated from the Berkeley Hills and Tiburon, respectively, gave lawsonite-whole rock ages of 129.21.2 Ma (MSWD 1.0) and 144.91.2 Ma (MSWD 0.64) . In the younger sample, garnet replaced by lawsonite is dated at 149.21.6 Ma. Lawsonite from Ward Creek that formed by prograde reactions involving plagioclase minerals, in contrast, have low Lu concentrations (?0.3 ppm) and low 176Lu/177 Hf ratios (?0.45). A garnet age of 151.61.3 Ma (MSWD 12.7) was obtained from garnet-epidote blueschist. While the ages from retrograde lawsonite within exotic blocks are similar to existing ages from the Franciscan Complex, no meaningful lawsonite ages were obtained from prograde coherent blocks of Ward Creek. The results suggest that lawsonite formed from the breakdown of garnet along a retrograde path provides meaningful Lu-Hf ages, while the very-low temperature lawsonite formed along a prograde path is not well suited for geochronology. This may be due to factors such as non-equilibrium at low metamorphic grades, low bulk rock Lu content, and the prevalence of micro-zircon within these samples.

  6. Does subduction zone magmatism produce average continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Growth of early continental crust by water-present eclogite melting in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laurie, A.; Stevens, G.

    2011-12-01

    The geochemistry of well preserved Paleo- to Meso-Archaean Tonalite-Trondhjemite-Granodiorite (TTG) suite rocks, such as the ca 3.45 Ga trondhjemites from the Barberton greenstone belt in South Africa, provides insight into the origins of Earth's early felsic continental crust. This is particularly well demonstrated by the high-Al2O3 variety of these magmas, such as the Barberton rocks, where the geochemistry requires that they are formed by high pressure (HP) melting of a garnet-rich metamafic source. This has been interpreted as evidence for the formation of these magmas by anatexis of the upper portions of slabs within Archaean subduction zones. Most of the experimental data relevant to Archaean TTG genesis has been generated by studies of fluid-absent melting of metabasaltic sources. However, water drives arc magmatism within Phanerozoic subduction zones and thus, understanding the behaviour of water in Archaean subduction zones, may have considerable value for understanding the genesis of these TTG magmas. Consequently, this study investigates the role of HP water-present melting of an eclogite-facies starting material, in the production of high-Al2O3 type TTG melts. Water-saturated partial melting experiments were conducted between 1.9 and 3.0GPa; and, 870C and 900C. The melting reaction is characterized by the breakdown of sodic Cpx, together with Qtz and H2O, to form melt in conjunction with a less sodic Cpx: Qtz + Cpx1 + Grt1 + H2O = Melt + Cpx2 + Grt2. In many of the experimental run products, melt segregated efficiently from residual crystals, allowing for the measurement of a full range of trace elements via Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy. The experimental glasses produced by this study have the compositions of peraluminous trondhjemites; and they are light rare earth element, Zr and Sr enriched; and heavy rare earth element, Y and Nb depleted. The compositions of the experimental glasses are similar to high-Al2O3 type Archaean TTG rocks in general and similar to the Barberton trondhjemites in particular. Additionally, due to Cpx being a major reactant, Ni and Cr contents of the glasses are high and match those of high-Al2O3 type TTG compositions. This challenges the notion that this aspect of TTG geochemistry indicates interaction of the magma with the mantle wedge. Consequently, we propose that water-present melting of an eclogitic source is a viable mechanism for the genesis of Paleo- to Meso-Archaean felsic continental crust. Importantly, this mechanism of TTG formation involves the upper surface of the subducting slab acting as an anatectic capture site for metamorphic fluid which evolved from cooler domains slightly deeper within the hydrated upper portion of the slab. This explains both TTG genesis and the lack of characteristic products of mantle wedge metasomatism, such as andesites, concurrent with TTG magmatism of this type during the Paleo- to Meso-Archaean. Cooling of the upper mantle by only a small amount towards to end of the Archaean Eon acted to "turn off" water-present melting of the slab, allowing water to metasomatise the mantle wedge and induce calc-alkaline magmatism in association with volcanic arcs.

  9. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

    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 (Fo91-92), enstatite (En91-92), Ti-clinohumite, diopside, phlogopite and apatite. The enstatite inclusions have low Al2O3 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. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Recycling and transport of continental material through the mantle wedge above subduction zones: A Caribbean example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rojas-Agramonte, Yamirka; Garcia-Casco, Antonio; Kemp, Anthony; Kröner, Alfred; Proenza, Joaquín A.; Lázaro, Concepción; Liu, Dunyi

    2016-02-01

    Estimates of global growth rates of continental crust critically depend upon knowledge of the rate at which crustal material is delivered back into the mantle at subduction zones and is then returned to the crust as a component of mantle-derived magma. Quantification of crustal recycling by subduction-related magmatism relies on indirect chemical and isotopic tracers and is hindered by the large range of potential melt sources (e.g., subducted oceanic crust and overlying chemical and clastic sediment, sub-arc lithospheric mantle, arc crust), whose composition may not be accurately known. There is also uncertainty about how crustal material is transferred from subducted lithosphere and mixed into the mantle source of arc magmas. We use the resilient mineral zircon to track crustal recycling in mantle-derived rocks of the Caribbean (Greater Antilles) intra-oceanic arc of Cuba, whose inception was triggered after the break-up of Pangea. Despite juvenile Sr and Nd isotope compositions, the supra-subduction zone ophiolitic and volcanic arc rocks of this Cretaceous (∼135-70 Ma) arc contain old zircons (∼200-2525 Ma) attesting to diverse crustal inputs. The Hf-O isotope systematics of these zircons suggest derivation from exposed crustal terranes in northern Central America (e.g. Mexico) and South America. Modeling of the sedimentary component in the most mafic lavas suggests a contribution of no more than 2% for the case of source contamination or less than 4% for sediment assimilation by the magma. We discuss several possibilities for the presence of inherited zircons and conclude that they were transported as detrital grains into the mantle beneath the Caribbean Plate via subduction of oceanic crust. The detrital zircons were subsequently entrained by mafic melts that were rapidly emplaced into the Caribbean volcanic arc crust and supra-subduction mantle. These findings suggest transport of continental detritus, through the mantle wedge above subduction zones, in magmas that otherwise do not show strong evidence for crustal input and imply that crustal recycling rates in some arcs may be higher than hitherto realized.

  12. Continental margin deformation along the Andean subduction zone: Thermo-mechanical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerbault, Muriel; Cembrano, J.; Mpodozis, C.; Farias, M.; Pardo, M.

    2009-12-01

    The Chilean Andes extend north-south for about 3000 km over the subducting Nazca plate, and show evidence of local rheological controls on first-order tectonic features. Here, rheological parameters are tested with numerical models of a subduction driven by slab-pull and upper plate velocities, and which calculate the development of stress and strain over a typical period of 4 Myr. The models test the effects of subduction interface strength, arc and fore-arc crust rheology, and arc temperature, on the development of superficial near-surface faulting as well as viscous shear zones in the mantle. Deformation geometries are controlled by the intersection of the subduction interface with continental rheological heterogeneities. Upper plate shortening and trench advance are both correlated, and favored, to a first-order by upper plate weakness, and to a second-order by interface strength. In cases of a strong interface, a weak fore-arc crust is dragged downward by tectonic erosion, a scenario for which indications are found along the northern Chilean margin. In contrast for a resistant fore-arc, the slab-pull force transmits to the surface and produces topographic subsidence. This process may explain present-day subsidence of the Salar de Atacama basin and/or the persistence of a Central Depression. Specific conditions for northern Chile produce a shear zone that propagates from the subduction zone in the mantle, through the Altiplano lower crust into the Sub-Andean crust, as proposed by previous studies. Models with a weak interface in turn, allow buoyant subducted material to rise into the continental arc. In case of cessation of the slab-pull, this buoyant material may rise enough to change the stress state in the continental crust, and lead to back-arc opening. In a case of young and hydrated oceanic plate forced by the slab-pull to subduct under a resistant continent, this plate is deviated and indented by the continental mantle, and stretches horizontally at 100 km depth. This situation might explain the flat Wadati-Benioff zone of Central Chile.

  13. Three-Dimensional Thermal Structure of the Middle-America Subduction Zone: Along-margin mantle flow and slab metamorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  14. Petrofabrics and Water Contents of Peridotites from the Western Gneiss Region (Norway): Implications for Fabric Transition of Olivine in Continental Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Q.; Xia, Q.; O'Reilly, S.; Griffin, W. L.; Beyer, E.

    2010-12-01

    The Western Gneiss Region (WGR) of Norway lies within the Caledonian collision zone, which was subjected to the eclogites-facies metamorphism during the Silurian-Devonian continental collision of Baltica and Laurentia. Exhumed from depths of 80-200 km, the peridotites enclosed in Proterozoic gneisses in the WGR can be divided into two groups: garnet-free Archean dunites with extremely depleted compositions, and garnet-bearing peridotites that resulted from refertilization of the dunites during the Proterozoic time (Beyer et al., 2006). Therefore peridotites from the WGR provide a unique window to investigate petrofabrics of the upper mantle with different compositions and deformation history. Using the electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) technique, we measured lattice-preferred orientations of 10 peridotite samples from the WGR. The water contents of olivine were determined by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy in Patersons calibration (1982). For dunites from Almklovdalen in the southern WGR, one sample with water content of 0.5 ppm H2O displays the [100](010) (the A-type) olivine fabric, while the other two samples with water contents of 5-7 ppm H2O developed [001](010) (the B-type) fabric. In contrast, garnet lherzolites and wehrlites with various water content of 0.2-7 ppm H2O from Almklovdalen and Gursky yield the B-type fabric. The [001](100) (the C-type) fabric of olivine was observed in garnet harzburgite with very low water content (1.4 ppm H2O) from Otry in the northern WGR, where coesite, majoritic garnet and microdiamond were found by previous studies. Compared with the fabric diagram of olivine proposed by Jung and Karato (2001), all 10 peridotite samples came from dry conditions, under which the A-type or the D-type fabric is expected at low or high stress, respectively. Clearly, our results indicate that water is not the key to producing the different fabrics in the WGR peridotites, and the Proterozoic refertilization did not significantly affect the fabric development of peridotites during the continental collision. Combined with field observations in the WGR and recent deformation experiments on olivine, we propose that the B- and C-type fabrics of olivine were formed during the subduction of the Baltic plate in fluid-limited conditions. The combination of UHP and low temperature plays a more important role than water to promote [001] slip in continental subduction zones. The spatial distribution of olivine fabrics in the WGR could be related with the increasing pressure from south to north, i.e., the HP to UHP metamorphism transition. It is probable that in continental subduction zones, the B- and C-type fabrics will predominate over the A-type fabric with increasing depths of the subducting lithospheric mantle, and the C-type fabric is more easily to activated at pressure higher than 4 GPa on low geothermal gradients. Therefore the olivine C-type fabric may be a marker of ultradeep subduction.

  15. 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.

  16. Modeling the effects of geological heterogeneity and metamorphic dehydration on slow slip and shallow deformation in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skarbek, Robert M.

    Slow slip and tectonic tremor in subduction zones take place at depths (˜20 - 50 km) where there is abundant evidence for distributed shear over broad zones (˜10 - 103 m) composed of rocks with marked differences in mechanical properties and for near lithostatic pore pressures along the plate interface where the main source of fluids must be attributed to chemical dehydration reactions. In Chapter II, I model quasi-dynamic rupture along faults composed of material mixtures characterized by different rate-and-state-dependent frictional properties to determine the parameter regime capable of producing slow slip in an idealized subduction zone setting. Keeping other parameters fixed, the relative proportions of velocity-weakening (VW) and velocity-strengthening (VS) materials control the sliding character (stable, slow, or dynamic) along the fault. The stability boundary between slow and dynamic is accurately described by linear analysis of a double spring-slider system with VW and VS blocks. In Chapter III, I model viscoelastic compaction of material subducting through the slow slip and tremor zone in the presence of pressure and temperature-dependent dehydration reactions. A dehydration fluid source is included using 1) a generalized basalt dehydration reaction in subducting oceanic crust or 2) a general nonlinear kinetic reaction rate law parameterized for an antigorite dehydration reaction. Pore pressures in excess of lithostatic values are a robust feature of simulations that employ parameters consistent with the geometry of the Cascadia subduction margin. Simulations that include viscous deformation uniformly generate traveling porosity waves that transport increased fluid pressures within the slow slip region. Slow slip and tremor also occur in shallow (< 10 km depth) accretionary prism sections of subduction zones. In Chapter IV, I examine how geologic heterogeneities affect the mechanics of accretionary prisms in subduction zones by showing how spatial variations in pore pressure, porosity, and internal friction coefficient affect predictions of basal shear stress, taper angle, and internal slip surface geometry. My results suggest that assuming average porosity throughout the prism may be a good approximation in many cases, but assuming an average value for the pore pressure can cause significant errors. This dissertation includes previously published and unpublished coauthored material.

  17. 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

  18. An explanation for the age independence of oceanic elastic thickness estimates from flexural profiles at subduction zones, and implications for continental rheology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craig, Timothy J.; Copley, Alex

    2014-04-01

    Most properties of oceanic lithosphere are widely observed to be dependent on the age of the plate, such as water depth, heat flow, and seismogenic thickness. However, estimates of the effective elastic thickness' of oceanic lithosphere based on the deflection of the plate as it enters a subduction zone show little correlation with the age of the incoming lithosphere. This paradox requires reconciliation if we are to gain a full understanding of the structure, rheology, and behaviour of oceanic lithosphere. Here, we show that the permanent deformation of the plate due to outer-rise faulting, combined with uncertainties in the yield stress of the lithosphere, the in-plane forces transmitted through subduction zones, and the levels of noise in bathymetric and gravity data, prevents simple elastic plate modelling from accurately capturing the underlying rheological structure of the incoming plate. The age-independent estimates of effective elastic thickness obtained by purely elastic plate modelling are therefore not likely to represent the true rheology of the plate, and hence are not expected to correspond to the plate age. Similar effects may apply to estimates of elastic thickness from continental forelands, with implications for our understanding of continental rheology.

  19. 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.

  20. Evolution of a Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noack, Lena; Van Hoolst, Tim; Dehant, Veronique

    2014-05-01

    The purpose of this study is to understand how Earth's surface might have evolved with time and to examine in a more general way the initiation and continuance of subduction zones and the possible formation of continents on an Earth-like planet. Plate tectonics and continents seem to influence the likelihood of a planet to harbour life, and both are strongly influenced by the planetary interior (e.g. mantle temperature and rheology) and surface conditions (e.g. stabilizing effect of continents, atmospheric temperature), but may also depend on the biosphere. Employing the Fortran convection code CHIC (developed at the Royal Observatory of Belgium), we simulate a subduction zone with a pre-defined weak zone (between oceanic and continental crust) and a fixed plate velocity for the subducting oceanic plate (Quinquis et al. in preparation). In our study we first investigate the main factors that influence the subduction process. We simulate the subduction of an oceanic plate beneath a continental plate (Noack et al., 2013). The crust is separated into an upper crust and a lower crust. We apply mixed Newtonian/non-Newtonian rheology and vary the parameters that are most likely to influence the subduction of the ocanic plate, as for example density of the crust/mantle, surface temperature, plate velocity and subduction angle. The second part of our study concentrates on the long-term evolution of a subduction zone. Even though we model only the upper mantle (until a depth of 670km), the subducted crust is allowed to flow into the lower mantle, where it is no longer subject to our investigation. This way we can model the subduction zone over long time spans, for which we assume a continuous inflow of the oceanic plate into the investigated domain. We include variations in mantle temperatures (via secular cooling and decay of radioactive heat sources) and dehydration of silicates (leading to stiffening of the material). We investigate how the mantle environment influences the subduction of the oceanic crust in terms of subduction velocity and subduction angle over time. We develop scaling laws combining the subduction velocity and angle depending on the mantle environment (and thus time). These laws can then be applied to continental growth simulations with 1D parameterized models (Hning et al., in press) or 2D/3D subduction zone simulations at specific geological times (using the correct subduction zone setting). References: Quinquis, M. et al. (in preparation). A comparison of thermo-mechanical subduction models. In preparation for G3. Noack, L., Van Hoolst, T., Dehant, V., and Breuer, D. (2013). Relevance of continents for habitability and self-consistent formation of continents on early Earth. XIII International Workshop on Modelling of Mantle and Lithosphere Dynamics, Hnefoss, Norway, 31. Aug. - 5. Sept. 2013. Hning, D., Hansen-Goos, H., Airo, A., and Spohn, T. (in press). Biotic vs. abiotic Earth: A model for mantle hydration and continental coverage. Planetary and Space Science.

  1. H2O-fluid-saturated melting of subducted continental crust facilitates exhumation of ultrahigh-pressure rocks in continental subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labrousse, L.; Duretz, T.; Gerya, T.

    2015-10-01

    We present two-dimensional numerical models of plate subduction and collision inspired by the Scandinavian Caledonian orogeny to investigate the possible impact of continental crust partial melting on the exhumation of ultra-high pressure metamorphic rocks. Three possible reactions were tested: low temperature solidus representing H2O-fluid-saturated partial melting, and two end-member reaction curves for dehydration melting. Thermo-mechanical effects of partial melting were implemented as (1) a viscosity decrease as a determined rheologically critical melt percentage was reached (here 0.1), (2) a change in effective heat capacity and adiabatic heating/cooling accounting for a latent heat term in the heat equation. Among the 3 tested reactions, only H2O-fluid-saturated partial melting drastically modifies the collision dynamics from the non-melting reference model holding all other parameters constant. A substantially low general viscosity truncation (here 1017 Pa s) is needed to properly resolve the effect of partial melting on deep collision processes. Low temperature melting indeed induces the development of a low viscosity buoyant plume prior to slab detachment, where migmatites exhume from UHP conditions at rates and with pressure-temperature paths similar to the natural values acknowledged for the Norwegian Caledonides. High temperature melting has no drastic influence on early collision dynamics. While positive buoyancy remains the first order driver for the exhumation of buried continental rocks, exhumation initiates in these cases with eduction subsequent to slab detachment. Melting and formation of a migmatite plume can later occur along decompression path while continental crust undergoes thermal reequilibration at temperatures above 900 C. Some of the partially molten material can also relaminate in the overriding plate rather than exhume within the collision zone. Even if minor in terms of amount of magma produced, H2O-fluid-saturated partial melting at UHP conditions could therefore have a dramatic rheological effect and actually limits continental rocks subduction and facilitates their exhumation.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 ɛNd(t) values (-18.6 to -15.0) for whole-rock. The homogeneous initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios and ɛNd(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.

  4. 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 mlange composed of basalt, sediment and hydrated /serpentinized mantle. This rock mlange 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

  5. Geodynamic models of terrane accretion: Testing the fate of island arcs, oceanic plateaus, and continental fragments in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tetreault, J. L.; Buiter, S. J. H.

    2012-08-01

    Crustal growth at convergent margins can occur by the accretion of future allochthonous terranes (FATs), such as island arcs, oceanic plateaus, submarine ridges, and continental fragments. Using geodynamic numerical experiments, we demonstrate how crustal properties of FATs impact the amount of FAT crust that is accreted or subducted, the type of accretionary process, and the style of deformation on the overriding plate. Our results show that (1) accretion of crustal units occurs when there is a weak detachment layer within the FAT, (2) the depth of detachment controls the amount of crust accreted onto the overriding plate, and (3) lithospheric buoyancy does not prevent FAT subduction during constant convergence. Island arcs, oceanic plateaus, and continental fragments will completely subduct, despite having buoyant lithospheric densities, if they have rheologically strong crusts. Weak basal layers, representing pre-existing weaknesses or detachment layers, will either lead to underplating of faulted blocks of FAT crust to the overriding plate or collision and suturing of an unbroken FAT crust. Our experiments show that the weak, ultramafic layer found at the base of island arcs and oceanic plateaus plays a significant role in terrane accretion. The different types of accretionary processes also affect deformation and uplift patterns in the overriding plate, trench migration and jumping, and the dip of the plate interface. The resulting accreted terranes produced from our numerical experiments resemble observed accreted terranes, such as the Wrangellia Terrane and Klamath Mountain terranes in the North American Cordilleran Belt.

  6. 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 45N 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 [Trhu 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. [Trhu, 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

  7. Seafloor morphology of the continental slope in front the Petacalco Bay and its tsunamigenic relationship at the Mexican sector of the Middle American subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortera-Gutierrez, C. A.; Bandy, W. L.; Millan-Motolinia, C.; Ponce-Nuez, F.; Ortega-Ramirez, J.

    2014-12-01

    The recent occurrence of offshore, large, earthquake ruptures in the western limit of the Guerrero Seismic Gap and the scattered data of seafloor morphology of the continental slope along this sector at the Mexican Mid American subduction zone have encouraged the UNAM marine geophysical group to initiate a mapping program at the Guerrero margin, from the shelf break to the Middle American Trench. The main objective of this initiative is to have a complete cover of the seafloor morphology of the Guerrero slope as the background data for comparative studies of the seafloor deformation in case of future offshore earthquake ruptures in this region. At he first stage of this initiative, we have mapped the continental slope in front the Petacalco Bay, west of the Guerrero Seismic Gap, where three important large earthquakes occurred and caused great damages in Mexico City: Petatln earthquake (Mw=7.6) at 1979, Michoacn earthquake (Mw=8.1) and its aftershock (Mw=7.9) at 1985. Geophysical results of two campaigns carry in 2012 (MAMRIV12) and 2013 (BABPET13) on board the BO EL PUMA are presented which include multibeam data and subbottom profiles. These data sets cover an area between 101W and 103W, and from the shelf-slope break to the trench. The multibeam chart shows details of the hydrological erosion induced by many submarine cannons at the upper slope, whereas the seafloor relief in the lower slope is dominated by tectonic structures. The subbottom profiles and the seafloor morphology evidence zones of big slumps and faults. For first time the Rio Balsas submarine cannon is completed chart, reaching the trench basin. The river course is deflected, possibly by shear faulting. There are slump sites near the trench that probably one is associated to the 1925 tsunami at Zihuatanejo, Guerrero. The 1985 Michoacn aftershock was accompany by a small Tsunami. At that time, the lack of morphology data in this slope inhibited further studies of seafloor-deformation and its tsunamigenic relationship. Funding providing by UNAM-DGAPA-PAPIIT grants: IN115613 and IN115513

  8. Mass Flux of Continental Material at Cenozoic Subduction Zones--New Global and Trench-sector Calculations Using New Geological and Geophysical Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

    INTRODUCTION: A decade ago, then available geophysical and geological data implied that more than 65 percent of ocean floor sediment entering most subduction zones (SZ) accompanied the oceanic crust to the mantle (= sediment subduction or SS). The underthrusting slab also eroded the margin's crustal framework and conveyed this material to the mantle (= subduction erosion or SE). Globally, the mass of continental material recycled to the mantle was estimated at 1.3-1.8 km3 / yr (SS. = 0.7 km3 + SE = 0.6-1.1 km3). SEDIMENT SUBDUCTION: New and enhanced seismic reflection data, new drilling observations, and reevaluation of older information stress that the efficacy of SS is higher than earlier assessed. In detail, it appears that 100 percent SS occurs at non-accreting margins (19,000 km), at least 80 percent at accreting margins (16,000 km) where small to moderate size accretionary prisms (width=5-40 km) are forming, and 40-45 percent where larger prisms are accumulating (8,000 km). At Cenozoic SZs (~43,000 km), it is now estimated that the long-term (i.e., >10 Myr) rate of SS is at least 1.0 km3 / yr (solid volume). SUBDUCTION EROSION: New and reassessed seismic, drilling, submersible, coastal mapping and arc-retreat observations suggest a higher long-term rate of SE than formerly estimated at 30 km3 / Myr / km of trench. We now estimate that, except perhaps where large accretionary bodies are forming, the long-term rate of forearc erosion averages at least 40 km3 / Myr (range = 28-62), which corresponds to a global recycling rate of 1.4 km3 / yr. The matching average rate of landward truncation of the submerged forearc is 2.5 km / Myr (range = 1.8-4.2). SUMMARY: The late Cenozoic rate at which continental crust is recycled at SZs is currently estimated at 2.4 km3 / yr (ss=1+ se=1.4) +/- 25 percent, which is basically that now approximated for arc magmatic additions. It can thus be inferred that at Cenozoic SZs rates of crustal addition and recycling have been in general balance. This quasi-stasis may be applicable to the Phanerozoic.

  9. 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, Kiko H.; Guillot, Stphane; 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.

  10. Lithification facilitates frictional instability in argillaceous subduction zone sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trütner, Sebastian; Hüpers, Andre; Ikari, Matt J.; Yamaguchi, Asuka; Kopf, Achim J.

    2015-12-01

    Previous work suggests that in subduction zones, the onset of large earthquake nucleation at depths > ~ 5-10 km is likely driven by a combination of factors associated with the process of lithification. At these depths, lithification processes affect the entire fault system by modifying the mechanical properties of both the plate boundary fault zone and the wall-rock. To test the hypothesis that lithification of subduction zone sediments produces rocks capable of earthquake nucleation via diagenesis and low-grade metamorphism, we conducted friction experiments on fossil subduction zone sediments recovered from exposures in the Shimanto Belt in SW Japan. These meta-sediments represent accreted and subducted material which has experienced maximum temperatures of 125 to 225 °C, which are representative of seismogenic depths along the active Nankai subduction megathrust in the foreland of the Shimanto Belt. We find that intact Shimanto rock samples, which preserve the influence of diagenetic and metamorphic processes, exhibit the potential for unstable slip under in-situ pressure conditions. Powdered versions of the same samples tested under the same conditions exhibit only velocity-strengthening friction, thus demonstrating that destroying the lithification state also removes the potential for unstable slip. Using advanced porosity loss to quantify the lithification process, we demonstrate that increased velocity weakening correlates with increasingly advanced lithification. In combination with documented frictionally stable behavior of subduction zone sediments from shallower depths, our results provide evidence that the sediment lithification hypothesis can explain the depth-dependent onset of large earthquake nucleation along subduction zone megathrusts.

  11. Geochemistry of subduction zone serpentinites: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

    Over the last decades, numerous studies have emphasized the role of serpentinites in the subduction zone geodynamics. Their presence and role in subduction environments are recognized through geophysical, geochemical and field observations of modern and ancient subduction zones and large amounts of geochemical database of serpentinites have been created. Here, we present a review of the geochemistry of serpentinites, based on the compilation of ~ 900 geochemical data of abyssal, mantle wedge and exhumed serpentinites after subduction. The aim was to better understand the geochemical evolution of these rocks during their subduction as well as their impact in the global geochemical cycle. When studying serpentinites, it is essential to determine their protoliths and their geological history before serpentinization. The geochemical data of serpentinites shows little mobility of compatible and rare earth elements (REE) at the scale of hand-specimen during their serpentinization. Thus, REE abundance can be used to identify the protolith for serpentinites, as well as magmatic processes such as melt/rock interactions before serpentinization. In the case of subducted serpentinites, the interpretation of trace element data is difficult due to the enrichments of light REE, independent of the nature of the protolith. We propose that enrichments are probably not related to serpentinization itself, but mostly due to (sedimentary-derived) fluid/rock interactions within the subduction channel after the serpentinization. It is also possible that the enrichment reflects the geochemical signature of the mantle protolith itself which could derive from the less refractory continental lithosphere exhumed at the ocean-continent transition. Additionally, during the last ten years, numerous analyses have been carried out, notably using in situ approaches, to better constrain the behavior of fluid-mobile elements (FME; e.g. B, Li, Cl, As, Sb, U, Th, Sr) incorporated in serpentine phases. The abundance of these elements provides information related to the fluid/rock interactions during serpentinization and the behavior of FME, from their incorporation to their gradual release during subduction. Serpentinites are considered as a reservoir of the FME in subduction zones and their role, notably on arc magma composition, is underestimated presently in the global geochemical cycle.

  12. Density model of the Cascadia subduction zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Romanyuk, T.V.; Mooney, W.D.; Blakely, R.J.

    2001-01-01

    The main goal of this work is to construct self-consistent density models along two profiles crossing the northern and central Cascadia subduction zone that have been comprehensively studied on the basis of geological, geophysical, etc. data.

  13. Metamorphic geology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peacock, Simon M.

    The complex heat- and mass-transfer processes of terrestrial metamorphism are described in a critical review of U.S. research from the period 1987-1990. Topics examined include metamorphic pressure-temperature-time paths and regional studies (crustal thickening, contact and subduction-zone metamorphism, crustal extension, and granulite facies metamorphism and crustal anatexis); metamorphic fluid-rock interaction in regional, contact, subduction-zone, and granulite terrains; metamorphic thermochemistry, phase relations, and mineral chemistry; metamorphic kinetics; and microstructures in metamorphic rocks. Textbooks and computer programs in metamorphic geology are briefly characterized, and it is concluded in general that a first-order explanation of the basic processes is now being developed. A comprehensive bibliography is provided.

  14. Central Cascadia subduction zone creep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmalzle, Gina M.; McCaffrey, Robert; Creager, Kenneth C.

    2014-04-01

    Cascadia between 43N and 46N has reduced interseismic uplift observed in geodetic data and coseismic subsidence seen in multiple thrust earthquakes, suggesting elevated persistent fault creep in this section of the subduction zone. We estimate subduction thrust "decade-scale" locking and crustal block rotations from three-component continuous Global Positioning System (GPS) time series from 1997 to 2013, as well as 80 year tide gauge and leveling-derived uplift rates. Geodetic observations indicate coastal central Oregon is rising at a slower rate than coastal Washington, southern Oregon and northern California. Modeled locking distributions suggest a wide locking transition zone that extends inland under central Oregon. Paleoseismic records of multiple great earthquakes along Cascadia indicate less subsidence in central Oregon. The Cascade thrust under central Oregon may be partially creeping for at least 6500 years (the length of the paleoseismic record) reducing interseismic uplift and resulting in reduced coseismic subsidence. Large accretions of Eocene age basalt (Siletzia terrane) between 43N and 46N may be less permeable compared to surrounding terranes, potentially increasing pore fluid pressures along the fault interface resulting in a wide zone of persistent fault creep. In a separate inversion, three-component GPS time series from 1 July 2005 to 1 January 2011 are used to estimate upper plate deformation, locking between slow-slip events (SSEs), slip from 16 SSEs and an earthquake mechanism. Cumulative SSEs and tectonic tremor are weakest between 43N and 46N where partial fault creep is increased and Siletzia terrane is thick, suggesting that surrounding rock properties may influence the mode of slip.

  15. A numerical approach to melting in warm subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

    The complex feedback between dehydration and melting in hot subduction zones is quantitatively addressed in this study. We present an integrated numerical tool that combines a high-resolution thermo-mechanical subduction model with a thermodynamic database that allows modeling metamorphic devolatilization, and subsequent re-hydration and melting reactions. We apply this tool to quantify how the hydration state of a lithologically layered subducting slab varies during interaction with the hot mantle wedge and how this affects any melting taking place in the subducting crust or the overlying mantle wedge. Total crustal dehydration is achieved before any crustal melting can occur, even in very young subducting slabs. Significant oceanic crust melting is only achieved if the metamorphic fluids from the dehydrating underlying subducting slab mantle are fluxed through the dry eclogites. But our models further demonstrate that even if the oceanic crust can melt in these specific conditions, the preceding crustal dehydration will simultaneously result in extensive mantle wedge melting at lower pressures than for colder slabs. The significant mantle wedge melting implies that also for hot subduction zones, most of the melt feeding the overriding plate is of mantle origin.

  16. Earthquake hazards on the cascadia subduction zone.

    PubMed

    Heaton, T H; Hartzell, S H

    1987-04-10

    Large subduction earthquakes on the Cascadia subduction zone pose a potential seismic hazard. Very young oceanic lithosphere (10 million years old) is being subducted beneath North America at a rate of approximately 4 centimeters per year. The Cascadia subduction zone shares many characteristics with subduction zones in southern Chile, southwestern Japan, and Colombia, where comparably young oceanic lithosphere is also subducting. Very large subduction earthquakes, ranging in energy magnitude (M(w)) between 8 and 9.5, have occurred along these other subduction zones. If the Cascadia subduction zone is also storing elastic energy, a sequence of several great earthquakes (M(w) 8) or a giant earthquake (M(w) 9) would be necessary to fill this 1200-kilometer gap. The nature of strong ground motions recorded during subduction earthquakes of M(w) less than 8.2 is discussed. Strong ground motions from even larger earthquakes (M(w) up to 9.5) are estimated by simple simulations. If large subduction earthquakes occur in the Pacific Northwest, relatively strong shaking can be expected over a large region. Such earthquakes may also be accompanied by large local tsunamis. PMID:17789780

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

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, B.K. )

    1991-10-01

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

  19. Field-based evidence for devolatilization in subduction zones: implications for arc magmatism.

    PubMed

    Bebout, G E

    1991-01-25

    Metamorphic rocks on Santa Catalina Island, California, afford examination of fluid-related processes at depths of 15 to 45 kilometers in an Early Cretaceous subduction zone. A combination of field, stable isotope, and volatile content data for the Catalina Schist indicates kilometer-scale transport of large amounts of water-rich fluid with uniform oxygen and hydrogen isotope compositions. The fluids were liberated in devolatilizing, relatively low-temperature (400 degrees to 600 degrees C) parts of the subduction zone, primarily by chlorite-breakdown reactions. An evaluation of pertinent phase equilibria indicates that chlorite in mafic and sedimentary rocks and melange may stabilize a large volatile component to great depths (perhaps >100 kilometers), depending on the thermal structure of the subduction zone. This evidence for deep volatile subduction and large-scale flow of slab-derived, water-rich fluids lends credence to models that invoke fluid addition to sites of arc magma genesis. PMID:17775106

  20. Field-Based Evidence for Devolatilization in Subduction Zones: Implications for Arc Magmatism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bebout, Gray E.

    1991-01-01

    Metamorphic rocks on Santa Catalina Island, California, afford examination of fluid-related processes at depths of 15 to 45 kilometers in an Early Cretaceous subduction zone. A combination of field, stable isotope, and volatile content data for the Catalina Schist indicates kilometer-scale transport of large amounts of water-rich fluid with uniform oxygen and hydrogen isotope compositions. The fluids were liberated in devolatilizing, relatively low-temperature (400^circ to 600^circC) parts of the subduction zone, primarily by chlorite-breakdown reactions. An evaluation of pertinent phase equilibria indicates that chlorite in mafic and sedimentary rocks and melange may stabilize a large volatile component to great depths (perhaps >100 kilometers), depending on the thermal structure of the subduction zone. This evidence for deep volatile subduction and large-scale flow of slab-derived, water-rich fluids lends credence to models that invoke fluid addition to sites of arc magma genesis.

  1. Field-based evidence for devolatilization in subduction zones: Implications for Arc magmatism

    SciTech Connect

    Bebout, G.E. )

    1991-01-25

    Metamorphic rocks on Santa California Island, afford examination of fluid-related processes at depths of 15 to 45 kilometers in an Early Cretaceous subduction zone. A combination of field, stable isotope, and volatile content data for the Catalina Schist indicates kilometer-scale transport of large amounts of water-rich fluid with uniform oxygen and hydrogen isotope compositions. The fluids were liberated in devolatilizing, relatively low-temperature (400{degrees} to 600{degrees}C) parts of the subduction zone, primarily by chlorite-breakdown reactions. An evaluation of pertinent phase equilibria indicates that chlorite in mafic and sediment rocks and melange may stabilize a large volatile component to great depths (perhaps >100 kilometers), depending on the thermal structure of the subduction zone. This evidence for deep volatile subduction and large-scale flow of slab-derived, water-rich fluids lends credence to models that invoke fluid addition to sites of arc magma genesis.

  2. Deep electrical resistivity structure of Costa Rican Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  3. Temperature Models for the Mexican Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manea, V. C.; Kostoglodov, V.; Currie, C.; Manea, M.; Wang, K.

    2002-12-01

    It is well known that the temperature is one of the major factors which controls the seismogenic zone. The Mexican subduction zone is characterized by a very shallow flat subducting interplate in its central part (Acapulco, Oaxaca), and deeper subduction slabs northern (Jalisco) and southern (Chiapas). It has been proposed that the seismogenic zone is controlled, among other factors, by a temperature. Therefore, we have developed four two-dimensional steady state thermal models for Jalisco, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas. The updip limit of the seismogenic zone is taken between 100 C and 150 C, while the downdip limit is thought to be at 350 C because of the transition from stick-slip to stable-sliding. The shape of the subducting plate is inferred from gravity and seismicity. The convergence velocity between oceanic and continental lithospheric plates is taken as the following: 5 cm/yr for Jalisco profile, 5.5 for Guerrero profile, 5.8 for Oaxaca profile, and 7.8 for Chiapas profile. The age of the subducting plates, since they are young, and provides the primary control on the forearc thermal structure, are as the following: 11 My for Jalisco profile, 14.5 My for Guerrero profile, 15 My for Oaxaca profile, and 28 My for Chiapas profile. We also introduced in the models a small quantity of frictional heating (pore pressure ratio 0.98). The value of 0.98 for pore pressure ratio was obtained for the Guerrero profile, in order to fit the intersection between the 350 C isotherm and the subducting plate at 200 Km from trench. The value of 200 km coupling zone from trench is inferred from GPS data for the steady interseismic period and also for the last slow aseismic slip that occurred in Guerrero in 2002. We have used this value of pore pressure ratio (0.98) for all the other profiles. For the others three profiles we obtained the following coupling extents: Jalisco - 100 km, Oaxaca - 170 km and Chiapas - 125 km (from the trench). Independent constrains of the thermal models come from the surface thermal measurements (offshore - Prol-Ledesma et al (1989) and onshore - Ziagos et al. (1985)). Unfortunately these measurements are very sparse, and present an important dispersion and have large uncertainties. In our models, all profiles show a decrease in heat flow from the trench towards the continent, which is characteristic for subduction zones. We also have included a mantle wedge flow current in order to keep a constant depth to the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. This mantle wedge convection provides an increase in heat flow near the volcanic arc which is consistent with the surface observations. Our models indicate that the seismogenic zone in Mexico comprised between 100 C and 350 C is in good agreement with the coseismic rupture width inferred from the megathrust earthquake aftershocks and seismic models of rupture. These thermal models will be used to calculate the thermal stresses induced by the subducting plate.

  4. 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.

  5. Subduction-zone cycling of nitrogen in serpentinized mantle rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halama, R.; Bebout, G. E.; John, T.; Scambelluri, M.

    2010-12-01

    Nitrogen (N) has shown great potential as a geochemical tracer of volatiles recycling, in part because of large differences in the N isotope composition of the various Earth reservoirs. The subduction flux of N in serpentinized oceanic mantle could be as important as N input flux in oceanic crust and even sediment because, although its N concentrations are lower, its volume is potentially far greater than that of the crust/sediment. However, recycling of oceanic mantle rocks is still poorly constrained for the N cycle, and N isotope data for subduction-related ultramafic rocks are scarce [1]. The primary goal of this study is to characterize the subduction flux of N in subducting altered oceanic mantle by documenting concentrations and isotopic compositions of N in mantle rocks that reflect different stages of the metamorphic subduction zone cycle. The results are crucial to assess the composition of N recycled into the mantle, to determine the extent to which N can be retained in subducted mantle rocks to depths approaching those beneath arcs, and to balance N subduction-zone inputs with outputs in arc volcanic gases. Moreover, information has been gained regarding the redistribution and isotope fractionation of N via ultramafic dehydration and metamorphic fluid-rock interaction. The samples analyzed in this study are ultramafic rocks from shallow oceanic environments to increasing P-T conditions up to depths of ~70 km. Three distinct metamorphic grades, reflecting seafloor fluid uptake, water release due to brucite breakdown and the final antigorite breakdown, were investigated: 1. Pre-subduction serpentinized mantle peridotite from non-subducted ophiolite sequences from the Northern Apennines, Italy (Monte Nero). 2. Eclogite-facies antigorite serpentinites from the Ligurian Alps, Italy (Erro Tobbio). 3. Eclogite-facies chlorite harzburgites derived from dehydration of serpentinites from the Betic Cordillera, Spain (Cerro de Almirez). The pre-subduction peridotites have the lowest N concentrations (1.3-2.1 ppm) and highly variable δ15N values (-4 to +3). High-pressure peridotites have higher N contents (up to 20 ppm) and mostly positive δ15N values. Data for veins in the peridotites are suggestive that N isotopes were not significantly fractionated by dehydration. Hence, N recycled through subduction zones via peridotites should show a range in δ15N similar to that of oceanic serpentinized peridotites. The range in δ15N for serpentinized peridotites, from pristine mantle values towards those typical of modern marine sediments, suggests derivation of N from organic-sedimentary sources, incorporated during bending-related faulting of the subducting slab and/or via metasomatic additions during subduction. N is enriched in serpentinized peridotites compared to pristine mantle rocks, and it is retained down to depths of at least 70 km and possibly deep into the mantle. Hence, serpentinized peridotites appear to represent an important reservoir for deep subduction zone N cycling. [1] Philippot et al. (2007), Min. Pet. 91:11-24

  6. 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.

  7. Fluid flow and metasomatism in a subduction zone hydrothermal system: Catalina schist terrane, California

    SciTech Connect

    Barton, M.D.; Bebout, G.E. )

    1989-11-01

    On Santa Catalina Island, southern California, bluechist to amphibolite facies metasedimentary, metamafic, and meta-ultramafic rocks show veining and alteration that reflect fluid flow and mass transfer at 25-45 km depths in an Early Cretaceous subduction zone. Synkinematic and postkinematic veins record fluid transport and metasomatism during prograde metamorphism and uplift. Vein and host-rock mineralogy and whole-rock compositions demonstrate large-scale chemical redistribution, especially of Si and alkali elements. Veins and host rocks trend toward isotopic equilibration with aqueous fluids with {delta}{sup 18}O{sub SMOW}=+13{per thousand} {plus minus} 1{per thousand}. The likely source for these fluids is in lower temperature, sediment-rich parts of the subduction zone. Carbon isotope systematics support this conclusion and indicate the influence of an organic C source. Quartz solubility relations indicate the importance of fluid-flow paths in chemical redistribution during subduction. These results document large-scale fluid flow and the complexity of possible metasomatic and mechanical mixing processes at intermediate levels of subduction zones. The record of subduction-zone mass transfer in the Catalina Schist is compatible with the record inferred for greater depths from geochemical and petrologic studies of arc magmatism.

  8. Fluid flow and metasomatism in a subduction zone hydrothermal system: Catalina Schist terrane, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bebout, Gray E.; Barton, Mark D.

    1989-11-01

    On Santa Catalina Island, southern California, blueschist to amphibolite facies metasedimentary, metamafic, and meta-ultramafic rocks show veining and alteration that reflect fluid flow and mass transfer at 25-45 km depths in an Early Cretaceous subduction zone. Synkinematic and postkinematic veins record fluid transport and metasomatism during prograde metamorphism and uplift. Vein and host-rock mineralogy and whole-rock compositions demonstrate large-scale chemical redistribution, especially of Si and alkali elements. Veins and host rocks trend toward isotopic equilibration with aqueous fluids with ?18OSMOW = +13 1. The likely source for these fluids is in lower temperature, sediment-rich parts of the subduction zone. Carbon isotope systematics support this conclusion and indicate the influence of an organic C source. Quartz solubility relations indicate the importance of fluid-flow paths in chemical redistribution during subduction. These results document large-scale fluid flow and the complexity of possible metasomatic and mechanical mixing processes at intermediate levels of subduction zones. The record of subduction-zone mass transfer in the Catalina Schist is compatible with the record inferred for greater depths from geochemical and petrologic studies of arc magmatism.

  9. Teleseismic constraints on the geological environment of deep episodic slow earthquakes in subduction zone forearcs: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Audet, Pascal; Kim, YoungHee

    2016-02-01

    More than a decade after the discovery of deep episodic slow slip and tremor, or slow earthquakes, at subduction zones, much research has been carried out to investigate the structural and seismic properties of the environment in which they occur. Slow earthquakes generally occur on the megathrust fault some distance downdip of the great earthquake seismogenic zone in the vicinity of the mantle wedge corner, where three major structural elements are in contact: the subducting oceanic crust, the overriding forearc crust and the continental mantle. In this region, thermo-petrological models predict significant fluid production from the dehydrating oceanic crust and mantle due to prograde metamorphic reactions, and their consumption by hydrating the mantle wedge. These fluids are expected to affect the dynamic stability of the megathrust fault and enable slow slip by increasing pore-fluid pressure and/or reducing friction in fault gouges. Resolving the fine-scale structure of the deep megathrust fault and the in situ distribution of fluids where slow earthquakes occur is challenging, and most advances have been made using teleseismic scattering techniques (e.g., receiver functions). In this paper we review the teleseismic structure of six well-studied subduction zones (three hot, i.e., Cascadia, southwest Japan, central Mexico, and three cool, i.e., Costa Rica, Alaska, and Hikurangi) that exhibit slow earthquake processes and discuss the evidence of structural and geological controls on the slow earthquake behavior. We conclude that changes in the mechanical properties of geological materials downdip of the seismogenic zone play a dominant role in controlling slow earthquake behavior, and that near-lithostatic pore-fluid pressures near the megathrust fault may be a necessary but insufficient condition for their occurrence.

  10. Overriding Plate Controls on Subduction Zone Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharples, W. K.; Jadamec, M. A.; Moresi, L. N.; Capitanio, F. A.

    2014-12-01

    Seismic data, rock deformation experiments, and geochemical studies indicate variability in the thickness, buoyancy, and strength of the lithosphere at plate boundaries. However, geodynamic models of subduction commonly either omit an overriding plate or do not investigate role of the variation in overriding plate properties on the subduction evolution. We present time-dependent numerical models of subduction that vary the overriding plate thickness, strength, and density and allow for a plate interface that evolves with time via an anisotropic brittle failure rheology. We examine the emergence of (a) asymmetric versus symmetric subduction, (b) trench retreat versus advance, (c) subduction zone geometry, (d) slab stagnation versus penetration into the lower mantle, and (e) flat slab subduction. The majority of the models result in sustained asymmetric subduction. The models demonstrate that trench retreat is correlated with a thin overriding plate, whereas, trench advance is correlated with a thick and/or strong overriding plate. Slab dip, measured at a depth below the plate boundary interface, has a negative correlation with an increase in overriding plate thickness. Overriding plate thickness exerts a first order control over slab penetration into the lower mantle, with penetration most commonly occurring in models with a thick overriding plate. Periods of flat slab subduction occur with thick, strong overriding plates producing strong plate boundary interface coupling. The results provide insight into how the overriding plate plays a role in establishing advancing and retreating subduction, as well as providing an explanation for the variation of slab geometry observed in subduction zones on Earth.

  11. 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

  12. 3-D Seismic Refraction Tomography in Sumatra Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, G.; Barton, P.; Dean, S.; Vermeesch, P.; Jusuf, M. D.; Henstock, T.; Djajadihardja, Y. S.; McNeill, L.; Permana, H.; Party, S. S.

    2008-12-01

    A seismic refraction survey was conducted as part of the major UK and international project to image the 3-D structures and the seismic velocity of the Sumatra subduction zone. The 3-D seismic refraction tomography mainly focusses on the two segment boundaries identified by the earthquake ruptures in 2004 and 2005. High quality seismic datasets (refraction, reflection, gravity and magnetics) were collected in the two survey areas on the vessel R/V Sonne in 2008. The northern area, around the island of Simeulue, is about 196 km long and 185 km wide. 50 Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS) were deployed in this area, and 10462 air-gun shots were fired along 1550 km of profiles. 47 OBSs were then installed near the island of Nias, in an area of 246 km long and 180 km wide, and 9134 shots were fired on 1408 km of profiles. During the OBS deployment, air-gun shooting, and OBS recovery, high resolution swathe bathymetry data were recorded, and XBT data were collected in each OBS deployment location. Gravity data were also recorded during the whole survey and magnetics data collected during the air-gun shooting. The 3-D refraction tomography successfully sampled the two survey areas. Refractions from the oceanic and continental crust are clear and easy to pick, and refractions from the mantle lithosphere are also visible at some locations at an offset up to 150 km, which enables us to image the deeper structures of the Sumatra subduction zone. A tomographic inversion program JIVE-3D (Hobro et al. 2003) will be applied to the refraction/reflection travel times to invert them into a minimum-structure velocity model. The high resolution bathymetry will be smoothed and put into the model as a known interface. The XBT data will be used to calibrate the acoustic velocity in the water. During the shooting period, several earthquakes of magnitude 5.0 and above occurred near the survey area, which also provide extra information for the inversion. The well resolved 3-D structure models obtained will give insight into the possible rupture barriers causing the observed segmentation of the subduction zone.

  13. Opening and closing slab windows in congested subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moresi, Louis

    2013-04-01

    Subduction zones often try to swallow buoyant material which is embedded in the oceanic lithosphere: plume material or hotspot residues, oceanic plateaux, and fragments of continental material. This often results in the formation of a slab window and it has been shown (Mason et al, 2010; Betts et al, 2012) that this window strongly influences the subsequent evolution of the slab and the advance/retreat rate of the trench. The buoyant material typically pushes the trench into a local state of advance, and the creation of the slab window allows the rest of the trench to retreat as the mantle behind the slab flows in through the window. This situation is inherently unstable: if the buoyancy anomaly is finite in size, then the retreating trench will soon move behind the anomaly and juxtapose negatively buoyant oceanic lithosphere with active subduction. This creates the potential to close the slab window and, in doing so, transfer the buoyant material to the over-riding plate. Models show that this closure of the window initially occurs through a lateral rollback process followed by a catastrophic re-initiation of subduction behind the colliding buoyant anomaly. This rollback leaves a characteristic, tightly rolled remnant in the mantle and significant rotation in the over-riding plate and the newly-docked block. The over-riding plate is thrown into extension perpendicular to the original orientation of the trench. This same situation applies at the late-stages of a closing ocean due to the passive margin geometry and the presence of debris collected from the closing ocean floor and it seems likely that these models can also be applied to the complicated geometry of subduction in such environments. Mason, W. G.; Moresi, L.; Betts, P. G. & Miller, M. S. Three-dimensional numerical models of the influence of a buoyant oceanic plateau on subduction zones Tectonophysics, 2010, 483, 71-79 P. Betts, W. Mason, L. Moresi, The influence of mantle plumes on subduction zone dynamics, Geology, 40, 739-742 (2012)

  14. Geochemistry of serpentinites in subduction zones: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  15. The fate of the downgoing oceanic plate: Insight from the Northern Cascadia subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piana Agostinetti, Nicola; Miller, Meghan S.

    2014-12-01

    In this study, we use teleseismic receiver function analysis to image the seismic structure of the Juan de Fuca oceanic plate during its subduction beneath the North American plate. Seismic data have been recorded at 58 seismic stations deployed along the northern Cascadia subduction zone. Harmonic decomposition of the receiver function data-set along a trench-normal profile allows us to image both the isotropic and the anisotropic structure of the plate (slab). Our images highlight the presence of a highly anisotropic region at 40-70 km depths across the Cascadia subduction zone. The detected seismic anisotropy is interpreted to be related to both metamorphic facies (e.g. blueschists) and fluid released during the dehydration of the subducting mantle. The processes of dehydration and metamorphism produce the variations of the seismic properties within each lithologic unit that constitutes the subducted slab, i.e. basalts, gabbro layer and upper mantle, as the oceanic plate sinks in the upper mantle. Such variations make it almost impossible to recognize the “plate boundary” as a characteristic “velocity-jump” at depth (neither positive nor negative) along the Cascadia subduction zone. Based on the comparative interpretation of both the isotropic and the anisotropic structures retrieved, we propose a 4-stage model of the evolution of the Juan de Fuca oceanic plate during its subduction beneath the North American plate.

  16. Improving Seismic Constraints on Subduction Zone Geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Syracuse, E. M.; Abers, G. A.; Fischer, K. M.; van Keken, P. E.; Kneller, E. A.; Rychert, C. A.

    2007-12-01

    Accurate slab geometries are necessary for 3D flow modeling, and for understanding the variations in temperature and melting geometry between different subduction zones. Recent studies have shown that the depth to slab beneath arc volcanoes varies by as much as a factor of two between subduction zones, but these results are based on teleseismic earthquake catalogs with potentially large errors. When available, local seismic arrays provide better constraints. The TUCAN array (Tomography Under Costa Rica and Nicaragua) deployed 48 three component broadband PASSCAL instruments for 18 months with station spacing of 10-50 km across the Central America arc. This dataset provides some of the best control anywhere for ground-truth comparison of teleseismic catalogs in steeply dipping subduction zones. Joint inversion of TUCAN arrival times for velocity and hypocenters illuminate a 10-15 km thick Wadati-Benioff zone (WBZ), with absolute hypocenter uncertainties of 1-5 km. Besides providing accurate hypocenters, the tomographic images provide independent constraints on melting and temperature, through the imaging of low Vp (7.5-7.8 km/s) and highly attenuating (40

  17. Enrichment of trace elements in garnet amphibolites from a paleo-subduction zone: Catalina schist, southern California

    SciTech Connect

    Sorensen, S.S. ); Grossman, J.N. )

    1989-12-01

    The abundance, P-T stability, solubility, and element-partitioning behaviour of minerals such as rutile, garnet, sphene, apatite, zircon, zoisite, and allanite are critical variables in models for mass transfer from the slab to the mantle wedge in deep regions of subduction zones. The influence of these minerals on the composition of subduction-related magmas has been inferred (and disputed) from inverse modelling of the geochemistry of island-arc basalt, or by experiment. Although direct samples of the dehydration + partial-melting region of a mature subduction zone have not been reported from subduction complexes, garnet amphibolites from melanges of circumpacific and Caribbean blueschist terranes reflect high T (>600{degree}C) conditions in shallower regions. Such rocks record geochemical processes that affected deep-seated, high-T portions of paleo-subduction zones. In the Catalina Schist, a subduction-zone metamorphic terrane of southern California, metasomatized and migmatitic garnet amphibolites occur as blocks in a matrix of meta-ultramafic rocks. This mafic and ultramafic complex may represent either slab-derived material accreted to the mantle wedge of a nascent subduction zone or a portion of a shear zone closely related to the slab-mantle wedge contact, or both. The trace-element geochemistry of the complex and the distribution of trace element among the minerals of garnet amphibolites were studied by INAA, XRF, electron microprobe, and SEM.

  18. The structure and tectonic history of the western Canada subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clowes, Ron M.; Hyndman, R. D.; Yorath, C. J.; Davis, E. E.

    1990-02-01

    As part of the Lithoprobe multidisciplinary earth sciences research program, multichannel Seismic profiles from the deep sea across the continental shelf and on Vancouver Island, coupled with a wide range of other geophysical and geological studies, have permitted detailed delineation of the structure and tectonic history of the Juan de Fuca subduction zone in western Canada. The modern continental margin was built against a pre-Tertiary continent consisting of amalgamation of older terranes, the oldest and westernmost being Wrangellia. No pre-Eocene continental margin record exists and transform fault displacement of margin rocks north to Alaska is inferred. Eocene subduction was interpreted by a seaward jump in the trench axis in latest Eocene, trapping a section of marine volcanics (Crescent Terrane), together with sections of Mesozoic marine sedimentary rocks (Pacific Rim Terrane). These were placed against and under the margin on steeply dipping thrust faults that are well imaged in the Seismic reflection data. The terrane positions are also well delineated by magnetic and gravity data. Seaward and underlying the Crescent Terrane is the modern accretionary prism which is up to 100 km wide. Development of the deformation front at the toe of the continental slope is clearly shown by landward and seaward verging faults in the sediments overlying the basaltic oceanic crust. SeaMARC II acoustic images illustrate the surficial effects of the deformation front. Beneath the deep ocean, the continental shelf and the western part of Vancouver Island, the top of the downgoing oceanic plate is imaged well by a one or two cycle continuous reflection at depths which are consistent with those determined for the top of the plate from Seismic refraction data and Wadati-Benioff zone earthquakes. Above the subducting slab, two broad bands of high reflectivity dip beneath Vancouver Island at angles less than that of the slab. The deeper band coincides with a dipping layer of high conductivity interpreted from a magnetotelluric survey. On the basis of profile heat flow measurements which were converted to isotherms, this layer is isothermal at about 450. One tectonic model for the origin of the reflective bands suggests that they are thick sections of underplated volcanic and sedimentary material, the lower one of which would be saturated with hot saline fluids. An alternative interpretation, supported particularly by the dipping isotherms, suggests that the lower band is caused by fluids that are driven off the downgoing oceanii: plate and are trapped below an impermeable horizon formed at a metamorphic front.

  19. The earthquake cycle in subduction zones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melosh, H. J.; Fleitout, L.

    1982-01-01

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

  20. Strain accumulation along the Cascadia subduction zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murray, M.H.; Lisowski, M.

    2000-01-01

    We combine triangulation, trilateration, and GPS observations to determine horizontal strain rates along the Cascadia subduction zone from Cape Mendocino to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Shear-strain rates are significantly greater than zero (95% confidence) in all forearc regions (26-167 nanoradians/yr), and are not significant in the arc and backarc regions. The deformation is primarily uniaxial contraction nearly parallel to Juan de Fuca-North America plate convergence (N55??-80??E). The strain rates are consistent with an elastic dislocation model for interseismic slip with a shallow 100-km wide locked zone and a deeper 75-km transition zone along the entire megathrust, except along the central Oregon coast where relatively lower strain rates are consistent with 30-40 km wide locked and transition zones.

  1. Seismological Investigation of Deep Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucifredi, I.; Ishii, M.

    2008-12-01

    Models of subduction zones have a potential of impacting thinking about many of the central problems in the structure, dynamics, chemistry, and history of the solid earth, cummulative effects of which would reach across the earth sciences. The long-term goal of this work is to develop adaptive seismic imaging concepts for modeling and understanding of the subduction zone processes, taking into account the modification of the propagating seismic field due to reflection, refraction, and scattering from complex geological structures such as slabs, low velocity layers , scatterers, and topography. Different from the relatively small-scale approaches employed so far in reflection seismology, our approach provides the resultant field from deep geological structures, and surface topography spanning hundreds of kilometers, incorporating the signatures of the large-scale features typical in subduction zones. A part of the objective consists of obtaining a fundamental understanding of the 3D structure such as the high velocity slab, through the development of efficient physically based propagation and scattering models. This includes features such as aspect-dependent scattering objects, geological structures, and topography. Moreover, the analysis addresses the resultant physical mechanisms such as waveguide multipath effects produced by wave-trapping slabs. Additionally, the effort aims to analyze the existing experimental data and develop novel signal processing techniques for spatial, temporal, and spectral identification of different classes of waves, including early slab arrivals. The initial phase consists of the development and testing of the modeling and simulation work to explore the underlying physical mechanisms of seismic propagation through slabs beneath the ocean floor, scattering from complex structure and closed boundary objects, and the prediction of the resultant field to the surface receivers. For the representation of range-dependent propagation, we employ a hybrid coupled wavenumber integration approach to range-dependent seismic modeling based on the OASES environmental modeling framework. The generic model is a suite of modules covering a variety of range-dependent waveguide, topography, and source/receiver representations. Furthermore, the representation and the analysis of scattering from arbitrarily shaped structure as well as from closed boundary scatterers is performed by developing a wave theory based computational model combining a virtual source approach to open and closed boundary scattering with an established range- dependent wavenumber integration model for propagation. The current subduction zone modeling has shown that for specific receivers, early arrivals are a manifestation of the slab-trapped traveling waves reaching the surface first, while the rest of the response follows significantly later - a concept which will be further explored in the actual data. The spaciotemporal and frequency characteristics of data recorded by the Japanese seismic network is analyzed and compared to the numerical model. Time-frequency, array processing, and event classification methods for extracting properties of slab structure and scatterer signatures are developed and implemented on the data as well as on the synthetics. The model and experimental data time-frequency analysis exhibits frequency dependence and intricate time of arrival features. The understanding of these, and other manifestations of the underlying physical processes, are further explored and analyzed using signal processing techniques.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The dynamics of reactive fluid escape in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plmper, 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.

  5. Permeability anisotropy of serpentinite and fluid migration in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawano, S.; Katayama, I.; Okazaki, K.

    2010-12-01

    Subduction zones are the place where water is transported into the Earth's interior and causes arc volcanism and seismic activities. Subducting slabs release most of the water to the mantle wedge by the dehydration reactions, and the expelled water reacts with mantle rocks, forming serpentinite at the plate interface. The existence of hydrous layer has been detected by low- velocity anomaly and high-Poison's ratio in several subduction zones (Kamiya and Kobayashi 2000 ; Brocher et al. 2003). The migration of water is generally considered to move upward by buoyancy in the mantle. However, if the hydrous layer is extensively deformed, the migration of water can be controlled by the deformation plane within such layer. In order to test this hypothesis, we analyzed the permeability anisotropy of serpentinite with a strongly-developed schistosity and discuss fluid migration in the subduction systems. Serpentinite samples were collected from Nishisonogi metamorphic terrane in Nagasaki, which schistosity is well-defined developed. Two types of experimental samples were prepared: one is parallel to schistosity and the other is perpendicular. We used intra-vessel deformation and fluid- flow apparatus (IVA) in Hiroshima University to measure the permeability. In this study, we measured gas permeability using nitrogen gas and water permeability under isotropic pressure. Gas permeability was measured using the constant flow method, and water permeability was similar to gas and the transient pulse method was also used. The experiments were conducted at confining pressures up to 50 MPa, pore pressures up to 8 MPa at room temperature. We converted gas permeability to intrinsic permeability with Klinkenberg effect. The permeability decreased with increasing confining pressure, and intrinsic permeability of samples parallel to schistosity were about 10^-20 m2 at confining pressure of 50 MPa. We observed two types of pressure effect: one is significant decline due to crack filling at low-pressure and the other is a gradual decline due to crystal grain boundary consolidation at high-pressure. Intrinsic permeability for sample perpendicular to schistosity was about 100 times lower than that parallel to schistosity. Porosity at atmospheric pressure was estimated about 0.5%. Assumeing a constant pressure derivative for porosity and permeability, flow velocity parallel to the foliation was 44cm/year. This result represent that fluid migration is much faster than the plate subducting rate. These experimental data show that fluid migration was influenced by not only water buoyancy but also by the schistosity of the rock (deformation geometry). In this case, released water from subducting oceanic slab can be migrated along plate interfaces.

  6. Dehydration-driven topotaxy in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padrn-Navarta, Jos Alberto; Tommasi, Andra; 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 750C and 20 kbar and 1000C 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 15) 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.

  7. Monitoring transient changes within overpressured regions of subduction zones using ambient seismic noise

    PubMed Central

    Chaves, Esteban J.; Schwartz, Susan Y.

    2016-01-01

    In subduction zones, elevated pore fluid pressure, generally linked to metamorphic dehydration reactions, has a profound influence on the mechanical behavior of the plate interface and forearc crust through its control on effective stress. We use seismic noise–based monitoring to characterize seismic velocity variations following the 2012 Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica earthquake [Mw (moment magnitude) 7.6] that we attribute to the presence of pressurized pore fluids. Our study reveals a strong velocity reduction (~0.6%) in a region where previous work identified high forearc pore fluid pressure. The depth of this velocity reduction is constrained to be below 5 km and therefore not the result of near-surface damage due to strong ground motions; rather, we posit that it is caused by fracturing of the fluid-pressurized weakened crust due to dynamic stresses. Although pressurized fluids have been implicated in causing coseismic velocity reductions beneath the Japanese volcanic arc, this is the first report of a similar phenomenon in a subduction zone setting. It demonstrates the potential to identify pressurized fluids in subduction zones using temporal variations of seismic velocity inferred from ambient seismic noise correlations. PMID:26824075

  8. Monitoring transient changes within overpressured regions of subduction zones using ambient seismic noise.

    PubMed

    Chaves, Esteban J; Schwartz, Susan Y

    2016-01-01

    In subduction zones, elevated pore fluid pressure, generally linked to metamorphic dehydration reactions, has a profound influence on the mechanical behavior of the plate interface and forearc crust through its control on effective stress. We use seismic noise-based monitoring to characterize seismic velocity variations following the 2012 Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica earthquake [M w (moment magnitude) 7.6] that we attribute to the presence of pressurized pore fluids. Our study reveals a strong velocity reduction (~0.6%) in a region where previous work identified high forearc pore fluid pressure. The depth of this velocity reduction is constrained to be below 5 km and therefore not the result of near-surface damage due to strong ground motions; rather, we posit that it is caused by fracturing of the fluid-pressurized weakened crust due to dynamic stresses. Although pressurized fluids have been implicated in causing coseismic velocity reductions beneath the Japanese volcanic arc, this is the first report of a similar phenomenon in a subduction zone setting. It demonstrates the potential to identify pressurized fluids in subduction zones using temporal variations of seismic velocity inferred from ambient seismic noise correlations. PMID:26824075

  9. Tomography and Dynamics of Western-Pacific Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, D.

    2012-01-01

    We review the significant recent results of multiscale seismic tomography of the Western-Pacific subduction zones and discuss their implications for seismotectonics, magmatism, and subduction dynamics, with an emphasis on the Japan Islands. Many important new findings are obtained due to technical advances in tomography, such as the handling of complex-shaped velocity discontinuities, the use of various later phases, the joint inversion of local and teleseismic data, tomographic imaging outside a seismic network, and P-wave anisotropy tomography. Prominent low-velocity (low-V) and high-attenuation (low-Q) zones are revealed in the crust and uppermost mantle beneath active arc and back-arc volcanoes and they extend to the deeper portion of the mantle wedge, indicating that the low-V/low-Q zones form the sources of arc magmatism and volcanism, and the arc magmatic system is related to deep processes such as convective circulation in the mantle wedge and dehydration reactions in the subducting slab. Seismic anisotropy seems to exist in all portions of the Northeast Japan subduction zone, including the upper and lower crust, the mantle wedge and the subducting Pacific slab. Multilayer anisotropies with different orientations may have caused the apparently weak shear-wave splitting observed so far, whereas recent results show a greater effect of crustal anisotropy than previously thought. Deep subduction of the Philippine Sea slab and deep dehydration of the Pacific slab are revealed beneath Southwest Japan. Significant structural heterogeneities are imaged in the source areas of large earthquakes in the crust, subducting slab and interplate megathrust zone, which may reflect fluids and/or magma originating from slab dehydration that affected the rupture nucleation of large earthquakes. These results suggest that large earthquakes do not strike anywhere, but in only anomalous areas that may be detected with geophysical methods. The occurrence of deep earthquakes under the Japan Sea and the East Asia margin may be related to a metastable olivine wedge in the subducting Pacific slab. The Pacific slab becomes stagnant in the mantle transition zone under East Asia, and a big mantle wedge (BMW) has formed above the stagnant slab. Convective circulations and fluid and magmatic processes in the BMW may have caused intraplate volcanism (e.g., Changbai and Wudalianchi), reactivation of the North China craton, large earthquakes, and other active tectonics in East Asia. Deep subduction and dehydration of continental plates (such as the Eurasian plate, Indian plate and Burma microplate) are also found, which have caused intraplate magmatism (e.g., Tengchong) and geothermal anomalies above the subducted continental plates. Under Kamchatka, the subducting Pacific slab shortens toward the north and terminates near the Aleutian-Kamchatka junction. The slab loss was induced by friction with the surrounding asthenosphere, as the Pacific plate rotated clockwise 30 Ma ago, and then it was enlarged by the slab-edge pinch-off by the asthenospheric flow. The stagnant slab finally collapses down to the bottom of the mantle, which may trigger upwelling of hot mantle materials from the lower mantle to the shallow mantle. Suggestions are also made for future directions of the seismological research of subduction zones.

  10. Shallow depth of seismogenic coupling in southern Mexico: implications for the maximum size of earthquakes in the subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Surez, Gerardo; Snchez, Osvaldo

    1996-01-01

    Studies of locally recorded microearthquakes and the centroidal depths of the largest earthquakes analyzed using teleseismic data show that the maximum depth of thrust faulting along the Mexican subduction zone is anomalously shallow. This observed maximum depth of about 25 5 km is about half of that observed in most subduction zones of the world. A leveling line that crosses the rupture zone of the 19 September 1985 Michoacan event was revisited after the earthquake and it shows anomalously low deformation during the earthquake. The comparison between the observed coseismic uplift and dislocation models of the seismogenic interplate contact that extend to depths ranging from 20 to 40 km shows that the maximum depth at which seismic slip took place is about 20 km. This unusually shallow and narrow zone of seismogenic coupling apparently results in the occurrence of thrust events along the Mexican subduction zone that are smaller than would be expected for a trench where a relatively young slab subducts at a rapid rate of relative motion. A comparison with the Chilean subduction zone shows that the plate interface in Mexico is half that in Chile, not only in the down-dip extent of the seismogenic zone of plate contact, but also in the distance of the trench from the coast and in the thickness of the upper continental plate. It appears that the narrow plate contact produced by this particular plate geometry in Mexico is the controlling variable defining the size of the largest characteristic earthquakes in the Mexican subduction zone.

  11. Tracking slabs beneath northwestern Pacific subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Yu Jeffrey; Okeler, Ahmet; Schultz, Ryan

    2012-05-01

    This study uses the amplitudes of bottom-side reflected shear waves to constrain the morphology and dynamics of subducted oceanic lithosphere beneath northwestern Pacific subduction zones. Across Honshu arc, the 410- and 660-km seismic discontinuities are detected at the respective depths of 395 5 and 685 5 km within the Wadati-Benioff zone. Their topographies are negatively correlated along slab dip, showing the dominant effect of temperature on the olivine phase changes within the upper mantle transition zone. The base of the upper mantle shows broad depressions as well as localized zones of shallow/average depths beneath Korea and northeast China. The 15 + km peak-to-peak topography west of the Wadati-Benioff zones suggests that the stagnant part of the subducted Pacific plate is not as flat as previously suggested. Eastward slab 'pile-up' is also possible at the base of the upper mantle. Across southern Kuril arc, the shear wave reflection coefficients of major olivine phase boundaries fall below 5% within the Wadati-Benioff zone. The apparent reflection gaps and the spatial connection between a strong reflector at ~ 900 km depth may imply 1) possible compositional variations at the top and bottom of the transition zone and 2) substantial mass/heat flux across the 660-km seismic discontinuity. We also identify strong reflectors within the subducted oceanic lithosphere at mid transition zone depths. The depths and strengths of these reflectors are highly variable between Honshu and southern Kuril islands.

  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. Magnetic petrology of high Fe-Ti eclogites from the CCSD main hole: Implications for subduction-zone magnetism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Qingsheng; Frost, B. Ronald; Wang, Hongcai; Zheng, Jianping; Zeng, Qingli; Jin, Zhenmin

    2012-07-01

    The high Fe-Ti eclogites with exsolved lamellar in 530-600 m depths from the Chinese Continental Scientific Drilling (CCSD) main hole in the Sulu Ultra-High Pressure (UHP) metamorphic belt, eastern China, record an anomalously high susceptibility (?), natural remanent magnetization (NRM) and Kenigsberger ratio Q (NRM/Ji, Ji is induced magnetization). This provides us with a good opportunity to study the effects of magnetic minerals and exsolution lamellae on the magnetic properties of deep rocks. In this paper, we have measured systematically magnetic properties and mineral assemblage and structure for three special samples (No. 83, No.86 and No.89). Results show that these Fe-Ti-rich eclogites are the result of the fine-grained (titano)-magnetite exsolution in pyroxene and lamellar structure consisting of finely interlayered ilmenite and hematite in exsolved hemo-ilmenite. We found that the dominant Fe-bearing oxide minerals in samples studied are ilmenite, hematite (Hem + Ilm up to 25%), little (titano)magnetite and pyrite. The ferromagnetic susceptibility is mainly controlled by fine grained (titano)magnetite and NRM is closely related to the exsolved lamellar structure. We hence propose that the anomalous magnetism of these eclogites observed in our samples is the result of exsolution from homogenous pyroxene and ilmeno-hematite during cooling and decompression processes. These Fe-Ti-rich eclogites might be one of the sources of high-magnetic anomalies observed in the Sulu subduction zone, eastern China.

  14. Origin and serpentinization of ultramafic rocks of Manipur Ophiolite Complex in the Indo-Myanmar subduction zone, Northeast India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ningthoujam, P. S.; Dubey, C. S.; Guillot, S.; Fagion, A.-S.; Shukla, D. P.

    2012-05-01

    The Manipur Ophiolite Complex (MOC) is part of the Manipur-Nagaland ophiolite belt (MNOB). The belt is exposed in the eastern margin of the Indo-Myanmar Ranges (IMRs), which formed by the collision between the India and Myanmar continental plates. Several contrasting views were put forward concerning the origin of the MNOB. The complex represents a dismembered ophiolite sequence with serpentinite as the largest litho-unit formed. Petrography and Raman spectroscopy of the serpentinite suggest that they are serpentinized ultramafic cumulate and peridotite. The serpentinization may have occurred at a condition of low pressure and low temperature metamorphism. Geochemical signatures of the rocks and spinel grains revealed that the protolith be an abyssal peridotite, derived from a less depleted fertile mantle melt at a MORB setting after low degree (10-15%) partial melting. The study concluded that the serpentinite may have been created at a slow-spreading ridge, rather than a supra-subduction-zone setting. These rocks were later obducted and incorporated into the IMR of Indo-Myanmar suture zone.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, David; Jos M., Mogolln; 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., Spie, V. and Kasten, S., 2013. Subduction zone earthquake as potential trigger of submarine hydrocarbon seepage. Nature Geoscience 6: 647-651.

  16. Detachment and/or exhumation depth clusters in subduction zones? Highlights from W. Turkey and comparison with Oman, Corsica and New Caledonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plunder, Alexis; Agard, Philippe; Chopin, Christian

    2014-05-01

    Recent studies have shown that exhumation of rocks is a fundamentally discontinuous process acting over short-lived time periods (~10 My) during the 'life' of a subduction zone. Recent advances in analytical techniques and in estimating P-T conditions now allow petrologists to attempt characterizing the subduction interface itself and better understanding the mechanisms that enable rocks to detach from the downgoing slab. Important clues would be provided by answering such questions as: (i) Is it the exhumation and/or the detachment preluding to exhumation that is rather a continuous process? (ii) Do the rocks primarily originate from specific depths (thereby pointing to particular conditions of mechanical coupling there) or from all along the subduction interface? Obduction (i.e., emplacement of oceanic lithosphere atop continents) and associated subduction processes provide insight into mechanical coupling at the plate interface, the rheology of the lithosphere and fossilize the different steps of an evolving subduction zone. Field-based data and petrological study in western Turkey are here used to highlight processes acting in a cooling subduction zone during both oceanic and continental subduction and are then compared with other similar geodynamic settings. In western Turkey, the Tav?anl? zone is made of oceanic lithosphere and of a thinned continental margin sequentially subducted below an oceanic plate during the Late Cretaceous. It represents an exceptionally well-preserved subduction interface thanks to later mild collision between the Anatolide-Tauride block and Eurasia. The Tav?anl? zone is divided into three major tectonic units from top to bottom: the obducted ophiolite, an accretionary complex and the continental margin. Among these three main tectonic units, two related either to oceanic or continental subduction consist of HP-LT metamorphic units that are: (i) the oceanic accretionary complex, subdivided in three tectonic units (namely complex 1, 2 and 3 from top to bottom) with different PT conditions (200C and < 8kbar; 300C and 12 kbar; 450C and 17 kbar, respectively); (ii) the cover of the continental margin, which yielded eclogite-facies conditions of 500C and 24 kbar. Comparisons with similar geodynamic settings (i.e. oceanic then continental subduction without collision: Oman, New Caledonia and Corsica) allow us to point out very similar maximum burial depths for each of those units sharing an equivalent structural position. In each setting up to three clusters of HP-LT conditions might be recognizable, chiefly at 300C-12 kbar and 500C-23kbar, and possibly at 450C-17 kbar too. Those PT conditions show that slicing of kilometre-scale units occurs at fairly specific depths along the subduction interface. We finally tentatively relate these observations to the different seismic events documented in present-day subduction zones along the plate interface.

  17. Deformation Processes in Great Subduction Zone Earthquake Cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Yan

    This dissertation consists of two parts and investigates the crustal deformation associated with great subduction zone earthquake at two different spatial scales. At the small scale, I investigate the stress transfer along the megathrust during great earthquakes and its effects on the forearc wedge. At the large scale, I investigate the viscoelastic crustal deformation of the forearc and the back arc associated with great earthquakes. Part I: In a subduction zone, the frontal region of the forearc can be morphologically divided into the outer wedge and the inner wedge. The outer wedge which features much active plastic deformation has a surface slope angle generally larger than that of the inner wedge which hosts stable geological formations. The megathrust can be represented by a three-segment model, the updip zone (velocity-strengthening), seismogenic zone (velocity-weakening), and downdip zone (velocity-strengthening). Our dynamic Coulomb wedge theory postulates that the outer wedge overlies the updip zone, and the inner wedge overlies the seismogenic zone. During an earthquake, strengthening of the updip zone may result in compressive failure in the outer wedge. The inner wedge undergoes elastic deformation. I have examined the geometry and mechanical processes of outer wedges of twenty-three subduction zones. The surface slope of these wedges is generally too high to be explained by the classical critical taper theory but can be explained by the dynamic Coulomb wedge theory. Part II: A giant earthquake produces coseismic seaward motion of the upper plate and induces shear stresses in the upper mantle. After the earthquake, the fault is re-locked, causing the upper plate to move slowly landward. However, parts of the fault will undergo continuous aseismic afterslip for a short duration, causing areas surrounding the rupture zone to move seaward. At the same time, the viscoelastic relaxation of the earthquake-induced stresses in the upper mantle causes prolonged seaward motion of areas farther landward including the forearc and the back arc. The postseismic and interseismic crustal deformation depends on the interplay of these three primary processes. I have used three-dimensional viscoelastic finite element models to study the contemporary crustal deformation of three margins, Sumatra, Chile, and Cascadia, that are presently at different stages of their great earthquake cycles. Model results indicate that the earthquake cycle deformation of different margins is governed by a common physical process. The afterslip of the fault must be at work immediately after the earthquake. The model of the 2004 Sumatra earthquake constrains the characteristic time of the afterslip to be 1.25 yr. With the incorporation of the transient rheology, the model well explains the near-field and far-field postseismic deformation within a few years after the 2004 Sumatra event. The steady-state viscosity of the continental upper mantle is determined to be 1019 Pa S, two orders of magnitude smaller than that of the global value obtained through global postglacial rebound models.

  18. The Sulfur Cycle at Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Moor, M. J.; Fischer, T. P.; Sharp, Z. D.

    2013-12-01

    We present sulfur (S) isotope data for magmatic gases emitted along the Central American (CA) Arc (oxidizing conditions ?QFM ~+ 1.5) and at the East African Rift (reduced conditions ?QFM ~0). The results are interpreted through mass balance calculations to characterize the S cycle through subduction zones with implications for the redox conditions of arc magmas. Voluminous gas emissions from Masaya, an open vent basaltic volcano in Nicaragua, represent >20% of the SO2 flux from the CA arc [1]. Samples from the Masaya plume have S isotope compositions of + 4.8 0.4 [2]. Degassing fractionation modeling and assessment of differentiation processes in this oxidized volcano suggest that this value is close to that of the source composition. High T gas samples from other CA volcanoes (Momotombo, Cerro Negro, Poas, Turrialba) range from + 3 (Cerro Negro) to + 7 (Poas; [3]). The high ?34S values are attributed to recycling of subducted oxidized sulfur (sulfate ~ + 20 ) through the CA arc. The ?34S values of the more reduced samples from East African Rift volcanoes, Erta Ale - 0.5 0.6 [3] and Oldoinyo Lengai -0.7 to + 1.2 ) are far lower and are probably sourced directly from ambient mantle. The subduction of oxidized material at arcs presents a likely explanation for the oxidized nature of arc magmas relative to magmas from spreading centers. We observe no distinguishable change in melt fO2 with S degassing and attribute these differences to tectonic setting. Monte Carlo modeling suggests that subducted crust (sediments, altered oceanic crust, and serpentinized lithospheric mantle) delivers ~7.7 2.2 x 1010 mols of S with ?34S of -1.5 2.3 per year into the subduction zone. The total S output from the arc is estimated to be 3.4 1.1 x 1010 mols/yr with a ?34S value similar to that of Masaya gas (+5 0.5 ). Considering ?34S values for ambient upper mantle (0 [4]) and slab-derived fluids (+14 [5]) allows calculation of the flux of S released from slab into the mantle wedge. Based on these constraints, we calculate that 1.2 0.4 x 1010 mols of S/yr is released from the slab. If slab-derived S is in the S6+ oxidation state, this flux is enough to oxidize the entire mantle wedge to the Fe3+/Fe2+ observed in typical arc rocks in ~ 20 million years. [1] Hilton et al. (2002) Noble Gases in Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry. pp. 319-370 [2] de Moor et al., (in review) G-cubed [3] Rowe (1994) Chem. Geol., 236:303-322 [4] Sakai et al. (1984) J. Petrol., 52: 1307-1331 [5] Alt et al. (2012) Earth Plan. Sci. Lett., 327: 50-60

  19. 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.

  20. Chromium isotope signature during continental crust subduction recorded in metamorphic rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Ji; Liu, Jia; Qin, Liping; Wang, Shui-Jiong; Li, Shuguang; Xia, Jiuxing; Ke, Shan; Yang, Jingsui

    2015-11-01

    The chromium isotope compositions of 27 metamorphic mafic rocks with varying metamorphic degrees from eastern China were systematically measured to investigate the Cr isotope behavior during continental crust subduction. The Cr isotope compositions of all samples studied were Bulk Silicate Earth (BSE) like, with δ53CrNIST979 of greenschists, amphibolites, and eclogites ranging from -0.06‰ to -0.17‰, -0.05‰ to -0.27‰, and -0.01‰ to -0.24‰, respectively. The lack of resolvable isotopic variability among the metamorphic rocks from different metamorphic zones indicated that no systematic Cr isotope fractionation was associated with the degree of metamorphism. However, the Cr isotopic variability among homologous samples may have reflected effects induced by metamorphic dehydration with a change of redox state, rather than protolith heterogeneity (i.e., magma differentiation). In addition, the differences in δ53Cr (Δ53CrCpx-Gt) between coexisting clinopyroxene (Cpx) and garnet (Gt) from two garnet pyroxenites were 0.06‰ and 0.34‰, respectively, indicating that significant inter-mineral Cr isotope disequilibria could occur during metamorphism. To provide a basis for comparison with metamorphic rocks and to provide further constraints on the potential Cr isotope heterogeneity in the mantle and in the protolith of some metamorphic rocks, we analyzed mantle-derived chromites and the associated peridotites from Luobusa, and we obtained the following general order: chromite-free peridotites (-0.21‰ to -0.11‰) < chromite-bearing peridotite (-0.07‰) < chromite (-0.06‰). These findings imply potential mantle heterogeneity as a result of partial melting or fractional crystallization associated with chromite.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Thermobarometric and fluid expulsion history of subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ernst, W. G.

    1990-06-01

    Phanerozoic, unmetamorphosed, weathered, and altered lithotectonic complexes subjected to subduction exhibit the prograde metamorphic facies sequence: zeolite → prehnite-pumpellyite → glaucophane schist → eclogite. Parageneses reflect relatively high-P trajectories, accompanied by semicontinuous devolatilization. The thermal evolution of convergent plate junctions results in early production of high-rank blueschists, high-P amphibolites, and eclogues at depth within narrow subduction zones while the hanging wall lithosphere is still hot. Protracted underflow drains heat from the nonsubducted plate and, even at profound depths, generates very low-T/high-P parageneses. Inclusion studies suggest that two-phase immiscible volatiles (liquid H2O, and gaseous high-hydrocarbons, CH4 and CO2) are evolved in turn during progressive metamorphism of the subducted sections. Expulsion of pore fluids and transitions from weathered and altered supracrustal rocks to zeolite facies assemblages release far more fluid than the better understood higher-grade transformations. Many blueschist parageneses, such as those of the internal Western Alps, have been partially overprinted by later greenschist and/or epidote-amphibolite facies assemblages. Alpine-type postblueschist metamorphic paths involved fairly rapid, nearly adiabatic decompression; some terranes even underwent modest continued heating and fluid evolution during early stages of ascent. Uplift probably occurred as a consequence of the underthrusting of low-density island arc or microcontinental crust along the convergent plate junction, resulting in marked deceleration or cessation of lithospheric underflow, decoupling, and nearly isothermal rise of the recrystallized subduction complex. Other, less common blueschist terranes, such as the eastern Franciscan belt of western California, preserve metamorphic aragonite and other high-P minerals, and lack a low-pressure overprint; physical conditions during retrogression approximately retraced the prograde path or, for early formed high-grade blocks, reflect somewhat higher pressures and lower temperatures. Subducted sections constituting portions of the Franciscan-type of metamorphic belt evidently moved slowly back up the inclined lithospheric plate junction during continued convergence and sustained refrigeration. Upward motion due to isostatic forces was produced by tectonic imbrication of fault suces, laminar return flow in melange zones, and lateral extension of the underplated accretionary prism. The ease with which volatiles are expelled from a subduction complex and migrate upward along the plate junction zone is roughly proportional to the sandstone/shale ratio: low-permeability mudstones tend to maintain fluid values approaching lithostatic, lose strength, and deform chaotically (forming melange belts), whereas permeable sandstone-rich sections retain structural/stratigraphic coherence and fail brittlely (forming coherent terranes). Because of substantial updip expulsion of volatiles during prograde recrystallization, only small amounts of H2O and CO2 are available to support hydration and carbonation of the accretionary complex during its return toward the surface; thus limited back reaction takes place and occurs at low Pfluid/Plithostatic ratios, unless an abundance of volatiles is introduced during uplift.

  4. Fluids in the Deep Crust and in Subduction Zones: Frontiers for Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ague, J. J.

    2006-05-01

    Fluids are an integral part of metamorphic and igneous processes in the deep crust and within subduction zones. The presence of fluids in deep settings is no longer in dispute, but major research frontiers of global significance remain. One of these is the problem of tracing flow paths from deep metamorphic settings into the shallow crust. This is important to better understand crustal-scale transfer of ore-forming metals and the location and formation of valuable ore deposits. Furthermore, the long-term flux of greenhouse gases such as CO2 out of metamorphic systems remains as one of the most poorly constrained parts of the global C cycle. Relatively rapid metamorphic reaction and release of CO2 may be an agent for global warming, whereas deep burial without reaction may sequester CO2 from the atmosphere and lead to cooling. Another unresolved problem concerns how much heat is transfered by deep fluid flow. Large fluxes are required to transport heat by fluid advection, and it remains controversial whether or not such fluxes are acheived deep within mountain belts. Several examples of heating by regional metamorphic fluids have been proposed in recent years; can fluids cool a terrane as well? Progress on heat transfer will require a better understanding of rates of metamorphic heating/cooling, fluid fluxes, and timescales of fluid flow. It has long been known that elevated pore fluid pressures can weaken rocks and lead to seismogenic failure, but many questions remain regarding the role of metamorphism. The volume change (solid+fluid) for most crustal dehydration reactions is positive, such that metamorphism can play an active role in generating elevated pore fluid pressures if rates of reaction are kinetically rapid and rock permeability is relatively low. In mantle settings such as subducted slabs, total volume changes attending dehydration can be negative, causing collapse of pore space; the rheological implications of this mode of devolatilization deserve much additional study. Moreover, what are fluid flow patterns like in seismically active areas before, during, and after rupture? The ability to geophysically image zones of rock that are undergoing devolatilization and fluid pressure changes could be useful for identifying regions of potential seismic risk. The chemistry of subduction zone fluids has a substantial impact on arc magma chemistry, but the fluxes, geochemical compositions, and flow paths of these fluids remain highly controversial. Furthermore, how much of the fluid ascends into the mantle wedge, and how much flows back up the subduction zone itself and does not enter the mantle? These questions are important for understanding the amount and location of partial melting that ultimately produces arc magmas. In addition, melt-aqueous phase miscibility may have large implications for mobility and geochemical behavior of fluids in subduction zones. Reaction kinetics are a major general issue affecting all of the above phenomena. Do reactions proceed close to local fluid-rock equilibrium, or are significant departures from equilibrium possible? A number of recent studies indicate that kinetics may be much more important than previously realized, such that interpretations of the pressure-temperature-time histories of rocks based on equilibrium thermodynamics may have to be re-evaluated. A major unresolved problem is that reaction rates measured in the lab appear in some cases to be orders of magnitude faster than those inferred from field studies. Resolving this and other problems related to fluids in deep settings offers a rich spectrum of field, laboratory, and theoretical research opportunities for the future.

  5. The global range of subduction zone thermal structures from exhumed blueschists and eclogites: Rocks are hotter than models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penniston-Dorland, Sarah C.; Kohn, Matthew J.; Manning, Craig E.

    2015-10-01

    The maximum-pressure Psbnd T conditions (Pmax- T) and prograde Psbnd T paths of exhumed subduction-related metamorphic rocks are compared to predictions of Psbnd T conditions from computational thermal models of subduction systems. While the range of proposed models encompasses most estimated Pmax- T conditions, models predict temperatures that are on average colder than those recorded by exhumed rocks. In general, discrepancies are greatest for Pmax < 2 GPa, where only a few of the highest-T model paths overlap petrologic observations and model averages are 100-300 °C colder than average conditions recorded by rocks. Prograde Psbnd T paths similarly indicate warmer subduction than typical models. Both petrologic estimates and models have inherent biases. Petrologic analysis may overestimate temperatures at Pmax where overprinting occurs during exhumation, although Psbnd T paths suggest that relatively warm conditions are experienced by rocks on the prograde subduction path. Models may underestimate temperatures at depth by neglecting shear heating, hydration reactions and fluid and rock advection. Our compilation and comparison suggest that exhumed high-P rocks provide a more accurate constraint on Psbnd T conditions within subduction zones, and that those conditions may closely represent the subduction geotherm. While exhumation processes in subduction zones require closer petrologic scrutiny, the next generation of models should more comprehensively incorporate all sources of heat. Subduction-zone thermal structures from currently available models appear to be inaccurate, and this mismatch has wide-reaching implications for our understanding of global geochemical cycles, the petrologic structure of subduction zones, and fluid-rock interactions and seismicity within subduction zones.

  6. On subduction zone earthquakes and the Pacific Northwest seismicity

    SciTech Connect

    Chung, Dae H.

    1991-12-01

    A short review of subduction zone earthquakes and the seismicity of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States is provided for the purpose of a basis for assessing issues related to earthquake hazard evaluations for the region. This review of seismotectonics regarding historical subduction zone earthquakes and more recent seismological studies pertaining to rupture processes of subduction zone earthquakes, with specific references to the Pacific Northwest, is made in this brief study. Subduction zone earthquakes tend to rupture updip and laterally from the hypocenter. Thus, the rupture surface tends to become more elongated as one considers larger earthquakes (there is limited updip distance that is strongly coupled, whereas rupture length can be quite large). The great Aleutian-Alaska earthquakes of 1957, 1964, and 1965 had rupture lengths of greater than 650 km. The largest earthquake observed instrumentally, the M{sub W} 9.5, 1960 Chile Earthquake, had a rupture length over 1000 km. However, earthquakes of this magnitude are very unlikely on Cascadia. The degree of surface shaking has a very strong dependency on the depth and style of rupture. The rupture surface during a great earthquake shows heterogeneous stress drop, displacement, energy release, etc. The high strength zones are traditionally termed asperities and these asperities control when and how large an earthquake is generated. Mapping of these asperities in specific subduction zones is very difficult before an earthquake. They show up more easily in inversions of dynamic source studies of earthquake ruptures, after an earthquake. Because seismic moment is based on the total radiated-energy from an earthquake, the moment-based magnitude M{sub W} is superior to all other magnitude estimates, such as M{sub L}, m{sub b}, M{sub bLg}, M{sub S}, etc Probably, just to have a common language, non-moment magnitudes should be converted to M{sub W} in any discussions of subduction zone earthquakes.

  7. Exploring Interactions Between Subduction Zone Earthquakes and Volcanic Activity in the South Central Alaskan Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanagan, K. M.; Richardson, E.

    2012-12-01

    Although great earthquakes such as the recent moment-magnitude (M) 9 Tohoku-Oki earthquake have been shown to trigger remote seismicity in volcanoes, the extent to which subduction zone earthquakes can trigger shallow seismic swarms at volcanoes is largely unexplored. Unknowns in this relationship include the upper limit of distance, the lower limit of magnitude, the upper time limit between events, and the effects of rupture directivity. We searched the Advanced National Seismic System earthquake catalog from 1989 - 2011 for correlations in space and time between M > 5.0 earthquakes in the south central Alaskan subduction zone (between 58.5N and 62.5N, and 150.7W and 154.7W) and volcanic activity at Mt. Redoubt, Mt. Iliamna, and Mt. Spurr volcanoes. There are 48 earthquakes M > 5 in this catalog; five of these are M > 6. The depths of the 48 M>5 events range from 49km to 220km, and they are all between 100km and 350km of the three volcanoes. Preliminary analysis of our catalog shows that four of the five M > 6 earthquakes are followed by a volcanic earthquake swarm at either Redoubt or Spurr within 100 days, and three of them are followed by a volcanic earthquake swarm within a month. None of these events correlated in space and time with swarms at Mt. Iliamna. We are also searching for swarms and moderate earthquakes occurring in time windows far removed from each other. The likeliest case of remotely triggered seismicity in our search area to date occurred on January 24 2009, when a magnitude 5.8 earthquake beneath the Kenai Peninsula at 59.4N, 152.8W, and 95km depth was immediately followed by an increase of volcanic activity at Mt. Redoubt approximately 153km away. The first swarm began on Jan 25 2009. On Jan 30 2009, volcanologists at the Alaskan Volcano observatory determined the increased volcanic seismicity was indicative of an impending eruption. Mt. Redoubt erupted on March 15 2009. Proposed mechanisms for triggering of volcanoes by earthquakes include dynamic and static stress changes in the magmatic system, which could affect pressure in the magma chamber and overpressure, or affect phenocryst settling and bubble growth inside the chamber. However, these models have generally not been connected to specific events; expanding our catalog will help to refine these models to describe the mechanics of this relationship.

  8. Interplay of lower crustal metamorphism and continental lithosphere dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simon, Nina S. C.; Podladchikov, Yuri Y.

    2010-05-01

    Crustal rocks densify if they are subjected to higher pressures, consistent with the common perception of compressibility of solid materials, direct observations and simple and more sophisticated calculations. The response of typical lower crustal rocks to heating, however, is more complicated. While the crust expands with increasing temperature at some pressure-temperature conditions - in line with conventional use of a positive thermal expansion coefficient - it contracts upon heating at certain P-T conditions if it contains some water. The loss of volume due to dehydration reactions can be larger than the tendency of the solid to swell upon heating, leading to an effective negative coefficient of thermal expansion for these rocks under those conditions. Systematic calculations of phase relations and densities using internally consistent thermodynamic data and Gibb's free energy minimization show that negative thermal expansion (densification upon heating) is most pronounced at pressures larger 1 GPa and temperatures between 500 and 800 C. These conditions prevail in lower continental crust that is pushed into the mantle due to flexure and loading (e.g. in foreland basins) or due to thickening (e.g. in the crustal root of a mountain range), and in subducted oceanic crust. We propose that the density increase of the lower crust due to dehydration reactions may be the driving force for the subsidence in cratonic basins, and can explain the larger than predicted subsidence of foreland basins as well as the preservation of orogenic roots over long periods of time in eroded mountain chains. In addition, we predict a higher than usually assumed density increase in the initially hydrated oceanic crust during subduction. Simple isostatic modelling predicts that intra-cratonic basins will subside rapidly as a response to pressure increase, followed by slow subsidence on the time-scale of thermal equilibration. Differences in the late stage evolution of orogens may be due to variations in bulk lower crustal compositions. Mafic lower crust becomes very dense if buried to sub-Moho conditions and may delaminate on a timescale that is determined by the initial level of hydration (in addition to rheological paramters). Dry basaltic crust is densest at high-P, but low-T conditions while wet mafic rocks reach densities higher than those of the mantle at high-P and high-T conditions. Lower crustal rocks with more felsic compositions are slightly lighter than mantle under high-P, high-T conditions and may stabilize basins and orogenic roots. However, some water-bearing felsic rocks (meta-pelitic restites) display larger density variations than mafic rocks along a wide range of P-T-paths and consequently cause larger isostatic vertical motions.

  9. 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.

  10. The Cascadia Subduction Zone: two contrasting models of lithospheric structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Romanyuk, T.V.; Blakely, R.; Mooney, W.D.

    1998-01-01

    The Pacific margin of North America is one of the most complicated regions in the world in terms of its structure and present day geodynamic regime. The aim of this work is to develop a better understanding of lithospheric structure of the Pacific Northwest, in particular the Cascadia subduction zone of Southwest Canada and Northwest USA. The goal is to compare and contrast the lithospheric density structure along two profiles across the subduction zone and to interpet the differences in terms of active processes. The subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate beneath North America changes markedly along the length of the subduction zone, notably in the angle of subduction, distribution of earthquakes and volcanism, goelogic and seismic structure of the upper plate, and regional horizontal stress. To investigate these characteristics, we conducted detailed density modeling of the crust and mantle along two transects across the Cascadia subduction zone. One crosses Vancouver Island and the Canadian margin, the other crosses the margin of central Oregon.

  11. GPS constraints on interplate locking within the Makran subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frohling, E.; Szeliga, W.

    2016-04-01

    The Makran subduction zone is one of the last convergent margins to be investigated using space-based geodesy. While there is a lack of historical and modern instrumentation in the region, a sparse sampling of continuous and campaign measurements over the past decade has allowed us to make the first estimates of convergence rates. We combine GPS measurements from 20 stations located in Iran, Pakistan and Oman along with hypocentral locations from the International Seismological Centre to create a preliminary 3-D estimate of the geometry of the megathrust, along with a preliminary fault-coupling model for the Makran subduction zone. Using a convergence rate which is strongly constrained by measurements from the incoming Arabia plate along with the backslip method of Savage, we find the Makran subduction zone appears to be locked to a depth of at least 38 km and accumulating strain.We also find evidence for a segmentation of plate coupling, with a 300 km long section of reduced plate coupling. The range of acceptable locking depths from our modelling and the 900 km along-strike length for the megathrust, makes the Makran subduction zone capable of earthquakes up to Mw = 8.8. In addition, we find evidence for slow-slip-like transient deformation events on two GPS stations. These observations are suggestive of transient deformation events observed in Cascadia, Japan and elsewhere.

  12. Three-Dimensional Thermal Model of the Costa Rica-Nicaragua Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosas, Juan Carlos; Currie, Claire A.; He, Jiangheng

    2015-10-01

    The thermal structure of a subduction zone controls many key processes, including subducting plate metamorphism and dehydration, the megathrust earthquake seismogenic zone and volcanic arc magmatism. Here, we present the first three-dimensional (3D), steady-state kinematic-dynamic thermal model for the Costa Rica-Nicaragua subduction zone. The model consists of the subducting Cocos plate, the overriding Caribbean Plate, and a viscous mantle wedge in which flow is driven by interactions with the downgoing slab. The Cocos plate geometry includes along-strike variations in slab dip, which induce along-strike flow in the mantle wedge. Along-strike flow occurs primarily below Costa Rica, with a maximum magnitude of 4 cm/year (~40 % of the convergence rate) for a mantle with a dislocation creep rheology; an isoviscous mantle has lower velocities. Along-margin flow causes temperatures variations of up to 80 C in the subducting slab and mantle wedge at the volcanic arc and backarc. The 3D effects do not strongly alter the shallow (<35 km) thermal structure of the subduction zone. The models predict that the megathrust seismogenic zone width decreases from ~100 km below Costa Rica to just a few kilometers below Nicaragua; the narrow width in the north is due to hydrothermal cooling of the oceanic plate. These results are in good agreement with previous 2D models and with the rupture area of recent earthquakes. In the models, along-strike mantle flow is induced only by variations in slab dip, with flow directed toward the south where the dip angle is smallest. In contrast, geochemical and seismic observations suggest a northward flow of 6-19 cm/year. We do not observe this in our models, suggesting that northward flow may be driven by additional factors, such as slab rollback or proximity to a slab edge (slab window). Such high velocities may significantly affect the thermal structure, especially at the southern end of the subduction zone. In this area, 3D models that include slab rollback and a slab edge are needed to investigate the mantle structure and dynamics.

  13. 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 (780-750C, 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 (875-850C, 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 (580-610C) retrograde metamorphic overprint on the UHP eclogites, whereas the relatively slow uplift in the mid-eastern part caused high-grade granulites (850C) 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.

  14. The formation of ultradeep sedimentary basins through metamorphism with rock contraction in continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artyushkov, E. V.; Belyaev, I. V.; Kazanin, G. S.; Pavlov, S. P.; Chekhovich, P. A.; Shkarubo, S. I.

    2013-10-01

    Sedimentary covers are up to 15-20 km thick in ultradeep sedimentary basins. Joint interpretation of seismic reflection sounding and gravimetric data indicates that eclogites are located in the basins under the Moho. In these rocks the velocities of P-waves are close to those in mantle peridotites. The basins show only moderate crustal stretching and their formation was caused primarily by the transformation of gabbroids into dense eclogites in the lower part of the continental crust. The transformation took place episodically as mantle fluids infiltrated the lower crust and it was ensured by pressure rise in the lower crust occurring with the accumulation of sediments. Moderate metamorphism developed in silicic upper crust as temperature and pressure increased under thick sedimentary covers. In iron-rich metasedimentary rocks, deep metamorphism resulted in the density increase, and P-wave velocities there increased to those characteristic of the oceanic crust.

  15. 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

  16. The 2004 Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami: Lessons Learned in Subduction Zone Science and Emergency Management for the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, John F.

    2015-03-01

    The 26 December 2004, Mw 9.3 Sumatra earthquake and tsunami was a pivotal turning point in our awareness of the dangers posed by subduction zone earthquakes and tsunamis. This earthquake was the world's largest in 40 years, and it produced the world's deadliest tsunami. This earthquake ruptured a subduction zone that has many similarities to the Cascadia Subduction Zone. In this article, I summarize lessons learned from this tragedy, and make comparisons with potential rupture characteristics, slip distribution, deformation patterns, and aftershock patterns for Cascadia using theoretical modeling and interseismic observations. Both subduction zones are approximately 1,100-1,300 km in length. Both have similar convergence rates and represent oblique subduction. Slip along the subduction fault during the 26 December earthquake is estimated at 15-25 m, similar to values estimated for Cascadia. The width of the rupture, ~80-150 km estimated from modeling seismic and geodetic data, is similar to the width of the "locked and transition zone" estimated for Cascadia. Coseismic subsidence of up to 2 m along the Sumatra coast is also similar to that predicted for parts of northern Cascadia, based on paleoseismic evidence. In addition to scientific lessons learned, the 2004 tsunami provided many critical lessons for emergency management and preparedness. As a result of that tragedy, a number of preparedness initiatives are now underway to promote awareness of earthquake and tsunami hazards along the west coast of North America, and plans are underway to develop prototype tsunami and earthquake warning systems along Cascadia. Lessons learned from the great Sumatra earthquake and tsunami tragedy, both through scientific studies and through public education initiatives, will help to reduce losses during future earthquakes in Cascadia and other subduction zones of the world.

  17. The formation of deep basins in High Arctic from metamorphism in continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artyushkov, Eugene; Belyaev, Igor; Chekhovich, Peter; Petrov, Eugene; Poselov, Viktor

    2014-05-01

    In the East Barents and North Chukchi basins, 16-20 km deep, the crystalline crust is attenuated to 12-18 km (reference profiles 2-AR, 4-AR and 5-AR). P-wave velocities and densities in this layer are characteristic of the oceanic crust. However, the subsidence history in the basins is quite different from that typical of the oceanic crust. In both basins the subsidence continued for several hundred million years and one half of the deposits or more was formed long after the start of the subsidence when cooling of the oceanic plate would be already over. Moreover, the basins are 4-5 km deeper than it could be expected according to the thickness of the crystalline crust above the Moho boundary. In the absence of large free-air gravity anomalies, joint analysis of the gravity and seismic data indicates the existence under the Moho of thick layers of high-density and high-velocity eclogites. As can be seen in high resolution seismic profiles, the intensity of crustal stretching did not exceed 10% in the basins, and their formation can be predominantly attributed to a high-grade metamorphism in the mafic lower part of continental crust. At some episodes, strong increase in the rate of subsidence occurred in the basins. This indicates acceleration of metamorphism catalyzed by infiltration of mantle fluids. A set of the above features, abnormally large depth, long subsidence history with its acceleration at the late stages, and episodes of pronounced acceleration of the subsidence represent characteristic features of some other large hydrocarbon basins, e.g., of the North and South Caspian basins. These features can be used for prospecting new prolific provinces on the Arctic shelf. The Lomonosov ridge, Mendeleev high and the Makarov basin pertain to the same structural type. In the Oligocene they underwent erosion near to sea level with the formation of pronounced unconformity. Then at the end of Oligocene deep-water basins were formed in these regions. Rapid crustal subsidence after a long period of relative stability is atypical of oceanic crust. It can be produced either by intense stretching of continental crust or by a density increase due to metamorphism in this layer. Recent seismic reflection profiles demonstrate only minor stretching of the crystalline basement in the regions. Then metamorphism should be the main cause of formation of deep basins in these regions. This can explain attenuation of crystalline crust and an increase in P-wave velocities in this layer that are typical for many deep basins formed due to intense metamorphism in continental crust.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerya, Taras; Stckhert, 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. 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 (δST), subduction thrust curvature (CST), and trench curvature angle (αT). 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 (δST ⩽ 30°), low subduction thrust curvature (CST ⩽ 2.0 × 10-13 m-2) and low trench curvature angles (-6.3° ⩽ αT ⩽ 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⊥, δST, CST and αT). 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.

  20. Supra-subduction zone tectonic setting of the Muslim Bagh Ophiolite, northwestern Pakistan: Insights from geochemistry and petrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kakar, Mohammad Ishaq; Kerr, Andrew C.; Mahmood, Khalid; Collins, Alan S.; Khan, Mehrab; McDonald, Iain

    2014-08-01

    The geology of the Muslim Bagh area comprises the Indian passive continental margin and suture zone, which is overlain by the Muslim Bagh Ophiolite, Bagh Complex and a Flysch Zone of marine-fluvial successions. The Muslim Bagh Ophiolite has a nearly-complete ophiolite stratigraphy. The mantle sequence of foliated peridotite is mainly harzburgite with minor dunite and contains podiform chromite deposits that grade upwards into transition zone dunite. The mantle rocks (harzburgite/dunite) resulted from large degrees of partial melting of lherzolite and have also been affected by melt-peridotite reaction. The Muslim Bagh crustal section has a cyclic succession of ultramafic-mafic cumulate with dunite at the base, that grades into wehrlite/pyroxenite with gabbros (olivine gabbro, norite and hornblende gabbro) at the top. The sheeted dykes are immature in nature and are rooted in crustal gabbros. The dykes are mainly metamorphosed dolerites, with minor intrusions of plagiogranites. The configuration of the crustal section indicates that the crustal rocks were formed over variable time periods, in pulses, by a low magma supply rate. The whole rock geochemistry of the gabbros, sheeted dykes and the mafic dyke swarm suggests that they formed in a supra-subduction zone tectonic setting in Neo-Tethys during the Late Cretaceous. The dykes of the mafic swarm crosscut both the ophiolite and the metamorphic sole rocks and have a less-marked subduction signature than the other mafic rocks. These dykes were possibly emplaced off-axis and can be interpreted to have been generated in the spinel peridotite stability zone i.e., < 50-60 km, and to have risen through a slab window. The Bagh Complex is an assemblage of Triassic-Cretaceous igneous and sedimentary rocks, containing tholeiitic, N-MORB-like basalts and alkali basalts with OIB-type signatures. Nb-Ta depletion in both basalt types suggests possible contamination from continental fragments incorporated into the opening Tethyan oceanic basin during break-up of Gondwana. The lithologies and ages of the Bagh Complex imply that these rocks formed in an area extending from the continental margin over the Neo-Tethyan ocean floor. The Bagh Complex was then juxtaposed with the Muslim Bagh Ophiolite in the final stage of tectonic emplacement.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25022313

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25022313

  3. Earth's Rotation Variability Triggers Explosive Eruptions in Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuffaro, M.; Sottili, G.; Palladino, D. M.; Doglioni, C.

    2014-12-01

    The uneven Earth's spinning has been reported to affect geological processes, i.e. tectonism, seismicity and volcanism, on a planetary scale. Here we show that changes of the length of day (LOD) influence eruptive activity at subduction margins. Statistical analysis indicates that eruptions with Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI)≥3 alternate along opposite subduction zones as a function of whether the LOD increases or decreases. In particular eruptions in volcanic arcs along contractional subduction zones, which are mostly E- or NE-directed, occur when the LOD increases, whereas they are more frequent in backarc extensional settings along W-directed subduction zones when the LOD decreases. We infer that the LOD variability determines a modulation of the horizontal shear stresses acting on the crust-lithosphere. An increase of the horizontal maximum stress in compressive regimes during LOD increment may favour the rupture of the magma feeder system wall-rocks. Similarly, a decrease of the minimum horizontal stress in the back arc extensional settings during LOD lowering generates a larger differential stress, which may enhance failure of the magma confining rocks. This asymmetric behaviour of magmatism contributes to the knowledge of the role of astronomical forces on the dynamics of the solid Earth.

  4. Deformation processes in great subduction zone earthquake cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Y.; Wang, K.; He, J.

    2011-12-01

    Crustal deformation associated with great subduction zone earthquakes yields important information on mantle rheology and slip evolution of the megathrust. We have used three-dimensional viscoelastic finite element models to study the contemporary crustal deformation of three margins, Sumatra, Chile, and Cascadia, that are presently at different stages of their great earthquake cycles. At Sumatra where an Mw 9.2 earthquake occurred in 2004, all the GPS stations are moving seaward. At Chile where an Mw 9.5 earthquake occurred in 1960, coast GPS stations are moving landward, obviously due to the re-locking of the fault, while the inland stations are still moving seaward. At Cascadia where an Mw 9.0 earthquake occurred in 1700, all the GPS stations are moving landward. The earthquake cycle deformation at Alaska where an Mw 9.2 earthquake occurred in 1964 is similar to that of Chile, and the deformation at NE Japan where an Mw 9.0 earthquake occurred in 2011 is similar to that of Sumatra. Model results indicate that the earthquake cycle deformation of different margins is governed by a common physical process. A great earthquake causes the upper plate to move towards the trench and induces shear stresses in the upper mantle. After the earthquake, the fault is re-locked, causing the upper plate to move landward. However, portions of the fault undergo aseismic afterslip for a short duration, causing the overriding areas to move seaward. At the same time, the viscoelastic stress relaxation of the upper mantle causes prolonged seaward motion in inland areas including the forearc and the back arc. After a long time when the earthquake-induced stresses have mostly relaxed, the upper plate moves landward due to the re-locking of the fault. The model of the 2004 Sumatra earthquake indicates that the afterslip must be at work immediately after the earthquake, and the characteristic time of the afterslip is ~1 yr. With the incorporation of the transient (biviscous) rheology, the model well explains the near-field and far-field postseismic deformation within a few years after the 2004 Sumatra event. For all the margins modeled, the steady-state (Maxwell) viscosity of the continental upper mantle is determined to be ~1019 Pa s, two orders of magnitude lower than that of the global value obtained through global postglacial rebound analyses. Based on the model for the 2004 Sumatra earthquake, the transient (Kelvin) viscosity of the continental mantle is one to two orders of magnitude lower than that of the stead-state viscosity. Long-term postseismic deformation is controlled mainly by the steady-state viscosity of the mantle and is relatively better understood. For the short-term postseismic deformation, the interaction of the afterslip of the fault and the transient deformation of the mantle is still poorly understood. Geodetic monitoring following the 2010 Mw 8.8 Maule earthquake and 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku earthquakes is expected to improve greatly our understanding the short-term deformation over the next few years.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sorensen, Sorena S.; Grossman, Jeffrey N.

    1993-01-01

    Data from the Gee Point and Catalina mélanges suggest that the accessory minerals titanite, rutile, apatite, zircon and REE-rich epidote play a significant role in the enrichment of trace elements in both mafic and ultramafic rocks during subduction-related fluid-rock interaction. Mobilization of incompatible elements, and deposition of such elements in the accessory minerals of mafic and ultramafic rocks may be fairly common in fluid-rich metamorphic environments in subduction zones.

  6. 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.

  7. Protolith age and deformation history of high grade metamorphic rocks from the roots of a continental magmatic arc: the Central Gneiss Complex, British Columbia, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacLeod, D.; Pearson, D. M.

    2014-12-01

    The Central Gneiss Complex, located in western British Columbia, preserves mid and lower crustal igneous and metasedimentary rocks that yield insight into deformational and thermal processes at the roots of a continental magmatic arc. The complex primarily consists of gneiss interpreted as a volcanic sequence with calcareous interlayers and lesser clastic metasedimentary rocks. Cretaceous U-Pb zircon ages from granulite-facies equivalent rocks in the core of the complex hint at rapid burial following deposition. However, a Permian or older crinoid fossil found in one locality (Hill, 1985) requires the presence of some late Paleozoic or early Mesozoic material. A new U-Pb zircon age (313±5 Ma; LA-ICPMS) from ~10 km west of this fossil locality is interpreted to record volcanism. We also conducted focused structural and geochronological analysis at higher structural levels in the northeastern Central Gneiss Complex to positively identify sedimentary lithologies with which to document the early structural history of the complex prior to early Cenozoic rapid exhumation. In this area, a subhorizontal shear zone forms the boundary between mainly clastic metasedimentary rocks and the widespread metavolcanic and carbonate rocks where an important stretched pebble conglomerate has been previously documented. In the footwall of the shear zone, flattening fabrics transition structurally upward into E-W trending stretching lineations, lineation-parallel isoclinal fold axes, and boudinage that record E-W stretching and major shear strain near the contact. S-C fabrics and shear bands yield a top to the east sense of shear. Where observed, a shallowly dipping, ~15 m thick zone of cataclasite forms the lithologic contact and overprints the shear zone. Sills and dikes record ongoing but localized magmatism throughout deformation and steep NE striking brittle normal faults crosscut all features. Ongoing work will further constrain the protolith age of these rocks, the timing of deformation, and whether the shear zone is a folded low angle normal fault or instead related to regional thrust burial. This will yield insight into sediment burial and metamorphism at subduction zones and its potential influence on magmatic arc productivity and middle and lower crustal deformation processes.

  8. 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.

  9. Receiver function images of the Hellenic subduction zone and comparison to microseismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sodoudi, F.; Brstle, A.; Meier, T.; Kind, R.; Friederich, W.; Egelados Working Group

    2015-02-01

    New combined P receiver functions and seismicity data obtained from the EGELADOS network employing 65 seismological stations within the Aegean constrained new information on the geometry of the Hellenic subduction zone. The dense network and large data set enabled us to estimate the Moho depth of the continental Aegean plate across the whole area. Presence of a negative contrast at the Moho boundary indicating the serpentinized mantle wedge above the subducting African plate was seen along the entire forearc. Furthermore, low seismicity was observed within the serpentinized mantle wedge. We found a relatively thick continental crust (30-43 km) with a maximum thickness of about 48 km beneath the Peloponnese Peninsula, whereas a thinner crust of about 27-30 km was observed beneath western Turkey. The crust of the overriding plate is thinning beneath the southern and central Aegean and reaches 23-27 km. Unusual low Vp / Vs ratios were estimated beneath the central Aegean, which most likely represent indications on the pronounced felsic character of the extended continental Aegean crust. Moreover, P receiver functions imaged the subducted African Moho as a strong converted phase down to a depth of about 100 km. However, the converted Moho phase appears to be weak for the deeper parts of the African plate suggesting nearly complete phase transitions of crustal material into denser phases. We show the subducting African crust along eight profiles covering the whole southern and central Aegean. Seismicity of the western Hellenic subduction zone was taken from the relocated EHB-ISC catalogue, whereas for the eastern Hellenic subduction zone, we used the catalogues of manually picked hypocentre locations of temporary networks within the Aegean. Accurate hypocentre locations reveal a significant change in the dip angle of the Wadati-Benioff zone (WBZ) from west (~ 25) to the eastern part (~ 35) of the Hellenic subduction zone. Furthermore, a zone of high deformation can be characterized by a vertical offset of about 40 km of the WBZ beneath the eastern Cretan Sea. This deformation zone may separate a shallower N-ward dipping slab in the west from a steeper NW-ward dipping slab in the east. In contrast to hypocentre locations, we found very weak evidence for the presence of the slab at larger depths in the P receiver functions, which may result from the strong appearance of the Moho multiples as well as eclogitization of the oceanic crust. The presence of the top of a strong low-velocity zone at about 60 km depth in the central Aegean may be related to the asthenosphere below the Aegean continental lithosphere and above the subducting slab. Thus, the Aegean mantle lithosphere seems to be 30-40 km thick, which means that its thickness increased again since the removal of the mantle lithosphere about 15 to 35 Ma ago.

  10. 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.

  11. Gravity anomalies, forearc morphology and seismicity in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassett, D.; Watts, A. B.; Das, S.

    2012-12-01

    We apply spectral averaging techniques to isolate and remove the long-wavelength large-amplitude trench-normal topographic and free-air gravity anomaly "high" and "low" associated with subduction zones. The residual grids generated illuminate the short-wavelength structure of the forearc. Systematic analysis of all subduction boundaries on Earth has enabled a classification of these grids with particular emphasis placed on topography and gravity anomalies observed in the region above the shallow seismogenic portion of the plate interface. The isostatic compensation of these anomalies is investigated using 3D calculations of the gravitational admittance and coherence. In the shallow region of the megathrust, typically within 100 km from the trench, isolated residual anomalies with amplitudes of up to 2.5 km and 125 mGal are generally interpreted as accreted/subducting relief in the form of seamounts and other bathymetric features. While most of these anomalies, which have radii < 50km, are correlated with areas of reduced seismicity, several in regions such as Japan and Java appear to have influenced the nucleation and/or propagation of large magnitude earthquakes. Long-wavelength (500 - >1000 km) trench-parallel forearc ridges with residual anomalies of up to 1.5 km and 150 mGal are identified in approximately one-third of the subduction zones analyzed. Despite great length along strike, these ridges are less than 100 km wide and several appear uncompensated. A high proportion of arc-normal structure and the truncation/morphological transition of trench-parallel forearc ridges is explained through the identification and tracking of pre-existing structure on the over-riding and subducting plates into the seismogenic portion of the plate boundary. Spatial correlations between regions with well-defined trench-parallel forearc ridges and the occurrence of large magnitude interplate earthquakes, in addition to the uncompensated state of these ridges, suggest links between the morphology of the forearc and the peak earthquake stress drop on the subduction megathrust. We present our classification of residual bathymetric and gravitational anomalies using examples from Sumatra, Kuril-Kamchatka, Mariana, Peru-Chile and the Tonga-Kermadec margin. We reassess proposed links between trench-parallel residual topography and gravity anomalies and subduction zone seismicity using global earthquake catalogs and a new compilation of published aftershock locations and distributed slip models from over 200 of the largest subduction zone earthquakes. Our results highlight the role of pre-existing structure in both the over-riding and subducting plates in modulating the along- and across-strike segmentation of subduction zones. Understanding the genesis of long-wavelength trench-parallel forearc ridges may provide further insights into links between forearc morphology, the rheology of the overriding and subducting plates and seismicity in subduction zones.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

    Amphiboles are ubiquitous minerals in the altered oceanic crust. During subduction, their breakdown is governed by continuous reactions up to eclogitic facies conditions. Amphiboles thus contribute to slab-derived fluid throughout prograde metamorphism and continuously record information about volatile exchanges occurring between the slab and the mantle wedge. However, the fate of volatile elements and especially halogens, such as F and Cl, in amphibole during subduction is poorly constrained. We studied metagabbros from three different localities in the Western Alps: the Chenaillet ophiolite, the Queyras Schistes Lustrés and the Monviso meta-ophiolitic complexes. These samples record different metamorphic conditions, from greenschist to eclogite facies, and have interacted with different lithologies (e.g. sedimentary rocks, serpentinites) from their formation at mid-oceanic ridge, up to their devolatilization during subduction. In the oceanic crust, the initial halogen budget is mostly stored in magmatic amphibole (F = 300-7000 ppm; Cl = 20-1200 ppm) or in amphibole corona (F = 100-7000 ppm; Cl = 80-2000 ppm) and titanite (F = 200-1500 ppm; Cl < 200 ppm) formed during hydrothermal seafloor alteration. It is thus the fate of these phases that govern the halogen fluxes between the crust and the overlying mantle and/or the plate interface in subduction zones. Li and B are poorly stored in the oceanic crust (< 5 ppm). In subduction zones, prograde metamorphism of metagabbros is first marked by the crystallization of glaucophane at the expense of magmatic and amphibole coronas. This episode is accompanied with a decrease of halogen concentrations in amphiboles (< 200 ppm of F and Cl) suggesting that these elements can be transferred to the mantle wedge by fluids. In the Queyras Schistes Lustrés complex, the intense deformation and the abundant devolatilization of metasedimentary rocks produce large fluid flows that promote rock chemical hybridization (metasomatic mixing with hybrid composition between metasedimentary rock and metagabbro) at the metasedimentary rock/metagabbro contacts. Such fluid/rock interactions result in a strong addition of Li in glaucophane (up to 600 ppm) whereas halogen concentrations are unaffected. At eclogite facies conditions, metagabbros display low halogens concentrations (< 20 ppm of F and < 100 ppm of Cl) relative to altered oceanic crust (F = 40-650 ppm; Cl = 40-1400 ppm) suggesting that these elements are continuously released by fluids during the first 30-80 km of subduction whatever the tectonic environment (e.g. slab, plate interface) and the considered fluid/rock interactions.

  13. An elastic plate model for interseismic deformation in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanda, Ravi V. S.; Simons, Mark

    2010-03-01

    Geodetic observations of interseismic surface deformation in the vicinity of subduction zones are frequently interpreted using simple kinematic elastic dislocation models (EDM). In this theoretical study, we develop a kinematic EDM that simulates plate subduction over the interseismic period (the elastic subducting plate model (ESPM)) having only 2 more degrees of freedom than the well-established back slip model (BSM): an elastic plate thickness and the fraction of flexural stresses due to bending at the trench that are released continuously. Unlike the BSM, in which steady state deformation in both plates is assumed to be negligible, the ESPM includes deformation in the subducting and overriding plates (owing to plate thickness), while still preserving the correct sense of convergence velocity between the subducting and overriding plates, as well as zero net steady state vertical offset between the two plates when integrated over many seismic cycles. The ESPM links elastic plate flexure processes to interseismic deformation and helps clarify under what conditions the BSM is appropriate for fitting interseismic geodetic data at convergent margins. We show that the ESPM is identical to the BSM in the limiting case of zero plate thickness, thereby providing an alternative motivation for the BSM. The ESPM also provides a consistent convention for applying the BSM to any megathrust interface geometry. Even in the case of nonnegligible plate thickness, the deformation field predicted by the ESPM reduces to that of the BSM if stresses related to plate flexure at the trench are released either continuously and completely at shallow depths during the interseismic period or deep in the subduction zone (below 100 km). However, if at least a portion of these stresses are not continuously released in the shallow portion of the subduction zone (via seismic or aseismic events), then the predicted surface velocities of these two models can differ significantly at horizontal distances from the trench equivalent to a few times the effective interseismic locking depth.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Recurrence of postseismic coastal uplift, Kuril subduction zone, Japan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kelsey, H.; Satake, K.; Sawai, Y.; Sherrod, B.; Shimokawa, K.; Shishikura, M.

    2006-01-01

    Coastal stratigraphy of eastern Hokkaido indicates that decimeters of coastal uplitt occurred repeatedly m the late Holocene. Employing radiocarbon dating and tephrochronology, we identify along a 100 km length of the Kuril subduction zone six uplift events since ???2,800 years B.P. Uplift events occur at the same frequency as unusually high tsunamis. Each coastal uplift event, which occurs on average every 500 years, is the product of decade-long post seismic deep slip on the down dip extension of the seismogenic plate boundary following an offshore multi-segment earthquake that generates unusually high tsunamis. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

  18. Geophysical evidence for the evolution of the California Inner Continental Borderland as a metamorphic core complex

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ten Brink, Uri S.; Zhang, Jie; Brocher, Thomas M.; Okaya, David A.; Klitgord, Kim D.; Fuis, Gary S.

    2000-01-01

    We use new seismic and gravity data collected during the 1994 Los Angeles Region Seismic Experiment (LARSE) to discuss the origin of the California Inner Continental Borderland (ICB) as an extended terrain possibly in a metamorphic core complex mode. The data provide detailed crustal structure of the Borderland and its transition to mainland southern California. Using tomographic inversion as well as traditional forward ray tracing to model the wide-angle seismic data, we find little or no sediments, low (?6.6 km/s) P wave velocity extending down to the crust-mantle boundary, and a thin crust (19 to 23 km thick). Coincident multichannel seismic reflection data show a reflective lower crust under Catalina Ridge. Contrary to other parts of coastal California, we do not find evidence for an underplated fossil oceanic layer at the base of the crust. Coincident gravity data suggest an abrupt increase in crustal thickness under the shelf edge, which represents the transition to the western Transverse Ranges. On the shelf the Palos Verdes Fault merges downward into a landward dipping surface which separates "basement" from low-velocity sediments, but interpretation of this surface as a detachment fault is inconclusive. The seismic velocity structure is interpreted to represent Catalina Schist rocks extending from top to bottom of the crust. This interpretation is compatible with a model for the origin of the ICB as an autochthonous formerly hot highly extended region that was filled with the exhumed metamorphic rocks. The basin and ridge topography and the protracted volcanism probably represent continued extension as a wide rift until ?13 m.y. ago. Subduction of the young and hot Monterey and Arguello microplates under the Continental Borderland, followed by rotation and translation of the western Transverse Ranges, may have provided the necessary thermomechanical conditions for this extension and crustal inflow.

  19. Background seismicity rate at subduction zones linked to slab-bending-related hydration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishikawa, Tomoaki; Ide, Satoshi

    2015-09-01

    Tectonic properties strongly control variations in seismicity among subduction zones. In particular, fluid distribution in subduction zones influences earthquake occurrence, and it varies among subduction zones due to variations in fluid sources such as hydrated oceanic plates. However, the relationship between variations in fluid distribution and variations in seismicity among subduction zones is unclear. Here we divide Earth's subduction zones into 111 regions and estimate background seismicity rates using the epidemic type aftershock sequence model. We demonstrate that background seismicity rate correlates to the amount of bending of the incoming oceanic plate, which in turn is related to the hydration of oceanic plates via slab-bending-related faults. Regions with large bending may have high-seismicity rates because a strongly hydrated oceanic plate causes high pore fluid pressure and reduces the strength of the plate interface. We suggest that variations in fluid distribution can also cause variations in seismicity in subduction zones.

  20. Elasticity of Hydrous Phases in Subduction Zones- Geophysical Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mookherjee, M.; Mainprice, D.

    2014-12-01

    Globally, subduction zones are region associated with earthquakes and volcanic activities, both involving risk to local populations. These processes are intimately related to the thermodynamic stability and instabilty of hydrous phases that are subducted with the down going slab. These phases sequestrate several wt % of water in their crystallographic structure and can account for significant proportion of the hydrogen budget of the upper mantle , transition zone and perhaps the top of the lower mantle. In order to quantify the degree of mantle hydration, we need to have a good understanding of the elastic properties of layered hydrous phases, the effects of temperature, and pressure and relate them to seismological observables, such as the velocity and its anisotropy. Using first principle simulations, we have investigated several layered hydrous phases, including the important minerals antigorite, talc, and chlorite. These results are complementary to the recent experimental Brillouin Scattering results at ambient conditions. Based on the full elastic constant tensor we note that these hydrous phases have significant shear wave anisotropy and often have unusual pressure dependence of the anisotropy. Together with elasticity data, thermodynamic predictions of phase stability and experimental plastic deformation studies it is apparent that these layered hydrous phases could account for the large delay times observed in certain subduction zone settings, such as Ryukyu trench. Acknowledgement- MM is supported by the US National Science Foundation grant (EAR-1250477). MM acknowledges computing resources (request # EAR130015) from the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), which is supported by National Science Foundation grant number OCI-1053575.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Topography and Surface Change at the Shallow Subduction Zone Near Kodiak Island, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauber, J.; Carver, G. A.; Carabajal, C. C.

    2001-12-01

    In our SRTM study we focus on a class of subduction zones that are responsible for the largest earthquakes as well as dramatic topography; i.e., ones in which the initial dip of the downgoing oceanic plate is shallow (<= 15 to depths of 30-40 km) and the strain regime in the forearc region of the continental overriding plate is compressional. Here we report initial results from the Kodiak Islands, Alaska portion of the study. Specifically, we are using moderate and high resolution topographic data, along with SRTM and Landsat-7 image data, to characterize the rugged topography, to identify fold and thrust faults and to delineate the location and extent of Late Pleistocene and Holocene marine terraces across the Kodiak Islands of the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone. Additionally, kinematic GPS observations were made along several of the roads of northeastern Kodiak and across 3 sets of marine terraces. These elevation profiles will be compared with the SRTM derived digital elevation model (DEM) to evaluate the resolution of the preliminary product. The existing DEM's of the complete Kodiak Island region are of DTED Level 1 resolution. We have used these data to create a preliminary three-dimensional perspective view with a Landsat-7 image overlay. From these data we identified a number of faults and we made field observations that indicate Holocene offsets on several within a fold and thrust belt near the northeast coast of the Kodiak Islands. Our overall results of this study will be used to examine the relationship between attributes of the subduction zone (such as dip and age of downgoing slab, width of main thrust zone and known features within downgoing plate) and geophysical and geological observations and derived parameters. These include: (1) short-term deformation rates estimated from geodetic measurements (1993-2001) that are associated with the seismic cycle, (2) uplift rates that can be estimated from dating of the high-resolution elevation profiles of late-Holocene marine terraces and (3) topographic features.

  4. Fore- and Back-Arc Structures Along the Hikurangi-Kermadec Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scherwath, M.; Kopp, H.; Flueh, E. R.; Henrys, S. A.; Sutherland, R.

    2009-04-01

    The Hikurangi-Kermadec subduction zone northeast of New Zealand represents an ideal target to study lateral variations of subduction zone processes. The incoming Pacific plate changes from being a large igneous province, called the Hikurangi Plateau, in the south to normal oceanic plate north of the Rapuhia Scarp. The overriding Australian plate is continental in the south, forming the North Island of New Zealand, and changes to an island arc in the north. Further lateral variability exists in changes in volcanic and hydro-thermal activity, transitions from accretion to subduction erosion, backarc spreading and rifting, and is accompanied by northward increasing seismicity. As part of the MANGO project (Marine Geoscientific Investigations on the Input and Output of the Kermadec Subduction Zone), four marine geophysical transects of largely seismic reflection and refraction data provide constraints on the upper lithospheric structures across the Hikurangi-Kermadec Trench between 29-38 degrees South. On MANGO profile 1 in the south, the initially shallow subduction of the incoming plateau coincides with crustal underplating beneath the East Cape ridge. To the west lies the 100 km wide and over 10 km deep Raukumara Basin. Seismic velocities of the upper arc mantle are around 8 km/s and are considered normal. In contrast, on MANGO profile 4, about 1000 km to the north around the volcanically active Raoul Island, the incoming oceanic crust appears to bend considerably steeper and thus causes a 50 km narrower forearc with a smaller forearc basin. Furthermore, the upper mantle velocities in both plates are relatively low (7.4-7.7 km/s), likely indicating strong bending related deformation of the incoming plate and thermal activity within the arc possibly due to spreading. Here, arc volcanism is relatively active, with many large volcanoes directly on the ridge. The central two transects MANGO 2 and 3, though without data coverage of the structure of the incoming plate, are more similar to MANGO 4. The arc regions appear to be strongly affected by the activity of the arc. The arc crust of the northern MANGO 3 becomes significantly thinner in the backarc region due to extension, and much reduced volcanism behind the ridge. The structures on MANGO 2, on the other hand, cover strong and densely spaced thermal activity from the adjacent arc volcanism, possibly linked to a recent, fluid-rich passage of the Hikurangi Plateau.

  5. Modeled Temperatures and Fluid Source Distributions for the Mexico Subduction Zone: Effects of Hydrothermal Cooling and Implications for Plate Boundary Seismic Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perry, M. R.; Spinelli, G. A.; Wada, I.

    2014-12-01

    In subduction zones, spatial variations in pore fluid pressure are hypothesized to control the distribution and nature of slip behavior (e.g., "normal" earthquakes, slow slip events, non-volcanic tremor, very low frequency earthquakes) on the plate boundary fault. A primary control on the pore fluid pressure distribution in subduction zones is the distribution of fluid release from hydrous minerals in the subducting sediment and rock. The distributions of these diagenetic and metamorphic fluid sources are controlled by the pressure-temperature paths that the subducting material follows. Thus, constraining subduction zone thermal structure is required to inform conceptual models of seismic behavior. Here, we present results of thermal models for the Mexico subduction zone, a system that has received recent attention due to observations of slow-slip events and non-volcanic tremor. We model temperatures in five margin-perpendicular transects from 96 ?W to 104 ?W. In each transect, we examine the potential thermal effects of vigorous fluid circulation in a high permeability aquifer within the basaltic basement of the oceanic crust. In the transect at 100?W, hydrothermal circulation cools the subducting material by up to 140 ?C, shifting peak slab dehydration landward by ~100 km relative to previous estimates from models that do not include the effects of fluid circulation. The age of the subducting plate in the trench increases from ~3 Ma at 104 ?W to ~18 Ma at 96 ?W; hydrothermal circulation redistributes the most heat (and cools the system the most) where the subducting plate is youngest. For systems with <20 Ma subducting lithosphere, hydrothermal circulation in oceanic crust should be considered in estimating subduction zone temperatures and fluid source distributions.

  6. Enrichment of trace elements in garnet amphibolites from a paleo-subduction zone: Catalina Schist, southern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sorensen, S. S.; Grossman, J. N.

    1989-12-01

    The abundance, P- T stability, solubility, and element-partitioning behavior of minerals such as rutile, garnet, sphene, apatite, zircon, zoisite, and allanite are critical variables in models for mass transfer from the slab to the mantle wedge in deep regions of subduction zones. The influence of these minerals on the composition of subduction-related magmas has been inferred (and disputed) from inverse modelling of the geochemistry of island-arc basalt, or by experiment. Although direct samples of the dehydration + partial-melting region of a mature subduction zone have not been reported from subduction complexes, garnet amphibolites from melanges of circumpacific and Caribbean blueschist terranes reflect high T (>600°C) conditions in shallower regions. Such rocks record geochemical processes that affected deep-seated, high- T portions of paleo-subduction zones. In the Catalina Schist, a subduction-zone metamorphic terrane of southern California, metasomatized and migmatitic garnet amphibolites occur as blocks in a matrix of meta-ultramafic rocks. This mafic and ultramafic complex may represent either slab-derived material accreted to the mantle wedge of a nascent subduction zone or a portion of a shear zone closely related to the slab-mantle wedge contact, or both. The trace-element geochemistry of the complex and the distribution of trace elements among the minerals of garnet amphibolites were studied by INAA, XRF, electron microprobe, and SEM. In order of increasing alteration from a probable metabasalt protolith, three common types of garnet amphibolite blocks in the Catalina Schist are: (1) non-migmatitic, clinopyroxene-bearing blocks, which are compositionally similar to MORB that has lost an albite component; (2) garnet-amphibolite blocks, which have rinds that reflect local interaction between metabasite, metaperidotite, and fluid; and (3) migmatites that are extremely enriched in Th, HFSE, LREE, and other trace elements. These trace-element enrichments are mineralogically controlled by rutile, garnet, sphene, apatite, zircon, zoisite, and allanite. Alkali and alkaline earth elements are much less enriched in the solid assemblage, and thus appear to be decoupled from the other elements in the inferred metasomatic process(es). The compositions of migmatitic garnet amphibolite blocks seem to complement that of "average" island-arc tholeiite. Trace-element metasomatism reflects fluid-solid, rather than melt-solid, interaction. The metasomatic effects indicate that H 2O-rich fluid, perhaps with a significant component of Na-Al silicate and alkalis, carried Th, U, Sr, REE, and HFSE. Fractionations of LREE in migmatites resemble those of migmatitic metasedimentary rocks underlying the mafic and ultramafic complex. "Exotic" LREE deposited in allanite in migmatites could have been derived from fluids in equilibrium with subducted sediment. If the paleo-subduction zone represented by the mafic and ultramafic complex of the Catalina Schist had continued its thermal and fluid evolution, a selvage of similarly enriched rocks might have been generated along the slab-mantle wedge contact between ~30 and 85 km depth. Rocks affected by "subduction-zone metasomatism," although rarely recognized at the surface, could be volumetrically significant products of the initiation of subduction and may prove to be geochemical probes of convergent margins that approach the significance of xenoliths in the study of other magmatic environments.

  7. Serpent: Magnetic signatures of serpentinized mantle and mesoscale oceanic variability along the Alaska/Aleutian subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purucker, Michael; Serpent Team

    2010-05-01

    NASA recently solicited suborbital missions as a part of its new Earth Venture program element. These missions are designed as complete PI-led investigations to conduct innovative, integrated, hypothesis or scientific question driven approaches to pressing questions in Earth System science. The missions should require sustained observations (<5 years) and significant resources (<30 million USD). The submitted mission proposals have been under evaluation since last November, and NASA is scheduled to make a decision in April. We, a team led by Raytheon's Photon Research Associates, propose to carry out a suborbital magnetic survey of the Aleutian subduction zone using NASA's Global Hawk to test the magnetic serpentinite hypothesis. This hypothesis states that dewatering of the descending slab within subduction zones produces an observable static magnetic signature through the formation of serpentinite in the overriding mantle. This signature may serve as a predictor of the location of large megathrust earthquakes and their associated tsunamis. Magnetic field measurements from 20 km (sub-orbital) altitude are essential to the testing of this hypothesis; analysis shows orbital and/or near-surface measurements are not likely to provide sufficient sensitivity and uniform calibration to confirm or reject the hypothesis, nor to consistently map its presence around the world. Static and dynamic magnetic signatures from the motion of seawater in the earth's magnetic field have the potential to confound an evaluation of the magnetic serpentinite hypothesis. Through a combination of modeling and exact repeat surveys over the subduction zone, spaced weeks to as much as six months apart, we can study the magnetic signature of the motion that characterizes the mesoscale oceanic circulation in order to develop the best possible corrections for lithospheric imaging, and elucidating the intrinsic and unique oceanic information content in the magnetic fields for the first time ever. The role of water in subduction zones, and in the overlying ocean, can be traced by sustained suborbital observations of the magnetic field. At critical depths of 40 to 50 km, subducting ocean crust goes through important metamorphic changes that release large amounts of water into overriding mantle rocks. Introduction of water into the mantle produces serpentinite, a highly magnetic, low-density rock. Thermal models indicate that, in many of the world's subduction zones, this part of the mantle is cooler than the Curie temperature of magnetite, the most important magnetic mineral in serpentinite, and thus large volumes of mantle in subduction-margin settings should be magnetic. Indeed, analysis of magnetic data from some subduction zones indicates that magnetic mantle can be detected in long-wavelength magnetic anomalies. The presence of serpentinite in subduction margins has two important links to large within-slab and giant megathrust earthquakes, and associated tsunamis. First, release of water from the subducting slab is thought to embrittle the slab, thereby promoting within-slab earthquakes (M 7-8). Thus, we expect to see a spatial association between this type of earthquake and mantle magnetic anomalies. Second, in cool subduction margins, the down-dip limit of megathrust earthquakes (M 8.0-9.6) is controlled by the slab's first encounter with serpentinized mantle. Again, we expect to see a spatial association between these devastating earthquakes and magnetic anomalies. The magnetic serpentinite hypothesis can be tested by comparison to free-air gravity, geologic, topographic, and bathymetric data of comparable resolution. Significant static and dynamic magnetic fields also originate as a consequence of oceanic flow in electrically conducting ocean water above the subduction zone. Although these signals are of much lower amplitude than the magnetic field associated with serpentinite, they can have significant power at short spatial scales, and thus have the potential to confound estimated magnetic source depths that rely on inferences from the

  8. Earthquake mechanisms and active tectonics of the Hellenic subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaw, Beth; Jackson, James

    2010-05-01

    We use improved focal mechanisms and centroid depth estimates of earthquakes, combined with GPS velocities, to examine the tectonics of the Hellenic subduction zone, and in particular the processes occurring at both ends of the Hellenic Arc. Nubia-Aegean convergence is accommodated by shallowly dipping thrust-faulting along the subduction-zone interface, as well as by steeper splay faults in the overriding material. From a comparison of observed and expected seismic moment release over the last 100 yr, combined with existing knowledge of the longer-term documented historical record, we confirm earlier suggestions that most (80 per cent) of this convergence is accommodated aseismically, that is, that the subduction zone is uncoupled. This conclusion is robust, even allowing for rare very large earthquakes on splay faults, such as that of AD 365, and also allowing for the contribution of small earthquakes. The downgoing Nubian plate deforms by arc-parallel contraction at all depths, from 200 km seaward of Crete to at least 100 km within the subducting slab. Extensional (T) axes of earthquakes are aligned downdip within the descending slab suggesting that, even if the aseismic prolongation of the slab has reached the 670 km mantle discontinuity, it does not transmit stresses to shallower depths. Shallow thrust-faulting earthquakes on the subduction interface show a divergence of slip vectors round the arc, and GPS measurements show that this is accommodated mainly by E-W extension on normal faults in the overriding Aegean material. The eastern end of the subduction zone, south of Rhodes, displays distributed deformation in the overriding material, including a mixture of strike-slip and splay-thrust faulting, and probably involves rotations about a vertical axes. Here slip on the interface itself is by thrust faulting with slip vectors oblique to the arc but parallel to the overall Nubia-Aegean convergence: there is no evidence for slip-partitioning in the traditional sense. In the west, the subduction zone terminates in a distributed zone of parallel NE-SW strike-slip faults, of which the most prominent is the Kefalonia Transform Fault (KTF). A flexural gravity anomaly confirms that the deep bathymetric escarpment of the KTF is a lateral ramp, formed as the Ionian islands are emplaced SW onto the Apulian lithosphere, and enhanced by minor thrust faulting with slip vectors perpendicular to the scarp. Distributed parallel strike-slip faults both SW and NE of mainland central Greece terminate in E-W graben in central Greece, which accommodate the overall NE-SW shear by clockwise block rotation. Central Greece therefore acts as a relay zone between the strike-slip faulting of the NE Aegean and the Ionian Islands-western Peloponnese.

  9. Massive barite deposits in the convergent margin off Peru: Implications for fluid circulation within subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aquilina, L.; Dia, A. N.; Boulgue, J.; Bourgois, J.; Fouillac, A. M.

    1997-03-01

    The convergent margin of Peru, characterized by an extensional tectonic regime and the lack of a well-developed accretionary prism, has been investigated by a deep-sea submersible during the Nautiperc cruise (March-April, 1991). This allowed the collection of fluid samples, soft sediments, and barite concretions in the vicinity of biological communities associated with fluid steps. Major and trace element contents as well as strontium, oxygen, hydrogen, and sulfur isotopic compositions have been measured on fluid and/or solid samples to constrain the nature and origin of fluid circulating in this extensional tectonic context. Chemical variations with respect to bottom seawater composition have been recorded in the fluid samples and suggest the presence of a nonlocal component in the fluid expelled at the seafloor. The major variations correspond to elevations of the Cl, Na, and the Ba contents as well as the 87Sr /86Sr ratios. This is interpreted as the expulsion of a radiogenic, continent-related (basinal brine and/or meteoric water) fluid. Massive barite concretions have been collected at the seafloor in two areas of major fluid venting. The radiogenic signature (strontium isotopic composition) of the barite concretions implies that they are related to the nonlocal deep fluid component identified in the fluid samples. Furthermore, it is shown that these barite deposits testify to a hot, short, and intensive fluid circulation event. Compared to subduction zones that exhibit venting fluid with a strong oceanic water signature, the nature and origin of venting fluid along the subduction zone of Peru are different. The extensional tectonic regime of the Peru continental margin, locally associated with a dense E-W trending fault network, is an agent which may help to drain continent-related fluid as deep as the subduction scarp at the trench-slope boundary.

  10. Monochromatic body waves excited by great subduction zone earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ihml, Pierre F.; Madariaga, Ral

    Large quasi-monochromatic body waves were excited by the 1995 Chile Mw=8.1 and by the 1994 Kurile Mw=8.3 events. They are observed on vertical/radial component seismograms following the direct P and Pdiff arrivals, at all azimuths. We devise a slant stack algorithm to characterize the source of the oscillations. This technique aims at locating near-source isotropic scatterers using broadband data from global networks. For both events, we find that the oscillations emanate from the trench. We show that these monochromatic waves are due to localized oscillations of the water column. Their period corresponds to the gravest ID mode of a water layer for vertically traveling compressional waves. We suggest that these monochromatic body waves may yield additional constraints on the source process of great subduction zone earthquakes.

  11. Interplate coupling along segments of the Central America Subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarifi, Zoya; Raeesi, Mohammad; Atakan, Kuvvet

    2013-04-01

    We analyzed 5 major earthquakes that occurred during 1992 to 2012 in a segment of the Central America subduction zone along the coasts of Guatemala and El Salvador. These events include 1992/09/02 (Mw 7.7), 1993/09/10 (Mw 7.2), 2001/01/13 (Mw 7.7), 2012/08/27 (Mw 7.3) and 2012/11/07 (Mw 7.3). We derived the asperities of these earthquakes using two completely independent methods of body-waveform inversion and a gravity-derived measure, Trench Parallel Bouguer Anomaly (TPBA). Using TPBA we discuss the status of interplate coupling along the segment and interpret each of the major earthquakes as a piece of the governing rupture process. We delineate the critical unbroken asperities along the segment that will likely generate great earthquake(s) in the future.

  12. Plate detachment, asthenosphere upwelling, and topography across subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gvirtzman, Zohar; Nur, Amos

    1999-06-01

    This study analyzes the topography across subduction zones, considering the separate contributions of the crust and the mantle lithosphere to the observed surface elevation. We have found a transition from a region where the overriding plate is coupled to the descending slab and pulled down along with it to a region where the overriding plate floats freely on the asthenosphere. When the subducting slab retreats oceanward rapidly this transition is abrupt, and the edge of the overriding plate is uplifted. We propose that at some point during rapid slab rollback the overriding plate detaches and rebounds like a boat released from its keel. This event is associated with suction of asthenospheric material into the gap that is opened between the plates up to the base of the crust. As a result, the forearc uplifts, and magmatism in the arc increases.

  13. Late holocene tectonics and paleoseismicity, southern cascadia subduction zone.

    PubMed

    Clarke, S H; Carver, G A

    1992-01-10

    Holocene deformation indicative of large subduction-zone earthquakes has occurred on two large thrust fault systems in the Humboldt Bay region of northern California. Displaced stratigraphic markers record three offsets of 5 to 7 meters each on the Little Salmon fault during the past 1700 years. Smaller and less frequent Holocene displacements have occurred in the Mad River fault zone. Elsewhere, as many as five episodes of sudden subsidence of marsh peats and fossil forests and uplift of marine terraces are recorded. Carbon-14 dates suggest that the faulting, subsidence, and uplift events were synchronous. Relations between magnitude and various fault-offset parameters indicate that earthquakes accompanying displacements on the Little Salmon fault had magnitudes of at least 7.6 to 7.8. More likely this faulting accompanied rupture of the boundary between the Gorda and North American plates, and magnitudes were about 8.4 or greater. PMID:17756070

  14. Late Holocene tectonics and paleoseismicity, southern Cascadia subduction zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clarke, S.H., Jr.; Carver, G.A.

    1992-01-01

    Holocene deformation indicative of large subduction-zone earthquakes has occurred on two large thrust fault systems in the Humboldt Bay region of northern California. Displaced stratigraphic markers record three offsets of 5 to 7 meters each on the Little Salmon fault during the past 1700 years. Smaller and less frequent Holocene displacements have occurred in the Mad River fault zone. Elsewhere, as many as five episodes of sudden subsidence of marsh peats and fossil forests and uplift of marine terraces are recorded. Carbon-14 dates suggest that the faulting, subsidence, and uplift events were synchronous. Relations between magnitude and various fault-offset parameters indicate that earthquakes accompanying displacements on the Little Salmon fault had magnitudes of at least 7.6 to 7.8. More likely this faulting accompanied rupture of the boundary between the Gorda and North American plates, and magnitudes were about 8.4 or greater.

  15. Boron Isotope Evidence for Shallow Fluid Transfer Across Subduction Zones by Serpentinized Mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scambelluri, M.; Tonarini, S.; Agostini, S.; Canna, E.

    2012-12-01

    Boron Isotope Evidence for Shallow Fluid Transfer Across Subduction Zones by Serpentinized Mantle M. Scambelluri (1), S. Tonarini (2), S. Agostini (2), E. Canna (1) (1) Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Ambiente e vita, University of Genova, Italy (2) Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse-CNR, Pisa, Italy In subduction zones, fluid-mediated chemical exchange between slabs and mantle dictates volatile and incompatible element cycles and influences arc magmatism. Outstanding issues concern the sources of water for arc magmas and its slab-to-mantle wedge transport. Does it occur by slab dehydration beneath arc fronts, or by hydration of fore-arc mantle and subsequent subduction of the hydrated mantle? So far, the deep slab dehydration hypothesis had strong support, but the hydrated mantle wedge idea is advancing supported by studies of fluid-mobile elements in serpentinized wedge peridotites and their subducted high-pressure (HP) equivalents. Serpentinites are volatile and fluid-mobile element reservoirs for subduction: their dehydration causes large fluid and element flux to the mantle.However, direct evidence for their key role in arc magmatism and identification of dehydration environments has been elusive and boron isotopes can trace the process. Until recently, the altered oceanic crust (AOC) was considered the 11B reservoir for arcs, which largely display positive ?11B. However, shallow slab dehydration transfers 11B to the fore-arc mantle and leaves the residual AOC very depleted in 11B below arcs. Here we present high positive ?11B of HP serpentinized peridotites from Erro Tobbio (Ligurian Alps), recording subduction metamorphism from hydration at low-grade to eclogite-facies dehydration. We show a connection among serpentinite dehydration, release of 11B-rich fluids and arc magmatism. The dataset is completed by B isotope data on other HP Alpine serpentinites from Liguria and Lanzo Massif. In general, the ?11B of these rocks is heavy (16 to + 30 permil). No significant B loss and 11B fractionation occurs with burial. Their B and 11B abundance shows that high budgets acquired during shallow hydration are transferred to HP fluids, providing the heavy-boron component requested for arcs. The B compositions of Erro-Tobbio are unexpected for slabs, deputed to loose B and 11B during dehydration: its isotopic composition can be achieved diluting in the mantle shallow subduction-fluids (30 km). The serpentinizing fluids and the fluid-transfer mechanism in Erro-Tobbio are clarified integrating B with O-H and Sr isotopes. Low ?D (-102permil), high ?18O (8permil) of early serpentinites suggest low-temperature hydration by metamorphic fluids. 87Sr/86Sr (0.7044 to 0.7065) is lower than oceanic serpentinites formed from seawater. We conclude that alteration was distant from mid-ocean ridges and occurred at the slab-mantle interface or in forearc environments. We thus provide evidence for delivery of water and 11B at sub-arcs by serpentinized mantle altered by subduction-fluid infiltration atop of the slab since the early stages of burial, witnessing shallow fluid transfer across the subduction zone. Similarity of the B composition of Erro Tobbio with other Alpine serpentinized peridotites suggests that these materials might have spent much of their subduction lifetime at the plate interface, fed by B and 11Bich fluids uprising from the slab.

  16. When Boundary Layers Collide: Plumes v. Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moresi, L. N.; Betts, P. G.; Miller, M. S.; Willis, D.; O'Driscoll, L.

    2014-12-01

    Many subduction zones retreat while hotspots remain sufficiently stable in the mantle to provide an approximate reference frame. As a consequence, the mantle can be thought of as an unusual convecting system which self-organises to promote frequent collisions of downgoing material with upwellings. We present three 3D numerical models of subduction where buoyant material from a plume head and an associated ocean-island chain or plateau produce flat slab subduction and deformation of the over-riding plate. We observe transient instabilities of the convergent margin including: contorted trench geometry; trench migration parallel with the plate margin; folding of the subducting slab and orocline development at the convergent margin; and transfer of the plateau to the overriding plate. The presence of plume material beneath the oceanic plateau causes flat subduction above the plume, resulting in a "bowed" shaped subducting slab. In the absence of a plateau at the surface, the slab can remain uncoupled from the over-riding plate during very shallow subduction and hence there is very little shortening at the surface or advance of the plate boundary. In plateau-only models, plateau accretion at the edge of the overriding plate results in trench migration around the edge of the plateau before subduction re-establishes directly behind the trailing edge of the plateau. The plateau shortens during accretion and some plateau material subducts. In a plateau-plus-plume model, accretion is associated with rapid trench advance as the flat slab drives the plateau into the margin. This indentation stops once a new convergent boundary forms close to the original trench location. A slab window formed beneath the accreted plateau allows plume material to flow from beneath the subducting plate to the underside of the overriding plate. In all of these models the subduction zone maintains a relatively stable configuration away from the buoyancy anomalies within the downgoing plate. The models provide a dynamic context for plateau and plume accretion in accretionary orogenic systems.

  17. Geodetic Constraints on Fault Coupling on the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCaffrey, R.; Qamar, A.; Williams, C.; Ning, Z.; Wallenberger, P.; King, R. W.

    2002-12-01

    The degree of stick-slip coupling on the Cascadia subduction zone and the motions of the surrounding plates, large and small, are inferred by simultaneous inversion of GPS velocities, surface tilt rates, surface uplift rates, surface horizontal strain rates, spreading rates, slip vectors, and transform fault azimuths. Motion of the Pacific plate relative to North America (NA) is fixed and we solve for the rotations of the Juan de Fuca (JdF) plate and Oregon and Washington blocks relative to North America. Fault locking is estimated using 3D elastic halfspace dislocation models. Because the coastal regions of Oregon and Washington have a northward component of motion relative to North America, the motion of JdF relative to the coast is much less oblique and slightly slower than it is relative to NA. Along the Cascadia subduction zone, the slip deficit (the rate of fault slip not taken up by steady slip), also known as the 'coupled' part of the fault, appears to be largely offshore. Only at about 44.5N does the coupled zone appear to extend beneath the onshore section of the forearc. The slip deficit increases northward from about 15 mm/a at 42N (southern Oregon) to 45 mm/a at 48N (northern Washington). This increase is in part due to a factor-of-two northward increase in the relative motion between the Juan de Fuca plate and the coast and in part due to a northward increase in the plate coupling factor. In the current models, the offshore coupled zone is only partially (50%) locked while in the north the offshore section of the thrust is fully locked. The change from partial to full locking occurs between 45N and 46N.

  18. 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.

  19. Great earthquakes of variable magnitude at the Cascadia subduction zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, A.R.; Kelsey, H.M.; Witter, R.C.

    2006-01-01

    Comparison of histories of great earthquakes and accompanying tsunamis at eight coastal sites suggests plate-boundary ruptures of varying length, implying great earthquakes of variable magnitude at the Cascadia subduction zone. Inference of rupture length relies on degree of overlap on radiocarbon age ranges for earthquakes and tsunamis, and relative amounts of coseismic subsidence and heights of tsunamis. Written records of a tsunami in Japan provide the most conclusive evidence for rupture of much of the plate boundary during the earthquake of 26 January 1700. Cascadia stratigraphic evidence dating from about 1600??cal yr B.P., similar to that for the 1700 earthquake, implies a similarly long rupture with substantial subsidence and a high tsunami. Correlations are consistent with other long ruptures about 1350??cal yr B.P., 2500??cal yr B.P., 3400??cal yr B.P., 3800??cal yr B.P., 4400??cal yr B.P., and 4900??cal yr B.P. A rupture about 700-1100??cal yr B.P. was limited to the northern and central parts of the subduction zone, and a northern rupture about 2900??cal yr B.P. may have been similarly limited. Times of probable short ruptures in southern Cascadia include about 1100??cal yr B.P., 1700??cal yr B.P., 3200??cal yr B.P., 4200??cal yr B.P., 4600??cal yr B.P., and 4700??cal yr B.P. Rupture patterns suggest that the plate boundary in northern Cascadia usually breaks in long ruptures during the greatest earthquakes. Ruptures in southernmost Cascadia vary in length and recurrence intervals more than ruptures in northern Cascadia.

  20. High-pressure amphibolite facies dynamic metamorphism and the Mesozoic tectonic evolution of an ancient continental margin, east- central Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dusel-Bacon, C.; Hansen, V.L.; Scala, J.A.

    1995-01-01

    Ductilely deformed amphibolite facies tectonites comprise two adjacent terranes in east-central Alaska: the northern, structurally higher Taylor Mountain terrane and the southern, structurally lower Lake George subterrane of the Yukon-Tanana terrane. The pressure, temperature, kinematic and age data are interpreted to indicate that the metamorphism of the Taylor Mountain terrane and Lake George subterrane took place during different phases of a latest Palaeozoic through early Mesozoic shortening episode resulting from closure of an ocean basin now represented by klippen of the Seventymile-Slide Mountain terrane. High- to intermediate-pressure metamorphism of the Taylor Mountain terrane took place within a SW-dipping (present-day coordinates) subduction system. High- to intermediate-pressure metamorphism of the Lake George subterrane and the structural contact zone occurred during NW-directed overthrusting of the Taylor Mountain, Seventymile-Slide Mountain and Nisutlin terranes, and imbrication of the continental margin in Jurassic time. -from Authors

  1. Three-dimensional electrical resistivity image of the South-Central Chilean subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kapinos, Gerhard; Montahaei, Mansoureh; Meqbel, Naser; Brasse, Heinrich

    2016-01-01

    Based on isotropic 3-D inversion, we re-interpret long-period magnetotelluric data collected across the geotectonic structures of the South-Central Chilean continental margin at latitudes 38°-41°S and summarize results of long-period magnetotelluric (MT) investigations performed between 2000 and 2005. The new 3-D conductivity image of the South-Central Chilean subduction zone basically confirms former 2-D inversion models along three profiles and complete the previous results. The models show good electrical conductors in the tip of the continental crustal beneath the Pacific Ocean, the frequently observed forearc conductor at mid-crustal levels, a highly-conductive zone at similar levels slightly offset from the volcanic arc and a - not well-resolved - conductor in the Argentinian backarc. The subducted Nazca Plate generally appears as a resistive but discontinuous feature. Unlike before, we are now able to resolve upper crustal conductors (interpreted as magma reservoirs) beneath active Lonquimay, Villarrica, and Llaima volcanoes which were obscured in 2-D inversion. Data fit is rather satisfactory but not perfect; we attribute this to large-scale crustal anisotropy particularly beneath the Coastal Cordillera, which we cannot include into our solution for the time being.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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, and whether or not sediments or altered basaltic crust can melt. These, in turn, govern element recycling through the arc region and beyond. Current thinking about prograde metamorphism and thermal structure of the slab is very much in flux; see Schmidt and Poli (Chapter 3.17) for a more complete discussion.

  5. 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.

  6. Sublithospheric Triggers for Episodic Silicic Magmatism in Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerya, T.; Vogt, K.; Schubert, M.

    2014-12-01

    The melt source and ascent mechanisms for crustal-scale silicic magmatism in subduction zones remain a matter of debate. Recent petrological-thermo-mechanical numerical experiments suggest that important physical controls of this process can be of sublithospheric origin. Firstly, deep sources of silicic magma can be related to episodic development of positively buoyant diapiric structures in the mantle wedge originated from deeply subducted rock mélanges (Gerya and Yuen, 2003; Castro and Gerya, 2008). Partial melting of these rapidly ascending lithologically mixed structures can produce silicic magmas with a relatively constant major element composition and variable time-dependent isotopic ratios inherited from the mélange (Vogt et al., 2013). Secondly, episodic injections of subduction-related mantle-derived mafic magmas into a partially molten hot zone of the arc lower crust can drive ascents of pre-existing felsic crustal magmas toward upper crustal levels. The injection of mafic magma induces overpressure in the lower crustal magma reservoir, which increases crustal stresses and triggers development of brittle/plastic fracture zones serving as conduits for the rapid episodic ascent of felsic magmas (Shubert et al., 2013). Our numerical results thus imply that subduction-related sublithospheric magma intrusions into the lower arc crust may both be the prime source for the generation of silicic magmas and the major physical driving mechanism for their episodic ascent toward upper crustal levels. References:Castro, A., and Gerya, T.V., 2008. Magmatic implications of mantle wedge plumes: experimental study. Lithos 103, 138-148. Gerya, T.V., and Yuen, D.A., 2003. Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities from hydration and melting propel "cold plumes" at subduction zones. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 212, 47-62.Schubert, M., Driesner, T., Gerya, T.V., Ulmer, P., 2013. Mafic injection as a trigger for felsic magmatism: A numerical study. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 14, 1910-1928.Vogt, K., Castro, A., and Gerya, T., 2013. Numerical modeling of geochemical variations cause by crustal relamination. Geochemestry Geophysics Geosystems 14, 470-487.

  7. Stability and dynamics of serpentinite layer in subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilairet, Nadege; Reynard, Bruno

    2009-02-01

    The hydrous phyllosilicate serpentines have a strong influence on subduction zone dynamics because of their high water content and low strength at shallow and intermediate depths. In the absence of data, Newtonian rheology of serpentinites has been assumed in numerical models yet experimental data show that serpentine rheology is best described by a power law rheology recently determined in subduction zone conditions [Hilairet, N., et al., 2007. High-pressure creep of serpentine, interseismic deformation, and initiation of subduction. Science, 318(5858): 1910-1913]. Using a simple 1D model of a serpentinized channel and - as opposed to previous models - in this power law rheology, we examine the influence of channel thickness, temperature and subduction angle on serpentine flow driven by density contrast (serpentinization degree) with the surroundings. At temperatures of 200-500 °C relevant to intermediate depths a fully serpentinized channel is unlikely to be thicker than 2-3 km. For channel thicknesses of 2 km upward velocities are comparable to those using a constant viscosity of 10 18 Pa s. The velocity profile using power law rheology shows shear zones at the edges of the channel and a low strain rate region at its centre consistent with the frequent observation of weakly deformed HP-rocks. Upward velocities estimated for channels 1 to 3 km thick are comparable to the serpentinization rates for maximum estimates of fluid velocities within shear zones in the literature. Competition between the upward flow and serpentinization may lead to intermittent behavior with alternating growth periods and thinning by exhumation. At shallower levels the thickness allowed for a channel may be up to ~ 8-10 km if the rheology has a higher dependence on stress. We therefore propose that the exhumation of HP oceanic units in serpentinite channels is organized in two levels, the deepest and fastest motion being driven by density contrast with the surrounding mantle and the shallowest circulation being driven by forced return flow. The thicknesses estimated here for serpentinized layers at intermediated depths are similar to the precision of seismic studies. The deepest serpentinite channel may thus be difficult to detect by seismic methods, but it will have a strong influence on the mechanical coupling between the slab and mantle wedge.

  8. 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.; Moni, 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 Maulon 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.

  9. Modeling the effects of 3-D slab geometry and oblique subduction on subduction zone thermal structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wada, I.; Wang, K.; He, J.

    2013-12-01

    In this study, we revisit the effects of along-strike variation in slab geometry and oblique subduction on subduction zone thermal structures. Along-strike variations in slab dip cause changes in the descending rate of the slab and generate trench-parallel pressure gradients that drive trench-parallel mantle flow (e.g., Kneller and van Keken, 2007). Oblique subduction also drives trench-parallel mantle flow. In this study, we use a finite element code PGCtherm3D and examine a range of generic subduction geometries and parameters to investigate the effects of the above two factors. This exercise is part of foundational work towards developing detailed 3-D thermal models for NE Japan, Nankai, and Cascadia to better constrain their 3-D thermal structures and to understand the role of temperature in controlling metamorphic, seismogenic, and volcanic processes. The 3-D geometry of the subducting slabs in the forearc and arc regions are well delineated at these three subduction zones. Further, relatively large compilations of surface heat flow data at these subduction zones make them excellent candidates for this study. At NE Japan, a megathrust earthquake occurred on March 11, 2011; at Nankai and Cascadia, there has been a great effort to constrain the scale of the next subduction thrust earthquake for the purpose of disaster prevention. Temperature influences the slip behavior of subduction faults by (1) affecting the rheology of the interface material and (2) controlling dehydration reactions, which can lead to elevated pore fluid pressure. Beyond the depths of subduction thrust earthquakes, the thermal structure is affected strongly by the pattern of mantle wedge flow. This flow is driven by viscous coupling between the subducting slab and the overriding mantle, and it brings in hot flowing mantle into the wedge. The trench-ward (up-dip) extent of the slab-mantle coupling is thus a key factor that controls the thermal structure. Slab-mantle decoupling at shallow depths causes mantle stagnation and a cool condition, which allows serpentinization to occur, whereas coupling at greater depths drives hot flowing mantle, providing the thermal condition required for melt generation in the mantle wedge. The flowing mantle also causes rapid heating of the subducting slab and affects the occurrence of intraslab earthquakes. In the generic model calculations in the study, we also investigate the effect of local fluctuations in the depth of decoupling-coupling transition on the 3-D mantle wedge flow pattern and thermal structure. Kneller, E.A., and P.E. van Keken (2008), Effect of three-dimensional slab geometry on deformation in the mantle wedge: Implications for shear wave anisotropy, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 9, Q01003, doi:10.1029/2007GC001677.

  10. 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.

  11. Slab melting versus slab dehydration in subduction-zone magmatism.

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-17

    The second critical endpoint in the basalt-H(2)O system was directly determined by a high-pressure and high-temperature X-ray radiography technique. We found that the second critical endpoint occurs at around 3.4 GPa and 770 °C (corresponding to a depth of approximately 100 km in a subducting slab), which is much shallower than the previously estimated conditions. Our results indicate that the melting temperature of the subducting oceanic crust can no longer be defined beyond this critical condition and that the fluid released from subducting oceanic crust at depths greater than 100 km under volcanic arcs is supercritical fluid rather than aqueous fluid and/or hydrous melts. The position of the second critical endpoint explains why there is a limitation to the slab depth at which adakitic magmas are produced, as well as the origin of across-arc geochemical variations of trace elements in volcanic rocks in subduction zones. PMID:21536910

  12. Radiocarbon test of earthquake magnitude at the Cascadia subduction zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Atwater, B.F.; Stuiver, M.; Yamaguchi, D.K.

    1991-01-01

    THE Cascadia subduction zone, which extends along the northern Pacific coast of North America, might produce earthquakes of magnitude 8 or 9 ('great' earthquakes) even though it has not done so during the past 200 years of European observation 1-7. Much of the evidence for past Cascadia earthquakes comes from former meadows and forests that became tidal mudflats owing to abrupt tectonic subsidence in the past 5,000 years2,3,6,7. If due to a great earthquake, such subsidence should have extended along more than 100 km of the coast2. Here we investigate the extent of coastal subsidence that might have been caused by a single earthquake, through high-precision radiocarbon dating of coastal trees that abruptly subsided into the intertidal zone. The ages leave the great-earthquake hypothesis intact by limiting to a few decades the discordance, if any, in the most recent subsidence of two areas 55 km apart along the Washington coast. This subsidence probably occurred about 300 years ago.

  13. Electrical image of subduction zone beneath northeastern Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ichiki, Masahiro; Ogawa, Yasuo; Kaida, Toshiki; Koyama, Takao; Uyeshima, Makoto; Demachi, Tomotsugu; Hirahara, Satoshi; Honkura, Yoshimori; Kanda, Wataru; Kono, Toshio; Matsushima, Masaki; Nakayama, Takashi; Suzuki, Syuichi; Toh, Hiroaki

    2015-12-01

    We conducted long-period magnetotelluric observations in northeastern Japan from 2010 to 2013 to investigate the three-dimensional electrical resistivity distribution of the subduction zone. Incorporating prior information of the subducting slab into the inversion scheme, we obtained a three-dimensional resistivity model in which a vertically continuous conductive zone is imaged from the subducting slab surface to the lower crust beneath the Ou Backbone Range. The conductive body indicates a saline fluid and/or melt pathway from the subducting slab surface to the lower crust. The lower crust conductor is less than 10 ? m, and we estimate a saline fluid and/or melt fraction of at least 0.7 vol. %. Other resistivity profiles in the across-arc direction reveal that the conductive body segregates from the subducting slab surface at 80-100 km depth and takes an overturned form toward the back arc. The head of the conducting body reaches the lower crust just beneath Mt. Gassan, one of the prominent back-arc volcanoes in the system.

  14. Teleseismic shear wave tomography of the Japan subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asamori, Koichi; Zhao, Dapeng

    2015-12-01

    We present a high-resolution shear wave tomography of the Japan subduction zone down to a depth of 700 km, which is determined by inverting a large number of high-quality S-wave arrival-time data from local earthquakes and teleseismic events. The subducting Pacific and Philippine Sea (PHS) slabs are revealed clearly as high-velocity (high-V) zones, whereas low-velocity (low-V) anomalies are revealed in the mantle wedge above the two slabs. The PHS slab has subducted aseismically down to a depth of 480 km under the Japan Sea and to a depth of 540 km under the Tsushima Strait. A window is revealed within the aseismic PHS slab, being consistent with P-wave tomography. Prominent low-V and high-Poisson's ratio (σ) anomalies exist below the PHS slab and above the Pacific slab, which reflect hot and wet mantle upwelling caused by the joint effect of deep dehydration of the Pacific slab and convective circulation process in the mantle wedge above the Pacific slab. The hot and wet mantle upwelling has caused the complex geometry and structure of the PHS slab in SW Japan, and contributed to the Quaternary volcanism along the Japan Sea coast. In eastern Japan, low-V zones are revealed at depths of 200-700 km below the Pacific slab, which may reflect hot upwelling from the lower mantle or even the core-mantle boundary.

  15. Slab melting versus slab dehydration in subduction-zone magmatism

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    The second critical endpoint in the basalt-H2O system was directly determined by a high-pressure and high-temperature X-ray radiography technique. We found that the second critical endpoint occurs at around 3.4 GPa and 770 °C (corresponding to a depth of approximately 100 km in a subducting slab), which is much shallower than the previously estimated conditions. Our results indicate that the melting temperature of the subducting oceanic crust can no longer be defined beyond this critical condition and that the fluid released from subducting oceanic crust at depths greater than 100 km under volcanic arcs is supercritical fluid rather than aqueous fluid and/or hydrous melts. The position of the second critical endpoint explains why there is a limitation to the slab depth at which adakitic magmas are produced, as well as the origin of across-arc geochemical variations of trace elements in volcanic rocks in subduction zones. PMID:21536910

  16. Deep Postseismic Viscoelastic Relaxation Excited By an Intra-Slab Normal Faulting Earthquake in the Chile Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bie, L.; Ryder, I. M. A.

    2014-12-01

    Geodetic observations of postseismic deformation have been widely modeled to constrain the rheology of lower crust and/or upper mantle in variable tectonic environments. In subduction zones, postseismic deformation following megathrust earthquakes is often explained by afterslip and/or viscoelastic relaxation (VER) processes, and explicitly modeled to infer the viscosity of the mantle wedge. Besides the megathrust events, large intermediate-depth normal faulting earthquakes also induce stresses in surrounding lithosphere. Presumably, these stresses will be gradually released by viscoelastic relaxation in any nearby weak layer(s) and hence provide opportunities to infer rheological properties. The 2005 Mw 7.8 Tarapaca earthquake is identified as a result of normal faulting on a west-dipping plane at depths between 90 and 115 km within the subducting slab of northern Chile (Delouis and Legrand, 2007). The Envisat-recorded short-term postseismic deformation shows an elliptical pattern of subsidence across the fault's surface projection. We construct a semi-analytical three-dimensional model, which takes into account the vertical and horizontal heterogeneities of viscosity. Our preliminary results of VER modelling show a first-order similarity in spatial pattern with the InSAR observed deformation, assuming a Maxwell viscosity of 5e18 Pa s for the continental upper mantle and 1e20 Pa s for the oceanic upper mantle. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using normal faulting earthquakes to constrain deep subduction zone rheology.

  17. Indications of Fluid Venting Along the Middle American Subduction Zone of Guatemala

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weinrebe, W.; Ranero, C. R.; Grevemeyer, I.; Vannucchi, P.; von Huene, R.

    2005-12-01

    A 2003 multibeam bathymetric survey with R/V SONNE mapped the continental margins of Guatemala and El Salvador revealing a detailed image of the continental slope morphology and of the incoming ocean plate. The continental slope displays three morphotectonic units that roughly correspond to upper, middle and lower slope. The upper slope is characterized by numerous small canyons and gullies that begin at the eroded shelf edge high. The middle slope is characterized by a rough terrain of variable width and dip sculptured by pervasive normal faults and mass wasting. The lower slope is formed by en echelon terraces striking parallel to the rough terrain of the incoming plate that mimicks the half graben morphology of the underthrusting plate. The incoming plate morphology, inherited from seafloor spreading processes, is reactivated by bending of the oceanic lithosphere into the subduction zone. Widespread fluid venting has been reported along the adjacent Middle America Margin of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and was expected off Guatemala and El Salvador. Typical manifestations of fluid venting, such as pockmarks, mud mounds, mud volcanoes or seeps, are difficult to document with swath mapping surveys if only the bathymetry is taken into account, as the size of these features are in the order of the footprint size of one acoustic beam. The backscatter signal, however, resolves different reflectivity of the seafloor and thus gives information on lithology. Fluid venting is often associated with the formation of carbonate structures characterized by high acoustic reflectivity. A detailed analysis of the backscatter data, compiled into a mosaic of the area, revealed several small topographic features (mounds) at mid slope depth characterized by high backscatter indicating carbonate precipitation and thus fluid venting. Several small pinnacles in the trench, showing a mound-like shape and very high backscatter might also indicate fluid venting structures associated with oceanic plate tectonism.

  18. 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

  19. Possible emplacement of crustal rocks into the forearc mantle of the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Calvert, A.J.; Fisher, M.A.; Ramachandran, K.; Trehu, A.M.

    2003-01-01

    Seismic reflection profiles shot across the Cascadia forearc show that a 5-15 km thick band of reflections, previously interpreted as a lower crustal shear zone above the subducting Juan de Fuca plate, extends into the upper mantle of the North American plate, reaching depths of at least 50 km. In the extreme western corner of the mantle wedge, these reflectors occur in rocks with P wave velocities of 6750-7000 ms-1. Elsewhere, the forearc mantle, which is probably partially serpentinized, exhibits velocities of approximately 7500 ms-1. The rocks with velocities of 6750-7000 ms-1 are anomalous with respect to the surrounding mantle, and may represent either: (1) locally high mantle serpentinization, (2) oceanic crust trapped by backstepping of the subduction zone, or (3) rocks from the lower continental crust that have been transported into the uppermost mantle by subduction erosion. The association of subparallel seismic reflectors with these anomalously low velocities favours the tectonic emplacement of crustal rocks. Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.

  20. 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.

  1. On the mechanism of seismic decoupling and back are spreading at subduction zones

    SciTech Connect

    Scholz, C.H.; Campos, J.

    1995-11-10

    This report discusses a force model for the mechanics of seismic decoupling and back arc spreading at subduction zones. This model predicts three regimes: seismically coupled compressional arcs; seismically decoupled extensional arcs; and strongly extensional arcs with back arc spreading.

  2. Interplate coupling at oblique subduction zones: influence on upper plate erosion.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malatesta, Cristina; Gerya, Taras; Crispini, Laura; Federico, Laura; Scambelluri, Marco; Capponi, Giovanni

    2014-05-01

    In active subduction zones, when the converging plates cannot slip freely past each other, "plate coupling" occurs. The moving subducting slab and therefore the coupling/decoupling relationship between plates control both short- and long-term deformation of the upper plate. Short-term deformation is dominantly elastic, occurs at human timescales and can be directly associated with earthquakes. Long-term deformation is cumulative, permanent and prevails at the geological timescale (Hoffman-Rothe et al., 2006, Springer Berlin Heidelberg). Here we used 3D numerical simulations to test oblique subduction zones and to investigate: 1) how long-term deformation and coupling relationship vary along the trench-axis; 2) how this relationship influences erosion and down-drag of upper plate material. Our models are based on thermo-mechanical equations solved with finite differences method and marker-in-cell techniques combined with a multigrid approach (Gerya, 2010, Cambridge Univ. Press). The reference model simulates an intraoceanic subduction close to the continental margin (Malatesta et al., 2013, Nature Communications, 4:2456 DOI:10.1038/ncomms3456). The oceanic crust is layered with a 5-km-thick layer of gabbro overlain by a 3-km-thick layer of basalt. The ocean floor is covered by 1-km-thick sediments. Plates move with a total velocity of 3.15 cm/yr; the oblique convergence is obtained using velocity vectors that form an angle of 45 with the initial starting point of subduction (weak zone in the lithosphere). After initiation of plate convergence, part of sediments on top of the incoming plate enters the subduction zone and is buried; another part is suddenly transferred along strike at shallow depths and along the subducting slab according to the direction of the along-trench velocity component of subduction. The lateral migration of sediment causes the evolution of the trench along its strike from sediment-poor to sediment-rich. As soon as subduction starts, where the sedimentary infill of the trench is almost nonexistent, short-term shallow coupling occurs and friction between the frontal sector of the overriding plate and the downgoing plate triggers upper-plate bending. In this sector, after the early short-term coupling, the overriding plate is hereafter decoupled from the subducting slab. Moving along trench-strike, where sediments amount increases, the upper plate couples with the subducting plate and is dragged coherently downwards. If a large amount of sediments is stored in the trench the overriding plate is scraped off and incorporated as fragments along the plate interface. Our results suggest that a) one main parameter controlling coupling at convergent plate margins is the occurrence and the amount of sediment at the trench; b) the upper plate margin is dragged to depth or destroyed only where sediments thickness at the trench is large enough to promote interplate coupling, suggesting that a variation of sediment amount along the trench-axis influences the amount and style of transport of upper-plate material in the mantle.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  5. A sulfur isotope perspective of fluid transport across subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimizu, N.; Mandeville, C. W.

    2011-12-01

    While there is a broad consensus that mantle melting in subduction zones occurs as a result of transport of aqueous fluid (or H2O-rich components) from the subducting slab to the mantle wedge, how and where the transport occurs is still one of the outstanding questions. We report recent SIMS-based sulfur isotope data of input to (pyrites in eclogites) and output from (un-degassed olivine-hosted primitive melt inclusions from arcs) subduction zones, and argue, on the basis of sulfur isotope mass balance, that our results do not support a widely held view of deep fluid transfer from slab to wedge. We suggest, instead, that hydration of the mantle wedge occurs at shallow levels with subsequent subduction and dehydration as the likely source of H2O-rich components for magma generation. Our data from olivine-hosted un-degassed primitive melt inclusions from Galunggung (?34S ranging from -3 to +10 %, average = +2.9% with 1000 - 2000 ppm S), Krakatau (+1.6 - +8.7 %, av = +4.2%, 1200 - 2400 ppm S), and Augustine (+11 - +17%, 2500 - 5200 ppm S) clearly show that mantle wedge (?34S ~0%, ~250 ppm S) has been significantly modified by slab-derived fluid (e.g., seawater with +21%, ~900 ppm S). On the other hand, eclogitic pyrites from the Western Gneiss Region, Norway (2 - 2.5 GPa, 700 - 850C: Kylander-Clark et al., 2007) range in ?34S from -3.4 to +2.8%, similar to that for altered oceanic crust (e.g., Alt, 1995). Fluid in equilibrium with the eclogitic pyrites could have ?34S up to +10% (Ohmoto and Rye, 1979) and could contain up to ~1000 ppm S, based on the solubility data of Newton and Manning (2005). Mass balance calculations show that more than 10 wt.% of this fluid would be needed for modifying ?34S of the mantle wedge with ~250 ppm S from 0% to +5%, at least an order of magnitude greater than predicted by trace element-based arguments. For fluids with more seawater-like salinity, much more would be necessary for modifying the sulfur isotopic composition of the mantle wedge to that observed in arc magmas, suggesting that deep fluid transfer from slab to wedge is inconsistent with our observations. The results are consistent with a hypothesis for subduction and dehydration of hydrated mantle wedge as a source of H2O-rich components for magma generation (e.g., Hattori and Guillot, 2003; Grove et al., 2009). Alt, J. C. (1995) Geology, 23, 585-588. Grove, T. L. et al. (2009) Nature, 459, 694-697. Hattori, K. and Guillot, S. (2003) Geology, 31, 525-528. Kylander-Clark, A. et al. (2007) Chem. Geol., 242, 137-154. Newton, R. C. and Manning, C. E. (2005) J. Petrol., 46, 701-716. Ohmoto, H. and Rye, R. O. (1979) in Geochemistry of Hydrothermal Ore Deposits, pp 509-567

  6. Permeability-porosity relationships of subduction zone sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gamage, K.; Screaton, E.; Bekins, B.; Aiello, I.

    2011-01-01

    Permeability-porosity relationships for sediments from the northern Barbados, Costa Rica, Nankai, and Peru subduction zones were examined based on sediment type, grain size distribution, and general mechanical and chemical compaction history. Greater correlation was observed between permeability and porosity in siliciclastic sediments, diatom oozes, and nannofossil chalks than in nannofossil oozes. For siliciclastic sediments, grouping of sediments by percentage of clay-sized material yields relationships that are generally consistent with results from other marine settings and suggests decreasing permeability as percentage of clay-sized material increases. Correction of measured porosities for smectite content improved the correlation of permeability-porosity relationships for siliciclastic sediments and diatom oozes. The relationship between permeability and porosity for diatom oozes is very similar to the relationship in siliciclastic sediments, and permeabilities of both sediment types are related to the amount of clay-size particles. In contrast, nannofossil oozes have higher permeability values by 1.5 orders of magnitude than siliciclastic sediments of the same porosity and show poor correlation between permeability and porosity. More indurated calcareous sediments, nannofossil chalks, overlap siliciclastic permeabilities at the lower end of their measured permeability range, suggesting similar consolidation patterns at depth. Thus, the lack of correlation between permeability and porosity for nannofossil oozes is likely related to variations in mechanical and chemical compaction at shallow depths. This study provides the foundation for a much-needed global database with fundamental properties that relate to permeability in marine settings. Further progress in delineating controls on permeability requires additional carefully documented permeability measurements on well-characterized samples. ?? 2010 Elsevier B.V.

  7. A possible source of water in seismogenic subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kameda, J.; Yamaguchi, A.; Kimura, G.; Iodp Exp. 322 Scientists

    2010-12-01

    Recent works on the subduction megathrusts have emphasized the mechanical function of fluids contributing dynamic slip-weakening. Basalt-hosting fault zones in on-land accretionary complexes present several textures of seismic slip under fluid-assisted condition such as implosion breccia with carbonate matrix and decrepitation of fluid inclusion. In order to clarify initiation and evolution processes of such fault zones as well as possible source of fluid in the seismogenic subduction zone, we examined a mineralogical/geochemical feature of basaltic basement recovered by IODP Exp. 322 at C0012, that is a reference site for subduction input in the Nankai Trough. A total of 10 samples (about 4 m depth interval from the basement top) were analyzed in this study. XRD analyses indicate that all of the samples contain considerable amount of smectite. The smectite does not appear as a form of interstratified phase with illite or chlorite. Preliminary chemical analyses by EDS in TEM suggest that the smectite is trioctahedral saponite with Ca as a dominant interlayer cation. To determine the saponite content quantitatively, cation exchange capacity (CEC) of bulk samples was measured. The samples show almost similar CEC of around 30 meq/100g, implying that bulk rock contains about 30 wt% of saponite, considering a general CEC of 100 meq/100g for monomineralic saponite. Such abundance of saponite might be a result from intense alteration of oceanic crust due to sea water circulation at low temperature. Previous experimental work suggests that saponite might be highly hydrated (two to three water layer hydration form) at the seismogenic P-T condition. Hence, altered upper oceanic crust is a possible water sink in the seismogenic zone. The water stored in the smectite interlayer region will be expelled via smectite to chlorite transition reaction, that might contribute to the dynamic weakening of the seimogenic plate boundary between the basement basalt and overlying accretionary prism.

  8. Rheology of magnesite and implications for subduction zone dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holyoke, C. W.; Kronenberg, A. K.; Newman, J.; Ulrich, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    We deformed two natural magnesite aggregates over a wide range of temperatures (400-1000oC) and strain rates (10-7 - 10-4/s) in order to determine the deformation mechanisms of magnesite and their respective rheologies. The two magnesite aggregates have similar compositions, but different grain sizes (1 vs. 100 μm). Experiments using fine-grained magnesite were performed in a Heard-type gas confining medium rock deformation apparatus at a constant effective pressure (= confining pressure - CO2 pressure) of 300 MPa. Experiments using coarse-grained magnesite were performed using molten salt or solid salt assemblies in a Griggs-type piston-cylinder rock deformation apparatus at a constant effective pressure of 900 MPa. At low temperatures (T≤600oC, strain rate = 10-5/s) both magnesite aggregates deform by crystal plastic mechanisms predominated by dislocation glide. However, at higher temperatures the coarse-grained magnesite aggregate deforms by dislocation creep and the fine-grained magnesite aggregate deforms by diffusion creep. The strain rate and temperature dependence of the low temperature plasticity, dislocation creep and diffusion creep rheologies can be described by power laws with stress exponents (n) of 19.7, 3.0 and 1.1 and activation enthalpies of 229, 410 and 209 kJ/mol, respectively. The rheology of the low temperature plasticity data can also be described using an exponential flow law with α = 0.022 MPa-1 with a best-fit activation enthalpy of 233 kJ/mol. Extrapolation of the experimentally determined rheological data to natural conditions indicates that magnesite is generally stronger than calcite and dolomite assuming similar grain sizes. However, its strength is orders of magnitude lower than olivine at all conditions in the Earth's mantle. Thus magnesite may act as a weak phase in altered lithosphere of subduction zones, and it may even promote deep-focus earthquakes through ductile instabilities.

  9. H2O release in cold subduction zones: eclogitization vs. lawsonite stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vitale Brovarone, A.; Groppo, C.; Hetnyi, G.; Compagnoni, R.

    2012-04-01

    Transition from blueschist to eclogite facies is considered as a major step of dehydration during subduction of oceanic crust. In cold subduction zones, this critical transitional field is characterized by the stability of lawsonite, which represents the major H2O carrier in HP basaltic rocks. Lawsonite-bearing eclogites are commonly associated with lawsonite-blueschist [1]. This association is commonly referred to prograde (i.e. from blueschist- to eclogite-facies conditions) or retrograde (i.e. from eclogite- to blueschist-facies conditions) incomplete re-equilibration. However, field, microstructural and petrological data indicate that the two assemblages can coexist over a wide PT field. In Alpine Corsica (France), deeply subducted metabasalts are well preserved as lawsonite-bearing eclogite (Law-Ecl) and lawsonite-bearing blueschist (Law-Bs), providing a unique access to these rocks rarely preserved elsewhere. The Corsican Law-Ecl, consisting of omphacite + lawsonite + garnet + phengite + titanite, commonly occur as single undeformed metabasaltic pillows surrounded by Law-Bs. Law-Bs are found as variably deformed metabasaltic pillows locally cross-cut by eclogitic veins and consist of glaucophane + actinolite + lawsonite + garnet + phengite + titanite. Field evidence and microstructures reveal that both Law-Ecl and Law-Bs are stable at the metamorphic peak in the lawsonite-eclogite stability field. Isochemical phase diagrams (pseudosections) calculated in the system MnNKCFMASH for representative Law-Ecl and Law-Bs samples indicate that both lithologies equilibrated at the same conditions of 520 20 C and 2.3 0.1 GPa, in response of primary differences in the bulk rock compositions, probably acquired during igneous or seafloor metasomatic processes [2]. These PT estimates are comparable with and therefore representative of common PT values registered and preserved by exhumed rocks in HP orogenic belts. Despite the two rocks are omphacite-free (i.e. Law-Bs) and amphibole-free (i.e. Law-Ecl), respectively, PT pseudosections indicate that the water content of the two coexisting rocks is very similar (difference ~ 1% wt). On the contrary, a much more significant water release (~ 3-4%) is observed by crossing the lawsonite-epidote boundary independently from the occurrence of eclogite, blueschist or both coexisting assemblages. This feature indicates that significant water release in cold subduction zones occurs i) at greater depth with respect to eclogitization in rocks that will be incorporated into the mantle, or ii) at lower depth, during the retrograde path in rocks detached from the subducting slab and exhumed. [1] Tsujimori, T., Sisson, V.B., Liou, J.G., Harlow, G.E. & Sorensen, S.S., 2006. Very-low temperature record of the subduction process: a review of worldwide lawsonite eclogites. Lithos, 92, 609-624. [2] Vitale Brovarone, A., Groppo, C., Hetenyi, G., Compagnoni, R. & Malavieille, J., 2011b. Coexistence of lawsonite-eclogite and blueschist: phase diagram calculations from Alpine Corsica metabasalts. J. Metamorph. Geol., doi:10.1111/j.1525-1314.2011.00931.x.

  10. Thermal Evolution of Juvenile Subduction Zones ' New Constraints from Lu-Hf Geochronology on HP oceanic rocks (Halilbaǧi, 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; Halilbağı Unit, Central Anatolia). These a-priori "incompatible" rocks witness different thermal stages of ancient subduction zones and their study might provide complementary constraints to numerical models. To decipher the meaning of these contrasting metamorphic rocks in the Halilbağı Unit, we are carrying out Lu-Hf geochronology on garnet (grt) and lws from a variety of HP oceanic rocks, as well as the metamorphic sole of the overlying ophiolite. We selected five samples that are representative of the variety of metamorphic evolutions (i.e. peak conditions and P-T paths) encountered in this area. Preliminary analyses yielded 110 Ma (grt-hbl isochron) for a sub-ophiolitic grt amphibolite; 92 Ma (grt-omp) for an eclogite with prograde and retrograde ep; 90 Ma (grt-omp) for an eclogitic metabasite with prograde ep and retrograde ep+lws; 87 Ma (grt-gln) for a lws eclogite with prograde ep; and 86 Ma (grt-gln) for a blueschist with prograde and retrograde lws. These ages are mainly two-point isochrons. Further-refined data will be presented at the EGU General Assembly 2015, in Vienna. The consistent younging trend from "warm" to "cold" metamorphic rocks revealed by these first-order results points to metamorphic-sole formation during the initiation of intra-oceanic subduction at ~110 Ma, and subsequent cooling of the slab-mantle interface between 92 and 86 Ma. Therefore, the contrasting metamorphic evolutions encountered in the Halilbağı Unit 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).

  11. Multiscale seismic imaging of the Western-Pacific subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, D.

    2011-12-01

    We used multiscale seismic tomography to determine the detailed 3-D structure of the crust and mantle under the Western-Pacific subduction zone. The subducting Pacific and Philippine Sea (PHS) slabs are imaged clearly from their entering the mantle at the oceanic trenches to their reaching the mantle transition zone and finally to the core-mantle boundary (CMB). High-resolution local tomography of Northeast Japan has imaged the shallow portion of the slab from the Japan Trench down to about 200 km depth under Japan Sea. The 3-D Vp and Vs structures of the forearc region under the Pacific Ocean are constrained by locating suboceanic events precisely with sP depth phases. Strong structural heterogeneity is revealed in the megathrust zone under the forearc region, and there is a good correlation between the heterogeneity and the distribution of large thrust earthquakes including the great 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake (Mw 9.0). A joint inversion of local and teleseismic data imaged the subducting Pacific slab down to 670 km depth under the Japan Islands and the Japan Sea. The PHS slab is detected down to 500 km depth under SW Japan. A mantle upwelling is found under SW Japan that rises from about 400 km depth right above the Pacific slab up to the PHS slab. Regional and global tomography revealed the Pacific slab that is stagnant in the mantle transition zone under Eastern China. A big mantle wedge (BMW) has formed in the upper mantle above the stagnant slab. Convective circulations in the BMW and deep dehydration of the stagnant slab may have caused the intraplate volcanoes in NE Asia, such as the Changbai and Wudalianchi volcanoes. The active Tengchong volcanism in SW China is caused by a similar process in the BMW above the subducting Burma (or Indian) slab. Global tomography shows pieces of fast anomalies in the middle and lower mantle as well as in the D" layer above the CMB, suggesting that the stagnant slab finally collapses down to the lower mantle and CMB as a result of very large gravitational instability from phase transitions. Prominent slow anomalies are also revealed in the mantle under the subducting slabs, which may represent either mantle plumes or upwelling flows associated with the deep subduction of the slabs.

  12. Transdimensional imaging of random velocity inhomogeneities in Nankai subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The Nankai trough in southwestern Japan is a convergent margin where the Philippine Sea plate is subducting beneath the Eurasian plate. We have conducted five seismic observations with ocean bottom seismograms (OBSs) from 2008 to 2012 to elucidate detailed seismic structures and its relations with fault segments of large earthquakes. These observations covered the entire area of the Nankai trough, but quantity and quality of data are not spatially uniform because of different observing lengths and various noises. Waveform data of OBSs suggests variously-sized anomalies of random velocity inhomogeneity (i.e., scattering strength) in this subduction zone. To clarify details of random inhomogeneity structures, we conducted a transdimensional imaging of random inhomogeneities by means of the reversible jump Markov Chain Monte Carlo (rjMCMC) without assuming smooth spatial distributions of unknown parameters. We applied the rjMCMC for the inversion of peak delay times of S-wave envelopes at 4-8, 8-16, and 16-32 Hz, where the peak delay time is defined as the time lag from the S-wave onset to its maximal amplitude arrival. This delay time mainly reflects the accumulated multiple forward scattering effect due to random inhomogeneities. We assumed the von Karman type power spectral density function (PSDF) for random velocity fluctuation, and estimated two parameters related with the PSDF at large wavenumber. Study area is partitioned by discrete Voronoi cells of which number and spatial sizes are variable. Estimated random inhomogeneities show clear lateral variations along the Nankai trough. The strongest inhomogeneity on the Nankai trough was found near the subducted Kyushu-Palau ridge that is located at the western margin of the fault segments. We also find a horizontal variation of inhomogeneity along the non-volcanic tremor zone. Relatively strong inhomogeneities in this tremor zone were imaged beneath west Shikoku and Kii-Peninsula. These anomalies were not clearly imaged in our previous study because we had to impose smoothing constraints. Our result implies that transdimensional imaging can be used to reveal detailed seismic structures from spatially non-uniform data.

  13. 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.

  14. Mlange Formation, Mantle-Wedge Diapirs And Subduction Zone Magmatism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schumacher, J. C.; Marschall, H. R.

    2012-12-01

    Components derived from the subducting slab contribute to the source region of magmas produced at convergent plate margins. The characteristic range of compositions of these magmas is commonly attributed to three-component mixing in the source regions of these magmas: hydrous fluids derived from subducted altered oceanic crust and components derived from the thin sedimentary veneer are added to the depleted peridotite in the mantle wedge, which subsequently undergoes melting. However, the physical processes of transport and mixing of these components are largely enigmatic. In this presentation, we outline an integrated physico-chemical model of subduction zones: mlange formation at the slab-mantle interface is considered the physical mixing process that is responsible for the geochemical three-component pattern of arc magmas. Low-density mantle-wedge diapirs or plumes transport the well-mixed materials into the hot corner of the mantle wedge beneath arcs, where melt is produced by heating and decompression of the hydrous, low-density mlange plumes. Studies of exhumed subduction mlanges suggest that hybrid rocks with newly grown minerals concentrate, sequester and redistribute water and key trace elements. The strong petrologic and chemical contrast at the slab-mantle interface, produces these hybrid rock compositions by metasomatic reactions, diffusion and mechanical mixing: the Al-, Si- and alkali-rich slab that carries crustal isotopic signatures and trace-element abundances is juxtaposed with the Mg-rich ultramafic rocks of the harzburgitic mantle. Mechanical mixing of crustal and mantle rocks will propagate the formation of hybrid rocks, and fluxing by hydrous fluids derived from the dehydrating slab will enhance reactivity and lead to fluid saturation of the newly formed rocks. The rise of low-density plumes in the mantle wedge provides a mechanism to transport buoyant hybrid rocks from the slab-mantle interface toward the source region of arc magmas. Mlange rocks rising into the mantle wedge in 'wet' diapirs would be subjected to P-T conditions dramatically different from those at the slab surface. Partial melting of hybrid rocks may produce the large range of major and trace-element compositions found in modern island arc volcanic rocks.

  15. 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, Benot; Agard, Philippe; Labrousse, Loc

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Permeability of the continental crust: Implications of geothermal data and metamorphic systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Manning, C.E.; Ingebritsen, S.E.

    1999-01-01

    In the upper crust, where hydraulic gradients are typically 10 MPa km-1, the mean permeabilities required to accommodate the estimated metamorphic fluid fluxes decrease from ~10-16 m2 to ~10-18 m2 between 5- and 12-km depth. Below ~12 km, which broadly corresponds to the brittle-plastic transition, mean k is effectively independent of depth at ~10(-18.5??1) m2. Consideration of the permeability values inferred from thermal modeling and metamorphic fluxes suggests a quasi-exponential decay of permeability with depth of log k ~ -3.2 log z - 14, where k is in meters squared and z is in kilometers. At mid to lower crustal depths this curve lies just below the threshold value for significant advection of heat. Such conditions may represent an optimum for metamorphism, allowing the maximum transport of fluid and solute mass that is possible without advective cooling.

  18. Temperature Distribution and Mineralogy of Deep Subduction Zones: Insights From Numerical Modelling Including Phase Transitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valera, J. L.; Negredo, A. M.; Carminati, E.

    A kinematic model to determine the thermal evolution of subducting slabs and sur- rounding mantle is carried out. We develop a finite difference algorithm to solve the energy equation using the alternating difference implicit method. As an innovation to commonly used thermal models, which only account for heat advection and conduc- tion, our model includes latent heat release due to phase transformation, shear and adiabatic heating and radiogenic heat production. This latter feature allows to model subduction of continental lithosphere. Moreover, the heat transfer between the slab and the surrounding mantle is accounted for in a self consistent way. We incorpo- rate in our modelling two different simplified disequilibrium phase diagrams of the olivine-spinel transition. As in previous models we find that for sufficiently cold slab geotherms, the olivine to spinel phase change is hindered and a metastable wedge of olivine (MTWO) protrudes into the transition zone. Olivine to spinel reactions within MTWO are suggested to generate deep focus earthquakes. We investigate the effect of subduction velocity and dip, and of the age of the subducting lithosphere on the formation of MTWO and, for several deep subduction zones occurring worldwide, we look for a correlation between conditions favourable for the formation of MTWO and the occurrence of deep earthquakes. Furthermore, the computed density distribution is an output relevant for future dynamic models of subduction to quantify the com- bined effects of negative thermal buoyancy due to low temperature within the slab and buoyancy forces arising from density contrasts between olivine and spinel. The pres- ence of MTWO in the transition zone is shown to create a negative density contrast with respect to the surrounding mantle in spinel phase, and therefore tends to oppose subduction.

  19. Mantle convection and crustal tectonics in the Tethyan subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jolivet, L.; Sternai, P.; Menant, A.; Faccenna, C.; Becker, T. W.; Burov, E. B.

    2013-12-01

    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. The use of SKS waves seismic anisotropy shows a coherence of mantle and surface deformation, but significant examples depart from this scenario. We review geological observations and present kinematic reconstructions of the Aegean and Middle East and 3D numerical models to discuss the role of asthenospheric flow in crustal deformation. At the scale of the Mediterranean backarcs, lithosphere-mantle coupling is effective below the most extended regions as shown by the alignment of SKS fast orientations and stretching directions in MCCs. In the Aegean, the directions of mantle flow, crustal stretching and GPS velocities are almost parallel, while, below the main part of the Anatolian plate, SKS fast orientations are oblique to GPS velocities. When considering the long-term geological history of the Tethyan convergent, one can conclude 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 migration, with rifting of large pieces of continents that had then been moving northward faster than Africa (Apulia, Arabia). 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. Mantle flow thus seems to be able to carry plates toward subduction zones, break-away pieces of plates, and deform backarc upper crust where the lithosphere is the thinnest. Most numerical models of lithospheric deformation are designed such that strain is a consequence of kinematic boundary conditions (push or pull on lateral sides), 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. We test different degrees of coupling using 3-D lithospheric deformation models. Preliminary results suggest that lithosphere can be carried by asthenospheric flow, which may lead to plate fragmentation, especially if this flow is applied on a large surface and involves mantle upwelling. However, the presence of a ductile lower crust inhibits the upward transmission of stresses. 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, is more prone to follow the mantle flow than a thick and stratified lithosphere.

  20. An Integrated Geophysical View of the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egbert, G. D.; Fouch, M. J.; Schultz, A.

    2009-04-01

    The goal of this study is to evaluate correlations between new models of conductivity and seismic structure of the Cascadia subduction zone in the northwestern United States. These models were obtained using data from EarthScope's USArray long period magnetotelluric (MT) and broadband seismic Transportable Array (TA) systems. Initial MT deployments in 2006 and 2007 acquired long period (10-10000s) data at 110 sites covering the US Pacific Northwest with the same nominal spacing as the USArray seismic transportable array (~70 km). Three-dimensional inversion of this dataset reveals extensive areas of high conductivity in the lower crust beneath the Northwest Basin and Range, and beneath the Cascade Mountains, contrasting with very resistive crust in Siletzia, the accreted thick ocean crust which forms the basement rocks in the Cascadia forearc and the Columbia Embayment). The conductive lower crust beneath the southeastern part of the array is inferred to result from fluids (including possibly partial melt at depth) associated with magmatic underplating. Beneath the Cascades high conductivities probably result from fluids released by the subducting Juan de Fuca slab. Resistive Siletzia represents a stronger crustal block, accommodating deformation in the surrounding crust by rigid rotation. Significant variations in upper mantle conductivity are also revealed by the inversions, with the most conductive mantle beneath the Washington backarc in the northeastern part of the array, and the most resistive corresponding to subducting oceanic lithosphere. The Juan de Fuca slab is well imaged in body wave seismic tomography models, extending to depths of ~500 km and perhaps deeper [Roth et al., 2008]. Significant zones of focused reduced seismic velocities are evident beneath both the Newberry region and the surface expression of the Columbia River basalts. We find no evidence for a zone of low velocities beneath the Juan de Fuca slab. Further, we demonstrate that the absence of a slab signature beneath central Oregon, interpreted by some groups as a "hole" in the slab, is an inversion artifact due to imperfect ray coverage and the presence of the reduced velocity zone coincident with Newberry. While the MT analyses have so far focused on the lower crustal structure which this data is most sensitive to, and the seismic results to date have emphasized upper mantle structure, notable relationships between the models are already evident. For instance, the Juan de Fuca slab signature is clear in both models, and in both cases exhibits lateral continuity. In addition, the low velocity feature beneath Newberry coincides with a a circular zone of enhanced conductivity in the upper mantle. Interestingly, some features in the MT image, such as the high conductivity zone at shallow depths in SE Oregon, correlate well with structure of similar geometry in the seismic images at mantle depths

  1. Structure and seismic activity of the Lesser Antilles subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evain, M.; Galve, A.; Charvis, P.; Laigle, M.; Ruiz Fernandez, M.; Kopp, H.; Hirn, A.; Flueh, E. R.; Thales Scientific Party

    2011-12-01

    Several active and passive seismic experiments conducted in 2007 in the framework of the European program "Thales Was Right" and of the French ANR program "Subsismanti" provided a unique set of geophysical data highlighting the deep structure of the central part of the Lesser Antilles subduction zone, offshore Dominica and Martinique, and its seismic activity during a period of 8 months. The region is characterized by a relatively low rate of seismicity that is often attributed to the slow (2 cm/yr) subduction of the old, 90 My, Atlantic lithosphere beneath the Caribbean Plate. Based on tomographic inversion of wide-angle seismic data, the forearc can clearly be divided into an inner forearc, characterised by a high vertical velocity gradient in the igneous crust, and an outer forearc with lower crustal velocity gradient. The thick, high velocity, inner forearc is possibly the extension at depth of the Mesozoic Caribbean crust outcropping in La Désirade Island. The outer forearc, up to 70 km wide in the northern part of the study area, is getting narrower to the south and disappears offshore Martinique. Based on its seismic velocity structure with velocities higher than 6 km/s the backstop consists, at least partly, of magmatic rocks. The outer forearc is also highly deformed and faulted within the subducting trend of the Tiburon Ridge. With respect to the inner forearc velocity structure the outer forearc basement could either correspond to an accreted oceanic terrane or made of highly fractured rocks. The inner forearc is a dense, poorly deformable crustal block, tilted southward as a whole. It acts as a rigid buttress increasing the strain within both the overriding and subducting plates. This appears clearly in the current local seismicity affecting the subducting and the overriding plates that is located beneath the inner forearc. We detected earthquakes beneath the Caribbean forearc and in the Atlantic oceanic plate as well. The main seismic activity is concentrated in the lower crust and in the mantle wedge, close to the island arc beneath the inner forearc domain. In comparison, little seismicity is observed beneath the outer forearc domain. We propose that the difference of the seismicity beneath the inner and the outer forearc is related to a difference of crustal structure between the inner forearc interpreted as a dense, thick and rigid crustal block and the lighter and more flexible outer forearc. Seismicity is enhanced beneath the inner forearc because it likely increases the vertical stress applied to the subducting plate. At depth, interplate earthquakes observed between 35 and 45 km depth, deeper than the Moho of the forearc (~30 km), possibly reveal the downdip limit of the seismogenic zone. The Thales Scientific Party is composed of: Bayrakci, G., Bécel, A., Charvis, P., Diaz, J., Evain, M., Flueh, E., Gallart, J., Gailler, A., Galve, A., Hello, Y., Hirn, A., Kopp, H., Krabbenhoeft, A., Laigle, M., Lebrun, J. F., Monfret, T., Papenberg, C., Planert, L., Ruiz, M., Sapin, M., Weinzierl, W.

  2. 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.

  3. Structure and Deformation of the Hikurangi-Kermadec Subduction Zone - Transitions Revealed by Seismic Wide-angle Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scherwath, M.; Kopp, H.; Flueh, E. R.; Henrys, S. A.; Sutherland, R.

    2008-12-01

    The Hikurangi-Kermadec subduction zone northeast of New Zealand represents an ideal target to study lateral variations of subduction zone processes. The incoming Pacific plate changes from being a large igneous province, called the Hikurangi Plateau, in the south to normal oceanic plate north of the Rapuhia Scarp. The overriding Australian plate of continental character in the south, forming the North Island of New Zealand, and changes to an island arc in the north. Further lateral variability exists in changes in volcanic and hydro-thermal activity, transitions from accretion to subduction erosion, backarc spreading and rifting, and is accompanied by northward increasing seismicity. As part of the MANGO project (Marine Geoscientific Investigations on the Input and Output of the Kermadec Subduction Zone), four marine geophysical transects of largely seismic reflection and refraction data provide constraints on the upper lithospheric structures across the Hikurangi-Kermadec Trench between 29-38 deg S. On MANGO profile 1 in the south, the initially shallow subduction of the incoming plateau coincides with crustal underplating beneath the East Cape ridge. To the west lies the 100 km wide and over 10 km deep Raukumara Basin. Seismic velocities of the upper mantle of both plates are around 8 km/s and are considered normal. In contrast, on MANGO profile 4, about 1000 km to the north around the volcanically active Raoul Island, the incoming oceanic crust appears to bend considerably steeper and thus causes a 50 km narrower forearc with a smaller forearc basin. Furthermore, the upper mantle velocities in both plates are relatively low (7.4-7.7 km/s), likely indicating strong bending related deformation of the incoming plate and thermal activity within the arc possibly due to spreading. The central two transects MANGO 2 and 3, though without data coverage of the structure of the incoming plate, are more similar to MANGO 4. The arc regions appear to be strongly affected by the activity of the arc. The arc crust of the northern MANGO 3 becomes significantly thinner in the backarc region due to extension, whereas the data from MANGO 2 likely show thermal activity from the adjacent arc volcanism.

  4. Stress orientations in subduction zones and the strength of subduction megathrust faults

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hardebeck, Jeanne L.

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Stress orientations in subduction zones and the strength of subduction megathrust faults.

    PubMed

    Hardebeck, Jeanne L

    2015-09-11

    Subduction zone megathrust faults produce most of the world's largest earthquakes. Although the physical properties of these faults are difficult to observe directly, their frictional strength can be estimated indirectly by constraining the orientations of the stresses that act on them. A global investigation of stress orientations in subduction zones finds that the maximum compressive stress axis plunges systematically trenchward, consistently making an angle of 45 to 60 with respect to the subduction megathrust fault. These angles indicate that the megathrust fault is not substantially weaker than its surroundings. Together with several other lines of evidence, this implies that subduction zone megathrusts are weak faults in a low-stress environment. The deforming outer accretionary wedge may decouple the stress state along the megathrust from the constraints of the free surface. PMID:26359399

  6. Reevaluating carbon fluxes in subduction zones, what goes down, mostly comes up.

    PubMed

    Kelemen, Peter B; Manning, Craig E

    2015-07-28

    Carbon fluxes in subduction zones can be better constrained by including new estimates of carbon concentration in subducting mantle peridotites, consideration of carbonate solubility in aqueous fluid along subduction geotherms, and diapirism of carbon-bearing metasediments. Whereas previous studies concluded that about half the subducting carbon is returned to the convecting mantle, we find that relatively little carbon may be recycled. If so, input from subduction zones into the overlying plate is larger than output from arc volcanoes plus diffuse venting, and substantial quantities of carbon are stored in the mantle lithosphere and crust. Also, if the subduction zone carbon cycle is nearly closed on time scales of 5-10 Ma, then the carbon content of the mantle lithosphere + crust + ocean + atmosphere must be increasing. Such an increase is consistent with inferences from noble gas data. Carbon in diamonds, which may have been recycled into the convecting mantle, is a small fraction of the global carbon inventory. PMID:26048906

  7. Reevaluating carbon fluxes in subduction zones, what goes down, mostly comes up

    PubMed Central

    Kelemen, Peter B.; Manning, Craig E.

    2015-01-01

    Carbon fluxes in subduction zones can be better constrained by including new estimates of carbon concentration in subducting mantle peridotites, consideration of carbonate solubility in aqueous fluid along subduction geotherms, and diapirism of carbon-bearing metasediments. Whereas previous studies concluded that about half the subducting carbon is returned to the convecting mantle, we find that relatively little carbon may be recycled. If so, input from subduction zones into the overlying plate is larger than output from arc volcanoes plus diffuse venting, and substantial quantities of carbon are stored in the mantle lithosphere and crust. Also, if the subduction zone carbon cycle is nearly closed on time scales of 5–10 Ma, then the carbon content of the mantle lithosphere + crust + ocean + atmosphere must be increasing. Such an increase is consistent with inferences from noble gas data. Carbon in diamonds, which may have been recycled into the convecting mantle, is a small fraction of the global carbon inventory. PMID:26048906

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Incoming plate faulting in the Northern and Western Pacific and implications for subduction zone water budgets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emry, Erica L.; Wiens, Douglas A.

    2015-03-01

    The greatest uncertainty in the amount of water input into the Earth at subduction zones results from poor constraints on the degree of mantle serpentinization in the incoming plate. Recent studies suggest that the depth of serpentinization within the incoming plate mantle is likely controlled by the depth of extensional faulting caused by lithospheric bending at the outer rise and trench. We explore the maximum depth of extension within the incoming plate at Northwestern Pacific subduction zones in order to estimate the depth limit of serpentinization and to identify any significant variation between subduction zone segments. We relocate trench earthquakes to identify which events occurred within the incoming plate and determine accurate depths for 63 incoming plate earthquakes occurring during 1988-2011 by inverting teleseismic broadband P and SH waveforms. We observe that the top 10-15 km of the incoming plate mantle experiences extensional faulting at all of the subduction zones with a reasonable sample of earthquakes; 60% of the total number of extensional earthquakes occur at crustal depths or within the top 5 km of the incoming plate mantle, 80% occur above 10 km within the mantle, and 95% occur above 15 km. There is evidence for variation throughout the different regions of study, for example extensional earthquakes occur down to 20 km below the crust in the western Aleutians and Izu-Bonin. We propose that the incoming plate mantle is most strongly hydrated in the upper 5 km, and that partial serpentinization exists regionally within the incoming plate mantle to ?15 km. Making reasonable assumptions about the degree of serpentinization and incorporating previous estimates of crustal water, we calculate that the total water carried into the Northern and Western Pacific subduction zones is generally higher than previous estimates, and is approximately 4- 6 108 Tg /Myr, or ? 45- 70 103 Tg /Myr per kilometer of subduction zone.

  11. Simulation of tsunamis from great earthquakes on the cascadia subduction zone.

    PubMed

    Ng, M K; Leblond, P H; Murty, T S

    1990-11-30

    Large earthquakes occur episodically in the Cascadia subduction zone. A numerical model has been used to simulate and assess the hazards of a tsunami generated by a hypothetical earthquake of magnitude 8.5 associated with rupture of the northern sections of the subduction zone. Wave amplitudes on the outer coast are closely related to the magnitude of sea-bottom displacement (5.0 meters). Some amplification, up to a factor of 3, may occur in some coastal embayments. Wave amplitudes in the protected waters of Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia are predicted to be only about one fifth of those estmated on the outer coast. PMID:17829212

  12. 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.

  13. Mantle plume-subduction zone interactions over the past 60 Ma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fletcher, Michael; Wyman, Derek A.

    2015-09-01

    A variety of mantle plume types have been proposed and there is a wide range of ways that these plumes might interact with subduction zone arcs. This study looks at the frequency of interaction between previously catalogued plumes and subduction zones while also assessing the potential role of slab windows to either generate false plume signals or contribute to genuine examples of mantle plume-subduction zone interactions. Of the plumes included in several widely cited catalogues, 29% have moved within 1000 km of a subduction zone and 17% have moved within 500 km of a subduction zone over the past 60 Ma, assuming that the plume life span extended over this period. Of the plumes that moved within 1000 km of a subduction zone, 56% are rated as either a deep or mid-mantle plume by an author of at least one of the catalogues. The 44% of interacting plumes that are not rated as mid-mantle or deep by at least one author are the most likely to be related to "top-down" plate tectonic processes. This study shows that they were never coincident with a slab window, although they have often interacted within distances of 1000 km. The manner of interaction between plumes and slab windows depends on the relative positions of the plume, ridge, and slab window. Of the plumes that interact over a 1000 km circular "Zone of Potential Interaction" (ZPI), 28% are no longer interacting today, but have survived that process. While most plumes interact in the form of a ZPI moving over a trench from either behind or in front of the trench, several plumes do cross the trench, demonstrating that plumes can survive even that interaction. Plume-trench interaction occurs in clusters in the northeast and southwest Pacific with limited events in the northwest and southeast Pacific. The presence of clusters in the northeast and southwest Pacific may be caused by the closer proximity of mid-mantle and deep plumes to a subduction zone in these areas. Whereas some deeper plumes may be modified by slab related mantle flow, the coincidence of shallow plumes with changes in plate boundaries suggests an origin related to sites of weakness or extension in the oceanic crust.

  14. Flow Zone Isolation in Sedimentary Inputs to the Nankai Trough Subduction Zone, IODP Expedition 322 (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dugan, B.; Torres, M. E.; Destrigneville, C.; Heuer, V.; Underwood, M. B.; Saito, S.; Iodp Expedition 322 Shipboard Scientific Party

    2010-12-01

    Based on porewater chemistry observations at Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Sites C0011 (on the flank of Kashinosaki Knoll) and C0012 (near the crest of Kashinosaki Knoll), we interpret two independent flow systems within the input sediments to the Nankai subduction zone. We integrate lithology data and laboratory-constrained permeability results to develop a conceptual framework that describes these two flow systems: one sourced from sediment within the subduction zone and one through the upper oceanic crust seaward of the subduction zone. In porefluids from Site C0011, methane, ethane, propane, and iso-butane concentrations reach maxima at the base of the Lower Shikoku Basin turbidite facies (850 mbsf). Site C0012 has peak methane and ethane concentrations at the base of the same turbidite facies (418 mbsf); however neither ethane nor iso-butane is present. The presence of propane and iso-butane at Site C0011 may indicate a thermogenic source and migration of fluids from the subduction zone. Lower methane and ethane concentrations at Site C0012 may provide insights on flow rates. Hydrocarbon gas concentrations at Site C0011 decrease gradually up-section to near zero by 430 mbsf; the downhole trend decreases more rapidly. At Site C0012, hydrocarbon gas concentrations decrease symmetrically around the concentration maxima and reach near-zero concentrations by 290 mbsf and 530 mbsf. We also observe porewater freshening, up to 7%, at Site C0011. This freshening could indicate migration of freshened porefluids that originate from depth within the subduction zone, consistent with the origin of thermogenic gases. Site C0012 does not show porefluid freshening, potentially indicating that freshened porefluids have yet to migrate from the subduction zone to Site C0012. Site C0012, however, shows seawater-porefluid mixing (up to 20% seawater) deeper in the sedimentary section, above the igneous basement within volcaniclastic sandstones (500 mbsf). A seawater contribution is inferred from proportional reversals in all major cation concentrations (e.g., Na, K, Ca and Mg) and the presence of sulfate. This seawater source may be linked to a flow system within the upper basaltic basement and the overlying volcaniclastic sandstones. This deeper seawater flux must be separate and isolated from the sulfate-depleted, hydrocarbon-gas-bearing fluids migrating from the subduction zone. Permeability data and lithologic variability are used to define flow pathways and flow barriers that facilitate the existence of these flow systems and prevent their mixing.

  15. Imaging of Upwelling Fluids and Partial Melt in the Subduction Zone with 3D Regional Electrical Resistivity Structure by the Network-MT Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hata, M.; Oshiman, N.; Yoshimura, R.; Tanaka, Y.; Uyeshima, M.

    2012-04-01

    Subduction zones are where oceanic plate and seawater (aqueous fluids) return to Earth's mantle and the fluids released into the mantle from the downgoing slab as a consequence of metamorphic reactions [e.g., Tatsumi, 1989]. Such the fluids trigger partial melt of upper mantle and crust. As a result, igneous activity forms volcanoes as typical surface expressions in subduction zones because the partial melt rises owing to its lower density. The island of Kyushu in the Southwestern Japan is a typical high angle subduction zone, at which the hot Shikoku basin (15-27 Ma) and the cold Philippine Sea plate (45-55 Ma) subduct beneath the Eurasian plate. Kyushu can be separated into three parts; northern Kyushu, central Kyushu and southern Kyushu, and there exist many quaternary active volcanoes, as the Aso and Kuju volcanoes in the northern part and Kirishima and Sakurajima volcanoes in the southern part, with defining a volcanic front. Moreover, the central Kyushu is devoid of active volcanoes, where it is considered that the buoyant Kyushu-Palau Ridge subducts. It is important to investigate structure beneath Kyushu for understanding the volcanic formation. In the Kyushu district, the Network-Magnetotelluric (MT) observations were carried out from 1993 to 1998 to cover the whole island of Kyushu. The Network-MT method employs metallic wires in a commercial telephone network to measure the electric potential difference with a dipole length of ten to several tens of kilometers. The Network-MT data provide valuable information on fluid and partial melt (magma) generation because the electromagnetic soundings are highly sensitive to the presence of a few percent of interconnected fluids (aqueous and/or melt). We analyzed the Network-MT data sets, which have geoelectromagnetic information from the crust to upper mantle, in order to determine regional scale electrical resistivity structure. We applied three-dimensional (3D) inversion analyses using the WSINV3DMT inversion code of the version for the Network-MT impedance responses [Uyeshima et al., 2008]. Two remarkable features are found that a conductive block exists beneath the volcano of which the bottom extends to the backarc side and the forearc side including the Philippine Sea plate is resistive. Moreover, the resistive region distributes along the hinge line of the subducting plate as imaged by seismicity. The former conductor is thought to represent fluids released from the slab or partial melt related to the fluid, constituting a magma source for subduction zone volcanoes. In this presentation, we would like to explain details on the 3D resistivity structure related to the subducting Philippine Sea plate and the active volcanoes.

  16. 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 Mller 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).

  17. 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.

  18. Unrevealing the History of Earthquakes and Tsunamis of the Mexican Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez-Herrera, M. T.; Castillo-Aja, M. D. R.; Cruz, S.; Corona, N.; Rangel Velarde, V.; Lagos, M.

    2014-12-01

    The great earthquakes and tsunamis of the last decades in Sumatra, Chile, and Japan remind us of the need for expanding the record of history of such catastrophic events. It can't be argued that even countries with extensive historical documents and tsunami sand deposits still have unsolved questions on the frequency of them, and the variables that control them along subduction zones. We present here preliminary results of a combined approach using historical archives and multiple proxies of the sedimentary record to unrevealing the history of possible great earthquakes and their tsunamis on the Mexican Subduction zone. The Mexican subduction zone extends over 1000 km long and little is known if the entire subduction zone along the Middle American Trench behaves as one enormous unit rather than in segments that rupture at different frequencies and with different strengths (as the short instrumental record shows). We searched on historical archives and earthquake databases to distinguish tsunamigenic events registered from the 16th century to now along the Jalisco-Colima and Guerrero-Oaxaca coastal stretches. The historical data referred are mostly from the 19th century on since the population on the coast was scarce before. We found 21 earthquakes with tsunamigenic potential, and of those 16 with doubtful to definitive accompanying tsunami on the Jalisco-Colima coast, and 31 tsunamigenic earthquakes on the Oaxaca-Guerrero coast. Evidence of great earthquakes and their tsunamis from the sedimentary record are scarce, perhaps due poor preservation of tsunami deposits in this tropical environment. Nevertheless, we have found evidence for a number of tsunamigenic events, both historical and prehistorical, 1932 and 1400 AD on Jalisco, and 3400 BP, 1789 AD, 1979 ad, and 1985 AD on Guerrero-Oaxaca. We continue working and a number of events are still to be dated. This work would aid in elucidating the history of earthquakes and tsunamis on the Mexican subduction zone.

  19. Characterizing Mega-Earthquake Related Tsunami on Subduction Zones without Large Historical Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  20. Evidence for Deep Tectonic Tremor in the Alaska-Aleutian Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, J. R.; Prejean, S. G.; Beroza, G. C.; Gomberg, J. S.; Haeussler, P. J.

    2010-12-01

    We search for, characterize, and locate tremor not associated with volcanoes along the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone using continuous seismic data recorded by the Alaska Volcano Observatory and Alaska Earthquake Information Center from 2005 to the present. Visual inspection of waveform spectra and time series reveal dozens of 10 to 20-minute bursts of tremor throughout the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone (Peterson, 2009). Using autocorrelation methods, we show that these tremor signals are composed of hundreds of repeating low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs) as has been found in other circum-Pacific subduction zones. We infer deep sources based on phase arrival move-out times of less than 4 seconds across multiple monitoring networks (max. inter-station distances of 50 km), which are designed to monitor individual volcanoes. We find tremor activity is localized in 7 segments: Cook Inlet, Shelikof Strait, Alaska Peninsula, King Cove, Unalaska-Dutch Harbor, Andreanof Islands, and the Rat Islands. Locations along the Cook Inlet, Shelikof Straight and Alaska Peninsula are well constrained due to adequate station coverage. LFE hypocenters in these regions are located on the plate interface and form a sharp edge near the down-dip limit of the 1964 M 9.2 rupture area. Although the geometry, age, thermal structure, frictional and other relevant properties of the Alaska-Aleutian subduction are poorly known, it is likely these characteristics differ along its entire length, and also differ from other subduction zones where tremor has been found. LFE hypocenters in the remaining areas are also located down-dip of the most recent M 8+ megathrust earthquakes, between 60-75 km depth and almost directly under the volcanic arc. Although these locations are less well constrained, our preliminary results suggest LFE/tremor activity marks the down-dip rupture limit for megathrust earthquakes in this subduction zone. Also, we cannot rule out the possibility that our observations could be related deep magmatic processes.

  1. Elevation of volcanoes and their edifice heights at subduction zones

    SciTech Connect

    Ben-Avraham, Z.; Nur, A.

    1980-08-10

    The elevation above sea level of circum-Pacific volcanoes situated on continental crust varies greatly, not only between various chains but also within chains. Their edifice heights, however, are essentially constant with each chain. This pattern is reversed for oceanic volcanoes: The elevation circum-Pacific volcanoes situated on oceanic curst is constant within arcs, while edifice heights are greatly variable. In continents the depth to the root zones of volcanoes may be within the elastic part of the lithosphere, whereas in the oceans it may be well below the elastic part of the lithosphere. We suggest that melting, or the onset of the volcanic uprising, may be controlled in both cases primarily by pressure: in the continental lithosphere by the overburden pressure determined by depth below the local surface and in the oceanic lithosphere by the isostatically compensated pressure zone controlled by depth below sea level. The pattern seems to hold even in complex geological regions and may be used to identify the nature of the crust in such regions.

  2. Turbidite event history--Methods and implications for Holocene paleoseismicity of the Cascadia subduction zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

    Turbidite systems along the continental margin of Cascadia Basin from Vancouver Island, Canada, to Cape Mendocino, California, United States, have been investigated with swath bathymetry; newly collected and archive piston, gravity, kasten, and box cores; and accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dates. The purpose of this study is to test the applicability of the Holocene turbidite record as a paleoseismic record for the Cascadia subduction zone. The Cascadia Basin is an ideal place to develop a turbidite paleoseismologic method and to record paleoearthquakes because (1) a single subduction-zone fault underlies the Cascadia submarine-canyon systems; (2) multiple tributary canyons and a variety of turbidite systems and sedimentary sources exist to use in tests of synchronous turbidite triggering; (3) the Cascadia trench is completely sediment filled, allowing channel systems to trend seaward across the abyssal plain, rather than merging in the trench; (4) the continental shelf is wide, favoring disconnection of Holocene river systems from their largely Pleistocene canyons; and (5) excellent stratigraphic datums, including the Mazama ash and distinguishable sedimentological and faunal changes near the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary, are present for correlating events and anchoring the temporal framework. Multiple tributaries to Cascadia Channel with 50- to 150-km spacing, and a wide variety of other turbidite systems with different sedimentary sources contain 13 post-Mazama-ash and 19 Holocene turbidites. Likely correlative sequences are found in Cascadia Channel, Juan de Fuca Channel off Washington, and Hydrate Ridge slope basin and Astoria Fan off northern and central Oregon. A probable correlative sequence of turbidites is also found in cores on Rogue Apron off southern Oregon. The Hydrate Ridge and Rogue Apron cores also include 12-22 interspersed thinner turbidite beds respectively. We use 14C dates, relative-dating tests at channel confluences, and stratigraphic correlation of turbidites to determine whether turbidites deposited in separate channel systems are correlative - triggered by a common event. In most cases, these tests can separate earthquake-triggered turbidity currents from other possible sources. The 10,000-year turbidite record along the Cascadia margin passes several tests for synchronous triggering and correlates well with the shorter onshore paleoseismic record. The synchroneity of a 10,000-year turbidite-event record for 500 km along the northern half of the Cascadia subduction zone is best explained by paleoseismic triggering by great earthquakes. Similarly, we find a likely synchronous record in southern Cascadia, including correlated additional events along the southern margin. We examine the applicability of other regional triggers, such as storm waves, storm surges, hyperpycnal flows, and teletsunami, specifically for the Cascadia margin. The average age of the oldest turbidite emplacement event in the 10-0-ka series is 9,800±~210 cal yr B.P. and the youngest is 270±~120 cal yr B.P., indistinguishable from the A.D. 1700 (250 cal yr B.P.) Cascadia earthquake. The northern events define a great earthquake recurrence of ~500-530 years. The recurrence times and averages are supported by the thickness of hemipelagic sediment deposited between turbidite beds. The southern Oregon and northern California margins represent at least three segments that include all of the northern ruptures, as well as ~22 thinner turbidites of restricted latitude range that are correlated between multiple sites. At least two northern California sites, Trinidad and Eel Canyon/pools, record additional turbidites, which may be a mix of earthquake and sedimentologically or storm-triggered events, particularly during the early Holocene when a close connection existed between these canyons and associated river systems. The combined stratigraphic correlations, hemipelagic analysis, and 14C framework suggest that the Cascadia margin has three rupture modes: (1) 19-20 full-length or nearly full length ruptures; (2) three or four ruptures comprising the southern 50-70 percent of the margin; and (3) 18-20 smaller southern-margin ruptures during the past 10 k.y., with the possibility of additional southern-margin events that are presently uncorrelated. The shorter rupture extents and thinner turbidites of the southern margin correspond well with spatial extents interpreted from the limited onshore paleoseismic record, supporting margin segmentation of southern Cascadia. The sequence of 41 events defines an average recurrence period for the southern Cascadia margin of ~240 years during the past 10 k.y. Time-independent probabilities for segmented ruptures range from 7-12 percent in 50 years for full or nearly full margin ruptures to ~21 percent in 50 years for a southern-margin rupture. Time-dependent probabilities are similar for northern margin events at ~7-12 percent and 37-42 percent in 50 years for the southern margin. Failure analysis suggests that by the year 2060, Cascadia will have exceeded ~27 percent of Holocene recurrence intervals for the northern margin and 85 percent of recurrence intervals for the southern margin. The long earthquake record established in Cascadia allows tests of recurrence models rarely possible elsewhere. Turbidite mass per event along the Cascadia margin reveals a consistent record for many of the Cascadia turbidites. We infer that larger turbidites likely represent larger earthquakes. Mass per event and magnitude estimates also correlate modestly with following time intervals for each event, suggesting that Cascadia full or nearly full margin ruptures weakly support a time-predictable model of recurrence. The long paleoseismic record also suggests a pattern of clustered earthquakes that includes four or five cycles of two to five earthquakes during the past 10 k.y., separated by unusually long intervals. We suggest that the pattern of long time intervals and longer ruptures for the northern and central margins may be a function of high sediment supply on the incoming plate, smoothing asperities, and potential barriers. The smaller southern Cascadia segments correspond to thinner incoming sediment sections and potentially greater interaction between lower-plate and upper-plate heterogeneities. The Cascadia Basin turbidite record establishes new paleoseismic techniques utilizing marine turbidite-event stratigraphy during sea-level highstands. These techniques can be applied in other specific settings worldwide, where an extensive fault traverses a continental margin that has several active turbidite systems.

  3. Finite element model predictions of static deformation from dislocation sources in a subduction zone: Sensitivities to homogeneous, isotropic, Poisson-solid, and half-space assumptions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Masterlark, Timothy

    2003-01-01

    Dislocation models can simulate static deformation caused by slip along a fault. These models usually take the form of a dislocation embedded in a homogeneous, isotropic, Poisson-solid half-space (HIPSHS). However, the widely accepted HIPSHS assumptions poorly approximate subduction zone systems of converging oceanic and continental crust. This study uses three-dimensional finite element models (FEMs) that allow for any combination (including none) of the HIPSHS assumptions to compute synthetic Green's functions for displacement. Using the 1995 Mw = 8.0 Jalisco-Colima, Mexico, subduction zone earthquake and associated measurements from a nearby GPS array as an example, FEM-generated synthetic Green's functions are combined with standard linear inverse methods to estimate dislocation distributions along the subduction interface. Loading a forward HIPSHS model with dislocation distributions, estimated from FEMs that sequentially relax the HIPSHS assumptions, yields the sensitivity of predicted displacements to each of the HIPSHS assumptions. For the subduction zone models tested and the specific field situation considered, sensitivities to the individual Poisson-solid, isotropy, and homogeneity assumptions can be substantially greater than GPS. measurement uncertainties. Forward modeling quantifies stress coupling between the Mw = 8.0 earthquake and a nearby Mw = 6.3 earthquake that occurred 63 days later. Coulomb stress changes predicted from static HIPSHS models cannot account for the 63-day lag time between events. Alternatively, an FEM that includes a poroelastic oceanic crust, which allows for postseismic pore fluid pressure recovery, can account for the lag time. The pore fluid pressure recovery rate puts an upper limit of 10-17 m2 on the bulk permeability of the oceanic crust. Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.

  4. Deformation of Lawsonite at High Pressure and High Temperature - Implications for Low Velocity Layers in Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    During subduction, the hydrated oceanic crust undergoes a series of metamorphic reactions and transform gradually to blueschists and eclogite at depths of 20-50 km. Detailed seismic observations of subduction zones suggest a complex layered structure with the presence of a Low Velocity Layer (LVL) related to the oceanic crust [1] persisting to considerable depths (100- 250 km).While the transformation from blueschist to eclogite [2] and the presence of glaucophane up to 90-100 km [3] could explain some of these observations, the presence of LVL at greater depths could be related to the presence of the hydrous mineral lawsonite (CaAl2(Si2O7)(OH)2 H2O). Its stability field extends to 8.5 GPa and 1100K corresponding to depths up to 250 km in cold hydrous part of subducting slabs [4]. Because these regions undergo large and heterogeneous deformation, lawsonite plasticity and crystal preferred orientation (CPOs) may strongly influence the dynamic of subduction zones and the seismic properties. We present a deformation study at high presssure and high temperature on lawsonite. Six samples were deformed at 4-10 GPa and 600K to 1000K using a D-DIA apparatus [5] at 13-BMD at GSECARS beamline, APS, in axial compression up to 30% deformation with strain rates of 3.10-4s-1 to 6.10-6s-1. We measured in-situ lattice strains (a proxy for macroscopic stress), texture and strain using synchrotron radiations and calculated the macroscopic stress using lawsonite elastic properties [6]. Results from lattice strain analysis show a dependence of flow stress with temperature and strain rate. Texture analysis coupled with transmission electron microscopy showed that dislocation creep is the dominant deformation mechanism under our deformation conditions. [1] Abers, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 176, 323-330, 2000 [2] Helffrich et al., Journal of Geophysical Research, 94, 753-763, 1989 [3] Bezacier et al., Tectonophysics, 494, 201-210, 2010 [4] Schmidt & Poli, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 163, 361-379,1998 [5] Wang et al, Review for Scientific Instruments, 74(6), 3002-3011, 2003 [6] Chantel et al., Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 349-350, 116-125, 2012

  5. Imaging the Locked Zone of the Cascadia Subduction Zone Using Receiver Functions from the Cascadia Initiative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janiszewski, H. A.; Abers, G. A.; Gaherty, J. B.; Carton, H. D.

    2014-12-01

    The Cascadia subduction zone is a hot end-member system that is characterized by the subduction of young, thickly sedimented lithosphere. Previous receiver function studies have observed a low velocity zone (LVZ) with strong contrasts along the thrust up to 40 km depth. It is hypothesized that this may be created by a channel of either near-lithostatic pressure fluids or stronger metasediments, implying a weak thrust zone. These studies have been limited to data from onshore stations, and thus have not imaged the shallower, geodetically locked portion of the thrust zone, which is located offshore. The ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) from the Cascadia Initiative (CI), which are among the first broadband instruments successfully deployed in shallow water using low-profile Trawl-Resistant-Mounts (TRM), offer the opportunity to extend receiver function studies of the LVZ offshore. Calculation of receiver functions from OBS data is difficult due to water column noise. Fortunately, the TRM housing yields quieter horizontal-component signals, and with proper application of tilt and compliance corrections receiver functions are calculated at all of the successfully deployed TRM OBS from CI Year 1, as well as at some deep water stations. We use velocity models from the previous onshore receiver function studies to generate synthetic receiver functions to compare with our data. Several of the stations on the continental margin have consistent arrivals at 3-4 s lag that match predicted depths for the subduction interface. The shallow-water stations deployed off the coast of Grays Harbor, Washington record a high-amplitude asymmetric arrival consistent with reverberations off the top and bottom of the LVZ. This high-amplitude arrival is not as evident at other stations along the margin region. This along strike variation may be evidence for segmentation along the thrust zone; however, a careful analysis of these complex signals will be needed to determine the extent of the LVZ offshore. The evolution of this LVZ from the up-dip locked region through the transition zone to the down-dip freely slipping region will aid in our understanding of the hydration state of the Cascadia thrust.

  6. Subduction zone geometry and stress transfer during megathrust earthquakes, upper Cook Inlet basin, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willis, Julie Barrott

    Field observations and elastic and viscoelastic dislocation models of the 1964 great Alaska earthquake, Mw 9.2, demonstrate how complex subduction zone geometry affects static and time-dependent stress transfer from megathrust ruptures to upper plate faults. A three-dimensional elastic dislocation model of the 1964 earthquake uses triangular subfaults to capture sharp changes in trend and spacing of Benioff contours that define the top of the subducting slab as it transitions from steep subduction of the Pacific Plate (PP) to shallow subduction of the Yakutat terrane (YT), an allochthonous continental fragment. The model demonstrates that slab geometry strongly influences coseismic stress transfer into the upper plate, ascertaining that the anomalous upper Cook Inlet stress field (maximum horizontal stress oriented 45 counterclockwise from subducting plate motion), is partially due to slip on the complex subduction interface. The model further ascertains that slip on the complex interface causes marked variations in coseismic stresses transferred to the Castle Mountain fault (CMF) which shows marked along-strike variability in seismogenic behavior and straddles the underlying edge of the YT. The western CMF is the only upper plate fault with unequivocal Holocene surface rupture in the greater Anchorage area. Herein, a previously unrecognized offset margin of a postglacial outwash channel is identified and used to establish a right lateral slip rate of 3.0+/-0.6 mm yr-1 and a potential rupture magnitude of 6.9-7.3 for that fault segment. A time-dependent viscoelastic Maxwell rheological model of the 1964 earthquake suggests a time-delayed rotation of principal stresses from a reverse to a strike-slip faulting regime along the CMF. The delay may indicate a temporal link between megathrust earthquakes and CMF rupture. The time-dependent model further suggest that megathrust-induced changes in shear and normal stresses, and thus in rupture potential, on the Castle Mountain fault and on transpressional faults of upper Cook Inlet basin will peak 60 years post-1964. The transpressional faults core hydrocarbon-producing anticlines of the Cook Inlet petroleum province. These faults and the western CMF pose a significant seismic hazard to the greater Anchorage area and to petroleum infrastructure of Cook Inlet basin.

  7. Areas of slip of recent earthquakes in the Mexican subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hjorleifsdottir, V.; Snchez-Reyes, H. S.; Singh, S.; Ji, C.; Iglesias, A.; Perez-Campos, X.

    2012-12-01

    The Mexican subduction zone is unusual: the width of the seismogenic zone is relatively narrow and a large portion of the co-seismic slip generally occurs below the coast, ~ 45 to 80 km from the trench. The earthquake recurrence interval is relatively short and almost the entire length of the zone has experienced a large (Mw?7.4) earthquake in the last 100 years (Singh et al., 1981). In this study we present detailed analysis of the areas of significant slip during several recent (last 20 years) large earthquakes in the Mexican subduction zone. The most recent earthquake of 20 March 2012 (Mw7.4) occurred near the Guerrero/Oaxaca border. The slip was concentrated on the plate interface below land and the epicentral PGAs ranged between 0.2 and 0.7g. The updip portion of the plate interface had previously broken during the 25 Feb 1996 earthquake (Mw7.1), which was a slow earthquake and produced anomalously low PGAs (Iglesias et al., 2003). This indicates that in this region the area close to the trench is at least partially locked, with some earthquakes breaking the down-dip portion of the interface and others rupturing the up-dip portion. The Jalisco/Colima segment of the subduction zone seems to behave in a similar fashion. The 9 October 1995 (Mw 8.0) earthquake generated small accelerations relative to its size. The energy to moment ratio, E0/M0, is 4.2e-6 (Prez-Campos, Singh and Beroza, 2003), a value similar to the Feb, 1996 earthquake. This value is low compared to other thrust events in the region. The earthquake also had the largest (Ms-Mw) disparity along the Mexican subduction zone, 7.4 vs 8.0. The event produced relatively large tsunami. On the contrary, the 3 June 1932 earthquake (Ms8.2, Mw8.0), that is believed to have broken the same segment of the subduction zone, appears to be "normal." Based on the available evidence, it may be concluded that the 1932 event broke a deeper patch of the plate interface relative to the 1995 event. The mode of rupture in the subduction zone between the two areas mentioned above is not known. This part of the subduction zone includes the rupture area of the 1985 Michoacn earthquake (Mw8.0) and the "Guerrero Gap" which is a section of the subduction zone that has not had a large earthquake in the last 100 years. The downdip and updip patches on the plate interface, which, generally, rupture independently may slip during one great earthquake. This possibility must be accounted for in the estimation of maximum-magnitude earthquake along the subduction zone.

  8. Along-strike complex geometry of subduction zones - an experimental approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Midtkandal, I.; Gabrielsen, R. H.; Brun, J.-P.; Huismans, R.

    2012-04-01

    Recent knowledge of the great geometric and dynamic complexity insubduction zones, combined with new capacity for analogue mechanical and numerical modeling has sparked a number of studies on subduction processes. Not unexpectedly, such models reveal a complex relation between physical conditions during subduction initiation, strength profile of the subducting plate, the thermo-dynamic conditions and the subduction zones geometries. One rare geometrical complexity of subduction that remains particularly controversial, is the potential for polarity shift in subduction systems. The present experiments were therefore performed to explore the influence of the architecture, strength and strain velocity on complexities in subduction zones, focusing on along-strike variation of the collision zone. Of particular concern were the consequences for the geometry and kinematics of the transition zones between segments of contrasting subduction direction. Although the model design to some extent was inspired by the configuration along the Iberian - Eurasian suture zone, the results are also of significance for other orogens with complex along-strike geometries. The experiments were set up to explore the initial state of subduction only, and were accordingly terminated before slab subduction occurred. The model wasbuilt from layers of silicone putty and sand, tailored to simulate the assumed lithospheric geometries and strength-viscosity profiles along the plate boundary zone prior to contraction, and comprises two 'continental' plates separated by a thinner 'oceanic' plate that represents the narrow seaway. The experiment floats on a substrate of sodiumpolytungstate, representing mantle. 24 experimental runs were performed, varying the thickness (and thus strength) of the upper mantle lithosphere, as well as the strain rate. Keeping all other parameters identical for each experiment, the models were shortened by a computer-controlled jackscrew while time-lapse images were recorded. After completion, the models were saturated with water and frozen, allowing for sectioning and profile inspection. The experiments were invariably characterized by different along-strike patterns of deformation, so that three distinct structural domains could be distinguished in all cases. Model descriptions are subdivided accordingly, including domain CC, simulating a continent-continent collision, domain OC, characterized by continent-ocean-continent collision and domain T, representing the transition zone between domain CC and domain OC. The latter zone varied in width and complexity depending on the contrast in structural style developed in the two other domains; in cases where domain OC developed very differently from domain CC, the transition zone was generally wider and more complex. A typical experiment displayed the following features and strain history: In domain CC two principal thrust sheets are displayed, which obviously developed in an in-sequence foreland-directed fashion. The lowermost detachment nucleated at the base of the High Strength Lithospheric Mantle analogue, whereas the uppermost thrust was anchored within the "lower crust". The two thrusts operated in concert, the surface trace of the deepest dominating in the west, and the shallowest in the east. The kinematic development of domain CC could be subdivided into four stages, including initiation of a symmetrical anticline with a minute amplitude and situated directly above the velocity discontinuity defined by the plate contact (stage 1), contemporaneous development of the two thrusts (stage 2) and an associated asymmetrical anticline (stage 3) with a central collapse graben in the latest phase (stage 4). It is noted that the segment CC as seen in a clear majority of the experiments followed this pattern of development. In contrast, the configuration of domain OC displayed greater variation, and included north and south-directed subduction, folding, growth of pop-up-structures and triangle zones. In the "ocean crust" domain, stage 1 was characterized by the growth of a fault-propagation anticline with an E-W-oriented fold axis, ending with the surfacing of a north-vergent thrust. In stage 2, the contraction was concentrated to the south in the oceanic domain, again ending with the surfacing of a thrust, here with top-south transport. By continued movement (stage 3), the thrust fault propagated towards the east, crossing into the "continental" domain and linking with the fault systems of the segment CC. The structure of domain T is dominated by the interference of faults propagating westwards from the domain CC and eastwards from the domain OC, respectively. The zone of overlap in the experiment was significant, and its central part had the geometry of a double "crocodile structure" (sensuMeissner 1989), separating the two areas of northerly and southerly subduction. Hence, its development is less easily subdivided into stages. Reference: Meissner,R., 1989: Rupture, creep lamellae and crocodiles: happenings in the continental crust. Terra Nova, 1, 17-28.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 (nen & 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 700C 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 300C. 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. nen, 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.

  11. Fluid-Mediated Redox Processes at Subduction Zones (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malaspina, N.; Langenhorst, F.; Poli, S.

    2013-12-01

    The mechanism of slab-to-mantle volatile transfer is strongly related to the fluid speciation, which in turn is a function of oxygen fugacity, in a system buffered by equilibria involving redox-sensitive elements. However, the redox processes taking place in the portion of mantle wedge on top of the subducting slab are poorly investigated and the oxidising power of fluids is still unknown. Information on such fluid/melt related processes can be gained by the study of orogenic metasomatised ultramafic rocks associated with deeply subducted crust. We present two case studies of mantle-derived garnet peridotites from Sulu (China) and the Western Gneiss Region (Norway), unique examples of metasomatised mantle wedge that interacted with COH fluids subducted up to 200 km depth. Sulu peridotites record a multistage metasomatism by alkali-rich silicate melt, and a subsequent influx of a slab-derived incompatible element and silicate-rich fluid during the Triassic UHP metamorphism. We performed Fe3+/?Fe flank method and electron energy loss spectroscopy measurements on garnet and pyroxenes, to quantify the Fe3+ distribution among the peridotite phases and estimate the bulk oxidation state of the peridotite. The results indicate that garnets are zoned, with Fe2O3 increasing from ~0.8 to ~2.5 wt.%, and clinopyroxenes contain high Fe3+/?Fe ratios (0.48 to 0.51) and Na contents. Peridotites from Norway preserve remnants of crust-derived fluids which precipitated daughter Cr- spinel + phlogopite/K-amphibole + dolomite/magnesite + graphite/diamond in polyphase inclusions hosted by majoritic garnet. They witness COH fluid/mineral interaction responsible for diamond formation. We determined the fO2 of the peak mineral assemblage starting from Fe3+ analyses in majoritic garnet. The fO2 values are up FMQ-2 along a trend from arc lavas (FMQ+1.5 - FMQ+3) to mantle wedge garnet peridotites from Sulu (FMQ - FMQ+2). The fO2 determination together with Fe3+ distribution among the hydrate-carbonate-bearing mineral association of Sulu and Bardane peridotites suggest that slab-derived metasomatic COH fluids are H2O-CO2 mixtures, whereby the H2O/CO2 ratio increases with increasing pressure. The peculiar composition of majorite-hosted diamond-bearing polyphase inclusions from Bardane and the speciation of its COH component point to an 'oxidised' silicate-rich aqueous fluid contaminated by the subducted slab to the mantle wedge which could be regarded as carrier of dissolved oxidised components from the subducted slab to the mantle wedge. Also, the Fe3+ enrichment of clinopyroxene in the Sulu peridotite is apparently related to a progressive enrichment in Na, as aegerine component, and could be favoured by the influx of Fe2O3- and alkali-rich metasomatic fluid phases. Such mechanisms open new possibilities to unravel the redox processes occurring in arc mantle sources and their role in precipitating diamond.

  12. Middle Cambrian to Late Ordovician evolution of the Appalachian margin: Foundering of a passive margin to form a subduction zone and volcanic arc

    SciTech Connect

    Washington, P.A. , Southern Pines, NC )

    1994-03-01

    From late Middle Cambrian to early Late Ordovician time, the Appalachian passive margin experienced a series of orogenic events culminating in the Taconic orogeny. Most of these events are generally viewed as enigmatic and isolated, but they can be viewed as a coherent tectonic sequence of events. The early stages involved broad uplifts and localized extension, especially of internal shelf and adjacent continental interiors. Later stages involved increased subsidence rates of the outer shelf, resulting in retreat of the outer margin of the carbonate platform.The beginning of volcanic activity coincides with, or immediately follows, the rapid subsidence. Onset of compressional orogenesis is often temporally separated from the initial rapid subsidence. These events can be integrated into a tectonic model in which the passive margin is converted into an active Andean margin. Early uplift and extension events represented the surface expression of the beginning of deep-seated downward mantle convection. Subsequent rapid subsidence events represented the mechanical failure of the lithosphere as the convection reaches maturity. Failure of the lithosphere resulted in a subduction zone that quickly created arc volcanism. The compressive Taconic orogenesis occurred when the arc was thrust back onto the shelf margin as the subduction zone migrated continentward in response to progressively channeled convective flow.

  13. Boron as a tracer for material transfer in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosner, Martin Siegfried

    2003-10-01

    Late Miocene to Quaternary volcanic rocks from the frontal arc to the back-arc region of the Central Volcanic Zone in the Andes show a wide range of delta 11B values (+4 to -7 ‰) and boron concentrations (6 to 60 ppm). Positive delta 11B values of samples from the volcanic front indicate involvement of a 11B-enriched slab component, most likely derived from altered oceanic crust, despite the thick Andean continental lithosphere, and rule out a pure crust-mantle origin for these lavas. The delta 11B values and B concentrations in the lavas decrease systematically with increasing depth of the Wadati-Benioff Zone. This across-arc variation in delta 11B values and decreasing B/Nb ratios from the arc to the back-arc samples are attributed to the combined effects of B-isotope fractionation during progressive dehydration in the slab and a steady decrease in slab-fluid flux towards the back arc, coupled with a relatively constant degree of crustal contamination as indicated by similar Sr, Nd and Pb isotope ratios in all samples. Modelling of fluid-mineral B-isotope fractionation as a function of temperature fits the across-arc variation in delta 11B and we conclude that the B-isotope composition of arc volcanics is dominated by changing delta 11B composition of B-rich slab-fluids during progressive dehydration. Crustal contamination becomes more important towards the back-arc due to the decrease in slab-derived fluid flux. Because of this isotope fractionation effect, high delta 11B signatures in volcanic arcs need not necessarily reflect differences in the initial composition of the subducting slab. Three-component mixing calculations for slab-derived fluid, the mantle wedge and the continental crust based on B, Sr and Nd isotope data indicate that the slab-fluid component dominates the B composition of the fertile mantle and that the primary arc magmas were contaminated by an average addition of 15 to 30 % crustal material. Spät-miozäne bis quartäre Vulkanite der vulkanischen Front und der Back-arc Region der Zentralen Vulkanischen Zone in den Anden weisen eine weite Spannbreite von delta 11B Werten (+4 bis –7 ‰) and Borkonzentrationen (6 bis 60 ppm) auf. Die positiven delta 11B Werte der Vulkanite der vulkanischen Front zeigen eine Beteiligung einer 11B-reichen Komponente am Aufbau der andinen Vulkanite, die am wahrscheinlichsten aus Fluiden der alterierten ozeanischen Kruste der abtauchenden Nazca-Platte stammt. Diese Beobachtung macht einen alleinigen Ursprung der untersuchten Laven aus der kontinentalen Kruste und/oder dem Mantelkeil unwahrscheinlich. Der Trend zu systematisch negativeren delta 11B Werten und kleineren B/Nb Verhältnissen von der vulkanischen Front zum Back-arc wird als Resultat einer Borisotopenfraktionierung einhergehend mit einer stetigen Abnahme der Fluidkomponente und einer relativ konstanten krustalen Kontamination, die sich durch relativ gleichbleibende Sr, Nd und Pb Isotopenverhältnisse ausdrückt, interpretiert. Weil die delta 11B Variation über den andinen vulkanischen Bogen sehr gut mit einer modellierten, sich als Funktion der Temperatur dynamisch verändernden, Zusammensetzung des Subduktionszonenfluides übereinstimmt, folgern wir, dass die Borisotopenzusammensetzung von Arc-Vulkaniten durch die sich dynamisch ändernde delta 11B Signatur eines Bor-reichen Subduktionsfluides bestimmt ird. Durch die Abnahme dieses Subduktionsfluides während der Subduktion nimmt der Einfluss der krustalen Kontamination auf die Borisotopie der Arc-Vulkanite im Back-arc zu. In Anbetracht der Borisotopenfraktionierung müssen hohe delta 11B Werte von Arc-Vulkaniten nicht notwendigerweise Unterschiede in der initialen Zusammensetzung der subduzierten Platte reflektieren. Eine Dreikomponenten Mischungskalkulation zwischen Subduktionsfluid, dem Mantelkeil und der kontinentalen Kruste, die auf Bor-, Strontium- und Neodymiumisotopendaten beruht, zeigt, dass das Subduktionsfluid die Borisotopie des fertilen Mantels dominiert und, dass die primären Arc-Magmen durchschnittlich einen Anteil von 15 bis 30 % krustalem Materiales aufweisen.

  14. Source Parameters of Large Magnitude Subduction Zone Earthquakes Along Oaxaca, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Transition from dehydration to hydration during exhumation of the Sanbagawa metamorphic belt, Japan, revealed by the continuous P- T path recorded in garnet and amphibole zoning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uno, Masaoki; Iwamori, Hikaru; Toriumi, Mitsuhiro

    2015-09-01

    To investigate the water budget in deep accretionary prisms, we undertook a detailed petrologic analysis of garnet-bearing amphibolites in the subduction-origin high-pressure Sanbagawa metamorphic belt, Japan. We obtained a continuous P- T path of exhumation by the application of differential thermodynamics to compositional zoning in both garnet and amphibole. The P- T path is characterized by three stages of decompression: (1) heating decompression from 1.5 GPa and 550 C to 1.1 GPa and 600 C; (2) isothermal decompression toward 0.8 GPa and 580 C; and (3) cooling decompression to 0.3 GPa and 400 C. Comparison with the results of numerical modeling of the thermal structures of subduction zones suggests that the peak-pressure condition is warmer than the slab surface temperature in a typical subduction zone, but is consistent with subduction of a young slab during the Sanbagawa metamorphism. The heating decompression just after the peak-pressure condition is explained by heating from the mantle wedge during ascent of the metamorphic body in the accretionary prism; heating stops when the metamorphic body reaches crustal depths. Mass balance calculations for the mineral reactions in an amphibolite reveal that the dehydration associated with the growth of Ca-poor garnet takes place during heating decompression, whereas hydration takes place during cooling decompression by the breakdown of garnet and pargasite to form chlorite and actinolite. Such a transition from dehydration to hydration in the exhuming metabasite body in an accretionary prism generates fluids between the continental Moho and the slab surface and may explain the seismic activity above the subduction plate boundary, such as supra-slab earthquakes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hchner, 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.

  18. Link between plate fabric, hydration and subduction zone seismicity in Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shillington, Donna J.; Bécel, Anne; Nedimović, Mladen R.; Kuehn, Harold; Webb, Spahr C.; Abers, Geoffrey A.; Keranen, Katie M.; Li, Jiyao; Delescluse, Matthias; Mattei-Salicrup, Gabriel A.

    2015-12-01

    Subduction zones worldwide exhibit remarkable variation in seismic activity over short distances of about tens of kilometres along their length. The properties of the subducting oceanic plate are believed to influence this seismic behaviour. However, comparisons between seismicity and plate attributes such as thermal structure made over large scales of hundreds of kilometres typically yield poor correlations. Here we present results from controlled-source seismic data collected offshore of the Alaska Peninsula. We find that fabric in the subducting oceanic plate--the orientation and style of remnant faults originally created at the mid-ocean ridge--can contribute to abrupt changes in faulting and hydration of the plate during bending before subduction. Variations in fabric, bending faulting and hydration correlate with changes in seismicity throughout the subduction zone. More interplate and intermediate-depth intraplate earthquakes are observed where the pre-existing fabric is aligned with the trench and there is more bend faulting and hydration. This suggests that pre-existing structures in the subducting plate are an important control on abrupt variations in deformation and plate hydration and on globally observed short-wavelength variations in seismicity at subduction zones.

  19. Carbon mobilized at shallow depths in subduction zones by carbonatitic liquids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poli, Stefano

    2015-08-01

    More than half a gigaton of CO2 is subducted into Earth’s interior each year. At least 40% of this CO2 is returned to the atmosphere by arc volcanism. Processes that are known to release carbon from subducting slabs--decarbonation or carbonate dissolution in fluids--can account for only a portion of the CO2 released at arc volcanoes. Carbonatitic liquids may form from the subducting crust, but are thought to form only at very high temperatures. Melting of carbonated rocks could restrict the subduction of carbon into the deeper Earth. However, the behaviour of such rock types in subduction zones is unclear. Here I use laboratory experiments to show that calcium-rich hydrous carbonatitic liquids can form at temperatures as low as 870 to 900 °C, which corresponds to shallow depths of just 120 km beneath subduction zone arcs, in warm thermal regimes. I find that water strongly depresses the solidus for hydrous carbonate gabbro and limestone rocks, creating carbonatitic liquids that efficiently scavenge volatile elements, calcium and silicon, from the slab. These extremely mobile and reactive liquids are expected to percolate into the mantle wedge, and create a CO2 source for subduction zone magmatism. Carbonatitic liquids thus provide a potentially significant pathway for carbon recycling at shallow depths beneath arcs.

  20. Combining GPS and repeating earthquakes for a high resolution analysis of subduction zone coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weston, J.; Shirzaei, M.

    2016-01-01

    Increasingly complex spatiotemporal patterns of subduction zone coupling are being revealed by geodetic and seismic observations. Understanding the mechanisms which control it is useful for improving seismic hazard assessments. GPS and characteristically repeating earthquakes (CREs) are complementary datasets for monitoring aseismic slip. Here, both of them are combined to estimate the rate and distribution of creep on the northeast Japan subduction zone between 21 March 1996 and 24 September 2003. We find that the majority of the upper part at 0-30 km depth remains locked. There are three regions creeping at 7-8 cm/yr distributed along-strike at 40-70 km depth. We observe that these creeping regions occur in areas of low effective pressure and reduced porosity, which are inferred from Vp and Vs velocities. Moreover, an area of high clay content and high effective pressure coincides with the rupture area of the Tohoku-oki earthquake. We discuss these results in the context of potential mechanisms governing creep in northeast Japan. Our results highlight the benefits of combining GPS and CREs for advancing our understanding of the seismic cycle in subduction zones.

  1. The Hellenic Subduction System: High-Pressure Metamorphism, Exhumation, Normal Faulting, and Large-Scale Extension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ring, Uwe; Glodny, Johannes; Will, Thomas; Thomson, Stuart

    2010-05-01

    The Cenozoic history of the retreating Hellenic subduction system in the eastern Mediterranean involves subduction, accretion, arc magmatism, exhumation, normal faulting, and large-scale continental extension from 60 Mya until the Recent. Ages for high-pressure metamorphism in the central Aegean Sea region range from 53 Ma in the north (the Cyclades islands) to 25-20 Ma in the south (Crete). Younging of high-pressure metamorphism reflects the southward retreat of the Hellenic subduction zone. The shape of pressure-temperature-time paths of high-pressure rocks is remarkably similar across all tectonic units, suggesting a steady-state thermal profile of the subduction system and persistence of deformation and exhumation styles. The high-pressure metamorphic events were caused by the underthrusting of fragments of continental crust that were superimposed on slab retreat. Most of the exhumation of high-pressure units occurred in extrusion wedges during ongoing lithospheric convergence. At 23-19 Mya large-scale lithospheric extension commenced, causing metamorphic core complexes and the opening of the Aegean Sea basin. This extensional stage caused limited exhumation at the margins of the Aegean Sea but accomplished the major part of the exhumation of high-grade rocks that formed between 21 and 16 Mya in the central Aegean. The age pattern of extensional faults and contoured maps of fission-track cooling ages do not show a simple southward progression. Our review of lithologic, structural, metamorphic, and geochronologic data is consistent with a temporal link between the draping of the subducted slab over the 660-km discontinuity and the large-scale extension causing the opening of the Aegean Sea basin.

  2. Constraints from fluid inclusions in mantle minerals on the composition of subduction-zone fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiano, P.; Provost, A.; Cluzel, N.

    2013-12-01

    Slab-derived fluids are thought to enrich the mantle wedge in water and trace elements, and this metasomatized mantle region becomes the source of island arc basalts. Much of the evidence for this model has been derived indirectly through the study of the composition of the end-products, the lavas, and there have only been a few direct studies of the metasomatism of the mantle rocks from these regions. Therefore important aspects of the model have remained somewhat hypothetical. In particular, there are different viewpoints on the nature of subduction fluids, their trace element compositions and their pathways in the slab and overlying mantle. The whole debate is also hampered by the limited memory that high-pressure metamorphic rocks preserve of their subduction history, due to retrograde overprinting during exhumation, and by uncertainties in reproducing the conditions of subduction during experiments. Here we identify trapped pristine samples of the fluid phase percolating through the mantle wedge beneath island arcs, by examining fluid inclusions trapped within spinel-harzburgite xenoliths in an arc-front volcano (Batan island, Luzon arc). The xenoliths correspond to previously metasomatized mantle fragments incorporated in the lavas during ascent. Cl-bearing H2O-rich fluid inclusions occur within both primary (ol, opx) and late metasomatic minerals (e.g., cpx, phlogopite, amphibole). They were formed by the addition of aqueous fluids or by separation of aqueous fluids from H2O-saturated melt inclusions, as suggested by the occurrence of composite inclusions consisting of silicate glass and H2O (liq+vap). The associated silicate melt inclusions were previously shown to display silica-rich compositions that are consistent with slab-derived melts [1] or melts of metasomatized mantle peridotites [2]. In situ Raman spectroscopy reveals that at room temperature, the fluid inclusions are composed mainly of H2O, H2S and HS- and contain also sulphur (S6) and Mg-carbonates. Step-heating experiments were performed using a heating stage placed under the Raman microscope to estimate the initial composition of the trapped fluid. At 930C, the final homogenization temperature of the associated melt inclusions, the fluid inclusions are homogeneous and composed of H2O, H2S and CO2. Salinities in the H2O-NaCl system calculated using freezing point depression relationship indicate that total salt of less than 10 wt% NaCl-equivalent is dissolved in the aqueous fluids. Trace-element data for Cl-bearing H2O-rich fluid inclusions are obtained using LA-ICPMS at Clermont-Ferrand. Comparison with compositions of the associated silicate melt inclusions allows determination of fluid/melt partition coefficients Dfluid/melt for the slab-released phases. The resultant coefficients are compared with experimentally determined Dfluid/melt, discussed in terms of recycling rates of key elements in subduction zones, and considered for the generation of trace element patterns typical for calc-alkaline magmas. [1] Schiano et al. (1995) Nature 377, 595-600 ; [2] Eiler et al. (2007) G3 8(9) doi :10.1029/2006GC001503

  3. Geothermal modelling of faulted metamorphic crystalline crust: a new model of the Continental Deep Drilling Site KTB (Germany)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szalaiová, Eva; Rabbel, Wolfgang; Marquart, Gabriele; Vogt, Christian

    2015-11-01

    The area of the 9.1-km-deep Continental Deep Drillhole (KTB) in Germany is used as a case study for a geothermal reservoir situated in folded and faulted metamorphic crystalline crust. The presented approach is based on the analysis of 3-D seismic reflection data combined with borehole data and hydrothermal numerical modelling. The KTB location exemplarily contains all elements that make seismic prospecting in crystalline environment often more difficult than in sedimentary units, basically complicated tectonics and fracturing and low-coherent strata. In a first step major rock units including two known nearly parallel fault zones are identified down to a depth of 12 km. These units form the basis of a gridded 3-D numerical model for investigating temperature and fluid flow. Conductive and advective heat transport takes place mainly in a metamorphic block composed of gneisses and metabasites that show considerable differences in thermal conductivity and heat production. Therefore, in a second step, the structure of this unit is investigated by seismic waveform modelling. The third step of interpretation consists of applying wavenumber filtering and log-Gabor-filtering for locating fractures. Since fracture networks are the major fluid pathways in the crystalline, we associate the fracture density distribution with distributions of relative porosity and permeability that can be calibrated by logging data and forward modelling of the temperature field. The resulting permeability distribution shows values between 10-16 and 10-19 m2 and does not correlate with particular rock units. Once thermohydraulic rock properties are attributed to the numerical model, the differential equations for heat and fluid transport in porous media are solved numerically based on a finite difference approach. The hydraulic potential caused by topography and a heat flux of 54 mW m-2 were applied as boundary conditions at the top and bottom of the model. Fluid flow is generally slow and mainly occurring within the two fault zones. Thus, our model confirms the previous finding that diffusive heat transport is the dominant process at the KTB site. Fitting the observed temperature-depth profile requires a correction for palaeoclimate of about 4 K at 1 km depth. Modelled and observed temperature data fit well within 0.2 °C bounds. Whereas thermal conditions are suitable for geothermal energy production, hydraulic conditions are unfavourable without engineered stimulation.

  4. A non extensive statistical physics analysis of the Hellenic subduction zone seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vallianatos, F.; Papadakis, G.; Michas, G.; Sammonds, P.

    2012-04-01

    The Hellenic subduction zone is the most seismically active region in Europe [Becker & Meier, 2010]. The spatial and temporal distribution of seismicity as well as the analysis of the magnitude distribution of earthquakes concerning the Hellenic subduction zone, has been studied using the concept of Non-Extensive Statistical Physics (NESP) [Tsallis, 1988 ; Tsallis, 2009]. Non-Extensive Statistical Physics, which is a generalization of Boltzmann-Gibbs statistical physics, seems a suitable framework for studying complex systems (Vallianatos, 2011). Using this concept, Abe & Suzuki (2003;2005) investigated the spatial and temporal properties of the seismicity in California and Japan and recently Darooneh & Dadashinia (2008) in Iran. Furthermore, Telesca (2011) calculated the thermodynamic parameter q of the magnitude distribution of earthquakes of the southern California earthquake catalogue. Using the external seismic zones of 36 seismic sources of shallow earthquakes in the Aegean and the surrounding area [Papazachos, 1990], we formed a dataset concerning the seismicity of shallow earthquakes (focal depth ≤ 60km) of the subduction zone, which is based on the instrumental data of the Geodynamic Institute of the National Observatory of Athens (http://www.gein.noa.gr/, period 1990-2011). The catalogue consists of 12800 seismic events which correspond to 15 polygons of the aforementioned external seismic zones. These polygons define the subduction zone, as they are associated with the compressional stress field which characterizes a subducting regime. For each event, moment magnitude was calculated from ML according to the suggestions of Papazachos et al. (1997). The cumulative distribution functions of the inter-event times and the inter-event distances as well as the magnitude distribution for each seismic zone have been estimated, presenting a variation in the q-triplet along the Hellenic subduction zone. The models used, fit rather well to the observed distributions, implying the complexity of the spatiotemporal properties of seismicity and the usefulness of NESP in investigating such phenomena, exhibiting scale-free nature and long range memory effects. Acknowledgments. This work was supported in part by the THALES Program of the Ministry of Education of Greece and the European Union in the framework of the project entitled "Integrated understanding of Seismicity, using innovative Methodologies of Fracture mechanics along with Earthquake and non extensive statistical physics - Application to the geodynamic system of the Hellenic Arc. SEISMO FEAR HELLARC". GM and GP wish to acknowledge the partial support of the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (ΙΚΥ).

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  8. Two decades of spatiotemporal variations in subduction zone coupling offshore Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loveless, John P.; Meade, Brendan J.

    2016-02-01

    Spatial patterns of interplate coupling on global subduction zones can be used to guide seismic hazard assessment, but estimates of coupling are often constrained using a limited temporal range of geodetic data. Here we analyze ∼19 years of geodetic observations from the GEONET network to assess time-dependent variations in the spatial distribution of coupling on the subduction zones offshore Japan. We divide the position time series into five, ∼3.75-year epochs each decomposed into best-fit velocity, annual periodic signals, coseismic offsets, and postseismic effects following seven major earthquakes. Nominally interseismic velocities are interpreted in terms of a combination of tectonic block motions and earthquake cycle activity. The duration of the inferred postseismic activity covaries with the linear velocity. To address this trade-off, we assume that the nominally interseismic velocity at each station varies minimally from epoch to epoch. This approach is distinct from prior time-series analysis across the earthquake cycle in that position data are not detrended using preseismic velocity, which inherently assumes that interseismic processes are spatially stable through time, but rather the best-fit velocity at each station may vary between epochs. These velocities reveal significant consistency since 1996 in the spatial distribution of coupling on the Nankai subduction zone, with variation limited primarily to the Tokai and Bungo Channel regions, where long-term slow slip events have occurred, and persistently coupled regions coincident with areas that slipped during historic great earthquakes. On the Sagami subduction zone south of Tokyo, we also estimate relatively stable coupling through time. On the Japan-Kuril Trench, we image significant coupling variations owing to effects of the 1994 MW = 7.7 Sanriku-oki, 2003 MW = 8.2 Tokachi-oki, and 2011 MW = 9.0 Tohoku-oki earthquakes. In particular, strong coupling becomes more spatially extensive following the 1994 event until 2011, coseismic-sense slip precedes the Tohoku-oki event, and coupling offshore northern Honshu is reduced after the 2011 earthquake. Despite the occurrence of the 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake, persistent coupling offshore Hokkaido suggests ongoing seismic hazard, possibly similar to past MW ∼ 9-class earthquakes interpreted from coastal paleoseismic records. This time-dependent analysis of interseismic deformation illuminates rich diversity in the distribution of subduction zone coupling, including spatiotemporal stability in coupling, effective reduction in strongly coupled regions due to aseismic thrust-sense slip events, and broad changes in the distribution of coupling following major earthquakes.

  9. High-temperature metamorphism during extreme thinning of the continental crust: a reappraisal of the north Pyrenean paleo-passive margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

    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 dataset of more than one hundred peak-temperature estimates obtained using Raman spectroscopy of the carbonaceous material (RSCM). This dataset is completed by previous PT estimates based on mineral assemblages, and new Ar-Ar (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 Maulon Basin, Arguenos-Moncaup, Lherz, Boucheville and the Bas-Agly, we analyse 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.

  10. A look inside of diamond-forming media in deep subduction zones.

    PubMed

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

    2007-05-29

    Geologists have "known" for many years that continental crust is buoyant and cannot be subducted very deep. Microdiamonds 10-80 microm in size discovered in the 1980s within metamorphic rocks related to continental collisions clearly refute this statement, suggesting that material of continental crust has been subducted to a minimum depth of >150 km and incorporated into mountain chains during tectonic exhumation. Over the past decade, the rapidly moving technological advancement has made it possible to examine these diamonds in detail, and to learn that they contain nanometric multiphase inclusions of crystalline and fluid phases and are characterized by a "crustal" signature of carbon stable isotopes. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy, focused ion beam techniques, synchrotron infrared spectroscopy, and nano-secondary ion mass spectrometry studies of these diamonds provide evidence that they were crystallized from a supercritical carbon-oxygen-hydrogen fluid. These microdiamonds preserve evidence of the pathway by which carbon and water can be subducted to mantle depths and returned back to the earth's surface. PMID:17389388

  11. A Look Inside of Diamond-Forming Media in Deep Subduction Zones

    SciTech Connect

    Dobrzhinetskaya,L.; Wirth, R.; Green, II, H.

    2007-01-01

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

  12. A look inside of diamond-forming media in deep subduction zones

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    Geologists have “known” for many years that continental crust is buoyant and cannot be subducted very deep. Microdiamonds 10–80 μm in size discovered in the 1980s within metamorphic rocks related to continental collisions clearly refute this statement, suggesting that material of continental crust has been subducted to a minimum depth of >150 km and incorporated into mountain chains during tectonic exhumation. Over the past decade, the rapidly moving technological advancement has made it possible to examine these diamonds in detail, and to learn that they contain nanometric multiphase inclusions of crystalline and fluid phases and are characterized by a “crustal” signature of carbon stable isotopes. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy, focused ion beam techniques, synchrotron infrared spectroscopy, and nano-secondary ion mass spectrometry studies of these diamonds provide evidence that they were crystallized from a supercritical carbon-oxygen-hydrogen fluid. These microdiamonds preserve evidence of the pathway by which carbon and water can be subducted to mantle depths and returned back to the earth's surface. PMID:17389388

  13. 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: \

  14. Formation of metamorphic core complexes in non-over-thickened continental crust: A case study of Liaodong Peninsula (East Asia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Kun; Burov, Evgueni; Gumiaux, Charles; Chen, Yan; Lu, Gang; Mezri, Leila; Zhao, Liang

    2015-12-01

    Pre-thickened hot orogenic crust is often considered a necessary condition for the formation of continental metamorphic core complexes (MCCs). However, the discovery of MCCs in the Liaodong Peninsula, where the crust has a normal thickness (~ 35 km), challenges the universality of this scenario. Therefore, we implement a series of 2-D numerical thermo-mechanical modeling experiments in which we investigate the conditions of MCC formation in normal crusts, as well as the relationships between the underlying mechanisms and the syn-rift basin evolution. In these experiments, we explore the impact of the lithostratigraphic and thermo-rheological structure of the crust. We also examine the lithosphere thickness, strain softening, extension rate, and surface erosion/ sedimentation processes. The experiments demonstrate that high thermal gradients and crustal heterogeneities result only in a symmetric spreading dome, which is geometrically incompatible with the observations of the MCCs in the Liaodong Peninsula. According to our further findings, the strain softening should play a key role in the development of asymmetric strain localization and domal topography uplift, while synchronous surface erosion controls the polarity of the syn-rift basin. The synthetic model data are compatible with the geological observations and cooling history based on the thermo-chronology for the eastern part of the East Asia during the late Mesozoic to the early Cenozoic. The model-predicted P-T-t paths are essentially different from those inferred for the other known MCCs, confirming the exceptional character of the MCC formation in the wide rift system of the East Asia.

  15. Magnetic properties of Archean gneisses from the northeastern North China Craton: the relationship between magnetism and metamorphic grade in the deep continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hongcai; Liu, Qingsheng; Zhao, Weihua; Li, Zhiyong; Zheng, Jianping

    2015-04-01

    Magnetic mineralogy of crustal rocks has important implications for understanding continental crustal evolution and origin of regional magnetic anomalies. However, magnetic properties of the deep continental crust are still poorly understood. In this paper, measurements of density (?), mass-specific magnetic susceptibility (?), natural remanent magnetization (NRM) and magnetic hysteresis loops, temperature-dependent magnetic susceptibility (?-T), chemical and mineral analyses were conducted on Archean gneiss samples from the Jixian petrophysical section in the Precambrian terrain, northeastern North China Craton, with the aim of refining understanding of magnetic phase transformations in the deep crustal rocks. Results show that density and rock magnetic properties change distinctly with metamorphic facies. The dominant magnetic mineral is magnetite, while a little hematite is present in a few samples. Together with geochemical and mineralogical compositions, it is inferred that progressive increase in metamorphic grade from east to west is the major cause for magnetic enhancement of the lower crust in the studied section. Therefore, we conclude that study of magnetic phases of deep crustal rocks can offer important insights into the history of high metamorphic grade terranes.

  16. The Relationships of Upper Plate Ridge-Trench-Trench and Ridge-Trench-Transform Triple Junction Evolution to Arc Lengthening, Subduction Zone initiation and Ophiolitic Forearc Obduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casey, J.; Dewey, J. F.

    2013-12-01

    The principal enigma of large obducted ophiolite slabs is that they clearly must have been generated by some form of organized sea-floor spreading/plate-accretion, such as may be envisioned for the oceanic ridges, yet the volcanics commonly have arc affinity (Miyashiro) with boninites (high-temperature/low-pressure, high Mg and Si andesites), which are suggestive of a forearc origin. PT conditions under which boninites and metamorphic soles form and observations of modern forearc systems lead us to the conclusion that ophiolite formation is associated with overriding plate spreading centers that intersect the trench to form ridge-trench-trench of ridge-trench-tranform triple junctions. The spreading centers extend and lengthen the forearc parallel to the trench and by definition are in supra-subduction zone (SSZ) settings. Many ophiolites likewise have complexly-deformed associated mafic-ultramafic assemblages that suggest fracture zone/transform along their frontal edges, which in turn has led to models involving the nucleation of subduction zones on fracture zones or transpressional transforms. Hitherto, arc-related sea-floor-spreading has been considered to be either pre-arc (fore-arc boninites) or post-arc (classic Karig-style back arc basins that trench-parallel split arcs). Syn-arc boninites and forearc oceanic spreading centers that involve a stable ridge/trench/trench triple or a ridge-trench-transform triple junction, the ridge being between the two upper plates, are consistent with large slab ophiolite formation in an obduction-ready settting. The direction of subduction must be oblique with a different sense in the two subduction zones and the oblique subduction cannot be partitioned into trench orthogonal and parallel strike-slip components. As the ridge spreads, new oceanic lithosphere is created within the forearc, the arc and fore-arc lengthen significantly, and a syn-arc ophiolite forearc complex is generated by this mechanism. The ophiolite ages along arc-strike; a distinctive diachronous MORB-like to boninitic to arc volcanic stratigraphy develops vertically in the forearc and eruption centers progressively migrate from the forearc back to the main arc massif with time. Dikes in the ophiolite are commonly highly oblique to the trench (as are back-arc magnetic anomalies in modern environments). Boninites and high-mg andesites are generated in the fore-arc under the aqueous, low pressure/high temperature, regime at the ridge above the instantaneously developed subducting and dehydrating slab. We review both modern subduction environments and ancient obducted ophiolite analogues that illustrate this tectonic model for subduction initiation and the creation and rapid divergent-convergent plate tectonic transitions to ophiolitic forearcs.

  17. 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.

  18. Magmatic and metamorphic development of an early to mid-Paleozoic continental margin arc in the southernmost Central Asian Orogenic Belt, Inner Mongolia, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Wei; Jian, Ping; Krner, Alfred; Shi, Yuruo

    2013-08-01

    The Bainaimiao arc in Inner Mongolia, China, comprises a weakly metamorphosed volcani-sedimentary sequence and a low-P/T metamorphic complex. In this study we present SHRIMP zircon ages and geochemical data to document the temporal and genetic relationships between these two tectonic units. Zircons from a rhyolite and two dacites (high-K calc-alkaline) of the volcani-sedimentary sequence yielded 206Pb/238U ages of 474 7 Ma, 453 7 Ma and 436 9 Ma respectively, that we interpret as recording the timing of three volcanic arc episodes. Rocks from the low-P/T metamorphic complex yielded zircon ages of 462 11 Ma for a sillimanite gneiss and 437 5 Ma for a plagioclase-hornblende gneiss, reflecting two distinct anatectic events. Also from the low-P/T complex, the protolith age of a metadiorite is 438 2 Ma. A diorite from a weakly deformed diorite-granodiorite pluton in the low-P/T complex has a zircon age of 419 10 Ma that correlates in time with regional collisional magmatism. An undeformed pegmatite dike cutting the low-P/T metamorphic complex has an age of 411 8 Ma, which postdates collision and provides an upper limit for the termination of orogeny. Accordingly, we conclude that the volcani-sedimentary sequence and the low-P/T metamorphic complex evolved coherently in the early to mid-Paleozoic and formed an integral continental margin arc in the southernmost Central Asian Orogenic Belt.

  19. Subduction zone fluxes of halogens and noble gases in seafloor and forearc serpentinites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kendrick, Mark A.; Honda, Masahiko; Pettke, Thomas; Scambelluri, Marco; Phillips, David; Giuliani, Andrea

    2013-03-01

    Serpentinites form by hydration of ultramafic lithologies in a range of seafloor and shallow subduction zone settings. Serpentinites are recognised as major reservoirs of fluid mobile elements and H2O in subducting oceanic lithosphere, and together with forearc serpentinites formed in the mantle wedge, provide critical information about shallow-level volatile fluxes during subduction. The current study provides new Cl, as well as the first comprehensive Br, I and noble gas analyses reported for seafloor and forearc chrysotile-lizardite serpentinites. The samples were recovered from IODP drilling campaigns of mid-ocean ridge, passive margin and forearc settings (n=17), and ophiolites in the Italian Alps and Apennines (n=10). The aims of this study were to determine the compositional variability of noble gases and halogens in serpentinites entering subduction zones and evaluate the efficiency of gas loss during the early stages of serpentinite subduction. The chrysotile-lizardite serpentinites and serpentised peridotites contain 43-2300 ppm Cl and 310-13-210-11 mol g-136Ar, with the concentrations of these elements broadly related to the estimated degree of serpentinisation. The serpentinites have extremely variable Br/Cl and I/Cl ratios with many samples preserving compositions similar to organic-rich sedimentary marine pore fluids. Serpentinites from the Marianas Forearc have very high I concentrations of up to 45 ppm I and I/Cl ratios of 14,000 times the seawater value that is even higher than the maximum I/Cl enrichment observed in sedimentary marine pore fluids. The serpentinites have 130Xe/36Ar and 84Kr/36Ar ratios that are mostly close to or above seawater values, and 20Ne/36Ar ratios that range from seawater to lower values. The serpentinites contain <10-270 ppm K and, irrespective of age (0 Ma to 160 Ma), are characterised by 40Ar/36Ar ratios of 300-340 that are slightly higher than the seawater value of 296, thus indicating the presence of minor excess 40Ar*. Three of six serpentinites analysed for helium also have measurable excess 4He contents that cannot be explained by in situ production. The data show that serpentinites trap noble gases and halogens that originate from seawater, organic matter and diverse crustal lithologies. Combined with previous analyses of metamorphosed serpentinites, the new data suggest that approximately 60-70% of the 36Ar entering subduction zones in serpentinites is lost from chrysotile and/or antigorite and could potentially escape through the forearc. An additional, 20-30% of the 36Ar entering subduction zones in serpentinites is lost during antigorite breakdown and may be cycled through the arc or back-arc, and 1-10% of the 36Ar entering subduction zones in serpentinites may be subducted into the deeper mantle. The data demonstrate decoupling of noble gases, halogens and water during subduction and suggest that subduction-zone fluid fluxes can produce especially high concentrations of noble gases and iodine in newly formed forearc serpentinites. The distinctive I/Cl enrichment of forearc serpentinites suggest that halogen abundance ratios provide a plausible means for inferring the geotectonic setting of serpentinisation in ophiolite samples. The exceptional Cl, Br, I and noble gas concentrations of serpentinites, the potential subduction of the forearc serpentinites and the stability of serpentine minerals to mantle depths of >200 km, imply that serpentinites could dominate the deep recycling budgets of both the heavy halogens and atmospheric noble gases.

  20. In-situ formation of Indian Mantle in global subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nebel, Oliver; Arculus, Richard; Davies, Rhodri

    2014-05-01

    The isotopic signatures of Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf-Os in mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB) in the Indian Ocean are clearly distinct compared with their Atlantic/Pacific (A/P) counterparts. The origin of this isotopic distinction has been a matter of debate since its discovery by Dupr and Allgre (1983). Current models advocate: (i) delamination of ancient, negatively buoyant lower crust/lithosphere from a supercontinent; (ii) contamination of A/P-style mantle with plumes (the original association with the DUPAL anomaly); or (iii) long-term overprint by a subduction component (SC) surrounding a former supercontinent. The sum of various stable and radiogenic isotope proxies appears to support a delamination scenario, but alternatives, or the combination of the aforementioned scenarios, are possible. Irrespective of the origin of the Indian mantle domain, isotopic signatures similar to those of Indian MORB and hot-spots are observed in arc/back-arc systems associated with western Pacific subduction zones. These isotope signatures have been regarded as unequivocally derived from Indian-type mantle, and accordingly used to trace eastward flow of that type of mantle. Here we show the majority of igneous rocks associated with subduction zone systems mimic Indian-type mantle in Pb isotope space, but are distinct in Hf-Nd isotope co-variations. We suggest isotopic signatures believed to be derived from Indian mantle in subduction zones are the result of medium-term subduction overprint of evolving A/P-type mantle wedges. This feature results from the relative mobility of U-Pb>Sm-Nd>Lu-Hf in subducted slab-derived components and Th/U (k) fractionation in the mantle wedge. Elevation of k in the wedge from 2.6 (MORB) to about 6-12 can account for the shift in Pb isotope space over a duration of ca. 100-200 Myrs; "decoupling" of Hf-Nd isotopes reflect the subduction component vs mantle wedge contribution. More generally, "Pseudo-Indian mantle" is noted as common in subduction zones globally, and not limited to the western Pacific, supporting the in-situ generation of isotope signatures akin to Indian mantle. Radiogenic ingrowth in modified wedge mantle requires shallow storage of affected parts of the mantle wedge over tens to hundreds of millions of years. Convection models support the feasibility of this scenario, provided that wedge rheology is modified through hydration (as is required by Th addition) in, at least, a small region of the wedge center. We argue that most if not all Indian-mantle signatures in global subduction zones are not related to the actual Indian mantle domain and associated geotectonic models employing this proxy in subduction zones need revision

  1. Absolute plate motions since 130 Ma constrained by subduction zone kinematics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Simon; Flament, Nicolas; Dietmar Müller, R.; Butterworth, Nathaniel

    2015-05-01

    The absolute motions of the lithospheric plates relative to the Earth's deep interior are commonly constrained using observations from paleomagnetism and age-progressive seamount trails. In contrast, an absolute plate motion (APM) model linking surface plate motions to subducted slab remnants mapped from seismic tomography has recently been proposed. Absolute plate motion models (or "reference frames") derived using different methodologies, different subsets of hotspots, or differing assumptions of hotspot motion, have contrasting implications for parameters that describe the long term state of the plate-mantle system, such as the balance between advance and retreat of subduction zones, plate velocities, and net lithospheric rotation. Previous studies of contemporary plate motions have used subduction zone kinematics as a constraint on the most likely APM model. Here we use a relative plate motion model to compute these values for the last 130 Myr for a range of alternative reference frames, and quantitatively compare the results. We find that hotspot and tomographic slab-remnant reference frames yield similar results for the last 70 Myr. For the 130-70 Ma period, where hotspot reference frames are less well constrained, these models yield a much more dispersed distribution of slab advance and retreat velocities. By contrast, plate motions calculated using the slab-remnant reference frame, or using a reference frame designed to minimise net rotation, yield more consistent subduction zone kinematics for times older than 70 Ma. Introducing the global optimisation of trench migration characteristics as a key criterion in the construction of APM models forms the foundation of a new method of constraining APMs (and in particular paleolongitude) in deep geological time.

  2. Seismic versus aseismic slip: Probing mechanical properties of the northeast Japan subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirzaei, M.; Brgmann, R.; Uchida, N.; Hu, Y.; Pollitz, F.; Matsuzawa, T.

    2014-11-01

    Fault slip may involve slow aseismic creep and fast seismic rupture, radiating seismic waves manifested as earthquakes. These two complementary behaviors accommodate the long-term plate convergence of major subduction zones and are attributed to fault frictional properties. It is conventionally assumed that zones capable of seismic rupture on the subduction megathrust are confined to between about 10 to 50 km depth; however, the actual spatiotemporal distribution of fault mechanical parameters remains elusive for most subduction zones. The 2011 Tohoku Mw 9.0 earthquake ruptured with >50 m slip up to the trench, thus challenging this conventional assumption, and provides a unique opportunity to probe the mechanical properties of the Japan subduction zone. Drawing on the inferred distribution of coseismic and postseismic slip, it has recently been suggested that portions of the megathrust are capable of switching between seismic and aseismic behavior. Kinematic models of the coseismic rupture and 15-month postseismic afterslip of this event suggest that the coseismic rupture triggered widespread frictional afterslip with equivalent moment magnitude of 8.17-8.53, in addition to viscoelastic relaxation in the underlying mantle. The identified linear relation between modeled afterslip, slip inferred from repeating earthquakes on the plate interface, and the cumulative number of aftershocks within 15 km distance of the subduction thrust suggests that most aftershocks are a direct result of afterslip. We constrain heterogeneous rate-state friction parameters of the subduction thrust from the computed coseismic stress changes and afterslip response. Our results indicate a variable pattern along dip and strike, characterizing areas down-dip and south of the main rupture zone as having velocity-strengthening properties. In agreement with seismic tomographic models of plate boundary elastic properties and geologic evidence for previous M >8.5 megathrust earthquakes on this section of the plate boundary, we suggest that the obtained pattern of the frictional properties is characteristic of subducted material and thus persistent in time and space.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Recovering the slip history of a scenario earthquake in the Mexican subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hjorleifsdottir, V.; Perez-Campos, X.; Iglesias, A.; Cruz-Atienza, V.; Ji, C.; Legrand, D.; Husker, A. L.; Kostoglodov, V.; Valdes Gonzalez, C.

    2011-12-01

    The Guerrero segment of the Mexican subduction zone has not experienced a large earthquake for almost 100 years (Singh et al., 1981). Due to its proximity to Mexico City, which was devastated by an earthquake in the more distant Michoacan segment in 1985, it has been studied extensively in recent years. Silent slip events have been observed by a local GPS network (Kostoglodov et al. 2003) and seismic observations from a dense linear array of broadband seismometers (MASE) have provided detailed images of the crustal structure of this part of the subduction zone (see for example Prez-Campos et al., 2008, Iglesias et al., 2010). Interestingly the part of the fault zone that is locked during the inter-seismic period is thought to reach up to or inland from the coast line. In the event of a large megathrust earthquake, this geometry could allow recordings from above the fault interface. These types of recordings can be critical to resolve the history of slip as a function of time on the fault plane during the earthquake. A well constrained model of slip-time history, together with other observations as mentioned above, could provide very valuable insights into earthquake physics and the earthquake cycle. In order to prepare the scientific response for such an event we generate a scenario earthquake in the Guerrero segment of the subduction zone. We calculate synthetic strong motion records, seismograms for global stations and static offsets on the Earth's surface. To simulate the real data available we add real noise, recorded during times of no earthquake, to the synthetic data. We use a simulated annealing inversion algorithm (Ji et al., 1999) to invert the different datasets and combinations thereof for the time-history of slip on the fault plane. We present the recovery of the slip model using the different datasets, as well as idealized datasets, investigating the expected and best possible levels of recovery.

  6. 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.

  7. Heat Flow Surveys on the Washington Margin of the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salmi, M.; Johnson, H. P.; Solomon, E. A.; Harris, R. N.

    2014-12-01

    Understanding the temperature distribution along an active subducting plate interface can improve our understanding of subduction zone dynamics and our ability to estimate seismic hazards. The 'locking' mechanism on the fault appears temperature dependent, where the up-dip (shallow) limit of the seismic zone ranges from 100-150°and the down-dip (deep) limit is a transition zone between 350°C and 450°C. Heat flow measurements provide the most direct method for resolving the subduction zone thermal environment. The Cascadia Subduction Zone currently poses the single largest seismic hazard to population centers within the Northwest United States. In August 2013, heat flow data were collected offshore Grays Harbor, WA, along a profile perpendicular to the accretionary wedge. Measurements extend seaward of the Cascadia deformation front and landward over the accretionary wedge and are collocated along line 4 of the 2012 R/V Langseth multi-channel seismology (MCS) profiles. These data consist of 43 long probe (3 m) measurements, 204 ROV Jason II probe (0.6 m) and 27 thermal blanket heat flow measurements Preliminary results indicate a mean heat flow of 110 mW/m2 over the incoming plate, a decrease to 30 mW/m2 at the first deformation ridge, then heat flow varying between 90 to 120 mW/m2 over the lower accretionary wedge. BSR derived heat flow decreases from 90 mW/m2 at the deformation front to 60 mW/m2 60 km landward and up the accretionary wedge. Regionally the heat flow values are consistent with the subduction of a thickly sedimented and young oceanic plate and local heat flow variations likely reflect advective and conductive heat transfer within the shallow portion of the accretionary wedge.

  8. 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).

  9. Fluoride Melts: Occurrence, Origin and Implications for Element Transfer Processes in Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klemme, S.

    2004-12-01

    Hitherto unknown fluoride melts were found in metasomatized mantle xenoliths from New Zealand. These fluoride melts were only preserved in rock fragments that were carefully polished using non-hydrous polishing liquids. The protogranular spinel wehrlites consist of mm-sized olivine, clinopyroxene, amphibole, accessory minerals as apatite and spinel and, on grain boundaries and in melt pockets on triple junctions, silicate and fluoride glasses. Fluoride glasses occur as veinlets and as thin films on grain boundaries, as well as in melt pockets on triple junctions. The fluoride glass is transparent, slightly yellowish and sometimes contains small secondary clinopyroxenes, and only rarely sulfide blebs or fluid inclusions. The fluoride melts are interpreted to be derived immiscibly from a precursor silicate melt and the most spectacular textural evidence for liquid immiscibility is found in one of the xenoliths. Minerals and melts in the xenoliths were analysed for major and trace elements using electron microprobe and Laser Ablation ICPMS. Trace elements are effectively partitioned between immiscible fluoride and silicate melts. For example, separation of immiscible silicate and fluoride melts fractionates light REE from heavier REE or HFSE from REE. In many cases, silicate glasses found within mantle xenoliths are products of infiltration of the host magma into the mantle xenoliths during ascend. This is, however, not the case here as comparison of the major and trace element composition of the host lava with the silicate glass indicates. The major element composition of the immiscible silicate glasses is characterised by extreme enrichment in Mg and Al, which places them close to high-Mg magmas that are commonly found in subduction zones. The genetic link to subduction zones is further substantiated by extremely low high-field strength element concentrations (e.g., Ti, Zr, Hf) that are characteristic for magmas observed in subduction zone settings.

  10. Triggered Non-Volcanic Tremor in the Hikurangi Subduction Zone, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fry, B.; Chao, K.; Bannister, S. C.; Peng, Z.

    2010-12-01

    Recent discoveries of slow-slip events (SSE) and non-volcanic tremor (NVT) have provided insight into the relative coupling of plates at convergent margins and subsequent potential stress drop during subduction thrust earthquakes. The amount of strain accommodated through slow-slip and NVT has bearing on calculations of plate-boundary strain budgets. NVT plays an important role in the continuum of plate-boundary deformation, possibly facilitating stress transfer between aseismic and seismic deformation. Consequently, it plays an important role in earthquake hazard assessment. In most subduction zones where slow slip has been identified, NVT is present and both spatially and temporally related to the slow slip. The Hikurangi subduction zone in New Zealand and the Boso peninsula in Japan are two notable exceptions where SSEs have been identified from analysis of geodetic signals, yet NVT has previously remained undiscovered. The absence of identified NVT has created uncertainty in estimates of strain deficit, as deformation associated with NVT has the potential to inform us about smaller magnitude (or deeper) events which fall below the detection threshold of geodetic methods using continuous GPS data. In this paper, we present the first known case of NVT in New Zealand. Following the M8.8 Chilean earthquake of February 27, 2010, energy in the 2-8 Hz bandwidth was released near the Hikurangi subduction zone, New Zealand. The energy is roughly in phase with, and is modulated by passing Love waves with particle oscillation parallel to the relative plate motion direction. The energy is not apparent before the onset of the Chilean surface wave coda and does not contain significant higher-frequency signals, as might be expected from dynamic triggering of local seismicity. We use a grid search algorithm and a cross-spectral approach to locate the origin of the tremor. Preliminary locations place the NVT in the southern North Island.

  11. Episodic tremor and slip on the Cascadia subduction zone: the chatter of silent slip.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Garry; Dragert, Herb

    2003-06-20

    We found that repeated slow slip events observed on the deeper interface of the northern Cascadia subduction zone, which were at first thought to be silent, have unique nonearthquake seismic signatures. Tremorlike seismic signals were found to correlate temporally and spatially with slip events identified from crustal motion data spanning the past 6 years. During the period between slips, tremor activity is minor or nonexistent. We call this associated tremor and slip phenomenon episodic tremor and slip (ETS) and propose that ETS activity can be used as a real-time indicator of stress loading of the Cascadia megathrust earthquake zone. PMID:12738870

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Strike-parallel variations in clay minerals and fault vergence in the Cascadia subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Underwood, Michael B.

    2002-02-01

    Clay minerals probably affect the zonation of mechanical properties within a thick unit of abyssal-plain deposits as they enter the Cascadia subduction zone. Landward- vergent thrust faults develop above a deeper dcollement because smectite-rich mudrocks within that corridor release more water during clay dehydration, which in turn elevates pore pressure and reduces basal shear stress relative to wedge strength. Conversely, dilution of smectite by illite and chlorite increases the frictional coefficient, and fluid overpressure should drop where smectite dehydration is volumetrically reduced. Thus, thrust faults within chlorite-rich segments of the margin are seaward vergent.

  15. 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 350-450C, 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.

  16. 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-δ 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.

  17. Active Crustal Faults in the Forearc Region, Guerrero Sector of the Mexican Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaidzik, Krzysztof; Ramírez-Herrera, Maria Teresa; Kostoglodov, Vladimir

    2016-01-01

    This work explores the characteristics and the seismogenic potential of crustal faults on the overriding plate in an area of high seismic hazard associated with the occurrence of subduction earthquakes and shallow earthquakes of the overriding plate. We present the results of geomorphic, structural, and fault kinematic analyses conducted on the convergent margin between the Cocos plate and the forearc region of the overriding North American plate, within the Guerrero sector of the Mexican subduction zone. We aim to determine the active tectonic processes in the forearc region of the subduction zone, using the river network pattern, topography, and structural data. We suggest that in the studied forearc region, both strike-slip and normal crustal faults sub-parallel to the subduction zone show evidence of activity. The left-lateral offsets of the main stream courses of the largest river basins, GPS measurements, and obliquity of plate convergence along the Cocos subduction zone in the Guerrero sector suggest the activity of sub-latitudinal left-lateral strike-slip faults. Notably, the regional left-lateral strike-slip fault that offsets the Papagayo River near the town of La Venta named "La Venta Fault" shows evidence of recent activity, corroborated also by GPS measurements (4-5 mm/year of sinistral motion). Assuming that during a probable earthquake the whole mapped length of this fault would rupture, it would produce an event of maximum moment magnitude Mw = 7.7. Even though only a few focal mechanism solutions indicate a stress regime relevant for reactivation of these strike-slip structures, we hypothesize that these faults are active and suggest two probable explanations: (1) these faults are characterized by long recurrence period, i.e., beyond the instrumental record, or (2) they experience slow slip events and/or associated fault creep. The analysis of focal mechanism solutions of small magnitude earthquakes in the upper plate, for the period between 1995 and 2008, revealed that frequent normal faults, sub-parallel to the trench, could be reactivated in the current stress field related to the Cocos subduction. Moreover, these features could also be reactivated by subduction megathrust earthquakes.

  18. Transient uplift after a 17th-century earthquake along the kuril subduction zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sawai, Y.; Satake, K.; Kamataki, T.; Nasu, H.; Shishikura, M.; Atwater, B.F.; Horton, B.P.; Kelsey, H.M.; Nagumo, T.; Yamaguchi, M.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hacker, B.R.

    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.

  20. Frictional properties of sediments entering the Costa Rica subduction zone offshore the Osa Peninsula: implications for fault slip in shallow subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Namiki, Yuka; Tsutsumi, Akito; Ujiie, Kohtaro; Kameda, Jun

    2014-12-01

    We examined the frictional properties of sediments on the Cocos plate offshore the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, and explored variations in the intrinsic frictional properties of the sediment inputs to the Costa Rica subduction zone. Sediment samples were collected at Site U1381A during the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 334, and include hemipelagic clay to silty clay material (Unit I) and pelagic silicic to calcareous ooze (Unit II). The frictional properties of the samples were tested at a normal stress of 5 MPa under water-saturated conditions and with slip velocities ranging from 0.0028 to 2.8 mm/s for up to 340 mm of displacement. The experimental results reveal that the steady-state friction coefficient values of clay to silty clay samples are as low as ~0.2, whereas those of silicic to calcareous ooze samples are as high as 0.6 to 0.8. The clay to silty clay samples show a positive dependence of friction on velocity for all tested slip velocities. In contrast, the silicic to calcareous ooze samples show a negative dependence of friction on velocity at velocities of 0.0028 to 0.28 mm/s and either neutral or positive dependence at velocities higher than 0.28 mm/s. Given the low frictional coefficient values observed for the clay to silty clay samples of Unit I, the dcollement at the Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project transect offshore the Osa Peninsula likely initiates in Unit I and is initially very weak. In addition, the velocity-strengthening behavior of the clay to silty clay suggests that faults in the very shallow portion of the Costa Rica subduction zone are stable and thus behave as creeping segments. In contrast, the velocity-weakening behavior of the silicic to calcareous ooze favors unstable slip along faults. The shallow seismicity occurred at a depth as shallow as ~9 km along the Costa Rica margin offshore the Osa Peninsula (Mw 6.4, June 2002), indicating that materials characterized by velocity-weakening behavior constitute the fault zone at the depth of the seismicity. Fault slip nucleating along a fault in Unit II would be a likely candidate for the source of the shallow earthquake event.

  1. PTt path in metamorphic rocks of the Khoy region (northwest Iran) and their tectonic significance for Cretaceous Tertiary continental collision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azizi, H.; Moinevaziri, H.; Mohajjel, M.; Yagobpoor, A.

    2006-06-01

    Metamorphic rocks in the Khoy region are exposed between obducted ophiolites to the southwest and sedimentary rocks of Precambrian-Paleozoic age to the northeast. The Qom formation (Oligocene-Miocene) with a basal conglomerate transgressively overlies all of these rocks. The metamorphic rocks consist of both metasediments and metabasites. The metasediments are micaschist, garnet-staurolite schist and garnet-staurolite sillimanite schist with some meta-arkose, marble and quartzite. The metabasites are metamorphosed to greenschist and amphibolite facies from a basaltic and gabbroic protolith of tholeiitic and calc-alkaline rocks. Geothermobarometry based on the equivalence of minerals stability and their paragenesis in these rocks and microprobe analyses by several different methods indicate that metamorphism occurred in a temperature range between 450 and 680 °C at 5.5 and 7.5 kb pressure. Rims of minerals reveal a considerable decrease of pressure (<2 kb) and insignificant decrease of temperature. The PTt path of this metamorphism is normal. The MFG line passes above the triple junction of Al 2SiO 5 polymorphs, and the average geothermal gradient during metamorphism was from 27 to 37 °C/km, which is more concordant with the temperature regime of collision zones. We infer that crustal thickening during post-Cretaceous (possibly Eocene) collision of the Arabian plate and the Azerbaijan-Albourz block was the main factor that caused the metamorphism in the studied area.

  2. Early to Middle Ordovician organized and disorganized supra-subduction zone spreading along the Laurentian margin of Iapetus, Newfoundland Appalachians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zagorevski, Alexandre; van Staal, Cees R.; McNicoll, Vicki J.; Cutts, Jamie A.

    2013-04-01

    The Annieopsquotch accretionary tract (AAT) comprises a thrust stack of Lower to Middle Ordovician arc and backarc terranes that were accreted to the Laurentian margin of Iapetus during Middle to Upper Ordovician. Geological relationships suggest that the constituent terranes of the AAT initially formed outboard of composite Laurentian margin in an extensional arc that underwent multiple rifting episodes prior to its accretion. The initiation of AAT magmatism led to the development of Tremadocian to Floian supra-subduction zone ophiolites with organized ridges indicated by well developed sheeted dyke complexes. This spreading centre propagated through a fragment of Laurentian crust and separated it from the composite Laurentian margin. This crustal block formed the basement to subsequent Floian to Darriwilian AAT arc magmatism. The Floian arc rifted leading to organized spreading in the Lloyds River backarc basin which was floored by juvenile backarc ophiolitic crust. The latest Floian to earliest Dapingian arc magmatism occurred above thickened crust, locally leading to eruption of andesitic rocks. The establishment of the Darriwilian arc was in part coeval with and followed yet another stage of rifting. Darriwilian magmatism is characterised by great along-strike variability, ranging from continental to intraoceanic calc-alkaline arc to tholeiitic back-arc magmatism, and lack of sheeted dyke complexes. The diversity of the magmatism can be attributed to fragmentation and magmatic reworking of the Laurenia-derived basement along strike in the same arc that is undergoing disorganized spreading. The constituent terranes of AAT were underplated beneath the composite Laurentian margin within ~5 Ma following their formation, coeval with extensional arc magmatism. This and other constraints suggest that the AAT thrust stack formed following subduction initiation in the backarc. AAT magmatism was terminated by the closure of the main tract of Iapetus and arrival of the peri-Gondwanan Victoria arc at the Laurentian margin.

  3. 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.

  4. GPS Measurements of Interseismic,Coseismic, and Postseismic Deformation in Puysegur Subduction Zone, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benz, N.; Wallace, L. M.; Hreinsdottir, S.; Denys, P. H.; Pearson, C. F.

    2014-12-01

    A combination of continuous and campaign style geodetic measurements from sites on the South Island of New Zealand help us to constrain long-term and short-term deformation adjacent to the Puysegur subduction zone, offshore Fiordland, New Zealand. We update an elastic block model for the region that consists of an array of microplates bounded by active faults. We invert GPS velocities, and long-term fault slip rates and earthquake slip vectors for tectonic block rotations, fault coupling coefficients, and permanent block strain. Three large subduction interface earthquakes, 2003 Secretary Island (Mw 7.2), 2007 George Sound (Mw 6.7), and 2009 Dusky Sound (Mw 7.8) complicate interpretation of the GPS time series over the last decade in the Fiordland region. To deal with this, we also conduct time-dependent inversions for coseismic and postseismic slip in those earthquakes using TDefnode (McCaffrey, 2009), fitting the campaign and continuous GPS timeseries with the best-fitting coseismic and postseismic slip models for those events. We evaluate the interseismic coupling model for the Puysegur subduction zone in the context of the recent earthquakes, and in particular find that the source region of the Mw 7.8 Dusky Sound earthquake was interseismically coupled prior to 2009. Overall, the campaign and continuous GPS are well-fit by a partially locked subduction interface undergoing seismic and aseismic slip as well as distributed (likely permanent) deformation east of the main plate boundary fault.

  5. A mixed seismic-aseismic stress release episode in the Andean subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villegas-Lanza, J. C.; Nocquet, J.-M.; Rolandone, F.; Vallée, M.; Tavera, H.; Bondoux, F.; Tran, T.; Martin, X.; Chlieh, M.

    2016-02-01

    In subduction zones, stress is released by earthquakes and transient aseismic slip. The latter falls into two categories: slow slip and afterslip. Slow-slip events emerge spontaneously during the interseismic phase, and show a progressive acceleration of slip with a negligible contribution of synchronous tremors or microseismicity to the energy, or moment release. In contrast, afterslip occurs immediately after large and moderate earthquakes, decelerates over time, and releases between 20 and 400% of the moment released by the preceding earthquake. Here we use seismic and GPS data to identify transient aseismic slip that does not fit into either of these categories. We document a seismic-aseismic slip sequence which occurred at shallow depths along a weakly coupled part of the Andean subduction zone in northern Peru and lasted seven months. The sequence generated several moderate earthquakes that together account for about 25% of the total moment released during the full sequence, equivalent to magnitude 6.7. Transient slip immediately followed two of the earthquakes, with slip slowing at a logarithmic rate. Considered separately, the moment released by transient slip following the second earthquake was more than 1,000% of the moment released during the earthquake itself, a value incompatible with classical models of afterslip. Synchronous seismic swarms and aseismic slip may therefore define a stress-release process that is distinct from slow-slip events and afterslip.

  6. Automated Detection and Modeling of Slow Slip: Case Study of the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crowell, B. W.; Bock, Y.; Liu, Z.

    2012-12-01

    The discovery of transient slow slip events over the past decade has changed our understanding of tectonic hazards and the earthquake cycle. Proper geodetic characterization of transient deformation is necessary for studies of regional interseismic, coseismic and postseismic tectonics, and miscalculations can affect our understanding of the regional stress field. We utilize two different methods to create a complete record of slow slip from continuous GPS stations in the Cascadia subduction zone between 1996 and 2012: spatiotemporal principal component analysis (PCA) and the relative strength index (RSI). The PCA is performed on 100 day windows of nearby stations to locate signals that exist across many stations in the network by looking at the ratio of the first two eigenvalues. The RSI is a financial momentum oscillator that looks for changes in individual time series with respect to previous epochs to locate rapid changes, indicative of transient deformation. Using both methods, we create a complete history of slow slip across the Cascadia subduction zone, fully characterizing the timing, progression, and magnitude of events. We inject the results from the automated transient detection into a time-dependent slip inversion and apply a Kalman filter based network inversion method to image the spatiotemporal variation of slip transients along the Cascadia margin.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Deep Magnetotelluric survey on Crete Island across the Hellenic Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  11. Thrust-type subduction-zone earthquakes and seamount asperites: A physical model for seismic rupture

    SciTech Connect

    Cloos, M. )

    1992-07-01

    A thrust-type subduction-zone earthquake of M{sub W} 7.6 ruptures an area of {approximately}6,000 km{sup 2}, has a seismic slip of {approximately}1 m, and is nucleated by the rupture of an asperity {approximately}25km across. A model for thrust-type subduction-zone seismicity is proposed in which basaltic seamounts jammed against the base of the overriding plate act as strong asperities that rupture by stick-slip faulting. A M{sub W} 7.6 event would correspond to the near-basal rupture of a {approximately}2-km-tall seamount. The base of the seamount is surrounded by a low shear-strength layer composed of subducting sediment that also deforms between seismic events by distributed strain (viscous flow). Planar faults form in this layer as the seismic rupture propagates out of the seamount at speeds of kilometers per second. The faults in the shear zone are disrupted after the event by aseismic, slow viscous flow of the subducting sediment layer. Consequently, the extent of fault rupture varies for different earthquakes nucleated at the same seamount asperity because new fault surfaces form in the surrounding subducting sediment layer during each fast seismic rupture.

  12. 3D Finite-Difference Modeling of Scattered Teleseismic Wavefields in a Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozov, I. B.; Zheng, H.

    2005-12-01

    For a teleseismic array targeting subducting crust in a zone of active subduction, scattering from the zone underlying the trench result in subhorizontally-propagating waves that could be difficult to distinguish from converted P- and S- wave backscattered from the surface. Because back-scattered modes often provide the most spectacular images of subducting slabs, it is important to understand their differences from the arrivals scattered from the trench zone. To investigate the detailed teleseismic wavefield in a subduction zone environment, we performed a full-waveform, 3-D visco-elastic finite-difference modeling of teleseismic wave propagation using a Beowulf cluster. The synthetics show strong scattering from the trench zone, dominated by the mantle and crustal P-waves propagating at 6.2-8.1.km/s and slower. These scattered waves occupy the same time and moveout intervals as the backscattered modes, and also have similar amplitudes. Although their amplitude decay characters are different, with the uncertainties in the velocity and density structure of the subduction zone, unambiguous distinguishing of these modes appears difficult. However, under minimal assumptions (in particular, without invoking slab dehydration), recent observations of receiver function amplitudes decreasing away from the trench favor the interpretation of trench-zone scattering.

  13. Exhumation of serpentinized peridotite in the northern Manila subduction zone inferred from forward gravity modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

    The Taiwan Integrated Geodynamic Research program (TAIGER) collected two wide-angle and reflection seismic transects across the northern Manila subduction zone that provide constraints on the seismic velocity structure of the crust. Two-dimensional gravity modeling along these two transects shows a significant, relatively high density (3.12 and 3.02 g/cm3) in the fore-arc region, at the interface between the subducting Eurasian Plate and the accretionary prism in front of the Luzon arc on the overriding Philippine Sea Plate. The anomalous density in this zone is higher than that in the fore-arc crust and the accretionary prism but lower than that in mantle. Numerous geophysical and geological data, together with numerical models, have indicated that serpentinization of the fore-arc mantle is both expected and observed. Serpentinization of mantle rocks can dramatically reduce their seismic velocity and therefore their seismic velocity in a density to velocity conversion. Therefore, the source of the high-density material could be serpentinized fore-arc mantle, with serpentinization caused by the dehydration of the subducting Eurasian Plate. We interpret that positive buoyancy combined with weak plate coupling forces in the northern Manila subduction zone is resulting in this serpentinized fore-arc mantle peridotite being exhumed.

  14. Aftereffects of Subduction-Zone Earthquakes: Potential Tsunami Hazards along the Japan Sea Coast.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    The 2011 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake is a typical subduction-zone earthquake and is the 4th largest earthquake after the beginning of instrumental observation of earthquakes in the 19th century. In fact, the 2011 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake displaced the northeast Japan island arc horizontally and vertically. The displacement largely changed the tectonic situation of the arc from compressive to tensile. The 9th century in Japan was a period of natural hazards caused by frequent large-scale earthquakes. The aseismic tsunamis that inflicted damage on the Japan Sea coast in the 11th century were related to the occurrence of massive earthquakes that represented the final stage of a period of high seismic activity. Anti-compressive tectonics triggered by the subduction-zone earthquakes induced gravitational instability, which resulted in the generation of tsunamis caused by slope failing at the arc-back-arc boundary. The crustal displacement after the 2011 earthquake infers an increased risk of unexpected local tsunami flooding in the Japan Sea coastal areas. PMID:26399180

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  16. The source scaling and depth-dependent stress drops for subduction zone events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ko, Y.-T.; Kuo, B.-Y.; Hung, S.-H.

    2012-04-01

    The issue of source scaling between earthquake corner frequency (fc) and seismic moment (Mo) has caused incessant debate. Both self-similarity and non-similarity of earthquakes across a certain range of magnitudes and event depths are appealing to different investigators. The major difficulty in this topic is that the source characteristic is always concealed from several effects along the raypaths. The only chance to resolve this issue is to robustly extract the source spectra from the observed data. A few commonly used approaches, i.e. empirical Green's function (EGF) method, mitigate the problem; however the reference event must be chosen which may limit the applicability of the method. In this work, we apply the cluster-event method (CEM) to robustly determine the source corner frequency of the events in Japan subduction zone. We demonstrate that the source parameter of each event is statistically better determined with the CEM than with conventional methods, leading to a better constraint on path effect. We found that the corner frequencies satisfy a relationship with seismic moment of Mo ? f c-3, implying earthquake self-similarity for subduction zone events. The results of this study agree with those of previous studies, except with an upward deviation due to higher corner frequencies and stress drops. This leads to an interesting issue of the depth-dependency of stress drop, suggesting that there are some fundamental changes in strength of fault zone or in mechanism of earthquake source.

  17. Lithospheric structure of Pampean flat slab (latitude 30-33degreesS) and Northern Costa Rica (latitude 9-11degreesN) subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linkimer Abarca, Lepolt

    The Pampean flat slab subduction in west-central Argentina (latitude 30-33S) and the steeply dipping Northern Costa Rica subduction zone (latitude 9-11N) show significant along-trench variations in both the subducting and overriding plates. This dissertation contains the results of three seismological studies using broadband instruments conducted in these subduction zones, with the aim of understanding the structure of the lithosphere and the correlation between the variability observed in the downgoing and the overriding plates. In the Costa Rica region, by analyzing teleseismic receiver functions we investigate the variability in the hydration state of the subducting Cocos Plate and the nature of three distinct crustal terranes within the overriding Caribbean Plate: the Nicoya and Chorotega terranes that display an oceanic character, and the Mesquito Terrane, which is more compatible with continental crust. In the Pampean region of Argentina, we apply a regional-scale double-difference tomography algorithm to earthquake data recorded by the SIEMBRA (2007-2009) and ESP (2008-2010) broadband seismic networks to obtain high-resolution images of the South America lithosphere. We find that most of the upper mantle has seismic properties consistent with a depleted lherzolite or harzburgite, with two anomalous regions above the flat slab: a higher Vp/Vs ratio anomaly consistent with up to 10% hydration of mantle peridotite and a localized lower Vp/Vs ratio anomaly consistent with orthopyroxene enrichment. In addition, we study the geometry and brittle deformation of the subducting Nazca Plate by determining high-quality earthquake locations, slab contours, and focal mechanisms. Our results suggest that the subduction of the incoming Juan Fernandez Ridge controls the slab geometry and that ridge buoyancy and slab pull are key factors in the deformation of the slab. The spatial distribution of the slab seismicity suggests variability in the hydration state of the subducting Nazca Plate and/or in strain due to slab bending. These observations support the hypothesis that the along-trench variability in bathymetric features and hydration state of the incoming plate has profound effects in the subducting slab geometry and the upper plate structure in both flat and steeply dipping subduction zones.

  18. Geophysical signature of hydration-dehydration processes in active subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynard, Bruno

    2013-04-01

    Seismological and magneto-telluric tomographies are potential tools for imaging fluid circulation when combined with petrophysical models. Recent measurements of the physical properties of serpentine allow refining hydration of the mantle and fluid circulation in the mantle wedge from geophysical data. In the slab lithospheric mantle, serpentinization caused by bending at the trench is limited to a few kilometers below the oceanic crust (<5 km). Double Wadati-Benioff zones, 20-30 km below the crust, are explained by deformation of dry peridotites, not by serpentine dehydration. It reduces the required amount of water stored in solid phases in the slab (Reynard et al., 2010). In the cold (<700C) fore-arc mantle wedge above the subducting slab, serpentinization is caused by the release of large amounts of hydrous fluids in the cold mantle above the dehydrating subducted plate. Low seismic velocities in the wedge give a time-integrated estimate of hydration and serpentinization. Serpentinization reaches 50-100% in hot subduction, while it is below 10% in cold subduction (Bezacier et al., 2010; Reynard, 2012). Electromagnetic profiles of the mantle wedge reveal high electrical-conductivity bodies. In hot areas of the mantle wedge (> 700C), water released by dehydration of the slab induces melting of the mantle under volcanic arcs, explaining the observed high conductivities. In the cold melt-free wedge (< 700C), high conductivities in electromagnetic profiles provide "instantaneous" images of fluid circulation because the measured electrical conductivity of serpentine is below 0.1 mS/m (Reynard et al., 2011). A small fraction (ca. 1% in volume) of connective high-salinity fluids accounts for the highest observed conductivities. Low-salinity fluids (? 0.1 m) released by slab dehydration evolve towards high-salinity (? 1 m) fluids during progressive serpentinization in the wedge. These fluids can mix with arc magmas at depths and account for high-chlorine melt inclusions in arc lavas. High electrical conductivities up to 1 S/m in the hydrated wedge of the hot subductions (Ryukyu, Kyushu, Cascadia) reflect high fluid concentration, while low to moderate (<0.01 S/m) conductivities in the cold subductions (N-E Japan, Bolivia) reflect low fluid flow. This is consistent with the seismic observations of extensive shallow serpentinization in hot subduction zones, while serpentinization is sluggish in cold subduction zones. Bezacier, L., et al. 2010. Elasticity of antigorite, seismic detection of serpentinites, and anisotropy in subduction zones. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 289, 198-208. Reynard, B., 2012. Serpentine in active subduction zones. Lithos, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lithos.2012.10.012. Reynard, B., Mibe, K. & Van de Moortele, B., 2011. Electrical conductivity of the serpentinised mantle and fluid flow in subduction zones. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 307, 387-394. Reynard, B., Nakajima, J. & Kawakatsu, H., 2010. Earthquakes and plastic deformation of anhydrous slab mantle in double Wadati-Benioff zones. Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L24309.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. A self-consistent mechanism for slow dynamic deformation and large tsunami generation for earthquakes in the shallow subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Shuo

    2012-06-01

    Dynamic pore pressure changes in the overriding wedge above a shallow-dipping plate interface significantly affect the rupture dynamics of shallow subduction zone earthquakes and their tsunamigenesis. For a wedge on the verge of Coulomb failure everywhere including the basal fault, the dynamic pore pressure increase due to up-dip rupture propagation leads to widespread yielding within the wedge, which is greatly enhanced by the shallow dip of the fault. The widespread yielding reduces the stress drop, slip velocity, slip, and rupture velocity, giving rise to prolonged rupture duration, thus explaining many anomalous features of shallow subduction zone earthquakes. Significant inelastic seafloor uplift occurs in the case of a shallow fault dip, with the largest uplift located landward from the trench. Integrating this physical mechanism with existing seismic, geodetic, and tsunami observations can provide new insights into earthquake dynamics and deformation processes in shallow subduction zones.

  2. Crustal Structure of the Caribbean-South American Diffuse Plate Boundary: Subduction Zone Migration and Polarity Reversal Along BOLIVAR Profile 64W

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, S. A.; Levander, A.; Magnani, M.; Zelt, C. A.; Sawyer, D. S.; Ave Lallemant, H. G.

    2005-12-01

    The BOLIVAR (Broadband Ocean-Land Investigation of Venezuela and the Antilles arc Region) project is an NSF funded, collaborative seismic experiment in the southeast Caribbean region. The purpose of the project is to understand the diffuse plate boundary created by the oblique collision between the Caribbean and South American plates. Profile 64W of the BOLIVAR experiment, a 450 km-long, N-S transect onshore and offshore Venezuela located at ~64W longitude, images the deep crustal structures formed by this collision. The active source components of profile 64W include 300 km of MCS reflection data, 33 coincident OBSs, and 344 land seismic stations which recorded 7500 offshore airgun shots and 2 explosive land shots. Results from the reflection and refraction seismic data along 64W show complex crustal structure across the entire span of the diffuse plate boundary. The onshore portion of 64W crosses the fold and thrust belt of the Serrania del Interior, which formed at ~16 Ma by collision of the Caribbean forearc with the northern South American passive margin. Underlying the Serrania del Interior is a south-vergent, remnant Lesser Antillean subduction zone. As this Lesser Antilles subduction impinged on continental crust, it caused a polarity reversal and jump offshore to the north. Convergence was initially localized in the closure and inversion of the Grenada Basin. However, subduction could not develop because of the ~20-km-thick crust of the Aves Ridge; instead, north-vergent subduction initiated further to the north, where ~12-km-thick Caribbean oceanic crust of the Venezuela Basin began to subduct beneath the Aves Ridge in the Pliocene (~4 Ma) and appears to continue subducting today. Between the remnant subduction zone and the modern one, the El Pilar and Coche dextral strike-slip faults accommodate most of the transform motion of the plate boundary. From the Serrania del Interior to the Aves Ridge, ~260 km of accreted orogenic float comprises the diffuse plate boundary.

  3. Constraining input and output fluxes of the southern-central Chile subduction zone: water, chlorine and sulfur

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Völker, David; Wehrmann, Heidi; Kutterolf, Steffen; Iyer, Karthik; Rabbel, Wolfgang; Geersen, Jacob; Hoernle, Kaj

    2014-10-01

    In this paper, we constrain the input and output fluxes of H2O, Cl and S into the southern-central Chilean subduction zone (31°S-46°S). We determine the input flux by calculating the amounts of water, chlorine and sulfur that are carried into the subduction zone in subducted sediments, igneous crust and hydrated lithospheric mantle. The applied models take into account that latitudinal variations in the subducting Nazca plate impact the crustal porosity and the degree of upper mantle serpentinization and thus water storage in the crust and mantle. In another step, we constrain the output fluxes of the subduction zone both to the subcontinental lithospheric mantle and to the atmosphere-geosphere-ocean by the combined use of gas flux determinations at the volcanic arc, volume calculations of volcanic rocks and the combination of mineralogical and geothermal models of the subduction zone. The calculations indicate that about 68 Tg/m/Ma of water enters the subduction zone, as averaged over its total length of 1,480 km. The volcanic output on the other hand accounts for 2 Tg/m/Ma or 3 % of that input. We presume that a large fraction of the volatiles that are captured within the subducting sediments (which accounts for roughly one-third of the input) are cycled back into the ocean through the forearc. This assumption is however questioned by the present lack of evidence for major venting systems of the submarine forearc. The largest part of the water that is carried into the subduction zone in the crust and hydrated mantle (accounting for two-thirds of the input) appears to be transported beyond the volcanic arc.

  4. New estimates of subducted water from depths of extensional outer rise earthquakes at the Northwestern Pacific subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emry, E. L.; Wiens, D. A.

    2012-12-01

    The presence of water within the subducting slab mantle may have important implications for subduction zone water budgets, intermediate depth earthquakes, and transport of water into Earth's deep mantle. However, the amount of water stored in hydrous slab mantle rocks prior to subduction is not well constrained. Large extensional faults formed as the plate bends at the subduction zone outer rise are thought to be the main pathway by which water can travel into and hydrate the slab mantle; yet for many subduction zones accurate depths of extensional outer rise faulting are also not well known. Therefore, we attempt to identify the maximum observed depth of extensional faulting, and thereby identify the possible depth extent of slab mantle hydration, by accurately locating and determining depths for outer rise and trench axis earthquakes at Northern and Western Pacific subduction zones. For each region, we relocate all earthquakes seaward of the trench axis as well as forearc earthquakes within 60 km landward of the trench axis using ISC arrival times and the hypocentroidal decomposition relative location algorithm. We then model P- and SH- waveforms and their associated depth phases for all earthquakes with Mw 5.0+ since 1990 that exhibit good signal-to-noise ratios and do not have shallow-dipping thrust focal mechanisms, which are indicative of subduction zone plate interface earthquakes. In total, we redetermined epicenters and depths for over 70 earthquakes at the Alaskan, Aleutian, Kamchatka, Kuril, Japan, and Izu-Bonin-Mariana trenches. We find that at most Pacific subduction zones there is evidence for extensional faulting down to 10-15 km within the top of the oceanic plate mantle, and in total, 95% of our analyzed extensional outer rise events occur within the crust or top 15 km of the mantle. However some regions, such as the Bonin and Aleutian Islands, show evidence for extensional faulting as deep as 20 km below the base of the crust. If the mantle of the subducting slab is hydrated down to ~15 km (with ~2-3.5 wt. % water), and assuming published values for the amount of water in the slab crust [1], then we expect that ~10^10 Tg/Myr of water are input into Northwestern Pacific subduction zones. This value for only the Northwestern Pacific subduction zones is then 10 times larger than previous global estimates [1] and indicates a need to reevaluate recent subduction water flux calculations. [1] Van Keken et al (2011), JGR, 116, B01401.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Ambient Tremor, But No Triggered Tremor at the Northern Costa Rica Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swiecki, Z.; Schwartz, S. Y.

    2010-12-01

    Non-volcanic tremor (NVT) has been found to be triggered during the passage of surface waves from various teleseismic events in locations around the world including Cascadia, Southwest Japan, Taiwan, and California. In this study we examine the northern Costa Rica subduction zone for evidence of triggered tremor. The Nicoya Peninsula segment of the northern Costa Rica margin experiences both slow-slip and tremor and is thus a prime candidate for triggered tremor observations. Eleven teleseismic events with magnitudes (Mw) greater than 8 occurring between 2006 and 2010 were examined using data from both broadband and short period sensors deployed on the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. Waveforms from several large regional events were also considered. The largest teleseismic and regional events (27 February 2010 Chile, Mw 8.8 and 28 May 2009 Honduras, Mw 7.3) induced peak ground velocities (PGV) at the NIcoya stations of ~2 and 6 mm/s, respectively; larger than PGVs in other locations that have triggered tremor. Many of the earthquakes examined occurred during small episodes of background ambient tremor. In spite of this, no triggered tremor was observed during the passage of seismic waves from any event. This is significant because other studies have demonstrated that NVT is not triggered everywhere by all events above some threshold magnitude, indicating that unique conditions are required for its occurrence. The lack of triggered tremor at the Costa Rica margin can help to better quantify the requisite conditions and triggering mechanisms. An inherent difference between the Costa Rica margin and the other subduction zones where triggered tremor exists is its erosional rather than accretionary nature. Its relatively low sediment supply likely results in a drier, lower pore fluid pressure, stronger and less compliant thrust interface that is less receptive to triggering tremor from external stresses generated by teleseismic or strong local earthquakes. Another important factor is Costa Ricas relatively cool subduction zone structure where temperatures required for the fluid generating basalt/ecloginte reaction are not reached until far below tremor producing depths.

  9. The Distribution of Interseismic Locking on the Central Cascadia Subduction Zone Inferred From Coastal Uplift Rates in Oregon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, D.; Burgette, R.; Weldon, R.

    2007-12-01

    We invert for the distribution of locking along the Oregon portion of the Cascadia subduction zone using an updated dataset of the interseismic vertical displacement rates. Uplift rates are inferred from spirit leveling that is tied into an absolute vertical reference frame using tide gauge records. With absolute uncertainties less than 1 mm/yr, the data provide good constraints on the accumulation of interseismic strain along the Oregon coast. The slip rate deficit on the subduction interface is modeled using a backslip calculation in an elastic half-space. Static Green's functions are calculated using a triangular fault model that approximates the 3D geometry of the plate interface. We assume a slip rate deficit that is equivalent to the full convergence rate in an offshore locked zone and tapers to zero at depth across a transition zone. The convergence rate is calculated using the published Euler vector for motion of the Juan de Fuca oceanic plate relative the Oregon continental forearc. To minimize the number of free parameters in the inversion, the down-dip extent of locking is defined by the lower edge of the fully locked zone and the lower edge of the transition zone. These two free parameters are optimized at various latitudes by minimizing the misfit of the east-west leveling lines through a grid search of the parameter space. The north-south leveling route that runs along the coast is then used to further optimize the model by interpolating the slip deficit distribution along-strike. The inversion prefers models where the locked zone is forced up-dip (i.e. farther offshore) at the east-west profile near Newport on the central Oregon coast. This is in contrast to inversion results near Astoria where the locked and transition zones extend farther down-dip relative to a constant depth contour on the plate interface. Our optimal model of the slip-rate deficit distribution is compared to previously published models of strain accumulation constrained by only horizontal displacement rates. We also compare the distribution of locking to the extent of Siletzia in the continental forearc, gravity lows, and forearc basins to better understand the potential location of long-lived asperities on the subduction interface.

  10. Nonlinear study of seismicity in the Mexican subduction zone by means of visual recurrence analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez Rojas, A.; Moreno-Torres, R. L.

    2012-12-01

    The subduction in the Mexican South Pacific coast might be approximated as a subhorizontal slab bounded at the edge by the steep subduction geometry of the Cocos plate beneath the Caribbean plate to the east and of the Rivera plate beneath North America to the west. Singh et al. (1983), reported a study that takes into account the geometry of the subducted Rivera and Cocos plates beneath the North American lithosphere defining, according their geometry, four regions: Jalisco, Michoacn, Guerrero and Oaxaca. In this work we study the seismicity occurred in Mexico, for each region, by means of the visual recurrence analysis (VRA). Our analysis shows important differences between each region that could be associated with nonlinear dynamical properties of each region. Singh, S.K., M. Rodriguez, and L. Esteva (1983), Statistics of small earthquakes and frequency of occurrence of large earthquakes along the Mexican subduction zone, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 73, 6A, 1779-1796.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. Hot 'nough for ya?: Controls and Constraints on modeling flux melting in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiegelman, M.; Wilson, C. R.; van Keken, P.; Kelemen, P. B.; Hacker, B. R.

    2012-12-01

    The qualitative concept of flux-melting in subduction zones is well established. Progressive dehydration reactions in the down-going slab release fluids to the hot overlying mantle wedge, causing flux melting and the migration of melts to the volcanic front. However, the quantitative details of fluid release, migration, melt generation and transport in the wedge remain poorly understood. In particular, there are two fundamental observations that defy quantitative modeling. The first is the location of the volcanic front with respect to intermediate depth earthquake (e.g. 10040 km; England et al., 2004, Syracuse and Abers, 2006) which is remarkably robust yet insensitive to subduction parameters. This is particularly surprising given new estimates on the variability of fluid release in global subduction zones (e.g. van Keken et al. 2011) which show great sensitivity of fluid release to slab thermal conditions. Reconciling these results implies some robust mechanism for focusing fluids/melts toward the wedge corner. The second observation is the global existence of thermally hot erupted basalts and andesites that, if derived from flux melting of the mantle requires sub-arc mantle temperatures of 1300 C over shallow pressures of 1-2 GPa which are not that different from mid-ocean ridge conditions. These thermodynamic constraints are also implicit in recent parameterizations of wet melting (e.g. Kelley et al, 2010) which tend to produce significant amounts of melt only near the dry solidus. These observations impose significant challenges for geodynamic models of subduction zones, and in particular for those that don't include the explicit transport of fluids and melts. We present new high-resolution model results that suggest that a more complete description of coupled fluid/solid mechanics (allowing the fluid to interact with solid rheological variations) together with rheologically consistent solutions for temperature and solid flow, may provide the required ingredients that allow for robust focusing of both fluids and hot solids to the sub-arc regions. We demonstrate coupled fluid/solid flow models for simplified geometries to understand the basic processes, as well as for more geologically relevant models from a range of observed arc geometries. We will also evaluate the efficacy of current wet melting parameterizations in these models. All of these models have been built using new modeling software we have been developing that allows unprecedented flexibility in the composition and solution of coupled multi-physics problems. Dubbed TerraFERMA (the transparent Finite Element Rapid Model Assembler...no relation to the convection code TERRA), this new software leverages several advanced computational libraries (FEniCS/PETSc/Spud) to make it significantly easier to construct and explore a wide range of models of varying complexity. Subduction zones provide an ideal application area for understanding the role of different degrees of coupling of fluid and solid dynamics and their relation to observations.

  15. Slow slip event within a gap between tremor and locked zones in the Nankai subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takagi, Ryota; Obara, Kazushige; Maeda, Takuto

    2016-02-01

    We report on two small long-term slow slip events (SSEs) within a gap between tremor and locked zones in the Nankai subduction zone, southwest Japan. The SSEs were detected by subtracting the steady state component and postseismic effects of large earthquakes from long-term and high-density Global Navigation Satellite System data. Both SSEs occurred in adjacent regions of the Bungo channel following long-term SSEs in the Bungo channel in 2003 and 2010. The estimated slip was 1-5 cm/year that lasted at least 1-2 years after 2004 and 2011, partly accommodating plate convergence. As the low-frequency tremor in the downdip region is activated at the same time as the Bungo channel long-term SSE, a spatiotemporal correlation was observed between the detected SSEs and long-term tremor activity in the downdip region. This correlation indicates along-dip interaction of the slips on the subducting plate interface.

  16. 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.

  17. In situ Raman spectroscopic investigation of the structure of subduction-zone fluids

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mibe, Kenji; Chou, I.-Ming; Bassett, William A.

    2008-01-01

    In situ Raman spectra of synthetic subduction-zone fluids (KAlSi3O8-H2O system) were measured to 900?? and 2.3 GPa using a hydrothermal diamond-anvil cell. The structures of aqueous fluid and hydrous melt become closer when conditions approach the second critical endpoint. Almost no three-dimensional network was observed in the supercritical fluid above 2 GPa although a large amount of silicate component is dissolved, suggesting that the physical and chemical properties of these phases change drastically at around the second critical endpoint. Our experimental results indicate that the fluids released from a subducting slab change from aqueous fluid to supercritical fluid with increasing depth under the volcanic arcs. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

  18. 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.

  19. A slow slip event in the south central Alaska Subduction Zone and related seismicity anomaly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Meng; McGuire, Jeffrey J.; Richardson, Eliza

    2012-08-01

    We detected a slow slip event in the south central Alaska Subduction Zone by analyzing continuous GPS data from the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) network. The slow slip event started in early 2010 at a depth of 35 km beneath the Cook Inlet, near the down-dip end of the locked zone, and is ongoing as of November 2011 with an accumulated magnitude of Mw 6.9. Analysis of the earthquake catalog in the same area using the stochastic Epidemic Type Aftershock Sequence model (ETAS) shows a small but detectable seismicity increase during the slow slip event. We also find a change in seismicity rate around 1998, that may suggest an earlier slow slip event in the same region. Slow slip events in Alaska appear more widespread than previously thought but have remained undetected due to their long durations, the time intervals between them, and the limited time records from the continuous GPS.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scherrer, T. M.; Frana, 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.

  1. The impact of megasplay faulting and permeability contrasts on Nankai Trough subduction zone pore pressures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Screaton, Elizabeth J.; Ge, Shemin

    2012-11-01

    Results of a coupled fluid flow and deformation model indicate that megasplay fault slip may impact excess pore pressures within an accretionary prism. In a simulation with homogeneous low permeability representative of clay-rich sediment, excess pore pressures build where compression occurs in the hanging wall and directly beneath the splay fault. In another simulation with heterogeneous permeability, the impact of high permeability fault zones and turbidite horizons lessens the effect of the megasplay fault slip. Overall, excess pore pressures are lower for the heterogeneous simulation than for the simulation with uniform low permeability. Within the footwall of the megasplay fault zone, simulated pore pressures increase across a transition from more permeable uplifted turbidites to less permeable clay-rich sediments. Strong permeability contrasts might provide an alternate explanation for a previously observed decrease in seismic velocity beneath the megasplay fault of the Nankai Trough subduction zone.

  2. Phengite-hosted LILE enrichment in eclogite and related rocks: Implications for fluid-mediated mass transfer in subduction zones and arc magma genesis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

    Geochemical differences between island arc basalts (LAB) and ocean-floor basalts (mid-ocean ridge basalts; MORB) suggest that the large-ion lithophile elements (LILE) K, Ba, Rb and Cs are probably mobilized in subduction zone fluids and melts. This study documents LILE enrichment of eclogite, amphibolite, and epidote ?? garnet blueschist tectonic blocks and related rocks from melanges of two subduction complexes. The samples are from six localities of the Franciscan Complex, California, and related terranes of Oregon and Baja California, and from the Samana Metamorphic Complex, Samana Peninsula, Dominican Republic. Most Franciscan blocks are MORB-like in their contents of rare earth elements (REE) and high field strength elements (HFSE); in contrast, most Samana blocks show an LAB signature of these elements. The whole-rock K2O contents of both groups range from 1 to 3 wt %; K, Ba, Rb, and Cs are all strongly intercorrelated. Many blocks display K/Ba similar to melasomatized transition zones and rinds at their outer margins. Some transition zones and rinds are enriched in LILE compared with host blocks; others are relatively depleted in these elements. Some LILE-rich blocks contain 'early' coarse-grained muscovite that is aligned in the foliation defined by coarse-grained omphacite or amphibole grains. Others display 'late' muscovite in veins and as a partial replacement of garnet; many contain both textural types. The muscovite is phengite that contains ???3??25-3??55 Si per 11 oxygens, and ???0??25-0??50 Mgper 11 oxygens. Lower-Si phengite has a significant paragonite component: Na per 11 oxygens ranges to ???0??12. Ba contents of phengite range to over 1 wt % (0??027 per 11 oxygens). Ba in phengite does not covary strongly with either Na or K. Ba contents of phengite increase from some blocks to their transition zones or rinds, or from blocks to their veins. Averaged KlBa ratios for phengite and host samples define an array which describes other subsamples of the block and other analyzed blocks. Phengite carries essentially all of the LILE in otherwise mafic eclogite, amphibolite, and garnet blueschist blocks that are enriched in these elements compared with MORE. It evidently tracks a distinctive type of LILE metasomatism that attends both high-T and retrograde subduction zone metamorphism. An obvious source for the LILE is a fluid in equilibrium with metasedimentary rocks. High-grade semipelitic schists from subduction complexes and subductable sediment display LILE values that resemble those seen in the most LILE-rich blocks. Modeling of Ba and Ti suggests that 1-40 wt % of phengite added to MORB can produce their observed LILE enrichment. Thus, the release of LILE from such rocks to fluids or melts in very high-T and -P parts of subduction zones probably depends critically on the stability and solubility relations of phengite, which is thought to be stable at pressures as high as 95-110 kbar at T= 750-1050??C.

  3. Helium solubility in mica and mechanisms for deep transport of noble gases in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, C.; Parman, S. W.; Kelley, S. P.; Cooper, R. F.

    2012-12-01

    We have experimentally determined helium solubility in mica to explore possible transport mechanisms of noble gases in subduction zones. Helium solubility in single crystals of muscovite and F-phlogopite investigated is relatively high, ~1 [He]/PHe (ppm/kbar). This solubility is approximately two orders of magnitude greater than values recently measured for olivine [1], and similar to values recently measured for amphibole with a low density of unoccupied ring sites [2]. Helium was dissolved into the micas by subjecting them to a high pressure noble gas atmosphere (1.26-1.48 He-Ne-Ar kbar) at moderate temperatures (450-700 C), allowing the micas to diffusively equilibrate with the imposed helium fugacity. Diffusion of Ne and Ar is too slow in both micas at the explored conditions to quantify their solubility. Experiments were conducted using a TZM gas pressure medium apparatus (Brown University). Analysis was completed by noble gas LA-MS (Open University, UK). Muscovite (dioctehedral) and F-phlogopite (trioctehedral) represent the two basic structural groups of micas, suggesting micas stabilized at higher pressures and temperatures, such as phengite, can provide a relatively deep transport mechanism for noble gases delivered to subduction zones. Thus, phengite may play a role in explaining atmospheric signatures in mantle derived noble gases [e.g.3,4]. 1. Heber, V. S., Brooker, R. A., Kelley, S. P. & Wood, B. J., GCA, 71, 1041-1061 2. Jackson C.R.M, Kelley S.P., Parman S.W., Cooper R.F., Goldschmidt 2012 Abstract 3. Holland, G. & Ballentine, C. J., Nature 441, 186-191 4. Mukhopadhyay, S.. Nature 486, 101-104

  4. 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.

  5. Could a Sumatra-like megathrust earthquake occur in the south Ryukyu subduction zone?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Jing-Yi; Sibuet, Jean-Claude; Hsu, Shu-Kun; Wu, Wen-Nan

    2014-12-01

    A comparison of the geological and geophysical environments between the Himalaya-Sumatra and Taiwan-Ryukyu collision-subduction systems revealed close tectonic similarities. Both regions are characterized by strongly oblique convergent processes and dominated by similar tectonic stress regimes. In the two areas, the intersections of the oceanic fracture zones with the subduction systems are characterized by trench-parallel high free-air gravity anomaly features in the fore-arcs and the epicenters of large earthquakes were located at the boundary between the positive and negative gravity anomalies. These event distributions and high-gravity anomalies indicate a strong coupling degree of the intersection area, which was probably induced by a strong resistance of the fracture features during the subduction. Moreover, the seismicity distribution in the Ryukyu area was very similar to the pre-seismic activity pattern of the 2004 Sumatra event. That is, thrust-type earthquakes with a trench-normal P-axis occurred frequently along the oceanward side of the mainshock, whereas only a few thrust earthquakes occurred along the continentward side. Therefore, the aseismic area located west of 128E in the western Ryukyu subduction zone could have resulted from the strong plate locking effect beneath the high gravity anomaly zone. By analogy with the tectonic environment of the Sumatra subduction zone, the occurrence of a potential Sumatra-like earthquake in the south Ryukyu arc is highly likely and the rupture will mainly propagate continentward to fulfill the region of low seismicity (approximately 125 E to 129 E; 23 N to 26.5 N), which may generate a hazardous tsunami.

  6. The Slip History of the 2004 Slow Slip Event on the Northern Cascadia Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, H.; Schmidt, D. A.

    2006-12-01

    We estimate the down-dip slip distribution and propagation path of the 2004 slow slip event on the Cascadia subduction zone. In recent years, slow slip events have been detected in Cascadia with a regular recurrence interval. Such slow earthquakes can release strain energy which may eventually trigger a large thrust earthquake in the subduction zone. We process the continuous GPS data from the PBO, PANGA, and WCDA networks from April 10th to August 15th using the GAMIT/GLOBK processing package. Daily solutions are determined for 30 stations. The secular displacement in the Pacific Northwest is northeastward, consistent with the plate convergence direction. During the slow slip event, GPS stations move toward the southwest, as observed for previous slow slip events, opposite to their longer-term northeastern movement. The average cumulative horizontal displacement observed at benchmarks ranges from 2 to 4 mm over a time span of 5 to 18 days. Our analysis indicates that the occurrence of transient displacement is first detected south of Puget Sound in early May. Following a distinct break in activity, the event is observed at stations north of the Olympic Pennisula in mid-July. Transient displacement concludes at stations on southern Vancouver Island in late July. We discretize the Juan de Fuca-North American plate interface into subfaults and solve for the down- dip slip history using the Extended Network Inversion Filter. Station DRAO, located in western Canada, is selected as our reference GPS site because it is unaffected by transient displacements from the slow slip event. Slip is found to propagate along-strike to the north at an equivalent speed of approximately 6-17 km per day. The maximum slip is observed beneath Victoria. Several characteristics of the 2004 event are different from the 2003 event. Specifically, the 2004 event propagated northward from southern Puget Sound with an obvious period of inactivity in June, while the 2003 event propagated bi-directionally and continuously.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Reaction Weakening of Dunite in Friction Experiments at Hydrothermal Conditions and Its Relevance to Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, D. E.; Lockner, D. A.

    2014-12-01

    To improve our understanding of processes occurring in the mantle wedge near the downdip limit of seismicity in subduction zones, we conducted triaxial friction tests on dunite gouge at temperatures in the range 200-350C, 50 MPa fluid pressure and 100 MPa effective normal stress. Dunite, quartzite, and granite forcing blocks were used respectively to approximate changing rock/fluid chemistry with decreasing distance above the subduction thrust. All experiments were characterized by an initial increase in frictional strength to a peak value, followed by a decrease associated with shearing-enhanced alteration of the dunite gouge. Reaction products and the extent of weakening varied with the chemical environment. In the dunite-block experiments, strength gradually declined from the peak value to a coefficient of friction, ~ 0.5-0.6, consistent with the frictional strength of serpentine that formed on the shear surfaces from alteration of the gouge. Interaction of dunite gouge with quartzite and granite driving blocks resulted in significantly greater weakening, to ? ~ 0.3, at temperatures of 250C and higher. Talc and serpentine partly replaced dunite gouge sheared between quartzite blocks, and metastable saponitic smectite clays crystallized in dunite sheared between granite blocks, as a result of fluid-assisted chemical exchange with the minerals in the wall rocks. These results suggest that rapid and substantial weakening can occur in the mantle wedge immediately overlying the subducting slab. Whichever the chemical environment, attainment of peak strength typically was accompanied by oscillatory slip with small stress drops that gradually was replaced by stable slip with increasing displacement. This oscillatory behavior in some ways resembles the tremor events that have been reported near the forearc mantle corner in subduction zones, and it may indicate the possible involvement of mineral reactions in some instances of tremor.

  10. 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.

  11. Slab-pull and slab-push earthquakes in the Mexican, Chilean and Peruvian subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemoine, A.; Madariaga, R.; Campos, J.

    2002-09-01

    We studied intermediate depth earthquakes in the Chile, Peru and Mexican subduction zones, paying special attention to slab-push (down-dip compression) and slab-pull (down-dip extension) mechanisms. Although, slab-push events are relatively rare in comparison with slab-pull earthquakes, quite a few have occurred recently. In Peru, a couple slab-push events occurred in 1991 and one slab-pull together with several slab-push events occurred in 1970 near Chimbote. In Mexico, several slab-push and slab-pull events occurred near Zihuatanejo below the fault zone of the 1985 Michoacan event. In central Chile, a large M=7.1 slab-push event occurred in October 1997 that followed a series of four shallow Mw>6 thrust earthquakes on the plate interface. We used teleseismic body waveform inversion of a number of Mw>5.9 slab-push and slab-pull earthquakes in order to obtain accurate mechanisms, depths and source time functions. We used a master event method in order to get relative locations. We discussed the occurrence of the relatively rare slab-push events in the three subduction zones. Were they due to the geometry of the subduction that produces flexure inside the downgoing slab, or were they produced by stress transfer during the earthquake cycle? Stress transfer can not explain the occurence of several compressional and extensional intraplate intermediate depth earthquakes in central Chile, central Mexico and central Peru. It seemed that the heterogeneity of the stress field produced by complex slab geometry has an important influence on intraplate intermediate depth earthquakes.

  12. Seismic structure beneath the Rivera subduction zone from finite-frequency seismic tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-01-01

    The subduction zone of western Mexico is a unique region on Earth where microplate capture and overriding plate disruption are occurring today. The young, small Rivera plate and the adjacent Cocos plate are subducting beneath the Jalisco block of Mexico. Here, we present a P wave tomographic model of the upper mantle to 400 km depth beneath the Jalisco block and surrounding regions using teleseismic P waves recorded by the Mapping the Rivera Subduction Zone (MARS) and Colima Volcano Deep Seismic Experiment (CODEX) seismic arrays. The inversion used 12,188 P wave residuals and finite-frequency theory to backproject the 3-D traveltime sensitivity kernels through the model. Below a depth of 150 km, the tomography model shows a clear gap between the Rivera and Cocos slabs that increases in size with depth. The gap between the plates lies beneath the northern part of the Colima graben and may be responsible for the location of Colima volcano. The images indicate that the deep Rivera plate is subducting more steeply than does the adjacent Cocos plate and also has a more northerly trajection. At a depth of about 100 km, both the Rivera and Cocos slabs have increased dips such that the slabs are deeper than 200 km beneath the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB). It is also found that the Rivera plate is at roughly 140-km depth beneath the young central Jalisco Volcanic lineament. Our images suggest that the Rivera plate and westernmost Cocos plate have recently rolled back toward the trench. This scenario may explain the unusual magmatic activity seen in the TMVB.

  13. Evaluation of strain accumulation in global subduction zones from seismicity data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikuta, Ryoya; Mitsui, Yuta; Kurokawa, Yuri; Ando, Masataka

    2015-12-01

    We compared the cumulative seismic slip of interplate earthquakes (?M5.5) with relative plate motion at subduction zones. By assuming that each interplate earthquake occurred on a stick-slip patch, we used the slip history of each patch to calculate the interplate slip in the surrounding area. We considered that areas in which interplate earthquakes occurred but that had small cumulative slips compared with relative plate motion were accumulating strain, and we calculated the size of these areas. We first used this method to test the rupture areas of six M9-class interplate earthquakes that have occurred during the past 100 years. The cumulative seismic slip preceding and following the six earthquakes was smaller than the relative plate motion in the rupture areas of the earthquakes. We interpret the areas of slip-deficient stick-slip patches to be the rupture areas of future huge earthquakes. We applied the same procedure to global subduction zones and found that slip-deficient stick-slip patches with large spatial extents (equivalent to the rupture area of M9-class earthquakes) occur in an additional 25 locations. Considering that six M9-class earthquakes have occurred in the past 110 years and that the recurrence interval in each case is probably between a few hundred and a thousand years, it is not surprising that 25 regions globally are capable of producing M9-class earthquakes. These regions may be the most likely candidates for the rupture areas of future M9-class interplate earthquakes.

  14. Jurassic Early Cretaceous intermediate virtual geomagnetic poles and Pangaean subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vizán, Haroldo; Van Zele, María Andrea

    2008-02-01

    The objective of this paper is to show that the distribution of Jurassic-Early Cretaceous intermediate virtual geomagnetic poles (VGPs) seems to be conditioned by Pangaean subducted slabs. Palaeomagnetic data from between ˜ 200Ma and 125Ma were compiled from reliable studies and their VGPs repositioned in their Jurassic-Early Cretaceous geographic location considering a "zero-longitude" motion of Africa over the last 200m.y. and the corresponding palaeomagnetic poles from each sequence. Those repositioned VGPs lying between latitudes of ± 60° were considered to be intermediate. To avoid bias as a function of simple sampling numbers for those sequences with more data, each VGP was weighted by Love's methodology. A colour-scale map (shadow-scale map in printed issue) of density of the weighted intermediate VGPs was obtained and compared with the Pangaean subduction zones. There is a good visual correlation between the distribution of these VGPs and the location of the subduction zones during the Jurassic, suggesting that there is a relationship between the Jurassic-Early Cretaceous geomagnetic reversals and the plate tectonic setting at that time. Minima of intermediate VGPs correlate well with the absence of VGPs predicted with a tomographic model and the intermediate VGP distribution is also well correlated with zones of faster seismic wave propagation in the lower mantle (just above of the core-mantle boundary), which suggests that the Jurassic geomagnetic polarity transitions could have been controlled by a structure of the core-mantle boundary similar to that at the Present time. We suspect that the subducted lithospheric slabs refrigerated the deepest mantle causing more heat than average flowing out from the core and controlling the geometry of the Jurassic-Early Cretaceous polarity transitions. The Earth's lithospheric plate motion history could have played a controlling role in the geometry of the geomagnetic reversals.

  15. Forearc Basin Structure in the Andaman-Nicobar Segment of the Sumatra-Andaman Subduction Zone: Insight from High-Resolution Seismic Reflection Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The Andaman-Nicobar subduction is the northernmost segment of the Sumatra-Andaman subduction zone and marks the western boundary of the Andaman Sea, which is a complex backarc extensional basin. We present the interpretation of a new set of deep seismic reflection data acquired across the Andaman-Nicobar forearc basin, from 8N to 11N, to understand the structure and evolution of the forearc basin, focusing on how the obliquity of convergence affects deformation in the forearc, as well as on the Diligent (DF) and Eastern Margin Faults (EMF). Constraining the evolution of this basin, which is strongly related to the collision of India and Eurasia, can help shed light onto present-day deformation processes along this segment of the subduction zone, where convergence is highly oblique and little data is available. We find that he DF is a backthrust and corresponds to the Mentawai (MFZ) and West Andaman Fault (WAF) systems further south, offshore Sumatra. The DF is expressed as a series of mostly landward verging folds and faults, deforming the early to late Miocene sediments. The DF seems to root from the boundary between the accretionary complex and the continental backstop, where it meets the EMF. The EMF marks the western boundary of the forearc basin; it is associated with subsidence and is expressed as a deep piggyback basin, associated with recent Pliocene to Pleistocene subsidence at the western edge of the forearc basin. The eastern edge of the forearc basin is marked by the Invisible Bank (IB), which is thought to be tilted and uplifted continental crustal block. Subsidence along the EMF and uplift and tilting of the IB seem to be related to different opening phases in the Andaman Sea. The sliver Andaman-Nicobar Fault (ANF), which is the active northward extension of the Great Sumatra sliver Fault (GSF), lies to the east of the IB, and marks the boundary between continental crust underlying the forearc basin and crust accreted at the Andaman Sea Spreading Center.

  16. New U-Pb Age and Trace Element Composition of Young Metamorphic Zircon Rims from the UHP Tso Morari Complex, NW Himalaya, Distinguishes Peak from Retrograde Metamorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leech, M. L.; Coble, M. A.; Singh, S.; Guillot, S.; Jain, A. K.

    2014-12-01

    The ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) Tso Morari Complex (TMC) sits in the footwall of the Indus-Yarlung suture zone in the NW Himalaya. The timing of metamorphism during subduction and exhumation in the complex is critical to constraining the age of the India-Asia collision. de Sigoyer et al. (2000) and Leech et al. (2005) reported mean U-Pb ages for thin outer rims of sectioned zircon between 55 6 Ma and 53.3 0.7 Ma, respectively, for the age of peak UHP through retrograde metamorphism, and Leech et al. (2005) used these data to calculate the minimum age for the start of continental subduction at 57 1 Ma. Recently published results for the TMC have reignited debate on the age of metamorphism and thus, the timing of India-Asia collision. We used the same TM38 sample analyzed for the results described in Leech et al. (2005) and performed new SIMS U-Pb depth-profiling analyses to target only the outermost ~1.5 micron rims of zircon. Our results yield a mean age of 44.9 0.7 Ma; adjacent spots for REE analyses yielded positive, enriched HREE profiles with negative Eu anomalies and corresponding Ti-in-zircon temperatures of ~550 to 680 C. Sharp boundaries between zircon domains are clearly resolved with CL and BSE imaging of TM38 zircons, and there is a large age difference between rims and protolith core ages; any mixing during depth-profiling through rims is clear. The positive HREE profiles imply the period of zircon growth in the TMC at c. 45 Ma to be retrograde. We suggest that the 47-43 Ma peak ages and flat heavy REE profiles with no Eu anomaly recently reported by Donaldson et al. (2013) on sectioned zircons, and interpreted as the age of UHP metamorphism of the TMC, may actually represent mixing between zircon rims and cores. The Leech et al. (2005) collision age of 57 1 Ma assumed the TMC represents the leading edge of India. However, numerical modeling of Warren et al. (2008) suggests all exhumed material is derived from the central part of the pro-continental margin 200 km inboard of the ocean-continent transition. Recalculating using the geometric model of Leech et al. (2005) and the 53.3 0.7 Ma age of peak UHP metamorphism yields a revised age of 61.1 1.0 Ma for the entry of northwestern Greater Indian continental crust into the subduction zone beneath the Kohistan-Ladakh arc.

  17. Metamorphic density controls on early-stage subduction dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duesterhoeft, Erik; Oberhnsli, Roland; Bousquet, Romain

    2013-04-01

    Subduction is primarily driven by the densification of the downgoing oceanic slab, due to dynamic P-T-fields in subduction zones. It is crucial to unravel slab densification induced by metamorphic reactions to understand the influence on plate dynamics. By analyzing the density and metamorphic structure of subduction zones, we may gain knowledge about the driving, metamorphic processes in a subduction zone like the eclogitization (i.e., the transformation of a MORB to an eclogite), the breakdown of hydrous minerals and the release of fluid or the generation of partial melts. We have therefore developed a 2D subduction zone model down to 250 km that is based on thermodynamic equilibrium assemblage computations. Our model computes the "metamorphic density" of rocks as a function of pressure, temperature and chemical composition using the Theriak-Domino software package at different time stages. We have used this model to investigate how the hydration, dehydration, partial melting and fractionation processes of rocks all influence the metamorphic density and greatly depend on the temperature field within subduction systems. These processes are commonly neglected by other approaches (e.g., gravitational or thermomechanical in nature) reproducing the density distribution within this tectonic setting. The process of eclogitization is assumed as being important to subduction dynamics, based on the very high density (3.6 g/cm3) of eclogitic rocks. The eclogitization in a MORB-type crust is possible only if the rock reaches the garnet phase stability field. This process is primarily temperature driven. Our model demonstrates that the initiation of eclogitization of the slab is not the only significant process that makes the descending slab denser and is responsible for the slab pull force. Indeed, our results show that the densification of the downgoing lithospheric mantle (due to an increase of pressure) starts in the early subduction stage and makes a significant contribution to the slab pull, where eclogitization does not occur. Thus, the lithospheric mantle acts as additional ballast below the sinking slab shortly after the initiation of subduction. Our calculation shows that the dogma of eclogitized basaltic, oceanic crust as the driving force of slab pull is overestimated during the early stage of subduction. These results improve our understanding of the force budget for slab pull during the intial and early stage of subduction. Therefore, the complex metamorphic structure of a slab and mantle wedge has an important impact on the development and dynamics of subduction zones. Further Reading: Duesterhoeft, Oberhnsli & Bousquet (2013), submitted to Earth and Planetary Science Letters

  18. Impact of fluid-rock and metamorphic reactions on style of rifting during formation of hyper-extended continental margins.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mezri, Leila; Le Lepourhiet, Leatitia; Burov, Evgene; Gorini, Christian

    2013-04-01

    It is now well established that the geometries of different rifted margins , specifically hyper-extended, cannot be explained by a simple scenario of extension of a horizontally uniform lithosphere. Indeed, over the last decade, the scientific community pushed forward models with heterogeneous initial conditions to simulate the impact of structural inheritance on the geometry and on the amount of pre-break up extension accommodated by passive margins. In this study, we develop a principally new model of structural inheritance where the latter is introduced in a physically-consistent way, as a consequence of metamorphic reactions and of the associated fluid pathways impacting crustal rheology during extension. The metamorphic reactions imply important mass transfers and occurrence of non-hydrostatic fluid pressure gradients during deformation. These two phenomena are known to have a considerable influence on the effective mechanical properties of the rocks within the shear zones. The observed P-T-t paths indicate that during extension, the rocks experience initial decompression, followed by a phase of reheating and ended , almost systematically, by a retrograde phase, in which temperature and pressure diminish with increasing deformation. The occurrence of retrograde reactions implies that at some stages the water re-enters the dehydrated parts of the system, resulting in rheological (re)-softening. Otherwise, without water, metamorphic reactions would not occur and the rocks would have preserve their dry (i.e. strong) rheologies. These last factors, i.e. meta-stable states and retrograde reactions in presence of water, are not accounted in current thermo-dynamically coupled thermo-mechanical models. However, they are crucial for localization of deformation and exhumation of rocks. Fluid circulation is also affected by rock porosity and permeability that in-turn are the functions of strain and of the degree of metamorphism. Using a new numerical approach that couples fluid flow and out-of-equilibrium thermodynamics, we undertake a parametric study of porosity and permeability using well calibrated metamorphic data from the Alps allowing for account for impact of metamorphic inheritance on rifting. We demonstrate that these factors influence the rheology of the lithosphere and deformation styles at large scale , in particular enabling migration of the level of necking during rifting.

  19. Thermal modeling of the southern Alaska subduction zone: Insight into the petrology of the subducting slab and overlying mantle wedge

    SciTech Connect

    Ponko, S.C.; Peacock, S.M.

    1995-11-10

    This report discusses a two-dimensional thermal model of the southern Alaska subduction zone. This model allows specfic predictions to be made about the pressure-temperature conditions and mineralogy of the subducting oceanic crust and the mantle wedge and assess different petrologic models for the generation of Alaskan arc magmas.

  20. 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.

  1. Formulation and Application of a Physically-Based Rupture Probability Model for Large Earthquakes on Subduction Zones: A Case Study of Earthquakes on Nazca Plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahdyiar, M.; Galgana, G.; Shen-Tu, B.; Klein, E.; Pontbriand, C. W.

    2014-12-01

    Most time dependent rupture probability (TDRP) models are basically designed for a single-mode rupture, i.e. a single characteristic earthquake on a fault. However, most subduction zones rupture in complex patterns that create overlapping earthquakes of different magnitudes. Additionally, the limited historic earthquake data does not provide sufficient information to estimate reliable mean recurrence intervals for earthquakes. This makes it difficult to identify a single characteristic earthquake for TDRP analysis. Physical models based on geodetic data have been successfully used to obtain information on the state of coupling and slip deficit rates for subduction zones. Coupling information provides valuable insight into the complexity of subduction zone rupture processes. In this study we present a TDRP model that is formulated based on subduction zone slip deficit rate distribution. A subduction zone is represented by an integrated network of cells. Each cell ruptures multiple times from numerous earthquakes that have overlapping rupture areas. The rate of rupture for each cell is calculated using a moment balance concept that is calibrated based on historic earthquake data. The information in conjunction with estimates of coseismic slip from past earthquakes is used to formulate time dependent rupture probability models for cells. Earthquakes on the subduction zone and their rupture probabilities are calculated by integrating different combinations of cells. The resulting rupture probability estimates are fully consistent with the state of coupling of the subduction zone and the regional and local earthquake history as the model takes into account the impact of all large (M>7.5) earthquakes on the subduction zone. The granular rupture model as developed in this study allows estimating rupture probabilities for large earthquakes other than just a single characteristic magnitude earthquake. This provides a general framework for formulating physically-based rupture probability models for large earthquakes on subduction zones that is consistent with their true locking state and earthquake history. We will present the formulation of the proposed model and its application to the Nazca plate subduction zone.

  2. Fluid-metapelite interaction in an ultramafic mlange: implications for mass transfer along the slab-mantle interface in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mori, Yasushi; Shigeno, Miki; Nishiyama, Tadao

    2014-12-01

    The slab-mantle interface in subduction zones is a site of tectonic mixing of crustal and mantle rocks. It is the interface for fluid flow of slab-derived components into the mantle wedge. To assess the fluid-rock interaction along the slab-mantle interface, we studied the bleaching of pelitic schist in an ultramafic mlange. The Nishisonogi metamorphic rocks in Kyushu, Japan, comprise ultramafic mlanges intercalated with epidote-blueschist facies schists. The ultramafic mlange consists of tectonic blocks of various lithologies and a matrix of chlorite-actinolite schist and serpentinite. Along the contact with the mlange matrix, pelitic schist blocks are bleached mainly due to the modal increase of albite and the consumption of carbonaceous material. The bleaching is probably attributed to infiltration of Na-rich external fluid from the mlange matrix. Mass balance analysis indicates losses of C, Rb, K2O, Ba, Pb, and SiO2 from the bleached pelitic schist, although Al2O3, TiO2, Sc, Y, Zr, Nb, La, Ce, and Nd remain immobile. This suggests fractionation of large-ion lithophile elements (LILE) and Pb from the high-field-strength elements and rare earth elements during the bleaching. If this ultramafic mlange is analogous to the slab-mantle interface, similar infiltration metasomatism will promote liberation of C, Si, LILE, and Pb from subducting metapelites and enhance metasomatism of the mantle wedge.

  3. The Effect of Near-Trench Fluid Circulation on Slab Dehydration Depth in the Chile Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spinelli, G. A.; Wada, I.

    2014-12-01

    Fluids released from subducting slabs affect earthquakes, geochemical recycling, melt generation, and mantle wedge flow. The distribution of this fluid release is controlled by the composition/hydration of the slab entering a subduction zone and the pressure-temperature path that the slab follows. We examine the potential for along-strike changes in the thermal state of the south central Chile subduction zone (36 to 45 °S) to affect the distribution of fluid release from the subducting Nazca Plate. Because the age of the plate entering the subduction zone decreases from ~30 Ma at 36 °S to ~1 Ma at 45 °S, a southward warming of the subduction zone has been hypothesized. We model temperatures in the system, then use results of the thermal models and the thermodynamic calculation code Perple_X to estimate the distribution of dehydration-derived fluid release from the subducting slab. Surface heat flux observations in the region are most consistent with fluid circulation in the high permeability upper oceanic crust redistributing heat. This hydrothermal circulation preferentially cools parts of the system with the youngest subducting lithosphere. For example, relative to simulations with no fluid flow, hydrothermal circulation decreases temperatures in the 45 °S transect by up to 150 °C. Although hydrothermal circulation in the oceanic crust likely ceases by ~50 km landward of the trench, the legacy of its heat redistribution affects slab temperatures and dehydration >100 km farther landward. In the 45 °S transect, using temperatures from a model that includes hydrothermal circulation yields peak slab dehydration centered under the volcanic arc. In contrast, without hydrothermal circulation, peak slab dehydration is predicted at ~70 km seaward of the volcanic arc. For systems with young (<20 Ma) subducting lithosphere, hydrothermal circulation in oceanic crust should be considered in estimating subduction zone temperatures and fluid source distributions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baitsch-Ghirardello, Bettina; Stracke, Andreas; Connolly, James A. D.; Nikolaeva, Ksenia M.; Gerya, Taras V.

    2014-11-01

    Understanding the physical-chemical mechanisms and pathways of geochemical transport in subduction zones remains a long-standing goal of subduction-related research. In this study, we perform fully coupled geochemical-thermo-mechanical (GcTM) numerical simulations to investigate Pb isotopic signatures of the two key "outputs" of subduction zones: (A) serpentinite mlanges and (B) arc basalts. With this approach we analyze three different geodynamic regimes of intra-oceanic subduction systems: (1) retreating subduction with backarc spreading, (2) stable subduction with high fluid-related weakening, and (3) stable subduction with low fluid-related weakening. Numerical results suggest a three-stage Pb geochemical transport in subduction zones: (I) from subducting sediments and oceanic crust to serpentinite mlanges, (II) from subducting serpentinite mlanges to subarc asthenospheric wedge and (III) from the mantle wedge to arc volcanics. Mechanical mixing and fluid-assisted geochemical transport above slabs result in spatially and temporarily variable Pb concentrations in the serpentinized forearc mantle as well as in arc basalts. The Pb isotopic ratios are strongly heterogeneous and show five types of geochemical mixing trends: (i) binary mantle-MORB, (i) binary MORB-sediments, (iii) double binary MORB-mantle and MORB-sediments, (iv) double binary MORB-mantle and mantle-sediments and (v) triple MORB-sediment-mantle. Double binary and triple mixing trends are transient and characterize relatively early stages of subduction. In contrast, steady-state binary mantle-MORB and MORB-sediments trends are typical for mature subduction zones with respectively low and high intensity of sedimentary melange subduction. Predictions from our GcTM models are in agreement with Pb isotopic data from some natural subduction zones.

  5. 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 30C; 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kodolnyi, J.; Pettke, T.; Spandler, C.; Kamber, B.; Gmling, 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

  9. Frictional behaviour of exhumed subduction zone sediments from the Shimanto Belt, Japan, at in-situ P-T conditions and implications for megathrust seismogenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    den Hartog, Sabine; Niemeijer, Andre; Saffer, Demian; Marone, Chris

    2014-05-01

    Seismogenesis on subduction zone megathrusts is generally thought to be limited to a region between the ~100-150C isotherms, at ~5-15 km depth, and the ~350C isotherm, typically at ~40 km depth. This zone is bounded at its up-dip and down-dip limits by aseismic zones. However, in recent years it has been discovered that very low frequency earthquakes (VLFE) and non-destructive Slow Slip Events (SSEs) or slow earthquakes nucleate in these presumed aseismic regions. Slip on megathrusts is likely to localize in the weak subducted sediments along the plate interface, which implies that the fault material is derived at least in part from these sediments. Therefore, understanding the depth distribution of seismicity and SSEs on megathrusts requires knowledge of the frictional behaviour of metapelites. We investigated such behaviour by performing shear experiments on natural megathrust fault gouges, derived from exhumed subduction zone sediments and faults exposed in the Shimanto Belt on Shikoku Island, Japan. These gouges correspond to peak paleo-temperatures of 105C to 280C, representing different stages in the diagenetic and metamorphic evolution of the subducted sediments, covering the shallow aseismic zone as well as the seismogenic zone. The composition of all gouges was dominated by illite/muscovite, with smaller amounts of quartz, feldspar and chlorite. We sheared these gouges at low displacement rates (0.1-100 micron/s) to address the nucleation of megathrust earthquakes and SSEs, using either a double-direct (biaxial) shear machine or a rotary shear machine. The double-direct shear experiments were performed at room temperature, 5% relative humidity and 50 MPa normal stress. The rotary shear experiments, in turn, were conducted at the sample-specific, approximate peak in-situ P-T conditions, i.e. the P-T conditions corresponding to the maximum burial depth of these samples. At room temperature, samples from different peak paleo-temperatures showed similar frictional behaviour, with near-neutral velocity dependence, i.e. stable or aseismic behaviour. When deformed at their approximate in-situ peak P-T conditions, on the other hand, the samples showed a progressive transition from strong velocity-strengthening (stable) behaviour at 105C (notably at 10-100 micron/s), to velocity-weakening (unstable) behaviour at 280C. The results at elevated P-T conditions match previous results on simulated illite-quartz analogue fault gouges and imply a broad transition in the slip stability of subduction megathrusts from stable (velocity-strengthening), to unstable (velocity-weakening) with increasing depth, in agreement with seismological observations.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 150C 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Fractal analysis of the spatial distribution of earthquakes along the Hellenic Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papadakis, Giorgos; Vallianatos, Filippos; Sammonds, Peter

    2014-05-01

    The Hellenic Subduction Zone (HSZ) is the most seismically active region in Europe. Many destructive earthquakes have taken place along the HSZ in the past. The evolution of such active regions is expressed through seismicity and is characterized by complex phenomenology. The understanding of the tectonic evolution process and the physical state of subducting regimes is crucial in earthquake prediction. In recent years, there is a growing interest concerning an approach to seismicity based on the science of complex systems (Papadakis et al., 2013; Vallianatos et al., 2012). In this study we calculate the fractal dimension of the spatial distribution of earthquakes along the HSZ and we aim to understand the significance of the obtained values to the tectonic and geodynamic evolution of this area. We use the external seismic sources provided by Papaioannou and Papazachos (2000) to create a dataset regarding the subduction zone. According to the aforementioned authors, we define five seismic zones. Then, we structure an earthquake dataset which is based on the updated and extended earthquake catalogue for Greece and the adjacent areas by Makropoulos et al. (2012), covering the period 1976-2009. The fractal dimension of the spatial distribution of earthquakes is calculated for each seismic zone and for the HSZ as a unified system using the box-counting method (Turcotte, 1997; Robertson et al., 1995; Caneva and Smirnov, 2004). Moreover, the variation of the fractal dimension is demonstrated in different time windows. These spatiotemporal variations could be used as an additional index to inform us about the physical state of each seismic zone. As a precursor in earthquake forecasting, the use of the fractal dimension appears to be a very interesting future work. Acknowledgements Giorgos Papadakis wish to acknowledge the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (IKY). References Caneva, A., Smirnov, V., 2004. Using the fractal dimension of earthquake distributions and the slope of the recurrence curve to forecast earthquakes in Colombia. Earth Sci. Res. J., 8, 3-9. Makropoulos, K., Kaviris, G., Kouskouna, V., 2012. An updated and extended earthquake catalogue for Greece and adjacent areas since 1900. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 12, 1425-1430. Papadakis, G., Vallianatos, F., Sammonds, P., 2013. Evidence of non extensive statistical physics behavior of the Hellenic Subduction Zone seismicity. Tectonophysics, 608, 1037-1048. Papaioannou, C.A., Papazachos, B.C., 2000. Time-independent and time-dependent seismic hazard in Greece based on seismogenic sources. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 90, 22-33. Robertson, M.C., Sammis, C.G., Sahimi, M., Martin, A.J., 1995. Fractal analysis of three-dimensional spatial distributions of earthquakes with a percolation interpretation. J. Geophys. Res., 100, 609-620. Turcotte, D.L., 1997. Fractals and chaos in geology and geophysics. Second Edition, Cambridge University Press. Vallianatos, F., Michas, G., Papadakis, G., Sammonds, P., 2012. A non-extensive statistical physics view to the spatiotemporal properties of the June 1995, Aigion earthquake (M6.2) aftershock sequence (West Corinth rift, Greece). Acta Geophys., 60, 758-768.

  14. Repeating and not so Repeating Large Earthquakes in the Mexican Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hjorleifsdottir, V.; Singh, S.; Iglesias, A.; Perez-Campos, X.

    2013-12-01

    The rupture area and recurrence interval of large earthquakes in the mexican subduction zone are relatively small and almost the entire length of the zone has experienced a large (Mw?7.0) earthquake in the last 100 years (Singh et al., 1981). Several segments have experienced multiple large earthquakes in this time period. However, as the rupture areas of events prior to 1973 are only approximately known, the recurrence periods are uncertain. Large earthquakes occurred in the Ometepec, Guerrero, segment in 1937, 1950, 1982 and 2012 (Singh et al., 1981). In 1982, two earthquakes (Ms 6.9 and Ms 7.0) occurred about 4 hours apart, one apparently downdip from the other (Astiz & Kanamori, 1984; Beroza et al. 1984). The 2012 earthquake on the other hand had a magnitude of Mw 7.5 (globalcmt.org), breaking approximately the same area as the 1982 doublet, but with a total scalar moment about three times larger than the 1982 doublet combined. It therefore seems that 'repeat earthquakes' in the Ometepec segment are not necessarily very similar one to another. The Central Oaxaca segment broke in large earthquakes in 1928 (Mw7.7) and 1978 (Mw7.7) . Seismograms for the two events, recorded at the Wiechert seismograph in Uppsala, show remarkable similarity, suggesting that in this area, large earthquakes can repeat. The extent to which the near-trench part of the fault plane participates in the ruptures is not well understood. In the Ometepec segment, the updip portion of the plate interface broke during the 25 Feb 1996 earthquake (Mw7.1), which was a slow earthquake and produced anomalously low PGAs (Iglesias et al., 2003). Historical records indicate that a great tsunamigenic earthquake, M~8.6, occurred in the Oaxaca region in 1787, breaking the Central Oaxaca segment together with several adjacent segments (Suarez & Albini 2009). Whether the updip portion of the fault broke in this event remains speculative, although plausible based on the large tsunami. Evidence from the mexican subduction zone therefore suggests that even if the same segments breaks repeatedly, individual earthquakes may or may not be similar. Furthermore, at least some of the segments can participate in larger earthquakes involving adjacent segments. The near trench part has only broken in two known large events, 800 km apart, the 1995 Jalisco (Mw8.0) and the 1996 event in the Ometepec segment. If the near-trench fault area between these two events can rupture seismically, and participate in larger events together with downdip segments, there would be important implications for seismic and tsunami hazard. In this presentation we review the earthquake history of the region and demonstrate the similarity and non-similarity of earthquakes in repeatedly breaking subduction zone segments, with particular emphasis on our recent work on events in the Ometepec segment.

  15. Towards understanding carbon recycling at subduction zones - lessons from Central America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilton, D. R.; Barry, P. H.; Fischer, T. P.

    2010-12-01

    Subduction zones provide the essential pathways for input of carbon from Earths external reservoirs (crust, sediments, oceans) to the mantle. However, carbon input to the deep interior is interrupted by outputs via the fore-arc, volcanic front, and back-arc regions. Coupled CO2 and He isotope data for geothermal fluids from throughout Central American (CA) are used to derive estimates of the output carbon flux for comparison with inputs estimated for the subducting Cocos Plate. The carbon flux carried by the incoming sediments is ~1.6 109 gCkm-1yr-1[1], as is the ratio of input carbon derived from pelagic limestone (L) and organic sediment (S), i.e., L/S ~10.7. Additionally, the upper 7 km of oceanic (crustal) basement supplies ~9.1 108 gCkm-1yr-1[2]: this flux is dominated by L-derived CO2. In terms of output, measured carbon concentrations coupled with flow rates for submarine cold seeps sites at the Costa Rica outer forearc yield CO2 and CH4 fluxes of ~ 6.1 103 and 8.0 105 (gCkm-1yr-1), respectively [3]. On the Nicoya Peninsula, the Costa Rica Pacific coastline (including the Oso Peninsula) and the Talamanca Mountain Range, coupled CO2-He studies allow recognition of a deep input (3He/4He up to 4RA) and resolution of CO2 into L- and S-components. There is an increase in the L/S ratio arc-ward with the lowest values lying close to diatomaceous ooze in the uppermost sequence of subducting sediment package. This observation is consistent with under-plating and removal of the uppermost organic-rich sediment from deeper subduction. As the input carbon fluxes of the individual sedimentary layers are well constrained [1], we can limit the potential steady-state flux of carbon loss at the subaerial fore-arc to ~ 6 107 gCkm-1yr-1, equivalent to ~88% of the input flux of the diatomaceous ooze, or < 4% of the total incoming sedimentary carbon. The greatest loss of slab-derived carbon occurs at the volcanic front. Estimates of the output CO2 flux along the CA front - 2-5 ( 108 gCkm-1yr-1) [4-5] together with identification of a slab origin (~90%) of the CO2, gives output estimates between 12% (Costa Rica) and 29% (El Salvador) of the sedimentary input [6]. The low L/S ratio found along the entire strike of the volcanic front precludes a significant C-contribution from oceanic basement of the subducting slab. Finally, arc-like L/S ratios behind the volcanic front in Honduras [6] indicates the back-arc inventory is composed of either entrained or ancient CO2 but not slab carbon released beyond the region of arc magma generation. Thus, at the CA subduction zone, significant carbon influx to the mantle can occur due to limited fore-arc and back-arc losses and modest C-outputs via the volcanic front. These observations are compared with other subduction zones where sediment lithologies, thermal conditions and water budgets differ, to address the question of understanding intrinsic and extrinsic controls on the mass balance of the mantle carbon reservoir. [1] Li and Bebout, JGR, 2005; [2] Hilton et al., Rev. Min. Geochem., 2002; [3] Furi et al., G-cubed, 2010; [4] Rodriguez et al., JVGR, 2004; [5] Zimmer et al., G-cubed, 2004; [6] De Leeuw et al., EPSL, 2007.

  16. Constraints on Pore Pressure in Subduction Zones From Geotechnical Tests and Physical Properties Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saffer, D. M.; McKiernan, A. W.

    2005-12-01

    At subduction zones, as incoming sediments are either offscraped or underthrust at the trench, elevated pore pressures result from the combination of rapid loading and low permeability. Pore pressure within underthrust sediment is especially important for the mechanical strength of the plate boundary fault system, because the main dcollement localizes immediately above this sediment, and at many subduction zones steps downward into it. Because the underthrust sediment undergoes progressive uniaxial (vertical) strain, quantitative estimates of in situ pore pressure can be obtained by several methods, including: (1) maximum past burial stress ( Pv'}) from laboratory consolidation tests on core samples, and (2) observed compaction trends in boreholes. These methods allow a detailed view of pore pressure and its variability down-section, providing insight into dewatering processes and the evolution of shear strength relevant to early development of the dcollement. Geotechnical tests also provide independent measurement of the coefficient of consolidation ( Cv), compressibility ( mv), and permeability (k) of sediment samples, which can be used to parameterize forward models of pressure generation. Here, I discuss pore pressure estimates derived from (1) consolidation tests on core samples, and (2) observed porosity profiles, along transects where ODP drilling has sampled sediment at the Nankai, N. Barbados, and Costa Rican subduction zones. At all three margins, the two independent methods yield consistent results, and indicate development of significant overpressures that increase systematically with distance from the trench. The values are in good agreement with direct measurements in 2 instrumented boreholes at Barbados, maximum and minimum bounds from the known loading rate, and results of 2-D numerical models of fluid flow. Inferred pressures document nearly undrained conditions at the base of the section (excess pressures equal to the load emplaced by subduction burial), and partially drained conditions at the top (excess pressures of ~40% of the undrained response at Costa Rica, ~50-60% at Nankai, and ~90-100% at Barbados). The spatial pattern of excess pore pressure is most consistent with upward drainage to a highly permeable dcollement, to distances of at least 5-10 km landward of the trench. When directly measured values of mv and k from laboratory geotechnical experiments are incorporated into simple 1-D models of vertical dewatering, simulated pore pressures are consistent with those inferred from consolidation tests and porosity data. Model results suggest that severe underconsolidation should persist for tens of km from the trench; notably, simulated underconsolidation is diminished by 20-30 km landward of the trench at Nankai, broadly coincident with the locations of both diminished seismic reflection amplitude observed at the dcollement and the updip extent of coseismic slip. The consistent results achieved at these three margins indicate that: (1) geotechnical tests can provide viable estimates of in situ pore pressure, at least at shallow depths, and (2) laboratory-derived values of permeability and sediment compressibility may be representative of in situ properties, despite collection at small spatial scale and over short times. However, significant uncertainty exists in projecting models to greater depth using geotechnical parameters from shallow samples; more detailed laboratory investigations are clearly needed to better understand the roles of temperature, rate, and diagenetic effects.

  17. Cenozoic tectono-stratigraphic evolution east of the Lesser Antilles subduction zone: geodynamic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pichot, T.; Patriat, M.; Westbrook, G. K.; Nalpas, T.; Roest, W. R.; Gutscher, M.

    2011-12-01

    The Barracuda Ridge and the Tiburon Rise, two major oceanic basement ridges, lie at the western end of the diffuse North America-South America plate-boundary zone, where they enter the subduction zone beneath the Lesser Antilles island arc. Numerous Fracture Zones affect the oceanic crust in this area such as Fifteen Twenty FZ, Marathon FZ and Mercurius FZ. Uncertainties in kinematic models and GPS measurements are too high to accurately predict plate motions in the Barracuda Ridge and Tiburon Rise area. From an analysis of geophysical and geological data, including multibeam and seismic reflection profiles acquired in 2007, a detailed tectono-stratigraphic study was performed. We propose an evolutionary model for the geological history, including the timing of the uplift of the Barracuda and Tiburon ridges. Terrigenous turbidites originating from South America were delivered over the entire area, extending as far north as the Barracuda Ridge, since the early Paleogene. The Neogene turbiditic sequence is relatively thin north of the Tiburon Rise, where the Quaternary distal turbidites form a depocenter in the middle of the Tiburon basin. This basin is restricted by the uplift of the Barracuda Ridge and Tiburon Rise to the north and south, respectively, and by the flexural bulge of the subducting lithosphere to the west. Distal turbidites were also deposited in the deep trough north of Barracuda Ridge. The seafloor topography inherited from the crustal accretion at the mid-oceanic ridge, was buried by turbidites at the end of the Paleogene. The sediments were affected by short wavelength (about 3 km) syn-depositional folds and, mostly normal, faults. Later, during the Middle-Late Miocene and then during the Pleistocene, respectively, the Tiburon Rise and Barracuda Ridge were further uplifted and acquired their present elevation. Two lens-like bodies of mass transport deposits, up to 800-m thick, dated as late Early-Pleistocene, occupy an area greater than 20000 km2 from northeast to southeast of the Tiburon Rise. Although their source remains uncertain, their deposition coincides chronologically with the onset of the last major tectonic phase, accompanying the Barracuda Ridge uplift. This deformation is still active, as expressed by folds and faults affecting the seafloor. These structures are rooted in uplifted basement along the WNW-ESE trends of the fracture zones. There was a general northward migration of the zone of deformation and uplift of oceanic crust during the Neogene and Quaternary. This complex geodynamic situation is produced by transpression between the North American and South American plates and by deformation associated with their passage into the Lesser Antilles subduction zone.

  18. Light elements and Li isotopes across the northern portion of the Central American subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, James A.; Teipel, Alexa P.; Ryan, Jeffrey G.; Syracuse, Ellen

    2009-06-01

    Quaternary mafic rocks have been erupted from volcanoes both on and behind the volcanic front in southeastern Guatemala and western El Salvador. Behind-the-front volcanism extends almost continuously some 110 km from the front. B and Li contents, as well as B/Nb and Li/Yb ratios, are generally higher in the mafic volcanic rocks of the volcanic front and lower in those behind the front. Beryllium concentrations show the opposite relationships, with generally higher values behind the front. In addition, many behind-the-front samples have lower ?7Li (2-3 versus 4-6 for the volcanic front). Guatemalan volcanic rocks, in general, have lower ?7Li than those found along the remainder of the Central American margin. The light element variations across northern Central America clearly indicate that the volcanic front receives a much more pronounced fluid contribution from dehydrating, subducting Cocos lithosphere than the behind-the-front region. This dehydration pulse occurs at slab depths between 85 and 105 km, and selective enrichments of B, Cs, and Cl in volcanic rocks of the volcanic front suggest that the source of this pulse is dehydrating serpentinite. In addition, the dehydration pulse from subducted serpentinite is likely superimposed on a continuous dehydration signal provided by subducting oceanic crust which continues behind the volcanic front to slab depths >200 km. The enhanced fluid contributions at the front produce higher degrees of wedge melting, thus explaining the lower Be contents of front samples. There are two possible explanations of the lower ?7Li of many behind-the-front volcanic rocks from southeastern Guatemala/western El Salvador: selective loss of 7Li during progressive dehydration of subducting Cocos lithosphere or diffusive fractionation accompanying late stage, selective crustal contamination. Since the slightly lower ?7Li of Guatemalan volcanic rocks in general is consistent with a minor crustal overprint, the second explanation is favored and could be relevant to the few subduction zones where lower Li isotopic values characterize back-arc regions. Light element variation across southeastern Guatemala and western El Salvador is consistent with the operation of decompression melting behind the volcanic front. Be/Zr ratios across the northern portion of the Central American subduction zone may indicate some mobility of Be.

  19. 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.

  20. Carbon Cycle in Subduction Zones: Experimental Constraints in Fluid-Saturated MORB Eclogites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crottini, A.; Poli, S.; Molina, J. F.

    2003-04-01

    Graphite and/or carbonates are stable in eclogite mafic systems, according to both natural evidences and experimental and computed data (Yaxley and Green, 1994; Molina and Poli, 2000). In this work, the stability of C-bearing phases in metamorphosed oceanic crust is discussed as a function of fO2, expected to be the main factor controlling fluid speciation in subduction zone. We performed experiments using a piston-cylinder apparatus, at pressures up to 3 GPa and temperatures to 730^oC. Experiments were carried out on seeded gels in the model system Na2O-CaO-FeO-MgO-Al2O3-SiO2 , in the presence of a C-O-H fluid at variable C-O-H ratios generated from mixtures of oxalic acid dihydrate and silver oxalate. The double capsule technique was employed to control fH2 with Ni-NiO (NNO) and hematite-magnetite (HM) buffers. In agreement with Molina and Poli (2000), a large amphibole-carbonate phase field is present at NNO oxygen fugacities at P <= 2 GPa. At 2.5-2.6 GPa amphibole breaks down. Omphacite is stable up to 3.0 GPa, coexisting with fassaite at 2.2 GPa in CO2 -rich bulk compositions, where garnet is absent. A fine-grained Na-melilite is stable at 2.2-2.4 GPa, containing up to 15 wt.% Na2O. Graphite is ubiquitous at P >= 2.2 GPa, with dolomite and aragonite at HM oxidation conditions and aragonite at NNO-buffered conditions. At pressures above 2.4 GPa carbonates disappear, being graphite the only C-bearing solid phase. Thermodynamic computations on fluid speciation in graphite buffered systems support experimental results, suggesting that carbonates can be stable at values of log fO2 close to NNO buffer at P <= 2.0 GPa, whereas at higher pressures their stability is permitted only by highly oxidizing conditions (3-4 log units lower than HM) in H2 O-poor bulk compositions. The experimental results demonstrate that transfer of carbon from the subducting slab to either the deep slab or to the mantle wedge via fluid flow is strongly related to the actual oxygen fugacity conditions attained in subduction zones. J.F. Molina and S. Poli, Earth. Planet. Sci. Lett., 176, 295-310 (2000). G.M. Yaxley and D.H. Green, Earth. Planet. Sci. Lett., 128, 313-325 (1994).

  1. Plasticity of the dense hydrous magnesium silicate phase A at subduction zones conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gouriet, K.; Hilairet, N.; Amiguet, E.; Bolfan-Casanova, N.; Wang, Y.; Reynard, B.; Cordier, P.

    2015-11-01

    The plasticity of the dense hydrous magnesium silicate (DHMS) phase A, a key hydrous mineral within cold subduction zones, was investigated by two complementary approaches: high-pressure deformation experiments and computational methods. The deformation experiments were carried out at 11 GPa, 400 and 580 °C, with in situ measurements of stress, strain and lattice preferred orientations (LPO). Based on viscoplastic self-consistent modeling (VPSC) of the observed LPO, the deformation mechanisms at 580 °C are consistent with glide on the (0 0 0 1) basal and (0 1 1 bar 0) prismatic planes. At 400 °C the deformation mechanisms involve glide on (2 bar 1 1 0) prismatic, (0 0 0 1) basal and { 1 1 2 bar 1 } pyramidal planes. Both give flow stresses of 2.5-3 GPa at strain rates of 2-4 × 10-5 s-1. We use the Peierls-Nabarro-Galerkin (PNG) approach, relying on first-principles calculations of generalized stacking fault (γ-surface), and model the core structure of potential dislocations in basal and prismatic planes. The computations show multiple dissociations of the 1/3 [ 2 1 bar 1 bar 0 ] and [ 0 1 1 bar 0 ] dislocations ( and dislocations) in the basal plane, which is compatible with the ubiquity of basal slip in the experiments. The γ-surface calculations also suggest 1/3 [ 2 1 bar 1 bar 3 ] and [ 0 1 bar 1 1 ] dislocations ( or directions) in prismatic and pyramidal planes, which is also consistent with the experimental data. Phase A has a higher flow strength than olivine. When forming at depths from the dehydration of weak and highly anisotropic hydrated ultramafic rocks, phase A may not maintain the mechanical softening antigorite can provide. The seismic properties calculated for moderately deformed aggregates suggest that S-wave seismic anisotropy of phase A-bearing rocks is lower than hydrous subduction zone lithologies such as serpentinites and blueschists.

  2. THE MISSING EARTHQUAKES OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY: RECONCILING RECURRENCE INTERVAL ESTIMATES, SOUTHERN CASCADIA SUBDUCTION ZONE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patton, J. R.; Leroy, T. H.

    2009-12-01

    Earthquake and tsunami hazard for northwestern California and southern Oregon is predominately based on estimates of recurrence for earthquakes on the Cascadia subduction zone and upper plate thrust faults, each with unique deformation and recurrence histories. Coastal northern California is uniquely located to enable us to distinguish these different sources of seismic hazard as the accretionary prism extends on land in this region. This region experiences ground deformation from rupture of upper plate thrust faults like the Little Salmon fault. Most of this region is thought to be above the locked zone of the megathrust, so is subject to vertical deformation during the earthquake cycle. Secondary evidence of earthquake history is found here in the form of marsh soils that coseismically subside and commonly are overlain by estuarine mud and rarely tsunami sand. It is not currently known what the source of the subsidence is for this region; it may be due to upper plate rupture, megathrust rupture, or a combination of the two. Given that many earlier investigations utilized bulk peat for 14C age determinations and that these early studies were largely reconnaissance work, these studies need to be reevaluated. Recurrence Interval estimates are inconsistent when comparing terrestrial (~500 years) and marine (~220 years) data sets. This inconsistency may be due to 1) different sources of archival bias in marine and terrestrial data sets and/or 2) different sources of deformation. Factors controlling successful archiving of paleoseismic data are considered as this relates to geologic setting and how that might change through time. We compile, evaluate, and rank existing paleoseismic data in order to prioritize future paleoseismic investigations. 14C ages are recalibrated and quality assessments are made for each age determination. We then evaluate geologic setting and prioritize important research locations and goals based on these existing data. Terrestrial core transects are located in each of eight archival domains in order to evaluate archival bias and potential deformation sources for the southern Cascadia subduction zone. These domains are located in the Eel River, Humboldt Bay, Humboldt Lagoons, and Crescent City regions. In any given domain, evidence of earthquakes can be regional, local, or both. Core transects are designed to capture archival bias due to 1) interseismic deformation in the upper plate or the megathrust, 2) rupture on upper plate thrust faults, 3) rupture on the megathrust, or 4) rupture on both. Modern biogeochemical transects are used to calibrate paleontologic estimates. Based on our assessment, we determine which sites need better age control, which sites need supplemental coring, and key new research areas that need to be investigated.

  3. Detection of Slow Slip Events Along the Cascadia Subduction Zone Using Plate Boundary Observatory Borehole Strainmeters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCausland, W.; Roeloffs, E.

    2007-12-01

    In the spring of 2005, the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) began installing borehole strainmeters in the Pacific Northwest. Currently there are 18 borehole strainmeters operating from Vancouver Island, Canada to Southern Oregon that are favorably located to detect slow slip along the Cascadia subduction zone. While the longest (> two weeks) subduction tremor episodes are accompanied by slow slip events, there are shorter duration tremor episodes that have not been accompanied by GPS-detected slow slip events. It is possible that a slow slip event does occur, but is below the current resolution of the GPS network. Using data from these PBO strainmeters, we developed a scanning technique to detect strain transients. The strainmeter data are band-passed between 5 and 16 days to eliminate tides and long-term variations. In this band, the instrument responds primarily to atmospheric pressure. Excursions of the gauges from the atmospheric pressure variations are investigated as possible tectonic strain transients. Several features of the strainmeters aid us in distinguishing between tectonic strain transients and other variations in the data. First, tectonic transient strain signals will be recorded similarly on closely clustered strainmeters; there are 4 such clusters along the Cascadia subduction zone. Second, if the areal strain recalculated using two orthogonal gauges is not consistent with the areal strain calculated on three equally spaced gauges, then the signal is not caused by strain. Pumping or rainfall can cause strain variations that we can distinguish from tectonic events by looking at other measured quantities including fluid pressure, precipitation, etc. Thus far, in northern Washington and Canada, all the known transient slow slip events recorded on the strainmeters were also detected by the GPS network. In southern Oregon, our scanning technique found one possible tectonic event on the B035-B036 cluster near Grant's Pass during late July and early August 2007. Other researchers (Szeliga et al, 2004; McCausland et al, 2005; Brudzinski and Allen, in press) have reported recurring subduction tremor and slow slip in this area. Further corroborating our observations, cleaned GPS data from the PANGA website for the east-west component of nearby station DDSN, resembles signals from previous slip events.

  4. Possible control of subduction zone slow-earthquake periodicity by silica enrichment.

    PubMed

    Audet, Pascal; Bürgmann, Roland

    2014-06-19

    Seismic and geodetic observations in subduction zone forearcs indicate that slow earthquakes, including episodic tremor and slip, recur at intervals of less than six months to more than two years. In Cascadia, slow slip is segmented along strike and tremor data show a gradation from large, infrequent slip episodes to small, frequent slip events with increasing depth of the plate interface. Observations and models of slow slip and tremor require the presence of near-lithostatic pore-fluid pressures in slow-earthquake source regions; however, direct evidence of factors controlling the variability in recurrence times is elusive. Here we compile seismic data from subduction zone forearcs exhibiting recurring slow earthquakes and show that the average ratio of compressional (P)-wave velocity to shear (S)-wave velocity (vP/vS) of the overlying forearc crust ranges between 1.6 and 2.0 and is linearly related to the average recurrence time of slow earthquakes. In northern Cascadia, forearc vP/vS values decrease with increasing depth of the plate interface and with decreasing tremor-episode recurrence intervals. Low vP/vS values require a large addition of quartz in a mostly mafic forearc environment. We propose that silica enrichment varying from 5 per cent to 15 per cent by volume from slab-derived fluids and upward mineralization in quartz veins can explain the range of observed vP/vS values as well as the downdip decrease in vP/vS. The solubility of silica depends on temperature, and deposition prevails near the base of the forearc crust. We further propose that the strong temperature dependence of healing and permeability reduction in silica-rich fault gouge via dissolution-precipitation creep can explain the reduction in tremor recurrence time with progressive silica enrichment. Lower gouge permeability at higher temperatures leads to faster fluid overpressure development and low effective fault-normal stress, and therefore shorter recurrence times. Our results also agree with numerical models of slip stabilization under fault zone dilatancy strengthening caused by decreasing fluid pressure as pore space increases. This implies that temperature-dependent silica deposition, permeability reduction and fluid overpressure development control dilatancy and slow-earthquake behaviour. PMID:24943955

  5. 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.

  6. 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 mlanges that have experienced maximum burial temperatures of ~250 -320C, [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.

  7. Imaging melt and thermal structure in subduction zones: what does seismic attenuation tell us?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abers, G. A.; Fischer, K. M.; Hirth, G.; Holtzman, B. K.; McCarthy, C.; Plank, T. A.; Wiens, D. A.

    2013-12-01

    Subduction zones provide opportunities for observation of the mantle melting region not easily available elsewhere. Earthquakes within subducting plates can be recorded in the overlying plate. These paths sample the volumes where melting occurs with high resolution and short ray paths, and produce simple signals with much higher frequency content than available elsewhere. Also, arc volcanoes provide a direct sample of mantle melting products, and magmas record H2O concentrations, temperature, and pressure in their geochemical compositions. Beneath both volcanic arcs and back-arc basins, seismic waves exhibit very high attenuation (1/Q) for both P and S waves. Several recent field experiments have shown that the region of high 1/Q is localized and more than an order of magnitude more attenuating than adjacent regions in the forearc or slab. We have systematically re-analyzed data from two sets of these experiments, from Central America and the Marianas, where 1/Q anomalies are well defined and where arc or backarc lavas provide independent constraints on mantle properties. These analyses show strong attenuation anomalies, with Qs at 1 Hz no lower than 60-80 beneath Costa Rica but lower beneath other arcs and back-arc basins, to Qs<40. The systematic decrease in Qs (increase in attenuation) correlates well with temperature from geothermometers based on major-element chemistry. However, these Qs values are a factor of 2-4 lower than predicted from temperature by current laboratory-based calibrations in olivine-dominated rocks, at relevant conditions. We refine the Qs predictions using a grain size evolution model and estimates of mantle water content from olivine-hosted melt inclusions, effects which decrease but do not eliminate the discrepancy. We conclude that melt must have a significant impact on Q, bigger than predicted by models of grain-boundary dissipation with equilibrium grain geometries. One possibility is that in these very high 1/Q regions additional attenuation mechanisms such as melt squirt may be important at 1 Hz frequencies, as predicted for very high aspect ratio pore geometries. The high Poisson's ratios inferred for the sub-arc mantle also indicate such pore geometries. Thus, subduction zones are providing good calibration of models for predicting seismic attenuation, and may be providing insight into the mechanical behavior of melt-bearing rocks.

  8. 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.

  9. Finite element modeling on stress field of subduction zones and island arcs during megathrust earthquake cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muto, J.; Shibazaki, B.; Iidaka, T.; Ohzono, M.

    2013-12-01

    A subduction zone earthquake cycle includes a great earthquake and subsequent strain accumulation in to the next earthquake. Such cycles in viscoelastic earth perturbs crustal stresses. The observations of shear-wave splitting during crustal earthquakes in the forearc of the NE Japan have revealed the presence of almost NS polarization azimuths, while the volcanic front to backarc show the EW polarization azimuths. This indicates that the stress field in the forearc crust is not horizontal EW compression during the interseismic period. In order to clarify how crustal stress fields are perturbed during earthquake cycles, we have conducted a finite element model on subduction zones earthquake cycles in the NE Japan. We developed a two-dimensional finite element model oriented perpendicular to the Japan Trench extending 1000 km to the west and 600 km to the east of the Trench and 800 km depth. The model also transects an area of large coseismic slip of the 2011 Tohoku Oki earthquake with the slip magnitude exceeding 60 m. The subsurface crustal and mantle wedge structures, and subducting slab geometry were developed based on an offshore seismic reflection survey and high-precision seismic tomography of the crust, mantle wedge structures, and subducting slab in this region. Deformation along plate boundary is the kinematically assigned using the split node method. For a subduction plate boundary, a shallow portion is assumed to be locked and from a certain depth downdip, the boundary is assumed to slip at the full plate convergence rate of 80 mm/yr during interseismic period. At the coseismic step, the amount of slip corresponding to slip deficit during the interseismic period is achieved along the shallow portion. From preliminary results for cycles up to 10 earthquakes, the horizontal stress was oscillated through the cycles: horizontal EW compression during interseismic periods and sudden extension by coseismic deformations. The horizontal stress in the shallower portion of the forearc side just prior to an earthquake gradually becomes extension regime with cycles. The portion of this extension regime roughly corresponds to the region with NS polarization azimuths of the shear wave splitting of crustal earthquakes in the NE Japan. This indicates that the formation of extensional stress regime in the forearc during intersesimic period might be originated from the buckling of the island arc lithosphere and relaxation of compressive stress during the intersesimic period.

  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. Back-arc strain in subduction zones: Statistical observations versus numerical modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arcay, D.; Lallemand, S.; Doin, M.-P.

    2008-05-01

    Recent statistical analysis by Lallemand et al. (2008) of subduction zone parameters revealed that the back-arc deformation mode depends on the combination between the subducting (vsub) and upper (vup) plate velocities. No significant strain is recorded in the arc area if plate kinematics verifies vup = 0.5 vsub - 2.3 (cm/a) in the HS3 reference frame. Arc spreading (shortening) occurs if vup is greater (lower) than the preceding relationship. We test this statistical law with numerical models of subduction, by applying constant plate velocities far away from the subduction zone. The subducting lithosphere is free to deform at all depths. We quantify the force applied on the two converging plates to sustain constant surface velocities. The simulated rheology combined viscous (non-Newtonian) and brittle behaviors, and depends on water content. The influence of subduction rate vs is first studied for a fixed upper plate. After 950 km of convergence (steady state slab pull), the transition from extensional to compressive stresses in the upper plate occurs for vs ˜ 1.4 cm/a. The effect of upper plate velocity is then tested at constant subduction rate. Upper plate retreat (advance) with respect to the trench increases extension (compression) in the arc lithosphere and increases (decreases) the subducting plate dip. Our modeling confirms the statistical kinematic relationship between vsub and vup that describes the transition from extensional to compressive stresses in the arc lithosphere, even if the modeled law is shifted toward higher rates of upper plate retreat, using our set of physical parameters (e.g., 100 km thick subducting oceanic plate) and short-term simulations. Our results make valid the choice of the HS3 reference frame for assessing plate velocity influence on arc tectonic regime. The subduction model suggests that friction along the interplate contact and the mantle Stokes reaction could be the two main forces competing against slab pull for upper mantle subductions. Besides, our simulations show that the arc deformation mode is strongly time dependent.

  12. 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 (Petatln 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.

  13. Structural and Physical Controls on Segmentation and Earthquake Rupture of the Sumatran Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeill, L.; Henstock, T.; Dean, S.; Barton, P.; Tilmann, F.; Vermeesch, P.; Tang, G.; Djajadihardja, Y.; Permana, H.; Sumatra Segmentation Project Members, &

    2008-12-01

    A major UK and international project is investigating how the 3D structure and physical properties of the subduction zone (including the plate boundary) affect earthquake rupture within and between the 2004 and 2005 rupture zones. These earthquake ruptures terminated at clear segment boundaries of the subduction zone and, in part, repeated historic rupture patterns. The project includes marine surveys (seismic refraction and reflection, heatflow measurements, sidescan sonar and coring), a combined onshore and offshore earthquake recording experiment and refinement of earthquake slip distribution models. The project focuses on two segment boundaries: between the 2004 and 2005 rupture zones and at the southern termination of the 2005 rupture. The data will be used to (a) determine how prism and plate boundary structure, thermal properties and seismic velocity structure change across the rupture boundaries, (b) further constrain the seismogenic zone position based on well located seismicity and thermal properties, (c) link the slip distribution to forearc structure and (d) assess the paleoseismic history of these rupture segments. The first phase of the marine experiment (seismic refraction and reflection) was conducted May-July 2008 with passive seismic recording ongoing. Initial results reveal details of prism structure and thrust development including changing vergence patterns along the toe of the prism; clear imaging of the plate boundary to ~75 km landward of the deformation front; and structure of the oceanic plate including basement topography and a thick sedimentary section. The 3D topography of the subducting plate at the southern termination of the 2005 earthquake (Nias island) and 1935 rupture zone (Batu Islands) is particularly complex and variable due to subduction of oceanic plate basement structure. These structures may be responsible for the 2005 segment boundary and the anomalous rupture history beneath the Batu Islands. Reflection profiles across the incoming trench wedge offshore Simeulue island (2004-2005 boundary) reveal a prominent reflector at the base of the sedimentary section with changing polarity along strike. This reflector is interpreted as the proto-decollement. Further analysis will investigate its changing properties and potential relationship to earthquake rupture.

  14. Holocene Tsunami Deposits From Large Tsunamis Along the Kuril Subduction Zone, Northeast Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nanayama, F.; Furukawa, R.; Satake, K.; Soeda, Y.; Shigeno, K.

    2003-12-01

    Holocene tsunami deposits in eastern Hokkaido between Nemuro and Tokachi show that the Kuril subduction zone repeatedly produced earthquakes and tsunamis larger than those recorded in this region since AD 1804 (Nanayama et al., Nature, 424, 660-663, 2003). Twenty-two postulated tsunami sand layers from the past 9500 years are preserved on lake bottom near Kushiro City, and about ten postulated tsunami sand layers from the past 3000 years are preserved in peat layers on the coastal marsh of Kiritappu. We dated these ten tsunami deposits (named Ts1 to Ts10 from shallower to deeper) in peat layers by radiocarbon and tephrochronology, correlated them with historical earthquakes and tsunamis, and surveyed their spatial distribution to estimate the tsunamisO inland inundation limits. Ts10 and Ts9 are under regional tephra Ta-c2 (ca. 2.5 ka) and represent prehistorical events. Ts8 to Ts5 are between two regional tephra layers Ta-c2 and B-Tm (ca. 9th century). In particular, Ts5 is found just below B-Tm, so it is dated 9th century (Heian era). Ts4 is dated ca 13th century (Kamakura era), while Ts3, found just below Us-b and Ta-b (AD 1667-1663), is dated 17th century (Edo era). Ts2 is dated 19th century (Edo era) and may correspond to the AD 1843 Tempo Tokachi-oki earthquake (Mt 8.0) recorded in a historical document Nikkanki of Kokutai-ji temple at Akkeshi. Ts1 is inferred 20th century and may correspond to the tsunami from the AD 1960 Chilean earthquake (M 9.5) or the AD 1952 Tokachi-oki earthquake (Mt 8.2). Our detailed surveys indicate that Ts3 and Ts4 can be traced more than 3 km from the present coast line in Kirittapu marsh, much longer than the limits (< 1 km) of recent deposits Ts1 and Ts2 or documented inundation of the 19th and 20th century tsunamis. The recurrence intervals of great tsunami inundation are about 400 to 500 years, longer than that of typical interplate earthquakes along the Kuril subduction zone. The longer interval and the apparent large tsunami inundation indicate unusual origin of these tsunamis.

  15. Global Patterns of Radiated Energy for Thrust Earthquakes in Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

    Teleseismic studies have found that, for a given seismic moment M0, the radiated energy ES of an earthquake can range over two orders of magnitude. Intraplate and intraslab earthquakes having unusually elevated radiated energy are largely confined to specific high-deformation tectonic settings, an observation which can lead to improving estimates of seismic hazard potential (Choy et al., GJI, 2002, 2004). In contrast, the population of interplate thrust subduction earthquakes has the lowest average ES/M0 ratio among plate-boundary earthquakes. Nevertheless, among subduction plate-boundary earthquakes, there is considerable variability in this ratio. For example, some large earthquakes of this type have anomalously low energy (i.e., low ES/M0 ratio), a characteristic associated with tsunamigenic events involving slow rupture. In a global reconnaissance of the radiated energies of more than 1300 large shallow thrust earthquakes (magnitude greater than about 5.5 and depth < 70 km) that occurred from 1987 to 2006 in subduction zones, we found 270 earthquakes with anomalously low energy radiation comparable to that of tsunamigenic slow earthquakes. The enervated (low energy) earthquakes have a magnitude differential ? M > 0.5 (where ? M is the difference between energy magnitude Me and moment magnitude Mw). This reconnaissance also found 152 earthquakes with anomalously high energy radiation. These energetic thrust events have ? M values less than about -0.2. The global distributions of energetic and enervated events are not random and typically do not overlap. Enervated events are nearly always located at the top surface of a Wadati-Benioff zone defining a narrow zone that can be interpreted as the slab interface. Energetic events occur in high-deformation tectonic settings, such as some marine collision zones involving seamount chains, submerged continent-continent collisions, colliding slabs, regions of complex plate interactions, and slab distortions. Some of these may be intraslab based on their greater depths compared to shallower events that are presumed to be on subduction boundaries. There is no obvious spatial correlation of these enervated events with locations of notable pre-digital tsunami earthquakes, such as the 1896 Japan and 1946 Aleutian events. The majority of enervated thrust events occur beneath forearc basins and not beneath frontal prisms (events south of Java in 1994 and 2006 being notable exceptions). The above trends in the locations of enervated and energetic thrust earthquakes may provide insight into variation of deformation within subduction zones.

  16. Viscoelastic solutions to tectonic problems of extinct spreading centers, earthquake triggering, and subduction zone dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freed, Andrew Mark

    This dissertation uses a finite element technique to explore the role of viscoelastic behavior in a wide range of plate tectonic processes. We consider problems associated with spreading centers, earthquake triggering, and subduction zone dynamics. We simulated the evolution of a slow-spreading center upon cessation of active spreading in order to predict long-term changes in the axial valley morphology. Results suggest that the axial valley created at a slow-spreading center persists because the crust is too strong to deform ductily and because no effective mechanism exists to reverse the topography created by rift-bounding normal faults. These results suggest that the persistence of axial valleys at extinct spreading centers is consistent with a lithospheric stretching model based on dynamic forces for active slow-spreading ridges. In our study of earthquake triggering, results suggest that if a ductile lower crust or upper mantle flows viscously following a thrust event, relaxation may cause a transfer of stress to the upper crust. Under certain conditions this may lead to further increases and a lateral expansion of high Coulomb stresses along the base of the upper crust. Analysis of experimentally determined non-Newtonian flow laws suggests that wet granitic, quartz, and feldspar aggregates may yield a viscosity on the order of 10sp{19} Pa-s. The calculated rate of stress transfer from a viscous lower crust or upper mantle to the upper crust becomes faster with increasing values of the power law exponent and the presence of a regional compressive strain rate. In our study of subduction zone dynamics, we model the density and strength structures that drive the Nazca and South American plates. Results suggest that chemical buoyancy and phase changes associated with a cool subducting slab strongly influence the magnitude of driving forces, and the downgoing slab behaves weaker than the strength that would be expected based solely on temperature. Additionally, results suggest that large stresses are produced on the western margin of South American due to forces associated with asthenospheric cornerflow. These forces may be responsible for the high topography of the South American Cordilleran.

  17. Preservation of Paleoseismic and Paleogeodetic Records of mid to late Holocene Subduction Zone Earthquakes in Different Coastal Settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelsey, H. M.; Horton, B.; Rubin, C. M.; Grand Pre, C.; Hawkes, A. D.; Dura, T.; Daryono, M.; Ladinsky, T.

    2009-12-01

    Dynamic variations in sea level and solid Earth properties along active subduction zones predetermine the duration and when paleoseismic and paleogeodetic records will be preserved in coastal regions. The most direct, reliable way to chronicle the history of past subduction zone earthquakes is through coastal stratigraphic sequences that preserve abrupt and gradual relative sea level changes caused by great subduction earthquake cycles. Specifically, paleoseismic timing and paleo geodetic determination of vertical displacement can be obtained through the application of litho-, bio- and chronostratigraphic analyses of selected coastal stratigraphic sequences. Such stratigraphic sequences are only preserved under a specific set of conditions wherein sea level rise, crustal loading, local crustal thickness and imposed strain accumulation and release from megathrust and upper plate faults and folds collectively conspire to provide a long-term, gradual relative sea level rise over millenia that span at least two or three subduction earthquake cycles. Given the conditions necessary to preserve stratigraphic sequences recording multiple great subduction earthquake cycles, it is not surprising that robust paleoseismic records from coastal marsh stratigraphies are rare. To illustrate the conditions under which coastal marshes preserve paleoseismic records of great subduction zone earthquakes, we present two sites with different combinations of sea level rise, crustal loading, crustal thickness and local tectonics. Although both sites preserve a paleoseismic record of subduction zone earthquakes, the length of the records and the specific time range of the records are notably different. The coastal, equatorial, island tropical setting in the Indian Ocean preserves tidal-marsh stratigraphic records of great subduction zone earthquakes in the time window 7-5 ka. In contrast, mid-latitude, North American, northeast Pacific coastal settings preserve tidal-marsh stratigraphic records of great subduction zone earthquakes in the time window 6-0 ka. The reasons for these differences are consistent with the differential crustal response to ocean loading of coastal margins in these two settings. We present paleoseismic histories from Indonesia and the Pacific northwest, and refer to theoretical relative sea level curves from the modeling community, to illustrate why different coastal settings predetermine the length and time span of paleoseismic records.

  18. 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.

  19. Timing of eclogite-facies metamorphism of the Chuacs 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 Chuacs 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 Chuacs 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 Chuacs 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 Chuacs slab from mantle to mid-crustal depth was quick, taking few million years. During exhumation, partial melting of Chuacs gneisses generated ubiquitous pegmatites. One of the pegmatites intruded the North Motagua mlange, 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.

  20. Influence of deformation mechanisms and metamorphic reactions during strain localization in the continental crust under lower amphibolite facies conditions: an example from the Gotthard massif

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliot, E.; Goncalves, P.; Schulmann, K.; Marquer, D.

    2009-04-01

    Ductile shear zones are the result of the process of strain localization in the continental crust. Depending on the metamorphic conditions during deformation, strain localization is coeval with dramatic changes in microstructures, mineralogy and mass transfers, due to the interactions with externally-derived fluid. Therefore, to accurately model the mechanisms of strain localization, it is critical to identify deformation mechanisms related to the recrystallization of the quartzo-feldspathic assemblages, and to better constrain the role of metamorphic reactions during deformation. The aim of this contribution is to characterize the mineralogical, geochemical, textural and microstructural evolution of a high strain zone from the Fibbia granite, which is located in the Gotthard Massif (External Crystalline Massif, Central Alps). This variscan massif has been affected by Alpine Tertiary metamorphism and deformation under lower amphibolite facies conditions. The strain gradient is approximately a meter width. The rock texture evolves from a weakly deformed granite, toward an orthogneiss, a mylonite and a ~10 cm-wide ultramylonite. The mineralogical assemblage changes from a metastable magmatic assemblage consisting of Qtz + Kspar + Pla + Bio Pheng Grt Ep to a fine banded texture consisting of a quartzo-feldspathic matrix, with metamorphic phyllosilicates (biotite and phengite) and garnet in the ultramylonite. Cathodoluminescence (CL) imaging has been used to quantify the modal proportions of phases in the quartzo-feldspathic matrix in this strain gradient. More specifically, in the orthogneiss and the mylonite, CL imaging reveals a subtle layering consisting of alternating bands of quartz-rich ribbons, K-feldspars and coupled quartz- and plagioclase-rich ribbons. The texture in the ultramylonite is more homogeneous with isolated single quartz and K-feldspar grains. CL imaging has also revealed chemical zoning, as "core and mantle" texture in plagioclases. With increasing strain, modal abundance of K-feldspars decreases from 28% to 16%, whereas both micas increase from 5% to 21%. Similarly, albite evolves from 25% to 8%, whereas oligoclase evolves from 5% to 25%. Deformation mechanisms responsible for these microstructures have been studied by combining a quantitative textural analysis (CSD, SPO, grain boundary frequency and orientation - PolyLX MatlabTM toolbox; Lexa, 2005) and a crystallographic study by EBSD. Deformation mechanisms of quartz, K-feldspar and plagioclase are a combination of SGR and GBM in the orthogneiss and in the mylonite, whereas GBS is active in the ultramylonite. CPO characteristic features are still a matter of debate. Because mass transfers occurred in this shear zone (gains of MnO, CaO, Fe2O3, P2O5 and TiO2) without volume change, thermodynamic modeling of phase relations in such open system must consider the variations of effective bulk rock composition during deformation. In this example, phase relations have been mapped using Perple_X'07 (Connolly, 2005) as a function of P, T, M(H2O) and X(bulk composition), in order to highlight the influence of subtle mass transfers on the syn-deformation stability of mineral assemblages at 500C and 7.2 kbars. A particular attention has been paid to the role of water content on the stable assemblage and on compositions of metamorphic phyllosilicates. Water under-saturated conditions induce the stability of aluminosilicates, and should increase the Xmg in biotite and decrease the amount of tschermak substitution in phengite. P- and T-M(H20) diagram suggest that the Alpine ductile shear zones occurred under water-saturated conditions. This study reveals that strain localization is related to the metamorphic reactions (breakdowns of K-feldspars to phengites and magmatic plagioclase to albite and oligoclase), which induce a strong decrease in grain size reduction and a switch in deformation mechanism from SGR and GBM to GBS in the ultramylonite. The good agreement between phase diagram section predictions and the observations suggest that high